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2742 Wed 12 Sep 2018 LESSON (85) Wed 12 Sep 2007 Do Good Be Mindful - Awakened One with Awareness (AOA)
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2742 Wed 12 Sep 2018 LESSON (85) Wed 12 Sep 2007 Do Good Be Mindful - Awakened One with Awareness (AOA)

Suppose a monk were to say: “Friends, I heard and received this from the Lord’s own lips: this is the Dhamma, this is the discipline, this is the Master’s teaching”, then, monks, you should neither approve nor disapprove his words. Then, without approving or disapproving, his words and ex­pressions should be carefully noted and compared with the Suttas and reviewed in the light of the discipline. If they, on such comparison and review, are found not to conform to the Suttas or the discipline, the conclusion must be: “Assuredly this is not the word of the Buddha, it has been wrongly un­derstood by this monk”, and the matter is to be rejected. But where on such comparison and review they are found to con­form to the Suttas or the discipline, the conclusion must be: “Assuredly this is the word of the Buddha, it has been rightly understood by this monk.”

- DN 16 Mahāparinibbāna Sutta - The Great Passing, The Buddha’s Last Days
DN 16 Mahāparinibbāna Sutta - The Great Passing, The Buddha’s Last Days

DN 16 Mahāparinibbāna Sutta - The Great Passing, The Buddha’s Last Days

The authentic teachings of Gotama the Buddha have been preserved and handed down to us and are to be found in the Tipiṭaka. The Pāli word, ‘Tipiṭaka’, literally means ‘the three baskets’ (ti=three + piṭaka=collections of scriptures). All of the Buddha’s teachings were divided into three parts.

1. The first part is known as the Vinaya Piṭaka and it contains all the rules which Buddha laid down for monks and nuns.
2. The second part is called the Suttaṅta Piṭaka and it contains the Discourses.
3. The third part is known as the Abhidhamma Piṭaka and comprises the psycho-ethical teachings of the Buddha.

It is known, that whenever the Buddha gave a discourse to his ordained disciples or lay-followers or prescribed a monastic rule in the course of his forty-five year ministry, those of his devoted and learned monks, then present would immediately commit his teachings word for word to memory. Thus the Buddha’s words were preserved accurately and were in due course passed down orally from teacher to pupil. Some of the monks who had heard the Buddha preach in person were Arahants, and so by definition, ‘pure ones’ free from passion, ill-will and delusion and therefore, was without doubt capable of retaining, perfectly the Buddha’s words. Thus they ensured that the Buddha’s teachings would be preserved faithfully for posterity.

Even those devoted monks who had not yet attained Arahantahood but had reached the first three stages of sainthood and had powerful, retentive memories could also call to mind word for word what the Buddha had preached and so could be worthy custodians of the Buddha’s teachings. One such monk was Ānanda, the chosen attendant and constant companion of the Buddha during the last twenty-five years of the his life. Ānanda was highly intelligent and gifted with the ability to remember whatever he had heard. Indeed, it was his express wish that the Buddha always relate all of his discourses to him and although he was not yet an Arahanta he deliberately committed to memory word for word all the Buddha’s sermons with which he exhorted monks, nuns and his lay followers. The combined efforts of these gifted and devoted monks made it possible for the Dhamma and Vinaya, as taught by the Buddha to be preserved in its original state.

The Pāli Tipiṭaka and its allied literature exists as a result of the Buddha’s discovery of the noble and liberating path of the pure Dhamma. This path enables all those who follow it to lead a peaceful and happy life. Indeed, in this day and age we are fortunate to have the authentic teachings of the Buddha preserved for future generations through the conscientious and concerted efforts of his ordained disciples down through the ages. The Buddha had said to his disciples that when he was no longer amongst them, that it was essential that the Saṅgha should come together for the purpose of collectively reciting the Dhamma, precisely as he had taught it. In compliance with this instruction the first Elders duly called a council and systematically ordered all the Buddha’s discourses and monastic rules and then faithfully recited them word for word in concert.

The teachings contained in the Tipiṭaka are also known as the Doctrine of the Elders [Theravāda]. These discourses number several hundred and have always been recited word for word ever since the First Council was convened. Subsequently, more Councils have been called for a number of reasons but at every one of them the entire body of the Buddha’s teaching has always been recited by the Saṅgha participants, in concert and word for word. The first council took place three months after the Buddha’s attainment of Mahāparinibbāṇa and was followed by five more, two of which were convened in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. These collective recitations which were performed by the monks at all these Dhamma Councils are known as the ‘Dhamma Saṅgītis’, the Dhamma Recitations. They are so designated because of the precedent set at the First Dhamma Council, when all the Teachings were recited first by an Elder of the Saṅgha and then chanted once again in chorus by all of the monks attending the assembly. The recitation was judged to have been authentic, when and only when, it had been approved unanimously by the members of the Council. What follows is a brief history of the Six Councils.

The First Council

King Ajātasattu sponsored the First Council. It was convened in 544 B.C. in the Sattapaāāī Cave situated outside Rājagaha three months after the Buddha had passed away. A detailed account of this historic meeting can be found in the Cūllavagga of the Vinaya Piṭaka. According to this record the incident which prompted the Elder Mahākassapa to call this meeting was his hearing a disparaging remark about the strict rule of life for monks. This is what happened. The monk Subhadda, a former barber, who had ordained late in life, upon hearing that the Buddha had expired, voiced his resentment at having to abide by all the rules for monks laid down by the Buddha. Many monks lamented the passing of the Buddha and were deeply grieved. However, the Elder Mahākassapa heard Subhadda say: ‘’Enough your Reverences, do not grieve, do not lament. We are well rid of this great recluse (the Buddha). We were tormented when he said, ‘this is allowable to you, this is not allowable to you’ but now we will be able to do as we like and we will not have to do what we do not like'’. Mahākassapa was alarmed by his remark and feared that the Dhamma and the Vinaya might be corrupted and not survive intact if other monks were to behave like Subhadda and interpret the Dhamma and the Vinaya rules as they pleased. To avoid this he decided that the Dhamma must be preserved and protected. To this end after gaining the Saṅgha’s approval he called to council five hundred Arahants. Ānanda was to be included in this provided he attained Arahanthood by the time the council convened. With the Elder Mahākassapa presiding, the five-hundred Arahant monks met in council during the rainy season. The first thing Mahākassapa did was to question the foremost expert on the Vinaya of the day, Venerable Upāli on particulars of the monastic rule. This monk was well qualified for the task as the Buddha had taught him the whole of the Vinaya himself. First of all the Elder Mahākassapa asked him specifically about the ruling on the first offense [pārājika], with regard to the subject, the occasion, the individual introduced, the proclamation, the repetition of the proclamation, the offense and the case of non-offense. Upāli gave knowledgeable and adequate answers and his remarks met with the unanimous approval of the presiding Saṅgha. Thus the Vinaya was formally approved.

The Elder Mahākassapa then turned his attention to Ānanda in virtue of his reputable expertise in all matters connected with the Dhamma. Happily, the night before the Council was to meet, Ānanda had attained Arahantship and joined the Council. The Elder Mahākassapa, therefore, was able to question him at length with complete confidence about the Dhamma with specific reference to the Buddha’s sermons. This interrogation on the Dhamma sought to verify the place where all the discourses were first preached and the person to whom they had been addressed. Ānanda, aided by his word-perfect memory was able to answer accurately and so the Discourses met with the unanimous approval of the Saṅgha. The First Council also gave its official seal of approval for the closure of the chapter on the minor and lesser rules, and approval for their observance. It took the monks seven months to recite the whole of the Vinaya and the Dhamma and those monks sufficiently endowed with good memories retained all that had been recited. This historic first council came to be known as the Paācasatika because five-hundred fully enlightened Arahants had taken part in it.

The Second Council

The Second Council was called one hundred years after the Buddha’s Parinibbāṇa in order to settle a serious dispute over the ‘ten points’. This is a reference to some monks breaking of ten minor rules. they were given to:

1. Storing salt in a horn.
2. Eating after midday.
3. Eating once and then going again to a village for alms.
4. Holding the Uposatha Ceremony with monks dwelling in the same locality.
5. Carrying out official acts when the assembly was incomplete.
6. Following a certain practice because it was done by one’s tutor or teacher.
7. Eating sour milk after one had his midday meal.
8. Consuming strong drink before it had been fermented.
9. Using a rug which was not the proper size.
10. Using gold and silver.

Their misdeeds became an issue and caused a major controversy as breaking these rules was thought to contradict the Buddha’s original teachings. King Kāḷāsoka was the Second Council’s patron and the meeting took place at Vesāli due to the following circumstances. One day, whilst visiting the Mahāvana Grove at Veāsli, the Elder Yasa came to know that a large group of monks known as the Vajjians were infringing the rule which prohibited monk’s accepting gold and silver by openly asking for it from their lay devotees. He immediately criticized their behavior and their response was to offer him a share of their illegal gains in the hope that he would be won over. The Elder Yasa, however declined and scorned their behavior. The monks immediately sued him with a formal action of reconciliation, accusing him of having blamed their lay devotees. The Elder Yasa accordingly reconciled himself with the lay devotees, but at the same time, convinced them that the Vijjian monks had done wrong by quoting the Buddha’s pronouncement on the prohibition against accepting or soliciting for gold and silver. The laymen immediately expressed their support for the Elder Yasa and declared the Vajjian monks to the wrong-doers and heretics, saying ‘’the Elder Yasa alone is the real monk and Sākyan son. All the others are not monks, not Sākyan sons'’.

The Stubborn and unrepentant Vajjian monks then moved to suspend the Venerable Yasa Thera without the approval of the rest of the Saṅgha when they came to know of the outcome of his meeting with their lay devotees. The Elder Yasa, however escaped their censure and went in search of support from monks elsewhere, who upheld his orthodox views on the Vinaya. Sixty forest dwelling monks from Pāvā and eighty monks from the southern regions of Avanti who were of the same view, offered to help him to check the corruption of the Vinaya. Together they decided to go to Soreyya to consult the Venerable Revata as he was a highly revered monk and an expert in the Dhamma and the Vinaya. As soon as the Vajjian monks came to know this they also sought the Venerable Revata’s support by offering him the four requisites which he promptly refused. These monks then sought to use the same means to win over the Venerable Revata’s attendant, the Venerable Uttara. At first he too, rightly declined their offer but they craftily persuaded him to accept their offer, saying that when the requisites meant for the Buddha were not accepted by him, Ānanda would be asked to accept them and would often agree to do so. Uttara changed his mind and accepted the requisites. Urged on by them he then agreed to go and persuade the Venerable Revata to declare that the Vajjian monks were indeed speakers of the Truth and upholders of the Dhamma. The Venerable Revata saw through their ruse and refused to support them. He then dismissed Uttara. In order to settle the matter once and for all, the Venerable Revata advised that a council should be called at Vāḷikārāma with himself asking questions on the ten offenses of the most senior of the Elders of the day, the Thera Sabbjakāmi. Once his opinion was given it was to be heard by a committee of eight monks, and its validity decided by their vote. The eight monks called to judge the matter were the Venerables Sabbakāmi, saḷha, Khujjasobhita and Vāsabhagāmika, from the East and four monks from the West, the Venerables Revata, Sambhuta-Sāṇavāsī, Yasa and Sumana. They thoroughly debated the matter with Revata as the questioner and sabbakāmī answering his questions. After the debate was heard the eight monks decided against the Vajjian monks and their verdict was announced to the assembly. Afterwards seven-hundred monks recited the Dhamma and Vinaya and this recital came to be known as the Sattasatī because seven-hundred monks had taken part in it. This historic council is also called, the Yasatthera Sangīti because of the major role the Elder Yasa played in it and his zeal for safeguarding the Vinaya. The Vajjian monks categorically refused to accept the Council’s decision and in defiance called a council of there own which was called the Mahāsaṅgiti.

The Third Council

The Third Council was held primarily to rid the Saṅgha of corruption and bogus monks who held heretical views. The Council was convened in 326 B.C. At Asokārāma in Paṭaliputta under the patronage of Emperor Asoka. It was presided over by the Elder Moggaliputta Tissa and one thousand monks participated in this Council. Tradition has it that Asoka had won his throne through shedding the blood of all his father’s son’s save his own brother, Tissa Kumāra who eventually got ordained and achieved Arahantship.

Asoka was crowned in the two hundred and eighteenth year after the Buddha’s Mahaparinibbāna. At first he paid only token homage to the Dhamma and the Saṅgha and also supported members of other religious sects as his father had done before him. However, all this changed when he met the pious novice-monk Nigrodha who preached him the Appamāda-vagga. Thereafter he ceased supporting other religious groups and his interest in and devotion to the Dhamma deepened. He used his enormous wealth to build, it is said, eighty-four thousand pagodas and vihāras and to lavishly support the Bhikkhus with the four requisites. His son Mahinda and his daughter Saṅghamittā were ordained and admitted to the Saṅgha. Eventually, his generosity was to cause serious problems within the Saṅgha. In time the order was infiltrated by many unworthy men, holding heretical views and who were attracted to the order because of the Emperor’s generous support and costly offerings of food, clothing, shelter and medicine. Large numbers of faithless, greedy men espousing wrong views tried to join the order but were deemed unfit for ordination. Despite this they seized the chance to exploit the Emperor’s generosity for their own ends and donned robes and joined the order without having been ordained properly. Consequently, respect for the Saṅgha diminished. When this came to light some of the genuine monks refused to hold the prescribed purification or Uposatha ceremony in the company of the corrupt, heretical monks.

When the Emperor heard about this he sought to rectify the situation and dispatched one of his ministers to the monks with the command that they perform the ceremony. However, the Emperor had given the minister no specific orders as to what means were to be used to carry out his command. The monks refused to obey and hold the ceremony in the company of their false and ‘thieving’ companions [theyyasinivāsaka]. In desperation the angry minister advanced down the line of seated monks and drawing his sword, beheaded all of them one after the other until he came to the King’s brother, Tissa who had been ordained. The horrified minister stopped the slaughter and fled the hall and reported back to the Emperor Asoka was deeply grieved and upset by what had happened and blamed himself for the killings. He sought Thera Moggaliputta Tissa’s counsel. He proposed that the heretical monks be expelled from the order and a third Council be convened immediately. So it was that in the seventeenth year of the Emperor’s reign the Third Council was called. Thera Moggaliputta Tissa headed the proceedings and chose one thousand monks from the sixty thousand participants for the traditional recitation of the Dhamma and the Vinaya, which went on for nine months. The Emperor, himself questioned monks from a number of monasteries about the teachings of the Buddha. Those who held wrong views were exposed and expelled from the Saṅgha immediately. In this way the Bhikkhu Saṅgha was purged of heretics and bogus bhikkhus.

This council achieved a number of other important things as well. The Elder Moggaliputta Tissa, in order to refute a number of heresies and ensure the Dhamma was kept pure, complied a book during the council called the Kathāvatthu. This book consists of twenty-three chapters, and is a collection of discussion (kathā) and refutations of the heretical views held by various sects on matters philosophical. It is the fifth of the seven books of the Abhidhamma Piṭaka. The members of the Council also gave a royal seal of approval to the doctrine of the Buddha, naming it the Vibhajjavāda, the Doctrine of Analysis. It is identical with the approved Theravāda doctrine. One of the most significant achievements of this Dhamma assembly and one which was to bear fruit for centuries to come, was the Emperor’s sending forth of monks, well versed in the Buddha’s Dhamma and Vinaya who could recite all of it by heart, to teach it in nine different countries. These Dhammadūta monks included the Venerable Majjhantika Thera who went to Kashmir and Gandhāra. He was asked to preach the Dhamma and establish an order of monks there. The Venerable Mahādeva was sent to Mahinsakamaṇḍaḷa (modern Mysore) and the Venerable Rakkhita Thera was dispatched to Vanavāsī (northern Kanara in the south of India.) The Venerable Yonaka Dhammarakkhita Thera was sent to Upper Aparantaka (northern Gujarat, Kathiawar, Kutch and Sindh].

The Venerable Mahārakkhita Thera went to Yonaka-loka (the land of the lonians, Bactrians and the Greeks.) The Venerable Majjhima Thera went to Himavanta (the place adjoining the Himalayas.) The Venerable Soṇa and the Venerable Uttara were sent to Suvaṇṇabhūmi [now Myanmar]. The Venerable Mahinda Thera, The Venerable Ittiya Thera, the Venerable Uttiya Thera, the Venerable Sambala Thera and the Venerable Bhaddasāla Thera were sent to Tambapaṇṇi (now Sri Lanka). The Dhamma missions of these monks succeeded and bore great fruits in the course of time and went a long way in ennobling the peoples of these lands with the gift of the Dhamma and influencing their civilizations and cultures.

With the spread of Dhamma through the words of the Buddha, in due course India came to be known as Visvaguru, the teacher of the world.

The Fourth Council

The Fourth Council was held in Tambapaṇṇi [Sri Lanka] in 29 B.C. under the patronage of King Vaṭṭagāmaṇi. The main reason for its convening was the realization that is was now not possible for the majority of monks to retain the entire Tipiṭaka in their memories as had been the case formerly for the Venerable Mahinda and those who followed him soon after. Therefore, as the art of writing had, by this time developed substantially, it was thought expedient and necessary to have the entire body of the Buddha’s teaching written down. King Vaṭṭagāmaṇi supported the monk’s idea and a council was held specifically to reduce the Tipiṭaka in its entirety to writing. Therefore, so that the genuine Dhamma might be lastingly preserved, the Venerable Mahārakhita and five hundred monks recited the words of the Buddha and then wrote them down on palm leaves. This remarkable project took place in a cave called, the Āloka lena, situated in the cleft of an ancient landslip near what is now Matale. Thus the aim of the Council was achieved and the preservation in writing of the authentic Dhamma was ensured. Later, in the Eighteenth Century, King Vijayarājasīha had images of the Buddha created in this cave.

The Fifth Council

The Fifth Council took place in Māndalay, Burma now known as Myanmar in 1871 A.D. in the reign of King Mindon. The chief objective of this meeting was to recite all the teachings of the Buddha and examine them in minute detail to see if any of them had been altered, distorted or dropped. It was presided over by three Elders, the Venerable Mahāthera Jāgarābhivaṃsa, the Venerable Narindābhidhaja, and the Venerable Mahāthera Sumaṅgalasāmi in the company of some two thousand four hundred monks (2,400). Their joint Dhamma recitation lasted for five months. It was also the work of this council to cause the entire Tipiṭaka to be inscribed for posterity on seven hundred and twenty-nine marble slabs in the Myanmar script after its recitation had been completed and unanimously approved. This monumental task was done by some two thousand four hundred erudite monks and many skilled craftsmen who upon completion of each slab had them housed in beautiful miniature ‘piṭaka’ pagodas on a special site in the grounds of King Mindon’s Kuthodaw Pagoda at the foot of Māndalay Hill where this so called ‘largest book in the world’, stands to this day.

The Sixth Council

The Sixth Council was called at Kaba Aye in Yangon, formerly Rangoon in 1954, eighty-three years after the fifth one was held in Mandalay. It was sponsored by the Burmese Government led by the Prime Minister, the Honorable U Nu. He authorized the construction of the Mahā Pāsāna Gūhā, the great cave that was built from the ground up, to serve as the gathering place much like India’s Sattapānni Cave–the site of the first Dhamma Council. Upon its completion, the Council met on the 17th of May, 1954. As in the case of the preceding councils, its first objective was to affirm and preserve the genuine Dhamma and Vinaya. However it was unique in so far as the monks who took part in it came from eight countries. These two thousand five hundred learned Theravāda monks came from Myanmar, Cambodia, India, Laos, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Vietnam. The late Venerable Mahāsi Sayadaw was appointed the noble task of asking the required questions about the Dhamma of the Venerable Bhadanta Vicittasārābhivaṃsa Tipiṭakadhara Dhammabhaṇḍāgārika who answered all of them learnedly and satisfactorily. By the time this council met, all the participating countries had the Pāli Tipiṭaka rendered into their native scripts, with the exception of India.

The traditional recitation of the Dhamma Scriptures took two years during which the Tipiṭaka and its allied literature in all the scripts were painstakingly examined. Any differences found were noted down, the necessary corrections were made and all the versions were then collated. Happily, it was found that there was not much difference in the content of any of the texts. Finally, after the Council had officially approved them, all the volumes of the Tipiṭaka and their Commentaries were prepared for printing on modern presses and published in the Myanmar (Burmese) script. This notable achievement was made possible through the dedicated efforts of the two thousand five hundred monks and numerous lay people. Their work came to an end in May, 1956, two and a half millennia after the Lord attained Parinibbāna. This council’s work was the unique achievement of representatives from the entire Buddhist world. The version of the Tipiṭaka which it undertook to produce has been recognized as being true to the pristine teachings of Gotama the Buddha and the most authoritative rendering of them to date.

The volumes printed after the Sixth Saṅgāyana were printed in Myanmar script. In order to make the volumes to the people of India, Vipassana Research Institute started the project to print the Tipiṭaka with its Aṭṭhakathās and ṭikas in Devanagari in the year 1990.

Verse 393. One Does Not Become A Brahmin Merely By Birth
By birth one is no brahmin,
by family, austerity.
In whom are truth and Dhamma too
pure is he, a Brahmin’s he.

Explanation: One does not become a brahmin by one’s matted hair. Nor does one become a brahmin by one’s clan. Even one’s birth will not make a brahmin. If one has realized the Truth., has acquired the knowledge of the Teaching, if he is also pure, it is such a person that I describe as a brahmin.
Verse 392. Honour To Whom Honour Is Due
From whom one knows the Dhamma
by Perfect Buddha taught
devoutly one should honour them
as brahmin sacred fire.

Explanation: If a seeker after truth were to learn the Word of the Enlightened One from a teacher, that pupil must pay the Teacher due respect, like a brahmin paying homage assiduously and with respect to the sacrificial fire.

Verse 391. The Well-Restrained Is Truly A Brahmin
In whom there is no wrong-doing
by body, speech or mind,
in these three ways restrained,
that one I call a Brahmin True.

Explanation: If an individual is well guarded in body, speech and in mind, and has done no wrong in these three areas, who is well restrained, I call that person a true brahmana – the noble saint.

Verse 394. Be Pure Within
What’s the coiled hair for?
For what your cloak of skins?
Within you are acquisitive,
you decorate without.

Explanation: Of what use are your exterior sights of asceticism: you matted hair, your leopard skin garment? Your outside you keep clean and bright, while inside you are filled with defilements.

Verse 395. Who Meditates Alone in the Forest Is A Brahmana
One enduring rag-robes, lean,
with body o’er spread by veins,
lone in the woods who meditates,
that one I call a Brahmin True.

Explanation: He wears robs made of cast off rags. He is so austere and lean that veins stand out in his body. All alone, he meditates in the forest. Such a seeker if truth, I describe as a brahmano.

Verse 396. Non-Possessive And The Non-Attached Person Is A Brahmana
I call him a brahmin though
by womb-born mother’s lineage,
he’s just supercilious
if with sense of ownership,
owning nothing and unattached:
that one I call a Brahmin True.

Explanation: I would not call a person a brahmana merely because he was born out of a brahmana mother’s womb. Nor would I call a person a brahmin merely because he goes about addressing people as sir. These people are full of defilements. I call a person a brahmin who is free of faults and is not given to craving.

Verse 397. A Brahmana Is He Who Has Destroyed All Fetters
Who fetters all has severed
does tremble not at all,
who’s gone beyond all bond, unyoked,
that one I call a Brahmin True.
Explanation: He has got rid of all fetters; in consequence, he is free of trepidation and is fearless. He has travelled beyond all bonds. Disengaged from bonds, he is no longer tied to the world. Such a person I describe as a brahmana.

Verse 398. A Brahmana Is He Who Has No Hatred
When cutting strap and reins,
the rope and bridle too,
tipping the shaft, he’s Waked,
that one I call a Brahmin True.

Explanation: He has got rid of the strap of ill-will. He has freed himself from the thong of craving. He has escaped the large shackle breaking all its links. These are the false views that curb the people. He has taken off the cross-bar of ignorance. He has become aware of the four noble truths. That person, I describe as a brahmana.

Verse 399. A Brahmana Is He Who Is Patient
Who angerless endures abuse.
Beating and imprisonment,
with patience’s power, an armed might:
that one I call a Brahmin True.

Explanation: He is abused and insulted. He is tortured, imprisoned and bound up. But he endures all these without being provoked or without losing his temper. Such an individual who has patience as his power and his army, I describe as a true brahmano.

Verse 400. A Brahmana Is He Who Is Not Wrathful
Who’s angerless and dutiful,
of virtue full and free of lust,
who’s tamed, to final body come,
that one I call a Brahmin True.

Explanation: He is free of anger. He carefully performs his religious duties and is mindful of the observances. He is disciplined in terms of virtuous behaviour. He is restrained. This is the final body he will occupy as he has ended his cycle of births. I call that person a brahmana.

Verse 401. He Is A Brahmana Who Clings Not To Sensual Pleasures
Like water on a lotus leaf,
or mustard seed on needle point,
whoso clings not to sensual things,
that one I call a Brahmin True.

Explanation: The water does not get attached to the surface of the lotus leaf. The mustard seed does not get attached to the point of a needle. In the same way, the wise one’s mind does not get attached to sensual pleasure. Such a non-attached person I describe as the true brahmana .

Verse 402. A Brahmana Is He Who Has Laid The Burden Aside
Whoso in this world comes to know
cessation of all sorrow,
laid down the burden, freed from bonds,
that one I call a Brahmin True.

Explanation: He has become aware, in this world itself, the end of suffering. He is unburdened: he has put down the load. He has got disengaged from the bonds that held him. I call that person a true brahmana.

Verse 403. A Brahmana Is He Who Has Reached His Ultimate Goal
Whose knowledge is deep, who’s wise,
who’s skilled in ways right and wrong,
having attained the highest aim,
that one I call a Brahmin True.

Explanation: He possesses profound wisdom. He is full of insight. He is capable of discriminating the right path from the wrong path. He has reached the highest state. I call that person a true brahmana.

Verse 404. A Brahmana Is He Who Has No Intimacy With Any
Aloof alike from laity
and those gone forth to homelessness,
who wanders with no home or wish,
that one I call a Brahmin True.

Explanation: He does not establish extensive contact either with laymen or with the homeless. He is not attached to the way of life of the householder. He is content with the bare minimum of needs. I call that person a true brahmana.

Verse 405. A Brahmana Is He Who Is Absolutely Harmless
Who blows to beings has renounced
to trembling ones, to bold,
who causes not to kill nor kills,
that one I call a Brahmin True.

Explanation: He has discarded the rod and set aside the weapons. He does not hurt neither the frightened, timid beings, nor stubborn, fearless beings. I call that person a brahmana.

Verse 406. A Brahmana Is He Who Is Friendly Amongst The Hostile
Among the hostile, friendly,
among the violent, cool
detached amidst the passionate,
that one I call a Brahmin True.

Explanation: Being friendly even among the hostile. Free from hostility, violence and passionate grasping, one emerges a true brahmin.

Verse 407. A Brahmana Is He Who Has Discarded All Passions
From whomever lust and hate,
conceit, contempt have dropped away,
as mustard seed from a point of a needle,
that one I call a Brahmin True.

Explanation: His mind does not accept such evils as lust, ill-will, pride and ingratitude. In this, his mind is like a point of a needle that just does not grasp a mustard seed. An individual endowed with such a mind I describe as a brahmana.

Verse 408. A Brahmana Is He Who Gives Offence To None
Who utters speech instructive,
true and gentle too,
who gives offence to none,
that one I call a Brahmin True.

Explanation: His speech is true. His words are well-meaning, constructive and not harsh. By his words he will not give offence to anyone. Nor will his words provoke people. Such a person I declare a true brahmana.

Verse 409. A Brahmana Is He Who Steals Not
Who in the world will never take
what is not given, long or short,
the great or small, the fair or foul,
that one I call a Brahmin True.

Explanation: In this world if there is some person who does not take anything that is not given, whether long or short, minute or large or good or bad, him I declare a true brahmana.

Verse 410. A Brahmana Is He Who Is Desireless
In whom there are no longings found
in this world or the next,
longingless and free from bonds,
that one I call Brahmin True.

Explanation: He has no yearnings either for this world or for the next. He is free from earning and greed. He is disengaged from defilements. Such a person I declare a fine brahmana.



CHAPTER I - Different Types of Consciousness (citta-sangaha-vibhāgo)

Introductory Verse

§ 1.

Sammāsambuddhamatulam - sasaddhammaganuttamam
Abhivādiya bhāsissam - Abhidhammatthasangaham
The Fully Awakened Peerless One, with the Sublime Doctrine and the Noble Order,
do I respectfully salute, and shall speak concisely of things contained in the Abhidhamma.


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

i. Dhammasangani,
ii. Vibhanga,
iii. Dhātukathā,
iv. Puggalapaññatti,
v. Kathāvatthu,
vi. Yamaka
(Dhammasangani Vibhangañ ca - Kathāvatthu ca Puggalam Dhātu-Yamaka-Pathānam-Abhidhammo’ ti vuccati)

i. Dhammasangani - “Classification of Dhammas”.

This book is divided into four chapters, viz:-

(1) - (Citta) Consciousness,

(2) - (Rūpa) Matter,

(3) - (Nikkhepa) Summary,

(4) - (Atthuddhāra) Elucidation.

The 22 Tika Mātikās (Triplets) and the 100 Duka-Mātikās (Couplets), which comprise the quintessence of the Abhidhamma, are explained in this book. The major part of the book is devoted to the explanation of the first triplet - kusalā dhammā, akusalā dhammā and abyākatā dhammā. In extent the book exceeds thirteen Bhānavāras* (recitals), i.e., more than 104,000 letters.

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

ii. Vibhanga - “Divisions”.

There are eighteen divisions in this book.

The first three divisions, which deal with

khandha (aggregates)

āyatana (sense-spheres) and

dhātu (elements),

are the most important.

The other chapters deal with

sacca (truths,)

indriya (controlling faculties),

paccayākāra (causal genesis),

satipatthāna (foundations of mindfulness),

samma-ppadhāna (supreme efforts),

iddhi-pāda (means of accomplishments),

bojjhanga (factors of wisdom),

jhāna (ecstasies or absorption),

appamaññā (illimitable),

magga (paths),

sikkhā-pada (precepts),

patisambhidā (analytical knowledge),

ñāna (wisdom),

khuddaka-vatthu (minor subjects), and

dhamma-hadaya (essence of truth).

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

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

iii. Dhātukathā - “Discussion with reference to Elements”.

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

aggregates (khandha),

bases (āyatana), and

elements (dhātu).

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

iv. Puggalapaññatti - “Designation of Individuals”.

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

v. Kathāvatthu - “Points of Controversy”

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

The Atthasālini Commentary states that it contains one thousand Suttas: five hundred orthodox and five hundred heterodox. In extent it is about the size of the Dīgha Nikāya.

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

vi. Yamaka - “The Book of Pairs”.

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

This book is divided into ten chapters - namely,

mūla (roots),

khandha (aggregates),

āyatana (bases),

dhātu (elements),

sacca (truths),

sankhāra (conditioned things),

anusaya (latent dispositions),

citta (consciousness),

dhamma, and

indriya (controlling faculties).

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

vii. Patthāna - “The Book of Causal Relations”.

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

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

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

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

Subject - Matter (Abhidhammatthā)

§ 2.

Tattha vutt’ abhidhammatthā - catudhā paramatthato

Cittam cetasikam rūpam - Nibbānam’ iti sabbathā.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The so-called being is mundane. Nibbāna is supra mundane. The former is composed of nāma and rūpa. According to Abhidhamma rūpa connotes both fundamental units of matter and material changes as well. As such Abhidhamma enumerates 28 species of matter. These will be dealt with in a subsequent chapter. Nāma, denotes both consciousness and mental states. The second chapter of this book deals with such mental states (cetasikas) which are 52 in number. One of these is vedanā (feeling). Another is saññā (perception). The remaining 50 are collectively called sankhāra (mental states). The receptacle of these mental properties is viññāna (consciousness), which is the subject-matter of this present chapter.

According to the above analysis the so-called being is composed of five Groups or Aggregates (pañcakkhandha):- rūpa (matter), vedanā (feeling), saññā (perception), sankhāra (mental states) and viññāna (consciousness).

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

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

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

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

The Four Classes of Consciousness (catubbidha-cittāni)

§ 3.

tattha cittam tāva catubbidhara hoti:-

(1.) kāmāvacaram,
(2.) rūpāvacaram
(3.) arūpāvacaram,
(4.) lokuttaram c’ati.

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

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

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

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

6. Rūpāvacara, Arūpāvacara respectively mean either that which pertains to rūpa and arūpa jhānas (ecstasies) or that which mostly moves about in the rūpa and arūpa planes.

Rūpalokas are planes where those who develop rūpa jhānas are born.

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

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

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

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

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

Consciousness pertaining the sensuous Sphere


Immoral Consciousness (akusala cittāni)

§ 4. tattha katamam kāmāvacaram?

§ 4. Amongst them what is Kāmāvacara?

(Consciousness Rooted in Attachment)


Somanassa-sahagatam, ditthigatasampayuttam, asankhārikam ekam

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


Somanassa-sahagatam, ditthigatasampayuttam, sasankhārikam ekam,

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


Somanassa-sahagatam ditthigatavippayuttam, asankhārikam ekam

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


Somanassa-sahagatam ditthigatavippayuttam, sasankhārikam ekam

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


Upekkhā-sahagatam, ditthigatasampayuttam, asankhārikam ekam

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


Upekkhā-sahagatam, ditthigatasampayuttam, sasankhārikam ekam

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


Upekkhā-sahagatam, ditthigatavippayuttam, asankhārikam ekam

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


Upekkhā-sahagatam, ditthigatavippayuttam, sasankhārikam ekan’ ti

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

Imāni attha’pi Lobhasahagatacittāni nāma

These eight types of consciousness are rooted in Attachment

(Consciousness Rooted in Ill-will or Aversion)


Domanassasahagatam, patighasampayuttam, asañkhārikam ekam

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


Domanassasahagatam, patighasampayuttam, sasañkhārikam ekan’ ti

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

Imani dve’pi Patighasampayuttacittāni nāma.

These two types of consciousness are connected with Ill-will.

(Consciousness Rooted in Delusion or Ignorance)


Upekkhā-sahagatam, vicikicchā-sampayuttam ekam,

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


Upekkhā-sahagatam, uddhacca-sampayuttam ekan ‘ti

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

Imani dve’ pi Momūhacittāni nāma

Icce’vam sabbathā pi dvādasakusala-cittāni samattāni.

These two types of consciousness are rooted in sheer Ignorance.

Thus end, in all, the twelve types of Immoral Consciousness.


Atthadhā lobhamūlāni-dosamūlāni ca dvidhā

Mohamulāni ca dve’ti-dvādasākusala siyum.

Eight are rooted in Attachment, two in Ill-will, and two in Ignorance.

Thus there are twelve types of Immoral Consciousness.


8. Akusala, Kusala, Vipāka, Kiriya-

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

9. Three Roots (Mūla)-

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

10. Vedanā or Feeling-

Feeling or, as some prefer to say, sensation, is a mental state common to all types of consciousness. Chiefly there are three kinds of feelings -namely,

somanassa (pleasurable),
domanassa (displeasurable),
upekkhā (indifferent, neutral, equanimity or neither pleasurable nor dis-pleasurable).

dukkha (physical pain)
sukha (physical happiness)
there are altogether five kinds of feelings.

Somanassa is an abstract noun formed of ’su’, good, and ‘mana’, mind. Literally, the term means good-mindedness, i.e., a pleasurable feeling.

Similarly ‘domanassa’ (’du’, bad, and ‘mana’, mind) means bad-mindedness i.e., a dis-pleasurable feeling.

The third feeling is neutral. Indifference is used here in this particular sense, but not in the sense of callousness. Sukha is composed of ’su’, easy, and ‘kha’ to bear, or to endure. What is easily endured is ’sukha’ i.e., happiness. Dukkha (du, difficult), pain, is that which is difficult to be endured. Both these sensations are physical.

According to Abhidhamma there is only one type of consciousness accompanied by pain, and one accompanied by happiness. Two are connected with a dis-pleasurable feeling. Of the 89 types of consciousness, in the remaining 85 are found either a pleasurable feeling or a neutral feeling.

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

11. Ditthi-

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

12. Sankhārika-

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

Like dhamma, sankhāra also is a multi-significant term. Its precise meaning is to be understood according to the context.

When used as one of the five ‘aggregates’ (pañcakkhandha), it refers to all the mental states, except vedanā and saññā. In the paticca-samuppāda it is applied to all moral and immoral activities, good and bad thoughts. When sankhāra is used to signify that which is subject to change, sorrow, etc., it is invariably applied to all conditioned things.

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

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

13. Vicikicchā-

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

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

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

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

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

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

14. Uddhacca-

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

15. Kusala and Akusala-

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

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

(2.) kusa + Ö lu, to cut.

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

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

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

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

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

“The word kusala means ‘of good health’ (ārogya), ‘faultless’ (anavajja), ‘clever’ (cheka), ‘productive of happy results’ (sukha-vipāka)”.

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

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

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

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

Atthasālini further states kusala is used in the sense of having accomplished with wisdom (kosallasambhūtatthena; kosallam vuccati paññā).

