Sylvester wrote:So, what do you think those 2 present tense verbs in MN 140 denote?
Just off the top of my head I think they relate to not forming meritorious, demeritorious, or imperturbable saṅkhāras as in SN 12.51.
Possibly, altho' I'm more inclined to limit SN 12.51 to the arahants, whereas MN 140 seems to be speaking of the Non-Returner at the cross-roads.
Sylvester wrote:I would not disagree with you when you equate the samādhi from AN 10.6 with AN 10.7’s “bhavanirodho nibbānaṃ” perception.
But I think it’s quite a stretch to equate the na saṅkhāraniggayhavāritagato samādhi from AN 9.37 with the AN 10.6 samādhi... The samādhi from AN 10.6-7 is mentioned only one other time, in AN 11.7
AN 11.7, 8, 9 (NDB numbering) are all related to AN 10.6, and AN 10.7. For example, AN 11.8:
- "Bhante, could a bhikkhu obtain such a state of concentration that he would not attend to the eye and forms, the ear and sounds, the nose and odors, the tongue and tastes, the body and tactile objects; that (1) he would not attend to earth, (2) water, (3) fire, (4) or air; (5) he would not attend to the base of the infinity of space, (6) the base of the infinity of consciousness, (7) the base of nothingness, (8) or the base of neither-perception-nor-non-perception; (9) he would not attend to this world; (10) he would not attend to the other world; (11) he would not attend to anything seen, heard, sensed, cognized, reached, sought after, and examined by the mind, but he would still be attentive?"
"He could, Ānanda."
"But how, Bhante, could he obtain such a state of concentration?"
"Here, Ānanda, a bhikkhu would attend thus: 'This is peaceful, this is sublime, that is, the stilling of all activities, the relinquishment of all acquisitions, the destruction of craving, dispassion, cessation, nibbāna.' It is in this way, Ānanda, that a bhikkhu could obtain such a state of concentration...."
Given that the subject matter in all of these suttas is concerned with specific perception attainments, and that Ānanda is one of the main characters in all but one of these discourses, and that they are all located in the AN, and that the commentaries see similar parallels, there's good reason to include AN 9.37 in this group.
Problem, problem with the above. Take a look at the pericope from AN 10.6-7 and AN 11.7-8 -
na ākiñcaññāyatane ākiñcaññāyatanasaññī assa
In all, there are 11 objects that one is not percipient of in this concentration, taking the āyatana
to be in the locative of reference.
However, AN 9.37 is couched in grossly different terms -
Tadeva nāma cakkhuṃ bhavissati te rūpā tañcāyatanaṃ no paṭisaṃvedissati. Tadeva nāma sotaṃ bhavissati te saddā tañcāyatanaṃ no paṭisaṃvedissati. Tadeva nāma ghānaṃ bhavissati te gandhā tañcāyatanaṃ no paṭisaṃvedissati. Sāva nāma jivhā bhavissati te rasā tañcāyatanaṃ no paṭisaṃvedissati. Sova nāma kāyo bhavissati te phoṭṭhabbā tañcāyatanaṃ no paṭisaṃvedissatī’’ti.
Evaṃ vutte āyasmā udāyī āyasmantaṃ ānandaṃ etadavoca – ‘‘saññīmeva nu kho, āvuso ānanda, tadāyatanaṃ no paṭisaṃvedeti udāhu asaññī’’ti? ‘‘Saññīmeva kho, āvuso, tadāyatanaṃ no paṭisaṃvedeti, no asaññī’’ti.
Kiṃsaññī panāvuso, tadāyatanaṃ no paṭisaṃvedetī’’ti? ‘‘Idhāvuso, bhikkhu, sabbaso rūpasaññānaṃ samatikkamā paṭighasaññānaṃ atthaṅgamā nānattasaññānaṃ amanasikārā ‘ananto ākāso’ti ākāsānañcāyatanaṃ upasampajja viharati. Evaṃsaññīpi kho, āvuso, tadāyatanaṃ no paṭisaṃvedeti.
etc etc for the remaining 3 formless attainments
What is asserted in AN 9.37 is that one is percipient of the formless attainments while dwelling in that base (tadāyatanaṃ
) of the 5 kāmā. On the other hand, the concentration in AN 10 and AN 11 is portrayed as having the meditator not
-percipient of any of the formless attainments etc. Looks like we're not comparing like to like.
To add to the distinction -
Evaṃ vutte, sohaṃ, āvuso, jaṭilavāsikaṃ bhikkhuniṃ etadavocaṃ – ‘yāyaṃ, bhagini, samādhi na cābhinato na cāpanato na ca sasaṅkhāraniggayhavāritagato, vimuttattā ṭhito, ṭhitattā santusito, santusitattā no paritassati. Ayaṃ, bhagini, samādhi aññāphalo vutto bhagavatā’ti. Evaṃsaññīpi kho, āvuso, tadāyatanaṃ no paṭisaṃvedetī’’ti.
The AN 9.37 narrative in blue
is addressed to Jaṭilavāsika, while the narrative in red
is to Ven Udāyī. "That base" again pops up, which is a back-reference to the 5 kāmā
. Strangely enough, none of the 11 bases from AN 10 and AN 11 are brought into AN 9.37's listing of bases from which one is insulated when in that concentration that is na sasaṅkhāraniggayhavāritagata
What is overlooked about the AN 10 and AN 11 concentration is this bit -
Here, Ananda, a monk is percipient thus: 'This is peaceful, this is sublime— the stilling of all fabrications; the relinquishment of all acquisitions; the destruction of craving; dispassion; cessation; nibanna.' It's in this way that a monk could obtain....
ie the etaṃ santaṃ etaṃ paṇītaṃ yadidaṃ sabbasaṅkhārasamatho sabbūpadhipaṭinissaggo taṇhākkhayo virāgo nirodho nibbāna formula
If you pop into -
AN 3.32 - the formula leads to the end of I-making
AN 11.60 - the formula appears as perceptions of dispassion and cessation
So, it does appear that this perception plays quite a broad range of functions. If you look at the AN 10 passages, the verb used is siyā ...samādhipaṭilābho
where the optative indicates a possibility. This leads me to suspect that the etaṃ santaṃ
etc formula has quite a number of potentials. I don't actually see any indication from AN 9.37 that its concentration that is na sasaṅkhāraniggayhavāritagata
was an outcome of this perception. If anything, because it leads to non-agitation, the perception is probably a sequel to and not the cause of this concentration.