The meaning of thought and perception?

What are the differences between both ? What is exactly the meaning of Thought / thinking and perception ?

1 Like

According to Abhidhamma thought (citta or Vinnana) is a blanket word for all thoughts. Perception is knowing blue red etc. It is a subset of thoughts.
For instance, you call a “man” is a blanket word. Saying a man is a father, son, police man, driver etc are sub sets of the behaviour of the man. But it is the same man behaving differently.

What about consciousness , subset also ?

The way I understand the consciousness is the translation of Citta or Vinnana.
Consciousness is the blanket word for all our experience.
Again we give a different name to consciousness based on the object it takes when it arising.
Eye consciousness (Chakku Vinnana) , ear consciousness (Sota Vinnana)etc.
According to Abhidhaama there are 89 types of consciousnes.

Basically , you are saying , consciousnesses & thought are synonymous .

Citta , vinnana , vitakka are synonymous .

Depend on the nature of consciousness it is given a different name.
You can say Vitakka consciousness.
It is like I am saying “I am a husband” or "I am a policeman."
The behavior of the husband and the policeman is not the same.
Without Abhidhamma knowledge, you will not understand this.
Good starting point is here.

Quote from bhante Sujato :

Warning: using the Abhidhamma to understand the suttas will only lead to weariness and vexation! You will have to learn a bunch of complicated stuff, and then spend years unlearning it! Like I did! :sweat:


Yes, I and Bhante Sujato have a different opinion (understanding) of Abhidhamma.
For me, without the knowledge of Abhidhamma, you will never be a good teacher.
Especially, to handle a student like you who cross examine the teacher.
However, the knowledge of Abhidhamma is not necessary to attain Nibbana.
By the way, you know that I am a great admirer of Bhante Sujato.

I think it is a normal response for anyone to try to explore anything before we could get to a conclusion .


I think if someone cannot use the suttas to explain the dhamma quite simply, complicating it using abhidhamma will only be good for dissuading students from asking questions.


Not sure if this would help but I recently came across this:

Iti cittamanoti yaṃ cittaṃ taṃ mano, yaṃ mano taṃ cittaṃ.

Which Bhante Brahmali translated as:

Thinking: mind and thought are equivalent



I would agree also because both being applied synonymously all the time .

However , it seems , in the suttas
citta were synonymously or
alternately being applied with vinnana .

1 Like

The wiki page gives a pretty good overview of the 3 overlapping terms that are tranlated as “the mind”: vinnana, manas, and citta. Perception/sanna is also described briefly on that page.

1 Like

The question here is the the thought and perception.
End of the day what matters is you understand the state of your mind.
Most of this problems are translation issues.

So in your opinion, students should not study Abhidhamma?

So in your opinion, we should not use commentaries to teach students.

So, the question goes back to you . If you don’t understand properly the terms and dhamma knowledge , can you understand correctly your state of mind ?!
If a person can understand his/er state of mind without understanding of the terms and dhamma properly , then most people will not need the knowledge of dhamma .

Bear in mind , Not everyone can catch the meaning if they have the difficulty in the language , such as those whom were used to other as their first languages .

1 Like

The terms are helpful to the beginner.
It is not possible to describe all the mind states in words.
Professional musician don’t look at the keys.
They just play.


"If he wants, he knows the awareness of other beings, other individuals, having encompassed it with his own awareness. He discerns a mind with passion as a mind with passion, and a mind without passion as a mind without passion. He discerns a mind with aversion as a mind with aversion, and a mind without aversion as a mind without aversion. He discerns a mind with delusion as a mind with delusion, and a mind without delusion as a mind without delusion. He discerns a restricted mind as a restricted mind, and a scattered mind as a scattered mind. He discerns an enlarged mind as an enlarged mind, and an unenlarged mind as an unenlarged mind. He discerns an excelled mind [one that is not at the most excellent level] as an excelled mind, and an unexcelled mind as an unexcelled mind. He discerns a concentrated mind as a concentrated mind, and an unconcentrated mind as an unconcentrated mind. He discerns a released mind as a released mind, and an unreleased mind as an unreleased mind. He can witness this for himself whenever there is an opening.

Well , you had been gone through quite a lot , ie the Abhidhamma and the suttas .
Maybe you consider yourself a professional already ,
you forgotten many are still in the learning process .

Actually I am not claiming here as a professional.
I am just quoting what you find in Suttas.
Most of the thing I am posting here are not my direct experience.
As I said in another post I am still struggling to observe the five precepts.
I am just trying to help you as much as I can from the work I have already done.
Just consider me as one of your Kalyanamittas.

Friendship is always welcome !
But not hostility !
If anyone wants to claim their seniority over me, or being my teacher , I don’t mind learning from them . Being a teacher can be something superficial .
There is nothing wrong or to feel ashame of in trying or learning something proper from other people . Being boastful is something egoistic .

1 Like