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Title: Analysis of matter (rupa) in Theravada Buddhism, with special reference to the Abhidhamma
Author: Karunadasa, Y.
Awarding Body: SOAS University of London
Current Institution: SOAS, University of London
Date of Award: 1963
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This study constitutes an inquiry into the analysis of matter as expressed in the sources of Theravada Buddhism, specially in the later systematizations known as the Abhi-dhamma. The introductory chapter is devoted to an examination of the many senses, and contexts in which rupa - a term often used in the sense of matter - occurs; the definition of rupa in the sense of matter; and the general nature of the rupa-dhammas, i.e., the ultimate factors into which matter is analysed. These rupa-dhammas, twenty eight in all, are classified into two categories as primary and secondary. Chapter II deals with those that constitute the primary category and shows how they represent four properties of matter; solidity and extension; viscidity and cohesion; the temperature of cold and heat; distension and mobility. Chapter III examines the position of the secondary rupa-dhammas in relation to the primary and indicates how some of the former category stand for certain facts intimately connected with matter. Chapter IV deals with those secondary rupa-dhammas which in the Abhidhammic commentaries came to be recognised as real entities. This involves a discussion of five material sense-organs, four varieties of sense-objects, two faculties of sex, the material faculty of life, the nutritive "quality" of matter, and the physical basis of mental activity. Chapter V deals with those secondary rupa-dhararnas which in the Abhidhamrnic commentaries came to be recogniaed as nominal entities with no autonomous objective counterparts. This involves a discussion of two modes of self-expression, three characteristics and four phases of the matter of the body, and the space delimited by matter. Chapter VI introduces the many ways in which the rupa-dhammas are sought to be classified, and Chapter VII explains how their inter-dependence and inter-connection are sought to be established with reference to laws of causation and conditionality. Chapter VIII introduces the theory of rupaKalapas - the Theravada form of atomism - and shows how it presents a close analogy to the atomic theories of the schools of Sanskrit Buddhism. The concluding Chapter endeavours to determine the philosophical and the ethical basis of the Buddhist analysis of matter, and to understand the whole subject in the context of Buddhism as a religion.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral