From Encyclopedia of Buddhism
(Redirected from Hri (Buddhism))
Jump to: navigation, search
Translations of
English self-respect,
sense of shame,
moral shame,
moral self-dignity
Pali hiri
Sanskrit hrī, hri
Chinese 慚(T) / 惭(S)
(RR: cham)
Tibetan ངོ་ཚ་ཤེས་པ།
(Wylie: ngo tsha shes pa;
THL: ngo tsa shepa

Hri (Sanskrit, also hrī; Pali: hiri; Tibetan Wylie: ngo tsha shes pa) is a Buddhist term translated as "self-respect" or "conscientiousness". It is defined as the attitude taking earnest care with regard to ones actions and refraining from non-virtuous actions.[1][2]

Hri (Pali: Hiri) is identified as:



The Visuddhimagga (XIV, 142) describes hiri (Pali) together with ottappati (Pali):

It has conscientious scruples (hiriyati) about bodily misconduct, etc., thus it is conscience (hiri). This is a term for modesty. It is ashamed (ottappati) of those same things, thus it is shame (ottappa). This is a term for anxiety about evil. Herein, conscience has the characteristic of disgust at evil, while shame (ottappa) has the characteristic of dread of it. Conscience has the function of not doing evil and that in the mode of modesty, while shame has the function of not doing it and that in the mode of dread. They are manifested as shrinking from evil in the way already stated. Their proximate causes are self-respect and respect of others (respectively)...[3]

Nina von Gorkom states:

Moral shame and fear of blame always arise together but they are two different cetasikas with different characteristics. The Atthasalini (I, Part IV, Chapter 1, 125.127) gives a similar definition as the Visuddhimagga of moral shame and fear of blame and illustrates their difference. The Atthasalini explains that moral shame (hiri) has a subjective original, that its proximate cause is respect for oneself. Fear of blame (ottappa) has an external cause, it is influenced by the "world"; its proximate cause is respect for someone else (1 See Also Chapter 14, where I deal with their opposites, shamelessness and recklessness).[3]


The Abhidharma-samuccaya states:

What is hri? It is to avoid what is objectionable as far as I see it and its function is to provide a basis for refraining from non-virtuous actions.[1]

StudyBuddhism states:

Moral self-dignity (ngo-tsha, a sense of saving face) is the sense to refrain from negative behavior because of caring how our actions reflect on ourselves. According to Vasubandhu, this mental factor means having a sense of values. It is respect for positive qualities or persons possessing them.[4]

Alternative Translations

  • self-respect - Herbert Guenther, Dzigar Kongtrul Rinpoche, Rangjung Yeshe Wiki
  • conscientiousness - Erik Pema Kunsang
  • moral self-dignity - Alexander Berzin
  • sense of shame - Rangjung Yeshe Wiki
  • dignity
  • moral shame - Nina von Gorkom

See also


  1. 1.0 1.1 Guenther (1975), Kindle Locations 524-526.
  2. Kunsang (2004), p. 24.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Gorkom, Cetisakas: Moral Shame and Fear of Blame (hiri and ottappa)
  4. StudyBuddhism icon 35px.png StudyBuddhism, Primary Minds and the 51 Mental Factors


  • Guenther, Herbert V. & Leslie S. Kawamura (1975), Mind in Buddhist Psychology: A Translation of Ye-shes rgyal-mtshan's "The Necklace of Clear Understanding". Dharma Publishing. Kindle Edition.
  • Kunsang, Erik Pema (translator) (2004). Gateway to Knowledge, Vol. 1. North Atlantic Books.

External links

This article includes content from Hri on Wikipedia (view authors). License under CC BY-SA 3.0. Wikipedia logo