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Dhamma Thread ( 053 )

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  • htootintnaing
    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
    Message 1 of 382 , Sep 2, 2004
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      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
      undisturbed stillness.

      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
      kammatthana bhavana.

      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
      arupakusala cittas.

      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
      concentration.

      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
      citta'.

      May you all be free from suffering.

      With Unlimited Metta,

      Htoo Naing

      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.
    • htootintnaing
      Dear Mods, I just re-post DT (300) because the heading was not changed. Could you please delete the exact copy of 300 with the heading 299 ? Thanks in
      Message 382 of 382 , Apr 5, 2005
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        Dear Mods,

        I just re-post DT (300) because the heading was not changed. Could
        you
        please delete the exact copy of 300 with the heading '299' ?

        Thanks in advance.

        Htoo Naing
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