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

Akusala would therefore mean unwholesome or immoral.

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

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

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

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

17. Kiriya or Kriyā, literally, means action.

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

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


18. Attachment

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

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

(3.) (4.) The same illustration serves for the third and fourth types of consciousness with the difference that the stealing is done

without any false view.

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

20. Ignorance

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

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

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

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

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

DEED- (1) Killing (pānātipāta), (2) Stealing. (adinnādāna), (3) Sexual Misconduct (kāmesu-micchācāra).

WORD- (4) Lying (musāvāda), (5) Slandering (pisuna-vācā), (6) Harsh speech (pharusa-vācā), (7) Vain talk (samphappalāpa).

THOUGHT- (8) Covetousness (abhijjhā), (9) Hatred (vyāpāda), and (10) False view (micchā-ditthi)*.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

An Arahat does not give rise to any of the twelve akusala cittas as he has eradicated the remaining five Fetters too - namely, rūparāga (Attachment to rūpa jhānas and Form-Spheres), arūparāga (Attachment to arūpa jhānas and Formless-Spheres), māna (Conceit), uddhacca (Restlessness) and avijjā (Not-knowingness or Ignorance).

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

(ahetuka cittāni-18)

(akusala vipāka cittāni)

§ 5 (1) Upekkhāsahagatam Cakkhuviññānam; tathā (2) Sotaviññānam, (3) Ghānaviññānam, (4) Jivhāviññānam, (5) Dukkhasahagatam, Kāyaviññānam, (6) Upekkhāsahagatam Sampaticchanacittam, (7) Upekkhāsahagatam Santîranacittañ c’āti.

Imani satta’pi Akusala Vipaka Cittani nāma.

(kusala vipāk’āhetuka cittāni)

(8) Upekkhāsahagatam kusalavipākam Cakkhuviññānam; tathā (9) Sotaviññānam, (10) Ghānaviññānam (11) Jivhaviññānam, (12) Sukhasahagatam Kāyaviññānam, (13) Upekkhāsahagatam Sampaticchanacittam, (14) Somanassasahagatam Santîranacittam (15) Upekkhāsahagatam Santîranacittam c’ati.

Imāni attha’ pi Kusalavipāk’āhetukacittāni nāma.

(ahetuka kiriya cittāni)

(16) Upekkhāsahagatam Pañcadvārāvajjanacittam; tathā

(17) Manodvārāvajjanacittam,

(18) Somanassasahagatam Hasituppādacîttañ c’ati.

Imāni tîni’ pi ahetuka-kiriya cittāni nāma.

Icc’evamsabbathā’pi atthārasāhetukacittāni samattāni.

Sattākusalapākāani - puññāpākāni atthadhā

Kiriyācittāni tîni’ti - atthārasa Ahetukā.

(18 Types Of Rootless Consciousness)

(Immoral Resultant Consciousness without Roots)

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

(2) Ear-consciousness,

(3) Nose-consciousness,

(4) Tongue consciousness,

(5) Body-consciousness, accompanied by pain,

(6) Receiving consciousness, accompanied by indifference,

(7) Investigating consciousness, accompanied by indifference.

These seven are the immoral resultant types of consciousness.

(Moral Resultant Consciousness without Roots)

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

(9) Ear-consciousness,

(10) Nose-consciousness,

(11) Tongue-consciousness,

(12) Body-consciousness, accompanied by happiness,

(13) Receiving consciousness, accompanied by indifference,

(14) Investigating consciousness, accompanied by pleasure,

(15) Investigating consciousness, accompanied by indifference.

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

(Functional Consciousness without Roots)

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

(17) So is mind-door adverting consciousness.

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

These three are the functional types of consciousness without Hetu.

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


Seven are immoral resultants. Moral resultants are Eightfold.

Three are functionals. Ahetukas are eighteen.


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

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

24. Dvipañcaviññāna - Five pairs of moral and immoral resultant consciousness are enumerated here. They are so called because they are dependent on the five senses. As they are comparatively weak they are accompanied by neutral feeling, with the exception of body-consciousness which is accompanied by either pain or happiness. It should be noted that, in the Abhidhamma, these five pairs of consciousness are sometimes referred to as ‘dvipancaviññāna’, the two sampaticchana cittas and pañca-dvārāvajjana citta as ‘mano dhātu’ (mind-element), the rest (76) as ‘mano viññāna dhātu’ (mind-consciousness element).

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

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

Sotāpannas, Sakadāgāmīs, and Anāgāmīs may smile with one of the two akusala cittas, disconnected with false view, accompanied by pleasure, or with one of the four kusala cittas.

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

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

There is nothing but mere mirth in the hasituppāda consciousness.

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

27. Thought-Process

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

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

The three kinds of bhavanga consciousness are vipāka. They are either one of the two santīrana cittas, accompanied by indifference, mentioned above, or one of the eight sobhana vipāka cittas, described in section 6. Pañca-dvārāvajjana is a kriyā citta. Pañca viññāna is one of the ten moral and immoral vipāka cittas. Sampaticchana and santīrana are also vipāka cittas. The mano-dvārāvajjana (mind-door consciousness), a kriyā citta, functions as the votthapana consciousness. One can use one’s freewill at this stage. The seven javana thought-moments constitute kamma. The tadālambana is a vipāka citta which is one of the three santīrana cittas or one of the eight sobhana vipāka cittas.

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

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

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

1 Atīta Bhavanga Past Bhavanga

2 Bhavanga Calana Vibrating Bhavanga

3 Bhavanga-upaccheda Arrest Bhavanga

4 Pañca-dvārāvajjana Sense-door Consciousness

5 Pañca Viññāna Sense-consciousness

6 Sampaticchana Receiving Consciousness

7 Santīrana Investigating Consciousness

8 Votthapana Determining Consciousness

9-15 Javana Impulsion

16-17 Tadālambana Registering Consciousness

(sobhana cittāni)

§ 6. Pāpāhetukamuttāni - Sobhanāni’ti vuccare

Ek’ūnasatthicittāni - ath’ekanavutī’pi vā

(atthā kāmāvāccara kusala cittāni)

1. Somanassa-sahagatam ñānasampayuttam asankhārikam ekam,

2. Somanassa-sahagatam ñānasampayuttam asankhārikam ekam,

3. Somanassa-sahagatam ñānavippayuttam asankhārikam ekam,

4. Somanassa-sahagatam ñānavippayuttam sasankhārikam ekam,

5. Upekkhā-sahagatam ñānasampayuttam asankhārikam ekam,

6. Upekkhā-sahagatam ñānasampayuttam sasankhārikam ekam,

7. Upekkhā-sahagatam ñānavippayuttam asankhārikam ekam,

8. Upekkhā-sahagatam ñānavippayuttam sasankhārikam’ ekan’ ti

Imāni attha’ pi sahetuka kāmāvacarakusalacittāni nāma.

(atthā kāmāvācara vipāka cittāni)

9. Somanassa-sahagatam ñānasampayuttam asankhārikam ekam,

10. Somanassa-sahagatam ñānasampayuttam sasankhārikam ekam,

11. Somanassa-sahagatam ñānavippayuttam asankhārikam ekam.

12. Somanassa-sahagatam ñānavippayuttam sasankhārikam ekam,

13. Upekkhā-sahagatam ñānasampayuttam asankhārikam ekam,

14. Upekkhā-sahagatam ñānasampayuttam sasankhārikam ekam,

15. Upekkhā-sahagatam ñānavippayuttam asankhārikam ekam,

16. Upekkhā-sahagatam ñānavippayuttam sasankhārikam ekan’ti.

Imāni attha’ pi sahetuka kāmāvacara-vipākacittāni nāma.

(attha kāmāvacara kriyā cittāni)

17. Somanassa-sahagatam ñānasampayuttam asankhārikam ekam,

18. Somanassa-sahagatam ñānasampayuttam sasankhārikam ekam,

19. Somanassa-sahagatam ñānavippayuttam asankhārikam ekam.

20. Somanassa-sahagatam ñānavippayuttam sasankhārikam ekam,

21. Upekkhā-sahagatam ñānasampayuttam asankhārikam ekam,

22. Upekkhā-sahagatam ñānasampayuttam sasankhārikam ekam,

23. Upekkhā-sahagatam ñānavippayuttam asankhārikam ekam,

24. Upekkhā-sahagatam ñānavippayuttam sasankhārikam ekan’ti,

Imāni attha’pi sahetuka-kāmāvacara-kriyācittāni nāma.

Icce’ vam sabbathā’pi sahetuka-kāmāvacara-

kusala vipāka kriyā cittāni samattāni.

vedanā-ñāna-sankhāra - bhedena catuvīsati

sahetū-kāmāvacara - puññapākakriyā matā.

kāme tevīsapākāni - puññā’ puññāni vīsati

ekādasa kriyā c’āti - catupaññāsa sabbathā.

“Beautiful” Consciousness Of The Sensuous Sphere - 24

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

(Eight Types of Moral Consciousness)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(Eight types of Resultant Consciousness)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(Eight types of Functional Consciousness)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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


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

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

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

31. Fifty-nine or ninety-one:

Kāmāvacara - 24
Rūpāvacara - 15
Arūpāvacara - 12
Lokuttara - 8

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

Then 24 + 15 + 12 + 40 = 91.

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

33. Asankhārika - unprompted (See note 12, p. *)

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

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

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

35. Illustrations for the first eight kusala cittas:

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

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

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

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

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


§ 7.

