Difference between jhana and magga phala

On the cultivation of insight/wisdom
Tharuka Piyumi
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Re: Difference between jhana and magga phala

Post by Tharuka Piyumi » Wed Nov 23, 2016 2:36 am

Meggo wrote:A book i liked which tries to analyze the differences between magga, phala and other meditative experiences is
Entering the Stream to Enlightenment: Experiences of the Stages of the Buddhist Path in Contemporary Sri Lanka
by Yuki Sirimane

I recommend :reading: it

I'm a Sri lankan too I think its good to study the sri lankan ways bcz we study it bit different than western people. :anjali:

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cjmacie
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Re: Difference between jhana and magga phala

Post by cjmacie » Sat Nov 26, 2016 3:13 pm

robertk wrote:The start of the next chapter is interesting: this is where it discusses the eight-fold path. The Discourse on LOKUTTARA (transcendental).

"He cultivates the Jhana means that he evolves, produces the ecstatic jhana of one momentary flash of consciousness. because it goes forth from the world, from the round of rebirths, this is jhana called going out...This is not like that which is known as 'leading to accumulation' which heaps up and increases rebirths by the moral(kusala) consciousness of the three planes [includes kusala such as giving as well as all levels of "mundane" jhana]"

So yes, at the moment of attaining nibbana there is concentration , just for a few instants - which are equivalent in strength to jhana
Robert
Difficult to decipher all this exactly without closely following the Dhammasangani and the commentary together, and especially looking at the Pali words on which the English translation is based.

That said, that passage does trigger a memory, namely that in Abhidhamma lore, both jhanic absorption (presumably mundane?) and "touching nibbana" (supramundane) share a certain javana (one of the "impulsion" micro mind-moments in the cognitive series) which is called "change of lineage" – and these two instances are the only two places in the entire citta analyais where this occurs. (Change of lineage is explained, somewhere, as substitution of the mental object mid-stream in the cognitive series – in the case of jhana from the sensual-material plane to the "fine-material" plane; in the case of nibbana from whatever to the "unconditioned".) Further, that that instant of javana, in the case of mundane jhana, actually continues – freezes the mental micro processing, so to speak – indefinitely, for the duration of the absorption. One might presume that the other example – what I call for want of a better term "touching nibbana" – also has a sense of a quantum change that persists, that is irreversible.

So perhaps that "momentary flash" is a moment beyond time, not measurable by time; the the equivalence between nibbana and jhana has to do with that aspect of "change of lineage"?

Speculation all this, with a dim sense of intuition – s/w educated guessing short of thorough analysis of the Dhammasangani-Atthaslini material, and short of having experienced first hand the nibbana event…

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cjmacie
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Re: Difference between jhana and magga phala

Post by cjmacie » Sat Nov 26, 2016 3:19 pm

Some confusion has arisen throughout this topic / thread, and admittedly in my own posts. So here an attempt at clarification:

1) One confusion is between
a) "mundane" jhana, in the sense of the practice of samadhi, in combination with insight, as development of the mind (bhavana) on the way to realization of "unbinding", nibbana; and
b) "supramundane" (lokuttara) jhana discussed in Abhidhamma texts (the Dhammasangani and its commentary the Atthasalini), perhaps built upon some passages in the sutta-s.

The first (a) is a steady state of mental process, an absorption arising from one-pointedness, that is considered a "purification" or sharpening of clarity, for the purpose of enabling more penetrating insight after leaving absorption. Insight into the nature of the the absorbed mind itself (cetovimutti), as well as insight applied in observing more normal, active mental activity moving among various phenomena that arise. (Another function of this jhana is a sort of healing, refreshment of the mind – a "pleasant abiding" – which is also mentioned (e.g. by both the Pa Auk Sayadaw and the Mahasi Sayadaw) as a way of balancing energy between the s/t exhausting rigors of applying intense vipassana insight, and a sort of "recharging" that energy with samadhi.)

The second (b) is apparently an instantaneous, one-time event marking the end-goal realization or penetrating experience of awakening, to nibbana.

The two senses – (a) and (b) – have multiple correspondences:
i) The one (a) is sometimes considered as sort of foretaste, preview of (b); as in when jhana is often referred to as cetovimtti ("deliverance of mind", albeit temporary) in the sutta-s;
ii) Both share the characteristic of occurring with a "change-of-lineage" impulsion moment (javana) in the Abdhidhamma analysis of details of the cognitive series/process;
iii) Both have a sense of "sukha" – Thanissaro Bhikkhu points out, in the last chapter of his "The Paradox of Becoming", that sukha is s/t used as a characteristic describing nibbana – a positive aspect of description, where most of the descriptive terms for nibbana are negative ("apothetic").

