Predominance condition. This is of two kinds, a mental state or an object.
A mental state: Zeal (chanda), energy (viriya), purity of consciousness (citta), or investigating of phenomena (viima.msaa) can, as a conascent mental state, dominate other mental states and the material phenomena they originate.
Only one of these four can predominate at a time. We may illustrate how these four, in sequence, are applicable in practice. A meditator resolves to “achieve that which has not been achieved so far.” At that time zeal becomes the predominant mental factor. Then energy dominates to bring forth right effort to suppress the mental hindrances. Free from the hindrances the purified mind is dominant. When the mind is pure and unified, the investigating factor takes over to gain insight into the three characteristics of existence — impermanence, unsatisfactoriness and selflessness.
An object: A Buddhist venerates an image of the Buddha, recollecting the supreme qualities of the Enlightened One, and aspires to acquire similar virtues. At that time faith (saddhaa) in the Buddha, the Dhamma, and the Sangha becomes the predominant mental state. This faith, reasoned and rooted in understanding, inspires the mind with confidence and determination to pursue the practice. This is the principle behind the veneration of the Buddha image, which the uninformed call “idol worship.”