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Eternal Glorified Friendly Benevolent Compassionate AWAKENED ONE’s UNIVERSE IS WITHIN YOU.
recollection of the Eternal Glorified Friendly Benevolent Compassionate AWAKENED ONE Buddha.
Buddhānussati is defined by the Buddha, for example at AN 6.10:
|itipi so Bhagavā||surely, he is a Bhagavā,|
||an arahant, rightly and fully awakened,|
|vijjā·caraṇa·sampanno,||accomplished in vijjā and [good] conduct,|
|sugato, loka·vidū,||faring well, knowing the world,|
||the unsurpassed leader of persons to be tamed,|
|satthā deva·manussānaṃ,||teacher of devas and humans,|
Buddho Bhagavā ti.
||a Buddha, a Bhagavā.|
In the Nagaropama Sutta, there is a simile explaining that when the conviction (saddhā) of a disciple is meaningfully expressed with this formula, they practice what is advantageous (kusala) and abandon what is disadvantageous (akusala):
“seyyathāpi, bhikkhave, rañño paccantime nagare esikā hoti gambhīranemā
sunikhātā acalā asampavedhī abbhantarānaṃ guttiyā bāhirānaṃ paṭighātāya.
evamevaṃ kho, bhikkhave, ariyasāvako saddho hoti, saddahati
tathāgatassa bodhiṃ ‘itipi so… buddho bhagavā’ti. saddhesiko,
bhikkhave, ariyasāvako akusalaṃ pajahati, kusalaṃ bhāveti; sāvajjaṃ
pajahati, anavajjaṃ bhāveti; suddhaṃ attānaṃ pariharati.
Just as a king’s frontier citadel has a pillar with deep foundations, firmly embedded,
imperturbable and unshakable, to defend those within and repel those outside, in the same
way a noble disciple has faith in the Realized One’s awakening: ‘That Blessed One… awakened, blessed.’ A
noble disciple with faith as their pillar gives up the unskillful and develops the skillful, they
give up the blameworthy and develop the blameless, and they keep themselves pure.
Buddhānussati leads to Nibbāna:
“One thing, mendicants, when developed and cultivated, leads solely to disillusionment,
dispassion, cessation, peace, insight, awakening, and extinguishment. What one thing? Recollection of the Eternal Glorified Friendly Benevolent Compassionate AWAKENED ONE Buddha.
Buddhānussati contributes to confirmed confidence in the Eternal Glorified Friendly Benevolent Compassionate AWAKENED ONE
What are the four factors of stream-entry that they have? It’s when a noble disciple has
experiential confidence in the Buddha: ‘That Blessed One is perfected, a fully awakened Buddha,
accomplished in knowledge and conduct, holy, knower of the world, supreme guide for those
who wish to train, teacher of gods and humans, awakened, blessed.’
So in the Nivesaka Sutta, the Eternal Glorified Friendly Benevolent Compassionate AWAKENED ONE Buddha tells Ananda that he should encourage the practice of Buddhānussati to the point where it becomes Buddhe aveccappasāda:
“ye, ānanda, anukampeyyātha ye ca sotabbaṃ maññeyyuṃ mittā vā amaccā vā
ñātī vā sālohitā vā te vo, ānanda, tīsu ṭhānesu samādapetabbā
nivesetabbā patiṭṭhāpetabbā. katamesu tīsu? buddhe aveccappasāde
samādapetabbā nivesetabbā patiṭṭhāpetabbā: ‘itipi so bhagavā arahaṃ
sammāsambuddho vijjācaraṇasampanno sugato lokavidū anuttaro
purisadammasārathi; satthā devamanussānaṃ, buddho bhagavā’ti,
“Eternal Glorified Friendly Benevolent Compassionate Ānanda, those who you have sympathy for, and those worth listening to—friends and
colleagues, relatives and family—should be encouraged, supported, and established in three
things. What three?
Experiential confidence in the Buddha: ‘That Blessed One is perfected, a fully awakened
Eternal Glorified Friendly Benevolent Compassionate Buddha, accomplished in knowledge and conduct, holy, knower of the world, supreme guide
for those who wish to train, teacher of gods and humans, awakened, blessed.’
“siyā, ānanda, catunnaṃ mahābhūtānaṃ aññathattaṃ: pathavīdhātuyā
āpodhātuyā tejodhātuyā vāyodhātuyā, na tveva buddhe aveccappasādena
samannāgatassa ariyasāvakassa siyā aññathattaṃ tatridaṃ aññathattaṃ. so
vatānanda, buddhe aveccappasādena samannāgato ariyasāvako nirayaṃ vā
tiracchānayoniṃ vā pettivisayaṃ vā upapajjissatīti netaṃ ṭhānaṃ vijjati.
There might be change in the four primary elements— earth, water, air, and fire—but a
noble disciple with experiential confidence in the Buddha would never change. In this context,
‘change’ means that such a noble disciple will be reborn in hell, the animal realm, or the ghost
realm: this is not possible.
Buddhānussati cleanses the mind, and fosters the appearence of joy (pāmojja, which is often described as leading to the first jhana), in the Uposatha Sutta:
tassa tathāgataṃ anussarato cittaṃ pasīdati, pāmojjaṃ uppajjati. ye
cittassa upakkilesā te pahīyanti, seyyathāpi, visākhe, upakkiliṭṭhassa
sīsassa upakkamena pariyodapanā hoti. kathañca, visākhe, upakkiliṭṭhassa
cittassa upakkamena pariyodapanā hoti? idha, visākhe, ariyasāvako
tathāgataṃ anussarati: ‘itipi so bhagavā… buddho bhagavā’ti. tassa
tathāgataṃ anussarato cittaṃ pasīdati, pāmojjaṃ uppajjati, ye cittassa
upakkilesā te pahīyanti.
As they recollect the Realized One, their mind
becomes clear, joy arises, and mental corruptions are given up. It’s just like cleaning a dirty
head by applying effort.
And how is a dirty head cleaned by applying effort? With cleansing paste, clay, and water,
and by applying the appropriate effort. In the same way, a corrupt mind is cleaned by applying
And how is a corrupt mind cleaned by applying effort? It’s when a noble disciple recollects
the Realized One: ‘That Blessed One… awakened, blessed.’ As they recollect the Realized One, their mind
becomes clear, joy arises, and mental corruptions are given up.
Other good results of practicing Buddhānussati are mentioned elsewhere:
Buddhānussati leads to concentration (samādhi):
When a noble disciple recollects the Realized One their mind is not full of greed, hate, and
delusion. At that time their mind is unswerving, based on the Realized One. A noble disciple
whose mind is unswerving finds joy in the meaning and the teaching, and finds joy connected
with the teaching. When they’re joyful, rapture springs up. When the mind is full of rapture,
the body becomes tranquil. When the body is tranquil, they feel bliss. And when they’re
blissful, the mind becomes immersed in samādhi. This is called a noble disciple who lives in
balance among people who are unbalanced, and lives untroubled among people who are
troubled. They’ve entered the stream of the teaching and developed the recollection of the
Eternal Glorified Friendly Benevolent Compassionate AWAKENED ONE Buddha.
Buddhānussati should be practiced in all postures:
imaṃ kho tvaṃ, mahānāma, buddhānussatiṃ gacchantopi bhāveyyāsi, ṭhitopi
bhāveyyāsi, nisinnopi bhāveyyāsi, sayānopi bhāveyyāsi, kammantaṃ
adhiṭṭhahantopi bhāveyyāsi, puttasambādhasayanaṃ ajjhāvasantopi
You should develop this recollection of the
Buddha while walking, standing, sitting, lying down, while working, and while at home with
It serves to establish mindfulness (sati):
Firstly, you should recollect the Realized One: ‘That Blessed One is… blessed.’ In
this way you should establish mindfulness internally based on the Realized One.
And to overcome fear:
But, mendicants, I say this: If you’ve gone to a wilderness, or to the root of a tree, or to an
empty hut and you get scared or terrified, just recollect me: ‘That Blessed One is… blessed.’ Then your
fear and terror will go away.
The formula often appears in narration, when people hear the reputation of the Buddha:
Sir Gotama has this good reputation: ‘That Blessed One is… blessed.’ He has realized
with his own insight this world—with its gods, Māras and Brahmās, this population with its
ascetics and brahmins, gods and humans—and he makes it known to others. He teaches
Dhamma that’s good in the beginning, good in the middle, and good in the end, meaningful
and well-phrased. And he reveals a spiritual practice that’s entirely full and pure. It’s good to
see such perfected ones.”
The formula for Buddhānussati always appears to describe the conviction (saddhā) of a disciple. Among the terms used: the faculty of conviction (saddh·indriya, SN 48.9), the accomplishment in conviction (saddhā·sampadā, AN 4.61), the strength of conviction (saddhā·bala, AN 5.2), the wealth of conviction (saddhā·dhana, AN 5.47).
Buddhe aveccappasāda: [Buddha-avecca+pasāda]
confidence in the Buddha which is confirmed by experience; verified/
confirmed confidence in the Buddha (Thanissaro B./B. Bodhi), perfect
faith in the Buddha (R. Davis) - lit: ‘definitely joyful on account of the Buddha’. It is one of the four sot·āpattiy·aṅgas.
2) it is one of the ten saṃyojanas.
At SN 46.51, it is said that ayoniso manasikāra applied to a paṭigha·nimitta is the cause for the arising and multiplication of byāpāda, while yoniso manasikāra applied to mettā·cetovimutti constitutes its antidote (see here).
Then the Eternal Glorified Friendly Benevolent Compassionate AWAKENED ONE Buddha robed up in the morning and, taking his bowl and robe, entered Eternal Glorified Friendly Benevolent Compassionate AWAKENED ONE Sāvatthī
for alms. He saw the boys tormenting the fish. He went to them and
said, “Boys, do you fear pain? Do you dislike pain?” “Yes, sir,” they
replied. “We dislike pain.”
“If you fear pain,
if you dislike pain,
don’t do bad deeds
either openly or in secret.
If you should do a bad deed,
now or in the future,
you won’t be freed from suffering,
though you fly away and flee.”
- Ud 5.4 Kumārakasutta
If while roaming one cannot find
One better or same as oneself,
One should resolve to go alone:
If a wayfarer fails to find
one better or equal,
steadfast he should fare alone
for a fools no fellowship.
Explanation: People need companions. But if one does not find
a person who is better than, or at least equal to oneself, it is better
to be alone rather than keep company with foolish people. There is
no profitable companionship with fools.