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

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    • #39916

      In The Origin of Matter – Suddhāṭṭhaka

      Suddhāṭṭhaka (“suddha” for “pure” or fundamental” + “aṭṭha” or “eight”) means a unit of matter consisting of eight fundamental entities. [ellipsis] This very fundamental level is called the “bhūta” stage.

      When enormous numbers of suddhāṭṭhaka fuse, they get to a more condensed state of “mahā bhūta.”

      Only when vast amounts of mahā bhūta fuse together and become even more condensed that we can see them. At this highly condensed state, the matter is called “dhātu.”

      So, the density of rūpa increases in the order of bhūta, mahā bhūta, and dhātu.

      These three terms describe the degree to which suddhāṭṭhaka(rūpa) is dense.

      Then, here is a question.

      If dhātu describes the rūpa, how can I understand viññana dhātu?

      Is there another usage of dhātu?

    • #39919

      “Is there another usage of dhātu?”

      Yes. Words can have different meanings depending on context.

      That is true not only in Pali but in many languages. Following are some examples:

      I left my phone on the left side of the room.
      The baseball pitcher asked for a pitcher of water.
      The committee chair sat in the center chair.
      The crane (a bird) flew above the construction crane.
      She will
      park the car so we can walk in the park.

    • #39920

      OK. Then, what is the usage of dhātu in viññana dhātu?

    • #39921

      Dhātu is conventionally translated to English as “Element.”
      – But, the real meaning (depending on context) comes with a broad understanding of different concepts.

      There are several “Dhātu Suttas” that state various aspects.
      – First, take a look at them to get a general idea.
      – I will try to write a post on it. It is a deep subject, but it is probably the right time to get into it. There are enough people who are at a level to understand.

      1. “Dhātu Sutta (SN 27.9)

      2. “Dhātu Sutta (AN 6.111)

      3. Dhātu Sutta (SN 18.9)”

      4. “Dhātu Sutta (SN 26.9)

      5. “Dhātu Sutta (Iti 51)

      I have arranged them roughly in an “ascending order” based on the “depth.” But that is subjective.

      Take the time also to read the following posts (and references in them as needed) and ask questions. I hope others will get involved too. That may help with writing a post. But it may not be necessary to write a post.

      Relevant Posts:
      – Not necessarily in order. The point is that dhātu, “gati,” “bhuta,” “suddhāṭṭhaka,” are related and arise via Paticca Samuppada.
      – Understanding that helps stop those processes and get to the “ultimate element” of Nibbana.

      Our Two Worlds: Material and Immaterial

      The Origin of Matter – Suddhāṭṭhaka

      Bhūta and Yathābhūta – What Do They Really Mean

      What are Dhammā? – A Deeper Analysis

      What Are Rūpa? (Relation to Nibbāna)

    • #39927

      The link to SN 26.9 directs back to dosakkhayo reply.

    • #39930

      Thanks! Fixed it.

    • #39934

      I have made significant revisions to the post “The Origin of Matter – Suddhāṭṭhaka

      I will look at the other posts that I referenced above. If I revise any of them, I will mention that here.

      P.S. Revised: “Bhūta and Yathābhūta – What Do They Really Mean

    • #39978

      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.

    • #39986

      Lal said: 6. The final sutta says when one understands the above, one comprehends “Rūpa dhātu, arūpa dhātu, nirodha dhātu.”

      In this context, the arūpa dhātu means the namaloka?

      The reason why I asked is that there are rūpa(hadaya vatthu) in arūpa realm. So arūpa dhātu is not same the arūpa loka.

    • #39991

      “The reason why I asked is that there are rūpa(hadaya vatthu) in arūpa realm. So arūpa dhātu is not same the arūpa loka.”

      Yes. There are rūpa (hadaya vatthu of the Brahmas) in Arupa loka.

      Arūpa dhātu are rupa below the suddhāṭṭhaka stage, i.e., those are kammic energies or dhammā.
      That is an important point. See “What are Rūpa? – Dhammā are Rūpa too!

      So, the sutta in question, “Dhātu Sutta (Iti 51)” states a highly condensed idea/explanation.
      – All “tangible rupa” in this world can be put under rūpa dhātu.
      – They all arise due to arūpa dhātu (or kamma bija or dhammā)

      Stopping the arising of arūpa dhātu (or kamma bija or dhammā) will stop the arising of rūpa dhātu and will lead to nirodha dhātu or Nibbana!

    • #39994

      It is wonderful! A lot of things became clear to me.

    • #39995

      Great. I am glad to hear that.

      I received the drawing that you sent to my email. But it could take a day or two to go over it.

      The website started slowing down recently, and it became a bit worse this morning. We are working with the Web Hosting company to resolve the issue. They have made some temporary adjustments, which should give us some time.

      So, I hope to post your drawing after getting this issue resolved.

    • #40116

      Dosakkhayo has finalized the drawing/chart on the progression of invisible rupa (dhammā) generated in our minds (in javana citta) due to gati to condensed stages.
      The progression is: gati > dhammā > suddhāṭṭhaka (bhuta) > mahā bhuta > dhātu (finer) > dhātu (dense)

      I am very happy to see his level of understanding. Also, much merits to him for making this chart available to all.
      – The chart gives a good visualization of how “small” suddhāṭṭhaka is. It is just bit “denser” than gati/dhammā
      – Our mental body (gandhabba) is just six suddhāṭṭhaka (hadaya vatthu and five pasada rupa.) On the other hand, our physical body is at the highest density (many pounds/kg.) The more important one is of course the mental body (gandhabba.)

