Jhana and the early Mahayana

Textual analysis and comparative discussion on early Buddhist sects and scriptures.
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pitithefool
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Re: Jhana and the early Mahayana

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Ceisiwr wrote: Wed Mar 31, 2021 8:20 pm And just in case you think the CPD is 2nd rate:
A Critical Pāli Dictionary Online is maintained by the Data Center for the Humanities at the University of Cologne in cooperation with the Pali Text Society. The project was originally carried out by the Department of Cross-Cultural and Regional Studies (ToRS) at the University of Copenhagen. It has been set up again in 2016 by Marcello Perathoner (Cologne Center for eHumanities) • Contact: [email protected] • Data Privacy Statement (German)
AAAAAAARRRRRHGHGHGHGHGHGHGHGHGHGHGHGG!!!!!!!


:meditate:
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Re: Jhana and the early Mahayana

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Ceisiwr wrote: Wed Mar 31, 2021 8:20 pm And just in case you think the CPD is 2nd rate:
A Critical Pāli Dictionary Online is maintained by the Data Center for the Humanities at the University of Cologne in cooperation with the Pali Text Society. The project was originally carried out by the Department of Cross-Cultural and Regional Studies (ToRS) at the University of Copenhagen. It has been set up again in 2016 by Marcello Perathoner (Cologne Center for eHumanities) • Contact: [email protected] • Data Privacy Statement (German)
Regardless, the term kama pretty much always implies desire for the sense objects, and does not reer the 5 senses by themselves, for which kamaguna is generally used. Even by the CPD's reckoning,

kāma, m. [ts., cf. BHSD, SWTF, Encyclop. of Bud-
dhism VI, 1 1996 s.v.; Hôb. s.v. ai], 1. (mostly in sg.)
wish, desire, pleasure; 2. (in pl.) the objects of sensual
pleasure

Kama means the objects of sense pleasure in plural and kama in singular refers to the desire itself.

It's like saying sensuality vs. sensualities.

I stand, kamehi appears to be the ablative or instrumental. I'm not a pali wiz, but does the -ehi in this grammatical case imply plurality?
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Re: Jhana and the early Mahayana

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Ceisiwr wrote: Wed Mar 31, 2021 8:20 pm And just in case you think the CPD is 2nd rate:
A Critical Pāli Dictionary Online is maintained by the Data Center for the Humanities at the University of Cologne in cooperation with the Pali Text Society. The project was originally carried out by the Department of Cross-Cultural and Regional Studies (ToRS) at the University of Copenhagen. It has been set up again in 2016 by Marcello Perathoner (Cologne Center for eHumanities) • Contact: [email protected] • Data Privacy Statement (German)
Oh my god you're right :bow: :bow: :bow:
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Re: Jhana and the early Mahayana

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pitithefool wrote: Wed Mar 31, 2021 8:41 pm
Regardless, the term kama pretty much always implies desire for the sense objects, and does not reer the 5 senses by themselves, for which kamaguna is generally used. Even by the CPD's reckoning,

kāma, m. [ts., cf. BHSD, SWTF, Encyclop. of Buddhism VI, 1 1996 s.v.; Hôb. s.v. ai], 1. (mostly in sg.) wish, desire, pleasure; 2. (in pl.) the objects of sensual pleasure
The CPD states there that kāma means lust, but in plural form it means sensual objects. Regarding the kāmaguṇa I agree with another former member in suspecting that these are possibly a sub-section of kāmā, as teachings specifically given to monks and nuns. You never hear them being talked about with lay folk.
I stand, kamehi appears to be the ablative or instrumental. I'm not a pali wiz, but does the -ehi in this grammatical case imply plurality?
Kāmehi is plural in either the instrumental or ablative case. Now I really must leave it there for today. I'm neglecting my meditation. Good chat though. We can continue tomorrow if you wish to respond further.

:anjali:
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Kama declension.jpg
“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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Ceisiwr
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Re: Jhana and the early Mahayana

Post by Ceisiwr »

pitithefool wrote: Wed Mar 31, 2021 8:48 pm
Ceisiwr wrote: Wed Mar 31, 2021 8:20 pm And just in case you think the CPD is 2nd rate:
A Critical Pāli Dictionary Online is maintained by the Data Center for the Humanities at the University of Cologne in cooperation with the Pali Text Society. The project was originally carried out by the Department of Cross-Cultural and Regional Studies (ToRS) at the University of Copenhagen. It has been set up again in 2016 by Marcello Perathoner (Cologne Center for eHumanities) • Contact: [email protected] • Data Privacy Statement (German)
Oh my god you're right :bow: :bow: :bow:
Oh, you agree with me now? That would be welcome news.
“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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pitithefool
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Re: Jhana and the early Mahayana

Post by pitithefool »

Ceisiwr wrote: Wed Mar 31, 2021 8:50 pm
pitithefool wrote: Wed Mar 31, 2021 8:48 pm
Ceisiwr wrote: Wed Mar 31, 2021 8:20 pm And just in case you think the CPD is 2nd rate:

Oh my god you're right :bow: :bow: :bow:
Oh, you agree with me now? That would be welcome news.
I'm not entirely convinced but I'm open to the idea that vivicceva kamehi carries both meanings.
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Ceisiwr
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Re: Jhana and the early Mahayana

Post by Ceisiwr »

pitithefool wrote: Wed Mar 31, 2021 8:53 pm
Ceisiwr wrote: Wed Mar 31, 2021 8:50 pm
pitithefool wrote: Wed Mar 31, 2021 8:48 pm

Oh my god you're right :bow: :bow: :bow:
Oh, you agree with me now? That would be welcome news.
I'm not entirely convinced but I'm open to the idea that vivicceva kamehi carries both meanings.
Well that is something. You could also try the "hard" jhānā anyway. They would obviously be useful. Just don't get stuck on them ;). Now I really must dash. The fire kasiṇa awaits.

:anjali:
“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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pitithefool
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Re: Jhana and the early Mahayana

Post by pitithefool »

Ceisiwr wrote: Wed Mar 31, 2021 8:55 pm
pitithefool wrote: Wed Mar 31, 2021 8:53 pm
Ceisiwr wrote: Wed Mar 31, 2021 8:50 pm

Oh, you agree with me now? That would be welcome news.
I'm not entirely convinced but I'm open to the idea that vivicceva kamehi carries both meanings.
Well that is something. You could also try the "hard" jhānā anyway. They would obviously be useful. Just don't get stuck on them ;). Now I really must dash. The fire kasiṇa awaits.

:anjali:
I'm trying to hash out as clearly as possible a conceptual definition. A jhana is a jhana is a jhana, I still think "hearing sounds" etc. is capable in all jhanas but "hearing sounds" is not the same as contact, and now I'm thinking nor is the sense base itself to be confused with the perceptions surrounding it.

By practicing jhana, we are still manipulating feeling, perception, vitakka-vicara and anapana as they condition contact, feeling, etc.

This talk is not over ;)
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Re: Jhana and the early Mahayana

Post by Ratnakar »

Ceisiwr wrote: Wed Mar 31, 2021 7:49 pm
Ratnakar wrote: Wed Mar 31, 2021 2:22 am
If indeed that's the case buddha would say the meditator emerge from second jhana and enter first jhana but buddha didn't say such a thing

And You clearly neglect the bold and very explicit statement of the buddha
I'm neglecting nothing. What is the sutta saying? Let's take a look:

Furthermore, take a mendicant who, as the placing of the mind and keeping it connected are stilled, enters and remains in the second absorption.

A mendicant. A mendicant. One who is practicing for jhāna. A monk, or a nun, or a layperson, or an ascetic. As the placing of the mind and keeping it connected are stilled. Vitakka-vicāra are stilled, ceased, not arisen, not active. Enters and remains in the second absorption. With the stilling of vitakka-vicāra, their cessation, their non-arising, non-activity, there is the 2nd jhāna. The nimitta of the 2nd jhāna is the absence of vitakka-vicāra whilst the other jhāna factors remain. While a mendicant is in such a meditation. The mendicant is in the 2nd jhāna. Should perceptions and attentions accompanied by placing of the mind and keeping it connected beset them, that’s an affliction for them. Whilst in the 2nd jhāna should vitakka-vicāra come into existence, arise, become active this is an affliction, a dart, a thorn to the attainment. Suppose a happy person were to experience pain; that would be an affliction for them. In the same way, should perceptions and attentions accompanied by placing of the mind and keeping it connected beset them, that’s an affliction for them". If when experiencing happiness pain arises that is an affliction, a dart, a thorn to the happiness. When pain arises happiness is no longer present. Pain is a thorn to happiness, as it is the opposite to happiness. When pain is, happiness is not. Here the Buddha teaches via a simile, for just like how pain removes the state of happiness so does the arising of vitakka-vicāra remove the state of the 2nd jhāna.
I think you can be right here But the buddha didn't explicitly say they fall to lower jhana, on the contrary to your argument buddha even said he went to higher 3rd jhana just to avoid vitakka completely
An9.41
I was entering and remaining in the second absorption. While I was in that meditation, perceptions and attentions accompanied by placing the mind beset me, and that was an affliction for me. Suppose a happy person were to experience pain; that would be an affliction for them. In the same way, when perceptions and attentions accompanied by placing the mind and keeping it connected beset me, that was an affliction for me.

Then I thought, ‘Why don’t I, with the fading away of rapture, enter and remain in the third absorption
If buddha follow your argument he will say "why don't I purify the second jhana or why don't i go back to second jhana ?"

Buddha explicitly said he fall to first jhana from the second jhana in dn16, he would do the same if he really means that
Dn16
Then the Buddha emerged from the cessation of perception and feeling and entered the dimension of neither perception nor non-perception. Emerging from that, he successively entered into and emerged from the dimension of nothingness, the dimension of infinite consciousness, the dimension of infinite space, the fourth absorption, the third absorption, the second absorption, and the first absorption
.

