Showing posts with label Visuddhimagga. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Visuddhimagga. Show all posts

Friday, July 15, 2011

Visuddhimagga - Notes IX

Translated from the Pali
Kandy Sri Lanka

1. 'He calls conformity knowledge "knowledge in conformity with truth" be-
cause it is suitable for penerating the truths owing to the disappearance of the
grosser darkness of delusion that conceals the truths' (Pm. 822). The term
saccdnulomikahdna—'knowledge in conformity with truth', occurs at Vbh. 315.
The term anulomahdna—'conformity knowledge', occurs in the Patthana (Ptn.l,
159), but not elsewhere in the Pitakas apparently.
2. 'Knowledge of rise and fall that has become familiar should be understood
as belonging to full-understanding as abandoning. The contemplation of only the
dissolution of formations is contemplation of dissolution; that same contempla-
tion as knowledge is knowledge of contemplation of dissolution. One who, owing
to it, sees things as they are is terrified, thus it is terror. The knowledge that
seizes the terrifying aspect of states of the three planes when they appear as
terrifying is knowledge of appearance as terror. One desires to be delivered, thus
it is one desiring deliverance: that is, either as a consciousness or as a person.
His (its) state is desire for deliverance. That itself as knowledge is knowledge of
desire for deliverance. Knowledge that occurs in the mode of reflecting again is
knowledge of contemplation of reflexion. Knowledge that occurs as looking on
(upekkhana) at formations with indifference (nirapekkhata) is knowledge of equa-
nimity (upekkha) about formations' (Pm. 822-23).
3. Cf. Pe. 128. In the commentary to the Ayatana-Vibhahga we find: 'Imper-
manence is obvious, as when a saucer (say) falls and breaks; ... pain is obvious,
as when a boil (say) appears in the body; ... the characteristic of not-self is not
obvious; ... Whether Perfect Ones arise or do not arise the characteristics of im-
permanence and pain are made known, but unless there is the arising of a Bud-
dha the characteristic of not-self is not made known' (VbhA. 49-50, abridged for
Again, in the commentary to Majjhima Nikaya Sutta 22: 'Having been, it is
not, therefore it is impermanent; it is impermanent for four reasons, that is, in the
sense of the state of rise and fall, of change, of temporariness, and of denying
permanence. It is painful on account of the mode of oppression; it is painful for
four reasons, that is, in the sense of burning, of being hard to bear, of being the
basis for pain, and of opposing pleasure ... It is not-self on account of the mode
of insusceptibility to the exercise of power; it is not-self for four reasons, that is,

in the sense of voidness, of having no owner-master, of having no Overlord, and
of opposing self (MA.ii,l 13, abridged for clarity).
Commenting on this Vis. paragraph, Pm. says: * "When continuity is dis-
rupted" means when continuity is exposed by observing the perpetual otherness
of states as they go on occurring in succession. For it is not through the connect-
edness of states that the characteristic of impermanence becomes apparent to one
who rightly observes rise and fall, but rather the characteristic becomes more
thoroughly evident through their disconnectedness, as if they were iron darts.
'When the postures are exposed" means when the concealment of the pain that is
actually inherent in the postures is exposed. For when pain arises in a posture,
the next posture adopted removes the pain, as it were, concealing it. But once it
is correctly known how the pain in any posture is shifted by substituting another
posture for that one, then the concealment of the pain that is in them is exposed
because it has become evident that formations are being incessantly overwhelmed
by pain. "Resolution of the compact" is effected by resolving [what appears
compact] in this way, "The earth element is one, the water element is another"
etc., distinguishing each one; and in this way, "Contact is one, feeling is another"
etc., distinguishing each one. "When the resolution of the compact is effected"
means that what is compact as a mass and what is compact as a function or as an
object has been analysed. For when material and immaterial states have arisen
mutually steadying each other, [mentality and materiality, for example,] then,
owing to misinterpreting that as a unity, compactness of mass is assumed through
failure to subject formations to pressure. And likewise compactness of function
is assumed when, although definite differences exist in such and such states'
functions, they are taken as one. And likewise compactness of object is assumed
when, although differences exist in the ways in which states that take objects
make them their objects, those objects are taken as one. But when they are seen
after resolving them by means of knowledge into these elements, they disinte-
grate like froth subjected to compression by the hand. They are mere states
(dhamma) occurring due to conditions and void. In this way the characteristic of
not-self becomes more evident' (Pm. 824).
4. *These modes, [that is, the three characteristics,] are not included in the ag-
gregates because they are states without individual essence (asabhdva-dhammd);
and they are not separate from the aggregates because they are unapprehendable
without the aggregates. But they should be understood as appropriate conceptual
differences {pannatti-visesa) that are reason for differentiation in the explaining
of dangers in the five aggregates, and which are allowable by common usage in
respect of the five aggregates' (Pm. 825).
5. 'The keenness of knowledge comes about owing to familiarity with devel-
opment. And when it is familiar, development occurs as though it were absorbed
in the object owing to the absence of distraction' (Pm. 825).
6. * "Arising" is the alteration consisting in generation. "Presence" is the arri-
val at presence: ageing is what is meant. "Occurrence" is the occurrence of
what is clung to. "The sign" is the sign of formations; the appearance of forma-
tions like graspable entities, which is due to compactness of mass, etc., and to
individualization of function, is the sign of formations' (Pm. 826). See also n.12.

'It is momentary cessation that is in other words "cessation as destruction,
fall and breakup" ' (Pm. 826)
7. Etasmirh khane (or etasmirh thane) seems a better reading here than ekas-
rnirh khane'\ cf. parallel phrases at the end of §29, 30, 31.
8. * "He contemplates as impermanent" here not by inferential knowledge thus
"Impermanent in the sense of dissolution", like one who is comprehending for-
mations by groups (Ch. XX, §§13-14), nor by seeing fall preceded by apprehen-
sion of rise, like a beginner of insight (Ch. XX, §§93ff.); but rather it is after rise
and fall have become apparent as actual experience through the influence of
knowledge of rise and fall that he then leaves rise aside in the way stated and
contemplates formations,^ impermanent by seeing only their dissolution. But
when he sees them thus, there is no trace in him of any apprehension of them as
permanent* (Pm. 827).
9. * "Causes cessation": he causes greed to reach the cessation of suppression;
he suppresses it, is the meaning. That is why he said "by means of mundane
knowledge". And since there is suppression, how can there be arousing? There-
fore he said "not its origination" ' (Pm. 828).
10. 'Here in this world there is no self that is something other than and apart
from the aggregates' (Pm. 830). Cf. also: 'When any ascetics or brahmans what-
ever see self in its various forms, they all of them see the five aggregates, or one
11. 'As a skilled man drilling a gem with a tool watches and keeps in mind
only the hole he is drilling, not the gem's colour, etc., so too the meditator wisely
keeps in mind only the ceaseless dissolution of formations, not the formations'
(Pm. 830).
12. The Harvard text reads 'khayato vayato sunnato ti—as destruction, as fall,
as void'. But Pm. says: ' "The three appearances": in the threefold appearance
as impermanent and so on. For appearance as destruction and fall is appearance
as impermanent, appearance as terror is appearance as pain, and appearance as
void is appearance as not-self (Pm. 830).
13. Pm. defines the three kinds of worldliness (dmisa) as follows: Worldliness
of the round (vattdmisa) is that of the threefold round of past, future and present
becoming; worldliness of the world (lokdmisa) is the five cords of sense desire
(i.e. objects of sense desire including food, etc.) because they are accessible to
defilements; worldliness of defilement (kilesdmisa) is the defilements themselves
(see Pm. 836).
14. The reference is to the happy destinies of the sense-desire world (human
beings and deities), the fine-material Brahma-world, and the immaterial Brahma-
15. For 'ten kinds of elephants' of which the Chaddanta (Six-toothed) is the
'best' see MA.ii,25. Cf. also the description of the elephant called 'Uposatha*,
one of the seven treasures of the Wheel-turning Monarch (M.ii,173). On the
expression 'with sevenfold stance' (sattappatittha) Pm. says 'Hatthapada-
valavatthikosehi bhumiphusanehi sattahi patitthito ti sattapatittho1
 (Pm. 838).

16. Rahu is the name for the eclipse of the sun or moon, personalized as a
demon who takes them in his mouth (see S.i,50-51 and M.i,87).
17. The sense seems to require a reading, 'Kdman ca na pathamam*...
18. Dvikotika ('double logical relation') and catukotika ('quadruple logical rela-
tion'): Skr. catuhkoti (cf. Th. Stcherbatsky, Buddhist Logic, pp. 60-61, note 5).
19. There are a number of variant readings to this sutta passage (which is met
with elsewhere as follows: A.i,206; ii,177; cf. iii,170). There are also variant
readings of the commentary, reproduced at MA.iv,63-65 and in the commentary
to A.ii,177. The readings adopted are those which a study of the various contexts
has indicated. The passage is a difficult one.
The sutta passage seems from its various settings to have been a phrase
current among non-Buddhists, as a sort of slogan for naked ascetics (A.i,206);
and it is used to describe the base consisting of nothingness (M.ii,263), in which
latter sense it is incorporated in the Buddha's teaching as a description that can
be made the basis for right view or wrong view according as it is treated.
The commentarial interpretation given here is summed up by Pm. as fol-
lows: ' "Ndharh kvacini": he sees the non-existence of a self of his own. 'Wa
kassaci kincanat' asmirh": he sees of his own self too that it is not the property
of another's self. 'Wa ca mama": these words should be construed as indicated.
"Atthi" applies to each clause. He sees the non-existence of another's self thus,
"There is no other's self anywhere". He sees of another that that other is not the
property of his own self thus, "My owning of that other's self does not exist". So
this mere conglomeration of formations is seen, by discerning it with the void-
ness of the quadruple logical relation, as voidness of self or property of a self in
both internal and external aggregates' (Pm. 840-41 = Majjhima-nikaya Tika to
M. Sutta 106).
20. Bhdtitthdne—'in the case of a brother': the form bhdti is not given in P.T.S.
21. Reading ' ... thapetvd na ca kvacini (:) parassa ca attdnam kvaci na pas-
sat! ti ayam attho; iddni... ' with Sinhalese ed. of MA. and AA.
22. MA. Sinhalese (Aluvihara) ed. has kihcanabhdvena here instead of kincana-
23. Sinhalese eds. of MA. and AA. both read here:'... upanetabbam passati, na
parassa attdnam passati, na parassa attano kincanabhdve upanetabbam pas-
sati\ which the sense demands.
24. The cause and the fruit being secluded from each other (see Pm. 842).
25. 'A meaning such as "what in common usage in the world is called a being is
not materiality" is not intended here because it is not implied by what is said; for
the common usage of the world does not speak of mere materiality as a being. What
is intended as a being is the self that is conjectured by outsiders' (Pm. 842).
26. 'This is not in the text. If it were there would be forty-three ways' (Pm. 842).
27. 'Although it has already been described as a danger in order to show it as
such, the word is used again in order to show that it is opposed to enjoyment
(satisfaction)' (Pm. 843).

