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 11 - How Citta Conditions Rupa

Citta (mind) plays a part in conditioning the rupa caused by kamma. The rupa (body) has to follow the will of the mind. Citta commands the body to sit, sleep, stand or move. When the will to moves arises, cittaja rupa pervades the entire body. Vayo dhatu is dominant in cittaja rupa i.e. it is more active than usual. So the body becomes alert.

The number of kalapas dominated by vayo dhatu increase gradually, causing the body to move according to the dictates of mind. Bodily movements are similar to those of the pictures in motion picture. One frame shows a man standing; the next shows the arising of one leg; then the putting down of that leg and so on. The quick movement of hundreds of frames is seen as a man walking.

In like manner, when a man takes a walk, the process beings with the volition of the mind. The vaya dhatu is the first rupa becomes alert. The second rupa comes into being not in the original position but somewhere closely adjacent. The next, and the next rupa appear and disappear in adjacent position in rapid succession. As millions of such processes happen within the wink of an eye this is seen as a man-walking step after step.

There is a saying, “Young at heart, youthful looks”. When one is in happy mood, the cittaja rupas are cheerful. When in amiable conversation, one’s facial expression is that of gaiety. When one is despair the rupa becomes correspondingly downcast. When a quarrelsome conversation the facial expression portrays wrath.

When a house catches fire, the flames spread to the houses nearby. Similarly, when sittaja rupa is in agony, the rupas also suffer from equal agony, the rupas in conjunction namely kammaja, utaja and aharaja rupas also suffer from equal agony. So when a person is very dejected his features look very aged; when the anguish is extreme he dies broken-hearted. To sum up, the citta (mind) c onditions your body from the very beginning of pregnancy.