Functions of Tadarammana and Cuti - When tadarammana-citta arises

An object which impinges on one of the senses can be visible object, sound, smell, taste or an impression through the body-sense. Each one of these objects is rūpa. They arise and fall away, but they do not fall away as rapidly as nāma. Rūpa lasts as long as seventeen moments of citta. When rūpa impinges on one of the senses, the pañca-dvārāvajjana-citta (five-sense-door-adverting- consciousness), does not arise immediately. First there have to be bhavanga- cittas and they are : the atīta-bhavanga (past bhavanga), the bhavanga-calana (vibrating bhavanga) and the bhavangupaccheda (arrest-bhavanga or last bhavanga-citta before the stream of bhavanga-cittas is arrested). These bhavanga-cittas do not experience the rupa which has contacted one of the senses. The pañca-dvārāvajjana-citta, which is a kiriyācitta, adverts to the object which has impinged on one of the senses. It is succeeded by the dvi- pañca-viññāna (seeing-consciousness, hearing-consciousness, etc. ) which is vipāka, the result of a good deed or an ill deed. There is, however, not only one moment of vipāka in a process, but several moments. The dvi-pañca-viññāna is succeeded by sampaticchana-citta (receiving-consciousness) which is vipāka and this citta is succeeded by santīrana-citta (investigating-consciousness) which is also vipāka. The santīrana-citta is succeeded by the votthapana-citta (determining-consciousness) which is kiriyācitta. This citta is succeeded by seven javana-cittas which are, in the case of non-arahats, akusala cittas or kusala cittas. All cittas, starting with the pañca-dvārāvajjana-citta, experience the object which has impinged on one of the senses.

As we have seen, rūpa lasts as long as seventeen moments of citta.  If the rūpa which has impinged on one of the senses arose at the same time as the atita- bhavanga, then that rūpa will not have fallen away yet when the seventh  javana-citta has fallen away; only fifteen moments of citta have passed since the atīta-bhavanga arose. Thus there could be two more cittas in that process which directly experience the object. After the javana-cittas two vipāka-cittas may arise which experience the object and these are the tadārammana-cittas (or tadālambana-cittas) They perform the function of tadālambana or tadārammana, which is sometimes translated as 'registering' or 'retention'. Tadārammana literally means 'that object'; the citta 'hangs on' to that object. When the tadārammana-cittas have fallen away the sense-door process has run its full course. If the rūpa which impinges on one of the senses has arisen before the atīta-bhavanga, the process cannot run its full course, because the rūpa falls away before the tadārammana-cittas can arise. 

Only in the sense-door process kamma can, after the javana-cittas produce the tadārammana-cittas which 'hang on' to the object. For those who are born in rūpa-brahma planes where there are less conditions for sense-impressions, and for those who are born in arūpa-brahma planes where there are no sense- impressions, there are no tadārammana-cittas

Topic 188