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....

52 Kinds of Mental States

Dvipaññāsa Cetasika



§ 2. (i)

1. Phasso, 2. Vedanā, 3. Saññā, 4. Cetanā, 5. Ekaggatā, 6. Jīvitindriyam, 7. Manasikāro c'āti satt'ime Cetasika Sabbacittasādhāranā nāma.

c'āti satt'ime Cetasika Sabbacittasādhāranā nāma.

(Pakinnakā - 6)

§ 3. (ii)

1. Vitakko, 2. Vicāro, 3. Adhimokkho, 4. Viriyam, 5. Pīti, 6. Chando c'āti cha ime Cetasikā pakinnakā nāma.

c'āti cha ime Cetasikā pakinnakā nāma.

Eva'mete Cetasikā Aññasamānā'ti veditabbā. (13)

(Akusala - 14)

§ 4. (iii)

1. Moho, 2. Ahirikam, 3. Anottappam 4. Uddhaccam, 5. Lobho, 6. Ditthi, 7. Māno, 8. Doso, 9. Issā, 10. Macchariyam, 11. Kukkuccam, 12. Thīnam, 13. Middham, 14. Vicikicchā

c'āti cuddas'ime Cetasikā Akusalā nāma.

§ 5. (iv)

1. Saddhā, 2. Sati, 3. Hiri, 4. Ottapam, 5. Alobho, 6. Adoso, 7. Tatramajjhattatā, 8. Kāya-passaddhi, 9. Citta-passaddhi, 10. Kāya-lahutā, 11. Citta-lahutā, 12. Kāya-mudutā, 13. Citta-mudutā, 14. Kāya-kammaññatā, 15. Citta-kammaññatā, 16. Kāya-pāguññatā, 17. Citta-pāguññatā, 18. Kāyujjukatā, 19. Cittujjukatā,

c'ati ek' unavīsat'ime Cetasikā Sobhanasādhāranā nāma.


§ 6. (v)

1. Sammā-vācā, 2. Sammā-kammanto, 3. Sammā-ājīvo

c'āti tisso Viratiyo nāma.


§ 7. (vi)

1. Karunā, 2. Muditā pana Appamaññāyo nāmā'ti sabbathā'pi-


§ 8. (vii)

Paññindriyena saddhim pañcavīsat'ime Cetasikā Sobhanā'ti veditabbā.

§ 9.

Ettāvatā ca - Teras' aññasamānā ca - cuddasākusalā tathā
Sobhanā pañcavīsā'ti - dvipaññāsa pavuccare.




[these 'Universal' cetasikas are in variably found in every consciousness]

§ 2. How ? (i)

  1. Contact[1],
  2. Feeling,
  3. Perception,
  4. Volition,
  5. One-Pointedness,
  6. Psychic life,
  7. Attention.

These seven mental states are common to every consciousness.


[unlike the Universals these cetasikas are found only in certain classes of consciousness]

§ 3. (ii)

  1. Initial Application,
  2. Sustained Application,
  3. Decision,
  4. Effort,
  5. Joy,
  6. Conation.

These six mental states are termed Particulars.

Thus these (thirteen) mental states should be understood as 'common to each other' (aññasamāna[2]).


§ 4. (iii)

  1. Delusion,
  2. Shamelessness,
  3. Fearlessness (of consequences, or to commit wrong),
  4. Restlessness,
  5. Attachment,
  6. Misbelief,
  7. Conceit,
  8. Hatred,
  9. Jealousy,
  10. Avarice,
  11. Worry,
  12. Sloth,
  13. Torpor,
  14. Doubt.

These fourteen mental states are termed 'Immorals'.


§ 5. (iv)

  1. Confidence,
  2. Mindfulness,
  3. (Moral) Shame,
  4. (Moral) dread,
  5. Non-attachment,
  6. Goodwill,
  7. Equanimity,
  8. Tranquillity of mental states,
  9. Tranquillity of mind,
  10. Lightness of mental states,
  11. Lightness of mind,
  12. Pliancy of mental states,
  13. Pliancy of mind,
  14. Adaptability of mental states,
  15. Adaptability of mind,
  16. Proficiency of mental states,
  17. Proficiency of mind,
  18. Rectitude of mental states,
  19. Rectitude of mind.

These nineteen mental states are termed 'Common to Beautiful.'


§ 6. (v)

  1. Right Speech,
  2. Right Action,
  3. Right Livelihood.

These three are termed 'Abstinences.'


§ 7. (vi)

  1. Compassion,
  2. Appreciative or Sympathetic Joy.

These are termed 'Illimitables.'


§ 8. (vii)

With the Faculty of Wisdom these twenty-five mental states are in every way to be understood as 'Beautiful.'


§ 9. Thus:-

Thirteen are common to each other. Similarly fourteen are common to Immorals Twenty-five are 'Beautiful.'

Thus fifty-two have been enumerated.



2. Phassa- Derived from phas, to contact.

For any sense-impression to occur, three things are essential - namely, consciousness, respective sense and the object. For instance, one sees an object with the consciousness through the eye as its instrument.

When an object presents itself to the consciousness through one of the six senses there arises the mental state-contact. "It should not be understood that mere collision is contact (Na sangatimatto eva Phasso).

Like a pillar which acts as a strong support to the rest of the structure, even so is contact to the coexistent mental concomitants.

"Contact means 'it touches' (phusatī'ti). It has touching (phusana) as its salient characteristic (lakkhana), impact (sanghattana) as its function (rasa), coinciding (of the physical basis, object and consciousness) as its manifestation (sannipāta paccupatthāna), and the object which has entered the avenue (of awareness) as proximate cause (padatthāna)."

Contact is mentioned first because it precedes all other mental states. "Touching by contact, consciousness experiences by feeling, perceives by perception, wills by volition - (Phassena phusitvā, vedanāya vediyati, saññāya sañjānāti, cetanāya ceteti)". According to Paticca-Samuppāda, too, Contact conditions Feeling. But strictly speaking, there is no reason for the sequence because all these mental states are coexistent. The Atthasālini states - "For of states, arisen in one conscious moment, it is not valid to say that 'this' arises first, 'that' afterwards. The reason is not because contact is a strong support. Contact is just mentioned first in the order of teaching, but it was also permissible to bring it in thus: - There are feeling and contact, perception and contact, volition and contact; there are consciousness and contact, feeling, perception, volition, initial application of mind. In the order of teaching, however, contact is mentioned first. Nor is the sequence of words among the remaining states of any special significance."

