One of the Sabbacittasadharana cetasikas. Cetana is volition. It urges citta and other co arising cetasikas to do their jobs. Cetana is the chief commiter of all actions bodily actions, verbal actions and mental actions.
While it arises together with committing citta, it becomes a potential like a seed that would grow to its full resultant effects whenever conditions favour. This potential or kamma always follow along with each arising citta as if our shades follow ourselves all the time and this will be ongoing until cuti citta or arahats.
1. Cetana, volition, is a cetasika which arises with every citta, as we have seen. Seeing, hearing or thinking which arise now are accompanied by cetana. Every type of cetana perform the function of coordinating the different tasks of the accompanying dhammas, no matter whether the citta is kusala citta, akusala citta, vipaka citta or kiriya citta.
2. The characteristic of cetana is coordinating. It coordinates the citta and the other cetasikas it accompanies on the object.
One of the Seven Universals.
'volition', will, is one of the seven mental factors (cetasika, q.v.) inseparably bound up with all consciousness, namely sensorial or mental impression (phassa), feeling (vedanā), perception (saññā), volition (cetanā), concentration (samādhi), vitality (jīvita), advertence (manasikāra). Cf. Tab. II, III.
With regard to karmical volition (i.e. wholesome or unwholesome karma) it is said in A. VI, 13: "Volition is action (karma), thus I say, o monks; for as soon as volition arises, one does the action, be it by body, speech or mind." For details, s. paticca-samuppāda (10), karma.
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Cetanā，(f．abstr．fr．cet，see cinteti) state of ceto in action，thinking as active thought，intention，purpose，will．Defined as action （kamma：A iii．415; cp．KV．VIII，9，§ 38 untraced quotation; cp．A．V，292）．Often combd w．patthanā & paṇidhi （wish & aspiration），e．g．S．II，99，154; A．I，32，224; V 212; Nd2 112 （in def．of asucimanussā，people of ignoble action：asuciyā cetanāya，patthanāya，paṇidhinā samannāgatā）．Also classed with these in a larger group in KV．，e．g．343，380．-- Combd w．vedanā saññā c．citta phassa manasikāra in def．of nāmakāya （opp．rūpakāya） S．II，3 （without citta），Ps．I，183 （do．）; Nett 77，78．-- Enumd under the four blessings of vatthu，paccaya，c．，guṇātireka （-sampadā） & def．as “cetanāya somanassa-sahagatañāṇa-sampayutta-bhāvo＂ at DhA．III，94．-- C．is opposed to cetasika （i．e．ceto） in its determination of the 7 items of good conduct （see sīla） which refers to actions of the body （or are wilful，called cetanākamma Nett 43，96; otherwise distinguished as kāya- & vacīkammantā A．V，292 sq．），whereas the 3 last items （sīla 8--10） refer to the behaviour of the mind （cetasikakamma Nett．，mano-kammanta A），viz．the shrinking back from covetousness，malice，& wrong views．‹-› Vin．III，112; S．III，60; A．II，232 （kaṇhassa kammassa pahānāya cetanā：intention to give up wrong-doing）; VvA．72 （vadhaka-cetanā wilful murder）; maraṇacetanā intention of death DhA．I，20; āhār’āsā cetanā intention consisting in deśire for food Vism．537．‹-› PvA．8，30 （pariccāga° intention to give）; Pug．12; Miln．94; Sdhp．52，72．-- In scholastic lgg．often expld as cetanā sañcetanā sañcetayitatta （viz．state or behaviour of volition） Dhs．5; Vbh．285．-- Cp．Dhs．58 （+citta）; Vbh．401 （id．）; Vbh．40，403; Vism．463 （cetayatī ti cetanā; abhisandahatī ti attho）．（Page 271）
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