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Sankhāra of body, the Sankhāra of speech and the Sankhāra of mind."-"What, Venerable One, is the Sankhāra of body, what the Sankhara of speech, what the Sankhāra of mind?” — “In - breathing and out-breathing, friend Visakha, are the Sankhāra of body, cognition and reflection are the Sankhāra of speech, perception and sensation are the Sankhāra of mind."-"Why, Venerable One, are in-breathing and outbreathing the Sankhāra of body, why are cognition and reflection the Sankhara of speech, why are perception and sensation the Sankhāra of mind?"_"These things, in-breathing and out-breathing, inhere in body, are bound up with body, therefore, friend Visākha, are in-breathing and outbreathing the Sankhara of body. What is previously cognized and reflected upon, afterwards comes forth in speech, therefore are cognition and reflection the Sankhara of speech; and these things, perception and sensation, inhere in mind, are bound up with mind, therefore are perception and sensation the Sankhāra of mind."176 Since with this subdivision is evidently summed up the whole heap of processes yielded by the machinery of "the corporeal organism together with consciousness" which we are wont to designate as our personality, it is clear without further words, that by the Sankhara of body is to be understood the corporeal process, that is, the totality of corporeal processes, such as the circulation of the blood, digestion and so on. That the process of breathing is specially mentioned as pars pro toto, is because it represents, as already mentioned, the basis and centre of all somatical processes.* The same is the case with the Sankhāra or process of speech. It also not only consists in cognition and reflection, but comprises the totality of inner emotions rising within us because of our sensation and perception of a certain object. Thus it comprises the
* See above, p. 141. According to Schopenhauer, the motion of life must be regarded as proceeding from the process of respiration.
whole complex of the course of willing and representation outlined above and comprised under the expression of "activities of the mind," which takes place, when a certain object of sense is felt and perceived. The Sankhāra of speech is thus the same as the activity of the mind. Certainly this activity is concentrated in "cognition and reflection," in the same manner as the corporeal processes are concentrated in the process of respiration: "It has been said: 'The doctrine of the eighteen mental considerations, ye monks, I have promulgated, the doctrine free from objection, free from faults, not blamed by ascetics, priests and reasonable men.' But in relation to what has this been said? If a form is perceived with the eye, then one dwells in mind upon the form giving occasion for joy, the form giving occasion for sadness, the form giving occasion for indifference. If a sound is heard with the ear, if an odour is smelt with the nose, if a flavour is tasted with the tongue, if an object of touch is felt with the body, or if a representation is entertained in mind, then one dwells in mind upon the representation giving occasion for joy, the representation giving occasion for sadness, the representation giving occasion for indifference. If therefore it has been said: "The doctrine of the eighteen mental considerations, ye monks, I have promulgated, the doctrine free from objection, free from faults, not blamed by ascetics, priests and reasonable men,' then in relation to this was it said." *77
Because thus, cognition and reflection constitute the focus of all mental processes, Dhammadinna in setting forth the latter, could be content to enumerate only the two former, in the same way, that in alluding to the corporeal Sankhāra, only the process of respiration is given.* Thereby, without
* Also otherwise in the Canon, definitions are often given by the method of part for the whole: "Perception, perception,' is said, friend; but according to what measure does one say: 'Perception'?"-"One perceives, one perceives, friend, therefore does one
further ado, the reason adduced by her for calling these processes Sankhārā of speech, becomes clear. For language chiefly serves these mental processes which are essentially rational as "their first product and at the same time necessary tool;"* on which account it is only natural, that they should receive their designation from the same.
Thereby another riddle is solved, which has produced much confusion in the doctrine as to the Sankhārā. As we already know, the mental processes figure among the five Groups of Grasping in the form of the fourth group as the Sankhārā, albeit, from what we have just said, sensation and perception also, the second and third Group of Grasping are Sankhārā. We now know how this is meant. Group of Grasping formed by the Sankhārā, Sankhāra-khandha, if closely looked at, represents vaci-Sarkhāra, the Sankhāra of speech, just as Rūpakkhandha is in truth nāma -Rūpakkhanda. ** The processes, Sankhārā, beginning in mind in dependence on a concrete sensation and perception, because of their twofold direction towards willing and thought taken together as activities of the mind, form the Sankhārā, just as criminal processes are, in Europe, called the processes among all other processes. Sankhāra-kkhandha is, hence, a special class of Sankhārā in general.
