Monday, May 3, 2021

suttas where mind and body (31 body parts of meditator) dichotomy is incontrovertible, exposing Abhidhamma incoherence (w.r.t. suttas)


● MN 19 - 🔗🔊 24m, Dve-dhā-vitakka: two-sorts-of-thinking

prior to first jhana, remove all akusala thoughts and replace kusala thoughts. Second jhana is reducing the amount and intensity of kusala thoughts to allow the body to pacify/relax/passaddhi. 

• SN 12.61 and SN 12.62 kaya of 4 elements vs. mind of citta, mano, vinnana


• SN 22.95 lump of foam simile: body of kaya + rupa contrasted against lifeforce and vinnana separated at death


Abhidhamma and Vism. apologists like to argue that 'kāya' is not just a physical anatomical body, but also contains a body of mental components (essentially assimilating mind and mental factors under the word 'body').  They need to do this to make Abhidhamma theory coherent. To realize this agenda, they need an unlawful license to substitute every instance of body/kāya in the suttas with either:

1) mental body devoid of the physical body

2) a physical body + the mental body

They need this fraudulent device to be able to render the suttas ambiguous and incoherent, in order to make the Abhidhamma coherent and superficially appear not to contradict the suttas.

For example, they redefine the jhana as being an out of body experience and entered into a frozen stupor for a predetermined amount of time, and justify it by using their unlawful license to redefine 'kaya' into whatever definition best suits them.


But suttas like the links at the top expose the ludicrous nature of this fraud. 


Let's see how those relevant passages read when we substitute the 'kaya' of physical body with a 'kaya' of 'mental body only devoid of physical body.' 


MN 19 is describing how vitakka and vicara work in first jhana, and how thinking too much would tire 'body' and mind.

anu-vitakkeyyaṃ anu-vicāreyyaṃ,
(if I should) excessively-think (and) excessively-ponder,
neva tatonidānaṃ bhayaṃ samanupassāmi.
I do not envision any danger that would come from it,
Rattin-divaṃ cepi naṃ, bhikkhave,
even for a day & night,
anu-vitakkeyyaṃ anu-vicāreyyaṃ,
(if I should) excessively-think (and) excessively-ponder,
neva tatonidānaṃ bhayaṃ samanupassāmi.
I do not envision any danger that would come from it,
api ca kho me aticiraṃ anu-vitakkayato anu-vicārayato
except that thinking & pondering a long time
kāyo kilameyya.
would tire the body (kaya).
kāye kilante VAR cittaṃ ūhaññeyya.
When the body is tired, the mind (citta) is disturbed;
ūhate citte ārā cittaṃ samādhimhāti.
(and a) disturbed mind (is) far (from a) mind (in) undistractable-lucidity.’


So the sutta says, 

the anatomical physical body of the meditator would become tired if he thinks too intensely, and that in turn would cause the mind to be disturbed (as opposed to passadhi pacification/relaxation awakening factor).

Abhidhamma reinterpretation of 'kaya' body would say: 

The 'body of mental only factors' would become tired from thinking too much, and that in turn would cause the mind to be disturbed. In other words, if you think too much, the mind gets tired and because of the mind being too tired, the mind would become disturbed. A little redundant don't you think? Kind of an idiotic and obvious thing to say. And you lose a key piece of information on how the physical body being tired blocks the physical body from fulfilling the passadhi/pacification awakening factor (needed for samadhi and jhana). 



SN 12.61 is even more ludicrous if you try to apply the Abhidhamma 'kaya' = 'mind only' redefinition


“assutavā, bhikkhave, puthujjano imasmiṃ cātumahābhūtikasmiṃ kāyasmiṃ nibbindeyyapi virajjeyyapi vimucceyyapi.
“Mendicants, when it comes to this body made up of the four primary elements, an uneducated ordinary person might become disenchanted, dispassionate, and freed.
Taṃ kissa hetu?
Why is that?
Dissati, bhikkhave, imassa cātumahābhūtikassa kāyassa ācayopi apacayopi ādānampi nikkhepanampi.
This body (kaya) made up of the four primary elements (other suttas define rupa as 4 elements) is seen to accumulate and disperse, to be taken up and laid to rest.
Tasmā tatrāssutavā puthujjano nibbindeyyapi virajjeyyapi vimucceyyapi.
That’s why, when it comes to this body, an uneducated ordinary person might become disenchanted, dispassionate, and freed.
Yañca kho etaṃ, bhikkhave, vuccati cittaṃ itipi, mano itipi, viññāṇaṃ itipi, tatrāssutavā puthujjano nālaṃ nibbindituṃ nālaṃ virajjituṃ nālaṃ vimuccituṃ.
But when it comes to that which is called ‘mind’  (citta) or ‘sentience’ (mano)  or ‘consciousness’,  (vinnana) an uneducated ordinary person is unable to become disenchanted, dispassionate, or freed.
Taṃ kissa hetu?
Why is that?
Dīgharattañhetaṃ, bhikkhave, assutavato puthujjanassa ajjhositaṃ mamāyitaṃ parāmaṭṭhaṃ:
Because for a long time they’ve been attached to it, thought of it as their own, and mistaken it:
‘etaṃ mama, esohamasmi, eso me attā’ti.
‘This is mine, I am this, this is my self.’
Tasmā tatrāssutavā puthujjano nālaṃ nibbindituṃ nālaṃ virajjituṃ nālaṃ vimuccituṃ.
That’s why, when it comes to this mind, an uneducated ordinary person is unable to become disenchanted, dispassionate, and freed.
Varaṃ, bhikkhave, assutavā puthujjano imaṃ cātumahābhūtikaṃ kāyaṃ attato upagaccheyya, na tveva cittaṃ.
But an uneducated ordinary person would be better off taking this body made up of the four primary elements to be their self, rather than the mind.
Taṃ kissa hetu?
Why is that?
Dissatāyaṃ, bhikkhave, cātumahābhūtiko kāyo ekampi vassaṃ tiṭṭhamāno dvepi vassāni tiṭṭhamāno tīṇipi vassāni tiṭṭhamāno cattāripi vassāni tiṭṭhamāno pañcapi vassāni tiṭṭhamāno dasapi vassāni tiṭṭhamāno vīsatipi vassāni tiṭṭhamāno tiṃsampi vassāni tiṭṭhamāno cattārīsampi vassāni tiṭṭhamāno paññāsampi vassāni tiṭṭhamāno vassasatampi tiṭṭhamāno, bhiyyopi tiṭṭhamāno.
This body made up of the four primary elements is seen to last for a year, or for two, three, four, five, ten, twenty, thirty, forty, fifty, or a hundred years, or even longer.
Yañca kho etaṃ, bhikkhave, vuccati cittaṃ itipi, mano itipi, viññāṇaṃ itipi, taṃ rattiyā ca divasassa ca aññadeva uppajjati aññaṃ nirujjhati.
But that which is called ‘mind’ or ‘sentience’ or ‘consciousness’ arises as one thing and ceases as another all day and all night.


Frankk final remarks:

I hope by this time you can figure out for yourself how a kaya of 4 elements is referring to the meditator's anatomical body? Nevertheless, I'm sure some Abhidhamma apologist will jump in and try to unleash some novel sophistry to explain how rupa and kaya in this case also is referring to "a collection of mental factors devoid of physical parts", because as you know, "kaya means collection of things, not physical body."


Forum discussion



Of course kaya can have other meanings besides the physical body, but when it's used in a dichotomy "mind vs. body" as I described in OP, and third jhana's "sukham ca kayena patisamvedeti", it's clearly referring to a the meditator's physical body.

If you used Abhidhamma's license to ambiguate kaya into "mind only collection of factors" anytime they feel like it, no one could ever commit any vinaya offenses. karma by kaya, and karma by mano/mind, are two very different classes. In  the vinaya monastic code, for example what constitutes murder or sexual offense,  bodily actions have to respect the conventional body/mind dichotomy used in language. If 'body' was just 'collection of mental factors', no one would ever be guilty of murder or rape.


Re: suttas where mind and body (31 body parts of meditator) dichotomy is incontrovertible, exposing Abhidhamma incoheren

Post by frank k » 

pegembara wrote: Wed May 05, 2021 6:08 am...
The point is as stated ie. kaya can mean more than just the body. If you assume kaya to mean exclusively the body, then you have not fully understood that kaya also means the subjective experiencer. The teacher is of the view that the use of kaya to mean exclusively the physical body is a later addition like the Satipathanna sutta.

And no, I know next to nothing about Abhidhamma and am not exactly a fan.
Yes, it MIGHT mean more than the physical body and include some mental activity in some contexts. But the OP context is clearly not that -it's mind body dichotomy the way people understand it across thousands of years of history spanning different cultures and languages.

And I don't agree with his interpretation of kayagata. You could interpret kaya as physical body only, and that doesn't stop guarding the sense doors or the other exercises in MN 119 from working. Or even if you do want to say kaya includes the mind (without excluding body) in that context, then that would still mean the 4 jhanas in kayagata is inclusive of the physical body. Ajahn Brahm and Vism. are saying that kaya is mind only, no physical body at all, which is an egregious leap defying any rational thinking and having no support in the suttas whatsoever.



