Venānga Sutta - jhana not absorbtion method

Discussion of Samatha bhavana and Jhana bhavana.

Re: Venānga Sutta - jhana not absorbtion method

Postby piotr » Tue May 27, 2014 11:08 am

Hi,

jameswang wrote:
piotr wrote:Sylvester's argument is that based on the grammar one can inferre that the "walking passage" refers to the establishment of sati and not to the jhānas.

Oh.... Hmm.... But that doesn't proof OP wrong, does it?

Reading the sutta as it is, I get the idea that the jhanas are the result of establishing sati, and one progresses to higher jhanas through establishing of sati. So, greater jhanas are simply greater establishment of sati. How else can it be?


I'm not even sure if the "argument from grammar" is conclusive. If you read whole sutta you can conclude that it's not the establishment of sati that makes Buddha's walking, standing, sitting or laying down divine or noble, but states which proceed after the establishment of sati, namely: jhānas, brahmavihāras and retrospective knowledge of attainment of arahantship.
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Re: Venānga Sutta - jhana not absorbtion method

Postby LXNDR » Wed May 28, 2014 5:19 am

i believe it's worth attaining the 4th jhana and experiencing it firsthand to have all questions cast off
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Re: Venānga Sutta - jhana not absorbtion method

Postby vesak2014 » Wed May 28, 2014 5:24 am

jameswang wrote:
piotr wrote:Sylvester's argument is that based on the grammar one can inferre that the "walking passage" refers to the establishment of sati and not to the jhānas.

Oh.... Hmm.... But that doesn't proof OP wrong, does it?

OP was wrong to use Venānga Sutta to proof that jhana is not absorption method.
The Buddha can enter jhana at will without any difficulty, independent of his actual posture. The walking (or standing, or laying , or sitting) happened prior to entering jhana state. The walking is "celestial" when he enters jhana while in walking position, not the other way around, entering jhana then trying to walk.

If jhana is absorption in an object, then nothing else one can do other than being absorbed in that object. There will be no insight whatsoever.

To enter 1st jhana, use calming-down (samatha) to make sensuality ceased. Use insight to discern the cause of sensuality, the allure of sensuality, the escape from sensuality. To enter 2nd jhana, transcend from 1st jhana, discern how to make vitakka-vicara ceased, and so on.

:anjali:
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Re: Venānga Sutta - jhana not absorbtion method

Postby LXNDR » Wed May 28, 2014 9:46 am

vesak2014 wrote:To enter 1st jhana, use calming-down (samatha) to make sensuality ceased. Use insight to discern the cause of sensuality, the allure of sensuality, the escape from sensuality. To enter 2nd jhana, transcend from 1st jhana, discern how to make vitakka-vicara ceased, and so on.

:anjali:


sir, do you suggest that based on your own experience of jhanas?
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Re: Venānga Sutta - jhana not absorbtion method

Postby Sylvester » Thu May 29, 2014 3:11 am

piotr wrote:Hi,

jameswang wrote:
piotr wrote:Sylvester's argument is that based on the grammar one can inferre that the "walking passage" refers to the establishment of sati and not to the jhānas.

Oh.... Hmm.... But that doesn't proof OP wrong, does it?

Reading the sutta as it is, I get the idea that the jhanas are the result of establishing sati, and one progresses to higher jhanas through establishing of sati. So, greater jhanas are simply greater establishment of sati. How else can it be?


I'm not even sure if the "argument from grammar" is conclusive. If you read whole sutta you can conclude that it's not the establishment of sati that makes Buddha's walking, standing, sitting or laying down divine or noble, but states which proceed after the establishment of sati, namely: jhānas, brahmavihāras and retrospective knowledge of attainment of arahantship.



