Why is it necessary to cultivate sila to have samadhi?

The cultivation of calm or tranquility and the development of concentration
Everaldo
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Why is it necessary to cultivate sila to have samadhi?

Post by Everaldo » Thu Dec 06, 2018 6:09 pm

There are many great famous meditation masters who can spend hours meditating. These masters are bad people. They've spent their whole lives doing bad things. I am not thinking specifically of Theravada Buddhist monks, but in all the meditation masters who have already existed in history. We all know "great masters" who are doing wrong things.

So, I'm thinking that:
- it is possible to have samadhi without sila.
- people with a good heart will not necessarily be good meditators.
- the fact that a person has the ability to spend hours in meditation does not prove anything at all.
- The practice of meditation does not always help the person to become a good person.

I'm feeling a little confused, does anyone have any ideas?

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Re: Why is it necessary to cultivate sila to have samadhi?

Post by Manopubbangama » Thu Dec 06, 2018 6:47 pm

Everaldo wrote:
Thu Dec 06, 2018 6:09 pm


So, I'm thinking that:
- it is possible to have samadhi without sila.
Samadhi is a state where the five hindrances don't exist. When the hindrances are absent, the mind becomes very clear and calm.

Sila is a way to sweep a way the cobwebs from the mind to prepare it for vipassana and samatha.

If someone is completely obsessed with 'sila' as an idea, thinking it is "good" and "virtuous", they probably won't attain samadhi.

When samadhi meditation is over, attachment to worldly things is not very strong: the desire to do anything harmful or aggressive is basically absent.

Samadhi is not a reward for being good like Santa with kids: its a preliminary methodology for advanced meditation.

Being harmful and aggressive towards others is so against the nature of citta during samadhi that its hard to imagine that there is not an inverse relationship between it and sila: the finite details are completely unknown to me, however.

Because the pleasure of samadhi is so great compared to activities like sex, power, killing, drugs, etc, I cannot imagine anyone desiring to engage in these latter activities if they had unremitting samadhi.
Last edited by Manopubbangama on Thu Dec 06, 2018 7:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Why is it necessary to cultivate sila to have samadhi?

Post by SarathW » Thu Dec 06, 2018 7:02 pm

Q- it is possible to have samadhi without sila.
A- Yes. It is called Mitya Samadhi. Wrong concentration.
Q- people with a good heart will not necessarily be good meditators.
A- Agree
Q- the fact that a person has the ability to spend hours in meditation does not prove anything at all.
A-It proves the person can sit or stand or sleep for a long time.
I know a begar who to stand up and gase at a coin for many hours without moving.
Q- The practice of meditation does not always help the person to become a good person.
A- Agree. It depends on what you concentrate on.
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

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Re: Why is it necessary to cultivate sila to have samadhi?

Post by paul » Thu Dec 06, 2018 8:21 pm

The NEP has a threefold division, sila, samadhi, panna, of which sila is the foundation. Furthermore, samadhi is necessary for insight to operate.

“samadhi is only a particular kind of one-pointedness; it is not equivalent to one-pointedness in its entirety. A gourmet sitting down to a meal, an assassin about to slay his victim, a soldier on the battlefield — these all act with a concentrated mind, but their concentration cannot be characterized as samadhi. Samadhi is exclusively wholesome one-pointedness, the concentration in a wholesome state of mind. Even then its range is still narrower: it does not signify every form of wholesome concentration, but only the intensified concentration that results from a deliberate attempt to raise the mind to a higher, more purified level of awareness.”—-“The Noble Eightfold Path”, Bikkhu Bodhi

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Re: Why is it necessary to cultivate sila to have samadhi?

Post by Sam Vara » Thu Dec 06, 2018 10:45 pm

Here's something that might be relevant to the questions posed:
"For a person endowed with virtue, consummate in virtue, there is no need for an act of will, ‘May freedom from remorse arise in me.’ It is in the nature of things that freedom from remorse arises in a person endowed with virtue, consummate in virtue.

