Visuddhimagga XIV-141

465. Saranti tāya, sayaṃ vā sarati saraṇamattameva vā esāti sati. Sā apilāpanalakkhaṇā, asammosarasā, ārakkhapaccupaṭṭhānā, visayābhimukhabhāvapaccupaṭṭhānā vā, thirasaññāpadaṭṭhānā, kāyādisatipaṭṭhānapadaṭṭhānā vā. Ārammaṇe daḷhapatiṭṭhitattā pana esikā viya, cakkhudvārādirakkhaṇato dovāriko viya ca daṭṭhabbā.
Ñ(XIV,141): (x) By its means they remember (saranti), or it itself remembers, or it is just mere remembering (saraṇa), thus it is mindfulness (sati). It has the characteristic of not wobbling. Its function is not to forget. It is manifested as guarding, or it is manifested as the state of confronting an objective field. Its proximate cause is strong perception, or its proximate cause is the foundations of mindfulness concerned with the body, and so on (see M. Sutta 10). It should be regarded, however, as like a pillar because it is firmly founded, or as like a door-keeper because it guards the eye-door, and so on.

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Acknowledgment: Thanks to Buddhist Publication Society (BPS) and Venerable Nyanatusita for allowing me to use the English translation of the Visuddhimagga (The Path Of Purification) by Bhadantācariya Buddhaghosa, translated from the Pāḷi by Bhikkhu Ñāṇamoli, as part of a combined Chinese English translation.

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