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Carefulness, Earnestness, Diligence

Selected References:

DhammaTalk: Give Ear: The First Word
[AN 10 15] Anguttara Nikaya X.15, Heedfulness, Bhk. Thanissaro, trans
[SN 1.3.17] Samyutta Nikaya, 1.3: Kosalasamyutta 17-18: Appamada;
PTS: The Book of the Kindred Sayings I.iii.2.7: Diligence, Mrs. Rhys Davids, trans, pp111;
WP: The Connected Discourses of the Buddha, I.III.ii.7: Diligence, Bodhi, trans., pp179
ATI: [SN 1.3.17] Heedfulness, Bhk. Thanissaro, trans.
BD: [SN 1.3.17] Appamada, Olds, trans.
[SN 5.45.139-148]
BD: Appamada Vagga: Caution, Olds, trans.
ATI: The Path of Dhamma [Dhammapada]: II. Appamadavagga: Heedfulness (21-32), Bhk. Thanissaro, trans.,
AN 6.53: One thing that helps here and herafter.

Pali MO Hare Horner Punnaji Bodhi Nanamoli Rhys Davids (Mrs)Rhys Davids Thanissaro Walshe Woodward
Appamāda Appamāda, Little Madness!, Don't Sputter Fat, Be Careful! Caution earnestness diligence diligence diligence diligence diligence heedfulness untiring Earnestness


Pali Text Society
Pali English Dictionary
Edited by T. W. Rhys Davids and William Stede


Appamāda: [a + pamāda] thoughtfulness, carefulness, conscientiousness, watchfulness, vigilance, earnestness, zeal D I.13...; M I.477...; S I.25, 86, 158, 214; II.29, 132; IV.78..., 97, 125, 252 sq.; V.30 sq...., 41 sq., 91, 135, 240, 250, 308, 350; A I.16, 50....; III.330, 364, 449; IV.28... 120...; V.21, 126...



The following is a probably-incorrect rendering of "Appamāda" in a Brahmi font I was developing but which has been put on hold because of my lack of understanding as to an acceptable way to produce double consonnants.


The first character is the "A" as used when it is the first letter of a word (tip it to one side in your mind to see how closely it resembles our "A"); the second and third characters are the two "p" characters which according to some sources should be joined in some way, and according to other sources were not originally joined — all consonants are pronounced as though followed by the short "A" except in the case of double consonants, and in this case, at least according to some sources, the first "P" is inserted simply because it is not possible to join the "A" to the "P" without making the "P" sound twice (flip the characters upside down to see the resemblance to our "P"); the fourth character is the "M" where the straight line leading from the top right of the ribbon indicates that in stead of the short "A" it should be pronounced with the long "A" sound, and the final character is the "Da" (again notice the resemblance to our "D").

EDIT: Since this was posted I have come to believe that the way it should be written in Brahmi characters is as follows. There was, apparently considerable variation in styles but the general rule seems to have been 'make it simple', specificaly, do not actually include the double consonants. The use of the dot 'm' is a change from the above and indicates that that m was transitional, the long 'ā' is indicated on the 'a' itself as the short horizontal slash on the top right. So the pronunciation is: a P'mmm A Da

audio of appamada




This word is a "Manta" (Sanskrit: Mantra). To get this word to reveal it's secrets, it should be taken as a subject of meditation, researched in the dictionaries and wherever it occurs in the suttas, and then repeated silently. It should be repeated as a whole word, it should be "spelled out" ... "A" "P" (say "p'!") "PA" "MA" "DA"; it should be spelled out pronouncing each syllable twice: "A" "A" "P" "P" "PA" "PA" "MA" "MA" "DA" "DA"; it should be spelled out backwards; where it is possible to break apart the sounds, break them apart (e.g.,"PA" to "P' - Ah", "MA" to "M' - Ah", "DA" to "D' - Ah"); and in any other way you can think of.



Footnote in Rhys Davids translation:
Appamada is a negative term, meaning not-delay, not-dalliance, non-infatuation, from the root, or roots, mad, mand, 'to be exhilarated.' (See Whitney, Sanskrit Roots, 118) From this source we get both the terms for such a state and those for its results and by-products: — intoxication, obsession, insanity, want of concentration and earnestness, etc. ... B. qualifies the term by the (unusual) word kārāpaka-: diligence in making [others] do their work.




Just as the dawn, monks, is the forerunner, the harbinger, of the arising of the sun, even so possession of earnestness is the forerunner, the harbinger of the arising of the Arriyan eightfold way.
— PTS, KS V. pp 28,29, Woodward, trans.[SN 5.45.54] and [61]

Just as, monks, of all creatures, whether footless or having two, four, or many feet; whether having forms or formless; whether conscious or unconscious, or neither conscious nor unconscious, — of these the Tathagata, the Arahant, the fully Enlightened One, is reconed chief; — even so, monks, of all profitable conditions which are rooted in earnestness, which join together in earnestness, — of those conditions earnestness is reconed chief.
— PTS, KS V. pp 33, Woodward, trans.[SN 5.45.139]

Just as, monks, the river Ganges flows, slides and tends to the East, even so a monk who cultivates and makes much of earnestness flows, slides, tends to Nibbana.
— PTS, KS V. pp 34, Woodward, trans.[SN 5.45.?]

Just as, monks, of all the foot-characteristics of such creatures as roam about are joined together in the foot of the elephant, and as the elephant's food in size is reconed chief, even so, monks, of all profitable conditions which are rooted in earnestness, which join together in earnestness, — of those conditions earnestness is reconed chief.
— PTS, KS V. pp 33, Woodward, trans.[SN 5.45.140]

Just as, monks, in a peaked house all the rafters whatsoever go together to the roof-peak, slope to the roof-peak, are joined together in the roof-peak, and of them the peak is reconed chief, — even so monks, of all profitable conditions which are rooted in earnestness, which join together in earnestness, — of those conditions earnestness is reconed chief.
— PTS, KS V. pp 35, Woodward, trans.[SN 5.45.141]

Just as, monks, of all scented woods whatsoever the dark sandal-wood is reconed chief...
— PTS, KS V. pp 35, Woodward, trans.[SN 5.45.142]

Just as, monks, of all scented heart-woods whatsoever the red sandal-wood is reconed chief...
— PTS, KS V. pp 35, Woodward, trans.[SN 5.45.143]

Just as, monks, of all scented flowers whatsoever the jasmine is reconed chief...
— PTS, KS V. pp 35, Woodward, trans.[SN 5.45.144]

Just as, monks, all petty princes whatsoever follow the train of the universal monarch...
— PTS, KS V. pp 35, Woodward, trans.[SN 5.45.145]

Just as, monks, of all starry bodies whatsoever the radinace does not equal one-sixteenth part of the radiance of the moon; just as the moon is reconed chief of them...
— PTS, KS V. pp 35, Woodward, trans.[SN 5.45.146]

Just as, monks, in the autumn season, when the sky is opened up and cleared of clouds, the sun, leaping up into the firmament, drives away all darkness and shines and burns and flashes forth, even so, monks, of all profitable conditions...
— PTS, KS V. pp 36, Woodward, trans.[SN 5.45.147]

Just as, monks, of all woven cloths whatsoever the cloth of Benares is rekoned chief...
— PTS, KS V. pp 36, Woodward, trans.[SN 5.45.148]

— PTS, AN 6.53: As a grass-cutter,
on cutting grass,
grasps it at the top
and shakes it to and fro
and beats it about;
so earnestness, brāhman;
is the one thing
which, when made become,
made to increase,
embraces and establishes two weals:
weal here
and weal hereafter.

— PTS, AN 6.53: As in cutting mango fruit by the stalk,
all the mangoes clustering thereon
come away with the stalk;
so earnestness, brāhman;
is the one thing
which, when made become,
made to increase,
embraces and establishes two weals:
weal here
and weal hereafter.


Critical Pali Dictionary
Edited by V. Trenckner and others
Adapted from the Online Critical Pali Dictionary
The Critical Pali Dictionary Online is a project carried out by the Department of Cross-Cultural and Regional Studies (ToRS) at The University of Copenhagen. Contact: tors @ hum . ku . dk
There is no copyright notice or copyright information available on the site.


