4👑☸ Cattāri Ariya-saccaṃ 四聖諦

5uk: pañc-upādānak-khandhā


4👑☸STED 5uk     1💩    Rūpa   Vedana   Sañña   Saṅ-khārā   Viññāṇa     🔗📚 🔝

5uk = 💩

SN 56.11: saṃkhittena pañc-upādānak-khandhā dukkhā.
In-short, (the) five-clinging-aggregates (are) suffering.

1. Rūpa (form)
2. Vedana (feelings/experienced-sensations)
3. Sañña (perceptions)
4. Saṅ-khārā (co-activities)
5. Viññāṇa (consciousness)

What's the difference between consciousness and perception?

consciousness is raw sensory data, perception is higher on the food chain. For example, MN 18 and DN 22.

SN 22.79 definitions don't make the difference clear.

The Agama parallel SA 46 uses more standard definitions unlike SN 22.79.

Dr. William Chu translation of relevant passage

(along with some context from earlier Brahman religions)


"All the perceptions is what the clung-to aggregate of perception about. What are these perceptions? The perception of singularity, the perception of multiplicity, the perception of infinity, and the perception of 'there's no do-er whatsoever and there's not a thing whatsoever.' That is what is meant by the clung-to aggregate of perception."


"The clung-to aggregate of consciousness is about [the ability to] differentiate-discern characteristics (note: the literal translation of vijnana is to differentiate-know). What is differentiated and discerned? Sights, sounds, smells, tastes, tactile feelings, and mental contents [are differentiated and discerned]. That is what is meant by the clung-to aggregate of consciousness."

Now, as for the question about how perception is different from "differentiation as in by consciousness." For one thing, the "differentiating" in vijnana/consciousness is, in ancient Indian Upanishadic usage, about the bifurcation into and reification of subject-object duality. To be a conscious being is to experience a "oneself" that stands in opposition to an environment (world). In Buddhist usage, an added meaning is often found: the experience of continuity (therefore consciousness is intimately connected with the retention of memory and karmic continuity). Here's a way to summarize: Being conscious is being aware of senses and their corresponding objects; being conscious is also about experiencing continuity--to have memories and to be able to anticipate the future.

To be a percipient being, on the other hand, is to experience "specific contents" such as "there is a multiplicity/diversity of experience...there's only One-ness...there's not-a-thing." In Buddhist cosmology, all sentient beings are conscious, but not all beings are necessarily percipient. An example would be a human in deep sleep, an asanna being in the non-percipient state--both are said to be conscious without experiencing specific contents. A meditator in the nirodha state only experiences the temporary abeyance of feeling and perception, but is still "conscious," and therefore retains the continuum/memory of the person when he comes out of the samadhi. Quite a few Buddhist treatises speak of beings with 5, 4, 3, 2, and 1 aggregates, always with consciousness being the indispensable aggregate.


🔗📚: collection of studies on 5uk

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