"Contact is given priority of place, as standing for the inception of the thought, and as the sine qua non of all the allied states, conditioning them much as the roof-tree of a storeyed house supports all the other combinations of material."

(Mrs. Rhys Davids - Buddhist Psychology, p. 6.)

3. Vedanā - Derived from vid, to experience.

Feeling is a more appropriate rendering for vedanā than sensation. Like contact, feeling is an essential property of every consciousness. It may be pleasurable painful, or neutral. Pain and pleasure pertain to body as well. But physical feeling is not of ethical importance.

According to the commentators feeling is like a master who enjoys a dish prepared by a cook. The latter is compared to the remaining mental states that constitute a thought-complex. Strictly speaking, it is feeling that experiences an object when it comes in contact with the senses.

It is this feeling that experiences the desirable or undesirable fruits of an action done in this or in a previous birth. Besides this mental state there is no soul or any other agent to experience the result of the action.

It should be understood here that Nibbānic bliss is not connected with feeling. Nibbānic bliss is certainly the highest happiness (sukha), but it is the happiness of relief from suffering. It is not the enjoyment of a pleasurable object.

4. Saññā - Samñā, to know, (Compare Latin cognoscere, to know.)

The meaning of this term widely varies according to the context. To avoid unnecessary confusion, it is best to understand the specific meaning used in the particular connection as a universal mental state.

The chief characteristic of saññā is the cognition of an object by way of a mark as blue etc. It is saññā that enables one to recognize an object that has once been perceived by the mind through the senses. "Its procedure is likened to the carpenter's recognition of certain kinds of wood by the mark he had made on each; to the treasurer's specifying certain articles of jewelry by the ticket on each; to the wild animal's discernment in the scarecrow of the work of man."

Saññā, therefore, means simple sense perception.

"Perception," according to a modern Dictionary of Philosophy, "is the apprehension of ordinary sense-objects, such as trees, houses, chairs, etc., on the occasion of sensory stimulation."

Perception is not used here in the sense employed by early modern philosophers such as Bacon, Descartes, Spinoza, and Leibniz.

As one of the five khandhas (Aggregates) saññā is used in the sense of perception.

Could it be that memory is due to this saññā?

Saññā, viññāna and paññā should be differentiated from one another. Saññā is like the mere perception of a rupee coin by a child. By its whiteness, roundness and size it merely recognizes the coin as a rupee, utterly ignorant of its monetary value. A man, for instance, discerns its value and its utility, but is not aware of its chemical composition. Viññāna is comparable to the ordinary man's knowledge of the rupee. Paññā is like the analytical knowledge of a chemist who knows all its chemical properties in every detail.

5. Cetanā -

Both cetanā and citta are derived from the same root cit, to think.

In the case of citta - mind or consciousness - the root assumes the meaning of discernment (vijānana), while in cetanā it is used in the sense of co-ordination (abhisandhāna) and accumulation (āyūhana).

According to the Atthasālini and Vibhāvini Tīkā cetanā is that which co-ordinates the mental states associated with itself on the object of consciousness. (Attanā sampayutta-dhamme ārammane abhisandahati). Like a chief disciple, or like a carpenter who fulfills his duties and regulates the work of others as well, so does cetanā fulfill its own function and regulate the function of other concomitants associated with itself.

A further explanation has been offered. Cetanā is that which arrives at action in conditioning the conditioned. (Sankhatābhisankharane va byāpāram āpajjatī'ti cetanā). Cetanā is that which plays a predominant part in all actions, moral and immoral.

Shwe Zan Aung says that according to Ledi Sayadaw, the Burmese Abhidhamma scholar, "Cetanā acts on its concomitants, acts in getting the object, and acts on accomplishing the task, i.e., determines action." (Compendium, p. 236).

The most significant mental state in the Mundane Consciousness (lokiya) is this cetanā, while in the Supra mundane it is paññā, wisdom or insight. Mundane thoughts tend to accumulate Kamma. Supra mundane thoughts, on the contrary, tend to eradicate Kamma. Hence cetanā in the supra mundane consciousness does not constitute Kamma. Cetanā in every moral and immoral type of mundane consciousness, on the other hand, is regarded as Kamma. Although Cetanā is found in Vipāka types of consciousness too, it is of no moral significance as it lacks accumulative power.

It is this cetanā that is alluded to as sankhāra and (Kamma) bhava in the Paticca Samuppāda. In the pañcakkhandha, by sankhārakkhandha are meant the fifty mental states, excluding vedanā and saññā, with cetanā as the foremost.

From a psychological standpoint cetanā determines the activities of the mental states associated with it. From an ethical standpoint, it determines its inevitable consequences. Hence where there is no cetanā, there is no Kamma.

6. Ekaggatā -

Eka + agga + tā = one-pointedness, or concentration on one object, or focusing the mind on one object. It is like a steady lamp-flame in a windless place. It is like a firmly fixed pillar that cannot be shaken by the wind. It is like water that binds together several substances to form one concrete compound. This mental state prevents its adjuncts from dissipation and fixes them on one object.

This one-pointedness is one of the five Jhāna factors. When it is developed and cultivated it is designated samādhi. "It is the germ of all attentive, selected, focused, or concentrated consciousness." (Compendium, p. 241).

7. Jīvitindriya -

Jīvita = life; + indriya = controlling faculty or principle.

It is called jīvita because it sustains its co-associates.

It is called indriya because it controls its co-associates.

Although cetanā determines the activities of all mental states, it is jīvitindriya that infuses life into cetanā and other concomitants.

Jīvitindriya is twofold - namely, psychic life (nāma-jīvitindriya) and physical life (rūpa-jīvitindriya). Mental States are vitalized by psychic life, while material phenomena are vitalized by physical life.

As lotuses are sustained by water, an infant is sustained by a nurse, so are mental states and material phenomena sustained by jīvitindriya.

One rūpa-jīvitindriya lasts for seventeen thought moments. Seventeen nāma-jīvitindriya arise and perish during the brief life of one rūpa-jīvitindriya.

There is a certain kind of rūpa-jīvitindriya in plant life. But, rūpa-jīvitindriya in men and animals is differentiated from that which exists in plants because the former is conditioned by past Kamma.

Both nāma-jīvitindriya and rūpa-jīvitindriya arise at the moment of conception. They simultaneously perish at the moment of decease. Hence death is regarded as the perishing of this jīvitindriya. Immediately after, due to the power of Kamma, another nāma-jīvitindriya arises in the subsequent birth at the moment of conception. Simultaneous with the arising of the one nāma-jīvitindriya there arise three rūpa-jīvitindriyas in the case of a human being.[3]

Just as a boatman depends on the boat and the boat depends on the boatman, even so jīvitindriya depends on mind and matter, and mind and matter depend on jīvitindriya.

