According to Buddhism, what constitutes every human being or a sentient being is a combination of five aggregates (Boisvert 123). The Five Aggregates are usually known as (khandas).The following section will provide a comprehensive discussion on the five aggregates of grasping.
The Aggregate of Matter
Matter contains four great components known as solidity, heat, fluidity, temperature and motion. The major components of matter are not earth and water. According to Buddhism, solidity is defined as the element of expansion, and due to this element, that’s the reason why objects occupy space(Gethin 159 160) When we see an object, it is usually extended in space. The expansion is within the solid as well as liquids. When we see the water, we see solidity. The solidity of a rock and the softness of water or the heaviness or the lightness of different objects are all elements of solidity.
Buddhism observes fluidity as an element of cohesion. This is an element that holds particles together. The cohesive force between the particles of liquids is very strong that some of them bond even after separation. When a solid is broken, its particle cannot coalesce unless converted to liquid. This is achieved by increasing the temperature of the solids such as welding metals. Various objects that we see are usually limited to expansion or their shape. This is usually made possible through cohesion.
The element of heat and temperature are typically transmitted through the other elements(solidity, motionand fluidity). Temperature preserves the importance of all organisms in this planet. When someone says that an object is cold, he means that the temperature in that object is less than his body temperature
Buddhism defines motion as the element of displacement (moving from one point to another).To understand whether an object is moving or not we need to point out a position where the object is fixed so the movement can be measured (162). Since there is no object that can be deemed as motionless in the universe, stability is also observed as an element of motion. The motion of an object is dependent on heat since its helps the atoms to vibrate. Buddhism teaching indicates that these elements mutually coexists and bring up new phenomena.
Aggregate of Feeling or Sensation
Feelingand sensation can either be neutral, unpleasant or nasty and they usually rise from contact. The primary elements of contact are seeing and hearing something. These elements create the idea of thought, and then we develop feelings about the ideas we thought. A developing feeling cannot be prevented (Gethin170).Feelings usually differ from one individual to another. We do not feel the same way about the same thing. Not every individual processes information the same way as the other.
The aggregate of Perception.
The aggregate of perception recognizes both the physical and mental concepts through its connection with the senses. When a person become aware of an idea, his perception recognizes its distinctions from other ideas. The variation makes the person familiarize themselves with the idea when we sense it in the future. Human perception is what helps our memories (Gethin 171)
The aggregate of Thought Process.
This is an aggregate that involves all other mental factors except feeling and perception. Buddha notes that the thought process involves fifty mental factors(Gethin 176 177). These factors are volitional, meaning that no action produces karma unless there is such anintention Contact through the senses results to the necessity of choosing between actions and the actions that people choose depend on their thought process which is brought about by our experiences and individual evolution.
Aggregate of Consciousness,
The aggregate of consciousness is usually viewed as the most important, since it is where all mental factors wind up. Without consciousness other mental factors cannot operate; they are interdependent and coexist (Gethin 178).The human mind is not something physical. Thoughts and different ideas usually belong to the faculty of mind. Our senses cannot think or choose any action or arrive at a conclusion. Consciousness is usually made possible through the interrelation of different senses.
All the five aggregates are not permanent, they are subject to changes and change as we experience life. Humans comprise of mind and matter, and according to Buddhism, apart from these two elements, there is nothing like an immortal soul.
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