Element Confusion

A forum for members who wish to develop a deeper understanding of the Pali Canon and associated Commentaries, which for discussion purposes are both treated as authoritative.

Moderator: Mahavihara moderator

Element Confusion

Postby clw_uk » Mon Jan 19, 2009 10:10 pm

In the Mahapunnama Sutta - MK the buddha says;

"The four great elements, bhikkhu, are the cause and condition for the manifestation of the material form aggregate"

I cant work out how the elements are the cause for the material form, arent the four elements earth, fire, wind, water with, for example, earth just standing for skin, nail etc and so just characteristics of the material aggregate?
“ Your mind is likewise blocked. But the right road awaits you still. Cast out your doubts, your fears and your desires, let go of grief and of hope as well, for where these rule , then the mind is their subject." Boetius
User avatar
clw_uk
 
Posts: 3479
Joined: Sun Jan 11, 2009 2:36 am
Location: Wales, United Kingdom

Re: Element Confusion

Postby retrofuturist » Mon Jan 19, 2009 10:54 pm

Greetings,

From memory, I think earth refers to solidity, water refers to cohesion, fire refers to heat, and air refers to movement.

Metta,
Retro. :)
If you have asked me of the origination of unease, then I shall explain it to you in accordance with my understanding:
Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


Exalted in mind, just open and clearly aware, the recluse trained in the ways of the sages:
One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


Dharma Wheel (Mahayana / Vajrayana forum) -- Open flower ~ Open book (blog)
User avatar
retrofuturist
Site Admin
 
Posts: 14650
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 9:52 pm
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Re: Element Confusion

Postby Dhammanando » Mon Jan 19, 2009 11:20 pm

Hi Craig,

clw_uk wrote:I cant work out how the elements are the cause for the material form


Each of the four great primaries serves as a condition for the arising of the others and collectively they are a condition for the arising of secondary/derivative materiality (e.g., sense organs, gender, life faculty etc.).

Best wishes,
Dhammanando Bhikkhu
    ...and this thought arose in the mind of the Blessed One:
    “Who lives without reverence lives miserably.”
    Uruvela Sutta, A.ii.20

    It were endless to dispute upon everything that is disputable.
    — William Penn Some Fruits of Solitude,
User avatar
Dhammanando
 
Posts: 1265
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 10:44 pm
Location: Wat Pa Mieng Khun Pang, Chiang Mai

Re: Element Confusion

Postby clw_uk » Mon Jan 19, 2009 11:20 pm

Thank you, do you know how they are the origin of material aggregate?
“ Your mind is likewise blocked. But the right road awaits you still. Cast out your doubts, your fears and your desires, let go of grief and of hope as well, for where these rule , then the mind is their subject." Boetius
User avatar
clw_uk
 
Posts: 3479
Joined: Sun Jan 11, 2009 2:36 am
Location: Wales, United Kingdom

Re: Element Confusion

Postby Dhammanando » Mon Jan 19, 2009 11:57 pm

Hi Craig,

clw_uk wrote:Thank you, do you know how they are the origin of material aggregate?


The material aggregate is simply a name for the four great primaries and the secondary matter that arises with the great primaries as its proximate cause.

For a full account of rūpa see chapter 6 of the Abhidhammatthsangaha:
http://mail.saigon.com/~anson/ebud/abhisgho/abhis06.htm

Best wishes,
Dhammanando Bhikkhu
    ...and this thought arose in the mind of the Blessed One:
    “Who lives without reverence lives miserably.”
    Uruvela Sutta, A.ii.20

    It were endless to dispute upon everything that is disputable.
    — William Penn Some Fruits of Solitude,
User avatar
Dhammanando
 
Posts: 1265
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 10:44 pm
Location: Wat Pa Mieng Khun Pang, Chiang Mai


Return to Classical Theravāda

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests