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Pāli Glossary

20/1/09 compiled by Alan Weller

abhaya dāna the giving of freedom from fear

abhāya freedom from fear or danger.

Abhidhamma the higher teachings of Buddhism, teachings on ultimate realities

Abhidhammattha Sangaha, an Encyclopedia of the Abhidhamma, written by Anuruddha between the 8th and the 12th century A.D.

abhijjā covetousness

abhiññā, supernormal powers.

abhisaṅkhāra kammic activity giving preponderance in the conditioning of rebirth

adhimāna over-estimating conceit

adhimokkha determination or resolution

adhipatis “forerunners” of the arising of the ariyan eightfold Path:

adiṭṭhāna determination

adosa non aversion

adukkhamasukha neutral feeling

āhāra-paccaya nutriment-condition

ahetuka cittas not accompanied by “beautiful roots” or unwholesome roots

ahetuka kiriyacitta inoperative citta without root

ahetuka-diṭṭhi The view that here are no causes (in happening)

ahirika shamelessness

ājīva-duccarita virati abstinence from wrong livelihood

ākāsānañcāyatana, sphere of boundless space, the meditation subject of the first immaterial jhānacitta

akiriya-diṭṭhi The view that there is no such thing as kamma

akusala citta unwholesome consciousness

akusala kamma a bad deed

akusala unwholesome, unskilful

alobha non attachment, generosity

alobha, non attachment, generosity.

āmisa dāna the giving of material things

amoha wisdom or understanding

an-aññātaññassāmī ‘t’indriya I-shall-come-to-know-the-unknown” faculty, arising at the moment of the magga-citta of the sotāpanna

anāgāmī non returner, person who has reached the third stage of enlightenment, he has no aversion (dosa)

ānanda the chief attendant of the Buddha

anantara-paccaya proximity-condition

anantarika kamma heinous crimes

anattā not self

anicca impermanence.

Aññamañña-paccaya mutuality-condition

aññasamānācetasikas Añña means “other” and samānā means “common”, the same. The aññasamānās which arise together are of the same jāti as the citta they accompany and they all change, become “other”, as they accompany a citta of a different jāti. Akusala is “other” than kusala and kusala is “other” than akusala.

aññātāvindriya The final knower faculty, arising at the moment of the phala-citta of the arahat

aññindriya The faculty of final knowledge , which arises at the moment of the phala-citta, fruition-consciousness, of the sotāpanna, and also accompanies the magga-citta and the phala-citta of the sakadāgāmī and of the anāgāmī and the magga-citta of the arahat

anottappa recklessness

anudhamma in conformity with the Dhamma

anuloma conformity or adaptation.

anumodhanā thanksgiving, appreciation of someone else’s kusala

anupādisesa nibbāna, final nibbāna, without the khandhas (aggregates or groups of existence) remaining, at the death of an arahat.

anusayas latent tendency or proclivity

apo-dhātu element of water or cohesion.

appanā absorption.

arahat noble person who has attained the fourth and last stage of enlightenment

ārammaṇa object which is known by consciousness.

ariyan noble person who has attained enlightenment

arūpa-bhūmi plane of arūpa citta

arūpa-brahma plane plane of existence attained as a result of arūpa-jhāna. There are no sense impressions, no rūpa experienced in this realm.

arūpa-jhāna immaterial absorption

arūpāvacara citta arūpa jhāna citta, consciousness of immaterial jhāna

asaññā-satta plane plane where there is only rūpa, not nāma

asaṅkhārika unprompted, not induced, either by oneself or by someone else

asaṅkhata dhamma unconditioned reality, nibbāna

asappurisa a bad man

āsavas influxes or intoxicants, group of defilements

āsevana-paccaya repetition-condition

asobhana not beautiful, not accompanied by beautiful roots.

asubha foul.

asura demon, being of one of the unhappy planes of existence

atīta-bhavanga past life-continuum, arising and falling away shortly before the start of a process of cittas experiencing an object through one of the sense-doors

attavādupādāna clinging to personality belief

Atthasālinī The Expositor, a commentary to the first book of the Abhidhamma Piṭaka

atthi-paccaya presence-condition

āvajjana, adverting of consciousness to the object which has impinged on one of the six doors.

