Details of Karma 5: Nature of Nonrevealing Forms According to Vaibhashika

Definition of a Nonrevealing Form

Vasubandhu defines nonrevealing forms in A Treasure House of Special Topics of Knowledge, Put in Verses (I.11) (Gretil ed., Derge Tengyur vol. 140, 2A):

That which is even in someone (whose mind) has strayed or without a mind, which has continuity, which is pure or impure, having depended (rgyur-byas-pa, Skt. upādāya) on great elements, is spoken of, in fact, as a nonrevealing (form).
(Skt.) vikṣiptācittakasyāpi yo 'nubandhaḥ śubhāśubhaḥ / mahābhūtānyupādāya sa hyavijñaptirucyate // 
(Tib.) /g.yengs dang sems med pa yi yang / /dge dang mi dge rjes 'brel gang / /'byung ba che rnams rgyur byas pa/ /de ni rnam rig byed min brjod/ 

Vasubandhu explains in his Autocommentary to “A Treasure House of Special Topics of Knowledge” (Gretil ed. 8.03-05, Derge Tengyur vol. 140, 31B):

“In someone whose mind has strayed” (means) even in someone whose mind is other than that. “In someone without a mind” (means) in someone deeply absorbed in the meditative attainment from a balanced absorption on non-distinguishing or the meditative attainment from a balanced absorption on cessation. With the word “even,” one can know (that it is) even in someone whose mind has not strayed. “Which has continuity” (means) a continuous flow. “Pure or impure” (means) constructive or destructive. 
(Skt.) vikṣiptacittakasyeti tadanyacittasyāpi // acittakasyāpītyasaṃjñinirodhasamāpattisamāpannasyāpi / apiśabdenāvikṣiptasacittasyāpīti vijñāyate / yo 'nu bandha iti yaḥ pravāhaḥ / śubhāśubha iti kuśalākuśalaḥ /
(Tib.) da ni rnam par rig byed ma yin pa bsnyad par bya ba de brjod par bya ste/ g.yengs dang sems med pa yi yang / /dge dang mi dge'i rjes 'brel gang / /'byung ba che rnams rgyur byas pa/ /de ni rnam rig byed min brjod/ /sems g.yengs pa zhes bya ba ni de las gzhan pa'i sems kyi yang yin pa'o/ /sems med pa'i yang zhes bya ba ni 'du shes med pa dang / 'gog pa'i snyoms par 'jug pa'i yang yin pa'o/ /yang zhes bya ba'i sgras ni ma g.yengs pa sems dang bcas pa'i yang yin no zhes bya bar mngon no/ /dge dang mi dge zhes bya ba ni dge legs dang dge legs ma yin ba'o| /rjes 'brel gang zhes bya ba ni rgyun to/

An example of a nonrevealing form is a restraint (sdom-pa, Skt. saṃvara), which includes vowed restraints, such as those of pratimoksha vows for individual liberation (so-thar sdom-pa, Skt. pratimokṣasaṃvara) – for instance, those for full monks or full nuns.

The restraints of mental constancy (bsam-gtan sdom-pa, Skt. dhyānasaṃvara) are also nonrevealing forms. They are the temporary blockages of gross consciousness, gross feelings and gross distinguishing during the meditative attainment of a balanced absorption on non-distinguishing (‘du-shes med-pa’i snyoms-‘jug, Skt. saṃjñisamāpatti) and also of gross disturbing emotions during the meditative attainment of a balanced absorption on cessation (‘gog-pa’i snyoms-‘jug, Skt. nirodhasamāpatti). Vasubandhu calls these deep states of absorbed concentration “states without a mind” (sems med-pa, Skt. acittaka). 

A third type of restraint that is also a nonrevealing form is an untainted restraint (zag-med sdom pa, Skt. anasrāvasaṃvara), which refers to the restraints gained from being parted from tainted phenomena, such as from disturbing emotions, gained with the attainment of true pathway minds.

Jinaputra Yashomitra, in The Clarified Meaning, An Explanatory Commentary on (Vasubandhu’s) “Treasure House of Special Topics of Knowledge” (Gretil ed., Derge Tengyur vol. 104, 25A-B), clarifies Vasubandhu’s text: 

“In someone whose mind has strayed (means) even in someone whose mind is other than that” has the meaning, “in someone whose mind is other that of a mind that has not strayed.” It is like this: A mind that is one that causes (motivates) a constructive nonrevealing (form) to arise is constructive. A mind that is other than that is a destructive or unspecified mind. That is what is meant here as “a mind that has strayed.” Also, a mind that is one that causes (motivates) a destructive nonrevealing (form) to arise is destructive. A mind that is other than that is a constructive or unspecified mind. That too, in fact, must be known as a mind that has strayed.
(Skt.) vikṣiptacittasyeti tadanyacittasyāpīti avikṣiptacittād anyacittasyety arthaḥ. tadyathā kuśalāyā avijñapteḥ samutthāpakaṃ cittaṃ kuśalaṃ. tadanyacitto 'kuśalāvyākṛtacittaḥ. sa iha vikṣiptacitto 'bhipretaḥ. akuśalāyās tv avijñapter akuśalaṃ cittaṃ samutthāpakaṃ. tadanyacittaḥ kuśalāvyākṛtacittaḥ. sa cāpi vikṣiptacitto veditavyaḥ.
(Tib.) /sems g.yengs pa zhes bya ba ni de las gzhan pa'i sems kyi yang yin pa'o zhes bya ba ni rnam par rig byed ma yin pa'i sems las gzhan pa'i sems kyi yin pa zhes bya ba'i tha tshig go/ /'di lta ste dge ba'i rnam par rig byed ma yin pa kun nas slong bar byed pa'i sems ni dge ba yin la/ de las gzhan pa'i sems ni mi dge ba'i sems dang lung du ma bstan pa'i sems yin te 'dir sems g.yengs pa ni de yin par bsams pa yin no/ /mi dge ba'i rnam par rig byed ma yin pa kun nas slong bar byed pa'i sems ni mi dge ba yin la de las gzhan pa'i sems ni dge ba dang lung du ma bstan pa'i sems yin la 'dir yang sems g.yengs ba ni de yin par rig bar bya ste de las gzhan pa'i sems de'i yang yin no/

There are several ways in which the presence of a nonrevealing form on someone’s continuum comes to an end, which will be discussed in the next part of this series. But until it is lost by one of these methods, a constructive nonrevealing form remains on someone’s continuum, even when something destructive arises in their mind. Likewise, a destructive nonrevealing form remains on someone’s continuum, even when something constructive arises in their mind. 

Unlike Acquisitions, Nonrevealing Forms (Arise) Having Depended on Great Elements as Their Generating Cause

Vasubandhu continues his explanation of verse I.11 in his Autocommentary (Gretil ed. 8.05-07, Derge Tengyur vol. 140, 31B):

“Even the continuous flow of an acquisition is like this: in (it too) being constructive or destructive.” But it (a nonrevealing form) is spoken of as something with a meaning that is distinct from that (acquisition, namely) as “something having depended on great elements.” The Vaibhashikas say that the meaning of “having depended on (something) (rgyur-byas-pa, Skt. upādāya)” is (the same as) the meaning of “(having had something) as its cause (rgyu, Skt. hetu),” because of the existence (of great elements) as its generating and so on cause (skyed-pa’i rgyu, Skt. jananahetu). 
(Skt.) / kuśalākuśale prāptipravāho 'pyastīdṛśa iti tadviśeṣaṇārthamucyate mahābhūtānyupādāyeti / hetvartha upādāyārtha iti vaibhāṣikāḥ / jananādihetubhāvāt
(Tib.) /thob pa'i rgyun yang 'di lta bu yod pas bye brag tu bya ba'i phyir/ 'byung ba che rnams rgyur byas pa/ /zhes bya ba brjod do/ /bye brag tu smra ba rnams na re rgyur byas pa'i don ni rgyu'i don to/ /skyed pa la sogs pa rgyu'i ngo bo nyid yin pa'i phyir ro zhes zer ro/

An acquisition (thob-pa, Skt. prāpti), such as the acquisition of a nonrevealing form, is a noncongruent affecting variable (ldan-min ‘du-byed, Skt. viprayuktasaṃskāra): neither a form of physical phenomenon nor a way of being aware of something. Like a constructive or destructive nonrevealing form, the acquisition of such a form is likewise constructive or destructive and also has a continuous, uninterrupted flow. Nevertheless, unlike a nonrevealing form, an acquisition is not something that arises having depended on great elements – earth, water, fire and wind – as its generating cause. For example, the acquisitions of the meditative attainments from balanced absorptions on non-distinguishing and on cessation arise having depended on the mental consciousness and accompanying mental factors of those states of balanced absorptions as their generating cause.

“Because of the existence (of great elements) as its generating and so on cause” indicates that the great elements serve as several types of causes for nonrevealing forms besides being their generating cause. These additional causes will be explained shortly. An important point to keep in mind about the Sanskrit gerund “upādāya,” in the expression “having depended on great elements as its generating cause,” is that it connotes “having employed or taken great elements as its foundation (gzhi, Skt. āśraya).” The term also appears in Vasubandhu’s explanation, Treasure House (I.9), of sensory consciousness arising having depended on the great elements of the sensory cognitive sensors. Thus, something that arises having depended on great elements as its generating cause is not necessarily itself comprised of great elements.

Jinaputra Yashomitra (Gretil ed., Derge Tengyur vol. 104, 25B) clarifies further:  

“Even the continuous flow of an acquisition is like this” (means) even an acquisition, having a continuous flow even in a mind that has strayed or not strayed is, likewise, constructive or destructive.”  But it (a nonrevealing form) is spoken of as something with a meaning that is distinct from that (acquisition) – (namely), as “something that (arises) having depended on great elements,” (which means) as something that has great elements as its cause.” As in the case of the expression, “Fire comes to exist having depended on kindling,” it conveys, “Fire is something that has kindling as its cause.” 
(Skt.) prāptipravāho 'py asti īdṛśa iti. tatprāptir api vikṣiptāvikṣiptacittasyāpi pravāhiṇī kuśalākuśalaiva ceti tadviśeṣaṇārtham ucyate. mahābhūtāny upādāyeti. mahābhūtahetuka ity arthaḥ. yathendhanam upādāyāgnir bhavatīty ukte. indhanahetuko 'gnir iti gamyate.
(Tib.) /thob pa'i rgyun yang 'di lta bu yod pas zhes bya ba ni de'i thob pa yang g.yengs pa dang sems med pa las yang rgyun chags pa yin la/ dge ba dang mi dge ba nyid kyang yin pas de las khyad par du bya ba'i phyir/ 'byung ba che rnams rgyur byas pa/ /zhes bya ba smos te/ 'byung ba chen po rgyu las byung ba zhes bya ba'i tha tshig go/ /dper na bud shing rgyur byas nas me 'byung ngo zhes byas na bud shing gi rgyu las byung ba'i mi zhes bya bar go ba dang 'dra'o/ 

According to Vaibhashika, the smallest particles (rdul-‘phran, Skt. paramāṇu) are partless composites of the four great elements (‘byung-ba, Skt,. bhūta) – earth, water, fire and wind – and the four derivative elements (‘byung-gyur, Skt. bautika) – visible form, smell, taste and tactile sensation. A composite form (bsags-pa’i gzugs) is a material object, such as the smallest particle, that constitutes a whole mass (gong-bu), in which all its components are fused together, which Vaibhashika asserts as “partless.” 

Gross material objects, such as the revealing forms of body and speech, are made up of these composite particles, whereas immaterial forms of physical phenomena, such as nonrevealing forms, are not such composites. Nevertheless, both revealing and nonrevealing forms arise, having depended on the four elements as their generating cause. This is the case despite the fact that a revealing form, being material, is composed of composite particles that include the four elements, whereas a nonrevealing form, being immaterial, is not composed of such particles and so does not include the four elements. 

As Chim Jampeyang states clearly in A Commentary to “A Treasure House (of Special Topics of Knowledge)”: A Filigree of Abhidharma (Sera Je Library ed. 25): 

(A nonrevealing form) is not a form (of physical phenomenon comprised) of composite particles, but it has the four elements as what it has depended upon (for its arising).
(Tib.) rdul-‘phran bsags-pa’i gzugs ma-yin yang ‘byung-bzhi rgyur-byas-pa

The Functions of the Four Great Elements on Which the Arising of a Nonrevealing Form Depends 

In the example Jinamitra Yashomitra cites, although the particles of kindling contain earth, water, fire and wind elements, it is the fire element of these particles that a fire depends on as its generating cause for it being in the nature of fire. In the case of the four great elements that nonrevealing forms depend on as their foundation and generating cause, Vasubandhu explains the function of each in Treasure House (I.12a-c) (Gretil ed., Derge Tengyur vol. 140, 2A):

The elements are the constituent components of earth and the constituent components of water, fire and wind. The functions accomplished (by them) are upholding and so on. (They have the functional natures of giving) solidity, fluidity, heat and movement. 
(Skt.) bhūtāni pṛthividhāturaptejovāyudhātavaḥ / dhṛtyādikarmasaṃsiddhā kharasnehoṣṇateraṇāḥ //
(Tib.) 'byung ba dag ni sa khams dang / /chu dang me dang rlung khams rnams/ /'dzin pa la sogs las su grub/ /sra gsher dro nyid g.yo ba rnams/

Vasubandhu explains in his Autocommentary (Gretil ed. 008.15-22, Derge Tengyur vol. 140, 32A):

Further, concerning the issue, “What are the functions that the elements have accomplished and what is their functional nature?” – “The functions accomplished (by them) are upholding and so on” (means) they have accomplished, in order, the functions of upholding, combining, maturing and arranging (in a sequence). Arranging (in a sequence) is to be understood as (meaning) augmenting further and advancing. These are their functions. 
As for (their) functional natures, (they are giving) solidity, fluidity, heat and movement. (Giving) solidity is (the functional nature of) the constituent component earth; fluidity, the constituent component water; heat, the constituent component fire; and movement, the constituent component wind. It (a nonrevealing form) moves by means of it (by means of the wind element) because of the production in the next locations of a continuum of elements, (and so) the movement is like the movement of (a flame from one) lamp (to another).
(Skt.) te punahete dhātavaḥ kasmin karmaṇi saṃsidhāḥ kiṃsvabhāvāścetyāha dhṛtyādikarmasaṃsiddhāḥ dhṛtisaṃgrahapaktivyūhanakarmasvete yathākramaṃ saṃsiddhāḥ pṛthivyaptejovāyudhātavaḥ / vyūhanaṃ punarvṛddhiḥ prasarpaṇaṃ ca veditavyam / idameṣāṃ karma / svabhāvastu yathākramaṃ kharasnehosṇateraṇāḥ // kharaḥ pṛthivīdhātuḥ / sneho 'bdhātuḥ / uṣṇatā tejodhātuḥ / īraṇā vāyudhātuḥ / īryate 'nayā bhūtasroto deśāntarotpādanāt pradīperaṇavaditīraṇā /
(Tib.) yang khams de dag gi las ni gang du yang dag par 'grub/ rang bzhin ni ci zhe na/ 'dzin pa la sogs las su grub/ /ces bya ba smos te/ sa dang chu dang me dang rlung gi khams 'di dag ni go rims bzhin du 'dzin pa dang sdud pa dang smin par byed pa dang rgyas par byed pa'i las dag tu grub bo/ /rgyas par byed pa ni 'phel ba dang rgyas par byed par rig par bya ste/ 'di dag ni de dag gi las yin no/ /rang bzhin ni go rims bzhin du/ sra gsher dro nyid g.yo ba rnams te/ sra ba ni sa'i khams so/ /gsher ba ni chu'i khams so/ /dro ba ni me'i khams so/ /g.yo ba ni rlung gi khams so/ /'dis 'byung ba'i rgyun yul gzhan du skyed ba'i phyir g.yo bar byed de/ sgron ma g.yo ba bzhin du g.yo bar byed pa yin no/

Jinaputra Yashomitra (Gretil ed., Derge Tengyur vol. 104, 29B) explains:

As for “because of the production in the next locations, (and so) the movement is like the movement of (a flame from one) lamp (to another),” it is not that something momentary is something that goes to another location. Where something is produced is where it ceases. Thus, it is spoken of through this (example): Because of momentariness, movement has the essential nature of (there being) the production in the next locations of a continuum of elements, like (the flame of) a lamp. What are momentary are the elements, because of (their) being forms of physical phenomena, like (the flame of) a lamp. (The flame of) a lamp is well-known as being momentary (and so is) the example. 
(Tib.) deśantarotpādanāt pradīperaṇavad iti. kṣaṇikānāṃ nāsti deśāntaragamanaṃ yatraivotpattiḥ. tatraiva vināśaḥ. tenaivam ucyate. deśāntarotpādanasvabhāvā bhūtasrotasa īraṇā. kṣaṇikatvāt. pradīpavat. kṣaṇikāni ca bhūtāni. rūpatvāt. pradīpavat. pradīpaś ca kṣaṇikaḥ prasiddha ity udāharaṇaṃ. 
(Skt.) ‘byung ba'i rgyu na yul gzhan du bskyed pa'i phyir g.yo bar byed de sgron ma g.yo ba bzhin du g.yo ba yin no zhes bya ba ni skad cig ma rnams la yul gzhan du 'gro ba med de gang du skyes pa nyid du rnam par 'jig go/ /de'i phyir 'di skad du skad cig ma yin pa'i phyir 'byung ba'i rgyun yul gzhan du skyed pa'i ngo bo nyid ni g.yo ba yin te/ sgron ma bzhin no zhes bshad do/ /'byung ba rnams kyang skad cig ma yin te/ gzugs yin pa'i phyir sgron ma lta bu'o/ /sgron ma yang skad cig ma yin par grags pas dper bstan to/ 

In the Vaibhashika system, all nonstatic phenomena constitute substantial entities that exist for just a moment. The committing of an action of body or speech, such as the killing of a deer or the speaking of a sentence, however, takes place over a series of moments. Thus, the revealing form of the shape of the body, or the sound of the voice, implementing a method for committing the action – and, consequently, the nonrevealing form as well – are also comprised by a sequence of moments. Further, the continuum of the nonrevealing form goes on after the continuum of the revealing form has ceased. The question, then, is how do we account for revealing and nonrevealing forms constituting continuums that are a series of separate, unconnected momentary forms? There must be just one revealing and one nonrevealing form of an action of body or speech that, although made up of momentary entities, holds the identity of the revealing or nonrevealing form. 

