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abandonment, contemplation of: patinissaggānupassanā, is one of the 18
chief kinds of insight; s. vipassanā, further ānāpānasati (16).
abbhokāsik'anga: 'living in the open air', is one of the ascetic means to
purification (dhutanga, q.v.).
aberration (in morality and understanding): s. vipatti.
abhabbāgamana: 'incapable of progressing'. "Those beings who are
obstructed by their evil actions (kamma, s. karma), by their defilements (kilesa,
q.v.), by the result of their evil actions (s. vipāka), or who are devoid of
faith, energy and knowledge, and unable to enter the right path and reach perfection in
wholesome things, all those are said to be incapable of progressing" (Pug. 13).
According to Commentary the 'evil actions' denote the 5 heinous deeds with immediate
result (ānantarika-kamma, q.v.), whilst the 'defilements' refer to the 'evil views
with fixed destiny' (niyata-micchā-ditthi; s. ditthi).
ābhassara: The 'Radiant Ones', are a class of heavenly beings of the
fine-material world (rūpa-loka); cf. deva.
abhibhāyatana: the 8 'stages of mastery', are powers to be obtained by means of
the kasina-exercises (s. kasina). In the Com. to M. 77, where āyatana is
explained by 'means' (kārana) it is said: "The abhibhāyatana through
their counteracting may master (suppress) the adverse states, and by means of higher
knowledge they may master the objects of mind." They are means for transcending the
The stereotype text often met with in the Suttas (e.g. D. 11, 33; M. 77; A. VIII, 65;
X, 29) is as follows:
(1) "Perceiving (blue..., red..., yellow..., white) forms on one's own body, one
sees forms externally small ones, beautiful or ugly; and in mastering these one
understands: 'I know, I understand.' This is the first stage of mastery.
(2) "Perceiving forms on one's own body, one sees forms externally, large ones
.... This is the second stage of mastery.
(3) "Not perceiving forms on one's own body, one sees forms externally, small ones
.... This is the third stage of mastery.
(4) "Not perceiving forms on one's own body, one sees forms externally, large ones
.... This is the fourth stage of mastery.
(5) "Not perceiving forms on one's own body, one sees forms externally, blue
forms, forms of blue color, blue appearance, blue lustre, and mastering these one
understands: 'I know, I understand. This is the fifth stage of mastery."
(6-8) The same is repeated with yellow, red and white forms.
As preparatory kasina-object for the 1st and 2nd exercise one should choose on one's
own body a small or a large spot, beautiful or ugly, and thereon one should concentrate
one's full undivided attention, so that this object after a while reappears as mental
reflex or image (nimitta, q.v.) and, as it were, as something external. Such an
exercise, though appearing quite mechanical, if properly carried out will bring about a
high degree of mental concentration and entrance into the 4 absorptions (jhāna,
q.v.). In the 3rd and 4th exercises the monk by an external kasina-object gains the mental
reflexes and absorptions. As objects of the remaining exercises, perfectly clear and
radiant colors should be chosen, flowers, cloth, etc.
A kasina-object of small size is said to be suitable for a mentally unsteady nature,
one of a large size for a dull nature, a beautiful object for an angry nature, an ugly one
for a lustful nature.
In Vis.M V it is said: "By means of the earth-kasina one succeeds in reaching the
stage of mastery with regard to small and large objects .... By means of the blue-kasina
one succeeds in causing blue forms to appear, in producing darkness, in reaching the stage
of mastery with regard to beautiful and ugly colours, in reaching 'deliverance through the
beautiful', etc." (cf. vimokkha II, 3). The same is also said with regard to
the other colour kasinas.
abhijjhā: 'covetousness' is a synonym of lobha (s. mūla) and
(q.v.) and is the 8th link of the unwholesome courses of action (s. kamma-patha,
abhinibbatti: a Sutta term for rebirth; s. punabbhava.
abhi˝˝ā: The 6 'higher powers', or supernormal knowledge's, consist of 5
mundane (lokiya, q.v.) powers attainable through the utmost perfection in mental
concentration (samādhi, q.v.) and one supermundane (lokuttara, q.v.) power
attainable through penetrating insight (vipassanā, q.v.), i.e. extinction of all
cankers (āsavakkhaya; s. āsava), in other words, realization of Arahatship
or Holiness. They are: (1) magical powers (iddhi-vidha), (2) divine ear (dibba-sota),
(3) penetration of the minds of others (ceto-pariya-˝āna), (4) remembrance of
former existences (pubbe-nivāsānussati), (5) divine eye (dibba-cakkhu),
(6) extinction of all cankers (āsavakkhaya). The stereotype text met with in all
the 4 Sutta-collections (e.g. D. 34; M. 4, 6, 77; A. III, 99; V, 23; S. XV, 9 and Pug.
271, 239) is as follows:
(1) "Now, O Bhikkhus, the monk enjoys the various magical powers (iddhi-vidha),
such as being one he becomes manifold, and having become manifold he again becomes one. He
appears and disappears. Without being obstructed he passes through walls and mountains,
just as if through the air. In the earth he dives and rises up again, just as if in the
water. He walks on water without sinking, just as if on the earth. Cross-legged he floats
through the air, just like a winged bird. With his hand he touches the sun and moon, these
so mighty ones, so powerful ones. Even up to the Brahma-world he has mastery over his
(2) "With the divine ear (dibba-sota) he hears sounds both heavenly and
human, far and near.
(3) "He knows the minds of other beings (parassa ceto-pariya-˝āna), of
other persons, by penetrating them with his own mind. He knows the greedy mind as greedy
and the not-greedy one as not greedy; knows the hating mind as hating and the not-hating
one as not hating; knows the deluded mind as deluded and the not-deluded one as not
deluded; knows the shrunken mind and the distracted one, the developed mind and the
undeveloped one, the surpassable mind and the unsurpassable one, the concentrated mind and
the unconcentrated one, the freed mind and the unfreed one.
(4) "He remembers manifold former existences (pubbe-nivāsānussati), such
as one birth, two, three, four and five births .... hundred thousand births; remembers
many formations and dissolutions of worlds: 'There I was, such name I had .... and
vanishing from there I entered into existence somewhere else .... and vanishing from there
I again reappeared here.' Thus he remembers, always together with the marks and
peculiarities, many a former existence .
(5) ''With the divine eye (dibba-cakkhu = yathā-kammūpaga-˝āna or cutūpapāta-˝āna),
the pure one, he sees beings vanishing and reappearing, low and noble ones, beautiful and
ugly ones, sees how beings are reappearing according to their deeds (s. karma): 'These
beings, indeed, followed evil ways in bodily actions, words and thoughts, insulted the
noble ones, held evil views, and according to their evil views they acted. At the
dissolution of their body, after death, they have appeared in lower worlds, in painful
states of existence, in the world of suffering, in hell. Those other beings, however, are
endowed with good action .... have appeared in happy state of existence, in a heavenly
(6) "Through the extinction of all cankers (āsavakkhaya) even in this very
life he enters into the possession of deliverance of mind, deliverance through wisdom,
after having himself understood and realized it.''
4-6 appear frequently under the name of the 'threefold (higher) knowledge' (te-vijjā,
q.v.). They are, however, not a necessary condition for the attainment of sainthood (arahatta),
i.e. of the sixth abhi˝˝ā.
Vis.M XI-XIII gives a detailed explanation of the 5 mundane higher powers, together
with the method of attaining them.
In connection with the 4 kinds of progress (s. patipadā), abhi˝˝ā
means the 'comprehension' achieved on attainment of the paths and fruitions.
abhisamācārika-sīla: 'morality consisting in good behaviour', relates to the
external duties of a monk such as towards his superior, etc. "abhisamācārika-sīla
is a name for those moral rules other than the 8 ending with right livelihood (i.e. 4-fold
right speech, 3-fold right action and right livelihood, as in the Eightfold Path) (Vis.M
I; s. sacca IV, 3-5). "Impossible is it, o monks, that without having
fulfilled the law of good behaviour, a monk could fulfil the law of genuine pure
conduct" (A.V, 21). Cf. ādibrahmacariyakasīla.
abhisamaya: 'truth-realization', is the full and direct grasp of the Four Noble
Truths by the Stream-winner (Sotāpanna; s. ariya-puggala). In the Com. the
term is represented by 'penetration' (pativedha, q.v.). Frequently occurring as dhammābhisamaya,
'realization of the doctrine' Cf. S. XIII (Abhisamaya Samyutta) and Pts.M. (Abhisamaya
abhisankhāra: identical with the 2nd link of the paticca-samuppāda
(q.v.), sankhāra (q.v.; under I, 1) or karmaformations .
ability to acquire insight: cf. ugghatita˝˝ū, vipacita˝˝ū neyya.
abodes: vihāra (q.v.). The 4 Divine a.: brahma-vihāra
(q.v.) The 9 a. of beings: sattāvāsa (q.v.).
absence: natthi-paccaya, is one of the 24 conditions (paccaya, (q.v.).
absorption: s. jhāna.
abstentions, the 3: virati (q.v.).
access, Moment of: s. javana.
access-concentration: s. samādhi.
accumulation (of Karma): āyūhana (q.v.).
ācinnaka-kamma: habitual karma; s. karma.
acinteyya: lit. 'That which cannot or should not be thought, the unthinkable,
incomprehensible, impenetrable, that which transcends the limits of thinking and over
which therefore one should not ponder. These 4 unthinkables are: the sphere of a Buddha (buddha-visaya),
of the meditative absorptions (jhāna-visaya), of karma-result (kamma-vipāka),
and brooding over the world (loka-cintā), especially over an absolute first
beginning of it (s. A. IV, 77).
"Therefore, o monks, do not brood over the world as to whether it is eternal or
temporal, limited or endless .... Such brooding, O monks, is senseless, has nothing to do
with genuine pure conduct (s. ādibrahmacariyaka-sīla), does not lead to aversion,
detachment, extinction, nor to peace, to full comprehension, enlightenment and Nibbāna,
etc." (S.LVI, 41).
acquired image (during concentration): s. nimitta, samādhi, kasina.
action: karma (q.v.) - Right bodily a.: sammā-kammanta; s. sacca
adaptability (of body, mental factors and consciousness):
(q.v.); cf. khandha (corporeality) and Tab. II.
adaptation-knowledge: anuloma-˝āna (q.v.).
adherence: parāmāsa (q.v.)
adherent: upāsaka (q.v.)
adhicitta-sikkhā 'training in higher mentality'; s. sikkhā.
adhimokkha: 'determination', decision, resolve: is one of the mental
concomitants (cetasika) and belongs to the group of mental formations (sankhāra-kkhandha).
In M. 111, it is mentioned together with other mental concomitants. See Tab. II, III.
adhipa˝˝ā-dhamma-vipassanā: 'insight into things based on higher wisdom', is
one of the 18 chief kinds of insight (s. vipassanā).
adhipati-paccaya: 'predominance-condition' is one of the 24 conditions (paccaya,
q.v.); if developed, it is considered as the fourfold road to power (iddhi-pāda.
adhisīla-sikkhā: 'training in higher morality': s. sikkhā.
adhitthāna, as a doctrinal term, occurs chiefly in two meanings:
1. 'Foundation': four 'foundations' of an Arahat's mentality, mentioned and explained
in M. 140: the foundation of wisdom (pa˝˝ā), of truthfulness (sacca) of
liberality (cāga) and of peace (upasama). See also D. 33 and Com.
2. 'Determination', resolution, in: adhitthāna-iddhi, 'magical power of
determination' (s. iddhi); adhitthāna-pāramī, 'perfection of resolution'
ādibrahmacariyaka-sīla: 'morality of genuine pure conduct', consists in right
speech, right bodily action and right livelihood, forming the 3rd, 4th and 5th links of
the Eightfold Path (s. sacca, IV.3, 4, 5); cf. Vis.M I. In A. II, 86 it is said:
"With regard to those moral states connected with and corresponding to the genuine
pure conduct, he is morally strong, morally firm and trains himself in the moral rules
taken upon himself. After overcoming the 3 fetters (ego-belief. skeptic doubt and
attachment to mere rules and ritual; s. samyojana) he becomes one who will be
'reborn seven times at the utmost' (s. Sotāpanna) and after only seven times more
wandering through this round of rebirths amongst men and heavenly beings, he will put an
end to suffering."
ādīnavānupassanā-˝āna: 'knowledge consisting in contemplation of misery',
is one of the 8 kinds of insight (vipassanā) that form the 'purification of the
knowledge and vision of the path-progress (s. visuddhi, VI. 4). It is further one
of the 18 chief kinds of insight (s. vipassanā).
adosa: 'hatelessness, is one of the 3 wholesome roots (mūla, q.v.).
adukkha-m-asukhā vedanā: 'feeling which is neither painful nor joyful', i.e.
indifferent feeling; s. khandha, vedanā.
advertence (of mind to the object): āvajjana, is one of the functions of
consciousness (vi˝˝āna-kicca, q.v.). Cf. manasikāra.
aeon: kappa (q.v.).
agati: the 4 'wrong paths' are: the path of greed (chanda), of hate, of
delusion, of cowardice (bhaya). "One who is freed from evil impulses is no
longer liable to take the wrong path of greed, etc.'' (A. IV, 17; IX, 7).
age, Old: jarā (q.v.).
aggregates: khandha (q.v.).
agility: lahutā (q.v.).
āhāra: 'nutriment', 'food', is used in the concrete sense as material food and
as such it belongs to derived corporeality (s. khandha, Summary I.) In the
figurative sense, as 'foundation' or condition, it is one of the 24 conditions (paccaya,
q.v.) and is used to denote 4 kinds of nutriment, which are material and mental: 1.
material food (kabalinkārāhāra), 2. (sensorial and mental) impression (phassa),
3. mental volition (mano-sa˝cetanā), 4. consciousness (vi˝˝āna).
1. Material food feeds the eightfold corporeality having nutrient essence as its 8th
factor (i.e. the solid, liquid, heat, motion, color, odour, the tastable and nutrient
essence; s. rūpa-kalāpa). 2. Sensorial and mental impression is a condition for
the 3 kinds of feeling (agreeable, disagreeable and indifferent); s. paticcasamuppāda
(6). 3. Mental volition (= karma, q.v.) feeds rebirth; s. paticca-samuppāda (2).
4. Consciousness feeds mind and corporeality ;nāma-rūpa; ib., 2) at the moment of
conception" (Vis.M XI).
Literature (on the 4 Nutriments): M. 9 & Com. (tr. in 'R. Und.'), M
38; S. XII, 11, 63, 64 - The Four Nutriments of Life, Selected texts & Com. (WHEEL
āhāra-ja (or-samutthāna) - rūpa: 'Food-produced
corporeality'; s. samutthāna.
āhāre patikkūla-sa˝˝ā: 'reflection on the loathsomeness of food', fully
described in Vis.M XI, l.
ahetuka-citta: s. hetu.
ahetuka-ditthi: 'view of uncausedness' (of existence); s. ditthi.
ahetu-patisandhika: s. patisandhi.
ahimsā: s. avihimsā.
ahirika-anottappa: 'lack of moral shame and dread', are two of the 4 unwholesome
factors associated with all karmically unwholesome states of consciousness, the two others
being restlessness (uddhacca) and delusion (moha). Cf. Tab. II.
"There are two sinister things, namely, lack of moral shame and dread, etc."
(A. II, 6). "Not to be ashamed of what one should be ashamed of; not to be ashamed of
evil, unwholesome things: this is called lack of moral shame" (Pug. 59). "Not to
dread what one should dread ... this is called lack of moral dread (Pug. 60).
ahosi-kamma: 'ineffective karma'; s. karma.
ājīva: 'livelihood'. About
right and wrong livelihood., s. sacca (IV.
5) and micchā-magga (5).
ājīva-pārisuddhi-sīla: 'morality consisting in purification of livelihood',
is one of the 4 kinds of perfect morality; s. sīla.
akanittha: the 'Great Ones', i.e. 'Highest Gods', are the inhabitants of the 5th
and highest heaven of the Pure Abodes (suddhāvāsa, q.v.); cf. avacara, deva
ākāsa: 'space', is, according to Com., of two kinds: 1. limited space (paricchinnākāsa
or paricchedākāsa), 2. endless space (anantākāsa), i.e. cosmic space.
1. Limited space, under the name of ākāsa-dhātu (space element), belongs to
derived corporeality (s. khandha, Summary I; Dhs 638) and to a sixfold
classification of elements (s. dhātu; M 112, 115, 140). It is also an object of
kasina (q.v.) meditation. It is defined as follows: "The space element has the
characteristic of delimiting matter. Its function is to indicate the boundaries of matter.
It is manifested as the confines of matter; or its manifestation consists in being
untouched (by the 4 great elements), and in holes and apertures. Its proximate cause is
the matter delimited. It is on account of the space element that one can say of material
things delimited that 'this is above. below, around that' " (Vis.M XIV, 63).
2. Endless space is called in Atthasālini ajatākāsa, 'unentangled', i.e.
unobstructed or empty space. It is the object of the first immaterial absorption (s. jhāna),
the sphere of boundless space (ākāsāna˝cāyatana). According to Abhidhamma
philosophy, endless space has no objective reality (being purely conceptual), which is
indicated by the fact that it is not included in the triad of the wholesome (kusalatika),
which comprises the entire reality. Later Buddhist schools have regarded it as one of
several unconditioned or uncreated states (asankhata dharma) - a view that is
rejected in Kath. (s. Guide. p. 70). Theravāda Buddhism recognizes only Nibbāna as an
unconditioned element (asankhata-dhātu: s. Dhs. 1084).
ākāsa dhātu: 'space element'; see above and dhātu.
ākāsa-kasina 'space-kasina exercise'; s. kasina.
ākāsāna˝cāyatana: 'sphere of boundless space', is identical with the 1st
absorption in the immaterial sphere; s. jhāna (6).
āki˝ca˝˝a-ceto-vimutti: s. ceto-vimutti.
āki˝ca˝˝āyatana: s. jhāna (7).
akiriya-ditthi: view of the inefficacy of action'; s. ditthi.
akuppā-ceto-vimutti: cf. ceto-vimutti.
akuppa-dhamma: 'unshakable', is one who has attained full mastery over the
absorptions (jhāna, q.v.). In Pug. 4 it is said:
'What person is unshakable? If a person gains the meditative attainments of the
fine-material and immaterial sphere (rūpāvacara-arūpāvacara); and he gains them
at his wish, without toil and exertion; and according to his wish, as regards place,
object and duration, enters them or arises from them, then it is impossible that in such a
person the attainments may become shaken through negligence. This person is
akusala: 'unwholesome', are all those karmic volitions (kamma-cetanā; s.
cetanā) and the consciousness and mental concomitants associated therewith, which
are accompanied either by greed (lobha) or hate (dosa) or merely delusion (moha);
and all these phenomena are causes of unfavourable karma-results and contain the seeds of
unhappy destiny or rebirth. Cf. karma, paticca-samuppāda (1), Tab. II.
akusala-sādhārana-cetasika: 'general unwholesome mental factors associated
with all unwholesome actions' (volitions), are four: (1) lack of moral shame (ahirika),
(2) lack of moral dread (anottappa), (3) restlessness (uddhacca), (4)
delusion (moha). For (1) and (2) s. ahirika-anottappa, for (3) s. nīvarana,
for (4) mūla. (App.).
The corresponding term in the field of wholesome consciousness is sobhana-
sādhārana-cetasika (s. sobhana).
akusala-vitakka: 'unwholesome thoughts' as defined under akusala (q.v.).
In M. 20, five methods of overcoming them are given: by changing the object, thinking of
the evil results, paying no attention, analyzing, suppressing.
Tr. in The Removal of Distracting Thoughts (WHEEL 21).
alcohol prohibition: s. surāmeraya-majja-ppamādatthānā etc.
alms, vow of going for; or to do so without omitting any house: s. dhutanga,
alms-bowl eater, the practice of the: s. dhutanga.
alms-giving: dāna (q.v.).
alms-goer, the practice of the; s. dhutanga.
alobha: 'greedlessness', is one of the 3 karmically wholesome roots (mūla,
āloka-kasina: 'light-kasina-exercise'; s. kasina.
āloka-sa˝˝ā: 'perception of light'. The recurring canonical passage reads:
"Here the monk contemplates the perception of light. He fixes his-mind to the
perception of the day; as at day-time so at night, and as at night, so in the day. In this
way, with a mind clear and unclouded, he develops a stage of mind that is full of
brightness." It is one of the methods of overcoming drowsiness, recommended by the
Buddha to Mahā-Moggallāna (A. VII, 58). According to D. 33, it is conducive to the
development of 'knowledge and vision' (s. visuddhi), and it is said to be helpful
to the attainment of the 'divine eye' (s. abhi˝˝ā).
altruistic joy: muditā, is one of the 4 sublime abodes (brahmavihāra,
amata (Sanskrit amrta;
Í mr to die; =
Gr. ambrosia): 'Deathlessness' according to popular belief also the gods' drink
conferring immortality, is a name for Nibbāna (s. Nibbāna), the final liberation
from the wheel of rebirths, and therefore also from the ever-repeated deaths .
amoha: 'non-delusion', wisdom, is one of the 3 karmically wholesome roots (mūla,
anabhijjhā: 'freedom from covetousness', unselfishness; s. kammapatha
anabhirati-sa˝˝ā: s. sabba-loke anabhirati-s.
Anāgāmī: the 'Non-Returner', is a noble disciple (ariya-puggala,
q.v.) on the 3rd stage of holiness. There are 5 classes of Non-Returners, as it is said
(e.g. Pug. 42-46):
"A being, through the disappearing of the 5 lower fetters (samyojana,
q.v.), reappears in a higher world (amongst the devas of the Pure Abodes, suddhāvāsa,
q.v.), and without returning from that world (into the sensuous sphere) he there reaches
(1) "He may, immediately after appearing there (in the Pure Abodes) or without
having gone beyond half of the life-time, attain the holy path for the overcoming of the
higher fetters. Such a being is called 'one who reaches Nibbāna within the first half of
the life' (antarā-parinibbāyī).
(2) "Or, whilst living beyond half of the lifetime, or at the moment of death, he
attains the holy path for the overcoming of the higher fetters. Such a being is called
'one who reaches Nibbāna after crossing half the life-time' (upahacca-parinibbāyī).
(3) "Or, with exertion he attains the holy path for the overcoming of the higher
fetters. Such a being is called 'one who reaches Nibbāna with exertion' (sasankhāra-parinibbāyī).
(4) "Or, without exertion he attains the holy path for the overcoming of the
higher fetters. Such a being is called 'one who reaches Nibbāna without exertion' (asankhāra-parinibbāyī).
(5) "Or, after vanishing from the heaven of the Aviha-gods (s. suddhāvāsa),
he appears in the heaven of the unworried (atappa) gods. After vanishing from there
he appears in the heaven of the clearly-visible (sudassa) gods, from there in the
heaven of the clear-visioned (sudassī) gods, from there in the heaven of the
highest (akanittha) gods. There he attains the holy path for the overcoming of the
higher fetters. Such a being is called 'one who passes up-stream to the highest gods' (uddhamsota-akanittha-gāmī)."
analysis of the 4 elements: dhātu-vavatthāna (q.v.).
analytical doctrine: vibhajja-vāda (q.v.).
analytical knowledge, the 4 kinds of: patisambhidā (q.v.).
ana˝˝āta˝-˝assāmīt'indriya: is one of the 3 supermundane senses or
faculties; s. indriya (20).
anantara-paccaya: 'proximity', is one of the 24 conditions (paccaya,
ānantarika-kamma: the 5 heinous 'actions with immediate destiny' are:
parricide, matricide, killing an Arahat (Saint), wounding a Buddha, creating schism in the
monks' Order. In A.V., 129 it is said:
"There are 5 irascible and incurable men destined to the lower world and to hell,
namely: the parricide," etc. About the 5th see A. X., 35, 38. With regard to the
first crime, it is said in D. 2 that if King Ajātasattu had not deprived his father of
life, he would have reached entrance into the path of Stream-entry (App.).
ānantariya: the 'Immediacy', is a name for that concentration of mind which is
associated with such insight (vipassanā, q.v.) as is present in any one of the 4
kinds of supermundane path consciousness (s. ariya-puggala), and which therefore is
the cause of the immediately following consciousness as its result or 'fruition' (phala,
q.v.). According to the Abhidhamma, the path (of the Sotāpanna, etc.) is generated
by the insight into the impermanence, misery and impersonality of existence, flashing up
at that very moment and transforming and ennobling one's nature forever.
It is mentioned under the name of ānantarika-samādhi in the Ratana Sutta (Sn.
v. 22) and in Pts.M. 1, Đānakathā.
ānāpāna-sati: 'mindfulness on in-and-out-breathing', is one of the most
important exercises for reaching mental concentration and the 4 absorptions (jhāna,
In the Satipatthāna Sutta (M. 10, D. 22) and elsewhere, 4 methods of practice are
given, which may also serve as basis for insight meditation. The 'Discourse on Mindfulness
of Breathing' (Ānāpānasati Sutta, M. 118) and other texts have 16 methods of practice,
which divide into 4 groups of four. The first three apply to both tranquillity (samatha,
q.v.) and insight-meditation, while the fourth refers to pure insight practice only. The
second and the third group require the attainment of the absorptions.
"With attentive mind he breathes in, with attentive mind he breathes out.
(1) "When making a long inhalation he knows: 'I make a long inhalation'; when making
a long exhalation he knows: 'I make a long exhalation.'
(2) "When making a short inhalation he knows: 'I make a short inhalation'; when
making a short exhalation he knows: 'I make a short exhalation.'
(3) " 'Clearly perceiving the entire (breath-) body I will breathe in,' thus he
trains himself; 'clearly perceiving the entire (breath-) body I will breathe out,' thus he
(4) " 'Calming this bodily function I will breathe in,' thus he trains himself;
'calming this bodily function I will breathe out,' thus he trains himself.
(5) " 'Feeling rapture (pīti) I will breathe in,' thus he trains himself;
'feeling rapture I will breathe out,' thus he trains himself.
(6) " 'Feeling joy I will breathe in,' thus he trains himself; 'feeling joy I will
breathe out,' thus he trains himself.
(7) " 'Feeling the mental formation (citta-sankhāra) I will breathe in,'
thus he trains himself, 'feeling the mental formation I will breathe out,' thus he trains
(8) " 'Calming the mental formation I will breathe in,' thus he trains himself;
'calming the mental formation I will breathe out,' thus he trains himself.
(9) " 'Clearly perceiving the mind (citta) I will breathe in,' thus he trains
himself; 'clearly perceiving the mind I will breathe out,' thus he trains himself.
(10) " 'Gladdening the mind I will breathe in,' thus he trains himself;
'gladdening the mind I will breathe out,' thus he trains himself.
(11) " 'Concentrating the mind I will breathe in, thus he trains himself;
'concentrating the mind I will breathe out', thus he trains himself.
(12) " 'Freeing the mind I will breathe in,' thus he trains himself; 'freeing the
mind I will breathe out,' thus he trains himself
(13) " 'Reflecting on impermanence (anicca) I will breathe in,' thus he trains
himself; 'reflecting on impermanence I will breathe out,' thus he trains himself.
(14) " 'Reflecting on detachment (virāga) I will breathe in,' thus he trains
himself; 'reflecting on detachment I will breathe out,' thus he trains himself.
(15) " 'Reflecting on extinction (nirodha) I will breathe in,' thus he
trains himself; 'reflecting on extinction I will breathe out,' thus he trains himself.
(16) " 'Reflecting on abandonment (patinissagga) I will breathe in, thus he
trains himself; 'reflecting on abandonment I will breathe out,' thus he trains
In M 118 it is further shown how these 16 exercises bring about the 4 foundations of
mindfulness (satipatthāna, q.v.), namely: 1-4 contemplation of the body, 5-8
contemplation of feeling, 9-12 contemplation of mind (consciousness), 13-16 contemplation
of mind-objects. Then it is shown how these 4 foundations of mindfulness bring about the 7
factors of enlightenment (bojjhanga, q.v.); then these again deliverance of mind (ceto-vimutti,
q.v.) and deliverance through wisdom (pa˝˝ā-vimutti, q.v.).
Literature: Ānāpānasati Samyutta (S. LIV). - Pts.M. Ānāpānakathā
- Full explanation of practice in Vis.M VIII, 145ff. - For a comprehensive anthology of
canonical and commentarial texts, see Mindfulness of Breathing, Đānamoli Thera
(Kandy: BPS, 1964).
anattā: 'not-self', non-ego, egolessness, impersonality, is the last of
the three characteristics of existence (ti-lakkhana, q.v.) The
doctrine teaches that neither within the bodily and mental phenomena of existence, nor
outside of them, can be found anything that in the ultimate sense could be regarded as a
self-existing real ego-entity, soul or any other abiding substance. This is the central
doctrine of Buddhism, without understanding which a real knowledge of Buddhism is
altogether impossible. It is the only really specific Buddhist doctrine, with which the
entire Structure of the Buddhist teaching stands or falls. All the remaining Buddhist
doctrines may, more or less, be found in other philosophic systems and religions, but the
has been clearly and unreservedly taught only by the Buddha, wherefore the Buddha is known
as the anattā-vādi, or 'Teacher of Impersonality'. Whosoever has not penetrated
this impersonality of all existence, and does not comprehend that in reality there exists
only this continually self-consuming process of arising and passing bodily and mental
phenomena, and that there is no separate ego-entity within or without this process, he
will not be able to understand Buddhism, i.e. the teaching of the 4 Noble Truths (sacca,
q.v.), in the right light. He will think that it is his ego, his personality, that
experiences suffering, his personality that performs good and evil actions and will be
reborn according to these actions, his personality that will enter into Nibbāna, his
personality that walks on the Eightfold Path. Thus it is said in Vis.M XVI:
"Mere suffering exists, no sufferer is found;
The deeds are, but no doer of the deeds is there;
Nibbāna is, but not the man that enters it;
The path is, but no traveler on it is seen."
"Whosoever is not clear with regard to the conditionally arisen phenomena, and
does not comprehend that all the actions are conditioned through ignorance, etc., he
thinks that it is an ego that understands or does not understand, that acts or causes to
act, that comes to existence at rebirth .... that has the sense-impression, that feels,
desires, becomes attached, continues and at rebirth again enters a new existence"
(Vis.M XVII, 117).
While in the case of the first two characteristics it is stated that all formations (sabbe
sankhārā) are impermanent and subject to suffering, the corresponding text for the
third characteristic states that "all things are not-self" (sabbe
dhammā anattā; M. 35, Dhp. 279). This is for emphasizing that the false view of an abiding
self or substance is neither applicable to any 'formation' or conditioned phenomenon, nor
to Nibbāna, the Unconditioned Element (asankhatā dhātu).
The Anattā-lakkhana Sutta, the 'Discourse on the Characteristic of Not-self', was the
second discourse after Enlightenment, preached by the Buddha to his first five disciples,
who after hearing it attained to perfect Holiness (arahatta).
The contemplation of not-self (anattānupassanā) leads to the emptiness
liberation (su˝˝atā-vimokkha, s. vimokkha). Herein the faculty of wisdom
(pa˝˝indriya) is outstanding, and one who attains in that way the path of
Stream-entry is called a Dhamma-devotee (dhammānusāri; s. ariya-puggala);
at the next two stages of sainthood he becomes a vision-attainer (ditthippatta);
and at the highest stage, i.e. Holiness, he is called 'liberated by wisdom' (pa˝˝ā-vimutta).
For further details, see paramattha-sacca, paticca-samuppāda, khandha, ti-lakkhana,
Literature: Anattā-lakkhana Sutta, Vinaya I, 13-14; S. XXII, 59; tr. in
Three Cardinal Discourses of the Buddha (WHEEL 17). - Another important text on
the Discourse on the Snake Simile (Alagaddūpama Sutta, M. 22; tr. in WHEEL 48/49) . Other
texts in "Path". - Further: Anattā and Nibbāna, by Nyanaponika Thera (WHEEL
11); The Truth of Anattā, by Dr. G. P. Malalasekera (WHEEL 94); The Three Basic Facts of
Existence III: Egolessness (WHEEL 202/204)
anattānupassanā: 'contemplation of not-self' is one of the 18 chief
kinds of insight (s. vipassanā). See also above.
anattā-sa˝˝ā: 'perception of not-self'; see A. VI, 104; A. VII, 48; A.X, 60;
Ud. IV, 1.
anattā-vāda: the 'doctrine of impersonality'; s. anattā.
āne˝ja: 'imperturbability', denotes the immaterial sphere (arūpāvacara;
s. avacara); s. sankhāra. cf. M. 106.
anger: s. mūla.
anicca: 'impermanent' (or, as abstract noun,
is the first of the three characteristics of existence (tilakkhana, q.v.). It is
from the fact of impermanence that, in most texts, the other two characteristics,
suffering (dukkha) and not-self (anattā), are derived (S. XXII, 15; Ud. IV,
"Impermanence of things is the rising, passing and changing of things, or the
disappearance of things that have become or arisen. The meaning is that these things never
persist in the same way, but that they are vanishing dissolving from moment to
moment" (Vis.M VII, 3).
Impermanence is a basic feature of all conditioned phenomena, be they material or
mental, coarse or subtle, one's own or external: All formations are impermanent" (sabbe
sankhārā aniccā; M 35, Dhp. 277). That the totality of existence is impermanent is
also often stated in terms of the five aggregates (khandha, q.v.), the twelve
personal and external sense bases (āyatana q.v.), etc. Only Nibbāna (q.v.), which
is unconditioned and not a formation (asankhata), is permanent (nicca, dhuva).
The insight leading to the first stage of deliverance, Stream-entry (sotāpatti;
s. ariya-puggala), is often expressed in terms of impermanence: "Whatever is
subject to origination, is subject to cessation" (s. Dhammacakkappavattana Sutta, S.
XLVI, 11). In his last exhortation, before his Parinibbāna, the Buddha reminded his monks
of the impermanence of existence as a spur to earnest effort: "Behold now, Bhikkhus,
I exhort you: Formations are bound to vanish. Strive earnestly!" (vayadhammā
sankhārā, appamādena sampādetha; D. 16).
Without the deep insight into the impermanence and insubstantiality of all phenomena of
existence there is no attainment of deliverance. Hence comprehension of impermanence
gained by direct meditative experience heads two lists of insight knowledge: (a)
contemplation of impermanence (aniccānupassanā) is the first of the 18 chief
kinds of insight (q.v.); (b) the contemplation of arising and vanishing (udayabbayānupassanā-˝āna)
is the first of 9 kinds of knowledge which lead to the 'purification by knowledge and
vision of the path-progress' (s. visuddhi, VI). - Contemplation of impermanence
leads to the conditionless deliverance (animitta-vimokkha; s. vimokkha). As
herein the faculty of confidence (saddhindriya) is outstanding, he who attains in
that way the path of Stream-entry is called a faith-devotee (saddhānusārī; s. ariya-puggala)
and at the seven higher stages he is called faith-liberated (saddhā-vimutta), -
See also anicca-sa˝˝ā.
See The Three Basic Facts of Existence I: Impermanence (WHEEL 186/187)
aniccānupassanā: 'contemplation of impermanence', is one of the 18
chief kinds of insight (s. vipassanā).
anicca-sa˝˝ā: 'perception of impermanence', is defined in the Girimananda
Sutta (A.X. 60) as meditation on the impermanence of the five groups of existence.
"Though, with a faithful heart, one takes refuge in the Buddha, his Teaching and
the Community of Monks; or with a faithful heart observes the rules of morality, or
develops a mind full of loving-kindness, far more meritorious it is if one cultivates the
perception of impermanence, be it only for a moment" (A.X. 20).
See A. VI, 102; A. VII, 48; Ud. IV, 1; S. XXII, 102.
animitta-ceto-vimutti: s. ceto-vimutti.
animittānupassanā: s. vipassanā.
animitta-vimokkha: s. vimokkha.
a˝˝a: 'other', being of the opposite category.
a˝˝ā: 'highest knowledge', gnosis, refers to the perfect knowledge of the
Saint (Arahat; s. ariya-puggala). The following passage occurs frequently in the
Suttas, when a monk indicates his attainment of Holiness (arahatta): "He makes
known highest knowledge (a˝˝am vyākaroti), thus: 'Rebirth has ceased, fulfilled
is the holy life, the task is accomplished, and there is no more of this to come.' "
The 'faculty of highest knowledge' (a˝˝' indriya = a˝˝ā-indriya; s. indriya),
however, is present in six of the eight stages of holiness, that is, beginning with the
fruition of Stream-Winning (sotāpatti-phala) up to the path of Holiness (arahatta-magga).
See Dhs. (PTS) 362-364, 505, 553; Indriya Vibhanga; "Path" 162.
a˝˝āma˝˝a-paccaya: 'mutuality-condition,' is one of the 24 conditions (paccaya,
a˝˝ātāvindriya: 'the faculty of one who knows'; s. indriya, 22.
a˝˝indriya: 'the faculty of highest knowledge'; s. a˝˝ā and indriya,
anottappa: s. ahirika.
answering questions: 4 ways of: s. pa˝hā-byākarana.
antarā-parinibbāyī: is one of the 5 kinds of Non-Returners or
antinomies: s. ditthi.
anuloma-citta: 'adaptation-moment of consciousness', denotes the third of the 4
moments of impulsion (javana, q.v.) flashing up immediately before either reaching
the absorptions (jhāna, q.v.) or the supermundane paths (s. ariya-puggala).
These 4 moments of impulsion are: the preparation (parikamma), access (upacāra),
adaptation (anuloma) and maturity (gotrabhū) moments. For further details,
s. javana, gotrabhū.
anuloma-˝āna: 'adaptation-knowledge' or conformity-knowledge, is identical
with the 'adaptation-to-truth knowledge', the last of 9 insight-knowledges (vipassanā-˝āna)
which constitute the purification of knowledge and vision of the path-progress' (s. visuddhi
VI, 9). Cf. Vis.M XXI.
anupādisesa-nibbāna: see Nibbāna, upādi.
anupassanā: 'contemplation' - 4 fold: s. satipatthāna - 18 fold: s.
- 7 fold: "The seven contemplation's: (1) Contemplating (formations) as impermanent,
one abandons the perception of permanence. (2) Contemplating (them) as painful, one
abandons the perception of happiness (to be found in them). (3) Contemplating (them) as
not self, one abandons the perception of self. (4) Becoming dispassionate, one abandons
delighting. (5) Causing fading away, one abandons greed. (6) Causing cessation, one
abandons originating. (7) Relinquishing, one abandons grasping" (Pts.M. I, p. 58). -
See also Vis.M XXI, 43; XXII, 114.
anupubba-nirodha: The 9 'successive extinctions', are the 8 extinctions reached
through the 8 absorptions (jhāna, q.v.) and the extinction of feeling and
perception' (s. nirodha-samāpatti), as it is said in A. IX, 31 and D. 33:
"In him who has entered the 1st absorption, the sensuous perceptions (kāma-sa˝˝ā)
are extinguished. Having entered the 2nd absorption, thought-conception and discursive
thinking (vitakkavicāra, q.v.) are extinguished. Having entered the 3rd
absorption, rapture (pīti, q.v.) is extinguished. Having entered the 4th
absorption, in-and-out breathing (assāsa-passāsa, q.v.) are extinguished. Having
entered the sphere of boundless space (ākāsāna˝cāyatana), the corporeality
perceptions (rūpa-sa˝˝ā) are extinguished. Having entered the sphere of
boundless consciousness (vi˝˝āna˝cāyatana), the perception of the sphere of
boundless space is extinguished. Having entered the sphere of nothingness (āki˝ca˝˝āyatana),
the perception of the sphere of boundless consciousness is extinguished. Having entered
the sphere of neither-perception-nor-non-perception (neva-sa˝˝ā-nāsa˝˝āyatana)
the perception of the sphere of nothingness is extinguished. Having entered the extinction
of perception and feeling (sa˝˝āvedayitanirodha) perception and feeling are
extinguished." For further details, s. jhāna, nirodha-samāpatti.
anupubba-vihāra: the 9 'successive abodes', are identical with the 9 anupubba-nirodha
(s. above). In A. IX, 33 they are called successive attainments (anupubba-samāpatti).
ānupubbī-kathā: 'gradual instruction', progressive sermon; given by the
Buddha when it was necessary to prepare first the listener's mind before speaking to him
on the advanced teaching of the Four Noble Truths. The stock passage (e.g. D. 3; D 14; M.
56) runs as follows:
"Then the Blessed One gave him a gradual instruction - that is to say, he spoke on
liberality ('giving', dāna, q.v.), on moral conduct (sīla) and on the
heaven (sagga); he explained the peril, the vanity and the depravity of sensual
pleasures, and the advantage
of renunciation. When the Blessed One perceived that the listener's mind was prepared,
pliant, free from obstacles, elevated and lucid; then he explained to him that exalted
teaching particular to the Buddhas (buddhānam sāmukkamsikā desanā), that is:
suffering, its cause, its ceasing, and the path."
anurakkhana-padhāna: the 'effort to maintain' wholesome states; s. padhāna.
anusaya: the 7 'proclivities', inclinations, or tendencies are: sensuous greed (kāma-rāga,
s. samyojana), grudge (patigha), speculative opinion (ditthi, q.v.),
skeptical doubt (vicikicchā, q.v.), conceit (māna, q.v.), craving for
continued existence (bhavarāga), ignorance (avijjā, q.v.) (D. 33; A. VII,
"These things are called 'proclivities' since, in consequence of their
pertinacity, they ever and again tend to become the conditions for the arising of ever new
sensuous greed, etc.'' (Vis.M XXII, 60).
Yam. VII, first determines in which beings such and such proclivities exist, and which
proclivities, and with regard to what, and in which sphere of existence. Thereafter it
gives an explanation concerning their overcoming, their penetration, etc. Cf. Guide VI
(vii). According to Kath. several ancient Buddhist schools erroneously held the opinion
that the anusayas, as such, meant merely latent, hence karmically neutral
qualities, which however Contradicts the Theravāda conception. Cf. Guide V, 88, 108, 139.
anussati: 'recollection', meditation, contemplation. The six recollections often
described in the Suttas (e.g. A. VI, 10, 25; D. 33) are: (1) recollection of the Buddha,
(2) his Doctrine, (3) his Community of noble disciples, (4) of morality, (5) liberality,
(6) heavenly beings (buddhānussati, dhammānussati, sanghānussati, sīlānussati,
(1) "The noble disciple, Mahānāma, recollects thus: 'This Blessed One is holy, a
fully Enlightened One, perfected in wisdom and conduct, faring happily, knower of the
worlds, unsurpassed leader of men to be trained, teacher of heavenly beings and men, a
Buddha, a Blessed One.'
(2) 'Well proclaimed by the Blessed One is the Doctrine (dhamma), directly
visible, with immediate fruit, inviting investigation, leading on to Nibbāna, to be
comprehended by the wise, each by himself.'
(3) 'Of good conduct is the Community (Sangha) of the Blessed One's disciples,
of upright conduct, living on the right path, performing their duties, to wit: the 4 pairs
of men or 8 individuals (s. ariya puggala). This Community of the Blessed One's
disciples is worthy of offerings, worthy of hospitality, worthy of gifts, worthy of
reverence with raised hands, the unsurpassed field for doing meritorious deeds.'
(4) "The noble disciple further recollects his own morality (sīla) which is
unbroken, without any breach, undefiled, untarnished, conducive to liberation, praised by
the wise, not dependent (on craving or opinions), leading to concentration.
(5) "The noble disciple further recollects his own liberality (cāga) thus:
'Blessed truly am I, highly blessed am I who, amongst beings defiled with the filth of
stinginess, live with heart free from stinginess, liberal, open-handed, rejoicing in
giving, ready to give anything asked for, glad to give and share with others.'
(6) "The noble disciple further recollects the heavenly beings (devatā):
'There are the heavenly beings of the retinue of the Four Great Kings, the heavenly beings
of the World of the Thirty-Three, the Yāmadevas ... and there are heavenly beings besides
(s. deva). Such faith, such morality, such knowledge, such liberality, such
insight, possessed of which those heavenly beings, after vanishing from here, are reborn
in those worlds, such things are also found in me.' " (A. III,70; VI,10; XI,12).
"At the time when the noble disciple recollects the Perfect One ... at such a time
his mind is neither possessed of greed, nor of hate, nor of delusion. Quite upright at
such a time is his mind owing to the Perfect One ... With upright mind the noble disciple
attains understanding of the sense, understanding of the law, attains joy through the law.
In the joyous one rapture arises. With heart enraptured, his whole being becomes stilled.
Stilled within his being, he feels happiness; and the mind of the happy one becomes firm.
