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Keith A
30 Jun 11, 22:31
Hello all,

Lazy Eye, commenting on the following quote from Karma from his own lips: Ajahn Buddhadāsa (http://liberationpark.org/study/pdf/Kamma.pdf):


Any action that one has carried out with greed, arising with greed as its cause, and having greed as its
origin; that action bears fruit within the aggregates that are the basis for ones individuality. In whichever
individuality that kamma bears fruit, one experiences that karmic fruit within that very individuality,
either immediately, soon after, or some time later.

(The exact same description is applied to hatred and delusion, word for word.)

Friends, this is comparable with plant seeds that have not broken, rotted, or been destroyed by wind
and sun, that have been chosen for their soundness, carefully stored, and planted by someone in a well
prepared plot with good top soil. Further, the rain falls according to the season. Those seeds will sprout,
develop, and thrive most certainly. In the same way, any action that someone has carried out with greed
… hatred … delusion, arising with greed … hatred … delusion as its cause, and having greed … hatred
… delusion as its origin; that action bears fruit within the aggregates that are the basis for his
individuality. In whichever individuality that kamma bears fruit, he experiences that karmic fruit within
that very individuality, either immediately, a moment later, or some time later.
suggested the following:

Looks similar to alaya ("storehouse consciousness") in the Mahayana tradition. Maybe this is the original source for that teaching?

This comment occurred in this thread. (http://www.buddhismwithoutboundaries.com/showthread.php?1054-Karma-From-His-Own-Lips-by-Ajahn-Buddhad%C4%81sa)

I have been interested in these concepts (Eight Conciousnesses) and was wondering if we could expand on it a bit here in the Mahayana section. Stuka mentioned it came from Asanga in the 4th century. Other than that I know very little about it's origins.

This from the Eight Consciousnesses wiki (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eight_Consciousnesses):


According to Walpola Rahula, all the elements of the Yogacara storehouse-consciousness are already found in the Pali Canon.[4] He writes that the three layers of the mind (citta, manas, and vijnana) as presented by Asanga are also used in the Pali Canon: "Thus we can see that Vijnana represents the simple reaction or response of the sense organs when they come in contact with external objects. This is the uppermost or superficial aspect or layer of the Vijnanaskanda. Manas represents the aspect of its mental functioning, thinking, reasoning, conceiving ideas, etc. Citta which is here called Alayavijnana, represents the deepest, finest and subtlest aspect or layer of the Aggregate of consciousness. It contains all the traces or impressions of the past actions and all good and bad future possibilities."[5]

My purpose here isn't validate the concepts by tying them to Pali Suttas. That's of little or no importance to me. I just found Lazy Eye's question to be an interesting one.

Good luck and thanks for practicing,
Keith

stuka
30 Jun 11, 22:50
The answer is no, it is not similar at all, and no, there is no Pali "original source" for this teaching. The Buddha's teachings is clear on this:


"Good, bhikkhus! Good that you know the Dhamma taught by me. In various ways I have taught that consciousness arises dependently. Without a cause, there is no arising of consciousness. Yet, this bhikkhu Sati, son of a fisherman, by holding to this wrong view, misrepresents us and destroys himself and accumulates much demerit, and it will be for his suffering for a long time.

"Bhikkhus, consciousness is reckoned by the condition dependent upon which it arises.

If consciousness arises on account of eye and forms, it is reckoned as eye consciousness.

If on account of ear and sounds it arises, it is reckoned as ear consciousness.

If on account of nose and smells it arises, it is reckoned as nose consciousness.

If on account of tongue and tastes it arises, it is reckoned as tongue consciousness.

If on account of body and touch it arises, it is reckoned as body consciousness.

If on account of mind and mind-objects it arises, it is reckoned as mind consciousness.

Bhikkhus, just as a fire is reckoned based on whatever that fire burns - fire ablaze on sticks is a stick fire, fire ablaze on twigs is a twig fire, fire ablaze on grass is a grass fire, fire ablaze on cowdung is a cowdung fire, fire ablaze on grain thrash is a grain thrash fire, fire ablaze on rubbish is a rubbish fire - so too is consciousness reckoned by the condition dependent upon which it arises.

In the same manner consciousness arisen on account is eye and forms is eye consciousness.

Consciousness arisen on account of ear and sounds is ear consciousness.

Consciousness arisen on account of nose and smells is nose consciousness.

Consciousness arisen on account of tongue and tastes is taste consciousness.

Consciousness arisen on account of body and touch is body consciousness.

Consciousness arisen on account of mind and mind-objects is mind consciousness.

So, no, the Buddha was adamant about what did and did not constitute "consciousness", and -- to address the specific OP question -- no, the idea of more than six "consciousnesses" did not originate anywhere in the Buddha's teachings. If the above is a good cite from Walkpola Rahula and not taken out of context, the Dr. Rahula is mistaken.

stuka
30 Jun 11, 23:01
If the above is a good cite from Walkpola Rahula and not taken out of context, the Dr. Rahula is mistaken.


....And, as is often the case with "WIKIDharma", the quote is taken out of context. Dr. Rahula's paragraph directly before the WIKI-quoted material illustrates Asanga's equivocation (my emphasis):


In the Theravada Tipitaka as well as in the Pali Commentaries, these three terms - citta, manas, Vijnana - are considered as synonyms denoting the same thing. The Sarvistivada also takes them as synonyms. Even the Lankavatara Sutra, which is purely a Mahayana text, calls them synonyms although their separate functions are mentioned elsewhere in the same sutra. Vasubandhu, too, in his Vimsatikavijnapti-matratasiddhi considers them as synonyms. Since any one of these three terms - citta, manas, Vijnanas - represents some aspect, even though not all aspects, of the fifth Aggregate Vijnana skandha, they may roughly be considered as synonyms.


However, for Asanga, citta, manas and Vijnana are three different and distinct aspects of the Vijnana skandha. He defines this Aggregate as follows:
'What is the definition of the Aggregate of Consciousness (Vijnana skandha)? It is mind (citta), mental organ (manas) and also consciousness (Vijnana).
"And there what is mind (citta)? It is alaya Vijnana (Store-Consciousness) containing all seeds (sarvabijaka), impregnated with the traces (impressions) (vasanaparibhavita) of Aggregates (skandha), Elements (dhatu) and Spheres (ayatana)...
'What is mental organ (manas)? It is the object of alaya Vijnana always having the nature of self-notion (self-conceit) (manyanatmaka) associated with four defilements, viz. the false idea of self (atmadrsti), self-love (atmasneha), the conceit of 'I am' (asmimana) and ignorance (avidya)...
'What is consciousness (Vijnana)? It consists of the six groups of consciousness (sad vijnanakayah), viz. visual consciousness (caksurvijnana), auditory (srotra), olfactory (ghrana), gustatory (jihva), tactile (kaya), and mental consciousness (mano Vijnana)...

http://www.purifymind.com/StoreConsciousness.htm



So, the "eight consciousnesses WIKI"-quoted material is explaining Asanga's eisegesis (and his attempt to slip it into the Buddha's mouth), and not supporting any notion that the teachings that preceded Asanga supported his claims.

Keith A
30 Jun 11, 23:12
Ah, so your contention is that historical Buddha taught that there was 6 consciousnesses (thank you spell check!) and the 7th and 8th were taught later. And you therefore disagree with this:


Citta which is here called Alayavijnana, represents the deepest, finest and subtlest aspect or layer of the Aggregate of consciousness. It contains all the traces or impressions of the past actions and all good and bad future possibilities

As I indicated, whether the Buddha taught it or not isn't particularly important to me. You have made your position clear in the source thread and once again here. Hopefully, we can discuss this without yet another thread being locked. I put it in this particular forum for a reason.

stuka
30 Jun 11, 23:47
You have missed my point entirely.

What I disagree with is the WIKI article's contention that Dr. Rahula is ratifying Asanga's assertions in the quoted text. I am pointing out that Dr. Rahula is merely explaining Asanga's assertions. It would seem rather heavy-handed to lock a thread over such a simple clarification.

Keith A
01 Jul 11, 00:11
You have missed my point entirely.

