Visuddhimagga Ch XIV, 156, and Tiika.
- "The Path of Purification" (Visuddhimagga) Ch. XIV, 156.
The Visuddhimagga gives a summary of the eight mahaa-kusala cittas and deals
with the sobhana cetasikas accompanying them. The eight mahaa-kusala cittas
1) accompanied by pleasant feeling, connected with wisdom, unprompted
2) accompanied by pleasant feeling, connected with wisdom, prompted
3) accompanied by pleasant feeling, without wisdom, unprompted
4) accompanied by pleasant feeling, without wisdom, prompted
5) accompanied by indifferent feeling, connected with wisdom, unprompted
6)accompanied by indifferent feeling, connected with wisdom, prompted
7) accompanied by indifferent feeling, without wisdom, unprompted
8)accompanied by indifferent feeling, without wisdom, prompted
The Vis. XIV, 131, mentions the constant¹ (niyata or fixed) cetasikas of
the khandha of formations accompanying the first type of mahaa-kusala citta.
(i) contact, (ii) volition, (iii) applied thought, (iv) sustained thought,
(v) happiness (interest), (vi) energy, (vii) life, (viii) concentration,
(ix) faith, (x) mindfulness, (xi) conscience, (xii) shame, (xiii)
non-greed, (xiv) non-hate, (xv) non-delusion, (xvi) tranquility of the
[mental] body, (xvii) tranquility of consciousness.
Furthermore there are the six pairs:
(xviii) lightness of the [mental] body, (xix) lightness ofconsciousness,
(xx) malleability of the [mental] body, (xxi) malleability of consciousness,
(xxii) wieldiness of the [mental] body, (xxiii) wieldiness of consciousness,
(xxiv) proficiency of the [mental] body, (xxv) proficiency of consciousness,
(xxvi) rectitude of the mental body, (xxvii) rectitude of consciousness.
Further, there are the four what-so-ever states (supplementary factors):
(xxviii) zeal (desire), (xxix) resolution, (xxx) attention (bringing to
mind), (xxxi) specific neutrality (equanimity, tatramajjhattataa).
And the five inconstant are these:
(xxxii) compassion, (xxxiii) gladness, (xxxiv) abstinence from bodily
misconduct, (xxxv) abstinence from verbal misconduct, (xxxvi) abstinence
from wrong livelihood.
Text Vis.: So these are the thirty-six formations that should be understood
come into association with the first profitable consciousness of the
sense sphere (1).
N: The Tiika explains formations, sankhaara, as being the dhammas of
sa²nkhaarakkhandha, in this connection. This is the khandha that includes
all cetasikas, apart from feeling and saññaa.
Under the heading of the khandha of formations there are thirtysix
cetasikas, but, as the Tiika explains, elsewhere thirty-eight are mentioned.
The two cetasikas of feeling and saññaa, remembrance, are included
elsewhere. These two, which accompany each citta, are not among the khandha
Text Vis.: And as with the first, so with the second (2), the only
difference here being promptedness.
N: The Tiika explains that just as the citta, also the dhammas that
accompany the second type of citta are prompted.
When the kusala citta is prompted, it is urged on by oneself or others. It
does not arise spontaneously, without any hesitation, like the first type.
Text Vis.: (3)-(4) Those associated with the third (3) should be understood
the foregoing except non-delusion (xv). Likewise with the fourth (4),
the only difference here being promptedness.
N: The third and the fourth type are without amoha or paññaa.
Text Vis.: (5)-(6) All those stated in the first instance, except happiness
come into association with the fifth (5). Likewise with the sixth (6),the
only difference here being promptedness.
N: In the case of kaamaavacara cittas, piiti (rapture, here translated as
happiness), arises only with the citta that is accompanied by pleasant
feeling, somanassa. The fifth and sixth types of mahaa-kusala citta are
accompanied by indifferent feeling and thus, they are without rapture.
Text Vis.: (7)-(8) [Those associated] with the seventh (7) should be
understood as [the last] except non-delusion (xv). Likewise with the eighth
only difference here being promptedness.
N: They are without paññaa, accompanied by indifferent feeling.
Conclusion: We should remember that the sobhana cetasikas assist the
mahaa-kusala citta, they are a condition for its arising.
Wholesome energy (viriya) does not collapse, it conditions courage for the
performing of kusala. Confidence in kusala purifies the citta, it has
confidence in the benefit of kusala. Sati is non-forgetful when there is an
opportunity for daana, siila, samatha or the investigation of realities.
Shame and fear of blame (hiri and ottappa) see the danger and disadvantage
of akusala, they have disgust of evil and dread it.
Alobha is detachment, there is detachment with each kind of kusala. Adosa is
non-aversion; there is no boredom or impatience when kusala citta arises.
Amoha or paññaa that arises with four types of mahaa-kusala citta
illuminates the object experienced at that moment, it dispels the darkness
The six pairs of calm, lightness and so on are the condition for kusala
citta to be smooth, gentle and alert, to have skill and competence in
kusala, and to be truthful, without selfish motives; to be without mental
rigidity and to be openminded to the Dhamma.
Desire-to-do, chanda, is zeal for kusala, it is a condition for performing
it without hesitation, reluctance or reserve. Resolution, adhimokkha, is
convinced about the object, in this case, the object of kusala. It is firmly
convinced of the benefit of kusala. Manasikaara, attention, leads the
accompanying dhammas to the object in a wholesome way. Equanimity,
tatramajjhattataa, prevents deficiency and excess, it inhibits partiality.
The abstinences arise when there is an opportunity for abstaining from
akusala. Compassion and sympathetic joy are directed towards living beings
and they arise when there is an opportunity for them.
Kusala citta and its accompanying cetasikas arise together just for a
moment, and then they all fall away. They only last for an extremely short
moment, but they are accumulated, so that there are conditions for the
arising again of kusala citta.
There are also other conditions necessary for the arising of kusala citta.
The Co. to the Abhidhammattha Sangaha (T.A. p. 350) states as to wholesome
consciousness that this arises<specifically because of appropriate bringing
to mind [yoniso manasikaara], etc. , and the achieving of the four favorable
The four favorable conditions are dwelling in a suitable country, the
support of good people, right aspirations, past practice of meritorious
It is beneficial to learn about the manifold conditions for kusala citta, so
that we shall have more understanding of its nature of anattaa. We cannot
make it arise whenever we wish, there is no self who can be master of it.