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15 05 2012 TUESDAY LESSON 609 FREE ONLINE eNālāndā Research And Practice UNIVERSITY And THE BUDDHISTONLINE GOOD NEWS LETTER by ABHIDHAMMA RAKKHITA through http://sarvajan.ambedkar.org Dhammapada: Verses and Stories Dhammapada Verse 167 . Do Not Cultivate The Worldly
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15 05 2012 TUESDAY LESSON 609 FREE
ONLINE
eNālāndā Research And Practice
UNIVERSITY And THE BUDDHISTONLINE GOOD NEWS LETTER by
ABHIDHAMMA RAKKHITA through http://sarvajan.ambedkar.org
Dhammapada:
Verses and Stories
Dhammapada
Verse 167 . Do Not Cultivate The Worldly
Verse 167.
Do Not Cultivate The Worldly
Do
not follow base desires,
nor live with heedlessness,
do not follow wrong beliefs
to grow in worldly ways.
Explanation: Stoop not to depraved ways, to practices that
promote lower urges. Do not live slothfully. Do not associate yourself with
those who hold false views.

http://www.mcu.ac.th/thesis_file/255127.pdf
CHAPTER IV
THE COMPARISON
BETWEEN THE TWELVE °YATANAS
AND THEIR PARALLELS IN
HUMAN ANATOMY
The present chapter is the comparative study of the twelve Àyatanas
and their counterpart in science, the sensory receptors and the sense
stimuli.
The result of the study will benefit Buddhism in many aspects, such as:
1. Reducing the communication problem between monks and
laypeople, since the monks can find an alternative way to
teach the twelve Àyatanas of Buddhism by comparing with
human anatomy that laypeople may be more familiar.
2. Identifying similarities and differences between Buddhist
philosophy and science. Dividing the nature of Buddhist
thought into the material and spiritual aspects.
I envision that dhammadÂtas who propagate Buddhism in the West
may get the most benefit from this chapter, since it provides information
that
is generally accepted by people who have a scientific background. I would
like to borrow the word mentioned by Gerald Du Pré that by doing this
“Buddhism will be able to have the standing and influence in the West which
it deserves.”244
244Gerald Du Pré, “Buddhism and Science,” Buddhism and Science, ed.
Buddhadasa P. Kirthisinghe (Delhi: Mortilal Banarsidass Publishers, 1993),
p. 92.
In addition, other readers who do not have a background in science
will gain benefit from this chapter, since it generates a new scope of
knowledge about Buddhism. For people who possess of faith, saddhÀ,
this
chapter provides facts that will help them to expand their own
understanding. For people who possess of intelligence, paððÀ, this
chapter
proves that what was written in the Buddhist scriptures are not merely
unfounded beliefs. Some information that the Buddha discovered more than
two thousand and five hundred years ago is found to have support through
scientific discoveries. In brief, this chapter provides information that
will help
to balance the differences between saddhÀ and paððÀ.
4.1 The Comparison
between the AjjhattikÀyatanas and the
Sensory Receptors
In this section, I based my research mainly on the work of a
physician named Thongkam Sunthornthepvarakul.245 Sunthornthepvarakul
explored his interest in the area of the relationship between the pasÀdarÂpa,
sensitive material qualities, and the anatomy of human. He found some
resemblances between human anatomy and the first five internal Àyatanas
mentioned in the Commentaries. In addition, the researches by Johnjoe
McFadden and Rollin McCraty are brought into study since they give a very
interesting aspect about the location of the mind in human anatomy.
4.1.1 CakkhÀyatana and
the Eye
As we already know, the cakkhÀyatana is the cakkhuppasÀda.
NÀrada
mentions that the cakkhuppasÀda denotes the receptive reacting
sense-agency
245Thongkam Sunthornthepvarakul, Pasāda-Rūpa
5
, Rajvithi Hospital (free
distribution).
part of the eye, located at the center of the retina.246 The Commentaries
further indicate that the cakkhuppasÀda is located spreading through
seven
layers of ocular membranes (satta akkhipaÇalÀni),247 where the
sensation of
vision is initiated. This is very interesting when Sunthornthepvarakul
compared the satta akkhipaÇalÀni with the layers of the retina. He
explains that
the retina consists roughly of seven layers of receptor cells located at
the back
of the eye. These retinal layers have a function to convert a visual image
into
neural signals.
As mentioned in chapter III, the human retina consists of ten layers.
Of these ten layers, I found that only seven layers are directly involved
in the
signal transduction. Table 38 shows the relationship between the process of
the signal transduction and the ten layers of the retina. From the table,
we
can see that three layers out of ten are not related to the process of
signal
transduction. They do not have a direct function concerning the process of
seeing.
In addition, the Commentaries indicate that the size of the organ
where visual sense is initiated is not bigger than the head of a louse.
This
information may refer to the ganglion cells which is the organ where the
nerve transmitting visual information leaving the retina.
The Path of Freedom further elaborates the
anatomy of the eye that the
sensory matter depends on three small discs round the pupil.248 The three
small discs, which help focusing the light and let the light pass through, may
refer to the cornea, the iris, and the lens, respectively.
246AnuruddhÀcariya, 1987, op. cit.,
p. 291.
247As 307.
248See details in N.R.M. Ehara, Soma, and Kheminda, 1995, op. cit., pp. 238-239.
Table 38. The Ten Layers
of Human Retina and Their Role in Signal Transduction.
The human retina consists of ten distinct layers. Only seven layers are
directly
related to the process of seeing.
Layer of Retina
Performing Signal Transduction?
Retinal Pigment
Epithelium
Yes – increasing acuity
of vision
Photoreceptor Layer Yes – layer of light-sensitive elements
Outer LimitingMembrane No – this layer isolates inner layers from
harmful materials
Outer Nuclear Layer Yes – layer of nuclei of rods and cones
Outer Plexiform layer Yes – synaptic layer
Inner Nuclear Layer Yes – layer of cell bodies
Inner Plexiform Layer Yes – synaptic layer
Ganglion Cell Layer Yes – the last layer in the process of
signal transduction, the layer of the
output from the retina giving rise to the
optic nerve fibers
Nerve Fiber Layer No – no light-sensitive elements in this
layer, blind spot
Inner Limiting membrane No – this layer seals of the retina from
the vitreous chamber
Figure 72 shows that the anatomy of the retina is similar to the
description of the cakkhuppasÀda mentioned in the Commentaries,
since the
retina and the cakkhuppasÀda require seven-layered structure in the
process of
seeing. From the figure, it shows that the cakkhuppasÀda may be
located
somewhere in the seven-layered structure of the retina.
Figure 72. CakkhÀyatana
and the Anatomy of the Human Eye.
At the retina, the sensation of vision is initiated. The
description of the retina resembles the description of the cakkhuppasÀda
that is appeared in the AÇÇhasÀlinÁ.
Source Adaptive:
1. Eye Anatomy, St. Luke’s
Cataract and Laser Institution, retrieved 7 October 2006,
.
2. The Retina, Institute Of
Physiology, Dept. Of Neurophysiology, Ruhr-University Bochum, retrieved 12
October 2006,

www.neurop.ruhr-uni-bochum.de/CompNsci/BiophysModel/Retina/retina.html>.
4.1.2 SotÀyatana and
the Ear
The sotÀyatana is the sotappasÀda. It is described to have a
shape like
a finger-ring (aôguliveÇhanakasaõÇhÀne padese) located in the
interior of the ear,
lined with delicate, tawny hair (tanutambalomÀcite) inside.249 This
description
of the sotappasÀda is similar to the structure of the cochlea of the
ear. The
cochlear is two and a half spiral turns like with hair cells inside. This
description is also mentioned in The Path of Freedom. However,
instead of the
shape like a finger ring, the sensitive part of the ear is like the stem of
the
blue-green bean.250 The cochlea has an important role to convert sound wave
into electrical nerve signals. Figure 73 shows that the anatomy of the
cochlea
is similar to the description of the sotappasÀda, since both of them
depend on a
coiled structure with hairs inside.
4.1.3 GhÀnÀyatana and
the Nose
According to the Commentaries, the ghÀnappasÀda is to be found
inside the nostril with its accessories in the place shaped like a goat’s
hoof
(ajapadasaõÇhÀne padese),251 where the three goat’s hooves meet.252
The goat’s
hoof that is described in the AÇÇhasÀlinÁ and The Path of Freedom
has a shape
like nasal conchae as shown in figure 74. In addition, Mehm Tin Mon
confirms that the sensitive part of the nose spreads in the organ shaped
like a
leg of a goat.253
249As 310.
250N.R.M. Ehara, Soma, and Kheminda, 1995, op. cit., p. 239.
251Buddhaghosa, 1956, op. cit.,
p.494.
252N.R.M. Ehara, Soma, and Kheminda, 1995, op. cit., p. 239.
253Mehm Tin Mon, 1995, op. cit.,
p. 229.
Figure 73. SotÀyatana
and the Anatomy of the Ear.
The description of the
cochlea
located inside the ear resembles the description of the location of the sotappasÀda
appeared in the AÇÇhasÀlinÁ.
Source Adaptive:
1. The Expositor Vol. II, p. 407.
2. Image of the Inner Ear Anatomy and Cochlea (top left): Alec N. Salt,
“Inner Ear
Anatomy,” A Pictorial Guide to the
Inner Ear
, Washington University, retrieved 30
November 2005, .
3. Image of Cochlear Partition: Benjamin Cummings, an imprint of Addison
Wesley
Longmont, Inc.
Figure 74. GhÀnÀyatana
and the Anatomy of the Nose.
The figure shows the
anatomy of the nose and the conchae. Beside and above the upper most concha
is
the olfactory region, where odor molecules are dissolved and come into
contact with
the olfactory sensory cells. The shape of the conchae resembles the
description of the
nearby location of the ghÀnappasÀda (the three goat’s hooves).
Therefore, the
ghÀnappasÀda may permeate through the
location of the olfactory nerves and the
olfactory bulb in the upper part of the conchae (where the three goat’s
hooves meet).
SourcesAdaptive:
1. The Expositor Vol. II, p. 407.
2. Image of the Nasal Anatomy (top right): A.D.A.M., retrieved 1 December
2005,
.
3. Image of the Goat’s Hoof (bottom): Onion Creek Ranch, retrieved 24 July
2004,
.
4. Image of the Nasal Anatomy with Olfactory Bulb: Frank H. Netter,
Interactive Atlas
of Human Anatomy.
If we take a look at figure 74 (bottom picture), we find that the
olfactory nerves spread in the upper part of the conchae, known as superior
concha.254 These nerves scatter in the area of the upper part of the nasal
cavity
and then go upwards entering the olfactory bulb. The function of these
nerves is related to the sense of smell.
In my opinion, the place shaped like three goat’s hooves may refer
to the nasal conchae, and the place where the three goat’s hooves meet may
refer to the olfactory bulb. What spreading inside the organ of the nasal
conchae and the olfactory bulb is the olfactory nerves. Therefore, the
ghÀnappasÀda may permeate through the
area of the olfactory nerves and the
olfactory bulb, in the upper part of the conchae.
4.1.4 JivhÀyatana and
the Tongue
The jivhÀppasÀda of jivhÀyatana is located at a spot shaped
like the
upper part of a lotus leaf (uppaladalaggasaõthÀõe padese)255 and
spreading in the
upper surface of the tongue.256 The upper surface of the tongue contains
numerous papillae. On the sides and around the base of the papillae are
taste
buds. The cells in each taste bud have a function to detect flavors and
generate nerve signals sent to the taste center in the brain.257 From the
description, the jivhÀppasÀda mentioned in the Commentaries may
reside in
the area of the papillae on the dorsum surface of the tongue. Figure 75
shows
that the anatomy of the tongue is similar to the description of the jivhÀppasÀda,
since the papillae spread on the upper surface of the tongue and have a
shape
like a torn lotus leaf.
254Anne LeMaistre, Respiratory System,
retrieved 1 December 2005,

