3

How is 'consciousness' (vinyaana) defined in Buddhist texts? How similar or different is it from the way the word is used these days -- particularly in scientific studies of consciousness ?

3

'It cognizes, it cognizes': Thus, friend, it is said to be 'consciousness.' And what does it cognize? It cognizes 'pleasant.' It cognizes 'painful.' It cognizes 'neither painful nor pleasant.' 'It cognizes, it cognizes': Thus it is said to be 'consciousness.' - MN 43

And what, bhikkhus, is consciousness? There are these six classes of consciousness: eye-consciousness, ear-consciousness, nose-consciousness, tongue-consciousness, body-consciousness, mind-consciousness. This is called consciousness. - SN 12.2

The six classes of consciousness should be understood. ’ So it was said. And with reference to what was this said? Dependent on the eye and forms, eye-consciousness arises; dependent on the ear and sounds, ear-consciousness arises; dependent on the nose and odours, nose-consciousness arises; dependent on the tongue and flavours, tongue-consciousness arises; dependent on the body and tangibles, body-consciousness arises; dependent on the mind and mind-objects, mind-consciousness arises. - MN 148

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.