AN 9.39 Deva Sutta: The Devas (About Jhāna)

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AN 9.39 Deva Sutta: The Devas (About Jhāna)

Postby mikenz66 » Tue Nov 01, 2011 8:45 am

AN 9.39 PTS: A iv 432
Deva Sutta: The Devas (About Jhāna)
translated from the Pali by Thanissaro Bhikkhu

A colorful simile illustrates the peaceful seclusion that jhāna offers.

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html

"Once, monks, a battle between the devas & asuras was in full swing. And in that battle, the asuras won and the devas lost. Having lost, the devas simply fled while the asuras, heading north, attacked them. Then the thought occurred to the devas, 'The asuras are still attacking. Why don't we do battle a second time?'

"So the devas did battle with the asuras a second time. And a second time, the asuras won and the devas lost. Having lost, the devas simply fled while the asuras, heading north, attacked them. Then the thought occurred to the devas, 'The asuras are still attacking. Why don't we do battle a third time?'

"So the devas did battle with the asuras a third time. And a third time, the asuras won and the devas lost. Having lost, the devas, afraid, entered the deva capital. Having gone to their capital, the devas thought, 'Having come to this shelter for the fearful, we will now keep here to ourselves, having nothing to do with the asuras.' And the asuras also thought, 'Having gone to this shelter for the fearful, the devas will now keep here to themselves, having nothing to do with us.'

"Once, monks, a battle between the devas & asuras was in full swing. And in that battle, the devas won and the asuras lost. Having lost, the asuras simply fled while the devas, heading south, attacked them. Then the thought occurred to the asura, 'The devas are still attacking. Why don't we do battle a second time?'

"So the asuras did battle with the devas a second time. And a second time, the devas won and the asuras lost. Having lost, the asuras simply fled while the devas, heading south, attacked them. Then the thought occurred to the asuras, 'The devas are still attacking. Why don't we do battle a third time?'

"So the asuras did battle with the devas a third time. And a third time, the devas won and the asuras lost. Having lost, the asuras, afraid, entered the asura capital. Having gone to their capital, the asuras thought, 'Having come to this shelter for the fearful, we will now keep here to ourselves, having nothing to do with the devas.' And the devas also thought, 'Having gone to this shelter for the fearful, the asuras will now keep here to themselves, having nothing to do with us.'

"In the same way, monks, on whatever occasion a monk — secluded from sensuality, secluded from unskillful qualities — enters the first jhāna: rapture & pleasure born of seclusion, accompanied by directed thought & evaluation, on that occasion the thought occurs to him, 'Having come to this shelter for the fearful, I will now keep here to myself, having nothing to do with Māra.' And the thought occurs to Māra, the Evil One, 'Having gone to this shelter for the fearful, the monk will now keep here to himself, having nothing to do with me.'

[Similarly with the second, third, & fourth jhānas.]

"On whatever occasion a monk, with the complete transcending of perceptions of (physical) form, with the disappearance of perceptions of resistance, and not heeding perceptions of diversity, (perceiving,) 'Infinite space,' enters the dimension of the infinitude of space: He is said to be a monk who has put Māra in the dark.[1] Having bound Māra's eyes and leaving no opening, he has become invisible to the Evil One.[2]

[Similarly with the dimensions of the infinitude of consciousness, nothingness, and neither perception nor non-perception.]

"On whatever occasion, with the complete transcending of the dimension of neither perception nor non-perception, he enters & remains in the cessation of perception & feeling; and, having seen [that] with discernment, his effluents are completely ended: He is said to be a monk who has put Māra in the dark. Having bound Māra's eyes and leaving no opening, he has become invisible to the Evil One, having crossed over attachment in the cosmos."[3]

Notes

1. The text here has antamakāsi — "has put an end to" — which does not fit the context as well as the reading, andhamakāsi — "has put in the dark" — found in the parallel passage in MN 25, so I have followed the latter reading here.
MN 25: http://www.metta.lk/tipitaka/2Sutta-Pit ... ta-e1.html

2. The interpretation of this image here differs from that in MN 25, which states that the monk puts Māra in the dark upon entering the first jhāna. In either case — putting Māra in the dark beginning with the first jhāna, or only beginning with the dimension of the infinitude of space — the "dark" is temporary, lasting only as long as one is in that attainment.

