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Rupa encompasses it all, including nama; Nama encompasses it all, including rupa


Light, Shape, Form, Thingness


[AN 1.1]
Puremind Press: Awakening Meditation, M. Punnaji, pp.7-16
[DN 33]
Sangiti Suttanta 1s and 2s
PTS: Dialogs of the Buddha III, #33: The Recital, T.W. and C.A.F. Rhys Davids, trans., pp201
WP: The Long Discourses of the Buddha, #33: The Chanting Together, M. Walshe, trans., pp479
[DN 22]
PTS: Dialogs of the BuddhaThe Setting Up of Mindfulness
Soma Thera, ATI: The Discourse on the Arousing of Mindfulness
ATI: Thanissaro Bhikkhu, Frames of Reference
[MN 10]
PTS: The Middle Length Sayings, I, #10: Applications of Mindfulness, Horner, trans., pp78
WP: The Middle Length Discourses of the Buddha, #10: The Foundations of Mindfulness, Bhikkhu Nanamoli and Bhikkhu Bodhi, trans., pp152
[AN 10.27]
PTS: The Book of the Gradual Sayings, V: The Book of the Tens, The Great Chapter, The Great Questions, Woodward, trans., pp36ff

Pali MO Hare Horner Punnaji Bodhi Nanamoli Rhys Davids (Mrs)Rhys Davids Thanissaro Walshe Woodward Soma Thera
rūpa materiality, thingness form material shape appearance material form material form material qualities, form material qualities, form form form, materiality form material form


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


Rūpa (nt.) [cp. Vedic rūpa, connected etymologically with varpa...form, figure, appearance, principle of form, etc. (lit.) appearance, form, figure (=form either contrasted with what is unseen, or taken for both seen and unseen)...(*-) of such and such a form, like, kind, of a certain condition or appearance. In this appln very frequent and similar to E. -hood, or Ger. -heit, i. e. an abstract formation. Often untranslatable because of the latter character. It is similar to kāya, but not so much with ref. to life and feeling as to appearance and looks. adissamāna- invisible (lit. with invisible form); ummatta- as if mad, under the appearance of madness, like a madman; eva- in such a condition; tapassī- appearing to be an ascetic; tāraka- the (shapes of the) stars; deva- as a deva. Pleonastically e. g. in: anupatta- attaining; taramāna- quickly; yutta- fit; sucitta- variegated. -- Cases ad verbially: citta-rūpaṃ according to intention; cetabba-rūpaṃ fit to be thought upon. -atta-rūpena on my own account S IV.97; godha-rūpena as an iguana -- D. (as philos. t. t.) principle of (material) form, materiality, visibility. -- There are var. groups of psychological and metaphysical systematizations, in which rūpa functions as the material, gross factor, by the side of other, more subtle factors. In all these representations of rūpa we find that an element of moral psychology overshadows the purely philosophical and speculative aspect. 1. rūpa as āyatana or sense object. It is the object of the activity or sphere of the organ of sight (cakkhu). As such it heads the list of the 6 bāhirāni āyatanāni with "cakkhunā rūpaṃ disvā" (the others: sota>sadda, ghāna>gandha, jivhā>rasa, kāya>phoṭṭhabba, mano>dhamma). 2. (metaphysically) as the representative of sensory or material existence: (a) universally as forming the corporeal stratum in the world of appearance or form (rūpa- bhava) as compared with the incorporeal (arūpa-bhava), being itself above, and yet including the kāma-bhava. (The kāmabhava is a subdivision of rūpabhava, which has got raised into a third main division.) This triad is also found in combns with loka or dhātu. A similar sequence rūpa arūpa and nirodha (i. e. nibbāna) in old verses. On indriya-rūpa "faculty as form" see indriya. -- (b) individually in the sphere of saṅsāra as one (i. e. the material quality) of the substrata of sensory individual existence or the khandhas. They are the 5: rūpa-kkhandha, vedanā-, saññā-, sankhārā-, viññāṇa-; otherwise called rūp'ūpādāna-kkhandha etc. (e. g. D III.223, 278; Vism 443). See khandha II. B. -- In this property rūpa consists of 28 subdivisions, viz. the 4 (great) dhātūs (mahābhūtāni or else bhūta-rūpa primary matter) and 24 upādārūpāni; the 24 consist of: cakkhu, sota, ghāna, jivhā, kāya, rūpa, sadda, gandha, rasa, itthindriya, purisindriya, jīvitindriya, hadaya vatthu, kāya-viññatti, vacī-viññatti, ākāsa-dhātu, (rūpassa) lahutā mudutā kammaññatā, upacaya santati jaratā aniccatā, kaba'inkār' --āhāra;...: cātu-mahābhūtikaṃ rūpaṃ catunnaṃ ca mahābhūtānaṃ upādāya rūpassa paññatti. The rūpakkhandha shares with the others the qualities of soullessness, evanescence and ill (anattā, anicca, dukkha). -- (c) in the making up of the individuality as such (nāma-rūpa), where in contrast with nāma (as abstract, logical, invisible or mind-factor) rūpa represents the visible (material) factor, resembling kāya (cp. phrase nāma-kāya in same sense). The foll. are current defns of nāma-rūpa: nāma-(kāya)=vedanā, saññā, cetanā, phassa, manasikāra (otherwise citta-sankhārā), rūpa(-kāya)=cattāro mahā-bhūtā catunnaṃ m-bhūtānaṃ upādāya rūpaṃ (otherwise kāya-sankhārā) S II.4. See also under paṭicca-samuppāda



Rupa is the "having become a thingness of anything." This includes ideas and such invisible things as sounds. Rupa includes the mental (nama) that has become an aspect of individual existence, cannot be separated from the mental, and is, itself, encompassed by the mental. Look at the Chinese Ying/Yang symbol.


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