The Nature of Vipåka
Vipåka is produced by kamma performed in the past. It is not easy to understand that kamma which belongs already to the past can still be a condition for the arising of vipåkacitta and vipåkacetasikas in the present time. The nature of vipåka should be examined in detail, so that there can be right understanding of kamma and vipåka. The reality of vipåka is nåma, citta and cetasikas which arise because they are conditioned by kamma which has been performed already.
When a person is confronted with an unpleasant or a pleasant event in his life people usually say, This is his kamma. We should say that it is the result of kamma performed in the past, so that people can have right understanding of kamma and vipåka. If one does not express oneself precisely and, for example, says that an accident is the kamma of that person, the truth of cause and result will not be clear to other people who are not familiar with this subject. They will confuse kamma and vipåka and take vipåka for kamma.
When we consider the aspect of citta as vipåka, conditioned by accumulated kamma and defilements, we shall see more clearly the true nature of different dhammas. We should remember that without the doorways of the senses and the mind-door by means of which objects are received and experienced, vipåkacittas could not arise in our daily life, the result of kamma could not be received. When seeing arises, there is vipåka, the result of kamma. The result of kamma is received not only when we have an accident, when we suffer from sickness or pain, when we experience gain and loss, honour and dishonour. Also at each moment of seeing, hearing or the other sense-cognitions, thus, when we experience the ordinary objects in daily life, there is result of kamma performed in the past. Sati can be aware of the reality which is vipåka when there is seeing, hearing smelling, tasting or the experience of tangible object in daily life.
Vipåkacitta is bound to arise, it is the result of kamma which has been performed. We cannot know by which kamma in the past the vipåkacittas arising in the different processes are conditioned. For example, we do not know which kamma produces the vipåkacitta which hears the sound of a child playing football. It is difficult to understand the subject of kamma in detail. It is one of the subjects which are unthinkable, subjects one cannot fathom, and therefore one should not speculate about them 1.
Kamma which has been performed already is a cause stemming from the past. Even if kamma has been performed at a time which lies far back in the cycle of birth and death, it can still condition the arising of vipåkacitta. If someone speculates about which kind of kamma conditions as its result the seeing of this object or the hearing of that sound, he will not be freed from ignorance and confusion. He speculates about something he cannot fathom, because he does not have paññå which is of the degree of penetrating the truth of kamma and vipåka. Vipåka, however, the result of kamma, which experiences objects through the senses, is appearing at this moment, and thus it can be known.
Among the four Applications of Mindfulness the third one is Mindfulness of Citta 2. The first type of citta mentioned in this section is citta with attachment (sarågacitta). Sati can arise and be aware of the characteristic of the citta with attachment and clinging which appears time and again in daily life. If sati does not arise it will not be known that, when there is seeing of an object, cittas with attachment and clinging to what is seen arise, succeeding one another very rapidly. If paññå knows the characteristics of dhammas which naturally appear defilements can eventually be eradicated. Paññå can know the difference between the characteristic of vipåkacitta, the result of past kamma, and the characteristic of kusala citta and of akusala citta, that is, defilement. Kusala citta and akusala citta of the degree of kamma performed at the present time, can condition the arising of vipåkacitta in the future. We should not only know the characteristic of vipåka which is more obvious, such as in the case of a pleasant or an unpleasant event, but also the characteristic of vipåka which is the experience through the senses of the manifold objects in daily life.
If we understand that vipåkacitta which arises is the result of kamma we performed ourselves, can we still be angry with other people or blame them for the vipåka we receive? In the Scriptures we read about events in the lives of people of old who received different vipåkas. Also in the present time different events occur which clearly show that each person has to receive vipåka, the result of past kamma, but we cannot predict in which way it will appear. For example, a building may collapse and crush the owner so that he dies. A bomb is not the cause that the building collapses and crushes that man. His death is not caused by being shot or assaulted. Kamma performed in the past is the cause for receiving results through the eyes, the ears, the nose, the tongue or the bodysense. Therefore, one should not be angry with someone else or blame him for the vipåka one receives. Sati can be aware of the characteristic of the dhamma which is vipåkacitta, not a being, person or self. Thus one can come to understand that the moment of vipåka is the result of past kamma, different from the moments of attachment, aversion and ignorance, or the moments of kusala dhammas. The kusala dhammas and akusala dhammas which arise are causes in the present which will condition the arising of results in the future.
