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#1 RobertK



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Posted 29 April 2006 - 08:55 AM

Thannissaro says:

*Viññanam anidassanam.* This term is nowhere explained in the Canon, although MN 49 mentions that it "does not partake in the allness of the All" — the "All" meaning the six internal and six external sense media (see SN XXXV.23 <http://www.accesstoi.../sn35-023.html>). In this it differs from the consciousness factor in dependent co-arising, which is defined in terms of the six sense media. Lying outside of time and space, it would also not come under the consciousness-aggregate, which
covers all consciousness near and far; past, present, and future. However, the fact that it is outside of time and space — in a dimension where there is no here, there, or in between (U I.10<http://www.accesstoi...na/ud1-10.html>), no coming, no going, or staying (Ud VIII.1<http://www.accesstoi...na/ud8-01.html>) — means that it cannot be described as permanent or omnipresent, terms that have meaning only within space and time. The standard description of nibbana after death is, "All that is sensed, not being relished, will grow cold
right here." (See MN 140<http://www.accesstoi.../mn140.html>and Iti 44<http://www.accesstoi...i2.html#iti-044\ >.) Again, as "all" is defined as the sense media, this raises the question as to whether consciousness without feature is not covered by this "all."
However, AN IV.174<http://www.accesstoi...-174.html>warns that any speculation as to whether anything does or doesn't remain after the remainderless stopping of the six sense media is to "complicate non-complication," which gets in the way of attaining the non-complicated.
Thus this is a question that is best put aside.

#2 RobertK



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Posted 29 April 2006 - 08:57 AM


I agree that Ajahn Geoff's interpretation of this phrase effectively amounts to a self-theory, and what some of the Forest Ajahns say also sounds a little bit like this too but perhaps that isn't necessarily what they mean.

I would just like to remind us all to bare in mind that as non-Arahants we are all biased to the very depths of our being when it comes to this kind of question, we are normally so overwhelmed by the four distortions of perception that we don't even know it. We are not unbiased judges at all. We normally percieve, think and believe what we want to believe in a closed loop. For details see the Sutta on the four vipallaasa in the Anguttara.

Bhikkhu Santi.

#3 RobertK



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Posted 29 April 2006 - 08:57 AM

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 studting Pali."" endquote Suan

#4 RobertK



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Posted 29 April 2006 - 08:58 AM

Dear Robert, et al,

I think this passage is key - anyone who says that "viññāṇaṃ anidassanaṃ" refers to an undending consciousness should read the rest of the verse to see that actually:

"viññāṇassa nirodhena, etthetaṃ uparujjhatī'ti."

"with the cessation of consciousness, this all ceases here."

The existence of an unending ผู้รู้ (one who knows) is denied in an ultimate sense, as consciousness is ever subject to arising and ceasing.

Best wishes,


#5 RobertK



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Posted 29 April 2006 - 09:00 AM

It seems to refer to the living arahant's consciousness, don't you think?
Of course, when the consciousness is "established" in this life (through attachment) it will also become established in the next life -- see Mahanidana Sutta, DN 15:

First, it would be fair to note that this translation is by Aj. Geoff who is a firm believer in the theory that vinnyana.m anidassana.m means something that I would call a soul, if it existed. Basically I think his translations are often quite biased.

Secondly, I think even in this passage 'established' means rebirth.
Bhikkhu Santi

#6 RobertK



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Posted 29 April 2006 - 09:01 AM

In the case of Ven. Thanissaro, to come up with a full-blown theory about a special type of consciousness that persists after the parinibbaana is perhaps "going too far". Even if the Buddha referred, in a poetic context, to something called "vi~n~naa.na" as the ultimate goal of practice, I agree that it has to be taken in context and not made too much of.
Bhikkhu Gavesako

#7 RobertK



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Posted 29 April 2006 - 09:03 AM



I think you may have misunderstood the commentarial position. The Mahāvihārins did not deny the possibility of viññāṇaṃ anidassanaṃ, nor does their conclusion about the ceasing of an arahant's consciousness hinge upon such a denial. They could hardly have denied viññāṇaṃ anidassanaṃ even if they'd wanted to, given the centrality of this term in two major suttas, the Kevaṭṭa and Brahmanimantanika. It would be more accurate to say that the Mahāvihārins didn't understand viññāṇaṃ anidassanaṃ to mean what you understand it to mean.

In the Mahāvihāra's understanding viññāṇaṃ does not mean consciousness in this context. Instead, it is defined as viññātabbaṃ, a verbal derivative that can be taken as a noun ('that which must be cognized') or an adjective ('to be cognized', 'must be cognized'). If we take it as a noun, then the famous line viññāṇaṃ anidassanaṃ, anantaṃ sabbatopabhaṃ will be translated, "the thing that must be cognized, that is unseeable, without end, all-illuminating." Taking it as an adjective qualifying anidassana (well-attested in the Suttas as a synonym of nibbāna), we get, "The Unseeable that must be cognized, that is without end, that is all-illuminating".

Either way, there seems to be no reason to doubt that the four terms in this passage are being used exactly as they are used elsewhere in the Suttas, i.e., as designations for nibbāna. The unlikelihood of the viññāṇaṃ in viññāṇaṃ anidassanaṃ referring to consciousness is evident from the last two lines of the same verse:

ettha nāmañca rūpañca, asesaṃ uparujjhati
viññāṇassa nirodhena, etthetaṃ uparujjhatī ti

Here (in nibbana), name and matter cease without remainder;
Through the cessation of consciousness, these [name and matter] cease here.

One is of course at liberty to discard the Mahāvihārins' interpretation and substitute one's own pet theory, as numerous other modern scholars have done with this much remarked phrase. However, given the extreme rarity of the phrase, and the fact that it occurs only in verse (where it's normal for there to be more flexibility, liberality and ambiguity in the use of language), it would be rash to claim that it offers strong evidence that early Buddhism held nibbāna to be some kind of consciousness. One would need to consider first whether such a view would accord with the Buddha's general teaching on consciousness as attested in many hundreds of prose Suttas.

This view is nihilistic.

Is it? By 'nihilistic' do you mean ucchedavāda or natthikavāda? And can you cite an authoritative definition of the view in question and demonstrate in what way the Mahāvihārins are guilty of it?

Best wishes,
Dhammānando Bhikkhu

#8 RobertK



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Posted 29 April 2006 - 09:05 AM

Geoff: I agree completely that vinanna anidassana is a synonym for Nibbana. It is referring to unconditioned (i.e. non-temporal) consciousness, which by any other name is Nibbana.

So you stated in your earlier post. But you won't advance this claim merely by repeating it. You will need to offer arguments as to why we should prefer your reading to the Mahāvihāra's, and to respond to the fairly elementary objections I raised. To expand on what I wrote earlier:

1) The phrase viññāṇaṃ anidassanaṃ is demonstrably ambiguous in meaning because, i. The word anidassanaṃ by itself can be a synonym for nibbāna, and so we are not obliged to parse it as an adjective qualifying viññāṇaṃ; ii. viññāṇaṃ itself is construable either as 'consciousness' or as 'that which must be cognized'.
2) Viññāṇaṃ anidassanaṃ occurs in only two places in the Tipiṭaka; we ought therefore to be cautious about drawing any grand conclusions from it that would deviate from general suttaic teachings on consciousness.
3) Both of these occurrences are in verse, where language tends to be used with less precision than in prose; this should cause us to double our caution.
4) The Mahātaṇhāsaṅkhayasutta (MN 38) does not seem to leave much of a loophole (to put it mildly) for the nibbāna-as-consciousness interpretation.
5) Had the Buddha intended such a loophole, we should expect to find strong and unequivocal statements about it in Pali prose passages (it would, after all, be a matter of great importance, right?). So where are they?

ettha nāmañca rūpañca, asesaṃ uparujjhati
viññāṇassa nirodhena, etthetaṃ uparujjhatī ti

Here (in nibbāna), name and matter cease without remainder;
Through the cessation of consciousness, these [name and matter] cease here.

Vinnana anidassana as a noun is consciousness.

So you keep reminding us.
Argumentum ad nauseum: The fallacy of supposing that an assertion is more likely to be true the more often it is repeated.

Geoff: The commentarial interpretation that the last line of this quote means the complete cessation of all consciousness is nihilistic.

Then I repeat: can you cite a sutta in which the complete cessation of consciousness is described by the Buddha as a nihilistic aim? Or, failing that, can you cite one from which this would be a sound inference?

Geoff: I would suggest it refers to the cessation of temporal sensory consciousness of the vinnana khandha. Vinnana anidassana -- being unconditioned -- is not included in the vinnana khandha.

