Question about pali passambhayaṁ in MN118

Hello there. :slight_smile:

I would like to ask some pali experts about phrase “passambhayaṁ” which is used in anapana-sati sutta:

passambhayaṁ kāyasaṅkhāraṁ assasissāmī’ti sikkhati, ‘passambhayaṁ kāyasaṅkhāraṁ passasissāmī’ti sikkhati.
They practice like this: ‘I’ll breathe in stilling the physical process.’ They practice like this: ‘I’ll breathe out stilling the physical process.’

All translators translate it as more or less tranquilasing/stilling. dictrionary says:

masculine & neuter

  1. side; flank


  1. fear; fright

And another sutta about breath meditation, AN4.38 says:

Kathañca, bhikkhave, bhikkhu passaddhakāyasaṅkhāro hoti?
And how has a mendicant stilled the physical process?

I wonder, why in MN118 it is passambhayaṁ and in AN4.38 passaddhakāyasaṅkhāro? Why in one it is “passa” and in the other “passaddha”, do they mean the same thing? I ask because passaddhi is much more popular term in general as “tranquility”. I wonder how this “passambhayaṁ” means tranquility. I wonder how word meaning “fear” got there, or perhaps it is some problem with suttacentral dictrionary. If anyone knows, please share. :slight_smile:

Sorry if this is silly question. :pray:



  • passambhayanta: prp. (+acc) calming; stilling; settling; becoming quiet; lit. causing to be calm [pa + √sambh + *aya + nta]
  • root. √sambh・1 a (be calm, confident)
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