- Buddhist Dictionary
- Manual of Buddhist Terms
by NYANATILOKA MAHATHERA
abandonment, contemplation of: patinissaggánupassaná,
is one of the 18 chief kinds of insight; s. vipassaná, further ánápánasati
abbhokásik'anga: 'living in the
open air', is one of the ascetic means to purification (dhutanga, q.v.).
aberration (in morality and
understanding): s. vipatti.
abhabbágamana: 'incapable of
progressing'. "Those beings who are obstructed by their evil actions (kamma,
s. karma), by their defilements (kilesa, q.v.), by the result of their evil actions
(s. vipáka), or who are devoid of faith, energy and knowledge, and unable to enter
the right path and reach perfection in wholesome things, all those are said to be
incapable of progressing" (Pug. 13). According to Commentary the 'evil actions'
denote the 5 heinous deeds with immediate result (ánantarika-kamma, q.v.), whilst
the 'defilements' refer to the 'evil views with fixed destiny' (niyata-micchá-ditthi;
ábhassara: The 'Radiant Ones', are
a class of heavenly beings of the fine-material world (rúpa-loka); cf. deva.
abhibháyatana: the 8 'stages of
mastery', are powers to be obtained by means of the kasina-exercises (s. kasina).
In the Com. to M. 77, where áyatana is explained by 'means' (kárana) it is
said: "The abhibháyatana through their counteracting may master (suppress)
the adverse states, and by means of higher knowledge they may master the objects of
mind." They are means for transcending the sensuous sphere.
The stereotype text often met with in the
Suttas (e.g. D. 11, 33; M. 77; A. VIII, 65; X, 29) is as follows:
(1) "Perceiving (blue..., red...,
yellow..., white) forms on one's own body, one sees forms externally small ones, beautiful
or ugly; and in mastering these one understands: 'I know, I understand.' This is the first
stage of mastery.
(2) "Perceiving forms on one's own
body, one sees forms externally, large ones .... This is the second stage of mastery.
(3) "Not perceiving forms on one's
own body, one sees forms externally, small ones .... This is the third stage of mastery.
(4) "Not perceiving forms on one's
own body, one sees forms externally, large ones .... This is the fourth stage of mastery.
(5) "Not perceiving forms on one's
own body, one sees forms externally, blue forms, forms of blue color, blue appearance,
blue lustre, and mastering these one understands: 'I know, I understand. This is the fifth
stage of mastery."
(6-8) The same is repeated with yellow,
red and white forms.
As preparatory kasina-object for the 1st
and 2nd exercise one should choose on one's own body a small or a large spot, beautiful or
ugly, and thereon one should concentrate one's full undivided attention, so that this
object after a while reappears as mental reflex or image (nimitta, q.v.) and, as it
were, as something external. Such an exercise, though appearing quite mechanical, if
properly carried out will bring about a high degree of mental concentration and entrance
into the 4 absorptions (jhána, q.v.). In the 3rd and 4th exercises the monk by an
external kasina-object gains the mental reflexes and absorptions. As objects of the
remaining exercises, perfectly clear and radiant colors should be chosen, flowers, cloth,
A kasina-object of small size is said to
be suitable for a mentally unsteady nature, one of a large size for a dull nature, a
beautiful object for an angry nature, an ugly one for a lustful nature.
In Vis.M. V it is said: "By means of
the earth-kasina one succeeds in reaching the stage of mastery with regard to small and
large objects .... By means of the blue-kasina one succeeds in causing blue forms to
appear, in producing darkness, in reaching the stage of mastery with regard to beautiful
and ugly colours, in reaching 'deliverance through the beautiful', etc." (cf. vimokkha
II, 3). The same is also said with regard to the other colour kasinas.
abhijjhá: 'covetousness' is a
synonym of lobha (s. múla) and tanhá (q.v.) and is the 8th link of
the unwholesome courses of action (s. kamma-patha, I).
abhinibbatti: a Sutta term for
rebirth; s. punabbhava.
abhiññá: The 6 'higher powers',
or supernormal knowledge's, consist of 5 mundane (lokiya, q.v.) powers attainable
through the utmost perfection in mental concentration (samádhi, q.v.) and one
supermundane (lokuttara, q.v.) power attainable through penetrating insight (vipassaná,
q.v.), i.e. extinction of all cankers (ásavakkhaya; s. ásava), in other
words, realization of Arahatship or Holiness. They are: (1) magical powers (iddhi-vidha),
(2) divine ear (dibba-sota), (3) penetration of the minds of others (ceto-pariya-ñána),
(4) remembrance of former existences (pubbe-nivásánussati), (5) divine eye (dibba-cakkhu),
(6) extinction of all cankers (ásavakkhaya). The stereotype text met with in all
the 4 Sutta-collections (e.g. D. 34; M. 4, 6, 77; A. III, 99; V, 23; S. XV, 9 and Pug.