At this point I was going to refer you to the Mahātaṇhāsaṅkhayasutta. But I see Piotr has already beaten me to it. Still, it won't hurt to quote one more line from this superb discourse:

Anekapariyāyen'āvuso Sāti, paṭiccasamuppannaṃ viññāṇaṃ vuttaṃ Bhagavatā, aññatra paccayā natthi viññāṇassa sambhavo ti.
"Friend Sāti, in diverse ways has consciousness been stated by the Blessed One to be dependently arisen, since without a condition there is no origination of consciousness."

So, Geoff, what do you say to that? I suppose you could claim that the consciousness you are speaking of isn't covered by the above quote because 'origination' (sambhava) doesn't apply to it. The problem with such a claim is the utter paucity of evidence for it elsewhere in the suttas. After all, if that was what the Buddha was teaching, it would surely be a matter of some importance and we'd expect there to be a lot more about it, wouldn't we? As matters stand, all that the advocates of the nibbāna-as-consciousness view can come up with are two verse passages about viññāṇaṃ anidassanaṃ and then a couple of suttas about the radiant mind (pabhassara citta). Hardly a very compelling case, is it?

Dhammanando Bhikkhu

#9 RobertK



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Posted 29 April 2006 - 09:07 AM

Dhammānando: One is of course at liberty to discard the Mahāvihārins' interpretation and substitute one's own pet theory, as numerous other modern scholars have done with this much remarked phrase.

Ajahn Chah: [snip]
Ajahn Lee: [snip]
Ajahn Thanissaro: [snip]
And the Buddha: [snip]

It is not merely a "pet theory."

In my opinion it is merely a pet theory, and in two senses. Firstly in the sense that all the sixty-two wrong views are pet theories; I have observed that most of those who take the viññāṇaṃ in viññāṇaṃ anidassanaṃ as denoting consciousness end up espousing some species of eternalism or partial eternalism. Secondly, my impression from witnessing discussions on Theravādin e-mail lists is that people are wont to take up the nibbāna-as-consciousness view not because there is any cogent, compelling and unambiguous support for it in the suttas, but merely because they find it appealing. In other words, it is 'mere preference' (ruci) that prompts them. One cannot help but note the stark contrast between the tenacity with which they hold and defend this interpretation and the utter paucity of suttaic evidence in favour of it. So what better name for it than "pet theory"?

Geoff: It is an interpretation which accords with all of these quotations.

I don't see how it is supported by the Atthirāgasutta, which seems to have no bearing on the matter at all. As for your quotes from Ajaans Chaa, Lee and Thanissaro, these gentlemen's opinions carry no weight with me, and in any case are irrelevant for this thread. Its title, may I remind you, is the "Four Great References", not the "Animistic Beliefs of Isaan Forest Monks".

Geoff: Indeed the Buddha usually referred to the unconditioned as simply the "cessation of suffering" or "the deathless" or just "Nibbana." But the fact remains, the phrase "vinnanam anidassanam" is in the Suttanta, and although you may not agree with the interpretation that it refers to unconditioned consciousness, to me it is clear and obvious that it does,

Well, I'm afraid that doesn't speak very highly for your perspicacity as a reader of texts. Considering that scholars of the calibre of Conze, Harvey, Collins and the Bhikkhus Ñāṇānanda and Ñāṇavīra, have each wrestled with the phrase and each came up with a rather different interpretation, "clear and obvious" is one thing it definitely is not! I should be suspicious of any interpreter who claimed the meaning to be "clear and obvious". I should suspect that she was being over-hasty and giving in to mere preference or faith or one of the other things the Kalāmasutta warns against.

Geoff: especially when taking into account statements from venerable meditation masters which accord with this interpretation.

And one could easily wheel out a few other meditation masters (particularly Burmese ones) who would agree with the Mahāvihāra's interpretation (and would defend that interpretation with reference to Pali texts, not fairy stories about arahants that come back from the dead and visit Ajaan Mun etc.). That, I imagine, is why we have the Four Great References.

Bhikkhu Dhammanando

#10 RobertK



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Posted 29 April 2006 - 02:32 PM

I belive it should be put in the context. "Vinnanam anidassanam" appears in the Kevatta Sutta... But as far as I know translation of Thanissaro Bhikkhu is misleading. Because it sounds like it is some extra consciousness, which has no base in six-medias and probably is "experiencing" nibbana. For me personally it's a bit like a concept of atta, which is behind khandhas and experience them.

