Author Topic: Anidassana-vinnana  (Read 5142 times)

Offline Spiny Norman

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Anidassana-vinnana
« on: September 10, 2013, 01:18:26 am »
This term came up in another thread recently, and I thought it would be interesting to explore it in more detail - it appears for example towards the end of DN11.

Thanissaro has it as "consciousness without surface", or "consciousness without feature", and regards it as non-temporal.
Walshe renders it as "signless consciousness" or "invisible consciousness".
Nanananda describes it as the "non-manifestive consciousness" of the Arahant.
Horner renders it as the "discriminative consciousness which cannot be characterised".
Bodhi describes it as the Arahants consciousness during the meditative experience of Nibbana.

So it seems to be a type of consciousness associated with the experience of Nibbana.

But how does it relate to the normal 6-fold experience of consciousness?

Offline BlueSky

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Re: Anidassana-vinnana
« Reply #1 on: September 10, 2013, 01:29:38 am »
All of them are simply the term for people who cannot accept there is no consciousness at all.

So, a small corner in their mind, they create this very fancy packaging name of consciousness.

Why can't they simply accept the fact there is no such thing at all?

Because they still have a smell of habit, although a bowl is already clean. In buddhist term, they still have not fully realize emptiness of phenomena, that phenomena has no identity at all.

Those who can see emptiness of phenomena, will never ever think about it.



« Last Edit: September 10, 2013, 01:33:15 am by BlueSky »
Enlightenment is simply the clearing away of misunderstanding. When mistaken thinking is gone, liberation has happened. (Gampopa)


When we verbally indicate a thing as 'this' or 'that', our words, like rabbits's horns, are hollow names, mere fictive imputation upon what does not exist. (Longchenpa)

Offline Spiny Norman

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Re: Anidassana-vinnana
« Reply #2 on: September 10, 2013, 01:40:33 am »
All of them are simply the term for people who cannot accept there is no consciousness at all.

Interesting, but please bear in mind we're in the Theravada sub-forum.  The suttas usually describe consciousness in terms of the 6-fold classification corresponding to the sense-bases, but anidassana-vinnana appears distinct from this.
« Last Edit: September 10, 2013, 01:47:15 am by Spiny Norman »

Offline BlueSky

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Re: Anidassana-vinnana
« Reply #3 on: September 10, 2013, 01:48:39 am »
Theravada sutta said:

Consciousness is empty of self (anatta).

So, all derivatives of consciousness are useless terms.
Enlightenment is simply the clearing away of misunderstanding. When mistaken thinking is gone, liberation has happened. (Gampopa)


When we verbally indicate a thing as 'this' or 'that', our words, like rabbits's horns, are hollow names, mere fictive imputation upon what does not exist. (Longchenpa)

Offline Spiny Norman

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Re: Anidassana-vinnana
« Reply #4 on: September 10, 2013, 01:53:37 am »
So, all derivatives of consciousness are useless terms.

Please re-read the OP.  What is the meaning of anidassana-vinnana, and how does it relate to the usual 6-fold classification of consciousness in the suttas?
« Last Edit: September 10, 2013, 01:56:05 am by Spiny Norman »

Offline BlueSky

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Re: Anidassana-vinnana
« Reply #5 on: September 10, 2013, 01:58:36 am »
Anidassana-Vinnana is simply a derivative of Vinnana.

If the source is dead, the derivative is also dead.
Enlightenment is simply the clearing away of misunderstanding. When mistaken thinking is gone, liberation has happened. (Gampopa)


When we verbally indicate a thing as 'this' or 'that', our words, like rabbits's horns, are hollow names, mere fictive imputation upon what does not exist. (Longchenpa)

Offline Spiny Norman

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Re: Anidassana-vinnana
« Reply #6 on: September 10, 2013, 02:03:02 am »
Anidassana-Vinnana is simply a derivative of Vinnana.
If the source is dead, the derivative is also dead.

Anidassana-vinnana seems to be a type of vinnana, not a derivative. 

And what does your second sentence mean?  If consciousness ceases then anidassana-vinnnana also ceases?  Not according to the passage at the end of DN11.

Offline BlueSky

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Re: Anidassana-vinnana
« Reply #7 on: September 10, 2013, 02:23:21 am »
For example:
Consciousness.

This consciousness can be divided into 5 (IF YOU WANT TO).
Consciousness of ear, eyes, etc.

You can conceptually divide as many as you want as far as you want to follow your intellect.

This is same with Anidassana-Vinnana

You can divide vinnana horizontally, like consciousness of ear, eyes, and so on.
Or,
You can divide vinnana vertically, from gross to subtle to the subtlest, like awake consciousness, sleep consciousness, clear light consciousness, and so on.

But, whether it is horizontal or vertical, all of them are simply consciousness.

And the Buddha said Vinnana is anatta.

So, no need to be like, ohhh buddha said it is only vinnana is anatta, but there are still 100 others vinnana out there.

Vinnana is the single term for all.

Consciousness is consciousness. No matter how subtle it is, it must be consciouness as well.

And once it is anatta, accross the board all types of consciousness are also anatta.

This is like feeling.

ANger, jealousy are just feeling.

Same thing:
anidassana-vinnana is just vinnana.
@-vinanna is also just vinnana.
%-vinanna is also just vinnana.

As long as it is x,y,z-vinnana, it is vinnana.
« Last Edit: September 10, 2013, 02:27:00 am by BlueSky »
Enlightenment is simply the clearing away of misunderstanding. When mistaken thinking is gone, liberation has happened. (Gampopa)


When we verbally indicate a thing as 'this' or 'that', our words, like rabbits's horns, are hollow names, mere fictive imputation upon what does not exist. (Longchenpa)

Offline Optimus Prime

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Re: Anidassana-vinnana
« Reply #8 on: September 10, 2013, 03:34:14 am »
All of them are simply the term for people who cannot accept there is no consciousness at all.

Interesting, but please bear in mind we're in the Theravada sub-forum.  The suttas usually describe consciousness in terms of the 6-fold classification corresponding to the sense-bases, but anidassana-vinnana appears distinct from this.

Spiny,

Anidassana vinnana is the source of the 6 sense consciousnesses.

Imagine a large water pipe, split into 6 smaller pipes, each going in a different directions.

1.  Seeing - Awareness OF images.
2.  Hearing - Awareness OF sounds.
3.  Taste - Awareness OF flavors.
4.  Touch - Awareness OF sensations.
5.  Smells - Awareness OF odors.
6.  Intellect - Awareness OF thoughts.
In each of these cases, the sense organ + sense object gives rise to the consciousness in between.  This type of consciousness - sense consciousness is dependent upon an intact, functioning sense organ + object to be conscious of.

But what is the underlying theme running through all 6?  Awareness itself or consciousness itself.

e.g.,
- Ring a bell -> air vibrations hit our ears -> we hear a sound.  The sense of sound consciousness has arisen.  But it has to have a sense object for it to be aware of.
- When the vibrations stop.  We say that we don't hear any more.  So the sense of sound consciousness has ceased.
So this type of sense consciousness is DEPENDENT - it is NOT INdependent.  It relies on conditions for it to arise and when those conditions end, this type of sense consciousness also ends.  So this type of consciousness is impermanent, therefore unsatisfactory and not fit to be regarded as self.

Now, consider the source of the hearing - "that which hears" - now this is a different story.

- Ring a bell, we say we hear.
- The sound of the bell stops - we say we don't hear anymore, but this is not true.  The hearing still functions but just has no object to fall upon and grasp on to!

So we hear when there is sound.  We ALSO hear when there is no sound - we actually hear the silence.  It's just that we don't realize it because we're so used to grasping upon an object to be conscious of.

So this type of consciousness is NOT dependent upon there being a sense object to grasp at (where we experience subject/object consciousness).  This type of consciousness does NOT arise nor cease depending on conditions - it persists in spite of conditions - this type of consciousness continues to function whether the conditions are there or not!

Offline Spiny Norman

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Re: Anidassana-vinnana
« Reply #9 on: September 10, 2013, 05:46:31 am »
anidassana-vinnana is just vinnana.

I don't think this is helpful in understanding anidassana-vinnana, or how it relates to the usual 6-fold classification.

Offline Spiny Norman

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Re: Anidassana-vinnana
« Reply #10 on: September 10, 2013, 05:51:56 am »
So this type of consciousness is NOT dependent upon there being a sense object to grasp at (where we experience subject/object consciousness).  This type of consciousness does NOT arise nor cease depending on conditions - it persists in spite of conditions - this type of consciousness continues to function whether the conditions are there or not!

The descriptions of anidassana-vinnana ( see OP ) suggest it's a type of consciousness which is specific to the experience of Nibbana.  Is that what you mean, or are you suggesting it's always present, "in the background"?

Offline Spiny Norman

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Re: Anidassana-vinnana
« Reply #11 on: September 10, 2013, 06:00:22 am »
If consciousness ceases then anidassana-vinnnana also ceases?  Not according to the passage at the end of DN11.

Here's the relevant passage, which comes at the end of DN11.  The 4th sentence refers to the establishment of anidassana-vinnana, the final sentence refers to the cessation of the activity of consciousness.  I think there is some ambiguity as to meaning here.   I've read "Concept and Reality" by Nanananda but found his analysis difficult to follow.

"Where do water, earth, fire, & wind have no footing?
Where are long & short, coarse & fine, fair & foul, name & form brought to an end?
And the answer to that is:

Consciousness without feature ( ie anidassana-vinnana ), without end, luminous all around:
Here water, earth, fire, & wind have no footing.
Here long & short coarse & fine fair & foul name & form are all brought to an end.
With the cessation of [the activity of] consciousness each is here brought to an end.'"

Offline Optimus Prime

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Re: Anidassana-vinnana
« Reply #12 on: September 10, 2013, 06:27:57 am »
So this type of consciousness is NOT dependent upon there being a sense object to grasp at (where we experience subject/object consciousness).  This type of consciousness does NOT arise nor cease depending on conditions - it persists in spite of conditions - this type of consciousness continues to function whether the conditions are there or not!

The descriptions of anidassana-vinnana ( see OP ) suggest it's a type of consciousness which is specific to the experience of Nibbana.  Is that what you mean, or are you suggesting it's always present, "in the background"?
Yes.  Nirvana is not created and therefore does not die, right?

So what makes you think that Nirvana will be created when you get enlightened?  Nirvana is present as you are reading this, it's just covered by defilements.  You gotta separate the defilements from the purity.

What's this like?

It's like water mixed with dye.  The water looks colored but the purity of the molecule H2O is intact - the purity of the water itself remains unaltered by the dye.  We just need to extract the pure water from the dye.  The pure water is always there.

Offline Spiny Norman

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Re: Anidassana-vinnana
« Reply #13 on: September 10, 2013, 06:37:40 am »
So this type of consciousness is NOT dependent upon there being a sense object to grasp at (where we experience subject/object consciousness).  This type of consciousness does NOT arise nor cease depending on conditions - it persists in spite of conditions - this type of consciousness continues to function whether the conditions are there or not!

The descriptions of anidassana-vinnana ( see OP ) suggest it's a type of consciousness which is specific to the experience of Nibbana.  Is that what you mean, or are you suggesting it's always present, "in the background"?

Yes.  Nirvana is not created and therefore does not die, right?
....We just need to extract the pure water from the dye.  The pure water is always there.

So you mean anidassana-vinnana represents the experience of "connecting" with the unconditioned? 

Offline Optimus Prime

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Re: Anidassana-vinnana
« Reply #14 on: September 10, 2013, 06:31:18 pm »
So this type of consciousness is NOT dependent upon there being a sense object to grasp at (where we experience subject/object consciousness).  This type of consciousness does NOT arise nor cease depending on conditions - it persists in spite of conditions - this type of consciousness continues to function whether the conditions are there or not!

The descriptions of anidassana-vinnana ( see OP ) suggest it's a type of consciousness which is specific to the experience of Nibbana.  Is that what you mean, or are you suggesting it's always present, "in the background"?

It's always present, always in the background.  Just that it's obscured by defilements.

With dyed water:
- The dye is similar to the defilements
- Whereas the pure, unadulterated water is similar to the anidassana vinnana/the Citta

In ordinary beings, the dye is mixed in with the water, giving the illusion that the H2O itself is defiled.  But the nature of water itself is not defiled - it is always present in the background in the same way that the pure H2O molecule is always present in the midst of the dye.  You just need to distil the pure water out from the dye.

In the Buddha, the Citta is like pure, clean, fresh water that has been extracted/liberated from the 5 skandhas/6 senses.

 


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