Great Western Vehcile Home Page
English Section



(with 67 Pali terms & 11 English terms defined)

vácá: 'speech'. On right sp., s. magga (3), sacca (IV.3). - Low talk, s. tiracchána-kathá.

vací-kamma: 'verbal action'; s. karma, kamma-patha.

vací-sankhára: 'verbal karma-formation', or 'verbal function'.

(1) For verbal karma-formation, s. sankhára (I. 1).

(2) For verbal function (of mind), i.e. thought-conception and discursive thinking, s. sankhára (I. 2).

vací-viññatti: s. viññatti.

vanishing, Contemplation of: vayánupassaná, is one of the 18 chief kinds of insight (vipassána, q.v.).

vanishing and reappearing: knowledge of the v. and r. of beings according to karma, is identical with the divine eye (s. abhiññá 5).

váritta-síla: 'morality consisting in avoiding' (evil things), as distinguished from 'morality consisting in performing' (good things). See caritta-varitta.

vasí: 'mastery'. Vis.M. IV speaks of 5 kinds of m., which anyone who wishes to develop the absorptions (jhána, q.v.) should acquire first of all, with regard to the 1st absorption, namely: mastery in adverting to it (ávajjana-vasí), in entering it (samápajjana-vasí), in determining it (adhitthána-vasí), in rising therefrom (vutthána-vasí), in retrospection (paccavekkhana-vasí). - (App.).

"If wherever, whenever, and for whatever duration desired, one enters the 1st absorption, and at one's entering it, no slowness is experienced, this is called mastery in entering the absorption, etc. In an analogous way, the 4 remaining kinds are to be explained" (Vis.M. IV, 131f; XXIII, 27ff.).

vatta: 1. 'round', 2. 'round of rebirths'.

(1) With reference to the dependent origination (paticcasamuppáda, q.v.), Vis.M. XVII speaks of 3 rounds: the karma round (kamma-vatta) comprising the karma-formations and the karmaprocess (2nd and 10th links); the round of defilements (kilesa-vatta) comprising ignorance, craving and clinging (1st, 8th and 9th links); the round of results (vipáka-vatta) comprising consciousness, mind and corporeality, 6 bases, impression, feeling (3rd-7th links). Cf. paticcasamuppáda (diagram).

(2) round of rebirth = samsára (q.v.).

vatthu: 'physical base', i.e. the 6 physical organs on which the mental process is based, are the 5 physical sense-organs and, according to the Com., the heart (hadaya-vatthu, q.v.) as the 6th. This 6th vatthu must not be confounded with the 6th áyatana, which is a collective name for all consciousness whatever. - (App.).

vatthu-káma: 'objective sensuality', the 5 sense-objects; s. káma.

vavatthána: 'determining', defining. In its application to insight meditation, this term occurred first in Pts.M. (I, p. 53); but in a verbal form, as a past participle, already in M. 111: tyassa dhammá anupada-vavatthitá honti, "these things (the mental factors) were determined by him (i.e. Sáriputta) successively" (s. Abh. St., p. 54). In Vis.M. XX, 130, it is said: 'The determining of the truth of suffering is effected with the determining of mind-and-body in the purification of view (s. visuddhi III). The determining of the truth of origination is effected with the discerning of conditions in the purification by transcending doubt (s. visuddhi IV). The determining of the truth of the path is effected by emphasis on the right path in the purification by knowledge and vision of what is path and not-path (s. visuddhi V). Thus the determining of the 3 truths (suffering, origin, path) has been first effected by means of mundane (lokiya, q.v.) knowledge only." - See sammasana, visuddhi.

For the determining of the 4 physical elements, s. dhátuvavatthána.

vayánupassaná: 'contemplation of vanishing', is one of the 18 chief kinds of insight (vipassaná, q.v.).

váyo-dhátu: 'wind-element'; s. dhátu.

váyo-kasina 'wind-kasina', is one of the kasina exercises (kasina, q.v.).

vedaná: 'feeling', sensation, is the 2nd of the 5 groups of existence (s. khandha II). According to its nature, it may be divided into 5 classes: (1) bodily agreeable feeling (káyiká sukhá-vedaná = sukha); (2) bodily disagreeable feeling (káyiká dukkhá-vedaná = dukkhá); (3) mentally agreeable feeling (cetasiká sukhá-vedaná = somanassa); (4) mentally disagreeable feeling (cetasiká dukkhá-vedaná = domanassa); (5) indifferent or neutral (adukkha-m-asukhá vedaná = upekkhá, q.v.).

With regard to the 6 senses, one distinguishes 6 kinds of feeling: feeling associated with seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting, bodily impression and mental impression. The textual wording of it is 'feeling arisen through visual contact' (cakkhu-samphassajá vedaná; S. XXII, 55; D. 22), etc.

Feeling is one of the 7 mental factors inseparably associated with all consciousness whatever, s. náma. In the formula of the dependent origination (paticcasamuppáda, q.v.), feeling is the condition for the arising of craving (tanhá). The above-mentioned 5 kinds of feeling are enumerated amongst the 22 faculties (indriya, q.v.). - See M. 59; Contemplation of Feeling (Vedaná Samyutta), by Nyanaponika Thera (WHEEL 303/304).

vedanánupassaná: 'contemplation of feeling', is one of the 4 foundations of mindfulness (satipatthána q.v.).

vehapphala is the name of a class of heavenly beings in the fine-material world; s. deva.

verbal action: vací-kamma; s. karma.

verbal functions of mind: vací-sankhára; s. sankhára.

vesárajja: 'self-confidence' of a Buddha is fourfold. He is confident: 1. to have attained to a perfect Enlightenment of which it cannot be said that it omits anything essential to it; 2. to have destroyed all cankers (ásava), leaving none that can be said to be undestroyed by him; 3. that what were declared by him as obstacles to liberation are undeniably such; 4. that his teaching fulfils its purpose of actually leading to final liberation from suffering. See A. IV, 8; VII, 58; M. 12.

vibhajja-váda: 'analytical or discriminating doctrine' is an early name for the original Buddha doctrine, called Theraváda. - The term vibhajja-vádí occurs in M. 99 and A. X, 94, though not in the sense of a separate school, but as a characteristic of the Buddha himself: "Now, by blaming what is blamable and praising what is praiseworthy, the Blessed One is a 'discriminating teacher' (vibhajja-vadí) and is not one-sided in his teaching" (A. X, 94).

Buddhaghosa, in the introduction to his Com. on the Kathávatthu, says that in Asoka's time, when the Sangha prospered, many heretics took ordination as Buddhist monks but continued to spread their wrong doctrines. For purifying the Sangha, Asoka, together with the venerable Moggaliputtatissa, summoned assembly of the bhikkhus. When each of the assembled was individually questioned by the king about what the Buddha taught, those who said that he was an eternalist (sassata-vadí), etc. were expelled. The genuine bhikkhus replied that the Buddha was a vibhajja-vadí, an 'analyst' or 'discriminating teacher'; and when, on the king's question, Moggaliputtatissa confirmed that this was the correct view, those monks were admitted to the Uposatha (q.v.) assembly of the Sangha, and from their midst the participants of the 3rd Council at Pataliputta were selected. - See Mahávamsa, tr. by Wilh. Geiger, Ch. V, v. 268f.

vibhava ditthi = uccheda-ditthi; s. ditthi.

vibhava-tanhá: 'craving for non-existence', or for self-annihilation; s. tanhá.

vicára: 'discursive thinking'; s. vitakka-vicára.

vicikicchá: 'sceptical doubt', is one of the 5 mental hindrances (nívarana, q.v.) and one of the 3 fetters (samyojana, q.v.), which disappear for ever at Stream-entry, the first stage of holiness (s. ariya-puggala). As a fetter, it refers to sceptical doubt about the Master (the Buddha), the Teaching, the Sangha, and the training; about things past and future, and conditionality (Dhs. 1004; cf. A . X, 71 ) . It also applies to uncertainty whether things are wholesome or not, to be practised or not, of high or low value, etc. According to Vis.M. XIV, 177, vicikicchá is the lack of desire to think (things out i.e. to come to a conclusion; vigata-cikicchá, desiderative to Ö cit, to think); it has the nature of wavering, and its manifestation is indecision and a divided attitude; its proximate cause is unwise attention to matters of doubt. It is associated with one of the 2 classes of unwholesome consciousness rooted in delusion (Tab. I, No. 32). - See also kankhá.

view, right: sammá-ditthi; s. ditthi, magga 1, sacca IV, 1. - For wrong view, s. ditthi.

vigata-paccaya: 'disappearance', is one of the 24 conditions (paccaya, q.v.).

vihára: 'abode' There are 3 abodes: the heavenly abode (dibba-vihára), the divine abode (brahma-vihára, q.v.), the noble abode (ariya-vihára). See A. III, 63; D. 33.

vijjá: '(higher) knowledge', gnosis. For the 3-fold k., s. abhiññá and te-vijjá. Cf. foll.

vijjá-carana: knowledge and conduct'. This expression occurs in those passages in the suttas where the qualities of a Buddha are described, namely: Truly, the Blessed One is holy, is fully enlightened, perfect in knowledge and conduct..." According to Vis.M. VII, 1 and D. 3, knowledge (vijjá) refers here either to the 3-fold knowledge (s. te-vijjá), or to the 8 kinds of knowledge, namely: the 6 higher spiritual powers (abhiññá, q.v.), insight (vipassaná, q.v.), and magical power (iddhi, q.v.); whilst conduct (carana) refers to 15 things: moral restraint, watching over the sense-doors, moderation in eating, wakefulness, faith, moral shame, moral dread, great learning, energy, mindfulness, wisdom and the 4 absorptions.

vikkhambhana-pahána: 'overcoming by repression' (or 'suspension'), is one of the 5 kinds of overcoming (pahána, q.v.).

vikubbaná-iddhi: the 'power of transformation', is one of the magical faculties (iddhi, q.v.).

vimamsá: 'investigation, inquiry, pondering', is one of the 4 roads to power (iddhi-páda, q.v.) and one of the 4 factors of predominance (s. paccaya, 3).

vimokkha: 'liberation' (deliverance). I. the 3; II. the 8.

I. The 3 liberations are: 1. the conditionless (or signless) liberation (animitta-v.), 2. the desireless liberation (apanihita-v.), 3. the emptiness (or void) liberation (suññatá-v. ). They are also called 'the triple gateway to liberation' (vimokkha-mukha; Vis.M. XXI, 66ff), as they are three different approaches to the paths of holiness. - See visuddhi VI, 8. Cf. Vis XXI, 6ff, 121ff; Pts.M. II. Vimokkha-Kathá.

1. "Whosoever being filled with determination (adhimokkha, q.v.), considers all formations as impermanent (anicca), such a one attains the conditionless liberation. 2. Whosoever being filled with tranquillity, considers all formations as painful (dukkha), such a one attains the desireless liberation. 3. Whosoever being filled with wisdom, considers all formations as without a self (anattá), such a one attains the emptiness liberation" (Vis.M. XXI, 70 = Pts.M. II, p. 58).

(1) and (2) are mentioned and explained in M. 43, under the name of deliverances of mind (ceto-vimutti, q.v.). - (2) and (3) appear in Dhs. (344ff, 353ff) in the section on supermundane consciousness (see Atthasálini Tr., p. 299ff).

II. The 8 liberations (attha vimokkha) occur frequently in the texts (A. VIII, 66; D. 16, etc.) and are described as follows:

"There are 8 liberations, o monks. Which are these?

(1) ''Whilst remaining in the fine-material sphere (rúpí), one perceives corporeal forms: this is the first liberation.

(2) "Not perceiving corporcal forms on one's own person, one perceives corporcal forms externally: this is the 2nd liberation.

(3) ''By thinking of the beautiful, one is filled with confidence: this is the 3rd liberation.

(4) "Through the total ovcrcoming of the corporeality-perceptions, the vanishing of the reflex-perceptions, and the non-attention to the multiformity-perceptions, with the idea 'Unbounded is space', one reaches the sphere of unbounded space (ákásánañcáyatana) and abides therein: this is the 4th liberation.

(5) "Through the total ovcrcoming of the sphere of unbounded space, and with the idea 'Unbounded is consciousness', one reaches the sphere of unbounded consciousness (viññánañcáyatana) and abides therein: this is the 5th liberation.

