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In the Theravada tradition, suffering arises when one identifies with or clings to an aggregate. Suffering is extinguished by relinquishing attachments to aggregates. The Mahayana tradition further puts forth that ultimate freedom is realized by deeply penetrating the nature of all aggregates as intrinsically empty of independent existence. Etymology[edit] Outside of Buddhist didactic contexts, "skandha" can mean mass, heap, pile, gathering, bundle or tree trunk.[3][c] According to Thanissaro, the buddha gave a new meaning to the term "khanda": Prior to the Buddha, the Pali word khandha had very ordinary meanings: A khandha could be a pile, a bundle, a heap, a mass. Description in the Sutta Pitaka[edit] The Sutta Pitaka of the Pali Canon contains the teachings of the Buddha, as preserved by the Theravada tradition. The five skandhas[edit] The sutras describe five aggregates:[d] Suffering and release[edit] Understanding dukkha[edit] Clinging causes future suffering[edit] ... No essence[edit]

Related:  Key Concepts

Ātman (Buddhism) Whereas Buddhism generally stresses the non-Self teachings of the Buddha, some Mahāyāna Buddhist sutras and tantras present cataphatic Buddhist teachings with positive language by asserting the ultimate reality of an atman [Self], which is equated with the essential, ultimate nature of mind (Dalai Lama — see relevant section below). This doctrine, also known as Tathāgatagarbha, is also seen as the inborn potential to become a Buddha. The Theravāda Dhammakaya Movement of Thailand also asserts the reality of the atman, which it equates with nirvana.

Fourth Way According to this system, the chief difference between the three traditional schools, or ways, and the fourth way is that "they are permanent forms which have survived throughout history mostly unchanged, and are based on religion. Where schools of yogis, monks or fakirs exist, they are barely distinguishable from religious schools. The fourth way differs in that it is not a permanent way. Moksha In Indian religions and Indian philosophy, moksha (Sanskrit: मोक्ष mokṣa), also called vimoksha, vimukti and mukti,[1] means emancipation, liberation or release.[2] In the soteriological and eschatological sense, it connotes freedom from saṃsāra, the cycle of death and rebirth. In the epistemological and psychological sense, moksha connotes freedom, self-realization and self-knowledge.[4] In Hindu traditions, moksha is a central concept[5] and included as one of the four aspects and goals of human life; the other three goals are dharma (virtuous, proper, moral life), artha (material prosperity, income security, means of life), and kama (pleasure, sensuality, emotional fulfillment).[6] Together, these four aims of life are called Puruṣārtha in Hinduism.[7] The concept of moksha is found in Jainism, Buddhism and Hinduism.

Six Yogas of Naropa The Six Yogas of Nāropa (Tib. Narö chö druk, na-ro'i-chos-drug), also called the six dharmas of Naropa.[1] Naro's six doctrines (Mandarin: Ming Xing Dao Liu Cheng Jiu Fa; rendered in English as: Wisdom Activities Path Six Methods of Accomplishment),[2] are a set of advanced Indo-Tibetan Buddhist tantric practices and a meditation sādhana compiled in and around the time of the Indian monk and mystic Nāropa (1016-1100 CE) and conveyed to his student Marpa the translator. The six yogas were intended in part to help in the attainment of siddhi and enlightenment in an accelerated manner. Six Yogas or Six Dharmas?[edit] Peter Alan Roberts notes that the proper terminology is "six Dharmas of Nāropa", not "six yogas of Nāropa":

Śūnyatā Śūnyatā, (Sanskrit, also shunyata; Pali: suññatā), in Buddhism, translated into English as emptiness, voidness,[1] openness,[2] spaciousness, vacuity, is a Buddhist concept which has multiple meanings depending on its doctrinal context. In Theravada Buddhism, suññatā often refers to the not-self (Pāli: anatta, Sanskrit: anātman)[note 1] nature of the five aggregates of experience and the six sense spheres. Suññatā is also often used to refer to a meditative state or experience. Etymology[edit] "Śūnyatā" (Sanskrit noun from the adj. śūnya or śhūnya: "zero, nothing") is usually translated as "emptiness". Buddhism Buddhism (pronunciation: /ˈbʊdɪzəm/ or /ˈbuːdɪzəm/) is a religion[3] and dharma that encompasses a variety of traditions, beliefs and spiritual practices largely based on teachings attributed to the Buddha. Buddhism originated in India sometime between the 6th and 4th centuries BCE, from where it spread through much of Asia, whereafter it declined in India during the middle ages. Two major extant branches of Buddhism are generally recognized by scholars: Theravada (Pali: "The School of the Elders") and Mahayana (Sanskrit: "The Great Vehicle").

