Reply To: Ghandhabba, Jati, Vinnana (Consciousness)


I was going to suggest some posts for Dipo to read on the terms in Paticca Samuppada (sankhara, vinnana, etc.). Then I saw that Lang has commented on your questions about arammana. So, let me comment a bit more on that first. I will suggest those posts on the other Pali words tomorrow.

Dipo quoted:

“New Concise Pali English Dictionary
ārammaṇa: neuter basis, starting point (for producing or initiating activity), footing; basis of meditation; object, object of consideration, sense-object

PTS Pali English Dictionary

Ārammaṇa: neuter primary meaning “foundation”, from this applied in the following: senses: support, help, footing, expedient, anything to be depended upon as a means of achieving what is desired, i.e. basis of operation, chance Snp verse 1069 (= ālambana, nissaya, upanissaya Cnd.132); Pv.4:1 (yaṁ kiñc’ ārammaṇaṁ katvā) ārammaṇaṁ labhati (+ otāraṁ labhati) to get the chance SN.ii.268; SN.iv.185; condition, ground, cause, means esp. a cause of desire or clinging to life, pl. -ā causes of rebirth (interpreted by taṇhā at Mnd.429), lust Snp verse 474 (= paccayā Snp-a.410), Snp verse 945 (= Mnd.429); Kp-a.23; Dhp-a.i.288 (sappāy˚); Pv-a.279


This is a good example of the problem we are facing today. Those dictionaries were written by the early European scholars who tried their best to interpret the vast Pali literature they came across in Sri Lanka and other Asian countries in the early 1800s.
– At that time, Buddha Dhamma (Buddhism) was in a very bad state as I described in “Elephant in the Room” – Direct Translation of the Tipiṭaka.”
– Those European scholars learned Pali (and Sanskrit) from the locals. As I mentioned, there were no bhikkhus or any other scholars with good knowledge of Buddha Dhamma or Pali.
– Thus, SOME of the explanations in the dictionaries that you quote are not quite correct. For example, they translate “vinnana” as “consciousness.” But “vinnana” can have different meanings depending on the context. I will give you some posts to read tomorrow.
P.S. It was Waharaka Thero (my late teacher) who provided correct interpretations of those words. How can we know that they are the correct interpretations? They lead to self-consistency within the Tipitaka. There are many inconsistencies with other interpretations/translations, as I pointed out in MANY posts, including the above-mentioned post. Also see, “Parinibbāna of Waharaka Thēro.”

Arammana is another word that is not translated correctly. As I try to emphasize, it is better to learn the Pali word’s meaning and use it rather than trying to translate it. Many Pali words CAN NOT be translated as single English words: Anicca, anatta, sankhara, vinnana…etc.
Arammana is simply a sensory input that grabs your attention. It can come through one of the five physical senses (eyes, ears, nose, tongue, body touch) or the sixth one, the mind (memory recall.)
– The best way to find relevant posts on a word(s) is to use the “Search box’ labeled “Enter Keyword” on the top right. I did that, and here is the result for “arammana”:
Search Results for: arammana
– The very first post is a good one to start. Scan through others also and get a feel for it. Feel free to ask questions if not clear.