What is the difference between "themeless" vs "emptiness" liberation?

Textual analysis and comparative discussion on early Buddhist sects and texts.
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DooDoot
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What is the difference between "themeless" vs "emptiness" liberation?

Post by DooDoot » Thu Sep 27, 2018 6:36 am

Dear DW forum

MN 43 says:
And what is the heart’s release through emptiness? It’s when a mendicant has gone to a wilderness, or to the root of a tree, or to an empty hut, and reflects like this: ‘This is empty of a self or what belongs to a self.’ This is called the heart’s release through emptiness.

And what is the signless (themeless) heart’s release? It’s when a mendicant, not focusing on any signs, enters and remains in the signless immersion of the heart. This is called the signless heart’s release.

Greed, hate and delusion are makers of limits. A mendicant who has ended the defilements has given these up, cut them off at the root, made them like a palm stump, and exterminated them, so they are unable to arise in the future.... That unshakable heart’s release is empty of greed, hate, and delusion. Greed, hate, and delusion are makers of signs. A mendicant who has ended the defilements has given these up, cut them off at the root, made them like a palm stump, and exterminated them, so they are unable to arise in the future. The unshakable heart’s release is said to be the best kind of signless heart’s release. That unshakable heart’s release is empty of greed, hate, and delusion. This is the way in which they mean the same thing, and differ only in the phrasing.”

https://suttacentral.net/mn43/en/sujato
How exactly are the themeless/signless liberation and emptiness liberation different? How are they the same?

Thank you :smile:
Never ordained... not an anonymous-online-bhikkhu or ex-bhikkhu...

auto
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Re: What is the difference between "themeless" vs "emptiness" liberation?

Post by auto » Thu Sep 27, 2018 11:21 am

i guess
limitless, nothingness, emptiness and signless are the 4 arupa jhanas. It seem arupa jhanas are about awareness release. Fulfilling resolve, hearts desire.

https://accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/mn ... .than.html
"Furthermore, there is the case where an individual, out of conviction, goes forth from the home life into homelessness, (thinking,) 'I am beset by birth, by aging-&-death, by sorrows, lamentations, pains, distresses, & despairs, beset by stress, overcome with stress. Perhaps the end of this entire mass of stress might be discerned!' Having thus gone forth, he encounters gain, offerings, & fame. He is not gratified with that gain, offerings, & fame, his resolve not fulfilled. Because of that gain, offerings, & fame he does not exalt himself or disparage others. He generates desire & exerts himself for the realization of those qualities that are higher & more sublime than gain, offerings, & fame. He is not drooping or lax. He achieves consummation in virtue. He is gratified with that consummation in virtue, but his resolve is not fulfilled. Because of that consummation in virtue does not exalt himself or disparage others. He generates desire & exerts himself for the realization of those qualities that are higher & more sublime than consummation in virtue. He is not drooping or lax. He achieves consummation in concentration. He is gratified with that consummation in concentration, but his resolve is not fulfilled. Because of that consummation in concentration he does not exalt himself or disparage others. He generates desire & exerts himself for the realization of those qualities that are higher & more sublime than consummation in concentration. He is not drooping or lax. He achieves knowledge & vision. He is gratified with that knowledge & vision, but his resolve is not fulfilled. Because of that knowledge & vision he does not himself or disparage others. He generates desire & exerts himself for the realization of those qualities that are higher & more sublime than knowledge & vision. He is not drooping or lax.
"And which, brahman, are the qualities that are higher & more sublime than knowledge & vision?
..
list of jhanas
..
and then,
"These are the qualities higher & more sublime than knowledge & vision.

"Just like the man who, in need of heartwood, seeking heartwood, wandering in search of heartwood, cutting away just the heartwood of a great standing tree possessed of heartwood, went off carrying it, knowing, 'heartwood': Whatever heartwood-business he had with heartwood, his purpose will be served. This individual, I tell you, is similar to that.
"Brahman, this holy life doesn't have as its reward gain, offerings, & fame, doesn't have as its reward consummation of virtue, doesn't have as its reward consummation of concentration, doesn't have as its reward knowledge & vision, but the unprovoked [3] awareness-release: That is the purpose of this holy life, that is its heartwood, that its final end."
Difference is 1,2,3..8 jhana conditions(non-conditions). Getting more sublime ..

santa100
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Re: What is the difference between "themeless" vs "emptiness" liberation?

Post by santa100 » Thu Sep 27, 2018 8:56 pm

They're similar in the sense that they're 2 of the 4 CetoVimuttis/Deliverances of Mind: immeasurable, nothingness, voidness/emptiness, and signless. They're different in the sense that Signless deliverence is an attainment of fruition or supramundane level, while the previous 3 deliverences (ie. immeasurable<==>the brahmaviharas; nothingness<==>the 3rd immaterial attainment; and voidness/emtpiness<==>insight into emptiness of all formations;) are mundane levels.

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salayatananirodha
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Re: What is the difference between "themeless" vs "emptiness" liberation?

Post by salayatananirodha » Fri Sep 28, 2018 7:08 am

I've read about these things, but I still don't quite recall what a sign is. Perhaps there is a better word in substitute I could use to remember it.
16. 'In what has the world originated?' — so said the Yakkha Hemavata, — 'with what is the world intimate? by what is the world afflicted, after having grasped at what?' (167)

17. 'In six the world has originated, O Hemavata,' — so said Bhagavat, — 'with six it is intimate, by six the world is afflicted, after having grasped at six.' (168)

- Hemavatasutta


links:
https://www.ancient-buddhist-texts.net/index.htm
http://thaiforestwisdom.org/canonical-texts/
http://seeingthroughthenet.net/
https://www.dhammatalks.org/index.html

SarathW
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Re: What is the difference between "themeless" vs "emptiness" liberation?

Post by SarathW » Fri Sep 28, 2018 7:31 am

santa100 wrote:
Thu Sep 27, 2018 8:56 pm
They're similar in the sense that they're 2 of the 4 CetoVimuttis/Deliverances of Mind: immeasurable, nothingness, voidness/emptiness, and signless. They're different in the sense that Signless deliverence is an attainment of fruition or supramundane level, while the previous 3 deliverences (ie. immeasurable<==>the brahmaviharas; nothingness<==>the 3rd immaterial attainment; and voidness/emtpiness<==>insight into emptiness of all formations;) are mundane levels.
@Santa
I am not sure whether higlghted is correct.
========

"He discerns that 'This theme-less concentration of awareness is fabricated & mentally fashioned.' And he discerns that 'Whatever is fabricated & mentally fashioned is inconstant & subject to cessation.
https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitak ... .than.html
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

santa100
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Re: What is the difference between "themeless" vs "emptiness" liberation?

Post by santa100 » Fri Sep 28, 2018 4:18 pm

SarathW wrote:
Fri Sep 28, 2018 7:31 am
@Santa
I am not sure whether higlghted is correct.
========

"He discerns that 'This theme-less concentration of awareness is fabricated & mentally fashioned.' And he discerns that 'Whatever is fabricated & mentally fashioned is inconstant & subject to cessation.
https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitak ... .than.html
Not sure what your cited quote have anything to do with the signless attainment being a supramundane level. Any "supramundane" levels short of Nibbana is still fabricated and inconstant. Otherwise Sotapannas, Sakadagamis, and Anāgāmis would no longer have "works to be done" and they'd be all Asekkhas, not Sekkhas.

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Nicolas
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Re: What is the difference between "themeless" vs "emptiness" liberation?

Post by Nicolas » Fri Sep 28, 2018 4:38 pm

Hi DooDoot,

This old DhammaWheel topic is worth exploring: concentration on the signless

SarathW
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Re: What is the difference between "themeless" vs "emptiness" liberation?

Post by SarathW » Fri Sep 28, 2018 10:13 pm

Any "supramundane" levels short of Nibbana is still fabricated and inconstant.
Good point.
Thanks.
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

James Tan
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Re: What is the difference between "themeless" vs "emptiness" liberation?

Post by James Tan » Mon Oct 01, 2018 6:25 am

DooDoot wrote:
Thu Sep 27, 2018 6:36 am

How exactly are the themeless/signless liberation and emptiness liberation different? How are they the same?

Thank you :smile:
~~Emptiness liberation is contemplating on the anicca and viraga aspect of the five aggregates.

SA80
《雜80經》之「空三昧」內容為︰ 「(有正思惟三昧,)善觀色無常、磨滅、離欲之法,如是觀察受、想、行、識無常、磨滅、離欲之法;觀察彼陰無常、磨滅、不堅固、變易法,心樂清淨、解脫是名為空。」


~~Signless liberation is contemplating on the
Nirodha aspect of the six sense objects.
The cessation of its .

SA80
《雜80經》云︰「有正思惟三昧觀色相斷,聲、香、味、觸、法相,是名無相(三昧)。」

SA567
《雜567經》所示︰ 「於一切相不念, 無相。」如是心三昧身作證,名「無相心三昧。」


《大正.No.104經》
http://ccbs.ntu.edu.tw/BDLM/sutra/html/T02/T02n0104.htm

有如是說︰ 「住三摩地,觀諸色境皆悉滅盡離諸有想;如是,聲、香、味、觸、法亦皆滅盡,離諸有想;如是觀察名為無想解脫門。」




PS. What do you think ?
:reading:

thomaslaw
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Re: What is the difference between "themeless" vs "emptiness" liberation?

Post by thomaslaw » Tue Oct 02, 2018 12:27 am

James Tan wrote:
Mon Oct 01, 2018 6:25 am
DooDoot wrote:
Thu Sep 27, 2018 6:36 am

How exactly are the themeless/signless liberation and emptiness liberation different? How are they the same?

Thank you :smile:
~~Emptiness liberation is contemplating on the anicca and viraga aspect of the five aggregates.

SA80
《雜80經》之「空三昧」內容為︰ 「(有正思惟三昧,)善觀色無常、磨滅、離欲之法,如是觀察受、想、行、識無常、磨滅、離欲之法;觀察彼陰無常、磨滅、不堅固、變易法,心樂清淨、解脫是名為空。」


~~Signless liberation is contemplating on the
Nirodha aspect of the six sense objects.
The cessation of its .

SA80
《雜80經》云︰「有正思惟三昧觀色相斷,聲、香、味、觸、法相,是名無相(三昧)。」

SA567
《雜567經》所示︰ 「於一切相不念, 無相。」如是心三昧身作證,名「無相心三昧。」


《大正.No.104經》
http://ccbs.ntu.edu.tw/BDLM/sutra/html/T02/T02n0104.htm

有如是說︰ 「住三摩地,觀諸色境皆悉滅盡離諸有想;如是,聲、香、味、觸、法亦皆滅盡,離諸有想;如是觀察名為無想解脫門。」

PS. What do you think ?
About the differences and meanings of the two liberations (animitta 無相 and su~n~nataa 空) in both Pali and Chinese versions, you may read the following book by Choong Mun-keat, pp. 51-64:

The Notion of Emptiness in Early Buddhism (1995; second revised edition, Motilal Banarsidass, Delhi, 1999).

James Tan
Posts: 1037
Joined: Sun Jun 04, 2017 1:26 pm

Re: What is the difference between "themeless" vs "emptiness" liberation?

Post by James Tan » Tue Oct 02, 2018 2:59 pm

thomaslaw wrote:
Tue Oct 02, 2018 12:27 am
James Tan wrote:
Mon Oct 01, 2018 6:25 am
DooDoot wrote:
Thu Sep 27, 2018 6:36 am

How exactly are the themeless/signless liberation and emptiness liberation different? How are they the same?

Thank you :smile:
~~Emptiness liberation is contemplating on the anicca and viraga aspect of the five aggregates.

SA80
《雜80經》之「空三昧」內容為︰ 「(有正思惟三昧,)善觀色無常、磨滅、離欲之法,如是觀察受、想、行、識無常、磨滅、離欲之法;觀察彼陰無常、磨滅、不堅固、變易法,心樂清淨、解脫是名為空。」


~~Signless liberation is contemplating on the
Nirodha aspect of the six sense objects.
The cessation of its .

SA80
《雜80經》云︰「有正思惟三昧觀色相斷,聲、香、味、觸、法相,是名無相(三昧)。」

SA567
《雜567經》所示︰ 「於一切相不念, 無相。」如是心三昧身作證,名「無相心三昧。」


《大正.No.104經》
http://ccbs.ntu.edu.tw/BDLM/sutra/html/T02/T02n0104.htm

有如是說︰ 「住三摩地,觀諸色境皆悉滅盡離諸有想;如是,聲、香、味、觸、法亦皆滅盡,離諸有想;如是觀察名為無想解脫門。」

PS. What do you think ?
About the differences and meanings of the two liberations (animitta 無相 and su~n~nataa 空) in both Pali and Chinese versions, you may read the following book by Choong Mun-keat, pp. 51-64:

The Notion of Emptiness in Early Buddhism (1995; second revised edition, Motilal Banarsidass, Delhi, 1999).
Perhaps you could summarise it for us since the book is not available .
:reading:

thomaslaw
Posts: 178
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Location: Australia

Re: What is the difference between "themeless" vs "emptiness" liberation?

Post by thomaslaw » Wed Oct 03, 2018 12:00 am

James Tan wrote:
Tue Oct 02, 2018 2:59 pm
thomaslaw wrote:
Tue Oct 02, 2018 12:27 am
James Tan wrote:
Mon Oct 01, 2018 6:25 am


~~Emptiness liberation is contemplating on the anicca and viraga aspect of the five aggregates.

SA80
《雜80經》之「空三昧」內容為︰ 「(有正思惟三昧,)善觀色無常、磨滅、離欲之法,如是觀察受、想、行、識無常、磨滅、離欲之法;觀察彼陰無常、磨滅、不堅固、變易法,心樂清淨、解脫是名為空。」


~~Signless liberation is contemplating on the
Nirodha aspect of the six sense objects.
The cessation of its .

SA80
《雜80經》云︰「有正思惟三昧觀色相斷,聲、香、味、觸、法相,是名無相(三昧)。」

SA567
《雜567經》所示︰ 「於一切相不念, 無相。」如是心三昧身作證,名「無相心三昧。」


《大正.No.104經》
http://ccbs.ntu.edu.tw/BDLM/sutra/html/T02/T02n0104.htm

有如是說︰ 「住三摩地,觀諸色境皆悉滅盡離諸有想;如是,聲、香、味、觸、法亦皆滅盡,離諸有想;如是觀察名為無想解脫門。」

PS. What do you think ?
About the differences and meanings of the two liberations (animitta 無相 and su~n~nataa 空) in both Pali and Chinese versions, you may read the following book by Choong Mun-keat, pp. 51-64:

The Notion of Emptiness in Early Buddhism (1995; second revised edition, Motilal Banarsidass, Delhi, 1999).
Perhaps you could summarise it for us since the book is not available .
You may read the book pages from this google book website:

https://books.google.com.au/books?id=HJ ... &q&f=false

James Tan
Posts: 1037
Joined: Sun Jun 04, 2017 1:26 pm

Re: What is the difference between "themeless" vs "emptiness" liberation?

Post by James Tan » Thu Oct 04, 2018 9:53 am

thomaslaw wrote:
Wed Oct 03, 2018 12:00 am
James Tan wrote:
Tue Oct 02, 2018 2:59 pm
thomaslaw wrote:
Tue Oct 02, 2018 12:27 am


About the differences and meanings of the two liberations (animitta 無相 and su~n~nataa 空) in both Pali and Chinese versions, you may read the following book by Choong Mun-keat, pp. 51-64:

The Notion of Emptiness in Early Buddhism (1995; second revised edition, Motilal Banarsidass, Delhi, 1999).
Perhaps you could summarise it for us since the book is not available .
You may read the book pages from this google book website:

https://books.google.com.au/books?id=HJ ... &q&f=false
Thanks but page 51 not accessible .
:reading:

paul
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Re: What is the difference between "themeless" vs "emptiness" liberation?

Post by paul » Fri Oct 05, 2018 11:21 am

There are in fact three liberations:

“ The 3 liberations are: 1. the conditionless (or signless) liberation (animitta-v.), 2. the desireless liberation (apanihita-v.), 3. the emptiness (or void) liberation (suññatá-v. ). They are also called 'the triple gateway to liberation' (vimokkha-mukha; Vis.M. XXI, 66ff), as they are three different approaches to the paths of holiness.”—-“Buddhist Dictionary,” Nyanatiloka.

I think the signless liberation is the culmination of the kasina approach as described in the eight emancipations :

“Possessed of form, one sees forms. This is the first emancipation.
“Not percipient of form internally, one sees forms externally. This is the
second emancipation.
“One is intent only on the beautiful. This is the third emancipation.” — DN
15
These are not descriptions of the four jhanas, for they contain no mention of
the jhana factors. Their emphasis is on what one sees, which means that they are
types of meditative visionary experiences. The mere fact that they can lead to the
formless attainments does not make them equivalent to the jhanas. They simply
provide an alternative route to the formless attainments.”—-“Right Mindfulness”, Thanissaro.

thomaslaw
Posts: 178
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Location: Australia

Re: What is the difference between "themeless" vs "emptiness" liberation?

Post by thomaslaw » Sat Oct 06, 2018 11:40 pm

paul wrote:
Fri Oct 05, 2018 11:21 am
There are in fact three liberations:

“ The 3 liberations are: 1. the conditionless (or signless) liberation (animitta-v.), 2. the desireless liberation (apanihita-v.), 3. the emptiness (or void) liberation (suññatá-v. ). They are also called 'the triple gateway to liberation' (vimokkha-mukha; Vis.M. XXI, 66ff), as they are three different approaches to the paths of holiness.”—-“Buddhist Dictionary,” Nyanatiloka.

I think the signless liberation is the culmination of the kasina approach as described in the eight emancipations :

“Possessed of form, one sees forms. This is the first emancipation.
“Not percipient of form internally, one sees forms externally. This is the
second emancipation.
“One is intent only on the beautiful. This is the third emancipation.” — DN
15
These are not descriptions of the four jhanas, for they contain no mention of
the jhana factors. Their emphasis is on what one sees, which means that they are
types of meditative visionary experiences. The mere fact that they can lead to the
formless attainments does not make them equivalent to the jhanas. They simply
provide an alternative route to the formless attainments.”—-“Right Mindfulness”, Thanissaro.
But according to SN 41.7 = SA 567, there are four kinds of liberation (cf. p. 51 in Choong Mun-keat, The Notion of Emptiness in Early Buddhism):

1. appamaa.na-cetovimutti 'immeasurable mind-liberation'
2. aaki~nca~n~na-cetovimutti 'nothingness mind-liberation'
3. su~n~nataa-cetovimutti 'emptiness mind-liberation'
4. animitaa-cetovimutti 'signless mind-liberation'

But note that the texts belong to Vyaakara.na-anga portion of SN/SA (see pp. 21, 245, 250 in Choong Mun-keat, The Fundamental Teachings of Early Buddhism)

This suggests SN 41.7 = SA 567 are later components or supplements added to the earliest Sutra-anga potion of SN/SA.

:buddha1:

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