by Sujin Boriharnwanaket | 129,875 words
A Survey of Paramattha Dhammas is a guide to the development of the Buddha's path of wisdom, covering all aspects of human life and human behaviour, good and bad. This study explains that right understanding is indispensable for mental development, the development of calm as well as the development of insight The author describes in detail all ment...
Cittas can be classified by way of different associated Dhammas, sampayutta Dhammas, and these are the accompanying cetasikas which cause them to be variegated. Cittas can be classified as sampayutta, associated with particular cetasikas, and vippayutta, dissociated from them. When cittas are differentiated by this way of classification, five particular cetasikas are referred to, namely wrong view, diṭṭhi, aversion, dosa, doubt, vicikicchā, rest-less-ness, uddhacca, and wisdom, paññā. Four of these cetasikas are akusala and one is sobhana.
As regards the akusala cetasikas citta can be associated with, there is the following classification:
- diṭṭigata-sampayutta: cittas associated with diṭṭhi cetasika, wrong view
- paṭigha-sampayutta: cittas associated with dosa cetasika
- vicikicchā-sampayutta: citta associated with vicikicchā cetasika, doubt about realities
- uddhacca-sampayutta: citta associated with uddhacca cetasika, rest-less-ness
As regards the sobhana cetasika cittas can be associated with, there is the following classification:
- ñāna-sampayutta, cittas associated with paññā cetasika.
The twelve types of akusala cittas which will be dealt with hereafter can be classified as associated, sampayutta, and dissociated, vippayutta, in the following way:
of the eight types of lobha-mūla-citta four types are associated with wrong view, diṭṭhigata-sampayutta, and four types are dissociated from wrong view, diṭṭhigata-vippayutta.
The two types of dosa-mūla-citta are associated with paṭigha, which is dosa cetasika, the reality which is coarse and harsh.
One type of moha-mūla-citta is associated with doubt, vicikicchā-sampayutta, and one type is associated with rest-less-ness, uddhacca-sampayutta.
Thus, of the twelve types of akusala citta, eight types are sampayutta and four types are vippayutta.
The lobha-mūla-cittas which are associated with and dissociated from wrong view can be differentiated because of the accompanying feelings. Two of the four types which are associated with wrong view are accompanied by pleasant feeling and two types by indifferent feeling. Even so, two of the four types which are dissociated from wrong view are accompanied by pleasant feeling and two types by indifferent feeling.
Moreover, there is still another differentiation to be made. Lobha-mūla-cittas can arise without being prompted, asaṇkhārika, and they can arise because they are prompted, sasaṇkhārika  . Four types are unprompted and four types are prompted.
The eight lobha-mūla-cittas are classified as follows:
- accompanied by pleasant feeling, with wrong view, unprompted (somanassa-sahagataÿ, diṭṭhigata-sampayuttaÿ, asaṅkhārikam ekaÿ)
- accompanied by pleasant feeling, with wrong view, prompted (somanassa-sahagataÿ, diṭṭhigata-sampayuttaÿ, sasaṅkhārikam ekaÿ)
- accompanied by pleasant feeling, without wrong view, unprompted (somanassa-sahagataÿ, diṭṭhigata-vippayuttaÿ, asaṅkhārikam ekaÿ)
- accompanied by pleasant feeling, without wrong view, prompted (somanassa-sahagataÿ, diṭṭhigata-vippayuttaÿ, sasaṅkhārikam ekaÿ)
- accompanied by indifferent feeling, with wrong view, unprompted (upekkhā-sahagataÿ, diṭṭhigata-sampayuttaÿ, asaṅkhārikam ekaÿ
- accompanied by indifferent feeling, with wrong view, prompted (upekkhā-sahagataÿ, diṭṭhigata-sampayuttaÿ, sasaṅkhārikam ekaÿ)
- accompanied by indifferent feeling, without wrong view, unprompted (upekkhā-sahagataÿ, diṭṭhigata-vippayuttaÿ, asaṅkhārikam ekaÿ)
- accompanied by indifferent feeling, without wrong view, prompted (upekkhā-sahagataÿ, diṭṭhigata-vippayuttaÿ, sasaṅkhārikam ekaÿ)
The two types of dosa-mūla-citta are associated with paṭigha, repulsion or anger, which is actually dosa cetasika, and thus they are both paṭigha-sampayutta. When there is unpleasant feeling it is each time accompanied by dosa cetasika, the Dhamma which is coarse, harsh and vexatious. The characteristic of unpleasant feeling is quite different from pleasant feeling and indifferent feeling. The two types of dosa-mūla-citta which are both paṭigha-sampayutta are accompanied by unpleasant feeling. The two types of dosa-mūla-citta are different in as far as one type is asaṅkhārika, unprompted, without instigation, and one type is sasaṅkhārika, prompted.
