Thursday, July 18, 2019

parimukha: 57 occurrences in the pali suttas


Pari-mukha

in-front

4👑☸ → UPED   → pari-mukha   🔬details     (⤴)


pari-mukha = in-front

1. literal context, in vinaya, refers to spatial location in front of person, such as facial or chest hair.
2. figurative context in sitting meditation:
* what is 'in-front' of you is the 'main priority'.
* tackle head on what's 'in-front' of you.
* move that task to the front of the line.

pari-mukhaṃ satiṃ upaṭṭhapetvā

✅Make sati establishment your "main priority".
⛔It does not mean focus on physical spatial area around-your-mouth, as Theravada wrongly interprets this in 16 APS breath meditation context.


If you want to be sure of what a pali word means, you need to look at every reference in the suttas and make sure it's coherent and consistent throughout.
The conclusion of this study, is that pari-mukha can not mean the physical spatial location "around the mouth", as late Theravada interprets it.
In the sitting meditation context, pari-mukha is not about the spatial location "in front" at all. The spatial interpretation just happens to work for 16 APS (breath meditation). But it doesn't work for all of the other Buddhist meditations designated which are non-breath related.

conclusion: Pari-mukha is a figure of speech.
Similar to these English figures of speech:
1. Focus on the task at hand
2. A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.
3. Follow your nose

Pari-mukha is a figure of speech that means, "main priority".
pari-mukhaṃ satiṃ upaṭṭhapetvā  = Make sati establishment your "main priority". 


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