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....

Summary of Doors


§ 8.

Dvārasangahe dvārani nāma cakkhudvāram sotadvāram ghānadvāram jivhādvāram kāyadvāram manodvārañ e'āti chabbidhāni bhavanti.

Manodhātuttikam pana pañcadvārikam.

Sukhasantīrana - votthapana - kāmāvacarajavanāni chadvārikacittāni.

Upekkhāsahagata santīrana-mahāvipākāni chadvārikāni c'eva dvāravimuttāni ca.

Mahaggatavipākāni dvāravimuttān' evā'ti.

§ 9.

Ekadvārikacittāni pañcadvārikāni ca
Chadvārika vimuttāni vimuttāni ca sabbathā.
Chattimsati tathā tīni ekatimsa yathākkamam
Dasadhā navadhā c'āti pañcadhā paridīpaye.



§ 8.

In the summary of doors (43), there are six kinds, namely, eye-door (44), ear-door, nose-door, tongue-door, body-door, and mind-door (45).

Therein the eye itself is the eye-door; and so for the ear-door and others. But bhavanga is called the mind-door.

Of them forty-six (46) types of consciousness arise accordingly (47) in the eye-door.

  1. five-door apprehending,
  2. eye consciousness,
  3. receiving,
  4. investigating,
  5. determining,
  6. Sense-sphere javana,
  7. retention.

Likewise in the ear-door and others forty-six types of consciousness arise such as five-door apprehending, ear-consciousness, and so forth.

It should be understood that in every way in the five-doors there are fifty-four types of kāmāvacara consciousness (48).

In the mind-door sixty-seven types of consciousness arise such as mind-door apprehending, fifty-five javanas (49), and retention (50).

Nineteen types of consciousness such as relinking, bhavanga, and decease are without doors (61).

Of those (that arise through doors) thirty-six types of consciousness (52) such as twice fivefold sense-impressions and the sublime and supramundane javanas (53) are with one door accordingly.

The three mind-elements (54)arise through five doors.

Pleasurable investigation (55), determining (56), and the kama-sphere javanas arise through six doors. Investigation, accompanied by indifference, and the great Resultants arise either through the six doors or without a door (57).

The Sublime Resultants do arise without a door (58).

§ 9.

Thirty-six (59) types of consciousness arise through one door, three through five, thirty-one through six, ten through six or without a door, nine wholly free from a door respectively. In five ways they are shown



43. Dvāra or door, derived from du, two and Ö 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-dvāra or eye-door is meant the sensory surface of the eye. The other doors should be similarly understood.

45. Mano-dvāra - 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 āvajjana 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 manodvārāvajjana mind-door consciousness. The bhavangupaccheda (bhavanga arrest) thought-moment that immediately precedes the mind-door apprehending consciousness is known as the mind-door (manodvāra).

Abhidhammāvatāra states -

S'āvajjanam bhavangantu manodvāranti vuccati.

(The bhavanga with the āvajjana is known as mind-door) .

46. The commentary sums up 46 as follows:-

  1. 1;
  2. 2 (akusala and kusala vipāka sampaticchana);
  3. 2 (akusala and kusala vipāka sampaticchana);
  4. 3 (akusala vipāka = 1, kusala vipāka santīrana = 2),
  5. 1;
  6. 29 (akusala = 12 + kusala = 8 + ahetuka kriyā hasituppāda = 1 + sobhana kriyā = 8);
  7. 8 (sobhana vipāka - the other three being included in santīrana).

1 + 2 + 2 + 3 + 1 + 29 + 8 = 46

Forty-six types of consciousness arise through the eye-door with material form as the object (rūpālambana). An equal number arises in the remaining four physical doors with their respective objects.

47. Accordingly, yathāraham -

That is, "according as the object is desirable or not, as attentiveness is right or wrong, as passion-freed individuals or not" (Vibhāvini Tīkā). 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 kāmāvacara consciousness arise through these five doors.

49. Namely, 12 akusalas + 1 ahetuka kriyā + 16 sobhana kusala and kriyā + 10 rūpāvacara kusala and kriyā + 8 arūpāvacara kusala and kriyā + 8 lokuttara magga and phala. (12 + 1 + 16 + l0 + 8 + 8 = 55)

50. Namely, 3 santīranas and 8 sobhana vipākas.

51. Dvāra-vimutta, door-freed.

Vibhāvini Tīkā explains that they are so called because

  1. they do not arise in any of the sense-doors such as eye etc.,
  2. bhavanga itself is the mind-door,
  3. and 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

  1. may be 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.
  2. Or it may be any symbol (kamma-nimitta) which was conspicuous during the performance of the action.
  3. It may also be characteristic symbol of the place in which one is bound to be reborn (gati nimitta)[1].

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.

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 pañcadvārāvajjana arise only through the five physical sense-doors.

Readers should note that at times all these three types of consciousness are collectively termed manodhātuttika (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 tadālambana.

56. This is the manodvārāvajjana 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 rūpāvacara and arūpāvacara vipāka cittas arise as patisandhi, bhavanga and cuti respective planes. Hence they are door-freed.

59. They are:-

dvipañca viññāna (sense-impression) = 10
rūpāvacara kusala and kriyā = 10
arūpāvacara kusala and kriyā = 8
lokuttara magga and phala = 8

total: 36

Footnotes and references:


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.

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