Four jhanas contradictions in suttas

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khemindas
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Four jhanas contradictions in suttas

Post by khemindas »

SN 53.34 Nadi sutta says that these people who develop 4 jhanas can't back to householder's life
While AN 6.60 hatthi sutta says opposite

budo
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Re: Four jhanas contradictions in suttas

Post by budo »

Hi Khemindas,

It would be helpful if you quoted the relevant passages, especially for mobile phone users.

I'm not able to find the passage in sutta SN 53.34 which talks about it. I do know that Citta the householder had jhana mastery, but I'm not sure if that refers to formless jhanas.

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khemindas
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Re: Four jhanas contradictions in suttas

Post by khemindas »

SN 53.34

In fact, monks, when this monk develops and cultivates four jhanas, cannot happen so that he leaves practice and returns to lower life.

AN 6.60

Further, friends, with the abandonment of pleasure and pain, as well as the previous extinction of joy and discontent, a certain person enters and abides in the fourth jhana, which is neither pleasant-nor-painful, characterized by pure awareness due to equanimity. [Thinking]: “I am the one who reaches the fourth Jhana,” he associates with [other] monks, nuns, laity and laity, kings, royal ministers, teachers of other teachings and students of teachers of other teachings. As he contacts them and moves closer to them, as he relaxes and talks with them, thirst floods his mind. With a mind full of thirst, he leaves the [monastic] training and returns to the lower life [of the householder].

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DooDoot
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Re: Four jhanas contradictions in suttas

Post by DooDoot »

Hi Khemindas. I think it is best to include links for quotes. Yesterday, I went searching for SN 53.34 Nadi Sutta and could not find it. As for AN 6.60,I found it difficult to work out which monk was speaking. However, my impression is Venerable Citta Hatthisāriputta disrobed because he found fault in & thus disillusionment with the bhikkhus. But later he ordained again, after coming to his senses.
Last edited by DooDoot on Mon Apr 08, 2019 2:21 am, edited 1 time in total.
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pilgrim
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Re: Four jhanas contradictions in suttas

Post by pilgrim »

I don't think it is necessarily a contradiction. SN 53.34 Nadi sutta states that a person who habitually cultivates the jhanas can be expected not to disrobe. AN 6.60 Hatthi sutta is more of a warning that a person with jhanas can backslide if he starts to mix with laity and eventually neglects his practice.

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khemindas
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Re: Four jhanas contradictions in suttas

Post by khemindas »

DooDoot wrote:
Mon Apr 08, 2019 2:06 am
Hi Khemindas. I think it is best to include links for quotes. Yesterday, I went searching for SN 53.34 Nadi Sutta and could not find it. As for AN 6.60,I found it difficult to work out which monk was speaking. However, my impression is Venerable Citta Hatthisāriputta disrobed because he found fault in & thus disillusionment with the bhikkhus. But later he ordained again, after coming to his senses.
You can find it at Bhikkhu Bodhi translation at his books. There is no online english translation on websites.

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Volo
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Re: Four jhanas contradictions in suttas

Post by Volo »

Ok, I see. SN 53.34 is supposed to be identical with SN 45.160, substituting "Nobel Eightfold path" with "jhāna":
SN 45.160 wrote:So too, bhikkhus, when a bhikkhu is developing and cultivating the Noble Eightfold Path, kings or royal ministers, friends or colleagues, relatives or kinsmen, might invite him to accept wealth, saying: ‘Come, good man, why let these saffron robes weigh you down? Why roam around with a shaven head and a begging bowl? Come, having returned to the lower life, enjoy wealth and do meritorious deeds.’ Indeed, bhikkhus, when that bhikkhu is developing and cultivating the Noble Eightfold Path, it is impossible that he will give up the training and return to the lower life. For what reason? Because for a long time his mind has slanted, sloped, and inclined towards seclusion. Thus it is impossible that he will return to the lower life.
The same type of elaboration is applied to each of the bodhipakkhiyas (i.e. substituting NEP with 7 bojjhangas, 5 indriyas, 5 bala, etc). Could it be a redundant copy-pasting by the compilers of the Canon? :thinking:
Last edited by Volo on Mon Apr 08, 2019 11:59 am, edited 2 times in total.

budo
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Re: Four jhanas contradictions in suttas

Post by budo »

If it is a series of suttas that are the same but with different factors, then you have to take all the factors into consideration and not take one sutta as independent because that would be taking it out of context and cherry picking.

The AN sutta seems to be an independent sutta, but the SN sutta has a series of factors. So one who has all those factors cannot fall back into lay life, not just the jhanas.

So there is no contradiction.

santa100
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Re: Four jhanas contradictions in suttas

Post by santa100 »

khemindas wrote:You can find it at Bhikkhu Bodhi translation at his books. There is no online english translation on websites.
Suttacentral has them. There're quite a bunch of suttas linked together. Please provide any specific quote in question.
SN 53.23-34; SN 45.149-160

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Re: Four jhanas contradictions in suttas

Post by dharmacorps »

pilgrim wrote:
Mon Apr 08, 2019 2:21 am
I don't think it is necessarily a contradiction. SN 53.34 Nadi sutta states that a person who habitually cultivates the jhanas can be expected not to disrobe. AN 6.60 Hatthi sutta is more of a warning that a person with jhanas can backslide if he starts to mix with laity and eventually neglects his practice.
Yes this is my thought too. The overall point of the two suttas are completely different so its an apples and oranges thing.

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