by Gelongma Karma Migme Chödrön | 2001 | 940,961 words
This page describes “the ten asubhasanna in the pali abhidhamma” as written by Nagarjuna in his Maha-prajnaparamita-sastra (lit. “the treatise on the great virtue of wisdom”) in the 2nd century. This book, written in five volumes, represents an encyclopedia on Buddhism as well as a commentary on the Pancavimsatisahasrika Prajnaparamita.
The Abhidhamma, its commentaries and related treatises fix the number of asubhasaññās at ten and cite them in the following order:
- Bloated corpse (uddhumātaka),
- bluish (vinīlaka),
- rotten (vipubbaka),
- torn apart (vicchiddaka),
- devoured (vikkhhāyitaka),
- scattered (vikkhittaka),
- chopped up and scattered (hatavikkhittaka),
- bloody (lohitaka),
- infested with worms (puḷuvaka),
- reduced to bone (aṭṭhika).
These terms are cited and commented upon in Dhammasaṅgani, p. 55 (tr. Rhys Davids, p. 63 and n. 3); Atthasālinī, p. 197–198 (tr. Tin, p. 264–267); Visuddhimagga, ed. Warren, p. 89, 145–146 (tr. Nanamoli, p. 185–186); Vimuttimagga, tr. Ehara, p. 132–139.The Visuddhimagga, ed. Warren, p. 146–158 (tr. Nanamoli, p. 186–200) deals at great length with the manner of practicing the first asubhabhāvana. As in the kasinas, the ascetic must apprehend a twofold sign, the sign of learning (uggahanimitta) and the counter-sign (paṭibhāganimitta). To this end, he goes to a charnel-ground and contemplates with extreme attentiveness the ten stages of decomposing corpses, the bloated corpse, etc. The pertinent uggahanimitta appears to him as a unit (paripuṇṇa). See two fine articles in Ceylon Encyclopedia, II, p. 270–281.