A. Sujato's Why Vitakka Doesn't Mean 'Thinking' in Jhana

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Re: A. Sujato's Why Vitakka Doesn't Mean 'Thinking' in Jhana

Post by Dmytro » Thu Oct 11, 2018 5:38 am

Visuddhimagga describes the usage of vitakka for jhana in such a way:


Vism 1, 4. pathavīkasiṇaniddeso

apica vaṇṇaṃ amuñcitvā nissayasavaṇṇaṃ katvā ussadavasena paṇṇattidhamme cittaṃ paṭṭhapetvā manasi kātabbaṃ. pathavī mahī, medinī, bhūmi, vasudhā, vasundharātiādīsu pathavīnāmesu yamicchati, yadassa saññānukūlaṃ hoti, taṃ vattabbaṃ. apica pathavīti etadeva nāmaṃ pākaṭaṃ, tasmā pākaṭavaseneva pathavī pathavīti bhāvetabbaṃ. kālena ummīletvā kālena nimīletvā āvajjitabbaṃ. yāva uggahanimittaṃ nuppajjati, tāva kālasatampi kālasahassampi tato bhiyyopi eteneva nayena bhāvetabbaṃ.


29. The colour should not be reviewed. The characteristic should not be given attention.[8] But rather, while not ignoring the colour, attention should be given by setting the mind on the [name] concept as the most outstanding mental datum, relegating the colour to the position of a property of its physical support. That [conceptual state] can be called by anyone he likes among the names for earth (pathavī) such as “earth” (pathavī), “the Great One” (mahī), “the Friendly One” (medinī), “ground” (bhūmi), “the Provider of Wealth” (vasudhā), “the Bearer of Wealth”(vasudharā), etc., whichever suits his manner of perception. Still “earth” is also a name that is obvious, so it can be developed with the obvious one by saying “earth, earth.” It should be adverted to now with eyes open, now with eyes shut. And he should go on developing it in this way a hundred times, a thousand times, and even more than that, until the learning sign arises.

57. tassevaṃ bhāvayato yadā nimīletvā āvajjantassa ummīlitakāle viya āpāthamāgacchati, tadā uggahanimittaṃ jātaṃ nāma hoti. tassa jātakālato paṭṭhāya na tasmiṃ ṭhāne nisīditabbaṃ. attano vasanaṭṭhānaṃ pavisitvā tattha nisinnena bhāvetabbaṃ. pādadhovanapapañcaparihāratthaṃ panassa ekapaṭalikupāhanā ca kattaradaṇḍo ca icchitabbo. athānena sace taruṇo samādhi kenacideva asappāyakāraṇena nassati, upāhanā āruyha kattaradaṇḍaṃ gahetvā taṃ ṭhānaṃ gantvā nimittaṃ ādāya āgantvā sukhanisinnena bhāvetabbaṃ, punappunaṃ samannāharitabbaṃ, takkāhataṃ vitakkāhataṃ kātabbaṃ. tassevaṃ karontassa anukkamena nīvaraṇāni vikkhambhanti, kilesā sannisīdanti, upacārasamādhinā cittaṃ samādhiyati, paṭibhāganimittaṃ uppajjati.

When, while he is developing it in this way, it comes into focus as he adverts with his eyes shut exactly as it does with his eyes open, then the learning sign is said to have been produced. After its production he should no longer sit in that place; he should return to his own quarters and go on developing it sitting there. But in order to avoid the delay of foot washing, a pair of single-soled sandals and a walking stick are desirable. Then if the new concentration vanishes through some unsuitable encounter, he can put his sandals on, take his walking stick, and go back to the place to re-apprehend the sign there. When he returns he should seat himself comfortably and develop it by reiterated reaction to it and by striking at it with thought and applied thought.

[The Counterpart Sign]
31. As he does so, the hindrances eventually become suppressed, the defilements subside, the mind becomes concentrated with access concentration, and the counterpart sign arises.


Vism 1, 6. asubhakammaṭṭhānaniddeso, uddhumātakakammaṭṭhānaṃ

rattiṭṭhāne ca divāṭhāne ca “uddhumātakapaṭikkūlaṃ uddhumātakapaṭikkūlan”ti tattha punappunaṃ cittaṃ upanibandhitabbaṃ. punappunaṃ taṃ nimittaṃ āvajjitabbaṃ, manasikātabbaṃ. takkāhataṃ vitakkāhataṃ kātabbaṃ.


In his night quarters and in his day quarters he should keep his mind anchored there thus, “Repulsiveness of the bloated, repulsiveness of the bloated.” And he should advert to the sign, bring it to mind and strike at it with thought and applied thought over and over again.


