jhana required?

Discussion of Samatha bhavana and Jhana bhavana.

jhana required?

Postby ohnofabrications » Sun Sep 09, 2012 5:05 pm

Hi,

I find it somewhat unskillful for people to claim that 'such and such' is required for arahantship. Such statements sometimes come out of an insecurity with one's own path, people who make them seem are sometimes trying to cure their own doubt more than anything else... but understand that such a statement could cause lots of doubt in people who are not practicing 'such and such.' I say this not to insult people but as a reminder to check out your intentions. Also, I do not assume that this is your intention, this is just a reminder to people.

A common claim is that jhanas are required for nibbana, clearly a problem for the many schools and teachers who don't teach it. Could people who have claimed that jhana is a 'requirement" give some more evidence? There seem to be quite a few examples of people in the suttas becoming arahants w/o jhana such as bahiya and malunyaputta. Also in the sattipathana sutta it is said that:

"Now, if anyone would develop these four frames of reference in this way for seven years, one of two fruits can be expected for him: either gnosis right here & now, or — if there be any remnant of clinging/sustenance — non-return.
...
"'This is the direct path for the purification of beings, for the overcoming of sorrow & lamentation, for the disappearance of pain & distress, for the attainment of the right method, & for the realization of Unbinding — in other words, the four frames of reference.' Thus was it said, and in reference to this was it said."


but jhana isn't mentioned as part of the development of the frames, just attending to them.

- the buddha praised the arahants who also had the jhanas.

- the only place I know of where it is stated that jhana is necessary is the dhammapada but it isn't clear whether jhana here refers to concentration generally or to specific jhanas (remember, jhana was just an already established word at that time, the buddha could have meant it for specific attainments or for general concentration) if it said "1st jhana is necessary for discernment" or "4th jhana is necessary for discernment" I would agree with you, on another note the dhammapada isn't a good source for doctrinal absolutes, it's a poem meant to point out general principles and to generally guide people with little aphorisms.

-the fact that right concentration is defined in places as the specific 4 jhanas is rendered irrelevant by the fact that right concentration has other definitions which don't include jhana such as:

And what is the development of concentration that... leads to the ending of the effluents? There is the case where a monk remains focused on arising & falling away with reference to the five clinging-aggregates: 'Such is form, such its origination, such its passing away. Such is feeling... Such is perception... Such are fabrications... Such is consciousness, such its origination, such its disappearance.' This is the development of concentration that, when developed & pursued, leads to the ending of the effluents.


http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html

Nowhere in that quote is jhana mentioned yet the method can lead to the end of the effluents which would make one an arahant. In that sutta it is said that the jhanas are a pleasant abiding, but that the above method is what leads to the ending of effluents. I don't mean to discredit jhana, it is suggested in the suttas that the jhanas are the best way to nibbana, but I don't think they are the only way.

In my practice it seems clear that the defilements can be worn down simply through noticing the suffering they cause and the unsatisfactoriness of their objects.

thanks for reading
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Re: jhana required?

Postby LonesomeYogurt » Sun Sep 09, 2012 5:31 pm

Jhana's pure necessity for enlightenment is perhaps up for debate, but its usefulness and centrality to the Buddha's path is not. I find it very hard to believe that the Buddha would command his monks to do Jhana so often, much less make the Jhanas both the first and last meditative acts of his enlightened life, if such states did not comprise a fundamental aspect of the path. If progress to enlightenment is not significantly hindered by a lack of Jhana, why would the Buddha even bother with such things? He didn't seem like the type to waste his time.

I won't go so far as to say that you cannot reach enlightenment without Jhana, but I will say that attempting to do so is a self-inflicted handicap. The Jhanas are a wonderful tool to aid with the realization of emptiness and impermanence, not to mention a powerful antidote for sensuality. I would encourage you to try them out and see if they don't do quite a bit to aid in the search for liberation.

As for evidence of such claims, check out MN 108, where Ananda states that the Buddha did not praise all mental absorptions, but instead just Jhana:

"It wasn't the case, brahman, that the Blessed One praised mental absorption of every sort, nor did he criticize mental absorption of every sort. And what sort of mental absorption did he not praise? There is the case where a certain person dwells with his awareness overcome by sensual passion, seized with sensual passion. He does not discern the escape, as it actually is present, from sensual passion once it has arisen. Making that sensual passion the focal point, he absorbs himself with it, besorbs, resorbs, & supersorbs himself with it.

...

"And what sort of mental absorption did he praise? There is the case where a monk — quite withdrawn from sensuality, withdrawn from unskillful (mental) qualities — enters & remains in the first jhana: rapture & pleasure born from withdrawal, accompanied by directed thought & evaluation. With the stilling of directed thoughts & evaluations, he enters & remains in the second jhana: rapture & pleasure born of concentration, unification of awareness free from directed thought & evaluation — internal assurance. With the fading of rapture, he remains equanimous, mindful, & alert, and senses pleasure with the body. He enters & remains in the third jhana, of which the Noble Ones declare, 'Equanimous & mindful, he has a pleasant abiding.' With the abandoning of pleasure & pain — as with the earlier disappearance of elation & distress — he enters & remains in the fourth jhana: purity of equanimity & mindfulness, neither pleasure nor pain. This is the sort of mental absorption that the Blessed One praised.


Or perhaps in MN 66 where the Buddha states:

With the abandoning of pleasure & pain — as with the earlier disappearance of elation & distress — he enters & remains in the fourth jhana: purity of equanimity & mindfulness, neither pleasure nor pain. This is called renunciation-pleasure, seclusion-pleasure, calm-pleasure, self-awakening-pleasure. And of this pleasure I say that it is to be cultivated, to be developed, to be pursued, that it is not to be feared.


Or perhaps in the Pasadika Sutta, where the Buddha discusses Jhana and then states that one who practices in such a way is set on the path of enlightenment:

It may happen, Cunda, that Wanderers teaching other doctrines than ours may declare : For those who live addicted and devoted to these four [Jhanas], brother, how much fruit, how many advantages are to be expected ? Them ye should answer thus : Four kinds of fruit, brother, four advantages are to be expected. What are the four ? Firstly, the case of a brother who by the complete destruction of the three fetters becomes a Stream-winner, saved from disaster hereafter, certain to attain Enlightenment. Secondly, the case of a brother who by the complete destruction of three fetters has so diminished passion and hate and illusion that he has become a Once- Returner, and returning but once to this world will make an end of ill. Thirdly, the case of a brother who, by the complete destruction of the five last fetters, will be reborn in another world, thence never to return, there to pass away. Fourthly, the case of the brother who, by the destruction of the mental Intoxicants, has come to know and realize for himself, even in this life, emancipation of intellect and emancipation of insight, and therein abides. These, brother, are the four kinds of fruit, the four advantages to be expected by those who are addicted and devoted to those four modes of pleasure.


I think it's pretty clear from these suttas, and really the entire Pali Canon, that Jhana is an enriching, valuable, and essential part of the Path, and that such states should be "cultivated, developed, pursued, and not feared."
Gain and loss, status and disgrace,
censure and praise, pleasure and pain:
these conditions among human beings are inconstant,
impermanent, subject to change.

Knowing this, the wise person, mindful,
ponders these changing conditions.
Desirable things don’t charm the mind,
undesirable ones bring no resistance.

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Re: jhana required?

Postby marc108 » Sun Sep 09, 2012 6:02 pm

it would seem to me, that being the 8th factor in the Noble 8 Fold Path that it would be required just like all the other factors.

