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Pali Term: Viññāṇaṃ anidassanaṃ - Dhamma Wheel

Pali Term: Viññāṇaṃ anidassanaṃ

Explore the ancient language of the Tipitaka and Theravāda commentaries

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Pali Term: Viññāṇaṃ anidassanaṃ

Postby Dmytro » Tue Sep 14, 2010 5:42 am

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Re: Pali Term: Viññāṇaṃ anidassanaṃ

Postby Dmytro » Tue Sep 14, 2010 5:46 am

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Re: Pali Term: Viññāṇaṃ anidassanaṃ

Postby Dmytro » Tue Sep 14, 2010 5:50 am



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Re: Pali Term: Viññāṇaṃ anidassanaṃ

Postby Dmytro » Tue Sep 14, 2010 5:54 am



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Re: Pali Term: Viññāṇaṃ anidassanaṃ

Postby Dmytro » Tue Sep 14, 2010 5:56 am

Piotr wrote:

Bhante, Kester,

thank you for your kind help. I am unable to contact with bhante Brahmāli, but I hope he will publish his paper, as soon as it is possible.

If anybody can polish up Kester's translation, it would be great help to me. :smile:

Best wishes,
Piotr


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Re: Pali Term: Viññāṇaṃ anidassanaṃ

Postby Dmytro » Tue Sep 14, 2010 6:01 am

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Re: Pali Term: Viññāṇaṃ anidassanaṃ

Postby Dmytro » Tue Sep 14, 2010 6:05 am

Kester wrote:

Aha, so that's what vādītaro was about! I'll remember that one now.

Kester.


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Re: Pali Term: Viññāṇaṃ anidassanaṃ

Postby Dmytro » Tue Sep 14, 2010 6:06 am



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Re: Pali Term: Viññāṇaṃ anidassanaṃ

Postby Dmytro » Tue Sep 14, 2010 6:08 am



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Re: Pali Term: Viññāṇaṃ anidassanaṃ

Postby Dmytro » Tue Sep 14, 2010 6:13 am



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Re: Pali Term: Viññāṇaṃ anidassanaṃ

Postby Dmytro » Tue Sep 14, 2010 6:21 am

Kester wrote:

Here's the Chinese parallel, translated by Aj Brahmali, Sis Samacitta and me:

Chinese parallel to the Pali Kevaddha Sutta.


何由 - 無 - 四 - 大  地 - 水 - 火 - 風 - 滅
where - no - four - great (elements) earth - water - fire - wind - cease

何由 - 無 - 麤 - 細  及 - 長 - 短 - 好 - 醜
where – no – gross – subtle and – long – short – beautiful - ugly

何由 - 無 - 名 - 色  永 - 滅 - 無 - 有餘
where – no –name – form forever – cease – without - remainder

應 - 答 - 識 - 無 - 形  無 - 量 - 自 - 有光
should - answer - consciousness - without - form infinite - self - illuminating

此 - 滅 - 四 - 大 - 滅  麤 - 細 - 好 - 醜 - 滅
this - cease - four - great (elements) - cease gross - subtle - beautiful - ugly - cease

於此 - 名 - 色 - 滅  識 - 滅 - 餘 - 亦 - 滅
therefore - name - form - cease consciousness - ceases - remainder - also - ceases


CBETA, T01, no. 1, p. 102, c14-19. (T I 102,c14-19)




According to Sister Samacitta “this” in line 5 probably refers to the consciousness in the previous line. Also according to her, line 5 means: “when this ceases, then the four great elements cease”.


Note that according to the Chinese it is only when anidassana viññāna ceases that the four great elements etc. cease. This supports the idea that the Pali should be read as two questions with two answers.


I hope you won't object that 'This is the Pali Forum!' not the Chinese forum, because of course this Chinese parallel is called a parallel because it more or less corresponds with the same ancient source text as the Pali recension.