What I disagree with is the WIKI article's contention that Dr. Rahula is ratifying Asanga's assertions in the quoted text. I am pointing out that Dr. Rahula is merely explaining Asanga's assertions. It would seem rather heavy-handed to lock a thread over such a simple clarification.

You are correct, I did miss that. My bad.

Lazy Eye
01 Jul 11, 02:21
I have been interested in these concepts (Eight Conciousnesses) and was wondering if we could expand on it a bit here in the Mahayana section. Stuka mentioned it came from Asanga in the 4th century. Other than that I know very little about it's origins.


Hi Keith, good to see you here!

I don't know to what extent Asanga played a role. It's usually Vasubandhu who we see mentioned in connection with alaya-vijnana, since he presented it in his Karma-Siddhi-Prakarana ("Discourse on the Demonstration of Karma").

My understanding is that alaya-vijnana emerged within the context of scholastic debates over the nagging question: given the lack of an atman, how do we explain psychological continuity? And how do we explain why an action (karma) that takes place at one moment can generate a result (vipaka) further down the line?

As Stefan Anacker puts it (in the intro to his translation of Karma-Siddhi-Prakarana):


"Action" is "karma", that kind of activity which has an ethical charge, and which must give rise to a retributionary "reverberation"
at a later time. If suffering is inflicted, the inflicting aggregate-complex "series" will feel future suffering as a retribution
for it. But the "time interval" between the two events is a problem for a theory maintaining momentariness. This
treatise thus becomes absorbed in the problem of psychophysical continuity.

Besides this general problem, there was a specific paradox that the scholastics were having a hard time untangling. According to the standard model, what we call "conscious experience" is a stream of thought-moments (cittas), succeeding each other in rapid succession, with each citta causing the next. The trouble is that, in certain states of meditative concentration, cognition and feeling (and hence the succession of cittas) is supposedly interrupted. If that's the case, how does it resume?

Vasubandhu's solution was to posit a seventh consciousness (the alaya). He provided the seed metaphor in order to illustrate it. The alaya is not characterized by permanence -- new seeds get planted all the time, while old ones ripen, produce "vipaka" and disappear -- and so it doesn't constitute an Atman. The process, however, is more gradual than that of the "citta stream" and so it can provide for things like memory, cause and effect relationships separated by time, and psychological continuity in general.

Now, as to whether the seed metaphor can be traced back to the nikayas (for example the Nidana Sutta (http://buddhasutra.com/files/nidana_sutta.htm), I'm not enough of a scholar to know. But Vasubandhu and Asanga, as well as their adversaries, would have been very familiar with the canon of scriptures, and they surelly would have recalled the Buddha's use of similar metaphors. Maybe we can leave it at that.

Aloka
01 Jul 11, 03:08
I have been interested in these concepts (Eight Conciousnesses) and was wondering if we could expand on it a bit here in the Mahayana section

Hi Keith,

You can read about the eight consciousnesses from a Tibetan Buddhist point of view here in "How the Eight Consciousnesses Cause Delusion "


http://www.ncf.net/8%20consciousnesses.htm

.

ATC
01 Jul 11, 04:05
My take on the Vijnanavada's perspective on consciousness.


Mind, Consciousness, Enlightenment, a Vijnanavadin’s perspective.

In Buddhism, the human personality is considered to be made up of five groups (skandhas)``, namely, Form, Feeling, Perception, Mental Formation and Consciousness. In the grouping of Consciousness, six kinds are classified. They are the consciousness of Sight, Hearing, Smell, Taste, sense of Touch and Mental or Intellectual consciousness.

The dynamic nature of consciousness and existence can be compared to a river which, while continuously flowing still preserves its relative identity. The Theravadins called this stream ‘bhavanga-sota’, the subconscious stream of existence or of becoming in which all experiences or contents of conciousness have been stored since beginningless time, to reappear in active, waking consciousness whenever the conditions and mental association call them forth. The observation of this continuity is what give rise to our self-consciousness, which to the Vijnanavadins is a function of our Mind (manas), the seventh class of Consciouness. It is different from the co-ordinating and integrating of sense-impression in the Thought or Mental consciouness (mano-vijnana).

Thus the object of the seventh class of consciousness (manas) is not the sense world, but the ever flowing stream of becoming or our depth consciousness, which is neither limited by birth and death nor by individual form of appearance. Birth and death are only the doors between one life and another with the continuous stream of consciousness flowing through them. This consciousness contained on its surface the causally conditioned state of existence and also the sum total of all experiences of a beginningless past. To the Vijnanavadins, this is the eighth, the Universal or Storehouse Consciousness (alaya-vijnana). The sixth consciousness which is term the Intellectual or Empirical consciousness (mano-vijnana), sort and judges the result of the five kind of sense consciousness, followed by attraction or repulsion and the illusion of our objective world.

The eighth, the Universal Consciousness is compared to the ocean, which on the surface, current and wave forms, while its depth remains motionless, pure and clear. It transcends all limits, it is pure, unchanging, undisturbed by our ego, without distinctions, desires and aversions.
Between the Universal Consciousness and the individual Intellectual Consciousness is the Spiritual Consciousness (manas), which takes part in both sides. It is the centre of balance and reference for these two consciousnesses and is of double characteristic. It is the cause for the conception of egohood in the unenlightened individual being who mistake this relative point for the real and permanent centre of his personality. It is our intellect, our mental consciousness (mano-vijnana) which conceives our seventh consciousness (manas) as our Ego. In this state, it is termed the ‘defiled mind’, the nature of which consists in an uninterrupted process of ego creating thoughts and discrimination. On the positive side, the intuitive side of manas is one with the Universal Consciousness participating in Transcendental Intelligence. When manas is directed from the Universal Consciousness towards the individual or self consciousness, it becomes a source of error. When directed from the Empirical towards the Universal Consciousness, it becomes a source of highest knowledge.

This can be compared to the vision of a man, who observes the different forms and colors of a landscape and feel himself different from it. There is the ‘I’ and the object observed. The other, is a vision of another who gazes into the vast expense of space or heaven, which free him of all object perception and thus from the awareness of his own self as he is only conscious of the infinity of space. The ‘I’ here loses its position through a lack of contrast or opposite with nothing to grasp or differentiate itself.

Selfhood and Universe are only the inside and outside of the same illusion. The realization of oneness and completeness has the characteristics of universality and has all the characteristic of individual experience without presuming an ego entity. It also escaped the dualistic concept of unity and plurality of ‘I’ and ‘not I’.

Manas is that which either binds us to the world of the senses or which liberates us from it. It is the principle through which the Universal consciousness experiences itself and through which it descends into the multiplicity of things, into the differentiation of senses and the sense objects, out of which arises the experience of the material world, the process of becoming, the progressive limitation of the unlimited. Liberation hence consists in the reversal of this process, in the progressive annihilation of these limitations. Annihilation here does not mean the suppression of sense consciousness, but a new attitude towards them, consisting in the removal of arbitrary discriminations, attachments and prejudices, i.e., the elimination of karmic formations which create the illusion of samsara, of birth and death. When there is a turning away from the outside world of objects to the inner world of oneness and completeness we have enter into the stream of liberation.

A bridge is shown here which leads from the ordinary world of the sense perception to the realm of timeless knowledge. In the process of enlightenment the five groups of form, feeling, perception, mental formation and consciousness are transformed into the corresponding qualities of Enlightenment consciousness (bodhicitta).

With the knowledge and realization of the teaching (dharma), the narrow ego bound individual consciousness grow into the state of cosmic consciousness, represented by the figure of Vairocana, the Radiating One, the Illuminator. Form is converted into the universal body in which the forms of all things are potentially present, according to their true nature, as the exponents of Sunyata or egolessness, by the consciousness of the Mirror like Wisdom, which reflects the forms of all things without clinging, without being touched or moved by them. It is represented by the figure of Aksobhya. Here, one destroyed the subject and the subjective conception of the world in favor of the object.
Similarly, self centre feeling is converted into the feeling for others, into compassion for all that lives, essentially, looking at all beings as identical to oneself through the Wisdom of Equality, as embodied in the figure of Ratnasambhava. We destroy the object, the separating differentiation of the outer world of appearance in favor of the subject.

