What is the difference between ceteyyaṃ And abhisaṅkhareyyaṃ?

in DN 09 these two words are used together. that means there must be some difference between them.
at some stage or at some level of subtleness. there must be a choice to either make it now(ceteyyaṃ) or later(abhisaṅkhareyyaṃ)

“Poṭṭhapāda, from the time a mendicant here takes responsibility for their own perception, they proceed from one stage to the next, gradually reaching the peak of perception.

“Yato kho, poṭṭhapāda, bhikkhu idha sakasaññī hoti, so tato amutra tato amutra anupubbena saññaggaṁ phusati.

Standing on the peak of perception they think,

Tassa saññagge ṭhitassa evaṁ hoti:

‘Intentionality is bad for me, it’s better to be free of it.

‘cetayamānassa [dative???] me pāpiyo, acetayamānassa me seyyo.

For if I were to intend and choose, these perceptions would cease in me, and other coarser perceptions would arise.

Ahañceva kho pana ceteyyaṁ [optative???], abhisaṅkhareyyaṁ [optative???], imā ca me saññā nirujjheyyuṁ [optative???], aññā ca oḷārikā saññā uppajjeyyuṁ [optative???];

Why don’t I neither make a choice nor form an intention?’

yannūnāhaṁ na ceva ceteyyaṁ na ca abhisaṅkhareyyan’ti.

They neither make a choice nor form an intention.

So na ceva ceteti, na ca abhisaṅkharoti.

DN 9

this section of DN 9 starts with saying:

Intentionality is bad for me, it’s better I be free of it.

cetayamānassa me pāpiyo, acetayamānassa me seyyo.

therefore, the subject matter of this section seems to be “cetayamāna” or, simply, cetana (intention)

abhisaṅkharoti is a verb, generally meaning “to generate”


(& -khāreti in Pot.) to prepare, do, perform, work, get up


i guess “ceteti” is also a verb


  1. (intr.) to think, to reflect, to be of opinion


ceva & ca include/mean “and”

often in the Pali, an intention (cetana; noun) will be the object of the verb (abhisaṅkharoti), such as:

Ānanda, as long as there’s a body, the intention that gives rise to bodily action causes pleasure and pain to arise in oneself.

Kāye vā hānanda, sati kāyasañcetanāhetu uppajjati ajjhattaṁ sukhadukkhaṁ.

By oneself one instigates (generates/abhisaṅkharoti) the choice that gives rise to bodily action [activity; kāyasaṅkhāraṁ], conditioned by which that pleasure and pain arise in oneself.

Sāmaṁ vā taṁ, ānanda, kāyasaṅkhāraṁ abhisaṅkharoti, yaṁpaccayāssa taṁ uppajjati ajjhattaṁ sukhadukkhaṁ.

SN 12.25

but in DN 9, both ceteti & abhisaṅkharoti appear to be verbs, separated twice by “and”

therefore, I guess DN 9 is saying:

if I intend/ceteti and continue to generate/produce/abhisaṅkharoti [those generated intentions] other coarser perceptions would arise…

i could be wrong above :slightly_smiling_face:

Sujato seems to have translated these two verbs as:

  • intend and choose
  • make a choice & form an intention

Thanissaro seems to have translated these two verbs as:

  • thinks & wills
  • thinking & willing

Personally, i guess the ceteti (willing) is an object/product of the abhisaṅkharoti (thinking) however in DN 9 ceteti is also expressed as a verb (rather than expressed as a noun as is generally is). In short, I guess the abhisaṅkharoti is not something separate from the ceteti. Thus ceteti is a type of intending and abhisaṅkharoti is proliferating that same type of intending. :face_with_spiral_eyes:

Thanks for elaborating my question :smiley:

You are welcome; however I was most guessing; as I posted. :smile: