BUDDHIST DICTIONARY

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Nāma: lit. 'name': 'mind', mentality. This term is generally used as a collective name for the 4 mental groups arūpino khandha viz. feeling vedanā perception sa˝˝ā mental constructions sankhāra and consciousness vi˝˝āna Within the 4th link nāma-rūpa in the formula of the paticcasamuppāda, however, it applies only to kamma-resultant vipāka feeling and perception and a few kamma-resultant mental functions inseparable from any consciousness. As it is said M. 9; D. 15; S. XII, 2:;Feeling vedanā perception sa˝˝ā, intention cetanā contact phassa mental directing manasikāra : this, o brother, is called mind nāma. With the addition of 2 more mental properties, namely, mental vitality jīvita and concentration samādhi here 'stationary phase of mind' cittatthiti these 7 factors are said in the Abhidhammattha Sangaha to be the inseparable mental properties in any state of consciousness.

For the complete list of all the 50 mental constructions of the sankhāra-khandha not including feeling and perception, see: Tab. II.

Nāma-kāya: the 'mind-group' as distinguished from rūpa-kāya the materiality-group comprises the 4 immaterial groups of existence arūpino khandhā see: khandha This twofold grouping, frequent in Com., occurs first in D. 15, also in Pts.M. I, 183;nāma-kāya alone is mentioned in Sn. 1074.

Nāma-rūpa: lit. 'name and form': 'mind-and-body', mentality and materiality. It is the 4th link in the dependent origination see: paticcasamuppāda 3, 4 where it is conditioned by consciousness, and on its part is the condition of the sixfold sense-source. In two texts D. 14, 15, which contain variations of the dependent origination, the mutual conditioning of consciousness and mind-and-body is described see also S. XII, 67, and the latter is said to be a condition of sense-contact phassa; so also in Sn. 872.

The third of the seven purifications see: visuddhi the purification of views, is defined in Vis.M XVIII as the;correct seeing of mind-and-body,; and various methods for the discernment of mind-and-body by way of insight-meditation vipassanā are given there. In this context, 'mind' nāma comprises all four mental groups, including consciousness. - See nāma

In five-group-existence pa˝ca-vokāra-bhava, mind-and body are inseparable and interdependent; and this has been illustrated by comparing them with two sheaves of reeds propped against each other: when one falls the other will fall, too; and with a blind man with stout legs, carrying on his shoulders a lame cripple with keen eye-sight: only by mutual assistance can they move about efficiently see: Vis.M XVIII, 32ff. On their mutual dependence, see also paticca-samuppāda 3.

With regard to the impersonality and dependent nature of mind and materiality it is said:

Sound is not a thing that dwells inside the conch-shell and comes out from time to time, but due to both, the conch-shell and the man that blows it, sound comes to arise: Just so, due to the presence of vitality, heat and consciousness, this body may execute the acts of going, standing, sitting and lying down, and the 5 sense-organs and the mind may perform their various functions; D. 23.

Just as a wooden puppet though unsubstantial, lifeless and inactive may by means of pulling strings be made to move about, stand up, and appear full of life and activity; just so are mind and body, as such, something empty, lifeless and inactive; but by means of their mutual working together, this mental and bodily combination may move about, stand up, and appear full of life and activity

Đāna: 'knowledge, comprehension, intelligence, insight', is a synonym for pa˝˝ā, see also vipassanā

Đānadassana-visuddhi: 'purification of knowledge and vision', is the last of the 7 purifications and a name for path-knowledge magga˝āna i.e. the penetrating realization of the path of Stream-winning, Once-returning, Non-returning or Arahatship. Vis.M XXII furnishes a detailed explanation of it see: visuddhi VII.

In A. IV, 41 ˝ānadassana apparently means the divine eye dibbacakkhu abhi˝˝ā being produced through concentrating the mind on light.

Nānatta-sa˝˝ā: The 'variety or multiformity - perceptions are explained under jhāna

Đāna-vipphārā iddhi: the 'power of penetrating knowledge', is one of the magical powers iddhi.

Đāta-pari˝˝ā: 'full understanding or comprehension of the known', is one of the 3 kinds of full understanding pari˝˝ā.

Natthika-ditthi: 'nihilistic view' a doctrine that all values are baseless, that nothing is knowable or can be communicated, and that life itself is meaningless, see: ditthi

Natthi-paccaya: 'absence-condition', is one of the 24 conditions paccaya.

Natural morality: pakati-sīla

Navanga-buddha: or satthu - sāsana: s. sāsana

Nava-sattāvāsa: s. sattāvāsa

Naya-vipassanā: s. kalāpa 2.

Đāya: 'right method', is often used as a name for the Noble 8-fold path see: magga e.g. in the Satipatthāna Sutta M. 10, D. 22.

Neighbourhood-concentration: upacāra-samādhi.

Nekkhamma: 'freedom from sensual lust', renunciation. Though apparently from nir + Í kram 'to go forth into the homeless state of a monk', this term is in the Pāli texts nevertheless used as if it were derived from kāma lust, and always as an antonym to kāma It is one of the perfections see: pāramī sankappa thought free from lust, or thought of renunciation, is one of the 3 kinds of right motivation sammā-sankappa the 2nd link of the Noble 8-fold path see: magga 2, its antonym being kāmasankappa lustful thought.

Nesajjikanga: one of the 13 dhutānga

Neutral: kammically: avyākata, n. feelings, see: vedanā

N'eva-sa˝˝ā-n'āsa˝˝āyatana: The 'sphere of neither-perception-nor-non-perception', is the name for the fourth absorption of the immaterial sphere arūpāvacara a semi-conscious state, which is surpassed only by the state of complete suspense of consciousness, called 'attainment of ceasing' nirodha-samāpatti. See jhāna 8.

N'eva-sekha-n'āsekha: 'neither in training nor beyond training', i.e. neither learner nor master. Thus is called the worldling puthujjana, for he is neither pursuing the 3-fold training sikkhā in morality, mental culture and understanding, on the level of the first 3 paths of sanctity, nor has he completed his training as an Arahat. See sekha- App..

Neyya: 'requiring guidance', is said of a person;who through advice and questioning, through wise consideration, and through frequenting noble-minded friends, having intercourse with them, associating with them, gradually comes to penetrate the truth; Pug. 162. Cf. ugghatita˝˝ū.

Neyyattha-dhamma: A 'teaching the meaning of which is implicit, or has to be inferred' as contrasted with a 'teaching with an explicit or evident meaning' nītattha-dhamma In A. I, 60 PTS it is said:;Whoso declares a sutta with an implicit meaning as a sutta with explicit meaning and conversely, such a one makes a false statement with regard to the Blessed One.; - See paramattha.

Nibbāna: Sanskrit nirvāna lit. 'ceasing' nir + Í va to cease blowing, to become extinguished; according to the commentaries, 'freedom from desire' nir+ vana Nibbāna constitutes the highest and ultimate goal of all Buddhist aspirations, i.e. absolute ceasing of that life-affirming will manifested as greed, hate and confusion, and convulsively clinging to existence; and therewith also the ultimate and absolute deliverance from all future rebirth, old age, disease and death, from all suffering and misery. Cf. parinibbāna

Extinction of greed, ceasing of hate, ceasing of confusion: this is called Nibbāna; S. XXXVIII. 1.

The 2 aspects of Nibbāna are:

1: The full ceasing of defilements kilesa-parinibbāna also called sa-upādi-sesa-nibbāna see: It. 41, i.e. 'Nibbāna with the groups of existence still remaining' see: upādi. This takes place at the attainment of Arahatship, or perfect Nobility see: ariya-puggala.

2: The full ceasing of the groups of existence khandha-parinibbāna also called an-upādi-sesa-nibbāna see: It. 41, A. IV, 118, i.e. 'Nibbāna without the groups remaining', in other words, the coming to rest, or rather the 'no-more-continuing' of this physico-mental process of existence. This takes place at the death of the Arahat. - App.: Nibbāna.

Sometimes both aspects take place at one and the same moment, i.e. at the death of the Arahat; see: sama-sīsī

This, o Bhikkhus, truly is the peace, this is the highest, namely the end of all constructions, the forsaking of every substratum of rebirth, the fading away of craving, detachment, ceasing, Nibbāna; A. III, 32.

Enraptured with lust rāga enraged with anger dosa blinded by confusion moha overwhelmed, with mind ensnared, man aims at his own ruin, at the ruin of others, at the ruin of both, and he experiences mental pain and grief. But if lust, anger and confusion are given up, man aims neither at his own ruin, nor at the ruin of others, nor at the ruin of both, and he experiences no mental pain and grief. Thus is Nibbāna visible in this life, immediate, inviting, attractive, and comprehensible to the wise; A. III, 55.

Just as a rock of one solid mass remains unshaken by the wind, even so neither visible forms, nor sounds, nor odours, nor tastes, nor bodily contacts, neither the desired nor the undesired, can cause such a one to waver. Steadfast is his mind, gained is deliverance; A, VI, 55.

Verily, there is an Unborn, Unoriginated, Uncreated, Unformed. If there were not this Unborn, Unoriginated, Uncreated, Unformed, escape from the world of the born, the originated, the created, the formed, would not be possible; Ud. VIII, 3.

One cannot too often and too emphatically stress the fact that not only for the actual realization of the goal of Nibbāna, but also for a theoretical understanding of it, it is an indispensable preliminary condition to grasp fully the truth of anattā, the egolessness and insubstantiality of all forms of existence. Without such an understanding, one will necessarily misconceive Nibbāna - according to one's either materialistic or metaphysical leanings - either as annihilation of an ego, or as an eternal state of existence into which an ego or self enters or with which it merges. Hence it is said:

Mere suffering exists, no sufferer is found;
The deed is, but no doer of the deed is there;
Nibbāna is, but not the man that enters it;
The path is, but no traveler on it is seen.; Vis.MXVI

Literature: For texts on Nibbāna, see path, 36ff. - See Vis.M XVI. 64ff. - Anattā and Nibbāna, by Nyanaponika Thera WHEEL 11; The Buddhist Doctrine of Nibbāna, by Ven. P. Vajiranana & F. Story WHEEL 165/166.

Nibbatti: 'arising', 'rebirth', is a synonym for patisandhi.

Nibbedha-bhāgiya-sīla: samādhi-pa˝˝ā morality concentration, understanding connected with penetration'; see: hāna-bhāgiya-sīla.

Nibbidānupassanā-˝āna: 'contemplation of aversion', is one of the 18 chief kinds of insight; see: vipassanā 4, samatha-vipassanā 2, visuddhi VI, 5.

Nicca-sa˝˝ā: citta, -ditthi perception or consciousness, or view of permanency, is one of the 4 perversions vipallāsa.

Nihilistic view: natthika-ditthi see: ditthi

Nīla-kasina: 'blue-kasina exercise' see: kasina.

Nimitta: mark, sign; image; target, object; cause, condition. These meanings are used in, and adapted to, many contexts of which only the doctrinal ones are mentioned here.

1. 'Mental reflex-image', obtained in meditation. In full clarity, it will appear in the mind by successful practice of certain concentration-exercises and will then appear as vividly as if seen by the eye. The object perceived at the very beginning of concentration is called the preparatory image parikamma-nimitta The still unsteady and unclear image, which arises when the mind has reached a weak degree of concentration, is called the acquired image uggaha-nimitta An entirely clear and immovable image arising at a higher degree of concentration is the counter-image patibhāga-nimitta As soon as this image arises, the stage of neighbourhood or access concentration upacāra-samādhi is reached. For further details, see: kasina, samādhi.

2. 'Sign of previous kamma' kamma-nimitta and 'sign of the future destiny' gati-nimitta these arise as mental objects of the last kammic consciousness before death maranāsanna-kamma see: kamma, III, 3.

Usages 1 and 2 are commentarial see: App.. In sutta usage, the term occurs, e.g. as:

3. 'Outward appearance': of one who has sense-control it is said that he does not seize upon the general appearance' of an object na nimittaggāhī M. 38, D. 2; expl. Vis I, 54f; see sīla.

4. 'Object': the six objects, i.e. visual, etc. rūpa-nimitta a href=dic2-abbrev.htm#S. S. XXII, 3. Also, when in explanation of animitta-ceto-vimutti signless deliverance of mind see: ceto-vimutti vimokkha it is said, sabba-nimittānam amanasikārā it refers to the 6 sense-objects Com. to M. 43, and has therefore to be rendered;by paying no attention to any object or object-ideas.; - A pleasant or beautiful object subha-nimitta is a condition to the arising of the hindrance of sense-desire; a 'repellent object' patigha-nimitta for the hindrance of ill-will; contemplation on the impurity of an object asubha-nimitta see: asubha is an antidote to sense-desire.

5. In Pts.M. II, in a repetitive series of terms, nimitta appears together with uppādo origin of existence, pavattam continuity of existence, and may then be rendered by 'condition of existence' see: path, 194f..

Nimmāna-rati: the name of a class of divine beings of the sense-sphere; s. deva

Nine abodes of beings: s. sattāvāsa

Ninefold dispensation: s: sāsana.

Nippapa˝ca: s. papa˝ca.

Nipphanna-rūpa: 'produced materiality', is identical with rūpa-rūpa 'materiality proper', i.e. material or actual materiality, as contrasted with 'unproduced materiality' anipphanna-rūpa consisting of mere qualities or modes of materiality, e.g. impermanence, etc., which are also enumerated among the 28 phenomena of the materiality group. See khandha Summary I; Vis.M XIV, 73.

Niraya: lit. 'the downward-Path', the nether or infernal world, usually translated by 'hell', is one of the 4 lower courses of existence apāya. The Buddhists are well aware that on account of the universal sway of impermanence a life in hell, just as in heaven, cannot last eternally, but will after exhaustion of the kamma which has caused the respective form of rebirth, necessarily be followed again by a new death and a new rebirth, according to the stored-up kamma.

Nirodha: 'ceasing'; see: nirodha-samāpatti, anupubba-nirodha.

Nirodhānupassanā: 'contemplation of ceasing', is one of the 18 chief kinds of insight vipassanā. See ānāpānasati 15.

Nirodha-samāpatti: 'attainment of ceasing' S. XIV, 11, also called sa˝˝ā-vedayita-nirodha, ceasing of feeling and perception', is the temporary suspension of all consciousness and mental activity, following immediately upon the semi-conscious state called 'sphere of neither-perception-nor-non-perception' see: jhāna. The absolutely necessary pre-conditions to its attainment are said to be perfect mastery of all the 8 absorptions jhāna as well as the previous attainment of Anāgāmi or Arahatship see: ariya-puggala

According to Vis.M XXIII, the entering into this state takes place in the following way: by means of mental tranquillity samatha and insight vipassanā one has to pass through all the 8 absorptions one after the other up to the sphere of neither-perception-nor-non-perception and then one has to bring this state to an end. If, namely, according to the Vis.M, the disciple Anāgāmi or Arahat passes through the absorption merely by means of tranquillity, i.e. concentration, he will only attain the sphere of neither-perception-nor-non-perception, and then come to a standstill; if, on the other hand, he proceeds only with insight, he will reach the fruition phala of Anāgāmi or Arahatship. He, however, who by means of both abilities has risen from absorption to absorption and, having made the necessary preparations, brings the sphere of neither-perception-nor-non-perception to an end, such a one reaches the state of ceasing. Whilst the disciple is passing through the 8 absorptions, he each time emerges from the absorption attained, and regards with his insight all the mental phenomena constituting that special absorption, as impermanent, miserable and impersonal. Then he again enters the next higher absorption, and thus, after each absorption practising insight, he at last reaches the state of neither-perception-nor-non-perception, and thereafter the full ceasing. This state, according to the Com., may last for 7 days or even longer. Immediately at the rising from this state, however, there arises in the Anāgāmi the fruition of Anāgāmiship anāgāmi-phala in the Arahat the fruition of Arahatship arahatta-phala.

With regard to the difference existing between the Bhikkhu abiding in this state of ceasing on the one hand, and a dead person on the other hand, M 43 says:;In him who is dead, and whose life has come to an end, the bodily in-and-outbreathing, verbal thought-conception and discursive thinking, and mental functions see: sankhāra 2 have become suspended and come to a standstill, life is exhausted, the vital heat extinguished, the abilities are destroyed. Also in the Bhikkhu who has reached 'ceasing of perception and feeling' sa˝˝ā-vedayita-nirodha the bodily, verbal and mental functions have been suspended and come to a standstill, but life is not exhausted, the vital heat not extinguished, and the abilities are not destroyed

For details, see Vis.M XXIII; for texts see: path 206.

Nirutti-patisambhidā: the 'analytical knowledge of language', is one of the 4 patisambhidā.

Nirvana: Sanskrit= Nibbāna

Nissarana-pahāna: 'overcoming by escape', is one of the 5 kinds of overcoming pahāna.

Nissaya: 'foundation'. The 2 wrong foundations of morality are craving tanhā-nissaya and views ditthi-nissaya Hence there are two wrong bases of morality: morality based on craving tanhā-nissita-sīla and morality based on views ditthi-nissita-sīla. App.

'Based on craving' is that kind of morality which has come about by the desire for a happy existence, e.g.: 'O that by this morality I might become a godlike or divine being!' A.IX, 172. 'Based on views' is that morality which has been induced by the view that through the observation of certain moral rules purification may be attained; Vis.M I.

Nissaya-paccaya: 'support', base, foundation, is one of the 24 conditions see: paccaya 8.

Nītattha-dhamma: A 'doctrine with evident meaning', contrasted with a 'doctrine with a meaning to be inferred' neyyattha-dhamma. See also paramattha

Nīvarana: 'hindrances', are 5 qualities which are obstacles to the mind and blind our mental vision. In the presence of them we cannot reach neighbourhood-concentration upacāra-samādhi and full concentration appanā-samādhi, and are unable to discern clearly the truth. They are:

1. sense-desire kāmacchanda,
2. ill-will vyāpāda,
3. lethargy and Laziness thīna-middha,
4. restlessness and regrets uddhacca-kukkucca and
5. skeptical doubt vicikicchā.

