The Duration of different Processes
When we see and we are then attached to the visible object and enjoy it, it seems that there is just normal attachment which is not harmful. However, we should realize that even normal attachment is a dhamma which is harmful. Its result is suffering, dukkha, and little by little the conditions are being accumulated for more dukkha later on. It is true that dukkha does not occur immediately when there is just a slight amount of attachment. However, when attachment is accumulated more and more, it becomes powerful and it can reach the degree of a hindrance (nívaraùa), a defilement which obstructs kusala, which causes worry and is oppressive. Then the characteristic of heaviness is evident, the heaviness of akusala, the dhamma which is restless, not calm.
We can find out for ourselves whether, the whole day, from the time we wake up until we go to sleep, the javana-cittas arise more often in a series of akusala cittas or in a series of kusala cittas. What could be done to cure ourselves of akusala? In fact, we are all taking poison, the poison of akusala, and when we realize this we should look for the right medicine which can cure us. If one does not know that one is taking poison, one will accumulate the inclination to take it. Its harmful effect will gradually increase, evermore. There is only one medicine which can cure us and that is the development of right understanding of realities, of satipaììhåna. If sati of satipaììhåna does not arise, there is no way to become free from the accumulation of akusala. Akusala will be accumulated evermore and there is not much opportunity for the arising of the different ways of wholesomeness. Whereas, when one develops satipaììhåna, satipaììhåna can arise instead of akusala, and votthapana-citta (determining-consciousness arising just before the javana-cittas) can then be contiguity-condition (anantara-paccaya 1) for the arising of kusala cittas according to ones accumulations. Kusala citta can be accompanied by the degree of sati which is mindful of the reality which is appearing.
The javana víthi-cittas which are kusala and those which are akusala arise and fall away in succession and they accumulate kusala or akusala all the time. This conditions each person to have different inclinations, a different character and a different behaviour. The accumulations in the citta of each person are most intricate. Also the arahats, those who have reached perfection, have different inclinations, they excel in different qualities. Venerable Såriputta was preeminent in wisdom, venerable Mahå Moggallåna in superpowers, venerable Mahå Kassapa in the observance of ascetical practices which he also encouraged others to observe, and venerable Anuruddha was preeminent in clearvoyance. The javana víthi-cittas of each one of us arrange themselves in their own series or continuity and accumulate different kinds of kusala and of akusala time and again, and this is the reason that, at the present time, we all think, speak and act in completely different ways.
Cittas which are kusala, akusala and mahå-kiriya which arrange themselves in a series of javana, cause people to have a different behaviour through body and speech. It could happen that people who saw an arahat had contempt for him because they judged him by his outward behaviour which he had accumulated for an endlessly long time. The brahman Vassakåra, the prime minister of Magadha, for example, made a serious mistake by misjudging an arahat from his outward behaviour. When he saw Mahå Kacchana coming down from a mountain he said that Mahå Kacchana behaved like a monkey. Vassakåras haughtiness was conditioned by the accumulation of his javana víthi-cittas. The Buddha told him to ask Mahå Kacchana forgiveness, but his accumulated conceit was the condition that he was unable to do so. The Buddha predicted that Vassakåra, after he had died, would be reborn as a monkey in a bamboo wood. Vassakåra had thereupon banana trees planted as well as other things monkeys could eat. Then his food would be all ready for him when he would be reborn as a monkey in that bamboo wood.
We should see the danger of the accumulation of akusala in the javana víthi-cittas which arise and fall away in a succession of seven cittas. Akusala is accumulated time and again so that it becomes ones nature and appears in ones behaviour and speech and this accumulated behaviour is called in Påli: våsanå 2 . Even when one has become an arahat there are inclinations accumulated in the citta which condition different kinds of behaviour. The Buddha is the only person who could eradicate våsanå. All arahats have eradicated defilements completely so that not even a germ is left of them, but nevertheless they are unable to eradicate våsanå. This is because they have accumulated våsanå for an endlessly long time in the cycle of birth and death through the power of javana víthi-cittas.
Summarizing the different types of víthi-cittas in the five-sense-door process, they are the following seven types:
The first víthi-citta is the five-sense-door adverting-consciousness,
The second víthi-citta is one of the five pairs 3 of sense-cognitions,
dvi-pañca-viññåùas, which are seeing-consciousness, hearing-
consciousness, smelling-consciousness, tasting-consciousness
The third víthi-citta is the receiving-consciousness, sampaìicchana-
citta, which receives the object from the preceding citta, one of the
sense-cognitions, after this has fallen away.
