Rupa Kalapas (Grouping of Matter)

1. The 28 types of rupa are not found separately in nature. They are produced by the four causes in the form of tiny material groups called kalapas. Kalapas have the following four features:

  1. All the rupas in a kalapa arise together, i.e. they have a common genesis.
  2. They also cease or dissolve together, i.e. they have a common cessation.
  3. They all depend on the four great essentials present in the kalapa for their arising, i.e. they have a common dependence.
  4. They are so thoroughly mixed that they cannot be distinguished, i.e. they co-exist.

2. It should be noted that kalapas are so small that they are indistinguishable from pure energy. The ultimate rupa is formless and massless. Science has shown that the smallest “particle” detected, Higgs boson, is indistinguishable from energy.

3. There are 21 types of kalapas:

9 kammaja kalapas  6 cittaja kalapas     4 utuja kalapas     2 aharaja kalapas as shown below:

 Kamma BornCitta BornUtu BornAhara Born
Cakkhu dasaka (eye decad)Yes
Sota dasaka (ear decad)Yes
Ghana dasaka (nose decad)Yes
Jivha dasaka (tongue decad)Yes
Kaya dasaka (body decad)Yes
Itthi dasaka (female decad)Yes
Purisa dasaka (male decad)Yes
Vatthu dasaka (base decad)Yes
Jivita navaka (vital nonad)Yes
Suddhashtaka (pure octad)Yes (cittaja only)Yes (utuja only)Yes (aharaja only)
Kayavinnati navaka (body intimation nonadYes
Vaci vinnati sadda dasaka (vocal intimation decad)Yes
Lahutadi eka dasaka (undecad of mutability)YesYesYes
Kayavinnati Lahutadi dva dasaka (undecad of mutability)YesYes
Vacivinnati Sadda Lahutadi terasaka (tridecad of mutability)Yes
Sadda navaka (sound decad)Yes

4. Internal and External Kalapas

All the 21 rupa kalapas mentioned above occur internally in living beings. Itthibhava-dasaka does not occur in males. Similarly, pumbhava-dasaka does not occur in females. For those who are born blind or deaf, cakkhu-dasaka or sota-dasaka are not present.

  • In the external (bahiddha) world, only the two utuja-kalapas are found. All inanimate things such as trees, stones, earth, water, fire, corpses, etc., are made up of utuja-suddhatthaka kalapas. The sounds produced by beating two sticks together or by rubbing of branches in the wind or by musical instruments such as violin, piano, radio, cassettes, etc., are utuja-sadda-navaka kalapas.
  • From the internal rupas, kaya-pasada, bhava-rupa (femininity and masculinity), cittaja-rupa, utuja-rupa and aharaja-rupa spread all over the body, and so they will be present in the eye, the ear, the nose, the tongue and in every part of the body.

5. Rupa in Kamaloka

All the 28 material qualities occur undiminished, if circumstances permit, in an individual during a lifetime in kamaloka (sense-sphere).

  • In womb-born creatures, only three kammaja-kalapas comprising body-decad, sex-decad and heart decad are manifested at the moment of conception (at patisandhi).

Here again the sex-decad may not be manifested in some particular individuals. After conception, during life, the eye-decad and the rest are manifested slowly in due order. Of the groups of material qualities which are produced in four ways, kammaja-rupa starts to form at the moment of conception and it goes on forming incessantly at every minor-instant. Cittaja-rupa begins to form from the second moment of consciousness, i.e. from the arising instant of the first bhavanga which follows the rebirth-consciousness. Cittaja-rupa continues to be formed at every arising instant of the subsequent cittas for the whole life-time.

  • Utuja-rupa starts to form from the existing instant of rebirth consciousness. The reason is that the tejo-dhatu (utu) present in the first kammaja-kalapas comes to the static stage (thithi) at that instant. From that time onwards, the tejo- dhatu then produces utuja-rupa at every minor-instant. Since tejo-dhàtu is present in every kalapa, every kalapa, from the time it reaches the static stage, produces new utuja-kalapas at every minor instant. And the new utuja- kalapas, from the time they reach the static stage, again produce new utuja-kalapas at every minor instant. So this process goes on forever.

Every kalapa also contains the nutritive essence, oja. But aharaja-rupa starts to form when internal oja meets external oja at the time of diffusion of nutritive essence and the combination of internal and external oja comes to the static stage. From that instant, aharaja-rupa is also formed at every minor instant. As new groups of material qualities are incessantly produced, old groups dissolve and disappear when their lifetime of 17 conscious-moments is over. Thus, the material phenomena go on uninterruptedly in the sense-sphere till the end of life like the flame of a lamp, or the stream of a river.

Material Phenomena at Death:  At the time of death, psychic life and physical life must cease together. This means that all kammaja-rupa which contains physical life must cease at the time of death. So at the arising instant of the seventeenth citta reckoned backward from the death-consciousness (cuti citta), the last kammaja rupa is formed. This last kammaja rupa will cease at the dissolving instant of the death-consciousness. Cittaja rupa is formed till the arising instant of the cuti citta. This last cittaja rupa will have lasted for a conscious- moment at the dissolution of cuti citta, and thus will perish in another sixteen conscious-moments which happens almost instantly. aharaja rupa is formed till the dissolving instant of the cuti citta, because the support required for the formation of aharaja rupa can be furnished by citta up to that time. So at death, that last-formed aharaja rupa has lasted for only one minor-instant. However in another fifty minor instants (rupa lifespan – 51 minor instants or 17 conscious-moments), that aharaja rupa also ceases. Thus at the time of death, kammaja rupa, cittaja rupa and ahàraja rupa cease almost instantly.

  • But utuja rupa goes on forming and dissolving till the corpse is converted into dust. A corpse consists of only utuja rupa.
  • So when a person dies and is reborn in another life, material phenomena similarly arise starting from the instant of conception and go on arising till the time of death.

Arising of Material Phenomena in Rupa planes In the rupa-plane, nose-decad, tongue-decad, body-decad, sex decad and aharaja kalapas do not arise. At the time of opapatika rebirth, there arise four kammaja kalapas namely, eye decad, ear decad, heart decad and vital nonad. During life, however, cittaja kalapas and utuja kalapas also arise. To the Asanna brahmas, eye-decad, heart- decad and sound-nonad (sadda-navaka) do not arise. Also, cittaja kalapas do not arise. Therefore, at the time of their opapatika rebirth, only the vital-nonad (jivita-navaka) arises. During life, utuja kalàpas, with the exception of the sound-nonad, arise in addition.

  • Thus in kama loka and rupa loka, the process of the arising of material phenomena should be understood in two ways, that is (1) at rebirth and (2) during life.

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