Papanca, Papañca, Papamca: 4 definitions


Papanca 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: Access to Insight: A Glossary of Pali and Buddhist TermsComplication, proliferation. The tendency of the mind to proliferate issues from the sense of "self." This term can also be translated as self reflexive thinking, reification, falsification, distortion, elaboration, or exaggeration. In the discourses, it is frequently used in analyses of the psychology of conflict.Source: Pali Kanon: Manual of Buddhist Terms and Doctrines

(Sanskrit prapañca): In doctrinal usage, it signifies the expansion, differentiation, 'diffuseness' or 'manifoldness' of the world; and it may also refer to the 'phenomenal world' in general, and to the mental attitude of 'worldliness'. In A. IV, 173, it is said: "As far as the field of sixfold sense-impression extends, so far reaches the world of diffuseness (or the phenomenal world; papañcassa gati); as far as the world of diffuseness extends, so far extends the field of sixfold sense-impression. Through the complete fading away and cessation of the field of sixfold sense-impression, there comes about the cessation and the coming-to-rest of the world of diffuseness (papañca-nirodho papañca-vupasamo)." The opposite term nippapañca is a name for Nibbāna (S. LIII), in the sense of 'freedom from samsaric diffuseness'. - Dhp. 254: "Mankind delights in the diffuseness of the world, the Perfect Ones are free from such diffuseness" (papañcābhiratā pajā, nippapañca tathāgatā). - The 8th of the 'thoughts of a great man' (mahā-purisa-vitakka; A. VIII, 30) has: "This Dhamma is for one who delights in non-diffuseness (the unworldly, Nibbāna); it is not for him who delights in worldliness (papañca)." - For the psychological sense of 'differentiation', see M. 18 (Madhupindika Sutta): "Whatever man conceives (vitakketi) that he differentiates (papañceti); and what he differentiates, by reason thereof ideas and considerations of differentiation (papañca-saññā-sankhā) arise in him." On this text and the term papañca, see Dr. Kurt Schmidt in German Buddhist Writers (WHEEL 74/75) p. 61ff. - See D. 21 (Sakka's Quest; WHEEL 10, p.

In the commentaries, we often find a threefold classification tanhā-, ditthi-, māna-papañca, which probably means the world's diffuseness created hy craving, false views and conceit. - See M. 123; A. IV, 173; A. VI, 14, Sn. 530, 874, 916.

Ñānananda Bhikkhu, in Concept and Reality: An Essay on Papañca and Papañca-saññā-sankhā (Kandy 1971, Buddhist Publication Society), suggests that the term refers to man's "tendency towards proliferation in the realm of concepts" and proposes a rendering by "conceptual proliferation," which appears convincing in psychological context, e.g. in two of the texts quoted above, A. IV, 173 and M. 18. - The threefold classification of papañca, by way of craving, false views and conceit, is explained by the author as three aspects, or instances, of the foremost of delusive conceptualisations, the ego-concept.

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).

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Languages of India and abroad

Pali-English dictionary

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

papañca : (m.) an obstacle; impediment; delay; illusion; hindrance to spiritual progress.

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

Papañca, (in its P. meaning uncertain whether identical with Sk. prapañca (pra+pañc to spread out; meaning “expansion, diffuseness, manifoldedness”; cp. papañceti & papañca 3) more likely, as suggested by etym. & meaning of Lat. im-ped-iment-um, connected with pada, thus perhaps originally “pa-pad-ya, ” i.e. what is in front of (i.e. in the way of) the feet (as an obstacle)) 1. obstacle, impediment, a burden which causes delay, hindrance, delay DhA. I, 18; II, 91 (kathā°). °ṃ karoti to delay, to tarry J. IV, 145; °ṃ akatvā without delay J. I, 260; VI, 392.—ati° too great a delay J. I, 64; II, 92.—2. illusion, obsession, hindrance to spiritual progress M. I, 65; S. I, 100; IV, 52, 71; A. II, 161 sq.; III, 393 sq.; Sn. 530 (=taṇhā-diṭṭhi-mānabheda-p. SnA 431; and generally in Commentaries so resolved, without verbal analysis); Ud. 77 (as f. papañcā); Th. 1, 519, 902, 989 (cp. Brethren 344, 345 & J. R. A. S. 1906, 246 sq.; Neumann translates “Sonderheit, ” see Lieder p. 210, 211 & Mittlere Sammlung I. 119 in trsl. of M. I, 65 nippapañca); Dh. 195, 254 (°âbhiratā pajā, nippapañcā Tathāgatā; =taṇhādisu p° esu abhiratā DhA. III, 378); J. I, 9; Pv IV. 134 (=taṇh’—ādi-p. PvA. 230); Nett 37, 38; SnA 495 (gihi).—nippapañca (q. v.) without obsession. ‹-› 3. diffuseness, copiousness SnA 40.

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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