Ekodi is a curiously obscure term: does it mean “web”?

My vote:
Samadhi: Unification
Citta-ekaggata: One-pointedness

As for ekodi:

PTS Pali-English dictionary The Pali Text Society’s Pali-English dictionary
Ekodi,(adj.) [most likely eka + odi for odhi,see avadhi2& cp.avadahati,avadahana,lit.of one attention,limited to one point.Thus also suggested by Morris J.P.T.S.1885,32 sq.The word was Sanskritised into ekoti,e.g.at M Vastu III,212,213; Lal.Vist.147,439] concentrated,attentive,fixed A.III,354; Nd1 478.Usually in compn. with kṛ & bhū (which points however to a form ekoda° with the regular change of a to i in connection with these roots!),as ekodi-karoti to concentrate M.I,116; S.IV,263; °bhavati to become settled S.IV,196; V,144; °bhūta concentrated Sn.975; °bhāvaconcentration,fixing one’s mind on one point D.I,37; III,78,131; A.I,254; III,24; Vism.156 (expld. as eko udeti); Dhs.161 (cp.Dhs.trsln. 46); DhsA.169; Nett 89.(Page 160)

I would suggest Concentration for ekodi.


Sorry I didn’t reply earlier, i was thinking about your suggestion, without conclusion. It seems like a reasonable possibility. But I can’t see any specific reason to prefer it. That the Vism uses it is interesting, but of course it is very common for the commentaries to play around with multiple “etymologies” as a teaching method.

However, I don’t think the 2nd jhana formula is relevant here. The rising there refers to the welling up of pīti, not to samādhi.


I’m really in no position to have a balanced judgment. I’d have gone with odi because of the simple derivation and the older references, not even because of Viss.

Looking up ūti in sanskrit, we have ‘texture’ ‘web’ as a legitimate meaning. We have ‘tissue’ in the Bhagavata Purana, and ‘weaving’ at the ‘lexicographers’. So I guess it’s ok to go with this.

The main references are for ‘help, protection, promoting…’ though, attested in the Rg- and Atharvaveda. Also anūti is ‘no help’.

Again udi as ‘rising’ in sanskrit is found all over the place, from the Rgveda to the Ramayana.

I’m interested in [quote=“sujato, post:5, topic:3823”]
The rising there refers to the welling up of pīti, not to samādhi.

You seem to imply that the samadhi is not converging around the uprising piti? I would have taken it as the same movement, like a source of light gradually dispelling the fuzziness around it. or the kernel of a snowflake growing in all directions.


There is an interesting passage in DN 19 that suggests something completely different: [edit:] singleness

‘ekodibhūto’ti ahaṃ bhoto ājānāmi. idhekacco vivittaṃ senāsanaṃ bhajati araññaṃ rukkhamūlaṃ pabbataṃ kandaraṃ giriguhaṃ susānaṃ vanapatthaṃ abbhokāsaṃ palālapuñjaṃ, iti ekodibhūto’ti ahaṃ bhoto ājānāmi.

I understand “Alone, intent”. That means that one goes off on one’s own and chooses a lodging in the forest, at the foot of a tree, in a mountain glen, in a rocky cave, a charnel-ground, in the jungle or on a heap of grass in the open. This is how I understand “Alone, intent”.


Interesting reference, thanks. I’m not sure what to make of it, though.


ekodibhūto perhaps, mean ‘pick oneself up’?
(just a wild guess, not to be taken seriously)

Interesting idea of woven strands.
I use to think of laminated stack of transparencies; occasionally i use the expression like overlapping of perceptions. 

Just thought of another analogy of a projector. Imagine that the glass of the projector has multiple cavities design and each cavity surface has different drawing image, and that each cavity draws the light source from a single bulb, and  project out the lights to a single location.  In this way, a combination images is being projected onto the same location. Lacking of one cavity image changes the overall appearance.
What if the bulb in replaced by a LED and it only direct the light onto one cavity, there will be one clear image.

Note: I'm actually painting a different picture than woven, hope it does not cause confusion!

Bhante, I was digging around a bit on this term just now and am wondering whether ekodibhāva might be taken as “union”, perhaps standing a smidge closer to the defunct metaphor of “web”. Eg:

ajjhattaṃ sampasādanaṃ cetaso ekodibhāvaṃ

internal completion (of rūpakāya) that is union to mind

(with cetaso as dative)

The precedence I would cite for this kind of union-of-two-things would be from the Ayoguḷa Sutta SN 51.3 where the Buddha describes to Ānanda how he’s able to ‘physically’ travel to the Brahma worlds by “converging body in mind and mind in body”:

Yasmiṃ, ānanda, samaye tathāgato kāyampi citte samodahati cittampi kāye samodahati…



Eka means one. I wondered if it was derived from one object of meditation.

It could, more likely mean one focus.

Perhaps it can be seen as emphasizing singleness since the influence of eka seems predominant on the overall meaning of the word.

After all, “unification” for “ekodibhava” may not be such a bad rendering, unless drawing from the DN 19 usage it would mean some kind of mental seclusion from the rest of the world (which could also make sense), but unification resonates better compared to other terms such as samadhi, which also points to unification, as collectedness.

I’m torn between the 2, Unity and Union. Both equally applicable. The analogy of projector does shows the possibility of both words.
A product of unity, tend to be stable and stay in its product form; whereas a product of union is more or less conditional. Thus, a vote for union would make better sense for me.

However, there is something that bothers me. As being careful, what if the direction of interpretation is wrong? There is logical sense both words, unity and union, but there is a question of why it does not appear in the 1st Jhana? The analogy of projector does also shows the possibility of something else.

Ekodibhuto, if we split the word to ekodi+bhuta; ekodibhava to ekodi+bhava, both appear that the word is formed with the same pattern.

I find ekodibhuto, being understood as ‘Alone, ardent’, looking at the context of the passage seems completely logical. However, when both words, ekodibhuto and ekodibhava are place together, there is a similarity; render the interpretation of ekodibhuto looks suspicious. We know that, alone in the jungle, to survive is it self a struggle. So, normally, we read that a company of bhikkhus goes into the forest and ‘each will split from the pack’ to choose their own suitable spot to meditate; and each of them is not far apart from each other, and this still occurs in the tradition now in some forest bhikkhu. And that raise suspicious on rendering ekodibhava as unity or bond.

In the Jhana 1~4, we see that ekodibhava appear in the second Jhana but not the first. If we compare the structure of ekaggata and ekodibhava, to say that just because of ‘eka’, the two is synonym is a bit unconvincing; if without preconceives interpretation of both terms! I just fail to see the similarity.

Other than the 4 Jhanas, such as in MN119 (Kāyagatāsati) “sannisīdati ekodi hoti samādhiyati” without bhava; which imply that there is no ‘pack’. And we have others such as MN122 (Mahāsuññata) “saṇṭhapeti sannisādeti ekodiṃ karoti samādahati” which pretty much similar, that does not describe splitting from the pack scenario.

The question that I would like to raise is what if ekodibhuto means ‘one splitting-from/not-in the pack’; as there is similarity in the 2nd Jhana, vitakka-vicara (considered as one/a pack) ‘split-off’ from vitakka-vicara-piti-sukha; a drop off (suspends) from the pack.

If we look at how ‘di’ is use in english language, we see di’rection, di’vergent, di’gress… . In Malay, ‘di’ point to direction, in Vietnam language ‘di’ means go. What I am considering is, if there is a possibility that ekodibhava mean ‘a condition of existence whereby one drop-off from the pack’.

We may end up with no ekaggata mentioned in Jhana, which is something new. That would end up another puzzle to be solved! The question is; ekaggata, either being mentioned or not in Jhana formula, does it make any different? In the subtle development of vitakka-vicara-piti-sukha, it already well cover by ekaggata involvement; else unlikely for the pack to develop to such extent. As far as i’m concerned, i’m comfortable even though Jhana stock formula does not have the word ekaggata, i’ve never doubt its present!

Anyway, is there any indication in pali that ‘di’ is being used in the sense of split-off/drop-off/suspend? If not, part of the text above just junk, so no worries …

Found this in a search:
uḍḍeti ; (u + ḍī + e) flies ; suspends

note: my mistake, “sannisīdati ekodi hoti samādhiyati” not in 4th jhana.

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The solution seems to be in sasaṅkhāraniggayhavāritagato (sa-saṅkhāra-niggayha-vārita-gato) in AN 3.101 - see also the Pali.

Sasaṅkhāraniggayhavāritagato (translated as):

  • reined in and checked by forcefully suppressing [the defilements]. (Bodhi)
  • kept in place by the fabrication of forceful restraint. (Thanissaro)
  • maintained by suppressing the defilements through strenuous effort. (Piya Tan)
  • a state dependent on painful habitual restraint. (Woodward)

Note: sasaṅkhāra (lit. “with formation”) is translated as “forceful”, or “strenuous”; or even “painful”.
Wouldn’t it be possible to see unification, as the termination of the saṃ+khāra itself (Sk: saṃ = “together,” and karoti = “to make.”) - as the stilling, if not the ending of that synergy (co-ordinated activity) between two or more things. In this case, between defilement and non defilement. Namely, the progressive unification between the extremes that are the gross defilements & the Dhamma - both being transcended into one. Into neither, nor?
And I am not talking “grey” here. I meant “neither, nor”. Huge difference.

As in “transcendence” - viz. rising (above) to one - to something higher.

As in: “I have the right to ask for justice (revenge,) if someone offences me. But I don’t use that right. I go beyond justice. I transcend justice and offence - I experience something higher, that is neither revenge, nor offence”.
The oneness of the neither, nor - (eka-udi >> rising above, excelling, surpassing the one).

I’d be inclined to favor @Gabriel’s choice.

Ekodi - Some suttas with parallels
With the subsiding of thought and examination, he enters and dwells in the second jhāna, which has internal placidity and unification of mind (cetaso ekodibhāvaṃ) and consists of rapture and pleasure born of concentration, without thought and examination.
AN 3.58

“So too, bhikkhus, when a bhikkhu is devoted to the higher mind,
(1) there are in him gross defilements: bodily, verbal, and mental misconduct. An earnest, capable bhikkhu abandons, dispels, terminates, and obliterates them. When this has been done,
(2) there remain in him middling defilements: sensual thoughts, thoughts of ill will, and thoughts of harming. An earnest, capable bhikkhu abandons, dispels, terminates, and obliterates them. When this has been done,
(3) there remain in him subtle defilements: thoughts about his relations, thoughts about his country, and thoughts about his reputation. An earnest, capable bhikkhu abandons, dispels, terminates, and obliterates them. When this has been done, then there remain thoughts connected with the Dhamma. That concentration is not peaceful and sublime, not gained by full tranquilization, not attained to unification (ekodibhāvādhigato), but is reined in and checked by forcefully suppressing (sasaṅkhāraniggayhavāritagato) [the defilements] .

“But, bhikkhus, there comes a time when his mind becomes internally steady, composed, unified (ekodi), and concentrated. That concentration is peaceful and sublime, gained by full tranquilization, and attained to unification (ekodibhāvādhigato); it is not reined in and checked by forcefully suppressing [the defilements]. Then, there being a suitable basis, he is capable of realizing any state realizable by direct knowledge toward which he might incline his mind.
AN 3.101

Again, a bhikkhu’s mind is seized by restlessness about the Dhamma. But there comes an occasion when his mind becomes internally steady, composed, unified (ekodi), and concentrated. Then the path is generated in him. He pursues this path, develops it, and cultivates it. As he is pursuing, developing, and cultivating this path, the fetters are abandoned and the underlying tendencies are uprooted.
AN 4.170

So too, bhikkhus, when a bhikkhu’s mind (citta) has been subdued (udujitaṃ), well subdued, regarding the six bases for contact (phassāyatanesu), it then becomes inwardly steady, settled, unified (ekodi), and concentrated.
SN 35.246

Then, friends, the Blessed One came to me by means of spiritual power and said this: ‘Moggallāna, Moggallāna, do not be negligent, brahmin, regarding the signless concentration of mind. Steady your mind in the signless concentration of mind, unify your mind (cittaṃ ekodiṃ) in the signless concentration of mind, concentrate your mind in the signless concentration of mind.’
SN 40.9

