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Chapter 3 - Rūpa

Or Material Matters

Apart from citta and cetasika which are realities, there is another reality. It is rupa. Rupa are the nature which are always influenced by one or more of four causes namely kamma, citta, utu, and ahara.

Rupa are always changing as citta and cetasika are always changing even though they are relatively slower than nama dhamma.Unlike nama dhamma, rupa do not have the nature that can be aware of themselves and their surroundings.

Rupa can never know anything. But rupa serve various functions in connection with nama dhamma citta and cetasika. In terms of their intrinsic character, there are 28 separate paramattha rupa.

  1. 4 mahabhuta rupas
  2. 5 pasada rupas
  3. 4 gocara rupas or visaya rupas ( or 7 gocara or 7 visaya rupas )
  4. 2 bhava rupas
  5. 1 hadaya rupa
  6. 1 jivita rupa
  7. 1 ahara rupa or 1 oja rupa ( altogether these 18 rupas are nipphanna rupas )
  1. 1 pariccheda rupa or akasa rupa
  2. 2 vinatti rupas
  3. 3 lahutadi rupas ( together with 2 vinatti rupas, these 5 are 5 vikara rupas )
  4. 4 lakkhana rupas ( these last 10 rupas are anipphanna rupas).

There are 28 paramattha rupas. In terms of their class there are 11 classes of rupa as shown in above.

Among them, 4 mahabhuta rupas are rupa that are called upada rupas. All other 24 rupas have to depend on these 4 mahabhuta rupas. Mahabhuta rupas are the base for all rupas including themselves.

These four rupas again are also associated with other four rupas all of which have to totally depend on these four mahabhuta rupas. Along with these further four rupa vanna or rupa, gandha, rasa, and oja or ahara, all eight constitue called avinibbhaga rupa which means inseparable material.

Mahabhuta rupas are four great elements. They are pathavi or solidity, tejo or temperature, apo or liquidity, and vayo or movement or resistence.

Pathavi is earth element. It is the nature that is firmness or hardness or softness which depends on density and organisation between and among atoms, molecules, compounds, and complexes of materials from science sense. Its nature can be sensed through kaya pasada rupa that exist in the body and pathavi will be perceived as hardness softness of materials.

Tejo is the nature that can be known by sensing through the body as warmness or coldness or anything like that which serves as temperature. While temperature is a word, the true nature of tejo can clearly be sensed by the body. Any matter in conventional sense has a temperature and this can be sensed by the body.

Apo is the nature that unites the materials.

  • It is cohesion.
  • It is flowability,
  • it is spreadability,
  • it is stickiness,
  • it is driness wetness state of materials in conventional sense.

But the true nature of apo cannot be sensed through the body. It can only be sensed through mind sense door.

Vayo is the nature that pushes or pulls materials together.

  • It is compressibility repressibility.
  • It is supportiveness through pressure.
  • It is movement.
  • It is motion.
  • It is resilience.

The true nature of vayo can be sensed through the body.

There are 5 pasada rupas.

  1. cakkhuppasada or eye
  2. sotappasada or ear
  3. ghanappasada or nose
  4. jivhappasada or tongue
  5. kayappasada or body

These 5 rupas are called pasada rupas. They are collections of mahabhuta rupa but with extra qualities on their own. They each clearly do their job.

Cakkhuppasada is eye. But eye in conventional sense is not cakkhuppasada. Cakkhu pasada is a rupa which is capable to receive the visual object. No other rupa can perceive visual object including mahabhuta rupa which is not cakkhu pasada. Cakkhu pasada cannot be seen by our eye and sensed by any of 5 physical senses. But it is a reality and it can only be sensed through manodvara. The same applies to other pasada rupas.

These 5 rupas serve as pasada, serve as vatthus or bases, serve as dvaras or doors.

There are 7 gocara rupas or visaya rupas.

They are

  1. rupa ( vanna ) or colour
  2. sadda or sound
  3. gandha or smell
  4. rasa or taste
  5. photthabba or touch sense
  6. pathavi or hardness softness
  7. tejo or warmness coldness
  8. vayo or pressure or movement

These 7 rupa serves as arammana or object.

So far, 4 mahabhuta rupas, 5 pasada rupas and 7 gocara rupas or 7 visaya rupas ( after exclusion of three rupas which are pathavi, tejo, and vayo there are 4 gocara rupa left out of 7 ) totalling 13 paramattha rupas have been delineated.

There are 2 bhava rupas. They are

  1. itthattha bhava rupa and
  2. purisatta bhava rupa.

They are femaleness and maleness. These rupas are realities. But they are known just only through manodvara not through panca dvara. They both are kammaja ekam rupa. That is they are caused by kamma only and no other causes raise their arising. So till now there have been 15 rupas.

There is a rupa called hadaya rupa. It serves as hadaya vatthu. It is the base for all vinnana cittas except pancavinnana citta while satta concerned is in pancavokara bhumi or where all five aggregates are there. This rupa is also caused by kamma only. Till now 16 rupas explained.

