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adhiṭṭhāna (Pali) is translated as "decision," "resolution," "determination," "self-determination," "will," etc. Adhiṭṭhāna is one of the ten paramis of the Pali tradition.

The Buddhist Dictionary states:

adhiṭṭhāna, as a doctrinal term, occurs chiefly in two meanings:
(1) ‘Foundation’: four ‘foundations’ of an arahat’s mentality, mentioned and explained in MN 140: the foundation of wisdom (paññā), of truthfulness (sacca), of liberality (cāga) and of peace (upasama). See also DN 33 and its Commentary.
(2) ‘Determination’, resolution, in: adhiṭṭhāna-iddhi, ‘magical power of determination’ (see iddhi); adhiṭṭhānapāramī, ‘perfection of resolution’ (see pāramī).[1]

Perfection of determination (adhiṭṭhāna-pāramī)

In the Pali tradition, the perfection of determination (adhiṭṭhāna-pāramī) is one of the ten paramis on the path of the bodhisattva.

The 14th Dalai Lama states:

The perfection of determination is the unshakable resolve to fulfill our promise to liberate sentient beings and to perfect the ten pāramīs. It gives us the courage to remain steadfast in the practice, even when afflictive mental states threaten to dislodge us.[2]

According to the 14th Dalai Lama, the perfection of determination (adhiṭṭhāna-pāramī) of the Pali tradition is similar to the perfection of unshakable resolve (praṇidhāna-pāramitā) of the Sanskrit tradition.[2]


  • Adhi can mean "foundational" or "beginning"
  • Sthā can mean "standing"


  1. Nyanatiloka Thera 2019, s.v. adhiṭṭhāna.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Dalai Lama & Thubten Chodron 2014, s.v. Chapter 11:The Four Immeasurables.