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A Manual of Abhidhamma
Edited in the original Pali
Text with English Translation and Explanatory Notes
Narada Maha Thera
CHAPTER III -
1. All the 89 classes of consciousness are collectively treated as one in that they possess the characteristic of awareness of an object. The 52 mental states are treated separately as they possess different characteristics (1 + 52 = 53)
2. Cittuppada, literally, means genesis of citta. Here the term means consciousness itself (cittam'eva cittuppado). In other instances it implies the collection of mental states together with the consciousness (a˝˝attha pana dhammasamuho).
i. Summary of Feeling
3. Vedana is a significant mental state which is common to all types of consciousness. Feeling is its characteristic (vedayita-lakkhana), and is born of contact. Sensation, therefore, is not an appropriate rendering for vedana.
Feeling is defined as: "a conscious, subjective impression which does not involve cognition or representation of an object.''
Sensation is explained as: "the content of sensuous intuition, or the way in which a conscious subject is modified by the presence of an object."
Vedana modifies the stream of consciousness and serves both as a life-promoting and life-destroying force. Pleasure, for example, promotes life; pain impairs it. As such feeling plays a very important part in the life of man.
Experiencing the taste of an object is the function of vedana (anubhavana rasa). Particular likes and dislikes depend on the desirability and the undesirability of the external object. Generally they are mechanistic.
Sometimes the freewill of a person determines the mode of feeling independent of the nature of the object. The sight of an enemy, for example, would normally be a source of displeasure, but a right-understanding person would, on the contrary, extend his loving-kindness towards him and experience some kind of pleasure. Socrates, for instance, drank that cup of poison with joy and faced a happy death. Once a certain Brahman poured a torrent of abuse on the Buddha, but He kept smiling and returned love unto him. The ascetic Khantivadi, who was brutally tortured by a drunkard king, wished him long life instead of cursing him.
A bigoted non-Buddhist, on the other hand, may even, at the sight of a Buddha, harbour a thought of hatred. His feeling will be one of displeasure. Likewise a similar feeling may arise in the heart of a bigoted Buddhist at the sight of a religious teacher of an alien faith. What is meat and drink to one, may be poison to another.
Material pleasures, for instance, would be highly prized by an average person. An understanding recluse would find happiness in renouncing them and leading a life of voluntary poverty in perfect solitude. Such a solitary life, a sensualist may view as hell. Yes, what is heaven to one may be hell to another; what is hell to one may be heaven to another. We ourselves create them, and they are more or less mind-made.
"There are, o Bhikkhus, two kinds of feeling-pain and happiness", says the Buddha. Well, then, how can there be a third which is neither pain nor happiness? The commentary states that blameless neutral feeling is included in happiness and the blameworthy in pain.
Again, the Buddha has stated that whatever is felt in this world, all that is pain. It is because of the changeable nature of all conditioned things.
From another standpoint considering all forms of feeling as purely mental, there are only three kinds - namely, happiness (sukha), pain (dukkha), and neutral (adukkhamasukha).
Atthasalini explains them, as follows:-
The term sukha means 'pleasurable feeling' (sukha-vedana), 'root of happiness' (sukha-mula), 'pleasurable object' (sukharammana), 'cause of happiness' (sukha-hetu), 'conditioning state of pleasure, (sukha-paccayatthana), free from troubles' (abyapajjha), 'Nibbana', etc.
In the expression: "By eliminating sukha" - sukha means pleasurable feeling.
In the expression: "Sukha is non-attachment in this world". Here sukha means root of pleasure.
In the expression: "Since, o Mahali, form is sukha, falls and descends on sukha". Here sukha means object of pleasure.
"Merit, o Bhikkhus, is a synonym for sukha." Here sukha means cause of pleasure.
"Not easy is it, o Bhikkhus, to attain to heavenly sukha by description". "They know not sukha who do not see nandana". Here sukha means conditioning state of pleasure.
"These states constitute a sukha life in this very world". Here sukha means freedom from troubles.
"Nibbana is supreme sukha''. Here sukha means Nibbana.
From these quotations the reader can understand in what different senses the term sukha is used in the texts. In this particular connection the term sukha is used in the sense of pleasurable feeling.
Nibbana is stated to be supreme bliss (sukha). This does not mean that there is a pleasurable feeling in Nibbana although the term sukha is used. Nibbana is a bliss of relief. The release from suffering is itself Nibbanic bliss.
The term dukkha means 'painful feeling', 'basis of pain', object of pain', cause of pain', 'conditioning state of pain', etc.
''By eliminating dukkha" - here dukkha means painful feeling.
"Birth too is dukkha" - here dukkha means basis of pain.
"Since, o Mahali, form is dukkha, falls and descends on pain" - here dukkha means object of dukkha.
"Accumulation of evil is dukkha" - here dukkha means cause of pain.
"It is not easy, o Bhikkhus, to realize the pain of woeful states by description" - here dukkha means "conditioning states of pain."
In this particular connection the term dukkha is used in the sense of painful feeling.
In the Dhammacakka Sutta the Buddha enumerates eight divisions of dukkha -namely:
1. Birth is suffering, 2. decay is suffering, 3. disease is suffering, 4. death is suffering, 5. association with the unpleasant is suffering, 6. separation from the beloved is suffering, 7. when one does not obtain what one desires there is suffering, 8. in brief the Five Aggregates are suffering.
All these are the causes of dukkha.
When the Buddha addresses Devas and men He speaks of eight kinds of dukkha. When He addresses only men He speaks of twelve. Instead of vyadhi (disease) He says soka (grief), parideva (lamentation), dukkha (pain), domanassa (displeasure) upayasa (despair) are suffering. All these five are included in vyadhi which embraces both physical and mental disharmony.
Soka, domanassa, and upayasa are mental, while dukkha and parideva are physical.
Practically there is no marked difference between the two formulas.
Adukkha-m-asukha is that which is neither pain nor happiness. It is a neutral feeling. This corresponds to both stolid indifference and Stoic indifference. The Pali term upekkha, which has a wider connotation, is more frequently used to denote this kind of neutral feeling.
