Kiriya Citta

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    • #46973
      dosakkhayo
      Participant

      Citta Vīthi – Processing of Sense Inputs

      After I read the post, I thought about it.

      I organized my thoughts to digest the information of it.

      Citta vithi can be condensed as two terms: input and reaction.

      The input term is several cittas before votthapana citta, the reaction term is after votthapana citta.

      So input term is vipaka vinnana, reaction term can be kamma vinnana.

      Because Arahant has no kamma vinnana, but he/she still can respond to something.

      So there are three types of citta in reaction term: javana citta(J), kiriya citta(K), bhavanga citta (B)

      Kamma and Saṅkhāra, Cetanā and Sañcetanā

      #1 Kamma can be of mainly three types:
      (i) Neutral kamma: like using a knife to cut vegetables or asking directions from someone.
      (ii) Akusala (or pāpa/apuñña) kamma: e.g., stabbing someone with a knife or telling a lie to make money.
      (iii) Puñña kamma: e.g., using a knife to cut loose a trapped animal or explaining Dhamma to others. A kusala kamma is a puñña kamma done with the comprehension of the Four Noble Truths, i.e., by a Noble Person.

      #2 The first type of kamma yields results at that time only; they do not lead to “kammic consequences” in the future. Those actions do not have morally good or bad intentions.

      The second/third type can bring “bad/good results” at that time or in the future. Moral or immoral “intentions” that arise lead to the creation of an unseen “kammic energy” that remains in “viññāṇa dhātu” and can bring vipāka in the future.

      The three types of kamma are generated by the ‘reaction term’.

      As mentioned above, B is no reaction, K is reactions that do not generate kammic energy, and J is reactions that do generate kammic energy.

      So the neutral kamma is made by kiriya citta, and apunna or punna kamma is made by javana citta.

      Here is a question.

      I heard that only Arahant can have kiriya citta from somewhere.

      If it is, then an average person can not do neutral kamma. But I don’t think an average person can not do neutral kamma.

      Then, I must have overlooked something.

      Pabhassara Citta and Saññā Vipallāsa

      2. That “distorted saññā” is unknown to the world until a Buddha discovers the following: The pabhassara mind remains hidden because that “distorted saññā” inevitably leads to “defiled saññā” and to adding MORE defilements. (The other factor is the “distorted/defiled views.”) In other words, one cannot start cleansing one’s mind because a thought process ALWAYS starts with the mind already defiled!

      • Another way to state the above: A mind of a puthujjana (average human) ALWAYS starts at the pañcupādānakkhandha state and NEVER at the pañcakkhandha state.
      • Even the first citta of a citta vithi arising upon receiving a sensory input arises with a “distorted saññā” and then immediately attaches to it and leads to “contaminated/defiled saññā” (“distorted/defiled views” will also automatically come into play.) Thus, the mind of a puthujjana starts at the pañcupādānakkhandha state.

      Can javana citta also make neutral kamma too? Is it connected with the fact that the mind of a puthujjana (average human) ALWAYS starts at the pañcupādānakkhandha state and NEVER at the pañcakkhandha state?

    • #46977
      Lal
      Keymaster

      Excellent! You got the main ideas/concepts.

      1. I need to modify that figure a little. The “two B’s” representing “bhavanga” should be replaced with “bhavanga state.”

      2. What Dosakkhayo called “Neutral kamma” (under (i)) is represented by the part of the citta vithi before the votthapana (V) citta. In the Suttas, these are “purana kamma.” That does not mean “old kamma” as some people translate, but they are “initial kamma” that do not have strong kammic consequences (like rebirth) by themselves. 

      • What he called “Akusala (or pāpa/apuñña) kamma” (under (ii)) is represented by the part of the citta vithi before the votthapana (V) citta. In the Suttas, these are “nava kamma.” Those are the “new kamma” consciously generated by actions by the mind, speech, and body (mano, vaci, kaya kamma).
      • I have not discussed that yet in the new series of posts. They will be discussed in “Sotapanna Stage via Understanding Perception (Saññā).”
      • Dosakkhayo’s statement, “#2 The first type of kamma yields results at that time only; they do not lead to “kammic consequences” in the future. Those actions do not have morally good or bad intentions,” is correct. The subsequent statement, “The second/third type can bring “bad/good results” at that time or in the future. Moral or immoral “intentions” that arise lead to the creation of an unseen “kammic energy” that remains in “viññāṇa dhātu” and can bring vipāka in the future” is also correct.

      3. What Dosankkhayo stated in (iii), ” A kusala kamma is a puñña kamma done with the comprehension of the Four Noble Truths, i.e., by a Noble Person,” is also correct.

      • A kusala kamma cannot be described by a citta vithi as depicted above.

      4. Next, his statement, “So the neutral kamma is made by kiriya citta, and apunna or punna kamma is made by javana citta,” is also correct. 

      • Any action without a trace of raga, dosa, or moha is a neutral kamma. 
      • Apunna kamma are done with raga, dosa, or moha. A punna kamma is done with lower levels of raga and dosa due to not comprehending the “anicca nature.” 

      5. Dosakkhayo’s final question: “Can javana citta also make neutral kamma too?”

      • No. Javana citta are defined as those arising with raga, dosa, or moha.
      • Yes. The mind of a  puthujjana (average human) ALWAYS starts at the pañcupādānakkhandha state. But they generate javana citta only after the votthapana stage.

      Please feel free to ask questions. These are critical concepts.

      P.S. I just revised the post “Avyākata Paṭicca Samuppāda for Vipāka Viññāṇa.” It has the revised version of the above figure.

    • #47000
      dosakkhayo
      Participant

      I’ve never read those words like purana kamma or nava kamma in the suttas before. (If you don’t mind, could you give me a Tipitaka reference for those words?)

      Lal’s answer gave me a lot of things, which are completely different from the previous understanding I had of citta vithi. So before I ask some questions about them, I think we need a process to update information to make things go smoothly. I’m writing it. I think it will be quite long. Please excuse me for keeping you waiting.

    • #47004
      Lal
      Keymaster

      Yes. I deliberately avoided discussing “purāna” and “navakamma, because that requires a lengthy background. 

      • We are discussing the required background now. See the comment I just posted (December 4, 2023) in “Formal Meditation.”
      • I will provide the necessary suttas as I proceed. If I give the names of the suttas without explaining them, that could lead to confusion because the English translations are wrong.
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    • #47018
      dosakkhayo
      Participant

      Let me explain what I understand, I’ll ask questions in the middle of writing it.

      The discussion of citta vithi deals with very subtle context, so we should beware of making correspond to events of everyday life in haste. There is an infinite gap of the unit of time between citta vithi level analogy and phenomena that we observe in our daily life. We should remember that citta vithi is an extremely microscopic event.

      According to the new figure, the given form of citta vithi can present the flow from Avyakata PS to Akusala mula PS. There is a new system of explanation, which is deep and detailed, that gives me a new analytic method and other insights. Based on votthapana citta, before cittas are related to purana kamma, and after are related to nava kamma. Purana kamma is the initial kamma without javana citta so it can not have more than a certain level of kammic energy. Therefore, it can not make any extension of samsara. On the other hand, nava kamma has javana citta so it makes kammic energy which can make an extension of samsara. It also can reinforce existing sangati further, and make kamma bhava which can bring vipaka back in the future.

      Q1. Could purana kamma have some minor kammic energy because of existing sangati?

      Q2. What is the citta vithi only a purana kamma arises? Does it fall under one of the two below? Or does neither?

      (a). AB BC BU PD CV Sam San V B B B B B B B T T -> Q3

      (b). AB BC BU PD CV Sam San V K K K K K K K T T -> Q4

      Q3. If purana kamma is only related to Avyakata PS, then the citta vithi (a) progresses by only Avyakata PS without Akusala mula PS?

      But I think that the purana kamma arises by (a) is nonsense. Because seven cittas(AB BC BU PD CV Sam San) are all mano sankhara. None of those can have vitakka or vicara. So they can not be vaci sankhara. But thinking about changing the subway doesn’t seem like nava kamma. Thus, if the answer to Q2 is (a), there are two main possible cases that I see. The first is that there is a third type of kamma, which is neither the nava kamma nor the puruna kamma, which can explain it. The second is there is some error in the way of description currently given.

      Q4. If purana kamma is only related to Avyakata PS, then the citta vithi (b) progresses by only Avyakata PS without Akusala mula PS?

      In this case, I am curious about whether non-Arahant can make kiriya citta. I heard the current interpretation of Abhidhamma in traditional Theravada teaches that only Arahant can make kiriya citta. Is it also contamination of the late commentary?

      Let me rearrange what I understand. This may be an error because it involves my own reasoning without reading Lal’s explanation of the upcoming post yet. If there is an error here, please point it out.

      (a). AB BC BU PD CV Sam San V B B B B B B B T T 

      (b). AB BC BU PD CV Sam San V K K K K K K K T T

      (c). AB BC BU PD CV Sam San V J J J J J J J T T

      All citta vithi describes an event in mind on a very detailed level.

      The case of (a) describes the process in daily life that we just pass by many visual objects as soon as we experience them. We don’t really respond to them.

      The case of (b) describes when we look at a visual object and do something, but it only acts in a neutral way. Like cleaning a blackboard or turning off a light. (purana kamma)

      The case of (c) describes when we look at a visual object, attach it and generate kamma that can bring vipaka in the future. This case applies to apunna and punna abhisankhara. (nava kamma)

      About #3, Lal said that a kusala kamma cannot be described by the above picture. In my opinion, it seems reasonable because javana citta can only be abhisankhara. So kusala kamma can never be done by javana citta. I guess that there is a different type of citta vithi unlike above, which can present kusala kamma properly.

      And I have something to tell you about this topic. Mr. Hojan asked me to write the following in English. He expressed concern about deleting posts of kusala PS. He thinks there is no problem with the current explanations of Kusala PS.

      He understands as follows.

      The six root causes(lobha, dosa, moha, alobha, adosa, and amoha) can be distinguished into two groups: lokiya and lokuttara. Of course, the lobha, dosa, and moha are only lokiya. Those cause the papa kamma. 

      The lokiya alobha, adosa, and amoha cause punna kamma and akusala kamma(in the meaning of NOT kusala kamma in kusala PS).

      Therefore, lokiya alobha, adosa, and amoha is just a low level of lobha, dosa, and moha actually.

      So lokiya alobha, adosa, and amoha can correspond to raga, patigha, and avijja.

      In the same way, the lokuttara alobha can be considered as lokuttara raga. Of course, the lokuttara alobha, adosa, and amoha cause kusala kamma.

      So he thinks that the javana citta can present making kusala kamma because it’s consistent with the definition of that concept. (arising with raga, dosa, or moha)

      I would like to approach Hojan’s thoughts carefully. I am reviewing whether the above interpretation of root causes is a somewhat too expansive understanding of the context of the concept. I’d like you to explain how should I understand it.

    • #47020
      Lal
      Keymaster

      “Q1. Could purana kamma have some minor kammic energy because of existing sangati?”

      • Yes. They have kammic energy. But only javana citta can generate strong kammic energy, for example, to fuel future rebirths.

      “Q2. If someone who is puthujjana just sees a wall at a given moment, how does that moment’s citta vithi go? Does it fall under one of the two below? Or does neither? (B: Bhavanga citta, K: Kiriya citta)”

      • It is (a). AB BC BU PD CV Sam San V B B B B B B B T T 
      • No kriya citta (without any kammic energy) can arise in a puthujjana; see below.

      “Q3. What is the citta vithi only a purana kamma arises? Does it fall under one of the two below? Or does neither?”

      • It is neither of those.
      • It would be “AB BC BU PD CV Sam San V B B B B B B B BB” since only javana citta can change the mindset even temporarily to T. If no javana citta arise, then the bhavanga remains unchanged.

      “Q4. If purana kamma is only related to Avyakata PS, then the citta vithi (a) progresses by only Avyakata PS without Akusala mula PS?”

      • By definition, purana kamma is the avyakata PS. Here, “avyakata” means no strong kamma occurs. That part is in any citta vithi, bringing a new sensory input.
      • If the mind decides the sense input is of importance, only then an akusala-mula PS runs generating javana citta. Otherwise, the citta vithi would look like the one I stated in answer to Q3.

      “Q5. If purana kamma is only related to Avyakata PS, then the citta vithi (b) progresses by only Avyakata PS without Akusala mula PS?”

      • Same answer as above.

       

      The next comment, starting with “Let me rearrange what I understand…” conflicts with my answer to Q3. 

      Finally, regarding the comment starting with: “Lastly, there is a different type of citta vithi unlike above, which can present kusala kamma properly. (Dosakkhayo’s thought)”

      • It is correct until the following statement: “In the same way, the lokuttara alobha can be considered as lokuttara raga. Of course, the lokuttara alobha, adosa, and amoha cause kusala kamma.”
      • That statement is not correct. Nibbana is reached by nullifying the ability of the previously-made kammic energies to bring vipaka. Thus, a kusala kamma DOES NOT make new kammic energies. A kusala kamma is an action that cultivates wisdom (panna) and breaks samsaric bonds (samyojana) or, equivalently, nullifies all anusaya; that prevents any previously-prepared kammic energy from bringing a new rebirth.
      • Also, a javana citta can arise ONLY with lobha, dosa, or moha (or lokiya alobha, adosa, or amoha). 
      • Another way to say the above: Nibbana is reached via stopping “all preparations” with abhisankhara. Any javana citta rooted in abhisankhara (which starts at the “purana kamma” stage and gains strength at the “nava kamma” stage) can lead to the preparation of something in this world,” i.e., a sankhata. On the other hand, Nibbana is “asankhata,” i.e., “not prepared.”  
    • #47027
      dosakkhayo
      Participant

      Now I can see I have little knowledge of Citta Vithi and Abhidhamma. I didn’t know that Tadarammana citta could be replaced with Bhavanga citta before.

      According to #44223, Lal said:

      Up to the V (votthapana) citta, 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. Then kaya abhisankhara generation is with the fifth javana citta.
      • Thus, vaci and kaya abhisankhara are mostly associated with the javana citta #3 through #5 and weaken in #6 and #7.
      • I just realized something that I need to look into. 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. Can that be due to mano sankhara? I will look into that.
      • It is time to rewrite the above post by breaking it into at least two posts. A lot of information needs to be added to make it clear and consistent.

      A few months ago, I read it in the forum and reasoned two things.

      A. Is there a mechanism like place value in citta vithi?

      ex) AB BC BU PD CV Sam San V _ _ _ _ _ _ _ T T

      If so, mano sankhara can be all of those places. (_ _ _ _ _ _ _)

      Vaci sankhara can be from the 3rd place. (X X _ _ _ _ _)

      And kaya sankhara can be from the 5th place. (X X X X _ _ _)

      B. If the A is true, could the logic of place value also apply in the case of kiriya citta?

      ex) AB BC BU PD CV Sam San V _ _ _ _ _ _ _ B B

      If so, those cittas which come after the votthapana citta could be grouped together as ‘reaction term‘.

      And cittas before the votthapana citta also could be grouped together as ‘input term‘ because they only have mano sankhara.

      This is why I am struggling to understand the recent revision.

      According to it, the input term is generated by Avyakata PS. But I don’t understand how can one do stuff like walk down the stair (purana kamma) by only mano sankhara. Because mano sankhara is just only experiencing something, not acting.

      Thus it’s clear that my analysis(input and reaction) is wrong. Purana kamma is completed before the votthapana citta so that it can be done to act by using those cittas: AB BC BU PD CV Sam San. Then the previous explanation of citta vithi now contradicts the purana kamma concept. If all vipaka citta can have only mano sankhara, there are no vitakka and vicara cetasika in those citta. i.e. vaci sankhara can not arise.

      I don’t think that I have a general knowledge enough about this topic to ask a proper question. So I’m afraid I may tire you out of continuing to ask meaninglessly.

    • #47032
      Lal
      Keymaster

      I don’t understand the first question. But the following may help.

      In the second part, you wrote: “This is why I am struggling to understand the recent revision. According to it, the input term is generated by Avyakata PS. But I don’t understand how can one do stuff like walk down the stair (purana kamma) by only mano sankhara. .”

      • Paticca Samuppada should not be used to describe things like walking down the stairs to the bathroom or actions like that.
      • It is focused on kamma accumulation, mainly to generate kammic energy to bring about future rebirths in various realms.  That is why it is “akusala-mula PS.”

      The other point that could be helpful is the following: 

      • Each citta in a citta vithi with a specific symbol engages in a specific task. 
      • The presence of the seven javana cittas in a citta vithi means that the mind is engaged with that sensory input and generates kammic energy with raga, dosa, or moha. 
      • The presence of two tadarammana citta (T) at the end of the javanas indicates that the mind has “locked into” the sensory input. “Tadarammana” is translated as “registration,” meaning the mind has shifted from the “uppatti bhvanaga state” to take a new mindset. For example, upon hearing the news of the death of a close relative, the mind shifts to a “saddened state.”  Then that mindset becomes a “temporary bhvanaga state” that could replace the “uppatti bhvanaga state” for hours or even days. 
      • See “Bhava and Bhavaṅga – Simply Explained!” and “State of Mind in the Absence of Citta Vithi – Bhavaṅga.”
      • More references are in the new post, “Mūlapariyāya Sutta – The Root of All Things.”
    • #47063
      dosakkhayo
      Participant

      The new post was astonishingly good! I felt how profound Paticca Samuppada was. Sadhu! Sadhu! Sadhu! And it also served as an opportunity to reflect on my shortcomings. Now I see my understanding of PS is not enough to apply it directly to Abhidhamma analysis. As it is, continuing to study the Abhidhamma seems very likely to misunderstand the concept. So instead of temporarily stopping to study Abhidhamma, I will peruse the new three series: Sotapanna Stage via Understanding Perception (Saññā), Recovering the Suffering-Free Pure Mind, and Sensory Experience – A Deeper Analysis. I’m going to take the time to read them. Currently, a meaningful question about those posts is likely only possible after reading at least 4~5 upcoming posts. More pieces are needed to accept a whole picture with this high level of thoroughness and detail.

      On another subject, there was Hojan’s further explanation about kusala kamma. He commented as follows. The energy of kusala kamma should be considered as the energy that removes anusaya and stops rebirth. So we should not think of it in the same way that we deal with the energy of akusala mula kamma(both papa kamma and punna kamma) which causes a new rebirth. Only sekha can generate kusala kamma by kusala mula sankhara in Kusala mula PS. So, javana citta CAN include both “vinnana” which has the energy of akusala mula PS, and “kusala mula vinnana” which has the energy of kusala mula PS. The higher the level of maggaphala, the lighter the energy strength of kusala kamma. Therefore, when one attains Arahant, the energy becomes zero. It is called “kiriya citta”.

      For the reasons given above, it is not meaningful to me yet whether javana citta could describe kusala kamma or not. But it requires a strict definition of javana citta, so I think it’s an important issue for other people who study Abhidhamma.

    • #47066
      Lal
      Keymaster

      Yes. It may take some time to fully absorb the contents of the post “Mūlapariyāya Sutta – The Root of All Things.”

      • It is indeed the “root of all things”!

       

      Regarding Hojan’s comments: I can understand the perception that the explanation of ‘Kusala-Mul PS” seems to make sense. However, it cannot be correct due to the reasons I pointed out in my previous comment. 

      • Here is another way to look at it. I suggest writing out the terms in the “Kusala-mula PS.” In particular, what type of vinnana, namarupa, salayatana, and samphassa will be involved? All those terms are “reduce in strength” as a Sekha cultivates the Noble Path.
      • We can focus on namarupa, for example. It is with wisdom (panna) that namarupa formation gradually decreases and eventually stops, not by engaging in any sankhara.
      • In the same way, salayatana means “using indriya (eyes, ears, ..) with defilements in the mind.” “samphassa” means “defiled contacts in mind.” Defilements are raga, dosa, moha. As panna increases, such “defiled actions” gradually decrease. Arahanthood is attained NOT by nullifying kammic energies that have been accumulated but by the total “deactivation” of the “Akusala-Mula PS process.” Thus, at the moment of cuti-patisandhi, such an Akusala-Mula PS process cannot run to make a new patisandhi!
      • We should probably continue that discussion under a different thread to keep issues separated if there are more questions. Please feel free to ask questions. It is not good to accept anyone’s explanations unless the explanation makes sense. Even the Buddha kept saying not to accept his explanations if they did not make sense and to ask questions to clarify unresolved issues. I am still a Sekha, and I can make mistakes.

       

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