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bhāvanā {pi}

Pāḷi; √ bhāvanā
alt. sp.: IPA: bʰɑːʋən̪ɑː, Velthuis: bhaavanaa, readable: bhaavanaa, simple: bhavana
translation ~:
khmer: ភាវនា
thai: ภาวนา
sinhal.: භාවනා
burm.: ဘာဝနာ


[dic] bhāvanā (bhavana)

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

ATI Glossary

bhāvanā: Mental cultivation or development; meditation. The third of the three grounds for meritorious action. See also dāna and sīla. [ more ]


Buddhist Dictionary

by late Ven. Nyanalokita Thera:

bhāvanā: 'mental development' (lit. 'calling into existence, producing') is what in English is generally but rather vaguely called 'meditation'. One has to distinguish 2 kinds: development of tranquillity (samatha-bhāvanā), i.e. concentration (samādhi), and development of insight (vipassanā-bhāvanā), i.e. wisdom (paññā).

These two important terms, tranquillity and insight (see samatha-vipassanā), are very often met with and explained in the Sutta, as well as in the Abhidhamma.

Tranquillity (samatha) is the concentrated, unshaken, peaceful, and therefore undefiled state of mind, whilst insight (vipassanā) is the intuitive insight into the impermanence, misery and impersonality (anicca, dukkha, anattā; see tilakkhaṇa) of all bodily and mental phenomena of existence, included in the 5 groups of existence, namely, corporeality, feeling, perception, mental formations and consciousness; see khandha.

Tranquillity, or concentration of mind, according to Saṅkhepavaṇṇana (Commentary to Abhidhammatthasaṅgaha), bestows a threefold blessing: favourable rebirth, present happy life, and purity of mind which is the condition of insight. Concentration (samādhi) is the indispensable foundation and precondition of insight by purifying the mind from the 5 mental defilements or hindrances (see nīvaraṇa), whilst insight (vipassanā) produces the 4 supra mundane stages of holiness and deliverance of mind. The Buddha therefore says: ”May you develop mental concentration, o monks; for who is mentally concentrated, sees things according to reality” (SN 22.5). And in Milindapañhā it is said: ”Just as when a lighted lamp is brought into a dark chamber, the lamp-light Will destroy the darkness and produce and spread the light, just so will insight, once arisen, destroy the darkness of ignorance and produce the light of knowledge.

Visuddhi Magga III-XI gives full directions how to attain full concentration and the absorptions (see jhāna) by means of the following 40 meditation subjects (kammaṭṭhāna):

10 kasiṇa-exercises (see kasiṇa). These produce the 4 absorptions

10 loathsome subjects (see asubha). These produce the 1st absorption.

10 Recollections (see anussati): of the Buddha (buddhānussati), the Doctrine (dhammānussati), the Brotherhood of the Noble Ones (saṅghānus-sati), morality, liberality, the heavenly beings, death (see maraṇasati ), the body (see kāyagatāsati), in-and-outbreathing (see ānāpāna-sati) and peace (see upasamānussati). Among these, the recollection (or mindfulness) of in-and-out breathing may produce all the 4 absorptions, that of the body the 1st absorption, the rest only neighbourhood-concentration (upacāra-samādhi, see samādhi).

4 Sublime Abodes (see brahma-vihāra): loving-kindness, compassion, altruistic joy, equanimity (mettā, karuṇā, muditā, upekkhā). Of these, the first 3 exercises may produce 3 absorptions, the last one the 4th absorption only.

4 Immaterial Spheres (arūpāyatana, see jhāna): of unbounded space, unbounded consciousness, nothingness, neither-perception-nor-non-perception. These are based upon the 4th absorption.

1 Perception of the Loathsomeness of Food (āhāre paṭikkūla-saññā), which may produce neighbourhood-concentration.

1 Analysis of the 4 elements (catudhātu-vavatthāna, see dhātu-vavatthāna), which may produce neighbourhood-concentration.

Mental development forms one of the 3 kinds of meritorious action (see puñña-kiriya-vatthu).

'Delight in meditation' (bhāvanā-rāmatā) is one of the noble usages (see ariya-vaṅsa).


PTS Dictionary

by the Pali Text Society:


Glossary Thanissaro

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Illustrated Glossary of Pāli Terms

by Ven. Varado Maha Thera:

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Glossary various Teacher

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See also

Suttas and Dhammadesanā

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Add a reference here or in the list.


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en/dictionary/bhāvanā.txt · Last modified: 2019/09/24 14:03 by