(rūpāvacara cittāni-15)

(rūpāvacara kusala cittani-5)

1. Vitakka-vicāra-pīti-sukh’ekaggatā-sahitam pathamajjhāna-kusalacittam.

2. Vicāra-pīti-sukh’ekaggatā-sahitam dutiyajjhāna-kusalacittam,

3. Pīti-sukh’ekaggatā-sahitam tatiyajjhāna-kusalacittam,

4. Sukh’ekaggatā-sahitam catutthajjhāna-kusalacittam,

5. Upekkh’ekaggatā-sahitam pañcamajjhāna-kusalacittañ c’āti.

Imāni pañca’pi rūpāvacara-kusalacittānināma.

(rūpāvacara vipāka cittāni-5)

1. Vitakka-vicāra-pīti-sukh’ekaggatā-sahitam pathamajjhāna-vipākacittam,

2. Vicāra-pīti-sukh’ekaggatā-sahitam dutiyajjhāna-vipākacittam,

3. Pīti-sukh’ekaggatā-sahitam tatiyajjhāna-vipākacittam,

4. Sukh’ekaggatā-sahitam, catutthajjhāna-vipākacittam,

5. Upekkh’ekaggatā-sahitam pañcamajjhāna-vipākacittañ c’āti.

Imāni pañca’pi rūpāvacara-vipākacittāni nāma.

(rūpāvacara kriyā cittāni-5)

1. Vitakka-vicāra-pīti-sukh’ekaggatā-sahitam pathamajjhāna-kriyācittam,

2. Vicāra-pīti-sukh’ekaggatā-sahitam dutiyajjhāna-kriyācittam,

3. Pīti-sukh’ekaggatā-sahitam tatiyajjhāna-kriyācittam,

4. Sukh’ekaggatā-sahitam catutthajjhāna-kriyācittam,

5. Upekkh’ekaggatā-sahitam pañcamajjhāna-kriyācittañ c’ati.

Imāni pañca’pi rūpāvacara-kriyācittāni nāma.

Icc’evam sabbathā’pi pannarasa rūpāvacara kusala-vipāka-kriyācittāni samattāni.

Pañcadhā jhānabhedena - rūpāvacaramānasam

Puññapākakriyābhedā - tam pañcadasadhā bhave.

§ 7.

(Form-Sphere Consciousness - 15)

(Form-Sphere Moral Consciousness - 5)

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

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

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

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

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

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

(Form-Sphere Resultant Consciousness - 5)

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

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

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

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

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

These are the five types of Jhāna Resultant consciousness.

(Form-Sphere Functional Consciousness-5)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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


36. Rūpāvacara-

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

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

Such meditation (bhāvanā) is of two kinds - samatha (concentration) and vipassanā (insight). Samatha, which means calm, or tranquillity is gained by developing the Jhānas. Vipassanā is seeing things as they truly are. With the aid of Jhānas one could develop higher psychic powers (abhiññā). It is vipassanā that leads to Enlightenment.

Those who develop Jhānas are born after death in higher Form-Spheres (rūpaloka) and Formless-spheres (arūpaloka).

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

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

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

37. Jhāna - Sanskrit dhyāna-

The Pāli term is derived from the root “jhe”, to think. Venerable Buddhaghosa explains Jhāna as follows, “Aramman’upanijjhānato paccanīkajhāpanato vajhanam”, Jhāna is so called because it thinks closely of an object or because it burns those adverse things (hindrances - nīvaranas).

By Jhāna is meant willful concentration on an object.

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

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

As an illustration let us take the pathavī kasina.

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

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

As he continually concentrates on this abstract concept he is said to be in possession of “proximate concentration” (upacāra samādhi) and the innate five Hindrances to progress (nīvarana), such as sense-desire (kāmacchanda), hatred (patigha), sloth and torpor (thīna-middha), restlessness and brooding (uddhacca-kukkucca), and doubts (vicikicchā) are temporarily inhibited.

Eventually he gains “ecstatic concentration” (appanā samādhi) and becomes enwrapped in Jhāna, enjoying the calmness and serenity of a one-pointed mind.

As he is about to gain appanā samādhi a thought process runs as follows:- bhavanga, mano-dvārāvajjana, parikamma, upacāra, anuloma, gotrabhū, appanā.

When the stream of consciousness is arrested, there arises the Mind-door consciousness taking for its object the patibhāga nimitta. This is followed by the Javana process which, as the case may be, starts with either parikamma or upacāra. Parikamma is the preliminary or initial thought-moment. Upacāra means proximate, because it is close to the appanā samādhi. It is at the anuloma or “adaptation” thought-moment that the mind qualifies itself for the final appanā. It is so called because it arises in conformity with appanā. This is followed by gotrabhū, the thought-moment that transcends the kāma-plane. Gotrabhū means that which subdues (bhū) the Kāma-lineage (gotra). All the thought-moments of this Javana process up to the gotrabhū moment are kāmāvacara thoughts. Immediately after this transitional stage of gotrabhū there arises only for a duration of one moment the appanā thought-moment that leads to ecstatic concentration. This consciousness belongs to the Rūpa-plane, and is termed the First Rūpa Jhāna. In the case of an Arahat it is a kriyā citta, otherwise it is a kusala.

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

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

The five Jhāna vipākas are the corresponding Resultants of the five Morals. They are experienced in the Form sphere itself and not in the Kāma-sphere. Kusala and Kiriyā Jhānas could be experienced in the Kāma-sphere continuously even for a whole day.

The five factors, vitakka, vicāra, pīti, sukha, ekaggatā collectively found in the appanā consciousness, constitute what is technically known as Jhāna. In the second Jhāna the first factor is eliminated, in the third the first two are eliminated, in the fourth the first three are eliminated, while in the fifth even happiness is abandoned and is substituted by equanimity.

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

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

Vitakka is an unmoral mental state which, when associated with a kusala or akusala citta, becomes either moral or immoral. A developed form of this vitakka is found in the first Jhāna consciousness. A still more developed form of vitakka is found in the Path-consciousness (magga citta) as sammā-sankappa (Right thoughts). The vitakka of the Path-consciousness directs the mental states towards Nibbāna and destroys micchā (wrong or evil) vitakka such as thoughts of sense-desire (kāma), thoughts of hatred (vyāpāda), and thoughts of cruelty (vihimsā). The vitakka of the Jhāna consciousness temporarily inhibits sloth and torpor (thīna-middha) one of the five Hindrances (nīvarana).

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

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

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

40. Pīti is zest, joy, or pleasurable interest. It is derived from Ö “pi”, to please, to delight. It is not a kind of feeling (vedanā) like sukha. It is, so to say, its precursor. Like the first two Jhāna factors, (pīti) is also a mental state found in both moral and immoral consciousness. Creating an interest in the object is its characteristic pīti inhibits vyāpāda, ill-will or aversion.

There are five kinds of pīti:-

1. Khuddaka pīti, the thrill of joy that causes “the flesh to creep”.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

This mental sukha which should be differentiated from ahetuka kāyika (physical) happiness is identical with somanassa. But it is a joy disconnected with material pleasures. This pleasurable feeling is the inevitable outcome of renouncing them (nirāmisa sukha). Nibbānic bliss is yet far more subtle than Jhānic bliss. There is no feeling in experiencing the bliss of Nibbāna. The total release from suffering (dukkhūpasama) is itself Nibbānic bliss. It is comparable to the “ease” of an invalid who is perfectly cured of a disease. It is a bliss of relief.

42. Upekkhā - literally, means seeing (ikkhati) impartially (upa = yuttito). It is viewing an object with a balanced mind, Atthasālini states: - “This is impartiality (majjhattam) in connection with the object, and implies a discriminative knowledge (paricchindanakam ñānam)”.

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

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

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

In the Pāli phrase - upekkhā satipārisuddhi - purity of mindfulness which comes of equanimity - it is the tatra-majjhattatā that is referred to. This is latent in the first four Jhānas too. In the fifth Jhāna this tatra-majjhattatā is singled out and becomes highly refined. Both neutral feeling upekkhā vedanā) and equanimity that correspond to the one Pāli term upekkhā are found in the fifth Jhāna.

Thus there appear to be four kinds of upekkhā viz:- (1) just neutral feeling, found in the six akusala cittas, (2) sensitive passive neutral feeling (anubhavana upekkhā) found in the eight ahetuka sense-door consciousness (dvipañca-viññāna) (excluding kāyaviññāna), (3) intellectual upekkhā, found mostly in the two sobhana kriyā cittas, accompanied by knowledge, and sometimes in the two sobhana kusala cittas, accompanied by knowledge, (4) ethical upekkhā, found in all the sobhana cittas, especially in the fifth Jhāna.

Brahmavihārupekkhā and sankhārupekkhā may be included in both intellectual and ethical upekkhā.

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

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

43. Ekaggatā (eka + agga + tā) lit., one-pointedness. This is a mental state common to all Jhānas. By sammā samādhi (Right Concentration) is meant this ekaggatā found in the Path-consciousness. Ekaggatā temporarily inhibits sensual desires.

(arūpāvacara cittāni-l2)

§ 8.

(arūpāvacara kusala cittāni-4)

(1) ākāsānañcāyatana-kusalacittam,

(2) Viññānañcāyatana-kusalacittam,

(3) ākiñcaññāyatana-kusala,

(4) N’eva-saññā-n’āsaññāyatana-kusalacittañ c’ati.

Imāni cattāri’pi Arūpāvacara-kusalacittāni nāma.