In an immoral type of consciousness upekkha assumes the role of stolid indifference because it is prompted by ignorance. In an ahetuka resultant consciousness, such as a sense-impression, upekkha means simple neutral feeling which has no ethical value. Adukkha-m-asukha strictly applies in this connection. Upekkha latent in a kamavacara sobhana citta (Beautiful type of consciousness pertaining to the Sense-sphere) may be any of the following states - simple indifference (not stolid because there is no ignorance), simple neutral feeling, disinterestedness, unbiased feeling, Stoic indifference, and perfect equanimity.
Upekkha in the jhana consciousness is perfect equanimity born of concentration. It is both ethical and intellectual. (See Ch. 1, Note 42. )
According to a still wider classification vedana is fivefold namely.
All feelings, from an ultimate standpoint, are mental because vedana is a cetasika. But a differentiation has been made with regard to sukha and dukkha.
Of all the 89 types of consciousness only two are associated with either sukha or dukkha. One is the body-consciousness associated with happiness, and the other is body-consciousness associated with pain.
Both these are the resultant types of consciousness, effects of good and evil Kamma.
A soft touch, for instance, yields happiness. A pinprick, on the contrary, yields pain. In these cases one experiences the aforesaid two types of consciousness respectively.
Now a question arises - Why only the body-consciousness is associated with happiness and pain? Why not the other sense-impressions?
Mr. Aung provides an answer in his introductory essay to the Compendium: -
"The sense of touch alone is accompanied by the positive hedonic elements of pain and pleasure; the other four senses are accompanied by hedonic indifference. This exceptional distinction is assigned to the sense of touch, because the impact between the sentient surface (pasada rupa) and the respective objects of other senses, both sets of which are secondary qualities of body, is not strong enough to produce physical pain or pleasure. But in the case of touch there is contact with one or other, or all the three primary qualities (locality - pathavi, temperature - tejo, pressure - vayo) and this is strong enough to affect those primary qualities in the percipient's own body. Just as cotton wool on the anvil does not affect the latter, but a hammer striking cotton wool imparts its check to the anvil also.'' -- (Compendium of Philosophy p. 14).
In the case of touch the impact is strong. The "essentials", pathavi, tejo and vayo (extension, heat, and motion) - apo, cohesion, is excluded being intangible - forcibly and directly strike against the essentials of the body. Consequently there is either pain or happiness. In the case of seeing, hearing, smelling, and tasting, there is a bare impact. The consequent feeling is neither pain nor happiness.
Although these sense-impressions may be sukha, dukkha, or upekkha the javana thought processes conditioned thereby may not necessarily be associated with a similar feeling.
For instance, the Buddha experienced a body-consciousness associated with pain when a rock splinter struck His foot, but His javana thought-process conditioned thereby would not necessarily be associate with displeasure. Unaffected by the pain, He would have experienced perfect equanimity. The immanent feeling in the stream of consciousness would have been upekkha. Similarly at the sight of the Buddha, a right-understanding person would automatically experience an eye-consciousness associated with indifference (upekkha-sahagata cakkhu-vi˝˝ana) but his javana thought would be moral. The innate feeling would be pleasure (somanassa).
This intricate point should be clearly understood.
Somanassa (good-mindedness ) and domanassa (bad-mindedness) are purely mental.
These five kinds of feeling could be reduced to three, the three to two, and the two to one as follows:-
i. sukha + somanassa; upekkha; dukkha +
4. Sukha - physical happiness should be differentiated from somanassa - mental pleasure. So should dukkha - physical pain - be differentiated from domanassa - mental displeasure. There is only one consciousness accompanied by sukha. Similarly there is only one accompanied by dukkha. Both of them are the effects of good and bad actions respectively.
When the Buddha, for instance, was injured by Devadatta Thera, He experienced a body-consciousness accompanied by pain. This was the result of a past evil action of His. When we sit on a comfortable seat we experience a body consciousness accompanied by happiness. This is the result of a past good action. All forms of physical pain and happiness are the inevitable results of our own Kamma.
5. Readers will note that pleasurable types of consciousness exceed all others. As such during a life-time a person experiences more happy moments than painful ones. This does not contradict the statement that life is sorrow (dukkha). Here dukkha is not used in the sense of painful feeling but in the sense of oppression or impeding (pilana). A careful reading of the description of dukkha, given in the Dhammacakka Sutta will make the matter clear.
6. They are the four kusala jhanas, four vipaka jhanas, four kriya jhanas, and thirty-two lokuttara jhanas. (4 + 4 + 4 + 32 = 44)
7. There is displeasure only in the two types of consciousness connected with patigha or aversion. We experience displeasure when we get angry.
Is there aversion where there is displeasure? Yes, in a gross or subtle form. See Ch. 1. p. 17, n. 10.
8. Viz., 6 akusalas, 14 ahetukas, 12 sobhanas, 3 rupa jhanas, 12 arupa jhanas, 8 lokuttaras = 55.
ii. Summary of Roots
9. See Ch. 1, N. 9.
For a detailed exposition of hetu see Dhammasangani hetu-gocchakam, Sections 1053-1083; Buddhist Psychology, pp. 274-287.
According to the Atthasalini there are four kinds of hetu:
i) hetu hetu, the root cause or the root condition.
There are three moral hetus, three immoral hetus and three neutral (avyakata) hetus. Here hetu is used in the sense of root.
ii) paccaya-hetu, causal condition or
10. All the ahetuka cittas are devoid of all roots. Hence they are neither moral nor immoral. They are regarded as unmoral.
Seven of them are the resultants of immoral actions, eight of moral actions, and three are merely functionals. See Ch. 1.
11. i.e., 89-18 = 71.
12. Namely, the consciousness accompanied by doubt (vicikiccha) and the other accompanied by restlessness (uddhacca). These are the only two types of consciousness that have one root, which is delusion. Being potentially weak, restlessness is powerless in determining a future birth. Both doubt and restlessness are regarded as two Fetters, the first of which is eradicated by the First Path, and the second by the Fourth Path of Sainthood.
13. The first eight immoral types of consciousness are connected with lobha (attachment) and moha (delusion) and the second two with dosa (aversion) and moha. It should be noted that moha is common to all immoral thoughts.
14. Those twelve kamavacara sobhana cittas (mentioned in the first chapter) dissociated with ˝ana or wisdom are conditioned by the two roots - alobha (non-
attachment) and adosa (goodwill or loving-kindness). These two roots coexist in moral thoughts.
