- Buddhist Dictionary
- Manual of Buddhist Terms
by NYANATILOKA MAHATHERA
kabalinkáráhára: lit. 'food formed
into balls', i.e. food formed into mouthfuls for eating (according to Indian custom); it
denotes 'material food' and belongs, together with the three mental nutriments, to the
group of four nutriments (s. áhára).
kalápa, 'group', 'unit': 1.
'corporeal unit' (s. rúpa-kalápa); 2. It has the meaning of 'group of existence' (khandha)
in kalápasammasana (s. sammasana), i.e. 'comprehension by groups', which is
the application of 'methodical (or inductive) insight' (naya-vipassaná) to the
comprehension of the 5 aggregates (khandha) as impermanent, painful and not-self.
It is a process of methodical summarization, or generalization, from one's own meditative
experience that is applied to each of the 5 aggregates, viewed as past, present, future,
as internal and external, etc. In Vis.M. XX, where the 'comprehension by groups' is
treated in detail, it is said to constitute 'the beginning of insight' as it leads to the
'knowledge of rise and fall', being the first of the 8 insightknowledges (s. visuddhi
VI). It is necessary for accomplishing the 5th purification (s. visuddhi V; Vis.M.
XX, 2, 6ff.).
kalpa: (Skr) = kappa (q.v.).
kalyána-mitta: 'noble (or good)
friend', is called a senior monk who is the mentor and friend of his pupil, "wishing
for his welfare and concerned with his progress", guiding his meditation; in
particular, the meditation teacher (kammatthánácariya) is so called. For details
see Vis.M. III, 28,57ff. The Buddha said that "noble friendship is the entire holy
life" (S. III, 18; XLV, 2), and he himself is the good friend par excellence:
"Ananda, it is owing to my being a good friend to them that living beings subject to
birth are freed from birth" (S. III, 18).
káma may denote: 1. subjective
sensuality, 'sense-desire'; 2. objective sensuality, the five sense-objects.
1. Subjective sensuality, or sense-desire,
is directed to all five sense-objects, and is synonymous with káma-cchanda,
'sensuous desire', one of the 5 hindrances (nívarana, q.v.); káma-rága,
sensuous lust', one of the ten fetters (samyojana, q.v.); káma-tanhá,
'sensuous craving', one of the 3 cravings (tanhá, q.v.); káma-vitakka, 'sensuous
thought', one of the 3 wrong thoughts (micchá-sankappa; s. vitakka). -
Sense-desire is also one of the cankers (ásava, q.v.) and clingings (upádána,
2. Objective sensuality is, in the
canonical texts, mostly called káma-guna, 'cords (or strands) of sensuality'.
"There are 5 cords of sensuality: the
visible objects, cognizable by eye-consciousness, that are desirable, cherished, pleasant,
lovely, sensuous and alluring; the sounds ... smells ... tastes ... bodily impressions
cognizable by body-consciousness, that are desirable .... " (D. 33; M. 13, 26, 59,
These two kinds of káma are called
1. kilesa-káma, i.e. káma as a mental defilement, 2. vatthu-káma,
i.e. káma as the object-base of sensuality; first in MNid.. I, p. 1, and
frequently in the commentaries.
Sense-desire is finally eliminated at the
stage of the Non-Returner (Anágámi; s. ariya-puggala, samyojana).
The peril and misery of sense-desire
is often described in the texts, e.g. in stirring similes at M. 22, 54, and in the
'gradual instruction' (s. ánupubbí-kathá). See further M. 13, 45, 75; Sn. v.
766ff.; Dhp. 186, 215.
The texts often stress the fact that what
fetters man to the world of the senses are not the sense-organs nor the sense-objects but
lustful desire (chandarága). On this see A. VI, 63; S. XXXV, 122, 191. - (App.).
káma-bhava: 'sensuous existence';
káma-cchanda: 'sensuous desire',
s. nívarana, chanda.
káma-guna: s. káma.
káma-loka: 'sensuous world',
káma-rága: 'sensuous lust',
is one of the 10 fetters (samyojana, q .v .) .
kámásava: s: ásava.
addicted to sensual pleasures', is one of the 2 extremes to be avoided by the monk; s. majjhima-patipadá.
craving'; s. tanhá.
kámávacara: 'sensuous sphere'; s.
'wrong or evil conduct with regard to sensual things'; 'unlawful sexual intercourse'
refers to adultery, and to intercourse with minors or other persons under guardianship.
The abstaining from this unlawful act is one of the 5 moral rules (s. sikkhápada) binding
upon all Buddhists. Through any other sexual act one does not become guilty of the above
transgression, which is considered a great crime. The monk, however, has to observe
In many Suttas (e.g. A.X., 176) we find
the following explanation: "He avoids unlawful sexual intercourse, abstains from it.
He has no intercourse with girls who are still under the protection of father or mother,
brother, sister or relatives, nor with married women, nor female convicts, nor, lastly,
with betrothed girls."
kamma: (wholesome or unwholesome)
action; s. karma.
kamma-bhava: s. bhava,
corporeality'; s. samutthána.
i.e. of corporeality (rúpassa; s. khandha, Summary I), mental factors (káya),
and of consciousness (citta); cf. Tab. II.
kammanta, sammá-: 'right
action'; s. magga.
kamma-paccaya: 'karma as
condition'; s. paccaya (13).
kamma-patha: 'course of action', is
a name for the group of 10 kinds of either unwholesome or wholesome actions, viz.
I. The tenfold unwholesome courses of
3 bodily actions: killing, stealing,
unlawful sexual intercourse;
4 verbal actions: lying, slandering, rude
speech, foolish babble;
3 mental actions: covetousness, ill-will,
Unwholesome mental courses of action
comprise only extreme forms of defiled thought: the greedy wish to appropriate others'
property, the hateful thought of harming others, and pernicious views. Milder forms of
mental defilement are also unwholesome, but do not constitute 'courses of action'.
II. The tenfold wholesome course of action
3 bodily actions: avoidance of
killing, stealing, unlawful sexual intercourse;
4 verbal actions: avoidance of lying,
slandering, rude speech, foolish babble; i.e. true, conciliatory, mild, and wise speech;
3 mental actions: unselfishness,
good-will, right views.
Both lists occur repeatedly, e.g. in A. X,
28, 176; M. 9; they are explained in detail in M. 114, and in Com. to M. 9 (R. Und., p.
14), Atthasálini Tr. I, 126ff.
produced through karma'; s. samutthána.
kammatthána: lit. 'working-ground'
(i.e. for meditation), is the term in the Com. for 'subjects of meditation'; s. bhávaná.
kamma-vatta: 'karma-round'; s.
kammáyúhana: s. áyúhana.
clinging', is one of the 4 kinds of clinging (upádána, q.v.).
kankhá: 'doubt', may be either an
intellectual, critical doubt or an ethically and psychologically detrimental doubt. The
latter may either be a persistent negative skepticism or wavering indecision. Only the
detrimental doubt (identical with vicikicchá, q.v.) is to be rejected as
karmically unwholesome, as it paralyses thinking and hinders the inner development of man.
Reasoned, critical doubt in dubious matters is thereby not discouraged.
The 16 doubts enumerated in the Suttas
(e.g. M. 2) are the following: "Have I been in the past? Or, have I not been in the
past? What have I been in the past? How have I been in the past? From what state into what
state did I change in the past? - Shall I be in the future? Or, shall I not be in the
future? What shall I be in the future? How shall I be in the future? From what state into
what state shall I change in the future? - Am I? Or, am I not? What am I? How am I? Whence
has this being come? Whither will it go?"
by overcoming doubt', is the 4th of the 7 stages of purification (visuddhi, q.v.).
kappa (Sanskrit kalpa):
'world-period', an inconceivably long space of time, an aeon. This again is subdivided
into 4 sections: world-dissolution (samvatta-kappa) dissolving world), continuation
of the chaos (samvatta-ttháyí), world-formation (vivatta-kappa), continuation
of the formed world (vivatta-ttháyí).
"How long a world-dissolution will
continue, how long the chaos, how long the formation, how long the continuation of the
formed world, of these things; o monks, one hardly can say that it will be so many years,
or so many centuries, or so many millennia, or so many hundred thousands of years"
(A. IV, 156)
A detailed description of the 4
world-periods is given in that stirring discourse on the all-embracing impermanence in A.
The beautiful simile in S. XV, 5 may be
mentioned here: "Suppose, o monks, there was a huge rock of one solid mass, one mile
long, one mile wide, one mile high, without split or flaw. And at the end of every hundred
years a man should come and rub against it once with a silken cloth. Then that huge rock
would wear off and disappear quicker than a world-period. But of such world-periods, o
monks, many have passed away, many hundreds, many thousands, many hundred thousands. And
how is this possible? Inconceivable, o monks, is this samsára (q.v.), not to be
discovered is any first beginning of beings, who obstructed by ignorance and ensnared by
craving, are hurrying and hastening through this round of rebirths."
Compare here Grimm's German fairy-tale of
the little shepherdboy: 'In Farther Pommerania there is the diamond-mountain, one hour
high, one hour wide, one hour deep. There every hundred years a little bird comes and
whets its little beak on it. And when the whole mountain is ground off, then the first
second of eternity has passed."
karma (Sanskrit), Páli: kamma:
'action', correctly speaking denotes the wholesome and unwholesome volitions (kusala- and
akusala-cetaná) and their concomitant mental factors, causing rebirth and shaping
the destiny of beings. These karmical volitions (kamma cetaná) become manifest as
wholesome or unwholesome actions by body (káya-kamma), speech (vací-kamma)
and mind (mano-kamma). Thus the Buddhist term 'karma' by no means signifies the
result of actions, and quite certainly not the fate of man, or perhaps even of whole
nations (the so-called wholesale or mass-karma), misconceptions which, through the
influence of theosophy, have become widely spread in the West.
"Volition (cetaná), o monks,
is what I call action (cetanáham bhikkhave kammam vadámi), for through volition
one performs the action by body, speech or mind. . There is karma (action), o monks, that
ripens in hell.... Karma that ripens in the animal world.. Karma that ripens in the world
of men.... Karma that ripens in the heavenly world.... Threefold, however, is the fruit of
karma: ripening during the life-time (dittha-dhamma-vedaníya-kamma), ripening in
the next birth (upapajja-vedaníya-kamma), ripening in later births
(aparápariya-vedaníya kamma) ...." (A.VI, 63).
The 3 conditions or roots (múla, q.v.)
of unwholesome karma (actions) are greed, hatred, delusion (lobha, dosa, moha); those
of wholesome karma are: unselfishness (alobha), hatelessness (adosa = mettá,
good-will), undeludedness (amoha = pańńá, knowledge) .
"Greed, o monks, is a condition for
the arising of karma; hatred is a condition for the arising of karma; delusion is a
condition for the arising of karma ...." (A. III, 109).
"The unwholesome actions are of 3
kinds, conditioned by greed, or hate, or delusion.
"Killing ... stealing ... unlawful
sexual intercourse ... lying ... slandering ... rude speech ... foolish babble, if
practised, carried on, and frequently cultivated, leads to rebirth in hell, or amongst the
animals, or amongst the ghosts" (A. III, 40). "He who kills and is cruel goes
either to hell or, if reborn as man, will be short-lived. He who torments others will be
afflicted with disease. The angry one will look ugly, the envious one will be without
influence, the stingy one will be poor, the stubborn one will be of low descent, the
indolent one will be without knowledge. In the contrary case, man will be reborn in heaven
or reborn as man, he will be long-lived, possessed of beauty, influence, noble descent and
knowledge" (cf. M. 135).
For the above 10-fold wholesome and
unwholesome course of action, see kamma-patha. For the 5 heinous crimes with
immediate result, s. ánantarika-kamma.
"Owners of their karma are the
beings, heirs of their karma, their karma is their womb from which they are born, their
karma is their friend, their refuge. Whatever karma they perform, good or bad, thereof
they will be the heirs" (M. 135).
With regard to the time of the taking
place of the karma-result (vipáka), one distinguishes, as mentioned above, 3 kinds
1. karma ripening during the life-time (dittha-dhamma-vedaníya
2. karma ripening in the next birth (upapajja-vedaníya-kamma);
3. karma ripening in later births
The first two kinds of karma may be
without karma-result (vipáka), if the circumstances required for the taking place
of the karma-result are missing, or if, through the preponderance of counteractive karma
and their being too weak, they are unable to produce any result. In this case they are
called ahosi-kamma, lit. 'karma that has been', in other words, ineffectual karma.
The third type of karma, however, which
bears fruit in later lives, will, whenever and wherever there is an opportunity, be
productive of karma-result. Before its result has ripened, it will never become
ineffective as long as the life-process is kept going by craving and ignorance.
According to the Com., e.g. Vis.M. XIX,
the 1st of the 7 karmical impulsive-moments (kamma javana; s. javana) is
considered as 'karma ripening during the life-time', the 7th moment as 'karma ripening in
the next birth', the remaining 5 moments as 'karma ripening in later births'.
With regard to their functions one
1. regenerative (or productive) karma (janaka-kamma),
2. supportive (or consolidating) karma
3. counteractive (suppressive or
frustrating) karma (upapílaka-kamma),
4. destructive (or supplanting) karma (upaghátaka-
(1) produces the 5 groups of existence
(corporeality, feeling, perception, mental formations, consciousness) at rebirth as well
as during life-continuity.
(2) does not produce karma-results but is
only able to maintain the already produced karma-results.
(3) counteracts or suppresses the
(4) destroys the influence of a weaker
karma and effects only its own result.
