A Manual of Abhidhamma

by Nārada Thera | 80,494 words | ISBN-13: 9789380336510

In the Abhidhammattha Sangaha there is a brief exposition of the Law of Dependent Origination, followed by a descriptive account of the Causal Relations that finds no parallel in any other philosophy. Edited in the original Pali Text with English Translation and Explanatory Notes by Narada Maha Thera....

121 Types of Consciousness

ekavīsasatāni cittāni

§ 10.

Ittham'ekūna navuti - ppabhedham pana mānasam
Ekavīsasatam v'ātha - vibhajanti vicakkhanā.

Katham'ekūna navutividham cittam ekavīsasatam hoti?

  1. Vitakka-vicāra-pīti-sukh'ekaggatā-sahitam Pathamajjhāna-Sotāpatti-maggacittam,
  2. Vicāra-pīti-sukh'ekaggatā-sahitam Dutiyajjhāna-Sotāpatti-maggacittam,
  3. Pīti-sukh'ekaggatā-sahitam Tatiyajjhāna Sotāpatti-maggacittam,
  4. Sukh'ekaggatā-sahitam Catutthajjhāna Sotāpatti-maggacittam,
  5. Upekkh'ekaggatā-sahitam Pañcamajjhāna Sotāpatti-maggacittañ c'ati.

 Imāni pañca pi Sotāpatti-maggacittāni nāma.

Tathā Sakadāgāmī-magga, Anāgāmī-magga, Arahatta-maggacittañ c'ati samavīsati maggacittāni. Tathā phalacittāni c'ati samacattālīsa Lokuttaracittāni bhavantī'ti.

  1. Jhānangayogabhedhena - ketv'ekekan tu pañcadhā Vuccatā nuttaram cittam - cattālīsavidhanti ca.
  2. Yathā ca rūpāvacaram - gayhatā nuttaram tathā Pathamādijhānabhede - ārūppañca'pi pañcame
  3. Ekādasavidham tasmā - pathamādikam'īritam Jhānan ekekam' ante tu - tevīsatividham bhave.
  4. Sattatimsavidham puññam - dvipaññāsavvidham tathā Pākam iccāhu cittāni - ekavīsasatam budhā'ti.

Iti Abhidhammatthasangahe Cittasangahavibhāgo nāma pathamo paricchedo.



§ 10.

These different classes of consciousness, which thus number eighty-nine, the wise divide into one hundred and twenty-one.

How does consciousness which is analyzed into eighty-nine become one hundred and twenty-one?

  1. The First Jhāna Sotāpatti Path-consciousness together with initial application, sustained application, joy, happiness, and one-pointedness,
  2. The Second Jhāna Sotāpatti Path-consciousness together with sustained application, joy, happiness, and one-pointedness,
  3. The Third Jhāna Sotāpatti Path-consciousness together with joy, happiness, and one-pointedness,
  4. The Fourth Jhāna Sotāpatti Path-consciousness together with happiness and one-pointedness,
  5. The Fifth Jhāna Sotāpatti Path-consciousness together with equanimity and one-pointedness.

These are the five types of Sotāpatti Path-consciousness.

So are the Sakadāgāmī Path-consciousness, Anāgāmī Path-consciousness, and Arahatta Path-consciousness, making exactly twenty classes of consciousness. Similarly there are twenty classes of Fruit-consciousness. Thus there are forty types of supra mundane consciousness.

(Summary )

  1. Dividing each (supra mundane) consciousness into five kinds according to different Jhāna factors, the supra mundane consciousness, it is said, becomes forty.
  2. As the Form-Sphere consciousness is treated as first Jhāna consciousness and so on, even so is the supra mundane consciousness. The Formless-Sphere consciousness is included in the fifth Jhāna.
  3. Thus the Jhānas beginning from the first amount to eleven, they say. The last Jhāna (i.e., the fifth ) totals twenty-three.
  4. Thirty-seven are Morals, fifty-two are Resultants; thus the wise say that there are one-hundred and twenty-one types of consciousness.

Thus ends the first chapter of the Abhidhammattha Sangaha which deals with the Analysis of the Consciousness



45. The Realization of Nibbāna.

The Yogi who wishes to realize Nibbāna tries to understand things as they truly are. With his one-pointed mind he scrutinizes his self and, on due examination, discovers that his so-called "Ego-personality" is nothing but a mere composition of mind and matter - the former consisting of fleeting mental states that arise as a result of the senses coming into contact with the sense-stimuli, and the latter of forces and qualities that manifest them-selves in multifarious phenomena.

Having thus gained a correct view of the real nature of his self, freed from the false notion of an identical substance of mind and matter, he attempts to investigate the cause of this "Ego-personality." He realizes that everything worldly, himself not excluded, is conditioned by causes past or present, and that this existence is due to past ignorance (avijjā), craving (tanhā), attachment (upādāna), Kamma, and physical food (āhāra) of the present life. On account of these five causes this personality has arisen and as the past activities have conditioned the present, so the present will condition the future. Meditating thus, he transcends all doubts with regard to the past, present, and future (kankhā-vitarana-visuddhi). Thereupon he contemplates that all conditioned things are transient (anicca), subject to suffering (dukkha), and devoid of an immortal soul (anattā). Wherever he turns his eyes, he sees nothing but these three characteristics standing out in bold relief. He realizes that life is a mere flowing, continuous undivided movement. Neither in a celestial plane nor on earth does he find any genuine happiness, for every form of pleasure is only a prelude to pain. What is transient is therefore subject to suffering and where change and sorrow prevail there cannot be a permanent ego.

As he is thus absorbed in meditation, a day comes when, to his surprise, he witnesses an aura emanating from his body (obhāsa). He experiences an unprecedented pleasure, happiness, and quietude. He becomes evenminded and strenuous. His religious fervour increases, and mindfulness becomes perfect, and Insight extraordinarily keen.

Mistaking this advanced state of moral progress for Sainthood, chiefly owing to the presence of the aura, he develops a liking for this mental state. Soon the realization comes that these new developments are only obstacles to moral progress and he cultivates the 'purity of Knowledge' with regard to the 'Path' and 'Non-path' (maggāmagga-ñānadassana visuddhi).

Perceiving the right path, he resumes his meditation on the arising (udaya ñāna) and passing away (vaya ñāna) of conditioned things. Of these two characteristics the latter becomes more impressed in his mind, because change is more conspicuous than becoming. Therefore he turns his attention to the contemplation of the dissolution of things (bhanga ñāna). He perceives that both mind and matter, which constitute his personality, are in a state of constant flux, not remaining for two consecutive moments the same. To him then comes the knowledge that all dissolving things are fearful (bhaya ñāna). The whole world appears to him like a pit of burning embers, a source of danger. Subsequently he reflects on the wretchedness and vanity (ādīnava ñāna) of the fearful world and feeling disgusted with it (nibbidā ñāna), wishes to escape therefrom (muñcitukamyatā ñāna).

With this object in view, he meditates again on the three characteristics (patisankhā ñāna), and thereafter becomes completely indifferent to all conditioned things - having neither attachment nor aversion for any worldly object (sankhārupekkhā ñāna). Reaching this point of mental culture, he takes for his object of special endeavour one of the three characteristics that appeals to him most, and intently keeps on developing insight in that particular direction, until that glorious day when, for the first time, he realizes Nibbāna, his ultimate goal.

A Javana thought-process then runs as follows:













When there is no Parikamma thought-moment, in the case of an individual with keen Insight, there arise three Phala thought-moments.

These nine kinds of Insight, viz:- Udaya, Vaya, Bhanga, Bhaya, ādīnava, Nibbidā, Muñcitukamyatā, Patisankhā, Sankhārupekkhā and Anuloma ñāna are collectively called "Patipadā ñānadassana Visuddhi" - Purity of Knowledge and Vision as regards the Practice.

Insight found in this Supra mundane Path - Consciousness is known as Ñānadassana Visuddhi - Purity of Knowledge and Vision.

