I. Crude meaning
bulk, massiveness (gross) substance.
- of an elephant: the bulk of the body, i.e. its back SN.i.95 vāraṇassa Ja.iii.392; hatthi-khandha-vara-gata on the back of the state elephant Ja.i.325; Pv-a.75. Also with ref. to an elephant (hatthināga) sañjāta˚ “to whom has grown bulk = a large back” Snp.53, expl. Snp-a.103 by susaṇṭhitakkhandho “well endowed with bulk.”
- of a person: the shoulder or back: nangalaṃ khandhe karitvā SN.i.115 appl. to Māra; Vism.100; Dhp-a.iv.168 (ohita˚-bhāra the load lifted off his shoulder). -
- of a tree: the trunk. rukkhassa Pv-a.114, also as rukkha˚; Ja.i.324; tāla˚ the stem of a palm Pv-a.56 nigrodhassa khandhaja (see compounds) SN.i.207 = Snp.272 mūlaṃ atikkamma kh˚ ṃ sāraṃ pariyesitabbaṃ “one must go beyond the root and search the trunk for sweetness” SN.iv.94
- as t.t. in exegetical literature section, chapter, lit. material as collected into uniform bulk; freq. in postscripts to Texts and Commentaries See also khandhaka
More general as denoting bulk (-˚); e.g. aggi˚ a great mass of fire MN.ii.34, MN.ii.41; Ja.iv.139; udaka˚ a mass of water (i.e. ocean) AN.iii.336; SN.iv.179; Ja.i.324; Pv-a.62; puñña˚ a great accumulation of merit AN.iii.336 = SN.v.400; bhoga˚ a store of wealth AN.v.84; Ja.i.6; maṇi˚ an extraordinarily large jewel (possessing magic power) Ja.ii.102 sq.
II. Applied meaning
(-˚) the body of, a collection of, mass, or parts of; in collective sense “all that is comprised under”; forming the substance of.
- dukkha˚; all that is comprised under “dukkha,” all that goes to make up or forms the substance, the idea of “ill.” Most prominent in phrase kevalassa dukkhakhandhassa samudaya and nirodha (the origin destruction of all that is suffering) with ref. to the paṭiccasamuppāda the chain of causal existence (q.v.) Vin.i.1; SN.ii.95; SN.iii.14; AN.i.177; AN.v.184 & passim. Similarly samudaya Vb.135 sq. nirodha Ne.64; antakiriyā AN.i.147; vyādhimaraṇatunnānaṃ dukkhakkhandhaṃ vyapānudi Thig.162
- lobha˚; dosa˚ moha˚ the three ingredients or integrations of greed, suffering and bewilderment, lit. “the big bulk or mass of greed” (see also under padāleti), SN.v.88 (nibbijjhati through the satta bojjhangā)
- vayo˚; a division of age, part of age, as threefold: purima˚, majjhima˚, pacchima Nd ii.in def. of sadā
sīla (etc.) kh˚ the 3 (or 5 groups or parts which constitute the factors of right living (dhamma), viz.
- sīla˚ the group dealing with the practice of morality;
- samādhi˚ that dealing with the development of concentration;
- paññā˚ that dealing with the development of true wisdom. They are also known under the terms of sīla-sampadā, citta˚ paññā˚ DN.i.172 sq.; see sīla. -DN.i.206; Ne.64 sq.; Ne.126 tīhi dhammehi samannāgato “possessed of the three qualities,” viz. sīla-kkhandhesu, etc. Iti.51; cp AN.i.291; AN.v.326. tīhi khandhehi… aṭṭhangiko maggo sangahito MN.i.301; sīlakkhandhaṃ, etc. paripūreti “to fulfil the sīla-group” AN.i.125; AN.ii.20, AN.iii.15 sq. These 3 are completed to a set of 5 by
- vimutti the group dealing with the attainment of emancipation and
- vimutti-ñāṇa-dassana ˚the group dealing with the realization of the achievement of emancipation.