8. Manasikāra -

The literal meaning of the term is 'making in the mind'.

Turning the mind towards the object is the chief characteristic of manasikāra. It is like the rudder of a ship, which is indispensable to take her directly to her destination. Mind without manasikāra is like a rudderless ship.

Manasikāra is also compared to a charioteer that sits with close attention on two well-trained horses (mind and object) as regards their rhythmical movements. Manasikāra should be distinguished from vitakka which is to follow. The former directs its concomitants to the object, while the latter applies or throws (pakkhipanto viya) them on the object. Vitakka is like a favorite courtier that introduces a villager (mind) into the presence of a king (object).

Attention is the closest equivalent to manasikāra, although the Pāli term does not fully connote the meaning attached to the English word from a strictly philosophical standpoint. As a mental state it is mere spontaneous attention. In manasikāra, as in attention, there is no peculiar vividness or clarity. To saññā may be attributed this vividness to some extent.

Could manasikāra also be an aid to memory, as it is common to all types of consciousness, whether mundane or supra mundane? Hence they are designated Sabbacitta-sādhāranā.

9. Vitakka -

Vitakk, to think.

It is difficult to suggest a suitable rendering for this Pāli term which assumes different meanings in the Suttas and Abhidhamma.

In the Sutta Pitaka it has been employed in the sense of notions, ideas, thoughts, reasoning etc. In the Abhidhamma it is used in a specific technical sense.

'Lifting' of the concomitants to the object (abhiniropana) is its chief characteristic. As someone ascends to the king's palace depending on a king's favorite, relative or friend, likewise consciousness ascends to the object depending on vitakka (Atthasālini, p. 114).

Vitakka may well be defined as the application of the concomitants on the object. Manasikāra, as stated above, is the directing of the concomitants to the object. The distinguishing characteristics of these two cetasikas should be clearly understood.

Different values are attached to vitakka when it is used in different connections.

As an ordinary particular (pakinnakā) mental state it is simply called vitakka. When it is developed and cultivated it becomes the foremost factor of the First Jhāna. Then it is termed appanā because the mind is steadfastly fixed on the object. The ordinary vitakka simply throws the mind to the surface of the object.

In the subsequent Jhānas vitakka is, however, inhibited, owing to the habitual association with the object.

A villager, for instance, who visits the king's palace for the first time, needs the introduction of a favorite courtier. For his subsequent visits no such introduction is necessary as he is acquainted with the place.

It is this developed appanā-vitakka that is known as samādhi or concentration.

When vitakka is present in the Supra mundane Path Consciousness (lokuttara magga citta) it is termed sammā sankappa (Right Thoughts) because it eliminates wrong thoughts and applies the mind to Nibbāna.

Vitakka is used in entirely a different sense when used in connection with the temperaments of individuals. Vitakka carita means one of a discursive temperament. (See Ch. 1. note 38.)

10. Vicāra -

Vicar, to wander.

Like vitakka, vicāra too is employed in a technical sense in Abhidhamma.

Vicāra is the continued exercise of the mind on the object.

Examination (anumajjana) is its chief characteristic.

So far the renderings for vitakka and vicāra are initial and sustained application respectively.

Both terms should be distinguished. Like a bee alighting on a lotus is vitakka, like its gyrating around the lotus is vicāra. Like the flapping of a bird about to fly is vitakka, like its planning movements in the sky is vicāra. Like the beating of a drum or bell is vitakka, like its reverberation is vicāra.

Vicāra is also a Jhāna factor. It inhibits vicikicchā (Doubt or Indecision). (See Ch. 1. note 39.)

11. Adhimokkha -

Adhimuc, to release. Literally, the term means 'release-on-to' .

Adhimokkha releases the mind on to the object. Its chief characteristic is decision or choosing, and is opposed to vicikicchā - doubt or indecision.

It makes the decision - 'Just this one'. (imam' evā'ti sannitthānakaranam).

It is compared to a judge that decides a case. It is also compared to a steady pillar owing to its unwavering state.

12. Viriya -

Derived from aj, to go + īr. is substituted for aj. Vīra is one who strenuously carries on his work uninterruptedly.

It is defined as the state or action of energetic persons (Vīrānam bhāvo, kammam). Or, it is that which is effected or carried out methodically (Vidhinā īrayitabbam pavattetabbam vā).

It has the characteristic of supporting (upatthambana upholding (paggahana), sustaining (ussahana).

As an old house is supported by new pillars even so concomitants are aided and supported by Viriya.

Just as a strong reinforcement would help an army to hold on instead of retreating, even so viriya upholds or uplifts its concomitants.

Viriya is regarded as a controlling factor (indriya) because it overcomes idleness. It is also regarded as one of the five powers (bala) because it cannot be shaken by its opposite idleness. Viriya serves as one of the four means of accomplishing one's ends (iddhi-pāda). It is this viriya that appears as Four Modes of Supreme Efforts (samma-ppadhāna). Viriya is sublimated as one of the seven factors of Enlightenment (bojjhanga). Finally it has been elevated to one of the eight members of the Noble Path (atthangika-magga) as sammā vāyāma (Right-Effort).

Atthasālini states that viriya should be regarded as the root of all achievements.

Effort, exertion, energy are suggested as best equivalents.

13. Pīti - See Ch. 1. note 40.

14. Chanda -

Derived from chad, to wish.

The chief characteristic of chanda is the wish-to-do (kattu-kamyatā). It is like the stretching of the hand to grasp an object.

This unmoral chanda should be distinguished from immoral lobha which is clinging to an object.

There are three kinds of chanda namely,

  1. kāma-cchanda which is sensual craving, one of the Five Hindrances (nīvarana). This is ethically immoral.
  2. kattu-kamyatā chanda, the mere wish-to-do. This is ethically unmoral.
  3. dhammacchanda, righteous wish. It is this dhammacchanda that impelled Prince Siddhartha to renounce Royal pleasures.

Of them it is kattu-kamyatā chanda, meaning attached to this particular mental state, that serves as one of the four dominant influences (adhipati).

Shwe Zan Aung says - "The effort of conation or will is due to viriya. Pīti signifies an interest in the object; chanda constitutes the intention with respect to object.' (Compendium p. 18).

Buddhists have this dhammacchanda for the realization of Nibbāna. It is not a kind of craving.