15. The remaining twelve kamavacara sobhana cittas, accompanied by wisdom, are conditioned by all the three moral roots.
Similarly the 15 types of rupavacara consciousness, 12 types of arupavacara consciousness, and the 8 types of lokuttara consciousness (15 + 12 + 8 = 35) are always associated with the three moral roots.
It should not be understood that evil thoughts conditioned by immoral roots do not arise in the rupaloka and the arupaloka. The point here stressed is that no immoral roots are found in the higher types of consciousness.
Unlike the other kusala cittas, the lokuttara cittas, though associated with the three moral roots, lack procreative power.
16. Avyakata, literally, means that which is not manifested. The term is applied to both vipaka (resultants) and kriya (Functionals). Vipaka is a result in itself and is not productive of another result. Kriya does not produce any effect. Rupa (material form) is also regarded as an avyakata because it does not reproduce any karmic result.
Ahetuka - rootless types of consciousness = 18
Ekahetuka - types of consciousness with one root = 2
Dvihetuka - types of consciousness with two roots immoral = 10
moral = 12
Tihetuka - types of consciousness with three roots Beautiful = 12
Sublime = 27
iii. Summary of
17. Kicca or Function.
In the first chapter consciousness was classified chiefly according to the nature (jati) and planes or states (bhumi). In this section the different functions of all the 89 types of consciousness are explained in detail.
Each consciousness performs a particular function. Some types of consciousness perform several functions, under different circumstances, in various capacities. There are fourteen specific functions performed by them all.
18. Patisandhi, literally, means re-linking.
The type of consciousness one experiences at the moment of conception is termed patisandhi citta. It is so called because it links the past with the present.
This patisandhi citta, also termed 'rebirth-consciousness,' is conditioned by the powerful thought one experiences at the dying moment, and is regarded as the source of the present life-stream. In the course of one particular life there is only one patisandhi citta. The mental contents of bhavanga, which later arises an infinite number of times during one's lifetime, and of cuti, which arises only once at the final moment of death, are identical with those of patisandhi.
19. Bhavanga. Bhava + anga = factor of life, or indispensable cause or condition of existence.
One experiences only one thought-moment at any particular time. No two thought-moments coexist.
Each thought-moment hangs on to some kind of object. No consciousness arises without an object, either mental or physical.
When a person is fast asleep and is in a dreamless state he experiences a kind of consciousness which is more passive than active. It is similar to the consciousness one experiences at the initial moment of conception and at the final moment of death. This type of consciousness is in Abhidhamma termed bhavanga. Like any other consciousness it also consists of three aspects - genesis (uppada), static (thiti) and cessation (bhanga). Arising and perishing every moment it flows on like a stream not remaining the same for two consecutive moments.
When an object enters this stream through the sense-doors, the bhavanga consciousness is arrested and another type of consciousness appropriate to the object perceived arises. Not only in a dreamless state but also in our waking state we experience bhavanga thought-moments more than any other types of consciousness. Hence bhavanga becomes an indispensable condition of life.
Mrs. Rhys Davids and Mr. Aung compare bhavanga to "Leibniz's state of obscure perception, not amounting to consciousness, in dreamless sleep.
One cannot agree because bhavanga is a type of consciousness. There is no obscure perception here.
Some identify bhavanga with sub-consciousness. According to the Dictionary of Philosophy sub-consciousness is ''a compartment of the mind alleged by certain psychologists and philosophers to exist below the threshold of consciousness." In the opinion of Western philosophers sub-consciousness and consciousness coexist. According to Abhidhamma no two types of consciousness coexist. Nor is bhavanga a sub-plane.
The Compendium further states that "bhavanga denotes a functional state (or moment ) of sub-consciousness. As such it is the sub-conscious state of mind - 'below the threshold' of consciousness - by which we conceive continuous subjective existence as possible. Thus it corresponds to F. W. Myer's 'subliminal consciousness'".(p.266)
The Dictionary of Philosophy explains ''subliminal (sub, under + limen, the threshold) as allegedly unconscious mental processes especially sensations which lie below the threshold of consciousness." Strictly speaking, it does not correspond to subliminal consciousness either.
There does not seem to be any place for bhavanga in Western Psychology.
Bhavanga is so called because it is an essential condition for continued subjective existence.
Whenever the mind does not receive a fresh external object, one experiences a bhavanga consciousness.* Immediately after a thought-process, too, there is a bhavanga consciousness. Hence it is called vithimutta - process-freed. Sometimes it acts as a buffer between two thought-processes .
Life continuum** has been suggested as the closest English equivalent.
According to the Vibhavini Tika bhavanga arises between,
20. Avajjana-opening or turning towards.
When an object enters the bhavanga stream of consciousness the thought-moment that immediately follows is called bhavanga-calana, (bhavanga vibration). Subsequently another thought-moment arises and is called the bhavanga-upaccheda (arresting bhavanga). Owing to the rapidity of the flow of bhavanga an external object does not immediately give rise to a thought-process. The original bhavanga thought-moment perishes. Then the flow is checked. Before the actual transition of the bhavanga it vibrates for one moment. When the bhavanga is arrested a thought-moment arises adverting the consciousness towards the object. If it is a physical object, the thought-moment is termed five-door cognition (pa˝cadvaravajjana). In the case of a mental object it is termed mind-door cognition (manodvaravajjana).
In the sense-door thought-process, after the avajjana moment, arises one of the five sense-impressions.
See Ch. 1, N. 27.
Avajjana arises between bhavanga and pa˝ca-vi˝˝ana (sense-impressions), and bhavanga and javana.
21. Pa˝ca-vi˝˝ana (sense-impressions) arise between five-door cognitions (pa˝cadvaravajjana) and receiving consciousness (sampaticchana). Seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting, and contacting are collectively termed pa˝ca-vi˝˝ana.
22. Sampaticchana arises between five sense-impressions and investigating consciousness (santirana).
23. Santirana arises between receiving consciousness and determining consciousness (votthapana).
24. Votthapana = Vi + ava + tha, to stand, to fix, to rest, lit., thorough setting down.
It is at this moment that the nature of the object is fully determined. This is the gateway to a moral or immoral thought-process. Discrimination, rightly or wrongly employed at this stage, determines the thought-process either for good or evil.
There is no special class of consciousness called votthapana. Manodvaravajjana (mind-door consciousness) performs the function of determining.
Votthapana arises between
25. Javana derived from ju, to run swiftly.
This is another important technical term which should be clearly understood.
