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The Mind in Early Buddhism

Bhikkhu Thich Minh Thanh

New Delhi, 2001

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This chapter as continuation of the previous one is also an attempt to depict the citta in the same investigative manner and style as stated in the latter's initial words. The only difference is that whereas the previous chapter deals with the ordinary states of citta, this one deals with the cultivated or advanced states. They are incorporated into the five headings presented in the following pages:

1. Receptive, Wieldy, Ready for Truth Citta.

(a) Uplifted Heart:

The Maha-vagga in the Aṅguttara Nikāya relates the story about general Sīha, the former follower of Nigantha who was converted into a Buddhist after his interview with the Buddha [1].

At the beginning of the sermon addressed especially to Sīha the general, the Buddha taught him on the basic doctrines suitable for laymen as almsgiving, the precepts, and heaven, then the Exalted One continued the sermon with the analysis of the peril, the folly and the depravity of lusts and the blessedness of renunciation.

It was when the citta of Sīha had become clear, malleable, free from hindrance, uplifted and lucid (kallacittaṃ, muducittaṃ, vinivaraṇacittaṃ, udaggacittaṃ, and pasannacittaṃ), the Exalted One began expounding the subtler "dhamma which Buddhas alone have won, that is to say: Ill, its coming-to-be, its ending and the Way. Just as a clean cloth, free of all stain, will take dye perfectly; even so in Sīha, the general, seated there, there arose the spotless, stainless vision of Dhamma; that whatever be conditioned by coming-to-be all that is subject to ending"[2].

It is noticeable that kallacittaṃ, muducittaṃ, vinīvaraṇacittaṃ, udaggacittaṃ, and pasannacittaṃ, which can be rendered as clear, malleable, free from hindrance, uplifted and lucid respectively, are acquirable as the consequences of hearing the dhamma preached by the Buddha. The cittas are of course in the state of higher elevation in comparison to the former states before the hearing.

Let us made minuter inquiry into their meanings. In kallacitta, kalla or kalya means ready, prepared; kallacitta in some case is compatible with kammaniya-citta and casted into the sentences such as 'her mind was prepared for, responsive to the teaching of the dhamma'; kalla-cittatā means the preparedness of the mind. So kalla-citta in this context mainly denotes the citta which has been well prepared by being taught in the basic dhamma; and as the result of this preparation the citta gets into the mood of readiness especially for hearing the dhamma, as suggested in the foregoing passage, of the higher level. In progressive terms, the basic dhammas mature the citta so as it can gets the best out of the advanced dhammas.

Mudu, as component of mudducitta, means soft, mild, weak, and tender; mudducitta is equivalent with mudduka in their suggesting of flexible, pliable, and soft. So mudducitta suggests a feasible state of citta which can easily adapt itself to the outside interference especially, as suggested, the higher dhamma. 'Malleable' should be, I think, the nicest and most suggestive in the context because it reminiscently prompts one of the unique properties of pure gold.

Vinīvaraṇacitta is the citta characterized by vinīvaraṇa. Vinīvaraṇa (adj), comprised of vi+nīvaraṇa, means unobstructed, unbiased and unprejudiced. So vinīvaraṇacitta would mean an unbiased mind. It was, somehow, translated as 'free from hindrance'. Nīvaraṇa remind us of the five hindrances, their subvention, and their defiant opposites that we have already discussed in the foregoing heading.

Udagga, the combination of ud+agga, literally means 'out-top'. When it is used as a modifier of citta its figurative meaning would be elated, exalted, exultant, joyful, happy. Hence the rendering 'uplifted'.

Pasanna means clear, bright; happy, gladdened, reconciled, pleased; pleased in one's conscience, believing, trusting, pious, and virtuous. In combination with citta, 'pious' is selected and pasannacitta is rendered as devotion in one's heart.

In fine, the manipulative employment of the series of citta's modifiers: 'kalla, mudu, vinīvaraṇa, udagga and pasanna' implicitly suggests an untiring attempt to describe the mood of citta where there is so much of wholesomeness that one single term would fail to be satisfactory. Hence many attributes are resorted to.

(b) Transported Heart:

In the elegant words the thera Vangīsa expressed in praise of Sāriputta when the latter preached the doctrine in an exquisite manner, we chance upon the udaggacittā again[3]:

And like the myna-bird's sweet song
His exposition poureth forth.
And while he teaches, they who hear
His honeyed speech in tones they love
Of voice enchanting, musical,
With ravished ears, transported heart (udaggacittā)
Delighted, list his every word[4]

As already mentioned udagga in the elaboration relates to the story of the general Sīha, the combination of ud+agga, literally means 'out-top'; and as a modifier of citta, it figuratively means elated, exalted, exultant, joyful, happy. Hence the rendering 'uplifted' was made in the previous passage.

Udaggacittā here is rendered as 'transported hearts' that in the context were resulted from listening to the Dhamma lectured by Sāriputta. The features of Sāriputta's dhamma are comparable to the "myna-bird's sweet song", and with honeyed tones. All this was generated from Sariputta's gift: learned lore, expertise in methods true and false, great wisdom, and conformity to the Norm. So the rendering of udaggacittā should connote the idea of 'positive' in character and 'ascending or rising' in direction which the verb 'transport' is slightly suggestive of.

(c) Giddy-Patted Heart:

The following passage relates a delectable legend about the dialogue between a goddess and a bhikkhu. The bhikhu was in such a relation with the family that his purpose toward tranquillity and emancipation might be, from the standpoint of the goddess it seemed, troubled. In view of warning the bhikkhu from such a distractive circumstance the goddess under the guise of a family woman appeared before him, saying[5]:

Along the rivers, resting by the gates,
In mote-halls and along the chariot-roads
The folk foregather and discussions rise:
Of me it is, and thee now why is this?[6]

The bhikkhu, however, was fully aware of the situation, and though in such an adversity confirmed his positive attitude with the following words[7]:

Ay, there is busy to-and-fro of words,
And a recluse must bear it patiently.
Not thereby should he feel annoyed, for not
Whose at sounds is flustered and dismayed,
Like any antelope within the woods,
Men call him giddy-pated, feather-brained (lahucitto)
The practice he may plan he'll ne'er complete[8].

Lahu (adj) means light, quick; lahucitta, 'light-minded'. In the above passage it receives the poetic rendering as 'giddy-pated, feather-brained' which denotes the negative character of the citta. The negative shade was illustrated by the simile: 'at sounds is flustered and dismayed | Like any antelope within the woods'.

such a mood of citta should be transformed into the stronger one by cultivating the patience. Comparatively speaking, the malleable and open property immanent in kallacittaṃ, muducittaṃ, vinīvaraṇacittaṃ, udaggacittaṃ, and pasannacittaṃ of the general Sīha is recommendable whereas the precarious characteristics immanent in the above-mentioned lahucitta should be safeguarded from. Or else, 'the practice he may plan he'll ne'er complete'.

2. Calmed, Allayed and Passionless Citta.

The modifier vūpasanta (p.p. of vūpasammati) in vūpasanta citta means 'appeased, allayed, calmed'. Vūpasanta citta denotes the citta in the mood of being appeased, allayed, and calmed. In the Udumparika-Sihanada-Suttanta of the Dīgha Nikāya, vūpasanta citta is casted into the sentence: 'ajjhattaṃ vūpasanta-citto uddhacca-kukkuccā cittaṃ parisodheti' that can be rendered as 'with citta serene within, he purifies his citta of flurry and worry'. Here, again the citta is understood in the double juxtaposed shades of meaning: in 'ajjhattaṃ vūpasanta-citto' where the (1) instrumental citta is used as an internal means to purify the (2) personalized citta 'uddhacca-kukkuccā cittaṃ' which is the object that the act of purifying is targeted on. The spective passage runs[9]: "Putting away the hankering after the world, he abides with unhankering heart (vigatābhijjhena cetasā viharati), and purifies his mind of covetousness (abhijjhāya cittaṃ parisodheti)... Putting away flurry and worry, he abides free from excitement; with heart serene within, he purifies his mind of flurry and worry (ajjhattaṃ vūpasanto-citto uddhacca-kukkuccā cittaṃ parisodheti)..."[10].

the five hindrances that may obstruct the meditating process are often mentioned as five nīvaranas. They are:

(1) Kāmacchanda: sensuous desire;
(2) Vyāpāda: ill-will;
(3) Thīna-middha: sloth and torpor;
(4) Uddhacca-kukkucca: restlessness and scruples;
(5) Vicikicchā: skeptical doubt.

In regard to the above nīvarana the nīvarana vagga of the Saṃyutta Nikāya provides us with the five unwholesome factors that may serve as nourishment for the nīvarana and the five wholesome factors that can be resorted to whenever the aspirant for emancipation measures to get rid of them. In other words, the five hindrances to the meditative progress are backed by the former and confronted by the latter. All the three groups can be tabulated as follows:

Table 8:


Backed by

Confronted by






Mettā ceto-vimutti










(1) aratī, tandī, vijambhiā, bhatta-sammado, līnattaṃ, all these words mean regret, drowsiness, languor, surfeit after meals and torpidity of mind respectively.

(2) arambha-, nikkama-, parakkama-dhātu, the three words mean the elements of putting forth effort, of exertion, and of striving respectively.

It is noted that the uddhacca-kukkucca is backed by the avūpasanta-cittassa and confronted by just the opposite force given by the vūpasanta-cittassa. The former is rendered as the mind (citta) of non-tranquility; the latter, as the mind (citta) of tranquility. The uddhacca-kukkucca is a mental mood in conformity with the citta modified by either avūpasanta or vūpasanta. In regard to the avūpasanta-citta or vūpasanta-citta as catalyst that has most to do with the efficacy or the nullification of uddhacca-kukkucca, the Aṅguttara passage reads: 'Monks, I know not of any other single thing of such power to cause the arising of excitement-and-flurry, if not already arisen: or, if arisen, to cause its more-becoming and increase, as non-tranquility of mind | In him who is of troubled mind arises excitement-and-flurry, if not already arisen: or if arisen, it is liable to more-becoming and increase... | Monks, I know not of any other single thing of such power to prevent the arising of excitement-and-flurry, if not already arisen: or, if arisen, to cause its abandonment, as tranquility of mind | In the tranquil-minded excitement-and-flurry arises not: or, if arisen, it is abandoned'[11].

'Cittavūpassama' is recommended as the suitable state of the bhikkhus' citta. When the Buddha was staying at Jetavanna, Anāthapiṇḍika's ārāma, there appeared the deva Kassapaputta who was encouraged by the Exalted One to utter what he thought of the most feasible activities supposed to be done by a bhikkhu. Kassapaputta uttered the following stanza whose closing words are highly in praising of "the mastering of the heart's unrest (cittavūpasamassa)". The text reads:

Well then, Kassapa,
say what has occurred to thee.
See that in what hath been so finely said
Ye train yourselves: in the recluse's task,
In mysteries of the solitary seat,
In mastering of the heart's unrest
The verse was approved by the Exalted One[12].

3. Composed Citta.

(a) Devoted Citta:

In this section attempts will be made to explore the pleasant states of citta when it is in connect with the wholesome qualities such as bright, clear, or devoted (pasīdati, -sanna); springing forward (pakkhandati, -dana); pure, happy, bright, sinless (vippasīdati, vippasanna or pasanna); remained, established, settled, self-restrained (santiṭṭhati); concentrated (samādhi); sink down, subside, become quiet (sannisīdati, -sinna), and the like.

In the Kosala Saṃyutta the king Pasenadi interviews the Buddha on a series of relating questions. The Lord illustratively explains them all. The king raises the question about the place where gifts should be done to; and where gifts should be done to, consequently the offering renders highly meritorious. The devoted citta (cittaṃ pasīdati) and the observance of virtue (sīla) are said to be strongly recommended for the gifts under question. The Saṃyutta passage reads[13]: "The king, the Kosalan Pasenadi, said: 'To whom, lord, should gifts be given?' 'There, sire, where the heart is pleased to give (cittaṃ pasīdatī)'. 'But to whom given, lord, does a gift bear much fruit?' 'This, sire, is a very different question from that which you first ask me. A gift bears much fruitful result if given to a virtuous person, not to a vicious person...'"[14]. It should be noted that 'cittaṃ pasīdatī' could be rendered as the heart full of grace, or settled in faith.

(b) Springing Forward Citta:

The Buddha usually sums up all the physical and mental phenomena of existence into the stereotype of Five Khandhas, known as groups or aggregations as follows:

(1) Rūpa-kkhandha (Corporeality aggregate);
(2) Vedanā-khandha (feeling aggregate);
(3) Saññā-khandha (Perception Aggregate);
(4) Sankhāra-khandha (Mental-Formation Aggregate); and,
(5) Viññāṇa-kkhanda (Consciousness Aggregate).

On the basis of the khandhas' characteristics of impermanence and unreliability, the Buddha advocates that it is fully fatuous to identify oneself with any of them singly or all of them as a whole. The conceptual understanding of the anatta doctrine, however, does not help much in terms of actual practice and realization.

The following story of Thera Channa is apt to reveal that it is not easy to bridge over the gap between the understanding of the noble tenet and its life incarnate. The Channa Saṃyutta relates the story about him whose citta was in such a perturbing situation. He saw, as the other monks were supposed to do, that all the five khandhas are impermanent and would not be identified with ego, but his citta had not got the desirable states whereas those of the others had. The text runs[15]: "Then the venerable Channa thought thus: 'Yes, I too see this. Impermanent is body, feeling, perception, the activities, and consciousness. Body is not the self, and feeling, perception, the activities and consciousness is not the self. Impermanent are all the compounded things. All conditions are not the Self. || Nevertheless, for the calming of all activities, for the giving up of all the bases of birth, for the destruction of craving, for passionlessness, for cessation, for Nibbāna, my heart springs not up within me. It is not calmed, it is not released from trembling (cittaṃ na pakkhandati na pasīdati na santiṭṭhati na vimuccati paritassanā). But grasping arises, and my mind shrinks back again (at the thought), 'who forsooth is the Self?' This way I can not see the Norm"[16].

Pakkhandati, pasīdati, santiṭhati and vimuccati which mean to spring up, to be calmed, to stand still and to emancipate respectively are the predicates indicating the plausible capabilities which the citta is to be inherent of. The thing left to the bhikkhus' endeavor is the citta being properly cultivated.

(c) Vippasanna Citta:

Satipaṭṭhāna as a method of mental cultivation which dates back to the early time of primitive Buddhism, occupying the two whole suttas which are named after it: Sutta 22 in the Dīgha Nikāya and Sutta 10 in the Majjhima Nikāya. Both the suttas have much to do with the cultivation of citta and reserve for the doctrine of satipaṭṭhāna the unique position in Buddhist practice, considering it as being the most fruitful. In accordance, it receives at the beginning and the end of those suttas mentioned the weighty words:  "The only way that leads to the attainment of purity, to the overcoming of sorrow and lamentation, to the end of pain and grief, to the entering of the right path, and to the realization of Nibbāna are the four Foundation of Mindfulness". It is also known as the four Awareness of Mindfulness (sati-upaṭṭhāna), which consists of:

(1) Kāyānupassanā  (Contemplation of the Body);
(2) Vedanānupassanā (Contemplation of the Feeling);
(3) Cittānupassanā (Contemplation of the Mind); and
(4) Dhammānupassanā (Contemplation of the Mind-objects).

The Satipaṭṭhāna Saṃyutta makes it known to us that the practise should be the subject matter given to the new converts who would get along with it until their attainment of Arahantship. The respective excerpt from the Saṃyutta runs[17]: "Come ye, friends, do ye abide in body contemplating body (as transient), ardent, composed and one-pointed, of tranquil mind (vippasannacitta), calmed down, of concentrated mind (ekaggacitta) for insight into body as it really is. |...In mind (citte), do ye abide contemplating mind (as transient), ardent... for insight into mind as it really is. | In mind-states (sometimes replaced by mind-objects) do ye abide contemplating mind-states (as transient), ardent, composed and one-pointed, of tranquil mind, calmed down, of concentrated mind for insight into mind-states as they really are"[18].

It should be noted here that vipassanā which is inflected from the verb vipassati mainly means an inward vision, insight, intuition, and introspection; ekagga means calm, tranquil (usually used for the person just converted but here it is being used in the wider meaning). Both of them are attributes for the citta; and the citta qualified by such the calmness, insight, intuition and introspection becomes feasible for 'yathā bhūtaṃ ñāṇāya' into the body, the feelings, itself, and its states or what occupy itself. 'yathā bhūtaṃ ñāṇāya' can be taken as the knowledge that is freed from all kind of delusions, and is immune from all kinds of disciplines, philosophical or psychological or logical, exotic to the object to be known. That at this stage of wisdom the seer and the seen are an entity per se would possibly be a clue for the prompt question that may be raised: a knife cannot cut itself as is stated by the logic discipline; without violating the logical rule, how the citta as a seer can see itself.

