Anicca: Impermanence or "not-one's-owness"?

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生Is not clinging .
生法Is short for 缘生法

The causal dharmah taken as self


Ven Anālayo seems to think it is clinging here.


計 Is clinging , you can look up dictionary .

「(缘) 生法」(計) 是我
「(缘) 生法」(执着) 是我



色生=色(缘) 生(法)
生是我=(色缘) 生(法) 是我


This is very different than Ven Anālayo’s rendering:

it is by clinging to states that one conceives ‘I am this’,

Where do you get the

From? None of the dictionaries I have have this reading.

Similarly, none of the dictionaries I consult have anything like clinging for 計.

I’m not trying to be contrarian, I’m just trying to learn more.


Pali: SN 12.66
regard that in the world with a pleasant and agreeable nature as permanent/one’s own, as happiness, as self, as healthy, as secure: (they are nurturing craving.)

Sanskrit: SF 158
वा यत् लोके प्रियरूपम् सातरूपम् तन्नित्यतः समन्वद्राक्षुः
vā yal loke priyarūpaṃ sātarūpaṃ tan nityataḥ samanvadrākṣuḥ |

ध्रुवतः क्षेमत आरोग्यत आत्मत आत्मीयतः समन्वद्राक्षुस् ते तृष्णाम् ध्रुवतः क्षेमत आरोग्यत आत्मत आत्मीयतः
dhruvataḥ kṣemata ārogyata ātmata ātmīyataḥ (samanvadrākṣus te tṛṣṇāṃ prāvardhayiṣuḥ)
Permanent (unchangeable), abiding at ease, free from disease, of (the nature of) the ātman (ātma + ॰ता -tā), as own’s own (आत्मीय ātmīya [ātma - ॰ईय -īya] ; viz of what belongs to ātma)

What is also interesting to notice is “samanvadrākṣus,” also seen (adrākṣuḥ [ aor. - ac. pl. of dṛś]), as the “thinking” creature (manū).
samanvadrākṣus = sa-manū-adrākṣuḥ = seen as this manu.

I suppose not.


What do you think of the hypothesis that



asmīti hoti, no anupādāya


理念, 思想, 想法, 主意, 概念,

估计, 算, 推算, 推想, 计, 合算

Reckon synonyms:
believe, think, be of the opinion,
be of the view.

Therefore , believing or
held on to a view Is clinging.


What I meant was: where did you get that there is a 缘 missing before 生法?

Sorry, I was unclear.


upādāya āvuso ānanda, 'asmi’ti hoti, no anupādāya

upādāya means ?

rūpaṃ upādāya’asmi’ti hoti no anupādāya. (s22.83)
What do you think rupam upadaya means here ?


upādāya also means arising ?


生法計是我 clinging dharmah plans is self.
Make no sense

If 色生 is rupa clinging
Then 生是我 mean clinging is self ,
it doesn’t make sense .

Fyi Clinging in Chinese is 取


”—“Is what is impermanent, suffering, and subject to change fit to be regarded thus: ‘This is mine, this I am, this is my self’?”—“No, venerable sir.”

Yaṃ panāniccaṃ, dukkhaṃ vipariṇāmadhammaṃ, kallaṃ nu taṃ samanupassituṃ 'etaṃ mama, eso’hamasmi, eso me attā’ti? No hetaṃ bhante. SN22.59

So it seems that impermanence is the cause for non-belonging, according to SN22.59. They seem to be distinct concepts, depicted as cause and effect, one arising first and then giving rise to the next.

It may be that belonging is a key feature of atta, in Vedic or Brahmanical thinking (or the opposite of it). I noticed that a video of Advaita philosophy also used ‘non-belonging’ to delineate what wasn’t (true) Self. But to think of the Buddhist flavour of the use of these concepts, non-belonging doesn’t feature prominently, though it is part of it and @suci1 might want to explore its implications further.

with metta

Sotapatti - hugh, what is it good for?

Wisdom Library suggests:

Upādā, (adv.) (shortened ger. of upādiyati for the usual upādāya in specialised meaning) lit. “taking up”, i.e. subsisting on something else, not original, secondary, derived (of rūpa form) Dhs. 877, 960, 1210; Vism. 275, 444 (24 fold); DhsA. 215, 299, 333, cp. Dhs. trsln. 127, 197.—Usually (and this is the earlier use of upādā) as neg. anupādā (for anupādāya) in meaning “not taking up any more (fuel, so as to keep the fire of rebirth alive)”, not clinging to love of the world, or the kilesas q. v. , having no more tendency to becoming; in phrases a. parinibbānaṃ “unsupported emancipation” M. I, 148; S. IV, 48; V, 29; DhA. I, 286 etc.; a. vimokkho mental release A. V, 64 (A A: catuhi upādānehi agahetvā cittassa vimokkho; arahattass’etaṃ nāmaṃ); Vin. V, 164; Ps. II, 45 sq.; a. vimutto D. I, 17 (= kinci dhammaṃ anupādiyitvā vimutto DA. I, 109); cp. M. III, 227 (paritassanā). (Page 149)

note the “of rūpa/form” at the beginning. Obviously that usage is not this usage, necessarily.

I found out the confusion. 生 is kind of like a spelling mistake of sorts. It is not utpāda here, it is upāda. Venerable Anālayo noticed it:

SĀ 261 at T II 66a8 has 生法 as its counterpart to upādāya in SN 22.83 at SN III 105, 10 . My translation follows the indication in Hirakawa 1997: 832 s.v. 生 that this character can, besides its more common meaning of utpāda , also render upāda . Perhaps a confusion between utpāda and upāda was already present in the Indic text used for translating SĀ 261. I have decided against a literal rendering of the Chinese text as it is now, because this would not really work for the context. States still ‘arise’ in the case of an arahant, even though an arahant no longer conceives of them in terms of ‘I am this’, etc., which is precisely because an arahant is without ‘clinging’ to any states. That is, conceiving in terms of ‘I am this’ is not caused just by the fact that states have ‘arisen’, but much rather happens because one ‘clings’ to these states."

Credit to @Erik_ODonnell, who dug this up, from ages ago.


Basically, Ven Anālayo is suggesting, I think, that 生 in 生法 should be read as 取法, or something like that, because there has been a confusion over utpāda --> upāda in the rendering of the text into Chinese.


I am curious, if you think

What do you think the rest says?

What if the text had:

『阿難!取法計是我,非不取。阿 難!云何於取法計是我,非不取?色取,取是我,非不取。受、想、行、識取,取是我,非不取。

With upāda instead of utpāda?

Notice that you might be suggesting that the original would be

Kiñca uppādāya asmīti hoti, no anuppādāya? Rūpaṃ uppādāya asmīti hoti, no anuppādāya.

I am just assuming Pāli is going to make utpāda --> uppāda in this context.

We might need a Pāli expert at this point. Also, until this point, I had not realized this entire conversation had happened before.

I didn’t realize you had a new account/name, hello. :wave:


You have been missing some important suttas about the" NOT YOURS". Viz. the “not ownership” of the khandhas (SN 22.33), and internal ayatanas (SN 35.138)

  • the khandhas (leading to dhammas and dhatus) cannot be controled (permanently changed).
  • khandhas (leading to dhammas and dhatus), have an inherent changing nature. AND
  • khandhas (leading to dhammas and dhatus), and atta’s internal ayatanani ( that actualize sensualy these dhammas and dhatus) are “not yours”.

Therefore the atta (as reflexive pronoun) cannot see himself as the spiritual atta, that is continuous, eternal and blissful. Nor can the atta (as reflexive pronoun), see himself as having anything to do with the khandhas (leading to dhammas and dhatus).

And the well-learned noble disciple regards these khandhas, contemplate and examine them as they are: not self and not belonging to self.

So yes @Mat, impermanence is the cause for non-belonging.
But what does not belong here is the spiritual atta. (see above how Olivelle defines atma/atta). Our atta, as personal pronoun however, is impermanent.
If you don’t get rid of that chavakra and Abidhammic frame of mind, you will always bring confusedness in your reasoning.

What imports, and what is shown in SN 22.89, is that you must treat the effect (“I am this” ), before the cause (“I am”) . See SN 22.47 for that matter - (one should rewind the process).

So @Mat, let’s be clear. I am not excluding one for the other. SN 22.59 mentions “changes” . However, SN 22.122 mentions “aliens”. I am aware of that.

The problem with SN 22.59, is that the “I am THIS” (one’s owness), is not paralled in the Chinese sutras. In the latter, it is about perceiving self in the impermanent dharma. Which has more the flavor of an “I am”, than an “I am THIS”.