medic.med.uth.tmc.edu/lecture/main/tool4.htm>.
255As 311.
256Mehm Tin Mon, 1995, op. cit.,
p. 229. See also N.R.M. Ehara, Soma, and
Kheminda, 1995, op. cit., p.
239.
257See details in Philip Whitfield , 1995, op. cit., pp. 66-67.
Figure 75. JivhÀyatana
and the Anatomy of the Tongue.
The figure shows that on
the upper surface of the tongue, there are numerous papillae. The papillae
have a
shape look like a torn lotus leaf/petal, which resembles the description of
the
jivhÀppasÀda appeared in the AÇÇhasÀlinÁ.
Source Adaptive:
1. Image of the Tongue Anatomy (left): Martin S. Spiller, Oral-Dental Anatomy,
retrieved 2 December 2005,
tongue>.
2. Image of the Anatomy of Papillae (right): Frank H. Netter, Interactive Atlas of
Human Anatomy.
4.1.5 KÀyÀyatana and
the Body
The kÀyÀyatana in the TipiÇaka refers to the kÀyappasÀda.
The
kÀyappasÀda is described as
spreading throughout the whole body like oil
diffusing over the cotton-rag (kappÀsapaÇalasineho).258 The Path
of Freedom
notes
258As 311.
that the kÀyappasÀda is a sensory matter that is sensitive to touch
located,
throughout the body, except the insensitive parts such as hair, nails, and
hard
dried skin.259
As mentioned in chapter III, in our body there are millions of small
sensors buried under the surface of the skin. These nerve sensors are
interwoven spreading throughout the whole body. The location of the
kÀyappasÀda may diffuse throughout
these nerve sensors. Figure 76 shows
that the interwoven nerve sensors spreading throughout the whole body is
similar to the description of the kÀyÀyatana in the Commentaries.
4.1.6 ManÀyatana and
the Mind
Even though the manÀyatana has a very important role in Buddhism,
the Buddha never specified a specific location of the manÀyatana.
The
manÀyatana is the resort of manodhÀtu
and manoviððÀõadhÀtu. ÐÀnamoli
indicates that the arising of manodhÀtu and manoviððÀõadhÀtu depends
on a
location inside the heart,260 called hadayavatthu. It must be noted
here that this
term does not exist in the TipiÇaka. It only appears in the
Commentaries.
There are many theories about the location of the manÀyatana, the
mind, from both Buddhist scholars and scientists. These theories sometimes
conflict with each other. The concept of the mind as a physical entity
existed
before the Buddha’s time.261 Many Buddhist scholars have attempted to
develop theories about the location of the mind. The most three popular
locations of the mind as mentioned earlier are the brain, the heart, and
the
whole body.
259N.R.M. Ehara, Soma, and Kheminda, 1995, op. cit., p. 240.
260See details in ÐÀnamoli, 1987, op.
cit.
, pp. 297-298.
261See details in Sarasvati Chennakesavan, Concept of Mind in Indian
Philosophy, 2nd ed. and Reprinted (Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass
Publishers, 1991), pp. 1-2.
Figure 76. KÀyÀyatana
and the Anatomy of the Body.
The figure shows the
anatomy of the body and the sensory nerves under the skin. The sensory
nerves are
interwoven spreading throughout the whole body. It is possible that the kÀyappasÀda
may diffuse in these nerve sensors.
Source Adaptive:
1. The Expositor Vol. II, p. 408.
2. Image of the Nervous System: SigBio’s Virtual Anatomy Textbook,
retrieved 3
December 2005,
.
3. Image of the Back Nerves: Frank H. Netter, Interactive Atlas of Human
Anatomy.
4. Image of the Skin Anatomy: Ed Marshall, Anatomy and Physiology I, Atlantic Cape
Community Collage, retrieved 18 November 2006,
/>.
1. The Brain as the Location of the Mind
As mentioned in chapter III, many modern scientists and
philosophers argue that the brain should be the seat of
consciousness or the location of the mind. A theory related to
the brain-base is proposed by Johnjoe McFadden.
McFadden postulates that an electromagnetic field exists in
the brain is related to the physical location of consciousness.262
The electromagnetic force is one of the four fundamental
forces from which other forces are derived. The other three
fundamental forces are the strong nuclear force (holding
atomic nuclei together), the weak nuclear force (causing some
form of radioactive decay), and the gravitational force.
C.L.A. De Silva comments on the brain-base theory that:
The Scientists and western Philosophers, of course, would say that
consciousness arises in the brain and not in the heart. With due
deference to Scientists and Physiologists, it must be stated that, although
their investigations and researches more or less definitely have located
different centres in the brain as controlling certain phenomena, and
though the functions of the brain, which constitute the cerebrum and
cerebellum, medulla oblongata and spinal cord, sensory and motor
nerves and so on have been understood, which are incontrovertible facts,
they have not reached the climax nor would they ever, as their
knowledge is not perfect and that knowledge too is with regard to only
physical matter. Even in the event of Scientists and Physiologists
arriving at the ultimate truth with regard to their findings, they could do
so with matter only, but not with immaterial qualities such as
consciousness and their mental concomitants, which could be discerned
only by an Omniscient.263
262See details in Johnjoe McFadden, op.
cit.
, pp. 23-50.
263C.L.A. De Silva, A Treatise on
Buddhist Philosophy of Abhidhamma
(Delhi:
Sri Satguru Publications, 1997), pp. 189-190.
The theory of the brain-base does not exist in Buddhism, since
the first consciousness arises at the time of the conception.
However, the brain is formed and starts functioning after
fertilization. Nevertheless, the theory about the relationship
between the electromagnetic force and consciousness is still
very interesting and shows that the brain has some influences
on the arising of consciousness.
2. The Heart as the Location of the Mind
In the Buddhist tradition, the concept of the mind is bound
together with the concept of the hadayavatthu. This concept is
created by the commentators, not by the Buddha himself. In
the Commentaries, the hadayavatthu seems to be located
somewhere inside the flesh of the heart.264
Sunthornthepvarakul gives his opinion about the location of
the hadayavatthu that it may be located somewhere in the
upper right chamber of the physical heart. This is based on
the idea that the amount of blood in the upper right chamber
of the heart should be about a handful (pasata) as same as
what mentioned in the Commentaries. He also indicates the
importance of this area as the electrical conduction system of
the heart.
Since the arising of manodhÀtu and manoviððÀõadhÀtu depends
on the hadayavatthu as their material support and they also
have the manÀyatana as their resort, the manÀyatana may be
located at the same location as the hadayavatthu. Figure 77
264See details in ÐÀnamoli, 1987, op.
cit.
, pp. 297-298.
expresses the anatomy of the physical heart and the possible
location of the hadayavatthu in the upper right chamber of the
heart, according to Sunthornthepvarakul’s opinion.
Figure 77. Hadayavatthu
and the Anatomy of the Heart.
The figure shows the
anatomy of the heart and the potential location of the hadayavatthu in
the upper right
chamber of the heart.
Source Adaptive:
1. Image of the Anatomy of the Heart: Carolina Biology Supply, retrieved 4
December
2005,
.
2. Image of punnÀga seed: Robert J. Gibbons, Taxon: Calophyllum inophyllum L.,
United States Department of Agriculture, retrieved 30 September 2006,
.
Mehm Tin Mon further elaborates the concept of the
hadayavatthu that the hadayavatthu
is located spreading
throughout the blood inside the heart.265 Therefore, in a
moment there are billions of hadayavatthus, not just only one
hadayavatthu exists at one moment.
Another interesting idea related to the hadayavatthu is from
Egerton C. Baptist. Baptist says that “this heart-base (hadayavatthu)
is present in that purest of pure blood, in quantity
about half a handful (or, cupful) found in a small type of
receptacle (resembling a cavity) of the heart.”266 His opinion
does not support the idea of the hadayavatthu located around
the upper right chamber of the heart, since the blood in the
right side of the heart is deoxygenated. The location of the
hadayavatthu from Baptist should be
located either in the
upper left chamber of the heart where oxygenated blood is
collected or the bone marrow where blood cells are produced.
The Dispeller of Delusion elaborates the location of the hadayavatthu
that its delimitation is bounded to what belongs to the
heart. In this case, the blood also belongs to the heart. If the
blood is a carrier of the hadayavatthu, then the hadayavatthu
should be able to experience the whole body through the
circulation of the blood. However, since we do not involve in
sharing sensation outside the body when the blood spills out,
then the blood may not be a carrier of the hadayavatthu.
265Mehm Tin Mon, 1995, op. cit.,
p. 230.
266Egerton C. Baptist, Abhidhamma for
the Beginner
(Colombo: The Colombo
Apothecaries’ Co., Ltd., 1959), p. 122.
Rollin McCraty mentions about the electromagnetic force
produced by the heart that it is much stronger than the
electromagnetic force produced by the brain. From
McCraty’s idea, we can see that the electromagnetic field
produced by the heart has an effect on every cell in the body,
including the human brain. McCraty’s research shows that
the heart should be the base of the mind, not the brain.
There is an argument that the heart is not the seat of
consciousness, since the heart of an embryo does not beat at
the time of conception, but in the third week of its life. In
addition, with an advancement of new technologies the heart
transplantation can be done in a patient with a heart disease.
Another argument is raised whether our consciousness is
removed along with the old heart after performing the heart
transplantation or not. Will we have other person’s
consciousness accompanied the new heart in our body?
3. The Whole Body as the Location of the Mind
Another interesting theory about the location of the mind is
that the whole body is the seat of consciousness. The idea of
the whole body as the location of the mind can be seen from
the theories of Roy E. John and Deepak Chopra. John thinks
