Looking for discourses about kalapas

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Looking for discourses about kalapas

Postby zavk » Tue Dec 21, 2010 5:56 am

Hi friends,

I'm looking for various explications of kalapas. I'm very bad with recording/remembering where I read things. Other than this one on ATI (http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... el231.html), if you know of any other sources (suttas, comentaries, or whatever) could you kindly please refer them to me?

Many thanks. :anjali:
With metta,
zavk
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Re: Looking for discourses about kalapas

Postby cooran » Tue Dec 21, 2010 7:21 am

Hello Ed,

Go to Dhammastudygroup and check out these posts (which were listed in their Useful Posts section for members):

Rupa12-groups (kalapas), inseparable (avinibhoga) rupas
Post numbers: 27107, 27256, 27315, 28779, 28797, 29254, 31289, 31426, 31489, 31642, 54289, 54328, 54339, 54344, 55010, 65472, 68907, 69890, 70755, 72364, 75307, 97979, 98834, 99703, 102483, 107570, 107585

Dhammastudygroup
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/dhammastudygroup/

Hope you have some luck there.

with metta
Chris
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Re: Looking for discourses about kalapas

Postby pt1 » Sat Dec 25, 2010 7:18 am

Hi, also check out ACMA, chapter VI, in particular paragraphs 16-23 (pages 252-255)
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Re: Looking for discourses about kalapas

Postby zavk » Sun Dec 26, 2010 1:46 am

Hi Chris and pt1,

Thanks for the pointers. Will look into them.

I suppose I should have been a little clearer in my initial post. I realise that the idea of kalapas developed in the Abhidhamma and commentaries. In reference to the suttas themselves, I'm just wondering where the idea was extrapolated from. As far as I'm aware the Maha-hatthipadopama, Maha-Rahulovada, and Dhatuvibhanga suttas discuss the elemental properties and their attributes, though they do not go so far as to posit 'indivisible units' as such. In any event, if there are other suttas from which the Abhidhamma and/or commentaries extrapolated on, please kindly remind me about me.

Many thanks.
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Re: Looking for discourses about kalapas

Postby pt1 » Mon Dec 27, 2010 8:18 am

Hi, I don't know much on the topic. Firstly, it might be useful to consider the meaning of kalapa and how it relates to the term "indivisible unit" - I often fall into considering it as a sort of an atom or some such thing, which might not be right. Another term I saw that seems more appropriate is "inseparable rupas" or a "group of inseparable rupas" - avinibhoga ruupas (sp?) - which refers to the eight inseparable ruupas that constitute the basic octad kalapa. In other words, the rupas which constitute a kalapa in essence arise and cease together dependent on conditions. So the fact that they are arising together and condition one another at the time - that's what makes them "inseparable" so to speak. So this I think is pretty much the same situation as it is with consciousness, feeling and perception for example - they always arise together, as well as condition one another at the time, but you wouldn't necessarily consider them as indivisible. You can, but it wouldn't be a very useful explantion in terms of helping to develop insight, which has to do with conditionality, imeprmanence, etc.

Regarding the origins of the term, don't know for sure, but I think the term kalapa itself is commentarial. However, I think the rupas which constitute various types of kalapas are described in dhammasangani (first book of abhidhamma pitaka), and then the conditions through which they arise together (probably be conascence condition), and in what combinations, are described in patthana (seventh book of abhidhamma pitaka). Regarding the correspondence between abhidhamma pitaka and sutta pitaka, I'm not sure but I'm guessing most of the rupas described in abhidhamma pitaka in a systematic way are also mentioned in the sutta pitaka on various occasions (I'm pretty sure you came accross the 4 elements, 6 external and internal bases/objects), though there are probably a few peculiar ones that weren't mentioned explicitly in the sutta pitaka, like lightness, etc. I don't know. But it would make a nice study to explore this subject in detail. E.g. one thing you can do for starters is to draw up a list of all the rupas (21, or was it more? I forget) and then try and find their mention in the sutta pitaka. I'm thinking most would be mentioned there more or less explicitly. You can also ask on dsg, someone there might know more and save you the time.

Best wishes

p.s. by the way, is that a jaguar in the background of your avatar pic?
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Re: Looking for discourses about kalapas

Postby zavk » Tue Dec 28, 2010 12:32 am

Thanks for the very helpful pointers, pt1. I understand that the notion of 'indivisible units' can be misleading, but this is precisely what I'm trying to track. I've come across people using this term to describe the kalapas. I'm trying to get a sense of how this translation evolved. Will look into your suggestions.

Yes, that's my 1994 MIJ Jaguar. I'm absolutely in love with it; attachment runs deep. :)
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Re: Looking for discourses about kalapas

Postby pt1 » Tue Dec 28, 2010 5:35 am

zavk wrote:Thanks for the very helpful pointers, pt1. I understand that the notion of 'indivisible units' can be misleading, but this is precisely what I'm trying to track. I've come across people using this term to describe the kalapas. I'm trying to get a sense of how this translation evolved. Will look into your suggestions.

