op 10-04-2005 17:21 schreef sunnaloka op sunnaloka@…:
And so my question still is: What’s the canonical Tipitaka statement that explicitly validates and confirms that the object of jhanacitta is a counterpart sign (or whatever the commentators say it is), and not simply the visible form or tactile form. Also, what statement explicitly confirms that jhana is a state of ‘fixed samadhi’?
N: Book of Analysis (Vibhanga), the second Book of the Abhidhamma: Ch 12, Analysis of Jhana.
§538: Abandoning covetousness in the world means:
…Therein what is the world? The five aggregates (as objects of) the attachments are the world…
§ 564: Aloof from sense pleasures…
§602; Having wholly passed the perceptions of form…
§ 603: Terminating perceptions of (sense) impingement means: …Visible (object) operception, audible (object) perception…
§ 625: Therein, what is the first jhaana? Herein at the time when a bhikkhu develops the path for rebirth in the plane of form [N:of rupa-brahmas], he, aloof from sense pleasures, aloof from bad states, attains and dwells in earth device first jhaana…
In this chapter the jhana-factors are dealt with and the stages of rupa-jhana and arupa-jhana.
As to counterpart sign etc: these are not expressively mentioned. The yogavacara cannot immediately dwell in jhana. Jhana is a development. The names of parikamma nimitta etc. merely denote that there is development. He has to persevere with patience and look again and again at the kasina. BTW, the Path of Discrimination deals with insight, the whole work deals with the development of insight, also when jhana is included.
op 11-04-2005 17:26 schreef sunnaloka op sunnaloka@…:
… But could you please give me the specific context of these two statements:
§602; Having wholly passed the perceptions of form…
N: This is after the fourth stage of rupajhana, and now he will enter the first stage of arupa jhana.
§ 603: Terminating perceptions of (sense) impingement means: …Visible (object) perception, audible (object) perception…
N: the same.
§604: Not attending to diversity of perceptions means: therein what is diversity of perceptions? The perception, perceiving, state of perceiving of one who has not attained (to jhaana) but who is possessed of mind-element (mano-dhaatu) and possessed of mano-viññaa.na-dhaatu.
These arise in a sense-door process, having sense objects. This in contrast to jhana subjects of meditation.
G: Are these two statements specifically referring to the first form jhana? If so, how is that stated prior to these two verses?
Prior to first rupa-jhana is about subduing the hindrances, and then the abandoning of the jhanafactors that are no longer needed. But there is more in Dhammasangani, Ch II. It deals with the fourfold system and the fivefold system. It also deals with the kasinas of earth, water, fire, air, blue-black, yellow. red. white. Brahmaviharas, foul. In Ch III the arupajhanas.
Now I understand more what you are wondering about. You wrote to Jon:
G: The bare perception of visible form is the object of ‘perception of earth’ in MN 121, and the first two of the eight releases/liberations (vimokkha is it??) and the first two of the eight ?masteries? (I don’t know the pali term, and am using Sister Upalavanna’s translation) stated in MN 77 could be referring to form jhana, again with visible form as object.
He looks at a kasina, and sure, the object of rupajhana is still connected with rupa, it is coarser than arupa jhana. However, looking at earth will change to having a mental image, going away from visible object, it merely begins with looking. It is quite different from our ordinary looking about the house, etc.
If by sensuous objects you mean the five sensory form objects: visible form, sound, odor, flavor, and tactual sensation, and not the five hindrances: impulsive sensual desire, aggression, agitation, laziness/sleepiness, and doubt, then I’m looking for a canonical Abhidhamma statement confirming this assertion.
N: I read the text you referred to, M.N. 77 and this referred to the eight deliverances in the Great Discourse on Causation, and Co. transl by B.B. Very difficult text, but before going into it, I think it may help to discuss a little more the aim of jhana. Do we realize to what extent we cling to sense objects? As soon as we see, we cling to visible object, but we do not notice it. This happens all the time, countless moments of clinging. After seeing there is the defining of the object, and this is usually done with clinging. We think about what was seen, heard, etc. When the citta is not intent on dana, sila or mental development, we think with akusala cittas. Most of the time we do not notice this.
