Pali Term: Kasina

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Pali Term: Kasina

Postby Dmytro » Sun Apr 11, 2010 8:49 am

Hello Pali friends,

First, an article from the Pali dictionary of Margaret Cone:

kasiṇa, mfn. and n. [cf. AMg kasiṇa; S., BHS kr̥tsna; cf also S. kārtsna, kārtsnya],

1. (mfn.) all, whole, entire; Abh 702; M I 328,9 (yaavataka.m tuyha.m ~a.m aayu; Ps II 407,17: sakala.m aayu.m); Ja IV 111,26* (~aa pa.thavii dhanassa puuraa; 112,18': ~aa ti sakalaa); VI 448,9* (~aa.m ratti.m); Pe.t 71,21* (~aa pi paa.nino); Mhv 48:62 (~a.m Pohana.m hatthagata.m katvaa); -

2. (n., pl. nom. ~ā, ~āni)
(i) the whole, totality; Mp V 105,29* (vara.m eva hi saa piiti ~ena pi Jambudiipassa); -
(ii) a meditational exercise of total and exclusive awareness of, or concentration on, one of four elements (earth, water, fire, wind) or one of four colours (dark-blue, yellow, red, white) or space or consciousness, leading to jhāna; one of ten objects or devices (the four elements or colours in a natural or specially contrived state, eg water in the sea or in a bowl, a restricted patch of light or the sky) total and exclusive concentration on which is the first step to the attainment of jhāna; the meditational state brought about by this exercise and concentration; Ja V 314,17 (pa.n.nasāla.m pavisitvaa ~a.m oloketvaa); Vism 110,23 (imaani cattaa.liisa kamma.thaanaani: dasa ~aa ...); 123,28 (~aa.m kātabba.m); As 187,7 (purimesu a.t.thasu ~esu); Mp II 76,16 foll. (pa.thavikasina.m bhaavetii ettha sakala.t.thena ~a.m, pa.thavi yeva ~a.m pa.thavikasi.na.m, parikammapa.thaviyaa pi uggahanimitassa pi pa.tibhaaganimitassa pi ta.m nimitta.m aaramma.na.m katvaa uppannassa pi jhaanassa eta.m adhivacana.m. idha pana pa.thavikasi.naaramma.n.am jhaana.m adhippeta.m, ta.m h'esa bhaaveti); -

ifc see ākāsa- (sv ākāsa2), āpo-, āloka-, odāta-, tejo-, niila-, pa.thavi-, paricchinnākāsa-, piita-, lohita-, vāyo-, vi~n~nā.na-; -

o'-āyatana, n., a basis or source for total concentration; D III 268,20 (dasa ~āni: pa.thavikasi.na.m ... ākāsakasi.na.m ... vi~n~nā.nakasi.na.m); M II 14,30 (me saavakaa dasa ~aani bhaaventi); A V 60.15 (Mp V 19,25 foll.: sakala.t.thena kasi.naani, tadaaramma.naana.m dhammaana.m khetta.t.thena adhi.t.thaana.t.thena vaa aayatanaani ~aani); Nett 89,23; -

o'-ukkantika, n., missing out a kasi.na, skipping a kasi.na; Vism 374,4 (~ato); 374,33 (kasi.nass' eva ekantarikabhaavena ukkamana.m ~a.m naama); As 187,10 (~ato, Be, Ce, Se so; Ee wr kasi.nukkantito); -

o'-uggha.tana, n., removal or elimination of the kasi.na; As 186,30 (~assa alabhato); 186,32; -

o'-ugghaa.tima, n., removal or elimination of the kasi.na; As 113,4 (aakaasa.m ~-ttaa); Sp 802,2 (antalikkhasa"nkhaate aakaase, na ~e na ruupaparicchede); -
~'-aakaasa, m.n., space left by the removal or elimination of the kasi.na; Vism 327,31 (~'-aakaasan ti vaa kasi.naphu.t.thokaaso ti vaa kasi.navivittaakasan ti vaa sabba.m eta.m ekam eva); 331,14; Ps III 261,7 foll., -

o'-parikamma, n., preparatory work of a meditational exercise for jhaana; preparatory work for total concentration on a kasi.na; Ja III 369,19 (bodhisatto Vedehataapasassa ~a.m kathesi, so ta.m katvaa abhi~n~naa ca samaapattiyo ca nibbattesi); IV 117,25 (~a.m katvaa jhaana.m nibbattesi); As 187,17 (aadikammikasa hi ~a.m pi bhaaro); Sp 692,8 (~a.m pi kaatu.m potthaka.m pi vaacetu.m na va.t.tati; -

o-maṇḍala, n., a circular kasi.na device; a kasi.na disc; Ja III 501,6 (pa.n.nasaala.m pavisitvaa ~a.m oloketvaa puna jhaana.m uppaadetvaa); Dhp-a IV 208,2 (~am viya samo ahosi); Vibh-a 39,16

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Re: Pali Term: Kasina

Postby Dmytro » Sun Apr 11, 2010 8:55 am

Relevant passages:

[4] "There are these ten totality-dimensions. Which ten? One perceives the earth-totality [kasina] above, below, all-around: non-dual, unlimited. One perceives the water-totality [kasina]... the fire-totality... the wind-totality... the blue-totality... the yellow-totality... the red-totality... the white-totality... the space-totality... the consciousness-totality [kasina] above, below, all-around: non-dual, unlimited. These are the ten totalities. Now, of these ten totalities, this is supreme: when one perceives the consciousness-totality above, below, all-around: non-dual, unlimited. And there are beings who are percipient in this way. Yet even in the beings who are percipient in this way there is still aberration, there is change. Seeing this, the instructed disciple of the noble ones grows disenchanted with that. Being disenchanted with that, he becomes dispassionate toward what is supreme, and even more so toward what is inferior.

Kosala sutta, http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html

Again, Udàyi, I have declared to my disciples the method for developing the ten kasina signs. One perceives the sign [kasina] of earth, above, below, across without another, limitlessly. One perceives the sign of water, above, below, across without another, limitlessly. One perceives the sign of fire, above, below, across without another, limitlessly. One perceives the sign of air, above, below, across without another, limitlessly. One perceives the sign blue, above, below, across without another, limitlessly. One perceives the sign yellow, above, below, across without another, limitlessly One perceives the sign red, above, below, across without another, limitlessly One perceives the sign white, above, below, across without another, limitlessly. One perceives the sign space, above, below, across without another, limitlessly One perceives the sign consciousness, above, below, across without another, limitlessly. Thus too my disciples abide aiming perfect knowledge for emancipation.

Mahasakuludayi sutta, MN 77
http://awake.kiev.ua/dhamma/tipitaka/2S ... yi-e1.html

346. Dasa kasiṇāyatanāni. Pathavīkasiṇameko sañjānāti, uddhaṃ adho tiriyaṃ advayaṃ appamāṇaṃ. Āpokasiṇameko sañjānāti…pe… tejokasiṇameko sañjānāti… vāyokasiṇameko sañjānāti… nīlakasiṇameko sañjānāti… pītakasiṇameko sañjānāti… lohitakasiṇameko sañjānāti… odātakasiṇameko sañjānāti… ākāsakasiṇameko sañjānāti… viññāṇakasiṇameko sañjānāti, uddhaṃ adho tiriyaṃ advayaṃ appamāṇaṃ.

Sangiti sutta, DN 33

55. Dasa kasiṇāyatanāni pathavīkasiṇaṃ āpokasiṇaṃ tejokasiṇaṃ vāyokasiṇaṃ nīlakasiṇaṃ pītakasiṇaṃ lohitakasiṇaṃ odātakasiṇaṃ ākāsakasiṇaṃ viññāṇakasiṇaṃ. Tattha yañca pathavīkasiṇaṃ yañca āpokasiṇaṃ evaṃ sabbaṃ, yañca odātakasiṇaṃ. Imāni aṭṭha kasiṇāni samatho. Yañca ākāsakasiṇaṃ yañca viññāṇakasiṇaṃ, ayaṃ vipassanā. Evaṃ sabbo ariyo maggo yena yena ākārena vutto, tena tena samathavipassanena yojayitabbo. Te tīhi dhammehi saṅgahitā aniccatāya dukkhatāya anattatāya. So samathavipassanaṃ bhāvayamāno tīṇi vimokkhamukhāni bhāvayati. Tīṇi vimokkhamukhāni bhāvayanto tayo khandhe bhāvayati. Tayo khandhe bhāvayanto ariyaṃ aṭṭhaṅgikaṃ maggaṃ bhāvayati.

Nettipakarana 89


"Develop the meditation in tune with wind. For when you are developing the meditation in tune with wind, agreeable & disagreeable sensory impressions that have arisen will not stay in charge of your mind. Just as when wind blows what is clean or unclean — feces, urine, saliva, pus, or blood — it is not horrified, humiliated, or disgusted by it; in the same way, when you are developing the meditation in tune with wind, agreeable & disagreeable sensory impressions that have arisen will not stay in charge of your mind.

"Develop the meditation in tune with space. For when you are developing the meditation in tune with space, agreeable & disagreeable sensory impressions that have arisen will not stay in charge of your mind. Just as space is not established anywhere, in the same way, when you are developing the meditation in tune with space, agreeable & disagreeable sensory impressions that have arisen will not stay in charge of your mind.

