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Abhidhammattha Sangaha
of Anuruddhacariya

A Manual of Abhidhamma

Edited in the original Pali Text with English Translation and Explanatory Notes

Narada Maha Thera

Different Types of Consciousness


Introductory Verse

ž 1.

Sammasambuddhamatulam - sasaddhammaganuttamam
Abhivadiya bhasissam - Abhidhammatthasangaham

The Fully Enlightened Peerless One, with the Sublime Doctrine and the Noble Order,
do I respectfully salute, and shall speak concisely of things contained in the Abhidhamma.


1. Abhidhammattha-Sangaha is the name of the book. Abhidhamma, literally, means "Higher Doctrine". Attha here means "things". Sangaha means "a compendium".

The prefix "abhi" is used in the sense of preponderant, great, excellent, sublime, distinct, etc.

2. Dhamma is a multi-significant term, derived from the root "dhar", to hold, to support. Here the Pali term is used in the sense of doctrine or teaching. According to the Atthasalini, "abhi" signifies either "atireka" -higher, greater, exceeding - or "visittha" - distinguished, distinct, special, sublime.

Abhidhamma means the Higher Doctrine because it enables one to achieve one's Deliverance, or because it exceeds the teachings of the Sutta Pitaka and Vinaya Pitaka.

In the Sutta Pitaka and Vinaya Pitaka the Buddha has used conventional terms such as man, animal, being, and so on. In the Abhidhamma Pitaka, on the contrary, everything is microscopically analyzed and abstract terms are used. As a distinction is made with regard to the method of treatment, it is called Abhidhamma.

Thus, chiefly owing to the preponderance of the teachings, or because it is conducive to one's Deliverance, and owing to the excellent analytical method of treatment, it is called Abhidhamma.

3. The Abhidhamma Pitaka consists of seven treatises - namely,

i. Dhammasangani,
ii. Vibhanga,
iii. Dhatukatha,
iv. Puggalapa˝˝atti,
v. Kathavatthu,
vi. Yamaka
vii. Patthana.

(Dhammasangani Vibhanga˝ ca - Kathavatthu ca Puggalam Dhatu-Yamaka-Pathanam-Abhidhammo' ti vuccati)

i. Dhammasangani - "Classification of Dhammas".

This book is divided into four chapters, viz:-

(1) - (Citta) Consciousness,
(2) - (Rupa) Matter,
(3) - (Nikkhepa) Summary,
(4) - (Atthuddhara) Elucidation.

The 22 Tika Matikas (Triplets) and the 100 Duka-Matikas (Couplets), which comprise the quintessence of the Abhidhamma, are explained in this book. The major part of the book is devoted to the explanation of the first triplet - kusala dhamma, akusala dhamma and abyakata dhamma. In extent the book exceeds thirteen Bhanavaras* (recitals), i.e., more than 104,000 letters.

* Bhanavara = 250 verses: 1 verse = 4 lines: 1 line = 8 letters. One Bhanavara, therefore, consists of 8000 letters

ii. Vibhanga - "Divisions".

There are eighteen divisions in this book.

The first three divisions, which deal with

khandha (aggregates)
ayatana (sense-spheres) and
dhatu (elements),

are the most important.

The other chapters deal with

sacca (truths,)
indriya (controlling faculties),
paccayakara (causal genesis),
satipatthana (foundations of mindfulness),
samma-ppadhana (supreme efforts),
iddhi-pada (means of accomplishments),
bojjhanga (factors of wisdom),
jhana (ecstasies or absorption),
appama˝˝a (illimitable),
magga (paths),
sikkha-pada (precepts),
patisambhida (analytical knowledge),
˝ana (wisdom),
khuddaka-vatthu (minor subjects), and
dhamma-hadaya (essence of truth).

Most of these divisions consist of three parts - Suttanta explanation, Abhidhamma explanation, and a Catechism (Pa˝hapucchaka).

In this treatise there are thirty-five Bhanavaras (280,000 letters).

iii. Dhatukatha - "Discussion with reference to Elements".

This book discusses whether Dhammas are included or not included in, associated with, or dissociated from:

aggregates (khandha),
bases (ayatana), and
elements (dhatu).

There are fourteen chapters in this work. In extent it exceeds six Bhanavaras (48,000 letters).

iv. Puggalapa˝˝atti - "Designation of Individuals".

In the method of exposition this book resembles the Anguttara Nikaya of the Sutta Pitaka. Instead of dealing with various Dhammas, it deals with various types of individuals. There are ten chapters in this book. The first chapter deals with single individuals, the second with pairs, the third with groups of three, etc. In extent it exceeds five Bhanavaras (40,000 letters).

v. Kathavatthu - "Points of Controversy". The authorship of this treatise is ascribed to Venerable Moggalliputta Tissa Thera, who flourished in the time of King Dhammasoka. It was he who presided at the third Conference held at Patalaliputta (Patna) in the 3rd century B.C. This work of his was included in the Abhidhamma Pitaka at that Conference.

The Atthasalini Commentary states that it contains one thousand Suttas: five hundred orthodox and five hundred heterodox. In extent it is about the size of the Digha Nikaya.

This book deals with 216 controversies and is divided into 23 chapters.

vi. Yamaka - "The Book of Pairs".

It is so called owing to its method of treatment. Throughout the book a question and its converse are found grouped together. For instance, the first pair of the first chapter of the book, which deals with roots, runs as follows: Are all wholesome Dhammas wholesome roots? And are all wholesome roots wholesome Dhammas?

This book is divided into ten chapters - namely,

1) mula (roots),
2) khandha (aggregates),
3) ayatana (bases),
4) dhatu (elements),
5) sacca (truths),
6) sankhara (conditioned things),
7) anusaya (latent dispositions),
8) citta (consciousness),
9) dhamma, and
10) indriya (controlling faculties).

In extent it contains 120 Bhanavaras (960,000 letters).

vii. Patthana - "The Book of Causal Relations".

This is the most important and the most voluminous book of the Abhidhamma Pitaka. One who patiently reads this treatise cannot but admire the profound wisdom and penetrative insight of the Buddha. There is no doubt of the fact that to produce such an elaborate and earned treatise one must certainly be an intellectual genius.

The term Patthana is composed of the prefix "pa", various and "thana", relation or condition (paccaya). It is so called because it deals with the 24 modes of causal relations (explained in a subsequent chapter) and the triplets (tika) and couplets (duka) already mentioned in the Dhammasangani, and which comprise the essence of the Abhidhamma Pitaka.

The importance attached to this treatise, also known as "Maha Pakarana", the Great Book, could be gauged by the words of the Atthasalini which states: "And while He contemplated the contents of the Dhammasangani His body did not emit rays, and similarly with the contemplation of the next five books. But, when coming to the Great Book, He began to contemplate the 24 universal causal relations of condition of presentation, and so on, His omniscience certainly found its opportunity therein.*

* For a detailed exposition of these seven books see Rev. Nyanatiloka, Guide through the Abhidhamma Pitaka, and the introductory discourse of the Expositor, part i, p. 5-21. See also Buddhist Psychology, p. 135, 193. Relations, Encyclopaedia of Religion and Ethics, and the Editor's Foreword to the Tikapatthana Text


Subject - Matter

ž 2.

Tattha vutt' abhidhammattha - catudha paramatthato
Cittam cetasikam rupam - Nibbanam' iti sabbatha.

In an ultimate sense the categories of Abhidhamma, mentioned therein, are fourfold in all:-

(1.) consciousness,
(2.) mental states,
(3.) matter, and
(5.) Nibbana.


4. Realities - There are two realities - apparent and ultimate. Apparent reality is ordinary conventional truth (sammuti-sacca). Ultimate reality is abstract truth (paramattha-sacca).

For instance, the smooth surface of the table we see is apparent reality. In an ultimate sense the apparent surface consists of forces and qualities or in other words, vibrations.

For ordinary purposes a scientist would use the term water, but in the laboratory he would say H2O. In the same way the Buddha in the Sutta Pitaka resorts to conventional usage such as man, woman, being, self, etc., but in the Abhidhamma Pitaka He adopts a different mode of expression. Here He employs the analytical method and uses abstract terms such as aggregates (khandha), elements (dhatu), bases (ayatana), etc.

The word paramattha is of great significance in Abhidhamma. It is a compound formed of parama and attha. Parama is explained as immutable (aviparita), abstract (nibbattita); attha means thing. Paramattha, therefore, means immutable or abstract thing. Abstract reality may be suggested as the closest equivalent. Although the term immutable is used here it should not be understood that all paramattha are eternal or permanent.

A brass vessel, for example, is not paramattha. It changes every moment and may be transmuted into a vase. Both these objects could be analyzed and reduced into fundamental material forces and qualities, which, in Abhidhamma, are termed rupa paramattha. They are also subject to change, yet the distinctive characteristics of these rupas are identically the same whether they are found in a vessel or a vase. They preserve their identity in whatever combination they are found - hence the commentarial interpretation of parama as immutable or real. Attha exactly corresponds to the English multi-significant term "thing". It is not used in the sense of "meaning" here.

There are four such paramattha or abstract realities. These four embrace everything that is mundane or supra mundane.

The so-called being is mundane. Nibbana is supra mundane. The former is composed of nama and rupa. According to Abhidhamma rupa connotes both fundamental units of matter and material changes as well. As such Abhidhamma enumerates 28 species of matter. These will be dealt with in a subsequent chapter. Nama, denotes both consciousness and mental states. The second chapter of this book deals with such mental states (cetasikas) which are 52 in number. One of these is vedana (feeling). Another is sa˝˝a (perception). The remaining 50 are collectively called sankhara (mental states). The receptacle of these mental properties is vi˝˝ana (consciousness), which is the subject-matter of this present chapter.

According to the above analysis the so-called being is composed of five Groups or Aggregates (pa˝cakkhandha):- rupa (matter), vedana (feeling), sa˝˝a (perception), sankhara (mental states) and vi˝˝ana (consciousness).

Consciousness, mental states (with the exception of 8 types of supra mundane consciousness and their adjuncts), and matter are Mundane (lokiya), and Nibbana is Supra mundane (lokuttara). The Supra mundane Nibbana is the only absolutely reality, which is the summum bonum of Buddhism. The other three are called realities in that they are things that exist (vijjamana dhamma). Besides, they are irreducible, immutable, and abstract things. They deal with what is within us and around us.

The first paramattha or reality is citta. It is derived from the root Í citi, to think. According to the commentary citta is that which is aware of (cinteti = vijanati) an object. It is not that which thinks of an object as the term implies. From an Abhidhamma standpoint citta may better be defined as the awareness of an object, since there is no agent like a soul.

Citta, ceta, cittuppada, nama, mana, vi˝˝ana are all used as synonymous terms in Abhidhamma. Hence from the Abhidhamma standpoint no distinction is made between mind and consciousness. When the so-called being is divided into its two constituent parts, nama (mind) is used. When it is divided into five aggregates (pa˝cakkhandha), vi˝˝ana is used. The term citta is invariably employed while referring to different classes of consciousness. In isolated cases, in the ordinary sense of mind, both terms citta and mana are frequently used.

The other three paramatthas will be dealt with in their due places.


The Four Classes of Consciousness

ž 3.

Tattha cittam tava catubbidhara hoti:-

(1.) kamavacaram,
(2.) rupavacaram
(3.) arupavacaram,
(4.) lokuttaram c'ati.

ž 3. Of them, consciousness, first, is fourfold namely:-

(1.) Consciousness pertaining to the Sensuous Sphere,
(2.) Consciousness pertaining to the Form-Sphere,
(3.) Consciousness pertaining to the Formless Sphere, and
(4.) Supra mundane consciousness.


5. Kama is either subjective sensual craving or sensuous objects such as forms, sound, odor, taste, and contact. By kama is also meant the eleven different kinds of sentient existence-namely, the four states of misery (apaya), human realm (manussaloka), and, six celestial realms (sagga).

Avacara means that which moves about or that which frequents. Kamavacara, therefore, means that which mostly moves about in the sentient realm, or that which pertains to the senses and their corresponding objects. As a rule, these types of consciousness arise mostly in the aforesaid sentient existence. They are found in other spheres of life as well when objects of sense are perceived by the mind.

6. Rupavacara, Arupavacara respectively mean either that which pertains to rupa and arupa jhanas (ecstasies) or that which mostly moves about in the rupa and arupa planes.

Rupalokas are planes where those who develop rupa jhanas are born.

A question now arises - 'Why are these distinguished as rupalokas when there are subtle material bodies (rupa) in heavenly planes too?' The commentarial explanation is that because beings are born in these planes by developing jhanas based mainly on rupa kasinas, - material objects of concentration such as earth, water, fire, etc.

Arupalokas are planes without material bodies. By the power of meditation, only the mind exists in these planes.

Ordinarily both mind and body are inseparable, but by will-power, under exceptional circumstances, they could be separated, just as it is possible to suspend a piece of iron in air by some magnetic force.

7. Loka + Uttara = Lokuttara. Here Loka, means the five aggregates. Uttara means above, beyond or that which transcends. It is the supra-mundane consciousness that enables one to transcend this world of mind-body

The first three classes of consciousness are called lokiya (mundane).


Consciousness pertaining the Sensuous Sphere

Immoral Consciousness (akusala cittani)

ž 4. tattha katamam kamavacaram?
ž 4. Amongst them what is Kamavacara?

(Consciousness Rooted in Attachment)

1. Somanassa-sahagatam, ditthigatasampayuttam, asankharikam ekam

One consciousness, unprompted, accompanied by pleasure, connected with wrong view

2. Somanassa-sahagatam, ditthigatasampayuttam, sasankharikam ekam,

One consciousness, prompted, accompanied by pleasure, connected with wrong view

3. Somanassa-sahagatam ditthigatavippayuttam, asankharikam ekam

One consciousness, unprompted, accompanied by pleasure, disconnected with wrong view

4. Somanassa-sahagatam ditthigatavippayuttam, sasankharikam ekam

One consciousness, prompted, accompanied by pleasure, disconnected with wrong view

5. Upekkha-sahagatam, ditthigatasampayuttam, asankharikam ekam

One consciousness, unprompted, accompanied by indifference, connected with wrong view

6. Upekkha-sahagatam, ditthigatasampayuttam, sasankharikam ekam

One consciousness, prompted, accompanied by indifference, connected with wrong view

7. Upekkha-sahagatam, ditthigatavippayuttam, asankharikam ekam

One consciousness, unprompted, accompanied by indifference, disconnected with wrong view

8. Upekkha-sahagatam, ditthigatavippayuttam, sasankharikam ekan' ti

One consciousness, prompted, accompanied by indifference, disconnected with wrong view

Imani attha'pi Lobhasahagatacittani nama
These eight types of consciousness are rooted in Attachment

(Consciousness Rooted in Ill-will or Aversion)

9. Domanassasahagatam, patighasampayuttam, asa˝kharikam ekam

One consciousness, unprompted, accompanied by displeasure, connected with ill-will

10. Domanassasahagatam, patighasampayuttam, sasa˝kharikam ekan' ti

One consciousness, prompted, accompanied by displeasure, connected with ill-will

Imani dve'pi Patighasampayuttacittani nama.
These two types of consciousness are connected with Ill-will.

(Consciousness Rooted in Delusion or Ignorance)

11. Upekkha-sahagatam, vicikiccha-sampayuttam ekam,

One consciousness, accompanied by indifference, and connected with doubts,

12. Upekkha-sahagatam, uddhacca-sampayuttam ekan 'ti

One consciousness, accompanied by indifference, and connected with restlessness.

Imani dve' pi Momuhacittani nama
Icce'vam sabbatha pi dvadasakusala-cittani samattani.

These two types of consciousness are rooted in sheer Ignorance.
Thus end, in all, the twelve types of Immoral Consciousness.


Atthadha lobhamulani-dosamulani ca dvidha
Mohamulani ca dve'ti-dvadasakusala siyum.

Eight are rooted in Attachment, two in Ill-will, and two in Ignorance.
Thus there are twelve types of Immoral Consciousness.


8. Akusala, Kusala, Vipaka, Kiriya-

In the previous section consciousness was broadly classified under four divisions according to the planes in which it is experienced. With respect to its nature it divides itself into four classes. Some types of consciousness are immoral (akusala), because they spring from attachment (lobha), aversion or ill-will (patigha), and ignorance (moha). Opposed to them are the moral types of consciousness (kusala), because they are rooted in non-attachment or generosity (alobha), goodwill (adosa), and wisdom (amoha). The former are unwholesome as they produce undesirable effects (anittha vipaka), the latter are wholesome as they produce desirable effects (ittha vipaka). Both kusala and akusala cittas constitute what, in Pali, are termed kamma. Those types of consciousness that arise as the inevitable results of these kusala and akusala cittas are called vipaka (resultant) cittas. It should be understood that both kamma and vipaka are purely mental. The fourth type of consciousness is called kiriya which, for want of a better term, is rendered by "karmically ineffective", "inoperative" or "functional".

9. Three Roots (Mula)-

Lobha, dosa, and moha are the three roots of evil. Their opposites are the roots of good.

Lobha, from lubh, to cling, or attach itself, may be rendered by 'attachment' or 'clinging'. Some scholars prefer 'greed'. Craving is also used as an equivalent of lobha.

In the case of a desirable object of sense, there arises, as a rule, clinging or attachment. In the case of an undesirable object, ordinarily there is aversion.

In Pali such aversion is termed dosa or patigha. Dosa is derived from dus, to be displeased. Patigha is derived from 'pati', against, and 'gha' (han), to strike, to contact. Ill-will, hatred are also suggested as equivalents of 'patigha'.

Moha is derived from muh, to delude. It is delusion, stupidity, bewilderment. It is 'moha' that clouds an object and blinds the mind. Sometimes 'moha' is rendered by ignorance.

According to Abhidhamma, moha is common to all evil. Lobha and dosa do not arise alone, but always in combination with moha. Moha, on the other hand, does arise singly-hence the designation 'momuha', intense delusion.

Diametrically opposed to the above three roots are the roots of kusala. They not only indicate the absence of certain evil conditions, but also signify the presence of certain positive good conditions. Alobha does not merely mean non-attachment, but also generosity. Adosa does not merely mean non-anger or non-hatred, but also goodwill, or benevolence, or loving-kindness (metta). Amoha does not merely mean non-delusion, but also wisdom or knowledge (˝ana or pa˝˝a).

10. Vedana or Feeling-

Feeling or, as some prefer to say, sensation, is a mental state common to all types of consciousness. Chiefly there are three kinds of feelings -namely, 'somanassa' (pleasurable), 'domanassa' (displeasurable), and 'upekkha' (indifferent, neutral, equanimity or neither pleasurable nor displeasurable). With 'dukkha' (physical pain) and 'sukha' (physical happiness) there are altogether five kinds of feelings.

Somanassa is an abstract noun formed of 'su', good, and 'mana', mind. Literally, the term means good-mindedness, i.e., a pleasurable feeling. Similarly 'domanassa' ('du', bad, and 'mana', mind) means bad-mindedness i.e., a displeasurable feeling. The third feeling is neutral. Indifference is used here in this particular sense, but not in the sense of callousness. Sukha is composed of 'su', easy, and 'kha' to bear, or to endure. What is easily endured is 'sukha' i.e., happiness. Dukkha (du, difficult), pain, is that which is difficult to be endured. Both these sensations are physical. According to Abhidhamma there is only one type of consciousness accompanied by pain, and one accompanied by happiness. Two are connected with a displeasurable feeling. Of the 89 types of consciousness, in the remaining 85 are found either a pleasurable feeling or a neutral feeling.

Somanassa, domanassa, and upekkha are purely mental. Sukha and dukkha are purely physical. This is the reason why there is no upekkha in the case of touch which, according to Abhidhamma, must be either happy or painful. (See Upekkha, Note. 42)

11. Ditthi-

This term is derived from 'dis', to see, to perceive. It is usually translated as view, belief, opinion, etc. When qualified by 'samma', it means right view or right belief; when qualified by 'miccha', it means wrong view or wrong belief. Here the term is used without any qualification in the sense of wrong view.

12. Sankharika-

This is purely a technical term used in a specific sense in the Abhidhamma. It is formed of 'sam', well and 'kar', to do, to prepare, to accomplish. Literally, it means accomplishing, preparing, arranging.

Like dhamma, sankhara also is a multisignificant term. Its precise meaning is to be understood according to the context.

When used as one of the five 'aggregates' (pa˝cakkhandha), it refers to all the mental states, except vedana and sa˝˝a. In the paticca-samuppada it is applied to all moral and immoral activities, good and bad thoughts. When sankhara is used to signify that which is subject to change, sorrow, etc., it is invariably applied to all conditioned things.

In this particular instance the term is used with 'sa' = co-; and a = un, Sa-sankharika (lit., with effort) is that which is prompted, instigated, or induced by oneself or by another. 'Asankharika' (lit., without effort) is that which is thus unaffected, but done spontaneously.

If, for instance, one does an act, induced by another, or after much deliberation or premeditation on one's part, then it is sa-sankharika. If, on the contrary, one does it instantly without any external or internal inducement, or any premeditation, then it is asankharika.

13. Vicikiccha-

This is an ethic-religious term. Commentary gives two interpretations.

(1.) Vici = vicinanto, seeking, inquiring; - kicch, to tire, to strain, to be vexed. It is vexation due to perplexed thinking.

(2.) Vi, devoid + cikiccha, remedy (of knowledge). It means that which is devoid of the remedy of knowledge.

Both these interpretations indicate a perplexed or undecided frame of mind. Doubt, perplexity, skepticism, indecision are used as the closest English equivalents.

Reasoning or investigation for the sake of understanding the truth is not discouraged in Buddhism. Nor is blind faith advocated in Buddhism.

[Vicihiccha is the inability to decide anything definitely that it is as such. Buddhaghosa-Majjhima Nikaya Commentary.]

14. Uddhacca-

This is formed of u = over, and - dhu, to tremble, to get excited. Literally, it means 'over-excitement' or 'rousing up'. A confused restless state of mind is meant here. It is the antithesis of one-pointedness. Atthasalini explains uddhacca as disquietude, mental distraction or confusion.

15. Kusala and Akusala-

This section deals with akusala types of consciousness. Akusala is the direct opposite of kusala. Atthasalini gives the etymological meaning of kusala as follows:-

(1.) ku, bad, + sal, to shake, to tremble, to destroy. That which shakes off, destroys evil or contemptible things is kusala.

(2.) kusa + lu, to cut.

Kusa is from ku, bad, and si, to lie. That which lies contemptibly is kusa, vice. Kusala is that which cuts off vice.

(3.) a.) ku, evil, bad, + su, to reduce. That which reduces or eradicates evil is kusa, knowledge or wisdom. Kusa, so derived, + lu, to cut. That which cuts off (evil) by wisdom is kusala.

b.) Kusa, so derived, + la, to take. That which is grasped by wisdom is kusala.

(4.) Kusa grass cuts a part of the hand with both edges. Even so kusala cuts off both sections of passions - those that have arisen and those that have not arisen.

With regard to the connotation of the term the Atthasalini states:-

"The word kusala means 'of good health' (arogya), 'faultless' (anavajja), 'clever' (cheka), 'productive of happy results' (sukha-vipaka)".

With the exception of 'clever' all the other three meanings are applicable to kusala.

Kusala is wholesome in the sense of being free from physical and mental sickness through passions.

Kusala is faultless in the sense of being free from the fault of passions, the evil of passions, and the heat of passions.

Here sukha-vipaka does not necessarily mean pleasurable feeling. It is used in the sense of physical and mental buoyancy, softness, fitness, etc.

Atthasalini further states kusala is used in the sense of having accomplished with wisdom (kosallasambhutatthena; kosallam vuccati pa˝˝a).

Judging from the various meanings attached to the term, kusala may be interpreted as wholesome or moral. Some scholars prefer 'skillful'.

Akusala would therefore mean unwholesome or immoral.

Kusala and akusala correspond to good and bad, right and wrong respectively.

16. How are we to assess whether an action is kusala or akusala? What is the criterion of morality?

In short what is connected with the three roots of evil is akusala. What is connected with the three roots of good is kusala.

As a seed sown on fertile soil germinates and fructifies itself sooner or later, according to its own intrinsic nature, even so kusala and akusala actions produce their due desirable and undesirable effects. They are called vipaka.

17. Kiriya or Kriya, literally, means action.

Here Kiriya is used in the sense of ineffective action. Kamma is causally effective. Kiriya is causally ineffective. Good deeds of Buddhas and Arahats are called kiriya because kamma is not accumulated by them as they have gone beyond both good and evil.

In Abhidhamma vipaka and kiriya are collectively called avyakata (Indeterminate), that which does not manifest itself in the way of an effect. The former is avyakata, because it is an effect in itself, the latter, because it does not produce an effect.


18. Attachment

(1.) With joy a boy instantly steals an apple, viewing no evil thereby.

(2.) Prompted by a friend, a boy joyfully steals an apple, viewing no evil thereby.

(3.) (4.) The same illustration serves for the third and fourth types of consciousness with the difference that the stealing is done without any false view.

(5.) (6.) (7.) (8.) The remaining four types of consciousness are similar to the above with the difference that the stealing is done with neutral feeling.


(9.) With hatred one murders another without any premeditation.

(10.) With hatred one murders another after premeditation.

19. Killing:- According to Abhidhamma killing is invariably done with ill-will or aversion. Prompted by whatever motive, one, as a rule, kills with a thought of ill-will. Where there is ill-will (patigha) there is displeasure (domanassa). Where there is displeasure there is ill-will in a subtle or gross way.

Suppose, for instance, a little child, who cannot discriminate between right and wrong, smilingly kills an ant. He does not know that he is committing the evil of killing. He is only playing with it. Now, does he cherish any ill-will towards the ant? Is there any hatred or ill-feeling in his case? It is difficult to say so. What type of consciousness does he experience at that moment? It cannot be the 9th and 10th types because he innocently does it with joy, fondling the object. Could it be the third type of consciousness rooted in "lobha"?

An adult who kills for sport does experience the 9th or 10th type of consciousness. There is ill-feeling at the moment of killing.

What about vivisection? A scientist may vivisect without the least compunction. His chief motive may be scientific investigation for consequent alleviation of suffering. Yet, there is the thought of killing.

Does one experience ill-will when one kills a wounded animal with the object of putting an end to its suffering? Moved by compassion, one may do so; yet there is ill-will at the moment of killing, because there is a certain kind of aversion towards the object. If such an action is morally justifiable, could one object to the wholesale destruction of patients suffering from acute chronic incurable diseases?

It was stated above that there is ill-will where there is displeasure.

When, for instance, one feels sorry for having failed in an examination, does one harbor ill-will at that time? If one reflects on the meaning of the term patigha, the answer will become clear. There is no doubt a subtle kind of aversion over the unpleasant news. It is the same in the case of a person who weeps over the death of a dear one, because it is an unwelcome event. Anagamis and Arahats never feel sorry nor grieve, because they have eradicated patigha or dosa (hatred or ill-will).

Great was the lamentation of Venerable Ananda, who was a Sotapanna Saint, on the passing away of the Buddha; but Arahats and Anagamis like Venerable Kassapa and Anuruddha, practiced perfect equanimity without shedding a tear.

20. Ignorance

(11.) A person doubts the existence of the Buddha, or the efficacy of the Dhamma, owing to his stupidity.

(12.) A person is distracted in mind, unable to concentrate on an object.

As these two types of consciousness are feeble, due to stupidity or dullness of mind, the accompanied feeling is neither pleasurable nor displeasurable, but neutral.

21. The ten kinds of akusala (evil) in relation to the twelve types of immoral consciousness.

There are ten kinds of evil committed through deed, word and thought.

DEED- (1) Killing (panatipata), (2) Stealing. (adinnadana), (3) Sexual Misconduct (kamesu-micchacara).

WORD- (4) Lying (musavada), (5) Slandering (pisuna-vaca), (6) Harsh speech (pharusa-vaca), (7) Vain talk (samphappalapa).

THOUGHT- (8) Covetousness (abhijjha), (9) Hatred (vyapada), and (10) False view (miccha-ditthi)*.

* [(a) Denying the result of Kamma (Natthika-ditthi), (b) Denying both the cause and the result (Ahetuka) and (c) Denying Kamma (Akiriya-Ditthi):- These constitute wrong views.]

All these akusalas are committed by the afore-mentioned twelve types of akusala consciousness. Killing is generally done by the 9th and 10th types of consciousness. Stealing is generally done with the first eight types of consciousness.

Sexual misconduct is committed with the first eight types of consciousness.

Theft may be committed with a hateful thought too. In such a case there is the possibility of stealing with the 9th and 10th types of consciousness.

Lying may be uttered with the first ten types of consciousness; and so is slandering.

Harsh speech is uttered with the 9th and 10th types of consciousness. Vain talk may spring from the first ten types of consciousness. Covetousness springs from the first eight types of consciousness. Hatred springs from the 9th and 10th types of consciousness. False views spring from the 1st, 2nd, 5th, and 6th.

22. Eradication of the Akusala Cittas by the four classes of Aryan disciples.

A Sotapanna (Stream-Winner) eradicates the 1st, 2nd, 5th, 6th, and 11th types of consciousness as he has destroyed the two Fetters (samyojana)-sakkaya-ditthi (Self-illusion) and vicikiccha (Doubts).

A Sakadagami (Once-Returner), who has attained the second stage of Sainthood, weakens the potentiality of the 9th and 10th types of consciousness, because he has only attenuated the two Fetters - kamaraga (Sense-desire) and patigha (Hatred).

An Anagami (Never-Returner), who has attained the third stage of Sainthood, eradicates the above two types of consciousness as he has completely destroyed the said two Fetters.

An Arahat does not give rise to any of the twelve akusala cittas as he has eradicated the remaining five Fetters too - namely, ruparaga (Attachment to rupa jhanas and Form-Spheres), aruparaga (Attachment to arupa jhanas and Formless-Spheres), mana (Conceit), uddhacca (Restlessness) and avijja (Not-knowingness or Ignorance).

(silabbata paramasa - Indulgence in wrongful rites and ceremonies, one of the ten Fetters, not mentioned above, is eradicated by a Sotapanna).


18 Types Of Rootless Consciousness
(ahetuka cittani-18)

(akusala vipaka cittani)

ž 5 (1) Upekkhasahagatam Cakkhuvi˝˝anam; tatha (2) Sotavi˝˝anam, (3) Ghanavi˝˝anam, (4) Jivhavi˝˝anam, (5) Dukkhasahagatam, Kayavi˝˝anam, (6) Upekkhasahagatam Sampaticchanacittam, (7) Upekkhasahagatam Santţranacitta˝ c'ati.

Imani satta'pi Akusala Vipaka Cittani nama.

(kusala vipak'ahetuka cittani)

(8) Upekkhasahagatam kusalavipakam Cakkhuvi˝˝anam; tatha (9) Sotavi˝˝anam, (10) Ghanavi˝˝anam (11) Jivhavi˝˝anam, (12) Sukhasahagatam Kayavi˝˝anam, (13) Upekkhasahagatam Sampaticchanacittam, (14) Somanassasahagatam Santţranacittam (15) Upekkhasahagatam Santţranacittam c'ati.

Imani attha' pi Kusalavipak'ahetukacittani nama.

(ahetuka kiriya cittani)

(16) Upekkhasahagatam Pa˝cadvaravajjanacittam; tatha

(17) Manodvaravajjanacittam,

(18) Somanassasahagatam Hasituppadacţtta˝ c'ati.

Imani tţni' pi ahetuka-kiriya cittani nama.
Icc'evamsabbatha'pi attharasahetukacittani samattani.

Sattakusalapakaani - pu˝˝apakani atthadha
Kiriyacittani tţni'ti - attharasa Ahetuka.

(Immoral Resultant Consciousness without Roots)

ž 5.

(1) Eye-consciousness, accompanied by indifference. So are

(2) Ear-consciousness,

(3) Nose-consciousness,

(4) Tongue consciousness,

(5) Body-consciousness, accompanied by pain,

(6) Receiving consciousness, accompanied by indifference,

(7) Investigating consciousness, accompanied by indifference.

These seven are the immoral resultant types of consciousness.

(Moral Resultant Consciousness without Roots)

(8) Moral resultant Eye-consciousness, accompanied by indifference. So are

(9) Ear-consciousness,

(10) Nose-consciousness,

(11) Tongue-consciousness,

(12) Body-consciousness, accompanied by happiness,

(13) Receiving consciousness, accompanied by indifference,

(14) Investigating consciousness, accompanied by pleasure,

(15) Investigating consciousness, accompanied by indifference.

These eight are the moral resultant types of consciousness without Hetu.

(Functional Consciousness without Roots)

(16) Five Sense-door adverting consciousness, accompanied by indifference.

(17) So is mind-door adverting consciousness.

(18) Smile-producing consciousness, accompanied by pleasure.

These three are the functional types of consciousness without Hetu.

Thus end, in all, the eighteen types of consciousness without Hetu.


Seven are immoral resultants. Moral resultants are Eightfold.

Three are functionals. Ahetukas are eighteen.


23. Hetu is usually rendered by 'causal condition'. In the Suttas we often come across such phrases as 'ko hetu, ko paccayo', - 'what cause, what reason'. In the Abhidhamma both hetu and paccaya are differentiated and are used in specific senses. The term hetu is applied to the six roots explained above. Paccaya is an aiding condition (upakaraka dhamma). Like the root of a tree is hetu. Paccaya is like water, manure, etc.

The aforesaid eighteen classes of consciousness are called 'a-hetuka' because they are devoid of 'concomitant hetus' (sampayuttaka hetu). It must be understood that even ahetuka cittas are not devoid of an efficient cause (nibbattaka hetu). The remaining 71 classes of consciousness are called Sa-hetuka, with Roots. In two there is only one Root, in sixty nine there are two or three Roots.

24. Dvipa˝cavi˝˝ana - Five pairs of moral and immoral resultant consciousness are enumerated here. They are so called because they are dependent on the five senses. As they are comparatively weak they are accompanied by neutral feeling, with the exception of body-consciousness which is accompanied by either pain or happiness. It should be noted that, in the Abhidhamma, these five pairs of consciousness are sometimes referred to as 'dvipancavi˝˝ana', the two sampaticchana cittas and pa˝ca-dvaravajjana citta as 'mano dhatu' (mind-element), the rest (76) as 'mano vi˝˝ana dhatu' (mind-consciousness element).

25. Sampaticchana is that moment of consciousness which accepts or receives an object. Santirana is that which investigates an object. That moment of consciousness which turns towards one of the five sense-objects is called the pa˝ca-dvaravajjana. Mano-dvaravajjana is that moment of consciousness which turns the mind towards a mental object. Pa˝ca-dvaravajjana and mano-dvaravajjana are the only two moments of kiriya cittas experienced by those who are not Arahats. All the other kiriya cittas are experienced only by Buddhas and Arahats. It is this mano-dvaravajjana citta that performs the function of votthapana (deciding) which will be dealt with later.

26. Hasituppada is a citta peculiar to Arahats. Smiling is caused by a pleasurable feeling. There are thirteen classes of consciousness by which one may smile according to the type of the person. An ordinary worldling (puthujjana) may laugh with either one of the four types of cittas rooted in attachment, accompanied by pleasure, or one of the four kusala cittas, accompanied by pleasure.

Sotapannas, Sakadagamis, and Anagamis may smile with one of the two akusala cittas, disconnected with false view, accompanied by pleasure, or with one of the four kusala cittas.

Arahats and Pacceka Buddhas may smile with one of the four sobhana kiriya cittas or hasituppada.

Samma Sambuddhas smile with one of the two sobhana kiriya cittas, accompanied by wisdom and pleasure.

There is nothing but mere mirth in the hasituppada consciousness.

The Compendium of Philosophy states: "There are six classes of laughter recognized in Buddhist works: (1) sita: - a smile manifesting itself in expression and countenance; (2) hasita: - a smile consisting in the slight movements of the lips just enough to reveal the tips of the teeth; (3) vihasita: - laughter giving out a light sound; (4) upahasita: - laughter accompanied by the movement of the head, shoulders, and arms; (5) apahasita: - laughter accompanied by the shedding of tears; and (6) atihasita: - an outburst of laughter accompanied by the forward and backward movements of the entire body from head to foot. Laughter is thus a form of bodily expression (kaya-vi˝˝atti), which may or may not be accompanied by vocal expression (vaci-vi˝˝atti). Of these, the first two classes are indulged in by cultured persons, the next two by the average man, and the last two by the lower classes of being.

27. Thought-Process

The subject, the consciousness, receives objects from within and without. When a person is in a state of profound sleep his mind is said to be vacant, or, in other words, in a state of bhavanga. We always experience such a passive state when our minds do not respond to external objects. This flow of bhavanga is interrupted when objects enter the mind. Then the bhavanga consciousness vibrates for one thought-moment and passes away. Thereupon the sense-door consciousness (pa˝ca-dvaravajjana) arises and ceases. At this stage the natural flow is checked and is turned towards the object. Immediately after there arises and ceases the eye consciousness* (cakkhu vi˝˝ana), but yet knows no more about it. This sense operation is followed by a moment of reception of the object so seen (sampaticchana). Next comes the investigating faculty (santirana) or a momentary examination of the object so received. After this comes that stage of representative cognition termed the determining consciousness (votthapana). Discrimination is exercised at this stage. Freewill plays its part here. Immediately after there arises the psychologically most important stage - Impulsion or javana. It is at this stage that an action is judged whether moral or immoral. Kamma is performed at this stage; if viewed rightly (yoniso manasikara), the javana becomes moral; if viewed wrongly (ayoniso manasikara), it becomes immoral. In the case of an Arahat this javana is neither moral nor immoral, but merely functional (kiriya). This javana stage usually lasts for seven thought moments, or, at times of death, five. The whole process which happens in an infinitesimal part of time ends with the registering consciousness (tadalambana), lasting for two thought-moments - thus completing one thought-process at the expiration of seventeen thought-moments.

*[i.e., if the object is a form (rupa). This consciousness depends on the five objects of sense.]

The three kinds of bhavanga consciousness are vipaka. They are either one of the two santirana cittas, accompanied by indifference, mentioned above, or one of the eight sobhana vipaka cittas, described in section 6. Pa˝ca-dvaravajjana is a kriya citta. Pa˝ca vi˝˝ana is one of the ten moral and immoral vipaka cittas. Sampaticchana and santirana are also vipaka cittas. The mano-dvaravajjana (mind-door consciousness), a kriya citta, functions as the votthapana consciousness. One can use one's freewill at this stage. The seven javana thought-moments constitute kamma. The tadalambana is a vipaka citta which is one of the three santirana cittas or one of the eight sobhana vipaka cittas.

Thus in a particular thought-process there arise various thought-moments which may be kamma, vipaka, or kriya.

*[A detailed exposition of this subject will appear in Chapter IV.]

THOUGHT PROCESS: According to Abhidhamma when an object is presented to the mind through one of the five doors a thought process runs as follows:-


Atita Bhavanga

Past Bhavanga


Bhavanga Calana

Vibrating Bhavanga



Arrest Bhavanga



Sense-door Consciousness


Pa˝ca Vi˝˝ana




Receiving Consciousness



Investigating Consciousness



Determining Consciousness






Registering Consciousness


"Beautiful" Consciousness Of The Sensuous Sphere - 24

(sobhana cittani)

ž 6. Papahetukamuttani - Sobhanani'ti vuccare
Ek'unasatthicittani - ath'ekanavuti'pi va

(attha kamavaccara kusala cittani)

1. Somanassa-sahagatam ˝anasampayuttam asankharikam ekam,

2. Somanassa-sahagatam ˝anasampayuttam asankharikam ekam,

3. Somanassa-sahagatam ˝anavippayuttam asankharikam ekam,

4. Somanassa-sahagatam ˝anavippayuttam sasankharikam ekam,

5. Upekkha-sahagatam ˝anasampayuttam asankharikam ekam,

6. Upekkha-sahagatam ˝anasampayuttam sasankharikam ekam,

7. Upekkha-sahagatam ˝anavippayuttam asankharikam ekam,

8. Upekkha-sahagatam ˝anavippayuttam sasankharikam' ekan' ti

Imani attha' pi sahetuka kamavacarakusalacittani nama.

(attha kamavacara vipaka cittani)

9. Somanassa-sahagatam ˝anasampayuttam asankharikam ekam,

10. Somanassa-sahagatam ˝anasampayuttam sasankharikam ekam,

11. Somanassa-sahagatam ˝anavippayuttam asankharikam ekam.

12. Somanassa-sahagatam ˝anavippayuttam sasankharikam ekam,

13. Upekkha-sahagatam ˝anasampayuttam asankharikam ekam,

14. Upekkha-sahagatam ˝anasampayuttam sasankharikam ekam,

15. Upekkha-sahagatam ˝anavippayuttam asankharikam ekam,

16. Upekkha-sahagatam ˝anavippayuttam sasankharikam ekan'ti.

Imani attha' pi sahetuka kamavacara-vipakacittani nama.

(attha kamavacara kriya cittani)

17. Somanassa-sahagatam ˝anasampayuttam asankharikam ekam,

18. Somanassa-sahagatam ˝anasampayuttam sasankharikam ekam,

19. Somanassa-sahagatam ˝anavippayuttam asankharikam ekam.

20. Somanassa-sahagatam ˝anavippayuttam sasankharikam ekam,

21. Upekkha-sahagatam ˝anasampayuttam asankharikam ekam,

22. Upekkha-sahagatam ˝anasampayuttam sasankharikam ekam,

23. Upekkha-sahagatam ˝anavippayuttam asankharikam ekam,

24. Upekkha-sahagatam ˝anavippayuttam sasankharikam ekan'ti,

Imani attha'pi sahetuka-kamavacara-kriyacittani nama.
Icce' vam sabbatha'pi sahetuka-kamavacara-
kusala vipaka kriya cittani samattani.
vedana-˝ana-sankhara - bhedena catuvisati
sahetu-kamavacara - pu˝˝apakakriya mata.
kame tevisapakani - pu˝˝a' pu˝˝ani visati
ekadasa kriya c'ati - catupa˝˝asa sabbatha.

ž 6. Excluding those that are evil and without Hetu, the rest are called "Beautiful". They number either fifty-nine or ninety-one.

(Eight Types of Moral Consciousness)

1. One consciousness, unprompted, accompanied by pleasure, associated with knowledge,

2. One consciousness, prompted, accompanied by pleasure, associated with knowledge.

3. One consciousness, unprompted, accompanied by pleasure, dissociated with knowledge,

4. One consciousness, prompted, accompanied by pleasure, dissociated with knowledge,

5. One consciousness, unprompted, accompanied by indifference*, associated with knowledge.

6. One consciousness, prompted, accompanied by indifference, associated with knowledge,

7. One consciousness, unprompted, accompanied by indifference, dissociated with knowledge,

8. One consciousness, prompted, accompanied by indifference, dissociated with knowledge.

These are the eight types of moral consciousness, with Roots, of the sensuous sphere.

*[See Note 10, here upekkha may be equanimity too.]

(Eight types of Resultant Consciousness)

9. One consciousness, unprompted, accompanied by pleasure, associated with knowledge,

10. One consciousness, prompted, accompanied by pleasure, associated with knowledge,

11. One consciousness, unprompted, accompanied by pleasure, dissociated with knowledge,

12. One consciousness, prompted, accompanied by pleasure, dissociated with knowledge,

13. One consciousness, unprompted, accompanied by indifference, associated with knowledge,

14. One consciousness, prompted, accompanied by indifference, associated with knowledge,

15. One consciousness, unprompted, accompanied indifference, dissociated with knowledge,

16. One consciousness, prompted, accompanied indifference, dissociated with knowledge,

These are the eight types of Resultant Consciousness, with Hetus, of the sensuous sphere.

(Eight types of Functional Consciousness)

17. One consciousness, unprompted, accompanied by pleasure, associated with knowledge,

18. One consciousness, prompted, accompanied by pleasure, associated with knowledge.

19. One consciousness, unprompted, accompanied by pleasure, dissociated with knowledge,

20. One consciousness, prompted, accompanied by pleasure, associated with knowledge,

21. One consciousness, unprompted, accompanied by indifference, dissociated with knowledge,

22. One consciousness, prompted, accompanied by indifference, associated with knowledge,

23. One consciousness, unprompted, accompanied by indifference, dissociated with knowledge,

24. One consciousness, prompted, accompanied by indifference, dissociated with knowledge,

These are the eight types of Fundamental Consciousness, with Roots, of the sensuous sphere.

Thus end, in all, the moral, resultant, functional types of consciousness, with Hetus, of the sensuous sphere.


The moral, resultant, and functional types of consciousness of the sensuous sphere, with Hetus, which differ according to feeling knowledge, and inducement, should be understood as twenty-four.

In the sensuous sphere twenty-three are "Resultant", twenty "Moral" and "Immoral", and eleven are "Functional", fifty-four in all.


28. Sobhana - so called because they yield good qualities, and are connected with blameless roots such as generosity, loving-kindness, and knowledge. Com.

29. Papa - is that which leads to misery. Evil or bad is a better rendering than sin which has a Christian outlook.

30. Hetuka - All the cittas that are to be described hereafter, are called sahetukas, with Roots, opposed to the ahetukas of the foregoing section. Of the twenty-four kamavacara sobhana cittas, twelve are connected with two good Roots: generosity (alobha) and loving-kindness (adosa); twelve with three good: hetus - generosity, loving-kindness, and knowledge (amoha).

31. Fifty-nine or ninety-one:

Kamavacara - 24
Rupavacara - 15
Arupavacara - 12
Lokuttara - 8

When the eight lokuttara cittas are developed by means of each of the five kusala rupa jhanas, as will be explained at the end of this chapter, they total forty.

Then 24 + 15 + 12 + 40 = 91.

32. Đana - is that which understands the reality (Com.) Here ˝ana is synonymous with wisdom, reason, or knowledge. It is opposed to moha (ignorance, delusion, or stupidity).

33. Asankharika - unprompted (See note 12)

According to the commentary one does a good act on the spur of the moment without any particular inducement either from within or without, owing to physical and mental fitness, due to good food, climate, etc., and as a result of having performed similar actions in the past.

34. All good acts are done by one of these first eight cittas. Their corresponding effects are the eight resultant cittas. The eight ahetuka vipaka cittas are also the due effects of these kusala cittas. It, therefore, follows that there are sixteen vipaka cittas corresponding to eight kusala cittas, whereas in the case of twelve akusala cittas there are only seven ahetuka vipaka cittas.

The Buddhas and Arahats also experience all these twenty-three types of vipaka cittas as they are bound to reap the good and bad effects of their past actions till they die. But they do not experience the first eight kusala cittas as they do not accumulate fresh kamma that has any reproductive power, since they have eradicated all fetters that bind oneself to existence. When they do any good act, instead of the usual kusala cittas, they experience the eight kriya cittas which possess no reproductive energy. Ordinary persons and even Holy Ones of the first three grades of Saint ship do not experience these eight cittas.

35. Illustrations for the first eight kusala cittas:

1. One understandingly gives something to a beggar at once with joy.

2. One understandingly gives something to a beggar with joy, after deliberation, or being induced by another.

3. A child, without any understanding, joyfully salutes a monk at once. Joyfully a person automatically recites a Sacred Text without understanding the meaning.

4. A child, without any understanding, joyfully salutes a monk, as instructed by the mother. A person joyfully repeats a Sacred Text, as taught by another, without understanding the meaning.

The remaining four types should be understood in the same way, substituting indifference for joy.


Form-Sphere Consciousness - 15
(rupavacara cittani-15)

ž 7.

(rupavacara kusala cittani-5)

1. Vitakka-vicara-piti-sukh'ekaggata-sahitam pathamajjhana-kusalacittam.

2. Vicara-piti-sukh'ekaggata-sahitam dutiyajjhana-kusalacittam,

3. Piti-sukh'ekaggata-sahitam tatiyajjhana-kusalacittam,

4. Sukh'ekaggata-sahitam catutthajjhana-kusalacittam,

5. Upekkh'ekaggata-sahitam pa˝camajjhana-kusalacitta˝ c'ati.

Imani pa˝ca'pi rupavacara-kusalacittaninama.

(rupavacara vipaka cittani-5)

1. Vitakka-vicara-piti-sukh'ekaggata-sahitam pathamajjhana-vipakacittam,

2. Vicara-piti-sukh'ekaggata-sahitam dutiyajjhana-vipakacittam,

3. Piti-sukh'ekaggata-sahitam tatiyajjhana-vipakacittam,

4. Sukh'ekaggata-sahitam, catutthajjhana-vipakacittam,

5. Upekkh'ekaggata-sahitam pa˝camajjhana-vipakacitta˝ c'ati.

Imani pa˝ca'pi rupavacara-vipakacittani nama.

(rupavacara kriya cittani-5)

1. Vitakka-vicara-piti-sukh'ekaggata-sahitam pathamajjhana-kriyacittam,

2. Vicara-piti-sukh'ekaggata-sahitam dutiyajjhana-kriyacittam,

3. Piti-sukh'ekaggata-sahitam tatiyajjhana-kriyacittam,

4. Sukh'ekaggata-sahitam catutthajjhana-kriyacittam,

5. Upekkh'ekaggata-sahitam pa˝camajjhana-kriyacitta˝ c'ati.

Imani pa˝ca'pi rupavacara-kriyacittani nama.

Icc'evam sabbatha'pi pannarasa rupavacara kusala-vipaka-kriyacittani samattani.

Pa˝cadha jhanabhedena - rupavacaramanasam

Pu˝˝apakakriyabheda - tam pa˝cadasadha bhave.

ž 7.

(Form-Sphere Moral Consciousness - 5)

1. First Jhana moral consciousness together with initial application, sustained application, joy, happiness, and one-pointedness.

2. Second Jhana moral consciousness together with sustained application, joy, happiness, and one-pointedness,

3. Third Jhana moral consciousness together with joy, happiness, and one-pointedness,

4. Fourth Jhana moral consciousness together with happiness and one-pointedness.

5. Fifth Jhana moral consciousness together with equanimity and one-pointedness.

These are the five types of Form-Sphere Moral consciousness.

(Form-Sphere Resultant Consciousness - 5)

1. First Jhana Resultant consciousness together with initial application, sustained application, joy, happiness, and one-pointedness,

2. Second Jhana Resultant consciousness together with sustained application, joy, happiness, and one-pointedness,

3. Third Jhana Resultant consciousness together with joy, happiness, and one-pointedness,

4. Fourth Jhana Resultant consciousness together with happiness and one-pointedness,

5. Fifth Jhana Resultant consciousness together with equanimity and one-pointedness.

These are the five types of Jhana Resultant consciousness.

(Form-Sphere Functional Consciousness-5)

1. First Jhana Functional consciousness together with initial application, sustained application, joy, happiness and one-pointedness,

2. Second Jhana Functional consciousness together with sustained application, joy, happiness, and one-pointedness,

3. Third Jhana Functional consciousness together with joy, happiness, and one-pointedness,

4. Fourth Jhana Functional consciousness together with happiness and one-pointedness.

5. Fifth Jhana Functional consciousness together with equanimity and one-pointedness.

These are the five types of Form-Sphere Functional consciousness.

Thus end, in all, the fifteen types of Form-Sphere Moral Resultant, and Functional consciousness.


Form-Sphere consciousness is fivefold according to different Jhanas. That becomes fifteen fold according to Moral, Resultant and Functional types.


36. Rupavacara-

There are three planes of existence-namely, Sensuous Sphere (kamaloka), Form-Sphere (rupaloka), and Formless-Sphere (arupaloka). The four states of misery (apaya), human realm (manussa), and the six celestial realms (devaloka) constitute the kamaloka. It is so called because sense-desires play a predominant part in this sphere. The four states of misery are called duggati (evil states). Evil-doers are born in such states. The remaining seven are called sugati (good states). The good are born in these states of sensuous bliss.

