Earth-gazing for Jhana with Brahmavihara in Dhammasangani

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Earth-gazing for Jhana with Brahmavihara in Dhammasangani

Postby wouter_doorn » Wed Mar 21, 2012 8:23 am

Hello,

I am reading the Dhammasangani PTS translation by mrs. Rhys-Davids (2004 edition).
There is one passage that I found strange on p.59, book I, part I, Chapter II, IV. Jhanas of the Diviine States.

It reads:

[IV. The Four Jhanas of the Divine States (cattari bhramaviharajhanani).
1. Love (metta)
a. Foufold Jhana]

[251] Which are the states that are good?
When, that he may attain to the heavens of Form, he cultivates the way thereto, and so, aloof from sensous desires, aloof from evil ideas, enters into and abides in the First Jhana (the first rapt meditation), wherein conception works and thought discursive, which is born of solitude, is full of joy and ease, and is accompanied by Love - then the contact, etc. ... [?continue as in $1].. the balance that arises - these ... are states that are good.
[252] Which are the states that are good?
When, that he may attain to the heavens of Form, he cultivates the way thereto, suppressing the working of conception and of thought discursive, and so, by earth-gazing, enters into and abides in the Second Jhana (the second rapt meditation), which is self-evolved, born of concentration, is full of joy and ease, in that, set free ... the mind grows calm and sure, dwelling high - and which is accompanied by Love - the the contact etc. [ continue as foregoing.]

---

Now my question is, why the 'earth-gazing' when using metta as meditation object? Earth-gazing refers to the earth-kasina, and in previous parts of the book it is used as an example object to develop jhana (just like in the visuddhimagga). I always thought that metta is a medition object itself (in my opinion this is also statet in Abhidhammattha sangaha). But here it sounds as thought earth-gazing is needed in order to get higher concentration which is then accompanied by love.

Can anyone help me understand this?

With metta,

Wouter
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Re: Earth-gazing for Jhana with Brahmavihara in Dhammasangani

Postby Dmytro » Wed Mar 21, 2012 9:14 pm

Hi Wouter,

That's evidently a misprint, which has crept in from another paragraph.

Cattāri brahmavihārajhānāni soḷasakkhattukāni

251. Katame dhammā kusalā? Yasmiṃ samaye rūpūpapattiyā maggaṃ bhāveti vivicceva kāmehi vivicca akusalehi dhammehi savitakkaṃ savicāraṃ vivekajaṃ pītisukhaṃ paṭhamaṃ jhānaṃ upasampajja viharati mettāsahagataṃ, tasmiṃ samaye phasso hoti…pe… avikkhepo hoti…pe… ime dhammā kusalā.

252. Katame dhammā kusalā? Yasmiṃ samaye rūpūpapattiyā maggaṃ bhāveti vitakkavicārānaṃ vūpasamā ajjhattaṃ sampasādanaṃ cetaso ekodibhāvaṃ avitakkaṃ avicāraṃ samādhijaṃ pītisukhaṃ dutiyaṃ jhānaṃ upasampajja viharati mettāsahagataṃ, tasmiṃ samaye phasso hoti, vedanā hoti, saññā hoti, cetanā hoti, cittaṃ hoti, pīti hoti, sukhaṃ hoti, cittassekaggatā hoti, saddhindriyaṃ hoti, vīriyindriyaṃ hoti, satindriyaṃ hoti, samādhindriyaṃ hoti, paññindriyaṃ hoti, manindriyaṃ hoti, somanassindriyaṃ hoti, jīvitindriyaṃ hoti, sammādiṭṭhi hoti, sammāvāyāmo hoti…pe… paggāho hoti, avikkhepo hoti; ye vā pana tasmiṃ samaye aññepi atthi paṭiccasamuppannā arūpino dhammā – ime dhammā kusalā.


P.S. What a funny translation, 'earth-gazing' for earth-kasina. See:
viewtopic.php?f=23&t=4097

Best wishes, Dmytro
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