“For a person free from remorse, there is no need for an act of will, ‘May joy arise in me.’ It is in the nature of things that joy arises in a person free from remorse.

“For a joyful person, there is no need for an act of will, ‘May rapture arise in me.’ It is in the nature of things that rapture arises in a joyful person.

“For a rapturous person, there is no need for an act of will, ‘May my body be serene.’ It is in the nature of things that a rapturous person grows serene in body.

“For a person serene in body, there is no need for an act of will, ‘May I experience pleasure.’ It is in the nature of things that a person serene in body experiences pleasure.

“For a person experiencing pleasure, there is no need for an act of will, ‘May my mind grow concentrated.’ It is in the nature of things that the mind of a person experiencing pleasure grows concentrated.
https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitak ... .than.html

Here, we are not told whether sila is a necessary condition for the arising of samadhi. But we are told that its possession and consummation is a sufficient condition for the next stage of a process leading to samadhi. Bliss will naturally lead to samadhi; bodily serenity will naturally lead to bliss; rapture will lead to bodily serenity; joy will lead to rapture; and that joy is a result of being free from remorse; which is the outcome of the possession and consummation of sila.

The Ratha-Vinita Sutta seems to be making a similar point in different terms when it says that
purification of ethics is only for the sake of purification of mind.
https://suttacentral.net/mn24/en/sujato

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Re: Why is it necessary to cultivate sila to have samadhi?

Post by auto » Thu Dec 06, 2018 11:58 pm

Manopubbangama wrote:
Thu Dec 06, 2018 6:47 pm

Because the pleasure of samadhi is so great compared to activities like sex, power, killing, drugs, etc, I cannot imagine anyone desiring to engage in these latter activities if they had unremitting samadhi.
jhana pleasure is from being quite secluded from sensuality.
"Deva-king, do you recall ever having previously experienced such happiness & joy?"

"Yes, lord, I do."

"And how do you recall ever having previously experienced such happiness & joy?"

"Once, lord, the devas & asuras were arrayed in battle. And in that battle the devas won, while the asuras lost. Having won the battle, as the victor in the battle, this thought occurred to me: 'Whatever has been the divine nourishment of the asuras, whatever has been the divine nourishment of the devas, the devas will now enjoy both of them.'
But my attainment of happiness & joy was in the sphere of violence & weapons. It didn't lead to disenchantment, to dispassion, to cessation, to calm, to direct knowledge to self-awakening, to Unbinding. But my attainment of happiness & joy on hearing the Blessed One's Dhamma is in the sphere of no violence, the sphere of no weapons. It leads to disenchantment, to dispassion, to cessation, to calm, to direct knowledge to self-awakening, to Unbinding."
Happiness and joy from violence was when asked if have had experience before such happiness from hearing Dhamma.
So were it similar case with Gotama, when he recalled his childhood pleasant abiding?

https://accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/an ... .than.html
When this was said, Ven. Udayin said to Ven. Sariputta, "But what is the pleasure here, my friend, where there is nothing felt?"
"Just that is the pleasure here, my friend: where there is nothing felt.
it is pleasure born from withdrawal

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Re: Why is it necessary to cultivate sila to have samadhi?

Post by Laurens » Mon Dec 17, 2018 10:15 pm

I think the aim to cultivate samadhi is going to support the cultivation of sila. I don't think it's useful to think of it like you have to plant and harvest the seeds of sila before you can do the same for samadhi. They support eachother in symbiosis. The more time you spend calming the mind in meditation, the better the conditions for the growth of sila, which in turn helps the seeds of samadhi to bloom. Plant both and water regularly
"If only it were all so simple! If only there were evil people somewhere insidiously committing evil deeds, and it were necessary only to separate them from the rest of us and destroy them. But the line dividing good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being. And who is willing to destroy a piece of his own heart?"

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Re: Why is it necessary to cultivate sila to have samadhi?

Post by Zom » Tue Dec 18, 2018 12:42 am

They support eachother in symbiosis.
No they don't.

