The original meaning of "viññāṇa"

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Saengnapha
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Re: The original meaning of "viññāṇa"

Post by Saengnapha » Sun Jun 17, 2018 4:09 pm

justindesilva wrote:
Sun Jun 17, 2018 3:12 pm
Saengnapha wrote:
Sun Jun 17, 2018 2:36 pm
Dinsdale wrote:
Sun Jun 17, 2018 11:16 am
Am I right in thinking that the "vi" of "vinnana" means "two", and denotes a duality?
I think it does have a dual association to it, subject object dichotomy. The end of consciousness would also be the end of vinnana. This is big departure from Advaita and the Hindu model. They don't acknowledge the possibility of the end of consciousness.
Take the words vitakka ( application of thoughts when takka is arising from tarka as logic ).
Take vipassana which means analysis of perceptions or vipassana meaning insight.
Take vidarshana which arises with vi ( prefix) and darshana ( sight or seeing) again meaning insight.
The word vingnana is made of prefix vi and gnana meaning intelligence or knowledge.
Here it can be seen that vi is a prefix to enlarge or give a deeper analysis to a word to form a better meaning.
So, what is the meaning? Is it just interpretive according to our point of view?

justindesilva
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Re: The original meaning of "viññāṇa"

Post by justindesilva » Sun Jun 17, 2018 5:28 pm

Saengnapha wrote:
Sun Jun 17, 2018 4:09 pm
justindesilva wrote:
Sun Jun 17, 2018 3:12 pm
Saengnapha wrote:
Sun Jun 17, 2018 2:36 pm

I think it does have a dual association to it, subject object dichotomy. The end of consciousness would also be the end of vinnana. This is big departure from Advaita and the Hindu model. They don't acknowledge the possibility of the end of consciousness.
Take the words vitakka ( application of thoughts when takka is arising from tarka as logic ).
Take vipassana which means analysis of perceptions or vipassana meaning insight.
Take vidarshana which arises with vi ( prefix) and darshana ( sight or seeing) again meaning insight.
The word vingnana is made of prefix vi and gnana meaning intelligence or knowledge.
Here it can be seen that vi is a prefix to enlarge or give a deeper analysis to a word to form a better meaning.
So, what is the meaning? Is it just interpretive according to our point of view?
In fact mind consists of citta cetasika and vingnana.
while citta is thought and cetasika quality of thoughts
vingnana remains to be consciousness arising out of cetasika. This is where tanha ( greed) and upadana(clinging) arises after vingnana. The kamma depends on cetasikas and cetana arising out of vingnana. We must not forget that as panchaskanda that there is a term coming in as vingnanaskanda too which means aggregate of vingnana.

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Re: The original meaning of "viññāṇa"

Post by Dinsdale » Mon Jun 18, 2018 8:18 am

Sam Vara wrote:
Sun Jun 17, 2018 11:46 am
Dinsdale wrote:
Sun Jun 17, 2018 11:16 am
Am I right in thinking that the "vi" of "vinnana" means "two", and denotes a duality?
Here's an earlier thread which goes into that:

viewtopic.php?t=12543
Thanks, an interesting discussion, though somewhat inconclusive. It occurred to me In the suttas consciousness arises in dependence upon sense-base and sense-object, eg eye and visible form - does this mean that vinnana depends upon a duality?

"The Blessed One said: "And what is the origination of the world? Dependent on the eye & forms there arises eye-consciousness. The meeting of the three is contact..."
https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitak ... .than.html
Buddha save me from new-agers!

Dinsdale
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Re: The original meaning of "viññāṇa"

Post by Dinsdale » Mon Jun 18, 2018 8:24 am

Saengnapha wrote:
Sun Jun 17, 2018 2:36 pm
Dinsdale wrote:
Sun Jun 17, 2018 11:16 am
Am I right in thinking that the "vi" of "vinnana" means "two", and denotes a duality?
I think it does have a dual association to it, subject object dichotomy. The end of consciousness would also be the end of vinnana. This is big departure from Advaita and the Hindu model. They don't acknowledge the possibility of the end of consciousness.
See my reply to Sam above - it appears from the suttas that consciousness arises in dependence upon a subject-object dichotomy - so with no dichotomy, there is no consciousness?
Buddha save me from new-agers!

