Mano · Citta · Viññāṇa: how do they relate to each other?

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Mano · Citta · Viññāṇa: how do they relate to each other?

Postby starter » Wed Aug 14, 2013 3:30 pm

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!
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Re: Mano · Citta · Viññāṇa: how do they relate to each othe

Postby Mr Man » Wed Aug 14, 2013 3:40 pm

Hi Starter
How does the first verse of the Dhammapada fit in with the above definition of Mano?

Manopubbangama dhamma
manosettha manomaya
manasa ce padutthena
bhasati va karoti va
tato nam dukkhamanveti
cakkamva vahato padam.

Verse 1: All mental phenomena have mind as their forerunner; they have mind as their chief; they are mind-made. If one speaks or acts with an evil mind, 'dukkha' 3 follows him just as the wheel follows the hoofprint of the ox that draws the cart.

http://www.tipitaka.net/tipitaka/dhp/verseload.php?verse=001
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Re: Mano · Citta · Viññāṇa: how do they relate to each othe

Postby daverupa » Wed Aug 14, 2013 3:53 pm

Hmm; I consider mano to be akin to the eye, where dhamma (pl.) are akin to eye-forms, so I am amenable to considering mano the macro brain structure. In this sense, mano underlies all thinking the way that the eye underlies all seeing.

Citta I consider as mind generally; it knits the six senses together and relies directly on sankhara, vedana, and sanna.

Vinnana, of course, is always requisite to any experience (vinnana-namarupa), and thus precedes or lies alongside the above two phenomena. Vinnana arises at mano-dhamma contact, and this triad (as well as certain other potential sensory inputs) underlies citta.

Citta and vinnana are thus different aspects, though it is true that citta is the target of the training. Vinnana can also perceive that greed, hatred, and delusion have been uprooted, or it can perceive that they yet persist. Vinnana which is rooted in greed, hatred, and delusion ceases, not vinnana altogether.
    "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: Mano · Citta · Viññāṇa: how do they relate to each othe

Postby starter » Thu Aug 15, 2013 2:29 pm

Mr Man wrote:How does the first verse of the Dhammapada fit in with the above definition of Mano?

Manopubbangama dhamma
manosettha manomaya

http://www.tipitaka.net/tipitaka/dhp/verseload.php?verse=001


Hi "Mr Man":

Thanks for your very helpful input. I don't know Pali, so I can only guess why mano instead of citta is used here. I have the sense that citta refers more to the undefiled/liberated "mind", which doesn't really make "All mental phenomena", or act as their forerunner and chief. They are made by the defied mind, with mano underling all mental phenomena. So mano probably expresses more accurately than citta here.

Look forward to reading more of your input. Metta,

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Re: Mano · Citta · Viññāṇa: how do they relate to each othe

Postby starter » Thu Aug 15, 2013 2:38 pm

daverupa wrote:Vinnana which is rooted in greed, hatred, and delusion ceases, not vinnana altogether.


Hi Dave,

This is an interesting point. I'd see that nibbana without residue has vinnana ceased altogether. The Buddha and other aranhants experienced nibbana without residue when dwelling at the sphere of cessation of perception and feeling, when vinnana ceased.

The "unestablished" vinnana is the residue of nibbana, which ceases when living arahants die, to my understanding.

Thanks and metta!
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Re: Mano · Citta · Viññāṇa: how do they relate to each othe

Postby piotr » Thu Aug 15, 2013 2:47 pm

Hi All,

There's good but long-ish paper on the topic titled “Citta, Mano, Vinnana—A Psychosemantic Investigation” by Rune E. A. Johansson.

http://ahandfulofleaves.files.wordpress ... ansson.pdf
Bhagavaṃmūlakā no, bhante, dhammā...
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Re: Mano · Citta · Viññāṇa: how do they relate to each othe

Postby equilibrium » Thu Aug 15, 2013 7:39 pm

starter wrote:"'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)

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.

If there is no consciousness to experience Nibbana, then how can someone come back from that experience and tell you about it?

