That is an excellent question. Panna is a a cetasika, or a mental factor that arises along with a citta. There are various mental factors that arise along with citta and they arise and pass again and again. There must be citta arising for cetasika to arise because cetasikas actually accompany cittas. Panna, as a cetasika, is a paramattha dhamma or ultimate reality. It arises and passes away extremely, extremely quickly. Each citta is influenced by the prior citta. Therefore, when there are many moments of dosa, aversion, for example, this "accumulates" in the citta and it can be said that dosa will then arise quickly or strongly because many moments of it are accumulated strongly within the citta. The citta is kind of like a storage file. This is how perception of past events can occur-- they are simply perceptions based on what is stored in the citta.
Panna can accumulate in citta. It may arise from time to time yet it is not the same panna. There are separate moments of panna that arise and fall just as quick as they come. With each time, however, panna can become keener because of the way it influences the subsequent cittas. Again, these cittas too are also impermanent realities that arise and fall again and again but they do influence each other. It is not unlike how the rupa of earth element arises again and again in a tree. When we touch a tree, it seems that we touch the same thing for a few seconds as we touch it. But in reality, hardness, the characteristic of earth element, arises and passes away again and again, extremely fast, from moment to moment, each one being conditioned, in part, by the last arising of the earth element.
I believe you may be misunderstanding what Virgo is getting at:
If you have anything to address how "panna can accumulate in citta" that would be appreciated.
Here "citta" is plural.
Virgo wrote: Each citta arsies and passes away extremely quickly and is not-self and is uncontrollable, yet it influences the next citta that arises and passes away, which is connected with it...
As I understand it, the same sort of explanation applies to memory. Each citta influences subsequent citta (plural). This is explained better than I can do in a few words in books such as the one I mentioned in my post above.
Thanks Kevin / Mike
and thank-you again Mike for your links - I am not a 'natural' when trying to understand the Abhidhamma
, but I'll give it a good go.
The main problem that I had was the first line from the quote by virgo (Kevin) in my original post (the rest of the quote was an expansion on this one line) which read:
Virgo wrote:Also, once panna is developed in the citta it doesn't really regress.
If we are saying that:
1. it is like the hardness of a tree which is sustained for a period of time
, but which I can personally verify certainly does regress at a point in the future.
2. it is like memory, which again is sustained for a period of time
, but which I can again personally verify does regress at a point in the future.
then I am happy and my understanding coincides with yours.
This is like any other skill or attainment. In this life, I can certainly learn to play the guitar and maintain that skill for the duration of my life - maybe there will even be an inclination in my next life to play guitar (if I make it into the human realm) - but 100,000,000 life times in the hell realms? Maybe, I would have lost the skill. Likewise with panna ..... until stream entry of course.