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A History of Indian Philosophy, Volume 1

About sa@nkhara we read in Sa@myutta Nikaya III


[Footnote

1: _Sa@myutta Nikaya_, III. 86.]

[Footnote 2: _Khandhayamaka_.]

[Footnote 3: _Dhammasanga@ni_, p. 124 ff.]

96

conceiving takes place. This is the stage where the specific distinctive knowledge as the yellow or the red takes place.

Mrs. Rhys Davids writing on sanna says: "In editing the second book of the Abhidhamma pi@taka I found a classification distinguishing between sanna as cognitive assimilation on occasion of sense, and sanna as cognitive assimilation of ideas by way of naming. The former is called perception of resistance, or opposition (_patigha-sanna_). This, writes Buddhagho@sa, is perception on occasion of sight, hearing, etc., when consciousness is aware of the impact of impressions; of external things as different, we might say. The latter is called perception of the equivalent word or name (_adhivachana-sanna_) and is exercised by the _sensus communis_ (mano), when e.g. 'one is seated...and asks another who is thoughtful: "What are you thinking of?" one perceives through his speech.' Thus there are two stages of sanna-consciousness, 1. contemplating sense-impressions, 2. ability to know what they are by naming [Footnote ref 1]."

About sa@nkhara we read in _Sa@myutta Nikaya_ (III. 87) that it is called sa@nkhara because it synthesises (_abhisa@nkharonti_),

it is that which conglomerated rupa as rupa, conglomerated sanna as sanna, sa@nkhara as sa@nkhara and consciousness (_vinnana_) as consciousness. It is called sa@nkhara because it synthesises the conglomerated (_sa@nkhatam abhisa@nkharonti_). It is thus a synthetic function which synthesises the passive rupa, sanna, sa@nkhara and vinnana elements. The fact that we hear of 52 sa@nkhara states and also that the sa@nkhara exercises its synthetic activity on the conglomerated elements in it, goes to show that probably the word sa@nkhara is used in two senses, as mental states and as synthetic activity.

Vinnana or consciousness meant according to Buddhagho@sa, as we have already seen in the previous section, both the stage at which the intellectual process started and also the final resulting consciousness.

Buddhagho@sa in explaining the process of Buddhist psychology says that "consciousness(_citta_)first comes into touch (_phassa_) with its object (_aramma@na_) and thereafter feeling, conception (_sanna_) and volition (_cetana_) come in. This contact is like the pillars of a palace, and the rest are but the superstructure built upon it (_dabbasambharasadisa_). But it should not be thought that contact

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[Footnote 1: _Buddhist Psychology_, pp. 49, 50.]


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