Tuesday, September 29, 2020

DN 21: Let's keep it platonic. Does B. Sujato know the difference between lust (kāma) and friendliness (metta)?

Because he translates both of these terms as 'love':  lust (kāma) and friendliness (metta).   


In the verse section of DN 21, the Gandhaba (Fairy god being) was praising the Buddha, Dharma, and his love interest. 

Sakko ce me varaṃ dajjā,
If Sakka were to grant me just one wish,
as Lord of the holy Thirty-Three,
Tāhaṃ bhadde vareyyāhe,
my darling, you’re the only one I’d wish for,
evaṃ kāmo daḷho mama.
so strong is the love for you from me.

elsewhere in the verse:

Sakyaputtova jhānena,
Absorbed, the Sakyan meditates (does jhana),
ekodi nipako sato;
at one, self-controlled, and just mindful,
Amataṃ muni jigīsāno,
the sage aims right at the deathless state—
tamahaṃ sūriyavacchase.
like me, oh my Sunshine, aiming for you!
Yathāpi muni nandeyya,
And just like the sage would be rejoicing,
patvā sambodhimuttamaṃ;
were he to awaken to the truth,
Evaṃ nandeyyaṃ kalyāṇi,
so I’d be rejoicing, lady,
missībhāvaṃ gato tayā.
were I to end up as one with you.    

One of these days, 

but not today and not in this sutta, I'm probably going to run into a sutta where 'love', metta, kāma all collide in a horrible ambiguous accident. 50 points to the first person who can find this glorious accident. 

As you may know, B. Sujato really loves the word 'love', using the same ambiguous word to translate sensual lust (kāma), friendliness/goodwill (metta), desire/wish, good (kalyana), and probably several more distinct pali words that would really appreciate distinct unambiguous translations. 

Sunday, September 27, 2020

MA 143 傷歌邏經 || AN 3.60, mind reading a meditator in second jhana, B. Analayo and B. Sujato sustains deathblow to their vitakka interpretation

Just as an alert reader should be asking, why is noble silence second jhana, and not first jhana, if all four jhanas one is supposedly [according to VRJ🐍 (V)isuddhi-magga (Re)-definition of (J)hana and Jabrama🤡-jhana] having already cut off thinking, and mind is in a frozen state divorced from the body? 

You should be asking the same thing again here, why is it that one exercising the psychic power of mind reading, is it talking about reading a mind of a meditator in second jhana, not first jhana?

I've already dissected AN 3.60 elsewhere previously, we'll just focus on MA 143 for now. 

Vol. 2 of BDK's MA translation only goes up MA 131, who knows how many years it's going to take before they publish MA 143 in volume 3? 

Why wait that long when I can deliver the death blow to the B. Analayo's mistranlsation of vitakka and vicara ("[directed] awareness and [sustained] contemplation")  right now?

The section on mind reading is translated by Dr. W. Chu, one of the translators from the BDK project. The rest of MA 143 is google translate.

MA 143 傷歌邏經    || AN 3.60  (links to the two parallel suttas)

MA 143 傷歌邏經

Reading another’s thoughts by ways of reading a certain sign:
亦 不以聞天聲及非人聲占他意,
[it might be that such a reader] reads another’s thoughts not by ways of a deva’s report or the report of an invisible being,
亦不以他 念、他思、他說,
and also not by ways of
listening to another’s thought, intention, and/or speech.
但以見他 入無覺無觀定,
Instead, he reads another mind simply by noticing that a certain person has entered the samadhi that has no vitakka or vicara.  (This is second jhana!)
Upon noticing this, [that samana/Brahmin] thinks:
“This sagacious person harbors
不 念
no thoughts and  
no rumination,
as is the way he intends himself to be [due to his practice].
彼賢者從此定寤,如是 念。
When this sagacious person emerges from this samadhi, he would give rise to a certain thought;
When he emerges from this samadhi, he would have in him these sorts of thought.”

