September 8, 2022 at 1:02 am #40205
The mana indriya is the bridge between the mind and the memories in the mental plane for as long as the gandhabba resides within the body.
When the mind comes in contact with a sense input (arammana), let’s say a sight, the image is received by the eye and then transferred to the visual cortex in the brain which processes it to a suitable rupa which, in turn, is then transferred to the mind.
The rupa is received by the cakkhu pasada rupa which then makes contact with the mind leading to the arising of the first citta vithi (pancadvara). Then follow three more mental citta vithi in response (manodvara).
The manasikāra cetasika are in each and every citta, and they are to incorporate all past memories. This makes complete sense for a manodvara citta vithi since the mana indriya is active during that time. What I’m not clear on is how the manasikara cetasika in a pancadvara citta vithi operates:
The mind can only process one citta vithi at a time. That means while the first 17 citta (pancadvara) arise, the mana indriya should not be able to make contact with the mind.
What are the finer details I’m missing here?
September 8, 2022 at 7:04 am #40208
Yes. The initial description is very good.
“The manasikāra cetasika are in each and every citta, and they are to incorporate all past memories.”
– That is correct too.
“This makes complete sense for a manodvara citta vithi since the mana indriya is active during that time. What I’m not clear on is how the manasikara cetasika in a pancadvara citta vithi operates:
The mind can only process one citta vithi at a time. That means while the first 17 citta (pancadvara) arise, the mana indriya should not be able to make contact with the mind.”
– Of course, this is where some clarification is needed.
1. Pancadvara means “five doors.” These are doors to the external world.
– But it is ALWAYS the mind that experiences any arammana coming through any of those doors.
– For example, cakkhu vinnana is just one citta at the beginning of a cakkhudvara citta vithi. That citta, as well as 16 others cittas, are experienced by the mind.
– Thus, cakkhu vinnana just indicates “through which door” the experience (more correctly arammana) came in.
2. The post “Citta Vīthi – Processing of Sense Inputs” describes this process starting with #2.
– All 17 cittas in even the pancadvara citta vithi arise in the mind.
– Then, #6, under the heading “The Simile of Tasting a Mango,” provides an analogy.
3. Earlier you correctly stated, “When the mind comes in contact with a sense input (arammana), let’s say a sight, the image is received by the eye and then transferred to the visual cortex in the brain which processes it to a suitable rupa which, in turn, is then transferred to the mind.”
– However, that does not happen in “one shot.”
– The eyes/brain capture and analyze only a brief moment (about 10 ms, or one-hundredth of a second duration according to modern science). Thus, the first snapshot may only capture a blurry image of the object.
– It would take several such snapshots to accumulate until the mind can “comprehend/fully see) that object.
– Still it would take three manodvara citta vithi following a single pancadvara citta vithis to fully grasp a single snapshot; see #9.
– In other words, it takes four citta to fully process a single snapshot of the object captured by the eyes/brain.
4. Also, note that the mind processes those citta vithi VERY fast, compared to the time taken by the brain to process a single snapshot.
– The brain takes about 10 ms, or one-hundredth of a second, as I mentioned above. When that “information packet” comes to the mind (via cakkhu pasada rupa), the mind processes that within billionth (one-billionth) of a second.
– Thus, if we assume the time taken for the mind to process the four citta vithi to be 1 unit, the time taken by the brain to compile that “data packet/snapshot” would be ten million units!
– That shows how slow the brain is compared to the mind.
5. Anyway, so the mind accumulates several such snapshots. The manasikara cetasika “keeps track” of those previous snapshots and helps the mind get the “full picture.”
– Of course, all that happens within less than a second.
– Only a Buddha can see such details!
6. The situation is even more complex because other sensory inputs could be coming through the other “doors.”
– But the mind can “sort them out into the correct categories” with the help of the manasikara and cetana cetasika.
7. I have tried to provide further details in the following two sections:
“Essential Abhidhamma – The Basics”
“Our Two Worlds – Rupa Loka and Nāma Loka”
– It will take some effort to go through them. Some posts may be more relevant than others. So, it would be a good idea to print them and organize them. Each person understands things differently.
Of course, feel free to ask more questions from those posts. You are on the right track!
September 9, 2022 at 2:30 am #40228
Thanks Lal for your response and links! I’ve reviewed the posts and also thought about it a bit. (Btw, on the mobile, the Abhidhamma section has more posts than the one in the link you provided).
The root of my confusion, had to do with the role of mana indriya. I thought that while the first pancadvara citta ran, the mana indriya is not active. Let me review it again.
Although the cittas and citta vithis follow each other up with unimaginable speed, and each citta (vithi) builds up on the previous one—strengthening/sharpening the image and possible emotions—I just focus on the first one because everything needs to be consistent starting from the first step.
1. Right from the very first citta, when the third cetasika arises (sañña), obviously memory has to get involved otherwise there can’t be any recognition whatsoever.
The mind has to make contact with the nama loka then from the start of the very first pancadvaracitta, because every single memory (and defilement) is there.
That has to be done via the mana indriya as long as our gandhabba is in the physical body. If that statement holds true, then contact with any san gati will also be made as long as there’s a particular gati matching the particular arammana received.
2. For example:
One sees one’s favorite food. The sight is recognized and, immediately after, contact with san gati is also made, resulting in the arising of craving (in the form of raga cetasika).
Although we won’t notice that until few moments have passed—and billion of citta have arisen and passed away by then—the contaminations starts in the first pancadvara citta. Then each subsequent citta will get contaminated further due to natural association.
3. If I’m correct, that first actual contamination happens in the Sampaticchana sequence step of a pancadvara citta. Here one gets bound to the iccha due to san.
4. In the post, Nāma Loka and Rupa Loka – Two Parts of Our World
It’s stated,”…in the same way, memories experienced by the gandhabba “go out” to the viññāṇa dhātu via a “transmitter” in the brain.”
This is a critical piece of information I haven’t seen in any other post before. I think it’s worth adding it to others as well. Anyway, the transmitter must be the mana indriya.
Based on this I have a question. If one citta (referring to a single citta in a citta vithi here) has run, a memory record goes out to the nama loka. The next citta that arises uses that record then to build upon the previous one. That means the mana indriya stores it away and immediately retrieves it again? Can that record stay (in the mind), let’s say “temporarily”, until the citta sequence is completed, at least? If memory can only ever be retrieved in the nama loka (even during the formation of a citta vithi), the mana indriya is basically working non-stop.
September 9, 2022 at 2:37 am #40231
September 9, 2022 at 8:05 am #40239
So there will be a “memory check” only at the start of a citta vithi?
Was I correct about the other points?
September 9, 2022 at 8:36 am #40240
OK. I am reading the comments carefully and see a couple of improvements.
#1. “..The mind has to make contact with the nama loka then from the start of the very first pancadvaracitta, because every single memory (and defilement) is there.
That has to be done via the mana indriya as long as our gandhabba is in the physical body. ”
Three points of importance:
(i) Our gati/anusaya remains in the hadaya vatthu, the seat of the mind.
(ii) Our memories (nama gotta), kamma bija, bhava remain in the vinnana dhatu (or nama loka). Except for nama gotta, the other entities have energies (below the suddhatthaka stage).
(iii) all rupa above the suddhatthaka stage are in the rupa loka that we all are familiar with.
– So we need to be careful not to confuse memories as anusaya/gati.
#2. “One sees one’s favorite food. The sight is recognized and, immediately after, contact with san gati is also made, resulting in the arising of craving (in the form of raga cetasika).”
– To recognize the food, one must recall memories. Thus, the brain and the nama loka are involved in that process.
– But possible attachment to that food comes in the next step of comparing with one’s gati/anusaya. Per (i) above, those gati/anusaya remain with hadaya vatthu.
#3 We can roughly describe the time sequence in a cakkhudvara citta vithi as follows.
(i) Cakkhu vinnana captures the visual.
(ii) Sampaticchana matches the visual with memories.
(iii) Santirana compares with one’s gati/anusaya.
(iv) At the votthapana, the mind decides a particular action.
(v) That action is implemented with javana citta. Abhisankhara generation, kamma vinnana formation, speech, and bodily actions originate here.
(vi) If those javana cittas are strong, a “temporary bhavanga state” will prevail after those citta vithis end. But eventually, the bhavanga will return to the “natural bhavanga state.”
#4. “Anyway, the transmitter must be the mana indriya.”
– Yes. And that is a critical point. I thought I discussed this in more than one post.
September 9, 2022 at 9:04 am #40241
This comment cleared up various issues; Some nagging layers of fog have been dissolved on the path in front of me. Greatly appreciated! 🙏🙏🙏
The site is full of “Retrieving memories via the mana indriya,” but that it’s also responsible for the storage via the same route, I’ve only seen stated here. That doesn’t mean it’s not there, obviously, but for sure it’s not stated as abundantly then.
September 9, 2022 at 9:47 am #40242
Good to hear that, Jorg!
“The site is full of “Retrieving memories via the mana indriya,” but that it’s also responsible for the storage via the same route, I’ve only seen stated here. That doesn’t mean it’s not there, obviously, but for sure it’s not stated as abundantly then.”
If you can suggest pages where this should be explained, that would be great. It is OK to be repetitive because it is easy to miss a post or two while reading on a given subject.
– I may be under the impression that I have discussed enough, but it is hard to remember what I wrote where!
September 9, 2022 at 10:14 pm #40252
Considering all the content produced, you’re actually doing an amazing job.
Better than I would have done in the same position:D
I will go through it and check.
September 10, 2022 at 6:56 am #40253
Thank you very much, Jorg.
I received your email with the suggestions. These suggestions will make the website better and thus help others.
– Much merits for your effort!
September 12, 2022 at 8:00 am #40325
In one of the comments above you stated:
“(i) Our gati/anusaya remains in the hadaya vatthu, the seat of the mind.”
As I was just rereading the post: Āsava, Anusaya, and Gati (Gathi) I noticed this sentence at the end:
“Finally, where are these anusaya in “storage”? They are in the kamma bhava, the nāma loka, or the ‘immaterial world.'”
September 12, 2022 at 8:43 am #40330
I revised that as:
“Finally, where are these anusaya in “storage”? They get transferred from one hadaya vatthu to the next at the moment of grasping a new existence at the cuti-paṭisandhi moment.”
Please let me know if you come across any more. You are doing a good job of scanning!
P.S. Also added a reference post: “Anusaya, Gati, Bhava – Connection to Manomaya Kāya (Gandhabba).” Bullet #6 there explains this in detail.
September 12, 2022 at 9:07 am #40334
That’s a very clear addition in that post you referred to. It can answer some questions one might have as to how that happens.
And funny, I literally just read the post before your edit:)
September 12, 2022 at 9:12 am #40335
Inputs like yours help keep the website self-consistent and consistent with the Tipitaka. That will make it easier for all to navigate this website. Thank you!
P.S. The website has over 700 posts now. I am thinking about doing some re-organization. Also, many old posts need to be revised.
October 29, 2022 at 11:04 pm #41119
Regarding gati/anusaya being located in the hadaya vatthu—not kamma bhava (bija)—I came across another post, Manomaya Kaya (Gandhabba) and the Physical Body (I bolded the part in question):
“The remaining kamma seeds are all “tag-along” in the new bhava, and one of those will rise to the next bhava or existence; the same ‘gati’ are in all seeds.“
October 30, 2022 at 7:24 am #41123
That sentence is not correct.
I revised that bullet point (in #15) as follows:
– The kammaja kāya has all the kammic potentialities (kamma seeds) acquired up to any given time; see “Saṅkhāra, Kamma, Kamma Bīja, Kamma Vipaka,” and “Saṃsāric Habits and Āsavas.” But one of those seeds (which embeds matching gati) becomes operative for the “new bhava” and becomes the “bhavaṅga” for that life. The remaining kamma seeds will retain their gati; each kamma seed embeds the gati at the moment of its creation. One of those will rise to the next bhava or existence; that would be the one best matching the mindset at that paṭisandhi moment. Thus, different “gati” are in different kamma seeds. That is why an Arahant’s mind would not grasp any kamma seed with any gati.
Thanks for pointing that out, Jorg!
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