Are you aware that there are two types of consciousness?.....one is Mundane Consciousness and the other is Supra-Mundane Consciousness. Both of which are conditioned.....when something that depends on something else, it is therefore conditioned.....therefore not permanent.
Nibbana is different, it does not depend on anything else so therefore it is unconditioned.....it is neither created nor formed.

This Supra-Mundane Consciousness is that which perceives the unconditioned Nibbana.....for a limited time only.
This Supra-Mundane Consciousness is beyond that of the normal mundane Consciousness so the former consciousness will arose when the conditions are right.....and with that consciousness, one is percipient of that experience.

Hence the saying....."One perception arose in me as another one ceased. I was percipient at that time of 'The cessation of becoming — Unbinding."
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Re: Mano · Citta · Viññāṇa: how do they relate to each othe

Postby Mr Man » Fri Aug 16, 2013 8:11 am

starter wrote:Look forward to reading more of your input. Metta,

Starter


Hi Starter

It is an interesting topic but unfortunately I also do not know Pali. I had idea that Mano was a more archaic/traditional term (at that time) but I'm not sure where I got that idea from & it could well be wrong. The article that piotr posted looks interesting.
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Re: Mano · Citta · Viññāṇa: how do they relate to each othe

Postby starter » Fri Aug 16, 2013 4:10 pm

Hi friends,

Many thanks for all the very helpful input. “Citta, Mano, Vinnana—A Psychosemantic Investigation” by Rune E. A. Johansson
(http://ahandfulofleaves.files.wordpress ... ansson.pdf) is good but I don't agree with some of his opinions.

Just to drop a few points now:

Mano:

"Of these five senses, different in range, different in field (=modality),
not reacting to the field and range of each other, mano (coordinating
center for the other senses) is the resort, and mano reacts to their field and range". (M I 195).

Mano is the mental sense organ which produces mental processes, inlcuding dreams (?). When mano is not yet developed/mature, we can't remember the life in mother's womb, the act of rebirth, and the life shortly after rebirth (I think there's consciousness there but no memory of the consciousness).

Citta:

S V 92, " ... there are these five impurities of the citta, tainted by which citta is neither fine, nor pliable, nor Iuminous, nor frail, nor perfectly composed for the destruction of the asava".

This passage implies that citta was transformed through the impurities, and that citta by itself and originally was pure as gold. This is supported by:

AN1:
"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}

"Luminous, monks, is the mind. And it is freed from incoming defilements. The well-instructed disciple of the noble ones discerns that as it actually is present, which is why I tell you that — for the well-instructed disciple of the noble ones — there is development of the mind." {I,vi,2}]

The development/purification of citta is an end in itself (nibbana).

I'll comment on vinnana a bit more later.

Metta to all!

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Re: Mano · Citta · Viññāṇa: how do they relate to each othe

Postby daverupa » Fri Aug 16, 2013 4:15 pm

starter wrote:This is an interesting point. I'd see that nibbana without residue has vinnana ceased altogether. The Buddha and other aranhants experienced nibbana without residue when dwelling at the sphere of cessation of perception and feeling, when vinnana ceased.

The "unestablished" vinnana is the residue of nibbana, which ceases when living arahants die, to my understanding.


For the purposes of this discussion, let us restrain ourselves to living arahants and living puthujjanas, and not worry about what to say about vinnana after death for either of those two.

So, with the five aggregates for the arahant, and the five aggregates subject to clinging for the puthujjana, the point is nearly made. These five aggregates - vinnana is one of them, in both cases, which is why I say it hasn't ceased altogether.

Perhaps there is a cessation attainment without vinnana, but how could anyone learn of it?
    "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: Mano · Citta · Viññāṇa: how do they relate to each othe

Postby starter » Sat Aug 17, 2013 11:28 pm

equilibrium wrote:
starter wrote:"'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)

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.


Are you aware that there are two types of consciousness?.....one is Mundane Consciousness and the other is Supra-Mundane Consciousness. Both of which are conditioned.....when something that depends on something else, it is therefore conditioned.....therefore not permanent.


