Is there sutta basis for the modern bifurcation of jhanas?

The cultivation of calm or tranquility and the development of concentration
danieLion
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Re: Is there sutta basis for the modern bifurcation of jhanas?

Post by danieLion » Sat Dec 31, 2011 8:04 am

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings,
mikenz66 wrote:Speaking of Thanissaro Bhikkhu, I'm sure I read/heard him state explicitly that he thought that U Pandita's "Vipassana Jhanas" were what he (TB) thought the Suttas were describing. Does anyone recall where that was?
No, but since I think I've read most of his freebie written publications, chances are it's a Dhamma MP3 as I nearly never listen to those.

Metta,
Retro. :)
Maybe look at audiodharma's TB collection as Gil Fronsdal studied with U Pandita and usually seems present at TB's talks?
I've read U Pandita and TB's works on jhana and I can see why he'd say that though I don't personally recall it.
D :heart:

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Zom
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Re: Is there sutta basis for the modern bifurcation of jhanas?

Post by Zom » Sat Dec 31, 2011 8:59 am

"Jhana and Lokuttara-Jhana" essay by Ven. Brahmali:

http://www.buddhanet.net/budsas/ebud/ebmed092.htm" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

:buddha1:

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Spiny O'Norman
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Re: Two "truths"/"descriptions" and meditation in the suttas

Post by Spiny O'Norman » Sat Dec 31, 2011 9:47 am

manasikara wrote:
Cf. Ven. Bodhi:
The commentarial method of explanation stipulates that the meditator emerges from the jhāna attainment and practices insight contemplation with a mind made sharp and supple by the jhāna. However, the suttas themselves say nothing about emerging from the jhāna. If one reads the suttas alone, without the commentaries, it seems as if the meditator examines the factors within the jhāna itself.
Interesting point. I came across the Jhana Sutta ( below ) which seems to indicate that insight occurs while in jhana.

Spiny



AN 4.124 PTS: A ii 128 Jhana Sutta: Mental Absorption (2) translated from the Pali by Thanissaro Bhikkhu

"Monks, there are these four types of individuals to be found existing in the world. Which four?

"There is the case where an individual, withdrawn from sensuality, withdrawn from unskillful qualities, enters & remains in the first jhana: rapture & pleasure born from withdrawal, accompanied by directed thought & evaluation. He regards whatever phenomena there that are connected with form, feeling, perception, fabrications, & consciousness, as inconstant, stressful, a disease, a cancer, an arrow, painful, an affliction, alien, a disintegration, an emptiness, not-self. At the break-up of the body, after death, he reappears in conjunction with the devas of the Pure Abodes. This rebirth is not in common with run-of-the-mill people.

"Again, there is the case where an individual... enters the second jhana... the third jhana... the fourth jhana... He regards whatever phenomena there that are connected with form, feeling, perception, fabrications, & consciousness, as inconstant, stressful, a disease, a cancer, an arrow, painful, an affliction, alien, a disintegration, an emptiness, not-self. At the break-up of the body, after death, he reappears in conjunction with the devas of the Pure Abodes. This rebirth is not in common with run-of-the-mill people.

"These are four types of individuals to be found existing in the world."

Gena1480
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Re: Is there sutta basis for the modern bifurcation of jhanas?

Post by Gena1480 » Sat Dec 31, 2011 6:01 pm

if you look at sutta 111
one by one
there is line there there in the sutta
that says that this way of practice is the right way.
Sariputta, monks, takes the unexcelled wheel of Dhamma set rolling by the Tathagata, and keeps it rolling rightly.
this way of practicing is the right way
keeping the wheel of Dhamma rolling rightly
we should follow the advice of Buddha
we want to keep the wheel of Dhamma rolling rightly
for the benefit of beings

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manas
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Re: Is there sutta basis for the modern bifurcation of jhanas?

Post by manas » Sun Jan 01, 2012 8:40 am

Retro,

My apologies also; I guess I misunderstood what you wrote above; ok now I understand that you were not being critical of what Ven Thanissaro had said. My misunderstanding, I will put it down to lack of sleep...

metta

:anjali:
Drinking the nourishment,
the flavor,
of seclusion & calm,
one is freed from evil, devoid
of distress,
refreshed with the nourishment
of rapture in the Dhamma.

- Dhp 205

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robertk
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Re: Is there sutta basis for the modern bifurcation of jhanas?

Post by robertk » Sun Jan 01, 2012 11:04 am

tiltbillings wrote:
retrofuturist wrote:Greetings,

It has been pointed out by some here that the vipassana jhana notions looks quite a bit more like the sutta notions of jhana than the commentarial notion of jhana, but the point is that to discuss vipassana jhana, which is something that arose out of the Mahasi Sayadaw tradition, .
You are suggesting that 'vipssana jhana ' or its scriptual equivalent was invented by Mahasia sayadaw or his group?

Do you think in those long tracts and books where they refute the need for mundane jhana that Mahais et al were unaware of the What do you make of Buddhaghosa's summary in the Atthasalini, 'Fourfold
Jhana', PTS transl.
"Jhaana is twofold: that which (views or) examines closely the object
and that which examines closely the characteristic marks
[aaramma.nupanijjhaana~n ca lakkha.nupanijjhaana.m]. Of these
two, 'object-scrutinising' jhaana examines closely those devices [for
self-hypnosis]* as mental objects. Insight, the Path and Fruition are
called 'characteristics-examining jhaana.' Of these three, insight is
so called from its examining closely the characteristics of
impermanence, etc. Because the work to be done by insight is
accomplished through the Path, the Path is so called. And because
Fruition examines closely the Truth of cessation, and possesses the
characteristic of truth, it also is called 'characteristic-examining
jhaana.'

Of course Mahasi knew about the very clear distinction made between mundane jhana - as in absorption - and the lakkha.nupanijjhaana. The suttas clearly talk about both at different times. BOTH are highly kusala , both have a great deal of insight.
U pandita talks about lakkha.nupanijjhaana as being 'the vipassana jhanas'- which is reasonable as at the very brief processes when (genuine) vipassana occurs is by definition lakkha.nupanijjhaana. Totally different from mundane jhanas, which the suttas also talk about.

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tiltbillings
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Re: Is there sutta basis for the modern bifurcation of jhanas?

Post by tiltbillings » Sun Jan 01, 2012 6:26 pm

robertk wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:
retrofuturist wrote:Greetings,

It has been pointed out by some here that the vipassana jhana notions looks quite a bit more like the sutta notions of jhana than the commentarial notion of jhana, but the point is that to discuss vipassana jhana, which is something that arose out of the Mahasi Sayadaw tradition, .
You are suggesting that 'vipssana jhana ' or its scriptual equivalent was invented by Mahasia sayadaw or his group?
I do not think they invented it, but they are describing what is experienced.
Do you think in those long tracts and books where they refute the need for mundane jhana that Mahais et al were unaware of the What do you make of Buddhaghosa's summary in the Atthasalini, 'Fourfold
Jhana', PTS transl.
"Jhaana is twofold: that which (views or) examines closely the object
and that which examines closely the characteristic marks
[aaramma.nupanijjhaana~n ca lakkha.nupanijjhaana.m]. Of these
two, 'object-scrutinising' jhaana examines closely those devices [for
self-hypnosis]* as mental objects. Insight, the Path and Fruition are
called 'characteristics-examining jhaana.' Of these three, insight is
so called from its examining closely the characteristics of
impermanence, etc. Because the work to be done by insight is
accomplished through the Path, the Path is so called. And because
Fruition examines closely the Truth of cessation, and possesses the
characteristic of truth, it also is called 'characteristic-examining
jhaana.'

Of course Mahasi knew about the very clear distinction made between mundane jhana - as in absorption - and the lakkha.nupanijjhaana. The suttas clearly talk about both at different times. BOTH are highly kusala , both have a great deal of insight.
U pandita talks about lakkha.nupanijjhaana as being 'the vipassana jhanas'- which is reasonable as at the very brief processes when (genuine) vipassana occurs is by definition lakkha.nupanijjhaana. Totally different from mundane jhanas, which the suttas also talk about.
Thanks. This good information to have.
>> Do you see a man wise [enlightened/ariya] in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him.<< -- Proverbs 26:12

This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond. -- SN I, 38.

“Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?” HPatDH p.723

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robertk
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Re: Is there sutta basis for the modern bifurcation of jhanas?

Post by robertk » Mon Jan 02, 2012 9:01 am

Concentration has various meanings. When it is kusala it can
be
the type that is associated with samatha or with vipassana.

QUOTE

Anguttara Nikaya IV.41
Samadhi Sutta
"Monks, these are the four developments of concentration.
Which
four? There is the development of concentration that, when
developed & pursued, leads to a pleasant abiding in the here &
now. There is the development of concentration that, when
developed & pursued, leads to the attainment of knowledge &
vision. There is the development of concentration that, when
developed & pursued, leads to mindfulness & alertness. There
is
the development of concentration that, when developed &
pursued,
leads to the ending of the effluents.

"And what is the development of concentration that, when
developed & pursued, leads to a pleasant abiding in the here &
now? There is the case where a monk -- quite withdrawn from
sensuality, withdrawn from unskillful qualities -- enters &
remains in the first jhana:..... he enters & remains in the
fourth jhana: purity of equanimity & mindfulness, neither
pleasure nor pain. This is the development of concentration
that, when developed & pursued, leads to a pleasant abiding in
the here & now.

"And what is the development of concentration that, when
developed & pursued, leads to mindfulness & alertness? There
is
the case where feelings are known to the monk as they arise,
known as they persist, known as they subside. Perceptions are
known to him as they arise, known as they persist, known as
they
subside. Thoughts are known to him as they arise, known as
they
persist, known as they subside. This is the development of
concentration that, when developed & pursued, leads to
mindfulness & alertness.
http://www.abhidhamma.org/an4-41.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

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Re: Is there sutta basis for the modern bifurcation of jhanas?

Post by mikenz66 » Mon Jan 02, 2012 9:07 am

Thanks Robert,

Perhaps you have Retro's "bifurcation" right there:
"And what is the development of concentration that, when
developed & pursued, leads to a pleasant abiding in the here &
now? There is the case where a monk -- quite withdrawn from
sensuality, withdrawn from unskillful qualities -- enters &
remains in the first jhana...
"And what is the development of concentration that, when
developed & pursued, leads to mindfulness & alertness? There
is
the case where feelings are known to the monk as they arise,
known as they persist, known as they subside.
"And what is the development of concentration that, when developed & pursued, leads to the ending of the effluents? There is the case where a monk remains focused on arising & falling away with reference to the five aggregates for sustenance/clinging...
:anjali:
Mike

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Re: Is there sutta basis for the modern bifurcation of jhanas?

Post by Brizzy » Mon Jan 02, 2012 9:16 am

mikenz66 wrote:Thanks Robert,

Perhaps you have Retro's "bifurcation" right there:
"And what is the development of concentration that, when
developed & pursued, leads to a pleasant abiding in the here &
now? There is the case where a monk -- quite withdrawn from
sensuality, withdrawn from unskillful qualities -- enters &
remains in the first jhana...
"And what is the development of concentration that, when
developed & pursued, leads to mindfulness & alertness? There
is
the case where feelings are known to the monk as they arise,
known as they persist, known as they subside.
"And what is the development of concentration that, when developed & pursued, leads to the ending of the effluents? There is the case where a monk remains focused on arising & falling away with reference to the five aggregates for sustenance/clinging...
:anjali:
Mike
Sounds like a progression from within jhana rather than any seperation.

Metta

:smile:
Ignorance is an intentional act.

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robertk
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Re: Is there sutta basis for the modern bifurcation of jhanas?