They are classified as follows:
- accompanied by unpleasant feeling, with anger, unprompted (domanassa-sahagataÿ, paṭigha-sampayuttaÿ, asaṅkhārikam ekaÿ)
- accompanied by unpleasant feeling, with anger, prompted (domanassa-sahagataÿ, paṭigha-sampayuttaÿ, sasaṅkhārikam ekaÿ)
There are two types of moha-mūla-citta. One of them is vicikicchā-sampayutta, accompanied by doubt, vicikicchā cetasika, which doubts about the Buddha, the Dhamma, the Sangha, the khandhas, the dhatus (elements), the past, the present, the future and other matters. The second type of moha-mūla-citta is called uddhacca-sampayutta, accompanied by rest-less-ness.
Moha cetasika, ignorance, does not know realities as they are. Moha experiences an object, it is confronted with an object, but it is unable to know the true characteristic of the object which appears. For example, when one is seeing now one may not know that what appears through the eyes is just a rupa, a kind of reality. There may also be doubt about realities. One may doubt whether it is true that one does not see people or things, as one always believed, but only a rupa, appearing through the eye-sense. Doubt does not arise all the time, but whenever there is doubt about the Buddha, the Dhamma, the Sangha and about the characteristics of realities which appear, there is moha-mūla-citta vicikicchā-sampayutta.
When we have seen, heard, smelt, tasted or experienced tangible object through the body-sense, the javana-cittas which follow, when the cittas are not kusala, are often moha-mūla-cittas which are uddhacca-sampayutta, accompanied by rest-less-ness. These types arise when the akusala citta is not accompanied by lobha cetasika, dosa cetasika or vicikicchā cetasika (doubt). Then we can know the characteristic of moha-mūla-citta which is uddhacca-sampayutta, arising when we are forgetful of realities and do not know the characteristic of the object which appears  .
The two types of moha-mūla-citta are classified as follows:
- arising with indifferent feeling, accompanied by doubt (upekkhā-sahagataÿ, vicikicchā-sampayuttaÿ)
- arising with indifferent feeling, accompanied by rest-less-ness (upekkhā-sahagataÿ, uddhacca-sampayuttaÿ)
As we have seen, of the twelve types of akusala cittas, eight types are sampayutta, and four types are vippayutta.
As regards sobhana (beautiful) cittas, accompanied by paññā cetasika, these are called ñāṇa-sampayutta (ñāṇa is paññā cetasika).
Cittas can be differentiated as unprompted, asaṅkhārika, or prompted, sasaṅkhārika. The term "saṅkhāra" which is used in the Tipitaka has several meanings. It is used in the following composite words: saṅkhāra Dhammas, saṅkhārakkhandha, abhisaṅkhāra, and in addition there is asaṅkhārika and sasaṅkhārika. In each of these cases saṅkhāra has a different meaning.
Saṅkhāra Dhammas are Dhammas which arise because of their appropriate conditions. When they have arisen they fall away again. All saṅkhāra Dhammas are impermanent. There are four paramattha Dhammas: citta, cetasika, rupa and nibbāna. The three paramattha Dhammas which are citta, cetasika and rupa are saṅkhāra Dhammas; they arise because of conditions, they are present for an extremely short moment and then they fall away completely. Nibbāna is not dependent on conditions, it is the Dhamma which does not arise and fall away. Nibbāna is the unconditioned Dhamma (visaṅkhāra Dhamma).