28. Pm. (p. 843) seems to suggest that this is quoted from the Niddesa, but it is
not in Nd.2 apparently.
29. Kupaka-yatthi—'mast-head' (?): the word kupaka appears in P.T.S. Diet,
only as an equivalent for kupa = a hole. Cf. D.i,222 for this simile.
30. Vattayamdna—'sifting': not in P.T.S Diet.; Pm. glosses with niccoriyamdna,
also not in P.T.S. Diet. Nibbattita—picked out': not in P.T.S. Diet. Pm. glosses
nibbattita-kappdsam with nibattita-bija-kappdsam'. Vihatamdna—'carding': not
in P.T.S. Diet.; glossed by Pm. with dhunakena (not in P.T.S. Diet.) vihannamdnam
viya (Pm. 844).
31. When insight reaches its culmination, it settles down in one of the three
contemplations [impermanence, pain, or not-self] and at this stage of the devel-
opment the 'seven contemplations' and the 'eighteen contemplations' (or 'princi-
pal insights') are all included by the three (see Pm. 844).
'The three faculties are those of faith, concentration and understanding.
"With the predominance": with the predominance of associated states; for the
faith faculty is strong in one who contemplates impermanence much, the concen-
tration faculty is strong in one who contemplates pain much, and the understand-
ing faculty is strong in one who contemplates not-self much. So these three
faculties, which have been respectively strengthened by the three contempla-
tions, bring about the entry upon the state of the gateways to liberation' (Pm.
844). Cf. Ps.ii,48-49.
32. 'Contemplation of impermanence sees formations as limited by rise in the
beginning and by fall in the end, and it sees that it is because they have a
beginning and an end that they are impermanent. "Into the signless element*9
into the unformed element, which is given the name "signless" because it is the
opposite of the sign of formations. "To the entering of consciousness": to the
higher consciousness's completely going into by means of the state of confor-
mity knowledge, after delimiting. "Into the desireless": into the unformed ele-
ment, which is given the name "desireless" owing to the non-existence of desire
due to greed and so on. "Into the void": into the unformed element, which is
given the name "void" because of voidness of self (Pm. 845).
33. 'One who is pursuing insight by discerning formations according to their
sign by means of the contemplation of impermanence and resolves according to
the signless aspect thus, "Where this sign of formations is entirely non-existent,
that is, the signless nibbana" joins insight leading to emergence with the path.
Then the path realizes nibbana for him as signless. The signless aspect of nib-
bana is not created by the path or by insight; on the contrary, it is the establish-
ment of the individual essence of nibbana, and the path is called signless because
it has that as its object. One who resolves upon the desireless by keeping desire
away by means of the contemplation of pain, and one who resolves upon the
void by keeping the belief in self away by means of the contemplation of not-
self, should both be construed in the same way' (Pm. 846).
34. 'Why is signless insight unable to give its own name to the path when it has
come to the point of arrival at the path? Of course, signless insight is mentioned
in the suttas thus, "Develop the signless and get rid of the inherent tendency to

conceit" (Sn. 342). Nevertheless, though it eliminates the signs of permanence,
of lastingness, and of self, it still possesses a sign itself and is occupied with
states that possess a sign. Again, the Abhidhamma is the teaching in the ultimate
sense, and in the ultimate sense the cause of a signless path is wanting. For the
signless liberation is stated in accordance with the contemplation of imperma-
nence, and in that the faith faculty predominates. But the faith faculty is not
represented by any one of the factors of the path. And so it cannot give its name
to the path since it forms no part of it. In the case of the other two, the desireless
liberation is due to the contemplation of pain, and the void liberation is due to
the contemplation of not-self. Now the concentration faculty predominates in the
desireless liberation and the understanding faculty in the void liberation. So
since these are factors of the path as well, they can give their own names to the
path; but there is no signless path because the factor is wanting. So some say.
But there are others who say that there is a signless path, and that although it
does not get its name from the way insight arrives at it, still it gets its name from
a special quality of its own and from its object. In their opinion the desireless
and void paths should also get their names from special qualities of their own
and from their objects too. That is wrong. Why? Because the path gets its names
for two reasons, that is, because of its own nature and because of what it op-
poses—the meaning is, because of its individual essence and because of what it
is contrary to. For the desireless path is free from desire due to greed, etc., and
the void path is free from greed too, so they both get their names from their
individual essence. Similarly, the desireless path is the contrary of desire and the
void path is the contrary of misinterpretation as self, so they get their names
from what they oppose. On the other hand, the signless path gets its name only
from its own nature owing to the non-existence in it of the signs of greed, etc., or
of the signs of permanence, etc., but not owing to what it opposes. For it does
not oppose the contemplation of impermanence, which has as its object the sign
of formations [as formed], but remains in agreement with it. So a signless path is
altogether inadmissible by the Abhidhamma method. This is why it is said, "This
refers to the way in which insight arrives at the path and is expressed in the
literal sense" (§72).
'However, by the Suttanta method a signless path is admissible. For accord-
ing to that, in whatever way insight leading to emergence (see §83) effects its
comprehending it still leads on to emergence of the path, and when it is at the
point of arrival it gives its own name to the path accordingly—when emerging
owing to comprehension as impermanent the path is signless, when emerging
owing to comprehension as painful it is desireless, and when emerging owing to
comprehension as not-self it is void. Taking this as a sutta commentary, there-
fore, three liberations are differentiated here. But in the Patisambhida the deliv-
erance from misinterpreting, from the sign and from desire, are taken respec-
tively as the arrival of the three kinds of comprehension at that deliverance, and
what is described is a corresponding state of void liberation, etc., respectively in
the paths that follow upon that deliverance. There is no question of treating that
literally, which is why he said "However, in the Patisambhida insight knowl-
 and so on' (Pm. 846-48).

35. "From the object interpreted as the sign": from the pentad of aggregates as
the object of insight; for that pentad of aggregates is called the "object inter-
preted" on account of the interpreting, in other words, on account of being made
the domain of insight. And although it is included in one's own continuity, it is
nevertheless called "eternal" because it is seen as alien to it; it is that too which
in other contexts is spoken of as "externally from all signs" (Ps.i,71). "Internally
from occurrence": from the occurrence of wrong view, etc., in one's own conti-
nuity, and from the defilements and from the aggregates that occur consequent
upon them. For it is stated in this way because there is occurrence of defilement
in one's own continuity and because there is occurrence of clung-to aggregates
produced by that [defilement] when there is no path development. And emer-
gence consists both in making these the object and in producing their non-
liability to future arising1
 (Pm. 853).
36. * "Emerges from the internal" is said figuratively owing to the fact that in
this case the insight leading to emergence has an internal state as its object. In
the literal sense, however, the path emerges from both* (Pm. 853).
37. 'Said in the Discourse on Purification iyisuddhi-kathd)' (Pm. 855). See Ch.
XX, §77.
38. 'The first "some" refers to the Elder Tipitaka Cula-Naga. The second "some"
refers to the Elder Maha-Datta, dweller at Moravapi. The third "some" refers to
the Elder Tipitaka-Cula-Abhaya' (Pm. 856).
39. The four predominances are those of zeal (desire), energy, consciousness,
and inquiry. Cf. four roads to power (Dhs. §73-74; Vbh. 216 and Corny.).
40. 'If this is so, then is the path that follows on the contemplation of imperma-
nence not included in the Abhidhamma?-—That is not so; for it is included in the
method of "simple progress" (suddhika patipadd—see Dhs. §§339-340)' (Pm.
41. ' "Maintaining the continuity of consciousness" by absence of interruption,
in other words, of occurrence of dissimilar consciousness. For when the life-
continuum [which is mind-consciousness element] is displaced by the functional
mind element [of five-door adverting (70)], the occurrence of the functional
consciousness makes an interruption, an interval, between the occurrence of the
resultant consciousness [i.e. the life-continuum and the consciousness that fol-
lows]. But this is not so with mind-door adverting (71) [which is mind-con-
sciousness element]' (Pm. 862). See Table V, Cognitive Series.
42. 'Aloofness'—atammayata: not in P.T.S. Diet. See also M.iii,43. The word
is made up of a + tam + MAYA + ta = 'not-made-of-that-ness'. Its meaning is
non-attachment to any form of being.
43. The word vodana ('cleansing') is used, in its loose sense of 'purifying' in
general, in Ch. I, §143. For its technical Abhidhamma sense here see Ch. XXII
note 7.

1. * "Of emerging and turning away from the external": it is the understanding
of the turning away that is being effected, which turning away is emergence from
the field of formations; it is termed external because the unformed element's
existence is external' (Pm. 866). The unformed element (= nibbana) is classed as
'external' under the internal (ajjhattika) triad of the Abhidhamma Matika (see
Dhs., p. 2 and p. 241).
2. Pakkhandati—'enters into' is glossed there by anupavisati (enters) in Pm.
(p. 866), which is the sense required and may be taken as based on the idiom
in the Suttas, 'Cittam pakkhandati pasldati santitthati adhimuccati—the mind
enters into [that], becomes settled, steady and resolute' (M.i,186, etc.). It de-
scribes the opposite reaction to that 'retreating, retracting and recoiling' de-
scribed in Ch. XXI, §63. It is a function of faith (Ch. XIV, §140). There is, of
course, also the meaning of charging into [a massed battle] (M.i,86), which is
obviously inappropriate here.
3. Phalakasatam—'target': not in P.T.S. Diet. Pm. says 'Phalakasatan ti
asana-sdra-mayam phalakasatam—a "phalakasata" is one made of the heart
(pith) of the asana tree'. The 'wheel contrivance' resembles a potter's wheel
according to Pm. (p. 867).
4. The seven (noble) treasures are: faith, virtue, conscience, shame, learning,
generosity, and understanding (D.iii,251).
5. See the five kinds of enmity and fear at S.ii,68f. Pm., however, says: 'The
five kinds of enmity beginning with killing living things and the twenty-five
great terrors (rnahd-bhaydni) are what constitute "A// enmity and fear" ' (Pm.
6. For the use of the expression 'brings to bear'—samodhdneti in this sense
see Ps.i,181.
7. 'Here "change-of-lineage" means "like change-of-lineage"; for the knowl-
edge that ushers in the [first] path is called that in the literal sense because it
overcomes the ordinary man's lineage and develops the noble one's lineage. But
this is called "change-of-lineage" figuratively because of its similarity to the
other. It is also called "cleansing" {voddna) because it purifies from certain
defilements and because it makes absolute purification its object. Hence it is said
in the Pafthana, "Conformity is a condition, as proximity condition, for cleans-
ing" (Ptn.1,59). But "next to change-of-lineage" is said here because it is said in
the Patisambhidamagga that for the purpose of "overcoming arising", etc., "eight
states of change-of-lineage arise through concentration" and "ten states of change-
of-lineage arise through insight" (Ps.i,68-69), and it is given in the same way in
this page' (Pm. 869).
Technically the word 'cleansing' (voddna) means the 'change-of-lineage'
consciousness that precedes the consciousness of each of the three higher paths
(Ptn. quotation given above), and it also means the 'change-of-lineage' con-
sciousness that precedes each higher jhana consciousness (see Vbh. 343 and

8. The four foundations of mindfulness are fully commented on in the com-
mentary to M. Sutta 10 ( = commentary to D. Sutta 22). The right endeavours are
fully commented on in the commentary to the Sammappadhana Vibhanga (cf.
MA.iii, 243ff.; also AA. commenting on A. Ekanipata, ii, 1). The four roads to
power are briefly commented on at MA.ii,69 and fully in the commentary to the
Iddhipada Vibhanga. The seven enlightenment factors are commented on at
MA.i,82f. and more fully in the commentary to the Bojjhanga Vibhanga. The
Noble Eightfold Path is commented on at MA.U05 and from a different angle in
the commentary to the Magga Vibhanga. The five faculties and the five powers
are not apparently dealt with in the Nikaya and Abhidhamma Commentaries by
adding anything further to what is said here (§37).
9. The Patisambhida (Ps.i,177) derives satipatthdna from sati (mindfulness)
and patthdna (foundation, establishment). The Commentaries prefer to derive it
from sati and upatthdna (establishment, appearance, and also waiting upon: see
MA.i,238). The readings of the P.T.S. and Harvard eds. disagree here and that of
the former has been followed though the result is much the same.
10. These figures refer to the numbers of different contemplations described in
the tenth sutta of the Majjhima Nikaya (= D. Sutta 22).
11. These three abstinences are the 'prior stage* of the Eightfold Path (see
'Only the road to power consisting in zeal, and right speech, are actually
included here; but when these are mentioned, the remaining roads to power and
remaining two abstinences are implied in meaning too. The meaning of this
sentence should be understood according to the "category of characteristics"
(lakkhana-hdra—see Nettipakarana)' (Pm. 872). This Netti rule says:
'When one thing has been stated, then those things
That are in characteristic one with it
Are stated too—this is the formulation
Of the category of characteristics' (Netti 3).
12. 'Emergence from the sign consists in relinquishing the sign of formations
and making nibbana the object. Emergence from occurrence consists in entering
upon the state of non-liability to the occurrence of kamma-result in the future by
causing the cessation of the cause' (Pm. 874).
13. 'It emerges from the defilements of uncertainty, etc., that occur consequent
upon that view, which is wrong since it leads to states of loss' (Pm. 874).
14. ' "Wrong knowledge", which is wrong because it does not occur rightly [i.e.
in conformity with truth], and is wrong and mistaken owing to misinterpreta-
tions, etc., is just delusion. "Wrong deliverance" is the wrong notion of libera-
tion that assumes liberation to take place in a "World Apex" {lokathupika—see
Ch. XVI, §85), and so on' (Pm. 886).
15. The meaning of this paragraph is made clearer by reference to the AtthasalinI
(DhsA. 48) and Mula-Tika (DhsAA. 51), where the use of A as an adverb in the
sense of 'as far as' indirectly with the ablative (gotrabhuto, etc.) is explained; the
abl. properly belongs to savana (i.e. exudations from). Pm. only says: ' "Exuda-

