Cittasmrityupasthana, Cittasmṛtyupasthāna, Citta-smrityupasthana: 1 definition



Cittasmrityupasthana 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.

The Sanskrit term Cittasmṛtyupasthāna can be transliterated into English as Cittasmrtyupasthana or Cittasmrityupasthana, using the IAST transliteration scheme (?).

Alternative spellings of this word include Chittasmrityupasthana.

In Buddhism

Mahayana (major branch of Buddhism)

[«previous next»] — Cittasmrityupasthana in Mahayana glossary
Source: Wisdom Library: Maha Prajnaparamita Sastra

Cittasmṛtyupasthāna (चित्तस्मृत्युपस्थान) refers to “foundation of mindfulness on the mind” and represents one of the four “foundations of mindfulness” (smṛtyupasthāna), forming part of the thirty-seven auxiliaries to enlightenment (bodhipākṣika), according to the 2nd century Mahāprajñāpāramitāśāstra chapter XXXI.—Accordingly, “in order to destroy these four mistakes, the Buddha preached the four foundations of mindfulness:... to destroy the mistake on permanence (nityaviparyāsa), he preaches mindfulness on the mind (citta-smṛtyupasthāna)”.

Also, “among the conditioned dharmas, the impermanence of the mind (cittānityatā) is very easy to detect. Thus the Buddha said: Sometimes worldly people (pṛthgjana) recognize the impermanence of the body (kāyānityatā) but do not recognize the impermanence of the mind (cittānityatā). Some worldly people say that the body is eternal, but the mistake that holds the mind to be eternal is even more fatal. Why? It may be that the body will last for ten years or twenty years, whereas the mind, night and day, disappears each moment, arising as one thing, perishing as another, without stopping for a single moment. On the point of arising, it is born one thing; on the point of perishing, it dies another thing. The true nature (bhūtalakṣaṇa) of such a magical thing (māyāvastu) is ungraspable (anupalabdha). For innumerable reasons of this kind, we know that the mind is impermanent. That is what is called mindfulness of mind (citta-smṛtypasthāna)”.

Mahayana book cover
context information

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.

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