Different meanings of Jhana?

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Different meanings of Jhana?

Postby SamKR » Sun Aug 08, 2010 9:40 pm

Does the word Jhana has different meanings in Tipitaka?
Does Jhana has only one meaning: first to eight Jhanas? Or, does this word has other different meanings too?
I would appreciate your replies.
Thanks.
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Re: Different meanings of Jhana?

Postby Ben » Sun Aug 08, 2010 9:59 pm

Jhāna

Jhāna1 (nt.) [from jhāyati,1 BSk. dhyāna. The (popular etym -- ) expln of jhāna is given by Bdhgh at Vism 150 as follows: "ārammaṇ' ûpanijjhānato paccanīka -- jhāpanato vā jhānaŋ," i.e. called jh. from meditation on objects & from burning up anything adverse] literally meditation. But it never means vaguely meditation. It is the technical term for a special religious experience, reached in a certain order of mental states. It was originally divided into four such states. These may be summarized: 1. The mystic, with his mind free from sensuous and worldly ideas, concentrates his thoughts on some special subject (for instance, the impermanence of all things). This he thinks out by attention to the facts, and by reasoning. 2. Then uplifted above attention & reasoning, he experiences joy & ease both of body and mind. 3. Then the bliss passes away, & he becomes suffused with a sense of ease, and 4. he becomes aware of pure lucidity of mind & equanimity of heart. The whole really forms one series of mental states, & the stages might have been fixed at other points in the series. So the Dhamma -- saŋgani makes a second list of five stages, by calling, in the second jhāna, the fading away of observation one stage, & the giving up of sustained thinking another stage (Dhs 167 -- 175). And the Vibhaŋga calls the first jhāna the pañcaŋgika -- jhāna because it, by itself, can be divided into five parts (Vbh 267). The state of mind left after the experience of the four jhānas is described as follows at D i.76: "with his heart thus serene, made pure, translucent, cultured, void of evil, supple, ready to act, firm and imperturbable." It will be seen that there is no suggestion of trance, but rather of an enhanced vitality. In the descriptions of the crises in the religious experiences of Christian saints and mystics, expressions similar to those used in the jhānas are frequent (see F. Heiler Die Buddhistische Versenkung, 1918). Laymen could pass through the four jhānas (S iv.301). The jhānas are only a means, not the end. To imagine that experiencing them was equivalent to Arahantship (and was therefore the end aimed at) is condemned (D i.37 ff.) as a deadly heresy. In late Pali we find the phrase arūpajjhānā. This is merely a new name for the last four of the eight Vimokkhā, which culminate in trance. It was because they
made this the aim of their teaching that Gotama rejected the doctrines of his two teachers. Āḷāra -- Kāḷāma & Uddaka -- Rāmaputta (M i.164 f.). -- The jhānas are discussed in extenso & in various combinations as regards theory & practice at: D i.34 sq.; 73 sq.; S ii. 210 sq.; iv.217 sq., 263 sq.; v.213 sq.; M i.276 sq., 350 sq., 454 sq.; A i.53, 163; ii.126; iii.394 sq.; iv.409 sq.; v.157 sq.; Vin iii.4; Nd2 on Sn 1119 & s.v.; Ps i.97 sq.; ii.169 sq.; Vbh 257 sq.; 263 sq.; 279 sq.; Vism 88, 415. -- They are frequently mentioned either as a set, or singly, when often the set is implied (as in the case of the 4th jh.). Mentioned as jh. 1 -- 4 e. g. at Vin i.104; ii.161 (foll. by sotāpanna, etc.); D ii.156, 186; iii.78, 131, 222; S ii.278 (nikāmalābhin); A ii.36 (id.); iii.354; S iv.299; v.307 sq.; M i.21, 41, 159, 203, 247, 398, 521; ii.15, 37; Sn 69, 156, 985; Dh 372; J i.139; VvA 38; PvA 163. -- Separately: the 1st: A iv.422; v.135; M i.246, 294; Miln 289; 1st -- 3rd: A iii.323; M i.181; 1st & 2nd: M ii.28; 4th: A ii.41; iii.325; v.31; D iii.270; VvA 4. -- See also Mrs. Rh. D. Buddh. Psych. (Quest Series) p. 107 sq.; Dhs. trsl. p. 52 sq.; Index to Saŋyutta N. for more refs.; also Kasiṇa.
-- anuyutta applying oneself to meditation Sn 972; -- anga a constituent of meditation (with ref. to the 4 jhānas) Vism 190. -- kīḷā sporting in the exercise of meditation J iii.45. -- pasuta id. (+dhīra) Sn 709; Dh 181 (cp. DhA iii.226); -- rata fond of meditation S i.53, 122; iv.117; It 40; Sn 212, 503, 1009; Vv 5015; VvA 38; -- vimokkha emancipation reached through jhāna A iii.417; v.34; -- sahagata accompanied by jh. (of paññābala) A i.42.

http://dsal.uchicago.edu/cgi-bin/philol ... :1847.pali

kind regards

Ben
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Re: Different meanings of Jhana?

Postby Reductor » Sun Aug 08, 2010 10:20 pm

During my reading I have not noticed a use for jhana other than in connection with the eight attainments.
Michael

The thoughts I've expressed in the above post are carefully considered and offered in good faith.

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To his own ruin the fool gains knowledge, for it cleaves his head and destroys his innate goodness. -- Dhp 72

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Re: Different meanings of Jhana?

Postby SamKR » Mon Aug 09, 2010 4:18 pm

Thanks Ben and thereductor.
It seems that besides the eight attainments, jhana also means just "meditation" or "contemplation" (in general) which you do mostly sitting.
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Re: Different meanings of Jhana?

Postby dude » Tue Aug 10, 2010 10:23 am

SamKR wrote:Does the word Jhana has different meanings in Tipitaka?
Does Jhana has only one meaning: first to eight Jhanas? Or, does this word has other different meanings too?
I would appreciate your replies.
Thanks.



Does the word Jhana has different meanings in Tipitaka?

No.
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Re: Different meanings of Jhana?

Postby dhammapal » Tue Aug 24, 2010 12:08 pm

Hi,

Most teachers seem to say that jhana is one-pointedness. However I found this sutta quote:
Furthermore, quite withdrawn from sensuality,
withdrawn from unskillful mental qualities,
he enters & remains in the first jhana:
rapture & pleasure born from withdrawal,
accompanied by directed thought & evaluation.
He permeates & pervades, suffuses & fills this very body
with the rapture & pleasure born from withdrawal.
Just as if a skilled bathman or bathman's apprentice
would pour bath powder into a brass basin
and knead it together, sprinkling it again & again with water,
so that his ball of bath powder —
saturated, moisture-laden, permeated within & without —
would nevertheless not drip;
even so, the monk permeates...
this very body with the rapture & pleasure born of withdrawal.
There is nothing of his entire body
unpervaded by rapture & pleasure born from withdrawal.
And as he remains thus heedful, ardent, & resolute,
any memories & resolves related to the household life are abandoned,
and with their abandoning his mind gathers & settles inwardly,
grows unified & centered.
This is how a monk develops mindfulness immersed in the body."
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
From: Kayagata-sati Sutta: Mindfulness Immersed in the Body
translated from the Pali by Thanissaro Bhikkhu
For Free Distribution, as a gift of Dhamma, from Access to Insight and
Thanissaro Bhikkhu


With metta / dhammapal.
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Re: Different meanings of Jhana?

Postby legolas » Tue Aug 24, 2010 12:31 pm

I am not wholly sure, but I think that jhana is only ever used in relation to the four jhanas.
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Re: Different meanings of Jhana?

Postby IanAnd » Tue Aug 24, 2010 3:56 pm

dhammapal wrote:Most teachers seem to say that jhana is one-pointedness. However I found this sutta quote:
Furthermore, quite withdrawn from sensuality,
withdrawn from unskillful mental qualities,
he enters & remains in the first jhana:
rapture & pleasure born from withdrawal,
accompanied by directed thought & evaluation.
He permeates & pervades, suffuses & fills this very body
with the rapture & pleasure born from withdrawal.
...
And as he remains thus heedful, ardent, & resolute,
any memories & resolves related to the household life are abandoned,
and with their abandoning his mind gathers & settles inwardly,
grows unified & centered
.
This is how a monk develops mindfulness immersed in the body."

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
From: Kayagata-sati Sutta: Mindfulness Immersed in the Body
translated from the Pali by Thanissaro Bhikkhu


The two are not incompatible. The sutta quoted describes one method of bringing the mind to unification on an object. Ekaggata or one-pointedness or unification of the mind is just one aspect of the factors involved in bringing about absorption. While the suttas only mention "unification of mind" as a factor of the second jhana, wherein such unification takes over for vitakka and vicara thus allowing those two factors to subside in the second jhana, the commentaries mention it all the way through all eight attainments. From my experience, the suttas take it as a given matter that once "unification of mind" is accomplished in the second jhana, that it is pretty much a given in all the rest of the attainment levels. Apparently, the commentators wanted to make this more clear through their own specification of such.
"The gift of truth exceeds all other gifts" — Dhammapada, v. 354 Craving XXIV
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