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The 2 Kinds of Jhanas -- Re: [Pali] All of that is considered Jhana ?

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  • Kumara Bhikkhu
    ... You re not the first to notice this. I have this is my book: Among those who have written on this matter, the earliest I have found is Ayodhya Prasad
    Message 1 of 1 , Jan 13, 2013
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      Frank K wrote thus at 03:07 AM 12-01-13:
      >Dear Ven. KB,
      >With the Pali sutta description of jhāna, 16
      >steps of ānāpāna, etc., being
      >so terse, it's hard to know exactly what the Buddha's instructions on jhāna
      >actually entails. So it may be that what constitutes jhāna is broader than
      >we may think. But even using an attitude of keeping the definition broad
      >and open, it still seems that the Vism. is describing a different practice
      >for development of jhāna than the terse Pali sutta passages.

      You're not the first to notice this. I have this is my book:

      Among those who have written on this matter, the
      earliest I have found is Ayodhya Prasad Pradhan1
      who wrote the following in his book The Buddha’s
      System of Meditation (Sterling Publishers) published in 1986!

      In the Buddhist Canon itself the process of attaining it
      (jhana) is not given in a practical way, in spite of the
      frequent repetitions of the formula-like description of
      this ‘Jhana’ throughout the Canon. The tradition
      preserved in commentaries, especially in Buddhaghosa’s
      work entitled the ‘Visuddhi-magga’, or the Path of
      Purification, in Pali, seems to have developed a system
      of its own…. After comparing the latter with the former,
      anyone who intends to devote or has already devoted, his
      time and energy in practising the meditation of early
      Buddhism and in unravelling its secrets, will not fail, I
      believe, to detect the contrast.

      1Ayodhya Prasad Pradhan (b. 1904) is a well known
      Nepalese Buddhist scholar of Pali language,
      scripture, philosophy and literature…. A
      practitioner of Hatha Yoga in his younger days
      and later Laya Yoga, he came to discover the
      superiority of the Buddha’s system of meditation
      over the other known systems and practised it. (From the book jacket)

      >Another
      >example of the Buddha's terse instructions being frustratingly lacking in
      >detail is the development of knowledge and vision, especially the 3 higher
      >knowledges. In one of the suttas on iddhipada, the Buddha said a couple
      >lines on developing the perception of light, in all directions, so night is
      >like day, day is like night. And the next line he is talking about the
      >supernormal powers already, with no details on how one gets there. Whatever
      >problems people have with Vism., you have to give them credit for the fact
      >that using the detailed instructions in the Vism. on Jhāna and supernormal
      >power, there are practitioners today who were able to do it.

      Agreed. A notable person is Dipa Ma. She however
      developed them only after she became accomplished
      in the more important area, and gave them up
      after some time. Many people these days though
      get carried away by this detour. Who, without
      sufficient spiritual maturity, wouldn't?

      kb

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