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