Svasamvedana

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Svasamvedana (devanāgarī: स्वसंवेदन svasaṃvedana), also Svasaṃvitti, is a term used in Buddhist philosophy that refers to the self-reflexive nature of consciousness. It is also often translated as self apperception.

Svasaṃvedana is at the root of a major doctrinal disagreement in Indian [[Mahayana Buddhism. While defended by the Yogacara thinkers such as Dharmakirti and the eclectic Santaraksita, it was attacked by 'Prasangika Madhyamika' thinkers of the Gelug school such as Candrakirti and Santideva. Since in Mādhyamika thought all dharmas are empty of inherent essence (Svabhava), they argued that consciousness could not be an inherently reflexive ultimate reality since that would mean it was self validating and therefore not characterized by emptiness.

In the Nyingma school's Dzogchen tradition, svasaṃvedana is often called 'the very nature of mind' (sems kyi chos nyid) and metaphorically referred to as 'luminosity' (gsal ba) or 'clear light' ('od gsal). Dzogchen meditative practices aim to bring the mind to direct realization of this luminous nature. In Dzogchen (as well as some Mahamudra traditions) Svasaṃvedana is seen as the primordial substratum or ground (gdod ma'i gzhi) of mind.