By now, everyone must have understood that the point is to show the intricated connection of both meanings of anicca; that is to say the “not-one’s-owness (I am not THIS”), and the" impermanence" (of the “I am”).
Nicca is both the cause (the idea of permanence that leads to the “I am”), and the effect (the idea that this is" my own") - so to speak.

SN 22.89 is very clear about these two. (Important sutta).
Important, because it shows how the riddances have to be processed.
First, get rid of the “I am THIS”.

In anapanasati, the 13th step might not be about impermanence, but about the abscence of desire [vi+rāga] about what is “not ours”.
The dispassion coming from the knowledge of the “I am not THIS”. About the “alien” nature of this dhamma.

Note: I don’t know why Analayo has translated virāga as “fading away”?
I suppose he tried to twist the meaning, to fit the usual construct of arising and fading dhammas (in a moment ?!? - one after the other ?!?).

Then, through the dhammavicaya sambojjhango, and the other factors of enlightenment, one comes to understand the nature of the impermanence of the dhammas as a whole (internal and external - alien and impermanent).
As in SA 103.


O really ? - Which conversation ?
Could you give us a link ?


(and also @Coemgenu)

Indeed, the Ānanda sutta (SN 22.83), aka the discourse on Puṇṇa SA 261, is just about it:
Appropriated (~clinging ? ) khandhas - viz. the effect.
The effect of the cause, that the Buddha always mentions right after, viz. the impermanence.

Note again that the SA is more accurate than the SN. The latter consider the “I am” case, instead of the “I am this”.

“I am this” is all about appropriating the now internal khandhas.

lit.“taking up”,i.e.subsisting on something else,not original,secondary,derived.

उपादा upādā [upā-ādā [ā-dā]]

  • receive , accept , acquire , appropriate to one’s self. MBh
    आदा ādā
  • to give to one’s self " , take , accept, receive from. RV.
  • to seize , grasp , take or catch hold of - RV. (later ŚvetU.)
    Not to be confounded with
    धा √ dhā
  • to take (RV. AV. ŚBr.)
  • to seize , take hold of (RV. AV.)
    Which has also the following meaning.
  • to take pleasure or delight in (RV. AV. Br.)


It means appropriating to oneself, not clinging (by taking pleasure in) .
And that agrees with Gene’s
The (causal) dharmah taken as self.

Aka, “appropriating the dhammas as self”. Making the dhammas “one’s own” .

It would be nice if both of you were to put an english translation on your Chinese.
Personnaly, when I use Pali or Sanskrit, I take the effort to do that; just because not everyone on this forum is acquainted with these languages.


The conversation has been in a few places though. I mean the conversation about upāda vs utpāda and how these are confused, or not confused, in some Chinese sources.


The problem is that upādāna doesn’t mean clinging (to be emotionally or intellectually attached), nor even grasping, neither in the sense of holding to, or to be desirous of acquiring a dhamma.
It means to appropriate the dhammas as self; as one’s own.

And again, SN 22.83 & SA 261 do not agree on the “I am this”, and the “” I am".

And as I edited in the previous post, I agree with Gene’s
The… dharmah taken as self.

“Khandhas (and their ensuing dhammas & dhatus) are not yours”.
(Neither are the internal ayatanani) .
See above for suttas’ references.

And this “not-one’s-owness” (anicca), is the first thing you should get rid of.
Then, and only then, you should get rid of the idea of permanent khandhas (anicca).

This is why the Buddha always put the question “is form impermanent ?”, etc. in second position.
He usually asks a first question; then proceeds with the “are the khandhas permanent or impermanent ?”.
He starts with the effect, then proceeds with the cause.

This was the purpose of this thread.


There’s nothing wrong with agreeing with this, but it implies that the source text was

So amhe iminā ovādena ovadati: ‘uppādāya, āvuso ānanda, asmīti hoti, no anuppādāya. Kiñca uppādāya asmīti hoti, no anuppādāya? Rūpaṃ uppādāya asmīti hoti, no anuppādāya. Vedanaṃ … saññaṃ … saṅkhāre … viññāṇaṃ uppādāya asmīti hoti, no anuppādāya.

Note the geminated P’s in uppādāya. I don’t think there’s a manuscript like this to help substantiate this theory.