2) Another confusion has to do with "magga phala" – magga as "path moment", phala as "fruition moment". From everything I've read, the magga occurs first, a unique, instantaneous event, immediately followed by the phala. (Somewhere above in this thread is was mentioned that someone taught the opposite order of occurrence.)

A perhaps interesting way of relating this (2) to (1) above is that in "pragmatic" Buddhist discussions (i.e. at DharmaOverground.org), the magga moment is s/t described as a brief cessation, suspension of consciousness, followed by a re-starting of consciousness (the phala) in a radically different mode ("awakened"). It's been compared to a computer "reset" moment (DharmaOverground has strong links to the "Buddhist Geeks" group). That's not unlike the experience of entering the absorption of mundane jhana – the mind seems to, in some sense, freeze-up, cease its normal activity, e.g. of moving towards pleasure or away from pain, and reveal a radically different still-standing clarity of awareness.

These my conditioned observations and views – not absolute "truth", and subject to correction. :?

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Jojola
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Re: Difference between jhana and magga phala

Post by Jojola » Fri Dec 16, 2016 2:52 pm

Tharuka Piyumi wrote:
And well for attaining jhana I understand ur opinion.But can you mention a place where lord buddha has stated that in order to attain maggha phala you have to attain jhanas from tripitaka)..
That's like asking me to name a place where a compass points north.

It's all over the canon, it's an eight-fold path, not a seven-fold one.

Metta
- Nick
Regards,

- :heart:
__________________________________________________________________________________________________
"Only in a vertical view, straight down into the abyss of his own personal existence, is a man capable of apprehending the perilous insecurity of his situation; and only a man who does apprehend this is prepared to listen to the Buddha’s Teaching." - Nanavira Thera (1920-1965) :candle:

Akalika
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Re: Difference between jhana and magga phala

Post by Akalika » Fri Dec 16, 2016 4:00 pm

A few quotes:
The Blessed One, brahmin, did not praise every type of meditation, nor did he condemn every type of meditation. 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 kind of meditation.

“And what kind of meditation did the Blessed One praise? Here, brahmin, quite secluded from sensual pleasures, secluded from unwholesome states, a bhikkhu enters upon and abides in the first jhāna…With the stilling of applied and sustained thought, he enters upon and abides in the second jhāna…With the fading away as well of rapture…he enters upon and abides in the third jhāna...With the abandoning of pleasure and pain...he enters upon and abides in the fourth jhāna…The Blessed One praised that kind of meditation.

-MN 108
Because the hindrances divert and divide the mind, any insight will be difficult to achieve, and if it is achieved, then it will not be thorough-going enough to end the mental fermentations. Another quote:
"[1] On whatever occasion the monk remains focused on the body in & of itself — ardent, alert, & mindful — putting aside greed & distress with reference to the world, on that occasion his mindfulness is steady & without lapse. When his mindfulness is steady & without lapse, then mindfulness as a factor for awakening becomes aroused. He develops it, and for him it goes to the culmination of its development.

"[2] Remaining mindful in this way, he examines, analyzes, & comes to a comprehension of that quality with discernment. When he remains mindful in this way, examining, analyzing, & coming to a comprehension of that quality with discernment, then analysis of qualities as a factor for awakening becomes aroused. He develops it, and for him it goes to the culmination of its development.

"[3] In one who examines, analyzes, & comes to a comprehension of that quality with discernment, persistence is aroused unflaggingly. When persistence is aroused unflaggingly in one who examines, analyzes, & comes to a comprehension of that quality with discernment, then persistence as a factor for awakening becomes aroused. He develops it, and for him it goes to the culmination of its development.

"[4] In one whose persistence is aroused, a rapture not-of-the-flesh arises. When a rapture not-of-the-flesh arises in one whose persistence is aroused, then rapture as a factor for awakening becomes aroused. He develops it, and for him it goes to the culmination of its development.

"[5] For one enraptured at heart, the body grows calm and the mind grows calm. When the body & mind of a monk enraptured at heart grow calm, then serenity as a factor for awakening becomes aroused. He develops it, and for him it goes to the culmination of its development.

"[6] For one who is at ease — his body calmed — the mind becomes concentrated. When the mind of one who is at ease — his body calmed — becomes concentrated, then concentration as a factor for awakening becomes aroused. He develops it, and for him it goes to the culmination of its development.

"[7] He carefully watches the mind thus concentrated with equanimity. When he carefully watches the mind thus concentrated with equanimity, equanimity as a factor for awakening becomes aroused. He develops it, and for him it goes to the culmination of its development."

