Vipassana during Jhana?

Discussion of Satipatthana bhavanā and Vipassana bhavana.

Vipassana during Jhana?

Postby Sylvester » Sun Dec 23, 2012 5:37 am

Split from "i am practicing satipatthana, where does jhana fit?"
viewtopic.php?f=44&t=15446&start=0

mikenz66

Bakmoon wrote:
Yes. By practicing satipatthana, if you enter the Jhanas, you will be entering the Vipassana Jhanas. If your meditation object is something else, you will either not enter Jhana at all, or enter into the Samatha Jhanas. The only significant difference in terms of result is that the Vipassana Jhanas develop both Samatha and Vipassana, whereas the Samatha Jhanas by themselves only Develop Samatha.


I think AN 5.28 is a lot more generous that your proposition above.
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Re: i am practicing satipatthana, where does jhana fit?

Postby Bakmoon » Sun Dec 23, 2012 5:51 am

Sylvester wrote:
Bakmoon wrote:
Yes. By practicing satipatthana, if you enter the Jhanas, you will be entering the Vipassana Jhanas. If your meditation object is something else, you will either not enter Jhana at all, or enter into the Samatha Jhanas. The only significant difference in terms of result is that the Vipassana Jhanas develop both Samatha and Vipassana, whereas the Samatha Jhanas by themselves only Develop Samatha.


I think AN 5.28 is a lot more generous that your proposition above.


Could you elaborate on what you mean?
The non-doing of any evil,
The performance of what's skillful,
The cleansing of one's own mind:
This is the Buddhas' teaching.
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Re: i am practicing satipatthana, where does jhana fit?

Postby Sylvester » Sun Dec 23, 2012 6:54 am

That sutta suggests that loads of insight can be done after the jhanas -

Puna ca paraṃ bhikkhave bhikkhuno paccavekkhaṇānimittaṃ suggahītaṃ hoti sumanasikataṃ sūpadhāritaṃ, suppaṭividdhaṃ paññāya

And furthermore, the monk has his theme of reflection well in hand, well attended to, well-considered, well-tuned/well penetrated by means of discernment. (per ATI)

Furthermore, bhikshus, the review-sign is well grasped by the monk, well attended to [well minded], well held up in mind, well penetrated with wisdom. (per Piya Tan)


There is nothing in that sutta to suggest that the choice of the meditation object determines what type of jhana is attained, nor that jhana once obtained cannot be the occassion/subject of insight work thereafter.
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Re: i am practicing satipatthana, where does jhana fit?

Postby Bakmoon » Sun Dec 23, 2012 7:56 pm

Sylvester wrote:That sutta suggests that loads of insight can be done after the jhanas -

Puna ca paraṃ bhikkhave bhikkhuno paccavekkhaṇānimittaṃ suggahītaṃ hoti sumanasikataṃ sūpadhāritaṃ, suppaṭividdhaṃ paññāya

And furthermore, the monk has his theme of reflection well in hand, well attended to, well-considered, well-tuned/well penetrated by means of discernment. (per ATI)

Furthermore, bhikshus, the review-sign is well grasped by the monk, well attended to [well minded], well held up in mind, well penetrated with wisdom. (per Piya Tan)


There is nothing in that sutta to suggest that the choice of the meditation object determines what type of jhana is attained, nor that jhana once obtained cannot be the occassion/subject of insight work thereafter.


I never said that insight can only be done during Jhana. I was just using the example of MN 111 as evidence that insight can be developed within Jhana (Well, up to the sphere of nothingness at least). I agree wholeheartedly that insight can be developed outside of Jhana. MN 111 even explicitly shows the Ven. Sariputta developing insight after coming out of Jhana in the case of the sphere of neither perception nor non-perception.

I think an issue here is that we are understanding each other's terminology slightly differently. By Vipassana Jhana, I just mean Jhana in which Vipassana is present, whereas Samatha Jhana is Jhana in which it is not present. Otherwise, I think they have all the same factors. My justification for saying that the difference is in the object of meditation is that insight arises in meditation based on the four Satipatthana, so therefore, Vipassana arises in Jhana by itself only when the object of meditation is one of the four Satipatthana.

In regards to that quote from me about Samatha Jhana, I only said that Samatha Jhana doesn't develop insight my itself. You could enter Samatha Jhana and develop Vipassana by analyzing the Jhana factors, but those factors are part of the four Satipatthana, so you are then engaged in Satipatthana practice when you do that.

I don't think I really see our area of disagreement.
The non-doing of any evil,
The performance of what's skillful,
The cleansing of one's own mind:
This is the Buddhas' teaching.
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Re: i am practicing satipatthana, where does jhana fit?

Postby Sylvester » Mon Dec 24, 2012 2:56 am

Thanks Bakmoon.

If I may be so bold, I would suggest that the issue between us is one of terminology and meaning. What exactly do you mean by vipassanā?

You suggest that MN 111 stands for the proposition that vipassanā occurs within a jhāna. Presumably this stems from this -

anupadadhammavipassanaṃ vipassati


The vipassanā verb is furnished by vipassati, while the preceding compound functions adverbially and delineates the object of the vipassati. Neither vipassanā nor vipassati occur again in the subsequent passages, but vipassati might perhaps be found in a proxy verb. There are several candidates (normalised here into the present tense merely to list them) -

- vavattheti
- vindati
- pajānāti

Leaving aside for the minute -

- Ven Analayo's forthcoming discussion of the provenance of this sutta; and
- the fact that the variant readings of this sutta show differences in the place of the correlative ya - ta clauses,

could you indicate which of the above candidate verbs might be a proxy for the vipassanā verb? Could you also indicate what you think that vipassanā verb is describing, ie what exactly is happening when one vipassati? Could you also explain why MN 111 suggests that vipassanā is occuring during the duration of the jhāna?

Thank you.
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Re: i am practicing satipatthana, where does jhana fit?

Postby Bakmoon » Mon Dec 24, 2012 4:02 am

Sylvester wrote:Thanks Bakmoon.

If I may be so bold, I would suggest that the issue between us is one of terminology and meaning. What exactly do you mean by vipassanā?

You suggest that MN 111 stands for the proposition that vipassanā occurs within a jhāna. Presumably this stems from this -

anupadadhammavipassanaṃ vipassati


The vipassanā verb is furnished by vipassati, while the preceding compound functions adverbially and delineates the object of the vipassati. Neither vipassanā nor vipassati occur again in the subsequent passages, but vipassati might perhaps be found in a proxy verb. There are several candidates (normalised here into the present tense merely to list them) -

- vavattheti
- vindati
- pajānāti

Leaving aside for the minute -

- Ven Analayo's forthcoming discussion of the provenance of this sutta; and
- the fact that the variant readings of this sutta show differences in the place of the correlative ya - ta clauses,

could you indicate which of the above candidate verbs might be a proxy for the vipassanā verb? Could you also indicate what you think that vipassanā verb is describing, ie what exactly is happening when one vipassati? Could you also explain why MN 111 suggests that vipassanā is occuring during the duration of the jhāna?

Thank you.


Hello Sylvester! Thanks for the response. I will respond as best I can. First off, I will confess that I am by no means even proficient in the Pali language beyond being able to pick out the vocabulary, so I won't be able to engage in analyzing the correlative clauses, unfortunately.

On the basis of the etymology, I understand Vipassana to be the mental quality that is present when one engages in Vipassati. Vipassati, derives from the verb passati, which means to see, so I define Vipassati as the clear or proper seeing of an object, as opposed to a distorted view of an object. I don't know if my definition is spot on or not, and I would be more than willing to adopt a better definition when presented with one, but whatever Vipassana and Vipassati are, the Sutta clearly describes the Ven. Sariputta engaging in it. It is true that the verb Vipassati only occurs once in the sutta, in the begining where it says

Sāriputto bhikkhave, addhamāsaṃ anupadadhammavipassanaṃ vipassati.


But this section is a summary of what the Ven. Sariputta did during meditation. I am not confident enough in Pali to pick out precisely what verb in the body of the Sutta serves as the equivalent of the verb Vipassati, but as the summary of what he did in the introduction says that he engaged in Vipassati, I can conclude that the Ven. Sariputta was engaged in Vipassati in regards to the various factors and mental objects which came.
The non-doing of any evil,
The performance of what's skillful,
The cleansing of one's own mind:
This is the Buddhas' teaching.
Bakmoon
 
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Re: i am practicing satipatthana, where does jhana fit?

Postby mikenz66 » Mon Dec 24, 2012 4:10 am

Hi Sylvester,

Is your point a timing one, that it would be a misreading of the sutta to assume that the qualities were known during the jhanas? That what is described is a reviewing after jhana?
"There was the case where Sariputta — quite secluded from sensuality, secluded from unskillful qualities — entered & remained in the first jhana: rapture & pleasure born of seclusion, accompanied by directed thought & evaluation. Whatever qualities there are in the first jhana — directed thought, evaluation, rapture, pleasure, singleness of mind, contact, feeling, perception, intention, consciousness, desire, decision, persistence, mindfulness, equanimity, & 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.' He remained unattracted & unrepelled with regard to those qualities, independent, detached, released, dissociated, with an awareness rid of barriers. He discerned that 'There is a further escape,' and pursuing it there really was for him.
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html

:anjali:
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Re: i am practicing satipatthana, where does jhana fit?