The more evolved persons, who seek no delight in ordinary sense-desires, but are interested in higher spiritual progress, must naturally be born in congenial places in harmony with their lofty aspirations. Even in the human realm it is they who retire to solitude and engage themselves in meditation.

Such meditation (bhavana) is of two kinds - samatha (concentration) and vipassana (insight). Samatha, which means calm, or tranquillity is gained by developing the Jhanas. Vipassana is seeing things as they truly are. With the aid of Jhanas one could develop higher psychic powers (abhi˝˝a). It is vipassana that leads to Enlightenment.

Those who develop Jhanas are born after death in higher Form-Spheres (rupaloka) and Formless-spheres (arupaloka).

In the Formless-Spheres there is no body but only mind. As a rule, both mind and body are interrelated, interdependent, and inseparable. But by will-power there is a possibility for the mind to be separated from the body and vice versa temporarily. Beings born in celestial realms and Form-Spheres are supposed to posses very subtle material forms.

The Compendium of Philosophy states that "Rupaloka is so called because the subtle residuum of matter is said, in that place of existence, to be still met with. Arupaloka is so called because no trace of matter is held to be found in it".

That which frequents the Rupa-Sphere is rupavacara. There are fifteen cittas pertaining to it. Five are kusalas, which one can develop in this life itself. Five are their corresponding vipakas which are experienced after death in the Rupa-sphere. Five are kriya cittas, which are experienced only by Buddhas and Arahats either in this life or by Arahats in the Rupa-Sphere.

37. Jhana - (Sanskrit: dhyana) -

The Pali term is derived from the root "jhe", to think. Venerable Buddhaghosa explains Jhana as follows, "Aramman'upanijjhanato paccanikajhapanato vajhanam", Jhana is so called because it thinks closely of an object or because it burns those adverse things (hindrances - nivaranas).

By Jhana is meant willful concentration on an object.

Of the forty objects of concentration, enumerated in the 9th chapter of this book, the aspirant selects an object that appeals most to his temperament. This object is called parikamma nimitta - preliminary object.

He now intently concentrates on this object until he becomes so wholly absorbed in it that all adventitious thoughts get ipso facto excluded from the mind. A stage is ultimately reached when he is able to visualize the object even with closed eyes. On this visualized image (uggaha nimitta) he concentrates continuously until it develops into a conceptualized image (patibhaga nimitta).

As an illustration let us take the pathavi kasina.

A circle of about one span and four inches in diameter is made and the surface is covered with dawn-colored clay and smoothed well. If there be not enough clay of the dawn color, he may put in some other kind of clay beneath. This hypnotic circle is known as the parikamma nimitta. Now he places this object about two and half cubits away from him and concentrates on it, saying mentally or inaudibly - pathavi or earth. The purpose is to gain the one-pointedness of the mind. When he does this for some time - perhaps weeks, or months, or years - he would be able to close his eyes and visualize the object. This visualized object is called uggaha nimitta. Then he concentrates on this visualized image, which is an exact mental replica of the object, until it develops into a conceptualized image which is called patibhaga nimitta.

The difference between the first visualized image and the conceptualized image is that in the former the fault of the device appears, while the latter is clear of all such defects and is like a "well-burnished conchshell". The latter possesses neither color nor form. "It is just a mode of appearance, and is born of perception".

As he continually concentrates on this abstract concept he is said to be in possession of "proximate concentration" (upacara samadhi) and the innate five Hindrances to progress (nivarana), such as sense-desire (kamacchanda), hatred (patigha), sloth and torpor (thina-middha), restlessness and brooding (uddhacca-kukkucca), and doubts (vicikiccha) are temporarily inhibited.

Eventually he gains "ecstatic concentration" (appana samadhi) and becomes enwrapped in Jhana, enjoying the calmness and serenity of a one-pointed mind.

As he is about to gain appana samadhi a thought process runs as follows:- bhavanga, mano-dvaravajjana, parikamma, upacara, anuloma, gotrabhu, appana.

When the stream of consciousness is arrested, there arises the Mind-door consciousness taking for its object the patibhaga nimitta. This is followed by the Javana process which, as the case may be, starts with either parikamma or upacara. Parikamma is the preliminary or initial thought-moment. Upacara means proximate, because it is close to the appana samadhi. It is at the anuloma or "adaptation" thought-moment that the mind qualifies itself for the final appana. It is so called because it arises in conformity with appana. This is followed by gotrabhu, the thought-moment that transcends the kama-plane. Gotrabhu means that which subdues (bhu) the Kama-lineage (gotra). All the thought-moments of this Javana process up to the gotrabhu moment are kamavacara thoughts. Immediately after this transitional stage of gotrabhu there arises only for a duration of one moment the appana thought-moment that leads to ecstatic concentration. This consciousness belongs to the Rupa-plane, and is termed the First Rupa Jhana. In the case of an Arahat it is a kriya citta, otherwise it is a kusala.

This consciousness lasts for one thought-moment and then subsides into the Bhavanga state.

The aspirant continues his concentration and develops in the foregoing manner the second, third, fourth, and fifth Jhanas.

The five Jhana vipakas are the corresponding Resultants of the five Morals. They are experienced in the Form sphere itself and not in the Kama-sphere. Kusala and Kiriya Jhanas could be experienced in the Kama-sphere continuously even for a whole day.

The five factors, vitakka, vicara, piti, sukha, ekaggata collectively found in the appana consciousness, constitute what is technically known as Jhana. In the second Jhana the first factor is eliminated, in the third the first two are eliminated, in the fourth the first three are eliminated, while in the fifth even happiness is abandoned and is substituted by equanimity.

Sometimes these five Jhanas are treated as four, as mentioned in the Visuddhi-Magga. In that case the second Jhana consists of three constituents as both vitakka and vicara are eliminated at once.

38. Vitakka - is derived from "vi" + "takk" to think. Generally the term is used in the sense of thinking or reflection. Here it is used in a technical sense. It is that which directs the concomitant states towards the object. (arammanam vitakketi sampayuttadhamme abhiniropeti' ti vitakko). Just as a king's favourite would conduct a villager to the palace, even so vitakka directs the mind towards the object.

Vitakka is an unmoral mental state which, when associated with a kusala or akusala citta, becomes either moral or immoral. A developed form of this vitakka is found in the first Jhana consciousness. A still more developed form of vitakka is found in the Path-consciousness (magga citta) as samma-sankappa (Right thoughts). The vitakka of the Path-consciousness directs the mental states towards Nibbana and destroys miccha (wrong or evil) vitakka such as thoughts of sense-desire (kama), thoughts of hatred (vyapada), and thoughts of cruelty (vihimsa). The vitakka of the Jhana consciousness temporarily inhibits sloth and torpor (thina-middha) one of the five Hindrances (nivarana).

Through continued practice the second Jhana is obtained by eliminating vitakka. When four Jhanas are taken into account instead of the five, the second Jhana is obtained by eliminating both vitakka and vicara at the same time.

39. Vicara is derived from "vi" + "car" to move or wander. Its usual equivalent is investigation. Here it is used in the sense of sustained application of the mind on the object. It temporarily inhibits doubts (vicikiccha).

According to the commentary vicara is that which moves around the object. Examination of the object is its characteristic. Vitakka is like the flying of a bee towards a flower. Vicara is like its buzzing around it. As Jhana factors they are correlates.

40. Piti is zest, joy, or pleasurable interest. It is derived from "pi", to please, to delight. It is not a kind of feeling (vedana) like sukha. It is, so to say, its precursor. Like the first two Jhana factors, (piti) is also a mental state found in both moral and immoral consciousness. Creating an interest in the object is its characteristic piti inhibits vyapada, ill-will or aversion.

There are five kinds of piti:-

1. Khuddaka piti, the thrill of joy that causes "the flesh to creep".

2. Khanika piti, instantaneous joy like a flash of lightning.

3. Okkantika piti, the flood of joy like the breakers on a seashore.

4. Ubbega piti, transporting joy which enables one to float in the air just as a lump of cotton carried by the wind.

5. Pharana piti, suffusing joy, which pervades the whole body like a full blown bladder or like a flood that overflows small tanks and ponds.

41. Sukha is bliss or happiness. It is a kind of pleasant feeling. It is opposed to uddhacca and kukkucca (restlessness and brooding). As vitakka is the precursor of vicara, so is piti the precursor of sukha.

The enjoyment of the desired object is its characteristic. It is like a king that enjoys a delicious dish.

Piti creates an interest in the object, while sukha enables one to enjoy the object.

Like the sight of an oasis to a weary traveler, is piti. Like drinking water and bathing therein, is sukha.

This mental sukha which should be differentiated from ahetuka kayika (physical) happiness is identical with somanassa. But it is a joy disconnected with material pleasures. This pleasurable feeling is the inevitable outcome of renouncing them (niramisa sukha). Nibbanic bliss is yet far more subtle than Jhanic bliss. There is no feeling in experiencing the bliss of Nibbana. The total release from suffering (dukkhupasama) is itself Nibbanic bliss. It is comparable to the "ease" of an invalid who is perfectly cured of a disease. It is a bliss of relief.

42. Upekkha - literally, means seeing (ikkhati) impartially (upa = yuttito). It is viewing an object with a balanced mind, Atthasalini states: - "This is impartiality (majjhattam) in connection with the object, and implies a discriminative knowledge (paricchindanakam ˝anam)".

This explanation applies strictly to upekkha found in sobhana consciousness accompanied by wisdom. Upekkha found in the akusalas and ahetukas is just neutral feeling, without the least trace of any discriminative knowledge. In the kamavacara sobhanas, too, there may arise that neutral feeling, as in the case of one hearing the Dhamma without any pleasurable interest, and also a subtle form of upekkha that views the object with deliberate impartiality and discriminative knowledge, as in the case of a wise person who hears the Dhamma with a critical and impartial mind.

Upekkha of the Jhana consciousness, in particular is of ethical and psychological importance. It certainly is not the ordinary kind of upekkha, generally found in the akusala consciousness which comes naturally to an evil-doer. The Jhana upekkha has been developed by a strong will-power. Realizing that pleasurable feeling is also gross, the Yogi eliminates it as he did the other three Jhana factors, and develops the more subtle and peaceful upekkha. On the attainment of the fifth Jhana breathing ceases. As he has transcended both pain and pleasure by will-power, he is immune to pain too.

This upekkha is a highly refined form of the ordinary tatramajjhattata, even-mindedness, one of the moral mental states, latent in all types of sobhana consciousness.

