Ārammaṇa

Renderings

ārammaṇa: basis (for spiritual development)

ārammaṇa: basis

ārammaṇa: basis (for the establishment of one’s stream of consciousness)

ārammaṇa: foundation

ārammaṇa: object of mindfulness

ārammaṇa: opportunity (to attack)

Introduction

Primary meaning

The primary meaning of ārammaṇa is ‘foundation,’ says PED.

Basis (for the establishment of one’s stream of consciousness)

In this quote we parenthesise ārammaṇā as ‘bases (for the establishment of his stream of consciousness)’:

• He for whom there are no bases whatsoever (for the establishment of his stream of consciousness): the Perfect One is worthy of the oblation.
Ārammaṇā yassa na santi keci tathāgato arahati pūraḷāsaṃ (Sn.v.477).

Reasons:

1) The commentary says: Ārammaṇā ti paccayā punabbhavakāraṇānī ti vuttaṃ hoti.

2) This suggests that ārammaṇaṃ viññāṇassa ṭhitiyā is meant, a phrase which occurs here, where ārammaṇaṃ is linked to punabbhava:

• Whatever one is intent upon, conceives of, and identifies with, this becomes the basis for the establishment of one’s stream of consciousness.
yañca bhikkhave ceteti yañca pakappeti yañca anuseti ārammaṇametaṃ hoti viññāṇassa ṭhitiyā

… When there is the basis, there is the establishment of one’s stream of consciousness.
Yañca ārammaṇe sati patiṭṭhā viññāṇassa hoti.

… When one’s stream of consciousness is established and has (egoistically) matured, renewed states of individual existence and rebirth occur in the future.
Tasmiṃ patiṭṭhite viññāṇe virūḷhe āyatiṃ punabbhavābhinibbatti hoti (S.2.65).

Basis (for spiritual development)

‘Basis (for spiritual development)’ suits many contexts. See Illustrations.

Object of mindfulness

Sometimes ārammaṇa means ‘object of mindfulness’. For example, when Tāḷapuṭa addressed his mind:

• I shall bind you to the object of mindfulness by force as one binds an elephant to a post with a firm rope.
ārammaṇe taṃ balasā nibandhisaṃ nāgaṃ va thambhamhi daḷhāya rajjuyā (Th.v.1141).

To support us calling ārammaṇa ‘object of mindfulness,’ the following passage concerns the same themes, of binding an elephant to a post, and where the mind is tied to the four bases of mindfulness (cattāro satipaṭṭhānā). But because bandhati Th.v.1141 takes a locative, ārammaṇe is locative singular, not accusative plural, and does not mean cattāro satipaṭṭhānā. Norman accordingly says, ‘I shall bind you to the meditation-base by force.’

• As, Aggivessana, an elephant tamer, driving a great post into the ground, ties a forest elephant to it by his neck so as to subdue his forest ways, so as to subdue his forest memories and thoughts, and so as to subdue his suffering, fatigue, and anguish at leaving the forest, so as to make him pleased with villages and make him take delight in human ways. Even so, Aggivessana, these four bases of mindfulness are to tie the mind so as to subdue the ways of householders and to subdue the memories and thoughts of householders and to subdue the suffering, fatigue, and anguish of householders; they are for acquiring the noble practice, and for realising the Untroubled.
Seyyathā pi aggivessana hatthidamako mahantaṃ thambhaṃ paṭhaviyaṃ nikhaṇitvā āraññakassa nāgassa gīvāyaṃ upanibandhati. Āraññakānañceva sīlānaṃ abhinimmadanāya āraññakānañceva sarasaṅkappānaṃ abhinimmadanāya āraññakānañceva darathakilamathapariḷāhānaṃ abhinimmadanāya gāmante abhiramāpanāya manussakantesu sīlesu sampādanāya evameva kho aggivessana ariyasāvakassa ime cattāro satipaṭṭhānā cetaso upanibandhanā honti. Gehasitānañceva sīlānaṃ abhinimmadanāya gehasitānañceva sarasaṅkappānaṃ abhinimmadanāya gehasitānañceva darathakilamathapariḷāhānaṃ abhinimmadanāya ñāyassa adhigamāya nibbānassa sacchikiriyāya (M.3.136).

