काय kāya ( √ ci )
- the body (KātyŚr. Mn.)


काय kāya [ kāyá ]
- relating or devoted to the god Ka [Prajāpati] (RV. VS. TS. ŚB)
In Vedism, kā-iya (lit. "what belongs to Ka") is Prajāpati made body - continuous (permanent) and blissful (bringing happiness).

√ चि ci
- to arrange in order, heap up, pile up,
construct [a sacrificial altar] (AV. VS. TS. ŚBr.)
- to wish to pile up ŚBr. KātyŚr.

One should see below that both the above definitions are explaining the processes of getting rid of the "this is mine", and also getting rid of the "I", to reach the obtention (sati) of the establishment (samādhi) of citta. That is to say to bring about an unpolluted citta, (and set "oneself" up in it). 

Here, "sati" does not come from the Vedic smṛti, meaning "thinking upon", but from sati सति = साति sāti = gaining , obtaining , acquisition (RV.)

And samādhi comes from dah = to establish, to place.
Note that the Chinese gives the same definition for samādhi, viz. 定 = to establish 
(SA 803).

Obtention (sati) of the establishment (samādhi) [of Citta], through breathing (ānāpāna) [viz. Ānāpānasatisamādhi], when developed and cultivated, fulfils the four ["ways"] to access the obtention [of Citta]. The four ["ways"] to access the obtention [of Citta], when developed and cultivated, fulfil the seven factors of enlightenment. The seven factors of enlightenment, when developed and cultivated, fulfil true knowledge and liberation.

But first, let's look at this visual aid.

And let us focus on the two arrows 1 & 2. For they are respectively the paths of the "mine", and the path of the "I". The paths of the external and the internal.

The paths that one should preclude severally, to attain the obtention of the establishment in citta.




As attested by the definition of the root √ci, kāya is a heap, an assemblage.

Cikāya, the "perfected" ci, completed body. As citta expresses the "participial" completed mental attribute of ci. 

It is the result of a saṅkhārā (a co-action).
Co-action of the in and out breath (assāsa-passāsā) which takes place in the immaterial saṅkhārā nidāna; or as ānāpāna (the actualized, "material" assāsapassāsā), that takes place in satta.




KĀYA as "Ka - īya

Kāya is related to the god "Ka", in middle-late Vedic philosophy.

Ka+iya (Ka + ॰ईय -īya, the latter forms possessives in Sanskrit) - lit. "what belongs to Ka".

"Ka" is Prajāpati...
Moreover, the word "ka" is a name for "bliss" (sukha).

Prajāpatir vai kaḥ... tho sukhasya vā etan nāmadheyaṃ kam iti

GopBr. 2.1.22

Prajāpati is the Self (see ŚBr.

A Self that wants to become more than one, and desires to reproduce [selves] (see ŚBr.


Sakkāyadiṭṭhi (sak+ka+iya+diṭṭhi)

sak (√ शक् śak)  + Ka + iya
lit. "to be able (to be like) what belongs to Ka" (where Ka is the other name for the god Prajāpati [made selves])
॰ईय -īya forms possesives in Sanskrit.
& sak means "to be able". 

Sakkāyadiṭṭhi is the (wrong) view of a Self/selves that is permanent (continuous) - Moreover, a Self/self (Ka) that is a source of bliss.

The late Vedic and Upanishadic creed, that Buddha confronted, stated somewhat - that is to say, seen from a Buddhist point of view - that the khandhas in the nāmarūpa nidāna (see visual aid), and their sensorized external āyatanāni in the saḷāyatana nidāna, where the same than satta.
That they were just making one.

But Buddha was saying that neither these khandhas, nor their external āyatanāni are "ours". No more than these khandhas and the internal āyatanāni, that make up the sensory part of satta, was "ours".

In other words, merging your own body with Brāhma at death time, as a blissful self/Self, is not possible, says Buddha.
Because the nature of these khandhas is to be "not one's own" (anicca) , and therefore impermanent (anicca) - [ otherwise we could say to these khandhas: "be this or be that" ; or even "be permanent"] - so there is no way that there could be a blissful self/Self in that.

This is therefore the opposite of the late Brāhmaṇa/Āraṇyaka view of a permanent/continuous (& pervasive) Self/self that brings happiness.



So the first thing to do is to get rid of this sakkāyadiṭṭhi - that is to say to get rid of the "this is mine". Because these khandhas are "not ours". 
In other words, one should stop letting the khandhas in nāmarūpa nidāna, interfere with satta. (viz. one should block the flow of arrow 1, with mindfulness. Here, mindfulness is being defined as the "gate keeper in SN 35.245 .

And that suffices to get rid of the "this is mine".
And by transcending (samatikkamma) the external, one can aim for the pīti (mano-like pleasure), and sukha (citta-like pleasure), of seclusion (viveka) in the internal.

Desiring seclusion you entered the woods,
Yet your mano gushes outwardly.
You must abandon discontent, be mindful.

vivekakāmosi vanaṃ paviṭṭho,
atha te mano niccharatī bahiddhā.
aratiṃ pajahāsi sato.
SN 9.1 (SA 1333)

An internal that is now devoid of any "clinging" (appropriated) khandhas in satta.
Again, refer to the visual aid.




So the next thing to do is to get rid of the "I".

And now, please, listen carefully to what follows.

This pīti & sukha born of seclusion (in the internal), is not a genuine feeling, because we are still dwelling in a mano-citta environment.
We are dealing with the internal āyatanāni part of satta. Yet, through arrow 2 - (and with everything that helps "build" the internal āyatanāni) - we are receiving the citta part of nāmarūpa nidāna - the perception and feeling part.

Nāmarūpa nidāna is part of the rūpa loka. Not of the kama loka. And this is what one is heading towards, when it is said manasikara (turning the mano towards [the nāmarūpa nidāna]); or, when it is said samādhindriya.

And what, monks, is the Faculty of the establishment of citta?
Katamañca, bhikkhave, Samādhindriyaṁ?
Here, bhikkhus, the noble disciple gains establishment of citta, having made release of the support.
Idha, bhikkhave, ariyasāvako, vossaggārammaṇaṁ karitvā, labhati samādhiṁ.
SN 48.10 +

Note: Ārammaṇa means a support, and something to grasp on (Sk: grabhaṇa - √ग्रह् grah - to perceive (with the organs of sense or with [mánas] )

In other words, one establishes the citta, with the help of mano*, after getting rid of the "I" part. The part that is in saḷāyatana.
And this is when the pīti (the mano pleasure) & mostly sukha (the citta pleasure) [see SN 35.97/SA 855 (a bit different: 身不猗息已,苦覺則生,苦覺生已,心不得定)], born of the establishment (samādhi) occurs.

(*Note that in Buddhism, one uses atta to get rid of atta; one uses mano to get rid of mano, etc.
Moreover, this is never a clear-cut process, unless it is totally transcended).

The important thing to recognize here, is that one uses mano to look after, to care for (upaṭṭhahati) the obtention of the establishment of citta.

Upaṭṭhahati [upa-sthā] = upaṭṭhāti =upatiṭṭhati.

- To look after.
- Care for.
- ~To wish to stand (establish) below.

√ स्था Sthā
- to cause to stand , place , set , establish AV.
- to stand by , be near to RV.
- to wish to stand ŚBr.
- from below (usually with the idea of an approach from below).

imper. = upaṭṭhahassu;
aor. = upaṭṭhahi, upaṭṭhāsi, upaṭṭhahuṁ;
inf. = upaṭṭhātuṁ;
ger. = upaṭṭhahitvā, upaṭṭhitvā;
grd. = upaṭṭhātabba;
pp. = upaṭṭhita;
caus. = upaṭṭheti, upaṭṭhāpeti;
pass. = upaṭṭhīyati, upaṭṭhahīyati;
ppr. = upaṭṭhiyamāna, upaṭṭhahiyamāna
abs. = upaṭṭhapetvā


Here, bhikkhus, a bhikkhu lives in some jungle thicket. While he is living there, his uncared for (anupaṭṭhitā) the obtention (sati); is not looked after; his unestablished (cf. samādhi) citta is unestablished; his undestroyed taints do not come to destruction, he does not attain the unattained supreme security from bondage.

