Reply To: This mine, I am this, this my Atta.


There are three points to sort out:

1. We attach to things in this world (and thus move away from Nibbana) due to two main reasons: (i) Having wrong views about the world, i.e., believing that the world can provide happiness if we try hard enough. That wrong (or distorted) view is sakkaya ditthi. (ii) Having wrong (or distorted) perceptions along the same lines is called sanna vipallasa.

  • Sakkaya ditthi goes away at the Sotapanna stage, starting at the Sotapanna Anugami level.
  • Sanna vipallasa decreases in stages. starting at the Sotapanna stage and complete removal only at the Arahant stage.

2. The deeply embedded perception of a “me” is associated with sanna vipallasa. Removal of sakkaya ditthi does not affect that much the removal of the perception of a “me.” However, without the removal of sakkaya ditthi one cannot proceed to removing sanna vipallasa. Thus, only a Sotapanna can start the process of removing sanna vipallasa.

3. It is incorrect to translate the famous verse, “‘etaṁ mama, esohamasmi, eso me attā’ ti” as “‘This is mine, I am this, this is my self’?”

  • The problem is with translating atta/attā as “my self.”
  • Even though in some contexts, attā indicates “a person” in relation to anicca and dukkha (i.e., in Tilakkhana), anatta/anattā ALWAYS means “not beneficial” or something to that effect. See “Anatta – the Opposite of Which Atta?
  • Thus, the correct translation of “‘etaṁ mama, esohamasmi, eso me attā’ ti” is “mine, of myself, or can be beneficial for me?”

4. I will address this in detail in the current series of posts in “Does “Anatta” Refer to a “Self”?” starting with the next post.