adhimuccati: to focus on

adhimuccati: to be intent upon

adhimuccati: to be decided about

Introduction: correcting the texts

Reading vimuccati as adhimuccati

Both VRI and BJT Pāli editions agree that the word sequence cittaṃ pakkhandati pasīdati santiṭṭhati is followed by either vimuccati or adhimuccati. In every case we prefer adhimuccati. The commentaries support us in two cases. The readings are as follows:

• D.3.240: santiṭṭhati vimuccati (Commentary: Na vimuccatī ti nādhimuccati).

• M.1.186: santiṭṭhati adhimuccati

• M.1.435: santiṭṭhati vimuccati

• M.3.104: santiṭṭhati adhimuccati

• M.3.112: santiṭṭhati vimuccati

• A.2.166: santiṭṭhati adhimuccati

• A.3.245: santiṭṭhati vimuccati (Commentary: Na vimuccatī ti na adhimuccati).

• A.4.235: santiṭṭhati vimuccati

• A.4.438-48: santiṭṭhati vimuccati

Horner vs. Trenkner

Concerning the occurrence at M.1.435, Horner praises the reading pakkhandati pasīdati santiṭṭhati vimuccati, saying:

• ‘The compilers were right to vary the last of the four verbs’ (note to M.1.435).

However, she admits that in saying so she contradicts Trenkner, who ‘says he should have adopted’ adhimuccati.

Bodhi: adhimuccati ‘makes better sense’

Bodhi supports Trenckner. In notes to the Aṅguttara references he says:

• ‘Though all three editions here read vimuccati, Mp [commentary] glosses the word with adhimuccati. The latter makes better sense to me. The manuscript traditions, as well as printed editions, show irregular variations between these two readings throughout the Nikāyas.’ (note to A.3.245, NDB n.1206).

• Mp glosses vimuccati here as “liberated from the opposing qualities” (paccanlkadhammehi ca vimuccati). Since all three editions, with the support of Mp [commentary], have vimuccati, I translate in conformity with this reading, but I think it likely that the original reading was adhimuccati, “resolved upon” or “focused on.” As the text unfolds with respect to the successive meditative attainments, in each case the bodhisatta is vimuccati/adhimuccati upon the attainment before he actually achieves it. In such a context being “focused on” rather than “liberated in” makes better sense (note to A.4.439, NDB n.1943).


At all references we read adhimuccati.


Illustration: adhimucceyya, focus on

A bhikkhu with psychic power and mental mastery could, if he wished, focus on the solidness of that wooden log.
Ākaṅkhamāno āvuso bhikkhu iddhimā cetovasippatto amuṃ dārukkhandhaṃ paṭhavītveva adhimucceyya (A.3.340-1).

Illustration: adhimutto, focused on

One is focused exclusively on the Exquisite. This is the third state of refined awareness.
☸ Subhanteva adhimutto hoti. Ayaṃ tatiyo vimokkho (M.2.13; A.4.307).

Illustration: adhimuccati, intent upon

In seeing a visible object via the visual sense, a bhikkhu is not intent upon an agreeable visible object, nor troubled by a disagreeable visible object.
☸ Idha bhikkhu cakkhunā rūpaṃ disvā piyarūpe rūpe nādhimuccati appiyarūpe rūpe na vyāpajjati (S.4.119).

Illustration: adhimuccati, intent upon

A bhikkhu when contemplating sensuous pleasure his mind does not become energised, serene, settled, and intent upon it. But when contemplating the practice of unsensuousness his mind becomes energised, serene, settled, and intent upon it.
Idha bhikkhave bhikkhuno kāmaṃ manasikaroto kāmesu cittaṃ na pakkhandati nappasīdati na santiṭṭhati na vimuccati (read as adhimuccati. See IGPT sv Adhimuccati). Nekkhammaṃ kho panassa manasikaroto nekkhamme cittaṃ pakkhandati pasīdati santiṭṭhati vimuccati (read as adhimuccati. See IGPT sv Adhimuccati) (A.3.245).

Illustration: nādhimuccati, undecided about

One is unsure, doubtful, undecided about, and has no faith in
idhāvuso bhikkhu satthari… dhamme… saṅghe… sikkhāya… kaṅkhati vicikicchati nādhimuccati na sampasīdati

• the [perfection of the] Teacher’s [enlightenment]

• the [excellence of the] teaching

• the [excellent qualities of the] community of disciples

• the [excellence of the] training (D.3.237-8).

Illustration: nādhimuccati, undecided

Three states of unsureness (tisso kaṅkhā)

• One is unsure

• one is doubtful about

• one is undecided

• one is unsettled
na sampasīdati,

about the [nature of reality in the] periods of the past, the future, and the present.
atītaṃ vā addhānaṃ ārabbha kaṅkhati vicikicchati nādhimuccati na sampasīdati
☸ anāgataṃ vā addhānaṃ ārabbha kaṅkhati vicikicchati nādhimuccati na sampasīdati
☸ etarahi vā paccuppannaṃ addhānaṃ ārabbha kaṅkhati vicikicchati nādhimuccati na sampasīdati