MN 125 and MA 198 imperturbability developed by 4 jhanas is equivalent to khamo (resilience) of AN 5.113 and AN 5.139

(This article is part of a series: 🔗MN 125 restoration project )

We'll start with looking at MA 198 first, since it gives a more graphic and detailed description than pali MN 125. 

(the samma samadhi -  khamo tie in from AN 5.113 and AN 5.139  is called imperturbability in MN 125 and its parallel)

阿奇舍 那!若彼野象從調象師隨受教者,善調象 師則縛前兩脚、後脚、兩 髀 、兩脇、尾脊、頭額、 耳、牙,及縛其鼻,使人捉鉤,騎其頭上,令眾 多人持刀、楯、矟、鉾、戟、斧、鉞而在前立,善調 象師手執鋒鉾,在野象前而作是語:
"Aciravata, when that forest elephant had obeyed the instructions of the elephant tamer, the good elephant tamer bound his two front feet, his back feet, his two hind parts, his two sides, his tail, his forehead, his ears, his tusks and also his trunk.14 A man holding a goad was made to mount on his neck, and many people were made to stand in front of him holding swords, [10] shields, spears, lances, halberds, hatchets and axes. Holding a sharp halberd in his hand and standing in front of the forest elephant, the good elephant tamer said:
『我今 治汝,令不移動,治汝勿動搖。』
'I will now train you in imperturbability, you must not move!'15
若彼野象從 調象師治不移動時,不舉前脚,亦不動 後脚,兩 髀 、兩脇、尾脊、頭額、耳、牙及鼻皆不動 搖,如是野象隨調象師住不移動。
"When at the time of being trained in imperturbability by the elephant tamer, that forest elephant did not lift his front feet, did not move his back feet, his two hind parts, his two sides, his tail, his forehead, his ears, his tusks or his trunk, not moving any of these, then like this the forest elephant followed the elephant tamer's [instructions] by remaining imperturbable.

(MA 198 lists all four jhanas, MN 125 omits the first jhana)

如是,阿奇舍那!若 聖弟子離欲、離惡不善之法,至得第四禪 成就遊者,如是聖弟子則隨如來住不移 動。
Like this, Aciravata, when the noble disciple dwells secluded from sensual desires, secluded from evil and unwholesome states ... (up to) ... attains and dwells having accomplished the fourth jhāna, then like this the noble disciple has followed the Tathāgata and become established in imperturbability.29



So vitakkavicārānaṃ vūpasamā ajjhattaṃ sampasādanaṃ cetaso ekodibhāvaṃ avitakkaṃ avicāraṃ samādhijaṃ pītisukhaṃ dutiyaṃ jhānaṃ …
As the directed-thought and evaluation are stilled, they enter and remain in the second jhāna …
tatiyaṃ jhānaṃ …
third jhāna …
catutthaṃ jhānaṃ upasampajja viharati.
fourth jhāna.

(simile: monk developing 2nd through 4th jhana → elephant tied up so it can’t move while training to be imperturbable to simulated weapons and battle stress) 

(note that this part is not in the original buggy pali MN 125, this here is my restored version of MN 125 with the elephant simile pulled from the first section of MN 125 and selected to match MA 198)
Yato kho, aggivessana, āraññako nāgo hatthidamakassa uṭṭhānanisajjāya vacanakaro hoti ovādappaṭikaro, tamenaṃ hatthidamako uttari āneñjaṃ nāma kāraṇaṃ kāreti, mahantassa phalakaṃ soṇḍāya upanibandhati, tomarahattho ca puriso uparigīvāya nisinno hoti, samantato ca tomarahatthā purisā parivāretvā ṭhitā honti, hatthidamako ca dīghatomarayaṭṭhiṃ gahetvā purato ṭhito hoti.
When the wild elephant stands and sits when the trainer says, following instructions, the trainer sets the task called imperturbability. He fastens a large plank to its trunk; a lancer sits on its neck; other lancers surround it on all sides; and the trainer himself stands in front with a long lance.
So āneñjaṃ kāraṇaṃ kāriyamāno neva purime pāde copeti na pacchime pāde copeti, na purimakāyaṃ copeti na pacchimakāyaṃ copeti, na sīsaṃ copeti, na kaṇṇe copeti, na dante copeti, na naṅguṭṭhaṃ copeti, na soṇḍaṃ copeti.
While practicing this task, it doesn’t budge its fore-feet or hind-feet, its fore-quarters or hind-quarters, its head, ears, tusks, tail, or trunk.

