tathāhaṃ bhagavatā dhammaṃ desitaṃ ājānāmi yathā tadevidaṃ viññāṇaṃ sandhāvati saṃsarati anaññan

What does tadevidaṃ mean in the above?


This is quite an idiomatic sentence construction in Pali. The sense is:

As I understand the Buddha’s teaching, it is that very same consciousness that fares and transmigrates on, not another.

Here, tadevidaṃ and anaññaṁ, despite being separated in the sentence, are both adjectives qualifying viññāṇaṃ.

Tadevidaṃ resolves as:

  • tad = that
  • ev[a] = just, only
  • idaṃ = this

Here, the doubling of the demonstrative pronoun is a common feature of Pali, to be understood as emphatic (compare tayidaṃ). The eva is explicitly emphatic, “just this very same consciousness”.

This doubled emphasis makes it clear that the consciousness spoken of is unchanging and self-identical, and thus distinguished from the consciousness of dependent origination, as of course the sutta goes on to explain.