Viññāṇaṃ anidassanaṃ can also refers to Nibbana?

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    • #47992

      In “Kevaṭṭa Sutta (DN 11)“, Puredhamma translates the following phrases as below:

      “Viññāṇaṃ anidassanaṃ, anantaṃ sabbatopabhaṃ.
      Ettha āpo ca pathavī, tejo vāyo na gādhati; Ettha dīghañca rassañca, aṇuṃ thūlaṃ subhāsubhaṃ; Ettha nāmañca rūpañca, asesaṃ uparujjhati; Viññāṇassa nirodhena, etthetaṃ uparujjhatī’”ti

      viññāna is unseen, infinite, and leads to the rebirth process for all,
      With the vinnana stopped from arising, pathavi, apo, tejo, vayo, and anything spread out or condensed, small or large, good or bad, and also nama and rupa will be totally uprooted (do not get a chance to take hold).”

      But I think the first few phrases can also refer to Nibbana since the Bhikkhu in the sutta asked the Buddha where all the fundamental elements disappear without a trace; the Buddha answered that in Nibbana dimension is where all the essential elements and napa-rupa ceased without a trace. So the famous phrases can be translated as:

      Viññāṇaṃ anidassanaṃ, anantaṃ sabbatopabhaṃ.
      (The place where vinnana is unseen, where it is boundless and full of light at every corner -> refers to Nibbana)
      or (Vinnana is unseen, where it is boundless and leads to unending rebirth -> refers to kamma vinnana)
      Ettha āpo ca pathavī, tejo vāyo na gādhati;
      (Here, water, earth, fire, and wind elements find no foundation)
      Ettha dīghañca rassañca, aṇuṃ thūlaṃ subhāsubhaṃ;
      (Here, long and short, small and big, beautiful and ugly)
      Ettha nāmañca rūpañca, asesaṃ uparujjhati;
      (Here, namarupa completely ceases and stops)
      Viññāṇassa nirodhena, etthetaṃ uparujjhatī’”ti.
      (With the ceasing of Vinnana, here, all of the elements above are entirely gone)

      So the conventional translation might not be totally wrong, although they are still confused since Vinnana is translated as consciousness, and so they think that achieving Nibbana means people are completely gone from existence since their consciousness is gone, even though it actually refers to the dimension where there is no defiled consciousness left, and no sankhara or conditioned phenomenon exist anymore.

      Please correct me if I’m wrong.


    • #47997

      The Puredhamma post in question is “Anidassana, Appaṭigha Rupa Due to Anidassana Viññāṇa.” This is a deep concept.

      1. We can get some insight into the issue by looking at what led to the question in the “Kevaṭṭa Sutta (DN 11).” I have linked to the marker @67.4, where the Buddha refers to the following question asked by a bhikkhu (by the name Kevaḍḍha) at an earlier time: “Where do these four primary elements cease to exist without anything left over, namely, the elements of earth, water, fire, and air?”

      • In many suttas, the Buddha refers to Nibbana as “loka nirodha.” Some people interpret “loka nirodha” as the “end of the world,” i.e., where the whole world made of the four primary elements ceases to exist.
      • As we can imagine, that is an impossibility. How can not only the Earth but all the stars, etc., in the world cease to exist?
      • P.S. Also, even if one looks for a realm without four primary elements, that is not possible either. Even in arupa loka, each Brahma is made of a suddhāṭṭhaka. ANY living entity has to have a “hadaya vatthu,” which is the  “seat of the mind.”

      2. So, with that misconception, Kevaḍḍha bhikkhu (who had cultivated abhinna powers) went to see various Devas and Brahmas to get an answer to his foolish question. No one could answer and he finally went to see the Mahā Brahmā as stated @ marker 81.2. Mahā Brahmā admitted that he did not know that answer and directed the bhikkhu to the Buddha. @marker 84.1, the sutta states that the bhikkhu went go back to see the Buddha and asked the question.

      • @ marker 85.10, the Buddha says he should ask the question in a different way to get a sensible answer. 
      • Loka nirodha” for a given person is when the four primary elements find no footing in that person’s mind.
      • In other words, this is when one stops generating “namarupa” in the mind, which can lead to rebirth. As we know, any existence is associated with a hadaya vatthu, which is made of the four primary elements AND also kammic energy. When one attains Arahanthood, the namarupa” formation stops. And that is when the four primary elements find no footing and the rebirth process stops. i.e., loka nirodha.

      3. So, you may want to read that post again and see whether it is clear. There is more information at “Nāmarūpa Formation,” in particular, the last two posts in that section. 

      • I wanted to set up the background. That may help to ask questions a bit differently. 
      • Vinnana is infinite all the time. At Arahanthood, all that happens is the stopping of “kamma vinnana,” where “kammic energy” for future existences is created via “namarupa” formation. A living Arahant experiences “vipaka vinnana,” which is also infinite, which refers to “vinnana dhatu.” Of course, at the death of the physical body of that Arahant, a new existence is not grasped, and that is the “loka nirodha” or the “end of suffering.”
      • In other words, the “loka” with all types of stuff made of the four primary elements cease to exist for that person (Arahant.)

      4. This is a complex issue, but also a critical issue, at least for those at or above the Sotapanna stage.

      P.S. Yes. The formatting has issues. But I can fix those, and I have fixed them in your comment. Don’t worry about it in the future. 

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    • #48004

      I just updated the post “Anidassana, Appaṭigha Rupa Due to Anidassana Viññāṇa.” 

      1 user thanked author for this post.
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