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Viññāṇa, Viññāṇañcāyatana

Consciousness, Re-Knowing-Knowing, The Realm of Endless Consciousness

References:

Is Nibbana Conditioned? and Viññāṇa Anidassana in the same discussion
Green Tea a collection of resources on Viññāṇa Anidassana
The First Lesson
The Four Foods
[DN 33]
PTS, T.W and C.A.F. Rhys Davids, trans., Dialogs of the Buddha III #33 pp 201, 228.: 4:16; 6:16
WP: Walshe, trans, The Long Discourses of the Buddha, #33, pp479, 491
BD: DN #33: The Compilation: 4.16; 6:16 Olds, trans.
Puremind Press: Awakening Meditation, M. Punnaji, pp.7-16
[DN 22]
PTS: Dialogs of the BuddhaThe Setting Up of Mindfulness
ATI: Thanissaro Bhikkhu, Frames of Reference
[MN 10]
Soma Thera, ATI: The Discourse on the Arousing of Mindfulness
PTS: The Middle Length Sayings, I, #10: Applications of Mindfulness, Horner, trans., pp78
WP: The Middle Length Discourses of the Buddha, #10: The Foundations of Mindfulness, Bhikkhu Nanamoli and Bhikkhu Bodhi, trans., pp152
[AN 10.27]
PTS: The Book of the Gradual Sayings, V: The Book of the Tens, The Great Chapter, The Great Questions, Woodward, trans., pp36ff
Mulapariyaya Resources
[MN 1]
PTS: Middle Length Sayings I, #1: Discourse on the Synopsis of Fundamentals, Horner, trans., pp 3.
WP: Middle Length Discourses of the Buddha: The Root of All Things, Bhikkhu Nanamoli and Bhikkhu Bodhi, trans., pp 83
Examining the Mulapariyaya — Analysis
The Root Sequence, Bhikkhu Thanissaro, translation of the Mulapariyaya


Pali MO Hare Horner Punnaji Bodhi
viññāṇa, viññāṇa ­ñcāyatana double-knowing-knowing, recognition (re-cognition), individualized consciousness, consciousness, the realm of limitless consciousness consciousness consciousness, the plane of infinite consciousness cognition consciousness, the base of infinite consciousness

 

Nanamoli Rhys Davids (Mrs) Rhys Davids Thanissaro Walshe Woodward Soma Thera
cognition consciousness, cognition, thought, infinity of thought consciousness, cognition consciousness, the sphere of the infinitude of consciousness consciousness, consciousness-element, the sphere of infinite consciousness consciousness consciousness

 


 

Pali Text Society
Pali English Dictionary
Edited by T. W. Rhys Davids and William Stede
[EDITED ENTRY]

viññāṇa: [fr. vi+jñā; cp. Vedic vijñāna cognition] (as special term in Buddhist metaphysics) a mental quality as a consistuent of individuality, the bearer of (individual) life, life-force (as extending also over rebirths, principle of conscious life, general consciousness (as function of mind and matter), regenerative force, animation, mind as transmigrant, as transforming (according to individual kamma) one individual life (after death) into the next.
 
(MO: This is incorrect in that consciousness is said to depend on the factors of nama and rupa, whether as that which has been sankaramed, or that which results from nama/rupa, or that which proceeds from the contact of sense-organ with sense object, and is, therefore, downbound to the individuality bounded by a single life-span. By implanting self-identification with the results by identifying with intentional acts resulting in consequences in a future life one is not by that transmigrating this consciousness to that state, in the same way as when one match lights another match it cannot be said that the fire that results in the second match is the same as the fire of the first match. This is the error made by Sati the Fisherman which was very forcefully denied.)
 
In this (fundamental) application it may be characterized as the sensory and perceptive activity commonly expressed by "mind." It is difficult to give any one word for viññāṇa, because there is much difference between the old Buddhist and our modern points of view, and there is a varying use of the term in the Canon itself. In what may be a very old Sutta S II.95 viññāṇa is given as a synonym of citta . . .and mano . . .in opposition to kāya used to mean body. This simpler unecclesiastical, unscholastic popular meaning is met with in other suttas. e.g. the body (kāya) is when animated called sa-viññāṇaka (MO: with-consciousness)...Again, viññāṇa was supposed, at the body's death, to pass over into another body (S I.122; III.124) and so find a support or platform (patiṭṭhā).
 
(MO: again, this is a misreading:
 
--From Mrs. Rhys Davids: "That, bhikkhus, is Māra the evil one, who is seeking everywhere for the consciousness of Godhika..." she footnotes: "Comy: 'for the paṭisandhi-citta, or consciousness [as it emerges afresh] at re-conception or new birth. The reason (kāraṇa) or conditions for its becoming reinstatded in a new embryo were, in Godhika's case, absent.' It is a subtle touch, in this delightful legend, that, to be able to discern a trasmission, from body to germ, of that which was not a substance, material or immaterial, but a resultant of forces, Māra, fertile in shape-transformation, should sublimate himself into vapour (MO: Mrs Rhys Davids does not empathize with Mara who is showing exasperation by this). Is it possible associated with ātman (pneuma) myths?"
 