Postby Bakmoon » Mon Dec 24, 2012 4:54 am

mikenz66 wrote:Hi Sylvester,

Is your point a timing one, that it would be a misreading of the sutta to assume that the qualities were known during the jhanas? That what is described is a reviewing after jhana?
"There was the case where Sariputta — quite secluded from sensuality, secluded from unskillful qualities — entered & remained in the first jhana: rapture & pleasure born of seclusion, accompanied by directed thought & evaluation. Whatever qualities there are in the first jhana — directed thought, evaluation, rapture, pleasure, singleness of mind, contact, feeling, perception, intention, consciousness, desire, decision, persistence, mindfulness, equanimity, & 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.' He remained unattracted & unrepelled with regard to those qualities, independent, detached, released, dissociated, with an awareness rid of barriers. He discerned that 'There is a further escape,' and pursuing it there really was for him.
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html

:anjali:
Mike


That's a good point, Mikenz. I thought of that, but I don't think that's whats going on here because when it describes the Ven. Sariputta's experience of the dimension of neither perception nor non-perception, it explicitly mentions that he examined his mental qualities in review after emerging from Jhana.

"Furthermore, with the complete transcending of the dimension of nothingness, Sariputta entered & remained in the dimension of neither perception nor non-perception. He emerged mindfully from that attainment. On emerging mindfully from that attainment, he regarded the past qualities that had ceased & changed: 'So this is how these qualities, not having been, come into play. Having been, they vanish.' He remained unattracted & unrepelled with regard to those qualities, independent, detached, released, dissociated, with an awareness rid of barriers. He discerned that 'There is a further escape,' and pursuing it there really was for him.[4]


Contrast this with the example of the first Jhana, which, like everything else prior to the dimension of neither perception nor non-perception, doesn't mention emerging from Jhana. It says:

"There was the case where Sariputta — quite secluded from sensuality, secluded from unskillful qualities — entered & remained in the first jhana: rapture & pleasure born of seclusion, accompanied by directed thought & evaluation. Whatever qualities there are in the first jhana — directed thought, evaluation, rapture, pleasure, singleness of mind, contact, feeling, perception, intention, consciousness,[2] desire, decision, persistence, mindfulness, equanimity, & 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.' He remained unattracted & unrepelled with regard to those qualities, independent, detached, released, dissociated, with an awareness rid of barriers. He discerned that 'There is a further escape,' and pursuing it there really was for him.


If it were simply implied that this occurred as part of review, then the Sutta would have used the same implied language to describe how the Ven. Sariputta reviewed after the dimension of neither perception nor non-perception, but it doesn't. It uses explicit language describing review with the dimension of neither perception nor non-perception and doesn't do so with the other Jhanas, so I conclude that the Ven. Sariputta examined these factors during Jhana, just as the plain language of the text seems to imply at first glance.
The non-doing of any evil,
The performance of what's skillful,
The cleansing of one's own mind:
This is the Buddhas' teaching.
Bakmoon
 
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Re: i am practicing satipatthana, where does jhana fit?

Postby Sylvester » Mon Dec 24, 2012 1:50 pm

mikenz66 wrote:Hi Sylvester,

Is your point a timing one, that it would be a misreading of the sutta to assume that the qualities were known during the jhanas? That what is described is a reviewing after jhana?
"There was the case where Sariputta — quite secluded from sensuality, secluded from unskillful qualities — entered & remained in the first jhana: rapture & pleasure born of seclusion, accompanied by directed thought & evaluation. Whatever qualities there are in the first jhana — directed thought, evaluation, rapture, pleasure, singleness of mind, contact, feeling, perception, intention, consciousness, desire, decision, persistence, mindfulness, equanimity, & 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.' He remained unattracted & unrepelled with regard to those qualities, independent, detached, released, dissociated, with an awareness rid of barriers. He discerned that 'There is a further escape,' and pursuing it there really was for him.
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html

:anjali:
Mike



Hi Mike

Yes, timing is certainly an issue, but whether or not it is an issue depends on what one means by vipassanā, and which of the 3 verbs I proposed should be the proxy for vipassati (the vipassanā verb). I'll elaborate in my reply to Bakmoon, but briefly, the reason for my asking for a definition of vipassanā is to avoid a confusion of the Abhidhammic conception of vipassanā, versus the slightly broader range of meanings given in the suttas.

Katamā tasmiṃ samaye vipassanā hoti? Yā tasmiṃ samaye paññā pajānanā vicayo pavicayo dhammavicayo sallakkhaṇā upalakkhaṇā paccupalakkhaṇā paṇḍiccaṃ kosallaṃ nepuññaṃ vebhabyā cintā upaparikkhā bhūrī medhā pariṇāyikā vipassanā sampajaññaṃ patodo paññā paññindriyaṃ paññābalaṃ paññāsatthaṃ paññāpāsādo paññāāloko paññāobhāso paññāpajjoto paññāratanaṃ amoho dhammavicayo sammādiṭṭhi – ayaṃ tasmiṃ samaye vipassanā hoti.

Dhs, Cittuppādakaṇḍaṃ, Kāmāvacarakusalaṃ, Padabhājanī 55


The above from the Dhammasaṅgaṇī, describes vipassanā as a very discursive and ruminative state, which is certainly supported by many suttas where pajānāti, IMHO, is standing in for vipassati. In those passages, I understand the pajānāti to be the outcome of analysing and ruminating over data.

Ultimately, some reconciling of AN 4.146 with the notion that a discursive activity like vipassanā could occur in a jhāna is in order. This also entails some re-examination of how AN 4.170 should be translated and interpreted - see BB's note 861 on the controversy.
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Re: i am practicing satipatthana, where does jhana fit?

Postby Sylvester » Mon Dec 24, 2012 3:14 pm

Hi Bakmoon

Thanks for your thoughts.

I was about to send you my reply, when I hit the close button. Being late and lazy, I'll just summarise in the hope that what follows makes sense.

The common thread in MN 111 describing vipassanā is the knowledge -

‘evaṃ kirame dhammā ahutvā sambhonti, hutvā paṭiventī’ti

'So this is how these qualities, not having been, come into play. Having been, they vanish.'


This runs through all 9 attainments as the common thread to the series. On the other hand, the vavattheti and vindati actions only occur in relation to the first 7 attainments. As a matter of convention, would something that does not form part of the common denominator defining vipassanā qualify as vipassanā? I do not know of any other sutta that does not conform to this convention.

Secondly, the limits of perception are reached in the Base of Nothingness, according to AN 9.36. Might this not suggest that vavattheti and vindati are therefore functional aspects of perception, rather than vipassanā? Certainly, if one takes any Pali dictionary, vavattheti is given a very ruminative definition, owing no doubt to that word's usage in the Paṭisambhidāmagga. But given how AN 9.36 furnishes a clue as to why one cannot vavattheti beyond the 7th attainment, won't it make more sense to tie vavattheti to being a functional aspect of mere perception, instead of the discursive character of vipassanā?
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Re: i am practicing satipatthana, where does jhana fit?

Postby Bakmoon » Mon Dec 24, 2012 7:10 pm

Sylvester wrote:Hi Bakmoon

Thanks for your thoughts.

I was about to send you my reply, when I hit the close button. Being late and lazy, I'll just summarise in the hope that what follows makes sense.

The common thread in MN 111 describing vipassanā is the knowledge -

‘evaṃ kirame dhammā ahutvā sambhonti, hutvā paṭiventī’ti

'So this is how these qualities, not having been, come into play. Having been, they vanish.'


This runs through all 9 attainments as the common thread to the series. On the other hand, the vavattheti and vindati actions only occur in relation to the first 7 attainments. As a matter of convention, would something that does not form part of the common denominator defining vipassanā qualify as vipassanā? I do not know of any other sutta that does not conform to this convention.

Secondly, the limits of perception are reached in the Base of Nothingness, according to AN 9.36. Might this not suggest that vavattheti and vindati are therefore functional aspects of perception, rather than vipassanā? Certainly, if one takes any Pali dictionary, vavattheti is given a very ruminative definition, owing no doubt to that word's usage in the Paṭisambhidāmagga. But given how AN 9.36 furnishes a clue as to why one cannot vavattheti beyond the 7th attainment, won't it make more sense to tie vavattheti to being a functional aspect of mere perception, instead of the discursive character of vipassanā?


Hi, Sylvester. Thank you for your excellent response. I greatly enjoy engaging with someone as steeped in the Dhamma as you, and I relish the opportunity to engage in discussion with you. May we have many more fruitful exchanges!

I would definitely agree with you that the essence of the Vipassana which the Ven. Sariputta developed is encapsulated in the quote:

'So this is how these qualities, not having been, come into play. Having been, they vanish.'


Indeed, this is the very basis of me saying that Vipassana occurred during Jhana. I say this because in the case of all of the attainments up until the dimension of neither perception nor non-perception, the process is described the same. Using the first Jhana as an example:

There was the case where Sariputta — quite secluded from sensuality, secluded from unskillful qualities — entered & remained in the first jhana: rapture & pleasure born of seclusion, accompanied by directed thought & evaluation. Whatever qualities there are in the first jhana — directed thought, evaluation, rapture, pleasure, singleness of mind, contact, feeling, perception, intention, consciousness,[2] desire, decision, persistence, mindfulness, equanimity, & 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.' He remained unattracted & unrepelled with regard to those qualities, independent, detached, released, dissociated, with an awareness rid of barriers. He discerned that 'There is a further escape,' and pursuing it there really was for him.


At first glance, the text seems to imply that this occurs during Jhana. One must consider the possibility that post-Jhana review is occurring here, but that leads to a strange construction of the text. I say this because in the case of the dimension of neither perception nor non-perception, the text explicitly states that the Ven. Sariputta withdrew from Jhana and reviewed the factors afterwards. It says:

Furthermore, with the complete transcending of the dimension of nothingness, Sariputta entered & remained in the dimension of neither perception nor non-perception. He emerged mindfully from that attainment. On emerging mindfully from that attainment, he regarded the past qualities that had ceased & changed: 'So this is how these qualities, not having been, come into play. Having been, they vanish.' He remained unattracted & unrepelled with regard to those qualities, independent, detached, released, dissociated, with an awareness rid of barriers. He discerned that 'There is a further escape,' and pursuing it there really was for him.


So in this case, it states that he withdrew from the Jhana and then examined the factors. In the prior cases, it makes no mention of withdrawal first. If we assume that the Ven. Sariputta was engaged in the review of the Jhanic factors after withdrawral in the case of every Jhana, we could expect one of two things. On the one hand, we could expect that the text would explicitly state that he withdrew from Jhana and reviewed the factors, or we could expect that the text would simply leave it implied that he withdrew first in the case of all the Jhanas. In otherwords, if he examined the factors for each Jhana in the same way, one would expect the text to describe his examination of the factors in the same way.

However, that is not what happens. The text describes withdrawal for the last Arupajhana and nirodha-samapati, but not for the first 7 Jhanas. In other words, if the ven. Sariputta was withdrawing and reviewing after every Jhana, then the text wouldn't bother to point out his withdrawal specifically for the last two attainments but leave it implied for the other 7. It would have described the withdrawal explicitly for all of them, or would have left it implied for all of them, but not explicit for some and not for others.

Therefore, the most reasonable construction of the text is that the occurrence of the Ven. Sariputta's "[R]egard[ing] the past qualities that had ceased & changed: 'So this is how these qualities, not having been, come into play. Having been, they vanish'" occurred during Jhana in the case of the first 7 Jhanas, and occurred during review in the case of the dimension of neither perception nor non-perception and in the case of nirodha-samapati.

We both agree that the essence of the Ven. Sariputta's engagement in Vipassati was in his understanding of

'So this is how these qualities, not having been, come into play. Having been, they vanish'


So therefore, he was engaged in Vipassati during Jhana in the case of the first 7 Jhanas, and was engaged in Vipassati in post-Jhana review in the case of the dimension of infinite space and of nirodha-samapati.

[Just a side-note here. I think we may have gone a bit beyond the scope of the OP's question, so maybe we should ask a moderator to put this particular exchange in a new thread called "Can Vipassana be developed during Jhana?" or something similar. What do you think, Sylvester?]

[added in later]:
I realized I made an editing error in what I meant to say in the fourth paragraph from the bottom. I wanted it to say:

Therefore, the most reasonable construction of the text is that the occurrence of the Ven. Sariputta's action which lead to his understanding "'So this is how these qualities, not having been, come into play. Having been, they vanish'" occurred during Jhana in the case of the first 7 Jhanas, and occurred during review in the case of the dimension of neither perception nor non-perception and in the case of nirodha-samapati.
Last edited by Bakmoon on Tue Dec 25, 2012 8:06 am, edited 1 time in total.
The non-doing of any evil,
The performance of what's skillful,
The cleansing of one's own mind:
This is the Buddhas' teaching.
Bakmoon
 
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Re: Vipassana during Jhana?

Postby Sylvester » Tue Dec 25, 2012 3:58 am

Hi Bakmoon

You've certainly raised a legitimate point -

Using the first Jhana as an example:

There was the case where Sariputta — quite secluded from sensuality, secluded from unskillful qualities — entered & remained in the first jhana: rapture & pleasure born of seclusion, accompanied by directed thought & evaluation. Whatever qualities there are in the first jhana — directed thought, evaluation, rapture, pleasure, singleness of mind, contact, feeling, perception, intention, consciousness,[2] desire, decision, persistence, mindfulness, equanimity, & 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.' He remained unattracted & unrepelled with regard to those qualities, independent, detached, released, dissociated, with an awareness rid of barriers. He discerned that 'There is a further escape,' and pursuing it there really was for him.



