Anguttara Nikaya


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Anguttara Nikāya
Sattaka Nipāta

Sutta 41

Viññāṇaṭṭhiti Suttaṃ

States of Consciousness[1]

Translated from the Pali by Michael Olds

 


 

[1][pts][upal] I HEAR TELL:

Once upon a time, Bhagava, Sāvatthi-town revisiting.

There then he said this to the beggars:

There are these seven states of consciousness.[2]

What seven?

2. There are, beggars, beings diverse in body
diverse in perception:[3]
such as man,
some gods,
and some who have fallen.

This is the first state of consciousness.

3. There are, beggars, beings diverse in body,
uniform in perception,
such as the gods of the Brahma group,
first reborn there[4].

This is the second state of consciousness.

4. There are, beggars, beings uniform in body,
diverse in perception,
such as the Radiant gods.[5]

This is the third state of consciousness.

5. There are, beggars, beings uniform in body,
uniform in perception,
such as the Luminous Gods.[6]

This is the fourth state of consciousness.

6. There are, beggars, beings,
all perception of form transcending,
perception of reaction having gone home,
without mental study of perception of diversity,
thinking:
'Unending Space'
who reach The Sphere of Unending Space.

This is the fifth state of consciousness.

7. There are, beggars, beings,
all perception of The Sphere of Unending Space transcending,
thinking:
'Unending Consciousness'
who reach The Sphere of Unending Consciousness.

This is the sixth state of consciousness.

8. There are, beggars, beings,
all perception of The Sphere of Unending Consciousness transcending,
thinking:
'There are No Things Had'
who reach The Sphere of No Things Had.

This is the seventh state of consciousness.

These then, beggars, are the seven states of consciousness.

 


[1] Note The Ninth Lesson: Nava Satta Vassa and AN 9 24 where the state of Non-Perception and the state of Neither-perception-nor-non-perception are included.

[2] Viññāṇaṭṭhitiyo. Viññāṇa-ṭṭhitiya consciousness-states. Here this is individualized consciousness; consciousness with a form of existence as it's object.

[3]Saññā. Perception. Not 'mind', but note that perception is being equated to consciousness.

[4] Paṭhamābhinibbattā. Paṭhama abhinibbattā. First reborn there. Hare glosses "by reason of first (musing)" which is a common commentarial understanding of the requirement for rebirth in the Brahma realms but is not what is said in the Pali.

[5] Ābhassarā.

[6] Subakiṇhā.

 


 

References:

The Ninth Lesson: Nava Satta Vassa
AN 9 24

 


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