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Sam Vara
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Re: The original meaning of "viññāṇa"

Post by Sam Vara » Mon Jun 18, 2018 10:09 am

Dinsdale wrote:
Mon Jun 18, 2018 8:18 am


Thanks, an interesting discussion, though somewhat inconclusive. It occurred to me In the suttas consciousness arises in dependence upon sense-base and sense-object, eg eye and visible form - does this mean that vinnana depends upon a duality?

"The Blessed One said: "And what is the origination of the world? Dependent on the eye & forms there arises eye-consciousness. The meeting of the three is contact..."
https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitak ... .than.html
I think it does, in the sense of needing those two things in order to arise. Logically, there is no reason why that duality should be present within the thing that arises (i.e. it might be the case that consciousness so arisen is pure unified consciousness with no object, etc.) but it does appear that vinnana as normally used within the suttas involves the dualism of subject and object.

I have seen it claimed that this dualism is supported etymologically, in that the "vi-" means "two", but it also means a lot more than that. As far as I can see, the PED does not list vinnana as one of the examples of "vi-" as a prefix.

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rightviewftw
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Re: The original meaning of "viññāṇa"

Post by rightviewftw » Mon Jun 18, 2018 10:25 am

Dinsdale wrote:
Mon Jun 18, 2018 8:18 am
Thanks, an interesting discussion, though somewhat inconclusive. It occurred to me In the suttas consciousness arises in dependence upon sense-base and sense-object, eg eye and visible form - does this mean that vinnana depends upon a duality?

"The Blessed One said: "And what is the origination of the world? Dependent on the eye & forms there arises eye-consciousness. The meeting of the three is contact..."
https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitak ... .than.html
In cases where it refers to the compound eye-consciousness, ear-consciousness etc, it is called an Aggregate and there is a contact between three elements not only two so it is not really a duality in that sense.
Parivatta Sutta: The (Fourfold) Round
translated from the Pali by

At Savatthi. There the Blessed One said, "Monks, there are these five clinging-aggregates. Which five? Form as a clinging-aggregate, feeling as a clinging-aggregate, perception as a clinging-aggregate, fabrications as a clinging-aggregate, consciousness as an a clinging-aggregate.
...
"And what is consciousness? These six classes of consciousness — eye-consciousness, ear-consciousness, nose-consciousness, tongue-consciousness, body-consciousness, intellect-consciousness: this is called consciousness.

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cjmacie
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Re: The original meaning of "viññāṇa"

Post by cjmacie » Mon Jun 18, 2018 11:21 am

A new essay by the scholar Alexander Wynne offers a s/w unusual discussion of the meaning(s) of viññāṇa --
"Sariputta or Kaccāna? A preliminary study of two early Buddhist philosophies of mind and meditation", available at:
https://www.academia.edu/36752191/Sarip ... meditation

(This essay has been mentioned previously here, but not discussing the viññāṇa issue: viewtopic.php?t=32028, and in another forum at https://discourse.suttacentral.net/t/al ... ons/9603/8)

Wynne seems to depart here from the generally solid scholarship of most of his articles. I find serious problems with his framing of the issues here -- trying to reduce Buddha teachings into philosophical concepts, and the Sariputta vs Kaccāna oversimplification-- and am preparing a detailed critique.

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Re: The original meaning of "viññāṇa"

Post by Dinsdale » Mon Jun 18, 2018 1:06 pm

rightviewftw wrote:
Mon Jun 18, 2018 10:25 am
Dinsdale wrote:
Mon Jun 18, 2018 8:18 am
Thanks, an interesting discussion, though somewhat inconclusive. It occurred to me In the suttas consciousness arises in dependence upon sense-base and sense-object, eg eye and visible form - does this mean that vinnana depends upon a duality?