Avigata-paccaya non-disappearance-condition

avihiósa the thought of non-harming

avijjā ignorance

avijjāsava the canker of ignorance

avijjogha the flood of ignorance

avyāpāda the thought of non-malevolence

ayoniso manasikāra unwise attention to an object

balas powers, strengths

bhaṅga khaṇa dissolution moment of citta

bhava-taṇhā craving for existence

bhāvanā mental development, comprising the development of calm and the development of insight

bhavanga calana vibrating bhavanga arising shortly before a process of cittas experiencing an object through one of the six doors

bhavanga-citta life-continuum

bhavangupaccheda arrest bhavanga, last bhavanga-citta before a process of cittas starts

bhavogha the flood of desire for rebirth

bhikkhu monk

bhikkhunī nun

bhūmi existence or plane of citta

bodhisatta a being destined to become a Buddha

bojjhangas factors of enlightenment,

Brahma heavenly being born in the Brahma world, as a result of the attainment of jhāna

brahma-vihāras the four divine abidings, meditation subjects which are: loving kindness, compassion, sympathetic joy, equanimity

brahmavihāra-upekkhā equanimity, one of the “divine abidings”

Buddha a fully enlightened person who has discovered the truth all by himself, without the aid of a teacher

Buddhaghosa the greatest of Commentators on the Tipiṭaka, author of the Visuddhimagga in 5 A.D

cakkhu eye

cakkhu-dhātu eye element

cakkhu-dvāra eyedoor

cakkhu-dvārāvajjana-citta eye-door-adverting-consciousness.

cakkhu-samphassa eye contact

cakkhu-vatthu eye-base

cakkhu-viññāṇa seeing-consciousness

cakkhuppasāda rūpa, rūpa which is the organ of eyesense, capable of receiving visible object.

cakkhuppasāda-rūpa eye-sense

cetanā volition

chanda “wish to do”

citta consciousness the reality which knows or cognizes an object

citta-kammaññatā wieldiness of citta

citta-lahutā lightness of citta

citta-mudutā pliancy of citta

citta-pāguññatā proficiency of citta

citta-passaddhi tranquillity of mind

citta-ujukatā uprightness of citta

citta, consciousness, the reality which knows or cognizes an object.

cuti dying

cuti-citta dying-consciousness

dāna generosity, giving

dassana-kicca function of seeing.

deva heavenly being

dhamma reality, truth, the teachings

dhamma-dhātu, element of dhammas, realities, comprising cetasikas, subtle rūpas, nibbāna.

dhamma-vicaya investigation of Dhamma

Dhammanudhamma paṭipatti the practice of the Dhamma in conformity with the Dhamma (anudhamma)

dhammārammaṇa, all objects other than the sense objects which can be experienced through the five sense-doors, thus, objects which can be experienced only through the mind-door.

Dhammasangaṇi the first book of the Abhidhamma Piṭaka

dhammavicaya investigation of the Dhamma

Dhātukathā, Discussion on the Elements, the third book of the Abhidhamma.

diṭṭhāsava canker of wrong view

diṭṭhi wrong view, distorted view of realities

diṭṭhigata sampayutta accompanied by wrong view

diṭṭhigata-vippayutta attachment which is dissociated from wrong view

diṭṭhogha the flood of wrong view

diṭṭhupādāna clinging to wrong view

domanassa unpleasant feeling

dosa aversion or ill will

dosa-mūla-citta citta (consciousness) rooted in aversion

dukkha suffering, unsatisfactoriness of conditioned realities

dukkha vedanā painful feeling or unpleasant feeling

dvāra doorway through which an object is experienced, the five sense-doors or the mind door

dvi-pañca-viññāṇa the five pairs of sense-cognitions, which are seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting and body-consciousness. Of each pair one is kusala vipāka and one akusala vipāka

ekaggatā concentration, one-pointedness, a cetasika which has the function to focus on one object

ganthas bonds, a group of defilements

ghāna-dhātu, nose element.

ghāna-viññāṇa smelling-consciousness.

ghānappasāda rūpa** rūpa which is the organ of smelling sense, capable of receiving odour.

