Store consciousness in Theravada

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism

Store consciousness in Theravada

Postby BubbaBuddhist » Sun Feb 01, 2009 9:06 pm

While reading this article by the learned Venerable Dr. Walpole Rahula, cited in another thread:
http://www.urbandharma.org/udharma3/theramaya.html I ran across the following provocative reference:

Besides the idea of Sunyata is the concept of the store-consciousness in Mahayana Buddhism which has its seed in the Theravada texts. The Mahayanists have developed it into a deep psychology and philosophy.


I have always been fascinated with the concept of alaya-vijñāna from Yogachara. Some discussion from another forum compared Store consciousness to Bhvangha citta. This seemed to make perfect sense to me, however, I was also told comparing "Mahayana Wrong View" to Theravada concepts was inadmissible.

So here is the question: What "seed" in the Pali texts is Ven. Rahula speaking of? Is it, indeed Bvanga or something else?

J/ Bb
Author of Redneck Buddhism: or Will You Reincarnate as Your Own Cousin?
User avatar
BubbaBuddhist
 
Posts: 640
Joined: Sat Jan 03, 2009 5:55 am
Location: Knoxville, Tennessee

Re: Store consciousness in Theravada

Postby Dhammanando » Mon Feb 02, 2009 3:31 am

Hi Bubba,

Bubbabuddhist wrote:So here is the question: What "seed" in the Pali texts is Ven. Rahula speaking of? Is it, indeed Bvanga or something else?


It is bhavanga. The identification of Yogacarin alayavijnana with Theravadin bhavanga actually originates not with W. Rahula, but in some Yogacarin text (I've forgotten which one, but I think it's either one of Asanga's or else the Samdhirnamocana Sutra).

Best wishes,
Dhammanando Bhikkhu
    ...and this thought arose in the mind of the Blessed One:
    “Who lives without reverence lives miserably.”
    Uruvela Sutta, A.ii.20

    It were endless to dispute upon everything that is disputable.
    — William Penn Some Fruits of Solitude,
User avatar
Dhammanando
 
Posts: 1313
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 10:44 pm
Location: Wat Pa Mieng Khun Pang, Chiang Mai

Re: Store consciousness in Theravada

Postby retrofuturist » Mon Feb 02, 2009 3:34 am

Greetings bhante,

Where does bhavanga fit, with respect the schema of the six consciousnesses... eye, ear, nose, tongue, tactile and mind?

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)
User avatar
retrofuturist
Site Admin
 
Posts: 14747
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 9:52 pm
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Re: Store consciousness in Theravada

Postby tiltbillings » Mon Feb 02, 2009 3:38 am

A lengthy, detailed discussion of this question is found in William Waldron's study of origin of the alasya notion, THE BUDDHIST UNCONSCIOUS: The alaya-vijnana in the context of Indian Buddhist Thought.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
User avatar
tiltbillings
 
Posts: 19786
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 9:25 am

Re: Store consciousness in Theravada

Postby Dhammanando » Mon Feb 02, 2009 3:50 am

Hi Retro,

retrofuturist wrote:Where does bhavanga fit, with respect the schema of the six consciousnesses... eye, ear, nose, tongue, tactile and mind?


It's one kind of mind-consciousness.

Best wishes,
Dhammanando Bhikkhu
    ...and this thought arose in the mind of the Blessed One:
    “Who lives without reverence lives miserably.”
    Uruvela Sutta, A.ii.20

    It were endless to dispute upon everything that is disputable.
    — William Penn Some Fruits of Solitude,
User avatar
Dhammanando
 
Posts: 1313
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 10:44 pm
Location: Wat Pa Mieng Khun Pang, Chiang Mai

Re: Store consciousness in Theravada

Postby BubbaBuddhist » Mon Feb 02, 2009 5:30 am

Hurrah, thanks Bhante, this is very good. Also thanks everyone else for the references for further inquiry.

J
Author of Redneck Buddhism: or Will You Reincarnate as Your Own Cousin?
User avatar
BubbaBuddhist
 
Posts: 640
Joined: Sat Jan 03, 2009 5:55 am
Location: Knoxville, Tennessee

Re: Store consciousness in Theravada

Postby Heavenstorm » Mon Feb 02, 2009 6:28 am

I see Yogacara as a major attempt to bridge the abhidharmas of the early Buddhist schools and later Mahayana sutras in order to increase the authenticity of the latter in the eyes of Buddhists.
Heavenstorm
 
Posts: 69
Joined: Mon Jan 26, 2009 8:37 am

Re: Store consciousness in Theravada

Postby thecap » Mon Feb 02, 2009 7:00 am

Heavenstorm wrote:I see Yogacara as a major attempt to bridge the abhidharmas of the early Buddhist schools and later Mahayana sutras in order to increase the authenticity of the latter in the eyes of Buddhists.


It looks like the authenticity of words lies in the bhavanga of the beholder.
thecap
 
Posts: 96
Joined: Thu Jan 01, 2009 9:19 am
Location: Germany

Re: Store consciousness in Theravada

Postby Element » Mon Feb 02, 2009 7:13 am

thecap wrote:
Heavenstorm wrote:It looks like the authenticity of words lies in the bhavanga of the beholder.

Thanissaro provides some commentary here on bhavanga-citta.

For the very reason unclear minds cannot see arising & passing is the very reason why most religions hold there is a permanent soul.

Buddha did not spend six years searching for no reason, despite being able to enter jhana as a child. The mind is indeed illusive & delusive.

I disagree with you Cap. From a Modern Theravada perspective, I would say the bhavanga lies in the bhavatanha of the beholder.
Last edited by Element on Mon Feb 02, 2009 10:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Element
 

Re: Store consciousness in Theravada

Postby thecap » Mon Feb 02, 2009 4:49 pm

Element wrote:Thanissaro provides some commentary here on bhavanga-citta.

Thanissaro raises more questions than he answers, doesn't he?

For the very reason unclear minds cannot see arising & passing is the very reason why most religions hold there is a permanent soul.


Looks like it.

Buddha did not spend six years searching for no reason, despite being able to enter jhana as a child. Then mind is indeed illusive & delusive.


Yet the mind is not only one single entity, is it? It is layered, for example there is the conscious and the subconscious. When we remove defilements of the conscious, we can see the subconscious creating and destroying the 'I' and controlling us like a puppy through desires. Then we can draw the consequences and turn the tables, so to speak.

I disagree with you Cap. From a Modern Theravada perspective, I would say the bhavanga lies in the bhavatanha & vibhavatanha of the beholder.


To be clear, I understand bhavanga to be the condition for becoming in your sentence above. However, when we remove defilements of mind, does the condition simply go away, or is it still there, like the five aggregates are still there in an arahat? For I understand bhavanga to be the subconscious in a wider sense, and it doesn't just puff away in a cloud of smoke only because we catch it, does it? Does bhavanga not become a part of luminous mind? To be clear, what exactly do you mean by bhavanga, bhavantanha and vibhavantanha here? Please translate it as you understand it.
thecap
 
Posts: 96
Joined: Thu Jan 01, 2009 9:19 am
Location: Germany

Re: Store consciousness in Theravada

Postby Will » Mon Feb 02, 2009 5:28 pm

I skimmed the chapter in Waldron's book on alaya-vijnana in the Theravada and I did not gain any clarity. Will have to study and not skim, I guess.
This noble eightfold path is the ancient path traveled by all the Buddhas of eons past. Nagara Sutta
User avatar
Will
 
Posts: 384
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 11:26 pm

Re: Store consciousness in Theravada

Postby Element » Mon Feb 02, 2009 10:58 pm

thecap wrote: To be clear, what exactly do you mean by bhavanga, bhavantanha here?

I only meant the bhava tanha. Most people do not want to die. Regarding the bhavanga, it is unclear insight. Buddha said all consciousness, gross or subtle, have the three marks of conditioned phenomena.

In Buddhism there is only one permanent phenomena, namely, the Nibbana element.
Element
 

Re: Store consciousness in Theravada

Postby thecap » Mon Feb 02, 2009 11:24 pm

Element wrote:
thecap wrote: To be clear, what exactly do you mean by bhavanga, bhavantanha here?

I only meant the bhava tanha. Most people do not want to die. Regarding the bhavanga, it is unclear insight. Buddha said all consciousness, gross or subtle, have the three marks of conditioned phenomena.

In Buddhism there is only one permanent phenomena, namely, the Nibbana element.


Of course, you're right, friend Element. How dare thecap diverge from the goal. :embarassed: I just hope nibbana here lies not in the vibhavatanha of the beholder. :shock: ;) :meditate:
thecap
 
Posts: 96
Joined: Thu Jan 01, 2009 9:19 am
Location: Germany


Return to General Theravāda discussion

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 6 guests