Ordinarily the term is employed in the sense of swift. Javanahamsa, for example, means swift swan; javana-pa˝˝a means swift understanding. In the Abhidhamma it is used in a purely technical sense.
Here Javana means running. It is so called because in the course of a thought-process it runs consecutively for seven thought-moments or five, hanging on to an identical object. The mental states occurring in all these thought moments are similar, but the potential force differs.
When the consciousness perceives a vivid object usually seven moments of Javana arise in the particular thought-process. In the case of death or when the Buddha performs the Twin Psychic Phenomenon (Yamaka Patihariya) only five thought moments arise. In the Supramundane Javana process the Path-consciousness arises only for one moment.
This javana stage is the most important from a ethical standpoint. It is at this psychological stage that good or evil is actually done. Irrespective of the desirability or the undesirability of the object presented to the mind, one can make the Javana process good or bad. If, for instance, one meets an enemy, a thought of hatred will arise almost automatically. A wise and forbearing person might, on the contrary, harbour a thought of love towards him. This is the reason why the Buddha has stated in the Dhammapada (V. 165)
"By self is evil done,
True indeed that circumstances, habitual tendencies, environment, etc., condition our thoughts. Then the freewill is subordinated to the mechanistic course of events. There is also the possibility to overcome those external forces and, exercising one's own freewill, generate either good or bad thoughts.
A foreign element may be instrumental, but we ourselves are directly responsible for our own actions.
Of the normal seven Javana thought moments, the first is the weakest potentially as it lacks any previous sustaining force. The Karmic effect of this thought-moment may operate in this present life itself. It is called the ditthadhammavedaniya kamma. If it does not operate, it becomes ineffective (ahosi). The last is the second weakest, because the sustaining power is being spent. Its Karmic effect may operate in the immediately subsequent life (upapajjavedaniya). If it does not, it also becomes ineffective. The effects of the remaining five may operate at any time till one attains Parinibbana (aparapariya-vedaniya).
It should be understood that moral and immoral javanas (kusalakusala) refer to the active side of life (kamma-bhava). They condition the future existence (upapattibhava). Apart from them there are the phala* and kriya javanas. In the Kriya javanas, which are experienced only by Buddhas and Arahats, the respective cetanas lack Kamma creative power.
It is extremely difficult to suggest a suitable rendering for Javana.
''Apperception'' is suggested by some.
The Dictionary of Philosophy defines apperception as "the introspective or reflective apprehension by the mind of its own inner states. Leibniz, who introduced the term, distinguished between perception (the inner state as representing outer things) and apperception (the inner state as reflectively aware of itself). In Kant, apperception denotes the unity of self-consciousness pertaining to either the empirical ego (empirical apperception) or to the pure ego (transcendental apperception)." p. 15.
Commenting on Javana Mrs. Rhys Davids says:-
""I have spent many hours over Javana, and am content to throw apperception overboard for a better term, or for Javana, untranslated and as easy to pronounce as our own 'javelin.' It suffices to remember that it is the mental aspect or parallel of that moment in nerve-process, when central function is about to become efferent activity or 'innervation.' Teachers in Ceylon associate it with the word 'dynamic.' And its dominant interest for European psychologists is the fusion of intellect and will in Buddhist Psychology...." -- (Compendium of Philosophy, p . 249).
Impulse is less satisfactory than even apperception. As Mrs. Rhys Davids suggests it is wise to retain the Pali term. See Compendium of Philosophy, pp. 42-45, 249.
According to the Vibhavini Tika javana occurs between:
26. Tadalambana or Tadarammana, literally, means 'that object.' Immediately after the Javana process two thought-moments, or none at all, arise having for their object the same as that of the Javana. Hence they are called tadalambana. After the tadalambanas again the stream of consciousness lapses into bhavanga.
Tadalambana occurs between (i) javana and bhavanga and (ii) javana and cuti.
27. Cuti is derived from Í cu, to depart, to be released.
As patisandhi is the initial thought-moment of life so is cuti the final thought-moment. They are the entrance and exit of a particular life. Cuti functions as a mere passing away from life. Patisandhi, bhavanga and cuti of one particular life are similar in that they possess the same object and identical mental co-adjuncts.
Death occurs immediately after the cuti consciousness. Though, with death, the physical body disintegrates and the flow of consciousness temporarily ceases, yet the life-stream is not annihilated as the Karmic force that propels it remains. Death is only a prelude to birth.
Cuti occurs between (i) javana and patisandhi, (ii) tadarammana and patisandhi, and (iii) bhavanga and patisandhi.
28. Thana, lit., place, station, or occasion. Though there are fourteen functions yet, according to the functioning place or occasion, they are tenfold. The pa˝ca-vi˝˝ana or the five sense-impressions are collectively treated as one since their functions are identical.
29. One is akusala-vipaka (immoral-resultant) and the other is kusala-vipaka (moral-resultant).
Rebirth (patisandhi) in the animal kingdom, and in peta and asura realms takes place with upekkhasahagata santirana (akusala vipaka). Bhavanga and cuti of that particular life are identical with this patisandhi citta.
Those human beings, who are congenitally blind, deaf, dumb, etc., have for their patisandhi citta the kusala vipaka upekkha-sahagata santirana. Though deformity is due to an evil Kamma, yet the birth as a human is due to a good Kamma.
30. Namely, the kamavacara kusala vipaka. All human beings, who are not congenitally deformed, are born with one of these eight as their patisandhi citta.
All these ten pertain to the kamaloka.
31. Namely, the five rupavacara vipaka and the four arupavacara vipaka.
Lokuttara (Supramundane) phalas are not taken into consideration because they do not produce any rebirth.
Nineteen classes of consciousness, therefore, perform the triple functions of patisandhi, bhavanga and cuti.
32. Namely, the manodvaravajjana (mind-door cognition) and the pa˝cadvaravajjana (sense-door cognition), mentioned among the 18 ahetuka cittas. The former occurs when the mind perceives a mental object, and the latter when it perceives a physical object.
33. Namely, the ten types of moral and immoral resultant sense-impressions (kusala-akusala vipaka pa˝ca-vi˝˝ana).
34. Namely, the two types of receiving consciousness, accompanied by indifference, mentioned among the ahetukas.
35. Namely, the two accompanied by indifference, and one accompanied by pleasure. It is the first two that function as patisandhi, bhavanga and cuti.
It should not be understood that at the moment of rebirth there is any investigation. One consciousness performs only one function at a particular time. This class of consciousness only serves as a rebirth-consciousness connecting the past and present births.
The investigating consciousness, accompanied by pleasure, occurs as a tadalambana when the object presented to the consciousness is desirable.
36. There is no special consciousness known as votthapana. It is the manodvaravajjana that serves this function in the five-door thought-process.
37. Namely, the manodvaravajjana and the pa˝cadvaravajjana, two of the ahetuka kriya cittas. As they do not enjoy the taste of the object they do not perform the function of Javana. The remaining kriya citta, smiling consciousness, performs the function of Javana.
38. Namely, 12 immoral + (8 + 5 + 4 + 4) 21 morals + 4 lokuttara phalas (Fruits) + (1 + 8 + 5 + 4) 18 functionals = 55.
The term used is not vipaka but phala. The vipakas (resultants) of kama, rupa and arupa lokas are not regarded as Javanas. The Supramundane Paths and Fruits which occur in the Javana process are regarded as Javanas though they exist only for a moment.
39. These eleven are vipaka cittas (resultants). When they perform the function of retention (tadalambana), there is no investigating function.
The investigating consciousness, accompanied by pleasure, performs the dual functions of investigating and retention.
40. In their respective planes.
42. Manodhatu is applied to the two classes of receiving consciousness (sampaticchana) and five-door cognition (pa˝cadvaravajjana). All the remaining classes of consciousness, excluding the ten sense impressions (dvipa˝ca-vi˝˝ana), are termed mano-vi˝˝ana dhatu.
iv. Summary of
43. Dvara or door, derived from du, two and Í ar, to go, to enter, is that which serves both as an entrance and an exit. Eye ear and other organs of sense act as doors for objects to enter.
The five physical senses and the mind are regarded as the six doors through which objects gain entrance. See Compendium of Philosophy, p. 85 N. 4.
44. By cakkhu-dvara or eye-door is meant the sensory surface of the eye. The other doors should be similarly understood.
45. Mano-dvara - Mind-door
It was explained earlier that when an object enters the mind the bhavanga consciousness first vibrates for a moment and is then arrested. Subsequently avajjana or apprehending thought-moment arises. In the case of a physical object it is one of the five sense-impressions. In the case of a mental object it is the manodvaravajjana mind-door consciousness. The bhavangupaccheda (bhavanga arrest) thought-moment that immediately precedes the mind-door apprehending consciousness is known as the mind-door (manodvara).
Abhidhammavatara states -
S'avajjanam bhavangantu manodvaranti
46. The commentary sums up 46 as follows:-
(a) 1; (b) 2 (akusala and kusala
vipaka sampaticchana); (c) 2 (akusala and kusala vipaka
sampaticchana); (d) 3 (akusala vipaka = 1, kusala vipaka santirana = 2),
(e) 1; (f) 29 (akusala = 12 + kusala = 8 + ahetuka kriya hasituppada = 1 + sobhana
kriya = 8); (g) 8 (sobhana vipaka - the other three being included in santirana).
Forty-six types of consciousness arise through the eye-door with material form as the object (rupalambana). An equal number arises in the remaining four physical doors with their respective objects.
47. Accordingly, yatharaham -
That is, "according as the object is desirable or not, as attentiveness is right or wrong, as passion-freed individuals or not" (Vibhavini Tika). Mr. Aung says Ledi Sayadaw explains the same by 'According to the object, the plane of existence, the subject, attention, etc.'
48. All types of kamavacara consciousness arise through these five doors.
49. Namely, 12 akusalas + 1 ahetuka kriya + 16 sobhana kusala and kriya + 10 rupavacara kusala and kriya + 8 arupavacara kusala and kriya + 8 lokuttara magga and phala. (12 + 1 + 16 + l0 + 8 + 8 = 55)
50. Namely, 3 santiranas and 8 sobhana vipakas.
51. Dvara-vimutta, door-freed.
Vibhavini Tika explains that they are so called because (i) they do not arise in any of the sense-doors such as eye etc., (ii) bhavanga itself is the mind-door, and (iii) they exist without receiving any new external object (pertaining to the present life).
The first reason applies to cuti and patisandhi, the second to bhavangupaccheda, and the third to all bhavangas and cuti.
It was stated earlier that patisandhi, bhavanga and cuti of a particular life are similar because their objects and their co-adjuncts are identical although their functions differ.
At the moment of death a thought-process that conditions the future existence occurs. The object of this thought-process may be (i) a Kamma (action) which one has performed in the course of one's life. One recollects the deed as if being renewed. Strictly speaking, it is a recurring of the consciousness which one has experienced while performing the action. Or it may be (ii) any symbol (kamma-nimitta) which was conspicuous during the performance of the action. It may also be (iii) characteristic symbol of the place in which one is bound to be reborn (gati nimitta)*. Taking one of these three as the object, the rebirth-consciousness takes place in the future existence. The object of the bhavanga and cuti of that particular existence is similar to that of the patisandhi. Hence it was stated above that they do not take any new external object.
[* Referring to the object of the patisandhi citta Mr. Aung says in the Compendium - "These have for their object either the past efficient action itself, or a symbol of that past action (kamma-nimitta), or a sign of the tendencies (gati-nimitta) that are determined by the force of that past action" - p. 26. Here gati-nimitta means a sign or symbol of the place in which he is to be born, such as fire, flesh, celestial mansions, etc.]
52. They arise in their respective doors such as eye, ear, etc.
53. All the 26 Sublime and Supramundane javanas arise through the mind-door.
54. The two sampaticchana and pa˝cadvaravajjana arise only through the five physical sense-doors.
Readers should note that at times all these three types of consciousness are collectively termed manodhatuttika (three mind-elements).
55. Pleasurable investigation arises through the five physical doors when the object presented is desirable. It occurs through the mind-door as a tadalambana.
56. This is the manodvaravajjana which functions purely as a mind-door apprehending consciousness and as a determining consciousness in a thought-process which arises through any of the five physical doors.
57. When they function as patisandhi, bhavanga and cuti they are door-freed.
58. The nine rupavacara and arupavacara vipaka cittas arise as patisandhi, bhavanga and cuti respective planes. Hence they are door-freed.
59. They are:-
dvipa˝ca vi˝˝ana (sense-impression)
v. Summary of Objects
60. Arammanam or alambanam -
Arammanam is derived from a + Í ram, to attach, to adhere, to delight.
Alambanam is derived from a + Í lamb, to hang upon.
That on which the subject hangs, or adheres to, or delights in, is arammana or alambana. It means an object.
According to Abhidhamma there are six kinds of objects, which may be classified as physical and mental.
Each sense has its corresponding object.
61. Rupa is derived from Í rup, to change, to perish. In its generic sense it means' that which changes its colour owing to cold, heat, etc.' (situnhadivasena vannavikaramapajjati' ti rupam).
Abhidhamma enumerates 28 kinds of rupa, which will be descriptively dealt with in a special chapter. Here the term is used in its specific sense of object of sight.
The Vibhavini Tika states, "Rupa is that which manifests itself by assuming a difference in colour, that which expresses the state of having penetrated into the heart." (vannavikaram apajjamanam rupayati hadayangatabhavam pakaseti' ti rupam).
Rupa is the abode, range, field, or sphere of colour (vannayatana). It is the embodiment of colour.
It should be understood that according to Abhidhamma rupa springs from four sources - namely, Kamma, mind (citta), seasonal phenomena (utu), and food (ahara).
62. Sadda or (sound) arises from the friction of elements of extension (pathavi dhatu). There are four material elements (bhuta rupa) - namely, the element of extension (pathavi), the element of cohesion (apo), the element of heat (tejo), and the element of motion (vayo). These are the fundamental units of matter. They are always inter-dependent and inter-related. One element may preponderate over the other as, for example, the element of extension predominates in earth, the element of cohesion in water, the element of heat in fire, and the element of motion in air.
When an element of extension collides with a similar element there arises sound. It springs from both mind (citta) and seasonal phenomena (utu).
Sounds are either articulate (vykata) or inarticulate (avyakata).
63. Gandha (odour) is derived from gandh, to express (sucane). It springs from all the four sources.
64. Rasa (taste) is diffused in all the elements. Only the sapidity that exists in them is regarded as rasa.
65. Photthabbarammana - tangible object. It is not mere contact. With the exception of the element of cohesion all the remaining three elements are regarded as tangible, because the former cannot be felt by the body.
When these three elements, which constitute a tangible object, collide with the sensory surface of the body there arises either pain or pleasure according to the desirability or undesirability of the object. In the case of other objects there results only upekkha - neutral feeling.
66. Dhammarammana includes all objects of consciousness. Dhamma embraces both mental and physical phenomena.
67. The sensory surfaces of all the five organs are known as pasada. In the case of eye, ear, nose, tongue the sensory surfaces are located in particular spots, while the sensory surface of the body pervades the whole system.
There are five kinds of pasada rupa corresponding to the five sense-organs.
68. Sukhuma rupa -
Of the 28 kinds of rupa 16 are classed as sukhuma (subtle) and 12 as odarika (gross).
The physical objects of (i) sight, (ii) hearing, (iii) scent, (iv) taste, and touch (which includes the element of (v) extension, (vi) heat, (vii) and motion), and the five pasada rupas belong to the gross group. The remaining 16 which will be described in the chapter on rupa, belong to the subtle group. They are termed subtle as there is no collision on their part.
69. Namely, all the 89 types of consciousness. They are sometimes collectively treated as one object as they all possess the identical characteristic of awareness.
70. Namely, the 52 mental properties.
71. This is a supramundane object which is perceived by the eight kinds of Supramundane consciousness.
72. Pa˝˝atti is that which is made manifest. It is twofold-namely, nama pa˝˝atti and attha pa˝˝atti. The former means a name or term such as chair, table, etc., the latter means the object or idea conveyed thereby.
73. What is time? Strictly speaking, it is a mere concept which does not exist in an absolute sense. On the other hand what space is to matter, time is to mind. Conventionally we speak of past (atita), present (paccuppanna), and future (anagata).
Past is defined as that which has gone beyond its own state or the moments of genesis, development, and cessation (attano sabhavam uppadadikkhanam va atita atikkanta atita).
Present is that which on account of this and that reason enters, goes, exists above the moments of genesis etc. (tam tam karanam paticca uppadadikkhanam uddham panna, gata, pavatta = paccuppanna).
Future is that which has not yet reached both states (tadubhayam' pi na agata sampatta).
According to Abhidhamma each consciousness consists of three phases - uppada (genesis), thiti (development), and bhanga (dissolution or cessation). In the view of some commentators there is no intermediate thiti stage but only the stages of arising and passing away. Each thought-moment is followed by another. Time is thus the sine qua non of the succession of mental states. The fundamental unit of time is the duration of a thought-moment. Commentators say that the rapidity of these fleeting thought moments is such that within the brief duration of a flash of lightning there may be billions of thought-moments.
Matter, which also constantly changes, endures only for seventeen thought-moments, being the time duration for one thought-process.
Past is gone, Future has not come. We live only for one thought-moment and that slips into the irrevocable past. In one sense there is only the eternal NOW. In another sense the so-called present is the transitional stage from the future to the past.
The Dictionary of Philosophy defines time "as the general medium in which all events take place in succession or appear to take place in succession."
Atthasalini states that time is a concept derived from this or that phenomenon. And it does not exist in reality; it is merely a concept. (Tam tam upadaya pa˝˝atto kalo nama. So pan' esa sabhavato avaijjamanatta pa˝˝atti-mattako eva).
74. All sense-objects belong to the present.
75. Accordingly - yatharaham, i.e., with respect to sense-sphere Javana, Higher Intellect (abhi˝˝a) and other Sublime Javanas.
The six kinds of objects of the Sense-sphere Javanas, with the exception of smiling consciousness, are present, past, future, and independent of time.
The objects of the smiling consciousness are past, present, and future.
The objects of the Javanas, by means of which the Higher Intellect such as Divine Eye, Divine Ear are developed, are past, present, future, and independent of time.
The objects of sublime Javanas may be either timeless or past.
As Nibbana is eternal it does not belong to the past, present, or future. It is timeless. So is pa˝˝atti, independent of time.
76. This difficult passage needs some explanation.
When a person is about to die he sometimes recollects a good or bad action he has performed during his lifetime. The moral or immoral consciousness, experienced at the particular moment, arises now as a fresh consciousness This is technically known as 'Kamma'.
