Question regarding anidassanam

I would like to know if the following is a possible valid translation of the pali word “anidassanam”? Note: I used the Online Pali English Dictionary to get the candidates for the components of the word. That said, I do not know Pali or its grammar.

a+ni+dassa = no + hindmost + seeing
In other words: seeing without a seer.

PS. Another interpretation could be “no depth seeing”.

From Digital pāḷi dictionary:

adj. attribute-less; non-manifesting; sign-less; featureless; invisible; epithet of Nibbāna [na + ni + √dis + a + ana]

na: prefix. not

ni: prefix. down

many meanings for dassana

  1. nt. (+gen) sight (of); vision (of); appearance (of); lit. seeing [√dis + a + ana]

  2. nt. seeing; watching [√dis + a + ana]

  3. nt. insight; realization; spiritual vision; lit. seeing [√dis + a + ana]

  4. nt. eye; lit. seeing [√dis + a + ana]

  5. nt. showing; teaching [√dis + a + ana]

  6. adj. having vision; with insight; lit. seeing [√dis + a + ana]


  1. nt. comparison; example; evidence; lit. looking down [ni + √dis + a + ana]

  2. nt. appearing; manifesting [ni + √dis + a + ana]

  3. nt. specific example [ni + √dis]

From classical Theravada:

“Tattha viññatabbanti “Viññanam” nibbanassetam namam,…”

“There, to be known specially, so (it is) “Viññanam”. This is the name of nibbana.”

And Kevatta Sutta Tika further explains the phrase “viññatabbanti” as follows:

"Viññatabbanti visitthena ñatabbam, ñanuttamena ariyamaggañanena paccakkhato janitabbanti attho, tenaha “nibbanassetam namam"ti.”

“(To be known specially) means to be extraordinarily known. The meaning is ‘to be known in the sense of realization by ultimate wisdom, by noble path wisdom’”. Therefore, (the commentator) stated that ‘This is the name of nibbana’" Therefore, the term ‘Viññanam’ in the line of the original Pali verse “Viññanam anidassanam, anantam sabbatopabham …” does not refer to consciousness, the usual meaning of viññanam.
In fact, the same verse includes the following two lines “Ettha namañca rupañca, asesam uparujjhati
Viññanassa nirodhena, etthetam uparujjhati’ti”. “Here (in nibbana), nama as well as rupa ceases without remainder. By ceasing of consciousness, nama as well as rupa ceases here.”

Nibbana does not become a sort of consciousness just because one of its Pali names happens to be Viññanam. In English language, the term ‘object’ can have different meanings. For example, the term ‘object’ in visual object has no relation to
the term ‘object’ in my object of studting Pali.“” endquote Suan

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Thank you for your well considered answer. Just an FYI, this is the entry from the Pali English Online Dictionary were it does list hindmost as a usage of “ni”.

Namo Buddhaya!

I think the word is not really a mystery.

Sinhala still has the word nidarshana as in ‘demonstration’ so anidarshana would be close to not-demonstrable and not-evident.

I assume it’s true analog of pali anidassana and it fits in well illuminating the meaning of the texts.

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