Pali Term: Ceto, Ceteti

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Pali Term: Ceto, Ceteti

Post by Dmytro » Mon Sep 13, 2010 11:06 am

Hello Pali friends,

'Ceto' is often taken ro be equivalent to 'citta'. However in Patisambhidamagga 2.132 there's a hint of its link to 'will':

Sabbesaṃ sattānaṃ pīḷanaṃ vajjetvā apīḷanāya, upaghātaṃ vajjetvā anupaghātena,
santāpaṃ vajjetvā asantāpena, pariyādānaṃ vajjetvā apariyādānena, vihesaṃ vajjetvā avihesāya, sabbe sattā averino hontu mā verino, sukhino hontu mā dukkhino, sukhitattā hontu mā dukkhitattāti– imehi aṭṭhahākārehi sabbe satte mettāyatīti– mettā. Taṃ dhammaṃ cetayatīti– ceto. Sabbabyāpādapariyuṭṭhānehi vimuccatīti– vimutti. Mettā ca ceto ca vimutti cāti– mettācetovimutti.

Compare with Katthavatthu 414:

Sabbaso phusayato phassavipphāro saddo, sabbaso vedayato vedanāvipphāro saddo, sabbaso sañjānato saññāvipphāro saddo, sabbaso cetayato cetanāvipphāro saddo, sabbaso cintayato cittavipphāro saddo, sabbaso sarato sativipphāro saddo, sabbaso pajānato paññāvipphāro saddoti?

Prof. Rhys-Davids quotes an interesting passage in his 'citta' article:

viz. cit & cet (citta & cetas); cp. ye should restrain, curb, subdue citta by ceto, M i.120, 242 (cp. attanā coday' attānaŋ Dhp 379 f.); cetasā cittaŋ samannesati S i.194 (cp. cetasā cittaŋ samannesati S i.194). ... :1478.pali" onclick=";return false;

From Maha-Saccaka sutta (MN-36):
Tassa mayhaṃ aggivessana etadahosi: yannūnāhaṃ dante'bhidantamādhāya jivhāya tāluṃ āhacca cetasā cittaṃ abhiniggaṇheyyaṃ abhinippīḷeyyaṃ abhisantāpeyyanti. So kho ahaṃ aggivessana dante'bhidantamādhāya jivhāya tāluṃ āhacca cetasā cittaṃ abhiniggaṇhāmi abhinippīḷemi abhisantāpemi. Tassa mayhaṃ aggivessana dante'bhidantamādhāya jivhāya tāluṃ āhacca cetasā cittaṃ abhiniggaṇhayato7 abhinippīḷayato abhisantāpayato kacchehi sedā muccanti.

("I thought: 'Suppose that I, clenching my teeth and pressing my tongue against the roof of my mouth, were to beat down, constrain, & crush my mind with my awareness.' So, clenching my teeth and pressing my tongue against the roof of my mouth, I beat down, constrained, & crushed my mind with my awareness. ...)

MN36 ... x-tb0.html" onclick=";return false;

And indeed, there's an etymological link:

ceto - ceteti - cetanā


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Re: Pali Term: Ceto, Ceteti

Post by Dmytro » Tue Sep 14, 2010 4:57 am

Hello Pali friends,

I have researched the meaning of verb 'ceteti'.

To explore the semantic field I found such words used along this verb:

So na ceva ceteti, na ca abhisa"nkharoti. - Potthapada sutta, DN 1.184

Yaсca, bhikkhave, ceteti yaсca pakappeti yaсca anuseti... -
Cetanaa sutta, SN 2.65

na ceteti na pattheti na ca sa"nkappeti. - Petakopadesa .220

We see that the words associated mean intention, planning and wish.

In commentaries the verb is strongly linked with the noun 'cetana' -
"will", "intention":

ya~nca, bhikkhave, cetetiiti ya.m cetana.m ceteti, pavattetiiti
attho. - Nidanavagga-Atthakatha 2.70

vedanaa vedeti, cetanaa ceteti, sa~n~naa sa~njaanaatiiti attho. -
Salayatanavagga-Atthakatha, 2.380

So the verb 'ceteti' means 'wills, intends', and the identification of
'ceteti' with 'cinteti' by Prof. Rhys-Davids in PED is evidently a

'Cinteti' has a markedly distinct place in the semantic field, -
"thinks over, ponders about":

Cinteti upanijjhaayatiiti citta.m - Sagathavagga-Tika Mya. 1.93

Jhaayatiiti cinteti. - Atthakanipatadi-Atthakatha, 5.79

hita.m ajjheti cinteti sajjhaaya.m karotiiti - Apadana-Atthakatha .430

and is linked with the noun 'citta':

Tena phassena ta.m phassa.m phusati, taaya vedanaaya ta.m vedana.m
vedeti, taaya sa~n~naaya ta.m sa~n~na.m sa~njaanaati, taaya cetanaaya
ta.m cetana.m ceteti, tena cittena ta.m citta.m cinteti, tena
vitakkena ta.m vitakka.m vitakketi, tena vicaarena ta.m vicaara.m
vicaareti, taaya piitiyaa ta.m piiti.m piyaayati, taaya satiyaa
ta.m sati.m sarati, taaya pa~n~naaya ta.m pa~n~na.m pajaanaati, -
Katthavatthu .314

Saratiiti ta.m ovaadaanusaasanidhamma.m cinteti citte karoti.

It seems that the source of confusion has been in the phrase:

Cetetiiti cinteti. - Duka-tika-catukkanipata-Atthakatha 2.256

which was taken too literally without more extensive study.

Best wishes, Dmytro

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