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Abhidhamma Series, no 6. Citta and Cetasikas.

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  • Nina van Gorkom
    Dear friends, Abhidhamma Series, no 6. Citta and Cetasikas. Citta does not arise singly, it is always accompanied by cetasikas, mental factors. Only one citta
    Message 1 of 3 , Apr 1, 2010
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      Dear friends,
      Abhidhamma Series, no 6.

      Citta and Cetasikas.

      Citta does not arise singly, it is always accompanied by cetasikas,
      mental factors. Only one citta arises at a time and each citta is
      accompanied by several cetasikas. Citta is the leader in cognizing an
      object and the accompanying cetasikas have each their own function
      while they assist citta in cognizing an object. Citta may be of one
      of the four jaatis of kusala, akusala, vipaaka or kiriya. Cetasikas
      are of the same jaati as the citta they accompany.

      Some cetasikas such as feeling and remembrance or
      �perception� (sa���) accompany each citta, others do not. Feeling, in
      P�li: vedan�, is a cetasika which arises with every citta. Citta only
      knows or experiences its object; it does not feel. Feeling, vedan�,
      however, has the function of feeling. Feeling is sometimes pleasant,
      sometimes unpleasant. When we do not have a pleasant or an unpleasant
      feeling, there is still feeling: at that moment the feeling is
      neutral or indifferent.
      Perception or remembrance, in P�li: sa���, marks the object so that
      it can be recognized later on. Whenever we remember something it is
      sa���, not self, which remembers. It is sa��� which, for example,
      remembers that this colour is red, that this is a house, or that this
      is the sound of a bird.
      Contact, in P�li: phassa, is another cetasika which arises with every
      citta; it ``contacts'' the object so that citta can experience it.
      There are also types of cetasika which do not arise with every citta.
      Unwholesome mental factors, akusala cetasikas, accompany only akusala
      cittas, whereas sobhana cetasikas, �beautiful� mental factors,
      accompany kusala cittas.

      Among the cetasikas which can accompany akusala cittas or kusala
      cittas, some are roots, hetus. A root or hetu is the foundation of
      the akusala citta or kusala citta, just as the roots are the
      foundation of a tree. They give a firm support to the citta and
      cetasikas they arise together with.
      There are three cetasikas which are unwholesome roots, akusala hetus:
      lobha (attachment), dosa (aversion) and moha (ignorance).
      Akusala cittas may be rooted in moha and lobha, or in moha and dosa,
      or they may have moha as their only root. Moha or avijjaa arises with
      each akusala citta. Moha is blindness, it does not know the danger of
      akusala; it is the root of all evil.

      There are three sobhana hetus, beautiful roots: non-attachment,
      alobha, non-aversion, adosa, and pa~n~naa. All kusala cittas are
      rooted in non-attachment, alobha, and non-aversion, adosa, and they
      may of may not be rooted in wisdom, pa~n~naa.
      There are many shades and degrees of the akusala hetus and the
      sobhana hetus.

      Akusala citta is impure and it leads to sorrow. At the moment of
      akusala citta there is no confidence in wholesomeness, one does not
      see that akusala citta is impure and harmful. We may find it
      difficult to see that even when we do not harm or hurt others, the
      citta can still be akusala. For example, when we like nature, there
      is a degree of attachment and attachment is not kusala, it is
      different from unselfishness. We may see the danger of akusala which
      is coarse, but it is difficult to see the danger of akusala which is
      more subtle. However through the study of the Dhamma we can acquire
      more understanding of akusala dhammas and then we may begin to see
      the danger of all degrees of akusala.
      Whenever the citta is not intent on wholesomeness, we act, speak
      or think with akusala citta. We may not have unkind thoughts or
      thoughts of coarse desire, but the cittas which think can still be
      akusala cittas; they are akusala cittas whenever we do not think
      wholesome thoughts.
      When the citta is kusala, there is confidence in wholesomeness.
      Confidence, or faith, saddhaa, is a sobhana cetasika. Each kusala
      citta is assisted by many sobhana cetasikas. When we see the value of
      kusala, there are conditions for the arising of kusala citta. Kusala
      citta is pure and it is capable of producing a pleasant result. When
      kindness or compassion arises, there is no person who has these
      qualities, there is kusala citta accompanied by sobhana cetasikas.
      Nobody can direct the cittas to be kusala cittas, they arise because
      of the appropriate conditions.
      Defilements and wholesome qualities are cetasikas, they are non-self.
      They are not Iisted just to be read and memorized, they are realities
      of daily life and they can be known as they are by being mindful of
      them.

      ********
      Nina.



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    • thomaslaw03
      Dear Nina,and Pali friends, What are the differences between mana, cita, and vinnana? They seem similar in meaning: mental, mind, and consciousness,
      Message 2 of 3 , Apr 1, 2010
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        Dear Nina,and Pali friends,

        What are the differences between mana, cita, and vinnana? They seem similar in meaning: mental, mind, and consciousness, particularly mana and cita.

        Sincerely,

        Thomas Law
      • Nina van Gorkom
        Dear Thomas, ... N:“Kindred Sayings” (IV, 85, Loko: the world). We read in the “Kindred Sayings” (II, Nidaana-sa.myutta, Ch VII, 61:
        Message 3 of 3 , Apr 2, 2010
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          Dear Thomas,
          Op 2-apr-2010, om 6:32 heeft thomaslaw03 het volgende geschreven:

          > What are the differences between mana, cita, and vinnana? They seem
          > similar in meaning: mental, mind, and consciousness, particularly
          > mana and cita.
          ------
          N:�Kindred Sayings� (IV, 85, Loko: the world).

          We read in the �Kindred Sayings� (II, Nidaana-sa.myutta, Ch VII,
          61:<Ya.m ca kho eta.m bhikkhave vuccati citta.m iti pi mano iti pi
          vi~n~na.m iti pi...
          Yet this, monks, what we call indeed thought (citta), mind,
          consciousness (by this the untaught manyfolk are not able to feel
          repelled)...>

          The words citta, mano and vi~n~naa.na are the same in meaning, they
          are the paramattha dhamma that is citta, consciousness. However, in
          different contexts there is a differentiation of terms. The aggregate
          of consciousness is called vi~n~naa.nakkhandha, and it includes all
          cittas. For seeing-consciousness, the word cakkhuvi~n~naa.na is used.

          Mano is used for the citta which is the mind-door and also in
          manaayatana and in manodhaatu.

          As to the mind-door, cittas which experience objects through the
          senses and the mind-door arise in processes: the eye-door process,
          the other sense-door processes and the mind-door process. In between
          these processes bhavangacittas (life-continuum) arise and fall away,
          and these do not experience an object through one of the six doors.
          Their function is preserving the continuity in the life of an
          individual. The last bhavangacitta arising before the mind-door
          process begins is the mind-door. The mind-door is the means through
          which citta experiences an object in that process.

          *******
          Nina.




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