What is Rūpa?

The word rūpa is the Buddhist word for anything material. But in Abhidhamma philosophy the material world is considered in a very specific manner, which is productive of liberating oneself from the whole gamut of the world.

Below I will give some quite specialised teachings, which build upon the content of the above diagram, and what has been written in the main blog of this website: Keys to the Abhidhamma system :

Temperature born (nature-born) food gets digested by means of the digestive fire …and transformed into nutriment born particles. These will spread throughout the body and feed kamma born matter, such as the internal organs of the body.

When there is no emotional disturbance (arrested bhavanga),…these organs will properly fulfill their function in harmony with the rest of the body (/with the whole.. ),…thus digestion, excretion, breathing etc. will keep the system a properly working organism…In such condition, the higher faculties can come about (such as the capacity to investigate, classify and process impressions coming from the sphere of the 5 senses, …the capacity to reflect, to retain things in ones memory, as well as all the higher faculties of Samadhi and directed knowledge attainments,…. )

On the other hand, if there are emotional disturbances (vibrating bhavanga), nutriment born matter will spread unevenly through the body and thus will clog parts of the system… thus organs will fulfill their function only imperfectly…and various diseases will accrue.

From another perspective

The body transforms physical food into energy, energy gets distributed to the 5 sense-organs , as well as to the organs of reproduction….for a person possessing mindfulness /possessing meditative training that energy may be transformed into the higher faculties, such as the capacity to apply the mind to any subject desired

If the mind is applied to an wholesome object (/or objective) mind-born kalapas of good quality will arise

…body and mind become pliable, physical diseases are less likely to occur, and those already arisen will be positively affected

…Yet if there is no mindfulness arising…—» Avijja —» Kammic Formations will arise (f.ex. anger ‐» …”I should kill him”, greed…”I should get a new Mobile‐phone”)—» ‘I am’ ‐consciousness arises cognizing things tainted by that kammical formation…—» When cognizing f.ex. “Him that should be killed” (through the 6 senses)… specific (negative) aspects in the form get accelerated … which when perceived arise with an immediate ‘judging mentallity…with these, a person finds himself effectively in an exceedingly unpleasant world.

When mind-born kalapas of good quality spread throughout the body, the mental body is not receptive towards very coarse influences (….evil, unwholesome states are unlikely to arise at such time )-absence condition,dis-association condition, presence condition, support condition.

Whenever coarse materiality is present in the body, the mental body is receptive for coarse, unwholesome mental states

…energized 5 sense-organs as well as the organs of reproduction…will stimulate the mind into activity (materiality being decisive support condition for mental activity)…that mind thus arisen, will again be a decisive supporting cause of subsequent mental activity (vibrating bhavanga)…that mental activity thus arisen, might sooner or later become a decisive supporting cause for physical or verbal activity (kamma condition), which in turn will give various results (vipaka condition)….thus allowing for continuity of our world (…the world will continue for us)

….but with the arising of true knowledge, path-consciousness

can be made to arise…thus, then with the arising of path-consciousness, when this materiality, when this mentality arises, it is known …before its gratification has been known, now, the danger therein is known, arising from this the escape from it will be made known (will become clear)

Another Example…

Calculating ahead…

If we can estimate in a certain perhaps reasonably familiar situation (using the faculty of mindfulness and memory)…”such and such thing is going to happen” (based on previous experiences)…”it is not likely to be in any way threatening…”

Then we won’t waste time looking here and there as ordinary people do…we can go back into our own body…calculating… I have so and so much energy left (in the abhidhamma model..so and so many generations of nutriment born kalapas will be produced by the food I have eaten…/or it will produce new generations for so and so long) …with that I may be able to sit still for such and such a long time…if I speak,.. I have so and so much energy left in the body…it will not be sufficient to feed more than the basic parts of the brain…so speaking, I might speak with delusion, which may bring about future suffering

In a similar manner:

As long the nutriment born particle are producing new generations (the fire burns evenly),…so long it makes sense to continue to do some meditative work,…but when it ceases to produce new generations (the coals become cold), one has to either refill it, or do some wholesome or time-killing activities.

He who aspires to be master of life, should ever know his reserves…thus he will ever calculate,…acting thus, …how far away am I moving away from samadhi,…acting so and so how much closer am I getting towards samadhi…so and so much is the emergency reserve…so and so much is the normal daily usage (with some amount of clairvoyance this may be perceived as particles producing generations for so and so long…but more important than seeing this with clairvoyance, is to understand and calculate with mindfulness and intuition)

A mind can purify the body (there is a control center in the brain which can balance the elements in the body)…so a bhikkhu /a meditator can calculate …having eaten such type of food, such variety of food …if I meditate, it will take about so or so long for my body to balance things out…if the elements are balanced I can contemplate the Dhamma…

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