What "vinnanam anidassanam" probably here means is clear realization (vijja). When vijja is realized there is no more any new sankhara, no more new vinnana and nama-rupa. So it's cessation of stress - nibbana.

Probably study of paticca-samupadda would be also helpful.


This post has been edited by piotr:

#11 RobertK



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Posted 22 February 2007 - 02:33 AM

Ud 8.9
Dabba Sutta

Parinninbanna of Dabba Mallputta

he body disintegrated,
perception ceased,
pain & rapture were entirely consumed,
fabrications were stilled:
consciousness has come to its end

#12 RobertK



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Posted 21 May 2007 - 01:53 AM

Amaro: In several instances, the language of the Dzogchen tradition seems strikingly similar to that of the Theravada. In Dzogchen, the common description of the qualities of rigpa, nondual awareness, is "empty in essence, cognizant in nature and unconfined in capacity." A different translation of these three qualities is "emptiness, knowing and lucidity, or clarity." In the Pali scriptures (Digha Nikaya 11.85 and Majjima Nikaya 49.25), the Buddha talks about the mind of the arahant as "consciousness which is unmanifest, signless, infinite and radiant in all directions." The Pali words are viññanam (consciousness), aniddassanam (empty, invisible or signless, non-manifestative), anantam (limitless, unconfined, infinite), and sabbato pabham (radiant in all directions, accessible from all sides).

One of the places the Buddha uses this description is at the end of a long illustrative tale. A monk has asked, "Where is it that earth, water, fire and wind fade out and cease without remainder?" To which the Buddha replies that the monk has asked the wrong question. What he should have asked is, "Where is it that earth, water, fire and wind can find no footing?" The Buddha then answers this question himself, saying it is in "the consciousness which is invisible, limitless and radiant in all directions" that the four great elements "and long and short, and coarse and fine, and pure and impure can find no footing. There it is that nama-rupa (body-and-mind, name-and-form, subject-and-object) both come to an end. With this stopping, this cessation of consciousness, all things here are brought to an end."

Such unsupported and unsupportive consciousness is not an abstract principle. In fact, it was the basis of the Buddha's enlightenment. As the Buddha was sitting under the bodhi tree, the hordes of Mara attacked him. Armies were hurling themselves at the Buddha and yet nothing could get into the space under the tree. All the weapons and spears they threw turned into rays of light; the arrows that they fired turned into flowers that came sprinkling down around the Buddha. Nothing harmful to the Buddha could get into that space. There was nowhere for it to land. Sight, sound, smell, taste and touch, long and short, coarse and fine, pure and impure are all aspects of body and mind. They represent attributes of all phenomena. Yet none of them could find a footing. The Buddha was in a non-stick realm. Everything that came toward him kept falling away. Nothing stuck; nothing could get in and harm the Buddha in any way. To get a better sense of this quality of unsupported consciousness, it's helpful to reflect on this image. Also very useful are the phrases at the end of the passage just quoted, particularly where the Buddha says, "When consciousness ceases, all things here are brought to an end."

The Anatomy of Cessation

I've known people, particularly those who have practiced in the Theravada tradition, who have been taught that the idea of meditation is to get to a place of cessation. We might get to a place where we don't feel or see anything; there is awareness but everything is gone. An absence of sight, sound, smell, taste, touch, the body—it all vanishes. And then these students are told, "This is the greatest thing. That's what there is to look forward to." The teacher encourages them to put tremendous hours and diligence into their meditation. When one of these students told her teacher that she had arrived at that kind of state, he got really excited. He then asked her, "So what did it feel like?" and she said, "It was like drinking a glass of cold water but without the water and without the glass." On another occasion she said, "It was like being shut inside a refrigerator."

This is not the only way of understanding cessation. The root of the word nirodha is rudh, which means "to not arise, to end, check or hold"—like holding a horse in check with the reins. So nirodha also has a meaning of holding everything, embracing its scope. "Stopping of consciousness" can thus imply that somehow everything is held in check rather than that it simply vanishes. It's a redrawing of the internal map.

From Ven Dhammanando

No, no, no, this won't do at all. Has Amaro by any chance been taking Dhamma lessons with David Brazier ? Whatever the case, he clearly hasn't done his homework on this one.

