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I read the concepts of "standalone sankhara" vs " composite phenomena" on the internet.

Do these two concepts have any basis in any school/s of Buddhism? If so, which one/ones?

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  • So far as I know, "no". I think they come (in recent topics on this site) from Yeshe Tenley's criticising, interpreting, or trying to paraphrase this answer where I answered that (in my opinion) samsara is unlike a sankhara.
    – ChrisW
    Commented Nov 11, 2023 at 7:25
  • Correct. I have no idea what a 'standalone sankhara' would be. I thought @ChrisW was discriminating 'samsara' versus such a hypothetical standalone sankhara, hence the question. If there is no such thing as a standalone sankhara then I am at a loss to understand how he believes that samsara is not sankhara.
    – user13375
    Commented Nov 11, 2023 at 13:25
  • @ChrisW rather than trying to say that samsara is not conditioned you are trying to say that samsara is not a "thing" or "phenomena"? But that brings its own extensive set of questions :)
    – user13375
    Commented Nov 11, 2023 at 13:31
  • @YesheTenley I never said that there is such a thing as standalone sankhara, although such an idea can be found in the Theravada Abhidhamma, which makes lists of fundamental things, upon which other things are composed of. The four great elements (earth, water, fire, air) is one of them. But even then it does not really say that they are standalone sankhara. I see samsara as a sankhara, similar to a river or the stream of consciousness. It arises and ceases whenever beings arise and cease. It's a temporally composite conditional phenomena i.e. you can't step into the exact same river twice.
    – ruben2020
    Commented Nov 13, 2023 at 11:11

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Six senses manifests as samsara or the world. Six senses develop contact , feelings , cravings etc through combination. There are no standalone Sankhara.

(My mobile browser chrome is unable to quote so I am copy pasting without quote from MN 18)

Venerables, dependent on the existence of an eye and a visible object, eye-consciousness arises. The combination of the three is sense-contact. Because of sense-contact, there is feeling. What one feels, one identifies;2 what one identifies, one thinks about; what one thinks about, one proliferates about; what one proliferates about, with that as its source, identification and conceptualization based on proliferation beset a man in regard to visible objects cognizable by the eye in the past, present, and future. Venerables, when there is an ear and a sound… a nose and a fragrance… a tongue and a taste… a body and a tangible object… a mind and a mental object, mind-consciousness arises. The combination of the three is contact. Because of contact, there is feeling. What one feels, one identifies; what one identifies, one thinks about; what one thinks about, one proliferates about; what one proliferates about, with that as its source, identification and conceptualization based on proliferation beset a man in regard to mental objects cognizable by the mind in the past, present, and future.

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