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Re: [Pali] Jhana translation in context of samma samadhi

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  • Kumara Bhikkhu
    It depends on what kind of jhana we refer to. For the jhana according to orthodox Theravada, as described in Visuddhimagga, absorption is very descriptive of
    Message 1 of 9 , Apr 24, 2011
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      It depends on what kind of jhana we refer to.

      For the jhana according to orthodox Theravada, as described in Visuddhimagga, 'absorption' is very descriptive of the experience, thus quite apt. However, the jhana as described in early texts is quite different. Being part of the Noble Eightfold Path, which is said to be "kamma that is... leading to the ending of kamma" (http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/an/an04/an04.235.than.html), 'burning' is extremely apt.

      Earlier, I tried to send a file containing a comparison table of the 2, but it didn't go through. Now I'm sending it again without the attachment. You can ask from me. I've also come up with a list of terms related to samadhi that is based on the descriptions of the early tests and not influenced by Visuddhimagga. I can email to anyone who would like to have them.

      I'm pretty excited by this discovery, as this is how I notice suffering being eradicated permanently.

      kb

      Dieter wrote thus at 16:30 24/04/2011:
      >Dear Dhamma friends,
      >I like to ask for you help to clarify a point of discussion which developed out of following:
      >
      >X:The literal meaning is "burning," not "absorption". (I presume the "burning" pertains to attacking the hindrances.)
      >
      >D:Ven. Henepola Gunaratana , Nyanatiloka, Nyanaponika , P.A.Payutto chose ' absorption '
      >Curious to learn about your evidence

      ....

      >I am aware that any (English) translation can only be an approach,
      >but still believe ,' burning' does not fit and 'absorption' is fitting
      >best.
      >Thanks for your comment.
      >
      >With Metta Dieter
    • Dieter Moeller
      Dear Nina, you wrote: ( D: But where is it mentioned in the suttas? And if not , don t we have to assume that (at least most of ) the 5 hindrances need to be
      Message 2 of 9 , Apr 25, 2011
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        Dear Nina,

        you wrote:

        ( D: 'But where is it mentioned in the suttas? And if not , don't we have to assume that (at least most of ) the 5 hindrances need to be abolished
        before the first Jhana can be accessed?)

        -------

        N: As I understand, the jhaanafactors have to be developed to overcome the hindrances and at the moment of access concentration
        (upacara) and the moment of attainment (appana) the hindrances cannot arise, they are temporarily suppressed

        D: yes, the ' jhaanafactors have to be developed to overcome the hindrances' , but this is meant only in respect to their final abolishment ( a condition of ignorance)
        pls compare ( Nyanatiloka : niravana )

        'the temporary suspension of the 5 hindrances on entering the first absorption, the stereotype Sutta text (e g. A. IX, 40) runs as follows:
        "He has cast away sensuous desire; he dwells with a heart free from sensuous desire; from desire he cleanses his heart."He has cast away ill-will; he dwells with a heart free from ill-will, cherishing love and compassion toward all living beings, he cleanses his heart from ill-will."He has cast away sloth and torpor; he dwells free from sloth and torpor; loving the light, with watchful mind, with clear consciousness, he cleanses his mind from sloth and torpor."He has cast away restlessness and scruples; dwelling with mind undisturbed, with heart full of peace, he cleanses his mind from restlessness and scruples."He has cast away skeptical doubt; dwelling free from doubt, full of confidence in the good, he cleanses his heart from doubt."He has put aside these 5 hindrances, and come to know these paralysing defilements of the mind. And far from sensual impressions, far from unwholesome things, he enters into the first absorption, etc."
        The overcoming of these 5 hindrances by the absorptions is, as already pointed out, a merely temporary suspension, called 'overcoming through repression' (vikkhambhana-pahana). They disappear forever on entering the 4 supermundane paths (s. ariyapuggala), i.e. skeptical doubt on reaching Sotapanship; sensuous desire, ill-will and mental worry on reaching Anagamiship; sloth, torpor and restlessness on reaching Arahatship.'

        Hence for our practise , we need to cast them away each time before even fopr the first Jhana..



        N ( D: I think that the state of (first) Jhana allows to do vipassana , however I.M.H.O. , that means to switch to Satipatthana , i.e. leaving the context of the last path link.)
        -----
        The concentration factor of the eightfold Path has as function to focus on the naama or ruupa that appears at the present moment. It arises with sammaadi.t.thi and the other factors


        D: we may agree upon that samma samadhi has- as the other 2 factors of the the samadhi path training sequence- the function to develop panna.
        Useful to have in mind "the Buddha remained throughout of his career " in heavenly dwelling" (dibbavihara) to where he resorted in order to live a happily here and now. He refered to the 4 jhanas figuratively as a kind of nibbana, called them immidiately visible nibbana." (Henepola Gunaratana )

        with Metta Dieter



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      • Dieter Moeller
        Dear Venerable Kumara, thank you for the response. I hope it could be figured out why your message did not reach the group. you wrote: It depends on what kind
        Message 3 of 9 , Apr 25, 2011
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          Dear Venerable Kumara,

          thank you for the response. I hope it could be figured out why your message did not reach the group.

          you wrote:
          It depends on what kind of jhana we refer to.
          >For the jhana according to orthodox Theravada, as described in Visuddhimagga, 'absorption' is very descriptive of the experience, thus quite apt. However, the jhana as described in early texts is quite different. Being part of the Noble Eightfold Path, which is said to be "kamma that is... leading to the ending of kamma" (http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/an/an04/an04.235.than.html), 'burning' is extremely apt.


          D: interesting here to compare : http://www.leighb.com/jhanantp.htm :
          " The Jhanas as discussed in the suttas are accessible to many people. The suttas seem to indicate that they were just part of the monastics' training program; thus they were not a big deal and were accessible to many. However, the Visuddhimagga states in section XII.8 that of those who undertake the meditation path, only one in 1,000,000 (at best) can reach absorption 1. We don't have to take this figure literally to begin to understand that the Jhanas as discussed in the Visuddhimagga are of a much deeper level of concentration than those described in the suttas. Basically, the Jhanas as described in the Visuddhimagga seem to be much more developed and systematized than those of the suttas. Even the factors given for the first four Jhanas are not the same: see The Traditional Factors of the 8 Jhanas. snip "



          I think the diffence of interpretation is depending whether the training is meant or its final aim, i.e. burning may fit in respect to fully abolishment of kamma and the hindrances at Arahantship.
          However for the former which I think is of major interest for us, the use of 'absorption' seems to me the best


          VenK.: Earlier, I tried to send a file containing a comparison table of the 2, but it didn't go through. Now I'm sending it again without the attachment. You can ask from me. I've also come up with a list of terms related to samadhi that is based on the descriptions of the early tests and not influenced by Visuddhimagga. I can email to anyone who would like to have them.

          D: interesting , does your list go with above mentioned link (the traditional factors of the 8 Jhanas)


          with Metta Dieter






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