15. Moha -

Derived from muh, to be stupefied, to be deluded. Moha is one of the three roots of evil and is common to all immoral types of consciousness. It is opposed to paññā - wisdom.

The chief characteristic of moha is confusion with regard to the nature of an object. Moha clouds one's knowledge with regard to Kamma and its consequences and the four Noble Truths.

16. Ahirika -

An abstract noun formed of "a" + hirika.

He who is not ashamed of doing evil is ahiriko. The state of such a person is ahirikkam = ahirikam.

One who has hiri recoils from evil just as a cock's feather shrinks in front of fire. One who has no hiri, would commit any evil without the least compunction.

17. Anottappa -

Na + ava + tapp, to be tormented.

Ottappa is fear to do evil, i.e., fear of the Consequences.

Anottappa is its opposite and is compared to a moth that is singed by fire. A person who is afraid of fire would not touch it, but a moth, unaware of the consequences, attracted by fire, would get burnt. In the same way a person without ottappa would commit evil and suffer in states of woe.

Both these terms - hiri and ottappa - are found in conjunction. Hiri should be differentiated from ordinary shyness and ottappa from ordinary fear of any individual. Fear is regarded as one of the ten armies of Māra. A Buddhist is not expected to be afraid of any individual, even a God, for Buddhism is not based on the fear of the unknown.

Hiri arises from within, and ottappa from without. Suppose, for instance, there is a piece of iron, one end of which is heated, and the other smeared with filth. The filthy end one would not touch owing to disgust, and the other end through fear. Hiri is compared to the former and ottappa to the latter.

The following note by Mrs. Rhys Davids on hiri and ottappa clearly depicts the difference between these relative mental constituents:-

"Hiri and ottappa, as analyzed by Buddhaghosa present points of considerable ethical interest. Taken together they give us the emotional and conative aspect of the modern notion of conscience, just as sati represents its intellectual side. The former term 'is equivalent to shame (lajjā),' the latter to 'anguish (ubbego) over evildoing.' Hiri has its source within; ottappa spring from without. Hiri is autonomous (attādhipati); ottappa, heteronomous, influenced by society (lokādhipati). The former is established on shame; the latter on dread. The former is marked by consistency; the latter by discernment of the danger and fearsomeness of error. The subjective source of hiri is fourfold, viz., the idea of what is due to one's birth, age, worth, and education. Thus, one having hiri will think 'Only mean folk (fishers etc.) children, poor wretches, the blind and ignorant, would do such an act,' and refrains. The external source of ottappa is, the idea that 'the body of the faithful will blame you,' and hence one refrains. If a man has hiri, he is, as said the Buddha, his own best master. To one who is sensitive by way of ottappa, the masters of the faith are the best guides."

In a supplementary paragraph the 'marks' (consistency etc.) are thus explained: 'In hiri one reflects on the worth of one's birth, one's teacher, one's estate, and one's fellow students. In ottappa one feels dread at self-reproach, the blame of others, chastisement, and retribution in another life."

(Buddhist Psychology, p. 20).

Hiri and ottappa are regarded as the two dominant factors that rule the world. No civilized society can exist without them.

18. Uddhacca -

U = up, above, + Dhu, to waver, to shake off.

Uddhutassa bhāvo Uddhuccam = Uddhaccam - state of throwing up. It is compared to the disturbed state of a heap of ashes when hit with a stone. It is the unsettled state of mind, and is opposed to collectedness (vupasama). As one of the five Hindrances it is the antithesis of sukha, happiness.

In some rare instances uddhacca is used in the sense of puffed-up state of mind, corresponding to conceit. Here it is not used in that sense. As a rule uddhacca is differentiated from māna because both of them are treated as samyojanas (Fetters).

These four, viz., moha, ahirika, anottappa, uddhacca - that head the list of Immoral cetasikas - are common to all Immoral types of consciousness.

19. Lobha - See Ch. 1, note 9.

20. Ditthi. - See Ch. 1, note 11.

The difference between moha and ditthi should be noted. The former clouds the object; the latter deals with one's views, such as "this indeed is truth, and the rest is false". Ditthi is opposed to ñāna, wisdom. The former rejects the real nature and views wrongly. The latter discerns the object as it is.

When the Pāli term ditthi is used alone, unqualifyingly, it is employed in the sense of micchā ditthi - wrong belief.

Sammā ditthi or amoha is used as the antithesis of moha.

21. Māna - Derived from man, to think.

22. Dosa - See Ch. 1, note 9.

23. Issā - Derived from i + su, to be envious, to be jealous.

It has the characteristic of envying others' success and prosperity. As such it is objective.

24. Macchariya -

Maccharassa bhāvo - the state of an avaricious person.

Commentary gives another explanation:-

'Let not this wonder be to others, but to myself'.

(Mā idam acchariyam aññesam hotu, mayham'ev hotu).

The chief characteristic of macchariya is the concealment of one's prosperity. Contrary to issā, this is subjective.

Both issā and macchariya are regarded as the friends of dosa because each of them arises with it.

25. Kukkucca -

Kukatassa bhāvo = kukkuccam = the state of having done amiss.

According to the commentary evil that is done is ku + kata, and so is good that is not done. Remorse over the evil that is done is kukkucca, and so is remorse over the good that is not done.

It has the characteristic of grieving over the evil that is done and the good that is not done.

Dhammasangani explains:-

"What is worry?"

"Consciousness of what is lawful in something that is unlawful, consciousness of what is unlawful in something that is lawful; consciousness of what is immoral in something that is moral; consciousness of what is moral in something that is immoral - all this sort of worry, fidgeting, over-scrupulousness, remorse of conscience, mental sacrificing - this is what is called worry".

(Buddhist Psychology - p. 313).

Kukkucca is one of the five Hindrances and is used together with uddhacca. It pertains to past things only.

According to Vinaya, kukkucca is healthy doubt with regard to rules, and is commended. According to Abhidhamma, on the contrary, it is repentance which is not commended.

26. Thīna - Derived from the, to shrink, + na. Thena = thāna = thīna.

It is the shrinking state of the mind like a cock's feather before fire. It is opposed to viriya. Thīna is explained as citta - gelaññam, sickness of the mind.

As such it is the antithesis of citta-kammaññatā, adaptability of the mind, one of the sobhana cetasikas.

27. Middha - Derived from middh, to be inactive, to be inert, to be incapable.

This is the morbid state of the mental factors.

Both thīna and middha are always used in conjunction, and are one of the five Hindrances. They are inhibited by vitakka, initial application, one of the Jhāna factors. Middha, too, is opposed to viriya. Where there are thīna and middha there is no viriya.

Middha is explained as the kāya-gelañña, sickness of the mental body. Here body is not used in the sense of material form, but is applied to the body of mental factors, viz., vedanā, saññā and sankhāra (feeling, perception, and the remaining fifty mental factors). Hence middha is the antithesis of kāya-kammaññatā, adaptability of mental factors.

Both thīna and middha are explained in the Dhammasangani as follows:-

"What is stolidity (thīna)?"

"That which is indisposition, unwieldiness of intellect, adhering and cohering; clinging, cleaving to, stickiness; stolidity, that is, a stiffening, a rigidity of the intellect - this is called stolidity.

"What is torpor (middha)?"

"That which is indisposition, unwieldiness of sense, a shrouding, enveloping, barricading within; torpor that which is sleep, drowsiness; sleep, slumbering, somnolence this is called torpor".

(Buddhist Psychology, pp. 311, 312).

28. Vicikicchā - See Ch. 1, note 13.

Vicikicchā, as a Hindrance, does not mean doubts with regard to the Buddha, Dhamma, Sangha, etc.,

Majjhima Nikāya commentary states - "it is so called because it is incapable of deciding that it is as such."

(Idam'ev'idanti nicchetum asamatthabhāvato'ti vicikicchā).

29. Saddhā - Sam, well; + dah, to establish, to place, to put.

Sanskrit sraddhā is composed of Srat = faith + dha to establish.

According to Pāli, saddhā is well-established confidence in the Buddha, Dhamma, and the Sangha. Purification (sampasādana) of its mental associates is its chief characteristic. It is compared to the water-purifying gem of the universal monarch. This particular gem, when thrown into water, causes mud and water-weeds to subside. The water is consequently purified. In the same way saddhā purifies the mind of its stains.

This saddhā is not blind faith. It is confidence based on knowledge.

One might question whether a non-Buddhist could also possess this saddhā.

Atthasālini raises this very question and provides an answer which is rather unsatisfactory and inadequate.

"Do men of false opinions not believe in their own teachers?" questions Venerable Buddhaghosa. His answer is:-

"They do. But that is not saddhā, it is a mere acquiescence in words (vacana-sampaticchana-mattameva)".

If saddhā is limited only to Buddhists, what shall we say when a non-Buddhist places his faith or confidence in his teacher? Surely his mind also gets purified to some extent when he thinks of his particular religious teacher.

Could it be ditthi - false view? Then it is immoral (akusala). In such a case there is no occasion for a non-Buddhist to experience a moral consciousness.

Would it not be more correct to say that saddhā is mere confidence or faith, instead of restricting it to the Triple Gem?

Dhammasangani explains saddhā as follows:-

"The faith which on that occasion is trusting in, the professing confidence in, the sense of assurance, faith, faith as a faculty and as a power".

(Buddhist Psychology, p. 14.)

Saddhā is also apprehension intuitively of experience or knowledge gathered in past births.

30. Sati - Derived from sar, to remember.

Sati does not exactly correspond to the Western conception of memory. Mindfulness is a better equivalent for sati. It has to be developed. In the Satipatthāna Sutta are described in detail various methods to develop this sati. When it is highly developed one acquires the power of remembering past births. It is this sati that is regarded as one of the factors of the Noble Eightfold Path.

Sati tends to present before oneself good things without allowing them to be forgotten. Its chief characteristic is 'not floating away' (apilāpana). Unlike pumpkins and pots that float on water, sati plunges into the object of thought.

It should be noted that this particular sati is not found in immoral types of consciousness.

What is found in immoral consciousness is micchā sati (wrong mindfulness).

Dhammasangani explains sati as follows:-

"The mindfulness which on that occasion is recollecting, calling back to mind; the mindfulness which is remembering, bearing in mind, the opposite of superficiality and of obliviousness; mindfulness as faculty; mindfulness as power, right mindfulness".

(Buddhist Psychology, p. 16).

Commenting on sati, Mrs. Rhys Davids says:-

"Buddhaghosa's comment on sati, in which he closely follows and enlarges on the account in Mil. 37, 38, shows that the traditional conception of that aspect of consciousness had much in common with the Western modern theory of conscience or moral sense. Sati appears under the metaphor of an inward mentor, discriminating between good and bad and prompting choice. Hardy went so far as to render it by 'conscience', but this slurs over the interesting divergence's between Eastern and Western thought. The former is quite unmystical of the subject of sati. It takes the psychological process or representative functioning (without bringing out the distinction between bare memory and judgment), and presents the same under an ethical aspect".

(Buddhist Psychology, p. 16).

31. Hiri & Ottappa - See ahirika and anottappa

32. Alobha -

This is opposed to lobha (See Ch. 1 note 9).

Dāna or generosity is implied thereby. This is a positive virtue involving active altruism. It is one of the three roots of good. Like a drop of water that runs off a lotus leaf without adhering to it, non-adhesion to an object is its chief characteristic.

33. Adosa -

This is opposed to dosa (See Ch. 1 note 9). It is not mere absence of hatred or aversion, but is a positive virtue.

Adosa is synonymous with mettā, Loving-kindness, which is one of the four sublime abodes (brahma-vihāra).

Readers will note that in enumerating the sublime abodes only two are mentioned, viz. - karunā and muditā. The reason being that mettā is implied by this adosa; and upekkhā by tatramajjhattatā, equanimity.

Adosa is also one of the three roots of good. Like an agreeable friend, absence of churlishness or coarseness (candikka) is its chief characteristic.

34. Three Roots of Good: -

Alobha, adosa and amoha are the three roots of good. Amoha is not mentioned amongst the nineteen Beautiful cetasikas because it is implied by paññā - wisdom.

Atthasālini gives a vivid description of these three virtues as follows:

"Of these three, alobha has the characteristic of non-adhesion of the mind to an object, or of not sticking like a drop of water on a lotus leaf. Its function is non-appropriation like an emancipated Bhikkhu (Arahat). Its manifestation is detachment like a man fallen in filth.

"Adosa has the characteristic of non-churlishness or non-resentment like an agreeable friend. Its function is the suppression of annoyance or feverishness like sandal wood. Its manifestation is loveliness like the full moon. The characteristic, function, etc., of amoha have been explained in connection with the term paññindriya (Faculty of Wisdom). Of these three, again, alobha is opposed to the taint of selfishness, adosa to that of impurity (dussīlya), amoha to the non-development of moral conditions.

"Alobha is the cause of generosity, adosa of morality, amoha of meditation.

"Through alobha what is in excess is not taken, for the greedy take what is in excess. Through adosa what is not less is taken, for the hateful take what is less. Through amoha what is unperverted is taken, for the deluded take what is perverted. Through alobha, one regards a manifest fault as such and admits it, but the greedy conceal it. Through adosa one regards a manifest virtue as such and admits it, but the hateful efface it. Through amoha, one regards what really is as such and admits it, but the deluded regard what is false as true, and what is true as false.

"Through alobha there is no sorrow arising from separation of the beloved, for affection is the intrinsic nature of the greedy as well as the inability to bear the separation from the beloved. Through adosa there arises no sorrow from association with the unbeloved since disagreeableness is the intrinsic nature of the hateful as well as the inability to bear the association with the unbeloved. Through amoha there arises no sorrow from not getting what one desires, for it is the intrinsic nature of the deluded to think - 'From where could it be got?' etc.

"Through alobha there arises no sorrow from rebirth, since the former is opposed to craving and the latter is the root of craving. Through adosa there arises no sorrow from decay, since the intensely hateful become quickly aged. Through amoha there is not sorrow from death, for a bewildered death is painful. There is no such death for the undeluded.

"There is harmonious living to the lay people through alobha, to the recluses through amoha, and to all through adosa.

"In particular through alobha there is no rebirth in the plane of Petas, since beings are generally born amongst Petas through craving. Alobha is the antithesis of craving. Through adosa there is no rebirth in the niraya (Woeful State). Through hate, which is of a churlish nature, beings are born in woeful states resembling hatred. Adosa is the antithesis of hatred. Through amoha there is no rebirth in the animal plane. Due to utter delusion through ignorance, beings are born amongst animals. Amoha is the antithesis of ignorance.

"Of them alobha dissuades attraction from lust; adosa from recoiling through hate; amoha from stolid indifference through ignorance.

Moreover through these three there arise respectively these three notions - those of renunciation, non-anger and harmlessness; and those of loathsomeness, immeasurableness, and fundamental elements (dhātu).

"Through alobha the extreme of indulgence in sensual pleasures is inhibited: through adosa that of self-mortification. Through amoha there is training according to the Middle Path.

"Similarly through alobha the bodily bond of covetousness (abhijjhā kāyagantha) is destroyed, through adosa that of ill-will, and through amoha the remaining two.

"The first two states of mindfulness are accomplished by the power of the first two, and the last two by the power of the third.

"Herein alobha is conducive to health, for the unattached person does not resort to what is attractive but suitable - hence health ensues. Adosa is conducive to youthfulness, for the unhateful person remains young for a long time, being not burnt by the fire of anger which causes wrinkles and grey hair. Amoha is conducive to longevity of life, for the undeluded person, distinguishing between what is agreeable and disagreeable, avoids the latter and adopts the former and lives long.

"Alobha is conducive to the acquisition of wealth, for by generosity wealth is obtained. Adosa is conducive to the acquisition of friends, for by loving-kindness friends are won and are not lost.

"Amoha is conducive to personal achievements, for the undeluded person, doing only what is beneficial to himself, regulates his own self.

"Alobha is conducive to divine life, adosa to Brahma life, and amoha to Aryan life.

"Through alobha one is at peace with his acquisition of wealth amongst beings and things belonging to one's party, for through their destruction there is no grief caused to him by excessive attachment. Through adosa amongst those belonging to other parties he is happy, for the non inimical person is devoid of the feeling of ill-will even amongst the hostile. Through amoha he is happy amongst those who belong to a neutral party, for the undeluded person is devoid of all attachment.

"Through alobha there is insight into impermanence, for the greedy person does not see impermanence in things that are impermanent, owing to his desire for enjoyment. Through adosa there is insight into suffering for one with a loving-disposition has abandoned that grasping, the cause of vexation, and sees things as sorrowful. Through amoha there is insight into soullessness, for the undeluded person is skillful in understanding things as they truly are. He sees the guideless fivefold group as guideless.

"As insight into impermanence and so on is brought about by these three states, so are these states brought about by insight into impermanence and so on.

"Through insight into impermanence there is alobha; through insight into sorrow, adosa; through insight into soullessness, amoha.

"Who indeed knowing well that this is impermanent would develop a desire for it? Who indeed perceiving ill in things would develop another ill caused by exceedingly violent anger? Who indeed realizing the emptiness of a soul would again fall into utter delusion?

(Atthasālini - pp. 137-139. See The Expositor Vol. i, pp. 167-170).

35. Tatramajjhattatā -

Lit., tatra = there, i.e., with respect to objects majhattatā = middleness, that is, equipoise.

Impartial view of objects is its chief characteristic. It is compared to a charioteer who views equally a pair of well-trained horses.

Tatramajjhattatā and upekkhā (equanimity) are sometimes used as synonymous terms. It is this tatramajjhattatā that is regarded as upekkhā of the four Sublime abodes. Hence upekkhā does not occur amongst the Sublime abodes. It is this tatramajjhattatā that is raised to the dignity of a Bojjhanga, one of the seven factors of Enlightenment. Tatra-majjhattatā has also to be distinguished from hedonic upekkhā or indifference. At times both these mental states simultaneously arise in the same consciousness, e.g., in all upekkhā-sahagata kusala cittas.

This tatramajjhattatā is regarded both as an intellectual and ethical upekkhā (See Ch. 1. note, 42).

36. Kāya Passaddhi & Citta-Passaddhi-

Passaddhi is composed of pa+sambh, to calm, to be tranquil.

Passambh + ti = passadhti = passaddhi.

Passaddhi is tranquillity, calmness, quietude, serenity.

The chief characteristic of passaddhi is the suppression or the allaying of feverishness of passions (kilesadarathavūpasama). It is like the cool shade of a tree to a person affected by the sun's heat. Passaddhi is opposed to uddhacca, restlessness, or excitement. When highly developed it becomes a factor of Enlightenment (bojjhanga).

This tranquillity is twofold, viz., tranquillity of kāya and citta. Here kāya is not used in the sense of material body. It is the body of psychic factors - namely, vedanā (feeling), saññā (perception), and sankhāra (mental states). It should be understood that kāya is used in the same sense in the subsequent cetasikas. Citta connotes the whole consciousness. The difference therefore lies between psychic factors and consciousness as a whole. The same explanation applies to the other pairs as well.

37. Kāya-Lahutā & Citta-Lahutā -

Derived from laghu, light, quick. (Skt. laghutā). Lahutā is bouyancy or lightness. Suppression of the heaviness of the mind and mental factors is its chief characteristic. It is like the laying down of a heavy burden. It is opposed to thīna and middha - sloth and torpor - which cause heaviness and rigidity in mental factors and consciousness.

38. Kāya-Mudutā & Citta-Mudutā -

The chief characteristic of mudutā is the suppression of stiffness and resistance. It removes stiffness and becomes pliable in receiving objects. It is compared to a skin that is well moulded by applying oil, water etc. It is opposed to false views and conceit (ditthi and māna) which cause stiffness.

39. Kāya-Kammaññatā & Citta-Kammaññatā -

Kamma + nya + tā = Kammanyatā = Kammaññyatā. Lit., workableness or serviceableness.

Its chief characteristic is the suppression of unserviceableness or unworkableness of consciousness and its factors. It is like a heated metal made fit for any use. It is opposed to all the remaining Hindrances. Atthasālini states that these two allied concomitants produce serenity (pasāda) in propitious things, and are adaptable like pure gold, for beneficial works.

40. Kāya-Pāguññatā & Citta-Pāguññatā -

This is proficiency or skillfulness. Its chief characteristic is the suppression of sickness of mind and its concomitants. It is opposed to such passions as faithlessness etc.

41. Kāyujjukatā & Cittujjukatā -

This is straightness or rectitude, and is opposed to crookedness, deception and craftiness. Its chief characteristic is straightness.

42. All these 19 concomitants are common to all types of moral consciousness, unlike the immoral concomitants which do not arise in an immoral consciousness in toto. No moral consciousness arises without all of them. Along with this 'Beautiful' group some other moral concomitants may arise according to the type of consciousness.

43. Virati -

Vi + ram, to delight in. Virati is refraining from, delighting in, i.e., abstinence.

According to the Atthasālini there are three kinds of virati - namely, sampatta-virati, samādāna-virati, and samuccheda-virati.

Sampatta-virati is abstaining from evil as occasion arises considering one's birth, age, education, etc.

Samādāna-virati is abstaining from evil in accordance with one's observances. For example, a Buddhist would abstain from killing, stealing, etc., as he observes the precepts not to kill, etc.

Samuccheda-virati is the abstinence of an Aryan Disciple by completely eradicating all the roots of evil.

In the case of the former two, violation of good principles is possible; but in the case of Arahats it is not, because they have destroyed all passions.

Here are enumerated three Abstinences pertaining to wrong speech, wrong actions, and wrong livelihood.

Strictly speaking, these three mental concomitants collectively arise only in the Supra mundane consciousness (lokuttara citta). In other cases they arise separately because there are three cetanās.

These three when present in the lokuttara citta are regarded as Factors of the Path (magganga), and they constitute sīla (Morality). Sammā-ditthi and sammā sankappa which constitute paññā (Wisdom) are implied by paññindriya and vitakka-cetasikas respectively. Sammā vāyāma, sammā sati, and sammā samādhi which constitute samādhi, (Concentration) are implied by viriya, sati, and ekaggatā cetasikas respectively.

Sammā vācā deals with abstinence from false speech (musāvāda), slandering (pisuna-vācā), harsh speech (pharusa-vācā) and frivolous talk (sampapphalāpa).

Sammā kammanta deals with abstinence from killing (pānātipāta), stealing (adinnādāna), and sexual misconduct (kāmesu micchācāra).

Sammā ājīva deals with abstinence from selling poison, intoxicants, weapons, slaves and animals for slaughter.

44. Appamaññā -

As the object of these virtues is the infinite number of beings, they are called appamaññā, lit., illimitable (Skt. aprāmānya). They are also called brahma vihāra -Sublime Modes of Living.

Mettā, karunā, muditā, and upekkhā are these four illimitables.

As explained above mettā and upekkhā are represented by adosa and tatra-majjhattatā. Hence only two are mentioned here.

45. Mettā -

Derived from mid, to soften, to love. According to Sanskrit mitrasya bhāvah = maitri; state of a friend. That which softens the mind, or friendly disposition is mettā.

Goodwill, benevolence, loving-kindness are suggested as the best renderings. Mettā is not carnal love or affection. The direct enemy of mettā is hatred or ill-will (kodha), its indirect enemy is affection (pema). Mettā embraces all beings without exception. The culmination of mettā is the identification of oneself with all beings (sabbattatā).

Mettā is the sincere wish for the good and welfare of all. It discards ill-will.

Benevolent attitude is its chief characteristic.

46. Karunā -

Kar, to do, to make + unā.

That which makes the hearts of the good quiver when others are afflicted with sorrow is karunā. That which dissipates the sufferings of others is karunā.

The wish for the removal of sufferings of others is its chief characteristic. Its direct enemy is wickedness (himsā) and its indirect enemy is grief (domanassa). Karunā embraces sorrow-afflicted beings. It discards cruelty.

47. Muditā -

Derived from mud, to be pleased.

It is not mere sympathy but appreciative joy. Its direct enemy is jealousy and its indirect enemy is exultation (pahāsa). Its chief characteristic is happy acquiescence in others' prosperity (anumodanā). Muditā embraces prosperous beings. It discards dislike (arati), and it is the congratulatory attitude of a person.

48. Upekkhā -

Upa = impartially, justly + ikkh, to see, to view, to look.

Upekkhā is to view impartially, i.e., neither with attachment nor with aversion. It is the balanced state of mind. Its direct enemy is passion (rāga), and its indirect enemy is unintelligent indifference. Attachment and aversion are eliminated by upekkhā. Impartial attitude is its chief characteristic.

Here upekkhā does not mean mere neutral feeling, but a sterling virtue is implied thereby. Equanimity is the closest equivalent. That term, too, conveys only one aspect of upekkhā. (See Ch. 1, notes 10, 42). It is this upekkhā that is elevated to a bojjhanga factor.

Upekkhā embraces all good and bad ones, loved and unloved ones, agreeable and disagreeable things, pleasure and pain and all such similar opposite pairs.

49. The following illuminating note by Mrs. Rhys Davids on these four virtues is well worth reading.

"On these four great exercises, see Rhys Davids, S. B. E. xi 201, n.; and on their emancipating efficacy, M. i. 38. Buddhaghosa again refers to the reader to his Visuddhi Magga for a more detailed commentary (vide chap. ix, and cf. Hardy, 'Eastern Monachism', p . 243 et seq. )... The object of thought (ārammana) in this connection will be 'limited' if the student dwells in love etc., on but a restricted number of beings; 'infinite' if his heart embraces vast numbers.