(arūpāvacara vipāka cittāni)

(5) ākāsānañcāyatana-vipākacittam,

(6) viññānañcāyatana-vipākacittam,

(7) ākiñcaññāyatana-vipākacittam,

(8) N’eva-saññā-n’āsaññāyatana-vipākacittam c’ati.

Imāni cattāri’pi arūpāvacara-vipākacittāni nāma.

(arūpāvacara kriyā cittāni-4)

(9) ākāsānañcāyatana-kriyācittam,

(10) viññānañcāyatana-kriyācittam

(11) ākiñcaññāyatana-kriyācittam,

(12) n’eva-saññā-n’āsaññāyatana-kriyācittañ c’ati.

Imāni cattāri’pi arūpāvacara-kriyācittāni nāma.

Icc’ evam sabbathā’pi dvādasa arūpāvacara-kusala-vipāka-kriyācittāni samattāni.

ālambanappabhedhena - catudhā’ruppamānasam

Puññapākakriyābhedā - puna dvādasadhā thitam.

(Formless-Sphere Consciousness - 12)

§ 8.

(Formless-Sphere Moral Consciousness - 4)

(1) Moral Jhāna consciousness dwelling on the “Infinity of Space”,

(2) Moral Jhāna consciousness dwelling on the “Infinity of Consciousness”,**

(3) Moral Jhāna consciousness dwelling on “Nothingness”,***

(4) Moral Jhāna consciousness wherein “Perception neither is nor is not”.

These are the four types of arūpa-jhāna Moral consciousness.

*[ākāsānañcāyatana = ākāsa + ananta + āyatana. Ananta + ya = anantya = anañca = end-lessness. ākāsa + anañca = ākāsānañca + āyatana is used here in the sense of abode (adhitthānatthena)]

**[viññānañcāyatana-viññāna + ananta + ya = viññānanatya = viññānañca]

***[ākiñcaññāyatana-akiñcanassa bhāvo = ākiñcaññam]

(Formless-sphere Resultant Consciousness - 4)

(5) Resultant Jhāna-consciousness dwelling on the “Infinity of Space”.

(6) Resultant Jhāna-consciousness dwelling on the “Infinity of Consciousness”,

(7) Resultant Jhāna-consciousness dwelling on “Nothingness”,

(8) Resultant Jhāna-consciousness wherein “Perception neither is nor is not”.

These are four types of arūpa-jhāna Resultant consciousness.

(Formless-sphere Functional Consciousness - 4)

(9) Functional Jhāna-consciousness dwelling on the “Infinity of Space”.

(10) Functional Jhāna-consciousness dwelling on the “Infinity of Consciousness”.

(11) Functional Jhāna-consciousness dwelling on “Nothingness” .

(12) Functional Jhāna-consciousness wherein “Perception neither is nor is not”.

These are the four types of arūpa-jhāna Functional consciousness.

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

* [Both Rūpa and Arūpa Cittas are collectively termed “Mahaggata” which literally, means ‘great-gone-to’, i.e., developed.]

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


44. Arūpa Jhāna-

The Yogi who has developed the Rūpa Jhānas and who wishes to develop the Arūpa Jhānas now concentrates on the Patibhāga Nimitta mentioned in the previous section. As he does so, a faint light, like a fire fly, issues from the Kasina object. He wills it to expand until it covers the whole space. Now he sees nothing but this light pervading everywhere. This developed space is not a reality but a mere concept. In Pāli this space is called kasinugghātimākāsa (space issuing forth from the Kasina object). On this concept he concentrates thinking “ākāso ananto”, ‘Infinite is space’, until he develops the first Arūpa Jhāna-ākāsānañcāyatana.

As in the case of the Rūpa Jhānas a thought-process, runs as follows:-

mano-dvārāvajjana, parikamma, upacāra, anuloma, gotrabhū,


Parikamma thought-moment may or may not occur.

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

Again he concentrates on the first Arūpa Jhāna thinking “viññānam anantam”, ‘Infinite is Consciousness’ until he develops the second Arūpa Jhāna - “viññānañcāyatana”.

To develop the third Arūpa Jhāna - “ākiñcaññāyatana” - the Yogi takes for his object the first Arūpa Jhāna consciousness and thinks - ‘Natthi kiñci’, “There is nothing whatever”.

The fourth Arūpa Jhāna consciousness is developed by taking the third Arūpa Jhāna consciousness as the object. The third Arūpa Jhāna is so subtle and refined that one cannot definitely say whether there is a consciousness or not. As he concentrates thus on the third consciousness he develops the fourth Jhāna. Although the term “saññā” is used here, vedanā, (feeling) and sankhārā, (mental states) are also included therein.

The five Rūpa Jhānas differ according to the Jhāna factors. These four Arūpa Jhānas, on the other hand, differ according to the objects of concentration. The first and the third have two concepts (paññatti). They are the concept of the ‘infinity of space’ and the concept of ‘nothingness’. The second and the fourth Jhāna consciousness have for their objects the first and the third Jhāna respectively.

These four Arūpa Jhānas have their corresponding effects in the Arūpa spheres. The four Kriyā Jhānas are experienced only by Buddhas and Arahats.

In all these twelve Jhāna Cittas are found the two Jhāna factors - Upekkhā and ekaggatā - equanimity and one-pointedness that constitute the fifth Rūpa Jhāna.

(lokuttara kusala cittāni-4)

(1) Sotāpatti-maggacittam,

(2) Sakadāgāmī-maggacittam,

(3) Anāgāmī-maggacittam,

(4) Arahatta-maggacittañ c’ati.

Imāni cattāri’pi Lokuttara-kusalacittāni nāma.

(lokuttara vipāka cittāni-4)

(5) Sotāpatti-phalacittam,

(6) Sakadāgāmī-phalacittam,

(7) Anāgāmī-phalacittam,

(8) Arahatta-phalacittañ c’ati.

Imāni cattāri’pi Lokuttara-vipākacittāni nāma.

Icce’vam sabbathā’pi attha Lokuttara-Kusala-Vipāka-cittāni samattāni.

Catumaggapphedhena-catudhā kusalam tathā

Pākam tassa phalattā’ti-atthadhā nuttaram matam

Dvādasākusalān’evam - kusalān’ ekavīsati

Chattims’ eva vipākāni - kriyācittāni vīsati.

Catupaññāsadhā kāme - rūpe pannaras’īraye

Cittāni dvādas’ āruppe - atthadhā’n uttare tathā

(Supra Mundane Consciousness - 4)

§ 9

(Moral Supra mundane Consciousness-4)

(1) Sotāpatti Path-consciousness,

(2) Sakadāgāmī Path-consciousness,

(3) Anāgāmī Path-consciousness,

(4) Arahatta Path-consciousness.

These are the four types of Supra mundane Moral consciousness.

(Resultant Supra mundane Consciousness-4)

(5) Sotāpatti Fruit-consciousness,

(6) Sakadāgāmī Fruit-consciousness,

(7) Anāgāmī Fruit-consciousness,

(8) Arahatta Fruit-consciousness.

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


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

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

(ekavīsasatāni cittāni-121)

§ 10. Ittham’ekūna navuti - ppabhedham pana mānasam

Ekavīsasatam v’ātha - vibhajanti vicakkhanā.

Katham’ekūna navutividham cittam ekavīsasatam hoti?

(1) Vitakka-vicāra-pīti-sukh’ekaggatā-sahitam


(2) Vicāra-pīti-sukh’ekaggatā-sahitam Dutiyajjhāna-


(3) Pīti-sukh’ekaggatā-sahitam Tatiyajjhāna Sotāpatti-maggacittam,

(4) Sukh’ekaggatā-sahitam Catutthajjhāna Sotāpatti-maggacittam,

(5) Upekkh’ekaggatā-sahitam Pañcamajjhāna Sotāpatti-maggacittañ c’ati.

Imāni pañca pi Sotāpatti-maggacittāni nāma.

Tathā Sakadāgāmī-magga, Anāgāmī-magga, Arahatta-maggacittañ c’ati samavīsati maggacittāni. Tathā phalacittāni c’ati samacattālīsa Lokuttaracittāni bhavantī’ti.

1. Jhānangayogabhedhena - ketv’ekekan tu pañcadhā

Vuccatā nuttaram cittam - cattālīsavidhanti ca.

2. Yathā ca rūpāvacaram - gayhatā nuttaram tathā

Pathamādijhānabhede - ārūppañca’pi pañcame

3. Ekādasavidham tasmā - pathamādikam’īritam

Jhānan ekekam’ ante tu - tevīsatividham bhave.

4. Sattatimsavidham puññam - dvipaññāsavvidham tathā

Pākam iccāhu cittāni - ekavīsasatam budhā’ti.

Iti Abhidhammatthasangahe Cittasangahavibhāgo nāma pathamo paricchedo.

(121 Types of Consciousness)

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

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

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

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

3. The Third Jhāna Sotāpatti Path-consciousness together with joy, happiness, and one-pointedness,

4. The Fourth Jhāna Sotāpatti Path-consciousness together with happiness and one-pointedness,

5. The Fifth Jhāna Sotāpatti Path-consciousness together with equanimity and one-pointedness.

These are the five types of Sotāpatti Path-consciousness.

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

(Summary )

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

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

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

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

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

45. The Realization of Nibbāna.

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

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

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

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

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

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

A Javana thought-process then runs as follows:













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

These nine kinds of Insight, viz:- Udaya, Vaya, Bhanga, Bhaya, ādīnava, Nibbidā, Muñcitukamyatā, Patisankhā, Sankhārupekkhā and Anuloma ñāna are collectively called “Patipadā ñānadassana Visuddhi” - Purity of Knowledge and Vision as regards the Practice.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Now the earnest pilgrim, encouraged by the unprecedented success of his endeavours, makes his final advance and destroying the remaining five Fetters - namely, Attachment to Form-sphere (rūparāga), Attachment to Formless Sphere (arūpa rāga), Conceit (māna), Restlessness (uddhacca), and Ignorance (avijjā), attains Arahatship, the final stage of Sainthood.

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

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

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

46. Forty Types of Lokuttara Cittas:-

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

Vitakka-Vicāra-Pīti-Sukh’Ekaggatā-sahitam Pathamajjhāna-Sotāpattimagga-cittam.

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

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


Diagram IV

Jhānas - 67






























































Diagram V

Lokuttara - 40

1st Jhāna

2nd Jhāna

3rd Jhāna

4th Jhāna

5th Jhāna



























































Diagram VI

Akusala - 12















Diagram VII

Ahetuka - 18






Akusala Vipāka



Kusala Vipāka







Diagram VIII

Kāmāvacara Sobhana - 24



























Guide To Tipitaka
by Sayagyi U Ko Lay

Publication date 2001/00/00
Topics Guide To Tipitaka, Sayagyi U Ko Lay, Selangor Buddhist Vipassana Meditation Society, LANGUAGE. LINGUISTICS. LITERATURE
Publisher Selangor Buddhist Vipassana Meditation Society , Selangor , Malaysia
Collection universallibrary
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Language English
Call number 29042
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Classification: (1) Vinaya, (2) Sutta, (3) Abhidhamma

‘A Guide to Tipitaka’ Professor U Ko Lay


Alphabetical List

Buddhist Literatures in Archives in Burma (Myanmar)

Tipitakadhara Sayadaws of Burma (Myanmar)


Although the Buddha has left no written records of His Teachings after attaining parinibbana (Demise) in 543 BC, His disciples preserved them, generation after generation, by committing to memory.

Subhadda, a bhikkhu in the Buddha’s time, disparaged the Buddha’s Teachings on the seventh day after the Buddha had passed away. ” Venerable Mahakassapa was very alarmed and organised a Council of leading Arahants to collect and rehearse the teachings of the Buddha. This First Buddhist council was held at Rajagaha, 3 months later, with Five hundreds Arahants, including Venerable Ananda and Venerable Upali who led the sessions on the Doctrine and the Discipline aspects. These foremost disciples managed to arrange the Tipitaka, the Buddhist Bible, in its present form.

The Second Councilwas held near the city of Vesali in 100 B.E. (Buddhist Era) (443 B.C). It was held because the bhikkhus of the Vajji clan from Vesali practised ten unlawful modifications in the Rules of the Order. The seven hundred Arahants, led by Venerable Yasa, Venerable Sabbakami and Venerable Revata, took part in that council.

The Third Council was held in the city of Pataliputta in 235 B.E, (308 B.C). Sixty thousand ascetics had already infiltrated into the Samgha Order and polluted the Master’s Teaching by their corrupt and heretical views. That is the main reason why the Third Council was held by one thousand Arahants, presided over by Venerable Mahamoggaliputta Tissa. After the Third Council, nine missions were sent to nine different places, as far as Indonesia, to propagate the Sasana.

The Fourth Council was held in Sri Lanka, in 450 B.E (94 B.C). Later in 83 B.C., the Tipitaka was, for the first time committed to writing in Ceylon (Sri Lanka, now) on the ola leaves. Five hundred bhikkhus, led by Venerable Mahadhammarakkhita, inscribed the entire words of the Buddha’s Teachings on palm leaves. When books of these leaves were piled together, it was said to exceed the heights of six elephants.

The Fifth Council was convened at Mandalay in Burma (Myanmar now) in 2415 B.E (AD 1871). The scriptures were inscribed on seven hundred and twenty-nine marble slabs at the foot of Mandalay Hill.

The Sixth and the last Great Councilwas held at Rangoon (Yangon now) again in Burma in 2498 B.E (AD1954). The Most Venerable Mahasi Sayadaw and Mingun Sayadaw took the leading roles in that council. At that Council, not only the canonical Pali Texts of the Buddha but also the commentaries and sub-commentaries were re-examined and approved.

Thanks to the efforts of those noble persons, supported by the rulers and followers, over more than 25 centuries since the Master’s demise, the Tipitaka has been preserved in its pristine purity, well-protected from the ill-conceived attempts of some selfish critics who tried unsuccessfully to pollute the pure Teaching.


This voluminous Tipitaka is estimated to be about eleven times the size of the Bible and the word Tipitaka means ‘Three Baskets’ literally. This teachings taking place in the course of 45 years of His Buddhahood have been divided into three collections, the Basket of Discipline (Vinaya Pitaka), the Basket of Discourses (Sutta Pitaka) and the Basket of Ultimate Philosophy (Abbidhamma Pitaka).

In Vinaya pitaka, Buddha used His authority over the members of the Order of Samgha or Sangha, also known as Bhikkhus (monks) and Bhikkhunis (nuns), to lay down rules and disciplines (highest code of ethics) for them to follow. These rules were introduced gradually by Him as occasion arose mostly in the second half of the 45 years of His Ministry. The reasons and implications of these strict rules and procedures for conducting specific Samgha ceremonies are fully described in the Vinaya pitaka.

In Sutta pitaka, or conventional teaching, the Buddha explained His teachings which included practical aspects of tranquillity and insight meditations in the form of instructive discourses delivered to both the Samgha and the laity although most of the sermons were intended mainly for the benefit of Bhikkhus.

The third collection, Abhidhamma pitaka, is the higher teaching of the Buddha, describing the ultimate realities in the Universe and Nibbana. This philosophical contents of the Buddha’s teaching is regarded as the most important of the Tipitaka and a good understanding of this Division is essential to comprehend the profound Teachings of the Buddha, paving the way to ultimate liberation through meditation.

The most wonderful thing about all these massive instructions, both in theory and practical aspects, is that it can be verified at any time by any able person who will steadfastly practise with Nibbana as the ultimate goal and realises the Truths and joins the exclusive membership of Enlightened Beings (Ariya persons) even in this very life.

The size of the Tipitaka Texts do not frighten the followers as the Buddha made it clear in His numerous discourses that only the knowledge realised through meditation is the final key to Nibbana, the ultimate peace. But before we become enlightened in this life or future lives, we as Buddhists, have to live the Buddhist way of life, in accordance with what the Buddha taught. So, preservation of the Buddha’s Teaching (Buddha’s Sasana) is very important for us as well as for the future generations.


(Monastic Discipline)

Patimokkha ( codes of training rules for bhikkhus and bhikkhunis)

227 rules for monks (311 for nuns)

Parajika Pali ( Major Offences )
Pacittiya Pali
Mahavagga Pali
Cullavagga Pali
Parivara Pali


( Basket of Discourses )

The Sutta Pitaka consists of instructive discourses delivered by the Buddha on various occasions.

Digha Nikaya( Collection of 34 ‘ Long Discourses ‘ in 3 volumes )
Majjhima Nikaya ( Collection of 152 ‘ Middle-length Discourses ‘ in 3 volumes )
Samyutta Nikaya ( Collection of 7,762 ‘ Connected Discourses/ Kindred Sayings ‘ in 5 volumes )
Anguttara Nikaya ( Collection of 9,775 Single-item Upwards Discourses/ Gradual Sayings in 11 volumes )
Khuddaka Nikaya
( Collection of 15 ‘ Little Texts ‘ in 18 volumes )
Apadana: stories on past lives of early monks and nuns/ Lives of Arahants
Buddhavamsa: ‘Chronicle’ of 24 previous Buddhas
Cariya Pitaka: building up the ‘ Perfections ‘ of a Bodhisatta in previous lives
Dhammapada: 423 verses on Dhamma/ the Way of Truth
Itivuttaka: 112 short ” Thus said” Discourses
Jataka: a collection of 547 (550) stories of previous lives of the Buddha
Khuddaka-patha: a collection of ‘ Little Readings/ Shorter Texts ‘ for recitation
Niddesa: an ‘ Exposition ‘ on part of Sutta-nipata
Patisambhida-magga: Book on Analytical Knowledge
Peta Vatthu: stories of Petas/ the departed on rebirths
Sutta Nipata: a collection of 71 verse on Collected Discourses
Theragatha: verses about early monks attaining enlightment/ Psalms of the Brethren
Therigatha: verses about early nuns attaining enlightment/ Psalms of the Sisters
Udana: 80 short Paeans of Joy
Vimana Vatthu: stories on heavenly rebirths/ Celestial Mansions


( Basket of Further Teachings )

The Abhidhamma Texts were added in the 3rd Century BC, aiming to present the the teachings of the Suttas.

( 7 Texts in 12 volumes )

Dhamma-sangani ( Enumeration/Classification of Dhamma )
Dhatu-katha( Discourse on Elements )
Vibhanga( Book of Analysis/ Divisions )
Patthana( Book of Causal Relations )
Puggalapannatti ( The Book on Individuals )
Kathavatthu ( Points of Controversy )
Yamaka ( The Book of Pairs )
Abhidhammattha Sangaha
of Anuruddhacariya

A Manual of Abhidhamma

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


Introductory Verse

§ 1.

Sammasambuddhamatulam - sasaddhammaganuttamam
Abhivadiya bhasissam - Abhidhammatthasangaham

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

Abhidhammattha Sangaha
of Anuruddhacariya

A Manual of Abhidhamma

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



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