Saturday, March 2, 2019

SN 36.11 speaking in first jhāna, acccording to B.Analayo is 'impossible'

Elsewhere the discourses indicate
that during the first jhāna it is impossible to speak (SN 36.11) (S.
IV. 217). and the hearing of sounds is an obstruction
to its attainment
 (A. V, 135). With the first jhāna one
has gone beyond Mara's vision (A/. 1. 159). having
reached the end of the world of the senses (A. IV. 430).
Though these passages present the first jhāna as a
deeply concentrated state of mental absorption, the
mental factors required for its attainment include,
according to the standard description, vitakka and
vicira. These two are only left behind with the
attainment of the second jhāna. 3 To understand the
jhāna factor vitakka here as referring to conceptual
thought conflicts with the descriptions of the first
jhāna given in the above passages, which make it clear
that the first jhāna is something far deeper than the
type of mental condition in which conceptual thought
and reflection take place.

Let’s see what the sutta actually says.

(in 4 jhānas one can perceive rūpa ✅ 🚶)

1. paṭhamaṃ jhānaṃ samāpannassa
1. (with) first jhāna attained,
🚫🗣️💬 vācā niruddhā hoti.
🚫🗣️💬 vocalization-of-speech has ceased.
2. dutiyaṃ jhānaṃ samāpannassa
2. (with) second jhāna attained,
🚫(V&V💭) vitakka-vicārā niruddhā honti.
🚫(V&V💭) directed-thought-&-evaluation has ceased.
3. tatiyaṃ jhānaṃ samāpannassa
3. (with) third jhāna attained,
🚫😁 pīti niruddhā hoti.
🚫😁 rapture has ceased.
4. catutthaṃ jhānaṃ samāpannassa
4. (with) fourth jhāna attained,
🚫🌬️😤 assāsa-passāsā niruddhā honti.
🚫🌬️😤 in-breath-out-breath has ceased.

(in a-rūpa / form-less attainments, body 🚶 perception disappears)

5. ākāsā-nañc-āyatanaṃ samāpannassa
5. (with) space-infinitude-dimension attained,
🚫🚶 rūpa-saññā niruddhā hoti.
🚫🚶 forms-perception has ceased.

What the sutta actually says is if you vocalize speech in first jhana,
then you cease to be in first jhana.
It most definitely does not say speech is impossible to do from jhana.
Just as it’s not impossible to think while in second jhana.
If you think while you’re in second jhana,
then you cease to be in second jhana.
See ☸4nt → 8aam #8: Sammā Samādhi 🌄 → impure jhāna
suttas such as SN 40.1-9, SN 21.1, AN 9.34, AN 9.41, jhana can be interrupted by impurities.
another prime example, Vinaya Parjika 4.1 Moggallana hears sound in imperturbable samadhi.
What B.Analayo is trying to do, by claiming in first jhana it’s impossible to speak,
to justify that first jhana is so ‘deep’ that normal thinking as ‘vitakka’ would not be possible.
This is confirmation bias. He needs jhana to be deep, so he manufactures ‘evidence’ to support the conclusion he wants to prove, by misinterpreting SN 36.11 to mean “speech is impossible.”

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