The things outside as well as the rúpas of the body which appear to seeing and are perceived as being tall, short, dark or light, appear actually only at the moment they impinge on the eyesense. If there is no eyesense and we do not see, we cannot think of shape and form, of tall, short, dark and light we take for our body.
Therefore, in reality, ones own body and all the things outside do not belong to anyone. They appear just at the moment seeing-consciousness arises and then they fall away very rapidly.
It is the same with sound which only appears when it impinges on the earsense, and then falls away completely. It does not belong to anybody. By being aware of the characteristics of realities, just as they naturally appear in daily life, the wrong view can be eradicated which takes realities for a being, a person or self.
In daily life there arises time and again just a moment of seeing, of hearing, of smelling, of tasting, of body-consciousness or of thinking, and all these passing moments are real. They can be objects of satipaììhåna so that paññå can investigate their characteristics, and in this way realities can be known as they are: not a being, person or self.
We should carefully consider what our possessions we believe we own really are. The moments we do not see them we can merely think about them, but we believe that we own many things. However, of what use can these things be to us during the moments we do not see or touch them? When the characteristics of paramattha dhammas have been understood as they are: not a being, person or self, it will be realised that paramattha dhammas are the same for all people, and that in that respect all people are equal. When seeing-consciousness arises, it sees what appears and then it falls away. The seeing-consciousness and what appears to seeing, visible object, do not belong to anybody. Therefore, we should not take anything for I or mine. All people are equal, they are the same as far as paramattha dhammas are concerned. The defilement, however, which takes realities for I or mine is of a different degree for each person.
We are used to enjoying our possessions, but we may begin to realize that we have no possessions at all, that there is just seeing-consciousness which arises and sees and then falls away very rapidly. Where are our possessions at the moments seeing-consciousness does not arise? Our possessions are only that which seeing-consciousness sees when it arises just for a short moment, and therefore, is it right to take what is seen for our possessions? What appears just for an extremely short moment cannot become ones property, it cannot be owned; it can only appear through the eyes when it is impinging on the eyesense.
It is the same with sound, odour, flavour and tangible object. They impinge just for a moment on the relevant sense-door and thus we should not take these realities for I or mine.
We all want to possess many things, we want to have as much as other people, but it all depends on kamma; the vipåka which appears in the present time is produced by a past cause. Therefore, result or vipåka is not in anyones power. Nobody can predict which kamma will produce, as result, which vipåkacittas, arising in the different processes when there is seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting or the experience of tangible object.
In the Gradual Sayings (II, Book of the Fours, Ch VIII, § 7, Unthinkable) we read that the Buddha said:
Monks, there are these four unthinkables, not to be thought of, thinking of which one would be distraught and come to grief. What are the four?
Of Buddhas, monks, the range (field of knowledge) is unthinkable, not to be thought of... Of one who has attained jhåna, monks, the range of jhåna is unthinkable, not to be thought of... The fruit of kamma, monks, is unthinkable, not to be thought of... Speculation about the world, monks, is unthinkable, not to be thought of, thinking of which one would be distraught and would come to grief. These, monks, are the four unthinkables....
While we are seeing now there is vipåkacitta which experiences an object through the eyes. Sati can be aware of the characteristics of realities: of nåma, the reality which experiences an object, and of rúpa, that which appears. Sati can only be aware of these characteristics, and more than that cannot be known. It cannot be known which kamma of which past life has conditioned as its result the seeing arising at this moment. It is impossible to find this out. When there is seeing, sati can be mindful and paññå can clearly know the difference between seeing which is vipåka and akusala citta with like or dislike or kusala citta which can arise after seeing.
The fourth aspect of citta as stated by the Atthasåliní is its variegated nature (vicitta). Citta is variegated because of the different accompanying dhammas, sampayutta dhammas, namely, the cetasikas which arise together with the citta. The accompanying cetasikas are different, each person has accumulated different inclinations. It is impossible that each person thinks in the same way or adheres to the same belief. People have a different outer appearance and also their way of thinking, their points of view and their beliefs are not the same. Even the Buddha, during the time he was still alive, before his parinibbåna, could not cause all people to have right view. For those who have accumulated the right conditions kusala vipåkacitta and kusala citta can arise, so that they are able to hear the Dhamma, study it and investigate the truth the Buddha taught. When one has listened to the Dhamma one should test its meaning, carefully consider it in all details and develop paññå so that the characteristics of realities can be known as they really are, in conformity with the truth the Buddha taught.
