The same in Theravada?

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The same in Theravada?

Postby Hunter » Tue Jun 22, 2010 11:45 pm

In many other traditions of enlightenment and self-realization you will see the words Consciousness and Awareness. Are they the same according to buddhism, or are they different? I know some of you may not know of a man named Nisargadatta Maharaj, but he said they are different and that Awareness is above Consciousness. Another man named Ramana Maharshi said that they are the same, what is the definition of both in Theravada Buddhism?

:buddha1:
the Buddha said :

"Intention, monks, is karma, I say. Having willed, one acts through body, speech and mind."
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Re: The same in Theravada?

Postby retrofuturist » Tue Jun 22, 2010 11:55 pm

Greetings Hunter,

In Theravada, consciousness is always "consciousness of something". It is not a "thing" called consciousness which sits there glowing away.

There is eye-consciousness, ear-consciousness, tongue-consciousness, nose-consciousness, body-consciousness, mind-consciousness.

See for example...

SN 35.28: Fire Sermon
http://www.buddhanet.net/budsas/ebud/ebsut026.htm

Someone who thought consciousness was a "thing" that transmigrates from body to body was Sati the Fisherman's Son. The Buddha gave him a right good shelacking for his Wrong View...

MN 37: Culatanhasankhaya Sutta
http://dhammaweb.net/Tipitaka/read.php?id=71

Metta,
Retro. :)
If you have asked me of the origination of unease, then I shall explain it to you in accordance with my understanding:
Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


Exalted in mind, just open and clearly aware, the recluse trained in the ways of the sages:
One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


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Re: The same in Theravada?

Postby Hunter » Wed Jun 23, 2010 12:07 am

Thank you Retro for clearing me up on what Consciousness is, but what is Awareness then? It is something different or the same?
the Buddha said :

"Intention, monks, is karma, I say. Having willed, one acts through body, speech and mind."
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Re: The same in Theravada?

Postby retrofuturist » Wed Jun 23, 2010 12:12 am

Greetings Hunter,

Hunter wrote:Awareness

Awareness is an English word. Perhaps you could explain a bit more about what you mean by awareness and then someone can tell you whether there's a corresponding Pali term, and what it is, and how it's used.

Metta,
Retro. :)
If you have asked me of the origination of unease, then I shall explain it to you in accordance with my understanding:
Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


Exalted in mind, just open and clearly aware, the recluse trained in the ways of the sages:
One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


Dharma Wheel (Mahayana / Vajrayana forum) -- Open flower ~ Open book (blog)
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Re: The same in Theravada?

Postby Hunter » Wed Jun 23, 2010 12:18 am

Im not sure how I would define it. The act of being aware?

Again im not to sure! Its not even mentioned as an aggrigate either, oh well. I wont dwell on it anymore. Its just that the two words have haunted me for a while because some say they are the same and others say they are not. It may not be of importance in Buddhism.
the Buddha said :

"Intention, monks, is karma, I say. Having willed, one acts through body, speech and mind."
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Re: The same in Theravada?

Postby retrofuturist » Wed Jun 23, 2010 12:20 am

Greetings Hunter,

Perhaps you might find this useful...

Sati-Sampajanna - Mindfulness and Self-Awareness (Sati-Sampajanna)
http://www.what-buddha-taught.net/Books ... reness.pdf

Metta,
Retro. :)
If you have asked me of the origination of unease, then I shall explain it to you in accordance with my understanding:
Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


Exalted in mind, just open and clearly aware, the recluse trained in the ways of the sages:
One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


Dharma Wheel (Mahayana / Vajrayana forum) -- Open flower ~ Open book (blog)
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Re: The same in Theravada?

Postby Goofaholix » Wed Jun 23, 2010 1:02 am

I think Awareness is a translation of Sampajanna.

Sampajañña (Pāli; Skt.: samprajaña) means "clear comprehension," "clear knowing," "constant thorough understanding of impermanence," "fully alert" or "full awareness," as well as "attention, consideration, discrimination, comprehension, circumspection."

So Awareness is more of an umbrella, whereas Conciousness is arises and passes each time an object is known.
"Proper effort is not the effort to make something particular happen. It is the effort to be aware and awake each moment." - Ajahn Chah
"When we see beyond self, we no longer cling to happiness. When we stop clinging, we can begin to be happy." - Ajahn Chah
"Know and watch your heart. It’s pure but emotions come to colour it." — Ajahn Chah
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Re: The same in Theravada?

Postby Hunter » Wed Jun 23, 2010 1:07 am

Goofaholix, is Awareness like everything else impermenant too?
the Buddha said :

"Intention, monks, is karma, I say. Having willed, one acts through body, speech and mind."
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Re: The same in Theravada?

Postby Kenshou » Wed Jun 23, 2010 2:06 am

Yes.

I believe that consciousness and awareness are just different terms for the same thing for Buddhist purposes, the Pali viññana. Sampajañña has slightly different connotations than just "awareness", that is, awareness (of one's theme of contemplation) imbued with clarity and discrimination, etc.
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Re: The same in Theravada?

Postby mikenz66 » Wed Jun 23, 2010 2:45 am

Hi Hunter,

It's really impossible to tell what people mean by particular English words, without any context. They can be used by different authors to refer to different Buddhist concepts, so there is little point in worrying too much about what the particular English word means. You need to figure out which concept it is actually referring to, i.e. which Pali term.

Take a look at this dictionary entry for khandha (aggregates) http://what-buddha-said.net/library/Bud ... tm#khandha
In part:
Khandha: the 5 'groups of existence' or 'groups of clinging' upādānakhandha alternative renderings: aggregates or clusters, categories of clinging's objects. These are the 5 aspects in which the Buddha has summed up all the physical and mental phenomena of existence, and which appear to the ignorant man as his ego, or personality, to wit:
1 the materiality group khandha rūpa-khandha,
2 the feeling group vedanā-khandha,
3 the perception group saññā-khandha,
4 the mental-construction group sankhāra-khandha,
5 the consciousness-group viññāna-khandha

And read the details there about saññā ("perception") and viññāna ("consciousness").

While you are at it, read about Sampajañña ("clear comprehension").
http://what-buddha-said.net/library/Bud ... %B1%C3%B1a

Best Wishes,
Mike
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Re: The same in Theravada?

Postby Goofaholix » Wed Jun 23, 2010 3:14 am

Hunter wrote:Goofaholix, is Awareness like everything else impermenant too?


Yes, though much of Buddhist practice is designed to make it more stable.
"Proper effort is not the effort to make something particular happen. It is the effort to be aware and awake each moment." - Ajahn Chah
"When we see beyond self, we no longer cling to happiness. When we stop clinging, we can begin to be happy." - Ajahn Chah
"Know and watch your heart. It’s pure but emotions come to colour it." — Ajahn Chah
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Re: The same in Theravada?

Postby kc2dpt » Wed Jun 23, 2010 3:55 am

Hunter wrote:what is the definition of both in Theravada Buddhism?

That depends entirely on what Pali words you are referring to.
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Re: The same in Theravada?

Postby PeterB » Wed Jun 23, 2010 7:13 am

Hunter wrote:In many other traditions of enlightenment and self-realization you will see the words Consciousness and Awareness. Are they the same according to buddhism, or are they different? I know some of you may not know of a man named Nisargadatta Maharaj, but he said they are different and that Awareness is above Consciousness. Another man named Ramana Maharshi said that they are the same, what is the definition of both in Theravada Buddhism?

:buddha1:



I think yours is a good and useful question Hunter. One that highlights the subtle but clear difference between the Buddhas teaching and Vedanta...which is the school of " Hinduism" that both Nisargadatta and Ramana belong to.
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Re: The same in Theravada?

Postby Goofaholix » Wed Jun 23, 2010 8:02 am

PeterB wrote:I think yours is a good and useful question Hunter. One that highlights the subtle but clear difference between the Buddhas teaching and Vedanta...which is the school of " Hinduism" that both Nisargadatta and Ramana belong to.


Yes, not a good idea to assume the Buddhist definition is the same as the Hindu definition. The Buddha was very good at putting a new twist on the terminology of his day. Probably misunderstanding some of these terms contributed to later schools moving closer to a Hindu view of things.
"Proper effort is not the effort to make something particular happen. It is the effort to be aware and awake each moment." - Ajahn Chah
"When we see beyond self, we no longer cling to happiness. When we stop clinging, we can begin to be happy." - Ajahn Chah
"Know and watch your heart. It’s pure but emotions come to colour it." — Ajahn Chah
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Re: The same in Theravada?

Postby PeterB » Wed Jun 23, 2010 8:57 am

Thats what I reckon too Goofaholix.
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