In the Pali phrase - upekkha satiparisuddhi - purity of mindfulness which comes of equanimity - it is the tatra-majjhattata that is referred to. This is latent in the first four Jhanas too. In the fifth Jhana this tatra-majjhattata is singled out and becomes highly refined. Both neutral feeling upekkha vedana) and equanimity that correspond to the one Pali term upekkha are found in the fifth Jhana.

Thus there appear to be four kinds of upekkha viz:- (1) just neutral feeling, found in the six akusala cittas, (2) sensitive passive neutral feeling (anubhavana upekkha) found in the eight ahetuka sense-door consciousness (dvipa˝ca-vi˝˝ana) (excluding kayavi˝˝ana), (3) intellectual upekkha, found mostly in the two sobhana kriya cittas, accompanied by knowledge, and sometimes in the two sobhana kusala cittas, accompanied by knowledge, (4) ethical upekkha, found in all the sobhana cittas, especially in the fifth Jhana.

Brahmaviharupekkha and sankharupekkha may be included in both intellectual and ethical upekkha.

The first is equanimity amidst all vicissitudes of life. The second is neither attachment nor aversion with respect to all conditioned things.

Visuddhi-Magga enumerates ten kinds of upekkha. See the Path of Purity -Vol. II pp. 184-186.

43. Ekaggata (eka + agga + ta) lit., one-pointedness. This is a mental state common to all Jhanas. By samma samadhi (Right Concentration) is meant this ekaggata found in the Path-consciousness. Ekaggata temporarily inhibits sensual desires.


Formless-Sphere Consciousness - 12
(arupavacara cittani-l2)

ž 8.

(arupavacara kusala cittani-4)

(1) akasana˝cayatana-kusalacittam,

(2) Vi˝˝ana˝cayatana-kusalacittam,

(3) aki˝ca˝˝ayatana-kusala,

(4) N'eva-sa˝˝a-n'asa˝˝ayatana-kusalacitta˝ c'ati.

Imani cattari'pi Arupavacara-kusalacittani nama.

(arupavacara vipaka cittani)

(5) akasana˝cayatana-vipakacittam,

(6) vi˝˝ana˝cayatana-vipakacittam,

(7) aki˝ca˝˝ayatana-vipakacittam,

(8) N'eva-sa˝˝a-n'asa˝˝ayatana-vipakacittam c'ati.

Imani cattari'pi arupavacara-vipakacittani nama.

(arupavacara kriya cittani-4)

(9) akasana˝cayatana-kriyacittam,

(10) vi˝˝ana˝cayatana-kriyacittam

(11) aki˝ca˝˝ayatana-kriyacittam,

(12) n'eva-sa˝˝a-n'asa˝˝ayatana-kriyacitta˝ c'ati.

Imani cattari'pi arupavacara-kriyacittani nama.

Icc' evam sabbatha'pi dvadasa arupavacara-kusala-vipaka-kriyacittani samattani.

alambanappabhedhena - catudha'ruppamanasam

Pu˝˝apakakriyabheda - puna dvadasadha thitam.

ž 8.

(Formless-Sphere Moral Consciousness - 4)

(1) Moral Jhana consciousness dwelling on the "Infinity of Space", *

(2) Moral Jhana consciousness dwelling on the "Infinity of Consciousness",**

(3) Moral Jhana consciousness dwelling on "Nothingness",***

(4) Moral Jhana consciousness wherein "Perception neither is nor is not".

These are the four types of arupa-jhana Moral consciousness.

* [akasana˝cayatana = akasa + ananta + ayatana. Ananta + ya = anantya = ana˝ca = end-lessness. akasa + ana˝ca = akasana˝ca + ayatana is used here in the sense of abode (adhitthanatthena)]

** [vi˝˝ana˝cayatana-vi˝˝ana + ananta + ya = vi˝˝ananatya = vi˝˝ana˝ca]

*** [aki˝ca˝˝ayatana-aki˝canassa bhavo = aki˝ca˝˝am]

(Formless-sphere Resultant Consciousness - 4)

(5) Resultant Jhana-consciousness dwelling on the "Infinity of Space".

(6) Resultant Jhana-consciousness dwelling on the "Infinity of Consciousness",

(7) Resultant Jhana-consciousness dwelling on "Nothingness",

(8) Resultant Jhana-consciousness wherein "Perception neither is nor is not".

These are four types of arupa-jhana Resultant consciousness.

(Formless-sphere Functional Consciousness - 4)

(9) Functional Jhana-consciousness dwelling on the "Infinity of Space".

(10) Functional Jhana-consciousness dwelling on the "Infinity of Consciousness".

(11) Functional Jhana-consciousness dwelling on "Nothingness" .

(12) Functional Jhana-consciousness wherein "Perception neither is nor is not".

These are the four types of arupa-jhana Functional consciousness.

Thus end, in all, the twelve types of Arupa Jhana Moral, Resultant, and Functional consciousness.*

* Both Rupa and Arupa Cittas are collectively termed "Mahaggata" which literally, means 'great-gone-to', i.e., developed.

Arupa-jhana consciousness is fourfold, classified according to the objects. Again they stand at twelve according to Moral, Resultant, and Functional types.


44. Arupa Jhana-

The Yogi who has developed the Rupa Jhanas and who wishes to develop the Arupa Jhanas now concentrates on the Patibhaga Nimitta mentioned in the previous section. As he does so, a faint light, like a fire fly, issues from the Kasina object. He wills it to expand until it covers the whole space. Now he sees nothing but this light pervading everywhere. This developed space is not a reality but a mere concept. In Pali this space is called kasinugghatimakasa (space issuing forth from the Kasina object). On this concept he concentrates thinking "akaso ananto", 'Infinite is space', until he develops the first Arupa Jhana-akasana˝cayatana.

As in the case of the Rupa Jhanas a thought-process, runs as follows:-

mano-dvaravajjana, parikamma, upacara, anuloma, gotrabhu, akasana˝cayatana.

Parikamma thought-moment may or may not occur.

The Arupa Jhana thought-moment occurs only for a moment, and then the consciousness lapses into Bhavanga consciousness.

Again he concentrates on the first Arupa Jhana thinking "vi˝˝anam anantam", 'Infinite is Consciousness' until he develops the second Arupa Jhana - "vi˝˝ana˝cayatana".

To develop the third Arupa Jhana - "aki˝ca˝˝ayatana" - the Yogi takes for his object the first Arupa Jhana consciousness and thinks - 'Natthi ki˝ci', "There is nothing whatever".

The fourth Arupa Jhana consciousness is developed by taking the third Arupa Jhana consciousness as the object. The third Arupa Jhana is so subtle and refined that one cannot definitely say whether there is a consciousness or not. As he concentrates thus on the third consciousness he develops the fourth Jhana. Although the term "sa˝˝a" is used here, vedana, (feeling) and sankhara, (mental states) are also included therein.

The five Rupa Jhanas differ according to the Jhana factors. These four Arupa Jhanas, on the other hand, differ according to the objects of concentration. The first and the third have two concepts (pa˝˝atti). They are the concept of the 'infinity of space' and the concept of 'nothingness'. The second and the fourth Jhana consciousness have for their objects the first and the third Jhana respectively.

These four Arupa Jhanas have their corresponding effects in the Arupa spheres. The four Kriya Jhanas are experienced only by Buddhas and Arahats.

In all these twelve Jhana Cittas are found the two Jhana factors - Upekkha and ekaggata - equanimity and one-pointedness that constitute the fifth Rupa Jhana.


Supra Mundane Consciousness - 8

ž 9

(lokuttara kusala cittani-4)

(1) Sotapatti-maggacittam,

(2) Sakadagami-maggacittam,

(3) Anagami-maggacittam,

(4) Arahatta-maggacitta˝ c'ati.

Imani cattari'pi Lokuttara-kusalacittani nama.

(lokuttara vipaka cittani-4)

(5) Sotapatti-phalacittam,

(6) Sakadagami-phalacittam,

(7) Anagami-phalacittam,

(8) Arahatta-phalacitta˝ c'ati.

Imani cattari'pi Lokuttara-vipakacittani nama.
Icce'vam sabbatha'pi attha Lokuttara-Kusala-Vipaka-cittani samattani.
Catumaggapphedhena-catudha kusalam tatha
Pakam tassa phalatta'ti-atthadha nuttaram matam
Dvadasakusalan'evam - kusalan' ekavisati
Chattims' eva vipakani - kriyacittani visati.
Catupa˝˝asadha kame - rupe pannaras'iraye
Cittani dvadas' aruppe - atthadha'n uttare tatha

ž 9

(Moral Supra mundane Consciousness-4)

(1) Sotapatti Path-consciousness,

(2) Sakadagami Path-consciousness,

(3) Anagami Path-consciousness,

(4) Arahatta Path-consciousness.

These are the four types of Supra mundane Moral consciousness.

(Resultant Supra mundane Consciousness-4)

(5) Sotapatti Fruit-consciousness,

(6) Sakadagami Fruit-consciousness,

(7) Anagami Fruit-consciousness,

(8) Arahatta Fruit-consciousness.

These are the four types of Supra mundane Moral and Resultant consciousness. Thus end, in all, the eight types of supra mundane Moral and Resultant consciousness. Differing according to the four Paths, the Moral Consciousness is fourfold. So are the Resultants, being their fruits. The Supra mundane should be understood as eightfold.


Thus the "Immorals" are twelve, the "Morals" are twenty-one, the "Resultants" are thirty-six, the "Functionals" are twenty.

In the Sensuous Sphere, they say, are fifty-four types of consciousness, in the Form-Sphere are fifteen, in the Formless-Sphere are twelve, in the supra mundane are eight.


121 Types of Consciousness
(ekavisasatani cittani-121)

ž 10.

Ittham'ekuna navuti - ppabhedham pana manasam

Ekavisasatam v'atha - vibhajanti vicakkhana.

Katham'ekuna navutividham cittam ekavisasatam hoti?

(1) Vitakka-vicara-piti-sukh'ekaggata-sahitam


(2) Vicara-piti-sukh'ekaggata-sahitam Dutiyajjhana-


(3) Piti-sukh'ekaggata-sahitam Tatiyajjhana Sotapatti-maggacittam,

(4) Sukh'ekaggata-sahitam Catutthajjhana Sotapatti-maggacittam,

(5) Upekkh'ekaggata-sahitam Pa˝camajjhana Sotapatti-maggacitta˝ c'ati.

Imani pa˝ca pi Sotapatti-maggacittani nama.

Tatha Sakadagami-magga, Anagami-magga, Arahatta-maggacitta˝ c'ati samavisati maggacittani. Tatha phalacittani c'ati samacattalisa Lokuttaracittani bhavanti'ti.

