Chanda, which is usually
translated as zeal, desire or wish-to-do, is another cetasika among the
six "particulars" which arises with cittas of the four jatis- but not with
every citta. When we hear the word "desire", we may think that chanda is
the same as lobha. However, chanda can be kusala, akusala, vipaka or kiriya.
The cetasika chanda which is classified as one of the "particulars" is
not the same as lobha, it has its own characteristic and function (1 Sometimes
the word chanda is used in a composite word such as kamacchanda, sensuous
desire, which is one of the five hindrances. This is a form of lobha.).
The Visuddhimagga (xiv, 150) defines chanda as follows:
is a term for desire to act. So, that zeal has the characteristic of desire
to act. Its function is scanning for an object. It is manifested as need
for an object. That same (object) is its proximate cause. It should be
regarded as the extending of the mental hand in the apprehending of an
(I, part iv, Chapter 1, 132) gives a similar definition. Chanda searches,
looks for the object which citta cognizes. Chanda needs that object which
is also its proximate cause.
Chanda arises with the eight types oflobha-mula-citta. When chanda
arises with lobha-mula-citta it searches for the desirable object, it needs
that object. Although chanda is different form lobha which can only be
of the jati which is akusala, when they arise together it is hard to distinguish
between them. When we like to obtain a pleasant object, lobha is attached
and it is chanda which can accomplish the obtaining of that desired object.
Lobha could not accomplish anything by itself. However, also when we do
not need to obtain an object we are attached to, there is chanda accompanying
Chanda arises also with the two types of dosa-mula-citta. Chanda
"searches" the object the dosa-mula-citta dislikes. Here we see more clearly
that chanda is quite different from lobha which is attached to an object
and which can never accompany dosa-mula-citta.
Chanda does not accompany
the two types of moha-mula-citta. one type of moha-mula-citta is accompanied
by doubt (vicikiccha). Doubt has "wavering" as function, it is not sure
about the object, and thus there cannot be at the same time chanda which
searches for the object it needs. As we have seen, this type of moha-mula-citta
also lacks "decision" (adhimokkha), which is sure about the object. As
to the second type of moha-mula-citta, which is accompanied by restlessness
or distraction (uddhacca-sampayutta), this type cannot be accompanied by
As regards ahetuka cittas, "rootless" cittas, chanda does not accompany
these types of cittas. Seeing-consciousness, an ahetuka vipakacitta which
sees visible object; does not need chanda in order to perform its function
of seeing. Sampaticchana-citta which merely "receives" the object which
was seen by seeing-consciousness does not need chanda in order to perform
its function of receiving. It is the same with santirana-citta and the
other ahetuka cittas, they do not need chanda in order to perform their
If the functions of patisandhi (rebirth), bhavanga (life-continuum) and
cuti (dying) are performed by ahetuka citta (1 see Abhidhamma in Dally
Life, Chapter 11.), the citta is not accompanied by chanda.
As regards the kamavacara sobhana cittas, they are always accompanied
by chanda. Whenever we perform kusala, the kusala citta is accompanied
by chanda which is zeal for kusala, which desires to act in the wholesome
way. It searches for the object the kusala citta cognizes and it assists
the kusala citta in carrying out its task.'
One may wonder what
the difference is between kusala chanda and kusaIa cetana which "wills"
kusala. Kusala cetana is the wholesome intention, karuna, which can motivate
a wholesome action and which is able to produce its result later on. Moreover,
kusala cetana directs the accompanying dhammas in carrying out their functions
in a wholesome way. Thus, its characteristic and function is different
from the characteristic and function of chanda.
Chanda is a necessary factor for all kinds of kusala, for dana, for sila
and for bhavana. When we, for example, visit a sick person, when we want
to console someone who is in trouble or when we try to save an insect from
drowning, there has to be kusala chanda which assists the kusaIa citta.
If there were no wholesome zeal, 'wish to act', we could not perform such
acts of metta (loving kindness ) and karuna (compassion).
Chanda is also a necessary factor for the development of calm, The Atthasalini(I,
Part V, Chapter 13, 1941 states in the section on the development of the
meditation subjects which are the "divine abidings" (brahma viharas) of
metta, karuna, mudita (sympathetic joy) and upekkha (equanimity) :
(chanda) is the beginning; the discarding of the hindrances is the middle;
absorption is the end..,
In order to develop a
meditation subject the wish-to-do is necessary. Without this wholesome
desire one could not develop it. When calm has been developed more the
hindrances can be temporarily eliminated and jhana can be attained. Also
at the moment of jhanacitta there is chanda.
all types of sobhana cittas. Chanda accompanies the rupavacara cittas and
the rupavacara cittas. The chanda which accompanies these types
of cittas is not kamavacara (of the sense-sphere), but rupavacara or arupavacara.
Chanda is different as it accompanies different types of citta of different
planes of consciousness. Chanda which accompanies jhanacitta "searches
for' the meditation subject which the jhanacitta experiences with absorption.
The lokuttara cittas are accompanied by chanda which "searches for' nibbana.
This kind of chanda is lokuttara, it is different from longing for nibbana.
It assists the Iokuttara citta to carry out its function. The lokuttara
citta and thus also the accompanying chanda directly experience nibbana
(1 For details about the cittas which are accompanied by chanda, see Appendix
How do we know when chanda is kusala and when it is akusala? For instance,
when we have desire for sati, is this kusala chanda or attachment? We have
accumulated a great deal of attachment and thus there is likely to be more
often attachment than kusala chanda. We are attached to a concept of sati
and we believe that we can cause its arising. Wanting to have sati is different
from the moment sati arises. There are many moments of forgetfuless but
sometimes there may be a moment of mindfulness of only one object at a
time appearing through one of the six doors. When sati arises it is accompanied
by kusala chanda which performs its function.
Kusala chanda is a necessary factor for the development of the eightfold
Path. if there is no wish-to-do one does not develop it. However, we do
not have to try to have chanda, it arises because of its own conditions
together with the citta which develops the eightfold Path.
We read in the Kindred Sayings (V, Maha-vagga, XLV, Kindred sayings on
the Way, chapter IV, II, Restraint of Passion, 3) that chanda is one of
the factors which are "forerunners" of the arising of the ariyan eightfold
Just as, monks,
the dawn is the forerunner, the harbinger of the arising of the sun, so
possession of desire (chanda) is the forerunner, the harbinger of the arising
of the ariyan eightfold way. Of a monk who is possessed of desire, monks,
it maybe expected that he will cultivate the ariyan eightfold way, that
he will make much of the ariyan eightfold way...
When we develop kusala,
chanda may be predominant; it may have predominance over the accompanying
dhammas, there are four factors which can be predominant, but only one
at a time can be predominant. The four predominant factors (adhipatis)
are: chanda, viriya, citta (particular types of citta) and "investigation"
or "reflection" (vimamsa, which is panna cetasika) (1 See Dhammasangani
269, and Atthasalini I, Part VII, 212, 213. Citta can be a predominant
factor, but not all cittas; only the cittas which are accompanied by at
least two hetus and perform the function of javana can be predominant.
For example, lobha-mula-citta and kusala citta can be predominant, since
they are rooted in more than one hetu, but moha-mula-citta cannot, since
it is rooted only in moha. In the field of kusala, when chanda, viriya
or vimamsa are not predominant, there can be firmness of kusalacitta which
is predominant.). When these factors have been developed they become the
four " Roads to success" (iddhipadas) leading to the attainment of the
"supernormal powers" (abhinnas). There are five "supernormal powers" which
are developed through jhana (Vis. chapter XIII. The sixth power, which
is the extinction of all defilements, is developed through vipassana. Chanda
or one of the three other "Roads to success" can be predominant in the
development of vipassana (2 The four "Roads to Success" are among the thirty
seven factors pertaining to enlightenment, bodhipakkhiya dhammas, Visuddhimagga
see that there are many kinds and degrees of chanda. Chanda is conditioned
by the citta and other cetasikas it accompanies. chanda is sankhara dhamma,
conditioned dhamma. Different kinds of chanda arise due to different Conditions.
It is hard to distinguish the different kinds of cetasikas from each other
since there are several cetasikas at a time which accompany citta and assist
it in carrying out its function. As we have seen, the "universals" arise
with each citta, summarizing them, they are:
As regards the six "particulars",
they do not arise with every citta but they arise with cittas of the four
jatis. summarizing them they are:
remembrance or "perception"
The "universals" and the
particulars" arise with cittas of the four jatis and these thirteen
cetasikas are classified as one group: "annasamana cetasikas"(1
Anna means "other" and samana means "common", the same. The annasamanas
which arise together are of the same jati as the citta they accompany and
they all change, become "other", as they accompany a citta of a different
jati. Akusala is "other" than kusala and kusala is "other'' than akusala.).
The annasamana cetasikas are different from the akusala cetasikas which
only arise with akusala cittas and different from sobhana cetasikas which
only arise with sobhana cittas. However, this does not mean that the "universals"
and the "particulars" cannot be akusala or sobhana. When the annasamana
cetasikas arise with akusala they all are akusala; they assist the akusala
citta to carry out its function in an unwholesome way. When they accompany
kusala citta they all are kusala; they assist the kusala citta in carrying
out its function in a wholesome way. Cetasikas are conditioned by the citta
and the other cetasikas they accompany and they are of an entirely different
quality as they accompany akusala citta, kusala citta, vipakacitta or kiriyacitta.
energy or effort (viriya)
enthusiasm or rapture
zeal or wish-to-do
When akusala citta arises, it is accompanied by the "universals" and by
the "particulars" which are vitakka, vicara, adhimokkha (except in the
case of moha-mula-citta accompanied by vicikiccha, doubt), viriya and chanda
(except in the case of the two types of moha-mula-citta which are not accompanied
by chanda). It is accompanied by piti only when the feeling is pleasant
feeling. It is also accompanied by cetasikas which arise only with akusala
citta. The "universals" and the "particulars" are all akusala in this case.
Cetana, for example, ''wills" akusala; vitakka "thinks" of the object in
an unwholesome way; adhimokkha, if it arises, is convinced about the object
which is the object of akusala citta; viriya supports the citta and accompanying
cetasikas; piti, if it arises, takes an interest in the object; chanda,
if it arises, needs the object, searches for it.
When maha-kusala citta (kamavacara kusala citta or kusala citta of the
sense-sphere) arises, it is accompanied by the "universals" and by the
"particulars" which are vitakka, vicara, adhimokkha, viriya and chanda.
It is accompanied by piti only when the feeling is pleasant feeling. It
is also accompanied by sobhana cetasikas which arise only with sobhana
citta. The "universals" and the ''particulars" are all kusala in this case.
Cetana, for example, ''wills" kusala; vitakka "thinks" of the object in
the wholesome way; adhimokkha is convinced about the object which is the
object of kusala citta; viriya supports the citta and the accompanying
cetasikas; piti, if it arises, takes an interest in the object and "refreshes"
citta and the accompanying cetasikas; chanda searches for the object in
a wholesome way, it assists the citta in the accomplishment of kusala.
As we have seen, the same type of cetasika is very different as it accompanies
different cittas. If we realize that cetasikas fall away immediately together
with the citta and that the next moment another citta arises accompanied
by other cetasikas, we will be less inclined to think that we own such
qualities as energy, determination or enthusiasm. The more we study, the
more will we understand, at least on the theoretical level, that all phenomena
which arise are conditioned phenomena, sankhara dhammas. We still act and
think as if there were a self, but as our confidence in the Buddha's teachings
grows, we will be inclined to develop the Path in order to directly experience
that all phenomena which arise are sankhara dhammas, not self.