uttara and anuttara

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uttara and anuttara

Postby frank k » Wed Jun 26, 2013 4:10 pm

in satipattana 3rd tetrad, citta anupassana:

I'm interested and puzzled by the definitions of uttara and anuttara. most seem to translate uttara as 'surpassable', to match as an opposite of anuttara/unsurpassable.

CPD has:
1uttara, mfn. [ts.], 1. upper, higher; superior,
chief, excellent; subst. n. a) surface (in bhvr. kaṇh°);
b) (se. cīvara) upper robe; c) upper jaw (in bhvr.
musal°); 2. northern, north; 3. subsequent, later, follow-
ing, final; subst. n. a) answer, refutation; b) continua-
tion, second or following part; short for Utt-vn; end;
4. more than (ifc); — f. loc. sg. ~iyaṁ Ja V 42,21*
...
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so how do we know "superior, chief, excellent" is not intended here for uttara?
I know for anuttara, "unexcelled" in many sutta passages makes more sense. Thus I assume there are an attempt to choose "surpassable" to match it as an opposite for unsurpassable/anuttara to follow the pattern of opposites being paired.

Is there a secondary definition of anuttara as NOT "superior, chief, excellent"? This would then satisfy that pattern of opposites.

A third possibility would have both uttara and anuttara in citta anupassana to both refer to positive states, i.e. superior and unexcelled.

Most of the mental states in this tetrad are clearly paired as opposites, but there is sankhitta and vikkhitta which are not (at least how most translators interpet)

It's really hard to make sense out of what is meant in these terse sutta passages without commentaries. For example, my first inclination would be to think anuttara and vimutti are both mental states of an ariya. Perhaps anuttara would be arahant and not just any ariya?
http://www.audtip.org Audio Sutta Recordings
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Re: uttara and anuttara

Postby Dmytro » Wed Jun 26, 2013 5:04 pm

Hi Frank,

frank k wrote:Is there a secondary definition of anuttara as NOT "superior, chief, excellent"? This would then satisfy that pattern of opposites.


Yes.

an-uttara, mfn. [ts.], without a superior, incomparable, supreme, highest, best, excellent; ...

http://pali.hum.ku.dk/cpd/search.html

frank k wrote:A third possibility would have both uttara and anuttara in citta anupassana to both refer to positive states, i.e. superior and unexcelled.


Satipatthana sutta speaks about "sa-uttara".
http://www.buddhanet-de.net/ancient-bud ... iddeso.htm

frank k wrote:It's really hard to make sense out of what is meant in these terse sutta passages without commentaries. For example, my first inclination would be to think anuttara and vimutti are both mental states of an ariya. Perhaps anuttara would be arahant and not just any ariya?


See the Commentary:
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... sciousness
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Re: uttara and anuttara

Postby frank k » Wed Jun 26, 2013 8:21 pm

Dmytro, yes, that's the an-uttara definition i'm familiar with , i.e. unexcelled, unsurpassed, etc.

But I don't see that as being opposite in meaning to the definition of uttara as "superior, excellent".
I would expect opposite of uttara to mean inferior, un-excellent, rather than unexcelled (there is nothing better than that, if I understand that term correctly.)
http://www.audtip.org Audio Sutta Recordings
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Re: uttara and anuttara

Postby Dmytro » Thu Jun 27, 2013 5:17 am

Hi Frank,

An-uttara is opposite in meaning to sa-uttara from Satipatthana sutta.

The opposite to uttara would be adhama (lowest, vilest, worst).
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