Prompted/unprompted cittas in the suttanta

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phil
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Prompted/unprompted cittas in the suttanta

Post by phil » Fri Oct 13, 2017 1:14 pm

Listening to a BBC podcast on developing a perfectly ethtical robot, I started thinking about one thing that makes the development of sila so variable in people, the Abhidhamma teaching on prompted and unprompted with respect to cittas. (One teacher I have heard who is very keen on Abhidhamma said that she preferred not to refer to prompted/unprompted, it was better to just say that the kusala or akusala is strong or not…not sure about that.)

In what ways does something akin to prompted/unprompted come up in the suttanta? It seems like it should, in some form or another.
Kammalakkhano , bhikkhave, bālo, kammalakkhano pandito, apadānasobhanī paññāti
(The fool is characterized by his/her actions/the wise one is characterized by his/her actions/Wisdom shines forth in behaviour.)
(AN 3.2 Lakkhana Sutta)

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L.N.
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Re: Prompted/unprompted cittas in the suttanta

Post by L.N. » Fri Oct 13, 2017 2:45 pm

phil wrote:
Fri Oct 13, 2017 1:14 pm
Listening to a BBC podcast on developing a perfectly ethtical robot, I started thinking about one thing that makes the development of sila so variable in people, the Abhidhamma teaching on prompted and unprompted with respect to cittas. (One teacher I have heard who is very keen on Abhidhamma said that she preferred not to refer to prompted/unprompted, it was better to just say that the kusala or akusala is strong or not…not sure about that.)

In what ways does something akin to prompted/unprompted come up in the suttanta? It seems like it should, in some form or another.
It can come up in the form of examples.
An unprompted citta (asankhaarika-citta) is one which arises spontaneously, without deliberation or premeditation on our own part and without inducement by others. These unprompted cittas, too, may be unwholesome or wholesome.

There are some people in whom greed and hate are so strong that the cittas that arise in them need no prompting from within or without. They spontaneously cling to what they think they possess and try to enhance their belongings by exploiting others. They do not know what generosity is, they are quick to criticize others; if they get a chance they will destroy everything that stands in the way of their attempts to boost their own ego. On the other hand, there are others who give willingly and joyfully, who do not hesitate to help their needy fellow beings, and who will even risk their own lives to save those in distress.

These divers characters — the misers, tyrants, murderers, heroes, and benefactors — are what they are because of their past tendencies built up in previous lives. However, the law of kamma and its fruit prevails at all times at all times and a change can occur for the better or worse, as in the cases of Angulimaala and Devadatta. The former started off as a vicious murderer but later became an enlightened saint; the latter, the Buddha's cousin, entered the Order as a monk but later attempted to kill the Buddha and take control of the Sangha himself.
https://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/aut ... el322.html
Sire patitthitā Buddhā
Dhammo ca tava locane
Sangho patitthitō tuiham
uresabba gunākaro


愿众佛坐在我的头顶, 佛法在我的眼中, 僧伽,功德的根源, 端坐在我的肩上。

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Re: Prompted/unprompted cittas in the suttanta

Post by Dhammanando » Fri Oct 13, 2017 4:04 pm

phil wrote:
Fri Oct 13, 2017 1:14 pm
In what ways does something akin to prompted/unprompted come up in the suttanta? It seems like it should, in some form or another.
There is the Bhūmijasutta:
“Ānanda, when there is the body, because of bodily volition pleasure and pain arise internally; when there is speech, because of verbal volition pleasure and pain arise internally; when there is the mind, because of mental volition pleasure and pain arise internally—and with ignorance as condition. “Either on one’s own initiative, Ānanda one generates that bodily volitional formation conditioned by which pleasure and pain arise internally; or prompted by others one generates that bodily volitional formation conditioned by which pleasure and pain arise internally. Either deliberately, Ānanda, one generates that bodily volitional formation conditioned by which pleasure and pain arise internally; or undeliberately one generates that bodily volitional formation conditioned by which pleasure and pain arise internally.

