Are the Jhānas the Buddha learned from his teachers before enlightenment the same as the ones he taught after it?

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mikenz66
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Re: Are the Jhānas the Buddha learned from his teachers before enlightenment the same as the ones he taught after it?

Post by mikenz66 »

BrokenBones wrote: Wed May 12, 2021 11:44 pm The idea that the Buddha was just following on from others seems more unlikely.
Where did I say "just following on"? Clearly the "extra" that the Buddha added was crucial.

But if the practise of other ascetics was completely misguided, there would not be so many stories of them awakening after minimal instruction.

AN2.31 states:
“These two things play a part in realization. What two?
Serenity and discernment. (Samatho ca vipassanā ca.)

What is the benefit of developing serenity? The mind is developed. What is the benefit of developing the mind? Greed is given up.

What is the benefit of developing discernment? Wisdom is developed. What is the benefit of developing wisdom? Ignorance is given up.

The mind contaminated by greed is not free; and wisdom contaminated by ignorance does not grow. In this way, freedom of heart comes from the fading away of greed, while freedom by wisdom comes from the fading away of ignorance.”
https://suttacentral.net/an2.21-31/en/sujato#1.1
Presumably those ascetics already had well developed sila and samatha, so they did not have to go through the whole graduated training described in suttas such as MN27: https://suttacentral.net/mn27/en/sujato

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Ceisiwr
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Re: Are the Jhānas the Buddha learned from his teachers before enlightenment the same as the ones he taught after it?

Post by Ceisiwr »

BrokenBones wrote: Wed May 12, 2021 11:45 pm
Could you provide a quote?
Sure:
When he said this, Nigaṇṭha Nātaputta looked up at his assembly and said, “See, good sirs, how straightforward this householder Citta is! He’s not devious or deceitful at all. To imagine that you can stop placing the mind and keeping it connected would be like imagining that you can catch the wind in a net, or dam the Ganges river with your own hand.”
https://suttacentral.net/sn41.8/en/sujato
There are, bhikkhus, some recluses and brahmins who maintain a doctrine of Nibbāna here and now and who, on five grounds, proclaim Nibbāna here and now for an existent being. And owing to what, with reference to what, do these honourable recluses and brahmins proclaim their views?

“Herein, bhikkhus, a certain recluse or a brahmin asserts the following doctrine or view: ‘When this self, good sir, furnished and supplied with the five strands of sense pleasures, revels in them—at this point the self attains supreme Nibbāna here and now.’ In this way some proclaim supreme Nibbāna here and now for an existent being.

“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.

“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.

“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.

“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.
https://suttacentral.net/dn1/en/bodhi

As we can see the Buddha wasn’t the first to discover Jhana. He wasn’t the first to seek out Nibbana either. It seems Nibbana was already in currency as a concept, which I take to mean a still mind free from dukkha. The supreme health, as commonly understood among these ascetics of the time. What makes Jhana right or wrong is how your view and use them, in other words Right View. The same with the formless, which the Buddha learnt from his annihilationist teachers (likely the Jhanas too, in order to get into them).
“The mental and material are really here,
But here there is no human being to be found,
For it is void and merely fashioned like a doll—
Just suffering piled up like grass and sticks.”


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Re: Are the Jhānas the Buddha learned from his teachers before enlightenment the same as the ones he taught after it?

Post by SarathW »

mikenz66 wrote: Wed May 12, 2021 11:15 pm
Ceisiwr wrote: Wed May 12, 2021 10:41 pm In DN1 there are other ascetics who know and practice the 4 Jhanas (the ones at the end). There is also a sutta where Mahavira finds it hard to believe there can be Jhana without vitakka-vicara, which of course strongly implies he knows of (and so likely practiced) the 1st Jhana.
Furthermore, note that:
It’s not just Āḷāra Kālāma who has faith, ... energy, ... mindfulness, ... immersion, ... wisdom; I too have these things.
‘na kho āḷārasseva kālāmassa atthi saddhā,... vīriyaṁ... sati ... samādhi ... paññā ...
https://suttacentral.net/mn26/en/sujato
To me, the idea that everything that the Buddha did was completely different from everyone else would be very strange. Analogous to thinking that Einstein's breakthroughs 116 years ago meant that all that went before him was discarded, and his contemporaries were clueless. In fact, it seems quite the opposite. Other, well-developed seekers could quickly learn from the Buddha, because they had well developed sila, samādhi, etc, just as other scientists could immediately appreciate what Einstein had worked out.

:heart:
Mike
:goodpost:
Well before Einstien, other scientists had done a great deal of investigation into the limbs (E,m,c,2) of his famous equation E=Mc2
What we need to know here is to differentiate what Buddha's discovery was.
The way I understand his discovery was the Anicca, Dukkha, and Anatta of the five clinging-aggregates.
I think other ascetics were well aware of the Anicca, Dukkha, and anatta aspect of Rupa only.
Buddha's discovery was so unique, how many of us understand Nibbana even today?
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”
BrokenBones
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Re: Are the Jhānas the Buddha learned from his teachers before enlightenment the same as the ones he taught after it?

Post by BrokenBones »

Ceisiwr wrote: Thu May 13, 2021 7:34 am
BrokenBones wrote: Wed May 12, 2021 11:45 pm
Could you provide a quote?
Sure:
When he said this, Nigaṇṭha...
https://suttacentral.net/dn1/en/bodhi

As we can see the Buddha wasn’t the first to discover Jhana. He wasn’t the first to seek out Nibbana either. It seems Nibbana was already in currency as a concept, which I take to mean a still mind free from dukkha. The supreme health, as commonly understood among these ascetics of the time. What makes Jhana right or wrong is how your view and use them, in other words Right View. The same with the formless, which the Buddha learnt from his annihilationist teachers (likely the Jhanas too, in order to get into them).
This doesn't actually back up the claim that the 'four jhanas' were current before the Buddha... only after he'd opened the door... you can't blame the Buddha for other people misinterpreting the teaching.

If we're playing the conjecture game... doesn't it seem implausible that the Bodhisattva was ignorant of the four jhanas while he was spending his years striving... only to connect with them from a memory as a child?

Much more plausible is that his remembered experience was the catalyst for the full discovery... unheard of before.
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Re: Are the Jhānas the Buddha learned from his teachers before enlightenment the same as the ones he taught after it?

Post by BrokenBones »

mikenz66 wrote: Thu May 13, 2021 5:48 am
BrokenBones wrote: Wed May 12, 2021 11:44 pm The idea that the Buddha was just following on from others seems more unlikely.
Where did I say "just following on"? Clearly the "extra" that the Buddha added was crucial.

But if the practise of other ascetics was completely misguided, there would not be so many stories of them awakening after minimal instruction.

AN2.31 states:
“These two things play a part in realization. What two?
Serenity and discernment. (Samatho ca vipassanā ca.)

What is the benefit of developing serenity? The mind is developed. What is the benefit of developing the mind? Greed is given up.

What is the benefit of developing discernment? Wisdom is developed. What is the benefit of developing wisdom? Ignorance is given up.

The mind contaminated by greed is not free; and wisdom contaminated by ignorance does not grow. In this way, freedom of heart comes from the fading away of greed, while freedom by wisdom comes from the fading away of ignorance.”
https://suttacentral.net/an2.21-31/en/sujato#1.1
Presumably those ascetics already had well developed sila and samatha, so they did not have to go through the whole graduated training described in suttas such as MN27: https://suttacentral.net/mn27/en/sujato

:heart:
Mike
You didn't say 'following on'... but you definitely implied that others had established foundations of sila and samadhi that the Buddha 'added to'.

I don't see how your sutta references are actually relevant.
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Re: Are the Jhānas the Buddha learned from his teachers before enlightenment the same as the ones he taught after it?

Post by asahi »

:anjali:
Last edited by asahi on Thu May 13, 2021 11:55 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Are the Jhānas the Buddha learned from his teachers before enlightenment the same as the ones he taught after it?

Post by skandha »

SilaSamadhi8 wrote: Wed May 12, 2021 1:47 pm
skandha wrote: Wed May 12, 2021 9:23 am The Buddha discovered jhana by himself, he did not learn it from his teachers. He learnt the formless sphere attainments from his teachers. Although he thought the formless attainments were useful and kept it within his system. However he modified these formless attainments so that it is attained based on the 4 jhanas as a foundation. Of course jhana as a general term for meditation is used before the Buddha. For instance he practiced the apanaka jhana, breath holding meditation before his awakening, which he abandoned and left out of his training system after awakening. So when I say the Buddha discovered jhana by himself, I mean the specific jhana within the Buddhist system, within the framework of the Noble 8 fold path, and not the general term, jhana, for meditative practices.

