tiltbillings wrote: daverupa wrote:
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.
The suttas support that?
It's an inductive claim; I will indicate some general themes:
-formless attainments are an add-on to the 4-jhana pericope, which was the original formulation in the earlier part of Nikaya creation. definitions of sammasamadhi reflect this, along with the fourth jhana being repeatedly cited as the foundation for tevijja, with the four-then-five formless attainments quickly appearing during Nikaya creation. the tradition remembers they are optional.
-the ninth formless attainment appears to be from a rather late stage in this process, and a developmental progression can be discerned in its formulation.
-the two teachers the Bodhisatta studied under taught (versions of) two of the four formless attainments, so this sort of bhavana was known in the bahmana-samana milieu. the Upanisads had their own bhavana methods, and the formless attainments are good candidates for being related methods, perhaps even explicit examples.
-bahmana-samana converts would have been very conversant with these formless methods and their theories & cosmologies. this utterly permeates the worldview of the compiler-reciters; it is not original, but it is pervasive.
-the Bodhisatta recalled his earlier experience, not something learned from another, when introducing jhana. later, the Buddha emphasizes "do jhana" because this is what allows for the destruction of the asavas. the formless attainments cannot do this.