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Abhidhamma Series 26. The Seven Books of the Abhidhamma (part 3)

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  • Nina van Gorkom
    Dear friends, The Seven Books of the Abhidhamma (part 3) The third book of the Abhidhamma is the Discourse on Elements, Dhaatu-Kathaa. This book deals with all
    Message 1 of 1 , Aug 19, 2010
      Dear friends,

      The Seven Books of the Abhidhamma (part 3)

      The third book of the Abhidhamma is the Discourse on Elements,
      Dhaatu-Kathaa. This book deals with all realities, classified with
      reference to the khandhas, the aayatanas (translated as bases) and
      the dhaatus, elements. It deals with realities that are
      �included�( sangahita), or not included, that are associated
      (sampayutta) or dissociated (vippayutta). Only naama can be
      associated with another naama, such as citta and cetasikas. Ruupa
      does not have such a close association with naama. The charts added
      by the translator makes the reading of these classifications easier.
      But we should not forget that all these classifications pertain to
      the reality appearing at this moment.

      The khandhas are citta, cetasika and ruupa arising and falling away
      at this moment.
      When seeing arises, there is vi~n~naa.nakkhandha, and there are the
      accompanying cetasikas: vedanaakkhandha, sa~n~naakhandha,
      sa�nkhaarakkhandha (including other cetasikas apart from feeling and
      sa~n~naa), and there is eyesense which is ruupa-kkhandha.

      As to the aayatanas, there are six inward aayatanas and six outward
      aayatanas. The inner aayatanas are the five senses and mind-base,
      manaayatana, which includes all cittas. The outward aayatanas are the
      five sense objects and dammaayatana, which includes cetasikas, subtle
      r�pas and nibbaana.

      When we see, hear or think we believe that a self experiences
      different objects, but in reality there is the association of the
      inward aayatana and the outward aayatana, the objects ``outside''.

      As to the elements, these can be classified in different ways, and in
      this book they are classified as eighteen: the five senses, the five
      sense objects, the ``five pairs'' of sense-cognitions, experiencing
      the five sense-objects, and in addition: mind-element (mano-dhaatu),
      dhamma-dhaatu and mind-consciousness-element (mano-vi~n~naa.na-
      dhaatu). Mind-element and mind-consciousness-element comprise cittas
      other than the five sense-cognitions. Dhamma-dhaatu comprises
      cetasikas, the subtle ruupas (sukhuma ruupas) and nibbaana.

      In all these classifications concepts such as person or thing have
      not been included. Only paramattha dhammas have been included. We may
      think of concepts, but these are not real in the ultimate sense.
      Thinking itself is citta, it is a reality.
      If there is no understanding of realities as just elements, we
      shall continue to cling to the wrong view of self who sees, hears or
      thinks. Seeing is a dhaatu that experiences an object, it is naama.
      Visible object is ruupa, it is included in ruupakkhandha. Visible
      object or colour does not know anything, it is dissociated
      (vipayutta) from naama, it is completely different from seeing.
      Dhaatus are not mere names, they have characteristics that can be
      directly experienced when they appear. We are reminded by the
      Dhaatukathaa that the teaching on elements pertains to realities
      appearing at this moment.

      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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