The Conditionality of Life in the Buddhist Teachings
An outline of the Twenty four Conditions as taught in the
By Nina van Gorkom
Decisive Support-Condition (Upanissaya-Paccaya)
Upanissaya-paccaya, which can be translated as decisive support-condition
or strong dependence-condition, occurs when a phenomenon
assists another phenomenon by being a powerful inducement
are three kinds of upanissaya-paccaya:
1. decisive support of object, årammaùúpanissaya-paccaya
2. decisive support of proximity, anantarúpanissaya-paccaya
3. decisive support of natural condition, pakatúpanissaya-
As to strong dependence or decisive support-condition of object, the
object is the paccaya, condition, for the citta which experiences it, the
paccayupanna dhamma, conditioned dhamma, and that object
conditions the citta by way of strong dependence. We see in the
"Paììhåna" (Faultless Triplet, VII, Investigation Chapter, Strong
Dependence, § 423), that the objects which are the conditioning factors
are the same as in the case of object predominance-condition,
årammaùådhipati paccaya (see Ch 3), thus, they have to be desirable
objects. The cittas which are conditioned by way of decisive support of
object are also the same types as in the case of object predominance-condition.
Thus, the realities involved in these two kinds of conditions
are the same, but there is a difference in the conditioning force of object
predominance-condition and of decisive support-condition of object. In
the case of object predominance-condition the desirable object is highly
esteemed by the citta and cetasikas concerned so that they give
preponderance to it. In the case of decisive support-condition of object
the desirable object is a powerful inducement, a cogent reason, for the
arising of the citta and cetasikas concerned, which are strongly
dependent on that object. Desirable objects which are object
predominance-condition can also, at the same time, be decisive support-condition
of object, a powerful inducement for the arising of the cittas
concerned. Phenomena can be conditioned by several types of
70The Påli term upa means strong or powerful, and nissaya means dependence or
conditions at the same time..61
Certain objects cannot be object predominance-condition nor decisive
support-condition of object, because they are undesirable. Among them
is the type of body-consciousness which is akusala vipåka, accompanied
by painful feeling. The two types of dosa-múla-citta (one unprompted
and one prompted) and the two types of moha-múla-citta (one
accompanied by doubt and one accompanied by restlessness) are not
desirable objects and thus they cannot be decisive support-condition of
object. The akusala cetasikas which accompany dosa-múla-citta, such as
regret, jealousy and stinginess, and those which accompany moha-múla-citta
are not desirable either, thus, they cannot be decisive support-condition
Kusala such as dåna or síla which one performed can be object
predominance-condition for kusala citta which esteems and gives
preponderance to the wholesome deed one performed. The wholesome
deed can at the same time also be decisive support-condition of object,
it can be a powerful inducement, a cogent reason, for the arising again
and again of kusala citta which sees the benefit of kusala.
Kusala which one performed can condition attachment or wrong view,
as we have seen, by way of object predominance-condition, and it can
also condition attachment and wrong view by way of decisive support-condition
of object. It is then a powerful inducement for the arising of
attachment and wrong view.
Attachment can be object predominance-condition and also decisive
support-condition of object, a powerful inducement for the arising of
attachment again and again in the case of all those who have not
Akusala cannot be object predominance-condition nor decisive support-condition
of object for kusala citta, since kusala citta cannot consider
akusala with esteem and high regard.
Desirable rúpas which are object predominance-condition can also be
decisive support-condition of object for lobha-múla-citta. Beautiful
colours or delicious flavours are a powerful inducement for the arising
of lobha-múla-citta which wants such objects again and again. As soon
as delicious food is on the tongue its flavour is irresistable for
attachment. Someone may highly regard the sound of music which is
then object predominance-condition for lobha-múla-citta. The sound of
music can also be a decisive support-condition of object, a powerful
inducement for the arising again and again of lobha-múla-citta, for
example, when someone dedicates his whole life to music.
The rúpas which are the five sense-bases, the heart-base and the sense.62
objects can be decisive support-condition of object for lobha-múla-citta
but, just as in the case of object predominance-condition, they cannot
be decisive support-condition of object for kusala citta
Only the rúpas which are "concrete matter", rúpas produced by one of
the four factors of kamma, citta, temperature or nutrition, can be, just
as in the case of object predominance-condition, decisive support-condition
of object for lobha-múla-citta
The objects which are decisive support-condition are a powerful
inducement, a cogent reason for the arising of the cittas concerned.
However, we should remember that there are also other conditions. It
depends on someone’s accumulated inclinations whether he has "wise
attention" or "unwise attention" to an object. Which objects are
powerful inducements for the arising of kusala citta and which objects
for the arising of lobha-múla-citta in our life? Most of the time we are
intent on acquiring pleasant objects for ourselves, objects which can be
a decisive support-condition for clinging. There can be awareness of the
realities which appear, also of clinging. We should not ignore clinging
or despise it as an object of awareness. It arises naturally in our daily
life because there are still conditions for its arising. If we do not know
its true nature we will take it for self and then it cannot be eradicated.
Nibbåna and the eight types of lokuttara citta which experience it
cannot be object predominance-condition for lobha-múla citta, nor can
they be decisive support-condition of object for lobha-múla-citta. We
read in the "Paììhåna" (Faultless Triplet, VII, Investigation Chapter,
Conditions, Positive, Classification Chapter, Strong Dependence, § 423),
that nibbåna is related to the eight lokuttara cittas which experience it
and also to mahå-kusala citta accompanied by paññå and mahå-kiriyacitta
(of the arahat) accompanied by paññå, by way of decisive
support-condition of object.
71See Ch 3. Kusala citta does not give preponderance, for example, to a pleasant sense
object, it is inclined to give it away. Thus, it is not strongly dependent on that rúpa as
72"Concrete matter" are rúpas which are produced by one of the four factors with
characteristics which can be directly experienced, such as the four great Elements, the
sense objects and the sense organs. There are also rúpas which are not "concrete matter",
anipphanna rúpas, non-produced rúpas. These are for example the special characteristics
of rúpa which are lightness, pliancy and wieldiness. Or the four characteristics of rúpa
which are integration, continuation, decay and impermanence of rúpa.
73There is one type of lokuttara kusala citta and one type of lokuttara vipåkacitta arising
in the case of each of the four stages of enlightenment, thus there are eight types of
The second condition classified under decisive support-condition is.63
proximate decisive support-condition, anantarúpanissaya-paccaya. This
condition is similar to proximity-condition (anantara-paccaya, see Ch
4). Both conditions pertain to each preceding citta which conditions the
succeeding citta without any interval. However, a distinction between
these two conditions has to be made. The teaching of proximate
decisive support-condition, anantarúpanissaya paccaya, stresses the
aspect of powerful inducement of the conditioning force in the
relationship between the conditioning reality, the preceding citta, and
the conditioned reality, the succeeding citta. We read in the
"Visuddhimagga"( XVII, 82) about the difference between the two
... Nevertheless proximity may be understood as the ability to cause the
occurrence of an appropriate consciousness arising proximate (next) to
itself, and decisive support as the preceding consciousness’s cogency in
the arousing of the succeeding consciousnesses....
We then read that there can be the arising of citta without root-condition
and other conditions, but that citta cannot arise without being
conditioned by the preceding citta. Thus, the preceding citta as
conditioning factor is a powerful inducement or cogent reason for the
arising of the succeeding citta.
The paìisandhi-citta, for example, is a cogent reason for the succeeding
bhavanga-citta, so that life can continue. If the preceding citta would
not be a powerful inducement for the arising of the succeeding citta,
there could not be a continuous succession of cittas, even at this
moment. In the case of birth as an animal, the paìisandhi-citta is
akusala vipåkacitta, and this citta conditions the succeeding bhavanga-citta
by way of proximity decisive-support-condition. The bhavanga-citta
is the same type of citta as the paìisandhi-citta, it could not change into
kusala vipåkacitta. Birth as an animal is different from birth as a human
being, and the bhavanga-citta which succeeds the paìisandhi-citta in the
case of these different kinds of births is in conformity with the
paìisandhi-citta. We can notice that the lives of animals and of human
beings are completely different. Beings are born with different
potentialities, different capabilities, and these are carried on to the
succeeding bhavanga-citta and then to the following cittas which arise
in succession throughout life. In between the processes of cittas there
are bhavanga-cittas, and they are of the same type as the paìisandhi-citta..64
There is the arising of seeing and thinking at this moment. They are
conditioned by proximate decisive support-condition. Each citta which
arises falls away immediately, but it has a conditioning force which is a
powerful inducement for the arising of the succeeding citta without any
interval. Thus, good and bad qualities can be carried on from moment
to moment, they can be accumulated. Attachment has been
accumulated from life to life. We think time and again with attachment
about honour and all the pleasant things we want to obtain for
ourselves. We have an interest in the Dhamma because this has been
accumulated. We may have listened to the Dhamma in past lives, but
we do not remember this anymore. Interest in the Dhamma and also the
inclination to develop right understanding can be carried on from life to
life because of proximity decisive support-condition.
In the development of vipassanå, insight, there is awareness of whatever
reality appears at the present moment. Because of proximity-condition
and proximate decisive support-condition citta arises and falls away and
is then succeeded by the next citta. At one moment there is seeing, at
another moment attachment to visible object, hearing or attachment to
sound. Nobody can choose the object of awareness, because realities
appear already because of their own conditions. Cittas which arise in a
process of cittas do so according to a fixed order which cannot be
changed. Each preceding citta is a powerful inducement for the arising
of the next citta.
So long as we are in the cycle of birth and death there are conditions for
each citta to be succeeded by the next citta. The development of right
understanding of the different characteristics of realities as they appear
one at a time will eventually lead to the end of the cycle. We confuse
the different doorways of sense-doors and mind-door, we do not clearly
distinguish between different cittas which experience one object at a
time through one doorway. Through the development of right
understanding one learns that the doorways and the realities which are
dependent on them are different. Seeing is completely different from
hearing, it arises because of different conditions, experiences an object
different from the object which hearing experiences. The aim of
learning about the conditions for the realities which arise is the
understanding of the truth of non-self.
We read in the "Kindred Sayings"(IV, Saîåyatana Vagga, Second Fifty, 5,
The Chapter of the Six, § 94, Including the sixfold sense-sphere) that
the Buddha said that when the six spheres of contact (the five senses
and the mind) are untamed, unguarded, unwatched, unrestrained there
will be dukkha, whereas when they are well tamed, well watched, well.65
, there will be happiness. We read in the verse:
He meets with dukkha, monks, who has not tamed
The sixfold impact of the sphere of sense.
They who have learned the mastery of these,
With faith for comrade,- they dwell free from lust.
Beholding with the eye delightful things
Or things unlovely, let him restrain his bent
To lust for loveliness, and let him not
Corrupt his heart with thoughts of "O, it is dear."
And when, again, sounds sweet or harsh he hears,
Not led astray by sweetness, let him check
The error of his senses. Let him not
Corrupt his heart with thoughts of "O, it is sweet."
If some delightful fragrance meet the nose,
And then again some foul malodorous stench,
Let him restrain repugnance for that stench,
Nor yet be led by lust for what is sweet.
Should he taste savours that are sweet and choice,
And then again what is bitter to the tongue,
He should not greedily devour the sweet,
Nor yet show loathing for the bitter taste.
By pleasures’ impact not inebriate,
Nor yet distracted by the touch of pain,
To pain and pleasure both indifferent
Let him be free from likings and dislikes.
74We also read in other parts of the teachings that the six doors are "guarded" through
satipaììhåna. Only right understanding of the reality which appears can eventually
Obsessed (by lusts) are others: so obsessed
They know and so they fare. But he dispels
All the world’s vulgar fashionings of mind.
And treads the path renunciation-bound.
By contact of these six, if mind be trained,
The heart is never shaken any more.
Overcome these two, O monks,- lust and hate.
Do you pass beyond the bounds of birth and death.
Decisive Support- Condition (Upanissaya -Paccaya)
As we have seen, there are three kinds of decisive support-condition:
decisive support of object, årammaùúpanissaya-paccaya, decisive
support of proximity, anantarúpanissaya-paccaya, and natural decisive
support-condition, pakatúpanissaya-paccaya. With regard to the third
decisive support-condition, pakatúpanissaya-paccaya, the commentary
to the "Paììhåna" (the Pañcappakaraùatthakathå) explains the term
"pakata" in pakatúpanissaya. Pakata means done properly, done
thoroughly. Kusala and akusala which were "done thoroughly", often
performed, can become firmly accumulated, they can become habitual.
In this way they are a cogent reason, a powerful inducement for the
arising of kusala and akusala later on, which are the dhammas
conditioned by them, the paccayupanna dhammas. Also external
conditions, such as temperature, food, dwelling place and friends one
associates with can be cogent reasons for the dhammas which they
cause to arise.
The commentary defines in addition the term pakatúpanissaya, by
explaining the word "pakati" which is connected with
"pakatúpanissaya", as naturally, by nature. The conditioning factor
conditions the arising of other dhammas naturally, and it can condition
them without the assistance of decisive support-condition of object or
proximate decisive support-condition. For example, when there is
strong confidence (saddhå) in kusala, this can be a cogent reason for
the arising of kusala citta without the need to be dependent on decisive
support-condition of object or proximity decisive support-condition.
We read in the "Paììhåna" (Faultless Triplet, VII, Investigation Chapter,
Conditions Positive, § 423,c, Natural strong dependence):
By the strong dependence of confidence... of precept (síla)... of
learning... generosity... By the strong dependence of wisdom, (one)
offers the offering, undertakes the precept, fulfils the duty of
observance, develops jhåna, develops insight, develops Path, develops
superknowledge, develops attainment. Confidence, precept, learning,
generosity, wisdom is related to confidence, precept, learning,.68
generosity, wisdom, by strong dependence condition.
Good and bad qualities accumulated in the past become our nature,
they condition the different cittas in the present life by way of natural
decisive support-condition. We read in the "Mahå-Sutasoma Jåtaka"
(Jåtaka Stories V, no. 537) that the Buddha said that not only in his
present life he had tamed the robber Aògulimåla who had slain many
people but later on attained arahatship, but also in a former life when
the Buddha was King Sutasoma and Aògulimåla was the King of
Båråùasí. Once the King’s cook could not obtain meat and gave him,
without telling him, human flesh. We read (458):
... No sooner was a bit of the meat placed on the tip of the King’s tongue
than it sent a thrill through the seven thousand nerves of taste and
continued to create a disturbance throughout his whole body. Why was
this? From his having previously resorted to this food....
His longing for human flesh became exceedingly strong, it determined
his whole life. He was unable to give up his craving, so he abandoned
his kingdom and kept on murdering for the sake of human flesh. He had
accumulated greed for human flesh because in his preceding life he had
been a man-eating Yakkha. His previous accumulations were the natural
decisive support-condition for the arising of greed for human flesh and
for his killing of human beings. He could not refrain from taking human
flesh. Thus we see that deeds performed in the past are a natural
decisive support-condition for deeds at the present. Akusala kamma is
dangerous since it does not only produce unpleasant vipåka, but by
performing akusala kamma the tendency is accumulated to perform
akusala kamma again.
We read in the same Jåtaka that one day the King seized Sutasoma, the
Bodhisatta. Sutasoma asked permission to be temporarily released in
order to fulfill a promise he had made to a brahmin, and after he had
done so he returned to the man-eater without fear, and preached to
him. He said (491):
Of all the sweets this world can yield to me
None sweeter than the joys of Truth I see:
Brahmins and priests that in the Truth abide,
Birth, death escaping, reach the further side..69
The Bodhisatta said that he was willing to give up all his wealth, his
limbs and his life for the sake of truth. He converted and tamed the
man-eater. The perfections (påramís) he had accumulated conditioned
his heroic attitude and his preference for the truth.
The Bodhisatta developed all the perfections during countless lives in
order to attain Buddhahood. We may have accumulated an interest in
the Dhamma but the perfections have not been accumulated to the
degree that stages of insight can arise and that enlightenment can be
attained. Mindfulness of realities does not often arise, but its arising
cannot be controlled by a "self", it is dependent on the right conditions.
Not only right understanding, but also other wholesome qualities such
as generosity, síla, mettå and patience have to be developed. They are
sobhana cetasikas, beautiful mental factors, which are
saùkhårakkhandha, the khandha of "formations"
. The different
factors of which this khandha is composed mutually strengthen and
support one another and thus conditions are accumulated for
enlightenment. During the process of cittas when enlightenment is
attained paññå realizes the true nature of the reality which appears, it
realizes one of the three characteristics of that reality, namely
impermanence, dukkha or anattå. At that moment the accumulated
perfections including paññå are the natural decisive support-condition,
pakatúpanissaya paccaya, for the complete abandoning of all clinging to
the wrong view of self and then nibbåna can be realized.
We read in the "Paììhåna" (under Strong Dependence, § 423):
The preparation for the first Path
is related to the first Path by
(natural) strong dependence-condition.
The same is said with regard to the second, third and fourth Path.
Moreoever, the first Path is related to the second Path by natural strong
dependence, and it is the same with the subsequent Paths.
This reminds us that lokuttara citta cannot arise without the right
conditions. During the process when enlightenment is attained, one of
the three characteristics of reality, impermanence, dukkha or anattå, is
realized just before lokuttara citta arises. Only one of the three
75All cetasikas other than feeling and saññå, remembrance, are included in
76The magga-citta of the first stage of enlightenment, the stage of the "streamwinner",
sotåpanna. There are four stages of enlightenment.
characteristics is realized at that moment since citta can have only one.70
object at a time. However, before the three characteristics of reality can
be known as they are, right understanding of all nåmas and rúpas which
appear in daily life has to be gradually developed, and moreover, the
"perfections" have to be accumulated.
The natural decisive support-condition, pakatúpanissaya paccaya, is
very wide. Kusala citta can be a natural decisive support-condition for
akusala citta. We read in the "Paììhåna" ( same section, § 423, II b):
Confidence, precept, learning, generosity, wisdom is related to lust,
hate, delusion, conceit, wrong views, wish, by (natural) strong
One’s knowledge of the Dhamma may be a natural decisive support-condition
for conceit or for wrong view. One may have studied the
Dhamma but one may not consider nåma and rúpa appearing in daily
life and one may have wrong understanding of the practice of
vipassanå. Or someone may have confidence in a teacher who practises
in the wrong way and thus he may, because of confidence, follow the
Kusala can lead to aversion, it can be a natural decisive support-condition
for aversion. When we make an effort to help someone else
that person may not appreciate it and then aversion may arise. If we do
not study the different conditions we may not understand how the
doing of good deeds can be a condition for the arising of akusala citta.
If we do not develop satipaììhåna with the purpose of eradicating
akusala, the kusala we perform can, without our noticing it, be a
natural decisive support-condition for akusala citta.
Kusala citta can lead to bodily discomfort, which is akusala vipåkacitta.
One may, for example, pay respect at the Buddhist holy places in India,
and this is a wholesome deed. However, the hotel where one stays may
be dilapidated, without facilities, and this causes one to suffer from
heat, mosquitos and other discomforts. Thus, there is body-consciousness
which is akusala vipåka. This is produced by akusala
kamma, but it is also conditioned by kusala kamma by way of natural
decisive support-condition. Phenomena which arise are not merely
conditioned by one type of condition but by several types.
Accumulated unwholesome inclinations are a natural decisive support-condition
for the arising of akusala citta at the present time.
Accumulated dosa can lead to the killing of living beings. Also
accumulated lobha can lead to killing, for example, when one kills.71
because one wishes to have someone’s property. At the moment of
killing there is dosa-múla-citta, but lobha can motivate the deed, it can
be natural decisive support-condition.
When one commits one kind of akusala it can easily lead to the
committing of other types of akusala. We read in the "Paììhåna"( same
section, § 423, IV, c):
Killing is related to killing... stealing... unlawful intercourse with the
other sex... lying... slander... rude speech... foolish babble... avarice...
ill-will... wrong views by strong dependence-condition.
It is then explained that stealing and the other kinds of evil are related
to all kinds of akusala by way of decisive support-condition. We may
think that it is not very harmful to indulge in idle, useless speech.
However, this kind of speech can be a natural decisive support-condition
for lying, stealing, killing or other kinds of akusala kamma.
Akusala can also be a natural decisive support-condition for kusala.
Because of aversion towards akusala vipåka or attachment to kusala
vipåka one may perform good deeds. One may regret the akusala one
performed in the past and then, in order to counteract it, one performs
kusala. We read in the "Paììhåna" (same section, § 423, V):
After having killed, (one) offers the offering, undertakes the precept,
fulfils the duty of observance, develops jhåna, develops insight,
develops Path, develops superknowledge, develops attainment, to
The same is said with regard to other kinds of evil deeds, they can be a
natural decisive support-condition for kusala.
Kamma is also a natural decisive support-condition for the vipåka it
produces. We performed many kinds of kamma also in past lives, but
we do not know which kamma will produce result at a particular
moment. When there is at this moment vipåkacitta which experiences a
pleasant or an unpleasant object through one of the senses we know
that kamma is a cogent reason, a decisive support-condition for the
result. We are born in the human plane and therefore we know that
kusala kamma has produced the paìisandhi-citta. Among the
innumerable deeds done in the past that particular kamma has been a
powerful inducement, a natural decisive support-condition for the.72
paìisandhi-citta. Kamma has by its own nature the power to cause the
arising of the appropriate result, even after countless lives, it is natural
decisive support-condition for that result. It does not have to depend on
decisive support-condition of object or on proximate decisive support-condition
to produce its result. As we have seen, kusala kamma and
akusala kamma performed in the past are also a natural decisive
support-condition for kusala kamma and akusala kamma at the present
time. Evenso by the performing of good or evil deeds now we
accumulate the tendency to doing similar deeds later on, thus, such
actions are natural decisive support-condition for future deeds. The
natural decisive support-condition is very wide, it comprises also vipåka
which conditions akusala citta or kusala citta, or vipåka which
conditions vipåka. Vipåka conditions kusala citta when one, for
example, suffers bodily pain and is reminded by it that life is short and
that one therefore should not delay the development of right
understanding. Vipåka conditions akusala citta when one has aversion
towards pain. Body-consciousness which is kusala vipåka can condition
body-consciousness which is akusala vipåka by natural decisive support-condition.
When it is hot outside one may use air-conditioning and this
may cause bodily well-being. But then the temperature inside may
become too cold and one suffers bodily discomfort or catches a cold.
Akusala vipåka can condition kusala vipåka by natural decisive support-condition.