tions" (savana) because of occurring [due to], savanato ("because of exuding'') is
because of flowing out as the filth of defilement. Savanato ("because of produc-
ing") the second time is because of giving out (pasavanaY (Pm. 876. Cf. als o
16. 'The intention is: or it follows that there is dissociation of defilements from
consciousness, like that of formations according to those who assert that forma-
tions exist dissociated from consciousness. He said, "There is no such thing as a
present defilement dissociated from consciousness" in order to show that that is
merely the opinion of those who make the assertion. For it is when immaterial
states are actually occurring by their having a single basis and being included in
the three instants that they are present; so how could that be dissociated from
consciousness? Consequently there is no dissociation from consciousness here'
(Pm. 878).
17. ' "Shackled": one whose consciousness is shackled by conceit (pride)' (Pm.
18. ' "In any given plane" means aggregates as objects of clinging, reckoned as
a human or divine person' (Pm. 879).
19. 'By the words "which are the object of insight" he points out the not-fully-
understood state of the aggregates, not merely the fact that they are the object of
insight, which is proved by his taking only the three planes. For it is not-fully-
understood aggregates among the aggregates constituting the [subjective] basis
that are intended as the "soil of defilements" ' (Pm. 880).
20. 'No one would be able to abandon the root of becoming if it were in
another's continuity. "With respect to the basis \for them in oneself]" means as
the place of their arising; in that particular becoming or continuity' (Pm. 880).
21. ' "With the contact of knowledge by personal experience" means by per-
sonal experience of it as object, which is what the "contact of knowledge" is
called. The words "By personal experience" exclude taking it as an object by
inference. For what is intended here as the "contact of knowledge" is knowing
by personal experience through reviewing thus "This is like this" ' (Pm. 888).
22. The first elision here—'The eye ... ageing-and-death'—is explained in Ch.
XX, §9. The second elision—'One who sees suffering ... One who sees nibbana,
which merges in the deathless in the sense of end ...'— covers all things listed
from Ps.i, p. 8, line 18 (N.B. the new para, in the Ps. text should begin with the
words 'dukkharh abhihheyyanV up to p. 22, line 11, amatogadham nibbdnam
pariyosdnattham abhinneyyarh). In this case, however (Ps.i, p.35), sacchikatabba
('to be realised'), etc., is substituted for abhinneyya ('to be directly known').
1. 'It is the Andhakas, etc., who maintain this; for they take the sutta wrongly
which says, " 'Arahantship' is said, friend Sariputta; what is Arahantship?—The
destruction of greed, the destruction of hate, the destruction of delusion: that is
what is called Arahantship" (S.iv,252), taking it literally and asserting that noth-
ing exists called Arahantship and that it is only the abandoning of defilements

that is so called by common usage. And they deny that there are any other
fruitions' (Pm. 891).
2. The quotation in the Vis/texts does not quite agree with the P.T.S. ed. of
the Ps. text where (as the sense demands) the words 'bahiddhdsahkhdranimittam*
do not follow the four fruitions and the two abidings but only the four paths.
3. 'Although they are resultant states, nevertheless the states of fruition attain-
ment occur in the noble person only when he chooses since they do not arise
without the preliminary work and do so only when they are given predominance'
(Pm. 895).
4. 'Why does change-of-lineage not have nibbana as its object here as it does
when it precedes the path? Because states belonging to fruition are not associ-
ated with an outlet [as in the case of the path]. For this is said: "What states are
an outlet? The four unincluded paths" (Dhs. §1592)' (Pm. 895).
5. 'Those of the Abhayagiri Monastery in Anuradhapura' (Pm. 895).
6. 'The "volition" is attaining after deciding the time limit in this way, "When
the moon, or the sun, has gone so far, I shall emerge", which is an act of
volition' (Pm. 897).
7. 'It is because he is called "emerged from attainment" as soon as the life-
continuum consciousness has arisen that "he brings to mind that which is the
object of the life-continuum** is said. Kamma, etc., are called the object of the
life-continuum (see Ch. XVII, §133ff.)' (Pm. 897).
8. The list in brackets represents in summarised form the things listed at Ps.i,94-
95, repeated in this context in the Patisambhida but left out in the Vis. quotation.
9. The serenity shown here is access concentration (see Pm. 899).
10. The nine are the four fine-material jhanas, the four immaterial jhanas, and
the access concentration preceding each of the eight attainments, described in the
last sentence and counted as one.
11. 'The word "profitable" used in this Patthana passage shows that it applies
only to non-returners, ptherwise "functional" would have been said' (Pm. 902).
12. 'They say so because of absence of heart-basis; but the meaning is because
of absence of basis called physical body. For if anyone were to attain cessation
in the immaterial worlds he would become indefinable (appannattika) owing to
the non-existence of any consciousness or consciousness concomitant at all, and
he would be as though attained to final nibbana without remainder of results of
past clinging; for what remainder of results of past clinging could be predicated
of him when he had entered into cessation? So it is because of the lack of the
necessary factors that there is no attaining of the attainment of cessation in the
immaterial worlds' (Pm. 902).
13. ' "Reaching the cessation that is nibbana": as though reaching nibbana
without remainder of result of past clinging. "In bliss" means without suffering'
(Pm. 902).
14. ' "It should be resolved": the thought should be aroused. For here the re-
solve consists in arousing the thought. In the non-arising of consciousness-origi-

nated materiality, etc., and in the absence of support by a postnascence condi-
tion, etc., the physical body continues the same only for seven days; after that it
suffers wastage. So he limits the duration to seven days when he attains cessa-
tion, they say1
 (Pm. 903).
15. Paribhanda — 'repair work*: this meaning is not given in P.T.S. Diet.; cf.
MA.iv,157 (patching of old robes), and MA.i,291.
16. The word atthuppatti ('the origin being a need arisen') is a technical com-
mentarial term. 'There are four kinds of origins (uppatti) or setting forth of suttas
(sutta-nikkhepa): on account of the speaker's own inclination (attajjhdsaya), on
account of another's inclination (parajjhdsaya), as the result of a question asked
(pucchdvasika\ and on account of a need arisen (atthuppattika)* (MA.i,15, see
also Ch. Ill, §88).
17. * "Vital formations" are the same as life span; though some say that they are
the life span, heat and consciousness. These are the object only of his normal
consciousness. There is no death during cessation because dying takes place by
means of the final life-continuum [consciousness]. He should attain only after
adverting thus, "Let sudden death not occur". For in the case of sudden death he
would not be able to declare final knowledge, advise the bhikkhus, and testify to
the Dispensation's power. And there would be no reaching the highest path in
the case of a non-returner' (Pm. 904).
18. The subtleties of the word nipphanna are best cleared up by quoting a
paragraph from the Sammohavinodani (VbhA. 29): 'The five aggregates are posi-
tively-produced (parinipphanna) always, not un-positively-produced (apari-
nipphanna); they are always formed, not unformed. Besides, they are produced
(nipphanna) as well. For among the dhammas that are individual essences
(sabhava'dhamma) it is only nibbana that is un-positively-produced and un-
produced (anipphanna)\ The Mula Tika comments on this: 'What is the differ-
ence between the positively-produced and the produced? A dhamma that is an
individual essence with a beginning and an end in time, produced by conditions,
and marked by the three characteristics, is positively produced. But besides this,
what is produced [but not positively produced] is a dhamma with no individual
essence (asabhava-dhamma) when it is produced by the taking of a name or by
attaining [the attainment of cessation]' (VbhAA. 23). Cf. also Ch. XIV, §72 and

Visuddhimagga - Notes VIII

Translated from the Pali
Kandy Sri Lanka

1. 'Mentality should be taken here as the four aggregates beginning with feel-
ing and belonging to the three planes, not omitting consciousness as in the case
of "With consciousness as condition, mentality-materiality" and not including
the supramundane aggregates associated with nibbana' (Pm. 744, Burmese ed.).
2. Serenity (samatha) is a general term for concentration, as the complement
of insight (yipassana), which is roughly the equivalent of understanding (panna).
3. 'One who is beginning this work has difficulty in discerning the highest
form of becoming, that is, the base consisting of neither perception nor non-
perception* (Pm. 744). This is owing to the diminished perception (see M.iii,28).
4. See S.ii,23-24. 'Bending in the direction of the object means that there is no
occurrence without an object; it is in the sense of that sort of bending, or it is in
the sense of bestowing a name (ndma-karanaY (Pm. 744). 'Name-and-form' has
many advantages over 'mentality-materiality' if only because it preserves the
integrity of ndma and excludes any metaphysical assumption of matter existing
as a substance behind apparent forms.
5. 'Because sweat, etc., arise owing to heat, fatigue, etc., and owing to mental
perturbation, they are called "originated by temperature and by consciousness" '
(Pm. 745). There are seven kinds of decads: those of the physical basis of mind
(heart), sex, living, physical eye, ear, nose, tongue, and body. The first nine
components of a decad are the same in all instances, and by themselves they are
called the 'life ennead'. The first eight components by themselves are called the
'octad-with-nutritive-essence-as-eighth'. This octad plus sound is called the 'sound
ennead'. In general these are called 'material groups' (rupa-kaldpa). But this
kind of group (kalapa) has nothing to do with the 'comprehension by groups'
(kaldpa-sammasana) of Ch. XX, which is simply generalization (from one's own
particular experience to each of the five aggregates as past, etc., i.e. as a 'group').
The 'material groups' are not in the Pitakas.
6. The ten are four aspects of the fire element and six aspects of the air
element; what heats, what consumes, what burns up, what digests; up-going
winds (or forces), down-going winds, winds in the stomach, winds in the bowels,
winds in the limbs, breath. See Ch. XI, §37 and §82.

