Are sakkayaditthi & asmimana pannattis?

veneration to the sangha, respect for the learned scholars, regards & much metta for everyone!

[i have made a composite post to express my viewpoint clearly with references. my main query is to explore whether sakkayaditthi & asmimana can be called pannattis].

i will be grateful to receive guidance for the following query:

i consider vipassana as a process of development of insight that is thought-less, concept-less, label-less, inference-less, analysis-less, effort-less & choice-less awareness of the paramattha sacca realities of nama-rupa ‘as it is’ (yathabhuta nanadassana) from moment-to-moment. however, this process of development of insight (vipassana) is a gradual progressive process which reaches its finale at arahathood with the complete purification (suvisuddham) of the faculty of ‘yathabhuta nanadassana’ and the end of asmimana.

am i right if i understand that sakkayaditthi & asmimana are also pannattis and that the apparent truth (sammuti sacca) or so to say the concept (pannatti) of sakkayaditthi dissolves at sotapatti-phala stage and the sammuti / pannatti of asmimana finally dissolves at arahat-phala stage?

kindly allow me to explain my viewpoint so that i may be suitablly corrected by venerables & learned scholars of this august assembly.

i feel sakkayaditthi & asmimana are also sammuti sacca / pannatti and these pannattis related to identification with the self are eradicated by the process of gradual development of insight (vipassana). while an arahat may be functioning in the world of pannattis & registering pannattis for conventional functioning & communication but the arahat sees pannattis as pannattis and does not identify a pannatti as paramattha & also does not identify any pannatti or paramattha sacca as self (mine, me, my atta).

i have inferred the above on the basis of the following references:

a. Therefore, one must examine conscientiously which instant is micchaditthi. The moment one is attached to various pannatti with the wrong view that what is not paramattha-dhamma really exists. At that instant there is sakkayaditthi. Since pannatti is not paramattha-dhamma but one mistakes it as what is truly the self, the entity, the person and various things in reality, there is wrong view as sakkayaditthi.

  • Summary of Paramattha dhamma Part III
    by Sujin Boriharnwanaket
    chapter: Pannatti

b. pannattim thapetva visesena passati’ti vipassana.

  • traditional burmese theravada definition of vipassana cited by many scholars but, exact origin unknown. similar statements found in visuddhimagga, patisambhidamagga attakatha nanakatha & paramattha dipani by ven. ledi sayadaw.

c. “I understand it in the same way. Labelling with words (in Pali or one’s own language) is paññatti. To sharpen one’s sati, this labelling can be useful. But at the end, in real, deep Vipassana insight, the meditator is only experiencing anicca, knowing silently for himself with pañña/ñana that this is anicca, but without thinking “anicca” at that very moment and certainmly he will not label”. With Metta, Agganyani

  • ven. ayya agganyani, abhidhamma scholar, email reply.

d. Aniccasaññino, meghiya, anattasaññā saṇṭhāti. Anattasaññī asmimānasamugghātaṁ pāpuṇāti diṭṭheva dhamme nibbānan”ti.

  • meghiya sutta

e. all sections of the mahasatipatthana sutta: the progressive journey in all subdivisions of the mahasatipatthana sutta from “samudaya-vyaya dhammanupassi” of kaya/vedana/citta/dhamma to the same state of anatta - “yavadeva nanamattaya patisatimattaya anissito ca viharati”

f. (full sutta in context showcasing the journey from sotapanna/sakdagami/anagami stage of ven. khemaka with no sakkayaditthi to the end of asmimana at arahathood)
aparena samayena pañcasu upādānakkhandhesu udayabbayānupassī viharati.

  • khemaka sutta

g. imesu catusu ariyasaccesu evam tiparivattam dvădasăkaram yathăhhutam ńănadassanam suvisuddham ahosi.


i feel sakkayaditthi & asmimana are sammuti sacca or so to say pannatti

i pray for suitable guidance & correction.

with veneration to the sangha, respect for the learned scholars, regards & much metta for everyone!

  • manish

Pannatti is an Object (although it is conceptual)
and not something in Mind (cetasikas),
according to the Abhidhamma explanations.

respected @Visana

  1. aren’t sakkayaditthi & asmimana pannatti because these too are conceptual objects?
  2. your comments on ‘pannati thapetva’ concept-less label-less vipassana?

request ven. @Suvira to look at this. praying to the sangha for compassionate guidance.

with regards & much metta,


isn’t sakkayaditthi the illusory conceptual object of gross identification with the mind-body and asmimana the illusory conceptual object of finest identification of “I” with the mind-body?

both sakkayaditthi & asmimana are not paramattha-sacca-dhamma but, sammuti-sacca -dhamma. the abhidhamma labels sammuti saccas as pannattis imho.



if asmimana is not a pannatti then how to understand vipassana as the gradual progressive process of concepts-less (pannatti thapetva) development of insight and how to explain & together justify the three quotes of:

a) pannattim thapetva visesena passati’ti vipassana


b) (full sutta in context showcasing the journey from sotapanna/sakdagami/anagami stage of ven. khemaka with no sakkayaditthi to the end of asmimana at arahathood)
aparena samayena pañcasu upādānakkhandhesu udayabbayānupassī viharati.
-khemaka sutta


c) imesu catusu ariyasaccesu evam tiparivattam dvădasăkaram yathabhuta nanadassana suvisuddham ahosi


the entire process of gradual development of insight (vipassana) and the ‘pannatti thapetva’ concept-less vipassana process needs to be explained from puthujjana to arahathood stage and all sutta & abhidhamma tenets must be satisfied.

Ditti and Mana are categorized as Cetasikas. They are Paramatthas.
They are Subjects(Observers/thinkers) of Pannattis(imagined objects).

eg: The non-real object “I” is observed by the mind(tanha, mana, ditti cetasikas)

Pannattim thapetva: Without seeing non-real objects (such as ‘I’)
Visesena passati: Seeing the realities as they are.
As they are: Intrinsic Characteristics along with Common Characteristics (of realities)
Intrinsic Characteristics: Roughness etc, Feeling etc. …
Common Characteristics: Impermanence … etc.

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many thanks for your reply respected @Visana

is the following the perfect abhidhammic expression:

vipassana is ‘pannatti thapetva visesena passati’ti vipassana’ i.e. thought-less, concept-less, label-less, analysis-less, inference-less, effort-less & choice-less awareness of the ultimate reality [paramattha sacca dhamma) of nama-rupa ‘as it is’ [yathabhuta nanadassana] from moment-to-moment and this process of gradual development of insight de-conditions the mind so that the sankharas of the illusion of sakkayaditthi & asmimana dissolve at sotapatti-phala & arahat-phala stages respectively and the ‘yathabhuta-nanadassana’ becomes purified & perfected at arahathood [suvisuddham ahosi]. the arahat too lives in the conceptual (pannatti) world of apparent truths (sammuti sacca) and may need to use pannatti/sammuti for communication & interactions but, he does not consider any pannatti / sammuti to be paramattha and also does not identify with any pannatti or paramattha to be the the self (mine, me, my atta).

therefore, vipassana is a ‘pannatti thapetva’ process of progressively gradual development of insight & sakkayaditthi / asmimana are cetasika.

kindly correct me if i am wrong or suggest more accurate description for better clarity.

with gratitude & much metta,


respected @Visana

so is it abhidhammically correct to state that:

the sankharas of sakkayaditthi & asmimana are created because of the corrupted perception of reality [vipallasa] which is due to the tendency to ‘objectify’ / ‘conceptualize’ / ‘identify with’ [pannatti] an object during observeration and this creates a dichotomy of object & subject and the subjective observation eventually leads to “I” and further to “mine” and still further to “my atta”.

vipassana, being the concept-less [pannatti thapetva] process of observation eventually leads to the realization of anatta as observer-is-observed and that the dichotomy between object & subject is an illusion [nanamattaya patisatimattaya anissito ca viharati]. thus, vipassana become the process of de-conditioning of mind because all conditionings [sankhara] are due to the false illusion of doer-ship & the subject-object dichotomy that comes along with doer-ship.

therefore, it may safely be surmised that the pannatti endowed observation further conditions the mind with doer-ship and that pannattis & doer-ship go hand-in-hand.

i pray to ven. @Suvira to kindly look at this & correct the flaws in my understanding & expression.

any quotations from abhidhamma, sutta, visuddhimagga etc. that confirms the final understanding will be a great help.


would also like to analyse the sequential genesis (& why it is so) of i, mine, my atta. i think this should be the right order. but why do the suttas refer to mine, me, my atta?

Thought-less? No, there is Contemplation. Vipassana is called a Cintamaya process.
Concept-less? Yes, Pannatti-less. Without a non-real object.
Analysis-less? No, “Correct Analysis” is a synonym for Vipassana.
Inference-less? No, “Correct Inference” is a Wisdom. (Dhamma Anvaya)
Effort-less? No, effort is a must.

(I skipped ‘labelling’ and ‘choice’ since those words are ambiguous with modern meanings)

From Petakopadesa:

Tattha katamā vipassanā? Khandhesu vā dhātūsu vā āyatanesu vā nāmarūpesu vā paṭiccasamuppādesu vā paṭiccasamuppannesu vā dhammesu dukkhesu vā samudayesu vā nirodhe vā magge vā kusalākusalesu vā dhammesu sāvajjaanavajjesu vā kaṇhasukkesu vā sevitabbaasevitabbesu vā so yathābhūtaṃ vicayo pavicayo vīmaṃsā paravīmaṃsā gāhanā aggāhanā pariggāhanā cittena paricitanā tulanā upaparikkhā ñāṇaṃ vijjā vā cakkhu buddhi medhā paññā obhāso āloko ābhā pabhā khaggo nārāco dhammavicayasambojjhaṅgo sammādiṭṭhi maggaṅgaṃ, ayaṃ vipassanā.

Tenesā vipassanā iti vuccati vividhā vā esā vipassanāti, tasmā esā vipassanāti vuccati. Dvidhā cesā hi vipassanā dhammavipassanāti vuccati, dvidhā imāya passati subhañca asubhañca kaṇhañca sukkañca sevitabbañca asevitabbañca kammañca vipākañca bandhañca vimokkhañca ācayañca apacayañca pavattiñca nivattiñca saṃkilesañca vodānañca, evaṃ vipassanāti vuccati. Atha vā viiti upasaggo passanāti attho tasmā vipassanāti vuccate, ayaṃ vipassanā.

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respected @Visana

vipassana is a function of panya cetasika and all types of vipassana are included under dhamma-vicaya bojjhanga by ven. ledi sayadaw and your quote of Peṭakopadesapāḷi confirms it.

cintamayi panna / yonisomanasikara / anussati / pariyatti dhamma vicaya are activities of the thinking, analysing, focusing, concentrating, interpreting, inferring, judging & intellectualizing paritta citta [janati, pajanati, abhijanati] and NOT the de-conditioning ‘pannatti thapetva’ vipassana process [sampajanati / samma-ditthi / tilakkhananupassana / cattaro satipatthana bhavana] involving the entire structure of mahaggata citta leading to ‘vedana parijanati pandito’ [parijanati] which culminates in nibbana.

if you accept that vipassana is a pannatti-less process then by default & as corollaries it has to be effortless, choiceless, thought-less, inference-less, label-less & analysis-less too or else the mind conditioning game of doer-ship & concepts will come in play.

the quote cited by you as different attributes of vipassana bhavana are all included under dhammanupassana & are part of cattaro satipatthana bhavana i.e. samma sati. ven. ledi sayadaw has included all aspects of vipassana under dhamma vicaya bojjhanga and all are a function of panna cetasika.

it is quite possible to think / analyse / psychologically label / psychoanalytically evaluate / judge / restrict / restrain / correct / recollect / review various mind states with choice & effort & intellectual understanding and there are numerous suttas to this effect. but, these fall under anupubbi katha or sila khetta (sila domain) or samadhi khetta. all intellectual / psychological / psychoanalytical dhamma vicaya is cintamayi panna. anussati & anupassana are not the same. vipassana is not cintamayi panna. vipassana is bhavanamayi panna. vipassana khetta (vipassana domain) is a non-intellectual & non-conceptual effortless & choiceless awareness of the reality ‘as it it’ (yathabhuta nanadassana) ftom moment-to-moment without any evaluation/judgment/analysis.

