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The Etymology and Semantic Spectrum of adhimukti and Related Terms in Buddhist Texts

Issue: Vol 36 No. 1 (2019)

Journal: Buddhist Studies Review

Subject Areas: Religious Studies Buddhist Studies

DOI: 10.1558/bsrv.36122


The action noun adhimukti derives from the verb adhi-muc, not attested in Classical Sanskrit but in Pāli. It is regularly used in the passive, with the original meaning ‘to be fastened to’, and then ‘to adhere’. This meaning is not used in a concrete sense, but in a metaphorical one, referred to mind and mental objects, so that adhimukti can be used to express inclination, faith in a doctrine, and also intentional and stable representation of an image or an idea in meditative practice, sometimes with the effect of transformation of external reality. The common feature appears to be adherence or the fixing of the mind on its object.

Author: Giacomo Benedetti

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