Perception and Intellectual discrimination are converted into transcendental faculty of inner vision in the practice of meditation. It is the special function of Amitabha, the Dhyani Buddha of Infinite Light, the Wisdom of Discriminating Clear Vision. Clear Vision here is not concerned with intellectual analysis, but with Intuitive clear vision, uninfluenced by logical or conceptual discriminations. It is a direct state of spiritual awareness. We destroy the subject and the object in the final experience of Emptiness.

On the basis of such visions, the ego-bound karma creating mental formation is converted into the karma free activity of the saint, whose life is no more motivated by desire or attachment but by universal compassion, embodied in the figure of Amoghasiddhi, the Lord of the All Accomplishing Wisdom. We neither destroy the subject nor the object. We have reached the ultimate freedom and return to this world for the benefit of all living being.

As one Zen master said: Before one studies Zen the mountains are mountains and the water are water. If one get an insight into the truth of Zen through the instruction of a master, then to him the mountains are no more mountains and the water are no more water; but later when he have attained satori, the mountains are again mountains and the water are again water.

plwk
01 Jul 11, 04:52
Greetings Keith A,

Assuming from your avatar, I am assuming that you come from the Zen Tradition since I also see you at ZFI, I wonder if you have read the Lankavatara Sutra (http://lirs.ru/do/lanka_eng/lanka-nondiacritical.htm), reportedly the only Sutra that the Ancestor Patriarch Bodhidharma ever 'recommended' which has lots of teachings on this topic on its own grounds and in relation to other matters especially in Chapters 2 & 6?

Here's another take from Dharma Drum Mountain's the late Ven Master Dr Sheng-yen, from his Orthodox Chinese Buddhism ( Pgs 36-38 ) (http://www.shengyen.org.tw/big5/book/orthodox.pdf)

srivijaya
01 Jul 11, 09:05
My take on the Vijnanavada's perspective on consciousness.
Many thanks ATC for such a comprehensive post.

I covered the Cittamātra (aka Yogacara) view during my study of the tenets. From what I recall, there are many diverse (and perhaps some inaccurate) opinions about what they actually meant with their teachings. Seen from a certain angle, there is much to recommend it but I've never picked up on anything remotely like it in the Pali suttas.

It's worth noting that they were refuted by the Prasangikas (although they are counted as a Mahayana school). Dzogchen teachers also refute comparison with them.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yogacara

This may be of interest:
http://www.scribd.com/doc/31218319/Samdhinirmocana-Sutra-English-Translation#archive

Keith A
01 Jul 11, 14:25
Thank you all for the excellent responses! :hands:

srivijaya
01 Jul 11, 16:21
Here's another take from Dharma Drum Mountain's the late Ven Master Dr Sheng-yen, from his Orthodox Chinese Buddhism ( Pgs 36-38 ) (http://www.shengyen.org.tw/big5/book/orthodox.pdf)

Interesting take on it plwk.

Keith A
01 Jul 11, 20:06
Hi Keith,

You can read about the eight consciousnesses from a Tibetan Buddhist point of view here in "How the Eight Consciousnesses Cause Delusion "


http://www.ncf.net/8%20consciousnesses.htm

.

Thanks for the very helpful link, A-D. It was worth opening it just to see Most Venerable's smiling face. The power of a smile is amazing to me. ;D

Keith A
01 Jul 11, 20:09
My take on the Vijnanavada's perspective on consciousness.

Thanks for the comprehensive effort, ATC. There is a lot to digest there. It is funny how it often comes back to this though:


As one Zen master said: Before one studies Zen the mountains are mountains and the water are water. If one get an insight into the truth of Zen through the instruction of a master, then to him the mountains are no more mountains and the water are no more water; but later when he have attained satori, the mountains are again mountains and the water are again water.

