Pali Term: Sati

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Pali Term: Sati

Postby Dmytro » Sat May 08, 2010 9:01 am

Hello Pali friends,

Basically the term ' sati' means 'remembrance' ( http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/remembrance ).

"And what is the faculty of remembrance? There is the case where a monk, a disciple of the noble ones, is endowed with memory, highly meticulous, remembering & able to call to mind even things that were done & said long ago."

Indriya-Vibhanga sutta, (SN V 197-8 )

Dhammasangani 16, and Vibhanga, give a list of related words:

"Katamaa tasmi.m samaye sati hoti? Yaa tasmi.m samaye sati anussati pa.tissati sati sara.nataa dhaara.nataa apilaapanataa asammussanataa sati satindriya.m satibala.m sammaasati– aya.m tasmi.m samaye sati hoti."

anussati - recollection;
sara.nataa - remembering;
dhaara.nataa - keeping (in mind);
apilaapanataa - calling to mind;
asammussanataa - non-distraction.

(Note here the affinity of 'sati' to 'dhaaraṇa', a term prominently featured in Yoga-Sutra, and the affinity through 'apilaapana' to 'noticing' in Satipatthana-Vipassana by Ven. Mahasi Sayadaw)

And what exactly is kept in mind?

"One remembers to abandon wrong view & to enter & remain in right view: This is one's right remembrance.

One remembers to abandon wrong resolve & to enter & remain in right resolve: This is one's right remembrance.

One remembers to abandon wrong speech & to enter & remain in right speech: This is one's right remembrance.

One remembers to abandon wrong action & to enter & remain in right action: This is one's right
remembrance.

One remembers to abandon wrong livelihood & to enter & remain in right livelihood: This is one's right remembrance."

Maha-cattarisaka sutta, MN 117

Milinda-Panha gives more details:

“yathaa, mahaaraaja, ra~n~no cakkavattissa bha.n.daagaariko raajaana.m cakkavatti.m saaya.m paata.m yasa.m saraapeti ‘ettakaa, deva, te hatthii, ettakaa assaa, ettakaa rathaa, ettakaa pattii, ettaka.m hira~n~na.m, ettaka.m suva.n.na.m, ettaka.m saapateyya.m, ta.m devo saratuu’ti ra~n~no saapateyya.m apilaapeti. evameva kho, mahaaraaja, sati uppajjamaanaa kusalaakusalasaavajjaanavajjahiinappa.niitaka.nhasukkasappa.tibhaagadhamme apilaapeti ‘ime cattaaro satipa.t.thaanaa, ime cattaaro sammappadhaanaa, ime cattaaro iddhipaadaa, imaani pa~ncindriyaani, imaani pa~nca balaani, ime satta bojjha"ngaa, aya.m ariyo a.t.tha"ngiko maggo, aya.m samatho, aya.m vipassanaa, aya.m vijjaa, aya.m vimuttii’ti. tato yogaavacaro sevitabbe dhamme sevati, asevitabbe dhamme na sevati. bhajitabbe dhamme bhajati, abhajitabbe dhamme na bhajati. eva.m kho, mahaaraaja, apilaapanalakkha.naa satii”ti.

Just as, Your Majesty, the treasurer of a king who is a cakka-vattin causes the cakka-vattin king to remember his glory evening and morning [saying], 'So many, lord, are your elephents, so many your horses, so many your chariots, so many your foot soldiers, so much your gold, so much your wealth, so much your property; may my lord remember.' Thus he calls to mind the king's property. Evan so, your Majesty, sati, when it arises, calls to mind dhammas that are skilful and unskilful, with faults and faultless, inferior and refined, dark and pure, together with their counterparts: these are the four establishments of mindfulness, these are the four right endeavours, these are the four bases of success, these are the five faculties, these are the five powers, these are the seven awakening-factors, this is the noble eight-factored path, this is calm, this is insight, this is knowledge, this is freedom. Thus one who practises yoga resorts to dhammas that should be resorted to and does not resort to dhammas that should not be resorted to; he embraces dhammas that should be embraced and does not embrace dhammas that should not be embraced. Just so, Your Majesty, does sati have the characteristic of calling to mind.

“yathaa, mahaaraaja, ra~n~no cakkavattissa pari.naayakaratana.m ra~n~no hitaahite jaanaati ‘ime ra~n~no hitaa, ime ahitaa. ime upakaaraa, ime anupakaaraa’ti. tato ahite apanudeti, hite upagga.nhaati. anupakaare apanudeti, upakaare upagga.nhaati. evameva kho, mahaaraaja, sati uppajjamaanaa hitaahitaana.m dhammaana.m gatiyo samanveti ‘ime dhammaa hitaa, ime dhammaa ahitaa. ime dhammaa upakaaraa, ime dhammaa anupakaaraa’ti. tato yogaavacaro ahite dhamme apanudeti, hite dhamme upagga.nhaa’ti. anupakaare dhamme apanudeti, upakaare damme upagga.nhaati. eva.m kho, mahaaraaja, upagga.nhanalakkha.naa sati.

Just as, Your Majesty, the adviser-treasure of the king who is a cakka-vatin knows those things that are beneficial and unbeneficial to the king [and thinks], 'These things are beneficial, those unbeneficial; these things are helpful, these unhelpful.' He thus removes the unbeneficial things and takes hold of the beneficial. Evan so, Your Majesty, sati, when it arises, follows the courses of beneficial and unbeneficial dhammas: these dhammas are beneficial, these unbeneficial; these dhammas are helpful, these unhelpful. Thus one who practises yoga removes unbeneficial dhammas and takes hold of beneficial dhammas; he removes unhelpful dhammas and takes hold of helpful dhammas. Just so, Your Majesty, does sati have the characteristic of taking hold.

(Mil 37-8; translation from "The Buddhist Path to Awakening" by Rupert Gethin, pp. 37-38 )

On the other hand, there's a practice of 'anussati' (recollection), described, for example, in Mahanama sutta:

""There is the case where you recollect the Tathagata: 'Indeed, the Blessed One is worthy and rightly self-awakened, consummate in knowledge & conduct, well-gone, an expert with regard to the world, unexcelled as a trainer for those people fit to be tamed, the Teacher of divine & human beings, awakened, blessed.' At any time when a disciple of the noble ones is recollecting the Tathagata, his mind is not overcome with passion, not overcome with aversion, not overcome with delusion. His mind heads straight, based on the Tathagata. And when the mind is headed straight, the disciple of the noble ones gains a sense of the goal, gains a sense of the Dhamma, gains joy connected with the Dhamma. In one who is joyful, rapture arises. In one who is rapturous, the body grows calm. One whose body is calmed experiences ease. In one at ease, the mind becomes concentrated."

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html

Metta, Dmytro
Last edited by Dmytro on Sat May 08, 2010 9:19 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Pali Term: Sati

Postby Dmytro » Sat May 08, 2010 9:07 am

From the interview of Ven. Bhikkhu Bodhi:

"We can see this problem in some of the simplest Pali words. For instance, the word samadhi can be translated as “concentration, composure, collectedness, mental unification, etc.,” but none of these renderings convey the idea that samadhi denotes a specific meditative state, or set of meditative states, in the Buddhist (and broader Indian) system of spiritual cultivation. Even the word sati, rendered mindfulness, isn’t unproblematic. The word derives from a verb, sarati, meaning “to remember,” and occasionally in Pali sati is still explained in a way that connects it with the idea of memory. But when it is used in relation to meditation practice, we have no word in English that precisely captures what it refers to. An early translator cleverly drew upon the word mindfulness, which is not even in my dictionary. This has served its role admirably, but it does not preserve the connection with memory, sometimes needed to make sense of a passage."

http://www.inquiringmind.com/Articles/Translator.html
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Re: Pali Term: Sati

Postby Dmytro » Sat May 08, 2010 9:10 am

Tse-fu Kuan

Saññā and Sati

http://www.tt034.org.tw/Download/pdf/32_03.pdf

Mindfulness in Early Buddhism: New Approaches through Psychology and Textual Analysis of Pali, Chinese and Sanskrit Sources

http://dharmadana.wordpress.com/2009/03 ... roduction/
http://books.google.com/books?id=ZEk2rp ... frontcover
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Re: Pali Term: Sati

Postby Dmytro » Sat May 08, 2010 9:11 am

Mindfulness Defined
by Thanissaro Bhikkhu

"The British scholar who coined the term “mindfulness” to translate the Pali word sati was probably influenced by the Anglican prayer to be ever mindful of the needs of others—in other words, to always keep their needs in mind."

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... fined.html
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Re: Pali Term: Sati

Postby Dmytro » Mon Jan 09, 2012 1:17 pm

Ñāṇa wrote:

The Sankrit root smṛ and the term smṛti predate Buddhism. In the ancient Ṛgveda, smṛ means "to remember" or "to keep in mind." Monier Williams Sanskrit-English Dictionary includes the following for each:

smṛ

to remember, recollect, bear in mind, call to mind, think of, be mindful of
to remember or think of with sorrow or regret
to hand down memoriter, teach, declare
to recite, to be remembered or recorded or declared (as a law) or mentioned in the smṛti
to be declared or regarded as, to cause to remember or be mindful of or regret
to remind any one of, to wish to remember


smṛti

f. remembrance, reminiscence, thinking of or upon (loc. or comp.), calling to mind (smṛtim api te na yānti, " they are not even thought of "), memory
memory as one of the vyabhicāri-bhāvas (q.v.)
Memory (personified either as the daughter of dakṣa and wife of aṅgiras or as the daughter of dharma and medhā)
the whole body of sacred tradition or what is remembered by human teachers (in contradistinction to śruti or what is directly heard or revealed to the ṛṣis)


These ancient meanings of "remembrance" and "keeping in mind" were retained in the Buddhist canonical discourses as well as the Theravāda and Sarvāstivāda commentarial traditions. For example, the faculty of sati (satindriya) is defined in SN 48.9 Paṭhamavibhaṅga Sutta as follows:

Katamañca, bhikkhave, satindriyaṃ? Idha, bhikkhave, ariyasāvako satimā hoti paramena satinepakkena samannāgato cirakatampi cirabhāsitampi saritā anussaritā – idaṃ vuccati, bhikkhave, satindriyaṃ.

And what, monks, is the faculty of sati? Here, monks, a noble disciple is satimā, possessing supreme sati and discretion, one who remembers and recollects what was done and said long ago. This is called the faculty of sati.


Likewise, in SN 46.3 Sīlasutta we find the following passage relating to the awakening factor of sati (satisambojjhaṅga):

Yasmiṃ samaye, bhikkhave, bhikkhu tathā vūpakaṭṭho viharanto taṃ dhammaṃ anussarati anuvitakketi, satisambojjhaṅgo tasmiṃ samaye bhikkhuno āraddho hoti; satisambojjhaṅgaṃ tasmiṃ samaye bhikkhu bhāveti; satisambojjhaṅgo tasmiṃ samaye bhikkhuno bhāvanāpāripūriṃ gacchati.

Dwelling thus withdrawn, one recollects the dhamma and thinks it over. Whenever, monks, a monk dwelling thus withdrawn recollects that dhamma and thinks it over, on that occasion the awakening factor of sati is aroused by the monk, on that occasion the monk develops the awakening factor of sati, on that occasion the awakening factor of sati comes to fulfillment through development in the monk.


And SN 45.8 Vibhaṅga Sutta we find the description of right sati (sammāsati):

Katamā ca, bhikkhave, sammāsati? Idha, bhikkhave, bhikkhu kāye kāyānupassī viharati ātāpī sampajāno satimā, vineyya loke abhijjhādomanassaṃ; vedanāsu vedanānupassī viharati ātāpī sampajāno satimā, vineyya loke abhijjhādomanassaṃ; citte cittānupassī viharati ātāpī sampajāno satimā, vineyya loke abhijjhādomanassaṃ; dhammesu dhammānupassī viharati ātāpī sampajāno satimā, vineyya loke abhijjhādomanassaṃ – ayaṃ vuccati, bhikkhave, sammāsati.

And what, monks, is right sati? Here, monks, a monk dwells contemplating the body in the body, ardent, fully aware, satimā, having removed covetousness and displeasure with regard to the world. He dwells contemplating feelings in feelings, ardent, fully aware, satimā, having removed covetousness and displeasure with regard to the world. He dwells contemplating mind in mind, ardent, fully aware, satimā, having removed covetousness and displeasure with regard to the world. He dwells contemplating phenomena in phenomena, ardent, fully aware, satimā, having removed covetousness and displeasure with regard to the world.


It's worth noticing that this description of right sati is qualified by being ardent (ātāpī), fully aware (sampajāna), and satimā. To clarify the meanings of these terms we can turn to the Satipaṭṭhānavibhaṅga of the Pāli Abhidhammapiṭaka, which gives the following word analysis for each:

“Ātāpī” ti. Tattha, katamaṁ ātappaṁ? Yo cetasiko viriyārambho nikkamo parakkamo, uyyāmo vāyāmo ussāho ussoḷhī thāmo dhiti asithilaparakkamatā, anikkhittachandatā anikkhittadhuratā dhurasampaggāho, viriyaṁ Viriyindriyaṁ Viriyabalaṁ Sammāvāyāmo – ayaṁ vuccati “ātappaṁ”. Iminā ātappena upeto hoti samupeto upāgato samupāgato, upapanno samupapanno samannāgato. Tena vuccati “ātāpī” ti.

“Sampajāno” ti. Tattha, katamaṁ sampajaññaṁ? Yā paññā pajānanā vicayo pavicayo dhammavicayo, sallakkhaṇā upalakkhaṇā paccupalakkhaṇā, paṇḍiccaṁ kosallaṁ nepuññaṁ vebhabyā cintā upaparikkhā, bhūrī medhā pariṇāyikā vipassanā sampajaññaṁ patodo, paññā Paññindriyaṁ Paññābalaṁ paññāsatthaṁ, paññāpāsādo paññā-āloko paññā-obhāso paññāpajjoto paññāratanaṁ, amoho dhammavicayo Sammādiṭṭhi – idaṁ vuccati “sampajaññaṁ”. Iminā sampajaññena upeto hoti samupeto upāgato samupāgato, upapanno samupapanno samannāgato. Tena vuccati “sampajāno” ti.

“Satimā” ti. Tattha, katamā sati? Yā sati anussati paṭissati sati saraṇatā, dhāraṇatā apilāpanatā asammussanatā, sati Satindriyaṁ Satibalaṁ Sammāsati – ayaṁ vuccati “sati”. Imāya satiyā upeto hoti samupeto upāgato samupāgato, upapanno samupapanno samannāgato. Tena vuccati “satimā” ti.

“Ardent”. Herein, what is ardour? Whatever mental exercise of effort, exertion, great exertion, enterprise, endeavour, attempt, travail, vigour, courage, exertion that is not lax, not putting aside of (wholesome) desire, not putting aside of responsibility, being taken up with responsibility, effort, the faculty of effort, the strength of effort, right endeavour – this is called “ardour”. With this ardour he is endowed, truly endowed, having attained, truly attained, being possessed, truly possessed, furnished (with it). Because of this “ardent” is said.

“Full awareness”. Herein, what is full awareness? That which is wisdom, knowing, investigation, deep investigation, investigation of (the nature of) things, discernment, discrimination, differentiation, erudition, skilfulness, subtlety, clarification, thoughtfulness, consideration, breadth, intelligence, guidance, insight, full awareness, examination, wisdom, the faculty of wisdom, the strength of wisdom, the sword of wisdom, height of wisdom, light of wisdom, lustre of wisdom, flame of wisdom, treasure of wisdom, non-delusion, investigation of (the nature of) things, right view – this is called “full awareness”. With this full awareness he is endowed, truly endowed, having attained, truly attained, being possessed, truly possessed, furnished (with it). Because of this “full awareness” is said.

“Satimāti”. Herein, what is sati? That which is sati, recollection, recall, sati, remembrance, bearing (in mind), not losing, not confusing, sati, the faculty of sati, the strength of sati, right sati – this is called “sati”. With this sati he is endowed, truly endowed, having attained, truly attained, being possessed, truly possessed, furnished (with it). Because of this “satimā” is said.


And so it's clear that the meaning of sati as "remembrance" and "keeping in mind" was still very much retained in the Vibhaṅga (and in parallel passages in the Dhammasaṅgaṇī).

Likewise, the early meanings of remembrance and keeping in mind are retained in the Milindapañha, which gives the characteristics of sati as "calling to mind" or "noting" (apilāpana) and "taking hold" or "keeping in mind" (upaggaṇhana). These two characteristics are further explained as follows:

“Sati, mahārāja, uppajjamānā kusalākusalasāvajjānavajjahīnappaṇītakaṇhasukkasappaṭibhāgadhamme apilāpeti ‘ime cattāro satipaṭṭhānā, ime cattāro sammappadhānā, ime cattāro iddhipādā, imāni pañcindriyāni, imāni pañca balāni, ime satta bojjhaṅgā, ayaṃ ariyo aṭṭhaṅgiko maggo, ayaṃ samatho, ayaṃ vipassanā, ayaṃ vijjā, ayaṃ vimuttī’ti. Tato yogāvacaro sevitabbe dhamme sevati, asevitabbe dhamme na sevati. Bhajitabbe dhamme bhajati abhajittabbe dhamme na bhajati. Evaṃ kho, mahārāja, apilāpanalakkhaṇā satī”ti...

“Sati, mahārāja, uppajjamānā hitāhitānaṃ dhammānaṃ gatiyo samanveti ‘ime dhammā hitā, ime dhammā ahitā. Ime dhammā upakārā, ime dhammā anupakārā’ti. Tato yogāvacaro ahite dhamme apanudeti, hite dhamme upaggaṇhāti. Anupakāre dhamme apanudeti, upakāre dhamme upaggaṇhāti. Evaṃ kho, mahārāja, upaggaṇhanalakkhaṇā satī”ti.

“As sati springs up in the mind of the recluse, he repeatedly notes the wholesome and unwholesome, blameless and blameworthy, insignificant and important, dark and light qualities and those that resemble them thinking, ‘These are the four foundations of mindfulness, these the four right efforts, these the four bases of success, these the five controlling faculties, these the five moral powers, these the seven factors of enlightenment, these are the eight factors of the noble path, this is serenity, this insight, this vision and this freedom.’ Thus does he cultivate those qualities that are desirable and shun those that should be avoided.”...

“As sati springs up in the mind, he searches out the categories of good qualities and their opposites thinking, ‘Such and such qualities are beneficial and such are harmful’. Thus does he make what is unwholesome in himself disappear and maintain what is good.”

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Re: Pali Term: Sati

Postby Dmytro » Mon Jan 09, 2012 1:18 pm

Just as the royal frontier fortress has a gate-keeper — wise, experienced, intelligent — to keep out those he doesn't know and to let in those he does, for the protection of those within and to ward off those without; in the same way a disciple of the noble ones is endowed with remembrance (sati), highly meticulous, remembering & able to call to mind even things that were done & said long ago. With remembrance (sati) as his gate-keeper, the disciple of the ones abandons what is unskillful, develops what is skillful, abandons what is blameworthy, develops what is blameless, and looks after himself with purity. With this sixth true quality is he endowed.

(6) Seyyathāpi bhikkhave, rañño paccantime nagare dovāriko hoti paṇḍito viyatto medhāvī aññātānaṃ nivaretā ñātānaṃ pavesetā abbhantarānaṃ guttiyā bāhirānaṃ paṭighātāya, evameva kho bhikkhave, ariyasāvako satimā hoti paramena satinepakkena samannāgato cirakatampi cirabhāsitampi saritā anussaritā. Sati dovāriko bhikkhave, ariyasāvako akusalaṃ pajahati, kusalaṃbhāveti, sāvajjaṃ pajahati, anavajjaṃ bhāveti, suddhaṃ attānaṃ pariharati. Iminā chaṭṭhena saddhammena samannāgato hoti.

— Nagara Sutta: The Fortress (AN 7.63)

So micchādiṭṭhiyā pahānāya vāyamati sammādiṭṭhiyā upasampadāya. Svāssa hoti sammāvāyāmo. So sato micchādiṭṭhiṃ pajahati. Sato sammādiṭṭhiṃ upasampajja viharati. Sāssa hoti sammāsati. Itissime tayo dhammā sammādiṭṭhiṃ anuparidhāvanti anuparivattanti. Seyyathīdaṃ: sammādiṭṭhi sammāvāyāmo sammāsati.

"One tries to abandon wrong view & to enter into right view: This is one's right effort. One is endowed with remembrance (sato) to abandon wrong view & to enter & remain in right view: This is one's right remembrance (sati). Thus these three qualities — right view, right effort, & right remembrance (sati) — run & circle around right view."

Maha-cattarisaka sutta
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Re: Pali Term: Sati

Postby Dmytro » Mon Jan 09, 2012 1:19 pm

"Or his mindfulness that 'There is a body' is maintained to the extent of knowledge & remembrance.