Idha, bhikkhave, bhikkhu aññataraṃ vanapatthaṃ upanissāya viharati. Tassa taṃ vanapatthaṃ upanissāya viharato anupaṭṭhitā ceva sati na upaṭṭhāti, asamāhitañca cittaṃ na samādhiyati, aparikkhīṇā ca āsavā na parikkhayaṃ gacchanti, ananuppattañca anuttaraṃ yogakkhemaṃ nānupāpuṇāti
MN 17
For other occurences of the crucial concept of upaṭṭhahati in Buddhism, see for instance: SN 6.6, AN 5.124, AN. 5.167, MN 81, etc.

Or in the MUCH MISINTERPRETED extract: Paṇidhāya parimukhaṃ satiṃ upaṭṭhapetvā Intending towards the beginning, and having cared for the obtention (sati) [of Citta]. As in SN 54.7, AN 4.36, etc.

Note that here, the beginning (मुख mukha = commencement , beginning (Br. MBh.)), might just be to direct one's attention (paṇidhāya = optative of paṇidahati [pa+ni+dhā] = direct, intend), towards the immaterial assāsapassāsā in the saṅkhāra nidāna - or the breath "inherited" in the nāmarūpa nidāna.




What does the breath (as kāya) has to do with all that?

Kāya, (particularly as what belongs to Ka,) is closely related to the organs of the self.

"Organs" - or more precisely here, their "vital functions - āyatanānani" (mouth/speech, eyes/sight, ear/hearing, intellect/mind (mano)), which, in Indian Vedic philosophy, (see ChUp. 5.1.6), encompasses also prāṇa (the Buddhist kāya  = breath/("glued") body in saḷāyatana nidāna.

Note that eyes/sight, ear/hearing, etc. including  kāya are not "physical" per se. They are before all, "fields of sensory experiences" - (vital functions of organs, so to speak). 

Breath is the highest organ. The one that never stops during the life time. One can lose his sight, or hearing, and not die - but one cannot lose breath, and not die.

"The one, after whose departure the body (sarira), appears to be in the worst shape, is the greatest among you", says Prājapati, to the vital functions competing between them (ChUp.).

So breath wins.

The attributes of Ka are these organs, with their vital functions. And the highest is breath.

So, in Buddhism, the word Kāya is that breath  (prāṇa*), that "glues" the other āyatanānani, and allows the body (sarira) to exist. 

*Prāṇa, in the singular refers to breath - and in the plural, to the vital functions/powers at large.

Kāya is what "glues" all theses organs.
Kāya is not really the physical body (sarīra) - Kāya is the vital function (āyatanāna) that holds the organs at large.


In Buddhism, breath is, (as it is in the Vedic philosophy,) a crucial factor. The particularity of Buddhism is that it comes right in Saṅkhāra nidāna, the second link of Paṭiccasamuppāda - And it ranks first.

It is a "bodily" (breath) formation (kāyasaṅkhāra). And it leads to feeling.

This is what ānāpānasati is supposed to reenact ("backwards") at and from satta's (man) level. That is to say, from the "gluing" of the organs by breath; (back) towards the Saṅkhārā nidāna and beyond the Avijjā nidāna. 


Let's get to the first tetrad in ānāpānasati.


The fact that the Saṃyukta-āgama (SA 810) insists on the case that the breath is the exclusive object of sati (the obtention of [the establishment of citta]) in the first tetrad, is not as evident in SN 51.3.

Why that?
Because you can still reach that establishment of citta, through the "obtention gone through the body" (kāyagatasati), as in MN 119.

Here, we are talking about the lower side of kāya (as seen above) - that is to say the kāya that deals closely with sarira (the physical body). 


Also, there is a notable difference, in relation to the third step of ānāpānasati - wherein the MN 18 (Nikaya) speaks of experiencing the “all body”; while the SA 815 (Agama) counterpart speaks of experiencing the “all bodily formations”.

The Nikaya is more encompassing. 

Indeed, sabbakāyappaṭisaṃvedī in MN 18 might grammatically mean either "of the all body", or "of the all bodies" . Or both. 


Sabbakāyapaṭisaṃvedī assasissāmīti sikkhati.


Pali: Trains oneself

Sanskrit: śikṣati - inflected form - शक् śak) is a desiderative verb that has the underlying meaning of "desiring to be able to". It is about training, with the "desire to be able to".



Pali: Experiences.


विद् vid : to know | to understand | to have the feel of, to be conscious of | to see.

प्रतिसंविद् pratisaṃvid : An accurate knowledge of the particulars of anything.

प्रतिसंवेदिन् pratisaṃvedin [prati+saṃ+vedin] : being conscious of anything, feeling, experiencing.

vedin: e.g. āyurvedin = expert in ayurveda (medecine).


How to explain this Sabbakāya 

Well, we have seen that kāya is breath, before anything else. An that it starts in the saṅkhārā nidāna. Then the process descends along the other nidānā, until it reaches the "physical" breath in the saḷāyatana nidāna (as ānāpāna).

Indeed, one could consider that there are three important breathes (kāyā) to consider. The first is in the arūpa loka (saṅkhārā nidāna); the second in the rūpa loka (nāmarūpa nidāna); and the third in the kāma loka (saḷāyatana nidāna). 

Indeed, what Sabbakāyapaṭisaṃvedī assasissāmīti sikkhati means, is that the knowledge of the all breath should be the knowledge of these three breathes - and particularly at the beginning of the traning, the knowledge of the relationship between the "lofty" and "lower" breath as shown here

Knowing about the flow that makes those two breathes, the "all  breath"(sabbakāya). 



While we're at it, we might wonder if the "bodily formation (coaction)" in SN 41.6 is made "by" or "for" the body (kāya) ?

In-breathing and out-breathing are bodily, these things are bound to the body; that is why in-breathing and out-breathing is a bodily formation [coaction].
Assāsapassāsā kho āvuso visākha kāyikā ete dhammā kāyapaṭibaddhā. Tasmā assāsapassāsā kāyasaṅkhāro.

Are in&out breaths made "by" the body (kāya)?

Are in&out breaths made "for" the body (kāya)?

What one has to do first, is to go to the definition of the second saṅkhāra, viz. vacīsaṅkhāra, to understand the meaning of the definition of kāyasaṅkhāra.

First one thinks abstractly (vitakka), and then thinks concretely (vicāra); then afterwards one breaks into a word; that is why abstract thinking & concrete thinking are the verbal formation.
Pubbe kho āvuso visākha vitakketvā vicāretvā pacchā vācaṃ bhindati. Tasmā vitakkavicārā vacīsaṅkhāro.

We can hardly say that abstract thinking (vitakka) and concrete thinking (vicāra) are formation "by" speech (word). Because the thinking comes before the word.

Vacīsaṅkhāro has to be translated as: "formation for the word" ("for" speech).

The same way that in&out breaths are made "for" the body (kāya). 

The same way that in SN 41.6 vedanā &sañña, (or saññā ca ceteti = 想, 思 in SA 568) are made "for" the mind (citta)?

Note that, across Buddha's time, in the Gṛhya-Sūtra (GṛŚrS.,) and the Mahābhārata (MBh.), saṃskāra (संस्कार) means "putting together".
This kind of meaning - like "making up (from parts)" - is also found in the ŚBr. or the BṛĀr.Up., etc.

In other words, one processes the in&out breaths, "for" the sake of all Kāyā. As a co-action (saṅkhāra).


By now, one should have understood that one needs to reach the citta in nāmarūpa nidāna from "below" (upaṭṭhahati's other definition - see above). That is to say that one has to reach the citta (feeling & perception) in nāmarūpa nidāna FROM the internal āyatanāni in saḷāyatana (that is "below") - with the help of mano + citassa/ceto (the still existential, sensualized citta).
This is the reverse process of the arrow #2 in the visual aid. That is to say that the tip of the arrow has to be directed now, towards the nāmarūpa nidāna.

