Luminous Mind. - What is it?

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism

Re: Luminous Mind. - What is it?

Postby tiltbillings » Tue Mar 29, 2011 6:30 am

Viscid wrote:So is the 'luminous mind' the awareness of viññāṇakkhandha when the other four khandhas are absent?
That is not quite what I am saying. When there is arising of viññāṇa/citta in the context of the khandhas, it is not that the other khandhas are absent.

This is probably one reason why there are several differing ways in the suttas of talking about these things, such as the 18 dhātus or the various paticca-samuppāda formulas. "Dependent on the eye and the forms, eye-consciousness arises; the coming-together of the three is sense-impression."

This is not the easiest thing to talk about and for it make sense, but this - "Dependent on the eye and the forms, eye-consciousness arises; the coming-together of the three is sense-impression" - is not necessarily a theoretical statement, but it is something that can be seen, and it not that “eye-consciousness” is hanging out there all by itself. It in turn gives rise to all the rest. It is not a matter of the other khandhas being absent, but when the mind is concentrated, very mindful, this process can become clear.

Also, "luminous" is a metaphor for the fact that viññāṇa makes known, illuminates it object.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
User avatar
tiltbillings
 
Posts: 19765
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 9:25 am

Re: Luminous Mind. - What is it?

Postby tiltbillings » Tue Mar 29, 2011 6:38 am

And the heck does this all mean? The radiance, while may be the nature of the mind, is also a trap. So, obviously do not get enamored with the radiance. It would not be the way I'd put it, but I can buy it, and it is a nice antedote for those who might be a bit stuck un the idea of a radiant mind.

pegembara wrote:From Mae Chee Kaew - Her Journey to Spiritual Awakening P. 194

“When you investigate mental phenomena until you go beyond them completely, the remaining defiling elements of
consciousness will be drawn into a radiant nucleus of awareness, which merges with the mind’s naturally radiant essence.
This radiance is so majestic and mesmerizing that even transcendent faculties like spontaneous mindfulness and intuitive
wisdom invariably fall under its spell. The mind’s brightness and clarity appear to be so extraordinary and awe-inspiring,
that nothing can possibly compare. The luminous essence is the epitome of perfect goodness and virtue, the ultimate
in spiritual happiness. It is your true, original self — the core of your being. But this true self is also the fundamental
source of all attachment to being and becoming. Ultimately it is attachment to the allure of this primordial radiance of
mind that causes living beings to wander indefinitely through the world of becoming and ceasing, constantly grasping at
birth and enduring death.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
User avatar
tiltbillings
 
Posts: 19765
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 9:25 am

Re: Luminous Mind. - What is it?

Postby cooran » Tue Mar 29, 2011 7:15 am

Hello all,

I’m in the process of moving residences, and all my Dhamma books have already shifted before me. :smile:

Does anyone have access to Bhikkhu Bodhi’s translation of the Pabhassara Sutta and any recent notes by him on that sutta?

My current understanding (from Sarah of DSG) is that he has moved away from the Commentarial position:
‘’Luminous (pabhasara'm). AA <the commentary> states that here "the mind" (citta) refers to the bhava'nga-citta, the 'life-continuum' or underlyingstream of consciousness which supervenes whenever active consciousness lapses, most notably in deep sleep. The 'adventitious defilements' are greed, hatred and delusion, which appear at a stage of the cognitive process, which, in later Buddhist literature, is called 'javana', 'impulsion'.
AA says that the defilements do not arise simultaneously with the bhava'nga, but they 'arrive' later, at the phase of javana. The fact that this expression 'luminous mind' does not signify any 'eternal and pure mind-essence' is evident from the preceding text, in which the mind is said to be extremely fleeting and transitory. The 'uninstructed worldling' (assutavaa puthujjana) is one who lacks adequate knowledge ofthe Dhamma and training in its practice."

[note: BB himself no longer agees with the commentaries on this and some other
suttas, however!]’’

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/dhammastu ... age/104093

with metta
Chris
---The trouble is that you think you have time---
---Worry is the Interest, paid in advance, on a debt you may never owe---
---It's not what happens to you in life that is important ~ it's what you do with it ---
User avatar
cooran
 
Posts: 7705
Joined: Tue Jan 06, 2009 11:32 pm
Location: Queensland, Australia

Re: Luminous Mind. - What is it?