The aim of jhana is detachment from sense objects, although this is by way of temporal subduing of attachment. When there is no seeing, no hearing, there is not clinging to visible object, sound. What is the use of jhanacitta if one still experiences colour, sound and is thus immediately involved with clinging to them?
There are outside Buddhism meditations that may lead to trance, but one should seriously question whether they lead to detachment. If this is not so, there is no genuine jhana. Some people may wish for extraordinary experiences, but that is not detachment.
Now the difficult text of the Great Discourse on Causation. At the end is a text you also found difficult:
One possessing material form sees material forms. This is the first emancipation.
Vimokkha: release, freedom.
How could that be real freedom, we can ask? Without the Co we cannot understand this very well. Except that in the sutta the word vimokkha is used, emancipation. So, it must be different from seeing right now, with all the clinging involved.
The Co and subco helps me, but it may not help you, as I understand.
Subco: Possessing material form means endowed with the material form included in one’s own continuity…with the eye of jhaana one sees material forms such as the blue kasina, etc. externally. He arouses jhana through the kasinas based on internal objects, such as hairs of the body (blue kasina).
This is really complicated, but it clarifies that it is not ordinary seeing of visible object. As to more details on this practice, see Nyanatiloka Buddhist dictionary, under abhibhaayatana. One can take a large or small part of the body and use that as a kasina subject of meditation.
I really do not know anything about this. I am not very interested in jhana, but I like to understand the suttas dealing with it. And I think that misunderstandings about jhana should be cleared up. I do not think I can be of much help with Abhidhamma texts about details of the jhana practice. It is as Larry says.
In another post you spoke of bhumi. We have to differentiate bhumi as plane of existence: 31 planes. Bhumi as plane of citta: four planes. What plane a citta belongs to depends on the object that it experiences, that is all. Kaamavacaara citta experiences sense objects, different from the meditation subjects of jhanacitta, different from nibbana. What is the use of the citta plane which is ruupaavacaara if it is not different from kaamaavacara? It must be different.
Which are states that are limited (paritta)? All states [N ;dhammas] good, bad and indeterminate, which relate to the universe of sense (kaamaavacara); in other words the five khandhas.
N: Paritta (insignificant) denotes all kaamaavacaara dhammas.
Which are the states that are sublime (mahaggata)?
Is what you have as universe of sense a translation of kamavacara?
N: Yes. I use the PTS transl which is not always clear next to the Pali text I have. It would be useful for you, being a pali student.
N: It goes on about which states have which objects. Dsgn 161:
pathavikasina.m, the earth kasina is the subject of the jhanas.
G: But does it state that earth kasina is necessarily not paritta and therefore not kamavacara? And does it give other objects (subjects) of jhana besides the ten kasinas? If so, does it state that these objects (subjects) are necessarily not paritta and therefore not kamavacara?
N: Yes, they are under the heading of ruupaavacara-kusala.m, Ch II.
§ 203: When, he may attain to the heavens of form, he cultivates the way [thereto], aloof from sensuous desires, aloof from evil ideas, and so, by the artifice of
enters into and abides in the First jhana…
§ 263 deals with the asubha. About corpses.
Now Book 2 of the Abhidhamma, the Vibhanga, Ch 12. At the end there is an Interrogation, very short and compact.
Three jhanas should not be said to have low objects or sublime objects; sometimes have immeasurable object…. The fourth jhaana sometimes has low (paritta) object; sometimes has sublime object; sometimes has immeasurable object…
Here I was puzzlled, but there is a possibility I had overseen: the superpowers. These have as base the fourth jhana, and, as the Co, the Dispeller of Delusion (p.101) says, they have the body as object in the
performing of miracles with a visible body…
So, when we look at the Co and then return to the text we see that we could have known, but the Co. drew our attention to this possibility. This is a way to check whether you find it helpful to sometimes look at a co.
Three jhanas should not be said to have low objects or sublime objects.
The Co explains: they have a sign as object.
A sign is not a sense object, a paritta object.
One can really stumble without the Co. The Atthasalini is the Co to the Dhammasangani. This mentions also (as I referred to) the example of Kalama Alara who did not hear the sound of five hundred Carts. The Points of Controversy debates about sound being a thorn for jhana. It is explained that when in jhana one does not hear nor see.