Not special. :hands:

Keith A
01 Jul 11, 20:17
Greetings Keith A,

Assuming from your avatar, I am assuming that you come from the Zen Tradition since I also see you at ZFI, I wonder if you have read the Lankavatara Sutra (http://lirs.ru/do/lanka_eng/lanka-nondiacritical.htm), reportedly the only Sutra that the Ancestor Patriarch Bodhidharma ever 'recommended' which has lots of teachings on this topic on its own grounds and in relation to other matters especially in Chapters 2 & 6?

Here's another take from Dharma Drum Mountain's the late Ven Master Dr Sheng-yen, from his Orthodox Chinese Buddhism ( Pgs 36-38 ) (http://www.shengyen.org.tw/big5/book/orthodox.pdf)

Hi plwk,

Thanks for the response. Yes, I have read the Lanka, though I am certainly no scholar when it comes to understanding it. I will revisit those chapters (a copy of it is sitting on my tea table, as I write this). Thank you also for the link to Ven. Sheng-yen's pdf. I will download a copy for my Nook. ;D

In a cursory look, it is interesting that he posits the the 7th and 8th consciousnesses are really just expansions of the the 6th as it presented in the Nikayas.

stuka
01 Jul 11, 21:59
In a cursory look, it is interesting that he posits the the 7th and 8th consciousnesses are really just expansions of the the 6th as it presented in the Nikayas.

But that is not the case, as Element has pointed out elsewhere. For the Buddha, "consciousness" is merely sensory awareness, the detection of sensory data through each of the sensory systems, and not any sort of homunculus/entity that "stores" anything. Any such "expansion" would have nothing to do with "the 6th as it presented in the Nikayas.

ATC
02 Jul 11, 03:31
//My understanding is that alaya-vijnana emerged within the context of scholastic debates over the nagging question: given the lack of an atman, how do we explain psychological continuity? And how do we explain why an action (karma) that takes place at one moment can generate a result (vipaka) further down the line?//


The Madhyamika uses dialectic to explain its Doctrine of Sunyata. The Store House consciousness or 8th consciousness of the Vijnanavadin is a constructive modification of the Sunyata of the Madhyamika which denies the realities of Vijnana. For the Vijnanavadin, yes, you can dialectically analysed away all things as illusory, but illusion itself implies the ground on which illusory construction can take place. It accepts the Sunyata of the Prajnaparamintas, but modified it by identifying it with pure consciousness, the 8th consciousness when it is devoid of all duality. It thus adopts the middle position between the two extremes of Nihilism and Realism.

Element
02 Jul 11, 05:43
//My understanding is that alaya-vijnana emerged within the context of scholastic debates over the nagging question: given the lack of an atman, how do we explain psychological continuity? And how do we explain why an action (karma) that takes place at one moment can generate a result (vipaka) further down the line?//
hi ATC

In my opinion, if the "nagging question" was important, the Buddha would have answered it. But in the Pali, he did not. In the Pali, the Buddha distinctly taught supramundane dhamma and mundane dhamma. The six consciousnesses are supramundane dhamma. Karmic inheritance is mundane dhamma. The Buddha's teachings on rebirth explain karmic inheritance, that is, the consequences of various actions, that is all. The Buddha's rebirth teachings in the Pali are moral teachings rather than meta-physical teachings. The Buddha's rationale is explained in MN 117 and MN 60. In MN 60, the view of "beings" (self) and "existence" (atthikavādo) is right view on the mundane level, despite atthikavādo being wrong view on the supramundane level (SN 12.15).

With metta ;D

stuka
02 Jul 11, 05:45
//My understanding is that alaya-vijnana emerged within the context of scholastic debates over the nagging question: given the lack of an atman, how do we explain psychological continuity? And how do we explain why an action (karma) that takes place at one moment can generate a result (vipaka) further down the line?//



More like how to get around the Buddha's rejection of an atman and still come out with a mostly-intact reincarnation strategy....hazards of clinging to thickets of speculative views...

stuka
02 Jul 11, 06:20
Quote Originally Posted by ATC View Post
//My understanding is that alaya-vijnana emerged within the context of scholastic debates over the nagging question: given the lack of an atman, how do we explain psychological continuity? And how do we explain why an action (karma) that takes place at one moment can generate a result (vipaka) further down the line?//

If the "nagging question" was important, then the Buddha would have answered it. But he did not. The Buddha distinctly taught supramundane dhamma and mundane dhamma. The six consciousnesses are supramundane dhamma. Karmic inheritance is mundane dhamma. The Buddha's teachings on rebirth explain karmic inheritance, that is, the consequences of various actions, that is all. The urge or craving (tanha) to manufacture meta-physical post-mortem rebirth doctrines was obviously not the intent of the Buddha. The Buddha's rebirth teachings are moral teachings rather than meta-physical teachings. The Buddha's rationale is explained in MN 117. My opinion. Best wishes ;D

The "nagging question" only nags, and is only a problem (or even a question), for folks who feel a need to rationalize and prop up superstitions they cling to. Part of the "liberation" of the Buddha's teaching is precisely liberation from the heavy chains of superstitious views. And from the burden of trying to prop up convoluted rationalizations within the shackles of those views. Life is so much better without such burdens....

Element
02 Jul 11, 07:31
Part of the "liberation" of the Buddha's teaching....
Sure. But the Buddha also offered teachings to encourage goodness. Regards. ;D

stuka
02 Jul 11, 14:28
Sure. But the Buddha also offered teachings to encourage goodness. Regards. ;D

Yes.

Aloka
02 Jul 11, 14:29
Regarding 8 consciousnesses, in 'The Dharma' the late Kalu Rinpoche stated :



In the Hinayana tradition, just [these] six consciousnesses are counted. According to the sutras and commentaries of the Mind Only school of the Mahayana, there are eight types of consciousness. Supported by Basic Consciousness, confused mind posits the View of a Self, Pride (thinking "I"), Attachment to a Self, and Ignorance.

The mind with these four emotional afflictions is known as the "Emotionally afflicted mind" and is the seventh consciousness. Except for those who have actualised the stages of a Bodhisattva, or the Truth of Cessation, or the Path of No More Learning, all beings have this kind of consciousness.

Finally The eighth consciousness is the Basic Consciousness. It is called this because it is the basis, the ground that holds the seeds...the skhandas, ayatanas, dhatus, and so forth.

In clear awareness, the basis of the mind, occur all the places in the 6 realms, external objects, the bodies we inhabit in each. All the karmic seeds for taking birth in these realms are held by Basic Consciousness and so it is called the 'taking consciousness'. All these different places, bodies, and objects are like appearances in a dream, or images in a mirror. Although they are 'mere appearance', without any ultimate reality, they are planted by habit and sustained by Basic Consciousness. Thus it is also called the 'ripening consciousness'.





.

Element
02 Jul 11, 21:55
The Madhyamika uses dialectic to explain its Doctrine of Sunyata. The Store House consciousness or 8th consciousness of the Vijnanavadin is a constructive modification of the Sunyata of the Madhyamika which denies the realities of Vijnana. For the Vijnanavadin, yes, you can dialectically analysed away all things as illusory, but illusion itself implies the ground on which illusory construction can take place. It accepts the Sunyata of the Prajnaparamintas, but modified it by identifying it with pure consciousness, the 8th consciousness when it is devoid of all duality. It thus adopts the middle position between the two extremes of Nihilism and Realism.
Thank you ATC

I have never heard such an explanation before. Generally, I have only heard Mahayana Buddhists speak of alaya as continuity.

With metta :hands:

ATC
03 Jul 11, 09:55
@Element - //I have never heard such an explanation before.//

The idealistic teachings and logics of the Vijnanavadin is the end stage in the development of the Mahayanist doctrines before its total disappearance from India. Without the present of the dialectic of the Madhayamika, the doctrine of the 8th consciousness would not have come about.

This view can be found in the book ‘The Central Philosophy of Buddhism’ authored by T.R.V Murti.

srivijaya
04 Jul 11, 12:49
This view can be found in the book ‘The Central Philosophy of Buddhism’ authored by T.R.V Murti.
Thanks for the book ref. ATC and the wonderful explanations. I've always had a soft spot for the Yogacharins but have only ever seen their storehouse consciousness as presented by outside schools who had a vested interest in de-bunking it. I personally feel that there is much more to it than meets the eye.