mikenz66 wrote: ↑Fri May 14, 2021 9:31 pm
Coëmgenu wrote: ↑Fri May 14, 2021 6:56 pm
As I understood Skandha, they were arguing that all of the jhānas "discovered" by the Buddha were different and unlike the jhānas practiced by other Samanas and the samana Brahmins. While this is a fine idea, it has no grounding IMO in scripture. Zom beat me to pointing out that it is an insertion of the reader to assert that the Buddha invented and/or (re)discovered a new kind of jhāna as a child and remembered it amidst austerities later in life.
Perhaps someone who thinks that the Buddha's version of jhānas is unique could explain what the practical difference is. I don't recall anything in the canon that suggests that jhāna, in itself, provides the liberating wisdom that is special to the Buddha. Of course, it's essential, but so is sila, and I don't think anyone is arguing that sila was unique to the Buddha's teaching.
Presuming that the procedure of practicing jhana is similar in different traditions, and all train to develop seclusion from sensual pleasures and unwholesome states; and the factors of jhana such as vitakka, vicara, piti, sukha, ekagatta. However the motivation and attitude of why these factors are being trained is different for the different traditions. Some general examples of these motivations and attitudes may be like so;
Advaita Vedantin - To remove sense pleasures and unwholesome states that obscure the true nature of Atman and Brahman
Alara Kalama - To remove sense pleasure and unwholesome states so that one pointedness can be maintain on the sphere of emptiness
Sramanas of extreme asceticism - To remove sense pleasures and practice self mortification as a path of liberation. It's as if they are training to have joy, rapture, one pointedness; in spite of self mortification
Buddha - seclusion from sensual pleasures and unwholesome states is achieved by understanding the Noble Truths and understanding the work is to be at the level of craving of these sensual pleasures (or aversion to unsatisfactory sense experience), not by removing the sense experience themselves.
The Buddha's jhana is the direct application and training of the 4 Noble Truths, training to be secluded from sensual pleasures and unwholesome states at the root level of suffering, craving and not at the sense objects themselves, . The Buddha's jhana is based on the application of understanding the prominent formula in the suttas, "gratification, danger and escape". At face level it seems all traditions follow the same procedure for jhana, but they are applying it at a different level from the Buddha, they are not applying it at the root level of craving. It is no wonder the seclusion of the Buddha's jhana of the 4 Noble Truths give sustainable results while other traditions are not working at the root level of craving, and are not sustainable, despite the expertise in juggling these sense objects, it comes tumbling down sooner or later. It is from this perspective that I feel is unique in the Buddha's jhana, from the perspective of no jhana without wisdom and correct motivation; and every tradition have their own motivation.
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