Vipassanā etymology

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    • #28328

      Hi Lal! Here, in your article you wrote:

      Vipassanā (vi+passa means sort and discard, where “vi” is to sort out and “passa” is to discard)

      As far as I know, this is a slightly unusual interpretation, and it’s not found anywhere.
      For example, in wikipedia we can see this interpretation:

      Vipassanā (Pāli) or vipaśyanā (Sanskrit) literally, “special-seeing”, “special (Vi), seeing (Passanā)”

      Can you explain it a little?

    • #28332

      Welcome to the forum, Newin!

      Yes. That was not correct. I just fixed it and made a few more revisions in that old post.
      Thanks for pointing that out.

    • #28420

      Lal, thanks for spreading Dhamma!

    • #28490

      I must admit I like the “old etymology” better — one of “discarding what is bad”; and it is more closely related to anapana.

      So, “passa” here is not the same “passa” in “assa / passa”?

      And “vi” means different things in different places too, I suppose? In vicikiccā, you explained “vi” as “twisted”.

      “vi” (twisted) + passa (assa/passa) would actually make a good combination: discarding what is twisted. It brings the point home better than “special seeing”.

      Anyhow, just some musing; a word is what it is despite my liking.


    • #28491

      The meaning of “discarding what is bad” is INCLUDED in vipassana, Lang.

      Vipassana is defined as follows in the section, “ Samathavipassanāduka” at, “2.3.3. Suttantikadukanikkhepa of dhammasaṅgaṇī“:
      Tattha katamā vipassanā? Yā paññā pajānanā … pe … amoho dhammavicayo sammādiṭṭhi—ayaṃ vuccati vipassanā.”

      Therefore, vipassana is connected to paññā (wisdom), dhammavicaya sabbojjhanga, and sammā diṭṭhi.
      – It is the ability “to see” things as they really are. “Passa” also means “to see.”
      – With that understanding, one would know what to “discard” and what to “take in.”

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