Cetana as a link in the "Dependant Origination" is called abhissankhara There are three kinds of abhissankhara.
- meritorious kamma-formations (punnabhisankhara)
- demeritorious kamma-formations (apunn abhisankhara)
- imperturbable kamma-formations (anenjabhisankhara)
Meritorious kamma-formations are the cetanas which accompany the eight kamma kusala cittas or maha-kusala cittas (kusala cittas of the sense-sphere), and the five rupavacara kusala cittas (rupa-jhacittas).
Demeritorious kamma-formations are the cetanas which accompany the twelve akusala cittas, which are: eight lobha mula-cittas, two dosa-mula-cittas and two moha-mula-cittas.
Imperturbable kamma-formations are the cetanas which accompany the four arupavacara kusala cittas (arupa-jhanacittas) The meritorious kamma-formations and the demeritorious kamma formation which produce rebirth-consciousness also produce rupa. The imperturbable kamma-formations do not produce rupa. Those who cultivate arupa-jhana have realized the disadvantages of rupa. The arupavacara kusala cittas which ate very tranquil, very refined produce rebirth-consciousness in the relevant arupa-brahma planes where there is no rupa and no sense-Impressions. There are four arupa-brahma planes corresponding to the four stages of arupa jhana.
These three classes of kamma-formations are a link in the Dependent Origination.
July 1, 2001
Footnotes and references:
Punna means merit, kusala.
Abhidhamma in Daily Life Chapter 10.
Abhidhamma in Daily Life Chapter 22.