Abhidharmakosa Study Materials

Chapter I: Dhatu (Elements)

Contents Overview and the 5 Skandhas Skandha-Ayatana-Dhatu-Pancavastuka Chart More on the Skandhas, Ayatanas, Dhatus Attribute Study of the Dhatus (Table) More on the Dhatus 22 23 24 25 26

Basic outline of Chapter I Karika K1-3 K4-7 K8-20 K21-28 K29-48 Expository Basic categories: conditioned & unconditioned, pure & impure Skandhas, Ayatanas and Dhatus - Basic definitions Exceptions and additions Inclusion/Subsumption in terms of the dhatus

grounds of discourse. hardness.諸法) Conditioned (samskrta. 無爲) Space (akasa) and two types of cessation (nirodha) (K5) Uncontaminated (anasrava. Water Humidity/moisture Cohesion/collecting Fire Heat Ripening Air Motion/mobility Expanding/spreading II.pure or impure . smoke. deals with some related points and then carries out a detailed attribute study of the dhatus (see below). V. The later chapters are concrete and describe how these forces work together in the process of samsara (Chapters III-V) and liberation (chapters VI-VIII). thirst. describes the relationship between the 5 skandhas. Samskara Skandha (行蘊): “Saṁskāraskandha are the saṁskāras different from the other four skandhas” (K15).” (K14) (grahana: “grasping”. pungent. The practical import of the material in Chapters I and II is unfolded in the later chapters. the first two chapters are a difficult place to enter Abhidharma studies. hunger. Vijnana Skandha (識蘊): “Consciousness is the impression relative to each object. yellow. that [aggregate] can be divided into six groups of feeling (vedana-kaya): from feeling born of eye-contact through feeling born of mind-contact. 苦諦) & (marga-satya. long or short. even. and neither-suffering-nor-pleasure (aduhkhasukha). red. uneven). or twenty-fold: four primary colors (blue. eight more colors (cloud. 有漏) “because the (anasrava) (K2) defilements adhere to them” (K4) 1st and 2nd Noble Truths 4th Noble Truth of the Path of Suffering (duhkha-satya. See also: Dharma Theory in the Introductory Materials & the 75 Dharmas study in Ch II. either agreeable or disagreeable. female or male. Odor is fourfold: good and bad odors that are either excessive or non-excessive. The Sautrantika only admit color.which exists even in one whose thought is distracted or who is without thought. 諸法) Definitions of the 5 Skandhas: I. is called the non-informative (avijnapti) [matter]. 五蘊) = All conditioned dharmas (K7) 12 Ayatanas (十二處) = 18 Dhatus (十八界) = All Dharmas (sarva-dharma. friend or enemy. round. 有爲) Temporal (advan: paths). square. 12 ayatanas and 18 dhatus (see chart below). white). As such. water/humidity. wind/motion). mist. Avijnapti: “That serial continuity . Origination (samudaya-satya.” The following chart illustrates the relationships between the teachings of the 5 skandhas. and in all 4 cases. Note: the Sanskrit (rupa) and the Chinese (色) use the same term for material form (as in rupa-skandha) and visible matter (or color) (see K24). low. false opinions. 取蘊): of Unconditioned (asamskrta. and so on. shade. existence (K8) Five Aggregates (panca-skandha. Rupa Skandha (色蘊): 5 sense organs. more developed analysis of the dharmas. 無漏) (K5-6) 3rd Noble Truth of Cessation (nirodha-satya. (3) articulate speech and (4) non-articulate sound. lightness. cold. darkness). glare. salty. fire/heat. suffering (duhkha). 滅諦) (K6) conflict. liable to expire (possessed of leaving). Table 1: K4–8: Key Distinctions: All Dharmas (sarva-dharma.” (K14) III. bitter. namely the apprehension (grahana) of „marks‟ (nimitta) such as blue or yellow. K3 in particular states that discernment of the dharmas (dharmapravicaya) is necessary to realize liberation.Abhidharmakosa Chapter I: Dhatu (Elements) Overview: Chapters I and II lay out basic principles. defines the 5 skandhas. This chapter introduces a set of key distinctions in K4-8 (see table below). tongue and body. as a dharma. not shape or form. . Samjna Skandha (想蘊): “This is the aggregate of ideas. glow. Chapters I and II are an exposition of the dharmas. high. the world. The first 3 karikas are expository for the work as a whole and are in a different meter (as are the final 4 karikas of Chapter VIII). nose. 集諦) (K8) 道諦) (K4) Aggregates of Clinging (Upadana-skandha. and which is dependent on the Great Elements. (K9) The 5 sense objects are defined as follows: (K10) Visible matter is color and shape. Uncontaminated Contaminated (sasrava.” (K11) 4 elements: Element: Characteristic: Function: The characteristics and functions indicate that the names of the elements (mahaEarth Hardness/Solidity Supporting bhuta) should not be taken literally. and eight shapes (long. ear. sour. 5 sense objects and avijnapti: The 5 sense organs are the subtle materiality of the eye. “determining”) IV. connecting early taxonomies to the later. Vedana Skandha (受蘊): “The aggregate of feeling (vedana-skandha) comprises three types of affect: pleasure (sukha). dust. 12 ayatanas & 18 dhatus (Sutta teachings) and the 5 vastuka & 75 dharmas (Abhidharma teachings). Taste is sixfold: sweet. Tangibles are elevenfold: four primary elements (earth/solidity. astringent. Again. softness. Sound is eightfold: caused by (1) animate or (2) inanimate beings. they describe the basic principles or elemental forces. weight. See the 75 dharmas table in Chapter II for a detailed exposition of the Samskaras: citta-samprayukta and citta-viprayukta. short. well-grounded [on causes] (possessed of causes) (K7).

