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08/24/20
https://www.buddha-vacana.org/gloss.html Glossary of Pali terms A
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Posted by: site admin @ 7:44 pm


https://www.buddha-vacana.org/gloss.html


Glossary of Pali terms



A

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abhijjhā
abhiññā
abrahmacariya
abyāpāda
adhicittasikkhā
adhipaññāsikkhā
adhisīlasikkhā
ādīnava
ādīnavasaññā
adinnādāna
adinnādāna veramaṇī
adosa
adukkhamasukha
adukkhamasukhā vedanā
āhāra
āhāre paṭikūlasaññā
ājīva
ajjhatta
akālika
ākāsānañcāyatana
ākiñcaññāyatana
akusala
akusalakammapatha
akusalamūla
alobha
āloka
amata
amoha
anāgāmī
anāgāmita
anagāriya
ānāpāna
ānāpānassati
anavajja
anatta
anattasaññā
anicca
aniccasaññā
anicce dukkhasaññā
ānisaṃsa
anusaya
anussati
anussava
anuttaro purisadammasārathī
āpatti
apāya
appamāda
appicchatā
āraddhavīriya
arahant
arahatta
arañña
ariya
ariya aṭṭhaṅgika magga
ariyasacca
ariyasāvaka
arūpabhava
asantuṭṭhitā
asappurisa
āsava
āsavānaṃ khayañāṇa
asmimāna
assāda
assutavā
asubha
asubhanimitta
asubhasaññā
asura
ātāpī
atta
attavādupādāna
avihiṃsā
avijjā
āvuso
āyasmā
āyatana
ayoniso manasikāra



abhijjhā: covetousness, acquisitiveness, desire for what one does not have. Being abhijjhā·lu is defined at AN 10.176 in terms of covetousness or jealousy towards others’ possessions. At AN 3.67, lobha is explained as having abhijjhā for synonym.

Abhijjhā is one of the three mental akusala·kamma·pathas.

Abhijjhā is remarkably combined with domanassa, to form a compound (abhijjhā·domanassa), which appears exclusively either in the Satipaṭṭhāna formulas or in the Sense restraint Formulae.

Abhijjhā is occasionally mentioned as one of the five nīvaraṇas, as a makeshift for kāma·cchanda.

Abhijjhā is part of the first upakkilesa mentioned at MN 7: abhijjhā·visama·lobha (covetousness and unrighteous greed).



Bodhi leaf


abhiññā: [abhi+ñā]

1) original meaning (in older texts): direct
knowledge, higher knowledge, complete understanding - in a broad sense,
without specification. Heendeniya suggests that it means yathā bhūta ñāṇa·dassana (knowledge and vision of things as they really are).

♦ Juxtaposed with (ekanta·nibbidā, virāga, nirodha,) upasama, sambodhi and Nibbāna (typically referring to the outcome of the practice of the ariya aṭṭh·aṅgika magga, e.g. SN 56.11).

♦ The attainment of arahatta is described with a list of phenomena to be experienced through abhiññā: āsavānaṃ khaya, an·āsava ceto·vimutti and paññā·vimutti (e.g. AN 3.91).

♦ At SN 45.159 and AN 4.254, the ariya aṭṭh·aṅgika magga is said to lead to another list of 11 dhammas to be dealt with by means of abhiññā: the five khandhas (to be fully understood), avijjā and bhava·taṇhā (to be abandoned), vijjā and vimutti (to be experienced), samatha and vipassanā (to be developed).

2) late meaning: there is a list of six higher powers or potencies attained by the practice of samādhi beyond the fourth jhāna, which are called together abhiññās,
but that list appears only in one sutta, the late and catechistic DN
34. These powers are otherwise described without such collective
designation, as at AN 3.102. It is only in the later litterature (commentaries etc.) that the term abhiññā comes to be used, (and most of the time) with reference to these six dhammas. At SN 8.7 however, the word chaḷ·abhiññā (the six abhiññās) is listed among realizations such as paññā·vimutti and the three vijjas, which has probably been, among others, a cause for the arising of this terminology.



Bodhi leaf


abrahmacariya: [a+brahmacariya]

that which is contrary to the pure life, which naturally would be
interpreted as essentially consisting in the breakage of one of the
precepts, especially by engaging in sexual intercourse: a·brahmacariya replaces kāmesu·micchā·cāra in the list of the bodily akusala·kamma·pathas when intended for bhikkhus (kāmesu·micchā·cāra at AN 10.176 vs a·brahmacariya at MN 27). In this context, a·brahmacariya constitutes the first pārājika offense:



Yo pana bhikkhu bhikkhūnaṃ sikkhā·sājīva·samāpanno sikkhaṃ apaccakkhāya
dubbalyaṃ anāvikatvā methunaṃ dhammaṃ paṭiseveyya antamaso
tiracchāna·gatāyapi, pārājiko hoti asaṃvāso ti.

Should any bhikkhu participating in the training and livelihood of the
bhikkhus, without having renounced the training, without having declared
his weakness engage in sexual intercourse, even with a female animal,
he is defeated and no longer in affiliation.



See further details in Thanissaro Bhikkhu’s Monastic Code.

However, a definition of a·brahmacariya is given by Ānanda at SN 45.18 as consisting in micchā·magga, i.e. micchā·diṭṭhi, micchā·saṅkappa etc.

a·brahmacariya is listed among things that lead a bhikkhu to an apāya or niraya (e.g. AN 5.286).



Bodhi leaf


abyāpāda: [a+byāpāda]

non-ill-will, absence of malevolence. At AN 3.67, adosa is explained as having a·byāpāda for synonym. The Vibhanga naturally relates a·byāpāda with mettā, although the latter is only part of the former, which should also include sates of simple upekkhā.

♦ In this connection, the derived expression abyāpanna·citto hoti (he has a citta devoid of byāpāda) appears in the exposition of the three mental kusala·kamma·pathas (e.g. AN 10.176), explained with the compound appaduṭṭha·mana·saṅkappa and the description: ime sattā a·verā hontu a·byāpajjā, a·nīghā sukhī attānaṃ pariharantū (qv.).

♦ A similar expression, abyāpanna·citto viharati (he dwells with citta devoid of byāpāda), appears in the Nīvaraṇānaṃ Pahāna formula, explained with the compound sabba·pāṇa·bhūta·hitānukampī (friendly and compassionate towards all living beings).

a·byāpāda·saṅkappa is one of the three constituents of sammā·saṅkappa.

♦ Since byāpāda is a nīvaraṇa, a·byāpāda as a state of mind is necessary for successful meditation and attaining the four jhānas.

♦ The derived adjective, abyāpajjha, notably appears as a factor in the appamāṇā ceto·vimutti formulas.



Bodhi leaf


adhicittasikkhā: [adhi+citta+sikkhā]

training in higher mind. A definition is given by the Buddha at AN 3.90: adhi·citta·sikkhā is identical with the culture of sammā·samādhi, i.e. the development of the four jhānas.

Adhi·citta·sikkhā is one of the three sikkhās, together with adhi·sīla·sikkhā and adhi·paññā·sikkhā. It is said of these three trainings at AN 3.82 that they are ‘ascetic tasks of an ascetic’ (samaṇassa samaṇa·karaṇīyāni), at AN 3.93 that they are ‘urgent tasks of a bhikkhu’ (bhikkhussa accāyikāni karaṇīyāni), and at AN 6.30 that they constitute the ’supreme training’ (anuttariyaṃ sikkhā) for the purification of beings, etc. (formula in the style of the Mahāsatipaṭṭhāna Sutta)

♦ They can even replace the Pātimokkha, in some cases (AN 3.85).



Bodhi leaf


adhipaññāsikkhā: [adhi+paññā+sikkhā]

training in higher wisdom/ insight. A definition is given at AN 3.90. It consists of the understanding of the four ariya·saccas. At AN 3.91, though, adhi·paññā·sikkhā is defined as an·āsava ceto·vimutti paññā·vimutti‘ (liberation of the mind without impurities, liberation by discernment).

Adhi·paññā·sikkhā is one of the three sikkhās, together with adhi·sīla·sikkhā and adhi·citta·sikkhā. It is said of these three trainings at AN 3.82 that they are ‘ascetic tasks of an ascetic’ (samaṇassa samaṇa·karaṇīyāni), at AN 3.93 that they are ‘urgent tasks of a bhikkhu’ (bhikkhussa accāyikāni karaṇīyāni), and at AN 6.30 that they constitute the ’supreme training’ (anuttariyaṃ sikkhā) for the purification of beings, etc. (formula in the style of the Mahāsatipaṭṭhāna Sutta)

♦ They can even replace the Pātimokkha, in some cases (AN 3.85).



Bodhi leaf


adhisīlasikkhā: [adhi+sīla+sikkhā]

training in higher virtue. A definition is given by the Buddha at AN 3.90. It consists of a thorough undertaking of the Pātimokkha’s rules.

Adhi·sīla·sikkhā is one of the three sikkhās, together with adhi·citta·sikkhā and adhi·paññā·sikkhā. It is said of these three trainings at AN 3.82 that they are ‘ascetic tasks of an ascetic’ (samaṇassa samaṇa·karaṇīyāni), at AN 3.93 that they are ‘urgent tasks of a bhikkhu’ (bhikkhussa accāyikāni karaṇīyāni), and at AN 6.30 that they constitute the ’supreme training’ (anuttariyaṃ sikkhā) for the purification of beings, etc. (formula in the style of the Mahāsatipaṭṭhāna Sutta)

♦ They can even replace the Pātimokkha, in some cases (AN 3.85).

♦ However, adhi·sīla·sikkhā is not only for bhikkhus, since it should also be undertaken by upāsakas, as they meet with their success (sampadā) or their prosperity (sambhava), lest it is their their failure (vipatti) as in AN 7.30, their decline (parihāna) as in AN 7.29, or their ruin (parābhava) as in AN 7.31.



Bodhi leaf


ādīnava: disadvantageous characteristic of phenomena, danger, drawback, disadvantage, bad result or consequence. The antonym is ānisaṃsa. The ādīnava of a particular dhamma is often described as its characteristics of anicca, dukkha, and the fact that it has vipariṇāma·dhamma. This is seen mainly in the case of each of the five khandhas (e.g. SN 12.26) and the twelve āyatanas (e.g. SN 35.13 and SN 35.14).

♦ Frequently mentioned in conjunction with assāda and nissaraṇa, often preceded by samudaya and atthaṅgama, as characteristics to be understood in detail for all saṅkhāras.

♦ This set of 3 or 5 investigations appears very often in the Saṃyutta Nikāya, and is applied to a large variety of dhammas, among which notably to kāma (in detail at MN 13), but also to duccarita (e.g. AN 5.241), the five khandhas (e.g. SN 22.74), particularly vedanā (e.g. MN 13), rūpa (e.g. MN 13), the 4 paccayas (e.g. SN 16.1), bhava (e.g. AN 4.10), the six phass·āyatanas (e.g. AN 4.10) etc.

♦ A very useful statement is made at SN 12.52: ‘Upādāniyesu dhammesu ādīnav·ānupassino viharato taṇhā nirujjhati’.

ādīnava·saññā is defined at AN 10.60 with reference to kāya.

♦ On the ādīnava of kāma, MN 54 provides a powerful series of similes to describe them, which is referred to in a number of suttas.



Bodhi leaf


ādīnavasaññā: [ādīnava+saññā]

perception of drawbacks. This practice is explained at AN 10.60, with reference to kāya: it consists in a reflection on the various ills of the body.

♦ According to AN 7.27, so long as the bhikkhus practice ādīnava·saññā, only growth can be expected of them, not decline.

♦ Other perceptions usually associated with ādīnava·saññā include asubha·saññā, āhāre paṭikūla·saññā, sabba·loke an·abhirata·saññā, maraṇa·saññā, anicca·saññā, anicca·saññā, anicce dukkha·saññā, anatta·saññā, pahāna·saññā, virāga·saññā and nirodha·saññā.



Bodhi leaf


adinnādāna: [a+dinna+ādāna]

taking what is not given, theft, robbery. The definition is given at AN 10.176.

Adinn·ādāna is one of the three bodily akusala·kamma·pathas.

♦ For bhikkhus, it is a very serious matter, as it constitutes the second pārājika offense:



Yo pana bhikkhu adinnaṃ theyyasaṅkhātaṃ ādiyeyya - yathārūpe adinnādāne
rājāno coraṃ gahetvā haneyyuṃ vā bandheyyuṃ vā pabbājeyyuṃ vā: ‘corosi
bālosi mūḷhosi thenosī’ ti - tathārūpaṃ bhikkhu adinnaṃ ādiyamāno ayampi
pārājiko hoti asaṃvāso ti.

Should any bhikkhu, in what is reckoned a theft, take what is not given
from an inhabited area or from the wilderness - just as when, in the
taking of what is not given, kings arresting the criminal would flog,
imprison, or banish him, saying, “You are a robber, you are a fool, you
are benighted, you are a thief” - a bhikkhu in the same way taking what
is not given also is defeated and no longer in affiliation.



See further details in Thanissaro Bhikkhu’s Monastic Code.

♦ The unpleasant consequences of adinn·ādāna are described at AN 8.40: its slightest result is loss of wealth.



Bodhi leaf


adinnādāna veramaṇī: [adinnādāna veramaṇī]

abstaining from taking what is not given.

Adinn·ādāna veramaṇī is the second of the pañcasīla.

♦ When describing the moral undertakings of a bhikkhu (e.g. MN 27), the following description is given: ‘Adinn·ādānaṃ pahāya adinn·ādānā paṭivirato hoti dinn·ādāyī dinna·pāṭikaṅkhī, athenena suci·bhūtena attanā viharati,’ for an explanation of which see the Ariya Sīlakkhandha Formulae.



Bodhi leaf


adosa: [a+dosa]

absence of aversion. At AN 3.67, a·dosa is explained as having a·byāpāda for synonym. Synonyms given in the Vibhanga: a·dussanā, a·dussitattaṃ (not being angry, not offending).

A·dosa is one of the three kusala·mūlas.

♦ According to AN 3.112, any kamma caused by a·dosa is anavajja and has sukha·vipāka (pleasant results).

♦ According to AN 6.39, a·dosa does not arise from dosa, but rather from a·dosa itself (na adosā doso samudeti; atha kho adosā adosova samudeti). And vice versa.



Bodhi leaf


adukkhamasukha: [a+dukkha+a+sukha]

neither-pleasant-nor-unpleasant, i.e. neutral. At MN 44, adukkham·asukha is explained as neva sātaṃ nāsātaṃ (neither agreeable nor disagreeable).

♦ In the majority of cases, adukkham·asukha qualifies one of the types of vedanā: see adukkham·asukhā vedanā.

Adukkham·asukha also qualifies the fourth jhāna, and is thus related to upekkhā: see the corresponding formula.

♦ In a few cases, adukkham·asukha qualifies a certain type of phassa (e.g. SN 12.62).



Bodhi leaf


adukkhamasukhā vedanā: [a+dukkha+a+sukha vedanā]

feeling which is neither-pleasant-nor-unpleasant, i.e. neutral. A definition is given at MN 44: ‘yaṃ
kho kāyikaṃ vā cetasikaṃ vā neva sātaṃ nāsātaṃ vedayitaṃ’ (whatever is
felt bodily or mentally as neither agreeable nor disagreeable)
. This definition is the same as the one given for upekkh·indriya at SN 48.38. At SN 48.37, it is explicit that adukkham·asukhā vedanā should be seen as the latter: ‘yadidaṃ upekkh·indriyaṃ, adukkham·asukhā sā vedanā daṭṭhabbā’.

Adukkham·asukhā vedanā is one of the three (main) types of vedanā.

♦ According to SN 36.5, adukkham·asukhā vedanā should be seen as aniccata (adukkham·asukhā vedanā aniccato daṭṭhabbā).

Adukkham·asukhā vedanā are twofold: sāmisa or nirāmisa, as stated at AN 6.63: atthi sāmisā adukkhamasukhā vedanā, atthi nirāmisā adukkhamasukhā vedanā’, although without further explanations.

♦ According to MN 44, adukkham·asukhā vedanā is ‘ñāṇa·sukhā aññāṇa·dukkhā’ (pleasant when accompanied by ñāṇa, and unpleasant without ñāṇa). Furthermore, avijjā is the counterpart of adukkham·asukhā vedanā (adukkham·asukhāya vedanāya avijjā paṭibhāgo), although the anusaya of avijjā does not necessarily underlie all adukkham·asukhā vedanā: (na sabbāya adukkham·asukhāya vedanāya avijj·ānusayo anuseti).

♦ According to SN 36.9, adukkham·asukhā vedanā share some important characteristics with other types of vedanās: aniccā, saṅkhatā, paṭicca·samuppannā, khaya·dhammā, vaya·dhammā, virāga·dhammā, nirodha·dhammā.

♦ For other characteristics that adukkham·asukhā vedanā share with other vedanās, see there.



Bodhi leaf


āhāra:

1) concrete sense: food, alimentation.

♦ For bhikkhus, piṇḍapāta is a synonym of āhāra in this first meaning, and as such the formula of reflection on the paccayas is sometimes applied directly to āhāra (e.g. AN 4.37). This formula, often referred to as bhojane matt·aññutā, is analyzed here.

♦ Moderation in food is often praised in the suttas, as for example at AN 5.96: ‘app·āhāro hoti, anodarikattaṃ anuyutto’ (he eats only a little food, committed to not filling his stomach). Eating once a day is also often praised, as at AN 3.71: ‘yāva·jīvaṃ arahanto eka·bhattikā’ (as long as they live, the arahants take one meal a day) and MN 65,
where it is said to result in few illnesses, few diseases, lightness,
strength, and a pleasant abiding. See also the story of King Pasenadi at
SN 3.13.

♦ The practice of āhāre paṭikūla·saññā is often recommended in the suttas (e.g. SN 46.74).

♦ It is interesting to note that in the formula describing pubbe·nivās·ānussati·ñāṇa (see here), āhāra
is one of the few things that the practioner remembers about his past
lives, along with his name, appearance, experience of pleasure and pain,
and death.

♦ Meat eating is authorized for bhikkhus, under the ti·koṭi·parisuddha (pure in three aspects) rule: ‘a·diṭṭhaṃ, a·sutaṃ, a·parisaṅkitaṃ’ (not seen, not heard, not suspected). See MN 55.

2) figurative sense: support, nutriment. They are listed as four (e.g. at MN 9):


1. kabaḷīkāra
2. phassa
3. manosañcetanā
4. viññāṇa

They are described as follows: cattārome āhārā bhūtānaṃ sattānaṃ ṭhitiyā, sambhavesīnaṃ anuggahāya
(These four are nutriments for the sustainance of beings having come to
existence and for the support of those who are seeking a new birth).

♦ The Buddha explains with powerful similes how the four āhāras should be considered at SN 12.63.

♦ The āhāras are said to originate and cease with taṇhā (e.g. at MN 9).

♦ In some suttas, āhāra has the meaning of condition and is close in meaning to paccaya (in its first, general sense) or hetu. For example, SN 46.51 details which phenomena ‘feed’ the five nīvaraṇas and the seven bojjhaṅgas. Another example is found at AN 8.39: having gone for refuge to the Buddha (buddhaṃ saraṇaṃ gato hoti) is said to be a nourishment of happiness (sukhass·āhāra), and so are other refuges as well as the five precepts.

♦ As one would expect, there is a relationship between āhāra and rūpa or kāya. According to SN 22.56: ‘āhāra·samudayā rūpa·samudayo; āhāra·nirodhā rūpa·nirodho‘ (with the arising of nutriment, there is arising of Form; with the cessation of nutriment, there is cessation of Form) and according to SN 47.42: ‘āhāra·samudayā kāyassa samudayo; āhāra·nirodhā kāyassa atthaṅgamo‘ (with the arising of nutriment, there is arising of the body; with the cessation of nutriment, there is cessation of the body).



Bodhi leaf


āhāre paṭikūlasaññā: [āhāra paṭikūla+saññā]

perception of loathsomeness in food.

♦ According to AN 7.49, when one often applies his/her mind to this practice, he/she is automatically repulsed by rasa·taṇhā (craving for tastes).

Āhāre paṭikūla·saññā is described at AN 4.163 as participating of a painful mode of practice (dukkhā paṭipadā).

♦ The seven bojjhaṅgas can be developed in conjunction with āhāre paṭikūla·saññā (SN 46.74).

Āhāre paṭikūla·saññā appears always in a list, generally with asubha·saññā, maraṇa·saññā, and sabba·loke an·abhirata·saññā. They are often collectively recommended for the sake of understanding or removing rāga (e.g. AN 5.303).

♦ Other perceptions usually associated with āhāre paṭikūla·saññā include anicca·saññā, anicce dukkha·saññā, anatta·saññā, ādīnava·saññā, pahāna·saññā, virāga·saññā and nirodha·saññā.



Bodhi leaf


ājīva: livelihood, means of subsistence. For proper or upright livelihood, see sammā·ājīva. As to right or wrong livelihood, it is said of them at SN 45.1: ‘micchā·kammantassa micchā·ājīvo pahoti’ (in one of wrong action, wrong livelihood comes to be) and ’sammā·kammantassa sammā·ājīvo pahoti’ (in one endowed with sammā·kammanta, sammā·ājīva comes to be), which makes wrong livelihood fall back on breaking of one of the five sīlas or engaging in one of the ten akusala·kamma·pathas.

1) For bhikkhus:

♦ In the definition of adinnādāna veramaṇī, given in the Ariya Sīlakkhandha Formulae (e.g. at MN 27), it said of a bhikkhu: ‘dinn·ādāyī dinna·pāṭikaṅkhī’ (he takes [only] what is given, expecting [only] what is given). The same formulae (e.g. also at MN 27) explain further some fundamental principles of a bhikkhu’s livelihood, e.g. refusing money, women and slaves, animals, properties, bribery, trickery etc. They further say (here) that a bhikkhu, wherever he goes needs only two things, and should keep to them only.

♦ A list of five improper ways of gaining material support from donors is given at AN 5.83.
It looks quite important because it seriously questions the behavior of
many monks nowadays who are quite self-righteous. Their meaning has
remained curiously quite fuzzy, and there is oddly no mention of them in
the Vinaya, but there is a definition of these terms in the Vibhanga:


1. kuhanā: (PTSD [probably inaccurate]:) deceit, hypocrisy, fraud - (B.Bodhi:) scheming, duplicity
- (Vibhanga:) with an evil mind attached to gain and honours, for the
sake of acquisitions, indicating what is to be done for establishing
things, e.g. great lodgings etc.

2. lapanā: (PTSD:) muttering, prattling (for begging) -
(B.Bodhi:) talking - (Than.B:) persuading - (Vibhanga:) with an evil
mind attached to gain and honours, talking, prattling, flattering in various ways etc.

3. nemittikatā: (PTSD:) prognostication, inquisitiveness, insinuation - (B.Bodhi:) hinting
- (Vibhanga:) with an evil mind attached to gain and honours, making
signs [and perhaps:] communicating by facial expressions etc.

4. nippesikatā: (PTSD:) jugglery, trickery - (B.Bodhi:) belittling - (Vibhanga:) with an evil mind attached to gain and honours, abusing, despising, blaming, mocking etc.

5. lābhena lābhaṃ nijigiṃsitā: (PTSD:) coveting acquisitions upon
acquisitions - (B.Bodhi:) pursuing gain with gain - (Vibhanga:) with an
evil mind attached to gain and honours, accumulating acquisitions and looking for more material objects.

♦ Besides mentioning also the above five items, a long list of wrong livelihoods for bhikkhus is given in the suttas of the Sīlakkhandha Vagga of DN, e.g. at DN 11. They deal essentially with fortune telling, witchcraft, divination, acting as a priest (e.g. performing weddings etc.).

2) For householders:

♦ Five types of unskilful trades to be avoided are listed at AN 5.177.

♦ Acting as a comic (at SN 42.2) and being a warrior (at SN 42.3) are clearly indicated as morally dangerous livelihoods.



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ajjhatta(ṃ): [adhi+atta]

1) (adv:) internally, inwardly.

2) (adj:) interior, inner, personal, connected
with the self, in contrast to anything outside (bāhira/bahiddhā),
objective or impersonal.

♦ Thus, ajjhatta applies chiefly to mental phenomena and whatever happens in the body.



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akālika: [a+kāla+ika]

1) without delay, immediate, immediately effective, possessed of immediate result

2) unconditioned by time or season.

Akālika is the second standard epithet of the Dhamma, which is given in the dhamm·ānussati formula. A definition of the word is given in the Cūḷa Niddesa (KN, Nc 108), where it is likened to the expression ‘diṭṭh·eva dhamme’, and explained by the fact that whoever practices the ariya aṭṭhaṅgika magga enjoys its fruits now, in the visible world, and does not have to wait to be hereafter, in another world, for that.



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ākāsānañcāyatana: [ākāsānañca+āyatana]

the sphere of infinitude of space. Attained as the 5th jhāna. See the standard description here. There is not much said about it in the suttas, it is apparently something to be experienced rather than talked about.



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ākiñcaññāyatana: [ākiñcañña+āyatana]

the sphere of nothingness. Attained as the 7th jhāna. See the standard description here. There is not much said about it in the suttas, it is apparently something to be experienced rather than talked about.



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akusala: [a+kusala]

disadvantageous, unskilful, blameworthy, demeritorious, unskilful, resulting in suffering, troublesome. At MN 61, we find the following synonyms: ‘[yo]
atta·byābādhāya·pi saṃvatteyya, para·byābādhāya·pi saṃvatteyya,
ubhaya·byābādhāya·pi saṃvatteyya’ ([what] would lead to one’s own harm,
lead to the harm of others, lead to the harm of both), dukkh·udraya (having suffering as consequence), dukkha·vipāka (resulting in suffering).
Another three synonyms are given at AN 3.66: sāvajja, viññu·garahita (censured by the wise), ‘[yo] ahitāya dukkhāya saṃvattati‘ ([what] leads to adversity and suffering). At MN 88, Ānanda further gives the following synonym: sabyāpajjha. The word akusala is otherwise defined in terms of the ten akusala·kamma·pathas (e.g. at AN 10.180), which are fully explained at AN 10.176. Akusala is also sometimes defined in terms of the eight or tenfold micchā·paṭipadā (e.g. at AN 10.136).

♦ It is stated indirectly at MN 114 that all types of conducts are either kusala or akusala,
which would mean there is no “no man’s land” between the two opposites.
(The common sense, of course, dictates that there would be nonetheless a
gradation in intensity).

♦ In the Ekaka Nipāta, a number of suttas underline dhammas that cause akusala dhammas to arise: micchā·diṭṭhi (AN 1.306), pamāda (AN 1.58), laziness (kosajja - AN 1.60), mahicchatā (AN 1.62), asantuṭṭh·itā (AN 1.64), a·yoniso manasi·kāra (AN 1.66), a·sampajañña (AN 1.68), and evil friendship (pāpa·mittatā - AN 1.70).

♦ Naturally, the opposite dhammas cause the removal of akusala dhammas: sammā·diṭṭhi (AN 1.307), appamāda (AN 1.59), vīriyārambha (AN 1.61), appicchatā (AN 1.63), santuṭṭh·itā (AN 1.65), yoniso manasi·kāra (AN 1.67), sampajañña (AN 1.69), and kalyāṇa·mittatā (AN 1.71).

♦ At AN 5.52, the five nīvaraṇas are called ‘akusala·rāsī’ (accumulations of demerit).

♦ These nīvaraṇas are overcome by one who attains the first jhāna, and who thereby enjoys freedom from akusala dhammas (temporarily, of course), as made clear by the condition for such an attainment stated in the corresponding standard formula: vivicca akusalehi dhammehi.



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akusalakammapatha: [akusala+kamma+patha]

unskilful paths of action, disadvantageous courses of action. There are ten akusala·kamma·pathas, of three types: bodily, verbal or mental. They are described in these terms at AN 10.176.

The three bodily akusala·kamma·pathas, frequently referred to as (a part of) kāya·duccarita, correspond to the actions to be abstained from for the practice of sammā·kammanta:


1. pāṇātipāta
2. adinnādāna
3. kāmesu·micchā·cāra

The four verbal akusala·kamma·pathas, frequently referred to as (a part of) vacī·duccarita, correspond to the actions to be abstained from for the practice of sammā·vācā:


4. musā·vāda
5. pisuṇa·vācā
6. pharusa·vāca
7. samphappalāpa

The three mental akusala·kamma·pathas, frequently referred to as (a part of) mano·duccarita, correspond to the actions to be abstained from for the practice of sammā·saṅkappa (since nekkhamma consists chiefly in abandoning abhijjha):


8. abhijjha
9. byāpāda
10. micchā·diṭṭhi

♦ The practice of the ten akusala·kamma·pathas is generally described as leading either to niraya (e.g. AN 10.221), tiracchāna·yoni or pettivisaya, but it is made clear at MN 136
that it is only a general direction and that although the results are
bound to come, there is nonetheless no absolute determinism regarding
the type of future birth, except perhaps in the case of the five deeds
which are described at AN 5.129 as āpāyikā nerayikā parikuppā atekicchā (incurable agitations that lead to a plane of misery or to hell), a.k.a. ānantariya kamma. On the flipside, see also the case of Saraṇāni at SN 55.24.

♦ It is said of one who practices the ten akusala·kamma·pathas that he creeps (saṃsappati) and is crooked (jimha)
in body, speech and mind, and that he can expect a crooked destination
and rebirth (AN 10.216); that he should not be associated with (na bhajitabbo - AN 10.200), not attended on (na payirupāsitabbo - AN 10.201); that he is an asappurisa (AN 10.204).



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akusalamūla: [akusala+mūla]

roots of what is disadvantageous, sources of the unskilful. The term is defined by Sāriputta at MN 9 as consisting of lobha, dosa, and moha. This is a relatively rare word that appears only in five suttas.



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alobha: [a+lobha]

absence of craving. At AN 3.67, alobha is explained as having an·abhijjhā for synonym.

Alobha is one of the three kusala·mūlas.

♦ According to AN 3.112, any kamma caused by alobha is anavajja and has sukha·vipāka (pleasant results).

♦ According to AN 6.39, alobha does not arise from lobha, but rather from alobha itself (na alobhā lobho samudeti; atha kho alobhā alobhova samudeti). And vice versa.



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āloka: light.

Āloka is often used as a figure for enlightenment, namely for ñāṇa, paññā, vijjā and cakkhu, as in the Dhamma·cakka·ppavattana Sutta. It is also used as a figure for the four ariya·saccas as at SN 56.38. At AN 4.143, there is mention of the light of discernment (paññ·āloka), as being greater than that of the sun, the moon or the fire.

Āloka also refers to a light within the mind, as made clear at SN 51.20, where it is juxtaposed with ’sappabhāsaṃ cittaṃ (luminous mind). Āloka·saññā is also juxtaposed with divā·saññā (perception of day/daytime) in the following formula that describes the development of the luminous mind: ‘bhikkhuno
ālokasaññā suggahitā hoti divāsaññā svādhiṭṭhitā’ (the perception of
light is well grasped by a bhikkhu; the perception of day is well
resolved upon)
.

♦ Attending to the perception of this mental light is said at AN 4.41 and AN 6.29 to lead to ñāṇa·dassana.

♦ Giving it attention is also mentioned as a way to get rid of thīna·middhā in the corresponding standard formula and at AN 7.61.



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amata: the Deathless, ambrosia, a state in which there
is no more arising nor passing away of phenomena, no birth and no
death. It is a figure for Nibbāna.



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amoha: [a+moha]

absence of delusion. At AN 3.67, amoha is explained as having vijjā for synonym. An elaborate definition is given in the Vibhanga: ‘Tattha
katamo amoho? Yā paññā pajānanā vicayo pavicayo dhammavicayo
sallakkhaṇā upalakkhaṇā paccupalakkhaṇā paṇḍiccaṃ kosallaṃ nepuññaṃ
vebhabyā cintā upaparikkhā bhūrī medhā pariṇāyikā vipassanā sampajaññaṃ
patodo paññā paññindriyaṃ paññābalaṃ paññāsatthaṃ paññāpāsādo paññāāloko
paññāobhāso paññāpajjoto paññāratanaṃ amoho dhammavicayo sammādiṭṭhi:
ayaṃ vuccati “amoho”.’
[dictionary].

Amoha is one of the three kusala·mūlas.

♦ According to AN 3.112, any kamma caused by amoha is anavajja and has sukha·vipāka (pleasant results).

♦ According to AN 6.39, amoha does not arise from moha, but rather from amoha itself (na amohā moho samudeti; atha kho amohā amohova samudeti). And vice versa.



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anāgāmī: [an+āgāmī] lit: ‘one who does not return’ - designates an individual having reached the third of the four maggas leading to Nibbāna. He is so called because after death, he cannot ‘return to this world’, i.e. be reborn as a human being or a low class deva, but only as a special type of Brahmā. He will reach arahatta and eventually Parinibbāna during that one and only subsequent life. An anāgāmī is generally described as an individual having abandoned the five saṃyojanas connected to what is inferior (orambhāgiya) that fetter him to the round of existence.



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anāgāmita: [an+āgāmī+ta] state of an anāgāmī.
This stage is described as being reachable by anyone who practices very
seriously, specially in the case where one is not able to become an arahant. See for example DN 22.



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anagāriya: homelessness. A characteristic of samaṇas.

♦ The word appears nearly always in the expression agārasmā anagāriyaṃ pabbajati (’He goes forth from the home life into homelessness’).

♦ The way in which a follower of the Buddha’s teaching adopts anagāriya is described in a standard formula.



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ānāpāna: breath, respiration. Always regarded as a tool for practicing the Dhamma and mentioned in the context of ānāpānassati.



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ānāpānassati: [ānāpāna+sati] mindfulness of in and out breathing, awareness of respiration. The practice of ānāpānassati is described in detail by the Buddha in the Ānāpānassati Sutta. See also a detailed analysis of these standard instructions here. It is often said that developing and practicing heedfully ānāpānassati is very fruitful and rewarding (’ānāpānassati bhāvanā bhāvitā bahulī·katā maha·pphalā hoti mah·ānisaṃsā‘). Thus, it is recommended for a large panel of purposes:

♦ at AN 6.115 for the abandoning of cetaso vikkhepa (mental disturbance).

♦ at AN 9.1 to achieve vitakk·upaccheda (stoppage of thoughts).

♦ at MN 62 to become mindful even of one’s last breath.

♦ at SN 54.9 to refresh oneself and allay any akusala dhamma that may have arisen.

♦ at MN 118 as a way to practice the four satipaṭṭhānas.

♦ at SN 54.2, as a way to develop the seven bojjhaṅgas.

♦ at SN 54.8, for a large panel of objectives: to prevent the body or eyes from getting tired (neva me kāyo kilameyya na cakkhūni), to abandon memories and intentions connected with the household life (ye me gehasitā sarasaṅkappā te pahīyeyyu), for various asubha practices, for attaining all the eight jhānas, for attaining the cessation of saññā and vedanā (saññā·vedayita·nirodha), and for the full comprehension of vedanā.

♦ It is explained at SN 54.11 that ānāpānassati·samādhi is what the Buddha generally practices during his vassa retreat, that ānāpānassati·samādhi is a noble dwelling (ariya·vihāra), a brahmic dwelling (brahma·vihāra), a Tathāgata’s dwelling (tathāgata·vihāra). For trainees (sekha), it leads to the destruction of āsavas. For arahant s, it procures a pleasant abiding, and sati·sampajañña.

♦ The practice of ānāpānassati is also declared at SN 54.4 to lead to either aññā or anāgāmitā in this very life, for those who practice seriously enough.



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anattā: [an+attā] no-self, egolessness, soullessness, impersonality, absence of identity.

♦ It is the third of the ti·lakkhaṇa, a universal fact whose understanding is declared at SN 22.42 to be a way to exert dhamm·ānudhamma·ppaṭipatti.

♦ The characteristic of anattā applies to all phenomena, as declared in a famous sentence which occurs in a handful of suttas: sabbe dhammā anattā’ (all phenomena are not-self).

♦ But as explained at SN 23.17, the characteristic of anattā is to be understood chiefly at the level of the five upādāna·kkhandhas, although it is frequent to find treatments of the six āyatanas - and the dhammas that are related to them - in terms of anattā in SN 35 (e.g. SN 35.6).

♦ The understanding of anattā is often described (e.g. SN 22.17) with a stock phrase: n·etaṃ mama, n·eso·ham·asmi, na m·eso attā‘ (This is not mine, I am not this, this is not my self). Ñāṇavīra considers this translation as misleading since he considers it can mean ‘but something else is mine’, and he prefers ‘Not, this is mine; not, this I am; not, this is my self’.

♦ The characteristic of anattā was taught by the Buddha for the first time in what is considered as his second discourse, the Anatta·lakkhaṇa Sutta. The intellectual argument used to expose this teaching is the fact that if each of the upādāna·kkhandhas belonged to the self, then the self would be able to decide how it should be, which is not the case. The understanding of anattā is then derived from the understanding of anicca and dukkha according to a standard series of questions.

♦ At MN 35, the Buddha explains anattā by absence of ownership, using an analogy with a king owning his realm.

♦ At AN 4.49, seeing as atta something which is actually anattā constitutes one of four saññā·vipallāsa (distortions of perception), citta·vipallāsa (perversions of the mind), diṭṭhi·vipallāsa (inversions of views), the other three being the corresponding misunderstanding of asubha, aniccā and dukkha.



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anattasaññā: [anattā+saññā]

perception of non-self.

♦ Very often, this perception is applied specifically to what is already perceived as unsatisfactory and it becomes dukkhe anatta·saññā.

♦ The practice of anatta·saññā leads to abandoning asmi·māna (AN 9.1).

♦ The practice of anatta·saññā also leads to abandoning attānu·diṭṭhi (the view of self): see AN 6.112.

♦ At AN 6.104, 6 benefits are cited as constituting enough motivation for establishing anatta·saññā in all dhammas.

♦ According to AN 7.49,
when one often applies his/her mind to this practice, he/she is
automatically devoid of I-making and my-making and dwells at peace,
liberated.

♦ The seven bojjhaṅgas can be developed in conjunction with anatta·saññā (SN 46.78).

♦ According to AN 7.27, so long as the bhikkhus practice anatta·saññā, only growth can be expected of them, not decline.

♦ Other perceptions usually associated with anatta·saññā include anicca·saññā, anicce dukkha·saññā, anatta·saññā, ādīnava·saññā, pahāna·saññā, virāga·saññā and nirodha·saññā.



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anavajja: [an+avajja] blameless, faultless. Opposed to sāvajja.
Although the meaning is slightly different, anavajja can be considered as a synonym of kusala: the explanation of what is the anavajja dhamma (blameless teaching), given in terms of the ten akusala kamma·patha at AN 10.184, is identical the explanation of what is kusala given at AN 10.180. Moreover, at MN 88, anavajja is clearly mentioned as a synonym of kusala, along with abyāpajjha and sukha·vipāka. We also find the following synonym and explanation at AN 3.66: viññu·ppasatthā (commended by the wise) and “[yo] hitāya sukhāya saṃvattati” ([what] leads to [one’s] welfare and well-being).

♦ The word anavajja·sukha (the pleasure of blamelessness) is repeatedly used to describe the feeling arising from observing the ariya sīla·kkhandha, which are described in their standard description (see at the bottom of that page).

♦ The word anavajja·bala (the strength of blamesslessness) appears at AN 4.153 and the two following suttas together with paññā·bala, vīriya·bala, sati·bala, samādhi·bala and bhāvana·bala. The word anavajja·bala is defined at AN 9.5 as the fact of being endowed with anavajja kāya·kamma, anavajja vacī·kamma and anavajja mano·kamma.



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anicca: [a+nicca]

1) adj: inconstant, impermanent, momentary.

2) n: inconstancy, impermanence, momentariness.

♦ The understanding of anicca is described with the attainment of sotāpatti as the rise of ‘the Dhamma eye’ (Dhamma·cakkhu): “yaṃ kiñci samudaya·dhammaṃ, sabbaṃ taṃ nirodha·dhamman”ti (whatever has the nature of arising has the nature of ceasing). It is the case of āyasmā Koṇḍañña at SN 56.11.

Anicca is the first of the ti·lakkhaṇas, a universal fact whose understanding is declared at SN 22.40 to be a way to exert dhamm·ānudhamma·ppaṭipatti.

♦ The characteristic of anicca applies to all saṅkhārās, as declared in a famous sentence which occurs in a handful of suttas: sabbe saṅkhārā aniccā’ (all conditioned phenomena are inconstant).

♦ But as explained at SN 23.13, the characteristic of anicca is to be understood chiefly at the level of the five upādāna·kkhandhas, although it is frequent to find treatments of the six āyatanas - and the dhammas that are related to them - in terms of anicca in the Saḷāyatana Saṃyutta (e.g. SN 35.4).

♦ At AN 4.49, seeing as nicca something which is actually anicca constitutes one of four saññā·vipallāsa (distortions of perception), citta·vipallāsa (perversions of the mind), diṭṭhi·vipallāsa (inversions of views), the other three being the corresponding misunderstanding of asubha, dukkha and anatta.

The impermanence of phenomena is described as the fact that they arise, transform, and pass away. It is the first of the ti·lakkhaṇa, and is considered as the easiest to be observed. Its understanding naturally leads to the understanding of the other two.



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aniccasaññā: [anicca+saññā]

perception of impermanence/inconstancy. This practice is explained at AN 10.60: it happens at level of the five khandhas.

♦ The practice of anicca·saññā leads to abandoning asmi·māna (MN 62). The process is explained at AN 9.1: anicca·saññā leads to anatta·saññā, which in turn leads to asmi·māna·samugghāta (eradication of the conceit ‘I am’).

♦ At SN 22.102, it is said that anicca·saññā leads to the elimination of kāma·rāga, rūpa·rāga, bhava·rāga, avijjā, and the eradication of asmi·māna. The sutta lists 10 similes to underline the power of anicca·saññā.

♦ The practice of anicca·saññā also leads to abandoning assāda·diṭṭhi (the view of sensory enjoyment): see AN 6.112.

♦ At AN 6.102, 6 benefits are cited as constituting enough motivation for establishing anicca·saññā in all saṅkhāras.

♦ According to AN 7.49, when one often applies his/her mind to this practice, he/she is automatically repulsed by lābha·sakkāra·siloka.

♦ The seven bojjhaṅgas can be developed in conjunction with anicca·saññā (SN 46.76).

♦ According to AN 7.27, so long as the bhikkhus practice anicca·saññā, only growth can be expected of them, not decline.

♦ In the Aṅguttara Nikāya, anicca·saññā often appears together with asubha·saññā, āhāre paṭikūla·saññā, sabba·loke an·abhirata·saññā, maraṇa·saññā, anicce dukkha·saññā, (sometimes preceded by: dukkhe) anatta·saññā, ādīnava·saññā, pahāna·saññā, virāga·saññā and nirodha·saññā.



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anicce dukkhasaññā: [anicca dukkha+saññā]

perception of suffering in what is inconstant.

♦ It nearly always appears in the following progression: anicca·saññā, anicce dukkha·saññā, dukkhe anatta·saññā.

♦ According to AN 7.49,
when one often applies his/her mind to this practice, a vivid
perception of danger towards laziness is automatically established in
him/her.



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ānisaṃsa: benefit, good result, generally relating to a practice.



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anusaya: inclination, latent tendency, propensity, persistance of a dormant or latent disposition. The seven anusayas are listed at AN 7.11:


1. kāma·rāg·ānusaya
2. paṭigh·ānusaya
3. diṭṭh·ānusaya
4. vicikicch·ānusaya
5. mān·ānusaya
6. bhava·rāg·ānusaya
7. avijj·ānusaya

According to Rhys Davids: ‘In the oldest texts the word usually
occurs absolutely, without mention of the cause or direction of the
bias. [This] list govern[s] the connotation of the word, but it would be
wrong to put that connotation back into [all] the earlier passages.’

♦ According to MN 148, rāg·ānusaya and paṭigh·ānusaya are activated by mental reaction (i.e. ayoniso manasikāra) to sukhā vedanā and dukkhā vedanā respectively, whereas avijj·ānusaya is activated on account of adukkham·asukhā vedanā with lack of proper understanding, attitude which is described at SN 36.6 as typical of an uninstructed (assutavā) puthujjana. On the other hand, those anusayas are not activated if one abstains from these mental reactions and develops proper understanding, attitude which is described at SN 36.6 as typical of an instructed (sutavā) ariyasāvaka.

♦ According to MN 18, the cessation of all these anusayas comes from not finding anything to delight in, welcome, or remain fastened to in the source from which saññās and categories [born of] papañca beset an individual (yato·nidānaṃ purisaṃ papañca·saññā·saṅkhā samudācaranti, ettha ce natthi abhinanditabbaṃ abhivaditabbaṃ ajjhositabbaṃ). This explains why at MN 44 all vedanās are not underlied by anusayas.

♦ According to AN 7.12, the brahmacariya is fulfilled (brahmacariya vussati) with the abandoning and destruction of each anusaya, and the end of suffering is reached when all of them have been abandoned.



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anussati: [anu+sati]

recollection, remembrance, calling to mind.
There are six main anussatis which are generally called together anussatiṭṭhāna (subjects of recollection). They are defined at AN 6.25. They consist of:

1. Buddh·ānussati

2. Dhamm·ānussati

3. Saṅgh·ānussati

4. sīl·ānussati

5. cāg·ānussati

6. devat·ānussati

The first four of these are analyzed in detail here.
This list of six is quite well supported by other suttas, although
there can be some variations. Sometimes only five of them occur (e.g. AN 3.71) or some are replaced by different though similar ones (e.g. kalyāṇamitte instead of Saṅgha at AN 11.13). AN 3.71 emphasizes their importance as it describes them as main practices to be undertaken by lay people for observing Uposatha. The effects that the practice of these anussatis has on the mind are described as follows:

♦ At SN 11.3, the first three of them (Buddh·ānussati, Dhamm·ānussati Saṅgh·ānussati) are recommended to allay any kind of fear.

♦ According to AN 3.71, the mind becomes bright (cittaṃ pasīdati), joy arises (pāmojjaṃ uppajjati), and the impurities of the mind are abandoned (ye cittassa upakkilesā te pahīyanti). According to AN 6.25, these anussatis also make the mind upright and make an ariyasāvaka emerge from the five kāma·guṇas.

♦ According to AN 11.13, the anussatis should be used as a basis for establishing sati.

♦ At AN 6.30, recollecting the Buddha or one of his disciples constitutes the supreme recollection (anussat·ānuttariya) for the purification of beings, etc. (formula of the Mahāsatipaṭṭhāna Sutta’s introduction).

♦ According to AN 6.10, when an ariyasāvaka practices these anussatis, at that time his mind is not under the sway of any of the three akusala·mūlas, and he gains an inspiration and a joy (pāmojja) that can lead him up to samādhi.

♦ At AN 6.141, the six anussatis are recommended for the abhiññā of rāga.

♦ Between AN 1.296 and AN 1.301, each of the six anussatis is recommended for attaining virāga, nirodha, upasama, abhiññā, sambodhi and nibbāna. And again between AN 1.485 and AN 1.490, one who develops each of them is said to respond to the Buddha’s advice and not eat piṇḍapāta in vain.

♦ According to MN 28, if the practice of the first three anussatis does not bear its fruits, then one should arouse saṃvega.

♦ One other major use of the concept (more than 80 times in the four Nikāyas) is to refer to the practice of pubbe·nivās·ānussati·ñāṇa (e.g. AN 3.102) in the stock phrase: ‘bhikkhu
anekavihitaṃ pubbenivāsaṃ anussarati, seyyathidaṃ ekampi jātiṃ… (a
bhikkhu recollects his various former abodes, that is to say one
birth… etc.)’
which is analyzed in detail here.

AN 10.153 and AN 10.197 specify things that should not be recollected (na anussaritabbaṃ): each factor of the tenfold micchā·paṭipadā (including micchā·ñāṇa and micchā·vimutti), as well as any undertaking of whichever of the ten akusala kamma·pathas. The opposite factors are to be recollected.

♦ Recollecting those who are accomplished on the path
is said to be very helpful. At SN 46.3, it is an opportunity to
recollect the Dhamma learned from them and it arouses sati·sambojjhaṅga. At MN 68, a bhikkhu recollecting a noble companion who has passed away directs his mind towards his saddhā, suta, sīla, cāga and paññā. At MN 31, basically anyone recollecting hardcore practitioners such as Anuruddha, Nandiya and Kimibila will get benefited.

♦ There is mention of another anussati, the recollection of peace (upasam·ānussati),
which appears only at AN 1.305 and AN 1.494. It is not defined anywhere
in the suttas. The Visuddhimagga defines it in terms similar to virāga·saññā and nirodha·saññā.

♦ There is also another completely different set of five anussatis that appears only at AN 6.29. Those are:

1. The first three jhānas, leading to a pleasant abiding in the visible world (diṭṭha·dhamma·sukha·vihāra)

2. āloka·saññā, leading to the attainment of knowledge and vision (ñāṇa·dassana·p·paṭilābha)

3. the 31 body parts, leading to abandoning sensual avidity (kāma·rāga·p·pahāna)

4. the nine sivathika contemplations, leading to the uprooting of the conceit ‘I am’ (asmi·māna·samugghāta)

5. The fourth jhāna, leading to the attainment of various elements (aneka·dhātu·paṭivedha).

The fifth referring most probably to the six abhiññās.



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anussava: [anu+sava]

1) hearsay, report, rumor. Clearly used in this sense at MN 68.

2) what has been heard/learned from another
(through religion, philosophy, science, knowledge, theories, opinions
and traditions of all sorts), anussavika being in this case most simply (although somewhat narrowly) translated as traditionalist. The brahmins of the three Vedas are described as such at MN 100.

See also the analysis provided in footnote 1 here.

♦ At MN 76, two dangers of relying on an anussava are cited: the teachings or opinions may not be remembered correctly, and they may simply not be true.

Anussava appears most often in two sets of either erroneous or uncertain grounds for accepting a teaching or a view:

♦ In conjunction with paramparā (what has been transmitted [by a tradition]), itikira (general consensus), piṭakasampadāna (what has been handed down in a collection of texts), takkahetu (the basis of logical reasoning), nayahetu (the basis of inference), ākāraparivitakka (deep reflection), diṭṭhinijjhānakkhanti, bhabbarūpatā (what seems probable), and “samaṇo no garū”ti ([the thought:] ‘The samaṇa is our revered teacher’). See for example AN 3.66 orAN 3.67.

♦ In conjunction with saddhā, ruci (liking), ākāraparivitakka (deep reflection), and diṭṭhinijjhānakkhanti.
At SN 35.153, these five are contrasted with “having seen phenomenas with discernment” (dhammā paññāya disvā).
At SN 12.68 they are contrasted with “I know, I see” (jānāmi, passāmi). At MN 95, they are presented as five improper grounds to draw a definite conclusion (ekaṃsena niṭṭhaṃ gacchati).



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anuttaro purisadammasārathī: supreme leader of
persons to be tamed - one of the attributes of the Buddha, which appears
in his standard description (for which see Buddhānussati). See the explanation of the term given at MN 137.



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āpatti: vinaya offense. There are ten types of offenses: pārājika, saṅghādisesa,
aniyata (indefinite), nissaggiya pāctittiya (forfeiture and
confession), pāctittiya (confession only), pāṭidesanīya
(acknowledgement), sekhia (training), dukkaṭa, dubbhāsita (wrong speech) and thullaccaya (grave offense).



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apāya:

1) ruin, loss, separation (from wealth or dear ones)

2) lapse, falling away (e.g. from good conduct)

3) state of woe, unhappy afterlife. Almost always associated with vinipāta and dug·gati. The apāya are traditionally numbered as four: birth as an asura, in petti·visaya, in tiracchāna·yoni and in niraya.

♦ According to AN 10.176, beings are lead to such states of existence by adopting the ten akusala kamma·pathas, often referred to as the threefold duccaritas.
A very large number of other behavior are described as having the same
result, most of which though are mere elaborations of the aforementioned
ten duccaritas. For example: stinginess (macchera), envy (issā), kāma·rāga [SN 37.4]; being faithless (assaddha), without conscienciousness (ahirika), without scruple (anottappī), angry (kodhana), undiscerning (duppañña) [SN 37.5], malicious (upanāhī) [SN 37.6], lazy (kusīta) [SN 37.12] etc. It is also said (e.g. MN 41) that the reason for going to an apāya is conduct that is not in accordance with the Dhamma and conduct that is unrighteous (a·dhamma·cariyā·visama·cariyā).

♦ According to AN 8.54, there are four sources of apāya (ruin) in this human life: womanizing (itthi·dhutta), drunkenness (surā·dhutta), gambling (akkha·dhutta), and bad friends (pāpa·mitta).



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appamāda: [a+pamāda]

heedfulness, assiduity, diligence, seriousness of practice. The Commentary glosses it as similar in meaning to sati, although if the latter often refers to remembering the cultivation of skilful states, appamāda is rather focused on avoiding unskilful mental states. Bhikkhu Bodhi remarks: appamāda
“denotes an attitude of critical scrutiny directed toward one’s own
mind both in its internal movement and in its reactions to external
affairs. The term suggests diligent effort and acute attentiveness, and
it further sounds a note of moral caution and care.”
Appamāda is defined at SN 48.56 as follows:



Katamo ca bhikkhave, appamādo? Idha, bhikkhave, bhikkhu cittaṃ rakkhati āsavesu ca sāsavesu ca dhammesu.

And what, bhikkhus, is heedfulness? Here, bhikkhus, a bhikkhu protects his mind against the mental impurities and the mental states that accompany them.




Another explicit definition is given at SN 35.97 in relation to two criteria (sense restraint and knowing phenomena):



kathañca, bhikkhave, appamādavihārī hoti? cakkhundriyaṃ…
jivhindriyaṃ… manindriyaṃ saṃvutassa, bhikkhave, viharato cittaṃ na
byāsiñcati cakkhuviññeyyesu rūpesu. tassa abyāsittacittassa pāmojjaṃ
jāyati. pamuditassa pīti jāyati. pītimanassa kāyo passambhati.
passaddhakāyo sukhaṃ viharati. sukhino cittaṃ samādhiyati. samāhite
citte dhammā pātubhavanti. dhammānaṃ pātubhāvā appamādavihārī tveva
saṅkhaṃ gacchati.

And how, bhikkhus, does one dwell heedfully? In one, bhikkhus, who
dwells restraining the eye faculty… tongue faculty… mind faculty,
the mind is not stained by mental phenomena cognizable by the mind. In one whose mind is not stained, joy arises. In one who is joyful, exaltation arises. For one who is exalted, the body becomes tranquil. One whose body is tranquil dwells in well-being. For one in well-being, the mind concentrates. When the mind is concentrated, phenomena become manifest. When phenomena are manifest, one is considered as ‘one who dwells heedfully’.




Yet another explicit definition is given at SN 55.40, in relation to not remaining content with the four sot·āpattiy·aṅgas and cultivating solitude:



kathañca, nandiya, ariyasāvako appamādavihārī hoti? idha, nandiya,
ariyasāvako buddhe… dhamme… sanghe aveccappasādena… ariyakantehi
sīlehi samannāgato hoti… so tena ariyakantehi sīlehi asantuṭṭho
uttari vāyamati divā pavivekāya rattiṃ paṭisallānāya. tassa evaṃ
appamattassa viharato pāmojjaṃ jāyati. etc.

And how, Nandiya, does a noble disciple dwell heedfully? Here, Nandiya, a noble disciple is endowed with verified confidence in the BuddhaDhammaSangha… with virtues that are pleasing to the noble ones… Not content with virtues that are pleasing to the noble ones, he strives further in solitude by day and seclusion by night. For him, dwelling thus heedfully, joy arises etc. (the same as above)




At AN 4.76, appamāda is defined as having hiri and ottappa:



hirīmāyaṃ, bhikkhave, ottāpī appamatto hoti.

One, bhikkhus, who has conscientiousness and moral cautiousness is heedful.



Appamāda plays a very important role in the Buddha’s teaching, as his last words make it obvious (SN 6.15):



‘vayadhammā saṅkhārā, appamādena sampādethā’ti.

By nature, Fabrications pass away. Strive with heedfulness.



♦ The Buddha states at AN 2.5 how decisive he considered appamāda had been for his own enlightenment:



tassa mayhaṃ, bhikkhave, appamādādhigatā sambodhi, appamādādhigato anuttaro yogakkhemo.

It was through heedfulness, bhikkhus, that I achieved awakening, it was by heedfulness that I achieved the supreme relief from the yoke.



♦ The importance of appamāda is often stressed with reference to the act of meditating (jhāyati) at the end of certain suttas, in the following formula:



“yaṃ, bhikkhave, satthārā karaṇīyaṃ sāvakānaṃ hitesinā anukampakena
anukampaṃ upādāya, kataṃ vo taṃ mayā. etāni, bhikkhave, rukkhamūlāni,
etāni suññāgārāni; jhāyatha, bhikkhave, mā pamādattha; mā pacchā
vippaṭisārino ahuvattha. ayaṃ vo amhākaṃ anusāsanī”ti.

What should be done by a Teacher out of compassion for his disciples,
seeking their welfare and having compassion for them, that I have done
for you. There are these roots of trees, those are empty dwellings.
Meditate, bhikkhus, do not be negligent, do not regret it later. This is
our instruction to you.



♦ Its importance is also attested at AN 10.15 and then illustrated by ten similes:



ye keci, bhikkhave, dhammā kusalā kusalabhāgiyā kusalapakkhikā, sabbe te
appamādamūlakā appamādasamosaraṇā, appamādo tesaṃ dhammānaṃ
aggamakkhāyati.

Whatever states there are that are skilful, partaking of the skilful, siding with the skilful, all of them are rooted in heedfulness, they converge in heedfulness, and heedfulness is reckoned as the foremost among them.



♦ The Dhammapada has its own full Chapter II on the topic of appamāda.

♦ At AN 4.116, appamāda is recomended to abandon the threefold duccarita and micchā·diṭṭhi, and at AN 4.117 to prevent the three akusala·mūlas from taking over the mind as well as to ward off intoxication (mada).

♦ Miscellaneous quotes about appamāda:

AN 10.68


yassa kassaci appamādo atthi kusalesu dhammesu, tassa yā ratti vā divaso
vā āgacchati, vuddhiyeva pāṭikaṅkhā kusalesu dhammesu no parihāni.

For one who is heedful in skilful mental states, whether night or day comes, only growth and not deterioration in skilful mental states is to be expected.



SN 1.36


appamādañca medhāvī, dhanaṃ seṭṭhaṃva rakkhati.

A wise man guards heedfulness as his foremost treasure.



AN 6.19


‘appamattā viharissāma, tikkhaṃ maraṇassatiṃ bhāvessāma āsavānaṃ khayāyā’ti.

We will remain heedful, we will develop mindfulness of death keenly for the destruction of mental impurities.



♦ Miscellaneous quotes about lay practice:

AN 6.53


appamādo eko dhammo bhāvito bahulīkato ubho atthe samadhiggayha tiṭṭhati: diṭṭhadhammikañceva atthaṃ yo ca attho samparāyiko.

Heedfulness is the one thing that, when developed and pursued, can bring
both kinds of benefit: the benefit in the visible world and the benefit
in the future life.



AN 5.213


sīlavā sīlasampanno appamādādhikaraṇaṃ mahantaṃ bhogakkhandhaṃ adhigacchati.

The virtuous endowed with virtue accumulates much wealth thanks to heedfulness.



SN 3.18


“appamattassa te, mahārāja, viharato appamādaṃ upanissāya, attāpi gutto
rakkhito bhavissati: itthāgārampi guttaṃ rakkhitaṃ bhavissati,
kosakoṭṭhāgārampi guttaṃ rakkhitaṃ bhavissatī”ti

When, Mahārāja, you remain heedful, with heedfulness for support, you
yourself will be guarded and protected, your retinue of women will be
guarded and protected, your treasury and storehouse will be guarded and
protected.





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appicchatā: [appa+iccha+]

1) litt: fewness of desires; fact of being easily satisfied, of desiring little.

2) modesty, unpretentiousness.

The word is close in meaning to santuṭṭhitā. The antonym is mahicchatā.

♦ At MN 4, appicchatā is opposed to lābha·sakkāra·siloka nikāmayati (desiring gain, honor and fame):



na kho panāhaṃ lābhasakkārasilokaṃ nikāmayamāno araññavanapatthāni
pantāni senāsanāni paṭisevāmi; appicchohamasmi. ye hi vo ariyā appicchā
araññavanapatthāni pantāni senāsanāni paṭisevanti tesamahaṃ aññataro’ti.

But I do not resort to distant forest lodgings desirous of gain, honor
or fame; I am of few desires. I resort to distant forest lodgings being
one among those who are noble and of few desires.



♦ At AN 8.23, appicchatā is referred to as not desiring others to know about one’s own good qualities:



appiccho so, bhikkhu, kulaputto santeyeva attani kusaladhamme na icchati parehi ñāyamāne.

That son a family, bhikkhu, has few desires, since he does not desire that others would know his inner wholesome qualities.



AN 8.30 defines the term along the same line, with direct reference to some of those qualities.

♦ At AN 1.63, appicchatā is presented as one of the core qualities to be developed:



“nāhaṃ, bhikkhave, aññaṃ ekadhammampi samanupassāmi yena anuppannā vā
kusalā dhammā uppajjanti uppannā vā akusalā dhammā parihāyanti
yathayidaṃ, bhikkhave, appicchatā.

Bhikkhus, I do not see a single other quality on account of which
unarisen wholesome qualities arise and arisen unwholesome qualities
disappear so much as fewness of desires.



AN 1.119


“nāhaṃ, bhikkhave, aññaṃ ekadhammampi samanupassāmi yo evaṃ saddhammassa
ṭhitiyā asammosāya anantaradhānāya saṃvattati yathayidaṃ, bhikkhave,
appicchatā.

Bhikkhus, I do not see a single other quality that leads to the
prolongation, non-confusion and non-disappearence of the authentic
Dhamma so much as fewness of desires.





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āraddhavīriya: [āraddha+vīriya]

1) (n:) aroused energy

2) (n:) one who is energetic, who has aroused energy

3) (adj:) energetic, of/with aroused energy. Bala·sampanna (possessing strength) is a synonym (AN 3.97) and kusīta (lazy) is the antonym (SN 12.22 below). Asallīna (unflagging, tireless) is a synonym for āraddha (e.g. at MN 4). The associated noun is vīriy·ārambha. Being āraddha·vīriya is defined in two major ways. The general definition is as follows (e.g. at AN 8.30):



Bhikkhu āraddha·vīriyo viharati a·kusalānaṃ dhammānaṃ pahānāya,
kusalānaṃ dhammānaṃ upasampadāya, thāmavā daḷha·parakkamo
anikkhitta·dhuro kusalesu dhammesu

A bhikkhu remains with aroused energy, for abandoning unskilful mental
states, for acquiring skilful mental states, he is steadfast, firm in
his effort, without relaxing from his duty regarding skilful mental
states.



Another definition, more impressive, is sometimes given (e.g. at SN 21.3):



‘āraddhavīriyo āraddhavīriyoti, bhante, vuccati. kittāvatā nu kho,
bhante, āraddhavīriyo hotī’ti? … bhikkhu āraddha·vīriyo viharati:
‘kāmaṃ taco ca nhāru ca aṭṭhī ca avasissatu, sarīre upasussatu
maṃsa·lohitaṃ, yaṃ taṃ purisa·thāmena purisa·vīriyena purisa·parakkamena
pattabbaṃ na taṃ a·pāpuṇitvā vīriyassa saṇṭhānaṃ bhavissatī’ti.

‘One with aroused energy, one with aroused energy’, Bhante, is it said.
But how, Bhante, is one with aroused energy? … A bhikkhu remains with
aroused energy: ‘Let only my skin, sinews, and bones remain, let the
flesh and blood in my body dry up, but there will be no relaxation of my
energy without having attained what is to be gained by manly
steadfastness, by manly energy, by manly effort.’



♦ At SN 48.50, being āraddha·vīriya is seen as a consequence of having saddhā and as being a basis for developing sati, and then in turn samādhi.

♦ According to AN 1.18, being āraddha·vīriya, destroys and prevents the arising of thīna·middhā, which is one of the five nīvaraṇas.

♦ According to AN 1.61, being āraddha·vīriya, is the best way to foster kusalā dhammā and to remove akusalā dhammā.

♦ According to MN 118, in one who is āraddha·vīriya appears pīti nirāmisa (unworldly exaltation).

♦ Probably the most inspiring words about arousing energy are given at SN 12.22:



“dukkhaṃ, bhikkhave, kusīto viharati vokiṇṇo pāpakehi akusalehi
dhammehi, mahantañca sadatthaṃ parihāpeti. āraddhavīriyo ca kho,
bhikkhave, sukhaṃ viharati pavivitto pāpakehi akusalehi dhammehi,
mahantañca sadatthaṃ paripūreti. na, bhikkhave, hīnena aggassa patti
hoti. aggena ca kho, bhikkhave, aggassa patti hoti.

A lazy person, bhikkhus, dwells in suffering, full of evil unskilful
mental states, and great is the personal welfare that he loses. But a
person of aroused energy dwells in well-being, secluded from evil
unskilful mental states, and great is the personal welfare that he
achieves. It is not by the inferior that the supreme is obtained;
rather, it is by the
supreme that the supreme is obtained.

maṇḍapeyyamidaṃ, bhikkhave, brahmacariyaṃ, satthā sammukhībhūto.
tasmātiha, bhikkhave, vīriyaṃ ārabhatha appattassa pattiyā,
anadhigatassa adhigamāya, asacchikatassa sacchikiriyāya. ‘evaṃ no ayaṃ
amhākaṃ pabbajjā avañjhā bhavissati saphalā saudrayā. yesañca mayaṃ
paribhuñjāma
cīvara-piṇḍapātasenāsana-gilāna-ppaccaya-bhesajja-parikkhāraṃ tesaṃ te
kārā amhesu mahapphalā bhavissanti mahānisaṃsā’ti. evañhi vo, bhikkhave,
sikkhitabbaṃ.

This brahmic way, bhikkhus, is a beverage of cream; the Teacher is
present. Therefore, bhikkhus, arouse your energy for the attainment of
what has not yet been attained, for the achievement of what has not yet
been attained, for the realization of what has not yet been attained,
[thinking]: ‘In such a way this going forth of ours will not be barren,
rather it will be fruitful and fertile; and when we use the robes,
almsfood, lodgings, and medicinal requisites [offered to us by others],
these services they provide for us will be of great fruit and
great benefit to them.’ Thus, bhikkhus, should you train yourselves.

attatthaṃ vā hi, bhikkhave, sampassamānena alameva appamādena
sampādetuṃ; paratthaṃ vā hi, bhikkhave, sampassamānena alameva
appamādena sampādetuṃ; ubhayatthaṃ vā hi, bhikkhave, sampassamānena
alameva appamādena sampādetun”ti.

Seeing your own welfare, bhikkhus, is enough to strive with heedfulness;
seeing the welfare of others is enough to strive with heedfulness;
seeing the welfare of both is enough to strive with heedfulness.



♦ According to AN 6.55, acc·āraddha·vīriya (excess of energy) leads to uddhacca (’acc·āraddha·vīriyaṃ uddhaccāya saṃvattati’) and according to MN 128, it can lead to falling away from samādhi,
just as one would kill a quail by holding it too strongly by the neck.
By the way, this could interestingly explain what happens at AN 9.35, where one also falls away from samādhi as a result of undertaking a wrong way to reach the second jhāna from the first. MN 128 also explains that being atilīna·vīriya (lacking energy) can lead to falling away from samādhi, just as one would let go of a quail by not holding it strongly enough.

Vīriy·indriya (spiritual faculty of energy) is defined as being āraddha·vīriya (SN 48.9).

♦ According to AN 10.76, being āraddha·vīriya renders one capable of abandoning uddhacca, a·saṃvara (non-restraint) and dus·sīla (unvirtuous behavior).

♦ At AN 4.11, continuously suppressing the three types of unskilful vitakkas in all the four postures is described as being āraddha·vīriya.

♦ At AN 4.12, having abandoned the five nīvaraṇas, having established sati, passaddhi and finally being samāhita is described as being āraddha·vīriya.

♦ According to AN 1.324 and AN 1.325, being āraddha·vīriya leads to dukkha in a badly expounded teaching (dur·akkhāta dhamma·vinaya) and to sukha in a well expounded teaching (sv·ākkhāta dhamma·vinaya).



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arahant: lit: ‘a worthy one’. Derived from verb ‘arahati’ (to be worthy of, to deserve, to merit). It seems the term was already in use in India before the Buddha and used as an honorific title, particularly for samaṇas.
Mahavira, the founder of Jainism, is also referred to as an arahant in
Jain scriptures. In the context of the Buddha’s teaching, it refers to
an individual who has completed the path and will not be reborn after
death. The suttas offer a great variety of ways to define an arahant.
At the time of death, he enters Parinibbāna.



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arahatta: state of an arahant.



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arañña: forest, wilderness.

Arañña is one of nine vivitta senāsana (secluded lodgings) often cited in the suttas as proper places for practice (eg. MN 27, AN 9.40):



vivittaṃ senāsanaṃ bhajati araññaṃ rukkhamūlaṃ pabbataṃ kandaraṃ giriguhaṃ susānaṃ vanapatthaṃ abbhokāsaṃ palālapuñjaṃ.

He resorts to a secluded dwelling: the forest, the foot of a tree, a
mountain, a glen, a hillside cave, a charnel ground, a forest thicket, a
place out in the open, a heap of straw.



Often, the list is shortened as follows:



araññagato vā rukkhamūlagato vā suññāgāragato vā nisīdati…

Having gone to the forest or at the foot of a tree or in an empty room, he seats down…



In a few occasions, it is mentioned that brahmins or sages live in leaf huts in the forest (araññ·āyatane paṇṇa·kuṭīsu), as at DN 27, MN 93 and SN 11.9, or that the Buddha or other monks live in forest huts (arañña·kuṭika), as at SN 4.20, MN 125 or MN 136.

♦ Being a forest dweller (āraññika) was held
in very high esteem by the Buddha and according to SN 15.13, it seems
that he saw this practice, together with others, as very helpful for
liberation:



“ime kho tiṃsamattā pāveyyakā bhikkhū sabbe āraññikā sabbe piṇḍapātikā
sabbe paṃsukūlikā sabbe tecīvarikā sabbe sasaṃyojanā. yaṃnūnāhaṃ imesaṃ
tathā dhammaṃ deseyyaṃ yathā nesaṃ imasmiṃyeva āsane anupādāya āsavehi
cittāni vimucceyyun”ti.

These thirty bhikkhus from Pāvā are all forest dwellers, almsfood
eaters, cast-off rags wearers, three-robes-only users [but] still
fettered. What if I taught them the Dhamma in such a way that their
minds would be liberated from their impurities through non-attachment
[while sitting] on those very seats?



At SN 16.5, the list is expanded with additional qualities:

· piṇḍapāt·ika (almsfood eater)

· paṃsu·kūl·ika (cast-off rags wearer)

· te·cīvar·ika (three-robes-only user)

· appiccha

· santuṭṭha

· pavivitta

· asaṃsaṭṭha (lonesome)

· āraddha·vīriya



“ahaṃ kho, bhante, dīgharattaṃ āraññiko ceva āraññikattassa ca
vaṇṇavādī, piṇḍapātiko ceva piṇḍapātikattassa ca vaṇṇavādī, paṃsukūliko
ceva paṃsukūlikattassa ca vaṇṇavādī, tecīvariko ceva tecīvarikattassa ca
vaṇṇavādī, appiccho ceva appicchatāya ca vaṇṇavādī, santuṭṭho ceva
santuṭṭhiyā ca vaṇṇavādī, pavivitto ceva pavivekassa ca vaṇṇavādī,
asaṃsaṭṭho ceva asaṃsaggassa ca vaṇṇavādī, āraddhavīriyo ceva
vīriyārambhassa ca vaṇṇavādī”ti.

Bhante, for a long time I have been a forest dweller and have praised
dwelling in the forest. I have been an almsfood eater and have praised
eating almsfood. I have been a cast-off rags wearer and have praised
wearing cast off rags. I have been a three-robes-only user and have
praised using only three robes. I have been of few desires and have
praised being of few desires. I have been content and have praised being
content. I have been reclusive and have praised being reclusive. I have
been lonely and have praised being lonely. I have been of aroused
energy and have praised being of aroused energy.



♦ Forest dwelling is often recommended to the monks, as at AN 5.114:



“ye te, ānanda, bhikkhū navā acirapabbajitā adhunāgatā imaṃ
dhammavinayaṃ, te vo, ānanda, bhikkhū pañcasu dhammesu samādapetabbā
nivesetabbā patiṭṭhāpetabbā. katamesu pañcasu?

Ananda, the new monks — those who have not long gone forth, who are
newcomers in this Dhamma & Discipline — should be encouraged,
exhorted, and established in these five things. Which five?

(…)

(…)

“‘etha tumhe, āvuso, āraññikā hotha, araññavanapatthāni pantāni
senāsanāni paṭisevathā’ti. iti kāyavūpakāse samādapetabbā nivesetabbā
patiṭṭhāpetabbā.

‘Come, friends, dwell in the forest. Resort to distant forest thicket
lodgings.’ Thus they should be encouraged, exhorted, & established
in physical seclusion.



AN 1.378


“addhamidaṃ, bhikkhave, lābhānaṃ yadidaṃ āraññikattaṃ”ti.

This is truly a gain, bhikkhus: being a forest dweller.



AN 5.98


Pañcahi, bhikkhave, dhammehi samannāgato bhikkhu ānāpānassatiṃ āsevanto
nacirasseva akuppaṃ paṭivijjhati. Katamehi pañcahi? (…) āraññako hoti
pantasenāsano

Endowed with five qualities, a bhikkhu practicing mindfulness of
breathing will in no long time penetrate the unshakable [state]. Which
five? (…) he is a forest dweller, [resorting to] distant lodgings



♦ The benefits of dwelling in the forest are mentioned in various places, such as AN 2.31:



“dvāhaṃ, bhikkhave, atthavase sampassamāno araññavanapatthāni pantāni
senāsanāni paṭisevāmi. katame dve? attano ca diṭṭhadhammasukhavihāraṃ
sampassamāno, pacchimañca janataṃ anukampamāno.

Bhikkhus, I resort to distant forest thicket lodgings seeing two
benefits. Which two? Seeing my own pleasant abiding in the visible
world, and out of compassion for the new generation.



At MN 150, dwelling in the forest is considered a warrant for being a worthy bhikkhu.



“sace pana vo, gahapatayo, aññatitthiyā paribbājakā evaṃ puccheyyuṃ: ‘ke
panāyasmantānaṃ ākārā, ke anvayā, yena tumhe āyasmanto evaṃ vadetha:
addhā te āyasmanto vītarāgā vā rāgavinayāya vā paṭipannā, vītadosā vā
dosavinayāya vā paṭipannā, vītamohā vā mohavinayāya vā paṭipannā’ti?
evaṃ puṭṭhā tumhe, gahapatayo, tesaṃ aññatitthiyānaṃ paribbājakānaṃ evaṃ
byākareyyātha: ‘tathā hi te āyasmanto araññavanapatthāni pantāni
senāsanāni paṭisevanti. natthi kho pana tattha tathārūpā cakkhuviññeyyā
rūpā ye disvā disvā abhirameyyuṃ, natthi kho pana tattha tathārūpā
sotaviññeyyā saddā ye sutvā sutvā abhirameyyuṃ, natthi kho pana tattha
tathārūpā ghānaviññeyyā gandhā ye ghāyitvā ghāyitvā abhirameyyuṃ, natthi
kho pana tattha tathārūpā jivhāviññeyyā rasā ye sāyitvā sāyitvā
abhirameyyuṃ, natthi kho pana tattha tathārūpā kāyaviññeyyā phoṭṭhabbā
ye phusitvā phusitvā abhirameyyuṃ. ime kho no, āvuso, ākārā, ime anvayā,
yena mayaṃ evaṃ vadema: addhā te āyasmanto vītarāgā vā rāgavinayāya vā
paṭipannā, vītadosā vā dosavinayāya vā paṭipannā, vītamohā vā
mohavinayāya vā paṭipannā’ti.

And if, householders, heterodox spiritual wanderers ask you: ‘And
what are your reasons and with reference to what do you claim of those
venerable ones: “Certainly, those venerable ones are devoid of lust or
are practicing for the elimination of lust, they are devoid of aversion
or are practicing for the elimination of aversion, they are devoid of
delusion or are practicing for the elimination of delusion”?’
If you are questioned thus, householders, you should answer to those heterodox spiritual wanderers: ‘It
is because those venerable ones resort to distant forest thicket
lodgings, since there are no visible forms cognizable by the eye there
such that, having seen them, they might delight in them; there are no
sounds cognizable by the ear there such that, having heard them, they
might delight in them; there are no smells cognizable by the nose there
such that, having smelled them, they might delight in them; there are no
tastes cognizable by the tongue there such that, having tasted them,
they might delight in them; there are no bodily sensations cognizable by
the body there such that, having felt them, they might delight in them;
these, friends, are our reasons, it is with reference to this that we
claim: “Certainly, those venerable ones are devoid of lust or are
practicing for the elimination of lust, they are devoid of aversion or
are practicing for the elimination of aversion, they are devoid of
delusion or are practicing for the elimination of delusion”.’



At MN 121, the perception of the forest that develops through forest dwelling is the basis for mental calm:



bhikkhu amanasikaritvā gāmasaññaṃ, amanasikaritvā manussasaññaṃ,
araññasaññaṃ paṭicca manasi karoti ekattaṃ. Tassa araññasaññāya cittaṃ
pakkhandati pasīdati santiṭṭhati adhimuccati.

a bhikkhu, not directing his mind to the perception of villages, not
directing his mind to the perception of humans, directs his mind to the
oneness produced by the perception of the forest. His mind takes to that
perception of the forest and grows confident, steady and settled.



At AN 6.42, the Buddha says he is pleased with a bhikkhu dwelling in the forest in three cases:



idha panāhaṃ, nāgita, bhikkhuṃ passāmi āraññikaṃ araññe pacalāyamānaṃ
nisinnaṃ. tassa mayhaṃ, nāgita, evaṃ hoti: ‘idāni ayamāyasmā imaṃ
niddākilamathaṃ paṭivinodetvā araññasaññaṃyeva manasi karissati
ekattan’ti. tenāhaṃ, nāgita, tassa bhikkhuno attamano homi
araññavihārena.

Nāgita, I see a forest dwelling bhikkhu sitting in the forest, dozing. It occurs to me: ‘Soon
this venerable one will dispel his sleepiness & fatigue and direct
his mind only to the perception of the forest, {see MN 121 above} in a
state of oneness.’
And for this reason, I am pleased with that bhikkhu’s dwelling in the forest.

“idha panāhaṃ, nāgita, bhikkhuṃ passāmi āraññikaṃ araññe asamāhitaṃ
nisinnaṃ. tassa mayhaṃ, nāgita, evaṃ hoti: ‘idāni ayamāyasmā asamāhitaṃ
vā cittaṃ samādahissati, samāhitaṃ vā cittaṃ anurakkhissatī’ti. tenāhaṃ,
nāgita, tassa bhikkhuno attamano homi araññavihārena.

Furthermore, Nāgita, I see a forest dwelling bhikkhu sitting in the forest, unconcentrated. It occurs to me: ‘Soon this venerable one will concentrate his unconcentrated mind, or protect his concentrated mind.’ And for this reason, I am pleased with that bhikkhu’s dwelling in the forest.

“idha panāhaṃ, nāgita, bhikkhuṃ passāmi āraññikaṃ araññe samāhitaṃ
nisinnaṃ. tassa mayhaṃ, nāgita, evaṃ hoti: ‘idāni ayamāyasmā avimuttaṃ
vā cittaṃ vimocessati, vimuttaṃ vā cittaṃ anurakkhissatī’ti. tenāhaṃ,
nāgita, tassa bhikkhuno attamano homi araññavihārena.

Furthermore, Nāgita, I see a forest dwelling bhikkhu sitting in the forest, concentrated. It occurs to me: ‘Soon this venerable one will liberate his unliberated mind, or protect his liberated mind.’ And for this reason, I am pleased with that bhikkhu’s dwelling in the forest.



♦ The fact that bhikkhus keep dwelling in the forest is very important, as stated at AN 7.23:



“yāvakīvañca, bhikkhave, bhikkhū āraññakesu senāsanesu sāpekkhā
bhavissanti, vuddhiyeva, bhikkhave, bhikkhūnaṃ pāṭikaṅkhā, no parihāni.

As long as the bhikkhus will appreciate lodgings in the forest, one can expect their prosperity, not their decline.



AN 5.80


“puna caparaṃ, bhikkhave, bhavissanti bhikkhū anāgatamaddhānaṃ senāsane
kalyāṇakāmā. te senāsane kalyāṇakāmā samānā riñcissanti
rukkhamūlikattaṃ, riñcissanti araññavanapatthāni pantāni senāsanāni;
gāmanigamarājadhānīsu osaritvā vāsaṃ kappessanti, senāsanahetu ca
anekavihitaṃ anesanaṃ appatirūpaṃ āpajjissanti.

Furthermore, bhikkhus, in the future there will be monks desirous of
fine lodgings. They, desirous of fine lodgings, will abandon the
practice of dwelling at the foot of a tree, they will abandon distant
forest thicket lodgings, they will move to villages, towns, and royal
capitals and take up residence there. For the sake of lodgings they will
engage in many kinds of wrong and inappropriate things.



♦ But dwelling in the forest is nothing easy, as attested at MN 4:



durabhisambhavāni hi kho, brāhmaṇa, araññavanapatthāni pantāni
senāsanāni, dukkaraṃ pavivekaṃ, durabhiramaṃ ekatte, haranti maññe mano
vanāni samādhiṃ alabhamānassa bhikkhuno”ti.

It is difficult to endure distant forest thicket lodgings, it is
difficult to practice seclusion, it is difficult to enjoy solitude. The
forests, as it were, plunder the mind of a bhikkhu if he has not gained
concentration.



The sutta then goes on to describe qualities that
make forest dwelling difficult if not impossible, starting with lack of
virtues, continuing with the five hindrances, and then miscellaneous
qualities:

· a·parisuddha·kāya·kammantā (unpurified bodily conduct)

· a·parisuddha·vacī·kammantā (unpurified verbal conduct)

· a·parisuddha·mano·kammantā (unpurified mental conduct)

· a·parisuddh·ājīvā (unpurified livelihood)

· abhijjhālū kāmesu tibba·sā·rāgā (being covetous in sensuality and strongly passionate)

· byāpanna·cittā paduṭṭha·mana·saṅkappā (having a mind of ill will and intentions of hate)

· thīna·middha·pariyuṭṭhitā (being overcome by sloth and drowsiness)

· uddhatāvūpasanta·cittā (being restless with an unappeased mind)

· kaṅkhī vicikicchī (uncertain and doubting)

· att·ukkaṃsakā paravambhī (praising oneself and disparaging others)

· chambhī bhīruka·jātikā (subject to panic and terror)

· lābha·sakkāra·silokaṃ nikāmayamānā (desirous of honors, gain and fame)

· kusītā hīna·vīriyā (lazy and low in energy)

· muṭṭhas·satīsampajānā (unmindful and not clearly comprehending)

· samāhitā vibbhanta·cittā (unconcentrated with a wandering mind)

· dup·paññā eḷa·mūgā (of wrong wisdom, deaf-and-dumb - see MN 152)

A wonderful simile illustrates this difficulty at AN 10.99:



“durabhisambhavāni hi kho, upāli, araññavanapatthāni pantāni senāsanāni.
dukkaraṃ pavivekaṃ durabhiramaṃ. ekatte haranti maññe mano vanāni
samādhiṃ alabhamānassa bhikkhuno. yo kho, upāli, evaṃ vadeyya: ‘ahaṃ
samādhiṃ alabhamāno araññavanapatthāni pantāni senāsanāni
paṭisevissāmī’ti, tassetaṃ pāṭikaṅkhaṃ: ‘saṃsīdissati vā uplavissati
vā’ti.

It is difficult to endure distant forest thicket lodgings, Upāli, it is
difficult to practice seclusion, it is difficult to enjoy solitude. The
forests, as it were, plunder the mind of a bhikkhu if he has not gained
concentration. If anyone should say: ‘Although I have not gained concentration, I will resort to distant forest thicket lodgings’, it can be expected that he will either sink down or [merely] float [on the surface].

“seyyathāpi, upāli, mahāudakarahado. atha āgaccheyya hatthināgo
sattaratano vā aṭṭharatano vā. tassa evamassa: ‘yaṃnūnāhaṃ imaṃ
udakarahadaṃ ogāhetvā kaṇṇa-saṃdhovikampi khiḍḍaṃ kīḷeyyaṃ
piṭṭhi-saṃdhovikampi khiḍḍaṃ kīḷeyyaṃ. kaṇṇa-saṃdhovikampi khiḍḍaṃ
kīḷitvā piṭṭhi-saṃdhovikampi khiḍḍaṃ kīḷitvā nhatvā ca pivitvā ca
paccuttaritvā yena kāmaṃ pakkameyyan’ti. so taṃ udakarahadaṃ ogāhetvā
kaṇṇa-saṃdhovikampi khiḍḍaṃ kīḷeyya piṭṭhi-saṃdhovikampi khiḍḍaṃ
kīḷeyya; kaṇṇa-saṃdhovikampi khiḍḍaṃ kīḷitvā piṭṭhi-saṃdhovikampi
khiḍḍaṃ kīḷitvā nhatvā ca pivitvā ca paccuttaritvā yena kāmaṃ
pakkameyya. taṃ kissa hetu? mahā, upāli, attabhāvo gambhīre gādhaṃ
vindati.

Imagine, Upāli, that there would be a large lake. A bull elephant would
come, seven or eight cubits [high]. It would occur to him: ‘What if,
having entered this lake, I washed my ears by playing playfully, I
washed my back by playing playfully; having washed my ears by playing
playfully, having washed my back by playing playfully, having bathed,
drunk and come out, I would go wherever I want.’
He enters that
lake, washes his ears by playing playfully, washes his back by playing
playfully; having washed his ears by playing playfully, having washed
his back by playing playfully, having bathed, drunk and come out, he
goes wherever he wants. For what reason? Because his large body finds a
footing in the depths.

“atha āgaccheyya saso vā biḷāro vā. tassa evamassa: ‘ko cāhaṃ, ko ca
hatthināgo! yaṃnūnāhaṃ imaṃ udakarahadaṃ ogāhetvā kaṇṇasaṃdhovikampi
khiḍḍaṃ kīḷeyyaṃ piṭṭhisaṃdhovikampi khiḍḍaṃ kīḷeyyaṃ;
kaṇṇasaṃdhovikampi khiḍḍaṃ kīḷitvā piṭṭhisaṃdhovikampi khiḍḍaṃ kīḷitvā
nhatvā ca pivitvā ca paccuttaritvā yena kāmaṃ pakkameyyan’ti. so taṃ
udakarahadaṃ sahasā appaṭisaṅkhā pakkhandeyya. tassetaṃ pāṭikaṅkhaṃ:
‘saṃsīdissati vā uplavissati vā’ti. taṃ kissa hetu? paritto, upāli,
attabhāvo gambhīre gādhaṃ na vindati. evamevaṃ kho, upāli, yo evaṃ
vadeyya: ‘ahaṃ samādhiṃ alabhamāno araññavanapatthāni pantāni senāsanāni
paṭisevissāmī’ti, tassetaṃ pāṭikaṅkhaṃ: ‘saṃsīdissati vā uplavissati
vā’ti.

Then a hare or a cat would come. It would occur to it: ‘Why should a
bull elephant be different from me? What if, having entered this lake, I
washed my ears by playing playfully, I washed my back by playing
playfully; having washed my ears by playing playfully, having washed my
back by playing playfully, having bathed, drunk and come out, I would go
wherever I want.’
It would inconsiderately and thoughtlessly jump
into the lake. It can be expected that it will either sink down or
[merely] float [on the surface]. For what reason? Because its small
body doesn’t find a footing in the depths. In the same way, Upāli, if
anyone should say: ‘Although I have not gained concentration, I will resort to distant forest thicket lodgings’, it can be expected that he will either sink down or [merely] float [on the surface].



Eventually, the Buddha even advises Upāli not to dwell in the forest:



iṅgha tvaṃ, upāli, saṅghe viharāhi. saṅghe te viharato phāsu bhavissatī”ti.

Come, Upāli, remain in the Saṅgha. Remaining in the Saṅgha, you will be at ease.



AN 4.262


“catūhi, bhikkhave, dhammehi samannāgato bhikkhu nālaṃ
araññavanappatthāni pantāni senāsanāni paṭisevituṃ. katamehi catūhi?
kāmavitakkena, byāpādavitakkena, vihiṃsāvitakkena, duppañño hoti jaḷo
elamūgo — imehi kho, bhikkhave, catūhi dhammehi samannāgato bhikkhu
nālaṃ araññavanappatthāni pantāni senāsanāni paṭisevituṃ.

Endowed with [any of] four qualities, a monk isn’t fit to stay in
isolated forest & wilderness dwellings. Which four? [He is endowed]
with thoughts of sensuality, with thoughts of ill will, with thoughts of
harmfulness, and he is a person of weak discernment, dull, a drooling
idiot. Endowed with [any of] these four qualities, a monk isn’t fit to
stay in isolated forest & wilderness dwellings.

“catūhi, bhikkhave, dhammehi samannāgato bhikkhu alaṃ
araññavanappatthāni pantāni senāsanāni paṭisevituṃ. katamehi catūhi?
nekkhammavitakkena, abyāpādavitakkena, avihiṃsāvitakkena, paññavā hoti
ajaḷo anelamūgo — imehi kho, bhikkhave, catūhi dhammehi samannāgato
bhikkhu alaṃ araññavanappatthāni pantāni senāsanāni paṭisevitun”ti.

Endowed with four qualities, a monk is fit to stay in isolated forest
& wilderness dwellings. Which four? [He is endowed] with thoughts of
renunciation, with thoughts of non-ill will, with thoughts of
harmlessness, and he is a discerning person, not dull, not a drooling
idiot. Endowed with these four qualities, a monk is fit to stay in
isolated forest & wilderness dwellings.



SN 35.46


“santi kho, migajāla, cakkhuviññeyyā rūpā iṭṭhā kantā manāpā piyarūpā
kāmūpasaṃhitā rajanīyā. tañce bhikkhu abhinandati abhivadati ajjhosāya
tiṭṭhati. tassa taṃ abhinandato abhivadato ajjhosāya tiṭṭhato uppajjati
nandī . nandiyā sati sārāgo hoti; sārāge sati saṃyogo hoti.
nandisaṃyojanasaṃyutto kho, migajāla, bhikkhu sadutiyavihārīti vuccati.
… santi ca kho, migajāla, jivhāviññeyyā rasā… santi ca kho,
migajāla, manoviññeyyā dhammā iṭṭhā kantā manāpā piyarūpā kāmūpasaṃhitā
rajanīyā. tañce bhikkhu abhinandati abhivadati ajjhosāya tiṭṭhati. tassa
taṃ abhinandato abhivadato ajjhosāya tiṭṭhato uppajjati nandī. nandiyā
sati sārāgo hoti; sārāge sati saṃyogo hoti. nandisaṃyojanasaṃyutto kho,
migajāla, bhikkhu sadutiyavihārīti vuccati. evaṃvihārī ca, migajāla,
bhikkhu kiñcāpi araññavanapatthāni pantāni senāsanāni paṭisevati
appasaddāni appanigghosāni vijanavātāni manussarāhasseyyakāni
paṭisallānasāruppāni; atha kho sadutiyavihārīti vuccati. taṃ kissa hetu?
taṇhā hissa dutiyā, sāssa appahīnā. tasmā sadutiyavihārī”ti vuccati.

“Migajala, there are forms cognizable via the eye — agreeable, pleasing,
charming, endearing, fostering desire, enticing — and a monk relishes
them, welcomes them, & remains fastened to them. As he relishes
them, welcomes them, & remains fastened to them, delight arises.
There being delight, he is impassioned. Being impassioned, he is
fettered. A monk joined with the fetter of delight is said to be a
person living with a companion. There are sounds cognizable via the
ear… aromas cognizable via the nose… flavors cognizable via the
tongue… tactile sensations cognizable via the body… ideas cognizable
via the intellect — agreeable, pleasing, charming, endearing, fostering
desire, enticing — and a monk relishes them, welcomes them, &
remains fastened to them. As he relishes them, welcomes them, &
remains fastened to them, delight arises. There being delight, he is
impassioned. Being impassioned, he is fettered. A monk joined with the
fetter of delight is said to be a person living with a companion. A
person living in this way — even if he frequents isolated forest &
wilderness dwellings, with an unpopulated atmosphere, lying far from
humanity, appropriate for seclusion — is still said to be living with a
companion. Why is that? Because the craving that is his companion has
not been abandoned by him. Thus he is said to be a person living with a
companion.





Bodhi leaf


ariya: (adj:) noble - (n:) a noble one.

The earliest evidence for the use of the word ‘arya’ (e.g. The Behistun Inscription,
6th century BCE) indicate that it was widely used to designate the
Indo-Iranian people as well as their language. The word is also
recognized as the origin of the country name ‘Iran’. With the migration
of Indo-Iranian people to India, the term was later used by the Indic
people of the Vedic period to designate themselves, and as a religious
distinction between those who worshiped the Vedic deities and performed
sacrifices according to the established rules, and those who did not
follow the Vedic religion. The word has been understood with a racial
connotation by 19th century scholars among whom Rhys Davids (and
subsequently in Nazi Germany), but modern scholars reject this
interpretation.

Ariya as an adjective is juxtaposed 15 times in the four Nikāyas with niyyānika (leading out [to salvation], emancipatory). It can actually be understood as meaning ‘leading to the end of dukkha, as explained at MN 12:



“tāyapi kho ahaṃ, sāriputta, iriyāya tāya paṭipadāya tāya
dukkarakārikāya nājjhagamaṃ uttariṃ manussadhammā
alamariyañāṇadassanavisesaṃ. taṃ kissa hetu? imissāyeva ariyāya paññāya
anadhigamā, yāyaṃ ariyā paññā adhigatā ariyā niyyānikā, niyyāti takkarassa sammā dukkhakkhayāya.

“Yet, Sariputta, by such conduct, by such practice, by such performance
of austerities, I did not attain any superhuman states, any distinction
in knowledge and vision worthy of the noble ones. Why was that? Because I
did not attain that noble wisdom which when attained is noble and emancipating and leads the one who practices in accordance with it to the complete destruction of suffering.



AN 10.107


“ahañca kho, bhikkhave, ariyaṃ dhovanaṃ desessāmi, yaṃ dhovanaṃ
ekantanibbidāya virāgāya nirodhāya upasamāya abhiññāya sambodhāya
nibbānāya saṃvattati, yaṃ dhovanaṃ āgamma jātidhammā sattā jātiyā
parimuccanti, jarādhammā sattā jarāya parimuccanti, maraṇadhammā sattā
maraṇena parimuccanti, soka-parideva-dukkha-domanass-upāyāsa-dhammā
sattā soka-parideva-dukkha-domanass-upāyāsehi parimuccanti.

Bhikkhus, I will teach [you] a noble washing that leads exclusively to
disenchantment, to detachment, to cessation, to peace, to direct
knowledge, to awakening, to Extinction, a washing owing to which beings
by nature subject to birth are liberated from birth, beings by nature
subject to old age are liberated from old age; beings by nature subject
to death are liberated from death; beings by nature subject to sorrow,
lamentation, pain, affliction and despair are liberated from sorrow,
lamentation, pain, affliction and despair.



MN 26


“dvemā, bhikkhave, pariyesanā: ariyā ca pariyesanā, anariyā ca
pariyesanā. katamā ca, bhikkhave, anariyā pariyesanā? idha, bhikkhave,
ekacco attanā jātidhammo samāno jātidhammaṃyeva pariyesati, attanā
jarādhammo samāno jarādhammaṃyeva pariyesati, attanā byādhidhammo samāno
byādhidhammaṃyeva pariyesati, attanā maraṇadhammo samāno
maraṇadhammaṃyeva pariyesati, attanā sokadhammo samāno sokadhammaṃyeva
pariyesati, attanā saṃkilesadhammo samāno saṃkilesadhammaṃyeva
pariyesati.

Bhikkhus, there are these two quests: ignoble quest & noble quest.
And what is ignoble quest? Here someone, being himself subject to birth,
goes after what is also subject to birth. Being himself subject to
aging, he goes after what is also subject to aging. Being himself
subject to illness, he goes after what is also subject to illness. Being
himself subject to death, he goes after what is also subject to death.
Being himself subject to sorrow, he goes after what is also subject to
sorrow. Being himself subject to defilement, he goes after what is also
subject to defilement.

“katamā ca, bhikkhave, ariyā pariyesanā? idha, bhikkhave, ekacco attanā
jātidhammo samāno jātidhamme ādīnavaṃ viditvā ajātaṃ anuttaraṃ
yogakkhemaṃ nibbānaṃ pariyesati, attanā jarādhammo samāno jarādhamme
ādīnavaṃ viditvā ajaraṃ anuttaraṃ yogakkhemaṃ nibbānaṃ pariyesati,
attanā byādhidhammo samāno byādhidhamme ādīnavaṃ viditvā abyādhiṃ
anuttaraṃ yogakkhemaṃ nibbānaṃ pariyesati, attanā maraṇadhammo samāno
maraṇadhamme ādīnavaṃ viditvā amataṃ anuttaraṃ yogakkhemaṃ nibbānaṃ
pariyesati, attanā sokadhammo samāno sokadhamme ādīnavaṃ viditvā asokaṃ
anuttaraṃ yogakkhemaṃ nibbānaṃ pariyesati, attanā saṃkilesadhammo samāno
saṃkilesadhamme ādīnavaṃ viditvā asaṃkiliṭṭhaṃ anuttaraṃ yogakkhemaṃ
nibbānaṃ pariyesati. ayaṃ, bhikkhave, ariyā pariyesanā.

And what, bhikkhus, is the noble quest? Here someone, being himself
subject to birth, seeing the drawbacks of birth, goes after the unborn,
supreme relief from the yoke: Extinction. Being himself subject to
aging, seeing the drawbacks of aging, he goes after the aging-less,
supreme relief from the yoke: Extinction. Being himself subject to
illness, seeing the drawbacks of illness, he goes after the
illness-less, supreme relief from the yoke: Extinction. Being himself
subject to death, seeing the drawbacks of death, he goes after the
deathless, supreme relief from the yoke: Extinction. Being himself
subject to sorrow, seeing the drawbacks of sorrow, he goes after the
sorrow-less, supreme relief from the yoke: Extinction. Being himself
subject to defilement, seeing the drawbacks of defilement, he goes after
the undefiled, supreme relief from the yoke: Extinction. This is the
noble quest.



Ariya as a noun has been traditionally understood as designating an individual who is at least a sotāpanna.
However, as is often the case, it appears that the term is used with a
rather loose meaning in the suttas. Sometimes, the Buddha himself is
referred to as the Noble One (MN 137, SN 56.28). Some suttas imply that
the word designates arahants. At MN 60, the arahants are referred to as ariyas:



santaṃyeva kho pana paraṃ lokaṃ ‘natthi paro loko’ti āha; ye te arahanto paralokaviduno tesamayaṃ paccanīkaṃ karoti…

Because there actually is the next world, when he says that ‘There is no next world,’ he makes himself an opponent to those arahants who know the next world…

ayañca… ariyānaṃ paccanīkatā

this… opposition to the noble ones



At AN 7.91 and 92, a noble one is described as one
who is either ‘far remote from’ (in the Burmese edition) or ‘having
detroyed the enemy’ (in the PTS edition), i.e. the three lower saṃyojanas which are abandoned by a sotāpanna, but also further the three akusala·mūlas that are abandoned only by an arahant (cf. SN 22.106, SN 38.2 etc.) and māna, which is one of the five saṃyojanas that are only abandoned by an arahant:

AN 7.91


“sattannaṃ, bhikkhave, dhammānaṃ ārakattā-(Burmese
Edition)/arīhatattā-(PTS Edition) ariyo hoti. katamesaṃ sattannaṃ?
sakkāyadiṭṭhi ārakā hoti, vicikicchā ārakā hoti, sīlabbataparāmāso ārako
hoti, rāgo ārako hoti, doso ārako hoti, moho ārako hoti, māno ārako
hoti.

Bhikkhus, it is by keeping far away from/the enemy-destruction of seven
things that one is a noble one. Which seven? The view of self-existence
is far away/destroyed; uncertainty is far away/destroyed; attachment to
religious observances is far away/destroyed; avidity is far
away/destroyed; aversion is far away/destroyed; delusion is far
away/destroyed; self-esteem is far away/destroyed.



The exact same description is given in the next sutta with reference to arahantship:

AN 7.92


“sattannaṃ, bhikkhave, dhammānaṃ ārakattā arahā hoti. katamesaṃ
sattannaṃ? sakkāyadiṭṭhi ārakā hoti, vicikicchā ārakā hoti,
sīlabbataparāmāso ārako hoti, rāgo ārako hoti, doso ārako hoti, moho
ārako hoti, māno ārako hoti. imesaṃ kho, bhikkhave, sattannaṃ dhammānaṃ
ārakattā arahā hotī”ti.

Bhikkhus, it is by keeping far away from seven things that one is a
noble one. Which seven? The view of self-existence is far away;
uncertainty is far away; attachment to religious observances is far
away; avidity is far away; aversion is far away; delusion is far away;
self-esteem is far away.



Similarly, at MN 39 a noble one and an arahant are described in exactly the same terms:



“kathañca, bhikkhave, bhikkhu ariyo hoti? ārakāssa honti pāpakā akusalā
dhammā, saṃkilesikā, ponobbhavikā, sadarā, dukkhavipākā, āyatiṃ,
jātijarāmaraṇiyā. evaṃ kho, bhikkhave, bhikkhu ariyo hoti.

“And how is a monk noble? His evil, unskillful qualities that are
defiled, that lead to further becoming, create trouble, ripen in stress,
and lead to future birth, aging, & death have gone far away. This
is how a monk is noble.

“kathañca, bhikkhave, bhikkhu arahaṃ hoti? ārakāssa honti pāpakā akusalā
dhammā, saṃkilesikā, ponobbhavikā, sadarā, dukkhavipākā, āyatiṃ,
jātijarāmaraṇiyā. evaṃ kho, bhikkhave, bhikkhu arahaṃ hotī”ti.

“And how is a monk an arahant? His evil, unskillful qualities that are
defiled, that lead to further becoming, create trouble, ripen in stress,
and lead to future birth, aging, & death have gone far away. This
is how a monk is an arahant.”



But on the other hand, some suttas make it clear that a noble one is not always an arahant:

AN 4.190


“kathañca, bhikkhave, bhikkhu ariyappatto hoti? idha, bhikkhave, bhikkhu
‘Idaṃ dukkha’nti yathā·bhūtaṃ pajānāti, ‘ayaṃ dukkha·samudayo’ti
yathā·bhūtaṃ pajānāti, ‘ayaṃ dukkha·nirodho’ti yathā·bhūtaṃ pajānāti,
‘ayaṃ dukkha·nirodha·gāminī paṭipadā’ti yathā·bhūtaṃ pajānāti. evaṃ kho,
bhikkhave, bhikkhu ariyappatto hotī”ti.

And how has a bhikkhu attained [the state of] a noble one? Here, a
bhikkhu understands as it occurs: ‘This is suffering.’ He
understands as it occurs: ‘This is the origin of suffering.’ He
understands as it occurs: ‘This is the cessation of suffering.’ He
understands as it occurs: ‘This is the path leading to the cessation of
suffering.’ It is in this way that a bhikkhu has attained [the state of]
a noble one.



SN 48.53


“katamo ca, bhikkhave, pariyāyo yaṃ pariyāyaṃ āgamma sekho bhikkhu
sekhabhūmiyaṃ ṭhito ‘sekhosmī’ti pajānāti? idha, bhikkhave, sekho
bhikkhu ‘idaṃ dukkhan’ti yathābhūtaṃ pajānāti, ‘ayaṃ dukkhasamudayo’ti
yathābhūtaṃ pajānāti, ‘ayaṃ dukkhanirodho’ti yathābhūtaṃ pajānāti, ‘ayaṃ
dukkhanirodhagāminī paṭipadā’ti yathābhūtaṃ pajānāti — ayampi kho,
bhikkhave, pariyāyo yaṃ pariyāyaṃ āgamma sekho bhikkhu sekhabhūmiyaṃ
ṭhito ‘sekhosmī’ti pajānāti”.

And what, bhikkhus, is the method coming to which a bhikkhu who is a
learner, standing at the level of a learner, understands: ‘I am a
trainee’? Here, bhikkhus, a bhikkhu who is a learner understands as it
occurs: ‘This is suffering’; he understands as it occurs: ‘This is the
origin of suffering’; he understands as it occurs: ‘This is the
cessation of suffering’; he understands as it occurs: ‘This is the path
leading to the cessation of suffering.’ This is a method coming to which
a bhikkhu who is a learner, standing at the level of a learner,
understands: ‘I am a learner.’



As made clear later on in that same sutta (not provided here), a learner (sekha)
is one who is not an arahant yet. Thus, AN 4.190 and SN 48.53 taken
together show that a noble one is not necessarily an arahant. Some
suttas also indicate that a sotāpanna would be referred to as ‘a noble one’:

SN 12.27


ayaṃ vuccati, bhikkhave, ariyasāvako diṭṭhisampanno itipi,
dassanasampanno itipi, āgato imaṃ saddhammaṃ itipi, passati imaṃ
saddhammaṃ itipi, sekkhena ñāṇena samannāgato itipi, sekkhāya vijjāya
samannāgato itipi, dhammasotaṃ samāpanno itipi, ariyo nibbedhikapañño itipi, amatadvāraṃ āhacca tiṭṭhati itipī”ti.

This, bhikkhus, is called a noble disciple who is accomplished in view,
accomplished in vision, who has arrived at
this authentic Dhamma, who sees this authentic Dhamma, who is endowed
with a learner’s knowledge, a learner’s correct knowledge, who has entered the stream of the Dhamma, a noble one with discriminating discernment, one who stands knocking at the door of the Deathless.



Here the expression ‘dhamma·sotaṃ samāpanno’ quite obviously describes a sot·āpanna. Moreover, SN 56.36 states that one accomplished in view (diṭṭhi·sampanno)
understands the four noble truths as they occur, and AN 10.63 explains
that one accomplished in view has reached certainty about the Buddha and
is at least sotāpannas. Therefore, it can be concluded that the following expressions may be considered equivalent: being an ariya, being a sotāpanna, being accomplished in view (diṭṭhi·sampanno) and understanding the four noble truths as they occur.

♦ The suttas occasionally mention some characteristics of ariyas:

SN 11.25


akkodho avihiṃsā ca, ariyesu ca vasatī sadā

Non-anger and harmlessness always dwell in the noble ones



SN 35.119


sukhaṃ diṭṭhamariyebhi, sakkāyassa nirodhanaṃ

The noble ones have seen as pleasantness the ceasing of personality



♦ Occasionally, the epithet ariya changes the meaning of the related word in a way that goes beyond merely adding to it the notion of ‘leading to the end of dukkha. Thus, noble silence (ariya tuṇhī·bhāva) means the second jhāna:

SN 21.1


‘ariyo tuṇhībhāvo, ariyo tuṇhībhāvoti vuccati. katamo nu kho ariyo
tuṇhībhāvo’ti? tassa mayhaṃ āvuso, etadahosi — ‘idha bhikkhu
vitakkavicārānaṃ vūpasamā ajjhattaṃ sampasādanaṃ cetaso ekodibhāvaṃ
avitakkaṃ avicāraṃ samādhijaṃ pītisukhaṃ dutiyaṃ jhānaṃ upasampajja
viharati. ayaṃ vuccati ariyo tuṇhībhāvo’ti.

‘”Noble silence, noble silence,” it is said. But what is noble silence?’
Then the thought occurred to me, ‘There is the case where a monk, with
the stilling of directed thoughts & evaluations, enters &
remains in the second jhāna: rapture & pleasure born of
concentration, unification of awareness free from directed thought &
evaluation — internal assurance. This is called noble silence.’



AN 4.251 & 253, AN 8.67 & 68 state that factual ‘declarations’ (vohāra) are noble.

♦ The Buddha often redefines certain concepts ‘in the discipline of the noble ones’ (ariyassa vinaye).

Death (maraṇa) means disrobing, and deadly suffering (maraṇa·matta dukkha) means a certain defiled offence (aññataraṃ saṃkiliṭṭhaṃ āpattiṃ), i.e. a pārājika or a saṅghādisesa āpatti (MN 105, SN 20.10).

The four jhānas are called ‘pleasant abidings in the visible world’ (diṭṭha·dhamma·sukha·vihāra), e.g. at MN 8.

Singing is wailing, dancing is madness and laughing a long time showing the teeth is childish (AN 3.108).

A poor person ‘in the discipline of the noble ones’ is one who doesn’t have saddhā, hiri, ottappa, vīriya and paññā (AN 6.45).

‘The world’ (loka) means the five kāma·guṇas (AN 9.38) or whatever is subject to disintegration (paloka·dhamma), at SN 35.67.

‘Purity’ (or ‘purification’, soceyya) means the ten kusala kamma·pathas (AN 10.176).

‘A thorn’ (kaṇṭaka) is whatever in the world has a pleasing and agreeable nature (yaṃ loke piya·rūpaṃ sāta·rūpaṃ), at SN 35.197.

♦ What is ignoble (an·ariya) can be defined as what does not lead to nibbāna:

AN 10.107


etaṃ, bhikkhave, dhovanaṃ hīnaṃ gammaṃ pothujjanikaṃ anariyaṃ anatthasaṃhitaṃ na nibbidāya na virāgāya na nirodhāya na upasamāya na abhiññāya na sambodhāya na nibbānāya saṃvattati.

This ‘washing’ is inferior, vulgar, belonging to ordinary people, ignoble, not beneficial, and it does not lead to disenchantment, to dispassion, to cessation, to peace, to direct knowledge, to awakening, to Extinction.



Sense pleasures are typically ignoble:

MN 66


yaṃ kho, udāyi, ime pañca kāmaguṇe paṭicca uppajjati sukhaṃ somanassaṃ
idaṃ vuccati kāmasukhaṃ miḷhasukhaṃ puthujjanasukhaṃ anariyasukhaṃ.

Now, Udāyin, the pleasure and mental pleasantness that arise dependent
on these five strings of sensuality are called sensual pleasure, a
filthy pleasure, a worldly pleasure, an ignoble pleasure.



SN 56.11 most notably explains that both the pursuit of happiness in sensuality and that of mortification are ignoble:



Yo c·āyaṃ kāmesu kāma·sukh·allik·ānuyogo hīno gammo pothujjaniko
an·ariyo an·attha·saṃhito, yo c·āyaṃ attakilamath·ānuyogo dukkho
an·ariyo an·attha·saṃhito.

On one hand, the pursuit of hedonism in sensuality, which is inferior,
vulgar, common, ignoble, deprived of benefit, and on the other hand the
devotion to self-mortification, which is painful, ignoble, deprived of
benefit.



At MN 122, the tiracchāna·kathā
are said to be ignoble. At AN 6.30, all the following are considered
ignoble: the sight of an elephant, a horse, a jewel, or else of a samaṇa or a brahmin of wrong view; the hearing of the sound of a drum, of lutes, of singing, or else of the Dhamma of a samaṇa or a brahmin of wrong view; the gain of a son, a wife, wealth or goods, or else the gain of faith in a samaṇa
or a brahmin of wrong view; the training in elephantry, in
horsemanship, in chariotry, in archery, in swordsmanship, or else
training under a samaṇa or a brahmin of wrong view; the service to an aristocrat, a brahmin, a householder, or else to a samaṇa or a brahmin of wrong view; the recollection of the gain of a son, a wife, or wealth, or else of a samaṇa or a brahmin of wrong view.

♦ The suttas often warn against misconduct towards ariyas.

SN 11.24


yam·ariya·garahī nirayaṃ upeti,
vācaṃ manañca paṇidhāya pāpakan”ti.

He who blames the noble ones,
Having set evil speech and mind, goes to hell.



The following sentence frequently appears in the suttas, as part of the sattānaṃ cut·ūpapāta·ñāṇa formula (available here):



“ime vata bhonto sattā… ariyānaṃ upavādakā… te kāyassa bhedā paraṃ maraṇā apāyaṃ duggatiṃ vinipātaṃ nirayaṃ upapannā

Those esteemed beings [who were]… revilers of noble ones… at the
breakup of the body, after death, have reappeared in a state of loss, in
a bad destination, in perdition, or in hell



AN 11.6 explains what would happen to such a person:

AN 11.6


“yo so, bhikkhave, bhikkhu akkosako paribhāsako ariyūpavādo
sabrahmacārīnaṃ, aṭṭhānametaṃ anavakāso yaṃ so ekādasannaṃ byasanānaṃ
aññataraṃ byasanaṃ na nigaccheyya. katamesaṃ ekādasannaṃ?

“Bhikkhus, when a bhikkhu is one who insults, disparages his fellows in
the brahmic life, reviling the noble ones, it cannot be, it is
impossible that he will not undergo one or the other of these eleven
misfortunes. What eleven?

anadhigataṃ nādhigacchati,
adhigatā parihāyati,
saddhammassa na vodāyanti,
saddhammesu vā adhimāniko hoti,
anabhirato vā brahmacariyaṃ carati,
aññataraṃ vā saṃkiliṭṭhaṃ āpattiṃ āpajjati,
sikkhaṃ vā paccakkhāya hīnāyāvattati,
gāḷhaṃ vā rogātaṅkaṃ phusati,
ummādaṃ vā pāpuṇāti cittakkhepaṃ vā,
sammūḷho kālaṃ karoti,
kāyassa bhedā paraṃ maraṇā apāyaṃ duggatiṃ vinipātaṃ nirayaṃ upapajjati.

He does not achieve what he has not yet achieved,
he falls away from what he has achieved,
his good qualities are not purified,
he overestimates his good qualities,
he lives the brahmic life dissatisfied,
he commits a certain impure offense,
he gives up the training and returns to the inferior life,
he catches a severe illness,
he goes mad and loses his mind,
he dies confused,
or at the breakup of the body, after death, he reappears in a state of loss, in a bad destination, in perdition, or in hell.



Bodhi leaf


ariya aṭṭhaṅgika magga: [ariya aṭṭha+aṅga+ika magga]

noble eightfold path.

The expression and its factors (aṅgā) are explained in full detail in the Vibhaṅga Sutta:

1. sammā·diṭṭhi

2. sammā·saṅkappa

3. sammā·vācā

4. sammā·kammanta

5. sammā·ājīva

6. sammā·vāyāma

7. sammā·sati

8. sammā·samādhi

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SN 45.8
Filed under: General
Posted by: site admin @ 7:38 pm

SN 45.8


Katamo ca, bhikkhave, ariyo aṭṭhaṅgiko maggo? Seyyathidaṃ sammādiṭṭhi,
sammāsaṅkappo, sammāvācā, sammākammanto, sammā-ājīvo, sammāvāyāmo,
sammāsati, sammāsamādhi.

Now what, monks, is the Noble Eightfold Path? Right view, right resolve,
right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right
mindfulness, right concentration.

Katamā ca, bhikkhave, sammādiṭṭhi? Yaṃ kho, bhikkhave, dukkhe ñāṇaṃ,
dukkha-samudaye ñāṇaṃ , dukkha-nirodhe ñāṇaṃ, dukkha-nirodha-gāminiyā
paṭipadāya ñāṇaṃ ayaṃ vuccati, bhikkhave, sammādiṭṭhi.

And what, monks, is right view? Knowledge with regard to stress,
knowledge with regard to the origination of stress, knowledge with
regard to the stopping of stress, knowledge with regard to the way of
practice leading to the stopping of stress: This, monks, is called right
view.

Katamo ca, bhikkhave, sammāsaṅkappo? Yo kho, bhikkhave,
nekkhamma-saṅkappo , abyāpāda-saṅkappo, avihiṃsā-saṅkappo ayaṃ vuccati,
bhikkhave, sammāsaṅkappo.

And what is right resolve? Being resolved on renunciation, on freedom
from ill will, on harmlessness: This is called right resolve.

Katamā ca, bhikkhave, sammāvācā? Yā kho, bhikkhave, musāvādā veramaṇī,
pisuṇāya vācāya veramaṇī, pharusāya vācāya veramaṇī, samphappalāpā
veramaṇī ayaṃ vuccati, bhikkhave, sammāvācā.

And what is right speech? Abstaining from lying, abstaining from
divisive speech, abstaining from abusive speech, abstaining from idle
chatter: This, monks, is called right speech.

Katamo ca, bhikkhave, sammā-kammanto? Yā kho, bhikkhave, pāṇātipātā
veramaṇī, adinnādānā veramaṇī, abrahmacariyā veramaṇī ayaṃ vuccati,
bhikkhave, sammā-kammanto.

And what, monks, is right action? Abstaining from taking life,
abstaining from stealing, abstaining from unchastity: This, monks, is
called right action.

Katamo ca, bhikkhave, sammā-ājīvo? Idha, bhikkhave, ariya-sāvako
micchā-ājīvaṃ pahāya sammā-ājīvena jīvitaṃ kappeti ayaṃ vuccati,
bhikkhave, sammā-ājīvo.

And what, monks, is right livelihood? There is the case where a disciple
of the noble ones, having abandoned dishonest livelihood, keeps his
life going with right livelihood: This, monks, is called right
livelihood.

Katamo ca, bhikkhave, sammāvāyāmo? Idha, bhikkhave, bhikkhu anuppannānaṃ
pāpakānaṃ akusalānaṃ dhammānaṃ anuppādāya chandaṃ janeti vāyamati
vīriyaṃ ārabhati cittaṃ paggaṇhāti padahati; uppannānaṃ pāpakānaṃ
akusalānaṃ dhammānaṃ pahānāya chandaṃ janeti vāyamati vīriyaṃ ārabhati
cittaṃ paggaṇhāti padahati; anuppannānaṃ kusalānaṃ dhammānaṃ uppādāya
chandaṃ janeti vāyamati vīriyaṃ ārabhati cittaṃ paggaṇhāti padahati;
uppannānaṃ kusalānaṃ dhammānaṃ ṭhitiyā asammosāya bhiyyobhāvāya
vepullāya bhāvanāya pāripūriyā chandaṃ janeti vāyamati vīriyaṃ ārabhati
cittaṃ paggaṇhāti padahati. Ayaṃ vuccati, bhikkhave, sammāvāyāmo.

And what, monks, is right effort? (i) There is the case where a monk
generates desire, endeavors, activates persistence, upholds & exerts
his intent for the sake of the non-arising of evil, unskillful
qualities that have not yet arisen. (ii) He generates desire, endeavors,
activates persistence, upholds & exerts his intent for the sake of
the abandonment of evil, unskillful qualities that have arisen. (iii) He
generates desire, endeavors, activates persistence, upholds &
exerts his intent for the sake of the arising of skillful qualities that
have not yet arisen. (iv) He generates desire, endeavors, activates
persistence, upholds & exerts his intent for the maintenance,
non-confusion, increase, plenitude, development, & culmination of
skillful qualities that have arisen: This, monks, is called right
effort.

Katamā ca, bhikkhave, sammāsati? Idha, bhikkhave, bhikkhu
kāye kāyānupassī viharati ātāpī sampajāno satimā, vineyya loke
abhijjhā-domanassaṃ; vedanāsu vedanānupassī viharati ātāpī sampajāno
satimā, vineyya loke abhijjhā-domanassaṃ; citte cittānupassī viharati
ātāpī sampajāno satimā, vineyya loke abhijjhā-domanassaṃ; dhammesu
dhammānupassī viharati ātāpī sampajāno satimā, vineyya loke
abhijjhā-domanassaṃ.
Ayaṃ vuccati, bhikkhave, sammāsati.

And what, monks, is right mindfulness? (i) There is the case where a
monk remains focused on the body in & of itself — ardent, aware,
& mindful — putting away greed & distress with reference to the
world. (ii) He remains focused on feelings in & of themselves —
ardent, aware, & mindful — putting away greed & distress with
reference to the world. (iii) He remains focused on the mind in & of
itself — ardent, aware, & mindful — putting away greed &
distress with reference to the world. (iv) He remains focused on mental
qualities in & of themselves — ardent, aware, & mindful —
putting away greed & distress with reference to the world. This,
monks, is called right mindfulness.

Katamo ca, bhikkhave, sammāsamādhi? Idha, bhikkhave, bhikkhu
vivicceva kāmehi vivicca akusalehi dhammehi savitakkaṃ savicāraṃ
vivekajaṃ pītisukhaṃ paṭhamaṃ jhānaṃ upasampajja viharati;
vitakkavicārānaṃ vūpasamā ajjhattaṃ sampasādanaṃ cetaso ekodibhāvaṃ
avitakkaṃ avicāraṃ samādhijaṃ pītisukhaṃ dutiyaṃ jhānaṃ upasampajja
viharati;
pītiyā ca virāgā upekkhako ca viharati sato ca sampajāno sukhañca kāyena
paṭisaṃvedeti yaṃ taṃ ariyā ācikkhanti: ‘upekkhako satimā
sukhavihārī’ti tatiyaṃ jhānaṃ upasampajja viharati;
sukhassa ca pahānā dukkhassa ca pahānā pubbeva somanassadomanassānaṃ
atthaṅgamā adukkhamasukhaṃ upekkhāsatipārisuddhiṃ catutthaṃ jhānaṃ
upasampajja viharati.
Ayaṃ vuccati, bhikkhave, sammāsamādhi ti.

And what, monks, is right concentration? (i) There is the case where a
monk — quite withdrawn from sensuality, withdrawn from unskillful
(mental) qualities — enters & remains in the first jhana: rapture
& pleasure born from withdrawal, accompanied by directed thought
& evaluation. (ii) With the stilling of directed thoughts &
evaluations, he enters & remains in the second jhana: rapture &
pleasure born of concentration, unification of awareness free from
directed thought & evaluation — internal assurance. (iii) With the
fading of rapture, he remains equanimous, mindful, & alert, and
senses pleasure with the body. He enters & remains in the third
jhana, of which the Noble Ones declare, ‘Equanimous & mindful, he
has a pleasant abiding.’ (iv) With the abandoning of pleasure & pain
— as with the earlier disappearance of elation & distress — he
enters & remains in the fourth jhana: purity of equanimity &
mindfulness, neither pleasure nor pain. This, monks, is called right
concentration.



♦ The ariya aṭṭh·aṅg·ika magga is most famously introduced at SN 56.11 as the Middle Way (majjhimā paṭipadā), i.e. the path avoiding both hedonism and self-mortification:

SN 56.11


Dve·me, bhikkhave, antā pabbajitena na sevitabbā. Katame dve? Yo c·āyaṃ
kāmesu kāma·sukh·allik·ānuyogo hīno gammo pothujjaniko an·ariyo
an·attha·saṃhito, yo c·āyaṃ attakilamath·ānuyogo dukkho an·ariyo
an·attha·saṃhito. Ete kho, bhikkhave, ubho ante an·upagamma majjhimā
paṭipadā tathāgatena abhisambuddhā cakkhu·karaṇī ñāṇa·karaṇī upasamāya
abhiññāya sambodhāya nibbānāya saṃvattati.

These two extremes, bhikkhus, should not be adopted by one who has gone
forth from the home life. Which two? On one hand, the devotion to
hedonism towards sensuality, which is inferior, vulgar, common, ignoble,
deprived of benefit, and on the other hand the devotion to
self-mortification, which is painful, ignoble, deprived of benefit.
Without going to these two extremes, bhikkhus, the Tathāgata has fully
awaken to the Middle Way, which produces vision, which produces
knowledge, and leads to appeasement, to direct knowledge, to awakening,
to Nibbāna.



♦ The ariya aṭṭh·aṅg·ika magga is also introduced later on in that same sutta as the fourth ariya·sacca:



Idaṃ kho pana, bhikkhave, dukkha·nirodha·gāminī paṭipadā ariya·saccaṃ:
ayam·eva ariyo aṭṭhaṅgiko maggo, seyyathidaṃ: sammā·diṭṭhi
sammā·saṅkappo sammā·vācā sammā·kammanto sammā·ājīvo sammā·vāyāmo
sammā·sati sammā·samādhi.

Furthermore, bhikkhus, this is the noble truth of path leading to the
cessation of suffering: just this noble eightfold path, that is to say:
right view, right thought, right speech, right action, right livelihood,
right effort, right mindfulness and right concentration.



♦ As explained above at SN 56.11, the ariya aṭṭh·aṅg·ika magga is what leads to nibbāna. At SN 45.62, the former leads towards the latter just as the river Ganges slants, slopes, and inclines towards the east (seyyathāpi gaṅgā nadī pācīna·ninnā pācīna·poṇā pācīna·pabbhārā). At SN 45.86, the path is like a tree slanting, sloping and inclining towards the east (seyyathāpi rukkho pācīna·ninno pācīna·poṇo pācīna·pabbhāro) and that could only fall towards that direction if it were to be cut at the foot. It is also said to be the way leading to amata (amata·gāmi·maggo, SN 45.7), or to the unconditioned (a·saṅkhata·gāmi·maggo, SN 43.11).

♦ The ariya aṭṭh·aṅg·ika magga has its own entire saṃyutta (SN 45), that is rich in similes and explanations.

♦ The ariya aṭṭh·aṅg·ika magga is given various designations. At MN 19, it is called ‘The peaceful and safe path to be followed with exaltation’ (khemo maggo sovatthiko pīti·gamanīyo). It is often identified with the brahmacariya (e.g. SN 45.6), or with asceticism (sāmañña) such as at SN 45.35, or brahminhood (brahmañña) such as at SN 45.36. At SN 12.65, it is the ancient path, the ancient road traveled by the sammā·Sambuddhā of the past. At SN 35.191, the ariya aṭṭh·aṅg·ika magga is compared to a raft to cross over from identity to ‘the other shore’, which stands for nibbāna. At SN 45.4, after Ānanda sees a brahmin on a luxurious chariot and calls it a ‘brahmic vehicle’ (brahma·yāna), the Buddha says that is actually a designation for the ariya aṭṭh·aṅg·ika magga, along with the ‘Dhamma vehicle’ (dhamma·yāna) and the ’supreme victory in battle’ (anuttara saṅgāma·vijaya). The ariya aṭṭh·aṅg·ika magga is also called rightness (sammatta, SN 45.21), kusalā dhammā (SN 45.22), the right way (sammā·paṭipada, SN 45.23) and right practice (sammā·paṭipatti, SN 45.31).

♦ The ariya aṭṭh·aṅg·ika magga is part of a set of 37 dhammas which are sometimes listed together (e.g. at AN 10.90, SN 22.81). They are sometimes called the bodhipakkhiyā dhammā, although this expression doesn’t have a strict definition in the suttas and is loosely used to describe other sets. The ariya aṭṭh·aṅg·ika magga is also said at SN 45.155 to develop those bodhi·pakkhiya·dhammā.

♦ Each factor (aṅga) of the path is said to lead to the next:


AN 10.103


“sammattaṃ, bhikkhave, āgamma ārādhanā hoti, no virādhanā. kathañca,
bhikkhave, sammattaṃ āgamma ārādhanā hoti, no virādhanā?
sammādiṭṭhikassa, bhikkhave, sammāsaṅkappo pahoti, sammāsaṅkappassa
sammāvācā pahoti, sammāvācassa sammākammanto pahoti, sammākammantassa
sammāājīvo pahoti, sammāājīvassa sammāvāyāmo pahoti, sammāvāyāmassa
sammāsati pahoti, sammāsatissa sammāsamādhi pahoti.

Having come to rightness, bhikkhus, there is success, not failure. And
how, bhikkhus, is it that having come to rightness, there is success,
not failure? For one of right view, right thought arises. For one
of right thought, right speech arises. For one of right speech, right
action arises. For one of right action, right livelihood arises. For one
of right livelihood, right effort arises. For one of right effort,
right mindfulness arises. For one of right mindfulness, right
concentration arises.



A similar progression is also notably found at SN
45.1. AN 7.45 states that all the other seven factors of the path are
the ’supports’ (upanisa) and ‘accessories’ (parikkhāra) of sammā·samādhi. MN 117 further explains how the factors interact, according to the following pattern:

MN 117


“tatra, bhikkhave, sammādiṭṭhi pubbaṅgamā hoti. kathañca, bhikkhave,
sammādiṭṭhi pubbaṅgamā hoti? micchāsaṅkappaṃ ‘micchāsaṅkappo’ti
pajānāti, sammāsaṅkappaṃ ‘sammāsaṅkappo’ti pajānāti, sāssa hoti
sammādiṭṭhi.

Therein, bhikkhus, right view is the forerunner. And how is right view
the forerunner? One understands wrong thought as wrong thought and right
thought as right thought: this is one’s right
view.

so micchāsaṅkappassa pahānāya vāyamati, sammāsaṅkappassa upasampadāya,
svāssa hoti sammāvāyāmo. so sato micchāsaṅkappaṃ pajahati, sato
sammāsaṅkappaṃ upasampajja viharati; sāssa hoti sammāsati. itiyime tayo
dhammā sammāsaṅkappaṃ anuparidhāvanti anuparivattanti, seyyathidaṃ
sammādiṭṭhi, sammāvāyāmo, sammāsati.

One makes an effort to abandon wrong thought and to acquire right
thought: this is one’s right effort. One abandons wrong thought
mindfully, and acquires and remains in right thought mindfully: this is
one’s right mindfulness. Thus these three things rotate and circle
around right thought, that is, right view, right effort, and right
mindfulness.



♦ The enumeration of each path factor is sometimes
punctuated by four different formulas. The first one is found for
example at SN 45.2 and is in fact mainly used with the bojjhaṅgas, and occasionally with (spiritual) indriyas or balas: ‘based upon seclusion, dispassion, and cessation, maturing in release’ (viveka·nissita virāga·nissita nirodha·nissita vossagga·pariṇāmi).

The second formula can be found at SN 45.4 and says: ‘which
has the removal of avidity as its final goal, the removal of hatred as
its final goal, the removal of delusion as its final goal’ (rāga·vinaya·pariyosāna dosa·vinaya·pariyosāna moha·vinaya·pariyosāna)
.

The third one is found for example at SN 45.115 and says: ‘which has the Deathless as its ground, the Deathless as its destination, the Deathless as its final goal’ (amat·ogadha amata·parāyana amata·pariyosāna).

The fourth is found for example at SN 45.91 and says: ‘which slants towards Nibbāna, slopes towards Nibbāna, inclines towards Nibbāna‘ (nibbāna·ninna nibbāna·poṇa nibbāna·pabbhāra).

♦ The ariya aṭṭh·aṅg·ika magga, if unarisen, does not arise apart from the appearance of a Buddha (n·āññatra tathāgatassa pātubhāvā arahato sammāsambuddhassa, SN 45.14) or the Discipline of a Sublime one (n·āññatra sugata·vinaya, SN 45.15).

♦ At SN 55.5, the ariya aṭṭh·aṅg·ika magga is what defines sotāpatti, since sota (the stream) is the ariya aṭṭh·aṅg·ika magga itself, and a sotāpanna is one who possesses it:


SN 55.5



“‘soto, soto’ti hidaṃ, sāriputta, vuccati. katamo nu kho, sāriputta, soto”ti?


It said: ‘The stream, the stream’, Sāriputta. What now, Sāriputta, is ‘the stream’?


“ayameva hi, bhante, ariyo aṭṭhaṅgiko maggo soto


Bhante, the stream is just this noble eightfold path


“‘sotāpanno, sotāpanno’ti hidaṃ, sāriputta, vuccati. katamo nu kho, sāriputta, sotāpanno”ti?


It said: ‘A stream-enterer, a stream-enterer’, Sāriputta. What now, Sāriputta, is ‘a stream-enterer’?


“yo hi, bhante, iminā ariyena aṭṭhaṅgikena maggena samannāgato ayaṃ vuccati sotāpanno


Bhante, whoever is possessed of this noble eightfold path is called a stream-enterer



♦ At MN 126, the 8 factors of the ariya aṭṭh·aṅg·ika magga are presented as a technology of the mind (’a proper method for procuring fruit’: yoni hesā phalassa adhigamāya)
whose results do not depend on making wishes, but instead rely solely
on the laws of nature, which is metaphorically illustrated by how one
gets sesame oil by using the right technique (pressing seeds sprinkled
with water), how one gets milk (by milking a recently calved cow),
butter (by churning curd), or fire (by rubbing a dry, sapless, piece of
wood with a proper fire-stick).

♦ At AN 4.237, the 8 factors of the ariya aṭṭh·aṅg·ika magga constitute ‘kamma that is neither dark nor bright with neither-dark-nor-bright result, that leads to the destruction of kamma(kammaṃ a·kaṇhā·sukkaṃ a·kaṇhā·sukka·vipākaṃ, kamma·kkhayāya saṃvattati).

♦ The ariya aṭṭh·aṅg·ika magga is not seldom augmented to become a tenfold set, with the addition of sammā·ñāṇa and sammā·vimutti. SN 45.26 seems to indicate that these two factors are relevant only for the arahant, as they are what makes the difference between a sappurisa and someone who is better than a sappurisa (sappurisena sappurisataro).

♦ Ten phenomena are said to be the precursors for the arising of the ariya aṭṭh·aṅg·ika magga, the first seven according to the following simile:



sūriyassa, bhikkhave, udayato etaṃ pubbaṅgamaṃ etaṃ pubbanimittaṃ,
yadidaṃ, aruṇuggaṃ; evameva kho, bhikkhave, bhikkhuno ariyassa
aṭṭhaṅgikassa maggassa uppādāya etaṃ pubbaṅgamaṃ etaṃ pubbanimmittaṃ…

This, bhikkhus, is the forerunner and foretoken of the rising of the
sun, that is, the dawn. In the same way, bhikkhus, for a bhikkhu this is
the forerunner and foretoken of the arising of the noble eightfold
path…



In each case, it is said that when a bhikkhu satisfies the condition, ‘it
is expected that he will develop the noble eightfold path, that he will
cultivate the noble eightfold path (pāṭikaṅkhaṃ ariyaṃ aṭṭhaṅgikaṃ
maggaṃ bhāvessati, ariyaṃ aṭṭhaṅgikaṃ maggaṃ bahulīkarissati)
.

1. Mentioned most often is kalyāṇa·mittatā (with the above sunrise simile at SN 45.49). It is most famously said at SN 45.2 to be the entire brahmacariya (sakalam·ev·idaṃ brahmacariyaṃ), since it can be expected from one who develops it that he will practice the ariya aṭṭh·aṅg·ika magga, all the more that as we have seen earlier (e.g. at SN 45.6), brahmacariya is also defined as the ariya aṭṭh·aṅg·ika magga itself. We find as well a formula reminiscent of the suttas found at the beginning of AN 1:


SN 45.77


nāhaṃ, bhikkhave, aññaṃ ekadhammampi samanupassāmi, yena anuppanno vā
ariyo aṭṭhaṅgiko maggo uppajjati, uppanno vā ariyo aṭṭhaṅgiko maggo
bhāvanāpāripūriṃ gacchati, yathayidaṃ, bhikkhave, kalyāṇamittatā.

I do not see even one other thing, bhikkhus, because of which the
unarisen noble eightfold path arises and the arisen noble eightfold path
goes to the plenitude of its development so much, bhikkhus, as because
of favorable friendship.



2. Sīla
is also mentioned a few times independently from the sunrise simile, in
the context of which it is introduced at SN 45.50 as accomplishment in
virtue (sīla·sampadā). Such examples include the following:


SN 45.149


seyyathāpi, bhikkhave, ye keci balakaraṇīyā kammantā karīyanti, sabbe
te pathaviṃ nissāya pathaviyaṃ patiṭṭhāya evamete balakaraṇīyā kammantā
karīyanti; evameva kho, bhikkhave, bhikkhu sīlaṃ nissāya sīle patiṭṭhāya
ariyaṃ aṭṭhaṅgikaṃ maggaṃ bhāveti ariyaṃ aṭṭhaṅgikaṃ maggaṃ
bahulīkaroti.

Just as, bhikkhus, whatever actions are to be performed with strength
are all performed on dependence on the earth, supported by the earth; in
the same way, bhikkhus, it is on dependence on virtue, supported by
virtue, that a bhikkhu develops the noble eightfold path, that he
cultivates the noble eightfold path.




SN 45.150


seyyathāpi, bhikkhave, ye kecime bījagāmabhūtagāmā vuḍḍhiṃ virūḷhiṃ
vepullaṃ āpajjanti, sabbe te pathaviṃ nissāya pathaviyaṃ patiṭṭhāya
evamete bījagāmabhūtagāmā vuḍḍhiṃ virūḷhiṃ vepullaṃ āpajjanti; evameva
kho, bhikkhave, bhikkhu sīlaṃ nissāya sīle patiṭṭhāya ariyaṃ aṭṭhaṅgikaṃ
maggaṃ bhāvento ariyaṃ aṭṭhaṅgikaṃ maggaṃ bahulīkaronto vuḍḍhiṃ
virūḷhiṃ vepullaṃ pāpuṇāti dhammesu.

Just as, bhikkhus, whatever kinds of seed and plant life come to
development, growth, and plenitude, all come to development, growth, and
plenitude on dependence on the earth, supported by the earth; in the
same way, bhikkhus, on dependence on virtue, supported by virtue, a
bhikkhu developing the noble eightfold path, cultivating the noble
eightfold path, comes to development, growth, and plenitude in
[wholesome] mental states.



3. Appamāda
is also mentioned a few times independently from the sunrise simile, in
the context of which it is introduced at SN 45.54 as accomplishment in
assiduity (appamāda·sampadā). Such examples are found at SN 45.139 and SN 45.140.

4. Sammā·diṭṭhi (AN 10.121) or accomplishment in view (diṭṭhi·sampadā, SN 45.53),
are mentioned with the sunrise simile as precursors of the path,
without surprise since as we have seen above, each path factor leads to
the next, and sammā·diṭṭhi stands first.

5. Accomplishment in desire (chanda·sampadā) is mentioned with the sunrise simile at SN 45.51. The Commentary explains it as desire for kusalā dhammā. In a related meaning, the word chanda appears notably in the sammā·vāyāma formula.

6. Accomplishment in self (atta·sampadā), mentioned with the sunrise simile at SN 45.52. The commentary explains the expression as sampanna·citta·tā (accomplishment in mind), which suggests the attainment of samādhi (see adhi·citta·sikkhā). The expression ‘atta·ññū hoti’ (one who knows himself) may explain the term. At SN 7.68, it is explained as knowing oneself to have saddhā, sīla, learning (suta), cāga, paññā and understanding (paṭibhāna).

7. Accomplishment in appropriate attention (yoniso·manasikāra-sampadā), mentioned with the sunrise simile at SN 45.52.

8, 9 & 10. Vijjā followed by hiri and ottappa (anva·d·eva hir·ottappa) is said to be the forerunner (pubb·aṅgama) in the entry upon kusalā dhammā (kusalānaṃ dhammānaṃ samāpatti) at SN 45.1 and AN 10.105.

♦ The ariya aṭṭh·aṅg·ika magga is said at AN 4.34 to be the highest (agga) of saṅkhatā dhammā and to bring the highest vipākā.

♦ As we have seen above at SN 56.11, the ariya aṭṭh·aṅg·ika magga produces ñāṇa·dassana and leads to upasama, sambodhi and Nibbāna. Between SN 45.161 and SN 45.180, it is also said to lead to the direct knowledge (abhiññā), full understanding (pariññā), complete destruction (parikkhaya), and abandoning (pahāna) of various phenomena: the three discriminations (vidhā), i.e. ‘I am superior’ (‘seyyo·ham·asmī’ti), ‘I am equal’ (‘sadiso·ham·asmī’ti), ‘I am inferior’ (hīno·ham·asmī’ti); the three searches (esanā), i.e. the search for sensuality (kām·esanā), the search for [a good] existence (bhav·esanā), the search for the brahmic life (brahmacariy·esanā); the three āsavā; the three bhavā; the three sufferings (dukkhatā), i.e. the suffering from pain (dukkha·dukkhatā), the suffering from Constructions (saṅkhāra·dukkhatā), the suffering from change (vipariṇāma·dukkhatā); the three akusalamulā; the three types of vedanā; kāma, diṭṭhi and avijjā; the four upādānā; abhijjhā, byāpāda, sīla·bbata parāmāsa and adherence to [the view] ‘This [alone] is the truth’ (idaṃ·sacc·ābhinivesa); the seven anusayā; the five kāma·guṇā; the five nīvaraṇā; the five upādāna·kkhandhas; the ten saṃyojanā.

♦ The ariya aṭṭh·aṅg·ika magga also leads to the cessation (nirodha) of phenomena: MN 9 lists all the twelve links of paṭicca·samuppāda, the four āhārā and the three āsavā; AN 6.63 additionally speaks of the cessation of kāma and kamma; SN 22.56 mentions the cessation of each of the five upādāna·kkhandhas.

♦ The ariya aṭṭh·aṅg·ika magga is the tool to remove akusalā dhammā. In that respect, MN 3 directly mentions all the 16 upakkilesā (with dosa in place of byāpāda). A number of similes illustrating this point are given in the Magga Saṃyutta: at SN 45.153, akusalā dhammā
are given up by the mind like a pot turned upside down ‘gives up’ its
water; at SN 45.156, they are disintegrated like a cloud providing rain
disintegrates a dust storm; at SN 45.157, they are dispersed like a
strong wind disperses a great cloud giving rain; at SN 45.158, they are
like the ropes on a ship that rot under inclement weather.

♦ The ariya aṭṭh·aṅg·ika magga gives strength
to the mind, as explained in SN 45.27’s simile, where it is compared to
the stand of a pot that makes it difficult to get knocked over. At SN
45.160, people, powerful or not, wishing to convince a bhikkhu
cultivating the ariya aṭṭh·aṅg·ika magga to abandon monkhood by
offering him wealth will be no more successful than people wishing to
change the direction of the Ganges, because his mind is inclined to
seclusion.

SN 45.159


“seyyathāpi, bhikkhave, āgantukāgāraṃ. tattha puratthimāyapi disāya
āgantvā vāsaṃ kappenti, pacchimāyapi disāya āgantvā vāsaṃ kappenti,
uttarāyapi disāya āgantvā vāsaṃ kappenti, dakkhiṇāyapi disāya āgantvā
vāsaṃ kappenti, khattiyāpi āgantvā vāsaṃ kappenti, brāhmaṇāpi āgantvā
vāsaṃ kappenti, vessāpi āgantvā vāsaṃ kappenti, suddāpi āgantvā vāsaṃ
kappenti; evameva kho, bhikkhave, bhikkhu ariyaṃ aṭṭhaṅgikaṃ maggaṃ
bhāvento ariyaṃ aṭṭhaṅgikaṃ maggaṃ bahulīkaronto ye dhammā abhiññā
pariññeyyā, te dhamme abhiññā parijānāti, ye dhammā abhiññā pahātabbā,
te dhamme abhiññā pajahati, ye dhammā abhiññā sacchikātabbā, te dhamme
abhiññā sacchikaroti, ye dhammā abhiññā bhāvetabbā, te dhamme abhiññā
bhāveti.

Suppose, monks, there is a guest-house. Travelers come from the east,
the west, the north, the south to lodge here: nobles and Brahmans,
merchants and serfs. In the same way, monks, a monk who cultivates the
Noble Eightfold Path, who assiduously practices the Noble Eightfold
Path, comprehends with higher knowledge those states that are to be so
comprehended, abandons with higher knowledge those states that are to be
so abandoned, comes to experience with higher knowledge those states
that are to be so experienced, and cultivates with higher knowledge
those states that are to be so cultivated.

“katame ca, bhikkhave, dhammā abhiññā pariññeyyā? pañcupādānakkhandhātissa vacanīyaṃ…

What, monks, are the states to be comprehended with higher knowledge? They are the five groups of clinging…

katame ca, bhikkhave, dhammā abhiññā pahātabbā? avijjā ca bhavataṇhā ca…

What, monks, are the states to be abandoned with higher knowledge? They are ignorance and the desire for [further] becoming…

katame ca, bhikkhave, dhammā abhiññā sacchikātabbā? vijjā ca vimutti ca…

And what, monks, are the states to be experienced with higher knowledge? They are knowledge and liberation…

katame ca, bhikkhave, dhammā abhiññā bhāvetabbā? samatho ca vipassanā ca.

And what, monk, are the states to be cultivated with higher knowledge? They are calm and insight.





Bodhi leaf


ariyasacca: [ariya+sacca] noble truth. The four ariya·saccas are expounded by the Buddha in his very first discourse, the Dhamma-cakka’p'pavattana Sutta. It consists of:

1. dukkha-ariya·sacca
2. dukkha·samudaya-ariya·sacca

3. dukkha·nirodha-ariya·sacca
4. dukkha·nirodha·gāminī paṭipadā-ariya·sacca


Bodhi leaf


ariyasāvaka: [ariya+sāvaka] noble disciple.



Bodhi leaf


arūpabhava: [a+rūpa+bhava] existence/ becoming in the formless realm, which is taken as meaning those Brahmā-lokas which are accessible only to those who master at least the fifth jhāna. Arūpa-bhava is one of the three types of bhava.



Bodhi leaf


asantuṭṭhitā: [a+santuṭṭhitā]

discontent, dissatisfaction.

asantuṭṭha:

discontent, dissatisfied

♦ Sometimes, the adjective a·santuṭṭha is used with a rather neutral connotation, as at SN 35.198, where a bhikkhu is simply not satisfied with the answers given to his question.

♦ Most of the time, the word and its lexical derivatives carry a negative (akusala) connotation:

AN 1.64


“nāhaṃ, bhikkhave, aññaṃ ekadhammampi samanupassāmi yena anuppannā vā
akusalā dhammā uppajjanti uppannā vā kusalā dhammā parihāyanti
yathayidaṃ, bhikkhave, asantuṭṭhitā.

I do not see even one other thing, bhikkhus, because of which unarisen
unwholesome mental states come to arise, or arisen wholesome mental
states come to decline, so much, bhikkhus, as because of
dissatisfaction.



AN 1.88


“nāhaṃ, bhikkhave, aññaṃ ekadhammampi samanupassāmi yo evaṃ mahato anatthāya saṃvattati yathayidaṃ, bhikkhave, asantuṭṭhitā.

I do not see even one other thing, bhikkhus, that leads to such great harm as discontent.



AN 1.120


“nāhaṃ, bhikkhave, aññaṃ ekadhammampi samanupassāmi yo evaṃ saddhammassa
sammosāya antaradhānāya saṃvattati yathayidaṃ, bhikkhave, asantuṭṭhitā.

I do not see even one other thing, bhikkhus, that leads to the decline
and confusion of the authentic Dhamma so much as discontent.



AN 10.82


“so vatānanda, bhikkhu ‘asantuṭṭho samāno imasmiṃ dhammavinaye vuddhiṃ virūḷhiṃ vepullaṃ āpajjissatī’ti netaṃ ṭhānaṃ vijjati.

It is impossible, Ānanda, that a bhikkhu who is not content will find growth, progress, and completion in this Dhamma-Vinaya.



When the word carries such a connotation, being a·santuṭṭha is explained as follows:

AN 6.84


bhikkhu mahiccho hoti, vighātavā, asantuṭṭho, itarītara-cīvara-piṇḍapāta-senāsana-gilāna-ppaccaya-bhesajja-parikkhārena

a bhikkhu has great desires, is annoyed and is not content with whatever
kind of robes, almsfood, lodging, and medicines & provisions for
the sick [he gets]



As it is the case above, the word a·santuṭṭhitā or its lexical derivatives are very often juxtaposed with mahicchatā, which can almost be considered a synonym. In the Vinaya, lay people who are offended by bhikkhus’ behavior often say:



mahicchā ime samaṇā sakyaputtiyā asantuṭṭhā.

These ascetics sons of the Sakyan are of great desires, not contented.



This happens typically when misbehaving bhikkhus put
unnecessary pressure on lay supporters, either by asking more than the
strict minimum they need, or by making burdensome requests without prior
invitation. Thus, in the origin story to NP 6, the bhikkhu doesn’t want
to wait until his supporter goes back home to send him some cloth and
demands instead one of the garments he is currently wearing. At NP 8,
the bhikkhu gives instructions for getting finer cloth to the weaver
appointed by his supporters to make his robe, which ends up costing
twice as much yarn as they originally planned. At NP 10, the bhikkhu
doesn’t want to wait till the next day, which ends up costing a fine to
his supporter. At Bhikkhunis’ NP 11, some bhikkhunis ask the king for a
woolen garment (which is considered luxurious).

AN 4.157 maps the concept with others: a·santuṭṭhitā leads to evil desire (pāpika iccha) for recognition (an·avañña) and lābha·sakkāra·siloka, then to wrong effort (vāyama) and finally deceiving families by pretending to be much worthier than one actually is:

AN 4.157


“cattārome, bhikkhave, pabbajitassa rogā. katame cattāro? idha,
bhikkhave, bhikkhu mahiccho hoti vighātavā asantuṭṭho
itarītara-cīvara-piṇḍapāta-senāsana-gilāna-ppaccaya-bhesajja-parikkhārena.
so mahiccho samāno vighātavā asantuṭṭho
itarītara-cīvara-piṇḍapāta-senāsana-gilāna-ppaccaya-bhesajja-parikkhārena
pāpikaṃ icchaṃ paṇidahati anavañña-ppaṭilābhāya
lābha-sakkāra-siloka-ppaṭilābhāya. so uṭṭhahati ghaṭati vāyamati
anavañña-ppaṭilābhāya lābha-sakkāra-siloka-ppaṭilābhāya. so saṅkhāya
kulāni upasaṅkamati, saṅkhāya nisīdati, saṅkhāya dhammaṃ bhāsati,
saṅkhāya uccārapassāvaṃ sandhāreti. ime kho, bhikkhave, cattāro
pabbajitassa rogā.

Bhikkhus, there are these four sicknesses of one gone forth. What four?
Here, bhikkhus, a bhikkhu has great desires, is annoyed and is not
content with whatever kind of robes, almsfood, lodging, and medicines
& provisions for the sick [he gets]. Having great desires, being
annoyed and not content with whatever kind of robes, almsfood, lodging,
and medicines & provisions for the sick [he gets], he generates evil
desire for recognition and for honors, gain & fame. He rouses,
applies and exerts himself to obtain recognition and honors, gain &
fame. He craftily approaches families, craftily sits down, craftily
speaks about the Dhamma, and craftily holds in his excrement and urine.
These, bhikkhus, are four sicknesses of one gone forth.



The sutta then goes on to explain the cure, which
consists in forbearance with regards to the elements of nature, animals,
other people’s words and painful feelings:



“tasmātiha, bhikkhave, evaṃ sikkhitabbaṃ: ‘na mahicchā bhavissāma
vighātavanto asantuṭṭhā
itarītara-cīvara-piṇḍapāta-senāsana-gilāna-ppaccaya-bhesajja-parikkhārena,
na pāpikaṃ icchaṃ paṇidahissāma anavañña-ppaṭilābhāya
lābha-sakkāra-siloka-ppaṭilābhāya, na uṭṭhahissāma na ghaṭessāma na
vāyamissāma anavañña-ppaṭilābhāya lābha-sakkāra-siloka-ppaṭilābhāya,
khamā bhavissāma sītassa uṇhassa jighacchāya pipāsāya
ḍaṃsa-makasa-vātā-tapa-sarīṃsapa-samphassānaṃ duruttānaṃ durāgatānaṃ
vacanapathānaṃ, uppannānaṃ sārīrikānaṃ vedanānaṃ dukkhānaṃ tibbānaṃ
kharānaṃ kaṭukānaṃ asātānaṃ amanāpānaṃ pāṇaharānaṃ adhivāsakajātikā
bhavissāmā’ti. evañhi vo, bhikkhave, sikkhitabban”ti.

Therefore, bhikkhus, you should train thus: ‘We won’t have great
desires, be annoyed and not content with whatever kind of robes,
almsfood, lodging, and medicines & provisions for the sick [we will
get]; we won’t generate evil desire for recognition and for honors, gain
& fame; we won’t rouse, apply and exert ourselves to obtain
recognition and honors, gain & fame; we will endure cold, heat,
hunger, thirst and the contact with flies, mosquitoes, wind, sun and
creeping animals, as well as ways of speech that are ill-spoken and
offensive; we will be patient with arisen bodily feelings that are
painful, acute, sharp, piercing, disagreeable, unpleasant and
threatening life.’ This, bhikkhus, is how you should train yourselves.



In this sense, at AN 6.114, asantuṭṭhitā is juxtaposed with mahicchatā and a·sampajañña (lack of thorough comprehension).

It serves as a criterion to know whether one can dwell on his own or should stay amid other monks:

AN 5.127


“pañcahi, bhikkhave, dhammehi samannāgato bhikkhu nālaṃ saṅghamhā
vapakāsituṃ . katamehi pañcahi? idha, bhikkhave, bhikkhu asantuṭṭho hoti
itarītarena cīvarena, asantuṭṭho hoti itarītarena piṇḍapātena,
asantuṭṭho hoti itarītarena senāsanena, asantuṭṭho hoti itarītarena
gilānappaccayabhesajjaparikkhārena, kāmasaṅkappabahulo ca viharati.
imehi kho, bhikkhave, pañcahi dhammehi samannāgato bhikkhu nālaṃ
saṅghamhā vapakāsituṃ.

If he is endowed with five qualities, bhikkhus, a bhikkhu is not fit to
live away from the Community. What five? He is not content with whatever
kind of robe [he gets]; he is not content with whatever kind of
almsfood [he gets]; he is not content with whatever kind of lodging [he
gets]; he is not content with whatever kind of medicines and provisions
for the sick [he gets]; and he dwells absorbed in thoughts of
sensuality. If he is endowed with these five qualities, bhikkhus, a
bhikkhu is not fit to live away from the Community.



Laypeople must also avoid this kind of asantuṭṭhitā:

Snp 1.6


“sehi dārehi asantuṭṭho, vesiyāsu padussati, dussati paradāresu, taṃ parābhavato mukhaṃ”.

Not satisfied with one’s own wives, he is seen among the whores and the wives of others — this is the cause of his downfall.



♦ Although the word is mostly used with this negative connotation, it is also occasionally used with a positive (kusala) connotation. At AN 7.56 the devas who are content with their Brahmā state and do not know a higher escape (nissaraṇa) do not understand what those who are not content with that state and do know something higher may understand:

AN 7.56


ye kho te, mārisa moggallāna, brahmakāyikā devā brahmena āyunā
santuṭṭhā… te uttari nissaraṇaṃ yathābhūtaṃ nappajānanti, tesaṃ na
evaṃ ñāṇaṃ hoti… ye ca kho te, mārisa moggallāna, brahmakāyikā devā
brahmena āyunā asantuṭṭhā… te ca uttari nissaraṇaṃ yathābhūtaṃ
pajānanti, tesaṃ evaṃ ñāṇaṃ hoti…

Sir Moggallāna, the devas of Brahmā’s retinue who are content with a
brahmā’s longevity… and who do not know, as it actually is, an escape
higher than this, do not have such a knowledge… But the devas of
Brahmā’s retinue who are not content with a brahmā’s longevity… and
who know, as it actually is, an escape higher than this, have such a
knowledge…



At AN 2.5, asantuṭṭhitā applied to wholesome states (kusalā dhammā) is presented as very important for developing further on the path:

AN 2.5


dvinnāhaṃ, bhikkhave, dhammānaṃ upaññāsiṃ: yā ca asantuṭṭhitā kusalesu dhammesu, yā ca appaṭivānitā padhānasmiṃ.

Bhikkhus, I have come to know two qualities: non-contentment with wholesome states and tirelessness in exertion.



At SN 55.40, being satisfied with the four usual sot·āpattiy·aṅgas leads to not making an effort (vāyama) in solitude (paviveka), and then to successively miss on pāmojja, pīti and passaddhi, and finally dwell in dukkha, which is considered living with pamāda, while not being satisfied with them prompts one to make the effort in solitude and experience successively pāmojja, pīti, passaddhi, sukha, samādhi, the fact that phenomena have become manifest, and finally living with appamāda.

At AN 6.80, the word is interestingly surrounded by related concepts:

AN 6.80


chahi, bhikkhave, dhammehi samannāgato bhikkhu nacirasseva mahantattaṃ
vepullattaṃ pāpuṇāti dhammesu. katamehi chahi? idha, bhikkhave, bhikkhu
ālokabahulo ca hoti yogabahulo ca vedabahulo ca asantuṭṭhibahulo ca
anikkhittadhuro ca kusalesu dhammesu uttari ca patāreti.

If he is endowed with six qualities, bhikkhus, a bhikkhu attains in no
long time greatness and fullness in [wholesome] states. What six? Here,
bhikkhus, a bhikkhu is full of light, full of endeavor, full of
enthusiasm, full of dissatisfaction [with wholesome states already
attained], he doesn’t shirk his task in wholesome states, and he keeps
progressing further.





Bodhi leaf


asappurisa: [a+sappurisa]

bad person.

The word is always contrasted with sappurisa. Bāla is sometimes explicitly mentioned as a synonym:


MN 129


‘bālo ayaṃ bhavaṃ asappuriso’’ti.

‘This individual is a fool, a bad person’.



The term is defined multiple times. We find in the suttas three main ways to define it. According to the micchā·paṭipadā:

SN 45.26


katamo ca, bhikkhave, asappuriso? idha, bhikkhave, ekacco micchādiṭṭhiko
hoti, micchāsaṅkappo, micchāvāco, micchākammanto, micchāājīvo,
micchāvāyāmo, micchāsati, micchāsamādhi. ayaṃ vuccati, bhikkhave,
asappuriso”.

And what, bhikkhus, is a bad person? Here, bhikkhus, someone is of wrong
view, wrong aspiration, wrong speech, wrong action, wrong livelihood,
wrong effort, wrong mindfulness and wrong concentration. This, bhikkhus,
is what is called a bad person.

“katamo ca, bhikkhave, asappurisena asappurisataro? idha, bhikkhave,
ekacco micchādiṭṭhiko hoti, micchāsaṅkappo, micchāvāco, micchākammanto,
micchāājīvo, micchāvāyāmo, micchāsati, micchāsamādhi, micchāñāṇī,
micchāvimutti. ayaṃ vuccati, bhikkhave, asappurisena asappurisataro.

And what, bhikkhus, is one who is worse than a bad person? Here,
bhikkhus, someone is of wrong view, wrong aspiration, wrong speech,
wrong action, wrong livelihood, wrong effort, wrong mindfulness, wrong
concentration, wrong knowledge and wrong liberation. This, bhikkhus, is
what is called one who is worse than a bad person.



According to various subsets of the ten akusalā kamma·pathā:

AN 4.204


“katamo ca, bhikkhave, asappuriso? idha, bhikkhave, ekacco pāṇātipātī
hoti, adinnādāyī hoti, kāmesumicchācārī hoti, musāvādī hoti, pisuṇavāco
hoti, pharusavāco hoti, samphappalāpī hoti, abhijjhālu hoti,
byāpannacitto hoti, micchādiṭṭhiko hoti. ayaṃ vuccati, bhikkhave,
asappuriso.

And what, bhikkhus, is a bad person? Here, bhikkhus, someone destroys
life, takes what is not given, engages in misconduct regarding
[pleasures of] sensuality, speaks falsehood, speaks maliciously, speaks
harshly, speaks frivolously, is covetous, has a malevolent mind, is of
wrong view. This, bhikkhus, is what is called a bad person.

“katamo ca, bhikkhave, asappurisena asappurisataro? idha, bhikkhave,
ekacco attanā ca pāṇātipātī hoti, parañca pāṇātipāte samādapeti,
attanā ca adinnādāyī hoti, parañca adinnādāne samādapeti,
attanā ca kāmesumicchācārī hoti, parañca kāmesumicchācāre samādapeti,
attanā ca musāvādī hoti, parañca musāvāde samādapeti,
attanā ca pisuṇavāco hoti, parañca pisuṇavācāya samādapeti,
attanā ca pharusavāco hoti, parañca pharusavācāya samādapeti,
attanā ca samphappalāpī hoti, parañca samphappalāpe samādapeti, attanā
ca abhijjhālu hoti, parañca abhijjhāya samādapeti; attanā ca
byāpannacitto hoti, parañca byāpāde samādapeti, attanā ca micchādiṭṭhiko
hoti, parañca micchādiṭṭhiyā samādapeti. ayaṃ vuccati, bhikkhave,
asappurisena asappurisataro.

And what, bhikkhus, is one who is worse than a bad person? Here,
bhikkhus, someone destroys life himself and incites others to destroy
life, takes what is not given himself and incites others to take what is
not given, engages in misconduct regarding [pleasures of] sensuality
himself and incites others to engage in misconduct regarding [pleasures
of] sensuality, speaks falsehood himself and incites others to speak
falsehood, speaks maliciously himself and incites others to speak
maliciously, speaks harshly himself and incites others to, speaks
frivolously himself and incites others to, is covetous himself and
incites others to speak harshly, has a malevolent mind himself and
incites others to have a malevolent mind, is of wrong view himself and
incites others to have wrong view. This, bhikkhus, is what is called one
who is worse than a bad person.



According to a particular set of bad qualities:

AN 4.202


“katamo ca, bhikkhave, asappuriso? idha, bhikkhave, ekacco assaddho
hoti, ahiriko hoti, anottappī hoti, appassuto hoti, kusīto hoti,
muṭṭhassati hoti, duppañño hoti. ayaṃ vuccati, bhikkhave, asappuriso.

And what, bhikkhus, is a bad person? Here, bhikkhus, someone doesn’t
have conviction, doesn’t have conscientiousness, doesn’t have scruple,
doesn’t acquire learning, is lazy, is of forgetful mindfulness, is of
deficient discernment. This, bhikkhus, is what is called a bad person.

“katamo ca, bhikkhave, asappurisena asappurisataro? idha, bhikkhave,
ekacco attanā ca assaddho hoti, parañca assaddhiye samādapeti; attanā ca
ahiriko hoti, parañca ahirikatāya samādapeti; attanā ca anottappī hoti,
parañca anottappe samādapeti; attanā ca appassuto hoti, parañca
appassute samādapeti; attanā ca kusīto hoti, parañca kosajje samādapeti;
attanā ca muṭṭhassati hoti, parañca muṭṭhassacce samādapeti; attanā ca
duppañño hoti, parañca duppaññatāya samādapeti. ayaṃ vuccati, bhikkhave,
asappurisena asappurisataro.

And what, bhikkhus, is one who is worse than a bad person? Here,
bhikkhus, someone doesn’t have conviction himself and incites others to
be without conviction, doesn’t have conscientiousness himself and
incites others to be without conscientiousness, doesn’t have scruple
himself and incites others to be without scruple, doesn’t acquire
learning himself and incites others to not acquire learning, is lazy
himself and incites others to be lazy, is of forgetful mindfulness
himself and incites others to be of forgetful mindfulness, is of
deficient discernment himself and incites others to be of deficient
discernment. This, bhikkhus, is what is called one who is worse than a
bad person.



The term is also defined or explained at great length in two suttas of the Majjhima Nikāya:

MN 110


asappuriso, bhikkhave, assaddhammasamannāgato hoti, asappurisabhatti
hoti, asappurisacintī hoti, asappurisamantī hoti, asappurisavāco hoti,
asappurisakammanto hoti, asappurisadiṭṭhi hoti; asappurisadānaṃ deti”.

“A person of no integrity is endowed with qualities of no integrity; he
is a person of no integrity in his friendship, in the way he wills, the
way he gives advice, the way he speaks, the way he acts, the views he
holds, & the way he gives a gift.

“kathañca, bhikkhave, asappuriso assaddhammasamannāgato hoti? idha,
bhikkhave, asappuriso assaddho hoti, ahiriko hoti, anottappī hoti,
appassuto hoti, kusīto hoti, muṭṭhassati hoti, duppañño hoti. evaṃ kho,
bhikkhave, asappuriso assaddhammasamannāgato hoti.

“And how is a person of no integrity endowed with qualities of no
integrity? There is the case where a person of no integrity is lacking
in conviction, lacking in conscience, lacking in concern [for the
results of unskillful actions]; he is unlearned, lazy, of muddled
mindfulness, & poor discernment. This is how a person of no
integrity is endowed with qualities of no integrity.”

“kathañca, bhikkhave, asappuriso asappurisabhatti hoti? idha, bhikkhave,
asappurisassa ye te samaṇabrāhmaṇā assaddhā ahirikā anottappino
appassutā kusītā muṭṭhassatino duppaññā tyāssa mittā honti te sahāyā.
evaṃ kho, bhikkhave, asappuriso asappurisabhatti hoti.

“And how is a person of no integrity a person of no integrity in his
friendship? There is the case where a person of no integrity has, as his
friends & companions, those brahmans & contemplatives who are
lacking in conviction, lacking in conscience, lacking in concern,
unlearned, lazy, of muddled mindfulness, & poor discernment. This is
how a person of no integrity is a person of no integrity in his
friendship.

“kathañca, bhikkhave, asappuriso asappurisacintī hoti? idha, bhikkhave,
asappuriso attabyābādhāyapi ceteti, parabyābādhāyapi ceteti,
ubhayabyābādhāyapi ceteti. evaṃ kho, bhikkhave, asappuriso
asappurisacintī hoti.

“And how is a person of no integrity a person of no integrity in the way
he wills? There is the case where a person of no integrity wills for
his own affliction, or for the affliction of others, or for the
affliction of both. This is how a person of no integrity is a person of
no integrity in the way he wills.

“kathañca, bhikkhave, asappuriso asappurisamantī hoti? idha, bhikkhave,
asappuriso attabyābādhāyapi manteti, parabyābādhāyapi manteti,
ubhayabyābādhāyapi manteti. evaṃ kho, bhikkhave, asappuriso
asappurisamantī hoti.

“And how is a person of no integrity a person of no integrity in the way
he gives advice? There is the case where a person of no integrity gives
advice for his own affliction, or for the affliction of others, or for
the affliction of both. This is how a person of no integrity is a person
of no integrity in the way he gives advice.

“kathañca, bhikkhave, asappuriso asappurisavāco hoti? idha, bhikkhave,
asappuriso musāvādī hoti, pisuṇavāco hoti, pharusavāco hoti,
samphappalāpī hoti. evaṃ kho, bhikkhave, asappuriso asappurisavāco hoti.

“And how is a person of no integrity a person of no integrity in the way
he speaks? There is the case where a person of no integrity is one who
tells lies, engages in divisive tale-bearing, engages in harsh speech,
engages in idle chatter. This is how a person of no integrity is a
person of no integrity in the way he speaks.

“kathañca, bhikkhave, asappuriso asappurisakammanto hoti? idha,
bhikkhave, asappuriso pāṇātipātī hoti, adinnādāyī hoti, kāmesumicchācārī
hoti. evaṃ kho, bhikkhave, asappuriso asappurisakammanto hoti.

“And how is a person of no integrity a person of no integrity in the way
he acts? There is the case where a person of no integrity is one who
takes life, steals, engages in illicit sex. This is how a person of no
integrity is a person of no integrity in the way he acts.

“kathañca, bhikkhave, asappuriso asappurisadiṭṭhi hoti? idha, bhikkhave,
asappuriso evaṃdiṭṭhi hoti: ‘natthi dinnaṃ, natthi yiṭṭhaṃ, natthi
hutaṃ, natthi sukatadukkaṭānaṃ kammānaṃ phalaṃ vipāko, natthi ayaṃ loko,
natthi paro loko, natthi mātā, natthi pitā, natthi sattā opapātikā,
natthi loke samaṇabrāhmaṇā sammaggatā sammāpaṭipannā, ye imañca lokaṃ
parañca lokaṃ sayaṃ abhiññā sacchikatvā pavedentī’ti. evaṃ kho,
bhikkhave, asappuriso asappurisadiṭṭhi hoti.

“And how is a person of no integrity a person of no integrity in the
views he holds? There is the case where a person of no integrity is one
who holds a view like this: ‘There is nothing given, nothing offered,
nothing sacrificed. There is no fruit or result of good or bad actions.
There is no this world, no next world, no mother, no father, no
spontaneously reborn beings; no brahmans or contemplatives who, faring
rightly & practicing rightly, proclaim this world & the next
after having directly known & realized it for themselves.’ This is
how a person of no integrity is a person of no integrity in the views he
holds.

“kathañca, bhikkhave, asappuriso asappurisadānaṃ deti? idha, bhikkhave,
asappuriso asakkaccaṃ dānaṃ deti, asahatthā dānaṃ deti, acittīkatvā
dānaṃ deti, apaviṭṭhaṃ dānaṃ deti anāgamanadiṭṭhiko dānaṃ deti. evaṃ
kho, bhikkhave, asappuriso asappurisadānaṃ deti.

“And how is a person of no integrity a person of no integrity in the way
he gives a gift? There is the case where a person of no integrity gives
a gift inattentively, not with his own hand, disrespectfully, as if
throwing it away, with the view that nothing will come of it. This is
how a person of no integrity is a person of no integrity in the way he
gives a gift.

“so, bhikkhave, asappuriso evaṃ assaddhammasamannāgato, evaṃ
asappurisabhatti, evaṃ asappurisacintī, evaṃ asappurisamantī, evaṃ
asappurisavāco, evaṃ asappurisakammanto, evaṃ asappurisadiṭṭhi; evaṃ
asappurisadānaṃ datvā kāyassa bhedā paraṃ maraṇā yā asappurisānaṃ gati
tattha upapajjati. kā ca, bhikkhave, asappurisānaṃ gati? nirayo vā
tiracchānayoni vā.

“This person of no integrity, thus endowed with qualities of no
integrity; a person of no integrity in his friendship, in the way he
wills, the way he gives advice, the way he speaks, the way he acts, the
views he holds, & the way he gives a gift, on the break-up of the
body, after death, reappears in the destination of people of no
integrity. And what is the destination of people of no integrity? Hell
or the animal womb.



MN 113


“katamo ca, bhikkhave, asappurisadhammo? idha, bhikkhave, asappuriso
uccākulā pabbajito hoti. so iti paṭisañcikkhati: ‘ahaṃ khomhi uccākulā
pabbajito, ime panaññe bhikkhū na uccākulā pabbajitā’ti. so tāya
uccākulīnatāya attānukkaṃseti, paraṃ vambheti. ayaṃ, bhikkhave,
asappurisadhammo …

“And which is the quality of a person of no integrity? “There is the
case where a person of no integrity goes forth from a high-ranking
family. He notices, ‘I have gone forth from a high-ranking family, but
these other monks have not gone forth from a high-ranking family.’ He
exalts himself for having a high-ranking family and disparages others.
This is the quality of a person of no integrity …

“puna caparaṃ, bhikkhave, asappuriso mahākulā pabbajito hoti …
mahābhogakulā pabbajito hoti … uḷārabhogakulā pabbajito hoti. so iti
paṭisañcikkhati: ‘ahaṃ khomhi uḷārabhogakulā pabbajito, ime panaññe
bhikkhū na uḷārabhogakulā pabbajitā’ti. so tāya uḷārabhogatāya
attānukkaṃseti, paraṃ vambheti. ayampi, bhikkhave, asappurisadhammo …

“Furthermore, a person of no integrity goes forth from a great family…
a family of great wealth… a family of extensive wealth. He notices,
‘I have gone forth from a family of extensive wealth, but these other
monks have not gone forth from a family of extensive wealth.’ He exalts
himself for having a family of extensive wealth and disparages others.
This is the quality of a person of no integrity …

“puna caparaṃ, bhikkhave, asappuriso ñāto hoti yasassī… lābhī hoti
cīvara-piṇḍapāta-senāsana-gilāna-ppaccaya-bhesajja-parikkhārānaṃ…
bahussuto hoti… vinayadharo hoti… dhammakathiko hoti… āraññiko
hoti… paṃsukūliko hoti… piṇḍapātiko hoti… rukkhamūliko hoti…
sosāniko hoti… abbhokāsiko hoti… nesajjiko hoti… yathāsanthatiko
hoti… ekāsaniko hoti… paṭhamaṃ jhānaṃ… dutiyaṃ jhānaṃ… tatiyaṃ
jhānaṃ… catutthaṃ jhānaṃ upasampajja viharati… ākāsānañcāyatanaṃ…
viññāṇañcāyatanaṃ… ākiñcaññāyatanaṃ… nevasaññānāsaññāyatanaṃ
upasampajja viharati. so iti paṭisañcikkhati: ‘ahaṃ khomhi
neva-saññā-nāsaññ-āyatana-samāpattiyā lābhī, ime panaññe bhikkhū
neva-saññā-nāsaññ-āyatana-samāpattiyā na lābhino’ti. so tāya
neva-saññā-nāsaññ-āyatana-samāpattiyā attānukkaṃseti, paraṃ vambheti.
ayampi, bhikkhave, asappurisadhammo.

“Furthermore, a person of no integrity is well-known & highly
regarded … is one who gains robe-cloth, alms-food, lodgings, &
medicinal requisites for the sick … is learned … is a master of the
Vinaya … is a Dhamma-speaker … is a wilderness dweller … is one
who wears robes of thrown-away rags… an alms-goer… one who dwells at
the root of a tree… a cemetery dweller… one who lives in the open
air… one who doesn’t lie down… one who is content with whatever
dwelling is assigned to him… one who eats only one meal a day …
enters & remains in the first jhāna … in the second jhāna… the
third jhāna… the fourth jhāna… the dimension of the infinitude of
space… the dimension of the infinitude of consciousness… the
dimension of nothingness… the dimension of neither perception nor
non-perception. He notices, ‘I have gained the attainment of the
dimension of neither perception nor non-perception, but these other
monks have not gained the attainment of the dimension of neither
perception nor non-perception.’ He exalts himself for the attainment of
the dimension of neither perception nor non-perception and disparages
others. This is the quality of a person of no integrity.



The sutta doesn’t mention the behavior of an asappurisa who would attain saññā·vedayita·nirodha, while it mentions that of a sappurisa who would, which suggests that a person who reaches such a state can no longer be an asappurisa.

♦ An asappurisa can be recognized by the way he relates to his own and his fellows’ faults and virtues:

AN 4.73


“catūhi, bhikkhave, dhammehi samannāgato asappuriso veditabbo. katamehi
catūhi? idha, bhikkhave, asappuriso yo hoti parassa avaṇṇo taṃ apuṭṭhopi
pātu karoti, ko pana vādo puṭṭhassa! puṭṭho kho pana pañhābhinīto
ahāpetvā alambitvā paripūraṃ vitthārena parassa avaṇṇaṃ bhāsitā hoti.
veditabbametaṃ, bhikkhave, asappuriso ayaṃ bhavanti.

“Monks, a person endowed with these four qualities can be known as ‘a
person of no integrity.’ Which four? There is the case where a person of
no integrity, when unasked, reveals another person’s bad points, to say
nothing of when asked. Furthermore, when asked, when pressed with
questions, he is one who speaks of another person’s bad points in full
& in detail, without omission, without holding back. Of this person
you may know, ‘This venerable one is a person of no integrity.’

“puna caparaṃ, bhikkhave, asappuriso yo hoti parassa vaṇṇo taṃ puṭṭhopi
na pātu karoti, ko pana vādo apuṭṭhassa! puṭṭho kho pana pañhābhinīto
hāpetvā lambitvā aparipūraṃ avitthārena parassa vaṇṇaṃ bhāsitā hoti.
veditabbametaṃ, bhikkhave, asappuriso ayaṃ bhavanti.

“Then again, a person of no integrity, when asked, does not reveal
another person’s good points, to say nothing of when unasked.
Furthermore, when asked, when pressed with questions, he is one who
speaks of another person’s good points not in full, not in detail, with
omissions, holding back. Of this person you may know, ‘This venerable
one is a person of no integrity.’

“puna caparaṃ, bhikkhave, asappuriso yo hoti attano avaṇṇo taṃ puṭṭhopi
na pātu karoti, ko pana vādo apuṭṭhassa! puṭṭho kho pana pañhābhinīto
hāpetvā lambitvā aparipūraṃ avitthārena attano avaṇṇaṃ bhāsitā hoti.
veditabbametaṃ, bhikkhave, asappuriso ayaṃ bhavanti.

“Then again, a person of no integrity, when asked, does not reveal his
own bad points, to say nothing of when unasked. Furthermore, when asked,
when pressed with questions, he is one who speaks of his own bad points
not in full, not in detail, with omissions, holding back. Of this
person you may know, ‘This venerable one is a person of no integrity.’

“puna caparaṃ, bhikkhave, asappuriso yo hoti attano vaṇṇo taṃ apuṭṭhopi
pātu karoti, ko pana vādo puṭṭhassa! puṭṭho kho pana pañhābhinīto
ahāpetvā alambitvā paripūraṃ vitthārena attano vaṇṇaṃ bhāsitā hoti.
veditabbametaṃ, bhikkhave, asappuriso ayaṃ bhavanti. imehi kho,
bhikkhave, catūhi dhammehi samannāgato asappuriso veditabbo.

“Then again, a person of no integrity, when unasked, reveals his own
good points, to say nothing of when asked. Furthermore, when asked, when
pressed with questions, he is one who speaks of his own good points in
full & in detail, without omissions, without holding back. Of this
person you may know, ‘This venerable one is a person of no integrity.’



♦ According to AN 2.33, an asappurisa is ungrateful (a·kat·aññū - ‘one who doesn’t know what has been done’) and unthankful (a·kata·vedī - ‘one who doesn’t feel what has been done’).

♦ At AN 2.135, someone who, without knowing well nor investigating (an·anuvicca a·pariy·ogāhetvā), speaks in praise of someone who deserves critic (a·vaṇṇ·ārahassa vaṇṇaṃ bhāsati), or criticizes someone who deserves praise (vaṇṇ·ārahassa a·vaṇṇaṃ bhāsati), is an asappurisa. In the immediately following sutta, the same holds for believing a matter that merits suspiscion (appasādanīye ṭhāne pasādaṃ upadaṃseti) or being suspicious about a matter that merits belief (pasādanīye ṭhāne appasādaṃ upadaṃseti).

♦ At AN 2.137, one who misbehaves (micchā·paṭipajjati) towards his mother or father is an asappurisa, and in the immediately following sutta, the same holds for the Tathāgata or one of his disciples (tathāgata·sāvaka).

♦ At AN 10.61, listening to a teaching that contradicts the saddhamma is caused by association with asappurisā.



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āsava: that which flows (out or on to) outflow and influx.

1) spirit, the intoxicating extract or secretion of a tree or flower.

2) discharge from a sore (AN 3.25).

3) that which intoxicates the mind (bemuddles it,
befoozles it, so that it cannot rise to higher things). Impurities/
pollutions/ fermentations/ corruptions of the mind.

The Buddha often refers to arahatta as the total destruction of āsavas (āsavakkhaya). Sāriputta lists āsavas as threefold at MN 9:

1. kām-āsava

2. bhav-āsava

3. avijj-āsava

The Sabbāsava Sutta explains in detail how the different types of āsavas are to be eradicated.



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āsavānaṃ khayañāṇa: [āsava khaya+ñāṇa] knowledge of the ending of āsavas, which arises with arahatta. It is one of the three vijjās. The formula defining it is analyzed there.



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asmimāna: [asmi+māna]

the conceit ‘I am’.

The term asmi·māna can be considered as a variant form of māna, which constitutes one of the five saṃyojanas that disappear only with arahatta, and one of the seven anusayas. Thus, it is essentially something to get rid of.

♦ In this connection, anicca·saññā applied to the five upādāna·kkhandhas is often presented as the way to remove asmi·māna, e.g.:


SN 22.102


“kathaṃ bhāvitā ca, bhikkhave, aniccasaññā kathaṃ bahulīkatā… sabbaṃ
asmimānaṃ samūhanati? ‘iti rūpaṃ, iti rūpassa samudayo, iti rūpassa
atthaṅgamo; iti vedanā… iti saññā… iti saṅkhārā… iti viññāṇaṃ, iti
viññāṇassa samudayo, iti viññāṇassa atthaṅgamo’ti. evaṃ bhāvitā kho,
bhikkhave, aniccasaññā evaṃ bahulīkatā… sabbaṃ asmimānaṃ
samūhanatī”ti.

And how, bhikkhus, is the perception of impermanence developed and
practiced often so that it eradicates… all conceit ‘I am’? ‘Such is
Form, such its apparition, such its extinction; such is Feeling… such
is Perception… such are Fabrications… such is Consciousness, such
its apparition, such its extinction’: this is how the perception of
impermanence is developed and practiced often so that it eradicates…
all conceit ‘I am’.



In an equivalent statement, the term asmi·māna is mentioned as applying to the five upādāna·kkhandhas, and the term anicca·saññā is replaced by ‘udayabbay·ānupassī’ (observing apparition and extinction).


MN 122


pañca kho ime, ānanda, upādānakkhandhā yattha bhikkhunā
udayabbayānupassinā vihātabbaṃ. ‘iti rūpaṃ iti rūpassa samudayo iti
rūpassa atthaṅgamo, iti vedanā… iti saññā… iti saṅkhārā… iti
viññāṇaṃ iti viññāṇassa samudayo iti viññāṇassa atthaṅgamo’ti. tassa
imesu pañcasu upādānakkhandhesu udayabbayānupassino viharato yo pañcasu
upādānakkhandhesu asmimāno so pahīyati.

There are these five clinging-aggregates where a monk should stay,
keeping track of arising & passing away (thus): ‘Such is form, such
its origination, such its disappearance. Such is feeling… Such is
perception… Such are fabrications… Such is consciousness, such its
origination, such its disappearance.’ As he stays keeping track of
arising & passing away with regard to these five
clinging-aggregates, he abandons any conceit that ‘I am’ with regard to
these five clinging-aggregates.



As a matter of fact, it is revealed at AN 9.1 that anicca·saññā does not lead directly to asmi·māna·samugghāta (eradication of the conceit ‘I am’). Rather, anicca·saññā leads first to anatta·saññā, which is the actual proximate cause for that eradication to take place:


AN 9.1


Aniccasaññā bhāvetabbā asmimānasamugghātāya. Aniccasaññino, bhikkhave,
anattasaññā saṇṭhāti. anattasaññī asmimānasamugghātaṃ pāpuṇāti diṭṭheva
dhamme nibbānan”ti

The perception of inconstancy should be developed, for the eradication
of the conceit ‘I am’. In one who perceives inconstancy, bhikkhus, the
perception of non-self takes a stand. One who perceives non-self reaches
the eradication of the conceit ‘I am’, Nibbāna in this visible world.



♦ An alternative tool for abandoning asmi·māna is kāyagatāsati:


AN 1.588


ekadhamme, bhikkhave, bhāvite bahulīkate asmimāno pahīyati. katamasmiṃ ekadhamme? kāyagatāya satiyā.

When, bhikkhus, one thing is developed and practiced often, the conceit
‘I am’ is abandoned. Which one thing? Mindfulness directed to the body.



AN 6.29, which features a unique list of anussatis, provides a more specific information: it is the nine sivathika contemplations that help eradicating asmi·māna:


AN 6.29


so imameva kāyaṃ evaṃ upasaṃharati: ‘ayampi kho kāyo evaṃdhammo
evaṃbhāvī evaṃanatīto’ti. idaṃ, bhante, anussatiṭṭhānaṃ evaṃ bhāvitaṃ
evaṃ bahulīkataṃ asmimānasamugghātāya saṃvattati.

He compares this very body with it [the corpse]: ‘This body is also of
such a nature, it will become like this, it is not exempt from that.’
This subject of recollection, when developed and practiced often in this
way, leads to the eradication of the conceit ‘I am.’



♦ We find in the suttas a few illustrative evocations of asmi·māna
or its eradication. At SN 35.214, the practitioner is compared to a log
drifting on a river that will go all the way to the ocean (which stands
for nibbāna), provided it doesn’t get stopped on the way. One of the possible obstacles is asmi·māna, which is compared to ‘being cast up on high ground’ (thale ussādo).

At AN 4.38, through eradication of asmi·māna, a bhikkhu is called ‘patilīna’,
which may mean ‘reserved’, ‘quiet’, ‘unostentatious’, ‘unpretentious’,
and which the commentary explains as ‘hidden’ or ‘gone into solitude’.

At AN 5.71, one who has abandoned asmi·māna is said to be an ariya ‘with banner lowered’ (panna·ddhajo), ‘with burden dropped’ (panna·bhāra) and ‘detached’ or ‘unfettered’ (visaṃyutta).



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assāda: (apparent/sensory) satisfaction, enjoyment, gratification, sweetness, allure, happiness. Often cited together with ādīnava and nissaraṇa as characteristics to be understood regarding various dhammas: the five upādāna·kkhandhas, kāma, certain diṭṭhis etc. The assāda of a particular dhamma is generally described as the sukha and somanassa which arise on account of it. The assāda of kāma, rūpa and vedanā are explained in detail at MN 13.



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assutavā: [a+suta+vā] uninstructed/ ignorant person - lit: ‘one who has not heard/learnt’.



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asubha: [a+subha]

1) (n:) non-beauty, foulness, loathsomeness, digust, ugliness.

2) (adj:) foul, loathsome, disgusting, ugly, impure, unpleasant.

Almost synonymous with paṭikūla. The contemplation of an asubha·nimitta is the way to develop asubha·saññā.

♦ The contemplation of an asubha object is exclusively aimed at removing rāga (e.g. MN 62, AN 6.107) or at removing kāma·cchanda, which is one of the five nīvaraṇas (with the help of an asubha·nimitta, at SN 46.51 and AN 1.16).

♦ In the Aṅguttara Nikāya, the expression ‘bhikkhu asubhānupassī kāye viharati’ (a bhikkhu dwells contemplating asubha in the body) appears as a synonym for the practice of asubha·saññā (at AN 10.60), often applied specifically to kāya, and generally in conjunction with āhāre paṭikūla·saññī, sabba·loke an·abhirata·saññī, sabba·saṅkhāresu anicc·ānupassī, and maraṇa·saññ[ī]. This set of five factors is said in various synonym ways to lead to nibbāna (e.g. AN 5.69). They can also lead a sick bhikkhu to arahatta (AN 5.121). Alternatively, in some cases they lead only to anāgāmita (AN 5.122).

♦ The expression ‘asubhānupassī kāye viharati’ is also described at AN 4.163 as participating of a painful mode of practice (dukkhā paṭipadā).

♦ Seeing as subha something which is actually asubha constitutes one of four saññā·vipallāsa (distortions of perception), citta·vipallāsa (perversions of the mind), diṭṭhi·vipallāsa (inversions of views), the other three being the corresponding misunderstanding of aniccā, dukkha and anatta (AN 4.49).

♦ At SN 54.9,
the danger in this practice is made evident, as it leads many bhikkhus
to commit suicide. It can be inferred that they did not apply yoniso manasi·kāra correctly and thus multiplied their aversion instead of removing
rāga or kāma·cchanda. After the incident, the Buddha recommands ānāpānassati·samādhi as a way to gain calm, pleasantness, and allay akusala dhammas.

♦ For further information about asubha practices, see asubha·nimitta and asubha·saññā below.



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asubhanimitta: [asubha+nimitta]

sign of the unattractive, characteristic of foulness. The practice is to apply the mind to something repulsive, either per se
(corpses at various stages of putrefaction for example), or to the
repulsive aspects of something usually perceived otherwise, such as the
body (of which 31 parts are identified, see here) or food. It is worthwhile to note that this practice can be dangerous, as if the mind is not properly endowed with yoniso manasi·kāra, one may instead multiply aversion as it happens at SN 54.9, where many bhikkhus commit suicide. Generally speaking, an asubha·nimitta can also be defined as an object that allows for the practice of asubha·saññā.

♦ At SN 46.51 and AN 1.16, an asubha·nimitta is said to remove kāma·cchanda, which is one of the five nīvaraṇas. At AN 3.69, it is also said to remove rāga.

♦ One practice involving asubha·nimittas is described in most detail in the section on charnel grounds (sivathika) of the Mahā·sati·paṭṭhāna Sutta, although not directly mentioned with this terminology.

♦ For further information about asubha practices, see asubha·saññā below.



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asubhasaññā: [asubha+saññā]

perception of the unattractive, perception of foulness, perception of non-beauty. This practice is explained at AN 10.60: it consists in reviewing 31 body parts.

♦ According to AN 7.49, when one often applies his/her mind to this practice, he/she is automatically repulsed by methuna·dhamma·samāpatti (getting into sexual intercourse).

♦ The seven bojjhaṅgas can be developed in conjunction with asubha·saññā (SN 46.72).

♦ According to AN 7.27, so long as the bhikkhus practice asubha·saññā, only growth can be expected of them, not decline.

♦ In the Aṅguttara Nikāya, asubha·saññā appears almost always with āhāre paṭikūla·saññā, sabba·loke an·abhirata·saññā and maraṇa·saññā. They are often collectively recommended for the sake of understanding or removing rāga (e.g. AN 5.303).

♦ Other perceptions usually associated with asubha·saññā include anicca·saññā, anicce dukkha·saññā, anatta·saññā, ādīnava·saññā, pahāna·saññā, virāga·saññā and nirodha·saññā.



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asura: beings resembling titans or fallen angels. Considered as in a way similar to the devas, but as being in a duggati,
and thus living in misery. They are also often described as having a
hostile nature and as frequently engaging in war against the devas lead by Sakka. Their leader is called Vepacitti.



Bodhi leaf


ātāpī:

(adj:) ardent, diligent, serious in effort, zealous.

The term appears most prominently in the Satipaṭṭhāna formulas:


DN 22


bhikkhu kāye kāyānupassī viharati ātāpī sampajāno satimā, vineyya loke abhijjhā-domanassaṃ.

a bhikkhu dwells observing body in body, ardent, clearly comprehending, mindful, having given up covetousness and affliction towards the world.



It is explicitly defined at SN 16.2 in formulas reminiscent of those describing sammā·vāyāma:



“kathañcāvuso, ātāpī hoti? idhāvuso, bhikkhu ‘anuppannā me pāpakā akusalā dhammā uppajjamānā anatthāya saṃvatteyyun’ti ātappaṃ karoti,
‘uppannā me pāpakā akusalā dhammā appahīyamānā anatthāya
saṃvatteyyun’ti ātappaṃ karoti, ‘anuppannā me kusalā dhammā
anuppajjamānā anatthāya saṃvatteyyun’ti ātappaṃ karoti, ‘uppannā me
kusalā dhammā nirujjhamānā anatthāya saṃvatteyyun’ti ātappaṃ karoti.
evaṃ kho, āvuso, ātāpī hoti.

And how, friend, is one ardent? Here, friend, a bhikkhu exerts ardor [considering]: ‘If unarisen bad, unskillful mental states arise in me, it would lead to [my] misfortune’; he exerts ardor [considering]: ‘If arisen bad, unskillful mental states are not abandoned in me, it would lead to [my] misfortune’; he exerts ardor [considering]: ‘If unarisen skillful mental states do not arise in me, it would lead to [my] misfortune’; he exerts ardor [considering]: ‘If arisen skillful mental states cease in me, this may lead to [my] misfortune.’ Thus, friend, he is ardent.



This definition is extended to include the ability to endure extreme dukkha·vedanā at AN 3.50:



“yato kho, bhikkhave, bhikkhu anuppannānaṃ pāpakānaṃ akusalānaṃ dhammānaṃ anuppādāya ātappaṃ karoti,
anuppannānaṃ kusalānaṃ dhammānaṃ uppādāya ātappaṃ karoti, uppannānaṃ
sārīrikānaṃ vedanānaṃ dukkhānaṃ tibbānaṃ kharānaṃ kaṭukānaṃ asātānaṃ
amanāpānaṃ pāṇaharānaṃ adhivāsanāya ātappaṃ karoti, ayaṃ vuccati,
bhikkhave, bhikkhu ātāpī nipako sato sammā dukkhassa antakiriyāyā”ti.

Bhikkhus, when a bhikkhu exerts ardor for the non-arising of
unarisen bad, unskillful mental states, for the arising of unarisen
skillful mental states, and for enduring arisen bodily feelings that are
painful, racking, sharp, piercing, disagreeable, displeasing,
threatening life, this is called, bhikkhus, a bhikkhu who is ardent, alert, and mindful for making a correct end of ill-being.



Another example of what being ātāpī means is given at AN 4.11:



“carato cepi… ṭhitassa cepi… nisinnassa cepi… sayānassa cepi,
bhikkhave, bhikkhuno uppajjati kāmavitakko vā byāpādavitakko vā
vihiṃsāvitakko vā, taṃ ce bhikkhu nādhivāseti, pajahati vinodeti
byantīkaroti anabhāvaṃ gameti, sayānopi, bhikkhave, bhikkhu jāgaro
evaṃbhūto ‘ātāpī ottāpī satataṃ samitaṃ āraddhavīriyo pahitatto’ti vuccati.

If while walking… while standing… while sitting… while lying down a
thought of sensuality, a thought of ill will or a thought of harming
arises in a bhikkhu and he does not give in to it but abandons it,
dispels it, removes it, and brings it to complete cessation, then while
wakefully lying down that bhikkhu is said to be ardent, to fear wrongdoing and to be continually and continuously of aroused energy and resolute will.



And at AN 4.12:



“carato cepi… ṭhitassa cepi… nisinnassa cepi… sayānassa cepi,
bhikkhave, bhikkhuno jāgarassa abhijjhābyāpādo vigato hoti, thinamiddhaṃ
pahīnaṃ hoti, uddhaccakukuccaṃ pahīnaṃ hoti, vicikicchā pahīnā hoti,
āraddhaṃ hoti vīriyaṃ asallīnaṃ, upaṭṭhitā sati asammuṭṭhā, passaddho
kāyo asāraddho, samāhitaṃ cittaṃ ekaggaṃ, sayānopi, bhikkhave, bhikkhu
jāgaro evaṃbhūto ‘ātāpī ottāpī satataṃ samitaṃ āraddhavīriyo
pahitatto’ti vuccatī”ti.

If while walking… while standing… while sitting… while wakefully
lying down covetousness and ill-will have ceased in a bhikkhu, dullness
and drowsiness are abandoned, mental agitation and worry are abandoned,
doubt is abandoned, his energy is aroused relentlessly, his mindfulness
is established and unconfused, his body is tranquil and calm, his mind
is concentrated and unified, then while wakefully lying down that
bhikkhu is said to be ardent, to fear wrongdoing and to be continually and continuously of aroused energy and resolute will.



A list of terms that appear to be related to ātappaṃ karoti and may help gathering the meaning of ātāpī is given at SN 12.87: sikkhā karoti (practice the training), yoga karoti (exert dedication), chanda karoti (stir up the desire), ussoḷhī karoti (make an exertion), appaṭivānī karoti (exert persistence), vīriyaṃ karoti (exert energy), sātaccaṃ karoti (exert perseverance), sati karoti (exert mindfulness), sampajaññaṃ karoti (exert clear comprehension), appamādo karoti (exert heedfulness).


SN 12.87


upādānaṃ, bhikkhave, ajānatā apassatā yathābhūtaṃ upādāne yathābhūtaṃ
ñāṇāya sikkhā karaṇīyā… yogo karaṇīyo… chando karaṇīyo… ussoḷhī
karaṇīyā… appaṭivānī karaṇīyā… ātappaṃ karaṇīyaṃ… vīriyaṃ karaṇīyaṃ… sātaccaṃ karaṇīyaṃ… sati karaṇīyā… sampajaññaṃ karaṇīyaṃ.. appamādo karaṇīyo.

Bhikkhus, one who does not know, who does not see attachment as it
really is should practice the training… exert dedication… stir up
the desire… make an exertion… exert persistence… exert ardor
exert energy… exert perseverance… exert mindfulness… exert clear
comprehension… exert heedfulness in order to know it as it really is.



Another list is found at DN 3 and adds padhāna, anuyoga and sammā·manasikāra (probably a synonym for yoniso manasikāra):


DN 3


ekacco samaṇo vā brāhmaṇo vā ātappamanvāya padhānamanvāya anuyogamanvāya appamādamanvāya sammāmanasikāramanvāya tathārūpaṃ cetosamādhiṃ phusati

Some renuniciate or brahmin, by means of ardor, by means of
effort, by means of dedication, by means of heedfulness, by means of
proper consideration, attains such a concentration of the mind



Some suttas help understanding what being ātāpī means, as they explain what may happen when the practitioner is in that state:


SN 36.7


“tassa ce, bhikkhave, bhikkhuno evaṃ satassa sampajānassa appamattassa ātāpino
pahitattassa viharato uppajjati sukhā vedanā… dukkhā vedanā. so evaṃ
pajānāti: ‘uppannā kho myāyaṃ dukkhā vedanā. sā ca kho paṭicca, no
appaṭicca. kiṃ paṭicca? imameva kāyaṃ paṭicca. ayaṃ kho pana kāyo anicco
saṅkhato paṭiccasamuppanno. aniccaṃ kho pana saṅkhataṃ
paṭiccasamuppannaṃ kāyaṃ paṭicca uppannā dukkhā vedanā kuto niccā
bhavissatī’ti! so kāye ca dukkhāya vedanāya aniccānupassī viharati,
vayānupassī viharati, virāgānupassī viharati, nirodhānupassī viharati,
paṭinissaggānupassī viharati. tassa kāye ca dukkhāya ca vedanāya
aniccānupassino viharato, vayānupassino viharato, virāgānupassino
viharato, nirodhānupassino viharato, paṭinissaggānupassino viharato, yo
kāye ca dukkhāya ca vedanāya paṭighānusayo, so pahīyati.

As a monk is dwelling thus mindful & alert — heedful, ardent,
& resolute — a feeling of pleasure… a feeling of pain arises in
him. He discerns that ‘A feeling of pain has arisen in me. It is
dependent on a requisite condition, not independent. Dependent on what?
Dependent on this body. Now, this body is inconstant, fabricated,
dependently co-arisen. Being dependent on a body that is inconstant,
fabricated, & dependently co-arisen, how can this feeling of pain
that has arisen be constant?’ He remains focused on inconstancy with
regard to the body & to the feeling of pain. He remains focused on
dissolution… dispassion… cessation… relinquishment with regard to
the body & to the feeling of pain. As he remains focused on
inconstancy… dissolution… dispassion… cessation… relinquishment
with regard to the body & to the feeling of pain, he abandons any
resistance-obsession with regard to the body & the feeling of pain.

“tassa ce, bhikkhave, bhikkhuno evaṃ satassa sampajānassa appamattassa ātāpino pahitattassa viharato uppajjati adukkhamasukhā vedanā… yo kāye ca adukkhamasukhāya ca vedanāya avijjānusayo, so pahīyati.

As he is dwelling thus mindful & alert — heedful, ardent,
& resolute — a feeling of neither-pleasure-nor-pain arises in him…
he abandons any ignorance-obsession with regard to the body & the
feeling of neither-pleasure-nor-pain.



For a more refined understanding of the expression
and what it may have meant at the time, it is interesting to study
related words. We may start by noting that the closest word in Sanskrit
is ātapya (आतप्य), meaning ‘being in the sunshine’.

1) The first shade of meaning is best illustrated by the verb tapati, meaning ‘to shine’, as at SN 1.26: ‘divā tapati ādicco’ (the sun shines by day) or at SN 21.11: ’sannaddho khattiyo tapati’ (the khattiya shines clad in armor).

2) The second shade of meaning can be derived
from the first by noting that staying where the sun shines in a
tropical climate generally turns out to be a hot and unpleasant
experience, which may be how tapati comes to refer to the dukkha·vipāka that arises as a result of akusala kamma. Thus, at AN 10.141, the tenfold micchā·paṭipadā is called ‘the teaching that causes torment’ (tapanīyo dhammo). AN 2.3 provides more detail about the workings of these torments:



“dveme, bhikkhave, dhammā tapanīyā. katame dve? idha, bhikkhave,
ekaccassa kāyaduccaritaṃ kataṃ hoti, akataṃ hoti kāyasucaritaṃ;
vacīduccaritaṃ kataṃ hoti; akataṃ hoti vacīsucaritaṃ; manoduccaritaṃ
kataṃ hoti, akataṃ hoti manosucaritaṃ. so ‘kāyaduccaritaṃ me katan’ti tappati, ‘akataṃ me kāyasucaritan’ti tappati; ‘vacīduccaritaṃ me katan’ti tappati, ‘akataṃ me vacīsucaritan’ti tappati; ‘manoduccaritaṃ me katan’ti tappati, ‘akataṃ me manosucaritan’ti tappati. ime kho, bhikkhave, dve dhammā tapanīyā”ti.

Bhikkhus, these two things cause torment. Which two? Here,
bhikkhus, someone has performed bodily misconduct and has not performed
bodily good conduct; he has performed verbal misconduct and has not
performed verbal good conduct; he has performed mental misconduct and
has not performed mental good conduct. He is tormented, [thinking]: ‘I have performed bodily misconduct’; he is tormented, [thinking]: ‘I have not performed bodily good conduct’; he is tormented, [thinking]: ‘I have performed verbal misconduct’; he is tormented, [thinking]: ‘I have not performed verbal good conduct’; he is tormented, [thinking]: ‘I have performed mental misconduct’; he is tormented, [thinking]: ‘I have not performed mental good conduct.’ These, bhikkhus, are two things that cause torment.



We also find various instances of words related to tapati, used to refer to dukkha·vipāka and the remorse the wrong-doer experiences:


SN 2.8


akataṃ dukkaṭaṃ seyyo, pacchā tapati dukkaṭaṃ.

Better left undone is a wrong deed, for a wrong deed later brings torment.




SN 2.22


na taṃ kammaṃ kataṃ sādhu, yaṃ katvā anutappati.

An action which, once performed, brings torment is not well done.




Dhp 17


idha tappati pecca tappati,
pāpakārī ubhayattha tappati.
‘pāpaṃ me katan’ti tappati,
bhiyyo tappati duggatiṃ gato.

The evil-doer is tormented here and is tormented hereafter,
He is tormented in both [worlds].
He is tormented, [thinking]: ‘I have done evil [things]’,
And he is tormented even more when gone to a bad destination [after death].



3) The third shade of meaning is also derived from
the first, as staying in the sunshine can also be a symbol for making an
effort, for example to earn one’s living:


AN 5.33


“yo naṃ bharati sabbadā,
niccaṃ ātāpi ussuko.
sabbakāmaharaṃ posaṃ,
bhattāraṃ nātimaññati.

The one who always supports her
Constantly ardent and zealous
The man who brings what she desires,
Her husband she does not despise.



In another example, someone overcome by the three akusala·mūlas does not make an effort to correct the falsehood that is said to him:


AN 3.70


abhūtena vuccamāno ātappaṃ karoti tassa nibbeṭhanāya itipetaṃ atacchaṃ itipetaṃ abhūtanti.

When he is told things that are not factual, he makes an effort to correct it: ‘It is not true because of this, it is not factual because of this’.



4) The fourth connotation, stronger, is that of asceticism or austerities.


MN 12


iti evarūpaṃ anekavihitaṃ kāyassa ātāpana-paritāpan-ānuyogamanuyutto viharāmi. idaṃsu me, sāriputta, tapassitāya hoti.

Thus in such a variety of ways I dwelt pursuing the practice of tormenting and mortifying the body. Such was my asceticism.



Those austerities are depicted at MN 51:




“katamo ca, bhikkhave, puggalo attantapo attaparitāpanānuyogamanuyutto?
idha, bhikkhave, ekacco puggalo acelako hoti muttācāro hatthāpalekhano
naehibhaddantiko natiṭṭhabhaddantiko; nābhihaṭaṃ na uddissakataṃ na
nimantanaṃ sādiyati; so na kumbhimukhā paṭiggaṇhāti na kaḷopimukhā
paṭiggaṇhāti na eḷakamantaraṃ na daṇḍamantaraṃ na musalamantaraṃ na
dvinnaṃ bhuñjamānānaṃ na gabbhiniyā na pāyamānāya na purisantaragatāya
na saṅkittīsu na yattha sā upaṭṭhito hoti na yattha makkhikā
saṇḍasaṇḍacārinī; na macchaṃ na maṃsaṃ na suraṃ na merayaṃ na thusodakaṃ
pivati. so ekāgāriko vā hoti ekālopiko, dvāgāriko vā hoti dvālopiko…
sattāgāriko vā hoti sattālopiko; ekissāpi dattiyā yāpeti, dvīhipi
dattīhi yāpeti… sattahipi dattīhi yāpeti; ekāhikampi āhāraṃ āhāreti,
dvīhikampi āhāraṃ āhāreti… sattāhikampi āhāraṃ āhāreti iti evarūpaṃ
aḍḍhamāsikaṃ pariyāyabhattabhojanānuyogamanuyutto viharati. so
sākabhakkho vā hoti, sāmākabhakkho vā hoti, nīvārabhakkho vā hoti,
daddulabhakkho vā hoti, haṭabhakkho vā hoti, kaṇabhakkho vā hoti,
ācāmabhakkho vā hoti, piññākabhakkho vā hoti, tiṇabhakkho vā hoti,
gomayabhakkho vā hoti; vanamūlaphalāhāro yāpeti pavattaphalabhojī. so
sāṇānipi dhāreti, masāṇānipi dhāreti, chavadussānipi dhāreti,
paṃsukūlānipi dhāreti, tirīṭānipi dhāreti, ajinampi dhāreti,
ajinakkhipampi dhāreti, kusacīrampi dhāreti, vākacīrampi dhāreti,
phalakacīrampi dhāreti, kesakambalampi dhāreti, vāḷakambalampi dhāreti,
ulūkapakkhampi dhāreti; kesamassulocakopi hoti,
kesamassulocanānuyogamanuyutto, ubbhaṭṭhakopi hoti āsanapaṭikkhitto,
ukkuṭikopi hoti ukkuṭikappadhānamanuyutto, kaṇṭakāpassayikopi hoti
kaṇṭakāpassaye seyyaṃ kappeti; sāyatatiyakampi
udakorohanānuyogamanuyutto viharati iti evarūpaṃ anekavihitaṃ kāyassa ātāpanaparitāpanānuyogamanuyutto viharati. ayaṃ vuccati, bhikkhave, puggalo attantapo attaparitāpanānuyogamanuyutto.

And what, bhikkhus, is the person who torments himself and pursues the practice of mortifying
himself? Here, bhikkhus, a certain person goes naked, rejecting
conventions, licking his hands, not coming when asked, not stopping when
asked; he does not accept food brought or food specially made or an
invitation to a meal; he receives nothing from a pot, from a bowl,
across a threshold, across a stick, across a pestle, from two eating
together, from a pregnant woman, from a woman giving suck, from a woman
lying with a man, from where food was advertised to be distributed, from
where a dog was waiting, from where flies were buzzing; he accepts no
fish or meat, he drinks no liquor, wine or fermented brew. He keeps to
one house, to one morsel; he keeps to two houses, to two morsels;… he
keeps to seven houses, to seven morsels. He lives on one saucerful a
day, on two saucerfuls a day… on seven saucerfuls a day; he takes food
once a day, once every two days… once every seven days, and so on up
to once every fortnight; he dwels pursuing the practice of taking food
at stated intervals. He is an eater of greens or millet or wild rice or
hide-parings or moss or ricebran or rice-scum or sesamum flour or grass
or cowdung. He lives on forest roots and fruits, he feeds on fallen
fruits. He clothes himself in hemp, in hemp-mixed cloth, in shrouds, in
refuse rags, in tree bark, in antelope hide, in strips of antelope hide,
in kusa-grass fabric, in bark fabric, in wood-shavings fabric, in
head-hair wool, in animal wool, in owls’ wings. He is one who pulls out
hair and beard, pursuing the practice of pulling out hair and beard. He
is one who stands continuously, rejecting seats. He is one who squats
continuously, devoted to maintaining the squatting position. He is one
who uses a mattress of spikes; he makes a mattress of spikes his bed. He
dwells pursuing the practice of bathing in water three times daily
including the evening. Thus in such a variety of ways he dwells pursuing
the practice of tormenting and mortifying the body. This, bhikkhus, is what is called the person who torments himself and pursues the practice of mortifying himself.



Given on one hand this close proximity of the term ātāpī with the vocabulary of austerity and mortification and on the other the fact that the Buddha recommends being ātāpī (most prominently in the satipaṭṭhāna
formulas), and knowing he also rejected self-mortification, in order to
understand more precisely what he meant exactly by being ātāpī, it would appear useful to examine in greater details what his wider position was in regards to austerity.

First of all, it should be borne in mind that the
Buddha clearly rejects the pursuit of self-mortification in his first
recorded discourse, the Dhamma·cakka·ppavattana Sutta:


SN 56.11


“dveme, bhikkhave, antā pabbajitena na sevitabbā. katame dve? yo cāyaṃ
kāmesu kāmasukhallikānuyogo hīno gammo pothujjaniko anariyo
anatthasaṃhito, yo cāyaṃ attakilamathānuyogo dukkho anariyo anatthasaṃhito.

These two extremes, bhikkhus, should not be adopted by one who has gone
forth from the home life. Which two? On one hand, the pursuit of
hedonism towards sensuality, which is inferior, vulgar, common, ignoble,
deprived of benefit, and on the other hand the pursuit of self-mortification, which is painful, ignoble and deprived of benefit.



But at AN 10.94,
the Buddha says he does not reject categorically both “all austerity”
and “all ascetics leading the rough life”, as it all depends on whether
their practice removes unwholesome states and brings about wholesome
ones, or not:




“saccaṃ kira, gahapati, samaṇo gotamo sabbaṃ tapaṃ garahati, sabbaṃ tapassiṃ lūkhājīviṃ ekaṃsena upakkosati upavadatī”ti?


“Is it true, householder, that Gotama the contemplative criticizes all asceticism, that he categorically denounces & disparages all ascetics who live the rough life?”


“na kho, bhante, bhagavā sabbaṃ tapaṃ garahati napi sabbaṃ tapassiṃ lūkhājīviṃ ekaṃsena upakkosati upavadati.


“No, venerable sirs, the Blessed One does not criticize all asceticism, nor does he categorically denounce or disparage all ascetics who live the rough life.

… [The Blessed One:]

nāhaṃ, gahapati, sabbaṃ tapaṃ tapitabbanti vadāmi; na ca panāhaṃ, gahapati, sabbaṃ tapaṃ na tapitabbanti
vadāmi; nāhaṃ, gahapati, sabbaṃ samādānaṃ samāditabbanti vadāmi; na
panāhaṃ, gahapati, sabbaṃ samādānaṃ na samāditabbanti vadāmi; nāhaṃ,
gahapati, sabbaṃ padhānaṃ padahitabbanti vadāmi; na panāhaṃ, gahapati,
sabbaṃ padhānaṃ na padahitabbanti vadāmi; nāhaṃ, gahapati, sabbo
paṭinissaggo paṭinissajjitabboti vadāmi. na panāhaṃ, gahapati, sabbo
paṭinissaggo na paṭinissajjitabboti vadāmi; nāhaṃ, gahapati, sabbā
vimutti vimuccitabbāti vadāmi; na panāhaṃ, gahapati, sabbā vimutti na
vimuccitabbāti vadāmi.

I don’t say that all asceticism is to be pursued, nor do I say that all asceticism is not to be pursued.
I don’t say that all observances should be observed, nor do I say that
all observances should not be observed. I don’t say that all exertions
are to be pursued, nor do I say that all exertions are not to be
pursued. I don’t say that all forfeiture should be forfeited, nor do I
say that all forfeiture should not be forfeited. I don’t say that all
release is to be used for release, nor do I say that all release is not
to be used for release.

“yañhi, gahapati, tapaṃ tapato akusalā dhammā abhivaḍḍhanti, kusalā dhammā parihāyanti, evarūpaṃ tapaṃ na tapitabbanti vadāmi. yañca khvassa gahapati, tapaṃ tapato akusalā dhammā parihāyanti, kusalā dhammā abhivaḍḍhanti, evarūpaṃ tapaṃ tapitabbanti vadāmi.

“If, when an ascetic practice is pursued, unskillful qualities grow and skillful qualities wane, then I tell you that that sort of asceticism is not to be pursued. But if, when an ascetic practice is pursued, unskillful qualities wane and skillful qualities grow, then I tell you that that sort of asceticism is to be pursued.

“yañhi, gahapati, samādānaṃ samādiyato… padhānaṃ padahato…
paṭinissaggaṃ paṭinissajjato… vimuttiṃ vimuccato akusalā dhammā
abhivaḍḍhanti, kusalā dhammā parihāyanti, evarūpā vimutti na
vimuccitabbāti vadāmi. yañca khvassa, gahapati, vimuttiṃ vimuccato
akusalā dhammā parihāyanti, kusalā dhammā abhivaḍḍhanti, evarūpā vimutti
vimuccitabbāti vadāmī”ti.

“If, when an observance is observed… when an exertion is pursued… a
forfeiture is forfeited… a release is used for release, unskillful
qualities grow and skillful qualities wane, then I tell you that that
sort of release is not to be used for release. But if, when a release is
used for release, unskillful qualities wane and skillful qualities
grow, then I tell you that that sort of release is to be used for
release.”



But again, by contrast, at SN 42.12, while still not
rejecting categorically both “all austerity” and “all ascetics leading
the rough life”, the Buddha does seem to reject categorically the fact
of ‘attānaṃ ātāpeti paritāpeti’ (tormenting and torturing oneself), by presenting it as a reason good enough by itself to draw disapproval:

SN 42.12


ekamantaṃ nisinno kho rāsiyo gāmaṇi bhagavantaṃ etadavoca:

Having sat down to one side, Rasiya the headman said to the Blessed One:


“sutaṃ metaṃ, bhante, ‘samaṇo gotamo sabbaṃ tapaṃ garahati, sabbaṃ tapassiṃ
lūkhajīviṃ ekaṃsena upavadati upakkosatī’ti . ye te, bhante,
evamāhaṃsu… kacci te, bhante, bhagavato vuttavādino, na ca bhagavantaṃ
abhūtena abbhācikkhanti, dhammassa cānudhammaṃ byākaronti, na ca koci
sahadhammiko vādānuvādo gārayhaṃ ṭhānaṃ āgacchatī”ti?


Bhante, I have heard: ‘The renunciate Gotama disapproves of all austerity, he categorically criticizes and blames all ascetics leading a rough life.’
Those who say this, Bhante… do they speak in line with what the
Blessed One has said, do they not misrepresent the Blessed One with what
is contrary to fact, do they answer in line with the Dhamma, so that no
one whose thinking is in line with the Dhamma would have grounds for
criticizing them?


“ye te, gāmaṇi, evamāhaṃsu… na me te vuttavādino, abbhācikkhanti ca pana maṃ te asatā tucchā abhūtena”.


Those who say this, headman, do not speak in line with what I have said,
and they misrepresent me with what is false and contrary to fact.

“tatra, gāmaṇi, yvāyaṃ tapassī lūkhajīvī attānaṃ ātāpeti paritāpeti,
kusalañca dhammaṃ adhigacchati, uttari ca manussadhammā
alamariyañāṇadassanavisesaṃ sacchikaroti. ayaṃ, gāmaṇi, tapassī
lūkhajīvī ekena ṭhānena gārayho, dvīhi ṭhānehi pāsaṃso. katamena ekena
ṭhānena gārayho? attānaṃ ātāpeti paritāpetīti, iminā ekena
ṭhānena gārayho. katamehi dvīhi ṭhānehi pāsaṃso? kusalañca dhammaṃ
adhigacchatīti, iminā paṭhamena ṭhānena pāsaṃso. uttari ca manussadhammā
alamariyañāṇadassanavisesaṃ sacchikarotīti, iminā dutiyena ṭhānena
pāsaṃso.

Here, headman, regarding the ascetic leading a rough life who torments and tortures
himself, yet achieves a wholesome state and realizes a supra-human
state, an attainment in knowledge and vision that is suitable to the
noble ones, this ascetic leading a rough life, headman, may be
disapproved of on one ground and praised on two grounds. And what is the
one ground on which he may be disapproved of? He torments and tortures
himself: this is the one ground on which he may be disapproved of. And
what are the two grounds on which he may be praised? He achieves a
wholesome state: this is the first ground on which he may be praised. He
realizes a supra-human state, an attainment in knowledge and vision
that is suitable to the noble ones: this is the second ground on which
he may be praised.



Yet the exact same combination of verbs, ‘ātāpeti paritāpeti’ (meaning here to heat and burn),
is also used (although with a different connotation) at MN 101 in a
simile illustrating a recommended kind of unpleasant practice:


MN 101


“kathañca, bhikkhave, saphalo upakkamo hoti, saphalaṃ padhānaṃ? idha,
bhikkhave, bhikkhu na heva anaddhabhūtaṃ attānaṃ dukkhena addhabhāveti,
dhammikañca sukhaṃ na pariccajati, tasmiñca sukhe anadhimucchito hoti.
so evaṃ pajānāti: ‘imassa kho me dukkhanidānassa saṅkhāraṃ padahato
saṅkhārappadhānā virāgo hoti, imassa pana me dukkhanidānassa
ajjhupekkhato upekkhaṃ bhāvayato virāgo hotī’ti. so yassa hi khvāssa
dukkhanidānassa saṅkhāraṃ padahato saṅkhārappadhānā virāgo hoti,
saṅkhāraṃ tattha padahati. yassa panassa dukkhanidānassa ajjhupekkhato
upekkhaṃ bhāvayato virāgo hoti, upekkhaṃ tattha bhāveti. tassa tassa
dukkhanidānassa saṅkhāraṃ padahato saṅkhārappadhānā virāgo hoti.
evampissa taṃ dukkhaṃ nijjiṇṇaṃ hoti. tassa tassa dukkhanidānassa
ajjhupekkhato upekkhaṃ bhāvayato virāgo hoti. evampissa taṃ dukkhaṃ
nijjiṇṇaṃ hoti.

“And how is striving fruitful, how is exertion fruitful? There is the
case where a monk, when not loaded down, does not load himself down with
pain, nor does he reject pleasure that accords with the Dhamma,
although he is not fixated on that pleasure. He discerns that ‘When I
exert a [physical, verbal, or mental] fabrication against this cause of
stress, then from the fabrication of exertion there is dispassion. When I
look on with equanimity at that cause of stress, then from the
development of equanimity there is dispassion.’ So he exerts a
fabrication against the cause of stress where there comes dispassion
from the fabrication of exertion, and develops equanimity with regard to
the cause of stress where there comes dispassion from the development
of equanimity. Thus the stress coming from the cause of stress for which
there is dispassion through the fabrication of exertion is exhausted
& the stress resulting from the cause of stress for which there is
dispassion through the development of equanimity is exhausted.

“seyyathāpi, bhikkhave, puriso itthiyā sāratto paṭibaddhacitto
tibbacchando tibbāpekkho. so taṃ itthiṃ passeyya aññena purisena saddhiṃ
santiṭṭhantiṃ sallapantiṃ sañjagghantiṃ saṃhasantiṃ. taṃ kiṃ maññatha,
bhikkhave, api nu tassa purisassa amuṃ itthiṃ disvā aññena purisena
saddhiṃ santiṭṭhantiṃ sallapantiṃ sañjagghantiṃ saṃhasantiṃ uppajjeyyuṃ
soka-parideva-dukkha-domanass-ūpāyāsā”ti?

“Suppose that a man is in love with a woman, his mind ensnared with
fierce desire, fierce passion. He sees her standing with another man,
chatting, joking, & laughing. What do you think, monks: As he sees
her standing with another man, chatting, joking, & laughing, would
sorrow, lamentation, pain, distress, & despair arise in him?”


“evaṃ, bhante”.


“Yes, lord.


“taṃ kissa hetu”?


Why is that?


“amu hi, bhante, puriso amussā itthiyā sāratto paṭibaddhacitto
tibbacchando tibbāpekkho… soka-parideva-dukkha-domanass-ūpāyāsā”ti.


Because he is in love with her, his mind ensnared with fierce desire,
fierce passion… sorrow, lamentation, pain, distress, & despair
would arise in him.


“atha kho, bhikkhave, tassa purisassa evamassa: ‘ahaṃ kho amussā itthiyā
sāratto paṭibaddhacitto tibbacchando tibbāpekkho. tassa me amuṃ itthiṃ
disvā aññena purisena saddhiṃ santiṭṭhantiṃ sallapantiṃ sañjagghantiṃ
saṃhasantiṃ uppajjanti sokaparidevadukkhadomanassūpāyāsā. yaṃnūnāhaṃ yo
me amussā itthiyā chandarāgo taṃ pajaheyyan’ti. so yo amussā itthiyā
chandarāgo taṃ pajaheyya. so taṃ itthiṃ passeyya aparena samayena aññena
purisena saddhiṃ santiṭṭhantiṃ sallapantiṃ sañjagghantiṃ saṃhasantiṃ.
taṃ kiṃ maññatha, bhikkhave, api nu tassa purisassa amuṃ itthiṃ disvā
aññena purisena saddhiṃ santiṭṭhantiṃ sallapantiṃ sañjagghantiṃ
saṃhasantiṃ uppajjeyyuṃ sokaparidevadukkhadomanassūpāyāsā”ti?


“Now suppose the thought were to occur to him, ‘I am in love with this
woman, my mind ensnared with fierce desire, fierce passion. When I see
her standing with another man, chatting, joking, & laughing, then
sorrow, lamentation, pain, distress, & despair arise within me. Why
don’t I abandon my desire & passion for that woman?’ So he abandons
his desire & passion for that woman, and afterwards sees her
standing with another man, chatting, joking, & laughing. What do you
think, monks: As he sees her standing with another man, chatting,
joking, & laughing, would sorrow, lamentation, pain, distress, &
despair arise in him?”


“no hetaṃ, bhante”.


“No, lord.


“taṃ kissa hetu”?


Why is that?


“amu hi, bhante, puriso amussā itthiyā virāgo. tasmā taṃ itthiṃ disvā
aññena purisena saddhiṃ santiṭṭhantiṃ sallapantiṃ sañjagghantiṃ
saṃhasantiṃ na uppajjeyyuṃ sokaparidevadukkhadomanassūpāyāsā”ti.


He is dispassionate toward that woman. As he sees her standing with
another man, chatting, joking, & laughing, sorrow, lamentation,
pain, distress, & despair would not arise in him.


“evameva kho, bhikkhave, bhikkhu na heva anaddhabhūtaṃ attānaṃ dukkhena
addhabhāveti, dhammikañca sukhaṃ na pariccajati, tasmiñca sukhe
anadhimucchito hoti. so evaṃ pajānāti: ‘imassa kho me dukkhanidānassa
saṅkhāraṃ padahato saṅkhārappadhānā virāgo hoti, imassa pana me
dukkhanidānassa ajjhupekkhato upekkhaṃ bhāvayato virāgo hotī’ti. so
yassa hi khvāssa dukkhanidānassa saṅkhāraṃ padahato saṅkhārappadhānā
virāgo hoti, saṅkhāraṃ tattha padahati; yassa panassa dukkhanidānassa
ajjhupekkhato upekkhaṃ bhāvayato virāgo hoti, upekkhaṃ tattha bhāveti.
tassa tassa dukkhanidānassa saṅkhāraṃ padahato saṅkhārappadhānā virāgo
hoti: evampissa taṃ dukkhaṃ nijjiṇṇaṃ hoti. tassa tassa dukkhanidānassa
ajjhupekkhato upekkhaṃ bhāvayato virāgo hoti: evampissa taṃ dukkhaṃ
nijjiṇṇaṃ hoti. evampi, bhikkhave, saphalo upakkamo hoti, saphalaṃ
padhānaṃ.


“In the same way, the monk, when not loaded down, does not load himself
down with pain, nor does he reject pleasure that accords with the
Dhamma, although he is not infatuated with that pleasure. He discerns
that ‘When I exert a [physical, verbal, or mental] fabrication against
this cause of stress, then from the fabrication of exertion there is
dispassion. When I look on with equanimity at that cause of stress, then
from the development of equanimity there is dispassion.’ So he exerts a
fabrication against the cause of stress where there comes dispassion
from the fabrication of exertion, and develops equanimity with regard to
the cause of stress where there comes dispassion from the development
of equanimity. Thus the stress coming from the cause of stress for which
there is dispassion through the fabrication of exertion is exhausted
& the stress resulting from the cause of stress for which there is
dispassion through the development of equanimity is exhausted. This,
bhikkhus, is how striving is fruitful, how exertion is fruitful.

“puna caparaṃ, bhikkhave, bhikkhu iti paṭisañcikkhati: ‘yathāsukhaṃ kho
me viharato akusalā dhammā abhivaḍḍhanti, kusalā dhammā parihāyanti;
dukkhāya pana me attānaṃ padahato akusalā dhammā parihāyanti, kusalā
dhammā abhivaḍḍhanti. yaṃnūnāhaṃ dukkhāya attānaṃ padaheyyan’ti. so
dukkhāya attānaṃ padahati. tassa dukkhāya attānaṃ padahato akusalā
dhammā parihāyanti kusalā dhammā abhivaḍḍhanti. so na aparena samayena
dukkhāya attānaṃ padahati. taṃ kissa hetu? yassa hi so, bhikkhave,
bhikkhu atthāya dukkhāya attānaṃ padaheyya svāssa attho abhinipphanno
hoti. tasmā na aparena samayena dukkhāya attānaṃ padahati.

“Furthermore, the monk notices this: ‘When I live according to my
pleasure, unskillful mental qualities increase in me & skillful
qualities decline. When I exert myself with stress & pain, though,
unskillful qualities decline in me & skillful qualities increase.
Why don’t I exert myself with stress & pain?’ So he exerts himself
with stress & pain, and while he is exerting himself with stress
& pain, unskillful qualities decline in him, & skillful
qualities increase. Then at a later time he would no longer exert
himself with stress & pain. Why is that? Because he has attained the
goal for which he was exerting himself with stress & pain. That is
why, at a later time, he would no longer exert himself with stress &
pain.

seyyathāpi, bhikkhave, usukāro tejanaṃ dvīsu alātesu ātāpeti paritāpeti ujuṃ karoti kammaniyaṃ. yato kho, bhikkhave, usukārassa tejanaṃ dvīsu alātesu ātāpitaṃ hoti paritāpitaṃ ujuṃ kataṃ kammaniyaṃ, na so taṃ aparena samayena usukāro tejanaṃ dvīsu alātesu ātāpeti paritāpeti ujuṃ karoti kammaniyaṃ. taṃ kissa hetu? yassa hi so, bhikkhave, atthāya usukāro tejanaṃ dvīsu alātesu ātāpeyya paritāpeyya ujuṃ kareyya kammaniyaṃ svāssa attho abhinipphanno hoti. tasmā na aparena samayena usukāro tejanaṃ dvīsu alātesu ātāpeti paritāpeti ujuṃ karoti kammaniyaṃ.

“Suppose a fletcher were to heat & warm an arrow shaft between two flames, making it straight & pliable. Then at a later time he would no longer heat & warm the shaft between two flames, making it straight & pliable. Why is that? Because he has attained the goal for which he was heating & warming the shaft. That is why at a later time he would no longer heat & warm the shaft between two flames, making it straight & pliable.

evameva kho, bhikkhave, bhikkhu iti paṭisañcikkhati: ‘yathāsukhaṃ kho me
viharato akusalā dhammā abhivaḍḍhanti, kusalā dhammā parihāyanti; dukkhāya pana me attānaṃ padahato akusalā dhammā parihāyanti, kusalā dhammā abhivaḍḍhanti. yaṃnūnāhaṃ dukkhāya attānaṃ padaheyyan’ti. so dukkhāya attānaṃ padahati. tassa dukkhāya attānaṃ padahato akusalā dhammā parihāyanti, kusalā dhammā abhivaḍḍhanti. so na aparena samayena dukkhāya attānaṃ padahati. taṃ kissa hetu? yassa hi so, bhikkhave, bhikkhu atthāya dukkhāya attānaṃ padaheyya svāssa attho abhinipphanno hoti. tasmā na aparena samayena dukkhāya attānaṃ padahati. evampi, bhikkhave, saphalo upakkamo hoti, saphalaṃ padhānaṃ.

“In the same way, the monk notices this: ‘When I live according to my
pleasure, unskillful mental qualities increase in me & skillful
qualities decline. When I exert myself with stress & pain, though, unskillful qualities decline in me & skillful qualities increase. Why don’t I exert myself with stress & pain?’ So he exerts himself with stress & pain, and while he is exerting himself with stress & pain, unskillful qualities decline in him, & skillful qualities increase. Then at a later time he would no longer exert himself with stress & pain. Why is that? Because he has attained the goal for which he was exerting himself with stress & pain. That is why, at a later time, he would no longer exert himself with stress & pain. This is how striving is fruitful, how exertion is fruitful.



Examples of some inherently unpleasant practices are mentioned elsewhere:


AN 4.163


“katamā ca, bhikkhave, dukkhā paṭipadā dandhābhiññā? idha,
bhikkhave, bhikkhu asubhānupassī kāye viharati, āhāre paṭikūlasaññī,
sabbaloke anabhiratisaññī, sabbasaṅkhāresu aniccānupassī; maraṇasaññā
kho panassa ajjhattaṃ sūpaṭṭhitā hoti.

“And which is painful practice … ? There is the case where a
monk remains focused on unattractiveness with regard to the body,
percipient of loathsomeness with regard to food, percipient of
non-delight with regard to the entire world, (and) focused on
inconstancy with regard to all fabrications. The perception of death is
well established within him.



A reason why some practices may become unpleasant is also mentioned at AN 4.162:



“katamā ca, bhikkhave, dukkhā paṭipadā … ? idha, bhikkhave,
ekacco pakatiyāpi tibbarāgajātiko hoti, abhikkhaṇaṃ rāgajaṃ dukkhaṃ
domanassaṃ paṭisaṃvedeti. pakatiyāpi tibbadosajātiko hoti, abhikkhaṇaṃ
dosajaṃ dukkhaṃ domanassaṃ paṭisaṃvedeti. pakatiyāpi tibbamohajātiko
hoti, abhikkhaṇaṃ mohajaṃ dukkhaṃ domanassaṃ paṭisaṃvedeti.

“And which is painful practice … ? There is the case where a
certain individual is normally of an intensely passionate nature. He
perpetually experiences pain & distress born of passion. Or he is
normally of an intensely aversive nature. He perpetually experiences
pain & distress born of aversion. Or he is normally of an intensely
deluded nature. He perpetually experiences pain & distress born of
delusion.



The Buddha also goes so far as to accept the appellation ‘one who tortures [himself]’ (tapassī), saying that what he has tortured were actually akusala dhammas:


AN 8.12


“katamo ca, sīha, pariyāyo, yena maṃ pariyāyena sammā vadamāno vadeyya: ‘tapassī samaṇo gotamo, tapassitāya dhammaṃ deseti, tena ca sāvake vinetī’ti? tapanīyāhaṃ, sīha, pāpake akusale dhamme vadāmi kāyaduccaritaṃ vacīduccaritaṃ manoduccaritaṃ. yassa kho, sīha, tapanīyā pāpakā akusalā dhammā pahīnā ucchinnamūlā tālāvatthukatā anabhāvaṃkatā āyatiṃ anuppādadhammā, tamahaṃ ‘tapassī’ti vadāmi. tathāgatassa kho, sīha, tapanīyā
pāpakā akusalā dhammā pahīnā ucchinnamūlā tālāvatthukatā anabhāvaṃkatā
āyatiṃ anuppādadhammā. ayaṃ kho, sīha, pariyāyo, yena maṃ pariyāyena
sammā vadamāno vadeyya: ‘tapassī samaṇo gotamo, tapassitāya dhammaṃ deseti, tena ca sāvake vinetī’”ti.

And what, Siha, is the line of reasoning by which one speaking rightly could say of me: ‘The renunciate Gotama is one who tortures, he professes a teaching of torture and instructs his disciples accordingly’? I say, Siha, that bad, unwholesome states, bodily misconduct, verbal misconduct and mental misconduct are to be tortured. I say that one who has abandoned the bad, unwholesome states that are to be tortured,
cut them off at their root, made them like a palmyra stump, annihilated
them, so that they are unable to arise again in the future, is one who tortures himself. The Tathagata has abandoned the bad, unwholesome states that are to be tortured,
cut them off at their root, made them like a palmyra stump, annihilated
them, so that they are unable to arise again in the future. This is the
line of reasoning by which one speaking rightly could say of me: ‘The renunciate Gotama is one who tortures himself, he professes a teaching of torture and instructs his disciples accordingly’.



So we may try to conclude here that what the Buddha
rejected was the performance of unpleasant practices that would not help
removing unwholesome states and developing wholesome ones (AN 10.94),
or even if they do have that effect, the performance of unpleasant
practices for themselves, as a way of ‘rough life’ (lūkhajīvita, SN
42.12). But even the right type of asceticism has to be undertaken in a
balanced way, to avoid having it ending up developing unwholesome
states:


AN 6.55



“nanu te, soṇa, rahogatassa paṭisallīnassa evaṃ cetaso parivitakko
udapādi: ‘ye kho keci bhagavato sāvakā āraddhavīriyā viharanti, ahaṃ
tesaṃ aññataro. atha ca pana me na anupādāya āsavehi cittaṃ vimuccati,
saṃvijjanti kho pana me kule bhogā, sakkā bhogā ca bhuñjituṃ puññāni ca
kātuṃ. yaṃnūnāhaṃ sikkhaṃ paccakkhāya hīnāyāvattitvā bhoge ca bhuñjeyyaṃ
puññāni ca kareyyan’”ti?


“Just now, as you were meditating in seclusion, didn’t this train of
thought appear to your awareness: ‘Of the Blessed One’s disciples who
have aroused their persistence, I am one, but my mind is not released
from the fermentations through lack of clinging/sustenance. Now, my
family has enough wealth that it would be possible to enjoy wealth &
make merit. What if I were to disavow the training, return to the lower
life, enjoy wealth, & make merit?’”


“evaṃ, bhante”.


“Yes, lord.”


“taṃ kiṃ maññasi, soṇa, kusalo tvaṃ pubbe agāriyabhūto vīṇāya tantissare”ti?


“Now what do you think, Sona. Before, when you were a house-dweller, were you skilled at playing the vina?”


“evaṃ, bhante”.


“Yes, lord.”


“taṃ kiṃ maññasi, soṇa, yadā te vīṇāya tantiyo accāyatā honti, api nu te vīṇā tasmiṃ samaye saravatī vā hoti kammaññā vā”ti?


“And what do you think: when the strings of your vina were too taut, was your vina in tune & playable?”


“no hetaṃ, bhante”.


“No, lord.”


“taṃ kiṃ maññasi, soṇa, yadā te vīṇāya tantiyo atisithilā honti, api nu te vīṇā tasmiṃ samaye saravatī vā hoti kammaññā vā”ti?


“And what do you think: when the strings of your vina were too loose, was your vina in tune & playable?”


“no hetaṃ, bhante”.


“No, lord.”


“yadā pana te, soṇa, vīṇāya tantiyo na accāyatā honti nātisithilā same
guṇe patiṭṭhitā, api nu te vīṇā tasmiṃ samaye saravatī vā hoti kammaññā
vā”ti?


“And what do you think: when the strings of your vina were neither too
taut nor too loose, but tuned to be right on pitch, was your vina in
tune & playable?”


“evaṃ, bhante”.


“Yes, lord.”


“evamevaṃ kho, soṇa, accāraddhavīriyaṃ uddhaccāya saṃvattati,
atisithilavīriyaṃ kosajjāya saṃvattati. tasmātiha tvaṃ, soṇa,
vīriyasamathaṃ adhiṭṭhahaṃ, indriyānañca samataṃ paṭivijjha, tattha ca
nimittaṃ gaṇhāhī”ti.


“In the same way, Sona, over-aroused persistence leads to restlessness,
overly slack persistence leads to laziness. Thus you should determine
the right pitch for your persistence, attune the pitch of the [five]
faculties [to that], and there pick up your theme.”



It may also be important to note that being ātāpī does not necessarily refer to unpleasant practice, since it can constitute the basis to enter the jhānas:


SN 48.40


idha, bhikkhave, bhikkhuno appamattassa ātāpino pahitattassa
viharato uppajjati dukkhindriyaṃ. so evaṃ pajānāti: ‘uppannaṃ kho me
idaṃ dukkhindriyaṃ, tañca kho sanimittaṃ sanidānaṃ sasaṅkhāraṃ
sappaccayaṃ. tañca animittaṃ anidānaṃ asaṅkhāraṃ appaccayaṃ
dukkhindriyaṃ uppajjissatīti: netaṃ ṭhānaṃ vijjati’. so dukkhindriyañca
pajānāti, dukkhindriyasamudayañca pajānāti, dukkhindriyanirodhañca
pajānāti, yattha cuppannaṃ dukkhindriyaṃ aparisesaṃ nirujjhati tañca
pajānāti. kattha cuppannaṃ dukkhindriyaṃ aparisesaṃ nirujjhati? idha,
bhikkhave, bhikkhu vivicceva kāmehi vivicca akusalehi dhammehi
savitakkaṃ savicāraṃ vivekajaṃ pītisukhaṃ paṭhamaṃ jhānaṃ upasampajja
viharati: ettha cuppannaṃ dukkhindriyaṃ aparisesaṃ nirujjhati. ayaṃ
vuccati, bhikkhave, ‘bhikkhu aññāsi dukkhindriyassa nirodhaṃ, tadatthāya
cittaṃ upasaṃharati’”.

Here, bhikkhus, while a bhikkhu is remaining heedful, ardent and striving, the pain faculty arises. He understands thus: ‘The
pain faculty has arisen in me; it possesses a feature, a cause, a
construction, a condition. It is impossible that the pain faculty would
arise without a feature, a cause, a construction, a condition’
. He
understands the pain faculty, he understands its origin, he understands
its cessation, and he understands where the arisen pain faculty ceases
completely. And where does the pain faculty cease completely? Here,
bhikkhous, a bhikkhu, detached from sensuality, detached from
unwholesome states, having entered in the first jhāna, remains therein,
with thoughts, with thought processes, exaltation and well-being
engendered by detachment: here the arisen pain faculty ceases
completely. This is called, bhikkhus, ‘a bhikkhu who knows the cessation of the pain faculty, and who directs his mind to that end.’



The same is then repeated about domanass·indriya, sukh·indriya, somanass·indriya, and upekkh·indriya, respectively about the second, third, fourth jhānas and saññā·vedayita·nirodha. At MN 19, the same expression appamattassa ātāpino pahitattassa viharato (remaining heedful, ardent and striving) is similarly used to describe the state in which the Buddha was when he reached the three vijjās just before his awakening.



Bodhi leaf


attā: self, ego, soul, personality, individuality. This term actually designates an illusion, since all phenomena are anattā.



Bodhi leaf


attavādupādāna: [attā+vāda+upādāna] clinging to the belief in self. Such beliefs are explained in the Brahmajāla Sutta (DN 1),
in which 53 out of the 62 views examined relate to the belief in self
(views n°9 to 16 are not included). It also constitutes one of the four
items that come in the stock definition of upādāna.

This attachment is compared to a leash:


SN 22.99


“seyyathāpi, bhikkhave, sā gaddulabaddho daḷhe khīle vā thambhe vā
upanibaddho tameva khīlaṃ vā thambhaṃ vā anuparidhāvati anuparivattati;
evameva kho, bhikkhave, assutavā puthujjano ariyānaṃ adassāvī
ariyadhammassa akovido ariyadhamme avinīto, sappurisānaṃ adassāvī
sappurisadhammassa akovido sappurisadhamme avinīto rūpaṃ attato
samanupassati rūpavantaṃ vā attānaṃ attani vā rūpaṃ rūpasmiṃ vā attānaṃ;
vedanaṃ attato samanupassati… saññaṃ attato samanupassati… saṅkhāre
attato samanupassati… viññāṇaṃ attato samanupassati viññāṇavantaṃ vā
attānaṃ attani vā viññāṇaṃ viññāṇasmiṃ vā attānaṃ.

Just as a dog, tied by a leash to a post or stake, keeps running around
and circling around that very post or stake; in the same way, an
uninstructed, run-of-the-mill person — who has no regard for noble ones,
is not well-versed or disciplined in their Dhamma; who has no regard
for people of integrity, is not well-versed or disciplined in their
Dhamma — assumes form to be the self, or the self as possessing form, or
form as in the self, or the self as in form. He assumes feeling to be
the self… He assumes perception to be the self… He assumes (mental)
fabrications to be the self… He assumes consciousness to be the self,
or the self as possessing consciousness, or consciousness as in the
self, or the self as in consciousness.

so rūpaññeva anuparidhāvati anuparivattati, vedanaññeva …
saññaññeva… saṅkhāreyeva… viññāṇaññeva anuparidhāvati
anuparivattati. so rūpaṃ anuparidhāvaṃ anuparivattaṃ, vedanaṃ …
saññaṃ… saṅkhāre… viññāṇaṃ anuparidhāvaṃ anuparivattaṃ, na
parimuccati rūpamhā… vedanāya… saññāya… saṅkhārehi… viññāṇamhā,
na parimuccati jātiyā jarāmaraṇena sokehi paridevehi dukkhehi
domanassehi upāyāsehi. ‘na parimuccati dukkhasmā’ti vadāmi”.

He keeps running around and circling around that very form… that very
feeling… that very perception… those very fabrications… that very
consciousness. He is not set loose from form, not set loose from
feeling… from perception… from fabrications… not set loose from
consciousness. He is not set loose from birth, aging, & death; from
sorrows, lamentations, pains, distresses, & despairs. He is not set
loose, I tell you, from suffering & stress.



This delusion is described as being the source of the mistake that brings about the idea of an existing self:


SN 22.47


“ye hi keci, bhikkhave, samaṇā vā brāhmaṇā vā anekavihitaṃ attānaṃ
samanupassamānā samanupassanti, sabbete pañcupādānakkhandhe
samanupassanti, etesaṃ vā aññataraṃ. katame pañca? idha, bhikkhave,
assutavā puthujjano ariyānaṃ adassāvī ariyadhammassa akovido ariyadhamme
avinīto, sappurisānaṃ adassāvī sappurisadhammassa akovido
sappurisadhamme avinīto rūpaṃ attato samanupassati, rūpavantaṃ vā
attānaṃ; attani vā rūpaṃ, rūpasmiṃ vā attānaṃ. vedanaṃ. saññaṃ.
saṅkhāre. viññāṇaṃ attato samanupassati, viññāṇavantaṃ vā attānaṃ;
attani vā viññāṇaṃ, viññāṇasmiṃ vā attānaṃ”.

Monks, whatever contemplatives or brahmans who assume in various ways
when assuming a self, all assume the five clinging-aggregates, or a
certain one of them. Which five? There is the case where an
uninstructed, run-of-the-mill person — who has no regard for noble ones,
is not well-versed or disciplined in their Dhamma; who has no regard
for men of integrity, is not well-versed or disciplined in their Dhamma —
assumes form to be the self, or the self as possessing form, or form as
in the self, or the self as in form. He assumes feeling to be the
self… He assumes perception to be the self… He assumes (mental)
fabrications to be the self… He assumes consciousness to be the self,
or the self as possessing consciousness, or consciousness as in the
self, or the self as in consciousness.

“iti ayañceva samanupassanā ‘asmī’ti cassa avigataṃ hoti. ‘asmī’ti kho
pana, bhikkhave, avigate pañcannaṃ indriyānaṃ avakkanti hoti:
cakkhundriyassa sotindriyassa ghānindriyassa jivhindriyassa
kāyindriyassa.

Thus, both this assumption & the understanding, ‘I am,’ occur to
him. And so it is with reference to the understanding ‘I am’ that there
is the appearance of the five faculties — eye, ear, nose, tongue, &
body (the senses of vision, hearing, smell, taste, & touch).

atthi, bhikkhave, mano, atthi dhammā, atthi avijjādhātu.
avijjāsamphassajena, bhikkhave, vedayitena phuṭṭhassa assutavato
puthujjanassa ‘asmī’tipissa hoti; ‘ayamahamasmī’tipissa hoti;
‘bhavissan’tipissa hoti; ‘na bhavissan’tipissa hoti; ‘rūpī
bhavissan’tipissa hoti; ‘arūpī bhavissan’tipissa hoti; ‘saññī
bhavissan’tipissa hoti; ‘asaññī bhavissan’tipissa hoti;
‘nevasaññīnāsaññī bhavissan’tipissa hoti”.

Now, there is the intellect, there are ideas (mental qualities), there
is the property of ignorance. To an uninstructed run-of-the-mill person,
touched by experience born of the contact of ignorance, there occur
(the thoughts): ‘I am,’ ‘I am thus,’ ‘I shall be,’ ‘I shall not be,’ ‘I
shall be possessed of form,’ ‘I shall be formless,’ ‘I shall be
percipient (conscious),’ ‘I shall be non-percipient,’ or ‘I shall be
neither percipient nor non-percipient.’



The exact same description occurs also at MN 109 in a definition of sakkāya·diṭṭhi.

At SN 22.44, the same description is again given to explain the expression ’sakkāya·samudaya·gāminī paṭipada’ (the path leading to the arising of self-identification), and it is also equated to ‘dukkha·samudaya·gāminī samanupassanā’ (a way of seeing things that leads to the arising of dukkha).

Sometimes, the stock expression ‘rūpaṃ attato
samanupassati rūpavantaṃ vā attānaṃ attani vā rūpaṃ rūpasmiṃ vā attānaṃ’
(he assumes form to be the self, or the self as possessing form, or
form as in the self, or the self as in form)
is replaced by ‘rūpaṃ
‘etaṃ mama, esohamasmi, eso me attā’’ti samanupassati’ (he regards Form
as ‘This is mine. This is my self. This is what I am’)
. Here in the context of an explanation about upādāna:


SN 22.8


kathañca, bhikkhave, upādāparitassanā hoti? idha, bhikkhave, assutavā
puthujjano rūpaṃ ‘etaṃ mama, esohamasmi, eso me attā’’ti samanupassati.
tassa taṃ rūpaṃ vipariṇamati aññathā hoti. tassa
rūpavipariṇāmaññathābhāvā uppajjanti sokaparidevadukkhadomanassupāyāsā.
vedanaṃ… saññaṃ… saṅkhāre… viññāṇaṃ ‘etaṃ mama, esohamasmi, eso
me attā’’ti samanupassati. tassa taṃ viññāṇaṃ vipariṇamati aññathā hoti.
tassa viññāṇavipariṇāmaññathābhāvā uppajjanti
sokaparidevadukkhadomanassupāyāsā. evaṃ kho, bhikkhave, upādāparitassanā
hoti.

And how, bhikkhus, is there agitation through clinging? Here, bhikkhus, an uninstructed, run-of-the-mill person regards Form as ‘This is mine. This is my self. This is what I am’
His form changes & alters, and he falls into sorrow, lamentation,
pain, distress, & despair over its change & alteration. He
regards Feeling… Perception… Fabrications… Consciousness as ‘This is mine. This is my self. This is what I am’
His consciousness changes & alters, and he falls into sorrow,
lamentation, pain, distress, & despair over its change &
alteration. Thus, bhikkhus, there is agitation through clinging.



As we can also see here, atta·vād·upādāna has for consequence ‘agitation through clinging’ (upādāparitassanā).

The formula ‘etaṃ mama, esohamasmi, eso me attā’’ti is also used to explain another way the expression ’sakkāya·samudaya·gāminī paṭipada’ (the path leading to the arising of self-identification), and is applied to the six senses, their objects, their corresponding viññāṇa, their respective contacts, and the vedanā that arises subsquently:


MN 148


“ayaṃ kho pana, bhikkhave, sakkāyasamudayagāminī paṭipadā: cakkhuṃ ‘etaṃ
mama, esohamasmi, eso me attā’’ti samanupassati; rūpe ‘etaṃ mama,
esohamasmi, eso me attā’’ti samanupassati; cakkhuviññāṇaṃ ‘etaṃ mama,
esohamasmi, eso me attā’’ti samanupassati; cakkhusamphassaṃ ‘etaṃ mama,
esohamasmi, eso me attā’’ti samanupassati; vedanaṃ ‘etaṃ mama,
esohamasmi, eso me attā’’ti samanupassati; taṇhaṃ ‘etaṃ mama,
esohamasmi, eso me attā’’ti samanupassati; sotaṃ… ghānaṃ… jivhaṃ…
kāyaṃ… manaṃ ‘etaṃ mama, esohamasmi, eso me attā’’ti samanupassati,
dhamme… samanupassati, manoviññāṇaṃ… samanupassati,
manosamphassaṃ… samanupassati, vedanaṃ… samanupassati, taṇhaṃ ‘etaṃ
mama, esohamasmi, eso me attā’’ti samanupassati.

“This, monks, is the path of practice leading to self-identification.
One assumes about the eye that ‘This is me, this is my self, this is
what I am.’ One assumes about forms… One assumes about consciousness
at the eye… One assumes about contact at the eye… One assumes about
feeling… One assumes about craving that ‘This is me, this is my self,
this is what I am.’ One assumes about the ear… the nose… the
tongue… the body… the intellect that ‘This is me, this is my self,
this is what I am.’ One assumes about ideas… One assumes about
consciousness at the intellect… One assumes about contact at the
intellect… One assumes about feeling… One assumes about craving that
‘This is me, this is my self, this is what I am.’



The Alagaddūpama Sutta provides a slightly different formulation of how atta·vād·upādāna comes to be:


MN 22


“chayimāni, bhikkhave, diṭṭhiṭṭhānāni. katamāni cha? idha, bhikkhave,
assutavā puthujjano… rūpaṃ ‘etaṃ mama, esohamasmi, eso me attā’ti
samanupassati; vedanaṃ… saññaṃ… saṅkhāre… yampi taṃ diṭṭhaṃ sutaṃ
mutaṃ viññātaṃ pattaṃ pariyesitaṃ, anuvicaritaṃ manasā tampi ‘etaṃ mama,
esohamasmi, eso me attā’ti samanupassati; yampi taṃ diṭṭhiṭṭhānaṃ, so
loko so attā, so pecca bhavissāmi nicco dhuvo sassato avipariṇāmadhammo,
sassatisamaṃ tatheva ṭhassāmīti, tampi ‘etaṃ mama, esohamasmi, eso me
attā’ti samanupassati.

Monks, there are these six view-positions. Which six? There is the case
where an uninstructed, run-of-the-mill person… assumes about form:
‘This is me, this is my self, this is what I am.’ He assumes about
feeling… perception… fabrications… about what seen, heard, sensed,
cognized, attained, sought after, pondered by the intellect: ‘This is
me, this is my self, this is what I am.’ He assumes about the
view-position — ‘This cosmos is the self. After death this I will be
constant, permanent, eternal, not subject to change. I will stay just
like that for an eternity’: ‘This is me, this is my self, this is what I
am.’



The way to abandon atta·vād·upādāna is by seeing anatta in the five khandhas:


MN 8


“yā imā, cunda, anekavihitā diṭṭhiyo loke uppajjanti
attavādapaṭisaṃyuttā vā lokavādapaṭisaṃyuttā vā yattha cetā diṭṭhiyo
uppajjanti yattha ca anusenti yattha ca samudācaranti taṃ ‘netaṃ mama,
nesohamasmi, na me so attā’ti evametaṃ yathābhūtaṃ sammappaññā passato
evametāsaṃ diṭṭhīnaṃ pahānaṃ hoti, evametāsaṃ diṭṭhīnaṃ paṭinissaggo
hoti.

“Cunda, as to those several views that arise in the world concerning
self-doctrines and world-doctrines, if [the object] in which these views
arise, in which they underlie and become active, is seen with right
wisdom as it actually is, thus: ‘This is not mine, this I am not, this
is not my self’ — then the abandoning of these views, their discarding,
takes place in him [who thus sees].





Bodhi leaf


avihiṃsā: [a+vihiṃsā] harmlessness, nonviolence, inoffensiveness.

There is no direct definition of the term in the
suttas. It seems to have been a well-known concept at the time that did
not require much explanation. It can be seen as a principle underlying sammā·vācā, sammā·kammanta and sammā·ājīva.

Avihiṃsā appears most prominently in avihiṃsā·saṅkappa, one of the three constituents of sammā·saṅkappa, which are also termed kusalā saṅkappā at MN 78. Alternatively, it also appears in the compound avihiṃsā·vitakka, which seems to be a synonym for avihiṃsā·saṅkappa. See also this blog article, arguing that, since avihiṃsā is set apart from a·byāpāda
in those two lists, the word probably refers more specifically to
instances where one harms others without ill-will or malevolence.

In several suttas (e.g. MN 114, AN 5.200) two of the three dhammas listed in sammā·saṅkappa appear in the same order, and avihiṃsā is replaced as the third by avihesā (non-harming). Another synonym is ahimsā (inoffensiveness):


AN 3.45


sabbhi dānaṃ upaññattaṃ, ahiṃsā saṃyamo damo.

The virtuous prescribe giving, inoffensiveness, self-control, and self-taming.




SN 10.4


“yassa sabbamahorattaṃ, ahiṃsāya rato mano mettaṃ so sabbabhūtesu, veraṃ tassa na kenacī”ti.

One whose mind takes delight in inoffensiveness all day and night, who has loving-kindness for all beings, has enmity towards none.



Inoffensiveness (ahiṃsā) is also nobility:


Dhp 270


na tena ariyo hoti, yena pāṇāni hiṃsati. ahiṃsā sabbapāṇānaṃ, “ariyo”ti pavuccati.

One who injures living beings is ignoble. One who is inoffensive towards all living beings is said to be a noble one.



In the Dhātu·vibhaṅga of the Abhidhamma, karuṇa is said to be inherent to avihiṃsā·dhātu: ‘yā sattesu karuṇā karuṇāyanā karuṇāyitattaṃ karuṇācetovimutti, ayaṃ vuccati “avihiṃsādhātu”’. This statement finds an echo in various parts of the Sutta Piṭaka, as for example in the Dhammapada:




129. sabbe tasanti daṇḍassa, sabbe bhāyanti maccuno.
attānaṃ upamaṃ katvā, na haneyya na ghātaye.

129. All tremble at the rod, all are fearful of death.
Drawing the parallel to yourself, neither kill nor get others to kill.

130. sabbe tasanti daṇḍassa, sabbesaṃ jīvitaṃ piyaṃ.
attānaṃ upamaṃ katvā, na haneyya na ghātaye.

130. All tremble at the rod, all hold their life dear.
Drawing the parallel to yourself, neither kill nor get others to kill.



At AN 2.168, avihiṃsā is juxtaposed with soceyya (purity/purification). At Sn 294, the word is juxtaposed with maddava (mildness), soracca (gentleness) and khanti (forbearance). The first two find echo in expressions such as that defining pharusa·vāca veramaṇī (abstinence from harsh speech):


AN 10.176


yā sā vācā nelā kaṇṇasukhā pemanīyā hadayaṅgamā porī bahujanakantā bahujanamanāpā, tathārūpiṃ vācaṃ bhāsitā hoti.

He speaks words that are soothing to the ear, that are affectionate,
that go to the heart, that are polite, appealing & pleasing to
people at large.



Khanti (forbearance) is the word that is most often juxtaposed to avihiṃsā, a connection that is exemplified in many places, such as in the simile of the saw:


MN 21


“ubhatodaṇḍakena cepi, bhikkhave, kakacena corā ocarakā aṅgamaṅgāni
okanteyyuṃ, tatrāpi yo mano padūseyya, na me so tena sāsanakaro. tatrāpi
vo, bhikkhave, evaṃ sikkhitabbaṃ: ‘na ceva no cittaṃ vipariṇataṃ
bhavissati, na ca pāpikaṃ vācaṃ nicchāressāma, hitānukampī ca
viharissāma mettacittā na dosantarā. tañca puggalaṃ mettāsahagatena
cetasā pharitvā viharissāma tadārammaṇañca sabbāvantaṃ lokaṃ
mettāsahagatena cetasā vipulena mahaggatena appamāṇena averena
abyābajjhena pharitvā viharissāmā’ti. evañhi vo, bhikkhave,
sikkhitabbaṃ.

“Monks, even if bandits were to carve you up savagely, limb by limb,
with a two-handled saw, he among you who let his heart get angered even
at that would not be doing my bidding. Even then you should train
yourselves: ‘Our minds will be unaffected and we will say no evil words.
We will remain sympathetic, with a mind of good will, and with no inner
hate. We will keep pervading these people with an awareness imbued with
good will and, beginning with them, we will keep pervading the entire
world with an awareness imbued with good will — abundant, expansive,
immeasurable, free from hostility, free from ill will.’ That’s how you
should train yourselves.

“imañca tumhe, bhikkhave, kakacūpamaṃ ovādaṃ abhikkhaṇaṃ manasi
kareyyātha. passatha no tumhe, bhikkhave, taṃ vacanapathaṃ, aṇuṃ vā
thūlaṃ vā, yaṃ tumhe nādhivāseyyāthā”ti?

“Monks, if you attend constantly to this admonition on the simile of the
saw, do you see any aspects of speech, slight or gross, that you could
not endure?”


“no hetaṃ, bhante”.


“No, lord.”



Another striking example is given at SN 35.88:




“sace pana puṇṇa, sunāparantakā manussā daṇḍena pahāraṃ dassanti, tatra pana te, puṇṇa, kinti bhavissatī”ti?


“But if they hit you with a stick…?”


“sace me, bhante, sunāparantakā manussā daṇḍena pahāraṃ dassanti, tatra
me evaṃ bhavissati: ‘bhaddakā vatime sunāparantakā manussā, subhaddakā
vatime sunāparantakā manussā, yaṃ me nayime satthena pahāraṃ dentī’ti.
evamettha, bhagavā, bhavissati; evamettha, sugata, bhavissatī”ti.


“…I will think, ‘These Sunaparanta people are civilized, very civilized, in that they don’t hit me with a knife’…”


“sace pana te, puṇṇa, sunāparantakā manussā satthena pahāraṃ dassanti, tatra pana te, puṇṇa, kinti bhavissatī”ti?


“But if they hit you with a knife…?”


“sace me, bhante, sunāparantakā manussā satthena pahāraṃ dassanti, tatra
me evaṃ bhavissati: ‘bhaddakā vatime sunāparantakā manussā, subhaddakā
vatime sunāparantakā manussā, yaṃ maṃ nayime tiṇhena satthena jīvitā
voropentī’ti. evamettha, bhagavā, bhavissati; evamettha, sugata,
bhavissatī”ti.


“…I will think, ‘These Sunaparanta people are civilized, very
civilized, in that they don’t take my life with a sharp knife’…”


“sace pana taṃ, puṇṇa, sunāparantakā manussā tiṇhena satthena jīvitā voropessanti, tatra pana te, puṇṇa, kinti bhavissatī”ti?


“But if they take your life with a sharp knife…?”


“sace maṃ, bhante, sunāparantakā manussā tiṇhena satthena jīvitā
voropessanti, tatra me evaṃ bhavissati: ‘santi kho tassa bhagavato
sāvakā kāyena ca jīvitena ca aṭṭīyamānā harāyamānā jigucchamānā
satthahārakaṃ pariyesanti, taṃ me idaṃ apariyiṭṭhaññeva satthahārakaṃ
laddhan’ti. evamettha, bhagavā, bhavissati; evamettha, sugata,
bhavissatī”ti.


“If they take my life with a sharp knife, I will think, ‘There are
disciples of the Blessed One who — horrified, humiliated, and disgusted
by the body and by life — have sought for an assassin, but here I have
met my assassin without searching for him.’ That is what I will think, O
Blessed One. That is what I will think, O One Well-gone.”


“sādhu sādhu, puṇṇa! sakkhissasi kho tvaṃ, puṇṇa, iminā damūpasamena
samannāgato sunāparantasmiṃ janapade vatthuṃ. yassa dāni tvaṃ, puṇṇa,
kālaṃ maññasī”ti.


“Good, Punna, very good. Possessing such calm and self-control you are
fit to dwell among the Sunaparantans. Now it is time to do as you see
fit.”



SN 47.19 also juxtaposes metta·cittatā (having a mind of good will) and anudayatā (sympathy) to avihiṃsā:


SN 47.19


kathañca, bhikkhave, paraṃ rakkhanto attānaṃ rakkhati? khantiyā, avihiṃsāya, mettacittatāya, anudayatāya. evaṃ kho, bhikkhave, paraṃ rakkhanto attānaṃ rakkhati.

“And how do you watch after yourself when watching after others? Through endurance, through harmlessness, through a mind of goodwill, & through sympathy. This is how you watch after yourself when watching after others.



SN 14.12 explains how avihiṃsā originates and leads to wholesome action:


SN 14.12


“avihiṃsādhātuṃ, bhikkhave, paṭicca uppajjati avihiṃsāsaññā,
avihiṃsāsaññaṃ paṭicca uppajjati avihiṃsāsaṅkappo, avihiṃsāsaṅkappaṃ
paṭicca uppajjati avihiṃsāchando, avihiṃsāchandaṃ paṭicca uppajjati
avihiṃsāpariḷāho, avihiṃsāpariḷāhaṃ paṭicca uppajjati
avihiṃsāpariyesanā; avihiṃsāpariyesanaṃ, bhikkhave, pariyesamāno sutavā
ariyasāvako tīhi ṭhānehi sammā paṭipajjati kāyena, vācāya, manasā.

On account of the harmlessness element there arises the perception of
harmlessness; on account of the perception of harmlessness there arises
an aspiration to harmlessness; on account of the aspiration to
harmlessness there arises a desire for harmlessness; on account of the
desire for harmlessness there arises a passion for harmlessness; on
account of the passion for harmlessness there arises a quest for
harmlessness. Engaged in the quest for harmlessness, an instructed noble
disciple acts rightly in three ways: by body, speech, and mind.



Practicing harmlessness is behaving like a bee in a flower:


Dhp 49


yathāpi bhamaro pupphaṃ, vaṇṇagandhamaheṭhayaṃ, paleti rasamādāya, evaṃ gāme munī care.

As a bee gathers honey from the flower without injuring its color or
fragrance, even so the sage goes on his alms-round in the village.



Lacking avihiṃsā is extensively described as bringing unpleasant results:


Dhp 133


māvoca pharusaṃ kañci, vuttā paṭivadeyyu taṃ
dukkhā hi sārambhakathā, paṭidaṇḍā phuseyyu taṃ.

Speak harshly to no one, or the words will be thrown right back at you.
Contentious talk is painful, for you get struck by rods in return.




Dhp 137-140


yo daṇḍena adaṇḍesu, appaduṭṭhesu dussati dasannamaññataraṃ ṭhānaṃ, khippameva nigacchati:
vedanaṃ pharusaṃ jāniṃ, sarīrassa ca bhedanaṃ.
garukaṃ vāpi ābādhaṃ, cittakkhepañca pāpuṇe.
rājato vā upasaggaṃ, abbhakkhānañca dāruṇaṃ.
parikkhayañca ñātīnaṃ, bhogānañca pabhaṅguraṃ.
atha vāssa agārāni, aggi ḍahati pāvako.
kāyassa bhedā duppañño, nirayaṃ sopapajjati.

Whoever, with a rod harasses an innocent man, unarmed, quickly falls
into any of ten things: harsh pains, devastation, a broken body, grave
illness,
mental derangement, trouble with the government,
violent slander, relatives lost, property dissolved,
houses burned down. At the break-up of the body
this one with no discernment,
reappears in
hell.




SN 3.15


“vilumpateva puriso, yāvassa upakappati.
yadā caññe vilumpanti, so vilutto viluppati.

A man may plunder as long as it serves his ends, but when others are plundered, he who has plundered gets plundered in turn.

“ṭhānañhi maññati bālo, yāva pāpaṃ na paccati.
yadā ca paccati pāpaṃ, atha dukkhaṃ nigacchati.

A fool thinks, ‘Now’s my chance,’ as long as his evil has yet to ripen. But when it ripens, the fool falls into pain.

“hantā labhati hantāraṃ, jetāraṃ labhate jayaṃ.
akkosako ca akkosaṃ, rosetārañca rosako.
atha kammavivaṭṭena, so vilutto viluppatī”ti.

Killing, you gain your killer. Conquering, you gain one who will conquer
you; insulting, insult; harassing, harassment. And so, through the
cycle of action, he who has plundered gets plundered in turn.



Abandoning non-harmlessness and taking up avihiṃsā prevents bad experiences from arising and causes pleasant ones to arise in the future:


Dhp 131-132


sukhakāmāni bhūtāni, yo daṇḍena vihiṃsati.
attano sukhamesāno, pecca so na labhate sukhaṃ.

Whoever takes a rod to harm living beings desiring ease, when he himself
is looking for ease, will meet with no ease after death.

sukhakāmāni bhūtāni, yo daṇḍena na hiṃsati.
attano sukhamesāno, pecca so labhate sukhaṃ.

Whoever doesn’t take a rod to harm living beings desiring ease, when he
himself is looking for ease, will meet with ease after death.




MN 135


“idha, māṇava, ekacco itthī vā puriso vā sattānaṃ viheṭhakajātiko hoti,
pāṇinā vā leḍḍunā vā daṇḍena vā satthena vā. so tena kammena evaṃ
samattena evaṃ samādinnena kāyassa bhedā paraṃ maraṇā apāyaṃ duggatiṃ
vinipātaṃ nirayaṃ upapajjati. no ce kāyassa bhedā paraṃ maraṇā apāyaṃ
duggatiṃ vinipātaṃ nirayaṃ upapajjati, sace manussattaṃ āgacchati yattha
yattha paccājāyati bavhābādho hoti. bavhābādhasaṃvattanikā esā, māṇava,
paṭipadā yadidaṃ sattānaṃ viheṭhakajātiko hoti pāṇinā vā leḍḍunā vā
daṇḍena vā satthena vā.

Furthermore, there is the case where a certain woman or man has a
tendency to injure living beings with the hand, with a clod, with a
stick, or with a knife. From adopting & carrying out such actions,
then on the break-up of the body, after death, this person re-appears in
the plane of deprivation, the bad destination, the lower realms, in
hell. Or, if he/she does not reappear in the plane of deprivation, the
bad destination, the lower realms, in hell, but instead returns to the
human state, then he/she is sickly wherever reborn. This is the way
leading to being sickly, namely being one who has a tendency to injure
living beings with the hand, with a clod, with a stick, or with a knife.

“idha pana, māṇava, ekacco itthī vā puriso vā sattānaṃ aviheṭhakajātiko
hoti pāṇinā vā leḍḍunā vā daṇḍena vā satthena vā. so tena kammena evaṃ
samattena evaṃ samādinnena kāyassa bhedā paraṃ maraṇā sugatiṃ saggaṃ
lokaṃ upapajjati. no ce kāyassa bhedā paraṃ maraṇā sugatiṃ saggaṃ lokaṃ
upapajjati, sace manussattaṃ āgacchati yattha yattha paccājāyati
appābādho hoti. appābādhasaṃvattanikā esā, māṇava, paṭipadā yadidaṃ
sattānaṃ aviheṭhakajātiko hoti pāṇinā vā leḍḍunā vā daṇḍena vā satthena
vā.

But there is the case where a certain woman or man does not have a
tendency to injure living beings with the hand, with a clod, with a
stick, or with a knife. Through having adopted & carried out such
actions, on the break-up of the body, after death, he/she reappears in a
good destination, in the heavenly world. Or, if he/she does not
reappear in the good destinations, in the heavenly world, but instead
returns to the human state, then he/she is healthy wherever reborn. This
is the way leading to being healthy, namely being one who, abandoning
the taking of life, abstains from taking life does not have a tendency
to injure living beings with the hand, with a clod, with a stick, or
with a knife.




Dhp 300


suppabuddhaṃ pabujjhanti, sadā gotamasāvakā.
yesaṃ divā ca ratto ca, ahiṃsāya rato mano.

Those disciples of Gotama ever awaken happily whose minds by day and night delight in the practice of non-violence.

Dharmacāri Nāgapriya writes: “The early Buddhist
vocabulary includes an important class of words that, while denoting
highly positive qualities, take a grammatically negative form. Avihiṃsa
is a leading example of this. To translate the term as ‘non-violence’
doesn’t reflect the positive nuance of the quality to which it refers.
Notwithstanding, it is worth looking at the quality in question from
both a negative and a positive point of view in order to bring its
nature more clearly to light. First of all – and in negative terms –
avihiṃsa can be understood as an application of the general principle of
renunciation: the saint renounces all violence whether physical,
verbal, or emotional: Whoever in this world harms a living creature,
whether once-born or twice- born, whoever has no compassion for a living
creature, him one should know to be an outcaste. (Sn.117) He gives up
coercion of any kind and thus abandons the ‘power mode’, the style of
relating to others purely as objects and means of his own gratification,
adopting instead the ‘love mode’, the appreciation of others as
individual, feelingful subjects meriting sensitive consideration and
respect. This entails abandoning a host of negative mental states such
as kodha or fury (Sn.1), kopa or ill-temper and grudge (Sn.6), upanāha
or rancour/enmity (Sn.116), paccuṭṭapannā or hostility (Sn.245), usuyyā
or envy (Sn.245), atipāti or violent destructiveness (Sn.248), paṭigha
(Sn.148) or malicious rage, and dosa or hatred (Sn.328). One of the
distinguishing features of the Sutta-Nipāta is the plethora of different
nasty mental states that it identifies. This laid some of the
foundations for the later work of the Abhidhamma. Again the terms used
are fluid and non-technical. By considering the terms as a whole we can
get a feeling for the flavour of what the saint is enjoined to abandon.
At the same time, it is important to appreciate the positive counterpart
of this renunciation of violent negativity. This is expressed most
sublimely in the Mettā Sutta: Just as a mother would protect with her
own life her own son, her only son, so one should cultivate an unbounded
mind towards all beings, and loving-kindness towards all the world. One
should cultivate an unbounded mind, above and below and across, without
obstruction, without enmity, without rivalry. (Sn.149-50)”



Bodhi leaf

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SN 45.8
Filed under: General
Posted by: site admin @ 7:36 pm

SN 45.8


Katamo ca, bhikkhave, ariyo aṭṭhaṅgiko maggo? Seyyathidaṃ sammādiṭṭhi,
sammāsaṅkappo, sammāvācā, sammākammanto, sammā-ājīvo, sammāvāyāmo,
sammāsati, sammāsamādhi.

Now what, monks, is the Noble Eightfold Path? Right view, right resolve,
right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right
mindfulness, right concentration.

Katamā ca, bhikkhave, sammādiṭṭhi? Yaṃ kho, bhikkhave, dukkhe ñāṇaṃ,
dukkha-samudaye ñāṇaṃ , dukkha-nirodhe ñāṇaṃ, dukkha-nirodha-gāminiyā
paṭipadāya ñāṇaṃ ayaṃ vuccati, bhikkhave, sammādiṭṭhi.

And what, monks, is right view? Knowledge with regard to stress,
knowledge with regard to the origination of stress, knowledge with
regard to the stopping of stress, knowledge with regard to the way of
practice leading to the stopping of stress: This, monks, is called right
view.

Katamo ca, bhikkhave, sammāsaṅkappo? Yo kho, bhikkhave,
nekkhamma-saṅkappo , abyāpāda-saṅkappo, avihiṃsā-saṅkappo ayaṃ vuccati,
bhikkhave, sammāsaṅkappo.

And what is right resolve? Being resolved on renunciation, on freedom
from ill will, on harmlessness: This is called right resolve.

Katamā ca, bhikkhave, sammāvācā? Yā kho, bhikkhave, musāvādā veramaṇī,
pisuṇāya vācāya veramaṇī, pharusāya vācāya veramaṇī, samphappalāpā
veramaṇī ayaṃ vuccati, bhikkhave, sammāvācā.

And what is right speech? Abstaining from lying, abstaining from
divisive speech, abstaining from abusive speech, abstaining from idle
chatter: This, monks, is called right speech.

Katamo ca, bhikkhave, sammā-kammanto? Yā kho, bhikkhave, pāṇātipātā
veramaṇī, adinnādānā veramaṇī, abrahmacariyā veramaṇī ayaṃ vuccati,
bhikkhave, sammā-kammanto.

And what, monks, is right action? Abstaining from taking life,
abstaining from stealing, abstaining from unchastity: This, monks, is
called right action.

Katamo ca, bhikkhave, sammā-ājīvo? Idha, bhikkhave, ariya-sāvako
micchā-ājīvaṃ pahāya sammā-ājīvena jīvitaṃ kappeti ayaṃ vuccati,
bhikkhave, sammā-ājīvo.

And what, monks, is right livelihood? There is the case where a disciple
of the noble ones, having abandoned dishonest livelihood, keeps his
life going with right livelihood: This, monks, is called right
livelihood.

Katamo ca, bhikkhave, sammāvāyāmo? Idha, bhikkhave, bhikkhu anuppannānaṃ
pāpakānaṃ akusalānaṃ dhammānaṃ anuppādāya chandaṃ janeti vāyamati
vīriyaṃ ārabhati cittaṃ paggaṇhāti padahati; uppannānaṃ pāpakānaṃ
akusalānaṃ dhammānaṃ pahānāya chandaṃ janeti vāyamati vīriyaṃ ārabhati
cittaṃ paggaṇhāti padahati; anuppannānaṃ kusalānaṃ dhammānaṃ uppādāya
chandaṃ janeti vāyamati vīriyaṃ ārabhati cittaṃ paggaṇhāti padahati;
uppannānaṃ kusalānaṃ dhammānaṃ ṭhitiyā asammosāya bhiyyobhāvāya
vepullāya bhāvanāya pāripūriyā chandaṃ janeti vāyamati vīriyaṃ ārabhati
cittaṃ paggaṇhāti padahati. Ayaṃ vuccati, bhikkhave, sammāvāyāmo.

And what, monks, is right effort? (i) There is the case where a monk
generates desire, endeavors, activates persistence, upholds & exerts
his intent for the sake of the non-arising of evil, unskillful
qualities that have not yet arisen. (ii) He generates desire, endeavors,
activates persistence, upholds & exerts his intent for the sake of
the abandonment of evil, unskillful qualities that have arisen. (iii) He
generates desire, endeavors, activates persistence, upholds &
exerts his intent for the sake of the arising of skillful qualities that
have not yet arisen. (iv) He generates desire, endeavors, activates
persistence, upholds & exerts his intent for the maintenance,
non-confusion, increase, plenitude, development, & culmination of
skillful qualities that have arisen: This, monks, is called right
effort.

Katamā ca, bhikkhave, sammāsati? Idha, bhikkhave, bhikkhu
kāye kāyānupassī viharati ātāpī sampajāno satimā, vineyya loke
abhijjhā-domanassaṃ; vedanāsu vedanānupassī viharati ātāpī sampajāno
satimā, vineyya loke abhijjhā-domanassaṃ; citte cittānupassī viharati
ātāpī sampajāno satimā, vineyya loke abhijjhā-domanassaṃ; dhammesu
dhammānupassī viharati ātāpī sampajāno satimā, vineyya loke
abhijjhā-domanassaṃ.
Ayaṃ vuccati, bhikkhave, sammāsati.

And what, monks, is right mindfulness? (i) There is the case where a
monk remains focused on the body in & of itself — ardent, aware,
& mindful — putting away greed & distress with reference to the
world. (ii) He remains focused on feelings in & of themselves —
ardent, aware, & mindful — putting away greed & distress with
reference to the world. (iii) He remains focused on the mind in & of
itself — ardent, aware, & mindful — putting away greed &
distress with reference to the world. (iv) He remains focused on mental
qualities in & of themselves — ardent, aware, & mindful —
putting away greed & distress with reference to the world. This,
monks, is called right mindfulness.

Katamo ca, bhikkhave, sammāsamādhi? Idha, bhikkhave, bhikkhu
vivicceva kāmehi vivicca akusalehi dhammehi savitakkaṃ savicāraṃ
vivekajaṃ pītisukhaṃ paṭhamaṃ jhānaṃ upasampajja viharati;
vitakkavicārānaṃ vūpasamā ajjhattaṃ sampasādanaṃ cetaso ekodibhāvaṃ
avitakkaṃ avicāraṃ samādhijaṃ pītisukhaṃ dutiyaṃ jhānaṃ upasampajja
viharati;
pītiyā ca virāgā upekkhako ca viharati sato ca sampajāno sukhañca kāyena
paṭisaṃvedeti yaṃ taṃ ariyā ācikkhanti: ‘upekkhako satimā
sukhavihārī’ti tatiyaṃ jhānaṃ upasampajja viharati;
sukhassa ca pahānā dukkhassa ca pahānā pubbeva somanassadomanassānaṃ
atthaṅgamā adukkhamasukhaṃ upekkhāsatipārisuddhiṃ catutthaṃ jhānaṃ
upasampajja viharati.
Ayaṃ vuccati, bhikkhave, sammāsamādhi ti.

And what, monks, is right concentration? (i) There is the case where a
monk — quite withdrawn from sensuality, withdrawn from unskillful
(mental) qualities — enters & remains in the first jhana: rapture
& pleasure born from withdrawal, accompanied by directed thought
& evaluation. (ii) With the stilling of directed thoughts &
evaluations, he enters & remains in the second jhana: rapture &
pleasure born of concentration, unification of awareness free from
directed thought & evaluation — internal assurance. (iii) With the
fading of rapture, he remains equanimous, mindful, & alert, and
senses pleasure with the body. He enters & remains in the third
jhana, of which the Noble Ones declare, ‘Equanimous & mindful, he
has a pleasant abiding.’ (iv) With the abandoning of pleasure & pain
— as with the earlier disappearance of elation & distress — he
enters & remains in the fourth jhana: purity of equanimity &
mindfulness, neither pleasure nor pain. This, monks, is called right
concentration.



♦ The ariya aṭṭh·aṅg·ika magga is most famously introduced at SN 56.11 as the Middle Way (majjhimā paṭipadā), i.e. the path avoiding both hedonism and self-mortification:

SN 56.11


Dve·me, bhikkhave, antā pabbajitena na sevitabbā. Katame dve? Yo c·āyaṃ
kāmesu kāma·sukh·allik·ānuyogo hīno gammo pothujjaniko an·ariyo
an·attha·saṃhito, yo c·āyaṃ attakilamath·ānuyogo dukkho an·ariyo
an·attha·saṃhito. Ete kho, bhikkhave, ubho ante an·upagamma majjhimā
paṭipadā tathāgatena abhisambuddhā cakkhu·karaṇī ñāṇa·karaṇī upasamāya
abhiññāya sambodhāya nibbānāya saṃvattati.

These two extremes, bhikkhus, should not be adopted by one who has gone
forth from the home life. Which two? On one hand, the devotion to
hedonism towards sensuality, which is inferior, vulgar, common, ignoble,
deprived of benefit, and on the other hand the devotion to
self-mortification, which is painful, ignoble, deprived of benefit.
Without going to these two extremes, bhikkhus, the Tathāgata has fully
awaken to the Middle Way, which produces vision, which produces
knowledge, and leads to appeasement, to direct knowledge, to awakening,
to Nibbāna.



♦ The ariya aṭṭh·aṅg·ika magga is also introduced later on in that same sutta as the fourth ariya·sacca:



Idaṃ kho pana, bhikkhave, dukkha·nirodha·gāminī paṭipadā ariya·saccaṃ:
ayam·eva ariyo aṭṭhaṅgiko maggo, seyyathidaṃ: sammā·diṭṭhi
sammā·saṅkappo sammā·vācā sammā·kammanto sammā·ājīvo sammā·vāyāmo
sammā·sati sammā·samādhi.

Furthermore, bhikkhus, this is the noble truth of path leading to the
cessation of suffering: just this noble eightfold path, that is to say:
right view, right thought, right speech, right action, right livelihood,
right effort, right mindfulness and right concentration.



♦ As explained above at SN 56.11, the ariya aṭṭh·aṅg·ika magga is what leads to nibbāna. At SN 45.62, the former leads towards the latter just as the river Ganges slants, slopes, and inclines towards the east (seyyathāpi gaṅgā nadī pācīna·ninnā pācīna·poṇā pācīna·pabbhārā). At SN 45.86, the path is like a tree slanting, sloping and inclining towards the east (seyyathāpi rukkho pācīna·ninno pācīna·poṇo pācīna·pabbhāro) and that could only fall towards that direction if it were to be cut at the foot. It is also said to be the way leading to amata (amata·gāmi·maggo, SN 45.7), or to the unconditioned (a·saṅkhata·gāmi·maggo, SN 43.11).

♦ The ariya aṭṭh·aṅg·ika magga has its own entire saṃyutta (SN 45), that is rich in similes and explanations.

♦ The ariya aṭṭh·aṅg·ika magga is given various designations. At MN 19, it is called ‘The peaceful and safe path to be followed with exaltation’ (khemo maggo sovatthiko pīti·gamanīyo). It is often identified with the brahmacariya (e.g. SN 45.6), or with asceticism (sāmañña) such as at SN 45.35, or brahminhood (brahmañña) such as at SN 45.36. At SN 12.65, it is the ancient path, the ancient road traveled by the sammā·Sambuddhā of the past. At SN 35.191, the ariya aṭṭh·aṅg·ika magga is compared to a raft to cross over from identity to ‘the other shore’, which stands for nibbāna. At SN 45.4, after Ānanda sees a brahmin on a luxurious chariot and calls it a ‘brahmic vehicle’ (brahma·yāna), the Buddha says that is actually a designation for the ariya aṭṭh·aṅg·ika magga, along with the ‘Dhamma vehicle’ (dhamma·yāna) and the ’supreme victory in battle’ (anuttara saṅgāma·vijaya). The ariya aṭṭh·aṅg·ika magga is also called rightness (sammatta, SN 45.21), kusalā dhammā (SN 45.22), the right way (sammā·paṭipada, SN 45.23) and right practice (sammā·paṭipatti, SN 45.31).

♦ The ariya aṭṭh·aṅg·ika magga is part of a set of 37 dhammas which are sometimes listed together (e.g. at AN 10.90, SN 22.81). They are sometimes called the bodhipakkhiyā dhammā, although this expression doesn’t have a strict definition in the suttas and is loosely used to describe other sets. The ariya aṭṭh·aṅg·ika magga is also said at SN 45.155 to develop those bodhi·pakkhiya·dhammā.

♦ Each factor (aṅga) of the path is said to lead to the next:


AN 10.103


“sammattaṃ, bhikkhave, āgamma ārādhanā hoti, no virādhanā. kathañca,
bhikkhave, sammattaṃ āgamma ārādhanā hoti, no virādhanā?
sammādiṭṭhikassa, bhikkhave, sammāsaṅkappo pahoti, sammāsaṅkappassa
sammāvācā pahoti, sammāvācassa sammākammanto pahoti, sammākammantassa
sammāājīvo pahoti, sammāājīvassa sammāvāyāmo pahoti, sammāvāyāmassa
sammāsati pahoti, sammāsatissa sammāsamādhi pahoti.

Having come to rightness, bhikkhus, there is success, not failure. And
how, bhikkhus, is it that having come to rightness, there is success,
not failure? For one of right view, right thought arises. For one
of right thought, right speech arises. For one of right speech, right
action arises. For one of right action, right livelihood arises. For one
of right livelihood, right effort arises. For one of right effort,
right mindfulness arises. For one of right mindfulness, right
concentration arises.



A similar progression is also notably found at SN
45.1. AN 7.45 states that all the other seven factors of the path are
the ’supports’ (upanisa) and ‘accessories’ (parikkhāra) of sammā·samādhi. MN 117 further explains how the factors interact, according to the following pattern:

MN 117


“tatra, bhikkhave, sammādiṭṭhi pubbaṅgamā hoti. kathañca, bhikkhave,
sammādiṭṭhi pubbaṅgamā hoti? micchāsaṅkappaṃ ‘micchāsaṅkappo’ti
pajānāti, sammāsaṅkappaṃ ‘sammāsaṅkappo’ti pajānāti, sāssa hoti
sammādiṭṭhi.

Therein, bhikkhus, right view is the forerunner. And how is right view
the forerunner? One understands wrong thought as wrong thought and right
thought as right thought: this is one’s right
view.

so micchāsaṅkappassa pahānāya vāyamati, sammāsaṅkappassa upasampadāya,
svāssa hoti sammāvāyāmo. so sato micchāsaṅkappaṃ pajahati, sato
sammāsaṅkappaṃ upasampajja viharati; sāssa hoti sammāsati. itiyime tayo
dhammā sammāsaṅkappaṃ anuparidhāvanti anuparivattanti, seyyathidaṃ
sammādiṭṭhi, sammāvāyāmo, sammāsati.

One makes an effort to abandon wrong thought and to acquire right
thought: this is one’s right effort. One abandons wrong thought
mindfully, and acquires and remains in right thought mindfully: this is
one’s right mindfulness. Thus these three things rotate and circle
around right thought, that is, right view, right effort, and right
mindfulness.



♦ The enumeration of each path factor is sometimes
punctuated by four different formulas. The first one is found for
example at SN 45.2 and is in fact mainly used with the bojjhaṅgas, and occasionally with (spiritual) indriyas or balas: ‘based upon seclusion, dispassion, and cessation, maturing in release’ (viveka·nissita virāga·nissita nirodha·nissita vossagga·pariṇāmi).

The second formula can be found at SN 45.4 and says: ‘which
has the removal of avidity as its final goal, the removal of hatred as
its final goal, the removal of delusion as its final goal’ (rāga·vinaya·pariyosāna dosa·vinaya·pariyosāna moha·vinaya·pariyosāna)
.

The third one is found for example at SN 45.115 and says: ‘which has the Deathless as its ground, the Deathless as its destination, the Deathless as its final goal’ (amat·ogadha amata·parāyana amata·pariyosāna).

The fourth is found for example at SN 45.91 and says: ‘which slants towards Nibbāna, slopes towards Nibbāna, inclines towards Nibbāna‘ (nibbāna·ninna nibbāna·poṇa nibbāna·pabbhāra).

♦ The ariya aṭṭh·aṅg·ika magga, if unarisen, does not arise apart from the appearance of a Buddha (n·āññatra tathāgatassa pātubhāvā arahato sammāsambuddhassa, SN 45.14) or the Discipline of a Sublime one (n·āññatra sugata·vinaya, SN 45.15).

♦ At SN 55.5, the ariya aṭṭh·aṅg·ika magga is what defines sotāpatti, since sota (the stream) is the ariya aṭṭh·aṅg·ika magga itself, and a sotāpanna is one who possesses it:


SN 55.5



“‘soto, soto’ti hidaṃ, sāriputta, vuccati. katamo nu kho, sāriputta, soto”ti?


It said: ‘The stream, the stream’, Sāriputta. What now, Sāriputta, is ‘the stream’?


“ayameva hi, bhante, ariyo aṭṭhaṅgiko maggo soto


Bhante, the stream is just this noble eightfold path


“‘sotāpanno, sotāpanno’ti hidaṃ, sāriputta, vuccati. katamo nu kho, sāriputta, sotāpanno”ti?


It said: ‘A stream-enterer, a stream-enterer’, Sāriputta. What now, Sāriputta, is ‘a stream-enterer’?


“yo hi, bhante, iminā ariyena aṭṭhaṅgikena maggena samannāgato ayaṃ vuccati sotāpanno


Bhante, whoever is possessed of this noble eightfold path is called a stream-enterer



♦ At MN 126, the 8 factors of the ariya aṭṭh·aṅg·ika magga are presented as a technology of the mind (’a proper method for procuring fruit’: yoni hesā phalassa adhigamāya)
whose results do not depend on making wishes, but instead rely solely
on the laws of nature, which is metaphorically illustrated by how one
gets sesame oil by using the right technique (pressing seeds sprinkled
with water), how one gets milk (by milking a recently calved cow),
butter (by churning curd), or fire (by rubbing a dry, sapless, piece of
wood with a proper fire-stick).

♦ At AN 4.237, the 8 factors of the ariya aṭṭh·aṅg·ika magga constitute ‘kamma that is neither dark nor bright with neither-dark-nor-bright result, that leads to the destruction of kamma(kammaṃ a·kaṇhā·sukkaṃ a·kaṇhā·sukka·vipākaṃ, kamma·kkhayāya saṃvattati).

♦ The ariya aṭṭh·aṅg·ika magga is not seldom augmented to become a tenfold set, with the addition of sammā·ñāṇa and sammā·vimutti. SN 45.26 seems to indicate that these two factors are relevant only for the arahant, as they are what makes the difference between a sappurisa and someone who is better than a sappurisa (sappurisena sappurisataro).

♦ Ten phenomena are said to be the precursors for the arising of the ariya aṭṭh·aṅg·ika magga, the first seven according to the following simile:



sūriyassa, bhikkhave, udayato etaṃ pubbaṅgamaṃ etaṃ pubbanimittaṃ,
yadidaṃ, aruṇuggaṃ; evameva kho, bhikkhave, bhikkhuno ariyassa
aṭṭhaṅgikassa maggassa uppādāya etaṃ pubbaṅgamaṃ etaṃ pubbanimmittaṃ…

This, bhikkhus, is the forerunner and foretoken of the rising of the
sun, that is, the dawn. In the same way, bhikkhus, for a bhikkhu this is
the forerunner and foretoken of the arising of the noble eightfold
path…



In each case, it is said that when a bhikkhu satisfies the condition, ‘it
is expected that he will develop the noble eightfold path, that he will
cultivate the noble eightfold path (pāṭikaṅkhaṃ ariyaṃ aṭṭhaṅgikaṃ
maggaṃ bhāvessati, ariyaṃ aṭṭhaṅgikaṃ maggaṃ bahulīkarissati)
.

1. Mentioned most often is kalyāṇa·mittatā (with the above sunrise simile at SN 45.49). It is most famously said at SN 45.2 to be the entire brahmacariya (sakalam·ev·idaṃ brahmacariyaṃ), since it can be expected from one who develops it that he will practice the ariya aṭṭh·aṅg·ika magga, all the more that as we have seen earlier (e.g. at SN 45.6), brahmacariya is also defined as the ariya aṭṭh·aṅg·ika magga itself. We find as well a formula reminiscent of the suttas found at the beginning of AN 1:


SN 45.77


nāhaṃ, bhikkhave, aññaṃ ekadhammampi samanupassāmi, yena anuppanno vā
ariyo aṭṭhaṅgiko maggo uppajjati, uppanno vā ariyo aṭṭhaṅgiko maggo
bhāvanāpāripūriṃ gacchati, yathayidaṃ, bhikkhave, kalyāṇamittatā.

I do not see even one other thing, bhikkhus, because of which the
unarisen noble eightfold path arises and the arisen noble eightfold path
goes to the plenitude of its development so much, bhikkhus, as because
of favorable friendship.



2. Sīla
is also mentioned a few times independently from the sunrise simile, in
the context of which it is introduced at SN 45.50 as accomplishment in
virtue (sīla·sampadā). Such examples include the following:


SN 45.149


seyyathāpi, bhikkhave, ye keci balakaraṇīyā kammantā karīyanti, sabbe
te pathaviṃ nissāya pathaviyaṃ patiṭṭhāya evamete balakaraṇīyā kammantā
karīyanti; evameva kho, bhikkhave, bhikkhu sīlaṃ nissāya sīle patiṭṭhāya
ariyaṃ aṭṭhaṅgikaṃ maggaṃ bhāveti ariyaṃ aṭṭhaṅgikaṃ maggaṃ
bahulīkaroti.

Just as, bhikkhus, whatever actions are to be performed with strength
are all performed on dependence on the earth, supported by the earth; in
the same way, bhikkhus, it is on dependence on virtue, supported by
virtue, that a bhikkhu develops the noble eightfold path, that he
cultivates the noble eightfold path.




SN 45.150


seyyathāpi, bhikkhave, ye kecime bījagāmabhūtagāmā vuḍḍhiṃ virūḷhiṃ
vepullaṃ āpajjanti, sabbe te pathaviṃ nissāya pathaviyaṃ patiṭṭhāya
evamete bījagāmabhūtagāmā vuḍḍhiṃ virūḷhiṃ vepullaṃ āpajjanti; evameva
kho, bhikkhave, bhikkhu sīlaṃ nissāya sīle patiṭṭhāya ariyaṃ aṭṭhaṅgikaṃ
maggaṃ bhāvento ariyaṃ aṭṭhaṅgikaṃ maggaṃ bahulīkaronto vuḍḍhiṃ
virūḷhiṃ vepullaṃ pāpuṇāti dhammesu.

Just as, bhikkhus, whatever kinds of seed and plant life come to
development, growth, and plenitude, all come to development, growth, and
plenitude on dependence on the earth, supported by the earth; in the
same way, bhikkhus, on dependence on virtue, supported by virtue, a
bhikkhu developing the noble eightfold path, cultivating the noble
eightfold path, comes to development, growth, and plenitude in
[wholesome] mental states.



3. Appamāda
is also mentioned a few times independently from the sunrise simile, in
the context of which it is introduced at SN 45.54 as accomplishment in
assiduity (appamāda·sampadā). Such examples are found at SN 45.139 and SN 45.140.

4. Sammā·diṭṭhi (AN 10.121) or accomplishment in view (diṭṭhi·sampadā, SN 45.53),
are mentioned with the sunrise simile as precursors of the path,
without surprise since as we have seen above, each path factor leads to
the next, and sammā·diṭṭhi stands first.

5. Accomplishment in desire (chanda·sampadā) is mentioned with the sunrise simile at SN 45.51. The Commentary explains it as desire for kusalā dhammā. In a related meaning, the word chanda appears notably in the sammā·vāyāma formula.

6. Accomplishment in self (atta·sampadā), mentioned with the sunrise simile at SN 45.52. The commentary explains the expression as sampanna·citta·tā (accomplishment in mind), which suggests the attainment of samādhi (see adhi·citta·sikkhā). The expression ‘atta·ññū hoti’ (one who knows himself) may explain the term. At SN 7.68, it is explained as knowing oneself to have saddhā, sīla, learning (suta), cāga, paññā and understanding (paṭibhāna).

7. Accomplishment in appropriate attention (yoniso·manasikāra-sampadā), mentioned with the sunrise simile at SN 45.52.

8, 9 & 10. Vijjā followed by hiri and ottappa (anva·d·eva hir·ottappa) is said to be the forerunner (pubb·aṅgama) in the entry upon kusalā dhammā (kusalānaṃ dhammānaṃ samāpatti) at SN 45.1 and AN 10.105.

♦ The ariya aṭṭh·aṅg·ika magga is said at AN 4.34 to be the highest (agga) of saṅkhatā dhammā and to bring the highest vipākā.

♦ As we have seen above at SN 56.11, the ariya aṭṭh·aṅg·ika magga produces ñāṇa·dassana and leads to upasama, sambodhi and Nibbāna. Between SN 45.161 and SN 45.180, it is also said to lead to the direct knowledge (abhiññā), full understanding (pariññā), complete destruction (parikkhaya), and abandoning (pahāna) of various phenomena: the three discriminations (vidhā), i.e. ‘I am superior’ (‘seyyo·ham·asmī’ti), ‘I am equal’ (‘sadiso·ham·asmī’ti), ‘I am inferior’ (hīno·ham·asmī’ti); the three searches (esanā), i.e. the search for sensuality (kām·esanā), the search for [a good] existence (bhav·esanā), the search for the brahmic life (brahmacariy·esanā); the three āsavā; the three bhavā; the three sufferings (dukkhatā), i.e. the suffering from pain (dukkha·dukkhatā), the suffering from Constructions (saṅkhāra·dukkhatā), the suffering from change (vipariṇāma·dukkhatā); the three akusalamulā; the three types of vedanā; kāma, diṭṭhi and avijjā; the four upādānā; abhijjhā, byāpāda, sīla·bbata parāmāsa and adherence to [the view] ‘This [alone] is the truth’ (idaṃ·sacc·ābhinivesa); the seven anusayā; the five kāma·guṇā; the five nīvaraṇā; the five upādāna·kkhandhas; the ten saṃyojanā.

♦ The ariya aṭṭh·aṅg·ika magga also leads to the cessation (nirodha) of phenomena: MN 9 lists all the twelve links of paṭicca·samuppāda, the four āhārā and the three āsavā; AN 6.63 additionally speaks of the cessation of kāma and kamma; SN 22.56 mentions the cessation of each of the five upādāna·kkhandhas.

♦ The ariya aṭṭh·aṅg·ika magga is the tool to remove akusalā dhammā. In that respect, MN 3 directly mentions all the 16 upakkilesā (with dosa in place of byāpāda). A number of similes illustrating this point are given in the Magga Saṃyutta: at SN 45.153, akusalā dhammā
are given up by the mind like a pot turned upside down ‘gives up’ its
water; at SN 45.156, they are disintegrated like a cloud providing rain
disintegrates a dust storm; at SN 45.157, they are dispersed like a
strong wind disperses a great cloud giving rain; at SN 45.158, they are
like the ropes on a ship that rot under inclement weather.

♦ The ariya aṭṭh·aṅg·ika magga gives strength
to the mind, as explained in SN 45.27’s simile, where it is compared to
the stand of a pot that makes it difficult to get knocked over. At SN
45.160, people, powerful or not, wishing to convince a bhikkhu
cultivating the ariya aṭṭh·aṅg·ika magga to abandon monkhood by
offering him wealth will be no more successful than people wishing to
change the direction of the Ganges, because his mind is inclined to
seclusion.

SN 45.159


“seyyathāpi, bhikkhave, āgantukāgāraṃ. tattha puratthimāyapi disāya
āgantvā vāsaṃ kappenti, pacchimāyapi disāya āgantvā vāsaṃ kappenti,
uttarāyapi disāya āgantvā vāsaṃ kappenti, dakkhiṇāyapi disāya āgantvā
vāsaṃ kappenti, khattiyāpi āgantvā vāsaṃ kappenti, brāhmaṇāpi āgantvā
vāsaṃ kappenti, vessāpi āgantvā vāsaṃ kappenti, suddāpi āgantvā vāsaṃ
kappenti; evameva kho, bhikkhave, bhikkhu ariyaṃ aṭṭhaṅgikaṃ maggaṃ
bhāvento ariyaṃ aṭṭhaṅgikaṃ maggaṃ bahulīkaronto ye dhammā abhiññā
pariññeyyā, te dhamme abhiññā parijānāti, ye dhammā abhiññā pahātabbā,
te dhamme abhiññā pajahati, ye dhammā abhiññā sacchikātabbā, te dhamme
abhiññā sacchikaroti, ye dhammā abhiññā bhāvetabbā, te dhamme abhiññā
bhāveti.

Suppose, monks, there is a guest-house. Travelers come from the east,
the west, the north, the south to lodge here: nobles and Brahmans,
merchants and serfs. In the same way, monks, a monk who cultivates the
Noble Eightfold Path, who assiduously practices the Noble Eightfold
Path, comprehends with higher knowledge those states that are to be so
comprehended, abandons with higher knowledge those states that are to be
so abandoned, comes to experience with higher knowledge those states
that are to be so experienced, and cultivates with higher knowledge
those states that are to be so cultivated.

“katame ca, bhikkhave, dhammā abhiññā pariññeyyā? pañcupādānakkhandhātissa vacanīyaṃ…

What, monks, are the states to be comprehended with higher knowledge? They are the five groups of clinging…

katame ca, bhikkhave, dhammā abhiññā pahātabbā? avijjā ca bhavataṇhā ca…

What, monks, are the states to be abandoned with higher knowledge? They are ignorance and the desire for [further] becoming…

katame ca, bhikkhave, dhammā abhiññā sacchikātabbā? vijjā ca vimutti ca…

And what, monks, are the states to be experienced with higher knowledge? They are knowledge and liberation…

katame ca, bhikkhave, dhammā abhiññā bhāvetabbā? samatho ca vipassanā ca.

And what, monk, are the states to be cultivated with higher knowledge? They are calm and insight.





Bodhi leaf


ariyasacca: [ariya+sacca] noble truth. The four ariya·saccas are expounded by the Buddha in his very first discourse, the Dhamma-cakka’p'pavattana Sutta. It consists of:

1. dukkha-ariya·sacca
2. dukkha·samudaya-ariya·sacca

3. dukkha·nirodha-ariya·sacca
4. dukkha·nirodha·gāminī paṭipadā-ariya·sacca


Bodhi leaf


ariyasāvaka: [ariya+sāvaka] noble disciple.



Bodhi leaf


arūpabhava: [a+rūpa+bhava] existence/ becoming in the formless realm, which is taken as meaning those Brahmā-lokas which are accessible only to those who master at least the fifth jhāna. Arūpa-bhava is one of the three types of bhava.



Bodhi leaf


asantuṭṭhitā: [a+santuṭṭhitā]

discontent, dissatisfaction.

asantuṭṭha:

discontent, dissatisfied

♦ Sometimes, the adjective a·santuṭṭha is used with a rather neutral connotation, as at SN 35.198, where a bhikkhu is simply not satisfied with the answers given to his question.

♦ Most of the time, the word and its lexical derivatives carry a negative (akusala) connotation:

AN 1.64


“nāhaṃ, bhikkhave, aññaṃ ekadhammampi samanupassāmi yena anuppannā vā
akusalā dhammā uppajjanti uppannā vā kusalā dhammā parihāyanti
yathayidaṃ, bhikkhave, asantuṭṭhitā.

I do not see even one other thing, bhikkhus, because of which unarisen
unwholesome mental states come to arise, or arisen wholesome mental
states come to decline, so much, bhikkhus, as because of
dissatisfaction.



AN 1.88


“nāhaṃ, bhikkhave, aññaṃ ekadhammampi samanupassāmi yo evaṃ mahato anatthāya saṃvattati yathayidaṃ, bhikkhave, asantuṭṭhitā.

I do not see even one other thing, bhikkhus, that leads to such great harm as discontent.



AN 1.120


“nāhaṃ, bhikkhave, aññaṃ ekadhammampi samanupassāmi yo evaṃ saddhammassa
sammosāya antaradhānāya saṃvattati yathayidaṃ, bhikkhave, asantuṭṭhitā.

I do not see even one other thing, bhikkhus, that leads to the decline
and confusion of the authentic Dhamma so much as discontent.



AN 10.82


“so vatānanda, bhikkhu ‘asantuṭṭho samāno imasmiṃ dhammavinaye vuddhiṃ virūḷhiṃ vepullaṃ āpajjissatī’ti netaṃ ṭhānaṃ vijjati.

It is impossible, Ānanda, that a bhikkhu who is not content will find growth, progress, and completion in this Dhamma-Vinaya.



When the word carries such a connotation, being a·santuṭṭha is explained as follows:

AN 6.84


bhikkhu mahiccho hoti, vighātavā, asantuṭṭho, itarītara-cīvara-piṇḍapāta-senāsana-gilāna-ppaccaya-bhesajja-parikkhārena

a bhikkhu has great desires, is annoyed and is not content with whatever
kind of robes, almsfood, lodging, and medicines & provisions for
the sick [he gets]



As it is the case above, the word a·santuṭṭhitā or its lexical derivatives are very often juxtaposed with mahicchatā, which can almost be considered a synonym. In the Vinaya, lay people who are offended by bhikkhus’ behavior often say:



mahicchā ime samaṇā sakyaputtiyā asantuṭṭhā.

These ascetics sons of the Sakyan are of great desires, not contented.



This happens typically when misbehaving bhikkhus put
unnecessary pressure on lay supporters, either by asking more than the
strict minimum they need, or by making burdensome requests without prior
invitation. Thus, in the origin story to NP 6, the bhikkhu doesn’t want
to wait until his supporter goes back home to send him some cloth and
demands instead one of the garments he is currently wearing. At NP 8,
the bhikkhu gives instructions for getting finer cloth to the weaver
appointed by his supporters to make his robe, which ends up costing
twice as much yarn as they originally planned. At NP 10, the bhikkhu
doesn’t want to wait till the next day, which ends up costing a fine to
his supporter. At Bhikkhunis’ NP 11, some bhikkhunis ask the king for a
woolen garment (which is considered luxurious).

AN 4.157 maps the concept with others: a·santuṭṭhitā leads to evil desire (pāpika iccha) for recognition (an·avañña) and lābha·sakkāra·siloka, then to wrong effort (vāyama) and finally deceiving families by pretending to be much worthier than one actually is:

AN 4.157


“cattārome, bhikkhave, pabbajitassa rogā. katame cattāro? idha,
bhikkhave, bhikkhu mahiccho hoti vighātavā asantuṭṭho
itarītara-cīvara-piṇḍapāta-senāsana-gilāna-ppaccaya-bhesajja-parikkhārena.
so mahiccho samāno vighātavā asantuṭṭho
itarītara-cīvara-piṇḍapāta-senāsana-gilāna-ppaccaya-bhesajja-parikkhārena
pāpikaṃ icchaṃ paṇidahati anavañña-ppaṭilābhāya
lābha-sakkāra-siloka-ppaṭilābhāya. so uṭṭhahati ghaṭati vāyamati
anavañña-ppaṭilābhāya lābha-sakkāra-siloka-ppaṭilābhāya. so saṅkhāya
kulāni upasaṅkamati, saṅkhāya nisīdati, saṅkhāya dhammaṃ bhāsati,
saṅkhāya uccārapassāvaṃ sandhāreti. ime kho, bhikkhave, cattāro
pabbajitassa rogā.

Bhikkhus, there are these four sicknesses of one gone forth. What four?
Here, bhikkhus, a bhikkhu has great desires, is annoyed and is not
content with whatever kind of robes, almsfood, lodging, and medicines
& provisions for the sick [he gets]. Having great desires, being
annoyed and not content with whatever kind of robes, almsfood, lodging,
and medicines & provisions for the sick [he gets], he generates evil
desire for recognition and for honors, gain & fame. He rouses,
applies and exerts himself to obtain recognition and honors, gain &
fame. He craftily approaches families, craftily sits down, craftily
speaks about the Dhamma, and craftily holds in his excrement and urine.
These, bhikkhus, are four sicknesses of one gone forth.



The sutta then goes on to explain the cure, which
consists in forbearance with regards to the elements of nature, animals,
other people’s words and painful feelings:



“tasmātiha, bhikkhave, evaṃ sikkhitabbaṃ: ‘na mahicchā bhavissāma
vighātavanto asantuṭṭhā
itarītara-cīvara-piṇḍapāta-senāsana-gilāna-ppaccaya-bhesajja-parikkhārena,
na pāpikaṃ icchaṃ paṇidahissāma anavañña-ppaṭilābhāya
lābha-sakkāra-siloka-ppaṭilābhāya, na uṭṭhahissāma na ghaṭessāma na
vāyamissāma anavañña-ppaṭilābhāya lābha-sakkāra-siloka-ppaṭilābhāya,
khamā bhavissāma sītassa uṇhassa jighacchāya pipāsāya
ḍaṃsa-makasa-vātā-tapa-sarīṃsapa-samphassānaṃ duruttānaṃ durāgatānaṃ
vacanapathānaṃ, uppannānaṃ sārīrikānaṃ vedanānaṃ dukkhānaṃ tibbānaṃ
kharānaṃ kaṭukānaṃ asātānaṃ amanāpānaṃ pāṇaharānaṃ adhivāsakajātikā
bhavissāmā’ti. evañhi vo, bhikkhave, sikkhitabban”ti.

Therefore, bhikkhus, you should train thus: ‘We won’t have great
desires, be annoyed and not content with whatever kind of robes,
almsfood, lodging, and medicines & provisions for the sick [we will
get]; we won’t generate evil desire for recognition and for honors, gain
& fame; we won’t rouse, apply and exert ourselves to obtain
recognition and honors, gain & fame; we will endure cold, heat,
hunger, thirst and the contact with flies, mosquitoes, wind, sun and
creeping animals, as well as ways of speech that are ill-spoken and
offensive; we will be patient with arisen bodily feelings that are
painful, acute, sharp, piercing, disagreeable, unpleasant and
threatening life.’ This, bhikkhus, is how you should train yourselves.



In this sense, at AN 6.114, asantuṭṭhitā is juxtaposed with mahicchatā and a·sampajañña (lack of thorough comprehension).

It serves as a criterion to know whether one can dwell on his own or should stay amid other monks:

AN 5.127


“pañcahi, bhikkhave, dhammehi samannāgato bhikkhu nālaṃ saṅghamhā
vapakāsituṃ . katamehi pañcahi? idha, bhikkhave, bhikkhu asantuṭṭho hoti
itarītarena cīvarena, asantuṭṭho hoti itarītarena piṇḍapātena,
asantuṭṭho hoti itarītarena senāsanena, asantuṭṭho hoti itarītarena
gilānappaccayabhesajjaparikkhārena, kāmasaṅkappabahulo ca viharati.
imehi kho, bhikkhave, pañcahi dhammehi samannāgato bhikkhu nālaṃ
saṅghamhā vapakāsituṃ.

If he is endowed with five qualities, bhikkhus, a bhikkhu is not fit to
live away from the Community. What five? He is not content with whatever
kind of robe [he gets]; he is not content with whatever kind of
almsfood [he gets]; he is not content with whatever kind of lodging [he
gets]; he is not content with whatever kind of medicines and provisions
for the sick [he gets]; and he dwells absorbed in thoughts of
sensuality. If he is endowed with these five qualities, bhikkhus, a
bhikkhu is not fit to live away from the Community.



Laypeople must also avoid this kind of asantuṭṭhitā:

Snp 1.6


“sehi dārehi asantuṭṭho, vesiyāsu padussati, dussati paradāresu, taṃ parābhavato mukhaṃ”.

Not satisfied with one’s own wives, he is seen among the whores and the wives of others — this is the cause of his downfall.



♦ Although the word is mostly used with this negative connotation, it is also occasionally used with a positive (kusala) connotation. At AN 7.56 the devas who are content with their Brahmā state and do not know a higher escape (nissaraṇa) do not understand what those who are not content with that state and do know something higher may understand:

AN 7.56


ye kho te, mārisa moggallāna, brahmakāyikā devā brahmena āyunā
santuṭṭhā… te uttari nissaraṇaṃ yathābhūtaṃ nappajānanti, tesaṃ na
evaṃ ñāṇaṃ hoti… ye ca kho te, mārisa moggallāna, brahmakāyikā devā
brahmena āyunā asantuṭṭhā… te ca uttari nissaraṇaṃ yathābhūtaṃ
pajānanti, tesaṃ evaṃ ñāṇaṃ hoti…

Sir Moggallāna, the devas of Brahmā’s retinue who are content with a
brahmā’s longevity… and who do not know, as it actually is, an escape
higher than this, do not have such a knowledge… But the devas of
Brahmā’s retinue who are not content with a brahmā’s longevity… and
who know, as it actually is, an escape higher than this, have such a
knowledge…



At AN 2.5, asantuṭṭhitā applied to wholesome states (kusalā dhammā) is presented as very important for developing further on the path:

AN 2.5


dvinnāhaṃ, bhikkhave, dhammānaṃ upaññāsiṃ: yā ca asantuṭṭhitā kusalesu dhammesu, yā ca appaṭivānitā padhānasmiṃ.

Bhikkhus, I have come to know two qualities: non-contentment with wholesome states and tirelessness in exertion.



At SN 55.40, being satisfied with the four usual sot·āpattiy·aṅgas leads to not making an effort (vāyama) in solitude (paviveka), and then to successively miss on pāmojja, pīti and passaddhi, and finally dwell in dukkha, which is considered living with pamāda, while not being satisfied with them prompts one to make the effort in solitude and experience successively pāmojja, pīti, passaddhi, sukha, samādhi, the fact that phenomena have become manifest, and finally living with appamāda.

At AN 6.80, the word is interestingly surrounded by related concepts:

AN 6.80


chahi, bhikkhave, dhammehi samannāgato bhikkhu nacirasseva mahantattaṃ
vepullattaṃ pāpuṇāti dhammesu. katamehi chahi? idha, bhikkhave, bhikkhu
ālokabahulo ca hoti yogabahulo ca vedabahulo ca asantuṭṭhibahulo ca
anikkhittadhuro ca kusalesu dhammesu uttari ca patāreti.

If he is endowed with six qualities, bhikkhus, a bhikkhu attains in no
long time greatness and fullness in [wholesome] states. What six? Here,
bhikkhus, a bhikkhu is full of light, full of endeavor, full of
enthusiasm, full of dissatisfaction [with wholesome states already
attained], he doesn’t shirk his task in wholesome states, and he keeps
progressing further.





Bodhi leaf


asappurisa: [a+sappurisa]

bad person.

The word is always contrasted with sappurisa. Bāla is sometimes explicitly mentioned as a synonym:


MN 129


‘bālo ayaṃ bhavaṃ asappuriso’’ti.

‘This individual is a fool, a bad person’.



The term is defined multiple times. We find in the suttas three main ways to define it. According to the micchā·paṭipadā:

SN 45.26


katamo ca, bhikkhave, asappuriso? idha, bhikkhave, ekacco micchādiṭṭhiko
hoti, micchāsaṅkappo, micchāvāco, micchākammanto, micchāājīvo,
micchāvāyāmo, micchāsati, micchāsamādhi. ayaṃ vuccati, bhikkhave,
asappuriso”.

And what, bhikkhus, is a bad person? Here, bhikkhus, someone is of wrong
view, wrong aspiration, wrong speech, wrong action, wrong livelihood,
wrong effort, wrong mindfulness and wrong concentration. This, bhikkhus,
is what is called a bad person.

“katamo ca, bhikkhave, asappurisena asappurisataro? idha, bhikkhave,
ekacco micchādiṭṭhiko hoti, micchāsaṅkappo, micchāvāco, micchākammanto,
micchāājīvo, micchāvāyāmo, micchāsati, micchāsamādhi, micchāñāṇī,
micchāvimutti. ayaṃ vuccati, bhikkhave, asappurisena asappurisataro.

And what, bhikkhus, is one who is worse than a bad person? Here,
bhikkhus, someone is of wrong view, wrong aspiration, wrong speech,
wrong action, wrong livelihood, wrong effort, wrong mindfulness, wrong
concentration, wrong knowledge and wrong liberation. This, bhikkhus, is
what is called one who is worse than a bad person.



According to various subsets of the ten akusalā kamma·pathā:

AN 4.204


“katamo ca, bhikkhave, asappuriso? idha, bhikkhave, ekacco pāṇātipātī
hoti, adinnādāyī hoti, kāmesumicchācārī hoti, musāvādī hoti, pisuṇavāco
hoti, pharusavāco hoti, samphappalāpī hoti, abhijjhālu hoti,
byāpannacitto hoti, micchādiṭṭhiko hoti. ayaṃ vuccati, bhikkhave,
asappuriso.

And what, bhikkhus, is a bad person? Here, bhikkhus, someone destroys
life, takes what is not given, engages in misconduct regarding
[pleasures of] sensuality, speaks falsehood, speaks maliciously, speaks
harshly, speaks frivolously, is covetous, has a malevolent mind, is of
wrong view. This, bhikkhus, is what is called a bad person.

“katamo ca, bhikkhave, asappurisena asappurisataro? idha, bhikkhave,
ekacco attanā ca pāṇātipātī hoti, parañca pāṇātipāte samādapeti,
attanā ca adinnādāyī hoti, parañca adinnādāne samādapeti,
attanā ca kāmesumicchācārī hoti, parañca kāmesumicchācāre samādapeti,
attanā ca musāvādī hoti, parañca musāvāde samādapeti,
attanā ca pisuṇavāco hoti, parañca pisuṇavācāya samādapeti,
attanā ca pharusavāco hoti, parañca pharusavācāya samādapeti,
attanā ca samphappalāpī hoti, parañca samphappalāpe samādapeti, attanā
ca abhijjhālu hoti, parañca abhijjhāya samādapeti; attanā ca
byāpannacitto hoti, parañca byāpāde samādapeti, attanā ca micchādiṭṭhiko
hoti, parañca micchādiṭṭhiyā samādapeti. ayaṃ vuccati, bhikkhave,
asappurisena asappurisataro.

And what, bhikkhus, is one who is worse than a bad person? Here,
bhikkhus, someone destroys life himself and incites others to destroy
life, takes what is not given himself and incites others to take what is
not given, engages in misconduct regarding [pleasures of] sensuality
himself and incites others to engage in misconduct regarding [pleasures
of] sensuality, speaks falsehood himself and incites others to speak
falsehood, speaks maliciously himself and incites others to speak
maliciously, speaks harshly himself and incites others to, speaks
frivolously himself and incites others to, is covetous himself and
incites others to speak harshly, has a malevolent mind himself and
incites others to have a malevolent mind, is of wrong view himself and
incites others to have wrong view. This, bhikkhus, is what is called one
who is worse than a bad person.



According to a particular set of bad qualities:

AN 4.202


“katamo ca, bhikkhave, asappuriso? idha, bhikkhave, ekacco assaddho
hoti, ahiriko hoti, anottappī hoti, appassuto hoti, kusīto hoti,
muṭṭhassati hoti, duppañño hoti. ayaṃ vuccati, bhikkhave, asappuriso.

And what, bhikkhus, is a bad person? Here, bhikkhus, someone doesn’t
have conviction, doesn’t have conscientiousness, doesn’t have scruple,
doesn’t acquire learning, is lazy, is of forgetful mindfulness, is of
deficient discernment. This, bhikkhus, is what is called a bad person.

“katamo ca, bhikkhave, asappurisena asappurisataro? idha, bhikkhave,
ekacco attanā ca assaddho hoti, parañca assaddhiye samādapeti; attanā ca
ahiriko hoti, parañca ahirikatāya samādapeti; attanā ca anottappī hoti,
parañca anottappe samādapeti; attanā ca appassuto hoti, parañca
appassute samādapeti; attanā ca kusīto hoti, parañca kosajje samādapeti;
attanā ca muṭṭhassati hoti, parañca muṭṭhassacce samādapeti; attanā ca
duppañño hoti, parañca duppaññatāya samādapeti. ayaṃ vuccati, bhikkhave,
asappurisena asappurisataro.

And what, bhikkhus, is one who is worse than a bad person? Here,
bhikkhus, someone doesn’t have conviction himself and incites others to
be without conviction, doesn’t have conscientiousness himself and
incites others to be without conscientiousness, doesn’t have scruple
himself and incites others to be without scruple, doesn’t acquire
learning himself and incites others to not acquire learning, is lazy
himself and incites others to be lazy, is of forgetful mindfulness
himself and incites others to be of forgetful mindfulness, is of
deficient discernment himself and incites others to be of deficient
discernment. This, bhikkhus, is what is called one who is worse than a
bad person.



The term is also defined or explained at great length in two suttas of the Majjhima Nikāya:

MN 110


asappuriso, bhikkhave, assaddhammasamannāgato hoti, asappurisabhatti
hoti, asappurisacintī hoti, asappurisamantī hoti, asappurisavāco hoti,
asappurisakammanto hoti, asappurisadiṭṭhi hoti; asappurisadānaṃ deti”.

“A person of no integrity is endowed with qualities of no integrity; he
is a person of no integrity in his friendship, in the way he wills, the
way he gives advice, the way he speaks, the way he acts, the views he
holds, & the way he gives a gift.

“kathañca, bhikkhave, asappuriso assaddhammasamannāgato hoti? idha,
bhikkhave, asappuriso assaddho hoti, ahiriko hoti, anottappī hoti,
appassuto hoti, kusīto hoti, muṭṭhassati hoti, duppañño hoti. evaṃ kho,
bhikkhave, asappuriso assaddhammasamannāgato hoti.

“And how is a person of no integrity endowed with qualities of no
integrity? There is the case where a person of no integrity is lacking
in conviction, lacking in conscience, lacking in concern [for the
results of unskillful actions]; he is unlearned, lazy, of muddled
mindfulness, & poor discernment. This is how a person of no
integrity is endowed with qualities of no integrity.”

“kathañca, bhikkhave, asappuriso asappurisabhatti hoti? idha, bhikkhave,
asappurisassa ye te samaṇabrāhmaṇā assaddhā ahirikā anottappino
appassutā kusītā muṭṭhassatino duppaññā tyāssa mittā honti te sahāyā.
evaṃ kho, bhikkhave, asappuriso asappurisabhatti hoti.

“And how is a person of no integrity a person of no integrity in his
friendship? There is the case where a person of no integrity has, as his
friends & companions, those brahmans & contemplatives who are
lacking in conviction, lacking in conscience, lacking in concern,
unlearned, lazy, of muddled mindfulness, & poor discernment. This is
how a person of no integrity is a person of no integrity in his
friendship.

“kathañca, bhikkhave, asappuriso asappurisacintī hoti? idha, bhikkhave,
asappuriso attabyābādhāyapi ceteti, parabyābādhāyapi ceteti,
ubhayabyābādhāyapi ceteti. evaṃ kho, bhikkhave, asappuriso
asappurisacintī hoti.

“And how is a person of no integrity a person of no integrity in the way
he wills? There is the case where a person of no integrity wills for
his own affliction, or for the affliction of others, or for the
affliction of both. This is how a person of no integrity is a person of
no integrity in the way he wills.

“kathañca, bhikkhave, asappuriso asappurisamantī hoti? idha, bhikkhave,
asappuriso attabyābādhāyapi manteti, parabyābādhāyapi manteti,
ubhayabyābādhāyapi manteti. evaṃ kho, bhikkhave, asappuriso
asappurisamantī hoti.

“And how is a person of no integrity a person of no integrity in the way
he gives advice? There is the case where a person of no integrity gives
advice for his own affliction, or for the affliction of others, or for
the affliction of both. This is how a person of no integrity is a person
of no integrity in the way he gives advice.

“kathañca, bhikkhave, asappuriso asappurisavāco hoti? idha, bhikkhave,
asappuriso musāvādī hoti, pisuṇavāco hoti, pharusavāco hoti,
samphappalāpī hoti. evaṃ kho, bhikkhave, asappuriso asappurisavāco hoti.

“And how is a person of no integrity a person of no integrity in the way
he speaks? There is the case where a person of no integrity is one who
tells lies, engages in divisive tale-bearing, engages in harsh speech,
engages in idle chatter. This is how a person of no integrity is a
person of no integrity in the way he speaks.

“kathañca, bhikkhave, asappuriso asappurisakammanto hoti? idha,
bhikkhave, asappuriso pāṇātipātī hoti, adinnādāyī hoti, kāmesumicchācārī
hoti. evaṃ kho, bhikkhave, asappuriso asappurisakammanto hoti.

“And how is a person of no integrity a person of no integrity in the way
he acts? There is the case where a person of no integrity is one who
takes life, steals, engages in illicit sex. This is how a person of no
integrity is a person of no integrity in the way he acts.

“kathañca, bhikkhave, asappuriso asappurisadiṭṭhi hoti? idha, bhikkhave,
asappuriso evaṃdiṭṭhi hoti: ‘natthi dinnaṃ, natthi yiṭṭhaṃ, natthi
hutaṃ, natthi sukatadukkaṭānaṃ kammānaṃ phalaṃ vipāko, natthi ayaṃ loko,
natthi paro loko, natthi mātā, natthi pitā, natthi sattā opapātikā,
natthi loke samaṇabrāhmaṇā sammaggatā sammāpaṭipannā, ye imañca lokaṃ
parañca lokaṃ sayaṃ abhiññā sacchikatvā pavedentī’ti. evaṃ kho,
bhikkhave, asappuriso asappurisadiṭṭhi hoti.

“And how is a person of no integrity a person of no integrity in the
views he holds? There is the case where a person of no integrity is one
who holds a view like this: ‘There is nothing given, nothing offered,
nothing sacrificed. There is no fruit or result of good or bad actions.
There is no this world, no next world, no mother, no father, no
spontaneously reborn beings; no brahmans or contemplatives who, faring
rightly & practicing rightly, proclaim this world & the next
after having directly known & realized it for themselves.’ This is
how a person of no integrity is a person of no integrity in the views he
holds.

“kathañca, bhikkhave, asappuriso asappurisadānaṃ deti? idha, bhikkhave,
asappuriso asakkaccaṃ dānaṃ deti, asahatthā dānaṃ deti, acittīkatvā
dānaṃ deti, apaviṭṭhaṃ dānaṃ deti anāgamanadiṭṭhiko dānaṃ deti. evaṃ
kho, bhikkhave, asappuriso asappurisadānaṃ deti.

“And how is a person of no integrity a person of no integrity in the way
he gives a gift? There is the case where a person of no integrity gives
a gift inattentively, not with his own hand, disrespectfully, as if
throwing it away, with the view that nothing will come of it. This is
how a person of no integrity is a person of no integrity in the way he
gives a gift.

“so, bhikkhave, asappuriso evaṃ assaddhammasamannāgato, evaṃ
asappurisabhatti, evaṃ asappurisacintī, evaṃ asappurisamantī, evaṃ
asappurisavāco, evaṃ asappurisakammanto, evaṃ asappurisadiṭṭhi; evaṃ
asappurisadānaṃ datvā kāyassa bhedā paraṃ maraṇā yā asappurisānaṃ gati
tattha upapajjati. kā ca, bhikkhave, asappurisānaṃ gati? nirayo vā
tiracchānayoni vā.

“This person of no integrity, thus endowed with qualities of no
integrity; a person of no integrity in his friendship, in the way he
wills, the way he gives advice, the way he speaks, the way he acts, the
views he holds, & the way he gives a gift, on the break-up of the
body, after death, reappears in the destination of people of no
integrity. And what is the destination of people of no integrity? Hell
or the animal womb.



MN 113


“katamo ca, bhikkhave, asappurisadhammo? idha, bhikkhave, asappuriso
uccākulā pabbajito hoti. so iti paṭisañcikkhati: ‘ahaṃ khomhi uccākulā
pabbajito, ime panaññe bhikkhū na uccākulā pabbajitā’ti. so tāya
uccākulīnatāya attānukkaṃseti, paraṃ vambheti. ayaṃ, bhikkhave,
asappurisadhammo …

“And which is the quality of a person of no integrity? “There is the
case where a person of no integrity goes forth from a high-ranking
family. He notices, ‘I have gone forth from a high-ranking family, but
these other monks have not gone forth from a high-ranking family.’ He
exalts himself for having a high-ranking family and disparages others.
This is the quality of a person of no integrity …

“puna caparaṃ, bhikkhave, asappuriso mahākulā pabbajito hoti …
mahābhogakulā pabbajito hoti … uḷārabhogakulā pabbajito hoti. so iti
paṭisañcikkhati: ‘ahaṃ khomhi uḷārabhogakulā pabbajito, ime panaññe
bhikkhū na uḷārabhogakulā pabbajitā’ti. so tāya uḷārabhogatāya
attānukkaṃseti, paraṃ vambheti. ayampi, bhikkhave, asappurisadhammo …

“Furthermore, a person of no integrity goes forth from a great family…
a family of great wealth… a family of extensive wealth. He notices,
‘I have gone forth from a family of extensive wealth, but these other
monks have not gone forth from a family of extensive wealth.’ He exalts
himself for having a family of extensive wealth and disparages others.
This is the quality of a person of no integrity …

“puna caparaṃ, bhikkhave, asappuriso ñāto hoti yasassī… lābhī hoti
cīvara-piṇḍapāta-senāsana-gilāna-ppaccaya-bhesajja-parikkhārānaṃ…
bahussuto hoti… vinayadharo hoti… dhammakathiko hoti… āraññiko
hoti… paṃsukūliko hoti… piṇḍapātiko hoti… rukkhamūliko hoti…
sosāniko hoti… abbhokāsiko hoti… nesajjiko hoti… yathāsanthatiko
hoti… ekāsaniko hoti… paṭhamaṃ jhānaṃ… dutiyaṃ jhānaṃ… tatiyaṃ
jhānaṃ… catutthaṃ jhānaṃ upasampajja viharati… ākāsānañcāyatanaṃ…
viññāṇañcāyatanaṃ… ākiñcaññāyatanaṃ… nevasaññānāsaññāyatanaṃ
upasampajja viharati. so iti paṭisañcikkhati: ‘ahaṃ khomhi
neva-saññā-nāsaññ-āyatana-samāpattiyā lābhī, ime panaññe bhikkhū
neva-saññā-nāsaññ-āyatana-samāpattiyā na lābhino’ti. so tāya
neva-saññā-nāsaññ-āyatana-samāpattiyā attānukkaṃseti, paraṃ vambheti.
ayampi, bhikkhave, asappurisadhammo.

“Furthermore, a person of no integrity is well-known & highly
regarded … is one who gains robe-cloth, alms-food, lodgings, &
medicinal requisites for the sick … is learned … is a master of the
Vinaya … is a Dhamma-speaker … is a wilderness dweller … is one
who wears robes of thrown-away rags… an alms-goer… one who dwells at
the root of a tree… a cemetery dweller… one who lives in the open
air… one who doesn’t lie down… one who is content with whatever
dwelling is assigned to him… one who eats only one meal a day …
enters & remains in the first jhāna … in the second jhāna… the
third jhāna… the fourth jhāna… the dimension of the infinitude of
space… the dimension of the infinitude of consciousness… the
dimension of nothingness… the dimension of neither perception nor
non-perception. He notices, ‘I have gained the attainment of the
dimension of neither perception nor non-perception, but these other
monks have not gained the attainment of the dimension of neither
perception nor non-perception.’ He exalts himself for the attainment of
the dimension of neither perception nor non-perception and disparages
others. This is the quality of a person of no integrity.



The sutta doesn’t mention the behavior of an asappurisa who would attain saññā·vedayita·nirodha, while it mentions that of a sappurisa who would, which suggests that a person who reaches such a state can no longer be an asappurisa.

♦ An asappurisa can be recognized by the way he relates to his own and his fellows’ faults and virtues:

AN 4.73


“catūhi, bhikkhave, dhammehi samannāgato asappuriso veditabbo. katamehi
catūhi? idha, bhikkhave, asappuriso yo hoti parassa avaṇṇo taṃ apuṭṭhopi
pātu karoti, ko pana vādo puṭṭhassa! puṭṭho kho pana pañhābhinīto
ahāpetvā alambitvā paripūraṃ vitthārena parassa avaṇṇaṃ bhāsitā hoti.
veditabbametaṃ, bhikkhave, asappuriso ayaṃ bhavanti.

“Monks, a person endowed with these four qualities can be known as ‘a
person of no integrity.’ Which four? There is the case where a person of
no integrity, when unasked, reveals another person’s bad points, to say
nothing of when asked. Furthermore, when asked, when pressed with
questions, he is one who speaks of another person’s bad points in full
& in detail, without omission, without holding back. Of this person
you may know, ‘This venerable one is a person of no integrity.’

“puna caparaṃ, bhikkhave, asappuriso yo hoti parassa vaṇṇo taṃ puṭṭhopi
na pātu karoti, ko pana vādo apuṭṭhassa! puṭṭho kho pana pañhābhinīto
hāpetvā lambitvā aparipūraṃ avitthārena parassa vaṇṇaṃ bhāsitā hoti.
veditabbametaṃ, bhikkhave, asappuriso ayaṃ bhavanti.

“Then again, a person of no integrity, when asked, does not reveal
another person’s good points, to say nothing of when unasked.
Furthermore, when asked, when pressed with questions, he is one who
speaks of another person’s good points not in full, not in detail, with
omissions, holding back. Of this person you may know, ‘This venerable
one is a person of no integrity.’

“puna caparaṃ, bhikkhave, asappuriso yo hoti attano avaṇṇo taṃ puṭṭhopi
na pātu karoti, ko pana vādo apuṭṭhassa! puṭṭho kho pana pañhābhinīto
hāpetvā lambitvā aparipūraṃ avitthārena attano avaṇṇaṃ bhāsitā hoti.
veditabbametaṃ, bhikkhave, asappuriso ayaṃ bhavanti.

“Then again, a person of no integrity, when asked, does not reveal his
own bad points, to say nothing of when unasked. Furthermore, when asked,
when pressed with questions, he is one who speaks of his own bad points
not in full, not in detail, with omissions, holding back. Of this
person you may know, ‘This venerable one is a person of no integrity.’

“puna caparaṃ, bhikkhave, asappuriso yo hoti attano vaṇṇo taṃ apuṭṭhopi
pātu karoti, ko pana vādo puṭṭhassa! puṭṭho kho pana pañhābhinīto
ahāpetvā alambitvā paripūraṃ vitthārena attano vaṇṇaṃ bhāsitā hoti.
veditabbametaṃ, bhikkhave, asappuriso ayaṃ bhavanti. imehi kho,
bhikkhave, catūhi dhammehi samannāgato asappuriso veditabbo.

“Then again, a person of no integrity, when unasked, reveals his own
good points, to say nothing of when asked. Furthermore, when asked, when
pressed with questions, he is one who speaks of his own good points in
full & in detail, without omissions, without holding back. Of this
person you may know, ‘This venerable one is a person of no integrity.’



♦ According to AN 2.33, an asappurisa is ungrateful (a·kat·aññū - ‘one who doesn’t know what has been done’) and unthankful (a·kata·vedī - ‘one who doesn’t feel what has been done’).

♦ At AN 2.135, someone who, without knowing well nor investigating (an·anuvicca a·pariy·ogāhetvā), speaks in praise of someone who deserves critic (a·vaṇṇ·ārahassa vaṇṇaṃ bhāsati), or criticizes someone who deserves praise (vaṇṇ·ārahassa a·vaṇṇaṃ bhāsati), is an asappurisa. In the immediately following sutta, the same holds for believing a matter that merits suspiscion (appasādanīye ṭhāne pasādaṃ upadaṃseti) or being suspicious about a matter that merits belief (pasādanīye ṭhāne appasādaṃ upadaṃseti).

♦ At AN 2.137, one who misbehaves (micchā·paṭipajjati) towards his mother or father is an asappurisa, and in the immediately following sutta, the same holds for the Tathāgata or one of his disciples (tathāgata·sāvaka).

♦ At AN 10.61, listening to a teaching that contradicts the saddhamma is caused by association with asappurisā.



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āsava: that which flows (out or on to) outflow and influx.

1) spirit, the intoxicating extract or secretion of a tree or flower.

2) discharge from a sore (AN 3.25).

3) that which intoxicates the mind (bemuddles it,
befoozles it, so that it cannot rise to higher things). Impurities/
pollutions/ fermentations/ corruptions of the mind.

The Buddha often refers to arahatta as the total destruction of āsavas (āsavakkhaya). Sāriputta lists āsavas as threefold at MN 9:

1. kām-āsava

2. bhav-āsava

3. avijj-āsava

The Sabbāsava Sutta explains in detail how the different types of āsavas are to be eradicated.



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āsavānaṃ khayañāṇa: [āsava khaya+ñāṇa] knowledge of the ending of āsavas, which arises with arahatta. It is one of the three vijjās. The formula defining it is analyzed there.



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asmimāna: [asmi+māna]

the conceit ‘I am’.

The term asmi·māna can be considered as a variant form of māna, which constitutes one of the five saṃyojanas that disappear only with arahatta, and one of the seven anusayas. Thus, it is essentially something to get rid of.

♦ In this connection, anicca·saññā applied to the five upādāna·kkhandhas is often presented as the way to remove asmi·māna, e.g.:


SN 22.102


“kathaṃ bhāvitā ca, bhikkhave, aniccasaññā kathaṃ bahulīkatā… sabbaṃ
asmimānaṃ samūhanati? ‘iti rūpaṃ, iti rūpassa samudayo, iti rūpassa
atthaṅgamo; iti vedanā… iti saññā… iti saṅkhārā… iti viññāṇaṃ, iti
viññāṇassa samudayo, iti viññāṇassa atthaṅgamo’ti. evaṃ bhāvitā kho,
bhikkhave, aniccasaññā evaṃ bahulīkatā… sabbaṃ asmimānaṃ
samūhanatī”ti.

And how, bhikkhus, is the perception of impermanence developed and
practiced often so that it eradicates… all conceit ‘I am’? ‘Such is
Form, such its apparition, such its extinction; such is Feeling… such
is Perception… such are Fabrications… such is Consciousness, such
its apparition, such its extinction’: this is how the perception of
impermanence is developed and practiced often so that it eradicates…
all conceit ‘I am’.



In an equivalent statement, the term asmi·māna is mentioned as applying to the five upādāna·kkhandhas, and the term anicca·saññā is replaced by ‘udayabbay·ānupassī’ (observing apparition and extinction).


MN 122


pañca kho ime, ānanda, upādānakkhandhā yattha bhikkhunā
udayabbayānupassinā vihātabbaṃ. ‘iti rūpaṃ iti rūpassa samudayo iti
rūpassa atthaṅgamo, iti vedanā… iti saññā… iti saṅkhārā… iti
viññāṇaṃ iti viññāṇassa samudayo iti viññāṇassa atthaṅgamo’ti. tassa
imesu pañcasu upādānakkhandhesu udayabbayānupassino viharato yo pañcasu
upādānakkhandhesu asmimāno so pahīyati.

There are these five clinging-aggregates where a monk should stay,
keeping track of arising & passing away (thus): ‘Such is form, such
its origination, such its disappearance. Such is feeling… Such is
perception… Such are fabrications… Such is consciousness, such its
origination, such its disappearance.’ As he stays keeping track of
arising & passing away with regard to these five
clinging-aggregates, he abandons any conceit that ‘I am’ with regard to
these five clinging-aggregates.



As a matter of fact, it is revealed at AN 9.1 that anicca·saññā does not lead directly to asmi·māna·samugghāta (eradication of the conceit ‘I am’). Rather, anicca·saññā leads first to anatta·saññā, which is the actual proximate cause for that eradication to take place:


AN 9.1


Aniccasaññā bhāvetabbā asmimānasamugghātāya. Aniccasaññino, bhikkhave,
anattasaññā saṇṭhāti. anattasaññī asmimānasamugghātaṃ pāpuṇāti diṭṭheva
dhamme nibbānan”ti

The perception of inconstancy should be developed, for the eradication
of the conceit ‘I am’. In one who perceives inconstancy, bhikkhus, the
perception of non-self takes a stand. One who perceives non-self reaches
the eradication of the conceit ‘I am’, Nibbāna in this visible world.



♦ An alternative tool for abandoning asmi·māna is kāyagatāsati:


AN 1.588


ekadhamme, bhikkhave, bhāvite bahulīkate asmimāno pahīyati. katamasmiṃ ekadhamme? kāyagatāya satiyā.

When, bhikkhus, one thing is developed and practiced often, the conceit
‘I am’ is abandoned. Which one thing? Mindfulness directed to the body.



AN 6.29, which features a unique list of anussatis, provides a more specific information: it is the nine sivathika contemplations that help eradicating asmi·māna:


AN 6.29


so imameva kāyaṃ evaṃ upasaṃharati: ‘ayampi kho kāyo evaṃdhammo
evaṃbhāvī evaṃanatīto’ti. idaṃ, bhante, anussatiṭṭhānaṃ evaṃ bhāvitaṃ
evaṃ bahulīkataṃ asmimānasamugghātāya saṃvattati.

He compares this very body with it [the corpse]: ‘This body is also of
such a nature, it will become like this, it is not exempt from that.’
This subject of recollection, when developed and practiced often in this
way, leads to the eradication of the conceit ‘I am.’



♦ We find in the suttas a few illustrative evocations of asmi·māna
or its eradication. At SN 35.214, the practitioner is compared to a log
drifting on a river that will go all the way to the ocean (which stands
for nibbāna), provided it doesn’t get stopped on the way. One of the possible obstacles is asmi·māna, which is compared to ‘being cast up on high ground’ (thale ussādo).

At AN 4.38, through eradication of asmi·māna, a bhikkhu is called ‘patilīna’,
which may mean ‘reserved’, ‘quiet’, ‘unostentatious’, ‘unpretentious’,
and which the commentary explains as ‘hidden’ or ‘gone into solitude’.

At AN 5.71, one who has abandoned asmi·māna is said to be an ariya ‘with banner lowered’ (panna·ddhajo), ‘with burden dropped’ (panna·bhāra) and ‘detached’ or ‘unfettered’ (visaṃyutta).



Bodhi leaf


assāda: (apparent/sensory) satisfaction, enjoyment, gratification, sweetness, allure, happiness. Often cited together with ādīnava and nissaraṇa as characteristics to be understood regarding various dhammas: the five upādāna·kkhandhas, kāma, certain diṭṭhis etc. The assāda of a particular dhamma is generally described as the sukha and somanassa which arise on account of it. The assāda of kāma, rūpa and vedanā are explained in detail at MN 13.



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assutavā: [a+suta+vā] uninstructed/ ignorant person - lit: ‘one who has not heard/learnt’.



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asubha: [a+subha]

1) (n:) non-beauty, foulness, loathsomeness, digust, ugliness.

2) (adj:) foul, loathsome, disgusting, ugly, impure, unpleasant.

Almost synonymous with paṭikūla. The contemplation of an asubha·nimitta is the way to develop asubha·saññā.

♦ The contemplation of an asubha object is exclusively aimed at removing rāga (e.g. MN 62, AN 6.107) or at removing kāma·cchanda, which is one of the five nīvaraṇas (with the help of an asubha·nimitta, at SN 46.51 and AN 1.16).

♦ In the Aṅguttara Nikāya, the expression ‘bhikkhu asubhānupassī kāye viharati’ (a bhikkhu dwells contemplating asubha in the body) appears as a synonym for the practice of asubha·saññā (at AN 10.60), often applied specifically to kāya, and generally in conjunction with āhāre paṭikūla·saññī, sabba·loke an·abhirata·saññī, sabba·saṅkhāresu anicc·ānupassī, and maraṇa·saññ[ī]. This set of five factors is said in various synonym ways to lead to nibbāna (e.g. AN 5.69). They can also lead a sick bhikkhu to arahatta (AN 5.121). Alternatively, in some cases they lead only to anāgāmita (AN 5.122).

♦ The expression ‘asubhānupassī kāye viharati’ is also described at AN 4.163 as participating of a painful mode of practice (dukkhā paṭipadā).

♦ Seeing as subha something which is actually asubha constitutes one of four saññā·vipallāsa (distortions of perception), citta·vipallāsa (perversions of the mind), diṭṭhi·vipallāsa (inversions of views), the other three being the corresponding misunderstanding of aniccā, dukkha and anatta (AN 4.49).

♦ At SN 54.9,
the danger in this practice is made evident, as it leads many bhikkhus
to commit suicide. It can be inferred that they did not apply yoniso manasi·kāra correctly and thus multiplied their aversion instead of removing
rāga or kāma·cchanda. After the incident, the Buddha recommands ānāpānassati·samādhi as a way to gain calm, pleasantness, and allay akusala dhammas.

♦ For further information about asubha practices, see asubha·nimitta and asubha·saññā below.



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asubhanimitta: [asubha+nimitta]

sign of the unattractive, characteristic of foulness. The practice is to apply the mind to something repulsive, either per se
(corpses at various stages of putrefaction for example), or to the
repulsive aspects of something usually perceived otherwise, such as the
body (of which 31 parts are identified, see here) or food. It is worthwhile to note that this practice can be dangerous, as if the mind is not properly endowed with yoniso manasi·kāra, one may instead multiply aversion as it happens at SN 54.9, where many bhikkhus commit suicide. Generally speaking, an asubha·nimitta can also be defined as an object that allows for the practice of asubha·saññā.

♦ At SN 46.51 and AN 1.16, an asubha·nimitta is said to remove kāma·cchanda, which is one of the five nīvaraṇas. At AN 3.69, it is also said to remove rāga.

♦ One practice involving asubha·nimittas is described in most detail in the section on charnel grounds (sivathika) of the Mahā·sati·paṭṭhāna Sutta, although not directly mentioned with this terminology.

♦ For further information about asubha practices, see asubha·saññā below.



Bodhi leaf


asubhasaññā: [asubha+saññā]

perception of the unattractive, perception of foulness, perception of non-beauty. This practice is explained at AN 10.60: it consists in reviewing 31 body parts.

♦ According to AN 7.49, when one often applies his/her mind to this practice, he/she is automatically repulsed by methuna·dhamma·samāpatti (getting into sexual intercourse).

♦ The seven bojjhaṅgas can be developed in conjunction with asubha·saññā (SN 46.72).

♦ According to AN 7.27, so long as the bhikkhus practice asubha·saññā, only growth can be expected of them, not decline.

♦ In the Aṅguttara Nikāya, asubha·saññā appears almost always with āhāre paṭikūla·saññā, sabba·loke an·abhirata·saññā and maraṇa·saññā. They are often collectively recommended for the sake of understanding or removing rāga (e.g. AN 5.303).

♦ Other perceptions usually associated with asubha·saññā include anicca·saññā, anicce dukkha·saññā, anatta·saññā, ādīnava·saññā, pahāna·saññā, virāga·saññā and nirodha·saññā.



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asura: beings resembling titans or fallen angels. Considered as in a way similar to the devas, but as being in a duggati,
and thus living in misery. They are also often described as having a
hostile nature and as frequently engaging in war against the devas lead by Sakka. Their leader is called Vepacitti.



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ātāpī:

(adj:) ardent, diligent, serious in effort, zealous.

The term appears most prominently in the Satipaṭṭhāna formulas:


DN 22


bhikkhu kāye kāyānupassī viharati ātāpī sampajāno satimā, vineyya loke abhijjhā-domanassaṃ.

a bhikkhu dwells observing body in body, ardent, clearly comprehending, mindful, having given up covetousness and affliction towards the world.



It is explicitly defined at SN 16.2 in formulas reminiscent of those describing sammā·vāyāma:



“kathañcāvuso, ātāpī hoti? idhāvuso, bhikkhu ‘anuppannā me pāpakā akusalā dhammā uppajjamānā anatthāya saṃvatteyyun’ti ātappaṃ karoti,
‘uppannā me pāpakā akusalā dhammā appahīyamānā anatthāya
saṃvatteyyun’ti ātappaṃ karoti, ‘anuppannā me kusalā dhammā
anuppajjamānā anatthāya saṃvatteyyun’ti ātappaṃ karoti, ‘uppannā me
kusalā dhammā nirujjhamānā anatthāya saṃvatteyyun’ti ātappaṃ karoti.
evaṃ kho, āvuso, ātāpī hoti.

And how, friend, is one ardent? Here, friend, a bhikkhu exerts ardor [considering]: ‘If unarisen bad, unskillful mental states arise in me, it would lead to [my] misfortune’; he exerts ardor [considering]: ‘If arisen bad, unskillful mental states are not abandoned in me, it would lead to [my] misfortune’; he exerts ardor [considering]: ‘If unarisen skillful mental states do not arise in me, it would lead to [my] misfortune’; he exerts ardor [considering]: ‘If arisen skillful mental states cease in me, this may lead to [my] misfortune.’ Thus, friend, he is ardent.



This definition is extended to include the ability to endure extreme dukkha·vedanā at AN 3.50:



“yato kho, bhikkhave, bhikkhu anuppannānaṃ pāpakānaṃ akusalānaṃ dhammānaṃ anuppādāya ātappaṃ karoti,
anuppannānaṃ kusalānaṃ dhammānaṃ uppādāya ātappaṃ karoti, uppannānaṃ
sārīrikānaṃ vedanānaṃ dukkhānaṃ tibbānaṃ kharānaṃ kaṭukānaṃ asātānaṃ
amanāpānaṃ pāṇaharānaṃ adhivāsanāya ātappaṃ karoti, ayaṃ vuccati,
bhikkhave, bhikkhu ātāpī nipako sato sammā dukkhassa antakiriyāyā”ti.

Bhikkhus, when a bhikkhu exerts ardor for the non-arising of
unarisen bad, unskillful mental states, for the arising of unarisen
skillful mental states, and for enduring arisen bodily feelings that are
painful, racking, sharp, piercing, disagreeable, displeasing,
threatening life, this is called, bhikkhus, a bhikkhu who is ardent, alert, and mindful for making a correct end of ill-being.



Another example of what being ātāpī means is given at AN 4.11:



“carato cepi… ṭhitassa cepi… nisinnassa cepi… sayānassa cepi,
bhikkhave, bhikkhuno uppajjati kāmavitakko vā byāpādavitakko vā
vihiṃsāvitakko vā, taṃ ce bhikkhu nādhivāseti, pajahati vinodeti
byantīkaroti anabhāvaṃ gameti, sayānopi, bhikkhave, bhikkhu jāgaro
evaṃbhūto ‘ātāpī ottāpī satataṃ samitaṃ āraddhavīriyo pahitatto’ti vuccati.

If while walking… while standing… while sitting… while lying down a
thought of sensuality, a thought of ill will or a thought of harming
arises in a bhikkhu and he does not give in to it but abandons it,
dispels it, removes it, and brings it to complete cessation, then while
wakefully lying down that bhikkhu is said to be ardent, to fear wrongdoing and to be continually and continuously of aroused energy and resolute will.



And at AN 4.12:



“carato cepi… ṭhitassa cepi… nisinnassa cepi… sayānassa cepi,
bhikkhave, bhikkhuno jāgarassa abhijjhābyāpādo vigato hoti, thinamiddhaṃ
pahīnaṃ hoti, uddhaccakukuccaṃ pahīnaṃ hoti, vicikicchā pahīnā hoti,
āraddhaṃ hoti vīriyaṃ asallīnaṃ, upaṭṭhitā sati asammuṭṭhā, passaddho
kāyo asāraddho, samāhitaṃ cittaṃ ekaggaṃ, sayānopi, bhikkhave, bhikkhu
jāgaro evaṃbhūto ‘ātāpī ottāpī satataṃ samitaṃ āraddhavīriyo
pahitatto’ti vuccatī”ti.

If while walking… while standing… while sitting… while wakefully
lying down covetousness and ill-will have ceased in a bhikkhu, dullness
and drowsiness are abandoned, mental agitation and worry are abandoned,
doubt is abandoned, his energy is aroused relentlessly, his mindfulness
is established and unconfused, his body is tranquil and calm, his mind
is concentrated and unified, then while wakefully lying down that
bhikkhu is said to be ardent, to fear wrongdoing and to be continually and continuously of aroused energy and resolute will.



A list of terms that appear to be related to ātappaṃ karoti and may help gathering the meaning of ātāpī is given at SN 12.87: sikkhā karoti (practice the training), yoga karoti (exert dedication), chanda karoti (stir up the desire), ussoḷhī karoti (make an exertion), appaṭivānī karoti (exert persistence), vīriyaṃ karoti (exert energy), sātaccaṃ karoti (exert perseverance), sati karoti (exert mindfulness), sampajaññaṃ karoti (exert clear comprehension), appamādo karoti (exert heedfulness).


SN 12.87


upādānaṃ, bhikkhave, ajānatā apassatā yathābhūtaṃ upādāne yathābhūtaṃ
ñāṇāya sikkhā karaṇīyā… yogo karaṇīyo… chando karaṇīyo… ussoḷhī
karaṇīyā… appaṭivānī karaṇīyā… ātappaṃ karaṇīyaṃ… vīriyaṃ karaṇīyaṃ… sātaccaṃ karaṇīyaṃ… sati karaṇīyā… sampajaññaṃ karaṇīyaṃ.. appamādo karaṇīyo.

Bhikkhus, one who does not know, who does not see attachment as it
really is should practice the training… exert dedication… stir up
the desire… make an exertion… exert persistence… exert ardor
exert energy… exert perseverance… exert mindfulness… exert clear
comprehension… exert heedfulness in order to know it as it really is.



Another list is found at DN 3 and adds padhāna, anuyoga and sammā·manasikāra (probably a synonym for yoniso manasikāra):


DN 3


ekacco samaṇo vā brāhmaṇo vā ātappamanvāya padhānamanvāya anuyogamanvāya appamādamanvāya sammāmanasikāramanvāya tathārūpaṃ cetosamādhiṃ phusati

Some renuniciate or brahmin, by means of ardor, by means of
effort, by means of dedication, by means of heedfulness, by means of
proper consideration, attains such a concentration of the mind



Some suttas help understanding what being ātāpī means, as they explain what may happen when the practitioner is in that state:


SN 36.7


“tassa ce, bhikkhave, bhikkhuno evaṃ satassa sampajānassa appamattassa ātāpino
pahitattassa viharato uppajjati sukhā vedanā… dukkhā vedanā. so evaṃ
pajānāti: ‘uppannā kho myāyaṃ dukkhā vedanā. sā ca kho paṭicca, no
appaṭicca. kiṃ paṭicca? imameva kāyaṃ paṭicca. ayaṃ kho pana kāyo anicco
saṅkhato paṭiccasamuppanno. aniccaṃ kho pana saṅkhataṃ
paṭiccasamuppannaṃ kāyaṃ paṭicca uppannā dukkhā vedanā kuto niccā
bhavissatī’ti! so kāye ca dukkhāya vedanāya aniccānupassī viharati,
vayānupassī viharati, virāgānupassī viharati, nirodhānupassī viharati,
paṭinissaggānupassī viharati. tassa kāye ca dukkhāya ca vedanāya
aniccānupassino viharato, vayānupassino viharato, virāgānupassino
viharato, nirodhānupassino viharato, paṭinissaggānupassino viharato, yo
kāye ca dukkhāya ca vedanāya paṭighānusayo, so pahīyati.

As a monk is dwelling thus mindful & alert — heedful, ardent,
& resolute — a feeling of pleasure… a feeling of pain arises in
him. He discerns that ‘A feeling of pain has arisen in me. It is
dependent on a requisite condition, not independent. Dependent on what?
Dependent on this body. Now, this body is inconstant, fabricated,
dependently co-arisen. Being dependent on a body that is inconstant,
fabricated, & dependently co-arisen, how can this feeling of pain
that has arisen be constant?’ He remains focused on inconstancy with
regard to the body & to the feeling of pain. He remains focused on
dissolution… dispassion… cessation… relinquishment with regard to
the body & to the feeling of pain. As he remains focused on
inconstancy… dissolution… dispassion… cessation… relinquishment
with regard to the body & to the feeling of pain, he abandons any
resistance-obsession with regard to the body & the feeling of pain.

“tassa ce, bhikkhave, bhikkhuno evaṃ satassa sampajānassa appamattassa ātāpino pahitattassa viharato uppajjati adukkhamasukhā vedanā… yo kāye ca adukkhamasukhāya ca vedanāya avijjānusayo, so pahīyati.

As he is dwelling thus mindful & alert — heedful, ardent,
& resolute — a feeling of neither-pleasure-nor-pain arises in him…
he abandons any ignorance-obsession with regard to the body & the
feeling of neither-pleasure-nor-pain.



For a more refined understanding of the expression
and what it may have meant at the time, it is interesting to study
related words. We may start by noting that the closest word in Sanskrit
is ātapya (आतप्य), meaning ‘being in the sunshine’.

1) The first shade of meaning is best illustrated by the verb tapati, meaning ‘to shine’, as at SN 1.26: ‘divā tapati ādicco’ (the sun shines by day) or at SN 21.11: ’sannaddho khattiyo tapati’ (the khattiya shines clad in armor).

2) The second shade of meaning can be derived
from the first by noting that staying where the sun shines in a
tropical climate generally turns out to be a hot and unpleasant
experience, which may be how tapati comes to refer to the dukkha·vipāka that arises as a result of akusala kamma. Thus, at AN 10.141, the tenfold micchā·paṭipadā is called ‘the teaching that causes torment’ (tapanīyo dhammo). AN 2.3 provides more detail about the workings of these torments:



“dveme, bhikkhave, dhammā tapanīyā. katame dve? idha, bhikkhave,
ekaccassa kāyaduccaritaṃ kataṃ hoti, akataṃ hoti kāyasucaritaṃ;
vacīduccaritaṃ kataṃ hoti; akataṃ hoti vacīsucaritaṃ; manoduccaritaṃ
kataṃ hoti, akataṃ hoti manosucaritaṃ. so ‘kāyaduccaritaṃ me katan’ti tappati, ‘akataṃ me kāyasucaritan’ti tappati; ‘vacīduccaritaṃ me katan’ti tappati, ‘akataṃ me vacīsucaritan’ti tappati; ‘manoduccaritaṃ me katan’ti tappati, ‘akataṃ me manosucaritan’ti tappati. ime kho, bhikkhave, dve dhammā tapanīyā”ti.

Bhikkhus, these two things cause torment. Which two? Here,
bhikkhus, someone has performed bodily misconduct and has not performed
bodily good conduct; he has performed verbal misconduct and has not
performed verbal good conduct; he has performed mental misconduct and
has not performed mental good conduct. He is tormented, [thinking]: ‘I have performed bodily misconduct’; he is tormented, [thinking]: ‘I have not performed bodily good conduct’; he is tormented, [thinking]: ‘I have performed verbal misconduct’; he is tormented, [thinking]: ‘I have not performed verbal good conduct’; he is tormented, [thinking]: ‘I have performed mental misconduct’; he is tormented, [thinking]: ‘I have not performed mental good conduct.’ These, bhikkhus, are two things that cause torment.



We also find various instances of words related to tapati, used to refer to dukkha·vipāka and the remorse the wrong-doer experiences:


SN 2.8


akataṃ dukkaṭaṃ seyyo, pacchā tapati dukkaṭaṃ.

Better left undone is a wrong deed, for a wrong deed later brings torment.




SN 2.22


na taṃ kammaṃ kataṃ sādhu, yaṃ katvā anutappati.

An action which, once performed, brings torment is not well done.




Dhp 17


idha tappati pecca tappati,
pāpakārī ubhayattha tappati.
‘pāpaṃ me katan’ti tappati,
bhiyyo tappati duggatiṃ gato.

The evil-doer is tormented here and is tormented hereafter,
He is tormented in both [worlds].
He is tormented, [thinking]: ‘I have done evil [things]’,
And he is tormented even more when gone to a bad destination [after death].



3) The third shade of meaning is also derived from
the first, as staying in the sunshine can also be a symbol for making an
effort, for example to earn one’s living:


AN 5.33


“yo naṃ bharati sabbadā,
niccaṃ ātāpi ussuko.
sabbakāmaharaṃ posaṃ,
bhattāraṃ nātimaññati.

The one who always supports her
Constantly ardent and zealous
The man who brings what she desires,
Her husband she does not despise.



In another example, someone overcome by the three akusala·mūlas does not make an effort to correct the falsehood that is said to him:


AN 3.70


abhūtena vuccamāno ātappaṃ karoti tassa nibbeṭhanāya itipetaṃ atacchaṃ itipetaṃ abhūtanti.

When he is told things that are not factual, he makes an effort to correct it: ‘It is not true because of this, it is not factual because of this’.



4) The fourth connotation, stronger, is that of asceticism or austerities.


MN 12


iti evarūpaṃ anekavihitaṃ kāyassa ātāpana-paritāpan-ānuyogamanuyutto viharāmi. idaṃsu me, sāriputta, tapassitāya hoti.

Thus in such a variety of ways I dwelt pursuing the practice of tormenting and mortifying the body. Such was my asceticism.



Those austerities are depicted at MN 51:




“katamo ca, bhikkhave, puggalo attantapo attaparitāpanānuyogamanuyutto?
idha, bhikkhave, ekacco puggalo acelako hoti muttācāro hatthāpalekhano
naehibhaddantiko natiṭṭhabhaddantiko; nābhihaṭaṃ na uddissakataṃ na
nimantanaṃ sādiyati; so na kumbhimukhā paṭiggaṇhāti na kaḷopimukhā
paṭiggaṇhāti na eḷakamantaraṃ na daṇḍamantaraṃ na musalamantaraṃ na
dvinnaṃ bhuñjamānānaṃ na gabbhiniyā na pāyamānāya na purisantaragatāya
na saṅkittīsu na yattha sā upaṭṭhito hoti na yattha makkhikā
saṇḍasaṇḍacārinī; na macchaṃ na maṃsaṃ na suraṃ na merayaṃ na thusodakaṃ
pivati. so ekāgāriko vā hoti ekālopiko, dvāgāriko vā hoti dvālopiko…
sattāgāriko vā hoti sattālopiko; ekissāpi dattiyā yāpeti, dvīhipi
dattīhi yāpeti… sattahipi dattīhi yāpeti; ekāhikampi āhāraṃ āhāreti,
dvīhikampi āhāraṃ āhāreti… sattāhikampi āhāraṃ āhāreti iti evarūpaṃ
aḍḍhamāsikaṃ pariyāyabhattabhojanānuyogamanuyutto viharati. so
sākabhakkho vā hoti, sāmākabhakkho vā hoti, nīvārabhakkho vā hoti,
daddulabhakkho vā hoti, haṭabhakkho vā hoti, kaṇabhakkho vā hoti,
ācāmabhakkho vā hoti, piññākabhakkho vā hoti, tiṇabhakkho vā hoti,
gomayabhakkho vā hoti; vanamūlaphalāhāro yāpeti pavattaphalabhojī. so
sāṇānipi dhāreti, masāṇānipi dhāreti, chavadussānipi dhāreti,
paṃsukūlānipi dhāreti, tirīṭānipi dhāreti, ajinampi dhāreti,
ajinakkhipampi dhāreti, kusacīrampi dhāreti, vākacīrampi dhāreti,
phalakacīrampi dhāreti, kesakambalampi dhāreti, vāḷakambalampi dhāreti,
ulūkapakkhampi dhāreti; kesamassulocakopi hoti,
kesamassulocanānuyogamanuyutto, ubbhaṭṭhakopi hoti āsanapaṭikkhitto,
ukkuṭikopi hoti ukkuṭikappadhānamanuyutto, kaṇṭakāpassayikopi hoti
kaṇṭakāpassaye seyyaṃ kappeti; sāyatatiyakampi
udakorohanānuyogamanuyutto viharati iti evarūpaṃ anekavihitaṃ kāyassa ātāpanaparitāpanānuyogamanuyutto viharati. ayaṃ vuccati, bhikkhave, puggalo attantapo attaparitāpanānuyogamanuyutto.

And what, bhikkhus, is the person who torments himself and pursues the practice of mortifying
himself? Here, bhikkhus, a certain person goes naked, rejecting
conventions, licking his hands, not coming when asked, not stopping when
asked; he does not accept food brought or food specially made or an
invitation to a meal; he receives nothing from a pot, from a bowl,
across a threshold, across a stick, across a pestle, from two eating
together, from a pregnant woman, from a woman giving suck, from a woman
lying with a man, from where food was advertised to be distributed, from
where a dog was waiting, from where flies were buzzing; he accepts no
fish or meat, he drinks no liquor, wine or fermented brew. He keeps to
one house, to one morsel; he keeps to two houses, to two morsels;… he
keeps to seven houses, to seven morsels. He lives on one saucerful a
day, on two saucerfuls a day… on seven saucerfuls a day; he takes food
once a day, once every two days… once every seven days, and so on up
to once every fortnight; he dwels pursuing the practice of taking food
at stated intervals. He is an eater of greens or millet or wild rice or
hide-parings or moss or ricebran or rice-scum or sesamum flour or grass
or cowdung. He lives on forest roots and fruits, he feeds on fallen
fruits. He clothes himself in hemp, in hemp-mixed cloth, in shrouds, in
refuse rags, in tree bark, in antelope hide, in strips of antelope hide,
in kusa-grass fabric, in bark fabric, in wood-shavings fabric, in
head-hair wool, in animal wool, in owls’ wings. He is one who pulls out
hair and beard, pursuing the practice of pulling out hair and beard. He
is one who stands continuously, rejecting seats. He is one who squats
continuously, devoted to maintaining the squatting position. He is one
who uses a mattress of spikes; he makes a mattress of spikes his bed. He
dwells pursuing the practice of bathing in water three times daily
including the evening. Thus in such a variety of ways he dwells pursuing
the practice of tormenting and mortifying the body. This, bhikkhus, is what is called the person who torments himself and pursues the practice of mortifying himself.



Given on one hand this close proximity of the term ātāpī with the vocabulary of austerity and mortification and on the other the fact that the Buddha recommends being ātāpī (most prominently in the satipaṭṭhāna
formulas), and knowing he also rejected self-mortification, in order to
understand more precisely what he meant exactly by being ātāpī, it would appear useful to examine in greater details what his wider position was in regards to austerity.

First of all, it should be borne in mind that the
Buddha clearly rejects the pursuit of self-mortification in his first
recorded discourse, the Dhamma·cakka·ppavattana Sutta:


SN 56.11


“dveme, bhikkhave, antā pabbajitena na sevitabbā. katame dve? yo cāyaṃ
kāmesu kāmasukhallikānuyogo hīno gammo pothujjaniko anariyo
anatthasaṃhito, yo cāyaṃ attakilamathānuyogo dukkho anariyo anatthasaṃhito.

These two extremes, bhikkhus, should not be adopted by one who has gone
forth from the home life. Which two? On one hand, the pursuit of
hedonism towards sensuality, which is inferior, vulgar, common, ignoble,
deprived of benefit, and on the other hand the pursuit of self-mortification, which is painful, ignoble and deprived of benefit.



But at AN 10.94,
the Buddha says he does not reject categorically both “all austerity”
and “all ascetics leading the rough life”, as it all depends on whether
their practice removes unwholesome states and brings about wholesome
ones, or not:




“saccaṃ kira, gahapati, samaṇo gotamo sabbaṃ tapaṃ garahati, sabbaṃ tapassiṃ lūkhājīviṃ ekaṃsena upakkosati upavadatī”ti?


“Is it true, householder, that Gotama the contemplative criticizes all asceticism, that he categorically denounces & disparages all ascetics who live the rough life?”


“na kho, bhante, bhagavā sabbaṃ tapaṃ garahati napi sabbaṃ tapassiṃ lūkhājīviṃ ekaṃsena upakkosati upavadati.


“No, venerable sirs, the Blessed One does not criticize all asceticism, nor does he categorically denounce or disparage all ascetics who live the rough life.

… [The Blessed One:]

nāhaṃ, gahapati, sabbaṃ tapaṃ tapitabbanti vadāmi; na ca panāhaṃ, gahapati, sabbaṃ tapaṃ na tapitabbanti
vadāmi; nāhaṃ, gahapati, sabbaṃ samādānaṃ samāditabbanti vadāmi; na
panāhaṃ, gahapati, sabbaṃ samādānaṃ na samāditabbanti vadāmi; nāhaṃ,
gahapati, sabbaṃ padhānaṃ padahitabbanti vadāmi; na panāhaṃ, gahapati,
sabbaṃ padhānaṃ na padahitabbanti vadāmi; nāhaṃ, gahapati, sabbo
paṭinissaggo paṭinissajjitabboti vadāmi. na panāhaṃ, gahapati, sabbo
paṭinissaggo na paṭinissajjitabboti vadāmi; nāhaṃ, gahapati, sabbā
vimutti vimuccitabbāti vadāmi; na panāhaṃ, gahapati, sabbā vimutti na
vimuccitabbāti vadāmi.

I don’t say that all asceticism is to be pursued, nor do I say that all asceticism is not to be pursued.
I don’t say that all observances should be observed, nor do I say that
all observances should not be observed. I don’t say that all exertions
are to be pursued, nor do I say that all exertions are not to be
pursued. I don’t say that all forfeiture should be forfeited, nor do I
say that all forfeiture should not be forfeited. I don’t say that all
release is to be used for release, nor do I say that all release is not
to be used for release.

“yañhi, gahapati, tapaṃ tapato akusalā dhammā abhivaḍḍhanti, kusalā dhammā parihāyanti, evarūpaṃ tapaṃ na tapitabbanti vadāmi. yañca khvassa gahapati, tapaṃ tapato akusalā dhammā parihāyanti, kusalā dhammā abhivaḍḍhanti, evarūpaṃ tapaṃ tapitabbanti vadāmi.

“If, when an ascetic practice is pursued, unskillful qualities grow and skillful qualities wane, then I tell you that that sort of asceticism is not to be pursued. But if, when an ascetic practice is pursued, unskillful qualities wane and skillful qualities grow, then I tell you that that sort of asceticism is to be pursued.

“yañhi, gahapati, samādānaṃ samādiyato… padhānaṃ padahato…
paṭinissaggaṃ paṭinissajjato… vimuttiṃ vimuccato akusalā dhammā
abhivaḍḍhanti, kusalā dhammā parihāyanti, evarūpā vimutti na
vimuccitabbāti vadāmi. yañca khvassa, gahapati, vimuttiṃ vimuccato
akusalā dhammā parihāyanti, kusalā dhammā abhivaḍḍhanti, evarūpā vimutti
vimuccitabbāti vadāmī”ti.

“If, when an observance is observed… when an exertion is pursued… a
forfeiture is forfeited… a release is used for release, unskillful
qualities grow and skillful qualities wane, then I tell you that that
sort of release is not to be used for release. But if, when a release is
used for release, unskillful qualities wane and skillful qualities
grow, then I tell you that that sort of release is to be used for
release.”



But again, by contrast, at SN 42.12, while still not
rejecting categorically both “all austerity” and “all ascetics leading
the rough life”, the Buddha does seem to reject categorically the fact
of ‘attānaṃ ātāpeti paritāpeti’ (tormenting and torturing oneself), by presenting it as a reason good enough by itself to draw disapproval:

SN 42.12


ekamantaṃ nisinno kho rāsiyo gāmaṇi bhagavantaṃ etadavoca:

Having sat down to one side, Rasiya the headman said to the Blessed One:


“sutaṃ metaṃ, bhante, ‘samaṇo gotamo sabbaṃ tapaṃ garahati, sabbaṃ tapassiṃ
lūkhajīviṃ ekaṃsena upavadati upakkosatī’ti . ye te, bhante,
evamāhaṃsu… kacci te, bhante, bhagavato vuttavādino, na ca bhagavantaṃ
abhūtena abbhācikkhanti, dhammassa cānudhammaṃ byākaronti, na ca koci
sahadhammiko vādānuvādo gārayhaṃ ṭhānaṃ āgacchatī”ti?


Bhante, I have heard: ‘The renunciate Gotama disapproves of all austerity, he categorically criticizes and blames all ascetics leading a rough life.’
Those who say this, Bhante… do they speak in line with what the
Blessed One has said, do they not misrepresent the Blessed One with what
is contrary to fact, do they answer in line with the Dhamma, so that no
one whose thinking is in line with the Dhamma would have grounds for
criticizing them?


“ye te, gāmaṇi, evamāhaṃsu… na me te vuttavādino, abbhācikkhanti ca pana maṃ te asatā tucchā abhūtena”.


Those who say this, headman, do not speak in line with what I have said,
and they misrepresent me with what is false and contrary to fact.

“tatra, gāmaṇi, yvāyaṃ tapassī lūkhajīvī attānaṃ ātāpeti paritāpeti,
kusalañca dhammaṃ adhigacchati, uttari ca manussadhammā
alamariyañāṇadassanavisesaṃ sacchikaroti. ayaṃ, gāmaṇi, tapassī
lūkhajīvī ekena ṭhānena gārayho, dvīhi ṭhānehi pāsaṃso. katamena ekena
ṭhānena gārayho? attānaṃ ātāpeti paritāpetīti, iminā ekena
ṭhānena gārayho. katamehi dvīhi ṭhānehi pāsaṃso? kusalañca dhammaṃ
adhigacchatīti, iminā paṭhamena ṭhānena pāsaṃso. uttari ca manussadhammā
alamariyañāṇadassanavisesaṃ sacchikarotīti, iminā dutiyena ṭhānena
pāsaṃso.

Here, headman, regarding the ascetic leading a rough life who torments and tortures
himself, yet achieves a wholesome state and realizes a supra-human
state, an attainment in knowledge and vision that is suitable to the
noble ones, this ascetic leading a rough life, headman, may be
disapproved of on one ground and praised on two grounds. And what is the
one ground on which he may be disapproved of? He torments and tortures
himself: this is the one ground on which he may be disapproved of. And
what are the two grounds on which he may be praised? He achieves a
wholesome state: this is the first ground on which he may be praised. He
realizes a supra-human state, an attainment in knowledge and vision
that is suitable to the noble ones: this is the second ground on which
he may be praised.



Yet the exact same combination of verbs, ‘ātāpeti paritāpeti’ (meaning here to heat and burn),
is also used (although with a different connotation) at MN 101 in a
simile illustrating a recommended kind of unpleasant practice:


MN 101


“kathañca, bhikkhave, saphalo upakkamo hoti, saphalaṃ padhānaṃ? idha,
bhikkhave, bhikkhu na heva anaddhabhūtaṃ attānaṃ dukkhena addhabhāveti,
dhammikañca sukhaṃ na pariccajati, tasmiñca sukhe anadhimucchito hoti.
so evaṃ pajānāti: ‘imassa kho me dukkhanidānassa saṅkhāraṃ padahato
saṅkhārappadhānā virāgo hoti, imassa pana me dukkhanidānassa
ajjhupekkhato upekkhaṃ bhāvayato virāgo hotī’ti. so yassa hi khvāssa
dukkhanidānassa saṅkhāraṃ padahato saṅkhārappadhānā virāgo hoti,
saṅkhāraṃ tattha padahati. yassa panassa dukkhanidānassa ajjhupekkhato
upekkhaṃ bhāvayato virāgo hoti, upekkhaṃ tattha bhāveti. tassa tassa
dukkhanidānassa saṅkhāraṃ padahato saṅkhārappadhānā virāgo hoti.
evampissa taṃ dukkhaṃ nijjiṇṇaṃ hoti. tassa tassa dukkhanidānassa
ajjhupekkhato upekkhaṃ bhāvayato virāgo hoti. evampissa taṃ dukkhaṃ
nijjiṇṇaṃ hoti.

“And how is striving fruitful, how is exertion fruitful? There is the
case where a monk, when not loaded down, does not load himself down with
pain, nor does he reject pleasure that accords with the Dhamma,
although he is not fixated on that pleasure. He discerns that ‘When I
exert a [physical, verbal, or mental] fabrication against this cause of
stress, then from the fabrication of exertion there is dispassion. When I
look on with equanimity at that cause of stress, then from the
development of equanimity there is dispassion.’ So he exerts a
fabrication against the cause of stress where there comes dispassion
from the fabrication of exertion, and develops equanimity with regard to
the cause of stress where there comes dispassion from the development
of equanimity. Thus the stress coming from the cause of stress for which
there is dispassion through the fabrication of exertion is exhausted
& the stress resulting from the cause of stress for which there is
dispassion through the development of equanimity is exhausted.

“seyyathāpi, bhikkhave, puriso itthiyā sāratto paṭibaddhacitto
tibbacchando tibbāpekkho. so taṃ itthiṃ passeyya aññena purisena saddhiṃ
santiṭṭhantiṃ sallapantiṃ sañjagghantiṃ saṃhasantiṃ. taṃ kiṃ maññatha,
bhikkhave, api nu tassa purisassa amuṃ itthiṃ disvā aññena purisena
saddhiṃ santiṭṭhantiṃ sallapantiṃ sañjagghantiṃ saṃhasantiṃ uppajjeyyuṃ
soka-parideva-dukkha-domanass-ūpāyāsā”ti?

“Suppose that a man is in love with a woman, his mind ensnared with
fierce desire, fierce passion. He sees her standing with another man,
chatting, joking, & laughing. What do you think, monks: As he sees
her standing with another man, chatting, joking, & laughing, would
sorrow, lamentation, pain, distress, & despair arise in him?”


“evaṃ, bhante”.


“Yes, lord.


“taṃ kissa hetu”?


Why is that?


“amu hi, bhante, puriso amussā itthiyā sāratto paṭibaddhacitto
tibbacchando tibbāpekkho… soka-parideva-dukkha-domanass-ūpāyāsā”ti.


Because he is in love with her, his mind ensnared with fierce desire,
fierce passion… sorrow, lamentation, pain, distress, & despair
would arise in him.


“atha kho, bhikkhave, tassa purisassa evamassa: ‘ahaṃ kho amussā itthiyā
sāratto paṭibaddhacitto tibbacchando tibbāpekkho. tassa me amuṃ itthiṃ
disvā aññena purisena saddhiṃ santiṭṭhantiṃ sallapantiṃ sañjagghantiṃ
saṃhasantiṃ uppajjanti sokaparidevadukkhadomanassūpāyāsā. yaṃnūnāhaṃ yo
me amussā itthiyā chandarāgo taṃ pajaheyyan’ti. so yo amussā itthiyā
chandarāgo taṃ pajaheyya. so taṃ itthiṃ passeyya aparena samayena aññena
purisena saddhiṃ santiṭṭhantiṃ sallapantiṃ sañjagghantiṃ saṃhasantiṃ.
taṃ kiṃ maññatha, bhikkhave, api nu tassa purisassa amuṃ itthiṃ disvā
aññena purisena saddhiṃ santiṭṭhantiṃ sallapantiṃ sañjagghantiṃ
saṃhasantiṃ uppajjeyyuṃ sokaparidevadukkhadomanassūpāyāsā”ti?


“Now suppose the thought were to occur to him, ‘I am in love with this
woman, my mind ensnared with fierce desire, fierce passion. When I see
her standing with another man, chatting, joking, & laughing, then
sorrow, lamentation, pain, distress, & despair arise within me. Why
don’t I abandon my desire & passion for that woman?’ So he abandons
his desire & passion for that woman, and afterwards sees her
standing with another man, chatting, joking, & laughing. What do you
think, monks: As he sees her standing with another man, chatting,
joking, & laughing, would sorrow, lamentation, pain, distress, &
despair arise in him?”


“no hetaṃ, bhante”.


“No, lord.


“taṃ kissa hetu”?


Why is that?


“amu hi, bhante, puriso amussā itthiyā virāgo. tasmā taṃ itthiṃ disvā
aññena purisena saddhiṃ santiṭṭhantiṃ sallapantiṃ sañjagghantiṃ
saṃhasantiṃ na uppajjeyyuṃ sokaparidevadukkhadomanassūpāyāsā”ti.


He is dispassionate toward that woman. As he sees her standing with
another man, chatting, joking, & laughing, sorrow, lamentation,
pain, distress, & despair would not arise in him.


“evameva kho, bhikkhave, bhikkhu na heva anaddhabhūtaṃ attānaṃ dukkhena
addhabhāveti, dhammikañca sukhaṃ na pariccajati, tasmiñca sukhe
anadhimucchito hoti. so evaṃ pajānāti: ‘imassa kho me dukkhanidānassa
saṅkhāraṃ padahato saṅkhārappadhānā virāgo hoti, imassa pana me
dukkhanidānassa ajjhupekkhato upekkhaṃ bhāvayato virāgo hotī’ti. so
yassa hi khvāssa dukkhanidānassa saṅkhāraṃ padahato saṅkhārappadhānā
virāgo hoti, saṅkhāraṃ tattha padahati; yassa panassa dukkhanidānassa
ajjhupekkhato upekkhaṃ bhāvayato virāgo hoti, upekkhaṃ tattha bhāveti.
tassa tassa dukkhanidānassa saṅkhāraṃ padahato saṅkhārappadhānā virāgo
hoti: evampissa taṃ dukkhaṃ nijjiṇṇaṃ hoti. tassa tassa dukkhanidānassa
ajjhupekkhato upekkhaṃ bhāvayato virāgo hoti: evampissa taṃ dukkhaṃ
nijjiṇṇaṃ hoti. evampi, bhikkhave, saphalo upakkamo hoti, saphalaṃ
padhānaṃ.


“In the same way, the monk, when not loaded down, does not load himself
down with pain, nor does he reject pleasure that accords with the
Dhamma, although he is not infatuated with that pleasure. He discerns
that ‘When I exert a [physical, verbal, or mental] fabrication against
this cause of stress, then from the fabrication of exertion there is
dispassion. When I look on with equanimity at that cause of stress, then
from the development of equanimity there is dispassion.’ So he exerts a
fabrication against the cause of stress where there comes dispassion
from the fabrication of exertion, and develops equanimity with regard to
the cause of stress where there comes dispassion from the development
of equanimity. Thus the stress coming from the cause of stress for which
there is dispassion through the fabrication of exertion is exhausted
& the stress resulting from the cause of stress for which there is
dispassion through the development of equanimity is exhausted. This,
bhikkhus, is how striving is fruitful, how exertion is fruitful.

“puna caparaṃ, bhikkhave, bhikkhu iti paṭisañcikkhati: ‘yathāsukhaṃ kho
me viharato akusalā dhammā abhivaḍḍhanti, kusalā dhammā parihāyanti;
dukkhāya pana me attānaṃ padahato akusalā dhammā parihāyanti, kusalā
dhammā abhivaḍḍhanti. yaṃnūnāhaṃ dukkhāya attānaṃ padaheyyan’ti. so
dukkhāya attānaṃ padahati. tassa dukkhāya attānaṃ padahato akusalā
dhammā parihāyanti kusalā dhammā abhivaḍḍhanti. so na aparena samayena
dukkhāya attānaṃ padahati. taṃ kissa hetu? yassa hi so, bhikkhave,
bhikkhu atthāya dukkhāya attānaṃ padaheyya svāssa attho abhinipphanno
hoti. tasmā na aparena samayena dukkhāya attānaṃ padahati.

“Furthermore, the monk notices this: ‘When I live according to my
pleasure, unskillful mental qualities increase in me & skillful
qualities decline. When I exert myself with stress & pain, though,
unskillful qualities decline in me & skillful qualities increase.
Why don’t I exert myself with stress & pain?’ So he exerts himself
with stress & pain, and while he is exerting himself with stress
& pain, unskillful qualities decline in him, & skillful
qualities increase. Then at a later time he would no longer exert
himself with stress & pain. Why is that? Because he has attained the
goal for which he was exerting himself with stress & pain. That is
why, at a later time, he would no longer exert himself with stress &
pain.

seyyathāpi, bhikkhave, usukāro tejanaṃ dvīsu alātesu ātāpeti paritāpeti ujuṃ karoti kammaniyaṃ. yato kho, bhikkhave, usukārassa tejanaṃ dvīsu alātesu ātāpitaṃ hoti paritāpitaṃ ujuṃ kataṃ kammaniyaṃ, na so taṃ aparena samayena usukāro tejanaṃ dvīsu alātesu ātāpeti paritāpeti ujuṃ karoti kammaniyaṃ. taṃ kissa hetu? yassa hi so, bhikkhave, atthāya usukāro tejanaṃ dvīsu alātesu ātāpeyya paritāpeyya ujuṃ kareyya kammaniyaṃ svāssa attho abhinipphanno hoti. tasmā na aparena samayena usukāro tejanaṃ dvīsu alātesu ātāpeti paritāpeti ujuṃ karoti kammaniyaṃ.

“Suppose a fletcher were to heat & warm an arrow shaft between two flames, making it straight & pliable. Then at a later time he would no longer heat & warm the shaft between two flames, making it straight & pliable. Why is that? Because he has attained the goal for which he was heating & warming the shaft. That is why at a later time he would no longer heat & warm the shaft between two flames, making it straight & pliable.

evameva kho, bhikkhave, bhikkhu iti paṭisañcikkhati: ‘yathāsukhaṃ kho me
viharato akusalā dhammā abhivaḍḍhanti, kusalā dhammā parihāyanti; dukkhāya pana me attānaṃ padahato akusalā dhammā parihāyanti, kusalā dhammā abhivaḍḍhanti. yaṃnūnāhaṃ dukkhāya attānaṃ padaheyyan’ti. so dukkhāya attānaṃ padahati. tassa dukkhāya attānaṃ padahato akusalā dhammā parihāyanti, kusalā dhammā abhivaḍḍhanti. so na aparena samayena dukkhāya attānaṃ padahati. taṃ kissa hetu? yassa hi so, bhikkhave, bhikkhu atthāya dukkhāya attānaṃ padaheyya svāssa attho abhinipphanno hoti. tasmā na aparena samayena dukkhāya attānaṃ padahati. evampi, bhikkhave, saphalo upakkamo hoti, saphalaṃ padhānaṃ.

“In the same way, the monk notices this: ‘When I live according to my
pleasure, unskillful mental qualities increase in me & skillful
qualities decline. When I exert myself with stress & pain, though, unskillful qualities decline in me & skillful qualities increase. Why don’t I exert myself with stress & pain?’ So he exerts himself with stress & pain, and while he is exerting himself with stress & pain, unskillful qualities decline in him, & skillful qualities increase. Then at a later time he would no longer exert himself with stress & pain. Why is that? Because he has attained the goal for which he was exerting himself with stress & pain. That is why, at a later time, he would no longer exert himself with stress & pain. This is how striving is fruitful, how exertion is fruitful.



Examples of some inherently unpleasant practices are mentioned elsewhere:


AN 4.163


“katamā ca, bhikkhave, dukkhā paṭipadā dandhābhiññā? idha,
bhikkhave, bhikkhu asubhānupassī kāye viharati, āhāre paṭikūlasaññī,
sabbaloke anabhiratisaññī, sabbasaṅkhāresu aniccānupassī; maraṇasaññā
kho panassa ajjhattaṃ sūpaṭṭhitā hoti.

“And which is painful practice … ? There is the case where a
monk remains focused on unattractiveness with regard to the body,
percipient of loathsomeness with regard to food, percipient of
non-delight with regard to the entire world, (and) focused on
inconstancy with regard to all fabrications. The perception of death is
well established within him.



A reason why some practices may become unpleasant is also mentioned at AN 4.162:



“katamā ca, bhikkhave, dukkhā paṭipadā … ? idha, bhikkhave,
ekacco pakatiyāpi tibbarāgajātiko hoti, abhikkhaṇaṃ rāgajaṃ dukkhaṃ
domanassaṃ paṭisaṃvedeti. pakatiyāpi tibbadosajātiko hoti, abhikkhaṇaṃ
dosajaṃ dukkhaṃ domanassaṃ paṭisaṃvedeti. pakatiyāpi tibbamohajātiko
hoti, abhikkhaṇaṃ mohajaṃ dukkhaṃ domanassaṃ paṭisaṃvedeti.

“And which is painful practice … ? There is the case where a
certain individual is normally of an intensely passionate nature. He
perpetually experiences pain & distress born of passion. Or he is
normally of an intensely aversive nature. He perpetually experiences
pain & distress born of aversion. Or he is normally of an intensely
deluded nature. He perpetually experiences pain & distress born of
delusion.



The Buddha also goes so far as to accept the appellation ‘one who tortures [himself]’ (tapassī), saying that what he has tortured were actually akusala dhammas:


AN 8.12


“katamo ca, sīha, pariyāyo, yena maṃ pariyāyena sammā vadamāno vadeyya: ‘tapassī samaṇo gotamo, tapassitāya dhammaṃ deseti, tena ca sāvake vinetī’ti? tapanīyāhaṃ, sīha, pāpake akusale dhamme vadāmi kāyaduccaritaṃ vacīduccaritaṃ manoduccaritaṃ. yassa kho, sīha, tapanīyā pāpakā akusalā dhammā pahīnā ucchinnamūlā tālāvatthukatā anabhāvaṃkatā āyatiṃ anuppādadhammā, tamahaṃ ‘tapassī’ti vadāmi. tathāgatassa kho, sīha, tapanīyā
pāpakā akusalā dhammā pahīnā ucchinnamūlā tālāvatthukatā anabhāvaṃkatā
āyatiṃ anuppādadhammā. ayaṃ kho, sīha, pariyāyo, yena maṃ pariyāyena
sammā vadamāno vadeyya: ‘tapassī samaṇo gotamo, tapassitāya dhammaṃ deseti, tena ca sāvake vinetī’”ti.

And what, Siha, is the line of reasoning by which one speaking rightly could say of me: ‘The renunciate Gotama is one who tortures, he professes a teaching of torture and instructs his disciples accordingly’? I say, Siha, that bad, unwholesome states, bodily misconduct, verbal misconduct and mental misconduct are to be tortured. I say that one who has abandoned the bad, unwholesome states that are to be tortured,
cut them off at their root, made them like a palmyra stump, annihilated
them, so that they are unable to arise again in the future, is one who tortures himself. The Tathagata has abandoned the bad, unwholesome states that are to be tortured,
cut them off at their root, made them like a palmyra stump, annihilated
them, so that they are unable to arise again in the future. This is the
line of reasoning by which one speaking rightly could say of me: ‘The renunciate Gotama is one who tortures himself, he professes a teaching of torture and instructs his disciples accordingly’.



So we may try to conclude here that what the Buddha
rejected was the performance of unpleasant practices that would not help
removing unwholesome states and developing wholesome ones (AN 10.94),
or even if they do have that effect, the performance of unpleasant
practices for themselves, as a way of ‘rough life’ (lūkhajīvita, SN
42.12). But even the right type of asceticism has to be undertaken in a
balanced way, to avoid having it ending up developing unwholesome
states:


AN 6.55



“nanu te, soṇa, rahogatassa paṭisallīnassa evaṃ cetaso parivitakko
udapādi: ‘ye kho keci bhagavato sāvakā āraddhavīriyā viharanti, ahaṃ
tesaṃ aññataro. atha ca pana me na anupādāya āsavehi cittaṃ vimuccati,
saṃvijjanti kho pana me kule bhogā, sakkā bhogā ca bhuñjituṃ puññāni ca
kātuṃ. yaṃnūnāhaṃ sikkhaṃ paccakkhāya hīnāyāvattitvā bhoge ca bhuñjeyyaṃ
puññāni ca kareyyan’”ti?


“Just now, as you were meditating in seclusion, didn’t this train of
thought appear to your awareness: ‘Of the Blessed One’s disciples who
have aroused their persistence, I am one, but my mind is not released
from the fermentations through lack of clinging/sustenance. Now, my
family has enough wealth that it would be possible to enjoy wealth &
make merit. What if I were to disavow the training, return to the lower
life, enjoy wealth, & make merit?’”


“evaṃ, bhante”.


“Yes, lord.”


“taṃ kiṃ maññasi, soṇa, kusalo tvaṃ pubbe agāriyabhūto vīṇāya tantissare”ti?


“Now what do you think, Sona. Before, when you were a house-dweller, were you skilled at playing the vina?”


“evaṃ, bhante”.


“Yes, lord.”


“taṃ kiṃ maññasi, soṇa, yadā te vīṇāya tantiyo accāyatā honti, api nu te vīṇā tasmiṃ samaye saravatī vā hoti kammaññā vā”ti?


“And what do you think: when the strings of your vina were too taut, was your vina in tune & playable?”


“no hetaṃ, bhante”.


“No, lord.”


“taṃ kiṃ maññasi, soṇa, yadā te vīṇāya tantiyo atisithilā honti, api nu te vīṇā tasmiṃ samaye saravatī vā hoti kammaññā vā”ti?


“And what do you think: when the strings of your vina were too loose, was your vina in tune & playable?”


“no hetaṃ, bhante”.


“No, lord.”


“yadā pana te, soṇa, vīṇāya tantiyo na accāyatā honti nātisithilā same
guṇe patiṭṭhitā, api nu te vīṇā tasmiṃ samaye saravatī vā hoti kammaññā
vā”ti?


“And what do you think: when the strings of your vina were neither too
taut nor too loose, but tuned to be right on pitch, was your vina in
tune & playable?”


“evaṃ, bhante”.


“Yes, lord.”


“evamevaṃ kho, soṇa, accāraddhavīriyaṃ uddhaccāya saṃvattati,
atisithilavīriyaṃ kosajjāya saṃvattati. tasmātiha tvaṃ, soṇa,
vīriyasamathaṃ adhiṭṭhahaṃ, indriyānañca samataṃ paṭivijjha, tattha ca
nimittaṃ gaṇhāhī”ti.


“In the same way, Sona, over-aroused persistence leads to restlessness,
overly slack persistence leads to laziness. Thus you should determine
the right pitch for your persistence, attune the pitch of the [five]
faculties [to that], and there pick up your theme.”



It may also be important to note that being ātāpī does not necessarily refer to unpleasant practice, since it can constitute the basis to enter the jhānas:


SN 48.40


idha, bhikkhave, bhikkhuno appamattassa ātāpino pahitattassa
viharato uppajjati dukkhindriyaṃ. so evaṃ pajānāti: ‘uppannaṃ kho me
idaṃ dukkhindriyaṃ, tañca kho sanimittaṃ sanidānaṃ sasaṅkhāraṃ
sappaccayaṃ. tañca animittaṃ anidānaṃ asaṅkhāraṃ appaccayaṃ
dukkhindriyaṃ uppajjissatīti: netaṃ ṭhānaṃ vijjati’. so dukkhindriyañca
pajānāti, dukkhindriyasamudayañca pajānāti, dukkhindriyanirodhañca
pajānāti, yattha cuppannaṃ dukkhindriyaṃ aparisesaṃ nirujjhati tañca
pajānāti. kattha cuppannaṃ dukkhindriyaṃ aparisesaṃ nirujjhati? idha,
bhikkhave, bhikkhu vivicceva kāmehi vivicca akusalehi dhammehi
savitakkaṃ savicāraṃ vivekajaṃ pītisukhaṃ paṭhamaṃ jhānaṃ upasampajja
viharati: ettha cuppannaṃ dukkhindriyaṃ aparisesaṃ nirujjhati. ayaṃ
vuccati, bhikkhave, ‘bhikkhu aññāsi dukkhindriyassa nirodhaṃ, tadatthāya
cittaṃ upasaṃharati’”.

Here, bhikkhus, while a bhikkhu is remaining heedful, ardent and striving, the pain faculty arises. He understands thus: ‘The
pain faculty has arisen in me; it possesses a feature, a cause, a
construction, a condition. It is impossible that the pain faculty would
arise without a feature, a cause, a construction, a condition’
. He
understands the pain faculty, he understands its origin, he understands
its cessation, and he understands where the arisen pain faculty ceases
completely. And where does the pain faculty cease completely? Here,
bhikkhous, a bhikkhu, detached from sensuality, detached from
unwholesome states, having entered in the first jhāna, remains therein,
with thoughts, with thought processes, exaltation and well-being
engendered by detachment: here the arisen pain faculty ceases
completely. This is called, bhikkhus, ‘a bhikkhu who knows the cessation of the pain faculty, and who directs his mind to that end.’



The same is then repeated about domanass·indriya, sukh·indriya, somanass·indriya, and upekkh·indriya, respectively about the second, third, fourth jhānas and saññā·vedayita·nirodha. At MN 19, the same expression appamattassa ātāpino pahitattassa viharato (remaining heedful, ardent and striving) is similarly used to describe the state in which the Buddha was when he reached the three vijjās just before his awakening.



Bodhi leaf


attā: self, ego, soul, personality, individuality. This term actually designates an illusion, since all phenomena are anattā.



Bodhi leaf


attavādupādāna: [attā+vāda+upādāna] clinging to the belief in self. Such beliefs are explained in the Brahmajāla Sutta (DN 1),
in which 53 out of the 62 views examined relate to the belief in self
(views n°9 to 16 are not included). It also constitutes one of the four
items that come in the stock definition of upādāna.

This attachment is compared to a leash:


SN 22.99


“seyyathāpi, bhikkhave, sā gaddulabaddho daḷhe khīle vā thambhe vā
upanibaddho tameva khīlaṃ vā thambhaṃ vā anuparidhāvati anuparivattati;
evameva kho, bhikkhave, assutavā puthujjano ariyānaṃ adassāvī
ariyadhammassa akovido ariyadhamme avinīto, sappurisānaṃ adassāvī
sappurisadhammassa akovido sappurisadhamme avinīto rūpaṃ attato
samanupassati rūpavantaṃ vā attānaṃ attani vā rūpaṃ rūpasmiṃ vā attānaṃ;
vedanaṃ attato samanupassati… saññaṃ attato samanupassati… saṅkhāre
attato samanupassati… viññāṇaṃ attato samanupassati viññāṇavantaṃ vā
attānaṃ attani vā viññāṇaṃ viññāṇasmiṃ vā attānaṃ.

Just as a dog, tied by a leash to a post or stake, keeps running around
and circling around that very post or stake; in the same way, an
uninstructed, run-of-the-mill person — who has no regard for noble ones,
is not well-versed or disciplined in their Dhamma; who has no regard
for people of integrity, is not well-versed or disciplined in their
Dhamma — assumes form to be the self, or the self as possessing form, or
form as in the self, or the self as in form. He assumes feeling to be
the self… He assumes perception to be the self… He assumes (mental)
fabrications to be the self… He assumes consciousness to be the self,
or the self as possessing consciousness, or consciousness as in the
self, or the self as in consciousness.

so rūpaññeva anuparidhāvati anuparivattati, vedanaññeva …
saññaññeva… saṅkhāreyeva… viññāṇaññeva anuparidhāvati
anuparivattati. so rūpaṃ anuparidhāvaṃ anuparivattaṃ, vedanaṃ …
saññaṃ… saṅkhāre… viññāṇaṃ anuparidhāvaṃ anuparivattaṃ, na
parimuccati rūpamhā… vedanāya… saññāya… saṅkhārehi… viññāṇamhā,
na parimuccati jātiyā jarāmaraṇena sokehi paridevehi dukkhehi
domanassehi upāyāsehi. ‘na parimuccati dukkhasmā’ti vadāmi”.

He keeps running around and circling around that very form… that very
feeling… that very perception… those very fabrications… that very
consciousness. He is not set loose from form, not set loose from
feeling… from perception… from fabrications… not set loose from
consciousness. He is not set loose from birth, aging, & death; from
sorrows, lamentations, pains, distresses, & despairs. He is not set
loose, I tell you, from suffering & stress.



This delusion is described as being the source of the mistake that brings about the idea of an existing self:


SN 22.47


“ye hi keci, bhikkhave, samaṇā vā brāhmaṇā vā anekavihitaṃ attānaṃ
samanupassamānā samanupassanti, sabbete pañcupādānakkhandhe
samanupassanti, etesaṃ vā aññataraṃ. katame pañca? idha, bhikkhave,
assutavā puthujjano ariyānaṃ adassāvī ariyadhammassa akovido ariyadhamme
avinīto, sappurisānaṃ adassāvī sappurisadhammassa akovido
sappurisadhamme avinīto rūpaṃ attato samanupassati, rūpavantaṃ vā
attānaṃ; attani vā rūpaṃ, rūpasmiṃ vā attānaṃ. vedanaṃ. saññaṃ.
saṅkhāre. viññāṇaṃ attato samanupassati, viññāṇavantaṃ vā attānaṃ;
attani vā viññāṇaṃ, viññāṇasmiṃ vā attānaṃ”.

Monks, whatever contemplatives or brahmans who assume in various ways
when assuming a self, all assume the five clinging-aggregates, or a
certain one of them. Which five? There is the case where an
uninstructed, run-of-the-mill person — who has no regard for noble ones,
is not well-versed or disciplined in their Dhamma; who has no regard
for men of integrity, is not well-versed or disciplined in their Dhamma —
assumes form to be the self, or the self as possessing form, or form as
in the self, or the self as in form. He assumes feeling to be the
self… He assumes perception to be the self… He assumes (mental)
fabrications to be the self… He assumes consciousness to be the self,
or the self as possessing consciousness, or consciousness as in the
self, or the self as in consciousness.

“iti ayañceva samanupassanā ‘asmī’ti cassa avigataṃ hoti. ‘asmī’ti kho
pana, bhikkhave, avigate pañcannaṃ indriyānaṃ avakkanti hoti:
cakkhundriyassa sotindriyassa ghānindriyassa jivhindriyassa
kāyindriyassa.

Thus, both this assumption & the understanding, ‘I am,’ occur to
him. And so it is with reference to the understanding ‘I am’ that there
is the appearance of the five faculties — eye, ear, nose, tongue, &
body (the senses of vision, hearing, smell, taste, & touch).

atthi, bhikkhave, mano, atthi dhammā, atthi avijjādhātu.
avijjāsamphassajena, bhikkhave, vedayitena phuṭṭhassa assutavato
puthujjanassa ‘asmī’tipissa hoti; ‘ayamahamasmī’tipissa hoti;
‘bhavissan’tipissa hoti; ‘na bhavissan’tipissa hoti; ‘rūpī
bhavissan’tipissa hoti; ‘arūpī bhavissan’tipissa hoti; ‘saññī
bhavissan’tipissa hoti; ‘asaññī bhavissan’tipissa hoti;
‘nevasaññīnāsaññī bhavissan’tipissa hoti”.

Now, there is the intellect, there are ideas (mental qualities), there
is the property of ignorance. To an uninstructed run-of-the-mill person,
touched by experience born of the contact of ignorance, there occur
(the thoughts): ‘I am,’ ‘I am thus,’ ‘I shall be,’ ‘I shall not be,’ ‘I
shall be possessed of form,’ ‘I shall be formless,’ ‘I shall be
percipient (conscious),’ ‘I shall be non-percipient,’ or ‘I shall be
neither percipient nor non-percipient.’



The exact same description occurs also at MN 109 in a definition of sakkāya·diṭṭhi.

At SN 22.44, the same description is again given to explain the expression ’sakkāya·samudaya·gāminī paṭipada’ (the path leading to the arising of self-identification), and it is also equated to ‘dukkha·samudaya·gāminī samanupassanā’ (a way of seeing things that leads to the arising of dukkha).

Sometimes, the stock expression ‘rūpaṃ attato
samanupassati rūpavantaṃ vā attānaṃ attani vā rūpaṃ rūpasmiṃ vā attānaṃ’
(he assumes form to be the self, or the self as possessing form, or
form as in the self, or the self as in form)
is replaced by ‘rūpaṃ
‘etaṃ mama, esohamasmi, eso me attā’’ti samanupassati’ (he regards Form
as ‘This is mine. This is my self. This is what I am’)
. Here in the context of an explanation about upādāna:


SN 22.8


kathañca, bhikkhave, upādāparitassanā hoti? idha, bhikkhave, assutavā
puthujjano rūpaṃ ‘etaṃ mama, esohamasmi, eso me attā’’ti samanupassati.
tassa taṃ rūpaṃ vipariṇamati aññathā hoti. tassa
rūpavipariṇāmaññathābhāvā uppajjanti sokaparidevadukkhadomanassupāyāsā.
vedanaṃ… saññaṃ… saṅkhāre… viññāṇaṃ ‘etaṃ mama, esohamasmi, eso
me attā’’ti samanupassati. tassa taṃ viññāṇaṃ vipariṇamati aññathā hoti.
tassa viññāṇavipariṇāmaññathābhāvā uppajjanti
sokaparidevadukkhadomanassupāyāsā. evaṃ kho, bhikkhave, upādāparitassanā
hoti.

And how, bhikkhus, is there agitation through clinging? Here, bhikkhus, an uninstructed, run-of-the-mill person regards Form as ‘This is mine. This is my self. This is what I am’
His form changes & alters, and he falls into sorrow, lamentation,
pain, distress, & despair over its change & alteration. He
regards Feeling… Perception… Fabrications… Consciousness as ‘This is mine. This is my self. This is what I am’
His consciousness changes & alters, and he falls into sorrow,
lamentation, pain, distress, & despair over its change &
alteration. Thus, bhikkhus, there is agitation through clinging.



As we can also see here, atta·vād·upādāna has for consequence ‘agitation through clinging’ (upādāparitassanā).

The formula ‘etaṃ mama, esohamasmi, eso me attā’’ti is also used to explain another way the expression ’sakkāya·samudaya·gāminī paṭipada’ (the path leading to the arising of self-identification), and is applied to the six senses, their objects, their corresponding viññāṇa, their respective contacts, and the vedanā that arises subsquently:


MN 148


“ayaṃ kho pana, bhikkhave, sakkāyasamudayagāminī paṭipadā: cakkhuṃ ‘etaṃ
mama, esohamasmi, eso me attā’’ti samanupassati; rūpe ‘etaṃ mama,
esohamasmi, eso me attā’’ti samanupassati; cakkhuviññāṇaṃ ‘etaṃ mama,
esohamasmi, eso me attā’’ti samanupassati; cakkhusamphassaṃ ‘etaṃ mama,
esohamasmi, eso me attā’’ti samanupassati; vedanaṃ ‘etaṃ mama,
esohamasmi, eso me attā’’ti samanupassati; taṇhaṃ ‘etaṃ mama,
esohamasmi, eso me attā’’ti samanupassati; sotaṃ… ghānaṃ… jivhaṃ…
kāyaṃ… manaṃ ‘etaṃ mama, esohamasmi, eso me attā’’ti samanupassati,
dhamme… samanupassati, manoviññāṇaṃ… samanupassati,
manosamphassaṃ… samanupassati, vedanaṃ… samanupassati, taṇhaṃ ‘etaṃ
mama, esohamasmi, eso me attā’’ti samanupassati.

“This, monks, is the path of practice leading to self-identification.
One assumes about the eye that ‘This is me, this is my self, this is
what I am.’ One assumes about forms… One assumes about consciousness
at the eye… One assumes about contact at the eye… One assumes about
feeling… One assumes about craving that ‘This is me, this is my self,
this is what I am.’ One assumes about the ear… the nose… the
tongue… the body… the intellect that ‘This is me, this is my self,
this is what I am.’ One assumes about ideas… One assumes about
consciousness at the intellect… One assumes about contact at the
intellect… One assumes about feeling… One assumes about craving that
‘This is me, this is my self, this is what I am.’



The Alagaddūpama Sutta provides a slightly different formulation of how atta·vād·upādāna comes to be:


MN 22


“chayimāni, bhikkhave, diṭṭhiṭṭhānāni. katamāni cha? idha, bhikkhave,
assutavā puthujjano… rūpaṃ ‘etaṃ mama, esohamasmi, eso me attā’ti
samanupassati; vedanaṃ… saññaṃ… saṅkhāre… yampi taṃ diṭṭhaṃ sutaṃ
mutaṃ viññātaṃ pattaṃ pariyesitaṃ, anuvicaritaṃ manasā tampi ‘etaṃ mama,
esohamasmi, eso me attā’ti samanupassati; yampi taṃ diṭṭhiṭṭhānaṃ, so
loko so attā, so pecca bhavissāmi nicco dhuvo sassato avipariṇāmadhammo,
sassatisamaṃ tatheva ṭhassāmīti, tampi ‘etaṃ mama, esohamasmi, eso me
attā’ti samanupassati.

Monks, there are these six view-positions. Which six? There is the case
where an uninstructed, run-of-the-mill person… assumes about form:
‘This is me, this is my self, this is what I am.’ He assumes about
feeling… perception… fabrications… about what seen, heard, sensed,
cognized, attained, sought after, pondered by the intellect: ‘This is
me, this is my self, this is what I am.’ He assumes about the
view-position — ‘This cosmos is the self. After death this I will be
constant, permanent, eternal, not subject to change. I will stay just
like that for an eternity’: ‘This is me, this is my self, this is what I
am.’



The way to abandon atta·vād·upādāna is by seeing anatta in the five khandhas:


MN 8


“yā imā, cunda, anekavihitā diṭṭhiyo loke uppajjanti
attavādapaṭisaṃyuttā vā lokavādapaṭisaṃyuttā vā yattha cetā diṭṭhiyo
uppajjanti yattha ca anusenti yattha ca samudācaranti taṃ ‘netaṃ mama,
nesohamasmi, na me so attā’ti evametaṃ yathābhūtaṃ sammappaññā passato
evametāsaṃ diṭṭhīnaṃ pahānaṃ hoti, evametāsaṃ diṭṭhīnaṃ paṭinissaggo
hoti.

“Cunda, as to those several views that arise in the world concerning
self-doctrines and world-doctrines, if [the object] in which these views
arise, in which they underlie and become active, is seen with right
wisdom as it actually is, thus: ‘This is not mine, this I am not, this
is not my self’ — then the abandoning of these views, their discarding,
takes place in him [who thus sees].





Bodhi leaf


avihiṃsā: [a+vihiṃsā] harmlessness, nonviolence, inoffensiveness.

There is no direct definition of the term in the
suttas. It seems to have been a well-known concept at the time that did
not require much explanation. It can be seen as a principle underlying sammā·vācā, sammā·kammanta and sammā·ājīva.

Avihiṃsā appears most prominently in avihiṃsā·saṅkappa, one of the three constituents of sammā·saṅkappa, which are also termed kusalā saṅkappā at MN 78. Alternatively, it also appears in the compound avihiṃsā·vitakka, which seems to be a synonym for avihiṃsā·saṅkappa. See also this blog article, arguing that, since avihiṃsā is set apart from a·byāpāda
in those two lists, the word probably refers more specifically to
instances where one harms others without ill-will or malevolence.

In several suttas (e.g. MN 114, AN 5.200) two of the three dhammas listed in sammā·saṅkappa appear in the same order, and avihiṃsā is replaced as the third by avihesā (non-harming). Another synonym is ahimsā (inoffensiveness):


AN 3.45


sabbhi dānaṃ upaññattaṃ, ahiṃsā saṃyamo damo.

The virtuous prescribe giving, inoffensiveness, self-control, and self-taming.




SN 10.4


“yassa sabbamahorattaṃ, ahiṃsāya rato mano mettaṃ so sabbabhūtesu, veraṃ tassa na kenacī”ti.

One whose mind takes delight in inoffensiveness all day and night, who has loving-kindness for all beings, has enmity towards none.



Inoffensiveness (ahiṃsā) is also nobility:


Dhp 270


na tena ariyo hoti, yena pāṇāni hiṃsati. ahiṃsā sabbapāṇānaṃ, “ariyo”ti pavuccati.

One who injures living beings is ignoble. One who is inoffensive towards all living beings is said to be a noble one.



In the Dhātu·vibhaṅga of the Abhidhamma, karuṇa is said to be inherent to avihiṃsā·dhātu: ‘yā sattesu karuṇā karuṇāyanā karuṇāyitattaṃ karuṇācetovimutti, ayaṃ vuccati “avihiṃsādhātu”’. This statement finds an echo in various parts of the Sutta Piṭaka, as for example in the Dhammapada:




129. sabbe tasanti daṇḍassa, sabbe bhāyanti maccuno.
attānaṃ upamaṃ katvā, na haneyya na ghātaye.

129. All tremble at the rod, all are fearful of death.
Drawing the parallel to yourself, neither kill nor get others to kill.

130. sabbe tasanti daṇḍassa, sabbesaṃ jīvitaṃ piyaṃ.
attānaṃ upamaṃ katvā, na haneyya na ghātaye.

130. All tremble at the rod, all hold their life dear.
Drawing the parallel to yourself, neither kill nor get others to kill.



At AN 2.168, avihiṃsā is juxtaposed with soceyya (purity/purification). At Sn 294, the word is juxtaposed with maddava (mildness), soracca (gentleness) and khanti (forbearance). The first two find echo in expressions such as that defining pharusa·vāca veramaṇī (abstinence from harsh speech):


AN 10.176


yā sā vācā nelā kaṇṇasukhā pemanīyā hadayaṅgamā porī bahujanakantā bahujanamanāpā, tathārūpiṃ vācaṃ bhāsitā hoti.

He speaks words that are soothing to the ear, that are affectionate,
that go to the heart, that are polite, appealing & pleasing to
people at large.



Khanti (forbearance) is the word that is most often juxtaposed to avihiṃsā, a connection that is exemplified in many places, such as in the simile of the saw:


MN 21


“ubhatodaṇḍakena cepi, bhikkhave, kakacena corā ocarakā aṅgamaṅgāni
okanteyyuṃ, tatrāpi yo mano padūseyya, na me so tena sāsanakaro. tatrāpi
vo, bhikkhave, evaṃ sikkhitabbaṃ: ‘na ceva no cittaṃ vipariṇataṃ
bhavissati, na ca pāpikaṃ vācaṃ nicchāressāma, hitānukampī ca
viharissāma mettacittā na dosantarā. tañca puggalaṃ mettāsahagatena
cetasā pharitvā viharissāma tadārammaṇañca sabbāvantaṃ lokaṃ
mettāsahagatena cetasā vipulena mahaggatena appamāṇena averena
abyābajjhena pharitvā viharissāmā’ti. evañhi vo, bhikkhave,
sikkhitabbaṃ.

“Monks, even if bandits were to carve you up savagely, limb by limb,
with a two-handled saw, he among you who let his heart get angered even
at that would not be doing my bidding. Even then you should train
yourselves: ‘Our minds will be unaffected and we will say no evil words.
We will remain sympathetic, with a mind of good will, and with no inner
hate. We will keep pervading these people with an awareness imbued with
good will and, beginning with them, we will keep pervading the entire
world with an awareness imbued with good will — abundant, expansive,
immeasurable, free from hostility, free from ill will.’ That’s how you
should train yourselves.

“imañca tumhe, bhikkhave, kakacūpamaṃ ovādaṃ abhikkhaṇaṃ manasi
kareyyātha. passatha no tumhe, bhikkhave, taṃ vacanapathaṃ, aṇuṃ vā
thūlaṃ vā, yaṃ tumhe nādhivāseyyāthā”ti?

“Monks, if you attend constantly to this admonition on the simile of the
saw, do you see any aspects of speech, slight or gross, that you could
not endure?”


“no hetaṃ, bhante”.


“No, lord.”



Another striking example is given at SN 35.88:




“sace pana puṇṇa, sunāparantakā manussā daṇḍena pahāraṃ dassanti, tatra pana te, puṇṇa, kinti bhavissatī”ti?


“But if they hit you with a stick…?”


“sace me, bhante, sunāparantakā manussā daṇḍena pahāraṃ dassanti, tatra
me evaṃ bhavissati: ‘bhaddakā vatime sunāparantakā manussā, subhaddakā
vatime sunāparantakā manussā, yaṃ me nayime satthena pahāraṃ dentī’ti.
evamettha, bhagavā, bhavissati; evamettha, sugata, bhavissatī”ti.


“…I will think, ‘These Sunaparanta people are civilized, very civilized, in that they don’t hit me with a knife’…”


“sace pana te, puṇṇa, sunāparantakā manussā satthena pahāraṃ dassanti, tatra pana te, puṇṇa, kinti bhavissatī”ti?


“But if they hit you with a knife…?”


“sace me, bhante, sunāparantakā manussā satthena pahāraṃ dassanti, tatra
me evaṃ bhavissati: ‘bhaddakā vatime sunāparantakā manussā, subhaddakā
vatime sunāparantakā manussā, yaṃ maṃ nayime tiṇhena satthena jīvitā
voropentī’ti. evamettha, bhagavā, bhavissati; evamettha, sugata,
bhavissatī”ti.


“…I will think, ‘These Sunaparanta people are civilized, very
civilized, in that they don’t take my life with a sharp knife’…”


“sace pana taṃ, puṇṇa, sunāparantakā manussā tiṇhena satthena jīvitā voropessanti, tatra pana te, puṇṇa, kinti bhavissatī”ti?


“But if they take your life with a sharp knife…?”


“sace maṃ, bhante, sunāparantakā manussā tiṇhena satthena jīvitā
voropessanti, tatra me evaṃ bhavissati: ‘santi kho tassa bhagavato
sāvakā kāyena ca jīvitena ca aṭṭīyamānā harāyamānā jigucchamānā
satthahārakaṃ pariyesanti, taṃ me idaṃ apariyiṭṭhaññeva satthahārakaṃ
laddhan’ti. evamettha, bhagavā, bhavissati; evamettha, sugata,
bhavissatī”ti.


“If they take my life with a sharp knife, I will think, ‘There are
disciples of the Blessed One who — horrified, humiliated, and disgusted
by the body and by life — have sought for an assassin, but here I have
met my assassin without searching for him.’ That is what I will think, O
Blessed One. That is what I will think, O One Well-gone.”


“sādhu sādhu, puṇṇa! sakkhissasi kho tvaṃ, puṇṇa, iminā damūpasamena
samannāgato sunāparantasmiṃ janapade vatthuṃ. yassa dāni tvaṃ, puṇṇa,
kālaṃ maññasī”ti.


“Good, Punna, very good. Possessing such calm and self-control you are
fit to dwell among the Sunaparantans. Now it is time to do as you see
fit.”



SN 47.19 also juxtaposes metta·cittatā (having a mind of good will) and anudayatā (sympathy) to avihiṃsā:


SN 47.19


kathañca, bhikkhave, paraṃ rakkhanto attānaṃ rakkhati? khantiyā, avihiṃsāya, mettacittatāya, anudayatāya. evaṃ kho, bhikkhave, paraṃ rakkhanto attānaṃ rakkhati.

“And how do you watch after yourself when watching after others? Through endurance, through harmlessness, through a mind of goodwill, & through sympathy. This is how you watch after yourself when watching after others.



SN 14.12 explains how avihiṃsā originates and leads to wholesome action:


SN 14.12


“avihiṃsādhātuṃ, bhikkhave, paṭicca uppajjati avihiṃsāsaññā,
avihiṃsāsaññaṃ paṭicca uppajjati avihiṃsāsaṅkappo, avihiṃsāsaṅkappaṃ
paṭicca uppajjati avihiṃsāchando, avihiṃsāchandaṃ paṭicca uppajjati
avihiṃsāpariḷāho, avihiṃsāpariḷāhaṃ paṭicca uppajjati
avihiṃsāpariyesanā; avihiṃsāpariyesanaṃ, bhikkhave, pariyesamāno sutavā
ariyasāvako tīhi ṭhānehi sammā paṭipajjati kāyena, vācāya, manasā.

On account of the harmlessness element there arises the perception of
harmlessness; on account of the perception of harmlessness there arises
an aspiration to harmlessness; on account of the aspiration to
harmlessness there arises a desire for harmlessness; on account of the
desire for harmlessness there arises a passion for harmlessness; on
account of the passion for harmlessness there arises a quest for
harmlessness. Engaged in the quest for harmlessness, an instructed noble
disciple acts rightly in three ways: by body, speech, and mind.



Practicing harmlessness is behaving like a bee in a flower:


Dhp 49


yathāpi bhamaro pupphaṃ, vaṇṇagandhamaheṭhayaṃ, paleti rasamādāya, evaṃ gāme munī care.

As a bee gathers honey from the flower without injuring its color or
fragrance, even so the sage goes on his alms-round in the village.



Lacking avihiṃsā is extensively described as bringing unpleasant results:


Dhp 133


māvoca pharusaṃ kañci, vuttā paṭivadeyyu taṃ
dukkhā hi sārambhakathā, paṭidaṇḍā phuseyyu taṃ.

Speak harshly to no one, or the words will be thrown right back at you.
Contentious talk is painful, for you get struck by rods in return.




Dhp 137-140


yo daṇḍena adaṇḍesu, appaduṭṭhesu dussati dasannamaññataraṃ ṭhānaṃ, khippameva nigacchati:
vedanaṃ pharusaṃ jāniṃ, sarīrassa ca bhedanaṃ.
garukaṃ vāpi ābādhaṃ, cittakkhepañca pāpuṇe.
rājato vā upasaggaṃ, abbhakkhānañca dāruṇaṃ.
parikkhayañca ñātīnaṃ, bhogānañca pabhaṅguraṃ.
atha vāssa agārāni, aggi ḍahati pāvako.
kāyassa bhedā duppañño, nirayaṃ sopapajjati.

Whoever, with a rod harasses an innocent man, unarmed, quickly falls
into any of ten things: harsh pains, devastation, a broken body, grave
illness,
mental derangement, trouble with the government,
violent slander, relatives lost, property dissolved,
houses burned down. At the break-up of the body
this one with no discernment,
reappears in
hell.




SN 3.15


“vilumpateva puriso, yāvassa upakappati.
yadā caññe vilumpanti, so vilutto viluppati.

A man may plunder as long as it serves his ends, but when others are plundered, he who has plundered gets plundered in turn.

“ṭhānañhi maññati bālo, yāva pāpaṃ na paccati.
yadā ca paccati pāpaṃ, atha dukkhaṃ nigacchati.

A fool thinks, ‘Now’s my chance,’ as long as his evil has yet to ripen. But when it ripens, the fool falls into pain.

“hantā labhati hantāraṃ, jetāraṃ labhate jayaṃ.
akkosako ca akkosaṃ, rosetārañca rosako.
atha kammavivaṭṭena, so vilutto viluppatī”ti.

Killing, you gain your killer. Conquering, you gain one who will conquer
you; insulting, insult; harassing, harassment. And so, through the
cycle of action, he who has plundered gets plundered in turn.



Abandoning non-harmlessness and taking up avihiṃsā prevents bad experiences from arising and causes pleasant ones to arise in the future:


Dhp 131-132


sukhakāmāni bhūtāni, yo daṇḍena vihiṃsati.
attano sukhamesāno, pecca so na labhate sukhaṃ.

Whoever takes a rod to harm living beings desiring ease, when he himself
is looking for ease, will meet with no ease after death.

sukhakāmāni bhūtāni, yo daṇḍena na hiṃsati.
attano sukhamesāno, pecca so labhate sukhaṃ.

Whoever doesn’t take a rod to harm living beings desiring ease, when he
himself is looking for ease, will meet with ease after death.




MN 135


“idha, māṇava, ekacco itthī vā puriso vā sattānaṃ viheṭhakajātiko hoti,
pāṇinā vā leḍḍunā vā daṇḍena vā satthena vā. so tena kammena evaṃ
samattena evaṃ samādinnena kāyassa bhedā paraṃ maraṇā apāyaṃ duggatiṃ
vinipātaṃ nirayaṃ upapajjati. no ce kāyassa bhedā paraṃ maraṇā apāyaṃ
duggatiṃ vinipātaṃ nirayaṃ upapajjati, sace manussattaṃ āgacchati yattha
yattha paccājāyati bavhābādho hoti. bavhābādhasaṃvattanikā esā, māṇava,
paṭipadā yadidaṃ sattānaṃ viheṭhakajātiko hoti pāṇinā vā leḍḍunā vā
daṇḍena vā satthena vā.

Furthermore, there is the case where a certain woman or man has a
tendency to injure living beings with the hand, with a clod, with a
stick, or with a knife. From adopting & carrying out such actions,
then on the break-up of the body, after death, this person re-appears in
the plane of deprivation, the bad destination, the lower realms, in
hell. Or, if he/she does not reappear in the plane of deprivation, the
bad destination, the lower realms, in hell, but instead returns to the
human state, then he/she is sickly wherever reborn. This is the way
leading to being sickly, namely being one who has a tendency to injure
living beings with the hand, with a clod, with a stick, or with a knife.

“idha pana, māṇava, ekacco itthī vā puriso vā sattānaṃ aviheṭhakajātiko
hoti pāṇinā vā leḍḍunā vā daṇḍena vā satthena vā. so tena kammena evaṃ
samattena evaṃ samādinnena kāyassa bhedā paraṃ maraṇā sugatiṃ saggaṃ
lokaṃ upapajjati. no ce kāyassa bhedā paraṃ maraṇā sugatiṃ saggaṃ lokaṃ
upapajjati, sace manussattaṃ āgacchati yattha yattha paccājāyati
appābādho hoti. appābādhasaṃvattanikā esā, māṇava, paṭipadā yadidaṃ
sattānaṃ aviheṭhakajātiko hoti pāṇinā vā leḍḍunā vā daṇḍena vā satthena
vā.

But there is the case where a certain woman or man does not have a
tendency to injure living beings with the hand, with a clod, with a
stick, or with a knife. Through having adopted & carried out such
actions, on the break-up of the body, after death, he/she reappears in a
good destination, in the heavenly world. Or, if he/she does not
reappear in the good destinations, in the heavenly world, but instead
returns to the human state, then he/she is healthy wherever reborn. This
is the way leading to being healthy, namely being one who, abandoning
the taking of life, abstains from taking life does not have a tendency
to injure living beings with the hand, with a clod, with a stick, or
with a knife.




Dhp 300


suppabuddhaṃ pabujjhanti, sadā gotamasāvakā.
yesaṃ divā ca ratto ca, ahiṃsāya rato mano.

Those disciples of Gotama ever awaken happily whose minds by day and night delight in the practice of non-violence.



Dharmacāri Nāgapriya writes: “The early Buddhist
vocabulary includes an important class of words that, while denoting
highly positive qualities, take a grammatically negative form. Avihiṃsa
is a leading example of this. To translate the term as ‘non-violence’
doesn’t reflect the positive nuance of the quality to which it refers.
Notwithstanding, it is worth looking at the quality in question from
both a negative and a positive point of view in order to bring its
nature more clearly to light. First of all – and in negative terms –
avihiṃsa can be understood as an application of the general principle of
renunciation: the saint renounces all violence whether physical,
verbal, or emotional: Whoever in this world harms a living creature,
whether once-born or twice- born, whoever has no compassion for a living
creature, him one should know to be an outcaste. (Sn.117) He gives up
coercion of any kind and thus abandons the ‘power mode’, the style of
relating to others purely as objects and means of his own gratification,
adopting instead the ‘love mode’, the appreciation of others as
individual, feelingful subjects meriting sensitive consideration and
respect. This entails abandoning a host of negative mental states such
as kodha or fury (Sn.1), kopa or ill-temper and grudge (Sn.6), upanāha
or rancour/enmity (Sn.116), paccuṭṭapannā or hostility (Sn.245), usuyyā
or envy (Sn.245), atipāti or violent destructiveness (Sn.248), paṭigha
(Sn.148) or malicious rage, and dosa or hatred (Sn.328). One of the
distinguishing features of the Sutta-Nipāta is the plethora of different
nasty mental states that it identifies. This laid some of the
foundations for the later work of the Abhidhamma. Again the terms used
are fluid and non-technical. By considering the terms as a whole we can
get a feeling for the flavour of what the saint is enjoined to abandon.
At the same time, it is important to appreciate the positive counterpart
of this renunciation of violent negativity. This is expressed most
sublimely in the Mettā Sutta: Just as a mother would protect with her
own life her own son, her only son, so one should cultivate an unbounded
mind towards all beings, and loving-kindness towards all the world. One
should cultivate an unbounded mind, above and below and across, without
obstruction, without enmity, without rivalry. (Sn.149-50)”



Bodhi leaf


avijjā: [a+vijjā]

nescience, ignorance.

Avijjā is defined at SN 12.2 as consisting of ignorance regarding the four noble truths:



“katamā ca, bhikkhave, avijjā? yaṃ kho, bhikkhave, dukkhe aññāṇaṃ,
dukkhasamudaye aññāṇaṃ, dukkhanirodhe aññāṇaṃ, dukkhanirodhagāminiyā
paṭipadāya aññāṇaṃ. ayaṃ vuccati, bhikkhave, avijjā.

And what is ignorance? Not knowing suffering, not knowing the
origination of suffering, not knowing the cessation of suffering, not
knowing the way of practice leading to the cessation of suffering: This
is called ignorance.



Other definitions relating to the five khandhas can be found in the Khandha Saṃyutta.


SN 22.113



“‘avijjā avijjā’ti, bhante, vuccati. katamā nu kho, bhante, avijjā, kittāvatā ca avijjāgato hotī”ti?


‘Ignorance, ignorance’, it is said, Bhante. What, Bhante, is ignorance, and to what extent is one immersed in ignorance?


“idha, bhikkhu, assutavā puthujjano rūpaṃ nappajānāti, rūpasamudayaṃ
nappajānāti, rūpanirodhaṃ nappajānāti, rūpanirodhagāminiṃ paṭipadaṃ
nappajānāti;


Here, bhikkhu, an uninstructed ordinary person does not understand
Form, does not understand the origin of Form, does not understand the
cessation of Form, does not understand the way leading to the cessation
of Form.

vedanaṃ nappajānāti, vedanāsamudayaṃ nappajānāti, vedanānirodhaṃ nappajānāti, vedanānirodhagāminiṃ paṭipadaṃ nappajānāti;

He does not understand
Feeling, does not understand the origin of Feeling, does not understand
the cessation of Feeling, does not understand the way leading to the
cessation of Feeling.

saññaṃ nappajānāti, saññāsamudayaṃ nappajānāti, saññānirodhaṃ nappajānāti, saññānirodhagāminiṃ paṭipadaṃ nappajānāti;

He does not understand
Perception, does not understand the origin of Perception, does not
understand the cessation of Perception, does not understand the way
leading to the cessation of Perception.

saṅkhāre nappajānāti, saṅkhārasamudayaṃ nappajānāti, saṅkhāranirodhaṃ
nappajānāti, saṅkhāranirodhagāminiṃ paṭipadaṃ nappajānāti;

He does not understand
Constructions, does not understand the origin of Constructions, does not
understand the cessation of Constructions, does not understand the way
leading to the cessation of Constructions.

viññāṇaṃ nappajānāti, viññāṇasamudayaṃ nappajānāti, viññāṇanirodhaṃ nappajānāti, viññāṇanirodhagāminiṃ paṭipadaṃ nappajānāti;

He does not understand
Consciousness, does not understand the origin of Consciousness, does not
understand the cessation of Consciousness, does not understand the way
leading to the cessation of Consciousness.

ayaṃ vuccati, bhikkhu, avijjā. ettāvatā ca avijjāgato hotī”ti.

This, bhikkhu, is called ignorance, and it is to this extent that one is immersed in ignorance.



SN 22.126



“‘avijjā avijjā’ti, bhante, vuccati. katamā nu kho, bhante, avijjā, kittāvatā ca avijjāgato hotī”ti?


‘Ignorance, ignorance’, it is said, Bhante. What, Bhante, is ignorance, and to what extent is one immersed in ignorance?


“idha, bhikkhu, assutavā puthujjano samudayadhammaṃ rūpaṃ
‘samudayadhammaṃ rūpan’ti yathābhūtaṃ nappajānāti; vayadhammaṃ rūpaṃ
‘vayadhammaṃ rūpan’ti yathābhūtaṃ nappajānāti; samudayavayadhammaṃ rūpaṃ
‘samudayavayadhammaṃ rūpan’ti yathābhūtaṃ nappajānāti.


Here, bhikkhu, an uninstructed ordinary person does not understand Form by nature subject to arising as it really is: ‘Form is by nature subject to arising’. He does not understand Form by nature subject to passing away as it really is: ‘Form is by nature subject to passing away’. He does not understand Form by nature subject to arising & passing away as it really is: ‘Form is by nature subject to arising & passing away’.

samudayadhammaṃ vedanaṃ ‘samudayadhammā vedanā’ti yathābhūtaṃ
nappajānāti; vayadhammaṃ vedanaṃ ‘vayadhammā vedanā’ti yathābhūtaṃ
nappajānāti; samudayavayadhammaṃ vedanaṃ ‘samudayavayadhammā vedanā’ti
yathābhūtaṃ nappajānāti.

He does not understand Feeling by nature subject to arising as it really is: ‘Feeling is by nature subject to arising’. He does not understand Feeling by nature subject to passing away as it really is: ‘Feeling is by nature subject to passing away’. He does not understand Feeling by nature subject to arising & passing away as it really is: ‘Feeling is by nature subject to arising & passing away’.

samudayadhammaṃ saññaṃ ‘samudayadhammaṃ saññan’ti yathābhūtaṃ
nappajānāti; vayadhammaṃ saññaṃ ‘vayadhammaṃ saññan’ti yathābhūtaṃ
nappajānāti; samudayavayadhammaṃ saññaṃ ‘samudayavayadhammaṃ saññan’ti
yathābhūtaṃ nappajānāti.

He does not understand Perception by nature subject to arising as it really is: ‘Perception is by nature subject to arising’. He does not understand Perception by nature subject to passing away as it really is: ‘Perception is by nature subject to passing away’. He does not understand Perception by nature subject to arising & passing away as it really is: ‘Perception is by nature subject to arising & passing away’.

samudayadhamme saṅkhāre ‘samudayadhammā saṅkhārā’ti yathābhūtaṃ
nappajānāti; vayadhamme saṅkhāre ‘vayadhammā saṅkhārā’ti yathābhūtaṃ
nappajānāti; samudayavayadhamme saṅkhāre ‘samudayavayadhammā saṅkhārā’ti
yathābhūtaṃ nappajānāti.

He does not understand Constructions by nature subject to arising as it really is: ‘Constructions is by nature subject to arising’. He does not understand Constructions by nature subject to passing away as it really is: ‘Constructions is by nature subject to passing away’. He does not understand Constructions by nature subject to arising & passing away as it really is: ‘Constructions is by nature subject to arising & passing away’.

samudayadhammaṃ viññāṇaṃ ‘samudayadhammaṃ viññāṇan’ti yathābhūtaṃ
nappajānāti; vayadhammaṃ viññāṇaṃ ‘vayadhammaṃ viññāṇan’ti yathābhūtaṃ
nappajānāti; samudayavayadhammaṃ viññāṇaṃ ‘samudayavayadhammaṃ
viññāṇan’ti yathābhūtaṃ nappajānāti. ayaṃ vuccati, bhikkhu, avijjā;
ettāvatā ca avijjāgato hotī”ti.

He does not understand Consciousness by nature subject to arising as it really is: ‘Consciousness is by nature subject to arising’. He does not understand Consciousness by nature subject to passing away as it really is: ‘Consciousness is by nature subject to passing away’. He does not understand Consciousness by nature subject to arising & passing away as it really is: ‘Consciousness is by nature subject to arising & passing away’.

ayaṃ vuccati, bhikkhu, avijjā. ettāvatā ca avijjāgato hotī”ti.

This, bhikkhu, is called ignorance, and it is to this extent that one is immersed in ignorance.



SN 22.129



“‘avijjā avijjā’ti, bhante, vuccati. katamā nu kho, bhante, avijjā, kittāvatā ca avijjāgato hotī”ti?


‘Ignorance, ignorance’, it said, Bhante. What, Bhante, is ignorance, and to what extent is one immersed in ignorance?


“idhāvuso assutavā puthujjano rūpassa assādañca ādīnavañca nissaraṇañca
yathābhūtaṃ nappajānāti, vedanāya assādañca ādīnavañca nissaraṇañca
yathābhūtaṃ nappajānāti, saññāya assādañca ādīnavañca nissaraṇañca
yathābhūtaṃ nappajānāti, saṅkhārānaṃ assādañca ādīnavañca nissaraṇañca
yathābhūtaṃ nappajānāti, viññāṇassa assādañca ādīnavañca nissaraṇañca
yathābhūtaṃ nappajānāti.


Here, friend, an uninstructed ordinary person does not understand as it
really is the gratification, the danger, and the escape in regard to
Form, he does not understand as it really is the gratification, the
danger, and the escape in regard to Feeling, he does not understand as
it really is the gratification, the danger, and the escape in regard to
Perception, he does not understand as it really is the gratification,
the danger, and the escape in regard to Fabrications, he does not
understand as it really is the gratification, the danger, and the escape
in regard to Consciousness.


ayaṃ vuccatāvuso, avijjā; ettāvatā ca avijjāgato hotī”ti.

This, friend, is called ignorance, and it is to this extent that one is immersed in ignorance.



At SN 22.84, avijjā is likened to a ‘dense thicket’ (tibbo vanasaṇḍo) along the path to nibbāna. At MN 19, it is likened to a ‘decoy’ (okacara) set up by a hunter (Māra) in order to lure a herd of deers on a false path that will bring them calamity and disaster. At MN 105, avijjā is likened to a poison (visadosa) smeared on an arrow (salla) which has wounded someone. The arrow represents taṇhā, while the poison is spread out by chanda·rāga·byāpāda.

Avijjā is one of the three āsavas, along with kāma and bhava.

Avijjā is one of the four oghas (floods), as well as one of the four yogas (bonds), and is juxtaposed in both sets with kāma, bhava and diṭṭhi.


AN 4.10


Avijjāyogo ca kathaṃ hoti? Idha, bhikkhave, ekacco channaṃ
phassāyatanānaṃ samudayañca atthaṅgamañca assādañca ādīnavañca
nissaraṇañca yathā·bhūtaṃ nappajānāti. Tassa channaṃ phassāyatanānaṃ
samudayañca atthaṅgamañca assādañca ādīnavañca nissaraṇañca yathā·bhūtaṃ
appajānato yā chasu phassāyatanesu avijjā aññāṇaṃ sānuseti. Ayaṃ
vuccati, bhikkhave, avijjāyogo.

“And how is there the yoke of ignorance? There is the case where a
certain person does not discern, as it actually is present, the
origination, the passing away, the allure, the drawbacks, & the
escape from the six sense media. When he does not discern, as it
actually is present, the origination, the passing away, the allure, the
drawbacks, & the escape from the six sense media, then — with regard
to ignorance concerning the six sense media — he is obsessed with
not-knowing. This is the yoke of ignorance.



Avijjā is one of the uddhambhāgiyā saṃyojanā (higher fetters), along with rūpa·rāga, arūpa·rāga, māna, and uddhacca.

Avijjā is also the last of the seven anusayas, along with kāma·rāga, paṭigha, diṭṭhi, vicikiccha, māna and bhava·rāga. As an anusaya, avijjā is related to adukkham·asukhā vedanā:


MN 148


adukkhamasukhāya vedanāya phuṭṭho samāno tassā vedanāya samudayañca
atthaṅgamañca assādañca ādīnavañca nissaraṇañca yathābhūtaṃ nappajānāti.
tassa avijjānusayo anuseti.

If, when touched by a feeling of neither pleasure nor pain, one does not
discern, as it actually is present, the origination, passing away,
allure, drawback, or escape from that feeling, then one’s
ignorance-obsession gets obsessed.




MN 44


“adukkhamasukhāya vedanāya avijjānusayo anusetī”ti…

Ignorance-obsession gets obsessed with neither-pleasant-nor-painful feeling…

“sabbāya adukkhamasukhāya vedanāya avijjānusayo anusetī”ti?…

Does ignorance-obsession get obsessed with all neither-pleasant-nor-painful feeling?…

“na sabbāya adukkhamasukhāya vedanāya avijjānusayo anusetī”ti…

No, ignorance-obsession does not get obsessed with all neither-pleasant-nor-painful feeling…

“adukkhamasukhāya vedanāya kiṃ pahātabban”ti?…

What is to be abandoned with regard to neither-pleasant-nor-painful feeling?…

“adukkhamasukhāya vedanāya avijjānusayo pahātabbo”ti…

Ignorance-obsession is to be abandoned with regard to neither-pleasant-nor-painful feeling…

“sabbāya adukkhamasukhāya vedanāya avijjānusayo pahātabbo”ti?…

Is ignorance-obsession to be abandoned with regard to all neither-pleasant-nor-painful feeling?…

na sabbāya adukkhamasukhāya vedanāya avijjānusayo pahātabbo…

No, ignorance-obsession is not to be abandoned with regard to all neither-pleasant-nor-painful feeling…

idhāvuso visākha, bhikkhu sukhassa ca pahānā, dukkhassa ca pahānā,
pubbeva somanassadomanassānaṃ atthaṅgamā, adukkhamasukhaṃ
upekkhāsatipārisuddhiṃ catutthaṃ jhānaṃ upasampajja viharati. avijjaṃ
tena pajahati, na tattha avijjānusayo anusetī”ti.

There is the case where a monk, with the abandoning of pleasure &
pain — as with the earlier disappearance of elation & distress —
enters & remains in the fourth jhana: purity of equanimity &
mindfulness, neither pleasure nor pain. With that he abandons ignorance.
No ignorance-obsession gets obsessed there.



Avijjā is also related to ‘that which is felt born of contact with ignorance’ (avijjā·samphassa·ja vedayita):


SN 22.47


atthi, bhikkhave, mano, atthi dhammā, atthi avijjādhātu.
avijjāsamphassajena, bhikkhave, vedayitena phuṭṭhassa assutavato
puthujjanassa ‘asmī’tipissa hoti; ‘ayamahamasmī’tipissa hoti;
‘bhavissan’tipissa hoti; ‘na bhavissan’tipissa hoti; ‘rūpī
bhavissan’tipissa hoti; ‘arūpī bhavissan’tipissa hoti; ‘saññī
bhavissan’tipissa hoti; ‘asaññī bhavissan’tipissa hoti;
‘nevasaññīnāsaññī bhavissan’tipissa hoti”.

Now, there is the intellect, there are ideas (mental qualities), there
is the property of ignorance. To an uninstructed run-of-the-mill person,
touched by experience born of the contact of ignorance, there occur
(the thoughts): ‘I am,’ ‘I am thus,’ ‘I shall be,’ ‘I shall not be,’ ‘I
shall be possessed of form,’ ‘I shall be formless,’ ‘I shall be
percipient (conscious),’ ‘I shall be non-percipient,’ or ‘I shall be
neither percipient nor non-percipient.’

“tiṭṭhanteva kho, bhikkhave, tattheva pañcindriyāni. athettha sutavato
ariyasāvakassa avijjā pahīyati, vijjā uppajjati. tassa avijjāvirāgā
vijjuppādā ‘asmī’tipissa na hoti; ‘ayamahamasmī’tipissa na hoti;
‘bhavissan’tipissa na hoti; ‘na bhavissan’tipissa na hoti; ‘rūpī
bhavissan’tipissa na hoti; ‘arūpī bhavissan’tipissa na hoti; ‘saññī
bhavissan’tipissa na hoti; ‘asaññī bhavissan’tipissa na hoti;
‘nevasaññīnāsaññībhavissan’tipissa na hotī”ti.

The five faculties, monks, continue as they were. And with regard to
them the well-instructed disciple of the noble ones abandons ignorance
and gives rise to clear knowing. Owing to the fading of ignorance and
the arising of clear knowing, (the thoughts) — ‘I am,’ ‘I am this,’ ‘I
shall be,’ ‘I shall not be,’ ‘I shall be possessed of form,’ ‘I shall be
formless,’ ‘I shall be percipient (conscious),’ ‘I shall be
non-percipient,’ and ‘I shall be neither percipient nor non-percipient’ —
do not occur to him.




SN 22.81


avijjāsamphassajena, bhikkhave, vedayitena phuṭṭhassa assutavato puthujjanassa uppannā taṇhā

To an uninstructed, run-of-the-mill person, touched by that which is felt born of contact with ignorance, craving arises.



At AN 3.67, avijjā is explained as having moha for synonym, although it is arguable that, given the position of avijjā among the anusayas, it would refer to a deeper type of mental factor related to ignorance, that may not be active all the time, of which moha would be the active expression through delusion.

Avijjā is also the root cause in paṭicca·samuppāda, giving rise to saṅkhāras. As mentioned above, the term is defined in this context at SN 12.2 as not knowing the four ariya·saccas. The role that avijjā plays in regard to other akusala dhammas is also referred to outside of the context of paṭicca·samuppāda:


SN 20.1


“seyyathāpi, bhikkhave, kūṭāgārassa yā kāci gopānasiyo sabbā tā
kūṭaṅgamā kūṭasamosaraṇā kūṭasamugghātā sabbā tā samugghātaṃ gacchanti;
evameva kho, bhikkhave, ye keci akusalā dhammā sabbe te avijjāmūlakā
avijjāsamosaraṇā avijjāsamugghātā, sabbe te samugghātaṃ gacchanti.

Just as the rafters in a peak-roofed house all go to the roof-peak,
incline to the roof-peak, converge at the roof-peak, and all are removed
when the
roof-peak is removed; in the same way, all unwholesome qualities are
rooted in
ignorance and converge upon ignorance, and all are removed when
ignorance is removed.




SN 45.1


“avijjā, bhikkhave, pubbaṅgamā akusalānaṃ dhammānaṃ samāpattiyā,
anvadeva ahirikaṃ anottappaṃ. avijjāgatassa, bhikkhave, aviddasuno
micchādiṭṭhi pahoti; micchādiṭṭhissa micchāsaṅkappo pahoti;
micchāsaṅkappassa micchāvācā pahoti; micchāvācassa micchākammanto
pahoti; micchākammantassa micchāājīvo pahoti; micchāājīvassa
micchāvāyāmo pahoti; micchāvāyāmassa micchāsati pahoti; micchāsatissa
micchāsamādhi pahoti.

Monks, ignorance is the leader in the attainment of unskillful
qualities, followed by lack of conscience & lack of concern. In an
unknowledgeable person, immersed in ignorance, wrong view arises. In one
of wrong view, wrong resolve arises. In one of wrong resolve, wrong
speech arises. In one of wrong speech, wrong action arises. In one of
wrong action, wrong livelihood arises. In one of wrong livelihood, wrong
effort arises. In one of wrong effort, wrong mindfulness arises. In one
of wrong mindfulness, wrong concentration arises.



Avijjā gives rise to āsavas:


AN 6.63


“katamo ca, bhikkhave, āsavānaṃ nidānasambhavo? avijjā, bhikkhave, āsavānaṃ nidānasambhavo…

And what is the cause by which fermentations come into play? Ignorance is the cause by which fermentations come into play…

“katamo ca, bhikkhave, āsavanirodho? avijjānirodho, bhikkhave, āsavanirodho.

And what is the cessation of fermentations? From the cessation of ignorance is the cessation of fermentations



As we will see below, the relationship between avijjā and āsavas is reciprocal. Avijjā is also specificly said to give rise to craving:


AN 4.50


avijjānivutā posā, piyarūpābhinandino.

Men hindered by ignorance
seek delight in pleasant things




AN 10.62


“bhavataṇhāmpāhaṃ, bhikkhave, sāhāraṃ vadāmi, no anāhāraṃ. ko cāhāro bhavataṇhāya? ‘avijjā’tissa vacanīyaṃ.

I say, bhikkhus, that craving for existence has a nutriment; it is not
without nutriment. And what is the nutriment for craving for existence?
It should be said: ignorance.



Avijjā appears due to specific factors. The five nīvaraṇas:


AN 10.61


“purimā, bhikkhave, koṭi na paññāyati avijjāya: ‘ito pubbe avijjā
nāhosi, atha pacchā samabhavī’ti. evañcetaṃ, bhikkhave, vuccati, atha ca
pana paññāyati: ‘idappaccayā avijjā’ti. avijjampāhaṃ, bhikkhave,
sāhāraṃ vadāmi, no anāhāraṃ. ko cāhāro avijjāya? ‘pañca nīvaraṇā’tissa
vacanīyaṃ.

Bhikkhus, this is said: ‘A first point of ignorance, bhikkhus, is not
seen such that before this there was no ignorance and afterward it came
into being.’ Still, ignorance is seen to have a specific condition. I
say, bhikkhus, that ignorance has a nutriment; it is not without
nutriment. And what is the nutriment for ignorance? It should be said:
the five hindrances.



Ayoniso manasikāra:


MN 2


“katame ca, bhikkhave, dhammā na manasikaraṇīyā ye dhamme manasi karoti?
yassa, bhikkhave, dhamme manasikaroto anuppanno vā kāmāsavo uppajjati,
uppanno vā kāmāsavo pavaḍḍhati; anuppanno vā bhavāsavo uppajjati,
uppanno vā bhavāsavo pavaḍḍhati; anuppanno vā avijjāsavo uppajjati,
uppanno vā avijjāsavo pavaḍḍhati. ime dhammā na manasikaraṇīyā ye dhamme
manasi karoti…

And what are the ideas unfit for attention that he attends to? Whatever
ideas such that, when he attends to them, the unarisen fermentation of
sensuality arises in him, and the arisen fermentation of sensuality
increases; the unarisen fermentation of becoming arises in him, and
arisen fermentation of becoming increases; the unarisen fermentation of
ignorance arises in him, and the arisen fermentation of ignorance
increases. These are the ideas unfit for attention that he attends to…

“so evaṃ ayoniso manasi karoti: ‘ahosiṃ nu kho ahaṃ atītamaddhānaṃ? na
nu kho ahosiṃ atītamaddhānaṃ? kiṃ nu kho ahosiṃ atītamaddhānaṃ? kathaṃ
nu kho ahosiṃ atītamaddhānaṃ? kiṃ hutvā kiṃ ahosiṃ nu kho ahaṃ
atītamaddhānaṃ? bhavissāmi nu kho ahaṃ anāgatamaddhānaṃ? na nu kho
bhavissāmi anāgatamaddhānaṃ? kiṃ nu kho bhavissāmi anāgatamaddhānaṃ?
kathaṃ nu kho bhavissāmi anāgatamaddhānaṃ? kiṃ hutvā kiṃ bhavissāmi nu
kho ahaṃ anāgatamaddhānan’ti? etarahi vā paccuppannamaddhānaṃ ajjhattaṃ
kathaṃkathī hoti: ‘ahaṃ nu khosmi? no nu khosmi? kiṃ nu khosmi? kathaṃ
nu khosmi? ayaṃ nu kho satto kuto āgato? so kuhiṃ gāmī bhavissatī’ti?

“This is how he attends inappropriately: ‘Was I in the past? Was I not
in the past? What was I in the past? How was I in the past? Having been
what, what was I in the past? Shall I be in the future? Shall I not be
in the future? What shall I be in the future? How shall I be in the
future? Having been what, what shall I be in the future?’ Or else he is
inwardly perplexed about the immediate present: ‘Am I? Am I not? What am
I? How am I? Where has this being come from? Where is it bound?’

“tassa evaṃ ayoniso manasikaroto channaṃ diṭṭhīnaṃ aññatarā diṭṭhi
uppajjati. ‘atthi me attā’ti vā assa saccato thetato diṭṭhi uppajjati;
‘natthi me attā’ti vā assa saccato thetato diṭṭhi uppajjati; ‘attanāva
attānaṃ sañjānāmī’ti vā assa saccato thetato diṭṭhi uppajjati; ‘attanāva
anattānaṃ sañjānāmī’ti vā assa saccato thetato diṭṭhi uppajjati;
‘anattanāva attānaṃ sañjānāmī’ti vā assa saccato thetato diṭṭhi
uppajjati; atha vā panassa evaṃ diṭṭhi hoti: ‘yo me ayaṃ attā vado
vedeyyo tatra tatra kalyāṇapāpakānaṃ kammānaṃ vipākaṃ paṭisaṃvedeti so
kho pana me ayaṃ attā nicco dhuvo sassato avipariṇāmadhammo sassatisamaṃ
tatheva ṭhassatī’ti. idaṃ vuccati, bhikkhave, diṭṭhigataṃ diṭṭhigahanaṃ
diṭṭhikantāraṃ diṭṭhivisūkaṃ diṭṭhivipphanditaṃ diṭṭhisaṃyojanaṃ.
diṭṭhisaṃyojanasaṃyutto, bhikkhave, assutavā puthujjano na parimuccati
jātiyā jarāya maraṇena sokehi paridevehi dukkhehi domanassehi upāyāsehi;
‘na parimuccati dukkhasmā’ti vadāmi.

“As he attends inappropriately in this way, one of six kinds of view
arises in him: The view I have a self arises in him as true &
established, or the view I have no self… or the view It is precisely
by means of self that I perceive self… or the view It is precisely by
means of self that I perceive not-self… or the view It is precisely by
means of not-self that I perceive self arises in him as true &
established, or else he has a view like this: This very self of mine —
the knower that is sensitive here & there to the ripening of good
& bad actions — is the self of mine that is constant, everlasting,
eternal, not subject to change, and will stay just as it is for
eternity. This is called a thicket of views, a wilderness of views, a
contortion of views, a writhing of views, a fetter of views. Bound by a
fetter of views, the uninstructed run-of-the-mill person is not freed
from birth, aging, & death, from sorrow, lamentation, pain,
distress, & despair. He is not freed, I tell you, from suffering
& stress.



Āsavas:


MN 9


āsavasamudayā avijjāsamudayo, āsavanirodhā avijjānirodho

With the arising of the taints there is the arising of
ignorance. With the cessation of the taints there is the cessation of
ignorance.



A number of factors leading to the cessation of avijjā are also mentioned in the suttas. Kāyagatāsati:


AN 1.586


“ekadhamme, bhikkhave, bhāvite bahulīkate avijjā pahīyati. katamasmiṃ ekadhamme? kāyagatāya satiyā.

When one thing, bhikkhus, is developed and cultivated, ignorance is abandoned. Which thing? Mindfulness directed to the body.



Anicca·saññā:


SN 22.102


“aniccasaññā, bhikkhave, bhāvitā bahulīkatā sabbaṃ kāmarāgaṃ
pariyādiyati, sabbaṃ rūparāgaṃ pariyādiyati, sabbaṃ bhavarāgaṃ
pariyādiyati, sabbaṃ avijjaṃ pariyādiyati, sabbaṃ asmimānaṃ samūhanati”.

Bhikkhus, when the perception of impermanence is developed and
cultivated, it eliminates all sensual lust, it eliminates all lust for
existence, it eliminates all ignorance, it uproots all conceit ‘I am.’

“kathaṃ bhāvitā ca, bhikkhave, aniccasaññā kathaṃ bahulīkatā sabbaṃ
kāmarāgaṃ pariyādiyati, sabbaṃ rūparāgaṃ pariyādiyati, sabbaṃ bhavarāgaṃ
pariyādiyati, sabbaṃ avijjaṃ pariyādiyati, sabbaṃ asmimānaṃ samūhanati?
‘iti rūpaṃ, iti rūpassa samudayo, iti rūpassa atthaṅgamo; iti vedanā,
iti vedanāya samudayo, iti vedanāya atthaṅgamo; iti saññā, iti saññāya
samudayo, iti saññāya atthaṅgamo; iti saṅkhārā, iti saṅkhārānaṃ
samudayo, iti saṅkhārānaṃ atthaṅgamo; iti viññāṇaṃ, iti viññāṇassa
samudayo, iti viññāṇassa atthaṅgamo’ti. evaṃ bhāvitā kho, bhikkhave,
aniccasaññā evaṃ bahulīkatā sabbaṃ kāmarāgaṃ pariyādiyati, sabbaṃ
rūparāgaṃ pariyādiyati, sabbaṃ bhavarāgaṃ pariyādiyati, sabbaṃ avijjaṃ
pariyādiyati, sabbaṃ asmimānaṃ samūhanatī”ti.

And how, bhikkhus, is the perception of impermanence developed and
cultivated so that it eliminates all sensual lust, eliminates all lust
for existence, eliminates all ignorance, and uproots all conceit ‘I am’?
‘Such is form, such its origin, such its passing away; such is feeling,
such its origin, such its passing away; such is perception, such its
origin, such its passing away; such are volitional formations, such
their origin, such their passing away; such is consciousness, such its
origin, such its passing away’: that is how the perception of
impermanence is developed and cultivated so that it eliminates all
sensual lust, eliminates all lust for existence, eliminates all
ignorance, and uproots all conceit ‘I am.’




SN 35.79



“katamo pana, bhante, eko dhammo yassa pahānā bhikkhuno avijjā pahīyati, vijjā uppajjatī”ti?


“And what is that one thing, venerable sir, through the abandoning of
which ignorance is abandoned by a bhikkhu and true knowledge
arises?”


“avijjā kho, bhikkhu, eko dhammo yassa pahānā bhikkhuno avijjā pahīyati, vijjā uppajjatī”ti.


“Ignorance, bhikkhu, is that one thing through the abandoning of
which ignorance is abandoned by a bhikkhu and true knowledgearises.”


“kathaṃ pana, bhante, jānato, kathaṃ passato bhikkhuno avijjā pahīyati, vijjā uppajjatī”ti?


“But, venerable sir, how should one know, how should one
see, for ignorance to be abandoned by him and true knowledge to
arise?”


“cakkhuṃ kho, bhikkhu, aniccato jānato passato avijjā pahīyati, vijjā
uppajjati. rūpe aniccato jānato passato avijjā pahīyati, vijjā
uppajjati. cakkhuviññāṇaṃ… cakkhusamphassaṃ… yampidaṃ
cakkhusamphassapaccayā uppajjati vedayitaṃ sukhaṃ vā dukkhaṃ vā
adukkhamasukhaṃ vā tampi aniccato jānato passato avijjā pahīyati, vijjā
uppajjati.
sotaṃ… sadde… sotaviññāṇaṃ… sotasamphassaṃ… yampidaṃ
sotasamphassapaccayā uppajjati…
ghānaṃ… gandhe… ghānaviññāṇaṃ… ghānasamphassaṃ… yampidaṃ
ghānasamphassapaccayā uppajjati…
jivhaṃ… rase… jivhaviññāṇaṃ… jivhasamphassaṃ… yampidaṃ
jivhasamphassapaccayā uppajjati…
kāyaṃ… phoṭṭhabbe… kāyaviññāṇaṃ… kāyasamphassaṃ… yampidaṃ
kāyasamphassapaccayā uppajjati…
manaṃ… dhamme… manoviññāṇaṃ… manosamphassaṃ… yampidaṃ
manosamphassapaccayā uppajjati… vedayitaṃ sukhaṃ vā dukkhaṃ vā
adukkhamasukhaṃ vā tampi aniccato jānato passato avijjā pahīyati, vijjā
uppajjati. evaṃ kho, bhikkhu, jānato evaṃ passato avijjā pahīyati, vijjā
uppajjatī”ti.


“Bhikkhu, when one knows and sees the eye as impermanent, ignorance is
abandoned and true knowledge arises. When one knows and sees forms as
impermanent … When one knows and sees eye-consciousness…
eye-contact… whatever feeling arises with eye-contact as
condition—whether pleasant or painful or neither-painful-norpleasant…
the ear… sounds… ear-consciousness… ear-contact… whatever
feeling arises with ear-contact…
the nose… smells… nose-consciousness… nose-contact… whatever
feeling arises with nose-contact…
the tongue… tastes… tongue-consciousness… tongue-contact…
whatever feeling arises with tongue-contact… the body… touches…
body-consciousness… body-contact… whatever feeling arises with
body-contact…
the mind… mental objects… mind-consciousness… mind-contact… When
one knows and sees as impermanent whatever feeling arises with
mind-contact as condition—whether pleasant or painful or
neither-painful-norpleasant—ignorance is abandoned and true knowledge
arises. When one knows and sees thus, bhikkhu, ignorance is abandoned
and true knowledge arises.”




SN 35.80


“kathaṃ pana, bhante, jānato, kathaṃ passato avijjā pahīyati, vijjā uppajjatī”ti?

“But, venerable sir, how should one know, how should one
see, for ignorance to be abandoned by him and true knowledge to
arise?”

“idha, bhikkhu, bhikkhuno sutaṃ hoti: ‘sabbe dhammā nālaṃ
abhinivesāyā’ti. evañcetaṃ, bhikkhu, bhikkhuno sutaṃ hoti: ‘sabbe dhammā
nālaṃ abhinivesāyā’ti, so sabbaṃ dhammaṃ abhijānāti, sabbaṃ dhammaṃ
abhiññāya sabbaṃ dhammaṃ parijānāti, sabbaṃ dhammaṃ pariññāya
sabbanimittāni aññato passati, cakkhuṃ aññato passati, rūpe…
cakkhuviññāṇaṃ… cakkhusamphassaṃ… yampidaṃ cakkhusamphassapaccayā
uppajjati vedayitaṃ sukhaṃ vā dukkhaṃ vā adukkhamasukhaṃ vā tampi aññato
passati…
sotaṃ… sadde… sotaviññāṇaṃ… sotasamphassaṃ… yampidaṃ
sotasamphassapaccayā uppajjati…
ghānaṃ… gandhe… ghānaviññāṇaṃ… ghānasamphassaṃ… yampidaṃ
ghānasamphassapaccayā uppajjati…
jivhaṃ… rase… jivhaviññāṇaṃ… jivhasamphassaṃ… yampidaṃ
jivhasamphassapaccayā uppajjati…
kāyaṃ… phoṭṭhabbe… kāyaviññāṇaṃ… kāyasamphassaṃ… yampidaṃ
kāyasamphassapaccayā uppajjati…
manaṃ aññato passati, dhamme… manoviññāṇaṃ… manosamphassaṃ…
yampidaṃ manosamphassapaccayā uppajjati vedayitaṃ sukhaṃ vā dukkhaṃ vā
adukkhamasukhaṃ vā tampi aññato passati. evaṃ kho, bhikkhu, jānato evaṃ
passato bhikkhuno avijjā pahīyati, vijjā uppajjatī”ti.

“Here, bhikkhu, a bhikkhu has heard, ‘Nothing is worth adhering
to.’ When a bhikkhu has heard, ‘Nothing is worth adhering to,’ he
directly knows everything. Having directly known everything, he
fully understands everything. Having fully understood everything, he
sees all signs differently. He sees the eye differently, he sees forms
differently… eye-consciousness… eye-contact… whatever feeling
arises with eye-contact…
the nose… smells… nose-consciousness… nose-contact… whatever
feeling arises with nose-contact…
the tongue… tastes… tongue-consciousness… tongue-contact…
whatever feeling arises with tongue-contact… the body… touches…
body-consciousness… body-contact… whatever feeling arises with
body-contact…
the mind… mental objects… mind-consciousness… mind-contact…
whatever feeling arises with mind-contact as condition
… that too he sees differently. When one knows and sees thus, bhikkhu,
ignorance is abandoned and true knowledge arises.”



Samādhi:


AN 6.24


“chahi, bhikkhave, dhammehi samannāgato bhikkhu himavantaṃ pabbatarājaṃ
padāleyya, ko pana vādo chavāya avijjāya! katamehi chahi?

“Bhikkhus, possessing six qualities, a bhikkhu could break the
Himalayas, the king of mountains, how much more then [that] low
ignorance! What six?

idha, bhikkhave, bhikkhu samādhissa samāpattikusalo hoti,

Here, a bhikkhu is skilled in attaining of concentration;

samādhissa ṭhitikusalo hoti,

skilled in maintaining
concentration;

samādhissa vuṭṭhānakusalo hoti,

skilled in emerging from concentration;

samādhissa kallitakusalo hoti,

skilled in fitness for concentration;

samādhissa gocarakusalo hoti,

skilled in the area of
concentration;

samādhissa abhinīhārakusalo hoti.

skilled in resolution regarding
concentration.



Paññā:


AN 2.32


vipassanā, bhikkhave, bhāvitā kamatthamanubhoti? paññā bhāvīyati. paññā bhāvitā kamatthamanubhoti? yā avijjā sā pahīyati.

When insight is developed, what purpose does it serve? Discernment is
developed. And when discernment is developed, what purpose does it
serve? Ignorance is abandoned.



Abhiññā:


SN 45.159


katame ca, bhikkhave, dhammā abhiññā pahātabbā? avijjā ca bhavataṇhā ca

What, monks, are the states to be abandoned with higher knowledge? They are ignorance and the desire for [further] becoming.



Cultivating appamāda and being ātāpī:


MN 4


ayaṃ kho me, brāhmaṇa, rattiyā paṭhame yāme paṭhamā vijjā adhigatā,
avijjā vihatā vijjā uppannā, tamo vihato āloko uppanno, yathā taṃ
appamattassa ātāpino pahitattassa viharato.

This was the first knowledge I attained in the first watch of the night.
Ignorance was destroyed; knowledge arose; darkness was destroyed; light
arose — as happens in one who is heedful, ardent, & resolute.





Bodhi leaf


āvuso: friend - usually in conversation between
bhikkhus, a form of polite address ‘friend, brother Sir’, although quite
informal since it is used by the disciple as well as the master in
return.



Bodhi leaf


āyasmā: venerable - lit: old. Used as a respectful appellation of a bhikkhu of some standing.



Bodhi leaf


āyatana: sphere, stretch, extent, reach, sphere of perception. The word appears mainly in two contexts:

1) as refering both to the six physical sense organs, i.e. cakkhu, sota, ghāna, jivhā, kāya, mana, as well as to their respective objects, i.e. rūpa visible objects, sadda sounds, gandha smells, rasa tastes, phoṭṭhabba tangible bodily phenomena, dhamma mental phenomena.

2) to designate each of the four formless jhānas.



Bodhi leaf


ayoniso manasikāra:

inappropiate attention, unwise reflection.

The most substantial characterization of ayoniso manasikāra is provided in the Sabbāsavā Sutta:


MN 2


“so evaṃ ayoniso manasi karoti: ‘ahosiṃ nu kho ahaṃ atītamaddhānaṃ? na
nu kho ahosiṃ atītamaddhānaṃ? kiṃ nu kho ahosiṃ atītamaddhānaṃ? kathaṃ
nu kho ahosiṃ atītamaddhānaṃ? kiṃ hutvā kiṃ ahosiṃ nu kho ahaṃ
atītamaddhānaṃ? bhavissāmi nu kho ahaṃ anāgatamaddhānaṃ? na nu kho
bhavissāmi anāgatamaddhānaṃ? kiṃ nu kho bhavissāmi anāgatamaddhānaṃ?
kathaṃ nu kho bhavissāmi anāgatamaddhānaṃ? kiṃ hutvā kiṃ bhavissāmi nu
kho ahaṃ anāgatamaddhānan’ti? etarahi vā paccuppannamaddhānaṃ ajjhattaṃ
kathaṃkathī hoti: ‘ahaṃ nu khosmi? no nu khosmi? kiṃ nu khosmi? kathaṃ
nu khosmi? ayaṃ nu kho satto kuto āgato? so kuhiṃ gāmī bhavissatī’ti?

This is how he attends inappropriately: ‘Was I in the past? Was I not in
the past? What was I in the past? How was I in the past? Having been
what, what was I in the past? Shall I be in the future? Shall I not be
in the future? What shall I be in the future? How shall I be in the
future? Having been what, what shall I be in the future?’ Or else he is
inwardly perplexed about the immediate present: ‘Am I? Am I not? What am
I? How am I? Where has this being come from? Where is it bound?’

“tassa evaṃ ayoniso manasikaroto channaṃ diṭṭhīnaṃ aññatarā diṭṭhi
uppajjati. ‘atthi me attā’ti vā assa saccato thetato diṭṭhi uppajjati;
‘natthi me attā’ti vā assa saccato thetato diṭṭhi uppajjati; ‘attanāva
attānaṃ sañjānāmī’ti vā assa saccato thetato diṭṭhi uppajjati; ‘attanāva
anattānaṃ sañjānāmī’ti vā assa saccato thetato diṭṭhi uppajjati;
‘anattanāva attānaṃ sañjānāmī’ti vā assa saccato thetato diṭṭhi
uppajjati; atha vā panassa evaṃ diṭṭhi hoti: ‘yo me ayaṃ attā vado
vedeyyo tatra tatra kalyāṇapāpakānaṃ kammānaṃ vipākaṃ paṭisaṃvedeti so
kho pana me ayaṃ attā nicco dhuvo sassato avipariṇāmadhammo sassatisamaṃ
tatheva ṭhassatī’ti. idaṃ vuccati, bhikkhave, diṭṭhigataṃ diṭṭhigahanaṃ
diṭṭhikantāraṃ diṭṭhivisūkaṃ diṭṭhivipphanditaṃ diṭṭhisaṃyojanaṃ.
diṭṭhisaṃyojanasaṃyutto, bhikkhave, assutavā puthujjano na parimuccati
jātiyā jarāya maraṇena sokehi paridevehi dukkhehi domanassehi upāyāsehi;
‘na parimuccati dukkhasmā’ti vadāmi.

As he attends inappropriately in this way, one of six kinds of view
arises in him: The view I have a self arises in him as true &
established, or the view I have no self… or the view It is precisely
by means of self that I perceive self… or the view It is precisely by
means of self that I perceive not-self… or the view It is precisely by
means of not-self that I perceive self arises in him as true &
established, or else he has a view like this: This very self of mine —
the knower that is sensitive here & there to the ripening of good
& bad actions — is the self of mine that is constant, everlasting,
eternal, not subject to change, and will stay just as it is for
eternity. This is called a thicket of views, a wilderness of views, a
contortion of views, a writhing of views, a fetter of views. Bound by a
fetter of views, the uninstructed run-of-the-mill person is not freed
from birth, aging, & death, from sorrow, lamentation, pain,
distress, & despair. He is not freed, I tell you, from suffering
& stress.



According to the commentary, ayoniso manasikāra
is attention or reflection that constitutes the wrong means or the
wrong track (uppatha), that is contrary to the truth, as for example the
vipallāsas:
attention to the impermanent as permanent, the unpleasant as pleasant,
what is not self as self, and what is foul as beautiful.

The Akusalavitakka Sutta also provides a connection with the wrong type of vitakkas:


SN 9.11


ekaṃ samayaṃ aññataro bhikkhu kosalesu viharati aññatarasmiṃ vanasaṇḍe.
tena kho pana samayena so bhikkhu divāvihāragato pāpake akusale vitakke
vitakketi, seyyathidaṃ kāmavitakkaṃ, byāpādavitakkaṃ, vihiṃsāvitakkaṃ.
atha kho yā tasmiṃ vanasaṇḍe adhivatthā devatā tassa bhikkhuno
anukampikā atthakāmā taṃ bhikkhuṃ saṃvejetukāmā yena so bhikkhu
tenupasaṅkami; upasaṅkamitvā taṃ bhikkhuṃ gāthāhi ajjhabhāsi:

On one occasion a certain monk was dwelling among the Kosalans in a
forest thicket. Now at that time, he spent the day’s abiding thinking
evil, unskillful thoughts: i.e., thoughts of sensuality, thoughts of ill
will, thoughts of doing harm. Then the devata inhabiting the forest
thicket, feeling sympathy for the monk, desiring his benefit, desiring
to bring him to his senses, approached him and addressed him with this
verse:

“ayoniso manasikārā, so vitakkehi khajjasi.

From inappropriate attention, you’re being chewed by your thoughts.



At AN 5.151, ayoniso manasikāra is juxtaposed with an·ekagga·citta (see ekagga·tā for an antonym) in one single item as an attitude preventing one who listens to the Dhamma from realizing it.

Ayoniso manasikāra prevents wholesome states from arising:

The seven bojjhaṅgas:


AN 1.74


“nāhaṃ, bhikkhave, aññaṃ ekadhammampi samanupassāmi yena anuppannā vā
bojjhaṅgā nuppajjanti uppannā vā bojjhaṅgā na bhāvanāpāripūriṃ gacchanti
yathayidaṃ, bhikkhave, ayonisomanasikāro.

Bhikkhus, I do not see any other thing because of which unarisen factors
of awakening do not arise and arisen factors of enlightenment do not go
to their completion through development so much as inappropriate
attention.



Sati·sampajañña:


AN 10.61


asatāsampajaññampāhaṃ, bhikkhave, sāhāraṃ vadāmi, no anāhāraṃ. ko cāhāro
asatāsampajaññassa? ‘ayonisomanasikāro’’tissa vacanīyaṃ.

Lack of mindfulness and clear comprehension, too, I say, has a
nutriment; it is not without nutriment. And what is the nutriment for
lack of mindfulness and clear comprehension? It should be said: careless
attention.



Ayoniso manasikāra also gives rise to other akusala dhammas:


AN 1.66


“nāhaṃ, bhikkhave, aññaṃ ekadhammampi samanupassāmi yena anuppannā vā
akusalā dhammā uppajjanti uppannā vā kusalā dhammā parihāyanti
yathayidaṃ, bhikkhave, ayonisomanasikāro.

Bhikkhus, I do not see any other thing because of which unarisen
unwholesome states arise and arisen wholesome states decline, so much as
inappropriate attention.



In particular, in conjunction with other phenomena, it gives rise to the five nīvaraṇas:


SN 46.51


ko ca, bhikkhave, āhāro anuppannassa vā kāmacchandassa uppādāya,
uppannassa vā kāmacchandassa bhiyyobhāvāya vepullāya? atthi, bhikkhave,
subhanimittaṃ. tattha ayonisomanasikārabahulīkāro: ayamāhāro
anuppannassa vā kāmacchandassa uppādāya, uppannassa vā kāmacchandassa
bhiyyobhāvāya vepullāya.

And what is the food for the arising of unarisen sensual desire, or for
the growth & increase of sensual desire once it has arisen? There is
the theme of beauty. To foster inappropriate attention to it: This is
the food for the arising of unarisen sensual desire, or for the growth
& increase of sensual desire once it has arisen.

“ko ca, bhikkhave, āhāro anuppannassa vā byāpādassa uppādāya, uppannassa
vā byāpādassa bhiyyobhāvāya vepullāya? atthi, bhikkhave,
paṭighanimittaṃ. tattha ayonisomanasikārabahulīkāro: ayamāhāro
anuppannassa vā byāpādassa uppādāya, uppannassa vā byāpādassa
bhiyyobhāvāya vepullāya.

And what is the food for the arising of unarisen ill will, or for the
growth & increase of ill will once it has arisen? There is the theme
of resistance. To foster inappropriate attention to it: This is the
food for the arising of unarisen ill will, or for the growth &
increase of ill will once it has arisen.

“ko ca, bhikkhave, āhāro anuppannassa vā thinamiddhassa uppādāya,
uppannassa vā thinamiddhassa bhiyyobhāvāya vepullāya? atthi, bhikkhave,
arati tandi vijambhitā bhattasammado cetaso ca līnattaṃ. tattha
ayonisomanasikārabahulīkāro: ayamāhāro anuppannassa vā thinamiddhassa
uppādāya, uppannassa vā thinamiddhassa bhiyyobhāvāya vepullāya.

And what is the food for the arising of unarisen sloth & drowsiness,
or for the growth & increase of sloth & drowsiness once it has
arisen? There are boredom, weariness, yawning, drowsiness after a meal,
& sluggishness of awareness. To foster inappropriate attention to
them: This is the food for the arising of unarisen sloth &
drowsiness, or for the growth & increase of sloth & drowsiness
once it has arisen.

“ko ca, bhikkhave, āhāro anuppannassa vā uddhaccakukkuccassa uppādāya,
uppannassa vā uddhaccakukkuccassa bhiyyobhāvāya vepullāya? atthi,
bhikkhave, cetaso avūpasamo. tattha ayonisomanasikārabahulīkāro:
ayamāhāro anuppannassa vā uddhaccakukkuccassa uppādāya, uppannassa vā
uddhaccakukkuccassa bhiyyobhāvāya vepullāya.

And what is the food for the arising of unarisen restlessness &
anxiety, or for the growth & increase of restlessness & anxiety
once it has arisen? There is non-stillness of awareness. To foster
inappropriate attention to that: This is the food for the arising of
unarisen restlessness & anxiety, or for the growth & increase of
restlessness & anxiety once it has arisen.



When it comes to vicikicchā, ayoniso manasikāra is the cause per se:


AN 1.15


“nāhaṃ, bhikkhave, aññaṃ ekadhammampi samanupassāmi yena anuppannā vā
vicikicchā uppajjati uppannā vā vicikicchā bhiyyobhāvāya vepullāya
saṃvattati yathayidaṃ, bhikkhave, ayonisomanasikāro.

Bhikkhus, I do not see any other thing because of which unarisen doubt
arises and arisen doubt increases and multiplies, so much as
inappropriate attention.



Ayoniso manasikāra is also the direct cause for the arising of micchā·diṭṭhi:


AN 1.310


“nāhaṃ, bhikkhave, aññaṃ ekadhammampi samanupassāmi yena anuppannā vā
micchādiṭṭhi uppajjati uppannā vā micchādiṭṭhi pavaḍḍhati yathayidaṃ,
bhikkhave, ayonisomanasikāro.

Bhikkhus, I do not see any other thing because of which unarisen wrong
view arises and arisen wrong view increases and multiplies, so much as
inappropriate attention.



It generally leads to ‘great harm’ (mahato anatthāya):


AN 1.90


“nāhaṃ, bhikkhave, aññaṃ ekadhammampi samanupassāmi yo evaṃ mahato
anatthāya saṃvattati yathayidaṃ, bhikkhave, ayoniso manasikāro.

Bhikkhus, I do not see any other thing that leads to such great harm as inappropriate attention.



It leads particularly to the disappearance of the Dhamma (saddhammassa sammosāya antaradhānāya):


AN 1.122


“nāhaṃ, bhikkhave, aññaṃ ekadhammampi samanupassāmi yo evaṃ saddhammassa
sammosāya antaradhānāya saṃvattati yathayidaṃ, bhikkhave,
ayonisomanasikāro.

Bhikkhus, I do not see any other thing that leads to the decline and
disappearance of the good Dhamma, so much as inappropriate attention.

According to AN 10.76, ayoniso manasikāra rests particularly on three phenomena: forgetfulness (muṭṭhasacca), lack of sampajañña, and mental unrest (cetaso vikkhepa).



Bodhi leaf


——————oooOooo——————


Katamo ca, bhikkhave, ariyo aṭṭhaṅgiko maggo? Seyyathidaṃ sammādiṭṭhi,
sammāsaṅkappo, sammāvācā, sammākammanto, sammā-ājīvo, sammāvāyāmo,
sammāsati, sammāsamādhi.

Now what, monks, is the Noble Eightfold Path? Right view, right resolve,
right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right
mindfulness, right concentration.

Katamā ca, bhikkhave, sammādiṭṭhi? Yaṃ kho, bhikkhave, dukkhe ñāṇaṃ,
dukkha-samudaye ñāṇaṃ , dukkha-nirodhe ñāṇaṃ, dukkha-nirodha-gāminiyā
paṭipadāya ñāṇaṃ ayaṃ vuccati, bhikkhave, sammādiṭṭhi.

And what, monks, is right view? Knowledge with regard to stress,
knowledge with regard to the origination of stress, knowledge with
regard to the stopping of stress, knowledge with regard to the way of
practice leading to the stopping of stress: This, monks, is called right
view.

Katamo ca, bhikkhave, sammāsaṅkappo? Yo kho, bhikkhave,
nekkhamma-saṅkappo , abyāpāda-saṅkappo, avihiṃsā-saṅkappo ayaṃ vuccati,
bhikkhave, sammāsaṅkappo.

And what is right resolve? Being resolved on renunciation, on freedom
from ill will, on harmlessness: This is called right resolve.

Katamā ca, bhikkhave, sammāvācā? Yā kho, bhikkhave, musāvādā veramaṇī,
pisuṇāya vācāya veramaṇī, pharusāya vācāya veramaṇī, samphappalāpā
veramaṇī ayaṃ vuccati, bhikkhave, sammāvācā.

And what is right speech? Abstaining from lying, abstaining from
divisive speech, abstaining from abusive speech, abstaining from idle
chatter: This, monks, is called right speech.

Katamo ca, bhikkhave, sammā-kammanto? Yā kho, bhikkhave, pāṇātipātā
veramaṇī, adinnādānā veramaṇī, abrahmacariyā veramaṇī ayaṃ vuccati,
bhikkhave, sammā-kammanto.

And what, monks, is right action? Abstaining from taking life,
abstaining from stealing, abstaining from unchastity: This, monks, is
called right action.

Katamo ca, bhikkhave, sammā-ājīvo? Idha, bhikkhave, ariya-sāvako
micchā-ājīvaṃ pahāya sammā-ājīvena jīvitaṃ kappeti ayaṃ vuccati,
bhikkhave, sammā-ājīvo.

And what, monks, is right livelihood? There is the case where a disciple
of the noble ones, having abandoned dishonest livelihood, keeps his
life going with right livelihood: This, monks, is called right
livelihood.

Katamo ca, bhikkhave, sammāvāyāmo? Idha, bhikkhave, bhikkhu anuppannānaṃ
pāpakānaṃ akusalānaṃ dhammānaṃ anuppādāya chandaṃ janeti vāyamati
vīriyaṃ ārabhati cittaṃ paggaṇhāti padahati; uppannānaṃ pāpakānaṃ
akusalānaṃ dhammānaṃ pahānāya chandaṃ janeti vāyamati vīriyaṃ ārabhati
cittaṃ paggaṇhāti padahati; anuppannānaṃ kusalānaṃ dhammānaṃ uppādāya
chandaṃ janeti vāyamati vīriyaṃ ārabhati cittaṃ paggaṇhāti padahati;
uppannānaṃ kusalānaṃ dhammānaṃ ṭhitiyā asammosāya bhiyyobhāvāya
vepullāya bhāvanāya pāripūriyā chandaṃ janeti vāyamati vīriyaṃ ārabhati
cittaṃ paggaṇhāti padahati. Ayaṃ vuccati, bhikkhave, sammāvāyāmo.

And what, monks, is right effort? (i) There is the case where a monk
generates desire, endeavors, activates persistence, upholds & exerts
his intent for the sake of the non-arising of evil, unskillful
qualities that have not yet arisen. (ii) He generates desire, endeavors,
activates persistence, upholds & exerts his intent for the sake of
the abandonment of evil, unskillful qualities that have arisen. (iii) He
generates desire, endeavors, activates persistence, upholds &
exerts his intent for the sake of the arising of skillful qualities that
have not yet arisen. (iv) He generates desire, endeavors, activates
persistence, upholds & exerts his intent for the maintenance,
non-confusion, increase, plenitude, development, & culmination of
skillful qualities that have arisen: This, monks, is called right
effort.

Katamā ca, bhikkhave, sammāsati? Idha, bhikkhave, bhikkhu
kāye kāyānupassī viharati ātāpī sampajāno satimā, vineyya loke
abhijjhā-domanassaṃ; vedanāsu vedanānupassī viharati ātāpī sampajāno
satimā, vineyya loke abhijjhā-domanassaṃ; citte cittānupassī viharati
ātāpī sampajāno satimā, vineyya loke abhijjhā-domanassaṃ; dhammesu
dhammānupassī viharati ātāpī sampajāno satimā, vineyya loke
abhijjhā-domanassaṃ.
Ayaṃ vuccati, bhikkhave, sammāsati.

And what, monks, is right mindfulness? (i) There is the case where a
monk remains focused on the body in & of itself — ardent, aware,
& mindful — putting away greed & distress with reference to the
world. (ii) He remains focused on feelings in & of themselves —
ardent, aware, & mindful — putting away greed & distress with
reference to the world. (iii) He remains focused on the mind in & of
itself — ardent, aware, & mindful — putting away greed &
distress with reference to the world. (iv) He remains focused on mental
qualities in & of themselves — ardent, aware, & mindful —
putting away greed & distress with reference to the world. This,
monks, is called right mindfulness.

Katamo ca, bhikkhave, sammāsamādhi? Idha, bhikkhave, bhikkhu
vivicceva kāmehi vivicca akusalehi dhammehi savitakkaṃ savicāraṃ
vivekajaṃ pītisukhaṃ paṭhamaṃ jhānaṃ upasampajja viharati;
vitakkavicārānaṃ vūpasamā ajjhattaṃ sampasādanaṃ cetaso ekodibhāvaṃ
avitakkaṃ avicāraṃ samādhijaṃ pītisukhaṃ dutiyaṃ jhānaṃ upasampajja
viharati;
pītiyā ca virāgā upekkhako ca viharati sato ca sampajāno sukhañca kāyena
paṭisaṃvedeti yaṃ taṃ ariyā ācikkhanti: ‘upekkhako satimā
sukhavihārī’ti tatiyaṃ jhānaṃ upasampajja viharati;
sukhassa ca pahānā dukkhassa ca pahānā pubbeva somanassadomanassānaṃ
atthaṅgamā adukkhamasukhaṃ upekkhāsatipārisuddhiṃ catutthaṃ jhānaṃ
upasampajja viharati.
Ayaṃ vuccati, bhikkhave, sammāsamādhi ti.

And what, monks, is right concentration? (i) There is the case where a
monk — quite withdrawn from sensuality, withdrawn from unskillful
(mental) qualities — enters & remains in the first jhana: rapture
& pleasure born from withdrawal, accompanied by directed thought
& evaluation. (ii) With the stilling of directed thoughts &
evaluations, he enters & remains in the second jhana: rapture &
pleasure born of concentration, unification of awareness free from
directed thought & evaluation — internal assurance. (iii) With the
fading of rapture, he remains equanimous, mindful, & alert, and
senses pleasure with the body. He enters & remains in the third
jhana, of which the Noble Ones declare, ‘Equanimous & mindful, he
has a pleasant abiding.’ (iv) With the abandoning of pleasure & pain
— as with the earlier disappearance of elation & distress — he
enters & remains in the fourth jhana: purity of equanimity &
mindfulness, neither pleasure nor pain. This, monks, is called right
concentration.



♦ The ariya aṭṭh·aṅg·ika magga is most famously introduced at SN 56.11 as the Middle Way (majjhimā paṭipadā), i.e. the path avoiding both hedonism and self-mortification:

SN 56.11



Dve·me, bhikkhave, antā pabbajitena na sevitabbā. Katame dve? Yo c·āyaṃ
kāmesu kāma·sukh·allik·ānuyogo hīno gammo pothujjaniko an·ariyo
an·attha·saṃhito, yo c·āyaṃ attakilamath·ānuyogo dukkho an·ariyo
an·attha·saṃhito. Ete kho, bhikkhave, ubho ante an·upagamma majjhimā
paṭipadā tathāgatena abhisambuddhā cakkhu·karaṇī ñāṇa·karaṇī upasamāya
abhiññāya sambodhāya nibbānāya saṃvattati.

These two extremes, bhikkhus, should not be adopted by one who has gone
forth from the home life. Which two? On one hand, the devotion to
hedonism towards sensuality, which is inferior, vulgar, common, ignoble,
deprived of benefit, and on the other hand the devotion to
self-mortification, which is painful, ignoble, deprived of benefit.
Without going to these two extremes, bhikkhus, the Tathāgata has fully
awaken to the Middle Way, which produces vision, which produces
knowledge, and leads to appeasement, to direct knowledge, to awakening,
to Nibbāna.



♦ The ariya aṭṭh·aṅg·ika magga is also introduced later on in that same sutta as the fourth ariya·sacca:



Idaṃ kho pana, bhikkhave, dukkha·nirodha·gāminī paṭipadā ariya·saccaṃ:
ayam·eva ariyo aṭṭhaṅgiko maggo, seyyathidaṃ: sammā·diṭṭhi
sammā·saṅkappo sammā·vācā sammā·kammanto sammā·ājīvo sammā·vāyāmo
sammā·sati sammā·samādhi.

Furthermore, bhikkhus, this is the noble truth of path leading to the
cessation of suffering: just this noble eightfold path, that is to say:
right view, right thought, right speech, right action, right livelihood,
right effort, right mindfulness and right concentration.



♦ As explained above at SN 56.11, the ariya aṭṭh·aṅg·ika magga is what leads to nibbāna. At SN 45.62, the former leads towards the latter just as the river Ganges slants, slopes, and inclines towards the east (seyyathāpi gaṅgā nadī pācīna·ninnā pācīna·poṇā pācīna·pabbhārā). At SN 45.86, the path is like a tree slanting, sloping and inclining towards the east (seyyathāpi rukkho pācīna·ninno pācīna·poṇo pācīna·pabbhāro) and that could only fall towards that direction if it were to be cut at the foot. It is also said to be the way leading to amata (amata·gāmi·maggo, SN 45.7), or to the unconditioned (a·saṅkhata·gāmi·maggo, SN 43.11).

♦ The ariya aṭṭh·aṅg·ika magga has its own entire saṃyutta (SN 45), that is rich in similes and explanations.

♦ The ariya aṭṭh·aṅg·ika magga is given various designations. At MN 19, it is called ‘The peaceful and safe path to be followed with exaltation’ (khemo maggo sovatthiko pīti·gamanīyo). It is often identified with the brahmacariya (e.g. SN 45.6), or with asceticism (sāmañña) such as at SN 45.35, or brahminhood (brahmañña) such as at SN 45.36. At SN 12.65, it is the ancient path, the ancient road traveled by the sammā·Sambuddhā of the past. At SN 35.191, the ariya aṭṭh·aṅg·ika magga is compared to a raft to cross over from identity to ‘the other shore’, which stands for nibbāna. At SN 45.4, after Ānanda sees a brahmin on a luxurious chariot and calls it a ‘brahmic vehicle’ (brahma·yāna), the Buddha says that is actually a designation for the ariya aṭṭh·aṅg·ika magga, along with the ‘Dhamma vehicle’ (dhamma·yāna) and the ’supreme victory in battle’ (anuttara saṅgāma·vijaya). The ariya aṭṭh·aṅg·ika magga is also called rightness (sammatta, SN 45.21), kusalā dhammā (SN 45.22), the right way (sammā·paṭipada, SN 45.23) and right practice (sammā·paṭipatti, SN 45.31).

♦ The ariya aṭṭh·aṅg·ika magga is part of a set of 37 dhammas which are sometimes listed together (e.g. at AN 10.90, SN 22.81). They are sometimes called the bodhipakkhiyā dhammā, although this expression doesn’t have a strict definition in the suttas and is loosely used to describe other sets. The ariya aṭṭh·aṅg·ika magga is also said at SN 45.155 to develop those bodhi·pakkhiya·dhammā.

♦ Each factor (aṅga) of the path is said to lead to the next:


AN 10.103


“sammattaṃ, bhikkhave, āgamma ārādhanā hoti, no virādhanā. kathañca,
bhikkhave, sammattaṃ āgamma ārādhanā hoti, no virādhanā?
sammādiṭṭhikassa, bhikkhave, sammāsaṅkappo pahoti, sammāsaṅkappassa
sammāvācā pahoti, sammāvācassa sammākammanto pahoti, sammākammantassa
sammāājīvo pahoti, sammāājīvassa sammāvāyāmo pahoti, sammāvāyāmassa
sammāsati pahoti, sammāsatissa sammāsamādhi pahoti.

Having come to rightness, bhikkhus, there is success, not failure. And
how, bhikkhus, is it that having come to rightness, there is success,
not failure? For one of right view, right thought arises. For one
of right thought, right speech arises. For one of right speech, right
action arises. For one of right action, right livelihood arises. For one
of right livelihood, right effort arises. For one of right effort,
right mindfulness arises. For one of right mindfulness, right
concentration arises.



A similar progression is also notably found at SN
45.1. AN 7.45 states that all the other seven factors of the path are
the ’supports’ (upanisa) and ‘accessories’ (parikkhāra) of sammā·samādhi. MN 117 further explains how the factors interact, according to the following pattern:

MN 117


“tatra, bhikkhave, sammādiṭṭhi pubbaṅgamā hoti. kathañca, bhikkhave,
sammādiṭṭhi pubbaṅgamā hoti? micchāsaṅkappaṃ ‘micchāsaṅkappo’ti
pajānāti, sammāsaṅkappaṃ ‘sammāsaṅkappo’ti pajānāti, sāssa hoti
sammādiṭṭhi.

Therein, bhikkhus, right view is the forerunner. And how is right view
the forerunner? One understands wrong thought as wrong thought and right
thought as right thought: this is one’s right
view.

so micchāsaṅkappassa pahānāya vāyamati, sammāsaṅkappassa upasampadāya,
svāssa hoti sammāvāyāmo. so sato micchāsaṅkappaṃ pajahati, sato
sammāsaṅkappaṃ upasampajja viharati; sāssa hoti sammāsati. itiyime tayo
dhammā sammāsaṅkappaṃ anuparidhāvanti anuparivattanti, seyyathidaṃ
sammādiṭṭhi, sammāvāyāmo, sammāsati.

One makes an effort to abandon wrong thought and to acquire right
thought: this is one’s right effort. One abandons wrong thought
mindfully, and acquires and remains in right thought mindfully: this is
one’s right mindfulness. Thus these three things rotate and circle
around right thought, that is, right view, right effort, and right
mindfulness.



♦ The enumeration of each path factor is sometimes
punctuated by four different formulas. The first one is found for
example at SN 45.2 and is in fact mainly used with the bojjhaṅgas, and occasionally with (spiritual) indriyas or balas: ‘based upon seclusion, dispassion, and cessation, maturing in release’ (viveka·nissita virāga·nissita nirodha·nissita vossagga·pariṇāmi).

The second formula can be found at SN 45.4 and says: ‘which
has the removal of avidity as its final goal, the removal of hatred as
its final goal, the removal of delusion as its final goal’ (rāga·vinaya·pariyosāna dosa·vinaya·pariyosāna moha·vinaya·pariyosāna)
.

The third one is found for example at SN 45.115 and says: ‘which has the Deathless as its ground, the Deathless as its destination, the Deathless as its final goal’ (amat·ogadha amata·parāyana amata·pariyosāna).

The fourth is found for example at SN 45.91 and says: ‘which slants towards Nibbāna, slopes towards Nibbāna, inclines towards Nibbāna‘ (nibbāna·ninna nibbāna·poṇa nibbāna·pabbhāra).

♦ The ariya aṭṭh·aṅg·ika magga, if unarisen, does not arise apart from the appearance of a Buddha (n·āññatra tathāgatassa pātubhāvā arahato sammāsambuddhassa, SN 45.14) or the Discipline of a Sublime one (n·āññatra sugata·vinaya, SN 45.15).

♦ At SN 55.5, the ariya aṭṭh·aṅg·ika magga is what defines sotāpatti, since sota (the stream) is the ariya aṭṭh·aṅg·ika magga itself, and a sotāpanna is one who possesses it:


SN 55.5



“‘soto, soto’ti hidaṃ, sāriputta, vuccati. katamo nu kho, sāriputta, soto”ti?


It said: ‘The stream, the stream’, Sāriputta. What now, Sāriputta, is ‘the stream’?


“ayameva hi, bhante, ariyo aṭṭhaṅgiko maggo soto


Bhante, the stream is just this noble eightfold path


“‘sotāpanno, sotāpanno’ti hidaṃ, sāriputta, vuccati. katamo nu kho, sāriputta, sotāpanno”ti?


It said: ‘A stream-enterer, a stream-enterer’, Sāriputta. What now, Sāriputta, is ‘a stream-enterer’?


“yo hi, bhante, iminā ariyena aṭṭhaṅgikena maggena samannāgato ayaṃ vuccati sotāpanno


Bhante, whoever is possessed of this noble eightfold path is called a stream-enterer



♦ At MN 126, the 8 factors of the ariya aṭṭh·aṅg·ika magga are presented as a technology of the mind (’a proper method for procuring fruit’: yoni hesā phalassa adhigamāya)
whose results do not depend on making wishes, but instead rely solely
on the laws of nature, which is metaphorically illustrated by how one
gets sesame oil by using the right technique (pressing seeds sprinkled
with water), how one gets milk (by milking a recently calved cow),
butter (by churning curd), or fire (by rubbing a dry, sapless, piece of
wood with a proper fire-stick).

♦ At AN 4.237, the 8 factors of the ariya aṭṭh·aṅg·ika magga constitute ‘kamma that is neither dark nor bright with neither-dark-nor-bright result, that leads to the destruction of kamma(kammaṃ a·kaṇhā·sukkaṃ a·kaṇhā·sukka·vipākaṃ, kamma·kkhayāya saṃvattati).

♦ The ariya aṭṭh·aṅg·ika magga is not seldom augmented to become a tenfold set, with the addition of sammā·ñāṇa and sammā·vimutti. SN 45.26 seems to indicate that these two factors are relevant only for the arahant, as they are what makes the difference between a sappurisa and someone who is better than a sappurisa (sappurisena sappurisataro).

♦ Ten phenomena are said to be the precursors for the arising of the ariya aṭṭh·aṅg·ika magga, the first seven according to the following simile:



sūriyassa, bhikkhave, udayato etaṃ pubbaṅgamaṃ etaṃ pubbanimittaṃ,
yadidaṃ, aruṇuggaṃ; evameva kho, bhikkhave, bhikkhuno ariyassa
aṭṭhaṅgikassa maggassa uppādāya etaṃ pubbaṅgamaṃ etaṃ pubbanimmittaṃ…

This, bhikkhus, is the forerunner and foretoken of the rising of the
sun, that is, the dawn. In the same way, bhikkhus, for a bhikkhu this is
the forerunner and foretoken of the arising of the noble eightfold
path…



In each case, it is said that when a bhikkhu satisfies the condition, ‘it
is expected that he will develop the noble eightfold path, that he will
cultivate the noble eightfold path (pāṭikaṅkhaṃ ariyaṃ aṭṭhaṅgikaṃ
maggaṃ bhāvessati, ariyaṃ aṭṭhaṅgikaṃ maggaṃ bahulīkarissati)
.

1. Mentioned most often is kalyāṇa·mittatā (with the above sunrise simile at SN 45.49). It is most famously said at SN 45.2 to be the entire brahmacariya (sakalam·ev·idaṃ brahmacariyaṃ), since it can be expected from one who develops it that he will practice the ariya aṭṭh·aṅg·ika magga, all the more that as we have seen earlier (e.g. at SN 45.6), brahmacariya is also defined as the ariya aṭṭh·aṅg·ika magga itself. We find as well a formula reminiscent of the suttas found at the beginning of AN 1:


SN 45.77


nāhaṃ, bhikkhave, aññaṃ ekadhammampi samanupassāmi, yena anuppanno vā
ariyo aṭṭhaṅgiko maggo uppajjati, uppanno vā ariyo aṭṭhaṅgiko maggo
bhāvanāpāripūriṃ gacchati, yathayidaṃ, bhikkhave, kalyāṇamittatā.

I do not see even one other thing, bhikkhus, because of which the
unarisen noble eightfold path arises and the arisen noble eightfold path
goes to the plenitude of its development so much, bhikkhus, as because
of favorable friendship.



2. Sīla
is also mentioned a few times independently from the sunrise simile, in
the context of which it is introduced at SN 45.50 as accomplishment in
virtue (sīla·sampadā). Such examples include the following:


SN 45.149


seyyathāpi, bhikkhave, ye keci balakaraṇīyā kammantā karīyanti, sabbe
te pathaviṃ nissāya pathaviyaṃ patiṭṭhāya evamete balakaraṇīyā kammantā
karīyanti; evameva kho, bhikkhave, bhikkhu sīlaṃ nissāya sīle patiṭṭhāya
ariyaṃ aṭṭhaṅgikaṃ maggaṃ bhāveti ariyaṃ aṭṭhaṅgikaṃ maggaṃ
bahulīkaroti.

Just as, bhikkhus, whatever actions are to be performed with strength
are all performed on dependence on the earth, supported by the earth; in
the same way, bhikkhus, it is on dependence on virtue, supported by
virtue, that a bhikkhu develops the noble eightfold path, that he
cultivates the noble eightfold path.




SN 45.150


seyyathāpi, bhikkhave, ye kecime bījagāmabhūtagāmā vuḍḍhiṃ virūḷhiṃ
vepullaṃ āpajjanti, sabbe te pathaviṃ nissāya pathaviyaṃ patiṭṭhāya
evamete bījagāmabhūtagāmā vuḍḍhiṃ virūḷhiṃ vepullaṃ āpajjanti; evameva
kho, bhikkhave, bhikkhu sīlaṃ nissāya sīle patiṭṭhāya ariyaṃ aṭṭhaṅgikaṃ
maggaṃ bhāvento ariyaṃ aṭṭhaṅgikaṃ maggaṃ bahulīkaronto vuḍḍhiṃ
virūḷhiṃ vepullaṃ pāpuṇāti dhammesu.

Just as, bhikkhus, whatever kinds of seed and plant life come to
development, growth, and plenitude, all come to development, growth, and
plenitude on dependence on the earth, supported by the earth; in the
same way, bhikkhus, on dependence on virtue, supported by virtue, a
bhikkhu developing the noble eightfold path, cultivating the noble
eightfold path, comes to development, growth, and plenitude in
[wholesome] mental states.



3. Appamāda
is also mentioned a few times independently from the sunrise simile, in
the context of which it is introduced at SN 45.54 as accomplishment in
assiduity (appamāda·sampadā). Such examples are found at SN 45.139 and SN 45.140.

4. Sammā·diṭṭhi (AN 10.121) or accomplishment in view (diṭṭhi·sampadā, SN 45.53),
are mentioned with the sunrise simile as precursors of the path,
without surprise since as we have seen above, each path factor leads to
the next, and sammā·diṭṭhi stands first.

5. Accomplishment in desire (chanda·sampadā) is mentioned with the sunrise simile at SN 45.51. The Commentary explains it as desire for kusalā dhammā. In a related meaning, the word chanda appears notably in the sammā·vāyāma formula.

6. Accomplishment in self (atta·sampadā), mentioned with the sunrise simile at SN 45.52. The commentary explains the expression as sampanna·citta·tā (accomplishment in mind), which suggests the attainment of samādhi (see adhi·citta·sikkhā). The expression ‘atta·ññū hoti’ (one who knows himself) may explain the term. At SN 7.68, it is explained as knowing oneself to have saddhā, sīla, learning (suta), cāga, paññā and understanding (paṭibhāna).

7. Accomplishment in appropriate attention (yoniso·manasikāra-sampadā), mentioned with the sunrise simile at SN 45.52.

8, 9 & 10. Vijjā followed by hiri and ottappa (anva·d·eva hir·ottappa) is said to be the forerunner (pubb·aṅgama) in the entry upon kusalā dhammā (kusalānaṃ dhammānaṃ samāpatti) at SN 45.1 and AN 10.105.

♦ The ariya aṭṭh·aṅg·ika magga is said at AN 4.34 to be the highest (agga) of saṅkhatā dhammā and to bring the highest vipākā.

♦ As we have seen above at SN 56.11, the ariya aṭṭh·aṅg·ika magga produces ñāṇa·dassana and leads to upasama, sambodhi and Nibbāna. Between SN 45.161 and SN 45.180, it is also said to lead to the direct knowledge (abhiññā), full understanding (pariññā), complete destruction (parikkhaya), and abandoning (pahāna) of various phenomena: the three discriminations (vidhā), i.e. ‘I am superior’ (‘seyyo·ham·asmī’ti), ‘I am equal’ (‘sadiso·ham·asmī’ti), ‘I am inferior’ (hīno·ham·asmī’ti); the three searches (esanā), i.e. the search for sensuality (kām·esanā), the search for [a good] existence (bhav·esanā), the search for the brahmic life (brahmacariy·esanā); the three āsavā; the three bhavā; the three sufferings (dukkhatā), i.e. the suffering from pain (dukkha·dukkhatā), the suffering from Constructions (saṅkhāra·dukkhatā), the suffering from change (vipariṇāma·dukkhatā); the three akusalamulā; the three types of vedanā; kāma, diṭṭhi and avijjā; the four upādānā; abhijjhā, byāpāda, sīla·bbata parāmāsa and adherence to [the view] ‘This [alone] is the truth’ (idaṃ·sacc·ābhinivesa); the seven anusayā; the five kāma·guṇā; the five nīvaraṇā; the five upādāna·kkhandhas; the ten saṃyojanā.

♦ The ariya aṭṭh·aṅg·ika magga also leads to the cessation (nirodha) of phenomena: MN 9 lists all the twelve links of paṭicca·samuppāda, the four āhārā and the three āsavā; AN 6.63 additionally speaks of the cessation of kāma and kamma; SN 22.56 mentions the cessation of each of the five upādāna·kkhandhas.

♦ The ariya aṭṭh·aṅg·ika magga is the tool to remove akusalā dhammā. In that respect, MN 3 directly mentions all the 16 upakkilesā (with dosa in place of byāpāda). A number of similes illustrating this point are given in the Magga Saṃyutta: at SN 45.153, akusalā dhammā
are given up by the mind like a pot turned upside down ‘gives up’ its
water; at SN 45.156, they are disintegrated like a cloud providing rain
disintegrates a dust storm; at SN 45.157, they are dispersed like a
strong wind disperses a great cloud giving rain; at SN 45.158, they are
like the ropes on a ship that rot under inclement weather.

♦ The ariya aṭṭh·aṅg·ika magga gives strength
to the mind, as explained in SN 45.27’s simile, where it is compared to
the stand of a pot that makes it difficult to get knocked over. At SN
45.160, people, powerful or not, wishing to convince a bhikkhu
cultivating the ariya aṭṭh·aṅg·ika magga to abandon monkhood by
offering him wealth will be no more successful than people wishing to
change the direction of the Ganges, because his mind is inclined to
seclusion.

SN 45.159


“seyyathāpi, bhikkhave, āgantukāgāraṃ. tattha puratthimāyapi disāya
āgantvā vāsaṃ kappenti, pacchimāyapi disāya āgantvā vāsaṃ kappenti,
uttarāyapi disāya āgantvā vāsaṃ kappenti, dakkhiṇāyapi disāya āgantvā
vāsaṃ kappenti, khattiyāpi āgantvā vāsaṃ kappenti, brāhmaṇāpi āgantvā
vāsaṃ kappenti, vessāpi āgantvā vāsaṃ kappenti, suddāpi āgantvā vāsaṃ
kappenti; evameva kho, bhikkhave, bhikkhu ariyaṃ aṭṭhaṅgikaṃ maggaṃ
bhāvento ariyaṃ aṭṭhaṅgikaṃ maggaṃ bahulīkaronto ye dhammā abhiññā
pariññeyyā, te dhamme abhiññā parijānāti, ye dhammā abhiññā pahātabbā,
te dhamme abhiññā pajahati, ye dhammā abhiññā sacchikātabbā, te dhamme
abhiññā sacchikaroti, ye dhammā abhiññā bhāvetabbā, te dhamme abhiññā
bhāveti.

Suppose, monks, there is a guest-house. Travelers come from the east,
the west, the north, the south to lodge here: nobles and Brahmans,
merchants and serfs. In the same way, monks, a monk who cultivates the
Noble Eightfold Path, who assiduously practices the Noble Eightfold
Path, comprehends with higher knowledge those states that are to be so
comprehended, abandons with higher knowledge those states that are to be
so abandoned, comes to experience with higher knowledge those states
that are to be so experienced, and cultivates with higher knowledge
those states that are to be so cultivated.

“katame ca, bhikkhave, dhammā abhiññā pariññeyyā? pañcupādānakkhandhātissa vacanīyaṃ…

What, monks, are the states to be comprehended with higher knowledge? They are the five groups of clinging…

katame ca, bhikkhave, dhammā abhiññā pahātabbā? avijjā ca bhavataṇhā ca…

What, monks, are the states to be abandoned with higher knowledge? They are ignorance and the desire for [further] becoming…

katame ca, bhikkhave, dhammā abhiññā sacchikātabbā? vijjā ca vimutti ca…

And what, monks, are the states to be experienced with higher knowledge? They are knowledge and liberation…

katame ca, bhikkhave, dhammā abhiññā bhāvetabbā? samatho ca vipassanā ca.

And what, monk, are the states to be cultivated with higher knowledge? They are calm and insight.





Bodhi leaf


ariyasacca: [ariya+sacca] noble truth. The four ariya·saccas are expounded by the Buddha in his very first discourse, the Dhamma-cakka’p'pavattana Sutta. It consists of:

1. dukkha-ariya·sacca
2. dukkha·samudaya-ariya·sacca

3. dukkha·nirodha-ariya·sacca
4. dukkha·nirodha·gāminī paṭipadā-ariya·sacca



Bodhi leaf


ariyasāvaka: [ariya+sāvaka] noble disciple.



Bodhi leaf


arūpabhava: [a+rūpa+bhava] existence/ becoming in the formless realm, which is taken as meaning those Brahmā-lokas which are accessible only to those who master at least the fifth jhāna. Arūpa-bhava is one of the three types of bhava.



Bodhi leaf


asantuṭṭhitā: [a+santuṭṭhitā]

discontent, dissatisfaction.

asantuṭṭha:

discontent, dissatisfied

♦ Sometimes, the adjective a·santuṭṭha is used with a rather neutral connotation, as at SN 35.198, where a bhikkhu is simply not satisfied with the answers given to his question.

♦ Most of the time, the word and its lexical derivatives carry a negative (akusala) connotation:

AN 1.64



“nāhaṃ, bhikkhave, aññaṃ ekadhammampi samanupassāmi yena anuppannā vā
akusalā dhammā uppajjanti uppannā vā kusalā dhammā parihāyanti
yathayidaṃ, bhikkhave, asantuṭṭhitā.

I do not see even one other thing, bhikkhus, because of which unarisen
unwholesome mental states come to arise, or arisen wholesome mental
states come to decline, so much, bhikkhus, as because of
dissatisfaction.



AN 1.88



“nāhaṃ, bhikkhave, aññaṃ ekadhammampi samanupassāmi yo evaṃ mahato anatthāya saṃvattati yathayidaṃ, bhikkhave, asantuṭṭhitā.

I do not see even one other thing, bhikkhus, that leads to such great harm as discontent.



AN 1.120



“nāhaṃ, bhikkhave, aññaṃ ekadhammampi samanupassāmi yo evaṃ saddhammassa
sammosāya antaradhānāya saṃvattati yathayidaṃ, bhikkhave, asantuṭṭhitā.

I do not see even one other thing, bhikkhus, that leads to the decline
and confusion of the authentic Dhamma so much as discontent.



AN 10.82



“so vatānanda, bhikkhu ‘asantuṭṭho samāno imasmiṃ dhammavinaye vuddhiṃ virūḷhiṃ vepullaṃ āpajjissatī’ti netaṃ ṭhānaṃ vijjati.

It is impossible, Ānanda, that a bhikkhu who is not content will find growth, progress, and completion in this Dhamma-Vinaya.



When the word carries such a connotation, being a·santuṭṭha is explained as follows:

AN 6.84



bhikkhu mahiccho hoti, vighātavā, asantuṭṭho, itarītara-cīvara-piṇḍapāta-senāsana-gilāna-ppaccaya-bhesajja-parikkhārena

a bhikkhu has great desires, is annoyed and is not content with whatever
kind of robes, almsfood, lodging, and medicines & provisions for
the sick [he gets]



As it is the case above, the word a·santuṭṭhitā or its lexical derivatives are very often juxtaposed with mahicchatā, which can almost be considered a synonym. In the Vinaya, lay people who are offended by bhikkhus’ behavior often say:



mahicchā ime samaṇā sakyaputtiyā asantuṭṭhā.

These ascetics sons of the Sakyan are of great desires, not contented.



This happens typically when misbehaving bhikkhus put
unnecessary pressure on lay supporters, either by asking more than the
strict minimum they need, or by making burdensome requests without prior
invitation. Thus, in the origin story to NP 6, the bhikkhu doesn’t want
to wait until his supporter goes back home to send him some cloth and
demands instead one of the garments he is currently wearing. At NP 8,
the bhikkhu gives instructions for getting finer cloth to the weaver
appointed by his supporters to make his robe, which ends up costing
twice as much yarn as they originally planned. At NP 10, the bhikkhu
doesn’t want to wait till the next day, which ends up costing a fine to
his supporter. At Bhikkhunis’ NP 11, some bhikkhunis ask the king for a
woolen garment (which is considered luxurious).

AN 4.157 maps the concept with others: a·santuṭṭhitā leads to evil desire (pāpika iccha) for recognition (an·avañña) and lābha·sakkāra·siloka, then to wrong effort (vāyama) and finally deceiving families by pretending to be much worthier than one actually is:

AN 4.157



“cattārome, bhikkhave, pabbajitassa rogā. katame cattāro? idha,
bhikkhave, bhikkhu mahiccho hoti vighātavā asantuṭṭho
itarītara-cīvara-piṇḍapāta-senāsana-gilāna-ppaccaya-bhesajja-parikkhārena.
so mahiccho samāno vighātavā asantuṭṭho
itarītara-cīvara-piṇḍapāta-senāsana-gilāna-ppaccaya-bhesajja-parikkhārena
pāpikaṃ icchaṃ paṇidahati anavañña-ppaṭilābhāya
lābha-sakkāra-siloka-ppaṭilābhāya. so uṭṭhahati ghaṭati vāyamati
anavañña-ppaṭilābhāya lābha-sakkāra-siloka-ppaṭilābhāya. so saṅkhāya
kulāni upasaṅkamati, saṅkhāya nisīdati, saṅkhāya dhammaṃ bhāsati,
saṅkhāya uccārapassāvaṃ sandhāreti. ime kho, bhikkhave, cattāro
pabbajitassa rogā.

Bhikkhus, there are these four sicknesses of one gone forth. What four?
Here, bhikkhus, a bhikkhu has great desires, is annoyed and is not
content with whatever kind of robes, almsfood, lodging, and medicines
& provisions for the sick [he gets]. Having great desires, being
annoyed and not content with whatever kind of robes, almsfood, lodging,
and medicines & provisions for the sick [he gets], he generates evil
desire for recognition and for honors, gain & fame. He rouses,
applies and exerts himself to obtain recognition and honors, gain &
fame. He craftily approaches families, craftily sits down, craftily
speaks about the Dhamma, and craftily holds in his excrement and urine.
These, bhikkhus, are four sicknesses of one gone forth.



The sutta then goes on to explain the cure, which
consists in forbearance with regards to the elements of nature, animals,
other people’s words and painful feelings:



“tasmātiha, bhikkhave, evaṃ sikkhitabbaṃ: ‘na mahicchā bhavissāma
vighātavanto asantuṭṭhā
itarītara-cīvara-piṇḍapāta-senāsana-gilāna-ppaccaya-bhesajja-parikkhārena,
na pāpikaṃ icchaṃ paṇidahissāma anavañña-ppaṭilābhāya
lābha-sakkāra-siloka-ppaṭilābhāya, na uṭṭhahissāma na ghaṭessāma na
vāyamissāma anavañña-ppaṭilābhāya lābha-sakkāra-siloka-ppaṭilābhāya,
khamā bhavissāma sītassa uṇhassa jighacchāya pipāsāya
ḍaṃsa-makasa-vātā-tapa-sarīṃsapa-samphassānaṃ duruttānaṃ durāgatānaṃ
vacanapathānaṃ, uppannānaṃ sārīrikānaṃ vedanānaṃ dukkhānaṃ tibbānaṃ
kharānaṃ kaṭukānaṃ asātānaṃ amanāpānaṃ pāṇaharānaṃ adhivāsakajātikā
bhavissāmā’ti. evañhi vo, bhikkhave, sikkhitabban”ti.

Therefore, bhikkhus, you should train thus: ‘We won’t have great
desires, be annoyed and not content with whatever kind of robes,
almsfood, lodging, and medicines & provisions for the sick [we will
get]; we won’t generate evil desire for recognition and for honors, gain
& fame; we won’t rouse, apply and exert ourselves to obtain
recognition and honors, gain & fame; we will endure cold, heat,
hunger, thirst and the contact with flies, mosquitoes, wind, sun and
creeping animals, as well as ways of speech that are ill-spoken and
offensive; we will be patient with arisen bodily feelings that are
painful, acute, sharp, piercing, disagreeable, unpleasant and
threatening life.’ This, bhikkhus, is how you should train yourselves.



In this sense, at AN 6.114, asantuṭṭhitā is juxtaposed with mahicchatā and a·sampajañña (lack of thorough comprehension).

It serves as a criterion to know whether one can dwell on his own or should stay amid other monks:

AN 5.127



“pañcahi, bhikkhave, dhammehi samannāgato bhikkhu nālaṃ saṅghamhā
vapakāsituṃ . katamehi pañcahi? idha, bhikkhave, bhikkhu asantuṭṭho hoti
itarītarena cīvarena, asantuṭṭho hoti itarītarena piṇḍapātena,
asantuṭṭho hoti itarītarena senāsanena, asantuṭṭho hoti itarītarena
gilānappaccayabhesajjaparikkhārena, kāmasaṅkappabahulo ca viharati.
imehi kho, bhikkhave, pañcahi dhammehi samannāgato bhikkhu nālaṃ
saṅghamhā vapakāsituṃ.

If he is endowed with five qualities, bhikkhus, a bhikkhu is not fit to
live away from the Community. What five? He is not content with whatever
kind of robe [he gets]; he is not content with whatever kind of
almsfood [he gets]; he is not content with whatever kind of lodging [he
gets]; he is not content with whatever kind of medicines and provisions
for the sick [he gets]; and he dwells absorbed in thoughts of
sensuality. If he is endowed with these five qualities, bhikkhus, a
bhikkhu is not fit to live away from the Community.



Laypeople must also avoid this kind of asantuṭṭhitā:

Snp 1.6



“sehi dārehi asantuṭṭho, vesiyāsu padussati, dussati paradāresu, taṃ parābhavato mukhaṃ”.

Not satisfied with one’s own wives, he is seen among the whores and the wives of others — this is the cause of his downfall.



♦ Although the word is mostly used with this negative connotation, it is also occasionally used with a positive (kusala) connotation. At AN 7.56 the devas who are content with their Brahmā state and do not know a higher escape (nissaraṇa) do not understand what those who are not content with that state and do know something higher may understand:

AN 7.56



ye kho te, mārisa moggallāna, brahmakāyikā devā brahmena āyunā
santuṭṭhā… te uttari nissaraṇaṃ yathābhūtaṃ nappajānanti, tesaṃ na
evaṃ ñāṇaṃ hoti… ye ca kho te, mārisa moggallāna, brahmakāyikā devā
brahmena āyunā asantuṭṭhā… te ca uttari nissaraṇaṃ yathābhūtaṃ
pajānanti, tesaṃ evaṃ ñāṇaṃ hoti…

Sir Moggallāna, the devas of Brahmā’s retinue who are content with a
brahmā’s longevity… and who do not know, as it actually is, an escape
higher than this, do not have such a knowledge… But the devas of
Brahmā’s retinue who are not content with a brahmā’s longevity… and
who know, as it actually is, an escape higher than this, have such a
knowledge…



At AN 2.5, asantuṭṭhitā applied to wholesome states (kusalā dhammā) is presented as very important for developing further on the path:

AN 2.5



dvinnāhaṃ, bhikkhave, dhammānaṃ upaññāsiṃ: yā ca asantuṭṭhitā kusalesu dhammesu, yā ca appaṭivānitā padhānasmiṃ.

Bhikkhus, I have come to know two qualities: non-contentment with wholesome states and tirelessness in exertion.



At SN 55.40, being satisfied with the four usual sot·āpattiy·aṅgas leads to not making an effort (vāyama) in solitude (paviveka), and then to successively miss on pāmojja, pīti and passaddhi, and finally dwell in dukkha, which is considered living with pamāda, while not being satisfied with them prompts one to make the effort in solitude and experience successively pāmojja, pīti, passaddhi, sukha, samādhi, the fact that phenomena have become manifest, and finally living with appamāda.

At AN 6.80, the word is interestingly surrounded by related concepts:

AN 6.80



chahi, bhikkhave, dhammehi samannāgato bhikkhu nacirasseva mahantattaṃ
vepullattaṃ pāpuṇāti dhammesu. katamehi chahi? idha, bhikkhave, bhikkhu
ālokabahulo ca hoti yogabahulo ca vedabahulo ca asantuṭṭhibahulo ca
anikkhittadhuro ca kusalesu dhammesu uttari ca patāreti.

If he is endowed with six qualities, bhikkhus, a bhikkhu attains in no
long time greatness and fullness in [wholesome] states. What six? Here,
bhikkhus, a bhikkhu is full of light, full of endeavor, full of
enthusiasm, full of dissatisfaction [with wholesome states already
attained], he doesn’t shirk his task in wholesome states, and he keeps
progressing further.





Bodhi leaf


asappurisa: [a+sappurisa]

bad person.

The word is always contrasted with sappurisa. Bāla is sometimes explicitly mentioned as a synonym:


MN 129


‘bālo ayaṃ bhavaṃ asappuriso’’ti.

‘This individual is a fool, a bad person’.



The term is defined multiple times. We find in the suttas three main ways to define it. According to the micchā·paṭipadā:

SN 45.26


katamo ca, bhikkhave, asappuriso? idha, bhikkhave, ekacco micchādiṭṭhiko
hoti, micchāsaṅkappo, micchāvāco, micchākammanto, micchāājīvo,
micchāvāyāmo, micchāsati, micchāsamādhi. ayaṃ vuccati, bhikkhave,
asappuriso”.

And what, bhikkhus, is a bad person? Here, bhikkhus, someone is of wrong
view, wrong aspiration, wrong speech, wrong action, wrong livelihood,
wrong effort, wrong mindfulness and wrong concentration. This, bhikkhus,
is what is called a bad person.

“katamo ca, bhikkhave, asappurisena asappurisataro? idha, bhikkhave,
ekacco micchādiṭṭhiko hoti, micchāsaṅkappo, micchāvāco, micchākammanto,
micchāājīvo, micchāvāyāmo, micchāsati, micchāsamādhi, micchāñāṇī,
micchāvimutti. ayaṃ vuccati, bhikkhave, asappurisena asappurisataro.

And what, bhikkhus, is one who is worse than a bad person? Here,
bhikkhus, someone is of wrong view, wrong aspiration, wrong speech,
wrong action, wrong livelihood, wrong effort, wrong mindfulness, wrong
concentration, wrong knowledge and wrong liberation. This, bhikkhus, is
what is called one who is worse than a bad person.



According to various subsets of the ten akusalā kamma·pathā:

AN 4.204


“katamo ca, bhikkhave, asappuriso? idha, bhikkhave, ekacco pāṇātipātī
hoti, adinnādāyī hoti, kāmesumicchācārī hoti, musāvādī hoti, pisuṇavāco
hoti, pharusavāco hoti, samphappalāpī hoti, abhijjhālu hoti,
byāpannacitto hoti, micchādiṭṭhiko hoti. ayaṃ vuccati, bhikkhave,
asappuriso.

And what, bhikkhus, is a bad person? Here, bhikkhus, someone destroys
life, takes what is not given, engages in misconduct regarding
[pleasures of] sensuality, speaks falsehood, speaks maliciously, speaks
harshly, speaks frivolously, is covetous, has a malevolent mind, is of
wrong view. This, bhikkhus, is what is called a bad person.

“katamo ca, bhikkhave, asappurisena asappurisataro? idha, bhikkhave,
ekacco attanā ca pāṇātipātī hoti, parañca pāṇātipāte samādapeti,
attanā ca adinnādāyī hoti, parañca adinnādāne samādapeti,
attanā ca kāmesumicchācārī hoti, parañca kāmesumicchācāre samādapeti,
attanā ca musāvādī hoti, parañca musāvāde samādapeti,
attanā ca pisuṇavāco hoti, parañca pisuṇavācāya samādapeti,
attanā ca pharusavāco hoti, parañca pharusavācāya samādapeti,
attanā ca samphappalāpī hoti, parañca samphappalāpe samādapeti, attanā
ca abhijjhālu hoti, parañca abhijjhāya samādapeti; attanā ca
byāpannacitto hoti, parañca byāpāde samādapeti, attanā ca micchādiṭṭhiko
hoti, parañca micchādiṭṭhiyā samādapeti. ayaṃ vuccati, bhikkhave,
asappurisena asappurisataro.

And what, bhikkhus, is one who is worse than a bad person? Here,
bhikkhus, someone destroys life himself and incites others to destroy
life, takes what is not given himself and incites others to take what is
not given, engages in misconduct regarding [pleasures of] sensuality
himself and incites others to engage in misconduct regarding [pleasures
of] sensuality, speaks falsehood himself and incites others to speak
falsehood, speaks maliciously himself and incites others to speak
maliciously, speaks harshly himself and incites others to, speaks
frivolously himself and incites others to, is covetous himself and
incites others to speak harshly, has a malevolent mind himself and
incites others to have a malevolent mind, is of wrong view himself and
incites others to have wrong view. This, bhikkhus, is what is called one
who is worse than a bad person.



According to a particular set of bad qualities:

AN 4.202


“katamo ca, bhikkhave, asappuriso? idha, bhikkhave, ekacco assaddho
hoti, ahiriko hoti, anottappī hoti, appassuto hoti, kusīto hoti,
muṭṭhassati hoti, duppañño hoti. ayaṃ vuccati, bhikkhave, asappuriso.

And what, bhikkhus, is a bad person? Here, bhikkhus, someone doesn’t
have conviction, doesn’t have conscientiousness, doesn’t have scruple,
doesn’t acquire learning, is lazy, is of forgetful mindfulness, is of
deficient discernment. This, bhikkhus, is what is called a bad person.

“katamo ca, bhikkhave, asappurisena asappurisataro? idha, bhikkhave,
ekacco attanā ca assaddho hoti, parañca assaddhiye samādapeti; attanā ca
ahiriko hoti, parañca ahirikatāya samādapeti; attanā ca anottappī hoti,
parañca anottappe samādapeti; attanā ca appassuto hoti, parañca
appassute samādapeti; attanā ca kusīto hoti, parañca kosajje samādapeti;
attanā ca muṭṭhassati hoti, parañca muṭṭhassacce samādapeti; attanā ca
duppañño hoti, parañca duppaññatāya samādapeti. ayaṃ vuccati, bhikkhave,
asappurisena asappurisataro.

And what, bhikkhus, is one who is worse than a bad person? Here,
bhikkhus, someone doesn’t have conviction himself and incites others to
be without conviction, doesn’t have conscientiousness himself and
incites others to be without conscientiousness, doesn’t have scruple
himself and incites others to be without scruple, doesn’t acquire
learning himself and incites others to not acquire learning, is lazy
himself and incites others to be lazy, is of forgetful mindfulness
himself and incites others to be of forgetful mindfulness, is of
deficient discernment himself and incites others to be of deficient
discernment. This, bhikkhus, is what is called one who is worse than a
bad person.



The term is also defined or explained at great length in two suttas of the Majjhima Nikāya:

MN 110


asappuriso, bhikkhave, assaddhammasamannāgato hoti, asappurisabhatti
hoti, asappurisacintī hoti, asappurisamantī hoti, asappurisavāco hoti,
asappurisakammanto hoti, asappurisadiṭṭhi hoti; asappurisadānaṃ deti”.

“A person of no integrity is endowed with qualities of no integrity; he
is a person of no integrity in his friendship, in the way he wills, the
way he gives advice, the way he speaks, the way he acts, the views he
holds, & the way he gives a gift.

“kathañca, bhikkhave, asappuriso assaddhammasamannāgato hoti? idha,
bhikkhave, asappuriso assaddho hoti, ahiriko hoti, anottappī hoti,
appassuto hoti, kusīto hoti, muṭṭhassati hoti, duppañño hoti. evaṃ kho,
bhikkhave, asappuriso assaddhammasamannāgato hoti.

“And how is a person of no integrity endowed with qualities of no
integrity? There is the case where a person of no integrity is lacking
in conviction, lacking in conscience, lacking in concern [for the
results of unskillful actions]; he is unlearned, lazy, of muddled
mindfulness, & poor discernment. This is how a person of no
integrity is endowed with qualities of no integrity.”

“kathañca, bhikkhave, asappuriso asappurisabhatti hoti? idha, bhikkhave,
asappurisassa ye te samaṇabrāhmaṇā assaddhā ahirikā anottappino
appassutā kusītā muṭṭhassatino duppaññā tyāssa mittā honti te sahāyā.
evaṃ kho, bhikkhave, asappuriso asappurisabhatti hoti.

“And how is a person of no integrity a person of no integrity in his
friendship? There is the case where a person of no integrity has, as his
friends & companions, those brahmans & contemplatives who are
lacking in conviction, lacking in conscience, lacking in concern,
unlearned, lazy, of muddled mindfulness, & poor discernment. This is
how a person of no integrity is a person of no integrity in his
friendship.

“kathañca, bhikkhave, asappuriso asappurisacintī hoti? idha, bhikkhave,
asappuriso attabyābādhāyapi ceteti, parabyābādhāyapi ceteti,
ubhayabyābādhāyapi ceteti. evaṃ kho, bhikkhave, asappuriso
asappurisacintī hoti.

“And how is a person of no integrity a person of no integrity in the way
he wills? There is the case where a person of no integrity wills for
his own affliction, or for the affliction of others, or for the
affliction of both. This is how a person of no integrity is a person of
no integrity in the way he wills.

“kathañca, bhikkhave, asappuriso asappurisamantī hoti? idha, bhikkhave,
asappuriso attabyābādhāyapi manteti, parabyābādhāyapi manteti,
ubhayabyābādhāyapi manteti. evaṃ kho, bhikkhave, asappuriso
asappurisamantī hoti.

“And how is a person of no integrity a person of no integrity in the way
he gives advice? There is the case where a person of no integrity gives
advice for his own affliction, or for the affliction of others, or for
the affliction of both. This is how a person of no integrity is a person
of no integrity in the way he gives advice.

“kathañca, bhikkhave, asappuriso asappurisavāco hoti? idha, bhikkhave,
asappuriso musāvādī hoti, pisuṇavāco hoti, pharusavāco hoti,
samphappalāpī hoti. evaṃ kho, bhikkhave, asappuriso asappurisavāco hoti.

“And how is a person of no integrity a person of no integrity in the way
he speaks? There is the case where a person of no integrity is one who
tells lies, engages in divisive tale-bearing, engages in harsh speech,
engages in idle chatter. This is how a person of no integrity is a
person of no integrity in the way he speaks.

“kathañca, bhikkhave, asappuriso asappurisakammanto hoti? idha,
bhikkhave, asappuriso pāṇātipātī hoti, adinnādāyī hoti, kāmesumicchācārī
hoti. evaṃ kho, bhikkhave, asappuriso asappurisakammanto hoti.

“And how is a person of no integrity a person of no integrity in the way
he acts? There is the case where a person of no integrity is one who
takes life, steals, engages in illicit sex. This is how a person of no
integrity is a person of no integrity in the way he acts.

“kathañca, bhikkhave, asappuriso asappurisadiṭṭhi hoti? idha, bhikkhave,
asappuriso evaṃdiṭṭhi hoti: ‘natthi dinnaṃ, natthi yiṭṭhaṃ, natthi
hutaṃ, natthi sukatadukkaṭānaṃ kammānaṃ phalaṃ vipāko, natthi ayaṃ loko,
natthi paro loko, natthi mātā, natthi pitā, natthi sattā opapātikā,
natthi loke samaṇabrāhmaṇā sammaggatā sammāpaṭipannā, ye imañca lokaṃ
parañca lokaṃ sayaṃ abhiññā sacchikatvā pavedentī’ti. evaṃ kho,
bhikkhave, asappuriso asappurisadiṭṭhi hoti.

“And how is a person of no integrity a person of no integrity in the
views he holds? There is the case where a person of no integrity is one
who holds a view like this: ‘There is nothing given, nothing offered,
nothing sacrificed. There is no fruit or result of good or bad actions.
There is no this world, no next world, no mother, no father, no
spontaneously reborn beings; no brahmans or contemplatives who, faring
rightly & practicing rightly, proclaim this world & the next
after having directly known & realized it for themselves.’ This is
how a person of no integrity is a person of no integrity in the views he
holds.

“kathañca, bhikkhave, asappuriso asappurisadānaṃ deti? idha, bhikkhave,
asappuriso asakkaccaṃ dānaṃ deti, asahatthā dānaṃ deti, acittīkatvā
dānaṃ deti, apaviṭṭhaṃ dānaṃ deti anāgamanadiṭṭhiko dānaṃ deti. evaṃ
kho, bhikkhave, asappuriso asappurisadānaṃ deti.

“And how is a person of no integrity a person of no integrity in the way
he gives a gift? There is the case where a person of no integrity gives
a gift inattentively, not with his own hand, disrespectfully, as if
throwing it away, with the view that nothing will come of it. This is
how a person of no integrity is a person of no integrity in the way he
gives a gift.

“so, bhikkhave, asappuriso evaṃ assaddhammasamannāgato, evaṃ
asappurisabhatti, evaṃ asappurisacintī, evaṃ asappurisamantī, evaṃ
asappurisavāco, evaṃ asappurisakammanto, evaṃ asappurisadiṭṭhi; evaṃ
asappurisadānaṃ datvā kāyassa bhedā paraṃ maraṇā yā asappurisānaṃ gati
tattha upapajjati. kā ca, bhikkhave, asappurisānaṃ gati? nirayo vā
tiracchānayoni vā.

“This person of no integrity, thus endowed with qualities of no
integrity; a person of no integrity in his friendship, in the way he
wills, the way he gives advice, the way he speaks, the way he acts, the
views he holds, & the way he gives a gift, on the break-up of the
body, after death, reappears in the destination of people of no
integrity. And what is the destination of people of no integrity? Hell
or the animal womb.



MN 113


“katamo ca, bhikkhave, asappurisadhammo? idha, bhikkhave, asappuriso
uccākulā pabbajito hoti. so iti paṭisañcikkhati: ‘ahaṃ khomhi uccākulā
pabbajito, ime panaññe bhikkhū na uccākulā pabbajitā’ti. so tāya
uccākulīnatāya attānukkaṃseti, paraṃ vambheti. ayaṃ, bhikkhave,
asappurisadhammo …

“And which is the quality of a person of no integrity? “There is the
case where a person of no integrity goes forth from a high-ranking
family. He notices, ‘I have gone forth from a high-ranking family, but
these other monks have not gone forth from a high-ranking family.’ He
exalts himself for having a high-ranking family and disparages others.
This is the quality of a person of no integrity …

“puna caparaṃ, bhikkhave, asappuriso mahākulā pabbajito hoti …
mahābhogakulā pabbajito hoti … uḷārabhogakulā pabbajito hoti. so iti
paṭisañcikkhati: ‘ahaṃ khomhi uḷārabhogakulā pabbajito, ime panaññe
bhikkhū na uḷārabhogakulā pabbajitā’ti. so tāya uḷārabhogatāya
attānukkaṃseti, paraṃ vambheti. ayampi, bhikkhave, asappurisadhammo …

“Furthermore, a person of no integrity goes forth from a great family…
a family of great wealth… a family of extensive wealth. He notices,
‘I have gone forth from a family of extensive wealth, but these other
monks have not gone forth from a family of extensive wealth.’ He exalts
himself for having a family of extensive wealth and disparages others.
This is the quality of a person of no integrity …

“puna caparaṃ, bhikkhave, asappuriso ñāto hoti yasassī… lābhī hoti
cīvara-piṇḍapāta-senāsana-gilāna-ppaccaya-bhesajja-parikkhārānaṃ…
bahussuto hoti… vinayadharo hoti… dhammakathiko hoti… āraññiko
hoti… paṃsukūliko hoti… piṇḍapātiko hoti… rukkhamūliko hoti…
sosāniko hoti… abbhokāsiko hoti… nesajjiko hoti… yathāsanthatiko
hoti… ekāsaniko hoti… paṭhamaṃ jhānaṃ… dutiyaṃ jhānaṃ… tatiyaṃ
jhānaṃ… catutthaṃ jhānaṃ upasampajja viharati… ākāsānañcāyatanaṃ…
viññāṇañcāyatanaṃ… ākiñcaññāyatanaṃ… nevasaññānāsaññāyatanaṃ
upasampajja viharati. so iti paṭisañcikkhati: ‘ahaṃ khomhi
neva-saññā-nāsaññ-āyatana-samāpattiyā lābhī, ime panaññe bhikkhū
neva-saññā-nāsaññ-āyatana-samāpattiyā na lābhino’ti. so tāya
neva-saññā-nāsaññ-āyatana-samāpattiyā attānukkaṃseti, paraṃ vambheti.
ayampi, bhikkhave, asappurisadhammo.

“Furthermore, a person of no integrity is well-known & highly
regarded … is one who gains robe-cloth, alms-food, lodgings, &
medicinal requisites for the sick … is learned … is a master of the
Vinaya … is a Dhamma-speaker … is a wilderness dweller … is one
who wears robes of thrown-away rags… an alms-goer… one who dwells at
the root of a tree… a cemetery dweller… one who lives in the open
air… one who doesn’t lie down… one who is content with whatever
dwelling is assigned to him… one who eats only one meal a day …
enters & remains in the first jhāna … in the second jhāna… the
third jhāna… the fourth jhāna… the dimension of the infinitude of
space… the dimension of the infinitude of consciousness… the
dimension of nothingness… the dimension of neither perception nor
non-perception. He notices, ‘I have gained the attainment of the
dimension of neither perception nor non-perception, but these other
monks have not gained the attainment of the dimension of neither
perception nor non-perception.’ He exalts himself for the attainment of
the dimension of neither perception nor non-perception and disparages
others. This is the quality of a person of no integrity.



The sutta doesn’t mention the behavior of an asappurisa who would attain saññā·vedayita·nirodha, while it mentions that of a sappurisa who would, which suggests that a person who reaches such a state can no longer be an asappurisa.

♦ An asappurisa can be recognized by the way he relates to his own and his fellows’ faults and virtues:

AN 4.73


“catūhi, bhikkhave, dhammehi samannāgato asappuriso veditabbo. katamehi
catūhi? idha, bhikkhave, asappuriso yo hoti parassa avaṇṇo taṃ apuṭṭhopi
pātu karoti, ko pana vādo puṭṭhassa! puṭṭho kho pana pañhābhinīto
ahāpetvā alambitvā paripūraṃ vitthārena parassa avaṇṇaṃ bhāsitā hoti.
veditabbametaṃ, bhikkhave, asappuriso ayaṃ bhavanti.

“Monks, a person endowed with these four qualities can be known as ‘a
person of no integrity.’ Which four? There is the case where a person of
no integrity, when unasked, reveals another person’s bad points, to say
nothing of when asked. Furthermore, when asked, when pressed with
questions, he is one who speaks of another person’s bad points in full
& in detail, without omission, without holding back. Of this person
you may know, ‘This venerable one is a person of no integrity.’

“puna caparaṃ, bhikkhave, asappuriso yo hoti parassa vaṇṇo taṃ puṭṭhopi
na pātu karoti, ko pana vādo apuṭṭhassa! puṭṭho kho pana pañhābhinīto
hāpetvā lambitvā aparipūraṃ avitthārena parassa vaṇṇaṃ bhāsitā hoti.
veditabbametaṃ, bhikkhave, asappuriso ayaṃ bhavanti.

“Then again, a person of no integrity, when asked, does not reveal
another person’s good points, to say nothing of when unasked.
Furthermore, when asked, when pressed with questions, he is one who
speaks of another person’s good points not in full, not in detail, with
omissions, holding back. Of this person you may know, ‘This venerable
one is a person of no integrity.’

“puna caparaṃ, bhikkhave, asappuriso yo hoti attano avaṇṇo taṃ puṭṭhopi
na pātu karoti, ko pana vādo apuṭṭhassa! puṭṭho kho pana pañhābhinīto
hāpetvā lambitvā aparipūraṃ avitthārena attano avaṇṇaṃ bhāsitā hoti.
veditabbametaṃ, bhikkhave, asappuriso ayaṃ bhavanti.

“Then again, a person of no integrity, when asked, does not reveal his
own bad points, to say nothing of when unasked. Furthermore, when asked,
when pressed with questions, he is one who speaks of his own bad points
not in full, not in detail, with omissions, holding back. Of this
person you may know, ‘This venerable one is a person of no integrity.’

“puna caparaṃ, bhikkhave, asappuriso yo hoti attano vaṇṇo taṃ apuṭṭhopi
pātu karoti, ko pana vādo puṭṭhassa! puṭṭho kho pana pañhābhinīto
ahāpetvā alambitvā paripūraṃ vitthārena attano vaṇṇaṃ bhāsitā hoti.
veditabbametaṃ, bhikkhave, asappuriso ayaṃ bhavanti. imehi kho,
bhikkhave, catūhi dhammehi samannāgato asappuriso veditabbo.

“Then again, a person of no integrity, when unasked, reveals his own
good points, to say nothing of when asked. Furthermore, when asked, when
pressed with questions, he is one who speaks of his own good points in
full & in detail, without omissions, without holding back. Of this
person you may know, ‘This venerable one is a person of no integrity.’



♦ According to AN 2.33, an asappurisa is ungrateful (a·kat·aññū - ‘one who doesn’t know what has been done’) and unthankful (a·kata·vedī - ‘one who doesn’t feel what has been done’).

♦ At AN 2.135, someone who, without knowing well nor investigating (an·anuvicca a·pariy·ogāhetvā), speaks in praise of someone who deserves critic (a·vaṇṇ·ārahassa vaṇṇaṃ bhāsati), or criticizes someone who deserves praise (vaṇṇ·ārahassa a·vaṇṇaṃ bhāsati), is an asappurisa. In the immediately following sutta, the same holds for believing a matter that merits suspiscion (appasādanīye ṭhāne pasādaṃ upadaṃseti) or being suspicious about a matter that merits belief (pasādanīye ṭhāne appasādaṃ upadaṃseti).

♦ At AN 2.137, one who misbehaves (micchā·paṭipajjati) towards his mother or father is an asappurisa, and in the immediately following sutta, the same holds for the Tathāgata or one of his disciples (tathāgata·sāvaka).

♦ At AN 10.61, listening to a teaching that contradicts the saddhamma is caused by association with asappurisā.



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āsava: that which flows (out or on to) outflow and influx.

1) spirit, the intoxicating extract or secretion of a tree or flower.

2) discharge from a sore (AN 3.25).

3) that which intoxicates the mind (bemuddles it,
befoozles it, so that it cannot rise to higher things). Impurities/
pollutions/ fermentations/ corruptions of the mind.

The Buddha often refers to arahatta as the total destruction of āsavas (āsavakkhaya). Sāriputta lists āsavas as threefold at MN 9:

1. kām-āsava

2. bhav-āsava

3. avijj-āsava

The Sabbāsava Sutta explains in detail how the different types of āsavas are to be eradicated.



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āsavānaṃ khayañāṇa: [āsava khaya+ñāṇa] knowledge of the ending of āsavas, which arises with arahatta. It is one of the three vijjās. The formula defining it is analyzed there.



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asmimāna: [asmi+māna]

the conceit ‘I am’.

The term asmi·māna can be considered as a variant form of māna, which constitutes one of the five saṃyojanas that disappear only with arahatta, and one of the seven anusayas. Thus, it is essentially something to get rid of.

♦ In this connection, anicca·saññā applied to the five upādāna·kkhandhas is often presented as the way to remove asmi·māna, e.g.:


SN 22.102


“kathaṃ bhāvitā ca, bhikkhave, aniccasaññā kathaṃ bahulīkatā… sabbaṃ
asmimānaṃ samūhanati? ‘iti rūpaṃ, iti rūpassa samudayo, iti rūpassa
atthaṅgamo; iti vedanā… iti saññā… iti saṅkhārā… iti viññāṇaṃ, iti
viññāṇassa samudayo, iti viññāṇassa atthaṅgamo’ti. evaṃ bhāvitā kho,
bhikkhave, aniccasaññā evaṃ bahulīkatā… sabbaṃ asmimānaṃ
samūhanatī”ti.

And how, bhikkhus, is the perception of impermanence developed and
practiced often so that it eradicates… all conceit ‘I am’? ‘Such is
Form, such its apparition, such its extinction; such is Feeling… such
is Perception… such are Fabrications… such is Consciousness, such
its apparition, such its extinction’: this is how the perception of
impermanence is developed and practiced often so that it eradicates…
all conceit ‘I am’.



In an equivalent statement, the term asmi·māna is mentioned as applying to the five upādāna·kkhandhas, and the term anicca·saññā is replaced by ‘udayabbay·ānupassī’ (observing apparition and extinction).


MN 122


pañca kho ime, ānanda, upādānakkhandhā yattha bhikkhunā
udayabbayānupassinā vihātabbaṃ. ‘iti rūpaṃ iti rūpassa samudayo iti
rūpassa atthaṅgamo, iti vedanā… iti saññā… iti saṅkhārā… iti
viññāṇaṃ iti viññāṇassa samudayo iti viññāṇassa atthaṅgamo’ti. tassa
imesu pañcasu upādānakkhandhesu udayabbayānupassino viharato yo pañcasu
upādānakkhandhesu asmimāno so pahīyati.

There are these five clinging-aggregates where a monk should stay,
keeping track of arising & passing away (thus): ‘Such is form, such
its origination, such its disappearance. Such is feeling… Such is
perception… Such are fabrications… Such is consciousness, such its
origination, such its disappearance.’ As he stays keeping track of
arising & passing away with regard to these five
clinging-aggregates, he abandons any conceit that ‘I am’ with regard to
these five clinging-aggregates.



As a matter of fact, it is revealed at AN 9.1 that anicca·saññā does not lead directly to asmi·māna·samugghāta (eradication of the conceit ‘I am’). Rather, anicca·saññā leads first to anatta·saññā, which is the actual proximate cause for that eradication to take place:


AN 9.1


Aniccasaññā bhāvetabbā asmimānasamugghātāya. Aniccasaññino, bhikkhave,
anattasaññā saṇṭhāti. anattasaññī asmimānasamugghātaṃ pāpuṇāti diṭṭheva
dhamme nibbānan”ti

The perception of inconstancy should be developed, for the eradication
of the conceit ‘I am’. In one who perceives inconstancy, bhikkhus, the
perception of non-self takes a stand. One who perceives non-self reaches
the eradication of the conceit ‘I am’, Nibbāna in this visible world.



♦ An alternative tool for abandoning asmi·māna is kāyagatāsati:


AN 1.588


ekadhamme, bhikkhave, bhāvite bahulīkate asmimāno pahīyati. katamasmiṃ ekadhamme? kāyagatāya satiyā.

When, bhikkhus, one thing is developed and practiced often, the conceit
‘I am’ is abandoned. Which one thing? Mindfulness directed to the body.



AN 6.29, which features a unique list of anussatis, provides a more specific information: it is the nine sivathika contemplations that help eradicating asmi·māna:


AN 6.29


so imameva kāyaṃ evaṃ upasaṃharati: ‘ayampi kho kāyo evaṃdhammo
evaṃbhāvī evaṃanatīto’ti. idaṃ, bhante, anussatiṭṭhānaṃ evaṃ bhāvitaṃ
evaṃ bahulīkataṃ asmimānasamugghātāya saṃvattati.

He compares this very body with it [the corpse]: ‘This body is also of
such a nature, it will become like this, it is not exempt from that.’
This subject of recollection, when developed and practiced often in this
way, leads to the eradication of the conceit ‘I am.’



♦ We find in the suttas a few illustrative evocations of asmi·māna
or its eradication. At SN 35.214, the practitioner is compared to a log
drifting on a river that will go all the way to the ocean (which stands
for nibbāna), provided it doesn’t get stopped on the way. One of the possible obstacles is asmi·māna, which is compared to ‘being cast up on high ground’ (thale ussādo).

At AN 4.38, through eradication of asmi·māna, a bhikkhu is called ‘patilīna’,
which may mean ‘reserved’, ‘quiet’, ‘unostentatious’, ‘unpretentious’,
and which the commentary explains as ‘hidden’ or ‘gone into solitude’.

At AN 5.71, one who has abandoned asmi·māna is said to be an ariya ‘with banner lowered’ (panna·ddhajo), ‘with burden dropped’ (panna·bhāra) and ‘detached’ or ‘unfettered’ (visaṃyutta).



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assāda: (apparent/sensory) satisfaction, enjoyment, gratification, sweetness, allure, happiness. Often cited together with ādīnava and nissaraṇa as characteristics to be understood regarding various dhammas: the five upādāna·kkhandhas, kāma, certain diṭṭhis etc. The assāda of a particular dhamma is generally described as the sukha and somanassa which arise on account of it. The assāda of kāma, rūpa and vedanā are explained in detail at MN 13.



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assutavā: [a+suta+vā] uninstructed/ ignorant person - lit: ‘one who has not heard/learnt’.



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asubha: [a+subha]

1) (n:) non-beauty, foulness, loathsomeness, digust, ugliness.

2) (adj:) foul, loathsome, disgusting, ugly, impure, unpleasant.

Almost synonymous with paṭikūla. The contemplation of an asubha·nimitta is the way to develop asubha·saññā.

♦ The contemplation of an asubha object is exclusively aimed at removing rāga (e.g. MN 62, AN 6.107) or at removing kāma·cchanda, which is one of the five nīvaraṇas (with the help of an asubha·nimitta, at SN 46.51 and AN 1.16).

♦ In the Aṅguttara Nikāya, the expression ‘bhikkhu asubhānupassī kāye viharati’ (a bhikkhu dwells contemplating asubha in the body) appears as a synonym for the practice of asubha·saññā (at AN 10.60), often applied specifically to kāya, and generally in conjunction with āhāre paṭikūla·saññī, sabba·loke an·abhirata·saññī, sabba·saṅkhāresu anicc·ānupassī, and maraṇa·saññ[ī]. This set of five factors is said in various synonym ways to lead to nibbāna (e.g. AN 5.69). They can also lead a sick bhikkhu to arahatta (AN 5.121). Alternatively, in some cases they lead only to anāgāmita (AN 5.122).

♦ The expression ‘asubhānupassī kāye viharati’ is also described at AN 4.163 as participating of a painful mode of practice (dukkhā paṭipadā).

♦ Seeing as subha something which is actually asubha constitutes one of four saññā·vipallāsa (distortions of perception), citta·vipallāsa (perversions of the mind), diṭṭhi·vipallāsa (inversions of views), the other three being the corresponding misunderstanding of aniccā, dukkha and anatta (AN 4.49).

♦ At SN 54.9,
the danger in this practice is made evident, as it leads many bhikkhus
to commit suicide. It can be inferred that they did not apply yoniso manasi·kāra correctly and thus multiplied their aversion instead of removing
rāga or kāma·cchanda. After the incident, the Buddha recommands ānāpānassati·samādhi as a way to gain calm, pleasantness, and allay akusala dhammas.

♦ For further information about asubha practices, see asubha·nimitta and asubha·saññā below.



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asubhanimitta: [asubha+nimitta]

sign of the unattractive, characteristic of foulness. The practice is to apply the mind to something repulsive, either per se
(corpses at various stages of putrefaction for example), or to the
repulsive aspects of something usually perceived otherwise, such as the
body (of which 31 parts are identified, see here) or food. It is worthwhile to note that this practice can be dangerous, as if the mind is not properly endowed with yoniso manasi·kāra, one may instead multiply aversion as it happens at SN 54.9, where many bhikkhus commit suicide. Generally speaking, an asubha·nimitta can also be defined as an object that allows for the practice of asubha·saññā.

♦ At SN 46.51 and AN 1.16, an asubha·nimitta is said to remove kāma·cchanda, which is one of the five nīvaraṇas. At AN 3.69, it is also said to remove rāga.

♦ One practice involving asubha·nimittas is described in most detail in the section on charnel grounds (sivathika) of the Mahā·sati·paṭṭhāna Sutta, although not directly mentioned with this terminology.

♦ For further information about asubha practices, see asubha·saññā below.



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asubhasaññā: [