So far we have studied one part of a being. Most beings are composed of mind and matter. I say 'most beings' because there are some beings who have only mind and there are some others who have only physical body without mind, mindless beings. Most beings are composed of mind and matter. We have studied up to now the mind, one half of what we call beings. We have understood that the mind is divided into two parts, consciousness and mental factors. There are 89 or 121 types of consciousness and 52 mental states. And we have studied how they come into combination.
Today we are going to study the other half of beings. That is Rùpa, or matter, or material properties. You may have heard the expression 'Nàma-Rùpa'. Nàma-Rùpa is a popular expression in Buddhist books. Beings are just a combination of Nàma and Rùpa. Today we study Rùpa.
What is Rùpa? The definition of Rùpa is given in lecture two. If you have notes with you, you may look at them. If you don't have, I will read the notes. Matter or Rùpa is defined as that which changes when coming into contact with adverse conditions such as cold, heat, hunger, thirst, bites of insects, and so on. When it is cold, you have one series of material properties. When cold disappears and it becomes hot, then you have another series of material properties. 'Change' means just the appearance of a different series of material properties. That is what is called 'change' here.
Also 'change' here means obvious or discernable change. Mind changes more quickly than material properties or matter. By the definition 'that which changes is called Rùpa' all Cittas and Cetsikas would be called Rùpa as they change more quickly than material properties. But 'change' here means change that can be discerned, which is obvious. Rùpa is the name for those that have obvious or discernable change , not undiscernable change like Cittas and Cetasikas. Rùpa is that which changes when it comes into contact with adverse conditions. When it is cold, there is one series of material properties. When it is hot, there is another.
This matter or Rùpa exists in living beings and also in the outside world, in buildings, in tree, in mountains, in the earth and so on. Matter has no ability to cognize. Material properties have no ability to cognize. They do not know. Some of them are just the seeds or basis for consciousness to arise, but those material properties themselves have no ability to cognize.
There are 28 kinds of matter or material properties recognized in Abhidhamma. We will go through the list of the 28 material properties one by one.
These 28 material properties are comparable to elements in chemistry. According to chemistry everything is made up of the different combinations of elements. In the same way everything, including living beings, is made up of the 28 or some of the material properties.
First the material properties are divided up into two broad divisions. One is primary elements or sometimes they are called 'the essentials'. In Pàli they are called Mahàbhuta. That means great elements. The other division is the dependent ones, those which depend on the primary elements or the great essentials.
The first group consists of four primary elements. They are the elements of earth, water, fire and air. Somebody told me that the teaching of the four elements is also found in Greek philosophy. The teaching of four elements is not new to the Western public. But I think the teaching of elements in Buddhism is more refined. You will see in a moment. It is interesting to note the correspondence between Eastern thought and Western thought although they are far apart in distance, in time and in culture.
The elements of earth, water, fire and air are the four primary or essential elements. They are the basis on which the other material properties depend. What is the element of earth? It does not mean the earth. It means the qualities inherent in the earth. That quality is what we call the element of earth. When we say the element of earth, we do not necessarily mean the earth, but the qualities which are inherent in the earth. What is that quality? Some say extension, but actually the quality or characterstic of the earth element is hardness or softness. That is the characteristic of the element of earth. When talking about material properties and when we say element of earth, we mean not only the solid earth but the quality of earth.
The same is true for the element of water. 'Element of water' means the quality inherent in water. Water has the characteristic of trickling, trickling down. Cohesiveness is taken to be the characteristic of the element of water. When we say element of water, we mean this cohesiveness or this trickling characteristic, not the substance we call water although this is included in the element of water.
The element of fire just means heat or cold, or temperature. Temperature is what we mean by the element of fire.
The element of air is motion or according to the explanations given in the Commentaries it is distendedness. That means when you blow into a balloon, it becomes distended. The air in the balloon keeps the balloon that way. That distendedness is what we call the element of air.