The implication, as far as I understand, of the interpretation that the verses contain two questions and two answers, not one, is that the contraversial term 'vinnanam anidassanam' refers to something closely related to nibbana but not nibbana itself, probably a meditation attainment of arahants known variously as 'a~n~naphaala-samaadhi' or the three 'vimokkhas' - animitta-, apa.nihiita-, and su~n~nata-vihaara.

The difference between the Pali Commentator's interpretation and the view that 'vinnanam anidassanam' refers to annyaphala-samadhi and not nibbana itself is extremely subtle and I don't imagine it means there's any real difference in intention between the Pali Commentator and those who say it refers to annyaphaala-samaadhi not nibbana.

The reason for prefering to avoid the interpretation that it refers to nibbana is that in modern times there are some who would like nibbana to mean a permanent state or level of consciousness - effectively a self or soul, and this verse is often used or misused by them for that purpose.

If there is any difference in intent from the Pali Commentator's position, then it would be this: in the viewpoint of those who say it refers to annyaphaala-samaadhi not nibbana, 'nibbana' means the principle that 'whatever is arisen by nature all of that is also of the nature to cease' or 'this is peaceful, this is sublime, that is, the stilling of all constructions, the relinquishment of all belongings, the exhaustion of craving, fading away, cessation, extinguishment' - i.e. without any external cause, things cease peacefully by their own nature, whereas in some passages of the Pali commentaries it appears as if the commentators advance a view that 'nibbana' is an entity - in a substantial, discrete, ontological sense. This is an extremely subtle difference, so subtle indeed that it may be merely a matter of a certain lack of precision in certain expressions in the traditional Pali commentaries and not a real difference in intent.

I'm going travelling in India for three months soon and will be busy until then, so it's unlikely I'll be responding much on this topic for a while.

Mettacittena
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Re: Pali Term: Viññāṇaṃ anidassanaṃ

Postby Dmytro » Tue Sep 14, 2010 6:34 am



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Re: Pali Term: Viññāṇaṃ anidassanaṃ

Postby Dmytro » Tue Sep 14, 2010 6:59 am

Bhikkhu Gavesako wrote:

Ven. Nyanananda offers an interesting explanation of the word anidassana viññāna in his : (sorry if you don't have the right font)

~~~~~
It is in a consciousness, that is anidassana, ananta, and sabbato pabha, that earth, water, fire, and air do not find a footing. It is in this consciousness that long and short, fine and coarse, and pleasant and unpleasant, as well as name-and-form, are kept in check. It is by the cessation of consciousness that all these are held in check.

Let us now try to sort out the meaning of the difficult words in the first two lines. First of all, in the expression viññāṇaṃ anidassanaṃ, there is the term anidassana. The meaning of the word nidassana is fairly well known. It means `illustration'. Something that `throws light on' or `makes clear' is called nidassana. This is the basic sense.

We find an instance of the use of this word, even in this basic sense, in the first Kosalasutta among the Tens of the Aṅguttara Nikāya. It is in connection with the description of abhibhāyatanā, bases of mastery, where there is a reference to contemplation devices known as kasiṇa. It is said that even the flax flower can be used initially as a sign for kasiṇa meditation. A flax flower is described in the following words: Umāpupphaṃ nīlaṃ nīla­vaṇṇaṃ nīlanidassanaṃ nīlanibhāsaṃ,[iii] which may be rendered as: "The flax flower, blue, blue-coloured, manifesting blue, shining blue". Nīlanidassanaṃ suggests that the flax flower is an illustration of blue colour, or that it is a manifestation of blue. Anidassana could therefore be said to refer to whatever does not manifest anything.

In fact, we have a very good example in support of this suggested sense in the Kakacūpamasutta of the Majjhima Nikāya. There we find the Buddha putting a certain question to the monks in order to bring out a simile: "Monks, suppose a man comes with crimson, turmeric, indigo or carmine and says: `I shall draw pictures and make pictures appear on the sky!' What do you think, monks, could that man draw pictures and make pictures appear there?" Then the monks reply: Ayañhi, bhante, ākāso arūpī anidassano. Tattha na sukaraṃ rūpaṃ likhituṃ, rūpapātubhāvaṃ kātuṃ.[iv] "This sky, Lord, is immaterial and non-illustrative. It is not easy to draw a picture there or make manifest pictures there."

Here we have the words in support of the above suggested meaning. The sky is said to be arūpī anidassano, immaterial and non-illustrative. That is why one cannot draw pictures there or make pictures appear there. There is nothing material in the sky to make manifest pictures. That is, the sense in which it is called anidassano in this context. (...)

Now viññāṇaṃ anidassanaṃ is a reference to the nature of the released consciousness of an arahant. It does not reflect anything. To be more precise, it does not reflect a nāma-rūpa, or name-and-form. An ordinary individual sees a nāma-rūpa, when he reflects, which he calls `I' and `mine'. It is like the reflection of that dog, which sees its own delusive reflection in the water. A non-arahant, upon reflection, sees name-and-form, which however he mistakes to be his self. With the notion of `I' and `mine' he falls into delusion with regard to it. But the arahant's consciousness is an unestablished consciousness.

We have already mentioned in previous sermons about the established consciousness and the unestablished consciousness.[ix] A non-arahant's consciousness is established on name-and-form. The unestablished consciousness is that which is free from name-and-form and is unestablished on name-and-form. The established consciousness, upon reflection, reflects name-and-form, on which it is established, whereas the unestablished consciousness does not find a name-and-form as a reality. The arahant has no attachments or entanglements in regard to name-and-form. In short, it is a sort of penetration of name-and-form, without getting entangled in it. This is how we have to unravel the meaning of the expression anidassana viññāṇa.
~~~~~

There are a lot of good points in his text, and he draws together various strands of thought evident in the Suttas to point out the meaning of this term. The sabbato pabham gets translated differently, sometimes as "lustrous all around" and sometimes "not becoming anything at all". I'm still not sure about the etymology, it could be either one (although the "mystical approach" to the Pali Suttas will prefer the first).

Suguno, poo roo does not come directly from the Pali, it's a Thai word, although there are similar words in Pali that could be taken to mean the same thing (e.g. vedagu, which has been taken by some as a "self").

Bhikkhu Gavesako


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Re: Pali Term: Viññāṇaṃ anidassanaṃ

Postby Dmytro » Tue Sep 14, 2010 7:11 am



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Re: Pali Term: Viññāṇaṃ anidassanaṃ

Postby Dmytro » Tue Sep 14, 2010 7:34 am

There are a number of threads on this forum with a relevant discussion:

Consciousness without surface, without end
viewtopic.php?f=16&t=609

Experience (of?) Nibbana
viewtopic.php?f=13&t=5339&p=83568#p83542

Luminous mind
viewtopic.php?f=13&t=4842&p=75280#p75280


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Re: Pali Term: Viññāṇaṃ anidassanaṃ

Postby Dmytro » Tue Sep 14, 2010 8:09 am

Michael Olds wrote (translating 'viññāṇa' as 're-knowing knowing'):

Greetings! As some of you know, I have been digging into the notion of
Vinnana Anidassana for some time now. This is my take:

Tracing things back from our visible world by way of finding it's essential
dependancies, we see that growing old and dying depend on the fact of birth.
Without birth there would be no getting old and dying.
Birth depends on the fact of life itself. If there were no such thing as
"Life" in any form anywhere, then there could be no birth.
Life depends on the animation known as "going after getting" and "going
after getting away from." If there were no activity in the form of
attempting to get or get away, then there would be no living.
Activitiy in the pursuit of getting and getting away depends on the fact of
wanting. If there were no wanting to get or wanting to get away, there would
be no attempting to get or attempting to get away.
Wanting depends on sense experience in the form of pleasant sensation,
unpleasant sensation, and sensation that is neither pleasant nor unpleasant.
If there were no sensations there would be no wanting to get or wanting to
get away.
Sensations depend on the mechanisms of sensation-production: the organ of
sense, the object of sense, the contact of the two, and the sensation,
perception, and consciousness that arises from the conjunction of the three
(sense organ, sense object, and mechanism of consciousness). If there were
no mechanism of sensation-production, then there would be no sense
experience.
The Mechanisms of sensation-production depend on the inter-operation of the
mental and the material. If there were no inter-operation of the mental and
the material, there would be no mechanism for sensation production.
The interoperation of the Mental and Material depends on the ability to
re-know knowing. If there were no ability to re-know knowing, then there
would be no interoperation of the Mental and Material.
The ability to re-know knowing depends on the interoperation of the Mental
and Material. If there were no interoperation of the Mental and Material,
there would be no re-knowing knowing.

So it can be seen at this point that re-knowing knowing depends on the
interoperation of the mental and the material, and the interoperation of the
mental and the material depends on re-knowing knowing. The one doubles back
on the other.

It is because individuals do not see the outcome in aging and death, and
because they do not see the origin of that aging and death in the wanting
that is connected to the re-knowing of knowing sense experiences, and
because they do not see the ending of that aging and death in the ending of
that wanting that is connected to the re-knowing of knowing sense
experiences, that they take action to get or get away from in the form of
identification with intentional acts (to get or get away from) of body,
speech and mind. If individuals saw the outcome as aging and death, if they
saw the origin as wanting, if they saw the ending as the ending of that
wanting, there would be no taking action to get or get away from and there
would be no resultant identification found in the outcome. This is the
meaning of: Depending on Blindness [a = not; vijja = vision]; Confounded
Identification [sangkhara = sang = own, with; khara= making].

This blindness takes the form of points of view about existance and
non-existance. Put in first-level terms, it is the point of view that "I am"
or "It is my."

The inter-operation of the mental and the material in what is subjectively
understood to be the present moment is producing sensations, perceptions,
and re-knowing knowing carrying with it [from it's previously having been
implanted there by identification with intentional acts of body, speech and
mind] the notion "I am" or "It is my." Re-knowing the knowing of that,
depending on the now current point of view of the individual, this notion is
accepted or not accepted. Accepted it produces a tendancy to react.
Reacting, it produces another "round." Rejected, it does not produce any
tendancy to react. Not reacting, nothing is produced.

This "re-knowing the knowing" of the personalized [carrying with it the
notion of "I am" from the point of it's being previously intentionally set
rolling] "re-knowing knowing" produced by the inter-operation of the mental
and the material in the present moment is what is known as "Vinnana
Anidassananam," the re-knowing knowing that cannot be seen or pointed out.

It is essential to this notion of a re-knowing knowing that cannot be
pointed out that it remain without "descriptors". This is because that which
is used as a descriptor is made in the "mental" side of the two-sided beast
that is the interoperation of the mental and the material that is the basis
for the senses. Like a mirror, when a thing is conceptualized in the mental
side, there is automatically formed a corresponding "thing" in the material
side. In other words, conceptualized through the senses [in this case "the
mind" of the individual], that is, described as a "thing" (and a "state" is
a "thing") the re-knowing knowing of the Arahant is always [must always be]
being wrongly described. Since there is no other way to describe a thing, it
must remain undescribed.

Attempting a description of the re-knowing knowing of the Arahant is the
error of those who maintain an on-going "Pure Mind", or "Buddha Mind": they
have conceptualized the unconceptualizable. They have made the Unborn,
Unmade, Undying, etc into existing states and have consequently bound
themselves to the attainment of such a "thing". Attaining such a thing is
attaining a "state" and as such is attaining something that will end and as
such is not the goal.

We must be satisfied to let well-enough alone. Let go of what we can know is
going to result in Pain, and the rest will take care of itself.

Say I.


Best Wishes!
Michael Olds



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