Upon his awakening initially, he regarded his teachers as foremost among those that can understand his dhamma quickly, if only they were shown the framework of the 4 noble truths and Noble 8 Fold Path (which includes the Buddhist jhanas). No wonder he thought highly of these formless attainments.

Very concise answer thank you Skhanda.

But some doubts for me remain: if the buddha learned and practiced the Arupa Jhānas from his teacher Alara Kalama and Uddaka Rāmaputta and they don't lead to nibbāna then why did he teach them afterwards?

Also, if he invented the Rupa jhānas (given the fact he attained perfect enlightenment with 1st rupa jhāna under the bodhi tree) then why did he teach the Arupa Jhānas? And according to his own formula they can only be accessed on using the 4rth Rupa Jhāna as a basis no?

🙏
The Buddha taught these arupa samapattis probably because they are refined states that are pretty close to the cessation of nibbana. However the arupa samapattis taught by his former teachers were powered by a different engine. Many teachers during the Buddha's time probably also knew the jhana formula of "secluded from sensual pleasures, secluded from unwholesome states". These refined arupa states of these teachers are achieved more through seclusion based on technical skill, which is not sustainable. The refined arupa states of the Buddha is based on the seclusion which has a basis in the understanding of the truth of suffering (sensual pleasures and unwholesome states) and the letting go of this suffering. The Buddha's meditative states are even more imperturbable and is sustainable all the way till the complete cessation of nibbana, because it is based on letting go and not by technical skill in holding on to the formless state.
Form is like a lump of foam, Feeling like a water bubble; Perception is like a mirage, Volitions like a plantain trunk, and consciousness like an illusion
- SN 22.95
asahi
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Re: Are the Jhānas the Buddha learned from his teachers before enlightenment the same as the ones he taught after it?

Post by asahi »

Imo the jhanas the Buddha learned from other ascetics are the same as He taught to His disciples , but , i would think the samadhi quality are differents when they couple it with the 7 foe ie the n8efp .
However , it is unnecessary to practice formless jhana just to attain nibbana where
Buddha probably only taught to some of those are keen in formless jhana and are not meant for all disciples as a whole .


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Re: Are the Jhānas the Buddha learned from his teachers before enlightenment the same as the ones he taught after it?

Post by Ceisiwr »

BrokenBones wrote: Thu May 13, 2021 10:22 am
Ceisiwr wrote: Thu May 13, 2021 7:34 am
BrokenBones wrote: Wed May 12, 2021 11:45 pm
Could you provide a quote?
Sure:
When he said this, Nigaṇṭha...
https://suttacentral.net/dn1/en/bodhi

As we can see the Buddha wasn’t the first to discover Jhana. He wasn’t the first to seek out Nibbana either. It seems Nibbana was already in currency as a concept, which I take to mean a still mind free from dukkha. The supreme health, as commonly understood among these ascetics of the time. What makes Jhana right or wrong is how your view and use them, in other words Right View. The same with the formless, which the Buddha learnt from his annihilationist teachers (likely the Jhanas too, in order to get into them).
This doesn't actually back up the claim that the 'four jhanas' were current before the Buddha... only after he'd opened the door... you can't blame the Buddha for other people misinterpreting the teaching.

If we're playing the conjecture game... doesn't it seem implausible that the Bodhisattva was ignorant of the four jhanas while he was spending his years striving... only to connect with them from a memory as a child?

Much more plausible is that his remembered experience was the catalyst for the full discovery... unheard of before.
Mahavira was around a while before the Buddha. He was older. Regardless even if we accept that the Buddha never learnt Jhana from anyone else, that doesn’t mean he was the first to discover them. It only means he discovered them on his own. The evidence does however point to other ascetics practicing them. That isn’t the only thing either. As Mike has shown the 5 spiritual faculties aren’t unique to the Buddha, including mindfulness. Alara and Uddakka knew of and used those concepts. The 7 factors of awakening were also known by other ascetics. Even “Arahant” comes from the Jains. The Jains also had their own order of nuns, likely before the Buddha.
Last edited by Ceisiwr on Thu May 13, 2021 12:30 pm, edited 2 times in total.
“The mental and material are really here,
But here there is no human being to be found,
For it is void and merely fashioned like a doll—
Just suffering piled up like grass and sticks.”


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Re: Are the Jhānas the Buddha learned from his teachers before enlightenment the same as the ones he taught after it?

Post by mikenz66 »

BrokenBones wrote: Thu May 13, 2021 10:28 am You didn't say 'following on'... but you definitely implied that others had established foundations of sila and samadhi that the Buddha 'added to'.

I don't see how your sutta references are actually relevant.
The relevance it that full awakening requires two things. Samatha to free the heart from lust, etc, and wisdom to free the mind from delusion. So, yes, I don't see that that sila and samadhi as the innovative part of his teachings. How the samadhi was used, yes.
When my mind had immersed in samādhi like this—purified, bright, flawless, rid of corruptions, pliable, workable, steady, and imperturbable—I extended it toward knowledge of the ending of defilements. I truly understood: ‘This is suffering’ … ‘This is the origin of suffering’ … ‘This is the cessation of suffering’ … ‘This is the practice that leads to the cessation of suffering.’ I truly understood: ‘These are defilements’ … ‘This is the origin of defilements’ … ‘This is the cessation of defilements’ … ‘This is the practice that leads to the cessation of defilements.’
https://suttacentral.net/mn36/en/sujato#42.1
It appears that other, well-developed, ascetics were already at that point, so could awaken with a small amount of instruction.

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Re: Are the Jhānas the Buddha learned from his teachers before enlightenment the same as the ones he taught after it?

Post by Ceisiwr »

mikenz66 wrote: Thu May 13, 2021 12:14 pm
It appears that other, well-developed, ascetics were already at that point, so could awaken with a small amount of instruction.
This would help explain why some people seemed to just automatically get what the Buddha was saying and awakened on the spot. They had already developed virtue and the Jhana, they just lacked analytical insight headed by Right View. It was very probably hearing that even these lofty states are conditioned, impermanent, dukkha and not self that lead to their awakening.
“The mental and material are really here,
But here there is no human being to be found,
For it is void and merely fashioned like a doll—
Just suffering piled up like grass and sticks.”


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Re: Are the Jhānas the Buddha learned from his teachers before enlightenment the same as the ones he taught after it?

Post by Ceisiwr »

BrokenBones wrote: Thu May 13, 2021 10:28 am

You didn't say 'following on'... but you definitely implied that others had established foundations of sila and samadhi that the Buddha 'added to'.

I don't see how your sutta references are actually relevant.
It seems the Buddha perfected the annihilationist project by removing its one defect. There wasn’t ever a self there to annihilate to begin with.
“The mental and material are really here,
But here there is no human being to be found,
For it is void and merely fashioned like a doll—
Just suffering piled up like grass and sticks.”


Visuddhimagga
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Re: Are the Jhānas the Buddha learned from his teachers before enlightenment the same as the ones he taught after it?

Post by Coëmgenu »

BrokenBones wrote: Thu May 13, 2021 10:22 amIf we're playing the conjecture game... doesn't it seem implausible that the Bodhisattva was ignorant of the four jhanas while he was spending his years striving... only to connect with them from a memory as a child?
It is you who plays a conjecture game here when you say that, not your interlocutor. It would be ridiculous to suggest that the Buddha while still a bodhisattva didn't know about jhāna. Luckily, it seems that the only people who believe that are those foolish enough to think that the Buddha invented jhāna in the face of all evidence to the contrary. That level of ignorance must be in part willful on the part of those who entertain such eccentric theories.
The spotless mind,
the most highly pure, the tranquil,
all unspoiled phenomena supporting,
this name applying to the consciousness of the Tathāgata.

A bodhisattva, one of two vehicles, an ordinary person:
these are thrones which hold seeds subject to germination.
In acquiring the virtuous pure mind of a Buddha,
which is resolute suchness, the sūtra says:

The Tathāgata's spotless mind
is a pure place without outflows.
It is liberation from all bondage.
It is like a spherical mirror.
It is consciousness always in internal agreement.

(T1585.13a19 Vijñaptimātratāsiddhiśāstra)
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Re: Are the Jhānas the Buddha learned from his teachers before enlightenment the same as the ones he taught after it?

