Abhidhamma And Practice

by Nina van Gorkom | 2001 | 5,974 words

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Appendix

The Paramattha Dhammas

According to the teaching of the Buddha there exist certain realities which constitute the realness of the phenomena of life and there are concepts which are just thoughts, ideas, figmentations, illusions, etc., with which we concern ourselves most of the day. The purpose of this appendix is to list and briefly explain the realities (paramattha dhammas). The term ‘paramattha dhammas’ means absolute realities. That is, these realities exist and there are no other realities.

The paramattha dhammas are divided first into two kinds. There are mental phenomena (or mentality) known as ‘nama’ in the Pali language and there are physical phenomena (or materiality) known as ‘rupa’ in Pali. Nama has the function of experiencing something while rupa cannot experience anything. That is, it is through mentality that we experience things and it is both mental phenomena and material phenomena that is experienced. So there are two kinds of realities:

  1. nama (mentality)
  2. rupa (materiality)

The paramattha dhammas can be further divided in four ways:

  1. citta (a moment of consciousness or a moment of experience),
  2. cetasika (mental factors accompanying consciousness),
  3. rupa (material phenomena)
  4. nibbana (the unconditioned reality)

The first three of these four realities are called conditioned. That is because they all arise from causes, they are all conditioned by other occurences. The fourth type, nibbana, is the unconditioned reality. It is not caused by any other thing. It does not arise and it does not cease. All the other realities arise and cease continuously, so they do not last. Our lives consist of phenomena which are constantly arising and ceasing. So we cannot hold onto, own or keep anything in reality.

Of the four-way division of realities, citta, cetasika and nibbana are types of nama (mentality) and the fourth, rupa, is materiality.

The paramattha dhamma can be further divided by way of the five types of aggregates or groups (khandhas) into which they fall. These five khandhans are the aggregates of our daily existence. All conditioned namas and rupas can be classified under the five khandhas:-

  1. rupa-khandha- which is all material/physical phenomena,
  2. vedana-khandha – which is feeling (vedana),
  3. sanna-khandha – which is perception or memory (sanna),
  4. sankhara-khandha – which is fifty mental factors (cetasikas),
  5. vinnana-khandha – which is all the types of cittas.

The first of the group of aggregates is known as rupa-khandha and consists of all the material elements of existence. For example, hardness, temperature, pressure, color, smell, taste are all types of rupa-khandha. All aspects of the body can be classified under rupa.

The second is vedana-khandha. This comprises several types of feeling, viz., pleasant feeling, unpleasant feeling and indifferent feeling. Feeling is a mental factor (cetasika). There are also two other types of feeling, the pleasant bodily feeling and unpleasant bodily feeling. The first three are mental feeling and the last two are bodily feelings.

The third is sanna-khandha. Sanna is the mental factor (cetasika) known as memory or perception. Sanna marks the object of experience so that it can be recognized now and in the future.

The fourth is sankhara-khandha. This comprises the other fifty cetasikas which arise with the moment of experience (citta). (See ‘cetasikas’ enumerated later).

The fifth is ’vinnana-khandha. This comprises all types of moments of experience (citta). All types of citta are classified under this khandha.

The khandhas are called the ‘groups of grasping’. This means that we cling to, or grasp at these aggregates as belonging to a self. As long as we take them for self we do not understand them as they really are, just paramattha dhammas, just conditioned realities.

Citta is the first of the four types of paramattha dhammas. It is also the fifth group of aggregates. The word ‘citta’ is derived from the root ‘cit’, to think. Citta is that which is the chief in experiencing an object. There are many different types of citta. They are divided four ways according to whether it is –

  1. consciousness pertaining to the sense sphere (kamavacara citta),
  2. consciousness pertaining to the form sphere (rupavacara citta),
  3. consciousness pertaining to the formless sphere (arupavacara citta),
  4. supramundane consciousness (lokuttara citta).

The four categories of consciousness are classified according to whether they are wholesome or skillful (kusala citta), unwholesome or unskilful (akusala citta), the result of deeds (kamma) in the past (vipaka citta) or neutral consciousness with on effect (kiriya citta).

There are

  1. in the sensuous sphere 54 types of consciousness,
  2. in the form sphere 15 types of consciousnes,
  3. in the formless sphere 12 types of consciousness,
  4. in the supramundane 8 types of consciousness.

This total 89 types of consciousness in all (see later; citta can be also classed as 121 different types).

In the sensuous sphere there 12 types of akusala citta (unwholesome consciousness) that have roots:-

a.) cittas rooted in attachment (i.e. with their base or foundation in attachment):

  1. Citta, unprompted connected with wrong view accompanied by pleasant feeling.
  2. Citta, prompted connected with wrong view accompanied by pleasant feeling.
  3. Citta, unprompted not connected with wrong view accompanied by pleasant feeling.
  4. Citta, prompted not connected with wrong view accompanied by pleasant feeling.
  5. Citta, unprompted connected with wrong view accompanied by indifferent feeling.
  6. Citta, prompted connected with wrong view accompanied by indifferent feeling.
  7. Citta, unprompted not connected with wrong view accompanied by indifferent feeling.
  8. Citta, prompted not connected with wrong view accompanied by indifferent feeling.

b.) cittas rooted in ill – will or aversion:

  1. Citta, unprompted accompanied by unpleasant feeling, connected with ill-will.
  2. Citta, prompted accompanied by unpleasant feeling, connected with ill-will.

c.) cittas rooted in delusion or ignorance:

  1. citta, connected with doubt accompanied by indifferent feeling.
  2. Citta, connected with restlessness accompanied by indifferent feeling.

There are 18 types of rootless consciousness:-

a.) cittas which are unwholesome results:

  1. body-consciousness accompanied by unpleasant feeling.
  2. Ear-consciousness accompanied by indifferent feeling.
  3. nose-consciousness accompanied by indifferent feeling.
  4. tongue-consciousness accompanied by indifferent feeling.
  5. eye-consciousness accompanied by indifferent feeling.
  6. receiving-consciousness accompanied by indifferent feeling.
  7. investigation-consciousness accompanied by indifferent feeling.

b.) cittas which are wholesome results:

  1. body-consciousness accompanied by pleasant feeling.
  2. Ear-consciousness accompanied by indifferent feeling.
  3. nose-consciousness accompanied by indifferent feeling.
  4. tongue-consciousness accompanied by indifferent feeling.
  5. eye-consciousness accompanied by indifferent feeling.
  6. receiving-consciousness accompanied by indifferent feeling.
  7. investigation-consciousness accompanied by indifferent feeling.
  8. investigation-consciousness accompanied by pleasant feeling.

c.) functional (kiriya) cittas:

  1. five sense-door adverting consciousness accompanied by indifferent feeling.
  2. mind-door adverting consciousness accompanied by pleasant feeling.
  3. Smile-producing consciousness (of an arahant) accompanied by pleasant feeling.

There are 24 types of beautiful (sobhana) cittas of the sensuous sphere:-

a.) cittas which are wholesome consciousness (kusala):

  1. citta, unprompted associated with wisdom accompanied by pleasant feeling.
  2. citta, prompted associated with wisdom accompanied by pleasant feeling.
  3. citta, unprompted dissociated with wisdom accompanied by pleasant feeling.
  4. citta, prompted associated with wisdom accompanied by pleasant feeling.
  5. citta, unprompted associated with wisdom accompanied by indifferent feeling.
  6. citta, prompted associated with wisdom accompanied by indifferent feeling.
  7. citta, unprompted dissociated with wisdom accompanied by indifferent feeling.
  8. citta, prompted dissociated with wisdom accompanied by indifferent feeling.

b.) cittas which are wholesome result (kusala vipaka):

  1. citta, unprompted associated with wisdom accompanied by pleasant feeling.
  2. citta, prompted associated with wisdom accompanied by pleasant feeling.
  3. citta, unprompted dissociated with wisdom accompanied by pleasant feeling.
  4. citta, prompted dissociated with wisdom accompanied by pleasant feeling.
  5. citta, unprompted associated with wisdom accompanied by indifferent feeling.
  6. citta, prompted associated with wisdom accompanied by indifferent feeling.
  7. citta, unprompted dissociated with wisdom accompanied by indifferent feeling.
  8. citta, prompted dissociated with wisdom accompanied by indifferent feeling.

c.) citas which are neutral (kiriya) :

  1. citta, unprompted associated with wisdom accompanied by pleasant feeling.
  2. citta, prompted associated with wisdom accompanied by pleasant feeling.
  3. citta, unprompted dissociated with wisdom accompanied by pleasant feeling.
  4. citta, prompted dissociated with wisdom accompanied by pleasant feeling.
  5. citta, unprompted associated with wisdom accompanied by indifferent feeling.
  6. citta, prompted associated with wisdom accompanied by indifferent feeling.
  7. citta, unprompted dissociated with wisdom accompanied by indifferent feeling.
  8. citta, prompted dissociated with wisdom accompanied by indifferent feeling.

There are 15 types of form sphere consciousness (rupavacara citta) of the meditative absorptions:-

a.) cittas which are wholesome consciousness:

  1. first jhana citta with initial application, sustained application, joy, happiness and one-pointedness.
  2. Second jhana citta with sustained application, joy, happiness and one-pointedness.
  3. Third jhana citta with joy, happiness and one- pointedness.
  4. Fourth jhana citta with happiness and one-pointedness.
  5. Fifth jhana citta with equanimity and one-pointedness.

b.) cittas which are resultant consciousness:

  1. first jhana resultant citta with initial application, sustained application, joy, happiness and one-pointedness.
  2. Second jhana resultant citta with sustained application, joy, happiness and one-pointedness.
  3. Third jhana resultant citta with joy, happiness and one- pointedness.
  4. Fourth jhana resultant citta with happiness and one-pointedness.
  5. Fifth jhana resultant citta with equanimity and one-pointedness.

c.) cittas which are neutral (kiriya) consciousness:

  1. first jhana kiriya citta with initial application, sustained application, joy, happiness and one-pointedness.
  2. Second jhana kiriya citta with sustained application, joy, happiness and one-pointedness.
  3. Third jhana kiriya citta with joy, happiness and one- pointedness.
  4. Fourth jhana kiriya citta with happiness and one-pointedness.
  5. Fifth jhana kiriya citta with equanimity and one-pointedness.

There are 12 types of formless sphere consciousness (arupavacara citta) of the higher meditative absorptions:-

a.) cittas which are wholesome consciousness:

  1. Jhana citta dwelling on the ‘Infinity of Space’.
  2. Jhana citta dwelling on the ‘infinity of Consciousness’.
  3. Jhana citta dwelling on ‘Nothingness’.
  4. Jhana citta dwelling on ‘Neither Perception nor non-perception’.

b.) cittas which are resultant consciousness:

  1. resultant jhana citta dwelling on the ‘Infinity of Space’.
  2. Resultant jhana citta dwelling on the ‘infinity of Consciousness’.
  3. Resultant jhana citta dwelling on ‘Nothingness’.
  4. Resultant jhana citta dwelling on ‘Neither Perception nor non-perception’.

c.) cittas which are functional (kiriya) consciousness:

  1. kiriya jhana citta dwelling on the ‘Infinity of Space’.
  2. Kiriya jhana citta dwelling on the ‘infinity of Consciousness’.
  3. Kiriya jhana citta dwelling on ‘Nothingness’.
  4. Kiriya jhana citta dwelling on ‘Neither Perception nor non-perception’.

There are 8 types of supramundane consciousness (lokuttara citta). These are the cittas of one who is experiencing the unconditioned reality, nibbana:-

a.) cittas which are supramundane path consciousness (maggacitta):

  1. sotapanna path consciousness.
  2. sakadagami path consciousness.
  3. anagami path consciousness.
  4. arahatta path consciousness.

b.) cittas which are resultant supramundane consciousness (phalacitta):

  1. sotapanna fruit consciousness.
  2. sakadagami fruit consciousness.
  3. anagami fruit consciousness.
  4. arahatta fruit consciousness.

Thus there are 89 different types of citta which can be experienced-12 unwholesome cittas, 21 wholesome cittas, 36 resultant cittas and 20 functional cittas. In the sensuous sphere there are 54 types of citta, in the form sphere 15 types, in the formless sphere 12 types and in the supramundane sphere 8 types.

These different classes of cittas can also be divided into 121 types according to if the cittas of the path and fruit of Sotapanna consciousness, Sakadagami consciousness, Anagami consciousness and Arahatta consciousness are accompanied by the jhana factors of the first, second, third, fourth and fifth jhana. Thus there are 16 additional types of maggacitta and 16 additional types of phalacitta.
The mental factors (cetasikas) which accompany moments of citta are of 52 different kinds. Of these 52, they are subdivided according to their natures into seven classes.

First there are the 7 universals (sabbacittasadharana). They accompany every single moment of citta and thus are called universals:

  1. contact (phassa)
  2. feeling (vedana)
  3. perception (sanna)
  4. volition or intention (cetana)
  5. one-pointedness (ekaggata)
  6. phychic-life (jivitindriya)
  7. attention (manasikara)

Then there are the 6 particular cetasikas, so called because they associate with only particular types of consciousness. They associate with either the wholesome or unwholesome cittas. They are called pakinnaka in Pali.

