Responding to ven Dhammanando,
his bringing up MN 70 Kitagiri sutta, to show us why immaterials important
I tried to figure out what ubhatobhagga means.
An excerpt from AN 9.45 Ubhatobhaga sutta:(Released) Both ways. www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/an/an0 ... .than.html
There is the case, my friend, where a monk, withdrawn from sensuality, withdrawn from unskillful qualities, enters & remains in the first jhana: rapture & pleasure born from withdrawal, accompanied by directed thought & evaluation. He remains touching with his body in whatever way there is an opening there, and he knows it through discernment. It is to this extent that one is described by the Blessed One as released both ways though with a sequel
Ubhatobagga according to AN 9.45 has nothing to do specifically with immaterial attainments. It can be attained even in first jhana, if the above words of the canon are true, and one can become an arahant simply by persisting in first jhana.
As typical of several suttas, this statement is repeated for each jhana and each immaterial level, this does not prove serious meditators in Buddha's day practiced so called Immaterial attainments.
I also tried to figure out what bodily witness means, it has nothing to do with the immaterial jhanas specifically either according to AN 9.43 Sutta on Bodily witness
https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitak ... .than.html
There is the case, my friend, where a monk, withdrawn from sensuality, withdrawn from unskillful qualities, enters & remains in the first jhana: rapture & pleasure born from withdrawal, accompanied by directed thought & evaluation. He remains touching with his body in whatever way there is an opening there. It is to this extent that one is described by the Blessed One as a bodily witness, though with a sequel
The above suttas, use the simile
touching with body, to describe the arahant
Do these statements help clarify anything? Only difference is:
in the first case one touching with body knows it through discernment
In the second case, it says
He remains touching with his body in whatever way there is an opening there
What is the difference between discernment and opening here? I am pretty sure these concepts were used by abhidhammikas, who had no experience in jhana, had no understanding of how they were used in SN 12.68 or SN 12.70. Such statements confuse the faithful readers even more. More they confuse the naive reader, more power the Theravada orthodoxy gains.
Those who are great believers in the 4 immaterial attainments can they explain how the classification scheme offered in MN 70, is supposed to be similes for immaterial states?
MN 70 offers us a mini classification, typical of Abhidhamma. This sutta was surely placed in the canon by abhidhammikas just like MN 43 and MN 44 were placed to support saññāvedayita-nirodha-samāpatti, a cessation atypical of Buddha's teachings.
I do not find similes for immaterials in MN 70, but I do find those for fine-material in DN2.
is used to describe the Arahant in SN12. 68: Kosambi, but the explanations there makes a lot more sense.
In 1937 La Vallée-Poussin published Musila et Nārada, an influential study on two ways of attaining nirvana, exemplified by the monks Musila and Nārada.
One who could not become an arahant is described as
he would not dwell touching it with is body
Over time abhidahmmika's ideas seeped into the canon,
is a textbook example of this, my humble thinking.
To substantiate this further, will require a lengthy comment, so I will offer short comments, over time. I will do my best as it befits a chat group, where folks can inhale only one or two ideas at a time. Susima sutta SN 12.72 is critical for the understanding of this topic, but I shall save it for another day.
In my next comment I will dwell more on SN 12. 68 Kosambi, also using Indriyasamyutta, specially SN 48.53.
After taking a careful look at Kitagiri sutta MN 70, to me it appears like this sutta is a product of an overzealous abhdhammika who had nothing to do with his time, but create a complicated classification. Was it a tactic to make lay people believe they cannot handle jhana? the four right concentrations taught by Buddha, by placing layers over it?
Erich Frauwallner at one point offered an opinion like this "that reams and reams of abhidhamma lists, found in Dhammasangani was probably written by Buddhist monks who was under the impression that the more they wrote, more merit they gained'.
Who would disbelieve this if they read Dhammasangani? Has anybody read the long lists in Dhammasangani? Rupert Gethin admitted these lists discouraged folks from reading abhidhamma.
Pulsar's take is that the classification in MN 70, does nothing to enhance the understanding of the doctrine,
this suffering, this dependent origination
but confuse things further.
My best understanding of Dependent Origination came from a translation of the 'Great Discourse on Origination' by Erich Frauwellner. It is a version more antique than the Theravada version, worth a read, the translation is found in "Philosophy of Buddhism" by E. Frauwellner. This particular author condenses entire Theravada roughly into 1/4th of this book, rest are about other buddhist schools.
In relation to
touching with body
contents of Susima sutta, SN 12.70 are very useful. It has been discussed in DW before, so I guess folks here are familiar with it. It is worth another revisit. I shall do so another time.