It is said that these four elements are found everywhere. Although according to their characteristic they are distinct, they are found together everywhere. When you pick up a lump of earth, you can find all four elements in it. There is hardness or softness in the earth. There is cohesiveness in the particles of earth put together in the particles that are held together. There is temperature either cold or hot. Also there is this distendedness. These four elements can be found everywhere.
The same is true for water. You pick up some water and you will find these four elements. In fire we also find these four elements. That is why the elements are not the same as what is popuarly known as earth,water, fire and air, but they are the qualities that are inherent in these four things. They are called primaries or essentials because without these four there can be no other material properties.
The next group consists of 24. They re dependent on the primaries. So they are called dependent ones. The Pàli word for the dependent ones is Upàda Rùpa. 'Upàda' means depending on. It is mostly translated as derived material properties, but I think that is not accurate. These 24 material properties are not derived from the four freat essentials, but they depend upon the four great essentials. They are dependent upon the four great essentials, but they are not derived from the four great essentials. It is more correct to call them dependent ones than derived properties or derived ones.
There are 24 of them. We can put them into some groups. The first group consists of five. These five are eye sensitivity, ear sensitivity, nose sensitivity, tongue sensitivity and body sensitivity. 'Eye sensitivity' means the sensitive part of the eye, not the whole eyeball, but place where the image strikes and makes us see. According to medical science it may be the retina of the eye. That part which is sensitive to the visible object is called eye sensitivity. Although the Pàli word is just the word for eye, we must understand that here it is the sensitive part in the eye, not the whole eye, not the whole eyeball.
Ear sensitivity is that which exists in the inner ear, something like the eardrum where the sound strikes and sends messages to the brain.
Nose sensitivity is some kind of material property in the nose by which we experience smell.
Tongue sensitivity is the taste buds in the tongue.
Body sensitivity occurs throughout the body.
These five are what are known as the senses. When we say five sense, we mean eye, ear, nose, tongue and body sensitivity. So we mean the sensitive parts in the eye, ear, nose, tongue and body.
Body sensitivity exists everywhere in the body like liquid that soaks a layer of cotton. If you put cotton in water, the water is all soaked up. Like that the body sensitivity exists on the whole of the body except the tips of the hair, or dry skin where one does not have any sensation. These five are called the senses.
The next group are the objects corresponding to these five senses. The first is form. 'Form' here means color or visible object. It is not even the shape because strictly speaking what we see is not the shape but the visible object, visible datum. Let us just call it color. Form or color is what we see. Sound or audible object, noise is what we hear. Odor or smell is what we smell. Taste or sapid object is what we taste, sweet or sour or whatever. The last one is tangibility, tactile object, that which can be touched.
There is no number for this tangibility in the chart. I put an asterick there. These are those that are experienced through the senses. So you experience visible object through eye sensitivity. You experience audible object or sound through ear sensitivity and so on. Tangibility or that which can be touched is the combination of three primary elements, the three primary elements of earth, fire and air. These three primary elements combined together are what is called tangibility, tangible object, an object which can be touched. That is why it has no number. There are 28 material properties and if we put a number here we would get 29. It will creaate confusion.
According to Abhidhmma the element of water cannot be touched. The element of water is cohesion, trickliness of water. It is supposed to be untouchable. That is why it is excluded from the tangible or tangible object. You put your hand in water and you think that you touch the element of water. Actually what you touch is not the element of water, but the element of earth, fire and air existing in the water. That cohesiveness cannot be touched. So it is excluded. These five are called objects or objective fields for the five senses.
The next group is femininity and masculinity. Femininity means femaleness, a quqliy that makes known that it is a female. Masculinity is maleness, a quality that makes known that it is a male. We know a person is a male or a female by something. That which makes a person a male or a female is called masculinity or femininity here.
There is a difference between men and women or females and males. Femininity and masculinity create some aspects or some things by which we know that a particular person or being is a female or a male. The first aspect is said to be shape. The shape of the hands, the shape of the feet, the shape of the neck and so on is different in females from those of males. That is why even if you don't look at the whole person, you can tell whether it is a male or a female by lloking at the hand, or just by looking at the feet, or some other parts of the body. This difference in shape is caused by this maleness or femaleness.
