Javana - quick question.

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Rks1157
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Javana - quick question.

Post by Rks1157 »

Would I be correct in saying that javanas are cittas identified by the function they perform in the process of cognition?

Many thanks!
"......Does the self I used to have now not exist?'"

SarathW
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Re: Javana - quick question.

Post by SarathW »

No.
There are seventeen thought moments to complete the thought process.
Javan account only for the five. (9 to 13)
More details please see.


http://www.buddhanet.net/pdf_file/abhidhamma.pdf
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Rks1157
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Re: Javana - quick question.

Post by Rks1157 »

Thank you but I already found my answer, which incidentally is yes, a javana is simply a function performed by any of the 29 sense sphere cittas (wholesome, unwholesome or functional) and their conascent mental states during the act of cognition. Javana describes the function the series of the seven (or less) identical cittas that "make sense of an object" while forming attachments to the object, aversion to the object, etc.

It would be a mistake to understand that the act of cognition is always 17 mind-moments (excluding the arresting and arising of the bhavanga). The number varies depending on a several factors. Registration does not always occur. Javanas are not always seven. All of these are functions performed by cittas.
"......Does the self I used to have now not exist?'"

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cjmacie
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Re: Javana - quick question.

Post by cjmacie »

Rks1157 wrote:Would I be correct in saying that javanas are cittas identified by the function they perform in the process of cognition?
Yes, in another sense. Javana-s share the unique function of doing the actual mental processing, reacting, or producing kamma or "result" triggered by the sensation (external or mind-door/internal) that precipitated the particular cognitive series. The other micro "mind-moments" before the javana-s function to set-up the sensation in mental form – turn-towards ("advert"), "receive", "investigate" (probe associations), and "determine" the perception; and those after the javana-s function to stash-away ("register") the result.

A whole series can have 11 micro-mind-moments (for mind-door sensation or trigger), or 16 or 17 (for 5-external-sense-door triggers), or even less. The 17th is just like the very 1st. I don't recall whether the schema allows that 17th (pure bhavanga, mental idle cycle) can also become the 1st of a new series, or there must be at last two bhavanga-s between cognitions.

SarathW
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Re: Javana - quick question.

Post by SarathW »

What do you understand as cognition?
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cjmacie
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Re: Javana - quick question.

Post by cjmacie »

Rks1157 wrote:... a javana is simply a function performed by any of the 29 sense sphere cittas (wholesome, unwholesome or functional) and their conascent mental states during the act of cognition. Javana describes the function the series of the seven (or less) identical cittas that "make sense of an object" while forming attachments to the object, aversion to the object, etc.
Javana-s as "identical cittas" – I'm not sure if their all identical in terms of constituent cetasika-s, but in terms of function, Abhidhamma/Commentaries appear to make some distinctions among individual javana-s in a series. This seen, for instance, in the chart I most often use for reference – Table V at the back of Nanamoli's Visuddhimagga translation. Footnotes there map various different results of particular javana-s in special cases. The charts in B. Bodhi's Abhidhammamattha Sangaha translation (Chapter IV, charts pp 155-161) also appear to indicate differences in the area of the javana-s.

This might seem a rather academic, nit-picky area, the Abhidhamma so often characterized as "scholastic" in a derogatory sense. It's also said, however, that the Abhidhamma doesn't pretend to exactly and exhaustively specify the possibilities (of mental structure and process), but rather demonstrate a methodology. Nyanaponika makes this point somewhere in his "Abhidhamma Studies: Buddhist Exploration of Consciousness and Time"; and I've seen a similar point being made by other authors.

It appears to me that this cognitive series/process schema (citta-vithi) does reflect potential experience in advanced vipasanna practice. I've also seen neuro-scientific interpretations (e.g. Antonio Damasio's) which suggest sequences, structures along similar lines.

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cjmacie
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Re: Javana - quick question.

Post by cjmacie »

(This question isn't explicitly addressed, but shows-up following a post of mine, so..)
SarathW wrote:What do you understand as cognition?
Depends on the context. No fixed overall definition seems worth clinging to. In general it's how knowing works.

Curiously, the etymology suggests a compound process – co-gnoscere: co-/con- together + gnoscere, as in Greek gnosis. The "co-" suggests multiple factors working together, structurally and/or temporally.

Gnosis is, btw, also the root of English "note", and my sense of Mahasi's Sayadaw "noting" in the strong sense is similar – penetrative direct knowing. In my reading of his works haven't yet found discussion of "noting" with reference to the "cognitive series/process", but it might be there somewhere; he certainly knew Abhidhamma thoroughly.

Rks1157
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Re: Javana - quick question.

Post by Rks1157 »

I'm not sure if their all identical in terms of constituent cetasika-s, but in terms of function, Abhidhamma/Commentaries appear to make some distinctions among individual javana-s in a series.
I don't find it nit-picky in the slightest. If the conascent cetasikas were "identical" the concept wouldn't make a lot of sense. The hammer, nail and wood stay the same but every blow that drives the nail home is, out of necessity and physics, different. ;)
"......Does the self I used to have now not exist?'"

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