VI. Foulness as a Meditation Subject¶
1 General Definitions¶
178 Now, ten kinds of foulness, [as corpses] without consciousness, were listed next after the kasiṇas thus: the bloated, the livid, the festering, the cut up, the gnawed, the scattered, the hacked and scattered, the bleeding, the worm infested, a skeleton (III.105).
The bloated: it is bloated (uddhumāta) because bloated by gradual dilation and swelling after (uddhaṃ) the close of life, as a bellows is with wind. What is bloated (uddhumāta) is the same as “the bloated” (uddhumātaka). Or alternatively, what is bloated (uddhumāta) is vile (kucchita) because of repulsiveness, thus it is “the bloated” (uddhumātaka). This is a term for a corpse in that particular state.
§2 The livid: what has patchy discolouration is called livid (vinīla). What is livid is the same as “the livid” (vinīlaka). Or alternatively, what is livid (vinīla) is vile (kucchita) because of repulsiveness, thus it is “the livid” (vinīlaka).  This is a term for a corpse that is reddish-coloured in places where flesh is prominent, whitish-coloured in places where pus has collected, but mostly blue-black (nīla), as if draped with blue-black cloth in the blue-black places.
§3 The festering: what is trickling with pus in broken places is festering (vipubba). What is festering is the same as “the festering” (vipubbaka). Or alternatively, what is festering (vipubba) is vile (kucchita) because of repulsiveness, thus it is “the festering” (vipubbaka). This is a term for a corpse in that particular state.
§4 The cut up: what has been opened up  by cutting it in two is called cut up (vicchidda). What is cut up is the same as “the cut up” (vicchiddaka). Or alternatively, what is cut up (vicchidda) is vile (kucchita) because of repulsiveness, thus it is “the cut up” (vicchiddaka). This is a term for a corpse cut in the middle.
§5 The gnawed: what has been chewed here and there in various ways by dogs, jackals, etc., is what is gnawed (vikkhāyita). What is gnawed is the same as “the gnawed” (vikkhāyitaka). Or alternatively, what is gnawed (vikkhāyita) is vile [170/228] (kucchita) because of repulsiveness, thus it is “the gnawed” (vikkhāyitaka). This is a term for a corpse in that particular state.
§6 The scattered: what is strewed about (vividhaṃ khittaṃ) is scattered (vikkhittaṃ). What is scattered is the same as “the scattered” (vikkhittaka). Or alternatively, what is scattered (vikkhitta) is vile (kucchita) because of repulsiveness, thus it is “the scattered” (vikkhittaka). This is a term for a corpse that is strewed here and there in this way: “Here a hand, there a foot, there the head” (cf. [M] I 58 ).
§7 The hacked and scattered: it is hacked, and it is scattered in the way just described, thus it is “hacked and scattered” (hata-vikkhittaka). This is a term for a corpse scattered in the way just described after it has been hacked with a knife in a crow’s-foot pattern on every limb.
§8 The bleeding: it sprinkles (kirati), scatters, blood (lohita), and it trickles here and there, thus it is “the bleeding” (lohitaka). This is a term for a corpse smeared with trickling blood.
§9 The worm-infested: it is maggots that are called worms (puḷuva); it sprinkles worms (puḷuve kirati), thus it is worm-infested (puḷuvaka). This is a term for a corpse full of maggots.
§10 A skeleton: bone (aṭṭhi) is the same as skeleton (aṭṭhika). Or alternatively, bone (aṭṭhi) is vile (kucchita) because of repulsiveness, thus it is a skeleton (aṭṭhika). This is a term both for a single bone and for a framework of bones.
§11 These names are also used both for the signs that arise with the bloated, etc., as their support, and for the jhānas obtained in the signs.
2 The Bloated¶
§12 Herein, when a meditator wants to develop the jhāna called “of the bloated” by arousing the sign of the bloated on a bloated body, he should in the way already described approach a teacher of the kind mentioned under the earth kasiṇa and learn the meditation subject from him. In explaining the meditation subject to him, the teacher should explain it all, that is, the directions for going with the aim of acquiring the sign of foulness, the characterizing of the surrounding signs, the eleven ways of apprehending the sign, the reviewing of the path gone by and come by, concluding with the directions for absorption. And when the meditator has learnt it all well, he should go to an abode of the kind already described and live there while seeking the sign of the bloated.
§13 Meanwhile, when he hears people saying that at some village gate or on some road or at some forest’s edge or at the base of some rock or at the root of some tree
180 or on some charnel ground a bloated corpse is lying, he should not go there at once, like one who plunges into a river where there is no ford.
§14 Why not? Because this foulness is beset by wild beasts and non-human beings, and he might risk his life there. Or perhaps the way to it goes by a village gate or a bathing place or an irrigated field, and there a visible object of the opposite sex might come into focus. Or perhaps the body is of the opposite sex; for a female body is unsuitable for a man, and a male body for a woman. If only recently dead, it may even look beautiful; hence there might be danger to the life [171/229] of purity. But if he judges himself thus, “This is not difficult for one like me,” then he can go there.
§15 And when he goes, he should do so only after he has spoken to the senior elder of the Community or to some well-known bhikkhu.
§16 Why? Because if all his limbs are seized with shuddering at the charnel ground, or if his gorge rises when he is confronted with disagreeable objects such as the visible forms and sounds of non-human beings, lions, tigers, etc., or something else afflicts him, then he whom he told will have his bowl and robe well looked after in the monastery, or he will care for him by sending young bhikkhus or novices to him.
§17 Besides, robbers may meet there thinking a charnel ground a safe place for them whether or not they have done anything wrong. And when men chase them, they drop their goods near the bhikkhu and run away. Perhaps the men seize the bhikkhu, saying “We have found the thief with the goods,” and bully him. Then he whom he told will explain to the men “Do not bully him; he went to do this special work after telling me,” and he will rescue him. This is the advantage of going only after informing someone.
§18 Therefore he should inform a bhikkhu of the kind described and then set out eager to see the sign, and as happy and joyful as a warrior-noble (khattiya) on his way to the scene of anointing, as one going to offer libations at the hall of sacrifice, or as a pauper on his way to unearth a hidden treasure. And he should go there in the way advised by the Commentaries.
§19 For this is said: “One who is learning the bloated sign of foulness goes alone with no companion, with unremitting mindfulness established, with his sense faculties turned inwards, with his mind not turned outwards, reviewing the path gone by and come by. In the place where the bloated sign of foulness
181 has been left he notes any stone or termite-mound or tree or bush or creeper there each with its particular sign and in relation to the object. When he has done this, he characterizes the bloated sign of foulness by the fact of its having attained that particular individual essence. (see §84) Then he sees that the sign is properly apprehended, that it is properly remembered, that it is properly defined, by its colour, by its mark, by its shape, by its direction, by its location, by its delimitation, by its joints, by its openings, by its concavities, by its convexities, and all round.
§20 “When he has properly apprehended the sign, properly remembered it, properly defined it, he goes alone with no companion, with unremitting mindfulness established, with his sense faculties turned inwards, with his mind not turned outwards, reviewing the path gone by and come by. When he walks, he resolves that his walk is oriented towards it; when he sits, he prepares a seat that is oriented towards it.
§21 “What is the purpose, what is the advantage of characterizing the surrounding signs? Characterizing the surrounding signs has non-delusion for its purpose, it has non-delusion for its advantage. What is the purpose, what is the advantage of apprehending the sign in the [other] eleven ways? [172/230] Apprehending the sign in the [other] eleven ways has anchoring [the mind] for its purpose, it has anchoring [the mind] for its advantage. What is the purpose, what is the advantage of reviewing the path gone by and come by? Reviewing the path gone by and come by has keeping [the mind] on the track for its purpose, it has keeping [the mind] on the track for its advantage.
§22 “When he has established reverence for it by seeing its advantages and by perceiving it as a treasure and so come to love it, he anchors his mind upon that object: ‘Surely in this way I shall be liberated from ageing and death.’ Quite secluded from sense desires, secluded from unprofitable things he enters upon and dwells in the first jhāna … [seclusion]. He has arrived at the first jhāna of the fine-material sphere. His is a heavenly abiding and an instance of the meritorious action consisting in [meditative] development.” (Source untraced.)
§23 So if he goes to the charnel ground to test his control of mind, let him do so after striking the gong or summoning a chapter. If he goes there mainly for [developing that] meditation subject, let him go alone with no companion, without renouncing his basic meditation subject and keeping it always in mind, taking a walking stick or a staff to keep off attacks by dogs, etc.,
182 ensuring unremitting mindfulness by establishing it well, with his mind not turned outwards because he has ensured that his faculties, of which his mind is the sixth, are turned inwards.
§24 As he goes out of the monastery he should note the gate: “I have gone out in such a direction by such a gate.” After that he should define the path by which he goes: “This path goes in an easterly direction … westerly … northerly … southerly direction” or “It goes in an intermediate direction”; and “In this place it goes to the left, in this place to the right”; and “In this place there is a stone, in this a termite-mound, in this a tree, in this a bush, in this a creeper.” He should go to the place where the sign is, defining in this way the path by which he goes.
§25 And he should not approach it upwind; for if he did so and the smell of corpses assailed his nose, his brain  might get upset, or he might throw up his food, or he might repent his coming, thinking “What a place of corpses I have come to!” So instead of approaching it upwind, he should go downwind. If he cannot go by a downwind path—if there is a mountain or a ravine or a rock or a fence or a patch of thorns or water or a bog in the way—then he should go stopping his nose with the corner of his robe. These are the duties in going.
§26 When he has gone there in this way, he should not at once look at the sign of foulness; he should make sure of the direction. For perhaps if he stands in a certain direction, the object does not appear clearly to him and his mind is not wieldy. So rather than there he should stand where the object appears clearly and his mind is wieldy. And he should avoid standing to leeward or to windward of it. For if he stands to leeward he is bothered by the corpse smell and his mind strays; and if he stands to windward and non-human beings are dwelling there, [173/231] they may get annoyed and do him a mischief. So he should move round a little and not stand too much to windward.
§27 Then he should stand not too far off or too near, or too much towards the feet or the head. For if he stands too far off, the object is not clear to him, and if he stands too near, he may get frightened. If he stands too much towards the feet or the head, not all the foulness becomes manifest to him equally. So he should stand not too far off or too near, opposite the middle of the body, in a place convenient for him to look at it.
§28 Then he should characterize the surrounding signs in the way stated thus: “In the place where the bloated sign of foulness has been left he notes any stone … or creeper there with its sign” (§19).
§29 These are the directions for characterizing them. If there is a rock in the eye’s focus near the sign, he should define it in this way: “This rock is high or low, small or large, brown or black or white, long or round,” after which he should observe [the relative positions] thus: “In this place, this is a rock, this is the sign of foulness; this is the sign of foulness, this is a rock.”
§30 If there is a termite-mound, he should define it in this way: “This is high or low, small or large, brown or black or white, long or round,” after which he should observe [the relative positions] thus: “In this place, this is a termite-mound, this is the sign of foulness.”
§31 If there is a tree, he should define it in this way: “This is a pipal fig tree or a banyan fig tree or a kacchaka fig tree or a kapittha fig tree; it is tall or short, small or large, black or white,” after which he should observe [the relative positions] thus: “In this place, this is a tree, this is the sign of foulness.”
§32 If there is a bush, he should define it in this way: “This is a sindi bush or a karamanda bush or a kaṇavīra bush or a koraṇḍaka bush; it is tall or short, small or large,” after which he should observe [the relative positions] thus: “In this place, this is a bush, this is the sign of foulness.”
§33 If there is a creeper, he should define it in this way: “This is a pumpkin creeper or a gourd creeper or a brown creeper or a black creeper or a stinking creeper,” after which he should observe [the relative positions] thus: “In this place, this is a creeper, this is the sign of foulness; this is the sign of foulness, this is a creeper.”
§34 Also with its particular sign and in relation to the object was said (§19); but that is included by what has just been said; for he “characterizes it with its particular sign” when he defines it again and again, and he “characterizes it in relation to the object” when he defines it by combining it each time in pairs thus: “This is a rock, this is the sign of foulness; this is the sign of foulness, this is a rock.”
§35 Having done this, again he should bring to mind the fact that it has an individual essence, its own state of being bloated, which is not common to anything else, since it was said that he defines  it by the fact of its having attained [174/232] that particular individual essence. The meaning is that it should be defined according to individual essence, according to its own nature, as “the inflated,  the bloated.”
Having defined it in this way, he should apprehend the sign in the following six ways, that is to say, (1) by its colour, (2) by its mark, (3) by its shape,
184 (4) by its direction, (5) by its location, (6) by its delimitation. How?
§36 (1) The meditator should define it by its colour thus: “This is the body of one who is black or white or yellow-skinned.”
§37 (2) Instead of defining it by the female mark or the male mark, he should define it by its mark thus: “This is the body of one who was in the first phase of life, in the middle phase, in the last phase.”
§38 (3) By its shape: he should define it only by the shape of the bloated thus: “This is the shape of its head, this is the shape of its neck, this is the shape of its hand, this is the shape of its chest, this is the shape of its belly, this is the shape of its navel, this is the shape of its hips, this is the shape of its thigh, this is the shape of its calf, this is the shape of its foot.”
§39 (4) He should define it by its direction thus: “There are two directions in this body, that is, down from the navel as the lower direction, and up from it as the upper direction.” Or alternatively, he can define it thus: “I am standing in this direction; the sign of foulness is in that direction.”
§40 (5) He should define it by its location thus: “The hand is in this location, the foot in this, the head in this, the middle of the body in this.” Or alternatively, he can define it thus: “I am in this location; the sign of foulness is in that.”
§41 (6) He should define it by its delimitation thus: “This body is delimited below by the soles of the feet, above by the tips of the hair, all round by the skin; the space so delimited is filled up with thirty-two pieces of corpse.” Or alternatively, he can define it thus: “This is the delimitation of its hand, this is the delimitation of its foot, this is the delimitation of its head, this is the delimitation of the middle part of its body.” Or alternatively, he can delimit as much of it as he has apprehended thus: “Just this much of the bloated is like this.”
§42 However, a female body is not appropriate for a man or a male one for a woman; for the object, [namely, the repulsive aspect], does not make its appearance in a body of the opposite sex, which merely becomes a condition for the wrong kind of excitement.  To quote the Majjhima Commentary: “Even [175/233] when decaying,  a woman invades a man’s mind and stays there.” That is why the sign should be apprehended in the six ways only in a body of the same sex.
§43 But when a clansman has cultivated the meditation subject under former Enlightened Ones, kept the ascetic practices, threshed out the great primary elements, discerned formations, defined mentality-materiality, eliminated the perception of a being, done the ascetic’s
185 duties, lived the moral life, and developed the development, when he contains the seed [of turning away from formations], and has mature knowledge and little defilement, then the counterpart sign appears to him in the place while he keeps looking. If it does not appear in that way, then it appears to him as he is apprehending the sign in the six ways.
§44 But if it does not appear to him even then, he should apprehend the sign again in five more ways: (7) by its joints, (8) by its openings, (9) by its concavities, (10) by its convexities, and (11) all round.
§45 Herein, (7) by its joints is [properly] by its hundred and eighty joints. But how can he define the hundred and eighty joints in the bloated? Consequently he can define it by its fourteen major joints thus: Three joints in the right arm, three in the left arm, three in the right leg, three in the left leg, one neck joint, one waist joint.
§46 (8) By its openings: an “opening” is the hollow between the arm [and the side], the hollow between the legs, the hollow of the stomach, the hollow of the ear. He should define it by its openings in this way. Or alternatively, the opened or closed state of the eyes and the opened or closed state of the mouth can be defined.
§47 (9) By its concavities: he should define any concave place on the body such as the eye sockets or the inside of the mouth or the base of the neck. Or he can define it thus: “I am standing in a concave place, the body is in a convex place.”
§48 (10) By its convexities: he should define any raised place on the body such as the knee or the chest or the forehead. Or he can define it thus: “I am standing in a convex place, the body is in a concave place.”
§49 (11) All round: the whole body should be defined all round. After working over the whole body with knowledge, he should establish his mind thus, “The bloated, the bloated,” upon any part that appears clearly to him. If it has not appeared even yet, and if there is special intensity of the bloatedness in the belly,  he should establish his mind thus, “The bloated, the bloated,” on that.
§50 Now, as to the words, he sees that the sign is properly apprehended, etc., the explanation is this. The meditator should apprehend the sign thoroughly in that body in the way of apprehending the sign already described. He should [176/234] advert to it with well-established mindfulness. He should see that it is properly remembered, properly defined, by doing that again and again. Standing in a place not too far from and not too near to the body, he should open his eyes, look and apprehend the sign.
186 He should open his eyes and look a hundred times, a thousand times, [thinking], “Repulsiveness of the bloated, repulsiveness of the bloated,” and he should close his eyes and advert to it.
§51 As he does so again and again, the learning sign becomes properly apprehended by him. When is it properly apprehended? When it comes into focus alike whether he opens his eyes and looks or closes his eyes and adverts, then it is called properly apprehended.
§52 When he has thus properly apprehended the sign, properly remembered it, and properly defined it, then if he is unable to conclude his development on the spot, he can go to his own lodging, alone, in the same way as described of his coming, with no companion, keeping that same meditation subject in mind, with mindfulness well established, and with his mind not turned outwards owing to his faculties being turned inwards.
§53 As he leaves the charnel ground he should define the path he comes back by thus: “The path by which I have left goes in an easterly direction, westerly … northerly … southerly direction,” or “It goes in an intermediate direction”; or “In this place it goes to the left, in this place to the right”; and “In this place there is a stone, in this a termite-mound, in this a tree, in this a bush, in this a creeper.”
§54 When he has defined the path he has come back by and when, once back, he is walking up and down, he should see that his walk is oriented towards it too; the meaning is that he should walk up and down on a piece of ground that faces in the direction of the sign of foulness. And when he sits, he should prepare a seat oriented towards it too.
§55 But if there is a bog or a ravine or a tree or a fence or a swamp in that direction, if he cannot walk up and down on a piece of ground facing in that direction, if he cannot prepare his seat thus because there is no room for it, then he can both walk up and down and sit in a place where there is room, even though it does not face that way; but he should turn his mind in that direction.