Well the commentarial position doesn’t seem to represent very well at all some of the most graphic descriptions of jhanic experience given in the suttas. In AN V.28 we read (also MN 77):
There is the case where a monk — quite withdrawn from
sensuality, …He permeates and pervades, suffuses and fills this very body with the rapture and pleasure born from withdrawal. There is nothing of his entire body unpervaded by rapture and pleasure born from withdrawal.
N: I can understand the confusion. When in jhana he does not feel the body, but the jhanacitta conditions such bodily phenomena.
The Atthasalini explains the very subtle bodily pleasant feeling that is conditioned by the third jhana and helps us to understand the text. First of all the word body is also used for [i]the mental body, the cetasikas[i/].
Now in the clause ‘he experiences blissful ease by the mental factors,’ although to one endowed with the Third Jhaana there is no thought of such experience, yet he may experience that bliss which is associated with his mental factors, or, though he has emerged from jhaana, he may still experience that bodily bliss, because his material body has been suffused by the exceedingly refined mind-born matter produced by that associated bliss.
Vis. IV, 175:
Now, as to the clause he feels bliss [sukha, pleasant feeling] with the body: here although in one actually possessed of the third jhana there is no concern about feeling bliss, nevertheless he would feel the bliss associated with his mental body [N: the cetasikas], and after emerging from the jhana he would also feel bliss since his material body would have been affected by the exceedingly superior matter originated by that bliss associated with the mental body.
Sukha can mean bodily feeling that is vipaaka, and also somanassa, mental pleasant feeling that is a jhanafactor.
When someone enters jhana for the first time, it is just for a moment. He could very well notice a bodily sensation when emerging.
When in jhana: he could not. What is otherwise the sense of distinguishing kaamaavacara citta and jhaanacitta as different planes of citta?
When the yogavacara wants to attain the second jhana he must already have mastery of jhana, entering and emerging whenever he wants. For instance, when he develops insight he can in between jhanas be aware of nama and rupa, that includes bodily feelings. Knowing this may be helpful in interpreting texts.
Nina van Gorkom
Visuddhimagga, XIV, 83. Tiika Note 36. (this note given by the translator of the Vis. is a translation of a part of the beginning of Tiika 83).
‘ “Sense sphere” (kaamaavacara): here there are the two kinds of sense desire (kaama), sense desire as basis (vatthu-kaama) and sense desire as defilement (kilesa-kaama). Of these, sense desire as [objective] basis particularized as the five cords of sense desire (pa~nca-kaama-gu.na = dimensions of sensual desires), is desired (kaamiyati). Sense desire as defilement, which is craving, desires (kaameti).
N: vatthu-kaama is the basis of sense desire. They are the sense objects that are desired by the defilement of sense desire, kilesa kaama. This is called tanhaa, clinging. The Expositor (I, p. 82) explains that the basis of sense desire is the round of the triple plane of existence. Because of clinging one wants to be reborn. The triple plane of existence are the sensuous planes, the fine material planes and the immaterial planes.
The sense sphere (kaamavacara) is where these two operate (avacaranti) together. But what is that? It is the elevenfold sense-desire becoming, i.e. hell, asura demons, ghosts, animals, human beings, and six sensual-sphere heavens.
N: We have to distinguish planes (bhuumi) of citta and planes of existence. As to plane (bhuumi) of citta there are four planes: cittas of the sense sphere, kaamaavacara cittas, ruupaavacara cittas (ruupa-jhånacittas), aruupaavacara cittas (aruupajhaanacittas) and lokuttara cittas, supramundane cittas experiencing nibbaana. Thus, there are four planes of cittas classified according to the object citta experiences.
As to plane of existence, this is the locality where one is reborn. There are eleven sensuous planes. Sensuousness frequents these sensuous planes, in these planes the basis of sense desire and sense desire prevail.
We read in the Expositor :
Thus sensuous universe means that this (first class of moral) consciousness frequents this eleven-fold localized sensuousness [the sensuous planes of existence], even though it also frequents the planes of attenuated ruupa and of non-ruupa…. this class of consciousness, though occurring elsewhere, should be known as sensuous
Cittas of the sensesphere also arise in ruupa-brahma planes and in aruupa brahma planes; cittas rooted in lobha, for example, arise in ruupa-brahma planes and in aruupa brahma planes. Seeing and hearing also arise in ruupa-brahma planes, but smelling, tasting and body-consciousness do not arise there. Those born in the ruupa-brahma planes have less conditions for sense impressions. However, cittas of the sensesphere arise in abundance in the sensuous planes of existence.
We read in the Co to the Abhidhammattha Sangaha (Topics of Abhidhamma, p. 10):
Herein that which desires (kameti) is desire (kaama) or sensual craving. [Consciousness] where that desire is active (avacarati) in finding its objects belongs to the sphere of sense-desire (kaamaavacara.m). Alternatively, kaama is that which is desired, [that is,] elevenfold sense-sphere existence; because it is mostly active there, it belongs to the sphere of sense-objects (kaamaavacara.m)- for what is meant is its most common activity, even though [consciousness] that occurs in form and formless existences can still belong to the sphere of sense-desire. Alternatively, kaama is simply sense-sphere existence and what is active there is sense-sphere activity (kaamaavacaro).
So too with the fine-material sphere and the immaterial sphere, taking ‘fine-material’ as craving for the fine-material too, and ‘immaterial’ as craving for the immaterial too. It crosses over (uttarati) from the world (loka), thus it is supramundane (lokuttara)’ (Pm. 464).
N: The Tiika explains here word derivations. Craving for rebirth in sensuous planes is called kaamata.nhaa. Craving for rebirth in fine-material existence is called ruupa-ta.nhaa, and craving for rebirth in immaterial existence is called aruupa-ta.nhaa.
Vipassanā Jhāna: Sayādaw U Pandita
On the other hand, vipassanā jhāna allows the mind to move freely from object to object, staying focused on the characteristics of impermanence, suffering and absence of self that are common to all objects. Vipassanā jhāna also includes the mind which can be focused and fixed upon the bliss of nibbāna. Rather than the tranquility and absorption which are the goal of samatha jhāna practitioners, the most important results of vipassanā jhāna are insight and wisdom.
Vipassanā jhāna is the focusing of the mind on paramattha dhammas. Usually these are spoken of as “ultimate realities,” but actually they are just the things we can experience directly through the six sense doors without conceptualization. Most of them are saṅkhāra paramattha dhamma, or conditioned ultimate realities; mental and physical phenomena which are changing all the time. Nibbāna is also a paramattha dhamma, but of course it is not conditioned.
Breathing is a good example of a conditioned process. The sensations you feel at the abdomen are conditioned ultimate realities, saṅkhāra paramattha dhamma, caused by your intention to breath. The whole purpose of concentrating one’s attention on the abdomen is to penetrate the actual quality and nature of what is happening there. When you are aware of movement, tension, tautness, heat or cold, you have begun to develop vipassanā jhāna.
Mindfulness at the respective sense doors follows the same principle. If there is diligent effort and penetrative awareness, focusing on what is happening in any particular sense process, the mind will understand the true nature of what is happening. The sensing processes will be understood in individual characteristics as well as common ones.
According to the fourfold way of reckoning, which admits of four levels of jhāna, the first jhāna possesses five factors which we will describe below. All of them are important in vipassanā practice.
The Five Jhānic Factors
The first of them is called vitakka. It is the factor of aiming, accurately directing the mind toward an object. It also has the aspect of establishing the mind on the object, so that the mind stays there.
The second factor is vicāra (pronounced “vichara”), generally translated as “investigation” or “reflection.” After vitakka has brought the mind to the object and placed it firmly there, vicāra continues to rub the mind onto the object. You can experience this yourself when observing rising and falling. First you make the effort to be precise in aiming the mind at the rising process. Then your mind reaches the object and it does not slip off. It impinges on the object, rubs against it.
As you are mindful in an intuitive and accurate way from moment to moment, the mind gets more and more pure. The hindrances of desire, aversion, sloth, restlessness and doubt, weaken and disappear. The mind becomes crystal clear and calm. This state of clarity results from the presence of the two jhānic factors we just discussed. It is called viveka, which means seclusion. The consciousness is secluded, far away from the hindrances. This viveka is not a jhānic factor. It is merely a descriptive term for this secluded state of consciousness.
