What is the difference between Citta and Vinnana?

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Dinsdale
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Re: What is the difference between Citta and Vinnana?

Post by Dinsdale » Wed Jun 19, 2019 3:11 pm

sentinel wrote:
Wed Jun 19, 2019 12:41 pm
Dinsdale wrote:
Tue Jun 18, 2019 6:44 am


No, it was a straightforward question. My thoughts arise "in my head", or at least it feels like that.
I think this is because the main sense organs are located physically in the head, so it feels like that's the "centre" of my experience.

I'm still not sure what you're questioning though. Are you questioning the idea that we have a mind?
It is just your assumption on your part , you assert that there is a mind base where mind consciousness arises . That is just an experience . To put it another way , in between your self and external (world) , you notice the thought arises and pick it up . Do you see the difference ?

srilankaputra wrote: It's not possible i think to come to a complete intellectual understanding of reality, rather dhamma needs to be seen with wisdom and given up.
It appears that the knowledge of Buddha time and its application has a wide gap according to our advanced scientific understanding .
For me it's really about different ways of viewing things, different models of experience. Sometimes I find it useful to imagine the mind as a "space" where things arise (mano), sometimes I just work with sense-objects (vinnana), other times I move attention down and connect with "heart" (citta).
Sometimes I work with the aggregates model, but mostly I work with the sense bases because that model works better for me. The suttas are full of different models, different approaches to observing and analysing experience.
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mikenz66
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Re: What is the difference between Citta and Vinnana?

Post by mikenz66 » Wed Jun 19, 2019 7:57 pm

Dinsdale wrote:
Wed Jun 19, 2019 2:28 pm
Sure, you can view them as synonyms, but they seem to be used in different ways in the suttas, and understanding the how and why of those differences might be significant and useful terms of how you practice.

Its not straightforward though. Sometimes different words mean the same thing in different contexts, sometimes they dont. Sometimes the same word in different contexts means different things, sometimes it doesn't. IMO context is the most important consideration in understanding how words are being used, and what they mean.
I think this is important. Thinking of translation as a matter of dictionaries completely misses the point.

It is the nature of every language that the same word can have different meanings in different contexts. This makes it generally impossible have a one-to-one mapping from a particular Pali word to a word in another language (such as English).

To insist that several different Pali words, that are used in different contexts, have the same meaning is even worse! It seems to me to brush off much of the depth and subtlety of the texts.

Words that are synonyms do not mean the same things, especially in different contexts. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Synonym
Here are a few of the words that are listed as synonyms of "mind" in English:
attention consciousness imagination intellect mentality perception thought...
:heart:
MIke

sentinel
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Re: What is the difference between Citta and Vinnana?

Post by sentinel » Thu Jun 20, 2019 1:13 am

Dinsdale wrote:
Wed Jun 19, 2019 3:11 pm


For me it's really about different ways of viewing things, different models of experience. Sometimes I find it useful to imagine the mind as a "space" where things arise (mano), sometimes I just work with sense-objects (vinnana), other times I move attention down and connect with "heart" (citta).
Sometimes I work with the aggregates model, but mostly I work with the sense bases because that model works better for me. The suttas are full of different models, different approaches to observing and analysing experience.

It seems these terms are pre Buddha , they are interchangeable . In hinduism ,
cit (चित्): means "to perceive, fix mind on", "to understand, comprehend, know", "to form an idea in the mind, be conscious of, think, reflect upon".
Loctefeld and other scholars translate it as "consciousness".


Third frame of the Four satipatthana could be mistaken when mind replaced the consciousness . If third frame replace with consciousness , then it would align perfectly with the five aggregates and dependent origination .
:buddha1:

chownah
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Re: What is the difference between Citta and Vinnana?

Post by chownah » Fri Jun 21, 2019 1:03 pm

mikenz66 wrote:
Wed Jun 19, 2019 7:57 pm
Dinsdale wrote:
Wed Jun 19, 2019 2:28 pm
Sure, you can view them as synonyms, but they seem to be used in different ways in the suttas, and understanding the how and why of those differences might be significant and useful terms of how you practice.

