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Impulsion. Impulsive, kamma-producing moments, technical terms in the elaborate analysis of consciousness in the Abhidhamma (q.v.).

 The Javana consciousness is the human consciousness which manifests when the perceiver is partially or completely aware of the internal or external objects or environmental stimuli. Internal objects or environmental stimuli refer to

the perceiver’s feelings and thoughts. The external objects or environmental stimuli pertain to sights, sounds, tastes, and touches – the five sense objects of perception. Buddhism teaches us to purify the mental consciousness

when the six sense organs or faculties of eyes, ears, nose, tongue, body and the mind come into contact with

forms, sounds, smells, tastes, touches and thoughts or ideas. The fundamental tool of mental purification is the establishment of four foundations of mindfulness (satipațțhāna).

Basically there are two categories of human consciousness from Buddhist perspective. Firstly it is the Javana of the ordinary or manifestative consciousness of a worldling which is sullied by the internal or external objects and environmental stimuli.

Secondly, it is the Javana of the released or non-manifestative consciousness of a self-awakened Buddhist practitioner which is unsullied

by the objects or stimuli aforementioned. The goal of Buddhist practices is to purify one’s Javana consciousness through the Noble Eight Fold Path.

The Javana consciousness can only be purified by the elimination of ignorance and the resultant diseases of perversions or dualistic vision of the worldlings. The perversions are eliminated through the intuitive discernment of the Three Universal

Characteristics of Impermanence (Anicca), Suffering (Dukkha) and Insubstantilaity or Sellessness (Anattā). In the Abhidhamma, the analysis and synthesis of the physical and mental phenomena unveil to us the Three Universal Characteristics of the five aggregates of the

human personality. The human personality is constituted from the conglomeration of five conditioning states. These five

conditioning aggregates are Form (Rūpa), Feelings (Vedanā), Perceptions (Saññā), Volitions (Saṅkhārā) and Consciousness (Viññāṇa).


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The Arahant’s Javana is purified perfectly by the wisdom (paññā) developed from the fruitful or successful practice of the [[four

foundations of mindfulness]]. The Javana consciousness of is a critical psychological-ethical stage. It is a state of either purity or impurity of the Javana. Wisdom of insight purifies the Javana. Ignorance defiles the Javana. Right mindfulness is wisdom

while absence of wisdom sullies the Javana producing defiled human actions. The sullied Javana generates either wholesome (kusala) or unwholesome (akusala) consciousness. Both wholesome and unwholesome produce volitional activities (kammas).

Purified Javana produces the highest fruit of Arahantship. An Arahant is a man of maximal excellence or a man perfected. He is the most worthy one worth to be venerated as he is the perfectly qualified exponent of the authentic Word of the Buddha.

The Javana consciousness is inoperative in the sense that one is totally released from bondage when his sense faculties are exposed to the corresponding six sense objects of perception. He dwells in the world of senses without grasping upon the five aggregates. Yet he

utilizes his six sense organs actively for altruistic compassion for sentient beings. He pro-acts and is not reactive. Pro-activity consists of boundless actions of the four sublime states of lovingkindness (mettā), compassion (karuṇā), appreciative joy

(muditā) and equanimity (upekkhā). Reactive acitivity comprises discriminative or dualistic actions of greed (lobha), hatred (dosa) and delusion (moha). It manifests the fallibilities of human beings which are harmful or destructive socially. Reactive or

defiled Javana is manifested externally as friction, tension, conflict, quarrel, disagreement, fight, abuse, cruelty, confrontation, disharmony and other negative emotions. The external conductis a reflection of the nature of Javana of an individual.
Pure Consciousness


Arahantship is the highest fruit of perfectly purified Javana consciousness from perfect world view. Arahant’s Javana is inoperative (kiriyacitta) in the sense of cessation of production of any kamma even when actions are committed. The Javana of an Arahant (Man of Perfection) is pure consciousness which is the complete appeasement of the mind. His Javana is unconditioned. Consequently, he is mentally emancipated. The soteriological goal of Nibbāna has been realized and actualized by developed wisdom. If the Javana is wholesome, merits are accumulated. If the Javana is unwholesome, demerits (pāpas) are accumulated. Therefore, it is evident that the Abhidhamma is the study of psychological ethics. The relationship between psychology and ethics is unveiled in Abhidhmmma.

Critical Stage

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Javana is the critical stage of the psychological behaviour of an individual. There is a total of 17 thought moments of

consciousness for a complete cycle of sense perception. The Javana commences from the 9th and ends at the 15th thought moment. A Javana consciousness lasts for a total of seven thought moments. A skilled practitioner exercises right mindfulness and awareness of all

actions. If right mindfulness and clear awareness or perfect equanimity are/is is not exercised, the Javana is obsessed and

defiled due to false conceptualizations. After the Javana consciousness stage, it passes over into the two moments of registering consciousness.

In the registering consciousness (tadārammaṇāni), kammic efficacy is preserved for future accountability. After the moments of registering consciousness, the mind is redeemed into the Bhavaṅga (life continuum ) until another new cycle of thought process operates. The

Bhavaṅga can only be completely eliminated by attainment of Nibbāna. When one is nibbānic, the Javana operates as Inoperative consciousness (Kiriyacitta) or Non-manifestative consciousness (Anidassana viññāṇa). The Javana is non-manifestative because the Javana

has been purified by the development of insight or wisdom. This is mind of an enlightened man who becomes the maximally perfect one

ethically and wisely. The innate supremacy of Man is redeemed through intuitive self-awakening. From a Buddhist perspective, a spiritually accomplished person exercises incessantly absolute mindfulness with complete clear awareness to preserve equanimity.

Equanimous mind prevents it from accumulating cankers or mental corruptions. The sense gates are continuously well-guarded through non-grasping of the five aggregates as This is not I; This is not Mine; This does not belongs to me. They are well guarded in carrying out all

mundane activities with energetic utility of the six sense faculties for altruistic, compassionate purposes. Non-grasping completely appeases the untamed mind to be tamed. The is the noble life of an ariyan amid the secular or materialistic life.


It is the perversion of perception (saññāvipallāsa) due to ignorance of the illusion of the five aggregates and the multiplicity of the empirical world. Perversion defiles Javana consciousness. The development of insight into Impermanence, Suffering and

Insubstantiality in terms of the universal principle or law of Dependent Co-arising transforms the Javana of ordinary consciousness into inoperative Javana of inoperative or released consciousness from which the infallibilities of a human being ensue. Released consciousness

implies that one has completely appeased and silenced the noisy mind. The complete inner peace of Nibbāna is gained. Nibbāna should be interpreted as an empirical state in which the noisy or disturbed mind is completely silenced. Every human being is intrinsically or originally

nibbānic mentally. Each and everyone of us is innately or potentially supreme in wisdom and conduct, the Buddha and all saints declare.

Editor’s Note:

The maximally good stage of Javana is the absolute mindful state of equanimity in which the human consciousness is silenced or stilled amid the stresses and strains of daily life transactions. The appeased Javana is mirrored from the external composed, peaceful, harmonious and

wise conduct of the wise person who is proactive without being reactive. Pro-action without reactions is the non-actions of all

actions due to the will of willessness. The wise has entered the supreme door of non-duality which is actually the universal law of Dependent Co-arising.




1. Sumanapala,G.D. Introduction to Theravāda Abhidhamma, Singapore :Buddhist Research Society, 1998.

2. Sumanapala, G.D. Abhidhammic Interpretations of Early Buddhist Teaching. Singapore : Buddhist Research Society, 2005.

3. A Comprehensive Manual of Abhidhamma(The Abhidhammattha Sangaha. Ed. Bhikkhu Bodhi. Kandy : Buddhist Publication Society, 1999.

4. R.Elder,George.Buddhist Insight.Dehli: Motilal Banarsidass Publishers Private Limited, 2002.

5. Sumanapala, G.D. Reality and Expression.Kandy: Paramita International Buddhist Society Ltd., 1999.

6. Conditional Relations (Paṭ̣ṭhāna), Vil.I and II.Trans.Unarada. Oxford: The Pali Text Society, 1998.