Namo tassa bhagavato arahato sammāsambuddhassa


Introduction to 3.8.12 - Cittānupassanā 

The Observation of Mind – Comprehending its Quality and Character  


Tattha cittaṃ tāva catubbidhaṃ hoti

kāmāvacaraṃ rūpāvacaraṃ

arūpāvacaraṃ lokuttarañceti1

 

Thus the state of mind/consciousness is fourfold:

Belonging to the sense sphere, to the fine material sphere,

To the immaterial sphere or supramundane. 

 

Aṭṭhadhā lobhamūlāni, dosamūlāni ca dvidhā.

Mohamūlāni ca dveti, dvādasākusalā siyuṃ2

 

Eight states are rooted in greed, two in aversion

Two rooted in delusion, thus there are

Twelve types of unwholesome states of mind/consciousness.

 

     The Mahāsatipaṭṭhānasutta subdivides the observation of the multiple manifestations occurring in the complex mind-matter phenomenon into the four chapters of kāyānupassanā, vedanānupassanā, cittānupassanā and dhammānupassanā. While the material structure of the body is understood by observation/awareness of kāyānupassanā and vedanānupassanā, the mental structure gets comprehended by observation/awareness with cittānupassanā and dhammānupassanā. Both sides of the psychic structure, the observation of mind –cittānupassanā– and the observation of the mind’s contents –dhammānupassanā– belong likewise together as so do kāyānupassanā and vedanānupassanā on the physical level.3

     Citta – ‘citte cittānupassī’ – translated as ‘observing mind in mind’ follows the traditional habitually used term ‘mind’. Here a meditator experiences different states of mind and consciousness (as referred to below) and should discern these detached and neutrally. Still this fundamental and wide-ranging expression ‘mind’ needs some further investigation.

     The revised PTS-dictionary by Margaret Cone provides the following definition and translation for ‘citta’: ‘process of thinking’, ‘thought’, ‘state of mind’, ‘moment of consciousness, mental state’, and ‘type of consciousness’. Its close connection to ‘mano’ and ‘viññāṇa’ is described in the traditional PTS-dictionary by Rhys Davids and William Stede: ‘mano’ as mind represents the intellectual functioning of consciousness, ‘viññāṇa’ the field of sense and sense-perception and ‘citta’ the subjective aspect of consciousness’. ‘Mano’ also represents the sixth sense in the field of internal sense organs and external objects of sense-doors of the twelve āyatanāni4. Likewise each of the six senses gets perceived by its respective ‘viññāṇa’5.

     ‘Viññāṇa’ signifies the resultant base on which mind and body arise as highlighted in the paṭiccasamuppāda anuloma6, and ‘viññāṇa’ further carries the last thought-moment7 and connects8 with the subsequent sphere of the next existence. ‘Mind’ is also used in the context of the term ‘nāmarūpa’, the designation of a conceptional potential identity of individuality – ‘pañcupādānakkhandhā’ – where ‘nāma’ denotes the four mental aggregates, rūpa’ the material corporality9.

     The commentary10 qualifies citta and its activity in the following way:

‘Cintetīti cittaṃ, ārammaṇaṃ vijānātīti attho.’

Citta signifies that which cognizes and properly discerns an object.’

     So ‘citta’ is defined as the agent and at the same time likewise the activity of the process of cognizing the object: Atha vā cintanamattaṃ cittaṃ.

     ‘Citta’ is also the apparatus by which the associated states are being recognized: Cintenti vā etena karaṇabhūtena sampayuttadhammāti11 cittaṃ.

     Citte cittānupassī – observing and understanding ‘mind in mind’ refers to the quality, the character of the mind, to the condition and state of the respective consciousness. When mind or consciousness turn into the object of observation itself then its condition is qualified by the accompanying factors that determine the respective current character. Thus the meditator is advised to remain aware of the occurring different sixteen types of consciousness highlighted below:

     “… kathetvā idāni soḷasavidhena cittānupassanaṃ kathetuṃ…”12

     In general these sixteen types – soḷasavidhena cittānupassanaṃ – designate pairs of unwholesome or wholesome, undeveloped or developed, emergent or established character.

