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Svasamvedana - Dhamma Wheel

Svasamvedana

Discussion of Abhidhamma and related Commentaries

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Javi
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Svasamvedana

Postby Javi » Sat Dec 08, 2012 6:21 pm

I'm trying to find more information on this term and how it came about. Does it appear in Abhidhamma literature? Or is it a definitely later Mahayana term? Is there a similar idea in Abhidhamma? This idea interests me because it has several parallels in western philosophy in the form of . I would like to know how the Abhidhamma views self aware consciousness, ie consciousness aware of itself being aware of something.

From what I have seen svasamvedana is usually translated as something like reflexive awareness or self awareness. In Tibetan it is Ranggi rig pa (I think) and is related to metaphors such as 'luminosity' (gsal ba) or 'clear light' ('od gsal). The most common image is that of a lamp. The lamp is reflexive, it illuminates itself in the very act of illuminating others. It is a very contentious issue in Tibetan philosophy because it is key for some schools but is thoroughly denied by the gelugs.

I've also seen the term svasamvitti used interchangeably.
Vayadhammā saṅkhārā appamādena sampādethā — All things decay and disappoint, it is through vigilance that you succeed — Mahāparinibbāna Sutta

Tārakā timiraṃ dīpo māyāvaśyāya budbudaḥ supinaṃ vidyud abhraṃ ca evaṃ draṣṭavya saṃskṛtam — A shooting star, a clouding of the sight, a lamp, An illusion, a drop of dew, a bubble, A dream, a lightning’s flash, a thunder cloud — This is the way one should see the conditioned — Vajracchedikā Prajñāpāramitā

I have seen all things that are done under the sun, and behold, all is vanity and a chase after wind — Ecclesiastes 1.14

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daverupa
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Re: Svasamvedana

Postby daverupa » Sat Dec 08, 2012 6:32 pm

See , starting at the bottom of page 46 (link goes to the Index).

Looks like Dharmakirti was working on this at Nalanda before it was to become normative in Tibet. This post-dates all extant abhidhammas, I think.

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Javi
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Re: Svasamvedana

Postby Javi » Sat Dec 08, 2012 7:38 pm

According to it can be traced to Dignaga (480-540). Not out of the scope for all Abhidharmas iirc.

Anyways I'm mainly interested if there is anything similar in the Theravada Abhidhamma, how do they view self reflexive consciousness? Is there just not such an idea in it at all? Sorry I may be confusing because I'm using this terminology which I am not very familiar with. I guess what I'm asking is if in the Abhidhamma account consciousness (i guess viññāṇa?) could be reflexive, as it it could watch itself watching other objects.
Vayadhammā saṅkhārā appamādena sampādethā — All things decay and disappoint, it is through vigilance that you succeed — Mahāparinibbāna Sutta

Tārakā timiraṃ dīpo māyāvaśyāya budbudaḥ supinaṃ vidyud abhraṃ ca evaṃ draṣṭavya saṃskṛtam — A shooting star, a clouding of the sight, a lamp, An illusion, a drop of dew, a bubble, A dream, a lightning’s flash, a thunder cloud — This is the way one should see the conditioned — Vajracchedikā Prajñāpāramitā

I have seen all things that are done under the sun, and behold, all is vanity and a chase after wind — Ecclesiastes 1.14

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daverupa
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Re: Svasamvedana

Postby daverupa » Sat Dec 08, 2012 11:13 pm


Nyana
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Re: Svasamvedana

Postby Nyana » Tue Dec 11, 2012 4:39 pm


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Javi
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Re: Svasamvedana

Postby Javi » Mon Aug 05, 2013 5:07 pm

Thank you Nyana that's pretty much exactly what I needed.
Vayadhammā saṅkhārā appamādena sampādethā — All things decay and disappoint, it is through vigilance that you succeed — Mahāparinibbāna Sutta

Tārakā timiraṃ dīpo māyāvaśyāya budbudaḥ supinaṃ vidyud abhraṃ ca evaṃ draṣṭavya saṃskṛtam — A shooting star, a clouding of the sight, a lamp, An illusion, a drop of dew, a bubble, A dream, a lightning’s flash, a thunder cloud — This is the way one should see the conditioned — Vajracchedikā Prajñāpāramitā

I have seen all things that are done under the sun, and behold, all is vanity and a chase after wind — Ecclesiastes 1.14


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