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

Explore the ancient language of the Tipitaka and Theravāda commentaries

Moderator: Mahavihara moderator

User avatar
Posts: 326
Joined: Sat Jul 28, 2018 9:32 am

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

Post by Volo » Fri Oct 19, 2018 3:35 pm

Dmytro wrote:
Fri Oct 19, 2018 2:07 pm
Well, detailed analysis of this question would be off topic here.
Ok, I will answer there.

frank k
Posts: 163
Joined: Sat Jan 01, 2011 4:55 pm

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

Post by frank k » Sun Oct 21, 2018 7:34 pm

hi Dmytro, in response too the passage quoting upavicarati with 18 mental explorations (somanassa, domonassa, upekkha) x 6 sense bases,
in Vism. jhana of appana samadhi, vicara would not be able to do that. It has to first emerge from the frozen state of appana samadhi, then it can do vicara of 18 mental exploration back in upacara samadhi.

Interesting that in Vimt., which uses an earlier Abhdhamma, they define appana samadhi as the 5 hindrances being "destroyed". So under Vimt. earth kasina, even appana samadhi can do the 18 mental explorations of upa-vicara. And it could also do metta and 4bv (brahma vihara) with thought & evaluation. In vism. metta, it's similar to vimt. metta, but then they add in a visual kasina (person you're sending metta to) for the appana samadhi portion which is not in vimt.

while Vism. acknowledges existence of wind kasina using tactile sensation, also for anapana, it doesn't give any instruction on how to do it, ignoring all the instructions in Vimt (for anapana tactile). In Vimt, they don't acknowledge visual kasina method of anapana jhana, they only talk about tactile sensation jhana. There is definitely a deliberate suppression of tactile anapana in Vism, it's not just Pa Auk and modern interpretations of Vism.
http://www.audtip.org" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false; Audio Sutta Recordings

User avatar
Posts: 1597
Joined: Thu Jan 01, 2009 7:24 pm
Location: Kyiv, Ukraine

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

Post by Dmytro » Fri Dec 28, 2018 10:14 am

@crizna wrote:

Let me illustrate the point by means of the much disputed terms ‘vitakka’ and ‘vicāra’. Unlike with the interpretations in the Theravāda tradition, there seems to have been no major disagreement among the Northern Schools as to the meaning of those terms.

vitarkaḥ katamaḥ. paryeṣako manojalpaḥ cetanāprajñāviśeṣaḥ yā cittasyaudārikatā.
vicāraḥ katamaḥ. pratyavekṣako manojalpas tathaiva yā cittasya sūkṣmatā. anabhyūhāvasthāyāṃ cetanā abhyūhāvasthāyāṃ prajñeti vyavasthāpyate.

Sphuṭārthā Abhidharmakośavyākhyā 64-65

'What is ‘vitarka’? A mental murmur of enquiry (paryeṣako manojalpaḥ), which rests on the support of volition (cetanā) or speculative knowledge (prajñā), according as it does not or does include deduction (abhyūha), It is a gross state of mind.

What is ‘vicāra’ ? A mental murmur of judgment (pratyavekṣako manojalpas) which rests on the volition, etc. (as above). That is the subtleness of mind.’

(Translation by P.S. Jaini in the Introduction to his edition of the Abhidharmadīpa, p. 87).

P.S. Jaini remarks: ‘Here ‘vitarka’ refers to the state of enquiry of mind and ‘vicāra’ to the state of judgment.’

In the Sphuṭārthā passage cited above Yaśomitra quoted the view of the old masters (pūrvācārya). Almost identical explanations are found in various treatises of Asaṅga (e.g. Abhidharmasamuccayabhāṣyam 8-9) and Vasubandhu (e.g. Pañca-Skandhaka 64). A similar explanation is also found in Harivarman’s Satyasiddhiśāstra 215 -216.

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Yahoo [Bot] and 19 guests