that the seat of consciousness spreads throughout the whole
body via its neuroskeletal system. However, Chopra has the
idea that the seat of consciousness resides in every DNA
starting from the very first DNA molecule before the embryo
begins to divide. Latter, the embryo forms itself a heart, a
brain, and a nervous system.
From chapter III, we see that the delimitation of the
hadayavatthu is bounded to what
belongs to the heart.
Therefore, the location of the hadavavatthu should cover the
whole body. Even though the boundary of the neuroskeletal
system and the DNA cover the whole body, but the
relationship between them and the heart is still ambiguous.
There is another problem in this idea that the location of the
hadayavatthu may be overlapped with
the location of the
kÀyÀyatana. Therefore, we do not
know whether the
neuroskeletal system and the DNA belong to the heart or not.
From the analysis of three possible locations of the mind above, the
heart seems to have a prominent characteristic of the mind, because of the
following reasons:
1. The whole body as the location of the mind: This idea seems
to be the least possible option, since when a man lost his body
part, such as a hand, his mind is still in perfect function.
2. The brain as the location of the mind: Most scientists believe
that the brain is the seat of consciousness, since the brain
involves in many important functions that are vital to human
life. However, in case of a patient with brain death, his heart
still operates. Therefore, the brain should not be the location
of the mind.
3. The heart as the location of the mind: Many physicians
believe that the heart is the seat of consciousness. If the heart
stops functioning, human life certainly becomes to an end.
In order to support this idea, I would like to explore information
about citta, a synonym of the term manÀyatana. The TipiÇaka
mentions that:
Citta resides in a cave (guhÀsayaÚ): this
description is similar
to the appearance of chambers of the heart. The brain and the
body do not have an appearance of a cave.
Citta is formless (asarÁraÚ): this description is
similar to the
appearance of the electromagnetic force that can be generated
from either the heart or the brain.
Citta goes far from its origin (dÂraôgamaÚ): this
description is
similar to both the circulation of blood and the radiation of
the electromagnetic force that can go far from their origin.
Citta can wander wherever it desires (yathÀkamanipÀtino):
this
is similar to the characteristic of the electromagnetic force,
which can radiate and not limited by the human body.
Therefore, in a grown human being, the location of the manÀyatana
may permeate throughout the whole body, where the right upper chamber of
the heart is the center of the manÀyatana. We may think that in the
absence of
the physical heart, there may be no manÀyatana. This concept is not
correct,
because we bind the concept of the mind to a physical gross form of
material
phenomena. Followings are the support that the heart is the seat of the
mind:
The delimitation of the hadayavatthu is
bounded by what
belongs to the heart: From this sentence, it shows that the
heart has a close relationship to the hadayavatthu.
The hadayavatthu is a sukhumarÂpa: The
physical heart is a
gross form of material phenomena. Even though the
whole physical heart is removed, the subtle material
quality of the hadayavatthu can not just simply be removed
by the process of surgery. In addition, we cannot remove
everything that belongs to the heart all at once from the
human body and still keep that human alive.
The hadayavatthu is kammajarÂpa:
Everything that happens
to the hadayavatthu is due to the law of kamma.
A question is raised, where is the hadayavatthu, when there is no
heart? In my opinion, the center of the hadayavatthu should reside
at the
location where the heart is. In a patient whose heart is removed, the
center of
the hadayavatthu should be at the same location of his old heart. In
an embryo
whose heart is not formed, the center of the hadayavatthu should be
at the
location where the heart will be formed. Dr. Disayavanish supports this
idea
by expressing his opinion about the location of the mind that:
The heart should be the seat of the mind. Clinically, there are many
patients who are diagnosed as suffering from brain death but their heart
are still functioning, without nerve impulse from the brain. The
Sinoatrial (SA) node is considered as the major pacemaker of the heart.
After the brain is death, the SA node can act automatically to control the
functions of the heart. Therefore, it can be said that the heart is the
seat
of the mind, while the brain is its office. However, this opinion does not
deny the theory that the mind exists in the whole body.267
What mentioned earlier about the location of the mind, including
the brain, the heart, the whole body, and the electromagnetic force, is all
in
the material level. The knowledge of scientists and philosophers limits
only
to the level of material phenomena and could not break through mental
phenomena. This is an important issue where science lags behind Buddhism.
267Commented by Dr. Chamlong Disayavanish on December 14, 2007.
4.2 The Comparison
between the BÀhirÀyatanas and the
Sense Stimuli
In chapter II, we already know that the external Àyatanas are
compared to village-raiding robbers, since they harass the internal sense
bases
by agreeable and disagreeable forms. These external Àyatanas turn to
be
Àrammaõas when they become objects
of the internal sense bases. In this
section, I will make a comparison between the external Àyatanas in
the
Buddhist scriptures and the sense stimuli in science.
4.2.1 RÂpÀyatana and
Visual Stimulus
According to the Abhidhamma PiÇaka, the rÂpÀyatana is the
appearance of color. The Commentaries indicate that the appearance of color
has a quality of brightness, which is known as vaõõanibhÀ (RÂpÀyatananiddese
vaõõo va vaõõanibhÀ).268 In order to cover
all range of visibility, the Buddha
also includes dim light (andhakÀro) in the rÂpÀyatana.269
This is very
interesting, since there are coincidences between the information in the
Abhidhamma PiÇaka and the information
discovered by modern scientists.
In science, the physical stimulus for the eye is light. Table 39
compares information of the sense object of seeing between in the Buddhist
scriptures and in science. The similarities between the sense object of
seeing
in the Buddhist scriptures and in science are as follows:
1. Bright light and dim light are the objects of seeing
In Buddhism, the Commentaries explain that not only
vaõõanibhÀ, but also andhakÀro are
parts of the rÂpÀyatana.
268As 316.
269Dhs 139.
Table 39. The Comparison
of the Sense Object of the Eye between RÂpÀyatana in
the Buddhist Scriptures
and the Visual Stimulus in Modern Science.
This table
shows the information about the object of seeing appeared in the Buddhist
scriptures
and what is discovered by scientists.
Buddhist
Scriptures Modern
Science
Object of the Eye VaõõanibhÀ
AndhakÀro
Light & color from reflection of light
Dim light
Medium °loka Light
The Ability of the
Object in Reaching
the Eye
Asampatta
(not reaching
the object)
In the process of seeing, the eye does
not directly touch the object.
However, it just only absorbs the
reflection of light.
Type of Material
Phenomena
AvinibbhogarÂpa
(inseparable
material
phenomena)
The arising of color depends on the
ability of each object to absorb and
reflect light. Therefore, color could
not be separated from the object.
If we reinvestigate the human retina, then we find that it
consists of two types of photoreceptors, which are rods and
cones. The cones have the ability to detect bright light, while
the rods have the ability to detect dim light. The existence of
these two photoreceptors may be known by the Buddha,
since he covers two types of light, bright light and dim light,
in his teaching. This is the first similarity on the object of
seeing between Buddhism and science.
2. Light is an important factor in the sense object of seeing
In physics, color is a reflection of light on an object.
Therefore, light and color could not be separated. Light
is also mentioned by the commentators as an
important factor of the arising of cakkhudvÀravÁthi. This is the
second similarity.
3. The eye does not directly contact the object of seeing
In both Buddhism and science, the eye does not directly touch
the object of seeing (asampatta).270 Only the reflection of light
on the object in science or the appearance of color in
Buddhismis absorbed by the eye. This is the third similarity.
4. The object of seeing is an inseparable material phenomenon
of an object
In Buddhism, the appearance of color is an inseparable
material phenomenon of an object.271 This can be explained in
scientific language that color is a property of each individual
object to absorb and reflect light; therefore, color cannot be
separated from the object. This is the forth similarity.
From the comparison, we can see that there are some similarities
between the object of seeing in Buddhism and in science. However, the
Buddha never systematizes the object of seeing in physical detail, unlike
scientists do. The scientists explore the object of seeing in more and more
detail, such as they try to find out how fast the light travels, and what
frequencies of the electromagnetic wave the eye can see. In Buddhism, this
type of information is not important to the process of Enlightenment. That
is
why the Buddha never teaches the object of seeing in more physical detail.
270AnurudhÀcariya, 1993, op. cit.,
p. 245.
271AnurudhÀcariya, 1993, op. cit.,
p. 246.
4.2.2 SaddÀyatana and
Auditory Stimulus
The saddÀyatana is sound. The Commentaries do not have much
explanation about what the saddÀyatana is. However, the commentators
indicate that ÀkÀsa is a very important factor of the arising of sotadvÀravÁthi.
In science, the physical stimulus of the ear is sound waves. We
already know from chapter III that sound needs a medium for traveling from
its origin to the destination. This medium is a gap between molecules that
allow vibration to arise. Table 40 compares information of the sense object