-the fact that right concentration is defined in places as the specific 4 jhanas is rendered irrelevant by the fact that right concentration has other definitions which don't include jhana such as:

And what is the development of concentration that... leads to the ending of the effluents? There is the case where a monk remains focused on arising & falling away with reference to the five clinging-aggregates: 'Such is form, such its origination, such its passing away. Such is feeling... Such is perception... Such are fabrications... Such is consciousness, such its origination, such its disappearance.' This is the development of concentration that, when developed & pursued, leads to the ending of the effluents.


this same Sutta, in the first paragraphs talks about Jhana. i think its wise to not negate a primary, given definition because there is another definition somewhere in the outskirts of the Suttas. The primary Suttas discussing meditation and concentration define Right Concentration as Jhana. the Sutta you quoted doesn't negate the fact that Right Concentration is primarily defined as the 4 Jhanas.



good read:
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/ptf/dham ... index.html


SN 45.8 - Magga-vibhanga Sutta: An Analysis of the Path
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
"And what is right concentration? There is the case where a monk — quite withdrawn from sensuality, withdrawn from unskillful (mental) qualities — enters & remains in the first jhana: rapture & pleasure born from withdrawal, accompanied by directed thought & evaluation. With the stilling of directed thoughts & evaluations, he enters & remains in the second jhana: rapture & pleasure born of composure, unification of awareness free from directed thought & evaluation — internal assurance. With the fading of rapture, he remains equanimous, mindful, & alert, and senses pleasure with the body. He enters & remains in the third jhana, of which the Noble Ones declare, 'Equanimous & mindful, he has a pleasant abiding.' With the abandoning of pleasure & pain — as with the earlier disappearance of elation & distress — he enters & remains in the fourth jhana: purity of equanimity & mindfulness, neither pleasure nor pain. This is called right concentration."
Last edited by marc108 on Sun Sep 09, 2012 6:21 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: jhana required?

Postby reflection » Sun Sep 09, 2012 6:13 pm

You could ask what is the reasoning behind this question? Even if jhana in strict sense wouldn't be a requirement for certain states of enlightenment, who says it wouldn't be for you? Or for someone else? I get the feeling this question is sometimes asked with the underlying intention of 'how little practice can I get away with?'. But it shouldn't be like that.

We are all very personal and have our own problems. Some have a lot of anger and need more work on metta, some are very attached to sensuality, others have problems with the precepts - all require their own approach. The problem with jhana is that without experiencing it, you can't really know the value of it. You can't really say you need it or not. People who never practice metta also don't know it's immense value, because they simply don't know what it is.

Now some people may think they will get there via some 'dry insight' approach, and even if some people can, who says everybody else can also? Jhana gives a lot of information that is useful for insight into what we are, some -if not all- people just need such an experience to realize the mind is empty. Jhana is unimaginable, so we can't just decide that we don't need it.

There is this sutta that speaks about the practitioners who have wisdom before samadhi and those that have samadhi before wisdom. Problem is, people think "I'll be one of this type of practitioners", but does it work like that?.. I don't think we can just decide like that. As long as we don't know the sickness, we don't know the cure.

So to ask 'is jhana needed?' is being too general. I would say yes, but even if the answer was no, we still need to consider that we are all different. And we need to consider that we can't just determine for ourselves what way we like to practice - because we are not the master of our mind. We need to challenge ourselves, look deeper, be more content, let go more - practice all 8 path factors to the fullest, without simply dismissing stuff that might be important.

Now that aside, quite obviously the Buddha needed the jhanas, so I think that says a lot about whether arahantship is possible without them.
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Re: jhana required?