As one has gotten rid of the external - of the influence of the guṇas in the external āyatanāni,  one has to be cognizant and get rid of the guṇas in satta proper.

Being cognizant helps one to be even more secluded in the internal. But the goal still remains, the establishment in citta. 

This was indeed what happened when one got rid of the external:

So, bhikkhus, your citta might also often stray towards the five guṇas that you formerly experienced; which have passed, ceased, and changed; or towards those in the present, or slightly towards those in the future.
Tasmātiha, bhikkhave, tumhākampi ye te pañca kāmaguṇā cetaso samphuṭṭhapubbā atītā niruddhā vipariṇatā, tatra vo cittaṃ bahulaṃ gacchamānaṃ gaccheyya paccuppannesu vā appaṃ vā anāgatesu.
So for your tranquility, you should practice vigilance, mindfulness, and guarding the citta, regarding the five guṇas that you formerly experienced; which have passed, ceased, and changed (been perverted (by lust)). Tasmātiha, bhikkhave, tumhākampi ye te pañca kāmaguṇā cetaso samphuṭṭhapubbā atītā niruddhā vipariṇatā, tatra vo attarūpehi appamādo sati cetaso ārakkho karaṇīyo.
SN 35.117

Note: Here guṇa has the meaning of the external fields of sensory experience in pre&post-Buddhist texts (Mn. & MBh.).

1. ether has sound for its Guṇa and the ear for its organ ;

2. the air has tangibility and sound for its Guṇas and the skin for its organ ;

3. fire has shape or colour , tangibility , and sound for its Guṇas , and the eye for its organs ;

4. water has flavour , shape , tangibility , and sound for its Guṇas , and the tongue for its organ ;

5. earth has the preceding Guṇas , with the addition of its own peculiar Guṇa of smell , and the nose for its organ.

Now there are two ways to get established in citta, for its further liberation.

Ānāpānasati or kāyagatasati.

The former uses the breath and just the breath, as a mean of utter seclusion in the internal, to reach the feeling and its perception in the citta part (khandhas) of nāmarūpa nidāna.

“Then knowing and seeing thus, do you venerable ones fetch distinctively those peaceful liberations that are formless, that transcend forms; these having sprung through the body?”

“Api pana tumhe āyasmanto evaṃ jānantā evaṃ passantā ye te santā vimokkhā atikkamma rūpe āruppā, te kāyena phusitvā viharathā”ti? “No hetaṃ, āvuso”.

SN 12.70

The latter uses the internal guṇas, to reach the fine material (form) - the four great elements (mahābhūtāna rūpa) [air, fire, water, earth] . And later on, to reach the citta, if ever. [A more perilous path, for those who might get caught in a mano/citassa rumba with the mahābhūtāna rūpa  - a.k.a. the seduction and temptation of magic]. 


And how is someone restrained?
Kathañca, bhikkhave, saṃvaro* hoti?
Here, having seen a form with the eye, a bhikkhu is not intent upon a pleasing form and not repelled by a displeasing form. He fetches distinctively (viharati) the yearned (upaṭṭhita = cared for) obtention [of citta] by the body, with a non-standard (appamāṇa) citta; and he understands as it has come to be that liberation of citta, liberation by discernment (pañña = the knowledge of what's before), wherein those evil unwholesome states cease without remainder. (ear, nose, etc...)
Idha, bhikkhave, bhikkhu cakkhunā rūpaṃ disvā piyarūpe rūpe nādhimuccati, appiyarūpe rūpe na byāpajjati, upaṭṭhitakāyassati ca viharati appamāṇacetaso.
tañca cetovimuttiṃ paññāvimuttiṃ yathābhūtaṃ pajānāti, yatthassa te uppannā pāpakā akusalā dhammā aparisesā nirujjhanti … pe …
SN 35.247

Note: does saṃvaro here means "restrained" or "with excellence" (saṃ+varo)? 

Varo = varo:Excellent,best,precious,noble, boon,blessing.



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