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Dhatu

From Chinese Buddhist Encyclopedia
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Dhātu: 'elements', are the ultimate constituents of a whole.

I The 4 physical elements dhātu or mahā-bhūta popularly called earth, water, fire and wind, are to be understood as the primary qualities of matter. They are named in Pāli: pathavī-dhātu, āpo-dhātu, tejo-dhātu, and vāyo-dhātu In Vis.M XI, 2 the four elements are defined thus:,Whatever is characterized by hardness thaddha-lakkkhana is the earth or solid-element; by cohesion ābandhana or fluidity, the water-element; by heating paripācana the fire or heat-element; by strengthening or supporting vitthambhana the wind or motion-element. All four are present in every material object, though in varying degrees of strength. If, for instance, the earth element predominates, the material object is called 'solid', etc

                     earth element; thaddha-lakkkhana
                     water-element
                     air element
                     fire element

I The 4 physical elements dhātu or mahā-bhūta popularly called earth, water, fire and wind, are to be understood as the primary qualities of matter.

They are named in Pāli:

                      pathavī-dhātu,
                      āpo-dhātu,
                      tejo-dhātu, and
                      vāyo-dhātu

In Vis.M XI, 2 the four elements are defined thus: ,Whatever is characterized by hardness thaddha-lakkkhana is the earth or solid-element; by cohesion ābandhana or fluidity, the water-element; by heating paripācana the fire or heat-element; by strengthening or supporting vitthambhana the wind or motion-element. All four are present in every material object, though in varying degrees of strength. If, for instance, the earth element predominates, the material object is called 'solid', etc. - For the analysis of the 4 elements,

see: dhātu-vavatthāna

II The 18 physical and mental elements that constitute the conditions or foundations of the process of perception, are:
                1. visual organ eye
                2. auditory organ ear
                3. olfactory organ nose
                4. gustatory organ tongue
                5. tactile organ body
                6. visible object
                7. sound or audible object
                8. odour or olfactive object
                9. gustative object
                10. body-contact
                11. visual-consciousness
                12. ear-consciousness
                13. nose-consciousness
                14. tongue-consciousness
                15. body-consciousness
                16. mind-element mano-dhātu
                17. mental-object dhamma-dhātu
                18. mind-consciousness-element mano-viññāna-dhātu

Source

www.dhammawiki.com