Ghāyana-kicca function of smelling.

gotrabhū change of lineage, the last citta of the sense-sphere before jhāna, absorption, is attained, or enlightenment is attained

hadaya-vatthu heart-base, rūpa which is the plane of origin of the cittas other than the sense-cognitions.

hasituppāda-citta smile producing consciousness of an arahat

hetu root, which conditions citta to be “beautiful” or unwholesome

hiri moral shame

hiriyati scruples

idaṃ-saccābhinivesa kāyagantha the bodily tie of dogmatism

idaṃ-saccābhinivesa the tie of dogmatism

iddhipādas four “Roads to Success”

indriya faculty. Some are rūpas such as the sense organs, some are nāmas such as feeling. Five ‘spiritual faculties’ are wholesome faculties which should be cultivated, namely: confidence, energy, awareness, concentration and wisdom.

indriya-paccaya faculty-condition

indriya, faculty.

issā envy

jāti birth, nature, class (of cittas)

javana impulsion, running through the object

javana-citta cittas which ‘run through the object’, kusala citta or akusala citta in the case of non-arahats

jhāna absorption which can be attained through the development of calm

jhāna factors cetasikas which have to be cultivated for the attainment of jhāna: vitakka, vicāra, pīti, sukha, samādhi

jhāna-cittas absorption consciousness attained through the development of calm

jhāna-paccaya jhāna-condition

jhāna, absorption which can be attained through the development of calm

jinhā-dhātu tongue element

jinhāppasāda rūpa rūpa which is the organ of tasting sense, capable of receiving flavour

jivhā-viññāṇa tasting-consciousness

jīvitindriya life-faculty or vitality

kalyāṇa-mitta good friend in Dhamma

kāma-bhūmi sensuous plane of existence

kāma-sobhana cittas beautiful cittas of the sense sphere

kāma-taṇhā sensuous craving

kāma-vitakka thought of sense-pleasures

kāma sensual enjoyment or the five sense objects.

kāmacchandha sensuous desire.

kāmāvacara cittas cittas of the sense sphere

kāmāvacara sobhana cittas beautiful cittas of the sense sphere

kamma intention or volition; deed motivated by volition

kamma patha course of action performed through body, speech or mind which can be wholesome or unwholesome

kamma-paccaya kamma-condition

Kammassakatāñāṇa understanding of the specific nature of kamma as ‘one’s own’

kāmogha the flood of sensuous desire

kāmupādāna sensuous clinging

karuṇā compassion

kasiṇa disk, used as an object for the development of calm

kāya body. It can also stand for the ‘mental body’, the cetasikas

kāya dhātu the element of bodysense

kāya-duccarita virati abstinence from wrong action

kāya-ujukatā uprightness of cetasika

kāya-viññatti bodily intimation, such as gestures, facial expression, etc.

kāya-viññāṇa body-consciousness

kāyappasāda rūpa bodysense, the rūpa which is capable of receiving tangible object. It is all over the body, inside or outside

khandhas aggregates of conditioned realities classified as five groups: physical phenomena, feelings, perception or remembrance, activities or formations (cetasikas other than feeling or perception), consciousness.

khanti patience

kicca function

kilesa defilements

kiriya citta inoperative citta, neither cause nor result

kukkucca regret or worry

kusala citta wholesome consciousness

kusala kamma a good deed

kusala wholesome, skilful

lakkhaṇaṃ characteristic, specific or generic attribute

lobha attachment, greed

lobha-mūla-citta consciousness rooted in attachment

lokiya citta citta which is mundane, not experiencing nibbāna

lokuttara citta supramundane citta which experiences nibbāna

lokuttara dhammas the unconditioned dhamma which is nibbāna and the cittas which experience nibbāna

macchariya stinginess

magga path (eightfold Path)

magga-citta path consciousness, supramundane citta which experiences nibbāna and eradicates defilements.

magga-paccaya path-condition

mahākiriyacitta inoperative sense-sphere citta of the arahat, accompanied by “beautiful” roots.

mahāvipākacitta citta of the sense sphere which is result, accompanied by “beautiful” roots.

mahā-bhūta-rūpas, the rūpas which are the four great elements of “earth” or solidity, “water” or cohesion, “fire” or temperature, and “wind” or motion.

mahā-kusalacitta wholesome citta of the sense sphere

mahā-satipaṭṭhāna, four applications of mindfulness, see satipaṭṭhāna

mahā-vipassanā “principal insight”

manasikāra attention

manāyatana, mind-base.

