jhana pre buddhist, hinduism today and so on.

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jhana pre buddhist, hinduism today and so on.

Postby alan... » Thu Jan 17, 2013 5:09 am

so in buddhism we practice jhana with a clear intention in mind to regard them as nothing more than tools to see into reality.

however in hinduism i believe this is not the case. i have never found much consistency in hindu meditation teachings and have usually found them to be vague. this is because it is frequently a guru to student kind of thing as opposed to a systematized book learned practice. however assuming jhana is a universal state that arises for everyone when conditions are right it would be logical to assume that this is what yogis in hinduism experience as well but that they equate it with god instead of attempting to see it as mundane.

i imagine if i had fallen into hinduism instead of buddhism and a guru taught me to access the first jhana and said that that blissful state was accessing the mind of god i would heartily agree with him/her after reaching it as it feels more wonderful than anything else on earth.

i read an article about pre buddhist jhana but it doesn't specify whether or not this practice continued into hinduism or if it did, how it was/is regarded. at least not that i saw, i skimmed some and did a couple of ctrl+f word searches for words like "hinduism", "vedas" and so on. it talks about a group called "Parama-diṭṭhadhamma-nibbānavāda" or perhaps this is a person? i'm not clear on that and a web search was fruitless. does anyone know more of the details on this or have any opinions?
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Re: jhana pre buddhist, hinduism today and so on.

Postby tiltbillings » Thu Jan 17, 2013 5:16 am

alan... wrote: . . .
You have stated, I believe that you do jhana practice. If that isthe case, then start playing with them. You can do all sorts of nifty things and have all sorts of nifty experiences.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.
"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: jhana pre buddhist, hinduism today and so on.

Postby alan... » Thu Jan 17, 2013 5:24 am

tiltbillings wrote:
alan... wrote: . . .
You have stated, I believe that you do jhana practice. If that isthe case, then start playing with them. You can do all sorts of nifty things and have all sorts of nifty experiences.


cool! any suggestions?
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Re: jhana pre buddhist, hinduism today and so on.

Postby ground » Thu Jan 17, 2013 5:24 am

alan... wrote:i imagine if i had fallen into hinduism instead of buddhism and a guru taught me to access the first jhana and said that that blissful state was accessing the mind of god i would heartily agree with him/her after reaching it as it feels more wonderful than anything else on earth.

Not necessarily to be restricted to hinduism, since there are contemplatives in christianity too. Or others may impute ideas like nibbana or buddhanature on this experience. How it is called is really of no relevance. Imagination is boundless. It is just an experience entailing the arising of ideas afterwards since the sense of self entails grasping experience as this or that. :sage:
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Re: jhana pre buddhist, hinduism today and so on.

Postby LonesomeYogurt » Thu Jan 17, 2013 5:32 am

tiltbillings wrote:You have stated, I believe that you do jhana practice. If that isthe case, then start playing with them. You can do all sorts of nifty things and have all sorts of nifty experiences.

Yes, "nifty experiences" that the Buddha clearly considered to be the foundation of the entire meditative practice.

[1] "If a monk would wish, 'May I be dear & pleasing to my fellows in the holy life, respected by & inspiring to them,' then he should be one who brings the precepts to perfection, who is committed to inner tranquillity of awareness, who does not neglect jhana, who is endowed with insight, and who frequents empty dwellings.

[2] "If a monk would wish, 'May I be someone who receives robes, almsfood, lodgings, & medical requisites for curing the sick,' then he should be one who brings the precepts to perfection, who is committed to inner tranquillity of awareness, who does not neglect jhana, who is endowed with insight, and who frequents empty dwellings.

[3] "If a monk would wish, 'Whatever I use or consume in terms of robes, almsfood, lodgings, & medical requisites for curing the sick, may that be of great fruit, of great benefit to those who provided them,' then he should be one who brings the precepts to perfection, who is committed to inner tranquillity of awareness, who does not neglect jhana, who is endowed with insight, and who frequents empty dwellings.

[4] "If a monk would wish, 'May it also be of great fruit, of great benefit, to whatever dead relatives they [the donors] recollect with brightened minds,' then he should be one who brings the precepts to perfection, who is committed to inner tranquillity of awareness, who does not neglect jhana, who is endowed with insight, and who frequents empty dwellings.

[5] "If a monk would wish, 'May I be content with whatever robes, almsfood, lodgings, & medical requisites for curing the sick are available,' then he should be one who brings the precepts to perfection, who is committed to inner tranquillity of awareness, who does not neglect jhana, who is endowed with insight, and who frequents empty dwellings.

[6] "If a monk would wish, 'May I be resistant to cold, heat, hunger, & thirst; to the touch of gadflies & mosquitoes, wind & sun & creeping things; to abusive, hurtful language; to bodily feelings that, when they arise, are painful, sharp, stabbing, fierce, distasteful, deadly,' then he should be one who brings the precepts to perfection, who is committed to inner tranquillity of awareness, who does not neglect jhana, who is endowed with insight, and who frequents empty dwellings.

[7] "If a monk would wish, 'May I overcome displeasure, and not be overcome by displeasure. May I dwell having conquered any displeasure that has arisen,' then he should be one who brings the precepts to perfection, who is committed to inner tranquillity of awareness, who does not neglect jhana, who is endowed with insight, and who frequents empty dwellings.

[8] "If a monk would wish, 'May I overcome fear & dread, and not be overcome by fear & dread. May I dwell having conquered any fear & dread that have arisen,' then he should be one who brings the precepts to perfection, who is committed to inner tranquillity of awareness, who does not neglect jhana, who is endowed with insight, and who frequents empty dwellings.

[9] "If a monk would wish, 'May I attain — whenever I want, without strain, without difficulty — the four jhanas that are heightened mental states, pleasant abidings in the here-&-now,' then he should be one who brings the precepts to perfection, who is committed to inner tranquillity of awareness, who does not neglect jhana, who is endowed with insight, and who frequents empty dwellings.

[10] "If a monk would wish, 'May I — with the ending of mental fermentations — remain in the fermentation-free awareness-release & discernment-release, having directly known & realized them for myself in the here-&-now,' then he should be one who brings the precepts to perfection, who is committed to inner tranquillity of awareness, who does not neglect jhana, who is endowed with insight, and who frequents empty dwellings.

"'Monks, dwell consummate in virtue, consummate in terms of the Patimokkha. Dwell restrained in accordance with the Patimokkha, consummate in your behavior & sphere of activity. Train yourselves, having undertaken the training rules, seeing danger in the slightest faults.' Thus was it said. And in reference to this was it said."


I'm not sure if you're intentionally trying to minimize Jhana by dismissing it as "nifty," but if you are, then I'd be interested to know why.
Gain and loss, status and disgrace,
censure and praise, pleasure and pain:
these conditions among human beings are inconstant,
impermanent, subject to change.

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

His welcoming and rebelling are scattered,
gone to their end,
do not exist.
- Lokavipatti Sutta

Stuff I write about things.
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Re: jhana pre buddhist, hinduism today and so on.

Postby tiltbillings » Thu Jan 17, 2013 5:40 am

alan... wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:
alan... wrote: . . .
You have stated, I believe that you do jhana practice. If that isthe case, then start playing with them. You can do all sorts of nifty things and have all sorts of nifty experiences.


cool! any suggestions?
You might start with the image of the Buddha, and if you are able to produce a radiant vision of the Buddha, you can move on to Vishnu or Zeus, and that sort of thing.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.
"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: jhana pre buddhist, hinduism today and so on.

Postby tiltbillings » Thu Jan 17, 2013 5:43 am

LonesomeYogurt wrote:I'm not sure if you're intentionally trying to minimize Jhana by dismissing it as "nifty," but if you are, then I'd be interested to know why.
You keep accusing me of trying to minimize the jhanas, but that is not the case. Quite simply, the jhanas are tools that can be well handled or mishandled.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.
"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: jhana pre buddhist, hinduism today and so on.

Postby alan... » Thu Jan 17, 2013 5:47 am

tiltbillings wrote:
LonesomeYogurt wrote:I'm not sure if you're intentionally trying to minimize Jhana by dismissing it as "nifty," but if you are, then I'd be interested to know why.
You keep accusing me of trying to minimize the jhanas, but that is not the case. Quite simply, the jhanas are tools that can be well handled or mishandled.


yup. if you bliss out and become an expert at the jhanas but do nothing else it can be an utter waste of time. or you can use them for insight and see through reality. then there's that mysterious "ninth jhana" which is itself nibbana. so if you get that high you're done i believe. but that's a ways up there.
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Re: jhana pre buddhist, hinduism today and so on.

Postby alan... » Thu Jan 17, 2013 5:49 am

tiltbillings wrote:You might start with the image of the Buddha, and if you are able to produce a radiant vision of the Buddha, you can move on to Vishnu or Zeus, and that sort of thing.


any progress in the dhamma to be made with such things? that's one place i'm kind of at a loss, what do i do with my jhana concentration? i've read a couple of suggestions, such as tracing thoughts to their source, which works wonderfully as you see there is none, they are dependently arisen, but now what?
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Re: jhana pre buddhist, hinduism today and so on.

Postby tiltbillings » Thu Jan 17, 2013 5:49 am

alan... wrote:there's that mysterious "ninth jhana" which is itself nibbana.
No, it is not nibbana. There are those monks who are not jhana masters who attained nibbana but could not attain the 9th. The 9th is something that those who have attained nibbana can attain.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.
"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: jhana pre buddhist, hinduism today and so on.