7. 'The exalted consciousness of the fine-material and immaterial spheres is
only quite plain to one who has attained the attainments' (Pm. 746).
8. 'As well as by means of the elements, etc., materiality can also be dis-
cerned through the faculties, the truths, and the dependent origination. How?
'Firstly, through the faculties. These seven, namely, the five beginning with
the eye plus femininity and masculinity are materiality; the eleven consisting of
the mind faculty, the five feeling faculties, and the five beginning with faith, are
mentality; the life faculty is both mentality and materiality. The last three, being
supramundane, are not intended here.
'The truth of suffering is both mentality and materiality; the truth of origin
is mentality; the other two are not intended here because they are supramundane.
'In the structure of conditions, the first three members are mentality; the
fourth and fifth are mentality and materiality; the sixth, seventh, eighth and ninth
are mentality; the tenth is both mentality and materiality; the last two are each
mentality and materiality' (Pm. 747-48).
9. ' "A// states of the three planes" is said ail-inclusively owing to the neces-
sity not to omit anything suitable for comprehension. For it must be fully under-
stood without any exception, and greed must be made to fade away absolutely so
that the mind may be liberated by the fading away of greed. That is why the
Blessed One said: "Bhikkhus, without directly knowing, without fully under-
standing all, without causing the fading away of greed for it, without abandoning
it, the mind is incapaSle of the destruction of suffering. Bhikkhus, it is by
directly knowing, by fully understanding all, by causing the fading away of
greed for it, by abandoning it, that the mind is capable of the destruction of
suffering" (S.iv,17). If all the states of the three planes are taken as mentality-
materiality without exception, then how should one deal with what has been
conceived by those outside the Dispensation as verbal meanings, such as the
Primordial Essence (pakati), etc. [e.g. of the Samkhya], the substance (drabya),
etc. [e.g. of the Vaisesika], the soul (jiva), etc., and the body (kdya), etc. [ ? ]?
Since these are like the hallucination of lunatics and are taught by the not fully
enlightened, what other way of dealing with them is there than to ignore them?
Or alternatively, their existence or non-existence can be understood as estab-
lished by their inclusion within mentality-materiality' (Pm. 751-52). There fol-
lows a long paragraph showing how the concepts of these systems are to be
assimilated into mentality-materiality whereby they lose their significance and
are shown to be impermanent and formed. Pm. concludes by saying 'Wherever
the verbal meaning of self is expressed by some such metaphor as world-soul
(puma), self (ATTA, atmari), soul (jiva), etc., these being themselves conceived in
their various ways on the basis of mere mentality-materiality, are mere mental-
ity-materiality, too' (Pm. 754-55).
1. 'If the fruit were to arise from present kamma, the fruit would have arisen
in the same moment in which the kamma was being accumulated; and that is not
seen, nor is it desirable. For in the world (i.e. among non-Buddhists) kamma has

never been shown to give fruit while it is actually being effected; nor is there any
text to that effect.—But is it not also the fact that no fruit has ever been shown to
come from a vanished cause either? Or even a cock to crow because of that?—
Certainly it has not been shown where the connectedness of material things is
broken off. But the simile does not apply because there is connectedness of
immaterial things here. For when the fruit arises from kamma that is actually
past it does so because of kamma having been performed and because of storage.
For this is said: "Because profitable sense-sphere kamma has been performed,
stored up, there comes to be eye-consciousness" (Dhs. §431).
* Since consciousness has efficient power only at the instant of its arising,
with the acquisition of a proximity condition, etc., it therefore only gives rise to
materiality while it is arising. But since materiality has efficient power at the
instant of its presence, with the acquisition of a postnascence condition, etc., it is
therefore said that "temperature and nutriment are conditions at the instant of
their presence for temperature-originated and nutriment-originated materiality".
Temperature and nutriment give rise to materiality at the instant of their own
presence by acquiring outside temperature and nutriment as their condition, is
the meaning' (Pm. 768).
2. "To be experienced here and now" means kamma whose fruit is to be
experienced in this present selfhood. "To be experienced on rebirth" means
kamma whose fruit is to be experienced [in the becoming] next to the present be-
coming. "To be experienced in some subsequent existence" means kamma whose
fruit is to be experienced in some successive selfhood other than either that here
and now or next to that here and now. "Lapsed kamma" is kamma of which it
has to be said, "There has been kamma, but there has not been, is not, and will
not be kamma-result".
The volition of the first impulsion, which has efficient power by not being
prevented by opposition and by having acquired the distinction of a condition,
and which has definitely occurred as a prior kamma-formation of the appropriate
kind, giving its fruit in this same selfhood, is called "to be experienced here and
now." For while that first-impulsion volition, being effective in the way stated, is
helpful to what is associated with its special qualities in the impulsion continuity,
yet because it wields little power over aspects and because it has little result
owing to lack of repetition, it is not, like the other two kinds, kamma that looks
beyond the occurring continuity and looks to obtain an opportunity; it gives its
fruit here only as mere result during the course of becoming, like a mere flower.
"But if it cannot do so": kamma's giving of result comes about only through the
due concurrence of conditions consisting of (suitable) essentials of becoming,
means, etc., failing which it is unable to give its result in that selfhood. "That
accomplishes its purpose": that fulfils its purpose consisting in giving, etc., and
in killing, etc. For the seventh impulsion to which this refers is the final impul-
sion in the series, and when it has acquired distinction in the way already stated
and has acquired the service of repetition by the previous impulsions, it gives its
result in the next selfhood and is called "to be experienced on rebirth" ' (Pm. 769).
3. ' "Weighty" kamma is very reprehensible unprofitable kamma and very
powerful profitable kamma. "Habitual" kamma is what is habitually, continually

done and repeated. "Death-threshold" kamma is what is remembered with great
vividness at the time next before death; what is meant is that there is no question
about what is done at the time of death. "That has been often repeated": he
draws a distinction between this kind of kamma as stated and the "habitual" kind
and he likewise excludes kamma to be experienced here and now from it because
the bringing on of rebirth-linking is admitted; for the tetrad beginning with the
"weighty" is stated as productive of rebirth-linking.
'Herein, the weighty ripens first of all and that is why it is so called. When
weighty kamma is lacking, what has been much done ripens. When that is
lacking, death-threshold kamma ripens. When that too is lacking, then kamma
done in previous births, which is called "kamma [stored up] by being performed",
ripens. And the last three when produced can be strong or weak' (Pm. 769-71).
Pm. then cites various Birth Stories and Majjhima Nikaya Sutta 136 in order to
show how, for various reasons, the result of one kind of kamma may be delayed
or displaced by the result of another. Pm. concludes: 'This is the province of the
Tathagata's Knowledge of the Great Exposition of Kamma, in other words, the
mastery of the order of ripening of such and such kamma for such and such
4. * "Productive" kajnma is what produces resultant continuity by providing
rebirth-linking and so on. "Consolidating" kamma prolongs the occurrence of
the continuity of pleasure or pain, or the endurance of materiality. "Frustrating"
kamma slowly diminishes the endurance of pleasure or pain when they occur. It
cuts off the result of other kamma without giving any result of its own. "Sup-
planting" kamma, however, cuts off weak kamma and makes its own result arise.
This is their difference' (Pm. 771).
5. See the various meanings of 'arisen' given in Ch. XXII, §81f.
'Another method is this: when some kamma has been done and there is,
either in rebirth-linking or in the course of an existence, the arising of material
instances due to the result of kamma performed, that kamma is "productive".
When some kamma has been performed and the desirable or undesirable fruit
generated by other kamma has its production facilitated and its endurance aided
and lengthened by the suppression of conditions that would interfere with it and
by the arousing of conditions that would strengthen it, that kamma is "support-
ing". When some kamma has been performed and profitable fruit or unprofitable
fruit generated by productive kamma is obstructed by it respectively in the form
of sickness or of disquieting of elements, that is "frustrating" kamma. But when
some kamma has been done by which the fruit of other kamma is ruined and cut
off by being supplanted by what cuts it off although it was fit for longer endur-
ance because of the efficacy of the kamma that was producing it, that kamma is
"supplanting" ' (Pm. 772).
6. 'Because it is a speciality of the Buddha and because it is the province of
the knowledge that is not shared by disciples (see Ps.i,121f.), it is called "not
shared by disciples". That is why only a part can be known; it cannot all be
known because it is not the province of such knowledge' (Pm. 772).

1. 'Comprehension by placing together in groups (totals) the states that are
differentiated into past, future and present is "comprehension by groups" This, it
seems, is the term used by the inhabitants of Jambudipa (India). However, in-
sight into states by means of the method beginning "Any materiality whatever"
(M.iii,16) is "inductive insight". This, it seems, is the term used by the inhabi-
tants of Tambapannidipa (Ceylon). That is why he said "to inductive insight
called comprehension by groups" ' (Pm. 778).
2. Tirana could also be rendered by 'judging'. On specific and general charac-
teristics Pm. says: 'Hardness, touching, etc., as the respective characteristics of
earth, contact, etc., which are observable at all three instants [of arising, presence
and dissolution], are apprehended by their being established as the respective
individual essences of definite materialness. But it is not so with the characteris-
tics of impermanence, and so on. These are apprehended as though they were
attributive material instances because they have to be apprehended under the
respective headings of dissolution and rise and fall, of oppression, and of insus-
ceptibility to the exercise of mastery' (Pm. 779). See Ch. XXI, note 3.
3. The 'planes' given here in §4 are not quite the same as described in Ch.
XXII, §107.
' "Contemplating as impermanent" is contemplating, comprehending, for-
mations in the aspect of impermanence. "The perception of permanence" is the
wrong perception that they are permanent, eternal; the kinds of consciousness
associated with wrong view should be regarded as included under the heading of
"perception". So too with what follows. "Becoming dispassionate" is seeing for-
mations with dispassion by means of the contemplation of dispassion induced by
the contemplations of impermanence, and so on. "Delighting" is craving accom-
panied by happiness. "Causing fading away" is contemplating in such a way that
greed (rdga) for formations does not arise owing to the causing of greed to fade
(virajjana) by the contemplation of fading away (virdgdnupassand); for one who
acts thus is said to abandon greed. "Causing cessation" is contemplating in such
a way that, by the contemplation of cessation, formations cease only, they do not
arise in the future through a new becoming; since one who acts thus is said to
abandon the arousing (originating) of formations because of producing the nature
of non-arising. "Relinquishing" is relinquishing in such a way that, by the con-
templation of relinquishment, formations are not grasped anymore; hence he said
"He abandons grasping"; or the meaning is that he relinquishes apprehending
[them] as permanent, and so on' (Pm. 780).
4. ' "Liking that is in conformity" is a liking for knowledge that is in confor-
mity with the attainment of the path. Actually the knowledge itself is the "liking"
(khanti) since it likes (khamati), it endures, defining by going into the individual
essence of its objective field. The "certainty of rightness" is the noble path; for
that is called the rightness beginning with right view and also the certainty of an
irreversible trend' (Pm. 784).
5. Upasatthata—'being menaced'; abstract noun from pp. of upa + saj; not as
such in P.T.S. Diet.

6. The eight worldly states are: gain and non-gain, fame and non-fame, blame
and praise, and pleasure and pain (D.iii,160).
7. Avatthd— 'occasion': not in P.T.S. Diet.
8. Alliyitum—'to give shelter': not in P.T.S. Diet., but see lena.
9. Allindnam—'for the unsheltered": alVina = pp. of A + liyati (see note 8 above),
the 'un-sheltered'. Not in P.T.S. Diet. Not to be confused witth allina = adherent
(pp. of A + liyati, to stick, to be contiguous); see e.g. Ch. XIV, §46.
10. Pm. has 'Jdti-ddi-bhaydnam himsanarh vidhamanam bhayasdranattarh\
which suggests the rendering 'because of not being a refuge from fear'.
11. Adina—'misery' or 'miserable': not in P.T.S. Diet.
12. Abyosdna—'not stopping halfway' (another less good reading is accosdna):
not in P.T.S. Diet; but it is a negative form of vosdna (q.v), which is used of
Devadatta in the Vinaya Culavagga (= Iti. 85) and occurs in this sense at M.i,
193. Not in T.C.P. Diet.
13. 'First it has to be Sfeen by inference according to the texts. Afterwards it
gradually comes to be seen by personal experience when the knowledge of de-
velopment gets stronger' (Pm.790).
14. 'It is first generated from kamma because the temperature-born kinds, etc.,
are rooted in that' (Pm. 790).
15. The relationship of the duration of moments of matter and moments of con-
sciousness is dealt with in greater detail in the Sammohavinodani (VbhA. 25f.).
See also Introduction, note 18.
16. ' "By obtaining as its condition kamma-born materiality that is clung-to":
by this he points out that external un-clung-to nutritive essence does not perform
the function of nourishing materiality. He said "and basing itself on that" mean-
ing that its obtaining of a condition is owing to its being supported by what is
kamma-born. And "clung-to" is specifically mentioned in order to rule out any
question of there being a "kamma-born" method for "materiality originated by
consciousness that has kamma as its condition" just because it happens to be
rooted in kamma. [There is no such method.]' (Pm. 793-94).
17. 'What is intended is head hair, body hair, nails, teeth, skin, callosities,
warts, etc., which are separate from the flesh in a living body; otherwise a
corpse, and so on' (Pm. 795).
18. 'When the generation of materiality is seen its dissolution also is seen, and
so he said, "One who sees the generation of materiality thus is said to compre-
hend the material at one time" because of the brevity of states' occurrence; for it
is not the seeing of mere generation that is called comprehension but there must
be seeing of rise and fall besides. So too the apprehending of generation in the
other instances' (Pm. 795).
19. 'This refers to determining' (Pm. 795).
20. 'No one, not even the Blessed One, has such mastery; for it is impossible
for anyone to alter the three characteristics. The province of supernormal power
is simply the alteration of a state' (Pm. 797).

