One "citta" at a time

Discussion of Abhidhamma and related Commentaries

Moderator: Mahavihara moderator

User avatar
Alex123
Posts: 2979
Joined: Wed Mar 10, 2010 11:32 pm
Which number is larger than 1000 and less than 1002: 6

Re: One "citta" at a time

Postby Alex123 » Mon May 10, 2010 2:44 am

Anicca wrote: Well, that same 'nothing' persists from one moment to the next in this life too. Someone correct me, please....


Kamma persists (until it ripens or goes defunct). Accumulations persist. Anusayas persist (until they are forever cut out).

So how do they get passed on and handed from one citta to another?
"dust to dust...."

Virgo
Posts: 1209
Joined: Sun Feb 14, 2010 10:52 pm
Which number is larger than 1000 and less than 1002: 6

Re: One "citta" at a time

Postby Virgo » Mon May 10, 2010 2:53 am

Alex123 wrote:
Anicca wrote: Well, that same 'nothing' persists from one moment to the next in this life too. Someone correct me, please....


Kamma persists (until it ripens or goes defunct). Accumulations persist. Anusayas persist (until they are forever cut out).

So how do they get passed on and handed from one citta to another?

Pakatúpanissaya-paccaya.

User avatar
Ben
Site Admin
Posts: 16354
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 12:49 am
Which number is larger than 1000 and less than 1002: 1001
Location: Land of the sleeping gods
Contact:

Re: One "citta" at a time

Postby Ben » Mon May 10, 2010 2:56 am

Anicca wrote:Good time for Ben to return ... Ben?

Hi Anicca

I'm actually at work at the moment and so I can't devote much time to the forum besides slipping in, reading and making the odd comment, and exiting again. And I should let you, and everyone else know, I am certainly no Abhidhamma expert. I'm still in Abhidhamma kindergarten!! What I was/am doing is providing material from someone who I consider a valuable authority on the Abhidhamma commentaries and Pali, Bhikkhu Bodhi.
If I get time tonight, I'll forge ahead with finding answers to some of your questions.
metta

Ben
Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.

Taṃ nadīhi vijānātha:
sobbhesu padaresu ca,
saṇantā yanti kusobbhā,
tuṇhīyanti mahodadhī.

Sutta Nipata 3.725

Compassionate Hands Foundation (Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • Buddhist Global ReliefUNHCR
Buddhist Life Stories of Australia
e: ben.dhammawheel@gmail.com

User avatar
Alex123
Posts: 2979
Joined: Wed Mar 10, 2010 11:32 pm
Which number is larger than 1000 and less than 1002: 6

Re: One "citta" at a time

Postby Alex123 » Mon May 10, 2010 2:57 am

Virgo wrote:
Alex123 wrote:
Anicca wrote: Well, that same 'nothing' persists from one moment to the next in this life too. Someone correct me, please....


Kamma persists (until it ripens or goes defunct). Accumulations persist. Anusayas persist (until they are forever cut out).

So how do they get passed on and handed from one citta to another?

Pakatúpanissaya-paccaya.



How exactly does it operate?
"dust to dust...."

Virgo
Posts: 1209
Joined: Sun Feb 14, 2010 10:52 pm
Which number is larger than 1000 and less than 1002: 6

Re: One "citta" at a time

Postby Virgo » Mon May 10, 2010 3:01 am

Alex123 wrote:
Virgo wrote:Pakatúpanissaya-paccaya.



How exactly does it operate?


It's kind of complicated, but basically each citta influences the next citta that arises and imprints are passed on from one to the next since beginningless time. So there are accumulations in each citta. That is why people are the way they are. Tendencies are accumulated, etc.

Kevin

User avatar
cooran
Posts: 7807
Joined: Tue Jan 06, 2009 11:32 pm
Which number is larger than 1000 and less than 1002: 1
Location: Queensland, Australia

Re: One "citta" at a time

Postby cooran » Mon May 10, 2010 3:02 am

Hello all,

It may be that this resource Abhidhamma in Daily Life ~ Nina van Gorkom, will be of use in this thread:

[Chapter1] The Four Paramattha Dhammas
[Chapter 2] The Five Khandhas
[Chapter 3] Different Aspects Of Citta
[Chapter 4] The Characteristic Of Lobha
[Chapter 5] Different Degrees Of Lobha
[Chapter 6] The Characteristic Of Dosa
[Chapter 7] Ignorance
[Chapter 8] Ahetuka Cittas
[Chapter 9] The Ahetuka Cittas Which Are Unknown In Daily Life
[Chapter 10] The First Citta In Life
[Chapter 11] Different Types Of Patisandhi- Citta
[Chapter 12] The Function Of Bhavanga
[Chapter 13] Functions Of Citta In The Sense-Door Process And In The Mind-Door Process
[Chapter 14] The Function Of Javana
{Chapter[15] The Functions Of Tadarammana And Cuti
[16] Objects And Doors
[17] Doors And Physical Bases Of Citta
[18] Elements
[19] The Sobhana Cittas In Our Life
[20] Planes Of Existence
[21] Samatha
[22] Jhanacittas
[23] Lokuttara Cittas
[24] Enlightenment
http://www.vipassana.info/nina-abhi-00.htm

with metta
Chris
---The trouble is that you think you have time---
---Worry is the Interest, paid in advance, on a debt you may never owe---
---It's not what happens to you in life that is important ~ it's what you do with it ---

User avatar
Alex123
Posts: 2979
Joined: Wed Mar 10, 2010 11:32 pm
Which number is larger than 1000 and less than 1002: 6

Re: One "citta" at a time

Postby Alex123 » Mon May 10, 2010 3:03 am

Virgo wrote:
Alex123 wrote:
Virgo wrote:Pakatúpanissaya-paccaya.



How exactly does it operate?


It's kind of complicated, but basically each citta influences the next citta that arises and imprints are passed on from one to the next since beginningless time. So there are accumulations in each citta. That is why people are the way they are. Tendencies are accumulated, etc.

Kevin


Thank you Kevin for more detailed reply. However, what is the mechanism of that influence that passes on like an imprint from one citta to the next?
"dust to dust...."

Virgo
Posts: 1209
Joined: Sun Feb 14, 2010 10:52 pm
Which number is larger than 1000 and less than 1002: 6

Re: One "citta" at a time

Postby Virgo » Mon May 10, 2010 3:06 am

Alex123 wrote:Thank you Kevin for more detailed reply. However, what is the mechanism of that influence that passes on like an imprint from one citta to the next?


It's simply the way citta operate naturally. It is one of the 24 conditions mentioned in the Abhidhamma, listed in the Great Book (the 7'th).

Kevin

User avatar
Ben
Site Admin
Posts: 16354
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 12:49 am
Which number is larger than 1000 and less than 1002: 1001
Location: Land of the sleeping gods
Contact:

Re: One "citta" at a time

Postby Ben » Mon May 10, 2010 3:07 am

cooran wrote:Hello all,

It may be that this resource Abhidhamma in Daily Life ~ Nina van Gorkom, will be of use in this thread:


Undoubtedly! Thanks Chris.
One of these days, I'll get around to reading Nina's book.
kind regards

Ben
Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.

Taṃ nadīhi vijānātha:
sobbhesu padaresu ca,
saṇantā yanti kusobbhā,
tuṇhīyanti mahodadhī.

Sutta Nipata 3.725

Compassionate Hands Foundation (Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • Buddhist Global ReliefUNHCR
Buddhist Life Stories of Australia
e: ben.dhammawheel@gmail.com

Anicca
Posts: 393
Joined: Thu Apr 29, 2010 4:11 am
Which number is larger than 1000 and less than 1002: 6
Location: Edmond, Oklahoma

Re: One "citta" at a time

Postby Anicca » Mon May 10, 2010 4:30 am

cooran wrote:It may be that this resource Abhidhamma in Daily Life ~ Nina van Gorkom, will be of use in this thread

Thanks Chris!

Each citta which arises falls away completely and is succeeded by the next citta. How then can there be accumulations of experiences in life, accumulations of good and bad inclinations? The reason is that each citta which falls away is succeeded by the next citta. Our life is an uninterrupted series of cittas and each citta conditions the next citta and this again the next, and thus the past can condition the present. It is a fact that our good cittas and bad cittas in the past condition our inclinations today. Thus, good and bad inclinations are accumulated.


Surely this explains it better than my feeble attempt, but it really doesn't go into the details 'how' the conditioning passes from one citta to the next. I feel Alex's concern - if one citta quote "falls away completely" unquote before the next arises - what passes on the conditioning? Other sources use the term "tendencies" that are passed from one citta to the next. How does this explain to Alex how past life kamma enters into present life citta? I am satisfied with "action at a distance" but i cannot quote that from any other source than my mind - and what good is that? :roll:

Metta

Freawaru
Posts: 489
Joined: Fri Nov 13, 2009 8:26 pm
Which number is larger than 1000 and less than 1002: 6

Re: One "citta" at a time

Postby Freawaru » Mon May 10, 2010 10:03 am

Anicca wrote: I am satisfied with "action at a distance" but i cannot quote that from any other source than my mind - and what good is that? :roll:

Metta


Action at a distance... non-local interaction (do we really want to go into that?) Ah: wormholes! In between cittas the Ancients placed Stargates ... seriously, I am not satisfied with "action at a distance".

BTW, how do we know that those who wrote the Abhidhamma really had their numbers correct? I mean, did they know how to measure the blink of an eye? Or how to count a billion? And what exactly does count when one citta is gone and the next has not arisen?

Freawaru
Posts: 489
Joined: Fri Nov 13, 2009 8:26 pm
Which number is larger than 1000 and less than 1002: 6

Re: One "citta" at a time

Postby Freawaru » Mon May 10, 2010 10:11 am

Ben wrote:The Pali word citta is derived from the verbal root citi, to cognize, to know. The commentators define citta in three ways: as agent, as instrument, and as activity. As the agent, citta is that which cognizes an object (arammanam cinteti ti cittam). As the instrument, citta is that by means of which the accompanying mental factors cognize the object (etana cintenti ti cittam). As an activity, citta is itself nothing other than the process of cognizing the object (cintanamattam cittam).


Hi Ben,

even when just taking Biology into account these definitions of citta vary from one person to the next and also depend on age, health and training. How did people (authors and commentators) get their statistics?

Anicca
Posts: 393
Joined: Thu Apr 29, 2010 4:11 am
Which number is larger than 1000 and less than 1002: 6
Location: Edmond, Oklahoma

Re: One "citta" at a time

Postby Anicca » Mon May 10, 2010 2:48 pm

Freawaru wrote:
Anicca wrote:Action at a distance... non-local interaction (do we really want to go into that?) Ah: wormholes! In between cittas the Ancients placed Stargates ... seriously, I am not satisfied with "action at a distance".

Well, it really is not all that satisfying for me either because it is completely non-scriptual. Using it as a placeholder just to fill-in the huge gaps in my knowledge - using the word knowledge as distinct from wisdom.

The macro-micro aspect truly intrigues me. Isn't one way of expressing past life kamma entering this life "action at a distance"? - not as a physics definition but more as terminology. Researching Pakatúpanissaya-paccaya didn't exactly fill-in the gaps. The interaction between citta must be the mechanism because all of samsara is a continous stream from lifetime to lifetime... no?

Regarding the "BTW - how do we know?"... well i don't know. Personally i believe they developed the powers of their mind thru meditation and came to know how the mind works at its most fundamental level. I am merely a very recent faith follower - take what i present as knowledge with a grain of salt.

Off-topic - i injured my lower back and wanted to take a couple of days rest from normal daily activity to repair things. SInce i am new here - i wanted to get an interactive feel for the place. I'll be more scarce here shortly. There are some incredibly knowledgeable folks around here - hope i didn't cause too much dismay displaying my ignorance.

User avatar
Alex123
Posts: 2979
Joined: Wed Mar 10, 2010 11:32 pm
Which number is larger than 1000 and less than 1002: 6

Re: One "citta" at a time

Postby Alex123 » Mon May 10, 2010 3:35 pm

Anicca wrote:Surely this explains it better than my feeble attempt, but it really doesn't go into the details 'how' the conditioning passes from one citta to the next. I feel Alex's concern - if one citta quote "falls away completely" unquote before the next arises - what passes on the conditioning? Other sources use the term "tendencies" that are passed from one citta to the next. How does this explain to Alex how past life kamma enters into present life citta? I am satisfied with "action at a distance" but i cannot quote that from any other source than my mind - and what good is that? :roll:

Metta


Right. It still has not addressed the issue of how conditions pass on from one citta to another if the first citta has to disappear and not-exist, before another citta that doesn't yet exists, arises. My question is about the micro-level passing and recieving of accumulations, NOT about long term passages like rebirth.

If citta that carries accumulations, etc, ceases - then where are those accumulations? When the 2nd citta arises, how can it recieve NON-EXISTENT accumulations?

Think of it as one person handing the gift to another person who receives it. If the first person ceases with a gift, how can the 2nd person recieve the gift?

With metta,

Alex
"dust to dust...."

User avatar
acinteyyo
Posts: 1055
Joined: Mon Jun 01, 2009 9:48 am
Which number is larger than 1000 and less than 1002: 6
Location: Neuburg/Donau, Germany

Re: One "citta" at a time

Postby acinteyyo » Mon May 10, 2010 5:28 pm

Hi all,

I consider most of the things written here as not really conducive for my question.
Anyway I see some problems arising.
Anicca wrote:Great questions - Why one citta at a time? What is the proximate cause for the cessation of a citta?

We are discussing merely the awareness of an object - not comprehension by knowledge or wisdom - that is macro level -

So "citta" means awareness of an object according to Abhidhamma? Is it a synonym for viññāna? The question seems still unanswered, what is "one citta"?
Anicca wrote:at the micro level of citta - a photon of light enters the eye - a molecule of aroma enters the nose, etc. While it may seem as if more than one photon can enter at a time, or one molecule of odor - whatever - when it gets funneled into the pipeline for processing it is 'one at a time'.

Hmmm... perhaps this is a cop-out - but "one at a time" because this is the subhava or 'intrinsic nature' of this ultimate reality, our consciousness. Every citta has an object and it cannot accomodate more than one object. This does not explain 'why' - but just like a movie appears as continuous motion on the movie screen - the intrinsic nature is a rigid moment framed and separate from the next. 2500 plus years ago the monks were not only 'seeing' each frame - but actually walking around and looking at the borders of each frame.

Many, many, many every second. Amazing. Quantum by defintion.

All this only works on the assumption of absolute particles, like a photon. Acting on the assumption that a photon, for example is one inseparable object. Because, if that assumed object (a photon) would be considered as separable, in other words can be seperated, consists of different "things" or arises in dependence of other things, whose coincidence is the origing of that particular object, then in that case, there is not only one object in a time but more (namely which determine the particular object). To believe there are particels which are the smallest objects, not further separable is nothing but a supposition.

All there is, is nama-rupa. When we for example talk about an object to simplify an issue, we usually pick out just a part of the whole and create an assumed "object" out of the part as if it would be somehow independent assuming the seperation would be appropriate at all. It is incorrect to suppose an experience to be made out of a lot of smaller experiences, which can be examined separately.
Anicca wrote:When you look at the orderly diagrams of "this followed by that" at the citta level it looks like the "Paticca-samuppada-vibhanga Sutta: Analysis of Dependent Co-arising" where you find the complete cycle of "this leads to that followed by this followed by that... "

So, in summary - for the same reason that we live our many many lives in a sequential 'one at a time' orderliness - we experience each of our many many moments of consciousness in a sequential 'one at a time' orderliness. The proximate cause for the the dissolution of a citta is its arising.

This is completely against dependent origination. It says in MN38:
When there is this this is, (...) When there is not this this is not (...)

and not:
"this leads to that followed by this followed by that"

Not a single word anywhere to be found which says "followed" or something like that.

If "citta" is in one way or another consciousness (viññāna) it depends on nama-rupa and nama-rupa depends on consciousness, but the dependence is: "When there is viññāna, there is nama-rupa. When there is not viññāna, there is not nama-rupa." Since there are 10 more links of dependent origination, first of all avijja, it seems to be incorrect that "one citta" ceases before the next one arises, because this would imply that nama-rupa ceases, too and furthermore all links of dependen origination together would have to cease together including avijja. But we know, that avijja doesn't arise and cease all the time.

This is the problem I see with "one citta at a time"

I would appreciate it, if we try to define "citta", its origination and cessation as clearly as possible according to the Abhidhamma first, before any further discussion is made. Because it seems to me, that otherwise we're just going towards serious misconceptions.

best wishes, acinteyyo
Pubbe cāhaṃ bhikkhave, etarahi ca dukkhañceva paññāpemi, dukkhassa ca nirodhaṃ. (M.22)
Api cāhaṃ, āvuso, imasmiṃyeva byāmamatte kaḷevare, sasaññimhi samanake lokañca paññāpemi lokasamudayañca lokanirodhañca lokanirodhagāminiñca paṭipadan. (AN4.45)

:anjali:

Freawaru
Posts: 489
Joined: Fri Nov 13, 2009 8:26 pm
Which number is larger than 1000 and less than 1002: 6

Re: One "citta" at a time

Postby Freawaru » Mon May 10, 2010 7:06 pm

Hi acinteyyo,

acinteyyo wrote:Anyway I see some problems arising.
Anicca wrote:Great questions - Why one citta at a time? What is the proximate cause for the cessation of a citta?

We are discussing merely the awareness of an object - not comprehension by knowledge or wisdom - that is macro level -

So "citta" means awareness of an object according to Abhidhamma? Is it a synonym for viññāna? The question seems still unanswered, what is "one citta"?

I would appreciate it, if we try to define "citta", its origination and cessation as clearly as possible according to the Abhidhamma first, before any further discussion is made. Because it seems to me, that otherwise we're just going towards serious misconceptions.

best wishes, acinteyyo


Hmm, okay, maybe we try a fresh start... I recall reading a different translation of "citta" than mind or consciousness, dunno where. "Citta" was not translated as mind but as "state of mind". This would give the whole thing a new dimension. A state is describing a complex system, like an electron state in an atom. A state is not a particle or substance or something like that. A state is not ever lasting in a temporal sense (atoms move, states change) but still better than a transmission from one state to another. So maybe citta is like such a state, a state appears in the mind for some (short) time, breaks down again and another is build. citta is no substance or even the mind but simply describing the present properties of a complex system (namely of the mind) and these are changing all the time... Just an idea... let's see where it leads to when we use this definition in Abhidhammic context...

User avatar
acinteyyo
Posts: 1055
Joined: Mon Jun 01, 2009 9:48 am
Which number is larger than 1000 and less than 1002: 6
Location: Neuburg/Donau, Germany

Re: One "citta" at a time

Postby acinteyyo » Mon May 10, 2010 7:40 pm

Hi Freawaru,

I don't go in for assumptions. Before any serious discussion can take place we all need a common base. Therefore a clear definition from the Abhidhamma is essential. I would be glad if somebody who's familiar with Abhidhamma could clarify this.

best wishes, acinteyyo
Pubbe cāhaṃ bhikkhave, etarahi ca dukkhañceva paññāpemi, dukkhassa ca nirodhaṃ. (M.22)
Api cāhaṃ, āvuso, imasmiṃyeva byāmamatte kaḷevare, sasaññimhi samanake lokañca paññāpemi lokasamudayañca lokanirodhañca lokanirodhagāminiñca paṭipadan. (AN4.45)

:anjali:

Anicca
Posts: 393
Joined: Thu Apr 29, 2010 4:11 am
Which number is larger than 1000 and less than 1002: 6
Location: Edmond, Oklahoma

Re: One "citta" at a time

Postby Anicca » Mon May 10, 2010 9:52 pm

Alex123 wrote:My question is about the micro-level passing and recieving of accumulations, NOT about long term passages like rebirth.

But the answer is one and the same to either, honest!

acinteyyo wrote:I consider most of the things written here as not really conducive for my question.
Anyway I see some problems arising....It is incorrect to suppose an experience to be made out of a lot of smaller experiences, which can be examined separately...This is completely against dependent origination....Not a single word anywhere to be found which says "followed" or something like that.


but.. but.. but... wow! i'll quit muddying the water... my apologies... :shrug: maybe, just maybe somebody who's familiar with Abhidhamma could clarify this for these people so we can get some serious discussion going... :toast:

Metta

User avatar
BubbaBuddhist
Posts: 640
Joined: Sat Jan 03, 2009 5:55 am
Which number is larger than 1000 and less than 1002: 1
Location: Knoxville, Tennessee
Contact:

Re: One "citta" at a time

Postby BubbaBuddhist » Mon May 10, 2010 11:34 pm

For goodness sake--you're not going to get a quick answer in a nutshell to a process which takes most of us years or months of study of the abhidhamma to even begin to comprehend. Start with the Nina van Gorken work and then move to the Comprehensive Manual of Abhihidhamma, do a lot of thinking, peruse Buddhaghosa a bit, then we'll talk. :anjali:

J
Author of Redneck Buddhism: or Will You Reincarnate as Your Own Cousin?

Virgo
Posts: 1209
Joined: Sun Feb 14, 2010 10:52 pm
Which number is larger than 1000 and less than 1002: 6

Re: One "citta" at a time

Postby Virgo » Tue May 11, 2010 1:43 am

Hi Anicca. I agree with John (Bubba). I would read ADL.

Kevin


Return to “Abhidhamma”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest