The Four Paramattha Dhammas - Citta I

Some cittas are akusala (unwholesome), some are kusala (wholesome). Akusala cittas and kusala cittas are cittas which are causes; they can motivate unwholesome or wholesome deeds through body, speech or mind which are able to bring about their appropriate results.  Some cittas are the result of wholesome or unwholesome deeds; they are vipākacittas. Some cittas are neither cause nor result; they are kiriyācittas (sometimes translated as ''inoperative'').


Cittas can be classified by way of jāti (jāti literally means 'birth' or 'nature').

There are four jatis: akusala, kusala, vipāka, kiriyā.


Both kusala vipāka (the result of a wholesome deed) and akusala vipāka (the

result of an unwholesome deed) are one jāti, the jāti of vipāka.


It is important to know which jāti a citta is. We cannot develop

wholesomeness in our life if we take akusala for kusala or if we take akusala

for vipāka. For instance, when we hear unpleasant words, the moment of

experiencing the sound (hearing-consciousness) is akusala vipāka, the

result of an unwholesome deed we performed ourselves. But the aversion

which may arise very shortly afterwards is not vipāka, but it arises with

akusala citta.  We can learn to distinguish these moments from each other

by realizing their different characteristics.

Topic 174