"The Blessed One said: "And what is the origination of the world? Dependent on the eye & forms there arises eye-consciousness. The meeting of the three is contact..."
https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitak ... .than.html
In cases where it refers to the compound eye-consciousness, ear-consciousness etc, it is called an Aggregate and there is a contact between three elements not only two so it is not really a duality in that sense.
Parivatta Sutta: The (Fourfold) Round
translated from the Pali by

At Savatthi. There the Blessed One said, "Monks, there are these five clinging-aggregates. Which five? Form as a clinging-aggregate, feeling as a clinging-aggregate, perception as a clinging-aggregate, fabrications as a clinging-aggregate, consciousness as an a clinging-aggregate.
...
"And what is consciousness? These six classes of consciousness — eye-consciousness, ear-consciousness, nose-consciousness, tongue-consciousness, body-consciousness, intellect-consciousness: this is called consciousness.
But in the suttas vinnana does invariably refer to these six classes of consciousness, in other words vinnana only arises in dependence upon sense-base and sense-object. You could say vinnana is the product of a functional duality. Possibly this functional duality is the basis for "psychological" self-view, the sense of me and mine, but I do see them as distinct.
Buddha save me from new-agers!

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rightviewftw
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Re: The original meaning of "viññāṇa"

Post by rightviewftw » Mon Jun 18, 2018 3:00 pm

Dinsdale wrote:
Mon Jun 18, 2018 1:06 pm
rightviewftw wrote:
Mon Jun 18, 2018 10:25 am
Dinsdale wrote:
Mon Jun 18, 2018 8:18 am
Thanks, an interesting discussion, though somewhat inconclusive. It occurred to me In the suttas consciousness arises in dependence upon sense-base and sense-object, eg eye and visible form - does this mean that vinnana depends upon a duality?

"The Blessed One said: "And what is the origination of the world? Dependent on the eye & forms there arises eye-consciousness. The meeting of the three is contact..."
https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitak ... .than.html
In cases where it refers to the compound eye-consciousness, ear-consciousness etc, it is called an Aggregate and there is a contact between three elements not only two so it is not really a duality in that sense.
Parivatta Sutta: The (Fourfold) Round
translated from the Pali by

At Savatthi. There the Blessed One said, "Monks, there are these five clinging-aggregates. Which five? Form as a clinging-aggregate, feeling as a clinging-aggregate, perception as a clinging-aggregate, fabrications as a clinging-aggregate, consciousness as an a clinging-aggregate.
...
"And what is consciousness? These six classes of consciousness — eye-consciousness, ear-consciousness, nose-consciousness, tongue-consciousness, body-consciousness, intellect-consciousness: this is called consciousness.
But in the suttas vinnana does invariably refer to these six classes of consciousness, in other words vinnana only arises in dependence upon sense-base and sense-object. You could say vinnana is the product of a functional duality. Possibly this functional duality is the basis for "psychological" self-view, the sense of me and mine, but I do see them as distinct.
You are right in that the six classes of consciousness arise dependent on the two;
Dependent on the eye and forms, eye-consciousness arises; the meeting of the three is contact.
These passages would suggest that it is based on the two that self-identity arises but also that sense-base-consciousness can be taken as self;
"
If anyone were to say, 'The eye is the self,' that wouldn't be tenable. The arising & falling away of the eye are discerned. And when its arising & falling away are discerned, it would follow that 'My self arises & falls away.' That's why it wouldn't be tenable if anyone were to say, 'The eye is the self.' So the eye is not-self. If anyone were to say, 'Forms are the self,' that wouldn't be tenable... Thus the eye is not-self and forms are not-self. If anyone were to say, 'Consciousness at the eye is the self,' that wouldn't be tenable... Thus the eye is not-self, forms are not-self, consciousness at the eye is not-self. If anyone were to say, 'Contact at the eye is the self,' that wouldn't be tenable... Thus the eye is not-self, forms are not-self, consciousness at the eye is not-self, contact at the eye is not-self. If anyone were to say, 'Feeling is the self,' that wouldn't be tenable... Thus the eye is not-self, forms are not-self, consciousness at the eye is not-self, contact at the eye is not-self, feeling is not self. If anyone were to say, 'Craving is the self,' that wouldn't be tenable. The arising & falling away of craving are discerned. And when its arising & falling away are discerned, it would follow that 'My self arises & falls away.' That's why it wouldn't be tenable if anyone were to say, 'Craving is the self.' Thus the eye is not-self, forms are not-self, consciousness at the eye is not-self, contact at the eye is not-self, feeling is not self, craving is not-self.