The fourth víthi-citta is the investigating-consciousness,
santíraùa-citta, which examines, considers the object.
The fifth víthi-citta is the determining-consciousness, votthapana-
citta, which performs the function of determining whether it will
be succeeded by kusala citta, akusala citta or kiriyacitta (in the
case of the arahat).
The sixth type of víthi-citta is the javana víthi-citta of which there
are usually seven types in succession. Javana can be translated as
impulsion or running. It goes quickly through the object with
kusala citta, akusala citta or kiriyacitta.
The seventh type of víthi-citta is the tadårammùa víthi-citta (tadårammaùa means: that object) or tadålambana víthi-citta (ålambana means delaying, hanging on). This citta is called in English retention or registering-consciousness. It performs the function of receiving the object, hanging on to the object after the javana-cittas, if the object has not fallen away yet, since rúpa lasts not longer than
seventeen moments of citta.
The following summary shows the duration of an object which is rúpa, lasting as long as seventeen moments of citta.
When a rúpa arises and impinges on a sense-base, the first moment
of citta which arises and falls away is the bhavanga-citta which is
called past bhavanga, atíta-bhavanga.
The vibrating bhavanga, bhavanga calana, is the second moment of
The arrest bhavanga, bhavangupaccheda, is the third moment of
The five-sense-door adverting-consciousness is the fourth moment
One of the sense-cognitions is the fifth moment of citta.
The receiving-consciousness is the sixth moment of citta.
The investigating-consciousness is the seventh moment of citta.
The determining-consciousness is the eighth moment of citta
The first javana-citta is the ninth moment of citta. |
The second javana-citta is the tenth moment of citta. |
The third javana-citta is the eleventh moment of citta. |
The fourth javana-citta is the twelfth moment of citta. |seven
The fifth javana-citta is the thirteenth moment of citta. | javana-
The sixth javana-citta is the fourteenth moment of citta. |cittas
The seventh javana-citta is the fifteenth moment of citta. |
From the moment of atíta bhavanga when the rúpa which is object arose, fifteen moments have passed when the seventh javana-citta has fallen away. Thus, there are still two more moments left before the rúpa will fall away, since, in comparison with the duration of nåma, rúpa lasts seventeen times longer. People who are born in the sensuous planes of existence have accumulated kamma in the past which is connected with visible object, sound, odour, flavour and tangible object, with the sense objects. When the javana-cittas run through a sense object and it has not fallen away yet, kamma conditions the arising of vipåkacitta after the javana-cittas in the form of tadålambana-citta, retention, which hangs on to the object. This is in accordance with the nature of those born in sensuous planes. The tadålambana-citta receives the object after the javana-cittas and there are two types of this citta in succession.
The tadålambana-citta is the last víthi-citta which performs its function in a process and experiences the object through the corresponding doorway. Then bhavanga-cittas arise again, succeeding one another, until víthi-cittas of a following process arise and experience an object through one of the doorways.
At the moment of bhavanga-citta this world does not appear, there is no remembrance connected with the different people and the events of this world. The situation is the same as when one is fast asleep and one is not aware of anything that has to do with this world. At the moments one is fast asleep and also in between processes there are just bhavanga-cittas arising and falling away. The rebirth-consciousness, paìisandhi-citta, the bhavanga-citta and the dying-consciousness, cuti-citta, are not víthi-cittas, they do not experience an object through one of the six doors, thus, an object of this world 4. The dying-consciousness is the last citta of this lifespan, it performs the function of passing away from ones life as this particular individual. It is succeeded by the rebirth-consciousness of the next life, and then there are again víthi-cittas experiencing objects connected with the world of the next life, which is different. So long as the dying-consciousness has not arisen yet we are still leading this life, and there are, apart from the bhavanga-cittas which do not know anything connected with this world, víthi-cittas which just have to know objects of this world, namely, the visible object, sound, odour, flavour and tangible object of this world.
