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The upper info is for display reasons for pages refering to words not included in this dictionary.
Detail on “Illustrated Glossary of Pāli Terms” see Index and Introduction.
Illustration: ākappa, behaviour
This is a certain type of gain, namely, good behaviour.
Addhamidaṁ bhikkhave lābhānaṁ yadidaṁ ākappasampadā. (AN i 38)
Illustration: anākappasampannā, badly behaved
Now at that time bhikkhus, being without preceptors, not being advised and instructed, walked for almsfood wrongly dressed, wrongly clothed, and badly behaved.
anupajjhāyakā anovadiyamānā ananusāsiyamānā dunnivatthā duppārutā anākappasampannā piṇḍāya caranti. (Vin.1.44)
The bhikkhus were asking donors for food without invitation, and eating noisily.
Now at that time the Group-of-Six bhikkhus, went into a refectory wrongly dressed, wrongly clothed, and badly behaved
dunnivatthā duppārutā anākappasampannā bhattaggaṁ gacchanti. (Vin.2.211-2)
The bhikkhus were crowding other bhikkhus, and sitting inside the village on their outer robes.
Illustration: ākappasampanno, perfect in behaviour
It is rare to find one gone forth [into the ascetic life] in old age (buḍḍhapabbajito) who is perfect in behaviour.
Illustration: na ākappasampanno, imperfect in behaviour
A resident bhikkhu is not to be esteemed (abhāvanīyo hoti) if he is imperfect in behaviour and in the practice of observances;
Na ākappasampanno hoti na vattasampanno. (AN iii 261)
Regarding the practice of observances, the Buddha said, for example:
• ’Well then I will lay down an observance for bhikkhus who are leaving a residence and which should be observed by bhikkhus who are leaving a residence.’
Tena hi bhikkhave gamikānaṁ bhikkhūnaṁ vattaṁ paññāpessāmi yathā gamikehi bhikkhū hi vattitabbaṁ. (Vin.2.211)
Illustration: ākappā, way of behaviour
Tell me this, being asked: in future times, what will be [the bhikkhus’ and bhikkhunīs’] desires, aspirations, and ways of behaviour?
Kiṁchandā kimadhippāyā kimākappā bhavissare
Anāgatamhi kālamhi taṁ me akkhāhi pucchito. (Tha 950)
Illustration: ākappo, way of behaviour
One who has gone forth [into the ascetic life] should frequently reflect: ‘My way of behaviour should now be different [to laypeoples’].’
Añño me ākappo karaṇīyo ti pabbajitena abhiṇhaṁ paccavekkhitabbaṁ. (AN v 88)
The Samaṇasaññā Sutta says this reflection leads to consistently virtuous behaviour
Santatakārī hoti santatavutti sīlesu. (AN v 210)
Illustration: ākappaṁ, way of behaviour
He develops the dog-practice fully and uninterruptedly.
kukkuravataṁ bhāveti paripuṇṇaṁ abbokiṇṇaṁ
He develops doglike conduct fully and uninterruptedly;
kukkurasīlaṁ bhāveti paripuṇṇaṁ abbokiṇṇaṁ
He develops a doglike mentality fully and uninterruptedly;
kukkuracittaṁ bhāveti paripuṇṇaṁ abbokiṇṇaṁ
He develops a doglike way of behaviour fully and uninterruptedly.
kukkurākappaṁ bhāveti paripuṇṇaṁ abbokiṇṇaṁ
Having done so, with the demise of the body at death, he reappears in the company of dogs (MN i 387-8).
A woman contemplates the femininity in herself, the feminine occupation, ways of behaviour, manners, desires, voice, and attractiveness. She is excited by that, she takes delight in that.
Itthi bhikkhave ajjhattaṁ itthindriyaṁ manasikaroti itthikuttaṁ itthākappaṁ itthividhaṁ itthicchandaṁ itthissaraṁ itthālaṅkāraṁ sā tattha rajjati tatrābhiramati.
Being thus excited and delighted, she contemplates the masculinity about her, the masculine occupation, ways of behaviour, manners, desires, voice, and attractiveness. She is excited by that, she takes delight in that. (AN iv 57)
ākiñcañña has three meanings:
The meaning ‘nonexistence,’ can be seen in ākiñcañña’s relationship to natthi kiñcī ti, the perception that there is [nowhere] anything at all, as in this passage:
• He enters and abides in the state of awareness of nonexistence, where one perceives that there is [nowhere] anything at all.
natthi kiñcī ti ākiñcaññāyatanaṁ upasampajja viharati. (SN iv 296)
The same relationship between ‘nonexistence’ and ‘the perception that there is [nowhere] anything at all’ can be seen when Venerable Posāla asked about the knowledge of ‘one who sees that there is [nowhere] anything at all’ (natthi kiñcī ti passato Snp 1113). The Buddha referred to this as ‘knowing the arising of nonexistence [according to reality]’ (ākiñcaññasambhavaṁ ñatvā, Snp 1115):
• I ask, Sakyan, about the knowledge of one whose perception of bodily form has vanished, who has abandoned all bodily forms, who sees that there is [nowhere] anything at all either internally or externally. How is such a person to be led further?
Ajjhattañca bahiddhā ca natthi kiñcī ti passato
Ñāṇaṁ sakkānupucchāmi kathaṁ neyyo tathā vidho. (Snp 1113)
• Knowing the arising of nonexistence [according to reality], and knowing that spiritually fettering delight is a tie to individual existence, knowing this thus, then he sees this matter [according to reality]. This is the knowledge of things according to reality of the Brahman who has perfected the religious life
Ākiñcaññasambhavaṁ ñatvā nandi saṁyojanaṁ iti
Evametaṁ abhiññāya tato tattha vipassati:
Etaṁ ñāṇaṁ tathaṁ tassa brāhmaṇassa vusīmato ti. (Snp 1115)
The phrase ‘either internally or externally’ supports us parenthesising ‘[nowhere] anything.’
2) The perception of nonexistence
The meaning ‘the perception of nonexistence’ can be seen where ākiñcaññaṁ is linked to natthī ti when the Buddha told Venerable Upasīva that being intent upon the perception of nonexistence (ākiñcaññaṁ pekkhamāno) means with the help of the reflection ‘It does not exist’:
• Being intent upon the perception of nonexistence, being mindful, with the help of the reflection ‘It does not exist,’ cross the flood [of suffering].
Ākiñcaññaṁ pekkhamāno satimā natthī ti nissāya tarassu oghaṁ. (Snp 1070)
3) A state of possessionlessness
Ākiñcaññaṁ’s third meaning is possessionlessness. For example, the bhikkhunī Subhā (Thi 341) reflecting on a return to the household life said:
• It would be unseemly for me, longing for a state of possessionlessness,
Na metaṁ assa patirūpaṁ ākiñcaññaṁ hi patthaye
… Having junked gold and silver, to take them back again.
Yo jātarūpaṁ rajataṁ chaḍḍetvā puna-r-āgahe. (Thi 341)
Possessionlessness means either:
These meanings are practically equivalent.
Illustration: ākiñcaññaṁ, possessionlessness
The Brahman speaks thus
‘I am not in any way anything “belonging to anyone”; and not in any way is there anywhere anything “belonging to me.”’
nāhaṁ kvacani kassaci kiñcanatasmiṁ
na ca mama kvacani katthaci kiñcanatātthī ti
In fully understanding the truth of this saying one is applied to the practice of possessionlessness.
api ca yadeva tattha saccaṁ tadabhiññāya ākiñcaññaṁ yeva paṭipadaṁ paṭipanno hoti. (AN ii 177)
The Uposatha Sutta (AN i 206) says the particular application of this contemplation is in personal relationships, where usually a man’s parents know him as their son, and he knows them as his parents (ayaṁ amhākaṁ putto ti so pi jānāti ime mayhaṁ mātāpitaro ti). Similarly, his slaves and servants know him as their master, and he knows them as his slaves and servants (ayaṁ amhākaṁ ayyo ti. So pi jānāti ime mayhaṁ dāsakammakaraporisā ti). This reflection therefore overcomes the idea that beings possess each other.
Illustration: ākiñcaññaṁ, a state of possessionlessness
The brahman Bāvari, longing for a state of possessionlessness (ākiñcaññaṁ patthayāno), lived on gleanings and fruit. When someone asked him for money, Bāvari said:
‘Whatever I had that was suitable for offering has all been disposed of by me’
yaṁ kho mamaṁ deyyadhammaṁ sabbaṁ vissajjitaṁ mayā. (Snp 982)
Possessionless therefore means having nothing suitable for offering to others.
Akiñcana has four meanings:
Relation to ākiñcaññā: liberated from the perception of existence
Akiñcanaṁ is related to ākiñcaññā, which we have seen above can mean ‘the perception of nonexistence,’ and akiñcanaṁ shares this meaning because akiñcanaṁ describes:
• ‘A person for whom there is [nowhere] anything at all in either the past, the future, or the present,
Yassa pure ca pacchā ca majjhe ca natthi kiñcanaṁ
… Who is liberated from the perception of existence, free of grasping, he is what I call a Brahman.
Akiñcanaṁ anādānaṁ tamahaṁ brūmi brāhmaṇaṁ. (Snp 645)
Akiñcanaṁ therefore means ‘liberated from the perception of existence.’ We will consider natthi kiñcanaṁ below.
Relation to ākiñcaññā: free of the perception of existence
In relation to nibbāna, akiñcana must be rendered as ‘free of the perception of existence’:
• This Island, supreme, free of the perception of existence, free of grasping, I call it the Untroubled, the destruction of old age and death.
Akiñcanaṁ anādānaṁ etaṁ dipaṁ anaparaṁ
Nibbānaṁ iti taṁ brūmi jarāmaccuparikkhayaṁ. (Snp 1093-4)
Relation to ākiñcaññā: possessionless
• Possessionless, gone forth [into the ascetic life]
• Having abandoned sensuous pleasures, being possessionless, one who is wise should cleanse himself of spiritual defilements.
hitvā kāme akiñcano pariyodapeyya attānaṁ cittaklesehi paṇḍito. (AN v 232)
Relation to ākiñcaññā: destitution
Related to possessionlessness is destitution:
• The drunkard is broke and destitute
Yo vāruṇī adhano akiñcano. (DN iii 185)
Illustration: akiñcano, liberated from the perception of existence
This bhikkhu Brahmadeva, madam, free of attachment, has surpassed the devas. Liberated from the perception of existence, not supported by a patron, this very bhikkhu has entered your house for alms.
Eso hi te brāhmaṇī brahmadevo nirupadhiko atidevappatto
Akiñcano bhikkhu anaññaposī yo te so piṇḍāya gharaṁ paviṭṭho. (SN i 141)
Liberated from the perception of existence, liberated [from individual existence] in the sensuous plane of existence, certainly he has crossed this [wretched] flood [of suffering].
akiñcanaṁ kāmabhave asattaṁ addhā hi so oghamimaṁ atāri. (Snp 1059)
I wander in the world, a sage, liberated from the perception of existence.
akiñcano manta carāmi loke. (Snp 455)
Kiñcana and kiñci: meanings
1) kiñcana: something
In the scriptures, na… kiñcana ordinarily means ‘nothing’:
2) kiñci: something
• There is nothing further that a noble disciple needs to do
ariyasāvakassa natthi kiñci uttariṁ karaṇīyanti. (SN ii 100)
3) Kiñcana: anything at all
We have seen that kiñcana and kiñci can mean ‘something.’ But sometimes kiñcana is better as ‘anything at all’:
• One should not do anything at all anywhere that is unvirtuous by body, speech, or mind.
Pāpaṁ na kayirā vacasā manasā kāyena vā kiñcana sabbaloke. (SN i 12)
• One for whom there is no thought of anything at all, ‘This is mine,’ or, ‘This belongs to others,’
Yassa natthi idaṁ meti paresaṁ vāpi kiñcanaṁ. (Snp 951)
4) Sakiñcano: attached to the perception of existence
Sakiñcanaṁ is sometimes contrasted with akiñcanā:
• How pleasant it is, for one who is akiñcanā… See how they are troubled, those who are sakiñcanaṁ
sukhino vata ye akiñcanā… sakiñcanaṁ passa vihaññamānaṁ. (Uda 14)
And since we have already shown that akiñcanā can mean ‘liberated from the perception of existence,’ sakiñcanaṁ would mean ‘attached to the perception of existence.’ Thus the passage should read:
How pleasant it is, for one who is liberated from the perception of existence,
Sukhino vata ye akiñcanā
Those who are blessed with profound knowledge are indeed people liberated from the perception of existence
Vedaguno hi janā akiñcanā
See how they are troubled, those who are attached to the perception of existence.
Sakiñcanaṁ passa vihaññamānaṁ
Man is emotionally bound to man.
Jano janasmiṁ paṭibaddhacitto ti. (Uda 14)
5) Kiñcana: attachment to the perception of existence’
If sakiñcanaṁ can mean ‘attached to the perception of existence’ by extension, kiñcana can mean ‘attachment to the perception of existence,’ for example here:
• Three forms of attachment to the perception of existence:
… attachment is attachment to the perception of existence,
…. hatred is attachment to the perception of existence,
… undiscernment of reality is attachment to the perception of existence
6) Na hoti kiñci: to have no attachment to the perception of existence
But sakiñcanaṁ is sometimes contrasted with na hoti kiñci:
• How pleasant it is, for one who na hoti kiñci… See how they are troubled, those who are sakiñcanaṁ
sukhaṁ vata tassa na hoti kiñci… sakiñcanaṁ passa vihaññamānaṁ. (Uda 13)
According to this, na hoti kiñci is equivalent to akiñcanā, implying that, like kiñcana, kiñci can also mean ‘attachment to the perception of existence.’ Thus the quote can be translated like this:
• How pleasant it is, for one with no attachment to the perception of existence, who has mastered the teaching, who is learned. See how they are troubled, those who are attached to the perception of existence. Man is emotionally bound to man.
Sukhaṁ vata tassa na hoti kiñci saṅkhātadhammassa bahussutassa
Sakiñcanaṁ passa vihaññamānaṁ jano janasmiṁ paṭibaddharūpo ti. (Uda 13)
I do not call one a Brahman due to one’s birth from a particular womb, or due to having arisen from a particular mother.
Na cāhaṁ brāhmaṇaṁ brūmi yonijaṁ mattisambhavaṁ
If he is attached to the perception of existence, [one who nonetheless regards himself a Brahman] is simply a snob.
Bhovādi nāma so hoti sace hoti sakiñcano
But one who is liberated from the perception of existence, free of grasping, he is what I call a Brahman.
Illustration: natthi kiñcī, there is [nowhere] anything at all
The state of awareness of nonexistence can be known, where one perceives that there is [nowhere] anything at all
natthi kiñcī ti ākiñcaññāyatanaṁ neyyan ti. (MN i 293)
Illustration: natthi kiñcanaṁ, there is [nowhere] anything at all
The world [of beings], fettered by undiscernment of reality, appears truly fit-for-purpose.
Mohasambandhano loko bhabbarūpo va dissati
… For the fool tethered by attachment and blanketed in darkness
Upadhisambandhano bālo tamasā parivārito
… it indeed seems eternal, but for one who sees [the nature of reality], there is [nowhere] anything at all.
Sassato-r-iva khāyati passato natthi kiñcanaṁ ti. (Uda 79)
A person for whom there is [nowhere] anything at all in either the past, the future, or the present,
Yassa pure ca pacchā ca majjhe ca natthi kiñcanaṁ
Who is liberated from the perception of existence, free of grasping, he is what I call a Brahman.
Akiñcanaṁ anādānaṁ tamahaṁ brūmi brāhmaṇaṁ. (Snp 645)
For one who has mastered craving, for one who knows and sees [the nature of reality], there is [nowhere] anything at all.
Paṭividdhā taṇhā jānato passato natthi kiñcanaṁ ti. (Uda 80)
Illustration: āghāta, resentment
Bhikkhus, there are these five ways of dispelling resentment whereby all resentment arisen in a bhikkhu can be dispelled.
Pañcime bhikkhave āghātapaṭivinayā yattha bhikkhuno uppanno āghāto sabbaso paṭivinetabbo.
When resentment has arisen for someone:
Yasmiṁ bhikkhave puggale āghāto jāyetha
• one can develop [unlimited] goodwill for that person
mettā tasmiṁ puggale bhāvetabbā
• one can develop [unlimited] compassion for that person
karuṇā tasmiṁ puggale bhāvetabbā
• one can develop detached awareness towards that person
upekkhā tasmiṁ puggale bhāvetabbā
• one can arouse unmindfulness and inattention regarding him
asati amanisikāro tasmiṁ puggale āpajjitabbā
• one can concentrate on the ownership of karmically consequential conduct by that person
kammassakatā tasmiṁ puggale adhiṭṭhātabbā. (AN iii 185)
Illustration: āghātaṁ, resentment
Ten bases of resentment
Dasa imāni bhikkhave āghātavatthūni:
• He has harmed, is harming, or will harm me. Thinking thus, one arouses resentment.
anatthamme acarīti… caratīti… carissatīti āghātaṁ bandhati
• He has harmed, is harming, or will harm someone beloved and dear to me. Thinking thus, one arouses resentment.
Piyassa me manāpassa anatthaṁ acarīti… caratīti… carissatīti āghātaṁ bandhati
• He has benefited, is benefiting, or will benefit someone who is unbeloved or loathsome to me. Thinking thus, one arouses resentment.
Appiyassa me amanāpassa atthaṁ acari… carati… carissatīti āghātaṁ bandhati
Tenthly, one is groundlessly irritated
aṭṭhāne ca kuppati. (AN v 150)
Bhikkhus, there are these ten ways of dispelling resentment.
Dasa ime bhikkhave āghātapaṭivinayā. Katame dasa:
- He has harmed, is harming, or will harm me.
- He has harmed, is harming, or will harm someone beloved and dear to me.
- He has benefited, is benefiting, or will benefit someone who is unbeloved or loathsome to me.
Appiyassa me amanāpassa atthaṁ acari… carati… carissatīti āghātaṁ bandhati
He dispels resentment by asking himself: ‘What possible advantage is there in such a thought?’
Taṁ kutettha labbhāti āghātaṁ paṭivineti
Tenthly, one is groundlessly unirritated.
aṭṭhāne ca na kuppati. (AN v 150)
Illustration: āghāto, resentment
Then Devadatta reflected that ‘The Blessed One in an assembly which included a king disparaged me with the term, ‘one to be spewed like spittle,’ while he extolled Sāriputta and Moggallāna.
Atha kho devadatto sarājikāya maṁ bhagavā parisāya kheḷāsakavādena apasādeti sāriputtamoggallāne va ukkaṁsatī ti.
Angry and displeased, having venerated the Blessed One, having circled him rightwards, he departed.
Kupito anattamano bhagavantaṁ abhivādetvā padakkhiṇaṁ katvā pakkāmi.
And this was the first time that Devadatta felt resentment towards the Blessed One.
Ayaṁ carahi devadattassa bhagavati paṭhamo āghāto ahosi. (Vin.2.189)
How should resentment be dispelled for the person whose bodily and verbal conduct is pure and who from time to time gains mental clarity and serenity?
Tatrāvuso yvāyaṁ puggalo parisuddhakāyasamācāro parisuddhavavīsamācāro labhati ca kālena kālaṁ cetaso vivaraṁ cetaso pasādaṁ kathaṁ tasmiṁ puggale āghāto paṭivinetabbo
On that occasion one should contemplate the purity of his bodily and verbal conduct, and the mental clarity and serenity that he gains from time to time.
yā pi’ssa parisuddhakāyasamācāratā sā pi’ssa tasmiṁ samaye manasikātabbā. Yā pi’ssa parisuddhavacīsamācāratā sā pi’ssa tasmiṁ samaye manasikātabbā. Yampi so labhati kālena kālaṁ cetaso vivaraṁ cetaso pasādaṁ tam pi’ssa tasmiṁ samaye manasikātabbaṁ.
In this way resentment for that person can be dispelled.
Evaṁ tasmiṁ puggale āghāto paṭivinetabbo. (AN iii 190)
Formerly, when he was ignorant, he was full of resentment, ill will, and hatred.
Tasseva kho pana pubbe aviddasuno āghāto hoti vyāpādo sampadoso. (MN iii 245)
Illustration: anāghātaṁ, resentment
Is [unlimited] goodwill established in my heart for my companions in the religious life with no resentment? Is this state found in me or not?
mettaṁ nu kho me cittaṁ paccupaṭṭhitaṁ sabrahmacārīsu anāghātaṁ saṁvijjati nu kho me eso dhammo udāhu noti? . (AN v 80)
Illustration: āghātaṁ labhanti, resentful
Now at that time well-behaved bhikkhus protested when a formal act that was legally invalid was being carried out by the Group-of-Six bhikkhus.
Tena kho pana samayena pesalā bhikkhū chabbaggiyehi bhikkhūhi adhammakamme kayiramāne paṭikkosanti.
The Group-of-Six bhikkhus became resentful and irritated, and threatened to kill them.
Chabbaggiyā bhikkhū labhanti āghātaṁ labhanti appaccayaṁ vadhena tajjenti. (Vin.1.115)
Illustration: āghāto karaṇīyā, resentful
Therefore if others abuse, revile, scold, or trouble you, on that account you should not be resentful, irritated, or displeased.
Tasmātiha bhikkhave tumhe cepi pare akkoseyyuṁ paribhāseyyuṁ roseyyuṁ viheseyyuṁ ghaṭṭeyyuṁ tatra tumhehipi na āghāto na appaccayo na cetaso anabhiraddhi karaṇīyā. (MN i 140)
ājānāti and Aññāya
Illustration: aññāya, having learned
Whatever bhikkhunī without having obtained permission from the community of bhikkhunīs which carried out the proceedings in accordance with the rule, the discipline, the Teacher’s word, not having learned the group’s desire (anaññāya gaṇassa chandaṁ), should restore a bhikkhunī suspended by a complete assembly of bhikkhunīs, that bhikkhunī has fallen into a matter that is a foremost offence entailing a formal meeting of the community of bhikkhunīs involving being sent away. (Vin.4.231)
Illustration: aññāya, realising
A bhikkhu investigates the meaning of the teachings he has retained in mind
dhatānañca dhammānaṁ atthūpaparikkhitā hoti
Realising their meaning and significance, he practises in accordance with the teaching
atthamaññāya dhammamaññāya dhammānudhammapaṭipanno ca hoti. (AN iv 298)
Illustration: aññāya, knowing
Knowing my reflection, the Teacher, unsurpassed in the world, through his psychic power approached me with a mind-made body.
Mama saṅkappamaññāya satthā loke anuttaro
Manomayena kāyena iddhiyā upasaṅkami. (AN iv 235)
Illustration: aññāya, having understood
A wise person through fully understanding the teaching, having understood the teaching, becomes inwardly at peace, like an unruffled lake, imperturbable.
dhammamabhiññāya dhammamaññāya paṇḍito
rahadova nivāte ca anejo vūpasammati. (Iti 91-2)
If, having understood the meaning and significance of each question [and its answer], one applied oneself in accordance with the teaching, one would go beyond old age and death.
ekamekassa cepi pañhassa atthamaññāya dhammamaññāya dhammānudhammaṁ paṭipajjeyya gaccheyyeva jarā maraṇassapāraṁ. (Snp 218)
These explain the teaching dispelling all suffering
Te tassa dhammaṁ desenti sabbadukkhāpanūdanaṁ
He, having understood that teaching, realises the Untroubled in this world, and is free of perceptually obscuring states.
Yaṁ so dhammaṁ idhaññāya parinibbāti anāsavo ti. (Vin.2.148)
The deva Ghaṭīkāra announced that seven bhikkhus had attained arahantship. The Buddha replied:
You speak well of those who have abandoned Māra’s snare.
Kusalī bhāsasi tesaṁ mārapāsappahāyinaṁ
Having understood whose teaching did they sever the bonds of individual existence?
Kassa te dhammamaññāya acchiduṁ bhavabandhanaṁ. (SN i 35)
Having understood the teaching, meditating thought-free,
Aññāya dhammaṁ avitakkajhāyī. (SN i 126)
Illustration: aññāya, understanding
Then, understanding this teaching, scrutinising it, a bhikkhu should train himself in it ever mindfully.
Etañca dhammamaññāya vicinaṁ bhikkhu sadā sato sikkhe. (Snp 933)
Illustration: aññāsi, knew
When the Blessed One knew that Pokkharasāti’s mind was ready, teachable, free of the five hindrances, uplifted, and serene, then he preached the religious discourse unique to the Buddhas
Yadā bhagavā aññāsi brāhmaṇaṁ pokkharasātiṁ kallacittaṁ muducittaṁ vinīvaraṇacittaṁ udaggacittaṁ pasannacittaṁ. (DN i 110)
Illustration: aññāsi, realise
When you realised my unsureness [about the perfection of the Perfect One’s enlightenment]
Yaṁ me kaṅkhitamaññāsi
You helped me overcome my doubts. Homage to you.
Vicikicchā maṁ tārayī namo te. (Snp 539-540)
Illustration: aññāsiṁ, knew
I knew the worthless man Udāyī would foolishly interfere right now.
aññāsiṁ kho ahaṁ ānanda idānevāyaṁ udāyī moghapuriso ummujjamāno ayoniso ummujjissatī ti. (MN iii 208)
• ’By grasping, bhikkhu, one is held captive by Māra. By not grasping one is freed from the Maleficent One.’
Upādiyamāno kho bhikkhu baddho mārassa anupādiyamāno mutto pāpimato ti.
• ’I understand, Blessed One. I understand, Sublime One.’
aññātaṁ bhagavā aññātaṁ sugatā ti.
• ’In what way do you understand the meaning of my brief statement?’
yathākathaṁ pana tvaṁ bhikkhu mayā saṅkhittena bhāsitassa vitthārena atthaṁ ājānāsī ti?. (SN iii 73)
Illustration: ājānāmī, understand
This statement spoken in brief by the Blessed One, where the meaning was not explained in detail, thus do I understand the meaning in detail.
Imassa kho ahaṁ bhante bhagavatā saṅkhittena bhāsitassa vitthārena atthaṁ avibhattassa evaṁ vitthārena atthaṁ ājānāmī ti. (MN iii 52)
Illustration: ājānāma, understand
We do not understand a word of the ascetic Gotama’s explanation of the teaching.
Na kho pana mayaṁ kiñci samaṇassa gotamassa ekaṁsikaṁ dhammaṁ desitaṁ ājānāma. (DN i 189)
Ātāpin has been called ‘ardent’ since 1875 when Childer’s dictionary was published, which means ‘enthusiastic.’ But the scriptures more strongly suggest ‘vigorous’ or ‘vigorously,’ and DOP appropriately calls it ‘energetic.’ But, two points:
Ātāpin: three qualifiers
We parenthesise ātāpin in accordance with suttas where it is linked to some qualifier. In the following examples it is linked to ‘inward striving’ ‘contemplating’ and ‘practising the teaching’. It is from the last (‘practising as I instructed him’) that we render it as ‘vigorously applied [to the practice]’:
• We will abide using blocks of wood as cushions, and be diligently and vigorously applied to inward striving.
Kaliṅgarūpadhānā viharissāma appamattā ātāpino padhānasmin ti. (SN ii 267-8)
• A bhikkhu abides contemplating the nature of the body, vigorously, fully consciously, and mindfully, having eliminated greed and dejection in regard to the world [of phenomena]
bhikkhu kāye kāyānupassī viharati ātāpī sampajāno satimā vineyya loke abhijjhādomanassaṁ. (SN v 182)
• My disciple who abides diligently, vigorously, and resolutely applied [to the practice] for one night and day, practising as I instructed him, might experience exclusively happiness for a hundred years.
Idha mama sāvako… ekaṁ rattindivaṁ appamatto ātāpī pahitatto viharanto yathā mayānusiṭṭhaṁ tathā paṭipajjamāno satampi vassāni ekanta sukhapaṭisaṁvedī vihareyya. (AN v 86)
• In this regard, friend, a bhikkhu thinks:
‘If unarisen unvirtuous, spiritually unwholesome factors arise in me, this would lead to my harm,’ but he does not vigorously apply himself [to the practise].
Idhāvuso bhikkhu anuppannā me pāpakā akusalā dhammā uppajjamānā anatthāya saṁvatteyyunti na ātappaṁ karoti
… In this way he is someone not vigorously applied [to the practice].
Evaṁ kho āvuso anātāpī hoti. (SN ii 195-6)
Illustration: ātāpī, vigorously applied [to the practice]
These four modes of inward striving were explained by the enlightened kinsman of the Sun clan, by means of which a bhikkhu who is vigorously applied [to the practice] can attain the destruction of suffering.
Ete padhānā cattāro desitādiccabandhunā
Yehi bhikkhu idhātāpī khayaṁ dukkhassa pāpuṇe ti. (AN ii 17)
Bhante, it would be good if the Blessed One would explain the teaching to me in brief, so that, having heard the teaching from the Blessed One, I might abide alone, withdrawn [from human fellowship, sensuous pleasures, and spiritually unwholesome factors], diligently, vigorously, and resolutely applied [to the practice].
sādhu me bhante bhagavā saṅkhittena dhammaṁ desetu yamahaṁ bhagavato dhammaṁ sutvā eko vūpakaṭṭho appamatto ātāpī pahitatto vihareyyanti. (SN iv 145)
If, while he is walking, any greed in a bhikkhu is done away with, any ill will, any lethargy and torpor, any restlessness and anxiety, any doubt [about the excellence of the teaching] is done away with;
Carato ce pi bhikkhave bhikkhuno abhijjhā vigatā hoti vyāpādo vigato hoti thīnamiddhaṁ vigataṁ hoti uddhaccakukkuccaṁ vigataṁ hoti vicikicchā pahīṇā hoti.
If unflagging energy is aroused; if unmuddled mindfulness is established; if his body is tranquil and peaceful; if his mind is collected and concentrated
Āraddhaṁ hoti viriyaṁ asallīnaṁ upaṭṭhitā sati asammuṭṭhā passaddho kāyo asāraddho samāhitaṁ cittaṁ ekaggaṁ
then a bhikkhu walking like this is said to be constantly and continuously afraid of wrongdoing, and vigorously, energetically, and resolutely applied [to the practice].
carampi bhikkhave bhikkhu evambhūto ātāpī ottappī satataṁ samitaṁ āraddhaviriyo pahitatto ti vuccati. (Iti 118-9)
If a sensuous thought, unbenevolent thought, or malicious thought arises in a bhikkhu while he is walking, and he tolerates it, does not abandon it, dispel it, put an end to it, and eradicate it, then that bhikkhu is said to be not vigorously applied [to the practice], unafraid of wrongdoing, constantly and continuously lazy and slothful while walking.
Carato cepi bhikkhave bhikkhuno uppajjati kāmavitakko vā vyāpādavitakko vā vihiṁsāvitakko vā. Tañca bhikkhu adhivāseti nappajahati na vinodeti na vyantīkaroti na anabhāvaṁ gameti. Carampi bhikkhave bhikkhu evambhūto anātāpī anottāpī satataṁ samitaṁ kusīto hīnaviriyo ti vuccati. (AN ii 13)
A bhikkhu who is mindful and vigorously applied [to the practice] can disentangle this tangle.
Ātāpī nipako bhikkhu so imaṁ vijaṭaye jaṭanti. (SN i 13)
Illustration: ātāpī, vigorously
A bhikkhu abides contemplating the nature of the body, vigorously, fully consciously, and mindfully, having eliminated greed and dejection in regard to the world [of phenomena]
bhikkhu kāye kāyānupassī viharati ātāpī sampajāno satimā vineyya loke abhijjhādomanassaṁ. (SN v 182)
Illustration: ātāpino, vigorously applied
Bhikkhus, at the present time the Licchavis dwell using blocks of wood as cushions; they are diligently and vigorously applied to the practice of archery.
Kaliṅgarūpadhānā bhikkhave etarahi licchavī viharanti appamattā ātāpino upāsanasmiṁ.
Bhikkhus, at the present time the bhikkhus dwell using blocks of wood as cushions; they are diligently and vigorously applied to inward striving.
Kaliṅgarūpadhānā bhikkhave etarahi bhikkhū viharanti appamattā ātāpino padhānasmiṁ. (SN ii 267-8)
Illustration: ātāpino, vigorously applied [to the practice]
Like a good horse touched by the whip, be vigorously applied [to the practice] and have an earnest attitude [to the practice].
Asso yathā bhadro kasāniviṭṭho ātāpino saṁvegino bhavātha. (Dhp 144)
In what way, Anuruddhas, do you abide diligently, vigorously, and resolutely applied [to the practice]?
Yathākathampana tumhe anuruddhā appamattā ātāpino pahitattā viharathāti?
In this regard, bhante… whoever notices the pots of water for drinking, washing, or for the toilets is empty or drained, he replenishes them… And every fifth night we sit together all night and discuss the teaching.
Idha pana bhante… yo passati pānīyaghaṭaṁ vā paribhojanīyaghaṭaṁ vā vaccaghaṭaṁ vā rittaṁ tucchaṁ so upaṭṭhapeti… Pañcāhikaṁ kho pana mayaṁ bhante sabbarattikaṁ dhammiyā kathāya sannisīdāma. (MN i 207)
Illustration: ātappaṁ karaṇīyaṁ, vigorously endeavour
Three occasions when one should vigorously endeavour.
Tīhi bhikkhave ṭhānehi ātappaṁ karaṇīyaṁ. Katamehi tīhi:
1) One should vigorously endeavour to prevent the arising of unarisen unvirtuous, spiritually unwholesome factors.
anuppannānaṁ pāpakānaṁ akusalānaṁ dhammānaṁ anuppādāya ātappaṁ karaṇīyaṁ.
2) One should vigorously endeavour to arouse unarisen spiritually wholesome factors
Anuppannānaṁ kusalānaṁ dhammānaṁ uppādāya ātappaṁ karaṇīyaṁ.
3) One should vigorously endeavour to endure arisen bodily sense impressions that are unpleasant, acute, sharp, piercing, displeasing, objectionable, and life-threatening
Uppannānaṁ sārīrikānaṁ vedanānaṁ dukkhānaṁ tibbānaṁ kharānaṁ kaṭukānaṁ asātānaṁ amanāpānaṁ pāṇaharānaṁ adhivāsanāya ātappaṁ karaṇīyaṁ. (AN i 153)
Illustration: ātappaṁ, vigorous endeavour [to practise the teaching]
The vigorous endeavour [to practise the teaching] must be made today.
ajje va kiccaṁ ātappaṁ. (MN iii 187)
The vigorous endeavour [to practise the teaching] must be made by you yourselves. Perfect Ones are just path-proclaimers.
tumhehi kiccaṁ ātappaṁ akkhātāro tathāgatā. (Dhp 276)
Illustration: ātāpiniyo, vigorously applied [to the practice]
Gotami, I hope the bhikkhunīs are abiding diligently, vigorously, and resolutely applied [to the practice].
kacci gotami bhikkhuniyo appamattā ātāpiniyo pahitattā viharantī ti.
Bhante, how could the bhikkhunīs be diligently applied [to the practice]? The masters, the Group-of-Six bhikkhus, are getting the bhikkhunīs to wash, dye, and comb sheep wool. Thus the bhikkhunīs are neglecting the recitation, the interrogation, the higher virtue, the higher mental states, and the higher penetrative discernment.
Kuto bhante bhikkhunīnaṁ appamādo. Ayyā chabbaggiyā bhikkhunīhi eḷakalomāni dhovāpenti pi rajāpenti pi vijaṭāpenti pi. Bhikkhunīyo eḷakalomāni dhovantiyo rajantiyo vijaṭentiyo riñcanti uddesaṁ paripucchaṁ adhisīlaṁ adhicittaṁ adhipaññanti. (Vin.3.235)
Illustration: ātāpi, vigorously
She does not despise her husband, the man who always and constantly and vigorously and eagerly supports her, bringing her everything she wants.
Yo naṁ bharati sabbadā niccaṁ ātāpi ussuko
Sabbakāmaharaṁ posaṁ bhattāraṁ nātimaññati. (AN iii 38)
Illustration: ātappāya, vigorous endeavour
His mind inclines to vigorous endeavour, application, perseverance, and inward striving.
tassa cittaṁ namati ātappāya anuyogāya sātaccāya padhānāya. (AN v 19)
Illustration: ātappamakaruṁ, vigorously endeavoured
‘Bhikkhus, watch the approaching host of devas.’
Devakāyā abhikkantā te vijānātha bhikkhavo
Hearing the Buddha’s call, the bhikkhus vigorously endeavoured to comply.
Te ca ātappamakaruṁ sutvā buddhassa sāsanaṁ. (DN ii 256)
Illustration: ātappamanvāya, vigorous endeavour
A certain ascetic or Brahmanist through vigorous endeavour, exertion, application, diligence, and right contemplation
ekacco samaṇo vā brāhmaṇo vā ātappamanvāya padhānamanvāya anuyogamanvāya appamādamanvāya sammāmanasikāramanvāya
attains to such a state of inward collectedness that he thereby recalls his manifold past lives.
tathārūpaṁ cetosamādhiṁ phusati yathā samāhite citte anekavihitaṁ pubbenivāsaṁ anussarati. (DN i 13)
Illustration: ātappaṁ karohi, vigorously apply yourself [to the practice]
Therefore vigorously apply yourself [to the practice]. Be aware and mindful right here and now. Having heard my word, train yourself in the quenching of the ego.
Tenahātappaṁ karohi idheva nipako sato
Ito sutvāna nigghosaṁ sikkhe nibbānamattano. (Snp 1062)
Illustration: ātāpino, vigorous
When profound truths become manifest to the vigorous, meditative Brahman, then all his unsureness [about the excellence of the teaching] disappears, for he discerns the conditioned nature of reality.
Yadā have pātubhavanti dhammā ātāpino jhāyato brāhmaṇassa
Athassa kaṅkhā vapayanti sabbā yato pajānāti sahetudhamman ti. (Uda 1)
Ādiccabandhu: the kinsman of the Sun clan
Ādiccā is a synonym for suriyo, sun (DN iii 196). It was also the name of the Buddha’s clan, the Sun Clan (ādiccā nāma gottena, Snp 423; see discussion in Buddhist Dictionary of Pāli Proper Names). Therefore when the Buddha was called Ādiccabandhu, it meant he was ‘the kinsman of the Sun clan.’
Misrendering: ‘kinsman of the sun’
But ādiccabandhu is often rendered as ‘the kinsman of the sun’ (reading ‘sun’ instead of ‘Sun clan’) as if to praise the Buddha for being related to the sun. But glorifying the sun in this way, and suggesting that the Buddha is related to it, is ridiculously suggestive of sun veneration, or even veneration of ancestors. In any case the Buddha rated himself as higher than the sun, and would certainly reject the idea that his worthiness was due to his forefathers. He said there are four sources of light in the world: the sun, the moon, fire, and the Buddha, and added that:
• The Buddha is the best of those that shine, the light unsurpassed
sambuddho tapataṁ seṭṭho esā ābhā anuttarā ti. (SN i 15)
Linked: buddha and ādiccabandhu
The cases always match. The -unaṁ suffix is unusual, but functions as an accusative singular. It occurs in the following contexts:
• I pay homage to the great Hero, to the enlightened kinsman of the Sun clan.
ahaṁ vande mahāvīraṁ buddhamādiccabandhunaṁ. (DN ii 287)
• Even from afar venerate the enlightened kinsman of the Sun clan.
buddhaṁ ādiccabandhunaṁ dūrato'va namassanti. (DN iii 197)
Restoring the buddha prefix
Where ādiccabandhu occurs without a buddha prefix, it is likely an abbreviation for metrical reasons, and in translation the buddha prefix should always be restored, and ādiccabandhu should always be rendered as ‘the enlightened kinsman of the Sun clan.’ This would be a satisfactory conclusion. Praising the Buddha for simply being a kinsman of the Sun clan would be praise equally due to his cousin, Devadatta. In which case, Snp 54 should be translated as follows:
• Having heard the word of the [enlightened] kinsman of the Sun clan, one should live the religious life as solitarily as a rhinoceros horn.’
Ādiccabandhussa vaco nisamma
Eko care khaggavisāṇakappo. (Snp 54)
The Buddha, the Buddha
That buddhaṁ is meant as an adjective not a noun explains the awkward doubling of buddhaṁ in the Āṭānāṭiya Sutta (DN iii 197), which interpreted as 1) a noun or 2) an adjective, would have the following results:
1) They, seeing the Buddha, the Buddha, the kinsman of the Sun clan, even from afar venerate him.’
Te cā pi buddhaṁ disvāna buddhaṁ ādiccabandhunaṁ
2) They, seeing the Buddha, the enlightened kinsman of the Sun clan, even from afar venerate him.
Te cā pi buddhaṁ disvāna buddhaṁ ādiccabandhunaṁ
Illustration: the enlightened kinsman of the Sun clan
They, well-satisfied by the Seer, the enlightened kinsman of the Sun clan, lived the religious life under the one of excellent wisdom.
Te tositā cakkhumatā buddhenādiccabandhunā
Brahmacariyamacariṁsu varapaññassa santike. (Snp 1128)
With [the assistance of] the enlightened kinsman of the Sun clan, who is proficient in methods of teaching, having applied myself properly [to the eightfold path] I removed my mind from states of individual existence
Yoniso paṭipajjitvā bhave cittaṁ udabbahinti. (Tha 157)
Illustration: ādīnava, danger
And what, Ānanda, is the perception of the danger [of the body]?
In this regard, Ānanda, a bhikkhu… reflects that this [wretched human] body is very unpleasant and a great danger.
bahu dukkho kho ayaṁ kāyo bahu ādīnavo.
Many illnesses arise in it, namely, illnesses of the eye, ear, nose… cold, heat, hunger, thirst, faeces and urine.
iti imasmiṁ kāye vividhā ābādhā uppajjanti seyyathīdaṁ cakkhurogo sotarogo ghānarogo… sītaṁ uṇhaṁ jighacchā pipāsā uccāro passāvo ti).
Thus he abides contemplating the danger of this [wretched human] body.
Iti imasmiṁ kāye ādīnavānupassī viharati. (AN v 110)
He takes that almsfood without being ensnared by, infatuated with, or clinging to it, but seeing the danger of it, discerning deliverance.
So taṁ piṇḍapātaṁ agathito amucchito anajjhopanno ādīnavadassāvī nissaraṇapañño paribhuñjati. (MN i 369)
Illustration: ādīnava, wretchedness
Bhikkhus, when one abides contemplating the wretchedness of things conducive to grasping, craving ceases.
Upādāniyesu bhikkhave dhammesu ādīnavānupassino viharato taṇhā nirujjhati. (SN ii 85)
The contemplations on wretchedness that lead to the ending of craving are likely those listed in this quote:
‘Bhikkhus, whatever ascetics and Brahmanists in the past regarded that in the world which is agreeable and pleasing
ye ca kho ke ci bhikkhave atītamaddhānaṁ samaṇā vā brāhmaṇā vā yaṁ loke piyarūpaṁ sātarūpaṁ taṁ
• as unlasting
• as intrinsically unsatisfactory
• as void of personal qualities
• as an illness
• as full of danger
they abandoned craving
te taṇhaṁ pajahiṁsu. (SN ii 110)
Illustration: ādīnavaṁ, danger
It would be better for the faculty of sight to be blotted out by a red-hot iron pin, burning, blazing, and glowing, than for one to grasp the features or aspects of a visible object known via the visual sense.
For if one’s stream of consciousness should stand tied to the sweetness of the features or aspects of the object, and if one should die on that occasion, it is possible that one will go to one of two places of rebirth: hell or the animal realm.
Seeing this danger I speak thus.
Imaṁ khvāhaṁ bhikkhave ādīnavaṁ disvā evaṁ vadāmi. (SN iv 168)
Recognising this danger, that suffering arises dependent on karmically consequential deeds
Etamādīnavaṁ ñatvā dukkhaṁ saṅkhārapaccayā. (Snp 731-2)
• Ānanda, friend, do the bhikkhus teach the abandonment of attachment, hatred, and undiscernment of reality?'
rāgassa pahānaṁ paññāpetha dosassa pahānaṁ paññāpetha mohassa pahānaṁ paññāpethāti
• We do indeed, friend.
• Seeing what danger therein do you so teach?'
• Why, friend, one who is overpowered and overcome by attachment, hatred, and undiscernment of reality, is intent upon his own harm, upon the harm of others, upon the harm of both, and so experiences psychological pain and dejection. But if attachment, hatred, and undiscernment of reality are abandoned he is not intent upon his own harm, upon the harm of others, upon the harm of both, and thus does not experience psychological pain and dejection. (AN i 216-7)
Suppose that I, being myself liable to defilement, knowing the danger of [seeking] what is liable to defilement, should seek the undefiled, the unsurpassed safety from [the danger of] bondage [to individual existence], the Untroubled.
kinnu kho ahaṁ… attanā saṅkilesadhammo samāno saṅkilesadhamme ādīnavaṁ viditvā asaṅkiliṭṭhaṁ anuttaraṁ yogakkhemaṁ nibbānaṁ pariyeseyyan ti. (MN i 163)
The Blessed One delivered a graduated discourse on generosity, on morality, on heaven, explaining the danger, degradation, and defilement of sensuous pleasures, and the advantage of the practice of unsensuousness.
bhagavā ānupubbīkathaṁ kathesi seyyathīdaṁ dānakathaṁ sīlakathaṁ saggakathaṁ kāmānaṁ ādīnavaṁ okāraṁ saṅkilesaṁ nekkhamme ca ānisaṁsaṁ pakāsesi. (DN i 109)
Seeing danger in sensuous pleasures, and safety in the practice of unsensuousness
Kāmesvādīnavaṁ disvā nekkhammaṁ daṭṭhu khemato. (Thi 226)
The Blessed One Buddha Vipassī explained the danger, degradation, and defilement of originated phenomena and the advantage of the Untroubled.
saṅkhārānaṁ ādīnavaṁ okāraṁ saṅkilesaṁ nibbāne ca ānisaṁsaṁ pakāsesi. (DN ii 44)
Illustration: ādīnavaṁ, wretchedness
They considered him wise when he was committed to faring alone, but now that he is devoted to sexual intercourse he is harassed as a fool.
Paṇḍito ti samaññāto ekacariyaṁ adhiṭṭhito
Athāpi methune yutto mandova parikissati
Recognising the wretchedness of all this, the sage for his whole life resolutely lives the religious life by himself. He does not pursue sexual intercourse.
Etamādīnavaṁ ñatvā muni pubbāpare idha
Ekacariyaṁ daḷhaṁ kayirā na nisevetha methunaṁ. (Snp 820-1)
Illustration: ādīnavo, danger
When a bhikkhu is focusing on some meditation object that arouses unvirtuous, spiritually unwholesome thoughts then:
• he should examine the danger of those thoughts, that they are spiritually unwholesome, blameworthy, and have an unpleasant karmic consequence
tesaṁ vitakkānaṁ ādīnavo upaparikkhitabbo itipime vitakkā akusalā itipime vitakkā sāvajjā itipime vitakkā dukkhavipākāti. (MN i 120)
Then Yasa, having awoken sooner than usual saw his retinue asleep: one with a lute in her arm, one with a tabor under her chin, one with a drum under her arm, one with dishevelled hair, one who was dribbling, and others who were muttering. One would think it was a charnel ground before one’s eyes. Seeing this, the danger [of sensuous pleasure] became apparent to him. His mind was established in disillusionment [with sensuous pleasure].
Atha kho yaso kulaputto paṭigacceva pabujjhitvā addasa sakaṁ parijanaṁ supantaṁ. Aññissā kacche vīṇaṁ. Aññissā kaṇṭhe mudiṅgaṁ. Aññissā kacche ālambaraṁ. Aññaṁ vikkesikaṁ aññaṁ vikkhelikaṁ. Aññā vippalapantiyo. Hatthappattaṁ susānaṁ maññe. Disvānassa ādīnavo pāturahosi. Nibbidāya cittaṁ saṇṭhāsi. (Vin.1.15)
What is the danger of sensuous pleasures?
Ko ca bhikkhave kāmānaṁ ādīnavo?
Firstly, due to whatever craft by which a noble young man makes his living… he is exposed to cold and heat, he is injured by contact with horseflies, mosquitoes, wind, sun, and snakes, facing death from hunger and thirst. This is the danger of sensuous pleasures, a mass of suffering discernable in this lifetime (ādīnavo sandiṭṭhiko dukkhakkhandho), having sensuous pleasure as its cause, its source, its basis, its cause being simply sensuous pleasure. (MN i 85-7)
Illustration: ādīnavo, wretchedness
Bhikkhus, if there were no sweetness in the five aggregates, beings would not be attached to them
No cedaṁ bhikkhave rūpassa… viññāṇassa assādo abhavissa nayidaṁ sattā rūpasmiṁ… viññāṇasmiṁ sārajjeyyuṁ
If there were no wretchedness in the five aggregates beings would not be disillusioned with them.
No cedaṁ bhikkhave rūpassa… viññāṇassa ādīnavo abhavissa nayidaṁ sattā rūpasmiṁ… viññāṇasmiṁ nibbindeyyuṁ. (SN iii 30)
The physical and psychological pleasure that arises from sense impression is the sweetness of sense impression.
Yaṁ vedanaṁ paṭicca uppajjati sukhaṁ somanassaṁ ayaṁ vedanāya assādo.
That sense impression is unlasting, intrinsically unsatisfactory, destined to change, is the wretchedness of sense impression.
Yā vedanā aniccā dukkhā vipariṇāmadhammā ayaṁ vedanāya ādīnavo. (SN iv 220)
What is the wretchedness of bodily forms?
Ko ca bhikkhave rūpānaṁ ādīnavo?
In this regard, one might see that same woman, eighty or ninety or a hundred years old…
Idha bhikkhave tameva bhaginiṁ passeyya aparena samayena āsītikaṁ vā nāvutikaṁ vā vassasatikaṁ vā jātiyā…
What do you think, bhikkhus? Has her former loveliness and beauty vanished and a wretchedness become evident?
Taṁ kiṁ maññatha bhikkhave yā purimā subhā vaṇṇanibhā sā antarahitā ādīnavo pātubhūto ti?
This is the wretchedness of bodily forms.
Ayampi bhikkhave rūpānaṁ ādīnavo. (MN i 88)
That bodily form is unlasting, intrinsically unsatisfactory, destined to change, is the wretchedness of bodily form
Yaṁ rūpaṁ aniccaṁ dukkhaṁ vipariṇāmadhammaṁ ayaṁ rūpassa ādīnavo. (SN iii 102)
Illustration: ādīnavā, danger
Five dangers of having faith which is based on a single individual
Pañcime bhikkhave ādīnavā puggalappasāde. Katame pañca:
When a person’s complete faith is based on a single individual (puggale puggalo abhippasanno hoti) and that person falls into an error such that the community of bhikkhus suspends him, then he will think: ‘The community of bhikkhus has suspended he who is beloved and dear to me.’ And he will be no more full of faith in the bhikkhus (bhikkhūsu appasādabahulo hoti), and from being without faith he will not follow other bhikkhus, and from not following other bhikkhus he will not hear the true teaching, and from not hearing the true teaching he will fall away from the true teaching. (AN iii 270)
Illustration: ādīnavā, disadvantage
Bhikkhus, there are these five disadvantages of a campfire.
It is bad for the eyes, causes a bad complexion, causes weakness, promotes gregariousness, leads to gossip.
Acakkhusso dubbaṇṇakaraṇo dubbalakaraṇo saṅgaṇikāpavaddhano tiracchānakathāpavattaniko. (AN iii 256)
Bhikkhus, there are five disadvantages in not chewing tooth-wood:
ādīnavā dantakaṭṭhassa akhādane
• [Bad mouth hygiene] is unsightly,
• The mouth stinks,
mukhaṁ duggandhaṁ hoti
• One’s taste buds are not cleansed
rasaharaṇiyo na visujjhantī
• Bile and gastric mucus smother one’s food
pittaṁ semhaṁ bhattaṁ pariyonandhati
• One’s food is not pleasing
There are five advantages in chewing tooth-wood:
ānisaṁsā dantakaṭṭhassa khādane
• [Good mouth hygiene] is sightly,
• The mouth does not stink, etc.
mukhaṁ na duggandhaṁ hoti. (Vin.2.137; AN iii 250)
Bhikkhus, there are these five disadvantages for one who engages in lengthy and unsettled wandering. What five?
Pañcime bhikkhave ādīnavā dīghacārikaṁ anavattha cārikaṁ anuyuttassa viharato. Katame pañca:
One does not hear what one has not heard; one does not clarify what one has heard; one is not perfect in the portion that one has heard; one contracts a severe illness; and one has no friends.
Assutaṁ na suṇāti sutaṁ na pariyodapeti sutenekaccena avisārado hoti bāḷhaṁ rogātaṅkaṁ phusati na ca mittavā hoti. (AN iii 257)
Āyatana: supreme state of deliverance
• When will I attain that supreme state of deliverance… In arousing desire for supreme deliverance [from perceptually obscuring states]
kudassu nāmāhaṁ tadāyatanaṁ upasampajja viharissāmi… Iti anuttaresu vimokkhesu pihaṁ upaṭṭhāpayato. (MN i 303)
Āyatana: practices of spiritual development
The rendering ‘practices of spiritual development’ is most clearly indicated in the Mahāsakuludāyi Sutta (MN ii 1-18) where āyatana occurs in a list with the seven groups of factors conducive to enlightenment as follows:
• Again, Udāyin, I have explained to my disciples the practice by which they develop
Puna ca paraṁ udāyi akkhātā mayā sāvakānaṁ paṭipadā yathāpaṭipannā me sāvakā
• the [contemplation of the] four bases of mindfulness,
cattāro satipaṭṭhāne bhāventi.
• the four modes of right inward striving,
cattāro sammappadhāne bhāventi.
• the four paths to psychic power,
cattāro iddhipāde bhāventi.
• the five spiritual faculties,
• the five spiritual powers,
pañca balāni bhāventi.
• the seven factors of enlightenment,
satta bojjhaṅge bhāventi.
• the noble eightfold path,
ariyaṁ aṭṭhaṅgikaṁ maggaṁ bhāventi.
• the eight practices of spiritual development that lead to mastery ,
aṭṭha abhibhāyatanāni bhāventi.
• the ten practices of spiritual development through kasiṇas,
• the four jhānas
cattāri jhānāni bhāventi. (MN ii 11-15)
Cakkhāyatanaṁ and cakkhusamphassāyatana
Illustration: āyatanaṁ, state of awareness
Secluded from sensuous pleasures and spiritually unwholesome factors, a bhikkhu enters and abides in first jhāna, which is accompanied by thinking and pondering, and rapture and physical pleasure born of seclusion [from sensuous pleasures and spiritually unwholesome factors].
Idhāvuso bhikkhu vivicceva kāmehi vivicca akusalehi dhammehi savitakkaṁ savicāraṁ vivekajaṁ pītisukhaṁ paṭhamaṁ jhānaṁ upasampajja viharati.
He abides contacting that state of awareness accordingly with his very being.
Yathā yathā ca tadāyatanaṁ tathā tathā naṁ kāyena phassitvā viharati. (AN iv 452)
By completely transcending the state of awareness of boundless consciousness, a bhikkhu enters and abides in the state of awareness of nonexistence, where one perceives that there is [nowhere] anything at all.
sabbaso viññāṇañcāyatanaṁ samatikkamma natthi kiñcī ti ākiñcaññāyatanaṁ upasampajja viharati. (SN iv 296)
Illustration: āyatanaṁ, supreme state of deliverance
A bhikkhu thinks ‘When will I attain that supreme state of deliverance which the Noble Ones have attained? In arousing desire for supreme deliverance [from perceptually obscuring states], psychological pain arises due to desire.
bhikkhu iti paṭisañcikkhati kudassu nāmāhaṁ tadāyatanaṁ upasampajja viharissāmi yadariyā etarahi āyatanaṁ upasampajja viharantī ti. Iti anuttaresu vimokkhesu pihaṁ upaṭṭhāpayato uppajjati pihappaccayā domanassaṁ. (MN i 303)
Illustration: āyatanaṁ, supreme state of deliverance, state of awareness
There is that supreme state of deliverance where there is neither solidness, liquidness, warmth, nor gaseousness; no state of awareness of boundless space, no state of awareness of boundless consciousness, no state of awareness of nonexistence, no state of awareness neither having nor lacking perception; neither this world, nor a world beyond, nor both; neither sun nor moon. There, I declare, there is no coming, no going, no staying, no passing away, no being reborn. It is neither fixed, nor moving, and has no foundation. This is truly the end of suffering.
Atthi bhikkhave tadāyatanaṁ yattha neva paṭhavī na āpo na tejo na vāyo na ākāsānañcāyatanaṁ na viññāṇañcāyatanaṁ na ākiñcaññāyatanaṁ na nevasaññānāsaññāyatanaṁ nāyaṁ loko na paraloko na ubho candimasūriyā. Tatrāpāhaṁ bhikkhave neva āgatiṁ vadāmi na gatiṁ na ṭhitiṁ na cutiṁ na upapattiṁ; appatiṭṭhaṁ appavattaṁ anārammaṇamevetaṁ. Esevanto dukkhassā ti. (Uda 80)
Illustration: āyatanaṁ, group
That group of non-Buddhist ascetics is void even of one who goes to heaven
suññaṁ aduṁ titthāyatanaṁ antamaso saggūpagenāpīti. (MN i 483)
Illustration: āyatane, supreme state of deliverance
The Buddha said:
• Therefore that supreme state of deliverance should be known where the visual sense ceases and perception of visible objects passes away.
se āyatane veditabbe yattha cakkhuñca nirujjhati rūpasaññā ca virajjati
That supreme state of deliverance should be known where the mental sense ceases and perception of mentally known objects passes away.
se āyatane veditabbe yattha mano ca nirujjhati dhammasaññā ca virajjati se āyatane veditabbeti
Venerable Ānanda explained:
• This was stated by the Blessed One, friends, with reference to the ending of the six senses.
saḷāyatananirodhaṁ no etaṁ āvuso bhagavatā sandhāya bhāsita. (SN iv 98)
Saḷāyatananirodhaṁ means nibbāna at AN ii 161-2 (channaṁ āvuso phassāyatanānaṁ asesavirāganirodhā papañcanirodho). Ānanda indicates it has the same meaning here. This justifies us calling āyatane ‘that supreme state of deliverance.’
Se āyatane is an Eastern form of Pāli, discussed by Bodhi: CDB p.1414 n.102).
Illustration: āyatane, practice of spiritual development
How about if I, by transcending the world [of sensuous pleasure] with resolve, were to abide with an awareness that was abundant and enlarged? Having done so, unvirtuous, spiritually unwholesome mental states such as greed, ill will, and aggressiveness would not exist. With their abandonment, my mind would become immeasurable, unlimited, and well developed.
Yaṁnūnāhaṁ vipulena mahaggatena cetasā vihareyyaṁ abhibhuyya lokaṁ adhiṭṭhāya manasā. Vipulena hi me mahaggatena cetasā viharato abhibhuyya lokaṁ adhiṭṭhāya manasā ye pāpakā akusalā mānasā abhijjhāpi vyāpādāpi sārambhāpi te na bhavissanti. Tesaṁ pahānā aparittañca me cittaṁ bhavissati appamāṇaṁ subhāvitan ti.
Applying himself and frequently abiding in this way, his mind becomes serene through that practice of spiritual development.
Tassa evaṁ paṭipannassa tabbahulavihārino āyatane cittaṁ pasīdati. (MN ii 262)
When one’s mind is free of these five defilements, it is pliable and workable and radiant, not brittle, but is properly collected for the destruction of perceptually obscuring states;
Yato ca kho bhikkhave cittaṁ imehi pañcahi upakkilesehi vippamuttaṁ hoti taṁ hoti cittaṁ mudu ca kammaniyañca pabhassarañca na ca pabhaṅgu sammāsamādhīyati āsavānaṁ khayāya.
and one can turn one’s mind to the realisation through transcendent insight of whatever condition is realisable through transcendent insight, and become an eye-witness in every case, if there is the practice of spiritual development.
Yassa yassa ca abhiññāsacchikaraṇīyassa dhammassa cittaṁ abhininnāmeti abhiññā sacchikiriyāya tatra tatreva sakkhibhabbataṁ pāpuṇāti sati sati āyatane. (AN iii 16-17)
The Ākaṅkheyya Sutta says supernormal states come from inward calm, meditation, insightfulness, and devotion to solitary abodes.
ajjhattaṁ cetosamathamanuyutto anirākatajjhāno vipassanāya samannāgato brūhetā suññāgārānaṁ. (MN i 33-6)
Illustration: āyatane, aspect
A bhikkhu should constantly reflect: 'Does there arise in my mind any dealing with any aspect of the five varieties of sensuous pleasure?'
atthi nu kho me imesu pañcasu kāmaguṇesu aññatarasmiṁ vā aññatarasmiṁ vā āyatane uppajjati cetaso samudācāroti. (MN iii 114)
Illustration: āyatane, place
A large tree with a massive trunk, with branches, leaves, fruit, strong roots, and full of fruit, is a resource for many birds. Having flown through the sky, they resort to this charming place.
Sākhāpattaphalūpeto khandhimā ca mahādumo
Mūlavā phalasampanno patiṭṭhā hoti pakkhinaṁ.
Manorame āyatane sevanti naṁ vihaṅgamā. (AN iii 43)
Illustration: āyatane, redundant: forest (place)
Bhikkhus, once there was a great lake in a forest with bull elephants living nearby.
Bhūtapubbaṁ bhikkhave araññāyatane mahāsarasi taṁ nāgā upanissāya viharanti. (SN ii 269)
They made little leaf huts in the forest and meditated in them.
Te araññāyatane paṇṇakuṭiyo karitvā paṇṇakuṭīsu jhāyanti. (DN iii 94)
Illustration: āyatane, redundant (occasion)
It is astounding and extraordinary, Venerable Ānanda, that [firstly, in this teaching and training system] there is no glorifying of one’s own teaching and no disparaging of the teaching of others, but [only] the (occasion of the) explanation of the Buddha’s teaching, and [that secondly] there are so many Emancipated Ones to be discerned.
Acchariyaṁ bho ānanda abbhutaṁ bho ānanda na ca nāma sadhammokkaṁsanā bhavissati na paradhammāvasādanā āyatane ca dhammadesanā tāva bahukā ca niyyātāro paññāyissanti. (MN i 523)
‘That [firstly, in this teaching and training system].’ The parenthesis comes from the preceding question: Kīva bahukā pana bho ānanda imasmiṁ dhammavinaye niyyātāro ti?
Illustration: āyatanāni, practice of spiritual development
There are eight practices of spiritual development that lead to mastery (aṭṭha abhibhāyatanāni), Ānanda. What eight?
Aṭṭha kho imāni ānanda abhibhāyatanāni. Katamāni aṭṭha?
Being in a refined material state of awareness, one sees a limited quantity of shapes, beautiful or ugly. By gaining mastery over them, one is aware that one knows and sees them [according to reality]. This is the first practice of spiritual development leading to mastery.
Ajjhattaṁ rūpasaññī eko bahiddhā rūpāni passati parittāni suvaṇṇadubbaṇṇāni tāni abhibhuyya jānāmi passāmī ti evaṁsaññī hoti. Idaṁ paṭhamaṁ abhibhāyatanaṁ
Being in an immaterial state of awareness, one sees shapes that are of a white luster like the morning star, or like fine Benares muslin. By gaining mastery over them, one is aware that one knows and sees them [according to reality]. This is the eighth practice of spiritual development leading to mastery.
Ajjhattaṁ arūpasaññī eko bahiddhā rūpāni passati odātāni odātavaṇṇāni odātanidassanāni odātanibhāsāni… Tāni abhibhuyya jānāmi passāmī ti evaṁsaññī hoti. Idaṁ aṭṭhamaṁ abhibhāyatanaṁ.
“These, Ānanda, are the eight practices of spiritual development that lead to mastery.
Imāni kho aṭṭha ānanda abhibhāyatanāni. (DN ii 110-111)
Bhikkhus, there are these ten practices of spiritual development through kasiṇas. Which ten?
Dasaimāni bhikkhave kasiṇāyatanāni. Katamāni dasa.
One individual perceives the kasiṇa of earth extending above, below, and across from himself, with no subject/object duality and without limitation
paṭhavīkasiṇameko sañjānāti uddhaṁ adho tiriyaṁ advayaṁ appamāṇaṁ
One individual perceives the kasiṇa of consciousness extending above, below, and across from himself, with no subject/object duality and without limitation
viññāṇakasiṇameko sañjānāti uddhaṁ adho tiriyaṁ advayaṁ appamāṇaṁ
The best of these ten practices of spiritual development through kasiṇas is when an individual perceives the kasiṇa of consciousness extending above, below, and across from himself, with no subject/object duality and without limitation.
Etadaggaṁ bhikkhave imesaṁ dasannaṁ kasiṇāyatanānaṁ yadidaṁ viññāṇakasiṇameko sañjānāti uddhaṁ adho tiriyaṁ advayaṁ appamāṇaṁ. (AN v 60)
Illustration: āyatanāni, occasions
There are five occasions of liberation [from perceptually obscuring states] (vimuttāyatanāni) in which, for a bhikkhu abiding diligently, vigorously, and resolutely applied [to the practice], his unliberated mind is liberated [from perceptually obscuring states], his undestroyed perceptually obscuring states are destroyed, the unreached safety from [the danger of] bondage [to individual existence] is reached. Which five?
Pañcimāni bhikkhave vimuttāyatanāni yattha bhikkhuno appamattassa ātāpino pahitattassa viharato avimuttaṁ vā cittaṁ vimuccati aparikkhīṇā vā āsavā parikkhayaṁ gacchanti ananuppattaṁ vā anuttaraṁ yogakkhemaṁ anupāpuṇāti. Katamāni pañca?
In the first case, a teacher explains the Buddha’s teaching
satthā dhammaṁ deseti
The bhikkhu accordingly realises the meaning and significance of the teaching
tathā tathā so tasmiṁ dhamme atthappaṭisaṁvedī ca hoti dhammapaṭisaṁvedī ca
• gladness arises
Tassa atthappaṭisaṁvedino dhammappaṭisaṁvedino pāmujjaṁ jāyati
• from this, rapture
pamuditassa pīti jāyati
• from this his body becomes tranquil
pītimanassa kāyo passambhati
• from this he experiences physical pleasure
passaddhakāyo sukhaṁ vedeti
• from this, his mind becomes collected
sukhino cittaṁ samādhiyati.
This is the first occasion of liberation [from perceptually obscuring states]
Idaṁ bhikkhave paṭhamaṁ vimuttāyatanaṁ yattha bhikkhuno appamattassa ātāpino pahitattassa viharato avimuttaṁ vā cittaṁ vimuccati aparikkhīṇā vā āsavā parikkhayaṁ gacchanti ananuppattaṁ vā anuttaraṁ yogakkhemaṁ anupāpuṇāti.
The other occasions are:
• in the course of explaining the teaching to others in detail as he has heard and memorised it
yathāsutaṁ yathāpariyattaṁ dhammaṁ vitthārena paresaṁ deseti
• as he is reciting the teaching.
yathāsutaṁ yathāpariyattaṁ dhammaṁ vitthārena sajjhāyaṁ karoti
• when he applies his mind to the teaching, thinks about and ponders it, and concentrates his attention on it.
yathāsutaṁ yathāpariyattaṁ dhammaṁ cetasā anuvitakketi anuvicāreti manasānupekkhati.
• when some meditation object has been correctly grasped by a bhikkhu correctly contemplated, correctly pondered, correctly penetrated by penetrative discernment
aññataraṁ samādhinimittaṁ suggahītaṁ hoti sumanasikataṁ sūpadhāritaṁ suppaṭividdhaṁ paññāya. (AN iii 21)
Illustration: āyatanāni, group
Bhante, just as there are these different groups of professionals, such as mahouts, horsemen, charioteers, archers…
Yathā nu kho imāni bhante puthusippāyatanāni seyyathīdaṁ hatthārohā assārohā rathikā dhanuggahā. (DN i 51)
Illustration: āyatanāni, dogma
Bhikkhus, there are some ascetics and Brahmanists who speculate about the future and who hold dogmatic views concerning the future, who make various assertions about the future.
santi bhikkhave eke samaṇabrāhmaṇā aparantakappikā aparantānudiṭṭhino aparantaṁ ārabbha anekavihitāni adhivuttipadāni abhivadanti:
• Some assert that the attā is perceptive and unimpaired after death
Saññī attā hoti arogo parammaraṇā ti ittheke abhivadanti.
• Some assert that the attā is unperceptive and unimpaired after death.
asaññī attā hoti arogo parammaraṇā ti ittheke abhivadanti
• Some assert that the attā is neither perceptive nor unperceptive and unimpaired after death.
nevasaññīnāsaññī attā hoti arogo parammaraṇā ti ittheke abhivadanti
• Or they assert the annihilation, destruction, and cessation of cessation of beings [at death].
sato vā pana sattassa ucchedaṁ vināsaṁ vibhavaṁ paññapenti
• Or they proclaim a view concerning the highest pleasure in this lifetime.
Diṭṭhadhammanibbānaṁ vā paneke abhivadanti
Thus they either assert an attā that is unimpaired after death
iti santaṁ vā attānaṁ paññāpenti arogaṁ parammaraṇā.
Or they assert the annihilation, destruction, and cessation of beings [at death]
Sato vā pana sattassa ucchedaṁ vināsaṁ vibhavaṁ paññāpenti.
Or they proclaim a view concerning the highest pleasure in this lifetime.
Diṭṭhadhammanibbānaṁ vā paneke abhivadanti. (MN ii 228)
Bhikkhus, those ascetics and Brahmanists who speculate about the future and who hold dogmatic views concerning the future, who make various assertions about the future, all of them proclaim one or other of these five dogmas (pañcāyatanāni).
Ye hi keci bhikkhave samaṇā vā brāhmaṇā vā aparantakappikā aparantānudiṭṭhino aparantaṁ ārabbha anekavihitāni adhivuttipadāni abhivadanti sabbe te imāneva pañcāyatanāni abhivadanti etesaṁ vā aññataraṁ. (MN ii 233)
Bhikkhus, there are these three dogmas of non-Buddhist ascetics which, when questioned, probed, and examined by the wise, and taken to their logical conclusion, would be rated as inwardly paralysing (i.e. ‘no eagerness or endeavour to do what should be done and avoid what should not be done,’ na hoti chando vā vāyāmo vā idaṁ vā karaṇīyaṁ idaṁ vā akaraṇīyan ti). What three?
Tīṇimāni bhikkhave titthāyatanāni yāni paṇḍitehi samanuyuñjiyamānāni samanugāhiyamānāni samanubhāsiyamānāni parampi gantvā akiriyāya saṇṭhahanti. Katamāni tīṇi:
1) There are certain ascetics and Brahmanists who teach thus, who hold this view: Whatsoever pleasure or pain or neutral experience is experienced, all that is due to some previous action.
santi bhikkhave eke samaṇabrāhmaṇā evaṁvādino evaṁdiṭṭhino yaṁ kiñcāyaṁ purisapuggalo paṭisaṁvedeti sukhaṁvā dukkhaṁ vā adukkhamasukhaṁ vā sabbaṁ taṁ pubbekatahetū ti.
2) There are others who teach: Whatsoever pleasure or pain or neutral experience is experienced, all that is due to the creation of a Supreme Deity.
Santi bhikkhave eke samaṇabrāhmaṇā evaṁvādino evaṁdiṭṭhino yaṁ kiñcāyaṁ purisapuggalo paṭisaṁvedeti sukhaṁ vā dukkhaṁ vā adukkhamasukhaṁ vā sabbaṁ taṁ issaranimmāṇahetū ti.
3) Others teach that all sense impression has no basis or necessary condition.
Santi bhikkhave eke samaṇabrāhmaṇā evaṁvādino evaṁdiṭṭhino yaṁ kiñcāyaṁ purisapuggalo paṭisaṁvedeti sukhaṁ vā dukkhaṁ vā adukkhamasukhaṁ vā sabbaṁ taṁ ahetuappaccayā ti. (AN i 174)
Samārambha, minor meanings
1) 'Struggling with hands and feet' represents the exertion of energy.
satthehi ca pādehi ca vāyāmo ti kho bhikkhave viriyārambhassetaṁ adhivacanaṁ. (Iti 114)
2) There are the phenomenon of exertion, the phenomenon of endeavour, the phenomenon of application [to the practice]. Much proper contemplation in that regard is a condition that nourishes both the arising of the unarisen enlightenment factor of energetic application [to the practice], and the perfection through spiritual cultivation of the arisen enlightenment factor of energetic application [to the practice].
Atthi bhikkhave ārambhadhātu nikkamadhātu parakkamadhātu. Tattha yoniso manasikārabahulīkāro ayamāhāro anuppannassa vā viriyasambojjhaṅgassa uppādāya uppannassa vā viriyasambojjhaṅgassa bhāvanāya pāripūriyā. (SN v 104)
Ārambha can also mean slaughter:
• The horse sacrifice, the human sacrifice, the Sammāpāsa sacrifice, the Vājapeyya sacrifice, the Niraggala sacrifice, great sacrifices, great acts of slaughter, are not of much fruit.
Assamedhaṁ purisamedhaṁ sammāpāsaṁ vājapeyyaṁ niraggalaṁ
Mahāyaññā mahārambhā na te honti mahapphalā. (SN i 76)
Ārabhati: kill or exert (energy)
Ārabhati has two meanings, corresponding to the double maning of ārambha: kill, and exert.
1) In this regard, bhikkhus, some person kills and is conscience-stricken.
Idha bhikkhave ekacco puggalo ārabhati ca vippaṭisāri ca hoti. (AN iii 165)
2) They kill living beings
3) If anyone slaughters a living being for the Perfect One or his disciple, he begets much demerit on five occasions.
Yo kho jīvaka tathāgataṁ vā tathāgatasāvakaṁ vā uddissa pāṇaṁ ārabhati. So pañcahi ṭhānehi bahuṁ apuññaṁ pasavati. (MN i 371)
4) He stirs up eagerness, endeavours, applies energy, exerts his mind, and strives.
chandaṁ janeti vāyamati viriyaṁ ārabhati cittaṁ paggaṇhāti padahati. (MN ii 26)
Samārambha: slaughter or destruction
Samārambha commonly means slaughter or destruction:
1) Formerly there were just three illnesses: desire, hunger, and old age. But from the slaughter of cattle came ninety-eight.
Tayo rogā pure āsuṁ icchā anasanaṁ jarā
Pasūnañca samārambhā aṭṭhānavuti-m-āgamuṁ. (Snp 311)
2) The ascetic Gotama abstains from destroying seeds and plants.
Bījagāmabhūtagāmasamārambhā paṭivirato samaṇo gotamo. (DN i 5)
Sārambha: aggressiveness or aggressive
Sārambha usually means aggressive or aggressiveness:
1) Speaking aggressively in relation to views, they do not transcend the round of birth and death.
Diṭṭhisu sārambhakathā saṁsāraṁ nātivattatī ti. (Uda 70)
2) Speak not harshly to anyone. Those spoken to might retort. Aggressive speech is unpleasant. Retaliation might befall you.
Māvoca pharusaṁ kañci vuttā paṭivadeyyuṁ taṁ
Dukkhā hi sārambhakathā paṭidaṇḍā phuseyyuṁ taṁ. (Dhp 133)
3) Sensuous pleasures in this lifetime; sensuous pleasures in the hereafter… lead to unvirtuous, spiritually unwholesome mental states such as greed, ill will, and aggressiveness, which arise for the spiritual obstruction in this world of the noble disciple in training.
ye ca diṭṭhadhammikā kāmā ye ca samparāyikā kāmā… etthete pāpakā akusalā mānasā abhijjhāpi vyāpādāpi sārambhāpi saṁvattanti teva ariyasāvakassa idhamanusikkhato antarāyāya sambhavanti. (MN ii 262)
In some circumstances, ārambha, samārambha, and sārambhacan mean ‘harmful conduct’. This meaning is acknowledged in DOP under Ārambha, and called ‘wrongly directed exertion or action’. This is close in meaning to akusala, and could therefore be called ‘spiritually unwholesome conduct.’ But because the three words usually mean ‘aggression’ and ‘slaughter,’ we prefer ‘harmful conduct.’ We illustrate this as follows:
1) Ārambha: harmful conduct
• Whatever suffering arises, all of it arises dependent on harmful conduct. That is the first consideration.
Yaṁ kiñci dukkhaṁ sambhoti sabbaṁ ārambhapaccayā ti. Ayamekānupassanā
With the complete fading away and ending of harmful conduct, there is no arising of suffering. That is the second consideration.
arambhānaṁ tveva asesavirāganirodhā natthi dukkhassa sambhavo ti. Ayaṁ dutiyānupassanā. (Snp 744)
2) Samārambha: harmful conduct
• As to those vexatious and anguishing perceptually obscuring states that arise due to harmful conduct of body, in the case of one who abstains from such harmful conduct of body, it follows that those vexatious and anguishing perceptually obscuring states do not exist in him.
ye kāyasamārambhapaccayā uppajjanti āsavā vighātapariḷāhā kāyasamārambhā paṭiviratassa evaṁsa te āsavā vighātapariḷāhā na honti. (AN ii 197-8)
3) Sārambha: harmful conduct
• They go to different countries, wandering unrestrained. If they lose their inward collectedness, what good will this international travelling do? Therefore one should eliminate [such] harmful conduct. One should meditate unaccompanied.
Nānājanapadaṁ yanti vicarantā asaṁyatā
Samādhiñca virādhenti kiṁsu raṭṭhacariyā karissati
Tasmā vineyya sārambhaṁ jhāyeyya apurakkhato ti. (Tha 37)
Samārambha’s two minor meanings:
1) Samārambha: onerous (i.e. a food offering is less onerous than an animal sacrifice):
• The perpetual offerings made by families which are dedicated to virtuous ascetics, is a sacrifice less difficult and less onerous and is of more fruit and more benefit than the [animal] sacrifice with its three modes and sixteen accessories.
Yāni kho pana tāni brāhmaṇa niccadānāni anukūlayaññāni sīlavanne pabbajite uddissa dīyanti ayaṁ kho brāhmaṇa yañño imāya tividhāya yaññasampadāya soḷasaparikkhārāya appaṭṭataro ca appasamārambhataro ca mahapphalataro ca mahānisaṁsataro cā ti. (DN i 144)
2) Samārambha: arrangement
• If any bhikkhu knowingly eats almsfood which a bhikkhunī has caused to be prepared, unless there was a prior arrangement with the householder, this is an offence of pācittiya.
Yo pana bhikkhu jānaṁ bhikkhunīparipācitaṁ piṇḍapātaṁ bhuñjeyya aññatra pubbe gihīsamārambhā pācittiyan ti. (Vin.4.67)
‘Arrangement’ is explained in the word commentary as follows:
• An arrangement with the householder means: either they are one’s relatives, or [the bhikkhus] were [previously] invited, or [the meal] is ordinarily [scheduled to be] prepared for the bhikkhu.
Gihīsamārambho nāma ñātaka vā honti pavārikā vā pakatipaṭiyattaṁ vā. (Vin.4.67)
The primary meaning of ārammaṇa is ‘foundation,’ says PED.
Basis [for the establishment of one’s stream of consciousness]
In this quote we parenthesise ārammaṇā as ‘bases [for the establishment of his stream of consciousness]’:
• He for whom there are no bases whatsoever [for the establishment of his stream of consciousness]: the Perfect One is worthy of the oblation.
Ārammaṇā yassa na santi keci tathāgato arahati pūraḷāsaṁ. (Snp 477)
• Whatever one is intent upon, conceives of, and identifies with, this becomes the basis for the establishment of one’s stream of consciousness.
yañca bhikkhave ceteti yañca pakappeti yañca anuseti ārammaṇametaṁ hoti viññāṇassa ṭhitiyā
… When there is the basis, there is the establishment of one’s stream of consciousness.
Yañca ārammaṇe sati patiṭṭhā viññāṇassa hoti.
… When one’s stream of consciousness is established and has [egoistically] matured, renewed states of individual existence and rebirth occur in the future.
Tasmiṁ patiṭṭhite viññāṇe virūḷhe āyatiṁ punabbhavābhinibbatti hoti. (SN ii 65)
Basis [for spiritual development]
‘Basis [for spiritual development]’ suits many contexts. See Illustrations.
Object of mindfulness
Sometimes ārammaṇa means ‘object of mindfulness’. For example, when Tāḷapuṭa addressed his mind:
• I shall bind you to the object of mindfulness by force as one binds an elephant to a post with a firm rope.
ārammaṇe taṁ balasā nibandhisaṁ nāgaṁ va thambhamhi daḷhāya rajjuyā. (Tha 1141)
To support us calling ārammaṇa ‘object of mindfulness,’ the following passage concerns the same themes, of binding an elephant to a post, and where the mind is tied to the four bases of mindfulness (cattāro satipaṭṭhānā). But because bandhati Tha 1141 takes a locative, ārammaṇe is locative singular, not accusative plural, and does not mean cattāro satipaṭṭhānā. Norman accordingly says, ‘I shall bind you to the meditation-base by force.’
• As, Aggivessana, an elephant tamer, driving a great post into the ground, ties a forest elephant to it by his neck so as to subdue his forest ways, so as to subdue his forest memories and thoughts, and so as to subdue his suffering, fatigue, and anguish at leaving the forest, so as to make him pleased with villages and make him take delight in human ways. Even so, Aggivessana, these four bases of mindfulness are to tie the mind so as to subdue the ways of householders and to subdue the memories and thoughts of householders and to subdue the suffering, fatigue, and anguish of householders; they are for acquiring the noble practice, and for realising the Untroubled.
Seyyathā pi aggivessana hatthidamako mahantaṁ thambhaṁ paṭhaviyaṁ nikhaṇitvā āraññakassa nāgassa gīvāyaṁ upanibandhati. Āraññakānañceva sīlānaṁ abhinimmadanāya āraññakānañceva sarasaṅkappānaṁ abhinimmadanāya āraññakānañceva darathakilamathapariḷāhānaṁ abhinimmadanāya gāmante abhiramāpanāya manussakantesu sīlesu sampādanāya evameva kho aggivessana ariyasāvakassa ime cattāro satipaṭṭhānā cetaso upanibandhanā honti. Gehasitānañceva sīlānaṁ abhinimmadanāya gehasitānañceva sarasaṅkappānaṁ abhinimmadanāya gehasitānañceva darathakilamathapariḷāhānaṁ abhinimmadanāya ñāyassa adhigamāya nibbānassa sacchikiriyāya. (MN iii 136)
Others render the term similarly, as follows:
For other examples of ‘object of mindfulness,’ see Illustrations.
Opportunity [to attack]
Ārammaṇa’s meaning ‘opportunity [to attack]’ is supported by PED which acknowledges ‘chance’ and ‘get a chance.’
Illustration: ārammaṇaṁ, basis [for spiritual development]
And what is the faculty of inward collectedness?
In this regard, the noble disciple, having made the relinquishment [of attachment] the basis [for spiritual development], gains inward collectedness, gains mental concentration.
vossaggārammaṇaṁ karitvā labhati samādhiṁ labhati cittassa ekaggataṁ. (SN v 197)
For one making offerings, the act of charity is the basis [for spiritual development].
ārammaṇaṁ yajamānassa yaññaṁ
Based on this one abandons one’s spiritual flaws.
ettha patiṭṭhāya jahāti dosaṁ. (Snp 506)
We shall abide pervading that person with a mind of [unlimited] goodwill,
tañca puggalaṁ mettāsahagatena cetasā pharitvā viharissāma.
With this as our basis [for spiritual development]
we shall abide pervading the whole world [of beings] with a mind of [unlimited] goodwill, vast, exalted, unlimited, free of unfriendliness and hostility.
sabbāvantaṁ lokaṁ mettāsahagatena cetasā vipulena mahaggatena appamāṇena averena avyāpajjhena pharitvā viharissāmāti. (MN i 126)
• Tell me, All-Seeing Eye, a basis [for spiritual development] supported by which I might cross this [wretched] flood [of suffering].
Ārammaṇaṁ brūhi samantacakkhu yaṁ nissito oghamimaṁ tareyyaṁ
• Being intent upon the perception of nonexistence, being mindful, with the help of the reflection ‘It does not exist,’ cross the flood [of suffering].
Ākiñcaññaṁ pekkhamāno satimā natthī ti nissāya tarassu oghaṁ. (Snp 1069-70)
Illustration: ārammaṇaṁ, basis [for spiritual development] (= anussati ṭhānāni)
Bhikkhus, there are these six bases of meditation
Chayimāni bhikkhave anussati ṭhānāni. Katamāni cha
In this regard, the noble disciple reflects on the Perfect One:’He is the Blessed One…
tathāgataṁ anussarati: iti pi so bhagavā…
By making this [reflection] the basis [for spiritual development] some beings here are thereby purified.
Idampi kho bhikkhave ārammaṇaṁ karitvā evamidhekacce sattā visujjhanti. (AN iii 313)
Illustration: ārammaṇaṁ, basis
Bhikkhus, there are these two pleasures. What two?
Dvemāni bhikkhave sukhāni.
The pleasure with rapture as its basis, and the pleasure without rapture as its basis.
sappītikārammaṇañca sukhaṁ nippītikārammaṇañca sukhaṁ. (AN i 81)
Bhikkhus, there are these two pleasures. What two?
Dvemāni bhikkhave sukhāni
The pleasure with the refined material states of awareness as its basis, and the pleasure with immaterial states of awareness as its basis.
rūpārammaṇañca sukhaṁ arūpārammaṇañca sukhaṁ. (AN i 82)
A layperson might establish a robe fund for a bhikkhu who is not a relative, thinking: ‘Having purchased robe material with this fund, I will clothe the bhikkhu so and so.’
‘For a bhikkhu’ means
• for the good of a bhikkhu
• making a bhikkhu the basis [of the robe fund]
bhikkhuṁ ārammaṇaṁ karitvā. (Vin.3.216)
Illustration: ārammaṇaṁ, foundation
There is that supreme state of deliverance (tadāyatanaṁ) where there is neither solidness, liquidness, warmth, nor gaseousness; no state of awareness of boundless space, no state of awareness of boundless consciousness, no state of awareness of nonexistence, no state of awareness neither having nor lacking perception; neither this world, nor a world beyond, nor both; neither sun nor moon.
Atthi bhikkhave tadāyatanaṁ yattha neva paṭhavī na āpo na tejo na vāyo na ākāsānañcāyatanaṁ na viññāṇañcāyatanaṁ na ākiñcaññāyatanaṁ na nevasaññānāsaññāyatanaṁ nāyaṁ loko na paraloko na ubho candimasūriyā.
There, I declare, there is no coming, no going, no staying, no passing away, no being reborn.
Tatrāpāhaṁ bhikkhave neva āgatiṁ vadāmi na gatiṁ na ṭhitiṁ na cutiṁ na upapattiṁ.
It is neither fixed, nor moving, and has no foundation
appatiṭṭhaṁ appavattaṁ anārammaṇamevetaṁ.
This is truly the end of suffering
Esevanto dukkhassā ti. (Uda 80)
Illustration: ārammaṇaṁ, object of mindfulness
While he is contemplating the nature of the body, there arises in him, with the body as the object of mindfulness, either bodily anguish, or mental sluggishness, or his mind is distracted outwardly.
tassa kāye kāyānupassino viharato kāyārammaṇo vā uppajjati kāyasmiṁ pariḷāho cetaso vā līnattaṁ bahiddhā vā cittaṁ vikkhipati. (SN v 156)
The sutta continues:
• with sense impressions as the object of mindfulness
vedanāsu vedanānupassino viharato vedanārammaṇo vā uppajjati kāyasmiṁ pariḷāho
• with the mind as the object of mindfulness
citte cittānupassino viharato cittārammaṇo vā uppajjati kāyasmiṁ pariḷāho
• with certain objects of the systematic teachings as the object of mindfulness
dhammesu dhammānupassino viharato dhammārammaṇo vā uppajjati kāyasmiṁ pariḷāho
Illustration: ārammaṇaṁ, opportunity [to attack]
Keep to your own sphere of personal application, to your ancestral haunts. If you do so, Māra will not get his chance, his opportunity [to attack] you.
Gocare bhikkhave caratha sake pettike visaye. Gocare bhikkhave carataṁ sake pettike visaye na lacchati māro otāraṁ na lacchati māro ārammaṇaṁ. (DN iii 58)
Suppose, friends, there is a peaked house or a hall built of thickly packed clay and freshly plastered. If a man approaches it from the east with a blazing grass torch, or the west, the north, south, from below, or above, whichever way he approaches it:
• the fire does not get its chance, its opportunity [to attack] the building.
neva labhetha aggi otāraṁ na labhetha aggi ārammaṇaṁ. (SN iv 187)
Bhikkhus, at the present time the Licchavis dwell using blocks of wood as cushions; they are diligently and vigorously applied to the practice of archery. With these, King Ajātasattu of Magadha, the son of Queen Videha, has no chance, no opportunity [to attack] them.
na labhati otāraṁ na labhati ārammaṇaṁ
But in the future the Licchavis will become delicate, with soft and tender hands and feet; they will sleep until sunrise on soft beds with pillows of cotton wool. Then King Ajātasattu of Magadha will get his chance, his opportunity [to attack] them. (SN ii 268)
Illustration: ārammaṇā, basis
Bhikkhus, it is with what is originated as their basis that unvirtuous, spiritually unwholesome factors arise, not without what is originated.
Saṅkhatārammaṇā bhikkhave uppajjanti pāpakā akusalā dhammā no asaṅkhatārammaṇā. (AN i 83)
Samiddhi, what is the basis upon which man’s thoughts arise?
kimārammaṇā samiddhi purisassa saṅkappavitakkā uppajjantī ti?
Immaterial-factors-and-bodily-form is the basis, bhante.
nāmarūpārammaṇā bhante ti. (AN iv 385)
Why do you, whose mind is full of impurity, full of defilements, stand obstructing me, who am free of spiritual impurity, spiritually unblemished, with a mind that is completely liberated [from perceptually obscuring states]?
Āvilacitto anāvilaṁ sarajo vītarajaṁ anaṅgaṇaṁ
Sabbattha vimuttamānasaṁ kiṁ maṁ ovariyāna tiṭṭhasi. (Thi 369)
Illustration: anāvila, free of impurity
Frequently reflecting on the purity of my mind which is free of defilements and impurity, I will abide free of perceptually obscuring states.
Vippamuttaṁ kilesehi suddhacittaṁ anāvilaṁ
Abhiṇhaṁ paccavekkhanto viharissaṁ anāsavo. (Tha 438)
Illustration: anāvila, unturbid
Just as in a mountain valley there were a lake of water, crystal clear, limpid, unturbid, and a man standing on the bank with eyes to see should perceive the oysters and shells, the gravel and pebbles, and shoals of fish as they move about or lie within it.
Seyyathā pi mahārāja pabbatasaṅkhepe udakarahado accho vippasanno anāvilo. Tattha cakkhumā puriso tīre ṭhito passeyya sippisambūkampi sakkharakaṭhalampi macchagumbampi carantampi tiṭṭhantamp. (DN i 84)
Illustration: anāvila, unblemished
A gem, a beryl, exquisite, of genuine quality, a well-cut octahedron, translucent, limpid, unblemished, excellent in every respect,
maṇi veḷuriyo subho jātimā aṭṭhaṁso suparikammakato accho vippasanno anāvilo sabbākārasampanno. (DN i 76)
Illustration: anāvilo, free of impurity
A bhikkhu should not be greedy for sensuous pleasures. His mind should be free of impurity.
Kāmesu nābhigijjheyya manasānāvilo siyā. (Snp 1039)
Illustration: anāvilaṁ, free of impurity
Illustration: āvilattaṁ, state of impurity
When he is conscious of a state of mental impurity he should dispel it with the thought: “It is part of inward darkness.
Yadāvilattaṁ manaso vijaññā kaṇhassa pakkho ti vinodayeyya. (Snp 967)
Illustration: anāvila, undefiled
How is a bhikkhu of undefiled thought? In this regard a bhikkhu has abandoned sensuous thought, unbenevolent thought, malicious thought.
Kathañcāvuso bhikkhu anāvilasaṅkappo hoti. Idhāvuso bhikkhuno kāmasaṅkappo pahīno hoti vyāpādasaṅkappo pahīno hoti vihiṁsāsaṅkappo pahīno hoti. (DN iii 270)
Illustration: anāvilo, unmuddied
The practice is a lake with fords of virtue, unmuddied, praised by good people to good people, where those who are blessed with profound knowledge go to bathe, and, dry-limbed, cross to the Far Shore.
Dhammo rahadobrāhmaṇa sīlatittho anāvilo sabbhi sataṁ pasattho
Yattha have vedaguno sinātā anallagattā5va taranti pāraṁ. (SN i 169)
Illustration: anāvilāni, muddied
He drank muddied water
Āvilāni ca pānīyāni pivati. (Uda 41)
Singular forms of āsava commonly indicate the uncountable noun (‘perceptual obscuration’). Plural forms indicate the countable noun (‘perceptually obscuring states’).
On translating ‘āsava’
But because āsavas are defiling (saṅkilesikā), they are sometimes called ‘taints.’ And sometimes the word is left untranslated, for example by Norman (in The Group of Discourses), by Malalasekera (in The Buddhist Dictionary of Pāli Proper Names) and even by the Pāli dictionaries themselves. For example, the DOP renderings are:
Primary sense: outflow and intoxicating product
The ‘liquid meaning’ is supported by the primary sense of āsava, which is found as an alternative reading in certain Pāli editions, namely ‘discharge from a sore.’ This is illustrated in the following passage, where the PTS and VRI alternative reading for assandati (to ooze) is āsavaṁ deti (to ‘give an outflow’):
• When a sore is beaten with a stick or shard, it oozes (or, ‘gives an outflow’) all the more.
However, āsava has another primary sense, namely ‘intoxicating product’ which can be seen in the definition of alcoholic spirits (merayo), as follows:
• Alcoholic spirits means the intoxicating product of flowers, fruits, honey, sugar’
Merayo nāma pupphāsavo phalāsavo madhvāsavo guḷāsavo. (Vin.4.110)
T.W. Rhys Davids was unaware of this definition when in 1899 he said:
• ’Unfortunately, the word āsava has not been yet found in its concrete, primary, sense; unless indeed Buddhaghosa's statement (at Asl. 48) that well seasoned spirituous liquors were called āsavā be taken literally. It is therefore impossible to be sure what is the simile that underlies the use of the word in its secondary, ethical sense. Perhaps after all it is the idea of overwhelming intoxication, and not of flood or taint or ooze, that we ought to consider’ (Dialogues.1.92 n.3).
When the Buddha was conversing with bhikkhus over the body of the inebriated venerable Sāgata, he asked them:
• But would one have deranged perception (visaññi assā) if one drunk only that which may be drunk?”
Api nu kho bhikkhave taṁ pātabbaṁ yaṁ pivitvā visaññi assā ti. (Vin.4.110)
If āsava is the basis of alcoholic deranged perception, the same term was likely used in reference to the spiritual defilements that are the bases of the mental derangement that we will call ‘perceptual obscuration,’ concerning which the Buddha said:
• Those beings are hard to find in the world who can claim to be free of mental illness even for a moment except the one whose āsavas are destroyed.
Te bhikkhave sattā dullabhā lokasmiṁ ye cetasikena rogena muhuttampi ārogyaṁ paṭijānanti aññatra khīṇāsavehi. (AN ii 143)
The obscuring nature of āsavas
In this Glossary āsavas are called ‘perceptually obscuring states’ (plural) or perceptual obscuration (singular) because of the obscuring role they play in perception, and which is illustrated in paṭiccasamuppāda, as follows:
• With the origination of perceptual obscuration comes the origination of uninsightfulness into reality
The obscuring role of āsavas is also described in terms of sammūḷho, like this:
• It is through the non-abandonment of perceptually obscuring states that one is undiscerning of reality
Āsavānaṁ hi aggivessana appahānā sammūḷho hoti. (MN i 250)
• It is through the abandonment of perceptually obscuring states that one is discerning of reality.
Āsavānaṁ hi aggivessana pahānā asammūḷho hoti. (MN i 250)
Singulars and plurals
• And what is perceptual obscuration? What is the origin of perceptual obscuration?
Katamo panāvuso āsavo? Katamo āsavasamudayo?
The answer is:
• There are these three states of perceptual obscuration:
Tayo’me āvuso āsavā
1) perceptual obscuration due to pursuing sensuous pleasure
2) perceptual obscuration due to pursuing individual existence
3) perceptual obscuration due to uninsightfulness into reality
Horner stays true to the singular/plural, but the result is awkward, and her translation stumbles in the opening questions, which involve an uncountable noun, not a countable noun:
• ‘And what, your reverences, is a canker? What the uprising of a canker?.’.. Your reverences, there are these three cankers: the canker of sense-pleasures, the canker of becoming, the canker of ignorance.’
Bodhi deals with the problem by pluralising:
• ‘And what are the taints? What is the origin of the taints? There are these three taints: the taint of sensuous desire, the taint of being, and the taint of ignorance.’
But Pāli grammars do not support pluralising. This counts against most renderings of āsava because they are unuseable without it, including: ‘intoxicants,’ ‘drugs,’ ‘floods,’ ‘poisons.’
How many āsavas?
In the scriptures there are two categories of āsavas:
The connective in kāmāsavo, bhavāsavo, and avijjāsavo
The terms kāmāsavo bhavāsavo and avijjāsavo are commonly translated with the connective ‘of.’ For example, Bodhi says ‘the taint of sensuality,’ ‘the taint of existence’ and ‘the taint of ignorance.’ But the scriptures say the connective is paccayā ‘due to.’ For example, in the Vappa Sutta (AN ii 196-7) the Buddha divides āsavas into two groups:
Translating kāmāsavo, bhavāsavo, and avijjāsavo
Here, avijjāsavo corresponds to avijjāpaccayā uppajjanti āsavā, and kāmāsavo and bhavāsavo would then necessarily correspond to kāya… vacī… manosamārambhapaccayā uppajjanti āsavā because the division is comprehensive. There are no āsavas outside this twofold division. We infer from this that:
Because we render āsava as ‘perceptual obscuration,’ these become:
Here the sources of āsavas are not themselves āsavas. Thus avijjāsava does not mean the āsava of avijjā but the āsava due to avijjā; and so on. This is in accordance with paṭiccasamuppāda which says āsava is due to avijjā (avijjāsamudayā āsavasamudayo (MN i 55).
We also see that āsavas are either paccayā uppajjanti āsavā (‘āsavas due to’) or samārambhapaccayā uppajjanti āsavā (‘āsavas due to pursuing’) the former occurring with avijjā the latter with acts of body, speech, and mind (kāya… vacī… mano).
Translating āsavā plural
In the cases above, āsava is in the singular case, indicating a state of perceptual obscuration (singular) due to some condition. But in the Nissāraṇīya Sutta (AN iii 245) the āsavas are paccayā uppajjanti āsavā indicating perceptually obscuring states (plural) due to some condition. We have seen above that, when not associated with avijjā, āsavas are samārambhapaccayā uppajjanti āsavā, i.e. ‘perceptually obscuring states that arise due to pursuing.’ But in relation to mental factors like ill will or maliciousness, to have these states is to pursue them. Therefore we will refer to ‘perceptually obscuring states that arise due to ill will or maliciousness’ rather than ‘perceptually obscuring states that arise due to pursuing ill will or maliciousness.’ Accordingly, the Nissāraṇīya Sutta can be translated as follows:
Potaliya Sutta: paccayā uppajjanti āsavā
The Potaliya Sutta (MN i 361) is another sutta where the connective is paccayā uppajjanti. It says that ‘whereas vexatious and anguishing perceptually obscuring states would arise due to killing, there are no vexatious and anguishing perceptually obscuring states in abstaining from it.’
ye ca pāṇātipātapaccayā uppajjeyyuṁ āsavā vighātapariḷāhā pāṇātipātā paṭiviratassa evaṁsa te āsavā vighātapariḷāhā na honti
The same is said of stealing, lying, malicious speech, rapacious greed (giddhilobho), spiteful scolding (nindāroso), angry despair (kodhūpāyāso) and arrogance (atimāno). Here the words ‘pursuing’ is again redundant. To kill is to pursue killing. To be arrogant is to pursue arrogance.
Ārabhati Sutta: ārambhajā āsavā
The Ārabhati Sutta (AN iii 165) says āsavas are ‘born of.’ For example, if someone kills and is conscience-stricken, he should be advised that perceptually obscuring states born of killing are found in him (ārambhajā āsavā saṁvijjanti), and perceptually obscuring states born of an uneasy conscience are developing (vippaṭisārajā āsavā pavaḍḍhanti). But to say that āsavas are ‘born of’ certain conditions is the same as saying they are ‘due to’ those conditions, which is our preferred phrasing.
How pursuit leads to āsavas
The way that pursuit leads to āsavas can be seen throughout the scriptures. For example:
1) There is the quality of loveliness. Much improper contemplation in that regard is a condition that nourishes both the arising of unarisen sensuous hankering, and the increase and expansion of arisen sensuous hankering.
Atthi bhikkhave subhanimittaṁ. Tattha ayoniso manasikārabahulīkāro ayamāhāro anuppannassa vā kāmacchandassa uppādāya uppannassa vā kāmacchandassa bhiyyobhāvāya vepullāya. (SN v 105)
2) And what are the issues that should not be contemplated that he contemplates?
Katame ca bhikkhave dhammā na manasikaraṇīyā ye dhamme manasikaroti?
… Whatever issues that, when he contemplates them:
… unarisen perceptual obscuration due to pursuing sensuous pleasure arises, and arisen perceptual obscuration due to pursuing sensuous pleasure increases
anuppanno vā kāmāsavo uppajjati uppanno vā kāmāsavo pavaḍḍhati
… unarisen perceptual obscuration due to pursuing individual existence arises, and arisen perceptual obscuration due to pursuing individual existence increases
anuppanno vā bhavāsavo uppajjati uppanno vā bhavāsavo pavaḍḍhati
… unarisen perceptual obscuration due to uninsightfulness into reality arises, and arisen perceptual obscuration due to uninsightfulness into reality increases.
anuppanno vā avijjāsavo uppajjati uppanno vā avijjāsavo pavaḍḍhati. (MN i 7)
3) In this regard a bhikkhu, properly reflecting, abides with the faculty of sight restrained through restraint [of grasping, through mindfulness]. The vexatious and anguishing perceptually obscuring states that would arise if he were to abide with the faculty of sight unrestrained through unrestraint [of grasping, through mindfulness] do not arise for him when he abides with the faculty of sight restrained through restraint [of grasping, through mindfulness].
Idha bhikkhave bhikkhu paṭisaṅkhā yoniso cakkhundriyasaṁvarasaṁvuto viharati. Yaṁ hi'ssa bhikkhave cakkhundriyasaṁvaraṁ asaṁvutassa viharato uppajjeyyuṁ āsavā vighātapariḷāhā cakkhundriyasaṁvarasaṁvutassa viharato evaṁsa te āsavā vighātapariḷāhā na honti. (MN i 9)
Sāsavo: ‘associated with perceptually obscuring states’
Sometimes the scriptures use the term sāsavo, which we render as ‘associated with perceptually obscuring states.’ For example, the Sāsava Sutta (AN v 242) says the factors of the wrong tenfold path are ‘associated with perceptually obscuring states.’
micchādiṭṭhi… micchāvimutti. Ayaṁ vuccati bhikkhave sāsavo dhammo
Whereas right factors are ‘free of perceptually obscuring states’
sammādiṭṭhi… sammāvimutti. Ayaṁ vuccati bhikkhave anāsavo dhammo ti.
The Sāsavadhamma Sutta (AN v 275) defines the issue in terms of acts, not path factors. It says that although unrighteous acts, like killing, are ‘associated with perceptually obscuring states’ (sāsavo dhammo) righteous acts, like refraining from killing, are not (anāsavo dhammo).
Sabbāsava Sutta: examples of āsavas
• the view of personal identity
• doubt [about the excellence of the teaching]
• adherence to observances and practices
It says when the noble disciple reflects on the four noble truths these ties to individual existence are abandoned, and calls them ‘perceptually obscuring states to be abandoned by seeing’ (i.e. by seeing the four noble truths).
sakkāyadiṭṭhi vicikicchā sīlabbataparāmāso. Ime vuccanti bhikkhave āsavā dassanā pahātabbā.
These three ties are therefore āsavas, perceptually obscuring states.
Chabbisodhana Sutta: examples of āsavas
The Chabbisodhana Sutta (MN iii 32) says an arahant may be asked in what way he knows and sees with regard to the six senses and their objects, that through being without grasping his mind is liberated [from perceptually obscuring states] (imesu chasu ajjhattikabāhiresu āyatanesu anupādāya āsavehi cittaṁ vimuttan ti).
He would reply that through the destruction, fading away, ending, giving up, and relinquishment (khayā virāgā nirodhā cāgā paṭinissaggā) of
regarding the visual sense, visible objects, etc (cakkhusmiṁ āvuso rūpe cakkhuviññāṇe cakkhuviññāṇaviññātabbesu dhammesu) he knows that his mind is liberated [from perceptually obscuring states] (vimuttaṁ me cittan ti pajānāmi).
Thus fondness, attachment etc are āsavas, perceptually obscuring states.
Dutiya Bhikkhu Sutta: examples of āsavas
• The elimination of attachment, hatred, and undiscernment of reality: the destruction of perceptually obscuring states is spoken of in that way.
rāgavinayo dosavinayo mohavinayo ti āsavānaṁ khayo tena vuccatī ti.
Sabbāsava and Kuṇḍaliya Suttas: examples of āsavas
Some examples of āsavas can be derived from comparison of texts. For example, the Sabbāsava Sutta says
‘vexatious and anguishing āsavas would arise if one were to abide with an uncontrolled faculty of sight.
cakkhundriyasaṁvaraṁ asaṁvutassa viharato uppajjeyyuṁ āsavā vighātapariḷāhā. (MN i 9)
The Kuṇḍaliya Sutta (SN v 73) explains what those āsavas are. It says if there is restraint of the sense faculties [from grasping, through mindfulness] (indriyasaṁvaro) one does not long for (nābhijjhati) or get excited by (nābhihaṁsati) or become attached to (na rāgaṁ janeti) delightful objects, nor become disconcerted by (na maṅku hoti), daunted (apatitthinacitto), dejected (adīnamanaso) or unbenevolent (avyāpannacetaso) regarding objectionable objects.
Longing, excitement, and attachment are therefore āsavas, perceptually obscuring states. And so are disconcertedness, dauntedness, dejectedness, and ill will (‘unbenevolence’).
Devadattavipatti and Dutiyalokadhamma Suttas: examples of āsavas
The Devadattavipatti Sutta (AN iv 161) says a bhikkhu should abide continuously mastering (abhibhuyya abhibhuyya vihareyya) the eight worldly conditions (acquisition, loss, prestige, imprestige etc), otherwise vexatious and anguishing āsavas will arise (uppajjeyyuṁ āsavā vighātapariḷāhā).
The Dutiyalokadhamma Sutta (AN iv 157) explains what those āsavas are. It says that instead of reflecting on the nature of the eight worldly conditions (so ca kho anicco dukkho vipariṇāmadhammo ti), the ignorant Everyman welcomes (anurujjhati) what he likes and rejects (paṭivirujjhati) what he dislikes.
Therefore welcoming and rejecting are āsavas, perceptually obscuring states.
Sampasādaniya Sutta: examples of āsavas
The Sampasādaniya Sutta (DN iii 112) says the nine psychic powers, for example multiplying one’s body, are associated with perceptually obscuring states and with attachment (iddhi yā sāsavā saupadhikā). The association of sāsavā and saupadhikā suggests the two words are associated in meaning, and that attachment (upadhi) is therefore an āsava, a perceptually obscuring state.
Jatukaṇṇī Sutta: examples of āsavas
The Jatukaṇṇī Sutta says:
• For one completely free of greed for immaterial-factors-and-bodily-form, brahman, there are no āsavas by reason of which he would go into the power of death.
Sabbaso nāmarūpasmiṁ vītagedhassa brāhmaṇa
Āsavāssa na vijjanti yehi maccuvasaṁ vaje ti. (Snp 1100)
Greed (gedha) is therefore an āsava, a perceptually obscuring state.
Mahācattārīsaka Sutta: examples of āsavas
The Mahācattārīsaka Sutta (MN iii 72) says the eightfold path is twofold: one aspect is ‘associated with perceptually obscuring states, that is meritorious and results in attachment’ (sāsavo puññabhāgiyo upadhivepakko), the other aspect is not (ariyo anāsavo). The meaning āsava here is to be found in the word upadhivepakkā, ‘result in attachment.’
If āsavas ‘result in attachment,’ then they are represented by taṇhā because ‘when there is taṇhā, upadhi arises’ (taṇhāya sati upadhi hoti SN ii 108). Therefore, as we have already noted above, taṇhā is an āsava, a perceptually obscuring state.
Āsavakkhaya Sutta: examples of āsavas
The Āsavakkhaya Sutta says:
‘Bhikkhus, I declare that the destruction of the āsavas is for one who knows and sees, not for one who does not know and see. Knowing and seeing what are the āsavas destroyed?
Jānato ahaṁ bhikkhave passato āsavānaṁ khayaṁ vadāmi no ajānato no apassato. Kiñca bhikkhave jānato kiṁpassato āsavānaṁ khayo hoti
• This is suffering: knowing and seeing this [according to reality] the āsavas are destroyed.
idaṁ dukkhan ti bhikkhave jānato passato āsavānaṁ khayo hoti
• ‘This is the origin of suffering’: knowing and seeing this [according to reality] the āsavas are destroyed.
ayaṁ dukkhasamudayo ti jānato passato āsavānaṁ khayo hoti
• ‘This is the ending of suffering’: knowing and seeing this [according to reality] the āsavas are destroyed.
ayaṁ dukkhanirodhoti jānato passato āsavānaṁ khayo hoti
• ‘This is the practice leading to the ending of suffering’: knowing and seeing this [according to reality] the āsavas are destroyed.
ayaṁ dukkhanirodhagāminī paṭipadā ti jānato passato āsavānaṁ khayo hoti. (SN v 434)
But knowing and seeing the four noble truths involves the ending of the second noble truth, which must therefore be the āsavas that are destroyed. Therefore the elements of the second noble truth are āsavas.
The full formula of the second noble truth is:
• It is this craving that leads to renewed states of individual existence, accompanied by spiritually fettering delight and attachment, taking delight in this and that, namely craving for sensuous pleasure, craving for states of individual existence, and craving for the cessation of states of individual existence.
yāyaṁ taṇhā ponobhavikā nandirāgasahagatā tatra tatrābhinandinī seyyathīdaṁ kāmataṇhā bhavataṇhā vibhavataṇhā.
Freeing oneself of āsavas: Dutiyahāliddikāni Sutta
Many suttas explain how to free oneself of the āsavas using the word vimutti, which means ‘liberation from the āsavas.’ For example, the Dutiyahāliddikāni Sutta (SN iii 13) says vimutti comes from the destruction or relinquishment of nine āsavas:
• Through the destruction, fading away, ending, giving up, and relinquishment of fondness, attachment, spiritually fettering delight, craving, clinging, grasping, obstinate adherence, stubborn attachment, and identification one’s mind is said to be liberated [from perceptually obscuring states]
yo chando yo rāgo yā nandi yā taṇhā ye upayupādānā cetaso adhiṭṭhānābhinivesānusayā tesaṁ khayā virāgā nirodhā cāgā paṭinissaggā… cittaṁ suvimuttan ti vuccati. (SN iii 13)
Freeing oneself of āsavas: Santatara Sutta
• Those who profoundly understand the refined material states of awareness and are not stuck in the immaterial states of awareness, with the ending [of originated phenomena], they are liberated [from perceptually obscuring states].
ye ca rūpe pariññāya arūpesu asaṇṭhitā
nirodhe ye vimuccanti. (Iti 62)
Freeing oneself of āsavas: Pārileyyaka Sutta
The Pārileyyaka Sutta says the āsavas are immediately destroyed when one sees that the components of one’s identity are unlasting, originated, and dependently arisen:
• The ignorant Everyman considers bodily form to be the [absolute] Selfhood
rūpaṁ attato samanupassati
… That considering is an originated phenomenon
yā kho pana sā bhikkhave samanupassanā saṅkhāro so
… What is the basis, origin, object of genesis and production of that originated phenomenon?
So pana saṅkhāro kinnidāno kiṁsamudayo kiñjātiko kimpabhavoti
… When the ignorant Everyman is affected by sense impression born of sensation and uninsightfulness into reality, craving arises.
avijjāsamphassajena bhikkhave vedayitena phuṭṭhassa assutavato puthujjanassa uppannā taṇhā
… That originated phenomenon is born from that
tatojo so saṅkhāro
… That originated phenomenon, that craving, that sense impression, that sensation, that uninsightfulness into reality is unlasting, originated, dependently arisen.
sopi kho saṅkhāro… taṇhā… vedanā… phasso… avijjā aniccā saṅkhatā paṭiccasamuppannā.
… When one knows and sees this, there is the immediate destruction of perceptually obscuring states
anantarā āsavānaṁ khayo hoti. (SN iii 96)
Freeing oneself of āsavas: Sabbāsava Sutta
Given the wide-ranging nature of perceptually obscuring states it is no wonder that they must be overcome by a range of different methods. This is the subject of the Sabbāsava Sutta, which says perceptually obscuring states are abandoned in seven ways:
1) Contemplating issues that should be contemplated and not contemplating issues that should not be contemplated
(Sutavā ariyasāvako) ye dhammā na manasikaraṇīyā te dhamme na manasikaroti ye dhammā manasikaraṇīyā te dhamme manasikaroti.
2) Abiding with the faculty of sight… faculty of mental cognisance restrained through restraint [of grasping, through mindfulness].
bhikkhu paṭisaṅkhā yoniso cakkhundriyasaṁvarasaṁvuto… manindriyasaṁvarasaṁvuto viharati
3) Using the robe, almsfood, abode, therapeutic requisites, properly reflecting.
bhikkhu paṭisaṅkhā yoniso cīvaraṁ… gilānapaccayabhesajjaparikkhāraṁ paṭisevati
4) Enduring cold, heat… Enduring bodily sense impressions that are unpleasant, acute, sharp, piercing, displeasing, objectionable, and life-threatening.
bhikkhu paṭisaṅkhā yoniso khamo hoti… uppannānaṁ sārīrikānaṁ vedanānaṁ dukkhānaṁ tibbānaṁ kharānaṁ kaṭukānaṁ asātānaṁ amanāpānaṁ pāṇaharānaṁ adhivāsakajātiko hoti.
5) Avoiding wild elephants and horses… and unsuitable seats, unsuitable alms resorts, and unvirtuous friends that would make one’s knowledgeable companions in the religious life suspect one of unvirtuous ways of conduct
bhikkhu paṭisaṅkhā yoniso caṇḍaṁ hatthiṁ parivajjeti… Yathārūpe anāsane nisinnaṁ yathārūpe agocare carantaṁ yathārūpe pāpake mitte bhajantaṁ viññū sabrahmacārī pāpakesu ṭhānesu okappeyyuṁ.
6) Not tolerating arisen sensuous, unbenevolent or malicious thoughts.
bhikkhu paṭisaṅkhā yoniso uppannaṁ kāmavitakkaṁ… vyāpādavitakkaṁ… vihiṁsāvitakkaṁ nādhivāseti
7) Developing the enlightenment factor of mindfulness… the enlightenment factor of detached awareness.
bhikkhu paṭisaṅkhā yoniso satisambojjhaṅgaṁ… upekkhā sambojjhaṅgaṁ bhāveti. (MN i 7)
Destruction of āsavas starts at stream-entry
Although āsavakkhaya is prominently associated with arahantship, āsavas are in fact destroyed from stream-entry onwards. The three types of individuals who are at least stream-enterers but not arahants are called kāyasakkhī, diṭṭhappatto, and saddhāvimutto. The Kīṭāgiri Sutta (MN i 438) says that for each of these individuals some of his perceptually obscuring states are destroyed (ekacce āsavā parikkhīṇā honti). But before stream-entry, no perceptually obscuring states are destroyed (āsavā aparikkhīṇā honti, MN i 479). We will show below that these āsavas are otherwise known as saṁyojanāni i.e. ties to individual existence.
Destruction of āsavas: gradual process
Although many suttas say the āsavas are destroyed just before arahantship, the Uposatha Sutta (SN iii 155) says destroying the āsavas is a more gradual process. The sutta compares the wearing away of āsavas to the wearing away of an adze handle. It says when a carpenter looks at the handle of his adze, he sees the impressions of his fingers and his thumb, but he does not know how much of the handle wore away that day, or how much on previous days. He only knows that when the handle is worn away, that it has worn away.
Likewise, when a bhikkhu abides devoted to spiritual development, no such knowledge occurs to him that so much of his āsavas were destroyed that day, or so much on previous days, yet when they are destroyed, the knowledge occurs to him that they have been destroyed (ettakaṁ vata me ajja āsavānaṁ khīṇaṁ ettakaṁ hiyyo ettakaṁ pare ti. Atha khvassa khīṇe khīṇaṁtveva ñāṇaṁ hoti). According to this, destroying the āsavas is a gradual, barely perceptible process.
Pañca nīvaraṇā: not āsavas
• When one’s mind is free of these five defilements, it is pliable and workable and radiant, not brittle, but is properly collected for the destruction of perceptually obscuring states.
Yato ca kho bhikkhave cittaṁ imehi pañcahi upakkilesehi vippamuttaṁ hoti taṁ hoti cittaṁ mudu ca kammaniyañca pabhassarañca na ca pabhaṅgu sammāsamādhīyati āsavānaṁ khayāya. (AN iii 16-17)
This implies that the pañca nīvaraṇā are different from āsavas.
Pañca nīvaraṇā: are practically āsavas
But the nīvaraṇas and āsavas have much in common, and although differentiating them is technically justifed, it is problematic to do so, because of their similarlty. For example:
1) Both are defiling and weakening of penetrative discernment:
• Him I call undiscerning of reality, Aggivessana, who has not abandoned perceptually obscuring states that are defiling… For it is through the non-abandonment of perceptually obscuring states that one is undiscerning of reality.
Yassa kassaci aggivessana ye āsavā saṅkilesikā… appahīnā tamahaṁ sammūḷho ti vadāmi. Āsavānaṁ hi aggivessana appahānā sammūḷho hoti. (MN i 250)
• Sensuous hankering (and each of the nīvaraṇas) is a spiritual obstruction, a spiritual hindrance, a spiritual defilement, a weakener of penetrative discernment.
kāmacchando āvaraṇo nīvaraṇo cetaso upakkileso paññāya dubbalīkaraṇo. (SN v 95)
2) Both nīvaraṇas and āsavas are productive of avijjā:
• With the origination of perceptual obscuration comes the origination of uninsightfulness into reality
• What is the condition that nourishes uninsightfulness into reality? The five hindrances, one should reply.
ko cāhāro avijjāya? Pañca nīvaraṇā tissa vacanīyaṁ. (AN v 116)
3) In our analysis above, certain factors found to be āsavas are also nīvaraṇas. For example, the first of the nīvaraṇas is kāmacchanda; and we have shown above that chanda is an āsava. The fifth of the nīvaraṇas is vicikicchā, which we have shown above is also an āsava.
4) The other three nīvaraṇas are linked to āsava via vimutta. We have shown in the Vimutta section that vimutta means ‘liberated from āsavas.’ The third and fourth of the nīvaraṇas are thīnamiddhaṁ and uddhacca kukkucca. These are treated like āsavas in this quote:
• My mind is [temporarily] liberated [from perceptually obscuring states]. I have abolished lethargy and torpor and thoroughly dispelled restlessness and anxiety. My energy is aroused. I pay attention as a matter of vital concern, not sluggishly.
cittañca me suvimuttaṁ thīnamiddhañca me susamūhataṁ. Uddhacca kukkuccañca me suppaṭivinītaṁ. Āraddhañca me viriyaṁ aṭṭhikatvā manasikaromi no ca līnan ti. (SN v 76-7)
• If the liberation [from perceptually obscuring states] through [unlimited] goodwill is developed and cultivated, it is impossible, out of the question, that ill will would plague your mind.
Aṭṭhānametaṁ āvuso anavakāso yaṁ mettāya cetovimuttiyā bhāvitāya bahulīkatāya… atha ca panassa vyāpādo cittaṁ pariyādāya ṭhassatī ti. (DN iii 248)
Temporary and unshakeable liberation from āsava
That āsavas once destroyed do not return is proven by the stream-enterer’s situation. Some of his āsavas are destroyed (ekacce āsavā parikkhīṇā honti MN i 438) and the rest will certainly follow because he does not take an eighth [human] existence even if very negligently applied [to the practice] (kiñcāpi te honti bhusaṁ pamattā na te bhavaṁ aṭṭhamamādiyanti). This, therefore, is a feature of some āsavas: once destroyed, they do not return, even in succeeding lives.
But other āsavas are liable to return. This is implied in these two quotes, because cetovimutti means liberation from the āsavas:
1) To whatever extent there are unlimited liberations from perceptually obscuring states, the unshakeable liberation [from perceptually obscuring states] is declared the chief among them.
yāvatā kho bhante appamāṇā cetovimuttiyo akuppā tāsaṁ cetovimutti aggamakkhāyati. (SN iv 297)
If some liberations from perceptually obscuring states are ‘unshakeable,’ then others are shakeable i.e. some āsavas are liable to return.
2) Then Venerable Godhika, abiding diligently, vigorously, and resolutely applied [to the practice] attained temporary liberation [from perceptually obscuring states]. But then Venerable Godhika fell away from that temporary liberation [from perceptually obscuring states].
Atha kho āyasmā godhiko appamatto ātāpī pahitatto viharanto sāmayikaṁ cetovimuttiṁ phusi. Atha kho āyasmā godhiko tāya sāmayikāya cetovimuttiyā parihāyi. (SN i 120)
So, some āsavas are liable to return. These quotes therefore show that liberation from the āsavas is not necessarily unshakeable. The same point is seen in the Sabbāsava Sutta, which describes various modes of behaviour in which āsavas might arise, and if these modes of behaviour are avoided, then those āsavas do not exist. For example:
• In this regard a bhikkhu, properly reflecting, does not tolerate an arisen sensuous thought. He abandons it, dispels it, puts an end to it, eradicates it.
Idha bhikkhave bhikkhu paṭisaṅkhā yoniso uppannaṁ kāmavitakkaṁ nādhivāseti pajahati vinodeti vyantīkaroti. Anabhāvaṁ gameti.
… The vexatious and anguishing āsavas that would arise if he were not to dispel these things do not arise for him when he dispels them.
Yaṁ hissa bhikkhave avinodayato uppajjeyyuṁ āsavā vighātapariḷāhā. Vinodayato evaṁsa te āsavā vighātapariḷāhā na honti. (MN i 11)
According to this, āsavas may or may not arise according to the standard of one’s practice. So even if they disappear, they may later reappear.
This contradiction of reappearing versus non-reappearing āsavas stems from the two categories of āsavas mentioned above, firstly, the broad, undefined category which practically includes the pañca nīvaraṇā, and secondly, the narrow, well-defined category which does not. Āsavas that are liable to reappear belong to the former category, whereas it seems that āsavas which are removed permanently are otherwise called saṁyojanāni, i.e. the ties to individual existence. We have already seen that the first three such ties are specifically called āsavas. These and the other seven ties to individual existence fall into two groups, as follows:
1) There are these five ties to individual existence in the low plane of existence
Pañcimāni bhikkhave orambhāgiyāni saṁyojanāni. Katamāni pañca:
• view of personal identity
• doubt [about the excellence of the teaching]
• adherence to observances and practices
• sensuous hankering
• ill will
2) There are these five ties to individual existence in the middle and high planes of existence. What five?
pañcimāni bhikkhave uddhambhāgiyāni saṁyojanāni. katamāni pañca?
• attachment to the refined material states of awareness
• attachment to immaterial states of awareness
• uninsightfulness into reality
Āsavas and rebirth
That āsavas play an important role in rebirth is evident in these quotes:
1) Perceptually obscuring states that are defiling, and which lead to renewed states of individual existence, suffering, unpleasant karmic consequences, and future birth, old age, and death;
ye āsavā saṅkilesikā ponobhavikā sadarā dukkhavipākā āyatiṁ jātijarāmaraṇīyā. (MN i 250)
2) ‘Those perceptually obscuring states through which I might have become a deva… a heavenly musician… a deity… a human being have been abandoned by me, chopped down at the root, completely and irreversibly destroyed.’
Yesaṁ kho ahaṁ brāhmaṇa āsavānaṁ appahīṇattā devo… gandhabbo… yakkho… manusso bhaveyyaṁ te me āsavā pahīṇā ucchinnamūlā tālāvatthukatā anabhāvakatā āyatiṁ anuppādadhammā. (AN ii 38)
3) What is the variety in perceptually obscuring states?
Katamā ca bhikkhave āsavānaṁ vemattatā
… There are perceptually obscuring states leading to hell, to the animal realm, to the realm of ghosts, to the human realm, and to the heavenly realms.
atthi bhikkhave āsavā nirayagāminiyā… tiracchānayonigāminiyā… pettivisayagāminiyā… manussalokagāminiyā… devalokagāminiyā… ayaṁ vuccati bhikkhave āsavānaṁ vemattatā. (AN iii 414)
Āsavas and unpleasant karmic consequences
Āsavas lead to renewed states of individual existence, suffering, unpleasant karmic consequences (āsavā saṅkilesikā ponobhavikā sadarā dukkhavipākā MN i 250). This can be illustrated with the following quotes concerning taṇhā, which we have said above is an āsava.
• The more such beings pursue sensuous pleasure the more their craving for sensuous pleasure increases and the more they are tormented by sensuous passion
Yathā yathā kho māgandiya sattā kāmesu avītarāgā kāmataṇhāhi khajjamānā kāmapariḷāhena pariḍayhamānā kāme paṭisevanti tathā tathā tesaṁ sattānaṁ kāmataṇhā ceva pavaḍḍhati kāmapariḷāhena ca pariḍayhanti. . (MN i 507-8)
• For one who abides attached, tethered [to individual existence], undiscerning of reality, contemplating sweetness, the five grasped aggregates are heaped up in the future. Craving that leads to renewed states of individual existence, accompanied by spiritually fettering delight and attachment, taking delight in this and that, grows.
Tassa sārattassa saṁyuttassa sammūḷhassa assādānupassino viharato āyatiṁ pañcupādānakkhandhā upacayaṁ gacchanti. Taṇhā cassa ponobhavikā nandirāgasahagatā tatra tatrābhinandinī sā cassa pavaḍḍhati.
… One’s physical and psychological sufferings, torments, and anguishes increase.
Tassa kāyikāpi darathā pavaḍḍhanti cetasikāpi darathā pavaḍḍhanti kayikāpi santāpā pavaḍḍhanti cetasikāpi santāpā pavaḍḍhanti kāyikāpi pariḷāhā pavaḍḍhanti cetasikāpi pariḷāhā pavaḍḍhanti
… One experiences physical and psychological unpleasantness
so kāyadukkhampi cetodukkhampi paṭisaṁvedeti. (MN iii 287)
Illustration: āsavā, perceptually obscuring states
In seeing a visible object with mindfulness muddled, focusing on the agreeable aspect, one experiences it with a mind of attachment and persists in cleaving to it.
Rūpaṁ disvā sati muṭṭhā piyaṁ nimittaṁ manasikaroto
Sārattacitto vedeti tañca ajjhosa tiṭṭhati
The perceptually obscuring states develop, the origin of individual existence, leading to renewed states of individual existence.
And what are the perceptually obscuring states to be abandoned by enduring?
Katame ca bhikkhave āsavā adhivāsanā pahātabbā?
In this regard a bhikkhu, properly reflecting, endures cold, heat, hunger, and thirst; the touch of horseflies, mosquitoes, wind, sun, and snakes. He endures ill-spoken, unwelcome words and arisen bodily sense impressions that are unpleasant, acute, sharp, piercing, displeasing, objectionable, and life-threatening.
Idha bhikkhave bhikkhu paṭisaṅkhā yoniso khamo hoti sītassa uṇhassa jighacchāya pipāsāya ḍaṁsamakasavātātapasiriṁsapasamphassānaṁ duruttānaṁ durāgatānaṁ vacanapathānaṁ uppannānaṁ sārīrikānaṁ vedanānaṁ dukkhānaṁ tibbānaṁ kharānaṁ kaṭukānaṁ asātānaṁ amanāpānaṁ pāṇaharānaṁ adhivāsakajātiko hoti.
The vexatious and anguishing perceptually obscuring states that would arise if he were not to endure these things do not arise for him when he endures them.
Yaṁ hissa bhikkhave anadhivāsayato uppajjeyyuṁ āsavā vighātapariḷāhā adhivāsayato evaṁsa te āsavā vighātapariḷāhā na honti.
These are called the perceptually obscuring states to be abandoned by enduring.
Ime vuccanti bhikkhave āsavā adhivāsanā pahātabbā. (MN i 10)
Illustration: āsavānaṁ, perceptually obscuring states
This, bhikkhu, is a designation for the Untroubled: the elimination of attachment, hatred, and undiscernment of reality.
Nibbānadhātuyā kho etaṁ bhikkhu adhivacanaṁ rāgavinayo dosavinayo mohavinayoti.
The destruction of perceptually obscuring states is spoken of in that way.
Āsavānaṁ khayo tena vuccatī ti. (SN v 8)
Five things developed and cultivated lead to the destruction of perceptually obscuring states:
āsavānaṁ khayāya saṁvattanti
In this regard a bhikkhu is one who
• abides contemplating the unloveliness of the body
asubhānupassī kāye viharati.
• perceives the loathsome nature of digestion.
• perceives disgust for the whole world [of phenomena].
• contemplates the unlastingness of all originated phenomena.
• and for whom the perception of [the ever-present possibility of] death is well-established within himself.
maraṇasaññā kho panassa ajjhattaṁ sūpaṭṭhitā hoti. (AN iii 83)
Illustration: sāsavo, perceptually obscuring states
One thing to be profoundly understood: sensation associated with perceptually obscuring states is productive of grasping.
Katamo eko dhammo pariññeyyo? Phasso sāsavo upādāniyo. (DN iii 272)
Illustration: sāsavaṁ, associated with perceptually obscuring states
Whatever bodily form there is, past, future, or present, internal or external, gross or subtle, inferior or sublime, far or near,
yaṁ kiñci bhikkhave rūpaṁ atītānāgatapaccuppannaṁ ajjhattaṁ vā bahiddhā vā oḷārikaṁ vā sukhumaṁ vā hīnaṁ vā paṇītaṁ vā yaṁ dūre santike vā
associated with perceptually obscuring states
and productive of grasping
this is called the aggregate of grasped bodily form
ayaṁ vuccati rūpūpādānakkhandho. (SN iii 47)
Illustration: āsavesu, perceptually obscuring states
And what is diligence [in the practice]?
Katamo ca bhikkhave appamādo
In this regard a bhikkhu protects the mind against perceptually obscuring states and against states associated with perceptually obscuring states.
Idha bhikkhave bhikkhu cittaṁ rakkhati āsavesu ca sāsavesu ca dhammesu. (SN v 232)
Where an object of expectation is needed, we parenthesise ‘[for anything]’ or ‘[for anything in the world],’ following the first quote:
1) Having loosened the spiritual shackle of grasping by which they are bound [to the realm of death], they nurse no expectations for anything in the world.
Ādānaganthaṁ gathitaṁ visajja āsaṁ na kubbanti kuhiñci loke. (Snp 794)
2) ‘He who is not relying on [the fulfilment of any] expectation [for anything in the world];
3) He in whom there are no expectations [for anything] in either this world or the world beyond.
Āsā yassa na vijjanti asmiṁ loke paramhi ca. (Snp 634)
Illustration: āsā, expectation
The expectation [of receiving] robe material is disappointed.
cīvarāsā vā upacchinnā. (Vin.3.196)
There are certain ascetics and Brahmanists who teach thus, who hold this view: If one lives the religious life while nursing an expectation, one will not procure any benefit.
Eke samaṇabrāhmaṇā evaṁvādino evaṁdiṭṭhino āsañcepi karitvā brahmacariyaṁ caranti abhabbā phalassa adhigamāya. (MN iii 138)
If one squeezes the udder of a recently-calved cow while nursing an expectation one could [nonetheless] procure milk.
Āsañcepi karitvā gāviṁ taruṇavacchaṁ thanato āviñcheyya bhabbo khīrassa adhigamāya. (MN iii 143)
Illustration: āsā, expectation
On account of what are things agreeable in the world, and wanted in the world? And what is the source of the expectation and hope that a man has for the hereafter?
Piyā su lokasmiṁ kutonidānā ye cā pi lobhā vicaranti loke
Āsā ca niṭṭhā ca kutonidānā ye samparāyāya narassa honti. (Snp 864)
Things are agreeable and wanted in the world on account of desire. Desire is also the source of the expectation and hope that a man has for the hereafter.
Chandānidānāni piyāni loke ye cā pi lobhā vicaranti loke
Āsā ca niṭṭhā ca itonidānā ye samparāyāya narassa honti. (Snp 865)
Niṭṭhā: ‘hope.’ PED calls niṭṭhā ‘aim.’ This would give ‘what is the source of the aim that a man has for the hereafter.’ Norman calls it ‘fulfilment [of hope]’ which likewise does not fit.
Illustration: āsā, hope
The hope is established in me to become a once-returner.
Āsā ca pana me santiṭṭhati sakadāgāmitāyā ti. (DN ii 206)
Two hopes are difficult to abandon. Which two? The hope to get something, and the hope to survive.
Dvemā bhikkhave āsā duppajahā. Katamā dve: lābhāsā ca jīvitāsā ca. Imā kho bhikkhave dve āsā duppajahāti. (AN i 86)
The field is ploughed expectantly. The seed is sown expectantly. Merchants go to sea expectantly, bringing back wealth. Let that expectation in which I rest [my hopes] be realised.
Āsāya kasate khettaṁ bījaṁ āsāya vappati
Asāya vāṇijā yanti samuddaṁ dhanahārakā
Yāya āsāya tiṭṭhāmi sā me āsā samijjhatu. (Tha 530)
Illustration: āso, expectation
There are these three types of persons found in the world. Which three. One without expectation. One who is full of expectation. One who is rid of expectation.
Tayome bhikkhave puggalā santo saṁvijjamānā lokasmiṁ. Katame tayo: nirāso āsaṁso vigatāso.
What is the person without expectation. Here, a person has been reborn in a low family… He hears that the khattiyas have anointed such-and-such a khattiya. It does not occur to him [to think:] ‘When will the khattiyas anoint me?’
Katamo ca bhikkhave puggalo nirāso: idha bhikkhave ekacco puggalo nīce kule paccājāto hoti… So suṇāti itthannāmo kira khattiyo khattiyehi khattiyābhisekena abhisittāti tassa na evaṁ hoti: kudassu nāma mamampi khattiyā khattiyābhisekena abhisiñcissantīti.
What is the person who is full of expectation? Here, someone is the eldest son of a head-anointed khattiya king… He hears that the khattiyas have anointed such-and-such a khattiya. It occurs to him [to think:] ‘When will the khattiyas anoint me?’
Katamo ca bhikkhave puggalo āsasaṁso. Idha bhikkhave rañño khattiyassa muddhāvasittassa jeṭṭho putto hoti ābhiseko anabhisitto macalappatto. So suṇāti itthannāmo kira khattiyo khattiyehi khattiyābhisekena abhisittoti. Tassa evaṁ hoti. Kudassu nāma mamampi khattiyā khattiyābhisekena abhisiñcissantīti. (AN i 107-8)
The four kinds of āhārā are for ‘the maintenance of beings that have been brought into existence and for the assistance of those about to arise [into new existence]’ (bhūtānaṁ vā sattānaṁ ṭhitiyā sambhavesīnaṁ vā anuggahāya). Therefore we call them the four kinds of existential nourishment.
What now if I allowed medicine for bhikkhus, both medicine itself as well as what could be regarded as medicine, which though it serves as nourishment in the world, could not be regarded as gross food?
Kinnū kho ahaṁ bhikkhūnaṁ bhesajjaṁ anujāneyyaṁ yaṁ bhesajjañceva assa bhesajjasammatañca lokassa āhāratthañca phareyya na ca oḷāriko āhāro paññāyeyyā ti. (Vin.1.199)
Illustration: āhāra, food
Seeing that the body subsists on food, I go searching.
Āhāraṭṭhitiko samussayo iti disvāna carāmi esanaṁ. (Tha 123)
This [wretched human] body has come into being through food, sister. With the help of food, food must be abandoned.
Āhārasambhūto ayaṁ bhagini kāyo. Āhāraṁ nissāya āhāro pahātabbo. (AN ii 145)
And what is the origination of the body?
Ko ca bhikkhave kāyassa samudayo.
With the origination of food comes the origination of the body. With the ending of food comes the vanishing of the body.
Āhārasamudayā kāyassa samudayo āhāranirodhā kāyassa atthaṅgamo. (SN v 184)
Illustration: āhāra, existential nourishment
All beings subsist on existential nourishment.
sabbe sattā āhāraṭṭhitikā. (DN iii 211)
Whatever suffering arises, all of it arises dependent on existential nourishment. Through the ending of existential nourishment, there is no arising of suffering.
Yaṁ kiñci dukkhaṁ sambhoti sabbaṁ āhārapaccayā
Āhārānaṁ nirodhena natthi dukkhassa sambhavo.
Recognising this danger, that suffering arises dependent on existential nourishment, profoundly understanding all existential nourishment, one is free of attachment to all existential nourishment.
Etamādīnavaṁ ñatvā dukkhaṁ āhārapaccayā
Sabbāhāraṁ pariññāya sabbāhāramanissito. (Snp 747-9)
What is born, brought about, arisen, produced, originated, unenduring,
Jātaṁ bhūtaṁ samuppannaṁ kataṁ saṅkhatamaddhuvaṁ
Conjoined with old age and death,
A hotbed of illnesses,
Having existential nourishment as its support and source
It is not fit to be delighted in
Illustration: āhāra, food; nourishing condition
Just as this [wretched human] body subsists on food, it survives because of food, without food it does not survive
Seyyathā pi bhikkhave ayaṁ kāyo āhāraṭṭhitiko āhāraṁ paṭicca tiṭṭhati. Anāhāro no tiṭṭhati.
Likewise the seven factors of enlightenment subsist on nourishing conditions, they survive because of nourishing conditions, without nourishing conditions they do not survive.
Evameva kho bhikkhave satta bojjhaṅgā āhāraṭṭhitikā āhāraṁ paṭicca tiṭṭhanti. Anāhārā no tiṭṭhanti.
What is the condition that nourishes both the arising of the unarisen enlightenment factor of mindfulness, and the perfection through spiritual cultivation of the arisen enlightenment factor of mindfulness?
Ko ca bhikkhave āhāro anuppannassa vā satisambojjhaṅgassa uppādāya uppannassa vā satisambojjhaṅgassa bhāvanāya pāripūriyā?
There are things that support the enlightenment factor of mindfulness. Much proper contemplation in that regard is a condition that nourishes both the arising of the unarisen enlightenment factor of mindfulness, and the perfection through spiritual cultivation of the arisen enlightenment factor of mindfulness.
Atthi bhikkhave satisambojjhaṅgaṭṭhānīyā dhammā. Tattha yoniso manasikārabahulīkāro ayamāhāro anuppannassa vā satisambojjhaṅgassa uppādāya uppannassa vā satisambojjhaṅgassa bhāvanāya pāripūriyā. (SN v 65)
Illustration: āhāra, nourishing condition
• Bhikkhus, do you see, ‘This is brought about?’
bhūtamidan ti bhikkhave passathā ti?
• Yes, bhante
• Bhikkhus, do you see: ‘It is arisen with that as its nourishing condition’?
tadāhārasambhavan ti bhikkhave passathā ti?
• Yes, bhante
• Bhikkhus, do you see: ‘With the ending of that nourishing condition, what is brought about is destined to cease’?
tadāhāranirodhā yaṁ bhūtaṁ taṁ nirodhadhamman ti bhikkhave passathā ti?
• Yes, bhante (MN i 260)
Illustration: āhāro, nourishment
Suppose there was a great tree and all its roots going downwards and across would send the sap upwards. With that as nourishment, with that as sustenance, that great tree would stand for a very long time
Seyyathā pi bhikkhave mahārukkho tassa yāni ceva mūlāni adhogamāni yāni ca tiriyaṅgamāni sabbāni tāni uddhaṁ ojaṁ abhiharanti. Evaṁ hi so bhikkhave mahārukkho tadāhāro tadupādāno ciraṁ dīghamaddhānaṁ tiṭṭheyya. (SN ii 86)
Illustration: āhāro, food
Without food, he shrivelled up.
Illustration: āhāro, diet
There my name was so-and-so, my clan was so-and-so, my caste was so-and-so, my diet was such-and-such.
evaṁnāmo evaṁgotto evaṁvaṇṇo evamāhāro. (AN i 167)
Illustration: āhāro, firing
Suppose a great bonfire was burning, consuming ten, twenty, thirty, or forty loads of wood, and a man would cast dry grass, dry cowdung, and dry wood into it from time to time.
tatra puriso kālena kālaṁ sukkhāni ceva tiṇāni pakkhipeyya sukkhāni ca gomayāni pakkhipeyya sukkhāni ca kaṭṭhāni pakkhipeyya
Thus, with that as firing, with that as fuel, that great bonfire would burn for a very long time.
evaṁ hi so bhikkhave mahā aggikkhandho tadāhāro tadupādāno ciraṁ dīghamaddhānaṁ jaleyya. (SN ii 84-90)
Illustration: āhāro, fuel
Just as an oil lamp burns because of oil and a wick, and with the exhaustion of the oil and wick it is extinguished through lack of fuel,
Seyyathā pi assaji telañca paṭicca vaṭṭiñca paṭicca telappadīpo jhāyeyya. Tasseva telassa ca vaṭṭiyā ca pariyādānā anāhāro nibbāyeyya. (SN iii 126)
A fire blazes because of its firing of grass and sticks. When this is exhausted, and no more is brought to it, then being without fuel, it is simply reckoned as extinguished.
Yaṁ hi so gotama aggi tiṇakaṭṭhūpādānaṁ paṭicca ajali tassa ca pariyādānā aññassa ca anupahārā anāhāro nibbuto'teva saṅkhaṁ gacchatī ti
Illustration: āhāro, existential nourishment
The existential nourishment of a stream of consciousness is a necessary condition for future renewed states of individual existence and rebirth.
viññāṇāhāro āyatiṁ punabbhavābhinibbattiyā paccayo. (SN ii 13)
Illustration: āhāro, nourishing condition
There are things that support the enlightenment factor of detached awareness. Much proper contemplation in that regard is a condition that nourishes both the arising of the unarisen enlightenment factor of detached awareness, and the perfection through spiritual cultivation of the arisen enlightenment factor of detached awareness.
Atthi bhikkhave upekkhāsambojjhaṅgaṭṭhānīyā dhammā. Tattha yoniso manasikārabahulīkāro ayamāhāro anuppannassa vā upekkhāsambojjhaṅgassa uppādāya uppannassa vā upekkhāsambojjhaṅgassa bhāvanāya pāripūriyā. (SN v 105)
What is the condition that nourishes uninsightfulness into reality? The five hindrances, one should reply.
ko cāhāro avijjāya? Pañca nīvaraṇā tissa vacanīyaṁ. (AN v 116)
And what is the condition that nourishes both the arising of unarisen sensuous hankering, and the increase and expansion of arisen sensuous hankering?
Ko ca bhikkhave āhāro anuppannassa vā kāmacchandassa uppādāya uppannassa vā kāmacchandassa bhiyyobhāvāya vepullāya
There is the quality of loveliness. Much improper contemplation in that regard is a condition that nourishes both the arising of unarisen sensuous hankering, and the increase and expansion of arisen sensuous hankering.
Atthi bhikkhave subhanimittaṁ. Tattha ayoniso manasikārabahulīkāro ayamāhāro anuppannassa vā kāmacchandassa uppādāya uppannassa vā kāmacchandassa bhiyyobhāvāya vepullāya. (SN v 102-3)
Virtuous friendship is a condition that nourishes virtuous practices.
kalyāṇamittatā sīlānaṁ āhāro. (AN v 136)
Illustration: āhāraṁ, food
The ascetic disciples of the Sakyans’ Son eat righteous food
dhammikaṁ samaṇā sakyaputtiyā āhāraṁ āhārenti
The ascetic disciples of the Sakyans’ Son eat blameless food
anavajjaṁ samaṇā sakyaputtiyā āhāraṁ āhārenti. (SN iii 240)
Wouldn’t they eat that food only for the sake of crossing the desert?
Nanu te bhikkhave yāvadeva kantārassa nittharaṇatthāya āhāraṁ āhareyyunti?. (SN ii 99)
Illustration: āhāraṁ, nourishing condition
Craving for states of individual existence has a specific and necessary condition.
idappaccayā bhavataṇhā ti.
It has a nourishing condition, I declare, not no nourishing condition.
Bhavataṇhampahaṁ bhikkhave sāhāraṁ vadāmi no anāhāraṁ
What is its nourishing condition?
ko cāhāro bhavataṇhāya
Uninsightfulness into reality, one should reply.
avijjā tissa vacanīyaṁ. (AN v 117)
Faith [in the perfection of the Perfect One’s enlightenment] has a nourishing condition, I declare, not no nourishing condition.
Saddhampahaṁ bhikkhave sāhāraṁ vadāmi no anāhāraṁ.
And what is the condition that nourishes faith [in the perfection of the Perfect One’s enlightenment]?
Ko cāhāro saddhāya
Listening to the true teaching, one should reply.
Illustration: āhāre, digestion
If a bhikkhu’s mind is imbued with the perception of the loathsome nature of digestion, his mind draws back, bends back, turns away from craving for flavours and is not attracted to them, and either indifference or loathing is established in him.
Āhāre paṭikkūlasaññā paricitena bhikkhave bhikkhuno cetasā bahulaṁ viharato rasataṇhāya cittaṁ patilīyati patikuṭati pativaṭṭati na sampasārīyati upekkhā vā paṭikkūlyatā vā saṇṭhāti. (AN iv 47)
Illustration: āhārā, existential nourishment
There are these four kinds of existential nourishment for the maintenance of beings that have been brought into existence and for the assistance of those about to arise [into new existence]. Which four?
Cattāro me āvuso āhārā bhūtānaṁ vā sattānaṁ ṭhitiyā sambhavesīnaṁ vā anuggahāya. Katame cattāro.
• physical food, gross or subtle
kabaliṅkāro āhāro oḷāriko vā sukhumo vā
• secondly, sensation
• thirdly, mental intentional effort
• fourthly, the stream of consciousness
With the origination of craving comes the origination of existential nourishment.
With the ending of craving comes the ending of existential nourishment.
The practice leading to the ending of existential nourishment is the noble eightfold path
ayameva ariyo aṭṭhaṅgiko maggo āhāra nirodhagāminī paṭipadā. (MN i 48)