(in the same way, repeat what monk does before elephant simile )

In the same way as the elephant in a static posture simulating the life threatening danger of war, the monk develops the second, third, and fourth jhana.


frankk commentary

1. Notice how the elephant is made to take up a quiet static posture, similar to a monk training to develop 4 jhanas typically goes into a quiet forest space and sits in a static posture.

2. notice how 'imperturbability' in the four jhanas, when compared to the elephant simile, makes it clear that the monk and the elephant aren't going into a frozen stupor (think Vism. and Ajahn Brahm "jhana") and formless attainment where the body disappears and they can't see, can't hear, can't feel swords, weapons, mosquitoes touching them. The imperturbability of a perfected fourth jhana, is about patient endurance (khamo, AN 5.113 and AN 5.139)  in the face of incredibly strong distractions and maintaining one's righteous undistractible lucidity (samma samadhi) in the face of death and deathly threats. 

conclusion:

What happens in the four jhanas, is the culmination of the whole point of MN 125 and MA 198, to take the basic samma samadhi and khamo link of AN 5.113, show it more clearly with the elephant  simile in AN 5.139, and then finally tied all together by showing exactly which part of the war elephant gradual training corresponds with imperturbability of the four jhana training process. 

The trained war elephant has samma samadhi, khamo, and anenja (imperturbability). 

The monk is training in Jhana for war with Mara, trained to be lucid, fearless, skilled in the many weapons of Dharma, ready to deal the death blow to Mara.

Vism. "jhana" is training you how to run away from the defilements by hiding in a frozen samatha stupor where the mind is divorced from the body.



Sunday, May 2, 2021

MN 125 thai pali version on satipatthana first jhana section differs from burmese, sri lankan, and Chinese Agama MA 198

(This article is part of a series: 🔗MN 125 restoration project )


Tamenaṃ tathāgato uttariṃ vineti:
Then the Realized One guides them further:
‘ehi tvaṃ, bhikkhu, kāye kāyānupassī viharāhi, mā ca kāmūpasaṃhitaṃ vitakkaṃ vitakkesi.
‘Come, monk, meditate observing an aspect of the body, but don’t think thoughts connected with sensual pleasures.
Vedanāsu …
Meditate observing an aspect of feelings …
citte …
mind …
dhammesu dhammānupassī viharāhi, mā ca kāmūpasaṃhitaṃ vitakkaṃ vitakkesī’ti.
principles, but don’t think thoughts connected with sensual pleasures.’


(describing the same first jhana’s kusala dhamma vitakka of MN 19, AN 8.30, and their agama parallels)

「若聖弟子 觀內身如身,乃至觀覺、心、法如法。
24. "When the noble disciple contemplates the body as body internally ... (up to) ... contemplates feelings, mental states and dharmas as dharmas,
彼如來復 更調御比丘:
then the Tathāgata further tames the monk:
『汝當觀內身如身,莫念欲相 應念,乃至觀覺、心、法如法,莫念非法相應 念。』
'You should contemplate the body as body internally, do not think a thought related to sensual pleasures ... (up to) ... contemplate feelings, mental states and dharmas as dharmas, do not think a thought related to what is not rightful!'25
若聖弟子觀內身如身,不念欲相應念, 乃至觀覺、心、法如法,不念非法相應念者, 如是聖弟子隨如來教。
[13] When the noble disciple contemplates the body as body internally and does not think a thought related to sensual pleasures ... (up to) ... contemplates feelings, mental states and dharmas as dharmas and does not think a thought related to what is not rightful, then like this the noble disciple follows the instructions of the Tathāgata.

阿奇舍那!猶如野 象從調象師,則以柔軟可愛言向,臥起、去 來、取捨、屈伸者,如是野象隨調象師教。
"Aciravata, just as the forest elephant who, on being addressed by the elephant tamer with soft and agreeable words, lay down and got up, went and came back, took up and put down, bent and stretched, like this the forest elephant followed the instructions of the elephant tamer.26
如 是,阿奇舍那!若聖弟子觀內身如身,不念 欲相應念,乃至觀覺、心、法如法,不念非法 相應念,如是聖弟子隨如來教。
Like this, Aciravata, when the noble disciple contemplates the body as body internally and does not think a thought related to sensual pleasures ... (up to) ... contemplates feelings, mental states and dharmas as dharmas and does not think a thought related to what is not rightful, then like this the noble disciple follows the instructions of the Tathāgata.    


Here's B. Thanissaro's translation from the MN 125 Thai canon, 

and his footnote explanation on why he stuck with the Thai anomaly instead of going with the other pali sources. 


“Then the Tathāgata trains him further: ‘Come, monk, remain focused on the body in & of itself, but do not think any thoughts connected with the body.4 Remain focused on feelings in & of themselves, but do not think any thoughts connected with feelings. Remain focused on the mind in & of itself, but do not think any thoughts connected with mind. Remain focused on mental qualities in & of themselves, but do not think any thoughts connected with mental qualities.’ 


With the stilling of directed thoughts & evaluations, he enters & remains in the second jhāna: rapture & pleasure born of concentration, unification of awareness free from directed thought & evaluation—internal assurance.

“With the fading of rapture he remains equanimous, mindful, & alert, and senses pleasure with the body. He enters & remains in the third jhāna, of which the noble ones declare, ‘Equanimous & mindful, he has a pleasant abiding.’ 


https://www.dhammatalks.org/suttas/MN/MN125.html#mn125note04

4. Reading kāyūpasaṁhitaṁ… dhammūpasaṁhitaṁ with the Thai and PTS editions. The Sri Lankan and Burmese editions read kāmūpasaṁhitam, “connected to sensuality,” in both places. There are two reasons for following the Thai and PTS editions here. (1) As SN 47:6 and SN 47:7 point out, sensual thoughts connected with the five strings of sensuality are considered “out of range” when one is practicing the establishings of mindfulness. For this reason, thoughts connected with sensuality should have already been abandoned at that stage, and not at the stage of entering the second jhāna. (2) In the standard descriptions of the four jhānas, thoughts directed at sensuality are abandoned prior to entering the first jhāna; all directed thought is abandoned on entering the second. The simple instruction to not think thoughts connected with sensuality would not be enough to end all directed thoughts—it leaves open the possibility of thinking thoughts connected to the object of mindfulness—and so it would not serve to bring the mind all the way to the second jhāna. However, once thoughts of sensuality have been abandoned with the practice of the four establishings of mindfulness, the only remaining directed thoughts in the meditator’s mind would be those directed at the objects of mindfulness. For that reason, the instruction at this point not to think thoughts connected with those objects would be enough to bring the mind to the second jhāna.


Frankk response

Ven. Thanissaro's explanation of the Thai canon discrepancy makes sense, and does give a cleaner explanation in some respects regarding  how 4sp satipatthana is done in first jhana (with thought related to Dhamma) and how that transitions to second jhana.

Namely, second jhana 4sp satipatthana where vitakka verbal thoughts have dropped out and  sublimated into  subverbal mental activity in the form of sati, sampajano, and attention to perceptions and feelings (citta sankhara) experienced. 

But I believe the other pali versions, and the agama parallel MA 198 make better sense in terms of big picture. It's not that the Buddha was trying to imply that this stage of satipatthana (compared to the previous stage of 4sp) was liable to be easily interrupted with vitakka thoughts of sensuality (kāma), it's that he wanted to draw a direct connection between this stage of satipatthana and first jhana. Namely, they  are the exact same practice under two different labels!  First jhana's first two words, are "vivicceva kamehi", seclusion from sensual pleasure, pointing to the exact type of thought this 4sp is supposed to have removed and prevent from re-arising. 


The other point Ven. Thanissaro was making, about first jhana satipatthana having thoughts of sensuality being already "out of range", doesn't cause a real problem or contradiction within the suttas. Ambiguous minor contradictions happen frequently in the suttas.  AN 9.41 and SN 40.1  for example, show first jhana being interrupted by thoughts and perceptions of kama/sensuality. A learner's first jhana, or impure first jhana, is still called a jhana by the Buddha. 


Factoring in the architecture considerations of how the simile passage was structured for oral transmission to be effective, memory triggers and associations to work easily, the Buddha would have wanted obvious links and clues to make the sections of correspondence clear between which stage of elephant gradual training corresponded with which monk training. Sensuality/kāma makes the first jhana correspondence very obvious. 

  


MN 125 with elephant similes interleaved within monk gradual training, restored to its original glory!

(This article is part of a series: 🔗MN 125 restoration project )

5/2/2021 version of MN 125 with elephant similes integrated back into monk training, interleaved section by section, so you can see what part of each simile matches which meditative practice and which jhana. 

I highlight in yellow the added parts not in the original CST4 buggy pali version, so you can quickly see the difference between buggy original and the restored classic.  

To see the full sutta without highlights,  use this link: MN‍  MN 125

To compare with agama parallel where they had preserved the interleaved elephant similes within the monk gradual training, see this link:  || MA 198


4👑☸ Cattāri Ariya-saccaṃ 四聖諦

4👑☸ → MN‍ → MN 125 - 🔗🔊    || MA 198   🌄🐘🛡️🏹‍   

MN 125



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