Luminous Mind. - What is it?

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Re: Luminous Mind. - What is it?

Postby daverupa » Thu Mar 31, 2011 9:01 pm

Perhaps the Visuddhimagga?

"Mere suffering exists, no sufferer is found;
The deeds are, but no doer of the deeds is there;
Nibbāna is, but not the man that enters it;
The path is, but no traveler on it is seen."

Not a Sutta, however. SN 22.22 offers:

A burden indeed
are the five aggregates,
and the carrier of the burden
is the person.
Taking up the burden in the world
is stressful.
Casting off the burden
is bliss.
Having cast off the heavy burden
and not taking on another,
pulling up craving,
along with its root,
one is free from hunger,
totally unbound.

So, the carrier of the burden exists, not ontologically, but existentially. The Visuddhimagga seems to be focusing on the ontological side when it says those lines.
    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting oneself one protects others? By the pursuit, development, and cultivation of the four establishments of mindfulness. It is in such a way that by protecting oneself one protects others.

    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting others one protects oneself? By patience, harmlessness, goodwill, and sympathy. It is in such a way that by protecting others one protects oneself.
- Sedaka Sutta [SN 47.19]
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Re: Luminous Mind. - What is it?

Postby chownah » Fri Apr 01, 2011 2:32 pm

daverupa wrote:Perhaps the Visuddhimagga?

"Mere suffering exists, no sufferer is found;
The deeds are, but no doer of the deeds is there;
Nibbāna is, but not the man that enters it;
The path is, but no traveler on it is seen."

Not a Sutta, however. SN 22.22 offers:

A burden indeed
are the five aggregates,
and the carrier of the burden
is the person.
Taking up the burden in the world
is stressful.
Casting off the burden
is bliss.
Having cast off the heavy burden
and not taking on another,
pulling up craving,
along with its root,
one is free from hunger,
totally unbound.

So, the carrier of the burden exists, not ontologically, but existentially. The Visuddhimagga seems to be focusing on the ontological side when it says those lines.

Thank you for providing the references!!!! I disagree with you about the focus of the Visuddhimagga reference...I do not see it as being ontological at all...I see it as being a clear statement of the reality we live in....seeing that there is some "self" which "does" things is clearly delusional and an example of a doctrine of self which the Buddha clearly advises we not indulge in. Please pardon my use of the term "delusional"...I mean it in the sense that our views of our experience are mostly based on delusion and not wisdom...and...the concepts of "self" that we have are clearly off the mark if experience is viewed either from the Buddha's point of view or from the point of view of science....

As to the Sutta reference (SN 22.22)...here is a link to accesstoinsite for Thanisarro's translation and comments on it:

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html

The comments at the bottom deal with the two different points of view concerning the meaning of this Sutta and I think its well worth reading and thinking about....

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Re: Luminous Mind. - What is it?

Postby Ron-The-Elder » Tue Apr 12, 2011 2:49 pm

This morning from Bhikkhu Samahita re. Luminous Mind:

source: http://what-buddha-said.net/drops/II/Bl ... Bright.htm

Luminous is the Mind released by Friendliness!

The Blessed Buddha once explained:

Whatever meritorious action one performs, all these together are not worth 1/16th part of a mind released into friendliness, since the mind released into friendliness blazes forth, & outshines all with an unsurpassable brilliance.

Just as the radiance from all the stars and planets does not match even a 1/16th part of the radiance from the moon, which thus outshines all the stars and planets, similarly; whatever intention making one do meritorious actions, all these together are not worth one-sixteenth fraction of the mind released by infinite friendliness!!!

Friends, a mind released into friendliness all alone blazes forth, outshining all these with an incomparable radiance...

Just as the mighty sun rising at Autumn dawn, by making any fog evaporate, scattering any dark thundercloud, makes the sky all blue & clear, so it alone freely shines, blazes in a blue brilliance, exactly so, whatever thoughts
there may be for gaining merit, all together these are not worth one 16th fraction of a mind released into friendliness!!!

Since the mind released into friendliness, all alone, outshines all these with inestimable luminosity, so did The Lord Buddha state this matter, and he further added:

For the Noble friend, who by will, who fully aware and deliberately brings infinite, boundless and endless friendliness into being, this mountain-like limitless goodwill makes all evil substrate evaporate, & the chains of mind, these mental fetters become thin, slender and slack. If a friend without ill will cares for even one single living being, such friend, through that, becomes quite skilled and clever, so far more for the Noble Friend, who
by possessing a caring heart for all sentient beings, without even a single exception, accumulates great, massive, and immense amounts of merit!!!

