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Saṃyojanā, Saṅyojana, Saññojana, Samyojanā

The Three, Five, Ten Fetters; Yokes to Rebirth


[AN 10.13]
ATI: Fetters
Puremind Press, Venerable Punnaji, Awakening Meditation, pp 8-72
[AN 1.1-97]
The Book of the Ones: The Yokes to Rebirth
Appendixes: The 10 Fundamantal Attachments
Discussion at: DhammaTalk: The Five Fetters to the Lower Rebirths
AN 4.131: Three sorts of yokes: To the lower worlds, to rebirth, and to existence.
SN 4.35.54, SN 4.35.55, the method for letting go of the s.
AN 7.8 For seven fetters.



Pali MO Hare Horner Punnaji Bodhi Nanamoli Rhys Davids (Mrs)Rhys Davids Thanissaro Walshe Woodward
Saṃyojanā Yokes, attachments, yokes to rebirth Fetters Fetters, the fetters of becoming Entanglements Fetters, the fetters of being Fetters fetters fetters Fetters fetters Fetters
Sakkāyaditthi One True Own Body View[1] References Rhys Davids Own-Body Personality perspective, self concept personality view personality view delusion of self, error of permanant individual entity error of permanant individual entity self-identity views personality-belief The view of the individual-group
Vicikiccha doubt, vacillation References Rhys Davids doubt, perplexity Vacillation doubt doubt doubt doubt Uncertainty sceptical doubt doubt and wavering
Sīlabbata-parāmāso attachment to trust in good works, ethics and rituals References Rhys Davids clinging to rites and customs alientation of morals adherence to rules and observances adherence to rules and observances Reliance on the efficacy of rites and ceremonies, wrong judgment as to rules and ritual wrong judgment as to rules and ritual grasping at precepts and practices attachment to rite and ritual wrong handling of habit-and-ritual
Kāmacchanda wanting, pleasure-wishing References Rhys Davids desire for sense pleasures Sensual desire, sensual lust sensual lust, covetousness sensual lust, covetousness bodily lusts or passions, sensuality sensuality Sensual Desire sensuality sensual desire, hankering
Vyāpādo deviance, the by-path References Rhys Davids malevolance, ill-will Hate ill will ill will ill-will ill-will ill-will, malevolance ill-will malevolence, ill-will
Rūparāgo Lust for material things References Rhys Davids Lust for corporeality form, materiality/lust form, materiality/lust lust after rebirth in Rupa (worlds) lust after rebirth in Rupa (worlds) passion for form craving for the world of form Lust of objective form
Arūparāgo lust for immaterial things References Rhys Davids Lust for in-corporeality immateriality, immaterial realm/lust immateriality, immaterial realm/lust lust after rebirth in Arupa (worlds) lust after rebirth in Arupa (worlds) passion for what is formless craving for the formless world lust of the formless
Māna pride References Rhys Davids identity, self esteem (positive or negative) conceit conceit pride, conceit conceit conceit conceit conceit
Uddhaccan trembling References Rhys Davids restlessness Anxiety restlessness restlessness Self-righteousness, excitement excitement restlessness, worry distraction excitement, Restlessness
Avijjā blindness References Rhys Davids ignorance unconsciousness ignorance ignorance ignorance ignorance ignorance ignorance ignorance


[1] Previously I have translated this term 'one-truth-view'. This was not a good translation. Happily it resulted, if the view itself is abandoned, in a perception that encompasses abandoning the idea of 'own-body.' But it was not a translation, but an interpretation, and after much pondering I see that the idea, for a beginner (and this idea is very important for the beginner seeking safety) of the error of seeing the body as one's own is easier to understand than the idea that one must abandon all ideas of a single true way of seeing things.
That 'sakkāya' means 'own-body' is the current con census. There is some doubt about that. The 'own' part is 'saka'; 'kāya' is body, in all the senses of the word in English but with the primary meaning not of the physical body but of the grouping together and identification with the khandhas, so the meaning is, for some sorts of beings, more along the lines of 'personal world'.
I have made/am correcting instances of this translation on this page and throughout the site as I find them.

