Functions of Citta in the Sense-Door Process and in the Mind-Door Process - Pañca-dvārāvajjana-citta

The first function is the function of patisandhi which is the function of the first citta in life. The second function is bhavanga. The bhavanga-citta keeps the continuity in a lifespan. As long as one is still alive bhavanga-cittas arise and fall away during the time there is no sense-door process or mind- door process of cittas. Bhavanga-cittas arise in between the different processes of cittas which experience an object through one of the six doors. For example, when there is seeing and after that thinking about what was seen, there are different processes of citta and there have to be bhavanga- cittas in between the different processes.


When a rūpa impinges on one of the senses the current of  bhavanga-cittas is

interrupted; there are a few more bhavanga-cittas arising and falling away,

and then the pañca-dvārāvajjana-citta (five-sense-door-adverting-

consciousness) arises. The pañca-dvārāvajjana-citta is the first citta of the

process of cittas experiencing the rūpa which has come into contact with one

of the senses.


The pañca-dvārāvajjana-citta performs the function of āvajjana or

adverting to the object which impinges on one of the five senses; it adverts

to the object through that sense-door. The pañca-dvārāvajjana-citta is an

ahetuka kiriyācitta.


The 'Visuddhimagga' (XIV, 107) states concerning the pañca-dvārāvajjana-

citta (mind-element) :


Herein, the mind-element has the characteristic of being the forerunner

of eye-consciousness, etc., and cognizing visible data, and so on.

Its function is to advert.

It is manifested as confrontation of visible data, and so on.

Its proximate cause is the interruption of 

(the continued occurrence of consciousness as) life-continuum (bhavanga).  

It is associated with equanimity (upekkhā) only.

Topic 186