Author Topic: Anidassana-vinnana  (Read 5339 times)

Offline Ron-the-Elder

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Re: Anidassana-vinnana
« Reply #30 on: September 11, 2013, 06:38:59 am »
Found this interesting commentary this morning.  Hope you find it helpful.

Nibbana is not viññāṇa. Really, it just isn’t.
Brahmanism, consciousness, Nibbana, viññāṇa


http://sujato.wordpress.com/2011/05/13/vinna%E1%B9%87a-is-not-nibbana-really-it-just-isn%E2%80%99t/
What Makes an Elder? :
A head of gray hairs doesn't mean one's an elder. Advanced in years, one's called an old fool.
But one in whom there is truth, restraint, rectitude, gentleness,self-control, he's called an elder, his impurities disgorged, enlightened.
-Dhammpada, 19, translated by Thanissaro Bhikkhu.

Offline Spiny Norman

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Re: Anidassana-vinnana
« Reply #31 on: September 11, 2013, 06:41:49 am »
Found this interesting commentary this morning.  Hope you find it helpful.

Nibbana is not viññāṇa. Really, it just isn’t.
Brahmanism, consciousness, Nibbana, viññāṇa


http://sujato.wordpress.com/2011/05/13/vinna%E1%B9%87a-is-not-nibbana-really-it-just-isn%E2%80%99t/


Yes, I just had a look but found it very hard going, not clearly thought through in my opinion. 
Clearly there must be some type of consciousness involved in the experience of Nibbana, the question is what type?  It seems that for an Arahant there is more than just the usual 6-fold classification of "ordinary" consciousness.
« Last Edit: September 11, 2013, 07:01:11 am by Spiny Norman »

Offline Spiny Norman

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Re: Anidassana-vinnana
« Reply #32 on: September 11, 2013, 06:50:31 am »
At this point I'm inclined to agree with Bikkhu Bodhi's intepretation that the anidassana-vinnana is really referring to a meditative experience, possibly a higher jhana - I think the DN11 passage would support this.

See for example this passage from MN111, which describes the 4th arupa jhana:

"Furthermore, with the complete transcending of the dimension of neither perception nor non-perception, Sariputta entered & remained in the cessation of feeling & perception. Seeing with discernment, his fermentations were totally ended. He emerged mindfully from that attainment. On emerging mindfully from that attainment, he regarded the past qualities that had ceased & changed: 'So this is how these qualities, not having been, come into play. Having been, they vanish.' He remained unattracted & unrepelled with regard to those qualities, independent, detached, released, dissociated, with an awareness rid of barriers. He discerned that 'There is no further escape,' and pursuing it there really wasn't for him."

Possibly the cessation of feeling and perception would explain the DN11 passage, since there would be no perception of the elements, name and form, etc:

"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.'"
« Last Edit: September 11, 2013, 06:59:12 am by Spiny Norman »

Offline Spiny Norman

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Re: Anidassana-vinnana
« Reply #33 on: September 11, 2013, 06:54:35 am »
Not manifest means not-arising, not born, not created.  What's another name for this?  Nirvana.
Therefore, anidassana vinnana is the Unconditioned Mind.

I'm not sure.  "Not manifest" sounds more like not present, which is supported by it being "not visible".  It could just mean that anidassana-vinnana isn't present or visible until Nibbana, at which point it becomes manifest, it becomes visible?
« Last Edit: September 11, 2013, 06:59:43 am by Spiny Norman »

Offline Optimus Prime

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Re: Anidassana-vinnana
« Reply #34 on: September 11, 2013, 02:17:47 pm »
Not manifest means not-arising, not born, not created.  What's another name for this?  Nirvana.
Therefore, anidassana vinnana is the Unconditioned Mind.

I'm not sure.  "Not manifest" sounds more like not present, which is supported by it being "not visible".  It could just mean that anidassana-vinnana isn't present or visible until Nibbana, at which point it becomes manifest, it becomes visible?

Not manifest means it does not ever manifest, does not ever become created.  It IS Nirvana - Nirvana is ever present, akaliko, never changes.  So at the point of enlightenment, it still does not change - you've just revealed what was already there.  If something changes, then it is subject to time and therefore impermanence - and so, it is dukkha.  Nirvana is free of dukkha.

Offline francis

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Re: Anidassana-vinnana
« Reply #35 on: September 11, 2013, 07:04:34 pm »
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.

There is no consciousness independent of the 6 senses.

I disagree, anidassana-vinnana clearly is distinct from the ordinary 6-fold consciousness.  Have another look at the passage from DN11 we've been discussing, and have another look at the definitions above.

Only according to Thanissaro.
"Enlightenment, for a wave in the ocean, is the moment the wave realises it is water." - Thich Nhat Hanh

Offline BlueSky

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Re: Anidassana-vinnana
« Reply #36 on: September 11, 2013, 07:12:55 pm »
People like to make funny terms that deny that term itself.

For example here:
Horner renders it as the "discriminative consciousness which cannot be characterised".

This is a logical fallacy, isn't it?

If it cannot be characterised, why do you still want to characterize it as discriminative consciousness?

You make a mysterious term by your fantasy, and then your fantasy twist you in such a way that you do not know what is that mystery.

Basically, you try to solve the fantasy.

You think about a chicken with 100 legs in your fantasy, and then you twist your head how it can happen. This is simply stupid, and this is what we are doing here.

If we see this:
Thasissaro: consciousness without feature.

By saying Anidassana-vinnana, that alone is already a feature.

This is a logical fallacy.

If no feature, leave it as no feature. Don't even define it with name of feature.

Otherwise, you bite your own tongue.
« Last Edit: September 11, 2013, 07:15:49 pm 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 #37 on: September 12, 2013, 01:10:18 am »
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.

There is no consciousness independent of the 6 senses.

I disagree, anidassana-vinnana clearly is distinct from the ordinary 6-fold consciousness.  Have another look at the passage from DN11 we've been discussing, and have another look at the definitions above.

Only according to Thanissaro.

I think you're missing the point of the discussion.  Please re-read the various descriptions of this term in the OP. 
At the moment I'm inclined to agree with Bikkhu Bodhi's interpretation, that this term is descriptive of an Arahant's meditative experience.
« Last Edit: September 12, 2013, 01:23:55 am by Spiny Norman »

Offline Spiny Norman

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Re: Anidassana-vinnana
« Reply #38 on: September 12, 2013, 01:12:25 am »
Horner renders it as the "discriminative consciousness which cannot be characterised".
This is a logical fallacy, isn't it?

It's certainly a poor definition.  That's why I gave a range of interpretations in the OP.  Which ones make more sense to you?

Offline Spiny Norman

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Re: Anidassana-vinnana
« Reply #39 on: September 12, 2013, 01:16:08 am »
Not manifest means not-arising, not born, not created.  What's another name for this?  Nirvana.
Therefore, anidassana vinnana is the Unconditioned Mind.

I'm not sure.  "Not manifest" sounds more like not present, which is supported by it being "not visible".  It could just mean that anidassana-vinnana isn't present or visible until Nibbana, at which point it becomes manifest, it becomes visible?

Not manifest means it does not ever manifest, does not ever become created.  It IS Nirvana - Nirvana is ever present, akaliko, never changes.  So at the point of enlightenment, it still does not change - you've just revealed what was already there.  If something changes, then it is subject to time and therefore impermanence - and so, it is dukkha.  Nirvana is free of dukkha.

I don't think it's correct to say that anidassana-vinnana is the same as Nibbana.  I think it's more like anidassana-vinnana is consciousness of Nibbana - assuming we can regard Nibbana as an object of consciousness?

Offline BlueSky

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Re: Anidassana-vinnana
« Reply #40 on: September 12, 2013, 01:26:14 am »
None of them make sense to me.

Because whatever has no definition makes no sense if it is defined.

When you are in that state, you will know this:
The great vastness that you can't leave, and yet you can't enter.

The great vastness without any referential points.

« Last Edit: September 12, 2013, 01:33:05 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 #41 on: September 12, 2013, 04:28:35 am »
Not manifest means not-arising, not born, not created.  What's another name for this?  Nirvana.
Therefore, anidassana vinnana is the Unconditioned Mind.


