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....

The Stream of Consciousness


§ 15.

Icc' evam gahitapatisandhikānam pana patisandhinirodhānantaratoppabhuti tam evālambanamārabbha tad' eva cittam yāva cuticittuppādā asativīthicittuppāde bhavassangabhāvena bhavangasantatisankhātam mānasam abbhocchinnam nadī soto viya pavattati. Pariyosāneca cavanavasena cuticittam hutvā nirujjhati. Tato parañ ca patisandhādayo rathacakkam iva yathākkamam eva parivattantā pavattanti.

§ 16.

Patisandhibhavangavīthīyo cuti c'eha tathā bhavantare

Puna patisandhibhavangam iccayam parivattati cittasantati

Patisankhāya pan' etamaddhuvam adhigantvā padamaccutam budhā Susamucchinnasinehabandhanā samamessanti cirāya subbatā.

Iti Abhidhammatthasangahe Vīthimuttasangahavibhāgo nāma Pañcamo Paricchedo



§ 15.

So, to those who have thus got rebirth, immediately after the cessation of the re-linking (consciousness) (61) a similar consciousness, depending on the same object, flows on, in the absence of a thought-process, uninterruptedly like a stream (62), until the arising of the decease-consciousness (63). Being an essential factor of life, this consciousness is known as bhavanga. At the end, in the way of dying, it arises as decease-consciousness (64) and perishes. Thereafter the re-linking-consciousness and others, revolving according to circumstances like a wheel, continue to exist.

§ 16.

Just as here, so again in the subsequent existence there arise re-linking consciousness, life-continuum, thought-processes, and decease-consciousness. Again with rebirth and life continuum this stream of consciousness turns round.

The enlightened, disciplining themselves long, understanding the impermanence (of life), will realize the Deathless State (i.e., Nibbāna), and, completely cutting off the fetters of attachment, attain Peace[1].

Thus ends the fifth chapter of the Compendium of Abhidhamma, known as the Analysis of the Process-freed section.



61. Patisandhi, bhavanga, and cuti consciousness of one particular existence are identical as they have the same object. The mental states in each of these three are the same. They differ only in name and in function. Immediately after the rebirth-consciousness bhavanga-consciousness arises. During lifetime, whenever no thought-processes arise, this bhavanga consciousness exists. One experiences innumerable bhavanga thought-moments in the course of one's lifetime.

62. Note the Pāli phrase nadī soto viya.

63. Cuti citta or decease-consciousness, which one experiences at the moment of death, is similar to the patisandhi citta and bhavanga citta of that particular life.

64. Immediately after the decease consciousness there arises in a subsequent rebirth the re-linking or rebirth consciousness (patisandhi citta), at the moment of conception.

Footnotes and references:


i.e., Nibbāna-element without a substratum (nirupādisesa Nibbāna-dhātu)

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