“Either on one’s own initiative, Ānanda, one generates that verbal volitional formation conditioned by which pleasure and pain arise internally; or prompted by others one generates that verbal volitional formation conditioned by which pleasure and pain arise internally. Either deliberately, Ānanda, one generates that verbal volitional formation conditioned by which pleasure and pain arise internally; or undeliberately one generates that verbal volitional formation conditioned by which pleasure and pain arise internally.

“Either on one’s own initiative, Ānanda, one generates that mental volitional formation conditioned by which pleasure and pain arise internally; or prompted by others one generates that mental volitional formation conditioned by which pleasure and pain arise internally. Either deliberately, Ānanda, one generates that mental volitional formation conditioned by which pleasure and pain arise internally; or undeliberately one generates that mental volitional formation conditioned by which pleasure and pain arise internally.

https://suttacentral.net/en/sn12.25

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Re: Prompted/unprompted cittas in the suttanta

Post by binocular » Fri Oct 13, 2017 4:34 pm

phil wrote:
Fri Oct 13, 2017 1:14 pm
In what ways does something akin to prompted/unprompted come up in the suttanta? It seems like it should, in some form or another.
Cetana Sutta: An Act of Will

"For a person endowed with virtue, consummate in virtue, there is no need for an act of will, 'May freedom from remorse arise in me.' It is in the nature of things that freedom from remorse arises in a person endowed with virtue, consummate in virtue.

"For a person free from remorse, there is no need for an act of will, 'May joy arise in me.' It is in the nature of things that joy arises in a person free from remorse.

"For a joyful person, there is no need for an act of will, 'May rapture arise in me.' It is in the nature of things that rapture arises in a joyful person.

"For a rapturous person, there is no need for an act of will, 'May my body be serene.' It is in the nature of things that a rapturous person grows serene in body.

"For a person serene in body, there is no need for an act of will, 'May I experience pleasure.' It is in the nature of things that a person serene in body experiences pleasure.

"For a person experiencing pleasure, there is no need for an act of will, 'May my mind grow concentrated.' It is in the nature of things that the mind of a person experiencing pleasure grows concentrated.

"For a person whose mind is concentrated, there is no need for an act of will, 'May I know & see things as they actually are.' It is in the nature of things that a person whose mind is concentrated knows & sees things as they actually are.

"For a person who knows & sees things as they actually are, there is no need for an act of will, 'May I feel disenchantment.' It is in the nature of things that a person who knows & sees things as they actually are feels disenchantment.

"For a person who feels disenchantment, there is no need for an act of will, 'May I grow dispassionate.' It is in the nature of things that a person who feels disenchantment grows dispassionate.

"For a dispassionate person, there is no need for an act of will, 'May I realize the knowledge & vision of release.' It is in the nature of things that a dispassionate person realizes the knowledge & vision of release.

"In this way, dispassion has knowledge & vision of release as its purpose, knowledge & vision of release as its reward. Disenchantment has dispassion as its purpose, dispassion as its reward. Knowledge & vision of things as they actually are has disenchantment as its purpose, disenchantment as its reward. Concentration has knowledge & vision of things as they actually are as its purpose, knowledge & vision of things as they actually are as its reward. Pleasure has concentration as its purpose, concentration as its reward. Serenity has pleasure as its purpose, pleasure as its reward. Rapture has serenity as its purpose, serenity as its reward. Joy has rapture as its purpose, rapture as its reward. Freedom from remorse has joy as its purpose, joy as its reward. Skillful virtues have freedom from remorse as their purpose, freedom from remorse as their reward.

"In this way, mental qualities lead on to mental qualities, mental qualities bring mental qualities to their consummation, for the sake of going from the near to the Further Shore."

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html

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phil
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Re: Prompted/unprompted cittas in the suttanta

Post by phil » Sun Oct 15, 2017 12:22 am

Thank you all for your feedback, very helpful. :smile:
Kammalakkhano , bhikkhave, bālo, kammalakkhano pandito, apadānasobhanī paññāti
(The fool is characterized by his/her actions/the wise one is characterized by his/her actions/Wisdom shines forth in behaviour.)
(AN 3.2 Lakkhana Sutta)

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