Greetings! I'd like to share my current understanding of Mano · Citta · Viññāṇa: Mano:
one of the six sense organs for dhammas, i.e. the brain and nerve system, still belonging to kaaya (body), which is why the Buddha said:
"... But with excessive thinking and pondering I might tire my body
(mental body), and when the body is tired, the mind
(citta) becomes strained, and when the mind is strained, it is far from concentration.’
Mano should probably be better translated as mental sensory organ instead of "mind", which might have caused lots of confusion. Citta:
commonly understood as "mind", "heart", "soul". The pure citta (with no "waves") is the liberated mind unconditioned by defilements. The defiled citta is always associated with sense objects and is ever wavy/stormy, and the waves are Viññāṇa.Viññāṇa:
activities of the citta, arisen and exists only in relationship to sense objects (nama-rupa), hence consciousness is considered as one of the six elements of the mundane or phenomenal world. There are the translations of six sense consciousness and the rebirth consciousness. The rebirth consciousness ("soul") is the defiled citta.
Since the defiled citta appears as viññāṇa in the conditioned world, it can be called consciousness. However, a liberated mind (unconditioned pure citta) shouldn't be called consciousness, to my understand. Of course living arahants when not dwelling in the sphere of cessation of perception and feeling (when the residue, the five aggregates temporarily "disappear") still has unestablished consciousness, but nibbana without residue is certainly not consciousness. Then how to interpret the following:
"'The cessation of becoming — Unbinding — the cessation of becoming — Unbinding': One perception arose in me, friend Ananda, as another perception ceased. Just as in a blazing woodchip fire, one flame arises as another flame ceases, even so, 'The cessation of becoming — Unbinding — the cessation of becoming — Unbinding': One perception arose in me as another one ceased
. I was percipient at that time of 'The cessation of becoming — Unbinding
.'" (AN 10.7)
As consciousness (“waves”) ceases, the transcendental perception of nibbana occurred to Ven. Sariputta during the sphere of cessation of perception and feeling during his dwelling in the sphere of cessation of perception and feeling. There's another sutta in which the Buddha mentioned that nibbana still has (transcendental) perception:
The Way to the Beyond, 6. Upasīva’s Questions: http://www.ancient-buddhist-texts.net/E ... Beyond.pdf
“He who is passionless regarding all sense pleasures, who is
depending on nothingness, having given up all else, intent (dwelling?) on the
highest freedom which still has perception
- will he remain there
without going away?” [will he return to this world?]
“He who is passionless regarding all sense pleasures, who is depending
on nothingness, having given up all else, intent (dwelling?) on the highest freedom which still has perception
- he will remain there without going away.”
The transcendental perception perceives the unconditioned, nibbana, as "This is the peaceful; this is the sublime....", but it's not viññāṇa, which perceives only the conditioned and has ceased.
Thanks and metta!