Finished notes for the Majjhima Nikāya!

Bhante, in cases like this, the word “element” should perhaps be added now:

SN55.17:2.1: Siyā, bhikkhave, catunnaṁ mahābhūtānaṁ aññathattaṁ—pathavīdhātuyā, āpodhātuyā, tejodhātuyā, vāyodhātuyā—na tveva buddhe aveccappasādena samannāgatassa ariyasāvakassa siyā aññathattaṁ.
There might be change in the four principal states—earth, water, fire, and air—but a noble disciple with experiential confidence in the Buddha would never change.

Like, "There might be change in the four principal states—the elements of earth, water, fire, and air—but a noble disciple with experiential confidence in the Buddha would never change.

Similarly in segment 2.6 in the same sutta, and probably elsewhere too.


SN55.21:3.3: Evameva kho, mahānāma, yassa kassaci dīgharattaṁ saddhāparibhāvitaṁ cittaṁ …pe…
In the same way, take someone whose mind has for a long time been imbued with faith, ethics, learning, generosity, and wisdom. Their body consists of form, made up of the four elements, produced by mother and father, built up from rice and porridge, liable to impermanence, to wearing away and erosion, to breaking up and destruction.

Here we have still four elements left. The Pali is abbreviated, but compare segment 2.3 where it speaks of the four mahābhūtā.

And in MN9:54.4 we have still “four primary elements, and form derived from the four primary elements”.

(Just posting this here instead of the rainbow thread.)

Good points, thanks.

The unconvincing problem with this is it assumes Bṛhadāraṇyaka Upaniṣad existed during the Buddha’s lifetime, which would only be supported by non-Sutta opinions. I read in SN 12.61:

This body made up of the four primary elements is seen to last for a year, or for two, three, four, five, ten, twenty, thirty, forty, fifty, or a hundred years, or even longer.

Dissatāyaṁ, bhikkhave, cātumahābhūtiko kāyo ekampi vassaṁ tiṭṭhamāno dvepi vassāni tiṭṭhamāno tīṇipi vassāni tiṭṭhamāno cattāripi vassāni tiṭṭhamāno pañcapi vassāni tiṭṭhamāno dasapi vassāni tiṭṭhamāno vīsatipi vassāni tiṭṭhamāno tiṁsampi vassāni tiṭṭhamāno cattārīsampi vassāni tiṭṭhamāno paññāsampi vassāni tiṭṭhamāno vassasatampi tiṭṭhamāno, bhiyyopi tiṭṭhamāno.

But that which is called ‘mind’ and also ‘sentience’ and also ‘consciousness’ arises as one thing and ceases as another all day and all night.

Yañca kho etaṁ, bhikkhave, vuccati cittaṁ itipi, mano itipi, viññāṇaṁ itipi, taṁ rattiyā ca divasassa ca aññadeva uppajjati aññaṁ nirujjhati.

In read in MN 38 about bhūta :

Mendicants, do you see that this has come to be?”
Bhūtamidanti, bhikkhave, passathā”ti?

“Yes, sir.”
“Evaṁ, bhante”.

“Do you see that it originated with that as fuel?”
“Tadāhārasambhavanti, bhikkhave, passathā”ti?

“Yes, sir.”
“Evaṁ, bhante”.

“Do you see that when that fuel ceases, what has come to be is liable to cease?”
“Tadāhāranirodhā yaṁ bhūtaṁ, taṁ nirodhadhammanti, bhikkhave, passathā”ti?

“Yes, sir.”
“Evaṁ, bhante”

Relying on SN 12.61, it reads as though the “maha bhuta” is so because this type of “bhuta” lasts a relatively long time compared to other “bhuta”.

If you follow my work, I believe I have established beyond reasonable doubt that not only did it exist, but that the Buddha studied it under his former teachers, to whom he attributes a saying that is derived from BU. The relevant tradition is named Adhvaryu (Pali addhariyā in DN 13, which as Wijesekera proposed and Jayatilleke concurs must be a reference to the Śatapatha Brāhmaṇa, of which the BU is the final chapter. I’ve noted dozens, if not hundreds, of points of reference, of which this is just one.

Anyway, what’s wrong with “non-Sutta” opinions?

That would be a lot easier if it were published in, say, book form wink wink :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye: :pray: :grin:

Footnotes and forum posts are a bit hard to “follow” the thread of as they’re not necessarily engaged with in order.

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