When we are sick we may have to follow a painful therapy in
order to get cured and then there is akusala vipåka through the
bodysense, but as a result there will be bodily well-being again.
Not only realities but also concepts can be a natural decisive support-condition
for phenomena which arise. We should know when the object
of thinking is a concept. When the object which citta experiences is not
a nåma or a rúpa it is a concept. Most of the time we think of events
and circumstances with regard to a particular person. The concept of
person can then be a natural decisive support-condition for attachment
or for loving kindness. If someone has acquired knowledge in the field
of science or art and he knows how to apply what he has learnt, there
are concepts which can then condition kusala citta, akusala citta and
different types of vipåkacitta by way of natural decisive support-condition.
We need to think of concepts in order to take care of
ourselves or in order to understand the Dhamma, and thus, time and
again in our daily life concepts condition different types of citta by way
of natural decisive support-condition.
Natural decisive support-condition also comprises factors such as
climate, food, dwelling-place, family and friends. We can notice that.73
good and bad friends condition our spiritual progress or decline.
Someone may be in the company of bad friends who induce him to take
drugs or alcoholic drinks, but the same person may be at another time
with a good friend in the Dhamma who explains the teachings to him. It
depends on his accumulated inclinations whether he will continue to be
with the wrong friends or with the right friends. It is beneficial to know
our different accumulations and the different conditions which play
their part in our life.
We can experience that bodily health or sickness conditions our cittas.
Food, taken in the right amount, can be the condition for our ability to
develop right understanding. The Buddha, before his enlightenment,
fasted to the extent of becoming completed emaciated. He then
understood that he was not practising the Middle Way and he took
rice-gruel offered to him by Sujatå. On that day food was a natural
decisive support-condition for the development of the right Path leading
to his enlightenment. The right dwelling-place can also be a natural
decisive support-condition for one’s spiritual progress. The Buddha
explained into the minutest details how dwelling-places should be kept
and cleaned, out of compassion. He thought of the well-being of the
monks. We read for example in the "Vinaya" (Book of the Discipline V,
Culla-vagga, Ch VIII, On Observances, 208) that a monk should clear
out an unoccupied dwelling-place and then clean it:
... If there are cobwebs in the dwelling-place, he should first remove
them from the (floor-) covering. He should wipe the corners of the
window-holes. If a wall that was coloured red becomes stained, he
should wipe it having moistened a rag, having wrung it out. If ground
that was blackened becomes stained, he should wipe it having
moistened a rag, having wrung it out. If the ground has not been
treated, he should sweep it having sprinkled it all over with water,
thinking: "Take care lest the dwelling-place is sullied with dust". Having
looked for (any) rubbish, he should remove it to one side....
We may believe that thinking of concepts which, for example, pertain to
the cleaning of our house may hinder the practice of satipaììhåna. We
may be inclined to separate awareness of nåma and rúpa from thinking
of the chores we have to do in our home. Both monks and laypeople
have to think of concepts, but there can be awareness and
understanding of thinking as a conditioned nåma and there can also be
awareness of other realities which appear. Seeing and visible object.74
appear time and again and by awareness of their characteristics they
can be known as they are. The Buddha had explained to the monks very
often to be aware during all their activities and thus he did not have to
repeat this again, it was understood. When we read about the monk‘s
chores we can be reminded to be aware, also while we are doing such
chores, just as the monks.
A suitable climate is a natural decisive support-condition for the
development of paññå. We read in the Commentary to the
"Satipaììhåna Sutta", the "Papañcasúdaní"
, in the Introduction, about
the reason why the Buddha preached this sutta to the people of the
The inhabitants of the Kuru country- bhikkhus, bhikkhunís, upåsakas,
upåsikås (layfollowers)- by reason of their country being blessed with a
perfect climate and through their enjoyment of other comfortable
conditions were always healthy in body and in mind. They, happy with
healthy minds and bodies, and having the power of knowledge, were
capable of receiving deep teachings....
The climate was not the only condition for them to receive the
teachings, they also had accumulated paññå.
Oppressive weather and bad food can lead to dosa which may be so
strong that one kills or performs other evil deeds. Habits such as going
to sleep and waking up at a particular time are according to our nature,
they are conditioned by way of natural decisive support. If one is not
negligent there can be sati before going to sleep and also as soon as one
wakes up. Someone who is indolent is bound to have attachment before
he goes to sleep and when he wakes up. We may regret it that there is
not often sati before going to sleep and when we wake up, but when
there is more understanding of conditions we see that sati is anattå.
The place where someone is born and where he lives can be a natural
decisive support-condition for paññå. Birth in the human plane and in a
place where we can hear the Dhamma is rare. By the following sutta we
can be reminded not to waste any opportunity to develop right
understanding. We read in the "Gradual Sayings" (I, Book of the Ones,
Ch XIX, Trifling):
77Middle Length Sayings I, no. 10. The Sutta and Commentary are translated by Ven.
Soma, in "The Way of Mindfulness", B.P.S. Kandy..75
Even as, monks, in this Rose-apple Land trifling in number are the
pleasant parks, the pleasant groves, the pleasant grounds and lakes,
while more numerous are the steep precipitous places, unfordable
rivers, dense thickets of stakes and thorns, and inaccessible mountains,-just
so few in number are those beings that are born on land: more
numerous are the beings that are born in water.
Just so few in number are the beings that are reborn among men: more
numerous are the beings that are born among others than men.
Just so few in number are those beings that are reborn in the middle
districts: more numerous are those reborn in the outlying districts,
among the undiscerning barbarians.
Just so few in number are those beings that are wise, quick-witted, not
deaf or dumb, competent to judge the meaning of what is spoken well
or ill: more numerous are those beings that are foolish, slow-witted,
deaf or dumb, incompetent to judge the meaning of what is spoken well
Just so few in number are those beings that are possessed of the ariyan
eye of wisdom
: more numerous are those sunk in ignorance and
Just so few in number are those beings that get the chance of seeing a
: more numerous are they that do not.
Just so few in number are those beings that welcome, when they hear it,
the Dhamma and Discipline set forth by a Tathågata: more numerous
are they that do not.
Just so few in number are those beings, that, on hearing Dhamma, learn
it by heart: more numerous are they that do not.
Just so few in number are those beings that examine the meaning of the
doctrines they have learnt by heart... that, understanding the meaning
and understanding the doctrine, live in accordance with it... that are
stirred by stirring topics... that, being stirred, strive systematically...
that, making resolution their object, win concentration, win one-pointedness
of mind... that gain the best of food and condiments: more
numerous are they that do not, but just exist on gathered scraps and
food collected in a bowl.
Just so few in number are those beings that are winners of the essence
of the meaning, the essence of Dhamma, the essence of release: more
78The path, with insight.
79The "Thus gone", epithet of the Buddha.
numerous are those that do not..76
Wherefore I say to you, monks, thus must you train yourselves: We will
become winners of the essence of the meaning, of the essence of
Dhamma, of the essence of release. That is how you must train
Prenascence-Condition (Purejåta-Paccaya) and
Phenomena can condition other phenomena by way of conascence
(sahajåta-paccaya), by way of prenascence (purejåta-paccaya) or by
way of postnascence (pacchajåta-paccaya). In the case of conascence-condition,
a conditioning phenomenon (paccaya dhamma) arises
together with the phenomenon it conditions (paccayupanna dhamma).
In the case of prenascence-condition, a phenomenon has arisen prior to
the phenomenon it conditions. In the case of postnascence-condition, a
phenomenon conditions another phenomenon which has arisen prior to
itself and has not fallen away yet.
As to prenascence-condition, purejåta-paccaya, this is twofold: base-prenascence-
condition and object-prenascence-condition.
The rúpas which are bases (vatthus) condition the cittas which are
dependent on them by way of prenascence, purejåta-paccaya. As we
have seen (in Ch 6), the rúpas which are the sense-bases condition the
cittas which are dependent on those bases by way of dependence-condition,
nissaya-paccaya. These realities, the rúpas which are bases
and the cittas which are dependent on them, are the same as the
realities involved in base-prenascence-dependence-condition. However,
they are treated separately under prenascence-condition with the
purpose of showing that the conditioning realities have arisen prior to
the conditioned realities.
Seeing arises at the eye-base (cakkhu-vatthu). This rúpa which is the
eye-sense (cakkhu pasåda-rúpa) and which has the capacity to receive
visible object, is produced by kamma. Rúpa cannot function as base at
its arising moment, since it is then too weak. It can only function as
base after its arising moment, thus at the time when it is present. It
cannot be base either at its dissolution moment. Rúpa lasts longer than
citta. When we compare its duration with the duration of citta, rúpa
80See Appendix 1 where it is explained that a sense object which is rúpa and which is
experienced by several cittas arising in a sense-door process lasts as long as seventeen
moments of citta.
When we are more precise, we can divide one moment of citta into three extremely short
periods: its arising moment (uppåda khaùa), the moment of its presence (titthi khaùa)
and its dissolution moment (bhaùga khaùa). When we take these three periods of citta
into consideration, the duration of rúpa is, compared to the duration of citta, three times
lasts as long as seventeen moments of citta
. Thus, the rúpa which can.78
function as eye-base has to arise before seeing-consciousness, and when
seeing-consciousness arises it is still present. Kamma keeps on
producing this rúpa throughout our life, also when there is no seeing. It
produces all the rúpas which can function as base throughout life, there
never is any lack of them.
The eye-base (cakkhu-vatthu) is base only for seeing-consciousness, it is
not base for the other cittas arising in the eye-door process; these have
the heart-base (hadaya-vatthu) as their base. The ear-base conditions
hearing-consciousness after having previously arisen, thus, it conditions
it by way of prenascence-condition. The other sense-bases also
condition the cittas which are dependent on them after having
previously arisen, thus by way of prenascence-condition. We read in the
"Paììhåna" (II, Analytical Exposition of the Conditions, 10, Prenascence-Condition):
Eye-base is related to eye-consciousness element and its associated
Ear-base is related to ear-consciousness element and its associated states
Nose-base is related to nose-consciousness element and its associated
states by prenascence-condition.
Tongue-base is related to tongue-consciousness element and its
associated states by prenascence-condition.
Body-base is related to body-consciousness element and its associated
states by prenascence-condition.
It seems that seeing, hearing or thinking occur all at the same time, but
they arise at different moments, they are dependent on different bases
and they experience different objects. When we study the manifold
conditions for the realities which arise it will be clearer that there is no
self who coordinates all the different experiences. The above quoted
text reminds us that seeing, hearing and the other sense-cognitions are
only elements, not self. If there can be mindfulness of one reality at a
time we will see that visible object, sound and the other sense objects
are different from each other. It will be clearer that eye-sense is
different from ear-sense and the other senses. As right understanding
seventeen, thus, fiftyone moments. Rúpa has after its arising moment fortynine moments
of presence and then there is its dissolution moment.
81The associated dhammas are the accompanying cetasikas.
develops we will be less inclined to confuse the different realities and to.79
take them for a "whole", for a person.
The heart-base is the base for all the cittas other than the five pairs of
sense-cognitions (seeing, hearing, etc., which are either kusala vipåka or
akusala vipåka), and it conditions them by way of prenascence-condition.
It is only at the moment of rebirth that the heart-base
conditions the paìisandhi-citta by way of conascence-condition, sahajåta
paccaya. At that moment kamma produces the paìisandhi-citta and the
heart-base simultaneously (see Ch 5). We read in the "Paììhåna (same
section as the above quoted text, XII) where the heart-base is referred to
as "this matter" :
Depending on this matter, mind-element and mind-consciousness-element
arise; that matter is related to mind-element and its associated
states by prenascence-condition; is sometimes related to mind-consciousness-
element and its associated states by prenascence-condition,
and is sometimes not related by prenascence-condition.
Mind-element, mano-dhåtu, includes the pañca-dvåråvajjana-citta,
five-door adverting-consciousness, and the two types of sampaìicchana-citta,
receiving-consciousness, which are kusala vipåka and akusala
vipåka. Mind-consciousness-element, mano-viññåùa-dhåtu, includes the
cittas other than the dvi-pañca-viññåùas (two pairs of sense-cognitions)
and the cittas classified as mind-element. Thus, the mind-consciousness
element which is not conditioned by heart-base by way of prenascence,
as referred to in the text, is the paìisandhi-citta. This citta is conditioned
by heart-base by way of conascence.
It is of no use to speculate where the heart-base is, but we should know
that cittas do not arise outside the body. In the planes of existence
where there are five khandhas, namely nåma and rúpa, each citta needs
a physical base or place of origin, and these are the five sense-bases and
the heart-base. This reminds us of the interdependence of nåma and
rúpa from birth to death.
As regards object-prenascence-condition, årammaùa-purejåta-paccaya,
this refers to rúpa which can be object of citta. Since rúpa is weak at its
arising moment, it can only be experienced by citta during the moments
of its presence. Thus, rúpa which is object of citta has arisen previously
to that citta; it conditions that citta by way of prenascence. Visible
object which impinges on the eyesense is not experienced immediately;
82Life-continuum. The bhavanga-cittas experience the same object as the paìisandhi-
there are first bhavanga-cittas
, and then the eye-door adverting-.80
consciousness arises which is the first citta of the eye-door process
which experiences visible object. This citta arises at the heart-base
which has previously arisen and which conditions the citta by way of
base-prenascence-condition. It is succeeded by seeing-consciousness
which arises at the eye-base and then by other cittas of the eye-door
process which arise at the heart-base. Both base and sense object
condition the cittas by way of prenascence. It is the same for the cittas
which experience sense-objects through the other sense-doors
read in the "Paììhåna" (Analytical Exposition, same section as quoted
above) about the object-prenascence-condition. Visible object is here
referred to as "visible object-base", and the same for the other sense
objects. The text states:
Visible object-base is related to eye-consciousness element and its
associated states by prenascence-condition.
Sound-base is related to ear-consciousness element and its associated
states by prenascence-condiiton.
Odour-base is related to nose-consciousness element and its associated
states by prenascence-condition.
Taste-base is related to tongue-consciousness element and its associated
states by prenascence-condition.
Tangible object-base is related to body-consciousness element and its
associaed states by prenascence-condition.
Visible object-base, sound-base, odour-base, taste-base, tangible object-base
is related to mind-element and its associated states by
By the development of satipaììhåna we can prove that our life consists
of nåma and rúpa arising because of conditions. Nåma experiences an
object and rúpa does not know anything. When seeing appears there
can be awareness of its characteristic so that it can be understood as a
reality, an element which experiences visible object through the eye-citta.
They do not experience the objects which impinge time and again on the six doors.
83Rúpa does not condition nåma by way of prenascence-condition in the four arúpa-brahma
planes since there is no rúpa in those planes. Birth in the arúpa-brahma planes is
the result of arúpa-jhåna. Those who see the disadvantage of rúpa cultivate arúpa-jhåna.
Neither does prenascence-condition occur in the asaññå-satta plane, the plane of
non-percipient beings, where there is no nåma. Birth in that plane is the result of
door. When there is awareness of the reality which appears through the.81
eyedoor, it can be understood as an element which does not know
anything, which does not see, feel or remember. There are realities
appearing through the six doors time and again and when right
understanding develops nåma can be known as nåma and rúpa as rúpa,
and in this way their different characteristics will be distinguished.
When we are eating there is flavour and tasting, when we touch
something there is tangible object and body-consciousness. When these
realities appear and there is awareness of them there is no need to think
of sense-bases, sense objects or any other terms we have learnt from the
texts. When there is awareness of the characteristic of one reality at a
time we will be able to verify the truth that all phenomena which
appear are dhammas devoid of self.
We read in the "Kindred Sayings" (IV, Saîåyatana-vagga, Part I, First
Fifty, § 1):
Thus have I heard: - The Exalted One was once staying near Såvatthí, at
Jeta Grove, in Anåthapiùèika’s Park. Then the Exalted One addressed
the monks, saying: - "Monks."
"Lord," responded those monks to the Exalted One.
The Exalted One spoke thus: - "The eye, monks, is impermanent. What
is impermanent, that is dukkha. What is dukkha, that is void of the self.
What is void of the self, that is not mine; I am not it; it is not my self.
That is how it is to be regarded with perfect insight of what it really is.
The ear... the nose... the tongue... the body... the mind is impermanent.
What is impermanent, that is dukkha. What is dukkha, that is void of
the self. What is void of the self, that is not mine; I am not it; it is not
my self. That is how it is to be regarded with perfect insight of what it
really is. So seeing, monks, the well-taught ariyan disciple is repelled by
eye, ear, nose, tongue, body, and mind. Being repelled by them, he lusts
not for them. Not lusting, he is set free. In this freedom comes insight of
being free. Thus he realizes: - "Rebirth is destroyed, lived is the
righteous life, done is the task, for life in these conditions there is no
We read in the same section (§ 4):
Visible objects, sounds, scents, savours, things tangible... mind-states
(dhammas) are impermanent... what is impermanent, that is dukkha.
What is dukkha, that is void of the self. What is void of the self, that is.82
not mine; I am not it; it is not my self. That is how it is to be regarded
with perfect insight of what it really is.
So seeing, monks, the well-taught ariyan disciple is repelled by visible
objects, by sounds, scents, savours, things tangible. He is repelled by
mind-states. Being repelled by them, he lusts not for them. Not lusting,
he is set free. In this freedom comes insight of being free. Thus he
realizes: "Rebirth is destroyed. Lived is the righteous life, done is the
task, for life in these conditions there is no hereafter."
Clinging to the belief that persons and things exist and that we can own
them causes a great deal of suffering. The "worldly conditions" of gain
and loss, honour and dishonour, praise and blame, wellbeing and
misery change all the time. Loss, sickness and death can occur quite
suddenly; they are beyond control, but we tend to forget the truth. We
cannot expect immediately to have less clinging to people and things.
Even the sotåpanna, the person who has attained the first stage of
enlightenment and who has no more wrong view of self, still has
attachment and sadness. Only the arahat has eradicated all kinds of
clinging. However, when we read the Tipiìaka we can appreciate the
numerous reminders of the fact that there is no person, only different
elements which are devoid of self. These texts remind us of the truth
and they can give us confidence to begin to develop the Path in order to
see the realities of our life as elements which arise because of their
appropriate conditions and are beyond control.
As to postnascence-condition, pacchajåta-paccaya, citta and its
accompanying cetasikas support the rúpas of the body which have
arisen previously and have not fallen away yet. Thus, in this way citta
conditions these rúpas by way of postnascence-condition. Citta does not
cause the arising of the rúpas it conditions by way of postnascence,
these rúpas have arisen already prior to the citta; it supports and
consolidates these rúpas which are still present, since rúpa lasts as long
as seventeen moments of citta.
Citta is postnascence-condition for the previously arisen rúpas of the
body which have been produced by the four factors of kamma, citta,
temperature and nutrition and which have not fallen away yet. Citta
supports and consolidates these rúpas. The paìisandhi-citta cannot be
postnascence-condition, since there is no previously arisen rúpa at the
first moment of life. At the first moment of life kamma produces rúpas
simultaneously with the paìisandhi-citta, but after that, throughout our
life, citta is postnascence-condition for the previously arisen rúpas of the.83
body. The five pairs of sense-cognitions do not produce rúpa, but they
condition the previously arisen rúpas of the body by way of
postnascence, they consolidate these
. The arúpåvara vipåkacittas
which arise in the arúpa-brahma planes cannot be postnascence-condition,
since there is no rúpa in those planes.
In the case of base and object which are prenascence-condition, rúpa
conditions nåma, whereas in the case of postnascence-condition nåma
conditions rúpa. The teaching of prenascence-condition, purejåta-paccaya,
conascence-condition, sahajåta-paccaya, and postnascence-condition,
pacchajåta-paccaya, reminds us of the intricacy of the
relationship between different phenomena. Seeing, for example, is the
result of kamma and it is dependent on the previously arisen eye-base
which is also produced by kamma. Seeing experiences visible object
which has previously arisen but which does not last longer than
seventeen moments of citta. There is no self who could arrange for
seeing to find its proper base; the eye-base has previously arisen and is
already there when seeing arises. There is no self who could fetch
visible object at the right moment so that seeing can see it and the other
cittas of the eye-door process can also experience it, before it falls away.
Visible object arises together in a group of rúpas including the four
Great Elements and these condition it by way of dependence-condition,
nissaya-paccaya, and by conascence-condition, sahajåta-paccaya, but
seeing does not experience the other rúpas which arise together with
visible object; it only sees visible object, that is, what appears through
eyesense. Several conditions coincide and this makes it possible for
seeing to arise at the eye-base and to see visible object. We take the
experiences which occur time and again in our daily life for granted, but
they all are dependent on several conditions, they are interrelated in
different ways. Cittas and the rúpas of the body are interrelated, they
need one another. Seeing and the other cittas support and consolidate
the rúpas of the body which have already arisen, they condition them by
way of post-nascence. The different conditions for the phenomena of
our life are operating right at this moment.
Shortly before death kamma does not produce the heart-base anymore.
The cittas arising shortly before death are depending on one last heart-84
The cittas which produce rúpa condition their arising by way of conascence-condition
and dependence-condition, see Ch 5 and 6. As explained, the five sense-cognitions of
seeing, hearing, etc., do not produce rúpas, but they consolidate the rúpas which have
been produced before by one of the four factors.
85These cittas are the results of arúpa-jhåna and they perform the function of rebirth and
base and this ceases with the ceasing of the dying-consciousness. When.84
there is the simultaneous arising of the heart-base and citta there is
birth and when there is the simultaneous ceasing of the heart-base and
citta there is death. The dying-consciousness produces rúpa (except in
the case of the arahat) and this lasts only seventeen moments of citta.
At death, also nutrition ceases to produce rúpa and only temperature,
which produces rúpas both in the body and in dead matter, keeps on
producing rúpas of the corpse that is left. All this reminds us of the
frailty of life which consists of only nåma and rúpa depending on
Repetition-condition, åsevana-paccaya, pertains only to nåma, namely
to the javana-cittas arising in a process of cittas. Javana-cittas are
kusala, akusala or, in the case of arahats, kiriya. With regard to cittas of
the sense-sphere, kåmåvacara cittas, there are usually seven javana-cittas
in a process of cittas and these are all of the same jåti, kusala,
akusala or kiriya
. The first javana-citta conditions the second javana-citta
by repetition-condition, åsevana-paccaya, thus, the first javana-citta
is the conditioning dhamma (paccaya dhamma) and the second
one is the conditioned dhamma (paccayupanna dhamma). After that
the second javana-citta which is in its turn the conditioning dhamma,
conditions the third one, and so on, until the seventh javana-citta which
does not condition the succeeding citta in this way since it is the last
We read in the "Paììhåna (Analytical Exposition, Repetition-condition):
Preceding faultless states (kusala dhammas) are related to subsequent
faultless states by repetition-condition.
Preceding faulty states (akusala dhammas) are related to subsequent
faulty states by repetition-condiiton.
Preceding functional indeterminate states
are related to subsequent
functional indeterminate states by repetition-condition.
We read in the "Visuddhimagga" (XVII, 87) about repetition-condition:
A dhamma that assists the efficiency and power of the proximate (next)
in the sense of repetition-condition, like repeated application to books,
and so on....
Just as one, in learning by heart, through constant repetition, becomes
more proficient in reciting texts, evenso supports the preceding javana-86
Cittas can be of four jåtis, or classes, namely: kusala, akusala, vipåka and kiriya. Jåti
literally means "birth" or nature.
87avyakata dhammas, neither kusala nor akusala, which are in this case functional,
citta the succeeding one by repetition-condition..86
In the sense-door process the javana-cittas follow upon the determining-consciousness
(votthapana-citta) and in the mind-door process upon the
mind-door adverting-consciousness (mano-dvåråvajjana-citta). The
javana-cittas experience the same object as the preceding cittas in the
process, they "run through" the object
, but, except in the case of the
arahat, they experience it in a wholesome way or in an unwholesome
way. Whether the javana-cittas are kusala cittas or akusala cittas
depends on natural decisive support-condition which includes one’s
accumulated inclinations, and also on root-condition and on several
other conditions. When we experience a pleasant object through one of
the senses, there may be wise attention or unwise attention to the
object. We have accumulated a great deal of attachment and therefore
lobha-múla-cittas tend to arise on account of a pleasant object. When
the first javana-citta is lobha-múla-citta without wrong view and
accompanied by pleasant feeling
, the succeeding javana-citta which is
conditioned by the preceding one by way of repetition-condition, is of
the same type and so it is with the following ones. During these
moments we accumulate more lobha. When the first javana-citta is
kusala citta with paññå, the following javana-cittas are of the same
type. During these moments pannñå is accumulated.
As we have seen (in Ch 4) , each citta conditions the succeeding citta by
way of proximity-condition, anantara-paccaya, and by way of
contiguity-condition, samanantara-paccaya. Moreover, a preceding citta
can condition a succeeding citta by way of decisive support of
proximity, anantårupanissaya-paccaya (see Ch 7). Javana-citta, besides
being a condition for the next one by way of repetition, is also a
condition for the next one by way of proximity, contiguity and decisive
support of proximity. Realities can be related to each other by way of
several conditions. Repetition-condition only pertains to javana-cittas.
The last javana-citta in a process does not condition the next one by
way of repetition-condition, because it is succeeded by a citta of a
. The cittas which are repetition-condition have to be of
the same jåti. Thus, if the first javana-citta is akusala, the following ones
are also akusala, and if the first javana-citta is kusala, the following
ones are also kusala.
88Javana literally means "running".
89There are eight types of lobha-múla-citta, see Appendix 2.
90It may be succeeded by tadårammaùa-citta, registering-consciousness, which is
vipåkacitta produced by kamma and which still experiences the same object. Or it may be
followed by bhavanga-citta.
91For details see Appendix 3.
The javana-cittas which are repetition-condition are the following
akusala cittas, mahå-kusala cittas (of the sense-sphere), mahå-kiriyacittas
(of the arahat), the smile-producing citta of the arahat
(ahetuka kiriyacitta), the rúpåvacara kusala cittas and kiriyacittas
(rúpa-jhånacittas) and the arúpåvacara kusala cittas and kiriyacittas
The performing of akusala kamma or kusala kamma occurs during the
moments of javana and these can produce results later on. Moreover,
during the moments of javana unwholesome or wholesome tendencies
are being accumulated. Thus, the moments of javana condition our life
in the future. When we are not intent on kusala, the javana-cittas are
akusala. When we are daydreaming or walking around there are bound
to be akusala cittas but we may not notice this. When we speak, we may
not lie or use harsh words, but we may not notice how often we are
engaged in idle, useless speech. When we, for example, talk about the
weather or about what we are going to do tomorrow, we may not notice
the many akusala cittas which motivate our speech. Because of natural
decisive support-condition one kind of akusala can lead to another kind,
and therefore, each kind of akusala is dangerous. So long as we are not
an arahat we still have conditions for useless speech, but the study of
the Dhamma can remind us to be aware while we speak. By right
understanding it can be known whether akusala citta or kusala citta
motivates our speech.
When we perform good deeds or evil deeds there are many processes
with javana-cittas, and each one of these cittas conditions the next one
by way of repetition-condition, except the seventh javana-citta. The
teaching of repetition-condition reminds us of the danger of akusala
citta. When akusala citta arises, there is not only one type but seven
types succeeding one another, and during these moments we
accumulate the tendency to akusala so that akusala citta will arise again
in the future. When we see the disadvantage of akusala there are
conditions for the arising of kusala citta. When kusala citta arises there
are seven types of kusala citta succeeding one another. When we apply
ourselves to kusala, kusala is being accumulated. This should encourage
us to perform all kinds of kusala so that there will be kusala citta again
in the future. Even when we speak a word of kindness or help someone
just for a moment, for example getting something he needs and handing
it to him, there are opportunities for kusala cittas. We should not
neglect such opportunities or find them insignificant. Each moment of
kusala is valuable because at such a moment we do not think of
ourselves, there is no lobha, dosa or moha. A wholesome deed is never
lost, even if it seems to be of no importance, because kusala is.88
accumulated and it can be a natural decisive support-condition for
kusala in the future.
We read in the "Atthasåliní" (Expositor I, Part IV, Ch VIII, 159, in the
section on the bases of meritorious action) that, when one performs
dåna, there can be kusala cittas before, during and after the wholesome
Now, as to these bases, when we think, "I will give in charity", the citta
works by one or other of those eight classes of kusala citta of the sense-sphere
; in making the gift, we give by one of them; in reflecting, "I
have given in charity", we reflect by one of them....
The same is said about the other ways of kusala. It is beneficial to know
that there are opportunities for kusala citta, not only at the moments we
perform a deed of generosity, but also before and afterwards, while we
consider our wholesome deed. However, it depends on conditions at
which moment kusala citta arises, nobody can have control over this. It
may happen that after having given a gift we have regret and then there
are akusala cittas. We should not have aversion towards akusala citta
which arises, because then we accumulate more akusala. Akusala citta
arises because of conditions. There can be awareness of akusala so that
it can be seen as non-self. At the moment of awareness there is kusala
Kusala javana-cittas of the sense sphere are classified as eight types:
they can be accompanied by pleasant feeling or by indifferent feeling,
they can be accompanied or unaccompanied by paññå, they can be
prompted or unprompted (by external aid or by oneself). However,
because of different conditioning factors the variety is much greater. If
we have more knowledge of these conditioning factors we shall
understand more clearly the great diversity of citta. Cittas are
variegated because they are conditioned by different roots which have
different intensities. The paññå which may accompany citta can be of
many degrees and intensities. It can be intellectual understanding which
stems from reading and considering, or it can be direct understanding
of the characteristics of realities. Citta can be conditioned by the four
predominant factors of chanda (desire-to-do), viriya (energy), (firmness
of) citta or vimaÿsa (investigation of Dhamma, paññå cetasika)
92See Appendix 2 for the eight classes of mahå-kusala cittas.
93See Ch 3.
these can be of many degrees. Citta experiences objects and these can.89
condition citta in different ways: by way of object-condition, of object-predominance-
condition or of decisive support of object
. Kusala citta
is accompanied by different sobhana cetasikas which condition the citta.
We all have different accumulations and thus the type of kusala citta
and its intensity varies for different people. There is a great diversity of
kusala cittas but the Buddha classified them as eight types.
The "Atthasåliní" (in the same section as quoted above, 160, 161)
mentions the eight types of kusala citta and states that the Buddha’s
knowledge is more infinite than space, the worldsystems, and the
beings in the worldsystems. We read:
... Now, all these classes of kusala cittas experienced in the realm of
sense, arising in the countless beings in the countless world-systems, the
Supreme Buddha, as though weighing them in a great balance, or
measuring them by putting them in a measure, has classified by means
of his omniscience, and has shown them to be eight, making them into
eight similar groups....
The javana-cittas arising in one process of citta are of the same jåti, but
the plane of consciousness is not always the same. This happens in the
process when someone develops samatha and attains jhåna, and also in
the process when someone develops vipassanå and attains
enlightenment. As regards the attainment of jhåna, jhånacittas do not
have sense objects, they are not kåmåvacara cittas, cittas of the sense
sphere. But in the process when jhåna is attained there are first
kåmåvacara cittas which are, in the case of non-arahats, mahå-kusala
cittas which experience the meditation subject through the mind- door
. Each one of the mahå-kusala cittas is repetition-condition for the
next one and the last mahå-kusala citta in that process conditions the
jhåna-citta, which is of a different plane of citta, rúpåvacara citta, by
way of repetition-condition. When someone is not yet skilled, only one
moment of jhåna-citta arises, but when he has become proficient there
can be many moments of jhånacitta (Visuddhimagga IV, 78, and IV,
125). Each one of these jhånacittas conditions the next one by way of
repetition-condition, except the last one in that process.
In the process during which enlightenment is attained, there are first
94See Ch 2, Ch 3 and Ch 7.
95See Appendix 3 for details.
96See Appendix 3 for details.
accompanied by paññå which clearly sees the.90
reality appearing at that moment as impermanent, dukkha or anattå.
One of these three characteristics of reality is at that moment
penetrated by pañnnå. Each of these mahå-kusala cittas is repetition-condition
for the next one. The last mahå-kusala-citta, the "change-of
lineage", arising before the magga-citta, the lokuttara kusala citta,
experiences an object different from the preceding ones, namely
nibbåna. The "change-of lineage", which is kamåvacara citta, conditions
the magga-citta by way of repetition-condition but the magga-citta itself
is not repetition-condition for the phala-citta. The phala-citta is of a
different jåti, the jåti which is vipåka. The phala-citta which is the result
of the magga-citta and immediately succeeds it, performs the function
of javana, but it is not repetition-condition. When we develop
vipassanå, awareness of nåma and rúpa occurs during the moments of
javana. Just as one by applying oneself again and again to study
becomes more proficient in understanding texts, evenso can there be
more proficiency in understanding realities when there is repeated
application of understanding during the moments of javana-cittas. Each
one of these conditions the next one by repetition-condition and in this
way understanding can be accumulated.
When there is no mindfulness, there is bound to be clinging during the
moments of javana. When we, for example, use a soft cushion, there is
likely to be clinging but we may not notice it. When sati arises, there
can be understanding of softness as only a rúpa, not a cushion, or, when
the experience of softness is the object of sati, it can be realized as only
a nåma, an experience. We may think that we can possess things and
this can lead to covetousness, avarice, jealousy and many other kinds of
defilements. In reality there is no possessor, only seeing which
experiences visible object, or touching which experiences tangible
object, and other moments of experiencing one object at a time. All
these realities fall way, they do not stay. Gradually we may know the
difference between moments without sati, when we cling to concepts
we are thinking of, and moments with sati, when only one reality at a
time appears through one of the six doors. Not theoretical
understanding, but only direct understanding of realities can lead to
eradication of defilements. Enlightenment can be attained only if there
have been many processes with javana-cittas accompanied by right
understanding of realities, even in the course of countless lives.
The following sutta from the "Kindred Sayings"(V, Mahå-vagga, Book II,
XLVI, Kindred Sayings on the Limbs of Wisdom, Ch IV, § 8, Restraint
and hindrance) reminds us of the importance of listening to the.91
Dhamma and considering it as condition for the development of the
factors leading to enlightenment. We read that the Buddha said:
Monks, there are these five checks, hindrances and corruptions of the
heart, which weaken insight. What five?
Sensual desire, monks, is a check and hindrance, a corruption of the
heart, that weakens insight. Malevolence... sloth and torpor...
excitement and flurry... doubt and wavering... These five... weaken
The seven limbs of wisdom
, monks, if unrestrained, unhindered, if
cultivated and made much of with uncorrupted heart, conduce to
realizing the fruits of liberation by knowledge. What seven?
Herein a monk cultivates the limb of wisdom that is mindfulness... the
limb of wisdom that is investigation of the Dhamma... the limb of
wisdom that is energy... the limb of wisdom that is rapture (píti), the
limb of wisdom that is tranquillity... the limb of wisdom that is
concentration... the limb of wisdom that is equanimity, that is based on
seclusion, on dispassion, on cessation, that ends in self-surrender.
Now, monks, at the time when the ariyan disciple makes the Dhamma
his object, gives attention to it, with all his mind considers it, with ready
ear listens to the Dhamma, - at such time these five hindrances exist not
in him: at such time the seven limbs of wisdom by cultivation go to
97Bojjhanga or factors of enlightenment..92
Kamma-Condition (Kamma-Paccaya) and Vipåka-Condition
Kamma is actually cetanå cetasika, volition. Cetanå arises with each
citta and it can therefore be kusala, akusala, vipåka or kiriya. Cetanå
directs the associated dhammas and coordinates their tasks (Atthasåliní,
Book I, Part IV, Ch I, 111). Cetanå which accompanies kusala citta and
akusala citta has a double function: it directs the tasks of the associated
dhammas and it has the function of "willing" or activity in good and bad
deeds. In this last function it is capable to produce the results of good
and bad deeds later on.
There are two kinds of kamma-condition: conascent kamma-condition
and asynchronous kamma-condition. Cetanå which arises with each
citta directs the tasks of the associated dhammas and conditions these
dhammas by way of conascent kamma-condition, sahajåta kamma-paccaya
. The cetanå which is kusala or akusala and which can
produce the appropriate results of good deeds or bad deeds later on
conditions that result by way of asynchronous kamma-condition,
As regards conascent kamma-condition, sahajåta kamma-paccaya, the
cetanås accompanying all 89 types of citta
are conascent kamma-condition
for the citta and the other cetasikas they accompany as well
as for the rúpa produced by them. The cetanå which accompanies
kusala citta and akusala citta conditions citta, the other cetasikas and
the rúpa produced by them by way of conascent kamma-condition,
sahajåta-kamma-paccaya. Vipåkacitta and kiriyacitta can also produce
, and the accompanying cetanå conditions citta, the other
98The term kamma is used for good and bad deeds, but we should remember that when
we are more precise, kamma is cetanå cetasika. Then we can understand that there is
conascent kamma, namely, kamma or cetanå accompanying each citta.
99Cittas which are kusala citta, akusala citta, vipåkacitta and kiriyacitta. For the
classification of the different cittas see my "Abhidhamma in Daily Life", Ch 23.
100Citta, being one of the four factors which produces groups of rúpas of the body, can
produce groups of rúpas consisting of at least the eight "inseparable rúpas" (the four
great Elements, colour, odour, flavour and nutritive essense) and in addition there can be
other rúpas as well in such a group.
cetasikas and rúpa by way of conascent- kamma-condition, sahajåta.93
kamma-paccaya. Seeing, hearing and the other sense-cognitions are
vipåkacittas which do not produce rúpa, but the accompanying cetanå
conditions citta and the other cetasikas by way of conascent kamma-condition.
When the paìisandhi-citta arises the accompanying cetanå
conditions that citta, the other cetasikas and also the kamma-produced
rúpa which arises at the same time by way of conascent kamma-condition
(Paììhåna, Faultless Triplet, Investigation Chapter, Kamma, §
427, vii b).
Asynchronous kamma-condition, nåùakkhaùika kamma- paccaya
pertains to kusala cetanå or akusala cetanå which is able to produce
later on results of good or evil deeds committed through body, speech
and mind. The cetanå, volition or intention, which motivates a good or
bad deed falls away, but since each citta conditions the next one in the
cycle of birth and death, the force of cetanå is accumulated from
moment to moment so that it can produce result later on. It conditions
the result in the form of vipåkacitta and specific rúpas of the body
way of asynchronous kamma-condition. When one, for example,
slanders, there is akusala kamma through speech and this can produce
akusala vipåka later on. The akusala cetanå or kamma conditions the
vipåkacitta which arises later on by way of asynchronous kamma-condition.
At the same time, the akusala cetanå is related to the citta
and cetasikas it accompanies and to speech intimation (vacíviññatti), a
rúpa produced by citta, by way of conascent kamma-condition. Thus,
cetanå is in different ways a condition for other phenomena.
There are kusala kamma and akusala kamma through body, speech and
mind, and they are of different degrees. Kamma is not always a
"completed action", kamma patha. There are certain constituent factors
which make kamma a completed action. For example, in the case of
killing there have to be: a living being, consciousness of there being a
living being, intention of killing, effort and consequent death
(Atthasåliní, I, Book I, Part III, Ch V, 97). If one of these factors is
lacking there is not a completed action. Akusala kamma which is a
completed action is capable of producing an unhappy rebirth. Not only
birth is the result of kamma, but also the experiences of pleasant or
unpleasant objects through the senses, which are seeing, hearing,
smelling tasting or experiencing tangible objects through the bodysense
101Nåùakkhaùika literally means: working from a different time and this pertains to the
fact that it produces result later on.
102Kamma is one of the four factors which produces rúpas of the body. It produces rúpas
such as the sense-bases, the heart-base and femininity or masculinity.
throughout life. Some kammas produce their results in the same life.94
they were committed, some in the next life, some in later lives. There is
also kamma which has no opportunity to produce result, "lapsed
kamma", in Påli: ahosi kamma.
We read in the "Visuddhimagga"( XIX, 14-17) about different ways of
classifying kamma. Kamma can be classified as weighty, habitual,
death-threshold and reserve or cumulative by being performed
(Visuddhimagga XIX, 15,16). Weighty (garuka) kamma is very
unprofitable kamma, such as the killing of a parent, or very profitable
kamma, such as jhånacitta. Habitual (åciùùa) kamma is what one
usually and repeatedly does. Death-threshold (åsanna) kamma is what
is vividly remembered just before death. Reserve or cumulative kamma
(kamma kaìattå) is kamma which is not included in the other three
kinds, but which has been performed in the past. The latter produces
rebirth if there is no opportunity for one of the other three kinds to do
Do we know which type of kamma we usually and repeatedly perform?
Is it akusala kamma through body, speech or mind, or is it kusala
kamma? When we perform kusala kamma such as generosity do we
know whether the kusala citta is accompanied by paññå or
unaccompanied by paññå ?
The development of satipaììhåna, right
understanding of nåma and rúpa, is kusala kamma. When we see the
benefit of considering nåma and rúpa over and over again, in one’s
daily life, it can become habitual kamma, often performed. Then paññå
can be developed which leads to the end of rebirth-producing kamma.
Kamma can also be classified as: reproductive, consolidating,
obstructive and destructive. Reproductive kamma (janaka kamma)
produces nåma and rúpa at birth and in the course of life. Consolidating
or supportive kamma (upatthambaka kamma) consolidates the result
which has been produced by reproductive kamma. Supportive kusala
kamma can prolong the arising of pleasant results in the form of health
or wealth and supportive akusala kamma can prolong the arising of
painful feeling and the experience of other unpleasant objects in the
course of life. Obstructive or counteractive kamma (upapíîaka kamma)
weakens, interrupts or retards the result of kusala kamma or akusala
103Kamma kaìattå, literally: kamma which has been done. Sometimes it is translated as
"stored up kamma", but this is misleading, since it may suggest something which is
permanent. Kamma falls away immediately, but its force is accumulated in the citta.
Since our life is an unbroken series of cittas arising and falling away, and each citta
conditions the next citta, kamma can produce result later on.
104See Appendix 2 for the different types of kusala citta.
kamma. Someone who has a happy rebirth may suffer ill health so that.95
he cannot enjoy pleasant objects. An animal who has an unhappy
rebirth may still have a comfortable life because of obstructive kamma.
Destructive kamma (upaghåtaka kamma) counteracts other weaker
kamma to produce its result; instead it produces its own result
A deed can produce result when it is the right time. Some deeds
produce result in this life, some in the next life and some after aeons.
The lokuttara kusala citta, the magga-citta, produces immediate result
in the form of the phalacitta, fruition-consciousness (lokuttara
vipåkacitta), without any interval. The magga-citta is anantara kamma-paccaya
for the phala-citta (anantara means: without interval).
We have accumulated many different kammas and we do not know
which of these will produce result at a particular moment, it depends
also on the force of natural decisive support-condition, pakatúpanissaya
paccaya (see Ch 8).
Only a Buddha has full knowledge of the true nature of kamma and
vipåka and this knowledge is not shared by his disciples
("Visuddhimagga" XIX, 17).
We do not know which of our deeds will produce rebirth. We read in
the "Greater Analysis of Deeds" (Middle Length Sayings III, 136) that
the Buddha, while staying near Rajagaha, in the Bamboo Grove, spoke
to Ånanda about deeds and their results. We read about someone who
does evil deeds and is of wrong view, and who has an unhappy rebirth.
However, for such a person there is also a possibility of a happy rebirth.
105We read in the Commentary to the "Book of Analysis", the "Dispeller of Delusion" (Ch
16, Tathågata Powers 2, 439-443) about four factors which condition kamma to produce
result: destiny, or the place where one is born (gati), substratum, including beauty or
ugliness in body (upadhi), the time when one is born (kåla) and the "means", including
one’s behaviour (payoga). These four factors can be favorable (sampatti) or unfavorable
(vipatti). If they are favorable akusala kamma has less opportunity and kusala kamma
has more opportunity to produce result and if they are unfavorable akusala kamma has
more opportunity and kusala kamma has less opportunity to produce result. For example,
if someone is born in a happy plane, if he has beauty of body, if he is born in a favorabe
time (kåla), when there is a good king and the country is prosperous, if he has the right
means (payoga), that is, he refrains from bad deeds and performs good deeds, the
ripening of akusala kamma is inhibited and there is opportunity for kusala kamma to give
results. If these four factors are unfavorable (vipatti), the opposite is the case: akusala
kamma has the opportunity to ripen and the results of kusala kamma are inhibited. For
example, if someone is ugly in body, he may have to do the work of a slave and then
there is opportunity for the experience of unpleasant objects. If someone steals or kills,
thus, when his "means" are unfavorable, he may be caught and then tortured or
... As to this, Ånanda, whatever individual there is who makes onslaught.96
on creatures, takes what has not been given... is of false view and who,
at the breaking up of the body after dying arises in a good bourn, a
heaven world-- either a lovely deed to be experienced as happiness was
done by him earlier, or a lovely deed to be experienced as happiness
was done by him later, or at the time of dying a right view was adopted
and firmly held by him; because of this, at the breaking up of the body
after dying he arises in a good bourn, a heaven world. If he made
onslaught on creatures here, took what had not been given... and was of
false view, he undergoes its fruition which arises here and now or in
We then read about someone who is restrained from evil and is of right
view, and who has a happy rebirth. However, even for such a person
there may be an unhappy rebirth. We read:
... As to this, Ånanda, whatever individual there is who is restrained
from making onslaught on creatures, is restrained from taking what has
not been given... is of right view and who, at the breaking up of the
body after dying, arises in the sorrowful ways, a bad bourn, the
Downfall, Niraya Hell-- either an evil deed to be experienced as anguish
was done by him earlier, or an evil deed to be experienced as anguish
was done by him later, or at the time of dying a false view was adopted
and firmly held by him; because if this... he arises in the sorrowful
ways... Niraya Hell. And he who was restrained from making onslaught
on creatures... and was of right view undergoes its fruition which arises
either here and now or in another mode....
