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Les Cittamatra

, l'cole de l'esprit seul, les vijnanavada.

Une caractristique : cette cole soutient que les consciences et leurs objets se manifestent simultanment. Et cette manifestation, serait l'e et des semences qui ont muri dans la conscience base de tout. Lobjet et sa conscience forme une entit substantielle ou une entit unique , sans tre eux-mmes identiques. Lobjet nest pas pour autant une conscience. Donc, ce qui est illusion, cest de croire lexistence dun sujet et dun objet. Cette forme dignorance est la racine du samsara. La ralit ultime est donc le fait quil ny a pas de di rence dentit entre le sujet et lobjet. Le rve indique quun objet peut apparatre la conscience sans pour autant tre rel. Pour autant, les objets du rve ne sont pas les mmes que les objets perus durant ltant de veille, car les premiers nont pas de fonctions. Un point important : tout ce qui relve de lune ou de lautre des deux ralits (relative et ultime) se doit dexister, et tout ce qui ne relve ni de lune ni de lautre (toutes les natures imputes inexistantes) ne peut pas exister. Ceci est comprendre quand on voque la premire nature : , les imputations.


Fond par Asanga au 4e sicle et sur le Lankavatara sutra, et autres. Pour certains, le Lankavatara sutra est associ cette cole, sans tre totalement fondateur. Tout est esprit, et au niveau relatif, les apparences, surgis de la conscience base de tout, sont illusoires. D nition de Jamgoeun Kongtrul: "Hors de l'esprit, il n'y a aucun objet, aucune substance.


La ralit ultime est la conscience qui se peroit elle-mme, libre de la dualit de quelqu'un qui peroit et de ce qui est peru. Mais, si non reconnue, il y a alors ignorance et nat alors l'illusion d'un sujet prhenseur et d'objets apprhendables . Ces deux aspects sont les deux aspects de la conscience, tourne vers l'extrieur et vers l'intrieur, simultanment. C'est l'aspect tourn vers l'intrieur qui fait o ce de "mmoire". Ces deux aspects ne peuvent pas exister indpendamment l'un de l'autre. Cest dans ce systme philosophique quest prsent la conscience en 8 consciences. Tony Du : In the Mind Only system and schools that follow its view of consciousness (including the tantras), an eight-fold grouping of consciousness is asserted. First is the eighth consciousness which is the basis for the arising of all others. When that becomes stirred up, karmic seeds stored in it are activated, and the seventh consciousness is produced. It is a mind consciousness which has a ictions; that is the a icted mind referred to here. Because it is a consciousness, it is also called "a icted mind consciousness". e a iction mind always has four aspects of grasping to self with it; these are called "the four attendants of a icted mind".


DE [DCW] says IJ DL "it is called a

icted mind because (having the four attendants of a icted mind) it creates all of the (views of ) the transitory collection". e a icted mind not only has the quality of a iction but also functions as the "immediate condition" for the production of the six-fold sense consciousness. All of the six sense consciousnesses, their sense faculties, and their objects are produced from it. In short, although the eighth consciousness is the very basis for the production of all of the phenomena of cyclic existence, it is its transformation, the seventh consciousness that, actively creates the content of cyclic existence from the seeds stored in the eighth consciousness. e eighth consciousness is likened to a lake which, when stirred up, has waves on its surface, and these waves are the seventh consciousness. It produces the rest of the perceptual process of cyclic existence like water vapor coming o the lake. e six sense consciousnesses become like clouds that create new karmic seeds which then fall back into the lake as rain. e lake of the eighth consciousness receives these new karmic impressions and stores them.


As mentioned, the seventh consciousness acts as the immediate condition for the arising of the six consciousnesses. In this system, a moment of this consciousness always precedes the arising of a moment of any of the six sense consciousnesses and always succeeds the cessation of a moment of any of the same. is has to be asserted because this system states that all things are mind and therefore there has to be a moment of mind of some kind both before and after the production / cessation of a moment of the six sense consciousnesses in order to connect their production and cessation with the eighth consciousness. Les huit consciences


7A " e eight-fold group of consciousness". [DGT] gives as: 1) 7 "eye consciousness"; 2) 77 "ear consciousness"; 3) N7 "nose consciousness"; 4) O7 "tongue consciousness"; 5) E7 "body consciousness"; 6) E7 "mind consciousness"; 7) "the a icted mind consciousness"; 8) 7 "and the omni
base consciousness". Thories des huit consciences


As presented in Sandhinirmochana Sutra (ch.5), Lankavatara Sutra, Asangas Mahayanasamgraha (ch.1), Vasubandhus Vijnaptimatratasiddhi; early Buddhism taught only rst 6 consciousnesses. 5 consciences sensorielles: Chakshur/shrotra/grahna/jihva/kaya-vijnana (il, oreille, nez, langue, corps). 6 : conscience mentale, qui conceptualise les objets sensoriels

icted mind".

Mano-vijnana (mental consciousness) awareness/cognition/discernment which ascribes names to objects, directly perceives emptiness, misconceives duality, etc.; awareness of activity of klishta-manas. 7 : conscience mentale souille,

(klishta-manas). D "A

(a icted mind/intellect the mental sense organ, a icted with view of self, confusion regarding self, pride in self, attachment to self; it is the source of the imputational character; it conceives alaya to be the self of the person, until hinayana stream-entry or 1st bodhisattva bhumi. 8 : conscience base de tout:


Kokyo: Alaya-vijnana (storehouse/repository/container consciousness) the basis into which karmic actions leave vasana (permeations) or bija (seeds), which in turn give rise to sense organs, objects, the 7 other consciousnesses, and habits (the whole dependently arisen world of experience) all pervaded by a sense of duality of perceiver and perceived; alaya is what ows through deep sleep, transmigrates in rebirth, and connects body and mind though it is not a permanent self; it continues until arhatship or 8th bodhisattva bhumi (when no more seeds are deposited and all stored seeds have come to fruition), when it is called fruition consciousness at Buddhahood it is transformed into perfect mirror jnana. Tony Du : "Alaya consciousness". Translation of the Sanskrit "layavijna". e consciousness referred to here is the eighth consciousness. It is in itself unobscured and indeterminate. It is the principal consciousness that is an omni-basis that underlies the rest mind and all of experience. It is also the "overall range" upon which all karmic seeds and other things that ripen in a sentient being's experience are planted.

Because of its functions as the place upon which karmic seeds are planted and kept, its name has been translated as the "store-house consciousness" though in fact the name means that "basis that extends under everything" i.e., the basis underlying everything".

Natures, e ree .

ree Characteristics


is is a key term of the

1 "the all-labelled character"; 2) D "the other9 "the thoroughly-established character". Ce sont: 1) 1 la nature impute ou imaginaire; 2) D la nature dpendante; et 3) 9 la nature parfaitement tablie.
ey are [DGT]: 1) powered character"; and 3) Tony Du : 1) 1 : " e totally conceptualizing character". Usual abbrev. of 1 . e name means "that which has the characteristic of being nothing but conceptual process". It is often translated as "imaginary nature / imagined nature" though that is not really accurate.

Kokyo: 1. Imputational Character (parikalpita - completely imagined, mere fantasy, conceptually grasped, projected; this is a non-existent imputational character - there are existent imputational characters, like uncompounded space, which are also referents of words, but do not exist by way of their own character). It is that which is imputed as (imagined as, posited by) a name or symbol (to the objects of conceptual activity, the signs of compounded phenomena) in terms of the own-being (svabhava - identity, essence, entity) or attributes (particulars) of phenomena in order to subsequently designate (impute ) any convention whatsoever.

It is known in dependence upon names that are connected with signs (nimitta). It is a lack of own-being in terms of character (marks, characteristics, traits, features - lakshananihsvabhavata) It is posited as (de ned by) names and symbols, but it does not subsist by way of its own character (by inherent de nition). (Jang-gya de nition): It is the (false) establishment of an (other-dependent) phenomenon by way of its own-character (svalakshana) (from its own side) as the referent (ground, base of imputation) of a conceptual consciousness or of a word (name, designation, apprehension), and the (false) establishment of object (perceived, phenomena) and subject (perceiver, consciousness) as separate entities. (Svabhava: inherent existence, entity, substance, essence, own-being, intrinsic being, self-existence, selfnature; basically equivalent to svalakshana: natural existence, own-character). Tony Du : 2) e name means "that which has the characteristic of being under the control of other". It is often translated as "other-powered nature" though that is not really accurate. [SKD] de nes it with this statement: "Other-controlled is merely consciousness which is appearing as an object in the context of grasped / grasping because it is an appearance which comes from the other-control of the habitual patterns of ignorance".

