The Great Jhana Debate

Discussion of Samatha bhavana and Jhana bhavana.

Re: Tha jhana debate

Postby Yundi » Sat Jul 03, 2010 4:12 am

Ñāṇa wrote: clear seeing of mental phenomena one by one as they occur (anupadadhammavipassanā): Whatever mental phenomena there are in the first jhāna: directed thought, evaluation, rapture, pleasure, singleness of mind, contact, feeling, apperception, intention, mind, desire, decision, persistence, mindfulness, equanimity, and attention; he ferreted them out one after another. Known to him they arose, known to him they remained, known to him they subsided. He discerned, 'So this is how these qualities, not having been, come into play. Having been, they vanish.' (Ye ca paṭhame jhāne dhammā vitakko ca vicāro ca pīti ca sukhañca cittekaggatā ca, phasso vedanā saññā cetanā cittaṃ chando adhimokkho vīriyaṃ sati upekkhā manasikāro – tyāssa dhammā anupadavavatthitā honti. Tyāssa dhammā viditā uppajjanti, viditā upaṭṭhahanti, viditā abbhatthaṃ gacchanti. So evaṃ pajānāti – ‘evaṃ kirame dhammā ahutvā sambhonti, hutvā paṭiventi.) [MN 111]

I do not read any physical phenomena mentioned above, such as the breath or body.

Also, does the Pali use the term 'mental phenomena'? The Pali states 'ye ca paṭhame jhāne dhammā...'

The word 'dhamma' here appears neutral, neither mental nor physical.

:smile:
Yundi
 

Re: Tha jhana debate

Postby Yundi » Sat Jul 03, 2010 4:49 am

Ñāṇa wrote:...that jhāna requires a vision of a light or form nimitta, are simply never stated or implied in the suttas.

Hi Geoff

That may be the case but then what is the clear white sphere of light that is so extensively described in the literature & by practitioners.

Are you saying this is something subjective or delusional rather than a phenomena connected to mental purification?

Thanks

Image

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Yundi
 

Re: Tha jhana debate

Postby Yundi » Sat Jul 03, 2010 5:08 am

Ñāṇa wrote:According to Ven. Anālayo’s interpretation of S iv 217 it would be “impossible to breathe” in the fourth jhāna or any of the formless attainments. Although this interpretation has also been put forward over the centuries, IMO it’s not a correct interpretation of the discourse. One doesn’t speak in the first jhāna because there is no volitional intention to do so. And while breathing can slow to the point of being imperceptible in the fourth jhāna, this doesn’t mean that one has completely ceased breathing. Breathing – even when imperceptible – is an involuntary process.

Hi Geoff

The term vaci sankhara means the verbal fabricator rather than the verbal fabrication. I recommend you amend your translations to accord with the actual cause & effect principles, as described in MN 44.

But this point aside, and to follow your reasoning, if the breathing in & out can slow to the point of being imperceptible in the fourth jhāna, is it then possible to be conscious of the internal physical body when the physical body ceases breathing?

Please attend to my question carefully, so allow me repeat: "When the breathing in & out becomes imperceptible, how can the internal physical body (as is generally perceived in the meditation experience in terms of sensations, stress, ease, carrier of emotional sankharas, etc,) be perceptible?"

In other words, without consciousness flowing into the physical body via the breathing in & out as its vehicle, are you sure the internal physical body can be experienced in the fourth jhana?

:shrug:

Thus external sensory objects are only “strings” of kāma insofar as they are desired and wished for. Returning to A iv 430, it states that it is only with the attainment of the cessation of apperception and feeling that one actually comes to the end of the world (an attainment not necessary for liberation).

This may be the case but the sense spheres are still strongly affected by jhana. Take for example transcendental dependent origination (as opposed to the three-lifetime models you may possibly adhere to). Here, when ignorance conditions (stimulates) the three sankhara, the six sense bases are naturally stimulated into action. They become sense organs that embark on an ignoble search. To the contrary, when ignorance is subdued, the ignorance & defilement in the sense bases quench. In short, the functioning of the sense bases cannot be divorced from jhana. There is a strong effect. A simple example is the closing of the eyes in meditation or ceasing to feel pain in one's legs when a practitioner enters some degree of samadhi.

With metta

:smile:
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Yundi
 

Re: Tha jhana debate

Postby Yundi » Sat Jul 03, 2010 5:33 am

Ñāṇa wrote:AN 9.37 Ananda Sutta:
Ven. Ananda said, “It is amazing, friends, it is marvelous, how the Blessed One ... has attained and recognized the opportunity ... for the attainment of the right method ... where the eye will be, and forms, and yet one will not be sensitive to that dimension; where the ear will be, and sounds... where the nose will be, and aromas... where the tongue will be, and flavors... where the body will be, and tactile sensations, and yet one will not be sensitive to that dimension.”

[Ananda:] “There is the case where, with the complete transcending of perceptions of [physical] form, with the disappearance of perceptions of resistance, and not heeding perceptions of diversity, [perceiving,] ‘Infinite space,’ one enters and remains in the dimension of the infinitude of space. This is one way of being percipient when not sensitive to that dimension....”

Is the above translation trustworthy? Does it reflect the Buddha's intended meaning?

The term 'sensitive', Thanissaro takes from the Pali paṭisaṃvedissatī’, which has the meaning 'to be felt' ('vedisa' or 'vedita').

