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The Commentary to the Discourse
on the Arousing of Mindfulness
with Marginal Notes

The Contemplation of Consciousness

After explaining the ninefold Arousing of Mindfulness in regard to feeling, the Master began the explanation of the contemplation of consciousness in the sixteenfold way with the words, "And, how, o bhikkhus."

In this section there is no reference to supramundane truth because in the sifting of things thoroughly to see their transient, pain-laden and soulless nature only the mundane things are handled, and so there is in this matter of penetrative knowledge of things no bringing together of mundane and supramundane things.

Here follows the elucidation of terms mentioned in this section:

Saragam cittam = "The consciousness with lust." Karmically unwholesome eight conscious states of the plane of existence of sense-experience. These are together with greed in the sense of springing from it.

Vitaragam cittam = "The consciousness without lust." Karmically wholesome and karmically neutral mundane states of consciousness.

The two spontaneous and non-spontaneous conscious states karmically unwholesome, accompanied by grief, linked to resentment, and springing from hate; the conscious state karmically unwholesome, accompanied by neither pain nor pleasure, linked to doubt and springing from ignorance; and the conscious state karmically unwholesome, accompanied by neither pain nor pleasure, linked to agitation, springing from ignorance -- these four do not associate with the consciousness-with-lust-division or the consciousness-without-lust division.

Sodosam cittam = "The consciousness with hate." The two conscious states, karmically unwholesome, accompanied, by grief (mentioned above).

Vitadosam cittam = "The consciousness without hate." Karmically wholesome and karmically neutral mundane states of consciousness.

The other ten karmically unwholesome conscious states of the plane of existence of sense-experience do not associate with either the consciousness-with-hate division or the consciousness-without-hate division.

Samoham cittam = "The consciousness with ignorance." The conscious state, karmically unwholesome, linked to doubt (mentioned above), and the conscious state, karmically unwholesome, linked to agitation (mentioned above).

Because, indeed, ignorance arises in all karmically bad states, the other karmically bad states too should be mentioned, here. In just this division all the twelve karmically bad, unwholesome or unskillful conscious states are included.

Vitamoham cittam = "The consciousness without ignorance." Karmically wholesome and karmically neutral mundane states of consciousness.

Sankhittam cittam = "The shrunken state of consciousness." The conscious state fallen into sloth and torpor. That is called the shrivelled or contracted state of mind.

Vikkhittam cittam = "The distracted state of consciousness." The conscious state accompanied by agitation. That is called the dissipated mind.

Mahaggatam cittam = "The state of consciousness become great." The conscious state of the sensuous-ethereal [rupavacara] plane of existence and of the purely ethereal [arupavacara] plane of existence.

Amahaggatam cittam = "The state of consciousness not become great." The conscious state of the plane of existence of sense-experience.

Sauttaram cittam = "The state of consciousness with some other mental state superior to it." That refers to any conscious state belonging to the plane of sense-experience.

Anuttaram cittam = "The state of consciousness with no other mental state superior to it." That refers to any conscious state belonging to the sensuous-ethereal [rupavacara] or the purely ethereal [arupavacara] plane.

Samahitam cittam = "The quieted state of consciousness." It refers to the conscious state of him who has full or partial absorption.

Asamahitam cittam = "The state of consciousness not quieted." It refers to the conscious state without either absorption.

Vimuttam cittam = "the freed state of consciousness." That refers to the conscious state, emancipated partially from defilements through systematic or radical reflection, or to the conscious state, emancipated through the suppression of the defilements in absorption. Both these kinds of emancipation are temporary.

Avimuttam cittam = "The unfreed state of consciousness." That refers to any conscious state without either kind of temporary emancipation.

In the mundane path [lokiya magga] of the beginner there is no place for the supramundane kinds of emancipation through extirpation [samuccheda], stilling [patipassaddha] and final release [nissarana].

Iti ajjhattam = "Thus internally." The bhikkhu lives contemplating consciousness in consciousness by laying hold on the consciousness with lust and so forth when these states of consciousness proceed in his own flux or in another's flux or by laying hold of these conscious states at one time as they proceed in his own flux and at another time as they proceed in another's flux.

Samudayavayadhammanupassi = "Contemplating origination-and-dissolution-things." Here, the arising of the aggregate of consciousness should be explained with the pointing out of the origination of consciousness from the origination of ignorance and so forth, in the five ways, according to the method shown in the Section on the Modes of Deportment. And the passing away of consciousness should also be explained in the same way as it is shown in the Section on the Modes of Deportment.

From here on there is nothing new in the method of explanation. The mindfulness which lays hold of consciousness is the Truth of Suffering. Thus, the portal of deliverance up to Arahantship of the bhikkhu who lays hold of consciousness as a subject of meditation ought to be understood.

In the consciousness with lust, lust occurs as a mental concomitant arising and passing away along with a conscious state and sharing with that conscious state the object and basis of consciousness. In this sense of a conscious state well-knit with lust one speaks of the consciousness with lust. The term consciousness without lust is used as a contrary of the term "consciousness with lust"; not as a contradictory. That becomes clear when we know that the work to be done in this contemplation of the mind consists of the laying hold of the things of the three planes of cosmic existence for the purpose of developing the conviction based on insight in regard to cosmic impermanence, cosmic suffering and cosmic insubstantiality. In no stage of mundane thought can it be said that latency of lust is destroyed and so the term "consciousness without lust" indicates only a relatively lust-free conscious state.

The grouping of conscious states, here, it is said, may be questioned. For instance, in the two states of consciousness with hate is there just absence of lust because these two states are not well-knit together with lust? Could there not be in them a trace of lust functioning as a distant condition as when a man's lust for a woman produces hate towards another who stands between him and the possession or enjoyment of his object of lust? If there indeed could not be such a trace of lust in these two conscious states of hate, are these seven states of consciousness without lust? When the commentator said that the four remaining karmically bad states do not associate with either the consciousness with lust or without lust, he only wanted to show them just separate from the pair known by the phrases, with lust and without lust. If so then would not one fall into partial knowledge? No. Because of their being included in the pairs (though not in the lust pair.)

Consciousness with ignorance is twofold. It is either accompanied by doubt or by agitation.

As this consciousness in either of its forms is fit to be called a delusion by way of particularity owing to excessive observation and special endowment with ignorance, these two forms, namely, the one linked to doubt and the one linked to agitation are in an outstanding manner "with ignorance."

By reason of the mind proceeding slackly in a shrivelled state owing to want of interest in the object and more or less with displeasure, there is the shrunken state of consciousness. This is a name applicable to the five karmically unwholesome sensuous conscious states not marked by spontaneity.

There is the conscious state associated with agitation in the sense of agitation having become powerful in the consciousness.

"All karmically bad conscious states are indeed accompanied by agitation."

The mental state accompanied by agitation is called the distracted mind because it spreads outside its object by way of diffused thinking.

By the ability to suppress the defilements and by the abundance of fruition and by the great length or extent of the series of its particular courses of cognition there is a state of consciousness become great. Or there is a state of consciousness become great by reason of lofty regenerative wish and so forth.

The state of consciousness become great is the mind that has reached the ground of the sensuous-ethereal and the purely ethereal planes of existence.

As there is nothing in the cosmos greater than the sensuous-ethereal and the purely ethereal the commentator explained the consciousness become great by reference to these two highest planes of existence.

The state of consciousness with some other mental state superior to it refers to the consciousness that has not reached the highest possible planes of attainment in cosmic existence or the consciousness that can become more fine; and the state of consciousness with no other mental state superior to it is that which has got to the highest planes of cosmic existence or that which has reached the acme of fineness of mundane states of mind.

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