1. Jhanangayogabhedhena - ketv'ekekan tu pa˝cadha

Vuccata nuttaram cittam - cattalisavidhanti ca.

2. Yatha ca rupavacaram - gayhata nuttaram tatha

Pathamadijhanabhede - aruppa˝ca'pi pa˝came

3. Ekadasavidham tasma - pathamadikam'iritam

Jhanan ekekam' ante tu - tevisatividham bhave.

4. Sattatimsavidham pu˝˝am - dvipa˝˝asavvidham tatha

Pakam iccahu cittani - ekavisasatam budha'ti.

Iti Abhidhammatthasangahe Cittasangahavibhago nama pathamo paricchedo.

ž 10.

These different classes of consciousness, which thus number eighty-nine, the wise divide into one hundred and twenty-one.

How does consciousness which is analyzed into eighty-nine become one hundred and twenty-one?

1. The First Jhana Sotapatti Path-consciousness together with initial application, sustained application, joy, happiness, and one-pointedness,

2. The Second Jhana Sotapatti Path-consciousness together with sustained application, joy, happiness, and one-pointedness,

3. The Third Jhana Sotapatti Path-consciousness together with joy, happiness, and one-pointedness,

4. The Fourth Jhana Sotapatti Path-consciousness together with happiness and one-pointedness,

5. The Fifth Jhana Sotapatti Path-consciousness together with equanimity and one-pointedness.

These are the five types of Sotapatti Path-consciousness.

So are the Sakadagami Path-consciousness, Anagami Path-consciousness, and Arahatta Path-consciousness, making exactly twenty classes of consciousness. Similarly there are twenty classes of Fruit-consciousness. Thus there are forty types of supra mundane consciousness.


1. Dividing each (supra mundane) consciousness into five kinds according to different Jhana factors, the supra mundane consciousness, it is said, becomes forty.

2. As the Form-Sphere consciousness is treated as first Jhana consciousness and so on, even so is the supra mundane consciousness. The Formless-Sphere consciousness is included in the fifth Jhana.

3. Thus the Jhanas beginning from the first amount to eleven, they say. The last Jhana (i.e., the fifth) totals twenty-three.

4. Thirty-seven are Morals, fifty-two are Resultants; thus the wise say that there are one-hundred and twenty-one types of consciousness.

Thus ends the first chapter of the Abhidhammattha Sangaha which deals with the Analysis of the Consciousness

45. The Realization of Nibbana.

The Yogi who wishes to realize Nibbana tries to understand things as they truly are. With his one-pointed mind he scrutinizes his self and, on due examination, discovers that his so-called "Ego-personality" is nothing but a mere composition of mind and matter - the former consisting of fleeting mental states that arise as a result of the senses coming into contact with the sense-stimuli, and the latter of forces and qualities that manifest them-selves in multifarious phenomena.

Having thus gained a correct view of the real nature of his self, freed from the false notion of an identical substance of mind and matter, he attempts to investigate the cause of this "Ego-personality." He realizes that everything worldly, himself not excluded, is conditioned by causes past or present, and that this existence is due to past ignorance (avijja), craving (tanha), attachment (upadana), Kamma, and physical food (ahara) of the present life. On account of these five causes this personality has arisen and as the past activities have conditioned the present, so the present will condition the future. Meditating thus, he transcends all doubts with regard to the past, present, and future (kankha-vitarana-visuddhi). Thereupon he contemplates that all conditioned things are transient (anicca), subject to suffering (dukkha), and devoid of an immortal soul (anatta). Wherever he turns his eyes, he sees nothing but these three characteristics standing out in bold relief. He realizes that life is a mere flowing, continuous undivided movement. Neither in a celestial plane nor on earth does he find any genuine happiness, for every form of pleasure is only a prelude to pain. What is transient is therefore subject to suffering and where change and sorrow prevail there cannot be a permanent ego.

As he is thus absorbed in meditation, a day comes when, to his surprise, he witnesses an aura emanating from his body (obhasa). He experiences an unprecedented pleasure, happiness, and quietude. He becomes evenminded and strenuous. His religious fervour increases, and mindfulness becomes perfect, and Insight extraordinarily keen.

Mistaking this advanced state of moral progress for Sainthood, chiefly owing to the presence of the aura, he develops a liking for this mental state. Soon the realization comes that these new developments are only obstacles to moral progress and he cultivates the 'purity of Knowledge' with regard to the 'Path' and 'Non-path' (maggamagga-˝anadassana visuddhi).

Perceiving the right path, he resumes his meditation on the arising (udaya ˝ana) and passing away (vaya ˝ana) of conditioned things. Of these two characteristics the latter becomes more impressed in his mind, because change is more conspicuous than becoming. Therefore he turns his attention to the contemplation of the dissolution of things (bhanga ˝ana). He perceives that both mind and matter, which constitute his personality, are in a state of constant flux, not remaining for two consecutive moments the same. To him then comes the knowledge that all dissolving things are fearful (bhaya ˝ana). The whole world appears to him like a pit of burning embers, a source of danger. Subsequently he reflects on the wretchedness and vanity (adinava ˝ana) of the fearful world and feeling disgusted with it (nibbida ˝ana), wishes to escape therefrom (mu˝citukamyata ˝ana).

With this object in view, he meditates again on the three characteristics (patisankha ˝ana), and thereafter becomes completely indifferent to all conditioned things - having neither attachment nor aversion for any worldly object (sankharupekkha ˝ana). Reaching this point of mental culture, he takes for his object of special endeavour one of the three characteristics that appeals to him most, and intently keeps on developing insight in that particular direction, until that glorious day when, for the first time, he realizes Nibbana, his ultimate goal.

A Javana thought-process then runs as follows:













When there is no Parikamma thought-moment, in the case of an individual with keen Insight, there arise three Phala thought-moments.

These nine kinds of Insight, viz:- Udaya, Vaya, Bhanga, Bhaya, adinava, Nibbida, Mu˝citukamyata, Patisankha, Sankharupekkha and Anuloma ˝ana are collectively called "Patipada ˝anadassana Visuddhi" - Purity of Knowledge and Vision as regards the Practice.

Insight found in this Supra mundane Path - Consciousness is known as Đanadassana Visuddhi - Purity of Knowledge and Vision.

When the spiritual pilgrim realizes Nibbana for the first time, he is called a Sotapanna - One who has entered the Stream that leads to Nibbana for the first time. He is no more a worldling (puthujjana) but an Ariya. He eliminates three Fetters - namely, Self-illusion (sakkaya ditthi), Doubts (vicikiccha), and Adherence to Wrongful Rites and Ceremonies (silabbata paramasa). As he has, not eradicated all the Fetters that bind him to existence, he is reborn seven times at the most. In his subsequent birth he may or may not be aware of the fact that he is a Sotapanna. Nevertheless, he possesses the characteristics peculiar to such a Saint.

He gains implicit confidence in the Buddha, Dhamma and the Sangha, and would never violate any of the five Precepts. He is moreover absolved from states of woe, for he is destined to Enlightenment.

Summoning up fresh courage as a result of this distant glimpse of Nibbana, the Aryan pilgrim makes rapid progress, and perfecting his Insight becomes a Sakadagami. (Once-Returner), by attenuating two other Fetters -namely, Sense-desire (kamaraga) and Ill-will (patigha).

In this case, too, and in the case of the other two advanced stages of Sainthood, a javana thought-process runs as above, but the gotrabhu thought-moment is termed "vodana" (pure) as the individual is purified.

A Sakadagami is reborn on earth only once in case he does not attain Arahatship in that life itself. It is interesting to note that the pilgrim who has attained the second stage of Sainthood can only weaken these two powerful fetters with which he is bound from a beginningless past. Occasionally he may be disturbed by thoughts of lust and anger to a slight extent.

It is by attaining the third stage of Sainthood, Anagami (State of a Never-Returner), that he completely discards the above two Fetters. Thereafter he neither returns to this world nor does he seek birth in celestial realms, since he has rooted out the desire for sensual pleasures. After death he is reborn in the "Pure Abodes" (suddhavasa) environment reserved for Anagamis and Arahats. There he attains Arahatship and lives till the end of his life.

Now the earnest pilgrim, encouraged by the unprecedented success of his endeavours, makes his final advance and destroying the remaining five Fetters - namely, Attachment to Form-sphere (ruparaga), Attachment to Formless Sphere (arupa raga), Conceit (mana), Restlessness (uddhacca), and Ignorance (avijja), attains Arahatship, the final stage of Sainthood.

It will be noted that the Fetters have to be eradicated in four stages. The Path (magga) thought-moment occurs only once. The Fruit (phala) thought moment immediately follows. In the Supra mundane classes of consciousness the effect of the kusala cittas is instantaneous. Hence it is called akalika (of immediate fruit); whereas in the case of lokiya cittas effects may take place in this life, or in a subsequent life, or at any time till one attains Parinibbana.

In the Mundane consciousness Kamma is predominant, while in the Supra mundane pa˝˝a or wisdom is predominant. Hence the four kusala lokuttara cittas are not treated as Kamma.

These eight cittas are called lokuttara. Here Loka means the Pa˝cupadana-kkhandha, the five Aggregates of Attachment. Uttara means that which transcends. Lokuttara therefore means that which transcends the world of Aggregates of Attachment. This definition strictly applies to the Four Paths. The Fruits are called Lokuttara because they have transcended the world of Aggregates of Attachment.

46. Forty Types of Lokuttara Cittas:-

One who has attained the First Jhana emerges from it and meditates on the impermanence, sorrowfulness, and soullessness of those mental states in that particular consciousness and ultimately realizes Nibbana. As the First Jhana was made the basis to realize Nibbana this lokuttara kusala thought is called-

Vitakka-Vicara-Piti-Sukh'Ekaggata-sahitam Pathamajjhana-Sotapattimagga-cittam.

This magga thought-moment is immediately followed by the phala thought-moment.

In the same manner the other four Jhanas are made the bases to realize Nibbana. Now, for each stage there are five Paths and five Fruits according to the different Jhanas. For the four stages there are forty classes of consciousness.


Diagram IV

Jhanas - 67


































































Diagram V

Lokuttara - 40


1st Jhana

2nd Jhana

3rd Jhana

4th Jhana

5th Jhana





























































Diagram VI

Akusala - 12
































Diagram VII

Ahetuka - 18







Akusala Vipaka





Kusala Vipaka











Diagram VIII

Kamavacara Sobhana - 24






























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Source: Tipitaka -der Pali Kanon des Theravada-Buddhismus, http://www.palikanon.com 

(See also: Vietnamese Translation by Pham Kim Khanh)

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updated: 14-08-2002