Another way to look at rupakkhandha (and pancakkhandha) is as follows:
As one keeps experiencing different types of rupa (visuals, sounds, smells, tastes, touches, dhamma) they all go into the past as “atita rupakkhandha.” That is the biggest part of rupakkhandha because ALL that we have experienced in ALL previous lives are there.
– Not only that all mental components (vedana, sanna, sankhara, vinnana) that arose with such experiences are also “recorded” as “atita pancakkhandha.” These are called “namagotta”.
– That is what someone with iddhi can recall. The Buddha could recall any event going back trillions of years.
There are a handful of people in the world who can recall anything that happened during this lifetime.
– I will discuss the experience of one such person in the next post. That will give a very good idea about this fascinating concept.
– That ability happens occasionally due to “punna iddhi” a kamma vipaka. It could be good or bad depending on the person (i.e., what kind of memories one has).