271, 239) is as follows:
(1) "Now, O Bhikkhus, the monk enjoys
the various magical powers (iddhi-vidha), such as being one he becomes manifold,
and having become manifold he again becomes one. He appears and disappears. Without being
obstructed he passes through walls and mountains, just as if through the air. In the earth
he dives and rises up again, just as if in the water. He walks on water without sinking,
just as if on the earth. Cross-legged he floats through the air, just like a winged bird.
With his hand he touches the sun and moon, these so mighty ones, so powerful ones. Even up
to the Brahma-world he has mastery over his body.
(2) "With the divine ear (dibba-sota)
he hears sounds both heavenly and human, far and near.
(3) "He knows the minds of other
beings (parassa ceto-pariya-ñána), of other persons, by penetrating them with his
own mind. He knows the greedy mind as greedy and the not-greedy one as not greedy; knows
the hating mind as hating and the not-hating one as not hating; knows the deluded mind as
deluded and the not-deluded one as not deluded; knows the shrunken mind and the distracted
one, the developed mind and the undeveloped one, the surpassable mind and the
unsurpassable one, the concentrated mind and the unconcentrated one, the freed mind and
the unfreed one.
(4) "He remembers manifold former
existences (pubbe-nivásánussati), such as one birth, two, three, four and five
births .... hundred thousand births; remembers many formations and dissolutions of worlds:
'There I was, such name I had .... and vanishing from there I entered into existence
somewhere else .... and vanishing from there I again reappeared here.' Thus he remembers,
always together with the marks and peculiarities, many a former existence .
(5) ''With the divine eye (dibba-cakkhu
= yathá-kammúpaga-ñána or cutúpapáta-ñána), the pure one, he sees
beings vanishing and reappearing, low and noble ones, beautiful and ugly ones, sees how
beings are reappearing according to their deeds (s. karma): 'These beings, indeed,
followed evil ways in bodily actions, words and thoughts, insulted the noble ones, held
evil views, and according to their evil views they acted. At the dissolution of their
body, after death, they have appeared in lower worlds, in painful states of existence, in
the world of suffering, in hell. Those other beings, however, are endowed with good action
.... have appeared in happy state of existence, in a heavenly world.
(6) "Through the extinction of all
cankers (ásavakkhaya) even in this very life he enters into the possession of
deliverance of mind, deliverance through wisdom, after having himself understood and
4-6 appear frequently under the name of
the 'threefold (higher) knowledge' (te-vijjá, q.v.). They are, however, not a
necessary condition for the attainment of sainthood (arahatta), i.e. of the sixth abhiññá.
Vis.M. XI-XIII gives a detailed
explanation of the 5 mundane higher powers, together with the method of attaining them.
In connection with the 4 kinds of progress
(s. patipadá), abhiññá means the 'comprehension' achieved on attainment
of the paths and fruitions.
consisting in good behaviour', relates to the external duties of a monk such as towards
his superior, etc. "abhisamácárika-síla is a name for those moral rules
other than the 8 ending with right livelihood (i.e. 4-fold right speech, 3-fold right
action and right livelihood, as in the Eightfold Path) (Vis.M. I; s. sacca IV,
3-5). "Impossible is it, o monks, that without having fulfilled the law of good
behaviour, a monk could fulfil the law of genuine pure conduct" (A.V, 21). Cf. ádibrahmacariyakasíla.
abhisamaya: 'truth-realization', is
the full and direct grasp of the Four Noble Truths by the Stream-winner (Sotápanna;
s. ariya-puggala). In the Com. the term is represented by 'penetration' (pativedha,
q.v.). Frequently occurring as dhammábhisamaya, 'realization of the doctrine' Cf.
S. XIII (Abhisamaya Samyutta) and Pts.M. (Abhisamaya Kathá).
abhisankhára: identical with the
2nd link of the paticca-samuppáda (q.v.), sankhára (q.v.; under I, 1) or
ability to acquire insight: cf. ugghatitaññú,
abodes: vihára (q.v.). The
4 Divine a.: brahma-vihára (q.v.) The 9 a. of beings: sattávása
absence: natthi-paccaya, is one of
the 24 conditions (paccaya, (q.v.).
absorption: s. jhána.
abstentions, the 3: virati
access, Moment of: s. javana.
access-concentration: s. samádhi.
accumulation (of Karma): áyúhana
ácinnaka-kamma: habitual karma; s.
acinteyya: lit. 'That which cannot
or should not be thought, the unthinkable, incomprehensible, impenetrable, that which
transcends the limits of thinking and over which therefore one should not ponder. These 4
unthinkables are: the sphere of a Buddha (buddha-visaya), of the meditative
absorptions (jhána-visaya), of karma-result (kamma-vipáka), and brooding
over the world (loka-cintá), especially over an absolute first beginning of it (s.
A. IV, 77).
"Therefore, o monks, do not brood
over the world as to whether it is eternal or temporal, limited or endless .... Such
brooding, O monks, is senseless, has nothing to do with genuine pure conduct (s. ádibrahmacariyaka-síla),
does not lead to aversion, detachment, extinction, nor to peace, to full comprehension,
enlightenment and Nibbána, etc." (S.LVI, 41).
acquired image (during
concentration): s. nimitta, samádhi, kasina.
action: karma (q.v.) - Right bodily
a.: sammá-kammanta; s. sacca (IV.4)
adaptability (of body, mental
factors and consciousness): kammaññatá (q.v.); cf. khandha (corporeality)
and Tab. II.
adherence: parámása (q.v.)
adherent: upásaka (q.v.)
adhicitta-sikkhá 'training in
higher mentality'; s. sikkhá.
decision, resolve: is one of the mental concomitants (cetasika) and belongs to the
group of mental formations (sankhára-kkhandha). In M. 111, it is mentioned
together with other mental concomitants. See Tab. II, III.
into things based on higher wisdom', is one of the 18 chief kinds of insight (s. vipassaná).
is one of the 24 conditions (paccaya, q.v.); if developed, it is considered as the
fourfold road to power (iddhi-páda. q.v.).
adhisíla-sikkhá: 'training in
higher morality': s. sikkhá.
adhitthána, as a doctrinal term,
occurs chiefly in two meanings:
1. 'Foundation': four 'foundations' of an
Arahat's mentality, mentioned and explained in M. 140: the foundation of wisdom (paññá),
of truthfulness (sacca) of liberality (cága) and of peace (upasama).
See also D. 33 and Com.
2. 'Determination', resolution, in: adhitthána-iddhi,
'magical power of determination' (s. iddhi); adhitthána-páramí,
'perfection of resolution' (s. páramí).
of genuine pure conduct', consists in right speech, right bodily action and right
livelihood, forming the 3rd, 4th and 5th links of the Eightfold Path (s. sacca,
IV.3, 4, 5); cf. Vis.M. I. In A. II, 86 it is said:
"With regard to those moral states
connected with and corresponding to the genuine pure conduct, he is morally strong,
morally firm and trains himself in the moral rules taken upon himself. After overcoming
the 3 fetters (ego-belief. skeptic doubt and attachment to mere rules and ritual; s. samyojana)
he becomes one who will be 'reborn seven times at the utmost' (s. Sotápanna) and
after only seven times more wandering through this round of rebirths amongst men and
heavenly beings, he will put an end to suffering."
consisting in contemplation of misery', is one of the 8 kinds of insight (vipassaná)
that form the 'purification of the knowledge and vision of the path-progress (s. visuddhi,
VI. 4). It is further one of the 18 chief kinds of insight (s. vipassaná).
adosa: 'hatelessness, is one of the
3 wholesome roots (múla, q.v.).
adukkha-m-asukhá vedaná: 'feeling
which is neither painful nor joyful', i.e. indifferent feeling; s. khandha, vedaná.
advertence (of mind to the object):
ávajjana, is one of the functions of consciousness (viññána-kicca,
q.v.). Cf. manasikára.
aeon: kappa (q.v.).
agati: the 4 'wrong paths' are: the
path of greed (chanda), of hate, of delusion, of cowardice (bhaya).
"One who is freed from evil impulses is no longer liable to take the wrong path of
greed, etc.'' (A. IV, 17; IX, 7).
age, Old: jará (q.v.).
aggregates: khandha (q.v.).
agility: lahutá (q.v.).
áhára: 'nutriment', 'food', is
used in the concrete sense as material food and as such it belongs to derived corporeality
(s. khandha, Summary I.) In the figurative sense, as 'foundation' or condition, it
is one of the 24 conditions (paccaya, q.v.) and is used to denote 4 kinds of
nutriment, which are material and mental: 1. material food (kabalinkáráhára), 2.
(sensorial and mental) impression (phassa), 3. mental volition (mano-sañcetaná),
4. consciousness (viññána).
1. Material food feeds the eightfold
corporeality having nutrient essence as its 8th factor (i.e. the solid, liquid, heat,
motion, color, odour, the tastable and nutrient essence; s. rúpa-kalápa). 2.
Sensorial and mental impression is a condition for the 3 kinds of feeling (agreeable,
disagreeable and indifferent); s. paticcasamuppáda (6). 3. Mental volition (=
karma, q.v.) feeds rebirth; s. paticca-samuppáda (2). 4. Consciousness feeds mind
and corporeality ;náma-rúpa; ib., 2) at the moment of conception" (Vis.M.
Literature (on the 4
Nutriments): M. 9 & Com. (tr. in 'R. Und.'), M 38; S. XII, 11, 63, 64 - The Four
Nutriments of Life, Selected texts & Com. (WHEEL 105/106).
- rúpa: 'Food-produced corporeality'; s. samutthána.
áháre patikkúla-saññá: 'reflection
on the loathsomeness of food', fully described in Vis.M. XI, l.
ahetuka-citta: s. hetu.
ahetuka-ditthi: 'view of
uncausedness' (of existence); s. ditthi.
ahetu-patisandhika: s. patisandhi.
ahimsá: s. avihimsá.
ahirika-anottappa: 'lack of moral
shame and dread', are two of the 4 unwholesome factors associated with all karmically
unwholesome states of consciousness, the two others being restlessness (uddhacca)
and delusion (moha). Cf. Tab. II.
"There are two sinister things,
namely, lack of moral shame and dread, etc." (A. II, 6). "Not to be ashamed of
what one should be ashamed of; not to be ashamed of evil, unwholesome things: this is
called lack of moral shame" (Pug. 59). "Not to dread what one should dread ...
this is called lack of moral dread (Pug. 60).
ahosi-kamma: 'ineffective karma';
ájíva: 'livelihood'. About right
and wrong livelihood., s. sacca (IV. 5) and micchá-magga (5).
'morality consisting in purification of livelihood', is one of the 4 kinds of perfect
morality; s. síla.
akanittha: the 'Great Ones', i.e.
'Highest Gods', are the inhabitants of the 5th and highest heaven of the Pure Abodes (suddhávása,
q.v.); cf. avacara, deva (II) Anágámí.
ákása: 'space', is, according to
Com., of two kinds: 1. limited space (paricchinnákása or paricchedákása),
2. endless space (anantákása), i.e. cosmic space.
1. Limited space, under the name of ákása-dhátu
(space element), belongs to derived corporeality (s. khandha, Summary I; Dhs 638)
and to a sixfold classification of elements (s. dhátu; M 112, 115, 140). It is
also an object of kasina (q.v.) meditation. It is defined as follows: "The space
element has the characteristic of delimiting matter. Its function is to indicate the
boundaries of matter. It is manifested as the confines of matter; or its manifestation
consists in being untouched (by the 4 great elements), and in holes and apertures. Its
proximate cause is the matter delimited. It is on account of the space element that one
can say of material things delimited that 'this is above. below, around that' "
(Vis.M. XIV, 63).
2. Endless space is called in Atthasálini
ajatákása, 'unentangled', i.e. unobstructed or empty space. It is the object of
the first immaterial absorption (s. jhána), the sphere of boundless space (ákásánañcáyatana).
According to Abhidhamma philosophy, endless space has no objective reality (being purely
conceptual), which is indicated by the fact that it is not included in the triad of the
wholesome (kusalatika), which comprises the entire reality. Later Buddhist schools
have regarded it as one of several unconditioned or uncreated states (asankhata dharma)
- a view that is rejected in Kath. (s. Guide. p. 70). Theraváda Buddhism recognizes only
Nibbána as an unconditioned element (asankhata-dhátu: s. Dhs. 1084).
ákása dhátu: 'space element';
see above and dhátu.
exercise'; s. kasina.
ákásánañcáyatana: 'sphere of
boundless space', is identical with the 1st absorption in the immaterial sphere; s. jhána
ákiñcañña-ceto-vimutti: s. ceto-vimutti.
ákiñcaññáyatana: s. jhána
akiriya-ditthi: view of the
inefficacy of action'; s. ditthi.
akuppá-ceto-vimutti: cf. ceto-vimutti.
akuppa-dhamma: 'unshakable', is one
who has attained full mastery over the absorptions (jhána, q.v.). In Pug. 4 it is
'What person is unshakable? If a person
gains the meditative attainments of the fine-material and immaterial sphere (rúpávacara-arúpávacara);
and he gains them at his wish, without toil and exertion; and according to his wish, as
regards place, object and duration, enters them or arises from them, then it is impossible
that in such a person the attainments may become shaken through negligence. This person is
akusala: 'unwholesome', are all
those karmic volitions (kamma-cetaná; s. cetaná) and the consciousness and
mental concomitants associated therewith, which are accompanied either by greed (lobha)
or hate (dosa) or merely delusion (moha); and all these phenomena are causes
of unfavourable karma-results and contain the seeds of unhappy destiny or rebirth. Cf.
karma, paticca-samuppáda (1), Tab. II.
unwholesome mental factors associated with all unwholesome actions' (volitions), are four:
(1) lack of moral shame (ahirika), (2) lack of moral dread (anottappa), (3)
restlessness (uddhacca), (4) delusion (moha). For (1) and (2) s. ahirika-anottappa,
for (3) s. nívarana, for (4) múla. (App.).
The corresponding term in the field of
wholesome consciousness is sobhana- sádhárana-cetasika (s. sobhana).
thoughts' as defined under akusala (q.v.). In M. 20, five methods of overcoming
them are given: by changing the object, thinking of the evil results, paying no attention,
Tr. in The Removal of
Distracting Thoughts (WHEEL 21).
alcohol prohibition: s. surámeraya-majja-ppamádattháná
alms, vow of going for; or to do so
without omitting any house: s. dhutanga, 3, 4.
alms-bowl eater, the practice of
the: s. dhutanga.
alms-giving: dána (q.v.).
alms-goer, the practice of the; s. dhutanga.
alobha: 'greedlessness', is one of
the 3 karmically wholesome roots (múla, q.v.).
áloka-saññá: 'perception of
light'. The recurring canonical passage reads: "Here the monk contemplates the
perception of light. He fixes his-mind to the perception of the day; as at day-time so at
night, and as at night, so in the day. In this way, with a mind clear and unclouded, he
develops a stage of mind that is full of brightness." It is one of the methods of
overcoming drowsiness, recommended by the Buddha to Mahá-Moggallána (A. VII, 58).
According to D. 33, it is conducive to the development of 'knowledge and vision' (s. visuddhi),
and it is said to be helpful to the attainment of the 'divine eye' (s. abhiññá).
altruistic joy: muditá, is
one of the 4 sublime abodes (brahmavihára, q.v.).
amata (Sanskrit amrta; Ö mr
to die; = Gr. ambrosia): 'Deathlessness' according to popular belief also the gods'
drink conferring immortality, is a name for Nibbána (s. Nibbána), the final
liberation from the wheel of rebirths, and therefore also from the ever-repeated deaths .
amoha: 'non-delusion', wisdom, is
one of the 3 karmically wholesome roots (múla, q.v.).
anabhijjhá: 'freedom from
covetousness', unselfishness; s. kammapatha (II. 8).
anabhirati-saññá: s. sabba-loke
Anágámí: the 'Non-Returner',
is a noble disciple (ariya-puggala, q.v.) on the 3rd stage of holiness. There are 5
classes of Non-Returners, as it is said (e.g. Pug. 42-46):
"A being, through the disappearing of
the 5 lower fetters (samyojana, q.v.), reappears in a higher world (amongst the
devas of the Pure Abodes, suddhávása, q.v.), and without returning from that
world (into the sensuous sphere) he there reaches Nibbána.
(1) "He may, immediately after
appearing there (in the Pure Abodes) or without having gone beyond half of the life-time,
attain the holy path for the overcoming of the higher fetters. Such a being is called 'one
who reaches Nibbána within the first half of the life' (antará-parinibbáyí).
(2) "Or, whilst living beyond half of
the lifetime, or at the moment of death, he attains the holy path for the overcoming of
the higher fetters. Such a being is called 'one who reaches Nibbána after crossing half
the life-time' (upahacca-parinibbáyí).
(3) "Or, with exertion he attains the
holy path for the overcoming of the higher fetters. Such a being is called 'one who
reaches Nibbána with exertion' (sasankhára-parinibbáyí).
(4) "Or, without exertion he attains
the holy path for the overcoming of the higher fetters. Such a being is called 'one who
reaches Nibbána without exertion' (asankhára-parinibbáyí).
(5) "Or, after vanishing from the
heaven of the Aviha-gods (s. suddhávása), he appears in the heaven of the
unworried (atappa) gods. After vanishing from there he appears in the heaven of the
clearly-visible (sudassa) gods, from there in the heaven of the clear-visioned (sudassí)
gods, from there in the heaven of the highest (akanittha) gods. There he attains
the holy path for the overcoming of the higher fetters. Such a being is called 'one who
passes up-stream to the highest gods' (uddhamsota-akanittha-gámí)."
analysis of the 4 elements: dhátu-vavatthána
analytical doctrine: vibhajja-váda
analytical knowledge, the 4 kinds
of: patisambhidá (q.v.).
one of the 3 supermundane senses or faculties; s. indriya (20).
anantara-paccaya: 'proximity', is
one of the 24 conditions (paccaya, q.v.).
ánantarika-kamma: the 5 heinous
'actions with immediate destiny' are: parricide, matricide, killing an Arahat (Saint),
wounding a Buddha, creating schism in the monks' Order. In A.V., 129 it is said:
"There are 5 irascible and incurable
men destined to the lower world and to hell, namely: the parricide," etc. About the
5th see A. X., 35, 38. With regard to the first crime, it is said in D. 2 that if King
Ajátasattu had not deprived his father of life, he would have reached entrance into the
path of Stream-entry (App.).
ánantariya: the 'Immediacy', is a
name for that concentration of mind which is associated with such insight (vipassaná,
q.v.) as is present in any one of the 4 kinds of supermundane path consciousness (s. ariya-puggala),
and which therefore is the cause of the immediately following consciousness as its result
or 'fruition' (phala, q.v.). According to the Abhidhamma, the path (of the Sotápanna,
etc.) is generated by the insight into the impermanence, misery and impersonality of
existence, flashing up at that very moment and transforming and ennobling one's nature
It is mentioned under the name of ánantarika-samádhi
in the Ratana Sutta (Sn. v. 22) and in Pts.M. 1, Ñánakathá.
ánápána-sati: 'mindfulness on
in-and-out-breathing', is one of the most important exercises for reaching mental
concentration and the 4 absorptions (jhána, q.v.).
In the Satipatthána Sutta (M. 10, D. 22)
and elsewhere, 4 methods of practice are given, which may also serve as basis for insight
meditation. The 'Discourse on Mindfulness of Breathing' (Ánápánasati Sutta, M. 118) and
other texts have 16 methods of practice, which divide into 4 groups of four. The first
three apply to both tranquillity (samatha, q.v.) and insight-meditation, while the
fourth refers to pure insight practice only. The second and the third group require the
attainment of the absorptions.
"With attentive mind he breathes in,
with attentive mind he breathes out.
I. (1) "When making a long inhalation
he knows: 'I make a long inhalation'; when making a long exhalation he knows: 'I make a
(2) "When making a short inhalation
he knows: 'I make a short inhalation'; when making a short exhalation he knows: 'I make a
(3) " 'Clearly perceiving the entire
(breath-) body I will breathe in,' thus he trains himself; 'clearly perceiving the entire
(breath-) body I will breathe out,' thus he trains himself.
(4) " 'Calming this bodily function I
will breathe in,' thus he trains himself; 'calming this bodily function I will breathe
out,' thus he trains himself.
II. (5) " 'Feeling rapture (píti)
I will breathe in,' thus he trains himself; 'feeling rapture I will breathe out,' thus he
(6) " 'Feeling joy I will breathe
in,' thus he trains himself; 'feeling joy I will breathe out,' thus he trains himself.
(7) " 'Feeling the mental formation (citta-sankhára)
I will breathe in,' thus he trains himself, 'feeling the mental formation I will breathe
out,' thus he trains himself.
(8) " 'Calming the mental formation I
will breathe in,' thus he trains himself; 'calming the mental formation I will breathe
out,' thus he trains himself.
III. (9) " 'Clearly perceiving the
mind (citta) I will breathe in,' thus he trains himself; 'clearly perceiving the
mind I will breathe out,' thus he trains himself.
(10) " 'Gladdening the mind I will
breathe in,' thus he trains himself; 'gladdening the mind I will breathe out,' thus he
(11) " 'Concentrating the mind I will
breathe in, thus he trains himself; 'concentrating the mind I will breathe out', thus he
(12) " 'Freeing the mind I will
breathe in,' thus he trains himself; 'freeing the mind I will breathe out,' thus he trains
IV. (13) " 'Reflecting on
impermanence (anicca) I will breathe in,' thus he trains himself; 'reflecting on
impermanence I will breathe out,' thus he trains himself.
