CETANA AND KAMMA in Brief - Buddhism, Philosophy, and Khmer Literature


Buddhism, Philosophy, and Khmer Literature

The teachings of the Buddha are aimed solely at liberating sentient beings from suffering. The Basic Teachings of Buddha which are core to Buddhism are: The Three Universal Truths; The Four Noble Truths; and The Noble Eightfold Path.

Post Top Ad

Post Top Ad

Thursday, June 13, 2019


*The important of Cetana (volition)
- It is one of the 52 Cetasikas (mental factors/concomitants) which associates with Citta (consciousness).
- Co-ordinates the other mental factors/states which associates with it on the object of consciousness.
- Fulfils its own function and regulate that of its associates.
- Plays a predominant part in all actions, moral and immoral.
- Acts on its concomitants in getting the object and on accomplishing the task, i.e., determines action. (cp. 236)
- The most significant Cetasika in mundane consciousness (Lokiya-citta), mundane thoughts tend to accumulate Kamma, whereas supramundane thoughts to eradicate it.
- In LC, it does not constitute Kamma, and in Vipāka-cittas (resultants) it lacks accumulative power.
- Is the foremost state in Saṅkhāra-kkhandha (mental formation).
- “O monks, I say that volition is Kamma. Whether one does something bodily, verbally, or mentally, then Volition arises.” Said the Buddha. (BA, 69)
- Mental V is the will to live/exist/continue. (WB, 31)
- The stimulating force (urging, exhortation) to do evil or good. (TB, 292)
- The main source of every action, whether good or bad.
- It is called kamma because it is the basic principle in doing actions (DB, 269).
- It is of three types:
                                    1. Pubba-cetana,  
                                    2. Muñca-cetana 
                                    3. Apara-cetana. (GT, 20)
- Marshals the consciousness and other mental factors.
- Prompts its associates to be engaged together on the same object and perform their respective functions unanimously.
- Citta is like a president and cetasikas a secretary in an association.
- He urges others not to neglect their duties for the sake of all.
- It is also like a commander of an army.
- If cetana is feeble/ weak, its associates are also feeble.
  if it is forceful/strong, its associates are also forceful.
- Is supreme/excellent in taking the object existing.
- The strength of Kamma depends on the power of Cetana.
- Only the potential of Cetana remains in the internal continuum of being.
Ref. MA = The Manual of Abhidhamma (by Narada Thera)
        CM = A Comprehensive Manual of Abhidhamma (by Bhikkhu Bodhi)
        CP = The Compendium of Philosophy (by U shwe Zan Aung)
        BA = The Essence of Buddha abhidhamma (Dr. Mehm Tin Mon)
        WB = What the Buddha Taught ( by Ven. Walpola Rahula)
        TB = The Teachings of the Buddha (Basic Level) MRA, 1997
        DB = A dictionary of Buddhist Terms (MRA, 1996)
        AD = Abhiddhamma in Daily Life ( by Ashin Janakābhivaṃsa)
        GT = Guide to Tipitaka (by U Ko Lay)

*The role of Kamma (Sk. Karma)
            It literally means ‘Action’ or “Deed”, but specifically it means ‘Volitional action’ (AD 198, WB 32, BN 35, WD 19)

Two kinds:   a. the past kamma
                       b. the present kamma

Other two:    a. good/ meritorious/ wholesome/ moral kamma
                       b. bad/evil/ demeritorious/ unwholesome/ immoral kamma

Three kinds: a. physical kamma
                     b. verbal kamma
                     c. mental kamma

Four kinds: by order of ripening time (MA-I 240, BA 204, CM 201)
                       a. Immediately effective kamma (Diṭṭha-dhamma-vedaniyam)
                       b. Subsequently effective kamma (upapajja-vedaniyam)
                       c. Indefinitely effective kamma (aparapariya-vedaniyam)
                        d. Defunct kamma (ahosim)

Five kinds: Uninterruptedly effective kamma (pañca-anantariya-kamma)
                       a. Mātughātaka         = matricide (killing one’s mother)
                       b. Pitughātaka           = patricide (killing one’s father)
                       c. Arahanta-ghātaka =killing of an Arahant
                       d. Lohituppāda          = one who sheds the blood of the Buddha
                       e. Saṅghabhedaka     = one who divides/disunites the Saṅgha

Ten unwholesome courses of action (Dasa-Akusala-Kammaptha) (BD 89)
a. Three bodily actions (kāyakamma)
   1. taking life, killing (pāṇātipāta)
   2. taking what is not given, stealing (adinnādāna)
   3. sexual misconduct (kāmesu-micchācāra)
b. Four verbal actions (vaci-vāda)
   4. false speech, lying (musa-vāda)
   5. slandering, back-biting (pisuṇa-vācā)
   6. rude/harsh speech (pharusa-vācā)
   7. frivolous/vain talk (samphappalāpa)
c. Three mental actions (mano-kamma)
   8. covetousness (abhijjhā)
   9. malevolence/ill-will (byapāda)
  10. wrong views (micchā-diṭṭhi)
Note: as for the Ten wholesome courses of action (Dasa-Kusala-Kammapatha) it is the avoidance of (Veramaṇi) each one mentioned above.

Ten bases of meritorious action (Dasa-puññā-kiriya-vatthu) (BA 209)
1. Giving, offering, charity, generosity, liberality (dāna)
2. Morality, observance of five/eight/ten precepts (sīla)
3. Meditation, both tranquility and insight (bhāvanā)
4. Reverence to elders and holy persons (apacāyana)
5. Service in wholesome deeds (veyyāvacca)
6. Transference of merit (pattidāna)
7. Rejoicing in others merit (pattānumodana)
8. Listening to the dhamma (dhammassavana)
9. Preaching the dhamma (dhammadesanā)
10 Rectification the views (diṭṭhi-jukamma)

*Note: -the dāna group comprises 1,6,and 7
             -the sīla group comprises 2, 4 and 5
             -the bhāvanā group comprises 3, 8, 9 and 10.

Two kinds of results/ consequences/ benefits (vipāka)
1. Results during the Conception (Paṭisandhi-kāla)
2. Results during the life-time (Pavatti-kāla)

Five kinds of existence/destination (gati)        (BD 71, BA 182)
1. Niraya                   = hell or woeful state
2. Tiracchāna            = animal kingdom
3. Petti-visaya           = realm/world of unhappy ghosts
4. Manussa-loka       = human world
5. Deva-loka             = divine world
            Note: The miserable courses (Duggati) consist of 1, 2, and 3, whereas the happy courses (Sugati) 4 and 5.
LD = Long Discourses of the Buddha (Maurice Walshe)
BN = Buddhism in a Nutshell (Narada Thera)
WD = The Word of the Buddha (Nyanatiloka) 

No comments:

Post a Comment

Post Top Ad