Lorig:Way of Knowing Mind – Session 6


Direct Perceivers and
Inferential Cognizers, and
Their Division.


Today, basically we will go through the seven kind of awareness into a big detail. We have been through what are that seven kinds of awareness and consciousness, so we will talk a little more about what other of the first two of the seven mind and awareness. 

So the whole purpose, as I mentioned earlier, of the reasons why we are, here, learning or understanding or discussing about these seven kind of mind and awareness is to understand our own mind. It really doesn’t matter much what and how the mind of some other people works, it doesn’t really matter much how the mind generally is, what matter the most is to know our own mind, because it usually is our own mind that we are having trouble with. 


Each and every happiness or each and every problem or suffering is something that we experience within ourselves, in our mind. That’s why  it’s very important to know our own mind, because that’s what matters. So from Buddhist perspective, it is from one angle, I see it’s very easy to explain the whole universe or whole phenomena. Maybe it’s one of the ways to categorize or explain the whole universe. If we explain the outer phenomena, it is like countless types of phenomena and we might not be able to go through each and every phenomena. But if you explain from the perspective of mind, then it’s a lot easier. If you understand this minds and what it perceives and if you explain the mind and the way it perceives then you basically explain the whole universe, for example, in Buddhism, there are like four different divisions or maybe Schools of Thoughts and the first one is the Middle Way School and then the second one is Mind Only School. Basically the Buddhism in China, the Buddhism in Japan, also the Buddhism in Korea, these Buddhism belong to this kind of Buddhism Tradition or the branch belongs to the Mind Only School of Tradition of Buddhism. 

So according to them, everything that we see outside is just a projection of the mind. The mind is sort of a projector, and then everything outside is just a projection. There is nothing else out there but it’s just a substance of mind that appears outside, for example, a ‘dream consciousness’. When you’re sleeping, in your dream, you have the dream sometimes, and in the dreams whatever you see in the dream is basically  just an substance of your own mind where they appear to the mind. Whatever you see in the dream is just appearance that is being projected by mind itself. None of the things in the dream exists in reality. I don’t mean that you get to see elephant, but then elephant exists in this world, that’s not what I meant. I meant is like whatever perceived by the mind is mistaken, whatever perceived by the ‘dream consciousness’ is mistaken. Because our ‘dream consciousness’ perceives what appears to it is real, but these are all sort of an illusion, none of them are true. 

Exactly the same way, even in reality, according to the Mind Only School, it is just a substance of our mind that appears to it, but when we look at the world,  things appear as if things exist outside by its own, without depending on mind. For example, let me tell you one thing, maybe it’s easier to understand this way, when you look outside, things appear, everything looks like it exists outside without depending your mind or things appear to your eyes, you think like things appear even without depending on your eye consciousness, even if you close your eyes, things still exist there. But in the dream, you see a lot of things in the dream, but when the ‘dream consciousness’  stops or when you awake, everything that you see in dream collapses, nothing exist. But in reality, you think that even if you close your eyes, things still exist, but in the dream, if you wake up, nothing exists. For us it looks like that, but then, according to the Mind Only School, is exactly like the dream, if you look at something, that’s just a substance of that eye consciousness, appears to eye consciousness, if you close your eyes, that thing finishes, thing doesn’t exist anymore. 

For example there is a tree, if you close your eyes, that tree is still there, you can feel it or somebody can see it, what another person can see and what you can see is not the same tree. Let’s say, two persons reach at the same place called Japan, and then you see something in Japan, I don’t know what is there in Japan. OK, Twin Tower in Malaysia, I think there is a building or tower called Twin Tower. I have a better example, maybe White House in US somewhere, is it in Washington? So let’s say two persons just walk by the White House, this is the interesting part, suppose two persons look at the White House, the White House this person see, but the White House another person see is not the same. Now the White House this person see is different from the White House that person sees.  So if there is no one in this world, if there is no consciousness that we see or we perceive the White House, then there is no White House like literally White House disappears. 

I’m saying from this angle so that you understand, if nobody looks at the sun, there is no sun, if no mind perceives the sun, there is no sun. Of course this is not an easy, something simple to understand, but this is the point, there are lots of reasons that you must go through in order to understand it clearly. At the beginning, even for me 15-20 years back, this may quite strange or just an object of curiosity but when you learn a bit more, it is quite interesting. It is one of teachings, Buddha gave this teaching, and of course, many ancient Buddhist masters also elaborated more, but recently like few years back, some of the Western philosophers rewrote, some of them are kind of known, perhaps I think so, but still we call it Mind Only School. 


The reason again saying because everything is the mind, if there is no mind to see something, that thing doesn’t exists. So this is why if two persons, let’s say they look at the same car, maybe for one person it’s beautiful while for another person it’s not beautiful because it is fact, both persons are looking at the different car, what he sees is because of his karma, something appears to his eyes, what other person sees is because of the other person’s karma and then what he perceives is because of his karma, so it’s different car, absolutely different car. 

Even the world for different persons, it appears differently and basically everything like no mango is tasty for everyone. So in order to understand such phenomena, when it’s very difficult to understand, first you have this like ‘doubt consciousness’, maybe it’s true, maybe it’s not true, then when you analyze more, check more and more, go through the reasons then slowly this doubt changes into ‘correctly assuming consciousness’ and then when you go through more and more reasons then at one stage you realize it with a reason. When there is a lot of reasons you realize, and at that time, as I mentioned, you have this ‘inferential cognizer’. 

People can realize in a different manner, for example,  everything as a nature of mind or a substance of mind can be realized by a lot of other reasons. So when you realize it, that mind we realize it for the first time, as I’ve mentioned before, it’s called ‘inferential cognizer’. So that ‘inferential cognizer’, basically has three divisions, three kind of ‘inferential cognizers’. 

The first one is ‘inferential cognizer by the power of phenomena or by the power of fact’. The second type of ‘inferential cognizer’ is called ‘inferential cognizer through renown’, it’s like if there is something that is being widely known then you will be able to realize because it is widely known, a sort of renown in the world. And the third one is ‘inferential cognizer by the power of sort of belief, true belief’. Generally, ‘inferential cognizer’ is to realize the hidden phenomena or subtle phenomena, because ‘inferential cognizer’ is something that you have, you get to generate when you realize the object by a reason or a sign. So ‘inferential cognizer’ always has to be generated by thinking over reasons, by thinking of reason, and that mind which realize it is called ‘inferential cognizer’. 

Basically you don’t need an ‘inferential cognizer’ to know the color of sky, you don’t need an ‘inferential cognizer’ to know how the water taste, you don’t need an ‘inferential cognizer’ to know some very simple things that you can know like directly by your own. Basically, for those you know then right away, because if there is a smoke on the mountain, then you know there is a fire going on beyond where smoke comes from, you cannot go to the mountain to see there is a fire which is very far or this and that. So in that case you get to understand that there is a fire, but thinking a reason in this sort of situation, you have this ‘inferential cognizer’ to realize that phenomena and any other hidden phenomena or a subtle phenomena which is not easy to understand there, you need some reasons to realize it. 

Now the interesting part here – I think I’ve mentioned in one of the classes, I don’t know which class – the existence and non-existence. Some people might say that “Oh, there is something in you”. Let me give you example, it’s kind of interesting one, in my hometown, when a person is sick, when a person has some issue with the health,  people usually blame Nagas or spirits  or things they cannot blame that “Oh it might be nãgas issues, might be spirits issues, or it might be something because of the demons or this and that”. To know whether it’s true or not, to know whether it’s being caused by a demon or a nãga, how would you know whether it causes by a  demon or a nãga or a spirit? Because it is not something that you get to know by the ‘direct perceiver’, your five senses won’t be able to know, your eyes cannot see that, your ear, you cannot hear it, you cannot smell or taste or you can touch or feel it. So then, how could you know that thing exists? Nãga exists or nãga harms or a spirit exists and the spirit harms?  

When those things cannot be perceived by the five senses, then the alternative way to know that is through ‘inferential cognizer’, through reasons because it’s not something obvious, you have to rely on ‘inferential cognizer’. If you don’t realize by inferential cognizer  then you can say like thing doesn’t exist. If that thing is not an object of inferential cognizers, if there is no reason to approve that, if there is no inferential cognizer which realizes it, then you can say like thing doesn’t exist. 

I were in an Interfaith, the religious, we had a sort of interfaith long back. I were at Bangalore and it was for the Islam religion. We had about two days to learn about Islam and also to have the sessions where we discuss about Islam, and then we get a bit deeper, a sort of a discussion. And then I raised one question because they said to me, I mean, I get to understand that if you do more good things, you’re gonna go to the heaven after death, if you do more bad things in this life, you’re gonna go to the hell. And I said like “How about like 49-51?  51% you did good things, 49% you do bad things in your life” and then they said like “Obvious you’re gonna go to the heaven because you did like 51% of the good things?” And then two questions, “Are there 49% of the bad things that you have done, I mean, it’s like those doesn’t have any good consequences?”. They said “Yes, if you have done 51% of bad things, you’re gonna go to hell, doesn’t matter even if you have 49% of good things that you have done in your life.” 

With this logic I was just curious, because a person,  I mean, I usually say like if a person is a doctor, let’s say,  if a person see 99 people, then basically he may not hesitate to kill one person. Because he only saves like 99 and if he do like more than 51% of the good things he basically is gonna go to heaven. So he won’t feel any guilt, I mean, to kill one person, that was just out of my curiosity, I thought, that they know that a person may not hesitate to do one bad thing intentionally if he has done like 99 good things intentionally.  So in this sort of situation whether it’s a fact or not, whether it’s true or not, whether it truly exists or not, you have to understand it through inferential cognizer, you have to apply the logic reasons, whether that thing is really true, whether this can really happen, then you have to realize it through inferential cognizer, so this is where it is really helpful. 

I won’t tell a place, but I were at a place where we were discussing about whether a spirit exists in a person, or whether a Creator God exists in a person. Again, if it is existent, either ‘inferential cognizer’ should be able to realize or some ‘direct perceivers’ should realize. If neither ‘direct perceiver’ nor ‘inferential cognizer’ realizes it, it doesn’t exist. As long as it exists, it should be realized by either ‘direct perceiver’ and ‘valid cognizer’. In fact, as a conclusion, I would like to say that, existence and non-existence, the word existence means that it is an object, it can be perceived by direct perceiver or inferential cognizer if that can be realized. 

But either ‘inferential cognizer’ or a ‘direct perceiver’ and existing phenomena, if that cannot be realized by either ‘inferential cognizer’ and ‘direct perceiver’ you can say that is not existent. So that is how you should be able to differentiate whether that is existence or non-existence, whether that is fact or not, but here, ‘inferential cognizer’ are three types as I’ve mentioned.

‘Inferential cognizer by the power of fact

The first one is quite easy, ‘inferential cognizer by the power of fact’, here, it shows the reasons, inferential cognizer which can be generated by the powerof fact, meaning by thinking the nature of phenomena itself. Everything is momentarily changing, even if you think of the phenomena itself, even if you examine the phenomena itself, you will be able to realize it. So such kind of phenomena and such kind of ‘inferential cognizer’ which realizes phenomena by thinking the nature, by examining on the phenomena itself are called inferential cognizer by the power of fact or by the part of phenomena. 

‘Inferential cognizer by the power of renown’

The second type is ‘inferential cognizer by the power of renown’, I’ll make it easy, pen. How would you know that this is called pen? By just looking at it and by just analyzing the nature of this one, you will not be able to realize that this is pen. So to realize this is a pen, you have to realize it by the power of renown. This is how it is being known, renown in the world.  And why this is renown? Why this is been known? Because this is just a name and this name can be given to such a phenomena. Basically any name can be given to any phenomena like you can literally call this ‘computer’ in some countries, if this is known as a ‘computer’ then basically this is ‘computer’. So basically the name, any name can be given to anything. 

There is an Indian movie where a principal whose name is sort of a virus if I’m not mistaken, if everybody knows a person with such a name and then that’s basically his name, and that’s how we know like this is a pen, not because there is some ingredients in it, this is simply known, and any name can be given,  and this is how it’s been known in the world. So through the power of renown, we get to know that this is called pen or maybe a marker pen or anything. So if you know through this way or this inferential cognizer which realizes that this is known as pen, it’s called inferential cognizer through renown by the power of known. 

‘Inferentialcognizer through belief’

The third part is inferentialcognizer through belief, this is interesting part. To make it a bit easy, let’s see Buddhist history, it’s kind a hard to understand. For example, now you all might have heard of 14th Dalai Lama, so the 14th Dalai Lama is basically the 13th Dalai Lama as well. Because it’s not like a principal, they change somebody, somebody else comes on that position and then somebody else comes on that position, Dalai Lama is a title of just one continuous person. So when the 13th Dalai Lama passed away, people literally waited for a year so that the 13th Dalai Lama can be born again, and that kid which is being born again, we give the title, the same title. The 14th Dalai Lama, when he was born, before a year, including the nine months in the mother’s worm and also the 49 days or lesser, intermediate state, basically it’s almost a year. So basically the 13th Dalai Lama spent few time in the intermediate state, maybe around 49 or less and then spent nine months in the mother’s worm, then basically born again, and then he’s caring the same name, Dalai Lama. 

There are many ways to know whether that kid is a Dalai Lama, but one of the ways to know that kid is the 13th one is through Buddhist astrology. If a person is very good at Buddhist astrology, he will be able to establish: after a person passes away, where the person being born, how the person will born, what will be the features,  basically what will be the condition of the house, which region, which place and many signs of the house or a kid itself. So if that has been proved right one million times, then the next one if that’s how it is being proven exactly like 99 times, then the hundred time you just realize it by relying on the astrology, you don’t need to go through some other reasons, it is always been righ, it should be right so you can realize by the power of belief. 

When the thing is never mistaken, then you realize, it’s more like if a person has been telling truth the whole life. Buddha’s teachings, Buddha sutras there are thousand and thousand of pages. I’m not talking about some followers of Buddha, I’m talking about the teachings by Buddha himself, not even a single word or sentence, there isn’t even a doubt that there is been proved wrong or that causes against the reason or there is not even a single life that has been proven that it goes against the fact, it goes against the reason. Specially the teachings of the Four Noble Truth gives this is so valid, even if it’s so  very profound, yet there is no even a single mistake in it. Then you will understand, then you will say that some of the simple teachings it must be right if such a difficult ones are at least accurate, it’s more like mathematics, if a person is able to solve a very difficult solution or a very difficult task in mathematics, then the person says like 77 + 147 is something, then you will just believe right away. He is able to solve such a difficult thing, but in this easy one he will definitely do it, so we just believe it right away. 

So, in this way there are some phenomena that can be realized. Those minds which realize that are called ‘inferential cognizer based on the belief’. These are some of the examples that I’ve given, but in fact the reason why you get to have a coffee or a tea this morning, if somebody asks “What is that karma because of which you had to have that coffee?”, or “What is the cause of all the beautiful each and every color of a Peacock?” Then that is very difficult to understand by the power of the fact and the power of renown, there is something that you have to rely on the power of belief, basically it is to understand some of the very subtle cause and effect. 

So that’s what ‘inferential cognizer’ is. Basically three types, the one is by the power of the fact, inferential cognizer by the power of renown and by the power of belief. 


As I’ve mentioned before, ‘direct perceiver’ has like 4 divisions, the first one is the ‘sense direct perceivers’, five types as I’ve mentioned before, and of course, valid direct perceivers because we’re talking about valid cognizers, inferential cognizers and direct perceivers, the valid direct perceiver which realizes the object, it has to be the first moment, as I told you, so you have to say like five sense consciousness which are valid, five valid sense consciousness which basically means that the five sense consciousness which realise its object for the first time. 

The first moment of the five sense consciousness we realize the objects are basically the ‘very direct perceivers’, first time. The second type is mental direct perceiver which is valid consciousness. The third one is the yogic direct perceiver, the first moment of yogic direct perceiver, or you can say like yogic direct perceiver, this is valid cognizer. The 4th one is self-knowing direct perceiver which is a valid cognizer. So these are basically the four types of direct perceivers or valid direct perceivers. 


These , as I’ve mentioned before, these are quite simple and you just have to add like valid cognizer at the first moment of such consciousness which realizes its object. But today the new things that you have to learn, and that you have to remember is like inferential cognizer by the power of fact, by the power of fact is you just know by the nature of phenomena. Like the cup is made up of the four elements, this is something that you have to check the phenomena itself, by checking or analyzing the phenomena itself youwill be able to realize. So the power of fact by the checking the phenomena itself, by examining the phenomena itself. 

The second one is ‘inferential cognizer through renown’ and the third one is inferential cognizer through belief. So the inferential cognizer through belief, it is a bit tricky one, this is something that is not really easy to understand or easy to get. Basically to know that all the subtle phenomena has been explained so nicely you just rely on somebody to realize it, through some simple things which are not that hidden phenomena or even to some hidden phenomena in some sense. 

Elaborating on the conceptual thought and meaning generality.

If I missed to say something, last time we have been through the meaning generality, a conceptual thought, so inferential cognizer has to be conceptual thought, as long as it is a conceptual thought, it has to realize the object through meaning generality which is basically the image that is based in our mind when we think of some object. 

The conceptual thought realizes, for example, if we think of a cow, the image of the cow appears in our mind, the image is not a cow, but we mix that image with the cow, we think that “OK, this is our cow”. So we have the image we mix that image with a real cow, and we perceive that image as a cow. And if somebody asks “if it is only the sense consciousness that don’t have to go through that image or meaning generality, they know our dream is also the same, our dream is also non conceptual”. In the dream we see the phenomena so very clear as we see from our eyes. If you think of a mother, it’s not clear, if you look at the mother is very clear. So when you look at the car, you can see the car very clear because you don’t have to go through meaning generality or any image in the mind. But when you think of a car, it’s not clear because the car that we see is through the meaning generality, through some image, so that image is being mixed up with the car, and then so that’s why it’s not very clear. But if you see the car in a dream, it will be as clear as you see with your eyes. 

And also sometimes, if somebody asks “like if it is only the dream”, then no for example, let’s see if a person has such a huge devotion towards some deities, goddess or maybe among the humans, it is also possible if a person loves somebody, let’s say somebody already passed away, but if a person is missing that person everyday or thinking about it over again and again, sometimes it is possible that he or she see that person. It is really possible to see, it is an illusion because you’ve been thinking about that again and again and again, so one time you really see that person. 

So that time it is not that conceptual, you are not going through the meaning generality, or image, you see as clear as you see somebody from the eyes. But generally, our conceptual thoughts are not clear with the object because it goes through the meaning generality. And these are conceptual thoughts.


  1. Lama, could we say that deities are all known through‘inferential cognizer’? 

Generally yes, but if you really practice some sādhanā or do some meditation, but by the power of meditation you can also see the deities with your eyes, that is also possible. It is, as I’ve told you, from scientific approach, I like the dimensions, eye consciousness falls into three-dimensions, 3-D, and then so this is why eye consciousness, the eye power can enhance through some meditations and I think it is very possible to see a lot of things. There are some people who see lot of things, so it’s very much possible.

  1. The ghost or in the other hand,the soul is an image, an object, an illusion, an anxiety, a concept, a feeling or a phenomena?

So basically a question of whether the ghost or the soul, what is it? Whether is an image, like the ghost, what we have in our mind is basically the image of it. It’s an object, if you see a ghost when the ghost doesn’t exist, then it is illusion.

Anxiety can be one of the cause which generates the illusion, if you are so scared of ghosts then even if you see something outside, even if you see a small tree or a bush, even if you see a dog running away or something, it appears as a sort of a ghost to you and based on your previous imagination of a ghost, you see something like that, so that’s sort of illusion. 

A feeling or a phenomena? It is a phenomena, ghost exists, it is just like one’s speech…[voice mute] So some people who might scare for ghost or something like that, you might think “Oh, Master was talking about ghost and suddenly the voice got mute”. This is kind of interesting, but the ghost basically exists, but not the ghost in the movies, they literally create anything. It’s just one type of beings. You can think of similar to animal, one species, I usually say like there is no need to scare of ghost. If you want something to be scared of, maybe you can scare of mosquitoes, because in this world there are more people that mosquito kills. And then I don’t know if there is any, I mean,  I didn’t even know a person who’s been killed by a ghost, but I’ve heard few people which basically killed by Dengue, Malaria, and that basically comes from mosquitoes. 

So if you don’t scare of mosquitoes, I don’t see a reason why you scare of ghost. But anyways, you can scare of both if you want to if that is what makes you feel comfortable or happier, but still it’s just a species, it is something that you don’t see with your eyes.  

People don’t scare of bacteria or virus and we saw that many people walk around, roam around, they don’t like to be with the mask and then basically in India, many people don’t seem to be scared of a virus. So if somebody says that “I scare of a ghost” while they are roaming around without a mask in the market, in a public area, so it would be like a fun to watch. Then I don’t know why you are scared? Because if you don’t fear for death out of the sickness of such a deadly virus, then why would you scare to the ghost, what would we do more than the virus because it’s taking life. But in anyway, basically ghost is just something that people make out of it, and then it leaves a very strong imprint, maybe by our parents or some elders, when we were young, the thing like “Oh ghost is something”. Some people can be more dangerous than ghost, but it’s not like we have to scare of people. 

Ghost is just another species, they are busy in their own world. But basically you can see the ghost with the eyes, some people sometimes possible, but generally not really, because it is a subtle phenomena, the body that the ghost has is very subtle, generally you cannot see by the eyes, our eye consciousness is not capable to see that. If you see such a thing, you can think that 99% it is an illusion, because you are not so lucky to see a ghost. If you think you are such a lucky to see a ghost, go and get a lottery, maybe you’ll win that as well, because seeing a ghost is pretty much as winning a lottery, because you have to get lucky to see such. 

And I think that maybe if more people see ghosts then it is more promising that a mind exists, because many because many people don’t believe in next life, they think they are like a project, no, maybe not nice if I go to say that, but it’s still there are many people who think people are also like potatoes, go and that’s it, it’s not like you have to go to the next life.  But if you see an existence of ghost, if you see a spirit enters in the people mind, or a body, then establishing a next and previous existence of next and previous life and the mind is lot easier to explain, because you get to see that, it’s sort of a witnessing such things.

  1. Why we could not think after death?

Yeah we can think after death, in fact when we die, our mind gets much more brighter, somewhere it says  that our ability to think becomes seven times better, because what we think right now it depends on the human brain. When we die, our mind goes out of our body, when the mind goes out of our body, we don’t rely on the human brain. What the ability to think depends on the body in which we are in, if we die and our mind goes inside the cow, then you won’t be able to think as much as a person. So thinking ability depends on what kind of body you are in, so after that death according to some texts, your thinking ability will be much more brighter, so after we die, our thinking ability is much more better according to some texts.

  1. Fundamentally whatare eight steps to reach higher consciousness  through yoga: yamas, niyama, asana, pranayanna etc. How do we know we attained mastery over one and move to another. Basically how do we are progressing to next level? 

When we make a sort of a level, I’m talking about inner yoga, mental yoga. So mental yoga, if we take an example of concentration meditation, Samatha, then there are eight levels, and then we are not even on the first ground. There are lot of characteristics and the features that we have to achieve when we are on the first step. Mental yoga about mind is different from this. 

So with this I would like to conclude today’s session, very happy to see all of you thank you very much. In the next classes we will go through the remaining five of the seven consciousness. And then we will have few more classes then it is the conclusion, this will be our Lorig. Very happy to go through it. This is kind of interesting, every class is sort of a piece of puzzle and you get all the classes you will get pretty much a nice image to work on with your own mind. At the end of the day whatever I say, try to put it within you, try to imagine it, try to understand with your own mind, then it’s easier to understand, at the same time it’s more beneficial.