Pāḷi; √ passati
alt. sp.: IPA: pəs̪s̪ət̪ɪ, Velthuis: passati, readable: passati, simple: passati
translation ~: …
passati: Description welcome. Info can be removed after imput.
by late Ven. Nyanalokita Thera:
by the Pali Text Society:
by Ven. Thanissaro Maha Thera:
by Ven. Varado Maha Thera:
Passati means ‘see’:
• He sees Brahmā.
so brahmānaṁ passati. (DN ii 237)
• One sees no odious dreams.
Na pāpakaṁ supinaṁ passati. (Vin.1.295)
Synonyms of ‘see’
Passati can also be rendered with words like ‘perceive,’ ‘regard,’ or ‘contemplate’ etc:
• Perceive: A bhikkhu perceives as unlasting, bodily form which is indeed unlasting.
Aniccaññeva bhikkhave bhikkhu rūpaṁ aniccanti passati. (SN iii 51)
• Regard: The wise call that thing a spiritual shackle if, on account of it, one regards other people as inferior.
Taṁ vāpi ganthaṁ kusalā vadanti
Yaṁ nissito passati hinamaññaṁ. (Snp 798)
• Contemplate: Better than the life of one who lives a hundred years not contemplating arising and disappearance, is the life of a single day of one who contemplates arising and disappearance.
Yo ca vassasataṁ jīve apassaṁ udayabbayaṁ
Ekāhaṁ jīvitaṁ seyyo passato udayabbayaṁ. (Dhp 113)
• Find: Viewing the world in this way, the King of Death does not find one.
Evaṁ lokaṁ avekkhantaṁ maccurājā na passatī ti. (Snp 1119)
• Examine: A mirage is shimmering. A clear-sighted man would examine it, ponder it, and properly investigate it.
marici phandati tamenaṁ cakkhumā puriso passeyya nijjhāyeyya yoniso upaparikkheyya. (SN iii 141)
• Acknowledge: Now at that time Venerable Channa, having fallen into an offence, did not want to acknowledge the offence.
Tena kho pana samayena āyasmā chanto āpattiṁ āpajjitvā na icchati āpattiṁ passituṁ. (Vin.2.21)
• Notice: Whoever notices the pots of water for drinking, washing, or for the toilets is empty or drained, he replenishes them.
Yo passati pānīyaghaṭaṁ vā paribhojanīyaghaṭaṁ vā vaccaghaṭaṁ vā rittaṁ tucchaṁ so upaṭṭhapeti. (MN i 207)
• Understand: Better than the life of one who lives a hundred years not understanding the supreme teaching, is the life of a single day of one who understands the supreme teaching.
Yo ca vassasataṁ jīve apassaṁ dhammamuttamaṁ
Ekāhaṁ jīvitaṁ seyyo passato dhammamuttamaṁ. (Dhp 115)
• Realise: Better than the life of one who lives a hundred years not realising the Deathless State, is the life of a single day of one who realises the Deathless State.
Yo ca vassasataṁ jīve apassaṁ amataṁ padaṁ
Ekāhaṁ jīvitaṁ seyyo passato amataṁ padaṁ. (Dhp 114)
• Experience: Even a virtuous person experiences misfortune as long as his merit does not bear fruit. But when his merit bears fruit, then the virtuous person experiences [the karmic consequences of] his virtuous [deeds].
Bhadro pi passati pāpaṁ yāva bhadraṁ na paccati
Yadā ca paccati bhadraṁ atha bhadro bhadrāni passati. (Dhp 120)
In its exalted sense, passati is sometimes linked to yathābhūtaṁ:
• A disciple of mine… perceives all bodily form according to reality with perfect penetrative discernment as “not [in reality] mine,” “not [in reality] what I am,” “not my [absolute] Selfhood.”
Idha aggivessana mama sāvako… sabbaṁ rūpaṁ n’etaṁ mama n’eso’hamasmi na me so attā ti evametaṁ yathābhūtaṁ sammappaññāya passati. (MN i 234-5)
• There is no fear for one who perceives according to reality
The pure and simple origination of phenomena
And the pure and simple continuity of originated phenomena, captain.
suddhaṁ dhammasamuppādaṁ suddhaṁ saṅkharasantatiṁ
passantassa yathābhūtaṁ na bhayaṁ hoti gāmaṇi. (Tha 716)
• On perceiving this according to reality with perfect penetrative discernment
evametaṁ yathābhūtaṁ sammappaññāya passato. (Uda 32-3)
• I know and see things according to reality
yathābhūtaṁ jānāmi passāmī ti. (AN v 313)
In its exalted sense, passati is sometimes linked to dhamma, which together means ‘see the nature of reality’ and is equivalent to arahantship. The parentheses in this section will be explained in the following section.
• Who could possibly explain the teaching to me such that I might see the nature of reality?
ko nu kho me tathā dhammaṁ deseyya yathāhaṁ dhammaṁ passeyyan ti. (SN iii 132-3)
• He who sees dependent origination [according to reality] sees the nature of reality; he who sees the nature of reality sees dependent origination [according to reality].
yo paṭiccasamuppādaṁ passati so dhammaṁ passati. Yo dhammaṁ passati so paṭiccasamuppādaṁ passatī ti. (MN i 190)
• One who sees the nature of reality sees me [according to reality]. One who sees me [according to reality] sees the nature of reality.
yo kho vakkali dhammaṁ passati so maṁ passati yo maṁ passati so dhammaṁ passati. (SN iii 120)
• He who, after hearing just a little, realises the nature of reality with his very being, and is not negligent of the practice, is truly expert in the teaching.
