by K.G. Justin de Silva

Rohitassa Sutra

Rohitassa had been an exceptionally intelligent Deva (Deity). He, one day questioned Lord Buddha to find out whether one can travel to the very extreme of this cosmos, to see a place where one does not take birth, age , die or reappear or pass away.

To this query Lord Buddha answered in the negative and explained that he could find the universe in this fathom long body with its perceptions with wisdom.

Lord Buddha also explained the worlds in the three fold manner such as :

Sankara Loka: World of foundations
Satta Loka : World of beings
Okasa Loka : World of space (Eg: space time reality)

Then arising and passing away of the worlds as Dukka Sacca and Paticca samuppada as linked by, birth, decay & death, Dukka sacca as explained is Aging, death, lamentation, pain , grief, despair, separation from loved ones and association with unbeloved, and not getting what is wanted.
-(SN 56.11)

Ignorance, (sankara) formations, vinnana, nama rupa, salayatana (six senses) , nama rupa, vedana, tanha, clinging,Bhava, jati (re birth) , Jara marana (death).

After referring to the four noble truths of suffering : the Rohitassa sutta ends with a key as:

“ I do not avuso, make known these four truths in external things like grass & wood, but right here within this body composed of the four great elements (Apo, tejo, vayo, patavi)

Space: as far as the moon & the sun shine and light up the quarters , over a thousand times as many worlds , does your power hold sway.’

And there you know the existence of those with lust and those free from lust. Existence is a form or another, the coming and going of beings.”

For a detailed version please refer to Rohitassa Sutta:Samyutta Nikaya 2.26

Note: In both the Rahulovada Sutra and the Rohitassa Sutra, the fact our body consists of the same elements of the earth is explained. The arising and cessation of mental concomitants and its relativity to the physical formations as a result of the mental factors loba, dosa, moha is discussed. The cessation of suffering by abandoning loba, dosa and moha is properly described.

The important note as:

Kammana Vattathi Loko

(The world is processed by Karma)

Kammana Vattathi paja

(The beings are processed by Karma)

is an important matter in Dhamma .

In fact it means that the world and beings are processed by mental intentions covered by Loba ,Dosa. And Moha of beings, not necessarily only humans but also other beings.

As we are aware with even modern astronomy, the solar system and the universe is an extension of our earth , we can deduce that the universe too has to be realized through the “world” explained in the above stanza of Lord Buddha.

My aim here is to discuss this matter in detail with examples before our eyes and other factors available.

Combination of Nama , Rupa and Jivita as forces.

Before going in to this chapter let us not forget that Nama, Rupa, and Jivita are three separate field forces out of vibrations arising from the orbitations of universe and solar system.

It is reasonable to consider Rupa, Nama and Jivita as three individual forces, on the worlds, though these three are mutually interdependent forces within a being.

Rupa (form) as explained by Buddhist texts are a combination of Earth property (Hardness) (Patavi), fluidity or friction property (Apo), Heat element or property of temperature(Tejo) and air property (vayo) along with space property(Akasa)(Apo , tejo, vayo, Patavi are properties chemical and physical mutually convertible to one another.)

All that is “rupa” is bound by gravity. Today it is explained in school physics. Pressure, volume and temperature are interrelated physical elements which are well explained scientific data. We must also realize that there is an astronomical relationship in gravity, also laid down by scientists. The orbital factors in the solar system with the equilibrium of the earth related to the other planets, relates to gravity of the earth.

(The Scentist Lapalce has made studies on gravity to the effect that it is universal binding all universal matter to each other and that gravity has a speed and energy with mathematical complex formulae)

Apo (cohesion), Tejo (radiation or heat element) Vayo (Vibration) , and Patavi ( inertia or hardness) are bound by gravity as a field force is another explanation given by modern science, for the basic qualities of earth properties. Each of these properties are mutually interchangeable as explained in modern science.

Apo , Tejo, Vayo, Patavi are common physical properties in relation to matter of the earth as well as our human body.

However the four elements that we are, will not stay together in our human system combined without a combination of our mental properties (mind).

A simple example such as hunger for food or thirst of water is a clear example of the combination of our body and the mind. A hungry person in need of food, has the intention of grabbing a portion of food, to relish his hunger and could be selfish enough to grab it from another hungry person. In the same manner people tend to go for better smells, better tastes, comfortable touch on the skin like soothing materials, smooth sounds such as good music, and good tastes on the tongue. Such mental qualities are called attachments, to six senses (Tanha of salayatana).

A difference of these attachments could be observed with a change of Avijja or delusion. A person who develops, wisdom begins to understand that the six sensory attachments, such as touch, smell, taste, sound , sight and mental perceptions could be controlled according to the need of the desire through understanding. (Avijja will cease with development of wisdom and knowledge, (is to be discussed later).

As an example, a hungry person who understands the need of food, only as nutrition to exist on this earth, will decide on his food, as is suitable for his existence. Sweet tastes, poisonous liquids, such as liquors or drugs, meat made by killing animals, could be considered to be left away.

Sounds that we hear will be selected only as a means of hearing signals necessary to find out the dangers of life and other requirements for our existence. Any sounds or music which excites our system unnecessarily or which deepens sexual awareness could be avoided by a non deluded person. (Eg: An expert in Karnatic music will listen to music to ease tension or to cure a sickness.)

A knowledgeable person, will tolerate only aromas that is necessary to identify requirements only for living.

Though not much stressed on, the need of colors to a person too would be controlled as a requirement of living.(Hindu Vedas prescribe colours to cure sicknesses too.)

While nama (mind) and rupa (matter) combines to form an organic being a third force (life) acts to drive the need of living. This third force or faculty is known as Jivitendriya. A being continues with the driving force of the Life force. How these forces combine is a complex matter. But life (Jivitendriya) is considered the most valued and vital of all our functions and attachments.

Hence the first of Panchasila, : Panathi patha Veramani sikkha padam Samadiyami meaning I will abstain from killing .

A knowledgeable person, will know to share the requisites of life with other beings, as he understands the necessity of co existence, as resources on this earth are meant for all in common .

Hence the second stanza of Panchasila: Adinnadana veramani sikkha padam Samadiyami meaning , I will abstain from stealing.

Who do I call this knowledgeable person. He is the one who has developed the mental quality described as “Samma Ditthi”

One who is not deluded, will go on for the rest of the eight fold path of living as

Samma Ditthi (Right understanding)
Samma Sankappa ( Right thought)
Samma Vacha (Right speech)
Samma Vayama, (Right action)
Samma Ajiva, (Right livelyhood)
Samma Virya ( Right effort)
Samma sathi (Right mindfulness)
Samma Samadhi (Right concentration)

The above eight fold path practised by a person after destroying delusion (Avijja) will rise in the path of the ladder of steps , Panna ( Wisdom), Sila (Moral discipline), and finally proper concentration to annihilate suffering or the course of relative changing (Suffering), to achieve Nirvana.

Climbing the ladder of knowledge while controlling the sensual and material attachments until annihilation of the same will take an extremely long duration.(May be many re births). These stages are sotapanna, sakurdagmi , Anagami and Arhant. Until one gets to the stage of Sovan (once returner) a layman will continue in becoming and re becoming in life. Until then we can re become in life while been helpful to all other beings with a developed mind to suit the same.

Eight fold path as advocated by Lord Buddha, is the only path to guide ourselves to enhance the universal equilibrium and the universe . This means that by following the eight fold path (described), the worlds that were described (as in Rohitassa Sutta) will never fall apart, but are inter related ,and these worlds will be processed, by beings in day to day life.

Humans are capable of anlyzing emotional feelings and motivating the verbal, mental and physical actions. Yet animals tend to be motivated only by senses of feelings of hunger, thirst and protection of life , along with procreation as and when they arise.

The eight fold path will guide a person to process the world in the proper manner and we shall discuss the negative and the positive of the processing of the worlds from here onwards.

The earth and beings are the result of field forces mentioned as “Nama” Rupa and “Jivitendriya”, while the noble eight fold path manipulates the correct way of driving these three forces in unison.

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