      Density Stages of Rūpa Chart

      Dosakkhayo’s chart (PDF) Download

      The post that discusses this: “The Origin of Matter – Suddhāṭṭhaka

    • #40129

      Thank you for the advice on the drawing/chart.

      By the way, the links in post 39921 have an unmatching issue with their brief outline.

      the outline says

      “3. The second 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.”

      But in this context, the sutta should be SN18.9

      So I think lal should either change the order of the two links or change the order of the outline.

      In SN 26.9

      What I understand in this sutta is the following.

      The context say that six dhatu’s arising (pathavīdhātuyā uppādo, āpodhātuyā uppādo, tejodhātuyā uppādo, vāyodhātuyā uppādo, ākāsadhātuyā uppādo, viññāṇadhātuyā uppādo) are subjected to dukkha.

      So, (in this context) pathavīdhātu, āpodhātu, tejodhātu, vāyodhātu, and ākāsadhātu mean the manomaya kaya(and also karaja kaya).

      And viññāṇadhātu mean one’s own namaloka.

      Therefore, If the six dhātu’s arising has stopped(nirodho), there is no more suffering (dukkhasseso nirodho).

      (yo pathavīdhātuyā ~ viññāṇadhātuyā nirodho vūpasamo atthaṅgamo, dukkhasseso nirodho, rogānaṁ vūpasamo, jarāmaraṇassa atthaṅgamo.)

      Six Root Causes – Loka Samudaya (Arising of Suffering) and Loka Nirodhaya (Nibbāna)

      What Did the Buddha Mean by a “Loka”?

      According to the two posts above, there is some correspondence of concepts between dhātu and loka.

      Logically speaking, these two are concepts with different intensions(connotations) and the same extensions.

      To put it simply, dhātu and loka have different definitions, but they indicate the same objects.

      For example, there are different ways of describing the same triangle.

      I can say that the length of the three sides of a given right triangle A is three, four, and five inches.

      Using the application of determining the congruence of polygons, I can also say that right triangle A has three and four inches sides and its included angle is 90 degrees.

      Though two statements have different points, both indicate the same object.

      So, I think I can infer soundly that there is some compatibility in Pali keywords.

      If there is an error, please let me know so that I can fix it.

    • #40136

      First part:

      Yes. I mixed up the two suttas. Corrected it. Thank you!

      Second part:

      Yes. Both explanations hold.
      – Attachment to them sustain the rebirth process. Losing attachment to them (with the correct seeing of the true nature) leads to stopping their arising, i.e., Nibbana.

      Third part:

      Yes. The Buddha described “loka” in several ways: six dhatu, five aggregates, 12 ayatana, etc.

      No errors. Very good. This is real insight mediation!

    • #40163

      Thank you, Seng Kiat, for displaying Dosakkhayo’s chart. It is good to see it there.

      1. By the way, only a Buddha can see the INITIAL manomaya kaya of gandhabba. Even yogis with the highest abhinna powers cannot see that.
      – But once born, a gandhabba may “grow” a bit by absorbing scents from flowers, etc. (Thus the name “gandha + abba” or “taking in scents.”) Then even some average humans with punna iddhi may be able to see one.

      2. However, an arupavacara Brahma remains with that manomaya kaya of just a hadaya vatthu. Thus no one else but a Buddha can see those arupavacara Brahmas.
      – Thus, ancient yogis (including Alara Kalama and Uddaka Ramaputta) thought getting to the arupavacara realms would end the rebirth process.
      – That is also why those realms are labeled “arupa” or “without rupa.” Only after the Buddha was it realized that those “fine rupa” of the arupavacara Brahmas are there. Thus, in a way, “arupavacara” is not strictly correct.

    • #40169
      Tobias G

      Maybe arupa means “not formed” or “not tangible”, because of bhuta stage.
      It would be strange that the Buddha used the word arupa if it is misleading.

    • #40170
      Tobias G

      Do arupavacara Brahma have bhava dasaka + vatthu dasaka?
      I guess as they do not have kaya dasaka they also do not have utuja kaya, right?

    • #40172

      No. Arupavacara Brahmas just have the hadaya vatthu. Just one suddhāṭṭhaka!

      A suddhāṭṭhaka is at the boundary between “(kammmic) energy” and “tangible rupa.”
      Kammic energy = kamma bija = dhammā
      Dhammā are the anidassana, appatigha rupa below the suddhāṭṭhaka stage that make contact with the mind via:
      manañca paṭicca dhamme ca uppajjāti manoviññāṇaṃ.”
      Hadaya vatthu is the seat of mind (mana.)
      – See “Chachakka Sutta – Six Types of Vipāka Viññāna

      It is not possible to write all this in a single post. So, it is good to have a discussion to clear any unresolved issues.

    • #40188

      I have re-written the post “Bhūta and Yathābhūta – What Do They Really Mean” including the figure of Dosakkhayo.
      – I have expanded the previous post; hopefully it will help clarify more issues.
      – Much merits to Dosakkhayo for the figure!

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