Postby Cittasanto » Sun Sep 09, 2012 6:40 pm

hi
ohnofabrications wrote:Hi,

I find it somewhat unskillful for people to claim that 'such and such' is required for arahantship. Such statements sometimes come out of an insecurity with one's own path, people who make them seem are sometimes trying to cure their own doubt more than anything else... but understand that such a statement could cause lots of doubt in people who are not practicing 'such and such.' I say this not to insult people but as a reminder to check out your intentions. Also, I do not assume that this is your intention, this is just a reminder to people.

isn't this a discussion forum where topics are discussed according to ones own understanding?
in regard to Jhana as it is unlikely that any here are actually Arahants the texts are what are relied on here, as a result of the centrality and major part they play in the major lists of the path (the Eightfold path and wings to awakening both described as the way people attain enlightenment) it is reasonable to conclude it is necessary.

A common claim is that jhanas are required for nibbana, clearly a problem for the many schools and teachers who don't teach it. Could people who have claimed that jhana is a 'requirement" give some more evidence? There seem to be quite a few examples of people in the suttas becoming arahants w/o jhana such as bahiya and malunyaputta.

Can you show they had not attained Jhana? although it is not mentioned in the text (seclusion could refer to jhana regarding the latter), and Jhana was not something the Buddha came up with as an innovation, that was Vippasana.

Also in the sattipathana sutta it is said that:

"Now, if anyone would develop these four frames of reference in this way for seven years, one of two fruits can be expected for him: either gnosis right here & now, or — if there be any remnant of clinging/sustenance — non-return.
...
"'This is the direct path for the purification of beings, for the overcoming of sorrow & lamentation, for the disappearance of pain & distress, for the attainment of the right method, & for the realization of Unbinding — in other words, the four frames of reference.' Thus was it said, and in reference to this was it said."


but jhana isn't mentioned as part of the development of the frames, just attending to them.

the Satipatthana Sutta deals with one aspect of the path specifically not the full range of the path, for that see the great fourty
maha-cattarisaka sutta - the discourse on the great forty - mn117 wrote:Mendicants, here upright perspective is the forerunner.
And how is upright perspective the forerunner?
for one with upright perspective, upright intention arises.
for one with upright intention, upright speech arises.
for one with upright speech, upright action arises.
for one with upright action, upright upright means of support arises.
for one with upright upright means of support, upright effort arises.
for one with upright effort, upright mindfulness arises.
for one with upright mindfulness, upright concentration arises.
for one with upright concentration, complete wisdom arises.
for one with complete wisdom, complete awakening arises.
Mendicants, Thus the one in training is endowed with eight factors and the perfected one is endowed with ten factors.
Even so the various unskilled mental phenomena cease with the movement toward complete cultivation

but please read this text and the translators introduction is more than relevant with other refferences
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
- the buddha praised the arahants who also had the jhanas.

care to reference?

- the only place I know of where it is stated that jhana is necessary is the dhammapada but it isn't clear whether jhana here refers to concentration generally or to specific jhanas (remember, jhana was just an already established word at that time, the buddha could have meant it for specific attainments or for general concentration) if it said "1st jhana is necessary for discernment" or "4th jhana is necessary for discernment" I would agree with you, on another note the dhammapada isn't a good source for doctrinal absolutes, it's a poem meant to point out general principles and to generally guide people with little aphorisms.

care to reference?

-the fact that right concentration is defined in places as the specific 4 jhanas is rendered irrelevant by the fact that right concentration has other definitions which don't include jhana such as:

And what is the development of concentration that... leads to the ending of the effluents? There is the case where a monk remains focused on arising & falling away with reference to the five clinging-aggregates: 'Such is form, such its origination, such its passing away. Such is feeling... Such is perception... Such are fabrications... Such is consciousness, such its origination, such its disappearance.' This is the development of concentration that, when developed & pursued, leads to the ending of the effluents.


http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html

Jhana can be (as shown in this discourse) with or without vipassana. The first detail is a pleasant abiding, as it is without the movement Vipassana brings to it, and the progression of the others may or may not have Jhana involvement in all instances.
remember calm can lead to insight just as insight can lead to calm.

Nowhere in that quote is jhana mentioned yet the method can lead to the end of the effluents which would make one an arahant. In that sutta it is said that the jhanas are a pleasant abiding, but that the above method is what leads to the ending of effluents. I don't mean to discredit jhana, it is suggested in the suttas that the jhanas are the best way to nibbana, but I don't think they are the only way.

but it is in the text at the very start. the others may be seen as a progression as that as the basis or not.

In my practice it seems clear that the defilements can be worn down simply through noticing the suffering they cause and the unsatisfactoriness of their objects.

thanks for reading

but can the underlying tendencies? and is there no joy in your practice?

you may wish to read this passage from MN36
"I thought: 'I recall once, when my father the Sakyan was working, and I was sitting in the cool shade of a rose-apple tree, then — quite secluded from sensuality, secluded from unskillful mental qualities — I entered & remained in the first jhana: rapture & pleasure born from seclusion, accompanied by directed thought & evaluation. Could that be the path to Awakening?' Then following on that memory came the realization: 'That is the path to Awakening.' I thought: 'So why am I afraid of that pleasure that has nothing to do with sensuality, nothing to do with unskillful mental qualities?' I thought: 'I am no longer afraid of that pleasure that has nothing to do with sensuality, nothing to do with unskillful mental qualities, but that pleasure is not easy to achieve with a body so extremely emaciated. Suppose I were to take some solid food: some rice & porridge.' So I took some solid food: some rice & porridge. Now five monks had been attending on me, thinking, 'If Gotama, our contemplative, achieves some higher state, he will tell us.' But when they saw me taking some solid food — some rice & porridge — they were disgusted and left me, thinking, 'Gotama the contemplative is living luxuriously. He has abandoned his exertion and is backsliding into abundance.'
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Re: jhana required?

Postby Modus.Ponens » Sun Sep 09, 2012 6:48 pm

It may be true that for some people with great karma, they don't need the jhanas. But as a general instruction for all the disciples of the Buddha, he taught the N8P, and thus, the jhanas. So I wouldn't risk not practicing jhana in my path.
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Re: jhana required?

Postby DAWN » Sun Sep 09, 2012 6:54 pm

there is one image about this question:

When the one walks on the forest path, and he looks at his feets, he remember that here he turned right, here he turned left, and here he dwell a little bit, and after he went straight ... but he dont remark the beatufull tree near the path, he dont seek for this tree, and when he is out of wood, he is asked if he saw this tree,
he said -no,
- but if you dont saw this tree, what are you doing here, out of forest?? Go back in the forest! you dont realy go out of forest, because you dont saw this tree and so you must go back ! Understand? When you will see this tree you can exit the forest, and it's will be the exist of forest.
- But i'am alrady out of forest... i kept my eyes at my feet and not around me, so this why i dont saw the tree...
- Don't metter, go back !
- Okay...

By this i would like to say, that jhanas levels is not the aim, but is "the chek point" of stilness and purety of mind, it's said that There is the case where a monk — quite withdrawn from sensuality, withdrawn from unskillful (mental) qualities — enters & remains in the first jhana, It's said that "by doing that way, you have this kind of experiance" it's not said that "to have this experiance you must to do that way ".

It's very important, because many peoples are the meditatives addict, they seek to djhanas, to experiance in meditation, but not to liberation, so they still walking in the forest seeking for this beatufull tree, and they dont go out before they dont see this tree... and they walk, and they walk, and they walk... looking all around... But if they just still looking this feets, how they walks straight, they will exit... there is no other way, just go straight on the path...
Sabbe dhamma anatta
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Re: jhana required?

Postby whynotme » Sun Sep 09, 2012 6:58 pm

reflection wrote:You could ask what is the reasoning behind this question? Even if jhana in strict sense wouldn't be a requirement for certain states of enlightenment, who says it wouldn't be for you? Or for someone else? I get the feeling this question is sometimes asked with the underlying intention of 'how little practice can I get away with?'. But it shouldn't be like that.