Vism 1, 10. āruppaniddeso, paṭhamāruppavaṇṇanā

so taṃ kasiṇugghāṭimākāsanimittaṃ “ākāso ākāso”ti punappunaṃ āvajjeti, takkāhataṃ vitakkāhataṃ karoti. tassevaṃ punappunaṃ āvajjayato takkāhataṃ vitakkāhataṃ karoto nīvaraṇāni vikkhambhanti, sati santiṭṭhati, upacārena cittaṃ samādhiyati. so taṃ nimittaṃ punappunaṃ āsevati, bhāveti, bahulīkaroti.


9. He adverts again and again to the sign of the space left by the removal of the kasiṇa as “space, space,” and strikes at it with thought and applied thought. As he adverts to it again and again and strikes at it with thought and applied thought, the hindrances are suppressed, mindfulness is established and his mind becomes concentrated in access. He cultivates that sign again and again, develops and repeatedly practices it.


Vism 1, 10. āruppaniddeso, viññāṇañcāyatanakathā

viññāṇañcāyatanaṃ santato manasikaritvā taṃ ākāsaṃ pharitvā pavattaviññāṇaṃ “viññāṇaṃ viññāṇan”ti punappunaṃ āvajjitabbaṃ, manasikātabbaṃ, paccavekkhitabbaṃ, takkāhataṃ vitakkāhataṃ kātabbaṃ.

he should give his attention to the base consisting of boundless consciousness as peaceful, adverting again and again as “consciousness, consciousness” to the consciousness that occurred pervading that space [as its object]. He should give it attention, review it, and strike at it with applied and sustained thought ...


Vism 1, 10. āruppaniddeso, ākiñcaññāyatanakathā

taṃ viññāṇaṃ amanasikaritvā “natthi natthī”ti vā, “suññaṃ suññan”ti vā, “vivittaṃ vivittan”ti vā punappunaṃ āvajjitabbaṃ, manasikātabbaṃ, paccavekkhitabbaṃ, takkāhataṃ vitakkāhataṃ kātabbaṃ.

33. Without giving [further] attention to that consciousness, he should [now] advert again and again in this way, “there is not, there is not,” or “void, void,” or “secluded, secluded,” and give his attention to it, review it, and strike at it with thought and applied thought.


Vism 1, 10. āruppaniddeso, nevasaññānāsaññāyatanakathā

nevasaññānāsaññāyatanaṃ santato manasikaritvā “sāva abhāvaṃ ārammaṇaṃ katvā pavattitā ākiñcaññāyatanasamāpatti santā santā”ti punappunaṃ āvajjitabbā, manasikātabbā, paccavekkhitabbā, takkāhatā vitakkāhatā kātabbā.

He should advert again and again to that attainment of the base consisting of nothingness that has occurred making non-existence its object, adverting to it as “peaceful, peaceful,” and he should give his attention to it, review it and strike at it with thought and applied thought.

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Re: A. Sujato's Why Vitakka Doesn't Mean 'Thinking' in Jhana

Post by Dmytro » Thu Oct 11, 2018 6:19 am

Some more details are given in Vibhanga Atthakatha:

Tattha kesādīnaṃ vaṇṇasaṇṭhānadisokāsaparicchedavasena upaṭṭhānaṃ uggahanimittaṃ, sabbākārato paṭikūlavasena upaṭṭhānaṃ paṭibhāganimittaṃ. Taṃ punappunaṃ āvajjentassa manasikarontassa takkāhataṃ vitakkāhataṃ karontassa cattāro khandhā paṭikūlārammaṇā honti, paṭhamajjhānavasena appanā pavattati. Pubbabhāge parikammaupacāracittāni savitakkasavicārāni sappītikāni somanassasahagatāni paṭikūlanimittārammaṇāni; appanāpi savitakkasavicārā sappītikā somanassasahagatāva. Bhūmantarena pana mahaggatā rūpāvacarā honti. Paṭikkūlepi ca etasmiṃ ārammaṇe ānisaṃsadassāvitāya somanassaṃ uppajjati, ekattārammaṇabaleneva vā taṃ uppajjati. Dutiyajjhānādīni panettha na nibbattanti. Kasmā? Oḷārikattā. Idañhi ārammaṇaṃ oḷārikaṃ. Vitakkabalenevettha cittekaggatā jāyati, na vitakkasamatikkamenāti. Ayaṃ tāva samathavasena kammaṭṭhānakathā.

