Apramāda (P. appamada; T. bag yod pa, བག་ཡོད་པ་; C. bu fangyi 不放逸) is translated as "conscientiousness," "concern," "heedfulness," etc. It is a mental factor which is defined as taking great care concerning what should be adopted and what should be avoided.
It is identified as:
- One of the eleven virtuous mental factors within the Abhidharma-samuccaya of the Sanskrit tradition
- One of the ten omnipresent wholesome factors within the Abhidharma-kosa of the Sanskrit tradition
- One of the three components of sila (discipline) paramita in the Tibetan tradition
Apramāda is the topic of the fourth chapter of the Bodhicharyavatara, where the meaning and implications of apramāda are described in detail.
The Abhidharma-samuccaya states:
- What is concern (apramāda)? From taking its stand on non-attachment (alobha), non-hatred (adveṣa), and non-deludedness (amoha) coupled with diligence (vīrya), it considers whatever is positive and protects the mind against things which cannot satisfy. Its function is to make complete and to realize all worldly and transworldly excellences.
The Khenjuk states:
- Tib. བག་ཡོད་པ་ནི་བླང་དོར་གྱི་གནས་ལ་གཟོབ་པ་ལྷུར་ལེན་པ་སྲིད་ཞིའི་ལེགས་པ་སྒྲུབ་པའི་ལས་ཅན་ནོ།
- Conscientiousness is the earnest application of care concerning what should be adopted and what should be abandoned. Its function is to accomplish the excellence of existence and peace [samsara and nirvana].
- A caring attitude (bag-yod, carefulness) is a subsidiary awareness that, while remaining in a state of detachment, imperturbability, lack of naivety, and joyful perseverance, causes us to meditate on constructive things and safeguards against leaning toward tainted (negative) things. In other words, being disgusted with and not longing for compulsive existence, not wanting to cause harm in response to its suffering, not being naive about the effects of our behavior, and taking joy in acting constructively, a caring attitude brings us to act constructively and to refrain from destructive behavior. This is because we care about the situations of others and ourselves and about the effects of our actions on both; we take them seriously.
Robert Thurman emphasizes the high degree of apramada of someone who has realized emptiness (a.k.a. "voidness"):
- This denotes a type of awareness of the most seemingly insignificant aspects of daily life, an awareness derived as a consequence of the highest realization of the ultimate nature of reality. As it is stated in the Anavataptaparipṛcchasutra: "He who realizes voidness, that person is consciously aware." "Ultimate realization," far from obliterating the relative world, brings it into highly specific, albeit dreamlike, focus.
Five types of apramāda
- Concern with regard to things in the past
- Concern with regard to things in the future
- Concern with regard to things in the present
- Concern with regard to things which were to be done before
- Concern with regard to things which continue together with what is done now
- A caring attitude (Alexander Berzin)
- Carefulness (Alexander Berzin, David Karma Choepel)
- Conscious awareness (Robert Thurman)
- Conscientiousness (Rigpa wiki)
- Concern (Herbert Guenther)
- Heedfulness/vigilance (Buswell)
- Vigilance (Gyurme Dorje)
- Berzin, Alexander (ed.), Primary Minds and the 51 Mental Factors, StudyBuddhism
- Mipham Rinpoche (2004), Gateway to Knowledge, vol. I, translated by Kunsang, Erik Pema, Rangjung Yeshe Publications
- Thurman, Robert (2008), The Holy Teaching of Vimalakirti, Pennsylvania State University
- Yeshe Gyeltsen (1975), Mind in Buddhist Psychology: A Translation of Ye-shes rgyal-mtshan's "The Necklace of Clear Understanding", translated by Guenther, Herbert V.; Kawamura, Leslie S., Dharma Publishing
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