Aṭṭhikatvā

Renderings

aṭṭhikatvā: as a matter of vital concern

Introduction

Aṭṭhikatvā: occurrences

Aṭṭhikatvā occurs 39 times in the scriptures, in 38 times followed by either manasikatvā or manasikaroti. In one case it is linked to paṭipajjamāno.

Aṭṭhikatvā: not sluggishly

DOP says it means ‘making something one’s aim or object; paying attention.’ But the Upavāna Sutta (S.5.76) does not support this because it occurs in the phrase aṭṭhikatvā manasikaromi no ca līnan ti. Here aṭṭhikatvā is opposed to no ca līnaṃ, which Bodhi translates as ‘I attend as a matter of vital concern, not sluggishly.’

Aṭṭhikatvā equals nisamma

Bodhi’s rendering ‘as a matter of vital concern’ is supported by Sn.v.317 where aṭṭhikatvā is a synonym of nisamma (‘carefully, considerately, observing’: PED). Here again aṭṭhikatvā seems well rendered as ‘as a matter of vital concern.’ The verse is as follows:

• The wise and diligent man who associates with such a person (described in the preceding verse), carefully (nisamma) practising in accordance with the teaching as a matter of vital concern (tadaṭṭhikatvāna), becomes knowledgeable, astute, and intelligent.
Tadaṭṭhikatvāna nisamma dhīro dhammānudhammaṃ paṭipajjamāno
Viññū vibhāvī nipuṇo ca hoti yo tādisaṃ bhajati appamatto
(Sn.v. 317).

Illustrations

Illustration: aṭṭhikatvā, as a matter of vital concern

It is to your loss, friend, it is to your detriment, that when the Pātimokkha is being recited you do not pay it proper attention as a matter of vital concern.
tassa te āvuso alābhā tassa te dulladdhaṃ yaṃ tvaṃ pātimokkhe uddissamāne na sādhukaṃ aṭṭhikatvā manasikarosī ti (Vin.4.144).

Illustration: aṭṭhikatvā, as a matter of vital concern

When I am explaining the teaching, this worthless man does listen to it with eager ears, paying attention to it as a matter of vital concern, applying his whole mind to it.
☸ Nacāyaṃ moghapuriso mayā dhammaṃ desiyamāne aṭṭhikatvā manasikatvā sabbacetaso samannāharitvā ohitasoto dhammaṃ suṇātī ti (M.1.445).

Illustration: aṭṭhikatvā, as a matter of vital concern

I will recite the Pātimokkha with one and all of us present.
☸ Pātimokkhaṃ uddisissāmi taṃ sabbeva santā

Listen carefully. Pay attention.
☸ sādhukaṃ suṇoma manasikaroma

Listen carefully [means]: pay attention as a matter of vital concern, apply one’s whole mind to it.
☸ sādhukaṃ suṇomā ti aṭṭhikatvā manasikatvā sabbacetasā samannāharāma (Vin.1.103).

Illustration: aṭṭhikatvā, as a matter of vital concern

Those bhikkhus were listening to the teaching with eager ears, paying attention to it as a matter of vital concern, applying their whole minds to it.
Te ca bhikkhū aṭṭhikatvā manasikatvā sabbacetasā samannāharitvā ohitasotā dhammaṃ suṇanti (S.1.112).