Five Elements and the other realms

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Five Elements and the other realms

Postby Tiger » Sun Aug 26, 2012 10:25 am

In early Buddhism, every form was said to be composed of the four basic elements. Later, in Mahayana, another element of space was added and there were said to be five elements that make up everything (form). But is this limited to the experience in our desire realm or Saha world? For example, there are said to be various Devas, some earthly, some heavenly, Nagas, Asuras etc and other beings which normal human beings cannot perceive (although some exceptional ones can!). Since we cannot perceive their existence directly, would it mean that their realms are not composed of these basic elements?

We human beings and animals are composed of the five elements. Are Devas also composed of the same elements? If yes, what limits us to see them directly?


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Re: Five Elements and the other realms

Postby DarwidHalim » Sun Aug 26, 2012 10:30 am

If there are elements, there are self.

If there is consciousness, there is self.

If we know this world is (like) a magical illusions, asking what is the substance in that magical display, is like asking what is the element of rabit horn.
I am not here nor there.
I am not right nor wrong.
I do not exist neither non-exist.
I am not I nor non-I.
I am not in samsara nor nirvana.
To All Buddhas, I bow down for the teaching of emptiness. Thank You!
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Re: Five Elements and the other realms

Postby bunny » Sun Aug 26, 2012 10:33 am

DarwidHalim: Am I correct in thinking that what you're saying is that without acknowledging and understanding "self" you cannot acknowledge or understand anything? If I have picked you up wrong, I apologise.
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Re: Five Elements and the other realms

Postby DarwidHalim » Sun Aug 26, 2012 10:47 am

When we can see this life has the same nature with magical display, we will see that this universe cannot be said as this or that.

We cannot even say this universe is made from this or that.

Because, in magical display, everything has no substance - not even 5 elements + consciousness.

If a magician shows a magical display of tiger, it is absurd to ask the question of what is the substance of that tiger?

In the same way, regardless how this universe appear, there is no inherence self inside. This lack of inherent existence, push the existence mode of universe in the same shoes as the existence mode of magical illusions, dream, mirage, rainbow.

When you ask a question of what are the five elements and consciousness?

You are actually asking this:
What is the elements that make the rabbit's horn?

Does rabbit has a horn? If you can know rabbit has no horn, the question of what are the elements of rabbit horn is absurd.

In the same way:
If we can know this nature is rootless and baseless, lack of inherent existence, there is no way you can find the basis of those elements and consciousness, and ask about them as this or that.

It is just not a valid question.
I am not here nor there.
I am not right nor wrong.
I do not exist neither non-exist.
I am not I nor non-I.
I am not in samsara nor nirvana.
To All Buddhas, I bow down for the teaching of emptiness. Thank You!
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Re: Five Elements and the other realms

Postby bunny » Sun Aug 26, 2012 11:04 am

That makes perfect sense DarwidHalim.
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Re: Five Elements and the other realms

Postby DarwidHalim » Sun Aug 26, 2012 12:09 pm

This universe really cannot be said as anything, not even as universe.

This is clearly shown by Bodhidharma, when he asked his final disciples. The final disciple can just come forward and bow down to him.

Bodhidharma asked, “Can each of you say something to demonstrate your understanding?”

Dao Fu stepped forward and said, “It is not bound by words and phrases, nor is it separate from words and phrases. This is the function of the Tao.”
Bodhidharma: “You have attained my skin.”

The nun Zong Chi stepped up and said, “It is like a glorious glimpse of the realm of Akshobhya Buddha . Seen once, it need not be seen again.”
Bodhidharma; “You have attained my flesh.”

Dao Yu said, “The four elements are all empty. The five skandhas are without actual existence. Not a single dharma can be grasped.” Bodhidharma: “You have attained my bones.”

Finally, Huike came forth, bowed deeply in silence and stood up straight.
Bodhidharma said, “You have attained my marrow.”



See this at minutes- 11:20


Pali sutta put this issue nicely:

Upasiva-manava-puccha: Upasiva's Questions

One who has reached the end
has no criterion [3]
by which anyone would say that —
for him it doesn't exist.

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html


When you can see this is not this, this is not that, you reach the final conclusion that it has no criterion. It makes you mute.

Why it makes us mute?

Because of rootlessness and baselessness, lack of inherent existence, lack of any possible basis, that makes whatever assertion you propose becoming invalid.

Whatever you assert - it just doesn't exist.
Even nihilism doesn't exist.

There is no criterion in rootlessness and baselessness.

Shantideva and Nagarjuna put all this "NO CRITERION" very nicely in explaining why Buddha can be at peace at all time:

Shantideva:
Eventually, when both the true existence of things and the true existence of emptiness no longer appear to the mind,
the mind will abide in the resultant pacified state, in which all conceptuality has ceased.

Nagarjuna:
With the absence of all projections is the innate nature attained.
Such is the way followed by all the Victors of the three times.
Last edited by DarwidHalim on Sun Aug 26, 2012 12:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.
I am not here nor there.
I am not right nor wrong.
I do not exist neither non-exist.
I am not I nor non-I.
I am not in samsara nor nirvana.
To All Buddhas, I bow down for the teaching of emptiness. Thank You!
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Re: Five Elements and the other realms

Postby Jyoti » Sun Aug 26, 2012 12:21 pm

Tiger wrote:In early Buddhism, every form was said to be composed of the four basic elements. Later, in Mahayana, another element of space was added and there were said to be five elements that make up everything (form). But is this limited to the experience in our desire realm or Saha world? For example, there are said to be various Devas, some earthly, some heavenly, Nagas, Asuras etc and other beings which normal human beings cannot perceive (although some exceptional ones can!). Since we cannot perceive their existence directly, would it mean that their realms are not composed of these basic elements?

We human beings and animals are composed of the five elements. Are Devas also composed of the same elements? If yes, what limits us to see them directly?



Advanced yogis can perceived these realms. This ability to have divine vision is needed for the non-conventional valid cognition that established dependent-origination. The Buddha and some of the arahats directly perceived dependent-origination, for us without the ability of divine vision can only rely on inference based on scriptural account of such direct perception.

The beings of desire realms are composed of four elements, the form realms composed of appearance only without the four elements, whereas the formless realms composed of neither the appearance nor the four elements. The beings of form realms still have the 6th and 7th consciousness, but the beings of formless realms do not have the 6th and 7th consciousness, only the root consciousness (alaya-vijnana) remains.
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Re: Five Elements and the other realms

Postby Indrajala » Sun Aug 26, 2012 4:30 pm

Tiger wrote:In early Buddhism, every form was said to be composed of the four basic elements. Later, in Mahayana, another element of space was added and there were said to be five elements that make up everything (form). But is this limited to the experience in our desire realm or Saha world? For example, there are said to be various Devas, some earthly, some heavenly, Nagas, Asuras etc and other beings which normal human beings cannot perceive (although some exceptional ones can!). Since we cannot perceive their existence directly, would it mean that their realms are not composed of these basic elements?

We human beings and animals are composed of the five elements. Are Devas also composed of the same elements? If yes, what limits us to see them directly?


Namo Amitabha Buddha


Devas are "luminous ones" -- beings of light.

Light I would classify as rupa, albeit not coarse rupa. Light might as well be "immaterial" for most nominal purposes.
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