What, exactly, is the notion of cause and effect at work in a causal series that includes the citta-santāna? I suppose the obvious answer is the 12 links of dependent origination, but I am confused how ignorance causes sankhara to arise.

Obviously, speculating where will be reborn is frowned upon, even if suggesting that rebirth may work even with some views (such as mind-brain identity) is not.

Suppose that it reduces to something physical, so that my brain state for my "death thought" must bring about a new brain state somewhere: is it very conceivable, in contemporary physics or biology, that the state of my brain right sufficiently for citta-santana with an existing (or just coming into existence) brain state that is not "my" brain?

  • What is the real question here? Obviously, brain is not the mind or citta-santāna. Biology, physics doesn't recognise mind, citta-santāna yet with current state of science.
    – Pycm
    Apr 15 at 13:46
  • It is a shame , you don’t understand Sanskhara!! Apr 18 at 14:43
  • in what way do you mean that @SacrificialEquation ?
    – user66697
    Apr 18 at 14:53
  • @user66697 There is a Sanskhara of understanding…sometimes you don’t have that. Incomprenhensibility arises in the written words. No one can provide accurate description of how it began. Apr 19 at 11:56
  • @Sanskhara means any trait of sensory perceptions including mind. Apr 19 at 11:57

1 Answer 1


I think that citta-santana (saṃtāna) is just like you think, dependent origination. If this functions as a placeholder for the self, then I don't understand that, since what is the point when there is no inherent production? If there is no inherent production then neither causes or effects have a core or essence. If there is no core/essence then how can one possibly product the other? but we say this is the cause of that, the seed is the cause of the sprout. so then it must be that the effects are in the cause and vice-versa. If so, then only the manifestation of the sprout is missing from the cause, and the manifestation of the seed from the effect. This leads me to believe production is appearance-only. I think there is strong evidence of a continuum, but for what exactly? appearances?
maybe the continuum is for karma to do its thing, idk.

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    i don't think it's the self, i think that it may generate the conventional self, how i identify the skandhas as "me" (as well as being how that "me" is caused about)
    – user66697
    Apr 12 at 3:35
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    death of a loved one is confound..that's the sound of one-hand clap too
    – blue_ego
    Apr 12 at 4:27
  • yeah, sorry. i hope you are ok? sorry if i sounded defensive, wasn't
    – user66697
    Apr 12 at 4:29
  • is lava defensive? idk
    – blue_ego
    Apr 12 at 14:42
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    S‡riputta gives a great quote about citta-samtana in M43: **"Friend, these five mental faculties with varing provinces and pastures not partaking each others province and pasture such as the faculties of the eye, ear, nose, tongue and body. They are restored in the mind and it partakes the pasture commonly." ** only the sixth sense is left out...idk
    – blue_ego
    Apr 12 at 16:52

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