Kalapas constitute a heuristic categorization of phenomena in the discourses of the Buddha. The Buddha's teaching regarding them is to be understood as the base of all observation of real sensations rather than as a philosophy. The earliest Buddhist texts explain that the four primary material elements are the sensory qualities solidity, fluidity, temperature, and mobility; their characterization as earth, water, fire, and air, respectively, is declared an abstraction -- instead of concentrating on the fact of material existence, one observes how a physical thing is sensed, felt, perceived. [Dan Lusthaus, "What is and isn't Yogacara." [http://www.acmuller.net/yogacara/articles/intro-uni.htm] .] Color, smell, taste, and nutriment are secondary properties that derive from the primaries. The description of the four elements of earth, water, air and fire by the Buddha predates the similar description in ancient Greece. The Buddha sent 60 arahants around 587 BCE to all known lands to spread his teachings.

External links

* [http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/authors/khin/wheel231.html "The Essentials of Buddha Dhamma"] The Buddhist Publication Society, Sri Lanka

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