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Abhidhamma Series no 14. The Eight Inseparable Ruupas.

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  • Nina van Gorkom
    Dear friends, The Eight Inseparable Ruupas. Ruupas always arise in groups, and the four Great Elements of solidity, cohesion, temperature and motion are always
    Message 1 of 1 , May 14, 2010
      Dear friends,

      The Eight Inseparable Ruupas.

      Ruupas always arise in groups, and the four Great Elements of
      solidity, cohesion, temperature and motion are always present
      wherever there is materiality. Apart from these four elements there
      are other ruupas, namely twentyfour �derived ruupas� (in Paali:
      upaadaa ruupas). The derived ruupas cannot arise without the four
      Great Elements, they are dependent on them.
      Four among the derived ruupas always arise together with the four
      Great Elements in every group of ruupas and are thus present wherever
      materiality occurs, no matter whether ruupas of the body or
      materiality outside the body. These four ruupas are the following:

      visible object (or colour)

      The four Great elements and these four derived ruupas, which always
      arise together, are called the �inseparable ruupas� (in P�li:
      avinibbhoga ruupas). Wherever solidity arises, there also have to be
      cohesion, temperature, motion, colour, odour, flavour and nutritive
      Visible object has as its proximate cause the four Great Elements
      because it cannot arise without them. However, when a characteristic
      of one of these four Great Elements, such as hardness or heat, is
      experienced, the accompanying visible object cannot be experienced at
      the same time. Only one ruupa at a time can be experienced by citta.
      When there are conditions for seeing, visible object is experienced.
      When we close our eyes, there may be remembrance of the shape and
      form of a thing, but that is not the experience of visible object.
      The thinking of a �thing�, no matter whether our eyes are closed or
      open, is different from the actual experience of what is visible.
      Odour cannot arise alone, it needs the four Great Elements which
      arise together with it and it is also accompanied by the other ruupas
      included in the eight inseparable ruupas. When odour appears we tend
      to be carried away by like or dislike. We are attached to fragrant
      odours and we loathe nasty smells. However, odour is only a reality
      which is experienced through the nose and it does not last.
      Flavour is another ruupa included in the eight inseparable ruupas. We
      are attached to food and we find its flavour very important. As soon
      as we have tasted delicious flavour, attachment tends to arise. We
      are forgetful of the reality of flavour which is only a kind of
      ruupa. When we recognize what kind of flavour we taste, we think
      about a concept, but this thinking is conditioned by the experience
      of flavour through the tongue.
      Nutrition is another kind of ruupa which has to arise with every kind
      of materiality. It can be exerienced only through the mind-door.
      Nutritive essence is not only present in rice and other foods, it is
      also present in what we call a rock or sand. It is present in any
      kind of materiality. Insects are able to digest what human beings
      cannot digest, such as, for example, wood.
      If one does not develop understanding of realities one will be
      enslaved by all objects experienced through the senses. On account of
      these objects akusala cittas tend to arise. If someone thinks that
      there is a self who can own what is seen, touched or smelt, he may be
      inclined to commit unwholesome deeds such as stealing. In reality all
      these objects are insignificant, they arise and then fall away
      In the ultimate sense life exists only in one moment, the present
      moment. At the moment of seeing the world of visible object is
      experienced, at the moment of hearing the world of sound, and at the
      moment of touching the world of tangible object. Life is actually one
      moment of experiencing an object.


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