Reply To: Post on “Saṅkhāra – An Introduction”


1. It is essential to understand how kamma formation starts with mano sankhara and gradually “ramps up” to stronger levels of “kammic potentials.”

  1. Mano sankhara are defined as “vedana and sanna.” Here, only ditthi and wrong perceptions (about an arammana) arise according to that arammana and one’s gati. It is only a mindset—no vitakka/vicara at this stage. 
  2. Vitakka/vicara arising at the vaci sankhara stage means “internal deliberations” about what to do about that arammana. Now, one starts to use one’s own words to deliberate. But no words are coming out, i.e., no speech.
  3. In the next stage, the kammic generation is stronger, and words CAN come out. This is the second level of vaci sankhara
  4. Kammic energy generation is most intense at the kaya sankhara stage, where bodily movements become possible. 

2. All vipaka cittas have mano sankhara. Vipaka can turn to kamma generation at the votthapana stage in a citta vithi.

3. Up to the V (votthapanacitta, all cittas are vipaka citta. They only have only mano sankhara.

  • At the votthapana citta, a decision is made regarding how to respond to the sensory input. If attachment happened (due to one’s gati), then seven javana cittas run to respond accordingly.
  • The first two of those javana cittas only have mano sankhara. That means vitakka/vicara have not arisen yet.
  • Abhisankhara accumulation (that can bring vipaka in future lives)  starts with vitakka/vicara in the third javana citta. In the fourth javana citta speech becomes possible.
  • Then kaya abhisankhara generation is with the fifth javana citta.
  • Like a runner starting slowly, speeding up, and then slowing down at the end, javana cittas become weaker after the fifth. Thus, sixth and seventh javana cittas are progressively weaker.
  • Thus, vaci and kaya abhisankhara are mostly associated with the javana citta #3 through #5 and weaken in #6 and #7.
  • Kammic energy created in the first javana citta can bring vipaka in this life only. But #2 through #6 can bring vipaka in future lives, and #7 can bring vipaka only in the next life.
  • That means javana citta #2 is strong enough to bring vipaka in future lives. But it is NOT ENOUGH to bring a rebirth (called “janaka kamma.”) Thus, kammic energy generated in javana citta #2 with mano sankhara can ONLY bring vipaka DURING A LIFE in future lives, i.e., it cannot give rise to a rebirth.

4. I will rewrite the above post by breaking it into at least two posts in the future. But I just wanted to state that there are no contradictions. Feel free to ask questions if not clear. It is easier to convey ideas in a discussion. Then I can see where the “hang up” is.

5. As I mentioned in another thread, “Bahiya Sutta and Creation of Sensuality in mind,” it is essential to understand that the mind’s working is a mechanical process. There is no “unchanging person” accumulating kamma. It is a process that will continue until one can see how that process takes place. That will help get rid of sakkaya ditthi.

  • As I discussed in two comments in that thread, the post “Seeing Is a Series of ‘Snapshots’” helps get rid of sakkaya ditthi.
  • Of course, such an Abhidhamma analysis is not necessary to get rid of sakkaya ditthi. It is one way to get it done.
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