What's the best English translation for Samvara? (Or, The Meaning and Application of Samvara)

Is “restraint” a good translation of samvara?

Is there a better English word for this?

@Sujato, @vimalanyani, @Brahmali and @anon61506839 what word are you using in your translations?

With thanks :anjal:


EDIT: Thank you @sabbamitta for suggesting the title change! :anjal:

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Yes, restraint is fine, it’s what i use.

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‘Disciplined in…’ (not discipline) comes to mind. There are also connotations of being ‘well-behaved’, for me.

with metta

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I’m really waaaay to inexperienced to give an opinion. :grin:
In my Chinese translations, I usually try to follow English terminology used by Ajahn Brahmali or Bhante Sujato. :blush:

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Yes mostly “restraint”. The only times I have found “restraint” problematic is when it is being repeated in the same phrase, or even sentence; for example:

Patimokkha saņvara saņvuta viharathā.

literally meaning “abides restrained by the restraint of the Patimokkha”. Which sounds a bit strange in English and even more so in Arabic. In line with dictionaries I sometimes feel it is a direct reference to “self-control”, which is a synonym of “restraint”, and i would certainly use it for the above sentence : “he lives self-controlled by the restraint of the patimokkha”.

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I have never been entirely happy with “restraint” because it suggests force, even quite a bit of force. The way saṃvara is explained in the suttas has, as far as I can see, more to do with using wisdom to turn away from unwholesome qualities than using mental force. Typical suttas that show the predominance of wisdom are MN 19 and MN 20. This is not to say that force is never required, just that it is secondary.

I have found it difficult, however, to find a suitable alternative, and as a consequence I have stuck with restraint. The meaning of the Pali word is certainly close to “restraint”. It may well be that restraint is correct in a literal sense and that we just need to be aware that the Buddha used this word in his own way, as he does with a fairly large number of words. Still, I would certainly be interested in alternatives. The problem, as always, is finding the time to do the proper research. If you, or anyone else, has any ideas, I would definitely be interested.

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To me saņvara does involve a certain kind and measure of will-power, but people readily fight with me whenever I say that! I think they have no emotional saņvara! :slight_smile: :anjal:

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Yes, I agree and this is exactly why I asked the question.

Thank you very much for both these examples Ajahn!

I couldn’t find the word “restraint” in the English version of either Sutta, so I did a quick search for the word samvara in the Pali for both and could not find it. Is it in a different form? I know very little about Pali and so would not recognise it. I was hoping to find the sentence/passage and then try and work out where it was used in the English. I can see the wider contexts of both suttas are very much about restraint, but I was hoping to hone in on the exact word/phrase/sentence.

I may be wrong but it seems to me that when the Buddha does this, it’s clear what he’s about; like when he uses the word, “arahant” or “brahmin”. But “restraint” seems to be so integral to the “doctrinal description and how to” of the 4th Noble Truth and it seems to me the Buddha is usually quite literal when it comes to doctrinal matters… So I’m wondering if there’s a better word.

I am ignorant of Pali and etymology and stuff so can only go on the English word, “restraint”. But I’ve noticed that restraint can be used as an adjective and it then means something like, “not being too over the top”, calmer, more delicate, quiet.

Here it is a noun and I found the distinction between the 1st and 3rd meanings interesting. The 2nd meaning is probably, and perhaps unfortunately, more in line with how we see the word in the context of Practice.

The 1st meaning on this site: “the checking of one’s true feelings and impulses when dealing with others”. I found it interesting that some of the “related words” include: aloofness, detachedness, distance, bashfulness, modesty, shyness, reticence, silence…

The 3rd meaning was: “the power to control one’s actions, impulses, or emotions”. “Related words” included: discipline, mastery, aplomb, assurance, composure, confidence, coolness, equanimity, poise, self-confidence, discretion.

So I’m still wondering if there’s a better word out there that gives the sense of samvara being something that comes from a “letting go from within”, rather than an “imposing of”…?

It can also be used as a verb. And this is also probably how we tend to view it…hence the association with force and will power.

Thanks very much for offering your thoughts Ajahn! :anjal: As always, your perspective is much appreciated.

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In the gradual training (anupubbhiya sikkha) sense restraint (for lack of a better word) comes before mindfulness training or insight practice. So I think samvara is a relatively gross practice of just looking away, turning the TV off, and turning down the party music as it were(!). It is very close in order of practice to keeping the precepts or vinaya and moderation in eating. I think we need to be careful not to translate away the bits of Dhamma which is not to the liking of our mind full of ignorance. It would indeed be a surprise if we did like everything in the Dhamma- as that would simply be unnatural. Some think the Dhamma is ‘perfect’ but the principle of dukkha dictates it will never be or should be. The Buddha from his vantage point on top of the mountains shows us paths which look difficult if not impossible to cross, to get to the top of the mountain. The person who is dependant on alcohol might hear that abstinence is the only option and this is true, and this might come as a shock. Certainly having that aspiration in place is important for subsequent internal transformation. It serves as an anchor for the invariable breaches that would follow and to not let the motivation to persevere despite the odds, to drop. Sequentially, in the gradual training, it slots in around Right intension and the Sila complement, if we hold the N8FP parallel to it.

Composure of the senses, to me, is also close.

with metta

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Actually I quite like that.

This is certainly how I used to think of samvara. But as I tried to stop forcing myself - because it just felt wrong to force, I found I had to allow myself to develop slowly; in a sense I had to leave sense restraint alone until I was even a little bit ready for it.

Yes, it is. But what’s even closer than Samvara - so close that it’s right on top of it in fact - is Sila itself. What you’ve described here is actually Sila.

The five precepts are only the foundation stones. The 8 precepts, 10, 227 or 311 or whatever framework you choose, essentially build on these basic five precepts. They are generally couched in terms of what we should try hard not to do. But if we view Sila broadly as kindness, then Sila also includes the active cultivation of various forms of kindness.

But samvara is distinct to Sila in the sequence you’ve mentioned. Thus, turning off the TV and so on…is part of the ongoing cultivation of Sila, not Samvara.

After my last post here, I have been reflecting a lot on what I feel, specifically what I feel like emotionally, physically, mentally, when I feel I’m practising sense restraint. As a result, this is where I’m currently at:


You’ve talked about Mindfulness coming after Restraint. Well, what comes before it and why?

Virtue/Kindness/Sila comes before Restraint.

And I am asking myself why. Oh yes, I remember all the standard answers. But I’m asking myself what it feels like. Emotionally, as a “felt experience” (as Eugene T. Gendlin calls it).

Well, it feels like, because of the cultivation of Sila, I’ve created a clear space within.

A clear space for what?

Here I have to ask again, what comes after Restraint, what does Restraint flow into? As Mat has said, it is Mindfulness. What is Mindfulness? How does it feel? It feels like easeful-aware-presence.

So how do I go from Sila: A clear space within…to Mindfulness: easeful-aware-presence? What is the bridge between these two emotional states that Restraint provides?

Turning off the TV and all that. That’s Sila still. What does restraint provide then?

I’m asking myself restraint of what? The senses. Specifically the 5 senses. What does it mean in practice to restrain the eye, the ear, the tongue, the touch, the nose?

It means to place myself in a situation where there is very little to see, hear, taste, feel tactiley or smell? It doesn’t mean to turn off the 5 senses, that’s Jhanas and this is not even near Jhanas. So if it doesn’t mean to turn them off…perhaps it means to put oneself in a position where they are not overly stimulated.

What does it look like - what do I look like when I have placed myself in a situaton where my 5 senses are not overly situated. Well, that’s easy. I’m generally in a meditation posture of some kind and if I’m not walking, my eyes would be closed too.

Now I’m considering Sila again. Sila makes it possible for sense restraint to occur. It creates the clear space. Why? How? Because we feel so good inside. We feel a sense of goodness and ease. With this, we are able to just be with ourselves, alone, uninterrupted, without seeking any form of external stimulation to entertain or distract ourselves with. We are able to just be. I think this is what the Buddha might be referring to with the term, samvara…I’m only just in the last hour or so starting to think this by the way!! I realise it sounds a bit radical…but there it is!

The more we can just be, with ease, in this unstimulated state, the more we increase the power of that ease-aware-presence or Mindfulness.

So, currently, rather radically and with a teeny bit of gumption, I’m suggesting that instead of “sense restraint”, I currently prefer thinking of it as, “less stimulated senses”. You could say this is more in the territory of kaya-viveka actually. But I’m, currently finding this way of looking at the thing, rather helpful.

Interestingly, the antonyms for “stimulate” include: tranquilise and calm.

Anyway, I think @mat’s idea of “composure” fits in nicely within this way of thinking this matter out; which I’ve presented here for everyone’s general enjoyment. :grin:

With metta

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In Addition:

Sometimes when I thought about sense-restraint, I would imagine a monk or nun, walking along mindfully, not looking to left or right - you know, “guarding the doors of their senses”.

