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Citta, 17 Definition(s)

Citta means something in Buddhism, Hinduism, Sikhism, Jainism, Sanskrit, Pali Check out some of the following descriptions and leave a comment if you want to add your own contribution to this article:

16 Definition(s) from various sources:

The mind (citta), which naturally transforms itself into its states (vṛtti), does so for two reasons, which are said to be like its two seeds. One of these is the vibration (parispanda) of prāṇa, and the other, strong and deep-rooted desires and inclinations which construct (dṛḍha-bhāvanā).

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1) Citta, 2 (cp. Sk. caitra, the first month of the year: MarchApril, orig. N. of the star Spica (in Virgo); see E. Plunket, Ancient Calendars, etc., pp. 134 sq., 171 sq.) N. of the month Chaitra PvA.135. Cp. Citra-māsa KhA 192. (Page 268)

2) Citta, 2 (nt.) (Sk. citta, orig. pp. of cinteti, cit, cp. yutta› yuñjati, mutta›muñcati. On etym. from cit. see cinteti). Meaning:—the heart (psychologically), i.e. the centre & focus of man’s emotional nature as well as that intellectual element which inheres in & accompanies its manifestations; i.e. thought. In this wise citta denotes both the agent & that which is enacted (see kamma II. introd.), for in Indian Psychology citta is the seat & organ of thought (cetasā cinteti; cp. Gr. frήn, although on the whole it corresponds more to the Homeric qumόs). As in the verb (cinteti) there are two stems closely allied and almost inseparable in meaning (see § III, ), viz. cit & cet (citta & cetas); cp. ye should restrain, curb, subdue citta by ceto, M.I, 120, 242 (cp. attanā coday’attānaṃ Dhp 379 f.); cetasā cittaṃ samannesati S.I, 194 (cp. cetasā cittaṃ samannesati S.I, 194). In their general use there is no distinction to be made between the two (see § III,).

The meaning of citta is best understood when explaining it by expressions familiar to us, as: with all my heart; heart and soul; I have no heart to do it; blessed are the pure in heart; singleness of heart (cp. ekagga); all of which emphasize the emotional & conative side or “thought” more than its mental & rational side (for which see manas & viññāṇa). It may therefore be rendered by intention, impulse, design; mood, disposition, state of mind, reaction to impressions. It is only in later scholastic lgg. that we are justified in applying the term “thought” in its technical sense. It needs to be pointed out, as complementary to this view, that citta nearly always occurs in the singular (=heart), & out of 150 cases in the Nikāyas only 3 times in the plural (=thoughts). The substantiality of citta (cetas) is also evident from its connection with kamma (heart as source of action), kāma & the senses in general. ‹-› On the whole subject see Mrs. Rh. D. Buddh. Psych. Eth. introd. & Bud. Psy. ch. II.

3.a) Citta (adjective.) (to cetati; *(s)qait to shine, to be bright, cp. Sk. citra, Sk. P. ketu, Av. ciprō, Lat. caelum, Ags. hador, Ohg. heitar, see also citta2) variegated, manifold, beautiful; tasty, sweet, spiced (of cakes), J.IV, 30 (geṇḍuka); Dh.171 (rājaratha); Vv 479; Pv.II, 112 (aneka°); IV, 313 (pūvā=madhurā PvA.251).

3.b) Citta (neuter.) painting Th.1, 674.—Sn.50 (kāmā=Nd2 240 nānāvaṇṇā), 251 (gāthā); J.V, 196 (geṇḍuka), 241 VI, 218.

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citta : (nt.) mind; thought; (m.), name of a month: March-April. (adj.), variegated; manifold; beautiful. (nt.), a painting; picture.

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'mind', 'consciousness', 'state of consciousness', is a synonym of mano and viññāna (s. khandha and Tab. 1).

Dhs. divides all phenomena into consciousness (citta), mental concomitants (cetasika) and corporeality (rūpa).

In adhicitta, 'higher mentality', it signifies the concentrated, quietened mind, and is one of the 3 trainings (s. sikkhā).

The concentration (or intensification) of consciousness is one of the 4 roads to power (s. iddhipāda).

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viññāna (s. khandha),

citta (q.v.), mano (q v ) -

Moment of °: citta-kkhana (q.v.).

Contemplation of °: cittānupassanā: s. satipatthāna -

Corporeality produced by °: citta-ja-rūpa, s. samutthāna -

Abodes or supports of °: cf. viññānatthiti (q.v.)

Functions of °: viññāna-kicca (q.v.).

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Citta is derived from the PaIi word for thinking (cinteti). All cittas have in common that they "think" of an object, but we have to take thinking here in a very general sense, meaning, being conscious of an object, or cognizing an object.