■ As 1–4 only at DN.iii.229 (misprint puñña for paññā); cp AN.i.125. As 5 at SN.i.99 = AN.i.162; SN.v.162; AN.iii.134 AN.iii.271; AN.v.16 (all loc. = SN.i.99); Iti.107, Iti.108; Nd ii.under sīla.
(absolute) in individual sense: constituent element, factor, substantiality. More especially as khandhā (pl.) the elements or substrata of sensory existence, sensorial aggregates which condition the appearance of life in any form. Their character according to quality and value of life and body is evanescent, fraught with ills & leading to rebirth. Paraphrased by Bdhgh. as rāsi, heap, e.g. Asl.141; Vb-a.1 f.; cf B. Psy. 42.
Unspecified. They are usually enumerated in the foll. stereotyped set of 5: rūpa˚; (material qualities), vedanā (feeling), saññā (perception), saṅkhārā (coefficients of consciousness), viññāṇa (consciousness) For further ref. see rūpa; cp. also Mrs. Rh. D.
pp. 40–56. They are enumerated in a different order at SN.i.112, viz. rūpaṃ vedayitaṃ saññaṃ viññāṇaṃ yañ ca sankhataṃ n’ eso ’ham asmi. Detailed discussions as to their nature see e.g. SN.iii.101 (= Vb.1–61) SN.iii.47; SN.iii.86. As being comprised in each of the dhātus, viz. kāma˚; rūpa˚ arūpa-dhātu Vb.404 sq.
As factors of existence (cp. bhava). Their rôle as such is illustrated by the famous simile: “yathā hi angasambhārā hoti saddo ratho iti evaṃ khandhesu santesu hoti satto ti sammuti” “just as it is by the condition precedent of the co-existence of its various parts, that the word ʻchariot’ is used, just so it is that when the skandhas are there, we talk of a ʻbeing’” (Rh. D. (cp. Hardy, Man. Buddh. p. 425) SN.i.135 = Mil.28 Their connotation “khandha” is discussed at SN.iii.101 = MN.iii.16: “kittāvatā nu kho khandhānaṃ khandhâdhivacanaṃ rūpaṃ (etc.) atītânāgatapaccuppannaṃ ajjhattaṃ vā bahiddhā vā oḷārikaṃ,” etc.: i.e. material qualities are equivalent terms for the kh. What causes the manifestation of each kh.? cattāro mahābhūtā… paccayo rūpa-khandhassa paññāpanāya; phasso… vedana˚, saññā˚, sankhārā˚, etc. nāmarūpaṃ… viññāṇa˚: the material elements are the cause of rūpa, touch is that of vedanā, saññā sankhārā, name and shape that of viññāṇa (SN.iii.101); cp. MN.i.138 sq., MN.i.234 sq. On the same principle rests their division in: rūpa-kāyo rūpakkhandho nāmakāyo cattāro arūpino khandhā “the material body forms the material factor (of existence), the individualized body the 4 immaterial factors” Ne.41; the rūpakkhandha only is kāmadhātu-pariyāpanno: Vb.409 the 4 arūpino kh˚ discussed at Pts.ii.74, also at Vb.230 Vb.407 sq. (grouped with what is apariyāpanna).
