Enlightenment - Gotrabhu

B. I have heard that in the practice of samatha there is gotrabhū as well. Is the gotrabhū in samatha the same type of citta, or is there a difference between gotrabhū in samatha and gotrabhū in vipassanā.



Gotrabhū is the last kāmāvacara citta in a process, before a citta of another

plane of consciousness arises in that process. The other plane of

consciousness may be rūpāvacara (in the case of rūpa-jhāna),

arūpāvacara (in the case of arūpa-jhāna) or lokuttara.


In samatha, gotrabhū is the last kāmāvacara citta before the rūpa-jhānacitta

or the arūpa-jhānacitta arises. In vipassanā, gotrabhū is the last kāmāvacara

citta of the non-ariyan before the lokuttara citta arises and he becomes an

ariyan. The object of the gotrabhū arising before the lokuttara citta is

different from the object of gotrabhū in samatha.



What is the object of gotrabhu which arises before the lokuttara citta?



Gotrabhū arising before the lokuttara citta has nibbāna as object.



Why is gotrabhū not lokuttara citta? It is the first citta which has nibbāna as




At the moment of gotrabhū the person who is about to attain enlightenment

is still a non-ariyan. Gotrabhū does not eradicate defilements. Gotrabhū is

succeeded by the magga-citta which eradicates the defilements that are to be

eradicated at the stage of the sotāpanna. The magga-citta is the first

lokuttara citta in that process of cittas. When it has fallen away it is

succeeded by two (or three) phala-cittas which are the result of the magga-

citta and which still have nibbana as the object. As we have seen, the magga-

citta is succeeded immediately by its result, in the same process of citta. The

magga-citta cannot produce vipāka in the form of rebirth, such as the kusala

citta of the other planes of consciousness. The phala-cittas are succeeded by



Some people do not need the moment of parikamma (preparatory

consciousness) and in that case three moments of phala-citta arise instead of

two moments.


Summarizing the process of citta, during which enlightenment is attained, it is

as follows: 

mano-dvārāvajjana-citta (mind-door-adverting-consciousness)

parikamma (preparatory; for some people not necessary)

upacāra (proximatory) 

anuloma (adaptation) 

gotrabhū (change of lineage) 


phala-citta (two or three moments, depending on the individual)


Topic 197