Three things cannot be long
hidden: the sun, the moon,

and the truth.


The Buddha


3. Consciousness (Vijnana)


Vijnana usually is translated to mean "consciousness." In Buddhist teaching there are many kinds of vijnana. Very generally, vijnana is what happens when one of the six faculties (eye, ear, nose, tongue, body, mind) reacts to or becomes aware of one of the six external phenomena (visible form, sound, smell, taste, touch, and ideas and thoughts). The third link includes all kinds of vijnana.


In the outer ring of the Bhavachakra (Wheel of Life), vijnana is represented by a monkey. A monkey leaps thoughtlessly from one thing to another, easily tempted and distracted by sensations. Monkey energy pulls us away from ourselves and away from the dharma.


Vijnana conditions the next link, name and form.


4. Name and Form (Nama-rupa)


Nama-rupa is name and form, corporeality and mentality, the joining of the five skandhas into an individual existence. With name and form also come sensory perception.


In the outer ring of the Bhavachakra (Wheel of Life), nama-rupa is represented by people in a boat, traveling through samsara.m

Nama-rupa works together with the next link, faculties and objects, to condition other links.