Vedita [pp. of vedeti] experienced, felt S iv.205 (sukha & dukkha)=Sn 738.


This term is used in MN 149:
He is sensitive both to bodily stress & mental stress.

So does AN 9.37 Ananda Sutta say cognition or consciousness via the sense bases ceases? Or does it say feeling via the sense bases ceases?

What do we think?

:smile:
Yundi
 

Re: Tha jhana debate

Postby Yundi » Sat Jul 03, 2010 5:39 am

Ñāṇa wrote:Indeed. Sammāsamādhi.

Geoff

What is sammasamadhi?

Is it four jhanas or something more subtle?

Is the samadhi of jhana different from the samadhi developed to attain jhana?

Can samma ('right') samadhi be developed from something that is not right (namely 'wrong') samadhi?

Can there sammasamadhi prior to jhana?

Thanks

:smile:
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Yundi
 

Re: Tha jhana debate

Postby Yundi » Sat Jul 03, 2010 5:53 am

emptyuniverse essay wrote:There are a couple things that one needs to bear in mind here. First, 'perception' (sanna) is the apperceptive memory recognition and mental labeling of phenomena which is always intentional, that is, it is accompanied by volition (cetana) as well as attention (manasikàrà)...

Dear Geoff

I have never heard before perception (sanna) is always accompanied by volition (cetana).

I have only read tanha (craving) is accompanied by volition (cetana).

Could you please kindly quote a sutta where your point of view is stated?

Thank you

:popcorn:

"And why do you call it 'perception'? Because it perceives, thus it is called 'perception.' What does it perceive? It perceives blue, it perceives yellow, it perceives red, it perceives white. Because it perceives, it is called perception.

Khajjaniya Sutta: Chewed Up


"And what is the cause by which perception comes into play? Contact is the cause by which perception comes into play.

"Intention, I tell you, is kamma. Intending, one does kamma by way of body, speech, & intellect.

Nibbedhika Sutta


In dependence on the sensuality element there arises sensual perception; in dependence on the sensual perception there arises sensual intention; in dependence on the sensual intention there arises sensual desire; in dependence on the sensual desire there arises sensual passion; in dependence on the sensual passion there arises a sensual quest. Engaged in a sensual quest, the uninstructed worldling conducts himself wrongly in three ways - with body, speech and mind.

SN 14.12 (no link)


If the nutriment sense-impression is comprehended, the three kinds of feeling are thereby comprehended.

If the nutriment volitional thought is comprehended, the three kinds of craving are thereby comprehended.

Puttamansa Sutta: A Son's Flesh


:popcorn:
Yundi
 

Re: Tha jhana debate

Postby Sylvester » Sat Jul 03, 2010 6:32 am

Dear Geoff

Thanks for mentioning SN 47.6. It’s a fair distinction between the panca kamagunas and the tactility necessary for the 1st satipatthana, but I have a different take on it. The satipatthanas, quite tellingly, are simply a different way of relating to the kamas. Instead of being swept along by ayoniso manasikara, Sammasati has the function of yoniso manasikara: AN V 118. This stage of the satipatthana probably fits into the 1st Deliverance of “rupi rupani passati”.

The next sutta in the series, SN 47.7, draws out this distinction based with the simile of the monkey – I would infer that the contrast between the monkey’s grabbing and the satipatthanas as simply contrasting ayoniso manasikara against yoniso manasikara.

Even the Bodhisatta’s development of yathabhutananadassana shows such a graduated progression along the satipatthanas. His inability to be immune from attraction to the kamagunas (despite having enough wisdom to know their danger) suggests that the satipatthana at that point had not yet issued in Jhana. My reading of this progression of the Bodhisatta’s further development of yathabhutananadassana in MN 14 ties in with the different outcomes of the 2 types of manasikara applied to the kamas in AN 3.68. Only when asubha yoniso manasikara is applied to a kamaguna, will kamaraga fade away. Etc etc.

So, relating to the kamagunas via asubha etc yoniso manasikara is a stage that one needs to go through to develop nibbida. One MUST engage the five sensory spheres in order to engage in kāyānupassanā. The outcome of this engagement is nibbida, which leads to Jhana and falling out of Mara’s range, ie one escapes the kamagunas.

As for the impossibility of the physical body feeling the niramisa pitisukha, I believed I have addressed in my earlier post when I said –

“... the Mahavedalla Sutta, MN 43 makes it clear that the range of each of the 5 material indriyas are such that they cannot experience the range of the ayatanas experienced by the other indriyas. The only faculty that can experience all 6 ayatanas is Mind. If this is correct, how will the material body experience the "pleasure that has nothing to do with kamas" (MN 36)?...”

Would you be so good as to furnish an English translation of the commentary to DN 22? I am interested to see how the commentary allows for niramisa pitisukha being experienced by the 5 indriyas and how they explain away this impossibility imposed by MN 43.

You also mentioned that -

"What constitutes a kāmaguṇa is subjective, based on the apperception of the observer."

Pls forgive me if I find that too close to Yogacara idealism for comfort and somewhat inconsistent with how the Buddha described the kamagunas as being beauties that remain as they are in the world. The nimitta of an object is not dependant on the apperception of the observer; if it were, there would be no possibility for yoniso manasikara to be directed to the asubha aspects of an object.

