jhana pre buddhist, hinduism today and so on.

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

Postby Mr Man » Thu Jan 17, 2013 1:26 pm

Dave but do you think the rose-apple situation was unique to the young prince and not an experience that many people would have shared? The significance/usefulness was only realized in retrospect.
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Re: jhana pre buddhist, hinduism today and so on.

Postby daverupa » Thu Jan 17, 2013 2:25 pm

Mr Man wrote:Dave but do you think the rose-apple situation was unique to the young prince and not an experience that many people would have shared? The significance/usefulness was only realized in retrospect.


The situation can, at best, encompass the chance that first jhana is something others might have experienced. Now, that this is the only jhana with piti-sukha born of seclusion, not samadhi, and with vitakka-vicara, not without, lends support to the idea that first jhana stands apart in this way.

But the four jhanas together are sammasamadhi, which isn't to be found outside the Dhamma.

---

tilt, I'm unsure how it is that DN 1 is supporting the shamanism you were talking about.
    "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 tiltbillings » Thu Jan 17, 2013 2:33 pm

daverupa 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.


:?:

So... well, let's check the texts:
Actually, let us check out this text:
95. "To him another says: 'There is, good sir, such a self as you assert. That I do not deny. But it is not at that point that the self attains supreme Nibbāna here and now. What is the reason? Because, good sir, sense pleasures are impermanent, suffering, subject to change, and through their change and transformation there arise sorrow, lamentation, pain, grief, and despair. But when the self, quite secluded from sense pleasures, secluded from unwholesome states, enters and abides in the first jhāna, which is accompanied by initial and sustained thought and contains the rapture and happiness born of seclusion — at this point, good sir, the self attains supreme Nibbāna here and now.' In this way others proclaim supreme Nibbāna here and now for an existent being.

96. "To him another says: 'There is, good sir, such a self as you assert. That I do not deny. But it is not at that point that the self attains supreme Nibbāna here and now. What is the reason? Because that jhāna contains initial and sustained thought; therefore it is declared to be gross. But when, with the subsiding of initial and sustained thought, the self enters and abides in the second jhāna, which is accompanied by internal confidence and unification of mind, is free from initial and sustained thought, and contains the rapture and happiness born of concentration — at this point, good sir, the self attains supreme Nibbāna here and now.' In this way others proclaim supreme Nibbāna here and now for an existent being.

97. "To him another says: 'There is, good sir, such a self as you assert. That I do not deny. But it is not at that point that the self attains supreme Nibbāna here and now. What is the reason? It is declared to be gross because of the mental exhilaration connected with rapture that exists there. But when, with the fading away of rapture, one abides in equanimity, mindful and clearly comprehending, and still experiencing happiness with the body, enters and abides in the third jhāna, so that the ariyans announce: "He abides happily, in equanimity and mindfulness" — at this point, good sir, the self attains supreme Nibbāna here and now.' In this way some proclaim supreme Nibbāna here and now for an existent being.

98. "To him another says: 'There is, good sir, such a self as you assert. That I do not deny. But it is not at that point that the self attains supreme Nibbāna here and now. What is the reason? It is declared to be gross because a mental concern, 'Happiness,' exists there. But when, with the abandoning of pleasure and pain, and with the disappearance of previous joy and grief, one enters and abides in the fourth jhāna, which is without pleasure and pain and contains purification of mindfulness through equanimity — at this point, good sir, the self attains supreme Nibbāna here and now.' In this way some proclaim supreme Nibbāna here and now for an existent being.
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .bodh.html


