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...

Part 3 - The four type of individuals (puggala)

  1. Dugati ahetuka puggala
  2. Sugati ahetuka puggala
  3. Dvihetuka puggala
  4. Tihetuka puggala


Hetu - Six roots or base as moral condition of good and bad kamma viz lobha, dosa and moha for evil deeds; aloba, adosa and amoha for good deeds. Ahetu, Dvi or Tihetuka - having or accompanied by 2 or 3 or no root conditions.

1. Dugati Ahetuka Puggala

Some individuals take patisandhi in woeful, unhappy abodes called Apaya. Such beings are known as dugati ahetuka puggala - beings in woeful planes without concomitant of non-greed (alobha), non-hatred (adosa) and non-delusion (amoha) accompanying their birth-consciousness.

These types can also be found in the human world and in the minor Deva realms; they are called sugati ahetuka punggala - beings in good planes without concomitant of non-greed, non-hatred, non-delusion accompanying their birth consciousness.

2. Sugati Ahetuka Puggala

a. Human Being

In this world there are some persons with sugati ahetuka patisandhi citta - birth-consciousness of beings in good planes not accompanied of alobha, adosa and amoha. They are very weak kusala and so are born blind, dumb, deaf or idiotic. Some are born sexless; some as bisexual beings.

b. Deities

Due to weak wholesome deeds some are reborn with sugati ahetuka patisandhi citta as Devas but without power and without worthy dwellings. They have to seek shelter near the mansions of higher Devas such as Bhuma Devas or Rukkha Deva. They are never well fed and have to survive on leftovers thrown away by people. Sometimes they scare women and children so as to exhort food from them and live on food offered to propitiate them. Such poor Devas lead miserable life though they belong to the Catumaharaja plane. Just as there are intelligent individuals among poor human beings, so also there may be among poor Devas who are not ahetuka or tihetuka individuals (see example below). Some poor Devas are known to achieve Magga and Phala during the time of the Buddha.

3. Dvihetuka Puggala

In the chapter on Dana we have explained dvihetuka ukkattha kusala and tihetuka omaka kusala etc. Some persons are reborn as human and Devas for their good deeds without the accompaniment of amoha (insight knowledge) or even with amoha the deed was done with weak cetana or some dissatisfaction, they are endowed with only two hetukas in their patisandhi cittas - alobha and adosa. Hence they become dvihetuka individuals.

The two types of ahetuka puggala and dvihetuka puggala have very feeble patisandhi and have no opportunity to attain jhana, Magga or Phala in the present life. But they can become tihetuka persons in the next life if they meditate kammatthana and follow the virtuous path. Therefore they should endeavor to practice bhávaná in this life so as to make it a habit in future lives.

4. Tihetuka Puggala

Due to tihetuka kusala citta (already explained in the chapter on Dana), one can be reborn in the human world or in the abode of Devas, as a tihetuka individual who is intelligent and wise and can achieve jhana, if they try for it. They can also attain Magga and Phala if they become accomplished in parami perfections. Today we can find quite a number of tihetuka persons. Only laziness and lack of discipline prevent them from becoming ariya persons. Thus due to difference in their patisandhi cittas, there happen to be four types of persons - duggati ahetuka, sugati ahetuka, dvihettuka and tihetuka.

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