Or his mindfulness that 'There are feelings' is maintained to the extent of knowledge & remembrance.

Or his mindfulness that 'There is a mind' is maintained to the extent of knowledge & remembrance.

Or his mindfulness that 'There are mental qualities' is maintained to the extent of knowledge & remembrance."

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html

"Just as in the last month of the hot season, when all the crops have been gathered into the village, a cowherd would look after his cows: While resting under the shade of a tree or out in the open, he simply keeps himself mindful of 'those cows.' In the same way, I simply kept myself mindful of 'those mental qualities.'

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
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Re: Pali Term: Sati

Postby Sekha » Mon Mar 26, 2012 11:20 pm

The important thing for those who take one further step and actually try to apply these teachings is to understand that sati in the context of meditation practice refers to what is happening in the present moment, as clarified in the definition of samma-sati, and as confirmed by the greatest meditation teachers nowadays.

No one should think that meditation practice is merely to remember past phenomena.
Where knowledge ends, religion begins. - B. Disraeli

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Re: Pali Term: Sati

Postby Dmytro » Tue Mar 27, 2012 6:09 am

Hi Sekha,

Sekha wrote:The important thing for those who take one further step and actually try to apply these teachings is to understand that sati in the context of meditation practice refers to what is happening in the present moment, as clarified in the definition of samma-sati, and as confirmed by the greatest meditation teachers nowadays.

No one should think that meditation practice is merely to remember past phenomena.


I don't know who on Earth would think that meditation practice is merely to remember past phenomena.

The samma-sati (appropriate or right remembrance) passage you refer to does not give the definition of 'sati'. Here sutta describes the right ways to apply the eight factors. The description of right action:

"And what, monks, is right action? Abstaining from taking life, abstaining from stealing, abstaining from unchastity: This, monks, is called right action."

doesn't mean that the definition of "action" is "abstaining".

Similarly, the definition of 'sati' through four satipatthanas dosnt mean that the definition of "remembrance" (sati) is "being focused" (anupassana). This is clearly explained in the Satipatthana-Vibhanga.

IMHO, before directiong attention to what "no one should think" based on "the definition", it is worthwhile to examine closer the Word of the Buddha. The extended passage, found in the Dutia-vibhanga sutta, gives the definition of 'sati':

Katamañca, bhikkhave, satindriyaṃ? Idha, bhikkhave, ariyasāvako satimā hoti paramena satinepakkena samannāgato, cirakatampi cirabhāsitampi saritā anussaritā. So kāye kāyānupassī viharati ātāpī sampajāno satimā, vineyya loke abhijjhādomanassaṃ; vedanāsu…pe… citte…pe… dhammesu dhammānupassī viharati ātāpī sampajāno satimā, vineyya loke abhijjhādomanassaṃ – idaṃ vuccati, bhikkhave, satindriyaṃ.

And what is the faculty of remembrance? There is the case where a monk, a disciple of the noble ones, is endowed with memory, highly meticulous, remembering & able to call to mind even things that were done & said long ago.
He dwells contemplating the body in the body, ardent, fully aware, endowed with remembrance, having removed covetousness and displeasure with regard to the world. He dwells contemplating feelings in feelings, ardent, fully aware,endowed with remembrance, having removed covetousness and displeasure with regard to the world. He dwells contemplating mind in mind, ardent, fully aware, endowed with remembrance, having removed covetousness and displeasure with regard to the world. He dwells contemplating phenomena in phenomena, ardent, fully aware, endowed with remembrance, having removed covetousness and displeasure with regard to the world.

Samyutta Nikaya V.197

So the monk is applying to contemplation something he remembers. And what does he remember?

As explained in Mahacattarisaka sutta, remembrance is directed to abandoning unskillful and developing the skillful, e.g.:

"One remembers to abandon wrong view & to enter & remain in right view: This is one's right remembrance (samma-sati).

One remembers to abandon wrong resolve & to enter & remain in right resolve: This is one's right remembrance.

One remembers to abandon wrong speech & to enter & remain in right speech: This is one's right remembrance.

One remembers to abandon wrong action & to enter & remain in right action: This is one's right
remembrance.

One remembers to abandon wrong livelihood & to enter & remain in right livelihood: This is one's right remembrance."

Maha-cattarisaka sutta, MN 117

Best wishes, Dmytro
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Re: Pali Term: Sati

Postby Dmytro » Wed Mar 28, 2012 6:59 am

And here's how the word 'satimā' is defined and used in the Sutta:

Sekha-patipada sutta (MN 53):

Satimā hoti, paramena satinepakkena samannāgato, cirakatampi cirabhāsitampi saritā anussaritā.

He is endowed with remembrance, highly meticulous, remembering & able to call to mind even things that were done & said long ago.

‘‘Passaddhakāyo suvimuttacitto,
Asaṅkharāno satimā anoko;
Aññāya dhammaṃ avitakkajhāyī,
Na kuppati na sarati na thino.

Dutiya-vibhanga sutta (SN v.197):

Katamañca, bhikkhave, satindriyaṃ? Idha, bhikkhave, ariyasāvako satimā hoti paramena satinepakkena samannāgato, cirakatampi cirabhāsitampi saritā anussaritā. So kāye kāyānupassī viharati ātāpī sampajāno satimā, vineyya loke abhijjhādomanassaṃ; vedanāsu…pe… citte…pe… dhammesu dhammānupassī viharati ātāpī sampajāno satimā, vineyya loke abhijjhādomanassaṃ – idaṃ vuccati, bhikkhave, satindriyaṃ.

And what is the faculty of remembrance? There is the case where a monk, a disciple of the noble ones, is endowed with memory, highly meticulous, remembering & able to call to mind even things that were done & said long ago.
He dwells contemplating the body in the body, ardent, fully aware, endowed with remembrance, having removed covetousness and displeasure with regard to the world. He dwells contemplating feelings in feelings, ardent, fully aware,endowed with remembrance, having removed covetousness and displeasure with regard to the world. He dwells contemplating mind in mind, ardent, fully aware, endowed with remembrance, having removed covetousness and displeasure with regard to the world. He dwells contemplating phenomena in phenomena, ardent, fully aware, endowed with remembrance, having removed covetousness and displeasure with regard to the world.

Apana sutta (SN v.225):

‘‘Saddhassa hi, bhante, ariyasāvakassa āraddhavīriyassa etaṃ pāṭikaṅkhaṃ yaṃ satimā bhavissati, paramena satinepakkena samannāgato, cirakatampi cirabhāsitampi saritā anussaritā. Yā hissa, bhante, sati tadassa satindriyaṃ.

It is indeed to be expected, venerable sir, that a noble disciple who has faith and whose energy is aroused will be endowed with remembrance, possessing supreme remembrance and discretion, one who remembers and recollects what was done and said long ago. That remembrance of his, venerable sir, is his faculty of remembrance.

Vassakara sutta (AN ii.235)

Satimā kho pana hoti cirakatampi cirabhāsitampi saritā anussaritā.

He is endowed with remembrance, able to remember & recollect what was done & said a long time ago.

Vitthata sutta (AN iii.11), Vitthatabala sutta (AN iv.3):

‘‘Katamañca, bhikkhave, satibalaṃ? Idha, bhikkhave, ariyasāvako satimā hoti paramena satinepakkena samannāgato, cirakatampi cirabhāsitampi saritā anussaritā. Idaṃ vuccati, bhikkhave, satibalaṃ.

"And what is the strength of remembrance? There is the case where a monk, a disciple of the noble ones, is endowed with remembrance, able to remember & recollect what was done & said a long time ago. This is called the strength of remembrance.

Anuruddhamahāvitakka sutta (AN iv.234):

‘‘‘Upaṭṭhitassatissāyaṃ, bhikkhave, dhammo, nāyaṃ dhammo muṭṭhassatissā’ti, iti kho panetaṃ vuttaṃ. Kiñcetaṃ paṭicca vuttaṃ? Idha, bhikkhave, bhikkhu satimā hoti paramena satinepakkena samannāgato, cirakatampi cirabhāsitampi saritā anussaritā. ‘Upaṭṭhitassatissāyaṃ, bhikkhave, dhammo, nāyaṃ dhammo, muṭṭhassatissā’ti, iti yaṃ taṃ vuttaṃ idametaṃ paṭicca vuttaṃ.

Natha sutta (AN v.25), Dutiyanatha sutta (AN v.27):

‘‘Puna caparaṃ, bhikkhave, bhikkhu satimā hoti paramena satinepakkena samannāgato cirakatampi cirabhāsitampi saritā anussaritā. Yampi, bhikkhave, bhikkhu satimā hoti paramena satinepakkena samannāgato cirakatampi cirabhāsitampi saritā anussaritā, ayampi dhammo nāthakaraṇo.

"Then again, the monk is endowed with remembrance, highly meticulous, remembering & able to call to mind even things that were done & said long ago. And the fact that he is endowed with remembrance, highly meticulous, remembering & able to call to mind even things that were done & said long ago, is a quality creating a protector.

Bhaṇḍana sutta (AN v.91):

‘‘Puna caparaṃ, bhikkhave, bhikkhu satimā hoti, paramena satinepakkena samannāgato, cirakatampi cirabhāsitampi saritā anussaritā. Yampi, bhikkhave, bhikkhu satimā hoti, paramena satinepakkena samannāgato, cirakatampi cirabhāsitampi saritā anussaritā, ayampi dhammo sāraṇīyo…pe… saṃvattati.

Sutta-nipata 1076:

‘‘Ākiñcaññaṃ pekkhamāno satimā, (upasīvāti bhagavā)
Natthīti nissāya tarassu oghaṃ’’

[The Buddha:]
Endowed with intent remembrance of nothingness, relying on 'There isn't,' you should cross over the flood.
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Re: Pali Term: Sati

Postby Dmytro » Wed Mar 28, 2012 9:13 am

As for the word 'sato':

Suttanipata:

1116. ‘‘Kathaṃ satassa carato, viññāṇaṃ uparujjhati;
Bhagavantaṃ puṭṭhumāgamma, taṃ suṇoma vaco tava’’.

1117. ‘‘Ajjhattañca bahiddhā ca, vedanaṃ nābhinandato;
Evaṃ satassa carato, viññāṇaṃ uparujjhatī’’ti.

[Udaya:] Maintaining remembrance in what way does one bring consciousness to a halt?
We've come questioning to the Blessed One. Let us hear your words.