So long as we perform kamma there are conditions for rebirth and there
will be dukkha. Kamma is one of the links in the "Dependent
Origination" (Paticca Samuppåda), the chain of conditionally arisen
phenomena which cause the continuation of the cycle of birth and
death. When defilements have been eradicated there will be no more
rebirth. We read in the "Gradual Sayings" (Book of the Tens, Ch XVII,
Jåùussoùi, § 8, Due to lust, malice and delusion):
Monks, the taking of life is threefold, I declare. It is due to lust, malice
and delusion. Taking what is not given... wrong conduct in sexual
desires... falsehood... spiteful speech... bitter speech... idle babble...
coveting... harmfulness... wrong view, is threefold, I declare. It is due to
lust, malice and delusion..97
Thus, monks, lust is the coming-to-be of a chain of causal action; so is
malice. Delusion, monks, is the coming-to-be of a chain of causal action.
By destroying lust, by destroying malice, by destroying delusion comes
the breaking up of the chain of causal action.
The arahat can still have vipåka which is conditioned by asynchronous
kamma-condition, but from the time he attained arahatship he could
not perform new kamma. The mahå-kiriyacittas (inoperative cittas of
the sense sphere which are sobhana, beautiful) of the arahat do not
As to vipåka-condition, citta and its accompanying cetasikas which are
vipåka condition one another by being vipåka. The realities involved in
vipåka-condition are phenomena which are conascent, arising at the
same time. We read in the "Visuddhimagga" (XVII,88) that they assist
one another "by effortless quiet". They are merely vipåka, they have no
other activity. The nature of vipåkacitta is altogether different from the
nature of kusala citta and akusala citta which are active in the
wholesome way or in the unwholesome way. Vipåkacitta and its
accompanying cetasikas also condition one another by way of
conascence-condition and by way of mutuality-condition (see Ch 5).
In the planes where there are five khandhas (nåma and rúpa),
vipåkacittas, except the five sense-cognitions, can produce rúpa which
arises at the same time and which, according to the "Paììhåna"
(Faultless Triplet, Investigation Chapter, § 428), is also conditioned by
the citta and cetasikas by way of vipåka-condition
. In the planes
where there are five khandhas kamma produces at the first moment of
life the paìisandhi-citta which is vipåkacitta as well as rúpa. According
to the "Paììhåna" (same section) citta and cetasikas condition at that
moment kamma-produced rúpa by way of vipåka-condition.
The paìisandhi-citta is the first vipåkacitta arising in life. When it is the
result of kusala kamma there is birth in a happy plane and when it is
the result of akusala kamma there is birth in an unhappy plane. There
are many different degrees of kusala kamma and of akusala kamma and
thus the vipåka they produce is also of different degrees. When the
paìisandhi-citta is the result of kusala kamma which is weak, it is
ahetuka kusala vipåkacitta (unaccompanied by sobhana hetus) and in
106Bhavanga-citta, receiving-consciousness (saÿpaìicchana-citta) or investigation-consciousness
(santíraùa-citta) are for example vipåkacittas which produce rúpas. See
Appendix 1 for these cittas.
that case, although one has a happy rebirth, one is handicapped from.98
the first moment of life. The paìisandhi-citta can also be mahå-vipåka,
accompanied by two or three sobhana hetus
. The mahå-vipåkacitta is
also conditioned by way of hetu-paccaya, root-condition. When the
paìisandhi-citta is the result of akusala kamma it is ahetuka akusala
vipåkacitta, and in that case one has an unhappy rebirth in one of the
Human birth is the result of kusala kamma. Although there can be in the
case of a human being nine types of paìisandhi-citta
, the paìisandhi-cittas
are much more variegated and this can be noticed later on in the
course of life from the kamma-produced rúpas of different people and
from people’s different capacities. We see great differences in features:
some people are beautiful, some are not beautiful. We notice differences
in the sense-faculties such as eyesense and earsense. There are
differences in bodily strength, some people are apt to have many
illnesses and they are weak, some have only few illnesses and they are
strong. People are born with different degrees of paññå or without it;
thus, there are different possibilities for people to develop paññå. If the
paìisandi-cittas of people were not so different, there would not be such
a variety in the characteristics of different people.
The vipåkacitta which is paìisandhi-citta is succeeded by the vipåkacitta
which is bhavanga-citta because of proximate-condition, contiguity-condition
and proximate decisive support-condition. The bhavanga-citta
is the same type of citta as the paìisandhi-citta. There are countless
bhavanga-cittas arising throughout life in between the processes of
cittas and all of them are of the same type as the paìisandhi-citta. They
keep the continuity in the life of a person who is born with a particular
character and particular capacities.
Throughout life kamma produces vipåkacittas arising in processes of
cittas which experience pleasant or unpleasant objects. Seeing, for
example, is vipåkacitta which experiences a pleasant or unpleasant
visible object through the eyesense. It merely sees, it does not know
whether the object is pleasant or unpleasant. Citta and the
accompanying cetasikas condition one another by way of vipåka-condition,
they assist one another in "effortless quiet". The succeeding
, is also vipåkacitta, and
this is succeeded by another vipåkacitta, the investigating-consciouness,
107By alobha, non-attachment or generosity, adosa, non-aversion or kindness, or paññå.
108One type is ahetuka kusala vipåka, and eight types are mahå-vipåkacittas. See my
Abhidhamma in Daily Life Ch 11.
109See Appendix I for the cittas arising in a process.
santíraùa-citta. This is succeeded by the determining-consciousness, the.99
votthapana-citta, which is a kiriyacitta. After that the javana-cittas arise
which are, in the case of non-arahats, kusala cittas or akusala cittas.
When the object is pleasant, lobha-múla-cittas are likely to arise and
when the object is unpleasant, dosa-múla-cittas are likely to arise. There
are seven javana-cittas arising, succeeding one another. Cittas arise and
fall away succeeding one another very rapidly and when paññå has not
been developed we do not realize when there is vipåkacitta and when
there is kusala citta or akusala citta. When we have an unpleasant
experience such as an accident we keep on thinking of the concept of a
situation or of an event we consider as "our vipåka" and we may
wonder why this had to happen to us. We tend to forget that vipåkacitta
is only one moment which falls away immediately. Instead of thinking
of concepts with aversion we should develop understanding of
paramattha dhammas, realities which each have their own
characteristic and which appear one at a time.
When we see visible object and we like the object it seems that seeing
and liking occur at the same time. We do not realize that there is
proximity-condition, anantara-paccaya, because of which each citta is
succeeded by the next one, without any interval. Or we do not even
realize that there is attachment to the object. We may think that there is
seeing while there is in reality already clinging. Without knowing it we
accumulate ever more akusala.
It is important to have right understanding of cause and effect in our
life. We like to experience pleasant objects and we may think that we
can choose ourselves which objects we wish to experience. We buy
beautiful things in order to look at them, we prepare delicious food in
order to enjoy pleasant flavours. However, something can happen so
that our expectations do not come true. It depends on kamma whether
we experience a pleasant object or an unpleasant object at a particular
moment. Kamma produces its appropriate result and when it is time for
akusala vipåka it is unavoidable. We never know what will happen at
the next moment, but when there is more understanding of cause and
effect in our life we can be prepared to face whatever may happen.
When there is right understanding of kamma and vipåka, the citta is at
that moment kusala citta and there is no opportunity for aversion
towards unpleasant experiences. When there is awareness of the
characteristics of seeing, hearing, thinking and other realities which
appear there will be less ignorance. We will gradually learn to
distinguish between the moments of vipåka and the moments of kusala
citta and akusala citta..100
There are four kinds of nutriment which are nutriment-condition,
åhåra-paccaya. One kind is physical nutriment and three are mental
nutriment. They are:
contact (phassa cetasika)
volition (manosañcetanå which is cetanå cetasika)
In the case of åhåra-paccaya, a conditioning dhamma maintains and
supports the growth and development of the conditioned dhammas
As regards physical nutriment, this sustains the rúpas of the body.
Nutritive essence (ojå) present in food that has been taken suffuses the
body and then new rúpas can be produced. As we have seen, nutrition
is one of the four factors which produces rúpas of the body, the other
three being kamma, citta and temperature. Nutritive essence is present
in all groups of rúpas; it is one of the eight "inseparable rúpas" present
in all materiality, no matter it is the body or materiality outside.
Nutritive essence arises together with the four Great Elements of
solidity, cohesion, temperature and motion, and with visible object,
flavour and odour. Nutritive essence present in the groups of rúpas of
the body cannot produce new rúpas without the support of nutritive
essence which is in food, external nutritive essence. For the new being
in the mother’s womb it is necessary that the mother takes food so that
nutritive essence present in food can suffuse its body. Then nutritive
essence can produce new rúpas and thus it goes on throughout life. The
nutritive essence which, because of the support of external nutritive
essence, produces new rúpas of the body also supports and maintains
the groups of rúpas produced by kamma, citta and temperature.
When nutriment has been taken the nutritive essence present in the
body can produce new groups of rúpas, and nutritive essence present in
such a group can in its turn produce another group of eight "inseparable
110The Commmentary to the "Discourse on Right Understanding" (Middle Length Sayings
I, 9), the Papañcasúdaní, gives an explanation of the word åhåra. The condition fetches
(åharati) its own fruit, therefore it is called åhåra.
rúpas" (an octad), and so on, and thus there can be several occurrences.102
of octads. In this way nutriment which has been taken can be sufficient
for some time afterwards (Visuddhimagga XX, 37).
There is nutritive essence with nutriment, but one cannot eat nutritive
essence alone. We need also sufficient substance or solidity, so that we
do not go hungry. Edible food, after making it into portions
swallowed; it has the function of nourishing.
We cannot live without food, but it is dangerous to cling to it. In order
to obtain it, people may commit akusala kamma which is capable of
producing akusala vipåka. Someone who is greedy may be reborn as a
"peta" (ghost). So long as we cling to food there will be rebirth and this
is dukkha. We may recollect the disadvantages of searching for food,
the foulness of nutriment and its digestion, with the purpose of having
less clinging to food.
We read in the "Visuddhimagga" (I, 89) that the monk should
remember that food is not for intoxication, smartening, embellishment
or amusement. It should be taken for the sake of the endurance and
continuance of the body, for the ending of discomfort and for the
assisting of the life of purity (Visuddhimagga I, 91,92). Just as a sick
man uses medicine he should use almsfood, so that he can stop feelings
of hunger, and he should avoid immoderate eating. Thus he will be
healthy and blameless and live in comfort (Visuddhimagga I, 94).
We read in the "Visuddhimagga" (Ch XI, 11, and following), in the
section on the "Perception of Repulsiveness in Nutriment", about the
disadvantages of having to search for food. The monk has to go in dirty
places while he walks with his almsbowl. He does not always receive
food, or he receives unappetizing food. Also when he takes food and
swallows it, it is unappetizing, not to speak of the secretion while it is
being digested and of its flowing out again. In the Commentary to the
"Satipaììhåna Sutta" ( I, 10), the "Papañcasúdaní"
, we read in the
section on Mindfulness of the Body, Clear Comprehension in the
Partaking of Food and Drink, that there are only elements performing
their functions in the process of eating and digesting the food. There is
no self, no person who eats. We read:
It is oscillation (våyodhåtu, the element of wind or motion) that does
the taking onward, the moving away from side to side; and it is
oscillation that bears, turns around, pulverizes, causes the removal of
111The Påli word kabalinkåro åhåro means "morsel food", food that can be swallowed.
112Translated by Ven. Soma in "The Way of Mindfulness", B.P.S. Kandy, Sri Lanka.
liquidity, and expels..103
Extension (paìhavídhåtu, the element of earth or solidity) also does
bearing up, turning around, pulverizing and the removal of liquidity.
Cohesion ( åpodhåtu, the element of water) moistens and preserves
Caloricity ( tejodhåtu, the element of heat) ripens or digests the food
that goes in.
Space (Åkåsadhåtu) becomes the way for the entering of the food.
Consciousness (viññåùadhåtu) as a consequence of right kind of action
knows in any particular situation
According to reflection of this sort, should clear comprehension of
be understood here.
We read in the "Kindred Sayings" (II, Kindred Sayings on Cause, Ch VII,
the Great Chapter, § 63, Child’s Flesh) about parents who were with
their child in the jungle. Since there was no food and they would have
to die of hunger, they slew their child and ate its flesh, not for pleasure,
from indulgence, for personal charm or plumpness. They took it in
order not to die and to be able to cross the jungle. We then read that
the Buddah said to the monks:
Even so, monks, I declare should solid food be regarded. When such
food is well understood, the passions of the five senses are well
understood. When the passions of the five senses are well understood,
the fetters do not exist bound by which the ariyan disciple could come
again to this world.
Physical nutriment conditions the rúpas of the body by way of åhåra-paccaya,
nutriment-condition. As we have seen, there are three kinds of
mental nutriment which are: contact (phassa), volition
(manosañcetanå) and citta (viññåùa). Just as physical food supports
and maintains the body does mental nutriment support and maintain
the accompanying dhammas. In the case of mental nutriment the
conditioning dhamma is conascent with the conditioned dhammas. The
113According to a subcommentary added to the quoted passage of the "Papañcasúdaní"
as rendered in the "Way of Mindfulness": "Consciousness knows": perceives, understands,
by way of seeking, by way of full experience of swallowing, by way of the digested, the
undigested and so forth. "In any particular situation": in any function of seeking,
swallowing or other similar act.
114Non-delusion as to the object of mindfulness and right understanding.
mental nutriments condition the dhammas which arise together with.104
them and the rúpas produced by citta and cetasikas by way of
nutriment-condition. At the moment of rebirth the mental nutriments
condition the associated dhammas and the rúpa produced by kamma by
way of nutriment-condition (Paììhåna, Faultless Triplet, Ch VII,
Investigation Chapter, Nutriment, § 429).
As to the mental nutriment which is contact, phassa, this is a cetasika
which contacts the object so that citta and the accompanying cetasikas
can experience it
. Without contact citta and cetasikas could not
experience any object, thus, contact supports them, it is a mental
nutriment for them. It accompanies each citta and it conditions citta
and the accompanying cetasikas by way of åhåra-paccaya, nutriment-condition.
It also conditions rúpa produced by citta and cetasikas by
way of nutriment-condition. When there is bodily painful feeling we
know that there is contact, otherwise there could not be the experience
of an unpleasant object. This experience does not last. When hearing
arises we know that there is another kind of contact; it contacts sound
so that hearing can experience it. When there is mindfulness of realities
as they appear one at a time, we can understand that there are different
contacts all the time and that the experiences of the different objects do
As to the mental nutriment which is volition, manosañcetanå
, this is
cetanå cetasika which accompanies all eightynine types of citta, thus it
can be of the jåti which is kusala, akusala, vipåka or kiriya. It
coordinates the tasks of the citta and cetasikas it accompanies, and it
maintains and supports them; thus, it conditions them by way of
nutriment-condition. It also conditions the rúpa produced by citta by
way of nutriment-condition. As we have seen, cetanå conditions the
associated dhammas also by way of conascent kamma-condition,
sahajåta kamma-paccaya (see Ch 11).
As to the mental nutriment which is viññåùa or citta, this refers to each
citta. Citta is the chief in cognizing an object, it is the "leader". Without
citta cetasikas could not arise and experience an object. Thus, citta
supports and maintains the accompanying cetasikas, it conditions them
by way of nutriment-condition. When citta produces rúpa it also
conditions that rúpa by way of nutriment-condition.
Thus, at each moment the three mental nutriments of contact, volition
and citta support and maintain the dhammas arising together with
115Phassa is nåma, it is not physical contact.
116Mano is mind and cetanå is volition. In the context of åhåra-paccaya the word
manosañcetanå, mental volition, is used to denote cetanå cetasika.
them, and the rúpa produced by them, by way of nutriment-condition..105
The mental nutriments can be considered according to the method of
the Paììhåna and also according to the method of the "Dependent
Origination" (Paticca samuppåda), the chain of conditionally arisen
phenomena which cause the continuation of the cycle of birth and death
. According to the method of the Dependent Origination contact,
cetanå and viññåùa are considered as nutriments which condition the
continuation of life in the cycle of birth and death. When we see them
as links in this cycle we are reminded that life is dukkha.
Contact is a link in the Dependent Origination and as such it is the
condition for feeling, the following link. Contact contacts an object and
feeling experiences the "flavour" of that object. Contact conditions the
feeling which arises together with it. Because of contact there is feeling,
because of feeling there is craving; because of craving there is clinging
and this leads to the process of becoming, and thus there is rebirth. The
conditions which will lead to rebirth occur now. We want to live and we
have attachment to sense objects, we are never satisfied, and therefore
there are conditions for life to go on. It is not by mere chance that we
experience objects through the six doors; all these experiences can
occur because of the cooperating of the appropriate conditions.
We should see the disadvantages of contact. In the above quoted sutta
of the "Kindred Sayings", after the explanation of the disadvantages of
material food by the simile of "Child’s Flesh", the disadvantages and
dangers of the three kinds of mental nutriment are explained. We read
about a simile of a cow which stands with a sore hide leaning against
the wall. The creatures who live there bite her. The same happens when
she leans against a tree and no matter where she stands she will be
bitten. We read:
Even so do I declare that the food which is contact should be regarded.
When such food is well understood, the three feelings
understood. When the three feelings are well understood, I declare that
there is nothing further which the ariyan disciple has to do.
We find seeing and hearing desirable, but we only get hurt by contact, it
117Twelve factors are links in the chain of the Dependent Origination, and each one
conditions the following one. They are: ignorance, kamma-formations (sankhåra, rebirth
producing volitions), consciousness (viññåùa), nåma and rúpa, the six bases, contact,
feeling, craving, clinging, becoming, birth, old age and death. See "Visuddhimagga" XVII,
118Pleasant feeling, unpleasant feeling and indifferent feeling.
leads to dukkha..106
The mental nutriment which is volition, cetanå, is also a link in the
Dependent Origination. Under this aspect it is cetanå which is kusala
kamma, akusala kamma or "imperturbable" kamma (åneñja,
arúpåvacara kusala), and these kammas produce rebirth. In the above
quoted sutta we read about a simile of a glowing charcoal-pit to which
someone is dragged. He wishes to be far from it because if he falls on
that heap of charcoal he will have mortal pain and he will die. Evenso
should we see the danger of cetanå which produces rebirth. We read:
Even so, monks, I declare that the food which is manosañcetanå (will of
mind) should be regarded. When that food is well understood, the three
are well understood. When these are well understood, I
declare that there is nothing further that the ariyan disciple has to do.
When viññåùa (consciousness) is considered under the aspect of the
Dependent Origination, it is vipåkacitta which arises at rebirth and also
in the course of life. As a link of the Dependent Origination it is
conditioned by sankhåra, kamma-formations. Because of kamma there
will be the vipåka which is the paìisandhi-citta and also vipåka arising
throughout our life. We read in the above quoted sutta about the simile
of a robber who is punished by the King; the King lets him be smitten
with hundred spears in the morning, hundred at noon and hundred in
the evening. The nutriment which is consciousness should be regarded
as sorrowful as the pain suffered by that robber. We read:
Even so, monks, do I declare that the food called consciousness should
be regarded. When consciousness, monks, is well understood, nåma and
are well understood. When nåma and rúpa are well understood,
I declare that there is nothing further that the ariyan disciple has to do.
When we consider the three kinds of mental nutriment under the aspect
of the Dependent Origination it reminds us of their dangers, of the fact
that they lead to dukkha. At each moment citta experiences an object,
but so long as we cling to the experiencing of objects we cannot see the
disadvantages of the nutriments. We may not understand, for example,
the danger of seeing. Seeing merely experiences visible object and it
does not know whether the object is pleasant or unpleasant; at that
119Craving for sense pleasures, craving for becoming and craving for non-becoming.
120In the Dependent Origination consciousness is a link which conditions nåma and rúpa.
moment there is no like or dislike. After the seeing, however, there are.107
javana-cittas, and when we are not intent on what is wholesome the
javana-cittas are akusala cittas. Most of the time they are akusala cittas.
As soon as we have seen food lobha-múla-cittas tend to arise. The
attachment may not be accompanied by pleasant feeing but by
indifferent feeling and then we may not know that there is attachment.
We do not all the time perform deeds through the body or through
speech, but there are countless moments of thinking and these are
mostly akusala. On account of the objects which are experienced
through the senses defilements arise and they are accumulated from life
to life. When we understand the danger of defilements we can be
reminded to be aware of the realities which appear, also of defilements.
Otherwise akusala can never be eradicated.
The Påli word "indriya" means strength, governing or controlling
principle. Indriyas are "leaders" for the associated dhammas, but they
are leaders each in their own field. In the case of indriya-paccaya,
faculty-condition, the conditioning dhamma (paccaya dhamma) has
leadership, great control, over the conditioned dhammas
(paccayupanna dhammas). Some indriyas are rúpa and some are nåma.
We read in the "Visuddhimagga" (XVI, 1) that there are twentytwo
indriyas. They are:
The five senses which are the faculties of eye, ear, nose, tongue
life faculty (one is rúpa and one is nåma)
bodily pleasure faculty
pleasant feeling faculty
unpleasant feeling faculty
equanimity (indifferent feeling) faculty
"I-shall-come-to-know-the-unknown" faculty (an-aññåtañ-
higher knowledge faculty (aññindriya)
faculty of him who knows (aññåtåvindriya)
Of these twentytwo faculties, twenty are faculty-condition and two,
namely the femininity faculty and the masculinity faculty, are not
faculty-condition as we will see.
The five sense-bases control the functions of the sense-cognitions
(seeing, hearing, etc.), they condition these cittas by way of faculty-condition.
They arise previously to the sense-cognitions and are still
present while they control them, thus, they are base-prenascent
faculties. Without the eye faculty there cannot be seeing, it conditions
seeing-consciousness and its accompanying cetasikas by way of faculty-condition.
The rúpa (pasåda-rúpa) which is eyesense is the eye faculty;
it is leader in its own field, in seeing. It cannot be leader in the field of
hearing. We read in the "Paììhåna" (Faultless Triplet, VII, Investigation
Chapter, § 430) about the faculties which are the five senses, under the
section indeterminate dhamma (avyåkata, neither kusala nor akusala,
including vipåkacitta, kiriyacitta or rúpa) that indeterminate dhamma
which is rúpa is related to another indeterminate dhamma which is
vipåkacitta by way of faculty-condition:
Eye-faculty is related to eye-consciousness by faculty-condition; ear-faculty
to ear-consciousness... nose-faculty to nose-consciousness...
tongue-faculty to tongue-consciousness... body-faculty is related to
body-consciousness by faculty-condition.
The rúpas which are the five senses are also physical bases or places of
origin, vatthus; they condition the five pairs of sense-cognitions, the
dvi-pañca-viññåùas, also by dependence-condition, nissaya-paccaya (see
Ch 6), and by prenascence-condition, pure-jåta-paccaya (see Ch 9),
since they have to arise previously to the citta for which they are the
base. The faculties which are rúpa are produced by kamma. The quality
of these faculties is different for different people: some have keen
eyesense, others have weak eyesense, and the same for the other
One may wonder why the rúpas which are the five senses are faculties.110
and why, for example, the four Great Elements on which the other
rúpas depend are not faculties. If there were no senses the four Great
Elements could not even appear. Objects can only be experienced
because there are faculties which condition the experience of objects by
way of faculty-condition. If satipaììhåna is not developed we cannot
really understand the functions of the faculties which are the five
senses, we will have only theoretical understanding of the faculties.
When there is no awareness of realities as they appear one at a time, we
do not know when there is seeing and when there is hearing. Different
experiences seem to occur at the same time. If there can be awareness
of visible object, the reality which appears through the eyesense, we can
begin to understand that visible object could not appear without
eyesense; and thus the function of the eye faculty, the "leader" in the
field of seeing, will be clearer.
Eyesense is different from earsense or bodysense. The senses do not
belong to a self who could coordinate the different functions of seeing,
hearing and the other experiences. We are inclined to confuse the
different realities which appear at different moments; we may not be
able to distinguish, for example, the characteristic of seeing from the
characteristic of touching.
The "Book of Analysis" (Ch 5, Analysis of the Controlling Faculties, §
220) reminds us that the faculties are non-self. We read:
Therein what is controlling faculty of eye? That eye which, derived from
the four great essentials (the four great Elements
), is sensitive
surface... this is an empty village. This is called controlling faculty of
The same is said of the other senses, they are all empty villages. The
"Atthasaliní" (II, Book II, Ch III, 309) explains "empty village":
"And this is an empty village", refers to its being common to many and
to the absence of a possessor.
121The eyesense arises in a group of rúpas which includes the four great Elements of
solidity, cohesion, temperature and motion which are present in each group of rúpas. All
rúpas other than the four great Elements are "derived rúpas", upådå-rúpas and these are
dependent on the four great Elements.There cannot be eyesense without solidity,
cohesion, temperature and motion.
Just as an empty village is unoccupied, so the eye and the other senses.111
have no possessor, they are anattå, non-self.
The five faculties which are the five senses (pasåda rúpas) are sense-doors
as well as physical bases (vatthus). The heart-base (hadaya-vatthu)
is the rúpa which is the physical base for the cittas other than
the sense-cognitions. One may wonder why the heart-base is not a
faculty, indriya. Objects do not impinge on the heart-base, the heart-base
is not a doorway through which objects are experienced; it is not a
"leader", a controlling principle in the experiencing of objects. The
heart-base is different from the mind-door. The mind-door through
which objects are experienced is a citta, the last bhavanga-citta arising
before the mind-door adverting-consciousness which is the first citta of
the mind-door process
. As regards the five faculties which are the
senses, they control the strength or weakness of the cittas dependent on
them. The eye faculty, for example, controls seeing; keen and bad
eyesight are due to the quality of the eye faculty and it is the same with
the other four sense faculties. The heart-base does not in this way
control the cittas which are dependent on it since it is not a faculty
As regards mind faculty, manindriya, all eightynine types of citta are
mind faculty. This faculty, unlike the five sense faculties, arises together
with the realities it conditions by way of faculty-condition, indriya-paccaya.
Citta is the "leader" in cognizing an object, in this field it rules
over the associated dhammas. The accompanying cetasikas share the
same object, but they do not cognize it in the same way as citta which is
the leader. If there would be no citta, cetasikas could not arise; citta is
the basis and foundation for the cetasikas. Citta conditions the
accompanying cetasikas and also the rúpa it produces by way of
conascent faculty-condition. When we gesticulate or speak there are
rúpas conditioned by citta by way of faculty-condition; citta has
controlling power over these rúpas. However, mind faculty does not
last, it falls away immediately. We should not, while we speak or
gesticulate, take the citta which produces rúpas for self. Neither should
we take those rúpas for self; they arise because of conditions and fall
away again. The mind-faculty which is the paìisandhi-citta arising at the
moment of rebirth does not produce rúpa but it conditions the kamma
produced rúpa by way of conascent faculty-condition
122See Appendix 1.
123See Guide to Conditional Relations I, Ch II, 16 b, Base-Prenascence-Faculty, by U
124The first citta in life, the paìisandhi-citta, is too weak to produce rúpa. At that moment
kamma which produces the paìisandhi-citta also produces rúpas at the same time.
The rúpas which are femininity faculty and masculinity faculty.112
(itthindriya and purisindriya) have been classified as faculties, since
they condition the characteristic marks, appearance and disposition of
the sexes. However, they are not faculty-condition; they do not
condition other phenomena by way of faculty-condition.
As to life faculty, jívitindriya, there are two kinds: nåma-jívitindriya and
rúpa-jívitindriya. Nåma-jívitindriya which is a cetasika, one of the seven
arising with every citta, controls and maintains the life of
the associated dhammas. It conditions the associated dhammas and the
rúpa produced by them by way of faculty-condition. As to rúpa-jívitindriya,
this is classified separately in the "Paììhåna"
. It maintains
the life of the kamma-produced rúpas it has arisen together with in one
group. It is related to them by way of faculty-condition. In the groups of
rúpa produced by kamma there is always jívitindriya, whereas in the
groups of rúpa produced by citta, temperature and nutrition there is no
So long as there is life faculty, there will be feelings. The five kinds of
feelings which are pleasant bodily feeling, painful bodily feeling,
pleasant (mental) feeling, unpleasant (mental) feeling and indifferent
feeling are faculties. We can experience that bodily pain is a faculty, a
"leader" or controlling principle in its own field. It controls the
experiencing of the "flavour" of an unpleasant object and it can make us
suffer intensely. Even though we are in pleasant surroundings we
cannot rejoice when we suffer pain. At such a moment we cannot
experience anything else but pain. The faculties of pleasant bodily
feeling, pleasant mental feeling, unpleasant (mental) feeling or
indifferent feeling condition the dhammas arising together with them by
way of conascent faculty-condition. We read in the "Visuddhimagga"
(XVI, 10) about the functions of the faculties which are the five feelings:
125The seven universals are the following cetasikas: contact (phassa), volition (cetanå),
vitality (jívita or jívitindriya), concentration (ekaggatå cetasika) and attention
126This rúpa has not been classified among the prenascent faculties, the sense bases,
neither has it been classified among the conascent faculties. It does not control the
dhammas it arises together with at the moment of its arising, but after that moment, at
the "static phase". That is why it has been classified separately. When compared with
nåma, rúpa lasts as long as seventeen moments of citta, or, when we take into
consideration that there are three moments of citta: its arising moment, the moment of
its presence and the moment of its falling away, rúpa lasts as long as three times
seventeen moments, fiftyone moments of citta. At its aring moment rúpa is too weak to
condition other realities. During the moments of its presence, before it falls away,
rúpa-jívitindriya conditions the dhammas it has arisen together with by way of faculty-condition..113
... That of the faculties of pleasure, pain, joy and grief, is to govern
conascent states and impart their own particular mode of grossness to
those states. That of the equanimity faculty is to impart to them the
mode of quiet, superiority and neutrality.
According to the "Visuddhimagga" (XVI, 128) pain makes the associated
states "wither" and pleasant bodily feeling "intensifies" the associated
states. When there is awareness of feelings we will understand that they
"govern" or rule over dhammas arising together with them, that they
are controlling faculties. As to indifferent feeling, this is quiet in
comparison with the other feelings.
The three mental feelings condition the citta and other cetasikas arising
together with them and also mind produced rúpa by way of faculty-condition.
Pleasant and painful bodily feeling accompany body-consciousness
which is vipåkacitta. As we have seen, the vipåkacittas
which are the five pairs of sense-cognitions (seeing, hearing, etc.) do
not produce rúpa. At rebirth, feeling conditions the associated dhammas
and rúpa produced by kamma by way of faculty-condition.
We attach great importance to feeling, we let ourselves be carried away
by the feelings which arise on account of pleasant or unpleasant objects
we experience through the senses. If there would not be feelings on
account of what we see, hear or experience through the other senses,
there would not be so much sorrow in life. We are enslaved to our
feelings, but they are only realities which arise because of the
appropriate conditions and do not last.
As we have seen, some of the faculties are rúpa and some are nåma. The
faculties which are nåma condition other phenomena while they are
conascent with them. The faculties which are the five senses have to
arise prior to the nåmas they condition by way of faculty-condition.
Without the faculties there could not be the experience of the different
objects which impinge on the senses. Without the eye faculty visible
object could not appear and without the ear faculty sound could not
appear. The "world" appears through the six doorways because there
are the faculties performing their functions. So long as we do not
distinguish the sense faculties from each other we cling to a concept of
self who can see, hear and think, all at the same time. In reality there is
only one citta at a time which experiences one object. Each experience
arises because of its appropriate conditions and falls away immediately,
it is non-self. The following sutta stresses the importance of
understanding the faculties which are the senses and the mind. They.114
have to be understood as impermanent, dukkha and anattå. If they are
not understood as they are one cannot attain enlightenment. We read in
the "Kindred Sayings" (V, Mahå-vagga, Book IV, Kindred Sayings on the
Faculties, Ch III, § 6, Stream-winner):
Monks, there are these six sense-faculties. What are the six? The sense-faculty
of eye, that of ear, of nose, tongue, body and the sense-faculty of
mind. These are the six sense-faculties. When the ariyan disciple
understands, as they really are, the arising and the perishing of, the
satisfaction in, the misery of and the escape from these six sense-faculties,
such an ariyan disciple, monks, is called "Streamwinner
(sotåpanna), one not doomed to Purgatory
, one assured, one bound
Furthermore, there are five faculties which are: faith or confidence
(saddhå), energy (viriya), mindfulness (sati), concentration (samådhi)
and understanding (paññå). They control the accompanying dhammas
and mind produced rúpa, they condition them by way of faculty-condition.
Among these five cetasikas energy and concentration can be
akusala or sobhana, the other three are always sobhana. The five
faculties are sometimes referred to as the "spiritual faculties" but in that
case they are sobhana. They are included in the "factors of
enlightenment" (bodhipakkiya dhammas) which should be developed
for the attaining of enlightenment. The five "spiritual faculties"
condition mahå-kusala cittas, mahå-vipåkacittas and mahå-kiriyacittas
and also mind produced rúpa by way of faculty-condition.
The five spiritual faculties are developed in samatha and then they lead
to the attainment of jhåna. When someone has accumulated skill in
jhåna, different stages of rúpa-jhåna and arúpa-jhåna can be attained.
The five spiritual faculties condition the rúpåvacara cittas and
arúpåvacara cittas by way of faculty-condition. They also condition rúpa
produced by these cittas. Arúpåvacara vipåkacitta does not produce
rúpa since it arises in the arúpa-brahma planes where there is no rúpa.
The five spiritual faculties are also developed in vipassanå. They
overcome their opposites. Faith or confidence in wholesomeness
overcomes lack of confidence. Wholesomeness cannot be developed
when we do not see its benefit. We may believe that we see the
127Hell, or hell planes. Existence in a hell plane is not eternal, therefore the translator
disadvantage of anger, but in the different situations in daily life we are.115
negligent. Before we realize it we have spoken angry words and at such
moments we do not see the disadvantage of akusala, there is no
confidence in kusala. There can be training in wholesomeness little by
little, and then it can be accumulated so that there will be more
conditions for its arising. Energy which is wholesome overcomes
indolence. The "Book of Analysis"( Ch 5, 123, 124) states about the
faculty of energy:
Therein what is controlling faculty of energy? That which is the
arousing of mental energy, toiling, endeavour, aspiring, effort, zeal,
perseverance, vigour, stability, unfaltering endeavour, not relinquishing
wish, not relinquishing the task, firm hold of the task, energy,
controlling faculty of energy, power of energy. This is called controlling
faculty of energy.
There is no self who exerts energy, energy is a cetasika, a faculty,
arising because of its appropriate conditions. Energy is "not
relinquishing the task". When one develops insight energy is not
relinquishing the task of being mindful of nåma and rúpa, not shrinking
back from considering their characteristics over and over again. When
there is the faculty of energy one does not lose courage even if one does
not see much result. We cannot expect spectacular results immediately.
The faculty of sati overcomes negligence of kusala, including negligence
of developing right understanding of nåma and rúpa. Concentration
overcomes distraction. In the development of insight it conditions the
citta to focus on the reality appearing at the present moment. One
should not force oneself to concentrate on any reality, because then
there is bound to be clinging to a concept of self who concentrates.
Concentration performs its function already while it arises together with
right understanding. The faculty of paññå overcomes ignorance of the
four noble Truths. The five spiritual faculties have to be developed
together so that the four noble Truths can be realized.
These faculties will not develop merely by having faith in one’s teacher,
one has to develop them oneself. We read in the "Kindred Sayings" (V,
Book IV, Kindred Sayings on the Faculties, Ch V, § 4, Eastern
Gatehouse) that the Buddha, while he was staying at Såvatthí, in
Eastern Garehouse, asked Såriputta:
"Do you believe, Såriputta, that the controlling faculty of faith... of
energy... of mindfulness... of concentration... that the controlling faculty.116
of insight, if cultivated and made much of, plunges into the Deathless,
has the Deathless for its goal, the Deathless for its ending?"
The "Deathless" is nibbåna. We read that Såriputta answered:
"In this matter, lord, I walk not by faith in the Exalted One, to wit: that
the controlling faculty of faith... of energy... of mindfulness... of
concentration... that the controlling faculty of insight, if cultivated and
made much of, plunges into the Deathless, has the Deathless for its
goal, the Deathless for its ending.
They, lord, who have not realized, not seen, not understood, not made
sure of, not attained this fact by insight,-- such may well walk by faith in
others (in believing) that the controlling faculty of faith... that of
insight, if cultivated and made much of, may so end.
But, lord, they who have realized, seen, understood, made sure of, they
who have attained this fact by insight,-- such are free from doubt, free
from wavering, (in believing) that the controlling faculty of faith, of
energy, of mindfulness, of concentration, of insight, if cultivated and
made much of... will so end.
But I, lord, have realized it, I have seen, understood and made sure of it,
I have attained it by insight, I am free from doubt about it, that the
controlling faculty of faith, of energy, of mindfulness, of concentration,
of insight, does plunge into the Deathless, has the Deathless for its goal,
the Deathless for its ending."
We then read that the Buddha approved of Såriputta’s words.
We read in the same section of the "Kindred Sayings" (§ 10, Faith) that
the Buddha, while staying among the Angas at Market, asked Såriputta:
"Tell me, Såriputta, could an ariyan disciple who is utterly devoted to,
who has perfect faith in the Tathågata,-- could an ariyan disciple have
any doubt or wavering as to the Tathågata or the Tathågata’s teaching?"
Såriputta said that the ariyan disciple who has perfect faith in the
Tathågata could have no doubt as to the Tathågata or his teaching and
that he develops the controlling faculties of faith, energy, mindfulness,
concentration and insight. We read that he said about the controlling
faculty of insight:.117
"Again, lord, of a faithful ariyan disciple who is established in
mindfulness, whose thought is tranquillized, this may be expected: he
will fully understand ‘A world without end is the round of rebirth. No
beginning can be seen of beings hindered by ignorance, bound by
craving, who run on, who fare on through the round of rebirth. The
utter passionless ceasing of ignorance, of this body of darkness, is this
blissful state, this excellent state, to wit:- the calming down of all the
activities, the giving up of all bases (for rebirth), the destruction of
craving, dispassion, cessation, nibbåna.’ His insight, lord, is the
controlling faculty of insight.
Lord, that faithful ariyan disciple, thus striving and striving again, thus
recollecting again and again, thus again and again composing his mind,
thus clearly discerning again and again, gains utter confidence, when he
considers: ‘As to those things which formerly I had only heard tell of,
now I dwell having experienced them in my own person: now by insight
have I pierced them through and see them plain.’ Herein, lord, his
confidence is the controlling faculty of confidence."
We then read that the Buddha approved of Såriputta’s words.
When the five "spiritual faculties" are still weak we should realize that
also in the past they were weak. That is the reason why there are not
enough conditions for their arising at the present time. When we keep
on listening to the Dhamma and considering what we heard the five
"spiritual faculties" can develop. They lead to the experiencing of the
"Deathless", of nibbåna, but we do not know in which life that will
happen. It is useless to have desire for the attainment of enlightenment,
desire is counteractive to the development of understanding. We should
only be intent on our task of this moment: developing more
understanding of the reality which appears now.
There are three faculties which are lokuttara paññå. They control the
purity of understanding at the moment of enlightenment and they
condition the accompanying dhammas by way of conascent faculty-condition.
The first one is the faculty of "I-shall-come-to-know-the-unknown"
and this is the lokuttara paññå which accompanies the
magga-citta (lokuttara kusala citta) of the sotåpanna. The sotåpanna
comes to know what was not known before, nibbåna. Lokuttara paññå
is conditioned by the sobhana cetasikas which have been accumulated
from life to life. These cetasikas which are included in
saòkhårakkhandha (the khandha of "formations", consisting of all.118
cetasikas except feeling and remembrance, saññå) are supporting one
another and together they constitute the conditions for attaining
enlightenment. It is encouraging to know that all good qualities such as
generosity, patience and kindness, all the "perfections"
together with right understanding, are never lost. They have to be
developed life after life and thus they can constitute the conditions for
the realisation of the four noble Truths later on. When we think of the
accumulation of wholesome qualities we may believe that there is a
mere "heaping up" of wholesome inclinations, but there is more to it.
Conditions are formed for a completely new situation, namely, the
arising of the lokuttara magga-citta which eradicates defilements and
The "higher knowledge faculty" is lokuttara paññå which accompanies
the phala-citta (fruition consciousness, lokuttara vipåkacitta) of the
sotåpanna, the magga-citta and the phala-citta of the sakadågåmí
(once-returner who has realised the second stage of enlightenment),
and those of the anågåmí (non-returner, who has realised the third
stage of enlightenment), and also the magga-citta of the arahat. The
"faculty of him who knows" arises with the phala-citta of the arahat.
These three faculties which are lokuttara condition the lokuttara cittas
and cetasikas they accompany by way of faculty-condition
. When the
third lokuttara faculty arises there is nothing more to be realized, all
defilements have been eradicated.
When the characteristics of conditioned dhammas are not yet fully
known nibbåna cannot be realized. The "five spiritual faculties" have to
be developed during countless lives so that eventually the three faculties
which are lokuttara can arise.
128The Bodhisatta developed the "perfections" during aeons, with the purpose of
becoming a Buddha. They are the following wholesome qualities: liberality, morality,
renunciation, wisdom, energy, patience, truthfulness, determination, lovingkindness and
129Realities can be considered under different aspects and they can be a condition for
other realities in different ways. As we will see, lokuttara paññå is also a condition as
Path factor. When lokuttara paññå is considered under the aspect of faculty, as faculty-condition,
there are three kinds..119
In the case of jhåna-condition, jhåna-paccaya, the cetasikas which are
jhåna-factors are the conditioning dhammas which cause the citta and
accompaying cetasikas, the conditioned dhammas, to fix themselves
firmly on the object which is experienced. In the "Visuddhimagga", in
the section on the development of samatha, tranquil meditation (Ch 4),
five jhåna-factors are summed up, sobhana cetasikas which should be
developed in order to reach jhåna, absorption. These factors assist the
citta to be absorbed in the meditation subject. When jhånacitta arises
there are no longer sense impressions and there is temporary freedom
from defilements. Jhånacitta is of a higher level of citta than kåmåvara
citta, citta of the sense sphere. The word jhåna has been explained as
being derived from "jhåyati", to contemplate, or to think closely of an
object. Or else "jhåyati" can mean to burn (Vis. IV, 119)
, since the
jhåna-factors which are developed burn the "hindrances" (akusala
The jhåna-factors which are developed in samatha are sobhana
cetasikas, they have to be developed together with paññå which knows
the way to develop calm, so that absorption can be attained. However,
jhåna-factors can also be taken in a wider sense, they can even be
akusala. That is why the "Dhammasangaùi" mentions in the "Summary"
jhåna-factors arising not only with the mahå-kusala cittas which are
accompanied by paññå, but also with those which are unaccompanied
by paññå, ñåùa-vippayutta, as well as with each of the akusala cittas
Not only kusala citta but also akusala citta needs jhåna-factors which
assist the citta to be firmly fixed on an object. Even when someone
performs evil deeds he needs jhåna-factors which accompany the
akusala citta, so that he is concentrated on the object of aksusala; these
jhåna-factors condition the akusala citta by way of jhåna-condition. We
read in the "Paììhåna" (Faultless Triplet, VII, Investigation Chapter, §
431) that akusala jhåna-factors are related to their associated
aggregates ( the other nåma-kkhandhas
) by jhåna-condition. Without
130Jhåyati in the sense of burning is derived from another root.
131See § 147 a and § 397 a.