Although the textual references do not explain this explicitly, the above discussion of the functions of each of the four great elements that are what a nonrevealing form has depended upon for arising perhaps suggest the mechanism involved for explaining this. And, as we shall see in the next passage cited, the explanation would pertain to revealing forms as well. 

  • The earth element provides the solid basis for upholding and supporting these two types of forms. 
  • The water element provides the fluidity and cohesion to combine the momentary forms.
  • The fire element provides the heat energy to bring to maturity – literally, to cook – them, so that the revealing and nonrevealing forms reach the point where they are mature enough to able to perform their functions.
  • The wind element provides the mobility so that the next momentary revealing and nonrevealing forms will arise on the basis of the next set of momentary elements that follow in sequence, like the moment-to-moment passage of a flame to the moment-to-moment elements of the wick and oil of an oil lamp. 

To avoid confusion about which elements revealing and nonrevealing forms depend upon for arising, an important point needs to be added from Vasubandhu’s Autocommentary (Gretil ed. 200.16-21, Derge Tengyur vol. 140, 172B-173A):

Further, (the doubt is raised): which is it, does a revealing (form), being produced, itself produce the destruction of the continuum of the previous shape (of the ripened body) or does it not (produce that)? Out of those (possibilities), if it itself produces the destruction, then because of (there being) a further continuing of a ripened form that has been interrupted, it would become a non-Vaibhashika (assertion). But out of those, (if it itself produces its) non-destruction, how in one assemblage of elements there can exist two shapes (one ripened and one that is an outflow corresponding to its cause)? Then those other (elements), the outflow ones, would arise in addition and be the ones, having depended on which, the revealing form would have come into existence.
In the case of it being like that, whatever portion (of elements), supported by which, the revealing (form) is produced, it is by that portion that (the body) would be become greater (in size), because of its being pervaded by its great elements. But, if it is not being pervaded (by them), then again, how would (its revealing form) be known by means of (just) a portion of the whole?
(The Vaibhashika position is that) because of the existence of interstitial space (in between the elements) of the (ripened) body, there is room for them (room for the great elements that the revealing form has depended on).  
(Skt.) kiṃ punariyaṃ vijñaptirutpadyamānā pūrvakasya saṃsthānasya saṃtānaṃ bādhitvotpadyate utāho na / kiñcātaḥ yadi bādhitvotpadyate / vipākarūpasyocchinnasya punaḥ pravandhādavaibhāṣikīyaṃ prāpnoti / athābādhitvā / kathamekasminbhūtasaṃghāte saṃsthānadvayaṃ sidhyati / anyānyeva tāni naiḥṣyandikāni tadānīmupajāyante yānyupādāya vijñaptirbhavati / evaṃ tarhi yadyadevāṅgaṃ niśrityotpadyate vijñaptistena tenāṅgena mahīyasā bhavitavyam / tanmahābhūtairabhivyāpanāt / anabhivyāpane ca punaḥ kathaṃ kṛtsnāṅgena vijñapayet / śuṣiratvāt kāyasyāsti teṣāmavakāśaḥ /
(Tib.) yang ci rnam par rig byed 'di skye ba na dbyibs snga ma'i rgyud bshig nas skye'am/ 'on te ma yin/ de las cir 'gyur/ gal te bshig nas skye na ni/ /rnam par smin pa'i gzugs chad pa yang rgyun chags pa'i phyir 'di bye brag tu smra ba ma yin par 'gyur ro/ /'on te ma bshig par skye na ni ji ltar 'byung ba'i tshogs gcig la dbyibs gnyis 'grub par 'gyur/ de'i tshe gang dag rgyur byas nas rnam par rig byed skye bar 'gyur ba rgyu mthun pa las byung ba'i 'byung ba chen po gzhan dang / gzhan de dag skye bar 'gyur ro/ /de dag de lta na ni 'o na de'i 'byung ba chen po de dag gis mngon par khyab pa'i phyir yan lag dang gang dang gang la brten nas rnam par rig byed skye bar 'gyur ba'i yan lag de dang de chen por 'gyur ro/ /mngon par ma khyab na ni ji ltar na yan lag zad par gyis rnam par rig par byed par 'gyur/ lus la gseb yod pa'i phyir de dag gi go skabs yod do/

Recall Chim Jampeyang (Sera Je Library ed. 294):

If it (the revealing form of the body) were the ripened body, it would be impossible for it to become constructive or destructive, because {the ripened body} is an unspecified phenomenon. Because of that, then at the time of prostrating and so on, there is a revealing (form) of the body that is established as its shape, from the top of the head to (the bottom of) the feet. Because that (shape), as the revealing (form), is transparent like light and because it fills the interstitial spaces of the ripened body (when it prostrates and so on), they assert that it (the ripened body) does not become larger and it also does not become heavier, like a fire that has entered and pervaded (the entire space in) a forest.
(Tib.) ‘di-ltar rnam-smin-gyi lus-nyid yin-na rig-byed dge mi-dge mi-srid-par ‘gyur-te/ de-ni lung ma-bstan yin-pa’i phyir-ro/ de’i phyir phyag-‘tshal-ba la-sogs-pa’i tshe lus-kyi rig-byed dbyibs-su grub-pa zhig spyi-bo’i gtsug-nas rkang-pa’i bar-du yod-la/ de-ni rig-byed ‘od-ltar dang-ba’i phyir dang/ rnam-smin-gyi lus-kyi gseb-tu tshud-pa’i phyir che-bar yang mi-gyur lci-bar yang mi-‘gyur zhes ‘dod-de nags-la me zhugs-pa bzhin-no zhes zer-ro/ 

Recall also that, of the eight types of sound, the type of sound that is a revealing form is one that is causally produced from the great elements of the cognitive sensors that are appropriated and communicative of a sentient being. These great elements, then, are not the great elements of the ripened cognitive sensors but a separate set of outflow great elements. 

Thus, the great elements that are what both the revealing and nonrevealing forms of body and speech have depended on as their generating cause constitute a separate set of great elements different from the set that comprises the ripened body. They must be separate because the elements of the body that are the ripening result of previous karmic potential are unspecified phenomena, whereas the elements of the body that are what the revealing and nonrevealing forms of the body or speech have depended upon to arise, being outflows corresponding to their cause, are either destructive or constructive. Thus, they are the elements that are appropriated as the physical support by the mind and mental factors that give rise to (motivate) the revealing and nonrevealing forms. Therefore, just as the arising of a fire has depended on the fire element in the kindling as its generating cause, so too has the arising of the outflow revealing and nonrevealing forms as being destructive or constructive depended on the appropriated great elements being destructive or constructive as its generating cause.    

With the great elements playing these various roles that the arising of revealing and nonrevealing forms depends on, the explanation that Jinaputra Yashomitra (Gretil ed., Derge Tengyur vol. 104, 25B) gives of the additional causal roles that the elements play besides being their generating cause perhaps becomes easier to understand: 

“Because of the existence (of the great elements) as their generating and so on cause” (means) because of (the great elements) being what generates (the nonrevealing forms), what they rely on (rten, Skt. niśraya), what they are situated on (gnas, Skt. sthāna), what maintains them, and what extends them. 
They (the great elements) are the generating cause and so on (of nonrevealing forms) because their arising is from them. They are their reliant cause (rten-gyi rgyu, Skt. niśrayahetu) because of them (the nonrevealing forms) being what have been made to follow (rjes-su byed-pa, Skt. anuvidhāyitva) by the elements from which they been generated, like the reliance (of a disciple) on a learned spiritual master and so on. They are their propping cause (gnas-pa'i rgyu, Skt. pratiṣṭhāhetu) because of their existence as what holds (gzhi, Skt. ādhāra) them, like a wall for a mural. They are their maintaining cause (rton-pa'i rgyu, Skt. upastambhahetu) because of their being the cause for their unbroken (continuity). They are the cause for their extension (‘phel ba'i rgyu, Skt. upabṛṃhaṇahetu) because of their being the cause for the growth (of further moments of nonrevealing forms in sequence from them). 
Suppose you ask, “Which ones are the great elements that they have depended on? Are they the great elements that are their foundation (gzhi, Skt. āśraya) or are they the great elements that are what they rely on (rten, Skt. niśraya)?” They are the great elements that are their foundation.
(Skt.) jananādihetubhāvād iti. jananān niśrayāt sthānād upastambhopabṛṃhaṇāt. jananahetus tebhya utpatteḥ. niśrayahetur jātasya bhūtānuvidhāyitvād ācāryādiniśrayavat. pratiṣṭhāhetur ādhārabhāvāt citrakuḍyavat. upastambhahetur anucchedahetutvāt. upabṛṃhaṇahetur vṛddhihetutvāt. katamāny mahābhūtāny upādāya. kim āśrayamahābhūtāni. utāho niśrayamahābhūtāni. āśrayamahābhūtānīty āhuḥ.
(Tib.) /bskyed pa la sogs pa rgyu'i ngo bo yin pa'i phyir ro zhes bya ba ni/ skyed dang rten dang gnas pa dang / /rton pa dang ni 'phel ba'i phyir/ /zhes bya ba yin te skyed pa'i rgyu ni de dag las skye ba'i phyir ro/ /rten gyi rgyu ni skyes zin pa 'byung ba'i rjes su byed pa'i phyir te/ slob dpon la sogs pa la brten pa lta bu'o/ /gnas pa'i rgyu ni gzhi'i dngos po yin pa'i phyir te ri mo'i rtsig pa lta bu'o/ /rton pa'i rgyu ni rgyun mi 'chad pa'i rgyu yin pa'i phyir ro/ /'phel ba'i rgyu ni 'phel ba'i rgyu yin pa'i phyir ro/ / 'byung ba chen po gang dag rgyur byas pa yin/ ci gzhi'i 'byung ba chen po dag gam 'on te rten gyi 'byung ba chen po dag yin zhe na/ smras pa/ gzhi'i 'byung ba chen po dag yin no/

The Distinction between the Great Elements That the Arising of Revealing and Nonrevealing Forms Depends on as Their Foundation and Those That Their Continuity Relies On

Vasubandhu explains in Treasure House (IV.4cd) (Gretil ed., Derge Tengyur vol. 140, 11A):

A nonrevealing (form) in subsequent moments generates from the (presently) no-longer-happening elements included on (the plane of sensory objects) of desire. 
(Skt.) kṣaṇādūrdhvamavijñaptiḥ kāmāptātītabhūtajā /
(Tib.) /'dod gtogs rnam rig min skad cig/ /phyin chad 'das pa'i 'byung las skye/

Vasubandhu expounds on this point in his Autocommentary (Gretil ed. 199.18-21, Derge Tengyur vol. 140, 172A):

A nonrevealing (form) belonging to (the plane of sensory objects) of desire, and which is subsequent to the first moment, arises with the great elements (of the first moment) that are now no longer happening as what it has depended on. They (those no-longer-happening great elements) serve the purpose of (having been) its foundation. The presently-happening great elements (serve) the purpose of being the support on which it sequentially relies (rten, Skt. saṃniśraya). They (these great elements) are in sequential stages because of (them sequentially performing) the function of initially setting (the nonrevealing form) in motion and (then) keeping (this nonrevealing form) in subsequent motion, (like) for a wheel being rolled on the ground, the force of the hands and (its taking place) on a stretch (phyogs, Skt. pradeśa) of ground. 
(Skt.) prathamāt kṣaṇādūrdhvamavijñaptiḥ kāmāvacarī atītāni mahābhūtānyupādāyotpadyate / tānyasyā āśrayārthena bhavanti / pratyutpannāni śarīramahābhūtāni saṃniśrayārthena / pravṛtyanuvṛttikāraṇatvādyathākramam / cakrasyeva bhūmau saparivartamānasya pāṇyāvedhabhūmipradeśau /
(Tib.) /'dod pa na spyod pa'i rnam par rig byed ma yin pa ni skad cig ma dang po phyin cad 'das pa'i 'byung ba chen po dag rgyur byas nas skye'o/ /de dag ni 'di'i gzhi'i don du 'gyur la lus kyi 'byung ba chen po de ltar 'byung ba rnams ni rten gyi don du 'gyur te/ 'jug pa dang rjes su 'jug pa'i rgyu yin pa'i phyir go rims bzhin te/ 'khor lo sa la 'dril ba la lag pas 'phul ba dang sa'i phyogs bzhin no/ 

The issue, here, is, what are the bases on which a nonrevealing form, such as that of a pratimoksha vow, first arises and then subsequently continues? According to Vasubandhu, both must be physical phenomena – namely, the four great elements.

The closest analogy in current, popular Western thought is that a nonrevealing form is like a physical imprint on the body, like the so-called “muscle memory” we develop when we train in a physical exercise, a dance routine, a musical piece we play on an instrument or sing, and so on. The physical imprint is not visible, but it arises on the basis of the muscles – or Vasubandhu would say, the elements of the muscles – when we first learn the exercise and so on. Afterwards, that imprint continues on the basis of subsequent moments of the muscles. That imprint enables us to repeat the exercise and so on, and the more we repeat it, the stronger the imprint becomes. That physical imprint, however, is unconscious and invisible. Vaibhashika, as well as Sautrantika Svatantrika and Prasangika, assert that nonrevealing forms continue somewhat like this, whereas Sautrantika, Chittamatra and Yogachara Svatantrika assert that the same phenomenon continues as a mental imprint, not a physical one. 

The Vaibhashika system explains that a nonrevealing form, such as that of a pratimoksha vow, is first generated by the great elements of earth, water, fire, and wind that also generate a revealing form. Since the revealing form of the body is transparent like light and fills the interstitial spaces of the ripened body, the great elements that are the foundation for both it and the accompanying nonrevealing form are distinct from the great elements of the ripened body, the body that arises as a ripening result from previous karmic potentials. 

Because the first moment of these great elements that generate both a revealing and nonrevealing form also are the foundation on which they are situated, these elements are called “what they have depended on (rgyur-byas-pa, Skt. upādāya)” for their initial arising. The nonrevealing form initially arises on these elements as its foundation, and then subsequent moments of it continue to arise on the subsequent, presently-happening elements, in sequential manner from those no-longer-happening elements, as the foundation on which they rely. Although not specified in the texts, presumably the subsequent moments of the revealing form, as well, continue to arise on these subsequent, presently-happening elements.

In more detail, the revealing form of the body – for example, when requesting and acquiring a pratimoksha vow – is momentary, and thus the great elements that generate it, that serve as its foundation, and on which it is located are also momentary. Those great elements are also what the nonrevealing form of the vow has depended on for its arising, in the sense of their also being its generating cause, its foundation and what it is located on. The sequence of the moments of the revealing form ends when all phases of the karmic action of body or speech also end, but the sequence of moments of the nonrevealing form continues afterwards, up until the nonrevealing form is lost. 

After the first moment of the great elements that the revealing and nonrevealing forms depended on as the generating cause for their arising has passed, those great elements are termed as “no-longer-happening.” The presently-happening great elements that are in sequence from those no-longer-happening great elements now serve as the support on which the nonrevealing form sequentially relies (rten, Skt. saṃniśraya). 

Just as the great elements that were the initial foundation and generating cause of the revealing and nonrevealing forms and that were appropriated by the motivating mind and mental factors as their physical support were rendered by those motivating factors constructive or destructive, so too are the subsequent presently-happening elements that are the support on which subsequent moments of the revealing and nonrevealing forms rely in conformity with them and are rendered constructive or destructive. Thus, the revealing and nonrevealing forms based on these elements are likewise constructive or destructive.     

The analogy Vasubandhu gives is the great elements of the hands and of the earth for a wheel being rolled on it. Although the wheel is not made of the elements of the hands or of the ground, yet the elements of the hands are the support on which it relies to be set it in motion, and the elements of the ground are the support on which it relies to roll and to continue to roll. 

