Viññanam anidassanam

This thread can clarify this term. It gained some prominence in recent times due to the ideas of an American monk, Thanissaro and a few other scholars.
His notes to this sutta say >

Consciousness without surface (viññanam anidassanam): This term appears to be related to the following image from SN 12.64:

“Just as if there were a roofed house or a roofed hall having windows on the north, the south, or the east. When the sun rises, and a ray has entered by way of the window, where does it land?”

“On the western wall, lord.”

“And if there is no western wall, where does it land?”

“On the ground, lord.”

“And if there is no ground, where does it land?”

“On the water, lord.”

“And if there is no water, where does it land?”

“It does not land, lord.”

“In the same way, where there is no passion for the nutriment of physical food … contact … intellectual intention … consciousness, where there is no delight, no craving, then consciousness does not land there or grow. Where consciousness does not land or grow, name-&-form does not alight. Where name-&-form does not alight, there is no growth of fabrications. Where there is no growth of fabrications, there is no production of renewed becoming in the future. Where there is no production of renewed becoming in the future, there is no future birth, aging, & death. That, I tell you, has no sorrow, affliction, or despair.”

In other words, normal sensory consciousness is experienced because it has a “surface” against which it lands: the sense organs and their objects, which constitute the “all.” For instance, we experience visual consciousness because of the eye and forms of which we are conscious. Consciousness without surface, however, is directly known, without intermediary, free from any dependence on conditions at all.

This consciousness thus differs from the consciousness factor in dependent co-arising, which is defined in terms of the six sense media. Lying outside of time and space, it would also not come under the consciousness-aggregate, which covers all consciousness near and far; past, present, and future. And, as SN 35.23 notes, the word “all” in the Buddha’s teaching covers only the six sense media, which is another reason for not including this consciousness under the aggregates. However, the fact that it is outside of time and space — in a dimension where there is no here, there, or in between (Ud I.10), no coming, no going, or staying (Ud VIII.1) — means that it cannot be described as permanent or omnipresent, terms that have meaning only within space and time.

Some have objected to the equation of this consciousness with nibbana, on the grounds that nibbana is nowhere else in the Canon described as a form of consciousness.

In short he apparently argues that nibbana is some type of special unconditioned consciousness [that never dies]. See also his ideas about a fire and nibbana.

there are variosu translations available .
The phase viññanam anidassanam has been explained by the pali attakattha and tika. Suan Lu zwa, translates the Atthakatha:

“Tattha viññatabbanti “Viññanam” nibbanassetam namam,…”

“There, to be known specially, so (it is) “Viññanam”. This is the name of nibbana.”

And Kevatta Sutta Tika further explains the phrase “viññatabbanti” as follows:

"Viññatabbanti visitthena ñatabbam, ñanuttamena ariyamaggañanena paccakkhato janitabbanti attho, tenaha “nibbanassetam namam"ti.”

“(To be known specially) means to be extraordinarily known. The meaning is ‘to be known in the sense of realization by ultimate wisdom, by noble path wisdom’”. Therefore, (the commentator) stated that ‘This is the name of nibbana’" Therefore, the term ‘Viññanam’ in the line of the original Pali verse “Viññanam anidassanam, anantam sabbatopabham …” does not refer to consciousness, the usual meaning of viññanam.
In fact, the same verse includes the following two lines "Ettha namañca rupañca, asesam uparujjhati
Viññanassa nirodhena, etthetam uparujjhati’ti". "Here (in nibbana), nama as well as rupa ceases without remainder. By ceasing of consciousness, nama as well as rupa ceases here."

Nibbana does not become a sort of consciousness just because one of its Pali names happens to be Viññanam. In English language, the term ‘object’ can have different meanings. For example, the term ‘object’ in visual object has no relation to
the term ‘object’ in my object of studting Pali."" endquote Suan

This is from a post venerable Dhammanando wrote in reply to someone who argues with the Commentaries explanation on this matter:

Dhammanando: I think you may have misunderstood the commentarial position. The Mahāvihārins did not deny the possibility of viññāṇaṃ anidassanaṃ, nor does their conclusion about the ceasing of an arahant’s consciousness hinge upon such a denial. They could hardly have denied viññāṇaṃ anidassanaṃ even if they’d wanted to, given the centrality of this term in two major suttas, the Kevaṭṭa and Brahmanimantanika. It would be more accurate to say that the Mahāvihārins didn’t understand viññāṇaṃ anidassanaṃ to mean what you understand it to mean.

In the Mahāvihāra’s understanding viññāṇaṃ does not mean consciousness in this context. Instead, it is defined as viññātabbaṃ, a verbal derivative that can be taken as a noun (‘that which must be cognized’) or an adjective (‘to be cognized’, ‘must be cognized’). If we take it as a noun, then the famous line viññāṇaṃ anidassanaṃ, anantaṃ sabbatopabhaṃ will be translated, “the thing that must be cognized, that is unseeable, without end, all-illuminating.” Taking it as an adjective qualifying anidassana (well-attested in the Suttas as a synonym of nibbāna), we get, “The Unseeable that must be cognized, that is without end, that is all-illuminating”.

Either way, there seems to be no reason to doubt that the four terms in this passage are being used exactly as they are used elsewhere in the Suttas, i.e., as designations for nibbāna. The unlikelihood of the viññāṇaṃ in viññāṇaṃ anidassanaṃ referring to consciousness is evident from the last two lines of the same verse:

ettha nāmañca rūpañca, asesaṃ uparujjhati
viññāṇassa nirodhena, etthetaṃ uparujjhatī ti

Here (in nibbana), name and matter cease without remainder;
Through the cessation of consciousness, these [name and matter] cease here.

One is of course at liberty to discard the Mahāvihārins’ interpretation and substitute one’s own pet theory, as numerous other modern scholars have done with this much remarked phrase. However, given the extreme rarity of the phrase, and the fact that it occurs only in verse (where it’s normal for there to be more flexibility, liberality and ambiguity in the use of language), it would be rash to claim that it offers strong evidence that early Buddhism held nibbāna to be some kind of consciousness. One would need to consider first whether such a view would accord with the Buddha’s general teaching on consciousness as attested in many hundreds of prose Suttas.

Dhammānando Bhikkhu

According to the classical scholars,

Even in the case someone found a misprinted or doubtful phrase,
"the authority" to check it with is the interpretation-fundamentals of overall Tipitaka, let alone the phrases that has been explicitly interpreted in the commentary like the above.

The reason that one can not misinterpret a passage or phrase is, because it has to be checked and conciliate with the fundamentals of majority part of the Tipitaka.

This is how the Atthakata and Tika Acariyas could derive meanings of the unmentioned or misprinted phrases. They were said to be applying interpretation-methods and based on fundamentals.

Even in editing the 6th council and Buddhajayanti texts, this was said to be used.

Otherwise, in case, a mistaken or misprinted phrase can be seen in the texts, it will become un-re-correctable and we will become refuge-less.

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Nama (Nāma) is a term that represents the four aggregates: feeling, perception, thought-formation, and consciousness. That makes me wonder why is nama translated as name.

Nibbana is Nirodha. There are Four Noble Truths. Nirodha Sacca is Nibbana.

Consciousness arises when there is something to land on or a sense. When there is nothing to land on, consciousness does not arise. When there is no feeling, there is no consciousness.
Nibbana is also known as the cessation of perception and feeling.

Yamaka Sutta should be learned carefully. Translation of Tanissaro Bhikkhu Yamaka Sutta: To Yamaka

Venerable Sariputta explained to Yamaka Bhikkhu

"In the same way, an uninstructed, run-of-the-mill person — who has no regard for noble ones, is not well-versed or disciplined in their Dhamma; who has no regard for men of integrity, is not well-versed or disciplined in their Dhamma — assumes form (the body) to be the self, or the self as possessing form, or form as in the self, or the self as in form.

In whatever form, consciousness is not atta (translated as self but should be understood as the ‘owner’ or the ‘owner of body and mind’ - the aggregates). Sakkya Ditthi is the perception/view of body/mind as I am or mine - my property; it should be well understood.

Yamaka Sutta: Bhikkhu Yamaka explained his belief,

“Yes, friends. As I understand the Teaching explained by the Blessed One, a monk with no more effluents, on the break-up of the body, is annihilated, perishes, & does not exist after death.”

Venerable Sariputta —

“And so, my friend Yamaka — when you can’t pin down the Tathagata as a truth or reality even in the present life — is it proper for you to declare, ‘As I understand the Teaching explained by the Blessed One, a monk with no more effluents, on the break-up of the body, is annihilated, perishes, & does not exist after death’?”

"Any consciousness whatsoever that is past, future, or present; internal or external; blatant or subtle; common or sublime; far or near: Every consciousness is to be seen with right discernment as it has come to be: ‘This is not mine. This is not my self. This is not what I am.’

Atta: This is mine. This is my self. This is what I am.’
Anatta: This is not mine. This is not my self. This is not what I am.’
If one claims consciousness is nibbana, then one claims consciousness is mine, myself, what I am.

The following objection is a Right View.

Let me repeat, consciousness is not atta or something permanent as Nibbana is asankhata dhatu. Blessed One has declared that there is one only ‘Dhamma’ which is unformed and unconditioned (Asankhata dhatu ) and that is Nibbana – the only reality

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