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Six Kinds of Temperaments (Carita) Cheat Sheet (DRAFT) by [deleted]

Six Kinds of Temperaments (Carita)

This is a draft cheat sheet. It is a work in progress and is not finished yet.


Before practicing samādhi (medit­ation), the qualified aspirant should give a careful consid­eration to the subject of meditation according to their temper­aments. . In ancient days it was customary for pupils to seek the guidance of a competent teacher to choose a suitable subject but today, if no competent teacher is available, the aspirant must exercise his own judgment and choose one he thinks most suited to his character.


1. Lustful temper­ament (raga carita)
2. Hateful temper­ament (dosa carita)
3. Ignorant temper­ament (moha carita)
4. Devout temper­ament (saddhā carita)
5. Intell­ectual temper­ament (buddhi carita)
6. Discursive temper­ament (vitakka carita).

Combined Temper­aments

Carita signifies the intrinsic nature of a person which is revealed when one is in normal state without being preocc­upied with anything. The temper­aments of people differ owing to the diversity of their actions or kamma. Habitual actions tend to form particular temper­aments.

Rāga or lust is predom­inant in some while dosa or anger, hatred, ill will in others. Most people belong to these two catego­ries. There are a few others who lack intell­igence and are more or less ignorant (mohac­arita). Akin to ignorant are those whose minds oscillate unable to focus their attention delibe­rately on one thing (vitakka- carita). By nature some are except­ionally devout (saddhā carita) while others are except­ionally intell­igent (buddhi carita).

Combining these six with one another, we get sixty-­three types. With the inclusion of specul­ative temper­ament (ditthi carita) there are sixty-four types.

The subjects of meditation are variously adapted to these different temper­aments and types of people.

Six Temper­aments

Suitab­ility of Subjects for Different Temper­aments

According to the texts the ten impurities and the mindfu­lness regarding the body—such as the contem­plation of the thirty-two parts of the body—are suitable for those of a lustful temper­ament because they tend to create a disgust for the body which fascinates the senses.

The four illimi­tables and the four colored kasiņās are suitable for those of a hateful temper­ament.

The reflec­tions on the Buddha and so forth are suitable for those of a devout temper­ament. The reflec­tions on death and peace, perception on the loaths­omeness of material food, and analysis of the four elements are suitable for those of an intell­ectual temper­ament. The remaining objects, chiefly reflection on the Buddha, meditation on loving kindness, mindfu­lness regarding the body, and reflection on death are suitable for all, irresp­ective of temper­ament.