Ah so you are after the translation itself, sorry I misunderstood you there. Afaik, Nanamoli uses “group” to translate “kalapa” in his Visuddhimagga translation (e.g. see the index page 868). Likewise Bhikkhu Bodhi in his translation of Abhidhamattha sangaha - so a “material group” for a “ruupakalaapa” (ch.VI, par 16). Similarly for a basic octad kalapa he says “The inseparable metarial phenomena constitute the pure octad” (ch VI, par 18). So, it’s remotely possible that your “indivisible unit” is basically an alternate translation for the eight “inseparable rupas” (avinibbhoga ruupa) which constitute the pure octad kalapa, since all other types of kalapas are in essence just a pure octad with an additional few rupa(s). Narada’s translation of AS uses similar terms – “material group” for kalapa, and “inseparable material qualities” for avinibbhoga ruupas (page 348).

So, I have no idea where “indivisible units” came from. It’s possible it appeared around a certain teacher or lineage, since pretty much every lineage tends to develop its own vocabulary over time with specific meanings which are not readily apparent to outsiders - e.g. I don't know their reasoning behind the term so I start assuming that an indivisible unit is some sort of an self-existing little entity out there somewhere and all that business, which of course might not be what they had in mind at all. I guess the way to track down the origin of the term would be to see who is the root teacher in the particual lineage where you found the term and then look into who was the original translator. Probably he started using the term in some specific context and then (if you’re lucky) everyone else afterwards just maintained the same usage.
zavk wrote:Yes, that's my 1994 MIJ Jaguar. I'm absolutely in love with it; attachment runs deep. :)

Excellent. Mine is in sunburst. For the longest time I’ve been playing with all sorts of effects, but lately I find it best to just drive it clean straight to the amp. It has a great sound on its own and this way opens up that whole dimension of dynamics which is usually the first casualty when you start processing the signal with effects, etc. If you’re not a fan of twangy sound, it helps to get a heavy gauge strings (and raise the bridge accordingly), I’m particularly fond of flatwounds. Of course, a good tube amp and a larger space tend to help as well :)

Best wishes
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Re: Looking for discourses about kalapas

Postby zavk » Tue Dec 28, 2010 5:50 am

pt1 wrote:So, I have no idea where “indivisible units” came from. It’s possible it appeared around a certain teacher or lineage, since pretty much every lineage tends to develop its own vocabulary over time with specific meanings which are not readily apparent to outsiders - e.g. I don't know their reasoning behind the term so I start assuming that an indivisible unit is some sort of an self-existing little entity out there somewhere and all that business, which of course might not be what they had in mind at all. I guess the way to track down the origin of the term would be to see who is the root teacher in the particual lineage where you found the term and then look into who was the original translator. Probably he started using the term in some specific context and then (if you’re lucky) everyone else afterwards just maintained the same usage.


Thanks again. Yes, I encountered the term 'indivisible units' in the explanations of a particular meditation teacher whom I shall not name here, because my aim is not to cast aspersion on the teacher. My suspicion is that the teacher expresses it as 'indivisible units' to tap into the cultural cachet of scientific discourse--particularly particle physics--so as to explain the observation of inner processes in a way that would be agreeable to a secular audience who may not have previous exposure to Buddhist ideas. I don't think the teacher is intentionally misrepresenting the teachings as such.

Yes, I've sorted the strings and bridge, but cannot afford a tube amp just yet. Am aiming for a Vox AC30, eventually. I do experiment quite heavily with sound processing: partly because I'm not a skilled player, and partly because I'm interested in creating instrumental soundscapes. [My original plan was to get a Jazzmaster as I prefer its tone but I couldn't resist the color of the Jag; I will change my p'ups eventually to get more mid-range. :)]

Thanks again!
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Re: Looking for discourses about kalapas

Postby pt1 » Wed Dec 29, 2010 7:02 am

zavk wrote:Thanks again. Yes, I encountered the term 'indivisible units' in the explanations of a particular meditation teacher whom I shall not name here, because my aim is not to cast aspersion on the teacher. My suspicion is that the teacher expresses it as 'indivisible units' to tap into the cultural cachet of scientific discourse--particularly particle physics--so as to explain the observation of inner processes in a way that would be agreeable to a secular audience who may not have previous exposure to Buddhist ideas. I don't think the teacher is intentionally misrepresenting the teachings as such.

Yes, I too often end up trying to correlate abhidhamma with what I learned of science. But I’m often reminded that abhidhamma largely deals with the realm of insight, so the purpose of its explanations is understanding anatta, ending suffering, etc, while scientific explanations usually have different purposes. I guess that’s why some say that trying to correlate/mix the two defeats the purpose of both and thus has the potential to mislead (at worst). But I guess that approaching everything through science filter (or in fact the bits of it one picked up along the way) is inevitable nowadays. At least in the beginning for sure.

zavk wrote:Yes, I've sorted the strings and bridge, but cannot afford a tube amp just yet. Am aiming for a Vox AC30, eventually. I do experiment quite heavily with sound processing: partly because I'm not a skilled player, and partly because I'm interested in creating instrumental soundscapes. [My original plan was to get a Jazzmaster as I prefer its tone but I couldn't resist the color of the Jag; I will change my p'ups eventually to get more mid-range. :)]

I’ll send you a pm about the guitar stuff so as not to make this a thread about jaguars :)

Best wishes
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