A-ppamāda, m. [sa. a-pramāda], non-negligence, vigilance: ātappaṃ padhānaṃ adhiṭṭhānaṃ anuyogo ~o kusalesu dhammesu, Nidd I 59,23 (explaining a-ppamatta; Nidd-a) = 376,22 (Nidd-a); DN I 13,13 (Sv)=" III 30,9 = 104,19 ( = sati-avippavāsa, Sv) = 105,3 = 108,24 = 109,14 = 112,13=" MN III 210,10;It 16,12 (~o kusalesu dhammesu; It-a) ≠ DN III 272,16; AN V 126,13 (yassa . . . ~o natthi kusalesu dhamme- su) ;=" Sn 184 (~ena aṇṇavam, scil. tarati; Pj) = SN I a-ppamādaetaṃ maṅgalam uttamaṃ;=" appamajjanaṃ, Pj I 142,14, and = satiyā avippavāso, ib. 143,26); Sn 334 (~ena vijjāya abbahe sallam attano) = Th 404; Th 658 (sampādeth' ~ena) - 1017 (cf. DN II 120,14, etc, below); Th 883 (~añ ca medhāvi dhanaṃ setthaṃ va rakkhati)=" Dhp 26 = MN II 105,18* = SN I 25,25*; Th 980 (pamādaṃ bhayato disvā ~añ ca khemato) = Ap 6,11*;=" Dhp 21 (~o amatapadaṃ; Dhp-a) = Ja V 99,23* (Ct.), quoted Ja V 66,27', Pj I 144,1, and Sv (III) 1056,6 (cf. Sp I 47,20 foll., Dip VI (52) 53, Mhv V 68); Dhp 22 (etaṃ... ñatvā ~amhi paṇḍitā ~e pamodanti; Dhp-a); 25 (uṭṭhānen' ~ena; = sa- tiyā avippavāsa-saṃkhātena~ena, Dhp-a); 28(pamā- dam ~ena yadā nudati paṇḍito); 30 (~ena Maghavā devānaṃ seṭṭhataṃ gato, ~aṃ pasaṃsanti; Dhp-a);=" It 16,17* (~aṃ pasaṃsanti puñña-kiriyāsu paṇditā; It-a) = SN I 87,5* (Spk) = 89,21* (Spk) = AN III 48,34*;=" DN II 120,14 = 156,2 (~ena sampādetha; = sati-avippavāsena sabbakiccāni sampādeyyātha, Sv) = SN I 158,1, quoted Mp I 65,16, As 18,10; cf. Sp I 52,14 (bhikkhusaṃghaṃ ~ena ovaditvā ≠ Mhv V 219) and appamāda-pada below; the same phrase with inf.: alam eva ~ena sampādetuṃ, SN II 29,17 foll. (= ~ena sabbakiccāni kātuṃ, Spk) = AN IV 134,31 foll.; loc. DN III 244,15 (~e agāravo viharati appatisso); AN IV 122,30-123,6 (~e (s)agā- ravo);="MN I 477,3 foll. (~ena karaṇiyaṃ) ≠ SN IV 125,1-3; MN II 185,15 (kuto . . . brāhmaṇassa ~o); 186,21 (kuto . . . amhākaṃ ~o yesaṃ no mātāpitaro posetabbā, etc);=" SN I 86,29 (~o . . . eko dhammo ubho atthe samadhiggayha tiṭṭhati; = kārāpaka- appamādo, Spk) ≠ AN III 364,21 foll. (~o . . . eko dhammo bhāvito bahulikato); SN I 89,3 foll. (~am upanissāya); II 132,18 (~o karaṇiyo; Spk); IV 97,24 (~o sati cetaso ārakkho karaṇiyo); V 232,6 (katamo . . . ~o); 350,25 (alañ ca pana vo ... ~āya);=" AN I 11,23 (nâhaṃ . . . ekadhammam pi samanupassāmi yena . . . akusalā dhammā parihāyanti yatha-y-idaṃ . . . ~o) ≠ 16,6 foll.; 17,1 (~o . .. mahato atthāya saṃ- vattati); IV 120,13 (satthāraṃ + ~aṃ . . . sakkatvā, etc.) = 121,12; V 21,17 foll. (~o tesaṃ dhammānaṃ aggam akkhāyati) quoted Nidd II 232,13 (Nidd-a);=" title of several suttas: It 16,8-17,5 (= Sutta- saṅgaha ch. 31; see Suttas-a Ce p. 109-110; Ms. in India Office Library, see JPTS 1882 p. 75); SN I 86,17-87,8 (= Suttasaṅgaha ch. 47; see Suttas-a C p. 126-27); SN I 87,9-89,24 (= Mahā-appamāda- sutta, Sp I 82,3, but see Dip XIV 46 ≠ Mhv XV 199); SN II 132,17; V 30,29; 32,1; 33,21; 35,1; 36,16 ; 37,22;=" ifc. v. kārāpaka-ḥ, sabbatthaka-upakāraka-ḥ;="=" ḥ-garu, mfn., see next;=" ḥ-gārava, mfn., reverencing aḥ, AN III 331,6* (~o bhikkhu, so Ck [if genuine ^ ^ - ^ - ^ - , å a-pamādaḥ], Ee appa māda-garu, cf. samādhi-garu, AN IV 29,12*);=" ḥ-gāravatā, f. abstr. of prec, AN III 330,20-33; IV 28,6;=" ḥ-guṇa, m., the virtue of aḥ; loc. ~e yutto, Ap 163,8=" Th-a Ce 172,13*;=" ḥ-dhamma, ni., the holy words about aḥ, Sās 57,34 (~o desito, alluding to Sp I 47,20);=" ḥ-paṭipatti, f., the practice of aḥ, Mil 237,5 (~iyā anusāsanti);=" ḥ-pada, n., the word (notion ) aḥ, or the sentence with aḥ, Dāṭh II 35 (bhikkhū .. . ovadi- tvāna ~ena; cf. 'appamādena sampādetha', DN II 156,2); Sv (II) 593,34 (ovādaṃ sabbaṃ ekasmiṃ ~e yeva pakkhipitvā) ad DN II 120,14;=" ḥ-phala, n., the fruit of aḥ, MN I 477,20 (~aṃ sampassamāno) ≠ SN IV 125,20-29;=" ḥ-mūlaka, mfn., rooted in aḥ; m. pl. ye keci kusalā dhammā sabbe te ~ā appamāda- samosaraṇā, SN V 42,3 (≠ 91,1) = AN V 21,16, quoted Dhp-a I 228,15 and Nidd II 232,12 (= sati-avippavāso appamādo mūlaṃ kāraṇaṃ etesaṃ, Nidd-a);=" ḥ-ra- ta, mfn., delighting in aḥ; m. ~o, Dhp 31 (~o bhikkhu pamāde bhayadassivā); 32 (do.) = AN II 40,32* (quo- ted Mil 408,22*); acc. ~aṃ disvā uttamattha-gavesa- kaṃ, Ap 68,19 (v. l. appamāda-karaṃ) = Th-a Ce 21,19*; instr, f. ~āya me, Thi 36 (Thi-a 43,23) = 38; m. pl. ~ā, It 40,3* (~ā santā pamāde bhayadassino; = appamajjane ratā, It-a); Dhp 327 (~ā hotha, sacittam anurakkhatha; = satiyā avippavāse abhi- ratā hotha, Dhp-a; cf. DN II 120,22*) quoted Mil 379,1*; Anāg 142 (~ā hotha puñña-kiriyāsu sab- badā);=" ḥ-lakkhaṇa, n., 'sign' of aḥ, Ps II 242,32-33; Dhp-a I 229,9 (~aṃ vaḍḍhetvā);=" ḥ-vagga, m., the section of aḥ, title of Dhp 21-32 (referred to: Sp I 47,21; Dip VI 52; Mhv V 68; Sv (III) 1056,3), see JAs 1912, 203-294;do.ofSN V 41-45; 135,1-18; 191,1-7; 240,7-12; 242,6-7; 245,19-23; 250,6-10; 252,15-19; 291,8-14; 308,19-23;=" ḥ-vagga-vaṇṇanā, f., the Ct. of Dhp 21-32; Dhp-a I 161-286 (referred to: Dhp-a IV 1,5);=" ḥ-vihāra, m., a life in aḥ; loc.~e, Ud-a 239,1;=" ḥ-vihāri(n), mfn., living in the state of aḥ; m. ~i, SN IV 78,25 foll.; V 397,29 foll.; gen. ~ino, Ap 68,17 = Th-a Ce 21,17*; m. pl. ~ino, Anāg 139; f. pl. ~iṇiyo, Dhp-a III 100,6; gen. pl. ~inaṃ, Dhp 57 ( = sati-avippavāsa-saṃkhātena appamādena viharantā- naṃ, Dhp-a); Nidd II 141,18 (= silâdisu appamāda- vihāravataṃ, Nidd-a); sometimes v. l. for appamāṇa- vihāri(n), q. v.;=" ḥ-samosaraṇa, mfn., included in aḥ; m. pl. ~ā (appamāda-mūlakā+), SN V 42,1 (≠ 91,1) = AN V 21,17 foll. quoted Dhp-a I 228,16 ( = hetu-phalâdirūpayen apamāhi me [å m[ā/a]] eserenuvo, gp) and Nidd II 232,13 (= appamāde sammā osaranti gacchanti, Nidd-a);=" ḥ-sampadā, f., full possession of aḥ; sila-sampadā+, SN V 30,30 (= kārāpaka- appamāda-sampatti, Spk); 32,8; 33,22; 35,2; 36,17; 37,23;=" ḥ-sutta, n., see appamāda above in fine;=" ḥ-su-desanā, f., = appamādôvāda; Dip VI 52;=" ḥâdhikaraṇam, ind., on account of aḥ (see adhikaraṇa (c)), DN II 86,3 (~aṃ mahantaṃ bhogakkhandhaṃ adhigacchati) = III 236,17;=" ḥâdhigata, mfn., acquired by aḥ; m. ~o (yaso), AN IV 95,21; AN I 50,18-14 (~ā bodhi ~o anuttaro yogakkhemo);=" ḥânisamsagāthā, f. pl., title of Saddh XIX (vv. 588-621);=" ḥâbhāva, m., want of aḥ; abl. ~ā, Ja V 100,26';=" ḥôvāda, m., exhortation to aḥ, Ja V 66,28' (quoting Dhp 21).


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