Those gurus and priests who sacrifice life, objects or fire, who bathe ceremoniously, devoted to mere forms and empty ritual, blindly attached to and obsessed by culture, tradition of primeval & often unknown origin,
do never experience even a 16th of this release of mind by friendliness fully brought into being, just like the vagueness of even all the stars cannot either ever outshine the moon! Since there cannot exist any evil animosity
whatsoever, nor enmity at all, neither even an atomic trace of hate in a Nobly Released One, who by caring indiscriminately and infinitely for all living beings, who by possessing such treasure of a mind relinquished by
friendliness, simply cannot ever suppress, dominate, harm, or kill even the smallest sentient breathing being!

Luminous is a perfectly released mind!
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.
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Re: Luminous Mind. - What is it?

Postby mikenz66 » Fri Feb 24, 2012 11:20 pm

Here's an interesting comment from Ajahn Sujato's blog:
http://sujato.wordpress.com/2012/01/05/1299/
DK / Jan 6 2012 4:30 am wrote:On the “luminous mind,” Bhikkhu Bodhi has an interesting note in his forthcoming Aṅguttara Nikāya translation due out later this year (The Numerical Discourses of the Buddha, note 64). Similar to the Thanissaro note you link to. Sorry, I don’t know how to preserve the italics here!:

Bhikkhu Bodhi wrote:Pabhassaram bhikkhave idaṃ cittaṃ. The exact meaning of this statement has been a matter of contention that has spawned conflicting interpretations. Mp identifies the “luminous mind” with the bhavaṅgacitta, an Abhidhamma concept denoting the type of mental event that occurs in the absence of active cognition. It corresponds, very roughly, to the subconscious or unconscious of modern psychology. The word bhavaṅga means “factor of existence,” that is, the factor responsible for maintaining continuous personal identity throughout a given life and from one life to the next. However, the bhavaṅga is not a persistent state of consciousness, a permanent self. It is a series of momentary acts of mind that alternate with active cognitive processes (cittavīthi), sequences of cognition when the mind consciously apprehends an object. Hence the texts sometimes use the expression bhavaṅga¬sota, “stream of bhavaṅga,” to highlight the fluid nature of this type of mental process. The occurrence of the bhavaṅga is most evident in deep, dreamless sleep, but it also occurs countless times in waking life between cognitive processes. The most important events in the cognitive process are the javanacittas, ethically determinate occasions of consciousness that create kamma. The javanas may be either wholesome or unwholesome. It is in the javana phase that the defilements, dormant in the subconscious bhavaṅga, infiltrate mental activity and defile the mind. For a fuller discussion of the bhavaṅga, see CMA 122‒29, where it is rendered “life-continuum.” Harvey (1995: 166‒79) has an interesting exploration of the relationship between the bhavaṅga and what he calls “the brightly shining mind.”

Mp explains: “The bhavaṅgacitta is called luminous, that is, pure (parisuddha), because it is without defilements (nirupakkilesatāya). It is defiled by adventitious defilements—by lust, etc.—which arise later [after the bhavaṅga] at the moment of javana. How? In the way that virtuous, well-behaved parents—or preceptor and teacher—get to be criticized and blamed on account of their undisciplined, badly-behaved children or pupils, [as when people say]: ‘They don’t punish, train, exhort, or instruct their own children or pupils.’ Well-behaved parents, or preceptor and teacher, are like the bhavaṅgacitta, while the blame falling on the parents because of their children [or on the preceptor and teacher on account of their pupils] is like the naturally pure bhavaṅgacitta being defiled at the javana moment by the adventitious defilements that arise in states of mind associated with greed, etc., which cause lust, hatred, and delusion to infect it.”

Though I quote Mp in full here, I find this explanation problematic on at least two grounds. The first is that the very concept of the bhavaṅgacitta, and the corresponding notion of the cognitive process, are not found in the Nikāyas but first emerge in a later period when the Abhidhamma was taking shape. Even the term bhavaṅga, though crucial to the Theravāda Abhidhamma system, occurs only in the last book of the Abhidhamma Piṭaka, the Paṭṭhāna. It is found much more often in the Abhidhamma commentaries.

