adhipati-paccaya

Adhipati Paccaya – Condition of Reigning /Governing

Adhipati paccaya, reigning or governing condition, describes the condition of one thing, that is either an outer object or condition, or internal mental factors, such as desire, exertion, investigation or thought governing a persons consciousness.

For the most part this condition is concerned with conditions on the human scale. Thus, there are five ruling principles, by which a person can be ruled.

Ārammaṇa-Adhipati

Most people’s consciousness is for the most part governed by sense-impressions and ‘unfelt’ ideas. Thus they may be called sensuous people. This may be said to be the defining ruling condition of the common person.

The condition of consciousness being in synchronicity with internal factors is called “Sahajāta-adhipati” (Synchronous governance). This is divided into four:

Chanda-Adhipati

First there is the person who is full of willpower. Whatever goal he sets before himself, he is determined to follow through with it till the end. Thus his consciousness functions in alignment (synchronicity) with his will. This may be thought of as being like the mind of a king, or that of a magician.

Vīriya- Adhipati

Then there is the person of much inner strength, vigour and exertion. Such is the heroic type of person, as is often found in sportsmen. It is basically the mind of the person who is defined by action and activity. His consciousness too is not merely ruled by outer objects, but by his personal sense of heroism.

Citta-Adhipati

Further there are also persons which are full of devotion, emotionality and creativity. Their consciousness is usually governed by their ‘feeling mind’ and a desire to be creative, no matter how or whatever the object may be.

Vīmaṁsā-Adhipati

At last, there is the person governed by the search for knowledge. This is the kind of ruling condition of the intellectual or scientific type of person.

Although most people will be a mixture of all or some of them, they can be distinguished as distinct types of people.

In religious life these will take on a more definite meaning. Therein the person of strong will power is likely to incline to either become a teacher or to aim for higher human powers. He wants to exercise his willpower. The vīriya type might have a strong tendency to asceticism or else will follow the path of devotional activity. The citta-adhipati type of person will feel most attracted to the playing around with various meditations. While the vīmaṁsā type will be mostly drawn to scholasticism and to analytical meditation. The ārammaṇa-adhipati person too can be found in religious life in the further sense of it, but he will be primarily defined by imitating his surroundings.


Each of these adhipatis also can be attributed to one of the four elements, and a person seeking to develop one specific of these mental powers might be well advised to meditate on the element related to it. Thus, may a person seeking to strengthen the power of will, meditate on the element of earth, with its characteristics of firmness and immovableness. A person seeking to develop more creativity may be well advised to pay attention to the element of water with its characteristics of flowing or liquidity, its capacity of mirroring and binding and its general association with depth of feeling. A person seeking to make heroism his path, would be well advised to meditate on the fire element, with its characteristic of energy. While the person of scientific bend might emphasize the wind element with its qualities of swiftly moving over things without changing their characteristics. The first condition (of external governance) would also be attributed to the earth element, but as there the element stands outside the person, its attribution will be less important for our consideration.

Adhipatis in Relation to the Mental Process

Considering the Adhipatis in relation to the mental process, we find in the case of the object governance condition, that an outer object will have produced some strong impression on the mind. That is, that the mind has received an object, but not yet further processed it. The impression will then have entered the life-continuum and will from there govern the inner activity of the mind. This then, often will be also followed by activities of the body.

In contradistinction will be the governing condition of the Will. In order that a Will can become a governing condition, there will have to arise many kamma generating mental processes. Those then again, will have to be followed by many processes that support that type of kamma. Once that kammical seed has started growing roots, that Will may be able to determine something about the direction of life and also obstruct or even destroy both sense-impressions and resultant mind-states from the past.

With the Vīriya type of person or condition will the primary mental activity be marked by having far more vibrating bhavanga mind conditions arise. These will arise from the kammical seed of a set goal, but in order to come under this condition, will be comparatively little adjusted through conscious processing.

The mental processing of the Citta adhipati condition will be characterised by more adjustment between resulting vibrating mental activity (the life-continuum) and active conscious activity. In such case the goal will often at least temporarily be modified to fit the present mental condition.

While the Vīmaṁsā or Truth searching type of condition is marked by much active thought activity with comparatively less decision making, and followed by comparatively little activity. It has as its main agenda the finding of truths and thus most mental activity will be directed to that end.


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