of
the ear between in the Buddhist scriptures and in science. The similarities
between the sense object of hearing in the Buddhist scriptures and in
science
are as follows:
1. Sound is the object of hearing
In Buddhism, any sound that human can hear is the
saddÀyatana. Therefore, not all
sound is the saddÀyatana. This
is also the same in science. Scientists classify the range of
sound wave that human can hear into a range of frequencies
between 20 and 20,000 Hz. This is the first similarity.
2. Space is an important factor in the sense object of hearing
In science, sound needs a gap between molecules to allow
vibration to arise in order to transmit its energy from its
source to its destination. The gap between molecules in
science is also known as Àkasa in the Buddhist scriptures. This
is the second similarity.
3. The object of hearing is not directly contacted by the ear
The Commentaries indicate that the saddÀyatana is not directly
touched by the ear (asampatta).272 This is similar to the way
sound waves traveling from its source to its destination.
Only the energy of vibration is transmitted to the ear, not the
source of the sound or the vibrated molecules. This is the
third similarity.
Like the object of seeing, the Buddha does not systematize the object
of hearing into more physical detail. He emphasizes his teachings on the
direct path to the Enlightenment. This is how Buddhism is different from
science. Scientists pay more attention to find out how sound travel, how
fast
it can travel, and etc.
Table 40. The Comparison
of the Sense Object of the Ear between SaddÀyatana in
the Buddhist Scriptures
and Auditory Stimulus in Modern Science.
This table
shows the information about the object of hearing that appears in Buddhism
and in
modern science.
Buddhism Modern Science
Object of Hearing Sadda (sound) Sound
Medium °kÀsa Space/Gap allows vibration to arise.
The Ability of the
Object in Reaching
the Ear
Asampatta In the process of
hearing, the human
ear can hear sounds because the
energy of the sounds is transmitted by
the vibrations of molecules. These
molecules do not move to the ear
themselves and are not perceived by
the ear, only the energy of vibrations
is perceived by the ear.
272AnurudhÀcariya, 1993, op. cit.,
p. 245.
4.2.3 GandhÀyatana and
Olfactory Stimulus
The gandhÀyatana is the odor. The Buddhist scriptures do not
contain much information about what the gandhÀyatana is. However,
they
indicate that vÀyo is a very important factor of the arising of ghÀnadvÀravÁthi.
In science, the olfactory stimulus is an airborne chemical, which
starts as chemical molecules floating in the air. The olfactory stimulus
needs
to be volatile to be able to move its molecules from its source to the
human
nose. Table 41 compares information of the sense object of the nose between
in the Buddhist scriptures and in science. The similarities between the
sense
object of smell in the Buddhist scriptures and in science are as follows:
1. Odor is the object of smell
Both Buddhism and science have odor as the object of the
nose. This is the first similarity.
Table 41. The Comparison
of the Sense Object of the Nose between GandhÀyatana
in the Buddhist
Scriptures and Olfactory Stimulus in Modern Science.
This table
shows the information about the object of smelling in Buddhism and in
science.
Buddhism Modern Science
Object of Smelling Gandha (odor) Odor
Medium VÀyo Air element; odor needs to be volatile.
The Ability of the
Object to Reach
the Nose
Sampatta
(reaching the
object)
The odorant molecules must bind to
the sensory receptors in the process of
smelling.
Type of Material
Phenomena
AvinibbhogarÂpa Molecules in each
substance have a
specific chemical property which could
not be separated from the substance.
2. Movement is an important factor in the sense object of smell
In science, odor needs to be volatile to be able to move its
molecules from its source to the human nose. This can be
done by the help of the element of air or wind. The air
element in science can be compared to the vÀyodhÀtu in the
Buddhist scriptures, since the vÀyodhÀtu is the element of
vibration which causes motion in substances. This is the
second similarity.
3. The object of smell directly contacts the nose
In Buddhism, the Commentaries indicate that the
gandhÀyatana directly touches the
nose (sampatta).273 This is
similar to knowledge in science that human can smell an odor
only when the molecules of odor are trapped inside the nose.
This is the third similarity.
4. The object of smell is an inseparable material phenomenon of
an object
In Buddhism, gandha is an inseparable material phenomenon
of an object.274 This can be explained in scientific language
that the odor is chemical molecules. Each molecule has a
specific chemical property, which could not be separated
from the element. Therefore, odor cannot be separated from
the object. This is the forth similarity.
273AnurudhÀcariya, 1993, op. cit.,
p. 246.
274AnurudhÀcariya, 1993, op. cit.,
p. 246.
4.2.4 RasÀyatana and
Gustatory Stimulus
The rasÀyatana is the taste that produces an impact on the tongue.
In
the Buddhist scriptures, they indicate that the ÀpodhÀtu is a very
important
factor of the arising of jivhÀdvÀravÁthi.
In science, the gustatory stimulus is a flavor that is detectable in a
form of solution. These flavor molecules need fluid element to be the
medium of tasting. In human, this fluid is known as saliva. Table 42
compares information of the sense object of the tongue between in the
Buddhist scriptures and in modern science.
The similarities between the sense object of taste in the Buddhist
scriptures and in science are as follows:
Table 42 The Comparison
of the Sense Object of the Tongue between RasÀyatana
in the Buddhist
Scriptures and Gustatory Stimulus in Modern Science.
This table
shows the information about the object of taste that appears in Buddhism
and in
modern science.
Buddhism Modern Science
Object of Tasting Rasa Flavor molecules
Medium °podhÀtu Fluid
The Ability of the
Tongue in Reaching
the Object
Sampatta The flavored molecules
have to
come into contact with the
sensitive part of the tongue in the
process of tasting.
Type of Material AvinibbhogarÂpa Flavored molecules are a specific
chemical property of each
substance. Therefore, it could not
be separated from the substance.
1. Taste is the object of the tongue
Both Buddhism and science have taste as the object of the
tongue. This is the first similarity.
2. Fluid is an important factor in the sense object of taste
In science, taste can be detected in a form of solution. This
can be done by the help of the element of fluid or saliva. The
fluid element in science can be compared to the ÀpodhÀtu in
the Buddhist scriptures, since fluidity is the prominent
characteristic of the ÀpodhÀtu. This is the second similarity.
3. The object of taste directly contacts the tongue
In Buddhism, the Commentaries indicate that the rÀsÀyatana
directly touch the tongue (sampatta).275 This is similar to
knowledge in science that flavored molecules have to come
into contact with the sensitive part of the tongue in the
process of tasting. This is the third similarity.
4. The object of taste is an inseparable material phenomenon of
an object
In Buddhism, rasa is an inseparable material phenomenon of
an object.276 This can be explained in scientific language that
the flavor is a specific chemical property of each molecule;
therefore, flavor cannot be separated from the object. This is
the forth similarity.
275AnurudhÀcariya, 1993, op. cit.,
p. 246.
276AnurudhÀcariya, 1993, op. cit.,
p. 246.
4.2.5 PhoÇÇhabbÀyatana
and Bodily Stimuli
According to the Abhidhamma PiÇaka, the phoÇÇhabbÀyatana consists
of
the three primary elements of the mahÀbhÂtarÂpa. The three primary elements
are paÇhavÁdhÀtu, tejodhÀtu, and vÀyodhÀtu, excluding ÀpodhÀtu.
In science, the
bodily stimuli are detected and identified by nerve signals, which respond
to
pressure, temperature, vibration, and pain.
The similarities between the sense object of touch in the Buddhist
scriptures and in science are as follows:
1. Pressure, temperature, and vibration are the objects of the
body
Pressure is the force applied on the surface of the skin,
including in the deeper areas of the body such as the muscles,
joints, and internal organs. This force creates the perception
of softness and hardness which are the characteristics of the
paÇhavÁdhÀtu in Buddhism.
Pressure, in physiology, is also a form of high frequency
vibrations,277 which arises when there is a series of
impingements on the skin.278 A continuous series of
impingements cause movement or vibration in the body. In
Buddhism, movement and vibration are the result of the
presence of the vÀyodhÀtu in the object of touch.
Temperature is a characteristic of the tejodhÀtu in Buddhism.
Temperature receptors, in physiology, are of two types,
277Dee Unglaub Silverthorn, 2001, op.
cit.
, p. 291; and DP,
s.v. “pressure pattern.”
278DP, s.v. “mind.”
namely, cold receptors and warm receptors. The cold
receptors are sensitive to the temperature that is lower than
the body temperature, while the warm receptors are sensitive
to the temperature that is equal to the body temperature and
above. In Buddhism, both cold and warm are resulted from
the presence of the tejodhÀtu in the object of touch.
Therefore, pressure, temperature and vibration are the objects
of the body both in Buddhism and in science. This is the first
similarity. It must be noted here that even though pain is the
object of touch in science, it is not the object of touch in
Buddhism. Silverthorn explains that “pain is a perceived
sensation rather than a stimulus.”279 This may be why the
Buddha does not classify pain as one of the objects of touch.
2. The object of touch directly contacts the body
In Buddhism, the Commentaries indicate that the
phoÇÇhabbÀyatana directly touch the body
(sampatta).280 This is
similar to knowledge in science that the receptors for
pressure, temperature, vibration, and pain are all buried
under the layers of the skin and in the body. Therefore, the
skin can sense the objects of touch only when these sensors
are instigated by the objects of touch through the skin or
