Can those who believe in an eternal citta become ariyas?

Curious for people here’s thoughts. There seem to me to be two general directions one could take this: First, one could argue that they can’t attain sotapatti because their views on the citta are a form of sakkayaditthi. However, sakkayaditthi is generally regarded as taking the khandas as a self and the thai forest views of the citta generally make clear that it is separate from the khandas. For example, in his appendix to Ajahn Mun’s biography, LT Maha Boowa states explicitly

the khandhas, and the citta are all distinct and separate realities

With this in mind, it seems plausible to defend a second position: that such individuals can achieve up to the level of anagami, with the limitation that they cannot break the tenth fetter of avijja because of their miccha ditthi and achieve arahantship. Returning to LT Maha Boowa, its quite clear from texts such as Arahattamagga Arahattaphala and some of his dhamma talks that, regardless of his obtainment, he was quite unrelenting in his effort to destroy the kilesas and repeatedly investigated his own assumptions of attainment. This is particularly clear in his descriptions of overcoming his attachment to the “luminosity of the citta.” Consequently, one could hesitantly suggest that he had overcome raga and moha and became a non-returner.

What do you think?

“This mind, mendicants, is radiant.
“Pabhassaramidaṁ, bhikkhave, cittaṁ.
And it is freed from passing corruptions.”
Tañca kho āgantukehi upakkilesehi vippamuttan”ti.
“This mind, mendicants, is radiant.
“Pabhassaramidaṁ, bhikkhave, cittaṁ.
But it is corrupted by passing corruptions.
Tañca kho āgantukehi upakkilesehi upakkiliṭṭhaṁ.
An uneducated ordinary person does not truly understand this.
Taṁ assutavā puthujjano yathābhūtaṁ nappajānāti.
So I say that the uneducated ordinary person has no development of the mind.”
Tasmā ‘assutavato puthujjanassa cittabhāvanā natthī’ti vadāmī”ti.
AN 1.41–50 AN 1.51–60

1 Like

Just used the wrong word.
Buddha call that thing is " Satta “… don’t call " Citta(mind)”… According to Sutta, Citta appears based on " nāmarūpa(Name&Form) "… Without name&form , Citta will not be able to rise(appear). Therefore, Citta is conditioned(saṅkhata)… and any conditioned is impermanence (Citta conditioned from Name&Form)

And any conditioned is not "Self "…

" Person "…who name/family name as these&those , that " person "…who to be " Ariya Person "…:point_left:…this is from Buddha’s word…

Noted: Citta is a mind story of the person which consists of " series of conciseness( viññā)"

or simply said, Citta is the mind action of the person (Satta).

In my post, I’m mainly referring to citta as it is used within the Thai forest tradition which is somewhat different from its meaning in either the sutta pitika or the abidhamma.

So i understood that Thai forest, they just used a wrong word.
They mentioned about " Satta "… That all are attributes of " satta "…but they use wrong word as " Originally Citta " instead.

In Buddhist, there is no permanece-Citta…
When taking that " Citta " …as " self "…that personal will not be able to detach from " Samsara "…will not be able to end the rebirth.

A stream winner has right view already.

It’s perception and thoughts of self which is still there for stream winner, not the view of self.

Anyway, this website has a roadmap which includes the eternal mind camp.

According to them, their stage of enlightenment no. 5 corresponds to stream entry, and they claim that those who still stuck at eternal mind thing is not yet at the stream entry stage.


This is actually not true. Sakkayaditthi is defined 4-fold:

  1. Khandha(s) as self
  2. Self as in khandhas
  3. Khandhas as in self
  4. Self as having khandhas

If the khandhas are within the citta that is outside of them, or the citta is the owner / controller of the khandhas, both of which are claimed, then it is sakkāyaditthi. Taking the khandhas purely as self is pretty much the annihilationist view, not the eternalist view, because someone can see that the khandhas are impermanent and non-self but still has ideas of a larger self outside or inside them.

I would also point to SN 12.15 and SN 22.90, or for instance MN 1. Here, conceiving oneself as being anywhere in relation to the all (i.e. anything in experience) is a form of self-view. The sotāpanna knows it’s a delusion, the puthujjana does not. If someone is still seeing something external in relation to the khandhas / experience, it is maññanā as per MN 1. For example, perceiving the khandhas, and perceiving one’s citta as outside (in/from/on) them. Similarly, as per SN 12.15, it perceives ‘the All’ (or samsāra itself) as a truly existing absolute: everything is here, and Nibbāna is a special consciousness outside of the All. The sotāpanna is said to know the arising and ceasing of ‘the All,’ ‘the world,’ etc. and that this knowledge is necessary for sotapatti. If one thinks that there is ‘the world’ and a separate outside reality that exists separate from that, then one is stuck in self-view/conceiving and reifying what is actually dependently arisen experience.

Also, sotapatti is required for any further attainment, including non-return. I would perhaps say that there is a difference between freedom from sensuality and non-returnership. There seem to have been ascetics and mentions of them in the time of the Buddha that were generally free of sensuality temporarily, but they would be reborn in high Brahma / formless abodes and would eventually fall back. So in a sense, their kāmatanhā was suppressed, and they only had bhavatanhā for form/formless realms, similar to the anāgāmi. In actuality though, it was only temporarily suppressed for this lifetime. It seems this was actually the dominant way very highly attained spiritual ascetics were viewed at the time by Buddhists: they had jhānas or formless attainments and would be reborn there rather than in sensual realms, but it was not unshakable / permanent, unlike non-returnership and the Pure Abodes.

The idea of a pure consciousness and the Citta as formless is basically just one of the views of self around at the time that’s somewhat subtle, of a formless (perception-less?) self, perhaps. I’m not entirely sure. But this basically seems to be a case of someone letting go of all worldly attachments and taking refuge in a kind of formless-realm 24/7, which is and was possible even without non-returnership; it’s just temporary. Anything that happens physically one has let go of, their mind established in that formless idea.

With mettā

1 Like