Buddhism Summary in one page (printable)

I made this 1Page printable summary of buddhism for you yesterday. All the Pali words are included as well, plus all the possible translations for each word.

This page is not going to replace deeper studies nor meditation practices at all. But it can come handy for its own purpose for some people. Assuming you have already done your study homework, I hope this paper may help some of you that want to keep a hold on summary of the teachings in your pocket for remembrance(Sati) purpose. May it help you for practice of daily mindfulness and awareness of dhammas.

I double checked it few times to be sure it doesn’t have any significant errors.But if you see any shortcomings in it kindly forgive me.

Blue color code refers to 37requisites. Red refers to defilements. Purple ones are significantly working well in collaboration with 4foundations of mindfulness. Greens are are the rest of buddhism basic fundamental views.

Print-size is B5.

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Nice, I was thinking of doing some sort of Obsidian mind map or personal wiki on the various topics as well, including citations, so that it would be much easier for me to find suttas for citation next time and to see what interesting new connections I haven’t seen before.

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Very nice :slight_smile:

If you’re open to feedback, there are a few things that came to mind for translation. These are minor, but they are also major as they are core doctrinal concepts that can be easily misunderstood with less accurate and out dated translations. If it is useful, here it is :slight_smile:

four foundations of mindfulness

This translation is not an accurate representation of the suttas, as has been discussed and known for a while now. The short story is that ‘foundation’ translates ‘patthāna,’ which is one of the word-play etymologies given in the Theravāda commentaries. But the actual undebatable etymology is from ‘upatthāna’ (‘upatthitassati,’ ‘satim upatthapetva,’ Skt. ‘smrtyupasthāna,’ G, ‘spaḏoṭ́haṇaṇa’). The more accurate rendering is probably ‘establishing’ or ‘establishment.’

Body … feelings … mind … in and of itself

Ven. Sujato’s translation is ‘an aspect of the body, feelings, mind …’ This is certainly the more obvious reading. If you want to know why, there has been writing about it here. But needless to say, satipatthana meditation is about picking an aspect of experience and meditating (i.e. continually observing/being mindful of it). Translations which try to explain the refrain as referring to anattā and what have you are influenced by later commentarial understandings of it as an insight practice.

craving for sensuality

I think this is not bad, but just wanted to point out that similar to ‘becoming’ (see note below on that word), ‘sensuality’ seems to have the connotation of the pursuit of, indulgence in, desire for, etc. sensual pleasures. So it is more of an activity. We don’t crave to pursue sensual pleasures, we just crave sensual pleasures. The craving then gives rise to the pursuit when we act on it. Likewise we don’t crave for the process of becoming X, we crave to be X, and that leads us into the pursuit of that process. So I think ‘kāma-tanhā’ would better be rendered ‘craving for sensual pleasures,’ and ‘bhava tanhā’ as ‘craving for existence / craving to exist / craving for life,’ etc.

‘Sensuality’ seems to be an ambiguous word though and I believe it has sometimes shifted in meaning in Buddhism. But usually when people use ‘sensuality’ even in Buddhist contexts they are referring to a mind state that values, pursues, or indulges in sensual pleasures. And so that would actually be the craving more than the sense pleasures themselves. Like “craving for craving for sense pleasures” — which is not quite what’s intended.

conceit or excessive pride (mana)

In English, ‘conceit’ does generally mean ‘excessive pride.’ The reason it’s used as a translation for māna because of its etymological relationship to ‘conceive’ and ‘concept.’ In Pāli, māna means measuring oneself against others, either superior, inferior, or equal. So it is not just excessive pride, but also low self-esteem or a sense of oneself being equal to others (in terms of a sense of self).

Mind and matter

I would avoid translating ‘rūpa’ as ‘matter.’ This is another subtle conversation though.

Six Sense Bases

‘Base’ is another rendering of āyatana which is not really an accurate translation as much as it is a translation of commentarial exegesis. A more accurate word is ‘domain,’ ‘field,’ etc. ‘Sphere’ is sometimes used and is okay.

Clinging

See this post on for minimal explanation of how ‘clinging’ is not accurate for ‘upādāna.’ ‘Grasping,’ ‘appropriation,’ ‘uptake,’ etc. are more accurate renderings.

Becoming

See this post here on why this is not a satisfying translation for ‘bhava.’ Again, big translation decisions like these have had a lot of detailed discussion, so I won’t try and summarize here. But ‘existence,’ ‘continued existence,’ or even ‘life’ are more accurate translations.

Dissatisfaction

‘Dissatisfaction’ is a mental state, emotion, or feeling. ‘Dukkha,’ however,’ also applies to phenomena irrespective of one’s mental reaction. It is often given with a list of synonyms in the suttas to help clarify its meaning and connotation: words given as synonyms are ‘misery,’ ‘affliction,’ ‘dart,’ ‘tumor,’ etc. See SN 22.31 for example where the four noble truths are taught, but instead of ‘dukkha’ the word ‘agha’ is used in its place, meaning ‘misery,’ ‘suffering,’ ‘wicked,’ etc.

All the best

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Thank you for the feedback. I highly appreciate that.

I will implement them. Many of your suggestions such as those on “foundation” and “conceit” etc are so convincing to me.

Although i have different feelings for some others such as “bhava” or “dukkha” etc.

There are two ways to look at this. Scholarly and practically. Sometimes I ask myself do we really have to assign a fixed word as translation of each Pali word and generally use that word as an absolute translation of that Pali word for all suttas, instead giving different translations to each word based on the context of the sutta?

Words such as misery and suffering seem to harsh to majority of people. People can’t resonate with these words in their daily lives. But everyone can resonate with dissatisfaction or unhappiness no matter how their life is. These words can cover both mental and physical aspects also, nothing less than the word suffering.

Bhava means existence also. True. But again if we want to use a fixed English word for translation of this word, people can’t resonate and the meaning the sutta is trying to implement would be lost.

Existence can be seen in two ways. It does not necessarily mean the period between physical birth and death. If we follow buddha’s not-self to our mind, then bhava doesn’t just mean that period but also a momentary existence in each breath. The terms “craving for existence” or “craving for being”, are too general that people cannot recall these terms and be mindful when a craving thought of being lets say a famous football player occurs in their mind. They would just miss the awareness and go through that process of whatever needed for the being a famous football player. That process i would call it “becoming”.

A different choice of word such as “craving for becoming”, although maybe not scholarly 100percent correct, it works better with how people’s mind functions to bring them awareness of their desires and thoughts instantly.

I am just sharing these words from my UNEDUCATED mind and by no means I dare to oppos all good points that you and tens of other experts are sharing here.

Thank you again for the feedback!!

Although to be honest, i am not so convinced of seeing “foundation” in four foundations of mindfulness as inferior to “aspects” or other translations either.

The thing is yes we might pick up one of those body feeling mind dhammas inand of itself. But that doesn’t mean they can stand alone without background awareness of the rest of them. The last foundation is dhamma objects which some translate as referring to Buddha’s teachings.
Without awareness of this one in the back of our mind, picking up the idea of awareness of feeling or etc cannot happen anymore. They complete and give meaning to each-other.

Also regarding mana I appreciate if you have any links that it means feeling inferior or equal. As result of my search in this website there were other words for them. For instance feeling inferior as the result of comparison was called “amana” and not “mana”

Thanks

What a great work it is!

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What’s wrong with matter? That’s what rupa means in the 12 link formulation of D.O.

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Thanks for sharing this poster. Couple of points of feedback if you care:

Under the 3 characteristics (tilakhanna)
I believe annica is on top. Dukkha and anatta follow on from this.

And under sottapana → it’s the abolishment of the fetters of these things vs the things completely.

Minor points that shouldn’t take anything away from the good work!

Is fire matter? Are heat and temperature matter? What about color? Even just looking at the four primary elements, their most basic meanings and applications extend beyond what ‘matter’ means in English.

From a very basic perspective, what we now consider ‘matter’ does not necessarily square with what Ancient Indians considered rūpaeven if rūpa were to mean ‘matter,’ which as I’ll explain more below, I don’t think the connotations really fit what they are getting at. But still, fire and heat is one example. What about wind (vāyo)? The suttas give examples of wind in the limbs, which the Visuddhimagga talks about referring to what causes movement and the uprightness of the body. Or a ‘wind disorder,’ which can mean e.g. sharp tingling pain in the body. That does not correspond to ‘matter’ in modern use — that’s more like electrical impulses in nerves and muscles flexing, etc.

In more philosophical terms, ‘matter’ tends to carry specific scientific connotations. Like a substance that makes up objective material things. But rūpa in, say, nāmarūpa is really just referring to our body from an existential and experiential perspective. That isn’t to say it’s taking a stance pro- or anti- a particular metaphysic in the word. But in terms of general connotations, usage, and context, ‘matter’ carries a lot of baggage that are different from ‘rūpa.’

In terms of that experiential lens, this relates to things like color. Color is a mental interpretation of physical contact. And even from the perspective of physical organs like the eyeball coming into contact with light, rūpa in the senses refers not to physical light particles (i.e. the ‘matter’ itself) but refers specifically to visual phenomena or sights. So the sight of a leaf, not the matter/energy that makes up photons. We can see this play out also with the other sense stimuli, like ‘sounds’ and ‘tastes/flavors.’ Sounds and soundwaves are different things. And sound waves are also not really ‘matter’ even technically speaking, let alone sounds.

Those are some thoughts on the matter (:wink:)