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Revisiting Viññāṇaṃ anidassanaṃ

nibbāna
anidassano
anidassanaṃ
viññāṇaṃ-anidassanaṃ
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#62

sankhāra paccayā viñnanam [DO]

Intention causes consciousness to arise, as noted in the dependent origination.

Nama and rupa also cause consciousness to arise, intentions falling into the category of nama. Sankhāra even if broadly considered as phenomena seem to give rise to consciousness, in a manner of cause and effect, experientially.


#63

The only part of the expression which i find open to interpretation and potentially disagreeable is this part;

With this understanding, water, earth, fire, & wind have no footing since they do not always be > recognized that way. Long & short, coarse & fine, fair & foul, name & form (or the dualism) is brought to and end since we no longer grasp to one side. Since it is unestablished on any side, anywhere, it is boundless, has no limit and trouble.

As for unestablished cognition this is expression is not unheard of and can be drawn out from SN12.64;

“Just as if there were a roofed house or a roofed hall having windows on the north, the south, or the east. When the sun rises, and a ray has entered by way of the window, where does it land?”

“On the western wall, lord.”

“And if there is no western wall, where does it land?”

“On the ground, lord.”

“And if there is no ground, where does it land?”

“On the water, lord.”

“And if there is no water, where does it land?”

“It does not land, lord.”

“In the same way, where there is no passion for the nutriment of physical food… contact… intellectual intention… consciousness, where there is no delight, no craving, then consciousness does not land there or increase. Where consciousness does not land or increase, there is no alighting of name-&-form. Where there is no alighting of name-&-form, there is no growth of fabrications. Where there is no growth of fabrications, there is no production of renewed becoming in the future. Where there is no production of renewed becoming in the future, there is no future birth, aging, & death. That, I tell you, has no sorrow, affliction, or despair.”

SN 22.54;

"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 base for consciousness. Consciousness, thus unestablished, not proliferating, not performing any function, is released.

I personally think that the expression “consciousness unestablished” refers to a state of cosciousness which eventually ceases and can be said to be personal for this or that person [Arahant], rather than referring to what is beyond the world, beyond objectification, beyond six-sense media, is not included in the Allness of the All, has no sorrow, the unmade, which, is discerned as an escape from the made as consciousness which can be taken to be personal or belonging to this or that person is released as one attains it’s cessation.

"That, bhikkhus, is Māra the Evil One searching for the consciousness of the clansman Vakkali, wondering:
‘Where now has the consciousness of the clansman Vakali been established?’
However, bhikkhus, with consciousness unestablished, the clansman Vakkali has attained final Nibbāna.
SN 3 22 87: Vakkali

Therefore i don’t think Unestablished Consciousness is the same as Vinnanam Anidassanam because the latter is not associated with the Aggregates and when properly discerned is therefore not personal and can not be taken or grasped by wrong view to be, be associated with or belonging to this or that person.


#64

When you take vinnana as consciousness then you will need to explain what happens when consciousness totally ceased? Is this the same with total unconsciousness?

When you think about established consciousness and unestablished consciousness, you will need to explain what are they? What can they do?

If you think "consciousness unestablished” refers to a state of consciousness (of an arahant) which eventually ceases then it seems to me that you imply the arahant is/will be unconscious? However, we knew that the Buddha was totally conscious while he was alive.

Because I see vinnana as established (re)cognition, so the completed cessation of established (re)cognition is not the completed cessation of consciousness. One can be conscious without any established (re)cognition. I can (consciously) know a cat simply as a cat as its current condition without grasping it as “good cat” or “bad cat” or “beautiful cat” or “ugly cat”…I do not even grasp it as a cat! It is what it is as its current condition. It is not me, but I am not apart from it. It composed by electrons and photons, and so do I. It has form, feelings, perception,… and so do I. However, I am currently not a cat, but I am not apart from it!

The unestablished (re)cognition is simply the absence of the established (re)cognition. However, it is not the unconsciousness.

Since I do not have any established (re)cognition on anything, I also do not see the unestablished (re)cognition as “I, me, mine”. If I do so, I established me/myself in the unestablished (re)cognition; therefore, I still have established (re)cognition!

Even though I do not have any established (re)cognition, I am not unconscious. However, I am not that consciousness (or that unestablished (re)cognition). It is what it is! I am not it, but I am not apart from it.

That’s how I understand.


#65

“What happens” does not apply because there is no “after” or “future” for this of that being who attains Parinibbana;

"Now what, bhikkhus, is the Nibbana-element with no residue left? Here a bhikkhu is an arahant, one whose taints are destroyed, the holy life fulfilled, who has done what had to be done, laid down the burden, attained the goal, destroyed the fetters of being, completely released through final knowledge. For him, here in this very life, all this is experience, not being delighted in, will be extinguished. That, bhikkhus, is called the Nibbana-element with no residue left.

“These bhikkhus, are the two Nibbana-elements.”

Verse:
These two Nibbana-elements were made known
By the Seeing One, stable, and unattached:
One is the element seen here and now
With residue, but with the cord of being destroyed;
The other, having no residue for the future,
Is that wherein all modes of being utterly cease. (Itivuttaka 2.17)

You are trying to talk about what happens to what is conditioned (an arahant) after cessation of conditioned phenomena. Which is not something that ought to be done and you are going too far.

There is no going beyond Parinibbana, there is no “coming out of conditioned phenomena” or “conditioned phenomena going to some place” therefore Sutta are very explicit language such as;

The other, having no residue for the future,
Is that wherein all modes of being utterly cease.

Talking about after Parinibbana does not apply, again, here Maha Kotthita asks similar questions;

[Maha Kotthita:] “Being asked if, with the remainderless stopping & fading of the six contact-media, there is anything else, you say, ‘Don’t say that, my friend.’ Being asked if … there is not anything else … there both is & is not anything else … there neither is nor is not anything else, you say, ‘Don’t say that, my friend.’ Now, how is the meaning of your words to be understood?”

[Sariputta:] "The statement, ‘With the remainderless stopping & fading of the six contact-media [vision, hearing, smell, taste, touch, & intellection] is it the case that there is anything else?’ objectifies non-objectification.[[1]]

The statement, ‘… is it the case that there is not anything else … is it the case that there both is & is not anything else … is it the case that there neither is nor is not anything else?’ objectifies non-objectification. However far the six contact-media go, that is how far objectification goes. However far objectification goes, that is how far the six contact media go. With the remainderless fading & stopping of the six contact-media, there comes to be the stopping, the allaying of objectification. Kotthita Sutta: To Kotthita

Here is another one which goes deeper but also does not go on to objectify non-objectification;

“What do you think, Anuradha: Is form constant or inconstant?”

“Inconstant, lord.”

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

“Stressful, lord.”

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

“No, lord.”

“Is feeling constant or inconstant?”

“Inconstant, lord.”…

“Is perception constant or inconstant?”

“Inconstant, lord.”…

“Are fabrications constant or inconstant?”

“Inconstant, lord.”…

"Is consciousness constant or inconstant?

“Inconstant, lord.”

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

“Stressful, lord.”

“And is it proper 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, Anuradha: Do you regard form as the Tathagata?”

“No, lord.”

“Do you regard feeling as the Tathagata?”

“No, lord.”

“Do you regard perception as the Tathagata?”

“No, lord.”

“Do you regard fabrications as the Tathagata?”

“No, lord.”

“Do you regard consciousness as the Tathagata?”

“No, lord.”

“What do you think, Anuradha: Do you regard the Tathagata as being in form?.. Elsewhere than form?.. In feeling?.. Elsewhere than feeling?.. In perception?.. Elsewhere than perception?.. In fabrications?.. Elsewhere than fabrications?.. In consciousness?.. Elsewhere than consciousness?”

“No, lord.”

“What do you think: Do you regard the Tathagata as form-feeling-perception-fabrications-consciousness?”

“No, lord.”

“Do you regard the Tathagata as that which is without form, without feeling, without perception, without fabrications, without consciousness?”

“No, lord.”

“And so, Anuradha — when you can’t pin down the Tathagata as a truth or reality even in the present life — is it proper for you to declare, ‘Friends, the Tathagata — the supreme man, the superlative man, attainer of the superlative attainment — being described, is described otherwise than with these four positions: The Tathagata exists after death, does not exist after death, both does & does not exist after death, neither exists nor does not exist after death’?”

“No, lord.”

"Very good, Anuradha. Very good. Both formerly & now, it is only stress that I describe, and the cessation of stress."Anuradha Sutta: To Anuradha

If we look at the Sutta it seems to me that whenever the Unmade is talked about in a sense of some sort of reality of it’s own it is always talked about in a paradoxical terms;

  • Pleasure where nothing is felt Ud8.2

  • That place not gone to

However when questioned further there are these explainations;

‘Gotama the contemplative speaks of the cessation of perception & feeling and yet describes it as pleasure. What is this? How can this be?’ When they say that, they are to be told, ‘It’s not the case, friends, that the Blessed One describes only pleasant feeling as included under pleasure. Wherever pleasure is found, in whatever terms, the Blessed One describes it as pleasure.’" Bahuvedaniya Sutta: Many Things to be Experienced

Or Sariputta;

“Then there is the case where a monk, with the complete transcending of the dimension of neither perception nor non-perception, enters & remains in the cessation of perception & feeling. And as he sees (that) with discernment, effluents are completely ended. So by this line of reasoning it may be known how unbinding is pleasant.”

There just isn’t much explaining going on as we can see.

As for discernment this is also one of the way it is spoken of in form of affirmation;

There is, monks, an unborn[[1]] — unbecome — unmade — unfabricated. If there were not that unborn — unbecome — unmade — unfabricated, there would not be the case that escape from the born — become — made — fabricated would be discerned. But precisely because there is an unborn — unbecome — unmade — unfabricated, escape from the born — become — made — fabricated is discerned.[[2]]
Nibbāna Sutta: Unbinding (3)

By inference it’s itness can be established but not defined here.

Afaik the last expression of positive affirmation of the Unmade is Ud 8.1;

There is that dimension, monks, where there is neither earth, nor water, nor fire, nor wind; neither dimension of the infinitude of space, nor dimension of the infinitude of consciousness, nor dimension of nothingness, nor dimension of neither perception nor non-perception; neither this world, nor the next world, nor sun, nor moon. And there, I say, there is neither coming, nor going, nor staying; neither passing away nor arising: unestablished, unevolving, without support. This, just this, is the end of stress.

When taken as riddle it really narrows it down tho but also here it is explained in terms which it is not as it’s itness is affirmed so it does not really go to objectify it.

As for unestablished consciousness it may well be that my expression when saying;
“Unestablished consciouness ceases”

is not the Classical Theravadin Abhidhamma Method expression but the meaning is that it ceases in as far as the Aggregates which can be grasped with wrong view to be personal or belonging to this or that person, all that, is utterly extinguished.

As for the term unestablished in ud8.1 i think one can draw a link between the unestablished here and unestablished consciousness in case of an Arahant however i think that then one would be going by “Abhidhamma Method” and this is an important distinction, by the Abhidhamma method one can go on to explain Mind-Base as being conditioned or unconditioned and within that framework i do see it work very well but that expression is definitely much more comprehensive & intricate and therefore requires context to work because it ties together the doctrine in it’s entirety and requires Abhidhamma understanding and otherwise it would be one shade away from eternalism and a soul imho.


#66

OK, Let’s not ask about what happens. However, if someone has ceased his consciousness, he must be in an unconscious state, so he cannot response to things around him. However, I do not vision a living arahant or the Buddha that way.

As I understand, the residue here is simply the current body. After putting down that body and does not take any new one, there is no more residue for the arahant.

You are talking about anatta. When we do not establish our recognition anywhere, there is no “I, me, mine, myself” anywhere.

When painful feeling is gone, or when we realize that there is/will be no more painful feeling, that can be seen as pleasure.

When I have a son, that son will give birth to something, he will become this or that, he will do this or that,…
When I never have any son, I escape the above troubles.

To me, this is the result of the unestablished (re)cognition.


#67

Nibbana is permanent in the sense that there is no fall back for an arahat. But permanent does not mean eternal.

Now about vinnana (the 5th khandhas). As per dependent origination it is the khandha that leads to nama-rupa and nama-rupa also leads to vinnana. A sutta talks about the whirlwind created by the dance of vinnana and nama-rupa. This vinnana khandha applies to a non-arahat.

For the arahat the unestablished-vinnana is no more associated with nama-rupa.
I understand unestablished as meaning not grabbing any sign from the six-sense-bases.


#68

even tho you did not ask a question, i will address this.

Nibbana when defined as removal of ignorance and the abscence of delusion in an Arahant;

“This, bhikkhu, is a designation for the element of Nibbāna: the removal of lust, the removal of hatred, the removal of delusion. The destruction of the taints is spoken of in that way.” SN45.7

"What, bhikkhus, is the Nibbana-element with residue left? Here a bhikkhu is an arahant, one whose taints are destroyed, the holy life fulfilled, who has done what had to be done, laid down the burden, attained the goal, destroyed the fetters of being, completely released through final knowledge. However, his five sense faculties remain unimpaired, by which he still experiences what is agreeable and disagreeable and feels pleasure and plain. It is the extinction of attachment, hate and delusion in him that is called the Nibbana-element with residue left.Silavant Sutta: Virtuous

As i see It, it is the “impairment” of Intellect faculty by removal of the ignorance element that is spoken of in this way.

As for namarupa and vinnanakhanda. Khanda means a heap or a group, meaning any kind of consciouness, past, present and future. It does not say any consciousness of non-arahant or groups of consciousness associated with ignorance.

There are also refutations to such expression which can be pulled up;

“Then which things should an arahant attend to in an appropriate way?”

“An arahant should attend in an appropriate way to these five clinging-aggregates as inconstant, stressful, a disease, a cancer, an arrow, painful, an affliction, alien, a dissolution, an emptiness, not-self. Although, for an arahant, there is nothing further to do, and nothing to add to what has been done, still these things — when developed & pursued — lead both to a pleasant abiding in the here-&-now and to mindfulness & alertness.”

There are other Sutta wherein it is affirmed that an Arahant is not without vininnanakhanda and there is not a single expression in the canon saying that consciousness of an Arahant is not associated with Name & Form.

Expressions longing for and being associated with carry very different meaning and the way “associated with” is used in for example the Vibhanga Analysis of Aggregates;

Consciousness associated with painful feeling is gross; consciousness associated with pleasant also with neither-painful-nor-pleasant feelings is subtle. Consciousness associated with pleasant and painful feelings is gross; consciousness associated with neither-painful-nor-pleasant feeling is subtle. SuttaCentral

It is imo therefore a disagreeable way to express; an Arahant is without delusion and does not long for name&form. Because it is imo naturally misunderstood when one says ‘consciousness of an arahant is not associated with namarupa’