Kokyo: 2. Other-Dependent Character (paratantra other-powered, dependent origination; objects of conceptual activity, bases of the imputational character, signs (or that which has the signs) of compounded phenomena). It is simply the dependent origination (dependent co-arising) of phenomena. It is known in dependence upon strongly adhering to the other-dependent character as being the imputational character (being superimposed on the imputational character). It is a lack of own-being in terms of self-production (birth - utpatti-nihsvabhavata) It arises through the force (dependent on the power) of other conditions and not by itself.

(Asangas de nition): It is all the consciously constructed di erentiations (vijnapti concepts) that have alaya as their seed ey correspond to the (6 sense organs, 6 sense objects, 6 consciousnesses).

9 9

Tony Du : 3) " e characteristic of thorough establishment" or "the thoroughly established characteristic". Translation of the Sanskrit "parinihpannalakhaa" and usually abbrev. as . e name of the third of the three characters in the Mind only / Yogacara system presentation of reality. e name means "that which has the characteristic of being established overall". us this third characteristic refers to dharmas which are not mere emptiness but which are the primordial dharmat and which are none other than aspects of the enlightened mind. In other words, this third characteristic refers not so much to emptiness as a superfactual (ultimate) but to the phenomena which are the self-expression of enlightened mind as the superfactual. ese phenomena exist in the superfactual because they are present as the objects of a non-dualistic mind. In other words, for the Mind-only School, the superfactual is the selfknowing, self-illumination free from every fabrication and for them that is given the names , , , dharmat, dharmadhtu, suchness, and the superfactual. Since that is something which is wholly existent, completely existent in truth, it is given the name "thorough establishment" and that is the third characteristic of the system of the Mind-only school.

VW 9

ere are phenomena: 1) having the characteristic of having been constructed through a process only of conceptual labelling, "imaginary" (and also written as with the same meaning); 2) having the characteristic of being other-powered, "other-powered" (this term actually means that there is something which exists in its own right independently of the observer); and 3) , having the characteristic of being fully established, "full establishment". e name of the third characteristic refers to non-dualistic mind which is taken as an ultimate truth; it gets its name because, unlike the rst two truths it is neither "just imaginary" nor "partially present in truth", but " fully established" in truth. e rst two correspond to the lesser level of the two truths and the third corresponds to the higher level of the two truths.

1 D 9


Kokyo: 3. oroughly Established Character (parinishpanna - completely perfected, perfectly real, consummate; its realization is equivalent to realizing that all objects of experience are mere consciousness; this is vijnaptimatrata - mere concept, consciousness-only, perception-only, ideationonly, cognition-only, mere representation of consciousness, mere denomination, pure information, only constructs of consciousness; it is realized directly and non-conceptually on the Path of Seeing). It is the suchness (tathata - thusness) of phenomena. rough diligence and proper mental application (it is realized)...It is the other-dependent char. not thoroughly established as being the imputational char. It is known in dependence upon absence of strong adherence to the other-dependent character (dependent co-arising, interdependent origination) as being the imputational character. It is an ultimate lack of own-being (essence - paramartha-nihsvabhavata) It is the sel essness of phenomena the object of observation for puri cation ultimate truth. Other-powered (characters) are permanently and forever thoroughly not established as (having) the imputational (character), and are without that inherent nature; just that non-establishment or lack of inherent nature is to be viewed as the thoroughly established character. (Jang-gya de nition): It is the emptiness (absence) of an (other-dependent) objects establishment by way of its own character as the referent of a conceptual consciousness or of a term (word) and the emptiness of its being a separate entity from the consciousness apprehending it (of object and subject being di erent substantial entities, of subject-object duality, of perceiver-perceived duality). ( e thoroughly established character is the absence of the imputational character in the otherdependent character. Other-powered characters are not established by way of their own character as the referents of conceptual consciousnesses or as the referents of words.) 4

Les deux sortes de Cittamatrin: Ensuite, les Cittamatrin tenants de laspect vrai:


"True aspectarian". Translation of the Sanskrit "skravdin". A follower of the sub-school of the mind only system of philosophy called "True Aspect". e school receives it name because its followers consider that externally appearing phenomena are not truly present but do seem to appear to the sense consciousness hence they assert these phenomena to be true / real.

Et les Cittamatrin tenants de laspect trompeur. "False-aspectarian". Translation of the Sanskrit "nirkravdin". A follower of the sub-school of the mind only system of philosophy called "False Aspect". e school receives its name because its followers consider that externally appearing phenomena are not truly present and moreover, it is not correct that they even seem to appear the sense consciousness, hence they assert these phenomena to be not true / real even for the mind.

In "Praise of Dharmadhatu". Extrait de quelques pages sur le yogacara et les trois natures. Especially the Yogacara School speaks about the triad of "mind" (Skt. citta, Tib. ), "mentation" (Skt. manas, Tib. ), and "consciousness" (Skt. vijnana, Tib. ). Here, "mind" indicates the alaya-consciousness.

"Mentation" either designates just the a icted mind or the seventh consciousness as consisting of both the a icted and the immediate mind. "Consciousness" stands for the ve sense consciousnesses and the mental consciousness. As for the Sanskrit term manas, it has a wide range of meanings, primarily being one of the many Sanskrit words for "mind" in general, also meaning "conceptual mind," "thought," and "imagination." ere is a de nite lack of proper equivalents for most of the rich Sanskrit and Tibetan terminologies used for mind and its many facets, but there is also a need for distinct terms when going into the subtleties of mapping out mind in Buddhist texts. is is why manas ( ) is rendered here by the English technical term "mentation." e Oxford English Dictionary de nes it as "mental action or a mental state," suggesting mind being in a state of operation, which is how the Sanskrit and Tibetan terms are mainly used (at least in the present context). Rangjung Dorje's commentaries on his Profound Inner Reality and the Dharmadhatustava further divide "mentation" into the "a icted mind," the "immediate mind," and "pure mentation" (for details, see the translation of the latter text below).

e World Is Imagination e related terms vikalpa ( ), kalpana ( ), parikalpa ( ), and their cognates all have the basic sense of "constructing," "forming," "manufacturing," or "inventing." us, in terms of mind, they mean "creating in the mind," "forming in the imagination," and even "assuming to be real," "feigning," and " ction." is shows that their usual translation as "thought" or "concept" is not wrong, but often far too narrow. Fundamentallyand this is to be kept in mind throughout Buddhist textsthese terms refer to the ongoing constructive yet deluded activity of the mind that constantly brings forth all kinds of dualistic appearances and experiences, thus literally building its own world. What is usually understood by "conceptual thinking" is just a small part of this dynamic, since it also includes nonconceptual imagination and even what appears as outer objects and sense consciousnessesliterally everything that goes on in a dualistic mind, conscious or not. is meaning of deluded mental activity is particularly highlighted by the classical Yogacara terms abhutaparikalpa ("false imagination," lit. "imagination of what is unreal") and parikalpita ("the imaginary"), the latter being what is produced by false imagination. us, in this more general sense, I often use "imagination" for the above terms as well. is is also what Nagarjuna means in verse 5 of his Cittavajrastava: [For] the mind that has given up imagination, Samsara impregnated154 by imagination 5


Is nothing but an imagination The lack of imagination is liberation.

71Y 71ZL 71 71
Obviously, this does not refer to samsara being just (conceptual) thinking or that the mere lack of such thinking is nirvana. Mind Has ree Natures to "the three natures," 1) the imaginary nature (Skt. parikalpitasvabhava, Tib. 1E is leads ), 2)usthe other-dependent nature (Skt. paratantrasvabhava, Tib. ), and 3) the perfect nature (Skt. parinispannasvabhava, Tib. 9E). ere are a large number of sometimes very di erent presentations of what these three natures are in both Indian and Tibetan texts. To give just a brief and general idea, the other-dependent nature is the mistaken imagination that appears as the unreal entities of subject and object, because these are appearances under the in uence of something other, that is, the latent tendencies of ignorance. It appears as the outer world with its various beings and objects; as one's own body; as the sense consciousnesses that perceive these objects and the conceptual consciousness that thinks about them; as the clinging to a personal self and real phenomena; and as the mental events, such as feelings, that accompany all these consciousnesses. us, false imagination is what bifurcates mere experience into seemingly real perceivers that apprehend seemingly real objects. is very split into subject and objectthe imaginary naturedoes not exist even on the level of seeming reality, but the mind that creates this split does exist and function on this level. e imaginary nature covers the entire range of what is superimposed by false imagination onto the various appearances of the other-dependent nature, from the most basic sense of subject-object duality via a self and really existent phenomena up through the most rigid beliefs about what we and the world are. In other words, what appear as one's own body and mind form the bases for imputing a personal self. What appear as other beings, outer objects, and the consciousnesses that relate to them provide the bases for imputing really existent phenomena. In detail, the imaginary nature includes the aspects that appear as conceptual objects (such as the mental image of a form), the connections of names and referents (the notion that a name is the corresponding referent and the mistaking of a referent for the corresponding name), all that is apprehended through mental superimposition (such as direction, time, outer, inner, big, small, good, bad, and so on), and all nonentities, such as space. All of these exist only conventionally, as nominal objects for the dualistic consciousnesses of ordinary sentient beings. ey are not established as anything real. e perfect nature is emptiness in the sense that what appears as other-dependent false imagination is primordially never established as the imaginary nature. As the ultimate object, this emptiness is the sphere of nonconceptual wisdom, and its nature is phenomenal identitylessness. It is called "perfect," because it never changes into something else, is the supreme among all dharmas, and is the focal object of prajna during the process of purifying the mind from adventitious stains. Due to its quality of never changing into something else, it is also named suchness . Since the dharmas of the noble ones are attained through realizing it, it is called "dharmadhatu" . Just as space, it is without any distinctions, but conventionally, the perfect nature may be presented as twofold-the unchanging perfect nature (suchness) and the unmistaken perfect nature (the wisdom that realizes this suchness).



At times, the perfect nature is also equated with the luminous nature of mind or buddha nature. In this vein, the Seventh Karmapa, Chotra Gyatso (1454-1506), says in his Ocean of 6


Texts on Reasoning that the perfect nature can be classi ed as (1) the path of puri cation and (2) the focal object of this path. (1) e causal aspect of this path is the naturally abiding disposition. It consists of the uncontaminated seeds in the alaya, which are "the latent tendencies of listening" to the genuine dharma and thus serve as the cause for the dharmakaya. However, since they abide in the mind stream from the very beginning through the nature of phenomena, they are merely revived through listening, therefore not created newly. us, Asanga's explanation implies that the mere fact of the nature of phenomenasuchness or emptinessis not the naturally abiding disposition. Rather, this disposition consists of these latent tendencies of listening, in other words, the factor of prajna. e reason is that the latent tendencies of listening render the six inner ayatanas of individual sentient beings distinct from each other. In this way, the naturally abiding disposition is also called "the distinctive feature of the six ayatanas." is means that, through the latent tendencies of listening that serve as the cause for the path of the mahayana, the six inner ayatanas that exist within the continua of those persons who have revived these latent tendencies are made distinct from the inner ayatanas of sentient beings who do not have such tendencies. For these tendencies are the indicator that the persons who are endowed with them are the ones who have the disposition of the mahayana. e same goes for the latent tendencies of listening that serve as the causes for the paths of the sravakas and pratyekabuddhas, respectively. Why are the latent tendencies of listening included in the perfect nature? ey are neither the imaginary nor the other-dependent natures, since they constitute the remedy for being a icted and so on. e actual paths that result from such tendencies are the paths of the three yanas, such as the thirty-seven dharmas concordant with enlightenment and the six paramitas. It is said that, during the path, these pure tendencies abide together with the impure tendencies of the alayaconsciousness like a mix of milk and water, from which practitioners extract just the milk, leaving the water behind. (2) e focal object of these paths is also included in the perfect nature, since it is the cause for puri cation and does not originate from the seeds of a iction. Rather, the dharma is the result that is the natural out ow of having realized the completely pure dharmadhatu. us, it belongs to neither the imaginary nor the other-dependent natures. In brief, the imaginary nature is like mistakenly apprehending the visual appearances that are caused by blurred vision to be oating hairs or dark spots. Since such are nothing but superimposition, they do not exist at all. erefore, the imaginary nature is called "the lack of nature in terms of characteristics" . e other-dependent nature consists of dependently originating appearances, just like the sheer visual appearances seen by this person with blurred vision. ese appear in an illusionlike manner but are without any nature of their own and do not really arise. erefore, the other-dependent nature is called "the lack of nature in terms of arising" . e perfect nature is "the ultimate lack of nature" , which has two aspects.


