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Nāma: lit. 'name': 'mind', mentality. This term is generally used as a collective name for the 4 mental groups arūpino khandha viz. feeling vedanā perception saññā mental constructions sankhāra and consciousness viññāna Within the 4th link nāma-rūpa in the formula of the paticcasamuppāda, however, it applies only to kamma-resultant vipāka feeling and perception and a few kamma-resultant mental functions inseparable from any consciousness. As it is said M. 9; D. 15; S. XII, 2:;Feeling vedanā perception saññā, intention cetanā contact phassa mental directing manasikāra : this, o brother, is called mind nāma. With the addition of 2 more mental properties, namely, mental vitality jīvita and concentration samādhi here 'stationary phase of mind' cittatthiti these 7 factors are said in the Abhidhammattha Sangaha to be the inseparable mental properties in any state of consciousness.

Bhante Madawela Punnaji has translated Nama as "label" and Rupa as "Image" which is more compatible to the anatta doctrine as there is no permanence in either nama or rupa.


Maha Thera Nyanatiloka. Manual of Buddhist Terms and Doctrines, Buddhist Publication Society, first edition 1952.

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