Friends, could anybody direct me to some suttas of the pâli canon about Tatramajjhattatā, the developed form of the equanimous abiding 'in the middle of all that'. To the best of my knowledge, this specific mental factor is mentioned in the Abhiddhamma and the Visuddhimagga, but I was unable to find it referred to in the Pali Canon.

Many thanks for your much appreciated help, with Mettā

  • I don't think it is mentioned in Pali Canon, it seems the term was coined by Buddhaghosha. Do you mind providing quotes from Abh and Vsm? What this reminds me though is ataraxia of Pyrrho, which was supposedly a concept he picked up from Buddhists in Northern India. ("In non-philosophical usage, the term was used to describe the ideal mental state for soldiers entering battle.") I wonder if Sarvastivadins had a similar concept... Perhaps Tattvasiddhi-Śāstra has something on the topic...
    – Andriy Volkov
    Jan 29, 2018 at 0:59
  • I think I heard these texts being mentioned in that talk : abhayagiri.org/talks/6179-in-the-middle-about-that but I fear I may be unable to provide specific quotes. Jan 29, 2018 at 4:28

1 Answer 1


Upekkhā word is used in 10 contexts of suttanta with 10 meaning, which were analysed by sāriputta-aggasāvaka, then concluded to 4 sabhāva:

  • One refers to vedanā (upekkhā-feeling).
  • One refers to viriya (effort).
  • Two refer to paññā (understanding).
  • Six refer to tatramajjhattatā (equality/parity/counterbalance).

So, when sāriputta try to explain each upekkhā, he used the synonym words to explain them, like we saw in the dictionary, nowadays, such as in KN. Jūlaniddesa, Udayamāṇavakapañhāniddeso:

[446] Upekkhāsatisaṃsuddhanti upekkhāti yā catutthajjhāne upekkhā upekkhanā ajjhupekkhanā cittasamatho cittappasādatā majjhattatā cittassa.

That is the original tatramajjhattatā in pāli cannon.

Why commentary concluded 10 meaning to 4 sabhāva?

Because of the main topic of each contexts, which each upekkhā word appearing. For the example in SN Mahāvagga, First Ānandasutta:

[1393] Yasmiṃ samaye ānanda bhikkhu tathā samāhitaṃ cittaṃ sādhukaṃ ajjhupekkhitā hoti upekkhāsambojjhaṅgo tasmiṃ samaye bhikkhuno āraddho hoti upekkhāsambojjhaṅgaṃ tasmiṃ samaye bhikkhu Bhāveti upekkhāsambojjhaṅgo tasmiṃ samaye bhikkhuno bhāvanāpāripūriṃ gacchati.

You can see sama-word and ajjhupekkhā-word, which appeared in Udayamāṇavakapañhāniddeso like tataramajjhupekkhā, explaining upekkhāsambojjhaṅgaṃ. So, commentary concluded them as the same type upekkhā, tattaramajjhupekkhā.

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