What is the difference between Samma Sati and Yoniso Manasikara?


Manasikara is one of the five constituents of name nama. Yoniso and ayoniso stem from from this. Yoniso is translated as radical and ayoniso as un-radical. Consciousness is the culprit of everything and it happens along with nama.

So Sati is like a watchman who does the watching. That is, Sati, when practiced correctly ensures that yoniso manasikara is maintained at all times. Sati and manasikara has to co exist for the practice to flourish.
This is my understanding please.
With Metta


According to Abhidhamma Manasikara is a universal mental faculty. Even Buddha and Arahants possess the same.
Samma Sati is a wholesome mental faculty.
However, there is no mention about Ayoniso Manasikara as an unwholesome mental factor.
Any reason for this?


I am not a fan of Abhidhamma simply because scholars have proven beyond doubt that it is not a preaching of the Buddha. All what it does IMO is that it complicates things for the practitioner.

Samma Sati is the four establishings of mindfulness ie; body, feeling, mind and mental objects. It is called Samma because it is the true nature of body, feeling, mind and mental objects which one is mindful of.
With Metta


Nor have scholars proven beyond doubt that anything else IS a a preaching of the Buddha.


You are absolutely correct. My point is that, again this is my personal view based on my own understanding of the teaching, Sutta Pitaka alone is sufficient for achieving liberation. Abhidamma too I think has its usefulness but it is not a necessity for liberation because as I said Suttas alone can do it.
With Metta


That’s reasonable.

For some, Abhidhamma opens fruitful pathways of practice through investigation in more detail what the Buddha s/t only sketched. For others not so, who may be less inclined to such an analytical approach.

Generalizing one’s own preferences (as if they were true for everyone) can be a risky sort of view-holding.


Link to discussion on DW


I would say Yoniso Manasikara means wholesome mental factors and the Ayoniso Manasikara is Unwholesome mental factors.
Hence Samma Sati is Yoniso Manaskikara.
ie: Samma Sati is only one of the many wholesome factors.
Am I right?


Manasikara is ‘menehi kireema’ (reflection). It could mean ‘mind-act’, to put it bluntly. It doesn’t mean wholesome actions which is termed ‘kusala’. Instead it is a practice that leads to kusala. It is also only one practice that leads to kusala (it isn’t the only method of reaching kusala). Apart from leading to wholesome emotions (samatha) it also leads to panna/wisdom (Right view), as part of broader vipassana framework.

with metta


This is interesting. Let me try a simile. Suppose there rules a king over a country. This king has a mighty army which protects the four corners of this country. The king looks after the army very well and army in return takes care of the king and the country. Because of this mutual relationship the country overall is prosperous and peaceful.
Now this king is Sati, the mindfulness and the mighty army is the radical attention which protects the four corners of the four establishings of mindfulness. The whole country which is prosperous and peaceful is the wholesome mental state.
In short, Sati, yoniso manasikara and wholesome states co exist.
I am sure others can express this better but this is my two cents.
With Metta


Thank you, Nimal.
Is Manasikara “Menehi Kirima” in Sinhalrase?


I would say it is the nature of the mind (Sithe Akaraya/Swabhawaya)
With Metta


I agree.
We (Sri Lankan) use the term Manashara in our day to day language and this is the meaning we use it for.


then what is the difference, for you, between sammā samādhi and sammā sati, because for me they go like this:

sammā samādhi - right maintenance (in the present)

sammā sati - has the original meaning of right memory (about the past, recollecting past births, of course reversed from the tradition listing of the Noble Eightfold Path)

sampajañña/yoniso manasikāra - direction (for the future), seeing the rise and fall of beings (firstly within us) according to their kamma

vijjā - knowing the direction works or not for us in personal experience


Thanks for that, but I don’t think you are taking into account semantic shift and that texts from different periods would reflect changes in meaning. I have found this is usual in traditional Buddhism and even in ‘early Buddhist’ studies. I have not found any research on the possibility of semantic shift in Pāli, as acknowledged in other languages and believe it reflects an unwholesome faith in the commentaries.


I encourage others to notice that it is the Five CLINGING Aggregates that are identified as suffering here, not the Five Aggregates (which an Arahant would still have).


I certainly disagree.

CLINGING consciousness is (a fifth) part of the culprit of all suffering.


I think the translations are leaning towards Five Aggregates subject to clinging (or to paraphrase …are likely to be clung to…), and the emphasis is placed on the Five aggregates rather than its adjective.

with metta


Yes, I accept ‘the Five Aggregates subject to clinging’ as an alternate translation

certainly not ‘LIKELY to be clung to’, but rather, ‘are being clung to (at that very moment)’

you can leave the word/adjective out, if you wish, but for me, that’s is misrepresenting the Buddha

The Five Clung-to Aggregates are Suffering (First Noble Truth)

Life with clinging is suffering

The Five Aggregates are suffering

Life is suffering.

(I don’t know why the text is very large and bold on those 2 lines)


Me neither; it appears that no thorough modern linguistic analysis of Pali has been undertaken, not just on the level of semantics but also morphology and phonology (as there is ample evidence of phonological merger and alternation across the written text, for example). As you note, it is evident that there may be identified certain layers of Pali usage, showing clearly that the Canon as we have it today was not one and the same written document across the times. This is a very interesting and lucrative area and can provide many insights regarding the history of the Pali Canon or of the process of producing and preserving it, and of which we know very little. Though I believe we will have to be very careful before using the findings of such research in making arguments about authenticity.

However semantic analysis may show us that the usage of a certain word changed over time, just as in any other language; but it does not necessarily show us what is the difference between two separate words, especially in the way the the author intended to use them, and especially in the case of a limited literature such as Pali clearly is.