Jinaputra Yashomitra (Gretil ed., Derge Tengyur vol. 105, 14A-B) further explains:

At the time of taking on a vow and so on belonging to (the plane of (sensory objects) of desire, (its) nonrevealing (form) arises, having depended on the great elements that are simultaneous (with it). Likewise, another (further moment of the) nonrevealing form also arises having depended on only them (on only those great elements that are now no longer happening), because of which they (these no-longer-happening great elements) come to be its foundation (gzhi, Skt. āśraya) (too). Just as presently-happening great elements are the foundation for other (further moments of the nonrevealing) forms that have depended on (them), so too the no-longer-happening (great elements) are (still) their foundation. 
“Because of (these great elements) being (what performs) the function of initially setting (the nonrevealing form) in motion and (then) keeping (it) in subsequent motion, like in stages” (means)  because of the no-longer-happening great elements (of that first moment) being what performs the function of setting (the nonrevealing form) in motion, because of (their) being what performs the function of (initially) tossing (the nonrevealing form), they serve the purpose of (being its) foundation. Because of the presently-happening great elements of the body being (what perform) the function of keeping (the nonrevealing forms) in subsequent motion, because of (their) being (what performs) the function of (their) physical support (rten-par byed-pa, Skt. adhiṣṭhāna), they serve the purpose of (being) the basis on which (they) sequentially rely (rten, Skt. saṃniśraya).
If you expand on “like that of a wheel,” then just as there is the force of the hand for (setting) a wheel (in motion), likewise there is (the force) of those (no-longer-happening great elements) that perform the function of setting (the nonrevealing form) in motion. (And) just as there is the stretch of the ground, likewise there is (the stretch) of (the subsequent presently-happening great elements) that perform the function of keeping (it) in subsequent motion. 
(Skt.) kāmāvacarasamvarādigrahaṇakāle avijñaptiḥ sahajāni mahābhūtāny upādāyotpadyate. evam anyāpy avijñaptis tāny evopādāyotpadyate. yasmāt tāny asyā āśrayārthena saṃbhavanti. yathānyeṣām upādāyarūpāṇāṃ pratyutpannāni mahābhūtāny āśrayaḥ evaṃ tasyā atītāny āśrayaḥ. pravṛttyanuvṛttikāraṇatvād yathākramam iti. atītāni mahābhūtāni pravṛttikāraṇatvāt ākṣepakāraṇatvāt āśrayārthena bhavanti. pratyutpannāni śarīramahābhūtāny anuvṛttikāraṇatvād adhiṣṭhānakāraṇatvāt saṃniśrayārthena bhavanti. cakrasyeveti vistaraḥ. yathā cakrasya pāṇyāvedhaḥ. evam asyāḥ pravṛttikāraṇaṃ. yathā bhūmipradeśaḥ. evam anupravṛttikāraṇaṃ.
(Tib.) 'dod pa na spyod pa'i rnam par rig byed ma yin pa ni sdom pa la sogs pa mnod pa'i tshe lhan cig skye ba'i 'byung ba chen po dag rgyur byas nas 'byung la/ de bzhin du rnam par rig byed ma yin pa gzhan yang de dag kho na rgyur byas nas 'byung ngo / /'di ltar de dag ni 'di'i gzhi'i don du 'gyur te/ ji ltar rgyur byas pa'i gzugs gzhan dag gi gzhi da ltar byung ba'i 'byung ba chen po rnams yin pa de bzhin du de'i rten ni 'das pa rnams yin no/ /'jug pa dang rjes su 'jug pa'i rgyu yin pa'i phyir go rims bzhin zhes bya ba ni 'das pa'i 'byung ba chen po dag ni 'jug pa'i rgyu yin zhing 'phen pa'i rgyu yin pa'i phyir gzhi'i don du 'gyur ro/ /da ltar byung ba'i lus kyi 'byung ba chen po dag ni rjes su 'jug pa'i rgyu yin zhing rten par byed pa'i rgyu yin pa'i phyir rten gyi don du 'gyur ro/ /'khor lo bzhin zhes bya ba ni ji ltar 'khor lo lag pas 'dril ba de lta bu ni 'di'i 'jug pa'i rgyu yin no/ /ji ltar sa'i phyogs de lta bu ni rjes su 'jug pa'i rgyu yin no/ 

Vasubandhu adds a further detail about the nonrevealing form of a pratimoksha vow in his Autocommentary (Gretil ed. 200.12-14, Derge Tengyur vol. 140, 172B):

Just whatever (great) elements (of the body), as what it has depended on, give rise to (the revealing form of taking the vow to) refrain from taking a life, it is just those (that give rise to refrain) from (the rest) up to chattering meaninglessly. What is the reason? Because the non-difference of the elements (for each of the seven actions one vows to refrain from is) like (the non-difference) of the mind (taking them as its physical support). But the seven nonrevealing forms (of the vow to refrain from taking a life up to the vow to refrain from meaningless chatter) in the pratimoksha (vow) have as what they have depended on another and another (set of presently-happening) great elements. 
(Skt.) yānyeva ca bhūtānyupādāya prāṇātipātādviratirutpadyate tānyeva yāvat saṃbhinnapralāpāt / kiṃ kāraṇam / cittavat bhūtābhedāt / prātimokṣasaṃvare tvanyānyāni mahābhūtānyupādāya saptāvijñaptayo bhavanti / 
(Tib.) 'byung ba chen po gang dag kho na rgyur byas nas srog gcod pa spong ba skye ba de dag kho na las tshig kyal pa spong ba'i bar du skye'o/ /ci'i phyir zhe na/ sems bzhin du 'byung ba tha mi dad pa'i phyir ro/ /so sor thar pa'i sdom pa ni 'byung ba gzhan dang gzhan dag rgyur byas nas rnam par rig byed ma yin pa bdun skye'o/ 

Recall that the revealing form of taking a vow is the shape of the body while kneeling and requesting the vow. When taking a set of vows, one takes the entire set all together at once, not each vow separately. The vow itself is a nonrevealing form.

Jinaputra Yashomitra explains (Gretil. ed., Derge Tengyur vol. 105, 15A-B):

In “it is just those (that give rise to refrain) from (the rest) up to chattering meaninglessly,” the word “up to” (includes vowing to refrain) from taking what has not been given, engaging in inappropriate sexual behavior, lying, speaking divisively, speaking harshly, and chattering meaninglessly.
As for “because of the non-difference of the elements (for each of the seven actions one vows to refrain from is) like (the non-difference) of the mind (taking them as its physical support),” just as the mind that is their producer (skyed-par byed-pa, Skt. utpādaka) is non-different (for each), likewise the elements, as well, that are their producer are non-different (for each).
But the great elements are not the foundation (gzhi, Skt. āśraya) of the nonrevealing form (of the sevenfold vow) through (them being what it has depended on) in the sense of (being) what holds it (rten, Skt. ādhāra). How then? Through (being what it has depended on) in the sense of initially setting it in motion.  Therefore, the statement, “it arises from elements that are not different (for each)” is not contradictory.
“But in the pratimoksha (vow), it is another and another,” because of it (the nonrevealing form of the vow) not being subsequently kept in motion by (the) mind (that was its producer).
(Skt.) yāvat saṃbhinnapralāpād iti. yāvacchabdenādattādānāt kāmamithyācārān mṛṣāvādāt paiśunyāt pāruṣyāt saṃbhinnapralāpād iti. cittavat bhūtābhedāt. yathā tadutpādakaṃ cittam abhinnam. evaṃ bhūtāny api tadutpādakāny abhinnāny eva. na cādhārārthenāvijñapter mahābhūtāny āśrayaḥ. kiṃ tarhi. tatpravartanārthena. Tasmād abhinnabhūtajeti vacanaṃ na virudhyati. prātimokṣasamvare tv anyānyānīti. acittānuparivartanīyatvāt. 
(Tib.) /tshig kyal pa spong ba'i bar du zhes bya ba la/ bar du zhes bya ba'i sgras ni ma byin par len pa dang 'dod pas log par g.yem pa dang / brdzun du smra ba dang / phra ma dang / ngag rtsub po dang tshig kyal pa spong ba bsdu'o/ /sems bzhin du 'byung ba tha mi dad pa'i phyir ro zhes bya ba ni ji ltar de skyed par byed pa'i sems tha dad pa ma yin pa de bzhin du de skyed par byed pa'i 'byung ba rnams kyang tha mi dad pa kho na yin no/ /'byung ba chen po dag ni rten gyi don gyis rnam par rig byed ma yin pa'i gzhir gyur pa ma yin no/ /'o na ci zhe na/ de 'jug par byed pa'i don gyis te/ de lta bas na 'byung ba tha mi dad pa las skye'o zhes smos pa 'gal ba med do/ /so sor thar pa'i sdom pa ni 'byung pa gzhan dang gzhan dag ces bya ba ni sems kyi rjes su 'jug pa ma yin pa'i phyir ro/ 

The first pratimoksha vows that Buddha gave were the vows to refrain from the seven destructive actions of body and speech. The great elements that the revealing form of taking this pratimoksha vow has depended on to arise are what hold the revealing form, in that they hold the shape of the body that is the revealing form of taking the vow. But since the nonrevealing form of the vow is not made of particles, the great elements that it has depended on to arise are not what hold it.

