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In Buddhism, rūpa (Sanskrit; Pāli; Devanagari: रूप; Thai: รูป) generally refers to material objects, particularly in regard to their appearance.

In Buddhism, rūpa (Sanskrit; Pāli; Devanagari: रूप; Thai: รูป) generally refers to material objects, particularly in regard to their appearance.

In general, rūpa is the Buddhist concept of material form, including both the body and external matter.

More specifically, in the Pali Canon, rūpa is contextualized in three significant frameworks:

rūpa-khandha – "material forms," one of the five aggregates (khandha) by which all phenomena can be categorized

rūpa-āyatana – "visible objects," the external sense objects of the eye, one of the six external sense bases (āyatana) by which the world is known.

nāma-rūpa – "name and form" or "mind and body," which in the causal chain of dependent origination (paticca-samuppāda) arises from consciousness and leads to the arising of the sense bases.

In addition, more generally, rūpa is used to describe a statue, in which it is sometimes called Buddharupa.

Rūpa-khandha

Rūpa is not matter as in the metaphysical substance of materialism. Instead it means both materiality and sensibility — signifying, for example, a tactile object both insofar as that object is made of matter and that the object can be tactically sensed. In fact rūpa is more essentially defined by its amenability to being sensed than its being matter: just like everything else it is defined in terms of its function; what it does, not what it is. As matter, rūpa is traditionally analysed in two ways: as four primary elements (Pali, mahābhūta); and, as ten or twenty-four secondary or derived elements.

For more info see the Wiki.

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