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citta {pi}

Pāḷi; √ citta
alt. sp.: IPA: t͡ʃɪt̪t̪ə, Velthuis: citta, readable: chitta, simple: citta
translation ~:
khmer: ចិត្ត
thai: จิตฺต
sinhal.: චිත්ත
burm.: စိတ္တ


[dic] citta

citta: Description welcome. Info can be removed after imput.

ATI Glossary

citta: Mind; heart; state of consciousness.


Buddhist Dictionary

by late Ven. Nyanalokita Thera:

citta: 'mind', 'consciousness', 'state of consciousness', is a synonym of mano and viññāṇa (see khandha and Table I). Dhammasaṅgaṇi divides all phenomena into consciousness (citta), mental concomitants (see cetasika) and corporeality (rūpa).

In adhicitta, 'higher mentality', it signifies the concentrated, quietened mind, and is one of the 3 trainings (see sikkhā).

The concentration (or intensification) of consciousness is one of the 4 roads to power (see Iddhipāda ).


PTS Dictionary

by the Pali Text Society:


Glossary Thanissaro

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Illustrated Glossary of Pāli Terms

by Ven. Varado Maha Thera:


Citta: mind

Citta can usually be called ‘mind’:

• He sees women there lightly attired and lust invades his mind

rāgo cittaṁ anuddhaṁseti. (SN ii 231)

• Through being without grasping his mind was liberated from perceptually obscuring states

anupādāya āsavehi cittaṁ vimuttan ti. (MN iii 30)

• He purifies his mind of lethargy and torpor.

thīnamiddhā cittaṁ parisodheti. (DN i 71)

• When one’s mind is free of these five defilements

Yato ca kho bhikkhave cittaṁ imehi pañcahi upakkilesehi vippamuttaṁ hoti. (AN iii 16-17)

• His mind becomes settled, calm, concentrated, and collected.

ajjhattameva cittaṁ santiṭṭhati sannisīdati ekodi hoti samādhiyati. (MN iii 89)

The four paths to psychic power

The four paths to psychic power are:

  • chandasamādhi-padhānasaṅkhārasamannāgataṁ iddhipādaṁ
  • viriyasamādhi-padhānasaṅkhārasamannāgataṁ iddhipādaṁ
  • cittasamādhi-padhānasaṅkhārasamannāgataṁ iddhipādaṁ
  • vīmaṁsāsamādhi-padhānasaṅkhārasamannāgataṁ iddhipādaṁ

Developing the four paths to psychic power

The Chanda Sutta (SN v 268) says that to develop these four paths one must first develop the four samādhis:

Cittasamādhi = dhammasamādhi

The Pāṭaliya Sutta (SN iv 350-2) shows that cittasamādhi is synonymous with dhammasamādhi

• ‘This is dhammasamādhi. If you were to obtain cittasamādhi in this way, you would abandon that state of unsureness.’

Ayaṁ kho so gāmaṇi dhammasamādhī tatra ce tvaṁ cittasamādhiṁ paṭilabheyyāsi evaṁ tvaṁ imaṁ kaṅkhādhammaṁ pajaheyyāsi. (SN iv 352)

Cittasamādhi: inward collectedness based on reflection

The Pāṭaliya Sutta (SN iv 351-2) concerns the development of dhammasamādhi through reflecting on one’s virtue. See Illustrations below. Therefore our renderings are:

  • dhammasamādhi: inward collectedness based on righteous reflection
  • cittasamādhi: inward collectedness based on reflection

Citta = ceto

In some of the illustrations we take for granted the equivalence of citta and ceto, as confirmed in PED sv ceto.


Illustration: citta, mind; citto, mental state

And how does a bhikkhu abide contemplating the nature of the mind

Kathañca bhikkhave bhikkhu citte cittānupassī viharati?

In this regard a bhikkhu discerns

• a mental state with attachment as just that

sarāgaṁ vā cittaṁ sarāgaṁ cittan ti pajānāti

• a mental state without attachment as just that

vītarāgaṁ vā cittaṁ vītarāgaṁ cittan ti pajānāti

• a mental state with hatred as just that

sadosaṁ vā cittaṁ sadosaṁ cittan ti pajānāti

• a mental state without hatred as just that

vītadosaṁ vā cittaṁ vītadosaṁ cittan ti pajānāti

• a mental state with undiscernment of reality as just that

samohaṁ vā cittaṁ samohaṁ cittan ti pajānāti

• a mental state without undiscernment of reality as just that

vītamohaṁ vā cittaṁ vītamohaṁ cittan ti pajānāti

• a contracted mental state as just that

saṅkhittaṁ vā cittaṁ saṅkhittaṁ cittan ti pajānāti

• a distracted mental state as just that

vikkhittaṁ vā cittaṁ vikkhittaṁ cittan ti pajānāti

• an exalted mental state as just that

mahaggataṁ vā cittaṁ mahaggataṁ cittan ti pajānāti

• an unexalted mental state as just that

amahaggataṁ vā cittaṁ amahaggataṁ cittan ti pajānāti

• a surpassed mental state as just that

sauttaraṁ vā cittaṁ sauttaraṁ cittan ti pajānāti

• an unsurpassed mental state as just that

anuttaraṁ vā cittaṁ anuttaraṁ cittan ti pajānāti

• a collected mental state as just that

samāhitaṁ vā cittaṁ samāhitaṁ cittan ti pajānāti

• an uncollected mental state as just that

asamāhitaṁ vā cittaṁ asamāhitaṁ cittan ti pajānāti

• a liberated mental state as just that

vimuttaṁ vā cittaṁ vimuttaṁ cittan ti pajānāti

• an unliberated mental state as just that

avimuttaṁ vā cittaṁ avimuttaṁ cittan ti pajānāti. (MN i 59)

Illustration: citta, mental

Perception and sense impression are mental activity

saññā ca vedanā ca cittasaṅkhāro ti. (MN i 301)

Illustration: citta, attitude

One should develop an unhostile, beneficent attitude which leads to the world of the devas

Avyāpajjhaṁ hitaṁ cittaṁ devalokāya bhāvaye. (AN iii 213)

Illustration: citta, disposition

If Ānanda were to die not free of attachment, by virtue of his faithful disposition, he would rule as Lord of the Devas seven times

Sace udāyi ānando avītarāgo kālaṁ kareyya tena cittappasādena sattakkhattuṁ devesu devarajjaṁ kareyya. (AN i 228)


cittuppādaṁ: (main article see: citta)

Illustration: cittuppādaṁ, mental state; cetasā, mind

Fostering what mental states do spiritually unwholesome factors fade and spiritually wholesome factors flourish?

Kathaṁrūpaṁ bhante cittuppādaṁ sevato akusalā dhammā parihāyanti kusalā dhammā abhivaḍḍhanti

In this regard, some person is

• not greedy and abides with an ungreedy mind.

anabhijjhālu hoti anabhijjhāsahagatena cetasā viharati

• benevolent and abides with a benevolent mind

Avyāpādavā hoti avyādapādasahagatena cetasā viharati

• compassionate and abides with a compassionate mind.

Avihesavā hoti avihesāsahagatena cetasā viharati. (MN iii 51)


PED sv cittuppāda: ‘state of consciousness.’


citto: (main article see: citta)

Illustration: citto, mind

In seeing a visible object with mindfulness muddled, focusing on the agreeable aspect, one experiences it with a mind of attachment and persists in cleaving to it.

Rūpaṁ disvā sati muṭṭhā piyaṁ nimittaṁ manasikaroto
Sārattacitto vedeti tañca ajjhosa tiṭṭhati. (Tha 98; SN iv 76)

Illustration: citto, -minded; citto, spiritually

The noble disciple, Kālāmas, who is so friendly-minded, so unhostile-minded, so spiritually undefiled, and so spiritually purified, is one by whom four sources of comfort are found in this very lifetime.

Sa kho so kālāmā ariyasāvako evaṁ averacitto evaṁ avyāpajjhacitto evaṁ asaṅkiliṭṭhacitto evaṁ visuddhacitto. Tassa diṭṭheva dhamme cattāro assāsā adhigatā honti. (AN i 192)

Illustration: citto, thought

Bhikkhus, a bhikkhu might approach families with the thought:

Yo hi koci bhikkhave bhikkhu evaṁcitto kulāni upasaṅkamati

‘May they give to me, not hold back. May they give much, not little.’ (SN ii 200)

Illustration: citto, attitude

If a bhikkhu takes from village or wilderness by what is reckoned as theft, something not given… he is pārājika, no longer in communion.

Yo pana bhikkhu gāmā vā araññā vā adinnaṁ theyyasaṅkhātaṁ ādiyeyya… ayampi pārājiko hoti asaṁvāso.

Word Commentary says:

• by what is reckoned as theft (theyyasaṅkhātan ti): a thieving attitude (theyyacitto), a stealing attitude (avaharaṇacitto).

He listens to the teaching with an appreciative attitude, not looking for weak spots

Anupārambhacitto dhammaṁ suṇāti na randhagavesi. (AN iv 27)


  • 1) randhagavesi: seeking weak spots
  • 2) anupārambhacitto tuṭṭhena cittena, appreciative attitude (Tha 360-4).


cittassa: (main article see: citta)

Illustration: cittassa, spiritual; cetaso, mind

Fondness and attachment regarding the visual sense… the mental sense is a spiritual defilement;

Yo bhikkhave cakkhusmiṁ… manasmiṁ chandarāgo cittasse'so upakkileso

In so far as one abandons the spiritual defilement in these six cases, his mind inclines to the practice of unsensuousness.

Yato kho bhikkhave bhikkhuno imesu chasu ṭhānesu cetaso upakkileso pahīno hoti nekkhammaninnaṁ cassa cittaṁ hoti. (SN iii 232)

Illustration: cittassa, inward

When my husband died, he rose amongst the deities and he revealed himself to me in his former bodily form, but I do not recall any inward disquiet on that account.

Na kho panāhaṁ bhante abhijānāmi tatonidānaṁ cittassa aññathattan ti. (AN iv 66)


adhicitta: (main article see: citta)

Illustration: adhicitta, the higher mental states

What is the training in the higher mental states?

