Dhammānupassanā
Contemplation of (the Nature of) Things

Nīvaraṇapabbaṁ
The Section about the Hindrances

 

Kathañ-ca, bhikkhave, bhikkhu dhammesu dhammānupassī viharati? The commentary has 2 explanations for the meaning of dhamma in this section, one is that kāyānupassanā dealt with form, vedanā- and cittānupassanā dealt with the formless, and dhammānupassanā deals with a mixture of form and formless; or, secondly, a division into the constituents was intended: kāya = rūpa, vedanā, citta = viññāṇa, and here dhamma = saññā and saṅkhāra. Translations usually follow the second of these explanations, giving dhamma the meaning of mental contents or mental objects. However, as noted above, cittānupassanā really deals with mental processes (saṅkhāra), not with the sense consciousness. As noted in the Introduction, in other versions of this teaching it appears that the original structure of this section only included the hindrances (nīvaraṇa) and the factors of awakening (bojjhaṅga), which are both lists of ethical qualities of mind. I believe dhamma in this original context probably meant ethical states, a well-attested meaning for dhamma, but one no longer useable once the additions of the constituents (khandha), sense-spheres (āyatana) and truths (sacca) have been included. 01
And how, monks, does a monk dwell contemplating (the nature of) things in (various) things?

Idha, bhikkhave, bhikkhu dhammesu dhammānupassī viharati,
Here, monks, a monk dwells contemplating (the nature of) things in (various) things,

pañcasu nīvaraṇesu.
in the five hindrances.

Kathañ-ca, bhikkhave, bhikkhu dhammesu dhammānupassī viharati,
And how, monks, does a monk dwell contemplating (the nature of) things in (various) things,

pañcasu nīvaraṇesu?
in the five hindrances?

 

Idha, bhikkhave, bhikkhu santaṁ Santaṁ is the present participle form of atthi, meaning having. The present indicative form atthi (have) itself occurs in the reflection on the next line.02 vā ajjhattaṁ Here ajjhattaṁ takes on another nuance. The parsing of the word is as adhi-, here meaning in, within + -atta, meaning the self, to be translated when standing alone as oneself (himself, herself, itself), according to context. In the next line, when in conjunction with me it becomes myself.03 kāmacchandaṁ
Here, monks, a monk having sensual desire in himself

“atthi me ajjhattaṁ kāmacchando” ti pajānāti;
knows “there is sensual desire in myself”;

asantaṁ vā ajjhattaṁ kāmacchandaṁ “natthi me ajjhattaṁ kāmacchando” ti pajānāti.
or, not having sensual desire in himself he knows “there is no sensual desire in myself”.

Yathā ca anuppannassa kāmacchandassa uppādo hoti tañ-ca pajānāti;
How there is an arising of sensual desire that has not arisen – that he knows;

yathā ca uppannassa kāmacchandassa pahānaṁ hoti tañ-ca pajānāti;
and how there is an abandonment of sensual desire that has arisen – that also he knows;

yathā ca pahīnassa kāmacchandassa āyatiṁ anuppādo hoti tañ-ca pajānāti. Many teachings these days seem to stop short at just knowing the state of the mind, but this in itself is not sufficient for the practice of mindfulness, which continues by elucidating the further skilful states of mind that need to be developed to be able to overcome the various sorts of defilements that can arise in the mind.04
and how there is a non-arising of abandoned sensual desire again in the future – that also he knows.

 

Santaṁ vā ajjhattaṁ byāpādaṁ This word is used in both its negative and positive senses in the teachings, where byāpāda means ill-will and abyāpāda good-will.05 “atthi me ajjhattaṁ byāpādo” ti pajānāti;
Having ill-will in himself he knows “there is ill-will in myself”;

asantaṁ vā ajjhattaṁ byāpādaṁ “natthi me ajjhattaṁ byāpādo” ti pajānāti.
or, not having ill-will in himself he knows “there is no ill-will in myself”.

Yathā ca anuppannassa byāpādassa uppādo hoti tañ-ca pajānāti,
How there is an arising of ill-will that has not arisen – that he knows;

yathā ca uppannassa byāpādassa pahānaṁ hoti tañ-ca pajānāti,
and how there is an abandonment of ill-will that has arisen – that also he knows;

yathā ca pahīnassa byāpādassa āyatiṁ anuppādo hoti tañ-ca pajānāti.
and how there is a non-arising of abandoned ill-will again in the future – that also he knows.

 

Santaṁ vā ajjhattaṁ thīnamiddhaṁ “atthi me ajjhattaṁ thīnamiddhan”-ti pajānāti;
Having sloth and torpor in himself he knows “there is sloth and torpor in myself”;

asantaṁ vā ajjhattaṁ thīnamiddhaṁ “natthi me ajjhattaṁ thīnamiddhan”-ti pajānāti.
or, not having sloth and torpor in himself he knows “there is no sloth and torpor in myself”.

