Function of Bhavanga

There are moments when there are no sense-impressions, when one does not think, when there are no akusala cittas or kusala cittas. Is there at those moments still citta? Even when there are no sense-impressions and no thinking, there must be citta; otherwise there would be no life. The type of citta which arises and falls away at those moments is called bhavanga- citta. Bhavanga literally means 'factor of life'; bhavanga is usually translated into English as 'life-continuum'. The bhavanga-citta sees to it that there is continuity in a life-span, so that what we call a 'being' keeps alive.

Topic 185