Wrong view does not only occur in other beliefs. Also those who are Buddhists engage in different practices depending on the ideas and points of view they have accumulated.
After the second Council (of Vesåli), the monks of the Vajjiyan Clan, on account of whom the second Council had been convened, propagated different doctrines in conformity with their own opinion. One of their statements was that, in order to attain enlightenment, one should merely recite: Dukkha, dukkha (Kathåvatthu, Points of Controversity, Nidånakathå). Thus we see that wrong understanding and wrong practice have occurred since the past. We all should, in the present time, study the Dhamma and investigate it in detail.
We read in the Puggala Paññatti (Human Types, Ch IV, § 5 3) that with regard to the grasping of the Dhamma there are four types of people: people who quickly grasp the Dhamma and can realize the four noble Truths and attain enlightenment even during a discourse (ugghaìitaññú), people who attain enlightenment after a more detailed explanation of a discourse which was uttered in brief (vipacitaññú), people who require guidance and have to study and develop paññå a great deal (neyya puggala), and people who, although they listen to the Dhamma, read a great deal, often discuss and explain the Dhamma to others, cannot attain enlightenment yet (pada parama 4). In the present time there are no people of the first and second category, there are only those of the third and fourth category. We all should study in order to know what the realisation of the four noble Truths means, and in what way paññå can be developed which realizes the arising and falling away of the dhammas appearing through the eyes, the ears, the nose, the tongue, the bodysense and the mind-door. Thus we shall know that the study of the Dhamma is of great benefit, that it is a supporting condition for sati to be aware of the characteristics of realities which the Buddha penetrated by his enlightenment and which he, out of compassion, taught to others in all details. The characteristic of citta, such as the citta which sees, can be object of satipaììhåna, since it is reality. Right understanding can be developed of realities, so that the characteristic of anattå, non-self, can be clearly known. Realities arise and fall away in daily life, they are not a being, a person or self, not a thing which exists.
1. What is kamma-condition?
2. What is vipåka-condition?
3. Is rúpa which is conditioned by kamma vipåka? Explain your answer.
Citta and Cetasika
The Atthasåliní mentions several aspects of citta:
Citta is so called because it clearly knows an object
Citta is so called because it arises in its own series by way of javana
Citta is so called because it is result conditioned by accumulated
kamma and defilements
Each citta is so called because it is variegated (vicitta) according to
circumstances, because of the accompanying dhammas (sampayutta
The fact that cittas are variegated (vicitta) means that all of them are different. They are variegated because of the accompanying dhammas. Citta is saùkhåra dhamma, it arises because of conditions, and it is conditioned by different combinations of cetasikas. Cetasika is another kind of paramattha dhamma which arises and falls away together with the citta, experiences the same object as the citta and arises at the same physical base as the citta. Therefore, the cetasikas which are the accompanying dhammas arising together with the citta are the condition that cittas are variegated.
The cittas of one person are completely different from the cittas of any other person. Different accumulated kamma of the past conditions the result, the vipåka in the present, to be varied for different people. Animals and human beings in this world are different because of the diversity of the cause, of kamma. The outward appearance and bodily features of living beings are different, and they also experience different worldly conditions of gain, loss, honour, dishonour, well-being, misery, praise and blame. All these factors are just results which arise from various causes of the past. Past causes condition the results in the present to be varied for different people, from birth to death. It is unknown on which day and at which moment we shall depart from this world. Nobody can tell in which situation he will die, outside his home or inside, on land, in the water or in the air, due to sickness or due to an accident. It all depends on kamma which has been performed in the past. Not only the vipåkacittas in the present are variegated for different people, but also the cittas which are causes in the present, kusala cittas and akusala cittas, are variegated. These are the condition that the results arising in the future will also be varied.
The diversity of cittas is endless. They are variegated because of the cetasikas which arise together with the citta, the sampayutta dhammas. We should know what the meaning of sampayutta dhamma, associated dhamma, is. There are four kinds of paramattha dhammas: citta, cetasika, rúpa and nibbåna. Citta and cetasika are realities which have to arise together, they cannot be without each other, they cannot be separated from each other. When they have arisen together they also fall away together. They share the same object and they have the same base, place of origin, in the planes where there are five khandhas, that is, nåma and rúpa. These are the characteristic features of their being associated dhammas, sampayutta dhammas.
The characteristics of sampayutta dhammas, citta and cetasikas, have been explained in detail so that it can be clearly known that nåma is completely different from rúpa. When we listen to the teachings and study them, conditions are gradually being built up (as saòkhårakkhandha 5) for the arising of sati and paññå. Thus sati of satipaììhåna will investigate and be aware of the characteristics of nåma and rúpa, one at a time, until these appear as clearly distinct from each other, as being not associated, sampayutta, although they can arise at the same time.
The Atthasåliní (I, Book I, Part II, Analysis of Terms, Ch I, 70) states:
...For in rúpa-dhammas and arúpa-dhammas (nåma-dhammas) which are produced together, rúpa arises together with arúpa (nåma), but it is not associated or conjoined with it. Likewise arúpa with rúpa, and rúpa with rúpa. But arúpa is always accompanied by, coexistent, associated and conjoined with arúpa....
Thus, being associated is a characteristic which only pertains to nåmas, to citta and cetasika which arise and fall away together and experience the same object. Rúpa is completely different from nåma. Rúpa is not a dhamma which experiences an object. Although rúpas arise and fall away together they cannot be associated dhammas. The realities which are associated dhammas can only be nåma-dhammas, elements which experience something. They are closely conjoined, since they arise at the same base, share the same object and fall away together.
In the Atthasåliní it has been stated as to the fourth aspect of citta, that each citta is variegated (vicitta), according to circumstances, because of the accompanying dhammas, sampayutta dhammas.
There are fiftytwo kinds of cetasikas in all, but not all of them accompany each citta. Cittas are different because of the amount of cetasikas and the different types of cetasikas which accompany them. It depends on the type of citta and on its jåti (nature) by which cetasikas it is accompanied. The eightynine types of citta which arise are different as to their jåti which may be kusala, akusala, vipåka or kiriya, one of these four jåtis. The classification of citta by way of jåti is a classification as to the nature of citta. Citta which is kusala by nature cannot be anything else but kusala, no matter for whom, where or when it arises. The citta which is akusala cannot be anything else but akusala, no matter for whom it arises. Akusala is akusala, no matter whether one is a monk or layfollower, no matter what rank one has, of what race one is, which colour of skin one has. The nature of citta cannot be changed, because citta is a paramattha dhamma, an absolute or ultimate reality. When the associated dhammas, the cetasikas, are akusala, the citta is akusala. When the associated dhammas are sobhana (beautiful), citta can be kusala, kusala vipåka or sobhana kiriyacitta (of the arahat), in accordance with the jåti of the citta 6.
The Atthasåliní (I, Book I, Part IV, Ch II, Section of Exposition, 142) states that the Buddha has accomplished a difficult matter, namely, that he classified cittas and cetasikas, designated them and gave them a name. The Atthasåliní uses a simile to illustrate this:
...True, it would be possible to find out by sight, or by smell, or by taste the difference in colour, smell and taste of a variety of waters or a variety of oils which have been placed in a jar and churned the whole day, yet it would be called a difficult thing to do. But something of greater difficulty has been accomplished by the supreme Buddha, who brought out the designation of nåma dhammas, after making an individual classification of them, namely of citta and the cetasikas which have arisen on account of one object....
Nåma is more complex and intricate than rúpa, but the Buddha has for each kind of nåma designated four characteristic features:
the specific characteristic which appears
the mode of manifestation
the proximate cause or immediate occasion for its arising
Citta is the leader, the chief, in knowing an object. The Atthasåliní (II, Book I, Part VIII, Ch I, the first Path, 214) states that citta is a base (bhúmi). It is the ground or soil for the accompanying cetasikas which are dependent on it. If there would not be citta, there could not be, for example, the cetasika which is pleasant feeling, because then there would be no foundation for it. Whenever pleasant feeling arises, the citta is the base on which the accompanying feeling depends. Thus, citta is the base on which the associated dhammas (sampayutta dhammas), happy feeling and the other accompanying cetasikas, are dependent.
As we have seen, citta can be classified by way of the four jåtis of akusala, kusala, vipåka and kiriya. No matter to which citta one refers, one should know of which jåti it is. Vipåka is the result of kamma, and since there are both kusala kamma and akusala kamma, there also have to be both kusala vipåka and akusala vipåka.
When one refers to the result of akusala kamma, one should call it akusala vipåka, and one should not abreviate it as akusala. Akusala vipåkacitta is the result of akusala kamma, it is not of the jåti which is akusala, and kusala vipåkacitta is the result of kusala kamma, it is not of the jåti which is kusala.
Kiriyacitta which is again another kind of citta is not kusala, akusala or vipåka. It is a citta which arises because of conditions other than kamma-condition (kamma-paccaya), it is not result. Neither is it a cause which can condition the arising of vipåka. The arahat has instead of akusala cittas or kusala cittas kiriyacittas, because he has no longer conditions for akusala and kusala. There is for him only vipåkacitta, result of past kamma, and kiriyacitta.
The Buddha did not only classify cittas and cetasikas by way of the four jåtis of kusala, akusala, vipåka and kiriya, he also used other methods of classification. He classified all dhammas as threefold (Atthasåliní, Book I, Part I, Måtikå, Ch I, The Triplets, 39):
indeterminate (avyåkata) dhammas
All paramattha dhammas which are not kusala dhammas or akusala dhammas are indeterminate dhammas, avyåkata dhammas 7. Thus, when citta and cetasika are classified according to this threefold method, the cittas and cetasikas which are avyåkata dhammas are: cittas and cetasikas which are vipåka, and cittas and cetasikas which are kiriya. The four paramattha dhammas of citta, cetasika, rúpa and nibbåna can be classified according to the threefold classification of kusala dhamma, akusala dhamma and avyåkata dhamma. Then the four paramattha dhammas are classified as follows:
kusala citta and cetasikas kusala dhamma
akusala citta and cetasikas akusala dhamma
vipåkacitta and cetasikas avyåkata dhamma
kiriyacitta and cetasikas avyåkata dhamma
all rúpas avyåkata dhamma
nibbåna avyåkata dhamma
1. Can rúpa be associated dhamma, sampayutta dhamma, with nåma?
2. Can rúpa be sampayutta dhamma with rúpa?
3. Is colour which appears through the eyes kusala dhamma or avyåkata dhamma? Explain the reason.
4. Is seeing-consciousness kusala dhamma, akusala dhamma or avyåkata dhamma? Explain the reason.
5. Can nibbåna be kusala dhamma?
6. Which citta has no jåti?
7. With which dhamma can citta be associated dhamma, and when?
8. Can one type of citta be associated dhamma with another type of citta?
9. Can akusala dhamma be associated dhamma with kusala dhamma?
10. With which dhamma can nibbåna be associated dhamma?
Cittas of the Sense-Sphere
There are eightynine different types of citta and these can be classified according to different grades, namely as four planes (bhúmi) of citta:
sensuous plane, kåmåvacara bhúmi
fine-material plane, rúpåvacara bhúmi (rúpa-jhåna)
immaterial plane, arúpåvacara bhúmi (arúpa-jhåna)
supramundane plane, lokuttara bhúmi
The Atthasåliní (I, Book I, Part II, Analysis of terms, 62) gives an explanation of the meaning of kåmåvacara, sensuous, according to different methods. According to one method of explanation kåmåvacara is used for the citta which is involved in kåmåvacara dhammas, thus, it is the citta which is of the grade of the sensuous plane of consciousness. Kåmåvacara is the complete term 8 , but the abridged form of kåma is also used. Citta of the grade or plane of kåma, kåmåvacara citta, frequents objects of sense, namely: visible object, sound, odour, flavour and tangible object.
At each moment in daily life there is kåmåvacara citta, except when there is citta of another grade or plane which is more refined than that of kåmåvacara citta. When one develops kusala citta with calm by means of a meditation subject which is dependent on rúpa, materiality, and calm becomes firmly established so that it reaches the level of attainment concentration (appanå samådhi), there is rúpa-jhånacitta which has an object which is still dependent on rúpa. Then there is a higher plane of citta, the fine material plane of citta, rúpåvacara bhúmi, and the citta of this plane, the rúpåvacara citta, is free from kåma, sensuousness. A plane of citta which is still higher is the arúpa bhúmi, immaterial plane. The citta of this plane, the arúpåvacara citta, is of a higher degree of calm and more refined, firmly established in calm with an object which is not dependent on rúpa. The citta which is even more refined than arúpåvacara citta is lokuttara citta which realizes the characteristic of nibbåna. That is the citta of the supramundane plane, lokuttara bhúmi. Thus, cittas are varied as they are of different planes of citta. The eightynine cittas can be classified according to the planes of citta in the following way:
kåmåvacara cittas 54 9
rúpåvacara cittas 15 10
arúpåvacara cittas 12 11
lokuttara cittas 8 12
There is kåmåvacara citta at the moments when there is not rúpåvacara citta, arúpåvacara citta or lokuttara citta.
The Atthasåliní (in the same section) states that the term kåma, sensuousness, has two meanings:
sensuousness of defilements, kilesa kåma
the base or foundation of sensuousnesss, vatthu kåma
The Atthasåliní states:
... the sensuousness of the defilements is so termed because it desires, and the other, the sensuousness of base, is so termed because it is desired by the sensuousness of defilements.
Kilesa kåma is sense desire (chanda råga) which is lobha cetasika, the dhamma which enjoys objects, is pleased with them and clings to them. Vatthu kåma are the objects which are the basis on which desire or clinging depends, that which is desired. Vatthu kåma also comprises the three classes of planes of existence where a person can be reborn: the sensuous planes of existence (kåma bhúmi), the fine material planes (rúpa bhúmi) 13 and the immaterial planes 14. So long as lobha has not been eradicated one is not free from the cycle of birth and death and thus, one can be reborn in those planes. They are vatthu kåma, the objects for kilesa kåma, the sensuousness of defilements.
Kåmåvacara citta which is attached to visible object, sound, odour, flavour and tangible object clings firmly to them, even though they appear just for a moment. Visible object appears for an extremely short moment, when it impinges on the eyesense. Sound appears just for an extremely short moment, when it impinges on the earsense. It is the same with odour, flavour and tangible object. All of them are insignificant dhammas (paritta dhammas), they appear just for a moment and then they fall away. Nevertheless, citta is attached and clings all the time to these insignificant dhammas. Since these dhammas which arise and fall away are succeeding one another it seems that they can last, that they do not fall away.
There is no end to clinging to all the sense objects, to visible object, sound, odour, flavour and tangible object. We are infatuated with them and keep on clinging to them. These objects fall away, but they are replaced; the rúpas which fall away are succeeded by new ones. We are deluded and cling again to visible object, sound and the other sense objects which replace those which have fallen away and thus clinging continues all the time. When we see visible object and we like it, we want to see it again and again. When we hear a sound which we like we want to hear it again, and it is the same with odour, flavour and tangible object which we like. When we are eating and we like a particular flavour, we wish to eat the same food again and taste that flavour again. Clinging to the sense objects arises each day, time and again. It is our nature to cling through the eyes, the ears, the nose, the tongue, the bodysense and the mind-door.
When we like something we see we wish to see it all the time, but that is impossible. All conditioned dhammas, saòkhåra dhammas, arise and then fall away, that is their nature. When a delicious flavour appears, attachment which is depending on the tongue arises. At that moment attachment through the eyes, the ears, the nose or the bodysense cannot arise. When odour appears and attachment to it arises, there cannot be attachment through the eyes, the ears, the tongue or the bodysense, since only one citta arises at a time. There cannot be the arising of two cittas at the same time. We all are attached to the things which appear alternately through the eyes, the ears, the nose, the tongue, the bodysense and the mind-door. We are not attached just to colour, just to sound or just to one of the other sense objects, we are attached to all of them. The reason is that attachment to all the sense objects has been accumulated continuously, from the past to the present time, and it is accumulated on to the future.
Thus, kåmåvacara citta, citta of the sense sphere, travels to, frequents visible object, sound, odour, flavour and tangible object; it clings to these objects, it is not free from them. Some people who want to be free from sense objects say that, as a result of having performed meritorious deeds, they want to be reborn in heaven. Even heavenly planes are not free from sense objects, but they are more refined than the objects in the human world.
From birth to death, when citta has not attained calm to the degree of attainment concentration (appanå samådhi), thus, when citta is not jhånacitta, and when citta is not lokuttara citta, citta is kåmåvacara citta. No matter whether we are asleep or awake, no matter whether we see, hear, smell, taste, experience tangible object or think of different subjects, at all such moments there is no living being who experiences objects, there is no person, no self. There are only cittas of the grade of kåma, sensuousness, kåmåvacara cittas which experience objects.
The person who is not an anågåmí (non-returner who has attained the third stage of enlightenment) or an arahat still clings to visible object, sound, odour, flavour and tangible object. This shows how difficult it is to eradicate clinging to the sense objects which appear through the six doors. Even if someone has cultivated calm to the degree of jhåna and he is reborn in a brahma plane 15, clinging to the sense objects cannot be completely eradicated. If he is not yet an anågåmí he will again and again return to a life of clinging to visible object and the other sense objects which appear through six doors. Therefore, we should not be negligent with regard to the defilements. We should understand realities as they are, we should understand which cause brings which effect. Then we shall be able to develop right understanding of the eightfold Path which can eradicate defilements completely.
Kåmåvacara is a name for the citta which is involved in dhammas of the sense sphere, kåmåvacara dhammas. The Atthasåliní explains that the planes of existence of the kåmåvacara dhammas, thus, the sensuous planes of existence, extend from the lowest plane, which is the avíci hell, up to the highest sensuous plane which is a heavenly plane, called the paranimmita vasavatti deva plane (the plane of heavenly beings with power over the creations of others). In all these planes there are sense objects.
As regards the term basis of sensuousness or clinging, vatthu kama, this has, according to the Atthasåliní, a wider meaning than visible object, sound, odour, flavour or tangible object. Any kind of dhamma which is a basis or foundation for attachment is actually vatthu kåma. Lobha cetasika is the reality which is attached, which clings to everything, except lokuttara dhammas 16. Lobha clings to the rúpa-brahma planes and the arúpa-brahma planes, thus, these are vatthu kåma, the basis on which clinging depends. All dhammas other than lokuttara dhammas are vatthu kåma, they are the basis of clinging.
The Atthasåliní uses several methods to explain the meaning of kåmåvacara citta. According to the first explanation, kåmåvacara citta is the citta of the grade or plane of sensuousness, kåma; it is not free from kåma, sensuousness. According to the second method, kåmåvacara citta is the citta which frequents, travels to the sensuous planes of existence: the four unhappy planes 17, the human plane and the six classes of heavenly planes (of the devas). According to the third explanation, kåmåvacara citta is so called because it attends to, frequents the sense objects: visible object, sound, odour, flavour and tangible object. Since the citta takes these sense objects as its objects of experience, citta is called kåmåvacara citta.
It is easy to understand that any citta which is involved in sense objects, thus, visible object and the other sense objects, is kåmåvacara citta.
Question: Does the arahat have kåmåvacara citta?
Answer: Yes. When the arahat sees visible object which appears through the eyes, the citta which sees is kåmåvacara citta, because visible object is a sense object. Whenever citta experiences visible object and the other sense objects, it is kåmåvacara citta, no matter whether it is the citta of the Buddha, an arahat disciple or anybody else.
According to the fourth method of explanation, citta is kåmåvacara citta because it causes rebirths in sensuous planes of existence, namely the four unhappy planes, the human plane and the six classes of heavenly planes.
All of us here are in the human plane, because kåmåvacara kusala citta has conditioned kåmåvacara vipåkacitta to perform the function of rebirth in the human plane, which is a sensuous plane of existence.
Someone may develop samatha to the degree of attainment concentration (appanå samådhi) and attain rúpa-jhåna or arúpa-jhåna. If he does not lose his skill in jhåna and jhånacitta arises just before the dying-consciousness, the jhånacitta does not condition rebirth in this world but in a rúpa-brahma plane or an arúpa-brahma plane, depending on the degree of jhåna. Rebirth as a human being is the result of kåmåvacara kusala citta which performs dåna, generosity, observes síla, morality, develops samatha or vipassanå. These ways of kusala performed by kusala citta of the sense-sphere, thus citta which is not free from kåma, have as result rebirth in sensuous planes of existence.