We are all very personal and have our own problems. Some have a lot of anger and need more work on metta, some are very attached to sensuality, others have problems with the precepts - all require their own approach. The problem with jhana is that without experiencing it, you can't really know the value of it. You can't really say you need it or not. People who never practice metta also don't know it's immense value, because they simply don't know what it is.

Now some people may think they will get there via some 'dry insight' approach, and even if some people can, who says everybody else can also? Jhana gives a lot of information that is useful for insight into what we are, some -if not all- people just need such an experience to realize the mind is empty. Jhana is unimaginable, so we can't just decide that we don't need it.

There is this sutta that speaks about the practitioners who have wisdom before samadhi and those that have samadhi before wisdom. Problem is, people think "I'll be one of this type of practitioners", but does it work like that?.. I don't think we can just decide like that. As long as we don't know the sickness, we don't know the cure.

So to ask 'is jhana needed?' is being too general. I would say yes, but even if the answer was no, we still need to consider that we are all different. And we need to consider that we can't just determine for ourselves what way we like to practice - because we are not the master of our mind. We need to challenge ourselves, look deeper, be more content, let go more - practice all 8 path factors to the fullest, without simply dismissing stuff that might be important.

Now that aside, quite obviously the Buddha needed the jhanas, so I think that says a lot about whether arahantship is possible without them.

Haha, well said, very well said,

But when it comes to is arahantship possible without jhanas, for the sake of speculation, I will say yes because the suttas seem to support that way. The Buddha chose the hardest path, he leads the way so he need a large hook to cut down bushes, followers don't need it as much as him

Regards

PS: for reference I only remember a sutta like this: a disciple ask others, by seeing freedom do they attain superpower, they say no, do they attain jhanas, they say no, at last they say, even you know or do not know, we attain it. Hell, I translated from my language in my memory to English, hope someone can find that one. Sometimes I really admired some of you's ability to find reference in the suttas, it is really hard
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Re: jhana required?

Postby Maarten » Sun Sep 09, 2012 9:56 pm

Hi ohnofabrications ,

I have stated this as my opinion in another tread, I did not intend to inspire doubt in others. I think you are correct in that such an opinion is related to curing ones doubt, but isn't curing our doubt part of the practice?

The reason why I believe Jhana to be required is simply because it is part of the eightfold path.

Much metta! ;)
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Re: jhana required?

Postby ohnofabrications » Sun Sep 09, 2012 10:01 pm

Hi everyone, thank you for your replies.

For everyone who said that jhana is the ideal way if you go by the suttas - I agree.

marc - I am not sure if you are arguing directly to my point. I am not negating the idea that jhanas are right concentration, just that the 8-fold can be practiced with other forms of right concentration, as defined in other places.

Cittasanto -

I would say that it is reasonable to conclude that it is central from those things, reasonable to conclude that it is highly valuable - but still not necessary.

I can't prove that malunkyaputta and bahiya had never experienced jhana, just that bahiya wasn't experiencing jhana during the moment of his awakening, neither were several others talked about as gaining awakening. Unless you claim that simply experiencing jhana at some point in your life opens the door to insight further down the road when you aren't actually experiencing jhana. This seems like a strange claim, a more reasonable claim would be that being in jhana was necessary to enhance one's powers of discernment enough to cut through defilement, but clearly noble attainments occur in the suttas when people aren't in jhana.

I couldn't find the place in the suttas where the buddha praised the arahants who had the jhanas, sorry. As for the other reference - here is the quote from the dhammapada (the rest of what you asked me to reference were just my opinions on the quote):

There's no jhana
for one with no discernment,
no discernment
for one with no jhana.
But one with both jhana
& discernment:
he's on the verge
of Unbinding.


http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... ml#dhp-372

It is still my opinion that according to the suttas jhanas are optional (insofar as jhanas are specific states of concentration, rather than concentration generally). I make this thread for the many people on the dry-insight path who might accept the suttas as authoritative and have doubt due to sutta-interpretations of jhana-necessity. I am not really making this regarding my own practice, I really just want this to be a discussion of the suttas, sorry if i derailed it by mentioning my practice in the OP.
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Re: jhana required?

Postby Dmytro » Sun Sep 09, 2012 11:31 pm

Hi,

ohnofabrications wrote:Could people who have claimed that jhana is a 'requirement" give some more evidence?


"Bhikkhus, that bhikkhu who is unruly, rebellious and not of the sharing nature with co-associates in the holy life should complete the lesser ethics is not a possibility. Without becoming complete in the lesser ethics, that he should complete the training is not a possibility. Without completing the training, that he should complete the mass of virtues is not a possibility. Without completing the mass of virtues, that he should be complete in concentration is not a possibility. Without becoming complete in the mass of concentration, that he should be complete in wisdom is not a possibility.

Bhikkhus, that bhikkhu ruly, docile and of the sharing nature with co-associates in the holy life should complete the lesser ethics is a possibility. Becoming complete in the lesser ethics, that he should complete the training is a possibility. Completing the training, that he should be complete in the mass of virtues is a possibility. Become complete in the mass of virtues, that he should be complete in the mass of concentration is a possibility. Become complete in the mass of concentration, that he should be complete in the mass of wisdom is a possibility."

http://awake.kiev.ua/dhamma/tipitaka/2S ... ggo-e.html

Some degree of wisdom can be attained without the completion of concentration, however the completion of wisdom requires the completion of concentration.

There seem to be quite a few examples of people in the suttas becoming arahants w/o jhana such as bahiya and malunyaputta.


Why do you think they became arahants w/o jhana?

Also in the sattipathana sutta it is said that:
but jhana isn't mentioned as part of the development of the frames, just attending to them.


In some of the suttas, Satipatthana practice is connected with jhanas.

- the buddha praised the arahants who also had the jhanas.


To be more precise, he praised those who also had the formless (arupa) attainments.

-the fact that right concentration is defined in places as the specific 4 jhanas is rendered irrelevant by the fact that right concentration has other definitions which don't include jhana such as:

And what is the development of concentration that... leads to the ending of the effluents? There is the case where a monk remains focused on arising & falling away with reference to the five clinging-aggregates: 'Such is form, such its origination, such its passing away. Such is feeling... Such is perception... Such are fabrications... Such is consciousness, such its origination, such its disappearance.' This is the development of concentration that, when developed & pursued, leads to the ending of the effluents.


Don't you distinguish 'concentration' and 'development of concentration'?
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Re: jhana required?

Postby tiltbillings » Sun Sep 09, 2012 11:42 pm

Dmytro wrote:
Some degree of wisdom can be attained without the completion of concentration, however the completion of wisdom requires the completion of concentration.
The "completion of concentration" means?
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.
"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: jhana required?

Postby santa100 » Mon Sep 10, 2012 2:08 am

It's important to clearly define the scope of "jhana". The English translation of the suttas refers to the first 4 Form Concentrations as the "Four Jhanas", and for the 4 Formless Concentrations as the "Four Immaterial Attainments". With this definition, it is true that one doesn't have to attain the Four Immaterial Attainments in order to attain awakening. But one does need to attain certain level of the Form Jhanas for final gnosis, i.e the First Jhana at the minimum according to Ven Thanissaro on his intro. note to SN 12.70 ( http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html ):

"This discourse is sometimes cited as proof that a meditator can attain Awakening (final gnosis) without having practiced the jhanas, but a close reading shows that it does not support this assertion at all. The new arahants mentioned here do not deny that they have attained any of the four "form" jhanas that make up the definition of right concentration. Instead, they simply deny that they have acquired any psychic powers or that they remain in physical contact with the higher levels of concentration, "the formless states beyond forms." In this, their definition of "discernment-release" is no different from that given in AN 9.44 (compare this with the definitions for "bodily witness" and "released in both ways" given in AN 9.43 and AN 9.45). Taken in the context of the Buddha's many other teachings on right concentration, there's every reason to believe that the new arahants mentioned in this discourse had reached at least the first jhana before attaining Awakening."
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Re: jhana required?