Post by Coëmgenu »

From the Aggaññasutta, the Buddha describes the degeneration of the Brahmins from jhānins to village priests:
Tesaṁyeva kho, vāseṭṭha, sattānaṁ ekacce sattā araññāyatane paṇṇakuṭīsu taṁ jhānaṁ anabhisambhuṇamānā gāmasāmantaṁ nigamasāmantaṁ osaritvā ganthe karontā acchanti
But some of those beings were unable to keep up with their meditation in the leaf huts in the wilderness. They came down to the neighborhood of a village or town where they dwelt compiling texts.
(DN 27)

We know that some Brahmins still practiced the holy life and dwelt in the jhānas because of scripture like DN 1. Potentially most of them were reciters by the Buddha's time, it seems according for instance to the above Aggaññasutta, but some still lived as samaṇas.

There is a lot more in DN 27 other than this. I'm sure someone will come say "Fake sutta written by Mahakassapa!"
The spotless mind,
the most highly pure, the tranquil,
all unspoiled phenomena supporting,
this name applying to the consciousness of the Tathāgata.

A bodhisattva, one of two vehicles, an ordinary person:
these are thrones which hold seeds subject to germination.
In acquiring the virtuous pure mind of a Buddha,
which is resolute suchness, the sūtra says:

The Tathāgata's spotless mind
is a pure place without outflows.
It is liberation from all bondage.
It is like a spherical mirror.
It is consciousness always in internal agreement.

(T1585.13a19 Vijñaptimātratāsiddhiśāstra)
SilaSamadhi8
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Re: Are the Jhānas the Buddha learned from his teachers before enlightenment the same as the ones he taught after it?

Post by SilaSamadhi8 »

Ceisiwr wrote: Thu May 13, 2021 7:34 am
BrokenBones wrote: Wed May 12, 2021 11:45 pm
Could you provide a quote?
Sure:
When he said this, Nigaṇṭha Nātaputta looked up at his assembly and said, “See, good sirs, how straightforward this householder Citta is! He’s not devious or deceitful at all. To imagine that you can stop placing the mind and keeping it connected would be like imagining that you can catch the wind in a net, or dam the Ganges river with your own hand.”
https://suttacentral.net/sn41.8/en/sujato
There are, bhikkhus, some recluses and brahmins who maintain a doctrine of Nibbāna here and now and who, on five grounds, proclaim Nibbāna here and now for an existent being. And owing to what, with reference to what, do these honourable recluses and brahmins proclaim their views?

“Herein, bhikkhus, a certain recluse or a brahmin asserts the following doctrine or view: ‘When this self, good sir, furnished and supplied with the five strands of sense pleasures, revels in them—at this point the self attains supreme Nibbāna here and now.’ In this way some proclaim supreme Nibbāna here and now for an existent being.

“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.

“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.

“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.

“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.
https://suttacentral.net/dn1/en/bodhi

As we can see the Buddha wasn’t the first to discover Jhana. He wasn’t the first to seek out Nibbana either. It seems Nibbana was already in currency as a concept, which I take to mean a still mind free from dukkha. The supreme health, as commonly understood among these ascetics of the time. What makes Jhana right or wrong is how your view and use them, in other words Right View. The same with the formless, which the Buddha learnt from his annihilationist teachers (likely the Jhanas too, in order to get into them).

Thank you Ceisiwr that pretty much answers my question in my opinion.
But, I found it strange that the Buddha only mentions he learned the dimension of nothingness from Alara and then the dimension of neither perception nor non-perception from Uddaka right after becoming an ascetic but he doesn't mention learning the Jhanas that come before them? Also, when he was under the Bodhi tree he recalled getting into the 1st Rupa Jhana when he still a child. It's either that or the Arupa Jhanas might be a completely different beast of their own like the user skandha mentions here:

The Buddha taught these arupa samapattis probably because they are refined states that are pretty close to the cessation of nibbana. However the arupa samapattis taught by his former teachers were powered by a different engine. Many teachers during the Buddha's time probably also knew the jhana formula of "secluded from sensual pleasures, secluded from unwholesome states". These refined arupa states of these teachers are achieved more through seclusion based on technical skill, which is not sustainable. The refined arupa states of the Buddha is based on the seclusion which has a basis in the understanding of the truth of suffering (sensual pleasures and unwholesome states) and the letting go of this suffering. The Buddha's meditative states are even more imperturbable and is sustainable all the way till the complete cessation of nibbana, because it is based on letting go and not by technical skill in holding on to the formless state.
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