Postby Ron-The-Elder » Tue Mar 29, 2011 8:39 am

I also wrote a few venerables to see what they had to say.

This from Bhikkhu Samahita:

Consciousness (unenlightened) always has an object.
This entails that worldly consciousness always contains information.

Information is a form of energy.
Energy always has 2 complementary manifestations:
1: Local = particulate
2: Non-local = universal = wave-like = like light or any other form of radiation.

What the Buddha points to by the term "luminous mind”
is IMHO this aspect 2:
The non-local wave, light, radiation property of consciousness.

Some of the ancient commentaries refer to Enlightenment as
“Consciousness without an object…”

Friendship is the Greatest!
Bhikkhu Samāhita _/\_ ]
http://What-Buddha-Said.net
What Makes an Elder? :
A head of gray hairs doesn't mean one's an elder. Advanced in years, one's called an old fool.
But one in whom there is truth, restraint, rectitude, gentleness,self-control, he's called an elder, his impurities disgorged, enlightened.
-Dhammpada, 19, translated by Thanissaro Bhikkhu.
User avatar
Ron-The-Elder
 
Posts: 1138
Joined: Mon Jan 10, 2011 4:42 pm
Location: Concord, New Hampshire, U.S.A.

Re: Luminous Mind. - What is it?

Postby tiltbillings » Tue Mar 29, 2011 8:57 am

Ron-The-Elder wrote:I also wrote a few venerables to see what they had to say.

This from Bhikkhu Samahita:

Consciousness (unenlightened) always has an object.
This entails that worldly consciousness always contains information.

Information is a form of energy.
Energy always has 2 complementary manifestations:
1: Local = particulate
2: Non-local = universal = wave-like = like light or any other form of radiation.

What the Buddha points to by the term "luminous mind”
is IMHO this aspect 2:
The non-local wave, light, radiation property of consciousness.

Some of the ancient commentaries refer to Enlightenment as
“Consciousness without an object…”

Friendship is the Greatest!
Bhikkhu Samāhita _/\_ ]
http://What-Buddha-Said.net
But the question is, what does it mean?
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
User avatar
tiltbillings
 
Posts: 19765
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 9:25 am

Re: Luminous Mind. - What is it?

Postby Ron-The-Elder » Tue Mar 29, 2011 9:11 am

Read this from Ajahn Maha Bua:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ajahn_Maha ... 27Citta.27

(Thanks to viscid for the reference.)

Ven. Bua points out that citta cleansed of defilements is indescribable, beyond words. Only citta which is only "almost" cleansed of defilements therefore can be seen and related to others, which leads me to understand that to find out "what it means" we must both:

1. Live what is left of our lives in accordance with The Noble Eight Fold Path, and

2. Sit to check what defilements have yet to be addressed

This means (to me) that the various purities of the citta (luminous mind) are a beacon which is available to us when we sit, which allows us to know that we are either on track, or heading in non-beneficial, non-freeing directions. As we make progress citta becomes more refined and brighter, or more luminous. As we move away from The Noble Path citta becomes corrupted by The Khandas, and therefore dims, less luminous.

From my scientific training I draw an analogy of the "event horizon" which reveals the presence of a black hole. While the black hole cannot be seen directly, the energy released into the surrounds can be observed beaming across trillions of miles of the universe as all manner of massive objects: planets, stars, even galaxies ...are ripped apart and absorbed by the black hole's ever increasing mass.

Just so citta, as it is refined, cleansed by wisdom, reveals its truely brilliant nature, what I consider now to be a guiding star, a homing beacon for our path to the goal, nibbana. Luminous mind, purified citta, is not the goal, but a beacon marking the entrance to the goal: nibbana.

This is what I have concluded from the readings you have all provided.

Now, seems it is time to sit, practice, study, and thereby check the homing beacon.

Thanks for your help.

_/\_Ron
What Makes an Elder? :
A head of gray hairs doesn't mean one's an elder. Advanced in years, one's called an old fool.
But one in whom there is truth, restraint, rectitude, gentleness,self-control, he's called an elder, his impurities disgorged, enlightened.
-Dhammpada, 19, translated by Thanissaro Bhikkhu.
User avatar
Ron-The-Elder
 
Posts: 1138
Joined: Mon Jan 10, 2011 4:42 pm
Location: Concord, New Hampshire, U.S.A.

Re: Luminous Mind. - What is it?

Postby tiltbillings » Tue Mar 29, 2011 9:27 am

The late Ven Maha Bua is really not a good source for understanding the meaning of citta, given his highly idiosyncratic use of it.

Ron-The-Elder wrote:This means (to me) that the various purities of the citta (luminous mind) are a beacon which is available to us when we sit, which allows us to know that we are either on track, or heading in non-beneficial, non-freeing directions. As we make progress citta becomes more refined and brighter, or more luminous. As we move away from The Noble Path citta becomes corrupted by The Khandas, and therefore dims, less luminous.

This is what I have concluded from the readings you have all provided.

Thanks for your help.

Now, perhaps we should all go sit, practice, study, and check our homing beacons: citta, luminous mind.

_/\_Ron
This just sounds like reifying citta. Let us not forget that the sutta immediately preceding the "luminous" mind sutta states: "I don't envision a single thing that is as quick to reverse itself as the mind — so much so that there is no feasible simile for how quick to reverse itself it is." - http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html

It is worthwhile to keep in mind how citta is used within the Pali suttas:
It would be better, bhikkhus, for the uninstructed worlding to take as self this body… rather than the mind. For what reason? The body … is seen standing for one year, for two years, for three, four, five, or ten years, for twenty, thirty, forty, or fify, for a hundred years, or even longer. But that which is called 'mind [citta],' 'mentality [mano],' or 'consciousness [vi~n~naana]' by day and by night arises as one thing and ceases as another. Just as a monkey roaming through a forest grabs hold of one branch, lets that go and grabs another, then lets that go and grans still another, so too that which is called 'mind [citta],' 'mentality [mano],' or 'consciousness [vi~n~naana]' by day and by night arises as one thing and ceases as another. Therein, bhikkhus, the instructed noble disciple attends closely and carefully to dependent origination itself thus: ‘When this exists, that comes to be; with the arising of this that arises….
SN II 94-5

Always frightened is this mind [citta.m],
The mind [mano] is always agitated.
SN I 53

It is a mishap for me … that lust has infested my mind SN I 185


"Then, having known thus, having seen thus, do you know the awareness of other beings, other individuals, having encompassed it with your own awareness? Do you discern a mind with passion as a mind with passion, and a mind without passion as a mind without passion; a mind with aversion as a mind with aversion, and a mind without aversion as a mind without aversion; a mind with delusion as a mind with delusion, and a mind without delusion as a mind without delusion; a restricted mind as a restricted mind, and a scattered mind as a scattered mind; an enlarged mind as an enlarged mind, and an unenlarged mind as an unenlarged mind;an excelled mind [one that is not on the most excellent level] as an excelled mind, and an unexcelled mind as an unexcelled mind; a concentrated mind as a concentrated mind, and an unconcentrated mind as an unconcentrated mind; a released mind as a released mind, and an unreleased mind as an unreleased mind?" SN II 121 http://www.accesstoinsight.org/canon/su ... 2-070.html


SN 11 226
Praise and blame obsessing the mind
"Thus you should train yourselves: 'We will put aside any gains, offerings, & fame that have arisen; and we will not let any gains, offerings, & fame that have arisen keep our minds consumed.' That's how you should train yourselves." http://www.accesstoinsight.org/canon/su ... 7-005.html


SN II 271
“He sees a woman there lightly clad or lightly attrired and lust invades his mind.”


SN II 273
“Steady your mind in noble silence, unify your mind in noble silence concentrate your mind in noble silence.


SN V 184
Bhikkhus, I will teach the origination and passing away of the four esatblishments of mindfulness. Listen to that.

And what, bhikkhus, is the origination of the body? With the origination of nutriment there is origination of the body. With the cessation of nutriment there is the passing away of the body.

With the origination of contact there is origination of feeling. With the cessation of contact there is the passing away of feeling.

With the origination of name-and-form there is origination of mind [citta]. With the cessation of name-and-form there is passing away of mind.

With the origination of attention there is origination of phenomena [dhamma]. With the cessation of attention there is passing away of phenomena.


Dhp 13. Just as rain breaks through an ill-thatched house, so passion penetrates an undeveloped mind.

14. Just as rain does not break through a well-thatched house, so passion never penetrates a well-developed mind.

33. Just as a fletcher straightens an arrow shaft, even so the discerning man straightens his mind -- so fickle and unsteady, so difficult to guard.

34. As a fish when pulled out of water and cast on land throbs and quivers, even so is this mind agitated. Hence should one abandon the realm of Mara

35. Wonderful, indeed, it is to subdue the mind, so difficult to subdue, ever swift, and seizing whatever it desires. A tamed mind brings happiness.

36. Let the discerning man guard the mind, so difficult to detect and extremely subtle, seizing whatever it desires. A guarded mind brings happiness.

37. Dwelling in the cave (of the heart), the mind, without form, wanders far and alone. Those who subdue this mind are liberated from the bonds of Mara.

89. Those whose minds have reached full excellence in the factors of enlightenment, who, having renounced acquisitiveness, rejoice in not clinging to things -- rid of cankers, glowing with wisdom, they have attained Nibbana in this very life.

116. Hasten to do good; restrain your mind from evil. He who is slow in doing good, his mind delights in evil.

371. Meditate, O monk! Do not be heedless. Let not your mind whirl on sensual pleasures. Heedless, do not swallow a red-hot iron ball, lest you cry when burning, "O this is painful!"
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
User avatar
tiltbillings
 
Posts: 19765
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 9:25 am

Re: Luminous Mind. - What is it?

Postby mikenz66 » Tue Mar 29, 2011 9:46 am

tiltbillings wrote:The late Ven Maha Bua is really not a good source for understanding the meaning of citta, given his highly idiosyncratic use of it.

Ajahn Maha Bua seemed to acknowledge that his use of terminology was not always standard. In Kammatthana: The Basis of Practice, Page 139 he says:
The Dhamma has been discussed, partly in accordance with theory, Pariyatta, and partly in accordance with the views of Forest Dhamma. Some a probably correct, and some incorrect. This is because it has been discussed out of the understanding of Forest Dhamma that has been experienced from practice. The writer asks forgiveness from all readers, and is always ready go listen to any logical criticism.

:anjali:
Mike
User avatar
mikenz66
 
Posts: 10539
Joined: Sat Jan 10, 2009 7:37 am
Location: New Zealand

Re: Luminous Mind. - What is it?

Postby tiltbillings » Tue Mar 29, 2011 9:49 am

mikenz66 wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:The late Ven Maha Bua is really not a good source for understanding the meaning of citta, given his highly idiosyncratic use of it.

Ajahn Maha Bua seemed to acknowledge that his use of terminology was not always standard. In Kammatthana: The Basis of Practice, Page 139 he says:
The Dhamma has been discussed, partly in accordance with theory, Pariyatta, and partly in accordance with the views of Forest Dhamma. Some a probably correct, and some incorrect. This is because it has been discussed out of the understanding of Forest Dhamma that has been experienced from practice. The writer asks forgiveness from all readers, and is always ready go listen to any logical criticism.

:anjali:
Mike
The problem with the idiosyncratic usages is that this makes discussion rather difficult for those who have not teased the variations.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
User avatar
tiltbillings
 
Posts: 19765
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 9:25 am

Re: Luminous Mind. - What is it?

Postby mikenz66 » Tue Mar 29, 2011 10:00 am

tiltbillings wrote:The problem with the idiosyncratic usages is that this makes discussion rather difficult for those who have not teased the variations.

Well, yes, that's exactly the problem. Ajahn Maha Bua himself seems to be saying that he is not the right person to consult to settle subtle difficulties in interpreting sutta passages. His talents lay elsewhere...

:anjali:
Mike
User avatar
mikenz66
 
Posts: 10539
Joined: Sat Jan 10, 2009 7:37 am
Location: New Zealand

Re: Luminous Mind. - What is it?

Postby tiltbillings » Tue Mar 29, 2011 10:06 am

mikenz66 wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:The problem with the idiosyncratic usages is that this makes discussion rather difficult for those who have not teased the variations.

Well, yes, that's exactly the problem. Ajahn Maha Bua himself seems to be saying that he is not the right person to consult to settle subtle difficulties in interpreting sutta passages. His talents lay elsewhere...

:anjali:
Mike
That is definity to his credit.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
User avatar
tiltbillings
 
Posts: 19765
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 9:25 am

Re: Luminous Mind. - What is it?

Postby Sherab » Tue Mar 29, 2011 10:39 am

tiltbillings wrote:Also, "luminous" is a metaphor for the fact that viññāṇa makes known, illuminates it object.

Does viññāṇa makes known itself, i.e. it illuminates itself?
User avatar
Sherab
 
Posts: 163
Joined: Tue Jun 29, 2010 3:53 am

Re: Luminous Mind. - What is it?

Postby Nyana » Tue Mar 29, 2011 10:52 am

tiltbillings wrote:Of course, "luminuos" is metaphorical speech, as is "clarity."

Indeed. It's far less problematic to regard "luminosity" as a metaphor. SN 1.13 Natthiputtasama Sutta:

    Natthi paññāsamā ābhā.

    There is no radiance comparable to discernment.

AN 4.141 Ābhā Sutta:

    Catasso imā bhikkhave ābhā. Katamā catasso? Candābhā, suriyābhā, aggābhā, paññābhā. Imā kho bhikkhave catasso ābhā. Etadaggaṃ bhikkhave imāsaṃ catassannaṃ ābhānaṃ yadidaṃ paññābhāti.

    Monks, there are these four radiances. What four? The radiance of the moon, the radiance of the sun, the radiance of fire, and the radiance of discernment. These, monks, are the four radiances. This, monks, is the highest among these four radiances, namely the radiance of discernment.

AN 4.142 Pabhā Sutta:

    Catasso imā, bhikkhave, pabhā. Katamā catasso? Candappabhā, sūriyappabhā, aggippabhā, paññappabhā. Imā kho, bhikkhave, catasso pabhā. Etadaggaṃ, bhikkhave, imāsaṃ catunnaṃ pabhānaṃ, yad idaṃ paññappabhā.

    Monks, there are these four lustres. What four? The lustre of the moon, the lustre of the sun, the lustre of fire, and the lustre of discernment. These, monks, are the four lustres. This, monks, is the highest among these four lustres, namely the lustre of discernment.

AN 4.143 Āloka Sutta:

    Cattārome bhikkhave ālokā. Katame cattāro: Candāloko, suriyāloko, aggāloko, paññāloko. Ime kho bhikkhave cattāro ālokā. Etadaggaṃ bhikkhave imesaṃ catunnaṃ ālokānaṃ yadidaṃ paññālokoti.

    Monks, there are these four lights. What four? The light of the moon, the light of the sun, the light of fire, and the light of discernment. These, monks, are the four lights. This, monks, is the highest among these four lights, namely the light of discernment.

AN 4.144 Obhāsa Sutta:

    Cattārome bhikkhave obhāsā. Katame cattāro? Candobhāso, suriyobhāso, aggobhāso, paññobhāso. Ime kho bhikkhave cattāro obhāsā. Etadaggaṃ bhikkhave imesaṃ catunnaṃ obhāsānaṃ yadidaṃ paññobhāsoti.

    Monks, there are these four brightnesses. What four? The brightness of the sun, the brightness of the moon, the brightness of fire, and the brightness of discernment. These, monks, are the four brightnesses. This, monks, is the highest among these four brightnesses, namely the brightness of discernment.

Of course, this probably won't stop people from opting for literal interpretations of the "light" of discernment. But any "light" that one perceives is necessarily conditioned, impermanent, unsatisfactory, and not-self. It is to be abandoned along the way, not taken up as the fruition of the path.

All the best,

Geoff

Edit: typo.
Last edited by Nyana on Tue Mar 29, 2011 11:08 am, edited 1 time in total.
Nyana
 
Posts: 2227
Joined: Tue Apr 27, 2010 11:56 am

Re: Luminous Mind. - What is it?

Postby Akuma » Tue Mar 29, 2011 10:57 am

Sherab wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:Also, "luminous" is a metaphor for the fact that viññāṇa makes known, illuminates it object.

Does viññāṇa makes known itself, i.e. it illuminates itself?


A citta cant cognize itself in Theravada.
Akuma
 
Posts: 147
Joined: Tue Mar 30, 2010 4:56 pm
Location: NRW, Germany

Re: Luminous Mind. - What is it?

Postby tiltbillings » Tue Mar 29, 2011 11:17 am

Sherab wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:Also, "luminous" is a metaphor for the fact that viññāṇa makes known, illuminates it object.

Does viññāṇa makes known itself, i.e. it illuminates itself?



"Thus is consciousness; thus is the arising of consciousness; and thus is the disappearance of consciousness." - MN 10
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
User avatar
tiltbillings
 
Posts: 19765
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 9:25 am

Re: Luminous Mind. - What is it?

