Vinnanam Anidassanam. Classical Version.

A forum for members who wish to develop a deeper understanding of the Pali Canon and associated Commentaries, which for discussion purposes are both treated as authoritative.

Moderator: Mahavihara moderator

User avatar
robertk
Posts: 2945
Joined: Sat Jan 03, 2009 2:08 am

Vinnanam Anidassanam. Classical Version.

Post by robertk » Sun Apr 22, 2018 4:27 am

I saw this today:
viewtopic.php?f=16&t=13921&p=468754&hil ... ed#p468754
DooDoot wrote: ↑Sun Apr 22, 2018 3:57 am
Vinnana[m] Anidassanam is not Nibbana. We have also discussed this before. Why do you keep repeating the same old unsubstantiated ideas?
In fact according to orthodox Theravada that is exactly what it means :
The phase viññanam anidassanam has been explained by the pali attakattha and tika. Suan Lu zwa, a Burmese pali scholar writes:

"Tattha viññatabbanti "Viññanam" nibbanassetam namam,.."

"There, to be known specially, so (it is) "Viññanam". This is the name of nibbana."


And Kevatta Sutta Tika further explains the phrase "viññatabbanti" as follows:

"Viññatabbanti visitthena ñatabbam, ñanuttamena ariyamaggañanena paccakkhato janitabbanti attho, tenaha "nibbanassetam namam"ti."

"(To be known specially) means to be extraordinarily known. The meaning is 'to be known in the sense of realization by ultimate wisdom, by noble path wisdom'". Therefore, (the commentator) stated that 'This is the name of nibbana'" Therefore, the term 'Viññanam' in the line of the original Pali verse "Viññanam anidassanam, anantam sabbatopabham .." does not refer to consciousness, the usual meaning of viññanam.
In fact, the same verse includes the following two lines "Ettha namañca rupañca, asesam uparujjhati
Viññanassa nirodhena, etthetam uparujjhati'ti". "Here (in nibbana), nama as well as rupa ceases without remainder. By ceasing of consciousness, nama as well as rupa ceases here." Nibbana does not become a sort of consciousness just because one of its Pali names happens to be Viññanam. In English language, the term 'object' can have different meanings. For example, the term 'object' in visual object has no relation to
the term 'object' in my object of studying Pali."" endquote Suan
see here
http://www.abhidhamma.org/forums/index. ... nidassanam

SarathW
Posts: 10504
Joined: Mon Sep 10, 2012 2:49 am

Re: Vinnanam Anidassanam

Post by SarathW » Sun Apr 22, 2018 5:00 am

Isn’t Vinnana a limb of Dependent Orignation?
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

User avatar
robertk
Posts: 2945
Joined: Sat Jan 03, 2009 2:08 am

Re: Vinnanam Anidassanam

Post by robertk » Sun Apr 22, 2018 5:09 am

SarathW wrote:
Sun Apr 22, 2018 5:00 am
Isn’t Vinnana a limb of Dependent Orignation?
Does your question have any relation with the topic?

User avatar
aflatun
Posts: 814
Joined: Fri Sep 16, 2016 2:40 pm
Location: Bay Area, CA

Re: Vinnanam Anidassanam

Post by aflatun » Sun Apr 22, 2018 5:36 am

robertk wrote:
Sun Apr 22, 2018 4:27 am
In fact according to orthodox Theravada that is exactly what it means
Thank you for this Robert :anjali:

Interestingly enough, that's basically what Nagarjuna thought it meant too. The interpretation is slightly different so I won't stress it in the classical forum (unless there is interest), but will rather emphasize the similarity to the classical Theravadin position as I understand it: it does not refer to any kind of special consciousness outside of the aggregates or a crypto self, but rather to liberating (i.e. nibbanic) insight.
Earth, water, wind, fire, and so forth—
Long and short as well as small and large—
Good, evil, words, consciousness, and knowledge—
They are so demolished by wisdom that no trace remains.

Just as no forms exist in the station of boundless consciousness,
And just as it is boundless and universally pervasive,
So too in this [wisdom]: Earth and the other primary elements
Are all brought to complete destruction.