Tattha appanāya pāpitakālato paṭṭhāya sesakoṭṭhāsesu akilamantova appanaṃ pāpessati. Tasmā ‘paṭikūlaṃ paṭikūlan’ti punappunaṃ āvajjitabbaṃ samannāharitabbaṃ, takkāhataṃ vitakkāhataṃ kātabbaṃ. Evaṃ karontassa cattāro khandhā paṭikūlārammaṇā honti, appanaṃ pāpuṇāti. Pubbabhāgacittāni parikammaupacārasaṅkhātāni savitakkasavicārānīti sabbaṃ heṭṭhā vuttasadisameva. Ekaṃ pana koṭṭhāsaṃ manasikarontassa ekameva paṭhamajjhānaṃ nibbattati. Pāṭiyekkaṃ manasikarontassa dvattiṃsa paṭhamajjhānāni nibbattanti. Hatthe gahitapañhāvatthu pākatikameva.


It is said that through repeated advertence, and "stiking by vitakka", at either the 32 parts of the body (kesādīnaṃ), or repulsiveness (paṭikūla), first jhana is attained. However, such approach does not lead to second and further jhanas (Dutiyajjhānādīni panettha na nibbattanti) due to the coarseness of object-support (ārammaṇaṃ oḷārikaṃ).

This passage and the Visuddhimagga description tell that essentially vitakka starts as verbal repetition of the name(s) of object-support, i.e. "earth, earth", "air, air". And these passages explain why such approach does not lead to second jhana and further.

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Re: A. Sujato's Why Vitakka Doesn't Mean 'Thinking' in Jhana

Post by Dmytro » Thu Oct 11, 2018 6:24 am

According to Visuddhimagga, such vitakka is also used to induce the third jhana:
152. When he has emerged from the second jhāna happiness appears gross to him as he reviews the jhāna factors with mindfulness and full awareness, while bliss and unification appear peaceful. Then as he brings that same sign to mind as “earth, earth” again and again with the purpose of abandoning the gross factor and obtaining the peaceful factors, [knowing] “now the third jhāna will arise,” there arises in him mind-door adverting with that same earth kasiṇa as its object, interrupting the life-continuum. After that, either four or five impulsions impel on that same object, the last one of which is an impulsion of the fine-material sphere belonging to the third jhāna.
http://www.bps.lk/olib/bp/bp207h_The-Pa ... f#page=448

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Re: A. Sujato's Why Vitakka Doesn't Mean 'Thinking' in Jhana

Post by Dmytro » Thu Oct 11, 2018 6:59 am

Repetition of the name of object-support is consonant with the description in Yoga-sutra:

tatra śabdārtha-jñāna-vikalpaiḥ saṁkīrṇā savitarkā samāpattiḥ ॥42॥

[HA]: The Engrossment, In Which There Is The Mixture Of Word, Its Meaning (i.e. The Object) And Its Knowledge, Is Known As Savitarka Samapatti.

[VH]: there (in such a case), samapatti-cognitive blending which is savitarka-with thought, is mixed with words, meaning, knowledge and conceptualization.

[BM]: When concepts formed from knowledge based on words and their meanings taint it, contemplative poise is broken by conjecture.

[SS]: The samadhi in which name, form and knowledge of them is mixed is called savitarka samadhi, or samadhi with deliberation.

[SP]: When the mind achieves identity with a gross object of concentration, mixed with awareness of name, quality and knowledge, this is called savitarka samadhi.

http://yogasutrastudy.info/yoga-sutra-t ... 1-41-1-50/

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Re: A. Sujato's Why Vitakka Doesn't Mean 'Thinking' in Jhana

Post by ToVincent » Thu Oct 11, 2018 12:32 pm

‘Ariyo tuṇhībhāvo, ariyo tuṇhībhāvoti vuccati.
'"Noble silence, noble silence," it is said.
katamo nu kho ariyo tuṇhībhāvo’ti?
But what is noble silence?'

::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::
Pali tuṇhī = Sk. tūṣṇīm
::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::

तूष्णींभाव tūṣṇīṃbhāva
- the state of being silent , silence MBh.
(cf. तूष्णींसार tūṣṇīṁsāra - chiefly silent AitBr.)

Note: this "silence" is the fact of not allowing the verbal coaction process (vacīsaṅkhāro = vitakka-vicārā).

But tūṣṇīṃ has also this following underlying root meaning:

√ तुष् tuṣ 

- to become calm , be satisfied or pleased with anything ŚāṅkhŚr. MBh.
- to satisfy , please , appease , gratify RV.
MBh.

॰नीम् -nīm
forms adv. of circumstance.




TRANSLATIONS:



With noble silence
----------------------------
Moggallana, Moggallana, do not be negligent regarding the noble (appeasing) state of silencing the vacīsaṅkhāro brahmin. Have your citta to stand [saṇṭhapehi/santiṭṭhati ( √ स्था sthā - wishing to stand ŚBr. )] in the noble state of silencing the vacīsaṅkhāro , transcend your citta in the noble state of silencing the vacīsaṅkhāro , establish your citta in the noble state of silencing the vacīsaṅkhāro.

OR (original Bodhi)

Moggallana, Moggallana, do not be negligent regarding noble silence, brahmin. Steady your mind in noble silence, unify your mind in noble silence, concentrate your mind on noble silence. (Bodhi)

Moggallāna moggallāna, mā, brāhmaṇa, ariyaṃ tuṇhībhāvaṃ pamādo, ariye tuṇhībhāve cittaṃ saṇṭhapehi, ariye tuṇhībhāve cittaṃ ekodibhāvaṃ karohi, ariye tuṇhībhāve cittaṃ samādahā’ti.
SN 21.1


"Then, friends, on a later occasion, with the subsiding of abstract "popping" thoughts and the settings about making them more "concrete" *, I entered and dwelt in the second jhana, which has internal clear serenity (प्रसद् prasad) and transcendence of citta, is without popping thought and their concrete lucubrations, and has suffused contented pleasance and bliss born of the establishment in (the transcended) citta".

* (vitakka can be willfull or not - like the (abstract/conceptual) willfull thinking about breath, (viz. setting one's mano on breath,) in anapanasati. With a vicāra that corresponds to the concretization/embodiement of this breath (see third step of Anapanasati - प्रतिसंविद् pratisaṃvid [ prati-saṃ √ ववद vid ]: an accurate knowledge of the particulars of anything (viz. its concretization - its "vicarizing" - First, vitakking about breath, then vicarizing about it (knowing its particulars - its embodiement).
Or vitakka can just be those popping thoughts, with their later ("concrete") lucubrations) .

"Then, friends, on a later occasion, with the subsiding of thought and examination, I entered and dwelt in the second jhana, which has internal confidence and unification of mind, is without thought and examination, and has rapture and happiness born of concentration". (Bodhi)


So khvāhaṃ, āvuso, aparena samayena vitakkavicārānaṃ vūpasamā ajjhattaṃ sampasādanaṃ cetaso ekodibhāvaṃ avitakkaṃ avicāraṃ samādhijaṃ pītisukhaṃ dutiyaṃ jhānaṃ upasampajja viharāmi.
Some working for the Mara's world; some for the Brahma's world; some for the Unborn.
.
In this world with its ..., māras, ... in this population with its ascetics.... (AN 5.30).
------
We are all possessed - more or less.
------
And what, bhikkhu, is inward rottenness? Here someone is immoral, one of evil character, of impure and suspect behaviour, secretive in his acts, no ascetic though claiming to be one, not a celibate though claiming to be one, inwardly rotten, corrupt, depraved. This is called inward rottenness.”
SN 35.241
------
https://justpaste.it/j5o4

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Re: A. Sujato's Why Vitakka Doesn't Mean 'Thinking' in Jhana

Post by frank k » Tue Oct 16, 2018 10:20 am

Dmytro,
Thanks for sharing those Vism. passages. What do you think is the difference between takka & vitakka, versus V&V (vitakka and vicara)?

As far as I understand, in VRJ (vism. redefinition of jhana), you have a visual nimitta, and for appana samadhi, an abhidhamma moment of "jhana", you can't be mentally reciting "earth, earth,", after those 4 impulsions into appana samadhi, "vitakka" would mean the mind is fixing upon the visual image of the earth kasina.
Vism's description of V&V in jhana for earth kasina:
(vism. definition of first jhāna STED formula gloss, under earth kasina. First jhāna of remaining 10 kasinas, 16 APS (anpanasait), and AFAIK any other means of entering first jhāna, all refer back to this earth kasina first jhāna passage)
This, in the first place, is the explanation of the meaning of the words “quite
secluded from sense desires, secluded from unprofitable things.”
88.So far the factors abandoned by the jhāna have been shown. And now, in order to show the factors associated with it, which is accompanied by applied and sustained thought is said. [142] Herein, applied thinking (vitakkana) is applied thought (vitakka); hitting upon, is what is meant.25 It has the characteristic of directing the mind on to an object (mounting the mind on its object). Its function is to strike at and thresh—for the meditator is said, in virtue of it, to have the object struck at by applied thought, threshed by applied thought. It is manifested as the leading of the mind onto an object. Sustained thinking (vicaraṇa) is sustained thought (vicāra); continued sustainment (anusañcaraṇa), is what is meant. It has the characteristic of continued pressure on (occupation with) the object. Its function is to keep conascent [mental] states [occupied] with that. It is manifested as keeping consciousness anchored [on that object].
So how I interpret your quotes from Vism., is that T&V (takka & vitakka) refers to mental talk of reciting, but when the meditator actually transitions from upacara into appana samadhi to enter VRJ proper, then vitakka of V&V can no longer be mental talk "earth, earth", at that point in one moment of experience late Abhidhamma only allows for the mental cognition of the visual image of the earth kasina.

Is that how you understand it?

In other words, "vitakka" as verbal repetition such as "earth, earth", can only happen in upacara samadhi prior to first or third jhana, not while in actual appana samadhi jhana of VRJ.

Atthaktha vibanga is what exactly? Commentary on Abhidhamma text? Earlier or same time period as Vism?
http://www.audtip.org" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false; Audio Sutta Recordings

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Re: A. Sujato's Why Vitakka Doesn't Mean 'Thinking' in Jhana

Post by StormBorn » Tue Oct 16, 2018 11:40 am

Buddha Vacana wrote:
Thu Dec 22, 2016 7:57 am
Why Vitakka Doesn't Mean 'Thinking' in Jhana
It would appear the vitakka and vicāra of jhāna and the ones exist in regular speech are not the same. Please read the below:

For someone who has attained the first absorption...
“Greater in battle than the man who would conquer a thousand-thousand men, is he who would conquer just one—himself.”

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Re: A. Sujato's Why Vitakka Doesn't Mean 'Thinking' in Jhana

Post by Dmytro » Tue Oct 16, 2018 6:17 pm

Hi Frank,
frank k wrote:
Tue Oct 16, 2018 10:20 am
What do you think is the difference between takka & vitakka, versus V&V (vitakka and vicara)?
They are quite similar, but "takka" is closer to "reasoning", while "vitakka" to "thinking", as explained in the dictionaries.
frank k wrote:
Tue Oct 16, 2018 10:20 am
As far as I understand, in VRJ (vism. redefinition of jhana), you have a visual nimitta, and for appana samadhi, an abhidhamma moment of "jhana", you can't be mentally reciting "earth, earth,", after those 4 impulsions into appana samadhi, "vitakka" would mean the mind is fixing upon the visual image of the earth kasina.
Interpretation of nimitta as a strictly visual image belongs to the modern interpretation of nimitta, e.g. by Pa Auk Sayadaw. Though it draws upon Visuddhimagga for legitimization, it significantly differs from Visuddhimagga interpretation. I would rather treat separately all the chronological layers, - Visuddhimagga period, medieval Abhidhamma and modernity.

In Visuddhimagga, nimitta retains abstract flexibility, and can be either visual or tactile:

viewtopic.php?f=23&t=2770&start=60#p488036
Vism's description of V&V in jhana for earth kasina:
(vism. definition of first jhāna STED formula gloss, under earth kasina. First jhāna of remaining 10 kasinas, 16 APS (anpanasait), and AFAIK any other means of entering first jhāna, all refer back to this earth kasina first jhāna passage)
This, in the first place, is the explanation of the meaning of the words “quite
secluded from sense desires, secluded from unprofitable things.”
88.So far the factors abandoned by the jhāna have been shown. And now, in order to show the factors associated with it, which is accompanied by applied and sustained thought is said. [142] Herein, applied thinking (vitakkana) is applied thought (vitakka); hitting upon, is what is meant.25 It has the characteristic of directing the mind on to an object (mounting the mind on its object). Its function is to strike at and thresh—for the meditator is said, in virtue of it, to have the object struck at by applied thought, threshed by applied thought. It is manifested as the leading of the mind onto an object. Sustained thinking (vicaraṇa) is sustained thought (vicāra); continued sustainment (anusañcaraṇa), is what is meant. It has the characteristic of continued pressure on (occupation with) the object. Its function is to keep conascent [mental] states [occupied] with that. It is manifested as keeping consciousness anchored [on that object].
So how I interpret your quotes from Vism., is that T&V (takka & vitakka) refers to mental talk of reciting, but when the meditator actually transitions from upacara into appana samadhi to enter VRJ proper, then vitakka of V&V can no longer be mental talk "earth, earth", at that point in one moment of experience late Abhidhamma only allows for the mental cognition of the visual image of the earth kasina.
IMO, such conflation of Visuddhimagga, medieval Abhidhamma and modern interpretations makes it harder to understand these descriptions on their own.

In medieval period and later on, jhana is devoid of perception and cognition. Visuddhimagga is still somewhat ambiguous about the presence of perception and cognition in jhana.
Is that how you understand it?
I mostly use "nimitta" in line with Gavi sutta or Suda sutta, and "vitakka" in line with Dvedhavitakka sutta and Petakopadesa. However, Visuddhimagga also provides a lot of useful and applicable guidance. In later scholastic simplifications of Visuddhimagga, useful practical details are often dropped out. For example, this repetition of the object-support name can be quite useful to enter jhana, however it is skipped in later sources, since it does not fit in simplified scholastic descriptions.
Atthaktha vibanga is what exactly? Commentary on Abhidhamma text? Earlier or same time period as Vism?
Vibhanga Commentary, of the same period as Visuddhimagga.

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Re: A. Sujato's Why Vitakka Doesn't Mean 'Thinking' in Jhana

Post by frank k » Wed Oct 17, 2018 9:48 am

Hi Dmytro,

So the Vibhanga Atthakatha you were referring to is the Commentary for this Abhidhamma Vibhanga gloss on first jhana V&V?

Abhdhamma Vibhanga 12, V&V in jhānas

first jhāna V&V, (J2 same def)
♦ 565. “savitakkaṃ savicāran”ti
“Accompanied by initial application, accompanied by sustained application” means:
atthi vitakko, atthi vicāro.
There is initial application; there is sustained application.

♦ tattha katamo vitakko?
Therein what is initial application?
yo takko vitakko saṅkappo
That which is mentation, thinking, thought,
appanā byappanā
fixation, focussing,
cetaso abhiniropanā sammāsaṅkappo —
application of the mind, right thought.
ayaṃ vuccati “vitakko”.
This is called initial application.

♦ tattha katamo vicāro?
Therein what is sustained application?
yo cāro vicāro anuvicāro upavicāro
That which is searching, examining, constant examining,
cittassa anusandhanatā anupekkhanatā —
scrutinizing, constant connection of (and) constant inspection by consciousness.
ayaṃ vuccati vicāro.
This is called sustained application.

In Vism., while the wind kasina and 16 APS (anapana) allow that there is the type of tactile sensation nimitta as described in Vimt., for 16 APS Vism. deliberately ignores the wind kasina method and pushes the visual kasina style as the only way to do 16 APS properly.

I'm not that knowledgable about late Abhidhamma, but I really don't think the V&V definition in the earth kasina jhana I quoted allows for mental recitation for the jhana of appana samadhi. The passages you quoted all look like the V&V as mental recitation happens in upacara samadhi.

The Theravada Ab Vibhanga itself allows for mental recitation, and I read over Vimt. earth kasina, it also allows for V&V as verbal recitation as far as I can tell. But Vism. earth kasina, those references to 4 or 5 impulsions, that seems to be incorporating the late Ab. different tham Vimt. and Te Ab Vb. I don't think it's just a scholastic simplification on this specific case. I'd love to be proven wrong, that would make the V&V argument even more air tight against B. Sujato and modern day Orthodox Theravadans misunderstanding what V&V means in jhana.
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Re: A. Sujato's Why Vitakka Doesn't Mean 'Thinking' in Jhana

Post by Dmytro » Wed Oct 17, 2018 12:08 pm

Hi Frank,
frank k wrote:
Wed Oct 17, 2018 9:48 am
So the Vibhanga Atthakatha you were referring to is the Commentary for this Abhidhamma Vibhanga gloss on first jhana V&V?
It's a commentary to Abhidhamma Piṭaka, vibhaṅgapāḷi, 7. satipaṭṭhānavibhaṅgo, 1. suttantabhājanīyaṃ, 1. kāyānupassanāniddeso
In Vism., while the wind kasina and 16 APS (anapana) allow that there is the type of tactile sensation nimitta as described in Vimt., for 16 APS Vism. deliberately ignores the wind kasina method and pushes the visual kasina style as the only way to do 16 APS properly.
Why do you think so? Tactile nimitta is mentioned first of all (Vism VIII, 214):
214. When he does so in this way, the sign soon appears to him. But it is not the same for all; on the contrary, some say that when it appears it does so to certain people producing a light touch like cotton or silk-cotton or a draught.
As said in Dhammasangani Atthakatha 200:
Kiṃ pana pathavīkasiṇaṃ ādiṃ katvā aṭṭhikasaññāpariyosānāvesā rūpāvacarappanā, udāhu aññāpi atthīti? Atthi; ānāpānajjhānañhi kāyagatāsatibhāvanā ca idha na kathitā. Kiñcāpi na kathitā vāyokasiṇe pana gahite ānāpānajjhānaṃ gahitameva; vaṇṇakasiṇesu ca gahitesu kesādīsu catukkapañcakajjhānavasena uppannā kāyagatāsati, dasasu asubhesu gahitesu dvattiṃsākāre paṭikūlamanasikārajjhānavasena ceva navasivathikāvaṇṇajjhānavasena ca pavattā kāyagatāsati gahitāvāti. Sabbāpi rūpāvacarappanā idha kathitāva hotīti.

