What is bhavangacitta?

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Coëmgenu
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What is bhavangacitta?

Postby Coëmgenu » Sun Dec 18, 2016 3:49 am

So I have an idea of what is being talked about in the literature when bhavangacitta is discussed, but does anyone know what commentarial and Abhidhammic literature deals directly with giving what is probably a more accurate and concise definition of bhavangacitta than what I have been able to piece together as an amatuer?

At one point I thought it was the same thing as the re-linking consciousness but it seems that its sort of a word for "what is experienced when nothing sensory is being experienced", like in deep sleep when you don't remember sleeping upon awakening. But that is a very vague and tenuous definition and one that I am sure I have gotten either completely wrong or somewhat wrong having missed a nuance or two or many.

So what is bhavangacitta?

*ideally I would like this to be informative for me and others reading this thread who have the same questions as me, so please don't make this into a debate about whether or not Abhidhamma is 'real' Buddhadharma*
Bhagavā arahaṃ sammasāmbuddho:
Svākkhāto yena bhagavatā dhammo / Supaṭipanno yassa bhagavato sāvakasaṅgho
Tammayaṃ bhagavantaṃ sadhammaṃ sasaṅghaṃ / Imehi sakkārehi yathārahaṃ āropitehi abhipūjayāma.
(Dedication of Offerings)
此等諸法,法住、法空、法如、法爾,法不離如,法不異如,審諦真實、不顛倒。These many dharmāḥ, the residence of these dharmāḥ, the emptiness of these dharmāḥ, these dharmāḥ self-explain, these dharmāḥ are thus, these dharmāḥ do not depart from their self-explaining, these dharmāḥ are not different than their self-explaining, judged as truly real, not delusional. (SA 296, 因緣法)
揭諦揭諦,波羅揭諦,波羅僧揭諦,菩提薩婆訶

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Mkoll
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Re: What is bhavangacitta?

Postby Mkoll » Sun Dec 18, 2016 4:04 am

Coëmgenu wrote:*ideally I would like this to be informative for me and others reading this thread who have the same questions as me, so please don't make this into a debate about whether or not Abhidhamma is 'real' Buddhadharma*

To avoid that, perhaps a mod could move this thread to the Classical Theravada sub-forum, "A forum for members who wish to develop a deeper understanding of the Pali Canon and associated Commentaries, which for discussion purposes are both treated as authoritative."
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa

SarathW
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Re: What is bhavangacitta?

Postby SarathW » Sun Dec 18, 2016 4:09 am

You find a quick reference here. If you need details explanation please read Bikkhu Bodhi's book for which I do not have the link readily available.

=========

The mind occurs in both passive and active modes. The passive gives way to the active when a
stimulus is received through one of the sense doors. The passive state of mind is called
bhavaṅga, cuti, or paṭisandhi, according to the occasion.


https://www.bps.lk/olib/wh/wh322.pdf
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

SarathW
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Re: What is bhavangacitta?

Postby SarathW » Sun Dec 18, 2016 4:10 am

The question I have is whether Arahant also possess Bhavanga Citta.
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

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Coëmgenu
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Re: What is bhavangacitta?

Postby Coëmgenu » Sun Dec 18, 2016 4:22 am

SarathW wrote:The question I have is whether Arahant also possess Bhavanga Citta.
My answer, devoid of any honest authority, to that, welcomed or unwelcomed, would depend on if my conception of bhavangacitta as "experience when nothing is experienced, yet not authentic cessation" is at all accurate. If it is, yes, it would seem. If it isn't, I haven't the foggiest.
Bhagavā arahaṃ sammasāmbuddho:
Svākkhāto yena bhagavatā dhammo / Supaṭipanno yassa bhagavato sāvakasaṅgho
Tammayaṃ bhagavantaṃ sadhammaṃ sasaṅghaṃ / Imehi sakkārehi yathārahaṃ āropitehi abhipūjayāma.
(Dedication of Offerings)
此等諸法,法住、法空、法如、法爾,法不離如,法不異如,審諦真實、不顛倒。These many dharmāḥ, the residence of these dharmāḥ, the emptiness of these dharmāḥ, these dharmāḥ self-explain, these dharmāḥ are thus, these dharmāḥ do not depart from their self-explaining, these dharmāḥ are not different than their self-explaining, judged as truly real, not delusional. (SA 296, 因緣法)
揭諦揭諦,波羅揭諦,波羅僧揭諦,菩提薩婆訶

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mikenz66
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Re: What is bhavangacitta?

Postby mikenz66 » Sun Dec 18, 2016 4:24 am

Coëmgenu wrote:So what is bhavangacitta?

*ideally I would like this to be informative for me and others reading this thread who have the same questions as me, so please don't make this into a debate about whether or not Abhidhamma is 'real' Buddhadharma*

I'd start with Bhikkhu Bodhi's A Comprehensive Manual of the Abhidhamma: The Abhidhammatthasangaha of Acariya Anuruddha.
viewtopic.php?f=18&t=826
There's a free PDF at that link.

I've moved this to the Abhidhamma Forum, so that the Abhidhamma and Commentaries are authoritative for the purpose of this discussion...

:anjali:
Mike

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Coëmgenu
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Re: What is bhavangacitta?

Postby Coëmgenu » Sun Dec 18, 2016 4:27 am

Mkoll wrote:
Coëmgenu wrote:*ideally I would like this to be informative for me and others reading this thread who have the same questions as me, so please don't make this into a debate about whether or not Abhidhamma is 'real' Buddhadharma*

To avoid that, perhaps a mod could move this thread to the Classical Theravada sub-forum, "A forum for members who wish to develop a deeper understanding of the Pali Canon and associated Commentaries, which for discussion purposes are both treated as authoritative."
I don't think traditional Buddhism should be quartered off and sequestered to a "special interest" area of this forum. I am not asking a question about the words of a great Thera or the official doctrine of Mahāvihāra, I am simply asking a question about Buddhism, and trusting that my peers here can respect the intentions and topic-matter of threads when they are specified. In short, I don't conceive of this as a "classical Theravāda" question. One can be completely modernist and reconstructionist and still see the wisdom in the Abhidhamma just as a traditional Buddhist can.

And yet it has been sequestered nonetheless as of my writing.
mikenz66 wrote:I've moved this to the Abhidhamma Forum, so that the Abhidhamma and Commentaries are authoritative for the purpose of this discussion...
I won't object to it, the moving, I mean, but I have reservations about the tendencies that has caused it to be moved.
Last edited by Coëmgenu on Sun Dec 18, 2016 4:29 am, edited 1 time in total.
Bhagavā arahaṃ sammasāmbuddho:
Svākkhāto yena bhagavatā dhammo / Supaṭipanno yassa bhagavato sāvakasaṅgho
Tammayaṃ bhagavantaṃ sadhammaṃ sasaṅghaṃ / Imehi sakkārehi yathārahaṃ āropitehi abhipūjayāma.
(Dedication of Offerings)
此等諸法,法住、法空、法如、法爾,法不離如,法不異如,審諦真實、不顛倒。These many dharmāḥ, the residence of these dharmāḥ, the emptiness of these dharmāḥ, these dharmāḥ self-explain, these dharmāḥ are thus, these dharmāḥ do not depart from their self-explaining, these dharmāḥ are not different than their self-explaining, judged as truly real, not delusional. (SA 296, 因緣法)
揭諦揭諦,波羅揭諦,波羅僧揭諦,菩提薩婆訶

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mikenz66
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Re: What is bhavangacitta?

Postby mikenz66 » Sun Dec 18, 2016 4:29 am

From the CMA:
Bhikkhu Bodhi's notes to III.8, P122 of the PDF I mentioned above:

(2) Life-continuum (bhavanga): The word bhavanga means factor
(anga) of existence (bhava), that is, the indispensable condition of
existence. Bhavanga is the function of consciousness by which the
continuity of the individual is preserved through the duration of any
single existence, from conception to death. After the paμisandhicitta has
arisen and fallen away, it is then followed by the bhavangacitta, which
is a resultant consciousness of the same type as the paμisandhicitta but
which performs a different function, namely, the function of preserving
the continuity of the individual existence. Bhavangacittas arise and pass
away every moment during life whenever there is no active cognitive
process taking place. This type of consciousness is most evident during
deep dreamless sleep, but it also occurs momentarily during waking life
countless times between occasions of active cognition.

When an object impinges on a sense door, the bhavanga is arrested
and an active cognitive process ensues for the purpose of cognizing the
object. Immediately after the cognitive process is completed, again the
bhavanga supervenes and continues until the next cognitive process
arises. Arising and perishing at every moment during this passive phase
of consciousness, the bhavanga flows on like a stream, without remaining
static for two consecutive moments.


:anjali:
Mike

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mikenz66
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Re: What is bhavangacitta?

Postby mikenz66 » Sun Dec 18, 2016 4:34 am

Coëmgenu wrote:
Mkoll wrote:
Coëmgenu wrote:*ideally I would like this to be informative for me and others reading this thread who have the same questions as me, so please don't make this into a debate about whether or not Abhidhamma is 'real' Buddhadharma*

To avoid that, perhaps a mod could move this thread to the Classical Theravada sub-forum, "A forum for members who wish to develop a deeper understanding of the Pali Canon and associated Commentaries, which for discussion purposes are both treated as authoritative."
I don't think traditional Buddhism should be quartered off and sequestered to a "special interest" area of this forum. I am not asking a question about the words of a great Thera or the official doctrine of Mahāvihāra, I am simply asking a question about Buddhism, and trusting that my peers here can respect the intentions and topic-matter of threads when they are specified. In short, I don't conceive of this as a "classical Theravāda" question. One can be completely modernist and reconstructionist and still see the wisdom in the Abhidhamma just as a traditional Buddhist can.

And yet it has been sequestered nonetheless as of my writing.
mikenz66 wrote:I've moved this to the Abhidhamma Forum, so that the Abhidhamma and Commentaries are authoritative for the purpose of this discussion...
I won't object to it, the moving, I mean, but I have reservations about the tendencies that has caused it to be moved.

We have this section precisely to keep discussions about Abhidhamma on topic, as you requested in the OP.

Also, this is rather key Abdhidhamma question, and it makes sense to have questions related to Abhidhamma collected together for useful reference.

:anjali:
Mike

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Coëmgenu
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Re: What is bhavangacitta?

Postby Coëmgenu » Sun Dec 18, 2016 4:37 am

mikenz66 wrote:We have this section precisely to keep discussions about Abhidhamma on topic, as you requested in the OP.

Also, this is rather key Abdhidhamma question, and it makes sense to have questions related to Abhidhamma collected together for useful reference.
I am not objecting, it just seems a shame the necessity for a special Abhidhamma sub-forum on account of the tendency for threads involving Abhidhammic discourse to be hijacked by polemicists. I am thankful for the resources provided though, and will read them tomorrow probably, on my commute.
Bhagavā arahaṃ sammasāmbuddho:
Svākkhāto yena bhagavatā dhammo / Supaṭipanno yassa bhagavato sāvakasaṅgho
Tammayaṃ bhagavantaṃ sadhammaṃ sasaṅghaṃ / Imehi sakkārehi yathārahaṃ āropitehi abhipūjayāma.
(Dedication of Offerings)
此等諸法,法住、法空、法如、法爾,法不離如,法不異如,審諦真實、不顛倒。These many dharmāḥ, the residence of these dharmāḥ, the emptiness of these dharmāḥ, these dharmāḥ self-explain, these dharmāḥ are thus, these dharmāḥ do not depart from their self-explaining, these dharmāḥ are not different than their self-explaining, judged as truly real, not delusional. (SA 296, 因緣法)
揭諦揭諦,波羅揭諦,波羅僧揭諦,菩提薩婆訶

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cjmacie
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Re: What is bhavangacitta?

Postby cjmacie » Sun Dec 18, 2016 4:39 am

Good in-depth article by scholar Rupert Gethin:
"Bhavaṅga and Rebirth According to the Abhidhamma"
http://www.shin-ibs.edu/documents/bForum/v3/02Gethin.pdf

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mikenz66
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Re: What is bhavangacitta?

Postby mikenz66 » Sun Dec 18, 2016 4:44 am

These threads discuss possible connections between the Abhidhamma bhavanghacitta and the storehouse consciousness concept found in some Mahayana contexts:

Continuity of kamma = contuinity of consciousness? http://www.dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.php?t=24951
Kamma, Vipaka and Rebirth http://www.dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.php?t=21076

:anjali:
Mike



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