Samaññaphala Sutta The Samaññaphala Sutta is the second discourse (Pali, sutta; Skt., sutra) of all 34 Digha Nikaya discourses. The title means, "The Fruit of Contemplative Life Discourse." In terms of narrative, this discourse tells the story of King Ajatasattu, son and successor of King Bimbisara of Magadha, who posed the following question to many leading Indian spiritual teachers: What is the benefit of living a contemplative life? After being dissatisfied with the answers provided by these other teachers, the king posed this question to the Buddha whose answer motivated the king to become a lay follower of the Buddha. In terms of Indian philosophy and spiritual doctrines, this discourse: Thanissaro (1997) refers to this discourse as "one of the masterpieces of the Pali canon

Three marks of existence The Three marks of existence, within Buddhism, are three characteristics (Pali: tilakkhaṇa; Sanskrit: trilakṣaṇa) shared by all sentient beings, namely: impermanence (anicca); suffering or unsatisfactoriness (dukkha); non-self (Anatta). There is often a fourth Dharma Seal mentioned:[citation needed] Together the three characteristics of existence are called ti-lakkhana in Pali or tri-laksana in Sanskrit. By bringing the three (or four) seals into moment-to-moment experience through concentrated awareness, we are said to achieve wisdom—the third of the three higher trainings—the way out of samsara. Thus the method for leaving samsara involves a deep-rooted change in world view. Anicca[4][edit]

Tinbergen's four questions Tinbergen's four questions, named after Nikolaas Tinbergen, are complementary categories of explanations for behaviour. It suggests that an integrative understanding of behaviour must include both a proximate and ultimate (functional) analysis of behaviour, as well as an understanding of both phylogenetic/developmental history and the operation of current mechanisms. [1] Four categories of questions and explanations[edit] When asked about the purpose of sight in humans and animals, even elementary school children can answer that animals have vision to help them find food and avoid danger (adaptation). Biologists have three additional explanations: sight is caused by a particular series of evolutionary steps (phylogeny), the mechanics of the eye (causation), and even the process of an individual’s development (ontogeny).

Ratnasambhava Ratnasambhava is one of the Five Dhyani Buddhas (or "Five Meditation Buddhas") of Vajrayana or Tantric Buddhism. Ratnasambhava's mandalas and mantras focus on developing equanimity and equality and, in Vajrayana buddhist thought is associated with the attempt to destroy greed and pride. His consort is Mamaki and his mount is a horse or a pair of lions. His wrathful manifestation is Gundari. Often included in his retinue is the worldy dharmapāla Jambhala. Textual History[edit]

Kundalini Kundalini chakra diagram Kundalini (Sanskrit kuṇḍalinī, कुण्डलिनी, pronunciation ) stems from yogic philosophy as a form of feminine shakti or "corporeal energy".[1] Kundalini is described within Eastern religious, or spiritual, tradition as an indwelling spiritual energy that can be awakened in order to purify the subtle system and ultimately to bestow the state of Yoga, or Divine Union, upon the 'seeker' of truth ".[2][3] The Yoga Upanishads describe Kundalini as lying "coiled" at the base of the spine, represented as either a goddess or sleeping serpent waiting to be awakened. In modern commentaries, Kundalini has been called an unconscious, instinctive or libidinal force.[1][4][5] It is reported that Kundalini awakening results in deep meditation, enlightenment and bliss.[6] This awakening involves the Kundalini physically moving up the central channel to reside within the Sahasrara Chakra above the head.

Pratītyasamutpāda Pratītyasamutpāda (Sanskrit: प्रतीत्यसमुत्पाद; Pali: पटिच्चसमुप्पाद paṭiccasamuppāda) is commonly translated as dependent origination or dependent arising. The term is used in the Buddhist teachings in two senses: On a general level, it refers to one of the central concepts in the Buddhist tradition—that all things arise in dependence upon multiple causes and conditions.On a specific level, the term is also used to refer to a specific application of this general principle—namely the twelve links of dependent origination. Etymology[edit]