Abhidhamma View: Consciousness Aggregate.
[Presented by Dr.Tep Sastri @ sariputtadhamma/JTN]
Vism. p. 455- 457 (excerpt):
81. Among the remaining aggregates, however, whatever has the characteristic of being felt should be understood, all taken together, as the feeling aggregate; and whatever has the characteristic of perceiving, all taken together, as the perception aggregate; and whatever has the characteristic of forming, all taken together, as the formations aggregate; and whatever has the characteristic of cognizing, all taken together, as the consciousness aggregate. Herein, since the rest are easy to understand when the consciousness aggregate has been understood, we shall therefore begin with the commentary on the consciousness aggregate.
82.Whatever has the characteristic of cognizing should be understood, all taken together, as the consciousness aggregate was said above. And what has the characteristic of cognizing (vijaanana)? Consciousness (viÃ±Ã±aa.na); according as it is said, It cognizes, friend, that is why consciousness is said (M I 292). The words viÃ±Ã±Ã¡.na (consciousness), citta (mind, consciousness), and mano (mind) are one in meaning.
[THE 89 KINDS OF CONSCIOUSNESS] : That same [consciousness], though one in its individual essence with the characteristic of cognizing, is threefold according to kind, namely, (I) profitable, (II) unprofitable, and (III) indeterminate.
83. I. Herein, the profitable is fourfold according to plane, namely, (A) of the sense sphere, (B) of the fine-material sphere, (C) of the immaterial sphere, and (D) supramundane.
[Note 35] Profitable in the sense of health, blamelessness, and pleasant result (see Vismmh.t 463). Unprofitable in the opposite sense. Indeterminate because not describable as either profitable or unprofitable (see Vism-mh.t 464). This is the first of the twentytwo triads in the Abhidhamma Maatikaa (Dhs 1).
Pali has five principal words, naama, viÃ±Ã±aa.na, mano, citta, and ceto, against the normal English consciousness and mind. While their etymology can be looked up in the dictionary, one or two points need noting here. Naama (rendered by mentality when not used to refer to a name) is almost confined in the sense considered to the expression naama-ruupa (mentality-materiality) as the fourth member of the dependent origination, where it comprises the three mental aggregates of feeling, perception and formations, but not that of consciousness (viÃ±Ã±Ã¡.na). ViÃ±Ã±aa.na (rendered by consciousness) is, loosely, more or less a synonym for mano and citta; technically, it is bare cognition considered apart from feeling, perception or formations. Mano (rendered by mind), when used technically, is confined to the sixth internal base for contact (Ch. XV). Citta (rendered by mind and consciousness or [manner of] consciousness), when used technically, refers to a momentary type-situation considered as viÃ±Ã±Ã¡.na in relation to the tone of its concomitant feeling, perception and formations. Possibly, a better rendering would have been cognizance throughout. It carries a flavour of its etymological relative, cetanaa (volition). Ceto (another etymological relative, rendered by heart"i.e. seat of the emotions,will or mind), when used loosely is very near to citta; but technically it is restricted to one or two such expressions as cetovimutti (mind-deliverance or heart-deliverance).
[Note 36:] Sense sphere (kaamaavacara): here there are the two kinds of sense desire (kaama), sense desire as basis (vatthu-kaama) and sense desire as defilement (kilesakaama). Of these, sense desire as [objective] basis particularized as the five cords of sense desire (paÃ±ca-kaama-gu.na = dimensions of sensual desires), is desired (kaamiyati). Sense desire as defilement, which is craving, desires (kaameti). The sense sphere (kaamaavacara) is where these two operate (avacaranti) together. But what is that? It is the elevenfold sense-desire becoming, i.e. hell, asura demons, ghosts, animals, human beings, and six sensual-sphere heavens. So too with the fine-material sphere and the immaterial sphere, taking fine-material as craving for the fine-material too, and immaterial as craving for the immaterial too. It crosses over (uttarati) from the world (loka), thus it is supramundane (lokuttara).
I. A. Herein, (1)"(8) that of the sense sphere is eightfold, being classified according to joy, equanimity, knowledge, and prompting, that is to say: (1) when accompanied-by-joy it is either associated-with-knowledge and unprompted, or (2) prompted; or (3) it is dissociated-from-knowledge and likewise [unprompted, or (4) prompted]; and (5) when accompanied-by-equanimity it is either associated-with-knowledge and prompted, or (6) unprompted; or (7) it is dissociated-from-knowledge and likewise [unprompted, or (8) prompted].
84. (1) When a man is happy on encountering an excellent gift to be given, or recipient, etc., or some such cause for joy, and by placing right view foremost that occurs in the way beginning There is [merit in] giving (M I 288), he unhesitatingly and unurged by others performs such merit as giving, etc., then his consciousness is accompanied by joy, associated with knowledge, and unprompted.
(2) But when a man is happy and content in the way aforesaid, and, while placing right view foremost, yet he does it hesitantly through lack of free generosity, etc., or urged on by others, then his consciousness is of the same kind as the last but prompted; for in this sense prompting is a term for a prior effort exerted by himself or others.
85. (3) But when young children have a natural habit due to seeing the behaviour of relatives and are joyful on seeing bhikkhus and at once give them whatever they have in their hands or pay homage, then the third kind of consciousness arises. (4) But when they behave like this on being urged by their relatives, Give; pay homage, then the fourth kind of consciousness arises. (5)"(8) But when the consciousnesses are devoid of joy in these four instances through encountering no excellence in the gift to be given, or in the recipient, etc., or through want of any such cause for joy, then the remaining four, which are accompanied by equanimity, arise.
So sense-sphere profitable [consciousness] should be understood as of eight kinds, being classed according to joy, equanimity, knowledge, and prompting.
86. I. B. The consciousness of the fine-material sphere is fivefold, being classed according to association with the jhana factors. That is to say, (9) the first is associated with applied thought, sustained thought, happiness, bliss, and concentration, (10) the second leaves out applied thought from that, (11) the third leaves out sustained thought from that, (12) the fourth makes happiness fade away from that, (13) the fifth is associated with equanimity and concentration, bliss having subsided.
Love Buddha's dhamma,