Paṭikkūla (Pāli) literally means "against" (paṭi) "the slope" or "embankment" (kūla) and has been translated adjectivally as "averse, objectionable, contrary, disagreeable" and, in its nounal form, as "loathsomeness, impurity".
Manasikāra (Pāli), derived from manasi (locative of mana thus, loosely, "in mind" or "in thought") and karoti ("to make" or "to bring into") and has been translated as "attention" or "pondering" or "fixed thought".
In contemporary translations, the compound term paṭikkūla-manasikāra is generally translated as "reflections on repulsiveness" or, adding contextual clarity at the expense of literal accuracy, "reflections on repulsiveness of the body".
Ven. Sariputta declares that meditating on these 31 body parts leads to "the attainment of vision, in four ways", and briefly outlines how this method can be used as a springboard by which one "comes to know the unbroken stream of human consciousness that is not established either in this world or in the next".
In addition, in the [[Iddhipāda-samyutta's Vibhanga Sutta (SN 51.20), this meditation subject is used to develop the four bases of power (iddhipāda) by which one is able to achieve liberation from suffering.
While the Pali Canon invariably includes this form of contemplation in its various lists of "mindfulness" meditation techniques,the compendious 5th-century CE Visuddhimagga identifies this type of contemplation (along with mindfulness of breathing) as one of the few body-directed meditations particularly suited to the development of concentration (Vism. VIII, 43).
head hairs (Pali: kesā), body hairs (lomā), nails (nakhā), teeth (dantā), skin (taco), flesh (maṃsaṃ), tendons (nahāru), bones (aṭṭhi), bone marrow (aṭṭhimiñjaṃ), kidneys (vakkaṃ), heart (hadayaṃ), liver (yakanaṃ), pleura (kilomakaṃ), spleen (pihakaṃ), lungs (papphāsaṃ), large intestines (antaṃ), small intestines (antaguṇaṃ), undigested food (udariyaṃ), feces (karīsaṃ), bile (pittaṃ), phlegm (semhaṃ), pus (pubbo), blood (lohitaṃ), sweat (sedo), fat (medo), tears (assu), skin-oil (vasā), saliva (kheḷo), mucus (siṅghānikā), fluid in the joints (lasikā), urine (muttaṃ).
In a few discourses, these 31 body parts are contextualized within the framework of the Great Elements (see mahabhuta) so that the earth element is exemplified by the body parts from head hair to feces, and the water element is exemplified by bile through urine.
The 31 identified body parts in pātikūlamanasikāra contemplation are the same as the first 31 body parts identified in the "Dvattimsakara" ("32 Parts [of the Body)") verse (Khp. 3) regularly recited by monks.
"Just as if a sack with openings at both ends were full of various kinds of grain – wheat, rice, mung beans, kidney beans, sesame seeds, husked rice – and a man with good eyesight, pouring it out, were to reflect, 'This is wheat. This is rice. These are mung beans. These are kidney beans. These are sesame seeds. This is husked rice'; in the same way, the monk reflects on this very body from the soles of the feet on up, from the crown of the head on down, surrounded by skin and full of various kinds of unclean things [as identified in the above enumeration of bodily organs and fluids]...."
"In this way [a monk) remains focused internally on the body in & of itself, or externally on the body in & of itself, or both internally & externally on the body in & of itself. Or he remains focused on the phenomenon of origination with regard to the body, on the phenomenon of passing away with regard to the body, or on the phenomenon of origination & passing away with regard to the body. Or his mindfulness that 'There is a body' is maintained to the extent of knowledge & remembrance. And he remains independent, unsustained by (not clinging to) anything in the world...."
repetition of the body parts verbally repetition of the body parts mentally discerning the body parts individually in terms of each one's color discerning the body parts individually in terms of each one's shape discerning if a body part is above or below the navel (or both) discerning the body part's spatial location spatially and functionally juxtaposing two body parts
The name for this type of meditation is found in the sectional titles used in the Mahasatipatthana Sutta (DN 22) and the Satipatthana Sutta (MN 10), where the contemplation of the 31 body parts is entitled, Paṭikkūla-manasikāra-pabbaṃ (which, word-for-word, can be translated as "repulsiveness-reflection-section"). Subsequently, in the post-canonical Visuddhimagga and other commentarial works, paṭikkūlamanasikāra is explicitly used when referring to this technique.
Mahasatipatthana Sutta ("The Great Frames of Reference", DN 22) Sampasadaniya Sutta ("Serene Faith", DN 28) Satipatthana Sutta ("Frames of References", MN 10). Mahahattipadopama Sutta ("The Great Elephant Footprint Simile", MN 28) Maharahulovada Sutta ("The Greater Exhortation to Rahula", MN 62) Kayagatasati Sutta ("Mindfulness Immersed in the Body", MN 119) Dhatu-vibhanga Sutta ("An Analysis of the Properties", MN 140) In the Samyutta Nikaya's collection regarding the four bases of power (iddhipada), in a sutta called Vibhanga ("Analysis", SN 51.20) Udayi Sutta ("To Udayi", AN 6.29) Girimananda Sutta ("To Girimananda", AN 10.60)