There are a rupa which supports all co existing rupa. This rupa is called jivita rupa. Without this rupa jivita all other rupa will not exist as rupas of living beings. It is also generated by kamma only. Till now there have been 17 rupas.

There is a rupa called ahara rupa. It supports other rupa while they are co existing in an aggregate of rupa called rupa kalapa. It is also called oja. So far 18 rupas have been described. All these 18 rupas are called nipphanna rupa. They are under the influence of one or more of 4 causes called:

  1. kamma,
  2. citta,
  3. utu, and
  4. ahara.

There are 10 paramattha rupas. They all are not under the influence of anything but on their own and they are just their own characteristics. But they exist and they all are paramattha rupas. They are:

  • 1 pariccheda rupa,
  • 2 vinatti rupas,
  • 3 lahutadi rupas, and
  • 4 lakkhana rupas.

Pariccheda rupa is rupa that separates mahabhuta rupa so that mahabhuta rupa in kalapas are not mixed each other. It is like a space. It is like an empty interval. It is sometimes called akasa. But it does exist and it is a paramattha rupa but it is not influenced by any outside causes.

2 vinatti rupas are the gesture or kayavinatti rupa and the speech or vacivinatti rupa. Kayavinatti rupa is the gesture or the act of a living being that carries some exact meaning while vacivinatti is a rupa which is a sound that bears some exact meaning in it which is generated by a living being. It is not just a speech but any sound that is produced through consciousness. Both kayavinatti and vacivinatti are called cittaja rupa and they are purely generated by citta alone.

There are 3 lahutadi rupa. They are rupalahuta, rupamuduta, and rupakammannata rupa. They are lightness of rupa, tenderness of rupa and adaptability of rupa. They can be caused by citta, utu, and ahara. They are never caused by kamma. When these three rupa are there in rupa kalapa, all rupa that co exist with them become lighter, more tender and more adaptable.

There are 4 lakkhana rupa. They are upacaya rupa or rupa in initial formation, santati rupa or rupa in continueing formation and jarata or rupa in decay and aniccata or rupa just disappears. All these 4 lakkhana rupa are the characteristics of other rupa and they all are not influenced by kamma, citta, utu, and ahara as their causes. All together these 10 rupas are called anipphana rupas while former 18 rupas are called nipphana rupas.

Therefore, there are in total 28 paramattha rupa which are all realities and can be sensed by one of our 6 senses.

  • Rupa or vanna is sensed by eye only,
  • sadda is sensed by ear only,
  • gandha is sensed by nose only,
  • rasa is sensed by tongue only and
  • pathavi, tejo, vayo three of mahabhuta rupa are sensed by body only.

All other rupas that is 5 pasada rupas and 16 sukhuma rupa or subtle materials are all sensed by mind only; that is 5 pasada rupas and 16 sukhuma rupa can never be sensed by any of eye, ear, nose, tongue, and body.

All rupas do not have any hetu like lobha, dosa, moha, alobha, adosa, and amoha and they all are called ahetuka. Rupas are all arise along with their causes or paccayas and they are called sappaccaya. Rupas are the objects of 4 asava dhamma and they are called sasava.

Kamma, citta, utu, and ahara all influence arising of rupa and so rupas are called sankhata. Rupas are part of sankhara loka and they are the objects of upadana or clinging. So rupas are called lokiya. Rupas are where kama tanha always visits and attaches and they are called kamavacara.

Rupas are just objects and they cannot take any object and they cannot know object. They are called anarammana. Rupas cannot be removed or cannot be deleted and they are called appahatabba. Even though there is one in terms of character still there are many different kinds of rupas.

5 pasada rupas stay inside of beings and they are called ajjattika rupa. Other 23 rupas are called bahira rupas. 5 pasada rupas are panca vatthus and hadaya rupa is hadaya vatthu. These 6 rupas are vatthu rupas. Other 22 rupas are avatthu rupas.

5 pasada rupas are door way for objects or arammanas and so do 2 vinatti rupa and these 7 rupas are called dvara rupas. Other 21 rupas are called advara rupas. 5 pasada rupas are indriya rupas. 2 bhava rupas are also indriya rupas and jivita rupa is also indriya rupas. These 8 rupas are called indriya rupas and other 20 rupas are called anindriya rupas.

5 pasada rupas and 7 visaya rupas or 7 gocara rupas are rough rupas and they are called olarika rupas. They are almost understandable and close to understanding. They are also called santike rupas. These 12 rupas are associated with touching and they are called sappatigha rupas. Other 16 rupas are called sukhuma rupas or subtle materials. They are also called dure rupas as they are far from easy understandability. And they are called appatigha rupas as they are not touched.

Rupas caused by kamma such as:

  • 4 mahabhuta rupas,
  • 5 pasada rupas,
  • 4 ( 7 ) gocara rupas,
  • 2 bhava rupas,
  • 1 jivita rupa,
  • 1 hadaya rupa, and
  • 1 ahara rupa are called upadinna rupas.