Sthiramati, in The Meaning of the Facts, An Annotated Subcommentary to (Vasubandhu’s) “Autocommentary to ‘A Treasure House of Special Topics of Knowledge’ (Derge Tengyur vol. 145, 19B), adds a further clarification:

As for “the non-difference of the elements (for each of the seven actions one vows to refrain from is) like (the non-difference) of the mind (taking them it as its physical support)” – for example, the non-difference of the mind that is their producer is a non-difference by means of the mind for all (seven) abstentions, taking a life and so on, being the simultaneously arising cause (lhan-cig 'byung-ba'i rgyu, Skt. sahabhuhetu) (for all of them). Like that, the great elements, as well, that are their producer are non-different for all (seven) abstentions. 
(Tib.)  /sems bzhin du 'byung ba tha mi dad pa'i phyir ro zhes bya ba ni dper na de skyed par byed pa'i sems tha mi dad de/ srog gcod pa la sogs pa spong ba thams cad kyi sems lhan cig 'byung ba'i rgyu yin pas tha mi dad pa de bzhin du skyed par byed pa'i 'byung ba chen po dag kyang spong ba thams cad la tha mi dad pa yin no/ 

The great elements that are the causal basis for both the revealing and nonrevealing forms of vows, such as the seven pratimoksha vows to abstain from committing the seven destructive actions of body and speech, are the simultaneously arising cause for both of them and, in this sense, are their generating cause (skyed-pa’i rgyu, Skt. jananahetu). A simultaneously arising cause occurs simultaneously with its result, and one cannot exist without the other. As their generating cause, these great elements are not those of the ripened body.

Vasubandhu in his Autocommentary (Gretil ed. 200.12-14, Derge Tengyur vol. 140, 172B) goes on:

The revealing form (of the vow), however, is something that is an outflow (corresponding to its cause, as is the nonrevealing form); however, having been appropriated (by the mind as its physical support), it is something of the body.    
(Skt.) vijñaptistu naiḥṣyandikī /upāttā tu kāyikī /
(Tib.) /rnam par rig byed ni rgyu mthun pa las byung ba ste/ lus kyis ni zin pa yin no/

Jinaputra Yashomitra (Gretil. ed., Derge Tengyur vol. 105, 15B) explains:

“The revealing form (of the vow), however, is something that is an outflow (corresponding to its cause, as is the nonrevealing form)” because of (its) having been subsequently set in motion by the force of (the great elements that it has depended on for arising) tossing (it).
“However, having been appropriated (by the mind as its physical support), it (the revealing form of taking the vow) is something of the body” has the meaning of not being something of speech. However, it is something of the body because of what has set it in motion being not distinct from the great elements of the body (and so the body) is appropriated as the elements that are its foundation. “But not being something of speech” is because of what has set it in motion being distinct from it (distinct from speech). 
(Skt.) vijñaptis tu naiṣyandikīti. ākṣepavaśenānuvṛtteḥ. upāttā tu kāyikīti. na vācikīty arthaḥ. kāyikī hi kāyamahābhūtāvinirbhāgavartitvāt tadāśrayabhūtānām upāttā. na tu vācikī. tadvinirbhāgavartitvāt.
(Tib.) / rnam par rig byed ni rgyu mthun pa las byung ba ste zhes bya ba ni 'phen pa'i dbang gis rjes su 'jug pa'i phyir ro/ /lus kyi ni zin pa yin no zhes bya ba ni ngag gi ni ma yin no zhes bya ba'i tha tshig ste/ lus kyi ni lus kyi 'byung ba chen po dang tha mi dad par 'jug pa'i phyir la de'i rten 'byung ba chen po rnams kyang zin pa yin pas so/ /ngag gi ma yin te/ de dag dang tha dad par 'jug pa'i phyir ro/

Nonrevealing Forms Are Not Conjoined with the Great Elements of the Body

Vasubandhu states in Treasure House (IV.5d-6ab) (Gretil ed., Derge Tengyur vol. 140, 11A):

A nonrevealing form is something non-appropriated and something that is an outflow (corresponding to its cause). It is something communicative of a sentient being and arises from the (great) elements (of the first moment of the revealing form it arises simultaneously with), which (themselves) are appropriated and an outflow (corresponding to their cause). 
(Skt.) avijñaptiranupāttikā // naiḥṣyandikī ca sattvākhyā niṣyandopāttabhūtajā /
(Tib.) /rnam rig byed min ma zin dang / /rgyu mthun las byung sems can ston/ /rgyu mthun zin pa'i 'byung las skye/

Vasubandhu elaborates in his Autocommentary (Gretil ed. 200.07-08, Derge Tengyur vol. 140, 172B): 

A nonrevealing form is something that has as what it has depended on (to arise) only those (great elements) that are an outflow (corresponding to their cause) and which (themselves) are what the mind and mental factors (motivating it) has depended on (to arise). It (the type of nonrevealing form discussed here) is the type (of nonrevealing form) on the stage that is not one of balanced absorption.
(Skt.) /naiḥṣyandikānyeva bhūtānyupādāya cittacaittāni copādāyāvijñaptirbhavati / asamāhitabhūmikāyā eṣa prakāraḥ /
(Tib.) //rnam par rig byed ma yin pa ni rgyu mthun pa dang zin pa'i 'byung ba dag kho na rgyur byas nas skye ste/ 'di ni mnyam par gzhag pa ma yin pa'i sa pa'i rnam pa yin no/ 

The type of nonrevealing form discussed here – for example, a pratimoksha vow – is one belonging to the plane of sensory objects of desire. Here, the nonrevealing forms on a stage of balanced absorption refer to both mental constancy vows and untainted vows, which respectively arise from tainted and untainted absorbed concentrations. The tainted ones are gained with the meditative attainment from a balanced absorption on non-distinguishing and with the meditative attainment of a balanced absorption on cessation, both of which can only be attained with a mind on the fourth level of constancy on the plane of ethereal forms. The untainted ones are gained on the mental continuum of an arya with the attainment of a true pathway mind. In the case of the untainted ones gained with a seeing pathway mind, they are gained with a mind on the plane of ethereal forms. In the case of the untainted ones gained with an accustoming pathway mind (path of meditation), they are gained with a mind on either the plane of ethereal forms or the plane of formless beings.  

Recall Vasubandhu’s definition of “appropriated,” cited previously from his Autocommentary (Gretil ed. 022.27-023.17, Derge Tengyur vol. 140, 43A): 

What is the meaning of “appropriated?” It (means) taken, by consciousness and mental factors, as the phenomena that are their (physical) support (rten, Skt. adhiṣṭhāna), because of (the two: the mind and its supporting matter) being things that follow and conform with each other by means of both being of benefit or harm. 
(Skt.) upāttamiti ko 'rthaḥ / yaccittacaittairadhiṣṭhānabhāvenopagṛhītamanugrahopaghātābhyāmanyonyānuvidhānāt /
(Tib.) /zin pa zhes bya ba'i don ci zhe na/ phan pa dang gnod pa dag gis phan tshun mthun par byed pa'i phyir sems dang sems las byung ba rnams kyis rten gyi dngos por nye bar gzung ba ste/

Jinaputra Yashomitra (Gretil ed., Derge Tengyur vol. 105, 14B-15A) explains:

“A nonrevealing form is something non-appropriated” because of it being immaterial and because of it (therefore) being unsuitable to be a physical support for the mind and mental factors.
“And (it is) something that is an outflow (corresponding to its cause)” because, being constructive or destructive, it does not arise from a ripening (cause), because the significance of “a nonrevealing (form)” is that it is not unspecified. (That is) because the significance of something being an unspecified phenomenon is that it is a ripened (result), because of something that arises from a ripening (cause) being something unspecified. (And) it is not something that can be enhanced, because of it not being something (made of particles) that can be reinforced. Consequently, it is an outflow (corresponding to its cause).
It is communicative of a sentient being because of it being something situated on the continuum of a sentient being. 
It arises from the (great) elements (of the first moment of the revealing form it arises with) that (themselves) are appropriated and an outflow (corresponding to their cause). Because of them (these great elements) being dependent on the mind that caused them to arise (motivated them) and because in the service (skabs, Skt. adhikāra) of the revealing (form belonging to) a mind that is on the stage that is not one of balanced absorption, it (a nonrevealing form) does not arise from great elements that can be enhanced by sleep, absorbed concentration and so on. And because of that, it likewise does not arise from great elements that are ripened (results). 
(Skt.) avijñaptir anaupāttiketi. amūrtatvāc cittacaittādhiṣṭhānabhāvāyogāt. naiṣyandikī ceti. kuśalākuśalatvāt na vipākajā nāvyākṛtāsty avijñaptir iti vacanāt. vipākajasya cāvyākṛtatvād vipāko 'vyākṛto dharma iti vacanāt. naupacayikī upacayābhāvāt. pāriśeṣyān naiṣyandikī. sattvākhyā sattvasaṃtānapatitatvāt. niṣyandopāttabhūtajeti. naiṣyandikopāttamahābhūtajā. samutthāpakacittāpekṣatvāt asamāhitacittavijñaptyadhikārāc ca. na svapnasamādhyādyaupacayikamahābhūtajā. ata eva ca na vipākajamahābhūtajā.
(Tib.) /rnam rig byed min ma zin dang / /zhes bya ba ni lus can ma yin pas sems dang sems las byung ba'i rten gyi dngos por mi rung ba'i phyir ro/ /rgyu mthun las byung zhes bya ba ni dge ba dang mi dge ba yin pa'i phyir rnam par smin pa las skyes pa ni ma yin te/ rnam rig min lung bstan ma yin med/ /ces 'byung ba'i phyir ro/ /rnam par smin pas yang / rnam smin lung du ma bstan chos/ /zhes 'byung bas lung du ma bstan pa yin pa'i phyir ro/ /bsags pa med pa'i phyir dang rgyas pa las byung ba yang ma yin pas shugs kyis na /rgyu mthun pa las byung ba yin no/ /sems can gyi rgyud du gtogs pa'i phyir sems can du ston pa yin no/ /rgyu mthun zin pa'i 'byung las skye/ /zhes bya ba ni rgyu mthun pa dang zin pa'i 'byung ba chen po las skye ba yin te/ kun nas slong bar byed pa'i sems la ltos pa'i phyir dang / mnyam par ma bzhag pa'i sems kyi rnam par rig byed kyi skabs yin pa'i phyir gnyid dang ting nge 'dzin gyis rgyas par byas pa'i 'byung ba chen po las skyes pa ma yin no/ /de nyid kyi phyir rnam par smin pa'i 'byung ba chen po las skyes pa yang [ma] yin no/