Being a thought, it is a dhammarammana grasped through the mind-door, and is past.
The object of the patisandhi, bhavanga, and cuti classes of consciousness of the subsequent life is this dhammarammana.
At times it may be a sign or symbol associated with the good or bad action. It may be one of the five physical objects viewed through one of the six doors, as a present or past object.
Suppose, for instance, one hears the Dhamma at the dying moment. In this case the present audible word grasped through the ear becomes the object. It, therefore, follows that the object of the afore-said three classes of consciousness of the following life becomes this kamma nimitta.
Again, let us think that a dying physician sees through his mental eye the patients he has treated. Now this is a past ruparammana perceived through the mind-door.
Or again, let us think that a dying butcher hears the groans of cattle he has killed. The past audible object is presented to the person through the mind-door.
Kamma-nimitta may, therefore, be past or present, viewed through one of the six doors. In some cases some symbol of the place in which he is to be reborn such as fire, flesh, celestial mansions, etc. may appear to the dying person. This is regarded as present object grasped through the mind-door.
Gati-nimitta is, therefore, a visual object, present in point of time, and is perceived through the mind-door.
It should be noted that the patisandhi, bhavanga, and cuti thought-moments of the Sense-sphere have for their objects a kamma, a kamma-nimitta, or a gati-nimitta, perceived through one of the six-doors, in the immediately preceding life.
In the case of all rupavacara patisandhi etc., the object is always a past kamma-nimitta which is a concept (pa˝˝atti) such as a kasina symbol, perceived through the mind door.
The object of the first and third arupa patisandhi etc., is also a past concept (pa˝˝atti) such as 'ananto akaso' 'infinite is space' in the case of the first, and the concept 'natthi ki˝ci'-'there is nothing,' in the case of the third. These two concepts are regarded as kamma-nimittas perceived through the mind-door.
The object of the second and fourth arupa jhana patisandhi etc., is a past mental object which serves as the kamma-nimitta perceived through the mind-door.
As was explained in the first chapter the second arupa consciousness was developed by taking the first arupa consciousness as the object, and the fourth with the third as the object.
77. The term 'yebhuyyena' (mostly) is used to indicate the rebirth of one born in the asa˝˝a plane where there is no consciousness. The commentary states that by the power of Kamma some object such as a kamma-nimitta presents itself to the patisandhi consciousness.
78. In Buddhism an ordinary worldling is called a puthujjana (lit., manyfolk or one who is born again and again). Those who have attained the first three stages of Sainthood are called sekhas (lit., those who undergo a training). Those who have attained the Final stage of Sainthood (Arahatship) are called asekhas, who no more undergo any training.
The sekhas cannot comprehend the Path and Fruit consciousness of an Arahat because they have not attained that superior state, but worldly thoughts of an Arahat they can.
Similarly the worldlings cannot comprehend the supramundane consciousness of the Sekha Saints.
79. Abhi˝˝a are the five kinds of Higher Knowledge. They are Divine Eye (dibbacakkhu), Divine Ear (dibbasota), Reminiscence of past births (pubbenivasanussati ˝ana), Reading the thoughts of others (paracittavijanana) and Psychic Powers (iddhividha ˝ana). To develop these five abhi˝˝as one must possess the fifth Jhana. Not even with this developed Sublime consciousness can a worldling or a Sekha comprehend the Path and Fruit consciousness of an Arahat.
It is only an Arahat who can comprehend the Path and Fruit consciousness of an Arahat.
A detailed account of abhi˝˝a will appear in a later chapter.
80. These two classes of consciousness are experienced only by Arahats.
81. This is the manodvaravajjana which occurs before every Javana process. Hence there is nothing that is beyond the scope of this consciousness.
82. Namely, Sense-sphere objects, Sublime objects, Supramundane objects, and concepts (pa˝˝atti).
83. The object of the second arupa consciousness is the first arupa consciousness, while that of the fourth is the third.
84. i.e., the object of the first arupa consciousness is the concept 'ananto akaso' 'infinite is space,' that of the third is the concept 'natthi ki˝ci' there is nothing.'
An explanation of these appears in the first chapter,
All the rupa jhanas have concepts such as kasinas as their objects.
85. Namely, 23 Sense-sphere Resultants + 1 sense-door consciousness + 1 smiling consciousness = 25.
86. Paritta, derived from pari + Í da, to break, to shorten, means lower or inferior. This refers to Sense-sphere objects.
87. Namely, the Moral, Resultant, and Functional 2nd and 4th arupa cittas (vi˝˝ana˝cayatana and n'eva sa˝˝a n'asa˝˝ayatana).
88. Namely, 16 rupa jhanas and Moral, Resultant, and Functional 1st and 3rd arupa jhanas (akasana˝cayatana and aki˝ca˝˝ayatana); 15 + 6 = 21.
89. Vohara here refers to concepts such as kasinas.
90. Namely, the 12 Immorals and 8 Sense-sphere Morals and Functionals, dissociated with knowledge.
91. They are the 4 Sense-sphere Morals associated with knowledge and the 5th Moral rupa jhana (abhi˝˝a kusala citta).
92. They are the 4 Sense-sphere Functionals, 5th Functional rupa jhana, and mind-door apprehending (manodvaravajjana).
vi. Summary of Bases
93. Vatthu is derived from Í vas, to dwell. In its primary sense it means a garden, field, or avenue. In its secondary sense it means a cause or condition. Vatthu is also applied to something that exists, that is, a substance, object, or thing. Referring to the three objects of worship, the Buddha says "Uddesikam ti avatthukam." Here avatthuka means objectless, without a thing or substance.
Vatthu is the seat of sense-organs.
There are six seats of physical bases corresponding to the six senses.
These will be fully described in the chapter on rupa.
94. The indeclinable particle 'pi' (too) in the text indicates that there is an exception in the case of those who are born blind, deaf, dumb, etc.
95. The organs exist, but not their sensory faculties as beings in these higher planes have temporarily inhibited the desire for sensual pleasures (kamaraga). They possess eye and ear so that they may utilize them for good purposes. The heart-base also exists because it is the seat of consciousness.
96. Being devoid of all forms of matter. Mind alone exists even without the seat of consciousness by the power of meditation.
