We know that there are combinations of Cetasikas that are used to identify different Cittas. I want to know how to determine Cetasikas in a naama who is having the udaya waya gana (or steps ahead like bhanga khana). If we consider one naama, there are multiple cetasikas in different amounts.If a person can see naama with their meditation power, how they ditermine what are the Cetasikas in one naama and what are the amounts were there.

As a example, lets suppose that the meditator had a "somanassa sahagatha Khana(Gana) sampayuthha asankarika" citta (This is having 17 naama). How to determine what are the cetasikas were at each of 17 naama, out of 52 cetasikas? We know there must be Aloba, Adosa and Amoha cetasikas in naamas at previously mentioned citta, but how to determine the amount or the power of these cetasikas?

I think it must be a really tough exercise and very tricky one to the meditator.

I would like to know the strategy in step by step. I need abidhamma expert's answer.

  • 3
    The recognized spelling for the word I think you are looking for is "cetasika". I don't recognize either "kshana" or "bangurathwa", though I imagine them to be Sinhalese corruptions of Pali/Sanskrit terms. Please try to find the correct Pali/Sanksrit spellings if possible, otherwise most of us cannot help you. Commented Aug 21, 2015 at 16:57
  • 2
    @Gurusinghe I changed your question quite a bit. See if it is the same thing you wanted to ask. Commented Aug 21, 2015 at 18:46
  • @Sankha Thank you! In visuddi magga, Bhanga khana is step ahead to the Udaya waya khana(Gana). I thought Udaya waya khana is enough to determine Cetasikas....
    – Gurusinghe
    Commented Aug 23, 2015 at 1:55
  • @Ven. Yuttadhammo, I'm very sorry for putting those words and my poor English venerable sir. But I didn't know any other way to express them.
    – Gurusinghe
    Commented Aug 23, 2015 at 2:27

3 Answers 3


I am an Abhidhamma teacher. I am going to try and help you.

You are asking how to identify the list of cetasika within a nāma and the intensity of the various cetasika.

An Abhidhamma text such as the Abhidhammattha Sangaha will provide the list of cetasika. You mentioned "somanassasahagata ñāṇasampayutta asaṅkhārika" (accompanied by joy, associated with knowledge, unprompted) as an example. Chapter 2, paragraph 23 of the Abhidhammattha Sangaha indicates that there are 38 cetasika in this nāma.

You are asking about how to identify cetasika as part of a meditative practice. Here is a relevant quote from the Milindapañha, "If a man were to take a handful of water from the ocean and tasting it could say, ‘This water is from the Ganges, this from the Jumna, this from the Gandak, this from the Sarabhu, and this from the Mahi.’ More difficult than this is the distinguishing of those mental states that accompany any one of the senses."

In the Anupada Sutta (MN 111), the Buddha praised Sāriputta for being able to recognize the cetasika accompanying jhāna states.

In brief, I do not think that it is practical to expect to be able to identify the cetasika in a nāma as part of your meditative practice.

You also asked about identifying the intensity of the various cetasika within a nāma. You are correct that varying the intensity of the cetasika provides a very different experience of the nāma, however the Abhidhamma does not differentiate levels of intensity, except in the most broad of terms (because of kamma-result condition "vipākapaccaya", consciousness and the mental factors of the resultant nāma are passive and weak).

  • Great, Thank you! But I don't understand how Milindapañha is related with cetasika in a nāma.
    – Gurusinghe
    Commented Aug 24, 2015 at 8:06
  • In the Milindapañha quote, "distinguishing of those mental states that accompany any one of the senses" is the same as saying "identifying the cetasika in a nāma" (in other words, almost impossible). In the Sutta, the Buddha had great praise for Sāriputta ("wise, of great discernment, deep discernment, wide... joyous... rapid... quick... penetrating discernment") because after two weeks of being in jhāna, Sāriputta was able to identify the cetasika. If it took two weeks of jhāna concentration for Sāriputtta to identify the cetasika, what hope do you and I have? Easier to look in the book :-)
    – RobM
    Commented Aug 24, 2015 at 8:24
  • :) Excellent answer. I thought sometimes it could be a Buddha's khana to determine cetasikas and their intensity in a naama.
    – Gurusinghe
    Commented Aug 24, 2015 at 8:30

Although i am not an expert, but i like to mention some facts.
Chathasikas collectively determine as Chitta(Naama).
"Banga " is current situation of "Chitta -(Naama-roopa)".
The persion who can feel(see/live) now have experiance "Banga Gana" and-"UdayaWaya". rising and decaying of "NaamaRoopa".

If "life" is a flow then the Attributes of current moment as follows;
perception - "sangna". feeling - "Veedana". Action - "Sankara". are some chethasikas belongs to Naama. There are also "roopa" and consiouness - "Vingnana" - in background.
There can be other Sankaras or chathsikas according the situation. (Depend on the roopa and Kamma-Vingnana). feeling and perception are also chathsikas belong to 52 chathasika (Model).

The strategy to understand above is:
Follow "Mahasathipattana Suttha"- (Ekayano Maggo).

For the help of clear understanding we take smiler example.

As a example, lets suppose that the meditator had a "kaya(physical BODY)". How to determine what are the elements were at each of 32 parts, out of 4 "Mahabootha"? We know there must be patavi apoo thego and vayo boothas in roopa at previously mentioned kaya, but how to determine the amount or the power of these boothas?

Here BODY(kaya) is one. (physio-physical level)
32 parts are small bodies. (Bio-chemical level)
4 MahaBoothas are Lover level energy. (physical)

As Like this
Mana is collective chttha.
Chitta is collective chathasika.

How does the process work? The mind – consciousness – gives rise to our experience of reality. We experience the physical and mental reality around us according to our state of mind. So this conscious mind is said to give rise to the mental-physical reality we experience from one moment to the next. For instance, when we practice meditation, we experience the stomach, rising and falling. When we breathe, when the stomach rises, when the stomach falls, there is the physical and the mental aspects of the experience. The rising is physical and the knowing of the rising is mental. When we walk, there’s the foot moving, which is physical, and the mind knowing it, which is mental. When we feel pain, there’s the physical experience and there’s the mind that knows it and doesn’t like it and decides that it is unpleasant. And so on.


  • "kshana bangurathawa" is not current situation of "Naama-roopa". But it is the nature of ultra high speed creation and distruction of the mind.
    – Gurusinghe
    Commented Aug 21, 2015 at 12:30
  • If creation and destruction is "Udaya Waya" then "Banga Gana" is the undestanding of impermenancy (Anichch) of mind(objects)/ "NaamaRoopa).
    – Shrawaka
    Commented Aug 21, 2015 at 16:37

Q1). how to determine the amount or the power of these cetasikas?
A1). We have to follow meditation practice to feel these. this will be a really tough exercise for beginner. But for experience practitioner it is very tricky one. Because he/she use it every moment.

Q2). I would like to know the strategy in step by step.
A2). The Seven steps of purification are as folows:

    Purification of Conduct (sīla-visuddhi)
    Purification of Mind (citta-visuddhi)
    Purification of View (ditthi-visuddhi)
    Purification by Overcoming Doubt (kankha-vitarana-visuddhi)
    Purification by Knowledge and Vision of What Is Path and Not Path (maggamagga-ñanadassana-visuddhi)
    Purification by Knowledge and Vision of the Course of Practice (patipada-ñanadassana-visuddhi)
        Knowledge of contemplation of rise and fall (udayabbayanupassana-nana)
        Knowledge of contemplation of dissolution (bhanganupassana-nana)
        Knowledge of appearance as terror (bhayatupatthana-nana)
        Knowledge of contemplation of danger (adinavanupassana-nana)
        Knowledge of contemplation of dispassion (nibbidanupassana-nana)
        Knowledge of desire for deliverance (muncitukamyata-nana)
        Knowledge of contemplation of reflection (patisankhanupassana-nana)
        Knowledge of equanimity about formations (sankharupekka-nana)
        Conformity knowledge (anuloma-nana)
    Purification by Knowledge and Vision (ñanadassana-visuddhi)

Q3). Who is Abidhamma Expert? A3). First we have to clarify whit is Abidhamma? The core of Buddhism is four Noble Truth. To Understand it we need some path. it consists samatha and Vipassana. In samatha concentrate on (mental) object as Kama, Roopa and Aroopa. for Nibbana the object is "Niroda".(Chetho Vimuktha).
In Vipassana (As in Sathipattana Sutta) start from Body then Feelings then Thoughts finally mental Objects. For Niroda "The Object" must be "Sunnya"(No-Self).(Pangna Vimuktha).

How the Self creates and How it Not creates (Niroda) is explains using patithchasamuthpada. There are 12 Links in this Model. How these 12 links are Inter Depend (AnnaManna Prathya) is ex-planes using 24 "Prathyas"(course and effects) in -"PattanaPakarana" the 7th book of Abidamma. This is in Theravada view point. In Mahayana view point (Hua yen) it explane as "Indras'Net".

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