What is the difference between Mind and Consciousness?

As I understand Consciousness is dependent on both a sense base and sensory object to arise. When, say, there is ear consciousness it cognizes pleasant, painful, and neither pleasant nor painful. I might be missing more to it let me know if I am!
Now I’m confused on the relation of mind and thoughts to consciousness. Is thinking, reasoning, and conceptualizing an aspect of consciousness? Or is that some part of mind? I guess I need a definition for mind in EBTs

To my understanding, this is correct.

sense base + sense object + consciousness = contact (phassa)
The feeling (vedana) that arises from this contact is as you explained i.e. pleasant, painful and neutral.

As I understand, the mind is the sixth sense base, and thoughts are the sense object of the mind.
So the mind and the thought coming together results in (mind) consciousness.

To my understanding, there is the 5 aggregates or the khandas, do you know of this?
rupa = form
vedana = feeling
sanna = perception
sankhara = choices or sometimes referred to as mental formations
vinnana = consciousness

The rupa refers to the body, the remaining 4 constitute the mind or the citta.

There’s a whole chapter in the Samyutta on the aggregates

And phassa is mentioned as part of Dependent origination



There are many different words in the suttas:

  1. consciousness (vinnana), which is knowing/experiencing via the sense bases (MN 148)
  2. intellect (mano), which processes sensory data, develops knowledge/wisdom & in return generates intentions (Dhp 1)
  3. heart (citta), which is the defiled/enslaved or undefiled/freed quality of the mind (AN 1.49; AN 1.50)
  4. mentality (nama), which is used at times to broadly include feeling, perception, intention, citta, enthusiasm, decision, energy, mindfulness, equanimity, attention, etc. (SN 12.2; MN 111) :dizzy:

For more details you can check the article
Citta, Manas, Viññāṇa: Aspects of mind as reflected in Early Buddhist Pali discourses, by Somaratne.


These kind of questions are addressed by Ven. Sariputta in particular:

“‘One discerns, one discerns’: Thus, friend, one is said to be ‘discerning.’ And what does one discern? One discerns, ‘This is stress.’ One discerns, ‘This is the origination of stress.’ One discerns, ‘This is the cessation of stress.’ One discerns, ‘This is the practice leading to the cessation of stress.’ ‘One discerns, one discerns’: Thus one is said to be ‘discerning.’”

“Discernment & consciousness are conjoined, friend, not disjoined. It’s not possible, having separated them one from the other, to delineate the difference between them. For what one discerns, that one cognizes. What one cognizes, that one discerns. Therefore these qualities are conjoined, not disjoined, and it is not possible, having separated them one from another, to delineate the difference between them.”—Majhima Nikaya 43

He then goes on to reason intellect-consciousness (discernment) as the most important quality.

It’s an aspect of perception.

“Thought is the source of desire.”

“But what is the source of thought?”

“Concepts of identity that emerge from the proliferation of perceptions are the source of thoughts.”

DN 21

Think of consciousness as raw data, and perception as what interprets that raw data.

When the camera is turned on, and contact is made, the raw data arises. Then the raw data is interpreted “blue, red, green”, and verbalized into thoughts where concepts of identity is mixed in, resulting in further craving.

Obviously without raw data there is nothing to interpret, so interpretation (perception) is dependent on raw data (consciousness).

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