Ñāṇa wrote:In the previous reply in this thread I simply quoted that particular excerpt from the Peṭakopadesa as a comparison to how vitakka & vicāra are defined as two types of "mental discourse" (manojalpa) in non-Pāli sources.
While I note your intent in citing those bits from the Peta concerning vitakka-vicāra
to tie in with the Kosa's definition of the 2 as manojalpa
, I for one do not see the utility of juxtaposing a rather medieval definition onto a much earlier concept. If one were to look for a Sarvastivadin definition that is more contemporaneous with the Peta’s, perhaps a better candidate than the Abhidharmakosa would be the Sarva’s much earlier text in the Sangitiparyaya . Unsurprisingly, the Sarva’s early definition of vitarka
mirrors the Peta’s for vitakka
. This can be found in the Taisho from T26n1536_p0377a26(00) to T26n1536_p0378a27(00) here -http://www.cbeta.org/result/normal/T26/1536_003.htm
A 2-fold analysis of vitarka
(尋) is given, starting with the analysis of bad vitarka
into three (三不善尋)and then moving onto the exposition on the 3 good vitarka
(三善尋). The 3 bad vitarka
are 欲尋恚尋害尋 (of sensual desire, ill-will, cruelty). The text then goes on to describe the 3 good vitarka
, namely 出離尋無恚尋無害尋 (of renunciation, non ill-will, non-cruelty). Both listings are preceded by the word 謂, the Chinese for yad idam
, which functions to close the listing. Like the Peta, there is no definition offered of vicāra
. You will doubtless recognise that this early Sarva treatment on vitarka
is no different from another Pali work, ie DN 33, which has strong correspondences to the Sangiti Sutra.
At least, at this stage of Sarvastivadin and Theravadin scholasticism, the definition of vitarka/vitakka
was less concerned with vitarka's
connection with rumination, but more with its role as wholesome or unwholesome mental kamma and its effect on meditation. That seems to be the objective of suttas such as MN 19, MN 78, SN 14.12 etc. The much later treatment given by the Abhidharmakosa represents not merely a semantic shift, but a doctrinal evolution from the early ideas that managed to get preserved in the Peṭakopadesa and Sangitiparyaya. From the conceptions in suttas such as MN 19 and MN 78 that paint these "vitakka
" or "thoughts/intentions" as antidotes to specific anusayā
that hinder samatha
, the Kosa marks the evolution of the term as part of vipaśyanā
As such, I don't really feel comfy correlating the Kosa's manojalpa
characterisation with the Peta's similes for and comparisons of vitakka
. Those merely serve as analogies.