132The citta and cetasikas arising together with them.
the assistance of the jhåna-factors good or evil deeds cannot be.120
When jhåna is taken in its widest sense, the following cetasikas are
applied thinking (vitakka)
sustained thinking (vicåra)
rapture or interest (píti)
pleasant feeling (sukha)
unpleasant feeling (domanassa)
indifferent feeling (upekkhå)
Vitakka, applied thinking, "touches" the object which is experienced, it
leads citta to the object (Vis. IV, 88). When vitakka is akusala it is
wrong thinking. As to vicåra, sustained thinking, this has the
characteristic of "continued pressure" on the object, it keeps citta
"anchored" on it (Vis. IV, 88). Vitakka and vicåra accompany all cittas of
the sense sphere, except the sense-cognitions (dvi-pañcaviññåùas,
seeing, hearing, etc.) and they condition citta by way of jhåna-condition,
so that it is firmly fixed on the object it experiences. Píti,
rapture, interest or enthousiasm, takes an interest in the object, it
"refreshes" citta and cetasikas (Vis. IV, 94). In the case of cittas of the
sense sphere, kåmåvacara cittas, it arises with all cittas which are
accompanied by pleasant feeling. When it is akusala it accompanies
lobha-múla-citta. As to sukha, in this context it is the same as
somanassa, pleasant feeling. Domanassa, unpleasant feeling, can only
accompany dosa-múla-citta, citta rooted in aversion, thus, it is a jhåna-factor
which is always akusala; it asists the akusala citta to be fixed on
the object in an unwholesome way. Upekkhå, indifferent feeling, can be
kusala, akusala, or indeterminate (avyåkata); when it is indeterminate
it can be vipåka or kiriya
. Samådhi, concentration, is the cetasika
which is one-pointedness (ekaggatå). It has the function of focussing on
one object and it accompanies every citta; it can be kusala, akusala,
vipåka or kiriya. It causes the citta to be concentrated on the object it
experiences. Apart from domanassa which arises only with dosa-múla-133
As explained in my Introduction, all dhammas can be classified in the
Tripartite division of kusala dhammas, akusala dhammas and indeterminate
dhammas (avyåkata, neither kusala nor akusala). Indeterminate dhammas
include: citta and cetasika which are vipåka or kiriya, rúpa and nibbåna.
citta, the other jhåna-factors can arise with cittas which are kusala,.121
akusala or indeterminate (avyåkata). They each assist citta in their own
way so that citta can be firmly fixed on an object. The jhåna-factors
condition the associated dhammas and the mind produced rúpa by way
of jhåna-condition and also at the moment of rebirth they condition the
associated dhammas and kamma produced rúpa by way of jhåna-condition
(Paììhåna, Faultless Triplet, VII, Investigation Chapter, § 431,
VII a , b).
The subcommentary to the "Khandha-Vibhanga" (Book of Analysis I)
explains the role of the jhåna-factors in relation to mind produced rúpa
. This subcommentary calls the jhåna-factors "strength-givers" (bala-dåyaka),
they are intensifying factors which assist the citta and
accompanying cetasikas to be fixed on an object. The jhåna-factors
vitakka and vicåra play a specific role when citta produces speech. Do
we know whether there is kusala vitakka or akusala vitakka while
speech sound is being produced? When our objective is not dåna
(generosity), síla (morality) or bhåvanå (mental development), we
speak with akusala citta and this happens time and again. When citta
produces a facial expression of gladness, or when we smile, the jhåna-factor
sukha plays its specific role, the jhåna-factor píti (rapture)
"refreshes" citta, in fact, all the accompanying jhåna-factors condition
citta, the associated cetasikas and the rúpa produced by citta by way of
jhåna-condition. When someone commits an unwholesome deed, such
as killing, nåma and rúpa which arise because of conditions perform
their functions. The dosa-múla-citta is accompanied by vitakka which is
in this case thought of violence, by vicåra which is occupied with the
object, by unpleasant feeling and by concentration which causes the
citta to be firmly fixed on the object. The akusala citta and the
accompanying cetasikas and also the mind-produced rúpa are
conditioned by akusala jhåna-factors,"strength-givers" or intensifying
factors, by way of jhåna-condition. When we perform a generous deed,
the kusala citta and accompanying cetasikas and also the mind
produced rúpa are conditioned by sobhana jhåna-factors by way of
jhåna-condition. These dhammas are also conditioned by root-condition,
by faculty-condition and by several other conditions. Thus, as
we have seen, jhåna-factors are not only operating while one cultivates
jhåna, they are conditions which function time and again in daily life,
no matter whether we perform wholesome or unwholesome deeds.
134See "Abhidhamma Studies", IV, Mental Constituents, 3, Factors of
Absorption, by Ven. Nyanaponika.
The "Visuddhimagga" (Ch IV) mentions five of the seven jhåna-factors,.122
in that case sobhana cetasikas, which have to be developed in samatha
with the purpose of attaining jhåna. However, there must be paññå
which knows the characteristics of those particular jhåna-factors and
which knows the way to develop calm with a suitable meditation
subject. One will not attain true calm merely by sitting and trying to
concentrate on one object. There are forty meditation subjects of
samatha and it depends on the individual which subject is suitable as a
means to develop calm (Vis. Ch IV-Ch X). For the development of
samatha it is essential that there is paññå which knows exactly when
there is akusala citta and when there is kusala citta with calm.
The sobhana jhåna-factors have each their own function in inhibiting
the hindrances so that calm can be developed. Vitakka, applied
thinking, "touches" the meditation subject; it thinks of it in the right
way. Vicåra, sustained thinking, keeps the citta "anchored" on the
meditation subject, reviewing it over and over again so that citta will
remain fixed on the meditation subject. Vitakka inhibits the hindrances
of sloth and torpor and vicåra inhibits the hindrance of doubt. Píti,
enthusiasm, takes an interest in the meditation subject so that one is not
bored with it. It inhibits the hindrance which is ill will. Sukha which is
developed in samatha is happy feeling concerning the meditation
subject. It inhibits the hindrances which are restlessness and regret
(uddhacca and kukkucca). Upekkhå is not mentioned among the jhåna-factors
which should be developed in samatha for the attainment of
jhåna, but in the fifth stage of rúpa-jhåna
there is upekkhå instead of
sukha. Samådhi, concentration, developed in samatha, is sammå-samådhi,
which is right concentration on the meditation subject. It
inhibits the hindrance which is sensuous desire (kåma-cchandha). As
calm grows samådhi also develops. There is miccha-samådhi, wrong
concentration, and sammå-samådhi, right concentration. If there is no
paññå which knows precisely when there is kusala citta and when
akusala citta, wrong concentration can be taken for right concentration.
Someone may mistakenly believe that there is calm when he just sits
and for example looks for a long time at a kasina (disk) which is among
the meditation subjects of samatha. Instead of true calm which is
wholesome there is clinging to quietness.
Not merely intellectual understanding of the jhåna-factors is needed for
135Fine material jhåna. The meditation subjects of rúpa-jhåna are still
dependent on materiality, whereas the meditation subjects of arúpa-jhåna,
immaterial jhåna, are not.
the development of calm but there must also be right understanding.123
which discerns precisely their different characteristics. When one
underestimates the difficulty of the development of jhåna there is bound
to be wrong concentration. It is difficult to distinguish between different
jhåna-factors such as vitakka and vicåra. While we are thinking, there
are vitakka and vicåra performing their functions, they arise together;
but do we discern their different characteristics? Do we know the
characteristic of píti, rapture, and can we distinguish it from sukha,
pleasant feeling? When we find out for ourselves how difficult it is to
distinguish between these jhåna-factors, we will understand that a high
degree of paññå is needed for the development of the jhåna-factors.
When someone has attained the first stage of rúpa-jhåna the rúpåvacara
kusala citta is accompanied by all five jhåna-factors and these condition
that citta by way of jhåna-condition. After having emerged from jhåna
one has to review the jhåna-factors with mindfulness and right
understanding (Vis. IV, 138). Also in samatha mindfulness and right
understanding are needed but the aim is not, as is the case in vipassanå,
to see realities as non-self. The jhåna-factors are progressively
abandoned as higher stages of jhåna are attained. A high degree of
paññå is needed which discerns how to abandon the jhåna-factors so
that the higher stages of jhåna which are more refined and tranquil can
be reached. At the highest stage of rúpa-jhåna only the factors upekkhå
and samådhi are left (Vis. Ch IV). The arúpåvacara cittas (of arúpa-jhåna,
immaterial jhåna) are accompanied only by the jhåna-factors
upekkhå and samådhi.
Jhåna-factors which are sobhana condition each kusala citta, and thus
they also condition the kusala citta which develops vipassanå by way of
jhåna-condition. In vipassanå the aim is not the suppression of the
hindrances by the development of the sobhana jhåna-factors, as is the
case in samatha. Some people think that the hindrances have to be
suppressed first before there can be right understanding of nåma and
rúpa. In vipassanå, however, right understanding is developed of
whatever reality appears, also when that reality is a "hindrance". When
it appears it does so because it is conditioned. All conditioned realities
have to be known as they are, as non-self. At the moment of right
understanding of the characteristic of a hindrance such as desire or ill
will, the citta is kusala citta and there is no hindrance.
There is no rule that samatha should be developed before vipassanå can
be developed. Some people develop samatha, others do not, and this
depends on conditions. People are born with different inclinations,
different talents, different possibilities. Our life is an unbroken series of
cittas and thus, inclinations can be accumulated from one moment to.124
the next moment. The bhavanga-citta which succeeds the paìisandhi-citta
is conditioned by that citta by way of proximity-condition,
anantara-paccaya, and each following citta is conditioned by the
preceding one by way of proximity-condition. Cittas are conditioned by
many different conditions and there is no self who could alter the cittas
Lokuttara cittas are conditioned by sobhana jhåna-factors by way of
jhåna-condition. The jhåna-factors are included in the enlightenment
which perform their functions so that enlightenment can be
attained. The magga-citta (lokuttara kusala citta) eradicates defilements
in accordance with the stage of enlightenment which is attained. The
jhåna-factors condition the lokuttara citta to be steadfast and highly
concentrated on the object which is nibbåna. Thus, nibbåna appears
very clearly to the lokuttara citta and there is a high degree of calm.
Some people who attain enlightenment have developed samatha and
attained jhåna, others have not attained jhåna. Those who are proficient
in jhåna and also develop insight can take jhånacitta as object of
insight; jhåna is then the basis of insight. In that way they can become
detached from the idea that jhånacitta is self. We read in the "Kindred
Sayings"(III, Khandhå-vagga, XXVIII, Kindred Sayings on Såriputta, § 1,
Solitude) about a conversation between Såriputta and Ånanda. We read
that Ånanda said to Såriputta:
"Calm are your senses, friend Såriputta, clear and translucent the colour
of your face. In what mood has the venerable Såriputta been spending
"Friend, I have been dwelling aloof from passions, aloof from things
evil, with my thought applied and sustained ( with vitakka and vicåra)
in first jhåna, which is born of solitude and full of zest (píti) and
happiness (sukha). To me thus, friend, the thought never came: ‘It is I
who am attaining first jhåna,’ or ‘It is I who have attained first jhåna,’ or
‘It is I who have emerged from first jhåna.’ "
"Surely for a long time have leanings to I-making, to mine-making and
to vanity been well rooted out from the venerable Såriputta. That is
why it occurs not to the venerable Såriputta: ‘It is I who am attaining
first jhåna,’ or ‘It is I who have attained first jhåna,’ or ‘It is I who have
136Bodhipakkhiya dhammas, wholesome qualities which should be developed for
the attainment of enlightenment.
emerged from first jhåna.’ ".125
In the following suttas we read that Såriputta did not take the higher
stages of rúpa-jhåna nor the stages of arúpa-jhåna for self.
For those who are proficient in jhåna and attain enlightenment the
lokuttara cittas can be accompanied by jhåna-factors of the different
stages of jhåna, depending on the stage of jhåna which was the basis of
insight just before they attained enlightenment. Since there are five
stages of jhåna, the eight types of lokuttara cittas
accompanied by jhåna-factors of five stages of jhåna
, and thus there
can be forty types of lokuttara cittas instead of eight types. The degree
and the amount of the jhåna-factors which condition a citta at a
particular moment are variegated, and this is dependent on many
As we have seen, those who are proficient in jhåna, who have jhåna as
basis of insight, can attain enlightenment with lokuttara jhånacittas,
lokuttara cittas accompanied by jhåna-factors of the different stages of
jhåna. The magga-citta (path-consciousness) is followed immediately, in
the same process, by its result, the phala-citta (fruition-consciousness),
and then, after that process is over, other types of citta arise. However,
phala-cittas which experience nibbåna can arise again in other processes
of citta, many times during their life. This is not possible for those who
attained enlightenment but who were not proficient in jhåna and did
not have jhåna as basis of insight. Thus we see that people have
different accumulations. However, for all those who have attained
enlightenment defilements are progressively eradicated depending on
the stage of enlightenment one has attained. We should not have desire
for the attainment of jhåna. A high degree of paññå is needed for the
development of the jhåna-factors so that jhåna can be attained. The
disciples of the Buddha who were able to do so had accumulated a high
proficiency in samatha during many lives. Instead of wishing for
something that cannot be reached we should pay attention to what can
be done right now. We can develop right understanding of the realities
which have arisen already because of their own conditions. This kind of
understanding leads to the eradication of defilements and that is the
137At each of the four stages of enlightenment arise one type of lokuttara kusala
citta and one type of lokuttara vipåkacitta.
138See my "Abhidhamma in daily life, Ch. 23. As regards the four stages of
arúpa-jhåna, they are accompanied by the same jhåna-factors as those of the
fifth stage of rúpa-jhåna, namely samådhi and upekkhå.
goal of the Buddha’s teachings..126
In the case of path-condition, magga-paccaya, the cetasikas which are
called path-factors are the conditioning dhammas (paccayas) and these
are related to the dhammas arising together with them, the conditioned
dhammas (paccayupanna dhammas), by way of path-condition, magga-paccaya.
The path-factors which are path-condition are not merely the
factors of the noble eightfold Path which leads to enlightenment, but
the term path-factor should be taken in a wider sense. Path-factors can
be akusala cetasikas which constitute the wrong path, or they can be
sobhana cetasikas which constitute the right path. The path-factors of
the wrong path lead downwards, to an unhappy rebirth, and the path-factors
of the right path lead to a happy rebirth, or, when they are
constituents of the noble eightfold Path, they lead to deliverance from
the cycle of birth and death.
In the "Dialologues of the Buddha" (III, no. 33, The Recital, VIII) the
path-factors of the wrong path are summed up as follows:
Eight wrong factors of character and conduct, to wit, wrong views,
thinking, speech, action, livelihood, effort, mindfulness, concentration.
Wrong speech, wrong action and wrong livelihood are not cetasikas, but
they are unwholesome actions motivated by akusala cetanå,
unwholesome volition, which accompanies akusala citta. Neither is
wrong mindfulness a cetasika, but it designates lack of attention to
kusala, lack of mindfulness which is a property of akusala citta. The
cetasika mindfulness, sati, can only accompany sobhana citta, it cannot
be akusala. Since the four factors of wrong speech, wrong action, wrong
livelihood and wrong mindfulness are not cetasikas they are not
conditioning factors of path-condition.
The other four factors of the wrong path are akusala cetasikas, namely:
wrong view, wrong thinking, wrong effort and wrong concentration.
Thus, they are conditioning factors of path-condition. We read in the
"Paììhåna" (Faultless Triplet, VII, Investigation Chapter, § 432, IV):
Faulty state (akusala dhamma) is related to faulty state by path-condition.
Faulty path-factors are related to their associated.128
Wrong view (micchå-diììhi) is an akusala cetasika arising with four
types of lobha-múla-citta
. There can be wrong view about kamma
and vipåka, one may believe that good and bad deeds do not produce
their appropriate results. It is wrong view to take realities for
permanent or for "self". Wrong view conditions wrong practice of the
Dhamma, it conditions taking the wrong path for the right path. This
happens, for example, when someone believes that he should not be
aware of akusala, that akusala should be suppressed before vipassanå
can be developed. By understanding that akusala citta is conditioned by
numerous factors, some of which are stemming from the past, and some
of which are factors of the present, we can be reminded to be aware of
akusala in order to see it as a conditioned nåma, not self.
When someone teaches wrong practice the speech he utters is a kind of
rúpa produced by citta. Wrong view conditions that speech by way of
path-condition. The "Paììhåna" (in the same section, § 432, V), under
the heading of akusala dhamma which conditions indeterminate
dhamma, states that akusala path-factors condition mind-produced rúpa
by way of path-condition. As we have seen, indeterminate dhamma,
avyåkata dhamma, is neither kusala nor akusala. Conditioned dhammas
which are indeterminate include: vipåka-citta, kiriyacitta and rúpa. In
the following definition indeterminate dhamma means rúpa. We read:
(V) Faulty state (akusala dhamma) is related to indeterminate state by
Faulty path-factors are related to mind-produced matter by path-condition.
In the next item, under the section of akusala dhamma which conditions
(another) akusala dhamma and indeterminate dhamma, the "Paììhåna"
states that akusala path-factors condition the accompanying citta and
139The akusala cetasikas which are factors of the wrong path are the khandha of
formations (saòkhåra-kkhandha, including all cetasikas except feeling and
saññå, remembrance or perception). The associated khandhas (the nåma-khandhas
which arise together with saòkhårakkhandha) are vedanå-kkhandha,
saññå-kkhandha and viññåùa-kkhandha.
140See Appendix 2.
cetasikas and also rúpa produced by citta by way of path-condition. We.129
(VI) Faulty state is related to faulty and indeterminate state by path-condition.
Faulty path-factors are related to (their) associated khandhas and
mind-produced matter by path-condition.
Wrong thinking (micchå-saòkappa) is the cetasika vitakka, thinking,
which "touches" the object so that citta can cognize it. This factor can
also condition wrong speech by way of path-condition. When we
slander, wrong thinking conditions the words we utter by way of path-condition.
Wrong effort (micchå-våyåma) is viriya cetasika which is akusala. It
strengthens and supports the accompanying dhammas so that they can
perform their functions in an unwholesome way.
Wrong concentration (micchå-samådhi) is ekaggatå cetasika which
conditions citta to focus on one object. Wrong concentration conditions
akusala citta to focus on the object in an unwholesome way.
The factors of the wrong path perform each their own function while
they condition citta, cetasikas and mind-produced rúpa by way of
path-condition. While the factors of the wrong path condition the
accompanying dhammas there can be wrong speech, wrong action and
wrong livelihood. We can easily indulge in idle speech and this may not
seem to be harmful. However, one kind of akusala can lead to other
kinds of akusala by way of natural decisive support-condition,
pakatúpanissaya paccaya, as we have seen
. Any degree of akusala is
dangerous. The study of the factors of the wrong path can remind us to
realize when we are on the wrong path which leads downwards.
Someone may take wrong effort for right effort and wrong
concentration for right concentration. He may for example try very hard
to focus on a particular object such as breath without right
understanding of what breath is: a rúpa conditioned by citta. He may
believe that he can develop calm with concentration on breath but he
does not realize when there is desire for result instead of kusala citta
with calm. Or someone may think that he should try to concentrate on
rúpas of the body and that he in that way can experience the arising
and falling away of realities. The development of the eigthfold Path is
141See Chapter 8.
the development of right understanding of any reality which appears.130
because of conditions. If someone selects particular realities as objects
of awareness or if he tries to apply himself to certain techniques in
order to hasten the development of insight he is on the wrong path.
The factors of the right path are the following sobhana cetasikas:
right view (sammå-diììhi)
right thinking (sammå-saòkappa)
right speech (sammå-våcå)
right action (sammå-kammanta)
right livelihood (sammå-åjíva)
right effort (sammå-våyåma)
right mindfulness (sammå-sati)
right concentration (sammå-samådhi)
We read about these factors in the "Paììhåna" (Faultless Triplet, VII,
Investigation Chapter, § 432) under the following three headings:
kusala dhamma conditions (other) kusala dhammas, kusala dhamma
conditions indeterminate dhamma (namely rúpa, produced by citta),
kusala dhamma conditions (other) kusala dhammas and indeterminate
dhamma (rúpa, produced by citta):
(I) Faultless state (kusala dhamma) is related to faultless state by
Faultless path factors are related to (their) associated khandhas by
(II) Faultless state is related to indeterminate state by path-condition.
Faultless path-factors are related to mind-produced matter by path-condition.
(III) Faultless state is related to faultless and indeterminate state by
Faultless path-factors are related to (their) associated khandhas and
mind-produced matter by path-condition.
The factors of the right path are sobhana cetasikas which condition
sobhana cittas. They condition mahå-kusala cittas, mahå-vipåkacittas
and mahå-kiriyacittas and also mind-produced matter by way of path-condition.
They condition rúpåvacara cittas and arúpåvacara cittas by
way of path-condition. They also condition lokuttara cittas by way of.131
. Not all path-factors arise with each kind of sobhana
citta. The quality and the degree of the path-factors is variegated since
they accompany different kinds of sobhana cittas. As we have seen, citta
and the accompanying cetasikas condition one another by conascence-condition,
by mutuality-condition, by dependence-condition and by
other conditions. Evenso the sobhana citta and the cetasikas which are
the path-factors condition one another in these different ways. Sobhana
cittas may arise without the path-factor sammå-diììhi, paññå or right
understanding, or they may be accompanied by sammå-diììhi. As we
have seen, the development of the right path leads to happy rebirths or
to freedom from the cycle of birth and death. The performing of
wholesome deeds without the development of right understanding of
nåma and rúpa can lead to a happy rebirth, but it does not lead to the
eradication of the wrong view of self and of the other defilements, and
thus, it does not lead to freedom from rebirth.
The path-factor sammå-diììhi can have many degrees. It can be
intellectual understanding of kusala and akusala and their results, or
paññå which directly understands kusala as kusala and akusala as
akusala, or right understanding of nåma and rúpa as non-self. Only
right understanding of the true nature of nåma and rúpa will lead to
detachment from the "self" and from all realities, and then there will be
freedom from the cycle of birth and death. When the noble eightfold
Path which leads to the end of rebirth is being developed the object of
paññå is a nåma or rúpa which appears at the present moment.
Through mindfulness of realities appearing in our daily life sammå-diììhi
of the eightfold Path can come to see them as they are, as non-self.
