the eye (nom. sg. cakkhuṃ) Vin.i.34; SN.i.115; MN.iii.134 etc.)

I. The eye as organ of sense

  1. psychologically cakkhunā rūpaṃ disvā “seeing visible object (shape with the eye” (Nd ii.on rūpa q.v.) is the definition of this first & most important of the senses (cp. Pv.ii.6#1 dakkhiṇa c. = the most valuable thing): the psychology of sight is discussed at DN-a.i.194 sq., and more fully at Dhs.597 sq. (see Dhs-a.306 sq; Dhs trsl. 173 sq.); cp. cakkhunā puriso ālokati rūpagatāni Cnd.234. In any enumeration of the senses cakkhu heads the list, e.g. Vin.i.34; DN.i.21; DN.ii.308, DN.ii.336 sq.; DN.iii.102, DN.iii.225, DN.iii.244 sq.; DN.iii.269 Ne.28
    ■ See rūpa. Also combd. with sota: MN.i.318 MN.iii.264; AN.i.281
    ■ cakkhusmiṃ haññati rūpehi SN.iv.201 hata˚ AN.i.129. passāmi naṃ manasā cakkhunā va “I see him with my mind as with my eye” Snp.1142
    ■ Vin.i.184; SN.i.32, SN.i.199; SN.iv.123; Dhp.360; Ja.iv.137; DN-a.i.183; Ne.191. Vism.444 sq. As adj. (-˚) seeing, having or catching sight of: eka˚ (dvi˚) one-eyed (two˚) AN.i.128 sq.; āmisa seeing an object of sensual enjoyment SN.ii.226; SN.iv.159; Ja.v.91 (= kilesalola). acakkhu blind AN.iii.250, AN.iii.256; Pts.i.129
  2. ethically: as a “sense” belonging to what is called “body” (kāya) it shares all the qualities of the latter (see kāya), & is to be regarded as an instr. only i.e. the person must not value it by itself or identify himself with it. Subduing the senses means in the first place acquiring control over one’s eyes (cp. okkhitta cakkhu with down-cast eyes Snp.63, Snp.411, Snp.972; Pv.iv.3#44; & indriyesu guttadvāra; ˚indriya). In this connection the foll passages may be mentioned: Vin.i.34; DN.i.70; SN.iv.123 SN.ii.244 (aniccaṃ, etc.); SN.iii.255 (do.), SN.iv.81, SN.iv.128 (na tumhākaṃ); Pts I.132 (aniccatṭhaṃ). Numerous others see under rūpa

II. The eye as the most important channel of mental acquiring

as faculty of perception & apperception; insight, knowledge (cp. veda, ολδα to vid, to see). In connection with ñāṇa (γη ̈ωσις) it refers to the apperception of the truth (see dhamma-cakkhu): intuition and recognition, which means perfect understanding (cp. the use of the phrase jānāti passati “to know and to see” = to understand clearly). See e.g. SN.ii.7–⁠SN.ii.11, SN.ii.105; SN.iv.233; SN.v.179; SN.v.258; SN.v.422 sq. Most frequently as dhamma˚; “the eye of the truth,” said of the attainment of that right knowledge which leads to Arahantship, in phrase virajaṃ vitamalaṃ dh-cakkhuṃ uppajjati Vin.i.16; DN.i.86, DN.i.110; SN.ii.134 sq.; SN.iv.47 SN.iv.107; SN.v.467; AN.iv.186; Pts.ii.150 sq.; Pts.ii.162; Mil.16 Similarly paññā˚, Iti.52; ariya˚ MN.i.510

III. The eye as the instr. of supersensuous perception

“clear” sight clairvoyance. This is the gift of favoured beings whose senses are more highly developed than those of others and who through right cognition have acquired the two “eyes” or visionary faculties, termed dibba- cakkhu & buddha- cakkhu Iti.52; DN.ii.38 resp. They are most completely described at Cnd.235 (under cakkhumā), & the foll. categories of the range of application of cakkhu are set forth:

  1. maṃsa-cakkhu: the physical eye which is said to be exceptionally powerful & sensitive. See Kv.iii.7 (trans. p. 149 ff.). Vism.428 (maṃsa 2 ñāṇa˚).
  2. dibba-˚: the deva-eye, the eye of a seer, all-pervading, & seeing all that proceeds in hidden worlds.
  3. paññā˚: the eye of wisdom; he who knows all that can be known (jānaṃ passaṃ recognizing & seeing, i.e. of perfect understanding; cakkhubhūta ñāṇa˚ dhamma˚ brahma˚)
  4. buddha˚: the eye of a Buddha or of complete intuition, i.e. of a person who “sees the heart of man, of a being realizing the moral state of other beings and determined to help them on the Path to Right Knowledge
  5. samanta˚: (a summary account of Nos. 1–4, & in all Scripture-passages a standing epithet of Gotama Buddha see below), the eye of all round knowledge, the eye of a Tathāgata, of a being perfected in all wisdom
    ■ Out of these are mentioned & discussed singly or in sets; (Nos. 1–5): Dhs-a.306; Snp-a.351; (Nos. 1–3:) Iti.52 = Kv.251 sq. (Iti.52 = Kv.254); (dibba:) Vin.i.8, Vin.i.288; Vin.ii.183 Vin.iii.5; DN.i.82, DN.i.162; DN.iii.52, DN.iii.281; MN.i.213; SN.i.144, SN.i.196 SN.ii.122, SN.ii.213, SN.ii.276; SN.iv.240; SN.v.266, SN.v.305; AN.i.165, AN.i.256, AN.i.281 sq.; AN.iii.19, AN.iii.29, AN.iii.418; AN.iv.85, AN.iv.141, AN.iv.178, AN.iv.291; AN.v.13, AN.v.35, AN.v.68, AN.v.200, AN.v.211, AN.v.340; Ja.iii.346; Pts.i.114; Pts.ii.175; Vb.344; Pv-a.5
    ■ (paññā˚:) SN.iv.292; SN.v.467, AN.i.35; Dhp-a.iii.174, Dhp-a.iii.175
    ■ (buddha˚:) Vin.i.6; SN.i.138; Pts.ii.33; Pv-a.61
    ■ (samanta˚:) SN.i.137 = Cnd.235#4; Snp.345, Snp.378 Snp.1063, Snp.1069, Snp.1090, Snp.1133; Pts.ii.31 = Cnd.235#5.
  • -āyatana (either cakkh’ or cakkhv˚) the organ or sense of sight DN.iii.243, DN.iii.280, DN.iii.290; Dhs.585, Dhs.653;
  • -indriya (cakkhundriya) the organ of eye, faculty of vision DN.i.70; DN.iii.225, DN.iii.239; AN.i.113; Dhs.585, Dhs.597, Dhs.661, Dhs.830, Dhs.971 Vism.7;
  • -karaṇa (always in combination w. ñāṇa-karaṇa) producing (right) insight (and knowledge) Iti.82 (of kusalavitakkā); f. ˚ī SN.iv.331 (of majjhimā paṭipadā); Pts.ii.147;
  • -dada one who gives the eye (of understanding Thag.3;
  • -dhātu the element of vision Dhs.597, Dhs.703, Dhs.817
  • -patha the range of vision; sight Ja.i.65 = Dhp-a.i.173; Ja.i.146; Ja.iv.189, Ja.iv.378, Ja.iv.403 (= cakkhūnaṃ etaṃ nāmaṃ C.) Vv-a.119;
  • -bhāta (+ ñāṇa˚) (adj.) one who has become the possessor of right understanding SN.ii.255; SN.iv.94; AN.v.226 sq.
  • -lola greed (or greedy) with the eye Cnd.177;
  • -viññāṇa consciousness by means of visual perception visual cognition Vin.i.34; DN.ii.308, DN.ii.310 DN.iii.243; Dhs.433, Dhs.556, Dhs.585, Dhs.589, Dhs.620; cp. Mrs. Rh. D Buddh. Psych. Eth. p. 177; Mil trsl. i.80, 89;
  • -āyatana (either cakkh’ or cakkhv˚) the organ or sense of sight DN.iii.243, DN.iii.280, DN.iii.290; Dhs.585, Dhs.653;
  • -samphassa contact with the sense of vision (usually with ˚ja: sprung from visual contact) (of vedanā feelings) Vin.i.34; DN.ii.308 sq.; DN.iii.243; Pts.i.5, Pts.i.40, Pts.i.136.

Vedic cakṣuḥ, etym. not clear, as redupl. perhaps to īks, akṣa eye, kṣạṇa moment, or as intens to cit, cp. cinteti, & see Walde, Lat. Wtb. under inquam.