Introduction: Intermezzo

Your narrator will accompany you on an excursion during this intermezzo in the Odyssey of the two main characters. My name is Narrator [1]. You have already met me in the second stage [2].

The two main characters are in need of rest after two months of travel. In addition, one of the main characters is not really well and should recover. The other main character has unexpected family obligations.

Both main characters will resume their quest in a few weeks. They use their rest to organize the report on the Odyssey. Probably the report of the first part of the Odyssey will be available soon.

During this intermezzo I will give an introduction to the five skandhas, which many centuries ago have taken shape in Buddhism. The five skandhas are various ways of self-reflections and experiences of our own. The skandhas resemble to some extend the five contemporary realities that we will encounter in our next stage.

The word skandha [3] means trunk of a tree in Sanskrit [4]. In a book [5], the meaning of trunk of a tree for skandha is compared to the forest of trunks of a banyan tree. In Sankrit one of the names of banyan tree is “nyagrodhapâdapa”. This word literally means “not given to grow from the foot”. The banyan tree originates by a bird, that leaves a seed of a banyan tree in another normal tree. First the seed  feeds on the host tree. By aerial roots, the banyan tree starts looking for food in the earth. The forest  that we see are the aerial roots of the banyan tree. After some time a grove of tree trunks is established in which the host tree is not found.


In the next post your Narrator will continue on the five skandhas.

[1] My name consists of the word “narâ” [3] meaning people, and “tr” [4] meaning “to cross or to pass”.

[2] See post: Introduction: Two – You and I separated – 16th April 2011

[3] The word skandha consists of the roots ”skand” and “dha” meaning in Sanskrit “jump, or letting jump” and “to place, or to position”. Source: electronic version of the dictionary Monier-Williams – MWDDS V1.5 Beta

[4] The electronic version of the dictionary Monier-Williams – MWDDS V1.5 Beta, mentions also the following meanings for “skandha”: a big branche or bow; an aggregate or a group, a part or division of an army; a chapter; the five objects of sense; the five aggregated elements of being; the body.

[5] Source: Red Pine (Bill Porter), The Heart Sutra., 2004: page 57

[6] Source image:


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