Sammå-saòkappa, right thinking, is vitakka cetasika which is sobhana. It
assists each kusala citta which is intent on wholesomeness, it "touches"
the object of wholesomeness. When right thinking is a factor of the
noble eightfold Path it has to accompany right understanding, paññå.
Right thinking "touches" the nåma or rúpa which appears so that paññå
can understand it as it is. As we have seen, this cetasika also functions
as jhåna-condition for the accompanying dhammas. A reality can
condition other realities in more than one way.
There are three cetasikas which are síla, namely: right speech, right
action and right livelihood. They are actually the three abstinences or
virati cetasikas which are:
142See Appendix 2 for details about these cittas.
abstinence from wrong speech (vacíduccarita virati).132
abstinence from wrong action (kåyaduccarita virati)
abstinence from wrong livelihood (åjívaduccarita virati)
They may, one at a time, accompany kusala citta when the occasion
arises. They do not accompany each kusala citta. While we abstain from
wrong action or speech there can be awareness and right understanding
of nåma and rúpa. Paññå can realize that the cetasika which abstains
from akusala is non-self, that it arises because of its appropriate
conditions. When paññå really sees the disadvantage and danger of
akusala there are conditions for abstaining from it and there is no need
to think, "I shall abstain from akusala". However, if virati cetasika, the
cetasika which abstains from akusala, does not accompany the citta at
such a moment there isn’t anybody who can abstain.
The three abstinences which accompany cittas of the sense-sphere,
kåmåvacara cittas, arise only one at a time. However, when lokuttara
citta arises all three abstinences accompany the lokuttara citta and then
nibbåna is the object. Thus, the object of the abstinences which are
lokuttara is different from the object of the abstinences which
accompany cittas of the sense-sphere. The abstinences which are
lokuttara are the right speech, the right action and the right livelihood
of the supramundane eightfold Path. They fulfill their function of
path-factors by eradicating the conditions for wrong speech, wrong
action and wrong livelihood. The tendencies to these kinds of evil
conduct are eradicated at the subsequent stages of enlightenment. The
magga-citta (path-consciousness) as well as the phala-citta (fruition-consciousness),
which is the result of the magga-citta and immediately
succeeds it in the same process, are accompanied by all three
abstinences. Right action, right speech and right livelihood do not
accompany the mahå-kiriyacitta of the arahat. He has eradicated all
akusala and therefore there is no need for him to abstain from akusala.
Neither do the three abstinences accompany jhånacitta since the
jhånacitta is remote from sense impressions and there is thus no
opportunity to abstain from the defilements connected with sense
Sammå-våyåma or right effort is another factor of the right path. It is
viriya cetasika (energy or effort) which strengthens and supports the
accompanying dhammas so that they are intent on kusala. When it
accompanies right understanding of the noble eightfold Path it is energy
and courage to persevere being aware of nåma and rúpa which appear.
When there is mindfulness of nåma and rúpa right effort has arisen
already because of conditions and it performs its function; there is no.133
need to think of making an effort. When we think, "I can exert effort, I
can strive", with an idea of self who can do so, there is akusala citta
which desires to reach the goal. There is wrong effort without our
noticing it. Right effort, when it accompanies right understanding,
supports the other factors of the eightfold Path, but we should
remember that it arises because of its own conditions, that it is non-self.
We read in the "Gradual Sayings" (Book of the Threes, Ch V, § 49,
Monks, on three occasions ardent energy is to be exerted. What three?
To prevent the arising of evil, unprofitable states not yet arisen; to cause
the arising of good, profitable states not yet arisen; to endure bodily
feelings that have arisen, feelings which are painful, sharp, bitter, acute,
distressing and unwelcome, which drain the life away. These are the
Now when a monk exerts himself on these three occasions, he is called
"strenuous, shrewd and mindful for making an end of dukkha."
This sutta reminds us that right effort has to accompany right
understanding, otherwise there cannot be the development of all the
conditioning factors leading to the end of dukkha. Since we are born,
there are conditions for sickness and pain, we cannot control our body.
Also at such moments right understanding can be developed. Then
there is right effort performing its function of supporting the associated
Sammå-sati, right mindfulness, is non-forgetfulness of what is
wholesome. Mindfulness arises with each sobhana citta. There is
mindfulness of the levels of dåna, síla and bhåvanå. When it
accompanies right understanding of the eightfold Path it is a factor of
the eightfold Path. When there is right mindfulness of the nåma or rúpa
which appears understanding of that reality can be developed.
Mindfulness does not last, it arises just for a moment, but it can be
accumulated. It cannot arise when there are no conditions for it.
There are different levels of mindfulness. There may not yet be
mindfulness of the level of satipaììhåna, mindfulness of nåma and rúpa
with the purpose of realizing them as non-self. However, there may be
mindfulness of another level, namely, mindfulness of akusala citta when
it has arisen and in this way one learns to see akusala as akusala. We
may have aversion towards someone else’s words and behaviour and we.134
are about to answer back. But when mindfulness arises and we see that
aversion is ugly, we may refrain from speaking unpleasant words. At
such a moment we are considerate of the other person’s feelings and we
do not think of ourselves. There can be more understanding of kusala as
kusala and of akusala as akusala through our own experience. When
sati arises we can be encouraged to go on developing all kinds of
wholesomeness and considering realities in our daily life. When we
learn to be less selfish and develop kindness, thoughtfulness and
patience, these wholesome qualities will support paññå to become
detached from the idea of self. The clinging to the idea of self has to be
combatted on all levels of our life. That is why all the wholesome
factors which have been accumulated, the sobhana cetasikas which are
included in saòkhårakkhandha, the khandha of "formations", need to
perform their function; they support one another and are together the
conditions for right mindfulness of nåma and rúpa. There should not be
clinging to reach the goal soon. The truth of anattå cannot be realized
unless there is the development of all the different kinds of kusala for
Sammå-samådhi, right concentration, is another factor of the right Path.
Kusala citta which is intent on dåna, síla or bhåvanå is accompanied by
right concentration which conditions the citta and accompanying
cetasikas to focus on the object in the wholesome way. Right
concentration which is a factor of the eightfold Path has to accompany
right understanding of the eightfold Path. We read in the "Kindred
Sayings" (V, Mahå-vagga, XLV, Kindred Sayings on the Way, Ch III,
Perversion, § 8, Concentration) that the Buddha, while he was at
Såvatthí, said to the monks:
I will teach you, monks, the ariyan right concentration, which is
associated and equipped. Do you listen to it.
And what, monks, is the ariyan right concentration which is associated
and equipped? It is (associated with) right view, right thinking, right
speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness and
Now, monks, the one-pointedness of mind which is equipped with these
seven limbs is called "the ariyan right concentration which is associated,
likewise which is equipped."
When paññå realizes the true nature of the nåma or rúpa which
appears, there is right concentration which assists the citta and the.135
accompanying cetasikas to experience the object. There is no need to
think of focusing on the nåma or rúpa which appears. As we have seen,
right concentration also conditions the sobhana citta and cetasikas it
accompanies by way of jhåna-condition.
When right understanding of nåma and rúpa is being developed the
other path-factors develop together with right understanding. Some
people believe that one should first develop síla and samatha before one
develops vipassanå, right understanding of nåma and rúpa. All kinds of
wholesomeness are beneficial and they can be developed along with
right understanding. However, there is no particular order according to
which different ways of kusala should be developed. It depends on the
accumulations of the individual, on natural decisive support-condition,
and on other conditions which type of kusala citta arises at a particular
moment. When right understanding of the eightfold Path arises the
object experienced at that moment is a nåma or rúpa which appears.
Paññå of the noble eightfold Path develops very gradually. When it is
more developed different stages of insight can arise. The first stage of
insight is knowing the difference between the characteristic of nåma
and of rúpa, and it is at a later stage of insight that their arising and
falling away can be realized. We may think of the stages of insight but
then longing for them is likely to arise and paññå will not develop.
Instead of thinking of the stages of insight we should consider realities
which appear now, at this very moment, so that we can have more
understanding of them. When seeing arises it sees all that appears
through the eyesense. Seeing only sees, it does not think or classify
what is seen as different things. When we know that there is a tree or a
house we classify different shapes, different images of a "whole" and
identify them. That is not seeing. However, if there had not been seeing
of all that appears through the eyes there could not be thinking about it.
It is the same in the case of hearing. When hearing hears sound, there is
no thinking, no classifying. However, since there is hearing there can be
thinking of the meaning of the sounds which are heard. There is so
much to be considered in daily life and we have hardly begun to do so.
When we consider realities which appear in daily life and begin to be
mindful of them, right understanding of the eightfold Path develops. It
develops because of conditions, we do not have to think of progress or
worry about the lack of progress. By the development of the noble
eightfold Path enlightenment can be attained and defilements can be
eradicated stage by stage. When the last stage of enlightenment, the
stage of the arahat, has been realized, all defilements are eradicated
and there will be the end of the cycle of birth and death..136
Three Pairs of Conditions
There are six conditions which form three pairs and of each pair the two
conditions have characteristics opposite to each other. These conditions
are in part similar to previously mentioned conditions, but they each
manifest a different aspect. The three pairs are the following:
With regard to association-condition, we read in the "Paììhåna" (II,
Analytical Exposition of Conditions, 19):
The four immaterial aggregates (nåma-kkhandhas) are mutually related
to one another by association-condition.
Association-condition, sampayutta-paccaya, only pertains to nåma, to
citta and its accompanying cetasikas. We read in the "Visuddhimagga"
(XVII, 94) about this condition:
Immaterial states (nåma dhammas) that assist by the kind of association
consisting in having the same physical basis (vatthu), the same object,
the same arising, the same cessation, are association-conditions,
according as it is said, "The four immaterial khandhas are a condition,
as association-condition, for each other" (Paììhåna, I, 6).
Seeing, for example, arises together with the associated cetasikas at the
same vatthu, the eye-base; seeing and the associated cetasikas
experience visible object through the eye-door and then they fall away
together. Citta and cetasikas condition one another by way of.138
association-condition, but they each perform their own funcion. Seeing-consciousness
cognizes visible object, it is the "chief" in knowing the
object. Feeling experiences the "flavour" of the object, saññå marks or
recognizes the object, and the other "universals"
perform their own
functions. The eyesense which is the base, the physical place of origin
(vatthu) for seeing, is also doorway (dvåra), that is, the means through
which citta and cetasikas experience the object. Only in the case of the
five pairs of sense-cognitions (seeing, hearing, etc.) the same rúpas,
namely the five senses, are both doorway and base. All the other cittas,
apart from the sense-cognitions, arise at the heart-base (hadaya-vatthu).
Each citta and its accompanying cetasikas arise together at the same
base, experience the same object and fall away together.
The citta and cetasikas which condition one another by way of
association-condition, sampayutta-paccaya, also condition one another
by way of conascence, sahajåta. However, association-condition is not
identical with conascence-condition. Conascence-condition also pertains
to rúpas which arise together and to nåma and rúpa which arise
. Association-condition, in contrast, only pertains to nåmas,
citta and cetasikas, which arise together and condition one another.
The teaching of association-condition reminds us that nåma and rúpa
are completely different from each other. This condition manifests the
close association between citta and cetasikas. Although in the planes
where there are five khandhas, nåma and rúpa, citta and cetasikas arise
together with rúpa, they are not associated with rúpa in the same way
as they are with each other. Feeling, for example, is nåma, it is closely
associated with citta and the other cetasikas. When lobha-múla-citta
accompanied by pleasant feeling enjoys a pleasant sound, the
accompanying cetasikas share the same object, and they are all affected
by the pleasant feeling, they are conditioned by it by way of association-condition.
Citta and the accompanying cetasikas are of great diversity
since each of them conditions the other nåma-dhammas by way of
association-condition. Kusala citta which is accompanied by sobhana
cetasikas is quite different from akusala citta which is accompanied by
akusala cetasikas. Some cetasikas can accompany cittas which are
kusala, akusala, vipåka or kiriya, but they are of a different quality in
each of these cases. Effort or energy (viriya), for example, which is
143The seven cetasikas which arise with each citta, namely, contact, feeling,
perception (saññå), volition, concentration, life-faculty and attention.
144See chapter 5.
kusala, such as energy for generosity or for awareness at this moment,.139
is quite different from energy which is akusala, such as wrong effort
accompanying attachment. Wrong effort arises, for example, when one
tries very hard to concentrate on particular objects of awareness in
order to attain a quick result of one’s practice.
As regards dissociation-condition, vippayutta-paccaya, we read in the
"Paììhåna" (II, Analytical Exposition of Conditions, 20):
The material states (rúpas) are related to the immaterial states (nåmas)
The immaterial states are related to the material states by dissociation-condition.
This condition is altogether different from association-condition, since it
pertains to nåma which conditions rúpa and to rúpa which conditions
nåma. The nature of nåma is completely different from the nature of
rúpa, they cannot condition one another by way of association. In the
case of dissociation-condition, the conditioning factor can arise at the
same time as the reality it conditions, it can arise before it or it can arise
after it. Thus, dissociation-condition can be conascent, prenascent or
postnascent. As regards conascent association-condition, the citta which
produces rúpa is related to that rúpa by way of conascent dissociation-condition.
When citta produces the rúpa which is speech, that rúpa
arises together with the citta, it is conditioned by citta by way of
conascence-condition and also by way of dissociation-condition.
In the case of prenascent dissociation-condition, the conditioning
factors, which are the sense-bases and the heart-base, have to arise
before the conditioned dhamma, the citta which is dependent on them;
thus, they condition citta by way of prenascent dissociation-condition.
As we have seen, the heart-base at the first moment of life arises at the
same time as the paìisandhi-citta
, it is conditioned by citta by way of
conascent dissociation-condition. During life, however, the heart-base
145Both the heart-base and the paìisandhi-citta are produced by kamma at the
same time. See Ch. 5.
146The rúpas which are the five sense objects have to arise prior to the citta
which is dependent on them, but they are not included in prenascent
dissociation-condition. They are external objects and it is obvious that these
rúpas are not associated (sampayutta) with the citta which experiences them.
See U Nårada, Guide to Conditional Relations, Ch II, 20 c, Base-Prenascence-Dissociation.
arises before the citta which is dependent on it
When we feel pain we can be reminded that the body-base (bodysense)
is rúpa which is dissociated from painful feeling which is nåma; the
body-base conditions the painful feeling by way of prenascent
dissociation-condition. When nåma and rúpa are not distinguished from
each other we cling to a "whole" of mind and body, we take them for
"mine" or "self" and they seem to last. We keep on thinking of "my
sensitive body" and "my painful feeling". The body-base which is the
base for body-consciousness and the accompanying painful feeling, is
only an extremely tiny rúpa which arises and falls away. Painful feeling
does not last either, it falls away immediately. Thus, when we think of
our painful feeling it has gone already. When we learn through
satipaììhåna to distinguish the characteristic of nåma from the
characteristic of rúpa, we will be less inclined to think of a self who
feels pain. We should learn to understand dissociation-condition not
only in theory but also through the practice.
We read in the "Kindred Sayings" (V, Book VIII, Kindred Sayings about
Anuruddha, Ch II, § 10, Grievously afflicted):
On a certain occasion the venerable Anuruddha was staying near
Såvatthí in Dark Wood, being sick and grievously afflicted.
Now a number of monks came to visit the venerable Anuruddha, and on
coming to him... said this:
"Pray what is the venerable Anuruddha’s life, in that the painful feelings
that come upon him make no impression on his mind?"
"Friends, it is because I dwell with my mind well grounded in four
arisings of mindfulness. That is why the painful feelings that come upon
me make no impression on my mind. What are the four?
Herein, friends, I dwell in body contemplating body, being ardent,
self-possessed and mindful. So with regard to feelings... mind...
It is because I thus dwell, friends, that the painful feelings that come
upon me make no impression on my mind."
In the case of dissociation-condition which is postnascent, the
conditioning dhamma arises after the dhamma it conditions. We have
seen under the section on postnascence-condition, pacchajåta-paccaya
(Ch 9), that citta consolidates the rúpas of the body which have arisen
previously to it and have not fallen away yet. Citta also conditions these
rúpas by way of postnascent dissociation-condition. The citta which.141
conditions the rúpas of the body in this way is altogether different from
these rúpas, it is "dissociated" from rúpa.
With regard to presence-condition, atthi-paccaya, the conditioning
dhamma consolidates the conditioned dhamma by its presence. The
dhamma which conditions another dhamma in this way can arise at the
same time as the conditioned dhamma, it can arise prior to it or after it.
Conascent presence-condition pertains to nåma which conditions
another nåma, to nåma which conditions rúpa, and to rúpa which
conditions another rúpa. The same conditioning dhammas and
conditioned dhammas which are related by conascence-condition,
sahajåta-paccaya (Ch 5), are also related by conascent presence-condition.
As we have seen, citta and cetasikas are mutually related by
conascence-condition. The four great Elements are mutually related by
conascence-condition. The rebirth-consciousness and the heart-base
condition one another by conascence-condition. Moreover, the rebirth-consciousness
is conascence-condition for the other rúpas produced by
kamma at that moment. Citta which produces rúpa is conascence-condition
for that rúpa. The four great Elements are conascence-condition
for the "derived rúpas" (the rúpas other than the four great
Elements). The conascent presence-condition seems to be identical with
conascence-condition. However, the teaching of conascent presence-condition
reminds us of the fact that the reality which conditions
another reality which has arisen at the same time is still present, that it
has not fallen away yet.
As regards prenascent presence-condition, this pertains to the rúpas
which are bases, vatthus, and the rúpas which are the sense objects and
which condition the citta by way of object-condition. The rúpas which
are bases and objects condition citta after having arisen prior to it
we merely think of a prenascent condition we may not know whether it
is still present when it conditions another reality. The teaching of
prenascent presence-condition shows us that, although the conditioning
reality has arisen previously, it is still present when it conditions
another reality. Visible object conditions seeing by way of prenascent
presence-condition. It has arisen before seeing, but when it is
experienced by seeing it is still present. The other cittas of the eye-door
process also experience visible object which is still present. Seeing arises
at the eye-base and it is conditioned by this rúpa by way of prenascent
147 Rúpa cannot at its arising moment condition citta since it is then too weak. It can only condition citta after it has arisen, thus, at
the moments of its presence. Therefore, it has to arise prior to the citta it conditions. Rúpa lasts as long as seventeen moments of
citta. See Appendix 1 for the process of cittas which experience a sense object.
presence-condition. Learning about the base and the object which.142
condition seeing helps us to understand the truth of anattå, non-self.
There is no self who can cause eye-base and visible object to arise at the
right moment, prior to seeing, and to condition seeing while they are
Presence-condition can also be postnascent. Citta consolidates rúpas of
the body which have previously arisen but have not fallen away yet by
way of postnascence-condition
and by way of postnascent presence-condition.
The teaching of postnascent presence-condition shows us
that citta and the rúpas of the body it consolidates are still present to
each other.The "Paììhåna" (Faultless Triplet, Investigation Chapter, §
435, VII, d,e) mentions food and also physical life-faculty (rúpa-jívitindriya)
separately under presence-condition. We read:
Edible food is related to this body by presence-condition.
Physical life-faculty is related to kamma-produced rúpa by presence-condition.
After edible food has been taken and it has pervaded the body, the
nutritive essence it contains supports the internal nutritive essence
present in the groups of rúpa of the body, so that new groups of rúpa
can be produced
. When we consider the relation of nutrition to the
body it helps us to see that we go on living because of conditions. The
rúpa which is nutritive essence present in each group of rúpas of the
body can produce new rúpas, but it cannot do so without the support of
the nutritive essence present in food. Nutritive essence is one of the four
factors which can produce rúpas of the body, the other being kamma,
citta and temperature. Edible food conditions the rúpas of the body by
way of presence-condition, it supports and consolidates them.
As regards physical life faculty, rúpa-jívitindriya, this is always present
in the groups of rúpa produced by kamma. It does not occur in the
groups of rúpa produced by citta, heat or nutrition. Eyesense, for
example, is produced by kamma, and thus there must also be
jívitindriya together with it in that group of rúpas. The same is true for
the other senses. We read about life faculty in the "Visuddhimagga"
148See Ch 9.
149Nutritive essence is one of the eight inseparable rúpas present in each group
The life faculty has the characteristic of maintaining conascent kinds of
. Its function is to make them occur. It is manifested in the
establishing of their presence. And although it has the capacity
consisting in the characteristic of maintaining, etc., yet it only
maintains conascent kinds of matter at the moment of presence, as
water does lotuses and so on. Though dhammas arise due to their own
conditions, it maintains them, as a wet-nurse does a prince....
Past kamma is cause in the production of rúpa, but it is not present in
the same way as the other three factors which produce rúpa: citta,
temperature and nutrition. A deed, done in the past has fallen away,
but the intention or volition which motivated that deed is accumulated
from moment to moment. The force of past kamma is carried on and
therefore kamma still has the power to produce rúpa at present. Life
faculty takes as a "wetnurse" the place of kamma, the "mother", in
maintaining the life of the kamma-produced rúpas. Thus, life faculty
conditions these rúpas by way of presence-condition. Life faculty
maintains the life of the rúpas it arises together with in a group, it
consolidates them, and then it falls away together with them. However,
life faculty also plays its part in the successive arising of kamma-produced
rúpas throughout life. Life faculty performs its task of
consolidating kamma-produced rúpas from birth to death.
Life faculty is a condition for distinguishing kamma-produced rúpa from
other kinds of rúpa. We cling to the body which is alive, we cling to
eyesense and earsense and take them for self. They are only elements
maintained by life faculty, a kind of rúpa which is not self. They arise
only because there are the appropriate conditions for their arising.
When we lose eyesense or earsense there are no longer conditions for
the arising of these kamma-produced rúpas.
As regards absence-condition, natthi-paccaya, we read in the "Paììhåna"
(Analytical Exposiiton, iI, 23):
States, citta and cetasikas, which have just disappeared in contiguity,
are related to present states, citta and cetasikas, by absence-condition.
150Life faculty arises together with other rúpas in a group and it maintains these
This condition is similar to proximity-condition, anantara-paccaya, and.144
. The citta which falls
away conditions the arising of the next one by way of proximity-condition
and contiguity-condition. However, the next citta can only
arise when the preceding one has fallen away, when it is absent.
Absence does not mean that the citta never was there; it has arisen and
fallen away, and then it conditions the arising of the subsequent citta
without any interval. There can only be one citta at a time which arises
and then falls away, but there is a sucession of cittas from birth to death
and then there is rebirth again. The cycle of birth and death continues
until all defilements have been eradicated and one finally passes away.
