aṇḍabhūta: enveloped [in uninsightfulness into reality]

aṇḍabhūta: enveloped [in ailments]


Aṇḍabhūta: occurrences

Aṇḍabhūta occurs five times in the scriptures in just two phrases. Firstly, in relation to the manyfolk who are void of insight into reality (avijjāgatā bhikkhave pajā aṇḍabhūtā pariyonaddhā (A.2.131) and secondly in relation to bodily illness (āturohāyaṃ gahapati kāyo aṇḍabhūto pariyonaddho, S.3.1). In both senses it occurs with pariyonaddho, smothered (pp. of pariyonandhati).

Aṇḍabhūto: born of eggs

Although aṇḍabhūto means being enveloped [in uninsightfulness into reality] or enveloped [in ailments], like a chick within an eggshell, it could be unhelpfully taken as ‘become of an egg.’ But that would lead to the unpleasant prospect of explaining how the body or the manyfolk could be legitimately be called egg-born, as more than one translator has said: the Buddha pierced the shell of ignorance ‘for the sake of creatures going in ignorance, born of eggs.’

Aṇḍabhūto: explanations

Bodhi says it could be a misspelling of addabhūto (‘weighed down’), and says the commentary suggests ‘become weak like an egg’ (CDB.1043 n.3). But its association with pariyonaddho (smothered) counts against this, and supports our calling aṇḍabhūto ‘enveloped in or by.’


Illustration: aṇḍabhūtāya, enveloped [in uninsightfulness into reality]

Amongst the manyfolk who are void of insight into reality (avijjāgatāya pajāya), enveloped and smothered [in uninsightfulness into reality] (aṇḍabhūtāya pariyonaddhāya), having broken through the eggshell of uninsightfulness into reality (avijjaṇḍakosaṃ padāletvā), I alone in the world have fully awakened to unsurpassed, complete enlightenment.
Evameva kho ahaṃ brāhmaṇa avijjāgatāya pajāya aṇḍabhūtāya pariyonaddhāya avijjaṇḍakosaṃ padāletvā eko’va loke anuttaraṃ sammāsambodhiṃ abhisambuddho (A.4.176; Vin.3.3).

Illustration: aṇḍabhūtā, enveloped [in uninsightfulness into reality]

The manyfolk who are void of insight into reality are enveloped and smothered [in uninsightfulness into reality]. But they really listen to the teaching on the elimination of uninsightfulness into reality taught to them by the Perfect One, they lend an ear, they apply their minds to understand [it]☸ Avijjāgatā bhikkhave pajā aṇḍabhūtā pariyonaddhā sā tathāgatena avijjāvinaye dhamme desiyamāne sussūsati. Sotaṃ odahati. Aññācittaṃ upaṭṭhapeti (A.2.131).

Illustration: aṇḍabhūto, enveloped [in ailments]

Nakulapitā complained that he was aged, burdened with years, advanced in life, come to the last stage, ailing in body, often unwell. The Buddha agreed, saying:

‘So it is, householder, so it is. This [wretched human] body of yours is ailing, enveloped and smothered [in ailments]. If anyone carrying around [such a wretched] body were to claim to be healthy even for a moment, that would only be folly. Therefore, householder, you should train yourself [with this reflection]: ‘Though my body is ailing, my mind will not be ailing.’
Evametaṃ gahapati evametaṃ gahapati. Āturohāyaṃ gahapati kāyo aṇḍabhūto pariyonaddho. Yo hi gahapati imaṃ kāyaṃ pariharanto muhuttampi ārogyaṃ paṭijāneyya kimaññatra bālyā. Tasmātiha te gahapati evaṃ sikkhitabbaṃ: āturakāyassa me sato cittaṃ anāturaṃ bhavissatī ti (S.3.1).