'In God We Trust' is held up by the Christians; the Buddhists supposedly rest on 'Off lustful pleasures We Ward', and on 'For Discarding Greed, ill-will and delusion We Strive' instead. In the following excerpt the citta, whether in active or in passive position, manifests its positive responds to the supposable mottoes as mentioned above. In regard to the renunciation from sensuous desires the citta 'leaps forward, rests complacent, chooses it'; consequently the man who masters such the citta becomes 'well lifted up, well freed and detached from sense-desires' and their attendant calamities. The respective passage which the mottoes, for the sake of discussion, would be gleaned from says[19]: "Five elements tending to deliverance. Herein, friends, when a brother is contemplating sensuous desires, his heart does not leap forward to them, nor rest complacent in them, does not choose them. But when he is contemplating renunciation of them his heart leaps forward, rests complacent in it, chooses it. This frame of mind he gets well in hand, well developed, well lifted up, well freed and detached from sense-desires. And those intoxicants, those miseries, those fevers which arise in consequence of sense-desires, from all these he is freed, nor does he feel that sort of feeling. This is pronounced the first deliverance. Similarly for the other four elements, namely, from ill will, cruelty, external objects, and individuality"[20].

(d) Citta in Samādhi:

The six abhiññās that have already been stereotyped into a popular pattern of expression inasmuch as the Buddhist supernatural powers are concerned. Nyanatiloka in Manual of Buddhist Terms and Doctrines[21] mentions six 'higher powers' which are classified into two categories - the first five belong to earthliness and the last one, to super-mundane realm. The former category is 'attainable through the utmost perfection of mental concentration (samādhi)'; the later, namely, the extinction of cankers (āsavakkhaya) is attainable through penetrating insight (vipassana). The later is nothing other than the realization of Arahantship. The PALI-ENGLISH DICTIONARY[22] supplies us with a wider sense of the term, namely, 'special, supernormal powers of apperceptions and knowledge to be acquired by long training in life and thought. We can combine the six abhiññās from the PALI-ENGLISH DICTIONARY and the MANUAL OF BUDDHIST TERMS AND DOCTRINES into the following list[23]:

(1) Iddhi-vidhā (magical powers or levitation);
(2) Dibba-sota (divine or heavenly ear, or clairaudience);
(3) Ceto-Pariya-ñāṇa (penetration of the mind of others, or knowing others' thoughts or thought-reading);
(4) Dibba-Cakkhu (divine eye, or recollecting one's previous births);
(5) Pubbe-Nivāsānussati (remembrance of former existences, or knowing other people's rebirths);
(6) Āsavakkhaya (extinction of all cankers, or certainty of emancipation already attained or final assurance).

It is noticeable that the first five of such powers are not necessarily attainable among the Buddhists only. The Dīgha Nikāya records the instances of the pre-Buddhist samaṇas or brahmānas who by attaining the ceto-samādhi can achieve the Dibba-Cakkhu[24]: "In the first place, brethren, some recluse or Brahman by means of ardour, of exertion, of application, of earnestness, of careful thought, reaches up to such rapture of heart that, rapt in heart, he calls to mind his various dwelling-places in times gone by... And he says to himself: 'Eternal is the soul; and the world, giving birth to nothing new, is steadfast as a mountain peak, as a pillar firmly fixed; and though these living creatures transmigrate and pass away, fall from one state of existence and spring up in another, yet they are for ever and ever'"[25].

That mind-concentration plays the pivotal role of mental elevation in Buddhist practice and in other disciplines as well is absolutely a matter of fact. And, it is concretely specified here that the citta in samādhi (concentration) is highly puissant in terms of achieving metaphysical powers especially the power to remember the previous lives. But we, by the way, should bear in mind that the knowledge gained from such the divine remembrance till does not reach the truth insomuch as the thought 'eternal is the soul' is regarded as wrong.

(e) Vitakka and Vicāra:

Another quality of the citta is its settling in the Four Foundations of Mindfulness (catūsu satipaṭhānesu); a brief account about this has been already given above. In the Khanda Saṃyutta the Buddha explains how to deal with the three kinds of unwholesome vitakka. Vitakka as a technical term in Buddhist system can be rendered as 'thought', 'thought-conception' that is one of the secondary mental concomitants, and may be karmically wholesome, unwholesome, or neutral.

There are three karmically unwholesome thoughts, namely,

(1) Kāma-vitakka (sensuous thought),
(2) Vyāpāda-vitakka (hating thought), and
(3) Vihimsā-vitakka (cruel thought).

On the other hand there are three karmically wholesome thoughts, namely,

(1) Nekkhamma-vitakka (thought of renunciation),
(2) Avyāpāda-vitakka (thought of hatelessness), and
(3) Avihimsā-vitakka (thought of not harming).

It should be noted here that vitakka and vicāra (discursive thinking) are verbal faculties of the citta, in other words they are possibly taken as the so-called 'inner-speech'. They are constituents of the first Absorption (jhāna), but disquiets of the higher ones. In the jhāna context, whereas vitakka whose characteristic consists in fixing the consciousness to the object is the laying hold of a thought, vicāra is the roaming about and moving to and fro of the citta. Whereas vitakka is comparable with the seizing of a pot, vicāra is comparable with wiping it; and the pot being object of jhāna.

The following passage makes it known that the three kinds of unwholesome vitakka are expelled in all quite exclusively by those whose citta has already been well settled in the Four Foundations of Mindfulness, and those who have developed properly 'animittaṃ samādhiṃ' (meditation of formlessness)[26]: "There are these three evil ways of thought, brethren: thoughts of lust, thoughts of ill-will, thoughts of hurting. And these evil ways of thought cease utterly without remainder in him whose heart abides established in the four stations of mindfulness (catūsu satipaṭhānesu supatiṭṭhita-cittassa viharato), or who practices concentration that is withdraws from objects"[27].

It is noted that supatiṭhita, which serves as a qualifier of the citta, is the combination of su+patiṭṭhita; su means well, skilfully; patiṭṭhita means established, settled, fixed, arrayed, stayed, standing, supported, founded. But in the translation excerpted above, the denotation of 'su' (well or skilfully) is omitted.

The worldly machinery that the Buddhist system consents to is accounted on the basis of the interaction between six sense-organs imbedded with six viññāṇa and their respective objects. The Buddhist theory of mental cultivation has much to do with their interaction to the extent that it identifies one who controls over the interaction with the conqueror of the world. His citta would be 'unmoved, inwardly well established and released' by virtue of that when the sense organs are struck by respective objects he does not allow the arising of longing for or repulsing off them. In the line the Bojjhaṅga Saṃyuttaṃ says[28]: "Herein, Kuṇḍaliya, a monk, seeing a delightful object with the eye, does not hanker for it, does not thrill thereat, and does not develop lust for it. His body is unmoved, his mind is unmoved, inwardly well established and released (ṭhitaṃ cittaṃ ajjhattaṃ susaṇṭhitaṃ suvimuttaṃ). If with the eye he behold an object repulsive, he is not shocked thereat, his mind is not unsettled or depressed or resentful because of that, but his body is unmoved, his mind is unmoved, inwardly well established and released"[29].

The Sallekhasuttaṃ in the Majjhima Nikāya offers the quite encouraging statement that just the arising of wholesome citta is sufficient to render ever much helpfulness, let alone actions in conformity to the citta' s wholesomeness. The text runs[30]: "Now I, Cunda, say that the arising of thought is very helpful in regard to skilled states not to speak of gesture and speech that are in conformity (with thought). Therefore, Cunda, the thought should arise: 'Others may be harmful; we, as to this, will not be harmful.' The thought should arise; 'Others may be those who make onslaught on the creatures; we, as to this, will be those who are restrained from making onslaught on creatures... Others may seize the temporal ... we, as to this, will not seize the temporal, not grasping it tightly, letting go of it easily'"[31].

The citta in the above passage should be rendered as thought which tends to function with or without the attendance of actions whether the actions are verbal or bodily whatever. This also may reveal the Buddhist position about the functional relation among the three aspects of one's activities: mental, verbal, and bodily. Through the Buddhist scriptures we can see that one's mental actions are closer related to the speech rather than to the body.

4. Loving Kindnessed Citta.

Metta, usually rendered as 'loving-kindness', stands for the first state of citta among the four Boundless States (Appamañña)[32]: (1) Mettā (Loving-Kindness), (2) Karuṇā (Compassion), (3) Muditā (Altruistic or Sympathetic Joy), and (4) Upekkhā (Equanimity). The stereotypical text of the development of these 4 Appamañña, often met with in the Sutta Piṭaka, reads: 'There, O monks, the monk with a mind full of Loving-kindness pervading first one direction, then a second one, then a third one, then a fourth one, just so above, below and all around; and everywhere identifying himself with all, he is pervading the whole world with mind full of loving-kindness, with mind wide, developed, unbounded, free from hate and ill-will'. Hereafter follows the same theme with Loving-Kindness being substituted by Compassion, Sympathetic Joy, and Equanimity, accordingly.