Postby LonesomeYogurt » Thu Jan 17, 2013 5:51 am

tiltbillings wrote:
LonesomeYogurt wrote:I'm not sure if you're intentionally trying to minimize Jhana by dismissing it as "nifty," but if you are, then I'd be interested to know why.
You keep accusing me of trying to minimize the jhanas, but that is not the case. Quite simply, the jhanas are tools that can be well handled or mishandled.

I apologize if I sound accusatory, but you have to admit that "You can do all sorts of nifty things and have all sorts of nifty experiences" doesn't exactly reek of the respect the Buddha's preferred meditation might command. But I digress, back to the topic at hand.
Gain and loss, status and disgrace,
censure and praise, pleasure and pain:
these conditions among human beings are inconstant,
impermanent, subject to change.

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

His welcoming and rebelling are scattered,
gone to their end,
do not exist.
- Lokavipatti Sutta

Stuff I write about things.
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Re: jhana pre buddhist, hinduism today and so on.

Postby alan... » Thu Jan 17, 2013 5:52 am

tiltbillings wrote:
alan... wrote:there's that mysterious "ninth jhana" which is itself nibbana.
No, it is not nibbana. There are those monks who are not jhana masters who attained nibbana but could not attain the 9th. The 9th is something that those who have attained nibbana can attain.


oh i wasn't saying that's the only way to nibbana. it just is mentioned as one way, or so i thought.

EDIT: looking at it now i see that it is usually believed to be as you said, only accessible to those who have already made attainments, although i don't see where it says this verbatim in a sutta (such as "he enters the cessation of perception... this is only accessible to those who have already attained the way..." or something like that), nanamoli says it in "life of the buddha" and it's on accesstoinsight as well, so you were dead on. is there a place where it says this in a sutta? all i'm finding is where he lists it as an attainment but doesn't specify who can get there.
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Re: jhana pre buddhist, hinduism today and so on.

Postby tiltbillings » Thu Jan 17, 2013 6:01 am

alan... wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:You might start with the image of the Buddha, and if you are able to produce a radiant vision of the Buddha, you can move on to Vishnu or Zeus, and that sort of thing.


any progress in the dhamma to be made with such things? that's one place i'm kind of at a loss, what do i do with my jhana concentration? i've read a couple of suggestions, such as tracing thoughts to their source, which works wonderfully as you see there is none, they are dependently arisen, but now what?
Tracing your thoughts to the source is a conceptual practice, which has its value, but it also has its limitations.

As for playing with jhanas, other than being a fun thing to do, it can teach you about the nature of the experience so one might get lost in it, but I am not recommending that you or anyone else do this. I am saying that it is possible.

What do with jhana concentration? Listen to http://dharmaseed.org/teacher/96/?search=jhanas and work from there.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.
"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: jhana pre buddhist, hinduism today and so on.

Postby alan... » Thu Jan 17, 2013 6:08 am

tiltbillings wrote:
alan... wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:You might start with the image of the Buddha, and if you are able to produce a radiant vision of the Buddha, you can move on to Vishnu or Zeus, and that sort of thing.


any progress in the dhamma to be made with such things? that's one place i'm kind of at a loss, what do i do with my jhana concentration? i've read a couple of suggestions, such as tracing thoughts to their source, which works wonderfully as you see there is none, they are dependently arisen, but now what?
Tracing your thoughts to the source is a conceptual practice, which has its value, but it also has its limitations.

As for playing with jhanas, other than being a fun thing to do, it can teach you about the nature of the experience so one might get lost in it, but I am not recommending that you or anyone else do this. I am saying that it is possible.

What do with jhana concentration? Listen to http://dharmaseed.org/teacher/96/?search=jhanas and work from there.


thanks!
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Re: jhana pre buddhist, hinduism today and so on.

Postby Cittasanto » Thu Jan 17, 2013 6:56 am

tiltbillings wrote:
alan... wrote:there's that mysterious "ninth jhana" which is itself nibbana.
No, it is not nibbana. There are those monks who are not jhana masters who attained nibbana but could not attain the 9th. The 9th is something that those who have attained nibbana can attain.

The minimum level of Jhana an Arahant has is the first.
Full mastery of all the Jhanas is not essential but the ability to enter into jhana is.
This offering maybe right, or wrong, but it is one, the other, both, or neither!
With Metta
Upāsaka Cittasanto
Blog, - Some Suttas Translated, Ajahn Chah.
"Others will misconstrue reality due to their personal perspectives, doggedly holding onto and not easily discarding them; We shall not misconstrue reality due to our own personal perspectives, nor doggedly holding onto them, but will discard them easily. This effacement shall be done."
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Re: jhana pre buddhist, hinduism today and so on.