(14) " 'Reflecting on detachment
(virága) I will breathe in,' thus he trains himself; 'reflecting on detachment I will
breathe out,' thus he trains himself.
(15) " 'Reflecting on extinction (nirodha)
I will breathe in,' thus he trains himself; 'reflecting on extinction I will breathe out,'
thus he trains himself.
(16) " 'Reflecting on abandonment (patinissagga)
I will breathe in, thus he trains himself; 'reflecting on abandonment I will breathe out,'
thus he trains himself."
In M 118 it is further shown how these 16
exercises bring about the 4 foundations of mindfulness (satipatthána, q.v.),
namely: 1-4 contemplation of the body, 5-8 contemplation of feeling, 9-12 contemplation of
mind (consciousness), 13-16 contemplation of mind-objects. Then it is shown how these 4
foundations of mindfulness bring about the 7 factors of enlightenment (bojjhanga,
q.v.); then these again deliverance of mind (ceto-vimutti, q.v.) and deliverance
through wisdom (paññá-vimutti, q.v.).
Samyutta (S. LIV). - Pts.M. Ánápánakathá - Full explanation of practice in
Vis.M. VIII, 145ff. - For a comprehensive anthology of canonical and commentarial texts,
see Mindfulness of Breathing, Ñánamoli Thera (Kandy: BPS, 1964).
non-ego, egolessness, impersonality, is the last of the three characteristics of existence
(ti-lakkhana, q.v.) The anattá doctrine teaches that neither within the
bodily and mental phenomena of existence, nor outside of them, can be found anything that
in the ultimate sense could be regarded as a self-existing real ego-entity, soul or any
other abiding substance. This is the central doctrine of Buddhism, without understanding
which a real knowledge of Buddhism is altogether impossible. It is the only really
specific Buddhist doctrine, with which the entire Structure of the Buddhist teaching
stands or falls. All the remaining Buddhist doctrines may, more or less, be found in other
philosophic systems and religions, but the anattá-doctrine has been clearly and
unreservedly taught only by the Buddha, wherefore the Buddha is known as the anattá-vádi,
or 'Teacher of Impersonality'. Whosoever has not penetrated this impersonality of all
existence, and does not comprehend that in reality there exists only this continually
self-consuming process of arising and passing bodily and mental phenomena, and that there
is no separate ego-entity within or without this process, he will not be able to
understand Buddhism, i.e. the teaching of the 4 Noble Truths (sacca, q.v.), in the
right light. He will think that it is his ego, his personality, that experiences
suffering, his personality that performs good and evil actions and will be reborn
according to these actions, his personality that will enter into Nibbána, his personality
that walks on the Eightfold Path. Thus it is said in Vis.M. XVI:
"Mere suffering exists, no sufferer
The deeds are, but no doer of the deeds is
Nibbána is, but not the man that enters
The path is, but no traveler on it is
"Whosoever is not clear with regard
to the conditionally arisen phenomena, and does not comprehend that all the actions are
conditioned through ignorance, etc., he thinks that it is an ego that understands or does
not understand, that acts or causes to act, that comes to existence at rebirth .... that
has the sense-impression, that feels, desires, becomes attached, continues and at rebirth
again enters a new existence" (Vis.M. XVII, 117).
While in the case of the first two
characteristics it is stated that all formations (sabbe sankhárá) are impermanent
and subject to suffering, the corresponding text for the third characteristic states that
"all things are not-self" (sabbe dhammá anattá; M. 35, Dhp. 279). This
is for emphasizing that the false view of an abiding self or substance is neither
applicable to any 'formation' or conditioned phenomenon, nor to Nibbána, the
Unconditioned Element (asankhatá dhátu).
The Anattá-lakkhana Sutta, the 'Discourse
on the Characteristic of Not-self', was the second discourse after Enlightenment, preached
by the Buddha to his first five disciples, who after hearing it attained to perfect
The contemplation of not-self (anattánupassaná)
leads to the emptiness liberation (suññatá-vimokkha, s. vimokkha). Herein
the faculty of wisdom (paññindriya) is outstanding, and one who attains in that
way the path of Stream-entry is called a Dhamma-devotee (dhammánusári; s. ariya-puggala);
at the next two stages of sainthood he becomes a vision-attainer (ditthippatta);
and at the highest stage, i.e. Holiness, he is called 'liberated by wisdom' (paññá-vimutta).
