“Friend, these five faculties—each with a separate range, a separate domain, not experiencing one another’s range & domain: the eye-faculty, the ear-faculty, the nose-faculty, the tongue-faculty, & the body-faculty—have the intellect as their (common) arbitrator. The intellect is what experiences (all) their ranges & domains.”

Alternative translation for the last line:

  • “These five faculties, with their different scopes and ranges, have recourse to the mind. And the mind experiences their scopes and ranges.”
  • They are restored in the mind and it partakes the pasture commonly.
  • mind is the repository, and mind reacts to their pasture and range.”

what does it mean? Is it yogacara in a nutshell? they say mind-only, mere representation....or maybe it means that the pasture was not good enough to contain my evilness?

here is another wacky one from the wikipedia:

These internal sense bases (internal faculty) are not the gross organs themselves (e.g., the eye, ear, etc.), but subtle matter within them.

  • 3
    I don't understand how that bit of the sutta might be related to "alibi" or "evil" so I don't understand the question. And I don't think it says "mind-only", I mean it only says that the mind experiences each of the senses.
    – ChrisW
    Jan 29 at 17:33
  • You can't change the question completely after it has been answered. I prefer if you rollback the changes back to the old question and create a new question for your latest question instead.
    – ruben2020
    Mar 21 at 18:32
  • @ChrisW said it’s lawful to do this
    – blue_ego
    Mar 21 at 19:00
  • I think I referenced this help topic which suggests you edit to improve the question -- but which also says, " Don't invalidate existing answers".
    – ChrisW
    Mar 21 at 19:17
  • I didn't understand the original question, but existing answers answered it literally -- "can it be my alibi" and "is it yogacara" -- so maybe it can't be edited (editing would be unfair to the people who took time to answer the previous version of the question). Might you want to repost this as a new question?
    – ChrisW
    Mar 21 at 19:23

3 Answers 3


The Buddha didn't offer alibis from past wrong doings, he offered us permanent escape, and release from evil unskillful tendencies / qualities. He said we should abandon our unskillful ways. And that we should develop new and more skillful abilities / qualities. When we do this, we will discern the drawbacks and suffering caused by our old ways, and let them go more easily. It's not a matter of brute force, it's more like: from the arising of this comes the arising of that, and, from the ending of this comes the ending of that.

He says so in The Vajjian Monk - Vajjiputta Sutta (AN 3:85):

“Monk, can you train in reference to the three trainings: the training in heightened virtue, the training in heightened mind, the training in heightened discernment?” “Yes, lord, I can train in reference to the three trainings: the training in heightened virtue, the training in heightened mind, the training in heightened discernment.”

“Then train in reference to those three trainings: the training in heightened virtue, the training in heightened mind, the training in heightened discernment. As you train in heightened virtue, heightened mind, & heightened discernment, your passion, aversion, & delusion—when trained in heightened virtue, heightened mind, & heightened discernment—will be abandoned. You—with the abandoning of passion, the abandoning of aversion, the abandoning of delusion—will not do anything unskillful or engage in any evil.”

For definitions of these trainings, see AN 3:90.

  • a fine answer, but still interested in venerable sariputra's explanation
    – blue_ego
    Jan 30 at 13:28

Who ever would try to declare something beyond the six factulties would just fall into misery, because it lies far out of range.

Holding on them as real is common one's Alibi, home, stand, yes.


It’s not yogacara. It’s missing distinctive functions like store house consciousness perfuming the seed consciousnesses, etc. And please do not view yogacara as an ontology. It is not making any claim that the nature of the world is “mind only” or exists only in the mind. Only the roots keeping us bound to samsara are generated by the mind alone. Yogacara is simply a model of how we are bound and a methodology for unbinding.

  • i didn't call it ontology, but thanks anyway..
    – blue_ego
    Jan 30 at 13:27
  • actually vasubandhu did make the claim that the nature of world is mind only, ie exists only in the mind
    – blue_ego
    Mar 17 at 7:15
  • Not really. What he says is more along the lines of stating that we cannot know anything apart from our own consciousness. Perception is dependent on sense consciousness and the seeds that condition them. Even upon liberation, our perceptions are dependent on our body. It’s not that things exist only in the mind but rather that we can only experience them through the mind.
    – xxxx
    Mar 17 at 21:03
  • if not through the mind, then how else? It's a limiting factor, and you can't prove it otherwise
    – blue_ego
    Mar 17 at 21:23
  • Yeah, but that’s all it ultimately is - a limiting factor. Yogacara isn’t an ontology. It makes no claims regarding the ultimate nature of reality.
    – xxxx
    Mar 17 at 21:31

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .