Jhanas, Misconceptions that have arisen regarding the Four Rupa Jhanas.

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism
Post Reply
Pulsar
Posts: 459
Joined: Tue Feb 05, 2019 6:52 pm

Jhanas, Misconceptions that have arisen regarding the Four Rupa Jhanas.

Post by Pulsar » Thu Jul 11, 2019 2:30 pm

Some perceive the four rupa jhanas as superhuman states, and discourage regular buddhists from exploring jhanas. But jhanas as the last factor of the eightfold path, need to be practiced, by the diligent
buddhist. The teaching is about the four Noble Truths. The last truth is to be practiced in our daily lives.
If one removes the last factor of the mundane 8-fold path, what would you call it, 7-fold path? in which case we do not have to discuss jhanas. But this is not Buddha's teaching. :candle:

pyluyten
Posts: 105
Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2017 9:08 am

Re: Jhanas, Misconceptions that have arisen regarding the Four Rupa Jhanas.

Post by pyluyten » Thu Jul 11, 2019 5:01 pm

anyway this is mainly a wording issue. People who practice jhana : "the sutta taught only my pratice which is attention to breathe , and its name is jhana and it includes wisdom". People who pratice vipassana "the sutta taught my practice, which is attention to breathe, and is named vipassana, but also taught another practice which is jhana, which is not important"

User avatar
Antaradhana
Posts: 233
Joined: Wed Jun 19, 2019 4:56 pm
Location: Saratov, Russia

Re: Jhanas, Misconceptions that have arisen regarding the Four Rupa Jhanas.

Post by Antaradhana » Thu Jul 11, 2019 7:45 pm

The path is sequential, and the jhanas are at the very end of the path. This is the eighth step, after them only knowledge and liberation.

See MN 117, and other sutras on the sequence of practice:

https://suttacentral.net/an10.99/en/sujato
https://suttacentral.net/mn27/en/bodhi
https://suttacentral.net/mn39/en/sujato
https://suttacentral.net/mn107/en/sujato
https://suttacentral.net/mn125/en/sujato

If the preliminary steps of the Path are not developed properly, then you can sit for a million years with your legs crossed contemplating your breath and not reach the jhana. At best, a small peace of mind will be achieved.
Last edited by Antaradhana on Thu Jul 11, 2019 11:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.
All that is subject to arising is subject to termination, all formations are non-permanent. And that which is impermanent is suffering. Regarding what is impermanent and prone to suffering, one cannot say: "This is mine, I am this, this is my self".

User avatar
DooDoot
Posts: 6376
Joined: Tue Aug 08, 2017 11:06 pm

Re: Jhanas, Misconceptions that have arisen regarding the Four Rupa Jhanas.

Post by DooDoot » Thu Jul 11, 2019 10:48 pm

Pulsar wrote:
Thu Jul 11, 2019 2:30 pm
Some perceive the four rupa jhanas as superhuman states
The Dhamma-Vinaya says jhanas are superhuman states.
Good, good, Anuruddha. But while you abide thus diligent, ardent, and resolute, have you attained any superhuman state, a distinction in knowledge and vision worthy of the noble ones, a comfortable abiding?”

“Why not, venerable sir? Here, venerable sir, whenever we want, quite secluded from sensual pleasures, secluded from unwholesome states, we enter upon and abide in the first jhāna, which is accompanied by applied and sustained thought, with rapture and pleasure born of seclusion. Venerable sir, this is a superhuman state, a distinction in knowledge and vision worthy of the noble ones, a comfortable abiding, which we have attained while abiding diligent, ardent, and resolute.”

“Good, good, Anuruddha"


https://suttacentral.net/mn31/en/bodhi
All conscious lies are forbidden by the first pācittiya rule, but knowingly to make a false claim to a superior human state is one of the most heinous lies a bhikkhu can tell, so here it receives its own rule and the heaviest possible penalty....

The Vibhaṅga lists many superior human states, defining them as follows: meditative absorption (jhāna): the four jhānas; emancipation (vimokkha): the emptiness (suññatā)....

https://www.dhammatalks.org/Archive/Wri ... 181215.pdf
But I cannot find it written that Right Speech alone is a superhuman state.
Pulsar wrote:
Thu Jul 11, 2019 2:30 pm
Therefore, , and discourage regular buddhists from exploring jhanas. But jhanas as the last factor of the eightfold path, need to be practiced, by the diligent
buddhist. The teaching is about the four Noble Truths. The last truth is to be practiced in our daily lives.
If one removes the last factor of the mundane 8-fold path, what would you call it, 7-fold path? in which case we do not have to discuss jhanas. But this is not Buddha's teaching.
False Speech is not the Buddha's teaching. The Buddha taught jhana is a superhuman state. :smile:
Pulsar wrote:
Thu Jul 04, 2019 10:12 am
I find it more difficult to maintain right speech at all times, as indicated in MN 117, I falter more there, than with my practice of jhana.
Since MN 117 says right speech is a prerequisite for right jhana, it seems logical the "jhana" mentioned above is fake imaginary jhana. Since the Buddha said jhana is a superhuman state but did not say right speech is a superhuman state, it seems illogical a superhuman jhanee would find it difficult to maintain right speech. The bottom line here appears to be false speech is the predominate factor claiming attainments of jhana.

:smile:
There is always an official executioner. If you try to take his place, It is like trying to be a master carpenter and cutting wood. If you try to cut wood like a master carpenter, you will only hurt your hand.

https://soundcloud.com/doodoot/paticcasamuppada
https://soundcloud.com/doodoot/anapanasati

chownah
Posts: 8433
Joined: Wed Aug 12, 2009 2:19 pm

Re: Jhanas, Misconceptions that have arisen regarding the Four Rupa Jhanas.

Post by chownah » Fri Jul 12, 2019 2:33 am

DooDoot wrote:
Thu Jul 11, 2019 10:48 pm
Pulsar wrote:
Thu Jul 11, 2019 2:30 pm
Some perceive the four rupa jhanas as superhuman states
The Dhamma-Vinaya says jhanas are superhuman states.
....it kind of depends on what one means when using the term "susperhuman states" :quote: ...... :shrug:
chownah

User avatar
Antaradhana
Posts: 233
Joined: Wed Jun 19, 2019 4:56 pm
Location: Saratov, Russia

Re: Jhanas, Misconceptions that have arisen regarding the Four Rupa Jhanas.

Post by Antaradhana » Fri Jul 12, 2019 12:02 pm

chownah wrote:
Fri Jul 12, 2019 2:33 am
DooDoot wrote:
Thu Jul 11, 2019 10:48 pm
Pulsar wrote:
Thu Jul 11, 2019 2:30 pm
Some perceive the four rupa jhanas as superhuman states
The Dhamma-Vinaya says jhanas are superhuman states.
....it kind of depends on what one means when using the term "susperhuman states" :quote: ...... :shrug:
chownah
For example, jhana refers to the sphere of the unthinkable: that it is impossible to think, along with the abilities of the Tathagata, with the exact results of the course of the kamma and the emergence of the world (AN 4.77).

Jhana is a superhuman state, since the mind that has reached the first jhana goes beyond the world of people and gods of the kama-locka, including Mara. The mind becomes equal to Brahma's minds.
All that is subject to arising is subject to termination, all formations are non-permanent. And that which is impermanent is suffering. Regarding what is impermanent and prone to suffering, one cannot say: "This is mine, I am this, this is my self".

chownah
Posts: 8433
Joined: Wed Aug 12, 2009 2:19 pm

Re: Jhanas, Misconceptions that have arisen regarding the Four Rupa Jhanas.

Post by chownah » Fri Jul 12, 2019 12:40 pm

Antaradhana wrote:
Fri Jul 12, 2019 12:02 pm
chownah wrote:
Fri Jul 12, 2019 2:33 am
DooDoot wrote:
Thu Jul 11, 2019 10:48 pm

The Dhamma-Vinaya says jhanas are superhuman states.
....it kind of depends on what one means when using the term "susperhuman states" :quote: ...... :shrug:
chownah
For example, jhana refers to the sphere of the unthinkable: that it is impossible to think, along with the abilities of the Tathagata, with the exact results of the course of the kamma and the emergence of the world (AN 4.77).

Jhana is a superhuman state, since the mind that has reached the first jhana goes beyond the world of people and gods of the kama-locka, including Mara. The mind becomes equal to Brahma's minds.
Can you find a theravada reference which says that The mind becomes equal to Brahma's minds?
chownah

Pulsar
Posts: 459
Joined: Tue Feb 05, 2019 6:52 pm

Re: Jhanas, Misconceptions that have arisen regarding the Four Rupa Jhanas.

Post by Pulsar » Fri Jul 12, 2019 12:46 pm

DooDoot wrote
The Dhamma-Vinaya says jhanas are superhuman states
to prove his point he selectively quotes from the canon. OP started this thread with mundane 8-fold path, as background.
OP finds DooDoot's comments distracting. However OP is not going to block you, since OP likes you. But can you pl. stop commenting on this thread?
If you want to communicate regarding supernormal jhana
pl use the other jhana thread, that OP started a few days ago, so that those who are interested in those thoughts can still find you there. :candle:

Pulsar
Posts: 459
Joined: Tue Feb 05, 2019 6:52 pm

Re: Jhanas, Misconceptions that have arisen regarding the Four Rupa Jhanas.

Post by Pulsar » Fri Jul 12, 2019 12:51 pm

Antaradhana wrote
Jhana is a superhuman state, since the mind that has reached the first jhana goes beyond the world of people and gods of the kama-locka, including Mara.
OP does not subscribe to this idea as stated by you. This thread will address mundane issues facing the eager buddhist, who leads a non-monastic life. Your ideas will disrupt the intention of why the thread was started, in the first place. Pl refrain from commenting here. You can still communicate with OP on the
other jhana thread, or start your own thread, with your opposing viewpoint. Thank you :candle:
If you or DooDoot do not heed this, I will be forced to ask the moderators to lock the thread.

Pulsar
Posts: 459
Joined: Tue Feb 05, 2019 6:52 pm

Re: Jhanas, Misconceptions that have arisen regarding the Four Rupa Jhanas.

Post by Pulsar » Fri Jul 12, 2019 1:37 pm

I like to explain the terms I use, pl feel free to ask anything if my brief comments confuse you.
Text speaks of
Kama-loka. Rupa-loka, and Arupa Loka
We are discussing meditation, so lets us forget about how these are applied to Buddhist cosmology, and use the terms in relation to buddhist meditation.
Terminology like
kamavachara, rupavachara, and arupavacahra
used by early Abhidhammikas relate to the same thing. In meditation, when we say Kama Loka it means the sensory world we are all born to, and are engaged in. However, when we meditate as in
right Samadhi
the first step is to remove our minds from the sensory world. Hindrances block our entrance into this samadhi.
Once the mind is free of these, we can easily enter first samadhi, or first jhana. We cannot enter samadhi with a muddled mind. This calming is facilitated if we think of images like a current spreading through water, impacted by impingement of a rock, or water suffusing through soap powder making the soap a uniform sphere, or breath spreading evenly through every body cell, in a calming manner.
These actions are also called
vitaka, vicara
not a big deal. Vitaka is the first impact of the thought, and vicara is the spreading nature of the activity.
When the mind is settled in this activity, one has entered first jhana. Try it at home, it is just this ensuing calmness you feel for a moment, or more. You choose.
This happens to some people on their own, sometimes. For instance there is a point in the day when nothing affects you, of the sensual world, there is a welcome spirit of awakened quality, thought
rests.
This is very similar to the quality of first jhana. There is nothing supernatural about it, perhaps the quality of thought is sublime, that you might feel like you are in the the deva world, free of the vicissitudes of human life. That experience is one of the Rupa world, of course abhidahmmikas called this kind of citta Rupavacara citta, but right now we are not concerned about abhidhmma terminology.
Has anyone felt like this? Pl share your thoughts, one must not start meditation thinking, I am never gonna get this, right? :candle:

Pulsar
Posts: 459
Joined: Tue Feb 05, 2019 6:52 pm

Re: Jhanas, Misconceptions that have arisen regarding the Four Rupa Jhanas.

Post by Pulsar » Fri Jul 12, 2019 10:34 pm

Dear chownah, your comments are appreciated. :candle:

User avatar
Antaradhana
Posts: 233
Joined: Wed Jun 19, 2019 4:56 pm
Location: Saratov, Russia

Re: Jhanas, Misconceptions that have arisen regarding the Four Rupa Jhanas.

Post by Antaradhana » Fri Jul 12, 2019 10:51 pm

chownah wrote:
Fri Jul 12, 2019 12:40 pm
Can you find a theravada reference which says that The mind becomes equal to Brahma's minds?
Offhand, I recall the AN 4.123, which states that a person who is able to enter a particular jhana at will is reborn by Brahma in the corresponding world of rupa-loka, after death in the human world.
All that is subject to arising is subject to termination, all formations are non-permanent. And that which is impermanent is suffering. Regarding what is impermanent and prone to suffering, one cannot say: "This is mine, I am this, this is my self".

Pulsar
Posts: 459
Joined: Tue Feb 05, 2019 6:52 pm

Re: Jhanas, Misconceptions that have arisen regarding the Four Rupa Jhanas.

Post by Pulsar » Sat Jul 13, 2019 12:27 pm

The idea behind jhanic states, the facility it affords for intense concentration, like drilling a hole through a diamond. A distracted mind cannot truly feel the 3 marks of life. :candle:

User avatar
DooDoot
Posts: 6376
Joined: Tue Aug 08, 2017 11:06 pm

Re: Jhanas, Misconceptions that have arisen regarding the Four Rupa Jhanas.

Post by DooDoot » Sat Jul 13, 2019 12:32 pm

Pulsar wrote:
Sat Jul 13, 2019 12:27 pm
The idea behind jhanic states, the facility it affords for intense concentration, like drilling a hole through a diamond. A distracted mind cannot truly feel the 3 marks of life. :candle:
I think it is best to focus on Right Speech and confession to Buddha & Dhamma when misrepresenting. This thread started with the post:
Misconceptions that have arisen regarding the Four Rupa Jhanas.

Some perceive the four rupa jhanas as superhuman states, and discourage regular buddhists from exploring jhanas.
The Dhamma (suttas) and Vinaya unambiguously say jhana is a superhuman state. Therefore, it was wrong & a misrepresentation of Dhamma to say "Misconceptions that have arisen regarding the Four Rupa Jhanas". :smile:
Pulsar wrote:
Sat Jul 13, 2019 12:27 pm
The idea behind jhanic states, the facility it affords for intense concentration, like drilling a hole through a diamond. A distracted mind cannot truly feel the 3 marks of life. :candle:
Jhana is not "intense" and jhana is not like drilling a hole through a diamond. :lol: :roll: :rofl:

The suttas describe jhana as follows:
When the mind was thus concentrated, purified, bright, unblemished, rid of defilement, pliant, malleable, steady & attained to imperturbability...

When my mind had become immersed in samādhi like this—purified, bright, flawless, rid of corruptions, pliable, workable, steady, and imperturbable

When my concentrated mind was thus purified, bright, unblemished, rid of imperfection, malleable, wieldy, steady, and attained to imperturbability
There is always an official executioner. If you try to take his place, It is like trying to be a master carpenter and cutting wood. If you try to cut wood like a master carpenter, you will only hurt your hand.

https://soundcloud.com/doodoot/paticcasamuppada
https://soundcloud.com/doodoot/anapanasati

chownah
Posts: 8433
Joined: Wed Aug 12, 2009 2:19 pm

Re: Jhanas, Misconceptions that have arisen regarding the Four Rupa Jhanas.

Post by chownah » Sat Jul 13, 2019 1:00 pm

Antaradhana wrote:
Fri Jul 12, 2019 10:51 pm
chownah wrote:
Fri Jul 12, 2019 12:40 pm
Can you find a theravada reference which says that The mind becomes equal to Brahma's minds?
Offhand, I recall the AN 4.123, which states that a person who is able to enter a particular jhana at will is reborn by Brahma in the corresponding world of rupa-loka, after death in the human world.
The sutta does not say that the person is "reborn by brahma" in that sutta.....I think you have misrepresented what is said in that sutta.

More to the point....the sutta does not say that "the mind becomes equal to brahma's minds".....the sutta doesn't mention the mind of the person nor does it mention the minds of brahma....so....offhand it seems that the reference you bring does not support your assertion that "the mind becomes equal to brahma's mind.

And even more to the point.....this has nothing to do with the topic of discussion which is (as I see it) that jhanas are an important part of the path and people should not be discouraged from working on them which is what happens when people exagerate their difficulty. I'm not saying that I agree with the OP 100% but I do agree with the part that people should be encouraged and not discouraged from working on attaining as much as can be accomplished with respect to mindfulness and all forms of meditation in general including jhanas.
chownah

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: char101, form, Majestic-12 [Bot] and 194 guests