In the book Path Of Purification It talks about

The explanation of the meaning here( " talking about the five jhana mastery mostly mastety if Adverting " ) is this. When he emerges from the first jhána and first of all adverts to the applied thought, then, next to the adverting that arose interrupting the life-continuum, either four or five impulsions impel with that applied thought as their object. Then there are two life-continuum [consciousnesses]. Then there is adverting with the sustained thought as its object and followed by impulsions in the way just stated. When he is able to prolong his conscious process uninterruptedly in this way with the five jhána factors, then his mastery of adverting is successful. But this mastery is found at its acme of perfection in the Blessed One’s Twin Marvel (Paþis I 125), or for others on the aforesaid occasions. There is no quicker mastery in adverting than that.

I'm having trouble understanding what they mean here. What iis life-continuum? It said in brackets consciousness so it's disrupting consciousness of the jhana object? What i guess they mean is once you come out of jhana use applied thought to focus on the things that intruped that jhana then once you have "applied" applied thought move to focus on the objects with sustain thought once you can do this uninterrupted you mastered adverting?

2 Answers 2


life-continuum is Bhavanga-citta. It's the filler thought moment/moments between every 2 thoughts/experiences. It keeps you from dying when the senses cannot provide an object to the mind. When you are in dreamless sleep, your mind mostly has Bhavanga-cittas.

It's the first thought moment in your life and the last thought moment of the previous life. It is a resultant thought moment, thus Karmicly neutral. For humans and above, it's always a result of good Karma. For hell-beings, it's a result of bad Karma.

  • I guess this is from the Abhidhamma?
    – ChrisW
    Oct 17, 2017 at 20:35
  • 1
    Abhidhamma & Visuddhimagga Oct 17, 2017 at 20:49
  • So when they say advert to the things that intruped that what do that mean? Since i thought it was an object but as you stated it's not
    – DeusIIXII
    Oct 19, 2017 at 17:39
  • Wait could they mean you advert your attention to the things that broke your consciousness-less mind?
    – DeusIIXII
    Oct 19, 2017 at 17:42
  • 1
    Yes, it just means the object that interrupted the Bhavanga process. Read this: Mind in its passive and active forms Oct 20, 2017 at 2:23

Life-continuum is the same kamma's fruit of one's first born mind. The life-continuum arisen by kamma to keep the fruit go on the kamma's way, such as a human birth living in a human based mind and body, or a animal birth living in a animal based mind and body.

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