WARREN: BUDDHISM IN TRANSLATIONS

182

 

 


 

 

Ī 28. Consciousness

Translated from the Milindapañha (62.8)

"Bhante Nāgasena, what is consciousness?"

"Your majesty, consciousness is the act of being conscious."

"Give an illustration."

"It is as if, your majesty, the city watchman were to take his seat at the cross-roads in the middle of the city and were to behold every man who approached from the eastern quarter, were to behold every man who approached from the southern quarter, were to behold every man who approached from the western quarter, were to behold every man who approached from the northern quarter: in exactly the same way, your majesty, whatever form a man beholds with the eye, of that he is conscious with the consciousness; whatever sound he hears with the ear, of that he is conscious with the consciousness; whatever odor he smells with the nose, of that he is conscious with the consciousness; whatever taste he tastes with the tongue, of that he is conscious with the consciousness; whatever tangible thing he touches with the body, of that he is conscious with the consciousness; whatever idea [183] he is conscious of with the mind, of that he is conscious with the consciousness. Thus, your majesty, is consciousness the act of being conscious."

"You are an able man, bhante Nāgasena."

 

Ī 28b. Consciousness

Translated from the Majjhima-Nikāya (Sutta 38)

[1][chlm][pts][than][upal] O priests, consciousness is named from that in dependence on which it comes into being. The consciousness which comes into being in respect of forms in dependence on the eye is called eye-consciousness. The consciousness which comes into being in respect of sounds in dependence on the ear is called ear-consciousness. The consciousness which comes into being in respect of odors in dependence on the nose is called nose-consciousness. The consciousness which comes into being in respect of tastes in dependence on the tongue is called tongue-consciousness. The consciousness which comes into being in respect of things tangible in dependence on the body is called body-consciousness. The consciousness which comes into being in respect of ideas in dependence on the mind is called mind-consciousness.

Just as, O priests, fire is named from that in dependence on which it burns. The fire which burns in dependence on logs of wood is called a log-fire. The fire which burns in dependence on chips is called a chip-fire. The fire which burns in dependence on grass is called a grass-fire. The fire which burns in dependence on cow-dung is called a cow-dung fire. The fire which burns in dependence on husks is called a husk-fire. The fire which burns in dependence on rubbish is called a rubbish-fire. In exactly the same way, O priests, consciousness is named from that in dependence on which it comes into being. The consciousness which comes into being in respect of forms in dependence on the eye is called eye. consciousness. The consciousness which comes into being in respect of sounds in dependence on the ear is called ear-consciousness. The consciousness which comes into being in respect of odors in dependence on the nose is called nose-consciousness. The consciousness which comes into being in respect of tastes in dependence on the tongue is called [184] tongue-consciousness. The consciousness which comes into being in respect of things tangible in dependence on the body is called body-consciousness. The consciousness which comes into being in respect of ideas in dependence on the mind is called mind-consciousness.

 

Ī 28c. Consciousness

Translated from the Visuddhi-Magga (chap. xvii.)

In the proposition, On karma depends consciousness, consciousness is sixfold, eye-consciousness etc.

Here eye-consciousness is twofold, being either a meritorious or a demeritorious fruition -- likewise ear-consciousness, nose-consciousness, tongue-consciousness, and body-consciousness. Mind-consciousness is the two minds, namely, the meritorious fruition-mind as well as the demeritorious fruition-mind, the three mind-consciousnesses without a cause, the eight fruition-thoughts belonging to the realm of sensual pleasure and possessing a cause, the five thoughts belonging to the realm of form, and the four belonging to the realm of formlessness, making twenty-two divisions. Thus in the six consciousnesses are included all the thirty-two worldly fruition-consciousnesses. The consciousnesses, however, which transcend the world are not included as they are not pertinent in a discussion of rebirth.

 


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