The first four are called primary qualities and are predominant in kalapas. The other four are secondary (or "derived") properties that come from the primary qualities.
The description of the Four Elements (maha-bhuta) of earth, water, air and fire by the Buddha predates similar descriptions in ancient Greece. The Buddha had sent out 60 arahants around 587 BCE (an estimate) to all known lands, including the Greek empire, to spread his Teachings (known as the Dharma).
- PHOTOS: Of course, "photographing" a kalapa would be far more difficult than capturing a classic "atom" or more modern "quanta" in physics. Nevertheless, to appease enquiring mind, these images (diamond3d.houa.org) are offered. It is not only possible to see ultimately material phenomena during meditation (after having attained the jhanas, thus sharpening the mind, it is necessary to the attainment of liberating insight. This process is known as vipassana preceded by serenity (samatha). It is the Buddha's ancient gradual path to the goal of Nirvana ("complete freedom from suffering").
Sayagyi Thray Sithu U Ba Khin (Access to Insight)
Impermanence (anicca) is, of course, the essential fact which must be first experienced and understood by practice. Mere book-knowledge of the Buddha-Dhamma will not be enough for the correct understanding of Anicca because the experiential aspect will be missing.
To understand Impermanence one must follow strictly and diligently the Eightfold Noble Path, which is divided into the three groups of Sila, Samadhi, and Pañña — Morality, Concentration, and Wisdom.
- PHOTO: U Ba Khin (vri.dhamma.org)