Hi piotr

I'm in agreement that the sg/pl distinction is probably not going to be very helpful. I think it's probably more fruitful to nit-pick on another grammatical point, namely the underlined word -

So ce ahaṃ, brāhmaṇa, evaṃbhūto caṅkamāmi, dibbo me eso tasmiṃ samaye caṅkamo hoti. So ce ahaṃ, brāhmaṇa, evaṃbhūto tiṭṭhāmi, dibbaṃ me etaṃ tasmiṃ samaye ṭhānaṃ hoti. So ce ahaṃ, brāhmaṇa, evaṃbhūto nisīdāmi, dibbaṃ me etaṃ tasmiṃ samaye āsanaṃ hoti. So ce ahaṃ, brāhmaṇa, evaṃbhūto seyyaṃ kappemi, dibbaṃ me etaṃ tasmiṃ samaye uccāsayanamahāsayanaṃ hoti. Idaṃ kho, brāhmaṇa, dibbaṃ uccāsayanamahāsayanaṃ, yassāhaṃ etarahi nikāmalābhī akicchalābhī akasiralābhī’’ti.

Then, brahmin, when I am in such a state, if I walk back and forth, on that occasion my walking back and forth is celestial. If I am standing, on that occasion my standing is celestial. If I am sitting, on that occasion my sitting is celestial. If I lie down, on that occasion this is my celestial high and luxurious bed. This is that celestial high and luxurious bed that at present I can gain at will, without trouble or difficulty.

AN 3.63 trans BB


I'm not sure why BB translates evaṃbhūto as "when I am in such a state", since the present participle is not used; bhūta is the past participle of bhavati. You can see this sense of the present perfect (see Warder p.40) being brought out very nicely in the older PTS translation -

Now, brahmin, when I have reached such a state, if I walk up and down...


Warder goes on to discuss what happens when the past participle is inflected in the nominative (such as our case here bhūto) -

The past participle may be equivalent to a (normally passive) finite verb in the past tense. It then
appears in the nominative case and agrees in number and gender with the agent (if active) or the patient (if passive).


Evaṃbhūto appears very rarely in the Canon - elsewhere, AN 4.11, AN 4.12 and It 110 & 111 (both parallels to AN 4.11 and AN 4.12 respectively). Let's see how AN 4.11's evaṃbhūto comes to be translated by BB verse Woodward -

Carato cepi, bhikkhave, bhikkhuno abhijjhābyāpādo vigato hoti, thinamiddhaṃ… uddhaccakukkuccaṃ… vicikicchā pahīnā hoti, āraddhaṃ hoti vīriyaṃ asallīnaṃ, upaṭṭhitā sati asammuṭṭhā, passaddho kāyo asāraddho, samāhitaṃ cittaṃ ekaggaṃ, carampi, bhikkhave, bhikkhu evaṃbhūto ‘ātāpī ottāpī satataṃ samitaṃ āraddhavīriyo pahitatto’ti vuccati.


Bhikkhus, if a sensual thought, a thought of ill will, or a thought of harming arises in a bhikkhu while walking, and he tolerates it, does not abandon it, dispel it, terminate it, and obliterate it, then that bhikkhu is said to be devoid of ardor and moral dread; he is constantly and continuously lazy and lacking in energy while walking
.

trans BB


Monks, if while he walks there arise in a monk thoughts
sensual or malign or cruel, and that monk admits them,
does not reject and expel them, does not make an end of them,
does not drive them out of renewed existence, a monk who while
walking becomes thus is called “ void of zeal and unscrupulous,
always and for ever sluggish and poor in energy."

trans Woodward


What Warder seems to be suggesting is that the precise demarcation of time is left very vague by the aorist (here, implied by the nominative of bhūta) and he (p.26) suggests that if more accurate demarcations of time are required, periphrastic constructions of the main verb and participles are used. I don't see the past participle bhūta being listed by Warder as participating as an auxillary verb, although hoti and bhavissati are discussed.

So, is BB's translation "when I am in such a state" guided more by the Comy opinion, and less by the grammar?