Yo ca appampi sutvāna dhammaṁ kāyena passati sa ve dhammadharo hoti yo dhammaṁ nappamajjati. (Dhp 259)
Exalted sense: objectless
In its exalted sense, passati is sometimes objectless. We have noticed this already in the parentheses of the previous paragraph. This is the aspect which justifies our particular interest in the word. For sentences to remain comprehensible, some exalted noun or adverb needs adding. We do this in accordance with word combinations noted above. Accordingly:
1) for the noun, we parenthesise dhammaṁ (=‘see [the nature of reality]’)
2) for the adverb we parenthesise yathābhūtaṁ (=’see [according to reality]’).
Similar parentheses may need adding to passato:
• For one who sees [the nature of reality], there is [nowhere] anything at all.
passato natthi kiñcanaṁ ti. (Uda 79)
• For one who sees [the nature of reality], attachment is destroyed.
• Camouflaged by skin, the body is not seen according to reality (yathābhūtaṁ na dissati)…
Chaviyā kāyo paṭicchanno yathābhūtaṁ na dissati…
… Whoever would think to be swelled-headed because of such a body, or would disparage another, what is this except not seeing it [according to reality] (adassanā)?
Vipassati: to see [according to reality]; to see [the nature of reality]
• Spiritually blind is this world [of beings]: few [men] here see [the nature of reality].
Andhabhūto ayaṁ loko tanuk’ettha vipassati. (Dhp 174)
• Knowing the arising of nonexistence [according to reality], and knowing that spiritually fettering delight is a tie to individual existence, knowing this thus, then he sees this matter [according to reality].
Ākiñcaññasambhavaṁ ñatvā nandi saṁyojanaṁ iti
Evametaṁ abhiññāya tato tattha vipassati. (Snp 1115)
• Seeing all states of individual existence [according to reality] as unlasting? This wish of mine, when, oh when, will it be [fulfilled]?
Aniccato sabbabhavaṁ vipassaṁ taṁ me idaṁ taṁ nu kadā bhavissati. (Tha 1091)
Sometimes it is not necessary to parenthesise, because the qualification is explicit:
• There is not such delight in the music of the fivefold ensemble as there is for one with an undistracted mind who rightly sees the nature of reality.
Na pañcaṅgikena turiyena na ratī hoti tādisī
Yathā ekaggacittassa sammā dhammaṁ vipassato. (Tha 1071)
Illustration: dhammaṁ passeyyaṁ, see the nature of reality
Venerable Ānanda is capable of explaining the teaching to me such that I might see the nature of reality.
pahoti ca me āyasmā ānando tathā dhammaṁ desetaṁ yathāhaṁ dhammaṁ passeyyaṁ. (SN iii 132)
Illustration: dhammaṁ vipassato, see the nature of reality with insight
What difference does womanhood make when the mind is well-collected, when knowledge [of things according to reality] exists in one who rightly sees the nature of reality?
Itthibhāvo kiṁ kayirā cittamhi susamāhite
Ñāṇamhi vattamānamhi sammā dhammaṁ vipassato. (SN i 129)
Illustration: passati, see [according to reality]
On that occasion one neither knows nor sees [according to reality] one’s own good.
Attatthampi tasmiṁ samaye yathābhūtaṁ na jānāti na passati. (SN v 121)
Illustration: passati, see [according to reality]
There are these eighteen elements of sensation:
Aṭṭhārasa kho imā ānanda dhātuyo:
The phenomenon of sight… phenomenon of the mental field of sensation.
cakkhudhātu… manoviññāṇadhātu ti
Through knowing and seeing these eighteen elements of sensation [according to reality], a bhikkhu can be called knowledgeable about elements of existence
Imā kho ānanda aṭṭhārasa dhātuyo yato jānāti passati ettāvatā pi kho ānanda dhātukusalo bhikkhū ti alaṁ vacanāyā ti. (MN iii 62)
Illustration: passati, see [according to reality]
For in knowing, the Blessed One knows [according to reality]; in seeing, he sees [according to reality].
So hāvuso bhagavā jānaṁ jānāti passaṁ passati. (MN i 111)
Illustration: passati, seeing [according to reality]
Through knowing and seeing these six phenomena [according to reality] a bhikkhu can be called knowledgeable about elements of existence.
Imā kho ānanda cha dhātuyo yato jānāti passati ettāvatā pi kho ānanda dhātukusalo bhikkhū ti alaṁ vacanāyā ti. (MN iii 62)
Illustration: passami, see [according to reality]
Being in a refined material state of awareness, one sees a limited quantity of shapes, beautiful or ugly. By gaining mastery over them, he is aware that he knows and sees them [according to reality]. This is the first practice of spiritual development leading to mastery.
Ajjhattaṁ rūpasaññī eko bahiddhā rūpāni passati parittāni suvaṇṇadubbaṇṇāni tāni abhibhuyya jānāmi passāmī ti evaṁsaññī hoti. Idaṁ paṭhamaṁ abhibhāyatanaṁ. (DN ii 110-111)
Illustration: passato, see [the nature of reality]
For one who has mastered craving, for one who knows and sees [the nature of reality], there is [nowhere] anything at all.
Paṭividdhā taṇhā jānato passato natthi kiñcanaṁ ti. (Uda 80)
Illustration: passato, sees [the nature of reality]
Blissful is the physical seclusion of one who is content [with what is paltry and easily gotten], who has heard the teaching, and who sees [the nature of reality].
Sukho viveko tuṭṭhassa sutadhammassa passato. (Uda 10)
Illustration: passāmi, see [the nature of reality]
Those things I had previously only heard about, I now abide contacting with my very being. I see [the nature of reality] having penetrated it with discernment.
ime kho te dhammā ye me pubbe sutāva ahesuṁ tenāhaṁ etarahi kāyena ca phusitvā viharāmi. Paññāya ca ativijjha passāmī ti. (SN v 226)
Suttas and Dhammadesanā