Mother, how will I know when it's real jhana?

Discussion of Samatha bhavana and Jhana bhavana.

Re: Mother, how will I know when it's real jhana?

Postby Sylvester » Tue Oct 23, 2012 4:50 am

Ñāṇa wrote:
Sylvester wrote:In short, nirodhasamāpatti would be asaṅkhata when viewed through idappaccayata, but would be neither saṅkhata nor asaṅkhata when viewed through the sabhava theory.

In the Abhidhammapiṭaka, which predates the commentarial use of sabhāva language, nirodhasamāpatti doesn't play any significant part in the path of awakening. Moreover, the Theravāda has never accepted that nirodhasamāpatti is asaṅkhata because that would mean that there are two asaṅkhata-s, and that a produced meditative state is asaṅkhata, and that nirodhasamāpatti would have the same liberating role as the supramundane paths and fruitions, and so on. This is a specific point of controversy in the Kathāvatthu, where all of these alternatives are rejected (see Points of Controversy, pp. 190-91).


Thanks Geoff. I think this just illustrates the point I was making - ie the suttanta analysis of saṅkhata /asaṅkhata in the context of the 9 attainments differs significantly from the Abhidhammic treatment of saṅkhata /asaṅkhata in the context of dhammas. The former explains saṅkhata in the context of the paccayāfor the state, ie saṅkhāra being the condition of consciousness makes consciousness predicated as saṅkhata. On the other hand, the latter analysis picks up a different saṅkhata angle, namely the saṅkhatassa saṅkhatalakkhaṇāni expounded in AN 3.47.

I do not think the 2 methods or angles can mingle in any meaningful way. Just as it is impossible to superimpose the Abhidhamma model of mundane and supramundane cittas on the sutta model.
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Re: Mother, how will I know when it's real jhana?

Postby Nyana » Tue Oct 23, 2012 7:14 am

Sylvester wrote:I do not think the 2 methods or angles can mingle in any meaningful way. Just as it is impossible to superimpose the Abhidhamma model of mundane and supramundane cittas on the sutta model.

Well, I think it all fits together quite fine, providing that one remains moderate and doesn't get carried away by either commentarial or modern revisionist extremes.
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Re: Mother, how will I know when it's real jhana?

Postby Sylvester » Wed Oct 24, 2012 3:54 am

I do not feel privileged enough to declare if a position falls within a "modern revisionist extreme" or otherwise. So, I won't cast the first stone, although I'm rather tempted to do so with Schopen...
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Re: Mother, how will I know when it's real jhana?

Postby Kumara » Wed Apr 16, 2014 2:39 am

ignobleone wrote:
mikenz66 wrote:Sorry, it was just the first example I could come up with of the Commentaries referring to passages similar to the one you quoted. In fact, the interpretation that it is an immaterial attainment is the commentary. It's not clear from the passage itself (which I think is the passage that you were originally referring to):
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .vaji.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
37. "Now what do you think, Pukkusa? What is more difficult to do, more difficult to meet with — that a man, while conscious and awake, should not see a great number of carts, even five hundred carts, that passed him by one after another, nor hear the noise, or that one conscious and awake, in the midst of a heavy rain, with thunder rolling, lightning flashing, and thunderbolts crashing, should neither see it nor hear the noise?"

Yes, Buddhaghosa is likely to have interpreted the passage. We don't know why he translated it as immaterial attainment since the passage doesn't say it. This is an example why I don't trust commentary like Visuddhimagga. Also notice that Buddhaghosa came from Hinduism/Vedic background.

I don't trust Vism either, but did you see "āneñjasamādhi"?

Can you provide the sutta reference that states that one cannot hear sound in first Jhana?

To be more precise, I think it's more appropriate to say: "cannot perceive sound".
There's no single sutta which says exactly like that. But the claim is supported by at least three sutta references I could find:
1. DN 9 http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/dn/dn.09.0.than.html look for this passage:
"Quite withdrawn from sensual pleasures, withdrawn from unskillful mental qualities, the monk enters & remains in the first jhana: rapture & pleasure born from withdrawal, accompanied by directed thought & evaluation. His earlier perception of sensuality ceases, and on that occasion there is a perception of a refined truth of rapture & pleasure born of seclusion. On that occasion he is one who is percipient of a refined truth of rapture & pleasure born of seclusion. And thus it is that with training one perception arises and with training another perception ceases."

Don't you think there might be a difference between sensuality and senses? See Nibbedhika Sutta (AN 6.63): http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html

2. AN 9.31 http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/an/an09/an09.031.than.html says:
"When one has attained the first jhāna, the perception of sensuality has been stopped."
3. AN 10.72 - Kantaka Sutta (kantaka=thorn). There's no translation of this sutta at accesstoinsight.org, only the pali version available. But you can find one at Leigh Brasington website http://www.leighb.com/an10_72.htm which I think is not quite correct translation.

It says that sound is a thorn for one in 1st jhana. In that case, it means one can hear sound in 1st jhana, doesn't it? If sound can't be heard, how can it be a bother?

*Perhaps sadda is better translated as "noise" here, going by the context of the sutta. Read the beginning of it.
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Re: Mother, how will I know when it's real jhana?

Postby tiltbillings » Wed Apr 16, 2014 2:51 am

Kumara wrote:
ignobleone wrote:Yes, Buddhaghosa is likely to have interpreted the passage. We don't know why he translated it as immaterial attainment since the passage doesn't say it. This is an example why I don't trust commentary like Visuddhimagga. Also notice that Buddhaghosa came from Hinduism/Vedic background.

I don't trust Vism either, but did you see "āneñjasamādhi"?
{{{sigh}}} Naughty Buddhaghosa, just did not know enough to get it right.
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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