First of all, this is saying that that consciousness could not be found. Second it is saying that Mara (who is, by definition blind) is the one not able to find it, which is like saying of any faithful believer in rebirth that he hoped to find the reborn self of so-and-so -- because a non-Buddhist believes in the transmigration of consciousness does not taint the views of Buddhists.--)
 
Since, however, the persistence of viññāṇa from life to life is declared (D II.68 S III.54)
 
(MO. This is just simply not "declared" at all, and what is stated does not carry this implication:
 
D II.68: Rhys Davids (Mr): "And of such a brother, Ananda, whose heart is thus set free, if any one should say: -- "His creed is that an Arahant goes on after death" -- that were absurd. Or: "His creed is that an Arahant does not go on. . . does, and yet does not, go on . . . neither goes on nor goes not on after death" -- all that were absurd. Why is that? Because, Ananda, whatever verbal expression, whatever explanation there may be, and whatever system of explanation, whatever communication is possible and whatever system of communication, whatever knowledge there is and whatever sphere of knowledge, whatever round of life and how far the round is traversed, -- by mastery over all this that brother is set free. But to say, of a brother who has been so set free by insight: -- :"He knows not, he sees not" -- that were absurd.
 
And sn03.22.53, Woodward: "Were a man, brethren, to declare thus: "Apart from body, apart from feeling, apart from perception, apart from the activities, I will show forth the coming or the going or the decease or the rebirth of consciousness, or the growth or the increase or the abundance of consciousness" --to do that were impossible.
If lust for body, brethren, is abandoned by a brother, by that abandonment of lust its foothold is cut off. Thereby there is no platform for consciousness.
Likewiise as regards feeling, perception, the activities . . . So also, brethren, if lust for the consciousness-element be abandoned by a brother, by that abandonment of lust its foothold is cut off. Thereby there is no platform for consciousness.
Without that platform consciousness has no growth, it generates no action and is freed..."
 
The implication here is twofold, neither fold of which would imply the transmigration of consciousness: (1) that by the elimination of lust, a kind of sense-bound consciousness is eliminated leaving consciousness free -- this does not mean "contiuing" as in the continuance of one consciousness element; or (2) that with lust there is provided grounds for the reappearance of sense-bound consciousness, which does not mean that this is the same consciousness which has "continued on" to the next life.)
 
...we must judge that it is only the immutable persistence that is condemned.
 
(MO: No. It is the view that the self is this consciousness whether immutable or immutable.)
 
Viññāṇa was justly conceived more as "minding" than as "mind."
Ecclesiastical scholastic dogma considers viññāṇa under the categories of (a) khandha; (b) dhātu; (c) paṭicca samuppāda; (d) āhāra; (e) kāya.
(a) as fifth of the five khandhas...the discriminating (factor) e.g. tastes... It is in no wise considered as a condition, or a climax of the other incorporeal khandhās
 
(MO: Again the basis of this statement is not clear and the reverse is a natural conclusion from the multiplicity of statements that discuss the appearance of the factors as a consequence of sankaram, the appearance of vedana as a consequence of the contact of sense organ with sense stimula, and the unity as process of sanna, vedana and vinnana)
 
(b) as dhātu, viññāṇa occurs only in the category of the four elements with space as a sixth element, and also where dhātu is substituted for khandha (S III.10)
(c) In the chain of causation viññāṇa is conditioned by the sankharas and is itself a necessary condition of nama-rupa (individuality)
 
(MO: that is one way it is presented, it is also presented as resulting from nama/rupa, and as being both cause and effect of nama/rupa)
 
See e.g. S II.4, 6, 8, 12. (in the paṭicca samuppāda) viññāṇa is defined...as a quuality peculiar to (and underlying) each of the 6 senses...which means that viññāṇa is the apperceptional or energizing principle, so to speak the soul or life (substratum, animator, life potency) of the sensory side of individuality. It arises through the mutual relation of sense and sense-object...As such it forms a factor of rebirth, as it is grouped under upadhi.
(d)As one of the four āhāras...viññāṇa is consiidered as the material, food or cause, through which comes rebirth...As such it is likened to seed in the field of action (kamma). . . and as entering (a body) at rebirth . . .
(e) As kāye i.e. group. viññāṇa is considered psycho-physically, as a factor in sense perception...namely, the contact between sense-organ and object . . . produces viññāṇa of sight...The three factors constitute the viññāṇa-kāya of the given sense. And the viññāṇa is thus bound to bodily process as a catseye is threaded on a string.
+ānañcā(=the un-limited) the infinity of
&+ayatana(=the sphere, or Realm or area of) the sphere or plane of the infinity of

 


'nuf said above -- my remarks only where it reads "(MO:)"

 


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