Short answer - sila is a method to cleanse your mind, while samadhi is a futher way to develop it. When you start directly with samadhi, you get a situation which is described this way in the suttas:

"What kind of meditation did the Blessed One not praise? Here, brahmin, someone abides with his mind obsessed by sensual lust, a prey to sensual lust, and he does not understand as it actually is the escape from arisen sensual lust. While he harbours sensual lust within, he meditates, premeditates, out-meditates, and mismeditates. He abides with his mind obsessed by ill will, a prey to ill will…with his mind obsessed by sloth and torpor, a prey to sloth and torpor…with his mind obsessed by restlessness and remorse, a prey to restlessness and remorse…with his mind obsessed by doubt, a prey to doubt, and he does not understand as it actually is the escape from arisen doubt. While he harbours doubt within, he meditates, premeditates, out-meditates, and mismeditates. The Blessed One did not praise that kindof meditation".

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Re: Why is it necessary to cultivate sila to have samadhi?

Post by Laurens » Tue Dec 18, 2018 6:25 am

Zom wrote:
Tue Dec 18, 2018 12:42 am
They support eachother in symbiosis.
No they don't.

Short answer - sila is a method to cleanse your mind, while samadhi is a futher way to develop it. When you start directly with samadhi, you get a situation which is described this way in the suttas:

"What kind of meditation did the Blessed One not praise? Here, brahmin, someone abides with his mind obsessed by sensual lust, a prey to sensual lust, and he does not understand as it actually is the escape from arisen sensual lust. While he harbours sensual lust within, he meditates, premeditates, out-meditates, and mismeditates. He abides with his mind obsessed by ill will, a prey to ill will…with his mind obsessed by sloth and torpor, a prey to sloth and torpor…with his mind obsessed by restlessness and remorse, a prey to restlessness and remorse…with his mind obsessed by doubt, a prey to doubt, and he does not understand as it actually is the escape from arisen doubt. While he harbours doubt within, he meditates, premeditates, out-meditates, and mismeditates. The Blessed One did not praise that kindof meditation".
In my experience, if I can calm my mind as much as possible (I'm a long way off samadhi, but I aim to cultivate it); I am in more of a position of mental clarity and emotional stability that I am not so easily overcome by desire throughout the day. I have more ability to see things as they are.

Obviously one should aim to act as ethically as possible regardless of the state of one's mind, but I think its pretty clear that a less tumultuous mind is going to make that target easier to hit. The more emotionally stable you are the more you are able to catch yourself in those moments of desire. I think this is obvious, and I don't think that sutta quote disproves it. I'm not talking about a situation in which someone doesn't make any effort on the sila front, but tries to attain samadhi. I'm talking about a situation in which the aim to cultivate both leads to a situation in which they support each other's growth.
"If only it were all so simple! If only there were evil people somewhere insidiously committing evil deeds, and it were necessary only to separate them from the rest of us and destroy them. But the line dividing good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being. And who is willing to destroy a piece of his own heart?"

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Re: Why is it necessary to cultivate sila to have samadhi?

Post by DooDoot » Tue Dec 18, 2018 6:26 am

Manopubbangama wrote:
Thu Dec 06, 2018 6:47 pm
Being harmful and aggressive towards others is so against the nature of citta during samadhi that its hard to imagine that there is not an inverse relationship between it and sila: the finite details are completely unknown to me, however.
I am confident of the finer details. My mind is free from doubt (vicikitsa) about this. When a sotapanna has Right Mindfulness (that is, the continuous remembering to keep the mind in a state of letting go, non-craving & non-like-non-dislike), as the breathing, body & mind become commensurately calmer, more peaceful, joyful & liberated due to the letting go, the sotapanna literally touches with their 'body' ('kaya') the peaceful liberation of letting go. Therefore, the mind is conditioned (like Pavlov's dog) to engage in non-violence because the mind knows the peace of non-defilement, non-craving & letting go. This is why in the teaching of Anapanasati, the Lord Buddha, who knows & sees, introduces each step with the phrase: "He trains himself". The word "trains" refers to the Three Trainings of sila, samadhi & panna. :mrgreen:
Neither extolling nor disparaging but teaching only the Dhamma... one teaches only the Dhamma. MN 139

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Re: Why is it necessary to cultivate sila to have samadhi?

Post by Manopubbangama » Tue Dec 18, 2018 8:11 am

DooDoot wrote:
Tue Dec 18, 2018 6:26 am

I am confident of the finer details. My mind is free from doubt (vicikitsa) about this. When a sotapanna...
Are "you" a sotapanna, DooDoot?
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Re: Why is it necessary to cultivate sila to have samadhi?

Post by Zom » Tue Dec 18, 2018 9:22 am

I think this is obvious, and I don't think that sutta quote disproves it.
What you are talking about it not really a samadhi - it is basic satipatthana, 7th path factor. However, I can say, 1st factor of Right Views is much more crucial in developing sila rather than 7th, which you can completely ignore, and still develop sila well. You can't do that without 1st factor.

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Re: Why is it necessary to cultivate sila to have samadhi?

Post by seeker242 » Tue Dec 18, 2018 12:42 pm

In Buddhism, samadhi is not just samadhi, but right samadhi. "Right" is a given when talking about samadhi in a Buddhist context.
"Now what, monks, is noble right concentration with its supports & requisite conditions? Any singleness of mind equipped with these seven factors — right view, right resolve, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, & right mindfulness — is called noble right concentration with its supports & requisite conditions."
— MN 117
A monk who has not abandoned these six qualities is incapable of entering & remaining in the first jhāna. Which six? Sensual desire, ill will, sloth & drowsiness, restlessness & anxiety, uncertainty, and not seeing well with right discernment, as they have come to be, the drawbacks of sensual pleasures...

A monk who has not abandoned these six qualities is incapable of entering & remaining in the first jhāna. Which six? Thoughts of sensuality, thoughts of ill will, thoughts of violence, perceptions of sensuality, perceptions of ill will, perceptions of violence.
— AN 6.73-74
A bad person in meditation for hours may have samadhi, but they do not have right samadhi. In other words, their samadhi will not lead them to enlightenment, whereas right samadhi does.

"Why is it necessary to cultivate sila to have right samadhi?" Is the better question.

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Re: Why is it necessary to cultivate sila to have samadhi?

Post by Laurens » Tue Dec 18, 2018 5:45 pm

Zom wrote:
Tue Dec 18, 2018 9:22 am
I think this is obvious, and I don't think that sutta quote disproves it.
What you are talking about it not really a samadhi - it is basic satipatthana, 7th path factor. However, I can say, 1st factor of Right Views is much more crucial in developing sila rather than 7th, which you can completely ignore, and still develop sila well. You can't do that without 1st factor.
Yeah I should have been more clear, I was talking more about planting the seeds of samadhi---which I would say is using meditation to get as at one with your meditation object as you possibly can. This is not going to take you to samadhi right away, but it can develop the calmness of mind that can give you the edge when trying to overcome the hindrances in day to day life, thus helping you to develop sila.

That is not to say one can abandon the precepts using the excuse that you haven't developed samadhi enough or anything. Just that planting the seeds of it might help you when it comes to those moments when otherwise your mind might be so agitated that you break a precept. I don't doubt that perfection of sila is going to help you attain samadhi, but aiming to develop both along side each other, in my experience, they support one another.

I'm not a huge sutta study buff, so my terminology is probably a bit wrong, but hopefully that clarifies what I was trying to say :smile:
"If only it were all so simple! If only there were evil people somewhere insidiously committing evil deeds, and it were necessary only to separate them from the rest of us and destroy them. But the line dividing good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being. And who is willing to destroy a piece of his own heart?"

Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

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Re: Why is it necessary to cultivate sila to have samadhi?

Post by Srilankaputra » Sun Jan 06, 2019 5:46 am

Sila is not like a bank account where we get a bonus when we have accumulated a certain amount.
Sila is a training. If we don't have control over grosser impulses how can there be any hope of mastering the finer or subtler defilements which are the five hindrances.

IMO
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