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ārammaṇa {pi}

Pāḷi; √ ārammaṇa
alt. sp.: IPA: ɑːɾəmməɳə, Velthuis:, readable: aarammana, simple: arammana
translation ~:
khmer: អារម្មណ
thai: อารมฺมณ
sinhal.: ආරම්මණ
burm.: အာရမ္မဏ


[dic] ārammaṇa (arammana)

ārammaṇa: Description welcome. Info can be removed after imput.

ATI Glossary

ārammaṇa: Preoccupation; mental object.


Buddhist Dictionary

by late Ven. Nyanalokita Thera:

ārammaṇa:1) 'object'. There are six: visible object, sound, odor, taste, body-impression, mind-object. The mind-object (dhammārammaṇa) may be physical or mental, past, present or future, real or imaginary. The 5 sense-objects belong to the corporeality-group (rūpakkhandha, see khandha).

They form the external foundations for the sense-perceptions, and without them no sense-perception or sense-consciousness (seeing, hearing, etc.) can arise.

Cf. āyatana, paccaya.


PTS Dictionary

by the Pali Text Society:


Glossary Thanissaro

ārammaṇa: Preoccupation; object or issue of the mind or will; anything the mind takes as a theme or prop for its activity.


Illustrated Glossary of Pāli Terms

by Ven. Varado Maha Thera:

    • basis [for spiritual development]
    • basis
    • basis [for the establishment of one’s stream of consciousness]
    • foundation
    • object of mindfulness
    • opportunity [to attack]
  • ārammaṇaṁ: basis [for spiritual development]; basis; foundation; object of mindfulness; opportunity [to attack]
  • ārammaṇā: basis

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 pūraḷāsaṁ. (Snp 477)


  • 1) The commentary says: Ārammaṇā ti paccayā punabbhavakāraṇānī ti vuttaṁ hoti.
  • 2) This suggests that ārammaṇaṁ viññāṇassa ṭhitiyā is meant, a phrase which occurs here, where ārammaṇaṁ 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 ārammaṇametaṁ 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.

Tasmiṁ patiṭṭhite viññāṇe virūḷhe āyatiṁ punabbhavābhinibbatti hoti. (SN ii 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 taṁ balasā nibandhisaṁ nāgaṁ va thambhamhi daḷhāya rajjuyā. (Tha 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 Tha 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 mahantaṁ thambhaṁ paṭhaviyaṁ nikhaṇitvā āraññakassa nāgassa gīvāyaṁ upanibandhati. Āraññakānañceva sīlānaṁ abhinimmadanāya āraññakānañceva sarasaṅkappānaṁ abhinimmadanāya āraññakānañceva darathakilamathapariḷāhānaṁ abhinimmadanāya gāmante abhiramāpanāya manussakantesu sīlesu sampādanāya evameva kho aggivessana ariyasāvakassa ime cattāro satipaṭṭhānā cetaso upanibandhanā honti. Gehasitānañceva sīlānaṁ abhinimmadanāya gehasitānañceva sarasaṅkappānaṁ abhinimmadanāya gehasitānañceva darathakilamathapariḷāhānaṁ abhinimmadanāya ñāyassa adhigamāya nibbānassa sacchikiriyāya. (MN iii 136)

Others render the term similarly, as follows:

  • Bodhi at SN iii 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.’



ārammaṇaṁ: (main article see: ārammaṇa)

Illustration: ārammaṇaṁ, basis [for spiritual development]

And what is the faculty of inward collectedness?

In this regard, the noble disciple, having made the relinquishment [of attachment] the basis [for spiritual development], gains inward collectedness, gains mental concentration.

vossaggārammaṇaṁ karitvā labhati samādhiṁ labhati cittassa ekaggataṁ. (SN v 197)

For one making offerings, the act of charity is the basis [for spiritual development].

ārammaṇaṁ yajamānassa yaññaṁ

Based on this one abandons one’s spiritual flaws.

ettha patiṭṭhāya jahāti dosaṁ. (Snp 506)

We shall abide pervading that person with a mind of [unlimited] goodwill,

tañca puggalaṁ mettāsahagatena cetasā pharitvā viharissāma.

With this as our basis [for spiritual development]

we shall abide pervading the whole world [of beings] with a mind of [unlimited] goodwill, vast, exalted, unlimited, free of unfriendliness and hostility.

sabbāvantaṁ lokaṁ mettāsahagatena cetasā vipulena mahaggatena appamāṇena averena avyāpajjhena pharitvā viharissāmāti. (MN i 126)

• Tell me, All-Seeing Eye, a basis [for spiritual development] supported by which I might cross this [wretched] flood [of suffering].

Ārammaṇaṁ brūhi samantacakkhu yaṁ nissito oghamimaṁ tareyyaṁ

• Being intent upon the perception of nonexistence, being mindful, with the help of the reflection ‘It does not exist,’ cross the flood [of suffering].

Ākiñcaññaṁ pekkhamāno satimā natthī ti nissāya tarassu oghaṁ. (Snp 1069-70)

Illustration: ārammaṇaṁ, 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…

tathāgataṁ anussarati: iti pi so bhagavā…

By making this [reflection] the basis [for spiritual development] some beings here are thereby purified.

Idampi kho bhikkhave ārammaṇaṁ karitvā evamidhekacce sattā visujjhanti. (AN iii 313)

Illustration: ārammaṇaṁ, 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 sukhaṁ nippītikārammaṇañca sukhaṁ. (AN i 81)

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 sukhaṁ arūpārammaṇañca sukhaṁ. (AN i 82)

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

• making a bhikkhu the basis [of the robe fund]

bhikkhuṁ ārammaṇaṁ karitvā. (Vin.3.216)

Illustration: ārammaṇaṁ, foundation

There is that supreme state of deliverance (tadāyatanaṁ) 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 tadāyatanaṁ yattha neva paṭhavī na āpo na tejo na vāyo na ākāsānañcāyatanaṁ na viññāṇañcāyatanaṁ na ākiñcaññāyatanaṁ na nevasaññānāsaññāyatanaṁ nāyaṁ loko na paraloko na ubho candimasūriyā.

There, I declare, there is no coming, no going, no staying, no passing away, no being reborn.

Tatrāpāhaṁ bhikkhave neva āgatiṁ vadāmi na gatiṁ na ṭhitiṁ na cutiṁ na upapattiṁ.

It is neither fixed, nor moving, and has no foundation

appatiṭṭhaṁ appavattaṁ anārammaṇamevetaṁ.

This is truly the end of suffering

Esevanto dukkhassā ti. (Uda 80)

Illustration: ārammaṇaṁ, 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 kāyasmiṁ pariḷāho cetaso vā līnattaṁ bahiddhā vā cittaṁ vikkhipati. (SN v 156)

The sutta continues:

• with sense impressions as the object of mindfulness

vedanāsu vedanānupassino viharato vedanārammaṇo vā uppajjati kāyasmiṁ pariḷāho

• with the mind as the object of mindfulness

citte cittānupassino viharato cittārammaṇo vā uppajjati kāyasmiṁ pariḷāho

• with certain objects of the systematic teachings as the object of mindfulness

dhammesu dhammānupassino viharato dhammārammaṇo vā uppajjati kāyasmiṁ pariḷāho

Illustration: ārammaṇaṁ, 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 carataṁ sake pettike visaye na lacchati māro otāraṁ na lacchati māro ārammaṇaṁ. (DN iii 58)

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 otāraṁ na labhetha aggi ārammaṇaṁ. (SN iv 187)

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 otāraṁ na labhati ārammaṇaṁ

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. (SN ii 268)


ārammaṇā: (main article see: ārammaṇa)

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. (AN i 83)

Samiddhi, what is the basis upon which man’s thoughts arise?

kimārammaṇā samiddhi purisassa saṅkappavitakkā uppajjantī ti?

Immaterial-factors-and-bodily-form is the basis, bhante.

nāmarūpārammaṇā bhante ti. (AN iv 385)


Glossary various Teacher

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See also

Suttas and Dhammadesanā

— —

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Appendix: Attempt at a chronological fixing of term not found, or not found in this form or meaning, in the oldest parts of the Sutta Pitaka. See App: paccaya 2.
en/dictionary/ārammaṇa.txt · Last modified: 2019/11/26 03:34 by Johann