Definition of Ignorance

Hi, this too did not make sense to me if I were to translate ‘consciousness’ to imply awareness. For how would one make a volitional decision/choice if not aware first? Maybe others do not make this implication and understand the term ‘consciousness’ in English differently.

I’ve spent some time researching this term and will post the relevant references:

The word here is viññāna, verb is Vijānāti

PTS Pali English Dictionary


  1. to have discriminative (dis = vi˚) knowledge, to recognize, apprehend, ascertain, to become aware of, to understand, notice, perceive, distinguish learn, know

With such translation, choices would be condition to discrimination and discrimination would be condition to name & form.
For me this would make sense, because as one makes choices one learns to discriminate better to make even better choices. Also one discriminates between name & form.

MN43 translated by I.B. Horner translates it as “discriminative consciousness”

Free book from Venerable Bhikkhu Kaṭukurunde translates it on page 5. as discrimination

Here are posts that focused on finding alternate translations of this term:

In the end, you will have to decide what makes sense. However I believe it is good to know that there are alternate translations available.

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