Citta, aka: Cittā; 21 Definition(s)
Citta means something in Buddhism, Pali, Hinduism, Sanskrit, Marathi. 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.
Alternative spellings of this word include Chitta.
Purana and Itihasa (epic history)
Cittā (चित्ता) is the name of a mind-born ‘divine mother’ (mātṛ), created for the purpose of drinking the blood of the Andhaka demons, according to the Matsya-purāṇa 179.8. The Andhaka demons spawned out of every drop of blood spilled from the original Andhakāsura (Andhaka-demon). According to the Matsya-purāṇa 179.35, “Most terrible they (eg., Cittā) all drank the blood of those Andhakas and become exceedingly satiated.”
The Matsyapurāṇa is categorised as a Mahāpurāṇa, and was originally composed of 20,000 metrical verses, dating from the 1st-millennium BCE. The narrator is Matsya, one of the ten major avatars of Viṣṇu.Source: Wisdom Library: The Matsya-purāṇa
Cittā (चित्ता).—A mother-goddess.*
- * Matsya-purāṇa 179. 28.
The Purana (पुराण, purāṇas) refers to Sanskrit literature preserving ancient India’s vast cultural history, including historical legends, religious ceremonies, various arts and sciences. The eighteen mahapuranas total over 400,000 shlokas (metrical couplets) and date to at least several centuries BCE.
Yoga (school of philosophy)
Citta (चित्त) is a Sanskrit word referring to the “perception, attention”. It is one of the fourteen Adhyātma (pertaining to the body) mentioned in the Subālopaniṣad (fifth section). The corresponding Ādhibhūta (pertaining to the elements) is called cetayitavya (that which is perceived) and the corresponding Adhidaivata (presiding deity) is kṣetrajña. Accordingly, “the nādis form their bond (or connect them). He who moves in the perception (citta), in cetayitavya, in kṣetrajña, in the nādis, in prāṇa, in vijñāna, in ānanda, in the ākāśa of the heart and within all else—That is Ātman. It is that which should be worshipped. It is without old age, death, fear, sorrow or end.”Source: Wisdom Library: Yoga
Yoga is originally considered a branch of Hindu philosophy (astika), but both ancient and modern Yoga combine the physical, mental and spiritual. Yoga teaches various physical techniques also known as āsanas (postures), used for various purposes (eg., meditation, contemplation, relaxation).
General definition (in Hinduism)
The mind (citta), which naturally transforms itself into its states (vṛtti), does so for two reasons, which are said to be like its two seeds. One of these is the vibration (parispanda) of prāṇa, and the other, strong and deep-rooted desires and inclinations which construct (dṛḍha-bhāvanā).Source: archive.org: A History of Indian Philosophy
Theravada (major branch of Buddhism)Source: Access to Insight: A Glossary of Pali and Buddhist Terms
1. Citta (called Cittagahapati) - A householder of Macchikasanda, where he was Treasurer. He was later declared by the Buddha to be pre eminent among laymen who preached the Doctrine (A.i.26). On the day of his birth the whole city was covered knee deep with flowers of various hues, hence his name.
When Mahanama visited Macchikasanda, Citta, pleased with his demeanour, invited him to his park, the Ambatakarama, and built for him a monastery there. And there the Elder preached to Citta the Sala yatana vibhatti and Citta became an Anagami. Thereafter many monks visited the Ambatakarama and accepted Cittas hospitality. Among them was Isidatta (q.v.), a former acquaintance of Citta, but Isidatta left when he found that his identity had been discovered. Mahanama and Mahaka did likewise, after having performed miracles at the request of Citta.
The Citta Samyutta (S.iv.282ff) contains a record of conversations between Citta and members of the Order, among whom, besides those already mentioned, were Kamabhu and Godatta. Citta is also said to have had discussions with Nigantha Nataputta and Acela Kassapa and to have refuted their views.
A thera named Sudhamma was a permanent resident in the Ambatakarama and was looked after by Citta. Once, when the two Chief Disciples and several other eminent Elders came to the Ambatakarama, Citta invited first these and then Sudhamma; the latter, feeling slighted, blamed Citta beyond measure, but the Buddha, hearing of this, sent Sudhamma to ask for Cittas pardon (Vin.ii.15ff; DhA.ii.74f; for details see Sudhamma).
Some time later, Citta visited the Buddha. He was accompanied by two thousand others and took with him five hundred cartloads of offerings to the Buddha and the Order. As he fell at the feet of the Buddha, flowers of five hues showered from the sky and the Buddha preached to him the Salayatana vibhatti. For a fortnight he continued distributing his gifts to the Order and the devas filled his carts with all kinds of valuables (AA.i.210).
