Pali Term: Sati

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Re: Pali Term: Sati

Postby Sylvester » Wed Nov 21, 2012 1:20 am

tiltbillings wrote:
Dmytro wrote:Hi Porpoise,

The meaning of sati in Satipatthana sutta is explained in the early text, Satipatthana-Vibhanga:
viewtopic.php?f=23&t=4299&p=205855#p205855
Which is actually a good bit. And if one follows the thread, one can see easily enough that the meaning of sati as it is actually used in the suttas is a bit more plastic than you seem to want to admit to.


Taking a pesky text critical approach to the Vibh 7 that was quoted, it looks as if the exposition is nicely arranged according to the waxing syllables principle to set out 3 sets of synonyms -

1. "sati anussati paṭissati" being one set of a waxing syllable sequence of 2, 4, 4;
2. "sati saraṇatā" being a new sequence shown by the intrusion of the bi-syllabic sati after paṭissati; and
3. "dhāraṇatā apilāpanatā asammussanatā" being the final set of 4, 6, 6.

Interestingly, this Vibh set is found in an expanded version in the Mahāniddesa as follows -

Yā sati anussati paṭissati sati saraṇatā dhāraṇatā apilāpanatā asammussanatā sati satindriyaṃ satibalaṃ sammāsati satisambojjhaṅgo ekāyanamaggo, ayaṃ vuccati sati


Two additional sequences are included, ie the sati satindriyaṃ satibalaṃ set followed by the sammāsati satisambojjhaṅgo ekāyanamaggo set.

With 5 sets of meanings arranged according to the waxing syllables principle, it looks as if the early redactors had a very broad range of meanings in mind for "sati".
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Re: Pali Term: Sati

Postby Dmytro » Thu Nov 22, 2012 7:04 am

Sylvester wrote:
Yā sati anussati paṭissati sati saraṇatā dhāraṇatā apilāpanatā asammussanatā sati satindriyaṃ satibalaṃ sammāsati satisambojjhaṅgo ekāyanamaggo, ayaṃ vuccati sati


Definition of sati through dhāraṇatā points to the similarity with dhāraṇā from the Yoga-sutra of Patanjali.

3.1 Concentration (dharana) is the process of holding or fixing the attention of mind onto one object or place

http://swamij.com/yoga-sutras-30103.htm#3.1

Both sati and dhāraṇā are essential for developing jhana (dhyana).

Idha tvaṃ mahānāma tathāgataṃ anussareyyāsi 'itipi so bhagavā arahaṃ sammā sambuddho vijjācaraṇasampanno sugato lokavidū anuttaro purisadammasārathī satthā devamanussānaṃ buddho bhagavā'ti. Yasmiṃ samaye mahānāma ariyasāvako tathāgataṃ anussarati, nevassa tasmiṃ samaye rāgapariyuṭṭhitaṃ cittaṃ hoti, na dosapariyuṭṭhitaṃ cittaṃ hoti, na mohapariyuṭṭhitaṃ cittaṃ hoti. Ujugatamevassa tasmiṃ samaye cittaṃ hoti tathāgataṃ ārabbha. Ujugatacitto kho pana mahānāma ariyasāvako labhati atthavedaṃ, labhati dhammavedaṃ labhati dhammūpasaṃhitaṃ pāmojjaṃ. Pamuditassa pīti jāyati, pītamanassa kāyo passambhati, passaddhakāyo sukhaṃ vediyati, sukhino cittaṃ samādhiyati.

[1] "There is the case where you recollect the Tathagata: 'Indeed, the Blessed One is worthy and rightly self-awakened, consummate in knowledge & conduct, well-gone, an expert with regard to the world, unexcelled as a trainer for those people fit to be tamed, the Teacher of divine & human beings, awakened, blessed.' At any time when a disciple of the noble ones is recollecting the Tathagata, his mind is not overcome with passion, not overcome with aversion, not overcome with delusion. His mind heads straight, based on the Tathagata. And when the mind is headed straight, the disciple of the noble ones gains a sense of the goal, gains a sense of the Dhamma, gains joy connected with the Dhamma. In one who is joyful, rapture arises. In one who is rapturous, the body grows calm. One whose body is calmed experiences ease. In one at ease, the mind becomes concentrated.

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
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Re: Pali Term: Sati

Postby rahul3bds » Thu Nov 22, 2012 7:34 am

Hi Dmytro,

In an attempt to extract the meaning of sati from the word Satipaṭṭhāna itself, i have noticed the ambiguity of the compound word Satipaṭṭhāna, and later i found this-

An excerpt from an article by Patrick Kearney:
but what is satipaṭṭhāna? Again,
satipaṭṭhāna is a compound word made of two parts, but because of the rules of Pāli word
formation there is an ambiguity built into its meaning. Satipaṭṭhāna can be broken up into both
sati + paṭṭhāna and sati + upaṭṭhāna.

• Sati-pa-(ṭ)ṭhāna: “Paṭṭhāna” (from pa, which functions as an intensifier, and ṭhāna, a “place”
or “station”) is usually translated as “foundation,” and could be translated as “domain.” So sati-pa-(ṭ)ṭhāna means the “foundations of mindfulness,” or “domains of mindfulness.”
Paṭṭhāna indicates where or on what mindfulness should be placed, and Satipaṭṭhāna Sutta
(M10) lists four of these domains: body (kāya), feelings (vedanā), heart/mind (citta) and
phenomena (dhammas). These represent the entire body-mind process, the whole range of
human experience. Or, we could say they indicate the five clung-to aggregates (pañc’
upādānakkhandhā), which again indicates the self-within-her-world. Sati-pa-(ṭ)ṭhāna is
remembering what is present.
• Sati-upa-(ṭ)ṭhāna: “Upaṭṭhāna” (from upa, denoting nearness or close touch, and ṭhāna, “being
settled or established”) means “keeping near,” or “staying intimate,” and so indicates the
activity of “staying present” or “attending.” Sati-upa-(ṭ)ṭhāna is the activity, the practice
itself. Sati-upa-(ṭ)ṭhāna is remembering to be present.


Could there really be such ambiguity???
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Re: Pali Term: Sati

Postby mikenz66 » Thu Nov 22, 2012 8:47 am

Sure,

See also Bhikkhu Bodhi's note here: viewtopic.php?f=25&t=14914
which says basically the same thing.

:anjali:
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Re: Pali Term: Sati

Postby Dmytro » Thu Nov 22, 2012 9:15 am

Hi,

rahul3bds wrote:Could there really be such ambiguity???


There's actually no ambiguity since 'paṭṭhāna' is a later word.

See: viewtopic.php?f=23&t=5656
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Re: Pali Term: Sati

Postby rahul3bds » Thu Nov 22, 2012 10:37 am

There's actually no ambiguity since 'paṭṭhāna' is a later word.

See: viewtopic.php?f=23&t=5656

Therefore, the compound satipaṭṭhāna consists of two words, 'sati' and 'upaṭṭhāna', which can be translated as '(way of) establishing remembrance'.


Thank you,this clears a lot up. Also there is an obsolete phrase in Hindi, "smriti ka upasthaan" which literally means "establishment of memory". No doubt you're translating it (satipaṭṭhāna) right.
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Re: Pali Term: Sati

Postby Sylvester » Sat Nov 24, 2012 8:41 am

Dmytro wrote:
Sylvester wrote:
Yā sati anussati paṭissati sati saraṇatā dhāraṇatā apilāpanatā asammussanatā sati satindriyaṃ satibalaṃ sammāsati satisambojjhaṅgo ekāyanamaggo, ayaṃ vuccati sati


Definition of sati through dhāraṇatā points to the similarity with dhāraṇā from the Yoga-sutra of Patanjali.

3.1 Concentration (dharana) is the process of holding or fixing the attention of mind onto one object or place

http://swamij.com/yoga-sutras-30103.htm#3.1



Thanks Dmytro. This is really useful.

I wonder if the Pali exegetical understanding of the verb dhāreti is in any way influenced by or related to the Skt usage of dhāraṇā?
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Re: Pali Term: Sati

Postby danieLion » Sun Nov 25, 2012 4:59 am

A lot of people think that "mindfulness" or "awareness" means you focus on something. But, actually, the right definition of the word "awareness" [or "mindfulness'] in Pāli is sati. The right translation of it is just "not forgetting, to know yourself."

-Sayadaw U Tejaniya, 6.16.07 Right Attitude for Meditation (1 of 3) 30:00-30:33

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Re: Pali Term: Sati

Postby Dmytro » Sun Nov 25, 2012 9:19 am

Hi Sylvester,

Sylvester wrote:I wonder if the Pali exegetical understanding of the verb dhāreti is in any way influenced by or related to the Skt usage of dhāraṇā?


Well, Vibhanga was composed when the Sanskrit didn't yet exist.

Even Maitrāyaṇi Upanishad is post-Ashokan and evidently shows signs of Buddhist influence.

"18. The precept for effecting this [unity] is this: restraint of the breath (prāṇāyāma), withdrawal of the senses (pratyāhāra), meditation (dhyāna), concentration (dhāraṇā), contemplation (tarka), absorption (samādhi). Such is said to be the sixfold Yoga."

http://oll.libertyfund.org/?option=com_ ... &Itemid=27
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maitrayaniya_Upanishad
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Re: Pali Term: Sati

Postby Spiny Norman » Sun Nov 25, 2012 3:21 pm

Dmytro wrote:Hi Porpoise,

porpoise wrote:I just had another look at the Satipatthana Sutta, and there sati seems to have the primary meanings of paying attention to, and being aware of.


The meaning of sati in Satipatthana sutta is explained in the early text, Satipatthana-Vibhanga:
viewtopic.php?f=23&t=4299&p=205855#p205855


Thanks. I was thinking that Right Mindfulness ( samma sati ) is usually defined in terms of the 4 frames of reference, which I assume means that if there is a primary meaning of sati, then it is the one that corresponds to the Satipatthana Sutta.
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Re: Pali Term: Sati

Postby Dmytro » Sun Nov 25, 2012 9:32 pm

porpoise wrote:I was thinking that Right Mindfulness ( samma sati ) is usually defined in terms of the 4 frames of reference, which I assume means that if there is a primary meaning of sati, then it is the one that corresponds to the Satipatthana Sutta.


Satipatthana sutta is but one of the suttas on the Satipatthana practice. It describes the four ways os establishing sati, and how awareness (sampajanna) works when sati is established in one of four ways. That's how sati directs awareness to a particular sphere.

Another important aspect of sati in Satipatthana practice is remembrance to apply right effort so that the skilful behavior would be delevoped, and unskilful abandoned. This is explained in Bhikkhunupassaya sutta and Mahacattarisaka sutta (MN 117).
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Re: Pali Term: Sati

Postby Spiny Norman » Mon Nov 26, 2012 10:39 am

Dmytro wrote:Another important aspect of sati in Satipatthana practice is remembrance to apply right effort so that the skilful behavior would be delevoped, and unskilful abandoned. This is explained in Bhikkhunupassaya sutta and Mahacattarisaka sutta (MN 117).


Yes, I was looking at MN117 again the other day. Would it be correct to say that sati has both passive and active qualities? Being mindful of the four frames, but also acting mindfully?
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Re: Pali Term: Sati

Postby Dmytro » Mon Nov 26, 2012 2:24 pm

porpoise wrote:Would it be correct to say that sati has both passive and active qualities? Being mindful of the four frames, but also acting mindfully?


I would say that sati is both remembrance to maintain awareness in the chosen aspect of experience, and remembrance to apply right effort.

The right effort is described in the suttas as primarily shifting the focus of attention from one representation (nimitta) to another, and maintaining it there (see, for example, Bhikkhunupassaya sutta mentioned above).
This is a quite subtle way to act, which requires a certain skill.
See Ven. Thanissaro's article:
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... #restraint
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Re: Pali Term: Sati

Postby Spiny Norman » Tue Nov 27, 2012 9:26 am

Dmytro wrote:
porpoise wrote:Would it be correct to say that sati has both passive and active qualities? Being mindful of the four frames, but also acting mindfully?


I would say that sati is both remembrance to maintain awareness in the chosen aspect of experience, and remembrance to apply right effort.



Thanks, I will give this some more thought - in a mindful way of course.... :smile:
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Re: Pali Term: Sati

Postby Sekha » Mon Dec 31, 2012 8:36 am

Hi Dmytro

you are right from a certain point of view.

but there is also a drawback to this standpoint of yours as it may cause confusion.

In Pali memory and awareness are semantically related, and even confused, because these two phenomena are deeply related in the real world. Without awareness of the present moment, there cannot be memory of this present moment at a future time. And without having developed awareness of the present moment, it is impossible to remember past lives.

But English semantics is not that profound and as far as it is concerned, these two concepts are semantically disconnected. The choice of mindfulness is actually a clever one because it can work as bridge between these concepts, as in memory the mind is "filled" with the sa~n~na of a past phenomenon, and in awareness, the mind is "filled" with the sa~n~na of a present phenomenon.

Meditating is being aware of the present moment. If you use the word remembrance or memory, even if that may arguably be correct in the linguistic sense it will create confusion on the practical level. That's what a lot of people have tried to explain you already.

Should I remind you once again that someone like the Pa Auk Sayadaw, who started studying buddhism at the age of 9 and masters up to the 8th jhana as well as nearly all the insight knowledges of the visuddhimagga, who also knows English fairly, chose for the title of his book on anapanassati: "the mindfulness of breathing"? Would you persist in pretending to be more knowledgeable than him on this issue?
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Re: Pali Term: Sati

Postby Spiny Norman » Mon Dec 31, 2012 9:39 am

The approach I've found most helpful is that described by Thera Nyanaponika in The Heart of Meditation, where there is a distinction between "bare attention" ( sati ) and "clear comprehension" ( sati-sampajjana ). It seems consistent with the Satipatthana Sutta, and it also seems consistent with practice.
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Re: Pali Term: Sati

Postby Dmytro » Mon Dec 31, 2012 11:11 am

Hi Sekha,

Sekha wrote:In Pali memory and awareness are semantically related, and even confused, because these two phenomena are deeply related in the real world.


