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Discernment (Skt. vicāra; Tib. དཔྱོད་པ་, Wyl. dpyod pa) — one of the fifty-one mental states defined in Abhidharma literature. According to the Compendium of Abhidharma, it belongs to the subgroup of the four variables.


In the Khenjuk, Mipham Rinpoche says:

  • Tib. དཔྱོད་པ་ནི་སེམས་པ་དང་ཤེས་རབ་ལ་བརྟེན་ནས་དོན་དེའི་ཁྱད་པར་སོ་སོར་རྟོག་པའི་ཡིད་ཀྱིས་གཞིག་ནས་བཟུང་བ་ཞིབ་པའི་རྣམ་པ་ཅན་ཏེ་བུམ་པ་གསར་པ་མ་གས་པར་འཛིན་པ་ལྟ་བུའོ།
  • Discernment is a mind which can distinguish and apprehend the particular characteristics of an object, by means of intention and wisdom. It produced a detailed understanding like distinguishing whether a vase is new or not. (Rigpa Translations)
  • Discernment is the action of the mind examining and taking hold of an object, and is capable of distinguishing the attributes of an object by means of apprehension and discrimination. It has a fine form, like distinguishing whether the vase is new or not. (Erik Pema Kunsang)

Alternative Translations

  • Subtle discursiveness (Padmakara)
  • Examining (David Karma Choepel)
  • Scrutiny (Gyurme Dorje)
  • Analysis (Berzin)
  • Fine conceptual understanding (Tony Duff)