"But is this all the absorption belonging to the consciousness of the sphere of refined form, beginning with the earth kasiṇa and ending in the perception of the skeleton? Or is there anything else?"
"Yes, there is. There is ānāpāna jhāna and the development of kāyagatāsati, which have not been spoken of here."
"Why not?"
"Because ānāpāna jhāna is included in the air kasiṇa; the development of kāyagatāsati arisen by virtue of the fourfold and fivefold jhānas with reference to the hair etc., is included in the colour kasiṇas; the kāyagatāsati produced by virtue of the jhānas attending to the unattractiveness in the thirty-two parts of the body, and that of the jhāna attending to the colours of the nine kinds of corpses in the charnel grounds is included in the ten repulsive things. Thus all the absorptions of consciousness connected with the sphere of refined form have been included here."
I'm not that knowledgable about late Abhidhamma, but I really don't think the V&V definition in the earth kasina jhana I quoted allows for mental recitation for the jhana of appana samadhi.


Paragraph 88 you quoted tells about characteristics and functions of V&V. "Hitting upon" isn't much of a definition.
The passages you quoted all look like the V&V as mental recitation happens in upacara samadhi.
Vitakka as mental recitation is started as a way to enter jhana, and continues on further stages, even in transition to the third jhana, as quoted above:

viewtopic.php?p=489810
The Theravada Ab Vibhanga itself allows for mental recitation, and I read over Vimt. earth kasina, it also allows for V&V as verbal recitation as far as I can tell. But Vism. earth kasina, those references to 4 or 5 impulsions, that seems to be incorporating the late Ab. different tham Vimt. and Te Ab Vb. I don't think it's just a scholastic simplification on this specific case.
Visuddhimagga, as a compilative work, includes both scholastic "impulsions" model, and the practical legacy of Vimuttimagga and ancient meditation masters. In the practical part, Visuddhimagga describes vitakka as mental repetition of "air, air" or other names of object-support.

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Re: A. Sujato's Why Vitakka Doesn't Mean 'Thinking' in Jhana

Post by Volovsky » Wed Oct 17, 2018 1:14 pm

Dmytro wrote:
Tue Oct 16, 2018 6:17 pm
Interpretation of nimitta as a strictly visual image belongs to the modern interpretation of nimitta, e.g. by Pa Auk Sayadaw. Though it draws upon Visuddhimagga for legitimization, it significantly differs from Visuddhimagga interpretation. I would rather treat separately all the chronological layers, - Visuddhimagga period, medieval Abhidhamma and modernity.
And what is this "significant" difference between Pa-Auk Sayadaw's interpretation of nimitta and Vism's?

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Re: A. Sujato's Why Vitakka Doesn't Mean 'Thinking' in Jhana

Post by frank k » Thu Oct 18, 2018 11:17 am

Vitakka as mental recitation is started as a way to enter jhana, and continues on further stages, even in transition to the third jhana, as quoted above:
In VRJ (vism. redefinition of jhana) the transition between jhanas are upacara samadhi. First they exit the previous jhana, then the mental recitiation for third jhana you quoted is in upacara.

I'll take a closer look at the pali for the first jhana earth kasina Vism. vitakka/vicara gloss. I think what you're saying is that translating it as "thinking & evaluation" (as one would do for the mental recitation for V&V everywhere else in Vism.) would work. Maybe vitakka could work, but I think "vicara" takes on an opposite meaning of sticking like glue to the object of vitakka. Which is probably why those mental recitation quotes you provided use "takka & vitakka" instead of V&V.

Visuddhimagga, as a compilative work, includes both scholastic "impulsions" model, and the practical legacy of Vimuttimagga and ancient meditation masters. In the practical part, Visuddhimagga describes vitakka as mental repetition of "air, air" or other names of object-support.
Maybe you're right. But if "vicara" has the corrupted meaning it still loses the essential V&V meaning from the EBT first jhana.
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Re: A. Sujato's Why Vitakka Doesn't Mean 'Thinking' in Jhana

Post by atipattoh » Thu Oct 18, 2018 2:04 pm

Is it possible that, interpreting vitakka as thinking, fits into the framework of 5-fold Jhana?

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Re: A. Sujato's Why Vitakka Doesn't Mean 'Thinking' in Jhana

Post by Dmytro » Fri Oct 19, 2018 2:07 pm

Volovsky wrote:
Wed Oct 17, 2018 1:14 pm
Dmytro wrote:
Tue Oct 16, 2018 6:17 pm
Interpretation of nimitta as a strictly visual image belongs to the modern interpretation of nimitta, e.g. by Pa Auk Sayadaw. Though it draws upon Visuddhimagga for legitimization, it significantly differs from Visuddhimagga interpretation. I would rather treat separately all the chronological layers, - Visuddhimagga period, medieval Abhidhamma and modernity.
And what is this "significant" difference between Pa-Auk Sayadaw's interpretation of nimitta and Vism's?
Well, detailed analysis of this question would be off topic here. Besides, I don't want to put emphasis on specific modern schools.
I've described the overall semantic shift in the thread on Pali term "Nimitta".