Others render the term similarly, as follows:

• Bodhi at S.3.270 ‘meditation object’ (NDB n.305).

• DOP recognises ‘basis of meditation.’

For other examples of ‘object of mindfulness,’ see Illustrations.

Opportunity (to attack)

Ārammaṇa’s meaning ‘opportunity (to attack)’ is supported by PED which acknowledges ‘chance’ and ‘get a chance.’

Illustrations

Illustration: ārammaṇaṃ, basis (for spiritual development)

And what is the faculty of inward collectedness?
samādhindriyaṃ

In this regard, the noble disciple, having made the relinquishment (of attachment) the basis (for spiritual development), gains inward collectedness, gains mental concentration.
☸ vossaggārammaṇaṃ karitvā labhati samādhiṃ labhati cittassa ekaggataṃ (S.5.197).

Illustration: ārammaṇaṃ, basis (for spiritual development)

For one making offerings, the act of charity is the basis (for spiritual development).
ārammaṇaṃ yajamānassa yaññaṃ

Based on this one abandons one’s spiritual flaws.
ettha patiṭṭhāya jahāti dosaṃ (Sn.v.506).

Illustration: ārammaṇaṃ, basis (for spiritual development)

We shall abide pervading that person with a mind of (unlimited) universal love,
tañca puggalaṃ mettāsahagatena cetasā pharitvā viharissāma.

With this as our basis (for spiritual development)
Tadārammaṇañca

we shall abide pervading the whole world (of beings) with a mind of (unlimited) universal love, vast, exalted, unlimited, free of unfriendliness and hostility.
sabbāvantaṃ lokaṃ mettāsahagatena cetasā vipulena mahaggatena appamāṇena averena avyāpajjhena pharitvā viharissāmāti (M.1.126).

Illustration: ārammaṇaṃ, basis (for spiritual development) (= anussati ṭhānāni)

Bhikkhus, there are these six bases of meditation
Chayimāni bhikkhave anussati ṭhānāni. Katamāni cha

In this regard, the noble disciple reflects on the Perfect One:’He is the Blessed One…
tathāgataṃ anussarati: iti pi so bhagavā…

By making this (reflection) the basis (for spiritual development) some beings here are thereby purified.
Idampi kho bhikkhave ārammaṇaṃ karitvā evamidhekacce sattā visujjhanti (A.3.313).

Illustration: ārammaṇaṃ, basis (for spiritual development)

―Tell me, All-Seeing Eye, a basis (for spiritual development) supported by which I might cross this (wretched) flood (of suffering).
Ārammaṇaṃ brūhi samantacakkhu yaṃ nissito oghamimaṃ tareyyaṃ

―Being intent upon the perception of nonexistence, being mindful, with the help of the reflection ‘It does not exist,’ cross the flood (of suffering).
Ākiñcaññaṃ pekkhamāno satimā natthī ti nissāya tarassu oghaṃ (Sn.v.1069-70).

Illustration: ārammaṇaṃ, basis

Bhikkhus, there are these two pleasures. What two?
Dvemāni bhikkhave sukhāni.

The pleasure with rapture as its basis, and the pleasure without rapture as its basis.
sappītikārammaṇañca sukhaṃ nippītikārammaṇañca sukhaṃ (A.1.81).

Illustration: ārammaṇaṃ, basis

Bhikkhus, there are these two pleasures. What two?
Dvemāni bhikkhave sukhāni

The pleasure with the refined material states of awareness as its basis, and the pleasure with immaterial states of awareness as its basis.
rūpārammaṇañca sukhaṃ arūpārammaṇañca sukhaṃ (A.1.82).

Illustration: ārammaṇā, basis

Bhikkhus, it is with what is originated as their basis that unvirtuous, spiritually unwholesome factors arise, not without what is originated.
Saṅkhatārammaṇā bhikkhave uppajjanti pāpakā akusalā dhammā no asaṅkhatārammaṇā (A.1.83).

Illustration: ārammaṇā, basis

Samiddhi, what is the basis upon which man’s thoughts arise?
kimārammaṇā samiddhi purisassa saṅkappavitakkā uppajjantī ti?

Denomination-and-bodily-form is the basis, bhante.
nāmarūpārammaṇā bhante ti (A.4.385).

Illustration: ārammaṇaṃ, basis

A layperson might establish a robe fund for a bhikkhu who is not a relative, thinking: ‘Having purchased robe material with this fund, I will clothe the bhikkhu so and so.’

‘For a bhikkhu’ means

• for the good of a bhikkhu
bhikkhussatthāya

• making a bhikkhu the basis (of the robe fund)
bhikkhuṃ ārammaṇaṃ karitvā (Vin.3.216).

Illustration: ārammaṇaṃ, foundation

There is that supreme state of deliverance (tadāyatanaṃ) where there is neither solidness, liquidness, warmth, nor gaseousness; no state of awareness of boundless space, no state of awareness of boundless consciousness, no state of awareness of nonexistence, no state of awareness neither having nor lacking perception; neither this world, nor a world beyond, nor both; neither sun nor moon.
Atthi bhikkhave tadāyatanaṃ yattha neva paṭhavī na āpo na tejo na vāyo na ākāsānañcāyatanaṃ na viññāṇañcāyatanaṃ na ākiñcaññāyatanaṃ na nevasaññānāsaññāyatanaṃ nāyaṃ loko na paraloko na ubho candimasūriyā.

There, I declare, there is no coming, no going, no staying, no passing away, no being reborn.
Tatrāpāhaṃ bhikkhave neva āgatiṃ vadāmi na gatiṃ na ṭhitiṃ na cutiṃ na upapattiṃ.

It is neither fixed, nor moving, and has no foundation
appatiṭṭhaṃ appavattaṃ anārammaṇamevetaṃ.

This is truly the end of suffering
Esevanto dukkhassā ti (Ud.80).

Illustration: ārammaṇaṃ, object of mindfulness

While he is contemplating the nature of the body, there arises in him, with the body as the object of mindfulness, either bodily anguish, or mental sluggishness, or his mind is distracted outwardly.
tassa kāye kāyānupassino viharato kāyārammaṇo vā uppajjati kāyasmiṃ pariḷāho cetaso vā līnattaṃ bahiddhā vā cittaṃ vikkhipati (S.5.156).

The sutta continues:

• with sense impressions as the object of mindfulness
vedanāsu vedanānupassino viharato vedanārammaṇo vā uppajjati kāyasmiṃ pariḷāho

• with the mind as the object of mindfulness
citte cittānupassino viharato cittārammaṇo vā uppajjati kāyasmiṃ pariḷāho

• with certain objects of the systematic teachings as the object of mindfulness
dhammesu dhammānupassino viharato dhammārammaṇo vā uppajjati kāyasmiṃ pariḷāho

Illustration: ārammaṇaṃ, opportunity (to attack)

Keep to your own sphere of personal application, to your ancestral haunts. If you do so, Māra will not get his chance, his opportunity (to attack) you.
Gocare bhikkhave caratha sake pettike visaye. Gocare bhikkhave carataṃ sake pettike visaye na lacchati māro otāraṃ na lacchati māro ārammaṇaṃ (D.3.58).

Illustration: ārammaṇaṃ, opportunity (to attack)

Suppose, friends, there is a peaked house or a hall built of thickly packed clay and freshly plastered. If a man approaches it from the east with a blazing grass torch, or the west, the north, south, from below, or above, whichever way he approaches it:

• the fire does not get its chance, its opportunity (to attack) the building.
neva labhetha aggi otāraṃ na labhetha aggi ārammaṇaṃ (S.4.187).

Illustration: ārammaṇaṃ, opportunity (to attack)

Bhikkhus, at the present time the Licchavis dwell using blocks of wood as cushions; they are diligently and vigorously applied to the practice of archery. With these, King Ajātasattu of Magadha, the son of Queen Videha, has no chance, no opportunity (to attack) them.
na labhati otāraṃ na labhati ārammaṇaṃ

But in the future the Licchavis will become delicate, with soft and tender hands and feet; they will sleep until sunrise on soft beds with pillows of cotton wool. Then King Ajātasattu of Magadha will get his chance, his opportunity (to attack) them (S.2.268).