Of this noble disciple it is said that amongst those gone astray, he walks on the right
path, among those suffering he abides free from suffering. Thus having reached the stream
of the law, he develops the recollection of the Enlightened One...." (A. VI, 10).
In A. I, 21 (PTS: I, xvi) and A. I, 27 (PTS: xx. 2) another 4 recollections are added:
mindfulness on death (marana-sati, q.v.), on the body (kāyagatā-.sati,
q.v.), on breathing (ānāpāna-sati, q.v.), and the recollection of peace (upasamānussati,
The first six recollections are fully explained in Vis.M VII, the latter four in
aparāpariya-vedanīya-kamma: 'karma bearing fruits in later births'; s. karma.
aparihāna-dhamma: 'incapable of relapse', or 'of falling away', namely, with
regard to deliverance from some or all fetters of existence (s. samyojana). Thus
all noble disciples are called, i.e. all those who have attained any of the 4 noble paths
to holiness (s. ariyapuggala). With regard to the absorptions (jhāna,
q.v.), anyone is called 'unrelapsable' who has attained full mastery over the absorptions.
See A. VI, 62; Pug. 6. Cf. akuppa-dhamma.
aparihāniya-dhamma: 'conditions of welfare' (lit. of non-decline), for a
nation. Seven such conditions are mentioned in the Mahā-Parinibbāna Sutta (D. 16). They
are followed by five sets of 7, and one set of 6 conditions, conducive to the welfare of
the Community of Monks, the Sangha. Identical texts at A. VII, 20-25. To be distinguished
from the preceding term.
apāya: The 4 'lower worlds'. are: the animal world, ghost world, demon-world,
hell. See Vis.M XIII, 92f.
āpo-dhātu: 'water-element'; s. dhātu.
appamāda: 'zeal', non-laxity, earnestness, diligence, is considered as the
foundation of all progress.
Just as all the footprints of living beings are surpassed by the footprint of the
elephant, and the footprint of the elephant is considered as the mightiest amongst them,
just so have all the meritorious qualities zeal as their foundation, and zeal is
considered as the mightiest of these qualities'' (A. X, 15).
Cf. the Chapter on Zeal (Appamāda Vagga) in Dhp., and the Buddha's last exhortation:
"Transient are all formations. Strive zealously!" (appamādena sampādetha:
D. 16) - In the commentaries, it is often explained as the presence (lit. 'non-absence')
of mindfulness (satiyā avippavāsa).
appamānābha: a kind of heavenly being; s. deva, (II).
appamāna-ceto-vimutti: s. ceto-vimutti.
appamāna-subha: a kind of heavenly being: s. deva (II).
appama˝˝ā: The 4 'Boundless States', identical with brahma-vihāra (q.v.).
appanā-samādhi: 'attainment concentration' or 'full concentration' (from apeti,
to fix), is the concentration existing during absorption (jhāna, q.v.), whilst the
neighbourhood or access-concentration (upacāra-samādhi) only approaches
the 1st absorption without attaining it; s. samādhi.
appanihita-vimokkha: s. vimokkha. - Appanihitānupassanā; s.
appendants, The 3: ki˝cana (q.v.).
appicchatā: 'having only few wishes', contentedness, is one of the
indispensable virtues of the monk; cf. A. X. 181-190, and ariyavamsa (q.v.).
apu˝˝ābhisankhāra: s. sankhāra.
Arahat and arahatta-magga,-phala: s. ariya-puggala.
ārammana: 'object'. There are six: visible object, sound, odor, taste,
body-impression, mind-object. The mind-object (dhammārammana) may be physical or
mental, past, present or future, real or imaginary. The 5 sense-objects belong to the
corporeality-group (rūpa-kkhandha, s. khandha). They form the
external foundations for the sense-perceptions, and without them no sense-perception or
sense-consciousness (seeing, hearing, etc.) can arise. Cf. āyatana, paccaya. (App:
ārammanādhipati, ārammanupanissaya: s. paccaya.
āra˝˝ikanga: The 'exercise of the forest-dweller', is one of the ascetic
purification-exercises (dhutanga, q.v.).
arising and vanishing (of things). The knowledge consisting in the contemplation
of; s. visuddhi (VI. 1.).
ariya-iddhi: s. iddhi.
ariya-magga: s. foll.
ariya-puggala: or simply ariya: 'Noble Ones', 'noble persons'.
(A) The 8 ,a. are those who have realized one of the 8 stages of holiness, i.e.
the 4 supermundane paths (magga) and the 4 supermundane fruitions (phala) of
these paths. There are 4 pairs:
1. The one realizing the path of Stream-winning (sotāpattimagga).
2. The one realizing the fruition of Stream-winning (sotāpattiphala).
3. The one realizing the path of Once-return (sakadāgāmiphala).
4. The one realizing the fruition of Once-return (sakadāgāmiphala).
5. The one realizing the path of Non-return (anāgāmimagga).
6. The one realizing the fruition of Non-return (anāgāmiphala).
7. The one realizing the path of Holiness (arahatta-magga).
8. The one realizing the fruition of Holiness (arahatta-phala).
Summed up, there are 4 noble individuals (ariya-puggala): the Stream-winner (Sotāpanna),
the Once-Returner (Sakadāgāmi), the Non-Returner (Anāgāmī), the Holy
In A. VIII,10 and A. IX, 16 the gotrabhū (q.v.) is listed as the 9th noble
According to the Abhidhamma, 'supermundane path', or simply 'path' (magga), is a
designation of the moment of entering into one of the 4 stages of holiness - Nibbāna
being the object - produced by intuitional insight (vipassanā) into the
impermanence, misery and impersonality of existence, flashing forth and forever
transforming one's life and nature. By 'fruition' (phala) is meant those moments of
consciousness which follow immediately thereafter as the result of the path, and which in
certain circumstances may repeat for innumerable times during the life-time.
(I) Through the path of Stream-winning (sotāpatti-magga) one 'becomes' free
(whereas in realizing the fruition, one 'is' free) from the first 3 fetters (samyojana,
q.v.) which bind beings to existence in the sensuous sphere, to wit: (1)
personality-belief (sakkāya-ditthi; s. ditthi), (2) skeptical doubt
(vicikicchā, q.v.), (3) attachment to mere rules and rituals (sīlabbata-parāmāsa;
(II) Through the path of Once-return (sakadāgāmi-magga) one becomes nearly
free from the 4th and 5th fetters, to wit: (4) sensuous craving (kāma-cchanda = kāma-rāga;
s. rāga), (5) ill-will (vyāpāda = dosa, s. mūla).
(III) Through the path of Non-return (anāgāmi-magga) one becomes fully free
from the above-mentioned 5 lower fetters.
(IV) Through the path of Holiness (arahatta-magga) one further becomes free from
the 5 higher fetters, to wit: (6) craving for fine material existence (rūpa-rāga),
(7) craving for immaterial existence. (arūpa-rāga), (8) conceit (māna,
q.v.), (9) restlessness (uddhacca, q.v.), (10) ignorance (avijjā, q.v.).
The stereotype Sutta text runs as follows:
(I) "After the disappearance of the three fetters, the monk has won the stream (to
Nibbāna) and is no more subject to rebirth in lower worlds, is firmly established,
destined for full enlightenment.
(II) "After the disappearance of the three fetters and reduction of greed, hatred
and delusion, he will return only once more; and having once more returned to this world,
he will put an end to suffering.
(III) "After the disappearance of the five fetters he appears in a higher world,
and there he reaches Nibbāna without ever returning from that world (to the sensuous
(IV) "Through the extinction of all cankers (āsava-kkhaya) he reaches
already in this very life the deliverance of mind, the deliverance through wisdom, which
is free from cankers, and which he himself has understood and realized."
For the various classes of Stream-winners and Non-Returners, s. Sotāpanna,
(B) The sevenfold grouping of the noble disciples is as follows:
(1) the faith-devotee (saddhānusārī), (2) the faith-liberated one (saddhāvimutta),
(3) the body-witness (kāya-sakkhī), (4) the both-ways-liberated one (ubhato-bhāga-vimutta),
(5) the Dhamma-devotee (dhammānusārī), (6) the vision-attainer (ditthippatta),
(7) the wisdom-liberated one (pa˝˝ā-vimutta). This group of seven noble
disciples is thus explained in Vis.M XXI, 73:
(1) "He who is filled with resolution (adhimokkha) and, in considering the
formations as impermanent (anicca), gains the faculty of faith, he, at the moment
of the path to Stream-winning (A.1) is called a faith-devotee (saddhānusārī);
(2) at the seven higher stages (A. 2-8) he is called a faith-liberated one (saddhā-vimutta).
(3) He who is filled with tranquillity and, in considering the formations as miserable (dukkha),
gains the faculty of concentration, he in every respect is considered as a body-witness (kāya-sakkhī).
(4) He, however, who after reaching the absorptions of the immaterial sphere has attained
the highest fruition (of Holiness), he is a both-ways-liberated one (ubhato-bhāga-vimutta).
(5) He who is filled with wisdom and, in considering the formations as not-self (anattā),
gains the faculty of wisdom, he is at the moment of Stream-winning a Dhamma-devotee (dhammānusārī),
(6) at the later stages (A. 2-7) a vision-attainer (ditthippatta), (7) at the
highest stage (A. 8) a wisdom-liberated one (pa˝˝āvimutta)." - Further
details about the body-witness, the both-ways-liberated one and the wisdom-liberated one,
s. under the three Pāli terms. Cf. also M. 70; A. IX, 44; S. XII, 70; Pts.M. II, p. 33,
ariya-sacca: The Four 'Noble Truths'; s. sacca.
ariya-vamsa: The four 'noble usage's', are: contentedness (of the monk) with any
robe, contentedness with any alms-food, contentedness with any dwelling, and delight in
meditation and detachment. In the Ariya-vamsa Sutta, (A. IV , 28) and similarly in D. 33,
it is said :
"Now the monk is contented with any robe, with any alms-food, with any dwelling,
finds pleasure and enjoyment in mental training and detachment . But neither is he haughty
on that account, nor does he look down upon others. Now, of a monk who herein is fit and
indefatigable, who remains clearly conscious and mindful, of such a monk it is said that
he is firmly established in the ancient, noble usage's known as the most lofty ones."
Full tr. of Ariya-vamsa Sutta in WHEEL 83/84.
ariya-vihāra: s. vihāra.
arūpa-bhava: s. bhava, loka.
arūpa-jjhāna: - s. jhāna.
arūpa-kkhandha: The four 'immaterial groups' of existence are: feeling,
perception, mental formations, consciousness; s. khandha.
arūpāvacara: s. avacara.
āruppa: s. jhāna.
asankhāra-parinibbāyī: The 'one reaching Nibbāna without exertion', is one
of the five classes of Non-Returners (Anāgāmī, q.v.)
asankhārika-citta: an Abhidhamma term signifying a 'state of consciousness
arisen spontaneously', i. e. without previous deliberation, preparation, or prompting by
others; hence: 'unprepared, unprompted'. This term and its counterpart (sasankhārikacitta,
q.v.), probably go back to a similar distinction made in the Suttas (A. IV, 171;
"Path" 184). See Tab. I; examples in Vis.M XIV, 84f.
asankhata: The 'Unformed, Unoriginated, Unconditioned' is a name for Nibbāna,
the beyond of all becoming and conditionality.
asa˝˝a-satta: The 'unconscious beings', are a class of heavenly beings in the
fine-material world; s. deva (II). "There are, o monks, heavenly beings known
as the unconscious ones. As soon, however, as in those beings consciousness arises, those
beings will vanish from that world. Now, o monks, it may happen that one of those beings
after vanishing from that world, may reappear in this world...." (D. 24). Further
details, s. Kath., Yam. (Guide, pp. 68, 79, 96 ff.).
āsava: (lit: influxes), 'cankers', taints, corruption's, intoxicant biases.
There is a list of four (as in D. 16, Pts.M., Vibh.): the canker of sense-desire (kāmāsava),
of (desiring eternal) existence (bhavāsava), of (wrong) views (ditthāsava),
and of ignorance (avijjāsava). A list of three, omitting the canker of views, is
possibly older and is more frequent in the Suttas, e.g. in M. 2, M. 9, D. 33; A. III, 59,
67; A. VI, 63. - In Vibh. (Khuddakavatthu Vibh.) both the 3-fold and 4-fold division are
mentioned. The fourfold division also occurs under the name of 'floods' (ogha) and
Through the path of Stream-Entry, the canker of views is destroyed; through the path of
Non-Returning, the canker of sense-desire; through the path of Arahatship, the cankers of
existence and ignorance. M. 2 shows how to overcome the cankers, namely, through insight,
sense-control, avoidance, wise use of the necessities of life, etc. For a commentarial
exposition, see Atthasālini Tr. I, p. 63f: II, pp. 475ff.
Khīnāsava, 'one whose cankers are destroyed', or 'one who is canker-free', is
a name for the Arahat or Holy One. The state of Arahatship is frequently called
'the destruction of the cankers'. Suttas concluding with the attainment of Arahatship by
the listeners, often end with the words: "During this utterance, the hearts of the
Bhikkhus were freed from the cankers through clinging no more" (anupādāya
āsavehi cittāni vimuccimsū'ti).
āsavakkhaya: see above.
ascending insight: s. vutthāna-gāminī-vipassanā.
ascetic purification practices: s. dhutanga.
asekha: (lit.: 'not-learner'; s. sekha), a disciple 'perfected in
training', one beyond training, an adept. This is a name for the Arahat, the Holy One (s. ariya-puggala),
since he has reached the perfection in higher moral training, higher mind training and
higher wisdom training (s. sikkhā) and needs no longer to train himself therein.
āsevana-paccaya: 'repetition', is one of the 24 conditions (paccaya,
asmi-māna: (lit.: 'I am'-conceit), 'ego-conceit', may range from the coarsest
pride and self-assertion to a subtle feeling of one's distinctiveness or superiority that
persists, as the 8th fetter (samyojana, q.v.), until the attainment of Arahatship
or Holiness. It is based upon the comparison of oneself with others, and may, therefore,
manifest itself also as a feeling of inferiority or the claim to be equal (s. māna).
It has to be distinguished from 'ego-belief' (sakkāya-ditthi, q.v.) which implies
a definite belief or view (ditthi) concerning the assumption of a self or soul,
and, being the 1st of the fetters, disappears at attainment of Stream-Entry (sotāpatti;
"Even when the five lower fetters have vanished in a noble disciple, there is
still in him, with regard to the five groups of clinging, a slight undiscarded measure of
the conceit 'I am', of the will 'I am', of the proclivity 'I am' " (S . XXII, 89) . -
assāsa-passāsa: 'in-and-out-breathing', are corporeal or physical functions or
'formations' (kāya-sankhāra), whilst thought-conception and discursive thinking (vitakka
and vicāra) are called verbal functions (vacī-sankhāra), s. sankhāra
(2). In-and-out-breathing forms one of the 6 aspects of the wind-element (s. dhātu).
Cf. M. 62.
association: sampayutta-paccaya, is one of the 24 conditions (paccaya,
q.v.). asubha: 'impurity', loathsomeness, foulness. - In Vis.M VI, it is the
cemetery contemplations (sīvathika, q.v.) that are called 'meditation-subjects of
impurity' (asubha-kammatthāna; s. bhāvanā). In the Girimananda Sutta (A.
X., 50), however, the perception of impurity (asubha-sa˝˝ā) refers to the
contemplation of the 32 parts of the body (s. kāya-gatā-sati). The contemplation
of the body's impurity is an antidote against the hindrance of sense-desire (s. nīvarana)
and the mental perversion (vipallāsa, q.v.) which sees what is truly impure as
pure and beautiful. See S. XLVI, 51; A. V. 36, Dhp. 7, 8; Sn. 193ff. - The Five Mental
Hindrances (WHEEL 26), pp. 5ff.
asura: 'demons', titans, evil ghosts, inhabiting one of the lower worlds (apāya,
atappa: 'the unworried', is the name of a class of deities (s. deva,)
inhabiting the first of the five Pure Abodes (suddhāvāsa, q.v.), in which the
(q.v.) has his last rebirth.
atimāna: 'superiority-conceit'; s. māna.
attā: 'self, ego, personality, is in Buddhism a mere conventional expression (vohāradesanā),
and no designation for anything really existing; s. paramattha-desanā, anattā,
puggala, satta, jīva.
attachments: s. parāmāsa.
atta-ditthi (-vāda): 'ego-belief', 'personality-belief', s. ditthi.
attainment-concentration: appanā-samādhi (q.v.); s. samādhi.
attainments, 'The 8 a.'; s. samāpatti.
atta-kilamatha: 'self-mortification', is one of the two extremes to be avoided,
the other extreme being addiction to sensual pleasures (kāma-sukha), whilst the
Noble 8-fold Path constitutes the Middle Path (majjhima-patipadā, q.v.). See the
Buddha's first sermon, "The Establishment of the Realm of Dhamma"
atta-sa˝˝ā (░citta, ░ditthi): 'perception (consciousness,
view) of an ego', is one of the 4 perversions (vipallāsa, q.v.).
atta-vādupādāna: 'attachment to the ego-belief', is one of the 4 kinds of
clinging (upādāna, q.v.).
attention: s. manasikāra.
attentiveness, attention, mindfulness; s. sati, satipatthāna.
atthangika-magga: The 'Eightfold Path'; s. magga.
attha-patisambhidā: The 'analytical knowledge of meaning', is one of the 4
kinds of analytical knowledge (patisambhidā, q.v.).
atthi-paccaya: 'presence', is one of the 24 conditions (paccaya, q.v.) .
auditory organ: s. āyatana.
avacara: 'sphere', realm. The 3 spheres of existence are: the sensuous sphere (kāmāvacara),
the fine-material sphere (rūpāvacara), the immaterial sphere (arūpāvacara).
