Attha, Aṭṭha: 4 definitions


Attha means something in Buddhism, Pali, Hinduism, Sanskrit. 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: Journey to Nibbana: Patthana Dhama

Attha means meaning, essence, intrinsic existence.

Source: Buddhist Information: A Survey of Paramattha Dhammas

Attha means meaning;

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 attha in the context of Theravada from relevant books on Exotic India

Languages of India and abroad

Pali-English dictionary

Source: BuddhaSasana: Concise Pali-English Dictionary

attha : (m.) welfare; gain; wealth; need; want; use; meaning; destruction. (attha pres. 2nd plu. of atthi.) || aṭṭha (adj.) eight.

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

1) Attha, 3 pres. 2nd pl. of atthi (q. v.). (Page 24)

2) Attha, 2 (nt.) (Vedic asta, of uncertain etym. ) home, primarily as place of rest & shelter, but in P. phraseology abstracted from the “going home”, i.e. setting of the sun, as disappearance, going out of existence, annihilation, extinction. Only in Acc. and as °- in foll phrases: atthaṅgacchati to disappear, to go out of existence, to vanish Dh. 226 (= vināsaṃ natthibhāvaṃ gacchati DhA. III, 324), 384 (= parikkhayaṃ gacchati); pp. atthaṅgata gone home, gone to rest, gone, disappeared; of the sun (= set): J. I, 175 (atthaṅgate suriye at sunset); PvA. 55 (id.) 216 (anatthaṅgate s. before sunset) fig. Sn. 472 (atthagata). 475 (id.); 1075 (= niruddha ucchinṇa vinaṭṭha anupādi-sesāya nibbāna-dhātuyā nibbuta); It. 58; Dhs. 1038; Vbh. 195. —atthagatatta (nt. abstr.) disappearance SnA 409. —atthaṅgama (atthagama passim) annihilation, disappearance; opposed to samudaya (coming into existence) and synonymous with nirodha (destruction) D. I, 34, 37, 183; S. IV, 327; A. III, 326; Ps. II, 4, 6, 39; Pug. 52; Dhs. 165, 265, 501, 579; Vbh. 105. —atthagamana (nt.) setting (of the sun) J. I, 101 (suriyass’atthagamanā at sunset) DA. I, 95 (= ogamana).—attha-gāmin, in phrase uday’atthagāmin leading to birth and death (of paññā): see udaya. —atthaṃ paleti = atthaṅgacchati (fig.) Sn. 1074 (= atthaṅgameti nirujjhati Nd2 28).—Also atthamita (pp. of i) set (of the sun) in phrase anatthamite suriye before sunset (with anatthaṅgamite as v. l. at both pass.) DhA. I, 86; III, 127.—Cp. also abbhattha. (Page 24)

3) Attha, 1 (also aṭṭha, esp. in combinations mentioned under 3) (m. & nt.) (Vedic artha from , arti & ṛṇoti to reach, attain or to proceed (to or from), thus originally result (or cause), profit, attainment. Cp. semantically Fr. chose, Lat. causa) 1. interest, advantage, gain; (moral) good, blessing, welfare; profit, prosperity, well-being M. I, 111 (atthassa ninnetar, of the Buddha, bringer of good); S. IV, 94 (id.); S. I, 34 (attano a. one’s own welfare), 55 (id.) 86, 102, 126 = A. II, 46 (atthassa patti); S. I, 162 (attano ca parassa ca); II, 222 (id.); IV, 347 (°ṃ bhañjati destroy the good or welfare, always with musāvādena by lying, cp. attha-bhañjanaka); A. I, 61 (°ṃ anubhoti to fare well, to have a (good) result); III, 364 (samparāyika a. profit in the future life); A. V, 223 sq. (anattho ca attho ca detriment & profit); It. 44 (v. l. attā better); Sn. 37, 58 (= Nd2 26, where the six kinds of advantages are enumd. as att° par° ubhay°, i.e. advantage, resulting for oneself, for others, for both; diṭṭhadhammik° samparāyik° param° gain for this life, for a future life, and highest gain of all, i.e. Arahantship); Sn. 331 (ko attho supitena what good is it to sleep = na hi sakkā supantena koci attho papuṇituṃ SnA 338; cp. ko attho supinena te Pv. II, 61); PvA. 30 (atthaṃ sādheti does good, results in good, 69 (samparāyikena atthena).—Dat. atthāya for the good, for the benefit of (Gen.); to advantage, often eombd. with hitāya sukhāya, e.g. D. III, 211 sq. ; It. 79.—Kh VIII, 1 (to my benefit); Pv. I, 43 (= upakārāya PvA. 18), II, 129 (to great advantage). See also below 6.

Sometimes in a more concrete meaning = riches, wealth, e.g. J. I, 256 (= vaḍḍhiṃ C.); III, 394 (id.); Pv IV. 14 (= dhanaṃ PvA. 219).—Often as —°: att°, one’s own wellfare, usually combd. with par° and ubhay° (see above) S. II, 29; V, 121; A. I, 158, 216; III, 63 sq. ; IV, 134; Sn. 75 (att-aṭṭha, v. l. attha Nd2), 284 (atta-d-attha); uttam° the highest gain, the very best thing Dh. 386 (= arahatta DhA. IV, 142); Sn. 324 (= arahatta SnA 332); param° id. Nd2 26; sad° one’s own weal D. II, 141; M. I, 4; S. II, 29; V, 145; A. I, 144; sāttha (adj.) connected with advantage, beneficial, profitable (of the Dhamma; or should we take it as “with the meaning, in spirit”? see sāttha) D. I, 62; S. V, 352; A. II, 147; III, 152; Nd2 316.—2. need, want (c. Instr.), use (for = Instr.) S. I, 37 (°jāta when need has arisen, in need); J. I, 254; III, 126, 281; IV, 1; DhA. I, 398 (n’atthi eteh’attho I have no use for them); VvA. 250; PvA. 24 (yāvadattha, adj. as much as is needed, sufficient = anappaka).—3. sense, meaning, import (of a word), denotation, signification. In this application attha is always spelt aṭṭha in cpds. aṭṭh-uppatti and aṭṭha-kathā (see below). On term see also Cpd. 4.—S. III, 93 (atthaṃ vibhajati explain the sense); A. I, 23 (id.), 60 (nīt° primary meaning, literal meaning; neyy° secondary or inferred meaning); II, 189 (°ṃ ācikkhati to interpret); Sn. 126 (°ṃ pucchita asked the (correct) sense, the lit. meaning), 251 (°ṃ akkhāti); Th. 1, 374; attho paramo the highest sense, the ultimate sense or intrinsic meaning It. 98, cp. Cpd. 6, 81, 223; Miln. 28 (paramatthato in the absolute sense); Miln. 18 (atthato according to its meaning, opp. vyañjanato by letter, orthographically); DhA. II, 82; III, 175; KhA 81 (pad° meaning of a word); SnA 91 (id.); PvA. 15 (°ṃ vadati to explain, interpret), 16, 19 (hitatthadhammatā “fitness of the best sense”, i.e. practical application), 71. Very frequent in Commentary style at the conclusion of an explained passage as ti attho “this is the meaning”, thus it is meant, this is the sense, e.g. DA. I, 65; DhA. IV, 140, 141; PvA. 33, etc.—4. Contrasted with dhamma in the combn. attho ca dhammo ca it (attha) refers to the (primary, natural) meaning of the word, while dhamma relates to the (interpreted) meaning of the text, to its bearing on the norm and conduct; or one might say they represent the theoretical and practical side of the text (pāḷi) to be discussed, the “letter” and the “spirit”. Thus at A. I, 69; V, 222, 254; Sn. 326 (= bhāsitatthañ ca pāḷidhammañ ca SnA 333); It. 84 (duṭṭho atthaṃ na jānāti dhammaṃ na passati: he realises neither the meaning nor the importance); Dh. 363 (= bhāsitatthañ c’eva desanādhammañ ca); J. II, 353; VI, 368; Nd2 386 (meaning & proper nature); Pv III, 96 (but expld. by PvA. 211 as hita = benefit, good, thus referring it to above 1). For the same use see cpds. °dhamma, °paṭisambhidā, esp. in adv. use (see under 6) Sn. 430 (yen’atthena for which purpose), 508 (kena atthena v. l. BB for T attanā), J. I, 411 (atthaṃ vā kāraṇaṃ vā reason and cause); DhA. II, 95 (+ kāraṇa(; PvA. 11 (ayaṃ h’ettha attho this is the reason why).—5. (in very wide application, covering the same ground as Lat. res & Fr. chose): (a) matter, affair, thing, often untranslatable and simply to be given as “this” or “that” S. II, 36 (ekena-padena sabbo attho vutto the whole matter is said with one word); J. I, 151 (taṃ atthaṃ the matter); II, 160 (imaṃ a. this); VI, 289 (taṃ atthaṃ pakāsento); PvA. 6 (taṃ atthaṃ pucchi asked it), 11 (visajjeti explains it), 29 (vuttaṃ atthaṃ what had been said), 82 (id.).—(b) affair, cause, case (cp. aṭṭa2 and Lat. causa) Dh. 256, 331; Miln. 47 (kassa atthaṃ dhāresi whose cause do you support, with whom do you agree?). See also alamattha.—6. Adv. use of oblique cases in the sense of a prep. : (a) Dat. atthāya for the sake of, in order to, for J. I, 254 dhan’atthāya for wealth, kim° what for, why?), 279; II, 133; III, 54; DhA. II, 82; PvA. 55, 75, 78.—(b) Acc. atthaṃ on account of, in order to, often instead of an infinitive or with another inf. substitute J. I, 279 (kim°); III, 53 (id.); I, 253; II, 128; Dpvs VI, 79; DhA. I, 397; PvA. 32 (dassan° in order to see), 78, 167, etc.—(c) Abl. atthā J. III, 518 (pitu atthā = atthāya C.).—(d) Loc. atthe instead of, for VvA. 10; PvA. 33; etc.

anattha (m. & nt.) 1. unprofitable situation or condition, mischief, harm, misery, misfortune S. I, 103; II, 196 (anatthāya saṃvattati); A. IV, 96 (°ṃ adhipajjati) It. 84 (°janano doso ill-will brings discomfort); J. I, 63, 196; Pug. 37; Dhs. 1060, 1231; Sdhp. 87; DA. I, 52 (anatthajanano kodho, cp. It. 83 and Nd2 420 Q2); DhA. II, 73; PvA. 13, 61, 114, 199.—2. (= attha 3) incorrect sense, false meaning, as adj. senseless (and therefore unprofitable, no good, irrelevant) A. V, 222, 254 (adhammo ca); Dh. 100 (= aniyyānad°īpaka DhA. II, 208); Sn. 126 (expld. at SnA 180 as ahitaṃ).

— or —

1) Aṭṭha, 2 see attha. (Page 16)

2) Aṭṭha, 1 (Vedic aṣṭau, old dual, Idg. *octou, pointing to a system of counting by tetrads (see also nava); Av. ašta, Gr. o)ktw/, Lat. octo, Goth. ahtau = Ohg. ahto, Ger. acht, E. eight) num. card, eight, decl. like pl. of adj. in-a. A. The number in objective significance, based on natural phenomena: see cpds. °aṅgula, °nakha, °pada, °pāda. B. The number in subjective significance.—(1) As mark of respectability and honour, based on the idea of the double square: (a) in meaning “a couple” aṭṭha matakukkuṭe aṭṭha jīva-k. gahetvā (with 8 dead & 8 live cocks; eight instead of 2 because gift intended for a king) DhA. I, 213. saṅghassa a salākabhattaṃ dāpesi VvA. 75 = DhA. III, 104. a. piṇḍapātāni adadaṃ Vv 348. a. vattha-yugāni (a double pair as offering) PvA. 232, a therā PvA. 32.—The highest respectability is expressed by 8 X 8 = 64, and in this sense is frequent applied to gifts, where the giver gives a higher potency of a pair (23). Thus a “royal” gift goes under the name of sabb-aṭṭhakaṃ dānaṃ (8 elephants, 8 horses, 8 slaves etc.) where each of 8 constituents is presented in 8 exemplars DhA. II, 45, 46, 71. In the same sense aṭṭh’aṭṭha kahāpaṇā (as gift) DhA. II, 41; aṭṭh-aṭṭhakā dibbākaññā Vv 673 (= catusaṭṭhi VvA. 290); aṭṭhaṭṭhaka Dpvs VI, 56. Quite conspicuous is the meaning of a “couple” in the phrase satt-aṭṭha 7 or 8 = a couple, e.g. sattaṭṭha divasā, a weck or so J. I, 86; J. II, 101; VvA. 264 (saṃvaccharā years).—(b.) used as definite measure of quantity & distance, where it also implies the respectability of the gift, 8 being the lowest unit of items that may be given decently. Thus frequent as aṭṭha kahāpaṇā J. I, 483; IV, 138; VvA. 76; Miln. 291.