Fwd: Abhidhamma Series, no 15. The Sense Organs
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> Dear friends,
> The Sense Organs.
> For the experience of objects through the senses there have to be
> sense organs and these are ruupas. Visible object and also the
> ruupa which is eyesense are conditions for seeing. Eyesense does
> not know anything since it is ruupa, but it is a necessary
> condition for seeing. Eyesense is a ruupa in the eye, capable of
> receiving visible object, so that citta can experience it. For
> hearing, the experience of sound, there has to be earsense, a ruupa
> in the ear, capable of receiving sound. There must be smellingsense
> for the experience of odour, tastingsense for the experience of
> flavour and bodysense for the experience of tangible object.
> Through the bodysense are experienced: the earth element, appearing
> as hardness or softness; the fire element, appearing as heat or
> cold; the wind element, appearing as motion or pressure. When these
> characteristics appear they can be directly experienced wherever
> there is bodysense. The bodysense is all over the body, also inside
> the body. Thus, there are five kinds of sense organs. These sense
> organs can be the doorways for the cittas that experience sense
> objects. As we have seen, visible object, sound, odour, flavour and
> tangible object (which consists of three of the four Great
> Elements) are experienced through the corresponding sense-doors and
> they can also be experienced through the mind-door.
> Ruupas of the body and also ruupas outside the body do not arise
> without there being conditions for their arising. There are four
> factors that produce ruupas of the body: kamma, citta, temperature
> (the element of heat) and nutrition. As we have seen, kamma is
> actually the volition that motivates good and evil deeds. Kamma
> that has been committed has fallen away, but since it is a mental
> activity it is accumulated and can produce result later on.
> Throughout our life kamma produces seeing, hearing and the other
> sense-impressions that are vipåkacittas, cittas that are results.
> Rebirth-consciousness is the mental result of kamma, vipåkacitta,
> but at that moment kamma also produces ruupas and kamma keeps on
> producing ruupas throughout life; when it stops producing ruupas
> our life-span has to end.
> Kamma produces particular kinds of ruupas such as the sense organs.
> Citta also produces ruupas. Our different moods become evident by
> our facial expressions and then it is clear that citta produces
> ruupas. Temperature, which is actually the element of heat, also
> produces ruupas. Throughout life the element of heat produces
> ruupas. Nutrition is another factor that produces ruupas. When food
> has been taken by a living being it is assimilated into the body
> and then nutrition can produce ruupas. Some of the groups of ruupas
> of our body are produced by kamma, some by citta, some by
> temperature and some by nutrition. The four factors which produce
> the ruupas of our body support and consolidate each other and keep
> this shortlived body going. If we see the intricate way in which
> different factors condition the ruupas of our body we shall be less
> inclined to think that the body belongs to a self.
> There are not only ruupas of the body, there are also ruupas which
> are the material phenomena outside the body. What we take for
> rocks, plants or houses are ruupas and these originate from
> temperature. We may wonder whether there are no other factors apart
> from the element of heat that contribute to the growth of plants,
> such as soil, light and moisture. It is true that these factors are
> the right conditions that have to be present so that a plant can
> grow. But what we call soil, light and moisture are, when we are
> more precise, different combinations of ruupas, none of which can
> arise without the element of heat or temperature that produces
> them. Ruupas outside the body are only produced by temperature, not
> by kamma, citta or nutrition.