Ahetuka Cittas which are Unknown in Daily Life
There are eighteen types of ahetuka citta, cittas arising without hetu (root). Fifteen types of ahetuka cittas are vipāka. As we have seen, ten of these fifteen cittas are dvi-pañca-viññāṇas (five pairs). They are the pairs of:
  • seeing-consciousness
  • hearing-consciousness
  • smelling-consciousness
  • tasting-consciousness
  • body-consciousness
Each of these is a pair of which one is akusala vipāka and one kusala vipāka.
Seeing-consciousness is the result of kamma. When it is the result of an ill deed, seeing-consciousness is akusala vipākacitta which experiences an unpleasant object; when it is the result of a good deed, it is kusala vipākacitta which experiences a pleasant object. The function of seeing-consciousness is experiencing visible object.
Kamma which produces the vipākacitta which is seeing-consciousness does not only produce that type of vipākacitta, it also produces two other types of vipākacitta which succeed seeing-consciousness. Seeing-consciousness is succeeded by another vipākacitta which receives the object. This citta, which still has the same object as seeing-consciousness, is called the receiving-consciousness, sampaṭicchana-citta. Visible object which is experienced by seeing-consciousness does not fall away when seeing-consciousness falls away, because it is rūpa; rūpa does not fall away as rapidly as nāma. When an object is experienced through one of the six doors, there is not merely one citta experiencing that object, but there is a series or process of cittas succeeding one another, which share the same object.
If the seeing-consciousness is akusala vipāka, the sampaṭicchana-citta (receiving-consciousness) is also akusala vipāka; if the seeing-consciousness is kusala vipāka, the sampaṭicchana-citta is also kusala vipāka. Thus, there are two types of sampaṭicchana-citta: one is akusala vipāka and one is kusala vipāka. Sampaṭicchana-citta is ahetuka vipāka; there are no akusala hetus (unwholesome roots) or sobhana hetus (beautiful roots) arising with this type of citta. Sampaṭicchana-citta succeeds seeing-consciousness; seeing-consciousness is a condition for the arising of sampaṭicchana-citta. Likewise, when there is hearing-consciousness which hears sound, sampaṭicchana-citta succeeds hearing-consciousness. It is the same with regard to the other sense-doors.
Sampaṭicchana-citta always arises with upekkhā (indifferent feeling), no matter whether the sampaṭicchana-citta is akusala vipāka or kusala vipāka.
After the sampaṭicchana-citta has arisen and fallen away, the process of cittas experiencing an object is not yet over. The sampaṭicchana-citta is succeeded by another ahetuka vipākacitta which is still the result of kamma. This type of citta is called investigating-consciousness, santīraṇa-citta. Santīraṇa-citta investigates or considers the object which was experienced by one of the dvi-pañca-viññāṇas (“the five pairs”), and which was “received” by the sampaṭicchana-citta. Santīraṇa-citta succeeds sampaṭicchana-citta in a process of cittas experiencing an object through one of the five sense-doors; sampaṭicchana-citta is a condition for the arising of santīraṇa-citta. When seeing has arisen, sampaṭicchana-citta succeeds the seeing-consciousness, and santīraṇa-citta succeeds the sampaṭicchana-citta in the process of cittas which experience visible object. It is the same with the santīraṇa-citta which arises in the process of cittas experiencing an object through one of the other sense-doors; it succeeds the sampaṭicchana-citta. We cannot choose whether santīraṇa-citta should arise or not; cittas arise because of conditions, they are beyond control.
Santīraṇa-citta is also an ahetuka vipākacitta. When the object is unpleasant, the santīraṇa-citta is akusala vipāka and it is accompanied by upekkhā (indifferent feeling). As regards santīraṇa-citta which is kusala vipāka, there are two kinds. When the object is pleasant but not extraordinarily pleasant, santīraṇa-citta is accompanied by upekkhā. When the object is extraordinarily pleasant, the santīraṇa-citta is accompanied by somanassa, pleasant feeling. Thus, there are three kinds of santīraṇa-citta in all. It depends on conditions which kind of santīraṇa-citta arises.
Thus, there are fifteen types of ahetuka citta which are vipāka. Summarising them, they are:
  • 10 cittas which are dvi-pañca-viññāṇa (five pairs)
  • 1 sampaṭicchana-citta (receiving-consciousness) which is akusala
    vipāka
  • 1 sampaṭicchana-citta which is kusala vipāka
  • 1 santīraṇa-citta (investigating-consciousness) which is akusala
    vipāka, accompanied by upekkhā (indifferent feeling)
  • 1 santīraṇa-citta which is kusala vipāka, accompanied by upekkhā
  • 1 santīraṇa-citta which is kusala vipāka, accompanied by somanassa
    (pleasant feeling)
Seven types of the ahetuka vipākacittas are akusala vipāka and eight types are kusala vipāka, since there are two types of santīraṇa-citta which are kusala vipāka.
There are altogether eighteen ahetuka cittas. Of these eighteen ahetuka cittas fifteen are vipākacittas and three are kiriyacittas. Kiriyacittas are different from akusala cittas and kusala cittas and from vipākacittas. Akusala cittas and kusala cittas are cittas which are cause; they can motivate ill deeds and good deeds which are capable of producing their appropriate results. Vipākacittas are cittas which are the result of akusala kamma and kusala kamma. Kiriyacittas are cittas which are neither cause nor result.
One type of ahetuka kiriyacitta is the five-door-adverting-consciousness, in Pāli: pañca-dvārāvajjana-citta (32). When an object impinges on one of the five senses, there has to be a citta which adverts or turns towards the object through that sense-door. When visible object impinges on the eyesense, there has to be the adverting-consciousness which adverts to visible object through the eye-door, the eye-door-adverting-consciousness (cakkhu-dvārāvajjana-citta; “cakkhu” means “eye”), before there can be seeing-consciousness (cakkhu-viññāṇa). When sound impinges on the earsense, the ear-door-adverting-consciousness ( sota-dvārāvajjana-citta; “sota” means “ear”) has to advert to the sound through the ear-door before there can be hearing-consciousness (sota-viññāṇa). The pañca-dvārāvajjana-citta merely turns towards the object which impinges on one of the five senses. It turns, for example, towards the visible object or sound which impinges on the corresponding sense-organ, but it does not see or hear. The pañca-dvārāvajjana-citta is an ahetuka kiriyacitta, it arises without hetu (root); there is not yet like or dislike when this citta arises. The pañca-dvārāvajjana-citta is succeeded by one of the dvi-pañca-viññāṇas, which is vipākacitta. Each citta which arises in the process of cittas experiencing an object has its own function.
The cittas which experience an object through one of the sense-doors do not know anything else but that object. When one, for example, is reading, the citta which sees experiences only visible object and it does not know the meaning of the letters. After the eye-door process has been completed visible object is experienced through the mind-door and then there can be other mind-door processes of cittas which know the meaning of what has been written and which think about it. Thus, there are processes of cittas which experience an object through one of the senses and processes of cittas which experience an object through the mind-door.
Another type of ahetuka kiriyacitta is the mind-door-adverting-consciousness, in Pāli: mano-dvārāvajjana citta. This type of citta arises both in the sense-door process and in the mind-door process but it performs two different functions according as it arises in each of those two kinds of processes, as we will see.
When an object contacts one of the sense-doors, the pañca-dvārāvajjana-citta (five-sense-door-adverting consciousness) turns towards the object, one of the dvi-pañca-viññāṇas experiences it, sampaṭicchana-citta receives the object and santīraṇa-citta investigates it. The process of cittas experiencing the object through that sense-door is, however, not yet over. The santīraṇa-citta is succeeded by an ahetuka kiriyacitta which experiences the object through that sense-door and “determines” that object, the determining-consciousness, in Pāli: votthapana-citta (33). It is actually the same type of citta as the mano-dvārāvajjana-citta (mind-door-adverting-consciousness, the first citta of the mind-door process), but when it arises in a sense-door process it can be called votthapana-citta, since it performs the function of votthapana, determining the object, in the sense-door process. The votthapana-citta, after it has determined the object, is followed by akusala cittas or by kusala cittas (34). The votthapana-citta itself is neither akusala citta nor kusala citta; it is kiriyacitta. This citta which determines the object is anattā, non-self. There is no self who can determine whether there will be akusala cittas or kusala cittas. The akusala cittas or kusala cittas which succeed the votthapana-citta are non-self either; it depends on one’s accumulations of akusala and kusala whether the votthapana-citta will be succeeded by akusala cittas or by kusala cittas.