—In distances: a. karīsā DhA. II, 80; IV, 217; PvA. 258; a. usabhā J. IV, 142. ‹-› (c.) in combn. with 100 and 1000 it assumes the meaning of “a great many”, hundreds, thousands. Thus aṭṭha sataṃ 800, Sn. 227. As denotation of wealt (cp. below under 18 and 80): a-°sata-sahassa-vibhava DhA. IV, 7. But aṭṭhasata at S. IV, 232 means 108 (3 X 36), probably also at J. V, 377.—aṭṭha sahassaṃ 8000 J. V, 39 (nāgā). The same meaning applies to 80 as well as to its use as unit in combn. with any other decimal (18, 28, 38 etc.): (a) 80 (asīti) a great many. Here belong the 80 smaller signs of a Mahāpurisa (see anuvyañjana), besides the 32 main signs (see dvattiṃsa) VvA. 213 etc. frequent as measure of riches, e.g. 80 waggon loads Pv. II, 75; asīti-koṭivibhava DhA. III, 129; PvA. 196; asīti hatth’ubbedho rāsi (of gold) VvA. 66, etc. See further references under asīti.—(b) The foll. are examples of 8 with other decimals: 18 aṭṭhādasa (only M. III, 239: manopavicārā) & aṭṭhārasa (this the later form) VvA. 213 (avenika-buddhadhammā: Bhagavant’s qualities); as measure J. VI, 432 (18 hands high, of a fence); of a great mass or multitue: aṭṭhārasa koṭiyo or °koṭi, 18 koṭis J. I, 92 (of gold), 227; IV, 378 (°dhana, riches); DhA. II, 43 (of people); Miln. 20 (id.); a. akkhohini-saṅkhāsenā J. VI, 395. a. vatthū Vin. II, 204.—28 aṭṭhavīsati nakkhattāni Nd1 382; paṭisallāṇaguṇā Miln. 140.—38 aṭṭhatiṃsā Miln. 359 (rājaparisā).—48 aṭṭhacattārīsaṃ vassāni Sn. 289.—68 aṭṭhasaṭṭhi Th. 1, 1217 °sitā savitakkā, where id. p. at S. I, 187 however reads atha saṭṭhi-tasitā vitakkā); J. I, 64 (turiya-satasahassāni) ‹-› 98 aṭṭhanavuti (cp. 98 the age of Eli, 1 Sam. IV. 15) Sn. 311 (rogā, a higher set than the original 3 diseases, cp. navuti).—(2) As number of symmetry or of an intrinsic, harmonious, symmetrical set, aṭṭha denotes, like dasa (q. v.) a comprehensive unity. See esp. the cpds. for this application. °aṃsa and °aṅgika. Closely related to nos. 2 and 4 aṭṭha is in the geometrical progression of 2. 4. 8. 16. 32. where each subsequent number shows a higher symmetry or involves a greater importance (cp. 8 X 8 under 1 a) — J. V, 409 (a. maṅgalena samannāgata, of Indra’s chariot: with the 8 lucky signs); VvA. 193 (aṭṭhahi akkhaṇehi vajjitaṃ manussabhāvaṃ: the 8 unlucky signs). In progression: J. IV, 3 (aṭṭha petiyo, following after 4, then foll. by 8, 16, 32); PvA. 75 (a. kapparukkhā at each point of the compass, 32 in all). Further: 8 expressions of bad language DhA. IV, 3.

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.

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