First, although there is no personal identity, the perfect nature is what functions as the remedy for the notion of a personal identity. Just as an illusory ship to cross an illusory ocean, it serves as the means to cross the ocean of samsara to the other shore of nirvana. In terms of dependent origination, this remedial aspect is actually contained within the other-dependent nature, but since it is the cause for realizing the ultimate, it is included in the category of "the ultimate lack of nature." e second aspect of the perfect nature is the one due to which enlightenment is attained through actively engaging in it. is aspect is undi erentiable from phenomenal identitylessness. Like space, it is omnipresent and not established as anything whatsoever. It can be compared to the free space that is the natural object of unimpaired eyesight, once blurred vision has been cured, and it is realized that what appeared as oating hairs never actually existed anywhere. is aspect is "the ultimate lack of nature" per se. On the level of seeming reality, it can be said that the imaginary is nominally existent, while the otherdependent is substantially existent in the sense of something that performs functions. e perfect nature does not exist in any of these two ways, but it exists in a way of being without reference points. us, the imaginary nature is also called "the emptiness of the nonexistent," the other-dependent "the emptiness of the existent," and the perfect "the ultimate emptiness."

A Fundamental Change of State e Sanskrit term asrayaparivrtti (Tib. ) is often translated as "transformation." In general, there are a great number of scriptures (from the Pali canon up through the tantras) in which this term is used with reference to a variety of di erent things or processes (see Davidson 1985). For some, the word "transformation" may be appropriate, butas also the Dharmadhatustava and its commentaries show clearlythe whole point in terms of the dharmadhatu, natural purity, buddha nature, or the luminous nature of the mind is that there is absolutely no transformation of anything into anything else. Rather, the revelation of mind's primordially pure nature as fruitional enlightenment only appears as a change of its state from the perspective of deluded mind-seeming to be obscured before and then unobscured later. But this does not refer to any change in nature, just as the sun rst being covered by clouds and then being free from clouds would not be called a transformation of the clouds into the sun, or even any transformation of the sun itself. us, when this process of uncovering mind's fundamental nature is sometimes described in Buddhist texts as if there were a transformation of something impure (such as mental a ictions) into something pure (such as wisdom), this is just a conventional or expedient way of speaking. Speci cally, there is the classical Yogacara format of how a change of state occurs in terms of the eight consciousnesses on the one side and the four wisdoms and the three kayas on the other side, but this does not indicate that the former are actually transformed into the latter. Rather, just as in the above example of the clouds and the sun, by virtue of the former vanishing, the latter become manifest. Still, conventionally speaking, it is said that the alaya-consciousness manifests as mirrorlike wisdom. Most fundamentally, once the emptiness in these consciousnesses has become pure, the dharmadhatu is completely pure. is may also be understood as the fundamental space of the dharmadhatu in which these changes of state take place, all the while being inseparable from it. As for the relationship between the four wisdoms and the three kayas, mirrorlike wisdom represents the dharmakaya, the wisdom of equality and discriminating wisdom make up the sambhogakaya, and all-accomplishing wisdom is the nirmanakaya. e Expanse of the Basic Element of Being When used in terms of ultimate reality, the Sanskrit words dharmadhatu or just dhatu are understood in two main ways, which are re ected by two di erent Tibetan words that translate the latter term. In its most general way, dhatu in dharmadhatu refers to the ultimate nature of all phenomenabeing equivalent to emptinesswhich is usually translated into Tibetan as ("expanse," "space" or "vastness"). If dhatu signi es speci cally the nature of the mind of sentient beings in the sense of buddha nature as the most basic element of their entire being, it is typically rendered as (lit. "element"). To be sure, these two meanings and their Tibetan renderings are not necessarily regarded or employed in a mutually exclusive way. Still, generally speaking, they represent the understanding of (dharma)dhatu in Madhyamaka texts and the texts on buddha nature, respectively. Obviously, in the Dharmadhatustava and its commentaries, the term is clearly used in the latter way.

