1.   Ārammaṇa Paccayo (Object support condition)


          Ārammaṇa’ has two meanings. The first meaning is a place where people take delight, you delight in the place, like an amusement park or a garden or something like that. It is called Ārammaṇa. As an amusement park has delightful power, the six objects also have delightful force, so our minds are always delighting in the great object-garden. That is one meaning of the word Ārammaṇa’.

            The second meaning of  the word Ārammaṇa’ actually comes from the pali word ‘Alambana’. The second meaning is something to hold on to. It is compared to a staff. If you are infirm, you have to depend on the stick or the staff to get up or to stand. In the same way, these objects serve as a stick or a staff for the consciousness and mental factors. Mind and mental factors can arise only when there is an object. When there is no object, consciousness and mental factors cannot arise.

            It is also compared to a line of rope. In order to lead some blind person to a  place you put a line of rope. In order to lead some blind person, you may put out a rope he can hold onto. In the same way, our mind and mental factors are holding onto the object-line of rope. We cannot renounce object-line of rope. If we are able to renounce sense object-line of rope, we will have to feel the real happiness and peace.

Arammana paccaya or object condition is the relationship between different dhammas. These dhammas are nama dhamma, rupa dhamma, and pannatti dhamma. Here pannatti dhamma can serve as an object even though it is not a paramattha dhamma. A rupa dhamma called rupa which is vanno or colour serves as an object for eye consciousness. Eye consciousness or cakkhu vinnana dhatu has to depend on rupa or vanno or colour or sight or visual objects. All associated mental factors of cakkhu vinnana citta ( cakkhuvinnana dhatu ) also have to depend on ruparammana. The paccaya dhamma or causal dhamma is vanno. Paccayuppanna dhamma or resultant dhammas are cakkhu vinnana citta and associated cetasikas. The paccaya satti or the causal relationship between the rupa dhamma rupa or vanno and nama dhamma cakkhuvinnana and allied cetasikas is called ārammana. This is ārammana paccayo or object condition.

Similar implications can be taken in cases of other object conditions like sadda or sound which serves as saddarammana or audible objects, gandha or smell which serves as aromatic objects, rasa or taste which serves as rasārammana or gustatory objects, photthabba or touch which serves as photthabbarammana or tangible objects. But in case of objectfor the mind, objects are a bit complicated. There are 6 possible kinds of object for the mind and they are collectively called dhammārammana or mind objects.

Mind object or dhammarammana may be one of these 6 kinds of dhamma. They are (a) one of 5 pasada rupas which are 1.cakkhu pasada rupa, 2. sota pasada rupa, 3. ghana pasada rupa, 4. jivha pasada rupa, and 5. kaya pasada rupa; (b) one of 16 sukhuma rupas namely 1.itthi atta bhava rupa or itthatta bhava rupa, 2. purisatta bhava rupa, 3. hadaya rupa, 4. jivita rupa, 5. ahara rupa, 6. pariccheda rupa or ākasa rupa, 7. kaya vinatti rupa, 8. vaci vinatti rupa, 9. rupa lahuta rupa, 10. rupa muduta rupa, 11. rupa kammannata rupa, 12. upacaya rupa, 13. santati rupa, 14. jarata rupa, 15. aniccata rupa, and 16. apo rupa which is apo dhatu; (c) one of 89 cittas; (d) one of 52 cetasikas; (e) nibbana; and (f) pannatti dhamma. So dhammarammana or the object of mind may be one of these 6 kinds. The topics from (a) to (c) have been explained in the previous pages. Regarding (d) cetasikas 7 universal cetasikas, 6 particular cetasikas, 14 akusala cetasikas, and 19 sobhana citta sadharana cetasikas have all been discussed. There left 6 sobhana cetasikas. They are 3 virati cetasikas, 2 appamanna cetasikas and 1 pannindriya cetasika.

There are 6 objects or 6 arammanas. The first 5 objects are 5 physical senses namely sight, sound, smell, taste, and touch. The 6th sense is the object of mind. It is called dhammarammana. There are 6 kinds of dhamma that can serve as object of mind. They are 5 pasada rupas, 16 sukhuma rupas, 89 cittas, 52 cetasikas, 1 nibbana and 1 pannatti. The first 4 kinds have been explained in detail in the previous pages. There are 2 more kinds which can serve as object of mind. They are nibbana and pannatti

Nibbana is a Pali word and it derives from nirvana which composes of ni and vana. Ni means nikkhanta or liberated from vana or binding effect. Vana is the dhammas that bind various different lives in the samsara. So nibbana means liberated from binding in the samsara. this binding is tanha.

Even though there is only a single nibbana as ultimate reality, nibbana is talked to have in two forms. But both are the same and only one kind. They are considered as two kinds from view point of the samsaric dweller or traveller. They are saupadisesa nibbana and anupadisesa nibbana. Saupadisesa nibbana is nibbana when arahats in the samsara stay in nirodha samapatti. That state arahats stay is called saupadisesa nibbana. Because nibbana is joined when the arahats are still in the samsara with pancakhandha.

Another nibbana is when arahats do khandha parinibbana. That is when arahats die, there is nothing left and nothing continued. This is anupadisesa nibbana. Immediately after cuti citta of arahats, there is no more kammaja rupa, no more cittaja rupa, and no more aharaja rupa. There left only utuja rupa. Utuja rupas are like other lifeless rupa in this world nothing to do with life. This is the state that all Buddhists are trying to attain after their pacchima bhava or final life.

Still there are three kinds that are referred to as nibbana. Actually all these are a single state and it is nibbana and nothing more than nibbana. But from view point of those who are still in the samsara, nibbana is said to have three kinds. They are sunnata nibbana, animitta nibbana and appanihita nibbana.

Sunnata nibbana is totally free of arammana or object for tanha to arise. There is no atta or ego in ultimate sense. Nibbana is free of attajiva or any self or any life. So as there is free of such life, self or anything like that, that nibbana is called sunnata nibbana or voided emptiness of peace. When ariya to be was contemplating on dhamma as anatta, then the nibbana that he saw at magga kala is called sunnata nibbana. It is anatta, no atta, no jiva, no life, nothing is there, sunna is there. So it is sunnata nibbana.

Animitta nibbana means nibbana is free of raga, kilesa and it is free of bases and causal things. When ariya to be was viewing on dhamma as anicca just before arising of magga citta, and if he saw nibbana as anicca, this nibbana is called animitta nibbana. Because there is no nicca nimitta or no permanent nimitta. So this nibbana is called animitta nibbana.

Appanihita nibbana means nibbana is not one that has to be craving for as in cases of sensuous or other worldly things like tanha, raga, kilesa etc etc. When ariya to be was viewing on dhamma as dukkha, if he saw nibbana at magga kala, then the nibbana that he saw is said to be appanihita nibbana. Because nibbana is free of tahna, raga, kilesa which otherwise if present will be longing for. But as there is no such things to be longing for, this nibbana is called appanihita nibbana. Even though nibbana is contemplated as three kinds, there is only a single nibbana in terms of character and in ultimate sense.

Nibbana is not like other dhamma. It is not rupa dhamma. But nibbana can be known by nama dhamma and so nibbana is included in nama dhamma. But nibbana of ultimate reality can only be seen by magga cittas and phala cittas. When we are discussing on nibbana, no one is seeing nibbana. But we all are comparing and contrasting nibbana with our experiences like fire of sufferings. We just think of it as absence of fire. In actual term, nibbana can only be seen by magga cittas and phala cittas.

When such lokuttara cittas arise, then nibbana does serve as the object for the citta of magga and citta of phala dhamma. So nibbana is also a kind of arammana and it is dhammarammana. This dhammarammana nibbana is seen by nama dhamma magga cittas and phala cittas. So paccaya dhamma here is nibbana. Paccayuppanna dhamma here is magga cittas and phala cittas. The relationship between the causal dhamma nibbana and resultant dhamma magga cittas and phala cittas is called arammana. So this paccaya satti is arammana. This is object condition. This is arammana paccayo.

There are dhammas that serve as objects or arammanas for different cittas. These dhammas include panca arammanas or 5 sense objects namely light of different colours and brightness, sounds and voices , smell and fragnance, taste , and different touches. These panca arammanas serve as arammana for dvi panca vinnana cittas.

These is 6th sense or 6th object. It is collectively called dhammarammana. Because all that include in this 6th objects are all dhammas. Dhammarammana include 5 pasada rupas, 16 sukhuma rupas, 89 cittas, 52 cetasikas, 1 nibbana and 1 pannatti dhamma. So far 5 pasadas, 16 sukhumas, 89 cittas, 52 cetasikas and 1 nibbana have all been discussed in the previous pages.

Pannatti also serves as an arammana and it is the sixth sense. It is dhammarammana. Panatti is sensed only by mind. No other sense organs can detect pannatti dhamma. Pannatti is known and sensed only by citta which is nama dhamma. Pannatti is a domain that most people or nearly all people and all beings confuse. Even people who are well learned in Dhamma still have some confusion on pannatti dhamma.

Pannatti is a dhamma. It can be sensed. It can be known. But when dhammas are viewed by ultimate sense, pannatti dhamma is not an ultimate reality. Pannatti never arises. Because it never exists as paramattha dhamma. It never exists as an ultimate reality. As pannatti does not arise as it is not a reality, then it does not fall away.

There have been a lot of argument on pannatti dhamma because of inability to penetrate the dhamma pannatti. Pannatti does not arise and does not fall away. Some people say pannatti arise and fall away. They argue that pannatti as arammana does arise and fall away. This is wrong. Pannatti never arises and never falls away as it does not exist in ultimate sense. It is not an ultimate truth. it is not an ultimate reality.

They may argue why pannatti as an arammana arises and falls away. This is a wrong concept. What actually arises is citta. What actually falls away is citta. Pannatti does not arise and does not fall away. I do repeat these because it is important. When a citta who takes pannatti arises, it falls away immediately. According to functions of cittas, next arising cittas do their functions. Cittas do arise and falls away.

Example: When we think a tree, there is no tree as an ultimate reality. But a citta arises taking pannatti a tree. As that citta is anicca and impermanent, it falls away. Here, it seems like pannatti arises and falls away which actually is not. Just before that idea of a tree arises, there may be many cittas that took realties as their objects. We may think on colour form size in our mind before a citta that takes pannatti a tree arises.

In real terms, pannatti does not arise and does not fall away. Pannatti serves as an object for mind. In this matter of arammana or object condition, pannatti dhamma takes the role of paramattha dhamma by pretending as if it is a paramattha dhamma which actually is not so. That is why pannatti dhamma is not a dhammāyatana.

As pannati does not arise and does not fall away, there is no evidence of anicca or dukkha or anatta in pannatti dhamma. This is because pannatti dhamma does not exists as an ultimate reality from the start. There are higher cittas that do take pannatti dhamma as their objects. These cittas are all of rupavacara cittas. Some kamavacara cittas take pannatti dhamma as their objects. Some arupavacara cittas do take pannatti dhamma as their object.

But what is sure is that all 8 lokuttara cittas never take pannatti dhamma as their object. The arammana of all lokuttara cittas is only nibbana which is an ultimate reality. All lokuttara cittas take just nibbana as their object. No other object can be the object of lokuttara cittas. Only nibbana can serve as arammana or object of sotapatti magga citta and phala citta, sakadagami magga and phala citta, anagami magga and phala citta, and arahatta magga and phala citta.

All rupavacara cittas that is all 5 rupakusala cittas (which are 1st jhana, 2nd jhana, 3rd jhana, 4th jhana, and 5th jhana), all 5 rupavipaka cittas (whcih are the resultant cittas of the former 5 cittas), and all 5 rupakiriya cittas (which are 1st jhana, 2nd jhana, 3rd jhana, 4th jhana and 5th jhana cittas of arahats) take the pannatti dhamma as their object. Rupavacara cittas never take other object apart from pannatti dhamma as their arammana or object.