When Citta lay ill just before his death, devas visited him and advised him to wish for kingship among them, but he refused to aspire to anything so impermanent, and instructed the devas and his kinsfolk gathered round him, telling them of the Buddha and his teachings (S.iv.302f). He is regarded as the ideal layman (E.g., at A.i.88; ii.164; iii.451).
He owned a tributary village called Migapattaka (SA.iii.93).
In the time of Padumuttara Buddha, Citta conceived his desire to be placed first among laymen in the teaching of the Dhamma. In the time of Kassapa Buddha he was a huntsman. One day, seeing a monk in a glen, and being pleased thereat, he hurried home, prepared a meal and brought it to the monk, together with flowers he had gathered on the way. After the offering,
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1. Citta - One of the four wives of Magha.Source: Pali Kanon: Pali Proper Names
(mind, thought).Source: Dhamma Dana: Pali English Glossary
See One Hundred and Tweny One Cittas
Citta means consciousness. It is the nature that is aware of its object. No other dhamma or nature can know anything including themselves. But citta can know everything possible including cittas.
Citta always leads other nama dhamma and rupa dhamma. A citta arises, it passes away immediately after its arising. Another citta arises, and again it falls away. Next arises and dies out immediately. This kind of uninterruptedness is the manifestation of citta. There are immediate causes for arising of citta. They are cittas themselves, nama dhamma and rupa dhamma.
There are 89 cittas in total.
- 81 cittas are mundane consciousness and
- 8 cittas are supramundane consciousness.
At another time, citta can be counted as 121 cittas in total.
This happens when 8 lokuttara cittas arise when in jhana. These are called lokuttara jhana cittas. As there are 5 jhanas, then there are 40 lokuttara jhana cittas.
Together with lokiya cittas 40 and 81 will make 121 cittas in total.
When 89 cittas are analysed according to their jati or origin or parentage, there are four classes of citta. They are
- 12 akusala cittas ( 8 lobha + 2 dosa + 2 moha citta )
- 21 kusala cittas ( 8 mahakusala + 5 rupakusala + 4 arupakusala + 4 lokuttarakusala or magga citta )
- 36 vipaka cittas ( 7 ahetuka akusala + 8 ahetuka kusala + 8 mahavipaka + 5 rupavipaka + 4 arupavipaka + 4 lokuttaravipaka or phala citta )
- 20 kiriya cittas ( 3 ahetukakiriya + 8 mahakiriya + 5 rupakiriya + 4 arupakiriya )
12 + 21 + 36 + 20 = 89 cittas in total.
When cittas are viewed by bhumi or place or plane of existence, there are 4 classes of citta. They are
- 54 kamavacara cittas ( 12 akusala + 18 ahetuka cittas + 24 sobhana cittas )
- 15 rupavacara cittas ( 5 rupakusala + 5 rupavipaka + 5 rupakiriya )
- 12 arupavacara cittas ( 4 arupakusala + 4 arupavipaka + 4 arupakiriya )
- 8 lokuttara cittas (4 lokuttara kusala or magga + 4 lokuttara vipaka or phala)
54 + 15 + 12 + 8 = 89 cittas in total.
When lokuttara cittas arise in parallel with jhana, there will be 121 cittas in total. Then, according to jati or origin or parentage, cittas can be classified as
- 37 kusala cittas ( 8 mahakusala, 5 rupakusala, 4arupakusala, 20 lokuttarakusala cittas )
- 52 vipaka cittas ( 15 ahetukavipaka, 8 mahavipaka, 5 rupavipaka, 4 arupavipaka, 20 lokuttaravipaka cittas )
- 20 kiriya cittas ( 3 ahetuka kiriya, 8 mahakiriya, 5 rupakiriya, 4 arupakiriya )
- 12 akusala cittas ( 8 lobha , 2 dosa, 2 moha )
37 + 52 + 20 + 12 = 121 cittas in total.
According to bhumi or place or plane of existence, there are 4 classes of citta. They are
- 54 kamavacara cittas ( 12 akusala, 18 ahetuka, 24 sobhana cittas )
- 15 rupavacara cittas ( 5 rupakusala, 5 rupavipaka, 5 rupakiriya )
- 12 arupavacara cittas ( 4 arupakusala, 4 arupavipaka, 4 arupakiriya )
- 40 lokuttara cittas ( 20 lokuttara kusala, 20 lokuttara vipaka )
54 + 15 + 12 + 40 = 121 cittas in total.Source: Journey to Nibbana: Patthana Dhama
Citta, or consciousness, is the Dhamma which is the leader in knowing what appears, such as seeing or hearing. Cittas have been classified as 89 types in all, or, in special cases, as 121 types.
Citta is an element, which experiences something, a reality which experiences an object. It is the "chief", the leader in knowing the object which appears.
There is not only citta, which sees, citta that hears, citta which smells, citta which tastes or citta which experiences tangible object, there is also citta which thinks about many diverse subjects. The world of each person is ruled by his citta.Source: Buddhist Information: A Survey of Paramattha Dhammas
First kind of Nama.
1. Citta (consciousness) is of 89 different types. Cittas are divided into four categories:
- Moral or skillful consciousness (kusala citta) – 21 types
- Immoral or unskillful consciousness (akusala citta) –12 types
- Resultant consciousness (vipaka citta) –36 types
- Inoperative consciousness (kiriya citta) –20 types
2. Citta is the chief mental phenomena of experience. So in seeing, for example, the function of the moment of seeing (citta) is to see the object. Citta is the chief experiencer.Source: Dhamma Study: Introduction to the Dhamma
What we call mind are in reality different fleeting moments of consciousness succeeding one another very rapidly. Since "mind" has in psychology a meaning different from "mind" according to the Buddhist teaching, it is to be preferred to use the Pali term citta (pronounced: chitta).
The mind is variable, it changes very rapidly. At one moment there is a mind with attachment, at another moment a mind with generosity, at another moment a mind with anger. At each moment there is a different mind. Through the Buddhist teachings we learn that in reality the mind is different from what we mean by the word "mind" in conventional language.Source: Dhamma Study: Cetasikas
Citta is derived from the PaIi word for thinking (cinteti). All cittas have in common that they "think" of an object, but we have to take thinking here in a very general sense, meaning, being conscious of an object, or cognizing an object.
Cittas perform different functions. For examine, seeing is a function (kicca) of citta.
A citta cannot arise alone, it has to be accompanied by cetasikas. The citta is the "leader", while the cetasikas which share the same object perform each their own task.
There is a great variety of cetasikas accompanying the different cittas. Akusala cittas are accompanied by cetasikas which are defilements, whereas kusala cittas are accompanied by cetasikas which are good qualities. Apart from defilements and good qualities there are also cetasikas which accompany cittas which are unwholesome, cittas which are wholesome and cittas which are neither wholesome nor unwholesome.Source: Dhamma Study: Cetasikas
'mind', 'consciousness', 'state of consciousness', is a synonym of mano and viññāna (s. khandha and Tab. 1).
Dhs. divides all phenomena into consciousness (citta), mental concomitants (cetasika) and corporeality (rūpa).
In adhicitta, 'higher mentality', it signifies the concentrated, quietened mind, and is one of the 3 trainings (s. sikkhā).
The concentration (or intensification) of consciousness is one of the 4 roads to power (s. iddhipāda).
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viññāna (s. khandha),
citta (q.v.), mano (q v ) -
Moment of °: citta-kkhana (q.v.).
Contemplation of °: cittānupassanā: s. satipatthāna -
Corporeality produced by °: citta-ja-rūpa, s. samutthāna -
Abodes or supports of °: cf. viññānatthiti (q.v.)
Functions of °: viññāna-kicca (q.v.).Source: Pali Kanon: Manual of Buddhist Terms and Doctrines
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).
Mahayana (major branch of Buddhism)
Citta (चित्त) refers to the “mind”, as defined in the 2nd century Mahāprajñāpāramitāśāstra chapter XXXI. Accordingly, “because this mind (citta) is without birth (utpāda), without intrinsic nature (svabhāva) and without characteristics (lakṣaṇa). The wise person can know it. And although the wise person considers the characteristics of birth and cessation (nirodha) of this mind, he will find no true birth, no true cessation. Not finding any defilement or purification in it, he discovers this luminosity of the mind (citta), a luminosity by virtue of which the mind is not defiled by the adventitious passions”.
Concerning the nature of the mind (citta), the general tendency of the Canon is clear. Mind (citta, manas) and consciousness (vijñāna) are synonymous. Vijñāna constitutes the fifth skandha and, like all the aggregates, it is transitory, suffering and impersonal.Source: Wisdom Library: Maha Prajnaparamita Sastra
Mahayana (महायान, mahāyāna) is a major branch of Buddhism focusing on the path of a Bodhisattva (spiritual aspirants/ enlightened beings). Extant literature is vast and primarely composed in the Sanskrit language. There are many sūtras of which some of the earliest are the various Prajñāpāramitā sūtras.
General definition (in Buddhism)
Consciousness is the mind, which perceives the different aspects of objectsSource: Wisdom Library: Buddhism
Citta (चित्त, “mind”) or Cittavaśitā refers to the “mastery of mind” and represents one of the “ten masteries of the Bodhisattvas” (vaśitā) as defined in the Dharma-saṃgraha (section 74). The Dharma-samgraha (Dharmasangraha) is an extensive glossary of Buddhist technical terms in Sanskrit (eg., citta). The work is attributed to Nagarjuna who lived around the 2nd century A.D.Source: Wisdom Library: Dharma-samgraha
Languages of India and abroad
citta : (nt.) mind; thought; (m.), name of a month: March-April. (adj.), variegated; manifold; beautiful. (nt.), a painting; picture.Source: BuddhaSasana: Concise Pali-English Dictionary
1) Citta, 2 (cp. Sk. caitra, the first month of the year: MarchApril, orig. N. of the star Spica (in Virgo); see E. Plunket, Ancient Calendars, etc., pp. 134 sq., 171 sq.) N. of the month Chaitra PvA.135. Cp. Citra-māsa KhA 192. (Page 268)
2) Citta, 2 (nt.) (Sk. citta, orig. pp. of cinteti, cit, cp. yutta› yuñjati, mutta›muñcati. On etym. from cit. see cinteti). Meaning:—the heart (psychologically), i.e. the centre & focus of man’s emotional nature as well as that intellectual element which inheres in & accompanies its manifestations; i.e. thought. In this wise citta denotes both the agent & that which is enacted (see kamma II. introd.), for in Indian Psychology citta is the seat & organ of thought (cetasā cinteti; cp. Gr. frήn, although on the whole it corresponds more to the Homeric qumόs). As in the verb (cinteti) there are two stems closely allied and almost inseparable in meaning (see § III, ), viz. cit & cet (citta & cetas); cp. ye should restrain, curb, subdue citta by ceto, M.I, 120, 242 (cp. attanā coday’attānaṃ Dhp 379 f.); cetasā cittaṃ samannesati S.I, 194 (cp. cetasā cittaṃ samannesati S.I, 194). In their general use there is no distinction to be made between the two (see § III,).
The meaning of citta is best understood when explaining it by expressions familiar to us, as: with all my heart; heart and soul; I have no heart to do it; blessed are the pure in heart; singleness of heart (cp. ekagga); all of which emphasize the emotional & conative side or “thought” more than its mental & rational side (for which see manas & viññāṇa). It may therefore be rendered by intention, impulse, design; mood, disposition, state of mind, reaction to impressions. It is only in later scholastic lgg. that we are justified in applying the term “thought” in its technical sense. It needs to be pointed out, as complementary to this view, that citta nearly always occurs in the singular (=heart), & out of 150 cases in the Nikāyas only 3 times in the plural (=thoughts). The substantiality of citta (cetas) is also evident from its connection with kamma (heart as source of action), kāma & the senses in general. ‹-› On the whole subject see Mrs. Rh. D. Buddh. Psych. Eth. introd. & Bud. Psy. ch. II.
3.a) Citta (adjective.) (to cetati; *(s)qait to shine, to be bright, cp. Sk. citra, Sk. P. ketu, Av. ciprō, Lat. caelum, Ags. hador, Ohg. heitar, see also citta2) variegated, manifold, beautiful; tasty, sweet, spiced (of cakes), J.IV, 30 (geṇḍuka); Dh.171 (rājaratha); Vv 479; Pv.II, 112 (aneka°); IV, 313 (pūvā=madhurā PvA.251).
3.b) Citta (neuter.) painting Th.1, 674.—Sn.50 (kāmā=Nd2 240 nānāvaṇṇā), 251 (gāthā); J.V, 196 (geṇḍuka), 241 VI, 218.Source: Sutta: The Pali Text Society's Pali-English Dictionary
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.
citta (चित्त).—n (S) The faculty of reasoning; the discursive faculty; the reason, the mind. The heart considered as the seat of sentiment, affection, or passion. citta puraviṇēṃ To pay attention; to mind or heed. cittānta khāṇēṃ impers. or in. con. To feel remorse or compunction.
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cittā (चित्ता).—m (citraka S) A leopard, Felis jubata. Schreb.; according to Pennant, Hunting leopard, Felis leopardus.Source: DDSA: The Molesworth Marathi and English Dictionary
citta (चित्त).—n The faculty of reasoning; the mind. citta puraviṇēṃ To pay attention; mind. cittānta khāṇēṃ To feel remorse. cittācī ārdratā Tenderness of heart.