Self-Awareness and Personal Experience e Tibetan tradition sometimes presents a threefold division of awareness ( (1) awareness of something other ( (2) self-awareness ( ) (3) awareness of the lack of nature (


) ).

e rst ( ) means that mind is aware of something that seems to be other than itself, such as outer material objects. e second ( ) refers to mind being aware of itself in a nondual way, that is, without any identi able di erence between mind as the perceiving subject and mind as the perceived object. e third ( ) is the direct realization of the true nature of all phenomena, that is, that they are without nature. Obviously, (1) pertains only to ordinary beings. Awareness (2) is found in both ordinary beings and noble ones (those who directly perceive the nature of phenomena) in a general sense, though the profundity of nondual experience di ers. Awareness (3) only occurs in noble beings from the path of seeing onward. It is also called "the wisdom that realizes identitylessness," "yogic valid cognition," or "personally experienced wisdom" (Skt.

pratyatmavedaniyajnana, ). e latter term emphasizes that this wisdom is one's own unique, immediate, and vivid experience, not just some imagined idea of something one has heard or read of. Mind realizing the nature of all phenomena includes mind being aware of its own ultimate nature, which is the unity of awareness and emptiness. e nature of such a realization is to be free from the triad of something that is aware, something of which it is aware, and the act of being aware, while at the same time being an incontrovertible transformative experience in the noble ones' own minds (Skt. pratyatmaryajnana, Tib. ). It is in this sense that many Tibetan masters, such as the Seventh Karmapa, have explained this wisdom as the most sublime expression of the principle that mind is able to be aware of itself in a nondual way, that is, free from any aspects of subject and object. However, this kind of realization is to be clearly distinguished from the ordinary notion of self-awareness ( 2), which basically means that all beings are aware of their own direct experiences, such as being happy or sad.

is di erence is re ected in the rather speci c Buddhist use of the Sanskrit words svasamvid, svasamvedana, and svasamvitti ( ; self-awareness) on the one hand and pratyatmagati, pratyatmadhigama, and pratyatmavid (one's own experience/realization) with the latter's derivatives, such as pratyatmavedya and pratyatmavedaniya (all translated into Tibetan as ). More literally, pratyatmavedaniyajnana means "the wisdom of what is to be personally experienced/realized (that is, the true nature of phenomena)." Of course, there is some overlap in the semantic range of these two groups, and the words in the rst may also sometimes be used in the second sense. However, the emphasis in the latter group is clearly on one's own rsthand knowledge or experience of something, be it emptiness, the dharmadhatu, or the nature of one's mind.

In themselves, the corresponding Tibetan expressions and do not mirror this distinction and are often taken to mean just the same. If the Tibetan tradition gives a distinct explanation of the meaning of (so so) in (so so rang rig pa'i ye shes), it is usually done in two ways. First, refers to the fact that the nal unmediated realization of the nature of our mind can only be accomplished by our mind's wisdom itself and not by anything extrinsic to it, such as a teacher's instructions or blessings. In other words, the only way to really personally know what the wisdom of a Buddha or bodhisattva is like is to experience it in our own mind. In this sense, such wisdom is truly inconceivable and incommunicable, which is part of what the term "personally experienced wisdom" indicates, since it is one's very own "private" experience unshared with others. Of course, in this context, it should be clear that "personal" or "private" does not refer to an individual person in the usual sense, since the wisdom of the noble ones encompasses the very realization that there is no such person or self. Nevertheless, it is an experience that occurs only in distinct mind streams that have been trained in certain ways, while it does not happen in others. e second explanation of is that, just like a mirror, this wisdom clearly sees all phenomena in a distinct way without mixing them up.

In the Dharmadhatustava, the term (suggesting a word from the second group of Sanskrit words above) appears in three verses (29, 46, and 56). Both it and the corresponding are also used frequently in the commentaries.