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A Manual of Abhidhamma
Edited in the original Pali
Text with English Translation and Explanatory Notes
Narada Maha Thera
CHAPTER VII -
1. Vatthudhamma - namely, 72. (1+52 +18 +1=72)
a. 1 - All the 89 types of consciousness are regarded as one as they all possess the characteristic of 'awareness'.
b. 52 - All mental states (cetasikas) are viewed separately as they possess different characteristics.
c. 18 - All the conditioned (nipphanna) rupas are considered separately since they differ in their characteristics.
d. 1 - Nibbana is one inasmuch as it possesses the characteristic of peacefulness.
All these 72 are subjective and objective realities described in the previous chapters. They are miscellaneously treated in this chapter.
2. Asava is derived from a + su, to flow. They are so called either because they flow up to the topmost plane of existence or because they persist as far as the gotrabhu consciousness (i.e., the thought-moment that immediately precedes the Path-consciousness of the 'Stream-winner' - sotapatti). These asavas are latent in all worldlings and may rise to the surface in any plane of existence. They lie dormant in all from an indefinite period and are treated as strong intoxicants or drugs that infatuate beings. Defilements, Corruptions, Depravities, Taints, Intoxicants, Stains, are suggested as the closest equivalents for this 'infamously famous' Pali term. See Compendium p. 170, n. 1; p. 227.
Of the four asavas, kamasava means attachment to sensual pleasures, bhavasava is attachment to rupa and arupa planes of existence, ditthasava are the sixty-two kinds of erroneous views, (see Digha Nikaya 1) and avijjasava is ignorance with regard to the four Noble Truths, past life, future life, both past and future lives, and the Law of Dependent Arising.
3. Ogha is derived from ava + han, to harm or kill. Beings caught in the current of a great flood are overturned and swept away directly to the sea and are hurled into the bottom. In the same way these oghas drown beings completely and sweep them away into states of misery.
4. Yoga is derived from yuj, to yoke. Yogas are those that yoke beings to the round of existence or to the machine of existence.
5. Ganthas are those that bind mind with body or the present body with bodies of future existences. Here the term kaya is used in the sense of mass or body both mental and physical.
6. Upadanani is derived from upa + a da, to give. Intense craving is implied by the term. Hence in the paticcasamuppada it is stated: Because of craving (tanha) there is attachment or grasping (upadana). Tanha is like a thief groping in the dark to steal some thing. Upadana is like the actual stealing.
7. Attavadupadana - Commentaries mention twenty kinds of soul-theories associated with the five Aggregates as follows:
(i) Soul is identical with the body,
Four soul-theories connected with each of the remaining four Aggregates should be similarly understood.
8. Nivaranani - is derived from ni + var, to obstruct, to hinder. They are so called because they obstruct the way to celestial and Nibbanic bliss. According to the commentary this term means that which prevents the arising of good thoughts in the way of jhanas, etc., or that which does not allow the jhanas to arise, or that which obstructs the eye of wisdom. See A Manual of Buddhism, pp. 113-115, and The Buddha and His Teachings, pp. 539-542.
Usually nivaranas are regarded as five, excluding ignorance.
Both sloth and torpor, restlessness and brooding, are grouped together because their functions (kicca), causes (ahara = hetu), and their opposing factors are similar. The function of sloth and torpor is mental inactivity; that of restlessness and brooding is disquietude. The cause of the first pair is laziness; that of the second pair is vexation about the loss of relatives, etc. Energy is opposed to the first pair; tranquillity, to the second pair.
Sense-desire is compared to water mixed with various colours; ill will, to boiling water; sloth and torpor, to water covered with moss; restlessness and brooding, to perturbed water caused by wind; indecision, to turbid and muddy water.
Just as one cannot perceive one's own reflection in muddy water, even so when one is obsessed by Hindrances one cannot perceive what is conducive to the good and happiness of oneself and others.
These Hindrances are temporarily inhibited by the jhanas. They are completely eradicated by attaining, the four stages of Sainthood. Doubt or indecision is eradicated by attaining sotapatti; sense-desire, ill will and brooding, by attaining Anagami; sloth, torpor, and restlessness by Arahatta.
9. Anusaya, derived from anu + si, to lie, to sleep, are those that lie dormant in oneself until an opportune moment arises for them to come to the surface as they have not been eradicated. All passions are anusayas; but these seven are the strongest. Every worldling who has reached the topmost jhana plane, when born amongst mankind, may give vent to these evil tendencies as they are latent in him.
10. Samyojana - from sam + yuj, to yoke, to bind, are those which bind beings to the round of existence. By means of the four Paths (magga) they are eradicated by degrees. See Ch. 1.
11. Kilesas are those which defile or torment the mind.
12. In the categories of evil the term kama is at times applied to kama-sphere, and bhava to both rupa and arupa spheres. Lobha is implied by both kama-tanha and bhava-tanha. Attachment to rupa and arupa-spheres is bhava-tanha. The three terms - silabbataparamasa (indulgence in rites and ceremonies), idamsaccabhinivesa (the dogmatic belief that this alone is truth) and attavadupadana (soul-theory) - connote ditthi (false view, or error). Both kamasava and bhavasava connote lobha. Strictly speaking, there are only three asavas, oghas, yogas, and ganthas. Similarly there are only two upadanas by way of lobha and ditthi.
When the two pairs - thina-middha and uddhacca-kukkucca - are treated as four mental states, nivaranas amount to eight. When kamaraga and bhavaraga are grouped in craving, anusayas amount to six. The ten samyojanas, according to Suttanta, are reduced to seven when kamaraga, ruparaga, aruparaga are included in lobha, and ditthi and silabbataparamasa in ditthi. The ten samyojanas are treated as eight when kamaraga and bhavaraga are included in lobha, and ditthi and silabbataparamasa in ditthi. Kilesas are precisely ten. Thus, it will be seen, that the 14 immoral mental states appear in different proportions in the nine categories of evil. Lobha is common to all.
13. Missakasangaho - This is so called because moral (kusala), immoral (akusala), and indeterminate (avyakata), are mixed in this section.
14. Hetu - See Chapter I.
15. Jhananga - Jhana is explained as that which burns up the opposing conditions of Hindrances, or that which closely perceives the object. Both these meanings are applicable to the ecstasies, gained by mental concentration. The six constituents of jhana are used in these two senses. When the same factors appear in a moral or immoral consciousness and 'displeasure' appears in an immoral consciousness, they are termed jhanangas in the second general sense. Only displeasure is immoral; the rest are moral, immoral, and indeterminate. See Chapter I.
16. Maggangani - Here magga is used in its general sense namely, that which leads to the presence of blissful states, woeful states, and Nibbana (sugati-duggatinam nibbanassa ca abhimukham papanato magga - Comm.). Of the twelve constituents the last four lead to woeful states; the rest, to the blissful states and Nibbana.
Strictly speaking, by these twelve constituents are meant nine mental states found in different types of consciousness. Of the four evil constituents, wrong views mean the immoral ditthi cetasika; wrong thoughts, wrong effort, and wrong one-pointedness mean the vitakka, vayama, and ekaggata cetasikas respectively found in the immoral types of consciousness.
Right Understanding means the pa˝˝a cetasika; right thoughts, right effort, right mindfulness, and right one-pointedness mean the vitakka, vayama, sati and ekaggata cetasikas respectively, found in the moral and indeterminate types of consciousness. Right speech, right action, and right livelihood are the three Abstinences (virati) found collectively in the supramundane consciousness and separately in mundane moral types of consciousness. The first eight are collectively found only in the eight types of supramundane consciousness. By the noble Eightfold Path are meant these eight specific mental states.