-MN 118
These are the 7 factors of Awakening, and you can see by the logic of their unfolding that mindfulness and investigation are core components of jhana. The culmination of the factors in equanimity is described thus: "He carefully watches the mind thus concentrated with equanimity." This is not a single-pointed and unfunctioning mind, but a penetratingly clear and open field for insight. If you'd like to see a good example of what insight meditation looked like at the time of the Buddha, read this (my favorite) sutta:

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

Metta :anjali:

dhammarelax
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Re: Difference between jhana and magga phala

Post by dhammarelax » Fri Dec 16, 2016 4:30 pm

Tharuka Piyumi wrote:
Jojola wrote:
Tharuka Piyumi wrote:Difference between jhana and magga phala.
Phala means fruition or results of action if I'm not mistaking...
Magga means the path...

Magga Phala I imagine then means the fruits of the path. Which of course would be the noble attainments, the whole goal.

Jhana is part of that path to the goal; the eighth factor to be precise.

So I guess your question, to me, is a lot like asking "what is the difference between breaking eggs, and an omelette?"

Well I understand that we all have learn dhamma from different teachers so there can be differences between our opinions.But from what I have learned (refer Abhidhamma books) Magga is a type of citta which occurs consecutively after the phala citta.Initially before learning things deep I thought magga is the path to attain fruition but later I learned maggha is also a certain citta.Haven't you seen when reading Abhidhamma they mention sotapatti maggha citta, sotapatti phala citta etc.But my teacher says that sotapatti maggha citta cannot be clealy identified by the practitioner but phala citta is something you feel thoroughly (glimpse of nibbana).

And well for attaining jhana I understand ur opinion.But can you mention a place where lord buddha has stated that in order to attain maggha phala you have to attain jhanas from tripitaka).In tipitaka we study numorous stories about monks and lay people attaining different levels of phala but does those mention any thing about phala.But a common problem I see in western study of buddhism is there are lot of teachers who attained jhana and it is a good thing but they give lot of importance to jhana.To attain fruition you can either meditate or listen to dhamma with right concentration (yonisomanasikara)(there are other methods to attain too) for right concentration western people were tought anapanasati even by my teacher.But this doesn't necessarily mean you must attain jhana to attain fruition.
Right concentration are the Jhanas:

MN 141 "And what, friends, is right concentration? Here, quite secluded from sensual pleasures, secluded from unwholesome states, a bhikkhu enters upon and abides in the first jhana, which
is accompanied by applied and sustained thought, with rapture and pleasure born of seclusion...”

DN 22 'And what, monks, is Right Concentration? Here, a monk, detached from sense-desires, detached from unwholesome mental states, enters and remains in the first jhana… “

SN 45:8 “"And what, bhikkhus, is right concentration? Here, quite secluded from sensual pleasures, secluded from unwholesome states, a bhikkhu enters upon and abides in the first jhana, which
is accompanied by applied and sustained thought, with rapture and pleasure born of seclusion…”

Rigth concentration is the meditation that the Buddha praised:

MN 108 With Gopaka Moggallāna (https://suttacentral.net/en/mn108)

“And what kind of meditation did the Blessed One praise? Here, brahmin, quite secluded from sensual pleasures, secluded from unwholesome states, a bhikkhu enters upon and abides in the first jhāna…With the stilling of applied and sustained thought, he enters upon and abides in the second jhāna…With the fading away as well of rapture…he enters upon and abides in the third jhāna...With the abandoning of pleasure and pain...he enters upon and abides in the fourth jhāna…The Blessed One praised that kind of meditation.”

I was about to forget that the Jhanas are also described as nothing less than Nibanna in a providional sense:

AN 47 (6) Directly Visible (2)

"I t is said, friend, 'directly visible nibbana, directly visible nibbana/ In what way has the Blessed One spoken of directly visible nibbana?"
(1)—(8) "Here, friend, secluded from sensual pleasures . . . a bhikkhu enters and dwells in the first jhana To this extent, too, the Blessed One has spoken of directly visible nibbana in a provisional sense..."

Right concentration is the epitome of the eighfold path (MN 117) and the eightfold path is the 4rth noble truth, and the four noble truths are the core of the Buddhas teachings. In other words you take Jhana out you take the most important part of the 4rth noble truth out, you still got 3 noble truths though.

Smile
Dhamma relax
Even if the flesh & blood in my body dry up, leaving just the skin, tendons, & bones, I will use all my human firmness, human persistence and human striving. There will be no relaxing my persistence until I am the first of my generation to attain full awakening in this lifetime. ed. AN 2.5

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