Jhānā

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Ceisiwr
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Jhānā

Post by Ceisiwr »

Is "Jhānā" an acceptable plural form of "Jhāna"? A member brought this up via PM, and I've read conflicting views online. Ven. Sujato says that it is, but elsewhere we have "jhānāni"? Any clarification would be welcome.
“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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Sam Vara
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Re: Jhānā

Post by Sam Vara »

Ceisiwr wrote: Thu May 06, 2021 4:15 pm Is "Jhānā" an acceptable plural form of "Jhāna"? A member brought this up via PM, and I've read conflicting views online. Ven. Sujato says that it is, but elsewhere we have "jhānāni"? Any clarification would be welcome.
It's a neuter noun, so technically the singular should be jhānam and the plural jhānāni. My guess is that the jhanas are rarely talked about in the plural in the suttas, but where they are I can only recall jhānāni, as in SN 2.11:
having entered the absorptions,
Jhānāni upasampajja,
unified, alert, and mindful.”
ekodi nipakā satā”ti.
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Ceisiwr
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Re: Jhānā

Post by Ceisiwr »

Sam Vara wrote: Thu May 06, 2021 4:34 pm
Ceisiwr wrote: Thu May 06, 2021 4:15 pm Is "Jhānā" an acceptable plural form of "Jhāna"? A member brought this up via PM, and I've read conflicting views online. Ven. Sujato says that it is, but elsewhere we have "jhānāni"? Any clarification would be welcome.
It's a neuter noun, so technically the singular should be jhānam and the plural jhānāni. My guess is that the jhanas are rarely talked about in the plural in the suttas, but where they are I can only recall jhānāni, as in SN 2.11:
having entered the absorptions,
Jhānāni upasampajja,
unified, alert, and mindful.”
ekodi nipakā satā”ti.
Thanks. So if I wanted to say in the plural I should say "this happens in the jhānāni"?
“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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Sam Vara
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Re: Jhānā

Post by Sam Vara »

Ceisiwr wrote: Thu May 06, 2021 5:01 pm
Sam Vara wrote: Thu May 06, 2021 4:34 pm
Ceisiwr wrote: Thu May 06, 2021 4:15 pm Is "Jhānā" an acceptable plural form of "Jhāna"? A member brought this up via PM, and I've read conflicting views online. Ven. Sujato says that it is, but elsewhere we have "jhānāni"? Any clarification would be welcome.
It's a neuter noun, so technically the singular should be jhānam and the plural jhānāni. My guess is that the jhanas are rarely talked about in the plural in the suttas, but where they are I can only recall jhānāni, as in SN 2.11:
having entered the absorptions,
Jhānāni upasampajja,
unified, alert, and mindful.”
ekodi nipakā satā”ti.
Thanks. So if I wanted to say in the plural I should say "this happens in the jhānāni"?
If saying it in English, I personally would just stick an "s" on the end - "in the jhanas." I don't really know what the convention is, but it sounds and looks OK that way.
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Ceisiwr
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Re: Jhānā

Post by Ceisiwr »

Sam Vara wrote: Thu May 06, 2021 5:05 pm
Ceisiwr wrote: Thu May 06, 2021 5:01 pm
Sam Vara wrote: Thu May 06, 2021 4:34 pm

It's a neuter noun, so technically the singular should be jhānam and the plural jhānāni. My guess is that the jhanas are rarely talked about in the plural in the suttas, but where they are I can only recall jhānāni, as in SN 2.11:

Thanks. So if I wanted to say in the plural I should say "this happens in the jhānāni"?
If saying it in English, I personally would just stick an "s" on the end - "in the jhanas." I don't really know what the convention is, but it sounds and looks OK that way.
I'm still in my early days of learning pali and sanskrit, so I like to make my use of the words as grammatically correct as possible when posting here. I find it is good practice.
“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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Sam Vara
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Re: Jhānā

Post by Sam Vara »

Ceisiwr wrote: Thu May 06, 2021 5:08 pm
I'm still in my early days of learning pali and sanskrit, so I like to make my use of the words as grammatically correct as possible when posting here. I find it is good practice.
Well for goodness sake don't rely on what I think until you get a second opinion! :embarassed:
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Coëmgenu
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Re: Jhānā

Post by Coëmgenu »

It looks like there are two forms.
neuterastemdeclension.JPG
My guess is the second nonstandard plural is an archaic Prakritism encountered in verse mostly. This is challenged by the appearance of the maybe-not-irregular form "jhānā" in AN 10.72, not in verse at all, talking about how sound is a thorn to the absorptions (or "trances" or "concentrations" or whichever translation we prefer). It is not translated in the plural by Ven Sujato. Maybe it is a different form yet of the term?

Saddakaṇṭakā kho pana jhānā vuttā bhagavatā.

-āni is more common by far AFAIK in Buddhist Hybrid Sanskrit. I can find only one instance of "-ā" as a plural ending, but that is because I'm not the best at searching Sanskrit documents. It is from a longish gāthā, indicating that the -ā ending was probably used for reasons related to the meter of the verse.
bodhadhinī sarvasattvānāṃ bodhyaṅgakṛtaśekharī |
dhyānā dhīrmuktisaṃpannā advayadvayabhāvinī || 16 ||
(Vasudhārānāmadhāraṇīstotra 16)
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: Jhānā

Post by Coëmgenu »

Coëmgenu wrote: Thu May 06, 2021 7:11 pmI can find only one instance of "-ā" as a plural ending, but that is because I'm not the best at searching Sanskrit documents.
I'm finding more now, but I will note that most of my positive results are stotras and gāthās. This gāthā from features both forms of the plural:
sādhu sādhu mahāprajñamahāmate nibodhase |
bhāṣiṣyāmyanupūrveṇa yattvayā paripṛcchitam || 2.61 ||
utpādamatha notpādaṁ nirvāṇaṁ śūnyalakṣaṇam |
saṁkrāntim asvabhāvatvaṁ buddhāḥ pāramitāsutāḥ || 2.62 ||
śrāvakā jinaputrāśca tīrthyā hyārūpyacāriṇaḥ |
merusamudrā hyacalā dvīpā kṣetrāṇi medinī || 2.63 ||
nakṣatrā bhāskaraḥ somastīrthyā devāsurās tathā |
vimokṣā vaśitābhijñā balā dhyānā samādhayaḥ || 2.64 ||
nirodhā ṛddhipādāśca bodhyaṅgā mārga eva ca |
dhyānāni cāpramāṇāni skandhā gatyāgatāni ca || 2.65 ||
善哉善哉問大慧善諦聽 我今當次第如汝所問説 生及與不生涅槃空刹那 
趣至無自性佛諸波羅蜜 佛子與聲聞縁覺諸外道 及與無色行如是種種事
須彌巨海山星宿及日月 外道天修羅解脱自在通 力三摩提洲渚刹土地
滅及如意足覺支及道品 諸禪定無量諸陰身往來
61. Well done! Well done! O Mahaprajna-Mahāmati! Listen well, and I will tell you in order regarding your questions. 62. Birth, no-birth, Nirvāṇa, emptiness, transmigration, having-no-sell-nature, Buddhas, sons of the Paramitas, 63. the Śrāvakas, Bodhisattvas, the philosophers, those who are capable of formless deeds, the Meru, oceans, mountains, islands, lands, the earth, 64. the stars, the sun, the moon, the gods, the Asuras, emancipations, the self-masteries, the psychic faculties, the Dhyānas, the Samādhis, 65. the extinctions, the supernatural powers, the elements of enlightenment, and the paths, Dhyānas, the unmeasurables, the aggregates (skandhas), and the comings-and-goings.
(Laṁkāvatārasūtra 2.61-5 D.T. Suzuki translation T670)
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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DooDoot
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Re: Jhānā

Post by DooDoot »

Coëmgenu wrote: Thu May 06, 2021 7:11 pm "trances"
Jhanas are not trances. Its best to avoid unnecessary, particularly Hindu, interpretations on the Pali forum. Try to stay on topic.
Coëmgenu wrote: Thu May 06, 2021 7:11 pm My guess is the second nonstandard plural is an archaic Prakritism encountered in verse mostly. This is challenged by the appearance of the maybe-not-irregular form "jhānā" in AN 10.72, not in verse at all, talking about how sound is a thorn to the absorptions (or "trances" or "concentrations" or whichever translation we prefer). It is not translated in the plural by Ven Sujato. Maybe it is a different form yet of the term?