(6) "Through the total overcoming of the sphere of unbounded consciousness, and with the idea 'Nothing is there', one reaches the sphere of nothingness (ákiñeaññáyatana) and abides therein: this is the 6th liberation.

(7) "Through the total overcoming of the sphere of nothingness, one reaches the sphere of neither-perception-nor-non-perception (n'eva-saññá-násaññáyatana) and abides therein: this is the 7th liberation .

(8) "Through the total overcoming of the sphere of neither-perception-nor-non-perception, one reaches the extinction of perception and feeling (s. nirodha-samápatti): this is the 8th liberation.

These, o monks, are the 8 kinds of liberation."

For (1-3), s. abhibháyatana; for (4-7), s. jhána; for (8), s. nirodha-samápatti.

By (3) is meant the attainment of the fine-material absorptions (jhána, q.v.) by means of concentrating the mind on perfectly pure and bright colours as objects of the kasina (q.v.). According to Pts.M. this mental state is produced also by concentrating the mind on the 4 sublime states, i.e. all-embracing kindness, compassion, sympathetic joy and equanimity, in consequence of which allbeings appear perfectly pure and glorified, and thus the mind turns to the beautiful.

See Pts.M. II, Vimokkha-kathá; Atthasálini Tr., p. 255; App.

vimutti: 'deliverance', is of 2 kinds: deliverance of mind (ceto-vimutti, q.v.) and deliverance through wisdom (paññá-vimutti, q.v.).

'Deliverance of mind', in the highest sense, is that kind of concentration (samádhi) which is bound up with the path of Arahatship (arahatta-magga); 'deliverance through wisdom' is the knowledge (ñána) bound up with the fruition of Arahatship (arahatta-phala). Cf. A. V, 142.

There are also 5 kinds of deliverance, identical with the 5 kinds of overcoming (pahána, q.v.).

vinipáta: 'world of suffering', is another name for the 4 woeful courses (duggati; s. gati) of existence, and for the 4 lower worlds (apáya, q.v.).

The Stream-Winner (sotápanna, q.v.) is no longer subject to rebirth in them (avinipáta-dhamma).

viññána: 'consciousness', is one of the 5 groups of existence (aggregates; khandha, q.v.); one of the 4 nutriments (áhára, q.v.); the 3rd link of the dependent origination (paticcasamuppáda, q.v.); the 5th in the sixfold division of elements (dhátu, q.v.).

Viewed as one of the 5 groups (khandha), it is inseparably linked with the 3 other mental groups (feeling, perception and formations) and furnishes the bare cognition of the object, while the other 3 contribute more specific functions. Its ethical and karmic character, and its greater or lesser degree of intensity and clarity, are chiefly determined by the mental formations associated with it.

Just like the other groups of existence, consciousness is a flux (viññána-sotá, 'stream of c.') and does not constitute an abiding mind-substance; nor is it a transmigrating entity or soul. The 3 characteristies (s. ti-lakkhana), impermanence, suffering and no-self, are frequently applied to it in the texts (e.g., in the Anattalakkhana Sutta, S.XXII, 59). The Buddha often stressed that "apart from conditions, there is no arising of consciousness' (M 38); and all these statements about its nature hold good for the entire range of consciousness, be it "past, future or presently arisen, gross or subtle, in oneself or external, inferior or lofty, far or near" (S. XXII, 59).

According to the 6 senses it divides into 6 kinds, viz. eye- (or visual) consciousness (cakkhu-v.), etc. About the dependent arising of these 6 kinds of consciousness, Vis.M. XV, 39 says: 'Conditioned through the eye, the visible object, light and attention, eye-consciousness arises. Conditioned through the ear, the audible object, the ear-passage and attention, ear-consciousness arises. Conditioned, through the nose, the olfactive object, air and attention, nose-consciousness arises. Conditioned through the tongue, the gustative object, humidity and attention, tongue-consciousness arises. Condlitioned through the body, bodily impression, the earth-element and attention, body-consciousness arises. Conditioned through the subconscious mind (bhavanga-mano), the mind-object and attention, mind-consciousness arises."

The Abhidhamma literature distinguishes 89 crasses of consciousness, being either karmically wholesome, unwholesome or neutral, and belonging either to the sense-sphere, the fine-material or the immaterial sphere, or to supermundane consciousness. See Table I.

viññána-kicca: 'functions of consciousness', as exercised within a process of consciousness or cognitive series (cittavíthi). In the Abhidhamma Com. and Vis.M. XIV the following functions are mentioned: rebirth (patisandhi), subconsciousness (bhavanga), advertence (ávajjana), seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting, body-consciousness; recciving (sampaticchana), investigating (santírana), determining (votthapana), impulsion (javana), registering (tadárammana), dying (cuti).

A single unit of sense-perception (e.g. visual consciousness), being conditioned through a sense-organ and its corresponding object, forms in reality an extremely complex process, in which all the single phases of consciousness follow one upon another in rapid succession, while performing their respective functions, e.g.:

"As soon as a visible object has entered the range of vision, it acts on the sensitive eye-organ (cakkhu-pasáda), and conditioned thereby an excitation of the subconscious stream (bhavanga-sota) takes place.

"As soon, however, as subconsciousness is broken off, the functional mind-element (s. Tab. I, 70), grasping the object and breaking through the subconscious stream, performs the function of 'adverting' the mind towards the object (ávajjana).

"Immediately thereupon there arises at the eye-door, and based on the sensitive eye-organ, the eye-consciousness, while performing the function of 'seeing' (dassana).... Immediately thereafter there arises the mind-element (Tab

I, 39, 55) performing the function of 'receiving' (sampaticchana) the object of that consciousness....

''Immediately thereafter there arises... the mind-consciousness-element (Tab. I, 40, 41, 56), while 'investigating' (santirana) the object received by the mind-element...

"Immediately thereafter there arises the functional, rootless mind-consciousness-element (Tab. I, 71), accompanied by indifference, while performing the function of 'determining' (votthapana) the object......

"Now, if the object is large, then immediately afterwards there flash forth 6 or 7 'impulsive moments' (javana-citta), constituted by one of the 8 wholesome, or 12 unwholesome, or 9 functional classes of consciousness (Tab. I, 1-8; 22-23; 72-80).