Post by robertk » Mon Jan 02, 2012 9:45 am

dear Mike
yes of course.
Totally different types of concentration.
mikenz66 wrote:Thanks Robert,

Perhaps you have Retro's "bifurcation" right there:
"And what is the development of concentration that, when
developed & pursued, leads to a pleasant abiding in the here &
now? There is the case where a monk -- quite withdrawn from
sensuality, withdrawn from unskillful qualities -- enters &
remains in the first jhana...
"And what is the development of concentration that, when
developed & pursued, leads to mindfulness & alertness? There
is
the case where feelings are known to the monk as they arise,
known as they persist, known as they subside.
"And what is the development of concentration that, when developed & pursued, leads to the ending of the effluents? There is the case where a monk remains focused on arising & falling away with reference to the five aggregates for sustenance/clinging...
:anjali:
Mike

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Re: Is there sutta basis for the modern bifurcation of jhanas?

Post by Nyana » Mon Jan 02, 2012 10:28 am

mikenz66 wrote:Perhaps you have Retro's "bifurcation" right there:
MN 111, AN 9.36, DN 2, and numerous other discourses demonstrate that this isn't so. All four of these developments of samādhi intersect with jhāna at some point.

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mikenz66
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Re: Is there sutta basis for the modern bifurcation of jhanas?

Post by mikenz66 » Mon Jan 02, 2012 7:45 pm

Ñāṇa wrote:
mikenz66 wrote:Perhaps you have Retro's "bifurcation" right there:
MN 111, AN 9.36, DN 2, and numerous other discourses demonstrate that this isn't so. All four of these developments of samādhi intersect with jhāna at some point.
Perhaps "Retro's apparent bifurctation" then...

:anjali:
Mike

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Re: Is there sutta basis for the modern bifurcation of jhanas?

Post by Sylvester » Tue Jan 03, 2012 1:59 am

Hi Mike

I believe the bifurcation to be more than apparent.

It's a point that's been canvassed before, but it bears repeating that many of the English readings of the so-called unity of investigation and absorption are based on the readers' using English grammar to construct the Pali. The translations are generally fine, but they do not make apparent the nuances that show up in the Pali.

Eg MN 111. What typically goes unnoticed is the fact that the text uses a standard construction to show temporal disjunction between the vavattheti verb (discriminates/ferrets etc) from the pajanati verb (knows/discerns). The former is expressed as a past participle (vavatthitā), while the pajanati is in the present tense (but correctly translated as the historical present). In this kind of formation, the grammars are clear - treat the action denoted by the past participle as having occurred prior to the verb in the present tense/aorist.

Eg DN 2. The same problem afflicts the reader confronted with the phrase "With his mind thus concentrated....monk directs and inclines it to...". The Pali has it in the locative absolute construction formed using a verb in locative past participle form (samāhite) while the intentional movement of the mind are in the present tense (abhinīharati abhininnāmeti ). Again, the grammar is clear - the verb in the locative past participle will have preceded the present tense verbs.

The problem it seems is not a case of Commentarial jhanas versus the Sutta Jhanas, but a purely linguistic one in the process of understanding a translation.

That's even assuming that some translations are correct. I mentioned elsewhere a gross translation problem for DN 9 from ATI, the result of which that sutta's admonition against thinking and intending within Jhanas get completely whittled away to Nothingness (quite literally).

I've suggested previously that AN 5.28 seems to furnish the likeliest candidate for the vipassana jhanas by way of its exposition on the samadhi using the "review sign" (paccavekkhaṇa nimitta), a samadhi that happily comes after the standard 4 Jhanas formula. It stands as the nexus between the 4 Jhanas and the super-knowledges described as the culmination of the Jhanas in the standard DN 2 model. In fact, the intersection between AN 5.28 and DN 2 seems to be that the samadhi of reviewing coincides with DN 2's knowledge and vision concerning rupa and vinnana, something not explicitly mentioned in AN 5.28.

http://www.dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.ph ... 80#p135520" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

This sutta may well have formed the basis for the Vsm's exposition on reviewing, post-Jhanas, although there's no real reason to suspect that this sutta is the sole basis for the bifurcation.

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Re: Is there sutta basis for the modern bifurcation of jhanas?

Post by Nyana » Tue Jan 03, 2012 4:26 am

Sylvester wrote:...
None of this establishes the restrictions that you want to establish.

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