The cultivation of the four states of citta is considered the basic phase of the uppermost austerity in Udumbarika Sīhanāda Sutta of the Dīgha Nikāya which says: 'In what way, lord, does an austerity win topmost rank and reach the pitch? How good it were if the Exalted One could make my austerities win top rank and reach the pitch! | Take the case, Nigrodha, of an ascetic who is self-restrained by the Restraint of the Fourfold Watch. In that he is thus self-restrained, and his austerity is made to consist in this, he advances upward and turns not back to lower things. He chooses some lonely spot for his seat... and, having put away those Five Hindrances, and to weaken by insight the strength of the things that defile the heart (cetaso: genitive or dative form of citta), abides letting his mind (cetasā: instrumental case) pervade the world, fraught with love... pity... sympathy... equanimity'[33].

It is noted that the four Boundless States is the preferable practise of the legendary king, the Great King of Glory: "Then, Ānanda, the Great King of Glory went out from the chamber of the Great Complex, and entered the Golden chamber and sat himself down on the silver couch. And he let his mind (cetaso) pervade one quarter of the world with thoughts of love; and so the second quarter, and so the third, and so the fourth. And thus the whole wide world, above, below, around, and everywhere, did he continue to pervade with heart (cetasā) of Love, far-reaching, grown great, and beyond measure, free from the least trace of anger or ill-will[34]". The remaining Boundless States are dealt with in the same pattern. The cultivation of the four states of citta especially the second one is highly estimated in the Mahā-Govinda Sutta where the ecstasy of pity (karuṇā) is singly recommended for the seclusive practise during the four months of the rains.

Consequently, the austere practitioner would be able to commune, converse, and take counsel with Brahmā. The text reads: "Then the High Steward thought: 'I have heard aged and venerable brahmins, teachers and pupils, say: He who remains in meditation the four months of the rains, and practices the ecstasy of pity (karuṇā), he sees Brahma, communes, converses, takes counsel with Brahmā...' He practised and realised what is thus rumored[35]".

Whereas in the above passage the karuṇā citta is the main concern, in another passage we see the focus is on the mettā citta instead. The current practices of the naked ascetics at that time such as going naked, being of loose habits, licking hands clean with the tongue, taking food according to rule at regular intervals up to even half a month were claimed by them as the conducts of Brahmānship and Samanaship. With his own conception of Brahmānship and Samanaship in mind the Buddha disparaged such the claim and affirmed the outweighing of the cultivation of the mettā citta upon the ascetic practices, saying: "O Kassapa, when a Bhikkhu has cultivated the heart of love (metta-cittaṃ bhāveti) that knows no anger, that knows no ill-will from the time when, by the destruction of the deadly intoxications[36], he dwells in that emancipation of heart, that emancipation of mind, that is free from those intoxications, and that he, while yet in this visible world, has come to realise and know from that time, O Kassapa, is it that the Bhikkhu is called a Samana, is called a Brahmāna[37]".

'metta-cittaṃ bhāveti' is rendered as '(he) cultivated the heart of love' and is standardized as the necessary condition in approaching toward sainthood. This state of citta is quality of mind in contrast with anger and ill-will, and is synonymous of mental emancipation. In other words, metta-citta is identical with emancipation of citta. Between the two equalized propositions there seems to stay a gap which, if any, should be bridged over by referring to the fact that Buddhist doctrine holds that man's emancipation is the emancipation on the basis of no self. Metta-citta is the citta opened toward others and in somewhat denying its own concern; and the denial goes to a certain extent then it comes to be one's emancipation from self-thought. Hence the identification of mettā-citta and the specified emancipation.

The mettā-citta being so strongly recommended by the Buddha as above exposition seems to have another cause: it is that which produces more merit than dāna (giving) does. He advises the Bhikkhus 'to develop it, practise it, take one's stand upon it, store it up, thoroughly set it going, and make it a vehicle and a base'[38]. The passage in the Saṃyutta Nikāya reads: "If anyone, brethren, were to give a morning gift of a hundred ukka's, and the same at noon and the same at eventide, or if anyone were to practise a morning heart of love, a noontide heart of love, and eventide heart of love, even if it were as slight as one pull at the cow's udder (gadduhanamattam pi mettā-cittam bhāveyya), this practice would be by far the more fruitful of the two[39]".

The same idea is expressed in the following paragraph excerpted from the Aṅguttara Nikāya[40]: "Monks, if for just the lasting of a finger-snap a monk indulges a thought of goodwill, such a one is to be called a monk. Not empty of result is his musing. He abides doing the Master's bidding. He is one who takes good advice, and he eats the country's alms-food to some purpose. What then should I say of those who make much of such a thought?". The above underlined 'indulges' is replaced by 'cultivates' and 'gives attention to' in the two next paragraphs respectively[41].

In case a monk wants to put forth another's mistake he should first retrospect upon himself as to whether he is in possession of the five qualities of speech, then he is able to make the contributive comments on others. the five qualities of speech can be listed as this: (1) Being spoken at a well-selected time; (2) Corresponding to the factual not to the false; (3) Of sophisticated words not of harsh words; (4) Well purposed, not carelessly; and the last (5) is that the speech is originated in the metta-citta, not in the hatred or the malicious mind[42].

The mettā-citta classified here among other modifications of speech is standing for the contributive attitude in the relationship with others. It helps to keep in harmony and happiness the community whose members would find them well conditioned for mutually trusting one another.

5. Emancipated Citta.

(a) Subhāvitaṃ Cittaṃ and Freedom of Mind:

The Satullapakāyika Vagga of Saṃyutta Nikāya relates the endurance of the Buddha when his foot was hit and bloodshed by Devadatta' splinter. Being imposed on with such the inexorable pain the Buddha did not show out any sign of resentment, let alone ill-will. When he was taking a rest at Maddakucchi Deer Park 700 devas came and in turn uttered their inspired words in praise of the Exalted One.

Their praising words attribute the praiseworthy attitude of the Buddha to the citta being well trained with meditation and emancipation. It is resulted from such the training that the citta was freed from all kinds of affections, going on itself in line with the congenial self-denial. The devas say[43]: "Behold how his mind is well practised in contemplative concentration and emancipated! (samādhi-subhāvitaṃ cittaṃ ca vimuttaṃ) Not strained forth, nor strained aside, nor having restrained [itself] by conscious deliberation, but as having the habit of self-denial. He who could transgress against such a wonder, such a lion, one so thoroughly trained, such a matchless one, such a burden-bearer, a creature so self-controlled, could only so act from blindness; if not, then from what else?[44]".

'subhāvitaṃ cittaṃ' means the well-trained citta. The phrase 'na cābhinataṃ na cāpanataṃ' is exegetically explained by Buddhaghosa as rāgānugataṃ, dosānugataṃ respectively: '(not) gone after lust or ill-will.'  Nata, p.p. of namati (to bent) can be applied figuratively to constructive work of mind (citta) in Jhāna.

(b) Hīnatta-Rūpa and Freedom of Mind:

Next after the above Saṃyutta passage there is the stanza recording the words the devas used to belittle the assurance of rebirth in Brahmā realm as the goal set up by the heretic ascetics:

Brahmins of five-fold Veda-lore may ply
Ascetic practices a century,
Yet would their heart (cittaṃ)
be never rightly freed,
Such is the low ideal (hīnattarūpā)
at which they aim,
Not theirs it is to win to the beyond

hīnatta-rūpā whose literal meaning is having the quality or nature of 'lowness' gets a little extensile rendering: 'low ideal at which they aim'. We can note from the text that the whole effort to secure rebirth in Brahmā-world as an ideal which the ascetic was aiming at was judged to be low or poor because such the effort though is made thorough 'a century', the ascetic's citta will not be well freed. It is inferable that the aim of the striving should be well selected otherwise the resultant end 'sammā vimuttaṃ cittaṃ (freedom of the citta)' is bound to be limited. It is noteworthy that the act of citta would not be constructive unless the citta itself - through intensive and nourishing meditation: the unique measure - is 'serene, pure, translucent, cultured, devoid of evil, supple, ready to act, firm, and imperturbable.' In the devas' verses the obstructions that may hinder the mind from freedom are: aiming at low ideal, suffusion by craving, bound to rite and rule, vain conceit, untamed mind. Being conditioned by such the hindrances, the proficiency of the five Vedas combined with the ascetic practice however long it may extend, would be resulted in nothing so long as the emancipation of the citta is concerned.

(c) Mental States on Process of Enlightenment:

In the Sāmaññaphala Sutta the Buddha once again praised the blissfulness of such the mood of citta as the very fruit of samaṇaship and affirmed that this fruit outweighs all the other fruits he had just elucidated previously such as receiving the protection, veneration and offerings from the king in despite of the possibility of his original servanthood, hearing the dhamma taught by a Buddha, leaving the household life and becoming a samaṇa out of pure faith, getting well established in the three categories of sīla. The passage reads[45]: "This, O king, is an immediate fruit of the life of a recluse, and higher and sweeter than the last. 'With his heart (citta) thus serene, made pure, translucent, cultured, devoid of evil, supple, ready to act, firm, and imperturbable, he applies and bends down his mind (citta) to that insight that comes from knowledge'"[46].

As being possibly subject to the attachment and the detachment (to the five aggregates) the freedom of citta from greed is dependable on the latter. The whole process can be presented in a chain of links like the following:

(1) Contemplating with perfect insight on the impermanence, the suffering and the non-substance of the five aggregates;
(2) Citta being freed from the greed, liberated, rid of the attachment to āsavas;
(3) Citta being steadfast;
(4) Citta being happy;
(5) Citta being freed from trouble;
(6) Citta itself faring well; and the last (6) step will be the attainment of the Arahantship with the knowledge: 'destroyed is rebirth, lived is the righteous life, done is the task, for life in these conditions there is no hereafter'.

All this gives us the impression that the process of one's emancipation is the process of the citta being developed and this process finally culminates in the attainment of the highest sainthood and that there is strong possibility to identify the citta with one's own personality.

(d) Viratta Citta, Foreshadower of Freedom of Mind:

The respective Saṃyutta passage reads[47]: "Body, brethren, is impermanent. What is impermanent, that is suffering. What is suffering, that is without the self. What is without the self, that is not mine, I am not that, not of me is this self. Thus should one view it by perfect insight as it really is. For the one who thus sees it as it really is by perfect insight, his heart turns away, is released from it by not grasping at the āsavas (cittam virattaṃ vimuttaṃ hoti anupādāya āsavehi)... then by its release it (citta) is steadfast; by its steadfastness it is happy; by its happiness it is not troubled; not being troubled, of its own self it is utterly well; so that he knows: 'destroyed is rebirth, lived is the righteous life, done is the task, for life in these conditions there is no hereafter.'" The text repeats the same for the four remaining khandhas[48].

We should note that in the foregoing passage the citta is distinctively described by viratta (p.p. of virajjati) which means dispassioned, detached, unattached to, displeased with and so forth, and that the citta under question is described to be freed mainly from the attachment to āsavas which are inherent in the five aggregates. When the citta is set free, its emancipation manifests through its immunity to the ten following kilesa (defilements):

(1) Lobha, synonymous with rāgā: greed;
(2) Dosa: hatred;
(3) Moha: delusion;
(4) Māna: conceit;
(5) Diṭṭhi: speculative view;
(6) Vicikicchā: sceptical doubt;
(7) Thīna: mental torpor;
(8) Uddhacca: restlessness;
(9) Ahirika: shamelessness;
(10) Anottappa: Unconscientiousness.

Of which the first three are named mūla, i.e. roots, more exactly, the akusala roots: lobha, dosa, and moha. Tradition holds that lobha arises through unwise reflection (belonging to the realm of moha) on an attractive object, dosa through unwise reflection on a repulsive object. Lobha comprises all degrees of 'attractedness' toward an object from the faintest trace of a longing thought up to grossest egoism, while dosa comprises all degrees of 'repulsion' from the faintest trace of ill-humour up to the highest pitch of hate and wrath.

From the text relating to the matter in hand we learn that not only pīti undertakes the destruction of the āsavas but a number of pleasurable mental states as well. Let us list all: (1) pīti (zest); (2) Sukha and somanassa (pleasure and happiness); (3) Upekkhā (indifference); (4) Vimokkho (release).

(e) Tranquilization of Body and Freedom of Mind:

The citta being free as referred to in the following passage is differed from the above ones with the additive 'su-' (well) as prefix. The Māra Saṃyutta relates the story about the futile aggression that the Māra's three daughters exerted upon the Buddha when he was sitting beneath the Goatherds's banyan, on the banks of river Nerañjarā, Uruvela. The triumph of the Exalted One rendered their attempts into an abject shamefulness. Arati (Discontent), a daughter of the Mara put forth the question[49]:

How must a brother mainly shape his life,
Who having crossed five floods
would cross the sixth?
How may impressions of the world of sense
Be kept outside of him and catch him not
Who mainly in rapt meditation bides!
The Exalted One replied[50]:
With body tranquilized and mind set free,
(Passaddhakāyo suvimuttacitto)
Weaving no plans of deed or word or thought.
Mindful and with no home
where heart may cleave,
Who's heart learnt to know the Norm,
who meditates
Rapt without restlessness of mind, he lets
No anger rise, nor [perilous] memories,
Yea, and no creeping torpor of the wits:
Thus must a brother mainly shape his life,
Who having crossed five floods
would cross the sixth.
(pañcoghatiṇṇo atarīdha chaṭṭhaṃ)
Thus may impressions of the worlds of sense
Be kept outside of him and catch him not
Who mainly in rapt meditation bides[51].

We can note that all the feasible stages in the process of one's cultivation starts from 'Passaddhakāyo suvimuttacitto' i.e. body tranquilized and mind set free. It is in line with the commonsense that citta and body stand for one's personality as a whole. The Buddhist cultivation is based firmly on such a ground: the tranquil body (passaddhakāyo) and the citta being well set freed (suvimuttacitto).

(f) Ten Fetters and Four Stages of Sainthood:

The five and the sixth implied in 'pañcoghatiṇṇo atarīdha chaṭṭhaṃ' can be interpreted alternatively as the perils by way of the five senses and those of the 'mind door' or the five lower and five higher fetters. The ten fetters, so called because they can tie beings to the wheel of existence, are listed below:

(1) Sakkāyadiṭṭhi: personality-belief;
(2) Vicikicchā: skeptical doubt;
(3) Sīlabbata-parāmāsa: clinging to mere rules and ritual;
(4) Kāma-rāga: sensuous craving;
(5) Vyāpāda: ill-will;
(6) Rūpa-rāga: craving for fine-material existence;
(7) Arūpa-rāga: craving for immaterial existence;
(8) Māna: conceit;
(9) Uddhacca: restlessness; and
(10) Avijjā: ignorance.

The first five are called lower fetters (orambhāgiya-samyojana) because they tie beings to the sensuous world; the latter five are called higher fetters (uddhambhāgiya-samyojana) because they tie beings to the higher worlds, namely, the five material and immaterial worlds. The ten fetters form the traditional explanation of the hierarchical order of Buddhist sainthood, which are ascendantly graded as follows:

(1) He who is free from 1 - 3 is a Sotāpanna or Stream-winner, i.e. one who has entered the stream to Nibbāna, the lowest grade of the four sainthood;
(2) He who, besides eliminating these three fetters, has overcome four and five in their grosser form, is called a Sakadāgāmi, a 'One-Returner' (to this sensuous world);
(3) He who is fully freed from 1 - 5 is an Anāgāmi, or 'Non-Returner' (to this sensuous world); and,
(4) He who is freed from all the ten fetters is called an Arahant, i.e. a perfectly Holy One, the highest grade of sainthood in traditional Buddhism.

(g) Locus of Mental Emancipation:

The basic doctrine of Buddhism concerns with the interaction between the sense organs including the 'mind-door' and the outward world of six respective objects. Both the sides has no intrinsic bondage to each other, in other words, they are in nature free of fettering matter. Some exotic bond, however, comes into being in between them due to the desire and lust; to put into proper words, it is the desire and lust that are the bond. Religiously speaking, that is the reason why such a bond of desire and lust can be removed and the Norms of liberation can be pronounced. Venerable Koṭṭhika in the Saṃyutta Nikāya says[52]: "There is in the Exalted One an eye, friend. The Exalted One sees an object with the eye. But in the Exalted One is no desire and lust. Wholly heart-free is the Exalted One. There is in the Exalted One a tongue... a mind. But in the Exalted One is no desire and lust. Wholly heart-free is the Exalted One[53]".

We can see apparently that it is in between the sense organs and their respective objects the emancipation of the Exalted One takes place, and no doubt, so does the bondage of worldly men. The difference is that the former is due to the desire and lust being eliminated, the latter, due to the clinging to desire and lust. It is noticeable that the Exalted One's liberation is described by the liberation of his citta (suvimuttacitto Bhagavā), it is doubtless, from the presence of desire and lust. though at the risk of going a bit too further beyond what the Buddha might actually pronounce it is in conformity with the logic inference to identify His personality with the citta. In reality this idea has developed wide and far in the Northern Buddhism.