■ Being the “substantial” factors of existence, birth & death depend on the khandhas. They appear in every new conjuncture of individuality concerning their function in this paṭisandhi-kkhaṇe; see Pts.ii.72–Pts.ii.76. Thus the var phases of life in transmigration are defined as-(jāti: ya tesaṃ tesaṃ sattānaṃ tamhi tamhi satta-nikāye jāti sañjāti okkanti abhinibbatti khandhānaṃ pātubhāvo āyatanānaṃ paṭilābho Nd ii.on Snp.1052; cp. jāti dvīhi khandhehi sangahitā ti Vv-a.29; khandhānaṃ pātubhāvo jāti SN.ii.3; Ne.29; khandhānaṃ nibbatti jāti Vism.199
■ (maraṇaṃ:) yā tesaṃ tesaṃ sattānaṃ… cuti cavanatā bhedo antaradhānaṃ maccu maraṇaṃ kālakiriyā khandhānaṃ bhedo kalevarassa nikkhepo MN.i.49 = Vb.137 = SN.ii.3, SN.ii.42
■ vivaṭṭa-kkhandha (adj.) one whose khandhas have revolved (passed away) i.e. dead SN.i.121 = SN.iii.123
■ kh˚anaṃ udaya-vyaya (or udayabbaya) the rising and passing of the kh., transmigration Dhp.374 = Thag.23, Thag.379 = Iti.120 = Kp-a.82; Pts.i.54 sq.
- Their relation to attachment and craving (kāma): sattisūlûpamā kāmā khandhānaṃ adhikuṭṭanā SN.i.128 = Thig.58, Thig.141 (Thag-a.65: natthi tesaṃ adhik˚?); craving is their cause & soil: hetupaṭicca sambhūtā kh. SN.i.134; the 4 arūpino kh. are based on lobha, dosa, moha Vb.208. -
- their annihilation: the kh. remain as long as the knowledge of their true character is not attained, i.e. of their cause & removal: yaṃ rūpaṃ, etc.… n’ etaṃ mama n’ eso ‘haṃ asmi na m’ eso attā ti; evaṃ etaṃ yathābhūtaṃ sammappaññāya passati; evaṃ kho jānato passato… ahankāramamankāra-mānânusayā na hontī ti SN.iii.103-pañca-kkhandhe pariññāya SN.iii.83; pañca-kkhandhā pariññātā tiṭṭhanti chinnamūlakā Thig.106. See also SN.i.134
their relation to dhātu (the physical elements) and āyatana (the elements of sense-perception) is close, since they are all dependent on sensory experience. The 5 khandhas are frequently mentioned with the 18 dhātuyo & the 12 āyatanāni: khandhā ca dh˚ cha ca āyatanā ime hetuṃ paṭicca sambhūtā hetubhangā nirujjhare SN.i.134; kh˚-dh˚-āyatanaṃ sankhataṃ jātimūlaṃ Thig.472; dhammaṃ adesesi khandh’ āyatana-dhātuyo Thig.43 (cp. Thag-a.49). Enumerated under sabba-dhammā Pts.i.101 = Pts.ii.230; under dhammā (states) Dhs.121, as lokuttara-kkhandhā, etc. Dhs.358 Dhs.528, Dhs.552
■ khandhānaṃ khandhaṭṭho abhiññeyyo dhātūnaṃ dhātuṭṭho, etc. Pts.i.17; cp. Pts.i.132; Pts.ii.121, Pts.ii.157 In def. of kāmâvacarā bhūmi Pts.i.83. In def. of dukkha and its recognition Ne.57. In def. of arahanto khīṇāsavā Nd ii.on sankhāta-dhammā (“kh sankhātā,” etc.), on tiṇṇa (“khandha-(etc.) pariyante thitā”), & passim
their valuation & their bearing on the “soul”-conception is described in the terms of na mama (na tumhākaṃ), anattā, aniccaṃ and dukkhaṃ (cp. upādānakkh˚ infra and rūpa) rūpaṃ (etc.)… aniccaṃ, dukkhaṃ, n’ eso ’ham asmi, n ‘eso me attā “material qualities (etc. kh. 2–5) are evanescent bad, I am not this body, this body is not my soul” Vin.i.14 = SN.iv.382. n’ eso ‘ham asmi na m’ eso attā SN.i.112; SN.iii.103, SN.iii.130 & passim; cp. kāyo na tumhākaṃ (anattā rūpaṃ) SN.ii.65; Cnd.680; and rūpaṃ na tumhākaṃ SN.iii.33; MN.i.140 = Cnd.680
■ rūpaṃ etc. as anattā: Vin.i.13; SN.iii.78, SN.iii.132–SN.iii.134; AN.i.284 AN.ii.171; AN.ii.202; cp. SN.iii.101; Vin.i.14
■ as aniccaṃ SN.iii.41, SN.iii.52, SN.iii.102, SN.iii.122, SN.iii.132 sq., SN.iii.181 sq., SN.iii.195 sq., SN.iii.202–SN.iii.224 SN.iii.227; AN.iv.147 (aniccânupassī dukkhânupassī); anicca dukkha roga, etc., Pts.ii.238 sq.; Vb.324.