The term bhúmi, base or plane, has two different meanings: plane or grade of citta and plane of existence. As to the first meaning, bhúmi designates the citta which is the base or foundation for the accompanying dhammas (sampayutta dhammas), all cetasikas which arise together with the citta. As we have seen, we can classify cittas by way of four bhúmis or planes of citta: the cittas of the sense-sphere, kåmåvacara cittas, rúpa-jhånacittas, arúpa-jhånacittas and lokuttara cittas. As to the second meaning of bhúmi, this designates the plane of existence, the situation or place where a living being is born. The human world is one bhúmi, a plane where one is born. It is one plane among thirtyone planes of existence.
Citta is variegated. There are different types of citta and even cittas of the same type are varied. Kåmåvacara kusala cittas which arise are varied: the intensity of saddhå, confidence in kusala, paññå and the other accompanying cetasikas are different, there is a great variety of the accompanying cetasikas. Thus, their result is rebirth in different happy planes, not only in the human plane. Since citta is variegated, the planes of existence where cittas arise must be of great variety.
When one commits akusala kamma, it can be noticed that akusala kammas are of different degrees, they can be more serious or they can be of a lesser degree. Sometimes there may be a great deal of hate or vengefulness, sometimes there may not be so much aversion. Sometimes one does not make a great effort to hurt or kill other beings; the intention to kill may not be very strong, and moreoever, only tiny beings may die as a consequence of ones effort to kill. Since the different akusala kammas are performed by cittas which are accompanied by various cetasikas of different intensities, their results are varied, in the form of vipåkacittas performing the function of rebirth in four different classes of unhappy planes. Since both kusala kamma and akusala kamma are variegated, causing variegated results, there must be many different planes where there can be rebirth. Besides the human plane, there are other planes of existence.
1. What is the difference between sensuousness of defilements, kilesa kåma, and sensuousness of base, vatthu kåma?
2. What is the meaning of insignificant dhammas, paritta dhammas?
3. Did the Buddha have citta of the sense sphere, kåmåvacara citta?
4. What are the meanings of bhúmi, plane?
1 The Sutta about the Unthinkables is quoted further on in this chapter.
2 The other three are: Mindfulness of the Body, Mindfulness of Feeling, Mindfulness of Dhammas.
3 See also Gradual Sayings, II, Book of the Fours, Third Fifty, Ch 14, § 3.
4 Pada means word of the text and parama means highest.
5 In combination with other wholesome qualities comprised in saòkhårakkhandha, the khandha of formations or activities.
6 Sobhana cetasikas are wholesome qualities which can accompany cittas of three jåtis. Further on the term sobhana will be explained more in detail.
7 Avyåkata means undeclared. They are not declared as being kusala or akusala.
8 Avacara means moving in or frequenting.
9 Included are 12 akusala cittas, 8 kusala cittas, 8 mahå-vipåkacittas, 8 mahå-kiriyacittas (of the arahat). Also included are the ahetuka vipåka-cittas which are the ten sense-cognitions (two pairs), 2 receiving-consciousnesses and 3 investigating-consciousnesses, the ahetuka kiriyacittas which are the sense-door adverting-consciousness, the mind-door adverting-consciousness and the smile-producing-consciousness of the arahat.
10 For each of the five stages of rúpa-jhåna there are rúpåvacara kusala citta, vipåkacitta and kiriyacitta.
11 For each of the four stages of arúpa-jhåna there are arúpåvacara kusala citta, vipåkacitta and kiriyacitta.
12 Four each of the four stages of enlightenment there are the path-consciousness, magga-citta, and its result, the fruition-consciousness, phala-citta.
13 Birth in these planes is the result of rúpa-jhåna.
14 Birth in these planes is the result of arúpa-jhåna.
15 Rebirth in a rúpa-brahma plane is the result of rúpa-jhåna and rebirth in an arúpa-brahma plane is the result of arúpa-jhåna.
16 Nibbåna and the lokuttara cittas which experience it cannot be objects of clinging.
17 The hell planes, the animal world, the plane of petas (ghosts) and the plane of asuras (demons).