"If anyone were to say, 'The ear is the self,' that wouldn't be tenable...

"If anyone were to say, 'The nose is the self,' that wouldn't be tenable...

"If anyone were to say, 'The tongue is the self,' that wouldn't be tenable...

"If anyone were to say, 'The body is the self,' that wouldn't be tenable...

"If anyone were to say, 'The intellect is the self,' that wouldn't be tenable. The arising & falling away of the intellect are discerned. And when its arising & falling away are discerned, it would follow that 'My self arises & falls away.' That's why it wouldn't be tenable if anyone were to say, 'The intellect is the self.' So the intellect is not-self. If anyone were to say, 'Ideas are the self,' that wouldn't be tenable... Thus the intellect is not-self and ideas are not-self. If anyone were to say, 'Consciousness at the intellect is the self,' that wouldn't be tenable... Thus the intellect is not-self, ideas are not-self, consciousness at the intellect is not-self. If anyone were to say, 'Contact at the intellect is the self,' that wouldn't be tenable... Thus the intellect is not-self, ideas are not-self, consciousness at the intellect is not-self, contact at the intellect is not-self. If anyone were to say, 'Feeling is the self,' that wouldn't be tenable... Thus the intellect is not-self, ideas are not-self, consciousness at the intellect is not-self, contact at the intellect is not-self, feeling is not self. If anyone were to say, 'Craving is the self,' that wouldn't be tenable. The arising & falling away of craving are discerned. And when its arising & falling away are discerned, it would follow that 'My self arises & falls away.' That's why it wouldn't be tenable if anyone were to say, 'Craving is the self.' Thus the intellect is not-self, ideas are not-self, consciousness at the intellect is not-self, contact at the intellect is not-self, feeling is not self, craving is not-self.
I have heard that on one occasion the Blessed One was staying near Savatthi in Jeta's Grove, Anathapindika's monastery. There he addressed the monks, "Monks, an uninstructed run-of-the-mill person might grow disenchanted with this body composed of the four great elements, might grow dispassionate toward it, might gain release from it. Why is that? Because the growth & decline, the taking up & putting down of this body composed of the four great elements are apparent. Thus the uninstructed run-of-the-mill person might grow disenchanted, might grow dispassionate, might gain release there.

"But as for what's called 'mind,' 'intellect,' or 'consciousness,' the uninstructed run-of-the-mill person is unable to grow disenchanted with it, unable to grow dispassionate toward it, unable to gain release from it. Why is that? For a long time this has been relished, appropriated, and grasped by the uninstructed run-of-the-mill person as, 'This is me, this is my self, this is what I am.' Thus the uninstructed run-of-the-mill person is unable to grow disenchanted with it, unable to grow dispassionate toward it, unable to gain release from it.

"It would be better for the uninstructed run-of-the-mill person to hold to the body composed of the four great elements, rather than the mind, as the self. Why is that? Because this body composed of the four great elements is seen standing for a year, two years, three, four, five, ten, twenty, thirty, forty, fifty, a hundred years or more. But what's called 'mind,' 'intellect,' or 'consciousness' by day and by night arises as one thing and ceases as another. Just as a monkey, swinging through a forest wilderness, grabs a branch. Letting go of it, it grabs another branch. Letting go of that, it grabs another one. Letting go of that, it grabs another one. In the same way, what's called 'mind,' 'intellect,' or 'consciousness' by day and by night arises as one thing and ceases as another.

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rightviewftw
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Re: The original meaning of "viññāṇa"

Post by rightviewftw » Mon Jun 18, 2018 3:20 pm

rightviewftw wrote:
Sun Jun 17, 2018 11:12 am
Consciousness Element and Sense-Consciousness
correct myself, these are the same

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