- As factors of existence (cp. bhava). Their rôle as such is illustrated by the famous simile: “yathā hi angasambhārā hoti saddo ratho iti evaṃ khandhesu santesu hoti satto ti sammuti” “just as it is by the condition precedent of the co-existence of its various parts, that the word ʻchariot’ is used, just so it is that when the skandhas are there, we talk of a ʻbeing’” (Rh. D. (cp. Hardy, Man. Buddh. p. 425) SN.i.135 = Mil.28 Their connotation “khandha” is discussed at SN.iii.101 = MN.iii.16: “kittāvatā nu kho khandhānaṃ khandhâdhivacanaṃ rūpaṃ (etc.) atītânāgatapaccuppannaṃ ajjhattaṃ vā bahiddhā vā oḷārikaṃ,” etc.: i.e. material qualities are equivalent terms for the kh. What causes the manifestation of each kh.? cattāro mahābhūtā… paccayo rūpa-khandhassa paññāpanāya; phasso… vedana˚, saññā˚, sankhārā˚, etc. nāmarūpaṃ… viññāṇa˚: the material elements are the cause of rūpa, touch is that of vedanā, saññā sankhārā, name and shape that of viññāṇa (SN.iii.101); cp. MN.i.138 sq., MN.i.234 sq. On the same principle rests their division in: rūpa-kāyo rūpakkhandho nāmakāyo cattāro arūpino khandhā “the material body forms the material factor (of existence), the individualized body the 4 immaterial factors” Ne.41; the rūpakkhandha only is kāmadhātu-pariyāpanno: Vb.409 the 4 arūpino kh˚ discussed at Pts.ii.74, also at Vb.230 Vb.407 sq. (grouped with what is apariyāpanna).
Specified as panc’ upādāna-kkhandhā the factors of the fivefold clinging to existence. Defined & discussed in detail (rūpûpadāna-kkhandha, etc.) SN.iii.47; SN.iii.86–SN.iii.88; also Vin.i.10; SN.iii.127 sq. Specified SN.iii.58 SN.iii.100 = MN.iii.16; SN.iii.114, SN.iii.158 sq.; SN.v.52, SN.v.60; AN.iv.458; Vism.443 sq (in ch. xiv: Khandha-niddesa), Vism.611 sq. (judged aniccato etc.)
■ Mentioned as a set exemplifying the number 5 Kp iii.; Pts.i.22, Pts.i.122. Enumerated in var. connections SN.i.112; DN.iii.233; MN.i.190; AN.v.52; Kp iv. (explained Kp-a.82 = AN.v.52); Mil.12 (var. references concerning the discussion of the kh. in the Abhidhamma)
■ What is said of the khandhas alone—see above 1 a–e—is equally applied to them in connection with upādāna.
- As regards their origin they are characterized as chandamūlakā “rooted in desire, or in wilful desire” SN.iii.100; cp. yo kho… pañcas’ upādānakkhandhesu chandarāgo taṃ tattha upādānaṃ ti MN.i.300, MN.i.511. Therefore the foll. attributes are characteristic: kummo pañcann’ etaṃ upād˚ ānaṃ adhivacanaṃ MN.i.144; bhārā have pañcakkh˚ā SN.iii.26 pañcavadhakā paccatthikā pañcann’… adhivacanaṃ SN.iv.174; pañc’ upād˚… sakkāyo vutto MN.i.299; SN.iv.259
- their contemplation leads to the recognition of their character as dukkha, anicca, anattā: na kiñci attānaṃ vā attaniyaṃ vā pañcasu upādānakkhandhesu SN.iii.128; rogato, etc.… manasikātabbā pañc˚ SN.iii.167; pañcasu upād˚esu aniccânupassī “realizing the evanescence in the 5 aggregates of attachment” AN.v.109; same with udayavyayânupassī SN.iii.130; AN.ii.45, AN.ii.90; AN.iii.32; AN.iv.153; and dhammânupassī MN.i.61. Out of which realization follows their gradual destruction: pañc’… khandhānaṃ samudayo atthangamo assādo, etc. SN.iii.31, SN.iii.160 sq.; AN.ii.45, AN.ii.90 AN.iv.153; Nd ii.under sankhārā. That they occupy a prominent position as determinants of dukkha is evident from their rôle in the exposition of dukkha as the first one of the noble truths: sankhittena pañc’upādānakkhandhā pi dukkhā “in short, the 5 kh. are associated with pain Vin.i.10 = MN.i.48 = AN.i.177 = SN.v.421; Pts.i.37, Pts.i.39 Vb.101 & passim; cp. katamaṃ dukkham ariyasaccaṃ pañc’upād˚ ā tissa vacanīyaṃ, seyyathīdaṃ… SN.iii.158 = SN.v.425; khandhādisā dukkhā Dhp.202 (expl. Dhp-a.iii.261).
Separately mentioned: khandhā as tayo arūpino kh˚ (ved˚, sañña˚, sankh˚) Dhp-a.i.22; viññāṇa-kh˚ (the skandha of discriminative consciousness) in Def. of manas: manindriyaṃ viññāṇaṃ viññ˚-khandho tajjā manoviññāṇadhātu Nd ii.on Snp.1142 = Dhs.68.
- -ādhivacana having kh. as attribute (see above SN.iii.101 = MN.iii.16;
-āvāra a camp, either 1 fortified (with niveseti) or 2 not (with bandhāpeti), esp. in the latter meaning w. ref. to a halting place of a caravan (= khandhāvāra?) 1 Ja.iv.151; Ja.v.162; Dhp-a.i.193, Dhp-a.i.199. 2 Ja.i.101, Ja.i.332; Pv-a.113; Dhp-a.ii.79. Said of a hermitage Ja.v.35
■ fig. in sīla-khandhāvāraṃ bandhitvā “to settle in the camp of good conduct” DN-a.i.244
- -ja (adj. n.) sprung from the trunk (of the tree), i.e. a growth or parasite SN.i.207 = Snp.272, expl. at Snp-a.304 khandhesu jātā khandha-jā, pārohānam etaṃ adhivacanaṃ
- -niddesa disquisition about the khandhas Vism (ch. xiv esp.), Vism.482, Vism.485, Vism.492, Vism.509, Vism.558, Vism.389.
- -paṭipāṭi succession of khandhas Vism.411 sq.
- -paritta protective spell as regards the khandhas (as Name of a Suttanta) Vism.414.
- -bīja “trunk seed” as one kind of var. seeds, with mūla˚ phaḷu˚ agga˚ bīja˚ at Vin.v.132, & DN.i.5, expld. DN-a.i.81: nāma assattho nigrodho pilakkho udumbaro kacchako kapitthano ti evam-ādi
- -rasa taste of the stem, one of various tastes, as mūla khandha˚ taca˚ patta˚ puppha˚, etc. Dhs.629 = Cnd.540.
- -loka the world of sensory aggregates, with dhātu-and āyatanaloka Pts.i.122.
- -vibhaṅga division dealing with the khandhas (i.e. Vb.1 sq.) Mil.12
- -santāna duration of the khandhas Vism.414.