While trying to contemplate the feelings, I was wondering if the teachings in MN 148 (should relinquish whatever pleasure) contradicts those in MN 139 (should pursue the pleasure of jhanas), and if we should pursue pleasure at all.
I just read MN 139 Araṇavibhanga Sutta (The Exposition of Non-Conflict) again and noticed that this sutta was delivered to those who hadn't obtained jhana yet. That's why the Buddha encouraged the abandonment of the five cords of sensual pleasure (low) and the pursuit of the high pleasure of jhana as an approach to developing higher states:
“Here, bhikkhus, quite secluded from sensual pleasures, secluded from unwholesome states, a bhikkhu enters upon and abides in the first jhāna…the second jhāna…the third jhāna…the fourth jhāna. This is called the bliss of renunciation, the bliss of seclusion, the bliss of peace, the bliss of enlightenment. I say of this kind of pleasure that it should be pursued, that it should be developed, that it should be cultivated, and that it should not be feared." [http://www.yellowrobe.com/component/content/article/120-majjhima-nikaya/281-araavibhanga-sutta-the-exposition-of-non-conflict.html]
But for those who have obtained the jhanas, I suppose they must abandon such pleasure in order to do vipasana and gain insight for final liberation.
I understand the usefulness of such an approach for many practitioners. But I'm thinking if it's better for us to develop higher states without "pursuing" the pleasure of such states at all (if we can). Of course we should develop jhana for obtaining tranquility and then insight, but we don't have to be after the pleasure of jhana, which must be abandoned later anyway. It's probably better to contemplate directly anicca-anatta / fading away / cessation / relinquishing of what ever bodily/physical feelings and mental/emotional feelings (pleasure/pain/neutral), as taught by the Buddha:
When concentration through mindfulness of in-&-out breathing is thus developed, thus pursued, then if he senses a feeling of pleasure, he discerns that it is inconstant, not grasped at, not relished. If he senses a feeling of pain, he discerns that it is inconstant, not grasped at, not relished. If he senses a feeling of neither-pleasure-nor-pain, he discerns that it is inconstant, not grasped at, not relished. If he senses a feeling of pleasure, he senses it disjoined from it. If he senses a feeling of pain, he senses it disjoined from it. If he senses a feeling of neither-pleasure-nor-pain, he senses it disjoined from it. When sensing a bodily feeling, he discerns that 'I am sensing a bodily feeling [limited to body].' When sensing a mental/psychological feeling [limited to life], he discerns that 'I am sensing a mental/psychological feeling.' He discerns that 'With the break-up of the body, after the termination of life, everything that is experienced, not being relished, will grow cold right here.'
"Just as an oil lamp burns in dependence on oil & wick; and from the termination of the oil & wick — and from not being provided any other sustenance — it goes out unnourished; in the same way, when sensing a feeling limited to the body, he discerns that 'I am sensing a feeling limited to the body.' When sensing a feeling limited to life, he discerns that 'I am sensing a feeling limited to life.' He discerns that 'With the break-up of the body, after the termination of life, everything that is sensed, not being relished, will grow cold right here.'" [http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html]
MN 148 Chachakka Sutta: The Six Sextets
...Dependent on the mind faculty & mind objects there arises consciousness at the mind faculty. 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 does not relish it, welcome it, or remain fastened to it, then one's passion-obsession [liking] doesn't get obsessed. If, when touched by a feeling of pain, one does not sorrow, grieve, or lament, beat one's breast or become distraught, then one's resistance-obsession [disliking] doesn't get obsessed. If, when touched by a feeling of neither pleasure nor pain, one discerns, as it actually is present, the origination, passing away, allure, drawback, & escape from that feeling, then one's ignorance-obsession [negligence] doesn't get obsessed. That a person — through abandoning passion-obsession [liking] with regard to a feeling of pleasure, through abolishing resistance-obsession [disliking] with regard to a feeling of pain, through uprooting ignorance-obsession with regard to a feeling of neither pleasure nor pain, through abandoning ignorance and giving rise to clear knowing — would put an end to suffering & stress in the here & now: such a thing is possible. ...
Seeing thus, the well-instructed disciple of the noble ones grows disenchanted with the eye ... mind faculty, disenchanted with forms ... mind objects, disenchanted with consciousness at the eye ... mind faculty, disenchanted with contact at the eye ... mind faculty, disenchanted with feeling, disenchanted with craving. Disenchanted, he becomes dispassionate. Through dispassion, he is fully released. With full release, there is the knowledge, 'Fully released.' He discerns that 'Birth is ended, the holy life fulfilled, the task done. There is nothing further for this world.
Well, I tend to think that it's probably better not to pursue pleasure but only develop the higher states ...
What's your opinion on this?
Metta to all,
Last edited by starter
on Wed May 04, 2011 5:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.