As regards the third pair of conditions, this is disappearance-condition,
vigata-paccaya, and non-disappearance-condition, avigata-paccaya.
Disappearance-condition is identical with absence-condition. Non-disappearance-
condition is identical with presence-condition. Identical
conditions have been given different names, "as an embellishment of
teaching to suit the needs of those who are teachable", the
"Visuddhimagga" (XVII, 100) states.
Disappearance-condition is the same as absence-condition, but the word
disappearance helps us to understand that the absence of the
conditioning dhamma does not mean that it never was. The preceding
citta, which is the conditioning dhamma, has just disappeared and thus
it can condition the arising of the subsequent citta, the conditioned
dhamma, without any interval. If we do not learn about the different
conditions under different aspects we may have misunderstandings
about the moments of their arising and falling away.
Non-disappearance-condition is the same as presence-condition. A
dhamma which has not yet disappeared can, while it is still present,
condition other dhammas. However, the conditioning dhamma cannot
stay on, it has to disappear. Just as in the case of presence-condition,
the conditioning dhamma can be prenascent, conascent or postnascent
to the dhamma it conditions by way of non-disappearance-condition.
151See Ch. 4..145.146
Different Aspects of the Twentyfour Conditions
Summarizing the twentyfour conditions, they are:
decisive support-condition (upanissaya-paccaya)
The Buddha taught the conditions for each reality which arises. These
conditions are not abstractions, they occur now, in our daily life. What
we take for our mind and our body are only elements which arise
because of their appropriate conditions and are devoid of self. We.147
should often consider how our body comes into being. At the first
moment of our life kamma produced the heart-base and other rúpas
together with the rebirth-consciousness, and throughout our life kamma
continues to produce the heartbase and the sense-bases. Not only
kamma, but also citta, heat and nutrition produce rúpas of the body.
When we touch the body hardness appears, but this is only an element
which arises and falls away; nobody can cause its arising and it does not
belong to "our body". Through awareness of realities we will
understand more clearly that there are only elements which arise
because of their own conditions.
The different cittas which arise are dependent on many different
conditions. Cittas succeed one another without any interval. Seeing
arises time and again and after seeing has fallen away akusala cittas
usually arise. We cling to visible object, or we take it for a being or a
person. Defilements arise because they have been accumulated and they
are carried on, from moment to moment, from life to life. They are a
natural decisive support-condition, pakatúpanissaya-paccaya, for
akusala citta arising at this moment. Akusala citta has become our
nature, but if we see the disadvantage of akusala there are conditions
for the development of right understanding which can eradicate
We are so used to the idea of seeing living beings, people and animals,
and we do not realize that we are deluded about reality because of our
accumulated ignorance and wrong view. When we watch T.V. and we
see people moving, we know that there are no people there. There are
rapidly changing projected images on a screen and this gives us the
illusion that there are people who are acting. These images are merely
different colours which appear through the eyesense and then we know
the meaning of what we see, we think of concepts on account of what
we see. The same happens in real life. There is seeing of visible object
and then we take what we see for people or things which last. Persons
are not real in the ultimate sense, no matter whether we see them on a
screen or in the world around us. The world with people, living beings
or things is real in conventional sense. The Buddha taught that there is
ultimate truth and conventional truth. We do not have to avoid thinking
of conventional truth, of concepts of people and things; we could not
lead our daily life without thinking of concepts and dealing with
concepts. We have to know what the different things and matters are
we are dealing with time and again. We have to pay attention to the
people we meet in our social life, we could not give assistance to them
without thinking of them in terms of concepts. When we develop.148
generosity we need to think of the gift we wish to give and of the
people to whom we are handing the gift. We could not develop
kindness and compassion without thinking of people. However, we
should know the difference between conventional truth and ultimate
Right understanding can be developed so that it can be known when a
paramattha dhamma, an ultimate reality, is the object of citta and when
a concept. When we know that there is this person or that thing, we
should realize that citta has arisen and knows at that moment a
concept. The citta which thinks of a concept is a paramattha dhamma,
the concept is not. In our daily life the object of citta is either a
paramattha dhamma or a concept. The cittas which experience sense
objects through the six doorways experience paramattha dhammas, but
if satipaììhåna is not developed it is not known that rúpas such as
visible object or sound are paramaììha dhammas. When satipaììhåna is
developed only a paramaììha dhamma is the object of awareness, not a
concept. Only paramaììha dhammas have the characteristics of
impermanence, dukkha and anattå, non-self, which should be realized
as they are, so that defilements can be eradicated. We may think of
concepts with kusala citta or with akusala citta. The Buddha and the
arahats also thought of concepts but they were not deluded about them,
they had no defilements on account of them. If we cling to concepts and
take them for things which really exist, which are permanent or self, we
are deluding ourselves. Clinging to concepts of person or self leads to
many other kinds of defilements, it leads to a great deal of sorrow.
When someone has lost a person who was dear to him he seems to live
with his memories of the person he loved, he lives with his dreams, with
an illusion. However, also when a beloved person is still alive we live
with our dreams; we take the person we believe we see, hear or touch
for reality. Someone who is in love with another person is actually in
love with his own concept of that person, with an idealized image he
has of that person. He does not have understanding of realities, of the
different cittas which arise because of their approriate conditions. When
he finds out that the image he has of another person is completely
different from reality he may experience disillusion. We may have
idealized images of other people and have expectations about them
which cannot be realised. We have learnt about nåma and rúpa and
about the conditions for their arising, but theoretical understanding is
not enough. We should consider ultimate realities in daily life. We tend
to forget that seeing is only a conditioned reality and that visible object
is only a conditioned reality, and therefore we are easily carried away.149
by sense impressions. It is beneficial to remember that seeing, hearing
and the other sense-cognitions are vipåkacittas, cittas which are results
of kamma. They arise at their appropriate bases, vatthus, which are also
produced by kamma. These bases have to arise before the sense-cognitions
and they condition these by way of prenascent dependence-condition.
Visible object and the other sense objects are rúpas which
also have to arise before the sense-cognitions and which condition these
by way of prenascent dependence-condition. Each reality which arises
does so because of a concurrence of different conditions which operate
in a very intricate way. We should not try to pinpoint all the different
conditions for the nåma and rúpa which appear. However, the study of
different conditions helps us to understand that there isn’t anybody who
can control realities, that realities arise because of their own conditions.
Nobody can cause the arising of seeing. There was also seeing in past
lives and there will be seeing in next lives. Seeing always sees visible
object. The object of seeing is always the same, but the thinking about
what is seen changes. We ourselves and other people were different
beings in past lives with different ways of thinking and we will be
different again in lives to come. We think with cittas conditioned by
root-condition, hetu-paccaya; these cittas can have akusala hetus or
sobhana hetus. On account of what is seen or heard there is happiness
or sorrow, but we are ignorant of realities. If there can be mindfulness
of one reality as it appears through one of the six doors, we will know
the difference between the moments of mindfulness of a reality and the
moments there is thinking of an image of a "whole", a person or a thing.
By being mindful of just visible object or sound we learn to distinguish
between the objects appearing through the five sense-doors and the
When there is right understanding of a reality as it appears one at a
time, we do not expect other people to behave according to an idealized
image. Someone may insult us, but if we can see that there is nobody
who can hurt us we will be less inclined to take unjust treatment
personally. When words of praise and blame are spoken to us, the
hearing is result produced by kusala kamma or akusala kamma. When
we think about the meaning of the words which were spoken to us
defilements tend to arise. We take what we hear very seriously and we
forget that what is experienced by hearing is only sound. Depending on
our accumulations we may be afflicted on account of what is heard, we
think about it for a long time. We are so affected by what others say or
do to us because of clinging to ourselves. Life is short, a moment of
experiencing an object is very short. If there were no citta which.150
experiences an object the world and everything in it would not appear.
The sotåpanna who has no more wrong view about person or self
understands that there are only conditioned nåma and rúpa, no people.
We forget that the citta which hears only hears sound, that in realty
there isn’t anybody’s voice, not my voice or someone else’s voice. When
we do not expect praise we will be less affected by blame. When we are
insulted we will be less resentful. We should learn to forgive. Forgiving
is a kind of dåna, generosity, and at such a moment there is kusala citta
instead of akusala citta. All kinds of wholesomeness should be
developed along with right understanding because the clinging to self
and the other defilements are deeply rooted. We have accumulated
conceit and we do not notice it when it arises. We find it difficult to
forgive others because conceit is obstructing. We keep on thinking,
"Why did he do this to me", because we find ourselves important.
Forgiving is a means to have less conceit. When we perform good deeds
we tend to cling to "our kusala", we want to be a "good person". As we
have seen, even kusala can be a natural decisive support-condition,
pakatúpanissaya-paccaya, for akusala
. While we study the conditions
we learn that there are many factors which can condition akusala citta.
Sense objects can condition akusala citta by way of object-condition,
object predominance-condition or object decisive support-condition
Akusala roots, hetus, condition akusala citta by way of root-condition,
. When akusala citta arises there is not only one type of
citta but seven types since each javana-citta conditions the next one by
way of repetition-condition, åsevana-paccaya
. When lobha-múla-citta
arises it can be the object of lobha-múla-citta which arises later on, in
another process, because we like being attached. We accumulate
clinging from life to life; the lobha which arises now is a natural
decisive support-condition for lobha arising in the future. We may have
regret of our attachment and then attachment is the object of dosa-múla-
citta with regret. Since we have accumulated such a great deal of
defilements, our speech is produced more often by akusala citta than by
kusala citta. We cling to speech and take it for self and "mine".
However, as we have seen, it is citta which produces the rúpa which is
152See chapter 8.
153See chapters 2, 3 and 7.
154See chapter 1.
155See chapter 10.
speech while it arises at the same time. There is no self who decides to.151
speak and then orders the occurrence of speech. Citta which produces
rúpa conditions rúpa in many different ways: by conascence-condition
, by dependence-condition
, by nutriment-condition
, by faculty-condition
, by conascent dissociation-condition, by conascent
presence-condition and non-disappearance-condition
. Kusala citta or
akusala citta which produces rúpa, for example the rúpa which is
speech, conditions that rúpa by way of root-condition
. If citta is a
predominant factor among the four factors which can be conascent
, it conditions the rúpa it produces by way of
conascent predominance-condition. The study of conditions makes it
clearer to us that our life consists of only fleeting phenomena which
arise because of their own conditions. We are reminded that there is no
self who could control the events of our life.
There are many factors which condition akusala now and also in the
future and by learning about these conditions we acquire more
understanding of the dangers in the accumulation of akusala. When we
have understood that akusala leads to dukkha we will not forget the
purpose of the study of Dhamma: the development of right
understanding which leads to the eradication of the clinging to the
wrong view of self and of all defilements.
As we have seen, wholesome qualities such as dåna, síla, mettå,
patience or detachment are "perfections" which have to be developed
for aeons along with right understanding in order for us finally to attain
156See chapter 5.
157See chapter 6.
158See chapter 12. Citta is one of the three mental nutriments and as such it can
condition rúpa by way of nutriment-condition.
159See chapter 13. Citta is mind faculty, manindriya, and as such it can condition
rúpa by way of faculty-condition.
160See for these last three conditions chapter 16.
161See chapter 1.
162See chapter 3. Chanda, desire-to-do, viriya, energy, citta and vimaÿsa,
investigation of dhamma, are four factors which can be conascent predominance-condition.
Only javana cittas accompanied by at least two roots can be
163The Buddha, when he was still a Bodhisatta, had to develop these perfections
for an endlessly long time in order to attain Buddhahood.
. All these wholesome qualities are perfections which.152
eventually lead to enlightenment only if the goal is the eradication of
defilements. If we merely think of the goal it is not enough. We should
not be forgetful at this moment and develop each kind of kusala for
which there is an opportunity. If there can be sati and paññå at this
moment we will realize that akusala is not beneficial and then there are
conditions for different kinds of kusala. They can arise alternately with
satipaììhåna. When akusala arises it can be realized as a conditioned
nåma, not self, and then there is kusala citta. There is no self who can
make kusala citta arise at will or who can choose which level of kusala
will arise. Right understanding of the benefit of kusala can condition its
arising. We may see the benefit of generosity, dåna. When we give away
useful things to others we should not expect any gain for ourselves, our
aim should be to have less attachment to things. Only when our aim is
having less defilements dåna is a perfection leading to enlightenment.
We should come to know the different cittas which arise in our life. To
what purpose do we study the conditions of realities? We may study
because we want to become "somebody with a great deal of kusala and
understanding", but then we have not understood the purpose of the
study of Dhamma. There should be less clinging to the idea of self, more
humility. Thus, we need the perfection of truthfulness (sacca), we need
to realize when kusala citta arises and when akusala citta; we should
not delude ourselves as to the different realities which appear. There
must be the firm resolution as to the right purpose we strive after: the
eradication of wrong view and other defilements. The perfections of
truthfulness and of resolution (adiììhåna) support the development of
the other perfections. All wholesome qualities condition one another.
The study of conditions helps us to have more understanding of the
factors which cause us to continue being in the cycle of birth and death.
Because of ignorance and clinging life has to go on and on, until there is
the elimination of the cause of rebirth. There is no self who chose to be
in the cycle of birth and death and there is no self who can eliminate
the cause of rebirth. Everything occurs according to conditions, but this
should not make us desperate. When we hear the Dhamma and
consider it, we learn how to develop the right conditions leading to the
end of dukkha.
In the "Kindred Sayings"(I, Sagåthå-vagga, V, Suttas of Sisters, § 9),
in the "Selå-sutta", we read that at Såvatthí Måra addressed Sister Selå:
Who was it that made the human puppet’s form?
Where is the maker of the human doll?.153
Whence, tell me, has the puppet come to be?
Where will the puppet cease and pass away?
Neither self-made the puppet is, nor yet
By other wrought is this ill-plighted thing.
By reason of a cause it came to be,
By rupture of a cause it dies away.
Like a certain seed sown in the field,
Which, when it comes upon the taste of earth,
And moisture likewise, by these two grows,
So the five khandhas, the elements,
And the six spheres of sense
-- even all these,
By reason of a cause they came to be;
By rupture of a cause they die away.
Then Måra the evil one thought: "Sister Selå knows me", and sad and
sorrowful he vanished there and then.
******** Appendix 1
Sense-door process and mind-door process of cittas
When a sense object, which is rúpa, impinges on one of the sensedoors,
it is experienced by several cittas arising in a sense-door process.
Counting from the "past bhavanga", there are seventeen moments of
citta if the sense-door process of cittas runs its full course. Rúpa lasts as
long as seventeen moments of citta, and thus it falls away when that
process is over. The seventeen moments of citta are as follows:
1 atíta-bhavanga (past bhavanga)
2 bhavanga calana (vibrating bhavanga).154
3 bhavangupaccheda (arrest bhavanga, the last bhavanga
arising before the object is experienced through the
(pañcadvåråvajjana-citta), which is a kiriyacitta
5 sense-cognition (dvi-pañcaviññåùa, seeing-consciousness,
etc.), which is vipåkacitta
6 receiving-consciousness (sampaìicchana-citta), which is
7 investigating-consciousness (santíraùa-citta) which is
8 determining-consciousness (votthapana-citta) which is
9 javana-citta ("impulsion", kusala citta or akusala citta in the
case of non-arahats)
10 " "
11 " "
16 registering-consciousness (tadårammaùa-citta) which may or
may not arise, and which is vipåkacitta
A sense-door process does not always run its full course. When a rúpa
impinges on one of the senses it may happen that more than three
bhavanga-cittas pass before the sense-door adverting-consciousness
arises, and then the process cannot run its full course, but it is
interrupted earlier, since rúpa cannot last longer than seventeen
moments of citta. The rúpa may have fallen away before the
tadårammaùa-citta is due to arise, and in that case the process ends
with the javana-cittas. The process of cittas which experience rúpa may
also end its course with the votthapana-citta, determining-consciousness,
and then the javana-cittas do not arise. Or it may happen.155
that the "vibrating bhavanga", bhavanga calana, succeeds the past
bhavanga, atíta-bhavanga, but that the arrest bhavanga,
bhavangupaccheda (last bhavanga before the stream of bhavanga-cittas
is arrested and a sense-door process begins), does not arise and then
there cannot be any sense-door process. In that case there is a "futile
After a sense object has been experienced through a sense-door it is
experienced through the mind-door, and then that object has just fallen
away. Before the mind-door process begins there are bhavanga-cittas
and the last two of these are specifically designated by a name. There
are the following cittas:
bhavanga calana (vibrating bhavanga)
bhavangupaccheda (which is in this case the mind-door through
which the cittas of the mind-door process will experience the
which is kiriyacitta
2 tadårammaùa-cittas (which may or may not arise).
After the mind-door process has been completed there are bhavanga-cittas
The cittas which can be conascent-predominance-condition: the cittas
which perform the function of javana (impulsion) in the process of
cittas and which are accompanied by at least two roots, hetus.
Altogether there are fifty-five types of citta which can perform the
function of javana, but one of those is not accompanied by hetus,
namely, the smile-producing consciousness of the arahat (hasituppåda
citta). This is an ahetuka kiriyacitta which performs the function of
, but since it is ahetuka, without roots, it cannot be
predominance-condition. The two types of moha-múla-citta, cittas
rooted in ignorance, cannot be predominance-condition either since
they have moha as their only root. Thus, out of the fiftyfive types of
citta which can perform the function of javana, there are fiftytwo types
of citta which can be predominance-condition. They are the following
8 lobha-múla-cittas, cittas rooted in attachment
2 dosa-múla-cittas, cittas rooted in aversion
8 mahå-kusala cittas
5 rúpåvacara kusala cittas
5 rúpåvacara kiriyacittas
4 arúpåvacara kusala cittas
4 arúpåvacara kiriyacittas
4 magga-cittas (path-consciousness, lokuttara kusala citta)
4 phala-cittas (fruition-consciousness, lokuttara vipåkacitta)
Of the eight types of lobha-múla-cittas, four are accompanied by wrong
view, diììhi, four are without wrong view, four are accompanied by
pleasant feeling, four by indifferent feeling, four are unprompted, four
are prompted (induced by someone else or by oneself). Of the two types
of dosa-múla-citta, one type is unprompted and one type is prompted.
Of the eight types of mahå-kusala cittas (kusala cittas of the sense-sphere)
and of the eight types of mahå-kiriyacittas (kiriyacittas of the
arahat which belong to the sense-sphere), there are four out of the eight
165Arahats do not laugh aloud, because they have no accumulations for laughing, they
only smile. When they smile it may be motivated by sobhana kiriyacitta (kiriyacitta
accompanied by wholesome roots) or by ahetuka kiriyacitta which is called hasituppåda-citta.
This is the only kind of ahetuka kiriyacitta which can perform the function of
types which are accompanied by paññå, and four which are.157
unaccompanied by paññå, four which are accompanied by pleasant
feeling and four which are accompanied by indifferent feeling, four
which are unprompted, and four which are prompted.
The five types of rúpåvacåra cittas (kusala cittas and kiriyacittas of the
arahat) are jhånacittas corresponding to the five stages of rúpa-jhåna,
and the four types of arúpåvacara cittas (kusala cittas and kiriyacittas of
the arahat) are jhånacittas corresponding to the four stages of arúpa-jhåna.
All jhåna-cittas are accompanied by paññå. When jhåna is being
developed there have to be one of the four predominant factors which
condition the accompanying dhammas by way of predominance-condition.
There are four types of magga-cittas, lokuttara kusala cittas
experiencing nibbåna, which correspond to the four stages of
enlightenment. The four types phala-cittas are lokuttara vipåkacittas,
the results of the magga-cittas. All lokuttara cittas are accompanied by
paññå. The magga-citta is succeeded immediately by phala-citta within
the process of cittas during which enlightenment is attained; the phala-citta
is the only type of vipåkacitta which performs the function of
javana, and thus it can be predominance-condition.
Thus, there are fiftytwo types of cittas performing the function of
javana which can be conascent-predominance-condition. The factors
chanda and viriya, when they are predominance-condition, can arise
only with these types of javana-cittas. As regards the factor vimaÿsa,
investigation of Dhamma, this is paññå cetasika and, as we have seen,
this does not arise with all sobhana cittas of the sense-sphere; all
jhånacittas and all lokuttara cittas, however, are accompanied by
paññå. Vimaÿsa can only be conascent-predominance-condition when
it accompanies those javana-cittas which are associated with paññå.
Vimaÿsa is paññå cetasika, but when it has the conditioning force of
conascent predominance-condition it is called vimaÿsa.
Appendix to Ch 10, Repetition-Condition.
The javana-cittas which can be repetition-condition are the following:
8 lobha-múla-cittas, cittas rooted in attachment
2 dosa-múla-cittas, cittas rooted in aversion
2 moha-múla-cittas, cittas rooted in ignorance
8 mahå-kusala cittas
1 hasituppåda-citta (ahetuka kiriyacitta, smile producing citta of
5 rúpåvacara kusala cittas
5 rúpåvacara kiriyacittas
4 arúpåvacara kusala cittas
4 arúpåvacara kiriyacittas
In the process when jhåna is attained there are after the mind-door
adverting-consciousness, the mano-dvåråvajjana-citta, first kåmåvacara
cittas which are, in the case of non-arahats, mahå-kusala cittas which
experience the meditation subject through the mind-door. These cittas
parikamma or preparatory consciousness
upacåra, which means proximity or access
anuloma, conformity or adaptation
gotrabhú, change-of-lineage, which overcomes the sense sphere
Each one of these is repetition-condition for the next one and the last
mahå-kusala citta in that process, the gotrabhú, conditions the jhåna-citta
by way of repetition-condition.
In the process during which enlightenment is attained, there are, after
the mano-dvåråvajjana-citta, first mahå-kusala cittas accompanied by
paññå which clearly see the reality appearing at that moment as
impermanent, dukkha or anattå. These mahå-kusala are:
upacåra, proximity or access
anuloma, conformity or adaptation
gotrabhú or change-of-lineage
Each of these mahå-kusala cittas is repetition-condition for the next one.
The last mahå-kusala-citta, the "change-of lineage", arising before the
magga-citta, conditions the magga-citta by way of repetition-condition
but the magga-citta itself is not repetition-condition for the phala-citta.
The phala-citta is not repetition-condition either.
Thus, there are 29 kåmåvacara cittas, cittas of the sense-sphere, and 18
jhånacittas which can be repetition-condition. The lokuttara kusala
cittas, magga-cittas, and the lokuttara vipåkacittas, phala-cittas, are