having said so much - i would also like to add that the pannatti-prone doer mind does not radically transform all of a sudden. vipassana is a progressive process of gradual development of insight. vipassana is the journey from doer to observer to observer-is-observed. vipassana is journey from pannatti / sammuti to paramattha. you may refer to meghiya sutta, khemaka sutta, stages of insight, steps of mahasatipatthana sutta & the teaching of tiparivattam dvădasăkaram to see the gradual progressive developmental journey of experiential insight. so various strategies of mind management given by the buddha for mind management (including the with-pannatti strategies like sila, samadhi & all kinds of psychoanalytics AND also the pannatti-free vipassanic process) all come handy. the entire spectrum of buddha dhamma / the entire eight fold path works as a synchronized symphony. but, everything is not vipassana! vipassana is the exclusive domain of pannatti-free awareness of yathabhuta reality without intellectual psychoanalytics.

imho - buddhas are supreme teachers who teach the “pubbe ananusuttesu dhammesu” because no one else other than the Supremely Enlightened Sammasambuddhas discovers the concept-less process of de-conditioning of mind & teaches this concept-less vipassana. teachers teaching conceptual dhammas were, are, will be many and it can at most lead to rebirth in deva or brahma-lokas but cannot ensure visankharagatacitta leading to anupadisesa nibbana.

you may consider evaluating your quotes in the light of pannatti-free patipatti dhamma teachings of ven. ledi sayadaw, saya thetgyi & sayagyi u ba khin and correct me if i am wrong anywhere. i am willing to be corrected in order to see the dhamma with more clarity.

with respect, gratitude & much metta,


What I have learned is,
Vipassana = Dhammavicaya = Yonisomanasikara
Bhavanamaya Panna = Result of Vipassana (what arisen by vipassana)


yassa satthā vā dhammaṃ desayati aññataro vā garuṭṭhānīyo sabrahmacārī, so taṃ dhammaṃ sutvā saddhaṃ paṭilabhati.

Tattha yā vīmaṃsā ussāhanā tulanā upaparikkhā, ayaṃ sutamayī paññā.

Tathā sutena nissayena yā vīmaṃsā tulanā upaparikkhā manasānupekkhaṇā, ayaṃ cintāmayī paññā.

Imāhi dvīhi paññāhi manasikārasampayuttassa yaṃ ñāṇaṃ uppajjati dassanabhūmiyaṃ vā bhāvanābhūmiyaṃ vā, ayaṃ bhāvanāmayī paññā.

Paratoghosā sutamayī paññā.

Paccattasamuṭṭhitā yoniso manasikārā cintāmayī paññā.

Yaṃ parato ca ghosena paccattasamuṭṭhitena ca yonisomanasikārena ñāṇaṃ uppajjati, ayaṃ bhāvanāmayī paññā.

respected @Visana

imho your quote of netti confirms that yonisomanasikara is a part of cintamayi panna. the mellow & right state of mind developed with yonisomanasikara cintamayi reflections (and intellectual dhamma vicaya analysis) with the base of pannatti endowed sila & samadhi practice forms the preparation for vipassana bhavana (bhavanamayi panna).

samadhim bhikkhave bhaveth
samahito yathabhutam pajanati

also refer to uddeso of the mahasatipatthana sutta.
as per attakatha ‘vineyya loke abhijjha-domanassam’ is samadhi-indriya.

also note that vipassana is a moment-to-moment dynamic observation practiced at the level of upacara of first jhana (khanika samadhi) and first jhana is all about kamehi akusalehi…it is VIVEKAJAM and second jhana onwards it is ‘samadhijam’. all pannatti endowed strategies including viveka-infused yonisomanasikara & samadhi help to subdue the nivaranas and cultivate a kusala mind state (Sabba papassa akaranam Kusalassa upasampada) and prepare to delve into pannatti-free yathabhutam pajanati i.e. bhavanamayi panna i.e. vipassana (Sacittapariyodapanam) which is maha-kusala.

may venerable @Suvira kindly consider guiding us.

@Visana kindly consider reflecting on WHY the abhidhamma texts want vipassana to be a ‘pannatti thapetva’ process. this enquiry itself will be the mother of all enquiries into the vipassana dhamma and will resolve all doubts. also request you & ven. @Suvira to check my explanation of the relationship between concept-doer-conditioning and correct / improve my understanding & expression.

“Pannatti thapetava” doesn’t means a “mere observation” and it is a misrepresentation of Vipassana in recent times.

The quotes above (from Petakopadesa and Nettippakarana) clearly says that the traditional position is,
Vipassana = Dhammavicaya = Yonisomanasikara = Analysing real nature of Khandas/Dhatus/Ayatanas/Causality/ Kusala-Akusala.
Bhavanamaya panna = Results of Vipassana = MaggaPhalas
(Mainly 4 maggaphalas and sometimes including other vipassana nanas).

Sometimes we find in the texts a change in the order of suta-maya panna and cinta-maya panna. At times cinta-maya panna is mentioned first, followed by suta-maya panna and bhavana-maya panna. At times, suta-maya panna is followed by cinta-maya panna and bhavana-maya panna. But in both cases, bhavana-maya panna comes at the end and is of prime importance for the realisation of truth. It does not make any difference in which order we find the first two. Initially a person may listen to the Dhamma from an outside source- suta-maya panna, and then develop cinta-maya panna by rationally thinking about it, trying to understand anicca, dukkha and anatta intellectually, and thereby develop yoniso manasikara (right thinking). Or one may start with cinta-maya panna, one’s own intellectual understanding, by reflecting rationally on anicca, dukkha and anatta, and then, by listening to others (suta-maya panna), one may confirm one’s intellectual understanding. We should remember that whichever of the two may come first, neither of them can give liberation. Liberation results only from bhavana-maya panna.

Bhavana-maya panna is the wisdom obtained by meditation-the wisdom that comes from the direct experience of the truth. This development of insight is also called vipassana- bhavana (Vipassana meditation). The meditator makes right effort and so realizes for himself that every thing in the world is transitory, a source of suffering, and essenceless. This insight is not the mere acceptance of what someone else has said, nor the product of deductive reasoning. It is, rather, the direct comprehension of the reality of anicca, dukkha and anatta.

  • S N Goenka ji.

respected @Visana yonisomanasikara is right or wise thinking / reflection / attention and so it is the precursor for kusala-citta to arise. please refer to 1st jhana which is to to subdue the akusala citta on the basis of viveka (vivekajam) and samadhi being Kusalassa upasampada and uddeso of mahasatipatthana stating: vineyya loke abhijjha-domanassam (which is samadhi-indriya). vipassana is practiced in 1st jhana upacara samadhi level and yonisomanasikara can be a precursor to begin vipassana (bhavanamaya panna). that’s what your netti / Peṭakopadesapāḷi quotes state. check again. i have quoted ven. sayadaw u nandamalabhivamsa & goenkaji on yonisomanasikara that confirms the cintamayi panna nature of yonisomanasikara. your quotes confirm that yonisomanasikara is the base to begin vipassana. in that way yonisomanasikara will fall under samadhi divisions on eight fold path and particularly under samma vayamo imho. request ven. @Suvira to confirm.

  • manish

For an akusala citta to appear one crucial
condition is attention, right or wrong (yoniso manasikara
and ayoniso manasikara). Imagine if someone were to
start scolding you, using abusive words. With right
attention or yoniso manasikara, you might think, “He’s using bad words. I don’t accept them or let anger arise.
Whatever he’s saying doesn’t affect me.”

  • Akusala The Nature of Poison
    By Venerable Sayadaw U Nandamalabhivamsa

the confusion is because a lot of thinking / analysis / inference / reflection / labeling is passed as “vipassana” whereas it is not true vipassana.


see your beautiful quote from netippakarana:

Paccattasamuṭṭhitā yoniso manasikārā cintāmayī paññā.

so, cintamayi panna is seeing what has arisen and applying right thinking to it.