17. Indriya - So called because they possess a controlling power in their respective spheres. The first five are the sensitive organs described earlier. The sixth and seventh are collectively called bhavindriya. Vitality is both physical and mental. 10, 11, 12, 13, and 14 represent five kinds of feeling. 15,16,17,18, and 19 are treated both as Faculties and Powers as they influence their co-adjuncts and as they overcome their opposing forces. The last three Faculties are very important and they pertain to the supramundane. By ana˝˝atam is meant the Nibbana never seen before. It is at the first stage of Sainthood (sotapatti) that the four Truths are realized for the first time. Hence the knowledge of the sotapatti Path is technically called ana˝˝atam ˝assami't' indriyam. The intermediate six kinds of knowledge from the sotapatti Fruit to the Arahatta Path are termed a˝˝a (derived from a = perfect + ˝a, to know), highest knowledge. As the wisdom found in all these seven types of supramundane consciousness controls the coexisting 37 Factors of Enlightenment, it is termed indriya. An Arahat is called an a˝˝atavi because he has fully realized the four Noble Truths. The last Faculty refers to the highest knowledge of the Arahat in the Fruit stage.
18. Balani - These nine Powers are so called because they cannot be shaken by the opposing forces and because they strengthen their co-adjuncts. The first seven are moral; the last two, immoral. The first seven, in order, are opposed to faithlessness, laziness, heedlessness, restlessness, ignorance, moral shamelessness, and moral fearlessness. The last two immoral Powers are found only in the immoral twelve types of consciousness and they consolidate their co-adjuncts.
19. Adhipati, lit., supremacy, or lordship therein. The difference between adhipati and indriya should be clearly understood. Adhipati may be compared to a king who, as the sole head of the State, lords over all his ministers. Indriyas are compared to the king's ministers who control only their respective departments without interfering with the others. The Faculty of eye, for instance, controls only its coexisting rupas without any interference with the controlling faculty of the ear. In the case of adhipati, one dominates all the other coexisting factors with no resistance from any. No two adhipatis can exercise supreme authority simultaneously. Indriyas can have their compeers.
20. Here citta refers to the javana thought-process and vimamsa to the faculty of wisdom (pa˝˝indriya).
21. Ahara, in this connection, is used in the sense of sustenance. Edible food (kabalikarahara) sustains the material body. Phassahara or contact or sense-impact sustains the five kinds of feeling. By manosamcetanahara are meant the different kinds of volitions present in the 29 types of moral and immoral mundane consciousness. They sustain or produce rebirth in the three spheres. Vi˝˝anahara signifies the rebirth-consciousness that sustains the mental states and material phenomena (nama-rupa) which arise simultaneously. There are 19 such types of rebirth-consciousness. In the case of Mindless Spheres they sustain only rupa; in the case of Formless Spheres they sustain only nama. In the existences where the five Aggregates are present they sustain both mind and matter.
22. No jhana constituents are present in the 10 types of sense-cognitions because the sense-impressions are weak, and close perception of the object is absent.
23. Effortless states are the sixteen types of consciousness, namely, ten sense-cognitions, two sampaticchanas, three santiranas, and the sense-door consciousness (pa˝cadvaravajjana). One-pointedness present in them is not very strong.
24. The Rootless are the 18 ahetuka-cittas.
25. The one pointedness present in the vicikiccha-citta serves only to stabilize the mind. It is not powerful.
26. There are no adhipatis in the ahetuka and ekahetuka cittas.
27. Strictly speaking, there are five jhana constituents because the three kinds of feeling could be treated as one; path constituents are nine, since wrong thoughts, effort, and one-pointedness are included in vitakka, viriya and ekaggata respectively. Indriyas are sixteen when the five kinds of feelings are grouped in one, and the three supramundane in pa˝˝a.
28. Bodhipakkhiya - Bodhi means Enlightenment or the aspirant for Enlightenment. Pakkhiya, literally, means 'on the side of'.
29. Satipatthana - sati = mindfulness, awareness, or attentiveness; patthana = establishment, application, foundations, bases. These satipatthanas are intended to develop both concentration and insight. Each satipatthana serves a specific purpose. Contemplation on these four leads, on the one hand, to the development of 'undesirableness' (asubha), painfulness (dukkha), impermanence (anicca), and 'soullessness' (anatta); and, on the other hand, to the eradication of 'desirableness', pleasure, permanence and substantiality.
