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Fwd: Abhidhamma Series, no 15. The Sense Organs

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  • Nina van Gorkom
    ... [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    Message 1 of 1 , May 21, 2010
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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 vipÄkacittas, cittas that are results.
      > Rebirth-consciousness is the mental result of kamma, vipÄkacitta,
      > 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.
      > ----------
      > Nina.

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