Re: [DhammaStudyGroup] Samatha-Vipassana
--- upasaka@... wrote: > Hi, Jon (and Binh) -
> This is an interesting sutta you quote below, particularly theOn my reading, 2 of the 4 approaches given here (ie. numbers 2 and 4
> paragraph, apparently indicating a jhana-less approach to arahantship:
below) indicate a jhana-less approach. (By 'jhana-less' I mean in the
sense of not requiring prior development of mundane jhana. But all 4 ways
are accompanied by concentration that is jhana-equivalent in its force.)
Here are the 4 ways again, with extracts from footnotes to the translation
[passages in square brackets are mine]:
1. After developing samatha
The footnote says that this refers to one who makes tranquillity the
vehicle of his practice (samatha-yaanika). Tranquillity here refers to
access concentration, the jhanas or the formless attainments.
2. Before developing samatha
The commentary reads: "This refers to one who by his natural bent first
attains to insight and then, based on insight produces concentration
(samadhi)." The sub-com reads: "This is one who makes insight the
3. In conjunction with the development of samatha
[This is the instance of insight being 'based on' jhana. The insight
arises after emerging from jhana, and takes the jhana moments as its
object. This is the 'yoked/conjoined' instance.].
4. By overcoming the corruptions (ie without any part being played by
The footnote reads: 'According to AA [the commentary], the "agitation"
(uddhacca) meant here is a reaction to the arising of the ten "corruptions
of insight" when they are wrongly taken as indication path-attainment.
The term dhammavitakka, "thoughts about higher states" is taken to refer
to the same ten corruptions. '
Regarding the 4th way just given, you observe:
> AN IV, 165be
> Translation 'Numerical Discourses of the Buddha'
> 83. Ways to Arahantship
> "Or again, friends, a monk's mind is seized by agitation caused by
> states of mind. But there comes a time when his mind becomes internally
> steadied, composed, unified and concentrated; then the path arises in
> him. . He now pursues, develops and cultivates that path, and while he
> doing so the fetters are abandoned and the underlying tendencies
> The questions that occur to me are the following:
> 1) What is meant by "higher states of mind"?
> 2) What sort of agitation would arise as a result of them?
> 3) Exactly what is the state wherein one's "mind becomes
> steadied, composed, unified and concentrated"? It sounds like it *could*
> access concentration or khanika samadhi (moment-to-momentYour questions (1) and (2) are covered by the footnote, I think.
> That would be interesting. This would, indeed, suggest an approach to
> complete enlightenment, one out of four, that does not have jhanic
> as a requirement at all, though it still requires a strong and rather
> one-pointedness of mind.
On your Q.3, we need to keep in mind the distinction between samatha and
Samatha bhavana (tranquillity development) refers to the development of
kusala by concentration on a single object, eventually to a degree of
absorption in the object where all sense-door impressions, and the akusala
associated with those experiences, are suppressed. Being (temporarily)
freed from akusala, the mind becomes exceedingly tranquil.
Samadhi cetasika (concentration mental factor) is a cetasika whose
function is to fix the citta on whatever object is the object of the citta
at that moment. It accompanies every citta. At moments of enlightenment
(magga citta) samadhi cetasika arises and performs its function with an
intensity equivalent to that of the jhanas. It is developed to this
'jhana-equivalent' level during the course of the development of mundane
insight over the many (millions of) lifetimes it has taken to attain to
enlightenment. In other words, every moment of satipatthana during this
lifetime means the further development and accumulation of khanika
So, yes, it may well be that 'concentration' in the passage from the sutta
refers to khanika samadhi; but this does not connote the development of
I think the important point to realise about all this is as follows, if my
understanding is correct:
Regardless of which of the 4 ways of enlightenment one is talking about,
attainment of supramundane path consciousness (enlightenment) is always
the culmination of the development of mundane path consciousness (ie.
mundane insight--vipassana bhavana). In other words, it is not the
culmination of samatha bhavana. Even those whose attainment is 'based on'
jhana (No. 3 in the series above) cannot attain unless mundane insight has
been developed to the necessary degree.
So on a practical level, it always comes back to the development of
awareness of realities appearing at the present moment, as taught in the
Satipatthana Sutta--for this is how mundane insight is developed.
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- Hi, Jon -
In a message dated 9/4/01 9:27:57 AM Eastern Daylight Time,
> > 1. After developing samatha
> > The footnote says that this refers to one who makes tranquillity the
> > vehicle of his practice (samatha-yaanika). Tranquillity here refers to
> > access concentration, the jhanas or the formless attainments.
> > ********************************
> > (Is the last sentence part of the footnote? It surprises me that
> > access concentration is included here.)
> Yes, straight from the footnote. But no source is given, so presumably it
> does not come from the commentary to the sutta. (I thought you'd find
> this snippet interesting!)
/Thus is how ye shall see all this fleeting world: A star at dawn, a bubble
in a stream, a flash of lightning in a summer cloud, a flickering lamp, a
phantom, and a dream./ (From the Diamond Sutra)
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