The three saṅkhāra Dhammas which are citta, cetasika and rupa can be classified as five khandhas:
- all rupas are rupakkhandha
- feeling, vedanā cetasika, is vedanākkhandha
- remembrance or perception, saññā cetasika, is saññākhandha
- the other fifty cetasikas, formations, are saṅkhārakkhandha
- all cittas are viññāṇakkhandha
As regards saṅkhārakkhandha, this comprises the cetasikas other than vedanā and saññā, thus, fifty cetasikas. As regards saṅkhāra Dhammas, these are all cittas, thus, eighty-nine cittas, all cetasikas, thus, fifty-two cetasikas, and all rupas, thus, twenty-eight rupas.
Saṅkhāra Dhamma includes more realities than saṅkhārakkhandha: all cittas, cetasikas and rupas are saṅkhāra Dhammas, whereas only fifty cetasikas are saṅkhārakkhandha.
Among the fifty cetasikas which are saṅkhārakkhandha, volition or cetanā cetasika is preponderant, it is foremost as kamma-condition. It is "abhisaṅkhāra"; abhi is sometimes used in the sense of preponderance. In the "Dependent Origination", the "Paticca- samuppāda", ignorance, avijjā, conditions saṅkhāra and saṅkhāra conditions viññāṇa. Saṅkhāra as factor of the "Dependent Origination" refers to cetanā cetasika which is abhisaṅkhāra, the Dhamma which is foremost in conditioning, as "kamma formation". It is actually kusala kamma or akusala kamma which conditions the arising of result in the form of vipākacitta and cetasikas, referred to as viññāṇa in the "Dependent Origination". It is true that also the other cetasikas are conditions for the arising of citta. Phassa cetasika, contact, is for example an important condition. If there would not be phassa cetasika which contacts the object there could not be cittas which see, hear, smell, taste, experience tangible object or think about different matters. However, phassa is not abhisaṅkhāra. It only contacts the object and then it falls away completely.
Thus, among the fifty cetasikas which are saṅkhārakkhandha only cetanā cetasika is abhisaṅkhāra: cetanā which is kusala kamma or akusala kamma is a foremost condition, it is kamma-condition for the arising of vipākacitta.
Saṅkhāra as factor of the "Dependent Origination" is threefold:
- meritorious kamma formation, puññ’ābhisaṅkhāra (puññā is merit, kusala)
- de-meritorious kamma formation, apuññ’ābhisaṅkhāra
- imperturbable kamma formation, aneñj’ābhisaṅkhāra
Meritorious kamma formation is cetanā cetasika arising with kāmāvacara kusala citta and rūpāvacara kusala citta.
De-meritorious kamma formation is cetanā cetasika arising with akusala citta.
Imperturbable kamma formation is cetanā cetasika arising with arūpāvacara kusala citta, and this is kusala citta which is firm and unshakable.
Kāmāvacara kusala citta (of the sense sphere) arises only for a very short moment and this kind of kusala is not unshakable. It arises merely seven times in one process  . It is only occasionally that there is dāna, abstention from akusala or the development of other kinds of kusala. When there is not such an opportunity, akusala citta arises very often, during many processes. Rūpāvacara kusala citta is kusala citta which is ñāṇa-sampayutta, accompanied by paññā cetasika. It is the citta which has reached calm to the stage of appanā samādhi, attainment concentration or jhāna. Rūpāvacara citta is "mahaggata kusala", kusala which "has reached greatness", which is sublime. However, it is still close to kāmāvacara kusala, since it has an object connected with rupa.
Imperturbable kamma formation is cetanā arising with arupa-jhānacitta. This citta is of the same type as the fifth rupa-jhānacitta  , but it has an object which is immaterial, not connected with rupa, and therefore it is more refined; it is unshakable. It produces abundant result, it conditions the arising of arupa-jhāna vipākacitta in the arupa-brahma planes. In these planes the duration of a lifespan is extremely long, and this is in conformity with the power of the arupa-jhāna kusala citta. Birth in a heavenly plane is a happy birth, because there is in such planes no disease, pain, bodily ailments or other discomforts such as occur in the human plane and in the unhappy planes. However, the duration of the lifespan in heavenly planes is not as long as in the rupa-Brahma planes, and the lifespan in the rupa-Brahma planes is not as long as in the arupa-brahma planes. As we have seen, birth in the latter planes is the result of cetanā arising with arupa-jhāna kusala citta. This type of cetanā or kamma is abhisaṇkhāra which is imperturbable or unshakable, āneñj’ ābhisaṅkhāra.