Its not straightforward though. Sometimes different words mean the same thing in different contexts, sometimes they dont. Sometimes the same word in different contexts means different things, sometimes it doesn't. IMO context is the most important consideration in understanding how words are being used, and what they mean.
I think this is important. Thinking of translation as a matter of dictionaries completely misses the point.

It is the nature of every language that the same word can have different meanings in different contexts. This makes it generally impossible have a one-to-one mapping from a particular Pali word to a word in another language (such as English).

To insist that several different Pali words, that are used in different contexts, have the same meaning is even worse! It seems to me to brush off much of the depth and subtlety of the texts.

Words that are synonyms do not mean the same things, especially in different contexts. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Synonym
Here are a few of the words that are listed as synonyms of "mind" in English:
attention consciousness imagination intellect mentality perception thought...
:heart:
MIke
I am primarily replying to the paragraph which I have reddened.

Being overly insistant about anything is not pleasant to behold which is why I have not been insistent in posing my ideas. Using the word "insistent" here seems like a bias is creeping/has crept into the discussion....it is an automatic negative whose use has not been established by anything you have said.

You say "worse" but you have not established that anything is "bad" for the "worse to be used in comparison with...what is it that you have in mind that is bad?

Pointing out that two words might be interchangeable generally should have no effect on the "depth and subtlety of the texts" and even insisting that they are interchangeable could only possibly "brush off much of the depth and subtlety of the texts"if the words are in fact NOT interchangeable....if the words ARE in fact interchangeable then it is by not understanding this that some sort of false depth and subtlety is fabricated which will likely lead one astray from the meaning of the dhamma.....if people see depth and subtlety where it is not meant then what does that mean?

I think the key is to study what is written and try to come to some reasonable conslusion based on something which determines if two words (here they are citta and mano or citta and vinnana) can mean the same thing and be interchanged. Nyanatiloka calls them synonyms but does not discuss to what extent they can be interchanged or what might be the limits of their sameness. He is reputed to have been a very reliable pali scholar although I am not insisting that he is perfect. I do not find anything in his dictionary leading me to think that there is some clear definition for citta and the others to make a case that they should not be interchangeable...nowhere does he insist that they not be interchanged.

I think the way to proceed (if one is concerned enough to proceed) is to start with assuming that they are the same since Nyanatiloka says they are synonyms and does not indicate anything against the idea that they are the same....and then to take the meaning of the teachings in which citta, mano, and/or vinnana are found and try to find a point of view which is compatible with combining the teachings in which they are found. Also, at the same time perhaps, one should look for elements of the teachings containing them for points which show that they are not compatible......and finally (this is the difficult part) try to discern what views one already holds prior to this investigation and to take into account ones bias in wanting perhaps to find similarities or differences in support of ones already estalished views.
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Dinsdale
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Re: What is the difference between Citta and Vinnana?

Post by Dinsdale » Fri Jun 21, 2019 2:03 pm

sentinel wrote:
Thu Jun 20, 2019 1:13 am
Dinsdale wrote:
Wed Jun 19, 2019 3:11 pm


For me it's really about different ways of viewing things, different models of experience. Sometimes I find it useful to imagine the mind as a "space" where things arise (mano), sometimes I just work with sense-objects (vinnana), other times I move attention down and connect with "heart" (citta).
Sometimes I work with the aggregates model, but mostly I work with the sense bases because that model works better for me. The suttas are full of different models, different approaches to observing and analysing experience.

It seems these terms are pre Buddha , they are interchangeable . In hinduism ,
cit (चित्): means "to perceive, fix mind on", "to understand, comprehend, know", "to form an idea in the mind, be conscious of, think, reflect upon".
Loctefeld and other scholars translate it as "consciousness".


Third frame of the Four satipatthana could be mistaken when mind replaced the consciousness . If third frame replace with consciousness , then it would align perfectly with the five aggregates and dependent origination .
I don't find your argument about "cit" conclusive here, since the Buddha redefined and reworked a lot of these pre-Buddhist terms. And why do the Buddhist suttas bother to introduce "vinnana" and "mano" if "cit" would have done the job by itself? It could be different ways of looking at the same thing, but presumably there is a reason to do that.
Actually I'm not sure that citta DOES derive from cit, more research is needed on that! For example, "willpower" = "cittabala".

I'm not sure I follow your argument about satipatthana aligning perfectly with the aggregates and DO.
Replacing "citta" with "vinnana", the four frames of satipatthana would then be kaya, vedana, vinnana and dhamma. How does that work? And what difference would it make?
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Srilankaputra
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Re: What is the difference between Citta and Vinnana?

Post by Srilankaputra » Fri Jun 21, 2019 8:05 pm

In the English language we have the words, 'heart' and 'mind' . one might say 'let your heart not be effected by anything'. Another might say 'let your mind not be effected by anything'. Can you differentiate between the two?

'Let your citta not be affected by anything'
Essentially means the same thing as
'Let your vinnana not be effected by anything'
or
'let your mano not be effected by anything'
O seeing one,we for refuge go to thee!
O mighty sage do thou our teacher be!

Paccuppannañca yo dhammaṃ,
Tattha tattha vipassati

“Yato yato mano nivāraye,
Na dukkhameti naṃ tato tato;
Sa sabbato mano nivāraye,
Sa sabbato dukkhā pamuccatī”ti.

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mikenz66
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Re: What is the difference between Citta and Vinnana?

Post by mikenz66 » Fri Jun 21, 2019 8:16 pm

chownah wrote:
Fri Jun 21, 2019 1:03 pm
mikenz66 wrote:
Wed Jun 19, 2019 7:57 pm
To insist that several different Pali words, that are used in different contexts, have the same meaning is even worse! It seems to me to brush off much of the depth and subtlety of the texts.
I am primarily replying to the paragraph which I have reddened. ...
I'm sorry if I sounded overly insistent. I don't doubt Nyanatiloka's dictionary. This is what he says:
Mano: 'mind', is in the Abhidhamma used as synonym of viññāna consciousness and citta state of consciousness, mind. According to the Com. to Vis.M, it sometimes means sub-consciousness see: bhavanga-sota
https://what-buddha-said.net/library/Bu ... m.htm#mano
However, "synonym" does not mean "interchangeable",
A few word that are commonly as synonyms of "mind" in English are:
attention consciousness imagination intellect mentality perception thought...
If one was reading a western book about the mind, one would not assume that all of those words were interchangeable.

As you say, it is important to examine how the various terms are used in the suttas, which is where my posts, and many other posts on this thread, have done:
viewtopic.php?f=13&t=34592#p516674

:heart:
Mike

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Re: What is the difference between Citta and Vinnana?

Post by Srilankaputra » Fri Jun 21, 2019 8:42 pm

This passage from the nettippakarana might be of interest,

Note: 'Dhammas' have been translated as Ideas.
Herein, what is the linguistic ? It is any language employing terms, any knowledge of ideas by name.
For when a bhikkhu knows the name of a meaning and knows the name of an idea, and he applies it accordingly, he is called skilled in meanings and skilled in ideas, skilled in phrasing, skilled in language, skilled in consecutivity (syntax), skilled in the teaching, skilled in designations of past [tenses], skilled in designations of future [tenses], skilled in designations of presently-arisen [tenses], skilled in designations of the feminine [gender], skilled in designations of the masculine [gender], skilled in designations of the neuter [gender], skilled in designations of the singular [number], skilled in designations of the plural [number] (cf. Pe 91-2).2 All regional linguistics (cf. M. iii, 234-5) and all regional languages can be treated in this way. This is 'language employing terms'.
O seeing one,we for refuge go to thee!
O mighty sage do thou our teacher be!