The second reason I find Mp’s explanation problematic is that the text flatly states “this mind is luminous,” without qualification. This suggests that luminosity is intrinsic to the mind itself, and not to a particular type of mental event. Moreover, if the bhavaṅga is luminous, it should always remain so; it becomes incoherent to speak of it being defiled by the javanas. The simplest interpretation of this statement, so far as I can see, is that luminosity is an innate characteristic of mind, seen in its capacity to illuminate its objective field. This luminosity, though inherent, is functionally blocked because the mind is “defiled by adventitious defilements” (āgantukehi upakkilesehi upakkiliṭṭhaṃ). The defilements are called “adventitious” because, unlike the luminosity, they are not intrinsic to the mind itself. Of course, as 10:61 and 10:62 assert, there is no “first point” to ignorance and craving (and other defilements). But these defilements can be removed by mental training. With their removal, the mind’s intrinsic luminosity emerges—or, more precisely, becomes manifest. The statement just below that the noble disciple understands the mind to be luminous implies that this insight into the intrinsic luminosity of the mind serves as the basis for further mental development, which liberates the mind from the defilements. With the complete removal of defilements, the mind’s intrinsic luminosity shines forth unobstructed.

At 3:102, I 257,7, the word pabhassara is used to describe the mind (citta) that has attained concentration (samādhi). It thus seems that it is in deep samādhi that the intrinsic luminosity of the mind emerges, at least temporarily. 5:23, III 16,29‒17,2, says explicitly that the mind freed from the five hindrances is luminous (pabhassara) and properly concentrated for the destruction of the taints. See too MN III 243,11‒12, where it is equanimity (upekkhā), presumably of the fourth jhāna, that is described as luminous.


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Re: Luminous Mind. - What is it?

Postby danieLion » Sat Mar 31, 2012 7:31 am

kirk5a wrote:The companion passage for the "uninstructed run-of-the-mill person" (puthujjana) is this:

1. 6. 1.
Pabhassaramidaṃ bhikkhave cittaṃ tañca kho āgantukehi upakkilesehi upakkiliṭṭhaṃ. Taṃ assutavā47 puthujjano yathābhūtaṃ nappanājāti. Tasmā assutavato puthujjanassa cittabhāvanā natthīti vadāmīti.

"Luminous, monks, is the mind. And it is defiled by incoming defilements. The uninstructed run-of-the-mill person doesn't discern that as it actually is present, which is why I tell you that — for the uninstructed run-of-the-mill person — there is no development of the mind." {I,vi,1}

What's the English correspondence for nappanājāti? Is it the word "present"?
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Re: Luminous Mind. - What is it?

Postby ground » Sat Mar 31, 2012 9:23 am

Luminous Mind. - What is it?


Obviously an idea.

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Re: Luminous Mind. - What is it?

Postby kirk5a » Fri Apr 06, 2012 4:09 pm

I stumbled across this today

By means of an awareness thus open & unhampered, he develops a brightened mind.

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html

Bhikkhu Bodhi translates this as:

Thus, with a mind that is open and unenveloped, he develops the mind imbued with luminosity.


The Pali for that is:

Iti vivaṭena cetasā apariyonaddhena sappabhāsaṃ cittaṃ bhāveti.

This phrase appears multiple times in SN 51.11 though 51.32, in connection with the theme of "the four bases of spiritual power."
"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
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Re: Luminous Mind. - What is it?

Postby nowheat » Fri Apr 06, 2012 7:21 pm

danieLion wrote:
kirk5a wrote:The companion passage for the "uninstructed run-of-the-mill person" (puthujjana) is this:

1. 6. 1.
Pabhassaramidaṃ bhikkhave cittaṃ tañca kho āgantukehi upakkilesehi upakkiliṭṭhaṃ. Taṃ assutavā47 puthujjano yathābhūtaṃ nappanājāti. Tasmā assutavato puthujjanassa cittabhāvanā natthīti vadāmīti.

"Luminous, monks, is the mind. And it is defiled by incoming defilements. The uninstructed run-of-the-mill person doesn't discern that as it actually is present, which is why I tell you that — for the uninstructed run-of-the-mill person — there is no development of the mind." {I,vi,1}

What's the English correspondence for nappanājāti? Is it the word "present"?


The nappanājāti is a negation (na-) of pajānāti (knows clearly) so in the translation above it would be the "doesn't know". The word yathābhūtaṃ is probably what's being translated as "as it actually is present" as it means "in truth; in reality; in its real essence".

:namaste:
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Re: Luminous Mind. - What is it?

Postby danieLion » Sun Apr 08, 2012 7:49 am

thanks nowheat
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