Cittas perform different functions. For examine, seeing is a function (kicca) of citta.

A citta cannot arise alone, it has to be accompanied by cetasikas. The citta is the "leader", while the cetasikas which share the same object perform each their own task.

There is a great variety of cetasikas accompanying the different cittas. Akusala cittas are accompanied by cetasikas which are defilements, whereas kusala cittas are accompanied by cetasikas which are good qualities. Apart from defilements and good qualities there are also cetasikas which accompany cittas which are unwholesome, cittas which are wholesome and cittas which are neither wholesome nor unwholesome.

Added: 31.Jan.2010 | Dhamma Study: Cetasikas
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What we call mind are in reality different fleeting moments of consciousness succeeding one another very rapidly. Since "mind" has in psychology a meaning different from "mind" according to the Buddhist teaching, it is to be preferred to use the Pali term citta (pronounced: chitta).

The mind is variable, it changes very rapidly. At one moment there is a mind with attachment, at another moment a mind with generosity, at another moment a mind with anger. At each moment there is a different mind. Through the Buddhist teachings we learn that in reality the mind is different from what we mean by the word "mind" in conventional language.

Added: 31.Jan.2010 | Dhamma Study: Cetasikas
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First kind of Nama.

1. Citta (consciousness) is of 89 different types. Cittas are divided into four categories:

  1. Moral or skillful consciousness (kusala citta) – 21 types
  2. Immoral or unskillful consciousness (akusala citta) –12 types
  3. Resultant consciousness (vipaka citta) –36 types
  4. Inoperative consciousness (kiriya citta) –20 types

2. Citta is the chief mental phenomena of experience. So in seeing, for example, the function of the moment of seeing (citta) is to see the object. Citta is the chief experiencer.

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Consciousness is the mind, which perceives the different aspects of objects

Added: 19.Sep.2009 | Wisdom Library: Buddhism
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Citta, or consciousness, is the Dhamma which is the leader in knowing what appears, such as seeing or hearing. Cittas have been classified as 89 types in all, or, in special cases, as 121 types.

Citta is an element, which experiences something, a reality which experiences an object. It is the "chief", the leader in knowing the object which appears.

There is not only citta, which sees, citta that hears, citta which smells, citta which tastes or citta which experiences tangible object, there is also citta which thinks about many diverse subjects. The world of each person is ruled by his citta.

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See One Hundred and Tweny One Cittas

Citta means consciousness. It is the nature that is aware of its object. No other dhamma or nature can know anything including themselves. But citta can know everything possible including cittas.

Citta always leads other nama dhamma and rupa dhamma. A citta arises, it passes away immediately after its arising. Another citta arises, and again it falls away. Next arises and dies out immediately. This kind of uninterruptedness is the manifestation of citta. There are immediate causes for arising of citta. They are cittas themselves, nama dhamma and rupa dhamma.

There are 89 cittas in total.

  • 81 cittas are mundane consciousness and
  • 8 cittas are supramundane consciousness.

At another time, citta can be counted as 121 cittas in total.

This happens when 8 lokuttara cittas arise when in jhana. These are called lokuttara jhana cittas. As there are 5 jhanas, then there are 40 lokuttara jhana cittas.

Together with lokiya cittas 40 and 81 will make 121 cittas in total.

When 89 cittas are analysed according to their jati or origin or parentage, there are four classes of citta. They are

  1. 12 akusala cittas ( 8 lobha + 2 dosa + 2 moha citta )
  2. 21 kusala cittas ( 8 mahakusala + 5 rupakusala + 4 arupakusala + 4 lokuttarakusala or magga citta )
  3. 36 vipaka cittas ( 7 ahetuka akusala + 8 ahetuka kusala + 8 mahavipaka + 5 rupavipaka + 4 arupavipaka + 4 lokuttaravipaka or phala citta )
  4. 20 kiriya cittas ( 3 ahetukakiriya + 8 mahakiriya + 5 rupakiriya + 4 arupakiriya )

12 + 21 + 36 + 20 = 89 cittas in total.

When cittas are viewed by bhumi or place or plane of existence, there are 4 classes of citta. They are

  1. 54 kamavacara cittas ( 12 akusala + 18 ahetuka cittas + 24 sobhana cittas )
  2. 15 rupavacara cittas ( 5 rupakusala + 5 rupavipaka + 5 rupakiriya )
  3. 12 arupavacara cittas ( 4 arupakusala + 4 arupavipaka + 4 arupakiriya )
  4. 8 lokuttara cittas (4 lokuttara kusala or magga + 4 lokuttara vipaka or phala)

54 + 15 + 12 + 8 = 89 cittas in total.

