Vijnanabija, Vijñānabīja, Vijnana-bija: 1 definition


Vijnanabija means something in Buddhism, Pali. If you want to know the exact meaning, history, etymology or English translation of this term then check out the descriptions on this page. Add your comment or reference to a book if you want to contribute to this summary article.

In Buddhism

Mahayana (major branch of Buddhism)

[«previous next»] — Vijnanabija in Mahayana glossary
Source: Wisdom Library: Maha Prajnaparamita Sastra

Vijñānabīja (विज्ञानबीज, “seed-consciousness”) refers to the first seed of the new being, according to the 2nd century Mahāprajñāpāramitāśāstra chapter 31.—The vijñāna-bīja “seed-consciousness”, the consciousness which is seed, is obviously the third member of the causal chain, the member conditioned by actions and itself conditioning name and form (nāmarūpa). This is what descends into the mother’s womb and is the first seed of the new being. By means of the wind (vāta) of deceptive concepts and wrong thoughts, the father and mother blow upon the fire (agni) of sexual desire (rāga); blood (rudhira), marrow (majjan) and fat (vasā) escape, get hot and are changed into sperm. The seed-consciousness (vijñānabīja) conditioned by previous actions settles in the blood (śoṇita) and whitish sperm (śukra).

Mahayana book cover
context information

Mahayana (महायान, mahāyāna) is a major branch of Buddhism focusing on the path of a Bodhisattva (spiritual aspirants/ enlightened beings). Extant literature is vast and primarely composed in the Sanskrit language. There are many sūtras of which some of the earliest are the various Prajñāpāramitā sūtras.

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