When the spiritual pilgrim realizes Nibbāna for the first time, he is called a Sotāpanna - One who has entered the Stream that leads to Nibbāna for the first time. He is no more a worldling (puthujjana) but an Ariya. He eliminates three Fetters - namely, Self-illusion (sakkāya ditthi), Doubts (vicikicchā), and Adherence to Wrongful Rites and Ceremonies (sīlabbata parāmāsa). As he has, not eradicated all the Fetters that bind him to existence, he is reborn seven times at the most. In his subsequent birth he may or may not be aware of the fact that he is a Sotāpanna. Nevertheless, he possesses the characteristics peculiar to such a Saint.

He gains implicit confidence in the Buddha, Dhamma and the Sangha, and would never violate any of the five Precepts. He is moreover absolved from states of woe, for he is destined to Enlightenment.

Summoning up fresh courage as a result of this distant glimpse of Nibbāna, the Aryan pilgrim makes rapid progress, and perfecting his Insight becomes a Sakadāgāmī. (Once-Returner), by attenuating two other Fetters -namely, Sense-desire (kāmarāga) and Ill-will (patigha).

In this case, too, and in the case of the other two advanced stages of Sainthood, a javana thought-process runs as above, but the gotrabhū thought-moment is termed "vodāna" (pure) as the individual is purified.

A Sakadāgāmī is reborn on earth only once in case he does not attain Arahatship in that life itself. It is interesting to note that the pilgrim who has attained the second stage of Sainthood can only weaken these two powerful fetters with which he is bound from a beginningless past. Occasionally he may be disturbed by thoughts of lust and anger to a slight extent.

It is by attaining the third stage of Sainthood, Anāgāmī (State of a Never-Returner), that he completely discards the above two Fetters. Thereafter he neither returns to this world nor does he seek birth in celestial realms, since he has rooted out the desire for sensual pleasures. After death he is reborn in the "Pure Abodes" (suddhāvāsa) environment reserved for Anāgāmīs and Arahats. There he attains Arahatship and lives till the end of his life.

Now the earnest pilgrim, encouraged by the unprecedented success of his endeavours, makes his final advance and destroying the remaining five Fetters - namely, Attachment to Form-sphere (rūparāga), Attachment to Formless Sphere (arūpa rāga), Conceit (māna), Restlessness (uddhacca), and Ignorance (avijjā), attains Arahatship, the final stage of Sainthood.

It will be noted that the Fetters have to be eradicated in four stages. The Path (magga) thought-moment occurs only once. The Fruit (phala) thought moment immediately follows. In the Supra mundane classes of consciousness the effect of the kusala cittas is instantaneous. Hence it is called akālika (of immediate fruit); whereas in the case of lokiya cittas effects may take place in this life, or in a subsequent life, or at any time till one attains Parinibbāna.

In the Mundane consciousness Kamma is predominant, while in the Supra mundane paññā or wisdom is predominant. Hence the four kusala lokuttara cittas are not treated as Kamma.

These eight cittas are called lokuttara. Here Loka means the Pañcupādana-kkhandha, the five Aggregates of Attachment. Uttara means that which transcends. Lokuttara therefore means that which transcends the world of Aggregates of Attachment. This definition strictly applies to the Four Paths. The Fruits are called Lokuttara because they have transcended the world of Aggregates of Attachment.

46. Forty Types of Lokuttara Cittas:-

One who has attained the First Jhāna emerges from it and meditates on the impermanence, sorrowfulness, and soullessness of those mental states in that particular consciousness and ultimately realizes Nibbāna. As the First Jhāna was made the basis to realize Nibbāna this lokuttara kusala thought is called-

Vitakka-Vicāra-Pīti-Sukh'Ekaggatā-sahitam Pathamajjhāna-Sotāpattimagga-cittam.

This magga thought-moment is immediately followed by the phala thought-moment.

In the same manner the other four Jhānas are made the bases to realize Nibbāna. Now, for each stage there are five Paths and five Fruits according to the different Jhānas. For the four stages there are forty classes of consciousness.

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