Remember that buddha said not once but twice that he was still in that second jhana
1.I was entering and remaining in the second absorption
2.While I was in that meditation
So I don't think even if buddha said thrice or ten times stressing only that you would listen sir but I hope I am wrong


The same argument for sound. Should sound arise then one is not in the 1st jhāna. The implication of this is that whilst in jhāna one does not experience the 5 senses, only the 6th with an image (rūpa) as object.
Staying in the neighborhood of women doesn't make you fall from celibacy does it?
So sound too won't make you fall from the first jhana
Buddha advice us to avoid staying in the neighborhood of women because it thorn us regarding preserving our celibacy especially mental celibacy in the same way we need to avoid sound because it thorns us

If really in first jhana there is no sound at all I don't think sound will even be a concern let alone a thorn

You still avoid my question whether sound is thorn in jhana or outside of jhana




I contradict the Vibhaṅga, which your English translation is based on. If we look at the Pāli we see the following:
I never quoted vibhanga so you don't contradict vibhanga sir, you contradict the buddha you contradict the sutta, but of course you are free to believe whatever you want to believe sir

Mn13
Ko ca, bhikkhave, kāmānaṁ assādo?
And what, Bhikkhus, is the enjoyment of kāmānaṁ?
Pañcime, bhikkhave, kāmaguṇā.
There are five strings of lust.

Katame pañca?
What five?

Cakkhuviññeyyā rūpā iṭṭhā kantā manāpā piyarūpā kāmūpasaṁhitā rajanīyā,
Sights known by the eye that are likable, desirable, agreeable, pleasant, sensual, and arousing.

sotaviññeyyā saddā …pe…
Sounds known by the ear …

ghānaviññeyyā gandhā …
Smells known by the nose …

jivhāviññeyyā rasā …
Tastes known by the tongue …

kāyaviññeyyā phoṭṭhabbā iṭṭhā kantā manāpā piyarūpā kāmūpasaṁhitā rajanīyā—
Touches known by the body that are likable, desirable, agreeable, pleasant, sensual, and arousing.

ime kho, bhikkhave, pañca kāmaguṇā.
These are the five kinds of strings of lust.

Yaṁ kho, bhikkhave, ime pañca kāmaguṇe paṭicca uppajjati sukhaṁ somanassaṁ—ayaṁ kāmānaṁ assādo.
The pleasure and happiness that arise from these five strings of lust: this is the enjoyment of kāmāguna.
Buddha said the pleasure and happiness that arise not the sense objects itself so in first jhana the pleasure and happiness regarding desirable sense objects won't arise, instead of happiness it's equanimity that arise from those 5 objects in first jhana
Mn137
And in this context what are the six kinds of lay equanimity? When seeing a sight with the eye, equanimity arises for the uneducated ordinary person—a foolish ordinary person who has not overcome their limitations and the results of deeds, and is blind to the drawbacks. Such equanimity does not transcend the sight.
Pleasure and happiness is a mental thing it's not physical thing, here happiness and pleasure is a feeling that arise due to body contact

Feeling is one of four part of namakaya together with perception, intention and consciousness they form mental body/mental aggregates

You should differentiate between 5 body contacts and 5 feeling born body contacts
Dn13
In the same way, the five kinds of sensual stimulation are called ‘chains’ and ‘fetters’ in the training of the Noble One. What five? Sights known by the eye that are likable, desirable, agreeable, pleasant, sensual, and arousing. Sounds known by the ear … Smells known by the nose … Tastes known by the tongue … Touches known by the body that are likable, desirable, agreeable, pleasant, sensual, and arousing.

These are the five kinds of sensual stimulation that are called ‘chains’ and ‘fetters’ in the training of the Noble One. The brahmins proficient in the three Vedas enjoy these five kinds of sensual stimulation tied, infatuated, attached, blind to the drawbacks, and not understanding the escape. long as they enjoy them it’s impossible that they will, when the body breaks up, after death, be reborn in the company of Brahmā.
Notice that buddha said 5 feeling born contacts is a fetter in his teaching if really buddha follow your argument that sense objects are fetters then non blind and deaf people cant even follow the teaching let alone become stream enterer

It's only through these 5 feeling borns contacts that craving arise so either you discard the feeling or discard the craving

And here the buddha said the gratification of sensual pleasure
Mn13
And what is the gratification of sensual pleasures? There are these five kinds of sensual stimulation. What five? Sights known by the eye that are likable, desirable, agreeable, pleasant, sensual, and arousing. Sounds known by the ear … Smells known by the nose … Tastes known by the tongue … Touches known by the body that are likable, desirable, agreeable, pleasant, sensual, and arousing. These are the five kinds of sensual stimulation. The pleasure and happiness that arise from these five kinds of sensual stimulation: this is the gratification of sensual pleasures.
You would think that avoiding the gratification of sensual pleasure is the seclusion or escape of sensual pleasure

But
Mn13
And what is the escape from sensual pleasures? Removing and giving up desire and greed for sensual pleasures: this is the escape from sensual pleasures
So not only buddha said you don't need to avoid sense objects you don't need to avoid feeling born contacts/sense objects too

Here the buddha said that indeed feeling born body contacts can arise
Mn38
When they see a sight with their eyes, if it’s pleasant they don’t desire it, and if it’s unpleasant they don’t dislike it. They live with mindfulness of the body established and a limitless heart. And they truly understand the freedom of heart and freedom by wisdom where those arisen bad, unskillful qualities cease without anything left over.
It's interesting that buddha said quite secluded from sensual pleasure instead of completely secluded from sensual pleasures

What are those unskillful qualities again ?
And is sight part of unskillful qualities ?
Mn38
If the faculty of sight were left unrestrained, bad unskillful qualities of desire and aversion would become overwhelming
Notice that buddha directly explicitly refer to desire and aversion not the sight itself as unskillful qualities and in first jhana you are quite secluded from desire and aversion


In conjunction when we look at suttas like SN 35.13 we can see that the kāmā are merely sights, sounds, tastes etc. So, you can see, based on the suttas it is emphatically denied that "kāmā" are "sensual pleasures", and so the standard pericope for entering the 1st jhāna would read as:

It's quite secluded from sensual pleasures you can refer to your own quote
Yaṁ kho, bhikkhave, ime pañca kāmaguṇe paṭicca uppajjati sukhaṁ somanassaṁ—ayaṁ kāmānaṁ assādo.[/i][/b]
The pleasure and happiness that arise from these five strings of lust: this is the (enjoyment of kāmāguna)/sensual pleasures
In other words the 1st jhāna is a state temporarily free from the 5 senses, which is why sound is a thorn to it and why saññāmanasikārā can knock you out of it.
Here I quote it again
Mn38
If the faculty of sight were left unrestrained, bad unskillful qualities of desire and aversion would become overwhelming
So what kind of desires that is considered as unskillful qualities ?
An 6.73
Mendicants, without giving up these six qualities you can’t enter and remain in the first absorption. What six? Desire for sensual pleasures, ill will, dullness and drowsiness, restlessness and remorse, and doubt. And the drawbacks of sensual pleasures haven’t been truly seen clearly with right wisdom. Without giving up these six qualities you can’t enter and remain in the first absorption
.

So sensual desires is what buddha considered as unskillful qualities

This is also why whilst in jhāna Māra is temporarilly blinded:
Mara is desire sir
Sn 23.35
Rādha, you should give up any desire, any greed, any desire and greed for whatever is Māra




Take a mendicant who, quite secluded from sensual pleasures, secluded from unskillful qualities, enters and remains in the first absorption, which has the rapture and bliss born of seclusion, while placing the mind and keeping it connected.

This is called a mendicant who, having gone to the end of the world, meditates at the end of the world.
They are at the end of the world, as they have temporarily left behind the 5 senses:
Yes only when you gives up the desire for the world you go tothe end of the world
Mn38
Giving up desire for the world, they meditate with a heart rid of desire, cleansing the mind of desire. Giving up ill will and malevolence, they meditate with a mind rid of ill will, full of compassion for all living beings, cleansing the mind of ill will. Giving up dullness and drowsiness, they meditate with a mind rid of dullness and drowsiness, perceiving light, mindful and aware, cleansing the mind of dullness and drowsiness. Giving up restlessness and remorse, they meditate without restlessness, their mind peaceful inside, cleansing the mind of restlessness and remorse. Giving up doubt, they meditate having gone beyond doubt, not undecided about skillful qualities, cleansing the mind of doubt.

They give up these five hindrances, corruptions of the heart that weaken wisdom. Then, quite secluded from sensual pleasures, secluded from unskillful qualities, they enter and remain in the first absorption
Sn35.116
Mendicants, I say it’s not possible to know or see or reach the end of the world by traveling. But I also say there’s no making an end of suffering without reaching the end of the world.
Yes only in the end of the world you don't suffer

So how to go to the end of the world ?
Is really cessation of sight or cessation of eye the end of the world ?
Sn35.232
If the eye were the fetter of sights, or if sights were the fetter of the eye, this living of the spiritual life for the complete ending of suffering would not be found. However, since this is not the case, but the fetter there is the desire and greed that arises from the pair of them, this living of the spiritual life for the complete ending of suffering is found
Buddha even refuted the idea that sight or eye can be a fetter or thorn here so you go to the end of the world through cessation of desire

,Here the buddha argue with people who say only when you don't hear sound or sense objects you have developed your faculties saying if that's is the case then blind and deaf people have a developed faculties


Mn152
Uttara, does Pārāsariya teach his disciples the development of the faculties?”

“He does, Master Gotama.”

“But how does he teach it?”

“Master Gotama, it’s when the eye sees no sight and the ear hears no sound. That’s how Pārāsariya teaches his disciples the development of the faculties.”

“In that case, Uttara, a blind person and a deaf person will have developed faculties according to what Pārāsariya says. For a blind person sees no sight with the eye and a deaf person hears no sound with the ear.” When he said this, Uttara sat silent, embarrassed, shoulders drooping, downcast, depressed, with nothing to say.

Knowing this, the Buddha addressed Venerable Ānanda, “Ānanda, the development of the faculties taught by Pārāsariya is quite different from the supreme development of the faculties in the training of the Noble One.”

“Now is the time, Blessed One! Now is the time, Holy One. Let the Buddha teach the supreme development of the faculties in the training of the Noble One. The mendicants will listen and remember it.”

