Kayasmrityupasthana, Kāyasmṛtyupasthāna, Kaya-smrityupasthana: 1 definition


Kayasmrityupasthana 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.

The Sanskrit term Kāyasmṛtyupasthāna can be transliterated into English as Kayasmrtyupasthana or Kayasmrityupasthana, using the IAST transliteration scheme (?).

In Buddhism

Mahayana (major branch of Buddhism)

[«previous next»] — Kayasmrityupasthana in Mahayana glossary
Source: Wisdom Library: Maha Prajnaparamita Sastra

Kāyasmṛtyupasthāna (कायस्मृत्युपस्थान) refers to “foundation of mindfulness on the body” and represents one of the four “foundations of mindfulness” (smṛtyupasthāna), forming part of the thirty-seven auxiliaries to enlightenment (bodhipākṣika), according to the 2nd century Mahāprajñāpāramitāśāstra chapter XXXI.—Accordingly, “in order to destroy these four mistakes, the Buddha preached the four foundations of mindfulness:... to destroy the mistake about purity (śuciviparyāsa), he preaches the foundation of mindfulness on the body (kāya-smṛtyupasthāna)”.

Also, “the body is, in truth, not the self (ātman). Why? Because it is not independent (svatantra). It is like a man sick with an illness of wind (vāyuvyādhi), unable to raise or lower his head, unable to come or go; or like a man suffering from an obstruction in his throat, unable to speak. This is why we know that the body is not independent. If a man has something, he uses it as required. This is not the case for the body; as it escapes from all influence, we know that it is not ours. It is in this way that the Yogin meditates on the body, the impure (aśuci), impermanent (anitya), painful (duḥkha), empty (śūnya), selfless (anātman) body possessing innumerable defects of the same type. The various considerations on the body are called mindfulness of the body (kāya-smṛtyupasthāna)”.

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.

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