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

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism
Pulsar
Posts: 366
Joined: Tue Feb 05, 2019 6:52 pm

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

Post by Pulsar » Tue Aug 20, 2019 3:53 pm

Chownah all what you say appears to be so, MN 43 refers to 4th Jhana only in that one section.
I guess it is hard to have this conversation unless you have some experience with 4 jhanas, meaning unless
you went to the depths of investigating 4th Jhana.
Suttas offer little fragments. Ven. Bhikkhu Bodhi says so in his introductions to the translations, and some suttas are corrupted. I will give you an example later. To understand, the reader has to put the correct parts together
like parts of a jigsaw puzzle.
To support everything I say with a sutta with take a tremendous amount of energy.
I pretty much repeated what BB wrote in other words, in relation to 4th jhana, in the sparticular instance.
that within that the 4th jhana the meditator is able to investigate the arupas/immaterial realms
I do not have the time to copy him (BB). To do a good job I have to copy all related comments of
BB from Middle lengths, from Samyutta, and Anguttara, and Sutta Nipata. One cannot pick and choose a small portion from the canon and make a case to support one thing. Is there a library near you where you can find access to these? I have a library near me where I access all the texts I do not have.
It makes a world of difference to the understanding
of suttas if one can read
Middle lengths, Connected series and Anguttara
while accessing
his foot notes. And sometimes to understand a sutta in Parayanvagga one has to read
the related sutta in the Connected series or Anguttara.

The best I could say is, read one of the tomes written by a scholar, I can give you
the names of scholars if that will make it easy. :candle:

chownah
Posts: 8154
Joined: Wed Aug 12, 2009 2:19 pm

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

Post by chownah » Thu Aug 22, 2019 12:02 pm

Let's back up for a moment. When we started this discussion I was asking for sutta references and have pretty much continued to ask for suttas although maybe I haven't made this explicit enough. It seems that you regularly provide non-sutta references although I think that your hope is that ultimately these non-sutta references will point to suttas. You have proveded a few suttas but I haven't really seen that they have done a good job at substantiating your claims which we have been discussing (1. did the buddha know the rupas before he went to learn the arupas? 2. was there a conscious effort to corrupt the suttas by injecting references to the arupas? 3. are the arupas worthless for buddhists? 4. maybe I've missed one/some?)

Also, note that you are now involved in a discussion of the arupas which is something that you explicitly said you did not want to do. I don't want to think that in some way I am making you discuss something which you would rather not.

I won't reply to everything in your most recent post but my overall feeling now is that if I accept your assertion that the arupas (or maybe just some of them) are somewhat accessable from fourth jhana then it leads me to the idea that those arupas must be of some value to buddhists of else the buddha would not have mentioned that they are accessable from the fourth jhana (he only taught the end of suffering).

Also, saying that the arupas are accessable from the fourth jhana made me consider that this seems like a perfect example of co-option....that being that the writers of the sutta have taken the arupas (which by your account were seperate non-buddhist forms of concentration and which seemed to me to have been somewhat popular at the time) and incorporated them into buddhist texts as things which can be accessed from fourth jhana.

I'll give a different perspective here: It could be said that 2nd jhana can be accessed from 1st jhana and it could be said the 3rd jhana can be accessed from 2nh jhana and it could be said that 4th jhana can be accessed from 3rd jhana and it could be said that the arupas can be accessed from 4th jhana. OR....it could be said the there are 4 rupas and 4 arupas and that they are each seperate entities. I point this out because my idea of what jhanas are (I know it is quite different from yours) is that they are the pointing out of various sign posts by which a practicioner can have an idea of how their concentration is developing and suggestions on how progress can be enhanced.....they are really useful in this way but what is going on in developing concentration is different for different people and splitting it into stages or parts, while helpful for many, might lead one to believe that concentration has a self and this self can be broken down into different sub selves...my view is that this is a useful fabrication but really, concentration does not break into little sub parts....and if it did it would break differently into different sub parts for different people.....I see this as why the Path has many factors and as a result of each individual having different abilities and undertandings with respect to each of the eight things comprising the path.....lots of diversity.

Having said all this: I have nothing negative to say about the views that you hold....I just think that the suttas do not support some aspects of yours views....and isn't this true of just about everyone? I think that learning concentration from a jhana based approach is great! I think that learning concentration from some other approach is great too! I first learned methods of concentration from a non-buddhist source and they were great and valuable at the time and continued to be valuable when I started studying the buddha dhamma. I don't hold the view that the rupas are the only way and all else is worthless....I think in general you don't hold that view either but I think that perhaps some people do tend to interpret what you say in that way.
chownah

Pulsar
Posts: 366
Joined: Tue Feb 05, 2019 6:52 pm

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

Post by Pulsar » Thu Aug 22, 2019 4:20 pm

Chownah said
Let's back up for a moment. When we started this discussion I was asking for sutta references and have pretty much continued to ask for suttas although maybe I haven't made this explicit enough
perhaps you did not make it explicit enough, or I misunderstood you.
I will give you a suttas, let us try this one first. It speaks about the consciousness of
4th jhana and the insight gained by that. Scholars agree on this
point. Pl listen to this one, it is on audio.
Let me know what it communicates to you. This might be good for both of us, to become
aware how a sutta might convey different things to different folks.
Yes, I do not want to get dragged into a discussion of Araupas as unrelated
to 8-fold path.
My interest in the 4 buddhist jhanas is only in relation to eightfold path.
I have posted a sutta on the other thread that says the Right concentration refers
to the four jhanas.
I have not said other meditations do not help, people of all sects and religions meditate
and find solace in that. :candle:

Pl listen to the audio of Kalaha Viveda Sutta.
http://www.suttareadings.net/audio/snp.4.11.ctpl.mp3

chownah
Posts: 8154
Joined: Wed Aug 12, 2009 2:19 pm

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

Post by chownah » Fri Aug 23, 2019 5:45 am

Pulsar wrote:
Thu Aug 22, 2019 4:20 pm

I will give you a suttas, let us try this one first. It speaks about the consciousness of
4th jhana and the insight gained by that. Scholars agree on this
point. Pl listen to this one, it is on audio.
Let me know what it communicates to you. This might be good for both of us, to become
aware how a sutta might convey different things to different folks.
.....
......
Pl listen to the audio of Kalaha Viveda Sutta.
http://www.suttareadings.net/audio/snp.4.11.ctpl.mp3
Can we use this translation of the sutta instead of the audio?:https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitak ... html#fnt-9. I can study much more effiently with text compared to audio.
chownah

Pulsar
Posts: 366
Joined: Tue Feb 05, 2019 6:52 pm

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

Post by Pulsar » Fri Aug 23, 2019 6:38 pm

Dear Chownah: Sure we can use this translation. Saddhatissa's translation is different, and I like it,
but I cannot find it on the web. So we make do with what we have. Regarding these poems
in the Sutta Nipata, the Theravada tradition has taken the view that text's statements, including many which are clearly intended to be paradoxical, are meant to be puzzled over and explicated. There was a time
when Sutta Nipata was my fav. place...
Later I realized for the analysis, understanding of suttas like MN 43 or MN 122 are essential.
:candle:

chownah
Posts: 8154
Joined: Wed Aug 12, 2009 2:19 pm

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

Post by chownah » Sat Aug 24, 2019 1:04 pm

Pulsar wrote:
Fri Aug 23, 2019 6:38 pm
Dear Chownah: Sure we can use this translation. Saddhatissa's translation is different, and I like it,
but I cannot find it on the web. So we make do with what we have. Regarding these poems
in the Sutta Nipata, the Theravada tradition has taken the view that text's statements, including many which are clearly intended to be paradoxical, are meant to be puzzled over and explicated. There was a time
when Sutta Nipata was my fav. place...
Later I realized for the analysis, understanding of suttas like MN 43 or MN 122 are essential.
:candle:
OK. You have provided a sutta and we agree on the text we will use in a discussion. Also you seem to be saying that in that discussion it is likely that mn43 and mn122 will be referenced.
I have been quite consistent I think in my asking for sutta references to support the assertions you have made....those assertions having been things like corruption of suttas and whether the buddha had knowledge of the rupas before he went to his arupa teachers and the general status of the arupas with respect to the buddha's teachings. Which assertion are you wanting to substantiate with this sutta?
chownah

Pulsar
Posts: 366
Joined: Tue Feb 05, 2019 6:52 pm

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

Post by Pulsar » Mon Aug 26, 2019 8:27 pm

Dear Chownah, I will bring in three suttas, in the first one MN 4, Buddha describes his awakening. https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitak ... .than.html

Here the predominant theme is fear and dread. How Buddha overcame fear and dread in order to do the 4 jhana meditations. The 4th jhana opens the door to awakening. There is no reference to the teachers in this sutta. So it is very straightforward. I selected it since it is very short. One scholar has said he found no evidence for the two teachers in the historical recordings that he researched. Another scholar opposes this view. To me what is important is Buddha's awakening, and I have faith that he awoke through his own initiative, with no help from another.

an excerpt from MN 4, describes 4th jhana or imperturbable state.
When the mind was thus concentrated, purified, bright, unblemished, rid of defilement, pliant, malleable, steady, & attained to imperturbability, I directed it to the knowledge of the ending of the mental fermentations. I discerned, as it had come to be, that 'This is stress... This is the origination of stress... This is the cessation of stress... This is the way leading to the cessation of stress... These are fermentations... This is the origination of fermentations... This is the cessation of fermentations... This is the way leading to the cessation of fermentations.' My heart, thus knowing, thus seeing, was released from the fermentation of sensuality, released from the fermentation of becoming, released from the fermentation of ignorance. With release, there was the knowledge, 'Released.' I discerned that 'Birth is ended, the holy life fulfilled, the task done. There is nothing further for this world
I also introduce a sutta from Anguttara which is a good example of what I call a corrupted sutta.

Jhana sutta: Mental absorption AN 4.123
https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitak ... .than.html

an excerpt Each of the 4 jhanas end with some deva loka elaboration, for instance at end of first jhana
He savors that, longs for that, finds satisfaction through that (meaning first jhana). Staying there — fixed on that, dwelling there often, not falling away from that — then when he dies he reappears in conjunction with the devas of Brahma's retinue. The devas of Brahma's retinue, monks, have a life-span of an eon
.

And here is an uncorrupted sutta on the 4 jhanas, an excellent teaching tool.

Waste water pool: Jambali sutta AN 4.178
https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitak ... .than.html

this excerpt refers to the 4th jhana accomplishment. Sutta does not speak of deva worlds.
Now, there is the case where a monk enters & remains in a certain peaceful awareness-release (meaning 4th jhana here). He attends to the breaching of ignorance, and as he is attending to the breaching of ignorance his mind leaps up, grows confident, steadfast, & firm in the breaching of ignorance. For him the breaching of ignorance is to be expected. Just as if there were a waste-water pool that had stood for countless years, where a man were to open all the inlets and block all the outlets, and the sky were to rain down in good streams of rain: the breaching of the waste-water pool's embankment would be expected; in the same way, the monk enters & remains in a certain peaceful awareness-release. He attends to the breaching of ignorance, and as he is attending to the breaching of ignorance his mind leaps up, grows confident, steadfast, & firm in the breaching of ignorance. For him the breaching of ignorance is to be expected
:candle:

chownah
Posts: 8154
Joined: Wed Aug 12, 2009 2:19 pm

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

Post by chownah » Wed Aug 28, 2019 2:54 am

Pulsar wrote:
Mon Aug 26, 2019 8:27 pm
Dear Chownah, I will bring in three suttas, in the first one MN 4, Buddha describes his awakening. https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitak ... .than.html
It is not clear to me why you are bringing this sutta. It seems that you are saying that only fourth jhana is needed to attain enlightenment (if there is something else you are asserting please let me know). I have never disputed that only fourth jhana is needed for attaining enlightenment so I don't know why you are bringing this sutta.
Pulsar wrote:
Mon Aug 26, 2019 8:27 pm
I also introduce a sutta from Anguttara which is a good example of what I call a corrupted sutta.

Jhana sutta: Mental absorption AN 4.123
https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitak ... .than.html
an excerpt Each of the 4 jhanas end with some deva loka elaboration, for instance at end of first jhana
......
.
And here is an uncorrupted sutta on the 4 jhanas, an excellent teaching tool.
Waste water pool: Jambali sutta AN 4.178
https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitak ... .than.html
this excerpt refers to the 4th jhana accomplishment. Sutta does not speak of deva worlds.
......
It seems that you are using the mention or lack of mention of devas or the deva worlds as a standard for whether a sutta is corrupt or not. Is this what you are saying?

Also, the jambali sutta as shown in the link you give is translated by thanissaro and his note at the bottom indicates that "a certain peaceful awareness-release" refers to any of the levels of jhana. He does not indicate if he is restricting this to any level of rupa jhana or whether he means arupa jhana levels as well.
Let's look at the term "peaceful awareness release". I refer you to MN43 which we visited before and specifically the "Awareness-release" section. None of the releases there are called "peaceful" so we must decide whether we think the releases are "peaceful" by their nature or whether there is a specific kind of release called "peaceful awareness-release". I did not find anything on an awareness-release called "peaceful" so I will assume that all of the awareness releases in mn43 are peaceful by their nature. If we accept my assumption then it seems that this supports the assertion that in the jambali sutta if thanissaro's note is considered it could very well include arupas.
One of the awareness releases mentioned in mn43 is the emptiness awareness release and a note directs us to MN106 Aneñja-sappaya Sutta: Conducive to the Imperturbable where arupas are discussed in their role in a path to enlightenment.....so this again seems to support the idea that in the jambali sutta "a peaceful awareness-release" might apply to the arupas.
Then in mn43 in a note given with respect to the themeless awareness release it directs us to MN121 Cula-suññata Sutta: The Lesser Discourse on Emptiness where the arupas are discussed in their role in the process of "entry into emptiness"....this process culminates in attaining enlighenment.....giving yet more support to the idea that in the jambali sutta arupas may be what is meant by "a peaceful awareness-release".

I want to be clear that I have not proved anything....nor have I disproved anything. I hope that I have shown that much of what is written in the suttas is consistent with the view that the arupas do have a place as a useful tool in the buddhist approach to attaining enlightenment.
chownah

Pulsar
Posts: 366
Joined: Tue Feb 05, 2019 6:52 pm

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

Post by Pulsar » Wed Aug 28, 2019 1:24 pm

Dear Chownah: You wrote
It is not clear to me why you are bringing this sutta (meaning Jambali). It seems that you are saying that only fourth jhana is needed to attain enlightenment (if there is something else you are asserting please let me know)
I cannot addresss all the issues you raise here, right now, but will do so as I find time. I selected a few suttas that made sense to me.
Jambali sutta I brought in to show the work required by the meditator in order to find the level of quiescence required by the 4th jhanic state, that allows insight mentioned by the Buddha.
The buddhist material jhanas are not the kind of meditation that can be accomplished at a retreat, this is my take. It requires long term gradual self discipline, and understanding of the nature of suffering of life, and the role
dependent origination plays in it, and the role of Aharas (nutrients, i.e. contact etc), in our everyday life.
I selected Jambali since it clarifies what is necessary to break the barrier of ignorance.
The meditator needs to be practicing the 37 factors of awakening in order to make buddhist jhanas
meaningful.
To me that is what
rain
implies. What else can be helping to break the impossible barrier of ignorance? How do you interpret the rain in this sutta?
To make the discussion meaningful we both need to understand what 4th jhana
accomplishes, why it is necessary in relation to the Noble Path.
As for the discussion on arupas, as cited in some suttas, I have no experience in it. If that is part of someone's
practice, so be it. For the practice of eightfold path which is my only interest, the 8th step
requires only the 4 rupa jhanas, in order to access Right knowledge which is the 9th factor in the
tenfold path MN 117. :candle:

chownah
Posts: 8154
Joined: Wed Aug 12, 2009 2:19 pm

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

Post by chownah » Wed Aug 28, 2019 2:04 pm

Pulsar wrote:
Wed Aug 28, 2019 1:24 pm
Dear Chownah: You wrote
It is not clear to me why you are bringing this sutta (meaning Jambali). It seems that you are saying that only fourth jhana is needed to attain enlightenment (if there is something else you are asserting please let me know)
You have edited my post to add "(meaning Jambali)" and you have done it in a way which makes it appear as if I have written those words. Please be more careful in quoting me in the future...it is best to not add anything to what I have written and keep your comments out of the quotation field.

Also, I was not referring to the jambali sutta, I was referreing to MN4 and I think if you take a careful look at my post you will see that.
Pulsar wrote:
Wed Aug 28, 2019 1:24 pm

I cannot address all the issues you raise here, right now, but will do so as I find time. I selected a few suttas that made sense to me.
Jambali sutta I brought in to show the work required by the meditator in order to find the quiescence required by the 4th jhanic state, that allows insight mentioned by the Buddha.
In your previous post you said that you brought the jambali sutta as an example of an uncorrupted sutta (in contrast to another sutta (mentioning devas) which you brought as an example of a corrupted sutta.
Pulsar wrote:
Wed Aug 28, 2019 1:24 pm
The buddhist material jhanas are not the kind of meditation that can be accomplished at a retreat, this is my take. It requires long term gradual discipline, and understanding of the nature of suffering of life, and the role
dependent origination plays in it, and the role of Aharas (nutrients, i.e. contact etc), in our everyday life.
I selected Jambali since it clarifies what is necessary to break the barrier of ignorance.
The meditator needs to be practicing the 37 factors of awakening in order to make buddhist jhanas
meaningful.
To me that is what
rain
implies. What else can be helping to break the impossible barrier of ignorance?
I think the entry into emptiness found in a sutta which I referenced in my last post can be helping to break the barrier of ignorance...I'll go find it and add it here: it is MN121 https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitak ... .than.html and also there is the emptiness awareness release found in SN 41.7 https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitak ... .than.html which helps to break the barrier of ignorance. Both of these sutta implicate the arupas in their discussions.
Pulsar wrote:
Wed Aug 28, 2019 1:24 pm

To make the discussion meaningful we both need to understand what 4th jhana
accomplishes, why it is necessary in relation to the Noble Path.
As for the discussion on arupas, as cited in some suttas, I have no experience in it. If that is part of someone's
practice so be it. For the practice of eightfold path which is my only interest, the 8th step
requires only the 4 rupa jhanas, in order to access Right knowledge which is the 9th factor in the
tenfold path MN 117. :candle:
It seems that you are not answering to the issues I raise. The issues I raise are whether there are sutta references which support your assertions that mention of the arupa jhanas in the suttas is a corruption and that the arupas do not benefit buddhists and whether the buddha new about the rupa jhanas before he met his teachers....there may be others. You do not seem to be addressing any of these issues in this post. If you are addressing these issues you will have to be more explicit because I have no idea what connection you are making to the issues I raise.
chownah

Pulsar
Posts: 366
Joined: Tue Feb 05, 2019 6:52 pm

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

Post by Pulsar » Wed Aug 28, 2019 5:20 pm

Dear Chownah: You wrote
Pulsar wrote: ↑Mon Aug 26, 2019 8:27 pm
Dear Chownah, I will bring in three suttas, in the first one MN 4, Buddha describes his awakening. https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitak ... .than.html
It is not clear to me why you are bringing this sutta. It seems that you are saying that only fourth jhana is needed to attain enlightenment (if there is something else you are asserting please let me know). I have never disputed that only fourth jhana is needed for attaining enlightenment so I don't know why you are bringing this sutta.
yes as you say I made an error, I read your response quickly and got mixed up between Jambali sutta and Bhaya Berava sutta MN 4, careless of me. I apologise.
I will be more careful in the future and open the links before I answer. I try to responsd between short available times, some days.
Let us addresss why I used MN 4 as one of the examples, it is not to discuss 4th jhana alone, that I did that. It was to point out that Buddha attained awakening via the 4 material jhanas only. There is no indication in this sutta that he was coached by Alara Kalama and Rama puttha on the Arupa jhanas, or had practiced Arupa jhanas
before awakening.
I had said before that I have faith in Buddha's awakening, on his own initiative.
That is one of the requirements for jhana practice, to have no doubt.
Later as I find time I will explain why the other 2 suttas are relevant to the discussion, I am taking
a short lunch break right now. Thank you Chownah for being patient with me. :candle:

chownah
Posts: 8154
Joined: Wed Aug 12, 2009 2:19 pm

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

Post by chownah » Thu Aug 29, 2019 9:12 am

Thank you for being patient with me as well.
No need to hurry. Whatever replies you make please do make them at a comfortable pace and not taking too much time from your practice which I'm sure we both know is more important than our discussions here.
You wrote: I had said before that I have faith in Buddha's awakening, on his own initiative.
I think everyone here agrees that the buddha awoke on his own initiative and not as a result of coaching by anyone.
I could comment further on your lastest post but I think that would just make you want to hurry....and I've felt somewhat hurried in keeping up with you so I'll try to keep my comments more focused in an effort to save us both some time and effort.
chownah

Pulsar
Posts: 366
Joined: Tue Feb 05, 2019 6:52 pm

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

Post by Pulsar » Thu Aug 29, 2019 2:50 pm

Dear Chownah: that is the kindest comment I read on DW. Yes, to respond well and carefully
without error, I need time to organize my thoughts too. Mutual patience is a beautiful thing, I will
respond by tomorrow the latest. :candle:

Pulsar
Posts: 366
Joined: Tue Feb 05, 2019 6:52 pm

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

Post by Pulsar » Fri Aug 30, 2019 6:58 pm

Dear Chownah: it is difficult to discuss many suttas at one time. So let us focus on MN 121.
I do not consider it as a sutta that relies on the so called arupas as a means of getting to emptiness. The method used is very different.
Chownar wrote
Then in mn43 in a note given with respect to the themeless awareness release it directs us to MN121 Cula-suññata Sutta: The Lesser Discourse on Emptiness where the arupas are discussed in their role in the process of "entry into emptiness"....this process culminates in attaining enlighenment.....giving yet more support to the idea that in the jambali sutta arupas may be what is meant by "a peaceful awareness-release".
MN 121 is one of a kind, there is only one other sutta that matches its method. There is no mention of the rupa jhanas, only the implication. This is one I often use. It involves leaving every thought behind, it can be accomplished at a moments notice, once you practice this emptiness sutta for a while. It is a gift to the meditator.
Buddha is taking quite a different approach to signless concentration here,
where he refers to entering the void without mentioning the 4 rupa jhanas, basically he says leave everything starting with the perception of people, forest and the perception of earth without hills and valleys...it speaks of a focus on earth, leave that too, attend to the singleness dependent on earth, but leave that too, then he does speaks of arupa states of mind (but I think of these as part of 4th jhana based on MN 43), he says leave these behind too.
Further, Ananda, the monk — not attending to the perception of human being, not attending to the perception of wilderness — attends to the singleness based on the perception of earth. His mind takes pleasure, finds satisfaction, settles, & indulges in its perception of earth. Just as a bull's hide is stretched free from wrinkles with a hundred stakes, even so — without attending to all the ridges & hollows, the river ravines, the tracts of stumps & thorns, the craggy irregularities of this earth — he attends to the singleness based on the perception of earth. His mind takes pleasure, finds satisfaction, settles, & indulges in its perception of earth.
He discerns that 'Whatever disturbances that would exist based on the perception of human being are not present. Whatever disturbances that would exist based on the perception of wilderness are not present. There is only this modicum of disturbance: the singleness based on the perception of earth.' He discerns that 'This mode of perception is empty of the perception of human being. This mode of perception is empty of the perception of wilderness. There is only this non-emptiness: the singleness based on the perception of earth.' Thus he regards it as empty of whatever is not there. Whatever remains, he discerns as present: 'There is this.' And so this, his entry into emptiness, accords with actuality, is undistorted in meaning, & pure
To me this sutta uses the device of elimination. Same principle is applied in reference to the arupa states, basically he says
"Don't rely on them"
Here is an excerpt
Theme-Less Concentration
"Further, Ananda, the monk — not attending to the perception of the dimension of nothingness, not attending to the perception of the dimension of neither perception nor non-perception — attends to the singleness based on the theme-less concentration of awareness. His mind takes pleasure, finds satisfaction, settles, & indulges in its theme-less concentration of awareness.

"He discerns that 'Whatever disturbances that would exist based on the perception of the dimension of nothingness are not present. Whatever disturbances that would exist based on the perception of the dimension of neither perception nor non-perception, are not present. And there is only this modicum of disturbance: that connected with the six sensory spheres, dependent on this very body with life as its condition.' He discerns that 'This mode of perception is empty of the perception of the dimension of nothingness. This mode of perception is empty of the perception of the dimension of neither perception nor non-perception. There is only this non-emptiness: that connected with the six sensory spheres, dependent on this very body with life as its condition.' Thus he regards it as empty of whatever is not there. Whatever remains, he discerns as present: 'There is this.' And so this, his entry into emptiness, accords with actuality, is undistorted in meaning, & pure.
Release
Further, Ananda, the monk — not attending to the perception of the dimension of nothingness, not attending to the perception of the dimension of neither perception nor non-perception — attends to the singleness based on the theme-less concentration of awareness. His mind takes pleasure, finds satisfaction, settles, & indulges in its theme-less concentration of awareness
Here he asks the meditator to reject even themeless concentration, since even this is of a fabricated nature
He discerns that 'This theme-less concentration of awareness is fabricated & mentally fashioned.' And he discerns that 'Whatever is fabricated & mentally fashioned is inconstant & subject to cessation.' For him — thus knowing, thus seeing — the mind is released from the effluent of sensuality, the effluent of becoming, the effluent of ignorance. With release, there is the knowledge, 'Released.' He discerns that 'Birth is ended, the holy life fulfilled, the task done. There is nothing further for this world
He discerns that 'Whatever disturbances that would exist based on the effluent of sensuality... the effluent of becoming... the effluent of ignorance, are not present

And there is only this modicum of disturbance: that connected with the six sensory spheres, dependent on this very body with life as its condition
Even the Arahant has to deal with the body, with its energy requirements, the aliveness of the body.
He discerns that 'This mode of perception is empty of the effluent of sensuality, becoming, ignorance. And there is just this non-emptiness: that connected with the six sensory spheres, dependent on this very body with life as its condition.
'
Thus he regards it as empty of whatever is not there. Whatever remains, he discerns as present: 'There is this. And so this, his entry into emptiness, accords with actuality, is undistorted in meaning,
pure — superior & unsurpassed
PS Chownah, I perceive this sutta differently than you do, but there is one sutta that take into account arupas with great clarity. MN 111. We can discuss this another day.
and also the point you raise regarding
Jambali sutta and arupas

I am not quite with you there, regarding the comment by Thannisaro, I shall explain why next time.
PS Have you tried meditating according to MN 121?
It is a great device, in a way the most beautiful sutta in the canon, once you become familiar
with the meditation. I am sure by now you also have practiced the first two material jhanas. Pl tell me.
It makes sense, only if you start practicing on your own, just for a short while every other day, during peaceful times. Jhana is one thing
that cannot be communicated via words only. A peaceful weekend to you! :candle:

chownah
Posts: 8154
Joined: Wed Aug 12, 2009 2:19 pm

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

Post by chownah » Sat Aug 31, 2019 3:19 am

Pulsar wrote:
Fri Aug 30, 2019 6:58 pm
Dear Chownah: it is difficult to discuss many suttas at one time. So let us focus on MN 121.
I do not consider it as a sutta that relies on the so called arupas as a means of getting to emptiness. The method used is very different.
Chownar wrote
Then in mn43 in a note given with respect to the themeless awareness release it directs us to MN121 Cula-suññata Sutta: The Lesser Discourse on Emptiness where the arupas are discussed in their role in the process of "entry into emptiness"....this process culminates in attaining enlighenment.....giving yet more support to the idea that in the jambali sutta arupas may be what is meant by "a peaceful awareness-release".
Just a quick note: the very last part of what I wrote and which you brought above (red) does not accurately say what I wanted to say. What the red text seems to imply is that "a peaceful awareness-release" means one of the arupas. This was not what I wanted to say. What I wanted to say was "so this again seems to support the idea that in the jambali sutta "a peaceful awareness-release" might apply to the arupas." The difference being that "a peaceful awareness-release" might be pointing to the arupas as well as the fourth rupa.

I'm writing this note now in the hopes of helping you avoid dealing with something I did not intend to say. I will be commenting on your post soon I hope.

Sorry to have mistakenly posted something which might have caused needless effort to dispel.
chownah

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: form, Google [Bot], Padipa and 139 guests