Enumeration of Phenomena

400 B.C. | 124,932 words

*english translation* The first book of the Abhidhamma (Part 3 of the Tipitaka). The Dhammasangani enumerates all the paramattha dhamma (ultimate realities) to be found in the world. According to one such enumeration these amount to: * 52 cetasikas (mental factors), which, arising together in various combination, give rise to any one of... * ......

Chapter V - The Group Of The Fetters


[1113] Which are the states that are Fetters?

The ten Fetters, to wit, the Fetter of

speculative opinion,
the contagion of mere rule and ritual,
the passion for renewed existence,

In this connexion,

[1114] What is the Fetter of sensual passion?

That sensual desire,
sensual passion,
sensual delight,
sensual craving,
sensual fondness,
sensual fever,
sensual languor,
sensual rapacity,

which is excited by the pleasures of the senses

— this is called the Fetter of sensuality.[2]

[1115] What is the Fetter of repulsion?[3]

Answer as for 'hate', § 1060.

[1116] What is the Fetter of conceit?[4]

Conceit at the thought 'I am the better man';
conceit at the thought 'I am as good [as they]';
conceit at the thought 'I am lowly'

— all such sort of

flaunting a flag,
desire of the heart for self-advertisement

— this is called conceit.


[1117] What is the Fetter of speculative opinion?

Answer as for the 'Intoxicant of speculative opinion', § 1099, with this supplement:

And, with the exception of the 'Fetter of the contagion of mere rule and ritual', all wrong views are included in the Fetter of speculative opinion.

[1118] What is the Fetter of perplexity?

Answer as for 'perplexity', § 1004.

[1119] What is the Fetter of the contagion of mere rule and ritual?

Ansiver as for the 'contagion of', etc., § 1005.

[1120] What is the Fetter of the passion for renewed existence?

Answer as for the 'Intoxicant of renewed existence', § 1098.

[1121] What is the Fetter of envy (issasannojanam)?

enviousness — jealousy,
the expression and mood of jealousy at the gifts,
the hospitality,
the respect,
reverence and worship accruing to others[5]

—this is called the Fetter of envy.

[1122] What is the Fetter of meanness (maccharisannojanam)?

The Five Meannesses,
to wit,
meanness as regards dwelling,

— all this sort of

mean spirit,
avarice and ignobleness,[7]
niggardliness and want of generosity of heart[8]

— this is called the Fetter of meanness.

[1123] What is the Fetter of ignorance?

Answer as for the Intoxicant of ignorance, § 1100.

These are the states that are Fetters.

[1124] Which are the states that are not Fetters?

Every state, good, bad and indeterminate, which is not included in the foregoing [ten] states, whether it relates to the worlds of sense, or of form, or of the formless, or to the life that is Unincluded; in other words, the four skandhas; all form also, and uncompounded element.

Which are the states that are

[1125] (a) favourable to the Fetters?[9]

Co-Intoxicant states, good, bad and indeterminate, relating to the worlds of sense, form, or the formless; in other words, the five skandhas.

[1126] (b) unfavourable to the Fetters?

The Paths that are the Unincluded and the Fruits of the Paths, and uncompounded element.

Which are the states that are

[1127] (a) associated with the Fetters?
[1128] (b) disconnected with the Fetters?

Answers identical with those given to corresponding questions respecting the 'Intoxicants', §§ 1105, 1106.

Which are the states that are

[1129] (a) both Fetters and favourable to the Fetters?

The Fetters themselves are both

[1130] (b) favourable to the Fetters but not themselves Fetters.

The states which are favourable to those [ten] states afore-named; that is to say, with the exception of the Fetters themselves, all co-Intoxicant states whatever, good, bad and indeterminate, whether relating to the worlds of sense, form or the formless; in other words, the five skandhas.

Which are the states that are

[1131] (a) both Fetters and associated with Fetters?

The Fetter of sensuality in conjunction with the Fetter of ignorance, and conversely, is both. So is any one of the remaining eight Fetters when in conjunction with the Fetter of ignorance, and conversely.

[1132] (b) associated with the Fetters but not a Fetter?

The states which are associated with those ten states afore-named, with the exception of the Fetters themselves; in other words, the four skandhas.

Which are the states that are

[1133] (a) disconnected with the Fetters yet favourable to them?

The states which are disconnected with those aforementioned [ten] states, that is to say, good, bad and indeterminate states which are co-Intoxicant, whether they relate to the worlds of sense, or of form, or of the formless; in other words, the five skandhas.

[1134] (b) disconnected with the Fetters and not favourable to them?

The Paths that are the Unincluded and the Fruits of the Paths; all form also, and uncompounded element. [10]

(arahatta) path,
the Fetters of speculative opinion, perplexity, and the contagion of mere rule and ritual, in the first (sotapatti) path,
the Fetter of the passion for renewed existence in the fourth path,
the Fetters of envy and meanness in the first path,
the Fetter of ignorance in the fourth path.

Hence the second path seems, according to Buddhaghosa, to constitute an interim in the breaking of Fetters.

The following tables show how far the Dh. S. and its Cy. agree with the authorities quoted in Childers, s.v. samyojanam (cf. D. i. 156):

Dh. S, and Asl.       Childers.
arrow right Removed by the First Path. arrow left sakkaya-ditthi
Removed by the Second and Third Paths. arrow left kamarago
arrow right Removed by the Third Path.    



arrow right Removed by the Fourth Path arrow left ruparago

Footnotes and references:



'mean the things that bind, that fetter to the wheel of re-birth, the individual for whom they exist'.

Asl. 48.

This list differs in some items from the wellknown dasa saniiojanani occurring so often in the Suttas, and enumerated in Childers.

See Ehys Davids, 'American Lectures', 141 et seq.

That that older category was known to Buddhaghosa may be gathered from his naming the first three in order as

'states which are to be put away by insight',

§ 1002 et seq.

He proffers, however, no comment on the two lists as such. In M. i. 360-363, eight states of mind are enumerated and severally designated as a Fetter and a Hindrance, but they are quite different from either category habitually understood by these two titles. Cf. also M. i. 432; A. ii. 238; Div. S. 533, 553.


Cf. with § 1097. The single discrepancy is the omission in § 1114 of 'sensual thirst' (kamapipaso), both in the P. T. S. text and in K.


Patigha-sannojanam, cf. §§ 413-421.


Mana-saiinojanam — or pride.

Conceit is etymologically more exact, though not so in any other respect.

'Lowly' is hin 0. (Cf. §§ 269, et seq., 1025.

'Loftiness and haughtiness' are unnati, unnamo.

'[Flaunting] a flag' is simply dhajo, the metaphor implying the pretensions conveyed by raising a flag over one's self or property, but answering better to our metaphor of a 'flourish of trumpets'.

'Assumption' is sampaggaho. The Cy. (p. 372) hereon has ukkhipanatthena cittam sampagganhati ti — to grasp in the sense of tossing (puffing up) the mind. Cf. sisam ukkhipitva, quoted by Childers, and the Hebrew figures for arrogance, etc. — lifting up head, horn, heel, or one's self on high; also paggaho, § 56.

'Desire of the heart for self-advertisement' is ketukamyata cittassa. I can only make sense of the Cy. hereon by altering the punctuation followed in the text.

Thus: Ketu vuccati bahusu dhajesu accuggatadhajo. Mano pi punappuna uppajjamano aparapare upadaya accuggatatthena ketum viyati ketu. Ketum icchati ti ketukamyatassa bhavo ketukamyata. Sa pana cittassa, na attano, tena vuttam: — ketukamyata cittassa ti.

'A flag hoisted above many flags is called a ketu (sign, or standard); cf Kamayana i. 19, 16, quoted by Bothl. and Both). By ketu is meant the conceit which arising again and again is like a signal in the sense of something set up on high. The state of ketu-desire, i.e., to wish for self-advertisement, is ketukamyata.

But this means [a state of] mind, not of a self-entity, therefore the phrase is desire of the mind [or heart] for self-advertisement'.


In other words, discontent and murmuring at the success of one's neighbour, and complacency when bad luck overtakes him (Schadenfreude). Asl. 373. Cf. P. P., p. 19.


Buddhaghosa is at some pains to distinguish genuine instances of want of magnanimity from such as are not. For example, it is macchariyam when a bhikshu, enjoying the use of a lodging, grudges another a share of it, or when he grudges another intercourse with his own patrons and relatives, or gifts from the laiety for his piety, or that he should enjoy a reputation for physical or moral attractiveness, or that he should win proficiency in the letter, or the spirit of doctrine.

On the other hand, it is not macchariyam to deprecate the arrival at one's lodging of quarrelsome persons and the like, or the introduction to one's own social circle of peace-breakers, or the gifts made to selfish, miserly brethren instead of to the virtuous. Nor is it ungenerous in every case to withhold instruction from an inquirer. Eeserve may be employed out of regard either for the doctrine, or for the inquirer.

The latter may distort the imparted doctrine, or the doctrine may upset him. Nevertheless, it is an act of doctrinal illiberality to withhold the doctrine, if the inquirer is not a 'weak brother', but one likely to prove hostile to 'our Cause' (amhakam samayam bhinditum samattho).

There then follows a mythological paragraph on the unpleasant rebirths awaiting those who err with respect to any one of these five forms of meanness. Asl. 374, 375.


Veviccham kadariyam. These terms are characterized (Asl. 375, 376) as respectively the soft (mudu) and hard (thaddha) varieties of meanness (cf. Childers, s.v. thaddho). We might name them the negatively and the positively anti-social.

For the former is the spirit that says, spreading itself over all its own gettings,

'Mine be it, not another's!'

(§ 1059).

The latter (the anariyo) would even prevent another from giving to others.


Katukancukata aggahitattam cittassa. There is doubt about the reading of the former term. K. has katakancukata, Buddhaghosa katukancukata. The term is discussed by Morris, J. P. T. S., 1887, p. 161. Buddhaghosa's remark is as follows (Asl. 376):

'Katukancuko means that, on seeing a beggar, owing to one's styptic (katuko) disposition, one's heart narrows or is bent (ancati—? √anh, or anc) and shrinks up.'

He then, in offering an alternative explanation, relapses into characteristic etymology, deriving katukancukata from katacchugaho — spoon-helps. When your rice-pot is full to the brim, one can only take niggling helps with the tip of a spoon. And just as the heart of the niggard shrinks, so too is his body 'bent back on itself, thrown back on itself, obtains no peace' (he quotes from Mil., p. 297).

Similarly aggahitattam cittassa is a holding the heart fast, or back, preventing its expansion by way of gifts and service to others.


Sannojaniya. So the text and K. The Cy. reads sannojanlya. But cf ganthaniya, oghaniya, yoganiya, Asl. 49. The Cy. explains the term, which is literally fetter-ish, as that which benefits the Fetters by developing them, once their inception has begun. Asl. 48.


In quitting the subject of Fetters, the Cy. declares (pp. 376, 377) that the Fetters of sensuality and repulsion are put away during one's progress through the third (an a garni) path, the Fetter of conceit in the fourth On the work of the Fourth Path compare Dh. S., § 364, which is in agreement with the right-hQ,nd table. In the Jirst edition (p. 452) of Dr. Oldenberg's ' Buddha ' attention was called to discrepancies in this connexion.

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