Saturday, March 23, 2019

VRJ: Vism. claims 5 jhāna factors oppose and remove 5 hindrances

VRJ: Vism. claims 5 jhāna factors oppose and remove 5 hindrances

This part explains the difference between 4 jhanas and "5 jhanas" of AN 8.63 and MN 128

vism. Chap 3
25.16. In the pentad there are five jhānas by dividing in two what is called the second jhāna in the fourfold reckoning (see §21), taking the second jhāna to be due to the surmounting of only applied thought and the third jhāna to be due to the surmounting of both applied and sustained thought. There are five kinds of concentration according to the factors of these five jhānas. So its fivefoldness should be understood according to the five sets of jhāna factors.

(This part explains how each of the 5 hindrances has a special monogamous soul-mate from the 5 jhana factors to couple with)
⛔ vism. chap 4
86. And although there may be unprofitableness in other states as well, nevertheless only the hindrances are mentioned subsequently in the Vibhaṅga thus, “Herein, what states are unprofitable? Lust …” (Vibh 256), etc., in order to show their opposition to, and incompatibility with, the jhāna factors. For the hindrances are the contrary opposites of the jhāna factors: what is meant is that the jhāna factors are incompatible with them, eliminate them, abolish them.
And it is said accordingly in the Peṭaka (Peṭakopadesa):
{1. ekaggata/kāma-chanda} “Concentration is incompatible with lust,
{2. pīti/byāpāda} happiness with ill will,
{3. vitakka/thina-middha} applied thought with stiffness and torpor,
{4. sukha/udaccakukucca} bliss with agitation and worry,
{5. vicāra/vicikicca} and sustained thought with uncertainty”
(not in Peṭakopadesa).

my comments

The curly braces above {} contain my comments for the pali correspondence to B.Nanamoli's English.
I love the part where Buddhaghosa claims, "And it is said accordingly in the Peṭaka (Peṭakopadesa)", and then in the parenthetical comments right after that sentence, B.Nanamoli says, "No it's not in there. (the KN Peta)"

So who knows where this teaching on 5 hindrances with their 5 jhana factor soul mates came from?
This is one of the dumbest teachings I've ever heard in my life. Just think about it. Why would ekaggata only oppose lust, and not ill will, uncertainty, and even all 5 hindrances? Why is Piti/rapture the soul mate for ill will, not sukha? Etc. There's no reason for there to be exclusive one to one correspondence between these 2 sets of 5. But teachers of VRJ continue to teach this, and can't explain why when you ask them.

On the positive side

The good thing about this, is that where there's smoke, there's fire. If someone tries to feed you lies and preposterous ideas, you can almost guarantee there's more nonsense coming from them. So this teaching on 5 jhana factor soul mates is a huge red flag reminding you to stay on your toes and carefully consider what Vism. teaches.

A theory on why

This teaching could be a deliberate red herring, just to get people to be puzzled, and perhaps awed by the inscrutable "wisdom" contained in Vism. But clearly they do everything they can to distract you from noticing that S&S&U, sati, sampajano, upekkha, are important factors of the 4 jhanas that do vipassana while one is in the four jhanas.

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