Summary of a sense-door process which runs its full course, with seven types of víthi-cittas:
atíta bhavanga, one moment | |
bhavanga calana, one moment |not víthi-citta|
bhavangupaccheda, one moment | |
consciousness, one moment, víthi-citta |
one of the sense-
cognitions, one moment, víthi-citta | duration of
receiving-consciousness, one moment, víthi-citta | one rúpa
moment, víthi-citta | is equal to
moment , víthi-citta | the arising
kusala citta, akusala citta or kiriyacitta| | and falling
kusala citta, akusala citta or kiriyacitta| | away of
kusala citta, akusala citta or kiriyacitta| seven | seventeen
kusala citta, akusala citta or kiriyacitta| javana | moments of
kusala citta, akusala citta or kiriyacitta |víthi-cittas | citta
kusala citta, akusala citta or kiriyacitta | |
kusala citta, akusala citta or kiriyacitta | |
tadålambana-citta | two moments of |
tadålambana-citta | víthi-citta |
After the víthi-cittas of a sense-door process have arisen, experienced an object through one of the five sense-doors (which is the pasåda-rúpa) and have fallen away, there are bhavanga-cittas arising and falling away in succession, in between processes. After that the mind-door adverting-consciousness arises and experiences through the mind-door ( the bhavangupaccheda) the same object as the víthi-cittas of the preceding sense-door process, which just before experienced that object and then fell away. The process of cittas which experience an object through the mind-door does not last as long as a sense-door process. There is no atíta bhavanga before the mind-door process begins. The object which just before has been experienced by cittas of a sense-door process does not any longer impinge on the eyebase or one of the other sensebases when the mind-door process begins. There have to be bhavanga-cittas before the mind-door process and the last bhavanga-cittas which arise and fall away are the bhavanga calana which vibrates, which is stirred by the object, and the bhavangupaccheda, the arrest bhavanga. After this citta has fallen away the mind-door adverting-consciousness arises and this is the first víthi-citta of the mind-door process which experiences the same object as the cittas of the sense-door process. The mind-door adverting-consciousness which performs the function of adverting to the object through the mind-door is different from the five-sense-door adverting-consciousness which performs its function only through five sense-doors. The mind-door adverting-consciousness ponders over the object, experiences it through the mind-door. Whenever we think about different subjects, as we do time and again, the citta does not at such moments experience objects through the eyes, the ears, the nose, the tongue and the bodysense.
After the bhavanga calana, the bhavangupaccheda and the mind-door adverting-consciousness have arisen and fallen away, kusala cittas or akusala cittas arise in the case of non-arahats. These types of víthi-cittas perform the function of javana and they arise and fall away in a succession of seven cittas. After these have fallen away there are, if the object is very clear 5, tadålambana-cittas arising in a succession of two cittas.
Thus, there are only three types of víthi-cittas arising which experience an object through the mind-door. They are the adverting víthi-citta, the javana víthi-citta of which there are seven cittas in succession, and the tadålambana or tadårammaùa víthi-citta of which there are two types in succession.
Summary of the mind-door process with three types of víthi-cittas:
bhavanga calana, one moment, | not víthi-citta
bhavangupaccheda, one moment |
consciousness, | one moment of víthi-citta
kusala citta, akusala citta or kiriyacitta |
kusala citta, akusala citta or kiriyacitta |
kusala citta, akusala citta or kiriyacitta | seven moments of
kusala citta, akusala citta or kiriyacitta | javana víthi-citta
kusala citta, akusala citta or kiriyacitta |
kusala citta, akusala citta or kiriyacitta |
kusala citta, akusala citta or kiriyacitta |
tadålambana-citta | tadålambana víthi
tadålambana-citta | two moments
When we see what appears through the eyes, all víthi-cittas which arise in the eye-door process and experience visible object through the eye-door are eye-door process cittas. Of these víthicittas there are seven different types in all. They depend on the eye-door, they experience the object which appears through the eye-door and which has not fallen away yet. It is the same in the case of the other sense-door processes. There are in each of these processes seven different types of víthi-cittas experiencing the object which appears through the corresponding doorway and which has not fallen away yet.
The number of víthi-cittas which experience objects in sense-door processes can be different. Four different courses or rounds (våras) can be distinguished in sense-door processes:
the full course ending with the tadålambana-citta (tadålambana
the course ending with the javana-citta (javana våra)
the course ending with the votthapana-citta (votthapana våra)
the futile course (mogha våra)
A course or våra are a series of víthi-cittas which arise and fall away in succession and experience the same object through the same doorway. In some courses seven types of víthi-citta arise, in others six types, in others again five types, and in some there are no víthi-cittas arising, there are only the atíta bhavanga and the bhavanga calana.
In the case of the futile course, when a rúpa impinges on a sense-base the bhavanga-citta which arises at that moment, the atíta bhavanga, is not succeeded immediately by the bhavanga calana, the vibrating bhavanga. There are several moments of atíta bhavanga arising and falling away before the bhavanga calana which is stirred by the object arises and this citta is then succeeded by several more moments of bhavanga calana, arising and falling away. Since the object which is rúpa impinging on the sense-base is about to fall away (lasting not longer than seventeen moments of citta), there is no condition for víthi-cittas to arise and to experience the object which impinged on one of the sensebases, and in that case there is a futile course.
The futile course of a process can be compared to the situation when someone who is fast asleep and stirred in order to be woken up, does not wake up, and who, when stirred again with force, still does not wake up. In the case of the futile course the adverting-consciousness does not arise, there are only the atíta bhavanga and the bhavanga calana. The object which impinges when there is a futile course is called very slight (atiparitta), because it impinges on the sense-base and only affects bhavanga-cittas, it does not condition the arising of víthi-cittas; it falls away before there is an opportunity for their arising.
It may also happen that there are several types of atíta bhavanga arising and falling away, followed by several types of bhavanga calana arising and falling away and that after that the bhavangupaccheda arises and the stream of bhavanga-cittas is arrested. Then there can be the sense-door adverting-consciousness, one of the sense-cognitions, the receiving-consciousness and the investigating-consciousness, arising and falling away in succession. After that the determining-consciousness arises, but since the rúpa cannot last longer than seventeen moments of citta there is no opportunity for the arising of the javana-cittas which experience that rúpa. In that case two or three moments of votthapana-citta arise and fall away and then, when the rúpa falls away, the process is ended. This course is called the course ending with votthapana (votthapana våra), since the votthapana-citta is the last víthi-citta.
All this is according to reality as it occurs in daily life. When an object impinges on a sensebase there is not always the full course of seven types of víthi-cittas arising and falling away. It may happen that there are no víthi-cittas, thus, that there is a futile course, or that the course ends with votthapana-citta (votthapana våra). In the last case the object is called slight (paritta), because it is the object of only five kinds of víthi-cittas and then it falls away.
It may happen, when the votthapana-citta has arisen and fallen away and is succeeded by the javana-cittas which arise and fall away in a succession of seven cittas, that then the object falls away. In such a case the tadålambana víthi-citta cannot arise and there is a course ending with the javana-citta (javana våra), with six kinds of víthi-cittas of which the last type is javana-citta, experiencing the object. The object of such a course is called great (mahanta), because it is clear and it conditions the arising of kusala citta, akusala citta, or, in the case of the arahat, mahå-kiriyacitta.
It may happen, when the javana-cittas have arisen and fallen away in a succession of seven cittas, that the object has not fallen away yet. Then there is a condition for two types of tadårammaùa-citta (or tadålambana-citta) to arise and to experience the object which has not fallen away yet. The last víthi-citta which experiences the object is then tadålambana-citta. This is the course ending with tadålambana-citta (tadålambana våra). The object of such a course is called very great (atimahanta). This object is very clear, the process runs its full course with the tadålambana víthi-cittas succeeding the javana víthi-cittas and experiencing the object which has not fallen away yet.
In the case of the mind-door process two different courses are possible: the course ending with javana and the course ending with tadålamabana. The object of the course ending with javana is called obscure (avibhúta), because it is less clear than the object of the course ending with tadålambana. The object of the course ending with tadålambana is called clear (vibhúta), because it is clearer than the object of the course ending with javana.
There are six doorways. A doorway is the means through which víthi-citta knows an object other than the object of the bhavanga-citta. Of these six doorways through which víthi-cittas experience objects, five doorways are rúpa and one is nåma. Summarizing the six doorways, they are:
the eye-door, cakkhu-dvåra, which is the cakkhuppasåda rúpa 6
the ear-door, sota-dvåra, which is the sotappasåda rúpa
the nose-door, ghåùa-dvåra, which is the ghåùappassåda rúpa
the tongue-door, jivhå-dvåra, which is the jivhåppasåda rúpa
the body-door, kåya-dvåra, which is the kåyappassåda rúpa
the mind-door, mano-dvåra, which is the bhavangupaccheda
citta 7, preceding the mind-door adverting-consciousness
Six rúpas are bases, vatthus, the place of origin for cittas in the planes of existence where there are five khandhas, nåma and rúpa. These rúpas are called vatthu rúpa. Summarizing them, they are:
the cakkhuppasåda rúpa, which is the eye-base, cakkhu-vatthu, the
place of origin for the two types of seeing-consciousness,
the sotappasåda rúpa, which is the ear-base, sota-vatthu, for the
two types of hearing-consciousness, sota-viññåùa
the ghåùappasåda rúpa, which is nose-base, ghåùa-vatthu, for
the two types of smelling-consciousness, ghåùa-viññåùa,
the jivhåppasåda rúpa, which is the tongue-base, jivhå-vatthu, for
the two types of tasting-consciousness, jivhå-viññåùa
the kåyappassåda rúpa, which is the body-base, kåya-vatthu, for
the two types of kåya-viññåùa
the heart-base, hadaya-rúpa, which is the place of origin in the
planes where there are five khandhas for all cittas other than the
five pairs of sense-cognitions.
The five pasåda rúpas can be door as well as base, place of origin. The cakkhuppassåda rúpa (eyesense) is the eye-door for all the cittas of the eye-door process, namely: eye-door adverting-consciousness, seeing-consciousness, receiving-consciousness, investigating-consciousness, determining-consciousness, javana-citta and tadålambana-citta, experiencing visible object which impinges on the eyesense and which has not fallen away yet. However, the cakkhuppasåda rúpa is the eye-base, cakkhu-vatthu, that is, the place of origin, only for the two types of seeing-consciousness. As regards the other cittas of the eye-door process, the eye-door adverting-consciousness, the receiving-consciousness, the investigating-consciousness, the determining-consciousness, the javana-citta and the tadålambana-citta, they arise at the heart-base, hadaya-vatthu. It is the same in the case of the other pasåda rúpas which are the doors of the relevant víthi-cittas, but which are the base, vatthu, only for the coresponding sense-cognitions.
The hadaya rúpa is the base, the place of origin, for the cittas concerned, but it is not a doorway.
1. Why are the víthi-cittas of the mind-door process less in number than those of the five-sense-door processes?
2. Through how many doorways can lobha-múla-citta, citta rooted in attachment, experience an object?
3. Through how many doorways can the five-sense-door adverting-consciousness experience an object? Through how many doorways can the mind-door adverting-consciousness experience an object?
4. What are the futile course, mogha våra, the votthapana våra, the javana våra and the tadålambana våra?
5. What object is obscure (avibhúta) and what object is clear (vibhúta) ?
6. Which rúpa is the base for the rebirth-consciousness arising in a plane where there are five khandhas?
7. Which rúpa is the base for the akusala citta arising in a plane where there are five khandhas?
8. Which rúpa is the base for the kiriyacitta arising in a plane where there are five khandhas?
9. Which rúpas are the bases for the different ear-door process cittas?
10. Which rúpas are the bases for the different cetasikas arising in a plane where there are five khandhas?
The Nature of Javana-citta
The arising and falling away of bhavanga-cittas and of víthi-cittas, cittas arising in processes, is our ordinary, daily life. When one hears about the Dhamma terms which explain the characteristics and functions of the different cittas, but one does not understand the meaning of these terms, one may have doubts. All these terms explain the characteristics of realities, and these exist not merely in text books, they occur in daily life. They occur each time when cittas arise which are seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting, experiencing tangible object or thinking. At this moment we are seeing, and thus we can know that there are cittas arising in a process. There is the arising of eye-door adverting-consciousness, seeing-consciousness, receiving-consciousness, investigating-consciousness, determining-consciousness and javana-cittas. All these cittas arise and fall away in succession. Right understanding of the Dhamma will remind us to consider whether the javana-cittas which arise after seeing, hearing or the other sense-cognitions are kusala cittas or akusala cittas. The javana-cittas arise in their own series.