Firstly, he fails to reckon with the semantic effect of the prefix 'ni' ('down', 'out of', 'free') upon the root 'rudh'. Secondly, and more importantly, he doesn't seem to have checked how the noun 'nirodha' and the verb 'nirujjhati' (from which nirodha is derived) are actually used in the Suttas. Had he done so, he would have seen at once how implausible his construal is. A couple of examples should suffice to show this:

From the Phe?api??upamasutta (SN. iii. 140-3, Bhikkhu Bodhi's translation):

Suppose, bhikkhus, that in the autumn, when it is raining and big rain drops are falling, a water bubble arises and bursts (nirujjhati) on the surface of the water. A man with good sight would inspect it, ponder it and carefully investigate it, and it would appear to him to be void, hollow, insubstantial. For what substance could there be in a water bubble ? So too, bhikkhus, whatever kind of feeling there is ... etc.

Amaro would presumably translate it:

Suppose, bhikkhus, that in the autumn, when it is raining and big rain drops are falling, a water bubble arises and is held in check (or holds everything) on the surface of the water ...

From the Migasalasutta (AN. v. 138, my translation)

In this way, Ananda, a certain person is of immoral habit. But then he comes to understand the liberation of mind and liberation by wisdom as they really are, whereupon his immoral habit ceases (nirujjhati) without remainder.

Amaro would presumably translate it:

... whereupon his immoral habit holds everything without remainder.

There are hundreds of Sutta passages that will yield similarly nonsensical results if we apply the Amaro/David Brazier take on 'nirodha'.

Best wishes,
Dhammanando Bhikkhu

#13 RobertK



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Posted 21 May 2007 - 01:55 AM

An esangha member who thinks that the Mahayana interpretation is valid replies to the posts above.

Venerable Dhammanando,

I'm sure Ajahn Amaro has his reasons for his gloss of nirodha from rudh, and I don't see him saying that "to hold" is the only way to understand the term. This quote follows after a discussion of vinnana anidassana, and this took place in a teaching retreat with Tsoknyi Rinpoche, so I think it's allowable for the venerable to explore the term nirodha (as in DN 11), given the Mahayana use of vinnana anidassana as cognition free of the four extremes (Nagarjuna's Ratnavali).

I will grant that teachers such as Sumedho, Amaro, and Thanissaro sometimes struggle a bit with their attempts to give a less nihilistic interpretation of the Suttanta. IMO when they, or their next generation of teachers, get a better grasp of Madhyamaka, their teachings will be more precise.

EMpty Universe

#14 RobertK



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Posted 21 May 2007 - 02:10 AM

From Sarah Abbott

Suan wrote:
> > "Viññaa.nam anidassanam anantam sabbato pabham" in Section 504 in
> > Mn49 is part of the verse as found in Section 499 in Keva.t.ta
> > Suttam, Siilakkhandha Vaggo, Diighanikaayo.
Christine wrote:
>The quote
"The consciousness that makes no showing,
And in becoming about to disbecome,
Not claiming being with respect to all."

was Verse 25 is in MN49 hard copy trans. Bhikkhu Nanamoli and Bhikkhu
Bodhi "Middle Length discourses of the Buddha" (Wisdom, 1995) top of
page 428.<snip>
> n.513 “MA takes the subject of the sentence to be Nibbana,
called 'consciousness' in the sense that "it can be cognized". This
is obviously a contrived derivation, since nowhere in the Canon is
Nibbana ever described as consciousness. <<{As you also said
Suan, "It has no backing from the traditional Pali texts.}>>
MA offers three explanations of the phrase subbato pabham: (1)
completely possessed of splendour (pabha); (2) possessing being
(pabhutam) everywhere; and (3) a ford (pahham) accessible from all
sides, i.e. through any of the thirty-eight meditation objects. Only
the first of these seems to have any linguistic legitimacy...” <snip>
In an earlier post I wrote:
“The word 'consciousness' is translated from 'vi~n~naa.na.m' to be
as 'cognizable' (vijaanitabba.m) and not consciousness according to the
Pali com. as Jim explained to me. As I mentioned, B.Bodhi also added in
his notes (513). ,

"MA takes the subject of the sentence to be Nibbana, called
'consciousness' in the sense that "it can be cognized" '.
Perhaps another translation of the first line could be:
'Cognizable (vi~n~naa.na.m), invisible (anidassana.m), shinining in all
directions (ananta.m sabbatopabha)'”
In the note Christine supplied from B.Bodhi’s MN, there was the suggestion
that the commentary suggestion of nibbana here is ‘obviously a contrived
derivation’ and Howard makes the valid point that it is not used elsewhere
with this meaning. On the other hand:

1. It makes perfect sense to some of us and conforms with the meaning of
other suttas and parts of the Tipitaka as we understand it, though it’s
strange perhaps that the phrase is not used in other places .