You suggest that –

"Because SN 48.37 expressly differentiates between kāyika/cetasika and kāyosamphassa/manosamphassa with regard to the feeling faculties. "

In fact, I would suggest that kāyosamphassa should be read as contact at any of the 6 ayatanas (giving rise to the 1st dart), while manosamphassa is the subsequent contact at mind only (giving rise to the 2nd dart). The Salla Sutta makes the same distinction between kayika and cetasika vedana and the Salayatanavibangha Sutta gives ample examples of mental kayika feelings that lead to cetasika feelings (which cetasika vedana, by definition, have to be born of manosamphassa only.)

With metta
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Re: Tha jhana debate

Postby Sylvester » Sat Jul 03, 2010 7:08 am

Kenshou wrote:So you're saying that mindfulness of the body in reference to jhana as per the Kayagatasati sutta does not actually involve the experience of the body? I find this awkward. Why would you bother to remove the perception of something and then practice mindfulness on it?



Dear Kenshou

I would just like to point out that not all of the exercises in the Kayagatasati Sutta entail kāyānupassanā via the 5 material senses. The asubha exercises, for some strange reason. require investigation of internal organs. I don't think that is possible via the 5 senses. So, some sort of mental work is involved, at least for this exercise.

There is a rather "peculiar" thing about the Kayagatasati Sutta. All the other satipatthana suttas I've read, be they the 2 main Satipatthana Suttas in the DN and MN, the Anapanasati Sutta in the MN, or the series of suttas in the SN's Satipatthanasamyutta and the Anapanasamyutta dwell on all 4 satipatthanas. On the other hand, the Kayagatasati Sutta omits the subsequent 3 satipatthanas.

Was there a transmission error when the 3 satippathanas were omitted, or (more likely) that the other 3 satipatthanas were so well known, that a student would have immediately understood this sutta as necessarily including the 3. If the satipatthanas are indeed the nimitta of samadhi (per MN 44), this suggests that only after going through the sequence of the 4 satipatthanas will the various degrees of samadhi issue.

I know a lot of the modern readings of Jhana hinge on the suffusing of niramisa pitisukha through "this body" mentioned in MN 119.18-21. The modern readings equate this "body" with the rupakaya. Let's see what the commentary to DN 22 says to overcome this impossibility laid down by MN43.

With metta
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Re: Tha jhana debate

Postby Kenshou » Sat Jul 03, 2010 7:23 am

I would just like to point out that not all of the exercises in the Kayagatasati Sutta entail kāyānupassanā via the 5 material senses. The asubha exercises, for some strange reason. require investigation of internal organs. I don't think that is possible via the 5 senses. So, some sort of mental work is involved, at least for this exercise.


You're quite right about that. I don't think that the whole of that sutta deals with things able to be directly experienced, that clearly isn't true. It's also true that which sort of contemplation of the body is potentially linked with jhana is not stated. I'm inclined to think it's probably both.

There is a rather "peculiar" thing about the Kayagatasati Sutta. All the other satipatthana suttas I've read, be they the 2 main Satipatthana Suttas in the DN and MN, the Anapanasati Sutta in the MN, or the series of suttas in the SN's Satipatthanasamyutta and the Anapanasamyutta dwell on all 4 satipatthanas. On the other hand, the Kayagatasati Sutta omits the subsequent 3 satipatthanas.


Hm, personally, due to the fact that the Kayagatasati sutta seems to be specifically focused on the topic of the body, the absence of the other 3 satipatthanas never struck me as strange.
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Re: Tha jhana debate

Postby Sylvester » Sat Jul 03, 2010 12:13 pm

Thanks Kenshou.

I guess I'm clinging on to MN 44 and MN 117 that suggest that sammasamadhi depends on sammasati. I haven't yet encountered a definition of sammasati which allows for only the 1st satipatthana to constitute sammasati.

The problem about the "kayika vedana" including mental kayika feelings is so pressing that Tse-fu Kuan devotes a considerable amount of effort to arguing that the Pali Salayatanavibhanga Sutta's depiction of the Buddha being touched by the 1st dart of pleasant and unpleasant mental feelings as being corrupt (Mindfulness in Early Buddhism, pp 29-30). He could be right, but it is also equally plausible that the Chinese Agamas themselves underwent a revision to blot out any suggestion that a Buddha could feel unpleasant mental feelings post-sambodhi.

The problem with these approaches is that they fail to properly acknowledge that kayika vedana (the 1st dart) are wholly affective, whereas cetasika vedana (the 2nd dart) manifests much more complex dimensions. If one looks at the language of the Salla Sutta, SN 36.6, we see how kayika is differentiated from cetasika -

"When touched with a feeling of pain, the uninstructed run-of-the-mill person sorrows, grieves, & laments, beats his breast, becomes distraught. So he feels two pains, kayika & cetasika."

If we compare this to the Chachakkha Sutta, MN 148, you will see the above underlined words appearing again in this analysis of painful mental feelings and its sequela -

"Dependent on the intellect & ideas there arises consciousness at the intellect. The meeting of the three is contact. With contact as a requisite condition, there arises what is felt either as pleasure, pain, or neither pleasure nor pain. .... If, when touched by a feeling of pain, one sorrows, grieves, & laments, beats one's breast, becomes distraught, then one's resistance-obsession gets obsessed. "

So, what is actually called a kayika vedana (the 1st dart) is vedana simpliciter that includes mental feelings engendered by manosamphassa, whereas the cetasika vedana (the 2nd dart) are those complex emotions that trigger the anusayas of lust, aversion or delusion.

