Thursday, February 7, 2019

SN 40.1 impure jhāna is still jhāna, learner's jhāna. role of V&V

So many important sutta passages are very short, and we miss a great deal of meaning by not reading it carefully.

Here are 3 important points people don't notice about this sutta.

1. V&V💭 is guiding your meditation

1. (V&V💭) vitakka & vicāra, directed-thought & evaluation: look at what (V&V💭) are doing right at the beginning. It's playing the role of
(7sb → 1. 🐘 sati)
and
(7sb → 2. 💭🕵️ Dhamma-vicaya)
(7 awakening factors is the launch sequence to get you into samādhi)

This pattern happens frequently in the suttas, with (V&V💭) implicit from quoted text, for example, "what is meant by third jhāna?", and  not always explicitly stated as a 'vitakka' or 'pari-vitakka' as it is here.

This means that vitakka/thinking, as everyone knows from their experience in real life, plays an important role of guiding you and keeping you steady as you do it. Especially as you're learning a new skill, as Moggallana is doing here.

So not only is (V&V💭) important as kindling for jhāna, such as AN 8.30 and AN 6.10, it also plays a role in simply guiding you in what you're doing, or about to do in your meditation.


2. The impure jhāna is impure, but its still jhāna

2. the 4 jhānas in the EBT, can be and are interrupted by impurities from time to time, as SN 40 and many suttas in AN 9 clearly explain. Especially when one is learning. It's just like any skill in life, if you don't practice, your skill erodes. But here is the important point. Even the impure jhāna, the Buddha still calls it "jhāna". . That's the reason for the existence of 4ip (iddhipada) and the suttas on samādhi mastery. They encourage you to remove all the impurities.  The impure jhāna is impure, but its still jhāna

VRJ (Vism. Re-definition of Jhāna) and ABRJ (Ajahn Brahm Re-definition of Jhāna, same as VRJ   without abhidhamma theory) which describes a type of samādhi training system that is completely different, and their redefinition of what body and thinking means, contradicts the EBT and causes massive problems.


3. learn the code words synonymous to 4 jhānas

3. Note the code phrase for "do four jhānas". The Buddha doesn't always explicitly say what samādhi and which of the 4 jhānas, so you have to learn some of the key words that are snyonymous for 4 jhāna quality of samādhi.

(STED 1st Jhāna)

🚫💑 vivicc’eva kāmehi
🚫💑 Quite-withdrawn (from) sensuality,
🚫😠 vivicca a-kusalehi dhammehi
🚫😠 withdrawn (from) un-skillful Dhamma [teachings & qualities],
(V&V💭) sa-vitakkaṃ sa-vicāraṃ
(V&V💭) With-directed-thought, with-evaluation,
😁🙂 viveka-jaṃ pīti-sukhaṃ
😁🙂 withdrawal-born rapture-&pleasure,
🌘 paṭhamaṃ jhānaṃ upasampajja viharati.
🌘 first Jhāna (he) enters, dwells.

(V&V💭 is remembering what he is supposed to do, now he does it)

Idaṃ vuccati paṭhamaṃ jhānan’ti.
This is called the first jhāna.’
So khvāhaṃ, āvuso,
And so,
🚫💑 vivicc’eva kāmehi
🚫💑 Quite-withdrawn (from) sensuality,
🚫😠 vivicca a-kusalehi dhammehi
🚫😠 withdrawn (from) un-skillful Dhamma [teachings & qualities],
(V&V💭) sa-vitakkaṃ sa-vicāraṃ
(V&V💭) With-directed-thought, with-evaluation,
😁🙂 viveka-jaṃ pīti-sukhaṃ
😁🙂 withdrawal-born rapture-&pleasure,
🌘 paṭhamaṃ jhānaṃ
🌘 first Jhāna
upasampajja viharāmi.
I was entering and dwelling in.

(impure jhāna: interrupted by impure perceptions)

Tassa mayhaṃ, āvuso, iminā vihārena viharato
Friends, while I dwelt in the dwelling [of jhāna samādhi]
Kāma-sahagatā saññā-mana-sikārā samudācaranti.
Sensual-pleasure-*** perceptions-and-attention [to those impure perceptions] assailed me.

(Buddha comes over via psychic power to give advice)

Atha kho maṃ, āvuso, bhagavā iddhiyā upasaṅkamitvā etadavoca:
Then the Buddha came up to me with his psychic power and said:
‘moggallāna, moggallāna.
‘Moggallāna, Moggallāna!
Mā, brāhmaṇa, paṭhamaṃ jhānaṃ pamādo,
Brahmin, do not neglect the first jhāna!

(code phrase that means “do four jhānas”: saṇṭhapehi, ekodiṃ, samādhi)

paṭhame jhāne cittaṃ saṇṭhapehi,
(in) first jhāna, (the) mind (you should) settle,
paṭhame jhāne cittaṃ ekodiṃ karohi,
(in) first jhāna, (the) mind (you should) make-it-singular,
paṭhame jhāne cittaṃ samādahā’ti.
(in) first jhāna, (the) mind (you should) undistractify-&-lucidify,
So khvāhaṃ, āvuso, aparena samayena vivicceva kāmehi vivicca akusalehi dhammehi savitakkaṃ savicāraṃ vivekajaṃ pītisukhaṃ paṭhamaṃ jhānaṃ upasampajja vihāsiṃ.
And so, after some time … I entered and remained in the first jhāna.
Yañhi taṃ, āvuso, sammā vadamāno vadeyya:
So if anyone should be rightly called
‘satthārānuggahito sāvako mahābhiññataṃ patto’ti, mamaṃ taṃ sammā vadamāno vadeyya:
a disciple who attained to great direct knowledge with help from the Teacher, it’s me.”
‘satthārānuggahito sāvako mahābhiññataṃ patto’”ti.



1 comment:

  1. In developmental psychology, we know that very small children often learn how to perform a chore by repeating the verbal instruction they have received from their parents. They would repeat verbatim what they were told, even imitating the voice and mannerism in which that instruction was first given. To master a chore is a performative act, guided by a narrative, which serves as a guideline and a reminder. In the same way, novice meditators place themselves in a routine, guided by the dhamma lessons they have internalized, enunciated to themselves in the form of skillful vitakka and vicara. The psychic voice of the Buddha or awakened devas who speak to meditators, in a way, are metaphorical embodiments of the remembered Dhamma lessons, of one's conscience and the inner teacher that one has groomed over the course of practice. Vitakka and vicara in this understanding, play an indispensable and fundamental role in what is widely known in pedagogy, and also underscore why it is so important to be a "well-learned" disciple in the Buddhist context. A "well-learned" noble disciple is one who knows the lessons by rote, in their full breadth and scope, and has learned to instruct himself internally via vitakka and vicara.

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