I'm not sure.  "Not manifest" sounds more like not present, which is supported by it being "not visible".  It could just mean that anidassana-vinnana isn't present or visible until Nibbana, at which point it becomes manifest, it becomes visible?


Not manifest means it does not ever manifest, does not ever become created.  It IS Nirvana - Nirvana is ever present, akaliko, never changes.  So at the point of enlightenment, it still does not change - you've just revealed what was already there.  If something changes, then it is subject to time and therefore impermanence - and so, it is dukkha.  Nirvana is free of dukkha.


I don't think it's correct to say that anidassana-vinnana is the same as Nibbana.  I think it's more like anidassana-vinnana is consciousness of Nibbana - assuming we can regard Nibbana as an object of consciousness?


Remember, in Nirvana, there is no more nama-rupa - so no subject/object duality.

In the Shurangama Sutra, the Buddha refers to Nirvana as Bodhi Nirvana (remember Bodhi/Buddha means "knowing" or "One who knows":
Quote
the primal pure substance of the beginningless Bodhi Nirvana. It is the primal bright essence of consciousness that can bring forth all conditions. Because of conditions, you consider it to be lost.
http://www.cttbusa.org/shurangama1/shurangama1_22.asp

So contrary to Bhikkhu Sujato's opinion, this is direct Sutra evidence that Nirvana is the essence of consciousness - not just the consciousness but is a primal consciousness that is bright/radiant/luminous (pabhassara citta) that is the essence of consciousness.

Further, in B. Sujato's blog post, the flaw in his argument is when he treats all consciousness as impermanent, but in the Kevaddha Sutta, the Buddha certainly doesn't do that.  B. Sujato mentions vinnanam annicam - consciousness is impermanent - BUT where does the Buddha say that ALL consciousness is impermanent - where does the Buddha ever say sabbe vinnana anicca?  He does not. 

So the crucial distinction is that conditioned consciousness is impermanent, but not unconditioned consciousness.  The Buddha can literally say that consciousness is impermanent hundreds of times (as B. Sujato notes), but if each time, he's only referring to the ordinary intellectual mind being impermanent (true) - the Buddha still has NOT said that the consciousness of the unconditioned Mind is impermanent.

In the Kevaddha Sutta, the Buddha says that it is in the anidassana vinnana [NOT the normal skandhic/sense intellectual mind consciousness (this type of consciousness is impermanent)] that the 4 great elements of earth, fire, water and wind find no footing.  If it were the normal way of speaking about vinnana, then the Buddha wouldn't have needed to add in the extra word anidassana to distinguish it from the more skandhic vinnana.

Offline Spiny Norman

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Re: Anidassana-vinnana
« Reply #42 on: September 13, 2013, 02:13:11 am »
In the Shurangama Sutra, the Buddha refers to Nirvana as Bodhi Nirvana (remember Bodhi/Buddha means "knowing" or "One who knows":
Quote
the primal pure substance of the beginningless Bodhi Nirvana. It is the primal bright essence of consciousness that can bring forth all conditions. Because of conditions, you consider it to be lost.
http://www.cttbusa.org/shurangama1/shurangama1_22.asp

So contrary to Bhikkhu Sujato's opinion, this is direct Sutra evidence that Nirvana is the essence of consciousness - not just the consciousness but is a primal consciousness that is bright/radiant/luminous (pabhassara citta) that is the essence of consciousness.


This passage from the Shuranga Sutra sounds like it could be referring to Buddha nature?  It's reminiscent of that line from the DN11 passage we were looking at earlier: “Where consciousness is signless, boundless, all-luminous.."

But presumably this "primal consciousness" isn't manifest until Nibbana is attained?

Offline Ron-the-Elder

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Re: Anidassana-vinnana
« Reply #43 on: September 13, 2013, 05:57:24 am »
From The Nibanna Suttas:

Quote
source:  http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/an/an09/an09.034.than.html

How pleasant is Unbinding?

"Furthermore, there is the case where a monk, with the complete transcending of the dimension of neither perception nor non-perception, enters & remains in the cessation of perception & feeling. And, having seen [that] with discernment, his mental fermentations are completely ended. So by this line of reasoning it may be known how Unbinding is pleasant."

Without Support!

source:  http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/kn/ud/ud.8.01.than.html

I have heard that on one occasion the Blessed One was staying near Sāvatthī at Jeta's Grove, Anāthapiṇḍika's monastery. And on that occasion the Blessed One was instructing, urging, rousing, & encouraging the monks with Dhamma-talk concerned with unbinding. The monks — receptive, attentive, focusing their entire awareness, lending ear — listened to the Dhamma.

Then, on realizing the significance of that, the Blessed One on that occasion exclaimed:

There is that dimension, monks, where there is neither earth, nor water, nor fire, nor wind; neither dimension of the infinitude of space, nor dimension of the infinitude of consciousness, nor dimension of nothingness, nor dimension of neither perception nor non-perception; neither this world, nor the next world, nor sun, nor moon. And there, I say, there is neither coming, nor going, nor staying; neither passing away nor arising: unestablished,[1] unevolving, without support [mental object].[2] This, just this, is the end of stress.

Unborn....and discerned!

source:  http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/kn/ud/ud.8.03.than.html

I have heard that on one occasion the Blessed One was staying near Sāvatthī at Jeta's Grove, Anāthapiṇḍika's monastery. And on that occasion the Blessed One was instructing, urging, rousing, & encouraging the monks with Dhamma-talk concerned with unbinding. The monks — receptive, attentive, focusing their entire awareness, lending ear — listened to the Dhamma.

Then, on realizing the significance of that, the Blessed One on that occasion exclaimed:

There is, monks, an unborn[1] — unbecome — unmade — unfabricated. If there were not that unborn — unbecome — unmade — unfabricated, there would not be the case that escape from the born — become — made — fabricated would be discerned. But precisely because there is an unborn — unbecome — unmade — unfabricated, escape from the born — become — made — fabricated is discerned.[2]

The End of Suffering

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/kn/ud/ud.8.01.irel.html

Then, on realizing its significance, the Lord uttered on that occasion this inspired utterance:

There is, bhikkhus, that base where there is no earth, no water, no fire, no air; no base consisting of the infinity of space, no base consisting of the infinity of consciousness, no base consisting of nothingness, no base consisting of neither-perception-nor-non-perception; neither this world nor another world nor both; neither sun nor moon. Here, bhikkhus, I say there is no coming, no going, no staying, no deceasing, no uprising. Not fixed, not movable, it has no support. Just this is the end of suffering.

Where beings discern as it actually is present!

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/an/an04/an04.179.than.html

"And what, friend Sariputta, is the cause, what is the reason, why some beings do become totally unbound in the present life?"

"There's the case, friend Ananda, where beings discern, as it actually is present, that 'This perception has a share in decline'; 'This perception has a share in stability'; 'This perception has a share in distinction'; 'This perception has a share in penetration.' This is the cause, this is the reason, why some beings become totally unbound in the present life."

Note

1.
A perception with a share in decline is one that causes the mind to fall from concentration. A perception with a share in stability is one that helps to maintain concentration. A perception with a share in distinction is one that leads to higher stages of concentration. A perception with a share in penetration is one leading to liberating insight.



I can't wait!   :)
« Last Edit: September 13, 2013, 05:59:26 am by Bodhisatta 2013 »
What Makes an Elder? :
A head of gray hairs doesn't mean one's an elder. Advanced in years, one's called an old fool.
But one in whom there is truth, restraint, rectitude, gentleness,self-control, he's called an elder, his impurities disgorged, enlightened.
-Dhammpada, 19, translated by Thanissaro Bhikkhu.

Offline Spiny Norman

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Re: Anidassana-vinnana
« Reply #44 on: September 13, 2013, 06:58:19 am »
From The Nibanna Suttas:
There is that dimension, monks, where there is neither earth, nor water, nor fire, nor wind; neither dimension of the infinitude of space, nor dimension of the infinitude of consciousness, nor dimension of nothingness, nor dimension of neither perception nor non-perception; neither this world, nor the next world, nor sun, nor moon. And there, I say, there is neither coming, nor going, nor staying; neither passing away nor arising: unestablished,[1] unevolving, without support [mental object].[2] This, just this, is the end of stress.

This is similar to the passage from DN11 that we were looking at earlier.  But what does it mean? 

 


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