§56 Now, as to the questions beginning with what is the purpose … characterizing the surrounding signs? The intention of the answer that begins with the words, has non-delusion for its purpose, is this: If someone goes at the wrong time to the place where the sign of the bloated is, and opens his eyes for the purpose of apprehending the sign by characterizing the surrounding signs, then as soon as he looks the dead body appears
187 as if it were standing up and threatening  and pursuing him, and when he sees the hideous and fearful object, his mind reels, he is like one demented, gripped by panic, fear and terror, and his hair stands on end. For among the thirty-eight meditation subjects expounded in the texts no object is so frightening as this one. There are some who lose jhāna in this meditation subject. Why? Because it is so frightening.
§57 [177/235] So the meditator must stand firm. Establishing his mindfulness well, he should remove his fears in this way: “No dead body gets up and pursues one. If that stone or that creeper close to it were to come, the body might come too; but since that stone or that creeper does not come, the body will not come either. Its appearance to you in this way is born: of your perception, created by your perception. Today your meditation subject has appeared to you. Do not be afraid, bhikkhu.” He should laugh it off and direct his mind to the sign. In that way he will arrive at distinction. The words “Characterizing the surrounding signs has non-delusion for its purpose” are said on this account.
§58 To succeed in apprehending the sign in the eleven ways is to anchor the meditation subject. For the opening of his eyes and looking conditions the arising of the learning sign; and as he exercises his mind on that the counterpart sign arises; and as he exercises his mind on that he reaches absorption. When he is sure of absorption, he works up insight and realizes Arahantship. Hence it was said: apprehending the sign in the [other] eleven ways has anchoring [the mind] for its purpose.
§59 The reviewing of the path gone by and come by has keeping [the mind] on the track for its purpose: the meaning is that the reviewing of the path gone by and of the path come back by mentioned is for the purpose of keeping properly to the track of the meditation subject.
§60 For if this bhikkhu is going along with his meditation subject and people on the way ask him about the day, “What is today, venerable sir?” or they ask him some question [about Dhamma], or they welcome him, he ought not to go on in silence, thinking “I have a meditation subject.” The day must be told, the question must be answered, even by saying “I do not know” if he does not know, a legitimate welcome must be responded to.
188 As he does so, the newly acquired sign vanishes. But even if it does vanish, he should still tell the day when asked; if he does not know the answer to the question, he should still say “I do not know,” and if he does know it, he should explain it surely;  and he must respond to a welcome. Also reception of visitors must be attended to on seeing a visiting bhikkhu, and all the remaining duties in the Khandhakas must be carried out too, that is, the duties of the shrine terrace, the duties of the Bodhi-tree terrace, the duties of the Uposatha house, the duties of the refectory and the bath house, and those to the teacher, the preceptor, visitors, departing bhikkhus, and the rest.
§61 And the newly acquired sign vanishes while he is carrying out these too. When he wants to go again, thinking “I shall go and take up the sign,” he finds he cannot go to the charnel ground because it has been invaded by non-human beings or by wild beasts, or the sign has disappeared. For a bloated corpse only lasts one or two days and then turns into a livid corpse. Of all the meditation subjects there is none so hard to come by as this.
§62 So when the sign has vanished in this way, the bhikkhu should sit down in his night quarters or in his day quarters and first of all review the path gone by and come by up to the place where he is actually sitting cross-legged, doing it in [178/236] this way: “I went out of the monastery by this gate, I took a path leading in such and such a direction, I turned left at such and such a place, I turned right at such and such a place, in one part of it there was a stone, in another a termite-mound or a tree or a bush or a creeper; having gone by that path, I saw the foulness in such and such a place, I stood there facing in such and such a direction and observed such and such surrounding signs, I apprehended the sign of foulness in this way; I left the charnel ground in such and such a direction, I came back by such and such a path doing this and this, and I am now sitting here.”
§63 As he reviews it in this way, the sign becomes evident and appears as if placed in front of him; the meditation subject rides in its track as it did before. Hence it was said: the reviewing of the path gone by and come by has keeping [the mind] on the track for its purpose.
§64 Now, as to the words, when he has established reverence for it by seeing its advantages and by perceiving it as a treasure and so come to love it, he anchors the mind on that object: here, having gained jhāna by exercising his mind on the repulsiveness in the bloated, he should increase insight with the jhāna as its proximate cause, and then he should see the advantages in this way:
189 “Surely in this way I shall be liberated from ageing and death.”
§65 Just as a pauper who acquired a treasure of gems would guard and love it with great affection, feeling reverence for it as one who appreciates the value of it, “I have got what is hard indeed to get!” so too [this bhikkhu] should guard the sign, loving it and feeling reverence for it as one who appreciates the value of it, “I have got this meditation subject, which is indeed as hard to get as a very valuable treasure is for a pauper to get. For one whose meditation subject is the four elements discerns the four primary elements in himself, one whose meditation subject is breathing discerns the wind in his own nostrils, and one whose meditation subject is a kasiṇa makes a kasiṇa and develops it at his ease, so these other meditation subjects are easily got. But this one lasts only one, or two days, after which it turns into a livid corpse. There is none harder to get than this one.” In his night quarters and in his day quarters he should keep his mind anchored there thus, “Repulsiveness of the bloated, repulsiveness of the bloated.” And he should advert to the sign, bring it to mind and strike at it with thought and applied thought over and over again.
