What exactly is Ekagata. (One pointedness)?

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SarathW
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What exactly is Ekagata. (One pointedness)?

Post by SarathW » Wed Oct 17, 2018 10:59 pm

What exactly is Ekagata. (One pointedness)?
Ekagata is a universal (ie. common to all types of consciousness) according to Abhidhamma.
https://accesstoinsight.org/lib/authors ... el322.html

In addition you find Ekagata in all Jhanas.

So what is the difference between Ekagata in Jhana and Ekagata in Universals as per Abhidhamma?

This OP is created due to the following discussion.

viewtopic.php?p=489844#p489838
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DooDoot
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Re: What exactly is Ekagata. (One pointedness)?

Post by DooDoot » Wed Oct 17, 2018 11:20 pm

ToVincent wrote:
Wed Oct 17, 2018 9:18 pm
DooDoot wrote:
Wed Oct 17, 2018 8:01 pm
SarathW wrote:
Wed Oct 17, 2018 7:59 pm
Samadhi or Concentration (Ekagata) - though often very weak -
Not according to the suttas. :focus:
Unflagging persistence was aroused in me, and unmuddled mindfulness established. My body was calm & unaroused, my mind (cittaṃ) concentrated (samāhitaṃ) & single (ekaggaṃ). Quite withdrawn from sensuality, withdrawn from unskillful mental qualities, I entered & remained in the first jhana...

MN 19
I agree to go back to topic, after this remark:

The Agama parallel to MN 19 (MA 102) is not so manifest.
It puts samadhi & ekaggata as the entrance to second jhana. While in the Pali version, it is the first jhana.
So one might reconsider this passage about the jhanas altogether; for it does not fit in the rest of the Nikayas.
The above is absolutely wrong. How many times must this heresy be repeated? Ekaggata is a factor of the 1st jhana in many suttas. It is a stock standard teaching. The term specific to the 2nd jhana is "ekodibhāvaṃ". "Ekodibhāvaṃ" is obviously not "ekaggatā". Also, Agama parallels appear to have 0% relevance to the study of Pali Buddhism because Agama are hundreds of years after the Buddha. This matter about 1st jhana and ekaggatā is not even debatable. It is literally clear in the Pali suttas.
“But how many factors does the first absorption have?”

“Paṭhamaṃ panāvuso, jhānaṃ katiaṅgikan”ti?

“The first absorption has five factors.

“Paṭhamaṃ kho, āvuso, jhānaṃ pañcaṅgikaṃ.

When a mendicant has entered the first absorption, placing the mind, keeping it connected, rapture, bliss, and unification of mind are present.

Idhāvuso, paṭhamaṃ jhānaṃ samāpannassa bhikkhuno vitakko ca vattati, vicāro ca pīti ca sukhañca cittekaggatā ca.

https://suttacentral.net/mn43/en/sujato
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DooDoot
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Re: What exactly is Ekagata. (One pointedness)?

Post by DooDoot » Wed Oct 17, 2018 11:34 pm

SarathW wrote:
Wed Oct 17, 2018 10:59 pm
So what is the difference between Ekagata in Jhana and Ekagata in Universals as per Abhidhamma?
My view the above is an irrelevant question in Buddha-Dhamma. If the mind is "one-pointed" upon an unwholesome object this does not bring happiness but brings suffering. The ekkaggata of jhana manifests supernormal non-sensual happiness. That is obviously why the Buddha emphasised it.
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SarathW
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Re: What exactly is Ekagata. (One pointedness)?

Post by SarathW » Thu Oct 18, 2018 12:26 am

Perhaps Ekagata are mainly used in wholesome sense but it does not mean Ekagata is always wholesome.
This is very similar to Chanda which is mostly used in wholesome sense.
There is Samma Samadhi and Mitya Samadhi.
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DooDoot
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Re: What exactly is Ekagata. (One pointedness)?

Post by DooDoot » Thu Oct 18, 2018 1:05 am

SarathW wrote:
Thu Oct 18, 2018 12:26 am
Perhaps Ekagata are mainly used in wholesome sense
Unlikely (per Abhidhamma).
SarathW wrote:
Thu Oct 18, 2018 12:26 am
There is Samma Samadhi and Micchā Samadhi.
If it is not "one-pointed", how could it be "samadhi"? How can Micchā Samadhi not have some degree of "one-pointedness"? :roll:
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Re: What exactly is Ekagata. (One pointedness)?

Post by Zom » Thu Oct 18, 2018 1:19 am

Also, Agama parallels appear to have 0% relevance to the study of Pali Buddhism because Agama are hundreds of years after the Buddha.
That's not so. Agamas and Nikayas - both come from ancient original source. And both have distortions to this or that degree.

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Re: What exactly is Ekagata. (One pointedness)?

Post by SarathW » Thu Oct 18, 2018 1:35 am

What I am saying is both Samma Samadhi and Mitya Samadhi got one pointedness.
Which means all consciousness got one pointedness but vary only from the degree.
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Re: What exactly is Ekagata. (One pointedness)?

Post by DooDoot » Thu Oct 18, 2018 1:48 am

SarathW wrote:
Thu Oct 18, 2018 1:35 am
What I am saying is both Samma Samadhi and Mitya Samadhi got one pointedness.
Which means all consciousness got one pointedness but vary only from the degree.
As I already posted, the one pointedness of jhana is not a ordinary one pointedness but something specific to jhana. If it was not specific to jhana, why would it be mentioned specifically as a factor of jhana?

It does not matter what "one pointedness" generally is. What matters is the one pointedness mentioned in jhana is something special.

Its the same as "sukha". The "sukha" of jhana is more special than other types of sukha.

The same as "rapture", which is why all rapture in meditation is not "jhana".

If all one-pointedness, rapture & sukha were the same, then declaring jhana would not be a transgression of the Vinaya nor would it be the culmination of the noble path.

If there was nothing special about jhana then Buddha would not have praised it.

:roll:
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Re: What exactly is Ekagata. (One pointedness)?

Post by SarathW » Thu Oct 18, 2018 2:15 am

As I already posted, the one pointedness of jhana is not a ordinary one pointedness but something specific to jhana.
Agree.
What I am saying is that Ekagata is found in all type of consciousness but with a different degree.
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

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Re: What exactly is Ekagata. (One pointedness)?

Post by DooDoot » Thu Oct 18, 2018 2:22 am

SarathW wrote:
Thu Oct 18, 2018 2:15 am
What I am saying is that Ekagata is found in all type of consciousness but with a different degree.
What I am saying is that if Ekagata is found in all type of consciousness it is irrelevant to Buddha-Dhamma. :strawman: :focus:
I have been falsely misrepresented as being what I am not, and saying what I do not say.

Yathā cāhaṃ na, bhikkhave, yathā cāhaṃ na vadāmi, tathā maṃ te bhonto samaṇabrāhmaṇā asatā tucchā musā abhūtena abbhācikkhanti:

In the past, as today, what I describe is suffering and the cessation of suffering.

Pubbe cāhaṃ, bhikkhave, etarahi ca dukkhañceva paññāpemi, dukkhassa ca nirodhaṃ.

https://suttacentral.net/mn22/en/sujato
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Re: What exactly is Ekagata. (One pointedness)?

Post by SarathW » Thu Oct 18, 2018 2:43 am

What I am saying is that if Ekagata is found in all type of consciousness it is irrelevant to Buddha-Dhamma.
This is no different to Piiti and Sukha which are find in other type of consciousness not necessarily in Jhana.
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Re: What exactly is Ekagata. (One pointedness)?

Post by DooDoot » Thu Oct 18, 2018 3:11 am

SarathW wrote:
Thu Oct 18, 2018 2:43 am
This is no different to Piiti and Sukha which are find in other type of consciousness not necessarily in Jhana. :strawman:
No. Ordinary sukha vedana leads to the arising of lust & dukkha. Or ordinary sukkha is the result of good karma. Or Nibbana is the highest sukkha.
In the past, as today, what I describe is suffering and the cessation of suffering.

MN 22 :focus:
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Volovsky
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Re: What exactly is Ekagata. (One pointedness)?

Post by Volovsky » Thu Oct 18, 2018 11:24 am

I move here is my reply from the topic where off topic started.
DooDoot wrote:
Wed Oct 17, 2018 7:34 pm
Both the nimitta and ekkaggata are interrelated; like two sheaths standing against eachother.
Ok. But then they are still two different things.
No. I would suggest the "we" in the text is a mistranslation because the text clearly states the nimitta is "mind-made". It appears you did not read the text further than the first sentence (yet you attempt to refute it).
I think even in the end he says that we focus on "the object we have chosen". May be I was misled by this phrase and by information I've got elsewhere. Anyway, I would be happy if I was mistaken here and these weird ideas are not comming from the Ajahn. But this probably is not relevant for discussion "nimitta vs ekaggatā".

PS Sorry for continuing off topic. May be it is possible to move nimitta/ekaggatā discussion to another topic?
Last edited by Volovsky on Thu Oct 18, 2018 11:30 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: What exactly is Ekagata. (One pointedness)?

Post by DooDoot » Thu Oct 18, 2018 11:26 am

Volovsky wrote:
Thu Oct 18, 2018 11:11 am
Ok. But then they are still two different things.
Maybe. But my original point was theorizing why "nimitta" is not found in the sutta descriptions of jhana.
Volovsky wrote:
Thu Oct 18, 2018 11:11 am
I think even in the end he says that we focus on "the object we have chosen". May be I was misled by this phrase and by information I've got elsewhere. Anyway, I would be happy if I was mistaken here and these weird ideas are not comming from the Ajahn. But this probably is not relevant for discussion "nimitta vs ekaggatā".
Sure. What is written in Buddhadasa's book is rather convoluted. Personally, I found that part of Buddhadasa's book useless when I was intent on learning the practise (exactly 30 years ago). Its lots of Visuddhimagga; in its "five skillful tricks" (which aren't that skillful). I prefer Ajahn Brahm's instruction but (ignoring the five skillful tricks) prefer Buddhadada's explanation of the 16 steps.
Volovsky wrote:
Thu Oct 18, 2018 11:11 am
PS Sorry for continuing off topic. May be it is possible to move nimitta/ekaggatā discussion to another topic?
No need to say sorry. :)
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Re: What exactly is Ekagata. (One pointedness)?

Post by bksubhuti » Fri Oct 19, 2018 5:36 am

You need to understand that Abhidhamma takes things on a single mind moment. Therefore ekagata (one object .. or one going) is present in every single consciousness because there is only one object for each mind moment. Think of it like a video frame in a video file. Ekagata in this video context means "one picture". Therefore, each frame has one picture. However, if we were going to talk about concentration, we would want a video stream that has only one picture repeated over and over again. It will look like a photograph even though a video is playing. Like a video camera taking a video of a <white circle> mounted on a black wall while filmed from a tripod. In this case, the successive frames will be the "same object" repeated over and over again. During playback, it will look like a photograph. There is only one object in successive frames or mind moments.
When it is repeated over and over again, one can enter jhana.. that power gets strong and it is discernible in a single mind moment too. Many yogis go "inside" the nimitta and so the object is less likely to change.

I hope this helps. You can look at my Abhidhamma lessons book located on my website: https://americanmonk.org/abhidhamma-lessons/

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