mano-dhātu mind-element, comprising the five-sense-door adverting-consciousness, and the two types of receiving-consciousness

mano-dvāra-vīthi-cittas, cittas arising in a mind-door process.

mano-dvārāvajjana-citta mind-door-adverting-consciousness

mano-viññāna-dhātu mind-consciousness element, comprising all cittas other than the sense-cognitions (seeing, etc.) and mind-element

mano mind, citta, consciousness

māra  “the evil one”—all that leads to dukkha

mettā loving kindness

micchā-diṭṭhi wrong view

micchā-samādhi wrong concentration

middha torpor or languor

moha ignorance

moha-mūla-cittas cittas rooted in ignorance

muditā sympathetic joy

n’eva-saññā-n’āsaññāyatana, sphere of neither perception nor non-perception, the meditation subject of the fourth immaterial jhāna.

nāma kkhandha group of all mental phenomena

nāma mental phenomena,including those which are conditioned and also the unconditioned nāma which is nibbāna.

nāma mental phenomena,including those which are conditioned and also the unconditioned nāma which is nibbāna.

nāma-rūpa pariccheda-ñāṇa first stage of insight, insight knowledge of the distinction between mental phenomena and physical phenomena

natthi-paccaya absence-condition

natthika diṭṭhi wrong view of annihilation, assumption that there is no result of kamma

ñāṇa sampayutta accompanied by paññā; ñāṇa means paññā.

ñāṇa vippayutta unaccompanied by paññā

ñāṇa wisdom, insight

nekkhamma thought of renunciation

nibbāna unconditioned reality, the reality which does not arise and fall away. The destruction of lust, hatred and delusion. The deathless. The end of suffering

nimitta mental image one can acquire of a meditation subject in tranquil meditation

nirodha-samāpatti, attainment of cessation of consciousness.

nissaya-paccaya dependence-condition

nīvaraṇa hindrances, a group of defilements

oghas group of defilements, the floods

oḷārika rūpas gross rūpas (sense objects and sense organs)

ojā the rūpa which is nutrition

ottappa fear of blame

paccaya-pariggaha-ñāṇa discerning the Conditions of Nāma and Rūpa

paccayas conditions

Pacceka Buddha silent Buddha, an enlightened one who has found the truth by himself but does not proclaim Dhamma to the world

pacchājāta-paccaya postnascence-condition

paccupaṭṭhāna manifestation, appearance or effect

padaṭṭhānaṃ proximate cause

paṭibhāganimitta counterpart image, more perfected mental image of a meditation subject, acquired in tranquil meditation

paṭicca sammuppada ‘Dependent Origination’, the conditional origination of phenomena

paṭigha, aversion or ill will.

Paṭṭhāna Conditional Relations, one of the seven books of the Abhidhamma

paṭisandhi citta rebirth consciousness

paṭisandhi rebirth

pakiṇṇakā the particulars

Pāli the language of the Buddhist teachings

pañcadvārāvajjana-citta five-sense-door-adverting-consciousness

pañcaviññāṇa (or dvi-pañcaviññāṇa), the sense cognitions (seeing etc.) of which there five pairs.

paññā, wisdom or understanding.

paññatti concepts, conventional terms

paramattha dhamma, truth in the absolute sense: mental and physical phenomena, each with their own characteristic.

Paramattha Mañjūsā a commentary to the Visuddhimagga

pāramīs the ten perfections, generosity, dāna, morality, sīla, renunciation, nekkhamma, wisdom, paññā, energy, viriya, patience, khanti, truthfulness, sacca, determination, adiṭṭhāna, loving-kindness, mettā, equanimity, upekkhā

parikamma preparatory consciousness, the first javanacitta arising in the process during which absorption or enlightenment is attained

pasāda-rūpas rūpas which are capable of receiving sense-objects such as visible object, sound, taste, etc.

passaddhi calm

patisanthāro courtesy

peta ghost

phala-citta fruition consciousness experiencing nibbāna. It is result of magga-citta, path-consciosness.

phassa contact

phoṭṭhabbārammaṇa tangible object, experienced through bodysense

phusana kicca function of experiencing tangible object

pīti, joy, rapture, enthusiasm.