§66 As he does so, the counterpart sign arises. Here is the difference between the two signs. The learning sign appears as a hideous, dreadful and frightening sight; but the counterpart sign appears like a man with big limbs lying down after eating his fill.
§67 Simultaneously with his acquiring the counterpart sign, his lust is abandoned by suppression owing to his giving no attention externally to sense desires [as object]. And owing to his abandoning of approval, ill will is abandoned too, as pus is with the abandoning of blood. Likewise stiffness and torpor are abandoned through exertion of energy, agitation and worry are abandoned through devotion to peaceful things that cause no remorse; and uncertainty about the Master who teaches the way, about the way, and about the fruit of the way, is abandoned through the actual experience of the distinction attained. So [179/237] the five hindrances are abandoned. And there are present applied thought with the characteristic of directing the mind on to that same sign, and sustained thought accomplishing the function of pressing on the sign, and happiness due to the acquisition of distinction, and tranquillity due to the production of tranquillity in one whose mind is happy, and bliss with that tranquillity as its sign,
190 and unification that has bliss as its sign due to the production of concentration in one whose mind is blissful. So the jhāna factors become manifest.
§68 Thus access, which is the obverse of the first jhāna, is produced in him too at that same moment. All after that up to absorption in the first jhāna and mastery in it should be understood as described under the earth kasiṇa.
§69 As regards the livid and the rest: the characterizing already described, starting with the going in the way beginning “One who is learning the bloated sign of foulness goes alone with no companion, with unremitting mindfulness established” (§19), should all be understood with its exposition and intention, substituting for the word “bloated” the appropriate word in each case thus: “One who is learning the livid sign of foulness …”, “One who is learning the festering sign of foulness …” But the differences are as follows.
3 The Livid¶
§70 The livid should be brought to mind as “Repulsiveness of the livid, repulsiveness of the livid.” Here the learning sign appears blotchy-coloured; but the counterpart sign’s appearance has the colour which is most prevalent.
4 The Festering¶
§71 The festering should be brought to mind as “Repulsiveness of the festering, repulsiveness of the festering.” Here the learning sign appears as though trickling; but the counterpart sign appears motionless and quiet.
5 The Cut Up¶
§72 The cut up is found on a battlefield or in a robbers’ forest or on a charnel ground where kings have robbers cut up or in the jungle in a place where men are torn up by lions and tigers. So, if when he goes there, it comes into focus at one adverting although lying in different places, that is good. If not, then he should not touch it with his own hand; for by doing so he would become familiar with it.  He should get a monastery attendant or one studying to become an ascetic or someone else to put it together in one place. If he cannot find anyone to do it, he should put it together with a walking stick or a staff in such a way that there is only a finger’s breadth separating [the parts]. Having put it together thus, he should bring it to mind as “Repulsiveness of the cut up, repulsiveness of the cut up.” Herein, the learning sign appears as though cut in the middle; but the counterpart sign appears whole.
6 The Gnawed¶
§73 [180/238] The gnawed should be brought to mind as “Repulsiveness of the gnawed, repulsiveness of the gnawed.” Here the learning sign appears as though gnawed here and there; but the counterpart sign appears whole.
7 The Scattered¶
§74 After getting the scattered put together or putting it together in the way described under the cut up so that there is only a finger’s breadth, separating [the pieces], it should be brought to mind as “Repulsiveness of the scattered, repulsiveness of the scattered.” Here the learning sign appears with the gaps evident; but the counterpart sign appears whole.
8 The Hacked and Scattered¶
§75 The hacked and scattered is found in the same places as those described under the cut up. Therefore, after going there and getting it put together or putting it together in the way described under the cut up so that there is only a finger’s breadth separating [the pieces], it should be brought to mind as “Repulsiveness of the hacked and scattered, repulsiveness of the hacked and scattered.” Here, when the learning sign becomes evident, it does so with the fissures of the wounds; but the counterpart sign appears whole.
9 The Bleeding¶
§76 The bleeding is found at the time when [blood] is trickling from the openings of wounds received on battlefields, etc., or from the openings of burst boils and abscesses when the hands and feet have been cut off. So on seeing that, it should be brought to mind as “Repulsiveness of the bleeding, repulsiveness of the bleeding.” Here the learning sign appears to have the aspect of moving like a red banner struck by wind; but the counterpart sign appears quiet.