' "Because of precluding a self* means because of precluding the self con-
ceived by those outside the Dispensation; for the non-existence in dhammas of
any self as conceived by outsiders is stated by the words "because void"; but by
this expression [it is stated] that there is no self because there is no such individ-
ual essence' (Pm. 797).
21. Vltiharana—'shifting sideways', sannikkhepana—'placing down', and 'san-
nirujjhana—'fixing down', are not in P.T.S. Diet.; cf. MA.i,260.
22. Omatta—'subordinate': not in P.T.S. Diet.
23. This verse is quoted twice in the Maha Niddesa (pp. 42 and 118). For Pm.'s
comment see Ch. VIII, note 11. Pm. and the Sinhalese translation have been
taken as guides in rendering this rather difficult verse. There is another stanza in
the Niddesa not quoted here:
' ... this concept will allow.
States happen as their tendencies dictate;
And they are modelled by desire; their stream
Uninterruptedly flows ever on
Conditioned by the sixfold base of contact.
No store of broken states ... '
24. The 'contact pentad' (phassa-pancamaka) is a term used for the first five
things listed in Dhs. §1, that is, contact, feeling, perception, volition, and con-
sciousness, which are invariably present whenever there is consciousness.
25. The 'Discourse on Purification' (yisuddhi-kathd) and the 'Discourse on the
Noble Ones' Heritages' (ariyavamsa-katha) are presumably names of chapters in
the old Sinhalese commentaries no longer extant.
26. 'Said in the Discourse on the Noble Ones' Heritages' (Pm. 804).
27. The first seven of the eighteen principal insights are known as the 'seven
contemplations'; see Ch. XX, §4. Further descriptions are given in Ch. XXII,
28. For Pm.'s comments on the first seven see note 3 to this ch.
 "Contemplation of destruction" is the contemplation of the momentary
dissolution of formations. "Perception of compactness" is the assumption of
unity in a continuity or mass or function or object. "Contemplation of destruc-
tion" is contemplation of non-existence after having been, they say. Contempla-
tion of destruction is the understanding by means of which he resolves the
compact into its elements and sees that it is impermanent in the sense of destruc-
tion. Its completion starts with contemplation of dissolution, and so there is
abandoning of perception of compactness then, but before that there is not,
because it has not been completed. (9) The seeing of the dissolution of forma-
tions both by actual experience and by inference and the directing of attention to
their cessation, in other words, their dissolution, is "contemplation of fall"; through
it accumulation [of kamma] is abandoned; his consciousness does not incline
with craving to the occurrence of that [aggregate-process of existence] for the
purpose of which one accumulates [kamma]. (10) Seeing change in the two ways
through ageing and through death in what is born, or seeing another essence

subsequent to the delimitation of such and such [an essence supervening] in what
was discerned by means of the material septad, and so on, is "contemplation of
change"', by its means he abandons the "perception of lastingness", the assump-
tion of stability. (11>—<13) The three beginning with "contemplation of the signless"
are the same as the three beginning with contemplation of impermanence. (11)
"The sign" is the mere appearance of formations as if graspable entities, which is
due to the individualization of particular functions and which, owing to percep-
tion of unity in continuity and in mass, is assumed to be temporarily enduring or
permanent. (12) "Desire" is longing for pleasure, or it is desire consisting in
greed, and so on; it means inclination to formations owing to craving. (13) "Mis-
interpreting" is misinterpreting as self. It is owing to their opposing the "sign",
etc., that the contemplations of impermanence, etc., are called by the names of
"signless", etc.; so they should be regarded as opposed to the apprehension of a
sign, etc., just as they aff e to the perception of permanence, and so on. (14)
Insight that occurs by knowing an object consisting of a visible datum, etc., and
by seeing the dissolution of the consciousness that had that visible datum, etc., as
its object, and by apprehending voidness through the dissolution thus, "Only
formations dissolve, there is nothing beyond the death of formations", is the
higher understanding, and that is insight into states, thus it is "insight into states
that is higher understanding"; by its means he abandons the view accompanied
by craving that is the misinterpretation occurring as grasping at a permanent
core, and so on. (15) "Correct knowledge and vision" is a term for the seeing of
mentality-materiality with its conditions; by its means he abandons the "misin-
terpreting due to confusion" that begins thus, "Was I in the past?" (M.i,8), and
that begins thus, "Thus the world is created by an Overlord" (?). (16) The knowl-
edge consisting in the seeing of danger in all kinds of becomings, etc., which has
arisen owing to the appearance of terror is "contemplation of danger"; by its
means he abandons the craving occurring as "misinterpreting due to reliance"
because he does not see any reliance or support. (17) The knowledge of reflexion
that is the means to deliverance from formations is "contemplation of reflexion";
by its means he abandons the ignorance that is "non-reflexion" on imperma-
nence, etc., and is opposed to reflexion on them. (18) Equanimity about forma-
tions and conformity knowledge are "contemplation of turning away"; for owing
to it the mind retreats and recoils from all formations, like a water drop on a
lotus leaf, so by its means he abandons the "misinterpretation due to bondage",
which is the occurrence of the defilements consisting of the fetters of sense
desire, and so on' (Pm. 806-7)
29. See Ch. XXII, §113f. 'When (1) the contemplation of impermanence is
established, then the contemplations of (6) cessation, (8) destruction, (9) fall, and
(10) change are partly established. When (2) the contemplation of pain is estab-
lished, then the contemplations of (4) dispassion and (16) danger are partly es-
tablished. And when (3) the contemplation of not-self is established, then the rest
are partly established' (Pm. 807).
30. 'The interpreting of rise and fall must be done on a state that is present
according to continuity or present according to instant but not on one that is past
or future, which is why "of present states" is said' (Pm. 808). 'Present material-

ity is called born materiality; it is included in the trio of instants [of arising, pres-
ence and dissolution], is what is meant. But that is hard to discern at the start, so
the interpreting by insight should be done by means of presence according to
continuity' (Pm. 808).
For the elision represented by * .... (etc.) ... ' see Ch. XX, §9. In this case,
however, the last two members of the dependent origination are left out. 'Al-
though states possessed of ageing-and-death are mentioned under the heading of
birth and of ageing-and-death in comprehension by groups, etc., nevertheless
here in the description of knowledge of rise and fall, if it were said "present birth
is born; the characteristic of its generation is rise, the characteristic of its change
is fall", etc., it would be tantamount to an affirmation and approval of the
proposition that birth and ageing-and-death were possessed of birth and of age-
ing-and-death. So the text ends with "becoming" in order to avoid that (Pm.
31. 'With the seeing of rise and fall not only the characteristics of imperma-
nence and pain become evident, but also the characteristics, in other words, the
individual essences, of earth, contact, etc., termed hardness, touching, etc., re-
spectively, become clearly evident and discrete (avacchinna) in their individual
essences' (Pm. 814).
32. 'The inclusion of only rise and fall here is because this kind of knowledge
occurs as seeing only rise and fall, not because of non-existence of the instant of
presence' (Pm. 814). See Introduction, note 18.
33. 'He adverts to it as nibbana or as the path or as fruition'(Pm. 816). 'The
agitation, the distraction, that occurs about whether or not the illumination, etc.,
are noble states is "agitation about higher states'"' (Pm. 815). In this connexion
Pm. quotes the following text: 'Friends, any bhikkhu or bhikkhuni who declares
the attainment of Arahantship in my presence has always arrived there by four
paths or by one of them. What four? Here, friends, a bhikkhu develops insight
preceded by serenity. While he is developing insight preceded by serenity the
path is born in him. He cultivates, develops, repeats that path. As he does so his
fetters are abandoned and his inherent tendencies are brought to an end. Again,
friends, a bhikkhu develops serenity preceded by insight... He develops serenity
and insight yoked equally ... Again, friends, a bhikkhu's mind is seized by
agitation about highest states. When that consciousness settles down internally,
becomes steady, unified and concentrated, then the path is born in him ... his
inherent tendencies are brought to an end' (A.ii,157).
34. '"Illumination due to insight" is the luminous materiality originated by
insight consciousness, and that originated by temperature belonging to his own
continuity. Of these, that originated by insight consciousness is bright and is
found only in the meditator's body. The other kind is independent of his body
and spreads all round over what is capable of being experienced by knowledge.
It becomes manifest to him too, and he sees anything material in the place
touched by it' (Pm. 816).
35. Caturanga-samannagatam tamam—'four-factored gloom' is mentioned also
at SA.i,170, MA.v,16 (c. andhakdra), and UdA. 66, 304.

36. Okkhandati—-'to descend into': not in P.T.S. Diet.; see Ch. XXII, §34 and
37. * "Equanimity about insight" is neutrality in the investigation of formations
owing to the objective field having been already investigated. But in meaning,
when it occurs thus, it is only neutrality. The volition associated with mind-door
adverting is called "equanimity (upekkha) in adverting" because it occurs in
adverting as onlooking (ajjhupekkhana)' (Pm. 819).
38. Burmese ed. of Pm. reads 'ayam kho so'
 instead of the 'ayam kho me' in the
P.T.S. and Harvard eds.

Visuddhimagga - Notes VII

Translated from the Pali
Kandy Sri Lanka

1. 'In the noble path moment's initial stage' (Pm. 519).
2. The words sittha (prepared = sajjita, uppddita, Pm. 520) and juttha (fos-
tered = sevita, Pm. 520) are not in P.T.S. Diet.
The Pali is: indalihgattho indriyattho, indadesitattho indriyattho, inda-
ditthattho indriyattho, indasitthattho indriyattho, indajutthattho indriyattho', cf.
Panini v, 2,93: Indriyam indralihgam indradrishtam indrasrishtam indrajushtam
indradattam iti va.
3. Anuvattdpana—'causing occurrence parallel to': not in P.T.S. Diet; not in
T.C.P. Diet.
4. Aya—'reason': not in P.T.S. Diet in this sense.
5. Cdraka—'prison': not in P.T.S. Diet, in this sense; see Ch. XIV §221.
6. ' "Signless": being secluded from the sign of the five aggregates, it is taken
as having no graspable entity (aviggahaY (Pm. 525).
7. 'Sickness is not included here (as at D.ii,305 for example) because no
particular person is meant, and there are persons in whom sickness does not arise
at all, like the venerable Bakkula (M. Sutta 124); otherwise it may be taken as
already included by suffering itself; for in the ultimate sense sickness is bodily
pain conditioned by disturbance of elements' (Pm. 527).
8. 'The question "But why is it suffering!" means this: granted firstly that birth
in hell is painful, since hell is unalloyed pain, and that it is painful in the other
unhappy destinies since it is originated by bad kamma; but how is it so in the
happy destinies since it is there originated by kamma that leads to bliss? The
answer, "Because it is the basis for many kinds of suffering", etc., shows that this
birth is not called suffering because of having suffering as its individual es-
sence—for there is no rebirth-linking associated with painful feeling—but rather
because it is the foundation for suffering' (Pm. 528).
Something must be said here about the words dukkha and sukha, the former
being perhaps the* hardest after dhamma to render into English. Dukkha is consis-
tently rendered by either the vaguer general term 'suffering' or by the more
specific '[bodily] pain'. Different, but overlapping, ideas are expressed. The
latter needs no explanation; but 'suffering' must be stretched to include the
general insecurity of the whole of experience, of the impermanent world. For
this, 'uneasiness' would certainly be preferable ('ill' is sometimes used), but
multiplication of renderings is to be avoided as much as possible; local accuracy
is only too often gained at the cost of general disorientation in a work of this
sort, with these very general words capable of sharp focussing. Again, sukha has
been rendered as either 'bliss' or 'pleasure', though the latter does not at all
necessarily imply any hedonism construed with sensual pleasure (kdma). Again,
'ease' (in the sense of relief) is in many ways preferable for the first sense but
has not been used for the reason already given.