But, really isn’t this practice part of the framework of rules they follow? If it is, it too is part of the cultivation of Sila.

Thus Sila then isn’t just about “being good”. It’s about working out what makes you feel good. And that what makes you feel good - inside, in your heart - is an ever beautiful refinement of kindness. To the point that one is asking oneself, for example, as one walks into a crowded super market, “is it harmful to my heart and mind to look around everywhere or is it much kinder to myself to not do this”? And it just becomes a kind, gentle, non-demanding question one asks oneself…not an ultimatum or something one forces oneself to do.

Gentle, gradual sila leads to inner ease…

…Leads to an ability to just be alone - Sense Restraint, I thus suggest is the act of spending time in a meditation posture!

Indeed, I think you could argue that the 8 Fold Path, as much as it is useful for life in general, only really comes alive in one’s meditation postures. And indeed, that the sequences, Mat has mentioned, are also most useful and alive, within meditation.

Gosh, I feel just a bit heretical. But it feels right…well…for now anyway… :smirk:

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I’m puzzled by the aversion to “force” and “restraint” for samvara. Consider AN 4.14, the first thing I think of when I want to see in context how samvara might mean:

STED Saṃvarap-padhānaṃ

katamañca, bhikkhave, saṃvarap-padhānaṃ?
What, ***********, (is) restraint-exertion?
idha, bhikkhave, bhikkhu
Here, monks, (a) monk,

1. eye

cakkhunā rūpaṃ disvā
With-the-eye, [visible]-form (he) sees.
na nimittag-gāhī hoti
(he) Does-not {grab}-signs ****.
Nā-nubyañjanag-gāhī.
Does-not {grab}-features.
yatvādhikaraṇamenaṃ cakkhu’ndriyaṃ a-saṃvutaṃ viharantaṃ
Since-if-he-were-to {dwell with the} eye-faculty un-restrained ***********,
Abhijjhā-domanassā pāpakā a-kusalā dhammā anvāssaveyyuṃ,
greed-(and)-distress (and) evil un-skillful states would-invade [his mind].
tassa saṃvarāya paṭipajjati,
His restraint (is put into) practice.
rakkhati cakkhu-’ndriyaṃ,
(he) protects (the) eye-faculty.
Cakkhu-’ndriye saṃvaraṃ āpajjati.
The eye-faculty restraint (he) undertakes.

2. ear

sotena saddaṃ sutvā
With-the-ear, sounds (he) hears.
na nimittag-gāhī hoti
(he) Does-not {grab}-signs ****.
Nā-nubyañjanag-gāhī.
Does-not {grab}-features.
yatvādhikaraṇamenaṃ sot-indriyaṃ a-saṃvutaṃ viharantaṃ
Since-if-he-were-to {dwell with the} ear-faculty un-restrained ***********,
Abhijjhā-domanassā pāpakā a-kusalā dhammā anvāssaveyyuṃ,
greed-(and)-distress (and) evil un-skillful states would-invade [his mind].
tassa saṃvarāya paṭipajjati,
His restraint (is put into) practice.
rakkhati sot-indriyaṃ,
(he) protects (the) ear-faculty.
Sot-indriye saṃvaraṃ āpajjati.
The ear-faculty restraint (he) undertakes.

3. nose

ghānena gandhaṃ ghāyitvā
With-the-nose, odors (he) smells.
na nimittag-gāhī hoti
(he) Does-not {grab}-signs ****.
Nā-nubyañjanag-gāhī.
Does-not {grab}-features.
yatvādhikaraṇamenaṃ ghā-indriyaṃ a-saṃvutaṃ viharantaṃ
Since-if-he-were-to {dwell with the} nose-faculty un-restrained ***********,
Abhijjhā-domanassā pāpakā a-kusalā dhammā anvāssaveyyuṃ,
greed-(and)-distress (and) evil un-skillful states would-invade [his mind].
tassa saṃvarāya paṭipajjati,
His restraint (is put into) practice.
rakkhati ghā-indriyaṃ,
(he) protects (the) nose-faculty.
ghā-indriye saṃvaraṃ āpajjati.
The nose-faculty restraint (he) undertakes.

4. tongue

jivhāya rasaṃ sāyitvā
With-the-tongue, flavors (he) tastes.
na nimittag-gāhī hoti
(he) Does-not {grab}-signs ****.
Nā-nubyañjanag-gāhī.
Does-not {grab}-features.
yatvādhikaraṇamenaṃ jivh-indriyaṃ a-saṃvutaṃ viharantaṃ
Since-if-he-were-to {dwell with the} tongue-faculty un-restrained ***********,
Abhijjhā-domanassā pāpakā a-kusalā dhammā anvāssaveyyuṃ,
greed-(and)-distress (and) evil un-skillful states would-invade [his mind].
tassa saṃvarāya paṭipajjati,
His restraint (is put into) practice.
rakkhati jivh-indriyaṃ,
(he) protects (the) tongue-faculty.
jivh-indriye saṃvaraṃ āpajjati.
The tongue-faculty restraint (he) undertakes.

5. body

kāyena phoṭṭhabbaṃ phusitvā
With-the-body, tactile-sensations (he) senses.
na nimittag-gāhī hoti
(he) Does-not {grab}-signs ****.
Nā-nubyañjanag-gāhī.
Does-not {grab}-features.
yatvādhikaraṇamenaṃ kāy-indriyaṃ a-saṃvutaṃ viharantaṃ
Since-if-he-were-to {dwell with the} body-faculty un-restrained ***********,
Abhijjhā-domanassā pāpakā a-kusalā dhammā anvāssaveyyuṃ,
greed-(and)-distress (and) evil un-skillful states would-invade [his mind].
tassa saṃvarāya paṭipajjati,
His restraint (is put into) practice.
rakkhati kāy-indriyaṃ,
(he) protects (the) body-faculty.
kāy-indriye saṃvaraṃ āpajjati.
The body-faculty restraint (he) undertakes.

6. mind

manasā dhammaṃ viññāya
With-the-mind, ideas (he) cognizes.
na nimittag-gāhī hoti
(he) Does-not {grab}-signs ****.
Nā-nubyañjanag-gāhī.
Does-not {grab}-features.
yatvādhikaraṇamenaṃ man-indriyaṃ a-saṃvutaṃ viharantaṃ
Since-if-he-were-to {dwell with the} mind-faculty un-restrained ***********,
Abhijjhā-domanassā pāpakā a-kusalā dhammā anvāssaveyyuṃ,
greed-(and)-distress (and) evil un-skillful states would-invade [his mind].
tassa saṃvarāya paṭipajjati,
His restraint (is put into) practice.
rakkhati man-indriyaṃ,
(he) protects (the) mind-faculty.
man-indriye saṃvaraṃ āpajjati.
The mind-faculty restraint (he) undertakes.
idaṃ vuccati, bhikkhave,saṃvarap-padhānaṃ.
This (is) called, *********, restraint-exertion.

2. Pahānap-padhānaṃ

“katamañca, bhikkhave, pahānap-padhānaṃ?
What (is), *********, abandoning-exertion?
idha, bhikkhave, bhikkhu
Here, monks, (a) monk,

1. Kāma-vitakkaṃ

uppannaṃ kāma-vitakkaṃ
(with an) arisen {thought of}-sensuality
nā-(a)dhivāseti
(he) Does-not-tolerate (it)!
pajahati
gets rid (of it),
vinodeti
removes (it),
Byantī-karoti
destroys (it),
anabhāvaṃ gameti;
annihilation! (he makes it) go (there)!
(... and similar template for pahana on bypada vitakka, vihimsa, papaka akusala dhamma...)

Samvara, in conjunction with pahana, as part of right effort, to me comes across as very forceful, urgent, quick and decisive, zero tolerance for akusala. Naturally as one becomes more skilled, less “force” is required. What Ajahn Brahmali describes, the relaxed non forceful version of samvara, IMO applies to adepts and skilled disciples. Whereas the sutta instructions directed to the vast majority of trainees are in need of urgency and force.

edit, addition:
Especially pahana, look at how violent the description of is in AN 4.14. It’s a full scale war with māra out there, there’s danger all over the place, assaulting you 24/7. The worldling is in grave danger all the time, and they don’t even know it. Samma sati and samma vayamo is dumping a barrel of ice cold water on you, slapping you in the face repeatedly telling you to train yourself not be so blind and wake up to the danger.

edit, an interesting thread on meaning of Yatvādhikaraṇamenaṃ (yatvādhikaraṇametaṃ), with response from B.Bodhi
https://dhammawheel.com/viewtopic an .php?f=23&t=30466&sid=59f712911b20af81edce63f7f4ccda94

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The link does not work for me.

Edit: Link provided by @sukha below works, thanks

Hell @Yasoja

Can you try this link?

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“Samvara” is a very common word used in Sri Lanka which conveys the meaning disciplined or well-behaved. For example, in Sri Lanka, if I put my tongue out or wink my eye it is considered Asamvara (not well behaved).
I am not sure the difference between disciplined and the restraint.

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I felt like that too. Forcing it is performing the act without any real understanding of why it is necessary. When one sees the drawbacks of a given sense indulgence, the restraint happens fairly easily. Dipping again into the same pit of indulgence, then serves as reminder if why we abstained in the first place and strengthens the samvara. If we look back there were things we would have stopped indulging in simply because it wasn’t good for us anymore.

Yes, it is sometimes called samvara sila ie. it is sometimes (commentarially) considered an aspect of Sila. That is somewhat appropriate IMO.

‘Panatipata veramani sikkha padam samadiyami’

I think veramani means ‘refrain from’ breaking the precept, doesn’t it?

That’s a good approach to not get caught up in terminology, but go with what is meaningful!

Sense restraint/composure is mentioned when the monk goes on the alms round in the village- it is usually in busy settings. I feel it is about protecting the stillness, calm and metta brought about by the practice of Sila- this allows the next step of developing samadhi.

Agreed.

Lol! I doubt that there is an equivalent Buddhist term for ‘heresy’ -in the Xtian sense of being tortured and maimed for it, AFAIK! There is still learning, learned and penetrated through insight. :slightly_smiling_face: Articulating one’s understanding in a dhamma discussion with an open mind, is an integral part of the practice.

with metta

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Hi frank,

Awesome points!!

I guess a few things come to mind for me here:

  1. I’m not familiar enough with the monastic rules - and thus it’s a half-educated guess on my part that things like keeping your eyes downcast are part of their Sila.

Partly because of this, for me, keeping my eyes downcast at a busy shopping centre of something feels like it’s part of my Sila practice. I am certainly coming at this from the perspective of a layperson. So I see the 5 precepts as a basis upon which I can expand playfully and without too much pressure.

  1. I think one’s personality and general tendencies, habits etc. play a role in how samvara is approached. Personally, I’m a combination of stubborn rebelliousness and laziness…anything that even remotely feels forced or overly active, as far as Practice is concerned at any rate…has led to an open revolt and routing by the hindrances and kilesas. Basically they win. I have a short lived victory and then end up losing the major battles.

Thus I’ve had to resort to cunning, sneak attacks, persuasion, spying, the dissemination of propaganda etc. in order to win over my recalcitrant mind into noticing that actually…yeah…it’s feels good to have a bit samvara and that, yeah, I actually want to meditate more. These kinds of less obvious strategies have tended to, in my experience, lead to more lasting long term outcomes/victories. Though they can feel like frustratingly slow strategies.

Now when I see words, like Vayama etc… I must confess, I view them as the releasing of something tightly held, rather than the grasping of something else.

This is interesting. It’s similar to what I was thinking. There’s the sense that the activation of the mind is to do with not grabbing - ie…letting go of something.

Which is kind of what I was alluding to here:

  1. Also, I tend to approach things from an emotional/felt base. Thus when I read the suttas or whatever I tend to go looking for how this would feel if I were engaged in it. I didn’t realise that I did this until recently… Actually it’s kind of a fun approach. :slight_smile:

Finally, I respectfully disagree with the following:

Again, I think this comes back to a distinction that can be made between Sila and Samvara.

I think the vast majority of us need to purify our Sila, not just by body and speech, but by mind; specifically in the development of Right Intention: loving kindness, non-controlling-peace and gentle care for others. I don’t think our job is to worry overly about Samvara, I think it’s to worry more about Sila. According to the types of sequences that Mat has mentioned, Samvara will flow rather naturally out of Sila. The more pure our Sila is - on all three levels - the more likely it is that Samvara will arise as a consequence.

Thanks for your thoughts…I really appreciated your wonderful reflections and questions. :anjal:

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This is interesting and surprising! In my experience people tend to equate saṃvara with will-power. This is especially true when it comes to practice, where most people, and certainly most monastics I know, often forget the Buddha’s emphasis on wisdom. For some the over-reliance on will-power has very negative effects, even ending up as mentally destabilising repression. Having seen this, I have always been keen on presenting what seems to me to be the Buddha’s main tool for dealing with defilements, namely wisdom.

Indeed. Often the meaning of words needs to be drawn out from cross-referencing and understanding how the suttas relate to each other. I have not studied the various occurrences of saṃvara in detail and it is possible that you will find some revealing passages if you do, but this is far from certain. Often a broader approach is required. This is why a thorough knowledge of the suttas can be very helpful. And the further in time and culture we are from the Buddha, the more important this becomes.

Saṃvara is related to nīvaraṇa, “hindrance”, and other similar words. Vara is the stem, which means something like “block”, “hinder”, “check”, “control”, “curb”, “restrict”, etc. All of these are in the same semantic category as “restraint”, and so I don’t think it would make much difference if we used any of these translations instead.

Personally I think “guidance” is quite close to what saṃvara means in practice: we guide the mind in the right direction by using appropriate reflection or wisdom. But I am reluctant to use it, because I am afraid of imposing too much of my own opinion on the text. “Guidance” would probably have been expressed by a different word in Pali, such as a word derived from the root , “to lead”, and so it is probably not ideal for saṃvara. My preference for now is to stick to “restraint”, but then point out how this is to be understood by quoting suttas.

This may indeed be part of sense restraint, but it does not get to the heart of the sutta definition, which is to avoid the arising of craving and aversion, abhijjhā-domanassa.

I am just trying to draw out what I feel is implied by the suttas.

In the first part of your quote we have the standard formula for sense-restraint. Yet the formula does not really say much about how saṃvara should be interpreted. What it says is that one should not “grasp” (gāhī) onto objects (nimitta) or their features (anubyañjana), and this should be done by “guarding” and “restraining” the respective faculties. The question of how the restraint is to be undertaken is left unanswered.

The second part of your quote is more interesting. Here you rightly point out the very strong words used by the Buddha: nādhivāseti (does not tolerate), pajahati (gets rid of), vinodeti (removes), byantīkaroti (destroys), anabhāvaṃ gameti (annihilates). I used to think, as many others no doubt have, that this was bound to refer to will-power: these words all seem to be closely associated with using force. But I now believe that a careful study of the suttas shows that the Pali words are not meant this way. Three of these words (pajahati, vinodeti, and byantīkaroti) occur at MN19 in a context that unambiguously refers to using wisdom, or the power of reflection, to abandon unwholesome thoughts. When I first saw this a number of years ago, it was a major eye-opener for me, for I realised how easy it is to go astray in one’s interpretation of even core aspects of the Buddhist path.

When you think about it, it actually makes much better sense that these strong words should refer to wisdom rather than will. You cannot annihilate unwholesome qualities through will-power. You can perhaps hold them in check for a while, but the underlying problem has not been dealt with and so the defilements will tend to flare up again as soon as you relax. In the meantime you have expended much energy, which reduces your ability to restrain further.

Using proper reflection, on the other hand, can completely eliminate the problem. Shift your attention from focussing on the negative traits of a particular object, say a person, to the positive ones, and your mind can go from the unwholesome to the wholesome in an instant. It is incredibly powerful. You really do “destroy” the unwholesome quality and it will normally take some time before it resurfaces. Moreover, all you have done is shift your attention, rather than expending lots of energy on suppression. The downside, if there is one, is that the full effects of using wisdom only manifest after training and long-term investment. Still, even as you start out there will be some effect. You then learn to build this up into an exceptionally powerful tool. This is just such an important part of the path.

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Thank you again Ajahn!! :anjal:

And what does ‘sam’ mean on its own Ajahn?

I could be getting things mixed up in my memory, but is abhijjha-domanassa synonymous with the 5 hindrances? I seem to remember Ajahn Brahm saying something like this…or 'am I thinking of something else? In which case…isn’t their suppression more to do with moving into deeper meditation? Rather than restraint as it occurs in those sequences: after sila and before mindfulness?

That’s really quite nice Ajahn :grinning:

I still kind of like thinking of it as something akin to kaya-viveka… But in using “guidance” I feel you’re taking it out of the external world which kaya-viveka is referring to and taking it into your inner world. And “guidance” seems to point to a subtle mental activity that can occur when one’s going about one’s business in daily life (so no kaya-viveka) as well as within meditation itself. Interesting…okay…I think I can see how this really is quite a nice word.

What English word does Ajahn Brahm use these days Ajahn?

And again, thanks so much!! This is so helpful!! :pray:t6: :pray:t6: :pray:t6:

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Another meaning could be “taming”.
In Sri Lanka, we are instructed to “Citta Samvara” before the meditation.
This applies to all body, mind, and speech.

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