Upekkha

Upekkhā (in Pali: upekkhā उपेक्खा; Sanskrit: upekṣā उपेक्षा), is the Buddhist concept of equanimity. As one of the Brahma Vihara (meditative states), it is a pure mental state cultivated on the Buddhist path to nirvāna.

Translations of
Upekkha
EnglishEquanimity
Paliउपेक्खा
(upekkhā)
Sanskritउपेक्षा
(upekṣā)
Burmeseဥပေက္ခာ
(IPA: [upekkhā])
Chinese
(Pinyinshě)
Japanese
(rōmaji: Sha)
Khmerឧបេក្ខា
(Upekkha)
Sinhalaඋපේක්ෂාව
(upēkṣāva)
Thaiอุเบกขา
(upekkhaa)
Vietnamesexả
Glossary of Buddhism

Pali literary contexts

Buddhist
Perfections
 
10 pāramīs
dāna
sīla
nekkhamma
paññā
viriya
khanti
sacca
adhiṭṭhāna
mettā
upekkhā
   
6 pāramitās
dāna
sīla
kṣānti
vīrya
dhyāna
prajñā
 
Colored items are in both lists.

Several passages in the Pali Canon and post-canonical commentary identify upekkha as an important aspect of spiritual development. It is one of the Four Sublime States (brahmavihara), which are purifying mental states capable of counteracting the defilements of lust, aversion and ignorance. As a brahmavihara, it is also one of the forty traditionally identified subjects of Buddhist meditation (kammatthana). In the Theravada list of ten paramita (perfections), upekkha is the last-identified bodhisattva practice, and in the Seven Factors of Enlightenment (bojjhanga), it is the ultimate characteristic to develop.

To practice upekkha is to be unwavering or to stay neutral in the face of the eight vicissitudes of life—which are otherwise known as the eight worldly winds or eight worldly conditions: loss and gain, good-repute and ill-repute, praise and censure, and sorrow and happiness (the Attha Loka Dhamma).[1]

The "far enemy" of Upekkha is greed and resentment, mind-states in obvious opposition. The "near enemy" (the quality which superficially resembles upekkha but which subtly opposes it), is indifference or apathy.[2]

In the development of meditative concentration, upekkha arises as the quintessential factor of material absorption, present in the third and fourth jhana states:

Contemporary exposition

American Buddhist monk Bhikkhu Bodhi wrote:

“The real meaning of upekkha is equanimity, not indifference in the sense of unconcern for others. As a spiritual virtue, upekkha means stability in the face of the fluctuations of worldly fortune. It is evenness of mind, unshakeable freedom of mind, a state of inner equipoise that cannot be upset by gain and loss, honor and dishonor, praise and blame, pleasure and pain. Upekkha is freedom from all points of self-reference; it is indifference only to the demands of the ego-self with its craving for pleasure and position, not to the well-being of one's fellow human beings. True equanimity is the pinnacle of the four social attitudes that the Buddhist texts call the 'divine abodes': boundless loving-kindness, compassion, altruistic joy, and equanimity. The last does not override and negate the preceding three, but perfects and consummates them.”[6]

See also

References

  1. ^ Thera, Piyadassi (30 November 2013) [2005]. "The Seven Factors of Enlightenment". Access to Insight. Barre Center for Buddhist Studies. Retrieved 2013-10-07.
  2. ^ Buddhaghosa, Bhadantácariya (2010) [1956]. Vishudimagga: The Path of Purification (PDF). Translated by Bhikkhu Ñãṇamoli (4th ed.). Section 2.101.
  3. ^ Bodhi, Bhikku (2005). In the Buddha's Words. Somerville: Wisdom Publications. pp. 296–8 (SN 28:1-9). ISBN 978-0-86171-491-9.
  4. ^ "Suttantapiñake Aïguttaranikàyo § 5.1.3.8". MettaNet-Lanka (in Pali). Archived from the original on 2007-11-05. Retrieved 2007-06-06.
  5. ^ Bhikku, Thanissaro (1997). "Samadhanga Sutta: The Factors of Concentration (AN 5.28)". Access to Insight. Retrieved 2007-06-06.
  6. ^ Bodhi, Bhikkhu (5 June 2010) [1998]. "Toward a Threshold of Understanding". Access to Insight. Barre Center for Buddhist Studies. Retrieved 2013-10-07.
Abhidharmadīpa

The Abhidharmadīpa or Lamp of Abhidharma is an Abhidharma text thought to have been authored by Vasumitra as a response to Vasubandhu's Abhidharmakośakārikā.

The text consists of verse and prose commentary. It currently survives as an incomplete collection of Sanskrit fragments. However, the text is valuable insofar as it confirms the identity of Vasubandhu as author of the Abhidharmakośakārikā.

Brahmavihara

The brahmavihārās (sublime attitudes, lit. "abodes of brahma") are a series of four Buddhist virtues and the meditation practices made to cultivate them. They are also known as the four immeasurables (Sanskrit: apramāṇa, Pāli: appamaññā). The Brahma-viharas are:

loving-kindness or benevolence (metta)

compassion (karuna)

empathetic joy (mudita)

equanimity (upekkha)According to the Metta Sutta, cultivation of the four immeasurables has the power to cause the practitioner to be reborn into a "Brahma realm" (Pāli: Brahmaloka).The Brahma-viharas, along with meditative tradition associated with Brahma-vihara, are also found in pre-Buddha and post-Buddha Vedic and Sramanic literature.

Buddhism in Venezuela

Buddhism in Venezuela is practiced by over 52,000 people (roughly 0.2% of the population). The Buddhist community is made up mainly of Chinese, Japanese, and Koreans.

Most identify with the Mahayana tradition, reflecting the religious heritage of their emigrant countries.

However, in the mid-1990s Keun-Tshen Goba (né Ezequiel Hernandez Urdaneta), together with Jigme Rinzen, founded a meditation center using the Shambhala Training method.

There are Buddhist centers in Caracas, Maracay, Mérida, Puerto Ordáz, San Felipe, and Valencia.

Buddhist meditation

Buddhist meditation is the practice of meditation in Buddhism. The closest words for meditation in the classical languages of Buddhism are bhāvanā ("mental development") and jhāna/dhyāna (mental training resulting in a calm and luminous mind).Buddhists pursue meditation as part of the path toward liberation, awakening and Nirvana, and includes a variety of meditation techniques, most notably asubha bhavana ("reflections on repulsiveness"); reflection on pratityasamutpada (dependent origination); sati (mindfulness) and anussati (recollections), including anapanasati (breath meditation); dhyana (developing an alert and luminous mind); and the Brahma-viharas (loving-kindness and compassion). These techniques aim to develop equanimity and sati (mindfulness); samadhi (concentration) c.q. samatha (tranquility) and vipassanā (insight); and are also said to lead to abhijñā (supramundane powers). These meditation techniques are preceded by and combined with practices which aid this development, such as moral restraint and right effort to develop wholesome states of mind.

While these techniques are used across Buddhist schools, there is also significant diversity. In the Theravada tradition, reflecting developments in early Buddhism, meditation techniques are classified as either samatha (calming the mind) and vipassana (gaining insight). Chinese and Japanese Buddhism preserved a wide range of meditation techniques, which go back to early Buddhism, most notably Sarvastivada. In Tibetan Buddhism, deity yoga includes visualisations, which precede the realization of sunyata ("emptiness").

Dhamma vicaya

In Buddhism, dhamma vicaya (Pali; Sanskrit: dharma-) has been variously translated as the "analysis of qualities," "discrimination of dhammas," "discrimination of states," "investigation of doctrine,"

and "searching the Truth." This concept implies applying discernment to body-mind phenomena in order to apply right effort, giving way to entry into the first jhana.

Dhyāna in Buddhism

In the oldest texts of Buddhism, dhyāna (Sanskrit) or jhāna (Pali) is the training of the mind, commonly translated as meditation, to withdraw the mind from the automatic responses to sense-impressions, and leading to a "state of perfect equanimity and awareness (upekkhā-sati-parisuddhi)." Dhyana may have been the core practice of pre-sectarian Buddhism, in combination with several related practices which together lead to perfected mindfulness and detachment, and are fully realized with the practice of dhyana.In the later commentarial tradition, which has survived in present-day Theravada, dhyana is equated with "concentration," a state of one-pointed absorption in which there is a diminished awareness of the surroundings. In the contemporary Theravada-based Vipassana movement, this absorbed state of mind is regarded as unnecessary and even non-beneficial for awakening, which has to be reached by mindfulness of the body and vipassana (insight into impermanence). Since the 1980s, scholars and practitioners have started to question this equation, arguing for a more comprehensive and integrated understanding and approach, based on the oldest descriptions of dhyana in the suttas.

In Chan and Zen, the Chinese and Japanese renderings of dhyana, dhyana is the central practice, which is ultimately based on Sarvastivada meditation practices, and has been transmitted since the beginning of the Common Era.

Karuṇā

Karuṇā (in both Sanskrit and Pali) is generally translated as compassion and self-compassion. It is part of the spiritual path of both Buddhism and Jainism.

List of Buddhas

This is a list of historical, contemporary, and legendary figures which at least one school of Buddhism considers to be a Buddha and which have an article on Wikipedia:

Acala

Adi-Buddha

Akshobhya

Amitābha, principal Buddha of Pure Land Buddhism

Amoghasiddhi

Bhaisajyaguru

Budai

Dīpankara Buddha

Five Tathagatas

Gautama Buddha

Kakusandha

Kassapa Buddha

Koṇāgamana Buddha

Lokesvararaja

Nairatmya

Nichiren Daishonin, Buddha of the Latter Day of the Law (Nikko Lineage)

Padumuttara Buddha

Padmasambhava

Ratnasambhava

Satyanama

Sumedha Buddha

Tara

Tonpa Shenrab

Vairocana, embodiment of the Dharmakaya

Vajradhara

Vajrayogini

Yeshe Tsogyal

List of suttas

Suttas from the Sutta Pitaka of the Pali Canon.

List of Digha Nikaya suttas

List of Majjhima Nikaya suttas

List of Samyutta Nikaya suttas

List of Anguttara Nikaya suttas

List of Khuddaka Nikaya suttas

Nekkhamma

Nekkhamma (Sanskrit: Naiṣkramya, नैष्काम्य) is a Pali word generally translated as "renunciation" or "the pleasure of renunciation" while also conveying more specifically "giving up the world and leading a holy life" or "freedom from lust, craving and desires." In Buddhism's Noble Eightfold Path, nekkhamma is the first practice associated with "Right Intention." In the Theravada list of ten perfections, nekkhamma is the third practice of "perfection." It involves non-attachment (detachment).

Prajñā (Buddhism)

Prajñā (Sanskrit) or paññā (Pāli) "wisdom" is insight in the true nature of reality, namely primarily anicca (impermanence), dukkha (dissatisfaction or suffering), and anattā (non-self). In addition, Abhidharma and later Mahāyāna text may include suññatā (Skt; Eng: emptiness).

Pāramitā

Pāramitā (Sanskrit, Pali) or pāramī (Pāli) is "perfection" or "completeness". While, technically, pāramī and pāramitā are both Pāli terms, Pali literature makes far greater reference to pāramī.

Pīti

Pīti in Pali (Sanskrit: Prīti) is a factor (Pali:cetasika, Sanskrit: caitasika) associated with the concentrative absorption (Sanskrit: dhyana; Pali: jhana) of Buddhist meditation. According to Buddhadasa Bhikkhu, piti is a stimulating, exciting and energizing quality, as opposed to the calmness of sukha.Piti is a joyful samskara (formation) associated with no object so the practitioner is not attaining it by desire. It is often translated with the English word "rapture" and is distinguished from the longer-lasting meditative "joy" or "happiness" (Pali, Sanskrit: sukha) which is a subtler feeling that arises along with pīti.

Rinpoche

Rinpoche, also spelled Rimboche and Rinboku (Tibetan: རིན་པོ་ཆེ་, Wylie: rin po che, THL: Rinpoché, ZYPY: Rinboqê), is an honorific term used in the Tibetan language. It literally means "precious one", and may be used to refer to a person, place, or thing--like the words "gem" or "jewel" (Sanskrit Ratna).

The word consists of rin(value) and po(nominative suffix) and chen(big).

The word is used in the context of Tibetan Buddhism as a way of showing respect when addressing those recognized as reincarnated, older, respected, notable, learned and/or an accomplished Lamas or teachers of the Dharma. It is also used as an honorific for abbots of monasteries.

Sacca

Sacca (Pāli; Sanskrit Satya) word meaning "real" or "true". In early Buddhist literature, sacca is often found in the context of the "Four Noble Truths", a crystallization of Buddhist wisdom. In addition, sacca is one of the ten pāramitās or "most high" a bodhisatta must develop in order to become a Buddha.

Seven Factors of Awakening

In Buddhism, the Seven Factors of Awakening (Pali: satta bojjhaṅgā or satta sambojjhaṅgā; Skt.: sapta bodhyanga) are:

Mindfulness (sati). To maintain awareness of reality (dharma).

Investigation of the nature of reality (dhamma vicaya).

Energy (viriya) also determination, effort

Joy or rapture (pīti)

Relaxation or tranquility (passaddhi) of both body and mind

Concentration, (samādhi) a calm, one-pointed state of mind, or clear awareness

Equanimity (upekkha). To accept reality as-it-is (yatha-bhuta) without craving or aversion.This evaluation of seven awakening factors is one of the "Seven Sets" of "Awakening-related states" (bodhipakkhiyadhamma).

The Pali word bojjhanga is a compound of bodhi ("awakening," "enlightenment") and anga ("factor").

Tatramajjhattatā

Tatramajjhattatā (Pali) is a Buddhist term that is translated as "equanimity", "neutrality of mind", etc. In the Theravada tradition, it is defined as a mental attitude of balance, detachment, and impartiality.Tatramajjhattatā is identified as:

One of the twenty-five beautiful mental factors within the Theravada Abhidharma teachings

A synonym of upekkha

Vīrya

Vīrya (Sanskrit; Pāli: viriya) is a Buddhist term commonly translated as "energy", "diligence", "enthusiasm", or "effort". It can be defined as an attitude of gladly engaging in wholesome activities, and it functions to cause one to accomplish wholesome or virtuous actions.

Rupajhāna
First jhāna Second jhana Third jhana Fourth jhana
Kāma / Akusala dhamma
(sensuality / unskillful qualities)
secluded from;
withdrawn
Does not occur Does not occur Does not occur
Vitakka
(applied thought)
accompanies
jhāna
unification of awareness
free from vitakka and vicāra
Does not occur Does not occur
Vicāra
(sustained thought)
Pīti
(rapture)
seclusion-born;
pervades body
samādhi-born;
pervades body
fades away
(along with distress)
Does not occur
Sukha
(non-sensual pleasure)
pervades
physical body
abandoned
(no pleasure nor pain)
Upekkhāsatipārisuddhi
(pure, mindful equanimity)
Does not occur internal confidence equanimous;
mindful
purity of
equanimity and mindfulness
Sources: [3][4][5]
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