Abhidhamma In Daily Life
Chapter 16 (1)
OBJECTS AND DOORS
Citta knows or experiences something; it experiences an object. There cannot be any citta without an object. When an object presents itself through one of the five senses or through the mind-door, do we realize that it is citta which experiences that object? When we do not see things as they are, we think that a self experiences objects, and, moreover, we take objects for permanent and for self. For example, when we see a log of wood, we are used to thinking that the object which is seen at that moment is the log of wood; we do not realize that only visible object is the object which can be seen. When we touch the log of wood, hardness or cold, for example, can be experienced through the body-sense. We take the log of wood for a thing which lasts, but what we call 'log of wood' are many different rupas which arise and fall away. Only one characteristic of rupa can be experienced at a time, when it presents itself. If we develop our understanding to see different characteristics which appear through different doorways we will be able to see things as they really are.
The ariyan sees life in a way which is different from the way the non-ariyan sees it. What the person who is not an ariyan takes for happiness (in Pali : sukha), is for the ariyan sorrow (dukkha) ; what for the non-ariyan is sorrow, is for the ariyan happiness. In the 'Kindred Sayings' (IV, Salayatana-vagga, Third Fifty, Ch. IV, par. 136) it is said in a verse :
Things seen and heard, tastes, odours, what we touch,
Perceive, - - all, everything desirable
Pleasant and sweet, while one can say 'it is',
These are deemed 'sukha' by both gods and men.
And when they cease to be they hold it woe.
The dissolution of the body-self
To ariyans seems 'sukha'.
Everything The world holds good,
sages see otherwise.
What other men call 'sukha',
that the saints Call 'dukkha'
what the rest so name,
That do the Ariyans know as happiness.
Behold a Dhamma that's hard to apprehend.
Hereby are baffled they that are not wise.
Darkness is theirs, enmeshed by ignorance:
Blindness is theirs, who cannot see the light....
The Buddha taught about objects, experienced by cittas through different doors, in order to cure people of their blindness. When we study the teachings we learn that there are six classes of objects (in Pali : arammana), which can be known by citta. The first class is visible object or ruparammana. The object which is experienced through the eye-door can only be the kind of rupa which is visible object. We can call it visible object or colour, it does not matter how we name it, but we should know that it is just that which is visible, which appears through the eyes. Visible object is not a thing or a person we may think of. When we think that we see a tree, animal or man, we think of concepts and there is not the knowing of visible object.
The second class of arammana is sound, or saddarammana.
The third class is smell, or gandharammana.
The fourth class is taste, or rasarammana.
The fifth class is the object which is experienced through the bodysense, photthabbarammana. This object comprises the following rupas:
Solidity or the 'Element of Earth' (in Pali : pathavi-dhatu), which can be experienced as hardness or softness.
Temperature or the 'Element of Fire' (in Pali : tejo-dhatu), which can be experienced as heat or cold.
Motion or the 'Element of wind' (in Pali: vayo-dhatu), which can be experienced as motion or pressure.
Solidity (earth), cohesion (water), temperature (fire) and motion (wind or air) are the 'four principal rupas' (maha-bhuta-rupas). Cohesion (apo-dhatu) can' t be experienced through the body-sense. When we touch
water the characteristics of hardness or softness, heat or cold, motion or pressure can be directly experienced through the body-sense. The characteristic of cohesion can be experienced only through the mind-door; it is included in the sixth class of arammana, the dhammarammana.
Dhammarammana comprises all objects which are not included in the first five classes. These can be experienced only through the mind-door.
If one has not cultivated insight, one does not clearly know which object presents itself through which doorway, one is confused as to objects and doors; thus one is confused about the world. The ariyan is not confused about the world; he knows the arammanas which appear through the six doors as nama and rupa, not self.