(h) Five Elements of Escape and Freedom of Mind:

The Aṅguttara Nikāya explains the five elements of escape with the passage recorded in its Brāhmaṇa Vagga[54]: "Monks, take a case of a monk who thinks on lust and whose heart leaps not up at lustful thoughts, yet becomes not calm, nor firm, nor inclined thereunto; but whose heart at the thought of giving up all leaps up, becomes calm, becomes firm and inclined thereunto - that heart of his is well gone, well become, well lifted up, well unyoked from lustful thoughts; and he is freed from the cankers that surge - lust-caused, painful and burning - nor feels he that feeling. This is declared to be the escape from lust... ill-will... hurt... form... bundle of life... Verily, monks, these are the five elements of escape"[55].

The above passage clearly presents the 5 'nissaraṇīyā dhātuyo' or five elements of escape whose distinctive components are five contrasting pairs, each being the mutually exclusive options that one's thought can choose either as its object and reject the opposite. They are:

(1) Kāmaṃ and nekkhammaṃ: lust and giving up;
(2) Vyāpādaṃ and avyāpādaṃ: ill-will or malevolence and benevolence;
(3) Vihesaṃ and avihesaṃ: injury and benefit;
(4) Rūpaṃ and arūpaṃ: form and non-form;
(5) Sakkāyaṃ and sakkāyanirodhaṃ: bundle of life and escape from bundle of life

Of the above five pairs of moral contrasts, the first constituent of each is immoral, or of the black side; the second, moral or of the bright side. The first pair is presented in the foregoing passage where the citta is referred as being 'suvimuttaṃ... kāmehi' (well unyoked... from lustful thought). The citta being unyoked or set freed is resulted from the right selection that one's thought does for its objects. Comprehensively speaking, we can put the whole process of cultivation into the following causing order:

(1) Only the bright side does one's citta choose to leap up in, become calm and firm in, incline unto;
(2) One's citta is well gone, well become, well lifted up, well unyoked from the thought on the black side;
(3) One is emancipated from the cankers and their attendant feelings that are painful and burning, caused by the black side;
(4) One is freed from the obsessions caused by the delights in the black side;
(5) Craving is cut off, bolts are rolled back and pride is controlled completely;
(6) An end to the suffering is made.

It is noted again that the citta stands for the forerunner who decides in the act of choosing as found in the (1); and that the citta stands for that which is to be acted upon as presented in the (2).

(i) Ariya Living and Freedom of Mind:

The liberation of citta is manifested also through the context of the ten 'ariyavāsā' in the following paragraph[56]: "Monks, there are these ten ways of Ariyan living, according to which Ariyans have lived, do live and shall live. What ten? | Herein a monk has abandoned five factors, is possessed of six factors, guards one factor, observes the four bases, has shaken off individual belief, has utterly given up longings, his thoughts are unclouded, his body-complex is tranquilized, he is well released in heart, he is well released by insight. These are the ten ways of Ariyan living, according to which Ariyans have lived, do live, and shall live"[57].

The ten, in general, are considered the traditional way of life of the Ariyans (noble men). unfortunately, there is not any trace from which we can coax whether an Ariyan is necessarily to follow all the ten or some of them or just any of them, and that we can not discern among them which is essential and which is subordinate and ignorable. The inevitable consequence is that it is difficult to make any discernment to the phrase 'well released in heart (citta)' that we also fail to elaborate on because the merging of which into the ten may baffle any attempt.

(j) Five Hindrances and Freedom of Mind:

the first of the ten, i.e. the abandonment of the five factors, however, is corresponding to the ideas given in the following passage[58]: "Having got rid of covetousness for the world, he lives with a mind devoid of coveting and purifies the mind of coveting (abhijjhāya cittaṃ parisodheti). By getting rid of the taint of ill-will, he lives benevolent in mind; and, compassionate for the welfare of all creatures and beings, he purifies the mind of the taint of ill-will. By getting rid of sloth and torpor, he lives devoid of sloth and torpor; perceiving the light, mindful and clearly conscious, he purifies the mind of sloth and torpor. By getting rid of restless and worry, he lives calmly, the mind inwardly tranquilized, and he purifies the mind of restlessness and worry. By getting rid of doubt, he lives doubt-crossed; unperplexed as to states that are skilled, he purifies the mind of doubt"[59].

parisodheti (p.p. parisodhita; nt. parisodana) means cleanse, clean, purify; so the phrase 'abhijjhāya cittaṃ parisodheti' would means 'to cleanse one's citta (from)'. the objects of 'from' in the above context would be:

(1) abhijjā or kāmachanda (as a variant): coveting or sensuous desire;
(2) Byāpāda or Vyāpāda: malevolence, ill-will;
(3) Thīna-middha: sloth and torpor;
(4) uddhaccakukkuccā: restlessness and worry; and
(5) Vicikiccha: doubt.

All the five are titled hindrances (nīvaraṇa) which are obstacles to the citta and blind our mental vision. In the presence of them we can not reach Neighbourhood-Concentration (upacāra-samādhi) and Full Concentration (appanā-samādhi). Without their presence we are better able to discern the truth.

The Aṅguttara Nikāya[60] supplies us with the pleasant similes where sensuous desire is compared with water mixed with manifold colors, ill-will with boiling water, sloth and torpor with water covered by mosses, restlessness and worry (or scruples) with agitated water whipped by the wind, (skeptical) doubt with turbid and muddy water. Just as in such water one cannot perceive one's own reflexion, so in the presence of these five mental Hindrances, one cannot clearly discern one's own benefit, nor that of others, nor that of both.

The Aṅguttara Nikāya[61] also gives us an account with further details of the origination and the overcoming of the nīvaraṇa. The five 'nīvaraṇa', however, are relatively well informed in the foregoing passage with the addition of the following five counterpoises (which are hopefully stronger!):

(1) vigatābhijjha;
(2) abyāpādapa rigged with sabba pāṇabhūta hitānukampī (compassion for the welfare of all creatures and beings);
(3) vigatathīnamiddha rigged with ālokasaññī sato sampajāno (perceiving the light, mindful and clearly conscious);
(4) anuddhata rigged with vūpasantacitto (the citta inwardly tranquilized);
(5) tiṇṇavicikiccha rigged with 'akathaṁkathī kusalesu dhammesu' (unperplexed as to states that are skilled).

(k) Sīla and Freedom of Mind:

the bhikkhuhood is set up and sustained on the basis of sīla which, however, can not be grasped in a single word. Generally speaking, sīla is a mode of mind and volition manifested in speech and bodily action, and is considered the foundation of the whole Buddhist practice, and therewith the first of the three kinds of training that form the three-fold division of the eight-fold path, namely, morality (sīla), concentration and wisdom. This sīla division also known as genuine or Natural Morality (pakati-sīla) as distinguished from the external rules or Prescribed Morality (paṇṇatti-sīla) which consists of:

(1) Sammā-vācā: right speech,
(2) Sammā-kammanta: right action, and
(3) Sammā-ājīva: right livelihood.

They, however, have little to do with the citta. as a variant of such a basis that helps a bhikkhu in remaining and sustaining his bhikkhuhood until the last breath, the prescription made by Thera Sāriputta are:

(1) Indriyesu guttadvāra: senses being well guarded;
(2) Bhojane mattaññū: moderate in eating; and
(3) Jāgariyam-anuyutta: engaging in vigilance.

The last one has much to do with the care of the citta as revealed in the following passage[62]: "And how, friend, is one given to watchfulness? || Herein, friend, by day a brother walks up and down and then sits, and thus cleanses his heart from states that may hinder (āvaraṇīyehi dhammehi). By night, for the first watch he does likewise. In the middle watch of the night, lying on his right side he takes up the lion-posture, resting one foot on the other, and thus collected and composed fixes his thought on rising up again. In the last watch of the night, at early dawn, he walks up and down, and then sits, and so cleanses his heart from states that may hinder. Thus, friend, is one given to watchfulness"[63].

as often as can be, all the activities of a bhikkhu night and day ought to be watched carefully by himself with the view to cleanse his citta from āvaraṇīyehi dhammehi (the things that may hinder). the clearance of the citta from "āvaraṇīyehi dhammehi" is the ideal commitment that the citta should undergo. The possible corollary may be made here is that the citta is somehow imbedded as a controlling agent in every activities that one may undertake because the citta apparently has so close a relation to one's activities that the latter being watchful may effect on the ideal state of the former: being clean.