In this wisdom cognizing signlessness,
Short and long, good and evil, karmic actions,
Name-and-form, and also the aggregates—
As with these others, they are so demolished as to leave no trace.
Ratnavali 93-95
A Strand of Dharma Jewels Trans. Bhikshu Dharmamitra
"People often get too quick to say 'there's no self. There's no self...no self...no self.' There is self, there is focal point, its not yours. That's what not self is."

Ninoslav Ñāṇamoli
Senses and the Thought-1, 42:53

"Those who create constructs about the Buddha,
Who is beyond construction and without exhaustion,
Are thereby damaged by their constructs;
They fail to see the Thus-Gone.

That which is the nature of the Thus-Gone
Is also the nature of this world.
There is no nature of the Thus-Gone.
There is no nature of the world."

Nagarjuna
MMK XXII.15-16

User avatar
robertk
Posts: 2945
Joined: Sat Jan 03, 2009 2:08 am

Re: Vinnanam Anidassanam

Post by robertk » Sun Apr 22, 2018 6:06 am

as I understand it: it does not refer to any kind of special consciousness outside of the aggregates or a crypto self, but rather to liberating (i.e. nibbanic) insight
thanks.
the Theravada understanding is that nibbana is an object of insight, not that nibbana has any type of consciousness.
While some have seized on the term vinnanam anidassanam to support eternalistic ideas of some consciousness that lives on after khandha parinibbana the commentary explains quite differently.

justindesilva
Posts: 839
Joined: Wed Jul 27, 2016 12:38 pm

Re: Vinnanam Anidassanam

Post by justindesilva » Sun Apr 22, 2018 6:30 am

SarathW wrote:
Sun Apr 22, 2018 5:00 am
Isn’t Vinnana a limb of Dependent Orignation?
Vinnana is a limb of DO. This vinnana has the bases of 5 aggregates. But vinnanam anidassansm is beyond DO as it means Consciouness without surface or without features.
If referred to DN11, MN 49, SN12.64( atthi raga sutta) it will explain to the sceptics, that vinnam snidassam means a consciousness of an arhant or an arya puggala.
pl. refer to the meaning of ' vinnam anidsssanam ananto
sabbato psbham',
it means a consciousness non manifest , infinite, radiant all around ; which means that it is the consciousness of an arya puggala or an arhant.

User avatar
robertk
Posts: 2945
Joined: Sat Jan 03, 2009 2:08 am

Re: Vinnanam Anidassanam

Post by robertk » Sun Apr 22, 2018 8:09 am

justindesilva wrote:
Sun Apr 22, 2018 6:30 am
SarathW wrote:
Sun Apr 22, 2018 5:00 am
Isn’t Vinnana a limb of Dependent Orignation?
anto
sabbato psbham',
it means a consciousness non manifest , infinite, radiant all around ; which means that it is the consciousness of an arya puggala or an arhant.
This is in direct opposition to the classical Theravada stance.

SarathW
Posts: 10504
Joined: Mon Sep 10, 2012 2:49 am

Re: Vinnanam Anidassanam

Post by SarathW » Sun Apr 22, 2018 8:21 am

Consciousness of Arahant is not Nibbana.
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

User avatar
robertk
Posts: 2945
Joined: Sat Jan 03, 2009 2:08 am

Re: Vinnanam Anidassanam

Post by robertk » Sun Apr 22, 2018 9:16 am

SarathW wrote:
Sun Apr 22, 2018 8:21 am
Consciousness of Arahant is not Nibbana.
Of course not.

User avatar
DooDoot
Posts: 3245
Joined: Tue Aug 08, 2017 11:06 pm

Re: Vinnanam Anidassanam

Post by DooDoot » Sun Apr 22, 2018 10:34 am

justindesilva wrote:
Sun Apr 22, 2018 6:30 am
If referred to DN11, MN 49, it will explain to the sceptics, that vinnam snidassam means a consciousness of an arhant or an arya puggala.
In MN 49, Brahma seeks the Buddha to follow the practise of Brahma, namely:
So, mendicant, I tell you this: you will never find another escape beyond this, and you will eventually get weary and frustrated. If you attach (ajjhosissasi) to earth, you will lie close to me, in my domain, vulnerable and expendable. If you attach to water … fire … air … creatures … gods … the Creator … Brahmā, you will lie close to me, in my domain, vulnerable and expendable.’
The Buddha replies that he knows more realms than those mentioned by Brahma:
Atthi kho, brahme, añño kāyo, taṃ tvaṃ na jānāsi na passasi

But there is another realm that you don’t know or see.

