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Book: Teaching Awareness in the Buddhist Tradition

Chapter: 2. The Concept of Pariyogāhaṇa in the Epistemology of the Paṭisambhidāmagga: An Immersion in Knowledge and Liberation

DOI: 10.1558/equinox.44241


In an attempt to condense the contents of Pāli Suttas and Abhidhamma, it is relatively safe to affirm that they consist in the teachings of the Buddha on the path to liberation – from the cycle of births (saṃsāra) dominated by suffering/unsatisfactoriness (dukkha). According to these teachings, the goal of this path is ultimately achieved by means of a dramatic shift of the cognitive paradigm, preceded by a gradual development and refinement of cognitive factors. In this regard, an early exegetical Pāli text included in the Sutta Piṭaka, the Paṭisambhidāmagga, introduces the concept of ‘immersion-awareness’ (pariyogāhaṇa-ñāṇa) and ascribes a crucial role to it, strictly related to the exertion of contemplative and investigative techniques. This study aims at exploring the notion of pariyogāhaṇa and its contribution to the understanding of Pāli Buddhist epistemology.

Chapter Contributors

  • Giuliano Giustarini ( - ggiustarini) 'Mahidol University'