Rethinking parimukha … again!

Yes, but I do like the notion of ‘evoking’ or ‘calling up’. It reminds me of how Ajahn Brahm talks about canda iddhipada as giving consent for something to occur. There’s a sense that it’s easy to allow something to happen - so yeah, receptivity.

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Oh, I see… Thank you! :slight_smile:

What can’t mean what overall, Bhante? Sorry, it’s probably just me being dense, but I didn’t understand what you were referring to exactly.

And that’s why it’s a cool post. I hereby properly acknowledge the awesomeness of it. But also, I did too engage with it! But I’m just not remotely close to having your expertise and knowledge, Bhante.

Bhante, a few years ago you did another cool essay (or two?) about the hindrances. It even had a picture of a 5 headed creature. It was awesome. I think so differently about the hindrances as a result of that. You took us on this journey whilst trying to figure out how to translate and then…and then…you changed your mind and went with ‘hindrances’!! But the journey was worth it! I don’t have your expertise, but I appreciated the journey taken.

And so…

…And so… It kinda doesn’t matter does it? The journey creates meaning and points us in different directions. Sure, a translator wants to try and find the best word. But as a practitioner, these kinds of essays are useful for different reasons.

Oh dear…I’m very sorry, Bhante!! :pray:t5:

Yes, I know. But, I just jumped into assuming that both upaṭṭhapetvā and sūpaṭṭhitāya were absolutives. Now I know a teeny tiny bit better! :slight_smile:

Bhante, I still haven’t had a chance to catch up on the parts where you all were translating MN 118. But I will!!! I’d forgotten, when I made my previous few posts that all this was there, waiting for me to learn from!

But see what’s happened after all the Pali classes - I have gone from having no idea at all, to having some vague ideas!! Which feels nice! :slight_smile:


New Concise Pali English Dictionary
expressing the notion of: well, happily and thorough

Could the su preposition, here imply to consider oneself well, happily? The reason would be to overcome crying and sorrow.

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That’s right: su + upa + √ṭhā + ita + aya. Well established.

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Hi, bhante. I was a bit surprised that there was no comment about this line here. Because in many suttas, time and again satipaṭṭhāna is compared to a ‘safe resort’ or ‘ancestral abode,’ like stepping into a safe, spiritual space away from the terrors of the world. In Buddhism, it seems the “safe space” where one practices spiritual activity — rather than an altar — is mindfulness meditation, away from Māra’s bait. (Simile of the Quail, Simile of the Monkey). The Buddha, as we have seen from other uses of upasthāna, draws on very warm, spiritually rich and vibrant language in a way that is much more psychological and precise. It moves away from external ceremony and superstition, but without turning clinical.

Aside: I also found two unrelated, familiar phrase nearby:

yadā vai puruṣo’smāllokātpraiti sa vāyumāgacchati; tasmai sa tatra vijihīte yathā rathacakrasya khaṃ, tena sa ūrdhva ākramate; sa ādityamāgacchati, tasmai sa tatra vijihīte yathālambarasya kham, tena sa ūrdhva ākramate; sa candramasamāgacchati, tasmai sa tatra vijihīte yathā dundubheḥ khaṃ, tena sa ūrdhva ākramate; sa lokamāgacchatyaśokamahimaṃ, tasminvasati śāśvatīḥ samāḥ
BrU 5.10

(Reminds me of the simile of a tortoise surfacing from the ocean rising up from the animal realms).

etadvai paramaṃ tapo yadvyāhitastapyate, paramaṃ haiva lokaṃ jayati ya evaṃ veda; etadvai paramaṃ tapo yaṃ pretamaraṇyaṃ haranti; paramaṃ haiva lokaṃ jayati ya evaṃ veda; etadvai paramaṃ tapo yaṃ pretamagnāvabhyādadhati, paramaṃ haiva lokaṃ jayati ya evaṃ veda
BrU 5.11

(Reminds me of khantī paramaṁ tapo — ovādapāṭimokkha)


Lol, thanks!

I know, it’s a long and winding road!

Good point, I didn’t notice that! I’ll see if I can look into it some more.

Yep, that’s what happens. There are always echoes and resonances, even when there’s no explicit link.

Hmm, yes I see. It’s a much more material process compared to the suttas. Note too how it ends with tasminvasati śāśvatīḥ samāḥ, “He lives there for eternal years”, showing exactly what the Buddha is talking about when he speaks of "eternalism.

In fact the final phrase, śāśvatīḥ samāḥ, “equal to eternity”, is found in Pali as sassatisamaṁ, where it appears in DN 1 and elsewhere.

Indeed. The Upanishad rather mysteriously equate it with illness, evidently under the belief that the fevers of sickness burn up one’s sins like the practice of austerities.


Lauren Bausch also has an interesting contribution about the use of pratiṣṭhā in a book I have… She focuses on its meaning as “spatial firm foundation” (where she notes the verb prati + sthā means, literally, to be established, to be based on, to rest on). Something akin to “a firm foundation so as to provide stability between two worlds (heaven and earth).”

I wouldn’t be able to do justice describing the full context, obviously, but she vividly deconstructs its use in the Brāhmaṇas and Āraṇyakas – including a short section on its use in the Bṛhadāraṇyaka Upaniṣad.

Long story short, it helps me understand the sanskrit root in upaṭṭhāna (the tḥa part) and its pre-Buddha use. Doesn’t bleed into the interpretation of parimukha but it’s an interesting tangent.


Thanks, yes, that’s an interesting reflection of connotations we find in Buddhism. Like the meditation is an internal standing point, where a mundane thing like the breath serves as a portal between this world of the senses and the world beyond in absorption. The stability of the breath is what grounds that transition.


I came across an interesting mention from Andy Rotman’s translation of the Divyāvadāna. He translates the relevant section as “made his mindfulness fully present.”

[467.021]. atha rudrāyaṇo rājā sāmātyaḥ pratyūṣasamaye sarvārthān sarvakarmāntān pratiprasrabhya niṣaṇṇaḥ paryaṅkamābhujya ṛjukāyaṃ praṇidhāya pratimukhāṃ smṛtimupasthāpya/
Chapter 37

This is of course working with the Sanskrit sense of ‘presence.’


‘Fully present’ is similar to what I suggested above- ‘primary focus’, etc.

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