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cittā (चित्ता).—m A leopard.Source: DDSA: The Aryabhusan school dictionary, Marathi-English
Marathi is an Indo-European language having over 70 million native speakers people in (predominantly) Maharashtra India. Marathi, like many other Indo-Aryan languages, evolved from early forms of Prakrit, which itself is a subset of Sanskrit, one of the most ancient languages of the world.
Citta (चित्त).—p. p. [cit-kta]
1) Observed, perceived.
2) Considered, reflected or meditated upon.
4) Intended, wished, desired.
5) Visible, perceptible.
-ttam 1 Observing, attending.
2) (a) Thought, thinking, attention; (b) desire, intention, aim; मच्चित्तः सततं भव (maccittaḥ satataṃ bhava) Bg.18.57; अनेकचित्तविभ्रान्त (anekacittavibhrānta) 16.16.
3) The mind; यदासौ दुर्वारः प्रसरति मदश्चित्तकरिणः (yadāsau durvāraḥ prasarati madaścittakariṇaḥ) Śānti.1.22; so चलचित्त (calacitta) and comps. below.
4) The heart (considered as the seat of intellect).
5) Reason, intellect, reasoning faculty.
6) Knowledge; चित्तं चित्तादुपागम्य मुनिरासीत संयतः । यच्चित्तं तन्मयो वश्यं गुह्यमेतत्सनातनम् (cittaṃ cittādupāgamya munirāsīta saṃyataḥ | yaccittaṃ tanmayo vaśyaṃ guhyametatsanātanam) || Mb.14.51.27.Source: DDSA: The practical Sanskrit-English dictionary
Sanskrit, also spelled संस्कृतम् (saṃskṛtam), is an ancient language of India commonly seen as the grandmother of the Indo-European language family. Closely allied with Prakrit and Pali, Sanskrit is more exhaustive in both grammar and terms and has the most extensive collection of literature in the world, greatly surpassing its sister-languages Greek and Latin.
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Samacitta (समचित्त).—mfn. (-ttaḥ-ttā-ttaṃ) 1. Indifferent, unattached. 2. Equable, eventempered...
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Bodhichitta Skt., lit., “awakened mind”; the mind of enlightenment, one of the central no&sh...
Calacitta (चलचित्त).—mfn. (-ttaḥ-ttā-ttaṃ) Fickle, inconstant. n. (-ttaṃ) Fickleness, mutabilit...
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Cittavaikalya (चित्तवैकल्य).—bewilderment of the mind, distraction. Derivable forms: cittavaika...
Cittavibhrama (चित्तविभ्रम).—aberration, disturbance or derangement of mind, madness, insanity;...
Ekacitta (एकचित्त).—a. thinking of one thing only, absorbed in one object. (-ttam) 1 fixedness ...
Cittakūṭa (चित्तकूट) is the name of a mountain situated in Majjhimadesa (Middle Country) of anc...
Cittahārin (चित्तहारिन्).—mfn. (-rī-riṇī-ri) Beautiful, agreeable, fascinating. E. citta, hārin...
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Cittapraśama (चित्तप्रशम).—mfn. (-maḥ-mā-maṃ) Tranquil, content. E. citta and praśama calmness.
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Search found 108 books and stories containing Citta or Cittā. You can also click to the full overview containing English textual excerpts. Below are direct links for the most relevant articles:
Sri Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu (by Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī)
Verse 3.5.28 < [Part 5 - Conjugal Love (mādhurya-rasa)]
Verse 2.4.81 < [Part 4 - Transient Ecstatic Disturbances (vyābhicāri-bhāva)]
Verse 2.2.17 < [Part 2 - Ecstatic Expressions (anubhāva)]
Brihad Bhagavatamrita (by Śrīla Sanātana Gosvāmī)
Verse 2.7.114 < [Chapter 7 - Jagad-ānanda: The Bliss of the Worlds]
Verse 2.4.121 < [Chapter 4 - Vaikuṇṭha: The Spiritual Kingdom]
Verse 2.2.84 < [Chapter 2 - Jñāna: Knowledge]
Śrī Hari-bhakti-kalpa-latikā (by Sarasvati Thkura)
The Great Chronicle of Buddhas (by Ven. Mingun Sayadaw)
The Story of Magha, the Young Man of Macala Village < [Chapter 39 - How the Āṭānāṭiya Paritta came to be Taught]
Biography (3): Citta, the Householder < [Chapter 45a - The Life Stories of Male Lay Disciples]
The Second Isidatta Sutta < [Chapter 45a - The Life Stories of Male Lay Disciples]
Patthana Dhamma (by Htoo Naing)