Postby Ron-The-Elder » Tue Mar 29, 2011 11:30 am

tiltbillings wrote: This just sounds like reifying citta. Let us not forget that the sutta immediately preceding the "luminous" mind sutta states: "I don't envision a single thing that is as quick to reverse itself as the mind — so much so that there is no feasible simile for how quick to reverse itself it is."


My original point, exactly. Mind is but an imaginary container for the six consciousnesses. However a mind devoid of The Khandas, all manner of defilements, hindrances, fetters, free from all manner of fermentations could easily be described as brilliant, lusterous, sqeaky clean, and luminous. Each practitioner who has experienced such a mind, would reasonably be expected to describe it as such. Ven. Bua's description of "almost" purified citta seems similar, and having apparently experienced periodic episodes of purified citta, he explains that it is beyond description, so there is no point in even attempting such an explanation to others, who have not experienced it for themselves.

I conclude, however, as stated previously, that purified citta is not nibbana, therefore impermanent. However, I will reserve judgement until actually having experienced it, just as no one can know what it is like to cross The Event Horizon of a Black Hole until one's subatomic particles are ripped, and his resultant energy spread across the universe. "You just had/have to be there to understand."

Having never experienced purified citta for myself, not even certain if I have actually experienced Jhanna-I, or Jhanna-II, this means to me that the only thing left (for me) to do is study, practice, and look for the beacon. (Sounds familiar for some reason.) :anjali:
What Makes an Elder? :
A head of gray hairs doesn't mean one's an elder. Advanced in years, one's called an old fool.
But one in whom there is truth, restraint, rectitude, gentleness,self-control, he's called an elder, his impurities disgorged, enlightened.
-Dhammpada, 19, translated by Thanissaro Bhikkhu.
User avatar
Ron-The-Elder
 
Posts: 1138
Joined: Mon Jan 10, 2011 4:42 pm
Location: Concord, New Hampshire, U.S.A.

Re: Luminous Mind. - What is it?

Postby tiltbillings » Tue Mar 29, 2011 11:45 am

Ron-The-Elder wrote: . . .
Actually, this msg seem to be ignored, but actually is quite intertesting in the context of this thread:

viewtopic.php?f=13&t=7878&start=40#p124654
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
User avatar
tiltbillings
 
Posts: 19765
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 9:25 am

Re: Luminous Mind. - What is it?

Postby kirk5a » Tue Mar 29, 2011 2:00 pm

Ñāṇa wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:Of course, "luminuos" is metaphorical speech, as is "clarity."

Indeed. It's far less problematic to regard "luminosity" as a metaphor. SN 1.13 Natthiputtasama Sutta:

    Natthi paññāsamā ābhā.

    There is no radiance comparable to discernment.

AN 4.141 Ābhā Sutta:

    Catasso imā bhikkhave ābhā. Katamā catasso? Candābhā, suriyābhā, aggābhā, paññābhā. Imā kho bhikkhave catasso ābhā. Etadaggaṃ bhikkhave imāsaṃ catassannaṃ ābhānaṃ yadidaṃ paññābhāti.

    Monks, there are these four radiances. What four? The radiance of the moon, the radiance of the sun, the radiance of fire, and the radiance of discernment. These, monks, are the four radiances. This, monks, is the highest among these four radiances, namely the radiance of discernment.

AN 4.142 Pabhā Sutta:

    Catasso imā, bhikkhave, pabhā. Katamā catasso? Candappabhā, sūriyappabhā, aggippabhā, paññappabhā. Imā kho, bhikkhave, catasso pabhā. Etadaggaṃ, bhikkhave, imāsaṃ catunnaṃ pabhānaṃ, yad idaṃ paññappabhā.

    Monks, there are these four lustres. What four? The lustre of the moon, the lustre of the sun, the lustre of fire, and the lustre of discernment. These, monks, are the four lustres. This, monks, is the highest among these four lustres, namely the lustre of discernment.

AN 4.143 Āloka Sutta:

    Cattārome bhikkhave ālokā. Katame cattāro: Candāloko, suriyāloko, aggāloko, paññāloko. Ime kho bhikkhave cattāro ālokā. Etadaggaṃ bhikkhave imesaṃ catunnaṃ ālokānaṃ yadidaṃ paññālokoti.