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Re: A. Sujato's Why Vitakka Doesn't Mean 'Thinking' in Jhana

Post by Dmytro » Fri Oct 19, 2018 2:15 pm

frank k wrote:
Thu Oct 18, 2018 11:17 am
Maybe vitakka could work, but I think "vicara" takes on an opposite meaning of sticking like glue to the object of vitakka.
Yes, perhaps it's closer to an investigation described in Titthayatana sutta:

The Eighteen Investigations of Mind


‘Ime aṭṭhārasa manopavicārā’ ti bhikkhave mayā Dhammo desito

‘These are the eighteen investigations of mind’ is a Teaching, monks, taught by me



aniggahito asaṁkiliṭṭho anupavajjo appaṭikuṭṭho samaṇehi brāhmaṇehi viññūhī ti.

that is without reproach, undefiled, blameless, and unreviled by wise ascetics and brahmins.



Iti kho panetaṁ vuttaṁ, kiñ-cetaṁ paṭicca vuttaṁ?

This is what was said, but in regard to what was it said?



Cakkhunā rūpaṁ disvā somanassaṭṭhāniyaṁ rūpaṁ upavicarati,

Having seen a form with the eye he investigates whether it is to be classified as a pleasant form,



domanassaṭṭhāniyaṁ rūpaṁ upavicarati,

he investigates whether it is to be classified as a unpleasant form,



upekkhaṭṭhāniyaṁ rūpaṁ upavicarati.

he investigates whether it is to be classified as a neutral form.



Sotena saddaṁ sutvā somanassaṭṭhāniyaṁ saddaṁ upavicarati,

Having heard a sound with the ear he investigates whether it is to be classified as a pleasant sound,



domanassaṭṭhāniyaṁ saddaṁ upavicarati,

he investigates whether it is to be classified as a unpleasant sound,



upekkhaṭṭhāniyaṁ saddaṁ upavicarati.

he investigates whether it is to be classified as a neutral sound.



Ghānena gandhaṁ ghāyitvā somanassaṭṭhāniyaṁ gandhaṁ upavicarati,

Having smelt a smell with the nose he investigates whether it is to be classified as a pleasant smell,



domanassaṭṭhāniyaṁ gandhaṁ upavicarati,

he investigates whether it is to be classified as a unpleasant smell,



upekkhaṭṭhāniyaṁ gandhaṁ upavicarati.

he investigates whether it is to be classified as a neutral smell.



Jivhāya rasaṁ sāyitvā somanassaṭṭhāniyaṁ rasaṁ upavicarati,

Having tasted a taste with the tongue he investigates whether it is to be classified as a pleasant taste,



domanassaṭṭhāniyaṁ rasaṁ upavicarati,

he investigates whether it is to be classified as a unpleasant taste,



upekkhaṭṭhāniyaṁ rasaṁ upavicarati,

he investigates whether it is to be classified as a neutral taste,



Kāyena phoṭṭhabbaṁ phusitvā somanassaṭṭhāniyaṁ phoṭṭhabbaṁ upavicarati,

Having touched a tangible with the body he investigates whether it is to be classified as a pleasant tangible,



domanassaṭṭhāniyaṁ phoṭṭhabbaṁ upavicarati,

he investigates whether it is to be classified as a unpleasant tangible,



upekkhaṭṭhāniyaṁ phoṭṭhabbaṁ upavicarati,

he investigates whether it is to be classified as a neutral tangible,



Manasā dhammaṁ viññāya somanassaṭṭhāniyaṁ dhammaṁ upavicarati,

Having cognised a mental object with the mind he investigates whether it is to be classified as a pleasant mental object,



domanassaṭṭhāniyaṁ dhammaṁ upavicarati,

he investigates whether it is to be classified as a unpleasant mental object,



upekkhaṭṭhāniyaṁ dhammaṁ upavicarati.

he investigates whether it is to be classified as a neutral mental object.



‘Ime aṭṭhārasa manopavicārā’ ti bhikkhave mayā Dhammo desito

‘These are the eighteen investigations of mind’ is a Teaching, monks, taught by me



aniggahito asaṁkiliṭṭho anupavajjo appaṭikuṭṭho samaṇehi brāhmaṇehi viññūhī ti.

that is without reproach, undefiled, blameless, and unreviled by wise ascetics and brahmins.



Iti yaṁ taṁ vuttaṁ, idam-etaṁ paṭicca vuttaṁ.

This is that which was said, and this is the reason it was said.


https://www.ancient-buddhist-texts.net/ ... .htm#Eight

That is, one repeats the name of object-support and explores how does it feel each time?

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