3. This is the only one of these attainments that inherently contains the discernment that takes one, once and for all, beyond attachment in the cosmos.
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Re: AN 9.39 Deva Sutta: The Devas (About Jhāna)

Postby mikenz66 » Tue Nov 01, 2011 8:52 am

Devāsurasaṅgāma: The battle of the gods and Titans
Translated by Sister Uppalavana


http://www.metta.lk/tipitaka/2Sutta-Pit ... go-e.html8.

004.08. Bhikkhus, in the past there was a battle of the gods and Titans, in full swing, In the battle the Titans won The defeated gods went away facing north with hostility towards the Titans. It occurred to the gods: The Titans should be defeated. What if the Titans be attacked a second time. Bhikkhus, the gods attacked the Titans a second time and a second time the Titans won. The defeated gods went away facing north with hostility towards the Titans.

It occurred to the gods: The Titans should be defeated. What if the Titans be attacked a third time. Bhikkhus, the gods attacked the Titans a third time and a third time the Titans won. The defeated gods entered the city of the gods frightened. To the gods gone to their city it occurred: `Now we abide, in a refuge for the fear stricken and cannot do anything to the Titans.' It occurred to the Titans too: `Now the gods abide in a refuge for the fear stricken we cannot do anything to them.'

Bhikkhus, in the past there was a battle in full swing, of the gods and Titans In the battle the gods won The defeated Titans went away facing the south with hostility towards the gods. It occurred to the Titans: The gods should be defeated. What if the gods be attacked a second time. Bhikkhus, the Titans attacked the gods a second time and a second time the gods won. The defeated Titans went away facing the south with hostility towards the gods.

It occurred to the Titans: The gods should be defeated. What if the gods be attacked a third time. Bhikkhus, the Titans attacked the gods a third time and a third time the gods won. The defeated Titans entered their city frightened. To the Titans gone to their city it occurred: `Now we abide, in a refuge for the fear stricken and cannot do anything to the gods'. It occurd to the gods too: `Now the Titans abide in a refuge for the fear stricken we cannot do anything to them.'

In the same manner when the bhikkhu secluding the mind from sensual desires and demeritorious thoughts, with thoughts and discursive thoughts and with joy and pleasantness born of seclusion abides in the first higher state of the mind. It occurs to the bhikkhu: 'Now I abide in a refuge for the frightened, and Death cannot do anything.' To Death the evil one too it occurs: `Now the bhikkhu is in a refuge for the frightened and I cannot do anything.'

When the bhikkhu overcoming thoughts and discursive thoughts and internally appeased abides in the second higher state of the mind, ... re ... third higher state of the mind, ... re ... the fourth higher state of the mind. It occurs to the bhikkhu: 'Now I abide in a refuge for the frightened, and Death cannot do anything.' To Death the evil one too it occurs: `Now the bhikkhu is in a refuge for the frightened and I cannot do anything.'

When the bhikkhu overcoming all perceptions of matter, perceptions of anger and not attending to various perceptions with space is boundless abides in the sphere of space It is said the bhikkhu has put an end to Death, have destroyed the feetless one, has escaped from the sight of death the evil one and has crossed the diffusedness of the world.

When the bhikkhu overcoming all perceptions of sphere space, with consciousness is boundless abides in the sphere of consciousness ... re ... Overcoming all perceptions of consciousness, with there is nothing abides in the sphere of no-thingness ... re ... Overcoming all perceptions of the sphere of no-thingness abides in the sphere of neither perception nor non-perception ... re ... Overcoming the sphere of neither perception nor non-perception abides in the cessation of perceptions and feelings. Seeing with wisdom he also destroys desires. It is said the bhikkhu has put an end to Death, have destroyed the feetless one, has escaped from the sight of death the evil one and has crossed the diffusedness of the world.
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Re: AN 9.39 Deva Sutta: The Devas (About Jhāna)

Postby manas » Sat Nov 05, 2011 4:01 am

Thanks for posting that wonderful and instructive sutta Mike.
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Re: AN 9.39 Deva Sutta: The Devas (About Jhāna)

Postby mikenz66 » Sat Nov 05, 2011 9:20 am

Thanks manasikara,

I thought it was interesting how it invoked not only devas and asuras, but also mara into the whole melee... The nice thing about such a sutta is that it really sounds like something one could imagine sitting there listening to...

:anjali:
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Re: AN 9.39 Deva Sutta: The Devas (About Jhāna)

Postby daverupa » Sat Nov 05, 2011 1:33 pm

"have destroyed the feetless one"

I have never read this before. Can anyone provide some further detail on this image?
    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting oneself one protects others? By the pursuit, development, and cultivation of the four establishments of mindfulness. It is in such a way that by protecting oneself one protects others.

    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting others one protects oneself? By patience, harmlessness, goodwill, and sympathy. It is in such a way that by protecting others one protects oneself.
- Sedaka Sutta [SN 47.19]
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Re: AN 9.39 Deva Sutta: The Devas (About Jhāna)

Postby mikenz66 » Sun Nov 06, 2011 7:57 pm

Hi Dave,

Good question. It is also in MN25, but I'm not sure what it refers to... Maybe Mara being like a snake?

:anjali:
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Re: AN 9.39 Deva Sutta: The Devas (About Jhāna)

Postby retrofuturist » Mon Nov 07, 2011 12:25 am

Greetings,

I'm interested in asking a question about this tract of text...

In the same manner when the bhikkhu secluding the mind from sensual desires and demeritorious thoughts, with thoughts and discursive thoughts and with joy and pleasantness born of seclusion abides in the first higher state of the mind. It occurs to the bhikkhu: 'Now I abide in a refuge for the frightened, and Death cannot do anything.' To Death the evil one too it occurs: `Now the bhikkhu is in a refuge for the frightened and I cannot do anything.'

Does this infer that the first jhana constitutes the "deathless"?

My assumption is that it doesn't, and that this is merely a loose, and somewhat poetic way of saying that (as per the OP) jhana offers peaceful seclusion from the results of unskilful qualities.

Thoughts?

Metta,
Retro. :)
If you have asked me of the origination of unease, then I shall explain it to you in accordance with my understanding:
Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


Exalted in mind, just open and clearly aware, the recluse trained in the ways of the sages:
One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


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Re: AN 9.39 Deva Sutta: The Devas (About Jhāna)

Postby sublime » Mon Nov 07, 2011 4:23 am

What if it meant peace of mind is the Deathless? Wouldn't that take a major load off? I have often wondered if the dhamma is a more in the delivery than it is in the practice.
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Re: AN 9.39 Deva Sutta: The Devas (About Jhāna)

Postby manas » Tue Nov 08, 2011 7:55 am

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings,

I'm interested in asking a question about this tract of text...

In the same manner when the bhikkhu secluding the mind from sensual desires and demeritorious thoughts, with thoughts and discursive thoughts and with joy and pleasantness born of seclusion abides in the first higher state of the mind. It occurs to the bhikkhu: 'Now I abide in a refuge for the frightened, and Death cannot do anything.' To Death the evil one too it occurs: `Now the bhikkhu is in a refuge for the frightened and I cannot do anything.'

Does this infer that the first jhana constitutes the "deathless"?

My assumption is that it doesn't, and that this is merely a loose, and somewhat poetic way of saying that (as per the OP) jhana offers peaceful seclusion from the results of unskilful qualities.

Thoughts?

Metta,
Retro. :)
Mara : Etymology

The word "Mara" comes from the Proto-Indo-European root *mer meaning to die, and so it is related to the European Mara, the Slavic Marzanna and the Latvian Māra. (Wikipedia)

I'm not sure, but maybe in this particular instance, Mara (the god) was just being referred to as 'Death', I mean the word 'maranam' means death, and Mara's name also comes from that Proto-Indo-European root *mer meaning to die...?

:anjali:
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Re: AN 9.39 Deva Sutta: The Devas (About Jhāna)

Postby sublime » Tue Nov 08, 2011 2:26 pm

Yep. But not just death, those things that put one in death's sway.
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