Summarizing the meanings of saṅkhāra in different composite words, they are the following:
- saṅkhāra Dhammas, which are citta, cetasika and rupa
- saṅkhārakkhandha, including fifty cetasikas (vedanā and saññā are each a separate khandha)
- abhisaṅkhāra, which is cetanā cetasika, one among the fifty cetasikas included in saṅkhārakkhandha
In addition, the terms asaṅkhārika and sasaṅkhārika are used for the differentiation of cittas. Kusala citta, akusala citta, vipākacitta and kiriyacitta can be without instigation, asaṅkhārika, or with instigation, sasaṅkhārika.
We read in the "Atthasālinī" (I, Part IV, Ch V, 1156) that sasaṅkhārika means with effort or with instigation. The instigation can come from oneself or from someone else. Someone else may urge one or order one to do something. It is the nature of citta as it naturally arises in daily life to be asaṅkhārika or sasaṅkhārika. No matter whether the citta is kusala or akusala, sometimes it arises of its own accord, because of accumulations which have been formed in the past and are thus a strong condition for its arising. Then it has the strength to arise spontaneously, independent of any instigation. The nature of such a citta is asaṅkhārika. Sometimes kusala citta or akusala citta which arises is weak, it can only arise when there is instigation by oneself or by someone else. Then the citta is sasaṅkhārika. Thus we see that kusala citta and akusala citta have different strength as they are asaṅkhārika and sasaṅkhārika.
Sometimes akusala citta is strong, it arises immediately because of accumulated like or dislike of the object which is experienced at that moment. Sometimes this is not the case. For example, someone may have no inclination at all to go to the cinema or theatre. However, when members of his family or friends urge him to go, he will go. Does the citta at such a moment really like to go? Someone may be indifferent as to going or not going, but if people urge him, he will go. If he would be on his own, he would not go. Sometimes one may think that a particular film is worth seeing and enjoyable, but one still does not go because one does not have the energy, one does not feel the urgency to go immediately. This is reality in daily life. We can find out when there is citta with strength and when there is citta which is weak, no matter whether it concerns akusala, such as lobha and dosa, or kusala. Some people, when they have heard that there is a "Kaṭhina" ceremony, the offering of robes to the monks after the rainy season, want to attend immediately and they also urge others to attend. Some people, when they hear that this or that particular person will not attend the ceremony, may decide not to go, even though they have been urged to go. Thus, kusala citta as well as akusala citta have different degrees of strength and this depends on the conditions for their arising.
The Buddha explained that particular cittas can be asaṅkhārika or sasaṅkhārika in order to show us how intricate citta is. Cittas which arise may be accompanied by the same cetasikas, but the nature of these cittas can be different in as far as they are asaṅkhārika or sasaṅkhārika, depending on the strength of the accompanying cetasikas. The Buddha taught the Dhamma in detail and this shows his great compassion.
We read in the "Atthasālinī" (Book I, Part IV, Ch VIII, 160, 161) about four "Infinites": space, world-systems, groups of sentient beings and the knowledge of a Buddha:
"There is, indeed, no limit to space reckoned as so many hundreds, thousands, or hundred thousands of yojanas (one yojana being 16 kilometres) to east, west, north or south. If an iron peak of the size of Mount Meru were to be thrown downwards, dividing the earth in two, it would go on falling and would not get a footing. thus infinite is space."
"There is no limit to the world-systems reckoning by hundreds or thousands of yojanas. If the four great Brahmās, born in the Akaniṭṭha mansion (the highest rupa-Brahma plane), endowed with speed, and capable of traversing a hundred thousand world-systems during the time that a light arrow shot by a strong archer would take to travel across the shadow of a palmyra tree, were with such speed to run in order to see the limit of the world-systems, they would pass away without accomplishing their purpose. Thus the world-systems are infinite."
"In so many world-systems there is no limit to beings, belonging to land and water. "
Thus infinite are the groups of beings.
"More infinite than these is a Buddha’s knowledge...."
Space is infinite. Nobody can measure how many hundreds, thousands or hundreds of thousands yojanas space is. Neither can one count the world-systems. When one would count the stars and the world-systems one would never be able to finish, the world-systems are infinite. One cannot determine the number of living beings of all the different groups which live in the world-systems: the human beings, devas, brahmas, animals living on land or in the water, all beings in the unhappy planes. The wisdom of the Buddha is called infinite, there are no limits to it, and it is more infinite than the other three infinites.
When we think of all beings which live in the countless world systems, the diversity of the cittas of all those beings must be endless. With regard to one individual there is a great variety of cittas, even of one class of citta, such as kāmāvacara kusala citta. Every citta arises only once, it is unique. The same type arises again but it is then a different citta. When we take into consideration the cittas of the innumerable beings we cannot imagine the variety of even one type of citta arising for living beings in the different planes.
The "Atthasālinī" states as to the type of kāmāvacara kusala citta, accompanied by pleasant feeling, associated with paññā, which is asaṅkhārika, thus, which is powerful, that it is classified as one type among the eight types of kāmāvacara kusala cittas. This is classified as just one type, although there is an endless variety even of this type of kāmāvacara kusala citta for one being and even more so for countless other beings.
Further on we read in the "Atthasālinī" with regard to the classification of the kāmāvacara kusala cittas as eight types:
... Now, all these classes of kāmāvacara kusala citta arising in the countless beings in the countless worldsystems, the Supreme Buddha, as though weighing them in a great balance, or measuring them by putting them in a measure, has classified by means of his omniscience, and has shown them to be eight, making them into eight similar groups...
This classification as eight types of maha-kusala  cittas is in accordance with the truth. They are classified as eight types: they can be accompanied by pleasant feeling, somanassa vedanā, or by indifferent feeling, upekkhā vedanā, accompanied by paññā or without paññā, asaṅkhārika or sasaṅkhārika. Summarizing them, they are:
- accompanied by pleasant feeling, with wisdom, unprompted (somanassa-sahagataÿ, ñāṇa-sampayuttaÿ, asaṅkhārikam ekaÿ)
- accompanied by pleasant feeling, with wisdom, prompted (somanassa-sahagataÿ, ñāṇa-sampayuttaÿ, sasaṅkhārikam ekaÿ)
- accompanied by pleasant feeling, without wisdom, unprompted (somanassa-sahagataÿ, ñāṇa-vippayuttaÿ, asaṅkhārikam ekaÿ)
- accompanied by pleasant feeling, without wisdom, prompted (somanassa-sahagataÿ, ñāṇa-vippayuttaÿ, sasaṅkhārikam ekaÿ)
- accompanied by indifferent feeling, with wisdom, unprompted (upekkhā-sahagataÿ, ñāṇa-sampayuttaÿ, asaṅkhārikam ekaÿ)
- accompanied by indifferent feeling, with wisdom, prompted (upekkhā-sahagataÿ, ñāṇa-sampayuttaÿ, sasaṅkhārikam ekaÿ)
- accompanied by indifferent feeling, without wisdom, unprompted (upekkhā-sahagataÿ, ñāṇa-vippayuttaÿ, asaṅkhārikam ekaÿ)
- accompanied by indifferent feeling, without wisdom, prompted (upekkhā-sahagataÿ, ñāṇa-vippayuttaÿ, sasaṅkhārikam ekaÿ)
Do we at times feel tired and bored, without energy? Sometimes the citta thinks of performing a particular kind of kusala, but then it is too weak, and fatigue and boredom arise. Can sati at such moments be aware of the characteristic of citta which is weak and without energy for kusala? If there is no awareness there is a concept of self who feels that way. Fatigue, weakness, boredom, a feeling of being downcast, in low spirits and without energy, all such moments are real. If sati is not aware of the characteristic of such realities as they naturally appear, it will not be known that they are not a living being, not a person, not a self. They are only characteristics of citta which arises because of conditions and then falls away again.