2. It conforms with other passages, such as the ones from the Udana and
Itivuttaka where nibbana is specifically mentioned in the commentaries
referring to similar contexts.

3. Perhaps commentaries should be given the respect by us that they’ve
been given by the Sangha through the ages in terms of representing the
truth of the Teachings and should not be dismissed lightly when they are
not readily understood by us.

4.The suggestion by B.Thanissaro that though it says the aggregate of
consciousness “includes all consciousness, ‘past, present, or future..near
or far’”, this particular consciousness is not included, makes little
sense to me and is not supported by either the commentaries of the
Tipitaka itself imho.

5. B.Bodhi quotes the MA (commentary) as offering 3 explanations of the
phrase subbato pabham. He suggests only the first one (“completely
possessed of splendour (pabha)) as having any ‘linguistic legitimacy’. In
terms of meaning, they would all seem appropriate to me and like the
discussion on ekayaana, they may all be legitimate, I would think (though
I can’t comment on the Pali). Walshe suggests ‘lucid in every respect’ for
sabbato pabham. He then compares the phrase to our DSG favourite one in AN
on ‘luminous mind’, but this would be missing the point and meaning of
both, as I understand.

6. Walshe also refers to Nanananda’s ‘Concept and Reality’ in which it
explains apparently that ‘the four great elements do not find a footing -
and that ‘Name-and-Form’ (comprehending them) can be cut off completely -
in that ‘anidassana-vinnana’ (the ‘non-manifestive consciousness’) of the
Arahant, by the cessation of his normal consciousness which rests on the
data of sense-experience...”

This clearly doesn’t accord with the abhidhamma or with any parts of the
Tipitaka, such as the Udana (see link above) as I understand.


#15 RobertK



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Posted 21 May 2007 - 02:11 AM

From Suan Lu Zaw\

I have translated the two verses in Section 498 and Section 499 in
Keva.t.ta Suttam, Siilakkhandha Vaggo, Diighanikaayo.

I made sure that translations are as literal as possible in as
natural English as possible.

As they are verses, we need to ponder them with patience. Previous
translators did not seem to read carefully the two verses as a unit
and as whole. Therefore, they overlooked the last two lines of the
second verse -
"ettha naamañca ruupañca, asesam uparujjhati;
viññaa.nassa nirodhena, etthetam uparujjhatii'ti."

Their translations of the above two lines are usually incoherent and
misleading because they were determined to translate the
term "Viññaa.nam" as consciousness in the line "Viññaa.nam
anidassanam, anantam sabbatopabham."

Therefore, the previous translators usually went out of their way to
translate the last two lines of the verse in Section 499 with
speciall effort not to undermine their translation of the
term "Viññaa.nam" in question as consciousness.

You can perform "Syntax Walk-through" on my translations below.

498. "Evañca kho eso, bhikkhu, pañho pucchitabbo–
`Kattha aapo ca pathavii, tejo vaayo na gaadhati;
kattha diighañca rassañca, a.num thuulam subhaasubham.
kattha naamañca ruupañca, asesam uparujjhatii'ti.

499. "Tatra veyyaakara.nam bhavati–
`Viññaa.nam anidassanam, anantam sabbatopabham;
ettha aapo ca pathavii, tejo vaayo na gaadhati.
Ettha diighañca rassañca, a.num thuulam subhaasubham;
ettha naamañca ruupañca, asesam uparujjhati;
viññaa.nassa nirodhena, etthetam uparujjhatii'ti.

498. "Monk, this question should be asked along theses lines as well:
Where do water, earth, heat and air not survive?
Where do lengthiness, shortness, smallness,
Largeness, beauty and ugliness not survive?.
PONDER Where does the mental world as well as the matter run out
Without remainder?"

499. "There is the answer:
The Knowable, the Invisible, the Eventless,
The Beach from everywhere,
Here water, earth, heat and air do not survive.
Neither do lengthiness, shortness, smallness,
Largeness, beauty and ugliness here.
Here the mental world runs out without remainder,
And so does the matter.
PONDER With the extinguishment of consciousness,
Here this consciousness runs out.

I will provide further assessment of the above two verses at a later

Happy Syntax Walk-through!

Happy poetry reading!

With kind regards,