inside the body. This is the second similarity.
In sum, only pressure, temperature and vibration are classified as
the phoÇÇhabbÀyatana. Table 43 compares information of the sense
objects of
279Dee Unglaub Silverthorn, 2001, op.
cit.
, p. 291.
280AnurudhÀcariya, 1993, op. cit.,
p. 246.
Table 43. The Comparison
of the Sense Objects of the Body between
PhoÇÇhabbÀyatana in the Buddhist
Scriptures and Bodily Stimuli in Modern
Science. This table shows the information about the objects of
touch that appears in
Buddhism and in modern science.
Buddhism Modern Science
Objects of Touch PaÇhavÁdhÀtu Pressure that creates the
perception of soft-hardness
TejodhÀtu Temperature
VÀyodhÀtu Movement and pressure in
a
form of high frequency
vibrations
Not a tangible object,
but a type of feeling
(dukkhavedanÀ)
Pain
The Ability of the
Body in Reaching
the Object
Sampatta Pressure,
temperature,motion,
and pain can be detected when
the nerve sensors are
instigated by these objects
the body between in the Buddhist scripture and in modern science. I will
discuss the different perspective of the relationship between these three
objects of touch andmahÀbhÂtarÂpa at the end of this chapter.
4.2.6 DhammÀyatana and
Mental Stimuli
Mental Stimuli are one of the subtlest topics in science. Scientists
cannot comprehensively study and explore the human mind. Tentative
mental stimuli in science include nerve signals, electromagnetic force
produced by heart, nutrition, and experiences.
Nerve signals are always active. They are bombarded from human
senses every second. These nerve signals are generally accepted by
scientists
that they have an influence on the brain, which has the ability to process
functions about perception, emotion, memory, and learning. Therefore, the
nerve signals may take a role as mental stimuli.
Electromagnetic force produced by the heart is believed by a few
people that it has an influence on the brain. There is no concrete evidence
about how it works and what its influence on the brain is. In addition, a
human heart can be removed during a heart surgical process; therefore,
there
is a strong objection about this theory.
Nutrition and experiences are the last two tentative mental stimuli
that I mentioned in chapter III. Human needs nutrition to nurture the whole
body. If the body lacks of nutrition, then it may have an effect on how
human
thinks and works. Therefore, nutrition is a tentative mental stimulus.
Experiences are another tentative mental stimulus. However, there
is no concrete evidence about its effect on the mind. Nevertheless,
experiences are one of the most important factors in human life.
We learn from the Abhidhamma PiÇaka that the dhammÀyatana
embraces both physical and mental phenomena. Modern scientists do not
have knowledge to cover all of those areas, since science is based only on
the
experiments that can be tested by the five physical sense organs. Table 44
is
an attempt to compare between the dhammÀyatana in the Buddhist
scriptures
and equivalent information in science.
It should be noted here that while the goal of Buddhism is nibbÀna,
the goal of science is to produce a reliable model of reality.281
Therefore, the
281“Science,” Wikipedia, The
Free Encyclopedia
, Wikimedia Foundation, Inc.,
retrieved 24 June 2006,
60316792>.
concept of the dhammÀyatana in Buddhism and mental stimuli in
science are
different.
Table 44. DhammÀyatana
in the Buddhist Scriptures and Equivalent Information
in Modern Science. This table shows the information about the dhammÀyatana
in the
Buddhist scriptures comparing to the equivalent information in science.
Buddhism Tentative
Equivalent
Information in Science
Similarities and
Differences
VedanÀkkhandha
SaððÀkkhandha
SaôkhÀrakkhandha
Hedonic tone, sensation,
feeling, perception, and
volition: Hedonic tone,
sensation, feeling, perception,
and volition are extensively
studied in psychology and
other areas of science in
connection with the study of
the brain function. The study
includes the study of how the
brain and the nervous system
work, the influence of
hormones and chemical
substances on the function of
organs and behaviors, and the
influence of mental
phenomena on individual, etc.
VedanÀkkhandha, saððÀkkhandha,
and saôkhÀrakkhandha
are mental
phenomena (nÀma) in
Buddhism. However,
scientists mostly emphasize
their studies in material
phenomena (rÂpa) with an
attempt to control mental
phenomena by using
material; such example can
be seen from a doctor using
drugs to control human
behavior.
Itthindriya
Purisindriya
Sex quality: One of the most
popular sex determinations in
science is the XX/XY sexdetermination
system. This
system determines sex of
human beings by judging
from the combination of the
chromosome X and
chromosome Y in human
DNA.
Itthindriya and purisindriya
are classified as sukhumarÂpa.
They are the material
qualities that impart
femininity and masculinity
and spread all over the
human body. In the same
way, the chromosome X
and Y are also material
phenomena that spread
throughout the whole body
in every DNA.
Continued
Table 44, continued.
DhammÀyatana in the Buddhist Scriptures and Equivalent
Information in Modern
Science.
This table shows the
information about the
dhammÀyatana in the Buddhist
scriptures comparing to the equivalent information in
science.
Buddhism Tentative
Equivalent
Information in Science
Similarities and Differences
Hadayavatthu Heart: Even though, scientists
have studied heart for a long
time. However, the human
heart still keeps its mystery.
Many scholars have a debate
upon the location of the
hadayavatthu, whether it is
located in the heart, the
brain, or in the whole body.
According to Buddhism,
hadayavatthu is a kammajarÂpa,
which is unknown to
scientists.
JÁvitindriya Life: There is no universal
concept of life in modern
science. However, it is
generally accepted that life is a
manifestation of a living being,
which include the ability to
reproduce, to grow, etc.
JÁvitindriya is the vital force
of life which spreads
throughout the body. It is
vitality in both mind and
matter aspects. Mehm Tin
Mon mentions that it may be
regarded as psychic life,
which is still under studied
by scientists.
KÀyaviððatti
VacÁviððatti
Bodily and verbal
intimation:
There are some studies about
verbal and non-verbal
communication in science. The
first scientific non-verbal
communication was done by
Charles Darwin in 1872. This
study covers many scientific
areas, such as kinesics,
linguistics, semiotics, and social
psychology. Before, Charles
Darwin, John Bulwer (1644)
also published a book about the
study of gesture.
Scientists try to interpret
verbal and non-verbal
communication in many
different ways. However, in
Buddhism the commentators
explain how kÀyaviððatti (the
alteration of the air element)
and vacÁviððatti (the
alteration of the earth
element) arise in relation to
citta and mahÀbhÂtarÂpa.
Continued
Table 44, continued.
DhammÀyatana in the Buddhist Scriptures and Equivalent
Information in Modern
Science.
This table shows the
information about the
dhammÀyatana in the Buddhist
scriptures comparing to the equivalent information in
science.
Buddhism Tentative
Equivalent
Information in Science
Similarities and Differences
°kÀsÀdhÀtu Space: Space is interested by
scientists and philosophers. The
definition of space is varied
dependent on the fields of
study. Some refers to space as a
fundamental structure of the
universe (philosophy) which
objects are separated and
located. Some refers to it as a set
(in mathematics). Some refers
to it as a three-dimensional unit
(physics).
The element of space in
Buddhism has some
similarities to the concept of
space in philosophy and
physics. In Buddhism, the
element of space indicates
limitation and separation of
the material groups.
°podhÀtu The element of cohesion: There
is no concept of ÀpodhÀtu in
science.
See the last section of this
chapter for more information.
LahutÀ
MudutÀ
KammaððatÀ
Agility, elasticity, and
adaptability: These three
abilities of the body are not
mentioned much in science.
They are always referred in the
subject of sport performance
and healthy body.
In Buddhism, lahutÀ, mudutÀ,
and kammanððatÀ are the
characteristics of matter.
They are conditions and
changeability of rÂpa, unlike
in science.
Continued
Table 44, continued.
DhammÀyatana in the Buddhist Scriptures and Equivalent
Information in Modern
Science.
This table shows the
information about the
dhammÀyatana in the Buddhist
scriptures comparing to the equivalent information in
science.
Buddhism Tentative
Equivalent
Information in Science
Similarities and Differences
Upacaya
Santati
JaratÀ
AniccatÀ
Growth, continuity, and
decay, impermanence:
Growth (biological development)
and decay
(decomposition) are the
topics that are extensively
studied in Biology.
Continuity is the state that
is identified with growth.
Impermanence is not the
state that mentioned in
science.
In Buddhism, upacaya, santati,
jaratÀ, and aniccatÀ are
one of the
subtlest topics. However, some
Buddhist scriptures explain that
upacaya refers to the growth of
the embryo till the sense organs
are completely developed.
Santati refers to the continuity
of
the body from the completion of
the sense organs till the body
starts to decay. JaratÀ refers to
the state of the body when the
bones starts breaking, the hair
turns into grey, etc.282 This
explanation may not be accurate,
but it may give some ideas about
the four phases of matter. Even
though, scientists study about the
development and decomposition
of the body, the concept is still
different from the concept that
exists in Buddhism, especially,
aniccatÀ which is a very unique
concept in Buddhism.
KavaÒiôkÀrÀhÀra Nutritive essence:
Nutritive essence is also
studied in science.
Even though scientists study
nutritive essence, however, they
emphasize their study in
different areas from Buddhism.
282Y. Karunadasa, Buddhist Analysis of
Matter
(Colombo: The Department of
Cultural Affaits, 1967), p. 80.
4.3 The Comparison
between the Conditions for the Arising
of the Thought Process
in Buddhism and the
Prerequisites for the
Arising of the Sensation in Modern
Science
