Phassa: 7 definitions


Phassa means something in Buddhism, Pali, biology. 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: Dhamma Dana: Pali English Glossary

M (Tactile sense). Contact, tactile sense.

Source: Journey to Nibbana: Patthana Dhama

One of the Sabbacittasadharana cetasikas. Phassa is contact. As a cetasika, it arises together with citta while itself is functioning as an introducer making contact with citta and rupa. As an example let us see cakkhuvinnana citta or eye consciousness or seeing consciousness.

Phassa makes introduction to vanna and cakkhu and cakkhuvinnana altogether.

Source: Dhamma Study: Cetasikas

Pali for Contact. Phassa, is the first of the Seven Universal . Phassa arises together with every citta; it "contacts" the object so that citta can experience it.

When 'seeing' experiences visible object(s), phassa (which accompanies seeing-consciousness) also experiences visible object(s), but it also performs its own function. At that moment phassa 'contacts' visible object(s) and conditions 'seeing-consciousness' to see.

Phassa is different from what we mean in conventional language by physical contact or touch. Phassa is not the mere collision of hardness with the bodysense, it is not touch in the physical sense. Phassa is manifested by coinciding or concurrence, namely, by the coinciding of three factors: physical base (vatthu), object and consciousness.

Phassa which arises with akusala citta is also akusala;

The Atthasalini (Expositor, Part IV, chapter I, 108) states about contact:

Contact means "it touches" It has touching as its salient
characteristic, impact as its function, "coinciding" (of the physical
base, object and consciousness) as its manifestation, and the object
which has entered the avenue (of awareness) as proximate cause .

Phassa is One of the Seven Universals.

Source: Pali Kanon: Manual of Buddhist Terms and Doctrines

1) Phassa (fr. phusati, to touch): 'sense-impression', contact. The term samphassa is used in compounds, e.g. in the following: '"T'here are 6 classes of sense-impression: visual impression (cakkhu-samphassa), impressions of hearing, smelling, tasting, bodily (tactile) impression and mental impression" (M.9).

A twofold division occurs in D.15: patigha (q.v.) -samphassa, impression by sensorial reaction', and adhivacana-samphassa, verbal (or conceptual, i.e. mental) impression'.

Phassa does not signify physical impact, but is one of the 7 constant mental concomitants of consciousness (cetasika) and belongs to the group of mental formations (sankhāra-kkhandha). In lists of both these categories it is generally mentioned first (e.g. Dhs.1: M.9), due to its fundamental position in the cognitive process In M.18 it is thus defined: "Dependent on the eye and the forms, eye-consciousness arises; the coming-together of the three is sense-impression" (similarly stated in the case of the other 5 senses, including mind). In the dependent origination, it is conditioned by the six sense-bases and is a conditioning factor of feeling (s. paticca-samuppāda 5, 6). Its relation to mind-and-body (nāma-rūpa) is described in D.15, and its influence on feeling and wrong views, in D.1 (at the end). - It is one of the 4 nutriments (āhāra, q.v.), and the first factor in the pentad of sense-impression (phassa-pañcamaka), together with feeling, perception, volition and consciousness (see Abh. St., p. 47ff ).

Being a key function in the mind's contact with the world of objects and being a potential source of defilements, sense-impression is an important subject for reflective insight contemplation as succinctly formulated in many verses of the Sn.: 736/7, 778, 851, 870/72, 923.

2) Ensorial and mental impression (phassa) [one of the four kinds of āhāra, food] is a condition for the 3 kinds of feeling (agreeable, disagreeable and indifferent); s. paticcasamuppāda (6).

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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Biology (plants and animals)

Source: Google Books: CRC World Dictionary (Regional names)

Phassa in India is the name of a plant defined with Grewia asiatica in various botanical sources. This page contains potential references in Ayurveda, modern medicine, and other folk traditions or local practices.

Example references for further research on medicinal uses or toxicity (see latin names for full list):

· Journal of Tree Sciences (1982)
· Species Plantarum (1753)

If you are looking for specific details regarding Phassa, for example pregnancy safety, health benefits, extract dosage, chemical composition, diet and recipes, side effects, have a look at these references.

Biology book cover
context information

This sections includes definitions from the five kingdoms of living things: Animals, Plants, Fungi, Protists and Monera. It will include both the official binomial nomenclature (scientific names usually in Latin) as well as regional spellings and variants.

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Languages of India and abroad

Pali-English dictionary

Source: BuddhaSasana: Concise Pali-English Dictionary

phassa : (m.) touch; contact.

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

1) Phassa, 2 (adj.) (grd. fr. phusati, corresp. to Sk. spṛśya) to be felt, esp. as a pleasing sensation; pleasant, beautiful J. IV, 450 (gandhehi ph.). (Page 478)

2) Phassa, 1 (cp. Ved. sparśa, of spṛś: see phusati) contact, touch (as sense or sense-impression, for which usually phoṭṭhabbaṃ). It is the fundamental fact in a senseimpression, and consists of a combination of the sense, the object, and perception, as expld at M. I, 111: tiṇṇaṃ (i.e. cakkhu, rūpā, cakkhu-viññāṇa) saṅgati phasso; and gives rise to feeling: phassa-paccayā vedanā. (See paṭicca-samuppāda & for expln Vism. 567; VbhA. 178 sq.).—Cp. D. I, 42 sq.; III, 228, 272, 276; Vism. 463 (phusatī ti phasso); Sn. 737, 778 (as fundamental of attachment, cp. SnA 517); J. V, 441 (rājā dibba-phassena puṭṭho touched by the divine touch, i.e. fascinated by her beauty; puṭṭho=phutto); VbhA. 177 sq. (in detail), 193, 265; PvA. 86 (dup° of bad touch, bad to the touch, i.e. rough, unpleasant); poet. for trouble Th. 1, 783. See on phassa: Dhs. trsl. 5 & introd. (lv.) lxiii.; Cpd. 12, 14, 94.—āyatana organ of contact (6, referring to the several senses) PvA. 52.—āhāra “touch-food, ” acquisition by touch, nutriment of contact, one of the 3 āhāras, viz. phass°, mano-sañcetanā° (n. of representative cogitation) and viññāṇ° (of intellection) Dhs. 71—73; one of the 4 kinds of āhāra, or “food, ” with ref. to the 3 vedanās Vism. 341.—kāyā (6) groups of touch or contact vîz. cakkhu-samphasso, sota°, ghāna°, kāya°, mano° D. III, 243.—sampanna endowed with (lovely) touch, soft, beautiful to feel J. V, 441 (cp. phassita). (Page 478)

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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