The Four Paramattha Dhammas - Cetasika I

Cetasika is the second paramattha dhamma which is nāma. As we have seen, citta experiences an object: seeing has what is visible as its object, hearing has sound as its object, the citta which thinks experiences the object it is thinking of. However, there is not only citta, there are also mental factors, cetasikas, which accompany citta. One can think of something with aversion, with pleasant feeling or with wisdom. Aversion, feeling and wisdom are mental phenomena which are not citta; they are cetasikas which accompany different  cittas. There is only one citta at a time, but there are several cetasikas arising together with the citta and falling away together with the citta; citta never arises alone. For example, feeling, in Pāli: vedanā, is a cetasika which arises with every citta. Citta only knows or experiences its object; it does not feel. Feeling, vedanā, however, has the function of feeling. Feeling is sometimes pleasant, sometimes unpleasant. When we do not have a pleasant or an unpleasant feeling, there is still feeling: at that moment the feeling is neutral or indifferent. There is always feeling; there isn't any moment of citta without feeling. When, for example, seeing-consciousness arises, feeling arises together with the citta. The citta which sees perceives only visible object; there is not yet like or dislike. The feeling which accompanies this type of citta is indifferent feeling. After seeing- consciousness has fallen away, other cittas arise and there may be cittas which dislike the object. The feeling which accompanies this type of citta is unpleasant feeling. The function of citta is to cognize an object; citta is the ''chief in knowing''. Cetasikas share the same object with the citta, but they each have their own specific quality and function. Some cetasikas arise with every citta whereas others do not.

Topic 174