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.
The first discourse of the Digha Nikayta is important enough in its content that I rather doubt that the use of the "jhana pericope" was a result of laziness or or a lack of understanding or some other flaw that would allow one to breezily brush aside the implications.
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 2:49 pm

daverupa wrote:tilt, I'm unsure how it is that DN 1 is supporting the shamanism you were talking about.
The point is that the jhanas, by themselves, are not sufficient for awakening, in that they can be easily subverted by one's belief systems and expectations, shaping what one might experience during jhana and after. Given that jhana experience can be very profound, such experience can give one an unshakable confidence that what has been experienced is the TRUTH. The "shamanism" I lightly suggested simply makes the point about how plastic and suggestable jhana experience can be. Within the Buddha's teachings jhana is part of a larger multifaceted context that helps one avoid the serious pitfalls, but even so one still needs to be careful, looking every gift horse in the mouth.
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 Alobha » Thu Jan 17, 2013 3:17 pm

@ Offtopic:
While I don't agree with tilt's disrespectul approach (It's just what Tilt does, people.), at least the Visuddhi Magga draws a distinction between a Samatha Yanika and a Sukkha Vipassaka: While the Sukkha Vipassaka is a person who only has Vipassana as his/her vehicle and at least reached stream-entry,
the Samatha Yanika is a person who has at least the first jhana as his/her vehicle _besides_ insight/vipassana and, with both insight and jhanas, reached at least stream-entry.
Jhana alone may not be enough, but that does not mean it's useless or a subject that can be neglected, looked down upon or made fun of... As far as understand it, a high level of concentration (such as attained in the jhanas), is a great supporting condition for Insight and thus it's good to develop samadhi.

@ Thread: Concerning jhana in pre-buddhist times. When the Buddha awakened and decided to teach, there were several people he thought might be suitable to understand the Dhamma. Some of them were past teachers of Siddharta Gautama and if I recall correctly, the Buddha thought they would understand because they already achieved one of the higher jhanas. However, most of them died shortly so he couldn't tell them. I think it was something like this.. if you're interested, I'd suggest poking around in that area.
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Re: jhana pre buddhist, hinduism today and so on.

Postby tiltbillings » Thu Jan 17, 2013 3:37 pm

Alobha wrote:While I don't agree with tilt's disrespectul approach . . . @Jhana alone may not be enough, but that does not mean it's useless or a subject that can be neglected, looked down upon or made fun of.
If you are suggesting that I am making fun of jhana or that I am suggesting that it is useless or that it is to be looked down upon, that certainly is not the case and I'll accept your apology, which I am sure is immediately forthcoming. Also, lighten up a bit.

But I think we need to be careful when we approach jhana both as a topic of conversation and as an actual practice. It is all too easy to go all starry-eyed, all gaga, over the prospect of it and over the actual experience it. Jhana, which is not unique to the Buddha's teachings, does have potential serious dangers, and not the least of which is the wanting -- the desire -- ever so much of having the jhana experience. Also, given the wide variety opinions about what jhana experience is, the question -- what do you mean by jhana? -- while annoying to some is to the point of any discussion of the subject. And whose opinion, as to what really constitutes what jhana really is, is correct?
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 daverupa » Thu Jan 17, 2013 4:03 pm

Alobha wrote:the Buddha thought they would understand because they already achieved one of the higher jhanas.


However, that's not why he thought they would easily understand:

MN 26 wrote:"Then the thought occurred to me, 'To whom should I teach the Dhamma first? Who will quickly understand this Dhamma?' Then the thought occurred to me, 'This Alara Kalama is wise, competent, intelligent. He has long had little dust in his eyes. What if I were to teach him the Dhamma first? He will quickly understand this Dhamma.' Then devas came to me and said, 'Lord, Alara Kalama died seven days ago.' And knowledge & vision arose within me: 'Alara Kalama died seven days ago.' The thought occurred to me, 'A great loss has Alara Kalama suffered. If he had heard this Dhamma, he would have quickly understood it.'

"Then the thought occurred to me, 'To whom should I teach the Dhamma first? Who will quickly understand this Dhamma?' Then the thought occurred to me, 'This Uddaka Ramaputta is wise, competent, intelligent. He has long had little dust in his eyes. What if I were to teach him the Dhamma first? He will quickly understand this Dhamma.' Then devas came to me and said, 'Lord, Uddaka Ramaputta died last night.' And knowledge & vision arose within me: 'Uddaka Ramaputta died last night.' The thought occurred to me, 'A great loss has Uddaka Ramaputta suffered. If he had heard this Dhamma, he would have quickly understood it.'

"Then the thought occurred to me, 'To whom should I teach the Dhamma first? Who will quickly understand this Dhamma?' Then the thought occurred to me, 'They were very helpful to me, the group of five monks who attended to me when I was resolute in exertion. What if I were to teach them the Dhamma first?'


They had attained one of two mentioned formless attainments; none of the four jhanas at all.

---

Jhana is wholesome pleasure to be pursued, not to be feared. It is pleasure which is altogether secluded from kamaguna, secluded from akusala dhamma. It's due to this wholesome pleasure that sensual pleasure loses its allure. Starry-eyed gaga-wonder means it's probably some other thing. Jhana is necessary and insufficient, but notice that DN 1 discusses how it's a problem to think in terms of an existing self. The instructions for jhana which I cited earlier work to prevent this mistake.

The formless stuff simply doesn't apply. This was what the Bodhisatta could learn from contemporary teachers; not 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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Re: jhana pre buddhist, hinduism today and so on.

Postby tiltbillings » Thu Jan 17, 2013 4:22 pm

daverupa wrote: Jhana is necessary and insufficient, but notice that DN 1 discusses how it's a problem to think in terms of an existing self. The instructions for jhana which I cited earlier work to prevent this mistake.
And DN 1 makes the point of context within which jhana is practiced, which, again, points to the plasticity of the jhana experience.

As far as "thinking in terms of an existing self," that raises an interesting question, given the nature of the sense of self we have to deal with. It is a bit more just conceptually thinking in terms of a self. Interestingly jhana can suppress that feeling of self, but that is far from insight into the nature of self. The solution to that according to the Buddha seems to be:
". . . the perception of impermanence should be cultivated for the removal of the conceit 'I am.' For when one perceives impermanence, Meghiya, the perception of not-self is established. When one perceives not-self one reaches the removal of the conceit 'I am,' which is called Nibbana here and now." U iv 1.


And as we seem to agree, whatever is meant by jhana, it is the context within which it is practiced that is important.
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 4:24 pm

daverupa wrote: Starry-eyed gaga-wonder means it's probably some other thing.
It depends.
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 4:38 pm

daverupa wrote:
They had attained one of two mentioned formless attainments; none of the four jhanas at all.
Does not one have to attain the first four jhanas before moving on to the second four? Anyway the Buddha attaned what they attained and rejected it as being sufficient.
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 daverupa » Thu Jan 17, 2013 5:32 pm

tiltbillings wrote:Does not one have to attain the first four jhanas before moving on to the second four?


The four jhanas and formless attainments are unrelated. One can attain jhana, and not the formless attainments. One can attain the formless attainments, and not jhana.

Anyway the Buddha attaned what they attained and rejected it as being sufficient.


Insufficient and unnecessary, surely; but then, instead of saying "these formless attainments are insufficient, but this preceding jhana which is taught is maybe useful..." he said "this stuff is useless; maybe I should practice based on that earlier experience when I was a youth..."

tiltbillings wrote:It is a bit more just conceptually thinking in terms of a self. Interestingly jhana can suppress that feeling of self, but that is far from insight into the nature of self.


Jhana, practiced as cited, puts an end to sakkayaditthi, which is a damn good start.

:heart:
    "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 Cittasanto » Thu Jan 17, 2013 5:55 pm

I believe Alara Kalama one of the Buddhas two teachers taught Jhana. And it is at least mentioned in the Dhammawiki as being true.
I personally believe the Rose Apple tree recollection rather than another was the imutus for the Buddha pursuing the Jhana's later on because it was not surrounded by striving for something, or the hardships he was undergoing so was free from the association with the harsh practices.
He understood it wasn't sufficient and required more traction (remember the Jhana's are always described using liquid similies) to break through to Nibbana, which Vipassana gave (and it has been suggested in a lecture by Venerable Analaya, via the observation from a participant, that insight practice is called dry for a contrast to the Jhana's).
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Re: jhana pre buddhist, hinduism today and so on.

Postby daverupa » Thu Jan 17, 2013 6:25 pm

Cittasanto wrote:I believe Alara Kalama one of the Buddhas two teachers taught Jhana. And it is at least mentioned in the Dhammawiki as being true.


He taught the sphere of nothingness; and I'd not call him a teacher of the Buddha.
    "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 Cittasanto » Thu Jan 17, 2013 6:28 pm

daverupa wrote:
Cittasanto wrote:I believe Alara Kalama one of the Buddhas two teachers taught Jhana. And it is at least mentioned in the Dhammawiki as being true.


He taught the sphere of nothingness.

I fail to see your point here.
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 daverupa » Thu Jan 17, 2013 6:29 pm

Cittasanto wrote:
daverupa wrote:
Cittasanto wrote:I believe Alara Kalama one of the Buddhas two teachers taught Jhana. And it is at least mentioned in the Dhammawiki as being true.


He taught the sphere of nothingness.

I fail to see your point here.


sphere of nothingness =/= 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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Re: jhana pre buddhist, hinduism today and so on.

Postby Cittasanto » Thu Jan 17, 2013 6:47 pm

daverupa wrote:
Cittasanto wrote:
daverupa wrote:He taught the sphere of nothingness.

I fail to see your point here.


sphere of nothingness =/= jhana

sure, it is a formless attainment, which in the Buddhist scheme stems from the fourth Jhana.
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 alan... » Thu Jan 17, 2013 6:50 pm

Cittasanto wrote:
daverupa wrote:He taught the sphere of nothingness.

I fail to see your point here.





i think you guys are debating something that you both agree on. citta said something about alara using jhana, dave just made roughly the same point, citta agrees but didn't quite get what dave was getting at, dave gets citta and so on.

alara taught jhana, citta agrees on this and so does dave.
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Re: jhana pre buddhist, hinduism today and so on.

Postby Cittasanto » Thu Jan 17, 2013 7:08 pm

alan... wrote:i think you guys are debating something that you both agree on. citta said something about alara using jhana, dave just made roughly the same point, citta agrees but didn't quite get what dave was getting at, dave gets citta and so on.

alara taught jhana, citta agrees on this and so does dave.

not debating but doubt we are agreeing bearing this in mind
daverupa wrote:The four jhanas and formless attainments are unrelated. One can attain jhana, and not the formless attainments. One can attain the formless attainments, and not jhana.
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 lojong1 » Thu Jan 17, 2013 7:29 pm

Cittasanto wrote:sure, it is a formless attainment, which in the Buddhist scheme stems from the fourth Jhana.

I'm not convinced of this either, even though it is often mentioned after the jhanas. The stock phrase "having attained [4th jhana]" never connects them as far as I've seen, then the whole childhood tree sit and Alara Kalama dealy, and weren't there some Transcendental Meditators who thought they were skipping straight to the formless?...
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Re: jhana pre buddhist, hinduism today and so on.

Postby alan... » Thu Jan 17, 2013 7:43 pm

Cittasanto wrote:
alan... wrote:i think you guys are debating something that you both agree on. citta said something about alara using jhana, dave just made roughly the same point, citta agrees but didn't quite get what dave was getting at, dave gets citta and so on.

alara taught jhana, citta agrees on this and so does dave.

not debating but doubt we are agreeing bearing this in mind
daverupa wrote:The four jhanas and formless attainments are unrelated. One can attain jhana, and not the formless attainments. One can attain the formless attainments, and not jhana.


oh okay lol. i didn't see that and thought this was an odd misunderstanding.
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