Discriminative Awareness

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Discriminative Awareness (shes rab)

  • The Sanskrit term prajñā is literally defined as 'the discriminative awareness of the essence, distinctions, particular & general characteristics, and advantages & disadvantages of any object within one's own perceptual range, at the conclusion of which doubts are removed'. In other words, this is the faculty of intelligence or discriminating awareness inherent within the mental continuum of all living creatures which enables them to examine the characteristics of things and events, thus making it possible to make judgements and deliberations. This same term prajñā has in the past has frequently been translated into English as wisdom, probably in consideration of the remarkable achievements of Edward Conze who translated over the years a voluminous series of texts devoted to Prajñapāramitā. According to the Abhidharma of the Lesser Vehicle, prajñā is one of the five mental factors of ascertainment which arise during all mental events of a veridical nature. According to the Greater Vehicle, the perfection of this faculty of discriminative awareness (prajñāpāramitā) leads a bodhisattva to a total overcoming of all types of scepticism and ignorance and to the realisation of the emptiness of all things. In this context, discriminative awareness is known as the sixth perfection, in contrast to the other five perfections (generosity, moral discipline, patience, perseverence, and meditative concentration), but when conjoined with the skilful means (upāya) or compassion inherent in these other five, the resulting integration is known as prajñopāya, indicating that the two principal aspects of the path to enlightenment (bodhi) are fully present. In the tradiition of the tantras, the union of prajñopāya is often depicted iconographically in the union of the male and female deities, and in the symbolic hand implements such as the vajra and the bell. GD (from the Glossary to Tibetan Elemental Divination Paintings)

References

mkhyen pa'i stobs {stobs bcu}-another list of those developed by bodhisattvas and possessed by tathagatas reflection {bsam pa'i stobs}.-or shyabala., superior reflection {lhag bsam}.-or adhy sa., acquisition {sbyor ba} pratipatti, discriminative awareness {shes rab} prajna ., aspiration {smon lam}.-or pra idh na., vehicle {theg pa}.-or y na., conduct {spyod pa}.-or cary ., transformation {rnam par 'phrul pa}.-or vikurvana., enlightenment {byang chub kyi sems}.- or bodhicitta., and turning the doctrinal wheel {chos kyi 'khor lo bskor ba} dharmacakrapravartana. stobs bcu dang don gcig [IW]

rgyas - 1) be vigorous, flourish, enrich, thrive, prosper; 2) swell, rise, overflow [rivers/ water], compact, develop, spread, promote, large, increase, extend, expand, bloom, multiply, in full bloom, muscular, vast, extensive, detailed, broad, lush, full, rite of enrichment, luxuriant, brightened, rise, go up, be well developed/ advanced, increasing [one of the *{phrin las rnam bzhi}* = the four activities; 3) vast [an attribute of skillful means in contrast to profound which is an attribute of discriminative awareness [IW]

rgyu shes pa'i mtshan nyid lta ba - The basis characterized as discriminative awareness is the view, the view characterized as cognizing some cause, one of (rim gyis pa grol lam rnam gsum) [RY]

Four Lamps (sgron ma bzhi) - The far-sighted lamp of the watery eyes {rgyangs zhag chu'i sgron ma} the lamp of emptiness which is the seminal point {thig le stong pa'i sgron ma} the lamp of the expanse of awareness {rig pa dbyings kyi sgron ma} and the lamp of discriminative awareness which is naturally present {shes rab rang byung gi sgron ma} [RY]

sngags gsum - three kinds of mantras. Gnostic mantras {rigs sngags} vidyamantra - dharani mantras {gzung sngags} and secret mantras {gsang sngags} or guhyamantra. Gnostic mantras are the essence of skillful means, dharanis are the essence of discriminative awareness, and secret mantras are the non- dual pristine cognition [RY]

cang shes - 1) knowing [everything], omniscient; 2) by higher perceptions well informed, with unobstructed discriminative awareness; 3) knowledgeable, intelligent [IW]

bcu gcig dge sems kun gyi 'khor du 'byung ba - craving, inclination, recollection, contemplation and discriminative awareness, the eleven positive functions of every positive attitude [RY]

'jug pa rnam gsum - three entrances [to the liberating path of discriminative awareness according to Anuyoga] [RY]

ting nge 'dzin gsum - the three samadhis, {de bzhin nyid kyi ting nge 'dzin}, suchness samadhi, {kun tu snang ba'i ting nge 'dzin}, all-illuminating samadhi, {rgyu'i ting nge 'dzin}, seed samadhi]; Mahayoga: The yoga of great emptiness which is discriminative awareness {shes rab stong pa chen po'i rnal 'byor} the apparition of compassion which is skillful means {thabs snying rje sgyu ma} and the seals which are subtle and coarse {phyag rgya phra rags} [RY]

stobs bcu - Ten Powers. ten strengths. Powers which are developed by bodhisattvas are reflection {bsam pa'i stobs} or ashayabala. superior reflection {lhag bsam} or adhyasa. acquisition {sbyor ba} or pratipatti. discriminative awareness {shes rab} or prajna. aspiration {smon lam} or pranidhana. vehicle {theg pa} or yana. conduct {spyod pa} or carya. transformation {rnam par 'phrul pa} or vikurvana. enlightenment {byang chub kyi sems} or bodhichitta. and turning the doctrinal wheel {chos kyi 'khor lo bskor ba} or dharmacakrapravartana. [TRS 48-1] two types [RY]

thabs kyi pha rgyud dang shes rab kyi ma yi rgyud dang zung jug gnyis med kyi rgyud gsum - trio of the Father tantras of skillful means, mother tantras of discriminative awareness and non-dual tantras of coalescence [IW]

thabs shes tshogs gnyis - means and knowledge as the two accumulations, two accumulations of means and knowledge, two provisions of skillful means and discriminative awareness. Syn {tshogs gnyis} [RY]

thos pa las byung ba'i shes rab - knowledge resulting from learning, discriminative awareness born of study. prajna resulting from hearing, wisdom acquired by listening or studying; one of {shes rab gsum} [RY]

de'i 'jug pa rnam gsum - three entrances to the liberating path [of discriminative awareness according to Anu yoga] [IW]

spyod 'jug gi le'u bcu - Ten Chapters of the Introduction to the Conduct of a Bodhisattva. The beneficial attributes of enlightened mind {byang sems kyi phan yon bzhad pa} or bodhichittanushamsa, repentance for sins {sdig pa bshags pa'i le'u} or papadeshana, seizing the enlightened mind {byang sems yongs bzung} or bodhi chittaparigraha, vigilance with respect to enlightened mind {bag yod bstan pa} or bodhichittapramada, the guarding of awareness {shes bzhin bsrung ba} or samprajanyarakshana, the transcendental perfections of patience {bzod pa bstan pa} or kshantiparamita, the transcendental perfection of perseverance {brtson 'grus bstan pa} or Virya paramita, the transcendental perfection of concentration {bsam gtan bstan pa} or dhyana paramita, the transcendental perfection of discriminative awareness {shes rab le'u} or prajnaparamita, and the dedication of merit {bsngo ba} or parinamana. [GM] [RY]

dbang po lnga - five sense organs. Five Faculties. the five faculties, the five spiritual faculties, the five controlling powers. faith, zeal, recollection, concentration, discrimination. {dad pa} or shraddha. perseverance {brtson 'grus} or virya. recollection {dran pa} or smriti. contemplation {ting nge 'dzin} or samadhi. and discriminative awareness {shes rab} or prajna. five ruling faculties are: faith, diligence, mindfulness, concentration, and discrimination. five faculties; five controlling powers; five senses/ sensory faculties [RY]

sbyin pa'i gnas bzhi - Four Cases When the Teaching Should Be Granted. According to Pawo Tsuklak Trengwa, {Dpa' bo chos 'byung} pp. 223 4 which quotes the Biography of Vairochana, they are that the texts, commentaries and esoteric instructions should be given to: 1)anyone who is faithful, gentle, long tempered, and steadfast, teaching should be given completely and openly to: 2) any recipient who is noble and of long standing, teaching should be given and entrusted earnestly to: 3) these faithful who request it, and teaching should be given with enthusiasm to: 4) any of faith who have little discriminative awareness. [GM] [RY]

