Pali Term: Paccavekkhaṇa

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Pali Term: Paccavekkhaṇa

Post by Assaji »

Hello Pali friends,

This term is not directly explained in the Sutta and Atthakatha, so it has to be clarified by its usage.

Ambalatthika-Rahulovada sutta explains 'paccavekkhaṇa' through the example of looking at oneself in the mirror.

"What do you think, Rahula: What is a mirror for?"

"For reflection, sir."

"In the same way, Rahula, bodily actions, verbal actions, & mental actions are to be done with repeated reflection. ... .than.html" onclick=";return false; ... ada-p.html" onclick=";return false;

Similar metaphor for this term is given in Sacitta sutta:

"And how is a monk skilled in reading his own mind? Imagine a young woman — or man — fond of adornment, examining the image of her own face in a bright, clean mirror or bowl of clear water: If she saw any dirt or blemish there, she would try to remove it. If she saw no dirt or blemish there, she would be pleased, her resolves fulfilled: 'How fortunate I am! How clean I am!' In the same way, a monk's self-examination (paccavekkhaṇa) is very productive in terms of skillful qualities [if he conducts it in this way]: 'Do I usually remain covetous or not? With thoughts of ill will or not? Overcome by sloth & drowsiness or not? Restless or not? Uncertain or gone beyond uncertainty? Angry or not? With soiled thoughts or unsoiled thoughts? With my body aroused or unaroused? Lazy or with persistence aroused? Unconcentrated or concentrated?' ... .than.html" onclick=";return false;

Samadhanga sutta gives a metaphor for looking at oneself from the outside:

"And furthermore, the monk has his theme of reflection (paccavekkhaṇa-nimitta) well in hand, well attended to, well-considered, well-tuned[1] by means of discernment.

"Just as if one person were to reflect on another, or a standing person were to reflect on a sitting person, or a sitting person were to reflect on a person lying down; even so, monks, the monk has his theme of reflection well in hand, well attended to, well-pondered, well-tuned by means of discernment. This is the fifth development of the five-factored noble right concentration. ... .than.html" onclick=";return false;

Reflection is an important part of jhana mastery:
vasī 'mastery'. Vis.M. IV speaks of 5 kinds of m., which anyone who wishes to develop the absorptions (jhāna, q.v.) should acquire first of all, with regard to the 1st absorption, namely:

* mastery in adverting to it (āvajjana-vasī),
* in entering it (samāpajjana-vasī),
* in determining it (adhitthāna-vasī),
* in rising therefrom (vutthāna-vasī),
* in retrospection (paccavekkhana-vasī). - (App.).

"If wherever, whenever, and for whatever duration desired, one enters the 1st absorption, and at one's entering it, no slowness is experienced, this is called mastery in entering the absorption, etc. In an analogous way, the 4 remaining kinds are to be explained" (Vis.M. IV, 131f; XXIII, 27ff.)." onclick=";return false;

Reflection also plays very important part in the development of insight:
The moment of arising of the 'magga and Phala Nana' does not last even for a second. Then retrospective reflection of the peculiar experiences of the "Magga, Phala and Nibbana" takes place. This is 'Paccavakkhana-nana" (Insight of retrospection)." onclick=";return false;

Metta, Dmytro
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