Nama and rupa doesn’t include citta?

Dispeller of Delusion
626. (3) “As to character, etc.”: as to characteristic, etc. of ignorance and so on, that is to say: ignorance has the characteristic of unknowing, its nature is confusing, it manifests itself as concealing, its proximate cause is cankers (dsava). Formations have the characteristic of forming, their nature is accumulating (endeavouring), they manifest themselves as volition, their proximate cause is ignorance. Consciousness has the characteristic of cognizing, its nature is going before, it manifests itself as rebirth-linking, its proximate cause is formations, or its proximate cause is basis (vatthu) and object (drammana). Mentality (ndma) has the characteristic of bending (namana), its nature is association, it manifests itself as that which is not resolved into components,11 its proximate cause is consciousness. Materiality (rüpa) has the characteristic of being molested (ruppana), its nature is alteration, it manifests itself as indeterminate, its proximate cause is consciousness. The sixfold base (saldyatana) has the characteristic of extending (dyatana), its nature is seeing, etc.,12 it manifests itself as the state of door and basis, |137j its proximate cause is mentality-materiality. Contact (phassa) …

  1. Consciousness is singlefold as the state of mundane resultant [consciousness], etc.; it is twofold as being with root-cause and without root cause; it is threefold as included in the three kinds of existence, as associated with the three kinds of feeling, and as having no root-cause, having two root-causes and having three root-causes; it is [respectively] fourfold and fivefold according to generation and destiny.

  2. Mentality-materiality is singlefold as dependent on consciousness and as having kamma as condition; it is twofold as having an object and having no object; it is threefold as past, etc.; it is [respectively] fourfold and fivefold according to generation and destiny.

(4) With Consciousness as Condition, Mentality-Materiality
(a) Definition
775. In the description of the clause “with consciousness as condition, mentality-materiality”,

(1) As to division of teaching,67
(2) occurrence in all existence, and so on,
(3) Inclusion, and (4) the manner of condition— the definition should be known.

  1. (1) “As to division of teaching”: [with the words] Tattha katamam rüpam? Cattäro ca mahäbhütä catunnan ca mahäbhütänam upädäya rüpam < 136.10) {’'Herein, which is materiality? It is the four great primaries and the materiality derived from the four great primaries"), firstly, both in suttanta and here,the explanation of the word “materiality” is given identically, without a difference. But that of the word “mentality” is different. For in suttanta, “Herein, what is mentality? It is feeling, perception, volition, impression, bringing-to-mind” (cf. S ii 53; M i 53) is said; but here, vedanäkkhandho sannäkkhandho sankhärakkhandho <136.8> (“the feeling aggregate, the perception aggregate, the formations aggregate”) is said. For there [in the suttantas] he taught the formations aggregate divided up into three as volition, impression and bringing-to-mind, together with the [other] two aggregates, showing the mentality which arises with eye-consciousness as condition and which, when arisen, is plain because it does not have to be taken by way of other states’ support as the basis of consciousness (cittassa thiti) and the life (dyu) of the immaterial states. But here, including all mentality, both that which is stated there and that which is not stated, he stated the three aggregates, namely, the feeling aggregate, the perception aggregate and the formations aggregate.

**7. But are only these three aggregates mentality and is consciousness not called mentality? Not that it is not. But if it is included, there comes to be the co-presence of two kinds of consciousness, namely, consciousness as mentality and consciousness as condition. Therefore, leaving consciousness in its place as condition, the three aggregates only are stated in order to show the mentality which is produced by the condition. This in the first place is how the definition should be known as to division of teaching.


“The form element, householder, is the home of consciousness; one whose consciousness is shackled by lust for the form element is called one who roams about in a home. The feeling element is the home of consciousness … The perception element is the home of consciousness … The volitional formations element is the home of consciousness; one whose consciousness is shackled by lust for the volitional formations element is called one who roams about in a home. It is in such a way that one roams about in a home.”

A: Wow, well spotted Lukas :slightly_smiling_face: I’ve checked B.Bodhi translation and found a footnote with the commentary which explains why consciousness is not mentioned here:

19 Spk: Why isn’t the consciousness element mentioned here (as a “home for consciousness”)?
To avoid confusion, for “home” is here spoken of in the sense of a condition (paccaya ).
An earlier kammic consciousness is a condition for both a later kammic consciousness and a resultant consciousness, and an (earlier) resultant consciousness for both a (later) resultant consciousness and a (later) kammic consciousness.
Therefore the confusion could arise: “What kind of consciousness is intended here?”
To avoid such confusion, consciousness is not included, and the teaching is expressed without disorder.
Further, the other four aggregates, as objects (or bases: ārammaṇavasena), are said to be “stations for the kammically generative consciousness” (abhisaṅkhāraviññāṇaṭṭhitiyo), and to show them thus consciousness is not mentioned here.

From Dhammanando:

Someone: As regards “name and form” and the Sutta passage quoted above (18 elements), in the Suttas “consciousness” is never included under “name” (nama).

That’s not correct. In some Sutta contexts nāma includes consciousness, in others it merely entails it. An example of the former can be seen in the Attadaṇḍa Sutta and Sāriputta’s niddesa to it. The verse in question reads:

sabbaso nāmarūpasmiṃ, yassa natthi mamāyitaṃ,
asatā ca na socati, sa ve loke na jīyati.

For whom there is no owning of name and matter,
Who sorrows not over what does not exist,
He truly incurs no loss in this world.
(Sn. 956)

In his niddesa to this verse, Sāriputta defines nāmarūpa thus:

nāman ti cattāro arūpino khandhā. rūpan ti cattāro ca mahābhūtā, catunnañca mahābhūtānaṃ upādāya rūpaṃ.


“Name” is the four immaterial aggregates [i.e. vedanā, saññā, sankhārā, viññāṇa]; “matter” is the four great elements and matter derived from the four great elements.”
(Nidd. ii. 435)


The early texts don’t support a body/mind dualism, which is implied by the translation of nama-rupa as “mentality and materiality”

I don’t think the translation implies a body/mind dualism, any more than does, say, that sutta where the Buddha states that it would be less foolish to take the body as self than to take the mind as self, or the Chabbisodhana Sutta (MN. 112) with its six-element analysis (4 great primaries + space + consciousness).

Best wishes,
Dhammanando Bhikkhu