mi sbyin pa'i gnas bzhi - Four Cases When the Teaching Should Not Be Granted. These are that teaching should not be given to: 1) these who are extremely aggressive, faithless. or loquacious, teaching should not be given to: 2) these who have little faith, perseverance and discriminative awareness, or 3) any who are partial in their desire for long exegeses and commentaries, teaching should not be given to: 4) those who diminish other doctrines by their making long notations and not meditating, and the faithless who seek the doctrine for the sake of wealth should be investigated from the position of the faithful and then abandoned. [GM] [RY]

zag med kyi phung po lnga - five undefiled aggregates. 1) The component of moral discipline {tshul khrims kyi phung po}, 2) the component of contemplation {ting 'dzin gyi phung po}, 3) the component of discriminative awareness {shes rab kyi phung po}, 4) the component of liberation {rnam par grol ba'i phung po}, and 5) the component which perceives the liberated pristine cognition {rnam par grol ba'i ye shes mthong ba'i phung po} [RY]

zab - depth, profound. a quality of discriminative awareness when contrasted with skillful means which is vast or extensive [[[rgyas]]] [RY]

yang dag pa'i bslab pa gsum - three correct trainings. {tshul khrims kyi bslab pa}, {shes rab kyi bslab pa}, {sems kyi bslab pa} / {ting nge 'dzin kyi bslab pa}; trainings, the three pure. Three Correct Trainings. 1) Moral discipline {tshul khrims} or shila. 2) discriminative awareness {shes rab} or prajna, and 3) mind {sems} or chitta.

rim gyis pa grol lam rnam gsum - Three Aspects of the Gradual Path to Liberation, according to Mahayoga. 1) The basis characterized as discriminative awareness is the view {rgyu shes pa'i mtshan nyid lta ba} 2) The conditions which are characterized as an entrance are contemplation {rkyen 'jug pa'i mtshan nyid ting nge 'dzin} and 3) the result brought about as the path is the awareness holder {lam gyur gyi 'bras bu rig 'dzin} [RY]

shes rab - prajna, intelligence, knowledge, discrimination, [[[wisdom]]]. insight, {shag rog} roommate. {shes rab chung ba} any who have limited knowledge. Discrimination, as one of the five object determining mental states, superior knowledge [in most contexts] - superior intelligence, or intelligence [when referring to the 51 mental factors - wisdom [when taken as synonymous with yeshe]. Syn {ye shes}; Wisdom, discriminating wisdom, [prajna]; bden don gtan la 'bebs} rang dang spyi'i mtshan nyid rnam par 'byed pa'o} discriminative awareness. recognition, intelligence, to be aware of, come to understand, to know, to grasp, master, to learn, can, be able to, to realize; discriminative awareness; knowledge. one of the {pha drug} the six paramitas. discriminative awareness. insight, intelligence, transcendent knowledge [RY]

shes rab kyi rnam grol lam - liberating path of discriminative awareness according to Anu Yoga [RY]

shes rab kyi pha rol du phyin ma - / pa - transcendental perfection of discriminative awareness [RY]

shes rab kyi phung po - the component of discriminative awareness [RY]

shes rab nyams pa med pa - unwaning discriminative awareness [RY]

shes rab stong pa chen po'i rnal 'byor - The yoga of great emptiness which is discriminative awareness. knowledge, the yoga of great emptiness, One of {ting nge 'dzin gsum} [RY]

shes rab rnam par grol ba'i lam - liberating path of discriminative awareness [RY]

shes rab rang byung gi sgron ma - lamp of self-existing knowledge, the Lamp of self originated Wisdom; the lamp of discriminative awareness which is naturally present [RY]

shes rab le'u - the wisdom chapter; on transcendental perfection of discriminative awareness; the last chapter of the Bodhicaryavatara of Shantideva [RY]

shes rab gsum - threefold knowledge; three kinds of discriminative awareness. Discriminative awareness born of study. 1) {thos pa'i shes rab}. 2) {bsam pa' shes rab} 3) {sgom pa'i shes rab}; Three Kinds of Discriminative Awareness. 1) Discriminative awareness born of study {thos pa las byung ba'i shes rab} 2) Discriminative awareness which is born of thought {bsam pa las byung ba'i shes rab} and 3) Discriminative awareness which is born of meditation {bsgoms pa las byung ba'i shes rab} [RY]

sangs rgyas kyi chos ma 'dres pa bco brgyad - Eighteen Distinct Doctrines of the Buddhas. The tathagatas are without bewilderment {'khrul pa med pa}, they are noiseless {ca co med pa}, they are without forgetfulness {bsnyel ba med pa}, they are without an unbalanced mind {sems mnyam par ma gzhag pa med pa}, they are without diverse cognitions {tha dad pa'i 'du shes med pa}, they are without the equanimity which does not make distinction {so sor ma rtogs pa'i btang snyoms med pa}, they do not degenerate in their devotion {'dun pa nyams pa med pa}, nor in their perseverance {brtson 'grus nyams pa med pa}, nor in their recollection {dran pa nyams pa med pa}, nor in their contemplation {ting 'dzin nyams pa med pa}, nor in their discriminative awareness {shes rab nyams pa med pa}, nor in their liberation {rnam grol nyams pa med pa}, all the activities of their bodies are preceded by pristine cognition and pursue pristine cognition {lus kyi} ... [6 missing?]; [TRS 49-5] [RY]

Fifty-one Mental Events (sems byung lnga bcu rtsa gcig) - The five ever-present ones {kun 'gro lnga} of rapport, imagination, feeling, cognition and motivation, the five object-determined ones {yul so sor nges pa lnga} or craving, inclination, recollection, contemplation and discriminative awareness, the eleven positive functions of every positive attitude {bcu gcig dge sems kun gyi 'khor du 'byung ba} or faith, carefulness, lucidity, equanimity, decency, decorum, detachment, non-hatred, non-delusion, non-violence, and perseverance, the six root conflicting emotions {rtsa ba'i nyon mongs pa drug} of rage, arrogance, ignorance, view of mundane aggregates and doubt, and the twenty subsidiary conflicting emotions {nyi shu nye bar nyon mongs pa} of anger, hostility, dissimulation, malice, jealousy, avarice, illusion, dishonesty, spitefulness, pride, contempt, indecorum, delusion, over-exuberance, distrust, laziness, carelessness, forgetfulness, excitability, inattentiveness, and the four variables {'gyur ba bzhi} of drowsiness, regret, ideas and scrutiny. [GM] [RY]

gsang sngags - secret mantras. Guhyamantra, the Secret Mantrayana, the esoteric teachings, secret religious instruction; secret mantra; Guhyamantra, Mantra. The secret mantras, 'secret and extolled'. The {dgongs pa grub pa'i rgyud} says, "One should know that all mantras are divided into three classes, Gnostic mantras which are the essence of skillful means, dharanis which are the essence of discriminative awareness, and secret mantras which are the non- dual pristine cognition." Thus dharanis originate from the teachings of the Transcendent Perfection of Discriminative Awareness, Gnostic mantras from the Kriya tantra and secret mantras from the Mahayoga, Anuyoga and Atiyoga. 1) Secret Mantra. 2) seal. 3) the esoteric teachings; the Secret Mantras (Syn. Vajrayana) [RY]

bsrung bya'i dam tshig rtsa ltung bcu bzhi - Fourteen Basic Violations of the Commitments, Which Are To Be Guarded Against. To disparage the master, to transgress the three levels of vows, to be hostile to vajra brothers and sisters, to forsake loving kindness on behalf of sentient beings, to abandon the enlightened mind, to disparage ones own doctrine and those related to it, to divulge secrets to the immature, to abuse the five components which are primordially pure, to have compassion for evil beings, esp. those who harm the doctrine, to apply conceptualization to wordless natures, to belittle those who have faith, to violate the commitments that have been undertaken, and to disparage women, the source of discriminative awareness [RY]