Postby whynotme » Mon Sep 10, 2012 4:27 am

Thank you very much santa100, that is exactly what sutta I am looking for and it doesnt support arahant without jhana.

Regards
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Re: jhana required?

Postby Hanzze » Mon Sep 10, 2012 4:36 am

I guess it is maybe worth to add that out of wrong view, there could be a running after wrong jhana (or better wrong concentration) so it is how ever good to put much effort into development of right view (even on a mundane level) first and with it what comes after it.

"Now what, monks, is noble right concentration with its supports & requisite conditions? Any singleness of mind equipped with these seven factors — right view, right resolve, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, & right mindfulness — is called noble right concentration with its supports & requisite conditions."

— MN 117
Just that! *smile*
...We Buddhists must find the courage to leave our temples and enter the temples of human experience, temples that are filled with suffering. If we listen to Buddha, Christ, or Gandhi, we can do nothing else. The refugee camps, the prisons, the ghettos, and the battlefields will become our temples. We have so much work to do. ... Peace is Possible! Step by Step. - Samtach Preah Maha Ghosananda "Step by Step" http://www.ghosananda.org/bio_book.html

BUT! it is important to become a real Buddhist first. Like Punna did: Punna Sutta Nate sante baram sokham _()_
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Re: jhana required?

Postby tiltbillings » Mon Sep 10, 2012 4:46 am

whynotme wrote:Thank you very much santa100, that is exactly what sutta I am looking for and it doesnt support arahant without jhana.

Regards
Always the question, of course, as to what exactly is meant by jhana. And there is this question:

tiltbillings wrote:
Dmytro wrote:
Some degree of wisdom can be attained without the completion of concentration, however the completion of wisdom requires the completion of concentration.
The "completion of concentration" means?
Following santa100's post one certainly does not need to accomplish the formless jhanas or the 9th jhana or become a master of the jhanas to the point of the iddhis for "completion of concentration."
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.
"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: jhana required?

Postby Dmytro » Mon Sep 10, 2012 6:23 am

tiltbillings wrote:
Dmytro wrote:
Some degree of wisdom can be attained without the completion of concentration, however the completion of wisdom requires the completion of concentration.
The "completion of concentration" means?


As seen from other suttas, - at least the first jhana.
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Re: jhana required?

Postby tiltbillings » Mon Sep 10, 2012 6:41 am

Dmytro wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:
Dmytro wrote:
Some degree of wisdom can be attained without the completion of concentration, however the completion of wisdom requires the completion of concentration.
The "completion of concentration" means?


As seen from other suttas, - at least the first jhana.
And this is not asking much.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.
"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: jhana required?

Postby Viscid » Mon Sep 10, 2012 6:51 am

tiltbillings wrote:And this is not asking much.

...if you're under the impression that the first jhana is something relatively simple. Many people are under the impression that the first jhana is an achievement rarely gained, which is the position from which posts like these, I imagine, are authored.
"What holds attention determines action." - William James
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Re: jhana required?

Postby tiltbillings » Mon Sep 10, 2012 7:11 am

Viscid wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:And this is not asking much.

...if you're under the impression that the first jhana is something relatively simple. Many people are under the impression that the first jhana is an achievement rarely gained, which is the position from which posts like these, I imagine, are authored.
If one believes the number of jhana claims that have made here on DW over the last year or so, it is not that hard. The reality is, however, dependent upon what one means by jhana. It would seem that what consitutes jhana experience, even the first, can vary significantly:


viewtopic.php?f=43&t=9016&p=140321&p140321#p140097
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.
"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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