Yaṃ parato ca ghosena paccattasamuṭṭhitena ca yonisomanasikārena ñāṇaṃ uppajjati, ayaṃ bhāvanāmayī paññā.

translation: that after cintamayi panna (parato) it is said that by seeing what has arisen and applying right thinking arises insight and this is bhavanamayi panna. [request @Visana & ven. @Suvira to please check and correct.]

so, it is clear that yonisomanasikā is cintamayi panna & precursor of bhavanamayi panna (vipassana) and bhavanamayi panna is after cintamayi panna. but then why is netippakarana referring again to yonisomanasikara? this is because vipassana is a progressive process of gradual development of insight - a journey from doer to observer to observer-is-observed. here the netippakarana is referring to the transitional beginning phase. true & deep Vipassana is ‘pannatti thapetva’ and there is no one to exercise yoniso or ayoniso manasikara. only observation of yathabhuta. finally there is mere-bare observation (nanamattaya patisatimattaya) at anatta stage.

respected @Visana

i reflected on the pannatti thapetva issue & why pannatti thapetva is necessary precondition to begin vipassana. i think things have fallen in place in my mind and i can see with atleast some clarity. request ven. @Suvira & you to kindly ponder over this and confirm. if the basic fundamental practical patipatti idea is confirmed then the pariyatti / translation will be confusing.

my understanding is:

conditioning of mind is sankhara (kamma sankhara) and these sankharas are generated by the ‘doer’.

flowchart: actor (subject) - action (activity) - acted upon (object) - conditioning pattern of activity (sankhara).

vipassana is ‘special way of seeing’ i.e. seeing ‘as it is’ & not ‘doing’ and old habit pattern of activity (sankhara) arises and passes away.
in order to do this - the doer has to begin by becoming an observer. to enable this - the only way is if there is no object or if the doer does not perceive it as an object requiring the doer to become a subject… that is the target…
if there is no objectification / conceptualization / labelling / analysing / inferring / thinking / reasoning / choosing / efforting then there will be NO doer (subject) / conceptualizer / labeller / analyser / thinker / inferrer / reasoner / choser / efforter or in short there is no doer and no new deed if there is no conceptual object in front of it. i.e. if there is no pannatti-laden object then there is no doer / subject who wants to act on/with the object / concept. that’s vipassana! the journey from doer to observer-is-observed. and then: navanca kammam na karoti purananca kammam phussa phussa vyanti karoti.

so, i conclude that my understanding that vipassana is a concept-less, thought-less, label-less, analysis-less, inference-less, effort-less & choice-less awareness of the yathabhuta reality from moment-to-moment seems to be correct. this is the process of de-conditioning of mind.

as vipassana proceeds - the mind gets de-conditioned (de-sankharized). at sotapatti-phala stage the meditator drops the conditioning fetter of sakkayaditthi and at arahat-phala stage the meditator drops the conditioning of asmimana. the arahat functions in the conventional world & acts/communicates/interacts with the outside world with concepts but, is unable to generate new bhava-sankhara. an arahat’s kamma (bhava sankhara) making machinery get broken down (kammayanta vighatano).

what do you think? please correct if you see any flaws.

so, pannatti-laden analysing / inferring / labeling / thinking meditation is not true vipassana.

Kamma sankhara can not be stopped before magga citta arisen.
Kamma sankhara is stopped only by magga citta.

Visankharagatam cittam doesn’t mean stopping kamma sankhara by vipassana.
Vipassana is a Kusala Sankhara developing.

The word sankhara here refers to the other meaning of sankhara which is Formations(all khandhas).
Therefore Visankharagatam cittam means that the mind take the non-sankhara object (non-sankhata) which is Asankhata/Nibbana.

Commentary says:

visaṅkhāragataṃ citta nti idāni mama cittaṃ visaṅkhāraṃ nibbānaṃ ārammaṇakaraṇavasena gataṃ anupaviṭṭhaṃ.