Come, friends, dwell contemplating the body in the body, ardent, clearly comprehending, unified (ekodibhūtā ), with limpid mind, concentrated, with one-pointed mind, in order to know the body as it really is. Dwell contemplating feelings in feelings …
Etha tumhe, āvuso, kāye kāyānupassino viharatha ātāpino sampajānā ekodibhūtā vippasannacittā samāhitā ekaggacittā, kāyassa yathābhūtaṃ ñāṇāya; vedanāsu vedanānupassino viharatha…
SN 47.4


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Hi, everyone. Finally I’ve a reason to join this forum, and the reason is being interested in nailing the meaning of the mysterious ekodi.

Does it mean “web” (or I should say “one-web”? I don’t think so. Even the source of it, i.e. the Śatapatha Brahmaṇa, as quoted by OP, don’t seem to be a good support for that translation.

Consider this (and tell me if I’m misunderstanding it): The English translation goes

(Emphases and italics mine)

As I understand the above, Prishthya and Abhiplava that are to be made “two warps” aren’t their Stotras and Sastras, which are to be made to “run together” (saṃcārayati).

After all, two warps to be woven together don’t “run together”, they cross each other.

While I’m not sure what the quote is saying as a whole, I’m interested in the part that says “run together, with one and the same aim, into a common web” (at least that’s how it’s translated).

Considering the above, it doesn’t seem necessary that
ūtim is translated as “web”, while “run together, with one and the same aim” reminds me of a Chinese translation of “ekodi”: 一趣 (one destination/objective).

If the Chinese translation is correct, and so we take ūti to mean “destination”, the phrase seems to make good sense:
“run together, with one and the same aim, to a common destination”. (I believe “to” is more grammatical than “into”.)

Comments, anybody?


Welcome to the forum Venerable :slight_smile:

If you need any assistance or have any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask.

We look forward to seeing you on the boards :slightly_smiling_face:


Thinking about weaving, I recall warps are collections of separate threads, ordered, appropriately separated, under the right amount of tension, which are United into cloth by weft threads run skillfully through openings created by raising and releasing alternating threads in the warp. Too much tension on the weft distorts the cloth, too much or too little tension on the warp makes weaving very difficult.

In a deliberate disciplined repetitive manner, yes.

:slight_smile: Maybe that image of the actions might bring some clarity to the metaphor?

Welcome, Venerable.


Another Chinese translation for ekodi is 一致. In modern Chinese it means “consistent”, but it may not apply as it’s a term from Chinese Buddhist scriptures dated long time ago when Chinese was quite different. In this case, a possible meaning for 致 is “devote oneself efforts to”, thus making 一致 like “one devotion” as in towards a task. So, in idiomatic English, “focus(ed)”.

I know I’m like throwing in a whole bunch of stuff here. Hopefully something I have here might trigger somebody’s mind to find the right meaning or translation.


Actually, “focus(ed)” connects with 一趣 (one destination/objective) too. I’m now inclined to this translation for ekodi.

After much digging, I’ve arrived at poised.

How did I arrive at that? Too much to explain here. I’ve included it in my book (now as public draft): What You Might Not Know about Jhāna & Samādhi (https://drive.google.com/file/d/1gT1rCJ3K4Hk_1cOAVi0CO6TSRLbvzcuX/view?usp=sharing) See under Ekodibhāva (p49).

I still think that a derivation from dahati is ruled out by the BHS form ekoti. At the very least, we shouldn’t discard the little linguistic context that we have.

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I’ve updated my draft to include this summary:

= eka + odi
= eka + odhi
= eka + o + dhi
= equal + inside + holding
= equal + poised
= equipoised—or just “poised”

This is also my reading. Arising alone, especially detached( perhaps the origin of metaphysical theories ‘god the distant one’ etc).

A term for Samadhi. Perhaps more meaningful in the case of the second Jhana due to the absence of Vitakka, wich applies the mind ardently( relatively speaking) on the object. Second Jhana awareness being orders of magnitude more peaceful than the first, does not require Vitakka and Vicara to light up the object as it were.