Reply To: If Dhātu Describes the Rūpa, How can I Understand Viññana Dhātu?


Let me give a brief outline.

1. Everything in this world is included in the six dhatu (basic elements) of pathavi, āpo, tejo, vāyo, ākāsa, and viññāṇa.

2. The first sutta above says that all suffering in this world arises from the six dhatu.
– Hint: They arise at the patisandhi moment of grasping a new bhava.

3. The third sutta says they all have the anicca nature (i.e., created due to causes and destroyed when those causes wear away). That is because that “creation/arising” happens via Paticca Samuppada. All bhava and jati end up in death.

4. The second sutta states the “elements” responsible for that Paticca Samuppada process: “The elements of sensuality, malice, and cruelty.”

5. The fourth sutta states how (abhi)saṅkhāra in “avijjā paccayā saṅkhāra” in PS arise due to attachments to (things in this world) based on the six dhatu (pathavi, āpo, tejo, vāyo, ākāsa, and viññāṇa.)
– Such attachments defile a mind (“cetaso upakkileso“) and lead to “avijjā paccayā saṅkhāra”. Here “upakkilesa” means “pulling close kilesa to mind.”
– We discussed kilesa in the recent post, “Kilesa – Relationship to Akusala, Kusala, and Puñña Kamma

6. The final sutta says when one understands the above, one comprehends “Rūpa dhātu, arūpa dhātu, nirodha dhātu.”
– That will lead the stopping of rūpadhātu and arūpadhātu from arising and lead to the “ultimate element” of Nibbana or nirodha dhātu.