Saddakaṇṭakā kho pana jhānā vuttā bhagavatā.
Thanissaro & Bodhi translate it as plural ("the jhanas"). Sujato's translation i would take as being plural, despite not ending with "s"; similar to the English word "cement" or "gold", which can be both singular or plural.
There is always an official executioner. If you try to take his place, It is like trying to be a master carpenter and cutting wood. If you try to cut wood like a master carpenter, you will only hurt your hand.

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Re: Jhānā

Post by Coëmgenu »

DooDoot wrote: Sat May 08, 2021 10:27 am
Coëmgenu wrote: Thu May 06, 2021 7:11 pm"trances"
Jhanas are not trances. Its best to avoid unnecessary, particularly Hindu, interpretations on the Pali forum. Try to stay on topic.
Don't be ignorant, DooDoot. "Trance" is used as a translation for jhāna by scores of Buddhists who are not Hindu. Educate yourself before posting these absurd claims. This obsession with policing language is perennial with you. Please desist doing it, especially when you've no idea what you're talking about, like when you raised a fuss over the spelling "samgha," not knowing it was Pāli.
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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DooDoot
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Re: Jhānā

Post by DooDoot »

Coëmgenu wrote: Sat May 08, 2021 6:32 pm Don't be ignorant, DooDoot. "Trance" is used as a translation for jhāna by scores of Buddhists who are not Hindu. Educate yourself before posting these absurd claims.
I am not ignorant. Jhanas are not "trances". To regard "jhana" as a "trance" is absurd.
63.... a fool who thinks himself wise is a fool indeed.

Dhammapada
There is always an official executioner. If you try to take his place, It is like trying to be a master carpenter and cutting wood. If you try to cut wood like a master carpenter, you will only hurt your hand.

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https://soundcloud.com/doodoot/anapanasati
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Re: Jhānā

Post by Coëmgenu »

I could make a list of not absurd Theravādin Venerables who favoured the translation "trance" for jhāna, but what would be the point? My interlocutor "knows" that they and/or their translation choices are absurd and that he is not ignorant here.
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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Aloka
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Re: Jhānā

Post by Aloka »

Coëmgenu wrote: Sun May 09, 2021 4:16 am I could make a list of not absurd Theravādin Venerables who favoured the translation "trance" for jhāna, but what would be the point? My interlocutor "knows" that they and/or their translation choices are absurd and that he is not ignorant here.
The point would be that you had provided evidence for your claims about those who favour the expression "trance".

Another point might be that your posts would be far more interesting if you controlled the need to make insulting remarks to DD all the time, because unfortunately it becomes predictable and boring. (no offence intended).

:anjali:
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Re: Jhānā

Post by BrokenBones »

Aloka wrote: Sun May 09, 2021 6:50 am
Coëmgenu wrote: Sun May 09, 2021 4:16 am I could make a list of not absurd Theravādin Venerables who favoured the translation "trance" for jhāna, but what would be the point? My interlocutor "knows" that they and/or their translation choices are absurd and that he is not ignorant here.
The point would be that you had provided evidence for your claims about those who favour the expression "trance".

Another point might be that your posts would be far more interesting if you controlled the need to make insulting remarks to DD all the time, because unfortunately it becomes predictable and boring. (no offence intended).

:anjali:
Were any references of 'Hindu' use of trance given? Or is it something we all 'know'... like past translations of trance by respected Venerables.

I don't know the history of Coëmgenu insulting DD... but I'm guessing it wasn't one sided 🤣

It's a bit transparent to insult someone and then put in parentheses 'no offence intended'. :hug:
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Aloka
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Re: Jhānā

Post by Aloka »

BrokenBones wrote: Sun May 09, 2021 10:09 am I don't know the history of Coëmgenu insulting DD... but I'm guessing it wasn't one sided 🤣

It's a bit transparent to insult someone and then put in parentheses 'no offence intended'. :hug:
I wasn't insulting someone, I was making an observation and no offence was intended ...but perhaps you imagine yourself to be a mind reader, Mr/Mrs/Ms Bones ? :thinking:


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