This reading of "kayika" (bodily) will doubtless be unsettling for those who insist that the references to the "kaya" in Jhana must mean the physical body, but I'd just like to extend an invitation to you to consider if this part of the "classical" depiction of Jhana may not be more plausible.

With metta
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Re: Tha jhana debate

Postby Nyana » Sat Jul 03, 2010 6:33 pm

Sylvester wrote:I suppose we must agree to disagree on the import of the Pancaraja Sutta.

Hi Sylvester,

I don’t for a moment doubt your sincerity and good intentions, but it’s pretty apparent to me that we will never come to an agreement on this issue. And that’s fine. We approach the subject with different hermeneutics, and that has consequences which would take more time and effort to sort through than I am willing to invest. I approach the Pāḷi sutta-s with a methodology similar to the following statement by professor Lambert Schmithausen:

    I presuppose that the texts I make use of are to be taken seriously, in the sense that one has to accept that they mean what they say, and that what they mean is reasonable within its own terms.

I do appreciate you input and find it helpful, but I believe that my reading of the sutta material pertaining to this subject is at this point consistent and displays the internal harmony and integral structure of the eightfold path as it was put together by the compilers of the sutta-s.

It seems to me that your interpretation requires some hermeneutical gymnastics to make the sutta-s accord with your understanding of the Visuddhimagga. In the process there seems to be an assumption that straightforward passages don’t mean what they say, or aren’t inclusive of enough variables to be meaningful. Moreover, it seems that you read into the sutta-s definitions and processes according to classical abhidhammika developments (eg. terms like vitakka and processes such as the cognitive series). There is nothing wrong with this approach per se, but in my opinion it will never sufficiently interpret the thought-world of the sutta era strata of received tradition. (And you may very well disagree with this assertion as well.)

Anyway, for your enjoyment, here’s the relevant passage from the (Mahā)Satipaṭṭhāna Sutta commentary. (This section is the same in both the Dīghanikāya Aṭṭhakathā and the Majjhimanikāya Aṭṭhakathā):

    Sāmisaṃ vā sukhantiādīsu sāmisā sukhā nāma pañcakāmaguṇāmisasannissitā cha gehasitasomanassavedanā. Nirāmisā sukhā nāma cha nekkhammasitasomanassavedanā. Sāmisā dukkhā nāma cha gehasitadomanassavedanā. Nirāmisā dukkhā nāma cha nekkhammasitadomanassavedanā.

    Ven. Ānandajoti tr: Sensual pleasant and so on - “sensual pleasant” is a name for the five strands of sensuality dependent on the sensual, and the six happy feelings connected with the life of the householder; “spiritual pleasant” is a name for the six happy feelings connected with the life of renunciation; “sensual unpleasant” is a name for the six sorrowful feelings connected with the life of the householder; “spiritual unpleasant” is a name for the six sorrowful feelings connected with the life of renunciation.

    Ven. Soma Thera tr: Pleasant worldly feeling refers to the six joyful feelings connected with the six sense-doors, and dependent on that which is tainted by defilements. Pleasant spiritual feeling refers to the six joyful feelings connected with the six sense-doors, and not dependent on sense-desire. Painful worldly feeling refers to the six feelings of grief connected with the six sense-doors, and dependent on that which is tainted by defilements. Painful spiritual feeling refers to the six feelings of grief connected with the six sense-doors, and not dependent on sense-desire.

Neither of these translations are satisfactory, but you know Pāḷi (or enough Pāḷi) to comprehend. Anyway, even though this commentarial analysis interprets all four as either somanassa or domanassa, it allows for six types for both carnal and non-carnal (one of which should be dependent on body-contact at some point in the cognitive series). The narrowing of sukha and dukkha to somanassa and domanassa can be traced back to the Dhammasaṅgaṇi and later commentarial developments. Of course, IMO it doesn’t represent an accurate treatment of the subject in terms of a suttantika based analysis.

All the best,

Geoff
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Re: Tha jhana debate

Postby Sylvester » Sun Jul 04, 2010 5:57 am

Dear Geoff

I understand.

But you might be surprised by how little the Visudhimagga informs my understanding of the Suttas. A premature acquaintance with Madhyamika and Yogacara left me deeply skeptical of the Theravada Commentarial tradition, and my readings of the Vism and Abhidharmas were purely for comparative studies. Thankfully, I came to realise that M&Y reactionism to Sarvastivadin notions of svabhava and asti did not guarantee that M or Y were any closer to "early" Buddhism. I come to learn not to throw the baby out with the bathwater.

Thanks for the commentary on the Satipatthana Sutta. IF the commentary is to be interpreted as suggesting that -

"Nirāmisā sukhā nāma cha nekkhammasitasomanassavedanā"

means -

"Other-wordly pleasure is the name for the 6 pleasant kayika feelings connected with the life of renunciation"

then I think such a sub-commentary is inconsistent with MN 137, MN 148 and SN 36.6 or at least how I understand these suttas' intersection with the kayika/cetasika dichotomy.

You may well be correct to suggest that the "narrowing of sukha and dukkha to somanassa and domanassa can be traced back to the Dhammasaṅgaṇi and later commentarial developments". The consequence of this would be the inference that suttas such as MN 44, MN 87, MN 129, MN 137, MN 140 etc (which employ somanassa/domanassa as a foil to dukkha vedana) must post-date the Dhammasaṅgaṇi. Not very plausible, but I'm not averse to the possibility.