But I know it and see it.

There is the realm named after the gods of streaming radiance [2nd jhana]...There is the realm named after the gods replete with glory [3rd jhana] … the realm named after the gods of abundant fruit [4th jhana] … the realm named after the Overlord (abhibhū), which you don’t know or see.
The Buddha then also replies he does not identify with any of the above mentioned realms:
Having directly known earth as earth, and having directly known that which does not fall within the scope of experience based on earth, I did not identify with earth, I did not identify regarding earth, I did not identify as earth, I did not identify ‘earth is mine’, I did not enjoy earth.
Brahma then replies:
Well, good sir, if you have directly known that which is not within the scope of experience based on all, may your words not turn out to be void and hollow!
The Buddha then replies:
Consciousness that is invisible, infinite, radiant all round—that’s what is not within the scope of experience based on earth, water, fire, air, creatures, gods, the Creator, Brahmā, the gods of streaming radiance, the gods replete with glory, the gods of abundant fruit, the Overlord, and the all.
At this point in the exchange, the Buddha says nothing here that explicitly points to Nibbana. For example, there appear to be no immaterial jhana mentioned in the various realms Brahma & Buddha previously list. Therefore, it is possible, the Buddha is referring to an immaterial jhana. Note: MN 1 makes it clear the Overlord (abhibhū) is not an immaterial jhana.

The sutta continues with Brahma attempting to but failing to vanish from Buddha:
‘I will vanish from the ascetic Gotama! I will vanish from the ascetic Gotama!’ But he was unable to vanish from me.
Then, in return, the Buddha successfully vanishes from Brahma & spoke some words about bhava (existence) & bhavanirodha:
So I said to him: ‘Well look now, Brahmā, I will vanish from you!’ ‘All right, then, good sir, vanish from me—if you can.’ Then I used my psychic power to will that my voice would extend so that Brahmā, his assembly, and his retinue would hear me, but they would not see me. And while invisible I recited this verse:

‘Seeing the danger in continued existence—
that life in any existence will cease to be—
I didn’t welcome any kind of existence,
and didn’t grasp at relishing.’
Then the Brahmas replied:
Then Brahmā, his assembly, and his retinue, their minds full of wonder and amazement, thought: ‘It’s incredible, it’s amazing! The ascetic Gotama has such psychic power and might! We’ve never before seen or heard of any other ascetic or brahmin with psychic power and might like the ascetic Gotama, who has gone forth from the Sakyan clan. Though people enjoy continued existence, loving it so much, he has extracted it down to its root.’
Then, after a chat with Mara, the sutta ends and none of the audience attains stream-entry, non-return or arahantship:
And so, because of the silencing of Māra, and because of the invitation of Brahmā, the name of this discussion is “On the Invitation of Brahmā”.
In conclusion, there appears nothing written in MN 49 indicating 'consciousness that is invisible, infinite, radiant all round' is the consciousness of an arahant or Nibbana. Bhikkhu Bodhi also mentions some skepticism in footnote 513 of his MN.

:alien:

In DN 11, the Buddha is talking to Kevatta the householder, who requests a miracle of psychic power to covert people to Buddhism. The Budda refuses & lists all of the Buddha's miracles of instruction; unto Nibbana (destruction of the taints). Then, for some reason, the Buddha tells Kevatta the householder a story about a certain monk asking all of the Brahma gods the question: 'Where do these four great elements — the earth property, the liquid property, the fire property, and the wind property — cease without remainder?' . The Buddha ends the sutta by saying the question of the monk was wrongly put and then recites the verse about various dualistic distinctions that are brought to an end in a luminous consciousness:
Here long & short
coarse & fine
fair & foul
name & form
are all brought to an end.
The Buddha does not refer to the destruction of craving (which is the standard definition of Nibbana) and Kevatta does not attain stream-entry or any higher state of enlightenment. Therefore, again, there appears nothing written in DN 11 indicating 'consciousness that is invisible, infinite, radiant all round' is the consciousness of an arahant or Nibbana.

In my opinion, the above is what can be derived from the study of the two suttas (which notably are both very strong Anti-Brahmanism propaganda).

:smile:

paul
Posts: 1356
Joined: Tue May 31, 2011 11:27 pm
Location: Vietnam

Re: Vinnanam Anidassanam

Post by paul » Sun Apr 22, 2018 11:10 am

Referring to the Buddha's attainment of enlightenment as described in SN 56.11, Thanissaro says:
"The consciousness attained through this release is the only type of awareness that the Canon recognises as truly unconditioned, for- unlike every other form of consciousness- it can be known without recourse to sensory contact, even at the intellect."
He then goes on to quote "Consciousness without surface..." from MN 49.---"Right Mindfulness".

User avatar
robertk
Posts: 2945
Joined: Sat Jan 03, 2009 2:08 am

Re: Vinnanam Anidassanam

Post by robertk » Sun Apr 22, 2018 12:10 pm

paul wrote:
Sun Apr 22, 2018 11:10 am
Referring to the Buddha's attainment of enlightenment as described in SN 56.11, Thanissaro says:
"The consciousness attained through this release is the only type of awareness that the Canon recognises as truly unconditioned, for- unlike every other form of consciousness- it can be known without recourse to sensory contact, even at the intellect."
He then goes on to quote "Consciousness without surface..." from MN 49.---"Right Mindfulness".
Absolute nonsense. the only reality that is unconditioned is nibbanA . This stuff by Thanissaro is at best non-theravada and, if I were to put it bluntly, eternalist drivel.

User avatar
robertk
Posts: 2945
Joined: Sat Jan 03, 2009 2:08 am

Re: Vinnanam Anidassanam

Post by robertk » Sun Apr 22, 2018 12:19 pm

Zom wrote:
Sun Apr 22, 2018 11:57 am
]

Vinnanam anidassanam is just a clean, jhanic, 100% defilement-free arahant's consciousness, .
as my opening post stated:
[, the term 'Viññanam' in the line of the original Pali verse "Viññanam anidassanam, anantam sabbatopabham .." does not refer to consciousness, the usual meaning of viññanam.
In fact, the same verse includes the following two lines "Ettha namañca rupañca, asesam uparujjhati
Viññanassa nirodhena, etthetam uparujjhati'ti". "Here (in nibbana), nama as well as rupa ceases without remainder. By ceasing of consciousness, nama as well as rupa ceases here." Nibbana does not become a sort of consciousness just because one of its Pali names happens to be Viññanam

boundless
Posts: 73
Joined: Sun Feb 04, 2018 4:16 pm

Re: Vinnanam Anidassanam

Post by boundless » Sun Apr 22, 2018 12:51 pm

robertk wrote:
Sun Apr 22, 2018 12:19 pm
Zom wrote:
Sun Apr 22, 2018 11:57 am
]

Vinnanam anidassanam is just a clean, jhanic, 100% defilement-free arahant's consciousness, .
as my opening post stated:
[, the term 'Viññanam' in the line of the original Pali verse "Viññanam anidassanam, anantam sabbatopabham .." does not refer to consciousness, the usual meaning of viññanam.
In fact, the same verse includes the following two lines "Ettha namañca rupañca, asesam uparujjhati
Viññanassa nirodhena, etthetam uparujjhati'ti". "Here (in nibbana), nama as well as rupa ceases without remainder. By ceasing of consciousness, nama as well as rupa ceases here." Nibbana does not become a sort of consciousness just because one of its Pali names happens to be Viññanam
Greetings robertk and thank you for the explanation!

Is it because "vinnana" has always an object according to orthodox Theravada, right? After all, it seems that awareness is always an awareness "of" something (e.g. even the consciousness referred in AN 10.6 seems to have Nibbana as an object...)

aflatun wrote:
Sun Apr 22, 2018 5:36 am
...
Thank you aflatun, too!

:anjali:

User avatar
robertk
Posts: 2945
Joined: Sat Jan 03, 2009 2:08 am

Re: Vinnanam Anidassanam

Post by robertk » Sun Apr 22, 2018 1:14 pm

boundless wrote:
Greetings robertk and thank you for the explanation!

Is it because "vinnana" has always an object according to orthodox Theravada, right? After all, it seems that awareness is always an awareness "of" something (e.g. even the consciousness referred in AN 10.6 seems to have Nibbana as an object...)


Yes that seems a reasonable deduction.

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 14 guests