Monday, October 29, 2007

phung po lnga - Five Aggregates

ye shes lnga, the five wisdoms, are also associated with phung po lnga, the five aggregates.

phung is actually heap, skandha in Sanskrit. phung po is usually here in west translated as aggregate. It's somewhat odd term, as the heap or collection concept is easier to understand, it's really about taking a bunch of what a person consist of, and placing them in five distinctive collections, or five heaps; lnga is five.

There's plenty of good material out there on the web concerning the five aggregates, here's a good one by Alex Berzin. As we will see, it's interesting to notice the connection between the collections and the wisdoms -- again the raw material is there, it's a matter of purifying it.

There are even more things associated with the five wisdoms, and we will pick them up along the way, but these four sections times five is twenty postings, so that should be a mouthful during the next month or so. But the end result is that you would easily recognize how each important part plays together, in dependent origination, so that will be fun.

1 comment:

Ken said...

The Tibetan term phung.po is a translation of the Sanskrit based on a folk etymology of the Sanskrit word. Apparently, it originally indicated a shadow or form of a person (see The Heart Sutra, by Red Pine). A "pile" or "heap" is, thus, a later meaning, and doesn't reflect the original sense.

Preferring to avoid such clumsy terms as "aggregate", I've taken to translate it as simply "group", but am always looking for something better.