3132Re: [DhammaStudyGroup] Re: what can citta know?
- Feb 1, 2001Dear Num,
I'm not sure if I'll catch you before you leave, but
if not, perhaps you'd like a little more discussion on
bhavarupa as I wasn't quite happy with my earlier
response as you may have been looking for more detail
I'm checking more information in 'The Physical
Phenomena in and Around Ourselves' by Nina Van Gorkom
and I'm going to be quoting from this. (Pls note I
have an old manuscipt edition which may now be updated
or printed or on the web, I'm not sure.) I know you
are familiar with most of this information, but I'm
also quoting some of the introduction for others
who've never heard of bhavarupa.
"....There are 28 kinds of rupa in all. Rupas are not
merely textbook terms, they are realities which can be
experienced. Not everybody can experience all kinds of
rupa, it depends on one's accumulations which
realities can be experienced. However, learning about
all kinds of realities is helpful in order to
understand more clearly that what we take for 'self'
consists of many different elements which do not
"...The objects which can be experienced through the
sense-doors and also the senses (pasada rupas) are
gross rupas, the other rupas are subtle rupas. The
pasada rupas are produced solely by kamma. There are
also subtle rupas which are produced soley by kamma.
They are: the woman faculty, the man-faculty, the
life-faculty and the heart-base.
As to the woman-faculty (itthindriyam) and the
man-faculty (purisindriyam), which are collectively
called bhavarupa or sex, these are rupas produced by
kamma from the first moment of life and throughout
life. Thus, it is due to kamma whether one is born as
a male or as a female. The 'Atthasalini (II, Book II,
Ch III, 322) explains that birth as a human being is
kusala vipaka, but since good deeds have different
degrees also their results have different degrees.
Birth as a female is the result of kusala kamma which
is of a lesser degree than the kusala kamma which
conditions birth as a male...."
"The 'Atthasalaini' (II, Boo II, ChIII,322) gives the
following definitions of the female faculty and the
'Of these two controlling faculties the feminine has
the characteristic of (knowing) the state of a woman,
the function of showing 'this is a woman', the
manifestation which is the cause of femininity in
feature, mark, occupation, deportment. The masculine
controllign faculty has the characteristic of
(knowing) the state of a man, the function of showing
'this is a man', the manifestation which is the cause
of masculinity in feature, etc. (note: See also
Dhammasangani par.633,634 and Vis. X1V, 58)
These two faculties which are coextensive with the
whole body (Vis X1V,58) are not known by visual
cognition but only by mind-cognition. But, the
Atthasalani (321) states, their characteristic
features etc., which are conditioned by their
respective faculties, are known by visual cognition as
well as by mind-cognition.
Seeing experiences only visible object, it does not
know 'This is a woman' or 'This is a man'. The citta
which recognizes feminine or masculine features does
so through the mind-door, but this recognizing is
conditioned by seeing. When the commentary states
that these characteristic features are known by visual
cognition as well as by mind-cognition, it does not
speak in detail about the different processes of
cittas which experience objects through the eye-door
and through the mind-door...." (end quote)
There's plenty more, but this may add a little more to
your consideration and at least give you a few
references to follow up on your return to St Louis.
Best regards and have a good trip!
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