9. * Since also what does not have suffering as its individual essence is yet
called suffering indirectly, consequently "intrinsic suffering" (dukkha-dukkha) is
said particularizing what does have suffering as its individual essence, just as in
the case of particularizing "concrete matter" (rupa-rupa) (see Ch. XIV, §77)
(Pm. 528). For these three kinds see S.iv,259.
10. See M. Sutta 13 and 129, though it is not clear where the figure 'thirty-two'
is taken from.
11. Pavana—'stench': not in P.T.S. Diet, in this sense. The Sammohavinodani
(Burm. ed.) reproducing this passage inserts the word asuci (impurity), lacking in
P.T.S. and Harvard eds. of Vis. Kunapa is only given the meaning of 'corpse or
carcase' in P.T.S. Diet.; but Pm. says 'various ordures (kunapa) such as bile,
phlegm, pus, blood, excrement, gorge and so on' (Pm. 529). 'Whether the mother
is 20, 30 or 40 years old, it is "as exceptionally loathsome" as an excrement
bucket that has not been washed for a like number of years' (Pm. 529).
12. The P.T.S. and Harvard texts read uddhapddam (or uddham pddarh) pa-
patanti, but Burmese ed. of Sammohavinodani reads chinnapapdtam papatanti.
The former reading is favoured by Pm.
13. Burmese ed. of Sammohavinodani adds telddlnam; not in P.T.S. and Har-
vard texts.
14. Anutthunana—'brooding': not in P.T.S. Diet. = anto nijjhdyana (Pm. 532).
15. 'Just as a lion directs his strength against the man who shot the arrow at
him, not against the arrow, so the Buddhas deal with the cause, not with the fruit.
But just as dogs, when struck with a clod, snarl and bite the clod and do not
attack the striker, so the sectarians who want to make suffering cease devote
themselves to mutilating the body, not to causing cessation of defilements'' (Pm.
16. ' "On coming to that (tarn dgamma)": on reaching that nibbana by making
it the object' (Pm. 533). Agamma (ger. of dgacchati—to come) is commonly used
as an adverb in the sense of 'owing to' (e.g. at M.i,119). Here, however, it is
taken literally by the Commentaries and forms an essential part of the ontologi-
cal proof of the positive existence of nibbana. The Sammohavinodani (commen-
tary on the Ayatana-Vibhanga Abhidhamma-bhajaniya) refutes the suggestion of
a disputant (vitandavadin) who asserts that nibbana is 'mere destruction'
(khayamatta). The arguments used are merely supplementary to those in §69
here, and so are not quoted. The conclusion of the argument is worth noting,
however, because of the emphasis on the words 'tam dgamma'. It is this: 'It is on
coming to nibbana that greed, etc., are destroyed. It is the same nibbana that is
called "destruction of greed, destruction of hate, destruction of delusion". These
are just three terms for nibbana.—When this was said, he asked: You say "On
coming to" (dgamma); from where have you got this "on coming to"?—It is got
from the Suttas.—Quote the sutta.—"Thus ignorance and craving, on coming to
that, are destroyed in that, are abolished in that, nor does anything anywhere ...
(evam avijja ca tanha ca tam agamma tamhi khinam tamhi bhaggam na ca kinci
kadaci ...)". When this was said, the other was silent'. The quotation has not
been traced.

17. Nippapanca (non-diversification) is one of the synonyms for nibbana. The
word papanca is commonly used in the Commentaries in the sense (a) of an im-
pediment or obstacle (DhA.i,18), and (b) as a delay, or diffuseness (Vis. Ch.
XVII, §73). The sense in which the word is used in the Suttas is that of diversify-
ing and is best exemplified at M.i.lll: 'Friends, due to eye and to a visible
object eye-consciousness arises. The coincidence of the three is contact. With
contact as condition there is feeling. What a man feels that he perceives. What he
perceives he thinks about. What he thinks about he diversifies (papanceti). Ow-
ing to his having diversified, the evaluation of diversifying perceptions besets a
man with respect to past, future, and present visible objects', and so on. This
kind of papanca is explained by the Commentaries as 'due to craving, pride and
views' (MA.i,25; ii,10; ii,75, etc.), and it may be taken as the diversifying action,
the choosing and rejecting, the approval and disapproval (M.i,65), exercised by
craving, etc., on the bare material supplied by perception and thought. Conse-
quently, though it is bound up with craving, etc., a false emphasis is given in
rendering papanca in these contexts by 'obsession* as is done in P.T.S. Diet.
Nippapanca as a term for nibbana emphasises the absence of that.
18. This discussion falls under three headings: Qs. 1 to 4 refute the assertion
that nibbana is mythical and non-existent; Qs. 5 to 7 refute the assertion that
nibbana is 'mere destruction' (further argued in the Sammohavinodani—VbhA.
5If.); the remaining questions deal with the proof that only nibbana (and not the
atom, etc.,) is permanent because uncreated.
The Paramatthamanjusa covers the subject at great length and reinforces the
arguments given here with much syllogistic reasoning. However, only the fol-
lowing paragraph will be quoted here, which is reproduced in the commentaries
to Ud. 80 and Iti. 37. (The last sentence marked * * appears only in the Udana
Commentary. Readings vary considerably:)
'Now in the ultimate sense the existingness of the nibbana-element has been
demonstrated by the Fully Enlightened One, compassionate for the whole world,
by many sutta passages such as "Dhammas without condition", "unformed dham-
mas" (see Dhs., p.2), "Bhikkhus, there is that base (sphere) where neither earth
..." (Ud. 80), "This state is very hard to see, that is to say, the stilling of all
formations, the relinquishing of all substance of becoming" (D.ii,36; M.i,167),
"Bhikkhus, I shall teach you the unformed and the way leading to the unformed"
(S.iv,362), and so on, and in this sutta, "Bhikkhus, there is an unborn ..." (Iti.
87; Ud. 80). So even if the wise trust completely in the Dispensation and have no
doubts, though they may not yet have had direct perception of it, nevertheless
there are persons who come to understand through another's guidance (reading
paraneyya-buddhino)\ and the intention here is that this logical reasoning under
the heading of deduction (niddharana) should be for the purpose of removing
their doubts.
'Just as it is owing to full-understanding (reading yatha parinneyyataya)
that from the sense desires and from materiality, etc. (reading rupddinam), that
have something beyond them, there is made known an escape [from them] that is
their opposite and whose individual essence is devoid of them, so there must
exist an escape that is the opposite of, and whose individual essence is devoid of,

all formed dhammas, all of which have the aforesaid individual essence (reading
evarh tam-sabhdvdnam), and it is this escape that is the unformed element.
'Besides, insight knowledge, which has formed dhammas as its object, and
also conformity knowledge, abandon the defilements with the abandoning con-
sisting in substitution of opposites, being unable to abandon them with the aban-
doning consisting in cutting off. Likewise, the kind of knowledge that has con-
ventional truth (sammuti-sacca) [that is, concepts] as its object, in the first jhAna,
etc., abandons the defilements only with the abandoning consisting in suppres-
sion, not by cutting them off. So, because the kind of knowledge that has formed
dhammas as its object and that which has conventional truth as its object are both
incapable of abandoning defilements by cutting them off, there must [conse-
quently] exist an object for the noble-path knowledge that effects their abandon-
ment by cutting them off, [which object must be] of a kind opposite to both. And
it is this that is the unformed element.
'Likewise, the words "Bhikkhus, there is an unborn, an unbecome, an un-
made, an unformed" and so on, which demonstrate the existingness of nibbana in
the ultimate sense, are not misleading because they are spoken by the Blessed
One, like the words "All formations are impermanent, all formations are painful,
all dhammas (states) are not self
 (Dh. 277-79; A.i,286, etc.).
'Likewise, in certain instances as regards scope, the word "nibbana" has the
correct ultimate meaning for its scope [precisely] because of the existence of its
use as a mere metaphor—like the word "lion" (see Ch. XV, note 12, for the word
lion). *Or alternatively, the unformed element exists in the ultimate sense also,
because its individual essence is the opposite of, is free from, that of the other
kind [of element such as] the earth element and feeling*' (Pm. 534-40). The Pali
of the last two paragraphs is taken to read thus:
'Tathd "atthi bhikkhave ajdtarh abhutam akatam asahkhatan" ti idarh
nibbdna-padassa paramatthato atthibhdva-jotakarh vacanam avipantattham
bhagavatd kathitatta; yam hi bhagavata bhasitam tam avipantattham yatha tam
"sabbe sankhara anicca sabbe sankhara dukkha sabbe dhamma anatta" ti.
'Tatha nibbana-saddo katthaci (pi) visaye yathabhuta-paramatthavisayo
upacaravuttimatta-sabhavato (pi) seyyatha pi siha-saddo. *Atha va atth'eva
paramatthato asankhata-dhatu itaram tabbiparitavimuttasabhdvatta seyyatha pi
pathavi-dhatu vedana va ti'.*
The discusssion is summarised and additional arguments are added in the
Abhidhammavatara. The later Abhidhammatthasahgaha appears to have shelved
the problem. It may be noted that in the whole of this discussion (particularly in
the answer to Q.4) no mention is made of the abandoning of the inherent tenden-
cies (anusaya) in the attainment of nibbana (see, e.g., M. Sutta 64; S.ii,66). For
derivations of the word 'nibbana' see Ch. VIII, §247 and note 72.
19. 'Right speech has as its individual essence the embracing of associated
states through affectionateness because it is the opposite of false speech and the
other kinds, which, being rough owing to their respective functions of deceiving,
etc., do not embrace' (Pm. 541).
20. 'Bodily work (kayika-kriya) originates (sets up) whatever has to be done.

And that originating (setting up) is itself a combining, so the abstinence called
right action is said to have originating as its individual essence. Or it is the
picking up of associated states which is the causing of them to be originated, on
the part of bodily work, like the picking up of a burden* (Pm. 541).
21. 'The purification of a living being or of associated states is "cleansing" '
(Pm. 541).
22. Viniddhunana—'shaking off: not in P.T.S. Diet, (but see under dhundti);
cf. Ch. II, §11.
'The observing (sallakkhana) of an object according to its individual es-
sence is "establishing" (upatthdna)
 (Pm. 541).
23. 'Those who hold that there is an Overlord (Omnipotent Being) as reason
say, "An Overlord (issara) makes the world occur, prepares it, halts, it, disposes
of it". Those who hold that there is a Basic Principle as reason say, "The world is
manifested from out of a Basic Principle (padhdna), and it is reabsorbed in that
again". Those who hold the theory of Time say:
"Time it is that creates beings,
Disposes of this generation;
Time watches over those who sleep;
To outstrip Time is hard indeed".
Those who hold the theory of Nature (sabhdva—individual essence) say, "The
world appears and disappears (sambhoti vibhoti ca) just because of its nature
(individual essence), like the sharp nature (essence) of thorns, like the roundness
of apples (kabittha-phala), like the variedness of wild beasts, birds, snakes, and
so on". The word "etc." refers to those who preach fatalism and say, "The
occurrence of the world is due to atoms. All is due to causes effected in the past.
The world is determined, like drilled gems threaded on an unbroken string. There
is no doing by a man"; and to those who preach chance:
"It is by chance that they occur,
By chance as well that they do not;
Pleasure and pain are due to chance,
This generation [lives] by chance";
and to those who preach liberation by chance.
' "Taking final release to be in the immaterial world" like that of Ramuddaka,
Alara (see M. Sutta 26), etc., or "in a World Apex (World Shrine—lokathupika)"
like that of the Niganthas (Jains). And by the word "etc." are included also the
preachers of "Nibbana here and now" as the self s establishment in its own self
when it has become dissociated from the qualities (guna) owing to the non-
occurrence of the Basic Principle (padhdnay Skr. pradhdna—see the Samkhya
system), and being in the same world as, in the presence of, or in union with,
Brahma* (Pm. 543).
24. 'The "thirty-six modes of behaviour of craving" are the three, craving for
sense desires, for becoming, and for non-becoming, in the cases of each one of
the twelve internal-external bases; or they are those given in the Khuddakavat-
thu-Vibhanga (Vbh. 391 and 396), leaving out the three periods of time, for with

