- Hard: rigid. Harsh: rough. Herein, the first is a word for the characteristic, while the second is a word for the mode; for the earth element is characterized as hard, but its mode is rough, which is why it is called “harsh.” Clung to: taken firmly [by kamma]; the meaning is, firmly taken, seized, adhered to, as “I,” “mine” (see §89f.).
Visuddhimagga - CHAPTER XI Concentration (conclusion): Nutriment and the Elements
What is the difference between a dhammas characteristic and it’s mode?