First Two Lines of DhammaPada.Yamakavaggo

The phenomena of mental experience follow the intentional mind,
   they are governed by this mind, 
   they are made by this mind;

If a mind with corrupted intentions,
  speaks or acts;

Then unsatisfying mental experience follows that mind, 
  like a cartwheel follows the foot-step of the beast-of-burden that bears that burden.

(the Corrupted Intentions that lead to Negative Consequence & Detriment are - Greed , Aversion , Delusion.)

The phenomena of mental experience follow the intentional mind,
  they are governed by this mind, 
  they are made by this mind;

If a mind with pure intentions, 
  speaks or acts;

Then satisfying mental experience follows that mind,
  like a shadow that doesn't leave.

(the Pure Intentions that lead to Positive Consequence & Benefit are - Generosity, Loving-Kindness, Wisdom.)

Any comments or criticisms are welcomed.

  1. Do you think ‘intentions’ is an accurate translation for the uses of manas/mano/manasā?

I’m also wondering about these words for mind in relation to the word manasikāra…

I’ve seen this definition for manasikāra:
“Manasikāra (Pāli), derived from manasi (locative of mana thus, loosely, “in mind” or “in thought”) and karoti (“to make” or “to bring into”) and has been translated as “attention” or “pondering” or “fixed thought”.”

So maybe manasikāra is really “intention to act”?

I think this is relevant as these first two lines include manas/mano in close proximity to karoti (and bhasati).

Then there is yonisomanasikāra which is variously translated as wise/proper consideration/attention. Does the karoti part of this word only refer to action (as opposed to speaking) or is it a broader meaning that I’m not grasping?

  1. How does the use of mano compare to viññāṇa and citta?

  2. paduṭṭhena and pasannena: these are usually translated as impure and pure, respectively. Does this refer to the presence or absence of the āsavas, kilesas, akusala-mūla?

  3. What are the differences between these three?: āsavas, kilesas, akusala-mūla

i think manasikāra can be translated as application of mind

difference between asava, kilesa, akusala mula can be learned from Wikipedia articles on the subjects

The āsavas which are mentioned frequently are kāmāsava, bhavāsava, diṭṭhāsava and avijjāsava

In the Kilesa sutta (SN 46.33) kilesas are defined as the 5 hindrances

Upakkilesa sutta (MN 128) lists 11 upakkilesas which Piya Tan rounds down to the same 5 hindrances

three unwholesome roots (Sanskrit: akuśala-mūla; Pāli: akusala-mūla), in Buddhism, refer to the three root kleshas of ignorance, attachment, and aversion.
the primary causes that keep sentient beings trapped in samsara. These three poisons are said to be the root of all of the other kleshas

that is raga/lobha, dosa, moha

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Hi S-V,

(1) Manas is really just one among several words for the mind, and this is how it should normally be translated. But since we are here dealing with verse, we can expect that words will often be used quite loosely, and for this reason we need to be a bit more careful. The way mano is used in these two verses certainly seems to tie it to intention, and for this reason I think your translation “intentional mind” is reasonable.

With the word manasikāra, however, we are probably dealing with an ordinary usage of the word manas, and as such it should probably be translated as “mind.” The word therefore means something like “mind-action” or “work of the mind.” This of course implies intention, and it is from this that you get translations such as “attention.” In this case I think your suggestion “intention to act” is a bit too narrow.

For yoniso manasikāra it is the same. It means “wise work of the mind” in the broadest sense.

(2) All three can be generic references to the mind, but depending on the context all three words also have technical meanings. Just to give you some idea, viññāṇa in a technical sense refers to awareness devoid of the other aspects of mind. This is a purely technical usage, since in reality no such independent awareness actually exists. Citta in a technical sense can refer to samādhi. In this case the usage is technical because it limits the meaning of citta to a very specific set of mental experiences. Manas used technically refers to the experiences of the mind, when these are contrasted with sensory experiences.

So what I am saying is that context is all important. And if, in a particular context, there is no reason to believe that the term is used technically, then you can assume it the generic meaning of “mind” is intended.

(3) Paduṭṭhena is related to padosa, which is essentially the same as dosa. Dosa has two meanings in the Pali Canon. The most important one is “anger/ill will” (the usual translation “hatred” is really far too strong). But dosa also mean “corruption” (of mind) in a more general sense, and I suspect that is the meaning here. So any term that is roughly equivalent to “corrupt” or “defiled” should be appropriate. And yes, it is closely related to the three terms you are referring to.

(4) There is little difference, but they point to different functions and/or aspects of the defilements. Kilesa is a general term for defilement. (Which, by the way, is very rarely found in the Canonical texts. The semi-equivalent Canonical word is upakilesa, whereas kilesa is mostly found in the commentaries. The fact that so many Buddhists, monastic or lay, always use kilesa is just one among many indication of how thoroughly influenced we are by the commentaries.) Akusala-mūla highlights the fact that the defilements are the roots of unwholesome actions. Āsava is normally used for the most sticky of all the defilements, the roots from which all the other defilement ultimately derive.


Thank you very much for the thorough answer! Cleared up a lot that was hazy for me.