Paccuppannañca yo dhammaṃ,
Tattha tattha vipassati

“Yato yato mano nivāraye,
Na dukkhameti naṃ tato tato;
Sa sabbato mano nivāraye,
Sa sabbato dukkhā pamuccatī”ti.

Dinsdale
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Re: What is the difference between Citta and Vinnana?

Post by Dinsdale » Sat Jun 22, 2019 7:13 am

Oh well. I just find it works better with the third frame of satipatthana to imagine the mind as a space in which stuff happens. And with the fourth frame to view consciousness as the simple awareness of sense-objects. A lot of it is contextual.

For me it's about being pragmatic, using different models for different purposes. I agree though that it's good to be flexible in approach, and not get too attached to one view.
Buddha save me from new-agers!

Dinsdale
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Re: What is the difference between Citta and Vinnana?

Post by Dinsdale » Sat Jun 22, 2019 10:04 am

Apparently in Hinduism "citta" usually means mind, rather than consciousness.
Possibly the difference is to do with function?
.
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chownah
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Re: What is the difference between Citta and Vinnana?

Post by chownah » Sat Jun 22, 2019 11:03 am

mikenz66 wrote:
Fri Jun 21, 2019 8:16 pm

However, "synonym" does not mean "interchangeable",
Some synoyms can be interchangeable in some contexts though. No need to insist that synonyms can not be interchangeable. If citta and mano or vinnana should be considered to belong in certain contexts but not in others then it would be good if someone brought some good sutta references containing them and show how they are specific to those contexts and we could discuss that.....but so far it seems that nyanatiloka declinces to make any case that they are specific to particular contexts (except for one or two references to compound words if I remember correctly) and then there is the sort of vague suggestions from sujato without any support for his views (frankly my view of sujato is that he has a good imagination...so much so that some of what he writes is suspect).
How about someone bringing a few references which demonstrate a specific meaning to a particular context for citta, mano, or vinnana?.....we might find that there really is a specific meaning in a particular context or we might find that it is our preconceived notion of the meaning of the term that has biased our understanding of the context where it is found.
chownah

sentinel
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Re: What is the difference between Citta and Vinnana?

Post by sentinel » Sat Jun 22, 2019 11:53 am

Dinsdale wrote:
Sat Jun 22, 2019 10:04 am
Apparently in Hinduism "citta" usually means mind, rather than consciousness.
Possibly the difference is to do with function?
.
Truth , consciousness , bliss or
"sat", "cit" and "ananda", three considered as inseparable from the nature of ultimate reality called Brahman in Hinduism .
:buddha1:

Dinsdale
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Re: What is the difference between Citta and Vinnana?

Post by Dinsdale » Sat Jun 22, 2019 1:21 pm

sentinel wrote:
Sat Jun 22, 2019 11:53 am
Dinsdale wrote:
Sat Jun 22, 2019 10:04 am
Apparently in Hinduism "citta" usually means mind, rather than consciousness.
Possibly the difference is to do with function?
.
Truth , consciousness , bliss or
"sat", "cit" and "ananda", three considered as inseparable from the nature of ultimate reality called Brahman in Hinduism .
Yes, I know. My point was that cit and citta appear ti be used differently in Hinduism.
Buddha save me from new-agers!

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cappuccino
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Re: What is the difference between Citta and Vinnana?

Post by cappuccino » Sat Jun 22, 2019 2:39 pm

I would set the question aside

no one seems to know or understand, anyway

Dinsdale
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Re: What is the difference between Citta and Vinnana?

Post by Dinsdale » Sat Jun 22, 2019 6:05 pm

cappuccino wrote:
Sat Jun 22, 2019 2:39 pm
I would set the question aside

no one seems to know or understand, anyway
Perhaps, but isn't that true of many of the discussions on forums like this? An endless stream of divergent opinions.
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