    Monks, there are these four lights. What four? The light of the moon, the light of the sun, the light of fire, and the light of discernment. These, monks, are the four lights. This, monks, is the highest among these four lights, namely the light of discernment.

AN 4.144 Obhāsa Sutta:

    Cattārome bhikkhave obhāsā. Katame cattāro? Candobhāso, suriyobhāso, aggobhāso, paññobhāso. Ime kho bhikkhave cattāro obhāsā. Etadaggaṃ bhikkhave imesaṃ catunnaṃ obhāsānaṃ yadidaṃ paññobhāsoti.

    Monks, there are these four brightnesses. What four? The brightness of the sun, the brightness of the moon, the brightness of fire, and the brightness of discernment. These, monks, are the four brightnesses. This, monks, is the highest among these four brightnesses, namely the brightness of discernment.

Of course, this probably won't stop people from opting for literal interpretations of the "light" of discernment. But any "light" that one perceives is necessarily conditioned, impermanent, unsatisfactory, and not-self. It is to be abandoned along the way, not taken up as the fruition of the path.

All the best,

Geoff

Edit: typo.

So here it is paññā having light-like qualities. Radiance, lustre, light, bright. Is there a distinction between paññā and viññana? Or how are these defined exactly? The translation of panna as "discernment" has never clicked with me. These are Ven. Thanissaro's definitions:

pañña [pa~n~naa]:
Discernment; insight; wisdom; intelligence; common sense; ingenuity. One of the ten perfections (paramis).

viññana [vi~n~naa.na]:
Consciousness; cognizance; the act of taking note of sense data and ideas as they occur.
"When one thing is practiced & pursued, ignorance is abandoned, clear knowing arises, the conceit 'I am' is abandoned, latent tendencies are uprooted, fetters are abandoned. Which one thing? Mindfulness immersed in the body." -AN 1.230
User avatar
kirk5a
 
Posts: 1784
Joined: Thu Sep 23, 2010 1:51 pm

Re: Luminous Mind. - What is it?

Postby tiltbillings » Tue Mar 29, 2011 2:35 pm

kirk5a wrote:So here it is paññā having light-like qualities. Radiance, lustre, light, bright. Is there a distinction between paññā and viññana? Or how are these defined exactly? The translation of panna as "discernment" has never clicked with me. These are Ven. Thanissaro's definitions:

pañña [pa~n~naa]:
Discernment; insight; wisdom; intelligence; common sense; ingenuity. One of the ten perfections (paramis).

viññana [vi~n~naa.na]:
Consciousness; cognizance; the act of taking note of sense data and ideas as they occur.
Is there a point here?
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
User avatar
tiltbillings
 
Posts: 19765
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 9:25 am

Re: Luminous Mind. - What is it?

Postby Nyana » Tue Mar 29, 2011 2:59 pm

kirk5a wrote:So here it is paññā having light-like qualities. Radiance, lustre, light, bright.

Some people think that nibbāna should be experienced as a mind lit up with light. Some people think that nibbāna should be experienced as an utter blackout. But in each case, these are temporary experiences. They come and go. But nibbāna is the complete and irreversible elimination of passion, aggression, and delusion. As such, nibbāna is a metaphorical "extinguishment" of these metaphorical "fires" and this extinguishment doesn't come and go. Moreover, if discernment were synonymous with a light nimitta (or however one wants to describe the phenomenology of a mind lit up with light), then discernment would be absent when this light is absent and noble disciples and arahants would be without discernment most of the time.

kirk5a wrote:Is there a distinction between paññā and viññana?

Both are derived from the verb root - √ñā ("to know"). Along with: saññā (recognition), ñāṇa (gnosis), abhiññā (higher gnosis), etc. Cf. the links posted here.

kirk5a wrote:Or how are these defined exactly?

In terms of how they function. Consciousness cognizes, discernment discerns. Discernment can liberate, consciousness cannot.

kirk5a wrote:The translation of panna as "discernment" has never clicked with me.

IMO "discernment" is a better translation than "wisdom," which is more akin to ñāṇa in most contexts.

All the best,

Geoff
Last edited by Nyana on Tue Mar 29, 2011 3:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Nyana
 
Posts: 2227
Joined: Tue Apr 27, 2010 11:56 am

PreviousNext

Return to General Theravāda discussion

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 7 guests