Understanding (pañña) knows more than the mere perception since this can
just classify as 'blue' or 'round'. Only Understanding can dig out,
penetrate into abstract characteristics of the object such as:
Miserable and Impersonal... While perception is like
a child, and thinking is like
villager, then Understanding is like an
Expert, who knows far beyond both
the childish perception, and the naive villager-like
pedestrian logical thinking...
Penetration into the particular, individual,
special essence significant for only
the currently present object is the characteristic of
To eliminate the darkness of delusion and the scatter of doubt by illuminating
object, as if from all sides, is the elucidating function of
Certainty, assured knowing, being beyond all doubt, fully comprehending
any pollution of confusion is the confirming manifestation of
The proximate cause of Understanding is
Concentration, since only
can anchor consciousness long enough on the object so
that analytical thinking
can drill into it, and penetrate the quintessential and
When the object is experienced as if from inside, it is
Understanding is always accompanied by
clear elevated Joy,
or calm Equanimity!
Understanding prevents disadvantageous
states from arising, and
already arisen, and already habitually present detrimental
states of the mind.
Understanding also initiates the arising of
so far absent advantageous states,
and refines, expands, completes, and perfects these already
arisen good states!
There is Understanding gained by
Hearing and Learning from another.
There is Understanding earned by Thinking and Rational Reasoning.
There is Understanding won by Development through
Who Knows? There is NOT an 'I, Me, or Person' who understands
Rather the Event of
Understanding occurs exactly when the ability and process
of Understanding is in the state of understanding. It is
Knows, Comprehends, and Understands...
More on this
supreme Ability to Understand:
Source: The Path of
Purification XIV 2ff:
Ariya Buddhaghosa from the 5th century AC.