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Abhidhamma in Daily Life, 168

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  • Nina van Gorkom
    Dear friends, In the Visuddhimagga (IV, 74) we can read about the process of cittas in which jhåna occurs for the first time. The Visuddhimagga (IV, 78)
    Message 1 of 1 , Jan 2, 2007
      Dear friends,

      In the Visuddhimagga (IV, 74) we can read about the process of cittas
      in which jhåna occurs for the first time. The Visuddhimagga (IV, 78)
      states that in that case only one single moment of jhånacitta arises,
      which is then succeeded by the bhavanga-citta (life-continuum). After
      that there is a process of kåmåvacara cittas, reviewing through the
      mind-door the jhåna which has just occurred. For that person the
      ability to attain jhåna is still weak, he has to continue to purify
      himself of the hindrances in developing the jhåna-factors until these
      have become stronger. Further on (Vis. IV, 123 and following) we read
      that absorption can ``last'' only when it is absolutely purified of
      states which obstruct concentration. One must first completely
      suppress lust by reviewing the dangers of sense-desires and also
      suppress the other ``hindrances''. When someone has become more
      accomplished there can be jhånacittas succeeding one another, even
      for a long time. We read (Vis. IV, 125):

      But when he enters upon a jhåna after (first) completely purifying
      his mind of states that obstruct concentration, then he remains in
      the attainment even for a whole day, like a bee that has gone into a
      completely purified hive...

      Jhånacittas are kusala kamma of a high degree. When jhåna has been
      attained the hindrances of sensuous desire, ill-will, sloth, torpor,
      restlessness, regret and doubt are temporarily eliminated. Thus one
      is truly calm, at least at that moment.
      As we have seen in the preceding chapter, the person who wants to
      develop samatha so as to be able to attain jhåna, has to develop the
      five jhåna-factors which can inhibit the hindrances, namely:

      applied thinking (vitakka)
      sustained thinking (vicåra)
      rapture (píti)
      happy feeling (sukha)
      concentration (samådhi)

      ******
      Nina.



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