MN 20, iti-pi-me , upa-par-ikkhita-bbo

For the 2nd of the 5 methods of dealing with unwanted thoughts (vitakka) in MN 20, I have questions about 2 words. iti-pi-me , upa-par-ikkhita-bbo .
I’m translating in a literal way to help myself learn pali in word by word order, with fluency as a secondary concern.

Here’s is the relevant part of the translation, my question follows below.

then, monks, (a) monk, tena, bhikkhave, bhikkhunā
(regarding) those thoughts, tesaṃ vitakkānaṃ
(their) danger (he) should-deeply-inspect: ādīnavo upa-par-ikkhi­tabbo:
thus-indeed-my thoughts (are) un-skillful, ‘iti-pi-me vitakkā a-kusalā,
thus-indeed-my thoughts (are) blameworthy, iti-pi-me vitakkā s-āvajjā,
thus-indeed-my thoughts (have) suffering-(as the)-result.’ iti-pi-me vitakkā dukkha-vipākā’ti.
Then those thoughts Tassa tesaṃ vitakkānaṃ
(whose) dangers (were) deeply-inspected, ādīnavaṃ upa-par-ikkhato

The “pi” in Iti-pi-me is an emphatic right? The famous example of “itipiso bhagava araham” (thus indeed he (is) the-blessed-one, (the) arahant.

In this MN 20 context, I have the iti-pi-me as

thus-indeed-my thoughts (are) un-skillful,
thus-indeed-my thoughts (are) blameworthy,
thus-indeed-my thoughts (have) suffering-(as the)-result.’

But we’re talking about getting rid of unwanted thoughts in a Buddhist way, using discernment rather than just a trained animal reflex, so the “thus indeed” seems a little too mild in properly acknowledging the massive scale and significance of the root problem. What the text says to me is:

holy-shit!-my thoughts (are) un-skillful,
holy-shit!-my thoughts (are) blameworthy,
holy-shit!-my thoughts (have) suffering-(as the)-result.’

Since I live in a world with sensitive prudes, is there an alternate choice of words that captures the spirit as well?

I had a list of other 2 word emphatic options, but they all come from the same gutter so I need some help here.
“golly gee!”
“sweet christmas!”
(just a couple of ideas to get the creative juices flowing…)


OMG!-my thoughts (are) un-skillful,
OMG!-my thoughts (are) blameworthy,
OMG!-my thoughts (have) suffering-(as the)-result.’

Suttas translated into modern slang for a teenage audience is not such a bad idea, if I may say so.


It’s great if we can capture the teen audience, but what’s even better is having as wide of an audience as possible, for as long as possible.

My guess is 200 years from now people will still understand the meaning and feeling behind that text perfectly ( “holy shit!” ), especially with the simile that follows.

The kid friendly versions are probably not even widely comprehended internationally right now, let alone standing the test of time.

Oh my!
Holy Guacamole!
Ah hah!
Aye Caramba!
mama mia!
great caesar’s ghost!
goodness gracious sakes alive!

The simile that follows the method of seeing the danger of unskillful thoughts:

Just-as, *********, Seyyathāpi, bhikkhave,
(a) woman (or) man ** itthī vā puriso vā
(who is) young, (a) youth daharo yuvā
fond-of-ornaments, maṇḍana-kajātiko
[if a] snake-carcass or ahi-kuṇapena vā
dog-carcass or kukku­ra-kuṇa­pena vā ­
human-carcass ** manus­sa-kuṇa­pena vā
{were worn around their} neck, kaṇṭhe āsattena
(they) would-be-anxious, aṭṭiyeyya
(they) would-be-ashamed, harāyeyya
(they) would-be-disgusted; jiguccheyya;

I believe B.Bodhi translated upa-par-ikkhi­tabbo in MN 20 as “examine”. I’m thinking the prefixes “upa” and “par(i)?” justifies a stronger translation as “deeply-inspecting.”

Of the 5 methods in MN 20, this is the most important one IMO, as it really captures the spirit and importance of the 4 noble truths paradigm, seeing, understanding the cause, removing the cause.

How close in meaning are upekkha, upa-par-ikkhi­tabbo, paccavekkhati? They all have the verb ikkhati as the base.