An observation on satipatthana and the catuskoti

the sequence of satipatthana recapitualtes the catuskoti:

observing the body internally
observing the body externally (not internal)
observing both the internal and external bodies
observing feeling internally (feeling is neither the internal body nor the external body)
externally (not internally)
both internally and externally
the mind internally (being neither internal feeling nor external feeling)
the mind externally (not)
dhammas (being neither)

I think this is a fascinating example of how deeply embedded the tetralemma or catuskoti is embedded in much of buddhism, even where we least expect it.


AN 4.198 and elsewhere:

AN4.198:1.1-7: “Mendicants, these four people are found in the world. What four?

  • One person mortifies themselves, pursuing the practice of mortifying themselves.
  • One person mortifies others, pursuing the practice of mortifying others.
  • One person mortifies themselves and others, pursuing the practice of mortifying themselves and others.
  • One person neither mortifies themselves nor others, pursuing the practice of not mortifying themselves or others. They live without wishes in the present life, extinguished, cooled, experiencing bliss, with self become divine.



Yes! Another excellent example!!


Interesting, I never had thought of it like this! Although I find relating feelings to neither internal nor external seems somewhat of a stretch.

Its is being related to body, as in niether the internal nor the external body.

Just saying, the word ‘catukoti’ by itself doesn’t have any spiritual significance. It just a general term like ‘tetracuspid’.

But I have heard that all the wrong views in the world can be enclosed, put in a box so to speak, using a catukotika Naya.