Satta asaññino: Why are non-percipient beings related to the 4th jhana ???

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DooDoot
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Satta asaññino: Why are non-percipient beings related to the 4th jhana ???

Post by DooDoot » Mon Apr 15, 2019 5:09 am

Dear Pali sutta students

Today, I read AN 9.24, which says:
Mendicants, there are nine abodes (vāsa) of sentient beings. What nine?

1. There are sentient beings that are diverse in body and diverse in perception, such as human beings, some gods, and some beings in the underworld. This is the first abode of sentient beings.

2. There are sentient beings that are diverse in body and unified in perception, such as the gods reborn (ābhinibbattā) in Brahmā’s Host through the first absorption. This is the second abode of sentient beings.

3. There are sentient beings that are unified in body and diverse in perception, such as the gods of streaming radiance. This is the third abode of sentient beings.

4. There are sentient beings that are unified in body and unified in perception, such as the gods replete with glory. This is the fourth abode of sentient beings.

5. There are sentient beings that are non-percipient and do not experience anything, such as the gods who are non-percipient beings. This is the fifth abode of sentient beings. Santi, bhikkhave, sattā asaññino appaṭisaṃvedino, seyyathāpi devā asaññasattā.

6. There are sentient beings that have gone totally beyond perceptions of form. With the ending of perceptions of impingement, not focusing on perceptions of diversity, aware that ‘space is infinite’, they have been reborn in the dimension of infinite space. This is the sixth abode of sentient beings.

7. There are sentient beings that have gone totally beyond the dimension of infinite space. Aware that ‘consciousness is infinite’, they have been reborn in the dimension of infinite consciousness. This is the seventh abode of sentient beings.

8. There are sentient beings that have gone totally beyond the dimension of infinite consciousness. Aware that ‘there is nothing at all’, they have been reborn in the dimension of nothingness. This is the eighth abode of sentient beings.

9. There are sentient beings that have gone totally beyond the dimension of nothingness. They have been reborn in the dimension of neither perception nor non-perception. This is the ninth abode of sentient beings.

These are the nine abodes of sentient beings.

https://suttacentral.net/an9.24/en/sujato
Note: The word translated as "reborn" above, with the arupa jhana, is upagata, which Bhikkhu Bodhi translates as "belong to".
Given the 4th abode above ("gods replete with glory") equates with the 3rd jhana in the suttas and given the 6th abode above is the same as the 5th jhana, it appears obvious in AN 9.24 above that the 4th jhana is related to the "non-percipient".

Q: The question for this topic is why is the 4th jhana related to the "non-percipient"? :shrug: Personally, I do not have answer.

Thank you. Please kindly discuss. :smile:
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Re: Satta asaññino: Why are non-percipient beings related to the 4th jhana ???

Post by Pondera » Mon Apr 15, 2019 5:26 am

The two features of 4th jhana lend them selves to non-percipient experience. Equanimity towards perceptions removes ones ego from perceptions. The tendency to equate Self with perception is lost in equanimity. The feeling of “neither pleasure nor pain” is not merely neutral feeling. It is sublime - like a breath of fresh air. The “nothingness” of that feeling is “almost tangible”. So if beings are reborn on such a substrate it makes sense that they are also non-percipient.
What is “rupa” Jhāna? Here are four simple meditations on earth, water, fire, and wind - leading to tranquility and pleasure, rapture and equanimity - peacehttps://drive.google.com/open?id=1sdgpi ... hIz3wgz7ep

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Re: Satta asaññino: Why are non-percipient beings related to the 4th jhana ???

Post by DooDoot » Mon Apr 15, 2019 5:54 am

Pondera wrote:
Mon Apr 15, 2019 5:26 am
The two features of 4th jhana lend them selves to non-percipient experience. Equanimity towards perceptions removes ones ego from perceptions. The tendency to equate Self with perception is lost in equanimity. The feeling of “neither pleasure nor pain” is not merely neutral feeling. It is sublime - like a breath of fresh air. The “nothingness” of that feeling is “almost tangible”. So if beings are reborn on such a substrate it makes sense that they are also non-percipient.
Thanks for your efforts Pondera but there sounds like a lot of perception going on above.
There is always an official executioner. If you try to take his place, It is like trying to be a master carpenter and cutting wood. If you try to cut wood like a master carpenter, you will only hurt your hand.

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SarathW
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Re: Satta asaññino: Why are non-percipient beings related to the 4th jhana ???

Post by SarathW » Mon Apr 15, 2019 6:35 am

The Vehapphala devas, monks, have a life-span of 500 eons. A run-of-the-mill person having stayed there, having used up all the life-span of those devas, goes to hell, to the animal womb, to the state of the hungry shades. But a disciple of the Blessed One, having stayed there, having used up all the life-span of those devas, is unbound right in that state of being.
https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitak ... tml#jhana4
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Re: Satta asaññino: Why are non-percipient beings related to the 4th jhana ???