An appropriated phenomenon is an animate material object whose great elements a mind and mental factors can take as their basis. Such an animate, material object would be a ripened effect from constructive or destructive behavior in previous lifetimes and thus would be an unspecified phenomenon. As such, it could not be an outflow; in other words, it could not be an effect that corresponds to its cause in ethical status. Furthermore, only an animate material object, something made of particles, can be enhanced by sleep or concentration. Thus, a nonrevealing form, being nonmaterial and being either constructive or destructive as an outflow from a corresponding cause, is itself non-appropriated and cannot be enhanced. Although the great elements of the revealing form, with which it arises and on which it is based, also cannot be enhanced, they are appropriated.

Sthiramati (Derge Tengyur vol. 145, 19A) adds some further detail:

There are two types of nonrevealing (form): those that (derive) from a balanced absorption and those on the stage that is not one of balanced absorption. If you expand on “Here, a nonrevealing form is something non-appropriated,” then it is non-appropriated because (being immaterial) it does not abide in a location and cannot be taken as a phenomenon that can be a reliant support for a mind and mental factors. Because it arises by means of an equal status cause that is constructive or destructive, it is produced from a corresponding cause. Because it is constructive or destructive, it is not something that arises from a ripening (cause), because a ripening cause produces an “unspecified” phenomenon. 
It also is not something that can be enhanced, because it is not a gathering together of particles and because its arising has depended on a consciousness (and not on something material). It is communicative of a sentient being, because it has the defining characteristic of a karmic impulse of body or speech and because it belongs to the continuum of a sentient being.
These are its characteristics: as (a nonrevealing form that is) on the stage that is not one of balanced absorption, it arises from (the great elements of a revealing form that itself is) an outflow (of a corresponding cause) and appropriated. It does not arise from something that can be enhanced, because the great elements of its reliant support are momentary and the great elements of something that can be enhanced are subsequently involved (with objects) continuously. 
It also does not arise from (great) elements that are non-appropriated, because the great elements that it (depended on to arise – namely, those of the revealing form) are not distinct from being great elements of the body.
(Tib.) /rnam par rig byed ma yin pa ni rnam pa gnyis te/ mnyam par gzhag pa'i las dang mnyam par ma bzhag pa'i sa pa'o/ /de la rnam rig byed min ma zin dang zhes bya ba rgyas par 'byung ngo / /yul na mi gnas pa'i phyir dang / sems dang sems las byung ba dag gis rten gyi dngos por ma bzung ba'i phyir na ma zin pa'o/ /dge ba dang mi dge ba'i skal ba mnyam pa'i rgyus skyed pa'i phyir rgyu mthun pa las 'byung ba'o/ /dge ba dang mi dge ba yin pa'i phyir rnam par smin pa las skyes pa ni ma yin te/ rnam smin lung du ma bstan zhes 'byung ba'i phyir ro/ /rgyas pa las byung ba yang ma yin te/ rdul phra rab bsags pa med pa'i phyir dang / de skye ba rnam par shes pa la bltas pa'i phyir ro/ /sems can du ston pa yin te lus dang ngag gi las kyi mtshan nyid yin pa'i phyir dang sems can gyi rgyud du gtogs pa'i phyir ro/ /'di ni khyad par yin te/ mnyam par ma bzhag pa'i sa pa yin na ni/ rgyu mthun zin pa'i 'byung las skyes/ rgyas pa las byung ba'i 'byung ba las skye ba ni ma yin te/ de'i rten gyi 'byung ba chen po dag skad cig gcig pa yin pa'i phyir dang / rgyas pa pa las byung ba'i 'byung ba chen po dag ni rgyun chags par rjes su 'jug pa'i phyir ro/ /ma zin pa'i 'byung ba las skye ba yang ma yin te/ de'i 'byung ba chen po dag lus kyi 'byung ba chen po dang tha mi dad pa'i phyir ro/

Nonrevealing Forms Are Karmic Agents Causing the Consciousness to Keep Doing or Saying Something  

Let us return to Vasubandhu Treasure House (I.11) (Gretil ed., Derge Tengyur vol. 140, 2A):

That which is even in someone (whose mind) has strayed or (who is) without a mind, which has continuity, which is pure or impure, having depended (rgyur-byas-pa, Skt. upādāya) on great elements, is spoken of, in fact, as a nonrevealing (form).
(Skt.) vikṣiptācittakasyāpi yo 'nubandhaḥ śubhāśubhaḥ / mahābhūtānyupādāya sa hyavijñaptirucyate // 
(Tib.) /g.yengs dang sems med pa yi yang / /dge dang mi dge rjes 'brel gang / /'byung ba che rnams rgyur byas pa/ /de ni rnam rig byed min brjod/ 

Vasubandhu explains in his Autocommentary, (Gretil ed. 8.07-09, Derge Tengyur vol. 140, 31B):

The word “in fact,” in “is spoken of, in fact, as a nonrevealing (form)” (indicates) that its name (“nonrevealing”) has a meaning that makes its functioning known. While also being something with the functional nature of a form of physical phenomenon and a (karmic) agent, it does not make others know (the motivation that made it arise) like a revealing (form does), and so it is a nonrevealing form. “Is said” shows that this was indicated by the (Vaibhashika) learned spiritual masters. 
(Skt.) / sa hyavijñaptiriti hiśabdastannāmakaraṇavijñāpanārthaḥ / rūpakriyāsvabhāvāpi satī vijñaptivat paraṃ na vijñāpayatītyavijñaptiḥ / ucyata iti ācāryavacanaṃ darśayati /
(Tib.) /de ni rnam rig byed min zhes bya ba la/ de ni zhes bya ba'i sgra ni de'i ming shes par bya ba'i phyir te/ gzugs dang byed pa'i rang bzhin yin yang rnam par rig byed bzhin du gzhan dag la rnam par rig par byed pa ma yin pas rnam par rig byed ma yin pa'o/ / brjed ces bya ba ni slob dpon gyi tshig yin par ston pa'o/

Jinaputra Yashomitra (Gretil ed., Derge Tengyur vol. 104, 25B-26A) clarifies:

“Its name (the name “nonrevealing form”) has a meaning that makes its functioning known,” because, while also being something with the functional nature of a form of physical phenomenon and a (karmic) agent, it does not make others know (the motivation that made it arise) like a revealing (form does). Because of that, “it is a nonrevealing form” – that is the meaning.
(As for its being) “something that has the functional nature of being a form of physical phenomenon and a (karmic) agent,” what is the purpose of saying that it is something having the characteristics of both? (It is because there can be):
[1] A phenomenon (dngos-po, Skt. vastu) that has the functional nature of a form of physical phenomenon, but not the functional nature of a (karmic) agent, and which does not convey (something) to others, like the eye (sensors) and so on
[2] Something that has the functional nature of a (karmic) agent, but not the functional nature of a form of physical phenomenon, and which does not convey (something) to others, like a mental urge
[3] Something that, in fact, has the functional nature of both and which does convey something to others, like a revealing (form).
A revealing (form) is, in fact, something that makes known to others that the mind that caused it to arise (motivated it) was “constructive, destructive or unspecified, gentle, cruel or neither.” “As a revealing (form does)” is the application of an example that is the opposite.
(Skt.) tannāmakaraṇajñāpanārtha iti. yasmād rūpakriyāsvabhāvāpi satī vijñaptivat paraṃ na vijñāpayati. tasmād avijñaptir ity arthaḥ. 
rūpakriyāsvabhāvāpīty ubhayaviśāṣaṇaṃ. kim arthaṃ. yad dhi vastu rūpasvabhāvam eva na kṛiyāsvabhāvaṃ. tan na paraṃ gamayati. tadyathā cakṣurādayaḥ. yad api kriyāsvabhāvam eva na rūpasvabhāvaṃ. tad api paraṃ na gamayati. tadyathā cetanā. yat tūbhayasvabhāvaṃ. tat paraṃ gamayati. tadyathā vijñaptiḥ. vijñaptir hi svasamutthāpakaṃ cittaṃ kuśalākuśalāvyākṛtaṃ saumyaṃ krūram anubhayam iti vā paraṃ vijñāpayati. tena vijñaptivad iti viparītadṛṣṭāntaprayogaḥ.
(Tib.) /de'i ming shes par bya ba'i phyir te zhes bya ba ni gang gi phyir gzugs dang byed pa'i rang bzhin yin/ /yang rnam par rig byed bzhin du gzhan dag la rnam par rig par byed pa ma yin pa/ de'i phyir rnam par rig byed ma yin pa'o zhes bya ba'i tha tshig go/
/ci'i phyir gzugs dang byed pa'i rang bzhin yin yang zhes bya ba khyad par gnyi ga smos she na/ dngos po gang zhig gzugs kyi rang bzhin kho na yin zhing byed pa'i rang bzhin ma yin la de yang gzhan la go bar mi byed pa yang yod de/ dper na mig la sogs pa lta bu'o/ /gang zhig byed pa'i rang bzhin kho na yin zhing gzugs kyi rang bzhin ma yin la de yang gzhan la go bar mi byed pa yang yod de/ dper na sems pa lta bu'o/ /gang zhig gnyi ga'i rang bzhin yin la de yang gzhan la go bar byed pa yang yod de/ dper na rnam par rig byed lta bu'o/ /rnam par rig byed ni rang kun nas slong bar byed pa dge ba dang mi dge ba 'am/ lung du ma bstan pa 'am nges pa 'am khro ba 'am gnyi ga ma yin pa zhes bya ba gzhan la rnam par rig par byed de/ de'i phyir rnam par rig byed bzhin du zhes bzlog pa'i dpe sbyor ba yin no/

Nonrevealing forms, like revealing forms, are karmic agents. Revealing forms are karmic agents in the sense of their being what moves the consciousness and accompanying mental factors to focus on an object and to do or to say or not to do or not to say something with or to that object. Subsequently, nonrevealing forms – for instance, in the case of pratimoksha vows – are also karmic agents because, in every moment, they likewise cause the consciousness not to do or not to say something with or to whatever object that consciousness is focused on. 

As previously cited from The Sutra on Repaying the Kindness of the Buddha, the Great Skillful One in Methods (Thabs-mkhas-pa chen-po sangs-rgyas drin-lan bsab-pa’i mdo) (Derge Kangyur vol. 76, 174a-175b):

Because the revealing forms of subsequent ethical self-discipline, having been caused by the previous ethical self-discipline, automatically and spontaneously establish themselves, then although they are called “karmic impulses,” they are not pathways of karmic impulses.
(Tib.) /tshul khrims snga mas rgyu byas te/ tshul khrims lhag ma’i rnam par rig byed kyi gzugs lhun gyis grub pas de bas na de la las zhes bya’i las kyi lam ma yin no/

In other words, the revealing forms of subsequently refraining from doing or saying something to that object “automatically and spontaneously establish themselves” and are not brought on by specific mental urges. They are brought on by the nonrevealing forms of the vows. But, unlike revealing forms, the nonrevealing forms on our mental continuum do not show to others the motivating factors that caused them to arise.  

Vasubandhu continues in his Autocommentary (Gretil ed. 8.09-10, Derge Tengyur vol. 140, 31B):

In short, a nonrevealing (form) must be a constructive or destructive form of physical phenomenon that has come into existence with a revealing (form) or a (deep state of) absorbed concentration (ting-nge-‘dzin, Skt. samādhi).
(Skt.) samāsatastu vijñaptisamādhisaṃbhūtaṃ kuśalākuśalaṃ rūpamavijñaptiḥ /
(Tib.) /mdor na rnam par rig byed dang ting nge 'dzin las byung ba'i gzugs dge ba dang mi dge ba ni rnam par rig byed ma yin pa'o/ 

Jinaputra Yashomitra (Gretil ed., Derge Tengyur vol. 104, 26A) clarifies:

“In short” (means) that, for the sake of (making) the extensive (presentation) easily understood by the disciples, the learned spiritual master is indicating, with a reduced (number of) words, (what) a nonrevealing (form is.) “A nonrevealing (form must be) a constructive or destructive form of physical phenomenon that has come into existence with a revealing (form) or a (deep state of) absorbed concentration” (means) this (ethical status) is to be applied in accord with what it (the nonrevealing form) comes into existence with (namely, the revealing form). 
[1] A constructive (nonrevealing form) that has come into existence with a revealing (form) of the body and speech is one that has been received as a pratimoksha vow of individual liberation, as well as one received as (a constructive intermediate nonrevealing form [bar-ma, Skt. madhya] that is) neither a vowed restraint nor an avowed non-restraint (sdom-pa ma-yin-pa, Skt. asaṃvara).  
[2] On the other hand, a destructive (one) is one that has been received as an avowed non-restraint (a negative vow), as well as one received as (a destructive intermediate nonrevealing form that is) neither a vowed restraint nor an avowed non-restraint.  
One that has come into existence with (a deep state of) absorbed concentration is only constructive. It is of two types:
[3] One that has come into existence with a tainted (deep state of) absorbed concentration is one that comes into existence as a restraint from a level of mental constancy (bsam-gtan-gyi sdom-pa, Skt. dhyānasaṃvara).
[4] One that has come into existence with an untainted (deep state of) absorbed concentration is one that comes into existence as a restraint from an untainted state (zag-med-kyi sdom-pa, Skt. anāsravasaṃvara).
And as for what it (the nonrevealing form of a deep state of absorbed concentration) is obtained from, (it is from what is) in “the functional nature of a mind or mental factor that is not in the functional nature of a form of physical phenomenon” is what is being conveyed (thus differentiating this type of nonrevealing from that of a pratimoksha vow).
(Skt.) samāsatas tv iti vistaraḥ. śiṣyasukhāvabodhārthaṃ saṃkṣepato vākyena tad avijñaptirūpaṃ darśayaty ācāryaḥ. vijñaptisamādhisaṃbhūtaṃ kuśalākuśalaṃ rūpam avijñaptir iti. yathāsaṃbhavam etat yojyaṃ. kāyavākvijñaptisaṃbhūtaṃ kuśalaṃ prātimokṣasaṃvarasaṃgṛhītaṃ naivasaṃvaranāsaṃvarasaṃgṛhītaṃ ca. akuśalaṃ punar asaṃvarasaṃgṛhītaṃ naivasaṃvaranāsaṃvarasaṃgṛhītaṃ ca. samādhisaṃbhūtaṃ tu kuśalam eva. tad dvividhaṃ. sāsravasamādhisaṃbhūtaṃ dhyānasaṃvarasvabhāvaṃ. anāsravasamādhisaṃbhūtaṃ anāsravasaṃvarasvabhāvaṃ. upādāyarūpasvabhāvaṃ ca. na cittacaitasikādisvabhāvam ity avagantavyaṃ. 
(Tib.) /mdor na zhes bya ba rgyas par 'byung ba ni slob dpon gyis slob ma bde blag tu khong du chud par bya ba'i phyir tshig mdor bsdus pas rnam par rig byed ma yin pa'i gzugs de ston par byed pa yin no/ /rnam par rig byed dang ting nge 'dzin las byung ba'i gzugs dge ba dang mi dge ba ni rnam par rig byed ma yin pa'i zhes bya ba 'di ni ci rigs par sbyar bar bya'o/ /dge ba ni lus dang ngag gi rnam par rig byed las byung ba so sor thar pa'i sdom pas bsdus pa dang sdom pa la yang ma yin sdom pa ma yin pa yang ma yin pas bsdus pa yin no/ /mi dge ba ni sdom pa ma yin pas bsdus pa ni sdom pa ma yang ma yin sdom pa ma yin pa yang ma yin pas bsdus pa yin no/ /ting nge 'dzin las byung ba ni dge ba kho na yin la de yang rnam pa gnyis te/ zag pa dang bcas pa'i ting nge 'dzin las byung ba ni bsam gtan gyi sdom pa'i ngo bo nyid yin la/ zag pa med pa'i ting nge 'dzin las byung ba ni zag pa med pa'i sdom pa'i ngo bo nyid yin te/ rgyur byas pa'i gzugs kyi ngo bo nyid yin gyi sems dang sems las byung ba la sogs pa'i ngo bo nyid ni ma yin no zhes bya bar khong du chud par bya'o/
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