     The English translation provides conventional corresponding terms for these sixteen qualifications of mental states a meditator may encounter – from ‘sarāgaṃ vā’ … ‘vītarāgaṃ vā’ … to … ‘vimuttaṃ vā’ … ‘avimuttaṃ vā.’ The chosen terms for translation usually should allow the meditator sufficient base for proper comprehension. Still, the following reference to the commentatial explanation – ‘vaṇṇanā’ – in the subsequent sequence may invite for a more sophisticated and deeper reconsideration:

●      sarāgaṃ vā cittaṃ                                        vītarāgaṃ vā cittaṃ

Vaṇṇanā:

                                            ‘tattha sarāganti aṭṭhavidhalobhasahagataṃ’13

‘(mind) with craving’ designates the eight types (of consciousness) accompanied by greed’14

                                             ‘vītarāganti lokiyakusalābyākataṃ’15

‘mind without craving’ designates those worldly wholesome and indeterminate states’16

 

●      sadosaṃ vā cittaṃ                                        vītadosaṃ vā cittaṃ

Vaṇṇanā:

                                               Sadosanti duvidhadomanassasahagataṃ17

‘mind with aversion’ designates the two types (of consciousness) accompanied by dejection,

 

                                          Vītadosanti lokiyakusalābyākataṃ

‘mind without aversion’ designates those worldly wholesome and indeterminate states

 

●      samohaṃ vā cittaṃ                                   vītamohaṃ vā cittaṃ

Vaṇṇanā:

                                                Samohanti vicikicchāsahagatañceva, uddhaccasahagatañcāti duvidhaṃ18

‘mind with delusion’ designates the two types (of consciousness) accompanied by doubt and accompanied by agitation

                                          Vītamohanti lokiyakusalābyākataṃ

‘mind without delusion’ designates those worldly wholesome and indeterminate states

 

●      saṅkhittaṃ vā cittaṃ                                vikkhittaṃ vā cittaṃ

Vaṇṇanā:

                                               Saṅkhittanti thinamiddhānupatitaṃ. Etañhi saṅkuṭitacittaṃ nāma.

‘Collected mind’ designates the type (of consciousness) oppressed by sloth and torpor. This is why it is called ‘shriveled mind’.

                                               Vikkhittanti uddhaccasahagataṃ, etañhi pasaṭacittaṃ nāma19

‘Scattered mind’ designates the type (of consciousness) associated with agitation. This is why it is called ‘stretched mind’. 20

 

●      mahaggataṃ vā cittaṃ                             amahaggataṃ vā cittaṃ

Vaṇṇanā:

                                               Mahaggatanti rūpārūpāvacaraṃ

‘expanded mind’ designates the type (of consciousness) of fine-material and immaterial spheres.

                                          Amahaggatanti kāmāvacaraṃ21

‘Unexpanded mind’ designates the type (of consciousness) of the sense sphere.

 

●      sauttaraṃ vā cittaṃ                                  anuttaraṃ vā cittaṃ

Vaṇṇanā:

                                              Sauttaranti kāmāvacaraṃ

‘Surpassable mind’ designates the type (of consciousness) of the sense sphere.

                                        Anuttaranti rūpāvacaraṃ arūpāvacarañca.

Tatrāpi sauttaraṃ rūpāvacaraṃ, anuttaraṃ arūpāvacarameva.22

‘Unsurpassable mind’ designates the type (of consciousness) of fine-material and immaterial spheres. Here ‘surpassable’ refers to the sense sphere, ‘unsurpassable’ refers to the fine-material and immaterial sphere.

 

●      samāhitaṃ vā cittaṃ                                 asamāhitaṃ vā cittaṃ

Vaṇṇanā:

                                              Samāhitanti yassa appanāsamādhi upacārasamādhi vā atthi

‘concentrated mind’ designates the type (of consciousness) that is of the state of attainment concentration or neighborhood concentration.23

                                        Asamāhitanti ubhayasamādhivirahitaṃ24

‘unconcentrated mind’ designates the type (of consciousness) without these two kinds of concentration

 

●      vimuttaṃ vā cittaṃ                                      avimuttaṃ vā cittaṃ.

Vaṇṇanā:

                                             Vimuttanti tadaṅgavikkhambhanavimuttīhi25 vimuttaṃ

‘freed mind’ designates the type (of consciousness) that is freed by emancipation and elimination (of the nīvaraṇā) and thus liberated.

                                       Avimuttanti ubhayavimuttivirahitaṃ. Samucchedapaṭippassaddhinissaraṇavimuttīnaṃ26 pana idha okāsova natthi

‘not freed mind’ designates the type (of consciousness) without these two kinds of liberation. Here there is no occasion for release through cutting off (the defilements) by tranquillisation and expulsion.27

     A reminder may conclude this lesson:

     None of the four satipaṭṭhānā is isolated, all ‘flow’ along with each other, all are interrelated and reciprocally interconnected; everything that arises in the mind is accompanied by respective sensations in the physical structure as it is highlighted:

… “vedanāsamosaraṇā sabbe dhammā28  

The meditator dwells with neutral observation and objective notification of the above sixteen states of mind, with the main focus on the arising and disappearance of the flow of different vedanā:

samudayadhammānupassī vā cittasmiṃ viharati,

vayadhammānupassī vā cittasmiṃ viharati,

samudayavayadhammānupassī vā cittasmiṃ viharati



1 Bhūmibhedacittaṃ, Cittaparicchedo, Abhidhammatthasaṅgaho

2 Akusalacittaṃ, Cittaparicchedo, Abhidhammatthasaṅgaho

3 see further 3.8.4 Ānāpānassatisuttaṃ cont.How does the full Cultivation of Ānāpānassati nurture full Development of the four Satipaṭṭhāna? and 3.8.8 Vedanānupassanā – The particular Importance of Vedanā

4 see next lesson on āyatana: 3.8.13 Dhammānupassanā āyatanapabbaṃ – Understanding the Contents of the Mind - The Section on the Sense Spheres

5 cakkhuviññāṇa … sotaviññāṇa … ghānaviññāṇa … jivhāviññāṇa … kāyaviññāṇa … manoviññāṇa

6 … avijjāpaccayā saṅkhārā, saṅkhārapaccayā viññāṇaṃ, viññāṇapaccayā nāmarūpaṃ, nāmarūpapaccayā saḷāyatanaṃ, saḷāyatanapaccayā  phasso, phassapaccayā vedanā, ….

… With the base of ignorance, reactions arise; with the base of reactions, consciousness arises; with the base of consciousness, mind and body arise; with the base of mind and body, the six senses arise; with the base of the six senses, contact arises; with the base of contact, sensation arises;…

7 cutiviññāṇa

8 paṭisandhiviññāṇa

9 nāmarūpa pañcupādānakkhandhā: Seyyathidaṃ – rūpupādānakkhandho, vedanupādānakkhandho, saññupādānakkhandho, saṅkhārupādānakkhandho, viññāṇupādānakkhandho

10 paramatthadhammavaṇṇanā, abhidhammatthasaṅgaha

11 sampayuttadhammāti: sampayutta + dhammā + ti: connected, associated with + states

12 Cittānupassanāvaṇṇanā – same for all further quotes unless otherwise mentioned

13 These should be comprehended as the eight states of mind influenced by greed: pana aṭṭhavidhaṃ lobhasahagataṃ cittaṃ sarāgaṃ cittanti veditabbaṃ

14 The Abhidhammatthasaṅgaho, akusalacittaṃ-chapter:

     “These are the eight types of unwholesome mind/consciousness affected by greed”: - imāni aṭṭhapi lobhasahagatacittāni nāma:

     Accompanied by delight, associated or disassociated with wrong view and prompted or unpromted, (4) + accompanied by equanimity, associated or disassociated with wrong view and prompted or unpromted (4):

somanassasahagataṃ diṭṭhigatasampayuttaṃ asaṅkhārikamekaṃ,

somanassasahagataṃ diṭṭhigatasampayuttaṃ sasaṅkhārikamekaṃ,

somanassasahagataṃ diṭṭhigatavippayuttaṃ asaṅkhārikamekaṃ,

somanassasahagataṃ diṭṭhigatavippayuttaṃ sasaṅkhārikamekaṃ,

upekkhāsahagataṃ diṭṭhigatasampayuttaṃ asaṅkhārikamekaṃ,

upekkhāsahagataṃ diṭṭhigatasampayuttaṃ sasaṅkhārikamekaṃ,

upekkhāsahagataṃ diṭṭhigatavippayuttaṃ asaṅkhārikamekaṃ,

upekkhāsahagataṃ diṭṭhigatavippayuttaṃ sasaṅkhārikamekanti.

15 ‘lokiyakusalābyākataṃ‘– ‘lokiya + kusala + abyākataṃ: ‘worldly + wholesome + indeterminate (states)’:

‘lokiya’ – ‘lokiyacitta’ – designates the sense sphere of kāmāvacara, rūpāvacara and arūpāvacara.

abyākata’ is called ‘indeterminate state’ and refers to both, the resultant – ‘vipākacittā’ – and functional – ‘kiriyacittā’. While ‘kusalacitta’ as well as ‘akusalacitta’ constitute kamma and generate kammic effects in future, those designated as ‘abyākata’ are kammically undefined and termed: indeterminate’.

     Thus the field of kāmāvacarakusalavipākakiriyacitta is constituted of twenty-four types in all and subdivided by three times of eight – ‘sahetukakāmāvacarakusalacittā +sahetukakāmāvacaravipākacittā + sahetukakāmāvacarakiriyacittā’. They are ‘with roots’–‘sahetuka’ – as they are resultant of kammic predisposition: Iccevaṃ sabbathāpi catuvīsati sahetukakāmāvacarakusalavipākakiriyacittāni samattāni.

16 When ‘ñāṇa’ – ‘knowledge’ develops and removes ‘diṭṭhigata’ – ‘wrong view’ then ‘akusalacitta’ converts to ‘kusalacitta’ and thus constitutes the following eight types of sense-sphere-wholesome-consciousness with roots:

     Accompanied by delight, associated or disassociated with knowledge and prompted or unprompted,(4) + accompanied by equanimity, associated or disassociated with knowledge and prompted or unprompted (4):

Somanassasahagataṃ ñāṇasampayuttaṃ asaṅkhārikamekaṃ,

somanassasahagataṃ ñāṇasampayuttaṃ sasaṅkhārikamekaṃ,

somanassasahagataṃ ñāṇavippayuttaṃ asaṅkhārikamekaṃ,

Somanassasahagataṃ ñāṇavippayuttaṃ sasaṅkhārikamekaṃ,

upekkhāsahagataṃ ñāṇasampayuttaṃ asaṅkhārikamekaṃ,

upekkhāsahagataṃ ñāṇasampayuttaṃ sasaṅkhārikamekaṃ.

upekkhāsahagataṃ ñāṇavippayuttaṃ asaṅkhārikamekaṃ,

upekkhāsahagataṃ ñāṇavippayuttaṃ sasaṅkhārikamekanti

imāni aṭṭhapi sahetukakāmāvacarakusalacittāni nāma.

     These are the eight types of sense sphere resultant consciousness with roots:

Somanassasahagataṃ ñāṇasampayuttaṃ asaṅkhārikamekaṃ, sasaṅkhārikamekaṃ,

somanassasahagataṃ ñāṇavippayuttaṃ asaṅkhārikamekaṃ, sasaṅkhārikamekaṃ,

upekkhāsahagataṃ ñāṇasampayuttaṃ asaṅkhārikamekaṃ, sasaṅkhārikamekaṃ,

upekkhāsahagataṃ ñāṇavippayuttaṃ asaṅkhārikamekaṃ, sasaṅkhārikamekanti

imāni aṭṭhapi sahetukakāmāvacaravipākacittāni nāma.

     These are the eight types of sense sphere functional consciousness with roots:

Somassasahagataṃ ñāṇasampayuttaṃ asaṅkhārikamekaṃ, sasaṅkhārikamekaṃ,

somanassasahagataṃ ñāṇavippayuttaṃ asaṅkhārikamekaṃ, sasaṅkhārikamekaṃ,

upekkhāsahagataṃ ñāṇasampayuttaṃ asaṅkhārikamekaṃ, sasaṅkhārikamekaṃ,

upekkhāsahagataṃ ñāṇavippayuttaṃ asaṅkhārikamekaṃ, sasaṅkhārikamekanti

imāni aṭṭhapi sahetukakāmāvacarakiriyacittāni nāma

17 These two accompanied by dejection are associated with anger, prompted and unprompted: domanassasahagataṃ paṭighasampayuttaṃ asaṅkhārikamekaṃ, sasaṅkhārikamekanti - imāni dvepi paṭighasampayuttacittāni nāma.

18 These two called ‘accompanied by delusion’ are associated with equanimity based on doubt and agitation: upekkhāsahagataṃ vicikicchāsampayuttamekaṃ, upekkhāsahagataṃ uddhaccasampayuttamekanti imāni dvepi momūhacittāni nāma

19 Visuddhimagga: Thinamiddhānugataṃ pana saṃkhittaṃ. Uddhaccānugataṃ vikkhittaṃ

20 For a more detailed description of these ‘hindrances’ see introduction to: 3.7.3 Saṃvarasuttaṃ – How can Right Effort get Perfected? - and also introduction to 3.7.8 Nīvaraṇapabbaṃ – Mastering the Hindrances

21 Visuddhimagga: Rūpāvacarārūpāvacaraṃ mahaggataṃ. Avasesaṃ amahaggataṃ.

22 Visuddhimagga: Sabbampi tebhūmakaṃ sauttaraṃ. Lokuttaraṃ anuttaraṃ

23 for appanāsamādhi and upacārasamādhi see footnote 8 at Sammāsati: 3.8.0 - Samādhisuttaṃ - The entire teaching in one verse.

‘appanāsamādhi’ designates a state of concentration of deep absorption, ‘upacārasamādhi’ translated as ‘neighborhood concentration’ refers to a state that approaches the state of the appanāsamādhi.

24 Visuddhimagga: Upacārappattaṃ appanāppattañca samāhitaṃ. Ubhayamappattaṃ asamāhitaṃ

25 tadaṅgavikkhambhanavimuttīhi: tadaṅga + vikkhambhana + vimuttī + hi: that part + elimination, discarding + liberation +because

26 samucchedapaṭippassaddhinissaraṇavimuttīnaṃ: samuccheda + paṭi + p + passaddhi + nissaraṇa +vimuttīnaṃ: cutting off + tranquility + expulsion + release, deliverance

27 Visuddhimagga: Tadaṅgavikkhambhanasamucchedapaṭipassaddhinissaraṇavimuttippattaṃ vimuttaṃ. Pañcavidhampi etaṃ vimuttimappattaṃ avimuttanti veditabbaṃ. Iti cetopariyañāṇalābhī bhikkhu sabbappakārampi idaṃ sarāgaṃ vā cittaṃ…pe… avimuttaṃ vā cittaṃ avimuttaṃ cittanti pajānātīti

28 Mūlakasuttaṃ, Sativaggo, Satisampajaññasuttaṃ, Dutiyapaṇṇāsakaṃ, Aṭṭhakanipātapāḷi, Aṅguttaranikāyo,

***

Pāli lesson (with audio) 3.8.12

Please download the PDF below to read and listen to this Pāli text. In order to be able to play the embedded audio you will need to use Adobe Reader (version 7 or greater). 


Linux users: If you are not able to playback the embedded audio in the PDF, you may download the audio .
Last modified: Monday, 25 April 2022, 2:16 PM