There are 3 Mental Fermentations (Asavas):
The Blessed Buddha once said: Bhikkhus, there are 3 mental fermentations (āsava).
“What are these three mental concoctions (āsava)?
1: The mental Fermentation joined with Sensuality..
2: The mental Fermentation linked with Becoming..
3: The mental Fermentation associated with Ignorance..
These are the three mental fermentations (āsava). The Noble 8-fold Way is to be developed for
the direct experience of these three fermentations, for the full understanding of them, for their
complete elimination, and for their final overcoming, abandoning and leaving all behind…”
1: The mental fermentation (āsava) linked with sensuality is the false assumption, that sensing
always brings pleasure, while actually sensing also is associated with pain and also neutral feeling,
which is far the most common!
2: The mental fermentation associated with becoming is like the banal yet, common wishful thinking:
“May I become rich, beautiful, and famous”, not noticing that any becoming inevitably is associated
with change, decay, death, and thus suffering too!
3: The mental fermentation associated with ignorance is the misconceptions we make by inaccurate
approximation, undue generalization, and gross over-projection:
Example: We make the observation: “The horizon is linear”. Then we assume, project and simplify by
undue conceptual over-generalization: “The earth must be flat”, which is a false mentally brewed up
fermented misconception… For quite a while many would chop off your head, if you suggested just
about anything else, than that screaming erroneous delusion…
During biological fermentation sugar, water and yeast ferments into alcohol: The alcohol was not
there to begin with… It was made up by this fermentation process converting sugar into alcohol..
During mental fermentation observations, mixed with ideas and assumptions ferments into a new
misconception, that was not there in the raw observation sense-data…
The misconception ‘pancake earth’ is not to be seen in an (almost~approximately) flat horizon!
This “pancake round disc earth” concept is a false idea fermented and invented by the mind that
desperately is trying to predict the relations between the visual sense-data it receives…
Mind misconstrues and misconceives these relations, and thus misunderstands their actual nature…
Notably mind ferments the three universal characteristics into their opposites:
Mind misconceives what actually is impermanent, as if it was everlasting.
Mind misunderstands what ultimately is suffering, as if it was happiness..
Mind mistakes what fundamentally is impersonal, as if it was “me, mine, what I am, and my self”…
Video on Mental Fermentation (āsava): “Turtles all the Way Down…”
For Details on the 3 or 4 Mental Fermentations (āsava) see:
Source (edited extract):
The Grouped Sayings of the Buddha. Samyutta Nikāya.
Book [V:56] section 45: The Way. 163: The fermentations …
Have a nice and Noble day.