reflection, thought, thinking; “initial application” (Cpd. 282)
■ defined as “vitakkanaṃ vitakko, ūhanan ti vuttaṃ hoti” at Vism.142 (with simile on p. 143, comparing vitakka with vicāra kumbhakārassa daṇḍa-ppahārena cakkaṃ bhamayitvā bhājanaṃ karontassa uppīḷana-hattho viya vitakko (like the hand holding the wheel tight), ito c’ ito sañcaraṇahattho viya vicāro: giving vitakka the characteristic of fixity & steadiness,; vicāra that of movement display)
■ DN.ii.277 (“pre-occupation” translation: see note dial. ii.311); DN.iii.104, DN.iii.222, DN.iii.287 (eight Mahāpurisa˚) MN.i.114 (dvidhā-kato v.), MN.i.377; SN.i.39, SN.i.126, SN.i.186, SN.i.203 SN.ii.153; SN.iv.69, SN.iv.216; AN.ii.36; AN.iii.87 (dhamma˚); AN.iv.229 (Mahāpurisa˚), AN.iv.353 (˚upaccheda); Snp.7, Snp.270 sq., Snp.970 , Snp.1109; Ja.i.407 (Buddha˚, Sangha˚, Nibbāna˚); Mnd.386 Mnd.493, Mnd.501 (nine); Cnd. s.v. takka; Pts.i.36, Pts.i.136, Pts.i.178; Pv.iii.5#8; Pp.59, Pp.68; Vb.86, Vb.104 (rūpa˚, sadda˚ etc.), Vb.228 (sa˚), Vb.362 (akusala˚); Dhs.7, Dhs.160, Dhs.1268; Tikp.61 , Kp.333, Kp.353; Vism.291 (˚upaccheda); Mil.82, Mil.309; Dhs-a.142; Dhp-a.iv.68; Vb-a.490; Pv-a.226, Pv-a.230
kāma˚ vihiṃsā˚, vyāpāda˚; (sensual, malign, cruel thought) DN.iii.226; SN.ii.151 sq.; SN.iii.93; AN.i.148, AN.i.274 sq.; AN.ii.16, AN.ii.117 AN.ii.252; AN.iii.390, AN.iii.428. Opp. nekkhamma˚, avyāpāda˚ avihiṃsā˚; AN.i.275; AN.ii.76; AN.iii.429
vitakka is often combined with vicāra or “initial & sustained application Mrs. Rh. D.; Cpd. 282; “reflection & investigation Rh. D.; to denote the whole of the mental process of thinking (viz. fixing one’s attention and reasoning out or as Cpd. 17 explains it “vitakka is the directing of concomitant properties towards the object; vicāra is the continued exercise of the mind on that object.” See also above defn at Vism.142). Both are properties of the first jhāna (called sa-vitakka sa-vicāra) but are discarded in the second jhāna (called a˚). See e.g. DN.i.37; SN.iv.360 sq.; AN.iv.300; Vin.iii.4; Vism.85 and formula of jhāna. The same of pīti & samādhi at Vb.228, of; paññā at Vb.323. The same combination (vitakka + vicāra) at foll. passages: DN.iii.219 (of samādhi which is either sa˚, or a˚, or avitakka vicāra-matta) SN.iv.193; SN.v.111; AN.iv.409 sq., AN.iv.450; Ne.16; Mil.60 Mil.62; Vism.453. Cp. rūpa- (sadda-etc.) vitakka + rūpa (sadda-etc.) vicāra AN.iv.147; AN.v.360; Vb.103
■ On term (also with vicāra) see further: Cpd. 40, 56, 98 238 sq., 282 (on difference between v. & manasikāra) Expos. i.188n; Kvu translation 2381
■ Cp. pa˚, pari˚.

Note. Looking at the combination vitakka + vicāra in earlier and later works one comes to the conclusion that they were once used to denote one & the same thing: just thought, thinking, only in an emphatic way (as they are also semantically synonymous), and that one has to take them as; one expression, like jānāti passati, without being able to state their difference. With the advance in the Sangha of intensive study of terminology they became distinguished mutually. Vitakka became the inception of mind, or attending, and was no longer applied, as in the Suttas, to thinking in general. The explains of Commentators are mostly of an edifying nature and based more on popular etymology than on natural psychological grounds.

vi + takka