The next one is called the mark. Men are more hairy than women. Men have a mustache on the face and women do not have. That having mustache and not having mustache is the mark. That is caused by this maleness or femaleness in beings.
And then there is action. 'Action' here means boys and girls do not play the same way especially in the olden days, especially in the West. In the olden days girls would play with dolls, with pots and pans cooking and these things. Boys would play as fighting or climbing or some other thing. From the way that they play we can say this is a female or this is a male.
The last one is deportment. The way women walk, the way women stand and do things is different from the way men do. Even though you cannot see the person clearly, just by the way a person walks you can say this is a man or this is a woman.
These are things that make a person known as a male or a female. The maleness or femaleness that causes these things is here called masculinity or femininity. These two properties exist in the whole of the body. Masculinity and femininity exist all over the body like the body sensitivity.
They first arrive at birth or relinking. By birth I mean the birth of those who are said to have spontaneous birth like Devas and like ghosts. Devas and ghosts do not have to be in the mother's womb for nine months or whatever. When they are reborn, they are reborn as fully developed beings. They are called spontaneous beings. For them masculinity and femininity arise at birth.
But for others like human beings they arise at the moment of conception or at the moment of relinking. I think it is the same with modern medical science. Although the sex of a fetus is not known until five or six weeks later, the sex is determined at the moment of conception. In the same way maleness or femaleness or masculinity or femininity arise at the moment of conception, at the moment of relinking, although at that moment no one can say it will become a boy or a girl.
The next one is the heart-base. This is problematic. By heart-base we do not mean the muscular heart, but something that exists depending upon the blood in the cavity of the heart. There is blood in the heart. This heart-base depends upon that blood in the heart. It is explained this way in the ancient Commentaries. The heart itself is not the heart-base, but something existing in the heart depending upon the blood is called the heart-base.
There are two problems with the heart-base. The first problem is whether it is really mentioned by the Buddha. The second problem is whether it is the seat of consciousness. We have two problems here.
The heart-base or in Pàli Hadaya Vatthu was not mentioned in the chapter on Rùpa in the first book of Abhidhamma where the material properties are treated. It is strange. In the first book all types of consciousness are mentioned. The Cetasikas are also mentioned. When it comes to mentioning material properties, the heart-base is missing. We do not find heart-base in the first book of Abhidhamma. It is very strange.
The commentators took great pains to explain to us why the heart-base was not mentioned in the first book of Abhidhamma where all material propeties must have been described or must have been given. The omission of heart-base was necessitated by the style of presentation. When Buddha described material properties, he described in ones, twos, threes and so on. When he described in twos, the style of presentation must be consistent with other presentations. If there are six pairs in one group for example, there must be six pairs in the other group. It may be a little bit difficult to understand. I would have to show you the text in order for you to see how if the heart-basewere mentioned, the uniformity of presentation would be broken. That is what the Buddha did not want to do because the primary purpose of the Buddha in teching is for his listeners to understand and get enlightenment. If the style of presentation were disturbed, then it would not help them understand. And so they might be deprived of the chance to get enlightenment. Let us say on purpose heart-base was omitted or left out from the list of material properties mentioned in the first book of Abhidhamma.
If it is not mentioned there, is it mentioned somewhere else? Even in the other books the heart-base is not mentioned by its name. In the last book of Abhidhamma Buddha said 'that depending on a certain material property the mind element and mind consciousness element arise'. Buddha just said 'depending on a certain material property'. Buddha did not say 'depending on heart-base'. He just said 'depending on a certain material property'. The Commentators try to have us believe or they try to explain to us that what Buddha meant was the heart-base although the word 'heart-base' was not used by the Buddha. So it was implied there.
The Commentators explained by a method called the method of elimination. Buddha said 'a certain kind of Rùpa'. It cannot be the four primary elements. It cannot be the eye, the ear. It cannot be the visible object and so on. So they eliminate one after the other until all that remains is the heart-base. Therefore it must be the heart-base when the Buddha said 'depending on a certain material property mind element and mind element consciousness arise'.
