TheSynergist wrote: ↑
Fri Feb 23, 2018 1:18 am
So even if the Chinese were original, it doesn't necessarily mean Jhanas are unnecessary. It could be suggesting the exact opposite, in fact.
According to Choong Mun-keat, the knowing of the four noble truths is part of the practice, which includes practising 'concentrative meditation' (pp. 237-238 in The Fundamental Teachings of Early Buddhism
"The knowing of the four noble truths, as part of the practice is made clearer in SN 56. 25 and its counterpart SA 384. The SN version records the Buddha as saying:
Bhiksus, I declare that extinction of the influxes (aasavaana.m khaya.m) is in one who knows (jaanato), who sees (passato), not in one who does not know, who does not see.
Bhiksus, in one who knows, who sees "this is suffering, this is the arising of suffering, this is the cessation of suffering, this is the way leading to the cessation of suffering," there is extinction of the influxes.
The corresponding SA version states:
If by a bhiksu the noble truth of suffering has been known, has been understood; the noble truth of the arising of suffering has been known, has been eliminated; the noble truth of the cessation of suffering has been known, has been attained; the noble truth of the way leading to the cessation of suffering has been known, has been cultivated, then such a bhiksu is called arhant, he has extinguished the influxes ...
The two versions differ in expression, but they say in common that knowing (wisdom) or seeing (insight) refers to knowing or seeing the four noble truths; and knowing or seeing is essential in the practice, leading the mind to liberation from the influxes.
For knowing or seeing the four noble truths, both traditions encourage the practice of concentrative meditation. In SN 56. 1 the Buddha says:
Bhiksus, practise (bhaavetha) concentration (samaadhim). The bhiksu who is concentrated (samaahito) knows (pajanati) [things] as they really are (yathaabhuutam). And what does he know as they really are?
In this connection, he knows as it really is: this is suffering, this is the arising of suffering, this is the ceasing of suffering, this is the way leading to the ceasing of suffering.
Similarly, in SN 56. 2 he says "Bhiksus, apply yourselves to solitary meditation (pa.tisallaane yogam aapajjatha)." The corresponding SA 429 and 428 have almost the same content. Thus, both versions indicate that practising concentrative meditation is a means to knowing or seeing the four noble truths. "
Here the practising 'concentrative meditation' can refer to jhanas. I think at least the first jhana is needed for attaining the level of the wisdom-liberated arhat.