Sylvester wrote:What are we supposed to do with the Chinese parallel in MA 72?
If other versions have additional material not present in MN 128 then MN 128 can be considered an earlier witness.
Sylvester wrote:That being said, I would not disagree that MN 128's nimitta does not quite resemble the Commentarial paṭibhāganimitta
Using a prepared kasiṇa maṇḍala is an effective method for developing samatha. And it seems that light nimittas, etc., are important for developing the divine eye. However, although light nimittas, etc., can and often do occur when developing samatha, such phenomena aren't necessary for attaining jhāna, and I'm not aware of any Buddhist tradition that says otherwise.