Points of Controversy

14.4. Of the Outward Life of an Ariyan

Controverted Point: That the Ariyan “forms” of speech and action are derived from the four primary qualities of matter.

Theravādin: You admit that the qualities of the Ariyan are moral, and not unmoral. But the primary qualities of matter are not moral; they are unmoral… .

Again, there is in these primary qualities nothing akin to the absence of intoxicant, fetter, tie, flood, bond, hindrance, infection, grasping, corruption, characteristic of the Ariyan’s qualities. On the contrary, the former are concomitant with these ethically undesirable things.

Uttarapāthakas: But if I am wrong, was it not said by the Exalted One:

“Whatever matter there is, bhikkhus, is the four primary qualities and their derivatives.”

Hence it is surely right to say that the material qualities of the Ariyan are derived from the primary qualities.