Why is bodily intimation - ultimate reality?

What exactly does paramattha refer to? Indivisibility?

If so, why is bodily-intimation considered to be paramattha?

Bodily gesture requires a being that gestures. That is a concept. Motion using hands & fingers (for example), is also a concept. Shape is another concept. Collection of parts is another. So is continuity… The significance of the, lets say hand sign is also very conceptual. For example, thumb up sign. In some cultures it means “Good! Live!”. In other cultures it is very offensive. OK hand gesture has positive meaning in one set of cultures and offensive in others… Etc.

Body is reducible to 4 elements. Its shape, color, etc, is also reducible further…

What makes bodily intimation paramattha?

Thank you.

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Dear Citta
These are useful questions.
I add a little and maybe others can too.

Kaya-vinnatti [kāyaviññatt] , bodily intimation, is rupa given rise to by citta, it is classified as upādārūpaṃ, derived materilaity, as it is not one of the great elements.
vism XIV

441.Abhikkamādipavattakacittasamuṭṭhānavāyodhātuy ā sahajarūpakāyathambhanasandhāraṇacalanassa paccayo ākāravikāro kāyaviññatti, adhippāyapakāsanarasā, kāyavipphandanahetubhāvapaccupaṭṭhānā, cittasamuṭṭhānavāyodhātupadaṭṭhānā.

61.14. Bodily intimation is the mode (conformation) and the alteration (deformation) in the consciousness- originated air element that causes the occurrence of moving forward, etc., which mode and alteration are a condition for the stiffening, upholding, and moving of the conascent material body. [448] Its function is to display intention. It is manifested as the cause of bodily excitement. Its proximate cause is the consciousness-originated air element.

note that its cause is " consciousness-originated air element".
Thus this puppet moves in various ways and fools the multitude who think there is a person who is moving and doing…
Vism XIV

Tāya ca pana calitehi cittajarūpehi abhisambandhānaṃ utujādīnampi calanato abhikkamādayo pavattantīti veditabbā.
Moving forward, etc., should be understood to occur owing to the movement of the [kinds of matter] that are temperature-born, etc., which are interlocked with the consciousness-born kinds moved by that [intimation]27 (See Dhs §636).

So complex. The bodily intimation is citta produced but they are interlocked with the temperature produced matter.

Thus if one snaps one fingers in one country it might be insulting and produced by citta rooted in aversion.
In another it might be a way of showing appreciation and the citta is rooted in lobha or even alobha.


This is a complex matter again.
Like vaci-vinnatti kaya-vinnatti [kāyaviññatt] is classified as anipphanna-rupa and can be contrasted with nipphanna-rupa.

Nyanatiloka. Manual of Buddhist Terms and Doctrines,
Nipphanna-rūpa : ‘produced materiality’, is identical with rūpa-rūpa ‘materiality proper’, i.e. material or actual materiality, as contrasted with ‘unproduced materiality’ anipphanna-rūpa consisting of mere qualities or modes of materiality, e.g. impermanence, etc., which are also enumerated among the 28 phenomena of the materiality group.

Thus it is not classified as material “proper”, it is a special quality of some rupa.


Thank you, RobertK for your replies!
Always appreciated.

So lets say a person is travelling in a foreign country and doesn’t know all of its customs does a hand gesture that is totally positive in his culture but not in the place he is at. His intention is positive (in a worldly sense). So how would this action be classified? Non-insulting (lobha or alobha) or insulting (dosa)?



It all depends on the nature of the citta. Making a gesture that is done from a mindstate of genuine kindness is kusala even if it is (mis)perceived by the other as an insult.

Or a person could make a some kind of gesture to a woman, for example, with a mindstate rooted in desire, lobha. But it is mistaken, due to cultural differences as an insulting gesture. In that case it is akusala but the woman imagines it to be disrespect( a different type of akusala) rather than a botched attempt to initiate a conversation.