When lokuttara cittas arise in parallel with jhana, there will be 121 cittas in total. Then, according to jati or origin or parentage, cittas can be classified as

  1. 37 kusala cittas ( 8 mahakusala, 5 rupakusala, 4arupakusala, 20 lokuttarakusala cittas )
  2. 52 vipaka cittas ( 15 ahetukavipaka, 8 mahavipaka, 5 rupavipaka, 4 arupavipaka, 20 lokuttaravipaka cittas )
  3. 20 kiriya cittas ( 3 ahetuka kiriya, 8 mahakiriya, 5 rupakiriya, 4 arupakiriya )
  4. 12 akusala cittas ( 8 lobha , 2 dosa, 2 moha )

37 + 52 + 20 + 12 = 121 cittas in total.

According to bhumi or place or plane of existence, there are 4 classes of citta. They are

  1. 54 kamavacara cittas ( 12 akusala, 18 ahetuka, 24 sobhana cittas )
  2. 15 rupavacara cittas ( 5 rupakusala, 5 rupavipaka, 5 rupakiriya )
  3. 12 arupavacara cittas ( 4 arupakusala, 4 arupavipaka, 4 arupakiriya )
  4. 40 lokuttara cittas ( 20 lokuttara kusala, 20 lokuttara vipaka )

54 + 15 + 12 + 40 = 121 cittas in total.

Added: 07.Jun.2009 | Journey to Nibbana: Patthana Dhama
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(mind, thought).

Added: 26.Apr.2009 | Dhamma Dana: Pali English Glossary
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1. Citta (called Cittagahapati) - A householder of Macchikasanda, where he was Treasurer. He was later declared by the Buddha to be pre eminent among laymen who preached the Doctrine (A.i.26). On the day of his birth the whole city was covered knee deep with flowers of various hues, hence his name.

When Mahanama visited Macchikasanda, Citta, pleased with his demeanour, invited him to his park, the Ambatakarama, and built for him a monastery there. And there the Elder preached to Citta the Sala yatana vibhatti and Citta became an Anagami. Thereafter many monks visited the Ambatakarama and accepted Cittas hospitality. Among them was Isidatta (q.v.), a former acquaintance of Citta, but Isidatta left when he found that his identity had been discovered. Mahanama and Mahaka did likewise, after having performed miracles at the request of Citta.

The Citta Samyutta (S.iv.282ff) contains a record of conversations between Citta and members of the Order, among whom, besides those already mentioned, were Kamabhu and Godatta. Citta is also said to have had discussions with Nigantha Nataputta and Acela Kassapa and to have refuted their views.

A thera named Sudhamma was a permanent resident in the Ambatakarama and was looked after by Citta. Once, when the two Chief Disciples and several other eminent Elders came to the Ambatakarama, Citta invited first these and then Sudhamma; the latter, feeling slighted, blamed Citta beyond measure, but the Buddha, hearing of this, sent Sudhamma to ask for Cittas pardon (Vin.ii.15ff; DhA.ii.74f; for details see Sudhamma).

Some time later, Citta visited the Buddha. He was accompanied by two thousand others and took with him five hundred cartloads of offerings to the Buddha and the Order. As he fell at the feet of the Buddha, flowers of five hues showered from the sky and the Buddha preached to him the Salayatana vibhatti. For a fortnight he continued distributing his gifts to the Order and the devas filled his carts with all kinds of valuables (AA.i.210).

When Citta lay ill just before his death, devas visited him and advised him to wish for kingship among them, but he refused to aspire to anything so impermanent, and instructed the devas and his kinsfolk gathered round him, telling them of the Buddha and his teachings (S.iv.302f). He is regarded as the ideal layman (E.g., at A.i.88; ii.164; iii.451).

He owned a tributary village called Migapattaka (SA.iii.93).

In the time of Padumuttara Buddha, Citta conceived his desire to be placed first among laymen in the teaching of the Dhamma. In the time of Kassapa Buddha he was a huntsman. One day, seeing a monk in a glen, and being pleased thereat, he hurried home, prepared a meal and brought it to the monk, together with flowers he had gathered on the way. After the offering,

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1. Citta - One of the four wives of Magha.

Added: 11.Apr.2009 | Pali Kanon: Pali Proper Names
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state of conciousness
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Mind; heart; state of consciousness.
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Thought, thoughtfulness, active thoughts, mind, a state of consciousness.
Added: 21.Jun.2008 | Chez Paul: A Buddhist Glossary
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Mind or heart. the two terms being synonymous in Asian religious philosophy.
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