Points of Controversy

7.1. Of the Classification of Dhammas

Controverted Point: That dhammas cannot be grouped together by means of abstract ideas.

Theravādin: But you do not also deny that any dhammas may combine or be included with other dhammas under a concept of totality or universality. Hence, how can you deny that they may be grouped together? The organs of sense and their objects are, you admit, computed under the material aggregate of a living individual. Pleasant, painful, or neutral feelings are computed under the aggregate of feeling. Percepts on occasion of sense and ideation come under the aggregate of perception. Volitions on occasion of sense and ideation come under the aggregate of conscious concomitants. Consciousness on occasion of sense and ideation comes under the aggregate of consciousness. Hence, by admitting these inclusions, you must admit that dhammas may be grouped by an idea.

Rājagirikas and the Siddhatthikas: Then you understand “dhammas being grouped together by ideas” in the same way as two bullocks may be grouped together by a rope or a yoke, an alms-bowl may be held together by a suspender, a dog may be held in by a leash?

Theravādin: Yes; and hence it is not less right to say that some dhammas may be grouped together by other dhammas (ideas).