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Definition of Alaya-vijnana

Alaya-vijnana Definition from Religion & Spirituality Dictionaries & Glossaries
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Alaya-Vijnana (Sanskrit) [from alaya abode, dwelling from a-li to settle upon, come close to + vijnana discernment, knowledge from vi-jna to distinguish, know, understand} Abode of discriminative knowledge; the cognizing or discerning faculty, the mental power of making distinctions, hence the higher reasoning. When used mystically as "a receptacle or treasury of knowledge or wisdom," it corresponds very closely to the Vedantic vijnanamaya-kosa, the "thought-made sheath" of the human constitution, the higher manas or reincarnating ego.
In Mahayana Buddhism, alaya-vijnana has acquired a somewhat larger and higher significance: alaya (an abode, in the sense of focus of activity), the prepositional prefix a (meaning position or limitation) with the verb li (to dissolve) signifies solution or coalescence in unity. Used much as the term human monad is in theosophy, equivalent to the higher manas or even buddhi-manas, it therefore signifies the focus or interior organ of consciousness into which is collected at the end of each incarnation the aroma of the higher experiences during that lifetime, thus forming a kind of treasury.
Alaya-vijnana Definition from Encyclopedia Dictionaries & Glossaries
Wikipedia English - The Free Encyclopedia
The Eight Consciousnesses is a classification developed in the tradition of the Yogacara school of Buddhism. They enumerate the five senses, supplemented by the mind, the "obscuration" of the mind (manas), and finally the fundamental store-house consciousness, which is the basis of the other seven.

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