In the beautiful similes in A. V, 193, sense-desire is compared with water mixed with many colours, ill-will with boiling water, lethargy and Laziness with water covered by moss, restlessness and regrets with agitated water whipped by the wind, skeptical doubt with turbid and muddy water. Just as in such water one cannot perceive one's own reflection, so in the presence of these 5 mental hindrances, one cannot clearly discern one's own benefit, nor that of others, nor that of both.

Regarding the temporary suspension of the 5 hindrances on entering the first absorption, the stereotype sutta text e g. A. IX, 40 runs as follows:

He has cast away sense-desire; he dwells with a heart free from sense-desire; from desire he cleanses his heart.

He has cast away ill-will; he dwells with a heart free from ill-will, cherishing love and Pity toward all living beings, he cleanses his heart from ill-will.

He has cast away lethargy and Laziness; he dwells free from lethargy and Laziness; loving the light, with watchful mind, with clear consciousness, he cleanses his mind from lethargy and Laziness.

He has cast away restlessness and regrets; dwelling with mind undisturbed, with heart full of peace, he cleanses his mind from restlessness and regrets.

He has cast away skeptical doubt; dwelling free from doubt, full of confidence in the good, he cleanses his heart from doubt.

He has put aside these 5 hindrances, and come to know these paralysing defilements of the mind. And far from sensual contacts, far from disadvantageous things, he enters into the first absorption, etc

The overcoming of these 5 hindrances by the absorptions is, as already pointed out, a merely temporary suspension, called 'overcoming through repression' vikkhambhana-pahāna. They disappear forever on entering the 4 supra-mundane paths see: ariya-puggala i.e. skeptical doubt on reaching Sotāpanship; sense-desire, ill-will and mental worry on reaching Anāgāmiship; lethargy, Laziness and restlessness on reaching Arahatship.

For their origination and their overcoming, see: A. I, 2; VI, 21; S. XLVI, 51.

See The Five Mental Hindrances, by Nyanaponika Thera WHEEL 26.

Niyāma: the 'fixedness of law' regarding all things; cf.tathatā - pa˝ca-niyāma is a commentarial term, signifying the 'fivefold lawfulness' or 'natural order' that governs: 1 temperature, seasons and other physical events utu-niyāma 2 the plant life bīja-n. 3 kamma kamma-n. 4 the mind citta-n e.g. the lawful sequence of the functions of consciousness see: vi˝˝āna-kicca in the process of cognition; 5 certain events connected with the Dhamma dhamma-n e.g. the typical events occurring in the lives of the Buddhas. App..

Niyata-micchāditthi: 'wrong views with fixed destiny', are the views of uncausedness of existence ahetuka-ditthi of the inefficacy of action akiriya-ditthi and nihilism natthika-ditthi For details, see: ditthi and M. 60, Com. WHEEL 98/99. - App.

Niyata-puggala: a 'person with a fixed destiny', may be either one who has committed one of the 5 'heinous actions with immediate result' ānantarika-kamma, or one who follows 'wrong views with fixed destiny' niyata-micchā-ditthi, or one who has reached one of the 4 stages of Nobility see: ariya-puggala About the latter cf. the frequent passage:;Those disciples in whom the 3 mental chains of personality-belief, sceptical doubt and attachment to mere rules and ritual; see: samyojana have vanished, they all have entered the stream, have forever escaped the states of woe; fixed is their destiny niyata assured their final enlightenment

Noble abodes: s. vihāra

Noble family: Passing from n.f. to n.f.: kolankola see: sotāpa˝˝ā.

Noble persons: ariya-puggala

Noble power: ariya iddhi see: iddhi.

Noble truths: the 4: ariya-sacca see: sacca- The 2-fold knowledge of the n.t.; see: sacca-˝āna.

Noble usages: the 4: ariya-vamsa

Non-disappearance: avigata-paccaya is one of the 24 conditions paccaya.

Non-violence: s. avihimsā

no-self: s. anattā

No-upādā-rūpa: 'underived materiality', designates the 4 primary elements mahābhūta or dhātu, as distinguished from the 'derived materiality' upādā-rūpa, such as the sensitive organs, etc. Cf.khandha I.

Nutriment: s. Ojā āhāra- āhāra is one of the 24 conditions paccaya n.- produced materiality; see: samutthāna


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