Buddhist Dictionary By Nyanatiloka Mahathera – As

Manual of Buddhist Terms and Doctrines,
By Nyanatiloka Mahathera


Manual of Buddhist Terms and Doctrines,
By Nyanatiloka Mahathera


asaṅkhāra-parinibbāyī: The ‘one reaching Nibbāna without exertion’, is one of the five classes of Non-Returners (Anāgāmī, q.v.)

asaṅkhārika-citta: an Abhidhamma term signifying a ‘state of consciousness arisen spontaneously’, i. e. without previous deliberation, preparation, or prompting by others; hence: ‘unprepared, unprompted’. This term and its counterpart (sasaṅkhārikacitta, q.v.), probably go back to a similar distinction made in the Suttas (A. IV, 171; “Path” 184). See Tab. I; examples in Vis.M. XIV, 84f.

asaṅkhata: The ‘Unformed, Unoriginated, Unconditioned’ is a name for Nibbāna, the beyond of all becoming and conditionality.

asañña-satta: The ‘unconscious beings’, are a class of heavenly beings in the fine-material world; s. deva (II). “There are, o monks, heavenly beings known as the unconscious ones. As soon, however, as in those beings consciousness arises, those beings will vanish from that world. Now, o monks, it may happen that one of those beings after vanishing from that world, may reappear in this world….” (D. 24). Further details, s. Kath., Yam. (Guide, pp. 68, 79, 96 ff.).

āsava: (lit: influxes), ‘cankers’, taints, corruption’s, intoxicant biases. There is a list of four (as in D. 16, Pts.M., Vibh.): the canker of sense-desire (kāmāsava), of (desiring eternal) existence (bhavāsava), of (wrong) views (diṭṭhāsava), and of ignorance (avijjāsava). A list of three, omitting the canker of views, is possibly older and is more frequent in the Suttas , e.g. in M. 2, M. 9, D. 33; A. III, 59, 67; A. VI, 63. – In Vibh. (Khuddakavatthu Vibh.) both the 3-fold and 4-fold division are mentioned. The fourfold division also occurs under the name of ‘floods’ (ogha) and ‘yokes’ (yoga).

Through the path of Stream-Entry, the canker of views is destroyed; through the path of Non-Returning, the canker of sense-desire; through the path of Arahatship, the cankers of existence and ignorance. M. 2 shows how to overcome the cankers, namely, through insight, sense-control, avoidance, wise use of the necessities of life, etc. For a commentarial exposition, see Aṭṭhasālinī Tr. I, p. 63f: II, pp. 475ff.

Khīṇāsava, ‘one whose cankers are destroyed’, or ‘one who is canker-free’, is a name for the Arahat or Holy One. The state of Arahatship is frequently called āsavakkhaya, ‘the destruction of the cankers’. Suttas concluding with the attainment of Arahatship by the listeners, often end with the words: “During this utterance, the hearts of the Bhikkhus were freed from the cankers through clinging no more” (anupādāya āsavehi cittāni vimucciṃsūti).

āsavakkhaya: see above.

ascending insight: s. vuṭṭhāna-gāminī-vipassanā.

ascetic purification practices: s. dhutaṅga.

asekha: (lit.: ‘not-learner’; s. sekha), a disciple ‘perfected in training’, one beyond training, an adept. This is a name for the Arahat, the Holy One (s. ariya-puggala), since he has reached the perfection in higher moral training, higher mind training and higher wisdom training (s. sikkhā) and needs no longer to train himself therein.

āsevana-paccaya: ‘repetition’, is one of the 24 conditions (paccaya, q.v.).

asmi-māna: (lit.: ‘I am’-conceit), ‘ego-conceit’, may range from the coarsest pride and self-assertion to a subtle feeling of one’s distinctiveness or superiority that persists, as the 8th fetter (saṃyojana, q.v.), until the attainment of Arahatship or Holiness. It is based upon the comparison of oneself with others, and may, therefore, manifest itself also as a feeling of inferiority or the claim to be equal (s. māna). It has to be distinguished from ‘ego-belief’ (sakkāya-diṭṭhi, q.v.) which implies a definite belief or view (diṭṭhi) concerning the assumption of a self or soul, and, being the 1st of the fetters, disappears at attainment of Stream-Entry (Sotāpatti; s. ariya-puggala).

“Even when the five lower fetters have vanished in a noble disciple, there is still in him, with regard to the five groups of clinging, a slight undiscarded measure of the conceit ‘I am’, of the will ‘I am’, of the proclivity ‘I am’ ” (S . XXII, 89) . – s. māna.

assāsa-passāsa: ‘in-and-out-breathing’, are corporeal or physical functions or ‘formations’ (kāya-saṅkhāra), whilst thought-conception and discursive thinking (vitakka and vicāra) are called verbal functions (vacī-saṅkhāra), s. saṅkhāra (2). In-and-out-breathing forms one of the 6 aspects of the wind-element (s. dhātu). Cf. M. 62.

association: sampayutta-paccaya, is one of the 24 conditions (paccaya, q.v.). asubha: ‘impurity’, loathsomeness, foulness. – In Vis.M. VI, it is the cemetery contemplations (sīvathika, q.v.) that are called ‘meditation-subjects of impurity’ (asubha-kammaṭṭhāna; s. bhāvanā). In the Girimānanda Sutta (A. X., 50), however, the perception of impurity (asubha-saññā) refers to the contemplation of the 32 parts of the body (s. kāya-gatā-sati). The contemplation of the body’s impurity is an antidote against the hindrance of sense-desire (s. nīvaraṇa) and the mental perversion (vipallāsa, q.v.) which sees what is truly impure as pure and beautiful. See S. XLVI, 51; A. V. 36, Dhp. 7, 8; Sn. 193ff. – The Five Mental Hindrances (WHEEL 26), pp. 5ff.

asura: ‘demons’, titans, evil ghosts, inhabiting one of the lower worlds (apāya, q.v.).

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