The conditions for the arising of the thought process in Buddhism
are similar to the conditions of the arising of the sensation in modern
science.
One of the major differences between them is that manasikÀra plays
an
important role in the arising of the thought process in Buddhism. However,
in science, the brain seems to play this role instead, as the place to
receive and
interpret sensations. Even though, the role of the manasikÀra may
not be
prominent, however, according to psychology ‘attention’ is a state of
consciousness which seems to lie behind all actions, either involuntary or
voluntary.283 Table 45 shows the comparison between the conditions for the
arising of the thought process in Buddhism and normal sensation in science.
As shown in chapter III, Helmholz comments that “all sensory
stimulation is inherent ambiguous, and true perception required the active
participation of the perceiver in order to succeed.”284 What he talks about
may refer to the manasikÀra. In addition, Mehm Tin Mon gives an
opinion
about the manasikÀra that:
Of the four causes which are required for the arising of each type of vÁthi,
the first three more or less parallel the requirements known by science.
The fourth cause, i.e., manasikÀra, is unknown in science. But many
instances may be quoted that this cause is indispensable for the
awareness of a sense-object.285
283DP, s.v. “attention.”
284Andrew M. Colman, 1994, op. cit.,
p. 156.
285Mehm Tin Mon, 1995, op. cit.,
p. 135.
The concept of the manasikÀra is still mysterious to scientists.
Scientists prefer to believe that the brain plays this role instead.
Table 45. The Comparison
between the Conditions for the Arising of the Thought
Process in Buddhism and
Sensation in Modern Science.
There are six classes of
conditions classified according to the six sense doors. Followings are the
comparison
between the conditions for the arising of the thought process in Buddhism
and the
arising of perception in modern science.
Door
Conditions for the
Arising of
Thought Process in
Buddhism
Conditions for the
Arising of
Perception Science
CakkhuppasÀda must be
good.
Retina inside the eye must be
functioning.
RÂpÀrammaõa must be
present.
Electromagnetic spectrum that
is visible to human allows the
eye to see objects.
°loka must be present. Light allows human to see
objects from its reflection on
the object surface.
Eye
ManasikÀra must be present. The role of attention is
ambiguous; however, the brain
plays an active function in the
process of perception. (*)
SotappasÀda must be good. Cochlea inside the ear must be
functioning.
SaddÀrammaõa must be
present.
Sound waves must be present.
°kÀsa must be present. Space between molecules
allows sound waves to travel to
the ear.
Ear
ManasikÀra must be present. Same as (*) above.
Continued
Table 45, continued.
The Comparison between the Conditions for the Arising of
the Thought Process in
Buddhism and Sensation in Modern Science.
There are six
classes of conditions classified according to the six sense doors.
Followings are the
comparison between the conditions for the arising of the thought process in
Buddhism and the arising of perception in modern science.
Door Conditions for the
Arising of
Thought Process in
Buddhism
Conditions for the
Arising of
Perception Science
GhÀnappasÀda must be good. Olfactory bulbs must be
functioning.
GandhÀrammaõa must be
present.
Chemical molecules must be
present.
VÀyo must be present. The chemical molecules must
be volatile to be able to move
from its source to the human
nose.
Nose
ManasikÀra must be present. Same as (*) above.
JivhÀppasÀda must be good. Taste buds located in papillae
must be functioning.
RasÀrammaõa must be
present.
Chemical molecules must be
present.
°po must be present. The chemical molecules
must
be in a form of solution.
Tongue
ManasikÀra must be present. Same as (*) above.
KÀyappasÀda must be good. Nerve sensors must be
functioning.
PhoÇÇhabbÀrammaõa must be
present.
Pressure, temperature, and
motion must be present.
ThaddhapathavÁ must be
present.
The stimuli have to be in
contact with the area that the
sensors are located.
Body
ManasikÀra must be present. Same as (*) above.
Continued
Table 45, continued.
The Comparison between the Conditions for the Arising of
the Thought Process in
Buddhism and Sensation in Modern Science.
There are six
classes of conditions classified according to the six sense doors.
Followings are the
comparison between the conditions for the arising of the thought process in
Buddhism and the arising of perception in modern science.
Door Conditions for the
Arising of
Thought Process in
Buddhism
Conditions for the
Arising of
Perception Science
ManodvÀra must be present. Mind is still under studied in
science, such as in the area of
psychology.
DhammÀrammaõa must be
present.
Mental Stimuli are still under
studied. There is no agreement
what mental stimuli are.
However, some scientists
proposed the followings
phenomena to be mental
stimuli, which are the em field
produced by the heart, neural
signals, the activity of glial
cells, and experiences.
Hadayavatthu must be
present.
The location of consciousness is
still under studied. There is no
agreement where the location
of consciousness is. However,
some scientists proposed the
brain, the heart, the nervous
system, and the DNA to be the
location of consciousness.
Mind
ManasikÀra must be present. Same as (*) above.
4.4 The Comparison
between the Fivefold Consequent
Processes in Buddhism
and the Fivefold Processes of
Sensory Transduction in
Modern Science
In this section, I would like to discuss about the fivefold consequent
processes in Buddhism comparing to the fivefold processes of sensory
transduction in modern science. The fivefold consequent processes are the
processes that arise in the mind door after one of the first five physical
internal sense bases is impinged by an object. After the processes finish,
human will be able to recognize the object that has been impinged the sense
door. The processes of perception via the first five internal Àyatanas are
still
not completely understood by modern scientists. However, the scientists
have some broad theories about how the processes work.
In Buddhism, the consequent processes are the processes of
recognition that occur in a uniform order through a series of discrete
cognitive events. After one of the five physical sense bases is impinged by
an
object, a series of mind-door processes (tadanuvattikÀ manodvÀravÁthi)
arises.
This series of mind-door processes reproduces the object perceived by one
of
the five physical sense bases in the mind-door, which will then interpret
the
meaning of the object.
In science, when the five physical organs come into contact with
their external objects, nerve signals are produced and sent to the brain.
The
brain has a function to translate what we see, hear, smell, taste, and
touch.
This is why many scientists believe that the brain is the seat of consciousness.
The process of sensory transduction in science is also known as the process
of
perception. Figure 78 shows the comparison between the process of
recognition in Buddhism and the process of perception in modern science.
Figure 78. The
Comparison between the Process of Recognition in Buddhism and
the Process of
Perception in Modern Science.
The comparison is based
on a
hypothesis that the pasÀda is located somewhere in the sensitive
part of the sense
organ, and the hadayavatthu’s delimitation is bounded by what
belongs to the flesh of
the heart. The comparison shows that the dvÀravÁthi arises in the
area of sensory
receptors where the sensation is first initiated, the atÁtaggahaõavÁthi and
samÂggahaõavÁthi arise in the area of the
central nervous system where a map of the
object is created, the atthaggahaõavÁthi arises in the area of the
primary cortex where
the fundamental pattern of the object is identified, and the nÀmaggahaõavÁthi
arises in
the area of the upstream cortex where the more complex information is
created.
Sensory
Receptors CNS Primary
Cortex
Upstream
Cortex
Brain Cortex
A thought-processes
connected to the
internal sense-door
arises, such as CakkhudvÀravÁthi
arises in the
case of seeing.
AtÁtaggahaõavÁthi is the
process that reproduces
the object just
perceived in the minddoor.
SamÂggahaõavÁthi is
the process that grasps
the visible object as a
whole by collecting
information receiving
from the two
preceding processes.
AtthaggahaõavÁthi is
the process that
conveys the concept of
the object (attha
paððatti).
NÀmaggahaõavÁthi is
the process that
recognizes designation
of the object
(nÀma paððatti).
Modern Science
DvÀravÁthi
AtÁtaggahaõavÁthi
Buddhism
Series of DvÀravÁthis
When the receptors
are stimulated, they
generate nerve signals.
In case of seeing, these
receptors are located
in the area of the
retina.
The signals are sent to
the thalamus. A rough
map of the object is
created here. In case
of seeing, these signals
are sent through the
optic nerve.
The projected information
from the
thalamus is sent to the
primary cortex, where
fundamental pattern
of the object is
identified.
The fundamental map
is sent to the upstream
cortical areas to
process more complex
information such as
form recognition.
SamÂggahaõavÁthi
AtthaggahaõavÁthi
NÀmaggahaõavÁthi
Series of
AtÁtaggahaõavÁthis
Series of
Nerve Signals
The comparison is based on a hypothesis that the pasÀda is located
somewhere in the sensory receptors of a sense organ, and the delimitation
of
the hadayavatthu is bounded by what belongs to the flesh of the
heart.
Therefore, the brain which depends on the blood from the heart also is
considered to be influenced by the hadayavatthu and may play an
important
role as a proximate cause of the arising of manoviððÀõadhÀtu. Figure
78 shows
the possibilities that:
1. The dvÀravÁthi may arise in the area of sensory receptors.
The dvÀravÁthi may arise in the area of the sensory receptors,
such as the retina,where the visual sensation is first initiated.
2. The atÁtaggahaõavÁthi may arise in the area of the CNS.
When a sense organ receives an adequate stimulus, the
sensory receptors transform the stimulus to nerve signals and
transmit them to the CNS. Therefore, the atÁtaggahaõavÁthi
