What are the canonical definitions of the following words (sati, sampajañña, appamada, atappa, manasikara, satipaṭṭhāna) from the Tipitaka, commentaries, sub commentaries, including primary, secondary or tertiary source with citations:

Samprajaña, apramāda and atappa

Image source: Sati (Buddhism)

1 Answer 1


Mindfulness is not "awareness". Mindfulness is remembering, as follows:

When one has heard the Dhamma from such bhikkhus one dwells withdrawn by way of two kinds of withdrawal—withdrawal of body and withdrawal of mind. Dwelling thus withdrawn, one recollects (anussarati) that Dhamma and thinks it over. Whenever, bhikkhus, a bhikkhu dwelling thus withdrawn recollects that Dhamma and thinks it over, on that occasion the enlightenment factor of mindfulness (sati) is aroused by the bhikkhu; on thatoccasion the bhikkhu develops the enlightenment factor of mindfulness; on that occasion the enlightenment factor of mindfulness comes to fulfilment by development in the bhikkhu.


One is mindful to abandon wrong view & to enter (upasampajja) & remain (viharati) in right view: This is one's right mindfulness (sati).


"What is sammasati? Sati means to bear in mind or bring to mind. Sati is the state of recollecting, the state of remembering, the state of non-fading, the state of non-forgetting. Sati means the sati that is a Spiritual Faculty, the sati that is a Spiritual Power, Sammasati, the Sati that is an Enlightenment Factor, that which is a Path Factor and that which is related to the Path. This is what is called sammasati." Vbh.105, 286

Sampajanna (saṃ + pajāna) is active supervisory wisdom. It means ready wisdom, situational wisdom, to thoroughly understand. Sampajanna is not Western/Jewish 'bare zombie awareness'. When SN 47.35 briefly defines ‘sampajana’, it uses the word “vidita” (pp. of vindati), which means “to understand” or “understood”, as Bhikkhu Bodhi properly translated as “understood”, as follows:

And how, bhikkhus, does a bhikkhu exercise clear comprehension? Here, bhikkhus, for a bhikkhu feelings are understood as they arise, understood as they remain present, understood as they pass away. Thoughts are understood as they arise, understood as they remain present, understood as they pass away. Perceptions are understood as they arise, understood as they remain present, understood as they pass away. It is in this way, bhikkhus, that a bhikkhu exercises clear comprehension.

Because I understand the diversity of faculties as it applies to this person.

Indriyavemattatā hi me, udāyi, imasmiṃ puggale viditā.

MN 66

However, I have recognized individual differences.

Api ca mayā puggalavemattatā viditā”ti.

SN 12.17

Manasikara is manas or thought. Thus it is attention directed by thought or intention (rather than mere or pure consciousness/vinnana). For example:

Hearing the good Dhamma, becoming full, fills up faith. Faith, becoming full, fills up careful attention. Careful attention, becoming full, fills up mindfulness and clear comprehension. AN 10.61

Satipaṭṭhāna, according to Bhikkhu Sujato, means establishing of mindfulness.

The function of satipaṭṭhāna as support for jhāna is suggested in a very common Sutta idiom, whose significance tends to be obscured in translation. The term satipaṭṭhāna (establishing of mindfulness) resolves into sati and upaṭṭhāna. The alternative resolution into sati and paṭṭhāna, though favoured by the commentaries, is spurious. The difference between the two is that while upaṭṭhāna expresses the subjective act of establishing or setting up mindfulness, paṭṭhāna would refer to the ‘foundations’ of mindfulness, the objective domains on which mindfulness is established. The basic meaning of upaṭṭhāna is to ‘stand near’, and it is commonly used to mean ‘serve’, ‘approach’, even ‘worship’. Taranatha Tarkavacaspati’s Sanskrit dictionary gives the meaning of ‘causing to remember’..., which would be identical with sati, but as this does not seem to be attested in any early text it is probably under Buddhist influence. We have already remarked that the closest parallel in the Upaniṣads is the term upāsana. Page 185

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