10 The Worm-Infested¶
§77 There is a worm-infested corpse when at the end of two or three days a mass of maggots oozes out from the corpse’s nine orifices, and the mass lies there like a heap of paddy or boiled rice as big as the body, whether the body is that of a dog, a jackal, a human being,  an ox, a buffalo, an elephant, a horse, a python, or what you will. It can be brought to mind with respect to anyone of these as “Repulsiveness of the worm-infested, repulsiveness of the worm-infested.” For the sign arose for the Elder Cūḷa-Piṇḍapātika-Tissa in the corpse of an elephant’s carcass in the Kāḷadīghavāpi reservoir. Here the learning sign appears as though moving; but the counterpart sign appears quiet, like a ball of boiled rice.
11 A Skeleton¶
§78 A skeleton is described in various aspects in the way beginning “As though he were looking at a corpse thrown onto a charnel ground, a skeleton with flesh [181/239] and blood, held together by sinews” ( [D] II 296 ).
192 So he should go in the way already described to where it has been put, and noticing any stones, etc., with their surrounding signs and in relation, to the object, he should characterize it by the fact of its having attained that particular individual essence thus, “This is a skeleton,” and he should apprehend the sign in the eleven ways by colour and the rest. But if he looks at it, [apprehending it only] by its colour as white, it does not appear to him [with its individual essence as repulsive], but only as a variant of the white kasiṇa. Consequently he should only look at it as ‘a skeleton’ in the repulsive aspect.
§79 “Mark” is a term for the hand, etc., here, so he should define it by its mark according to hand, foot, head, chest, arm, waist, thigh, and shin. He should define it by its shape, however, according as it is long, short, square, round, small or large. By its direction and by its location are as already described (§39–40). Having defined it by its delimitation according to the periphery of each bone, he should reach absorption by apprehending whichever appears most evident to him. But it can also be defined by its concavities and by its convexities according to the concave and convex places in each bone. And it can also be defined by position thus: “I am standing in a concave place, the skeleton is in a convex place; or I am standing in a convex place, the skeleton is in a concave place.” It should be defined by its joints according as any two bones are joined together. It should be defined by its openings according to the gaps separating the bones. It should be defined all round by directing knowledge to it comprehensively thus: “In this place there is this skeleton.” If the sign does not arise even in this way, then the mind should be established on the frontal bone. And in this case, just as in the case of those that precede it beginning with the worm-infested, the apprehending of the sign should be observed in this elevenfold manner as appropriate.
§80 This meditation subject is successful with a whole skeleton frame and even with a single bone as well. So having learnt the sign in anyone of these in the eleven ways, he should bring it to mind as “Repulsiveness of a skeleton, repulsiveness of a skeleton.” Here the learning sign and the counterpart sign are alike, so it is said. That is correct for a single bone. But when the learning sign becomes manifest in a skeleton frame, what is correct [to say] is that there are gaps in the learning sign while the counterpart sign appears whole.
193 And the learning sign even in a single bone should be dreadful and terrifying but the counterpart sign produces happiness and joy because it brings access.
§81 What is said in the Commentaries in this context allows that deduction. For there, after saying this, “There is no counterpart sign in the four divine abidings and in the ten kinds of foulness; for in the case of the divine abidings the sign is the breaking down of boundaries itself, and in the case of the ten kinds of foulness the sign comes into being as soon as the repulsiveness is seen, without any thinking about it,” it is again said, immediately next: “Here the sign is twofold: the learning sign and the counterpart sign. The learning sign appears hideous, dreadful and terrifying,” and so on. So what we said was well considered. And it is only this that is correct here. Besides, the appearance of a [182/240] woman’s whole body as a collection of bones to the Elder Mahā-Tissa through his merely looking at her teeth demonstrates this here (see I.55).
§83 One who has reached jhāna in anyone of these goes free from cupidity; he resembles [an Arahant] without greed because his greed has been well suppressed. At the same time, however, this classification of foulness should be understood as stated in accordance with the particular individual essences successively reached by the [dead] body and also in accordance with the particular subdivisions of the greedy temperament.
§84 When a corpse has entered upon the repulsive state, it may have reached the individual essence of the bloated or anyone of the individual essences beginning with that of the livid. So the sign should be apprehended as “Repulsiveness of the bloated,” “Repulsiveness of the livid,” according to whichever he has been able to find. This, it should be understood, is how the classification of foulness comes to be tenfold with the body’s arrival at each particular individual essence.
§85 And individually the bloated suits one who is greedy about shape since it makes evident the disfigurement of the body’s shape. The livid suits one who is greedy about the body’s colour since it makes evident the disfigurement of the skin’s colour. The festering
194 suits one who is greedy about the smell of the body aroused by scents, perfumes, etc., since it makes evident the evil smells connected with this sore, the body. The cut up suits one who is greedy about compactness in the body since it makes evident the hollowness inside it. The gnawed suits one who is greedy about accumulation of flesh in such parts of the body as the breasts since it makes it evident how a fine accumulation of flesh comes to nothing. The scattered suits one who is greedy about the grace of the limbs since it makes it evident how limbs can be scattered. The hacked and scattered suits one who is greedy about a fine body as a whole since it makes evident the disintegration and alteration of the body as a whole. The bleeding suits one who is greedy about elegance produced by ornaments since it makes evident its repulsiveness when smeared with blood. The worm-infested suits one who is greedy about ownership of the body since it makes it evident how the body is shared with many families of worms. A skeleton suits one who is greedy about fine teeth since it makes evident the repulsiveness of the bones in the body. This, it should be understood, is how the classification of foulness comes to be tenfold according to the subdivisions of the greedy temperament.
§86 [183/241] But as regards the tenfold foulness, just as it is only by virtue of its rudder that a boat keeps steady in a river with turbulent  waters and a rapid current, and it cannot be steadied without a rudder, so too [here], owing to the weak hold on the object, consciousness when unified only keeps steady by virtue of applied thought, and it cannot be steadied without applied thought, which is why there is only the first jhāna here, not the second and the rest.
§87 And repulsive as this object is, still it arouses joy and happiness in him by his seeing its advantages thus, “Surely in this way I shall be liberated from ageing and death,” and by his abandoning the hindrances’ oppression; just as a garbage heap does in a flower-scavenger by his seeing the advantages thus, “Now I shall get a high wage,” and as the workings of purges and emetics do in a man suffering the pains of sickness.
§88 This foulness, while of ten kinds, has only one characteristic. For though it is of ten kinds, nevertheless its characteristic is only its impure, stinking, disgusting and repulsive state (essence). And foulness appears with this characteristic not only in a dead body but also in a living one, as it did to the Elder Mahā-Tissa who lived at Cetiyapabbata (I.55), and to the novice attendant on the Elder Saṅgharakkhita while he was watching the king riding an elephant. For a living body is just as foul as a dead one,
195 only the characteristic of foulness is not evident in a living body, being hidden by adventitious embellishments.
§89 This is the body’s nature: it is a collection of over three hundred bones, jointed by one hundred and eighty joints, bound together by nine hundred sinews, plastered over with nine hundred pieces of flesh, enveloped in the moist inner skin, enclosed in the outer cuticle, with orifices here and there, constantly dribbling and trickling like a grease pot, inhabited by a community of worms, the home of disease, the basis of painful states, perpetually oozing from the nine orifices like a chronic open carbuncle, from both of whose eyes eye-filth trickles, from whose ears comes ear-filth, from whose nostrils snot, from whose mouth food and bile and phlegm and blood, from whose lower outlets excrement and urine, and from whose ninety-nine thousand pores the broth of stale sweat seeps, with bluebottles and their like buzzing round it, which when untended with tooth sticks and mouth-washing and head-anointing and bathing and underclothing and dressing would, judged by the universal repulsiveness of the body, make even a king, if he wandered from village to village with his hair in its natural wild disorder, no different from a flower-scavenger or an outcaste or what you will. So there is no distinction between a king’s body and an outcaste’s in so far as its impure stinking nauseating repulsiveness is concerned.
§90 But by rubbing out the stains on its teeth with tooth sticks and mouth-washing and all that, by concealing its private parts under several cloths, by daubing it with various scents and salves, by pranking it with nosegays and such things, it is worked up into a state that permits of its being taken as “I” and [184/242] “mine.” So men delight in women and women in men without perceiving the true nature of its characteristic foulness, now masked by this adventitious adornment. But in the ultimate sense there is no place here even the size of an atom fit to lust after.
§91 And then, when any such bits of it as head hairs, body hairs, nails, teeth, spittle, snot, excrement or urine have dropped off the body, beings will not touch them; they are ashamed, humiliated and disgusted. But as long as anyone of these things remains in it, though it is just as repulsive, they take it as agreeable, desirable, permanent,
196 pleasant, self, because they are wrapped in the murk of ignorance and dyed with affection and greed for self. Taking it as they do, they resemble the old jackal who saw a flower not yet fallen from a kiṃsuka tree in a forest and yearned after it, thinking, “This is a piece of meat, it is a piece of meat.”
§93 For this is said:
§94 So a capable bhikkhu should apprehend the sign wherever the aspect of foulness is manifest, whether in a living body or in a dead one, and he should make the meditation subject reach absorption.
The sixth chapter called “The Description of Foulness as a Meditation Subject” in the Treatise on the Development of Concentration in the Path of Purification composed for the purpose of gladdening good people.