But does it really matter, if these "Abhidhamma" analysis decided to compress the nomenclature for 2nd dart of cetasika feelings which is typically described by the stock sutta phrase of "he sorrows, grieves, & laments, beats one's breast, becomes distraught..." into the shortform "domanassa"?

So, the commentary above, if taken on the terms of the suttanta understanding of domanassa as a cetasika vedana, does not say that domanassa directly issues from phassa at the salayatana. It issues from subsequent phassa at the mano and can be understood to simply say -

"Other-wordly pleasure is the name for the 6 pleasant cetasika feelings connected with the life of renunciation"

With metta
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Re: Tha jhana debate

Postby Nyana » Sun Jul 04, 2010 8:23 am

Hi Sylvester,

Sylvester wrote:I understand.

Good. And one upside of being exposed to Y & M is that you were able to look at some divergent views. Never a bad thing.

Sylvester wrote:If one looks at the language of the Salla Sutta, SN 36.6, we see how kayika is differentiated from cetasika -

"When touched with a feeling of pain, the uninstructed run-of-the-mill person sorrows, grieves, & laments, beats his breast, becomes distraught. So he feels two pains, kayika & cetasika."

If we compare this to the Chachakkha Sutta, MN 148, you will see the above underlined words appearing again in this analysis of painful mental feelings and its sequela -

"Dependent on the intellect & ideas there arises consciousness at the intellect. The meeting of the three is contact. With contact as a requisite condition, there arises what is felt either as pleasure, pain, or neither pleasure nor pain. .... If, when touched by a feeling of pain, one sorrows, grieves, & laments, beats one's breast, becomes distraught, then one's resistance-obsession gets obsessed. "

So, what is actually called a kayika vedana (the 1st dart) is vedana simpliciter that includes mental feelings engendered by manosamphassa, whereas the cetasika vedana (the 2nd dart) are those complex emotions that trigger the anusayas of lust, aversion or delusion.

This reading of "kayika" (bodily) will doubtless be unsettling for those who insist that the references to the "kaya" in Jhana must mean the physical body, but I'd just like to extend an invitation to you to consider if this part of the "classical" depiction of Jhana may not be more plausible.

I still don’t see how you arrive at the conclusion that sukha and dukkha arising from mind-contact in MN 148 must refer to kāyika vedanā based on SN 36.6?

SN 48.38 states that the sukhindriya and somanassindriya are both sukha vedanā. And the dukkhindriya and domanassindriya are both dukkha vedanā. Thus, based on the analysis of this vibhaṅga sutta the sukha and dukkha arising from mind-contact in MN 148 are actually somanassa and domanassa. They are both cetasika vedanā arising from manosamphassa. Neither of them are kāyika vedanā.

Sylvester wrote:So, the commentary above, if taken on the terms of the suttanta understanding of somanassa as a cetasika vedana, does not say that somanassa directly issues from phassa at the salayatana. It issues from subsequent phassa at the mano and can be understood to simply say -

"Other-wordly pleasure is the name for the 6 pleasant cetasika feelings connected with the life of renunciation"

Yes, I agree. My point was just that the commentary interprets both carnal and non-carnal feelings in terms of somanassa & domanassa, and body-contact would be present at some stage of the momentary cognitive series for the subsequent fifth type of either carnal or non-carnal pleasure to arise.

Sylvester wrote:You may well be correct to suggest that the "narrowing of sukha and dukkha to somanassa and domanassa can be traced back to the Dhammasaṅgaṇi and later commentarial developments". The consequence of this would be the inference that suttas such as MN 44, MN 87, MN 129, MN 137, MN 140 etc (which employ somanassa/domanassa as a foil to dukkha vedana) must post-date the Dhammasaṅgaṇi.

My reading of the above sutta-s doesn’t entail this consequence.

All the best,

Geoff
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Re: Tha jhana debate

Postby Sylvester » Sun Jul 04, 2010 1:16 pm

Dear Geoff

As to how I arrived at the conclusion that sukha and dukkha arising from mind-contact in MN 148 must refer to kāyika vedanā based on SN 36.6, I would be careful to reiterate that I said that kayika vedana includes vedana from mind-contac. Kayika vedana, as I've suggested, encompasses all vedanas from contact at any of the 6 sense-bases. Here's the entire series from MN 148, using Ven Thanissaro's translation for convenience -

"Dependent on the eye & forms there arises consciousness at the eye. The meeting of the three is contact. With contact as a requisite condition, there arises what is felt either as pleasure, pain, or neither pleasure nor pain. If, when touched by a feeling of pleasure, one relishes it, welcomes it, or remains fastened to it, then one's passion-obsession gets obsessed. If, when touched by a feeling of pain, one sorrows, grieves, & laments, beats one's breast, becomes distraught, then one's resistance-obsession gets obsessed. etc etc

Dependent on the ear & sounds...

Dependent on the nose & aromas...

Dependent on the tongue & flavors...

Dependent on the body & tactile sensations...

Dependent on the intellect (mano) & ideas (dhamma) there arises consciousness at the intellect (mano). The meeting of the three is contact. With contact as a requisite condition, there arises what is felt either as pleasure (sukha), pain (dukkha), or neither pleasure nor pain (adukkhamasukha). If, when touched by a feeling of pleasure, one relishes it, welcomes it, or remains fastened to it, then one's passion-obsession gets obsessed. If, when touched by a feeling of pain, one sorrows, grieves, & laments, beats one's breast, becomes distraught, then one's resistance-obsession gets obsessed
...."

