What is Citta

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What is Citta

Postby clw_uk » Mon Mar 23, 2009 11:13 pm

Greetings


What is Citta? My understanding is "mind" or "the one that knows" so basicaly awareness or attention. I was reading this Dhamma talk though which seems to state its something else


People in England study Buddhism from books. They do not know that there is a Citta and Buddhism is not taught here according to the Satipatthana Sutta. The result is that people are led to understand that the Citta is mindfulness and wisdom. I therefore think it necessary for Ven. Paññavaddho to have the Venerable Acharn give us some understanding of the Citta.

Ven Paññavaddho to the Venerable Acharn in Thai:
People in this country understand "Citta" to mean thinking and that the Citta is divided into those forms of the Citta which come from seeing, hearing, — touching; in other words "consciousness" (Viññana).

A:
That aspect of the Citta which arises when something comes into contact with eyes, ears, nose, etc., and which knows and receives that contact is called "consciousness" (Viññana). It arises and ceases together with that contact. As for the Citta which waits and knows these things, it does not cease together with the consciousness when it ceases, it does not cease even though the body ceases, for it will go on and take rebirth in the future. There is no end to it if the "sap of the heart" which is the Kilesas and Ignorance (Avijja) are still in the heart. But when this "sap" which is the Kilesas, has been removed from the heart, there is an end to continual becoming and birth, as happened with the Buddha and his arahant disciples.


http://www.what-buddha-taught.net/Books ... London.htm


It seems its being described as a kind of rebirth linking consciousness. Is this another attribute to it?

What is the translation of citta?

Look forward to replies im pretty confused about it at the moment

Metta

Craig

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Re: What is Citta

Postby Ben » Tue Mar 24, 2009 12:00 am

I believe I answered this question yesterday, Craig:
viewtopic.php?f=13&t=1000

Here is something from Bhikkhu Bodhi's comments on Acariya Anuruddha's Cittasangaha in A comprehensive manual of the Abhidhamma:

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 an instrument, citta is that by means of which the accompanying mental factors cognize the object (etena cintenti ti cittam). As an activity, citta is itself nothing other than the process of cognizing the object (cintanamattam cittam).
The third definition, in terms of sheer activity, is regarded as the most adequate of the three: that is, citta is fundamentally an activity or process of cognizing or knowng an object. It is not an agent or instrument possessing actual being in itself apart from the activity of cognizing. The definition of terms pf agent and instrument are proposed to refute the wrong view of those who hold that a permanent self or ego is the agent and instrument of cognition. The Buddhist thinkers point out, by means of these definitions, that it is not a self that performs the act of cognition, but citta or consciousness. This citta is nothing other that the act of cognizing, and that act is necessarily impermanent, marked by rise and fall.


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Re: What is Citta

Postby retrofuturist » Tue Mar 24, 2009 12:04 am

Greetings Craig,

Pali-Text Society Dictionary
http://dsal.uchicago.edu/cgi-bin/philol ... .1:94.pali

Citta
Citta2 (nt.) [Sk. citta, orig. pp. of cinteti, cit, cp. yutta> yuñjati, mutta>muñcati. On etym. from cit. see cinteti].
I. Meaning: the heart (psychologically), i. e. the centre & focus of man's emotional nature as well as that intellectual element which inheres in & accompanies its manifestations; i. e. thought. In this wise citta denotes both the agent & that which is enacted (see kamma II. introd.), for in Indian Psychology citta is the seat & organ of thought (cetasā cinteti; cp. Gr. frh/n, although on the whole it corresponds more to the Homeric qumo/s). As in the verb (cinteti) there are two stems closely allied and almost inseparable in meaning (see § III.), viz. cit & cet (citta & cetas); cp. ye should restrain, curb, subdue citta by ceto, M i.120, 242 (cp. attanā coday' attānaŋ Dhp 379 f.); cetasā cittaŋ samannesati S i.194 (cp. cetasā cittaŋ samannesati S i.194). In their general use there is no distinction to be made between the two (see § III.). -- The meaning of citta is best understood when explaining it by expressions familiar to us, as: with all my heart; heart and soul; I have no heart to do it; blessed are the pure in heart; singleness of heart (cp. ekagga); all of which emphasize the emotional & conative side or "thought" more than its mental & rational side (for which see manas & viññāṇa). It may therefore be rendered by intention, impulse, design; mood, disposition, state of mind, reaction to impressions. It is only in later scholastic lgg. that we are justified in applying the term "thought" in its technical sense. It needs to be pointed out, as complementary to this view, that citta nearly always occurs in the singular (=heart), & out of 150 cases in the Nikāyas only 3 times in the plural (=thoughts). The substantiality of citta (cetas) is also evident from its connection with kamma (heart as source of action), kāma & the senses in general. <-> On the whole subject see Mrs. Rh. D. Buddh. Psych. Eth. introd. & Bud. Psy. ch. II.
II. Cases of citta (cetas), their relation & frequency (enumd for gram. purposes). -- The paradigma is (numbers denoting %, not including cpds.): Nom. cittaŋ; Gen. (Dat.) cetaso (44) & cittassa (9); Instr. cetasā (42) & cittena (3); Loc. citte (2) & cittamhi (2). -- Nom. cittaŋ (see below). Gen. cittassa only (of older passages) in c˚ upakkileso S iii.232; v.92; A i.207; c˚ damatho Dh 35 & c˚ vasena M i.214; iii.156. Instr. cittena only in S i. viz. cittena nīyati loko p. 39; upakkiliṭṭha˚ p. 179; asallīnena c˚ p. 159. Loc. citte only as loc. abs. in samāhite citte (see below) & in citte vyāpanne kāyakammam pi v. hoti A i.162; cittamhi only S i.129 & cittasmiŋ only S i.132. -- Plural only in Nom. cittāni in one phrase: āsavehi cittāni (vi) mucciŋsu "they purified their hearts from intoxications" Vin i.35; S iii.132; iv.20; Sn p. 149; besides this in scholastic works=thoughts, e. g. Vbh 403 (satta cittāni).
III. Citta & cetas in promiscuous application. There is no cogent evidence of a clear separation of their respective fields of meaning; a few cases indicate the rôle of cetas as seat of citta, whereas most of them show no distinction. There are cpds. having both citta˚ & ceto˚ in identical meanings (see e. g. citta -- samādhi & ceto˚), others show a preference for either one or the other, as ceto is preferred in ceto -- khila & ceto -- vimutti (but: vimutta -- citta), whereas citta is restricted to combn w. upakkilesa, etc. The foll. sentences will illustrate this. Vivaṭena cetasā sappabhāsaŋ cittaŋ bhāveti "with open heart he contemplates a radiant thought" S v.263=D iii.223=A iv.86; cetasā cittaŋ samannesati vippamuttaŋ "with his heart he scrutinizes their pure mind" S i.194; vigatâbhijjhena cetasā is followed by abhijjāya cittaŋ parisodheti D iii.49; anupārambhacitto bhabbo cetaso vikkhepaŋ pahātuŋ A v.149; cetaso vūpasamo foll. by vūpasanta -- citto A i.4; samāhite citte foll. by ceto -- samādhi D i.13≈; cittaŋ paduṭṭhaŋ foll. by ceto -- padosa A i.8; cp. It. 12, 13; cetaso tato cittaŋ nivāraye "a desire of his heart he shall exclude from this" S iv.195.
IV. Citta in itṡ relation to other terms referring to mental processes.
1. citta≈hadaya, the heart as incorporating man's personality: hadayaŋ phaleyya, cittavikkhepaŋ pāpuṇeyya (break his heart, upset his reason) S i.126; cittaŋ te khipissāmi hadayan te phālessāmi id. S i.207, 214; Sn p. 32; kāmarāgena cittaŋ me pariḍayhati S i.188>nibbāpehi me hadaya -- pariḷāhaŋ Miln 318 ("my heart is on fire"); cp. abhinibbutatto Sn 343=apariḍayhamāna -- citto SnA 347; cittaŋ adhiṭṭhahati to set one's heart on, to wish DhA i.327.
2. c. as mental status, contrasted to (a) physical status: citta>kāya, e. g. kilanta˚ weary in body & mind D i.20=iii.32; ātura˚ S iii.2 -- 5; nikaṭṭha˚ A ii.137; ṭhita˚ steadfast in body & soul (cp. ṭhitatta) S v.74; ˚passaddhi quiet of body & soul S v.66. The Commentators distinguish those six pairs of the sankhārākkhandha, or the cetasikas: citta -- kāya -- passaddhi, -- lahutā, etc. as quiet, buoyancy, etc., of (a) the viññāṇakkhandha (consciousness), (b) the other 3 mental khandhas, making up the nāma -- kāya (DhsA 150 on Dhs. 62: Compendium of Phil. 96, n. 3); passaddha˚ D iii.241, 288. -- (b) intellectual status: citta>manas & viññāṇa (mind>thought & understanding). These three constitute the invisible energizer of the body, alias mind in its manifestations: yañ ca vuccati cittan ti vā mano ti vā viññāṇan ti vā: (a) ayaŋ attā nicco dhuvo, etc., D i.21; (b) tatr' assutavā puthujjano n' âlaŋ nibbindituŋ, etc. S ii.94; (g) taŋ rattiyā ca divasassa ca añña -- d -- eva uppajjati aññaŋ nirujjhati S ii.95, cf. ThA. 1 on 125. -- Under ādesanā -- pāṭihāriya (thought reading): evam pi te mano ittham pi te mano iti pi te cittaŋ (thus is your thought & thus your mind, i. e. habit of thinking) D i.213=iii.103; A i.170. -- niccaŋ idaŋ c. niccaŋ idaŋ mano S i.53; cittena niyyati loko "by thoughts the world is led" S i.39=A ii.177 (cp. KS 55); apatiṭṭhita -- citto ādīna -- manaso avyāpaṇnacetaso S v.74; vyāpanna -- citto paduṭṭha -- manasankappo S iii.93; paduṭṭha -- citto=paduṭṭha -- manaso PvA 34, 43.


Metta,
Retro. :)
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Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


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Re: What is Citta

Postby tiltbillings » Tue Mar 24, 2009 12:13 am

It would be better, bhikkhus, for the uninstructed worlding to take as self this body… rather than the mind. For what reason? The body … is seen standing for one year, for two years, for three, four, five, or ten years, for twenty, thirty, forty, or fify, for a hundred years, or even longer. But that which is called 'mind [citta],' 'mentality [mano],' or 'consciousness [vi~n~naana]' by day and by night arises as one thing and ceases as another. Just as a monkey roaming through a forest grabs hold of one branch, lets that go and grabs another, then lets that go and grans still another, so too that which is called 'mind [citta],' 'mentality [mano],' or 'consciousness [vi~n~naana]' by day and by night arises as one thing and ceases as another. Therein, bhikkhus, the instructed noble disciple attends closely and carefully to dependent origination itself thus: ‘When this exists, that comes to be; with the arising of this that arises…. SN II 94-5

Always frightened is this mind [citta.m],
The mind [mano] is always agitated.
SN I 53

It is a mishap for me … that lust has infested my mind SN I 185

"Then, having known thus, having seen thus, do you know the awareness of other beings, other individuals, having encompassed it with your own awareness? Do you discern a mind with passion as a mind with passion, and a mind without passion as a mind without passion; a mind with aversion as a mind with aversion, and a mind without aversion as a mind without aversion; a mind with delusion as a mind with delusion, and a mind without delusion as a mind without delusion; a restricted mind as a restricted mind, and a scattered mind as a scattered mind; an enlarged mind as an enlarged mind, and an unenlarged mind as an unenlarged mind;an excelled mind [one that is not on the most excellent level] as an excelled mind, and an unexcelled mind as an unexcelled mind; a concentrated mind as a concentrated mind, and an unconcentrated mind as an unconcentrated mind; a released mind as a released mind, and an unreleased mind as an unreleased mind?" SN II 121 http://www.accesstoinsight.org/canon/su ... 2-070.html

"Thus you should train yourselves: 'We will put aside any gains, offerings, & fame that have arisen; and we will not let any gains, offerings, & fame that have arisen keep our minds consumed.' That's how you should train yourselves." SN 11 226 http://www.accesstoinsight.org/canon/su ... 7-005.html

SN II 271 “He sees a woman there lightly clad or lightly attrired and lust invades his mind.”

SN II 273 “Steady your mind in noble silence, unify your mind in noble silence concentrate your mind in noble silence.

SN V 184 Bhikkhus, I will teach the origination and passing away of the four esatblishments of mindfulness. Listen to that.

And what, bhikkhus, is the origination of the body? With the origination of nutriment there is origination of the body. With the cessation of nutriment there is the passing away of the body.

With the origination of contact there is origination of feeling. With the cessation of contact there is the passing away of feeling.

With the origination of name-and-form there is origination of mind [citta]. With the cessation of name-and-form there is passing away of mind.

With the origination of attention there is origination of phenomena [dhamma]. With the cessation of attention there is passing away of phenomena.


Dhp 13. Just as rain breaks through an ill-thatched house, so passion penetrates an undeveloped mind.

14. Just as rain does not break through a well-thatched house, so passion never penetrates a well-developed mind.

33. Just as a fletcher straightens an arrow shaft, even so the discerning man straightens his mind -- so fickle and unsteady, so difficult to guard.

34. As a fish when pulled out of water and cast on land throbs and quivers, even so is this mind agitated. Hence should one abandon the realm of Mara

35. Wonderful, indeed, it is to subdue the mind, so difficult to subdue, ever swift, and seizing whatever it desires. A tamed mind brings happiness.

36. Let the discerning man guard the mind, so difficult to detect and extremely subtle, seizing whatever it desires. A guarded mind brings happiness.

37. Dwelling in the cave (of the heart), the mind, without form, wanders far and alone. Those who subdue this mind are liberated from the bonds of Mara.

89. Those whose minds have reached full excellence in the factors of enlightenment, who, having renounced acquisitiveness, rejoice in not clinging to things -- rid of cankers, glowing with wisdom, they have attained Nibbana in this very life.

116. Hasten to do good; restrain your mind from evil. He who is slow in doing good, his mind delights in evil.

371. Meditate, O monk! Do not be heedless. Let not your mind whirl on sensual pleasures. Heedless, do not swallow a red-hot iron ball, lest you cry when burning, "O this is painful!"
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

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Re: What is Citta

Postby phil » Tue Mar 24, 2009 4:19 am

Hi Craig and all

A little bit later today, or tomorrow, I'll be posting some notes from Bhikkhu Bodhi's explanation of the definition of citta according to the Abhidhamma in the Comprehensive Manual of Abhidhamma section. Those interested in that strict definition of citta ( and I would say strictly accurate definition according to Theravada) please drop by and let's discuss. If anyone wants to go ahead and pull some points from Bhikkhu Bodhi's notes before I do, please do. Very, very important topic! :smile:

metta,

phil
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Re: What is Citta

Postby mikenz66 » Tue Mar 24, 2009 4:40 am

Thanks Phil,

It seems that citta is one of those problematical words that has various meanings. It seems to have a much more specific meaning in Abhidhamma than in the Suttas, so trying to force the Abhidhamma meaning into Sutta passages is not necessarily more accurate.

Nyantatiloka's dictionary definition:
http://what-buddha-said.net/library/Bud ... .htm#citta
Citta: 'mind', 'consciousness', 'state of consciousness', is a synonym of mano and viññāna see: khandha and Tab. 1. Dhs divides all phenomena into consciousness citta mental properties cetasika and materiality rūpa.

suggests that the quote that Craig gave about confusing citta and viññāna is making a distinction that may or may not exist, depending on context. However, it's a distinction that the Thai Forest monks seem to make.

Metta
Mike

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Re: What is Citta

Postby phil » Tue Mar 24, 2009 7:17 am

mikenz66 wrote:Thanks Phil,

It seems that citta is one of those problematical words that has various meanings. It seems to have a much more specific meaning in Abhidhamma than in the Suttas, so trying to force the Abhidhamma meaning into Sutta passages is not necessarily more accurate.

Nyantatiloka's dictionary definition:
http://what-buddha-said.net/library/Bud ... .htm#citta
Citta: 'mind', 'consciousness', 'state of consciousness', is a synonym of mano and viññāna see: khandha and Tab. 1. Dhs divides all phenomena into consciousness citta mental properties cetasika and materiality rūpa.

suggests that the quote that Craig gave about confusing citta and viññāna is making a distinction that may or may not exist, depending on context. However, it's a distinction that the Thai Forest monks seem to make.

Metta
Mike


Hi Mike and all

Yes, I know what you mean about forcing the Abhidhamma into suttas, overdoing it. I certainly protest when people try to force an Abhidhamma reading on very conventionally-themed suttas. But when it comes to definitions of fleeting mind states, I think it's good to start with Abhidhamma and then go from there. That's my opinion. It's just that recently (not here) I've come across people who are all about defining citta based on the way they experience things in meditation - well, using that experience to build on what the suttas say. Of course the Buddha famously said come and see for yourself, but in my opinion our level of understanding is so feeble that defining citta based on our understanding of a) experience in meditation and b) what the suttas said is a bit dangerous. I certainly wouldn't say that about using our reading of the suttas to get moral guidance, for example. But citta, as we know from the Dhammapada, is incredibly subtly, fleeet, difficult to seize. I would like to start with the deepest theory, build on that as a foundation, and let things go from there, very patiently. Now, if one believes that the definition in Abhidhamma is just a concoction by later thinkers rather than being a deeply consistent extension of the Buddha's teaching, that doesn't apply and one can do without Abhidhamma.

I have come to feel this way after reading a lot of posts (not here, elsewhere) which were all about people trying to discover the meaning of citta for and by themselves based on discussion of their perceptions, opinions about perceptions. Could be a misleading exercise, I think, carried out in the well-intentionned effort to apply the Buddha's "come and see for yourself" invitation. :smile:

Metta,

Phil
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(The fool is characterized by his/her actions/the wise one is characterized by his/her actions/Wisdom shines forth in behaviour.)
(AN 3.2 Lakkhana Sutta)

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Re: What is Citta

Postby Ben » Tue Mar 24, 2009 8:55 am

Well said, Phil.

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

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Re: What is Citta

Postby clw_uk » Tue Mar 24, 2009 9:52 am

Hi everyone


Thanks for the replies and advice (sorry Ben i forgot you already gave a post in reguards to it). After i posted this last night i looked through Bhikkhu Bodhi's manual of the abhidhamma, citta seems to have a lot of different meanings and descriptions to it but my basic understanding is that its that part of the mind that is aware of cognizes something (thats my basic understanding, ive never looked into citta properly before now)

That aspect of the Citta which arises when something comes into contact with eyes, ears, nose, etc., and which knows and receives that contact is called "consciousness" (Viññana). It arises and ceases together with that contact. As for the Citta which waits and knows these things, it does not cease together with the consciousness when it ceases, it does not cease even though the body ceases, for it will go on and take rebirth in the future. There is no end to it if the "sap of the heart" which is the Kilesas and Ignorance (Avijja) are still in the heart. But when this "sap" which is the Kilesas, has been removed from the heart, there is an end to continual becoming and birth, as happened with the Buddha and his arahant disciples.




Phil that sounds like a good idea, look forward that that discussion


Metta

Craig
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Re: What is Citta

Postby mikenz66 » Tue Mar 24, 2009 10:05 am

Hi Phil,
phil wrote: Yes, I know what you mean about forcing the Abhidhamma into suttas, overdoing it. I certainly protest when people try to force an Abhidhamma reading on very conventionally-themed suttas. But when it comes to definitions of fleeting mind states, I think it's good to start with Abhidhamma and then go from there. That's my opinion.

Perhaps I could clarify that what I meant. I wasn't talking about whether or not we should use Abhidhamma to understand such things. I was just pointing out that as far as I can understand it (which is imperfectly) the word "citta" has a much more specific meaning in Abhidhamma than in the Suttas, so my impression is that one can't necessarily interpret the meaning of the word, when it is used in a Sutta, as being the same as it is defined in Abhidhamma.

Am I making sense, or am I still confused?

Mike

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Re: What is Citta

Postby phil » Tue Mar 24, 2009 10:19 am

mikenz66 wrote:Hi Phil,
phil wrote: Yes, I know what you mean about forcing the Abhidhamma into suttas, overdoing it. I certainly protest when people try to force an Abhidhamma reading on very conventionally-themed suttas. But when it comes to definitions of fleeting mind states, I think it's good to start with Abhidhamma and then go from there. That's my opinion.

Perhaps I could clarify that what I meant. I wasn't talking about whether or not we should use Abhidhamma to understand such things. I was just pointing out that as far as I can understand it (which is imperfectly) the word "citta" has a much more specific meaning in Abhidhamma than in the Suttas, so my impression is that one can't necessarily interpret the meaning of the word, when it is used in a Sutta, as being the same as it is defined in Abhidhamma.

Am I making sense, or am I still confused?

Mike


OK, I see what you mean Mike. I didn't read your sutta carefully enough, jumped the gun.

That's the problem though, maybe, when we come across citta in the suttas, or mano, how are we to understand what it is if we don't start with a strict definition? For example, the luminous "mind" that is discussed elsewhere. How are we to make sense of "mind" as Theravadins without simply relying on the idea of "mind" that we have carried around through life. The Buddha's teaching tears away our old notions and gets much deeper so I think we should start by understanding the strict definitions, if only to know how far our current accumulated understanding is from the deep understanding laid out in the texts, something like that. But I see what you mean, there are many ways mano and citta are used in the suttanta, aren't there? These days I'm studying Dhammapada in Pali and those words keep coming up again and again. When I come across them I must admit I go for the easy understanding, a conventional understanding of "mind" because my biggest concern is weakening the power of gross defilements, and in that battle a precise and refined understanding isn't necessary, I think. Whatever works, works. But it's good to also keep adding to one's understanding of the deep teachings, which are only theoretical for me (at least) at this point.

Metta,

Phil
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(The fool is characterized by his/her actions/the wise one is characterized by his/her actions/Wisdom shines forth in behaviour.)
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Re: What is Citta

Postby rowyourboat » Tue Mar 24, 2009 6:55 pm

the problem with abhidhamma begins when it starts giving frequencies (so many million times a second) to citta; thereby putting a mental block on anyone who might want to actually experience it. There is a meditation called 'mindfulness of the mind' cittanupassana, and the buddha said he didnt ask anyone to do the impossible, just the difficult.

with mett

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Re: What is Citta

Postby mikenz66 » Tue Mar 24, 2009 8:31 pm

phil wrote: ... I see what you mean, there are many ways mano and citta are used in the suttanta, aren't there? ...

I'm also thinking of the way terminology evolves in the Abhidhamma, most particularly relevant to this discussion is cetasika. See the Appendix to MahaThera Nyanatiloka's Dictionary, which his "Attempt at a chronological fixing of terms not found, or not found in this form or meaning, in the oldest parts of the Sutta Pitaka."
http://what-buddha-said.net/library/Bud ... append.htm
Cetasika: This term occurs often in the old sutta texts, but only as adj. (e.g. cetasikam sukham etc.) or, at times, used as a sing. neut. noun (e.g. D. 1; p. 213, PTS). As a designation for mental properties, or properties of consciousness citta-sampayuttā dhammā it is frequently met with in Dhs. (§ 1189, 1512) as cetasika-dhamma while in Vis.M, Abh. S., etc., cetasika is used also as a neuter noun, in the sense of mental phenomenon.

Citta-lahutā: mudūta, -kammaññatā, -pāguññatā, -ujukatā: see: lahutā .

Citta-vīthi: as well as all terms for the various functions within the processes of conseiousness, such as āvajjana-citta, sampaticchana, santīrana, votthapana, javana, tadārammana, bhavanga, cuti: none of these terms is found in the Sutta Canon. except javana in Pts.M. Even in the Ahh. Canon (e.g. Patth) only javana and bhavanga are twice or thrice briefly mentioned. The stages, however, must have been more or less known. Cf. e.g Patth: ''cakkhu-viññānam tam sampayuttakā ca dhammā (= cetasikā) mano-dhātuyā (performing the sampaticchana-function),tam sampayuttakānañ ca dhammānam (cetasikānani) anantara-paccayena paccayo. Mano-dhātu... manoviññāna-dhātuya (performing the santīrana and votthapana function). Purimā purimā kusalā dhammā (javanā) pacchimānam pacchimānam kusalānam dhammānam (javanacittānam) anantara-paccayena paccayo... avyākatānam dhammānam (tadārammana- and bhavanga-cittānam. ).

Metta
Mike

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Re: What is Citta

Postby retrofuturist » Tue Mar 24, 2009 11:11 pm

Greetings,

Just returning from Abhidhamma land to Sutta land for the moment.

The third chapter (vagga) of the Dhammapada is entitled the Cittavagga, translated here as "the mind"

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .budd.html

33. Just as a fletcher straightens an arrow shaft, even so the discerning man straightens his mind — so fickle and unsteady, so difficult to guard.

34. As a fish when pulled out of water and cast on land throbs and quivers, even so is this mind agitated. Hence should one abandon the realm of Mara.

35. Wonderful, indeed, it is to subdue the mind, so difficult to subdue, ever swift, and seizing whatever it desires. A tamed mind brings happiness.

36. Let the discerning man guard the mind, so difficult to detect and extremely subtle, seizing whatever it desires. A guarded mind brings happiness.

37. Dwelling in the cave (of the heart), the mind, without form, wanders far and alone. Those who subdue this mind are liberated from the bonds of Mara.

38. Wisdom never becomes perfect in one whose mind is not steadfast, who knows not the Good Teaching and whose faith wavers.

39. There is no fear for an awakened one, whose mind is not sodden (by lust) nor afflicted (by hate), and who has gone beyond both merit and demerit.

40. Realizing that this body is as fragile as a clay pot, and fortifying this mind like a well-fortified city, fight out Mara with the sword of wisdom. Then, guarding the conquest, remain unattached.

41. Ere long, alas! this body will lie upon the earth, unheeded and lifeless, like a useless log.

42. Whatever harm an enemy may do to an enemy, or a hater to a hater, an ill-directed mind inflicts on oneself a greater harm.

43. Neither mother, father, nor any other relative can do one greater good than one's own well-directed mind.


Metta,
Retro. :)
If you have asked me of the origination of unease, then I shall explain it to you in accordance with my understanding:
Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


Exalted in mind, just open and clearly aware, the recluse trained in the ways of the sages:
One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


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Re: What is Citta

Postby phil » Wed Mar 25, 2009 1:24 pm

rowyourboat wrote:the problem with abhidhamma begins when it starts giving frequencies (so many million times a second) to citta; thereby putting a mental block on anyone who might want to actually experience it. There is a meditation called 'mindfulness of the mind' cittanupassana, and the buddha said he didnt ask anyone to do the impossible, just the difficult.

with mett


Hi Row and all

Yes, I know what you mean. I get blocked here too. So there is practice of a kind of citanupassana, well, there is a lot of looking at my state of mind and saying "mind with lust, mind with aversion", that sort of thing, but I don't feel that is cittanupassana no matter what the modern teachers say. Nothing wrong with doing it, it helps keep one from going off course, it helps check the mind and prevent bad behaviour, but I just have a feeling it really isn't cittanupassana. The Abhidhamma definition of citta is in the tipitika for a good reason, it isn't just an intellectual concoction, that's how I feel. It can't be written off because our understanding can't wrap itself around the so many times per second thing, I think. But this needn't be debated here. I guess I've made my point sufficiently in this thread and I should retreat to the quiet (very quiet) little corner of Abhidhamma land for Abhidhamma-related posting! :smile:

Metta,

Phil
Kammalakkhano , bhikkhave, bālo, kammalakkhano pandito, apadānasobhanī paññāti
(The fool is characterized by his/her actions/the wise one is characterized by his/her actions/Wisdom shines forth in behaviour.)
(AN 3.2 Lakkhana Sutta)

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Re: What is Citta

Postby mikenz66 » Wed Mar 25, 2009 7:47 pm

phil wrote: Yes, I know what you mean. I get blocked here too. So there is practice of a kind of citanupassana, well, there is a lot of looking at my state of mind and saying "mind with lust, mind with aversion", that sort of thing, but I don't feel that is cittanupassana no matter what the modern teachers say.


Modern? :thinking:
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .soma.html
The Contemplation of Consciousness

"And how, O bhikkhus, does a bhikkhu live contemplating consciousness in consciousness?

"Here, O bhikkhus, a bhikkhu understands the consciousness with lust, as with lust; the consciousness without lust, as without lust; the consciousness with hate, as with hate; the consciousness without hate, as without hate; the consciousness with ignorance, as with ignorance; the consciousness without ignorance, as without ignorance; the shrunken state of consciousness, as the shrunken state; the distracted state of consciousness, as the distracted state; the state of consciousness become great, as the state become great; the state of consciousness not become great, as the state not become great; the state of consciousness with some other mental state superior to it, as the state with something mentally higher; the state of consciousness with no other mental state superior to it, as the state with nothing mentally higher; the quieted state of consciousness, as the quieted state; the state of consciousness not quieted, as the state not quieted; the freed state of consciousness as freed; and the unfreed state of consciousness, as unfreed.

"Thus he lives contemplating consciousness in consciousness internally, or he lives contemplating consciousness in consciousness externally, or he lives contemplating consciousness in consciousness internally and externally. He lives contemplating origination-things in consciousness, or he lives contemplating dissolution-things in consciousness, or he lives contemplating origination-and-dissolution-things in consciousness. Or his mindfulness is established with the thought: 'Consciousness exists,' to the extent necessary just for knowledge and remembrance, and he lives independent and clings to naught in the world.

"Thus, indeed, O bhikkhus, a bhikkhu lives contemplating consciousness in consciousness."

Mike

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Re: What is Citta

Postby phil » Thu Mar 26, 2009 2:28 am

mikenz66 wrote:
phil wrote: Yes, I know what you mean. I get blocked here too. So there is practice of a kind of citanupassana, well, there is a lot of looking at my state of mind and saying "mind with lust, mind with aversion", that sort of thing, but I don't feel that is cittanupassana no matter what the modern teachers say.


Modern? :thinking:
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .soma.html
The Contemplation of Consciousness

"And how, O bhikkhus, does a bhikkhu live contemplating consciousness in consciousness?

"Here, O bhikkhus, a bhikkhu understands the consciousness with lust, as with lust; the consciousness without lust, as without lust; the consciousness with hate, as with hate; the consciousness without hate, as without hate; the consciousness with ignorance, as with ignorance; the consciousness without ignorance, as without ignorance; the shrunken state of consciousness, as the shrunken state; the distracted state of consciousness, as the distracted state; the state of consciousness become great, as the state become great; the state of consciousness not become great, as the state not become great; the state of consciousness with some other mental state superior to it, as the state with something mentally higher; the state of consciousness with no other mental state superior to it, as the state with nothing mentally higher; the quieted state of consciousness, as the quieted state; the state of consciousness not quieted, as the state not quieted; the freed state of consciousness as freed; and the unfreed state of consciousness, as unfreed.

"Thus he lives contemplating consciousness in consciousness internally, or he lives contemplating consciousness in consciousness externally, or he lives contemplating consciousness in consciousness internally and externally. He lives contemplating origination-things in consciousness, or he lives contemplating dissolution-things in consciousness, or he lives contemplating origination-and-dissolution-things in consciousness. Or his mindfulness is established with the thought: 'Consciousness exists,' to the extent necessary just for knowledge and remembrance, and he lives independent and clings to naught in the world.

"Thus, indeed, O bhikkhus, a bhikkhu lives contemplating consciousness in consciousness."

Mike


Yes, of course you're right Mike. Not denying there is citanuppassana, just that in my opinion at least modern teachers over simplify things. I think it is easy to be strongly attracted by the above teaching (especially when read without the commentary) and apply it to one's own level of understanding. The mind is much subtler that we are led (or lead ourselves) to think, that is my feeling. For example, by the Mahasi noting method. Just my opinion, and I don't deny that *any* form of mindfulness of mind states is beneficial and could help develop conditions for deeper understanding. Anyways, never mind. This is just my opinion.



Metta,

Phil
Kammalakkhano , bhikkhave, bālo, kammalakkhano pandito, apadānasobhanī paññāti
(The fool is characterized by his/her actions/the wise one is characterized by his/her actions/Wisdom shines forth in behaviour.)
(AN 3.2 Lakkhana Sutta)


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