The nine apertures

I did expect to find a discussion about this. But I didn’t. I collected these suttas with the nice system of search suttacentral has. I did say to improve but I have to say the search has made my dream come true. Let’s you find exactly what you looking for in term of words and doctrine. Thank you :pray:

The nine apertures:

“O body, you have nine streams

that are flowing all the time.”

“There are nine apertures on a person’s body, and they are like nine wounds caused by a spear. The nine apertures are ill-smelling and impure.”

Another translation says

For it has been said by the Blessed One:

“Covered with clammy skin, an impure thing and foul,

Nine-apertured, it oozes, like a sore.”

Step-by-step Stopping

“Monks, there are these nine step-by-step stoppings. Which nine?

“Whatever would ooze out from it would be an uncleanliness oozing out, a stench oozing out, a disgust oozing out. Whatever would be discharged from it would be an uncleanliness discharging, a stench discharging, a disgust discharging. For that reason, you should become disenchanted with this body.”

Here says 4 door for aggregates and mind probably as the nine door. The jhana states is nothing but nature of the mind which need to be let go of. The nine openings producing stench.

“Having four wheels and nine doors,

Filled up and bound with greed,

Born from a bog, O great hero!

How does one escape from it?”

“Having cut the thong and the strap,

Having cut off evil desire and greed,

Having drawn out craving with its root:

Thus one escapes from it.”

“Mendicants, there are these nine progressive cessations. What nine?

Females are 9+1=10 though, right?

I think it might also be relevant to mention the simile given for how to review the body in an anatta-ish way:

It’s as if there were a bag with openings at both ends, filled with various kinds of grains,

(MN119) for example…

Viewing the body and it’s nutriment and waste as an input/output system, kind of like a worm. I suppose you could say it’s a more general way compared to the detailed way of 9/10 apertures.


Because this not mentioned many places. I am not exactly. But it seems 9 is the states in meditation. Which like you say has to be regarded as anatta-ish. But not even that. Not atta nor non-being. I think that why early Buddhism preferred to see them as something just disgusting. Don’t bother. Not create a view.

This attitude is common on the forums and presupposes the practitioner can adopt a view from nibbana, but in reality first the path must be walked, views (conditioned) must be used skillfully to eventually achieve a position of non-view:

“Is the noble eightfold path fabricated or unfabricated?”
"The noble eightfold path is fabricated.”—-Dhammadinna, MN 44

The view intended to be generated by contemplating the repulsiveness of the body is dispassion based on knowledge of impermanence:

“develops equanimity as a factor for awakening dependent on seclusion, dependent on dispassion, dependent on cessation, resulting in relinquishment.”—-MN 118, Anapanasati sutta

The word ‘develops’ should be noted. The approach to the unconditioned is built upon a scaffolding of right views.


Oh that’s right. I said it wrong my bad. It’s after in practice Buddha say to leave good and bad ideas. When you have practiced enough in higher training. Thanks to remind me


:pray:t4::pray:t4::pray:t4: like in sutta

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It’s nine for both sexes: two eyes, two ears, two nostrils, mouth, urethra and anus.


Ok. Thank you Both :pray:t4::pray:t4::pray:t4: Now I get the first reply. :joy:

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Did I mix up the suttas because there is 4 wheels also in one sutta. Are the all the above suttas same meaning?

I guess the vagina was overlooked, huh.

:joy: Good point but it’s in the mark of the superman.

Nothing has been overlooked. The Visuddhimagga doesn’t use the word ‘vagina’. Rather, it speaks of the two “lower exits for excrement and urine” (adhodvārehi uccārapassāvā).

Hence, ‘anus’ and ‘urethra’ – the latter term being applicable to the urinary duct of both sexes.


Can you please answer my question just before his remark? :pray:t4:

The nine bodily orifices are not the nine progressive cessations.

As for the four wheels:

Four Wheels

“Having four wheels and nine doors,
Filled up and bound with greed,
Born from a bog, O great hero!
How does one escape from it?”

“Having cut the thong and the strap,
Having cut off evil desire and greed,
Having drawn out craving with its root:
Thus one escapes from it.”

Bhikkhu Bodhi’s endnotes, quoting the commentary:

The four wheels are the four modes of deportment (walking, standing, sitting, lying down).
The nine doors are the nine “wound openings” (eyes, ears, nostrils, mouth, genitals, anus).
It is filled up with impure body parts (head-hairs, etc.), and bound with greed, i.e., with craving.
How does one escape from it? - How can there be emergence from such a body? How can there be freedom, release, a transcendence of it?
Spk-pṭ adds: It is born from a bog (paṅkajāta) because it is produced in the foul bog of the mother’s womb. The Pāli expression could also have been rendered, “It is a bog,” but I follow Spk-pṭ.

Spk: The thong (naddhi) is hostility (upanāha), i.e., strong anger; the strap (varattā) is the remaining defilements. Desire and greed refer to the same mental state spoken of in two senses: desire (icchā) is the preliminary weak stage, or the desire for what has not been obtained; greed (lobha) is the subsequent strong stage, or the holding to an acquired object. Craving with its root: with its root of ignorance.


I guess more an ancient misunderstanding of anatomy then? (vaginal lubrication, discharge, and menstruation don’t emit from the urethra)

Okay, I see your point. In that case using Bhikkhu Bodhi’s “genitals and anus” should take care of the additional substances.


There’s holes and there’s holes


Thank you so much :pray:t4:

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Deep video. Nice. Thanks for sharing

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The subject of the nine orifices is not included in the exercises on mindfulness of the body in the Satipatthana sutta. It is allied to the contemplation of the thirty two parts of the body (Sn 1.11), but since all the parts are external it does not require visualization skills. In Sn 1.11 and AN 9.15 the focus is on the discharges from the orifices which link it to the dissolution phase of impermanence. An 9.16 goes on to show the relationship between meditation on the unattractiveness of the body, impermanence, and dispassion.

"The perception of unattractiveness (of the body), the perception of death, the perception of the foulness in food, the perception of no-delight in any world, the perception of inconstancy, the perception of stress in inconstancy, the perception of not-self in stress, the perception of abandoning, the perception of dispassion.”

Dispassion can in the context of impermanence be rendered as ‘fading away’ or ‘de-colourization’ as practically shown here and meditation on this text can produce a sense of dispassion:

"That becomes evident to him by means of an asoka-tree shoot.
74. For that to begin with is pale pink; then in two or three days it becomes
dense red, again in two or three days it becomes dull red, next [brown,] the
colour of a tender [mango] shoot; next, the colour of a growing shoot; next, the
colour of pale leaves; next, the colour of dark green leaves. After it has become the
colour of dark green leaves, as it follows out the successive stages of such material
continuity, it eventually becomes withered foliage, and at the end of the year it
breaks loose from its stem and falls off. "—Vism XX 73