''Now, if at the end of the impulsive moments, the object at the five-sense doors is very large, and at the mind-door clear, then there arises, once or twice, one of the 8 root-accompanied, karma-resultant classes of consciousness (Tab. I, 42-49) of the sense-sphere, or one of the 3 rootless karma-resultant mind-consciousness-elements (Tab. I, 40, 41, 56).... Because this consciousness after the vanishing of the impulsive moments, possesses the faculty continuing with the object of the subconsciousness, taking the object of the subconsciousness as its own object, therefore it is called 'registering' (tadárarmmana, lit. 'that object', or 'having that as object')" (Vis.M. XIV, 115ff).

If, however, the sense-object is weak, then it reaches merely the stage of 'impulsion' (javana), or of 'determining' (votthapana); if very weak, only an excitation ot the subconsciousness takes place.

The proeess of the inner or mind-consciousness, i.e. without participation of the 5 physical senses, is as follows: in the case that the mind-objeet entering the mind-door is distinct, then it passes through the stages of 'advertence at the mind-door' (manodvárávajjana), the 'impulsive stage' and the 'registering stage', before finally sinking into the subconscious stream. - (App.: citta-víthi).

Literature: Aids to the Abhidhamma Philosophy, by Dr. C.B Dharmasena (with colour chart of the Cognitive Series; WHEEL 63/64). - The Psychology and Philosophy of Buddhism, by Dr. W. F. Javasuriya (Buddhist Missionary Socy., Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia).

viññánañcáyatana: 'sphere of boundless consciousn is a name for the 2nd meditiative absorption in the immateria sphere (s. jhána, 6).

viññána-tthiti: 'abodes or supports of consciousness'. The texts describe 7 such abodes (e.g. A. VII, 41):

(1) "There are beings who are different in body and different in perception, such as men, some heavenly beings, and some beings living in states of suffering (s. apáya). This is the 1st abode of consciousness.

(2) "There are beings who are different in body but equal in perception, such as the first-born gods of the Brahmaworld (s. deva II). This is the 2nd abode of consciousness.

(3) "There are beings who are equal in body but different in perception, such as the Radiant Gods (ábhassara-deva). This is the 3rd abode of consciousness.

(4) ''There are beings who are equal in body and equal in perception, such as the All-illuminating Gods (subhakinha-deva). This is the 4th abode of consciousness.

(5) "There are beings ... reborn in the sphere of boundless space. This is the 5th abode of consciousness.

(6) "There are beings ... reborn in the sphere of boundless consciousness. This is the 6th abode of consciousness.

(7) There are beings... reborn in the sphere of nothingness. This is the 7th abode of consciousness"

About the 3 last-named spheres, s. jhána (5-7). Cf. sattávása.

In D. 33 there are mentioned 4 viññána-tthiti, apparently in the sense of 'bases' of consciousness, namely: corporeality, feeling, perception, mental formations, which in S. XXII, 53 are further explained.

viññatti: (lit. 'making known') 'intimation', is an Abhidhamma term for bodily expression (káya-viññatti) and verbal expression (vací-viññatti), both belonging to the corporeality-group. They are produced by the co-nascent volition, and are therefore, as such, purely physical and not to be confounded with karma (q.v.), which as such is something mental. Cf. Kath. 80, 100, 101, 103, 194 (s. Guide V). - (App.).

"One speaks of 'bodily expression', because it makes known an intention by means of bodily movement, and can itself be understood by the bodily movement which is said to be corporeal.

" 'Verbal expression' is so called because it makes known an intention by means of a speech-produced noise" (Vis.M. XIV).

vipacitaññu (or vipañcitaññu): 'one who realizes the truth after explanation.' Thus is called one who realizes the truth only after detailed explanation of that which already had been said to him in a concise form. Cf. ugghatitaññu.

vipáka: 'karma-result', is any karmically (morally) neutral mental phenomenon (e.g. bodily agreeable or painful feeling, sense-consciousness, etc. ), which is the result of wholesome or unwholesome volitional action (karma, q.v.) through body, speech or mind, done either in this or some previous life. Totally wrong is the belief that, according to Buddhism, everything is the result of previous action. Never, for example, is any karmically wholesome or unwholesome volitional action the result of former action, being in reality itself karma. On this subject s. tittháyatana, karma, Tab. I; Fund II. Cf. A. III, 101; Kath. 162 (Guide, p. 80).

Karma-produced (kammaja or kamma-samutthána) corporeal things are never called kamma-vipáka, as this term may be applied only to mental phenomena.

vipáka-paccaya: 'karma-result condition' is one of the 24 conditions (paccaya, q.v.).

vipallása: 'perversions' or 'distortions'. - ''There are 4 perversions which may be either of perception (saññá-vipallása), of consciousness (citta v.) or of views (ditthi-v.). And which are these four? To regard what is impermanent (anicca) as permanent; what is painful (dukkha) as pleasant (or happiness-yielding); what is without a self (anattá) as a self; what is impure (ugly: asubha) as pure or beautiful'' (A. IV, 49). - See Manual of Insight, by Ledi Sayadaw (WHEEL 31/32). p.5.

"Of the perversions, the following are eliminated by the 1st path-knowledge (sotápatti): the perversions of perception, consciousness and views, that the impermanent is permanent and what is not a self is a self; further, the perversion of views that the painful is pleasant, and the impure is pure. By the 3rd path-knowledge (anágámitá) are eliminated: the perversions of perception and consciousness that the impure is pure. By the 4th path-knowledge (arahatta) are eliminated the perversions of perception and consciousness that the painful is pleasant" (Vis.M. XXII, 68).

viparinámánupassaná: 'contemplation of change' (of all things), is one of the 18 chief kinds of insight (vipassaná, q.v.).

vipassaná: 'insight', is the intuitive light flashing forth and exposing the truth of the impermanency, the suffering and the impersonal and unsubstantial nature of all corporeal and mental phenomena of existence. It is insight-wisdom (vipassaná-paññá) that is the decisive liberating factor in Buddhism, though it has to be developed along with the 2 other trainings in morality and concentration. The culmination of insight practice (s. visuddhi VI) leads directly to the stages of holiness (s. visuddhi VII).

Insight is not the result of a mere intellectual understanding, but is won through direct meditative observation of one's own bodily and mental processes. In the commentaries and the Vis.M., the sequene in developing insight-meditation is given as follows: 1. discernment of the corporeal (rúpa), 2. of the mental (náma), 3. contemplation of both (námarúpa; i.e. of their pairwise occurrence in actual events, and their interdependence), 4. both viewed as conditioned (application of the dependent origination, paticcasamuppáda), 5. application of the 3 characteristics (impermanency, etc.) to mind-and-body-cum-conditions.

The stages of gradually growing insight are described in the 9insight- knowledges (vipassaná-ñána), constituting the 6th stage of purification: beginning with the 'knowledge of rise and fall' and ending with the 'adaptation to Truth'. For details, see visuddhi VI and Vis.M. XXI.

Eighteen chief kinds of insight-knowledge (or principal insights, mahá-vipassaná) are listed and described in Vis.M. XXII, 113: (1) contemplation of impermanence (aniccánupassaná), (2) of suffering (dukkhánupassaná), (3) of no self (anattánupnupassaná), (4) of aversion (nibbidánupassaná). (5) of detachment (virágánupassaná), (6) of extinction (nirodhánupassaná), (7) of abandoning (patinissaggánupassaná), (8) of waning (khayánupassaná), (9) of vanishing (vayánupassaná), (10) of change (viparinámánupassaná), (11) of the unconditioned (or signless, animittánupassaná), (12) of desirelessness (apanihitánupassaná), (13) of emptiness (suññatáupassaná), (14) insight into phenomena which is higher wisdom (adhipaññá-dhamma-vipassaná), (15) knowledge and vision according to reality (yathá-bhúta-ñánadassana), (16) contemplation of misery (or danger, ádínavánupassaná), (17) reflecting contemplation (patisankhánupassaná), (18) contemplation of turning away (vivattanánupassaná).

Through these 18, the adverse ideas and views are overcome, for which reason this way of overcoming is called 'overcoming by the opposite' (tadanga-pahána, overcoming this factor by that). Thus (1) dispels the idea of permanence. (2) the idea of happiness, (3) the idea of self, (4) lust, (5) greed, (6) origination, (7) grasping, (8) the idea of compactness, (9) karma-accumulation, (10) the idea of lastingness, (11) the conditions, (12) delight, (13) adherence, (14) grasping and adherence to the idea of substance, (15) attachment and adherence, (17) thoughtlessness, (18) dispels entanglement and clinging.

Insight may be either mundane (lokiya, q.v.) or supermundane (lokuttara, q.v.). Supermundane insight is of 3 kinds: (1) joined with one of the 4 supermundane paths, (2) joined with one of the fruitions of these paths, (3) regarding the extinction, or rather suspension, of consciousness (s. nirodha-samápatti).

See samatha-vipassaná, visuddhi, III-VII.

Literature: Manual of Insight, by Ledi Sayadaw (WHEL 31/32). Practical Insight Meditation, Progress of Insight, both by Mahási Sayadaw (BPS). The Experience of Insight, by Joseph Goldstein (BPS).

vipassaná-yánika = sukkha-vipassaka (q.v.).

vipassanúpakkilesa: 'imperfections of insight'; s. visuddhi.

vipatti: 'aberration' or 'deviation', may be: deviation from morality (síla-vipatti), or deviation from understanding (ditthivipatti).

"To deviate in deeds, or in words, or in both deeds and words: this is called deviation from morality.

" 'Alms and offerings are useless, there is no fruit and result of good and bad actions, there are no such things as this and the next life' .... Such wrong views are called deviation from understanding." (Pug. 67, 68)

vippayutta-paccaya: 'dissociation', is one of the 24 conditions (paccaya, q.v.).

virága: 'fading away', detachment; absence of lust, dispassionateness. Appears frequently together with nirodha, 'cessation' (1) as a name for Nibbána, (2) in the contemplations (a) forming the 4th tetrad in the exercises in mindfulness of breathing (s. ánápánasati 14), (b) of the 18 principal insights (No. 5); s. vipassaná.

According to Com., it may mean (1) the momentary destruction of phenomena, or (2) the ultimate 'fading away', i.e. Nibbána. In the aforementioned two contemplations, it means the understanding of both, and the path attained by such understanding.

virágánupassaná: s. prec.

virati: the 3 'abstentions' or abstinences, are: abstention from wrong speech, wrong (bodily) action and wrong livelihood; corresponding to right speech, action and livelihood of the 8-fold Path (s. magga, 3-5). By abstention is not simply meant the non-occurrence of the evil things in question, but the deliberate abstaining therefrom, whenever occasion arises. They belong to the 'secondary' (not constant) mental concomitants obtaining in lofty consciousness (s. Tab. II). Cf. síla.

virility: s. bháva.

viriya: 'energy', lit. 'virility', 'manliness' or 'heroism' (from víra, man, hero; Lat. vir; cf. virtus), is one of the 5 spiritual faculties and powers (s. bala), one of the 7 factors of enlightenment (s. bojjhanga) and identical with right effort of the 8-fold Path (s. magga). For further explanations, s. padhána.

viriya-sambojjhanga: 'energy as factor of enlightenment', is one of the 7 factors of enlightenment (bojjhanga, q.v.).

virtue: s. síla.

visesa-bhágiya-síla: (-samádhi, -paññá): morality (concentration, wisdom) connected with progress'. For details, s. hánabhágiya-síla.

visible object: s. áyatana.

visuddhi: 'purification', purity. The '7 stages of purification' (satta-visuddhi) form the substructure of Upatissa's Vimutti-Magga (The Path To Freedom), preserved only in Chinese, as well as of Buddhaghosa's monumental work, Visuddhi-Magga (The Path of Purification), based on the former work.

The only place in the Canon where these 7 kinds of purification are mentioned is M. 24, "The Simile of the Stage-coach" (s. 'Path', §64), wherein their purpose and goal are illustrated. There it is said that the real and ultimate goal does not consist in purification of morality, or of mind, or of view, etc., but in total deliverance and extinction. Now, just as one mounts the first coach and travels to the second coach, then mounts the second coach and travels with it to the third coach, etc., in exactly the same way the goal of (I) the purification of morality (sila-visuddhi) is (II) the purification of mind (citta-visuddhi); its goal: (III) the purification of view (ditthi-visuddhi); its goal: (IV) the purification by overcoming doubt (kankhávitarana-visuddhi); its goal: (V) the purification by knowledge and vision of what is path and not-path (maggámagga-ñánadassana-visuddhi); its goal: (VI) the purification by knowledge and vision of the path-progress (patipadá-ñánadassana-visuddhi); its goal: (VII) the purification of knowledge and vision (ñánadassana-visuddhi); but the goal of this purification is deliverance freed from all clinging.

(I) "Purification of morality (síla-visuddhi) consists of the 4-fold purity of morality (catu-párisuddhi-síla), namely: restraint with regard to the Disciplinary Code (pátimokkhasamvara-síla), sense-restraint (indriysamvara-síla), purity of livelihood (ájívapárisuddhi-síla), morality with regard to the 4 requisites (paccaya-sannissita-síla)" (Vis.M. XVIII). On these 4 terms, s. síla. - In the case of a layman, it entails the observance of whatever moral rules (5 or more) he has taken upon himself.

(II) "Purification of mind (citta-visuddhi) is a name for the 8 attainments (= absorptions: jhána, q.v.), as well as for neighbourhood-concentration (upacára-samádhi; s. samádhi)." (ib.).

(III) "By purification of view (ditthi-visuddhi) is meant the understanding, according to reality, of mind and corporeality (námarúpa, q.v.)... which is founded on undeludedness (wisdom) as base, and which in manifold ways determines mind and corporeality after overcoming all belief in a persollality (attá: self, ego.)." (ib.).

(IV) "By purification by overcoming doubt (kankhá-vitarana-visuddhi) is meant the understanding which, by grasping the conditions of this mind and corporeality, has escaped from all doubt with regard to the 3 times (past, present, future)." (ib. XIX)

(V) "By purification by knowledge and vision of what is path and not-path (maggámagga-ñánadassana-visuddhi) is meant that understanding which knows the right path from the wrong path: 'This is the right path, that the wrong path.' " (ib. XX)

In order to attain this 5th stage of purification, one at first should develop methodical insight (naya-vipassaná), i.e. through contemplation of the 5 groups of existence (khandha, q.v.). For whosoever does not yet possess a perfectly developed insight, to him such phenomena as effulgence of light, etc. (see below), arising during insight, may become impediments in the 3 kinds of full understanding here considered (s. pariññá).

'As soon as the manifold ways and characteristics of the 4 Truths (sacca) and the dependent origination (paticcasamuppáda) have become clear to the meditating disciple, he says to himself: Thus do these things never before arisen arise, and having arisen they disappear again. Thus do the formations of existence ever and again arise as something quite new. But not only are they something new, they are moreover also of limited duration, like a dew-drop at sunrise, like a bubble, like a line drawn with a stick in the water, like a mustard seed placed on the point of an arrow, or like a flash of lightning. Also as something unsubstantial and empty do they appear, as jugglery, as a mirage .... Merely something subject to vanishing arises, and having arisen disappears again.' "

During such insight practice, however, may arise the 10 imperfections (or defilements) of insight (vipassanúpakkilesa): effulgence of light (obhása), knowledge (ñána), rapture (píti), tranquillity (passaddhi), happiness (sukha), determination (adhimokkha), energy (paggaha), awareness (upatthána), delight (nikanti). - See Vis.M. XX, 105f. (App.).

Excepting the last one, 'delight', they are not imperfections or defilements in themselves, but may become a basis for them through the arising of pride or delight or by a wrong conclusion that one of the holy paths has been attained. He, however, who is watchful and experienced in insight practice, will know that these states of mind do not indicate attainment of the true path, but are only symptoms or concomitants of insight meditation.

"Thus far the meditating disciple has determined 3 of the truths, namely while determining the corporeal and mental phenomena he has, through purification of view (ditthi-visuddhi), determined the 'truth of suffering'. While grasping the conditions he has, through purification by overcoming doubt (kankhá-vitarana-visuddhi), determined the 'truth of the origin of suffering'. While determining the right path, he has, through purification by knowledge and vision of what is path and not-path (maggámagga-ñánadassana-visuddhi), determined the 'truth of the path' (leading to the extinction of suffering)."

(VI) Purification by knowledge and vision of the path-progress (patipadá-ñánadassana-visuddhi) is the insight perfected in 8 kinds of knowledge, together with the 9th knowledge, the 'knowledge adapting itself to truth'.

By the 8 kinds of knowledge are here meant the following, which are freed from defilements, follow the right process, and are considered as insight, namely:

1. knowledge consisting in contemplation of rise and fall (udayabbayánupassaná-ñána),

2. in contemplation of dissolution (bhangánupassaná-ñána),

3. in awareness of terror (or the fearful) (bhayatúpattháná-ñána),

4. in contemplation of misery (ádínavánupassaná-ñána),

5. in contemplation of aversion (nibbidánupassaná-ñána),

6. in the desire for deliverance (muccitu-kamyatá-ñána),

7. in reflecting contemplation (patisankhánupassaná-ñána),

8. in equanimity regarding all formations of existence (sankhárupekkhá-ñána) - which is followed by

9. in adaptation to truth (saccánulomika-ñána).

(1) consists in the meditative observation of the 3 characteristics of existence (impermanence, suffering, no self) in one's own bodily and mental processes. As long as the mind is still disturbed by the 10 imperfections (s. V), the 3 characteristics will not become fully clear in their true nature. Only when the mind is free from these imperfections can the characteristics be observed clearly.

(2) When through such repeated practice, knowledge and mindfulness have grown keen and the bodily and mental formations become apparent quickly, at that stage the phase of dissolution of these formations will become prominent.

"Consciousness with (e.g.) materiality as its object arises and dissolves. Having reflected on that object, he contemplates the dissolution of (reflecting) consciousness." (Pts.M. I, 57, quoted in Vis.M. XXI, 11).