[The Buddha:]
Not relishing feeling, inside or out:
One maintaining remembrance in this way brings consciousness to a halt.
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Re: Pali Term: Sati

Postby Sekha » Wed Apr 11, 2012 5:09 pm

Dmytro wrote:
Sekha wrote:The important thing for those who take one further step and actually try to apply these teachings is to understand that sati in the context of meditation practice refers to what is happening in the present moment, as clarified in the definition of samma-sati, and as confirmed by the greatest meditation teachers nowadays.

No one should think that meditation practice is merely to remember past phenomena.


I don't know who on Earth would think that meditation practice is merely to remember past phenomena.

However, some people still might think so, and I would not be surprised of it, since I have myself already heard unbelievable interpretations of certain Pali terms closely related to meditation practice, out of which somewhat wacky conclusions were drawn on the matter, which is why I have made this remark.

Dmytro wrote:The samma-sati (appropriate or right remembrance) passage you refer to does not give the definition of 'sati'. Here sutta describes the right ways to apply the eight factors. The description of right action:

"And what, monks, is right action? Abstaining from taking life, abstaining from stealing, abstaining from unchastity: This, monks, is called right action."

doesn't mean that the definition of "action" is "abstaining".

Similarly, the definition of 'sati' through four satipatthanas dosnt mean that the definition of "remembrance" (sati) is "being focused" (anupassana). This is clearly explained in the Satipatthana-Vibhanga.

The remark was about the meaning of sati in the context of meditation practice, where it obviously has to be samma-sati, so we are not discussing here about the general meaning of sati, hence this argument is not applicable.

Rather, as right action involves abstaining from the five actions, right awareness involves the four types of observations, which obviously have to be made in the present moment.

I do not deny that to some extent 'remembrance' can be used even in the context of meditation practice, but this word is not satisfying for some of the most realized meditation teachers in describing meditation experience. As a matter of fact, I have personally met quite a few meditation practitioners and teachers, as well as serious monks, including the Pa Auk Sayadaw and some of his main disciples, and I have never come across anyone that would prefer the interpretation as 'remembrance' over 'mindfulness' in this particular context.

I appreciate and respect your point of view but I think it is important to integrate the points of view arising from actual experience of these phenomena.

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Re: Pali Term: Sati

Postby Dmytro » Thu Apr 12, 2012 5:56 am

Hi Sekha,

Sekha wrote:I do not deny that to some extent 'remembrance' can be used even in the context of meditation practice, but this word is not satisfying for some of the most realized meditation teachers in describing meditation experience.


Did they say "this word is not satisfying"?

As a matter of fact, I have personally met quite a few meditation practitioners and teachers, as well as serious monks, including the Pa Auk Sayadaw and some of his main disciples, and I have never come across anyone that would prefer the interpretation as 'remembrance' over 'mindfulness' in this particular context.


Nobody used the term 'mindfulness' before Thomas Rhys-Davids coined it in his Pali-English dictionary. So if Margaret Cone will interpret the word 'sati' as 'remembrance' in her new dictionary, this interpretation will be used in new translations, and then by meditation practitioners and teachers.

I appreciate and respect your point of view but I think it is important to integrate the points of view arising from actual experience of these phenomena.


The term 'mindfulness' arose from the Pali-English dictionary.

Even excellent teachers use the words as they know them from common usage. It's amazing how they can describe the practice despite the limitations of language.

"Upadana" is traditionally translated as 'clinging', though it rather means appropriation (as indicated in the new Margaret Cone's dictionary). "Nimitta" is translated as 'sign', though it means mostly a perceptual image, a representation. These traditional interpretations stem from the Pali-English dictionary of Thomas Rhys-Davids, who was one of the creators of Western Buddhism.

:anjali:
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Re: Pali Term: Sati

Postby retrofuturist » Thu Apr 12, 2012 6:02 am

Greetings,

Dmytro wrote:"Upadana" is traditionally translated as 'clinging', though it rather means appropriation (as indicated in the new Margaret Cone's dictionary).

I'm pleased to hear this.

Metta,
Retro. :)
If you have asked me of the origination of unease, then I shall explain it to you in accordance with my understanding:
Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


Exalted in mind, just open and clearly aware, the recluse trained in the ways of the sages:
One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


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Re: Pali Term: Sati

Postby piotr » Thu Apr 12, 2012 6:37 am

Hi,

Dmytro wrote:Nobody used the term 'mindfulness' before Thomas Rhys-Davids coined it in his Pali-English dictionary.


It's good to know that he took it from the Bible (Psalm 8:4) where it is used (more or less) in the sense of remembering about somebody.
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Re: Pali Term: Sati

Postby Sekha » Thu Apr 12, 2012 8:36 am

Dmytro wrote:
Sekha wrote:I do not deny that to some extent 'remembrance' can be used even in the context of meditation practice, but this word is not satisfying for some of the most realized meditation teachers in describing meditation experience.


