Defiled mental consciousness

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The defiled mental consciousness or emotional consciousness (Skt. kliṣṭamanas; Tib. ཉོན་ཡིད་, nyön yi, Wyl. nyon yid) is the seventh of the eight consciousnesses. It is focused inwards upon the ground of all, or alaya, mistaking it for a substantial self, with the result that all experience is subsequently divided into wanted and unwanted. It is always present, underlying all ordinary mental states, whether virtuous, non-virtuous or neutral, and only ceases when the noble path is actualized, during the absorption of cessation or at the state of buddhahood.


Thrangu Rinpoche explains:

The seventh consciousness refers to the most basic level of mental afflictions, or klesha. It refers not to the coarse kleshas, but to the root of the kleshas. Specifically, the afflicted consciousness is the most subtle level of fixation on a self. [...] It is unfluctuatingly present even when one is asleep. When sometimes you have a sense of self, and you think “I”, that is an operation not of the seventh consciousness but of the sixth. [...] Although it is not itself directly observable, the afflicted consciousness is the basis for all coarse fixation on a self and therefore for all coarse kleshas.[1]

Alternative Translations

  • Afflictive aspect of consciousness (LCN)
  • Defiled emotional consciousness (Padmakara)
  • Deluded consciousness (Gyurme Dorje)


  1. Creation and Completion, p.126