I tend to think that the supramundane perception that perceives nibbana is not conditioned, just as nibbana is not conditioned. The nibbanized mind with mundane viññāṇa ceased possesses this supramundane perception without mano; the two (the nibbanaized mind and the perception of nibbana) are inseparable. We cannot say because nibbana without residue experienced by the arahants is only temporary, and is conditioned upon the cessation of (mundane) perception and feeling, so nibbana is conditioned. The same applies to the supramundane perception associated with nibbana. It's not generated by mano, like mundane viññāṇa, so it's not classifiable as viññāṇa.

The mind clearly knew the experience of nibbana, so someone could come back from that experience and tell us about it.

I'd think it's better to put our energy into practicing the Dhamma instead of speculating about the supramundane perception. My summer vocation is about over now and won't have much time to contribute to the discussion for a while.

Thanks for all your input and metta to all!

Metta to all!
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Re: Mano · Citta · Viññāṇa: how do they relate to each othe

Postby equilibrium » Sun Aug 18, 2013 11:11 am

starter wrote:I tend to think that the supramundane perception that perceives nibbana is not conditioned, just as nibbana is not conditioned. The nibbanized mind with mundane viññāṇa ceased possesses this supramundane perception without mano; the two (the nibbanaized mind and the perception of nibbana) are inseparable. We cannot say because nibbana without residue experienced by the arahants is only temporary, and is conditioned upon the cessation of (mundane) perception and feeling, so nibbana is conditioned. The same applies to the supramundane perception associated with nibbana. It's not generated by mano, like mundane viññāṇa, so it's not classifiable as viññāṇa.

If supramundane perception/consciousness is NOT conditioned, then it would be permanent.....we have a problem here!
There are two Nibbana elements under the teaching, one who has attained the goal this current life (with residue left) and the other is at the end of this life (no residue left). The problem here is when one achieves Nibbana in this current life while alive (through supramundane perception/consciousness) this state of experience CANNOT and WILL NOT be permanent.....A living Arahant cannot experience Nibbana every minute after initial contact/experience.....hence time limited.....not permanent because it depends on the right conditions of the seeker.

Anything that depends on something else cannot be permanent.....Nibbana doesn't depend on anything so it is therefore not conditioned and therefore permanent.....it is neither created nor formed.

Under 44: The Nibbana element:
This was said by the Lord...
"Bhikkhus, there are these two Nibbana-elements. What are the two? The Nibbana-element with residue left and the Nibbana-element with no residue left. "What, bhikkhus, is the Nibbana-element with residue left? Here a bhikkhu is an arahant, one whose taints are destroyed, the holy life fulfilled, who has done what had to be done, laid down the burden, attained the goal, destroyed the fetters of being, completely released through final knowledge. However, his five sense faculties remain unimpaired, by which he still experiences what is agreeable and disagreeable and feels pleasure and pain. It is the extinction of attachment, hate, and delusion in him that is called the Nibbana-element with residue left.

"Now what, bhikkhus, is the Nibbana-element with no residue left? Here a bhikkhu is an arahant... completely released through final knowledge. For him, here in this very life, all that is experienced, not being delighted in, will be extinguished. That, bhikkhus, is called the Nibbana-element with no residue left.

"These, bhikkhus, are the two Nibbana-elements."


starter wrote:We cannot say because nibbana without residue experienced by the arahants is only temporary

This is at the end of this life of an Arahant.....it is not wise to speculate what happens here under the teaching. My previous correspondence are related to this current life while alive experiencing Nibbana.

The mind clearly knew the experience of nibbana, so someone could come back from that experience and tell us about it.

So what is exactly termed as "experience".....can an experience be experienced without consciousness?.....not possible isn't it?

I'd think it's better to put our energy into practicing the Dhamma instead of speculating about the supramundane perception.

The N8P itself are in three stages.....moral discipline (sila).....leading to concentration (samadhi).....and finally leading to wisdom (panna). It is a progressive development built upon each stage. Although when the time comes, one would natually have to comprehend what needs to be comprehended to obtain the fruits of the path.
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