Abhidhamma in Daily Life (by Ashin Janakabhivamsa)

by Ashin Janakabhivamsa | 66,666 words

English translation of "Abhidhamma in Daily Life" by Professor Ko Lay. Revised by Sayadaw U Silananda, International Theravada Buddhist Missionary University, Yangon, 1999...

Chapter 2 - On akusala cetasikas (unwholesome mental factors)

- Sub-Contents: (+ / -)

Cetasikas Determine the Mind

In the chapter on Citta, the concepts of good and evil minds have already been explained. But as the only function of the mind is to know the objects, it cannot by itself be good or evil. Since it arises together with different mental factors or cetasikas, it becomes good or evil depending on the associated mental factors being good or evil. What is meant is this: “Mental factors associated with the consciousness induce it to become good or evil.”

Example: Even though water is in itself colourless it becomes red, yellow, blue or black respectively on addition of red, yellow, blue or black dye. In like manner consciousness behaves. Therefore, you should next pursue the study of mental factors so that you may understand good and evil minds.


Mind can only know objects; it by itself cannot determine good or evil. It is on account of the different cetasikas (mental factors) that the consciousness becomes good or evil.

14 Unwholesome Mental Factors

(Akusala Cetasikas)

  1. Moha=delusion,
  2. Ahirika=moral shamelessness,
  3. Anottappa=moral fearlessness,
  4. Uddhacca=distraction, restlessness,
  5. Lobha=greed,
  6. Ditthi =wrong view,
  7. Mana=conceit, hatred, anger,
  8. Dosa=hatred, anger
  9. Issa=envy,
  10. Macchariya =jealousy, selfishness,
  11. Kukkucca =remorse,
  12. Thina sloth,
  13. Middha torpor,
  14. Vicikiccha =doubt, scepticism

(a + kusala =opposite of + wholesome=unwholesome)

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