The feelings in red are the 1st dart of kayika sukha/dukha, while the blue words are the 2nd dart of cetasika sukha/dukkha. SN 36.6 identifies the 2nd dart of cetasika dukkha in exactly the same stock formula -

"in the same way, when touched with a feeling of pain, the uninstructed run-of-the-mill person sorrows, grieves, & laments, beats his breast, becomes distraught..."

As should be obvious from the 6th in the series, contact at mano first yields kayika vedana, which can then be followed by the cetasika sukha/dukkha/uppekha. The suttas have actually been very careful in distinguishing kayika mano dukkha from cetasika mano dukkha. The former is invariably described as a feeling, while the latter will in some texts be described as domanassa or the stock sutta phrase "..he sorrows, grieves, & laments, beats his breast, becomes distraught".

As SN 36.6 makes clear -

"A well-taught noble disciple likewise experiences pleasant, painful and neutral feelings..."

The difference between a putthujana and an Arahant is that the Arahant never gets afflicted with cetasika vedana, even if he/she is not immune to painful mano kayika vedana.

Ven Thanissaro's translation of SN 36.6 on AIT is quiet questionable. It reads -

"The Blessed One said, "When touched with a feeling of pain, the uninstructed run-of-the-mill person sorrows, grieves, & laments, beats his breast, becomes distraught. So he feels two pains, physical & mental. Just as if they were to shoot a man with an arrow and, right afterward, were to shoot him with another one, so that he would feel the pains of two arrows; in the same way, when touched with a feeling of pain, the uninstructed run-of-the-mill person sorrows, grieves, & laments, beats his breast, becomes distraught. So he feels two pains, physical & mental."

The Pali simply states -

"puthujjano dukkhāya vedanāya phuṭṭho samāno socati kilamati paridevati urattāḷiṃ kandati sammohaṃ āpajjati. So dve vedanā vedayati— kāyikañca, cetasikañca. Seyyathāpi, bhikkhave, purisaṃ sallena vijjheyya. Tamenaṃ dutiyena sallena anuvedhaṃ vijjheyya. Evañhi so, bhikkhave, puriso dvisallena vedanaṃ vedayati. Evameva kho, bhikkhave, assutavā puthujjano dukkhāya vedanāya phuṭṭho samāno socati kilamati paridevati urattāḷiṃ kandati sammohaṃ āpajjati. So dve vedanā vedayati— kāyikañca, cetasikañca."

One wonders what compelled him to render (i) vedana as pain; and (ii) kayika as physical.

With metta
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Re: Tha jhana debate

Postby Nyana » Sun Jul 04, 2010 1:43 pm

Sylvester wrote:As to how I arrived at the conclusion that sukha and dukkha arising from mind-contact in MN 148 must refer to kāyika vedanā based on SN 36.6, I would be careful to reiterate that I said that kayika vedana includes vedana from mind-contac. Kayika vedana, as I've suggested, encompasses all vedanas from contact at any of the 6 sense-bases.

Hi Sylvester,

Yes, I followed your analysis of the two sutta-s. But it seems to me, as I replied above, given that SN 48.38 states that the sukhindriya and somanassindriya are both sukha vedanā and the dukkhindriya and domanassindriya are both dukkha vedanā, therefore, based on the analysis of this vibhaṅga sutta the sukha and dukkha arising from mind-contact in MN 148 are actually somanassa and domanassa. They are both cetasika vedanā arising from manosamphassa. Neither of them are kāyika vedanā followed by cetasika vedanā.

Do you have a third sutta source which specifically states that vedanā arising from manosamphassa is kāyika?

Geoff
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Re: Tha jhana debate

Postby Sylvester » Sun Jul 04, 2010 2:33 pm

Dear Geoff

Actually, the 3rd sutta source is to be found in the same series as SN 48.38. Do recall, that SN 48.38 as the 3rd of the Vibhanga series is abridged with the instruction that it is a mirror of the preceding 2 vibhanga suttas.

As such, the 3rd source can be found in SN 48.36. But then again, I'm begging the question, since you don't accept that "kayika" means from the salayatana. But could we put it another way by referring to SN 48.39's proposition that -

"In dependence on a contact to be experienced as pleasant, bhikkhus, the pleasure faculty arises."

This leaves wide open the possibility that such contact includes mind-contact. Put another way, the SN 48.36 - 38 do not say that the sukha and dukkha arising from mind-contact in MN 148 are only somanassa and domanassa.

Are you sure you've not inadvertently introduced the Abhidhammic classification of somanassa/domanassa as being any pleasant/painful feeling born at mind-contact and which does not form part of sukha/dukkha? I think you'd be correct to conflate the 1st painful feeling of mind-contact with domanassa, if you follow the Abhidhamma, but the suttanta treatment is to reserve domanassa to the 2nd painful feeling of mind-contact.

Methinks you have the same difficulty as Tse-fu Kuan did with the 3 satipatthanas of MN 137, which depicts the Buddha being touched by satisfaction and dissatisfaction. If we just follow the suttanta analysis, this is pure and simple mental kayika pleasure and pain as the 1st dart, which SN 36.6 suggests that even Ariyans can experience. What the Buddha does not experience is the 2nd dart of somanassa/domanassa that follows the satisfaction and dissatisfaction.