So it is really problematic. It is arbitrary that the Commentators say that it must be heart-base and nothing else. That is one problem. We may say that the Buddha did not mention the heart-base by name. So it may not be the heart-base which the Buddha meant. We can argue against them, but we will not come to a definite conclusion.
Although heart-base was not mentioned in the first book of Abhidhamma according to the Commentaries, it was implied in the seventh book of Abhidhamma when the Buddha said 'depending on a certain material property mind element and mind consciousness element arise'.
The other problem is whether heart-base is really the seat of consciousness. I do not know. According to the traditional belief many types of consciousness we learned about in the previous lectures depend upon this heart-base for arising. Without heart-base they would not arise.
For example when you see something, there is seing consciousness. Seeing consciousness depends upon the eye or eye sensitivity for its arising. Receiving consciousness, investigating consciousness and so on need another kind of basis. The base for these other types of consciousness is the heart-base. The heart or something which exists in the heart is taken to be the seat of consciousness.
According to Abhidhamma there are six seats of consciousness - eye sensitivity, ear sensitivity, nose sensitivity, tongue sensitivity, body sensitivity and heart-base. Many types of consciousness depend upon heart-base for their arising.
Now science says consciousness depends upon the brain. We think or we know things with the help of the brain. The brain is supposed to be the seat of consciousness.
Sayàdaw: The ancient teachers explained that when we are angry or when we are afraid, your heart beats faster. That means the seat of consciousness is there in the hart rather than in the brain.
Sayàdaw: So taking the heart as the seat of consciousness is not altogether against modern science. I read in one book that in modern sciencethe brain is really the seat of consciousness.
Sayàdaw: Let us leave this. I just want you to know that heart-base is accepted as one of the material properties in Abhidhamma especially by the teachers of old. Heart-base is also taken to be the seat of consciousness.
The next one is life faculty or material life . We met one life faculty earlier among the 52 Cetasikas. That is mental ife faculty. That is life faculty for Cetasikas. This life faculty or sometimes it is translated as vital principle, this vitaity is for material properties. So there are two types of life faculty, one mental and the other physical. This does not exist outside living beings. It exists only in living beings. So there is no life in trees, plants etc. according to Buddhism. At least there is no life faculty or in Pàli Jìvita. There is no Jìvita in trees, plants, mountains and others according to Abhidhamma.
There is one thing to understand about this life faculty. This life faculty is the one that maintains or keeps other material properties going as long as they last. Material properties last for 17 thought moments. After 17 thought moments they must disappear. Nobody can make them last for more than 17 thought moments. Until the 17th thought moment they can exist because this life principle maintains them or supports them. It keeps them going. The material properties need the life faculty for their existence.
The question is if life faculty which is one of the material properties that maintains, or keeps, or supports the other material properties going, then what keeps or maintains the life faculty?The answer is it maintains itself along with the other material properties.
It is like a boatman. When a boatman takes people to the other shore, he takes himself also. So life faculty when it arises supports and maintains others and itself too. This is the analogy of the boatman.
It is very difficult to get an accurate translation. The first sentence is a Pàli sentence found in the Atthasàlinì. That is a Commentary on Abhidhamma. It is also found in the Visuddhi Magga. The first translation is the worst. 'Life goes on only by being bound up with those states that have gone on as the pilot on the boat'. I don't think you will understand this.
The scond one is better. 'It occurs itself only with its connection through those states like a pilot'. In this translation what I cannot agree with is the word 'occur'.
The next one is mine. 'It exists itself only through its connection with the states that it maintains like the pilot on a boat'. The meaning is that it maintains itself along with maintaining others like a boatman.
