Glossology Page Masthead

[Home]  [Sutta Indexes]  [Glossology]  [Site Sub-Sections]


Viññāṇa Anidassana


Pali English Dictionary, Pali and Sutta References

Ajaan Lee: Consciousness

Nanavira Thera: Vinnana

Chinese Versions

Green Tea: MO's Take

Devil's Advocate: The Danger

Anguttara Nikaya, V: Ekadasakanipata, I, #7, pp 202
The Book of the Gradual Sayings, V: The Book of the Elevens, #7: Conscious Work-of-Mind, Hare, trans., pp 202.
Describes perception apart from consciousness.

See also the introduction and footnotes to Bhk. Thanissaro's translation of Majjhima Nikaya 38


Some recent resources:

new Friday, April 06, 2012 1:03 PM [AN 9.37]: Ānanda Suttaṃ, Ananda, Olds translation. Another in a growing collection of suttas which describes an impersonal consciousness. Not 'Bodhi Mind'! Not something that is always there and simply needs to be realized, not something which when attained is the same as that which was left behind, but a stable, happy, fear-free mind-made freedom-sustained serenity where eye is such that of the realm of shapes there is no resultant personal experience.

new Wednesday, April 04, 2012 5:09 PM [AN 9.14]: Samiḍḍhi Suttaṃ, Samiddhi, Olds translation. A short but very instructive sutta pointing to the junction of nama/rupa and consciousness where liberation is to be found. The sutta is a dialog between Samiddhi and Sariputta and amounts to the testing of this bhikkhus level of understanding. The translation is very close to the Pali in style, so note the severity of the style! Sariputta's caution at the end would indicate that Samiddhi was not yet Arahant.

Don Juan's Table

AN 9.14

AN 9.37

[SN 4.43.22] An almost invisible sutta buried in a huge wheel. At this time available only on this site. Not expanded elsewhere. The invisible almost casually billed as a synonym for Nibbāna, with 45 ways to get there.

In the DN 15: Maha Nidana sutta

and in SN 2 12.65 you will see the idea that 'existence' is a thing which begins and ends at the point where there is consciousness of named forms. Vinnana of Nama/Rupa.

New useful relevant discussions are in two of the discussions I pointed out in the previous:
What is Two? An extensive discussion of Nama/Rupa+Vinnana (Named/Shapes+Consciousness) and
Is Nibbana Conditioned? Putting forth the idea that it is mistranslation that is the source of this debate.

Essentially whether or not this is and what it is defines Theravada and Mahayana Buddhism.

What it is is the consciousness which remains when one has managed to calm down sufficiently to see the point where consciousness is joining up with named forms to create the experience of existing as an individual and one does not then create identified-with experience.

What we have been dealing with in Buddhist studies to this point at least, is to my mind (see "Is Nibbana Conditioned") a confusion of the ideas of conditioning and the creation of individualized experience resulting from the mistranslation of 'sankhara' as 'confounding' when it should be 'own-making'. The making of something into one's own. Personalization. This sounds weird to us, but translators have had no problems in two nearly identical cases: "I-making" [ahaṃkāra] and "My-making" [mamaṃkāra][see AN.7.46, last section for an example].

What I am saying is that what the Buddha is saying is that existence, by definition, does not begin before the conjunction of consciousness with named forms.

If you can separate consciousness from consciousness of named forms, it cannot be said to have 'become'.

Not having become, it is not subject to ending.

The method for breaking the conjunction of consciousness with consciousness of named forms is not to create identified-with existence.

Creating identified-with existence, I am saying, is the definition of 'Sankhara' not 'conditioned' or 'confounded' or 'fabricated'. It must have the idea of being the injection of self into existence.

And of course this is how it is defined:

Sankhara is the identification with the intent to create experience for the self through acts of body, speech and mind and it is the identified with result of those acts.

So if you abstain from intentionally acting to create experience the result is no experience with which you are identified.

This is a field/ground thing at this point. It is necessary at this point to see that by this abstention, one is free of that which has not been created.

That freedom then becomes the object of consciousness or the food of consciousness BUT IS NOT SANKHARAMED. It has not, by definition, 'become'. It is consciousness of a non-thing. Dependent, conditioned, but not own-made (sankharamed).

And then you go back to the Pali and you see that whenever Gotama is speaking about what is translated as the unconditioned, the word being used is sankhara, not 'nidana' or 'paticca'. Not 'unconditioned' but 'not-identified-with'!!!

All sankharaed things are painful.
All sankharaed things are transient.
All things are not self.

Copyright Statement