Pannatti dhamma is an interesting subject. It does not arise and it does not fall away. It is not an event. It is non event. It does not hold any of tilakkhana namely anicca or impermanance, dukkha or suffering, and anatta or non self. Pannatti is not an ultimate reality. It is not an ultimate truth. But it is very important dhamma. Without pannatti we will not understand anything at all.

That is why we need to study pannatti dhamma in dhamma study. If pannatti is not understood, then paramattha dhamma will not be understood. When dhammas are not understood, it is hard to transcend this samsara or round of births which is birth death birth death birth..beginningless endless cycle. So what does pannatti mean?

Pannatti means name idea notion concept designation description manifestation or making known. Pannatti is a dhamma that makes us known paramattha dhamma and also pannatti dhamma as well. So this is quite evident that pannatti does help us understand everything including pannatti.

There are two forms of pannatti dhamma even though both do not exist as ultimate realities or ultimate truths. These two types are atthapannatti and saddapannatti. Saddapannatti is based on sound or voice that represent atthapannatti while atthapannatti is the intrinsic meaning of any pannatti dhamma.

Example of saddapannatti is water. When we look through paramattha scope, there is no water at all. Surely water is pannatti dhamma. But whenever it is shown to anyone in this world on this earth, those who have been shown water will understand it as water. This is the intrinsic nature of water which does not exist as an ultimate reality. This meaning in its intrinsic nature is called atthapannatti. No other material will take the position of water. This is atthapannatti.

Saddapannatti on the other hand is based on voice or sound that human beings use to bring up the meaning of water. Example is when the voice saying water will not make any understanding to people who never heard of the voice saying water before and never learned before that water is what they know water. When water is voiced by a speaker and it is heard by listeners who are not English and who never learned English will not know that they are being told about water. But when they are shown water they will definitely know that what they heard actually referred to water which they have already known.

Water may be sounded or voiced in other languages that are not English which will be different articulation and different voice sound. Examples are pāni, udaka, apa, yay, suei, mitsu and many others. All these stand on their own and they will each make known to their particular language speaker. But in essence, all are the same and it is water. This intrinsic nature that make us knwon as water is called atthapannatti. Other voices that represent the same meaning are all saddapannatti.

Pannatti is essential. Without pannatti we cannot discuss anything at all. But we must know what are pannatti dhamma and what paramattha dhamma. This again will depend on how deeply we have learned. Otherwise differentiation between pannatti dhamma and paramattha dhamma is very difficult and it even needs practical experience.


The causal dhamma or paccaya dhammas are ruparammana, saddarammana, gandharammana, rasarammana, and photthabbarammana. Their resultant dhamma or paccayuppanna dhammas are cakkhuvinnana citta, sotavinnana citta, ghanavinnana citta, jivhavinnana citta, and kayavinnana citta and their associated cetasikas. But these 5 arammana do not support rupa dhamma even though they are rupa dhammas. The relationship between these causal dhamma and resultant dhamma is called object condition or arammana paccayo.

There is 6th object or 6th arammana. It is collectively called dhammarammana. Because it is a collection of different dhammas. Dhamma that serve as object for cittas are 6 kinds. They are 1. pasada rupas, 2. sukhuma rupas, 3. cittas, 4. cetasikas, 5. nibbana, and 6. pannatta dhamma. All these can serve as the object for mind and they all can be causal dhamma or paccaya dhamma and the resultant cittas are paccayuppanna dhamma. The relationship between these causal dhamma of dhammarammana and resulatant dhamma cittas and cetasikas are called arammana paccaya.

While hetu paccayo relates nama dhamma to both nama dhamma and rupa dhamma, arammana paccayo relates rupa dhamma, nama dhamma, and pannatta dhamma to nama dhamma only. There are 7 rupas which serve as 5 arammanas namely rupa or vanno, sadda, gandha, rasa, pathavi, tejo, and vayo. But in 6th sense, all rupa dhamma, all nama dhamma including nibbana and pannatta dhamma can serve as object for cittas. So object condition or arammana paccayo is not for rupa but for nama dhamma only. Next paccayo is adhipati paccayo.

// www.wisdomlib.org

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