It should be understood that the maintenance or keeping of the material properties going is reciprocal. In the manual in chapter two explaining maintaining of life faculty on page 88 the author, the Venerable Nàrada has made a mistake. He says, 'Just as a boatman depends on the boat, the boat depends on the boatman. Even so Jìvitindriya depends on mind and matter and mind and matter depend on Jìvitindriya'. That is not the meaning of the explanation given in the Commentaries. It is not that life faculty depends upon others and others depend upon life faculty. The real meaning is that the function of life faculty is to maintain others. By maintaining others it maintains itself. So it is a little different. It is not that the maintaining is reciprocal. It is something like by protecting others you protect yourself. This is the life faculty.
The next one is food or nutrition. 'Food' means the nutritive essence that actually we find in everything.This material property is said to exist everywhere.
The next one is space. It is the space between groups of material properties. Material properties are grouped together. We have thought processes. We have various types of consciousness arising in thought processes. In the same way the material properties also arise in groups. Between one group and another there is space. That is called the element of space here. It is not the space outside. It is the space between groups of material properties. It is like you put bowls together and there is space between them. This is what is called the element of space.
There is space everywhere even in what seems to be solid there is space. We can say that there is space in the walls, the brick walls, in whatever things that are solid. Modern nuclear science also supports this. Material properties are said to be atoms with energy moving around. There is more space than energy or substance. I read in a magazine that if we could take all the space out of the earth, the earth would just be as big as a golf ball although very heavy. So there is more space than substance in the world.
The next ones are bodily intimation and verbal intimation. Bodily intimation is a certain disposition of the body by which one's intentionis made known. 'A certain disposition of the body' means a certain condition of the air element in the body by which we make our intentions known or by which we know the intentions of other people.
We make gestures for example. When we want someone to come to us, we make this gesture. The other person who sees this gesture knows that he should come. So a certain disposition or some condition of the mterial element in the moving hand is what is called bodily intimation here. It is some mode of material properties arising here, arising in the hand tht is called bodily intimation.
Before we make gestures or movement, we have the intention, we have the mind to move. Because of that intention, because of that Citta, there arise some material properties. Since there are billions of thought moments in a second, there re also billions of the material properties. One by one they arise and create the impression that there is movement. After seeing the movement the other person knows the intention. That certain kind of disposition of the body or especially of the air element is what is called bodily intimation.
Verbal intimation is a certain mode or condition of the earth element in articulating the words of speech. When we want to say something, there is the intention of the mind to say something. Then we use the vocal chords to produce sound. In the vocal chords there is the earth element. This earth element is prominent at the time of speaking. That mode or certain condition of the earth element in the vocal chords when we articulate words is what is called verbal intimation. Not the voice itself is verbal intimation but something that comes with the voice or that causes the voice. That is verbal intimation.
Popularly we may say that the body gesture is bodily intimation and the words we say are verbal intimation. In exact way bodily intimation is something which we cannot see but we can guess. And also verbal intimation we cannot see. These two are not visible to the eye but are known through the mind.
I often wonder whether there can be intimation in traffic lights. According to the teachings of Abhidhamma the two kinds of intimating do not arise outside of living beings. But there is some kind of intimation in the lights. You are driving. The car in front uses lights and you know it is going to change lanes or that it is going to stop. That is something like bodily intimation. We may say that it is not real bodily intimation but some material properties caused by the bodily intimation of a human being. It is an outcome of bodily intimation.
Not every movement is bodiy intimation. You may move while you are asleep. Your movements at that time have no intention. Not every movement of living beings is bodily intimation. That by which we know the intention is called bodily intimation. Verbal intimation is mostly words. These two are called bodily intimation and verbal intimation. They are said toexist for only one thought moment and not 17 thought moments.
The next three are material lightness, material softness and material adaptability. We find something siilar to these among the Cetasikas - lightness of Nàma-Kàya, lightness of Citta and so on.There is also material ightness, softness and adaptability in matter. When we are healthy, we feel lightness. We feel softness or adaptability in our bodies. hen we are sick or when we are tired, then they may disappear.
These three together with 20 and 21 are called alteration matter or Vikara Rùpa. I wanted to use 'altered states', but it may mean some other thing. I wanted to use 'altered states of matter, so instead I used altertion matter. It is a special kind of matter.
