Sutta Support for Jhana Distinction

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Pondera
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Sutta Support for Jhana Distinction

Post by Pondera »

I was curious where the suttas first describe jhana as either Rupa or arupa. Can anyone provide textual evidence for this distinction?

Thank you,

Pondera
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Re: Sutta Support for Jhana Distinction

Post by retrofuturist »

Greetings,
Pondera wrote: Tue Oct 01, 2019 5:26 am I was curious where the suttas first describe jhana as either Rupa or arupa. Can anyone provide textual evidence for this distinction?
My understanding is that there is nothing explicit that says the first jhana is rupa. However, it can be inferred with suttas like MN 111, that go onto describe "the complete transcending of perceptions of form"

(Note, the translator shoved the word "physical" prior to form, but that seems to be gratuitous on their behalf, so I have removed it).

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Re: Sutta Support for Jhana Distinction

Post by Cittasanto »

Pondera wrote: Tue Oct 01, 2019 5:26 am I was curious where the suttas first describe jhana as either Rupa or arupa. Can anyone provide textual evidence for this distinction?

Thank you,

Pondera
Hi Ponders,
As I understand it the Rupa/arupa distinction is commentarial. There is no distinction I am aware of in the suttas.
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Re: Sutta Support for Jhana Distinction

Post by DooDoot »

retrofuturist wrote: Tue Oct 01, 2019 5:35 am "the complete transcending of perceptions of form"
The above looks like strong evidence, namely: "the complete transcending of perceptions related to form".
Pondera wrote: Tue Oct 01, 2019 5:26 amI was curious where the suttas first describe jhana as either Rupa
Also, the suttas say there is sensual pleasure & non-sensual pleasure (jhana). That being the case, what would the terms "rūparāgaṃ" ("lust for form") & "arūparāgaṃ" ("lust for formless") refer to; which are only eradicated in an Arahant? Surely "rūparāgaṃ" must refer to "lust for rupa jhana" if only an Arahant has eradicated it.
“Mendicants, there are five higher fetters. What five?

Rūparāgo, arūparāgo, māno, uddhaccaṃ, avijjā—

AN 9.70
Below, "ruparaga" is found where jhana would logically be:
“Mendicants, when the perception of impermanence is developed and cultivated it eliminates all lust for sensual pleasures, all lust for form, all lust for becoming, all ignorance and all conceit ‘I am’.

“Aniccasaññā, bhikkhave, bhāvitā bahulīkatā sabbaṃ kāmarāgaṃ pariyādiyati, sabbaṃ rūparāgaṃ pariyādiyati, sabbaṃ bhavarāgaṃ pariyādiyati, sabbaṃ avijjaṃ pariyādiyati, sabbaṃ asmimānaṃ samūhanati.

SN 22.102
Note: "Jhana" is obviously something that can be lusted after, as demonstrated by many posts on internet forums and also by AN 4.123, for example:
Again, there is the case where an individual, with the stilling of directed thoughts & evaluations, enters & remains in the second jhana: rapture & pleasure born of composure, unification of awareness free from directed thought & evaluation — internal assurance. He savors that, longs for that, finds satisfaction through that.

AN 4.123
Also, the question can be asked: "since rapture & happiness (as factors of jhana) are feelings; being feelings; they must arise in relation to some type of sense contact. Therefore, what is the sense contact they arise in relation to??" :shrug: Based on descriptions found in the suttas, rapture & happiness appear to be feelings arising from (the sense contact of) the calming of the body or rupa, as follows:
[4] He trains himself, 'I will breathe in calming bodily fabrication.' He trains himself, 'I will breathe out calming bodily fabrication.'

"[5] He trains himself, 'I will breathe in sensitive to rapture.' He trains himself, 'I will breathe out sensitive to rapture.'

[6] He trains himself, 'I will breathe in sensitive to pleasure.' He trains himself, 'I will breathe out sensitive to pleasure.

MN 118
Unflagging persistence was aroused in me, and unmuddled mindfulness established. My body was calm & unaroused, my mind concentrated & single. Quite withdrawn from sensuality, withdrawn from unskillful mental qualities, I entered & remained in the first jhana...

MN 19
:reading:
Pondera wrote: Tue Oct 01, 2019 5:26 amor arupa. Can anyone provide textual evidence for this distinction?
The suttas appear to not refer to 'arupa jhana' but, instead, arupa 'āyatana' ('sphere'). As Retro posted, MN 111 lists nine attainments and the 1st four attainments end with complete transcending of perceptions of form and then the next four attainments without form are called "dimensions/spheres" ("ayatana").
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