When we have learnt about the four jåtis of kusala, akusala, vipåka and kiriya, we shall come to know which citta is cause, producing result in the form of vipåkacitta which arises later on. We shall come to know which citta is vipåka, the result produced by a cause, by kamma performed in the past. We should know the jåti, the nature, of the cittas which arise in processes and of those which do not arise in processes. We should, for example, know that rebirth-consciousness is vipåkacitta, the result of kamma. One kamma among all the kammas performed in the past is the condition for the rebirth-consciousness to succeed the dying-consciousness of the previous life. The rebirth-consciousness is vipåka-citta which performs only once the function of rebirth. It performs this function once and for all in a lifespan, at the first moment of life, when it succeeds the dying-consciousness of the previous life. Thus, it cannot perform this function again in one lifespan. The rebirth-consciousness arises and then falls away immediately, it does not last.
The rebirth-consciousness, which is of the jåti of vipåka, is contiguity-condition, anatara-paccaya, for the immediate arising of the succeeding citta. This citta, which is not víthi-citta but performs the function of bhavanga, is also vipåka. Kamma does not only condition the arising of rebirth-consciousness, it also conditions the arising of the succeeding bhavanga-cittas which perform the function of bhavanga, life-continuum. The bhavanga-citta which immediately succeeds the rebirth-consciousness is called first bhavanga (pathama bhavanga). The following bhavanga-cittas, arising throughout life until the dying-consciousness, are not called by any particular name. They are countless.
Bhavanga-cittas arise and fall away in succession, all the time, until víthi-citta arises. The víthi-citta which arises first in a process, before the other víthi-cittas, is the citta which performs the function of adverting to the object. There are two types of adverting-consciousness: the five-sense-door adverting-consciousness which performs the function of adverting through the five sense-doors, and the mind-door adverting-consciousness which performs the function of adverting through the mind-door. Both types of citta are kiriyacitta, thus, not kusala citta, akusala citta or vipåkacitta. These types of kiriyacitta can experience an object which is pleasant and agreeable (iììhårammaùa) as well as an object which is unpleasant (aniììhårammaùa). In the case of vipåkacitta the situation is different, because akusala vipåkacitta can experience only an unpleasant object and kusala vipåkacitta can experience only a pleasant object.
The Atthasåliní (II, Book I, Part X, Ch VI, 293) explains that the characteristic of kiriyacitta is the mere acting or doing of a function 8. There are different types of kiriyacitta: those of the arahat which perform the function of javana, and those which do not perform the function of javana but other functions and which are common to the arahat and the non-arahat. As to the kiriyacittas which do not perform the function of javana, the Atthasåliní states that they are fruitless like a plant with a wind-snapped flower. When a flower drops there will not be any fruit and evenso the kiriyacitta is like that flower, it cannot produce any result. There are two types of kiriyacitta which do not perform the function of javana: the five-sense-door adverting-consciousness and the mind-door adverting-consciousness. The five-sense-door adverting-consciousness performs only one function, the function of adverting through the five sense-doors. Whereas the mind-door adverting-consciousness performs two functions: the function of adverting through the mind-door and the function of determining the object, votthapana, through the five sense-doors.
Apart from these two types of kiriyacitta which are common to the arahat and the non-arahat alike, there are other types of kiriyacitta which perform the function of javana, but only in the case of the arahat. The Atthasåliní refers to these in the same section and explains:
...that which has reached the state of javana (the kiriyacitta of the arahat) is fruitless like the flower of an uprooted tree.
Only the arahat has kiriyacittas which perform the function of javana, and these are not akusala nor kusala; they cannot produce any result. They are fruitless like the flower of an uprooted tree because the arahat has eradicated all defilements. These types of kiriyacitta merely accomplish the function of javana.
When in the eye-door process the five-sense-door adverting-consciousness has fallen away, it is succeeded by seeing-consciousness which is vipåkacitta, the result of kamma which has been performed. Kusala kamma conditions seeing-consciousness which is kusala vipåka to see visible object which is beautiful, enjoyable, thus, a pleasant object. Akusala kamma conditions seeing-consciousness which is akusala vipåka to see visible object which is not beautiful, not enjoyable, thus, an unpleasant object. Víthi-citta which hears through th ears, hearing-consciousness, is vipåkacitta. Nobody knows what kind of sound hearing-consciousness will hear at a particular moment. It is all according to conditions, it depends on kamma which was already performed in the past. When odour is smelt through the nose, there is vipåkacitta which is smelling-consciousness. When flavour is tasted through the tongue, there is vipåkacitta which is tasting-consciousness. When tangible object is experienced through the bodysense, such as cold, heat, softness or hardness, there is vipåkacitta which is body-consciousness. Kamma is the condition for all these vipåkacittas to arise and to experience an object, after the five-sense-door adverting-consciousness has performed its function of adverting to that object.