'The commentator has not a little to say in the present work, however, on the nature and mutual relations of the 'Abodes' (pp. 193-195). First, the characteristics of each are fully set forth, together with their false manifestation (vipatti). Clinging (sinehasambhavo) is the vipatti of love, the essential mark of which is the carrying on of beneficent conduct etc. Tears and the like are less truly characteristic of pity (karunā) than is the bearing and relieving the woes of others. Laughter and the like are less genuine expressions of sympathy (muditā) than is appreciation of what others have achieved. And there is a condition of disinterestedness (upekkhā) which is prompted by ignorance, and not by that insight into the karma of mankind which can avail to calm the passions.

"He next designates the four antisocial attitudes which are to be extirpated by these ethical disciplines taken in order - ill-will (vyāpāda), cruelty (vihesā), aversion (arati), and passion (rāga) - and shows how each virtue has also a second vice opposed to it. This he terms its near enemy, as being less directly assailed by it than its ethical opposite, the latter resembling an enemy who has to lurk afar in the jungle and the hills. Love and vengeful conduct cannot coexist. To prevail in this respect, let love be developed fearlessly. But where love and its object have too much in common, love is threatened by lust. On this side let love be guarded well. Again the near enemy to pity, more insidious than cruelty, is the self-pity pining for what one has not got or has lost - a low, profane melancholy. And the corresponding worldly happiness in what one has, or in consequence of obliviousness as to what one has lost, lies in wait to stifle appreciation of the good fortune of others. Lastly, there is the unintelligent indifference of the worldling who has not triumphed over limitations nor mastered cause and effect, being unable to transcend external things.

"The remainder of his remarks are occupied with the necessary sequence in the four Abodes, and the importance of observing method in their cultivation, and finally with their other technical appellation of appamaññā or infinitudes. In this connection he repeats the touching illustration given in Hardy (op. Cit., 249) of the mother, and the four children. Her desire for the growth of the infant is as mettā; for the recovery of the sick child as karunā; for the maintenance of the gifts displayed by the youth as muditā; while her care not to hinder the career of her grown-up son is as upekkhā.

"It may be remarked, by the way, that when Hardy with a foreigner's want of muditā calumniates the Buddhist mendicant (p. 250) as one who thinks about the virtues of solidarity without practicing them, he quite forgets that these exercises are but preparations of the will for that ministering to the intellectual need of others to which the recluse's life was largely devoted, and the importance of which the Western, in his zeal for material forms of charity, does not even now appreciate at its real value. And Buddhism did not believe in giving the rein to good impulses unregulated by intellectual control".

(Buddhist Psychology, pp- 65-37).

50. Paññindriya -

Pa = rightly; ñā, to know, paññā, literally, means right knowing.

Its chief characteristic is understanding as it really is, or irresistible understanding, i.e., penetrative knowledge (Yathāsabhāva-pativedho vā akkhalita-pativedho).

As paññā dominates in understanding the real nature and as it overcomes ignorance, it is called a controlling faculty (indriya).

In Abhidhamma ñāna, paññā, and amoha are used as interchangeable terms. In types of consciousness connected with knowledge (ñāna-sampayutta) the reference is to this paññā. By amoha, one of the three moral roots, is also meant this paññā. As one of the four means of accomplishing one's ends (iddhi-pāda) it assumes the name of vīmamsā (lit., examination). When purified by samādhi, paññā assumes the honorable role of abhiññā (higher knowledge). Highly developed paññā is elevated to the state of a bojjhanga-dhamma-vicaya (Investigation of the Truth) and magganga-sammā ditthi, Right View. The culmination of paññā is the Omniscience of a Buddha.

Paññā, in the strictest sense of the term, is seeing things as they truly are, i.e., in the light of anicca (impermanence), dukkha (sorrow), and anattā (soullessness).

Reason, intellect, insight, knowledge, wisdom, intelligence - all convey some aspects of paññā, but none of them exactly corresponds to the Pāli term. Both knowledge and wisdom are employed here according to the context.

Mrs. Rhys David's comment on this important term is interesting. She writes:-

"To fit the term paññā with its approximate European equivalent is one of the cruxes of Buddhist philosophy. I have tried in turn reason, intellect, insight, science, understanding and knowledge. All of these have been, and are, used in the literature of philosophy with varying shades of connotation, according as the sense to be conveyed is popular and vague, psychological and precise or transcendental and - passez-moi le mot - having precise vagueness.

And each of them might, with one implication or another, represent paññā. The main difficulty in choice lay in determining whether, to the Buddhist, paññā stood for mental function, or for the aggregate product of certain mental functioning, or for both. When all the allusions to paññā in the Sutta Pitaka have been collated, a final translation becomes possible. Here it must suffice to quote two. M i. 292, he who has paññā (paññavā) is declared in virtue thereof to understand (pajānāti) the nature of the phenomenon of pain or ill (the Four Noble Truths). In D. i. 124 Gotama asks: what is this paññā? and himself sets out its content as consisting in certain intellectual attainments, viz., the Jhānas, insight into the nature of impermanence, the mental image of one's self, the power of iddhi, the cosmic Ear, insight into other minds, into one's own past lives, the cosmic Eye, and the elimination of all vitiating tendencies. Buddhaghosa also (Visuddhi Magga Ch. XIV,) distinguishes paññā from saññā and viññāna. He describes it as adequate to discern not only what these can, viz., sense-objects and the Three Marks (impermanence, pain and non-substantiality) respectively, but also the path. For him, then, it might be called intellect 'at a higher power'. And in Gotama's reply, all those terms are described in terms of intellectual process. Nevertheless, it is clear that the term did not stand for bare mental process of a certain degree of complexity, but that it also implied mental process as cultivated in accordance with a certain system of concepts objectively valid for all Buddhist adepts. Hence I think it best to reject such terms as reason, intellect, and understanding, and to choose wisdom, or science, or knowledge, or philosophy. Only they must be understood in this connection as implying the body of learning as assimilated and applied by the intellect of a given individual".

(Buddhist Psychology. pp. 17-18).

Footnotes and references:


[Ven. Nyānatiloka suggests impression, or sense-impression consciousness-impression]


[A technical term applied collectively to all the 13 cetasikas which may be either moral or immoral according to the type of consciousness in which they are found. Añña - another: samāna, common. When the good types of consciousness are taken into account the evil are regarded as añña, and vice versa.]


*[They are the Rūpa-Jīvtindriyas of tho 'body decad' (kāyadasaka) 'sex-decad' (bhāvadasaka) and 'seat-decad' (vatthudasaka). See ch. VI.]

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