The third jhānic factor is pīti, rapture, a delighted interest in what is occurring. This factor may manifest physically as gooseflesh, as feelings of being dropped suddenly as if in an elevator, or as feelings of rising off the ground .The fourth jhānic factor, sukha, happiness or comfort, comes on the heels of the third. One feels very satisfied with the practice. Because both the third and the fourth jhānic factors come about as a result of seclusion from the hindrances, they are called vivekaja pīti sukha, meaning the rapture, joy and happiness born out of seclusion.
Think of this sequence as a causal chain. Seclusion of mind comes about because of the presence of the first two jhānic factors. If the mind is accurately aimed at the object, if it hits it and rubs it, after some time the mind will become secluded. Because the mind is secluded from the hindrances, one becomes happy, joyous and comfortable.
When these first four jhānic factors are present, the mind automatically becomes calm and peaceful, able to concentrate on what is happening without getting scattered or dispersed. This one-pointedness of mind is the fifth jhānic factor, samādhi, or concentration.
Access to the First Vipassanā Jhāna Requires Insight into Mind and Matter
It is not sufficient to have all five factors present for one to say one has attained the first vipassanā jhāna. The mind must also come to penetrate into the Dhamma a little bit, enough to see the interrelationship of mind and matter. At this time we say that access to the first vipassanā jhāna has occurred.
A yogi whose mind is composed of these five jhānic factors will experience a new accuracy of mindfulness, a new level of success in sticking with the object. Intense rapture, happiness and comfort in the body may also arise. This could be the occasion for him or her to gloat over the wondrousness of the meditation practice. “Oh wow, I’m getting really precise and accurate. I even feel like I’m floating in the air!” You might recognize this reflection as a moment of attachment.
Anyone can get caught up in rapture, happiness and comfort. This attachment to what is happening within us is a manifestation of a special kind of craving, a craving not connected with ordinary, worldly sensual pleasures. Rather, such craving comes directly out of one’s meditation practice. When one is unable to be aware of this craving when it arises, it will interfere with one’s practice. Rather than directly noting, one wallows in the pleasant phenomena unmindfully, or thinks about the further delights that might ensure from one’s practice. Now we can understand the Buddha’s mystifying admonition, for this attachment to the pleasant results of meditation is what he meant by stopping within.
I re-posted a section of Sayādaw U Pandita’s teaching on vipassanā jhāna where there are sense objects during jhāna. You were having some difficulty with this teaching? Maybe we could discuss it further?
Thanks! Yes, sorry about the deletion of your earlier posts. I was making some changes in the myqsl file and had to upload a version from last week.
Although I agree with the venerable Pandita’s sentiment about vipassana, I am not sure that he is correct in referring to vipassana jhanas. There are terms in the pali that show right concentration occures with vipassana, and that at the moment of attaining nibbana even a dry-insight worker has concentration equivalent to mundane jhana. But I have never seen vipassana jhana used.
Although I agree with the venerable Pandita’s sentiment about vipassana, I am not sure that he is correct in referring to vipassana jhanas. There are terms in the pali that show right contration occures with vipassana, and that at the moment of attaining nibbana even a dry-insight worker has concentration equivalent to mundane jhana. But I have never seen vipassana jhana used.
But the Suttas say that right concentration is jhana, so what is the problem with vipassana as right concentration being jhana?
Oh, I also remember that since the topic of this thread is “Sense objects during jhana” I was going to post Ajahn Chah talking about sense experience during appana samadhi. He says:
“In appana samadhi the mind calms down and is stilled to a level where it is at its most subtle and skillful. Even if you experience sense impingement from the outside, such as sounds and physical sensations, it remains external and is unable to disturb the mind. You might hear a sound, but it won’t distract your concentration. There is the hearing of the sound, but the experience is as if you don’t hear anything. There is awareness of the impingement but it’s as if you are not aware. This is because you let go. The mind lets go automatically. Concentration is so deep and firm that you let go of attachment to sense impingement quite naturally. The mind can absorb into this state for long periods. Having stayed inside for an appropriate amount of time, it then withdraws.”
What are your thoughts on this?