Visuddhimagga XI-43

Atha vā pana ye ime catunnaṃ mahābhūtānaṃ nissattabhāvadassanatthaṃ dhammasenāpatinā ‘‘aṭṭhiñca paṭicca nhāruñca paṭicca maṃsañca paṭicca cammañca paṭicca ākāso parivārito rūpantveva saṅkhaṃ gacchatī’’ti (ma. ni. 1.306) cattāro koṭṭhāsā vuttā.


Ñ(XI,43): Or alternatively, there are these four [bodily] parts mentioned by the General of the Dhamma [the Elder Sāriputta] for the purpose of showing the absence of any living being in the four great primary elements thus: 'When a space is enclosed with bones and sinews and flesh and skin, there comes to be the term "material form" (rūpa)' (M.i,190).

Tesu taṃ taṃ antarānusārinā ñāṇahatthena vinibbhujitvā vinibbhujitvā yo etesu thaddhabhāvo vā kharabhāvo vā, ayaṃ pathavīdhātūti purimanayeneva dhātuyo pariggahetvā punappunaṃ pathavīdhātu āpodhātūti dhātumattato nissattato nijjīvato āvajjitabbaṃ manasikātabbaṃ paccavekkhitabbaṃ.


Ñ: And he should resolve each of these [as a separate entity], separating them out by the hand of knowledge, and then discern them in the way already stated thus: 'In these what is stiffenedness or harshness is the earth element'. And he should again and again advert to them, give attention to them and review them as mere elements, not a living being, not a soul.

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Acknowledgment: Thanks to Buddhist Publication Society (BPS) and Venerable Nyanatusita for allowing me to use the English translation of the Visuddhimagga (The Path Of Purification) by Bhadantācariya Buddhaghosa, translated from the Pāḷi by Bhikkhu Ñāṇamoli, as part of a combined Chinese English translation.

Sādhu ! Sādhu ! Sādhu !