At first glance, the text seems to imply that this occurs during Jhana. One must consider the possibility that post-Jhana review is occurring here, but that leads to a strange construction of the text. I say this because in the case of the dimension of neither perception nor non-perception, the text explicitly states that the Ven. Sariputta withdrew from Jhana and reviewed the factors afterwards. It says:

Furthermore, with the complete transcending of the dimension of nothingness, Sariputta entered & remained in the dimension of neither perception nor non-perception. He emerged mindfully from that attainment. On emerging mindfully from that attainment, he regarded the past qualities that had ceased & changed: 'So this is how these qualities, not having been, come into play. Having been, they vanish.' He remained unattracted & unrepelled with regard to those qualities, independent, detached, released, dissociated, with an awareness rid of barriers. He discerned that 'There is a further escape,' and pursuing it there really was for him.



So in this case, it states that he withdrew from the Jhana and then examined the factors. In the prior cases, it makes no mention of withdrawal first. If we assume that the Ven. Sariputta was engaged in the review of the Jhanic factors after withdrawral in the case of every Jhana, we could expect one of two things. On the one hand, we could expect that the text would explicitly state that he withdrew from Jhana and reviewed the factors, or we could expect that the text would simply leave it implied that he withdrew first in the case of all the Jhanas. In otherwords, if he examined the factors for each Jhana in the same way, one would expect the text to describe his examination of the factors in the same way.


So, the issue boils down to this - why do the passages dealing with the first 7 attainments NOT bear the "withdrawal" statement found in the description of the final 2 attainments?

I think the answer may perhaps be found in another qualitative "difference" between the 2 sets of saññāsamāpatti and post-saññāsamāpatti outlined in MN 111. It's to be found in the verb samanupassati (regards/considers). In MN 111, it appears that samanupassati occurs only in relation to the 2 post-saññāsamāpattis. It clearly looks like a kind of vipassati activity that leads to the insight that ‘evaṃ kirame dhammā ahutvā sambhonti, hutvā paṭiventī’ti. This insight, IMHO, is insight into This-That Conditionality about arising and cessation.

However, in AN 9.36, you will actually find the activity of samanupassati occuring in relation to all 7 of the saññāsamāpatti. Taking Ven T's translation of the pericope -

So yadeva tattha hoti rūpagataṃ vedanāgataṃ saññāgataṃ saṅkhāragataṃ viññāṇagataṃ, te dhamme aniccato dukkhato rogato gaṇḍato sallato aghato ābādhato parato palokato suññato anattato samanupassati. So tehi dhammehi cittaṃ paṭivāpeti [patiṭṭhāpeti (syā.), paṭipādeti (ka.) ma. ni. 2.133 passitabbaṃ]. So tehi dhammehi cittaṃ paṭivāpetvā [patiṭṭhāpetvā (syā.), paṭipādetvā (ka.)] amatāya dhātuyā cittaṃ upasaṃharati – ‘etaṃ santaṃ etaṃ paṇītaṃ yadidaṃ sabbasaṅkhārasamatho sabbūpadhipaṭinissaggo taṇhākkhayo virāgo nirodho nibbāna’nti.

He regards whatever phenomena there that are connected with form, feeling, perception, fabrications, & consciousness, as inconstant, stressful, a disease, a cancer, an arrow, painful, an affliction, alien, a disintegration, an emptiness, not-self. He turns his mind away from those phenomena, and having done so, inclines his mind to the property of deathlessness: 'This is peace, this is exquisite — the resolution of all fabrications; the relinquishment of all acquisitions; the ending of craving; dispassion; cessation; Unbinding.'


I don't think there is really any qualitative difference between the AN 9.36 type of samanupassati, versus MN 111's description of Ven Sariputta's samanupassati done for the 2 post-saññāsamāpatti. Both seem to give insight into Dependant Origination and how that leads to Suffering. I therefore infer that samanupassati as a kind of vipassanā rumination also occurs in the descriptions of the 7 saññāsamāpattis in MN 111.

So, is there any reason to suppose that samanupassati in the 7 saññāsamāpattis is occuring within each attainment? BB opines that AN 9.36 is capable of being read in such a fashion (see BB's note 861 referenced above). For me, the answer is NO, on 2 grounds.

Firstly, on grammatical grounds, I would note that if one translated the saññāsamāpatti pericope literally, you would have this (literal bits underlined in comparison to the ATI translation)-

..., tyāssa dhammā anupadavavatthitā honti, tyāssa dhammā viditā uppajjanti, viditā upaṭṭhahanti, viditā abbhatthaṃ gacchanti. So evaṃ pajānāti: evaṃ kira me dhammā ahutvā sambhonti, hutvā paṭiventī'ti. So tesu dhammesu anupayo anapāyo anissito appaṭibaddho vippamutto visaṃyutto vimariyādīkatena cetasā viharati. So atthi uttariṃ nissaraṇa'nti pajānāti. Tabbahulīkārā atthitvevassa hoti.

...he ferreted them/(they were "ferreted") out one after another. Known to him they arose/(arise), known to him they remained/(remain), known to him they subsided/(subside). He discerned/(discerns), 'So this is how these qualities, not having been, come into play. Having been, they vanish.' He remained/(remains) unattracted & unrepelled with regard to those qualities, independent, detached, released, dissociated, with an awareness rid of barriers. He discerned/(discerns) that 'There is a further escape,' and pursuing it there really was/(is) for him.


The present tenses are appropriately rendered as "historial presents", since this could be either read as a narrative or as a description of an ideal practice, both being legitimately framed in the present tense. But in such narrative cases, the present tense verbs have hardly any temporal value, beyond indicating that the events happened sometime in the indefinite past. They certainly do not connote contemporaneity amongst the events defined by each of the present tense verbs. The suttas resort to other constructions to indicate contemporaneity, such as the missakiriyā construction in the first tetrad of MN 118 to connote the contemporaneity of the breaths with the pajānāti.

Secondly, on doctrinal grounds, will the absence of the vacīsaṅkhāra allow for samanupassati to proceed? Would the DN 9 injunction against ceteti in the attainments allow samanupassati to co-exist with a jhanic state?
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Re: Vipassana during Jhana?

Postby Bakmoon » Tue Dec 25, 2012 8:37 am

Hi Sylvester.

I read your post very eagerly and enjoyed it a lot, especially the discussion of the use of the historical present. I found it very illuminating. I agree with you completely that samanupassati can't occur during Jhana, as of course it is an active cognitive process which can't arise due to the level of samadhi present in jhana. This is why the sutta only says Sariputta engaged in samanupassati in the post-saññāsamāpatti states (I love that term. Thanks for reminding me of it. I'll never have to type out the unwieldly "dimension of neither perception nor non-perception and the cessation of perception and feeling" again!).

However, samanupassati isn't the only action which lead the Ven. Sariputta to the conclusion

'So this is how these qualities, not having been, come into play. Having been, they vanish'


In the case of the earlier jhanas, it says:

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.'


I can take this in two different directions. I could argue that because the verb here is pajānāti, which can also serve as a synonym of vipassati, and could argue that being that pajānāti is more passive (I think?) it can occur during jhana. That may be tenable, or it might not be. I tend to think that it isn't conclusive simply because it is vulnerable to the issue regarding the historical present used in this case. (Fascinating observation, by the way. Someday I really must learn Pali so I can see these things for myself).

However, I don't think we should confine ourselves to the verbs explicitly used in the sutta. Note that it says "Known to him they arose, known to him they remained, known to him they subsided" and this I think is key. It says that these factors arose known to him. This knowing must have occurred contemporaneously with the arising, remaining, and subsiding, as it is a participle (I think Tyāssa is a participle. It's an educated guess.), and from this comes the understanding "So this is how these qualities, not having been, come into play. Having been, they vanish." I'm not sure what to call it. Whatever the verbal form of Tyāssa is might be appropriate, but whatever the case, I think that is a clear example of the Ven. Sariputta engaging in vipassati during jhana.

Also, in the samanupassati states, it says that

Whatever qualities there are in the first jhana (For example)... he ferreted them out one after another


This also clearly occurs in the jhana and I think can be understood as a type of vipassati as well, I think.
The non-doing of any evil,
The performance of what's skillful,
The cleansing of one's own mind:
This is the Buddhas' teaching.
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Re: Vipassana during Jhana?

Postby Sylvester » Tue Dec 25, 2012 10:49 am

There'll always be opinions on this issue, Bakmoon. Even my teachers do not agree with me about AN 9.36's saññāsamāpatti delimiting vavattheti (translated as "ferrets" by Ven T) as falling with perception, instead of rumination.

Tyāssa = te (pl of ta) + assa. It's a pronoun, from the looks of it (see Warder at pp 56-57 on this genitive). The past participle you were looking for is viditā (known).
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Re: Vipassana during Jhana?