With metta
Sylvester
 
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Re: Tha jhana debate

Postby Nyana » Sun Jul 04, 2010 8:46 pm

Sylvester wrote:Actually, the 3rd sutta source is to be found in the same series as SN 48.38. Do recall, that SN 48.38 as the 3rd of the Vibhanga series is abridged with the instruction that it is a mirror of the preceding 2 vibhanga suttas.

As such, the 3rd source can be found in SN 48.36. But then again, I'm begging the question, since you don't accept that "kayika" means from the salayatana.

Hi Sylvester,

SN 48.37 and SN 48.38 are exactly the same as SN 48.36 with the appropriate additions which bear directly on what is stated in 48.36.

Sylvester wrote:But could we put it another way by referring to SN 48.39's proposition that -

"In dependence on a contact to be experienced as pleasant, bhikkhus, the pleasure faculty arises."

This leaves wide open the possibility that such contact includes mind-contact.

SN 48.39 speaks of all five faculties just as the preceding three vibhaṅga discourses do (SN.48.36-38). SN 48.39:

    Sukhavedaniyaṃ, bhikkhave, phassaṃ paṭicca uppajjati sukhindriyaṃ.... Dukkhavedaniyaṃ, bhikkhave, phassaṃ paṭicca uppajjati dukkhindriyaṃ.... Somanassavedaniyaṃ, bhikkhave, phassaṃ paṭicca uppajjati somanassindriyaṃ.... Domanassavedaniyaṃ, bhikkhave, phassaṃ paṭicca uppajjati domanassindriyaṃ.... Upekkhāvedaniyaṃ, bhikkhave, phassaṃ paṭicca uppajjati upekkhindriyaṃ....

As such, the faculties mentioned in SN 48.39 are to be analyzed in exactly the same way as SN 48.36-38. It doesn’t leave open the possibility that kāyika vedanā is born of manosamphassa.

Sylvester wrote:Put another way, the SN 48.36 - 38 do not say that the sukha and dukkha arising from mind-contact in MN 148 are only somanassa and domanassa.

They do:

    Katamañca, bhikkhave, somanassindriyaṃ? Yaṃ kho, bhikkhave, cetasikaṃ sukhaṃ, cetasikaṃ sātaṃ, manosamphassajaṃ sukhaṃ sātaṃ vedayitaṃ – idaṃ vuccati, bhikkhave, somanassindriyaṃ.

    Katamañca , bhikkhave, domanassindriyaṃ? Yaṃ kho, bhikkhave, cetasikaṃ dukkhaṃ, cetasikaṃ asātaṃ, manosamphassajaṃ dukkhaṃ asātaṃ vedayitaṃ – idaṃ vuccati, bhikkhave, domanassindriyaṃ....

    Tatra, bhikkhave, yañca sukhindriyaṃ yañca somanassindriyaṃ, sukhā sā vedanā daṭṭhabbā. Tatra, bhikkhave, yañca dukkhindriyaṃ yañca domanassindriyaṃ, dukkhā sā vedanā daṭṭhabbā.

Sylvester wrote:Are you sure you've not inadvertently introduced the Abhidhammic classification of somanassa/domanassa as being any pleasant/painful feeling born at mind-contact and which does not form part of sukha/dukkha?

No need for abhidhamma classifications. SN 48.38 is very clear in its analysis.

Sylvester wrote:Methinks you have the same difficulty as Tse-fu Kuan did with the 3 satipatthanas of MN 137, which depicts the Buddha being touched by satisfaction and dissatisfaction.

MN 137 is tangetical to this discussion of vedanā in jhāna which is very clearly analyzed with reference to SN 48.37-40 and other discourses which speak of vedanā in jhāna. I have already demonstrated this.

But if we must look at MN 137, the statement in question is:

    In this case the Tathagata is not satisfied nor is he sensitive to satisfaction, yet he remains untroubled, mindful, & alert. (Tatra, bhikkhave, tathāgato na ceva anattamano hoti, na ca anattamanataṃ paṭisaṃvedeti, anavassuto ca viharati sato sampajāno.)

Here the designation of “anattamana” is immediately qualified by “anavassuto ca viharati sato sampajāno.” As for how anavassuta relates to mindfulness of the body and the liberated mind see SN 35.243 (S iv 186, CDB 1246, ATI SN 35.202).

All the best,

Geoff
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Re: Tha jhana debate

Postby Sylvester » Mon Jul 05, 2010 4:12 am

Dear Geoff

I’m still trying to understand why you find it difficult to equate the “kayika” indriyas in the Indriyasamyutta with the “kayika” vedanas in the Salla Sutta and MN 148. They are obviously “felt” and have the same affective quality.

I have to disagree with your analysis that this sort of phrase, eg –

Katamañca, bhikkhave, somanassindriyaṃ? Yaṃ kho, bhikkhave, cetasikaṃ sukhaṃ, cetasikaṃ sātaṃ, manosamphassajaṃ sukhaṃ sātaṃ vedayitaṃ – idaṃ vuccati, bhikkhave, somanassindriyaṃ.”

Ie "And what is the happiness-faculty? Any mental pleasure, mental comfort born of intellect-contact to be experienced as pleasure & comfort. That is called the happiness-faculty.

implies that “sukha and dukkha arising from mind-contact in MN 148 are only somanassa and domanassa”.