should arise in this area. It should be noted here that there is
more than one nerve signal sent to the CNS. An example can
be seen from nerve signals that are sent from the retina to the
CNS. The retina works in a point-to-point, and orderly
manner. Therefore, when a given spot of the retina is
stimulated, the information will be recorded on a small part
of the CNS corresponding to that particular retinal spot.
3. The samÂggahaõavÁthi may arise in the area of the CNS.
The samÂggahaõavÁthi may arise in the area of the CNS where
a map of the object is created. In case of a visual object, when
the whole retinal field is stimulated and all nerve signals are
sent to the CNS, then the visual part of the CNS will be
plotted. The plotted map then is sent to the primary cortex.
4. The atthaggahaõavÁthi may arise in the area of the primary
cortex.
The atthaggahaõavÁthi may arise in the area of the primary
cortex, where the fundamental pattern of the object is
identified. In case of the visual object, the spatial information
of vision is created.
5. The nÀmaggahaõavÁthi may arise in the area of the upstream
cortex.
The nÀmaggahaõavÁthi may arise in the area of the upstream
cortex, where the more complex information is created. In
case of the visual object, information such as form recognition
and perception are processed.
There are some exceptions. In case of the sotadvÀravÁthi, the
nÀmaggahaõavÁthi arises prior to the atthaggahaõavÁthi
since manodvÀravÁthi
knows the designation of the object before the concept of the object.
Therefore, the nÀmaggahaõavÁthi would arise in the area of the
primary cortex
and the atthaggahaõavÁthi would arise in the area of the upstream
cortex
instead.
Since the process of perception is similar among the five physical
organs, I will explore only visual perception in this case. According to
science, when the eye sees an object, light from the object passes through
the
eye to form a two-dimensional reversed and inverted image of the object on
the retina as in figure 79.
Figure 79. Inverted
Image on the Retina.
When light passes
through the eye, an
inverted and reversed image of an object will appear on the retina.
Source Adaptive:
1. Image of the Eye Diagram: National Eye Institute, Eye Diagram, retrieved 30
November 2005, National Institutes of Health,
eyediagram/eyeimages.asp>.
The retina translates light into nerve signals which then are
transmitted to the brain. The brain then will process all information and
identify the object.286 Table 46 shows the parallels between the process of
visual recognition in Buddhism and the process of visual perception in
science and an example of the process of recognition of the cakkhudvÀravÁthi
is
shown in figure 80.
I would like to note that the image that appears on the retina is
inverted and two-dimensions. However, our mind takes that illusion and
creates more accurate picture that is upright and three-dimensions. There
was an experiment where a candidate was requested to wear a pair of
inverted-glasses. He sees objects upside-down at first. After a while, his
ability of seeing gets back to normal. This proves that our mind and brain
have ability to create illusion that makes sense to each individual.
286Philip Whitfield, 1995, op. cit.,
pp. 56-57.
Table 46. The Parallels
Between the Process of Visual Recognition in Buddhism
and the Process of
Visual Perception in Modern Science.
The table shows the
similarities between the process of visual recognition in Buddhism and in
science.
Buddhism Modern Science
Comment
CakkhudvÀravÁthi
When the eye sees an object,
light from the object passes
through the eye to form a
two-dimensional inverted
image of the object on the
retina.
If the cakkhuppasÀda is located
somewhere on the retina, then
cakkhudvÀravÁthi may arise during
this process.
AtÁtaggahaõavÁthi
The retina translates light
into nerve signals. These
nerve signals then are
transmitted to the CNS. This
process copies the image
from the retina to the CNS.
There are more than one nerve
signals that are transmitted from
the retina to the brain. The retina
works in a point-to-point, and
orderly manner. This may explain
why cakkhudvÀravÁthi and
atÁtaggahaõavÁthi arise and cease
repeated many times.
SamÂggahaõavÁthi
The CNS assembles the
various aspects of
information from nerve
signals. This process creates a
rough map of the image in
the brain. The map will be
sent to the primary cortex for
further process.
SamÂggahaõavÁthi may arise during
this process in order to gather
scattered information receiving
from cakkhudvÀravÁthi and
atÁtaggahaõavÁthi.
AtthaggahaõavÁthi
The visual center of the brain
draws on memories and
experiences to create
fundamental pattern of the
object.
The image that appears on the
retina is inverted and twodimensions.
AtthaggahaõavÁthi may
arise during this process to provide
meaningful information for us to
understand what we see.
NÀmaggahaõavÁthi
The upstream visual center
of the brain identifies the
object in detail. The more
complex information is
processed.
After we have fundamental pattern
of the object, then we can identify
the object. NÀmaggahaõavÁthi may
arise during this process.
Source Adaptive:
1. Human Body Explained, pp. 56-59.
2. Reader’s Digest: ABC’s of the Human Body, p. 196.
Figure 80. An Example of
the Process of Recognition of the CakkhudvÀravÁthi.
An
example of the process of recognition of the cakkhudvÀravÁthi with
the comparison to
the process of perception in science. The example image is represented by a
sixteenpointed
inverted image on the retina.
Continued
Figure 80, continued.
An Example of the Process of Recognition of the
CakkhudvÀravÁthi. An example of the process of recognition of the cakkhudvÀravÁthi
with the comparison to the process of perception in science. The example
image is
represented by a sixteen-pointed inverted image on the retina.
4.5 Reviewing the MahÀbhÂtarÂpa
through the Particulate
Models of Matter
In this section, I would like to review the mahÀbhÂtarÂpa through
the
particulate models of matter. The idea of presenting the mahÀbhÂtarÂpa
through an energy model is because the root of the term and the
characteristic
of the elements in the mahÀbhÂtarÂpa show some similarities to the
nature of
forces in matter.
The four main characters of the mahÀbhÂtarÂpa that are used in this
review are as follows:
1. The character of expansion and foundation in the
paÇhavÁdhÀtu: The paÇhavÁdhÀtu is
the element of extension.
The root of the term shows the quality of expansion. The
function of this particular element is to act as a foundation for
material phenomena.
2. The character of cohesion and holding together in the
ÀpodhÀtu: The ÀpodhÀtu is
the element of cohesion. It is
manifested as holding material phenomena together.
3. The character of heat in the tejodhÀtu: The tejodhÀtu is
the
element of heat. The quantity of temperature is the
characteristic of this particular element.
4. The character of vibration and causing motion in the
vÀyodhÀtu: The vÀyodhÀtu is
the element of vibration. The
function of this particular element is causing motion in
material phenomena.
The four qualities of matter that are used in this review are as
follows:
1. The force of repulsion: The repulsive force performs a very
important function in preventing a molecular structure to
collapse. This force maintains the whole structure of an
element. It acts like a foundation of matter.
2. The force of attraction: The attractive force has a function to
hold particles together.
3. The kinetic energy: The kinetic energy is the energy that a
particle possesses due to its motion.
4. The thermal energy or heat: Heat is a form of energy transfer.
Sometimes, it is called thermal energy. It is a product
associated to different types of motions. In another word,
heat is a product of the kinetic energy. Both hot and cold
temperatures are a way to measure heat.
Table 47 shows the prominent characteristic of primary element in
each type of energy force in the particles. Figure 81 depicts the prominent
dhÀtus in each type of energy
force in three states of matter.
The attractive force, the repulsive force, the kinetic energy and the
thermal energy of particles exist in matter at all the times. These characters
of
matter are inseparable. Similarly, material phenomena in Buddhism always
have characters of expansion, cohesion, heat and movement. These are basic
structures of elements that are inseparable.287 From figure 81, we can see
that:
287AnuruddhÀcariya, 1987, op. cit.,
p. 290.
Table 47. The Prominent
Characteristic of Primary Elements in Each Type of
Energy Forces in the
Particles.
The table shows that
each type of energy force of
particles in the particulate models of matter has a prominent
characteristic that is
similar to the characteristic of the primary elements in the mahÀbhÂtarÂpa.
Energy Type Character
Prominent
Characteristic
in
Reason
Repulsive Force Expansion and
foundation
PaÇhavÁdhÀtu The paÇhavÁdhÀtu is
the
prominent characteristic
in the repulsive force,
since the repulsive force
causes expansion between
particles. It also prevents
the structure of matter
from collapse. Without
this force, there is no
foundation for the
structure of matter.
Attractive Force Cohesion and
holding
particles
together
°podhÀtu The ÀpodhÀtu is
the
prominent characteristic
in the attractive force.
The force of attraction
between particles makes
scattered particles
cohered. It holds particles
together.
Thermal Energy Heat, hot and
cold
temperature
TejodhÀtu The tejodhÀtu is
the
prominent characteristic
in the thermal energy.
Heat of matter results
from the speed of
movement of particles,
which are caused by the
kinetic energy.
Kinetic Energy Vibration and
causing motion
VÀyodhÀtu The vÀyodhÀtu is
the
prominent characteristic
in the kinetic energy,
since particles are in
constant motion due to
the kinetic energy.
Figure 81. Reviewing the
MahÀbhÂtarÂpa through the Particulate Models of
Matter. The figure depicts the prominent elements in each
type of energy force.
Solid State
+ Energy
- Energy
Kinetic energy generates
vibrations, at a fixed position.
Repulsive force creates a fixed
gap between particles,
preventing matter from collapse.
Attractive force between
particles holds particles together
tightly.
Heat is a production of vibration.
TejodhÀtu
PaÇhavÁdhÀtu
VÀyodhÀtu
°podhÀtu
Liquid State
+ Energy
- Energy
Kinetic energy generates more
vibrations, which allowparticles
to move for a short distance.
Increasing in repulsive force
results in a bigger gap between
particles.
Less attractive forcemakes
particles less cohered.
More heat is derived from faster
movement of particles.
TejodhÀtu
PaÇhavÁdhÀtu
VÀyodhÀtu
°podhÀtu
Gaseous
State
Kinetic energy generates more
movement, such that the
particles can move freely in all
direction.
Increasing in repulsive force
results in a bigger gap between
particles.
Less attractive forcemakes
particles less cohered.
Higher temperature is derived
from faster movement of
particles.
TejodhÀtu
PaÇhavÁdhÀtu
VÀyodhÀtu
°podhÀtu
1. PaÇhavÁdhÀtu is the prominent characteristic seen in the force
of repulsion, since both of them create expansion.
2. °podhÀtu is the prominent characteristic seen in the force of
attraction, since both of them have an ability to hold things
together.
3. TejodhÀtu is the prominent characteristic seen in the thermal
energy that is derived from the motions of particles.
4. VÀyodhÀtu is the prominent characteristic seen in the kinetic
energy, since both of them are related to the movement of
matter.
From the above information, we see that the force of attraction is the
force that acts between the particles of matter. It has a function to holds
the
particles together. The direction of the force is moving towards the inside
of
matter. The attractive force inside matter could neither create a pair of
actionreaction
forces interacting between two objects nor create the pressure applied
on the surface of the human skin as shown in figure 82. Therefore, human
beings could not sense the attractive force. The ÀpodhÀtu also has
the
characteristic of cohesion. This may be the reason why it is not a part of
the
phoÇÇhabbÀyatana.
We now see that the characteristics of the mahÀbhÂtarÂpa exist in
the
forces and the energies in the relationship between the atoms and the
molecules. Do these characteristics exist inside an atom or something that
is
smaller than the atom?
Figure 82. The
Relationship between the Sense of Touch and the Direction of
Forces. The figure represents the relationship between the
direction of the forces and
the sense of touch. If the ÀpodhÀtu is the prominent character of
the attractive force,
then the sense of touch could not normally detect the ÀpodhÀtu since
the direction of
the force moves outward from the human body. In sum, the attractive force
could
not normally create the pressure on the skin of the body.
A quark, an elementary particle smaller than the atom not known to
have substructures right now, is a particle with spin and magnetic moment.
The spin of the quark tells us that the quark consists of the vÀyodhÀtu (the
movement of spinning) and the tejodhÀtu (heat derived from the
movement).
The magnetic moment of the quark shows that the quark has the nature of
attraction or repulsion on other magnetic materials, which means that the
quark consists of the paÇhavÁdhÀtu and the ÀpodhÀtu. Then the
characteristics of
the mahÀbhÂtarÂpa also exist in the elementary particles known in
science.
However unlike the atom, the quark does not have chemical properties, such
as tastes and odors. Even though the quark carries a color, the color of
the
quark has nothing to do with the perception of light. The color of the
quark is
just a naming convention. Therefore, the AvinibbhogarÂpa in Buddhism
could
be compare to only the atomic level of matter, since if we further divide
the
atom into smaller particles, the chemical properties of the atom could not
be
maintained.
4.6 Summary of the
Chapter
This chapter shows that there exist some similarities between the
twelve Àyatanas in Buddhism and the sensory receptors and the sense
stimuli
in human anatomy in science. However, the comparison between the twelve
Àyatanas and their parallels
shows that they may not imply the same thing.
Table 48 shows the similarities and the differences between the
internal Àyatanas and the sensory receptors. Table 49 shows the
result of the
comparison between the external Àyatanas and the sense stimuli.
Table 48. The
Correlation between the Internal °yatanas and the Sensory
Receptors. The table compares and contrasts the information
between the internal
Àyatanas in Buddhism and the sensory
receptors in science.
Internal °yatanas
vs. Sensory
Receptors
Similarities
Dissimilarities
ChakkhÀyatana vs. Eye
(CakkhuppasÀda vs.
Retina)
The location of the
cakkhuppasÀda permeates
through the seven layers
of ocular membrane and
is not bigger than the
head of a louse. This
description is similar to
the structure of the retinal
layers of the eye.
The retina is actually
consists of ten layers, not
seven layers. However,
three layers of them are not
related to the light
transduction process.
SotÀyatana vs. Ear
(SotappasÀda vs.
Cochlea)
The location of the
sotappasÀda has a shape
like a finger-ring, fringed
by hairs. This description
is similar to the
description of the cochlea
and the Organ of Corti
located inside the ear.
The cochlea actually has a
shape like a snail with two
and a half spiral turns like.
GhÀnÀyatana vs. Nose
(GhÀnappasÀda vs.
Olfactory bulbs)
The ghÀnappasÀda is
located in the area
shaped like a goat’s hoof,
which is similar to the
description of the nasal
conchae. However, The
Path of Freedom further
indicates that the
ghÀnappasÀda is located at
the place where the three
goat’s hooves meet. This
area may refer to the
olfactory bulbs located
above the upper most
concha.
The nasal conchae have a
function to deflect air up to
the upper part of the nose.
Therefore, the sentient part
of the nose should not be
located here. However,
what spread inside and
above the superior concha
is the olfactory nerves.
This should be the place
where the three goat’s
hooves meet mentioned in
The Path of Freedom.
Continued
Table 48, continued.
The Correlation between the Internal °yatanas and the
Sensory Receptors. The table compares and contrasts the information
between the
internal Àyatanas in Buddhism and the sensory receptors in science.
Internal °yatanas vs.
Sensory Receptors
Similarities Dissimilarities
JivhÀyatana vs. Tongue
(JivhÀppasÀda vs. Taste
buds)
The jivhÀppasÀda is located
in the area shaped like the
upper part of a torn lotus
leaf. This description is
similar to the papillae on
the tongue. Inside them
are the locations of taste
buds where flavors are
detected.
-
KÀyÀyatana vs. Body
(KÀyappasÀda vs. Nerve
sensors)
The kÀyappasÀda is
described as spreading
throughout the whole
body like oil diffusing over
cotton-rag. The description
of the kÀyappasÀda is similar
to the description of nerve
sensors located throughout
the whole body.
In Buddhism, firm solid
element (thaddhapathavÁ)
must be present in the
process of touching.
This factor is not known
in science. However,
the nerve sensors must
be instigated by the
objects in the process of
touching. This may
imply the same thing.
ManÀyatana vs. Mind
(ManodvÀra vs. mind)
Controversial issue and under studied. Most
physicians believe that the upper right chamber of the
heart around the SA node is where the mind is
located. However, many scientists believe that the
brain plays an important part as the location of the
mind.
Table 49. The
Correlation between the External °yatanas and the Sense Stimuli.
The table compares and contrasts the information between the external Àyatanas
in
Buddhism and the sense stimuli in science.
External °yatanas vs.
Sense Stimuli
Similarities Dissimilarities
RÂpÀyatana vs. Visual
Stimulus
The object of seeing in
Buddhism is rÂpÀyatana. It
is also known as vaõõanibhÀ,
which can be
compared to color in
science. Both Buddhism
and science indicates that
light is a very important
factor in the process of
seeing.
Scientists further study
the visual stimulus,
color, and identify it as
electromagnetic spectrum
of light in
different wavelengths.
SaddÀyatana vs.
Auditory Stimulus
SaddÀyatana is sound. Both
Buddhism and science
indicates that space is an
important factor in the
process of hearing.
Scientists further study
and identify auditory
stimulus, sound, that it
is in a form of wave
arising from changes in
pressure which is a
product of vibrations of
an object.
GandhÀyatana vs.
Olfactory Stimulus
GandhÀyatana is odor.
Scientists indicate that the
olfactory stimulus is
chemical molecules.
Buddhism indicates the
vÀyodhÀtu as a factor of
smelling. Scientists
indicate that olfactory
stimulus needs to be
volatile. The vÀyodhÀtu
is the prominent
characteristic seen in
volatile substances.
However, they are not
the same thing.
Continued
Table 49, continued.
The Correlation between the External °yatanas and the Sense
Stimuli. The table compares and contrasts the information
between the external
Àyatanas in Buddhism and the
sense stimuli in science.
External °yatanas vs.
Sense Stimuli
Similarities Dissimilarities
RasÀyatana vs.
Gustatory Stimulus
RasÀyatana is flavor.
Scientists indicate that the
gustatory stimulus is a
type of chemical
molecules.
Buddhism indicates the
ÀpodhÀtu as a factor of
tasting. Scientists
indicate that the
gustatory stimulus
needs to be in a form of
solution. The ÀpodhÀtu
is not fluid, however, it
is the prominent
characteristic seen in the
solution. The concepts
between the ÀpodhÀtu
and the solution are
quite different.
PhoÇÇhabbÀyatana vs.
Bodily Stimuli
Pressure, temperature and
motion are included in
both the phoÇÇhabbÀyatana
in Buddhism and the
bodily stimuli in science.
Scientists also include
pain as a stimulus of the
body.
DhammÀyatana vs.
Mental Stimuli
Science does not have much information about the
mental stimuli. This is where science lags behind
Buddhism.


VI.

DEMON

LINEAGE

with

Level I: Introduction to Buddhism

Level II: Buddhist Studies

TO ATTAIN

Level III: Stream-Enterer

Level IV: Once - Returner

Level V: Non-Returner

Level VI: Arhat

Jambudvipa,
i.e, PraBuddha Bharath scientific
thought in

mathematics,

astronomy,

alchemy,

and

anatomy

http://www.mcu.ac.th/thesis_file/255127.pdf

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