Reply To: Conscious vs. Subconscious Mind


1. You wrote: “I am confused about Chittada Kaya.” It is written as “Cittaja Kaya” and pronounced “chiththaja kaya.” I will explain that in #7 below.

2. The mind is “mano.” Thoughts that arise in the mind are sometimes called “citta” (pronounced “chiththa”) and other times vinnana

  • An easy way to remember is as follows. Usually, “citta” means uncontaminated “thoughts.” Usually, “viññāna” is reserved for thoughts contaminated with greed, anger, or ignorance (lobha, dosa, moha).

3. The physical body (“karaja kaya” or “sarira“) does not generate citta.  The physical body is mostly made from the food we eat; that contribution is “aharaja kaya.” Kammic energy and also thoughts contribute only a little but play important roles; those two contributions are “kammaja kaya” and “cittaja kaya.” 

4. Overlapping the dense physical body is a “manōmaya kāya,” which is more like an “energy field.” Manōmaya kāya means a “mental body.” This is more important than the physical body since that is where thoughts or citta arise. It is also called “gandhabba.”

5. Thoughts or cittas have “mental factors” (“cetasika“) embedded. A citta has at least seven cetasika: Phassa (contact);   vēdanā (feeling);  saññā (perception);  cētanā (volition); Ekaggata (One-pointedness) can become Sammā Samādhi;  jivitindriya (life faculty);  manasikāra (memory).

  • When it develops into a contaminated thought, it would have more cetasika, like greed.
  •  “Cetasika (Mental Factors).”
  • You asked: “So Cittaja Kaya is Phassa, Cethana, Vinnana?” So, you can see from the above that cittaja kaya is a part of the physical body and, therefore, not directly related to phassa, cetana, viññāna.

6. In #4 above, I mentioned that thoughts (cittas) arise in the manomaya kaya (gandhabba.) The “hadaya vatthu” is part of the manomaya kaya, and that is precisely where cittas arise.

  • It may take some time to put all these together. I suggest keeping notes as you read posts. Then, you will be able to see the important connections and how the pieces of the puzzle can be assembled to see a coherent picture.
  • Take the time and read the above-mentioned posts and links in those posts.
  • Reading the first several posts in “Abhidhamma” could be helpful too.

7. Finally, a special way to write Pali words with the English alphabet was adopted in the 1800s (this is what I mentioned in #1 above). The following two posts are necessary to understand how to write and pronounce Pali words:

“Tipiṭaka English” Convention Adopted by Early European Scholars – Part 1

“Tipiṭaka English” Convention Adopted by Early European Scholars – Part 2


8. It will take an effort to grasp all these issues. It is best not to rush into it. Take the time to read the posts and take notes while you read them. That will help.

  • You can also use the “Search” box on the top right to locate posts with a specific word.
  • P.S. The following two posts could be helpful with definitions/pronunciations: “Pāli Glossary – (A-K)” and “Pāli Glossary – (L-Z)“.
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