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Revisiting Viññāṇaṃ anidassanaṃ

nibbāna
anidassano
anidassanaṃ
viññāṇaṃ-anidassanaṃ
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#1

I posted this as a comment on MN21 but i think it would be more appropriate posting it here.

The term “anidassano” in MN21 is used explaining empty space as an unsuitable medium for painting pictures.

It is this absence of a suitable medium for [painting pictures] and not the absence of Empty Space that is the key to understanding this term properly.

For Viññāṇaṃ anidassanaṃ
I would translate it “Consciousness without a medium” :slight_smile:

As i see it, a medium for what it should be asked and the answer is a medium for the arising of “existence/suffering” [sankhara (conditioned phenomena] :slight_smile:

So it is The Dhamma without conditions for the arising of any Sankhara.

Sakharas arise of&from Sankharas.

Because it has been proclaimed and i translate;

Sabbe saṅkhārā aniccā. - All formations are impermanent
Sabbe saṅkhārā dukkhā. - All formations are stress
‘Sabbe dhammā anattā’ - All Dhamma are not-self

Therefore All Sankharas are Dhamma but not All Dhammas are Sankhara. There is a Dhamma which is but does not share the characteristics of Dhukka & Anicca with the other Dhammas.

Which Dhamma it should be asked, the answer is in the MN115;

There are, Ānanda, these two elements: the conditioned element and the unconditioned element. When he knows and sees these two elements, a bhikkhu can be called skilled in the elements.”

Therefore the only possible referent of this term is the Unconditioned Element [Nibbana] and nothing else.

Dhp v203;

Hunger is the primary disease; conditioned phenomena, the primary suffering. Having seen the truth of this, Nibbana becomes the primary happiness.

Jighacchāparamā rogā saṅkhāraparamā dukhā
Etaṃ ñatvā yathābhūtaṃ nibbāṇaparamaṃ sukhaṃ.


#2

Do you mean that vinnanam anidassanam is a “seventh” consciousness which takes Nibbana as it’s object?


#3

I do not say that Nibbana is taken as an object, Nibbana is when Sankaharas[Anicca, Dukkha, Anatta] Cease.

The referent is Nibbana itself, it is a singleness and a reality.

It refers to the realization[uncovering] of The 3rd Noble Truth: A possible reality without the characteristic of impermanence.

It is also Anatta because there is no observer.

I would say it is a reality without a universe/world but i don’t like these english terms, because they are abstract [poorly defined] being a “mystery” of science, but it think it is ok and may make it easier to understand for some.


#4

I thought Nibbana is when craving, aversion and ignorance cease? And when Dukkha ceases?


#5

The term Dukkha is a characteristic of everything apart from Nibbana. Refer to The Sabba Sutta;

“Monks, I will teach you the All. Listen & pay close attention. I will speak.”

“As you say, lord,” the monks responded.

The Blessed One said, “What is the All? Simply the eye & forms, ear & sounds, nose & aromas, tongue & flavors, body & tactile sensations, intellect & ideas. This, monks, is called the All. [1] Anyone who would say, ‘Repudiating this All, I will describe another,’ if questioned on what exactly might be the grounds for his statement, would be unable to explain, and furthermore, would be put to grief. Why? Because it lies beyond range.”

And compare the definition of Everything/All from The Sabba Sutta to ie The Cula-Rahulovada Sutta;

the Blessed One said to him, “What do you think, Rahula — is the eye constant or inconstant?”

“Inconstant, lord.”

“And is that which is inconstant easeful or stressful?”

“Stressful, lord.”

“And is it fitting to regard what is inconstant, stressful, subject to change as: ‘This is mine. This is my self. This is what I am’?”

“No, lord.”

“What do you think — are forms constant or inconstant?”

“Inconstant, lord.”

“And is that which is inconstant easeful or stressful?”

“Stressful, lord.”

“And is it fitting to regard what is inconstant, stressful, subject to change as: ‘This is mine. This is my self. This is what I am’?”

“No, lord.”

“What do you think — is consciousness at the eye constant or inconstant?”

“Inconstant, lord.”

“And is that which is inconstant easeful or stressful?”

“Stressful, lord.”

“And is it fitting to regard what is inconstant, stressful, subject to change as: ‘This is mine. This is my self. This is what I am’?”

“No, lord.”

“What do you think — is contact at the eye constant or inconstant?”

“Inconstant, lord.”

“And is that which is inconstant easeful or stressful?”

“Stressful, lord.”

“And is it fitting to regard what is inconstant, stressful, subject to change as: ‘This is mine. This is my self. This is what I am’?”

“No, lord.”

“What do you think — whatever there is that arises in dependence on contact at the eye as a mode of feeling, a mode of perception, a mode of fabrication, or a mode of consciousness:[1] Is it constant or inconstant?”

“Inconstant, lord.”

“And is that which is inconstant easeful or stressful?”

“Stressful, lord.”

“And is it fitting to regard what is inconstant, stressful, subject to change as: ‘This is mine. This is my self. This is what I am’?”

“No, lord.”

“What do you think, Rahula — is the ear constant or inconstant?”

“Inconstant, lord” …

“What do you think, Rahula — is the nose constant or inconstant?”

“Inconstant, lord” …

“What do you think, Rahula — is the tongue constant or inconstant?”

“Inconstant, lord” …

“What do you think, Rahula — is the body constant or inconstant?”

“Inconstant, lord” …

“What do you think, Rahula — is the intellect constant or inconstant?”

“Inconstant, lord.”

“And is that which is inconstant easeful or stressful?”

“Stressful, lord.”

“And is it fitting to regard what is inconstant, stressful, subject to change as: ‘This is mine. This is my self. This is what I am’?”

“No, lord.”

“What do you think — are ideas constant or inconstant?”

“Inconstant, lord.”

“And is that which is inconstant easeful or stressful?”

“Stressful, lord.”

“And is it fitting to regard what is inconstant, stressful, subject to change as: ‘This is mine. This is my self. This is what I am’?”

“No, lord.”

“What do you think — is consciousness at the intellect constant or inconstant?”

“Inconstant, lord.”

“And is that which is inconstant easeful or stressful?”

“Stressful, lord.”

“And is it fitting to regard what is inconstant, stressful, subject to change as: ‘This is mine. This is my self. This is what I am’?”

“No, lord.”

“What do you think — is contact at the intellect constant or inconstant?”

“Inconstant, lord.”

“And is that which is inconstant easeful or stressful?”

“Stressful, lord.”

“And is it fitting to regard what is inconstant, stressful, subject to change as: ‘This is mine. This is my self. This is what I am’?”

“No, lord.”

“What do you think — whatever there is that arises in dependence on contact at the intellect as a mode of feeling, a mode of perception, a mode of fabrication, or a mode of consciousness: Is it constant or inconstant?”

“Inconstant, lord.”

“And is that which is inconstant easeful or stressful?”

“Stressful, lord.”

“And is it fitting to regard what is inconstant, stressful, subject to change as: ‘This is mine. This is my self. This is what I am’?”

“No, lord.”

Everything apart from Nibbana is Sankhara, every Sankhara has the characteristic of Dukkha, Anicca and Anatta.


#6

Contradiction…in bold?
Teaching is “Not-self”…via middle-way.


#7

It is not a contradiction, the arising of the Vinnana Anidassanam is the seeing there.

Seeing as you speak of it is Eye-Consciousness at the Eye Base.

Arising of Eye-Consciousness (seeing of fleshy Eye) is not the same as Seeing of The Eye of Wisdom (Vinnana Anidassanam).

Itivuttaka: The Buddha’s Sayings

The Section of the Threes

  1. Eyes
    This was said by the Lord …

“Bhikkhus, there are these three eyes. What three? The fleshly eye, the divine eye, and the wisdom eye. These, bhikkhus, are the three eyes.”

The fleshly eye, the divine eye,
And the unsurpassed wisdom eye—
These three eyes were described
By the Buddha, supreme among men.

The arising of the fleshly eye
Is the path to the divine eye,
But the unsurpassed wisdom eye
Is that from which knowledge arises.
By obtaining such an eye
One is released from all suffering.

We do not say that Consciousness Sees, we say that The Eye sees or that there is Eye-Consciousness or that there arises contact at the Eye Base between Consciousness, Forms and The Eye.

In this way it can be known why we do not say that Vinnana Anidassanam Sees, we say the Eye of Wisdom sees.

Clearly the seeing of the Eye of Wisdom is even more profound than seeing Heaven and Hell with The Divine Eye.

Nibbana is a singleness, therefore there is the need to introduce several terms of the same referent to explain the concept in various contexts.

Vinnana Adinassanam is perfectly instrumental in explaining the Highest Happiness that is there where there is no Feeling.
Why it should be asked and the answer is because in the same way that The Fleshy Eye is said to See, Vinnana cognizes, it cognizes pleasurable feeling, neutral feeling or a painful feeling, it cognizes. However “Vinnana Anidassanam” does not equal “Vinnana”. This can be made more obvious by tracing the definitions of Vinnana given in the Sutta Pitaka;
IE Khanda Sutta;


"Monks, I will teach you the five aggregates & the five clinging-aggregates.

"Whatever consciousness is past, future, or present; internal or external; blatant or subtle; common or sublime; far or near: That is called the consciousness aggregate.

"Whatever consciousness — past, future, or present; internal or external; blatant or subtle; common or sublime; far or near — is clingable, offers sustenance, and is accompanied with mental fermentation: That is called the consciousness clinging-aggregate.

Vinnana Anidassanam does not offer “sustenance” in regards to this i say that it is without a medium for arising of Sankharas. Therefore “Vinnana Anidassanam” =/= “Vinnana”

This is all in the domain of general semantics and finding referents.


#8

So where does vinnanam anidassanam fit in here?


#9

Nibbana and Vinnana Anidassanam have the same referent.
Do you undestand the meaning of this statement?


#10

Not really, could you explain? Do you mean they are different words for the same thing? Are you saying that Nibbana = vinnana anidassanam?


#11

Yes different ways of explaining the same concept. Various aspects of the concept in particular.


#12

Grasping at words isn’t going to help.

The consciousness of nirvana is said to be “without surface” (anidassanam), for it doesn’t land. Because the consciousness-aggregate covers only consciousness that is near or far, past, present, or future — i.e., in connection with space and time — consciousness without surface is not included in the aggregates. It’s not eternal because eternity is a function of time.

And under DN11:

Consciousness without feature,
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.


#13

Without surface is very much acceptable translation.
Surface and medium are very close in meaning, it is definitely a good one.

With the cessation of [the activity of] consciousness
each is here brought to an end.

Do you agree that this quote refers to “Consciousness(Aggregate)” and not “Vinnana Anidassanam”?


#14

For ordinary consciousness is always dependent on one object or another, but with Tathagata this is impossible, for their consciousness is totally independent.

SN22.53:…Release is the word you should be looking for.

“If a monk abandons passion for the property of consciousness, then owing to the abandonment of passion, the support is cut off, and there is no landing of consciousness. Consciousness, thus not having landed, not increasing, not concocting, is released. Owing to its release, it is steady. Owing to its steadiness, it is contented. Owing to its contentment, it is not agitated. Not agitated, he (the monk) is totally unbound right within. He discerns that ‘Birth is ended, the holy life fulfilled, the task done. There is nothing further for this world.’”


#15

Do you agree that this quote refers to “Consciousness(Aggregate)” and not “Vinnana Anidassanam”?

That was a question requiring a categorical answer.

As i interperet your answer you do not agree that Vinnana Anidassanam has Nibbana as it is referent.

Are you willing to be questioned on the matter in regards to the exact reasoning behind your interpretation?


#16

Mabe I’m misunderstading, but are you saying that vinnanam anidassanam is a permanent and happy type of consciousness?


#17

Permanence is not a characteristic of Nibbana so it is not permanent.

It is not impermanent either, time does not apply because time is a construct, in sense that where there is before & after there is change, change = impermanence.

Without change one can not establish time, therefore also not eternity or permanence.

One can say that it is permanent but one would have to add a second adjective “unchanging” to mitigate the implication of time when dealing with the characteristic of the concept of 3rd Noble Truth.


#18

Are you saying that vinnanam anidassanam is a type of consciousness that does not change?

Is vinnanam anidassanam subject to destruction? Can it ever fade away?


#20

I think that “unchanging” captures the meaning better. Are you saying that vinnanam anidassanam is also unchanging?


#21

So just to be clear, your view is that vinnana anidassanam is a permanent and unchanging type of consciousness, that does not arise and does not fade?