How is the word "immaterial" used in Buddha's teaching?

Textual analysis and comparative discussion on early Buddhist sects and texts.
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Roz
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How is the word "immaterial" used in Buddha's teaching?

Post by Roz » Sun Jul 23, 2017 5:30 pm

I was researching 'materialism' and also found the word 'immaterial' used as immaterial absorptions, which are from the eight stages of meditation. What exactly does "immaterial" mean? In what ways, situations or contexts did Buddha use this word "immaterial"? For example, are sexual desires that obviously have a relationship to biology, hormones & chemical "immaterial"?

Thanks

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Spiny Norman
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Re: How is the word "immaterial" used in Buddha's teaching?

Post by Spiny Norman » Tue Jul 25, 2017 8:12 am

Roz wrote:I was researching 'materialism' and also found the word 'immaterial' used as immaterial absorptions, which are from the eight stages of meditation. What exactly does "immaterial" mean? In what ways, situations or contexts did Buddha use this word "immaterial"? For example, are sexual desires that obviously have a relationship to biology, hormones & chemical "immaterial"?
Thanks
This might be of interest:

"Beyond the four jhanas lie four higher attainments in the scale of concentration, referred to in the suttas as the "peaceful immaterial liberations transcending material form" (santa vimokkha atikammarupe aruppa, M.i,33).
...They receive the designation "immaterial" or " formless" (arupa) because they are achieved by surmounting all perceptions of material form, including the subtle form of the counterpart sign which served as the object of the previous jhanas, and because they are the subjective correlates of the immaterial planes of existence."

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... html#ch4.2
"My religion is very simple - my religion is ice-cream."
Dairy Lama

pyluyten
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Re: How is the word "immaterial" used in Buddha's teaching?

Post by pyluyten » Wed Sep 06, 2017 8:11 am

Spiny Norman wrote:
"Beyond the four jhanas lie four higher attainments in the scale of concentration, referred to in the suttas as the "peaceful immaterial liberations transcending material form" (santa vimokkha atikammarupe aruppa, M.i,33).
...They receive the designation "immaterial" or " formless" (arupa) because they are achieved by surmounting all perceptions of material form, including the subtle form of the counterpart sign which served as the object of the previous jhanas, and because they are the subjective correlates of the immaterial planes of existence."

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... html#ch4.2
I have read "arupa jhana" is not a sutta word, but a commentary word. Arupa is. But instead of jhana we would find eg "ayatana" in suttas.
Do you have information, point of view, link regarding this statement?

Thanks much Spiny Norman

pyluyten
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Re: How is the word "immaterial" used in Buddha's teaching?

Post by pyluyten » Thu Sep 07, 2017 8:02 am

pyluyten wrote:
I have read "arupa jhana" is not a sutta word, but a commentary word. Arupa is. But instead of jhana we would find eg "ayatana" in suttas.
Do you have information, point of view, link regarding this statement?
ah sorry i have disturbed for nothing. I found Ajhan Brahm, in his book about Dhyana, writes exactly this
"It is noteworthy that the Buddha never called these attainments jhana in they suttas."

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Dhammanando
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Re: How is the word "immaterial" used in Buddha's teaching?

Post by Dhammanando » Thu Sep 07, 2017 1:09 pm

pyluyten wrote:ah sorry i have disturbed for nothing. I found Ajhan Brahm, in his book about Dhyana, writes exactly this

"It is noteworthy that the Buddha never called these attainments jhana in they suttas."
The ajahn continues...
Ajahn Brahmavamso wrote:Only the commentaries, compiled a thousand years later, call them Jhana.
https://www.dhammatalks.net/Books/Ajahn ... Jhanas.htm

But this isn't correct. The term 'arūpajjhāna' dates back to the Dhammasaṅgaṇī of the Abhidhamma Piṭaka.

pyluyten
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Re: How is the word "immaterial" used in Buddha's teaching?

Post by pyluyten » Thu Sep 07, 2017 6:33 pm

Dhammanando wrote: But this isn't correct. The term 'arūpajjhāna' dates back to the Dhammasaṅgaṇī of the Abhidhamma Piṭaka.
ah thanks for clarification :bow:

ToVincent
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Re: How is the word "immaterial" used in Buddha's teaching?

Post by ToVincent » Thu Sep 07, 2017 10:52 pm

Roz wrote:What exactly does "immaterial" mean?
Apart from two dubious Suttas in AN 3, that have no parallels, and that speak about the arūpadhathu - there seems to be only one occurrence of "arūpa" in the EBTs.
Speaking of the citta in Thag 19.1, this is what Mahāmoggallāna said:
You, incorporeal (citta,) far-traveller, lone-wanderer ...
Arūpa dūraṅgama ekacāri ...

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AN 11.9 speaks about losing the perception of forms (earth, water, etc.).

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This is Jhana 5.
With the complete overstepping of perceptions of form (matter) - with the vanishing of perceptions (based) upon the organs of senses (viz. ajjhattikāni āyatanāni [including mano]) - not striving with the mind (manasa/mano) to perceptions of manifoldness (lit. (what is) differently than one), aware that ‘space is boundless,’ he attains and seizes distinctively, the field of experience of boundless space.
sabbaso rūpasaññānaṃ samatikkamā - paṭighasaññānaṃ atthaṅgamā nānattasaññānaṃ - amanasikārā ananto ākāsoti ākāsānañcāyatanaṃ upasampajja viharāti.
Note that saññā (perception) has the underlying meaning of "experience with acknowledgment" in pre-Buddhist Vedic texts.

Note also that the loss of "perception" of materiality (The four great elements (mahābhūtāna rūpa) and the forms out of (derived from) them (upādāya) - SN 12.2), is not the same as dwelling in "nothingness" in Jhāna 7:
By completely surmounting the base of infinite consciousness, aware that ‘there is nothing,’ a bhikkhu enters upon and dwells (distinctively,) in the base of nothingness.
sabbaso viññāṇañcāyatanaṃ samatikkamma ‘natthi kiñcī’ti ākiñcaññāyatanaṃ upasampajja viharāti.
Ākiñcaññā, which has the meaning of "nothing" here, means literally, that there is "not even from the cause" - "not even 'whence'" (na kiṃ cana).

Metta.
In this world with its ..., Māras, ... in this population with its ascetics.... (AN 5.30).
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We are all possessed - more or less.
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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
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https://justpaste.it/j5o4

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