Chapter Iii – Miscellaneous Section – Pakinnakā-sangaha-vibhāgo


CHAPTER III – Miscellaneous Section


§ 1.

  • Sampayuttā yathāyogam – te pannāsa sabhāvato

  • Cittacetasikā dhammā – tesam’dāni yathāraham.
  • Vedanā hetuto kicca-dvārālambana-vatthuto

  • Cittuppādavasen’eva – sangaho nāma nīyate.

(Miscellaneous Section)


1. The conjoined consciousness and mental states that arise accordingly are fifty-three with respect to their characteristics. (1 )

Now their classification, taking the mind (2) as a whole, is dealt with in a fitting manner, according to feeling, roots, function, doors, objects, and bases.


1. All the 89 classes of consciousness are collectively treated as one in that they possess the characteristic of awareness of an object. The 52 mental states are treated separately as they possess different characteristics (1 + 52 = 53)

2. Cittuppāda, literally, means genesis of citta. Here the term means consciousness itself (cittam’eva cittuppādo). In other instances it implies the collection of mental states together with the consciousness (aññattha pana dhammasamūho).

(Vedanā – Sangaho)

§ 2. Tattha vedanāsangahe tāva tividha vedanā: – sukham, dukkham, adukkhamasukham’ ti. Sukham, dukkham, somanassam, domanassam, upekkhā’ti ca bhedena pana pañcadhā hoti.

§ 3. Tattha sukha-sahagatam kusala-vipākam kāyaviññānam ekam’eva.

§ 4. Tathā dukkha-sahagatam akusala-vipākam kāyaviññānam.

§ 5. Somanassa – sahagata – cittāni pana lobhamulāni cattāri, dvādasā kāmāvacarasobhanāni, sukhasantīrana – hasanāni ca dve’ ti atthārasa kāmāvacara cittāni c’eva, pathama-dutiyatatiya-catutthajjhāna-sankhātāni catucattālīsa Mahaggata-Lokuttaracittāni c’āti dvāsatthividhāni bhavanti.

§ 6. Domanassa-sahagata cittāni pana dve patigha-cittān’eva.

§ 7. Sesāni sabbāni’pi pañcapannāsa upekkhāsahagata-cittān’ evā’ti.

§ 8. Sukham dukkham-upekkhā’ti tividhā tattha vedanā

Somanassam domanassam iti bhedena pañcadhā.

Sukham’ek’attha dukkhañ ca domanassam dvaye thitam.

Dvāsatthisu somanassam pañcapannāsaketarā.

(i. Summary of Feeling)

§ 2. In the summary of feeling (3) there are at first three kinds: – pleasurable (4), painful, and that which is neither pleasurable nor painful. Or, again, it is fivefold – namely, happiness, pain, pleasure, displeasure, and indifference or equanimity.

§ 3. Of them, moral resultant body-consciousness is the only one accompanied by happiness.

§ 4. Similarly immoral resultant body-consciousness is the only one accompanied by pain.

§ 5. There are sixty two kinds of consciousness accompanied by pleasure (5) – namely:

(a) the eighteen types of Sense-sphere consciousness, such as four rooted in attachment, twelve types of sense-sphere Beautiful consciousness, the two types of investigating and smiling consciousness,

(b) forty-four types (6) of Sublime and Supramundane consciousness pertaining to the first, second, third, and fourth Jhānas. (12 + 32)

§ 6. Only the two types of consciousness connected with aversion are accompanied by displeasure (7).

§ 7. All the remaining fifty-five types of consciousness are accompanied by indifference or equanimity (8).

§ 8. Feeling, therein, is threefold – namely, happiness, pain, and indifference. Together with pleasure and displeasure it is fivefold.

Happiness and pain are found in one, displeasure in two, pleasure in sixty-two, and the remaining (indifference or equanimity) in fifty-five.

Notes –

3. Vedanā is a significant mental state which is common to all types of consciousness. Feeling is its characteristic (vedayita-lakkhana), and is born of contact. Sensation, therefore, is not an appropriate rendering for vedanā.

Feeling is defined as: “a conscious, subjective impression which does not involve cognition or representation of an object.”

Sensation is explained as: “the content of sensuous intuition, or the way in which a conscious subject is modified by the presence of an object.”

Vedanā modifies the stream of consciousness and serves both as a life-promoting and life-destroying force. Pleasure, for example, promotes life; pain impairs it. As such feeling plays a very important part in the life of man.

Experiencing the taste of an object is the function of vedanā (anubhavana rasa). Particular likes and dislikes depend on the desirability and the undesirability of the external object. Generally they are mechanistic.

Sometimes the freewill of a person determines the mode of feeling independent of the nature of the object. The sight of an enemy, for example, would normally be a source of displeasure, but a right-understanding person would, on the contrary, extend his loving-kindness towards him and experience some kind of pleasure. Socrates, for instance, drank that cup of poison with joy and faced a happy death. Once a certain Brahman poured a torrent of abuse on the Buddha, but He kept smiling and returned love unto him. The ascetic Khantivādi, who was brutally tortured by a drunkard king, wished him long life instead of cursing him.

A bigoted non-Buddhist, on the other hand, may even, at the sight of a Buddha, harbour a thought of hatred. His feeling will be one of displeasure. Likewise a similar feeling may arise in the heart of a bigoted Buddhist at the sight of a religious teacher of an alien faith. What is meat and drink to one, may be poison to another.

Material pleasures, for instance, would be highly prized by an average person. An understanding recluse would find happiness in renouncing them and leading a life of voluntary poverty in perfect solitude. Such a solitary life, a sensualist may view as hell. Yes, what is heaven to one may be hell to another; what is hell to one may be heaven to another. We ourselves create them, and they are more or less mind-made.

“There are, o Bhikkhus, two kinds of feeling-pain and happiness”, says the Buddha. Well, then, how can there be a third which is neither pain nor happiness? The commentary states that blameless neutral feeling is included in happiness and the blameworthy in pain.

Again, the Buddha has stated that whatever is felt in this world, all that is pain. It is because of the changeable nature of all conditioned things.

From another standpoint considering all forms of feeling as purely mental, there are only three kinds – namely, happiness (sukha), pain (dukkha), and neutral (adukkhamasukha).

Atthasālini explains them, as follows:-

The term sukha means ‘pleasurable feeling’ (sukha-vedanā), ‘root of happiness’ (sukha-mūla), ‘pleasurable object’ (sukhārammana), ’cause of happiness’ (sukha-hetu), ‘conditioning state of pleasure, (sukha-paccayatthāna),free from troubles’ (abyāpajjhā), ‘Nibbāna’, etc.

In the expression: “By eliminating sukha” – sukha means pleasurable feeling.

In the expression: “Sukha is non-attachment in this world”. Here sukha means root of pleasure.

In the expression: “Since, o Mahāli, form is sukha, falls and descends on sukha”. Here sukha means object of pleasure.

“Merit, o Bhikkhus, is a synonym for sukha.” Here sukha means cause of pleasure.

“Not easy is it, o Bhikkhus, to attain to heavenly sukha by description”. “They know not sukha who do not see nandana“. Here sukha means conditioning state of pleasure.

“These states constitute a sukha life in this very world”. Here sukha means freedom from troubles.

“Nibbāna is supreme sukha”. Here sukha means Nibbāna.

From these quotations the reader can understand in what different senses the term sukha is used in the texts. In this particular connection the term sukha is used in the sense of pleasurable feeling.

Nibbāna is stated to be supreme bliss (sukha). This does not mean that there is a pleasurable feeling in Nibbāna although the term sukha is used. Nibbāna is a bliss of relief. The release from suffering is itself Nibbānic bliss.

The term dukkha means ‘painful feeling’, ‘basis of pain’, object of pain’, cause of pain’, ‘conditioning state of pain’, etc.

”By eliminating dukkha” – here dukkha means painful feeling.

“Birth too is dukkha” – here dukkha means basis of pain.

“Since, o Mahāli, form is dukkha, falls and descends on pain” – here dukkha means object of dukkha.

“Accumulation of evil is dukkha” – here dukkha means cause of pain.

“It is not easy, o Bhikkhus, to realize the pain of woeful states by description” – here dukkha means “conditioning states of pain.”

In this particular connection the term dukkha is used in the sense of painful feeling.

In the Dhammacakka Sutta the Buddha enumerates eight divisions of dukkha -namely:

1. Birth is suffering, 2. decay is suffering, 3. disease is suffering, 4. death is suffering, 5. association with the unpleasant is suffering, 6. separation from the beloved is suffering, 7. when one does not obtain what one desires there is suffering, 8. in brief the Five Aggregates are suffering.

All these are the causes of dukkha.

When the Buddha addresses Devas and men He speaks of eight kinds of dukkha. When He addresses only men He speaks of twelve. Instead of vyādhi (disease) He says soka (grief), parideva (lamentation), dukkha (pain), domanassa (displeasure) upāyāsa (despair) are suffering. All these five are included in vyādhi which embraces both physical and mental disharmony.

Soka, domanassa, and upāyāsa are mental, while dukkha and parideva are physical.

Practically there is no marked difference between the two formulas.

Adukkha-m-asukha is that which is neither pain nor happiness. It is a neutral feeling. This corresponds to both stolid indifference and Stoic indifference. The Pāli term upekkhā, which has a wider connotation, is more frequently used to denote this kind of neutral feeling.

In an immoral type of consciousness upekkhā assumes the role of stolid indifference because it is prompted by ignorance. In an ahetuka resultant consciousness, such as a sense-impression, upekkhā means simple neutral feeling which has no ethical value. Adukkha-m-asukha strictly applies in this connection. Upekkhā latent in a kāmāvacara sobhana citta (Beautiful type of consciousness pertaining to the Sense-sphere) may be any of the following states – simple indifference (not stolid because there is no ignorance), simple neutral feeling, disinterestedness, unbiased feeling, Stoic indifference, and perfect equanimity.

Upekkhā in the jhāna consciousness is perfect equanimity born of concentration. It is both ethical and intellectual.

See Ch. 1, Note 42.

According to a still wider classification vedanā is fivefold namely.

  • (i ) sukha (physical happiness),
  • (ii) somanassa (mental pleasure),
  • (iii) dukkha (physical pain),
  • (iv) domanassa (mental displeasure),
  • (v) upekkhā (indifference, equanimity, or neutral feeling ) .

All feelings, from an ultimate standpoint, are mental because vedanā is a cetasikā. But a differentiation has been made with regard to sukha and dukkha.

Of all the 89 types of consciousness only two are associated with either sukha or dukkha. One is the body-consciousness associated with happiness, and the other is body-consciousness associated with pain.

Both these are the resultant types of consciousness, effects of good and evil Kamma.

A soft touch, for instance, yields happiness. A pinprick, on the contrary, yields pain. In these cases one experiences the aforesaid two types of consciousness respectively.

Now a question arises – Why only the body-consciousness is associated with happiness and pain? Why not the other sense-impressions?

Mr. Aung provides an answer in his introductory essay to the Compendium: –

“The sense of touch alone is accompanied by the positive hedonic elements of pain and pleasure; the other four senses are accompanied by hedonic indifference. This exceptional distinction is assigned to the sense of touch, because the impact between the sentient surface (pasāda rūpa) and the respective objects of other senses, both sets of which are secondary qualities of body, is not strong enough to produce physical pain or pleasure. But in the case of touch there is contact with one or other, or all the three primary qualities (locality – pathavī, temperature – tejo, pressure – vāyo) and this is strong enough to affect those primary qualities in the percipient’s own body. Just as cotton wool on the anvil does not affect the latter, but a hammer striking cotton wool imparts its check to the anvil also.”

(Compendium of Philosophy p. 14).

In the case of touch the impact is strong. The “essentials”, pathavī, tejo and vāyo (extension, heat, and motion) – āpo, cohesion, is excluded being intangible – forcibly and directly strike against the essentials of the body. Consequently there is either pain or happiness. In the case of seeing, hearing, smelling, and tasting, there is a bare impact. The consequent feeling is neither pain nor happiness.

Although these sense-impressions may be sukha, dukkha, or upekkhā the javana thought processes conditioned thereby may not necessarily be associated with a similar feeling.

For instance, the Buddha experienced a body-consciousness associated with pain when a rock splinter struck His foot, but His javana thought-process conditioned thereby would not necessarily be associate with displeasure. Unaffected by the pain, He would have experienced perfect equanimity. The immanent feeling in the stream of consciousness would have been upekkhā. Similarly at the sight of the Buddha, a right-understanding person would automatically experience an eye-consciousness associated with indifference (upekkhā-sahagata cakkhu-viññāna) but his javana thought would be moral. The innate feeling would be pleasure (somanassa).

This intricate point should be clearly understood.

Somanassa (good-mindedness ) and domanassa (bad-mindedness) are purely mental.

These five kinds of feeling could be reduced to three, the three to two, and the two to one as follows:-

    • i. sukha + somanassa; upekkhā; dukkha + domanassa

    • ii. sukha ; upekkhā; dukkha

    • iii. sukha; dukkha

  • iv. dukkha

(Upekkhā is merged in sukha, and sukha is ultimately merged in dukkha).

4. Sukha – physical happiness should be differentiated from somanassa – mental pleasure. So should dukkha – physical pain – be differentiated from domanassa – mental displeasure. There is only one consciousness accompanied by sukha. Similarly there is only one accompanied by dukkha. Both of them are the effects of good and bad actions respectively.

When the Buddha, for instance, was injured by Devadatta Thera, He experienced a body-consciousness accompanied by pain. This was the result of a past evil action of His. When we sit on a comfortable seat we experience a body consciousness accompanied by happiness. This is the result of a past good action. All forms of physical pain and happiness are the inevitable results of our own Kamma.

5. Readers will note that pleasurable types of consciousness exceed all others. As such during a life-time a person experiences more happy moments than painful ones. This does not contradict the statement that life is sorrow (dukkha). Here dukkha is not used in the sense of painful feeling but in the sense of oppression or impeding (pīlana). A careful reading of the description of dukkha, given in the Dhammacakka Sutta will make the matter clear.

6. They are the four kusala jhānas, four vipāka jhānas, four kriya jhānas, and thirty-two lokuttara jhānas. (4 + 4 + 4 + 32 = 44)

7. There is displeasure only in the two types of consciousness connected with patigha or aversion. We experience displeasure when we get angry.

Is there aversion where there is displeasure? Yes, in a gross or subtle form. See Ch. 1. p. 17, n. 10.

8. Viz., 6 akusalas, 14 ahetukas, 12 sobhanas, 3 rūpa jhānas, 12 arūpa jhānas, 8 lokuttaras = 55.

(ii. Hetu Sangaho)

§ 4. Hetusangahe hetu nāma lobho doso moho alobho adoso amoho c’āti chabbidhā bhavanti.

Tattha pañcadvārāvajjanadvipañcaviññānasampaticchana-santīrana-votthapana-hasana-vasena atthārasāhetukacittāni nāma,

Sesāni sabbāni’pi ekasattati cittāni sahetukān’eva.

Tattha’pi dve momūhacittāni ekahetukāni.

Sesāni dasa akusalacittāni c’eva ñānavippayuttāni dvādasā kāmāvacarasobhanāni c’āti dvāvisati dvihetukacittāni.

Dvādasā ñānasampayutta – kāmāvacara sobhanāni c’eva pañcatimsamahaggata-lokuttara cittāni c’āti satta cattālisa tihetukacittāni.

§ 5. Lobho doso ca moho ca hetu akusalā tayo Alobhādosāmoho ca kusalābyākatā tathā

Ahetukatthāras’eka hetukā dve dvāvīsati Dvihetukā matā satta cattālisa tihetukā.

(ii. Summary of Roots)

§ 4. In the summary of roots (9) there are six-namely, attachment, hatred, delusion or ignorance, non-attachment or generosity, non-anger or good-will and wisdom.

Therein eighteen types of consciousness are without roots (10) – namely, five-door apprehending, the twice fivefold sense-impressions, receiving, investigating, determining, and smiling.

All the remaining seventy-one (11) types of consciousness are with roots.

Of them the two types of consciousness (12) associated with ignorance have only one root.

The remaining ten immoral types (13) of consciousness and the twelve (14) Sense-sphere Beautiful types of consciousness, dissociated with wisdom – thus totaling twenty-two – are with two roots.

The twelve Sense-Sphere Beautiful types (15) of consciousness, associated with wisdom, and the thirty-five Sublime and Supramundane types of consciousness – totaling forty-seven – are with three roots.

§ 5. Attachment, hatred, and ignorance are the three immoral roots. Similarly non-attachment, good-will, and wisdom are moral and indeterminate (16).

It should be understood that eighteen are without roots, two with one root, twenty-two with two roots and forty-seven with three roots.


9. See Ch. 1, N. 9.

For a detailed exposition of hetu see Dhammasangani hetu-gocchakam, Sections 1053-1083; Buddhist Psychology, pp. 274-287.

According to the Atthasālini there are four kinds of hetu:

i. hetu hetu, the root cause or the root condition.

There are three moral hetus, three immoral hetus and three neutral (avyākata) hetus. Here hetu is used in the sense of root.

ii. paccaya-hetu, causal condition or instrumental cause.

“The four Great Essentials (Mahābhūta), o Bhikkhus, are the causes (hetu), the conditions (paccaya) for the manifestation of Form-Group (rūpakkhandha).

Here hetu is used in the sense of causal relation (paccaya-hetu).

There is a subtle distinction between hetu and paccaya. The former signifies root (mūla); the latter, an aiding factor (upakāraka dhamma).Hetu is compared to the roots of a tree, and paccaya to manure, water and soil that aid its growth.

This distinction should be clearly understood.

It should also be noted that at times both hetu and paccaya are used as synonymous terms.

iii. uttama-hetu, chief cause or condition. A desirable object acts as the chief (uttama) cause in producing a good result and an undesirable one in producing a bad result.

Here it means the chief cause.

iv. sādhārana-hetu, the common cause or condition.

Ignorance is the cause (hetu), condition (paccaya) of volitional activities (sankhārā).

Here hetu is used as the general cause. Just as the essence of both earth and water is the common cause of both sweetness and bitterness, even so ignorance is the common cause of volitional activities.

Though hetu assumes different shades of meaning in the Text, in this particular instance it is used in the specific sense of root.

10. All the ahetuka cittas are devoid of all roots. Hence they are neither moral nor immoral. They are regarded as unmoral.

Seven of them are the resultants of immoral actions, eight of moral actions, and three are merely functionals. See Ch. 1, pp. 27-31.

11. i.e., 89-18 = 71.

12. Namely, the consciousness accompanied by doubt (vicikicchā) and the other accompanied by restlessness (uddhacca). These are the only two types of consciousness that have one root, which is delusion. Being potentially weak, restlessness is powerless in determining a future birth. Both doubt and restlessness are regarded as two Fetters, the first of which is eradicated by the First Path, and the second by the Fourth Path of Sainthood.

13. The first eight immoral types of consciousness are connected with lobha (attachment) and moha (delusion) and the second two with dosa (aversion) and moha. It should be noted that moha is common to all immoral thoughts.

14. Those twelve kāmāvacara sobhana cittas (mentioned in the first chapter) dissociated with ñāna or wisdom are conditioned by the two roots – alobha (non-

attachment) and adosa (goodwill or loving-kindness). These two roots coexist in moral thoughts.

15. The remaining twelve kāmāvacara sobhana cittas, accompanied by wisdom, are conditioned by all the three moral roots.

Similarly the 15 types of rūpāvacara consciousness, 12 types of arūpāvacara consciousness, and the 8 types of lokuttara consciousness (15 + 12 + 8 = 35) are always associated with the three moral roots.

It should not be understood that evil thoughts conditioned by immoral roots do not arise in the rūpaloka and the arūpaloka. The point here stressed is that no immoral roots are found in the higher types of consciousness.

Unlike the other kusala cittas, the lokuttara cittas, though associated with the three moral roots, lack procreative power.

16. Avyākata, literally, means that which is not manifested. The term is applied to both vipāka (resultants) and kriyā (Functionals). Vipāka is a result in itself and is not productive of another result. Kriya does not produce any effect. Rūpa (material form) is also regarded as an avyākata because it does not reproduce any karmic result.

Ahetuka – rootless types of consciousness = 18

Ekahetuka – types of consciousness with one root = 2

Dvihetuka – types of consciousness with two roots immoral = 10

moral = 12

Tihetuka – types of consciousness with three roots Beautiful = 12

Sublime = 27

Supramundane = 8


total = 89

(iii. Kicca – Sangaho)

§ 6. Kicca-sangahe kiccāni nāma patisandhibhavangāvajjanadassana-savana-glāyana-sāyana-phusana-sampaticchana-santīrana-votthapana-javana-tadālambana-cutivasena cuddasavidhāni bhavanti.

Patisandhi-bhavangā-vajjana-pañcā-viññāna-tthānādivasena pana tesam dasadhā thānabhedo veditabbo

Tattha dve upekkhā-sahagata-santīranāni c’eva attha mahāvipākāni ca nava rūpārūpāvipākāni c’āti ekūnavīsati cittāni patisandhi-bhavanga-cutikiccāni nāma.

āvajjanakiccāni pana dve. Tathā dassanasavana-ghāyana-sāyana-phusana-sampaticcha-nakiccāni ca.

Tīni santīranakiccāni.

Manodvārāvajjanam’eva pañcadvāre votthapanakiccam sādheti.

āvajjanadvaya-vajjitāni kusalākusalakriyā cittāni pañcapannāsa javanakiccāni.

Atthamahāvipākāni c’eva santīranatta-yañc’āti ekādasa tadālambanakiccāni.

Tesu pana dve upekkhā-sahagata-santīrana-cittāni patisandhi-bhavanga-cuti-tadārammana-santīrana vasena pañca kiccāni nāma.

Mahāvipākāni attha patisandhi-bhavanga cuti-tadārammana vasena catukiccāni.

Mahaggatavipākāni nava patisandhi-bhavanga-cutivasena tikiccāni.

Somanassa-sahagatam santīranam-tadālambanavasena dukiccam.

Tathā votthapanañ ca votthapanā-vajjanavasena.

Sesāni pana sabbāni’pi javana-manodhātuttikā-pañca viññānāni yathāsambhavam’ eka kiccāni ‘ ti .

§ 7. Patisandhādayo nāma kiccabhedena cuddasa

Dasadhā thānabhedena cittuppādā pakāsitā

Atthasatthi tathā dve ca navatthadve yathākkamam

Ekadviticatupañcakiccatthānāni niddise.

(iii. Summary of Functions)

[Number in brackets points to following Notes.]

§ 6. In the summary of functions (17) there are fourteen kinds – namely,

1. relinking – patisandhi (18)

2. life-continuum – bhavanga, (19)

3. apprehending – āvajjana (20)

4. seeing, 5. hearing, 6. smelling, 7. tasting, 8. contacting (21)

9. receiving – sampaticchana (22),

10 investigating – santīrana (23),

11. determining – votthapana (24),

12. Javana (25),

13. retention – tadālambana/tadārammana (26), and

14. decease – cuti (27).

Their classification (28) should be understood as tenfold – namely, 1. relinking, 2. life-continuum, 3. apprehending, 4. fivefold sense-impressions and so forth.

Of them nineteen types of consciousness perform the functions of relinking, life-continuum, and decease

They are:-

1. two types of investigating consciousness accompanied by indifference (29),

2. eight great resultants (30), and

3. nine Form-Sphere and Formless Sphere resultants (31 ). (2 + 8 + 9 = 19).

Two perform the function of apprehending (32).

Similarly two (33) perform the Functions of seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting, contacting, and receiving (34).

Three (35) perform the function of investigating.

The mind-door consciousness performs the function of determining (36) in the five sense-door (thought-process).

With the exception of two apprehending types of consciousness (37) the fifty-five (38) types of immoral, moral, and functional consciousness perform the function of javana.

The eight great resultants and the three types of investigating consciousness, (totaling eleven) (39), perform the function of retention.

Of them the two types of investigating consciousness, accompanied by indifference, perform five functions such as relinking, life-continuum, decease, retention, and investigating.

The eight great resultants perform four functions such as relinking, life-continuum, decease, and retention.

The nine Sublime resultants perform three functions such as relinking, life-continuum, and decease (40).

The investigating consciousness, accompanied by pleasure, perform two functions such as investigating and retention.

Similarly the determining consciousness (41 ) perform two functions such as determining and apprehending.

All the remaining types of consciousness – javana, three mind-elements (42), and five sense-impressions – perform only one function as they arise.

§ 7. The types of consciousness are declared to be fourteen according to functions such as relinking and so forth, and ten according to classification.

It is stated those that perform one function are sixty-eight; two functions, two; three functions, nine; four functions, eight; and five functions, two respectively.


17. Kicca or Function.

In the first chapter consciousness was classified chiefly according to the nature (jāti) and planes or states (bhūmi). In this section the different functions of all the 89 types of consciousness are explained in detail.

Each consciousness performs a particular function. Some types of consciousness perform several functions, under different circumstances, in various capacities. There are fourteen specific functions performed by them all.

18. Patisandhi, literally, means re-linking.

The type of consciousness one experiences at the moment of conception is termed patisandhi citta. It is so called because it links the past with the present.

This patisandhi citta, also termed ‘rebirth-consciousness,’ is conditioned by the powerful thought one experiences at the dying moment, and is regarded as the source of the present life-stream. In the course of one particular life there is only one patisandhi citta. The mental contents of bhavanga, which later arises an infinite number of times during one’s lifetime, and of cuti, which arises only once at the final moment of death, are identical with those of patisandhi.

19. Bhavanga. Bhava + anga = factor of life, or indispensable cause or condition of existence.

One experiences only one thought-moment at any particular time. No two thought-moments coexist.

Each thought-moment hangs on to some kind of object. No consciousness arises without an object, either mental or physical.

When a person is fast asleep and is in a dreamless state he experiences a kind of consciousness which is more passive than active. It is similar to the consciousness one experiences at the initial moment of conception and at the final moment of death. This type of consciousness is in Abhidhamma termed bhavanga. Like any other consciousness it also consists of three aspects – genesis (uppāda), static (thiti) and cessation (bhanga). Arising and perishing every moment it flows on like a stream not remaining the same for two consecutive moments.

When an object enters this stream through the sense-doors, the bhavanga consciousness is arrested and another type of consciousness appropriate to the object perceived arises. Not only in a dreamless state but also in our waking state we experience bhavanga thought-moments more than any other types of consciousness. Hence bhavanga becomes an indispensable condition of life.

Mrs. Rhys Davids and Mr. Aung compare bhavanga to “Leibniz’s state of obscure perception, not amounting to consciousness, in dreamless sleep.

One cannot agree because bhavanga is a type of consciousness. There is no obscure perception here.

Some identify bhavanga with sub-consciousness. According to the Dictionary of Philosophy sub-consciousness is ”a compartment of the mind alleged by certain psychologists and philosophers to exist below the threshold of consciousness.” In the opinion of Western philosophers sub-consciousness and consciousness coexist. According to Abhidhamma no two types of consciousness coexist. Nor is bhavanga a sub-plane.

The Compendium further states that “bhavanga denotes a functional state (or moment ) of sub-consciousness. As such it is the sub-conscious state of mind – ‘below the threshold’ of consciousness – by which we conceive continuous subjective existence as possible. Thus it corresponds to F. W. Myer’s ‘subliminal consciousness'”.( p.266)

The Dictionary of Philosophy explains ”subliminal (sub, under + limen, the threshold) as allegedly unconscious mental processes especially sensations which lie below the threshold of consciousness.” Strictly speaking, it does not correspond to subliminal consciousness either.

There does not seem to be any place for bhavanga in Western Psychology.

Bhavanga is so called because it is an essential condition for continued subjective existence.

Whenever the mind does not receive a fresh external object, one experiences a bhavanga consciousness.* Immediately after a thought-process, too, there is a bhavanga consciousness. Hence it is called vīthimutta – process-freed. Sometimes it acts as a buffer between two thought-processes .

Life continuum** has been suggested as the closest English equivalent.

* Cp. Susupti or deep sleep mentioned in the Upanishads. “In it the mind and the sense are both said to be inactive”. Radhakrishnan, Indian Philosophy, p. 258.

** Radhakrishnan says …. Bhavanga is sub-conscious existence, or more accurately existence free from working consciousness, bhavanga is sub-conscious existence when subjectively viewed, though objectively it is sometimes taken to mean Nirvana Indian Philosophy, p. 408….This certainly is not the Buddhist conception. Bhavanga occurs in the waking consciousness too immediately after a citta-vīthi (thought-process). Bhavanga is never identified with Nibbāna.

According to the Vibhāvini Tīkā bhavanga arises between,

i . patisandhi (relinking) and āvajjana (apprehending),

ii. javana and āvajjana,

iii. tadārammana and āvajjana,

iv. votthapana and āvajjana, and sometimes between

v. javana and cuti, and

vi. tadārammana and cuti.

20. āvajjana-opening or turning towards.

When an object enters the bhavanga stream of consciousness the thought-moment that immediately follows is called bhavanga-calana, (bhavanga vibration). Subsequently another thought-moment arises and is called the bhavanga-upaccheda (arresting bhavanga). Owing to the rapidity of the flow of bhavanga an external object does not immediately give rise to a thought-process. The original bhavanga thought-moment perishes. Then the flow is checked. Before the actual transition of the bhavanga it vibrates for one moment. When the bhavanga is arrested a thought-moment arises adverting the consciousness towards the object. If it is a physical object, the thought-moment is termed five-door cognition (pañcadvārāvajjana). In the case of a mental object it is termed mind-door cognition (manodvārāvajjana).

In the sense-door thought-process, after the āvajjana moment, arises one of the five sense-impressions.

See Ch. 1, N. 27.

āvajjana arises between bhavanga and pañca-viññāna (sense-impressions), and bhavanga and javana.

21. Pañca-viññāna (sense-impressions) arise between five-door cognitions (pañcadvārāvajjana) and receiving consciousness (sampaticchana). Seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting, and contacting are collectively termed pañca-viññāna.

22. Sampaticchana arises between five sense-impressions and investigating consciousness (santīrana).

23. Santīrana arises between receiving consciousness and determining consciousness (votthapana).

24. Votthapana = Vi + ava + Ö thā, to stand, to fix, to rest, lit., thorough setting down.

It is at this moment that the nature of the object is fully determined. This is the gateway to a moral or immoral thought-process. Discrimination, rightly or wrongly employed at this stage, determines the thought-process either for good or evil.

There is no special class of consciousness called votthapana.Manodvārāvajjana (mind-door consciousness) performs the function of determining.

Votthapana arises between

i. investigation and javana, and

ii. investigation and bhavanga.

25. Javana derived from Ö ju, to run swiftly.

This is another important technical term which should be clearly understood.

Ordinarily the term is employed in the sense of swift. Javanahamsa, for example, means swift swan; javana-paññā means swift understanding. In the Abhidhamma it is used in a purely technical sense.

Here Javana means running. It is so called because in the course of a thought-process it runs consecutively for seven thought-moments or five, hanging on to an identical object. The mental states occurring in all these thought moments are similar, but the potential force differs.

When the consciousness perceives a vivid object usually seven moments of Javana arise in the particular thought-process. In the case of death or when the Buddha performs the Twin Psychic Phenomenon (Yamaka Pātihāriya) only five thought moments arise. In the Supramundane Javana process the Path-consciousness arises only for one moment.

This javana stage is the most important from a ethical standpoint. It is at this psychological stage that good or evil is actually done. Irrespective of the desirability or the undesirability of the object presented to the mind, one can make the Javana process good or bad. If, for instance, one meets an enemy, a thought of hatred will arise almost automatically. A wise and forbearing person might, on the contrary, harbour a thought of love towards him. This is the reason why the Buddha has stated in the Dhammapada (V. 165)

“By self is evil done,

By self is one defiled,

By self is no evil done,

By self is one purified.”

True indeed that circumstances, habitual tendencies, environment, etc., condition our thoughts. Then the freewill is subordinated to the mechanistic course of events. There is also the possibility to overcome those external forces and, exercising one’s own freewill, generate either good or bad thoughts.

A foreign element may be instrumental, but we ourselves are directly responsible for our own actions.

Of the normal seven Javana thought moments, the first is the weakest potentially as it lacks any previous sustaining force. The Karmic effect of this thought-moment may operate in this present life itself. It is called the ditthadhammavedaniya kamma. If it does not operate, it becomes ineffective (ahosi). The last is the second weakest, because the sustaining power is being spent. Its Karmic effect may operate in the immediately subsequent life (upapajjavedaniya). If it does not, it also becomes ineffective. The effects of the remaining five may operate at any time till one attains Parinibbāna (aparāpariya-vedanīya).

It should be understood that moral and immoral javanas(kusalākusala) refer to the active side of life (kamma-bhava). They condition the future existence (upapattibhava). Apart from them there are the phala* and kriyā javanas. In the Kriyā javanas, which are experienced only by Buddhas and Arahats, the respective cetanās lack Kamma creative power.

[* Note the terrn used is phala (Fruit), but not vipāka. In the lokuttara javana process the Path-Consciousness is immedlately followed by the Fruit-Consciousness.]

It is extremely difficult to suggest a suitable rendering for Javana.

”Apperception” is suggested by some.

The Dictionary of Philosophy defines apperception as “the introspective or reflective apprehension by the mind of its own inner states. Leibniz, who introduced the term, distinguished between perception (the inner state as representing outer things) and apperception (the inner state as reflectively aware of itself). In Kant, apperception denotes the unity of self-consciousness pertaining to either the empirical ego (empirical apperception) or to the pure ego (transcendental apperception).” p. 15.

Commenting on Javana Mrs. Rhys Davids says:-

“”I have spent many hours over Javana, and am content to throw apperception overboard for a better term, or for Javana, untranslated and as easy to pronounce as our own ‘javelin.’ It suffices to remember that it is the mental aspect or parallel of that moment in nerve-process, when central function is about to become efferent activity or ‘innervation.’ Teachers in Ceylon associate it with the word ‘dynamic.’ And its dominant interest for European psychologists is the fusion of intellect and will in Buddhist Psychology….”

(Compendium of Philosophy, p . 249).

Impulse is less satisfactory than even apperception. As Mrs. Rhys Davids suggests it is wise to retain the Pāli term.

See Compendium of Philosophy, pp. 42-45, 249.

According to the Vibhāvini Tīkā javana occurs between:

(i) votthapana and tadārammana, (ii) votthapana and bhavanga, (iii) votthapana and cuti, (iv) manodvārāvajjana and bhavanga, (v) manodvārāvajjana and cuti.

26. Tadālambana or Tadārammana, literally, means ‘that object.’ Immediately after the Javana process two thought-moments, or none at all, arise having for their object the same as that of the Javana. Hence they are called tadālambana. After the tadālambanas again the stream of consciousness lapses into bhavanga.

Tadālambana occurs between (i) javana and bhavanga and (ii) javana and cuti.

27. Cuti is derived from Ö cu, to depart, to be released.

As patisandhi is the initial thought-moment of life so is cuti the final thought-moment. They are the entrance and exit of a particular life. Cuti functions as a mere passing away from life. Patisandhi, bhavanga and cuti of one particular life are similar in that they possess the same object and identical mental co-adjuncts.

Death occurs immediately after the cuti consciousness. Though, with death, the physical body disintegrates and the flow of consciousness temporarily ceases, yet the life-stream is not annihilated as the Karmic force that propels it remains. Death is only a prelude to birth.

Cuti occurs between (i) javana and patisandhi, (ii) tadārammana and patisandhi, and (iii) bhavanga and patisandhi.

28. Thāna, lit., place, station, or occasion. Though there are fourteen functions yet, according to the functioning place or occasion, they are tenfold. The pañca-viññāna or the five sense-impressions are collectively treated as one since their functions are identical.

29. One is akusala-vipāka (immoral-resultant) and the other is kusala-vipāka (moral-resultant).

Rebirth (patisandhi) in the animal kingdom, and in peta and asura realms takes place with upekkhāsahagata santīrana (akusala vipāka).Bhavanga and cuti of that particular life are identical with this patisandhi citta.

Those human beings, who are congenitally blind, deaf, dumb, etc., have for their patisandhi citta the kusala vipāka upekkhā-sahagata santīrana. Though deformity is due to an evil Kamma, yet the birth as a human is due to a good Kamma.

30. Namely, the kāmāvacara kusala vipāka. All human beings, who are not congenitally deformed, are born with one of these eight as their patisandhi citta.

All these ten pertain to the kāmaloka.

31. Namely, the five rūpāvacara vipāka and the four arūpāvacara vipāka.

Lokuttara (Supramundane) phalas are not taken into consideration because they do not produce any rebirth.

Nineteen classes of consciousness, therefore, perform the triple functions of patisandhi,bhavanga and cuti.

32. Namely, the manodvārāvajjana (mind-door cognition) and the pañcadvārāvajjana (sense-door cognition), mentioned among the 18 ahetuka cittas. The former occurs when the mind perceives a mental object, and the latter when it perceives a physical object.

33. Namely, the ten types of moral and immoral resultant sense-impressions (kusala-akusala vipāka pañca-viññāna).

34. Namely, the two types of receiving consciousness, accompanied by indifference, mentioned among the ahetukas.

35. Namely, the two accompanied by indifference, and one accompanied by pleasure. It is the first two that function as patisandhi,bhavanga and cuti.

It should not be understood that at the moment of rebirth there is any investigation. One consciousness performs only one function at a particular time. This class of consciousness only serves as a rebirth-consciousness connecting the past and present births.

The investigating consciousness, accompanied by pleasure, occurs as a tadālambana when the object presented to the consciousness is desirable.

36. There is no special consciousness known as votthapana. It is the manodvārāvajjana that serves this function in the five-door thought-process.

37. Namely, the manodvārāvajjana and the pañcadvārāvajjana, two of the ahetuka kriya cittas. As they do not enjoy the taste of the object they do not perform the function of Javana. The remaining kriya citta, smiling consciousness, performs the function of Javana.

38. Namely, 12 immoral + (8 + 5 + 4 + 4) 21 morals + 4 lokuttara phalas (Fruits) + (1 + 8 + 5 + 4) 18 functionals = 55.

The term used is not vipāka but phala. The vipākas (resultants) of kāma, rūpa and arūpa lokas are not regarded as Javanas. The Supramundane Paths and Fruits which occur in the Javana process are regarded as Javanas though they exist only for a moment.

39. These eleven are vipāka cittas (resultants). When they perform the function of retention (tadālambana), there is no investigating function.

The investigating consciousness, accompanied by pleasure, performs the dual functions of investigating and retention.

40. In their respective planes.

41. Manodvārāvajjana,

42.Manodhātu is applied to the two classes of receiving consciousness (sampaticchana) and five-door cognition (pañcadvārāvajjana). All the remaining classes of consciousness, excluding the ten sense impressions (dvipañca-viññāna), are termed mano-viññāna dhātu.

(iv. Dvāra-Sangaho)

§ 8. Dvārasangahe dvārani nāma cakkhudvāram sotadvāram ghānadvāram jivhādvāram kāyadvāram manodvārañ e’āti chabbidhāni bhavanti.

Tattha cakkhum’ eva cakkhudvāram, tathā sotādayo sotadvārādīni. Manodvāram pana bhavangam pavuccati.

Tattha pañcadvārāvajjana – cakkhu-viññāna – sampaticchana – santīrana-votthapana-kāmā-vacarajavana-tadālambanavasena cha cattālīsa cittāni cakkhudvāre yathāraham uppajjanti. Tathā pañcadvārāvajjana-sotaviññānādivasena sotadvārādīsu’ pi chacattālīs’ eva bhavan-ti, Sabbathā’ pi pañcadvāre catupaññāsa cittāni kāmāvacarān’ evā’ti veditabbāni.

Manodvāre pana manodvārāvajjana-pañcapaññāsajavana – tadālambanavasena sattasatthicittāni bhavanti.

Ekūnavīsati patisandhi-bhavanga-cuti vasena dvāravimuttāni.

Tesu pana dvipañcaviññānāni c’eva mahaggata-lokuttarajavanāni c’āti chattimsa yathāraham’ ekadvārikacittāni nāma.

Manodhātuttikam pana pañcadvārikam.

Sukhasantīrana – votthapana – kāmāvacarajavanāni chadvārikacittāni.

Upekkhāsahagata santīrana-mahāvipākāni chadvārikāni c’eva dvāravimuttāni ca.

Mahaggatavipākāni dvāravimuttān’ evā’ti.

§ 9. Ekadvārikacittāni pañcadvārikāni ca

Chadvārika vimuttāni vimuttāni ca sabbathā.

Chattimsati tathā tīni ekatimsa yathākkamam

Dasadhā navadhā c’āti pañcadhā paridīpaye.

(iv. Summary of Doors)

§ 8. In the summary of doors (43), there are six kinds, namely, eye-door (44), ear-door, nose-door, tongue-door, body-door, and mind-door (45).

Therein the eye itself is the eye-door; and so for the ear-door and others. But bhavanga is called the mind-door.

Of them forty-six (46) types of consciousness arise accordingly (47) in the eye-door.

(a) five-door apprehending,

(b) eye consciousness,

(c) receiving,

(d) investigating,

(e) determining,

(f) Sense-sphere javana,

(g) retention.

Likewise in the ear-door and others forty-six types of consciousness arise such as five-door apprehending, ear-consciousness, and so forth.

It should be understood that in every way in the five-doors there are fifty-four types of kāmāvacara consciousness (48).

In the mind-door sixty-seven types of consciousness arise such as mind-door apprehending, fifty-five javanas (49), and retention (50).

Nineteen types of consciousness such as relinking, bhavanga, and decease are without doors (61).

Of those (that arise through doors) thirty-six types of consciousness (52) such as twice fivefold sense-impressions and the sublime and supramundane javanas (53) are with one door accordingly.

The three mind-elements (54)arise through five doors.

Pleasurable investigation (55), determining (56), and the kama-sphere javanas arise through six doors. Investigation, accompanied by indifference, and the great Resultants arise either through the six doors or without a door (57).

The Sublime Resultants do arise without a door (58).

§ 9. Thirty-six (59) types of consciousness arise through one door, three through five, thirty-one through six, ten through six or without a door, nine wholly free from a door respectively. In five ways they are shown


43. Dvāra or door, derived from du, two and Ö ar, to go, to enter, is that which serves both as an entrance and an exit. Eye ear and other organs of sense act as doors for objects to enter.

The five physical senses and the mind are regarded as the six doors through which objects gain entrance.

See Compendium of Philosophy, p. 85 N. 4.

44. By cakkhu-dvāra or eye-door is meant the sensory surface of the eye. The other doors should be similarly understood.

45. Mano-dvāra – Mind-door

It was explained earlier that when an object enters the mind the bhavanga consciousness first vibrates for a moment and is then arrested. Subsequently āvajjana or apprehending thought-moment arises. In the case of a physical object it is one of the five sense-impressions. In the case of a mental object it is the manodvārāvajjana mind-door consciousness. The bhavangupaccheda (bhavanga arrest) thought-moment that immediately precedes the mind-door apprehending consciousness is known as the mind-door (manodvāra).

Abhidhammāvatāra states –

S’āvajjanam bhavangantu manodvāranti vuccati.

(The bhavanga with the āvajjana is known as mind-door) .

46. The commentary sums up 46 as follows:-

(a) 1; (b) 2 (akusala and kusala vipāka sampaticchana); (c) 2 (akusala and kusalavipāka sampaticchana); (d) 3 (akusala vipāka = 1, kusala vipāka santīrana = 2), (e) 1; (f) 29 (akusala = 12 + kusala = 8 + ahetuka kriyā hasituppāda = 1 + sobhanakriyā = 8); (g) 8 (sobhana vipāka – the other three being included in santīrana).

1 + 2 + 2 + 3 + 1 + 29 + 8 = 46

Forty-six types of consciousness arise through the eye-door with material form as the object (rūpālambana). An equal number arises in the remaining four physical doors with their respective objects.

47. Accordingly, yathāraham –

That is, “according as the object is desirable or not, as attentiveness is right or wrong, as passion-freed individuals or not” (Vibhāvini Tīkā). Mr. Aung says Ledi Sayadaw explains the same by ‘According to the object, the plane of existence, the subject, attention, etc.’

48. All types of kāmāvacara consciousness arise through these five doors.

49. Namely, 12 akusalas + 1 ahetuka kriyā + 16 sobhana kusala and kriyā + 10 rūpāvacara kusala and kriyā + 8 arūpāvacara kusala and kriyā + 8 lokuttaramagga and phala. (12 + 1 + 16 + l0 + 8 + 8 = 55)

50. Namely, 3 santīranas and 8 sobhana vipākas.

51.Dvāra-vimutta, door-freed.

Vibhāvini Tīkā explains that they are so called because (i) they do not arise in any of the sense-doors such as eye etc., (ii) bhavanga itself is the mind-door, and (iii) they exist without receiving any new external object (pertaining to the present life).

The first reason applies to cuti and patisandhi, the second to bhavangupaccheda, and the third to all bhavangas and cuti.

It was stated earlier that patisandhi,bhavanga and cuti of a particular life are similar because their objects and their co-adjuncts are identical although their functions differ.

At the moment of death a thought-process that conditions the future existence occurs. The object of this thought-process may be (i) a Kamma (action) which one has performed in the course of one’s life. One recollects the deed as if being renewed. Strictly speaking, it is a recurring of the consciousness which one has experienced while performing the action. Or it may be (ii) any symbol (kamma-nimitta) which was conspicuous during the performance of the action. It may also be (iii) characteristic symbol of the place in which one is bound to be reborn (gati nimitta)*. Taking one of these three as the object, the rebirth-consciousness takes place in the future existence. The object of the bhavanga and cuti of that particular existence is similar to that of the patisandhi. Hence it was stated above that they do not take any new external object.

[* Referring to the object of the patisandhi citta Mr. Aung says in the Compendium – “These have for their object either the past efficient action itself, or a symbol of that past action (kamma-nimitta), or a sign of the tendencies (gati-nimitta) that are determined by the force of that past action” – p. 26. Here gati-nimitta means a sign or symbol of the place in which he is to be born, such as fire, flesh, celestial mansions, etc.]

52. They arise in their respective doors such as eye, ear, etc.

53. All the 26 Sublime and Supramundane javanas arise through the mind-door.

54. The two sampaticchana and pañcadvārāvajjana arise only through the five physical sense-doors.

Readers should note that at times all these three types of consciousness are collectively termed manodhātuttika (three mind-elements).

55. Pleasurable investigation arises through the five physical doors when the object presented is desirable. It occurs through the mind-door as a tadālambana.

56. This is the manodvārāvajjana which functions purely as a mind-door apprehending consciousness and as a determining consciousness in a thought-process which arises through any of the five physical doors.

57. When they function as patisandhi, bhavanga and cuti they are door-freed.

58. The nine rūpāvacara and arūpāvacara vipāka cittas arise as patisandhi,bhavanga and cuti respective planes. Hence they are door-freed.

59. They are:-

dvipañca viññāna (sense-impression) = 10

rūpāvacara kusala and kriyā = 10

arūpāvacara kusala and kriyā = 8

lokuttara magga and phala = 8


(v. ālambana Sangaho)

§ 10. ālambana-saligahe ālambanāni nāma rūpā-rammana saddhā-rammanam gandhā-rammanam rasā-rammanam photthabbā-rammanam dhammā-rammana c’āti chabbidhāni bhavanti.

Tattha rūpam’eva rūpā-rammana. Tathā saddādayo saddhā-rammanādīni. Dhammā-rammana pana pasāda, sukhuma-rūpa, citta, cetasikā, nibbāna, paññattivasena chaddhā sangayhanti .

Tattha cakkhu-dvārika-cittānam sabbesampi rūpam’eva ārammanam. Tañ ca paccuppannam’eva. Tathā sota-dvārika-cittādīnam’ pi saddādīni. Tāni ca paccuppannāni y’eva. Manodvārika-cittānam pana chabbidham’ pi paccuppannam’ atītam anāgatam kālavimuttañ ca yathāraham’ ālambanam hoti

Dvārāvimuttānañ ca pana patisandhi-bhavanga-cuti sankhātānam chabbidham pi vathāsambhavam yebhuyyena bhavantare chadvāragahitam paccuppannam’ atītam paññattibhūtam va kammam kamma-nimittam gati-nimittasammatam ālambanam hoti.

Tesu cakkhu-viññānādīni yathākkamam rūpā-diekekālambanān’ eva. Manodhātuttikam pana rūpā-dipañcālambanam. Sesāni kāmāvacaravipākani hasancittañc’āti sabbathā’pi kāmāvacarālambanān’ eva.

Akusalāni c’eva ñānavippayuttajavanāni c’āti lokuttara-vajjitasabbālambanāni. Ñāna-sampayutta-kāmāvacara-kusalāni c’eva pañca-majjhāna-sankhātam-abhiññā-kusalañc’āti arahatta-maggaphala vajjitāsabbālambanāni.

Ñāna-sampayutta-kāmāvacara-kriyā c’ eva kriyā-bhiññā-votthapanañc’āti sabbathā’ pi sabbālambanāni.

āruppesu dutiyacatutthāni mahaggatālambanāni. Sesāni mahaggatacittāni pana sabbāni’ pi paññāttālambanāni. Lokuttaracittāni Nibbānalambanāni’ ti.

§ 11. Pañcavīsa parittamhi cha cittāni mahaggate

Ekavisati vohāre attha nibbānagocare

Vīsānuttaramuttamhi aggamaggaphalujjhite

Pañca sabbattha chacceti sattadhā tattha sangaho.

(v. Summary of Objects)

§ 10. In the summary of objects (60) there are six kinds-namely, visible object (61), audible object (62), odorous object (63), sapid object (64), tangible object (65), and cognizable object (66).

Therein form itself is visible object. Likewise sound and so forth are the audible objects etc. But cognizable object is sixfold: – sensitive (parts of organs) (67) subtle matter (68), consciousness (69), mental states (70), Nibbāna (71), and concepts (72).

To all types of eye-door consciousness visible form itself is the object. That too pertains only to the present (73). Likewise sounds and so forth of the ear-door consciousness and so forth also pertain to the present (74).

But the six kinds of objects of the mind-door consciousness are accordingly (75) present, past, future, and independent of time.

(76) To the ‘door-freed’ such as relinking, bhavanga, and decease any of the afore-said six becomes objects as they arise. They are grasped, mostly (77) through the six doors, pertaining to the immediately preceding life, as past or present object or as concepts. They are (technically) known as Kamma, a symbol of Kamma,’ or a symbol of the state of rebirth.’*

[*Mr. Aung translates this passages as follows:……

“Further, the objects of those ‘door-freed’ classes of consciousness which are called rebirth, life-continuum, and re-decease cognitions, are also of six kinds according to circumstances. They have usually been grasped (as object) in the immediately preceding existence by way of the six doors, they are objects of things either present or past, or they are concepts. And they are (technically) known as ‘Karma’, ‘sign of Karma’, or ‘sign of destiny’. Compendium of Philosophy’ p. 120.]

Of them eye-consciousness and so forth have respectively form and so forth as their single object. But the three mind-elements have five objects such as form and so forth. The remaining Sense-sphere Resultants and the smiling consciousness have wholly Sense-sphere objects.

The Immorals and the Javanas, dissociated with knowledge, have all objects except the Supramundane objects (78).

The Sense-sphere Morals and the super-intellect (79) consciousness, known as the fifth jhāna, have all objects except the Path and Fruit of Arahatship

The Sense sphere Functionals, associated with knowledge, super-intellect Function al consciousness (80 ) and the determining consciousness (81) have in all cases all kinds of objects (82).

(83) Amongst the arūpa consciousness the second and fourth have Sublime objects. All the remaining sublime types of consciousness have concepts (84 ) as objects. The Supramundane types of consciousness have Nibbāna as their object.

§ 11. Twenty-five (85) types of consciousness are connected with lower objects (86); six (87) with the Sublime; twenty-one (88) with concepts (89); eight with Nibbāna.

Twenty (90) are connected with all objects except the Supramundane objects; five (91) in all except with the Highest Path and Fruit; and six (92) with all.

Sevenfold is their grouping.

Notes: –

60. ārāmmanam or ālambanam –

ārāmmanam is derived from ā + Ö ram, to attach, to adhere, to delight.

ālambanam is derived from ā + Ö lamb, to hang upon.

That on which the subject hangs, or adheres to, or delights in, is ārammana or ālambana. It means an object.

According to Abhidhamma there are six kinds of objects, which may be classified as physical and mental.

Each sense has its corresponding object.

61. Rūpa is derived from Ö rup, to change, to perish. In its generic sense it means’ that which changes its colour owing to cold, heat, etc.’ (sītunhādivasena vannavikāramāpajjatī’ ti rūpam).

Abhidhamma enumerates 28 kinds of rūpa, which will be descriptively dealt with in a special chapter. Here the term is used in its specific sense of object of sight.

The Vibhāvini Tīkā states, “Rūpa is that which manifests itself by assuming a difference in colour, that which expresses the state of having penetrated into the heart.” (vannavikāram āpajjamānam rūpayati hadayangatabhāvam pakāsetī’ ti rūpam).

Rūpa is the abode, range, field, or sphere of colour (vannāyatana). It is the embodiment of colour.

It should be understood that according to Abhidhamma rūpa springs from four sources – namely, Kamma, mind (citta), seasonal phenomena (utu), and food (āhāra).

62. Sadda or (sound) arises from the friction of elements of extension (pathavī dhātu). There are four material elements (bhūta rūpa) – namely, the element of extension (pathavi), the element of cohesion (āpo), the element of heat (tejo), and the element of motion (vāyo). These are the fundamental units of matter. They are always inter-dependent and inter-related. One element may preponderate over the other as, for example, the element of extension predominates in earth, the element of cohesion in water, the element of heat in fire, and the element of motion in air.

When an element of extension collides with a similar element there arises sound. It springs from both mind (citta) and seasonal phenomena (utu).

Sounds are either articulate (vykata) or inarticulate (avyākata).

63. Gandha (odour) is derived from gandh, to express (sūcane). It springs from all the four sources.

64. Rasa (taste) is diffused in all the elements. Only the sapidity that exists in them is regarded as rasa.

65. Photthabbārammana – tangible object. It is not mere contact. With the exception of the element of cohesion all the remaining three elements are regarded as tangible, because the former cannot be felt by the body.

When these three elements, which constitute a tangible object, collide with the sensory surface of the body there arises either pain or pleasure according to the desirability or undesirability of the object. In the case of other objects there results only upekkhā – neutral feeling.

66. Dhammārammana includes all objects of consciousness. Dhamma embraces both mental and physical phenomena.

67. The sensory surfaces of all the five organs are known as pasāda. In the case of eye, ear, nose, tongue the sensory surfaces are located in particular spots, while the sensory surface of the body pervades the whole system.

There are five kinds of pasāda rūpa corresponding to the five sense-organs.

68. Sukhuma rūpa –

Of the 28 kinds of rūpa 16 are classed as sukhuma (subtle) and 12 as odārika (gross).

The physical objects of (i) sight, (ii) hearing, (iii) scent, (iv) taste, and touch (which includes the element of (v) extension, (vi) heat, (vii) and motion), and the five pasāda rūpas belong to the gross group. The remaining 16 which will be described in the chapter on rūpa, belong to the subtle group. They are termed subtle as there is no collision on their part.

69. Namely, all the 89 types of consciousness. They are sometimes collectively treated as one object as they all possess the identical characteristic of awareness.

70. Namely, the 52 mental properties.

71. This is a supramundane object which is perceived by the eight kinds of Supramundane consciousness.

72. Paññatti is that which is made manifest. It is twofold-namely, nāma paññatti and attha paññatti. The former means a name or term such as chair, table, etc., the latter means the object or idea conveyed thereby.

73. What is time? Strictly speaking, it is a mere concept which does not exist in an absolute sense. On the other hand what space is to matter, time is to mind. Conventionally we speak of past (atīta), present (paccuppanna), and future (anāgata).

Past is defined as that which has gone beyond its own state or the moments of genesis, development, and cessation (attano sabhāvam uppādādikkhanam vā atītā atikkantā atītā).

Present is that which on account of this and that reason enters, goes, exists above the moments of genesis etc. (tam tam kāranam paticca uppādādikkhanam uddham pannā, gatā, pavattā = paccuppannā).

Future is that which has not yet reached both states (tadubhayam’ pi na āgatā sampattā).

According to Abhidhamma each consciousness consists of three phases – uppāda (genesis), thiti (development), and bhanga (dissolution or cessation). In the view of some commentators there is no intermediate thiti stage but only the stages of arising and passing away. Each thought-moment is followed by another. Time is thus the sine qua non of the succession of mental states. The fundamental unit of time is the duration of a thought-moment. Commentators say that the rapidity of these fleeting thought moments is such that within the brief duration of a flash of lightning there may be billions of thought-moments.

Matter, which also constantly changes, endures only for seventeen thought-moments, being the time duration for one thought-process.

Past is gone, Future has not come. We live only for one thought-moment and that slips into the irrevocable past. In one sense there is only the eternal NOW. In another sense the so-called present is the transitional stage from the future to the past.

The Dictionary of Philosophy defines time “as the general medium in which all events take place in succession or appear to take place in succession.”

Atthasālini states that time is a concept derived from this or that phenomenon. And it does not exist in reality; it is merely a concept. (Tam tam upādāya paññatto kālo nāma. So pan’ esa sabhāvato avaijjamānattā paññatti-mattako eva).

74. All sense-objects belong to the present.

75. Accordingly – yathāraham, i.e., with respect to sense-sphere Javana, Higher Intellect (abhiññā) and other Sublime Javanas.

The six kinds of objects of the Sense-sphere Javanas, with the exception of smiling consciousness, are present, past, future, and independent of time.

The objects of the smiling consciousness are past, present, and future.

The objects of the Javanas, by means of which the Higher Intellect such as Divine Eye, Divine Ear are developed, are past, present, future, and independent of time.

The objects of sublime Javanas may be either timeless or past.

As Nibbāna is eternal it does not belong to the past, present, or future. It is timeless. So is paññatti, independent of time.

76. This difficult passage needs some explanation.

When a person is about to die he sometimes recollects a good or bad action he has performed during his lifetime. The moral or immoral consciousness, experienced at the particular moment, arises now as a fresh consciousness This is technically known as ‘Kamma’.

Being a thought, it is a dhammārammana grasped through the mind-door, and is past.

The object of the patisandhi, bhavanga, and cuti classes of consciousness of the subsequent life is this dhammārammana.

At times it may be a sign or symbol associated with the good or bad action. It may be one of the five physical objects viewed through one of the six doors, as a present or past object.

Suppose, for instance, one hears the Dhamma at the dying moment. In this case the present audible word grasped through the ear becomes the object. It, therefore, follows that the object of the afore-said three classes of consciousness of the following life becomes this kamma nimitta.

Again, let us think that a dying physician sees through his mental eye the patients he has treated. Now this is a past rūpārammana perceived through the mind-door.

Or again, let us think that a dying butcher hears the groans of cattle he has killed. The past audible object is presented to the person through the mind-door.

Kamma-nimitta may, therefore, be past or present, viewed through one of the six doors. In some cases some symbol of the place in which he is to be reborn such as fire, flesh, celestial mansions, etc. may appear to the dying person. This is regarded as present object grasped through the mind-door.

Gati-nimitta is, therefore, a visual object, present in point of time, and is perceived through the mind-door.

It should be noted that the patisandhi,bhavanga, and cuti thought-moments of the Sense-sphere have for their objects a kamma, a kamma-nimitta, or a gati-nimitta, perceived through one of the six-doors, in the immediately preceding life.

In the case of all rūpāvacara patisandhi etc., the object is always a past kamma-nimitta which is a concept (paññatti) such as a kasina symbol, perceived through the mind door.

The object of the first and third arūpa patisandhi etc., is also a past concept (paññatti) such as ‘ananto ākāso’ ‘infinite is space’ in the case of the first, and the concept ‘natthi kiñci’-‘there is nothing,’ in the case of the third. These two concepts are regarded as kamma-nimittas perceived through the mind-door.

The object of the second and fourth arūpa jhāna patisandhi etc., is a past mental object which serves as the kamma-nimitta perceived through the mind-door.

As was explained in the first chapter the second arūpa consciousness was developed by taking the first arūpa consciousness as the object, and the fourth with the third as the object.

77. The term ‘yebhuyyena’ (mostly) is used to indicate the rebirth of one born in the asañña plane where there is no consciousness. The commentary states that by the power of Kamma some object such as a kamma-nimittapresents itself to the patisandhi consciousness.

78. In Buddhism an ordinary worldling is called a puthujjana (lit., manyfolk or one who is born again and again). Those who have attained the first three stages of Sainthood are called sekhas (lit., those who undergo a training). Those who have attained the Final stage of Sainthood (Arahatship) are called asekhas, who no more undergo any training.

The sekhas cannot comprehend the Path and Fruit consciousness of an Arahat because they have not attained that superior state, but worldly thoughts of an Arahat they can.

Similarly the worldlings cannot comprehend the supramundane consciousness of the Sekha Saints.

79. Abhiññā are the five kinds of Higher Knowledge. They are Divine Eye (dibbacakkhu), Divine Ear (dibbasota), Reminiscence of past births (pubbenivāsānussati ñāna), Reading the thoughts of others (paracittavijānana) and Psychic Powers (iddhividha ñāna). To develop these five abhiññas one must possess the fifth Jhāna. Not even with this developed Sublime consciousness can a worldling or a Sekha comprehend the Path and Fruit consciousness of an Arahat.

It is only an Arahat who can comprehend the Path and Fruit consciousness of an Arahat.

A detailed account of abhiññā will appear in a later chapter.

80. These two classes of consciousness are experienced only by Arahats.

81. This is the manodvārāvajjana which occurs before every Javana process. Hence there is nothing that is beyond the scope of this consciousness.

82. Namely, Sense-sphere objects, Sublime objects, Supramundane objects, and concepts (paññatti).

83. The object of the second arūpa consciousness is the first arūpa consciousness, while that of the fourth is the third.

84. i.e., the object of the first arūpa consciousness is the concept ‘ananto ākāso’ ‘infinite is space,’ that of the third is the concept ‘natthi kiñci’ there is nothing.’

An explanation of these appears in the first chapter,

All the rūpa jhānas have concepts such as kasinas as their objects.

85. Namely, 23 Sense-sphere Resultants + 1 sense-door consciousness + 1 smiling consciousness = 25.

86. Paritta, derived from pari + Ö dā, to break, to shorten, means lower or inferior. This refers to Sense-sphere objects.

87. Namely, the Moral, Resultant, and Functional 2nd and 4th arūpa cittas(viññānāñcāyatana and n’eva saññā n’āsaññāyatana).

88. Namely, 16 rūpa jhānas and Moral, Resultant, and Functional 1st and 3rd arūpa jhānas (ākāsānañcāyatana and ākiñcaññāyatana); 15 + 6 = 21.

89. Vohāra here refers to concepts such as kasinas.

90. Namely, the 12 Immorals and 8 Sense-sphere Morals and Functionals, dissociated with knowledge.

91. They are the 4 Sense-sphere Morals associated with knowledge and the 5th Moral rūpa jhāna (abhiññā kusala citta).

92. They are the 4 Sense-sphere Functionals, 5th Functional rūpa jhāna, and mind-door apprehending (manodvārāvajjana).

(vi. Vatthu-Sangaho)

§ 12. Vatthusangahe vatthūni nāma cakkhu sota ghāna jivhā kāya hadayavatthu c’āti chabbi-dhāni bhavanti.

Tāni kāmaloke sabbāni’ pi labbhanti. Rūpaloke pana ghānādittayam natthi. Arūpaloke pana sabbāni’ pi na samvijjanti.

Tattha pañcaviññānadhātuyo yathākkamam ekantena pañcappasādavatthūni nissāy’ eva pavattanti. Pañcadvārāvajjanasampaticchanasankhātā pana manodhātu ca hadayam nissāy’ eva pavattanti. Tathā avasesā pana manoviññānadhātu-sankhātā ca santīrana mahā vipākapatighadvāyapathamamaggahasanarūpāvacaravasena hadayam nissāy’ eva pavattanti.

Avasesā kusalākusalakriyānuttaravasena pana nissāya vā anissāya. Arūppavipākavasena hadayam anissāy’ evā ti.

§ 13. Chavatthū nissitā kāme satta rūpe catubbidhā Ti vatthū nissitāruppe dhātvekā nissitā matā.

Tecattālīsa nissāya dve cattālīsa jāvare Nissāya ca anissāya pākā’ ruppa anissitā’ ti.

Iti Abhidhammatthasangahe Pakinnakasangahavibhāgo nāma Tatiyo Paricchedo.

(vi. Summary of Bases)

§ 12. In the summary of bases (93), there are six kinds-namely, eye, ear, nose, tongue, body, and heart.

All these, too, (94) are found in the Sense-sphere. But in the Form-sphere three bases – nose, tongue, and body – are not found (96). In the Formless-sphere no base (96) exists.

Therein the five elements of sense-impressions lie entirely dependent on the five sensory parts (97) of the organs as their respective bases. But the mind-element – namely, the five-door adverting consciousness and the (two types of) receiving consciousness – rest in dependence on the heart (98). Likewise the remaining mind-conscious-element (99) comprising the (100) investigating consciousness, the great Resultants, the two (101) accompanied by aversion, the first Path (192) consciousness, smiling consciousness (103), and Form-sphere (104) consciousness, rest in dependence on the heart (105).

(10 + 3 + 3 + 8 +2 + 1 + 1 + 15 = 43)

The remaining classes of consciousness (106) whether Moral, Immoral, Functional, or Supramundane, are either dependent on, or independent of, the heart-base. The Formless-sphere Resultants are independent of the heart-base.

§ 13. It should be known that in the Sense-sphere seven elements (107) are dependent on the six bases, in the Form sphere four (108) are dependent on three (109) bases, in the Formless-sphere the one single (110) mind-element is not

dependent on any.

Forty-three arise dependent on a base. Forty-two arise with or without a base. The formless Resultants arise without any base.

Thus ends the third chapter in the compendium of Abhidhamma, entitled the Miscellaneous Treatment.


93. Vatthu is derived from Ö vas, to dwell. In its primary sense it means a garden, field, or avenue. In its secondary sense it means a cause or condition. Vatthu is also applied to something that exists, that is, a substance, object, or thing. Referring to the three objects of worship, the Buddha says “Uddesikam ti avatthukam.” Here avatthuka means objectless, without a thing or substance.

Vatthu is the seat of sense-organs.

There are six seats of physical bases corresponding to the six senses.

These will be fully described in the chapter on rūpa.

94. The indeclinable particle ‘pi’ (too) in the text indicates that there is an exception in the case of those who are born blind, deaf, dumb, etc.

95. The organs exist, but not their sensory faculties as beings in these higher planes have temporarily inhibited the desire for sensual pleasures (kāmarāga). They possess eye and ear so that they may utilize them for good purposes. The heart-base also exists because it is the seat of consciousness.

96. Being devoid of all forms of matter. Mind alone exists even without the seat of consciousness by the power of meditation.

97. For instance, the eye-consciousness depends on the sensory surface of the eye but not on the physical organ or ‘eye of flesh.’ The other sense-impressions also depend on their respective sensory surfaces.

The sensory surfaces (pasāda) of these five organs should be understood as follows: –

“Cakkhu” which stands for vision, sense of sight and eye. “Eye,” however, is always in the present work to be understood as the seeing faculty or visual sense, and not as the physical or ‘eye of flesh’ (mamsa cakkhu). The commentary gives an account of the eye, of which the following is the substance: First the aggregate organism (sasambhāra-cakkhu): a ball of flesh fixed in a cavity, bound by the socket bone beneath and by the bone of the eyebrow above, by the angles of the eye at the sides, by the brain within and by the eyelashes without. There are fourteen constituents: the four elements, the six attributes dependent on them, viz., colour, odour, taste, sap of life, form (santhānam), and collocation (sambhavo); vitality, sex, body-sensibility (kāyappasādo), and the visual sentient organ. The last four have their source in kamma. When ‘the world, seeing an obvious extended white object fancies it perceives the eye, it only perceives the basis (or seat-vatthu) of the eye. And this ball of flesh, bound to the brain by nerve-fibers, is white, black and red, and contains the solid, the liquid, the lambent and the gaseous. It is white by superfluity of humour, black by superfluity of bile, red by superfluity of blood, rigid by superfluity of the solid, exuding by superfluity of the liquid, inflamed by superfluity of the lambent, quivering by superfluity of the gaseous. But that sentient organ (pasādo) which is there bound, inherent, derived from the four great principles – this is the visual sense (pasāda-cakkhu). Placed in the midst and in the front of the black disc of the composite eye, the white disc surrounding it (note that the iris is either not distinguished or is itself the ‘black disc’) and in the circle of vision, in the region where the forms of adjacent bodies come to appear, it permeates the seven ocular membranes as sprinkled oil will permeate seven cotton wicks. And so it stands, aided by the four elements, sustaining, maturing, moving (samudīranam) – like an infant prince and four nurses, feeding, bathing, dressing, and fanning him – maintained by nutriment both physical (utu) and mental, protected by the (normal) span of life, invested with colour, smell, taste, and so forth, in size the measure of a louse’s head – stands duly constituting itself the door of the seat of visual cognitions etc. For as it has been said by the Commander of the Doctrine (Sāriputta):

‘The visual sense by which he beholds forms

Is small and delicate, comparable to a louse’s head.

Sotappasāda –

“This, situated within the cavity of the aggregate organism of the ear, and well-furnished fine reddish hairs, is in shape like a little finger-stall (angulivethana).” (Asl. 310).

Ghānappasāda –

“This is situated inside the cavity of the aggregate nasal organism, in appearance like a goat’s hoof.” (Asl. 310).

Jivhāppasāda –

This is situated above the middle of the aggregate gustatory organism, in appearance like the upper side of the leaf of a lotus.” (Asl. 310).

Kāyappasāda –

“The sphere of kāya – so runs the comment (Asl. 311) – is diffused over the whole bodily form just as oil pervades an entire cotton rag.”

(Buddhist Psychology, pp. 173-181).

98. Hadayavatthu – heart-base.

According to the commentators, hadayavatthu is the seat of consciousness. Tradition says that within the cavity of the heart there is some blood, and depending on which lies the seat of consciousness. It was this cardiac theory that prevailed in the Buddha’s time, and this was evidently supported by the Upanishads.

The Buddha could have adopted this popular theory, but He did not commit Himself.

Mr. Aung in his Compendium argues that the Buddha was silent on this point. He did not positively assert that the seat of consciousness was either in the heart or in the brain. In the Dhammasangani the term hadayavatthuhas purposely been omitted. In the Patthāna, instead of using hadaya as the seat of consciousness, the Buddha has simply stated ‘yam rūpain nissāya’ – ‘depending on that rūpa.’ Mr. Aung’s opinion is that the Buddha did not want to reject the popular theory. Nor did He advance a new theory that brain is the seat of consciousness as is regarded by modern scientists.

See Buddhist Psychology – Introduction lxxviii, and Compendium of Philosophy, pp. 277-279.

99. Dhātu is derived from Ö dhar, to hold, to bear. ‘That which carries its own characteristic mark is dhātu. They are so called since they are devoid of being or life (nissatta nijjīva).

For the sake of convenience three technical terms are used here. They are pañca-viññāna-dhātu, manodhātu, mano-viññāna-dhātu.

Pañca-viññāna-dhātu is applied to the ten sense-impressions.

Mano-dhātu – is applied to the two types of receiving consciousness and five-door adverting consciousness (sampaticchana and pañcadvārāvajjana).

Mano-viññāna-dhātu is applied to all the remaining classes of consciousness.

100. The three classes of investigating consciousness and the eight great Resultants do not arise in the Formless sphere owing to the absence of any door or any function there.

101. As aversion has been inhibited by, those born in rūpa and arūpa planes the two classes of consciousness, accompanied by aversion, do not arise there.

102. To attain the first stage of Sainthood one must hear the word from another (paratoghosappaccaya).

103. Smiling consciousness cannot arise without a body. Buddhas and Pacceka Buddhas who experience such classes of consciousness are not born outside the human plane.

104. No rūpa jhāna consciousness arises in the arūpaloka as those persons born in such planes have temporarily inhibited the desire for rūpa.

105. All the 43 types of consciousness, stated above, are dependent on the hadayavatthu.

(10 + 3 + 3 + 8 + 2 + 1 + 1 + 15 = 43)

106. They are the 8 sobhana kusalas, 4 rūpa kusalas, 10 akusalas, 1 manodvārāvajjana, 8 sobhana kriyā, 4 arūpa kriyā, 7 lokuttaras = 42.

These may arise in planes with the five Aggregates or in planes with four Aggregates (arūpa-loka).

107. i.e., 5 pañca-viññāna-dhātus + 1 manodhātu + 1 mano-viññāna-dhātu = 7.

108. i.e., 1 cakkhu-viññāna, 1 sota-viññāna, 1 mano-dhātu, 1 mano-viññāna-dhātu = 4.

109. Namely, cakkhu, sota and hadayavatthu.

110. Dhātu + eka = Dhātv’ eka. This refers to mano-viññāna-dhātu.

Dhamma Nanda

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