Katamā ca bhikkhave adhicittasikkhā

In this regard, secluded from sensuous pleasures and spiritually unwholesome factors, a bhikkhu enters and abides in first jhāna… fourth jhāna.

Idha bhikkhave bhikkhu vivicceva kāmehi vivicca akusalehi dhammehi savitakkaṁ savicāraṁ vivekajaṁ pītisukhaṁ paṭhamajjhānaṁ… catutthaṁ jhānaṁ upasampajja viharati. (AN i 235)


cittaṁ: (main article see: citta)

Illustration: cittaṁ, idea

“Did you earlier have the idea, ‘I will go to the monastery,’and after you arrived at the monastery, was the corresponding idea quelled?” “Yes, sir.”

Ahosi te pubbe cittaṁ ārāmaṁ gamissāmī ti. Tassa te ārāmagatassa yaṁ tajjaṁ cittaṁ taṁ paṭippassaddhanti. Evaṁ bho.

“It is exactly the same, brahman, with a bhikkhu who is an arahant:

He earlier had the idea to attain arahantship, and when he attained arahantship, the corresponding idea was quelled.

Yaṁ pubbe cittaṁ ahosi arahattappattiyā arahatte patte yaṁ tajjaṁ cittaṁ taṁ paṭippassaddhaṁ. (SN v 273)

Illustration: cittaṁ, attitude

How about if I developed [unlimited] goodwill further?

yannūnāhaṁ uttariṁ mettaṁ bhāveyyantī.

Then for seven years the teacher Sunetta developed a mind of [unlimited] goodwill.

Atha kho bhikkhave sunetto satthā sattavassāni mettaṁ cittaṁ bhāvesi. (AN iv 104)

• Being not tenderly concerned for their welfare, would he have a mind of [unlimited] goodwill or of enmity?

ahitānukampissa mettaṁ vā tesu cittaṁ paccupaṭṭhitaṁ hoti sapattakaṁ vā ti

• Of enmity, reverend Gotama.

Sapattakaṁ bho gotama. (DN i 228)

Illustration: cittaṁ, mentality

He develops a doglike mentality fully and uninterruptedly;

kukkuracittaṁ bhāveti paripuṇṇaṁ abbokiṇṇaṁ

he develops a doglike way of behaviour fully and uninterruptedly.

kukkurākappaṁ bhāveti paripuṇṇaṁ abbokiṇṇaṁ

Having done so, with the demise of the body at death, he reappears in the company of dogs. (MN i 387-8)


cittasamādhiṁ: (main article see: citta)

Illustration: cittasamādhiṁ, inward collectedness based on reflection

A headman said he was unsure which religious doctrine was true. The Buddha told him he should overcome unsureness through the inward collectedness attained by reflecting on virtuousness as follows:

• ‘I harm no one at all, whether weak or strong. In both respects I have made a lucky throw: since I am restrained in conduct of body, speech, and mind, and since, with the demise of the body at death, I will be reborn in the realm of happiness, in the heavenly worlds.’

sohaṁ na kiñci vyābādhemi tasaṁ vā thāvaraṁ vā. Ubhayamettha kaṭaggāho yañcamhi kāyena saṁvuto vācāya saṁvuto manasā saṁvuto yañca kāyassa bhedā parammaraṇā sugatiṁ saggaṁ lokaṁ upapajjissāmī ti.

’[As he reflects thus] gladness arises. In one who is glad, rapture arises. For one whose mind is rapturous, his body grows tranquil. His body tranquil, he experiences physical pleasure. Experiencing physical pleasure, his mind becomes collected.

tassa pāmojjaṁ jāyati pamuditassa pīti jāyati pītimanassa kāyo passambhati passaddhakāyo sukhaṁ vediyati sukhino cittaṁ samādhiyati

‘This, headman, is inward collectedness based on righteous reflection.

Ayaṁ kho so gāmaṇi dhammasamādhī.

‘If you were to obtain inward collectedness based on reflection in this way, you would abandon that state of unsureness.

Tatra ce tvaṁ cittasamādhiṁ paṭilabheyyāsi evaṁ tvaṁ imaṁ kaṅkhādhammaṁ pajaheyyāsi. (SN iv 351-2)


cetasā: (main article see: citta)

Illustration: cetasā, attitude; cittaṁ, mind

In this regard a bhikkhu focuses on the mental image of light, concentrates on the mental image of day. As by day, so by night; as by night, so by day.

bhikkhu ālokasaññaṁ manasikaroti divāsaññaṁ adhiṭṭhāti. Yathā divā tathā rattiṁ yathā rattiṁ tathā divā

Thus with an attitude open and unclouded, he makes his mind radiant.

iti vivaṭena cetasā apariyonaddhena sappabhāsaṁ cittaṁ bhāveti. (AN iii 323-6)


Glossary various Teacher

citta: heart, mind. (Source: Glossary late Ven. Ajahn Chah)


See also

Suttas and Dhammadesanā

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en/dictionary/citta.txt · Last modified: 2019/09/25 05:32 by