The logic structure merely equates somanassindriyaṃ with cetasikaṃ sukhaṃ manosamphassajaṃ. This suggests that –

“Somanassindriyaṃ = Cetasikaṃ sukhaṃ + manosamphassajaṃ + etc etc”.

Negating "somanassindriyaṃ " would certainly negate "cetasikaṃ sukhaṃ + manosamphassajaṃ + etc etc" but this doesn't establish what cetasika means, nor can one infer if "Not-somanassindriyaṃ" implies "Not-manosamphassajaṃ".

Anyway, here’s a 3rd sutta source for your consideration – the Mahātanhāsankhaya Sutta, MN 38. It’s exactly like the MN 148 analysis of the feelings that arise at the salayatana, with a twist.

On seeing a form with the eye, he lusts after it if it is pleasing; he dislikes it if it is unpleasing. He abides with mindfulness of the body unestablished, with a limited mind, and he does not understand as it actually is the deliverance of mind and deliverance by wisdom wherein those evil unwholesome states cease without remainder. Engaged as he is in favoring and opposing, whatever he feels he feels - whether pleasant or painful or neither-painful-nor-pleasant - he delights in that feeling, welcomes it, and remains holding to it. As he does so, delight arises in him. Now delight in feelings is clinging. With his clinging as condition, being [comes to be]; with being as condition, birth; with birth as condition ageing and death, sorrow, lamentation, pain, grief, and despair come to be. Such is the origin of this whole mass of suffering.

On hearing a sound with the ear…

On tasting a flavor with the tongue…

On touching a tangible with the body…

On cognizing a mind object with the mind, he lusts after it if it is pleasing; he dislikes it if it is unpleasing. He abides with mindfulness of the body unestablished, with a limited mind, and he does not understand as it actually is the deliverance of mind and deliverance by wisdom wherein those evil unwholesome states cease without remainder. Engaged as he is in favoring and opposing, whatever he feels he feels - whether pleasant or painful or neither-painful-nor-pleasant - he delights in that feeling, welcomes it, and remains holding to it, As he does so, delight arises in him. Now delight in feeling is clinging. With his clinging as condition, being [comes to be]; with being as condition, birth; with birth as condition ageing and death, sorrow, lamentation, pain, grief, and despair come to be. Such is the origin of this whole mass of suffering
.”

The twist lies in that it expands on the SN 36.6 and MN 148 analyses and takes it further to include the sequel to the 2nd dart of somanassa/domanassa by introducing “lust” and “dislike”. As will be obvious from MN 148 and SN 36.6, these are mental kamma that flow raganusaya and patighanusaya.

Actually, I would have thought that MN 137 which we discussed previously is also a very good source for this kayika/cetasika dichotomy. In the household joy/distress analysis, it shares the same six-fold contact at the salayatana of MN 38 and MN 148.

With metta

Edit - I missed out another source - the Maha-salayatanika Sutta, MN 149. Both the kayika and cetasika analyses are applied to manosamphasso, in the same manner as the contacts at the 5 indriyas. Mind-contact in a putthujana, it appears, yields "kāyadukkha cetodukkha", plus a plethora of other experiences explained by the kayika/cetasika dichotomy.

Do consider if these 4 suttas are sufficient to perhaps warrant a review of how the kayika and cetasika indriyas are to be interpreted.

Thanks for the heads-up on "anavasutto". Sounds promising.

With metta
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Re: Tha jhana debate

Postby Nyana » Mon Jul 05, 2010 6:12 pm

Sylvester wrote:Do consider if these 4 suttas are sufficient to perhaps warrant a review of how the kayika and cetasika indriyas are to be interpreted.

Hi Sylvester,

I can find nothing in any of these discourses which sustains your premise or the consequence of your premise, i.e. that vedanā born of manosamphassa includes vedanā born of kāyasamphassa. Regarding just one example, the relevant statements in MN 149 simply highlight the interdependence of mind and body.

All the best,

Geoff
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Re: Tha jhana debate

Postby Sylvester » Tue Jul 06, 2010 1:33 am

Dear Geoff

Actually, you may have misread me. I'm not suggesting that "vedanā born of manosamphassa includes vedanā born of kāyasamphassa". That would be far too heretical, even for me.

In fact, I've been at pains to put my position as follows -

"In fact, I would suggest that kāyosamphassa should be read as contact at any of the 6 ayatanas (giving rise to the 1st dart), while manosamphassa is the subsequent contact at mind only (giving rise to the 2nd dart). The Salla Sutta makes the same distinction between kayika and cetasika vedana and the Salayatanavibangha Sutta gives ample examples of mental kayika feelings that lead to cetasika feelings (which cetasika vedana, by definition, have to be born of manosamphassa only.)"

"As should be obvious from the 6th in the series, contact at mano first yields kayika vedana, which can then be followed by the cetasika sukha/dukkha/uppekha. The suttas have actually been very careful in distinguishing kayika mano dukkha from cetasika mano dukkha. The former is invariably described as a feeling, while the latter will in some texts be described as domanassa or the stock sutta phrase "..he sorrows, grieves, & laments, beats his breast, becomes distraught".

"So, what is actually called a kayika vedana (the 1st dart) is vedana simpliciter that includes mental feelings engendered by manosamphassa, whereas the cetasika vedana (the 2nd dart) are those complex emotions that trigger the anusayas of lust, aversion or delusion."


What I've been suggesting is very simply that "kayika vedana" includes vedanā born of manosamphassa.

With metta
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