The last four are first arising and growth of matter (Upacaya), continuity of matter (Santati), aging of matter (Jarata), impermanence of matter or death of matter (Aniccata). These are the last four - the first arising and growth of matter, the continuity of matter, aging of matter, disappearance of matter. Actually among these 25 and 26 are the terms for matter at the arising stage.
There are three stages in existence - arising, staying and disappeariing. The first stage here is divided into two, 25 and 26, first arising of matter and continuity of matter. Only the one stage is described s two here. That is because of the difference of mode or according to the listeners to be taught. That means it is taught in this way to suit the susceptability to instruction. That means you have to take into account the listeners. Some listeners are accustomed to looking at the arising moment as two stages. Some may look at it as only one stage. For those who are accustomed to looking at the arising stage as two stages, this kind of teaching is given. So 'according to the listeners to be taught' is according to the susceptability to instructions. This is most common in the Suttas. But even in Abhidhamma the Buddha had to take into account the susceptability of the listeners or the likes and dislikes of the listeners. The purpose of his teachings is that beings gain enlightenment. If this understanding is disturbed, they may not gain enlightenment. Even in Abhidhamma it is important to be sensitive to the needs of listeners.
These four are called mark or sign of matter. They are not actually real mterial properties but the different stages of material properties - the arising stage, continuity, aging and disappearance.
Altogether there are these 28 types of material properties. Everything in the world including living beings is composed of a number of these material properties.
Now we will study the causes of matter. What causes matter to arise? What is the cause of matter? In Abhidhamma the causes are said to be four. One is Kamma. There are material properties that are caused by Kamma. The second is consciousness (Citta). There are material properties caused by Citta. The third is climatic conditions. It is called Utu. That means temperature, or heat r cold. The fourth one is nutrition or the nutritive essence existing in all things (Àhàra). These are the four causes of matter.
Let us see which material properties are caused by which causes. Earth element is caused by what? It is caused by all four causes. The four elements are caused by all four causes. Eye sensitivity is caused by Kamma only. Ear, nose, tongue and body are also caused by Kamma only. Form is caused by all four, but sound is caused by only two (consciousness and climatic condition). Odor, taste and tangibility are caused by all four. Femininity and masculinity are caused by Kamma only. According to Kamma we are rebrn as a man or as a woman. Heart-base is caused by Kamma only. Nutrition is caused by all four. The element of space is caused by all four. Actually the element of space is not caused by anything. It is the space between material properties. Bodily intimation and verbal intimation are caused by consciousness only. Material lightness, softness and adaptability are caused by three, all except Kamma. The last four are caused by none. They are not, as I said, real material properties. They are just the different stages of existence of the material properties.
When we read the chart down, we get 18 material properties caused by Kamma, 15 caused by Citta, 13 caused by climatic conditioning, and 12 caused by nutrition. Do you see the plus signs and the minus signs? 'Plus signs' mean these are inseparable. There are eight material properties that cannot be separated. You may say that this is element of earth; this is the element of water and so on, but you cannot physically separate these elements. They are called inseparables and they are said to be eight. According to Abhidhamma even in the smallest particle of matter there are these eight material properties. They are the four great elements, color, odor, taste and nutrition. These eight are always with anything that is called matter.
Student: What about space?
Sayàdaw: Space is outside these eight. Space comes when we have different groups of matter.
The minus signs are for those that are deficient in some beings. For example the eye sensitivity may be absent for those who are born blind. Some may be born without ear sensitivity and so on. What about body? Here 'body' means body sensitivity, not the body itself. It is said that the Brahmas do not have three sensitivities - nose, tongue and body. Although they have the physical nose, tongue and body, they do not have sensitivity in these material properties. For some beings even body sensitivity can be deficient.
Brahmas want to keep only eye sensitivity and ear sensitivity because eye sensitivity is useful in seeing the Buddha and ear sensitivity is useful in listening to his teachings. Nose, tongue and body are useless for them. They do not want to use these sensitivities. So they try to do meditation and as a result of their Jhànas and desire not to have these sensitivities, they are reborn without these sensitivities.
Femininity and masculinity can also be deficient. I do not know if such beings exist nowadays, those who are neither men nor women, neuter persons, sexless persons.
Student: Are these Devas?
Sayàdaw: No. These are human beings. Among human beings there can be some who are born without femininity or masculinity. They are called neuter persons. According to Abhidhamma no one can have both masculinity and femininity. There can be no true hermaphrodite according to the teachings of Abhidhamma. They may have masculinity at one time and femininity at another time, but not at the same moment, not both at the same moment. I do not know if that is really true. It is difficult to say whether masculinity or femininity is existing in a person because it is not the organs that distinguish men from women or women from men, but that maleness and femaleness in a person. Maleness and femaleness cannot exist at the same time in a person according to the teaching of Abhidhamma.
They can be deficient. There may be some beings, not human beings, some smaller forms of life that have no femininity and no masculinity, not only human beings.
Student: Are you saying Kamma alone causes the actual cell to arise?
Sayàdaw: Yes. That's right. They are born of Kamma. After being born they are supported by other material properties. Their first arising is due to Kamma.
Student: Isn't it also desire to be reborn?
Sayàdaw: Not necessarily desire. Desire is always with beings who are reborn again and again. But the Kamma accompanying desire or the Kusala Citta, because there is Kusala Kamma and Akusala Kamma, they cause the sensitivities to arise. The sensitivities are said to be born of Kamma.
Student: What is Kusala and Akusala?
Sayàdaw: Wholesome and unwholesome. Kusala is wholesome, moral. Akusala is unwholesome or immoral.
Sayàdaw: All four. Yes. That's right. They arise as a result of Kamma, but when they arise, they arise with other material properties that are caused by Citta and others. They are supported by each other and also life faculty. They themselves are the results of Kamma.
Student: Why is sound not included with the inseparables?
Sayàdaw: Sound is not included in the inseparables because there is no sound there. Only when you touch it or step on it is there sound. Sound arises only when there is the impact of something.
Sometimes sound is caused by Citta. That is when we speak. When it is caused by outside things, we call it climatic condition like when one rock hits against another rock. Sound is different from form, odor and others.
Now we have to go further a little. The possibility of healing one's mind by one's mind needs to be discussed. We have studied that mind or consciousness can cause material properties to arise. Some material properties are caused by mind. When the mind is good, when the mind is relaxed, when the mind is concentrated, it will produce good material properties.When it is in a bad state like when we are angry or when we are depressed, then the material properties it will produce will be bad ones. So there is a possibility of healing by one's mind. Disease is nothing but bad material properties, bad matter in our bodies. That is what we call disease. By having a good mind, relaxed, concentrated, happy and positive we can produce material properties that are good and that will attack the diseased material properties. That is why there can be healing by one's mind.
That does not mean that every time you have a disease that you heal with your mind only. But at times there can be healing by one's mind.
Sayàdaw: There must be concentration too. That's why it is important to keep our mind cheerful and not depressed when we are sick or when we have disease. Doctors say good emotions produce good hormones and bad emotions produce bad hormones. Good emotions and bad emotions are just mind. Hormones are material properties. By keeping one's mind happy, relaxed, concentrated, clear one can produce good material properties that will attack the diseased material properties. That is one way of explaining healing by one's mind.
Student: Healing one's self or others?
Sayàdaw: Healing one's self, not others.
The power of the mind to supports the body for example during the sustained attainment of Jhàna or Fruition. Sustained attainment of Jhàna and sustined attainment of Fruition means you enter into Jhàna and only Jhàna moments arise or only Fruition moments arise. Jhàna or Fruition moments arise for one hour, two hours, one day, two days. 'Fruition attainment' means first you get enlightenment, then later you enter into that state again. At that time only Fruition thoughts or consciousness arises successively without interuption for hours or for days.