The 8 blessings of this knowledge are: abandoning the belief in eternal existence (bhava-ditthi), giving up attachment to life, constant right application (of mind to meditative endeavour), a purified livelihood, overcoming of anxiety, absence of fear, acquisition of forbearance and gentleness, conquest of discontent and sensual delight (Vis.M. XXI, 28).

(3) Knowledge consisting in awareness of terror (or fearfulness) is the seeing of terror in the conditions as well as the continuity of existence. For whoso considers the formations as impermanent, to him the conditions of existence (i.e. the karma-formations producing ever new existence) appear as terror, as driving towards death. Whoso considers the formations as misery, to him the continuity of existence appears as terror, as something oppressive. Whoso considers the formations as impersonal, to him the karmaformations, as well as the continuity of existence, appear as terror, as an empty village, as a mirage, etc.

(4) Contemplation of misery (or danger) is another aspect of the awareness of terror: "The origin (of existence) is terror ... continuance of existence is terror ... arising is suffering', such understanding in the awareness of terror is the knowledge of misery. 'Non-arising is bliss', this is knowledge of the peaceful state (Pts.M. I, 59); that is, the no-more-arising is safety, is happiness, is Nibbána.

(5) Contemplation of aversion means: aversion for all formations as terror, therefore its name 'awareness of terror' has come into use. Because it has made known the misery of all these formations, therefore it has received the name of 'contemplation of misery' (ádínavánupassaná). Because it has arisen through aversion for those formations, therefore it is known as 'contemplation of aversion' (nibbidánupassaná).

(6) Knowledge consisting in the desire for deliverance means: the desire for freedom and escape from all formations of existence.. For feeling aversion for all formations, becoming weary of them, finding no more delight in them, the mind does not cling to a single one of all these formations.

(7) Reflecting contemplation is the repeated meditative discernment of the formations of existence, attributing to them the 3 characteristics of existence, with the desire to find deliverance from all forms of existence.

(8) Equanimity regarding all formations: "When the meditator (through reflecting contemplation) has discerned the formations by applying the 3 characteristics to them and sees them as void, he abandons both terror and delight, and becomes indifferent and equanimous with regard to all formations; he neither takes them as I nor as 'mine'; he is like a man who has divorced his wife" (Vis.M. XXI, 61).

Now, while continuing to contemplate the 3 characteristics of existence and perceiving the tranquil lot of Nibbána as the peace, this equanimity-knowledge becomes the triple gateway to liberation. As it is said (Pts.M. II, p. 48):

"Three gateways to liberation (vimokkha-mukha; s. vimokkha I) lead to escape from the world, namely: that the mind is contemplating all formations as limited, and is rushing forward to the conditionless element (animitta-dhátu); that the mind is stirred with regard to all formations of existence, and is rushing forward to the desireless element (appanihita-dhátu); that the mind sees all things as something foreign, and is rushing forward to the void element (suññatá-dhátu)."

At this stage, and through the triple gateway, the diversification of path attainment takes place, according to the 7 kinds of noble persons (ariya-puggala, q.v.); on this see Vis.M. XXI, 74ff.

The 6th, 7th and 8th knowledges, according to Vis.M. XXI, form really only one single knowledge in its first, middle and final stages of development. This knowledge is also known as the 'insight leading to path ascent' (vutthána-gáminí-vipassaná, q.v.).

(9) Adaptation to truth (or conformity with truth) is called that knowledge which, while contemplating impermanency, etc. adapts itself to the preceding 8 kinds of insight-knowledge, as well as to the immediately following supermundane path and to the 37 elements pertaining to enlightenment (bodhipakkhiya-dhamma, q.v.). It is identical with adaptation-knowledge (anulomañána).

"Whosoever has cultivated, developed, and frequently practised 'equanimity regarding all formations' in him arises very strong faith known as determination (adhimokkha-saddhá) and his energy is better exerted, his mindfulness better established, his mind better concentrated, and a still stronger 'equanimity regarding the formations' arises. 'Now the path will reveal itself', thus thinking, the meditator contemplates with his equanimity-knowledge all formations as impermanent, etc., and thereafter that knowledge sinks into the subconscious stream of existence (s. bhavanga-sotá). Immediately afterwards there arises advertence at the mind-door (s. viññána-kicca). And just like equanimity-knowledge, the adaptation-knowledge, too, takes as its object the formations, regarding them as something impermanent, miserable and impersonal. Thereupon, while continuing the uninterrupted continuity of consciousness (citta-santati), there arises the 1st impulsive moment (javana, q.v.), called 'preparation' (parikamma), taking the same formations as object. Immediately thereafter, with the same formations as object, there arises the 2nd impulsive moment, known as 'access' (upacára). And again immediately after that, there arises the impulsive moment called 'adaptation' (anuloma)."

(VII) Purification of knowledge and vision (ñánadassana-visuddhi) is the knowledge associated with any of the 4 kinds of supermundane path-consciousness (s. ariyapuggala).

"Immediately upon this adaptation-knowledge there arises the 'maturity-knowlege' (gotrabhú-ñána; s. gotrabhú) taking as object the Unconditioned, the standstill of existence, the absence of becoming, cessation, Nibbána, while at the same time transcending the rank (gotta = gotra: lineage), designation and plane of the worldling (puthujjana, q.v.), and entering the rank, designation and plane of the Noble Ones (ariya), being the first turning towards Nibbána as object, the first thinking of it, the first concentration on it, and the condition for the path ... forming the culmination of insight, and never as such coming back again.

''As the immediate continuation following upon that maturity knowledge (gotrabhú-ñána), there arises the first path-consciousness (Stream-entrance) forever destroying the first 3 of the 10 fetters of existence (samyojana, q.v.), and closing the entrance to the lower worlds. Immediately after this path-knowledge, there arise, as its result, 2 or 3 path-produced states of consciousness, the fruitional consciousness (phala-citta). Immediately after the sinking of this consciousness into the subconscious stream of existence, the retrospective knowledge (paccavekkhana-ñána, q.v.) arises, having the path-consciousness as its object" (Vis.M. XXI). For the 3 higher paths, s. ariya-puggala.

Each of the 4 kinds of path-consciousness performs at the one and the same time 4 functions, namely: the function of full understanding (pariññá, q.v.) of suffering, the function of overcoming (pahána, q.v.) the origin of suffering, the function of realizing (sacchikiriyá) the extinction of suffering, the function of developing (bhávaná, q.v.) the supermundane Noble Eightfold Path (magga, q.v.).

See Path of Purification, by Buddhaghosa, tr. by Ñyanamoli (BPS); Path of Freedom, by Upatissa (BPS).

vitakka: 'thought', 'thought-conception', is one of the 'secondary' (not constant) mental concomitants (s. Tab. II), and may be either karmically wholesome, unwholesome or neutral. - "There are 3 karmically unwholesome (akusala) thoughts: sensuous thought (káma-vitakka), hating thought (byápáda-v.), and cruel thought (vihimsa-v.). There are 3 karmically wholesome (kusala) thoughts: thought of renunciation (nekkhamma-v.), of hatelessness (avyápáda-v.), of not harming (avihimsá-v.) " The latter three constitute 'right thought', the 2nd link of the 8-fold Path (s. magga 2).

On the 'Removal of Distracting Thoughts' (vitakka-santhána), s. M. 20 (tr. in WHEEL 21).

vitakka-vicára: 'thought-conception and discursive thinking', (or 'applied and sustained thought') are verbal functions (vací-sankhára: s. sankhára) of the mind, the so-called 'inner speech ('parole interieure'). They are constituents of the 1st absorption (s. jhána), but absent in the higher absorptions.

(1) "Thought-conception (vitakka) is the laying hold of a thought, giving it attention. Its characteristic consists in fixing the consciousness to the object.

(2) "Discursive thinking (vicára) is the roaming about and moving to and fro of the mind.... It manifests itself as continued activity of mind" (Vis.M. IV).

(1) is compared with the striking against a bell, (2) with its resounding; (1) with the seizing of a pot, (2) with wiping it. (Cf. Vis . IV.).

vitality: jívitindriya; s. indriya, khandha (corporeality, mental formations), Tab. II.

víthi = citta-víthi: 'process of consciousness'; s. viññánakicca.

vivatta: 'absence of the cycle of existence' (vatta, q.v.), standstill of existence, is a name for Nibbána (s. nibbána). - (App.).

vivatta-kappa: s. kappa.

vivattanánupassaná: 'contemplation of the turning away', is one of the 18 chief kinds of insight (vipassaná, q.v.). - (App.).

viveka: 'detachment', seclusion, is according to Niddesa, of 3 kinds: (1) bodily detachment (káya-viveka), i.e. abiding in solitude free from alluring sensuous objects; (2) mental detachment (citta-viveka), i.e. the inner detachment from sensuous things; (3) detachment from the substrata of existence (upadhi-viveka).

In the description of the 1st absorption, the words "detached from sensuous things" (vivicc' eva kámehi) refer, according to Vis.M. IV, to 'bodily detachment'; the words "detached from karmically unwholesome things" (vivicca akusalehi dhammehi) refer to 'mental detachment'; the words "born of detachment" (vivekaja), to the absence of the 5 hindrances.

viveka-sukha: 'happiness of detachment', or aloofness (s. prec). "Whoso is addicted to society and worldly bustle, he will not partake of the happiness of renunciation, detachment, peace and enlightenment" (A. VII, 86).

vodána: 'cleansing', may refer either to (1) morality (síla), or (2) concentration (samádhi), or (3) wisdom (paññá).

(1) "Cleansing of morality takes place in 2 ways: by understanding the misery of moral deviation (síla-vipatti; s. vipatti) and by understanding the blessing of moral perfection (síla-sampatti)" (s. Vis.M. I).

(2) Cleansing of concentration is concentration connected with progress (visesa-bhágiya-samádhi; s. hána-bhágiya). If, for example, one has entered the 1st absorption, and sensuous perceptions and reflections arise, in that case there is concentration connected with decline ... If, however, perceptions and reflections free from thought-conception and discursive thinking (2nd jhána; q.v.) arise, in that case there is concentration connected with progress.

(3) Cleansing, with reference to wisdom, is identical with the 'insight leading to the (path) ascent' (vutthána-gáminí-vipassaná, q.v.), which arises at the stage of 'purification by knowledge and vision of the path-progress' (s. visuddhi VI), and is followed immediately by the maturity moment and the entrance into the supermundane paths.

vohára-desaná: 'conventional exposition', as distinguished from an explanation true in the highest sense (paramattha-desaná, q.v.). It is also called sammuti-sacca (in Sanskrit samvrti). (App.).

void-deliverance; s. ceto-vimutti.

vokára: s. pañca-vokára-bhava.

volition: cetaná (q.v.).

votthapana-citta: 'determining consciousness', is that mindelement (functioning independently of karma; s. Tab. I, 70). which in the process of sense-perception performs the function of determining the sense-object. It is one of the 14 functions of consciousness (viññána-kicca, q.v.).

vutthána-gáminí-vipassaná: 'insight leading to (path) ascent'. It is also called 'cleansing' (vodána, q.v.), and according to Pts.M. II, 64, it is a name for 3 kinds of insight-knowledge, namely: knowledge consisting in the desire for deliverance (muccitu-kamyatá-ñána; s. visuddhi VI 6); reflecting-contemplation-knowledge (patisankhánupassaná-ñána; ib. VI, 7); and knowledge consisting in equanimity regarding all formations (sankhárupekkhá-ñána; s. visuddhi VI, 8).

It arises at the stage of 'purification by knowledge and vision of the path-progress' (s. visuddhi VI), and is followed immediately by the maturity moment and the entrance into the supermundane paths.

" 'Ascent' (vutthána) is the supermundane path (s. ariya-puggala) since it rises above the object forming the external foundation (of insight; i.e. the external 5 groups of existence), in which object one's mind was absorbed, and also rises above one's own continuity (one's own 5 groups of existence, or khandha, q.v.) together with its defilements. By reason of its leading upwards to the supermundane path, this insight is called 'ascending insight'. That it passes on to the path: that is the meaning implied" (Vis.M. XXI, 83f.). (App.).

vyápáda: 'ill-will', is a synonym of dosa (s. múla); it is one of the 5 hindrances (nívarana, q.v.) and one of the 10 fetters (samyojana, q.v.).

 Oben Zum IndexZurueck Voraus

A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | Y | Z

[Back to English Index]