Upakkilesa: 3 definitions


Upakkilesa 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)

[«previous next»] — Upakkilesa in Theravada glossary
Source: Pali Kanon: Manual of Buddhist Terms and Doctrines

'impurities', corruptions, imperfections (a frequent rendering by 'defilements' is better reserved for kilesa).

A list of 16 moral 'impurities of the mind' (cittassa upakkilesa) is mentioned and explained in M.7 & 8 (WHEEL. 61/62):

  • 1. covetousness and unrighteous greed (abhijjhā-visamalobha),
  • 2. ill will (vyāpāda),
  • 3. anger (kodha),
  • 4. hostility (upanāha),
  • 5. denigration (makkha),
  • 6. domineering (palāsa),
  • 7. envy (issā),
  • 8. stinginess (macchariya),
  • 9. hypocrisy (māyā),
  • 10. fraud (sātheyya),
  • 11. obstinacy (thambha),
  • 12. presumption (sārambha),
  • 13. conceit (māna),
  • 14. arrogance (atimāna),
  • 15. vanity (mada),
  • 16. negligence (pamāda).

There are 3 groups of upakkilesa pertaining to meditation:

(a) 9 mental imperfections occurring in 'one devoted to higher mental training' (adhicitta); 3 coarse ones - evil conduct in deeds, words and thoughts; 3 medium - thoughts of sensual desire, ill will and cruelty; 3 subtle - thoughts about one's relatives, one's country and one's reputation (A.III.100).

(b) 18 imperfections in the practice of mindfulness of breathing (ānāpāna-sati), mentioned in Pts.M., ānāpāna-kathā (tr. in Mindfulness of Breathing, by Ñānamoli Thera (p. 60; BPS).

(c) 10 'imperfections of insight' (-meditation, vipassanūpakkilesa); s. visuddhi V.

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»] — Upakkilesa in Pali glossary
Source: BuddhaSasana: Concise Pali-English Dictionary

upakkilesa : (m.) impurity; defilement; anything that spoils or obstructs.

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

Upakkilesa, (fr. upa + kliś) anything that spoils or obstructs, a minor stain, impurity, defilement, depravity, Vin. II, 295 (cp. SnA 487 & VvA. 134 & see abbha); M. I, 36, 91; D. III, 42 sq. , 49 sq. , 201; S. V, 92 sq. (pañca cittassa upakkilesā), 108, 115; A. I, 10 (āgantuka), 207 (cittassa), 253 (oḷārika etc.); II, 53 (candima-suriyānaṃ samaṇa-brāhmaṇānaṃ), 67; III, 16 (jātarūpassa, cittassa), 386 sq.; IV, 177 (vigatā); V, 195; Ps. I, 164 (eighteen); Pug. 60; Dhs. 1059, 1136; Nett 86 sq. , 94, 114 sq.; Sdhp. 216, 225 (as upaklesa). Ten stains at Vism. 633. (Page 139)

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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