The 7th International Conference Buddhism & Australia
Chinese Buddhist Encyclopedia Illustrations
|Articles by alphabetic order|
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- ... any outward appearance or Phenomenon or colour (often pl.) , Form , shape
- to assume a Form ; often ifc. = " having the Form or appearance or colour of " , " formed or composed of " , " consisting of " , " like to " ....
More specifically, in the Pali Canon, rūpa is contextualized in three significant frameworks:
- rūpa-Khandha – "material forms," one of The five aggregates (Khandha) by which all Phenomena can be categorized .
- rūpa-āyatana – "visible objects," the external sense objects of the Eye, one of the six external sense bases (āyatana) by which the World is known
- Nāma-rūpa – "name and Form" or "Mind and Body," which in the causal chain of Dependent origination (paticca-samuppāda) arises from Consciousness and leads to the arising of the sense bases.
In addition, more generally, rūpa is used to describe a statue, in which it is sometimes called Buddharupa.
Rūpa is not matter as in the metaphysical substance of materialism. Instead it means means both materiality and sensibility — signifying, for example, a tactile object both insofar as that object is made of matter and that the object can be tactilely sensed. In fact rūpa is more essentially defined by its amenability to being sensed than its being matter: just like everything else it is defined in terms of its function; what it does, not what it is. As matter, rūpa is traditionally analysed in two ways: as four primary elements (Pali, Mahābhūta); and, as ten or twenty-four secondary or derived elements.
In The Abhidhamma Pitaka and later Pali literature, rūpa is further analyzed in terms of ten or twenty-three or twenty-four types of secondary or derived (upādā) matter. In the list of ten types of secondary matter, the following are identified:
If twenty-four secondary types are enumerated, then the following fifteen are added to the first nine of the above ten:
- Masculinity or virility
- Life or vitality
- Heart or Heart-basis
- physical indications (movements that indicate intentions)
- vocal indications
- space element
- physical lightness or buoyancy
- physical yieldingness or plasticity
- physical handiness or wieldiness
- physical grouping or integration
- physical extension or maintenance
- physical aging or decay
- physical Impermanence