The Etymology and Semantic Spectrum of adhimukti and Related Terms in Buddhist Texts


  • Giacomo Benedetti University of Florence



Buddhist Sanskrit, Indian Buddhism, semantics, historical linguistics


The action noun adhimukti derives from the verb adhi-muc, not attested in Classical Sanskrit but in Pali. It is regularly used in the passive, with the original meaning ‘to be fastened to’, and then ‘to adhere’. This meaning is not used in a concrete sense, but in a metaphorical one, referred to mind and mental objects, so that adhimukti can be used to express inclination, faith in a doctrine, and also intentional and stable representation of an image or an idea in meditative practice, sometimes with the effect of transformation of external reality. The common feature appears to be adherence or the fixing of the mind on its object.


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How to Cite

Benedetti, G. (2019). The Etymology and Semantic Spectrum of adhimukti and Related Terms in Buddhist Texts. Buddhist Studies Review, 36(1), 3–29.