Element Confusion

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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?
“Happy is the man who has broken the chains which hurt the mind, and has given up worrying once and for all.” Ovid
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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. :)
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Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


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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:
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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?
“Happy is the man who has broken the chains which hurt the mind, and has given up worrying once and for all.” Ovid
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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,
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