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CHAPTER II - Mental States (cetasika)

Introduction(Definition)  l  52 Kinds of Mental States  l   Different Combinations of Mental States  l   Immoral Mental States

  l  Beautiful Mental States  l  Contents of Different Types of Consciousness  l  Supra mundane Consciousness (Sublime Cons.)
Sense-Sphere Beautiful Consciousness  l   Immoral Consciousness  l   Rootless Consciousness



In the 89 types of consciousness, enumerated in the first chapter,  52 mental states arise in varying degree.


There are 7 concomitants common to every consciousness.

There are 6 others that may or may not arise in each and every consciousness. They are termed Pakinnaká (Particulars).

All  thes13 are designated aññasamána , a rather peculiar technical term. Añña means 'other', samana means 'common'.

(Good), when compared with asobhanas (Evil,) are called añña - 'other', being of the opposite category.

So are the asobhanas in contradistinction to Sobhanas.


 These 13 become moral or immoral according to the type of consciousness in which they occur.

14 concomitants are variably found in every type of immoral consciousness.

19 are common to all types of moral consciousness.

6 other moral concomitants occur as occasion arises.

Thus these fifty-two (7 + 6 + 14 + 19 + 6 = 52) are found in the respective types of consciousness in different proportions.

 In this chapter all the 52 mental states are enumerated and classified.

Every type of consciousness is microscopically analyzed, and the accompanying mental states are given in detail. The type of consciousness in which each mental state occurs, is also described.

 To an impatient lay reader this chapter will appear rather dry and uninteresting.

To a critical and intelligent reader it will, on the contrary, serve as an intellectual treat.


At the outset, for instance, a student of chemistry may find the numerous chemical formulas somewhat perplexing. But he finds the subject interesting and edifying, when he seriously attempts to analyze and examine the various substances with different tests.

In like manner a student of Abhidhamma
who reads this chapter should first try to analyze and examine care fully every type of consciousness and see for himself the mental states thereof according to his own reasoning.

Later, he should compare his results with the original text. He will then find this chapter most illuminating, and instead of wasting time in memorizing numbers, he will intelligently grasp the meaning of the text.


For example, let us analyze the first immoral type of consciousness, rooted in attachment.

Somanassa-sahagata - Accompanied by pleasure,

Ditthigata-sampayutta - Connected with misbelief,

Asankhαrika - Unprompted.

 This consciousness, when analyzed, will show that the vedanα or feeling is pleasure'.

 The 7 Universals and all the Particulars are found in it.

 The 4 Immoral mental states common to all immorals such as moha (delusion), ahirika (shamelessness), anottappa, (fearlessness), and uddhacca (restlessness) must arise in it.


What about the remaining ten?

Lobha - attachment must arise.
Ditthi - misbelief must arise.
Mαna - conceit cannot arise.

Conceit does not arise in lobha consciousness, together with misbelief. Ditthi is connected with wrong view, while mαna is concerned with egoism. Both of them, say the commentators, are like two lions that cannot live together in one cave.

 Dosa (hatred), issα (envy), macchariya (avarice), and kukkucca (brooding) cannot arise, because these four are akin to aversion. They are found only in hateful consciousness.

 Thνna and middha - (sloth and torpor) do not arise because this is an unprompted consciousness.

 No sobhanas - (beautiful) occur in an immoral consciousness.

 Total - 7 + 6 + 4 + 2 = 19.

 Thus, on analysis, we see that the first immoral consciousness consists of 19 mental states.

The other types of consciousness should be similarly analyzed.


§ 1. Ekuppαda-nirodhα ca - ekαlambanavatthukα

                 Cetoyuttα dvipaρραsa - dhammα cetasikα matα.


§ 1. The fifty-two states that are associated with consciousness, that arise and perish together with consciousness, that have the same object and basis as consciousness, are known as cetasikas (mental states).


 1. Cetasika = Ceta + s + ika

 That which is associated with mind or consciousness is cetasika. (Sanskrit - caitasika or caitti).


 Cetasika is

(i) that which arises together with consciousness,

(ii) that which perishes together with it,

(iii) that which has an identical object with it,

(iv) that which has a common basis with it.

 Readers will note that the author has not given here a logical definition according to genus and species. Instead he speaks of four characteristic properties of a cetasika. The Commentator cites reasons for attributing these four properties.

 No consciousness exists apart from its concomitants. Both consciousness and its respective co-adjuncts arise and perish simultaneously. But there are some material qualities such as viρρatti rϊpa* (Modes of Intimation) - that arise and perish simultaneously with the consciousness. To exclude them the third property of having a common object has been attributed. That which possesses these three characteristics must necessarily be endowed with the fourth - a common basis.

 *[ Kαyaviρρatti (mode of action) and Vaci Viρρatti (mode of speech)]

 According to Abhidhamma, mind or consciousness is accompanied by fifty-two mental states (cetasikas).

 One of them is vedanα (feeling); another is saρρα (perception). The remaining fifty are collectively called sankhαrα. Cetanα (volition) is the most important of them.


The whole group of feelings is called vedanα-kkhandha. So are saρρα-kkhandha and sankhαra-kkhandha.

Dvipaρραsa Cetasika






§ 2. (i) 1. Phasso, 2. Vedanα, 3. Saρρα, 4. Cetanα, 5. Ekaggatα, 6. Jνvitindriyam, 7. Manasikαro c'αti satt'ime Cetasika Sabbacittasαdhαranα nαma.

(Pakinnakα - 6)


§ 3. (ii) 1. Vitakko, 2. Vicαro, 3. Adhimokkho, 4. Viriyam, 5. Pνti, 6. Chando c'αti cha ime Cetasikα pakinnakα nαma.

Eva'mete Cetasikα Aρρasamαnα'ti veditabbα. (13)

(Akusala - 14)


§ 4. (iii) 1. Moho, 2. Ahirikam, 3. Anottappam 4. Uddhaccam, 5. Lobho, 6. Ditthi, 7. Mαno, 8. Doso, 9. Issα, 10. Macchariyam, 11. Kukkuccam, 12. Thνnam, 13. Middham, 14. Vicikicchα c'αti cuddas'ime Cetasikα Akusalα nαma.

§ 5. (iv) 1. Saddhα, 2. Sati, 3. Hiri, 4. Ottapam, 5. Alobho, 6. Adoso, 7. Tatramajjhattatα, 8. Kαya-passaddhi, 9. Citta-passaddhi, 10. Kαya-lahutα, 11. Citta-lahutα, 12. Kαya-mudutα, 13. Citta-mudutα, 14. Kαya-kammaρρatα, 15. Citta-kammaρρatα, 16. Kαya-pαguρρatα, 17. Citta-pαguρρatα, 18. Kαyujjukatα, 19. Cittujjukatα, c'ati ek' unavνsat'ime Cetasikα Sobhanasαdhαranα nαma.



§ 6. (v) 1. Sammα-vαcα, 2. Sammα-kammanto, 3. Sammα-αjνvo c'αti tisso Viratiyo nαma.



§ 7. (vi) 1. Karunα, 2. Muditα pana Appamaρραyo nαmα'ti sabbathα'pi-



§ 8. (vii) Paρρindriyena saddhim paρcavνsat'ime Cetasikα Sobhanα'ti veditabbα.

§ 9. Ettαvatα ca -

Teras' aρρasamαnα ca - cuddasαkusalα tathα

Sobhanα paρcavνsα'ti - dvipaρραsa pavuccare.

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