Shamatha in Five (not nine) Stages?

Discussion of Samatha bhavana and Jhana bhavana.

Re: Shamatha in Five (not nine) Stages?

Postby manjusri » Mon Mar 12, 2012 12:23 am

Kenshou wrote:I don't mean to make it a minefield. There are probably people who might be able to describe this better.

The idea of the yana of a sravaka that exists in the Mahayana thought-world exists in contrast with various other yanas and in a context with a number of implications and assumptions that are not necessarily overlapping with the Theravada. And so even though it might be safe to say, in general terms, that Theravada is a "discipe's vehicle", the methods under the same name that exist in the Mahayana context do not necessarily align with what Theravadins actually think and do.

Not to say that it is necessarily "completely off the mark", but differing in various details. And the devil is in the details, they say. If you want to know what the Theravada tradition actually does do in more detail, there's plenty of introductory resources around here.


I didn't mean to imply that anyone here was creating a minefield here for me. I like how you put it: "The idea of the yana of a sravaka that exists in the Mahayana thought-world exists in contrast with various other yanas and in a context with a number of implications and assumptions that are not necessarily overlapping with the Theravada."

And, of course, I'm interested in this misalignment, so to speak. As a Mahayana practitioner, I'd very much like to have an undistorted picture of the Theravada tradition, not a distortion of one. It's unfortunate that such a misalignment exists.

So far, it seems these nine mental abiding stages did not originate with the Buddha, but came much later in the 4th c., but i will continue looking into it.
manjusri
 
Posts: 33
Joined: Thu Jul 07, 2011 2:19 am

Re: Shamatha in Five (not nine) Stages?

Postby Nyana » Mon Mar 12, 2012 1:30 am

manjusri wrote:So far, it seems these nine mental abiding stages did not originate with the Buddha, but came much later in the 4th c., but i will continue looking into it.

The terms for the nine mental abidings are listed as a set of nine verbs in the Tibetan version of the Mahāśūnyatā Sūtra, which is considered to be a Mūlasarvāstivāda redaction parallel to the Pāli Mahāsuññata Sutta. This list of nine verbs is likely the source for the "nine mental abidings" as a developmental stage model for śamatha as it's found in the Yogācāra commentarial literature. The Pāli version of the Mahāsuññata Sutta lists only four of these verbs, corresponding to the first, second, eighth, and ninth terms in the Mūlasarvāstivāda list. Cf. Skilling, Peter. Mahāsūtras: Great Discourses of the Buddha, Volume II. Oxford: Pali Text Society. 1997. p. 381.

manjusri wrote:And, of course, I'm interested in this misalignment, so to speak. As a Mahayana practitioner, I'd very much like to have an undistorted picture of the Theravada tradition, not a distortion of one. It's unfortunate that such a misalignment exists.

I'd recommend visiting a Theravāda monastery if at all possible.
Nyana
 
Posts: 2229
Joined: Tue Apr 27, 2010 11:56 am

Re: Shamatha in Five (not nine) Stages?

Postby manjusri » Tue Mar 13, 2012 1:32 am

0
Last edited by manjusri on Tue Mar 13, 2012 1:35 am, edited 1 time in total.
manjusri
 
Posts: 33
Joined: Thu Jul 07, 2011 2:19 am

Re: Shamatha in Five (not nine) Stages?

Postby manjusri » Tue Mar 13, 2012 1:33 am

Ñāṇa wrote:
manjusri wrote:So far, it seems these nine mental abiding stages did not originate with the Buddha, but came much later in the 4th c., but i will continue looking into it.

The terms for the nine mental abidings are listed as a set of nine verbs in the Tibetan version of the Mahāśūnyatā Sūtra, which is considered to be a Mūlasarvāstivāda redaction parallel to the Pāli Mahāsuññata Sutta. This list of nine verbs is likely the source for the "nine mental abidings" as a developmental stage model for śamatha as it's found in the Yogācāra commentarial literature. The Pāli version of the Mahāsuññata Sutta lists only four of these verbs, corresponding to the first, second, eighth, and ninth terms in the Mūlasarvāstivāda list. Cf. Skilling, Peter. Mahāsūtras: Great Discourses of the Buddha, Volume II. Oxford: Pali Text Society. 1997. p. 381.

manjusri wrote:And, of course, I'm interested in this misalignment, so to speak. As a Mahayana practitioner, I'd very much like to have an undistorted picture of the Theravada tradition, not a distortion of one. It's unfortunate that such a misalignment exists.

I'd recommend visiting a Theravāda monastery if at all possible.


Thank you, Nana, for your informative post. We've corresponded on previous posts and I was just as impressed then by your knowledge and understanding of both the Theravada and the Mahayana traditions as I am on this thread. This gives me something concrete to explore further, for which I am grateful.

I did spend somer time at a Thai monastery on my way to India, but that was many years ago.
manjusri
 
Posts: 33
Joined: Thu Jul 07, 2011 2:19 am

Previous

Return to Samatha Meditation and Jhana

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: J0rrit and 6 guests