views updated

Ñāṇadassana (‘knowledge and insight’). Buddhist knowledge as an act of ‘seeing’. Dassana indicates ‘seeing or sight’. When combined with ñāṇa it gives the special meaning, ‘insight arising from knowledge’. Thus the Buddha is described as one who ‘knows and sees’ (tam ahaṃ jānāmi passāmi, Majjhima Nikāya 1. 329). The central truths of Buddhism are ‘seen’ (Saṃyutta Nikāya 229). Even nirvāna is ‘seen’ (Majjhima Nikāya 1. 511). According to the Nikāyas this ‘knowledge and insight’ is a result of mental concentration (samādhi), and it is said that there is a causal relation between the attainment of mental concentration and the emergence of this knowledge and insight (Dīgha Nikāya 1.75).