Kaya (touch) 18. 45.Rupa (sight) 8. Nikaya-sabhaga (group-homogeniety). 72.Gandha (smell) 9. 46. 40.Dharma Six Vijnana consciousnesses: 13. 24. Jivitendriya (vital faculty). Adhimoksha (determination). Krodha (anger). Nirodha-samapatti (cessation attainment).Gandha (smell) 10. 67. Maya (deceptiveness). 27.Gandha (smell) 10. 53. Anityata-laksana (impermenencecharacteristic). Anapatrapya (shamelessness) Parittaklesa-bhumikas (defilements of restricted scope): 41.Srotra (ear) 3. Mano (mind) 4.Rupa-skandha (material form) 6. Matsarya (avarice). Prapti (acquisition). II & V) Five Indriya (Faculties) 1. Mana (conceit). Citta (Mind) 2. 22. 48. Pramada (non-diligence). Dharma 7.Vedanaskandha (feeling) 3.Ghrana (nose) 4.Rasa (taste) 11. Pratisamkhya-nirodha (extinction through deliberation). Raga (greed). Mada (pride). Klesa-mahabhumikas (Defiled universals): 33.Sparstavya (tangible) 12. 42. 15.Caksur (eye) 2. Manaskara (attention). Ch I.Sabda (sound) 8. Caita-sika (mental factors) 12.Jihva (tongue) 5. K18 .Panca-vastuka 5 Categories 5 Skandha Aggregates 75 Dharmas (Puguang’s distillation from the Abhidharmakosa.Vijnana-skandha (consciousness) V. Samadhi (concentration) Kusala-mahabhumikas (skillful universals): 23. Vicikitsa (doubt) Viprayukta (14): 59.Srotra (ear) 3. Ahrikya (non-modesty). Asamskrta (unconditioned) 73. Avijnapti (non-infromation) II.Jihva (tongue) 5. Apratisamkhya-nirodha (extinction not through deliberation). 17. Mraksa (concealment). 66. Avihimsa (harmlessness). 56.Viprayuktasamskara (disassociated formations) Rupa-skandha. Apramada (diligence). Alobha (non-greed). 32. 71. Advesa (non-hatred). 58.Sparstavya (tangible) 12. 30. 38.Rasa (taste) 10. Apatrapya (shame). 28. & dharma-dhatu subsume all dharmas . 18. Kaukrtya (remorse). Jati-laksana (production-characteristic). 21. Prasrabdhi (calm). 61. 55. 75.Rupa (sight) 8.Sparstavya (tangible) 12 Ayatana Gates 1. 34. 47.Kaya (touch) Five Artha (Sensory objects) 6. 65.Caksur (eye) 2.Sabda (sound) 9. Aprapti (nonacquisition).Caksur (eye) 2. 64.Ghrana (nose) 4. 62. Sraddha (faith). Auddhatya (restlessness) Akusala-mahabhumikas (unskillful universals): 39. Kausidya (slackness). 35.Samjna-skandha (conception) III. 50. 26.Jihva (tongue) 5. 20.Kaya (touch) 18 Dhatu Elements 1. Pradasa (stubbornness). 43.Sabda (sound) 9. 49.Kaya (touch) I. 70. 31. Samjna (ideation). Moha (delusion). Vitarka (reasoning). 19. 25. Cetana (volition).Samskaraskandha (formations) IV.Rupa (sight) 7.Caksur (eye) 14.Ghrana (nose) 16. Asamjni-samapatti (ideationless attainment). Virya (vigor).Mano (mind) 6. Upanaha (enmity). 63. 57. Hri (modesty). Citta (thought) Samprayukta (46 caitta): Mahabhumikas (universals): 13. Vyanjana-kaya (syllable group) 5. 14.Mano (mind) 11. 16. Vihimsa (harmfulness) Aniyata (indeterminates): 51. Upeksa (equanimity).see AKB Ch I. 52. Jara-laksana (deteriorationcharacteristic). 54. Asamjnika (Ideationlessness). Namakaya (word-group). Asraddhya (lack of faith). Middha (sleep). Irsya (jealousy). 29.Jihva (tongue) 17. Rupa (material form) 1. Sthiti-laksana (durationcharacteristic). 36. Pada-kaya (phrase-group). Chanda (predilection).Srotra (ear) 15. manoayatana. Prajna (understanding). 68. 69. Smrti (mindfulness). Pratigha (hostility). 74. Sathya (dissimulation). 60. 37.Srotra (ear) 3.Rasa (taste) 11. 44. Vedana (sensation). Akasa 7. Vicara (investigation). Styana (torpor). Sparsa (contact).Ghrana (nose) 4.

its functioning. dharma is used in two ways that should be distinguished: the skandhas. and objects of mind in particular are dharma-ayatana. avyakrta). Ayatanas and Dhatus (and their attributes) K20: The significance or meditative import of the teachings of the skandhas. such as the analysis in terms of the 3 realms (Kama-. ayatanas and dhatus are all dharmas. feeling (vedana) is the grossest in and they are so because of greed the food [vedana]. good. A single āyatana is called dharma-āyatana with a view to distinguishing it from the others.” That is. and because it includes many of the dharmas as well as the best dharma. ly] the bowl [rupa]. This kind of analysis is the Abhidharma at its most abstract. define & unfold a number of important analytical categories. but it does relate in concrete ways to the later expositions of the work through the analysis of these key categories. and the eater [vijnana]. men and women are with form. In terms of defilement Vedana (feeling) Samjna (conception) Samskara (formations) Vijnana (consciousness) K24: “A single āyatana is called rūpa-āyatana with a view to distinguishing it from the others. and also by reason of the causes which justify the order of skandhas. Similarily. Arupyadhatu). K42: Well known and extensive debate regarding “what sees?” See Dhammajoti. differentiate it thus: „a feeling in my hand. .More on the Skandhas. as rupa-ayatana and rupa-dhatu. perversion of ideas. is nirvana. pure & impure (sasrava & anasrava). The following table analyzes the 18 dhatus in terms of a set of categories or attributes. cognition (vijnana). for people for the taste of feelings. Such an analysis in part unfolds the teaching of the dhatus (and by extension. see the Attribute Studies in the Supplemental Materials. etc [material] form (rupa) is the Or else. The best dharma. Ch 5. cognition] which is defiled by those. see the 75 Dharmas study in the Ch II Study Materials and for more on the main attribute categories. but also serves to introduce. source) Error/Delusion (moha) Faculties/Organs finding a “self” (atman) in: (indriya) are… Caitta (thought concomitants) Sharp [SKANDHA: 1 RUPA/4 CITTA] 1 2 3 Joy/Predilections (ruci) of one predisposed to a teaching that is: Condensed (5 skandhas) Medium-length (12 ayatanas) Extensive (18 dhatus) Rupa (material Form) [AYATANA: 10 RUPA/2 CITTA] Medium Dull Rupa-citta (form & thought) [DHATU: 10 RUPA/8 CITTA] K22: Justifications for the order of the skandhas: Skandha Rupa (material form) In terms of grossness In terms of the meaning of a bowl. and dispositions (samskara) are That perversion is by the cook [samskara]. akusala. and by reason of its excellence. next two. For more on the definitions of the dhatus. sensation and ideas. etc. Abhidharma Doctrines and Controversies on Perception. the ayatanas & skandhas). rupa has two meanings that need to be distinguished: material form in general as a skandha. ayatanas and dhatus: Instruction by the category (signifying): Skandha (heap. and it is thought [citta. appear repeatedly through the Kosa. grosser than defilements [which are certain dispositions]. species. bad & neutral (kusala. K21: “The two mental states.‟ a „feeling in my foot. dharma-dhatu. aggregate) Ayatana (gate of entry. Some of these. in beginningless the aggregates beginning grossest of all [the aggregates]. some of the categories included below seem to be of little significance and are perhaps only included for completeness and because they connect to Abhidharma controversies not deeply explored here.‟ ‟ Idea (samjna) is grosser that the That greed comes from the condiment [samjna]. access-door) Dhatu (lineage. because they are the causes of transmigration. are defined as distinct skandhas because they are the causes of the roots of dispute. On the other hand. This point is also expressed in teachings regarding the order of the skandhas which exemplify the special importance of vedana and samjna.” This question arises because the 2nd and 3rd skandhas are actually samskaras (see for example the panca-vastuka scheme) and could have been subsumed under the 4th skandha. attracted to each other's forms. are [figurativesince it possesses „impact‟ (pratigha). They are taught as distinct skandhas because of the key functions they carry out as conditions for cyclic suffering. “their summit”. Samsara. vijnana. Rupa-. and visible matter in particular.

2.Sparstavya 觸境 (tangible) 2. Akusala or Avyakrta (K30) <10> Rupadhatu (K30) <14> (Kamadhatu has all (K30) <18>) Arupyadhatu (K31) <3> Sasrava (impure) or Anasrava (pure) (K31) <3> Sasrava (impure) (K31) <15> Always include vitarka & vicara (K32) <5> Include both vitarka & vicara.Gandha 香境 (smell) 14.Kaya-vijnana 身識 (touch-consciousness) 4. burned and weighed (K36) <4> Vipakaja (of fruition) (K37-38) <17> X Aupacayika (accumulation) (K37-38) <10> X Naisyandika (outflowing) (K37-38) <11> Dravyayukta (real) (K38) <1> Ksanika (momentary) (K38) <3> Internal (K39) <12> X Sabhaga (S) or sabhaga & tatsabhaga (ST) (K39) <1+17> ST Abandoned through meditation (K40) <15> X Abandoned through seeing or meditation or not abandoned<3> X X X X X X X X X X X X P X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X ST X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X P X S X P X X X X X X X X X X X X X ST X X ST X X ST X X ST X ST X ST X ST X ST X ST X X ST X X ST X X ST X X ST X X ST X View (K41) <2> Know object without attaining it (K43) <3> Know object with attaining it (K43) <3> Grasp an object of their dimension (K44) <3> Point of support past (P) or simultaneous (S) (K44) <1+5> Same or higher level(SH). just vicara.8.Jihva-vijnana 舌識 (tongue-consciousness) Attributes (karika #) <# of dhatus>: Visible (K29) <1> Capable of being struck (K29) <10> Avyakrta (morally neutral) (K29) <8> Kusala.Mano 意根 (mind) 5.1. unrestricted(U)(K46-47)<4. Mano-vijnana意識 (mind-consciousness) 8. object of mind) 15.Caksur 眼根 (eye) Summary of the classifications the dhatu s in K29-48 of Chapter I 11. or neither (K32) <3> 18 Dhatus: X = inclusion. are cut.Rupa 色境 (sight) 1.3> Discerned by two consciousnesses (K48) <5> X X X X X X X O X X O X SH SH O U SHL SHL X X O X O X O X U S SH S SH S O S O S OL Indriya (faculties) (K48) <13> X X X X X X P X X X X X 18. own or lower(OL). P = partial.Kaya 身根 (touch) 7. own level(O). same.Srotra-vijnana 耳識 (ear-consciousness) 16.Rasa 味境 (taste) 6. X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X Not associated with vitarka and vicara (K32) <10> X Have an object (K34) <8> Non-appropriated (K34) <9> Appropriated or non-appropriated (K34) <9> X Primary elements & secondary matter (K35) <1> Solely secondary matter (K35) <9> X Agglomerations (K35) <10> X Cut.Caksur-vijnana 眼識 (eye-consciousness) 9.12. higher or lower(SHL).Ghrana-vijnana 鼻識 (nose-consciousness) 13.Jihva 舌根 (tongue) 3.Sabda 聲境 (sound) 17.Srotra 耳根 (ear) X X X X ST X P U X .Ghrana鼻根 (nose) 10.Dharma 法境 (concept.

so the eighteen sources (gotra) in a single [psycho-physical] basis (asraya) or continuum (santana) are called the eighteen components (dhatu). ear. At least two Buddhist schools taught a mano-dhatu distinct from the 6 vijnana-dhatus: the Yogacara. windows. Those are „places of origin‟ (akara) which are called „sources‟ in that instance. K23: On the order of the 6 organs: The five sense organs can only have objects of the present. elements. “of fruition”: born from a cause of [karmic] fruition. K20 Bhasya on the significance of dhatu as gotra (Hall trans): “The meaning of dhatu (component) is „source‟ (gotra). They are thus momentary in that they do not proceed from a homogenous (sabhaga) cause (where the cause is similar to its effect). The mental organ is thus defined as the just-deceased consciousness which is the immediately antecedent condition for the present consciousness. who designate it as manas (see for example Vasbuandhu‟s Trimsika (Thirty Verses). silver. unlike the sense-consciousnesses. tongue): we can see it before we can hear it and smell it before we taste it. “accumulation”: increased by certain kinds of nourishment (ahara). sleep (svapna). K49-64. consciousness) structure of the dhatus. The mind-object can be past. gold. “outflowing”: produced from homogeneous (sabhaga) and universal (sarvatraga) causes (hetu). Regarding the order of the organs by their position: eyes are highest. and concentration (samadhi). space and consciousness. fire.] the eye and so on. Touch is sensitive to the primary elements (see karika 10 and 12 above) as well as secondary matter. present or future (according to the Vaibhasika doctrine of sarvastiva. and so on. copper. More on the Dhatus K17 On mano-dhatu (manas): Mind objects are immediately present to the mind-consciousness. Dravyayukta: “containing substance”. cleansing (samskara). “momentary”: this does not refer to the instantaneous arising and passing away of dharmas. “real”: here. mouths. noses and so on”). nose & tongue are only sensitive to derived or secondary matter. This space element (dhatu) is regarded as a conditioned dharma and distinct from the unconditioned dharma of space (the Sanskrit for both is akasa). (see K38 below) These terms relate to the Sarvastivada theory of causation discussed in Ch II. the path of seeing) are effects (pure) not similar to the [immediately preceding] cause (impure). the nose. in a single mountain are [all] called „dhatus‟ (components. The consciousness element is not consciousness in general but only impure consciousness. the tongue and finally the body as most of it is below the tongue. since these are their homogeneous cause. water. Naisyandika: “continuing”. Pure consciousness is not a support of birth. faculty. Regarding these four (eye. nose. than the ears.). Aupacayika: “additive”. (see K38 below) Ksanika: “instantaneous”. K28 introduces another list of dhatus: the 6 elements (dhatus): earth. A mind organ is designated to preserve the tri-partate (object. ear. substantial existence in terms of being permanent. etc. but rather to the manner in which the pure dharmas that arise at the moment of insight (darsana-marga. wind. and the Theravada. It does not actually need a mediating organ. others hold that mind-objects are necessarily only of the present moment as well) and also not in time at all (the unconditioned dharmas).K37-38: Regarding the Causal Attributes (also see the Attribute Study in the Supplemental Materials): Vipakaja: [karmically] “fruitional”. Eye. the „places of origin‟? [These are the places of origin for subsequent components] of their own kind. . who regard the hrdaya (heart) as the physical basis (asraya) of mental cognition. verses 5-7). Just as the many sources [or “veins” (gotra)] of iron. Of what are these same [eighteen components. because the 6 elements are understood here as providing the support of birth. This space is the patterns of light and dark formed in the spaces between things (“doors.

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