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


Saṅyoga: [fr. saṅ+yuj] 1. bond, fetter M I.498; S I.226; III.70; IV.36; A IV.280...-- 2. union, association... --3. connection (within the sentence), construction (accanta-)...
Saṅyojana[fr. saṅyuñjati] bond, fetter S IV.163 etc.; especially the fetters that bind man to the wheel of transmigration Vin I.183; S I.23; V.241, 251; A I.264; III.443; IV.7 sq. (diṭṭhi-); M I.483; J I.275;.
The ten fetters are (1) sakkāyadiṭṭhi; (2) vicikicchā; (3) sīlabbataparāmāso; (4) kāmacchando; (5) vyāpādo; (6) rūparāgo; (7) arūparāgo; (8) māno; (9) uddhaccaṃ; (10) avijjā. The first three are the tīṇi saṅyojanāni e. g. M I.9; A I.231, 233; D I.156; II.92 sq., 252; III.107, 132, 216; S V.357, 376, 406. The seven last are the satta saṅyojanāni. The first five are called orambhāgiyāni e. g. A I.232 sq.; II.5, 133; V.17; D I.156; II.92, 252; M I.432; S V.61, 69. The last five are called uddhambhāgiyāni e. g. A V.17; S V.61, 69. A diff. enumn of seven saṅyojanas at D III.254 and A IV.7, viz. anunaya-, paṭigha-, diṭṭhi-, vicikicchā-, māna-, bhavarāga-, avijjā-. A list of eight is found at M I.361 sq. Cp. also ajjhatta-saṅyojano and bahiddhāsaṅyojano puggalo A I.63 sq.; kiṃ-su-s- S I.39.



[AN 4.131] Saṅyojana Puggala Suttaṃ the Pali,
Fetters, Woodward translation.
The Buddha describes four sorts of persons in relationship to the sorts of yokes to rebirth [saṅyogana] they have or have not yet got rid of.

This sutta raises many important issues. First is an unusual breakdown of the saṅyoganas:

1. those yoking one to rebirth in the lower worlds Woodward translates 'this World' and then, for the Once Returner translates in a way that can be misunderstood as indicating that he has not broken any of the first five fetters (this, apparently, an opinion derived from commentary). But these are yokes to any 'kama-loka' which includes the deva-worlds up to the Tusita Realm — see the Buddhist cosmology here — These first five yokes are: 1. The One-true Own-Body view, 2. Doubt, 3. Belief that good deeds, ethical conduct or rituals can bring an end to Pain, 4. Wishing for pleasure, 5. Deviant thinking. When the first three of these are broken by the Streamwinner, he is no longer subject to rebirth lower than the world of humans. He is able to see when he is hanging on to a way of viewing his individuality that will lead him to hell or some other low state and is able to let that go without having the strength to let go of every sort of being. The Once-returner is also a Streamwinner, so he will have at least broken the first three yokes. The Buddha is in this case speaking of the category as a whole, not it's individual components. He does not say 'has not broken any fetters' he says 'has not broken the 'orambhāgiyāni saṅyojanāni.' All five.

2. those yoking one to rebirth

3. those yoking one to existence.

Bhkkhu Bodhi cites the commentary for definition of the last two and the result is a restatement of the terms with nothing informative added.

You are welcome to disagree, but I suggest we do not need to go off into bizarre speculations relying on the commentary to understand these last two categories. It is sufficient to carefully examine the nature of the 10 saṅyojanāni that we are given.

First, to understand the latter two categories, one must understand fetter #1: sakkāyaditthi. The usual understanding is that this means 'view of self' understanding that to mean the idea one has that one has an eternal self, etc. (Actually the usual understanding is to flip to the view that there is no self, but that is just an error.) The emphasis should be on the 'view' part of the compound. The holding onto points of view concerning individuality with the idea: 'This alone is the truth, all other views are stupidity.' The Streamwinner who has freed himself from this yoke will have understood that the problem of pain arises as a result of the holding on to a view concerning his having an eternal self, but he will not necessarily have actually abandoned the identification, thoughts, and so forth that arise from having had that point of view in the past. Its like the phantom limb phenomena. He is likened to the person who has come across a well without a bucket to retrieve the water. He can see the solution (as it were) but has not got the means to drink.

In a similar way all the first five fetters have to do with orienting the intellect to the goal and focusing the individual's behavior on elimination of various gross obstructions to perception of his inner workings. These first five do not constitute having uprooted the underlying drive to be. The next two fetters are lust for form and lust for immaterial existence: the underlying drives to be, aka: yokes to actual rebirth.

The final three yokes are pride, a fear-ridden-anxiety, and being subject to misunderstanding (aka blindness). Here we have the case of the person who has sufficient experience to prevent him from behavior that would result in rebirth in any realm of being, but for whatever reason (long habit, experience, difficult circumstances) there remain these subtle states of mind. This is the case of the Non-Returner who no longer own-makes (sankharams) and who obtains final release at some point after the death of the body but before assuming any rebirth.

There is much discussion back and forth concerning the precise state this individual is in caused by trying to imagine a state of existence which does not require rebirth. A between-births. But this is not necessary if one examines AN 11.7 and similar suttas where it is stated that there is the possibility of perception without perception of any realm of being. 'Existence' is a matter of perception, rebirth is a matter of having acted upon perception to the effect of having set rolling identification with form or the formless. The Paṭicca Samuppada differentiates between bhava and jāti: existence and rebirth. This person is percipient of these subtle mental states. That is what remains for him of existence. That is what he gets rid of, without assuming rebirth, to become Arahant.
Say I.



The Seven Saṅyogana

avijjā-saṅyojanaɱ.|| ||

doubt and wavering,
lust for life,

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