those they come to one hundred and eight' (Pm. 544). ' "Thoughts of renuncia-
tion, etc.": in the mundane moment they are the three separately, that is, non-
greed, lovingkindness, and compassion; they are given as one at the path mo-
ment, owing to the cutting off of greed, ill will and cruelty' (Pm. 544).
* "Consciousness concentration (citta-samddhi)" is the road to power con-
sisting of [purity of] consciousness, they say' (Pm. 544).
25. It may be noted in passing that the word anattd (not-self) is never applied
directly to nibbana in the Suttas (and Abhidhamma), or in Bh. Buddhaghosa's
commentaries. (Cf. Ch. XXI, note 4, where Pm. is quoted explaining the scope
of applicability of the 'three characteristics'.) The argument introduced here that,
since and (self) is a non-existent myth, therefore nibbana (the unformed dhamma,
the truth of cessation) is void of self (atta-sunna) is taken up in the Sad-
dhammappakasini (Hewavitarne Sinhalese ed., p. 464):
'All dhammas whether grouped together
In three ways, two ways, or one way,
Are void: thus here in this dispensation
Do those who know voidness make their comment.
'How so? Firstly, all mundane dhammas are void of lastingness, beauty,
pleasure, and self, because they are destitute of lastingness, beauty, pleasure, and
self. Path and fruition dhammas are void of lastingness, pleasure, and self, be-
cause they are destitute of lastingness, pleasure, and self. Nibbana dhammas (pi.)
are void of self because of the non-existence (abhdva) of self. [Secondly,] formed
dhammas, both mundane and supramundane, are all void of a [permanent] living
being (satta) because of the non-existence of [such] a living being of any sort
whatever. The unformed dhamma (sing.) is void of formations because of the
non-existence (abhdva: or absence) of those formations too. [Thirdly,] all dham-
mas formed and unformed are void of self because of the non-existence of any
person (puggala) called "self" (atta)\
26. 'It is clung-to (upddiyati) by the kinds of clinging (updddna), thus it is
"result-of-past-clinging" (upddi): this is the pentad of aggregates [as objects] of
clinging. Taking nibbana, which is the escape from that, as its stilling, its quiet-
ing, since there is remainder of it up till the last consciousness [of the Arahant],
after which there is no remainder of it, the nibbana element is thus convention-
ally spoken of in two ways as "with result of past clinging left" (sa-upddi-sesa)
and "without result of past clinging left" (an-upadi-sesa)' (Pm. 547).
1. ' "Subject to destruction" (khaya-dhamma) means that its individual es-
sence is the state of being destroyed (khayana-sabhava)' (Pni. 549). The other
expressions are explained in the same way.
2. Paticco as a declinable adjective is not in P.T.S. Diet. Patiyamdna ('when
it is arrived at'): 'When it is gone to by direct confrontation (patimukham
upeyamdno) by means of knowledge's going; when it is penetrated to
(abhisamiyamana), is the meaning' (Pm. 555). The word paticca (due to,

depending on) and the word paccaya (condition) are both gerunds of pati + eti
or ayati (to go back to).
3. The doctrine of eternalism is that beginning "The world and self are eter-
nal" (D.i,14). That of no-cause is that beginning "There is no cause, there is no
condition, for the defilement of beings" (D.i,53). That of fictitious-cause holds
that the world's occurrence is due to Primordial Essence (prakriti), atoms (anu)y
time (kdla), and so on. That of a power-wielder asserts the existence of an
Overlord (issara), or of a World-soul (purusha), or of Pajapati (the Lord of the
Race). Also the doctrines of Nature (sabhdva, Skr. svabhdva = individual
essence), Fate (niyati), and Chance (yadiccha), should be regarded as included
here under the doctrine of no-cause. Some, however, say that the doctrine of fic-
titious-cause is that beginning with "The eye is the cause of the eye", and that the
doctrine of the power-wielder is that beginning "Things occur owing to their
own individual essence" (see Ch. XVI, note 23)' (Pm. 557).
4. 'Such terms as "woman", "man", etc., are local forms of speech (janapada-
nirutti) because even wise men, instead of saying, "Fetch the five aggregates", or
"Let the mentality-materiality come", use the current forms "woman" and "man".
This is how, in those who have not fully understood what a physical basis is,
there comes to be the insistence (misinterpretation), "This is really a woman, this
is really a man". But since this is a mere concept, which depends on states made
to occur in such and such wise, one who sees and knows the dependent origina-
tion does not insist on (misinterpret) it as the ultimate meaning. "Current speech"
is speech current in the world. "Not overriding" is not going beyond. For when
"a being" is said, instead of making an analysis like this, "What is the [lasting]
being here? Is it materiality? Or feeling?" and so on, one who does not override
current usage should express a worldly meaning in ordinary language as those in
the world do, employing the usage current in the world' (Pm. 557-58). The ex-
planation differs somewhat from the Majjhima Sutta (no. 139).
5. The term 'analyser' (vibhajjavddiri) appears at A.v,190, and at M.ii,197, in
this sense, used to describe the Buddha and his followers, who do not rashly give
unqualified answers to questions that need analysing before being answered.
6. The "law" (dhamma) is the text of the dependent origination. The "mean-
ing" (attha) is the meaning of that. Or they are the cause, and the fruit of the
cause here, is what is meant. Or "law" (dhamma) is regularity (dhammata). Now
some, misinterpreting the meaning of the sutta passage, "Whether Perfect Ones
arise or do not arise, there yet remains that element ..." (S.ii,25), wrongly de-
scribe the regularity of the dependent origination as a "permanent dependent
origination", instead of which it should be described as having the individual
essence of a cause (kdrana), defined according to its own fruit, in the way stated.
And some misinterpret the meaning of the dependent origination thus, "Without
cessation, without arising" (anuppadam anirodham) instead of taking the un-
equivocal meaning in the way stated' (Pm. 561). The last-mentioned quota-
tion, 'Without cessation, without arising' (anuppadam anirodham), seems
almost certainly to refer to a well-known stanza in Nagarjuna's Mulamadhyamika

'Anirodham anutpadam anucchedani asasratam
Anekartham ananartham anagamam anirgamam
Yah pratltyasamutpadam prapancopasamam sivam
Desayamasa sambuddhas tarn vande vadatam varam'.
7. * Formations "accumulate", work, for the purpose of rebirth. So that is their
function. To accumulate is to heap up. Consciousness's function is "to go be-
fore" since it precedes mentality-materiality at rebirth-linking. Mentality's func-
tion is "to associate" since it joins with consciousness in a state of mutuality.
"Inseparability of its components" is owing to their having no separate existence
[mentality here being feeling, perception, and formations]. Materiality is dispers-
ible since it has in itself nothing [beyond the water element] to hold it [abso-
lutely] together, so "its function is to be dispersed"', that is why, when rice
grains, etc., are pounded, they get scattered and reduced to powder. It is called
"indeterminate" to distinguish it from mentality, which is profitable, etc., at
different times' (Pm. 571).
8. ' "No theory" is unknowing about suffering, etc., "wrong theory" is per-
verted perception of what is foul, etc., as beautiful, etc., or else "no theory" is
unassociated with [false] view, and "wrong theory" is associated with it' (Pm.
751). This use of the word patipatti as 'theory', rare in Pali but found in San-
skrit, is not in P.T.S. Diet. An alternative rendering for these two terms might be
'agnosticism' and 'superstition' (see also Ch. XIV, §163 and §177).
9. * "With the nature of result, and so on": the words "and so on" here include
"neither-trainer-nor-non-trainer" (Dhs., p.2), "conducive to fetters" (Dhs., p.3),
and so on. [§54] "Mundane resultant and so on": the words "and so on" here
include "indeterminate" (Dhs., p.2), "formed" (Dhs., p.2), and so on. "With root-
cause and without root-cause, and so on": the words "and so on" here include
"prompted", "unprompted", and so on' (Pm.).
10. 'This refers to the teacher Revata' (Pm. 582).
11. ' "Which are contingent upon other such states": because it is said without
distinction of all visible-data bases ... and of all mental-data bases, there is con-
sequently no dhamma (state) among the formed, unformed, and conceptual dham-
mas, classed as sixfold under visible data, etc., that does not become an object
condition' (Pm. 584).
12. 'Proximity and contiguity conditions are not stated in accordance with the
distinction between making occur and giving opportunity, as the absence and
disappearance conditions are: rather they are stated as the causes of the regular
order of consciousness [in the cognitive series]' (Pm. 585).
13. 'This refers to the Elder Revata too' (Pm. 586).
14. 'The state of proximity condition is the ability to cause arising proximately
(without interval) because there is no interval between the cessation of the pre-
ceding and the arising of the subsequent. The state of contiguity condition is the
ability to cause arising by being quite proximate (without interval) through ap-
proaching, as it were, identity with itself owing to absence of any distinction that
"This is below, above, or around that", which is because of lack of any such co-

presence as in the case of the [components of the] material groups, and because
of lack of any co-positionality of the condition and the conditionally arisen. And
[in general], because of the uninterestedness of [all] states (dhamma), when a
given [state] has ceased, or is present, in a given mode, and [other] states (dhamma)
come to be possessed of that particular mode, it is that [state's] mode that must
be regarded as what is called "ability to cause arising" ' (Pm. 586).
15. 'Reviewing change-of-lineage' (the consciousness that precedes the path
consciousness) applies to stream-enterers. 'Reviewing cleansing' (the 'cleansing'
that consists in attaining a higher path than the first) applies to once-returners
and non-returners (see Pm. 589).
16. 'The presence (atthi) condition is not applicable to nibbana. For a presence
condition is that which is unhelpful by its absence of existingness (atthi-
bhdvdbhdva) and becomes helpful by obtaining existingness. And nibbana does
not, after being unhelpful by its own absence of existingness to those states that
have nibbana as their object, become helpful to them by obtaining existingness.
Or alternatively, the presence condition, which by its non-existingness is the
opposite of helpfulness to those states that are associated with arising, etc., is
helpful to them by its existingness. So nibbana is not a presence condition' (Pm.
It may be noted that atthi has more than one use, among which the follow-
ing two may be mentioned: (1) atthi (is) = upalabbhaniya (is (a) 'apprehend-
able', and (b) not a self-contradictory impossibility)— 'atthi, bhikkhave, ajdtarh—
There is an unborn' (Ud. 80), and the discussion on the existence of nibbana
(Ch. XVI, §67ff.). (2) Atthi (is) = uppanna (arisen)—see 'Yam, bhikkhave, rupam
jdtarh pdtubhutam atthi ti tassa sankhd—Of the materiality that is born, mani-
fested, it is said that "It is" ' (S.ii,71-72). The atthi-paccaya (presence condi-
tion), being implicitly equated with the latter, cannot be applied to nibbana
because nibbana is not subject to arising (A.i,152).
17. 'The assertion of a single cause (kdrana) is undesirable because it follows
that there would be production of everything all the time, and because it follows
that there would be a single homogeneous state' (Pm. 599); cf. Ch. XIX, §3.
18. Parihara-vacana—'explanation': not in P.T.S. Diet, in this sense.
19. Avi—'a goat or sheep': not in P.T.S. Diet. The Vis. text reads 'go-
lomavilomavisana-dadhitilapitthddini ca dubbasarabhutanakadinam'. Pm. ex-
plains thus: 'Golomavilomadi ti adisu golomavilomani dubbaya avi ti ratta
elaka veditabba visanam sarassa dadhitilapitthagulani bhutinakassa sevalam
tanduleyyakassa kharavalava assatarassa ti evam adi adisaddena sangahito\
which renders thus: 'As to "Ox hair and rams hair, etc.
', and the rest: ox hair
and ram's hair [are conditions for the unlike] dubba (dabba) grass—a ram (avi)
should be understood as a red sheep (elakd); horn is for reeds (sara)\ curds, ses-
amum flour and molasses are for bhutinaka grass; moss is for the tanduleyyaka
plant; a she donkey is for a mule; and so on in this way as included by the word
"etc" ' (Pm. 601). Except for the last-mentioned, it seems problematical why
these things, if rightly interpreted, should be conditions for the things mentioned.
20. For five-constituent becoming, etc., see §§253-54. 'Unprofitable resultant

