Lorig:Way of Knowing Mind – Session 7


Subsequent Cognizer and
The Mind to which The Object Appears without Being Realized



Hello and tashi delek to everyone. We are here again with Lorig about mind and awareness. So we are finishing quite soon, not much of classes left. I am really happy to see all, I know it’s a tough topic, sometimes it is very much likely that things are bounding over the head because topic is not something easy, but still really happy, but I can see that some of these points may not be clear to some of you, but from the facial gesture I can say that most of your understanding quite good. 

I had the leftover the third or fourth quiz with me, really have been a bit busy so I couldn’t go through it carefully, so I hesitate it but then I’ll send soon. Then our team is also probably starting to work on uploading all these classes as well as those quiz at the Aura of Wisdom website. So looking forward to that soon and also there were some people who said to me that they wish to join this class, then I were telling them that it’s already been few classes already, we’ve been like 6-7 classes right? So then I said that “There are recordings, so you can go through the recording so it would be better. Because if you don’t get the previous ones, then many of the things that we talk about now may not make that much sense”. 

So here we are with a common desire to be happy within oneself. Actually, meditating is one thing, practicing some sādhanā or some other practices with other things, but many of these problems in uncomfortable situation arrives in our life because of ignorance. It’s just that we are having misunderstanding about something or just that we don’t understand things so this is why things are getting big strangely in our life, but then the good thing is that there are lot of ways where we can be happy in our life by very simple things. I mean, I’ve been telling this pretty much with all the previous classes that happiness is just a state of satisfaction, if you are satisfied, you’re happy, if you’re not, you’re not happy, regardless of what you have, what position you are holding, what is your status in community or in a work, regardless of whatever you have now in terms of outer materialistic things or including your own body. 

Once you have this sense of satisfaction with what you have or what you don’t have you’re happy till that nobody is happy. So which is why? Even if you own billions and billions of wealth, it doesn’t mean that you’re happy. And also, in the recent time, and I were in touch with many people who have lost their family, who have lost their beloved ones, who have lost their friends, their partner and so forth. It was really difficult to see and to let them explain the way they should handle things, the way they should think, the way they should see the situation. I really wish and hope at that time one of the things that I felt in common whenever I were talking and having interaction with them was that at least if you have some basic backgrounds about mind, it would be a lot easier for me to explain. Even if they want me to talk to them or sort of consult them or make them feel a bit better in some sense, there were not much of thing which is something that I would say and then make them feel immediately relief. 

But that itself is just a transformation of a mind from one’s body to another’s body. So if you don’t have a clear concept of the about a mind, it’s kind of difficult. But it is not the person who suffered when a person passed away, it is the leftover family members. And even more difficult is those who are having a chronic disease, a very difficult disease or sickness and then they know they’re dying quite soon. That is the time and then sooner or later we all will come to such situation, it doesn’t matter whether we like it or not and we will all have to go through similar cases, dying is something which is a part of it.  

It’s more like if no mango grows, if nobody eat the outer part of the mango, then the seed will not come out and then the seed doesn’t comes out and there’s no way that a mango tree can grow and then it doesn’t grow and there is no mango in the future. It’s more like if suddenly all of us become immortal like if all of us become a sort of permanence then no couple will have children, nobody die and nobody be born. 

Yeah, so that’s why anyway we have to understand and accept this circle of life, we are born in this life because we passed away a bit earlier than we were born. Often when a person is a very old, for example, just imagine 100 years old, a very old man or woman having lot of pains, physical pain and not being able to do a lot of things and also very much unstable mind, not happy, lot of complaints about one’s own body and sense everything. 

If you look at very closely from a Buddhist perspective, then it is good if you want still be able to practice, meditate, do something good. It’s very good that we all wish that everybody live long, unless one is doing something terrible. But from one’s angle, if one passed away, one is gonna have a new life, but still people are afraid of dying. There is this sort of anxiety, sort of insecurity feelings, this is not just in general people, but it is also among Buddhists. I could say, this life, people see that sort of comfort bubble in a sort of comfort zone, so if you think that you’re gonna die soon, you have these insecurities feelings, and also among the Buddhist the same thing, but the difference is they know the sense possible threat of being born in some lower realms 

People have this sense, of course, “I did many wrong in this sort of my previous life, so if I die, maybe I’m gonna be born in somewhere terrible because I’ve done something bad as well”. If you don’t have much to regret, if you don’t have much things that is in your mind like: “for example in my life, I’ve not done something really bad, I tried my best to live as positive as possible and also if you understand or have some Buddhist knowledge then you can purify those past karma which you don’t remember. With that sort of life, if you have lived that sort of life then I would say there is nothing to feel insecurity about, because there is not much of possible threats. Then with that sort of mindset one can feel totally comfortable to live this comfortable life or uncomfortable life, because among this unstable world, pretty much everything is unstable, nothing is stable. 

But there is something that you can totally rely on. The house that we live, the car that we go around,  our body, let’s say, it’s very like one of the example of ‘not stable’ that we all know. But one of the things that can be totally reliable is the karma. If you do a lot of good things then that’s gonna bring only positive results, the more positive actions in which you engage, if you engage in more positive action, then the result is always positive and it’s always good. So that’s something that we can count, that we can rely, and from that perspective, if we have lived a meaningful life, then we should not worry much, we should not think much about it, and also, even if it’s our family members, if they have left a meaningful life, then there’s nothing much that we should think.

Because sometimes we are so used to negatives that to have a negative thought, it doesn’t require a lot of effort to drag in that part because we are used to negative things. From beginning lives, from many past lives that’s what we have been doing, that why we are still in samsara, that why we still have a lot of problems in our life. And even if you don’t believe, just close your eyes and just notice all your thoughts, if it is not to harm others, it is surely most of our thoughts are surely influenced by a bit of selfishness, unless you are practicing, unless you are very mindful of what you are thinking and what you’re doing, unless you have trained yourself enough towards a positive path. 

Generally, when you look outside, most of the actions, most of the thoughts are with the intention of self benefits. By understanding the mind, by understanding karma, by understanding Buddhism, it is very important to notice that within oneself, to realize one’s own witness that’s where we need to work on, and that’s what we have to change in, that’s where we have to progress to try to reduce that selfishness and to enhance the compassion within oneself toward others. 

And also to generate compassion towards oneself by enhancing compassion towards others. The one and only way to bring happiness to oneself is by bringing happiness to others. You will be happy only when your family members are happy. If you live with your parents you will only be happy when your parents are happy, so you will be happy when the world is happier. From Mahayana perspective, that’s how things are. 

When our natural thoughts are may not be always compassion, so that’s why we have to be very mindful and also to reduce those thoughts which are driven or which are intended with the self benefits. Of course, your happiness is your responsibilities, but not by hurting others, but by benefiting others. If the conceptual thought, any conceptual thought by thinking that if there is no benefits, by thinking that “if there is not solving, I’m not talking about, don’t think about past”. Yes, you can think about past until it is fruitful, you can think about any situation until it is benefiting you, until it is helping you to be happier, until it is helping you to progress. But if it is not helping you, not benefiting you or avoiding you from progressing, or making you suffer then that’s when I call too much thinking. If it is beneficial, you can think of millions of times, I won’t say it’s too much because it is beneficial. But if it is not beneficial, if it is literally driving or pushing you towards depression, then even thinking two times is too much. 

So these are some simple things that we can follow, simple rules that we can follow in our life and also in this world, especially during the pandemic, many people are at home, many people are pretty much jobless, there are many people who might have a job but then they are working from home. So many people might have lot of time so then they overthink or they tell all the things that they can’t do and then make themselves suffer. So in such case it’s very important to create plans for future, make a timetable for the day, keep oneself busy in reading, developing their skills in one’s life, and then in learning something new. Nowadays one can learn like online or there are many means or ways then one can progress because as I said, karma is a thing that is very much reliable and stable if you saw a seed, sooner or later it’s gonna grow. 

So regardless of your age, even if you are 100 years old, it is still good to learn things, and from one point it keeps our mind fresh. From Buddhist perspective you can learn and become Buddha any age, even if you are 90 years old, you can still learn something new and become Buddha. So it’s very important to keep progressing, to keep learning, to create plans and timetable for the day, plans for the future and also to keep the mental health, a mental hygiene is very important. The mental hygiene is nothing but being positive in all the circumstances and being mindful and not to let our mind drive us. 


To try to control that mind which are the reasons why we are here trying to understand the mind so that we can avoid this mind could drive us like a wild or sort of the elephant. So we have been through a lot of topics so today. I think we are supposed to go or talk about the ‘subsequent cognizers’ and ‘awareness to which the object appears without being ascertained’. 

The second one, awareness to which the object appears without being ascertained is basically a name like a car. It’s so long because the Tibetan version is very long [snang-la ma-nges-pa log]. So there’s no way that [snang-la ma-nges-pa log] can literally translate into one word in English. So when it comes to translating into English, it becomes like ‘awareness to which the object appears without being ascertained’, it sounds like a definition of something, but as the name of a cow or sun. 

Subsequent cognizer.

Anyways, so let’s talk a bit about ‘subsequent cognizers’, we have been through subsequent cognizers. Hey, basically ‘subsequent cognizer’ definition would be more like a ‘knower’ that realizes what has already been realized. As I said last time we’ve been through the two ‘valid cognizers’, inferential cognizer and direct valid cognizer. That’s the two things that we have been through last time, so now it is a third one, ‘subsequent cognizers’. As I told you, ‘subsequent cognizer’ is the second moment of the first and the second one, those two ‘valid cognizers’. 

‘Subsequent cognizer’ basically is a knower.

In the Buddhist psychology books, or Lorig, you’re gonna find that a ‘subsequent cognizer’ basically is a ‘knower’ that realizes object which just already been realized. And these are two types as I told, the one which is ‘conceptual thought’ and the one which is direct perceiver, not the valid one. The valid one is the first moment, so this ‘subsequent cognizer’ is always the second moment. 

The reason why it is called the ‘knower’ that realizes which is already being realized. For example, I see a car, I realize a car from my eye consciousness. So the second moment of it, the second moment when my eye consciousness stops, when I look around then I still remember, I remember “Oh I saw that car”. So when I remember that car, I’m realizing the car which has already been realized not by the ‘subsequent cognizer’ but by the eye consciousness. So ‘subsequent cognizer’ is such cognizer which realizes the car that already has been realized by eye consciousness which is why in the text, you’re gonna find that the knower which realizes the object which is already been realized by which one by the first moment, which is a valid cognizer, for example, eye consciousness. 

The second moment of the Buddha’s mind isn’t it a ‘subsequent cognizer’?

Now the question here: if somebody say if ‘a knower’ that realizes object which already been realized are the ‘subsequent cognizer’, then the question is how about the second moment of the Buddha’s mind? Because in the commentaries we can find that all the Buddhas’ mind are valid cognizers, there’s no subsequent cognizers. But the second moment, for example when the Buddha is looking at a car, the first moment of the eye consciousness is, of course, a ‘direct valid cognizer’, how about the second moment? And how about when Buddha is not looking at a car, when Buddha is thinking of a car, so how about that? Isn’t it a subsequent cognizer? 

Somebody might say that it must be ‘subsequent cognizer’ because it’s ‘a knower’ that realizes the car which is already been realized, because Buddha realized it before and now Buddha is just a sort of remembering or thinking it again. So it is not only realizing the object, realizing the car which is already realized, but it has to be a ‘subsequent cognizer’, has to be a knower which knows its object not by its own power. 

Subsequent cognizer should be a mind that realizes the object by the power of previous mind. It should be such a mind which has an ability to know its object by its own power, should be a mind that realizes its object, that knows a car, it is more like you realize a car, when you look around, you remember the car, so that mind which remembers that car is a subsequent cognizer. And that mind realizes the car obviously, but the reason why that mind realizes a car, it’s because of the eye consciousness. If the eye consciousness didn’t realize then there’s no way that you can remember the car or you can realize the car by that conceptual thought. 

But Buddhas’ mind are sort of difference, Buddhas’ mind, even if the previous one doesn’t realize, then next, even the second moment or the later moment of the mind has an ability to realize by its own power. There are many Buddhist Masters which thinks that a mind which realizes the car cannot object, let’s say, a cow or a motorbike. Every mind is different when it comes to our eye consciousness, it is pretty much true. When we look at the four directions or when we look at 5-6 different things, then when we look at a book, the eye consciousness to which the book appears activates, when we look at the screen, the eye consciousness that we just saw the book, it’s more like it deactivates and the eye consciousness we see the screen is different, because it is not even a continuum. Eye consciousness is like a cup you put the water, remove the water, you put the coffee, remove the coffee, you put a tea, remove the tea, but the thing is the same, just the content of it is changing. But when it comes to our eye consciousness, eye consciousness is not even the same continuum.

When we look at a cow, the next moment we look at maybe yak, then the eye consciousness we saw the cow doesn’t go or converge or become the consciousness we see the yak, these are just different. When you look at a cow, and then when you look at the yak, the consciousness we see the cow dissolves, or maybe instead of ‘dissolve’, I think it’s better to say ‘deactivate’, remaining a dormant way is more like a sleeping mode. 

So every moment when we walk, our eye consciousness is always changing, changing. Every time this eye consciousness changes, it leaves an imprint into our mind. So our singular mind is not capable of realizing or knowing everything or multiple things. But Buddha’s mind is a bit different, there is a logic behind, it is very much understandable even from logical perspective. But still just to tell it straight, Buddha, even one mind, the eye consciousness which looks at the cup can also realize the cow, also realize the book and the screen, pencil, pen and everything. And even the second moment of that has capability to know things by its own power, so Buddhas’mind are one of that sort of exalted mind which possess its own power, even it is the second moment. But our mind if we realize the object not by its own power, but the power of some other minds which realized it before then you can see, then you can say that ‘OK’, so this is the ‘subsequent cognizer’. And as I’ve mentioned before, subsequent cognizer’ only can be induced by either a ‘valid cognizer’ or a conceptual thought directly or indirectly. OK, that’s pretty much about subsequent cognizer.

Awareness to which the object appears without being ascertained. 

And then the fourth one, ‘awareness to which the object appears without being ascertained’, so this is in the name itself, it sounds quite clear. It’s definitely one of the ‘direct perceivers’ to which the object appears, for example, if a person is looking at the car, the car appears to the mind, but the mind is not able to realize the car, sometimes mind is not able to realize because the object is very subtle, but the car is not subtle. And when it comes to a car, maybe you are distracted with the music, maybe you’re distracted with some other things, maybe you are having a very delicious food, so that’s why you literally haven’t noticed which car that was. So in that case the eye consciousness we see the car becomes this fourth one, the ‘consciousness to which the object appears without being ascertained’, so this one, as I mentioned earlier, when it comes to the eye consciousness, let’s say a car when you are distracted  with something like a music.

And exactly the same goes to the ear, you’re listening to music but then at the same time you saw something let’s say an accident, you saw a very shocking thing, at the same time somebody said something and then you haven’t listened, so that ear consciousness becomes this fourth one, a consciousness to which the object appears without being ascertainedd. Similarly smell, during the COVID many people couldn’t realize the smell, can’t smell, when you’re in front of a sort of perfume, then because of the sickness, you’re smelling it, or the smell appears to the nose consciousness, but the nose consciousness is not able to realize it. And then the same goes with the taste, the same thing is also with the physical, tangible thing. So the five sense consciousness and also the mental consciousness can also be this mind, this consciousness to which the object appears without being ascertained. Example is, as I’ve mentioned before, the ‘direct perceivers’, our ‘mental direct perceivers’ are very short that it is lesser than a duration of a flash. So because of such a short period of time it is not able to realize this object although the object appears to the mind. So this is the consciousness to which the object appears without being ascertainedd. 

When we classify these minds into seven categories, it doesn’t mean that all the minds go into these seven categories. There are a lot of minds which are neither none of these seven, but still these seven are one of the most known, and it’s very important to know that is in this sense. 


  1. Lama, I have a question, yeah, sorry, it’s more directly to what you were talking about at the beginning, and it’s about lives and the pandemic. I have to look at what I wrote for the question, I’m shy about asking, so let me look what I said. I’m wondering about is there a force that is correcting human population right now with the pandemic? And if so, why are so many animals species also going extinct, I’m just, it’s kind of a number question about lives and what is happening right now with so many deaths of animals and people? How is that? Addressed in Buddhism does that make sense? 

So one question. You mean? I really don’t know is it increasing or decreasing ?

I feel like it should be decreasing, but maybe it isn’t cause, it’s been growing in way too much, I mean there is overpopulation, so I feel like maybe that is what’s happening. But I also feel like animal species are dying as well so. Is this just one big over correction? 

OK, got it, that’s interesting question. In India, it is really funny, there are some parents who have the children delivery during this pandemic, but literally name their kids with these terms related to the COVID. From one aspect, during this COVID we lost many humans, many people, so in a way, it might be decreasing in some sense, the number. Australian fire, Amazon fire and also some small fires in forests, let’s say there was some fire in California, if I’m not mistaken, somewhere around. So obviously, many insects, animals, but and humans passed away in the last two three years. 

From the Amazon fire, nothing went on nicely, it is sad, number might be decreasing or the number of humans might be decreasing, but from one side, by taking this as an advantage, because many couples might be busy and then now they are quarantine, so maybe that they made a plan of having a family, having a kid, anyway they’re starting to do most of the time because of the lock down and everything. So I don’t know about the human, but then overall a population of animals and humans obviously it might be decreasing a bit. 

There’s no other force that is controlling from outer thing. There are people who say and who believe, and then I also listen to some people saying that, I didn’t deny it or said anything, I just listened to it, it’s more like I notice this sense and respecting them. But then there are some people who say like, “OK, now they’ve destroyed the earth”,  there are some people who say there’s some external force now it’s trying to heal by itself and there is something which is healing the heart or something like that or maybe this is a time, this is a lesson that has been given to humans and everything. 

I don’t believe in those things because you can say it’s a lesson to the human, there’s somebody trying to give dah and dah… if it is helping you to feel something positive, if it is helping you to be to participate in something which is positive. But when this pandemic started, many people asked me why a lot of people are dying? Why it is such a crisis in all the sense? I don’t know, but I would say that it could be a karma of all those animals and insects which are been died in Amazone fire, it could be a karma of all those animals, insects, birds which are been died at Amazon and in Australia. 

Whatever has been caused by global warming, humans have contributed. If any crisis that took place because of flood, global warming, I won’t say earthquake, but global warming and also flood, these causes by humans. We use the factories, contribute the cars and then all these contribute in a way to the global warming and because of the global warming, the earth is getting hot, it is getting hotter and hotter, the atmosphere gets hot and everything which cause a fire in forest and which melt down the glaciers and then eventually it will melt down the water. There’s no other place, it goes through a river and end being in a sea, so the seawater rises, so then obviously there is a flood. 

Because humans lack of mindfulness, the global warming is at this rapid pace, because of that many animals passed away. So the karma goes to all of us who has participated in, contributed to global warming, that’s why now that karma could be resulting nowadays. Now with this pandemic, it is just humans, yeah in some sense, generally I would say that is humans for suffering because of COVID. Birds don’t have any problem, they haven’t contributed to the global warming. Wild animals, they don’t have any problem, the cats that we have in our house, the dogs that we have in our House, they are having little bit, they affect little bit, and then they also contributed to global warming little bit. 

This is an assumption, I don’t know whether it’s a ‘correctly assuming one’ or not, conceptual thought or not, but it just an assumption. But there is no other external causes, of course it is a karma, collective karma. It is a karma and it’s not something from outside, it’s from inside. 

  1. Is it a ‘subsequent mind’ you have been speaking about mind which realizes enlightenment, true nature of mind?

When we realize the true nature of mind or enlightenment, when we realize the emptiness of our mind, there is not something that we can realize with the ‘direct perceiver’ at the beginning, we have to go through the reasons. These reasons are the only way that we can realize these subtle phenomenons like enlightenment, the nature of mind, emptiness, impermanence. These are all something which is sort of a hidden phenomena, not really obvious. At the beginning when you realize through a reason, it becomes ‘inferential cognizer’. So the inferential cognizer, when you think about it again and again, then it becomes subsequent cognizer, the second moment. 

That subsequent cognizer, if you think about it again and again, this will be a time when you are able to realize it directly without ‘meaning generality’, that is when you receive the stage of Arya, that’s when you become one of the Three Jewels, Sangha. When you realize emptiness directly with a direct perceiver, when you achieve a direct perceiver which realize emptiness, that is when you become Sanga. We talk about Three Jewels, Buddha, Dharma and Sangha. Sangha is when you become, when you realize, when you are able to cultivate or when you are able to generate a direct perceiver which realize emptiness, that’s when you’re called Sangha. That is a genuine Sangha. 

Now with the ‘direct perceiver’ it is a lot easier to even explain Sangha, otherwise to general people, the form monk gave, it represents Sangha, it’s not Sangha but it represents Sangha. But the genuine Sangha is when a person realize emptiness with the direct perceiver. 


Thank you, so see you soon. Your happiness is your responsibility so be positive. It is very easy way to be happy and to be satisfied with whatever we have. It’s another way to be happy to create a family, friendly relation with whoever live around us or around you. It’s also very easy way to be happy. So knowing mind, you should be able to control your own mind and try to enhance, you try to make those minds grow which are positive. If something happen, if you get angry all of a sudden, OK, understandable, if you think again and let yourself get angry again, that is not OK. 

If you get angry, it’s OK, understandable, but if you think it again and let yourself more angry and if you pile up more reasons then it’s not OK, everybody does these mistakes time to time, we have to understand because we also might do lots of mistakes in this present lives.