Pradhānacitta (P. padhānacitta; T. gtso sems གཙོ་སེམས་) is translated as "main mind," "primary mind," "chief mind," etc. This term is used in Buddhist epistemology in the context of mind (citta) and mental factors (caitasika).
Hence, the term pradhānacitta (main mind), is a way to distinguish the six consciousness from the mental factors.
- same basis (āśraya)
- same object (ālambana)
- produced in the same aspect (ākāra) or image of the object
- occur at the same time (kāla)
- same entity (dravya)
The relationship between the main mind and the mental factors can be described with the following metaphors:
- The main mind is like the screen in a cinema, and the mental factors are like the images projected on the screen. In this analogy, we typically do not notice the screen because we are so caught up on the images.
- The main mind is like a king who sits passively on a throne, and the mental factors are like the king's busy ministers.
- main mind
- primary mind
- chief mind (Buswell)
- main minds (Geshe Tashi Tsering)
- principle awareness (Berzin)
- The main minds are also sometimes referred to as citta (Skt.) or sems (Tibetan).
- Buswell, Robert E.; Lopez, Donald S. (2014), The Princeton Dictionary of Buddhism, Princeton University
- Geshe Tashi Tsering (2006), Buddhist Psychology: The Foundation of Buddhist Thought, Volume 3 (Kindle ed.), Wisdom Publications