Now also we understand, why as cause of the Sankhārā, at one time contact is given, and another time, as we shall see, ignorance. In the latter case, the Sankhārā of life in general are meant, but in the former, the special group of activities of the mind, Sankhārā-kkhandha, that, as broadly expounded in the chapter on personality, is always aroused through contact, taken along with sensation and perception, say: 'Perception;' and what does one perceive? One perceives blue, one perceives yellow, one perceives red, one perceives white. Thus does one say: 'Perception.”” * Schopenhauer. Otherwise he says further on: "Word and language are the indispensable means for clear thinking."
** See above p. 77*.
that is, through contact between one of our organs of sense and one of its objects:
"What is the cause, what is the reason, that the group of sensation can appear? What is the cause, what is the reason, that the group of perception can appear? What is the cause, what is the reason, that the group of the Sankhārā—the activities of the mind-can appear?* "Contact, monk, is the cause, contact is the reason, that the group of sensation can appear; contact is the cause, contact is the reason, that the group of perception can appear; contact is the cause, contact is the reason, that the group of the Sankhārā can appear.
Thus we may distinguish three classes of Sankhārā: Sankhārā as processes of nature in general-everything being, according to the Buddha, a process of nature; then Sankhārā forming the "heap of processes" constituting our personality; and thirdly, the Sankhārā, sankhārakkhandha, the mental processes, which must be regarded as a separate class of the Sankhārā of the second kind. We already know, that the Buddha fundamentally has only to do with the totality of the Sankhārā of the second kind which we have briefly called the processes of personality, wherein after what we have just said the Sankhārā of the third kind are, of course, always contained.
These processes of personality in their totality, have their focus in the sensation, and therewith, in the perception of the outer world, in the same way that the corporeal processes culminate in the function of breathing, and the mental ones in "cognition and reflection," for it is precisely to this end, as we have already seen above, that the machine of the six senses has been put together. We had thirst to come into contact with the world of forms, of sounds, of odours, of sapids, of things tangible and of ideas. In consequence of this thirst, grasping within the womb of our mother took
* Note that the term "the Group" of the Sankhārā, Sankhāra-kkhandha is used.
place upon the opportunity of the act of our conception, and thereby the Becoming of our "body endowed with the six organs of sense," came about which is therefore fundamentally nothing but an apparatus for sensation and perception. Thus all the processes Sankhārā-maintained
by this apparatus have this sensation and perception of the world for their special purpose, the corporeal processes (kāyasankhārā) and the mental processes (vācisankhārā) not less than the activities of our organs of sense themselves immediately directed towards generating sensation and perception (cittasankhārā), since the corporeal processes are intended for the maintainance of the six senses-machine, and the mental processes serve to work up the results of the activities of sensation and perception, with the object of leading to new sensations and perceptions. Since thus the whole heap of the processes of personality is subsumed in this sixfold activity of the senses leading to sensation and perception, therefore we find the Buddha often summing up together the whole processes of personality simply as sensation and perception, or, what is the same thing, as the six activities of the senses. Because these are the real purpose of the whole corporeal organism together with consciousness, therefore it is even the rule that, when the Canon speaks of the Sankhārā, it means the processes of personality, especially in the form of the activities of the senses, thus, as seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting, touching and thinking. That, for example, is the case, when it is said: "Monks, that I said that everything that is felt is suffering, this was done because of the transitoriness of the Sankhārā;" or, "The ceasing of the Sankhārā is blissful;' further: "Whatever suffering may arise, all has the Sankhārā as its antecedent condition: this is one consideration (that must be entertained); if, however, the Sankhārā are annihilated without a remainder, so that one wishes to have no more to do with them, then