Consciousness ('s)

In Mn Sutta 143 Anāthapiṇḍikovāda Sutta - Advice to Anāthapinḍịka, in paragraph 11 Sariputta advices Anathapindika “Householder, you should train thus: I will not cling to material form…I will not cling to feeling…I will not cling to perception…I will not cling to formations…I will not cling to consciousness, and my consciousness will not be dependent on consciousness.

The part I’ve highlighted – how could that be interpreted. Are there 2 consciousness’s here?

Good question, and not a simple one.

The text is deathbed advice, and as such, deals with letting go of everything that one might get attached to leading to rebirth. So it goes through a bunch of different dhammas, saying, for example:

na ca me viñ­ñā­ṇa­nissitaṃ viññāṇaṃ bhavissatī
My consciousness will not be dependent on consciousness.

However, it’s not really evoking some complex self-referential notion of consciousness here. Note the use of future tense. What it is saying is, in effect,

“I won’t let attachment to my current consciousness form a basis for consciousness to be reborn in the future.”

But it’s a highly compressed idiom, and not very clear in a literal translation.


Thank you Bhante

Bhante, Could this be another way of putting it…train so consciousness does not cling to cravings brought about by any phenomena ie re the 6 internal sense bases, 6 external sense bases; consciousness’s x 6; contacts x 6; won’t cling to any feeling x 6 (esp of pain as in Anathapindika’s case eg oh woe is me); the 6 elements; and the 5 aggregates (including, of course, consciousness)…the clinging to these cravings/phenomena will supply consciousness with the conditions to find a new target to inhabit ie another rebirth (ee). The latter is what Sariputta’s advice is attempting to avoid ie no rebirth via clinging to any phenomena. In short, letting go of everything ie clinging to no thing.

…and, in paragraph 15 does Anathapindika’s tears, after absorbing Sariputta’s advice, indicate a path and fruit moment which made it possible for ‘him’ to reappear in the Tusita heaven?