It is said that especially Jhàna consciousness can support the body. That is why during the sustained attainment people remain in the sitting position for seven days without eating, without sleeping, without drinking. The consciousness when developed to the state of Jhàna can keep the physical body in good shape.
Buddha once said that he could enter into the Fruition Attainment and live for a long, long time or maybe live forever. That is impossible because the physical body cannot last for a very long period of time. But sometimes when the Buddha had an illness, he suppressed that illness, that painful feeling in his body by entering into the Fruition Attainment. When it was about ten months before his death, he got sick. It is stated in the books that it was a very severe sickness. Buddha endured that sickness and surpressed the painful feelings by entering into Fruition Attainment. Before entering into that Fruition Attainment he practiced Vipassanà as though he were a beginner, a new meditator. He practiced and then before entering into the Fruition Attainment he made a resolution in his mind: 'May those painful feelings not arise for ten months'. At the end of ten months he was going to die. So he stopped or surpressed the painful feelings by the power of concentrated mind or by the power of Fruition Attainment. He was able to surpress these painful feelings for the remaining time, for the remaining ten months.
The mind can support the body. The mind can keep the body in good shape. Even if you cannot enter into Jhàna or Fruition Attainment, if you have concentration, you can keep your body in pretty good shape.
Many meditators when they reach the higher stages of Vipassanà meditation found that they could remain in sitting meditation positin for two or three hours without ill effects. Some people even give up sleeping for two or three days. They don't sleep at all. Even though they don't sleep at all, they don't feel weak or any bad effects from keeping awake all the time. It happens to most Vipassanà ppracticioners when they reach the higher stages. When they reach the higher stages, their concentration is very good and their minds are very still, so they can keep their body in good shape. You may have seen peple who can sit for hours without moving, without doing anything at all, like a statue. They sit two hours, three hurs, four hours sometimes. After breaking that position they do not feel any pain, any bad effects. The concentrated mind can keep our body in shape. That is something like mind over matter.
OK. Any questions?
Student: 'Fruition Attainment' does it mean Jhàna, or Nibbàna, or Sàmadhi, or superconsciousness? What does it mean?
Sayàdaw: It belongs to supramundane types of consciousness.
Student: Does that mean Sàmadhi?
Sayàdaw: No. This belongs to Paññà, wisdom group. The Fruition immediately follows the Path. There are two kinds of consciousness - Path Consciousness and Fruition Consciousness. Path Consciousness arises at the moment of enlightenment. Immediately thereafter two or three moments of fruition follow. So Fruition Consciousness belongs to enlightenment or is part of the enlightenment consciousness. At the first attainment of enlightenment the Path Consciousness arises and then it is followed by two or three moments of Fruition. Later on when a person wants to experience the same thing, he practices meditation again. At that time the Path Consciousness does not arise but only Fruition arises. The arising of Fruition Consciousness may be for hours or days.
Student: What is Path Consciousnes?
Sayàdaw: It is also enlightenment consciousness. They are both enlightenment consciousness.
Student: They are the same?
Sayàdaw: Not the same but they both belong to enlightenment.
Student: When you say Path Consciousness does it have anything to do with the Eightfold Path? Is it connected with the Eightfold Path?
Sayàdaw: It is the same word as for the Eightfold Path, Magga.
Sayàdaw: No. Consciousness that arises in a person, not consciousness that belongs to all people or all beings. It is not universal consciousness. In Theravàda Buddhism conciousness is something like individual. There is nothing like universl consciousness or universal Atman like in Hinduism. Each being has its own consciousness.
Student. Isn't there a type of consciousness where a person feels at one with everything, with plants, with all beings? Is there such a state of consciousness?
Student: In Theravàda they talk about ecstatic consciousness?
Sayàdaw: Yes, not only about ecstatic types of consciousness but many different kinds of consciousness. Some of the types of consciousness could be called ecstatic types, like Jhàna consciousness and Fruition Consciousness. Thank you.
Sàdhu! Sàdhu! Sàdhu!