Yathā ca anuppannassa thīnamiddhassa uppādo hoti tañ-ca pajānāti;
How there is an arising of sloth and torpor that has not arisen – that he knows;

yathā ca uppannassa thīnamiddhassa pahānaṁ hoti tañ-ca pajānāti; Comm: api ca cha dhammā thinamiddhassa pahānāya saṁvattanti: atibhojane nimittaggāho, iriyāpathasamparivattanatā, ālokasaññāmanasikāro, abbhokāsavāso, kalyāṇamittatā, sappāyakathā ti; these six things lead to the giving up of sloth and torpor: grasping that the cause is in too much food, a complete change of the postures, applying the mind to the perception of light, dwelling in open grounds, having spiritual friendship and suitable talk.06
and how there is an abandonment of sloth and torpor that has arisen – that also he knows;

yathā ca pahīnassa thīnamiddhassa āyatiṁ anuppādo hoti tañ-ca pajānāti.
and how there is a non-arising of abandoned sloth and torpor again in the future – that also he knows.

 

Santaṁ vā ajjhattaṁ uddhaccakukkuccaṁ
Having agitation and worry in himself

“atthi me ajjhattaṁ uddhaccakukkuccan”-ti pajānāti;
he knows “there is agitation and worry in myself”;

asantaṁ vā ajjhattaṁ uddhaccakukkuccaṁ
or, not having agitation and worry in himself

“natthi me ajjhattaṁ uddhaccakukkuccan”-ti pajānāti.
he knows “there is no agitation and worry in myself”.

Yathā ca anuppannassa uddhaccakukkuccassa uppādo hoti tañ-ca pajānāti;
How there is an arising of agitation and worry that has not arisen – that he knows;

yathā ca uppannassa uddhaccakukkuccassa pahānaṁ hoti tañ-ca pajānāti; Comm: api ca cha dhammā uddhaccakukkuccassa pahānāya saṁvattanti: bahussutatā, paripucchakatā, vinaye pakataññutā, vuddhasevitā, kalyāṇamittatā, sappāyakathā ti; these six things lead to the giving up of agitation and worry: learning, questioning, gratitude towards the discipline, association with elders, having spiritual friendship and suitable talk.07
and how there is an abandonment of agitation and worry that has arisen – that also he knows;

yathā ca pahīnassa uddhaccakukkuccassa āyatiṁ anuppādo hoti tañ-ca pajānāti.
and how there is a non-arising of abandoned agitation and worry again in the future – that also he knows.

 

Santaṁ vā ajjhattaṁ vicikicchaṁ Vicikicchā is from the verb vicikicchati. The verb is made from the prefix vi- with the intensive verb cikicchati which is formed from √ cit, meaning, therefore, to think and think; the prefix vi- should be taken in the second sense given in PED: denoting disturbance, seperation, mixing up...: it thus means thinking again and again in a mixed up way. 08 “atthi me ajjhattaṁ vicikicchā” ti pajānāti;
Having doubt in himself he knows “there is doubt in myself”;

asantaṁ vā ajjhattaṁ vicikicchaṁ “natthi me ajjhattaṁ vicikicchā” ti pajānāti.
or, not having doubt in himself he knows “there is no doubt in myself”.

Yathā ca anuppannāya vicikicchāya uppādo hoti tañ-ca pajānāti;
How there is an arising of doubt that has not arisen – that he knows;

yathā ca uppannāya vicikicchāya pahānaṁ hoti tañ-ca pajānāti;
and how there is an abandonment of doubt that has arisen – that also he knows;

yathā ca pahīnāya vicikicchāya āyatiṁ anuppādo hoti tañ-ca pajānāti.
and how there is a non-arising of abandoned doubt again in the future – that also he knows.

* * *

Iti ajjhattaṁ vā dhammesu dhammānupassī viharati,
Thus he dwells contemplating (the nature of) things in (various) things in regard to himself,

bahiddhā vā dhammesu dhammānupassī viharati,
or he dwells contemplating (the nature of) things in (various) things in regard to others,

ajjhattabahiddhā vā dhammesu dhammānupassī viharati,
or he dwells contemplating (the nature of) things in (various) things in regard to himself and in regard to others,

samudayadhammānupassī vā dhammesu viharati,
or he dwells contemplating the nature of origination in things,

vayadhammānupassī vā dhammesu viharati,
or he dwells contemplating the nature of dissolution in things,

samudayavayadhammānupassī vā dhammesu viharati,
or he dwells contemplating the nature of origination and dissolution in things,

“atthi dhammā” ti vā panassa sati paccupaṭṭhitā hoti
or else mindfulness that “there are these (various) things” is established in him

yāvad-eva ñāṇamattāya patissatimattāya,
just as far as (is necessary for) a full measure of knowledge and a full measure of mindfulness,

anissito ca viharati, na ca kiñci loke upādiyati.
and he dwells independent, and without being attached to anything in the world.

Evam-pi kho, bhikkhave, bhikkhu dhammesu dhammānupassī viharati,
In this way, monks, a monk dwells contemplating (the nature of) things in (various) things,

pañcasu nīvaraṇesu.
in the five hindrances.

Nīvaraṇapabbaṁ Niṭṭhitaṁ
The Section about the Hindrances is Finished