Briefly, the objects of mindfulness may be divided into nama and rupa. The first - which deals with rupa, breath is also regarded as a kind of rupa. The second and the third deal with different kinds of feelings and thoughts. The fourth deals with both nama and rupa. Hence it is very difficult to render the Pali term, Dhamma, used in this connection, by one English equivalent. It is preferable to retain the Pali term to avoid any misunderstanding.
For details see the Satipatthana Sutta and the commentary.
30. Sammappadhana (Right exertion) - One mental state - viriya - performs four functions.
31. Iddhipada - The means of accomplishing one's own end or purpose. Strictly speaking, all these four pertain to the Supramundane Consciousness. Chanda is the mental state 'wish-to-do'. Viriya refers to the four Supreme Efforts. Citta means the Supramundane Consciousness. Vimamsa signifies the mental state of wisdom present in the Supramundane Consciousness. Only when these four are present in the Supramundane Consciousness are they termed iddhipada.
32. Indriyas and Balas are identical though different meanings are attached to them.
33. Sambojjhanga - Sam = exalted, good; bodhi = enlightenment or one who is striving for enlightenment; anga = factor. Here dhammavicaya means seeing mind and matter as they truly are. It is insight. By passaddhi are meant both citta-passaddhi and kaya-passaddhi mental states. Upekkha does not mean hedonic indifference but mental equipoise known as tatramajjhattata. Dhammavicaya, viriya, and piti are opposed to thina-middha (sloth and torpor); passaddhi, samadhi, and upekkha, to uddhacca (restlessness).
34. Maggangani - According to the commentaries, here magga is used in two different senses, namely, 'that which is sought by those who strive for Nibbana', or 'that which goes by killing the passions' (nibbanatthikehi maggiyati'ti va kilese marento gacchati' ti maggo). Evidently this particular definition has been given to differentiate the noble Eightfold Path from an ordinary one.
Strictly speaking, these eight factors connote eight mental states collectively found in the supramundane consciousness that has Nibbana for its object.
Samma-ditthi is rendered by Right Understanding, Right Views, Right Beliefs, Right Knowledge. Samma-ditthi is explained as the knowledge of the four Noble Truths. In other words, it is the understanding of one's personality as it really, is or of things as they truly are. According to Abhidhamma, it is the mental state of wisdom (pa˝˝a) that tends to eradicate ignorance (avijja). It is placed first because all actions should be regulated by wisdom. Right Understanding leads to Right Thoughts.
Samma-sankappa is rendered by Thoughts, Aspirations, Intentions, Ideas. According to Abhidhamma it is the mental state of vitakka (application) that directs the mind to Nibbana, eliminating the evil thoughts of sense-desires (kama), ill will (vyapada) and cruelty (himsa), by cultivating the good thoughts of renunciation (nekkhamma), loving-kindness (avyapada), and harmlessness (avihimsa).
The first two constituents are grouped in wisdom (pa˝˝a).
Right Thoughts lead to Right Speech, Right Action, and Right Livelihood. These three constitute sila or Morality.
Samma-vaca signifies abstinence from lying, slandering, harsh speech, and frivolous talk.
Samma-kammanta deals with abstinence from killing, stealing, and misconduct.
Samma-jiva is twofold. It deals with right livelihood of both Bhikkhus and laymen. The latter are prohibited from trading in arms, slaves, intoxicants, animals for slaughter, and poison.
The three mental states of 'Abstinences' (virati) are implied by these three constituents.
Samma-vayama signifies the four Supreme Efforts mentioned above.
Samma-sati denotes the four kinds of Mindfulness mentioned above.
Samma-samadhi is concentration or the 'one pointedness of the mind'. It is the mental state of 'ekaggata'.
The last three are included in samadhi or concentration.
The eight constituents comprise Morality, Concentration, and Wisdom or Insight.
35. Effort (viriya) occurs nine times as follows:
4 Supreme Efforts, 1 Means of Accomplishment, 1 Controlling Factor, 1 Power, 1 Constituent of Enlightenment, 1 Right Effort.
Mindfulness (sati) occurs eight times as follows:
4 Foundations of Mindfulness, 1 Controlling Factor; 1 Power, 1 Constituent of Enlightenment, 1 Right Mindfulness.
Concentration (samadhi) occurs four times as follows:
1 Controlling Factor, 1 Power, 1 Constituent of Enlightenment, and 1 Right Mindfulness.
Wisdom (pa˝˝a) occurs five times as follows:
1 Means of Accomplishment, 1 Controlling Factor 1 Power, 1 Constituent of Enlightenment, and 1 Right Understanding.
Confidence (saddha) occurs twice as follows:
1 Controlling Factor, 1 Power.
When the Supramundane Consciousness based on the second jhana is gained, there is no vitakka. When it is gained based on the fourth and fifth jhanas, there is no piti.
These 37 factors are collectively found only in the Supramundane Consciousness, but in the mundane separately according to the type of consciousness.
A Synthesis of
'the Whole' (36)
36. Category of all such as Aggregates, etc.
37. Khandha means group, mass, aggregate. The Buddha analyses the so-called being into five groups. All the past, present, and future material phenomena are collectively called rupakkhandha. The other four divisions should be similarly understood.
38. Here the term Sankhara is used in a specific sense. Of the 52 mental states, feeling is one, and perception is another. The remaining 50 mental states are collectively called sankhara. Mental formations, propensities, tendencies, syntheses, do not exactly convey the meaning of the Pali term. Even 'volitional activities' is not very appropriate.
'Mental states' is too general, but is not misleading.
39. Upadanakkhandha. They are so called because they form the objects of clinging or grasping. The eight supramundane states of consciousness and mental states found therein, and the ten material qualities not born of Kamma. are not treated as upadanakkhandha.
40. Ayatana means a field, sphere, basis.
41.Cakkhayatana means the sensitive part of the eye which responds to visual stimuli. The four remaining sense-organs should be similarly understood.
42. Manayatana - There is no special organ for the mind like the physical organs. By mind-sphere is meant the 'adverting consciousness' (manodvaravajjana) together with the preceding 'arrest bhavanga' (bhavangupaccheda). See Chapter I.
43. Dhatu is that which bears its own characteristic.
44. Dhamma-dhatu is synonymous with dhammayatana but differs from dhammarammana as it does not include citta (consciousness), pa˝˝atti (concepts), and pasada-rupas (sensitive material phenomena).
45. Manovi˝˝anadhatu - Of the 89 classes of consciousness 76 types of consciousness are regarded as mind-consciousness, excluding the tenfold sense-consciousness (dvipa˝cavi˝˝ana) and the three manodhatu (= two types of receiving-consciousness and sense-door consciousness).
46. Ariyasacca - The Pali term for truth is sacca which means that which is. Its Sanskrit equivalent is satya which denotes an incontrovertible fact. The Buddha enunciates four such truths which are associated with so-called beings. They are called ariyasaccani because they were discovered by the Greatest Ariya, the Buddha, who was far removed from passions .
The first truth deals with dukkha which, for need of a better English equivalent, is inappropriately rendered by suffering or sorrow. As a feeling dukkha means that which is difficult to endure. As an abstract truth dukkha is used in the sense of contemptible (du) emptiness (kha). The world rests on suffering - hence it is contemptible. It is devoid of any reality - hence it is empty or void. Dukkha, therefore, means contemptible void.
The cause of this suffering is craving or attachment (tanha) which leads to repeated births. The third Noble Truth is Nibbana which can be achieved in this life itself by the total eradication of all forms of craving. The fourth Truth is the Noble Eightfold Path or the Middle Way.
Source: Tipitaka -der Pali Kanon des Theravada-Buddhismus, http://www.palikanon.com
(See also: Vietnamese Translation by Pham Kim Khanh)