(l) Asalīnacitta and Alīnacitta:

The other ideal state of the citta is 'asallīna citta' as expressed in the greatest event in the life of the Exalted One: his Nibbāna. For the historic event only three stanzas are recorded in the Saṃyutta Nikāya. The last one uttered by Thera Anurudha in prase of the Exalted One reads[64]:

No heaving breath left as he lay,
The mind in Jhāna's steadfast stay
With thought from every craving free,
Fixed on the Peace incessantly,
So passed the Man-who-saw away.
With mind unshaken
(asallīnena cittena) as they came,
He suffered pangs of death in peace;
Stole o'er his heart the last release:
Nibbāna of the unfed flame[65].

allīna (p.p.of alīyati) covers two ranges of meanings: (a) sticking to, adhering, or adhered to, clinging;  (b) soiled by. In the foregoing passage the phrase 'asallīnena cittena' is rather freely translated as 'with the mind unshaken', which, however, along with 'ṭhita-citta' (steadfast citta) fits well to the context of the Exalted One's Nibbāna.

The last state of the citta in terms of emancipation that we are going to inquire is 'alīna (unstained) citta'. The following canonical passage give us an enjoyable way of displaying the doctrine in which there is a series of links, each link containing the three components. The last and most active component of the preceding link is the root that all the three components of the succeeding link grow out of. There is the exception of the two last links: in the former the middle component is the most active whereas all the three components of the latter share the same footing of importance and cause the last result: abandoning rebirth, decay and death. The text reads[66]:

"Suppose, monk, this one is not shameless, reckless and in lack of seriousness. Being thus with seriousness he can grow so as to abandon disregard, so as to abandon stubbornness, so as to abandon friendship with the wicked. Having not wicked friend he can... abandon lack of faith, stinginess and indolence. Being not indolent he can... abandon flurry, lack of self-control and immorality. Being moral he can... abandon distaste for seeing the Ariyans, distaste for hearing Ariyan dhamma, and a carping disposition. Having not a carping disposition he can... abandon forgetfulness, discomposure and mental derangement. Being not mentally deranged he can... abandon lack of giving thorough attention, following the wrong way and sluggishness of mind. Being not sluggish of mind he can... abandon view of the individual-group, doubt-and-wavering and wrong handling of habit and rite. Not doubtful-and-wavering he can... abandon lust, malice and delusion. Abandoning lust, malice, and delusion, he can... grow so as to abandon rebirth, decay, and death"[67].

If we filter out all the supplemental components and remake the chain out of the remaining, that is, the most active components, the resultant chain would be:

(1) Appamatto: seriousness
→(2) Kalyāṇamitto: with good friends
→(3) Āraddhaviriyo: diligence
→(4) Sīlavā: being moral
→(5) anupārambhacitto: without carping disposition
→(6) avikkhittacitto: being not mentally deranged
→(7) Alīnacitto: without sluggishness of mind
→(8) avicikiccho: not doubtful
→(9) rāgaṃ dosaṃ mohaṃ pahāya: abandoning lust, malice, and delusion
→(10) jātiṃ jaraṃ maranaṃ pahātun: abandoning rebirth, decay, and death.

The most active component of the fifth link, namely, anupārambha citta relates to an attitudinal dealing with the defaults of others, which may negatively affect his own mental elevation. In the sixth link (6) the avikkhitta citta is identical with a composed state of mind and may suggest its sound condition ready for working. Līna (p.p. of līyati) means clinging, sticking; slow, sluggish; shy, reserved, dull; and, the citta in the seventh-link (7) is freed from any stagnation especially from wrong views and observances.


[1] Atha kho Bhagavā Sīhassa senāpatissa anupubbikathaṃ kathesi, seyyathīdaṃ dānakathaṃ sīlakathaṃ saggakathaṃ kāmānaṃ ādīnavaṃ okāraṃ saṃkilesaṃ nekkhamme ānisaṃsaṃ pakāsesi. Yadā Bhagavā aññāsi Sīhaṃ senāpatiṃ kallacittaṃ muducittaṃ vinivaraṇacittaṃ udaggacittaṃ pasannacittaṃ, atha yā buddhānaṃ sāmukkaṃsikā dhammadesanā, taṃ pakāsesi: ...sabbantaṃ nirodhadhamman' ti: A. iv: 186.

[2] GS. iv: 128.

[3] Atha kho āyasmā Vangīso  āyasmantaṃ Sāriputtaṃ sammukhā sarūpāhi gāthāhi abhitthavi || Gambhīra-pañño medhāvī ...tassa tam desayantassa | suṇanti madhuraṃ giraṃ | sarena rajanīyena | savanīyena vaggunā | udaggacittā muditā | sotam odhenti bhikkhavo ti: S. i: 190.

[4] KS. i: 241.

[5] Upasaṅkamitvā taṃ bhikkhuṃ | gāthāya ajjhabhāsi | Nadītīresu saṇṭhāne sabhāsu rathiyāsuca | janā saṅ gamma mantenti | mañ ca tañ ca kim antaranti: S. i: 201.

[6] KS. i: 256.

[7] Bahū hi saddā paccūhā | khamitabbā tapassinā | na tena maṅkuhotabbo | na hi tena kilissati ||  yo ca saddaparittāsī | vane vātamigo yathā | lahucitto ti tam āhu | nāssa sampajjate vatan-ti: S. i: 201.

[8] KS. i: 257

[9] So abhijjhaṃ loke pahāya vigatābhijjhena cetasā viharati, abhijjhāya cittaṃ parisodheti; vyāpāda-dosaṃ pahāya avyāpañña-citto viharati, ...ajjhattaṃ vūpasanto-citto uddhacca-kukkuccā cittaṃ parisodheti; vicikicchaṃ pahāyatiṇṇa-vicikicchāya cittaṃ parisodheti; vicikiddhaṃ pahāya tiṇṇa-vicikiccho viharati, akathaṃ-kathī kusalesu dhammesu vicikicchāya cittaṃ parisodheti: D. iii: 49.

[10] DB. iii: 44.

[11] GS. i: 2-4.

[12] KS. i: 65.

[13] Ekam antaṃ nisinno kho rājā  Pasenadi-kolalo Bhagavantam etad avoca || Kattha nu kho bhante dānaṃ dātabban-ti || Yattha kho mahārāja cittam pasīdatī ti ...Sīlavato kho mahārāja dinnam mahapphalaṃ no tathā dussīle: S. i: 98.

[14] KS. i: 123.

[15] Atha kho āyasmato Channassa etad ahosi ...Atha ca pana me sabbasaṅkhāra samathe sabbū padhipaṭinissagge taṅhakkhaye virāge nirodhe nibbāne cittaṃ na pakkhandati na pasīdati na santiṭṭhati na vimuccati paritassanā  upādānam uppajjati paccudāvattati mānasam | atha ko carahi me attāti | na kho panetaṃ dhammam passato hoti: S. iii: 133.

[16] KS. iii: 112.

[17] Etha tumhe  āvuso kāye kāyānupassino viharatha | ātāpino sampajānā  ekodibhūtā vippasannacittā samāhitā ekaggacittā kāyassa yathā bhūtaṃ ñāṇāya  ||  Vedanāsu vedanānupassino viharatha ...ātāpino sampajānā  ekodibhūtā vippasannacittā samāhitā ekaggacittā dhammānaṃ  yathā bhūtaṃ ñāṇāya: S. v: 144.

[18] KS. v: 123.

[19] Pañca nissaraṇīyā  dhātuyo. Idh'āvuso bhikkhuno kāme manasikaroto kāmesu cittaṃ na pakkhandati nappasīdati na santiṭṭhati na vimuccati, nekkhammaṃ kho pan'assa manasikaroto nekkhamme cittaṃ pakkhandati pasīdati santiṭṭhati vimuccati, ...vedanaṃ vedeti, idaṃ akkhātaṃ kāmānaṃ nissaraṇaṃ: D iii 239. (The following respective passages are formed by the same mold with kāme and nekkhammaṃ being replaced by the variables (vyāpādaṃ and avyāpādaṃ; vihesaṃ and avihesaṃ; rūpaṃ and arūpaṃ; sakkāyaṃ and sakkāya-nirodhaṃ) with the attendant changes when necessary.)

[20] DB. iii: 228-9.

[21] MBTD.: 2-3.

[22] PED.: 64.

[23] Each predicate is the juxtaposition of the information from MBTD and that of PED respectively.

[24] Idha bhikkhave ekacco samaṇo vā brāhmaṇo vā ātappam anvāya padhānam anvāya anuyogam anvāya appamādam anvāya sammā -manasikāram anvāya tathārūpaṃ ceto-samādhiṃ phusati yathā samāhite citte taṃ pubbe nivāsaṃ anussarati... So evam āha: Sassato attā  ca loko ca vañjho kūṭaṭṭho esikaṭṭhāyiṭṭhito, te ca sattā  sandhāvanti saṃsaranti cavanti upapajjanti, atthi tveva sassatisamaṃ: D. i: 13.

[25] DB. i: 28.

[26] Tayo me bhikkhave akusalavitakkā kāmavitakko vyāpādavitakko | ime ca kho bhikkhave tayo akusalavitakkā kva aparisesā nirujjhanti || Catūsu vā satipaṭhānesu supatiṭṭhita-cittassa viharato animittaṃ vā  samādhiṃ bhāvayato: S. iii: 93.

[27] DB. iii: 79.

[28] Idha Kuṇḍaliya bhikkhu cakkhunā rūpaṃ disvā manāpāṃ nābhijjhati nābhihaṃsati na rāgaṃ janeti | tassa ṭhito ca kāyo hoti ṭhitaṃ cittaṃ ajjhattaṃ susaṇṭhitaṃ  suvimuttaṃ || Cakkhunā  kho paneva rūpaṃ disvā amanāpaṃ na maṅku hoti | apatiṭṭhitacitto ādīnamānaso avyāpannacetaso | tassa ṭhito ca kāyo hoti ṭhitaṃ cittam ajjhattaṃ susaṇṭhitam suvimutaṃ: S. v: 74.

[29] KS. v: 61.

[30] Cittuppādam-pi kho ahaṁ Cunda kusalesu dhammesu bahukāraṁ vadāmi, ko pana vādo kāyena vācāya anuvidhīyanāsu. Tasmātiha Cunda: Pare vihiṁsakā bhavissanti, mayam-ettha avihiṁsakā bhavissāmāti cittaṁ uppādetabbaṁ ...cittaṁ uppādetabbaṁ: M. i: 43.

[31] MS. i: 55.

[32] also known as the Sublime or Divine Abodes

[33] DB. iii: 45-6.

[34] Ibid. ii: 219.

[35] Ibid.: 271.

[36] the lusts of the flesh, the lust after future life, and the defilements of delusion and ignorance

[37] DB. i: 232.

[38] KS. ii: 177.

[39] Yo bhikkhave pubbaṇhasamayam ukkhāsatam dānaṃ dadeyya ...mettacittam bhāveyya | yo vā majjhantikasamayam antamaso gadduhanamattam pi mettacittaṃ bhāveyya | yo vā sāyaṃhasamayaṃ antamaso gadduhanavattam pi mettacittaṃ bhāveyya | idaṃ tato mahapphalataraṃ: S. ii: 264.

[40] GS. i: 8-9.

[41] Accharā-saṅghāta-mattam pi ce bhikkhave bhikkhu mettacittaṃ āsevati ayaṃ vuccati bhikkhave bhikkhu. Arittajjhāno viharati satthu ...Ko pana vādo ye naṃ bahulīkarontī ti: A. i: 10.

[42] Kālena vakkhāmi no akālena, bhūtena vakkhāmi no abhūtena, saṇhena vakkhāmi no pharusena, atthasaṃhitena vakkhāmi no anatthasaṃhitena, mettacitto ...upaṭṭhapetvā paro codetabbo ti: A. v: 81.

[43] Passa samādhi-subhāvitaṃ cittaṃ ca vimuttaṃ | na cābhinatam na cāpanatam na ca sa saṅkhāraniggayha cārita-vatam ...Cittaṃ ca nesaṃ na sammā  vimuttaṃ | hīnattarūpā na pāraṃgamā te: S. i: 28-9.

[44] KS. i: 39.

[45] Idaṃ pi kho mahā-raja sandiṭṭhikaṃ  sāmañña-phalaṃ purimehi sandiṭṭhikehi sāmañña-phalehi abhikkantarañ ca paṇītatarañ ca | So evaṃ samāhite citte parisuddhe pariyodāte anaṅgaṇe vigatūpakkilese mūdū-bhūte kammaniye ṭhite ānejjappatte ñāṇa-dassanāya cittaṃ abhinīharati abhininnāmeti...

[46] DB i 86

[47] Rūpam bhikkhave aniccam ...cittam virattaṃ vimuttaṃ hoti anupādāya āsavehi || Vedanādhatuyā ceo || Saññādhātuyā ceo || Viññānadhātuyā ce bhikkhave bhikkhuno cittam virattaṃ vimuttaṃ hoti anupādāya āsavehi vimuttatā ṭhitam ...aparitassaṃ paccattaññeva parinibbāyati || Khīṇā jāti vusitam brahmacariyaṃ kataṃ  karaṇīyaṃ nāparam itthattāyāti pajānātī ti: S. iii: 44-5.

[48] KS. iii: 39.

[49] Kathaṃ vihārī-bahulo dha bhikkhu | pañcoghatiṇṇo atarīdha chaṭṭhaṃ | kahaṃ jhāyaṃ bahulaṃ kāma-saññā | paribāhirā honti aladdhāyo tan-ti

[50] Passaddhakāyo suvimuttacitto | asaṅkhārāno satimā anoko | aññāya dhammaṃ avitakkajhāyī | na kuppati na sarati ve na thino || Evaṃ vihārī-bahulo dha bhikkhu | pañcoghatiṇṇo atarīdha chaṭṭhaṃ | evaṃ jhāyaṃ bahulaṃ kāmasaññā | paribāhirā honti aladdhāyo tan-ti: S. i: 126.

[51] KS. i: 158-9.

[52] Saṃvijjati kho āvuso Bhagavato cakkhu | passati Bhagavā  cakkhunā rūpaṃ | chandarāgo Bhagavato natthi | suvimuttacitto Bhagavā  ...jānāti Bhagavā manasā dhammaṃ | chandarāgo Bhagavato natthi | suvimuttacitto Bhagavā: S. iv: 164-5.

[53] KS. iv: 102.

[54] Pañc'imā bhikkhave nissaraṇīyā dhātuyo. Katamā pañca? | Idha bhikkhave bhikkhuno kāmaṃ manasikaroto kāmesu cittaṃ na pakkhandati ...suvimuttaṃ suvisaṃyuttaṃ kāmehi, ye ca kāmapaccayā  uppajjanti āsavā vighātapariḷāhā, mutto so tehi, na so taṃ vedanaṃ vediyati. Idam akkhātaṃ kāmānaṃ nissaraṇaṃ... vyāpādaṃ vihesaṃ... rūpaṃ... sakkāyaṃ... Imā kho bhikkhave pañca nissaraṇīyā dhātuyo ti: A. iii: 245.

[55] GS. iii: 179-180.

[56] Dasa yime bhikkhave ariyavāsā, ye ariyā āvasiṃsu vā āvasantivā āvasissantivā. Katame dasa? | Idha bhikkhave bhikkhu pañcaṅgavippahīno hoti, chaḷaṇgasamannāgato, ekārakkho, caturāpasseno, panuṇṇapaccekasacco, samavayasaṭṭhesano, anāvilasaṅkappo, passaddhakāyasaṅkhāro, suvimuttacitto, suvimuttapañño [suvimuttacitto]: A. v: 29.

[57] GS. v: 21.

[58] So abhijjhaṁ loke pahāya vigatābhijjhena cetasā  viharati, abhijjhāya cittaṃ parisodheti; byāpādapadosaṁ pahāya abyāpannacitto viharati ...cittaṁ parisodheti; vicikicchaṁ pahāya tiṇṇavicikiccho viharati, akathaṁkathī kusalesu dhammesu vicikicchāya cittaṁ parisodheti: M. i: 347.

[59] MS. ii: 12.

[60] A. v: 193.

[61] A. i: 2; A. vi: 21.

[62] Kathaṃ cāvuso jāgariyam anuyutto hoti ...rattiyā pacchimaṃ yāmam paccuṭṭhāya caṅkamena nisajjāya āvaraṇīyehi dhammehi cittam parisodheti || Evam kho āvuso jāgariyam anuyutto hoti: S. iv: 104-5.

[63] KS. iv: 64.

[64] Nāhu assāsapassāso ṭhita-cittassa tādino | anejo santim ārabbha cakkhumā  paribibbuto | asallīnena cittena vedanam | pajjotass-eva nibbānaṃ  vimokkho cetaso ahū ti: S. i: 159.

[65] KS. i: 198.

[66] Hirimā'yaṃ bhikkhave ottappī appamatto hoti. So appamatto samāno bhabbo anādariyaṃ pahātuṃ dovacassataṃ pahātuṃ pāpamittataṃ pahātuṃ ...cetaso līnattaṃ pahātuṃ. So alīnacitto samāno bhabbo sakkāyadiṭṭhiṃ pahātuṃ vicikicchaṃ pahātuṃ sīlabbataparāmāsaṃ pahātuṃ. So avicikiccho samāno bhabbo rāgaṃ pahātuṃ dosaṃ pahātuṃ mohaṃ pahātuṃ. So rāgaṃ pahāya dosaṃ pahāya mohaṃ pahāya bhabbo jātiṃ pahātuṃ jaraṃ pahātuṃ maraṇaṃ pahātun ti: A. v: 148-9.

[67] GS. v: 101.


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