Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Five Expressions of the Appearance of Self

OK, we will now go through how Abhidharma-Samuccaya describes why there are exactly five skandhas. There are five parts to it!

bdag gi gzhi is the self-base. This word will be used in all five parts. bdag is self, gi is a genitive particle binding right to left, and gzhi is base.

rnam pa is class, type, division. lnga is five, so this has to do with the five divisions of the self-base.

brjod pa is expression in this context. The 'i at the end is again a genitive particle that binds right to left. The right side is phyir, in order to, because. So this is: because of the expression, or due to expressing....

The last word, te, is a particle that shows that there's more to come, in other words, the reason why there are five expression of a self-base will be presented next.

Anyway, the self-base word is somewhat artificial in my taste, so I use the term appearance of self instead. So one way to translate this is, using the backwards reading technique good to use from time to time: Because of the five expressions (or methods) that self makes itself to appear.

That's what we will go through next, and it's not tough to already figure out that there's one expression of self that appears for each of the five skandhas. Anyway, the word appear here is important as it will not define that there's any self-existence -- self just appears, it does not exist from its own side.

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