Author Topic: Anidassana-vinnana  (Read 5135 times)

Offline Ananda10

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Re: Anidassana-vinnana
« Reply #60 on: May 15, 2014, 07:51:08 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?

Venerable Nanananda cites a Pali quote from Middle Length Discourse #21. Let's take a look at it.

Here is a quote from Middle Length Discourse of the Buddha #21

229. ‘‘Seyyathāpi, bhikkhave, puriso āgaccheyya lākhaṃ vā haliddiṃ vā nīlaṃ vā mañjiṭṭhaṃ vā ādāya. So evaṃ vadeyya – ‘ahaṃ imasmiṃ ākāse rūpaṃ likhissāmi, rūpapātubhāvaṃ karissāmī’ti. Taṃ kiṃ maññatha, bhikkhave, api nu so puriso imasmiṃ ākāse rūpaṃ likheyya, rūpapātubhāvaṃ kareyyā’’ti? ‘‘No hetaṃ, bhante’’. ‘‘Taṃ kissa hetu’’? ‘‘Ayañhi, bhante, ākāso arūpī anidassano. Tattha na sukaraṃ rūpaṃ likhituṃ, rūpapātubhāvaṃ kātuṃ; yāvadeva ca pana so puriso kilamathassa vighātassa bhāgī assā’’ti. ‘‘Evameva kho, bhikkhave, pañcime vacanapathā yehi vo pare vadamānā vadeyyuṃ kālena vā akālena vā …pe… ‘na ceva… tadārammaṇañca sabbāvantaṃ lokaṃ ākāsasamena cetasā vipulena mahaggatena appamāṇena averena abyābajjhena pharitvā viharissāmā’ti. Evañhi vo, bhikkhave, sikkhitabbaṃ.


ākāso arūpī anidassano


"space is formless and invisible"

So that fits with the translation of invisible consciousness.

So the use of the word anidassano in MLD#21 clarifies the meaning of anidassano which helps to clarify the meaning in LD#11.

Let's take a look at the context in which vinnana anidassana appears in Long Discourse #11

In Long Discourse #11 there was a monk who had visited many devas and Brahma asking about where do the 4 Great Elements: Earth, Water, Heat, and Air cease. Brahma advised him to ask the Buddha, and the Buddha helped him to rephrase his question more properly and gave him the answer. Here is an English translation with that section of the sutta.

Quote
"Once, Kevatta, this train of thought arose in the awareness of a certain monk in this very community of monks: 'Where do these four great elements — the earth property, the liquid property, the fire property, and the wind property — cease without remainder?' Then he attained to such a state of concentration that the way leading to the gods appeared in his centered mind. So he approached the gods of the retinue of the Four Great Kings and, on arrival, asked them, 'Friends, where do these four great elements — the earth property, the liquid property, the fire property, and the wind property — cease without remainder?'

"When this was said, the gods of the retinue of the Four Great Kings said to the monk, 'We also don't know where the four great elements... cease without remainder. But there are the Four Great Kings who are higher and more sublime than we. They should know where the four great elements... cease without remainder.'

"So the monk approached the Four Great Kings and, on arrival, asked them, 'Friends, where do these four great elements... cease without remainder?'

"When this was said, the Four Great Kings said to the monk, 'We also don't know where the four great elements... cease without remainder. But there are the gods of the Thirty-three who are higher and more sublime than we. They should know...'

"So the monk approached the gods of the Thirty-three and, on arrival, asked them, 'Friends, where do these four great elements... cease without remainder?'

"When this was said, the gods of the Thirty-three said to the monk, 'We also don't know where the four great elements... cease without remainder. But there is Sakka, the ruler of the gods, who is higher and more sublime than we. He should know... '

"So the monk approached Sakka, the ruler of the gods, and, on arrival, asked him, 'Friend, where do these four great elements... cease without remainder?'

"When this was said, Sakka, the ruler of the gods, said to the monk, 'I also don't know where the four great elements... cease without remainder. But there are the Yama gods who are higher and more sublime than I. They should know...'...

"The Yama gods said, 'We also don't know... But there is the god named Suyama... He should know...'...

"Suyama said, 'I also don't know... But there is the god named Santusita... He should know...'...

"Santusita said, 'I also don't know... But there are the Nimmanarati gods... They should know...'...

"The Nimmanarati gods said, 'We also don't know... But there is the god named Sunimmita... He should know...'...

"Sunimmita said, 'I also don't know... But there are the Paranimmitavasavatti gods... They should know...'...

"The Paranimmitavasavatti gods said, 'We also don't know... But there is the god named Paranimmita Vasavatti... He should know...'...

"So the monk approached the god Vasavatti and, on arrival, asked him, 'Friend, where do these four great elements... cease without remainder?'

"When this was said, the god Vasavatti said to the monk, 'I also don't know where the four great elements... cease without remainder. But there are the gods of the retinue of Brahma who are higher and more sublime than I. They should know where the four great elements... cease without remainder'...

"Then the monk attained to such a state of concentration that the way leading to the gods of the retinue of Brahma appeared in his centered mind. So he approached the gods of the retinue of Brahma and, on arrival, asked them, 'Friends, where do these four great elements — the earth property, the liquid property, the fire property, and the wind property — cease without remainder?'

"When this was said, the gods of the retinue of Brahma said to the monk, 'We also don't know where the four great elements... cease without remainder. But there is Brahma, the Great Brahma, the Conqueror, the Unconquered, the All-Seeing, All-Powerful, the Sovereign Lord, the Maker, Creator, Chief, Appointer and Ruler, Father of All That Have Been and Shall Be. He is higher and more sublime than we. He should know where the four great elements... cease without remainder.'

"'But where, friends, is the Great Brahma now?'

"'Monk, we also don't know where Brahma is or in what way Brahma is. But when signs appear, light shines forth, and a radiance appears, Brahma will appear. For these are the portents of Brahma's appearance: light shines forth and a radiance appears.'

"Then it was not long before Brahma appeared.

"So the monk approached the Great Brahma and, on arrival, said, 'Friend, where do these four great elements — the earth property, the liquid property, the fire property, and the wind property — cease without remainder?'

"When this was said, the Great Brahma said to the monk, 'I, monk, am Brahma, the Great Brahma, the Conqueror, the Unconquered, the All-Seeing, All-Powerful, the Sovereign Lord, the Maker, Creator, Chief, Appointer and Ruler, Father of All That Have Been and Shall Be.'

A second time, the monk said to the Great Brahma, 'Friend, I didn't ask you if you were Brahma, the Great Brahma, the Conqueror, the Unconquered, the All-Seeing, All-Powerful, the Sovereign Lord, the Maker, Creator, Chief, Appointer and Ruler, Father of All That Have Been and Shall Be. I asked you where these four great elements — the earth property, the liquid property, the fire property, and the wind property — cease without remainder.'

"A second time, the Great Brahma said to the monk, 'I, monk, am Brahma, the Great Brahma, the Conqueror, the Unconquered, the All-Seeing, All-Powerful, the Sovereign Lord, the Maker, Creator, Chief, Appointer and Ruler, Father of All That Have Been and Shall Be.'

"A third time, the monk said to the Great Brahma, 'Friend, I didn't ask you if you were Brahma, the Great Brahma, the Conqueror, the Unconquered, the All-Seeing, All-Powerful, the Sovereign Lord, the Maker, Creator, Chief, Appointer and Ruler, Father of All That Have Been and Shall Be. I asked you where these four great elements — the earth property, the liquid property, the fire property, and the wind property — cease without remainder.'

"Then the Great Brahma, taking the monk by the arm and leading him off to one side, said to him, 'These gods of the retinue of Brahma believe, "There is nothing that the Great Brahma does not know. There is nothing that the Great Brahma does not see. There is nothing of which the Great Brahma is unaware. There is nothing that the Great Brahma has not realized." That is why I did not say in their presence that I, too, don't know where the four great elements... cease without remainder. So you have acted wrongly, acted incorrectly, in bypassing the Blessed One in search of an answer to this question elsewhere. Go right back to the Blessed One and, on arrival, ask him this question. However he answers it, you should take it to heart.'

"Then — just as a strong man might extend his flexed arm or flex his extended arm — the monk disappeared from the Brahma world and immediately appeared in front of me. Having bowed down to me, he sat to one side. As he was sitting there he said to me, 'Lord, where do these four great elements — the earth property, the liquid property, the fire property, and the wind property — cease without remainder?'

"When this was said, I said to him,[2] 'Once, monk, some sea-faring merchants took a shore-sighting bird and set sail in their ship. When they could not see the shore, they released the shore-sighting bird. It flew to the east, south, west, north, straight up, and to all the intermediate points of the compass. If it saw the shore in any direction, it flew there. If it did not see the shore in any direction, it returned right back to the ship. In the same way, monk, having gone as far as the Brahma world in search of an answer to your question, you have come right back to my presence.

"'Your question should not be phrased in this way: Where do these four great elements — the earth property, the liquid property, the fire property, and the wind property — cease without remainder? Instead, it should be phrased like this:


Where do water, earth, fire, & wind
find no footing?
Where are long & short,
coarse & fine,
fair & foul,
metallity & form
wholly uprooted?
"'And the answer to that is:


Consciousness invisible,[1]
without end,
luminous all around:
Here water, earth, fire, & wind
have no footing.
Here long & short
coarse & fine
fair & foul
metallity & form
are all uprooted.
With the cessation of [the activity of] consciousness
this is all uprooted.'"
That is what the Blessed One said. Gratified, Kevatta the householder delighted in the Blessed One's words.

With cessation of consciousness this is all uprooted. When the Arahant attains final Nibbana, consciousness ceases. Mentallity and form can not find any footing in him which would lead to a rebirth.

There are these 6 types of consciousness: eye consciousness, ear consciousness, nose consciousness, tongue consciousness, body consciousness, and mind consciousness.

When an Arahant attains final Nibbana these 6 types of consciousness cease. Consciousness cannot find any footing in him which would lead to a rebirth.

« Last Edit: May 15, 2014, 08:07:48 am by Ananda10 »

 


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