The cittas arising in a sense-door process which experience a sense object such as colour or sound, arise and fall away, succeeding one another. When the sense-door process of cittas is finished, the sense object experienced by those cittas has also fallen away. Cittas arise and fall away extremely rapidly and very shortly after the sense-door process is finished, a mind-door process of cittas starts, which experience the sense object which has just fallen away. Although it has fallen away, it can be object of cittas arising in a mind-door process. The mano-dvārāvajjana-citta is the first citta of the mind-door process, it adverts through the mind-door to the object which has just fallen away. In the sense-door process the pañca-dvārāvajjana-citta adverts to the object which has not fallen away yet. For example, it adverts to visible object or sound which is still impinging on the appropriate sense-door. The mano-dvārāvajjana-citta which arises in the mind-door process, however, can experience an object which has fallen away already. It adverts, for example, to visible object which has been experienced through the eye-door or to sound which has been experienced through the ear-door. After the mano-dvārāvajjana-citta has adverted to the object it is succeeded by either kusala cittas or akusala cittas (in the case of non-arahats), which experience that same object. The mano-dvārāvajjana-citta is neither akusala citta nor kusala citta; it is kiriyacitta. It depends on one’s accumulations by which types of cittas the mano-dvārāvajjana-citta is succeeded: by akusala cittas or by kusala cittas. All cittas arise because of their own conditions; they are anattā, not a person, not self.
The ahetuka kiriyacitta which is classified as mano-dvārāvajjana-citta can perform two functions: in the mind-door process it performs the function of āvajjana or adverting, it adverts to the object through the mind-door; in the sense-door process this citta performs the function of votthapana or determining the object. The citta which determines the object in the sense-door process can be called, after its function, the votthapana-citta (35).
When sound impinges on the earsense it can be experienced by cittas arising in the ear-door process and after that it is experienced by cittas arising in a mind-door process. Processes of cittas which experience an object through one of the five senses and through the mind-door succeed one another time and again.
How can there be akusala cittas or kusala cittas in the process of cittas which experience an object through one of the sense-doors, when one does not even know yet what is experienced? There can be akusala cittas or kusala cittas before one knows what it is. One can compare this situation with the case of a child who likes a brightly coloured object such as a balloon before it knows that the object is a balloon. We can have like or dislike of an object before we know what it is.
Another ahetuka kiriyacitta is the hasituppāda-citta, the smile-producing-consciousness of the arahat. Only arahats have this type of citta. When they smile the hasituppāda-citta may arise at that moment. Smiling can be motivated by different types of cittas. When people who are not arahats smile, it may be motivated by lobha or by kusala citta. Arahats do not have any defilements; they do not have akusala cittas. Neither do they have kusala cittas; they do not accumulate any more kamma. Instead of kusala cittas they have kiriyacittas accompanied by sobhana (beautiful) roots, sobhana kiriyacittas. Arahats do not laugh aloud, because they have no accumulations for laughing; they only smile. When they smile the smiling may be motivated by sobhana kiriyacitta or by the ahetuka kiriyacitta which is called hasituppāda-citta.
Thus, of the eighteen ahetuka cittas, fifteen are ahetuka vipākacittas and three are ahetuka kiriyacittas. The three ahetuka kiriyacittas are:
  • 1 Pañca-dvārāvajjana-citta ( five-door-adverting-consciousness).
  • 2 Mano-dvārāvajjana-citta ( mind-door-adverting-consciousness),
    which performs the function of adverting to the object through the
    mind-door when it arises in the mind-door process and which performs
    the function of votthapana (determining the object) when it arises
    in the sense-door process.
  • 3 Hasituppāda-citta ( smile-producing-consciousness).
Those who are not arahats can have only seventeen of the eighteen types of ahetuka citta. These seventeen types of ahetuka citta arise in our daily life. When an object impinges on one of the five senses, the pañca-dvārāvajjana-citta (the five-door-adverting-consciousness) turns towards the object through that sense-door. This citta is followed by pañca-viññāṇa (one of the ten cittas which are the “five pairs”) which experiences the object, by sampaṭicchana-citta which receives it, by santīraṇa-citta which investigates it and by votthapana-citta which determines the object and then by akusala cittas or kusala cittas. When the cittas of the sense-door process have fallen away the object is experienced through the mind-door. The mano-dvārāvajjana-citta adverts to the object through the mind-door and is then followed by akusala cittas or kusala cittas. There is “unwise attention” (ayoniso manasikāra) to the object which is experienced if akusala cittas arise, and there is “wise attention” (yoniso manasikāra) to the object if kusala cittas arise. For example, when we see insects there may be dislike and then there are dosa-mūla-cittas, cittas rooted in aversion. Thus there is unwise attention. The dosa may be so strong that one wants to kill the insects; then there is akusala kamma. If one realizes that killing is akusala and one abstains from killing, there are kusala cittas and thus there is wise attention. If one studies the Dhamma and develops vipassanā, insight, it is a condition for wise attention to arise more often. When we are mindful of the nāma or rūpa which appears through one of the sense-doors or through the mind-door, there is wise attention at that moment.
When there are two people in the same situation, one person may have unwise attention and the other may have wise attention, depending on their accumulations. We read in the Kindred Sayings (IV, Saḷāyatana-vagga, Kindred Sayings on Sense, Fourth Fifty, chapter V, paragraph 202, Lustful) about the monk, who, after he has experienced an object through one of the six doors, has unwise attention, and about the monk who has wise attention. We read that Mahā-Moggallāna said to the monks:
Friends, I will teach you the way of lusting and also of not lusting...
And how, friends, is one lustful?
Herein, friends, a monk, seeing an object with the eye, feels attachment for objects that charm, feels aversion from objects that displease, abides without having established mindfulness of the body, and his thoughts are mean. He realizes not, in its true nature, that emancipation of heart, that emancipation of wisdom, wherein those evil, unprofitable states that have arisen cease without remainder.
This monk, friends, is called “lustful after objects cognizable by the eye, nose, tongue ...objects cognizable by the mind.” When a monk so abides, friends, if Māra (36) come upon him by way of the eye, Māra gets an opportunity. If Māra come upon him by way of the tongue ...by way of the mind, Māra gets access, gets opportunity...
So dwelling, friends, objects overcome a monk, a monk overcomes not objects. Sounds overcome a monk, a monk overcomes not sounds. Scents, savours, tangibles and mind-states overcome a monk, a monk overcomes not sounds, scents, savours, tangibles and mind-states. This monk, friends, is called “conquered by objects, sounds, scents, savours, tangibles and mind-states, not conqueror of them.” Evil, unprofitable states, passion-fraught, leading to rebirth overcome him, states unhappy, whose fruit is pain, whose future is rebirth, decay and death. Thus, friends, one is lustful.
And how, friends, is one free from lust?
Herein, friends, a monk, seeing an object with the eye, is not attached to objects that charm, nor averse from objects that displease...
Tasting a savour with the tongue ...with mind cognizing a mind-state, he is not attached to mind-states that charm, nor is he averse from mind-states that displease, but dwells, having established mindfulness of the body and his thought is boundless. So that he realizes in its true nature that emancipation of heart, that emancipation of wisdom, wherein those evil, unprofitable states that have arisen come to cease without remainder.
This monk, friends, is called “not lustful after objects cognizable by the eye ...not lustful after mind-states cognizable by the mind.” Thus dwelling, friends, if Māra come upon him by way of the eye, of the tongue, of the mind ...Māra gets no access, gets no opportunity...
Moreover, friends, so dwelling a monk conquers objects, objects do not conquer him. He conquers sounds, scents, savours, tangibles, mind-states. They do not conquer him. Such a monk, friends, is called, “conqueror of objects, sounds, scents, savours, tangibles and mind-states.” He is conqueror, not conquered. He conquers those evil, unprofitable states, passion-fraught, inciting to lust, leading to rebirth, states unhappy, whose fruit is pain, rebirth, decay and death. Thus, friends, is one free from lust.

Questions

  1. 1.
    What is kiriyacitta?
  2. 2.
    When we smile, is it always motivated by lobha, attachment?
  3. 3.
    Can akusala cittas and kusala cittas arise in a sense-door process?
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