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Re: [Pali] All of that is consid ered JhÄ ?na ?

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  • Gerard
    Hi Dieter, I am not a specialist in these matters, but still I venture to make some observations: I think it is not true that absorption and burning up
    Message 1 of 2 , Jan 19, 2013
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      Hi Dieter,

      I am not a specialist in these matters, but still I venture to make some
      observations:

      I think it is not true that "absorption" and "burning up" refer to the same
      thing. Absorption is a highly concentrated state in which the senses don't
      function anymore, or, at least, don't function in a normal way. Somebody is
      said to be in absorption means, as I understand it, that he or she is one
      with the object, without any thinking or awareness of the body. Sujiva
      describes it as follows: "When one enters fixed concentration, the mind
      undergoes a specific form of mental process,...,which leaves behind any
      conscious subject-object experiences. This fixation can be cleary
      experienced as a merging of the mind with its object."
      I think this is the way "jhana" is normally interpreted. The
      Buddhaghosa 'etymology is indeed a popular one: according to Nyanatiloka's
      "Pali-Anthologie und Wörterbuch", the word "jhana" is from the Sanskrit root
      "dhyaa", or "dhi", which means to perceive, to think. Nyanatiloka writes:
      "erscheinen, bemerken, denken". There is also the word "jhana" that has the
      meaning "burn, to set on fire", but that is from the Sanskrit root "ksha".

      The meaning of jhana as absorption is the way Sujiva uses - and, if I am
      right, that is the normal conception of 'jhana" - is not in keeping with the
      sutta's.
      Let's take an example: in sutta 111 of the Majjhima Nikaya, the Anuppada
      Sutta, Sariputta's path to deliverance is described.

      "And the states in the first jhana - the applied thought, the sustained
      thought, the rapture, the pleasure, and the unification of mind; the
      contact, feeling, perception, volition, and mind" (that is: the 5 khanda's,
      GB); the zeal, decision, energy, mindfulness, equanimity, and attention -
      these states were defined by him one by one as they occurred; known to him
      these states arose, known they were present, known they disappeared. He
      understood thus: "So indeed, these states, not having been, come into being;
      having been, they vanish." Regarding those states, he abided unattracted,
      unrepelled, independent, detached, free, dissociated, with a mind rid of
      barriers. He understood: "There is an escape beyond", and with the
      cultivation of that attainment, he confirmed that there is." (Bikkhu Bodhi:
      the next attainment, the second jhana)
      Sariputta goes through all jhana's. At the end of the cycle, after reaching
      the base of neither-perception-nor-non-perception, he abides in the
      "cessation of perception and feeling'. Then follow the words: " And the
      taints were destroyed by his seeing with wisdom."

      So, it seems clear to me that jhana can coincide with awareness of the body
      and all other khanda's, that during the jhana's insight (vipassana...) into
      the arising and falling away of phenomena, i.e. awareness of impermanence,
      is present, and that the jhana-way can lead to complete liberation.
      This implies, I think, that the usual interpretation of 'jhana' as
      absorption, as one pointed concentration, is not in accordance with the
      sutta's.

      Metta,

      Gerard







      Gerard,

      sorry for late reply .. but I received your messages only today ..not sure
      why (?)

      You wrote:

      (G: Interesting in this connection are the ideas about meditation and jhana
      of > > the American monk Vimalaramsi (dhammasukha.org).> > According to him
      the idea of jhana as absorption, or even, concentration > > meditation,
      which is, in vipassana-circles, the common vue, is utterly > > false. It is
      based on the commentaries, he says, in particular on the > > Visuddhimagga,
      but not on the Sutta’s.)

      (D: I wonder whether he put it this way, as it is obvious according to the >
      suttas , that within the first Jhana the 5 senses media is absorbed , and >
      in the second , the 6xt sense .)

      G: could you be a bit more explicit: what is the Pali word for “absorbed” ,
      and can you mention a sutta, an > exact place if possible, where is told
      what you say

      Ven. K: I'm interested to know where you find the Suttas say that.


      D: absorbtion ( I understand is the common translation) and burning up can
      be synonymously used (e.g. nourishment of fire) in respect to first Jhana:
      sensual objects =5senses media ,second Jhana: thinking/ mental activity
      (subsiding of thought-conception and discursive thinking).
      I would prefe German "ausblenden" English blank out, fade out/down, blind
      out

      PTS:Jhāna1 (nt.) [from jhāyati,1 BSk. dhyāna. The (popular etym -- ) expln
      of jhāna is given by Bdhgh at Vism 150 as follows: "ārammaṇ' ûpanijjhānato
      paccanīka -- jhāpanato vā jhānaŋ," i.e. called jh. from meditation on
      objects & from burning up anything adverse] literally meditation

      Nyanatiloka Buddhist Dictionary :
      „The stereotype text, often met with in the Suttas, runs as follows:

      (1) "Detached from sensual objects, o monks, detached from unwholesome
      consciousness, attached with thought-conception (vitakka) and discursive
      thinking (vicāra), born of detachment (vivekaja) and filled with rapture
      (pīti) and joy (sukha) he enters the first absorption.

      (2) "After the subsiding of thought-conception and discursive thinking, and
      by gaining inner tranquility and oneness of mind, he enters into a state
      free from thought-conception and discursive thinking, the second absorption,
      which is born of concentration (samādhi), and filled with rapture (pīti) and
      joy (sukha)."

      PTS provides following sources :
      The jhānas are discussed in extenso & in various combinations as regards
      theory & practice at: D i.34 sq.; 73 sq.; S ii. 210 sq.; iv.217 sq., 263
      sq.; v.213 sq.; M i.276 sq., 350 sq., 454 sq.; A i.53, 163; ii.126; iii.394
      sq.; iv.409 sq.; v.157 sq.; Vin iii.4; Nd2 on Sn 1119 & s.v.; Ps i.97 sq.;
      ii.169 sq.; Vbh 257 sq.; 263 sq.; 279 sq.; Vism 88, 415. -- They are
      frequently mentioned either as a set, or singly, when often the set is
      implied (as in the case of the 4th jh.). Mentioned as jh. 1 -- 4 e. g. at
      Vin i.104; ii.161 (foll. by sotāpanna, etc.); D ii.156, 186; iii.78, 131,
      222; S ii.278 (nikāmalābhin); A ii.36 (id.); iii.354; S iv.299; v.307 sq.; M
      i.21, 41, 159, 203, 247, 398, 521; ii.15, 37; Sn 69, 156, 985; Dh 372; J
      i.139; VvA 38; PvA 163. -- Separately: the 1st: A iv.422; v.135; M i.246,
      294; Miln 289; 1st -- 3rd: A iii.323; M i.181; 1st & 2nd: M ii.28; 4th: A
      ii.41; iii.325; v.31; D iii.270; VvA 4. -- See also Mrs. Rh. D. Buddh.
      Psych. (Quest Series) p. 107 sq.; Dhs. trsl. p. 52 sq.; Index to Saŋyutta N.
      for more refs.; also Kasiṇa.

      I suppose that misunderstandings occur when theory ( contemplation of samma
      samadhi as an object of contemplation within the framework of Maha
      SatiPatthana) and practise --see standard texts- is not distinguished.

      Further investigation of this issue may be benefitial.


      With Metta Dieter

      P.S. I wrote to the list owner concerning the delay of postings, no answer
      so far
    • Kumara Bhikkhu
      Well said, Gerard. In Anupada Sutta, the description of states are given in the similar manner, except for the base of neither-perception-nor-non-perception,
      Message 2 of 2 , Jan 21, 2013
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        Well said, Gerard.

        In Anupada Sutta, the description of states are
        given in the similar manner, except for the base
        of neither-perception-nor-non-perception, where
        the state is known only upon emerging it. It
        clear implies that the meditative state is known
        during the experience while in the other states.

        Although some people regard Anupada Sutta to be a
        later addition (In the Chinese records MN came
        out of the 2nd council.), it presents an
        relatively early understanding of jhana, which is
        unlike the Visuddhimagga kind.

        kb

        Gerard wrote thus at 05:28 PM 19-01-13:
        >Hi Dieter,
        >
        >I am not a specialist in these matters, but still I venture to make some
        >observations:
        >
        >I think it is not true that "absorption" and "burning up" refer to the same
        >thing. Absorption is a highly concentrated state in which the senses don't
        >function anymore, or, at least, don't function in a normal way. Somebody is
        >said to be in absorption means, as I understand it, that he or she is one
        >with the object, without any thinking or awareness of the body. Sujiva
        >describes it as follows: "When one enters fixed concentration, the mind
        >undergoes a specific form of mental process,...,which leaves behind any
        >conscious subject-object experiences. This fixation can be cleary
        >experienced as a merging of the mind with its object."
        >I think this is the way "jhana" is normally interpreted. The
        >Buddhaghosa 'etymology is indeed a popular one: according to Nyanatiloka's
        >"Pali-Anthologie und Wörterbuch", the word "jhana" is from the Sanskrit root
        >"dhyaa", or "dhi", which means to perceive, to think. Nyanatiloka writes:
        >"erscheinen, bemerken, denken". There is also the word "jhana" that has the
        >meaning "burn, to set on fire", but that is from the Sanskrit root "ksha".
        >
        >The meaning of jhana as absorption is the way Sujiva uses - and, if I am
        >right, that is the normal conception of 'jhana" - is not in keeping with the
        >sutta's.
        >Let's take an example: in sutta 111 of the Majjhima Nikaya, the Anuppada
        >Sutta, Sariputta's path to deliverance is described.
        >
        >"And the states in the first jhana - the applied thought, the sustained
        >thought, the rapture, the pleasure, and the unification of mind; the
        >contact, feeling, perception, volition, and mind" (that is: the 5 khanda's,
        >GB); the zeal, decision, energy, mindfulness, equanimity, and attention -
        >these states were defined by him one by one as they occurred; known to him
        >these states arose, known they were present, known they disappeared. He
        >understood thus: "So indeed, these states, not having been, come into being;
        >having been, they vanish." Regarding those states, he abided unattracted,
        >unrepelled, independent, detached, free, dissociated, with a mind rid of
        >barriers. He understood: "There is an escape beyond", and with the
        >cultivation of that attainment, he confirmed that there is." (Bikkhu Bodhi:
        >the next attainment, the second jhana)
        >Sariputta goes through all jhana's. At the end of the cycle, after reaching
        >the base of neither-perception-nor-non-perception, he abides in the
        >"cessation of perception and feeling'. Then follow the words: " And the
        >taints were destroyed by his seeing with wisdom."
        >
        >So, it seems clear to me that jhana can coincide with awareness of the body
        >and all other khanda's, that during the jhana's insight (vipassana...) into
        >the arising and falling away of phenomena, i.e. awareness of impermanence,
        >is present, and that the jhana-way can lead to complete liberation.
        >This implies, I think, that the usual interpretation of 'jhana' as
        >absorption, as one pointed concentration, is not in accordance with the
        >sutta's.
        >
        >Metta,
        >
        >Gerard
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