Maharahulovada sutta
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html

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Re: Pali Term: Kasina

Postby David N. Snyder » Sun Apr 11, 2010 2:11 pm

Dmytro wrote:kasiṇa, mfn. and n. [cf. AMg kasiṇa; S., BHS kr̥tsna; cf also S. kārtsna, kārtsnya],

1. (mfn.) all, whole, entire; Abh 702; M I 328,9 (yaavataka.m tuyha.m ~a.m aayu; Ps II 407,17: sakala.m aayu.m);

2. (n., pl. nom. ~ā, ~āni)
(i) the whole, totality; Mp V 105,29* (vara.m eva hi saa piiti ~ena pi Jambudiipassa); -


I always thought of kasina as a 'device' but see the literal translation is the all, the whole, totality.
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Re: Pali Term: Kasina

Postby David N. Snyder » Sun Apr 11, 2010 2:15 pm

Good Sutta references. The Visudhimagga goes into detail about the kasinas, but there is plenty of reference to them in the Suttas too.
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Re: Pali Term: Kasina

Postby Dmytro » Sat Oct 02, 2010 2:23 pm

The relationship of the air kasina with Anapanasati clarifies its meaning:

Kiṃ pana pathavīkasiṇaṃ ādiṃ katvā aṭṭhikasaññāpariyosānāvesā rūpāvacarappanā, udāhu aññāpi atthīti? Atthi; ānāpānajjhānañhi kāyagatāsatibhāvanā ca idha na kathitā. Kiñcāpi na kathitā vāyokasiṇe pana gahite ānāpānajjhānaṃ gahitameva; vaṇṇakasiṇesu ca gahitesu kesādīsu catukkapañcakajjhānavasena uppannā kāyagatāsati, dasasu asubhesu gahitesu dvattiṃsākāre paṭikūlamanasikārajjhānavasena ceva navasivathikāvaṇṇajjhānavasena ca pavattā kāyagatāsati gahitāvāti. Sabbāpi rūpāvacarappanā idha kathitāva hotīti.

"But is this all the absorption belonging to the consciousness of the sphere of refined form, beginning with the earth kasiṇa and ending in the perception of the skeleton? Or is there anything else?"
"Yes, there is. There is ānāpāna jhāna and the development of kāyagatāsati, which have not been spoken of here."
"Why not?"
"Because ānāpāna jhāna is included in the air kasiṇa; the development of kāyagatāsati arisen by virtue of the fourfold and fivefold jhānas with reference to the hair etc., is included in the colour kasiṇas; the kāyagatāsati produced by virtue of the jhānas attending to the unattractiveness in the thirty-two parts of the body, and that of the jhāna attending to the colours of the nine kinds of corpses in the charnel grounds is included in the ten repulsive things. Thus all the absorptions of consciousness connected with the sphere of refined form have been included here."

Dhammasangani-Atthakatha 200

Vism III.113: Yathā ca etāni, evaṃ sesānipi na vaḍḍhetabbāni. Kasmā? Tesu hi ānāpānanimittaṃ tāva vaḍḍhayato vātarāsiyeva vaḍḍhati, okāsena ca paricchinnaṃ. Iti sādīnavattā okāsena ca paricchinnattā na vaḍḍhetabbaṃ.

Vism- mhṭ I 131 (Mm ed.): Sesānipi na vaḍḍhetabbānīti saṅkhepato vuttamatthaṃ upapattito vivarituṃ “kasmā”ti-ādi vuttaṃ. Picupiṇḍādivasena upaṭṭhahantampi nimittaṃ vātasaṅghātasannissayanti katvā vuttaṃ “vātarāsiyeva vaḍḍhatī”ti. Okāsena paricchinnanti nāsikaggamukhanimittādi-okāsena saparicchedaṃ. Vāyokasiṇavaḍḍhane viya na ettha koci guṇo, kevalaṃ vātavaḍḍhanamevāti āha “sādīnavattā”ti.

The Visuddhimagga states that the nimitta of aanaapanasati should not be increased because only a quantity (raasi) of wind is increased, and because it has a limited location. The Tika explains that the nimitta is dependent on the striking of air and that “its location is limited because the location of the tip of the nose and mouth, etc. is with limitation. There is indeed no property/attribute here for increasing the air-kasi.na.”

This seems to indicate that the Tika takes he nimitta of the air-kasina to be identical with the nimitta of anapanasati.

Thus the Vimuttimagga states that the anapanasati nimitta can be increased while the Visuddhimagga states that it shouldn't. Although this is not mentioned in the Visuddhimagga, other commentarial works state or imply that the anapanasatinimitta and the vayokasina-nimitta are the same.


Ānāpānajjhānassāpi panettha vāyokasiṇe saṅgaho daṭṭhabboti.

"Anapanasati jhana belongs to the group of air kasina."

Abhidhammatika Mya.40
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