Did they say "this word is not satisfying"?


in the case of Goenka, I think these words fairly represents the expression "better sense or understanding":
Sammā-sati is part of the Noble Eightfold Path. Its literal meaning, as commonly used nowadays in India as smṛti, is "memory" or "remembrance". Vipassana involves no past memory, but you must always remember the object of meditation, which is the reality pertaining to mind and matter within the framework of the body. A better sense or understanding of sati is awareness, which is what it is; and awareness has to be of the reality of this moment as it is, of the present, not the past or future.
http://www.vridhamma.org/Discourses-on- ... hana-Sutta


In the case of the Pa Auk Sayadaw, it is not that clear I have to admit it, but he nevertheless makes his choice clearly:
ānāpānassati is the mindfulness of breathing. Knowing the breath is wisdom (paññā). Being mindful of the breath is mindfulness (sati).
see here under The Noble Eightfold Path


And this is not because his words have been translated into English by somebody else, since, in the editorial note of that same document, we find:
All sixteen talks had been prepared in English, and then read in English by the Sayadaw



Dmytro wrote:Nobody used the term 'mindfulness' before Thomas Rhys-Davids coined it in his Pali-English dictionary. So if Margaret Cone will interpret the word 'sati' as 'remembrance' in her new dictionary, this interpretation will be used in new translations, and then by meditation practitioners and teachers.

It is worthwhile though to note the following fact:
The Pa Auk Sayadaw has had a complete buddhist education as a monk, involving learning the Pali language, according to the Burmese tradition:
The Sayadaw was born in 1934 , in Leigh-Chaung Village, Hinthada Township, in the delta region about one hundred miles northwst of the capital, Yangon. In 1944, at age ten, he ordained as a novice monk (sāmaṇera) at a monastery in his village. During the next decade, he pursued his life of a typical scholar-novice, studying the Pāli texts (including Vinaya, Suttas and Abhidhamma) under various teachers. He passed the three Pāli language examinatations while still a novice.

In 1954, at age twenty, the Sayadaw received the higher ordination as a bhikkhu. He continued his studies of the Pāli Texts under the guidance of elder learned monks. In 1956 he passed the prestigious Dhammacariya examination. This is equivalent to a BA in Buddhist Pāli Studies and confers the title of "Dhamma Teacher".
http://www.buddhanet.net/pdf_file/teach-train3rd.pdf

However, when he started to teach in English and he looked for the appropriate translation of sati, he chose "mindfulness". I don't think anyone can reasonably consider that the Sayadaw merely followed Rhys Davids' choice, and few people can be considered as being more knowledgeable than him in both theory and practice, Margaret Cone certainly not being among them.
Last edited by Sekha on Thu Apr 12, 2012 11:46 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Pali Term: Sati

Postby Aloka » Thu Apr 12, 2012 11:01 am

Hi all,

There's a "Sati Sampajanna" video here from Ajahn Jayasaro which might be helpful.






with kind wishes,

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Re: Pali Term: Sati

Postby piotr » Thu Apr 12, 2012 12:27 pm

Hi,

Aloka wrote:There's a "Sati Sampajanna" video here from Ajahn Jayasaro which might be helpful.


This is a very good and clear explaination. Worth sati-ing. ;)
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Re: Pali Term: Sati

Postby Dmytro » Thu Apr 12, 2012 12:55 pm

Sekha wrote:However, when he started to teach in English and he looked for the appropriate translation of sati, he chose "mindfulness". I don't think anyone can reasonably consider that the Sayadaw merely followed Rhys Davids' choice, and few people can be considered as being more knowledgeable than him in both theory and practice, Margaret Cone certainly not being among them.


Then where from he got the term 'mindfulness'? Coined it independently?

How exactly he defines 'sati'?

And do I have a right to differ from Venerable's opinion?

Discussions of who is more knowledgeable, for example, Ven. Buddhaghosa or Ven. Pa Auk Sayadaw, will lead us nowhere.

Ven. Buddhaghosa gives an extended definition of 'sati'.
Visuddhimagga 464, in Ven. Nyanamoli's translation, reads:

141. (x) By its means they remember (saranti), or it itself remembers, or it is just mere remembering (saraṇa), thus it is minfulness (sati). It has the characteristic of not wobbling. Its function is not to forget. It is manifested as guarding, or it is manifested as the state of confronting an objective field. Its proximate cause is strong preception (thirasaññā), or its proximate cause is the foundations of mindfulness concerned with the body, and so on (see M. Sutta 10). It should be regarded, however, as like a pillar because is firmly founded, or as like a door-keeper because it guards the eye-door, and so on.

465. Saranti tāya, sayaṃ vā sarati saraṇamattameva vā esāti sati. Sā apilāpanalakkhaṇā, asammosarasā, ārakkhapaccupaṭṭhānā, visayābhimukhabhāvapaccupaṭṭhānā vā, thirasaññāpadaṭṭhānā, kāyādisatipaṭṭhānapadaṭṭhānā vā. Ārammaṇe daḷhapatiṭṭhitattā pana esikā viya, cakkhudvārādirakkhaṇato dovāriko viya ca daṭṭhabbā.


Pali passages are the most reliable source of the meanings of Pali terms, and I hope we'll discuss Pali passages in this forum.
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Re: Pali Term: Sati

Postby Dmytro » Thu Apr 12, 2012 1:02 pm

piotr wrote:It's good to know that he took it from the Bible (Psalm 8:4) where it is used (more or less) in the sense of remembering about somebody.


Thanks for the reference, Piotr:

"What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him?
For thou hast made him a little lower than the angels, and hast crowned him with glory and honour."

There's also another passage from a popular Anglican prayer:

"Give us grateful hearts, our Father,
for all thy [your] mercies,
and make us mindful of the needs of others;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen."

http://www.askthepriest.org/askthepries ... ealti.html
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