Attending to gratification in jhānas increases the taint of being

The cultivation of calm or tranquility and the development of concentration
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Stiphan
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Attending to gratification in jhānas increases the taint of being

Post by Stiphan » Fri Aug 19, 2016 5:32 pm

MN2, note 37 (BB transl.) wrote:when he attends to gratification in the exalted states (the jhānas), the taint of being arises and increases
I never knew that attending to gratification in something that is exclusively wholesome could arouse and increase something unwholesome as one of the taints! (I don't disagree, I am just astonished). What is the reason for this? Is it the attending that is wrong or is it the gratification that is wrong? Certainly not the jhānas!

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Stiphan
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Re: Attending to gratification in jhānas increases the taint of being

Post by Stiphan » Fri Aug 19, 2016 5:41 pm

OK, this might be a clue; from the previous note (36)
MA makes the important point that there is no fixed determination in things themselves as to whether they are fit or unfit for attention. The distinction consists, rather, in the mode of attention. That mode of attention that is a causal basis for unwholesome states of mind should be avoided, while that mode of attention that is a causal basis for wholesome states should be developed. This same principle applies to §9.
So why is the mode of attention to gratification in jhānas unwholesome? Should we see jhānas as painful? Or am I misunderstanding something?

santa100
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Re: Attending to gratification in jhānas increases the taint of being

Post by santa100 » Sat Aug 20, 2016 2:51 am

Upasaka Sumana wrote:OK, this might be a clue; from the previous note (36)
Note [36] indeed explained it. Basically it says that even with exalted states like the jhanas, one still need to attend to them with wise attention (yoniso-manasikara). For if one still "attends to gratification" in those states, one commits unwise attention (a-yoniso-manasikara) on them, which still allows the arising of the asava of being/becoming (bhav-asava). This makes sense for while the taint of sense desire can be eradicated by the stage of non-return, it'd require arahantship in order to eradicate the taint of being. So even with jhanas, they should be viewed with yoniso-manasikara. That no matter how exalted the states can get, they're still subjected to anicca, dukkha, and anatta.

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Re: Attending to gratification in jhānas increases the taint of being

Post by SarathW » Sat Aug 20, 2016 3:41 am

they're still subjected to anicca, dukkha, and anatta.
:goodpost:
and asubha.
Should be contemplated as it is not me, mine or myself.
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

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Dmytro
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Re: Attending to gratification in jhānas increases the taint of being

Post by Dmytro » Sat Aug 20, 2016 7:40 am

Somw quotes from the Suttanta:
"I entered & remained in the first jhana: rapture & pleasure born from withdrawal, accompanied by directed thought & evaluation. But the pleasant feeling that arose in this way did not invade my mind or remain."

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
"There was the case where Sariputta — quite secluded from sensuality, secluded from unskillful qualities — entered & remained in the first jhana. Whatever qualities there are in the first jhana — directed thought, evaluation, rapture, pleasure, singleness of mind, contact, feeling, perception, intention, consciousness, desire, decision, persistence, mindfulness, equanimity, & attention — he ferreted them out one after another. Known to him they arose, known to him they remained, known to him they subsided. He discerned, 'So this is how these qualities, not having been, come into play. Having been, they vanish.' He remained unattracted & unrepelled with regard to those qualities, independent, detached, released, dissociated, with an awareness rid of barriers.

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
"There is the case, Ananda, where a monk, having practiced in this way — (thinking) 'It should not be, it should not occur to me; it will not be, it will not occur to me. What is, what has come to be, that I abandon' — obtains equanimity. He relishes that equanimity, welcomes it, remains fastened to it. As he relishes that equanimity, welcomes it, remains fastened to it, his consciousness is dependent on it, is sustained by it (clings to it). With clinging/sustenance, Ananda, a monk is not totally unbound."

"Being sustained, where is that monk sustained?"

"The dimension of neither perception nor non-perception."

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
"And how is the mind said to be internally positioned? There is the case where a monk, quite withdrawn from sensuality, withdrawn from unskillful (mental) qualities, enters & remains in the first jhana: rapture & pleasure born from withdrawal, accompanied by directed thought & evaluation. His consciousness follows the drift of the rapture & pleasure born of withdrawal, is tied to... chained... fettered, & joined to the attraction of the rapture & pleasure born of withdrawal. Or further, with the stilling of directed thoughts & evaluations, he enters & remains in the second jhana: rapture & pleasure born of concentration, unification of awareness free from directed thought & evaluation — internal assurance. His consciousness follows the drift of the rapture & pleasure born of composure, is tied to... chained... fettered, & joined to the attraction of the rapture & pleasure born of composure. Or further, with the fading of rapture, he remains equanimous, mindful, & alert, and senses pleasure with the body. He enters & remains in the third jhana, of which the Noble Ones declare, 'Equanimous & mindful, he has a pleasant abiding.' His consciousness follows the drift of the equanimity & pleasure, is tied to... chained... fettered, & joined to the attraction of the equanimity & pleasure. Or further, with the abandoning of pleasure & pain — as with the earlier disappearance of elation & distress — he enters & remains in the fourth jhana: purity of equanimity & mindfulness, neither pleasure nor pain. His consciousness follows the drift of the neither pleasure nor pain, is tied to... chained to... fettered, & joined to the attraction of the neither pleasure nor pain: The mind is said to be internally positioned.

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html

Attending inappropriately to the happiness of jhanas, one can get "rupa-raga" and "arupa-raga":

http://www.palikanon.com/english/wtb/s_t/samyojana.htm

There's a lecture by Bhante Gunaratana related to this topic:

http://www.bhavanasociety.org/resource/ ... alk_three/

Chanmyay Sayadaw writes:
It is at this stage of insight knowledge that you see some light, sometimes a brilliant light, sometimes a faint light, sometimes a light like a fluorescent light, sometimes you may see a light similar to the head light of a car and so on. But usually none of these lights last very long. It comes, very instantly you note and it goes. But there may be some light which lasts for 10 to 20 seconds, not longer than that. But when you are delighted in seeing these lights in this stage of meditation and are attached to the light, the light will come very often and very brilliantly. It may last for some time. You note, 'seeing, seeing…' but it comes again, then lasts for some time, you note 'seeing, seeing'. Though you observe it but subconsciously you like it, you are attached to it; then the light doesn't disappear completely.

One of the lady meditators who was about 25 or 30 years old saw some lights. Gradually the light became brighter and brighter. She felt delighted in it. But when she was urged to note, she noted it. When she noted the light went away. Then very instantly it came again and she noted it. But subconsciously she was attached to it. The light lasted for about 20 days. She was disappointed with this light. She couldn't get over it. Why? It is called Nikanti. Nikanti means very subtle attachment. It is like a desire or craving but not so strong. Very stealthily it comes into your mind. Unconsciously it is attached to the object. It is called Nikanti, one of the ten corruptions of insight knowledge. Very dangerous thing.

In the Buddha's time there was a monk who practised Samatha Meditation first of all and attained deep concentration. When he had attained Jhana concentration he switched his practice to Vipassana Meditation, observing bodily and mental processes. He attained until the third stage of the Path knowledge but after a very long time because he felt delighted in the attainment of Jhana concentration. He had Nikanti, a very subtle attachment to the Jhana concentration. His insight knowledge went up one after another, then again came back because of that attachment to Jhana concentration. Then after he had attained the lower three stages of Path knowledge, again he was attached to the three stages of Path knowledge too. He couldn't attain Arahatship. The Buddha called it Dhamma raga, Dhamma nandi. Dhamma raga means attachment to Dhamma; Dhamma nandi means delighted in attainment of Dhamma, that means Jhana concentration. Both Dhamma raga and Dhamma nandi are Nikanti. That monk himself didn't know it. Only the Buddha knew it and explained it to the Venerable Ananda about this monk being unable to attain Arahatship.

So when we have passed over the third stage of insight knowledge of comprehension, then we get into the very "bad" good experience of the early part of the fourth stage of insight knowledge of arising and passing away of mental and physical phenomena, Udaya bhaya nana. Because we have got over the very difficult stage, that is the painful stage so gradually the mind becomes concentrated, light, happy, rapturous and so on. There are many good experiences at this stage. Because you have these experiences, concentration is also very good, so you feel tranquil and calm. The mind is very agile and pliant, subtle and also the whole body is suffused with a very tender feeling of rapture and happiness. Then the meditator subconsciously is attached to it. He feels delight in these "bad" good experiences. These are called Upakilesa.

Upakilesa can be translated literally as dirty things. These good experiences are very dirty. They defile your insight knowledge a great deal so that you cannot get to the higher stages of insight. So you stand still there. You get dilemma. The Venerable Nyanaponika Thera translated Upakilesa as corruption, the 10 corruptions. Actually they are 10 dirty things. You see the lady meditator I mentioned earlier had to waste her time for about 20 days because of these dirty things.

Then the meditator is told by his Teacher that these are the great hindrances to his meditation, so he must not be attached to them. What you should do is to just watch it, whatever arises, good or bad, very attentively and energetically. Then you can get over these small good experiences; these are trivial things. Then he proceeds with his meditation practice, still with deep concentration. But he doesn't feel happy, rapturous or tranquil; the mind is still concentrated so it becomes sharp, the insight becomes more and more penetrating.

http://web.archive.org/web/201305150505 ... _part2.htm

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