Post by DooDoot » Mon Apr 15, 2019 6:41 am

SarathW wrote:
Mon Apr 15, 2019 6:35 am
The Vehapphala devas, monks, have a life-span of 500 eons. ...
Thanks SarathW but I am not sure how the above relates to the question. Regards
There is always an official executioner. If you try to take his place, It is like trying to be a master carpenter and cutting wood. If you try to cut wood like a master carpenter, you will only hurt your hand.

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Re: Satta asaññino: Why are non-percipient beings related to the 4th jhana ???

Post by SarathW » Mon Apr 15, 2019 6:56 am

(22) Unconscious beings (asaññasatta) Only body is present; no mind.
(21) Very Fruitful devas (vehapphala deva)

https://www.accesstoinsight.org/ptf/dha ... /loka.html
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Re: Satta asaññino: Why are non-percipient beings related to the 4th jhana ???

Post by SarathW » Mon Apr 15, 2019 6:59 am

I can recall I am asking the same question and Ven Dhammanando answered my question in line with the above reasoning.
There are two ways to attain a state of non-percipient beings.
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

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Re: Satta asaññino: Why are non-percipient beings related to the 4th jhana ???

Post by Pondera » Mon Apr 15, 2019 7:19 am

DooDoot wrote:
Mon Apr 15, 2019 5:54 am
Pondera wrote:
Mon Apr 15, 2019 5:26 am
The two features of 4th jhana lend them selves to non-percipient experience. Equanimity towards perceptions removes ones ego from perceptions. The tendency to equate Self with perception is lost in equanimity. The feeling of “neither pleasure nor pain” is not merely neutral feeling. It is sublime - like a breath of fresh air. The “nothingness” of that feeling is “almost tangible”. So if beings are reborn on such a substrate it makes sense that they are also non-percipient.
Thanks for your efforts Pondera but there sounds like a lot of perception going on above.
Fair enough. :shrug:
What is “rupa” Jhāna? Here are four simple meditations on earth, water, fire, and wind - leading to tranquility and pleasure, rapture and equanimity - peacehttps://drive.google.com/open?id=1sdgpi ... hIz3wgz7ep

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Re: Satta asaññino: Why are non-percipient beings related to the 4th jhana ???

Post by Volo » Mon Apr 15, 2019 8:29 am

DooDoot wrote:
Mon Apr 15, 2019 5:09 am
Q: The question for this topic is why is the 4th jhana related to the "non-percipient"? :shrug: Personally, I do not have answer.
Well, they have to belong to some level of rūpaloka (arūpaloka wouldn't be possible for them, since then they would have neither mentality nor materiality).

Why the 4th jhāna level? My guess would be, that suppressing mentality for a long period of time is not such an easy thing, and only previously developed highest rūpa jhāna (i.e. the 4th) has enough power to do this (together with a wish to have no mentality, since they think that all problems are due to having mentality).

But since they have no mentality it's probably more conventional that they are assigned to the 4th jhāna indicating a prerequisite for such a rebirth.

But there are also beings on 4th jhāna level, who are percipient.
Last edited by Volo on Mon Apr 15, 2019 8:33 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Satta asaññino: Why are non-percipient beings related to the 4th jhana ???

Post by Volo » Mon Apr 15, 2019 8:31 am

SarathW wrote:
Mon Apr 15, 2019 6:59 am
There are two ways to attain a state of non-percipient beings.
Could you elaborate? Since I've heard only about one: attaining 4th jhāna, develop disgust with mentality.

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Re: Satta asaññino: Why are non-percipient beings related to the 4th jhana ???

Post by DooDoot » Mon Apr 15, 2019 12:00 pm

Volo wrote:
Mon Apr 15, 2019 8:29 am
But since they have no mentality it's probably more conventional that they are assigned to the 4th jhāna indicating a prerequisite for such a rebirth.
Thanks Volo but there appears to be no sutta support for the above speculations. Plus I don't recall reading "re-birth" in the Pali. "Abhinibbattā" & "upagata" are not exactly "rebirth". Regards :)
There is always an official executioner. If you try to take his place, It is like trying to be a master carpenter and cutting wood. If you try to cut wood like a master carpenter, you will only hurt your hand.

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Re: Satta asaññino: Why are non-percipient beings related to the 4th jhana ???

Post by auto » Mon Apr 15, 2019 1:57 pm

https://suttacentral.net/an7.44/en/sujato

in case of planes of consciousness its 7 , you won't find 4th and 9th
“Mendicants, there are these seven planes of consciousness. What seven?

There are sentient beings that are diverse in body and diverse in perception, such as human beings, some gods, and some beings in the underworld. This is the first plane of consciousness.
There are sentient beings that are diverse in body and unified in perception, such as the gods reborn in Brahmā’s Host through the first absorption. This is the second plane of consciousness.
There are sentient beings that are unified in body and diverse in perception, such as the gods of streaming radiance. This is the third plane of consciousness.
There are sentient beings that are unified in body and unified in perception, such as the gods replete with glory. This is the fourth plane of consciousness.
There are sentient beings that have gone totally beyond perceptions of form. With the ending of perceptions of impingement, not focusing on perceptions of diversity, aware that ‘space is infinite’, they have been reborn in the dimension of infinite space. This is the fifth plane of consciousness.
There are sentient beings that have gone totally beyond the dimension of infinite space. Aware that ‘consciousness is infinite’, they have been reborn in the dimension of infinite consciousness. This is the sixth plane of consciousness.
There are sentient beings that have gone totally beyond the dimension of infinite consciousness. Aware that ‘there is nothing at all’, they have been reborn in the dimension of nothingness. This is the seventh plane of consciousness.
These are the seven planes of consciousness.”

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Re: Satta asaññino: Why are non-percipient beings related to the 4th jhana ???

Post by auto » Mon Apr 15, 2019 2:25 pm

sanna

http://dictionary.sutta.org/browse/s/saññā
Saññā,(f.) [fr.saṁ+jñā] (pl.saññāyo and saññā -- e.g.M.I,108) 1.sense,consciousness,perception,being the third khandha Vin.I,13; M.I,300; S.III,3 sq.; Dhs.40,58,61,113; VbhA.42.-- 2.sense,perception,discernment,recognition,assimilation of sensations,awareness M..
--nevasaññā-nâsaññā neither consciousness nor unconsciousness
saññaṁ karoti to imagine,to think J.II,71; to take notice,to mind
saññā is twofold,paṭighasamphassajā and adhivacanasamphassajā i.e.sense impression and recognition (impression of something similar,“association by similarity,” as when a seen person calls up some one we know
Vbh.6; VbhA.19 sq.; threefold,rūpasaññā,paṭighasaññā,and nānattasaññā A.II,184; S.II,211; cp.Sn.535; or kāma°,vyāpāda°,vihiṁsā° (as nānatta°)..

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Re: Satta asaññino: Why are non-percipient beings related to the 4th jhana ???

Post by SarathW » Mon Apr 15, 2019 9:23 pm

Volo wrote:
Mon Apr 15, 2019 8:31 am
SarathW wrote:
Mon Apr 15, 2019 6:59 am
There are two ways to attain a state of non-percipient beings.
Could you elaborate? Since I've heard only about one: attaining 4th jhāna, develop disgust with mentality.
Perhaps you should send a PM to Ven. Dhammanando. He may be some help.
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

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Re: Satta asaññino: Why are non-percipient beings related to the 4th jhana ???

Post by pegembara » Tue Apr 16, 2019 8:14 am

No. 5 appears to have no correlation to the jhanas. More like 8th or 9th jhana.

Here is Bhante G's take:

THE FOURTH JHANA
In the fourth jhana you go deeper still. You turn away from all mental states that would counter total stillness, even happiness. The turning away happens by itself; no effort is required. Equanimity and one-pointedness get even stronger. Feelings of pain went away at the first jhana. In the fourth jhana, feelings of bodily pleasure go away, too. There is not a single thought. You feel sensation that is neither pleasant nor unpleasant. You rest in one-pointedness and equanimity.

As your mind becomes progressively more still, your body and breath do the same. In the fourth jhana it feels like you have stopped breathing altogether. You cannot be roused. You emerge from the fourth jhana only at a predetermined time of your own choosing.

The fourth jhana is also the state in which mindfulness and concentration unite into an intense awareness that can penetrate deeply into the nature of existence. This is the ideal state in which to directly perceive the three primary qualities of all ordinary existence: anicca, dukkha, and anatta—impermanence, suffering, and no-self. You passed through jhanas one, two, and three, simply allowing them to develop and pass. At the fourth jhana, you pause and use the state to see deeply into impermanence, suffering, and no-self.

The Immaterial Jhanas
The immaterial jhanas are four states that have very little relationship to our ordinary cognitive/sensory world. Normal words simply do not apply. These are called the formless jhanas. The first four jhanas are attained by concentration on a material form or the feeling generated by certain concepts such as loving-friendliness. Here you attain the formless states of the immaterial jhanas by passing beyond all perception of form.

The immaterial jhanas are not usually numbered. Each has an individual name that describes the sphere of awareness that the mind occupies or dwells upon. We give them numbers here just to show their order.

THE FIFTH JHANA: THE BASE OF INFINITE SPACE
Everything that happens in the mind can be thought of as existing “somewhere,” as if in a mental space. You turn your attention away from the characteristics of whatever is in the mind and toward the “space” it occupies. This infinite space is your object of contemplation.

Anything you attend to could be likened to a signal being carried on some medium of communication. You turn your attention away from the signal and toward the carrier wave that conveys it. The mind as a space, medium, channel, or vehicle is your object of awareness.

Equanimity and one-pointedness now mature fully. You find yourself in a realm where all perception of form has ceased. You cannot be disturbed or disrupted from the outside, but the tiniest suggestion of the material senses remain. You ignore them totally; if you turn your attention to any of them, the jhana is lost.
THE EIGHTH JHANA: THE BASE OF NEITHER-PERCEPTION-NOR-NONPERCEPTION
Perception of no-thing-ness is still perception. Your mind gets bored even with that and swings away from any perception at all. Total absence of perception is sublime.
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