5 aggregates are dukkha?

In our class downloads on The Four Noble Truths, in the Superior Right View View Section 1.3.2 the discussion is on the subject of the 5 Aggregates of Clinging (pancupadanakkandha). The writer tries to answer the question "Why should the Buddha say the 5 aggregates are dukkha?" He (or she) answers that it is because they are impermanent. There is only an constantly disintegrating flux which, when clung to in the desire for permanence, brings a plunge into suffering.
OK, I want to ask for clarification here, as I feel this is an important point.
First, there seems to be a change of language, as Buddha cited the "5 aggregates of clinging" as the problem. This becomes simply the "5 aggregates" by the time the question is asked. What is the change? The words "of clinging" are dropped.
This seems to change the nature of the source of the problem (source of the dukkha)as posed in the question from the clinging to the aggregates themselves.
In offering an explanation, the writer does say that "when clung to in the desire for permanence, brings a plunge into suffering", so here the clinging part is picked up again.
However, in the shuffle, I feel it is not clear whether the aggregates themselves are the source of the dukkha, or the clinging to the aggregates.
After his enlightenmant, the Buddha still had all 5 aggregates, all impermanent, correct? But no clinging. This indicates to me the source of the dukkha is the clinging, not the aggregates themselves.
Clarification on this point would be appreciated.

Good quesion

There are four different aspects of dukkha:

(1) dukkha-dukkha: physical, ordinary meaning of suffering (sorrowful feeling, pain)
(2) viparināma-dukkha: suffering caused by change
(3) saṃkhāra-dukkha: suffering associated with saṃkhāra (impermanence, change)
(4) khandha-dukkha: suffering associated with pañcakhandha (pañca-upādāna-khandha)

This classification indicates that the term dukkha has various meanings. In the Sutta the Buddha says there are 8 different forms of dukkha:

(1) jati (birth)
(2) jara (old-age)
(3) vyādhi (illness)
(4) marana (death)
(5) appiyehi sampayoga (to be associated with unpleasant)
(6) piyehi vippayoga (to be parted from the loved)
(7) yampiccham na labhati (not to get what one wishes)
(8) pañcupādānakkhandha (associated with the aspects of grasping)

There are also the different ways of suffering; different manifestations or consequences of suffering:

(1) soka (grief)
(2) parideva (lamentation)
(3) dukkha (physical suffering)
(4) domanassa (mental suffering)
(5) upāyāsa (frustration)

In this account of suffering you don’t find any definition of dukkha. The Buddha never defined the term but just gave the list of it.

The Buddha did not say what the dukkha is, but just gave the various forms of experiencing dukkha in order to avoid danger of falling into only one meaning. Those terms in the list are basic human experiences and the last one (pañcupādānakkhandha) is the most important religious and philosophical experience.

Later the Buddhaghosa tried to define the meaning of the term in the manner of thus: jata is birth. It is suffering to be in the womb, suffering to be born in the process of birth, so on. But here the term jati dukkha does not mean simply the birth itself suffering but it is the start of the process of suffering. In Buddhist tradition definition means kind of account or description: what is dukkha? The Buddha will say “It is dukkha, and that is dukkha.” There is no definitely universal concept.

pañca-khandha: something universal of human being.
pañca-upādāna-khandha: our own universe (existence) with craving (grasping).

The term upādāna means “taking in (ādāna) severely (upa).” Therefore pañca-upādāna-khanda is characterized by intensive grasping: why suffering? Because of grasp (upādāna). The pañca-khandha is my normal being (it does not create suffering); what makes us suffering is attachment (upādāna) to the pañca-khandha; the craving of “My” being, “Mine” mind associated with pañcakhandha create suffering).

Prof. Asanga has a different interpretation from Dr. Rahula. He does not agree that pañca-khandha itself can be suffering; it is suffering only when we attach (upādana) to it.

Suggestion: read the Ariyapariyesanā Sutta in Majjhima Nikaya.
The Ariyapariyesanā Sutta: a concrete way of looking at what suffering is; not only human birth but for all beings.

dukkha and the 5 aggregates

Thank for for the thorough reply.
It answers my original question very completely and also helps me to understand why Buddha did not define dukkha, but gave various forms of experiencing it in order to avoid the danger of too narrowly defining it.
I have also done further reading on the subject of my question, as to whether the dukkha lies primarily in the clinging to the aggregates rather than the aggregates themselves.
Some commentators agree with Dr. Rahula that the aggregates themselves are of the nature of dukkha. However, most writers, including David J. Kalupahana (Principles of Buddhist Psychology, State University of New York Press, 1987) assert that the Buddha clearly taught the problem was in the clinging, not in the aggregates themselves. Their arguments, and the ones you gave me in your reply, make sense.
Of course, we couldn't cling to the aggregates if we didn't have them in the first place, so they are a necessary part of the process of dukkha. But it seems to be the self identification (self grasping) with reference to the aggregates that produce our load of suffering.
If it were the aggregates themselves producing the suffering, rather than the clinging, there would be no hope to be freed of the dukkha, as we all have the aggregates. Nibbana doesn't free us of the aggregates, only of the dukkha associated with them.
I will read the Ariyapariyesanaa Sutta as you suggested. You refer to Prof. Asanga in your reply. Who is this?
Thank you for your reply.