Postby Bakmoon » Wed Dec 26, 2012 5:10 pm

Sylvester wrote:There'll always be opinions on this issue, Bakmoon. Even my teachers do not agree with me about AN 9.36's saññāsamāpatti delimiting vavattheti (translated as "ferrets" by Ven T) as falling with perception, instead of rumination.



Is there any alternate explanation for the explicit mention of withdrawal in the post-saññāsamāpatti states? I can't think of any.

Tyāssa = te (pl of ta) + assa. It's a pronoun, from the looks of it (see Warder at pp 56-57 on this genitive). The past participle you were looking for is viditā (known).


Silly me. The -āssa ending just screams genitive case ending, and I thought it was a participle :embarassed:
The non-doing of any evil,
The performance of what's skillful,
The cleansing of one's own mind:
This is the Buddhas' teaching.
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Re: Vipassana during Jhana?

Postby Sylvester » Thu Dec 27, 2012 2:43 am

Hi Bakmoon

I tried giving my explanation 3 posts up. As I said, opinions will differ, and much will depend also on how one understands vipassati. Is it mere "clearly seeing" or is it the ruminative analysis that leads to the mere "clearly seeing"? I get the sense from your post -

Note that it says "Known to him they arose, known to him they remained, known to him they subsided" and this I think is key. It says that these factors arose known to him. This knowing must have occurred contemporaneously with the arising, remaining, and subsiding, ...


that you're equating the past participle viditā with the vipassanā.

Since I take vipassanā to be the outcome of reflection and analysis, I won't equate it with the vindati verb (present tense of viditā), as vindati can easily encompass those kinds of bare and non-verbal awareness. If I were to accept that viditā were an analytical activity, I cannot reconcile it with the absence of vitakka-vicāra in the series of 9 attainments except for the 1st jhana.

:anjali:
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Re: Vipassana during Jhana?

Postby mikenz66 » Thu Dec 27, 2012 3:37 am

Hi Sylvester,

This is an interesting discussion. Forgetting about the "vipassana" aspect, can we determine from the sutta whether the "knowing" of the factors arising and ceasing happening during jhana or afterwards?

:anjali:
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Re: Vipassana during Jhana?

Postby Bakmoon » Thu Dec 27, 2012 5:39 am

I think the knowing of the factors had to occur as they occurred just from the grammar. It says:

Known to him they arose, known to him they remained, known to him they subsided.


This is grammatically distinctive in this sutta, as in the case of the terms samanupassati and pajanati, the terms were being used as the main verb, but the word we are interested in here is a participle used as an adverb, which implies contemporaneity, because the participle is describing how the action occurred. When it says "Known to him they arose" it means that they arose in a way which was known to him.

That's my analysis, although I freely admit that it is possible that Pali participles work differently than in other languages.

[Added later] My analysis of this line is mistaken. On the next page, Sylvester points out how the participle in this passage is being used as an adjective, rather than an adverb.
Last edited by Bakmoon on Thu Dec 27, 2012 4:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.
The non-doing of any evil,
The performance of what's skillful,
The cleansing of one's own mind:
This is the Buddhas' teaching.
Bakmoon
 
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Re: Vipassana during Jhana?

Postby Bakmoon » Thu Dec 27, 2012 5:53 am

Sylvester wrote:Hi Bakmoon

I tried giving my explanation 3 posts up. As I said, opinions will differ, and much will depend also on how one understands vipassati. Is it mere "clearly seeing" or is it the ruminative analysis that leads to the mere "clearly seeing"? I get the sense from your post -

Note that it says "Known to him they arose, known to him they remained, known to him they subsided" and this I think is key. It says that these factors arose known to him. This knowing must have occurred contemporaneously with the arising, remaining, and subsiding, ...


that you're equating the past participle viditā with the vipassanā.

Since I take vipassanā to be the outcome of reflection and analysis, I won't equate it with the vindati verb (present tense of viditā), as vindati can easily encompass those kinds of bare and non-verbal awareness. If I were to accept that viditā were an analytical activity, I cannot reconcile it with the absence of vitakka-vicāra in the series of 9 attainments except for the 1st jhana.

:anjali:


I think that vipassati is a rather broad term that can encompass both of those meanings. As you said, in the sutta pitika it is used in a broader sense than in abhidhamma.
The non-doing of any evil,
The performance of what's skillful,
The cleansing of one's own mind:
This is the Buddhas' teaching.
Bakmoon
 
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Re: Vipassana during Jhana?

Postby danieLion » Thu Dec 27, 2012 9:15 am

Vipassana Jhanas by Joseph Goldstein
downloadable
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