Jump to content


Citta the layman

  • Please log in to reply
No replies to this topic

#1 RobertK



  • Root Admin
  • 1,325 posts

Posted 13 May 2006 - 06:12 AM

Citta the layman:

There is a section in the Tipitaka about him called, I think, Citta samyutta, salayatana: He became enlightened after the the Venerable Mahanama taught him about the ayatanas (sense bases).

In the Samyutta Nikaya there are 2 suttas where he discussed deep Dhamma with monks:

"The first documented teaching by Citta relates an event where some senior Bhikkhus were sitting together in the entrance of the monastery discussing whether fetters and sense objects are one and the same. Some of the monks felt that they were the same, while some felt that they were not. Citta joined the gathering and the monks asked him his opinion. He declared that in his view fetters and sense objects were different not only in name but also in meaning. Citta then used an example to illustrate his viewpoint. He said that just as a pair of black and white oxen tied to a cart were not fetters to each other but were both fettered by a single rope or yoke strap, the sense faculties do not bind the external objects. Instead, they are bound or yoked by craving. The Bhikkhus praised Citta's understanding of the Dhamma and said that he must surely possess the eye of wisdom.

On another occasion a Bhikkhu named Kamabhu recited a stanza dispensed by the Buddha and asked Citta for its meaning. The stanza with which he needed help was as follows:

"The faultless chariot with its one axle, And white canopy rolls. See him coming without blemish, Without ties, the one who has crossed the stream."

After some reflection Citta explained that the Buddha was referring to an Arahant, who, without blemish or ties, has crossed the stream. He has done away with greed, hatred and delusion and is safe from the ocean of craving. The chariot is the body, the one axle is mindfulness, the smooth, frictionless holding together of the parts (faultless) is virtue and the white canopy is the final deliverance of emancipation. Impressed by his explanation, the Bhikkhu Kamabhu thanked Citta and praised him by saying that he had surely achieved great wisdom to be able to explain such complex teachings."

BTW In the Dhammapada Atthakatha it says that once Citta made offerings to some monks and one of the monks was a little rude. He was rebuked by Citta and the monk complained to the Buddha but it was he who was made to apologize to Citta (the monk became an arahant eventually).

He used to exchange letters about Dhamma with a man and he later met this man when he became a monk called (I think) Isadatta,.