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Dhatu, Maha Dhatu

Cattaro Maha Bhutani The Four/Six Great Elements


Satipatthana Sutta: The Four Great Elements
[DN 33]pp288
PTS, T.W and C.A.F. Rhys Davids, trans., Dialogs of the Buddha III #33 pp 228. 4:16; 6:16
WP, Walshe, trans, The Long Discourses of the Buddha, #33, pp491
BD: DN #33: The Compilation: 4.16; 6:16
[MN 28]
ATI: Middle Length Sayings, #28: The Simile of the Elephant's Footprint (Greater)
BD: Making an Earth Kasina
SN 2.14 Samyutta Nikaya, Nidana Vagga, Dhatu Samyutta Index page.



Pali MO Hare Horner Punnaji Bodhi Rhys Davids (Mrs)Rhys Davids Thanissaro Walshe Woodward
Dhatu Data, sense data, information element element element properties
pathavi earth extension Solidity earth extended, earthy extended, earthy earth earth-element (or extension) earth
Apo water liquid Fluidity water cohesive, watery cohesive, watery water water-element (or cohension) water
tejo fire heat Heat fire hot, fiery, heat hot, fiery fire fire-element (or temperature) heat
vayo wind motion Motion air mobile, aerial, air mobile, aerial wind air-element (or motion) air
akasa space space ether Space space space space space space space
vinnana consciousness consciousness consciousness Cognition consciousness consciousness, thought consciousness consciousness consciousness-element consciousness



Pali Text Society
Pali English Dictionary
Edited by T. W. Rhys Davids and William Stede

Dhatu: (f.) [Sk. dhatu to dadhati, Idg. *dhe, cp. Gr. ti/qhmi, a)na/-qhma, Sk. dhaman, dhatr (=Lat. conditor); Goth. gadeds; Ohg. tat, tuom (in meaning *-=dhatu, cp. E. serf-dom "condition of . . .") tuon=E. to do; and with k-suffix Lat. facio, Gr. (e)/)qhk(a), Sk. dhaka; see also dhamma] element. Closely related to dhamma in meaning B 1b, only implying a closer relation to physical substance. ...- 1. a primary element, of which the usual set comprises the four pathavi, apo, tejo, vayo (earth, water, fire, wind), otherwise termed cattaro mahabhuta(ni): D I.215; II.294; III.228; S I.15; II.169 sq., 224; IV.175, 195; A II.165; III.243;...- Singly or in other combns pathavi- S II.174; tejo- S I.144; D III.227; the four plus akasa S III.227, plus vinnana S II.248;...- 2. (a) natural condition, property, disposition; factor, item, principle, form. In this meaning in var. combns and applications, esp. closely related to khandha. Thus mentioned with khandha and ayatana (sensory element and element of sense-perception) as bodily or physical element, factor...Freq. also in combn kama-dhatu, rupa- arupa- "the elements or properties of k. etc." as preceding and conditioning bhava in the respective category...nibbana- the state of N. S V.8; A II.120; IV.202; J I.55;...vanna- form, beauty S I.131;...In these cases it is so far weakened in meaning, that it simply corresponds to E. abstr. suffix -hood or -ity (cp. -hood=origin. "form": see ketu), so perhaps in Nibbana- =Nibbana-dom....- (b) elements in sense-consciousness: referring to the 6 ajjhattikani and 6 bahirani ayatanani S II.140 sq. Of these sep. sota- D I.79; III.38;... dibbasota- S II.121, 212; V.265, 304; A I.255; III.17, 280; V.199; cakkhu- ...; mano-...; mano-vinnana- ...(c) various: aneka- A I.22; III.325; V.33; akusala-...; avijja- S II.132; abha- S II.150; arambha- S V.66, 104 sq.; A I.4; II.338; thiti- S II.175; III.231; A III.338; dhamma- S II.56; nekkhamma- S II.151; A III.447; nissaraniya dhatuyo (5) D III.239; A III.245, 290. See further S I.134, 196; II.153, 248 (anicca); III.231 (nirodha); IV.67; A I.176; II.164; IV.385;...- (d) Different sets and enumerations: as 3 under kama-, rupa-, arupa A I.223; III.447;...; under rupa-, arupa-, nirodha- ...- as 6 (pathavi etc.+akasa- and vinnana-): D III.247; A I.175 sq.; M III.31, 62, 240;...- as 7 (abha subha etc.): S II.150. - 18:...- 3. a humour or affection of the body...- 4. the remains of the body after cremation...a relic...- abl. dhatuso according to one's nature S II.154...S III.65.


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