4👑☸ Cattāri Ariya-saccaṃ 四聖諦
✅in EBT meditation, it refers to 31asb🧟
body parts contemplation. See AN 10.60
, AN 6.29
⚠️300+ years after EBT, in Vimt. and Vism., Theravada re-defines asubha meditation to refer to 10 stages of corpse decay, and they reclassify 31asb🧟
under kāya-gatā-sati 🏃
. It's important to know this, because in EBT suttas, an instruction to "develop asubha" is frequently mentioned, but without detail (examples: SN 8.4
, SN 54.9
). 31asb is immediately accessible, corpse contemplation considerably more complex.
• What's the purpose of asubha meditation? To counter perversions of our inverted perception AN 4.49
, SN 8.4
• But be careful, this is an advanced practice. Best to first have foundation in breath meditation SN 54.9
a-subha 🧟 = un-attractive
and closely related terms
CPED: asubha: unpleasant; ugly. (nt.) a corpse. (adj.)
PTS: Asubha (adj.) [a + subha] impure, unpleasant, bad, ugly, nasty;
nt. ˚ŋ nastiness, impurity.
Cp. on term and the Asubha
-- meditation, as well as on the 10 asubhas or offensive objects Dhs. trsl. 70 and Cpd. 121 n. 6.
-- S iv.111 (asubhato manasikaroti); v.320; Sn 341; Sdhp 368.
-- subhâsubha pleasant unpleasant, good & bad Sn 633; J iii. 243; Miln 136.
-- ânupassin realising or intuiting the corruptness (of the body) It 80, 81; DhA i.76.
-- kathā talk about impurity Vin iii.68.
-- kammaṭṭhāna reflection on impurity DhA iii.425.
-- nimitta sign of the unclean i. e. idea of impurity Vism 77.
-- bhāvanā contemplation of the impurity (of the body) Vin iii.68.
-- saññā idea of impurity D iii.253, 283, 289, 291.
-- saññin having an idea of or realising the impurity (of the body) It 93.
subha 💑 in a negative context
subha 💑 = beautiful, attractive
In asubha meditation context, subha is diametrically opposed. Because one gets confused by the perception of the subha (beautiful) nimitta (sign/theme), it induces lust/passion, desire for sensual pleasures (SN 8.4
, SN 46.2
). To counter this tendency, one guards the sense doors AN 4.14
so one doesn’t get confused by the nimitta perceptions arising at the sense faculties.
Subha (adj.) [Vedic śubhas fr. subh; cp. sobhati] shining, bright, beautiful D i.76=ii.13=M iii.102;
Dhs 250 DA i.221;
auspicious, lucky, pleasant Sn 341;
It 80 good Sn 824, 910;
subhato maññati to consider as a good thing Sn 199; J i.146;
cp. S iv.111;
(nt.) welfare good, pleasantness, cleanliness, beauty, pleasure;
-- vasena for pleasure's sake J i.303, 304; asubha anything repulsive disgusting or unpleasant S i.188; v.320; subhâsubha pleasant and unpleasant Miln 136; J iii.243 (niraya=subhānaŋ asubhaŋ unpleasant for the good C.); cp. below subhāsubha.
-- angana with beautiful courts J vi.272.
-- âsubha good and bad, pleasant & unpleasant Dh 409=Sn 633. ;
-- kiṇṇa the lustrous devas, a class of devas D ii 69; M i 2. 329 390; iii.102; A i.122; J iii.358; Kvu 207; also written ˚kiṇha A ii.231, 233; iv.40, 401; Vism 414, 420 sq. VbhA 520; KhA 86.
-- gati going to bliss, to heaven Mhvs 25, 115.
-- ṭṭhāyin existing or remaining, continuing in glory D i.17; DA i.110; A v.60.
-- dhātu the element of splendour S ii.150.
-- nimitta auspicious sign auspiciousness as an object of one's thought M i 26 A i.3, 87, 200; S v.64, 103; Vism 20.
-- saññā perception or notion of what is pleasant or beautiful Nett 27 Opp. asubhasaññā concept of repulsiveness A i.42 ii.17; iii.79; iv.46; v.106. See asubha.
-- saññin considering as beautiful A ii.52.
subha in a positive context
subha as one of 8 vimokkha
As one of the 8 vimokkha (MN 77
) meditation attainments, subha refers to 4bv☮️
brahma vihāras (or perhaps just metta), divine abidings (SN 46.54
Also see: MN 137
, SN 14.11
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