Anussati: 4 definitions


Anussati means something in Buddhism, Pali. If you want to know the exact meaning, history, etymology or English translation of this term then check out the descriptions on this page. Add your comment or reference to a book if you want to contribute to this summary article.

In Buddhism

Theravada (major branch of Buddhism)

Source: Pali Kanon: Manual of Buddhist Terms and Doctrines

'recollection', meditation, contemplation. The six recollections often described in the Suttas (e.g. A.VI.10, 25; D.33) are:

  • (1) recollection of the Buddha,
  • (2) his Doctrine,
  • (3) his Community of noble disciples,
  • (4) of morality,
  • (5) liberality,
  • (6) heavenly beings (buddhānussati, dhammānussati, sanghānussati, sīlānussati, cāgānussati, devatānussati).

(1) "The noble disciple, Mahānāma, recollects thus: 'This Blessed One is holy, a fully Enlightened One, perfected in wisdom and conduct, faring happily, knower of the worlds, unsurpassed leader of men to be trained, teacher of heavenly beings and men, a Buddha, a Blessed One.'

(2) 'Well proclaimed by the Blessed One is the Doctrine (dhamma), directly visible, with immediate fruit, inviting investigation, leading on to Nibbāna, to be comprehended by the wise, each by himself.'

(3) 'Of good conduct is the Community (Sangha) of the Blessed One's disciples, of upright conduct, living on the right path, performing their duties, to wit: the 4 pairs of men or 8 individuals (s. ariya puggala). This Community of the Blessed One's disciples is worthy of offerings, worthy of hospitality, worthy of gifts, worthy of reverence with raised hands, the unsurpassed field for doing meritorious deeds.'

(4) "The noble disciple further recollects his own morality (sīla) which is unbroken, without any breach, undefiled, untarnished, conducive to liberation, praised by the wise, not dependent (on craving or opinions), leading to concentration.

(5) "The noble disciple further recollects his own liberality (cāga) thus: 'Blessed truly am I, highly blessed am I who, amongst beings defiled with the filth of stinginess, live with heart free from stinginess, liberal, open-handed, rejoicing in giving, ready to give anything asked for, glad to give and share with others.'

(6) "The noble disciple further recollects the heavenly beings (devatā): 'There are the heavenly beings of the retinue of the Four Great Kings, the heavenly beings of the World of the Thirty-Three, the Yāmadevas ... and there are heavenly beings besides (s. deva). Such faith, such morality, such knowledge, such liberality, such insight, possessed of which those heavenly beings, after vanishing from here, are reborn in those worlds, such things are also found in me.' " (A. III,70; VI,10; XI,12).

"At the time when the noble disciple recollects the Perfect One ... at such a time his mind is neither possessed of greed, nor of hate, nor of delusion. Quite upright at such a time is his mind owing to the Perfect One ... With upright mind the noble disciple attains understanding of the sense, understanding of the law, attains joy through the law. In the joyous one rapture arises. With heart enraptured, his whole being becomes stilled. Stilled within his being, he feels happiness; and the mind of the happy one becomes firm. Of this noble disciple it is said that amongst those gone astray, he walks on the right path, among those suffering he abides free from suffering. Thus having reached the stream of the law, he develops the recollection of the Enlightened One...." (A.VI.10).

In A.I.21 (PTS: I, xvi) and A.I.27 (PTS: xx. 2) another 4 recollections are added:

  • mindfulness on death (marana-sati),
  • on the body (kāyagatā-sati),
  • on breathing (ānāpāna-sati), and
  • the recollection of peace (upasamānussati).

The first six recollections are fully explained in Vis.M. VII, the latter four in Vis.M. VIII.

context information

Theravāda is a major branch of Buddhism having the the Pali canon (tipitaka) as their canonical literature, which includes the vinaya-pitaka (monastic rules), the sutta-pitaka (Buddhist sermons) and the abhidhamma-pitaka (philosophy and psychology).

Discover the meaning of anussati in the context of Theravada from relevant books on Exotic India

Mahayana (major branch of Buddhism)

Source: Wisdom Library: Maha Prajnaparamita Sastra

Anussati (अनुस्सति) in Pali or Anusmṛti in Sanskrit, refers to a various set of “recollections”, according to the 2nd century Mahāprajñāpāramitāśāstra chapter 36.—The lists of anussati and anusmṛti presented by the Pāli Nikāyas and the Sanskrit Āgamas respectively coincide general.

Five Anussati are mentioned in the Anguttara:

  1. Buddha-anussati,
  2. Dhamma-anussati,
  3. Sangha-anussati,
  4. Sīla-anussati,
  5. Devatā-anussati.

Six Anussati are mentioned in Dīgha and Anguttara:

  1. Buddha-anussati,
  2. Dhamma-anussati,
  3. Sangha-anussati,
  4. Sīla-anussati,
  5. Cāga-anussati,
  6. Devatā-anussati.

Ten Anussati are mentioned in Anguttara:

  1. Buddha-anussati,
  2. Dhamma-anussati,
  3. Sangha-anussati,
  4. Sīla-anussati,
  5. Cāga-anussati,
  6. Devatā-anussati,
  7. Ānāpāna-anussati,
  8. Maraṇa-anussati,
  9. Kāyagata-anussati,
  10. Upasama-anussati.
Mahayana book cover
context information

Mahayana (महायान, mahāyāna) is a major branch of Buddhism focusing on the path of a Bodhisattva (spiritual aspirants/ enlightened beings). Extant literature is vast and primarely composed in the Sanskrit language. There are many sūtras of which some of the earliest are the various Prajñāpāramitā sūtras.

Discover the meaning of anussati in the context of Mahayana from relevant books on Exotic India

Languages of India and abroad

Pali-English dictionary

[«previous next»] — Anussati in Pali glossary
Source: BuddhaSasana: Concise Pali-English Dictionary

anussati : (f.) recollection; memory; mindfulness.

Source: Sutta: The Pali Text Society's Pali-English Dictionary

Anussati, (f.) (Sk. anusmṛti, fr. anu + smṛ, cp. sati) remembrance, recollection, thinking of, mindfulness. A late list of subjects to be kept in mind comprises six anussati-ṭṭhānāni, viz. Buddha°, Dhamma°, Saṅgha°, sīla°, cāga°, devatā°, i. e. proper attention to the Buddha, the Doctrines, the Church, to morality, charity, the gods. Thus at D.III, 250, 280 (cp. A.I, 211); A.III, 284, 312 sq., 452; V, 329 sq.; Ps.I, 28. Expanded to 10 subjects (the above plus ānāpāna-sati, maraṇa-sati, kāyagatā-sati, upasamânussati) at A.I, 30, 42 (cp. Lal. Vist 34). For other references see D.I, 81; S.V, 67 = It.107 (anussaraṇa at latter pass.); A.III, 284, 325, 452. Ps.I, 48, 95, 186; Pug.25, 60; Dhs.14, 23, 1350 (anussati here to be corr. to asati, see Dhs. trsl. 351); Sdhp. 225, 231, 482. See also anuttariya (anussat-ânuttariya). (Page 45)

Pali book cover
context information

Pali is the language of the Tipiṭaka, which is the sacred canon of Theravāda Buddhism and contains much of the Buddha’s speech. Closeley related to Sanskrit, both languages are used interchangeably between religions.

Discover the meaning of anussati in the context of Pali from relevant books on Exotic India

See also (Relevant definitions)

Relevant text

Like what you read? Consider supporting this website: