What is the relation between the five aggregates and the dependent origination?


5 Answers 5


We can't see five aggregates as it is. We can see a men, animals, Devas. Or good thing, bad thing. Or a beautiful thing, a ugly thing etc. But in reality, there is nothing like that. Everything just a thing or collection of several things. We only making things matter to us. Nothing else.

Refer this answer.

If we took a tower build by stones, actually there is nothing called 'tower' but set of stones. Like wise, if we consider a person, there is nothing but set of things. Lets say you are 40 years old now. What are the things you have in your body when you are 1 year old? Nothing right? But how you can be recognize now as same you in age 1? because of the connection between things changed.

How we see

Since we can't see things in their actual state, we make wrong decisions and doing things and making desires, clinging(උපාදාන) etc. (May be a man really loves his parents. May be we will kill animals to feed our children etc). This cause us to rebirth and we will reborn according to Karma we made. This cycle of born and death is dependent origination.

Most of the times lord Budhdha preaches not knowing things correctly is the starting point of the cycle. and then sanskaara, vinnana etc.


Five aggregates are pratityasamutpana-dhamma (dependent origination or conditioned). things that come from causal.

  • when this thing exists (the causal) that thing exists
  • when this thing comes to be , that thing comes to be;
  • when this thing doesnt exist, that thing doesnt exist
  • when this thing ends, that things ends

Five aggregates are conditioned things. they exist because their causal exist, and end because their causal end. Buddha corrected monk Sati regarding his idea about permanent soul. Buddha said "vinnaya is pratituasamupana-dhamma"

Five aggregates is conditioned, therefore, they are impermanence, dukkha (ever changing), and non-self.

  • What are conditions for 5 aggregates? Sep 29, 2015 at 21:39
  • saṅkhāra is a condition for vinnaya (conciousness). saṅkhāra is one of the most difficult term in pali canon, more so than dukkha. avijja is a condion for saṅkhāra. Buddha talked about a few more steps of conditions but most sutta starts at avijja.
    – user5056
    Sep 29, 2015 at 22:08

5 Aggregates can be consider as a combination of vinnana & namarupa.

Some times the Dependent Origination is consider as a cycle. Past Life, present life and next life formation.

Also it can used to show the continuity of the thought sequence.

Generally it take avijja(ignorance) - not knowing things(Sunya) correctly - as the starting point - the Main/foundation reason. If avijja is presence then the sankhra (mental formations) arise. It effect to arise Unpure-vinnana(Moha). When Vinnana(consciousness) is dull it create/accept nama-rupa as a reality (Things). So (she) accept what six faculties produces. what faculties produce is passa(contact), cause to feelings(vedana).
While there is avijja (she) greed to the vedana and attach to the namarupa. It is called Upadana(clinging). So (she) accsepts continuity of (inside and outside) namarupa, means Bava(Becomming) Simultaneously. That is the view of I, Myself, others, things, world etc(Avijja).

As the result Dukka - birth, decay, ill, die, sorrow,sufferings etc - (Attributes of things) arises.

This is how the 5 aggrigates are connect with other facts of Dependent arising (patchchasamutpada).


The five aggregates are the factors / activities that make up a "being", what is conventionally called a self.

Dependent origination is the set of natural laws that keep a "being" bound to samsara (cycle of rebirth).

So one could say that the five aggregates continue to exist from one existence to the next due to the natural law of dependent origination.


Nama rupa is one and the same as the 5 Aggregates, hence the relationship of nama rupa holds for the 5 Aggregates.

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