“Well then, Ānanda, listen and pay close attention, I will speak.”

“Yes, sir,” Ānanda replied. The Buddha said this:

“And how, Ānanda, is there the supreme development of the faculties in the training of the Noble One? When a mendicant sees a sight with their eyes, liking, disliking, and both liking and disliking come up in them. They understand: ‘Liking, disliking, and both liking and disliking have come up in me. That’s conditioned, coarse, and dependently originated. But this is peaceful and sublime, namely equanimity.’ Then the liking, disliking, and both liking and disliking that came up in them cease, and equanimity becomes stabilized. It’s like how a person with good sight might open their eyes then shut them; or might shut their eyes then open them. Such is the speed, the swiftness, the ease with which any liking, disliking, and both liking and disliking at all that came up in them cease, and equanimity becomes stabilized. In the training of the Noble One this is called the supreme development of the faculties regarding sights known by the eye.
So what's the relationship between sense objects and a developed faculties ?
There is no relationship at all ,the only relationship that exists is with a developed faculties and desires
Mn38
If the faculty of sight were left unrestrained, bad unskillful qualities of desire and aversion would become overwhelming
Notice that the buddha didn't say you don't see, you see but you abandon it/the sight you neglect it/sight you don't focus on it that's how you protect and develop your eye faculty and protecting faculties + giving up 5 hindrances is precursor to first jhana
An3.16
And how does a mendicant guard the sense doors? When a mendicant sees a sight with their eyes, they don’t get caught up in the features and details. If the faculty of sight were left unrestrained, bad unskillful qualities of desire and aversion would become overwhelming. For this reason, they practice restraint, protecting the faculty of sight, and achieving its restraint
.


Mn75
These sentient beings who are not free from sensual pleasures—being consumed by craving for sensual pleasures, burning with passion for sensual pleasures—have impaired sense faculties. So even though sensual pleasures are actually painful to touch, they have a distorted perception that they are pleasant.
Here the buddha said that free/secluded from sensual pleasures is free from craving for sensual pleasures and those who are not free have not developed and protected their faculties


Now, perhaps you could furnish us as to why you think your Abhidhamma definition of "secluded from sensual pleasures" is more preferable, and how you square a non-absorbed jhāna with the above suttas?
If I am not mistaken in late abhidhamma and visuddhimagga you are completely off from 5 senses in first jhana so abhidhamma should support your cause here not me
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Ceisiwr
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Re: Jhana and the early Mahayana

Post by Ceisiwr »

pitithefool wrote: Wed Mar 31, 2021 9:08 pm
By practicing jhana, we are still manipulating feeling, perception, vitakka-vicara and anapana as they condition contact, feeling, etc.
I wouldn’t think in terms of “conditioning” since this implies causality, which the Buddha refused to engage with based on his epistemological outlook (DN1 being a prime example of this). This is, perhaps, playing into your views on the jhānā. That said I’m potentially going off topic here.
“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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Assaji
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Re: Jhana and the early Mahayana

Post by Assaji »

Ceisiwr wrote: Wed Mar 31, 2021 8:50 pm
pitithefool wrote: Wed Mar 31, 2021 8:41 pm
Regardless, the term kama pretty much always implies desire for the sense objects, and does not reer the 5 senses by themselves, for which kamaguna is generally used. Even by the CPD's reckoning,

kāma, m. [ts., cf. BHSD, SWTF, Encyclop. of Buddhism VI, 1 1996 s.v.; Hôb. s.v. ai], 1. (mostly in sg.) wish, desire, pleasure; 2. (in pl.) the objects of sensual pleasure
The CPD states there that kāma means lust, but in plural form it means sensual objects.
Not at all. CPD here states that the second meaning applies to the plural form.
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Re: Jhana and the early Mahayana

Post by Assaji »

Perhaps the earliest explanation of jhāna formula is given in Petakopadesa (here translated by Ven. Nanamoli):

4 Meditations—Word-Commentary
1st Meditation

576. Herein, for the fulfilling of non-greed he thinks renunciation-thinking. Herein, for the fulfilling of non-hate he thinks non-ill-will-thinking. Herein, for the fulfilling of non-delusion he thinks non-cruelty-thinking.

577. Herein, for the fulfilling of non-greed he is < secluded from sensual desires> (§ 550). Herein, for the fulfilling of non-hate and for the fulfilling of non-delusion he is < secluded from unprofitable ideas > (§ 550). [142] And so < he enters upon and abides in the first meditation, which is accompanied by thinking and exploring, with happiness and pleasure born of seclusion> (§ 550).

578. " Thinking " there are three kinds of thinking, namely renunciation-thinking, non-ill-will-thinking, and non-cruelty-thinking (D. iii, 215).

579. Herein, " thinking " is the first instance while "exploring " is the exploration of what is got thus.

580. Just as, when a man sees a man coming in the distance he does not yet know whether it is a woman or a man ; but when he has got [the perception] that " it is a woman " or that " it is a man " or that " it is one of such colour (caste) " or that " it is one of such shape (figure) ", then when he is thinking [this] he further scrutinizes [as follows] "How then, is he virtuous or unvirtuous, rich or poor ? ", such is exploring. In thinking he fixes, in exploring he wanders about [his fixed object] and turns [it] over.

581. And just as a winged bird first accumulates [speed] and afterwards no more accumulates [speed, when gliding], so too, thinking is like the accumulation [of speed], and like the out-stretchedness of the [gliding bird's] wings is exploring, [which] keeps preserving the thinkings and keeps preserving the explorings.

582. [Such] thinking is the opposite of perception of sensual desires ; [such] exploring is the opposite of perception of ill will and of perception of cruelty. The action of [such] kinds of thinking is non-attention to the unprofitable. The action of [such] kinds of exploring is the restraining of the " forerunners ".

583. Thinking is like a text-reciter who does his recital silently : exploring is like his simply contemplating it. Thinking is like non-diagnosis ; exploring is like diagnosis. Thinking is the Discrimination of Language (§ 104) and the Discrimination of Perspicuity (§ 106) ; exploring is the Discrimination of Ideas (§ 103) and the Discrimination of Meanings (§ 105). Thinking is cognizance's skill in health ; exploring is cognizance's skill in directive-guidance. [143] Thinking is about this being profitable, this unprofitable, about this to be kept in being, this to be abandoned, this to be verified ; exploring is like the abandoning, the keeping in being, the verifying.

584. The twofold, bodily and mental, pain does not arise (cf. § 588) in one steadied in these types of (a) thinking and (b) exploring, and the twofold pleasure, bodily and mental, does arise. The mental pleasure thus sprung from thinking is (c) happiness, while (d) the bodily pleasure is bodily feeling. The (e) unification here is concentration (see § 564). That is how the first meditation has abandoned five factors and possesses five factors (§§ 552, 564).

[center][2nd Meditation][/center]
585. With constant cultivation of this same thinking and exploring his mentality becomes inclined thereto. Then the thinking and exploring seem gross to him, and the renunciation-born pleasure-of-happiness also is gross, and so concentration-born (c) happiness and (d) delight are born instead.

586. His heart [which in the first meditation] had exploring's object becomes (f) confident (clarified) in itself with the pacification of these [namely thinking and exploring]. The two ideas, namely thinking and exploring, need no longer be recollected, and what now can be served is the presently arisen singleness due to their quieting, which singleness is (e) unification. It is through that singleness that the (c) happiness comes to fulfilment. The happiness is the [mental] joy faculty, while the (d) pleasure is the [bodily] pleasure faculty, the unification of cognizance is concentration. So that second meditation possesses four factors (§ 565).

[center][3rd Meditation][/center]
587. < With the fading ... of happiness, he ... > (§ 550) has abandoned what is comprised by wetness. But joy-cognizance still arises there, and when he investigates that, he attends with only [conasсent] onlooking-equanimity < With the fadin of happiness he abides in onlooking-equanimity > (§ 550) ; and as he [still] feels with the body the (d) pleasure induced by the happiness he abides aware, by means of which (g) mindfulness and (h) awareness the (i) onlooking-equanimity comes to fulfilment. [And the (e) unification of cognizance is concentrations. So] that third meditation possesses five factors (§ 566).

[center][4th Meditation][/center]
588. [144] Likewise < with the abandoning of bodily pleasure> (§ 550) in the first meditation the grief faculty ceases, and in the second meditation the pain faculty ceases (cf. § 584), so < with the abandoning of pleasure and pain, and with the previous disappearance of joy and grief, he enters upon and abides in the fourth meditation, which has neither-pain-nor-pleasure, and the purity of whose mindfulness is due to onlooking-equanimity > (§ 550). Herein, the onlooking-equanimity was as yet unclarified owing to the [presence of the] four faculties, namely the pain faculty, grief faculty, pleasure faculty, and joy faculty. With the cessation of these there is onlooking-equanimity and awareness. Herein, it was owing to the pleasure faculty and the joy faculty that there was unmindfulness, and with their cessation he becomes possessed of mindfulness ; and it is owing to the pain faculty and the grief faculty that there was unawareness, and with their cessation he becomes aware. So with the clarification due to (i) onlooking-equanimity, [which is accompanied by (k) neither-painful-nor-pleasant feeling,] he becomes (j) mindful and aware, and there is (e) unification of cognizance (cf. § 567). This is called the fourth meditation.
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Coëmgenu
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Re: Jhana and the early Mahayana

Post by Coëmgenu »

pitithefool wrote: Wed Mar 31, 2021 8:41 pmRegardless, the term kama pretty much always implies desire for the sense objects, and does not reer the 5 senses by themselves, for which kamaguna is generally used. Even by the CPD's reckoning,

kāma, m. [ts., cf. BHSD, SWTF, Encyclop. of Buddhism VI, 1 1996 s.v.; Hôb. s.v. ai], 1. (mostly in sg.) wish, desire, pleasure; 2. (in pl.) the objects of sensual pleasure
This is how the Northern tradition of Buddhism understood seclusion and turning away from kāmā.

https://www.wisdomlib.org/buddhism/book ... 25396.html

The entire thing is:

1) rejecting colours
2) rejecting sounds
3) rejecting smells
4) rejecting tastes
5) rejecing touchables

Each of these is interpreted in such a way:
How to reject colors, taken here in the sense of female beauty? By considering the damage done by color. When a man is attached to colors, the fire of the fetters burns him completely and consumes his body, like a fire that consumes gold and silver. Boiling broth, hot honey, have color and taste, but they burn the body and take the roof off your mouth; one must hurry to reject them: it is the same for attachment to beautiful colors and exquisite tastes.

Furthermore, the fact of loving or detesting depends on the person; color in itself is indeterminate. How do we know that? When we see a man at a distance whom we like, we have feelings of joy and affection; when we see at a distance an enemy or adversary, we have feelings of anger and hostility; when we see a a man who is indifferent to us, we have neither anger nor joy. If we want to expel this joy or this anger, it is necessary to reject bad feelings and colors, abandon them together at the same time. When molten gold burns your body and you want to get rid of it, it is not possible just to want to avoid the fire while keeping the gold; you must avoid both the gold and the fire. Thus King Bimbisāra, for the beauty of a woman, entered an enemy kingdom and stayed alone in the chamber of the Courtesan Āmrapālī. Out of attachment to female beauty, King Udayana cut off the hands and feet of five hundred ṛṣis. For all these reasons, desire for colors (rūpakāmaguṇa) is condemned.
The quote is from the link above. As we see, having a sense shutdown experience of vision, smell, etc., is not how the Northern Tradition interpreted withdrawing from kāmā. This is systematic for all of the steps as they are given in that treatise.

After fascination and desire for the five kāmā has been left behind, the dhyanin-to-be removes the five obstacles with weak non-dhyanic instantiations of the five dhyanic factors.

1) envy is removed via ekāgratā ,
2) malevolence via prīti,
3) torpour via vitarka,
4) restlessness via sukha,
and 5) doubt via vicāra, unless I've messed up my copy-paste there.

The treatise quotes a gatha from a dhyanasutra for the section on "removing malevolence," and I think it's a particularly good one:
You must think and reflect
On the obscene and vicious character of conception,
On the dark suffering of the stay in the womb,
On the hardships that accompany birth.

Thinking about all that, the person
Who does not pacify his wrath toward people
Would, by all rights, be considered
An unaware individual.

If the retribution for wrongs did not exist
And if they were free of all blame,
People would still have plenty to complain about.
How much more so if they are struck by painful punishment?

By considering old age, sickness and death
Which nobody can avoid,
It is necessary to feel loving-kindness and pity.
Why should you still afflict them with your hatred?

People who hate, rob and strike one another
Undergo the poison of suffering.
Why would an honest man
Further add to their torment?

One must always practice loving kindness and compassion,
Cultivate the good in a concentrated mind,
Not nourish bad feelings,
Not torment anyone.

If one cultivates the Path of Dharma diligently
One will commit no harm.
Good and evil are two opposing forces
That meet face to face like water and fire.

When wickedness covers the mind
One does not distinguish the beautiful from the ugly,
One does not separate good deeds from offences,
One no longer fears the bad destinies.

One does not take into account the sufferings of others,
One does not clean up physical or mental fatigue.
The suffering that one has at first suffered oneself,
One then extends that suffering to others.

The person who wants to destroy wickedness
Should meditate on thoughts of loving-kindness.
Alone, sheltered in retreat,
Stopping all activity, he destroys all the causes and conditions.

One should fear old age, sickness and death,
Exclude the nine kinds of anger.
By meditating thus on loving-kindness
One will attain the destruction of the poison of anger.
The section on "removing doubt" also quotes a gatha at length:
The person at the crossroads
Who hesitates goes nowhere.
It is the same for doubt
About the true aspect of the dharmas.

As a result of doubt, one does not diligently seek
The true aspect of the dharmas.
Doubt is the outcome of ignorance;
It is the worst of all the evils.

In regard to good and bad dharmas,
Saṃsāra and nirvāṇa,
Tathatā and dharmatā,
One should not conceive any doubt.

If you conceive doubts,
The king of death and his jailers will enchain you;
Like the gazelle taken by the lion,
You will find no way to escape.

Although here below there may always be doubts,
It is important to follow the Holy Dharma.
The person who comes across a fork in the road
Should always take the high path.
I've edited some translation choices in this last one. "True aspect" used to be "true nature," because Ven Migme Chodron it seems might be unfamiliar with what I know to be the pan-sectarian practice of rendering 諸法實相 in this way.

As said before, the ideas of the dhyanas are not identical to Theravada because some of the dhyanas are "lighter," not involving a shutdown of the senses until the fourth dhyana when awareness of the body itself, which is a subset of kayavijnana, is gone. This is the interpretation of "in and out breathing ends." Awareness of having a body at all ends. This is also how "turning away from form" is interpreted -- experience of the rupakaya ends and there is only the namakaya in the formless. Before that, there is a dismissal and non-comprehension of objects of the senses. In the first dhyana, smell and taste are gone and sight, hearing, and tactile sensation are there. In the second dhyana, sight and hearing drop out. In the third dhyana, there is only the neutral feeling of the internal feedback of the tactile sensation of having a body, and this is understood as "experiencing bliss throughout the (physical) body," the reading of "sukham . . . kayena sampravedayate" dominant in some sects of the Northern Tradition. There is no external feedback from external rupa dharmas during the experience of what the Dharmaguptakas call "the body of bliss" of the third dhyana, because the dhyana itself is interpreted as causing the bodily sensation internally. The physical body becomes filled with the sensation of bliss. At the fourth dhyana, the experience of having a body at all is dropped and you can no longer feel yourself breathe. The formless absorptions are essentially AFAIK the same as in Theravada.

Substantiating the above will probably take the rest of the time I have on the Internet today, but all of these points I am planning on contextualizing and citing.
Last edited by Coëmgenu on Thu Apr 01, 2021 1:05 pm, edited 8 times in total.
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)
sphairos
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Re: Jhana and the early Mahayana

Post by sphairos »

Ceisiwr wrote: Tue Mar 30, 2021 6:15 pm
sphairos wrote: Tue Mar 30, 2021 12:07 pm
It is suspicious that it is found only in one small AN sutta.
It is hardly suspicious. It matches what other suttas say regarding the jhānā being states divorced from the 5 senses. It also has a perfect parallel.
No, it is.
...this brings up the related question of whether one who has entered the second absorption and thus a noble type of silence, as
mentioned above, will still be able to hear sound.
59 This question that raised discussions among practitioners and scholars
already during the period of Buddhist exegetical activity
.60
p. 137
A discourse in the Saṃyukta-āgama states that, even though
the senses and their objects are present and one is perceptive
during the attainment of the first absorption, the objects of these
senses will not be experienced (in the ordinary way).
80 Although
this discourse does not have a Pāli parallel, properly speaking,81
a related position is taken in a discourse in the Aṅguttara-nikāya,
which has a parallel preserved as a Sanskrit fragment.
pp. 144-145

ven. Anālayo doesn't seem to doubt that some perception of the sound is present in the first jhāna:
In what follows my discussion of the possibility of “hearing sound”
concerns the mental processing of sound waves created externally
in such a way that these are understood for what they are. The
question at stake is thus whether a mind immersed in the second
absorption can at the same time, while remaining in the absorption
attainment, be conscious of a particular sound.
p. 137

https://www.buddhismuskunde.uni-hamburg ... o/ebms.pdf

From my own experience (if what I experience is proper jhānas) in the first jhāna you can still sometimes barely hear something, although that something is extremely distant and quiet. No doubt you can reach (in higher jhānas) such ekaggatā where nothing is registered by "ear-consciousness" at all...

I think we should not cling obstinately to one of those opinions ("this only is the truth, all else is ignorance!", idameva saccaṃ moghamaññan'”ti), but rather practice the flexibility of mind which is praised in many suttas in this question...
There is a tradition of recognising an insight only path to awakening. However, with this sutta notice that only the jhāna masters know nibbāna:
So you should train like this: ‘As mendicants who practice discernment of principles, we will praise mendicants who practice absorption meditation.’ That’s how you should train. Why is that? Because it’s incredibly rare to find individuals in the world who have direct meditative experience of the deathless element.

So you should train like this: ‘As mendicants who practice absorption meditation, we will praise mendicants who practice discernment of principles.’ That’s how you should train. Why is that? Because it’s incredibly rare to find individuals in the world who see the meaning of a deep saying with penetrating wisdom.”
But Wynne et al. argue that in gambhīraṁ atthapadaṁ paññāya ativijjha ("who see the meaning of a deep saying with penetrating wisdom") atthapadaṁ is also a synonym of nibbāna, likewise amataṁ dhātuṁ...
But apart from this, the term only occurs
in the definition of the Dhamma devotees at AN 6.46, and in one other Sutta,
AN 4.192, which mentions the wise bhikkhu who expounds the atthapadaṃ
which is ‘calm, supreme, beyond the scope of logic, subtle, to be known by
the wise’.12 There can be little doubt that atthapadaṃ, here, is a synonym
for Nirvana, and means something like ‘spiritual purpose’. In this sense
atthapadaṃ seems more or less equivalent to amatapadaṃ (Dhp 21); in both
compounds, the term pada seems to indicate the metaphorical ‘place’ of
liberation. As the only other prose occurrence of atthapadaṃ is found in AN
6.46, it is likely that it too uses the term as a designation of Nirvana.
p. 83

A. Wynne.

Text-critical History is not Exegesis
A Response to Anālayo

JOCBS 2018 Vol 15

So you can see, nothing is as clear-cut, as the followers of either view say or want it to be...
How good and wonderful are your days,
How true are your ways?
Ratnakar
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Re: Jhana and the early Mahayana

Post by Ratnakar »

sphairos wrote: Thu Apr 01, 2021 12:49 pm
Ceisiwr wrote: Tue Mar 30, 2021 6:15 pm It is hardly suspicious. It matches what other suttas say regarding the jhānā being states divorced from the 5 senses. It also has a perfect parallel.
No, it is.
It's not, in other suttas buddha even dismissed monks because they were too noisy
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