Functions of Citta in the Sense-Door Process and in the Mind-Door Process - Duality II

Seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting and experiencing bodily impressions are different functions, not performed by a self, but by citta. These cittas arise because of their own appropriate conditions. In order to remind people of this truth, the Buddha often explained how cittas experience objects through the five senses and through the mind-door. He would point out the different conditions through which cittas arise and the impermanence of these conditions. Since the conditions through which cittas arise are impermanent, cittas cannot be permanent.


We read in the 'Kindred Sayings' (IV, Salāyatana-vagga, Kindred Sayings on

Sense, First Fifty, Ch. IV, par. 93, Duality II) that the Buddha said to the



Owing to a dual (thing), monks, consciousness comes into being.

And what, monks, is that dual

owing to which consciousness comes into being?

Owing to the eye and objects arises eye-consciousness.

The eye is impermanent, changing, its state is 'becoming otherness'.

So also are objects.

Thus this dual, mobile and transitory, impermanent, changing,

- - its state is 'becoming otherness'.

Eye-consciousness is impermanent, changing, 

its state is 'becoming otherness'.  

This eye-consciousness,

arising as it does from an impermanent relation,

how could it be permanent?

Now the striking together, the falling together,

tile meeting together of these three things,

this, monks, is called 'eye-contact'.

Eye-contact is impermanent, changing,

its state is 'becoming otherness'.

That condition, that relation of the uprising of eye-contact,

they also are impermanent...

This eye-contact, arising as it does from an impermanent relation,

how could it be permanent?

Contacted, monks, one feels.

Contacted, one is aware.

Contacted, one perceives.

Thus these states also are mobile and transitory,

impermanent and changing.

Their state is 'becoming otherness'...

The same is said with regard to the other doorways.

Topic 186