I'm referring to Girimananda Sutta (AN 10.60), where the Buddha introduces 9 perceptions + mindfulness with breathing:

The perceptions of impermanence, not-self, ugliness, drawbacks, giving up, fading away, cessation, dissatisfaction with the whole world, non-desire for all conditions, and mindfulness of breathing.
Aniccasaññā, anattasaññā, asubhasaññā, ādīnavasaññā, pahānasaññā, virāgasaññā, nirodhasaññā, sabbaloke anabhiratasaññā, sabbasaṅkhāresu anicchāsaññā, ānāpānassati.

How is this perception to be understood? Is 'Loke' here translated as our 'world' (5 aggregates) or is it the external world and the intrinsic dukkha in it?



This is a very good question because the word "world" ("loka") appears to have many meanings; such as the "world of suffering" (SN 12.44; AN 4.45); the mundane world of defilements & samsara (Lokavagga; AN 8.6; SN 35.82) the world or realms of mental states (MN 79) and the world of people (AN 2.9; AN 3.23). One of the definitions of Nibbana is: "not this world; not the other world".

Personally, I don't know Pali and I have a natural retardedness for grammar however my Dhamma intuition doubts the translation because of what I regard a mistranslation of "sabba" as "whole" instead of "all".

I can't imagine each of the Western translators is wrong here however I tried to examine the term "sabbaloke anabhiratasaññā" and think (possibly wrongly) the noun (loka) is in the "accusative case", which makes "loke" a plural and makes the translation: "dissatisfaction with all worlds".

The "worlds" are any type of conditioned & impermanent mental state, such as the jhana "world of only pleasant feelings (ekantasukhassa lokassa)" described in MN 79. Therefore, "dissatisfaction with all worlds" includes dissatisfaction with every "world", such as the "human world" (manussaloka), "deva world" (devaloka), "brahma world", "jhana world" (sukhassa lokassa), "hungry ghost world" (pettivisaya), world of change and distress (lokavipatti; AN 8.6) etc.

Note: I provided the above answer without reading the sutta. The answer appears to be in the sutta.

Idhānanda, bhikkhu ye loke upādānā cetaso adhiṭṭhānābhinivesānusayā, te pajahanto viharati anupādiyanto. Ayaṃ vuccatānanda, sabbaloke anabhiratasaññā.

And what is the perception of distaste for every world? There is the case where a monk abandoning any attachments, clingings, fixations of awareness, biases or obsessions with regard to any world, refrains from them and does not get involved. This is called the perception of distaste for every world. (Thanissaro)

It’s when a mendicant lives giving up and not grasping on to the attraction and grasping to the world, the mental resolve, insistence, and underlying tendencies. This is called the perception of dissatisfaction with the whole world. (Sujato)

And what, Ānanda, is the perception of non-delight in the entire world? Here, a bhikkhu refrains from any engagement and clinging, mental standpoints, adherences and underlying tendencies in regard to the world, abandoning them without clinging to them. This is called the perception of non-delight in the entire world. (Bodhi)

Note: Thanissaro has translated similar to myself, using the translation "every world", which is similar to "all worlds".

  • Nice answer: thank you. I guess translators assume loka is declined there as a singular locative -- not "taking-no-delight-in .. all-the-worlds" but "taking-no-delight .. in-all-the-world". – ChrisW May 8 '18 at 12:34
  • Sometimes e.g. here the translation is "for every world". – ChrisW May 8 '18 at 12:54
  • Please comment more on the grammar. Why is it not the "accusative" ? Thanks – Dhammadhatu May 8 '18 at 13:04
  • Well I think that the grammar could be either (i.e. singular locative or plural accusative). Either of these (so far as I know ... I too don't know Pali) would seem to me to make sense -- accusative (where "all the worlds" are the object of the dissatisfaction); or, locative (where "the whole world" is the location of the dissatisfaction). I think that (grammatically) sabba can be used with a singular or plural (e.g. "all the world" or "all the worlds"), so one couldn't tell from that, either. I don't see it makes a huge difference to the overall meaning. – ChrisW May 8 '18 at 14:11
  • 1
    Yes I referenced that in my second comment to this answer. – ChrisW May 9 '18 at 20:10

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