:anjali:
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Re: Venānga Sutta - jhana not absorbtion method

Postby pulga » Thu May 29, 2014 5:56 am

Hi Sylvester,

Sylvester wrote:
What Warder seems to be suggesting is that the precise demarcation of time is left very vague by the aorist (here, implied by the nominative of bhūta) and he (p.26) suggests that if more accurate demarcations of time are required, periphrastic constructions of the main verb and participles are used. I don't see the past participle bhūta being listed by Warder as participating as an auxillary verb, although hoti and bhavissati are discussed.

So, is BB's translation "when I am in such a state" guided more by the Comy opinion, and less by the grammar?


Warder does say that "tuṇhībhūto nisinno hoti" may be regarded as a double periphrastic (p.239). Since like ni-sīd, (k)kam is durative might Ven. Bodhi be treating "evaṃbhūto caṅkamāmi" periphrastically?
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Re: Venānga Sutta - jhana not absorbtion method

Postby Sylvester » Thu May 29, 2014 6:53 am

Thanks pulga!

Yes, the durative aspect comes through clearly in Warder for the 2 verbs caṅkamāmi (walk) and nisīdāmi (sit). Presumably, this also holds true for the other 2 verbs?

Although evaṃbhūta can function adverbally, the CPD assigns to it a nominal function as an adjective (having become such). That would fit it better with the usage of evaṃbhūta in AN 4.11 and AN 4.12.

So, we have evaṃbhūta showing shades of being both adverbal (if it enters into periphrasis with the posture verbs in AN 3.63) as well as nominal (in AN 4.11 & 4.12). Dilemma, dilemma.

Incidentally, I'm told that the Thai translation treats evaṃbhūta nominally in AN 3.63.

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Re: Venānga Sutta - jhana not absorbtion method

Postby jameswang » Sat May 31, 2014 7:01 am

piotr wrote:I'm not even sure if the "argument from grammar" is conclusive. If you read whole sutta you can conclude that it's not the establishment of sati that makes Buddha's walking, standing, sitting or laying down divine or noble, but states which proceed after the establishment of sati, namely: jhānas, brahmavihāras and retrospective knowledge of attainment of arahantship.

At any rate, our friend will intimidate us with his Pali prowess. Sounding clever doesn't mean he's right. It's a put off.
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Re: Venānga Sutta - jhana not absorbtion method

Postby pulga » Sat May 31, 2014 2:03 pm

jameswang wrote:At any rate, our friend will intimidate us with his Pali prowess. Sounding clever doesn't mean he's right. It's a put off.


Posts that impel one to think are always worthwhile. I consider our friend a true asset to the forum.
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Re: Venānga Sutta - jhana not absorbtion method

Postby SDC » Sun Jun 01, 2014 3:56 am

pulga wrote:
jameswang wrote:At any rate, our friend will intimidate us with his Pali prowess. Sounding clever doesn't mean he's right. It's a put off.


Posts that impel one to think are always worthwhile. I consider our friend a true asset to the forum.


As do I. Wish he posted more often.
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Re: Venānga Sutta - jhana not absorbtion method

Postby jameswang » Sun Jun 01, 2014 4:14 am

pulga wrote:
jameswang wrote:At any rate, our friend will intimidate us with his Pali prowess. Sounding clever doesn't mean he's right. It's a put off.


Posts that impel one to think are always worthwhile. I consider our friend a true asset to the forum.

I've no trouble believing that they impel you to think. For me, I can't think about the post because I don't understand it. Instead I think about the poster.

What's the point of discussing the scriptures if we just run around pali grammar? Intellectual indulgence?
Last edited by jameswang on Sun Jun 01, 2014 4:32 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Venānga Sutta - jhana not absorbtion method

Postby tiltbillings » Sun Jun 01, 2014 4:15 am

pulga wrote:
jameswang wrote:At any rate, our friend will intimidate us with his Pali prowess. Sounding clever doesn't mean he's right. It's a put off.


Posts that impel one to think are always worthwhile. I consider our friend a true asset to the forum.
He is indeed, but to the topic, please.
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