Why citassa and not just citta?

The particular case of Assa:

The defiled citassa, Visakha, is cleansed by exertion.
upakkiliṭṭhassa, visākhe, cittassa upakkamena pariyodapanā hoti.
AN 3.70

Dwell contemplating citta in citta … in order to know citassa as it has come to be.
citte cittānupassino viharatha ātāpino sampajānā ekodibhūtā vippasannacittā samāhitā ekaggacittā, cittassa
SN 47.4

The world is led around by (the instrumental) citta;
By citta it’s dragged around.
Citassa is the one thing that has
All under its control.
Cittena nīyati loko,
cittena parikassati;
Cittassa ekadhammassa,
sabbeva vasamanvagū'ti.
SN 1.62


Assa = opt. of atthi [Sk. syāt >> {opt. ac. sg.} √ अस् as]
√ अस् as
- to become (BṛĀrUp.)

Citta+assa >> the particular use of a noun compounded with a verb.
Usually this is done with verbs like kar (kṛ,) bhū, as, and the sort (with a general meaning of becoming).
In our case a conditional (optative) assa (or (the Pali) siyā) would be added to citta.

Cittassa (citta-assa,) is the existential form of the Citta.

We know that, in paṭiccasamuppāda, the first occurence of citta, is due to the origination of ignorance (vijjā); and that it happens in the Saṅkhāra nidanā - see here

If you read the sketch properly, you will notice that the descent of nāmarūpa in saḷāyatana "creates" a new "khandha" called cetanā, (a new existential saṅkhāra). And this is the existential part of citta (the cittassa - the "becoming" citta). The part that is proper to satta.
It is important to notice that in the Agama (SA 298,) the khandhas in the nāmarūpa nidanā are different than the khandhas given in the Nikaya (SN 12.2). It is not a discrepancy between the two schools. They both see the khandhas in relation to their position in paṭiccasamuppāda. The Khandhas of the Nikaya are the khandhas that have "become" in satta. They are the existential khandhas of the sphere of senses (saḷāyatana).
To understand the descent of nāmarūpa in saḷāyatana, see here (establishing of consciousness).

Cittassa is the "Being" phase, of the "Cosmic" (immaterial) Citta.
When one's Citta gets liberated, it is from the bound of this existential cittassa.


This particular case of Assa occurs also in SN 12.34:

The knowledge that ignorance is a condition for co-actions (viz. of the khandhas), and the knowledge that when ignorance doesn’t exist, there are no coactions.
avijjāpaccayā saṅkhārāti ñāṇaṃ, asati avijjāya natthi saṅkhārāti ñāṇaṃ
Also, the knowledge of this whatever becoming thing, and of that unmoving of phenomena, is liable to end, vanish, fade away, and cease.
yampissa* taṃ dhammaṭṭhitiñāṇaṃ tampi khayadhammaṃ vayadhammaṃ virāgadhammaṃ nirodhadhammanti ñāṇaṃ.

Also (pi) whatever thing (yaṃ) "becoming" (assa).



Dhammaṭṭhitiñāṇaṃ = "unmoving" of phenomena.

See Upaniṣads for a meaning of ṭṭhiti (sthita):
dve vāva brahmaṇo rūpe
mūrtaṃ caivāmūrtaṃ ca
martyaṃ cāmṛtaṃ ca
sthitaṃ ca yac ca
sac ca tyaṃ ca
Verily, there are two forms of Brahman,
the formed and the formless,
the mortal and the immortal,
the unmoving and the moving,
the actual (existent) and the true (being).
BṛĀrUp. 2.3.1

"Unmoving", implies that we are still in the world of forms. In the actual (existent - viz. yathābhūta = according to what have become).


Also, check this: Mano & Citta

And this: Mano



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