I thought it might be worth investigating these two terms, which find their way into...
MN 1: Mulapariyaya Sutta
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... setting the scene for the different levels of speech found throughout the Majjhima Nikaya and the Sutta Pitaka in general. Here are definitions of these terms from the PTS Pali-English dictionary @ http://dsal.uchicago.edu/dictionaries/pali/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
Sañjānana (nt.) & ˚ā (f.) [fr. sañjānāti] knowing, perceiving, recognition Miln 61; DA i.211; characteristic, that by which one is distinguished DhsA 321. As f. at Dhs 4; DhsA 110, 140 (trsln Expos. 185: "the act of perceiving by noting").
Sañjānāti [saŋ+jānāti] 1. to recognize, perceive, know, to be aware of Vin iii.112; D ii.12; M i.111, 473; S iii.87; A v.46, 60, 63; J i.135; iv.194; ThA 110. -- 2. to think, to suppose J ii.98. -- 3. to call, name, nickname D i.93; J i.148. -- Aor. sañjāni DA i.261; ger. saññāya J i.187; ii.98; saññatvā M i.1; and sañjānitvā J i.352. -- Caus. saññāpeti (q. v.). -- pp. saññāta.
I know the "abhi" prefix refers to "higher", but what does the "sañ" refer to... I assume it's related to perception, ala sañña?Abhijānāti
Abhijānāti [abhi + jñā, cp. jānāti & abhiññā] to know by experience, to know fully or thoroughly, to recognise, know of (c. acc.), to be conscious or aware of D i.143; S ii.58, 105, 219, 278; iii.59, 91; iv.50, 324, 399; v.52, 176, 282, 299; Sn 1117 (diṭṭhiŋ Gotamassa na a.); J iv.142; Pv ii.710 = ii.103 (nɔābhijānāmi bhuttaŋ vā pītaŋ); Sdhp 550; etc. -- Pot. abhijāneyya Nd2 78a, & abhijaññā Sn 917, 1059 (= jāneyyāsi SnA 592); aor. abhaññāsi Sn p. 16. -- ppr. abhijānaŋ S iv.19, 89; Sn 788 (= ˚jānanto C.), 1114 (= ˚jānanto Nd2 78b) abhijānitva DhA iv.233; abhiññāya S iv.16; v.392; Sn 534 (sabbadhammaŋ), 743 (jātikkhayaŋ), 1115, 1148; It 91 (dhammaŋ); Dh 166 (atta -- d -- atthaŋ); freq. in phrase sayaŋ abhiññāya from personal knowledge or self -- experience It 97 (v.l. abhiññā); Dh 353; and abhiññā [short form, like ādā for ādāya, cp. upādā] in phrase sayaŋ abhiññā D i.31 (+ sacchikatvā); S ii.217; It 97 (v.l. for ˚abhiññāya), in abhiññā -- vosita perfected by highest knowledge S i.167 = 175 = Dh 423 ("master of supernormal lore" Mrs Rh. D. in kindred S. p. 208; cp. also DhA iv.233); It 47 = 61 = 81, and perhaps also in phrase sabbaŋ abhiññapariññeyya S iv.29. -- grd. abhiññeyya S iv.29; Sn 558 (˚ŋ abhiññātaŋ known is the knowable); Nd2 s.v.; DhA iv.233. -- pp. abhiññāta (q. v.).
In Bhikkhu Ñanananda's Nibbana Sermons, he seems to treat sañjānāti as understanding in conventional/conceptual/linguistic/wordly/grammatical/putthujana terms. An example of which is in the Nibbedhikasutta (PTS ref: (A III 413))
In contradistinction, abhijānāti is explained, with reference to MN1 by Bhikkhu Ñanananda as such..."Monks, I say that perception has linguistic usage as its result.
In whatever way one perceives, so one speaks out about it, saying:
`I was of such a perception'."
I find this interesting, because if this is true, it appears as if it is a sutta-based instance of "two level of truths" which seem to be generally reserved in Buddhist circles for distinguishing between Abhidhammic paramattha classifications and worldly conventions.The Tathāgata, who has a higher knowledge of earth, as suggested
by the word abhijānāti, does not entertain imaginings by
taking earth at its face value. He is not carried away by the
grammatical structure to imagine in such terms as `on the earth'
and `from the earth'
If these distinctions are made in sutta, I believe this necessitates some serious contemplation about which level of speech is being used in various suttas, and to not simply assume that they refer to conventional worldly things. Unless we pay attention to this, we may be inadvertedly allowing our putthujana tendencies to discolour our reading of the suttas... obscuring the deep and profound wisdom they illustrate.
Any comments or thoughts on these terms, their definitions, or the implications resulting from their usage would be greatly appreciated.