Main mind

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Main mind (Tib. གཙོ་སེམས་, tso sem, Wyl. gtso sems), in Buddhist psychology and epistemology, refers to the six or eight sets of consciousness. It is distinguished from the mental states or processes, usually listed as fifty-one in number[1], which are said to perceive the features of objects, while main mind perceives only their basic identity.


  1. According to Asanga’s system. Vasubandhu lists forty-six.

Alternative Translations

  • principal awareness (Alexander Berzin)