Chart of Mental Elements / Classification Criteria

(Characteristics, Function, Manifestation, and Proximate Cause)


Element Name




Proximate Cause





Touches the object thereby initiating the cognitive process.

Makes the consciousness and object to impinge upon each other.

Meeting of consciousness, sense faculty (matter) and the object.

The external object that has come in contact.





Feels the object affectively thereby initiating the experience.

Makes the consciousness experience the object directly and thoroughly. 

Pleasure, Pain, Joy, Sorrow and equanimity.

Sensation and tranquility.





Perceives the qualities of an object

Makes the mark or memory for future perception.  Recognizes based on memory.

Interpretation of the object based on memory.


Appearance of the object





Acts as the will power or willingness for mental action.


Decides further course of action on the object by determining the ethical quality (wholesome or unwholesome) of action

Bringing together and leading all the other mental elements to work on the decided course of action

Associated mental elements to be coordinated





Steers mind towards the destination. Guides all mental elements towards the object

Bonds all the elements with the object and channelizes them

Facing the object and confronting it.


The object of attention.




Mental Life

Vitalization and maintenance of mental phenomena

Facilitates arising of mind with consciousness

Presence of mind

Mental elements to be vitalized and maintained





Directing and applying the mind onto the object

Attacking to unfold, open-up or unravel the object

Guiding or leading of consciousness onto the object

The object of thinking





Examining the object through sustained thinking

Sustained application of the mind onto the object

Anchoring of consciousness onto the object

The object of examination






Taking delight or joyful interest in the object of examination

Pervading the embodiment (mind-body) with ecstasy

Exultation of consciousness, elation, uplifting or lightness of body

The embodiment





Non-distraction and one-pointedness of mind

Unification of all mental phenomena; Contemplation; Meditation

Peacefulness of consciousness, mental absorptions (Dhyanas) ultimately leading to Samadhi




Conviction, fervor, sincerity

Confirming, non-groping, etc

Determination, unshakability, decision

Being certain or convinced about something





Energetic efforts or vigorous action

Not turning back, non-receding. Reinforcing, supporting, upholding, consolidating or restraining mental states

Non-failing and non-ending of mental states

Sense of urgency or anything that arouses energetic effort






An inclination for action or performance

Looking for an object to work on

Requiring an object

The object in need





Grasping an object

Creating attachment, bondage, sticky/glue like conditions

Ego, not letting go, craving, clinging, passion, selfishness, lust, etc

Lack of meditativity, Taking delight in things, activities, relationships, tasks, goals, etc which lead to bondage





Intensity, fierceness, viciousness

To put on and spread like fire and to burn up or to devastate

Persecution, aversion, anger, disgust, displeasure, ego, etc

Conditions for aggravation or irritation, lack of meditativity






Ignorance, not-knowing the reality, mental-blindness

Creating illusion, hiding the truth or reality

Ego, lack of pure understanding, lack of wisdom, stupidity

Ignorance/Delusion itself and the lack of wise attention





Mental anxiety, lack of calmness, lack of stillness, disquiet

Makes the mind unsteady and wavering, like waves or ripples

Impatience, agitation, irritation, turmoil, confusion, indecision

giving unwise attention to mental disturbances





Not being apprehensive about doing bad things, being immoral

Makes the mind do sinful, wicked, immoral, or bad things

Lack of dread or anxiety about immorality; wildness; unruliness

Lack of respect/honor/reverence for others,  and lack of meditativity




Moral Recklessness

Apathy for misconduct, apathy for doing bad things

Makes the mind do sinful, wicked or immoral things

No moral caution; not caring about or not shying away from unwholesomeness

Lack of respect/honor/reverence for oneself and lack of meditativity





Self-importance and pride; haughtiness

Self-glorification, self-praise, arrogance

Vanity, intoxication, a desire to advertise oneself

Greed without justification, delusion, Lack of meditativity





Resentful about others successes, achievements, and progress

Making oneself dissatisfied and unhappy

Disliking, distaste, boredom, aversion due to others successes

Others upper hand, others achievements, victories, successes, progress, growth, attainments, etc. and lack of meditativity





Regretting after doing something wrong or neglecting

Making you sorrowful and mournful

Repentance, guilt, worry, feeling sorrowful about doing wrong

Not doing what ought to be done or doing what ought not to be done; regrettable actions






Viewing or interpreting things wrongly and unjustifiably

To presume, to assume, to suppose, to believe

Beliefs, unwise interpretations, assumptions, unhealthy religiousness, isms, personalized philosophies, etc

Lack of willingness to ‘experience’ the truth or to face the reality, lack of inclination towards wisdom, evading the reality





Uncertainty, inability to trust, lack of desire to think through

To waver, to vacillate, to make uncertain

Lack of firmness, indecisiveness, changing camps, etc

Not giving wise attention to matters of doubt, deciding without proper understanding









Sloth – Stiffness, lack of driving energy

Torpor –Unwieldiness, Morbidity



Sloth – Removal of energy; Torpor – To choke up the mind

Sloth – Subsiding of mind; Torpor – Sleepiness, laziness, lethargy

Sloth and torpor – Lack of urgency, lack of energy

Lack of meditativity, lack of thinking, giving unwise attention to boredom, sloth, monotony, and loneliness




Hiding, not sharing ones fortunes and successes with others

Makes sharing with others hard to stomach

Stinginess, lack of generosity, covetousness

Ones fortunes and successes







Non-grasping, non-sticking, desireless-ness

Not attaching to an object, not holding onto an object 

Letting go, non-craving, non-clinging, non-attachment, generosity, unselfishness, renunciation, dispassion, contentment, effacement, happiness and wealth

Meditativity, recollection of repulsive nature of embodiment, not taking delight in things, activities, relationships, tasks, goals, etc which lead to greed





Lack of fierceness, lack of resistance, lack of opposition

To remove all types of irritation, frustration, annoyance, anger, over-enthusiasm, etc

Loving-kindness, sociability, agreeableness, amity, gentleness, friendliness, calmness, softness, coolness, pleasant appearance

Meditativity, seeing others as worthy of kindness and compassion, recollecting the law of karma











Presence of mind, present-moment-awareness, steadiness and fullness of attention, passive~relaxed~impartial~

silent~receptive~deepening observation

a. To eliminate forgetfulness of present moment, b. To remember, to recollect, to recall past in ‘present,’ c. To awaken the memory, to awaken as in ‘awakening the mind,


(Continued below)

Facing and guarding the object of attention, awareness, meditation

Strong-stable perception and mindful contemplation of the phenomena of body-mind-consciousness



d. To stabilize attention on the object by not drifting away from it, e. To remain in the present moment, f. To ‘mind’ the object of attention as in “minding it,” g. To develop awareness and wisdom through attention, observation, reflection, contemplation, comprehension, etc, h. To expand consciousness through awareness, i. To monitor, supervise, balance other mental elements or states, j. To safeguard the mind from unwholesomeness by assisting in restraining of senses and by assisting in the arousal of wholesomeness.









Disgust for misconduct or doing bad things, sense of morality, scrupulousness, principle-driven, ethical.


Makes the mind not do sinful, immoral or unethical things

Modesty, caring about or shying away from unwholesomeness, moral caution, respectfulness, honor, civilized and cultured nature, grace and reverence, etc

Respect/honor/reverence for the self and the presence of meditativity









Apprehension for misconduct or doing bad things, sense of morality, scrupulousness, principle-driven, ethical

Makes the mind not do sinful, immoral or unethical things

Modesty, caring about or shying away from unwholesomeness, moral caution, respectfulness, honor, civilized and cultured nature, grace and reverence, etc

Respect/honor/reverence for others and the presence of meditativity (awareness, non-reaction & wise attention)



Trusting, confiding

To clarify, to illuminate, to purify

Firm decision, clarity, unshakable confidence

Experiential understanding of the ‘subject or object’ of faith





Tranquility of Body


Tranquility of Mind

Calming of mental disturbances or agitation

To crush and to quite disturbances, to destroy stress/distress

Stillness, coolness, peacefulness, quietness, serenity, heavenly delight, dawning of bliss, opposite of restless and worry, etc

Uplifting happiness, meditativity or concentration or insight related to mind-body-consciousness





Lightness of Body


Lightness of Mind

Diminishing of mental heaviness

To crush heaviness

Nimbleness, non-sluggishness, opposite of sloth and torpor, etc

Meditativity or concentration or insight related to mind-body-consciousness





Flexibility of Body


Flexibility of Mind

Malleability, Diminishing of rigidity

To crush rigidity

Non- resistance, lack of stubbornness and obstinacy, opposite of superstitiousness and conceit, suppleness, etc

Meditativity or concentration or insight related to mind-body-consciousness





Wield-ness of Body


Wield-ness of Mind

Calming and diminishing of unwieldiness

To crush and to make quiet the unwieldiness

Success in making something an object of mind, susceptibility of profitable application of mind, etc

Meditativity or concentration or insight related to mind-body-consciousness





Skillfulness of Body


Skillfulness of Mind


To crush unhealthiness or disability

Absence of disability

Meditativity or concentration or insight related to mind-body-consciousness








Rectitude of Body


Rectitude of Mind



Directness or uprightness



To crush indirectness



Absence of impurities such as dishonesty, evasiveness, round-about-ness, cleverness, smartness, crookedness, etc



Meditativity or concentration or insight related to mind-body-consciousness










Equanimity (Neutrality of Mind)

Neutrality of mind, being in the middle, equality, non-reaction

To neutralize, to liberate from craving and aversion, to transcend pleasure and pain, to transcend joy and sorrow, to look upon as an outsider, to see all equally, to purify, to equalize and evenly distribute associated mental phenomena

Balance of mind, peace of mind, uninterestedness of mind (not indifference), lack of greed and hatred, absence of craving and aversion, non-attachment (neither-free-nor-bound), neither cheerfulness nor sadness, neither resentment nor approval, middle-ness, sign of egolessness

Meditativity (mindfulness, concentration and non-reaction), maturity of loving-kindness-compassion-gladness, recollection of law of karma; not taking delight in things, activities, relationships, tasks, goals, etc which lead to greed or hatred; completely ceasing all pleasurable as well as painful activities





Inclination for removing others suffering

Making it possible to see suffering in others, not being able to overlook others suffering

Non-meanness, absence of cruelty, making oneself peaceful

Seeing others as beings who are suffering (in the ultimate sense)





Feeling happy, joyous and cheerful about the success of others

To eradicate jealousy and envy towards others success

Absence of irritation or any degree of aversion

Noticing and appreciating others successes








Abstinence from Wrong Speech


Abstinence from Wrong Action


Abstinence from Wrong Occupation

Non-wrongdoing or non-transgression by speech

To shy away from or to minimize the generation of bad karmas

Deliberate abstinence from wrong speech

Noble faith in spiritual practice (such as Yoganta), resolution and sense of urgency for attaining mental perfection, sense of contentment, distaste for mundane living and wrongdoing









Penetration of the intrinsic nature of realities, mental illumination, knowledge of ultimate realities, complete absence of ignorance,  wisdom

To illuminate the object of investigation, to expose the truth as it is, to pierce the target, to enlighten the mind, to shake off delusion or ignorance, to eliminate superstition and religiousness, etc

Non-confusion, wisdom, egolessness, pure understanding, pure knowledge, clear comprehension, purification of views, mental perfection, enlightenment

Meditativity - awareness, non-reaction, concentration & especially wise attention and penetrating insight