Pali Term: Nimitta

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Re: Pali Term: Nimitta

Postby Mkoll » Fri Dec 27, 2013 6:25 pm

This is a very informative thread. These posts have given Sutta support to the idea of "nimitta" as presented in the Vism. Thank you, Dmytro.

And thank you for bumping it, binocular.

Buddhaṃ saraṇaṃ gacchāmi
Dhammaṃ saraṇaṃ gacchāmi
Saṅghaṃ saraṇaṃ gacchāmi

Hatred is never appeased by hatred in this world; by non-hatred alone is hatred appeased. This is an eternal law.
-Dhp 5

sabbe sattā sukhi hontu :smile:

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Re: Pali Term: Nimitta

Postby Kumara » Tue Sep 01, 2015 3:24 am

Re-Bumping this.

I like it when a Pali word can translated perfectly into just one English word. Granted, this is not always possible, but certainly preferable. So, Dmytro, having researched into this, if you must choose only one word to cover all occasions of nimitta in the Suttas (only), what would be your choice?

If one is not possible, try two. The idea is to have the least number of words.
Last edited by Kumara on Tue Sep 01, 2015 8:54 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Pali Term: Nimitta

Postby acinteyyo » Tue Sep 01, 2015 8:28 am

Dmytro wrote:Regarding the translation of 'subhanimitta':

'subha-nimitta' is also 'that-which-when-attended-to-leads-to-change-of-mental qualities', as in Ahara sutta ... .than.html
or Samvara sutta (AN 2.16 (4.14)) ... c-passages
where various contexts of 'nimitta' meet together.

The person with 'subhanimitta' is so much looking for sensual pleasure, that he is focused exclusively on the attractive features, ignoring anything else - unattractive features, causes and consequences of actions.

For example, modern cars fan looks at the latest car, being attuned to the attractiveness of its lines, and immediately wants to buy it and have it as a part of 'self'.

In such cases a person does not have a 'perception of attractiveness' - 'attractiveness' is not an external object which is perceived. It is more correct to say that the person has attunement to the representation of attractiveness, or 'perceptual attunement' to attractiveness.

Stephen Hodge wrote:

The reason why "subha-nimitta.m" cannot be translated properly as "pleasurable (sense) object" is quite simple: there are no pleasurable sense objects. They are just objects and it is we who make them pleasurable or otherwise. Thus the experience of pleasurable nimitta.m must be a mental event synthesized from the raw sense data, vedanaa, memories and conventions etc. If the sense object itself were pleasurable, then it would remain so for all people, which is clearly not the case. Take, for example, opera. I know of people who find opera a highly pleasurable experience, whereas to me it is little better than a caterwauling cacophany (ie rather unpleasant). But there is nothing in the combination of operatic sounds per se that is pleasurable or unpleasurable -- it is one's nimitta (image) of the bare sounds that make it one thing or another.

I've found this particularly enlightening, thanks Dmytro!
Thag 1.20. Ajita - I do not fear death; nor do I long for life. I’ll lay down this body, aware and mindful.

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