Dhamma Thread ( 053 )
- Dear Dhamma Friends,
There are 89 cittas in total in terms of characteristics. If cittas
are not understood, dhamma study will be a bit difficult. Cittas have
been classified and expalined in this series in the earlier posts.
54 kamavacara cittas have been discussed. Currently mahaggata cittas
are being discussed. Maha means great. Mahaggata means higher,
greater. As these mahaggata cittas or jhana cittas are linked with
samatha kammatthana, they need to be discussed briefly here.
There are kusalas. They may be dana kusala or offerings. They may be
sila kusala or observing moral conducts. They may be bhavana kusala
or mental cultivation of good will.
Bhavanas are frequently referred to as meditation. There is a term
called kammatthana. Kammatthana is meade up of 'kamma' and 'thana'.
Kamma here means 'bhavana kusala kamma' and thana means place or
site. Here 'thana' means the object or arammana. Kammatthana
means 'the object where bhavana kusala kamma citta dwell'.
There are samatha kammatthana and vipassana kammatthana. As we are
now discussing on rupavacara cittas, only samatha will be discussed
very briefly. There are 40 samatha kammatthanas. Only 30 of them will
give rise to appana jhana and cause rupavacara rupakusala cittas.
In the previous posts jhana factors have been discussed. In this
post 'how they have to be developed' will be discussed.
Samatha means 'the samadhi that extinguishes all nivarana fire'
or 'the samadhi that arrests all hindrances'. Samadhi is a collection
of ekaggata cetasikas that take the same samatha kammatthana bhavana
object'. Ekaggata is a cetasika and it is one-pointedness. It is
When the practitioner takes the object of samatha kammatthana, he is
said to be mentally cultivating wholesome actions. He is doing
bhavana kusala kamma. There are 3 different bhavana in samatha
They are parikamma bhavana, upacara bhavana, and appana bhavana.
Parikamma bhavana or 'initial mental cultivation' is the stage of
bhavana that starts from initiation of samatha kammattha bhavana till
disappearance of 5 hindrances.
From that stage of parikamma bhavana, that is when 5 hindrances
disappear till appana samadhi arises is called upacara bhavana. As
hindrances are free in this bhavana, upacara samadhi is very pure and
free of sin. When appana samadhi arises the cultivating mind is
absorbed into the object of samatha kammatthana.
Appana jhana means jhanacitta along with its jhana factors look at
the object of kammatthana very closely. They are so close that they
both seem to be merged and fused with each other and mind is said to
be absorbed into the object. This means each arising jhana citta will
only take jhana object. As there is no other cittas in between these
jhana cittas, it seems that there are infinite jhana cittas and they
are undisturbed. If it is the highest rupa jhana, even thunder storm
will not be sensed at that time because mind is totally absorbed.
Only cittas in these appana jhanas or absorptive mental states are
called jhana cittas. If jhana are rupa jhana they are called
rupavacara rupakusala cittas and if arupa then arupavacara
Regarding the character of the object of samatha, the initial object
which may be visual object or tactile object or mind object is called
parikamma nimitta. When the power of practitioner arises, this
nimitta or image becomes uggaha nimitta or 'mental image' of the
initial image or object. Samadhi from initiation till the arising of
uggaha nimitta or mental image is called parikamma samadhi.
This uggaha nimitta or 'mental image' later in the practice becomes
another image which is much much more beautiful and free of any
impurity. This image is called counter image or patibhaga nimitta.
When this arises mind is much much more calmer and purer but there
are still a few hindrances arise occasionally. Samadhi from this time
till arising of appana samadhi is called upacara samadhi or proximate
When appana samadhi arises, it is said to be in jhana. For the first
jhana, there are 5 jhana factors as described in the previous posts.
The 55th citta of 89 total cittas is this jhana citta. It is called..
'vitakka, vicara, piti, sukhekaggata sahitam pathamajjhana rupakusala
May you all be free from suffering.
With Unlimited Metta,
PS: Any comments are welcome and any queries are welcome and they
will be valuable. If there is unclarity of any meaning, please just
give a reply to any of these posts.
- Dear Mods,
I just re-post DT (300) because the heading was not changed. Could
please delete the exact copy of 300 with the heading '299' ?
Thanks in advance.