Puggalapaññatti, Designation of Human Types, the fourth book of the Abhidhamma.

puñña-kiriya-vatthus “ten bases of meritorious deeds”

purejāta-paccaya prenascence-condition

puthujjana “worldling”, a person who has not attained enlightenment

rāga greed

Rāhula, the Buddha’s son.

rasa function or achievement

rasārammaṇa object of flavour

rūpa physical phenomena, realities which do not experience anything

rūpa-brahma plane or rūpa-bhūmi fine material realm of existence attained as a result of rūpa-jhāna

rūpa-jhāna fine material absorption, developed with a meditation subject which is still dependant on materiality

rūpa-jīvitindriya a kind of rūpa produced by kamma and it maintains the life of the other rūpas it arises together with rūpa-khandha aggregate or group of all physical phenomena (rūpas)

rūpa-khandha aggregate or group of all physical phenomena (rūpas)

rūpārammaṇa visible object

rūpāvacara citta type of jhāna citta

rūpāvacara cittas ūpa-jhānacittas, consciosness of the fine-material sphere

sa-upādi-sesa nibbāna arahatship with the khandhas remaining, thus not final nibbāna at death of an arahat

sabbacitta-sādhāranā the seven cetasikas which have to arise with every citta

sadda dāna the gift of sounds (should be understood by way of the sounds of drums, etc.)

saddārammaṇa, sound.

saddhā confidence

sahagata accompanied by

sahajāta-paccaya conascence-condition

sahetuka accompanied by roots

sakadāgāmī once-returner, a noble person who has attained the second stage of enlightenment

sakkāya diṭṭhi wrong view of personality, wrong view about the khandhas

samādhi concentration or one-pointedness, ekaggatā cetasika

samādhi concentration or one-pointedness, ekaggatā cetasika

samādhi-bhāvanā the development of concentration

samanantara-paccaya contiguity-condition

samañña lakkhaṇa general characteristics common to all conditioned realities

samatha the development of calm

sambojjhanga seven factors of enlightenment

sammā right

sammā-diṭṭhi right understanding

sammā-samādhi right concentration

sammā-sambuddha a universal Buddha, a fully enlightened person who has discovered the truth all by himself, without the aid of a teacher and who can proclaim the Truth to others beings

sammā-saṅkappa right thinking of the eightfold Path

sammā-sati right mindfulness

sammā-vāyāma right mindfulness of the eightfold Path

sampaṭicchana-citta receiving-consciousness

sampajañña discrimination, comprehension

sampayutta associated with

sampayutta dhammas associated dhammas, citta and cetasika which arise together

sampayutta-paccaya association-condition

Sangha community of monks and nuns. As one of the triple Gems it means the community of those people who have attained enlightenment

sankhata or saṅkhāra dhamma conditioned dhamma

saññā memory, remembrance or “perception”

saññā-kkhandha memory classified as one of the five khandhas

santīraṇa-citta investigating-consciousness

saṅkāra dhamma conditioned dhamma

saṅkhāra-kkhandha, all cetasikas (mental factors) except feeling and memory.

saṅkhāradhamma conditioned realities

saósāra the cycle of birth and death

saóvega a sense of spiritual urgency

sappurisa good man

Sāriputta The First chief disciple of the Buddha

sasaṅkhārika prompted, induced, instigated, either by oneself or someone else

sati awareness, non-forgetfulness, awareness of reality by direct experience

satipaṭṭhāna applicatioms of mindfulness. It can mean the cetasika sati which is aware of realities or the objects of mindfulness which are classified as four applications of mindfulness: Body, Feeling Citta, Dhamma. Or it can mean the development of direct understanding of realities through awareness.

satipaṭṭhāna sutta Middle Length Sayings 1, number 10, also Dīgha Nikāya, dialogues 11, no. 22;

savana-kicca function of hearing

sāyana-kicca function of tasting

saṃyojanas The Fetters, a group of defilements

sīla morality in action or speech, virtue

sīlabbata-parāmāsā wrong practice

sīlabbatupādāna wrong practice, which is clinging to certain rules (“rites and rituals”) in one’s practice

sobhana (citta and cetasika) beautiful, accompanied by beautiful roots

sobhana hetus beautiful roots

sobhana kiriyacittas kiriyacittas accompanied by sobhana (beautiful) roots

sobhana kiriyacittas, kiriyacittas accompanied by sobhana (beautiful) roots

somanassa happy feeling

sota-dhātu element of earsense

sota-dvāra-vīthi-cittas ear-door process cittas

sota-dvārāvajjana-citta ear-door-adverting-consciousness

sotāpanna person who has attained the first stage of enlightenment, and who has eradicated wrong view of realities

soto-viññāṇa, hearing-consciousness.

sukha happy, pleasant

sukha-vedanā pleasant feeling

sukhuma, subtle.

sutta part of the scriptures containing dialogues at different places on different occasions..

suttanta a sutta text

tadālambana retention or registering, last citta of a complete process of the sense-sphere

tadārammaṇa-cittas registering-consciousness

tadārammaṇa as above

taruṇa vipassanā “tender insight”

Tathāgata literally “thus gone”, epithet of the Buddha

tatramajjhattatā equanimity or evenmindedness

tejo-dhātu element of fire or heat

Theravāda Buddhism ‘Doctrine of the Elders’, the oldest tradition of Buddhism

thīna sloth

tiṭṭhi khaṇa the moment of its presence, or static moment of citta

Tipiṭaka the teachings of the Buddha

titthi khaṇa static moment of citta

Udāna Verses of Uplift from the Minor Anthologies

uddhacca restlessness

uddhambhāgiya-saṃyojana five higher fetters which tie beings to the higher planes of existance the rūpa-brahma planes and the arūpa-brahma planes

ujupatipanno the straight, true and proper way

upacāra access or proximatory consciousness, the second javana-citta in the process in which absorption or enlightenment is attained

upacāra-samādhi access-concentration

upādā-rūpa, “derived rūpas” the rūpas other than the four Great Elements.

upādāna clinging

upādānakkhandhas khandhas of clinging

upanissaya-paccaya decisive support-condition

upekkhā indifferent feeling. It can stand for evenmindedness or equanimity and then it is not feeling

Uposatha Uposatha days are days of fasting or vigil; uposatha is observed on the days of full-moon and new-moon, and sometimes also on the days of the first and last moon-quarter. In Buddhist countries there is a tradition for lay-followers to visit temples and to observe eight precepts on these days

uppāda khaṇa the arising moment of citta

vaci-duccarita virati abstinence from wrong speech

vacīviññatti the rūpa which is speech intimation

vāsanā disagreeable habits accumulated in the past that can only be eradicated by a Buddha. Even arahats who have eradicated all defilements may still have a way of speech or action that is not agreeable to others

vatthu base, physical base of citta

vāyo-dhātu element of wind or motion

vedanā feeling

vedanā-kkhandha group of all feelings

Vibhaṅga “Book of Analysis”, one of the seven books of the Abhidhamma

vibhava-taṇhā craving for non-existence

vicāra sustained thinking or discursive thinking

vicikicchā doubt

vigata-paccaya disappearance-condition

vihiósā-vitakka thought of harming

vinaya Book of Discipline for the monks

viññāṇa consciousness, citta

viññāṇa-dhātu, element of consciousness, comprising all cittas.

viññāṇa-kkhandha all cittas (consciousness)

viññāṇañcāyatana sphere of boundless consciousness, meditation subject for the second stage of immaterial jhāna

vipāka-paccaya vipāka-condition

vipākacitta, citta which is the result of a wholesome deed (kusala kamma) or an unwholesome deed (akusala kamma). It can arise as rebirth-consciousness, or during life as the experience of pleasant or unpleasant objects through the senses, such as seeing, hearing, etc.

vipallāsas perversions. Three kinds: saññā perversion of perception, citta of thought, diṭṭhi of views

vipassanāñāṇa moment of insight knowledge

vipassanā wisdom which sees realities as they are

vippayutta-paccaya dissociation-condition

vippayutta dissociated from

viriya energy

visaṇkāra dhamma unconditioned dhamma (reality)

Visuddhimagga an encyclopaedia of the Buddha’s teaching, written by Buddhaghosa in the fifth century A.D

vitakka applied thinking

vīthi-cittas cittas arising in a process

vīthimutta-cittas process freed cittas, cittas which do not arise within a process

votthapana-citta determining consciousness.

vyāpāda ill-will

vyāpāda-vitakka thought of malevolence

Yamaka the Book of Pairs, the sixth book of the Abhidhamma

yoghas The yokes, a group of defilements