  1. initial application (vitakka)
  2. sustained application (vicara)
  3. determination (adhimokkha)
  4. effort (viriya)
  5. interest (piti)
  6. desire-to-do (chanda)

Next are the 14 unwholesome cetasikas (akusala cetasikas). They make up all the akusala moments of consciousness.

  1. ignorance (moha)
  2. lack of moral shame (ahirika)
  3. lack of fear of unwholesomeness (anotthappa)
  4. restlessness (uddhacca)
  5. attachment (lobbha)
  6. wrong view (ditthi)
  7. conceit (mana)
  8. aversion (dosa)
  9. envy (issa)
  10. stinginess (macchriya)
  11. regret (kukkucca)
  12. sloth (thina)
  13. torpor (middha)
  14. doubt (vicikiccha)

Next are the 19 beautiful cetasikas (sobhanasadharana) so called because they are common to all morally beautiful moments of consciousness.

  1. confidence (saddha)
  2. mindfulness (sati)
  3. moral shame (hiri)
  4. fear of unwholesomeness (ottappa)
  5. disinterestedness (alobha)
  6. amity (adosa)
  7. equanimity (tatramajjhattata)
  8. composure of mental states (kayapassadhi)
  9. composure of mind (cittapassanhi)
  10. lightness of mental states (kaya-lahuta)
  11. lightness of mind (citta-lahuta)
  12. pliancy of mental states (kaya-muduta)
  13. pliancy of mind (citta-muduta)
  14. adaptability of mental states (kaya-kammannata)
  15. adaptability of mind (citta-kammannuata)
  16. proficiency of mental states (kaya-pagunnata)
  17. proficiency of mind (citta-pagunnata)
  18. rectitude of mental states (kaya-ujukata)
  19. rectitude of mind (citta-ujukata).

There are the 3 abstinences (virati cetasikas):

  1. right speech (samma vaca)
  2. right action (samma kammanta)
  3. right livelihood (samma ajiva)

The two cetasikas called the illimitables (appamanna), so called because their objects are without limit:

  1. compassion (karuna)
  2. sympathetic joy (mudita).

And finally the last sobhana cetasika:

  1. wisdom (panna).

Thus there are 25 morally beautiful cetasikas (sobhana cetasikas) arising in various combinations in the wholesome states of consciousness. And a total of 52 different cetasikas that can arise in groups with the citta.

We now come to the classification of matter. Rupa or material phenomena consists of 8 basic constituents which compose all matter. These are known as the ‘eightfold group’ (suddhtthaka-kalapa) These consist of the four great elements (mahabhuta) and four more derived form them (upadaya-rupa).

  1. solidity (pathavi)
  2. cohesion (apo)
  3. temperature (tejo)
  4. motion (vayo)

and the derivatives:

  1. color (vanna)
  2. smell (ghandha)
  3. taste (rasa)
  4. nutriment (oja).

There are a further 20 types of matter, all of which are also dirived rupas:

  1. eye organ (cakkhu)
  2. ear organ (sota)
  3. nose organ (ghana)
  4. tongue organ (jivha)
  5. body organ (kaya)
  6. male and female characteristic – 2 rupas (bhava-rupas)
  7. heart base (hadayavatthu)
  8. material life-principle (rupa-jivita)
  9. space (pariccheda)
  10. bodily intimation (kaya-vinnatti)
  11. speech intimation (vaci-vinnatti)
  12. sound (sadda)
  13. lightness (lahuta)
  14. plasticity (muduta)
  15. adaptability (kammannata)
  16. growth (upacaya)
  17. continuity (santati)
  18. decay (jarata)
  19. impermanence (aniccata)

These are all the different types of rupa. The fourteenth type, male and female characteristic, is of two types which makes a total of 28 rupas.

Thus concludes the appendix containing the classification of the varieties of nama and rupa (mental phenomena and material phenomena). There are 89 (or 121) types of consciousness, 52 different mental factors and 28 types of matter. The Buddha explained that these are the sum total of conditioned realities. There is one type of unconditioned reality and that is called nibbana (in Sanskrit, nirvana). Nibbana is described as the ‘deathless’, the ‘cool’, the ‘incomparable’, the ‘peaceful’. It is the end of craving, the goal of the Buddha’s teachings.

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