The five pairs of sense-cognitions, such as seeing or hearing, are contiguity-condition, anantara-paccaya, for the arising of the succeeding citta, the receiving-consciousness which receives the object. Receiving-consciousness is vipåkacitta, it is the result of the same kamma which produced the preceding sense-cognition. When the receiving-consciousness has fallen away, the same kamma produces the investigating-consciousness, which is also vipåkacitta and which performs the function of investigating, after the function of receiving has been performed.
The víthi-cittas which are vipåka and which arise in the five-sense-door processes are: seeing-consciousness, hearing-consciousness, smelling-consciousness, tasting-consciousness, body-consciousness, receiving-consciousness and investigating-consciousness. These cittas do not accumulate, they do not arise in their own continuing series like the javana-cittas; they are merely results of kamma. They arise, they perform their own function and then they fall away. After the investigating-consciousness has fallen away, the determining-consciousness, votthapana-citta, arises, and this citta is actually the mind-door adverting-consciousness, mano-dvåråvajjana-citta, performing in the five-sense-door processes the function of determining, votthapana. The determining-consciousness is kiriyacitta which merely performs its function and then falls away; it does not arise in its own series. When it has fallen away, it is succeeded by javana víthi-cittas which perform their function of running through the object, and these may be kusala cittas or akusala cittas in the case of the non-arahat. As we have seen, for the arahat the javana-cittas are kiriyacittas. There are usually seven javana-cittas and these are of the same type, arising and falling away in succession; thus, these cittas accumulate, they arise in their own continuing series. This happens also at this very moment.
The Atthasåliní (II, Book I, Part X, Ch II, 279, 280) uses a simile in order to explain the arising of víthi-cittas which experience an object in the five-sense-door process. We read:
A certain king went to bed and fell asleep. His attendant sat shampooing his feet; a deaf door-keeper stood at the door. Three guards stood in a row. Then a certain man, resident at a border village, bringing a present, came and knocked at the door. The deaf door-keeper did not hear the sound. He who shampooed the kings feet gave a sign, by which the door-keeper opened the door and looked. The first guard took the present and handed it to the second guard, who gave it to the third, who in turn offered it to the king. The king partook of it....
When we consider this parable we shall understand the functions performed by each of the víthi-cittas which arise and experience the object. The impinging of the object on the eyebase is like the knocking on the door by the resident of the border village who brought the present. This parable shows us that the object has as its only function to impinge on the sensebase. The resident of the border village cannot enter to visit the king, but his present is handed to the first, second and third guard who then offers it to the king. The function of the five-sense-door adverting-consciousness is compared to the giving of the sign by the attendant who shampooed the kings feet. He knows that a guest has come and knocks at the door. The five-sense-door adverting-consciousness adverts to the object which impinges on one of the sense-doors and then it falls away. After that, in the case of the eye-door process, seeing-consciousness arises and performs the function of seeing through the eyesense which is the eye-door, and this is compared to the door-keeper who opens the door and looks. Only seeing-consciousness performs the function of seeing the object, impinging on the eye-door. Visible object can only impinge on the rúpa which is eyesense and the succeeding cittas have to know that object; the object cannot escape or intrude on another sensebase. Seeing-consciousness is succeeded by the receiving-consciousness which receives the object. Seeing-consciousness cannot perform the function of receiving the object, it can only see and then it falls away. Thus, the receiving-consciousness is compared to the first guard who receives the present and hands it to the second guard. The investigating-consciousness is like the second guard who examines the present and hands it to the third guard. The determining-consciousness is like the third guard who decides about the present and then offers it to the king. The king who enjoys the present and partakes of it represents the javana-cittas which succeed the determining-consciousness and which enjoy the essential property of the object.
