Cetasika; 11 Definition(s)


Cetasika means something in Buddhism, Pali. If you want to know the exact meaning, history, etymology or English translation of this term then check out the descriptions on this page. Add your comment or reference to a book if you want to contribute to this summary article.

In Buddhism

Theravada (major branch of Buddhism)

[Cetasika in Theravada glossaries]
Mental concomitant (see vedana, sanna, and sankhara).(Source): Access to Insight: A Glossary of Pali and Buddhist Terms

M/N (State of mind). Mental factor.

(Source): Dhamma Dana: Pali English Glossary

Cetasikas are mental factors that co exist with citta or co arise with citta. They are mind conditioners and they influence mind and condition mind to have different names. They pass away at the very same time when citta falls away. They also have to depend on the same vatthu or base and they also have to take the same object that citta takes.

There are 52 cetasikas in total. They are

  1. 7 sabbacittasadharana cetasikas
  2. 6 pakinnaka cetasikas
  3. 14 akusala cetasikas
  4. 25 sobhana cetasikas

7 + 6 + 14 + 25 = 52 cetasikas in total.

(Source): Journey to Nibbana: Patthana Dhama

Cetasika or mental factor, is another type of Dhamma which arises together with citta, experiences the same object as citta, falls away together with citta and arises at the same base as citta. Cetasikas have each their own characteristic and perform each their own function. There are 52 types of cetasikas in all.

(Source): Buddhist Information: A Survey of Paramattha Dhammas

Second kind of Nama.

Cetasikas (or mental formations); These mental factors arise accompanying each moment of experience (each citta). There is not one moment of experience occurring without at least some of them. Their function is to add to the experience each in their own way. Each cetasika or mental factor has its own special characteristic by which it is recognized and function which it performs. For example, the characteristic of conceit is haughtiness and self praise is its function.

There are 52 different types of cetasikas. Some examples of them are feeling, perception (or memory), contact, intention, attention, effort, interest, desire- to- do, restlessness, attachment, conceit, hate, envy, awareness, confidence, detachment, balance of mind, concentration, kindness, compassion.

(Source): Dhamma Study: Introduction to the Dhamma

'mental things, mental factors', are those mental concomitants which are bound up with the simultaneously arising consciousness (citta = viññāna) and conditioned by its presence.

Whereas in the Suttas all phenomena of existence are summed up under the aspect of 5 groups:

  • corporeality,
  • feeling,
  • perception,
  • mental formations,
  • consciousness (s. khandha),

the Abhidhamma as a rule treats them under the more philosophical 3 aspects:

  • consciousness,
  • mental factors and
  • corporeality (citta, cetasika, rūpa).

Thus, of these 3 aspects, the mental factors (cetasika) comprise feeling, perception and the 50 mental formations, altogether 52 mental concomitants.

Of these, 25 are lofty qualities (either karmically wholesome or neutral), 14 karmically unwholesome, while 13 are as such karmically neutral, their karmical quality depending on whether they are associated with wholesome, unwholesome or neutral consciousness. For details s. Tab. II, III. Cf. prec. (App.)

(Source): Pali Kanon: Manual of Buddhist Terms and Doctrines

Cetasika means literally: belonging to the mind (ceto). There are fifty two different cetasikas which each have their own characteristic and function.

There are seven cetasikas which have to arise with every citta; they are called the "universals" (sabbacitta-sadharana). Some cittas are accompanied only by the universals, others are accompanied by several more cetasikas in addition. Thus, every citta is accompanied by at least the seven universals.

Sometimes translated as: Kaya (because Kaya also means 'mental body', which are the Cetasikas).

(Source): Dhamma Study: Cetasikas

Mind (citta) is consciousness plus something. Along with any consciousness, there arise certain mental constituents which are called cetasikas, like love, hate anger, disgust, disappointment, etc. These cetasikas are also translated as mental factors, mental concomitants, mental adjuncts, psychic factors, etc.

There are 52 cetasikas. When any consciousness arises, some appropriate cetasikas always arise. These cetasikas arise and disappear along with consciousness.

Some 7 cetasikas always arise with every unit of consciousness and they are called Universals. Some 6 others arise as a whole or in parts. The remainder are morally good or bad or neutral and they arise in different combinations.

(Source): Pali Kanon: Introducing Buddhist Abhidhamma
context information

Theravāda is a major branch of Buddhism having the the Pali canon (tipitaka) as their canonical literature, which includes the vinaya-pitaka (monastic rules), the sutta-pitaka (Buddhist sermons) and the abhidhamma-pitaka (philosophy and psychology).

Discover the meaning of cetasika in the context of Theravada from relevant books on Exotic India

General definition (in Buddhism)

[Cetasika in Buddhism glossaries]

Cetasika means elonging to the mind. It is a mental factor which accompanies consciousness (citta) and experiences an object. There are 52 cetasikas.

(Source): Wisdom Library: Buddhism

Languages of India and abroad

Pali-English dictionary

[Cetasika in Pali glossaries]

cetasika : (adj.) mental; (nt.), a mental property.

(Source): BuddhaSasana: Concise Pali-English Dictionary

Cetasika, (adj.) belonging to ceto, mental (opp. kāyika physical). Kāyikaṃ sukhaṃ › cetasikaṃ s. A. I, 81; S. V, 209; kāyikā darathā › c. d. M. III, 287, 288; c. duk khaṃ D II 306; A. I, 157; c. roga J. III, 337. c. kamma is sīla 8—10 (see under cetanā) Nett 43.—As n. combd with citta it is to be taken as supplementing it, viz. mind & all that belongs to it, mind and mental properties, adjuncts, co-efficients (cp. vitakka-vicāra & sach cpds. as phalâphala, bhavâbhava) D. I, 213; see also citta. Occurring in the Nikāyas in sg. only, it came to be used in pl. and, as an ultimate category, the 52 cetasikas, with citta as bare consciousness, practically superseded in mental analysis, the 5 khandha-category. See Cpd. p. 1 and pt. II. Mrs. Rh. D. , Bud. Psy. 6, 148, 175. —°cetasikā dhammā Ps. I, 84; Vbh. 421; Dhs. 3, 18, etc. (cp. Dhs. trsl. pp. 6, 148). (Page 271)

(Source): Sutta: The Pali Text Society's Pali-English Dictionary
Pali book cover
context information

Pali is the language of the Tipiṭaka, which is the sacred canon of Theravāda Buddhism and contains much of the Buddha’s speech. Closeley related to Sanskrit, both languages are used interchangeably between religions.

Discover the meaning of cetasika in the context of Pali from relevant books on Exotic India

Relevant definitions

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