Since this is a Pali forum, the statements need to be substantiated by Pali glosses.

'Sati' and 'sampajanna' are clearly differentiated in the Sutta.

“Katama~nca, bhikkhave, satindriya.m? idha, bhikkhave, ariyasaavako satimaa hoti paramena satinepakkena samannaagato cirakatampi cirabhaasitampi saritaa anussaritaa."

(СН V 197-8 )

“Katha~nca, bhikkhave, bhikkhu sampajaano hoti? Idha, bhikkhave, bhikkhuno viditaa vedanaa uppajjanti, viditaa upa.t.thahanti, viditaa abbhattha.m gacchanti. Viditaa vitakkaa uppajjanti, viditaa upa.t.thahanti, viditaa abbhattha.m gacchanti. Viditaa sa~n~naa uppajjanti, viditaa upa.t.thahanti, viditaa abbhattha.m gacchanti. Eva.m kho, bhikkhave, bhikkhu sampajaano hoti.

(Sati sutta, SN 5:180)

Satipatthana-Vibhanga is also very clear about the difference of these two.

The choice of mindfulness is actually a clever one because it can work as bridge between these concepts, as in memory the mind is "filled" with the sa~n~na of a past phenomenon, and in awareness, the mind is "filled" with the sa~n~na of a present phenomenon.


Should I remind you once again that someone like the Pa Auk Sayadaw, who started studying buddhism at the age of 9 and masters up to the 8th jhana as well as nearly all the insight knowledges of the visuddhimagga, who also knows English fairly, chose for the title of his book on anapanassati: "the mindfulness of breathing"? Would you persist in pretending to be more knowledgeable than him on this issue?


The term 'mindfulness' is ambiguous, and hence can be misleading. This thread is devoted to the discussion of the Pali term "sati", with Pali texts as a reference.
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Re: Pali Term: Sati

Postby Dmytro » Mon Dec 31, 2012 11:30 am

porpoise wrote:The approach I've found most helpful is that described by Thera Nyanaponika in The Heart of Meditation, where there is a distinction between "bare attention" ( sati ) and "clear comprehension" ( sati-sampajjana ). It seems consistent with the Satipatthana Sutta, and it also seems consistent with practice.


I wonder how the interpretation of 'sati' as 'bare attention' can be consistent with Satipatthana sutta, when this sutta doesn't define 'sati'.
In such a case, any other interpretation, i.e. 'choiceless awareness' of Krishnamurti, would be consistent as well.
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Re: Pali Term: Sati

Postby Sekha » Mon Dec 31, 2012 1:25 pm

Dmytro wrote:The term 'mindfulness' is ambiguous, and hence can be misleading.

Mindfulness is ambiguous because as regards to English semantics, the term sati is ambiguous. That's what I have just been explaining :roll: .

Dmytro wrote:This thread is devoted to the discussion of the Pali term "sati", with Pali texts as a reference.

That's your point of view, and by persisting so tenaciously and repeatedly ignoring counterarguments while reproducing always the same logic, you are actually playing my game as your attitude is simply discrediting yourself.

Some people might interpret Pali texts differently, and also consider direct knowledge through actual practice as well as the words of knowledgeable masters as more valuable sources of knowledge, as explained in the Kalama sutta: direct experience and the opinion of wise men should be our guide, rather than acceptance through pondering views (ie. for example reading Pali litterature and agreeing with this or that interpretation):

don't go by.. agreement through pondering views
(...)
When you know for yourselves that, 'These qualities are unskillful; these qualities are blameworthy; these qualities are criticized by the wise; these qualities, when adopted & carried out, lead to harm & to suffering' — then you should abandon them.

When you know for yourselves that, 'These qualities are skillful; these qualities are blameless; these qualities are praised by the wise; these qualities, when adopted & carried out, lead to welfare & to happiness' — then you should enter & remain in them.


:anjali:
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Re: Pali Term: Sati

Postby Spiny Norman » Mon Dec 31, 2012 1:40 pm

Dmytro wrote:
porpoise wrote:The approach I've found most helpful is that described by Thera Nyanaponika in The Heart of Meditation, where there is a distinction between "bare attention" ( sati ) and "clear comprehension" ( sati-sampajjana ). It seems consistent with the Satipatthana Sutta, and it also seems consistent with practice.


I wonder how the interpretation of 'sati' as 'bare attention' can be consistent with Satipatthana sutta, when this sutta doesn't define 'sati'.
In such a case, any other interpretation, i.e. 'choiceless awareness' of Krishnamurti, would be consistent as well.


I regard the Satipatthana Sutta as the primary instructional text for the development of sati. A key phrase in the sutta is "remaining focussed on" various aspects of the 4 frames, which strongly suggests paying attention. And through paying attention, understanding arises.
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