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Asubha = a + subha

  • Subha means something like “furiful/good.”
  • Asubha is the opposite.

We have a built-in “subha saññā” or a “perception of fruitful/worthiness” about worldly things, especially mind-pleasing ones.

  • However, when one starts comprehending the anicca, dukkha, and anatta nature, one starts cultivating the “asubha saññā.” (It is related to “anicca saññā.”)
  • See “Asubha Sutta (SN 46. 67)” and “Rāga Sutta (AN 6.107)“.
  • However, the English translations there have “asubha” mistranslated as “ugly.” In a way, it is the opposite: We perceive things that are mind-pleasing to be of subha nature, but attachment to such “mind-pleasing things” gets us into trouble. Thus, it is such “mind-pleasing things” that are of asubha nature.