Different people react differently to what they experience, thus, different
types of citta arise. What one person likes, another dislikes. We can also
notice how different people are when they make or produce something. Even
when two people plan to make the same thing the result is quite different. For
example, when two people make a painting of the same tree, the paintings
are not at all the same. People have different talents and capacities;
some people have no difficulty with their studies, whereas others are
incapable of study. Cittas are beyond control; they have each their own
conditions for their arising.
Why are people so different from one another? The reason is that they have
different experiences in life and thus they accumulate different
inclinations. When a child has been taught from his youth to be generous
he accumulates generosity. People who are angry very often accumulate a
great deal of anger. We all have accumulated different inclinations, tastes and
Each citta which arises falls away completely and is succeeded by the next
citta. How then can there be accumulations of experiences in life,
accumulations of good and bad inclinations? The reason is that each citta
which falls away is succeeded by the next citta. Our life is an uninterrupted
series of cittas and each citta conditions the next citta and this again the next,
and thus the past can condition the present. It is a fact that our good cittas
and bad cittas in the past condition our inclinations today. Thus, good and
bad inclinations are accumulated.
We all have accumulated many impure inclinations and defilements (in
Pāli:kilesa). Defilements are for example greed or attachment (lobha), anger
(dosa) and ignorance (moha). There are different degrees of defilements:
there are subtle defilements or latent tendencies, medium defilements and
gross defilements. Subtle defilements do not appear with the citta, but they
are latent tendencies which are accumulated in the citta. At the time we are
asleep and not dreaming there are no akusala cittas but there are
unwholesome latent tendencies. When we wake up akusala cittas arise again.
How could they appear if there were not in each citta accumulated
unwholesome latent tendencies? Even when the citta is not akusala there are
unwholesome latent tendencies so long as they have not been eradicated by
wisdom. Medium defilement is different from subtle defilement since it arises
together with the citta. Medium defilement arises with cittas rooted in
attachment, lobha, aversion, dosa, and ignorance, moha. Medium defilement
is, for example, attachment to what one sees, or hears or experiences
through the bodysense, or aversion towards the objects one experiences.
Medium defilement does not motivate ill deeds. Gross defilement motivates
unwholesome actions akusala kamma, through body, speech and mind, such
as killing, slandering or the intention to take away other people's possessions.
Kamma is a mental phenomenon and thus it can be accumulated. People
accumulate different defilements and different kammas.