How do perception and discrimination relate?

I remember thinking (when reading) that they were near synonyms

3 Answers 3


Discernment (wisdom; panna) & consciousness are conjoined, friend, not disjoined. It's not possible, having separated them one from the other, to delineate the difference between them. For what one discerns, that one cognizes. What one cognizes, that one discerns.

Feeling, perception, & consciousness are conjoined, friend, not disjoined. It is not possible, having separated them one from another, to delineate the difference among them. For what one feels, that one perceives. What one perceives, that one cognizes.

Mahavedalla Sutta


Discriminant is wisdom. You try to see things clearly or as they are, especially uncluttered by perception. (See introduction of Discernment: The Buddha’s Strategies for Happiness II)

Perception is your outlook of the world or mind map of the world.

Perception clouds seeing things as they are hence the relationship.


This question tagged as five-skandas. So the words perception and discrimination may relate to it.

In pali (Thipitaka - language) 'five-skandas' are "aggregates" (Pali: khandha; Skt.: skandha) are material "form" (rupa), "feeling" or "sensation" (vedana), "perception" (Saṃjñā), "volitional formations" or "fabrications" (sankhara) and consciousness (viññāṇa).

So the word "discrimination" is meen by (viññāṇa) consciousness.

taking two examples A) seeing Flower, and b) seeing leaf.

The action of separating (recognition) flower and leaf is perception (Saṃjñā).
The action of separating flower and I, leaf and I is discrimination (viññāṇa).

Quote from Maha Thera Nyanatiloka. Manual of Buddhist Terms and Doctrines, Buddhist Publication Society, first edition 1952.

Viññāna: 'consciousness', is one of the 5 groups of existence aggregates or clusters;khandha, one of the 4 nutriments āhāra, the 3rd link of the dependent origination paticcasamuppāda, the 5th in the sixfold division of elements; dhatu.

Viewed as one of the 5 groups; khandha it is inseparably linked with the 3 other mental groups feeling, perception and constructions and furnishes the bare cognition of the object, while the other 3 contribute more specific functions. Its ethical and kammic character, and its greater or lesser degree of intensity and clarity, are chiefly determined by the mental constructions associated with it.

Quote from Andarei

Nothing is solid, everything is made of pieces or depends on conditions. This includes "I" which cannot possibly be a solid/independent entity. Since "I" is really just a compound phenomena, it is not independent and too is subject to conditions. What we call "consciousness" is too an interplay of conditions and not a substance or entity.


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