Ejā

Renderings

aniñjita: the not-unstable

aneja: imperturbable

āneñja: imperturbability

āneñja: the Imperturbable

iñjita: the unstable

iñjita: spiritual instability

iñjita: trembling

ejā: spiritual instability

āneñja: karmically neutral

Dictionary of Pāli renderings:

aniñjita (noun): lack of disturbance, quiet.

aniñjita (adj): not perturbed

aniñja (noun): immovability, imperturbability

aniñja (adj): immobile, immoveable, imperturbable

aneja: (noun): imperturbability, unmoveable state, freedom from emotion.

aneja (adj): unmoved, imperturbable, without emotion

āneñja (noun): immovability, imperturbability

āneñja (adj): unmoved, not to be stirred

iñja: moving, being disturbed?; moveable?

iñjati: moves, stirs, is moved, is disturbed;

iñjita (noun): movement, disturbance

iñjita (adj): moved, perturbed

ejā: motion, disturbance, agitation, emotion

ejānuga: following, under the influence of, emotion

ejati: moves, trembles, shakes

Introduction

Aneñja: eleven spellings

PED says of aneñja that the Pāli editions ‘show a great variance of spelling, based on manuscript vacillation, in part also due to confusion of derivation.’ It lists eleven spellings: aṇañja, aneñja, aneja, anejja, anañja, āṇañja, āṇeñja, ānañca, ānañja, ānejja, āneñja.

Āneñja and aneñja: relationship to iñjati

Norman considers ejaṃ and iñjita to be related, and says his translations “com-motions” and “e-motions” are an attempt to get the wordplay on the two forms which are from the same root (Norman, GD p.304 n.750-51). But DOP is less sure, saying that āneñja and aneñja may be derived from iñjati, with a question mark, thus: ‘from iñjati?’ In practice the uncertainty is irrelevant because the scriptures treat the words as synonyms. For example, Sn.v.750-1 says:

• Whatever suffering arises, all of it arises dependent on spiritual instability (iñjitapaccayā)… Therefore having relinquished spiritual instability (ejaṃ vossajja), imperturbable (anejo) and free of grasping, the bhikkhu should mindfully fulfil the ideals of religious asceticism (Sn.v.750-1).

So ejaṃ and iñjati can be considered together.

Ejā: not desire

Ejā was formerly considered part of desire. For example, PED (1905) suggested ‘cravings.’ But this is now rejected by DOP (2001) which calls it ‘motion, disturbance, agitation, emotion.’

Root word: perturbable

‘Perturbable’ has become the generally accepted root word for most members of the word family. Thus Bodhi calls āneñja ‘imperturbable’, and iñjita ‘perturbable’. DOP agrees, saying āneñja means ‘unmoved, not to be stirred, imperturbable.’ This rendering is justified, firstly by similes that compare anejo to calm lakes or immoveable mountains (pabbato viya so ṭhito anejo Ud.27), and secondly by the word’s co-occurrence with ṭhito ‘inwardly stable.’ All evidence therefore negates the possibility of ‘desire.’

Imperturbability: two connotations

Imperturbability has two connotations:

1) Firstly, fourth jhāna and immaterial states of awareness. All levels of samādhi below fourth jhāna lie ‘within the unstable’ (iñjitasmiṃ, locative), whereas fourth jhāna is ‘within the not-unstable’ (aniñjitasmiṃ, M.1.454-5). To attain fourth jhāna is to attain imperturbability (āneñjappatte, D.1.76), where one might sit in (a state of) imperturbable inward collectedness (āneñjena samādhinā nisinno hoti, Ud.27), a state where one’s mind is unshakeable (ṭhite, M.3.136).

2) Secondly, arahantship. An arahant has ‘realised the Imperturbable’ (anejaṃ te anuppattā, S.3.83). In other words, because they are liberated, they are free of spiritual instability (neva sammā vimuttānaṃ buddhānaṃ atthi iñjitan ti), and it is impossible to arouse fear, panic, terror in them (bhayaṃ chambhitattaṃ lomahaṃsaṃ,S.1.109).

‘The Imperturbable’

We have seen in the paragraph above that ‘the Imperturbable’ means arahantship. However it can also mean refined meditation states, which we detail below:

• When there is serenity, he either attains the Imperturbable now, or else he is intent upon discernment.
Sampasāde sati etarahi vā āneñjaṃ samāpajjati paññāya vā adhimuccati (M.2.262).

We have seen in the section above that fourth jhāna is ‘within the not-unstable’ (aniñjitasmiṃ, M.1.454-5), which can be regarded as part of the Imperturbable because aniñjita and āneñja are treated as synonyms in the suttas. The immaterial states are also part of it:

• And how is a bhikkhu one who has attained the Imperturbable? In this regard, by completely transcending refined material states of awareness, with the vanishing of states of refined awareness involving physical sensation, not focusing upon states of refined awareness involving the external senses, a bhikkhu enters and abides in the state of awareness of boundless space where one perceives that space is boundless… By completely transcending the state of awareness of nonexistence, a bhikkhu enters and abides in the state of awareness neither having nor lacking perception.
Kathaṃ ca bhikkhave bhikkhu āneñjappatto hoti? Idha bhikkhave bhikkhu sabbaso rūpasaññānaṃ samatikkamā paṭighasaññānaṃ atthaṅgamā nānattasaññānaṃ amanasikārā ananto ākāsoti ākāsānañcāyatanaṃ upasampajja viharati… Sabbaso ākiñcaññāyatanaṃ samatikkamma nevasaññānāsaññāyatanaṃ upasampajja viharati. Evaṃ kho bhikkhave bhikkhu āneñjappatto hoti (A.2.184).

Imperturbability of arahantship: the basis

Sometimes the imperturbability of arahantship is linked to other terms, which shows the basis for the arahant’s imperturbability:

1) The dispelling of fondness (‘Dispel fondness for these. Be imperturbable,’ ettha vinodaya chandamanejo, S.1.186).

2) Abandoning the perception of Self. For example, to overcome spiritual instability (ejā) and attain imperturbability (anejo), one should avoid, for example, thinking of the visual sense in personal terms (cakkhuṃ na maññeyya, S.4.65). See Glossary sv Maññati.

Iñjita three terms

Iñjita, past participle of iñjati, means ‘moved, perturbed,’ says DOP, and the noun is ‘movement, disturbance.’ But we render it with three terms:

1) spiritual instability

2) trembling

3) the unstable

We illustrate these as follows:

1) Iñjita: spiritual instability

The notion “I am” is a matter of spiritual instability,
asmī ti bhikkhave iñjitametaṃ

‘I am this’ is a matter of spiritual instability
ayamahamasmī ti iñjitametaṃ

‘I will be’ is a matter of spiritual instability
bhavissanti iñjitametaṃ

‘I will not be’ is a matter of spiritual instability
na bhavissanti iñjitametaṃ (S.4.203).

2) Iñjita: trembling

Māra, the Maleficent One, wishing to arouse fear in the Buddha shattered a number of huge boulders nearby. The Buddha said:

‘Even if you shake this entire Vulture Peak
Sacemaṃ kevalaṃ sabbaṃ gijjhakūṭaṃ caleyyasi

There is no trembling in fully liberated enlightened ones.’
Neva sammā vimuttānaṃ buddhānaṃ atthi iñjitan ti (S.1.109).

3) Iñjita: the unstable

• First jhāna, I declare, is within the unstable.
paṭhamaṃ jhānaṃ… iñjitasmiṃ vadāmi.

What there is within the unstable? The thinking and pondering that are unended.
Kiñca tattha iñjitasmiṃ: yadeva tattha vitakkavicārā aniruddhā honti idaṃ tattha iñjitasmiṃ (M.1.454-5).

Aniñjita: the not-unstable

DOP says the negative aniñjita means ‘not perturbed, lack of disturbance, quiet,’ where we say ‘not-unstable,’ as follows:

• First jhāna, I declare, is within the unstable.
paṭhamaṃ jhānaṃ… iñjitasmiṃ vadāmi.

What there is within the unstable? The thinking and pondering that are unended.
Kiñca tattha iñjitasmiṃ: yadeva tattha vitakkavicārā aniruddhā honti idaṃ tattha iñjitasmiṃ

Second jhāna, I declare, is within the unstable.
dutiyaṃ jhānaṃ… iñjitasmiṃ vadāmi.

What there is within the unstable? The rapture and physical pleasure that are unended.
yadeva tattha pītisukhaṃ aniruddhaṃ hoti.

Third jhāna, I declare, is within the unstable.
tatiyaṃ jhānaṃ… iñjitasmiṃ vadāmi

What there is within the unstable? The serenity with physical pleasure that is unended.
yadeva tattha upekkhāsukhaṃ aniruddhaṃ hoti.

Fourth jhāna, I declare, is within the not-unstable.
catutthaṃ jhānaṃ… aniñjitasmiṃ vadāmi (M.1.454-5).

Karmically neutral deeds

Āneñja is used to describe deeds that are neither meritorious nor demeritorious. We call these deeds ‘karmically neutral.’

• Bhikkhus, if someone who has acquiesced in uninsightfulness into reality undertakes a karmically consequential deed that is meritorious, his stream of consciousness (viññāṇaṃ) is furnished with merit;
☸ Avijjāgatoyaṃ bhikkhave purisapuggalo puññaṃ ce saṅkhāraṃ abhisaṅkharoti puññopagaṃ hoti viññāṇaṃ.

… If he undertakes a karmically consequential deed that is demeritorious, his stream of consciousness is furnished with demerit;
☸ Apuññaṃ ce saṅkhāraṃ abhisaṅkharoti apuññopagaṃ hoti viññāṇaṃ.

… If he undertakes a karmically consequential deed that is karmically neutral, his stream of consciousness is furnished with what is karmically neutral.
☸ Āneñjaṃ ce saṅkhāraṃ abhisaṅkharoti āneñjūpagaṃ hoti viññāṇaṃ.

… When a bhikkhu has abandoned uninsightfulness into reality (avijjā) and aroused insightfulness into reality (vijjā), then, with the fading away of uninsightfulness into reality and the arising of insightfulness into reality, he does not undertake a karmically consequential deed that is meritorious, demeritorious, or karmically neutral.
Yato kho bhikkhave bhikkhuno avijjā pahīṇā hoti vijjā uppannā so avijjāvirāgā vijjūppādā neva puññābhisaṅkhāraṃ abhisaṅkharoti. Na apuññābhisaṅkhāraṃ abhisaṅkharoti. Na āneñjābhisaṅkhāraṃ abhisaṅkharoti (S.2.82).

Illustrations

Illustration: ejā, spiritual instability

Spiritual instability, bhante, is an illness, a carbuncle, a (piercing) arrow.
ejā bhante rogo ejā gaṇḍo ejā sallaṃ

It draws man to this or that state of individual existence and rebirth.
ejā imaṃ purisaṃ parikaḍḍhati tassa tasseva bhavassa abhinibbattiyā

Thus he arises in various (states of individual existence).
Tasmā ayaṃ puriso uccāvacamāpajjati (D.2.283).

COMMENT

The notion “I am” is a matter of spiritual instability,
asmī ti bhikkhave iñjitametaṃ (S.4.203).

Illustration: ejā, spiritual instability

Abandoning what they have in order to grab something else,
Purimaṃ pahāya aparaṃ sitāse

Dogged by spiritual instability, they do not overcome bondage (to individual existence).
Ejānugā te na taranti saṅgaṃ

They release and catch hold
Te uggahāyanti nirassajanti

Like a monkey releasing one branch in order to seize another.
kapīva sākhaṃ pamuñcaṃ gahāyaṃ (Sn.v.791).

COMMENT

The following quote shows that instability comes from fondness:

• People are ensnared by objects of attachment,
Upadhīsu janā gathitāse

By what is seen, heard, sensed, and cognised.
Diṭṭhasute paṭighe ca mute ca

Dispel fondness for these. Be imperturbable.
Ettha vinodaya chandamanejo

They call him a sage who does not cleave to these objects.
Yo ettha na limpati taṃ munimāhu (S.1.186).

Illustration: anejo, imperturbable

If a bhikkhu should wish, ‘May I dwell imperturbable, with the arrow (of spiritual instability) removed!’
anejo vihareyyaṃ vītasallo ti

he should not think of the visual sense in personal terms; he should not think ‘I am part of the visual sense’; he should not think ‘I am separate from the visual sense’; he should not think that the visual sense is “(in reality) mine.”’
Cakkhuṃ na maññeyya cakkhusmiṃ na maññeyya cakkhuto na maññeyya cakkhuṃ me ti na maññeyya (S.4.65).

Illustration: anejo, imperturbable

In the depths of the ocean no wave swells up. It is stable. Likewise is the inward stability of one who is imperturbable. He would have no swelling of conceit about anything.
Majjhe yathā samuddassa ūmi no jāyati ṭhito hoti
Evaṃ ṭhito anejassa ussadaṃ bhikkhu na kareyya kuhiñci
(Sn.v.920).

Illustration: anejo, imperturbable

He who has mastered the thorn of sensuous pleasure,
Yassa jito kāmakaṇṭako

Abuse, punishment, and imprisonment,
Akkoso ca vadho ca bandhanañca

Is as inwardly stable as a mountain, imperturbable,
pabbato viya so ṭhito anejo

A bhikkhu like that is unshaken by pleasure and pain.
Sukhadukkhesu na vedhati sa bhikkhū ti (Ud.27).

Illustration: anejo, imperturbable

A wise person through fully understanding the teaching, having understood the teaching,
dhammamabhiññāya dhammamaññāya paṇḍito

becomes inwardly at peace, like an unruffled lake, imperturbable.
rahadova nivāte ca anejo vūpasammati (It.91-2).

Illustration: āneñja, imperturbability

With the abandonment of physical pleasure and pain, and following the vanishing of psychological pleasure and pain, he enters and abides in fourth jhāna, which is free of pleasure and pain, and (is imbued with) purified detached awareness and mindfulness.
Sukhassa ca pahānā dukkhassa ca pahānā pubbeva somanassa domanassānaṃ atthaṅgamā adukkhaṃ asukhaṃ upekkhā sati pārisuddhiṃ catutthaṃ jhānaṃ upasampajja viharati.

With his mind thus collected, purified, cleansed, unblemished, free of defilement, pliable, wieldy, stable, and attained to imperturbability, he directs and inclines it to the knowledge through recalling of past lives.
So evaṃ samāhite citte parisuddhe pariyodāte anaṅgaṇe vigatūpakkilese muhubhute kammaṇiye ṭhite āneñjappatte pubbenivāsānussatiñāṇāya cittaṃ abhininnāmeti (M.3.136).

Illustration: āneñja, (a state of) imperturbability, imperturbable

Once, the Blessed One was sitting in (a state of) imperturbable inward collectedness
Tena kho pana samayena bhagavā āneñjena samādhinā nisinno hoti

Then those bhikkhus asked themselves what abiding the Blessed One was dwelling in at that time.
Atha kho tesaṃ bhikkhūnaṃ etadahosi katamena nu kho bhagavā vihārena etarahi viharatī ti

Then they perceived he was abiding in (a state of) imperturbability.
Atha kho tesaṃ bhikkhūnaṃ etadahosi āneñjena kho bhagavā vihārena etarahi viharatī ti

So they also sat in (a state of) imperturbable inward collectedness
Sabbeva āneñjena samādhinā nisīdiṃsu (Ud.27).

Illustration: iñjita, spiritual instability; ejā, spiritual instability; anejo, imperturbable

Whatever suffering arises, all of it arises dependent on spiritual instability.
Yaṃ kiñci dukkhaṃ sambhoti sabbaṃ iñjitapaccayā;

With the ending of states of spiritual instability, there is no arising of suffering.
Iñjitānaṃ nirodhena natthi dukkhassa sambhavo.

Recognising this danger, that suffering arises dependent on spiritual instability
Etamādīnavaṃ ñatvā dukkhaṃ iñjitapaccayā

Therefore having relinquished spiritual instability and ended karmically consequential deeds
Tasmā hi ejaṃ vossajja saṅkhāre uparundhiya

Imperturbable and free of grasping, the bhikkhu should mindfully fulfil the ideals of religious asceticism.
Anejo anupādāno sato bhikkhu paribbaje ti (Sn.v.750-1).

Illustration: iñjita, trembling

When inward collectedness by mindfulness with breathing has been developed and cultivated, no trembling or unsteadiness arises either in body or mind.
☸ ānāpānasatisamādhissa bhikkhave bhāvitattā bahulīkatattā neva kāyassa iñjitattaṃ vā hoti phanditattaṃ vā na cittassa iñjitattaṃ vā hoti phanditattaṃ vā (S.5.316).