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[dsg] Re: Jhanas

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  • Sukinderpal Singh Narula
    Hi Victor, ... I think others have already done this. That saves me from the risk of embarrassing myself. ;-) ... After reading Lee Dillion s post, I feel that
    Message 1 of 38 , May 2, 2003
      Hi Victor,

      > Sukin, could you explain what "silabattaparamasa" means? I tried to
      > look it up but couldn't find it in the online Pali-English
      > dictionary. Your explanation is appreciated.

      I think others have already done this. That saves me from the risk of
      embarrassing myself. ;-)

      > I would not say that jhana is not *the* practice for reaching
      > vipassana. In fact, I see that concentration is necessary for
      > reaching insight.*

      After reading Lee Dillion's post, I feel that there is some basis for your
      statement, though not exactly. I had always thought that the benefit of
      jhana was the high level of concentration and that the hindrances were
      suppressed, such that the jhanic consciousness itself was a good time to
      understand the characteristic of realities. What I did not know, was that
      the concentration could somehow be maintained outside the jhanic
      consciousness, so that this concentration could then be used to
      penetrate the subsequent realities arisen. So frankly, I am a bit
      confused. In this case then Howard is right in saying that jhana is a 'tool'.

      But I would still say first of all, that it is not necessary, nor that it should
      be developed for this particular purpose. The context in which you speak
      about concentration as a necessary factor, is not as I understand it. You
      seem to imply that it is developed separately as an individual factor, but
      I think that on it's own concentration practice does not have anything to
      do with the development of insight. In fact I think it can go more wrong
      than right, considering the necessity of panna every step of the way,
      which if overlooked will lead us into the wrong direction. And in this
      context, thinking that it is used as a tool is probably wrong.

      I would like you to consider this Victor. What is concentration used for?
      To penetrate realities? Is it to penetrate the Trilakkhana? Shouldn't one
      be more concerned about understanding what appears now? Isn't the
      detachment a sign of developing understanding? What does the three
      characteristics mean when one does not know that dhammas are arising
      now all the time and there is continual ignorance of it? My understanding
      is there cannot be final penetration into the Trilakkana if there is no
      development of satipatthana now. Separating nama from rupa, let alone
      seeing the three characteristics means nothing to me at this point, when
      I have not even experienced sound as sound, or seeing as seeing.

      Also if you don't mind the length of my post, I would like to say
      something more.
      When I first learnt about Buddhism, I was like most people, drawn into
      the argument that concentration was necessary for penetrating reality,
      in the sense that it required prior practice. This made sense to me. But
      later, after I discovered this group, I understood the importance of
      panna. That it was *this* that needed to be developed, not the other
      factors. After all the goal was *understanding*, and only panna knows
      and sees, sati, samadhi, viriya, etc. simply performed their individual
      functions to maintain the quality of citta, but it was panna which
      *understood*. Also since there is what is known as the miccha maga,
      then panna is all the more necessary every step of the way.

      I realize that we both agree on the importance of panna and the
      development of satipatthana, but I want to don't speculate as to why we
      still don't agree on the need to practice meditation!!? :-/

      Maybe some answer will come up later....


    • Sarah
      Hi Connie, We were discussing ‘intermediate states’ after death and I promised to get back to you. (sorry, I’ve lost your post): Kathavatthu (Points of
      Message 38 of 38 , May 18, 2003
        Hi Connie,

        We were discussing ‘intermediate states’ after death and I promised to get
        back to you. (sorry, I’ve lost your post):

        Kathavatthu (Points of Controversy), Bk V111,2,”Of an Intermediate State’,
        discusses in detail why the proposition “that there is an intermdiate
        state of existence” is not valid.

        In summary from the commentary:

        “Some (as, for instance, the Pubbaseliyas and Sammitiyas), by a careless
        acceptation of the Sutta-phrase - ‘completed existence within the
        interval’ - held that there is an interm stage where a being awaits
        reconception for a week or longer. The counter-argument is based on the
        Exalted One’s dictum that there are three states of becoming only - the
        Kama-, the Rupa-, and the Arupa-worlds <SN ii,3 etc>. And it is because of
        that dictum that the opponent (in so far as he is orthodox) has to deny so
        many of the questions.”

        Also from the commentary:

        “.........Here the sense is this: If there be such a state as an
        intermediate state of becoming, then it must be a ‘five-mode becoming’
        etc., such as Kama-life, and so forth. Let us then ask you: “Do you
        identify the intermediate state with either the Kama-life, or Rupa-life,
        or Arupa-life?” All these the opponent denies, because he would not admit
        such things.

        “The expressions “either of the Kama-life” and so forth have been brought
        forth in order that, if there be an intermediate state, it must be between
        these states of becoming, like an interval between two boundaries. The
        opponent who would not admit such things, denies all these questions.
        Thus he refuses the Sakavadin’s “indeed” simply for his view, but not in
        accordance with the doctrine.”

        Hope that helps. Let me know if you need anymore;-)

        With metta,


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