97. For instance, the eye-consciousness depends on the sensory surface of the eye but not on the physical organ or 'eye of flesh.' The other sense-impressions also depend on their respective sensory surfaces.
The sensory surfaces (pasada) of these five organs should be understood as follows: -
"Cakkhu" which stands for vision, sense of sight and eye. "Eye," however, is always in the present work to be understood as the seeing faculty or visual sense, and not as the physical or 'eye of flesh' (mamsa cakkhu). The commentary gives an account of the eye, of which the following is the substance: First the aggregate organism (sasambhara-cakkhu): a ball of flesh fixed in a cavity, bound by the socket bone beneath and by the bone of the eyebrow above, by the angles of the eye at the sides, by the brain within and by the eyelashes without. There are fourteen constituents: the four elements, the six attributes dependent on them, viz., colour, odour, taste, sap of life, form (santhanam), and collocation (sambhavo); vitality, sex, body-sensibility (kayappasado), and the visual sentient organ. The last four have their source in kamma. When 'the world, seeing an obvious extended white object fancies it perceives the eye, it only perceives the basis (or seat-vatthu) of the eye. And this ball of flesh, bound to the brain by nerve-fibers, is white, black and red, and contains the solid, the liquid, the lambent and the gaseous. It is white by superfluity of humour, black by superfluity of bile, red by superfluity of blood, rigid by superfluity of the solid, exuding by superfluity of the liquid, inflamed by superfluity of the lambent, quivering by superfluity of the gaseous. But that sentient organ (pasado) which is there bound, inherent, derived from the four great principles - this is the visual sense (pasada-cakkhu). Placed in the midst and in the front of the black disc of the composite eye, the white disc surrounding it (note that the iris is either not distinguished or is itself the 'black disc') and in the circle of vision, in the region where the forms of adjacent bodies come to appear, it permeates the seven ocular membranes as sprinkled oil will permeate seven cotton wicks. And so it stands, aided by the four elements, sustaining, maturing, moving (samudiranam) - like an infant prince and four nurses, feeding, bathing, dressing, and fanning him - maintained by nutriment both physical (utu) and mental, protected by the (normal) span of life, invested with colour, smell, taste, and so forth, in size the measure of a louse's head - stands duly constituting itself the door of the seat of visual cognitions etc. For as it has been said by the Commander of the Doctrine (Sariputta):
'The visual sense by which he beholds forms
Is small and delicate, comparable to a louse's head.
"This, situated within the cavity of the aggregate organism of the ear, and well-furnished fine reddish hairs, is in shape like a little finger-stall (angulivethana)." (Asl. 310).
"This is situated inside the cavity of the aggregate nasal organism, in appearance like a goat's hoof." (Asl. 310).
This is situated above the middle of the aggregate gustatory organism, in appearance like the upper side of the leaf of a lotus." (Asl. 310).
"The sphere of kaya - so runs the comment (Asl. 311) - is diffused over the whole bodily form just as oil pervades an entire cotton rag." - Buddhist Psychology, pp. 173-181).
98. Hadayavatthu - heart-base.
According to the commentators, hadayavatthu is the seat of consciousness. Tradition says that within the cavity of the heart there is some blood, and depending on which lies the seat of consciousness. It was this cardiac theory that prevailed in the Buddha's time, and this was evidently supported by the Upanishads.
The Buddha could have adopted this popular theory, but He did not commit Himself.
Mr. Aung in his Compendium argues that the Buddha was silent on this point. He did not positively assert that the seat of consciousness was either in the heart or in the brain. In the Dhammasangani the term hadayavatthu has purposely been omitted. In the Patthana, instead of using hadaya as the seat of consciousness, the Buddha has simply stated 'yam rupain nissaya' - 'depending on that rupa.' Mr. Aung's opinion is that the Buddha did not want to reject the popular theory. Nor did He advance a new theory that brain is the seat of consciousness as is regarded by modern scientists.
See Buddhist Psychology - Introduction lxxviii, and Compendium of Philosophy, pp. 277-279.
99. Dhatu is derived from Í dhar, to hold, to bear. 'That which carries its own characteristic mark is dhatu. They are so called since they are devoid of being or life (nissatta nijjiva).
For the sake of convenience three technical terms are used here. They are pa˝ca-vi˝˝ana-dhatu, manodhatu, mano-vi˝˝ana-dhatu.
Pa˝ca-vi˝˝ana-dhatu is applied to the ten sense-impressions.
Mano-dhatu - is applied to the two types of receiving consciousness and five-door adverting consciousness (sampaticchana and pa˝cadvaravajjana).
Mano-vi˝˝ana-dhatu is applied to all the remaining classes of consciousness.
100. The three classes of investigating consciousness and the eight great Resultants do not arise in the Formless sphere owing to the absence of any door or any function there.
101. As aversion has been inhibited by, those born in rupa and arupa planes the two classes of consciousness, accompanied by aversion, do not arise there.
102. To attain the first stage of Sainthood one must hear the word from another (paratoghosappaccaya).
103. Smiling consciousness cannot arise without a body. Buddhas and Pacceka Buddhas who experience such classes of consciousness are not born outside the human plane.
104. No rupa jhana consciousness arises in the arupaloka as those persons born in such planes have temporarily inhibited the desire for rupa.
105. All the 43 types of consciousness, stated above, are dependent on the hadayavatthu.
(10 + 3 + 3 + 8 + 2 + 1 + 1 + 15 = 43)
106. They are the 8 sobhana kusalas, 4 rupa kusalas, 10 akusalas, 1 manodvaravajjana, 8 sobhana kriya, 4 arupa kriya, 7 lokuttaras = 42.
These may arise in planes with the five Aggregates or in planes with four Aggregates (arupa-loka).
107. i.e., 5 pa˝ca-vi˝˝ana-dhatus + 1 manodhatu + 1 mano-vi˝˝ana-dhatu = 7.
108. i.e., 1 cakkhu-vi˝˝ana, 1 sota-vi˝˝ana, 1 mano-dhatu, 1 mano-vi˝˝ana-dhatu = 4.
109. Namely, cakkhu, sota and hadayavatthu.
110. Dhatu + eka = Dhatv' eka. This refers to mano-vi˝˝ana-dhatu.
Source: Tipitaka -der Pali Kanon des Theravada-Buddhismus, http://www.palikanon.com
(See also: Vietnamese Translation by Pham Kim Khanh)