With regard to the priority of their
result one distinguishes:
1. weighty karma (garuka-kamma),
2. habitual karma (ácinnaka-
3. death-proximate karma (maranásanna-kamma),
4. stored-up karma (katattá-kamma).
(1, 2) The weighty (garuka) and the
habitual (bahula) wholesome or unwholesome karma are ripening earlier than the
light and rarely performed karma. (3) The death-proximate (maranásanna) karma -
i.e. the wholesome or unwholesome volition present immediately before death, which often
may be the reflex of some previously performed good or evil action (kamma), or of a
sign of it (kamma-nimitta), or of a sign of the future existence (gati-nimitta)
- produces rebirth. (4) In the absence of any of these three actions at the moment before
death, the stored-up (katattá) karma will produce rebirth.
A real, and in the ultimate sense true,
understanding of Buddhist karma doctrine is possible only through a deep insight into the
impersonality (s. anattá) and conditionality (s. paticcasamuppáda, paccaya)
of all phenomena of existence. "Everywhere, in all the forms of existence ... such a
one is beholding merely mental and physical phenomena kept going by their being bound up
through causes and effects.
"No doer does he see behind the
deeds, no recipient apart from the karma-fruit. And with full insight he clearly
understands that the wise ones are using merely conventional terms when, with regard to
the taking place of any action, they speak of a doer, or when they speak of a receiver of
the karma-results at their arising. Therefore the ancient masters have said:
'No doer of the deeds is found,
No one who ever reaps their fruits;
Empty phenomena roll on:
This view alone is right and true.
'And whilst the deeds and their results
Roll on, based on conditions all,
There no beginning can be seen,
Just as it is with seed and tree.' "
Karma (kamma-paccaya) is one of the
24 conditions (paccaya, q.v.) (App.: Kamma).
Literature: Karma and
Rebirth, by Nyanatiloka (WHEEL 9); Survival and Karma in Buddhist Perspective, by K.N.
Jayatilleke (WHEEL 141/143); Kamma and its Fruit (WHEEL 221/224).
i.e. wholesome or unwholesome volitions (cetaná) manifested as actions of body,
speech or mind, form the 2nd link of the formula of dependent origination
karma-process: s. bhava,
karma-produced corporeality: s.
karma-round: kamma vatta (s.
karmically acquired corporeality: upádinnarúpa
karmically wholesome, unwholesome,
neutral: kusala (q.v.), akusala (q.v.) avyákata (q.v.); cf. Tab.
karuná: 'compassion', is one of
the 4 sublime abodes (brahma-vihára, q.v.).
kasina: (perhaps related to
Sanskrit krtsna, 'all, complete, whole'), is the name for a purely external device
to produce and develop concentration of mind and attain the 4 absorptions (jhána q.v.).
It consists in concentrating one's full and undivided attention on one visible object as
preparatory image (parikamma-nimitta), e.g. a colored spot or disc, or a piece of
earth, or a pond at some distance, etc., until at last one perceives, even with the eyes
closed, a mental reflex, the acquired image (uggaha-nimitta). Now, while continuing
to direct one's attention to this image, there may arise the spotless and immovable
counter-image (patibhága-nimitta), and together with it the
neighbourhood-concentration (upacára-samádhi) will have been reached. While still
persevering in the concentration on the object, one finally will reach a state of mind
where all sense-activity is suspended, where there is no more seeing and hearing, no more
perception of bodily impression and feeling, i.e. the state of the 1st mental absorption
The 10 kasinas mentioned in the Suttas
are: earth-kasina, water, fire, wind, blue, yellow, red, white, space, and consciousness.
"There are 10 kasina-spheres: someone sees the earth kasina, above, below, on all
sides, undivided, unbounded .... someone see the water-kasina, above, below, etc."
(M. 77; D. 33) Cf. abhibháyatan, bhávaná; further s. Fund. IV.
For space and consciousness-kasina we find
in Vis.M. V the names limited space-kasina (paricchinnákása-kasina; . . . s. App.
) and light-kasina (áloka-kasina).
For full description see Vis.M. IV-V;
also Atthasálini Tr. I, 248.
katattá-kamma: 'stored-up karma';
káya (lit: accumulation): 'group',
'body', may either refer to the physical body (rúpa-káya) or to the mental body (náma-káya).