The king partakes of the object and this explains the characteristic of kusala citta or akusala citta which performs the function of javana, running through the object, through the eyes, the ears, the nose, the tongue, the bodysense or the mind-door. The javana-cittas partake of the object with attachment, aversion and ignorance; or they can be kusala citta or, in the case of the arahat, kiriyacitta. The javana-cittas perform their own function, they do not see, receive the object, investigate it or determine it, because the preceding cittas have already performed all these functions. Therefore, there are conditions for the arising of kusala cittas, akusala cittas or kiriyacittas which run through the object in a succession of seven cittas of the same type. The javana víthi-cittas can partake of the object, they consume it. In the case of a futile course 9, sound, for example, may impinge on the earsense, but there will not be hearing, and javana-cittas do not arise either. Evenso in the case of a course ending with determining-consciousness, votthapana-citta, javana-cittas which are kusala cittas, akusala cittas or kiriyacittas do not arise. Then there is no consuming of the object. Whereas javana-cittas which arise and fall away in a succession of seven cittas of the same type, kusala, akusala or kiriya, do partake of the object, they consume it.
It is according to conditions that there are seven javana-cittas arising and falling away in succession which partake of the object. The first javana-citta is repetition-condition, asevana-paccaya, for the second one which arises and partakes of the object again, and so on until the seventh javana-cutta which is not repetition-condition for the succeeding citta. Akusala javana víthi-citta, kusala javana víthi-citta and kiriya javana víthi-citta can be repetition-condition for the arising of the succeeding citta. Through this condition there is a repetition of cittas of the same jåti (nature) which arise and perform the function of javana, and thus, kusala citta and akusala citta can acquire strength, they can become kamma-condition for the arising of vipåka in the future. Moreover, they can be natural strong dependence-condition, upanissaya-paccaya, for the arising again in the future of kusala javana víthi-citta and akusala javana víthi-citta. The frequent arising in a continuing series of different kinds of akusala javana-cittas conditions an ever increasing accumulation of akusala. Because of this we are infatuated with what we see as soon as we wake up and open our eyes. When we are fast asleep and not dreaming there are bhavanga-cittas, but when we are dreaming or thinking there are no bhavanga-cittas but cittas in mind-door processes which are thinking. When there are bhavanga-cittas we do not know any object through one of the six doors, any object of this world, but this does not mean that we are without defilements. Also with the bhavanga-cittas there are latent tendencies of defilements, anusaya kilesa.
There are three levels of defilements:
subtle defilement, anusaya kilesa, accumulated defilements which
lay dormant in the citta as latent tendencies,
medium defilement, pariyuììhåna 10 kilesa, arising together with
coarse defilement, vítikkama 11 kilesa, arising together with the
Thus, even with the cittas other than the javana-cittas there are defilements, present in the form of latent tendencies. The arahat has completely eradicated all defilements and thus he has no more latent tendencies.
The víthi-citta which sees what appears through the eyes, hears sound through the ears or experiences any other sense object, is in that process followed by javana-cittas which arrange themselves in their own series of several kåmåvacara cittas of the same type: akusala citta, kusala citta or kiriyacitta.
In the case of the eye-door process, there are seven different types of víthi-cittas 12. It is the same in the case of the ear-door process or the other sense-door processes, there are seven different types of víthi-cittas. In the case of the mind-door process, there are three different types of víthi-cittas.
1. Which víthi-cittas in a five-sense-door process and in the mind-door process are vipåkacittas?
2. How many kiriyacittas does the non-arahat have?
3. How many kiriyacittas which are not javana víthi-cittas does the arahat have?
4. What is repetition-condition, asevana-paccaya?
5. Which cittas can be repetition-condition?
1 Each citta is anantara-paccaya, the condition for the arising of the succeeding citta.
2 See Ch 2.
3 Of each pair, one citta is kusala vipåkacitta and one citta is akusala vipåkacitta.
4 As will be explained later on, they experience the object which was experienced by the last javana-cittas of the previous life.
5 This is the case when the sense-door process has run its full course with two tadålambana-cittas.
6 There are five rúpas which are pasåda rúpas, the sense organs which can receive the impingement of the relevant sense objects.
7 The bhavangupaccheda is bhavanga-citta, not víthi-citta. It does not experience the object which is experienced by the cittas of the mind-door process. Since it precedes the mind-door adverting-consciousness, it is merely the doorway, the means through which the víthi-cittas of the mind-door process can experience the object.
8 Kiriya or kriyå is derived from karoti, to do. It means action or occupation. Kiriyacitta performs a function. It is translated as functional, or it is translated as inoperative, because it does not produce any result. It is neither kusala nor akusala and it is not vipåka.
9 See Ch 11.
10 This means prepossession, outburst or bias.
11 This means transgression.
12 See Ch 10.