eye-consciousness, etc. sometimes arise even in Brahmas when undesirable vis-
ible data, etc., come into focus* (Pm. 604); cf. §180.
21. This refers to the old Sinhalese commentary no longer extant.
22. Burmese ed. of SammohavinodanI adds 'suddhdya va javanavithiyd' here,
as in §140 below in all texts.
23. * "With the appearance of fire and flames, etc., in the hells*1
 is said owing to
likeness to that; appearance of hell and fire does not itself come into focus for
him then* (Pm. 607).
24. The Sammohavinodani adds more details here: 'When hell appears it does
so like a metal cauldron; when the human world appears, the mother's womb
appears like a woollen slipper (kambala-ydna—for ydna as footwear or sandals
see MA.iii,222); when the heavenly world appears, wishing trees, divine palaces
and couches, etc., appear*.
Pm. remarks here: 'By the words "the appearance of the mother's womb"y
etc., only visual appearance is given as the sign of destiny. Herein, in the first
place it would be logical that sound has not been given in the Commentaries as a
sign of destiny because it is included in the happy destinies as not-clung-to, but
the reason for odour, etc., not having been given, will be inquired into* (Pm.
609). This question is in fact dealt with at length at Pm. 611, but the arguments
are not reproduced here. See note 26 below.
25. Sa-bhdva (with sex) and a-bhdva (without sex) are not to be confused with
sabhava (individual essence) and abhdva (absence, non-existence).
26. Pm. (p. 611) has a long discussion here of the difficulty of speaking of the
Brahma-world (where there are only the senses of seeing and hearing) in terms
of the decads, which contain the components of odour and flavour (§156). It
ends by defending the Visuddhimagga standpoint.
27. The Burmese ed. of the SammohavinodanI has 'rebirth-linking with a past,
not so-classifiable, and present object next to* and so on.
28. See the classification of kamma at Ch. XIX, §74ff. 'Repeated' (samdsevita)
kamma is not mentioned there as such. Of 'near' kamma Pm. says, 'It is that
performed next to death, or which is conspicuous in the memory then, whenever
it was performed' (Pm. 617).
29. ' "Sign of the kamma" is the event (vatthu) by means of which a man
accumulates kamma through making it the object at the time of accumulation.
Even if the kamma was performed as much as a hundred thousand aeons ago,
nevertheless at the time of its ripening it appears as kamma or sign of kamma.
The "sign of the destiny" is one of the visual scenes in the place where rebirth is
due to take place. It consists in the visual appearance of flames of fire, etc., to
one ready to be reborn in hell, and so on as already stated* (Pm. 617).
30. 'Owing to craving being unabandoned, and because the previously-arisen
continuity is similarly deflected, consciousness occurs inclining, leaning and
tending towards the place of rebirth-linking. The "conascent formations" are the
volitions conascent with the impulsion consciousness next to death. Or they are
all those that begin with contact. They fling consciousness on to that place of

rebirth-linking, which is the object of the kamma and so on. The meaning is that
they occur as the cause for the establishment of consciousness on the object by
rebirth-linking as though flinging it there' (Pm. 617).
31. 'As a continuous process consisting of death, rebirth-linking, and the adja-
cent consciousnesses' (Pm. 617).
32. Patisiddhattd—* because ... excluded': patisiddha is not in P.T.S. Diet.
Abhisahkhdra here might mean 'planting work', not * formative processes'.
33. Pm. points out that this is generally but not always so, since deities see such
portents of their death as the fading of their flowers, etc., which are undesirable
visible data (see note 43).
34. A Sinhalese text adds the following paragraph: * Also the bodily formation,
when giving rebirth-linking, gives the whole of its results in the sense-sphere
becoming alone in the four generations, in the five destinies, in the first two
stations of consciousness, and in two abodes of beings. Therefore it is a condi-
tion in the way already stated for the twenty-three kinds of consciousness in one
kind of becoming, four generations, five destinies, two stations of consciousness,
and two abodes of beings, both in rebirth-linking and in the course of an exis-
tence. The same method applies to the verbal formation. But the mental forma-
tion does not fail to ripen anywhere except in one abode of beings. Therefore it is
a condition in the way already stated for the thirty-two kinds of resultant con-
sciousness, as appropriate, in the three kinds of becoming, four generations, five
destinies, seven stations of consciousness, and eight abodes of beings, both in
rebirth-linking and in the course of an existence. There is no consciousness with
formations as condition in the non-percipient abode of beings. Furthermore, in
the case of non-percipient beings, the formation of merit is a condition, as kamma
condition acting from a different time, for the kinds of materiality due to kamma
35. Resolve compound agahitagahanena as gahitassa a-gahanena, not as
a-gahitassa gahanena\ i.e. it is 'by not taking what is taken', not 'by taking
what has not been taken'; cf. Ch. IV, §75.
36. 'This means, due to the heat element in the materiality that arose together
with the rebirth-linking consciousness. It is because the heart-basis is arisen only
at that very moment, that there is weakness of the physical basis' (Pm. 622).
37. Vdhanika—'having a float': not in P.T.S. Diet. The context suggests a cata-
maran, universal in Indian waters.
38. The expression 'ekadesasarupekasesa' is grammatically explained at Pm.
623; see allied expressions, 'katekasesa' (§204) and 'ekasese kate' (§223). Cf.
Panini i, 2, 64
39. Rasayana—'elixir': not in P.T.S. Diet; cf. DA. 568 and UdA. (commentary
to Ud. VIII, 5)
40. * 'Though feeling is condition" is said in order to prevent a generalization
from the preceding words "With feeling as condition" to the effect that craving
arises in the presence of every condition accompanied by feeling.—But is it not
impossible to prevent over-generalization in the absence of any such statements

as "Feeling accompanied by inherent tendency is a condition for craving"?—No;
for we are dealing with an exposition of the round of rebirths. Since there is no
round of rebirths without inherent tendencies, so far as the meaning is concerned
it may be taken for granted that the condition is accompanied by inherent ten-
dency. Or alternatively, it may be recognized that this condition is accompanied
by inherent tendency because it follows upon the words "With ignorance as
condition". And with the words "With feeling as condition, craving" the ruling
needed is this: "There is craving only with feeling as condition", and not "With
feeling as condition there is only craving" ' (Pm.). For inherent tendencies see
Ch. XXII §45, §60; M. Sutta 64. The Arahant has none.
41. Upakuttha—'great pox7
 or 'great leprosy': not in P.T.S. Diet.; see kuttha.
42. P.T.S. ed. has 'sassatan tV\ Harvard ed., 'sa' ssa ditthi ti; VbhA. (Burm.
ed.),'/IA sassataditthiti\
43. Their flowers wither, their clothes get dirty, sweat comes from their arm-
pits, their bodies become unsightly, and they get restless (see MA.iv,170).
44. As regards these four paragraphs from the Patisambhida (see §§292, 294,
296, and 297), all four end with the word 'paccaya"' (nom. pi. and abl. s. of
paccaya = condition). In the first and third paragraphs (§§292 and 296) this is
obviously nom. pi. and agrees with Hme pahca dhammd' (these five things). But
in the second and fourth paragraphs the context suggests vipdkd (results) instead
of conditions. However, there is no doubt that the accepted reading is paccaya
here too; for the passage is also quoted in Ch. XIX, §13, in the Sammohavi-
nodani (Paccayakara-Vibhanga commentary = present context), and at MA.i,
53. The ParamatthamanjusA and Mula-tlka do not mention this point. The
Saddhammappakasini (Patisambhida commentary) comments on the first para:
Purimakammabhavasmin ti atltajatiya kammabhave kariyamane pavatta; idha
patisandhiyd paccaya ti paccuppanna patisandhiya paccayabhuta', and on the
second para: 'Idh'upapattibhavasmim pure katassa kammassa paccaya ti paccup-
panne vipakabhave atitajatiyam katassa kammassa paccayena pavatt! ti attho'.
The Tika to the Majjhima-nikaya Commentary (MA.i,53) says of the second
paragraph: 'Ime paccaya ti ime vinnanadayo panca kotthasika dhammA, puri-
mabhave katassa kammassa, kammavattassa, paccayA, paccayabhavato, tarn
paticca, idha, etarahi, upapattibhavasmirh upapattibhavabhavena va hontl ti at-
tho'. From these comments it is plain enough that 'paccaya' in the second and
fourth paragraphs is taken as abi. sing. (e.g. avijjd-paccayd sahkhdra). There is a
parallel ablative construction with genitive at Ps.ii,72, 1.8: 'GatisampattiyA
nanasampayutte atthannarh hetunarh paccaya uppatti hoti\ Perhaps the literal
rendering of the second and fourth paragraphs' final sentence might be: 'Thus
there are these five things here in the [present] rebirth-process becoming with
their condition [consisting] of kamma done in the past', and so on. The point is
45. 'Sorrow, etc., have already been established as ignorance; but death con-
sciousness itself is devoid of ignorance and formations and is not a condition for
the next becoming; that is why "because it assures sorrow, etc" is sa"id' (Pm.

 46. Avatthd— 'occasion*: not in P.T.S. Diet.
47. Avydpdra—'uninterest': here the equivalent of andbhoga, see Ch. IV, §171
and Ch. IX, §108. The perhaps unorthodox form * uninterest
 has been used to
avoid the 'unselfish' sense sometimes implied by 'disinterestedness'. Vydpdra is
clearly intended throughout this work as 'motivated action* in contrast with
'blind action of natural forces'. The word 'interest' has therefore been chosen to
bring out this effect.
48. The dependent origination, or structure of conditions, appears as a flexible
formula with the intention of describing the ordinary human situation of a man in
his world (or indeed any conscious event where ignorance and craving have not
entirely ceased). That situation is always complex, since it is implicit that con-
sciousness with no object, or being (bhava—becoming, or however rendered)
without consciousness (of it), is impossible except as an artificial abstraction.
The dependent origination, being designed to portray the essentials of that situ-
ation in the limited dimensions of words and using only elements recognizable in
experience, is not a logical proposition (Descartes' cogito is not a logical propo-
sition). Nor is it a temporal cause-and-effect chain: each member has to be exam-
ined as to its nature in order to determine what its relations to the others are (e.g.
whether successive in time or conascent, positive or negative, etc., etc.). A purely
cause-and-effect chain would not represent the pattern of a situation that is
always complex, always subjective-objective, static-dynamic, positive-negative,
and so on. Again, there is no evidence of any historical development in the
various forms given within the limit of the Sutta Pitaka (leaving aside the
Patisambhidamaggaj^and historical treatment within that particular limit is likely
to mislead, if it is hypothesis with no foundation.
Parallels with European thought have been avoided in this translation. But
perhaps an exception can be made here, with due caution, in the case of Des-
cartes. The revolution in European thought started by his formula cogito ergo
sum ('I think, therefore I am') is not yet ended. Now it will perhaps not escape
notice that the two elements, 'I think' and 'I am', in what is not a logical
proposition parallel to some extent the two members of the dependent origina-
tion, consciousness and being (becoming). In other words, consciousness acti-
vated by craving and clinging as the dynamic factory, guided and blinkered by
ignorance ('I think' or 'consciousness with the conceit "I am" '), conditions
being ('therefore I am') in a complex relationship with other factors relating
subject and object (not accounted for by Descartes). The parallel should not be
pushed too far. In fact it is only introduced because in Europe the dependent
origination seems to be very largely misunderstood with many strange interpreta-
tions placed upon it, and because the cogito does seem to offer some sort of
reasonable approach.
In this work, for convenience because of the special importance attached
here to the aspect of the death-rebirth link, the dependent origination is consid-
ered from only one standpoint, namely, as applicable to a period embracing a
minimum of three lives. But this is not the only application. With suitable modi-
fications it is also used in the Vibhanga to describe the structure of the complex
in each one of the 89 single type-consciousnesses laid down in the Dhamma-

sangani; and Bhadantacariya Buddhaghosa says: 'This structure of conditions is
present not only in (a continuity period consisting of) multiple consciousness but
also in each single consciousness as weir (VbhA. 199-200). Also the Patisam-
bhidamagga gives five expositions, four describing dependent origination in one
life, the fifth being made to present a special inductive generalization to extend
what is observable in this life (the fact that consciousness is always preceded by
consciousness, cf. this Ch. §83f.—i.e. that it always has a past and is inconceiv-
able without one) back beyond birth, and (since craving and ignorance ensure its
expected continuance) on after death. There are, besides, various other, differing
applications indicated by the variant forms given in the Suttas themselves.