Vācā = vocalized speechvaca is not 'mental talk', is not unspoken speech mentally recited.
vaca = voice/vocalization/spoken-speech. Same as latin vox, same as english voice, vocal, etc. It is not mental talk. It has to be spoken talk. Otherwise right-speech has no distinction with right thought, there would be no need to have 3fold classification of kaya/body misconduct, vaca/vocal misconduct, mano/mind misconduct, you could just reduce it down to 2.
Vācā = voice, vocal-speech, relationship to V&V
MN 44 definition of vaci-sankhara
♦ “kasmā panāyye, assāsapassāsā kāya-saṅkhāro,
|“But why are in-&-out breaths bodily-fabrications?|
kasmā vitakka-vicārā vacī-saṅkhāro,
|Why are directed thought-&-evaluation vocal-speech-fabrications?|
kasmā saññā ca vedanā ca citta-saṅkhāro”ti?
|Why are perceptions & feelings mental-fabrications?”|
pubbe kho, āvuso visākha,
|prior to [vocalizing speech], friend Visakha,|
|(one) directs-thoughts (and) evaluates [those very thoughts],|
pacchā vācaṃ bhindati,
|afterwards, vocal-speech breaks-out,|
tasmā vitakka-vicārā vacī-saṅkhāro.
|Therefore directed-thought-&-evaluation are vocal-speech-fabrications|
KN Pe concisely expresses how V&V is silent mental recitation of wordshttp://lucid24.org/sted/8aam/8samadhi/cmy/kn-pe/index.html#calibre_link-18
yathā paliko tuṇhiko sajjhāyaṃ karoti evaṃ vitakko,
|583. just-as (a) reciter silently recites, such (is) directed-thoughts,|
yathā taṃyeva anupassati evaṃ vicāro.
|just-as that-recitation (he) contemplates, such (is) evaluation.|
SN 46.3 Sīla-sutta: Virtuethis is an oral tradition: which means you frequently have to recite the words in the form of vitakka and vicara, to refresh your memory and validate the fidelity of what you memorize, and preserve correct memory of it.
(0. 👂 Bhikkhūnaṃ dhammaṃ sutvā)
|0. 👂 listen to Dhamma [teaching] from a monk [and memorize it]|
(1. 🐘 Sati: taṃ Dhammaṃ anus-sarati anu-vitakketi)
|1. 🐘 that Dhamma [teaching] (he) recollects and thinks about|
(2. 💭 Dhamma-vicaya: taṃ dhammaṃ paññāya, pa-vicinati pa-vicarati pari-vīmaṃsam-āpajjati )
|2. 💭 that Dhamma discerning; he discriminates, evaluates, investigates|
(3. 🏹 Vīriya: āraddhaṃ hoti vīriyaṃ a-sallīnaṃ.)
|3. 🏹 his aroused vigor is not-slackening|
(4. 😁 Pīti: Āraddha-vīriyassa uppajjati pīti nir-āmisā,)
|4. 😁 his aroused vigor leads to arising of rapture not-carnal (of jhana)|
(5. 🌊 Passaddhi: Pīti-man-assa, kāyo-pi passambhati, cittam-pi passambhati )
|5. 🌊 with enraptured-mind, his body becomes pacified, his mind becomes pacified|
(6. 🌄 Samādhi: Passaddha-kāyassa sukhino, cittaṃ samādhiyati.)
|6. 🌄 with pacified body, he is in pleasure, mind becomes undistractable and lucid.|
(7. 👁 Upekkha: so tathā-samāhitaṃ cittaṃ, sādhukaṃ ajjh-upekkhitā hoti)
|7. 👁 he of such undistractable & lucid mind, thoroughly looks-upon-it-with-equanimity|
(7 types of fruits, Nirvana)
|Seven different levels of awakening results from proper practice of 7sb.|
Noble Silence and speech ceasing in first jhāna
STED ariyo vā tuṇhī-bhāvo
♦ āyasmā mahāmoggallāno etadavoca —
|Ven. Mahā Moggallāna said,|
“idha mayhaṃ, āvuso, rahogatassa paṭisallīnassa (<< that word closely linked with samadhi)
|"Friends, once as I was withdrawn in seclusion,|
evaṃ cetaso parivitakko udapādi —
|this train of thought arose to my awareness,|
‘ariyo tuṇhībhāvo, ariyo tuṇhībhāvoti vuccati.
|'"Noble silence, noble silence," it is said.|
katamo nu kho ariyo tuṇhībhāvo’ti?
|But what is noble silence?'|
tassa mayhaṃ āvuso, etadahosi —
|Then the thought occurred to me,|
(STED second jhāna = noble silence)
‘idha bhikkhu vitakkavicārānaṃ vūpasamā
|'There is the case where a monk, with the stilling of directed thoughts & evaluations,|
| enters & remains in the second jhāna:|
|rapture & pleasure born of concentration,|
|unification of awareness|
|free from directed thought & evaluation —|
dutiyaṃ jhānaṃ upasampajja viharati.
ayaṃ vuccati ariyo tuṇhībhāvo’ti.
|This is called noble silence.'|
AN 5.73 V&V, upekkha, recitation, samatha, jhāna
(4. Not Dhamma-dweller: no samatha, excessive V&V)
4. ♦ “puna caparaṃ, bhikkhu, bhikkhu
|4. “Then there is the case where a monk|
|takes the Dhamma as he has heard|
|& studied it|
cetasā anu-vitakketi anu-vicāreti
|and thinks about it, evaluates it,|
|and examines it with his intellect.|
so tehi dhamma-vitakkehi divasaṃ atināmeti,
|He spends the day in Dhamma-thinking.|
|He neglects seclusion.|
nānuyuñjati ajjhattaṃ ceto-samathaṃ.
|He doesn’t commit himself to internal tranquility of awareness.|
ayaṃ vuccati, bhikkhu —
|This is called|
|a monk who is keen on thinking,|
|not one who dwells in the Dhamma.|
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