Postby tiltbillings » Thu Jan 17, 2013 7:00 am

LonesomeYogurt wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:
LonesomeYogurt wrote:I'm not sure if you're intentionally trying to minimize Jhana by dismissing it as "nifty," but if you are, then I'd be interested to know why.
You keep accusing me of trying to minimize the jhanas, but that is not the case. Quite simply, the jhanas are tools that can be well handled or mishandled.

I apologize if I sound accusatory, but you have to admit that "You can do all sorts of nifty things and have all sorts of nifty experiences" doesn't exactly reek of the respect the Buddha's preferred meditation might command. But I digress, back to the topic at hand.
I'd rather not reek of anything, if you don't mind, and even if you do, I'd still rather not reek.

One can be so utterly deferential, so rigidly respectful, of something and in the process miss something of interest or importance. And as for "the Buddha's preferred meditation," as far as I am concerned the Buddha's preferred practice is to pay attention. Everything else flows from that.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.
"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: jhana pre buddhist, hinduism today and so on.

Postby manas » Thu Jan 17, 2013 11:08 am

Hi alan,

the following sutta, as far as instructions go, might be a bit beyond where you are at presently. (I reckon it's beyond me, for now). But I offer it to inspire you, that jhana *can* be a platform from which one can see the end of dukkha, and how blissful it must be to see that:

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

Metta :anjali:
Primum non nocere: "first, do no harm."
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Re: jhana pre buddhist, hinduism today and so on.

Postby daverupa » Thu Jan 17, 2013 12:06 pm

tiltbillings wrote:You might start with the image of the Buddha, and if you are able to produce a radiant vision of the Buddha, you can move on to Vishnu or Zeus, and that sort of thing.


:?:

So... well, let's check the texts:

MN 64 wrote:Whatever exists therein of material form, feeling, perception, formations, and consciousness, he sees those states as impermanent, as suffering, as a disease, as a tumor, as a barb, as a calamity, as an affliction, as alien, as disintegrating, as void, as not self. He turns his mind away from those states and directs it towards the deathless element thus: 'This is the peaceful, this is the sublime, that is, the stilling of all formations, the relinquishing of all attachments, the destruction of craving, dispassion, cessation, Nibbana.


One does this in jhana; this is the path, this is the way to the abandoning of the five lower fetters.

---

I don't think there is pre-Buddhist jhana, because the Buddha did not recall a teacher, he recalled a childhood/young adulthood experience of first jhana, and later developed the other three after taking nourishment near Uruvela. Therefore, there weren't any non-Buddhist wanderers who practiced jhana until the Buddha taught it.

The brahmins and wanderers had many & ancient formless meditations and absorptions in objects; none of this is jhana, and none of it is necessary, but it ends up getting tacked on to the jhana pericope, which leads to confusion, I think.
    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting oneself one protects others? By the pursuit, development, and cultivation of the four establishments of mindfulness. It is in such a way that by protecting oneself one protects others.

    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting others one protects oneself? By patience, harmlessness, goodwill, and sympathy. It is in such a way that by protecting others one protects oneself.
- Sedaka Sutta [SN 47.19]
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Re: jhana pre buddhist, hinduism today and so on.

Postby Mr Man » Thu Jan 17, 2013 12:51 pm

daverupa wrote:
I don't think there is pre-Buddhist jhana,.

To me this is a bit of a quandary. I find it hard to comprehend that others were not practicing meditation which was equivalent to Jhana. I can only think that the difference was in how the experience was interpreted or perceived (4 noble truths) or attitude (not self/non attachment).
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Re: jhana pre buddhist, hinduism today and so on.

Postby daverupa » Thu Jan 17, 2013 12:59 pm

Mr Man wrote:
daverupa wrote:
I don't think there is pre-Buddhist jhana,.

To me this is a bit of a quandary. I find it hard to comprehend that others were not practicing meditation which was equivalent to Jhana. I can only think that the difference was in how the experience was interpreted or perceived (4 noble truths) or attitude (not self/non attachment).


The problem, as I see it, is resolved with the rose-apple situation. The later provenance of the formless attainments, and their absence from the jhana pericope in most places, testify to a certain development over time. I see an aggrandizement by the larger bhavana milieu, perhaps setting in early with (mostly spurious) warnings about the pleasure of jhana.
    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting oneself one protects others? By the pursuit, development, and cultivation of the four establishments of mindfulness. It is in such a way that by protecting oneself one protects others.

    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting others one protects oneself? By patience, harmlessness, goodwill, and sympathy. It is in such a way that by protecting others one protects oneself.
- Sedaka Sutta [SN 47.19]
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