Other 10 rupas are not caused by kamma and they are called anupadinna rupas. Only ruparammana or vanna/rupa is the only rupa that can be seen and it is called sanidassana rupa and other 27 rupas are called anidassana rupas. 5 pasada rupas are called gocaraggahika rupas as they can convey arammana. Other 23 rupas are called agocaraggahika rupas.

Vanna, gandha, rasa, oja or ahara, pathavi, tejo, vayo and apo always co exist and they are called avinibbhoga rupas and other 20 rupas are called vinibbhoga rupas.

There are kamma that can cause kammaja rupas. These kamma are:

  • 12 akusala kamma,
  • 8 kamavacara kusala kamma, and
  • 5 rupavacara kusala kamma.

altogether 25 kamma can cause kammaja rupas or rupas generated by kamma. Among 89 cittas, 10 pancavinnana cittas and 4 arupa vipaka cittas do not cause rupas. There are 75 cittas left, which can cause rupas. Patisandhi cittas in all sattas and cuticitta in all arahats do not cause rupas. Other 75 cittas cause cittaja rupas. Some cittas cause rupas that support iriyapatha or body positions. Some cittas cause vinatti rupas and some cause smiling.

There is ajjattika utu which are sita tejo and unnha tejo arise with patisandhi. These utu or tejo when they are in contact with bahiddhaka tejo can cause arising of utuja rupas starting from thikhana of patisandhi or linking consciousness. There are rupa kalapas. The simplest form is suddhattha rupa kalapa. These are collections of inseparable rupas or avinibbhoga rupa. Ahara or oja in that kalapa is the main cause for arising of aharaja rupas. This ajjattika ahara has to combine with bahiddhika ahara and they both cause arising of aharaja rupas.

Among 28 rupas, cakkhu, sota, ghana, jivha, kaya, itthi bhava, punbhava, hadaya, and jivita rupa altogether 9 rupas are only caused by kamma. Kayavinatti and vacivinatti rupas are solely caused by citta. Sadda can be caused by utu or citta. Rupalahuta, rupamuduta, and rupakammannata are not caused by kamma. These three can be caused by citta, utu and ahara. Pathavi, tejo, vayo, apo, vanna, gandha, rasa, ahara, and pariccheda can be caused by any of kamma, citta, utu or ahara. 4 lakkhana rupas are not caused by any of kamma, citta, utu, and ahara. These four rupas are called na kutoci rupas.

Even though there are 28 paramattha rupas, they do not arise in isolation. At least some arise together. And they vanish together. They have to arise on mahabhuta rupas and they co exist in a form called rupa kalapa. There are 21 rupa kalapas. 9 kalapas are kammaja rupa kalapas, 6 are cittaja, 4 are utuja and 2 are aharaja rupa kalapas.

Kammaja rupa kalapas are:

  1. cakkhudassaka,
  2. sotadassaka,
  3. ghanadassaka,
  4. jivhadassaka,
  5. kayadassaka,
  6. ithibhavadassaka,
  7. punbhavadassaka,
  8. vatthudassaka, and
  9. jivitanava kalapa.

In cakkhudassaka kalapa, there are 8 avinibbhoga rupas, jivita rupa and cakkhu pasada rupa altogether 10 rupas arise together. Other kammaja kalapas are the same and just to replace cakkhu with their correspondent rupa. Jivitanava kalapa is a combination of 8 avinibbhoga rupas and jivita rupa itself.

6 cittaja rupa kalapas are:

  1. suddhattha kalapa which comprises 8 avinibbhoga rupas only,
  2. kayavinattinava kalapa which comprises 8 rupas and kayavinatti rupa,
  3. vacivinatti saddadassaka kalapa which is compsed of 8 rupas, vacivinatti and sadda,
  4. lahutadi ekadassaka kalapa which is combination of 8 rupas and 3 lahutadi rupas,
  5. kayavinatti lahutadi dvadassa kalapa which comprises 8 rupas, 3 lahutadi and kayavinatti rupa, and
  6. vacivinatti sadda lahutadi terasaka kalapa which includes 8 rupas, 3 lahutadi, vacivinatti and sadda rupa.

4 utuja kalapas are:

  1. suddhattha kalapa,
  2. saddanava kalapa,
  3. lahutadiekadassaka kalapa which comprises 8 rupas and 3 lahutadi rupas, and
  4. sadda lahutadi dvadassaka kalapa which comprises 8 rupas, 3 lahutadi rupa, and sadda rupa.

2 aharaja rupa kalapas are:

  1. suddhattha rupa lakapa and
  2. lahutadiekadassaka rupa kalapa which comprises 8 inseparable rupas and 3 lahutadi rupas.

From the 4 utuja rupa kalapas, suddhattha rupa kalapa and saddanava rupa kalapa can arise outside of beings or sattas. All other rupa kalapas only arise as ajjattika.

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