The Buddha explained citta under many different aspects. One of these aspects is the classification of citta as asaṅkhārika and sasaṅkhārika. Lobha-mūla-citta can be asaṅkhārika or sasaṅkhārika. Also dosa-mūla-citta and kusala citta can be asaṅkhārika or sasaṅkhārika. When sati can be aware of the characteristics of these realities they can be known as nama, different from rupa. A feeling of being downcast or disheartened, of being in low spirits, without energy for kusala, is not rupa. It is the nature of citta which is sasaṅkhārika, there is at such moments a citta which is weak.
Cittas which can be differentiated as asaṅkhārika and sasaṅkhārika can only be kāmāvacara cittas. Kāmāvacara cittas are of the lowest grade of citta. These are cittas which usually arise in daily life, when there is seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting, experiencing tangible object or thinking about the sense objects. The kusala cittas or akusala cittas which arise on account of the sense objects sometimes have strength and thus arise spontaneously, and sometimes they are weak and arise with instigation. It all depends on conditions.
The cittas which are of a higher grade, namely, rūpāvacara cittas, arūpāvacara cittas and lokuttara cittas, are not classified by way of asaṅkhārika and sasaṅkhārika. All of them are prompted, sasaṅkhārika. The reason for this is that they are dependent on the appropriate development as a necessary condition for their arising. In this context being sasaṅkhārika does not mean that they are weak such as in the case of kāmāvacara cittas which are prompted, sasaṅkharika. Before rūpāvacara citta, arūpāvacara citta and lokuttara kusala citta arise, there must each time be kāmāvacara kusala citta accompanied by paññā. This is a necessary factor which induces or prompts their arising. Therefore, the cittas of the higher planes, rūpāvacara cittas, arūpāvacara cittas and lokuttara cittas are each time sasaṅkhārika and ñāṇa-sampayutta, accompanied by paññā.
We can come to know whether cittas in different circumstances of our daily life are asaṅkhārika or sasaṅkhārika. When we, for example, come to listen to the Dhamma, do we need to be urged by someone else? At first we may not want to come of our own accord, we need to be urged. However, later on we come of our own accord, without being urged. In each of these cases the nature of citta is different, being sasaṅkhārika or asaṅkhārika. The citta is not all the time sasaṅkhārika nor all the time asaṅkhārika. One may, for example, go to the cinema after having been urged, and thus the cittas are weak. However, afterwards, when one sits comfortably, one may enjoy oneself, one may be hilarious and laugh, and then the cittas are not weak, because one does not need any instigation to laugh or to have fun. While one enjoys oneself and laughs the cittas with pleasant feeling are strong, arising of their own accord; they are asaṅkhārika. This shows us that citta is each time anattā, that it arises because of its own conditions. The citta which arises at this moment may be this way, the next moment it is different again, depending on conditions.
- With how many types of citta does wrong view, diṭṭhi, arise?
- With which types of feeling can diṭṭhi cetasika arise?
- With which type of feeling does dosa cetasika arise?
- With which types of akusala citta does pleasant feeling, somanassa vedanā, arise?
- With which types of akusala citta does indifferent feeling, upekkhā vedanā, arise?
- What is the meaning of the terms saṅkhāra Dhammas, saṅkhārakkhandha, abhisaṅkhāra, asaṅkhārika and sasaṅkhārika?
- When we take into account the eight lobha-mūla-cittas and the eight maha-kusala cittas, in which ways are these two classes similar and in which ways are they different?
Footnotes and references:
This will be explained further on.
Uddhacca accompanies each akusala citta, but the second type of moha-mūla-citta is called uddhacca-sampayutta and in this way it is differentiated from the first type.
There are seven javana-cittas in a process which are kusala cittas or akusala cittas in the case of the non-arahat.
The arupa-jhānacittas are accompanied by the same jhānafactors as the fifth rupa-jhānacitta. This will be explained further in the section on Samatha.
Maha means great. Maha-kusala cittas are kusala cittas of the sense sphere, kāmāvacara kusala cittas. Maha-kiriyacittas and maha-vipākacittas are also cittas of the sense sphere, accompanied by beautiful roots, sobhana hetus.