For further details, see paramattha-sacca,
paticca-samuppáda, khandha, ti-lakkhana, náma-rúpa, patisandhi.
Anattá-lakkhana Sutta, Vinaya I, 13-14; S. XXII, 59; tr. in Three Cardinal Discourses of
the Buddha (WHEEL 17). - Another important text on Anattá is the Discourse on the Snake
Simile (Alagaddúpama Sutta, M. 22; tr. in WHEEL 48/49) . Other texts in "Path".
- Further: Anattá and Nibbána, by Nyanaponika Thera (WHEEL 11); The Truth of Anattá, by
Dr. G. P. Malalasekera (WHEEL 94); The Three Basic Facts of Existence III: Egolessness
of not-self' is one of the 18 chief kinds of insight (s. vipassaná). See also
anattá-saññá: 'perception of
not-self'; see A. VI, 104; A. VII, 48; A.X, 60; Ud. IV, 1.
anattá-váda: the 'doctrine of
impersonality'; s. anattá.
denotes the immaterial sphere (arúpávacara; s. avacara); s. sankhára.
cf. M. 106.
anger: s. múla.
anicca: 'impermanent' (or, as
abstract noun, aniccatá, 'impermanence') is the first of the three characteristics
of existence (tilakkhana, q.v.). It is from the fact of impermanence that, in most
texts, the other two characteristics, suffering (dukkha) and not-self (anattá),
are derived (S. XXII, 15; Ud. IV, I)
"Impermanence of things is the
rising, passing and changing of things, or the disappearance of things that have become or
arisen. The meaning is that these things never persist in the same way, but that they are
vanishing dissolving from moment to moment" (Vis.M. VII, 3).
Impermanence is a basic feature of all
conditioned phenomena, be they material or mental, coarse or subtle, one's own or
external: All formations are impermanent" (sabbe sankhárá aniccá; M 35,
Dhp. 277). That the totality of existence is impermanent is also often stated in terms of
the five aggregates (khandha, q.v.), the twelve personal and external sense bases (áyatana
q.v.), etc. Only Nibbána (q.v.), which is unconditioned and not a formation (asankhata),
is permanent (nicca, dhuva).
The insight leading to the first stage of
deliverance, Stream-entry (sotápatti; s. ariya-puggala), is often expressed
in terms of impermanence: "Whatever is subject to origination, is subject to
cessation" (s. Dhammacakkappavattana Sutta, S. XLVI, 11). In his last exhortation,
before his Parinibbána, the Buddha reminded his monks of the impermanence of existence as
a spur to earnest effort: "Behold now, Bhikkhus, I exhort you: Formations are bound
to vanish. Strive earnestly!" (vayadhammá sankhárá, appamádena sampádetha;
Without the deep insight into the
impermanence and insubstantiality of all phenomena of existence there is no attainment of
deliverance. Hence comprehension of impermanence gained by direct meditative experience
heads two lists of insight knowledge: (a) contemplation of impermanence (aniccánupassaná)
is the first of the 18 chief kinds of insight (q.v.); (b) the contemplation of arising and
vanishing (udayabbayánupassaná-ñána) is the first of 9 kinds of knowledge which
lead to the 'purification by knowledge and vision of the path-progress' (s. visuddhi,
VI). - Contemplation of impermanence leads to the conditionless deliverance (animitta-vimokkha;
s. vimokkha). As herein the faculty of confidence (saddhindriya) is
outstanding, he who attains in that way the path of Stream-entry is called a faith-devotee
(saddhánusárí; s. ariya-puggala) and at the seven higher stages he is
called faith-liberated (saddhá-vimutta), - See also anicca-saññá.
See The Three Basic Facts
of Existence I: Impermanence (WHEEL 186/187)
of impermanence', is one of the 18 chief kinds of insight (s. vipassaná).
anicca-saññá: 'perception of
impermanence', is defined in the Girimananda Sutta (A.X. 60) as meditation on the
impermanence of the five groups of existence.
"Though, with a faithful heart, one
takes refuge in the Buddha, his Teaching and the Community of Monks; or with a faithful
heart observes the rules of morality, or develops a mind full of loving-kindness, far more
meritorious it is if one cultivates the perception of impermanence, be it only for a
moment" (A.X. 20).
See A. VI, 102; A. VII, 48; Ud. IV, 1; S.