"Which things are of the sensuous sphere (kāmāvacara)? Whatever things exist
within the interval bounded beneath by the Avīci-hell and above by the Paranimmitavasavatti-heaven
(s. deva), having therein their sphere, and being therein included, to wit: the
groups of existence, the elements, bases (s. khandha, dhātu,
corporeality, feeling, perception, mental formations and consciousness, all these things
are of the sensuous sphere. - But which things are of the fine material sphere (rūpāvacara)?
Whatever things exist within the interval bounded beneath by the Brahma-world and above by
the Akanittha-world (s. deva), having therein their sphere, and being
therein included ... and also consciousness and mental factors in one who has entered the
(fine-material) absorptions, or who has been reborn in that sphere, or who already during
his life-time is living in happiness (of the absorptions), all these things are of the
fine-material sphere. - Which things are of the immaterial sphere (arūpāvacara)?
Consciousness and mental factors arising within the interval bounded beneath by the beings
reborn in the sphere of unbounded space and above by the beings reborn in the sphere of
neither-perception-nor-non-perception (s. jhāna 5-8), and consciousness and mental
factors in one who has entered the (immaterial absorptions), or who has been reborn in
that sphere, or who already during his lifetime is living in happiness (of the immaterial
absorptions), all these things are of the immaterial sphere." (Cf. Dhs. 1280, 1282,
1284; Vibh. XVIII). (App.).
āvajjana: 'advertence' of the mind towards the object, forms the first stage in
the process of consciousness (s. vi˝˝āna-kicca). If an object of the 5 physical
senses is concerned, it is called 'five-door advertence' (pa˝ca dvārāvajjana);
in the case of a mental object, 'mind-door advertence' (mano-dvārāvajjana).
aversion (from existence), contemplation of: s. vipassanā (VI . 5)
Avīci is the name of one of the most frightful hells (niraya, q.v.).
avigata-paccaya: 'non-disappearance', is one of the 24 conditions (paccaya,
aviha (derivation uncertain; Sanskrit avrha) is one of the five Pure
Abodes (suddhāvāsa, q.v.) in the fine-material sphere. For details, s. under
avihimsā (equivalents: ahimsā, avihesā): 'harmlessness', nonviolence,
absence of cruelty. The 'thought of harmlessness' (or: 'non-cruelty'; avihimsā-vitakka)
is one of the three constituents of right thought (sammā-sankappa), i.e. the 2nd
factor of the Eightfold Path (s. magga). In the several lists of 'elements' (dhātu)
appears also an 'element of harmlessness' (avihesā-dhātu), in the sense of an
elementary quality of noble thought. See Dhp. 225, 261, 270, 300.
avijjā: 'ignorance,' nescience, unknowing; synonymous with delusion (moha,
s. mūla), is the primary root of all evil and suffering in the world, veiling
man's mental eyes and preventing him from seeing the true nature of things. It is the
delusion tricking beings by making life appear to them as permanent, happy, substantial
and beautiful and preventing them from seeing that everything in reality is impermanent,
liable to suffering, void of 'I' and 'mine', and basically impure (s. vipallāsa).
Ignorance is defined as 'not knowing the four truths, namely, suffering, its origin, its
cessation, and the way to its cessation' (S. XII, 4).
As ignorance is the foundation of all life-affirming actions, of all evil and
suffering, therefore it stands first in the formula of Dependent Origination (paticca-samuppāda,
q.v.). But for that reason, says Vis.M (XVII, 36f) ignorance should not be regarded as
"the causeless root-cause of the world ... It is not causeless. For a cause of it is
stated thus 'With the arising of cankers (āsava, q.v.) there is the arising of
ignorance' (M. 9). But there is a figurative way in which it can be treated as a
root-cause; namely, when it is made to serve as a starting point in an exposition of the
Round of Existence ... As it is said: 'No first beginning of ignorance can be perceived,
Bhikkhus, before which ignorance was not, and after which it came to be. But it can be
perceived that ignorance has its specific condition (idappaccaya)" (A. X, 61).
The same statement is made (A. X, 62) about the craving for existence (bhava-tanhā;
s. tanhā). The latter and ignorance are called "the outstanding causes of
kamma that lead to unhappy and happy destinies" (Vis.M XVII, 38).
As ignorance still exists - though in a very refined way until the attainment of
Arahatship or Holiness, it is counted as the last of the 10 fetters (samyojana, q.v.)
which bind beings to the cycle of rebirths. As the first two roots of evil, greed and hate
(s. mūla), are on their part rooted in ignorance, consequently all unwholesome
states of mind are inseparably bound up with it. Ignorance (or delusion) is the most
obstinate of the three roots of evil.
Ignorance is one of the cankers (āsava, q.v.) and proclivities (anusaya,
q.v.). It is often called a hindrance (nīvarana; e.g. in S.XV, 3; A.X, 61) but
does not appear together with the usual list of five hindrances.
avikkhepa: 'undistractedness', is a synonym of concentration (samādhi,
q.v.), one-pointedness of mind (citt'ekaggatā) and tranquillity (samatha,
q.v.; further s. samatha-vipassanā).
avoidance and performance: s. cāritta, etc. - The effort to avoid, s. padhāna.
avyākata: lit. 'indeterminate' - i.e. neither determined as karmically
'wholesome' nor as 'unwholesome' - are the karmically neutral, i.e. amoral, states of
consciousness and mental factors. They are either mere karma-results (vipāka,
q.v.), as e.g. all the sense perceptions and the mental factors associated therewith, or
they are karmically independent functions (kiriya-citta, q.v.), i.e. neither karmic
nor karma-resultant. See Tab. I. (App.).
avyāpāda: 'hatelessness', non-ill-will, goodness; is one of the three kinds of
right thought (s. sacca, IV. 2), or wholesome thoughts (vitakka, q.v.) and
is the 9th of the 10 wholesome courses of actions (kammapatha II. q.v.). The most
frequently used synonyms are adosa (s. mūla) and mettā (s. brahma-vihāra).
awakenment: s. bodhi.
āyatana: 1. 'spheres', is a name for the four immaterial absorptions; s. jhāna
(5-8). 2. The 12 'bases' or 'sources' on which depend the mental processes, consist of
five physical sense-organs and consciousness, being the six personal (ajjhattika)
bases; and the six objects, the so-called external (bāhira) bases - namely:
- eye, or visual organ visible object
- ear, or auditory organ sound, or audible object
- nose, or olfactory organ odour, or olfactive object
- tongue, or gustatory organ taste, or gustative object
- body, or tactile organ body-impression, or tactile object
- mind-base, or consciousness mind-object
"By the visual organ (cakkhāyatana) is meant the sensitive part of the eye
(cakkhu-pasāda) built up of the four elements ... responding to
sense-stimuli" (sa-ppatigha).... (Vibh. II). Similar is the explanation of the
four remaining physical sense-organs.
Mind-base (manāyatana) is a collective term for all consciousness whatever, and
should therefore not be confounded with the mind-element (mano-dhātu; s. dhātu
II, 16), which latter performs only the functions of adverting (āvajjana) to the
sense-object, and of receiving (sampaticchana) the sense-object. On the functions
of the mind, s. vi˝˝āna-kicca.
The visible object (rūpāyatana) is described in Vibh. II as "that
phenomenon which is built up of the four physical elements and appears as color,
etc." What is' seen by-visual perception, i.e. by eye-consciousness (cakkhu-vi˝˝āna)
are colors and differences of light, but not three dimensional bodily things.
'Mind-object-base' (dhammāyatana) is identical with 'mind-object-element' (dhamma-dhātu;
s. dhātu II) and dhammārammana (s. ārammana). It may be physical
or mental, past, present or future, real or imaginary.
The 5 physical sense-organs are also called faculties (indriya, q.v.), and of
these faculties it is said in M. 43: "Each of the five faculties owns a different
sphere, and none of them partakes of the sphere of another one; ... they have mind as
their support... are conditioned by vitality, ... but vitality again is conditioned by
heat, heat again by vitality, just as the light and flame of a burning lamp are mutually
The 12 bases are fully discussed in Vis.M XV. In Yam III (s Guide, p 98f) the 12 terms
are subjected to a logical investigation The six personal bases form the 5th link of
dependent origination (paticca-samuppāda 5, q.v.).
āyūhana: (karmic) 'accumulation', is a name used in the commentarial
literature for the wholesome and unwholesome volitional activities (karma, q.v.) or
karma-formations (sankhāra; s. paticca-samuppāda), being the bases of
future rebirth. " 'Accumulation', is a name for the karma-formations, and
signifies those volitions (cetanā) which arise at the performance of a karma,
first while thinking 'I will give alms', and then while actually giving alms (e.g.) for
one month or a year. The volition, however, at the time when one is handing the alms over
to the recipient; is called karma-process (kamma-bhava, s. Vis.M XVII, IX, X). Or,
the volitions during the first six impulsive-moments (javana, q.v.) depending on
one and the same state of advertence (āvajjana, s. vi˝˝āna-kicca), these
are called the karma-formations, whilst the 7th impulsive moment is called the
karma-process (kamma-bhava).... Or, each volition is called 'karma-process' and the
accumulation connected with it, 'karma-formation'. " (Vis.M XVII). Cf. paticca-samuppāda
(2, 10) - (App.).
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