In the latter case it is either a collective name for the mental groups (feeling,
perception, mental formations, consciousness; s. khandha), or merely for feeling,
perception and a few of the mental formations (s. náma), e.g. in káya-lahutá,
etc. (cf. Tab. II). Káya has this same meaning in the standard description of the
3rd absorption (jhána, q.v.) "and he feels joy in his mind or his mental
constitution (káya)", and (e.g. Pug. 1-8) of the attainment of the 8
deliverances (vimokkha, q.v.); "having attained the 8 deliverances in his
mind, or his person (káya)." - Káya is also the 5th sense-organ, the
body-organ; s. áyatana, dhátu, indriya.
with regard to the body', refers sometimes (e.g. Vis.M. VIII, 2) only to the contemplation
on the 32 parts of the body, sometimes (e.g. M. 119) to all the various meditations
comprised under the 'contemplation of the body' (káyánupassaná), the 1st of the
4 'foundations of mindfulness' (satipatthána, q.v.), consisting partly in
concentration (samádhi) exercises, partly in insight (vipassaná) exercises.
On the other hand, the cemetery meditations (sívathika, q.v.) mentioned in the
Satipatthána S.(M. 10) are nearly the same as the 10 contemplations of loathsomeness
(asubha-bhávaná, q.v.). of Vis.M. VI, whereas elsewhere the contemplation on the 32
parts of the body is called the 'reflection on impurity' (patikkúla-sańńá).
In such texts as: 'One thing, o monks,
developed and repeatedly practised, leads to the attainment of wisdom. It is the
contemplation on the body' (A.I), the reference is to all exercises mentioned in the 1st
Vis.M. VIII, 2 gives a detailed
description and explanation of the method of developing the contemplation on the 32 parts
of the body. This exercise can produce the 1st absorption only (jhána, q.v.) The
stereotype text given in the Satipatthána Sutta and elsewhere - but leaving out the brain
- runs as follows:
"And further, o monks, the monk
contemplates this body from the soles of the feet upward, and from the tops of the hairs
downward, with skin stretched over it, and filled with manifold impurities: 'This body has
hairs of the head, hairs of the body, nails, teeth, skin, flesh, sinews, bones, marrow,
kidneys, heart, liver, diaphragm, spleen, lungs, intestines, bowels, stomach, excrement,
bile, phlegm, pus, blood, sweat, fat, tears, skin grease, spittle, nasal mucus, oil of the
joints, and urine ...."
Vis.M. VIII, 2 says "By repeating the
words of this exercise one will become well acquainted with the wording, the mind will not
rush here and there, the different parts will become distinct and appear like a row of
fingers, or a row of hedge-poles. Now, just as one repeats the exercise in words, one
should do it also in mind. The repeating in mind forms the condition for the penetration
of the characteristic marks.... He who thus has examined the parts of the body as to
colour, shape, region, locality and limits, and considers them one by one, and not too
hurriedly, as something loathsome, to such a one, while contemplating the body, all these
things at the same time are appearing distinctly clear. But also when keeping one's
attention fixed outwardly (i.e. to the bodies of other beings), and when all the parts
appear distinctly, then all men and animals moving about lose the appearance of living
beings and appear like heaps of many different things. And it looks as if those foods and
drinks, being swallowed by them, were being inserted into this heap of things. Now, while
again and again one is conceiving the idea 'Disgusting! Disgusting!' - omitting in due
course several parts - gradually the attainment - concentration (appaná-samádhi, i.e.
the concentration of the jhána) will be reached. In this connection, the appearing
of forms ... is called the acquired image (uggaha-nimitta), the arising of
loathsomeness, however, the counter-image (patibháganimitta)."
káya-kamma: 'bodily action'; s.
k.-mudutá, k.-páguńńatá, k.-passaddhi, k.-ujukatá;
s. Tab. II. For passaddhi, s. further bojjhanga.
káya-lahutá: agility or lightness
of mental factors (s. lahutá).
of the body', is one of the 4 foundations of mindfulness; s. satipatthána.
káya-passaddhi: tranquillity of
mental factors, s. bojjhanga.
is one of the 7 noble disciples (s. ariya-puggala, B.). He is one who "in his
own person (lit. body) has attained the 8 deliverances (vimokkha, q.v.), and after
wisely understanding the phenomena, the cankers have partly come to extinction" (Pug.
32). In A. IX, 44 it is said: "A monk, o brother, attains the 1st absorption (jhána,
q.v.), and as far as this domain reaches,- so far he has realized it in his own
person. Thus the Blessed One calls such a person a body-witness in certain respects. (The
same is then repeated with regard to the 7 higher absorptions). Further again, o brother,
the monk attains the extinction of perception and feeling (s. nirodha-samápatti),
and after wisely understanding the phenomena, all the cankers come to extinction. Thus, o
brother, the Blessed One calls such a person a body-witness in all respects."
káya-vińńatti: s. vińńatti.
khalu-pacchá-bhattik'anga: s. dhutanga.
khana: 'moment'; s. citta-kkhana.