Now notice the word   (nian)  that is usually used for the vitakka different from jue and guan (vitakka and vicara) of first jhana. B. Analayo uses that as his rationalization for his interpretation of V&V in first jhana. But here, we see that the vitakka and first jhana is being equated with 'nian', a verbal type of thought.

If V&V in first jhana were as B. Analayo and B. Sujato claim, then they wouldn't use the example of reading the mind of a second jhana meditator, they would use the example of a first jhana meditator.

If the mind of a person in second jhana "has no thoughts and no rumination", then that means in first jhana they can have vitakka thoughts that are of the order of complexity allowing for "thoughts and rumination." So 'jue' and 'guan' (chinese translator choice of words for vitakka and vicara) has that range. It definitely is not "placing the mind and keeping it connected." 

The direct implication of this, is that a mind reader reading the mind of a meditator in first jhana who has vitakka and vicara, would not be using the the telepathy of section 2d, but instead using the telepathy of section 2c, "hearing" the sound of vitakka, the same way you would hear speech, you "hear" the thoughts of one mentally talking in first jhana, just the same as you hear the thoughts of the mental talk of someone not even in first jhana, just in ordinary mind not in samadhi.

以他相 占他意,亦不聞天聲及非人聲占他意者, 但以他念、他思、他說,聞聲已,占他意,有是 意、如是意、實有是意,無量占不少占,彼一 切真諦而無有虛設。
Reading another’s thoughts by ways of reading a certain sign: [it might be that such a reader] reads another’s thoughts not by ways of a deva’s report or the report of an invisible being, but instead by ways of listening to another’s thought, intention, and/or speech--“[he is one] with this thought present,” “he is one with such a thought,” “he surely has such a thought [in him]!” [That samana/Brahmin] performs such reading on innumerable occasions and on plenty occasions, and on all those occasions his reading is accurate and is never in error.

And that's why first jhana is not noble silence, second jhana is the minimum. 


quod erat demonstrandum
Definition. Latin abbreviation for quod erat demonstrandum: "Which was to be demonstrated." Q.E.D. may appear at the conclusion of a text to signify that the author's overall argument has just been proven.

Comments from forum members

post replyMA 143 傷歌邏經 || AN 3.60, mind reading a meditator in second jhana, B. Analayo and B. Sujato sustains deathblow to their vitakka interpretation

Saturday, September 26, 2020

I'm going to do to 'right effort' what Jhana corrupters do to 'right samadhi'

 I'm going to help you understand the consequences and ramifications of how they translate, interpret vitakka, vicara, kaya (thinking, difference between mind and body) in right samadhi, the four jhanas.

Using their same bag of tricks, I'm going to corrupt the meaning of  'right effort', in a similar way to what they did to the four jhanas in 'right samadhi'. Full definition in pali for  'right effort' is here:  SN 45.8 

"Monks, what is right effort?"
1. He does not allow wicked Dharmas that have not arisen to arise.
2. He abandons wicked Dharmas that have arisen.
3. He arouses non-wicked ☸Dharmas that have not arisen.
4. With arisen non-wicked ☸Dharmas, he maintains, without confusion, increases, makes plenty, develops to their culmination.

[In all four modes of right effort],
* He generates desire, endeavors, arouses vigor,
* exerts and pushes his mind
"This, monks, is called right effort."

Standard Definition of 'wicked' 

wick·ed (adjective)

evil or morally wrong.

"a wicked and unscrupulous politician"



intended to or capable of harming someone or something.

"he should be punished for his wicked driving"

Slang definition of 'wicked' (vocabulary.com)

If something is pure evil, then it is wicked. Think Darth Vader. On the other hand, as an informal slang term, wicked also means excellent — as in "that DJ is wicked, man!"

Do you see the problem?

(I'll add my comments later)

MA 77 (agama parallel to MN 68), SN 47.4, Buddha designed and expects newly ordained to be able to do first jhana


MA 77: agama parallel to MN 68, matches closely. Again, notice how it's expected for newly ordained to get first jhana if they can choose delighting in holy life over 5niv⛅. Also, notice importance of using inspiring ☸Dharma vitakka thoughts to launch 7sb☀️ sequence.

first jhāna is easier than you think

don't give up on jhāna, 🔗until you drink from the sutta cup.
AN 5.176 the Buddha and Sariputta tells 500 lay people to work on first and second jhana. Does that sound like something only 1 in a million can people can do?
AN 5.179 same 500 lay people with first jhana from AN 5.176 attain stream entry.
DN 18: 3 ways of using vitakka to attain first jhana. And over 2.4 million lay followers attain stream entry. Does this sound like 'only 1 in a million' can attain first jhana as vism. claims?
MN 68: 🔗MN 68 case study on how easy and accessible first jhana is for newly ordained.
MA 77: agama parallel to MN 68, matches closely. Again, notice how it's expected for newly ordained to get first jhana if they can choose delighting in holy life over 5niv⛅. Also, notice importance of using inspiring ☸Dharma vitakka thoughts to launch 7sb☀️ sequence.
SN 47.4 newly ordained, arahants, and all skill levels in between do the same 4sp🐘 with 4j🌕 quality of samadhi (first jhana or better!) simultaneously.
🔗AN 1 micro first jhana, 37 of them
V&V💭🔗simile of bird corrupted by vism.

Any unusual things about the state of the body after nirvana ?

 Question on forum


I've heard (not from Buddhist texts) that after enlightenment the investment in the body dwindles becomes delicate and less resistant to disease ,and that the body needs to be prepared first.So what Buddha had went through before Nirvana was important.Or what the yogis do in kryia yoga .

Examples of Ranamnakrishna and Maharishi Raman dying of cancer .

There is even claim that some might die right after nirvana.

Another claim is that there is no longer unconscious sleep,One is always awake /sleeps less .

Example of krishnamurti not sleeping well and having migraines.

If there is any such thing what do Buddhist texts say about the state of the body after nirvana ?

frankk response

As far as EBT (early buddhist texts) go, I'm pretty sure there's nothing to support any of your ideas on what happens to the body of any arahant after nirvana.

There is this SN 47.9 Gilāna sutta, where the buddha is close to death but prolongs life, and limits body pain with animitta samadhi, but not all arahants could do that. Otherwise his arahant body after nirvana (while alive) seems to be just as frail as any normal human:

I’m now old, elderly and senior. I’m advanced in years and have reached the final stage of life. Āsītiko me vayo vattati. I’m currently eighty years old. Seyyathāpi, ānanda, jajjarasakaṭaṃ veḷamissakena yāpeti; Just as a decrepit cart keeps going by relying on straps, evameva kho, ānanda, veḷamissakena maññe tathāgatassa kāyo yāpeti. in the same way, the Realized One’s body keeps going by relying on straps, or so you’d think.

And there are the suttas where the Buddha and Moggallana say had they chosen to, they could have extended their lifespan for the remainder of the aeon. But this has to do more with supernormal powers, which arahants may or may not have developed, it doesn't have to do with what happens to everyones' body after nirvana realization. The EBT's AFAIK don't explain how that ability of remaining for an aeon works. Theravada commentary (which I disagree with) says that 'aeon' is to be taken figuratively as being able to live out a natural human lifespan (100 years or so). I suspect what that power to live out for a remainder of an aeon really means, is living out the aeon in a ghost state in a mind made body (for reference, a lower brahma realm has a lifespan of one aeon). There are accounts of taoist masters doing something similar, not yet taking rebirth in their next form, but hanging around in some kind of intermediate state with ability to communicate with their disciples in the human realm.

Regarding the ability to sleep less, nor not sleeping at all and remaining conscious all the time, the EBT's do mention some things regarding that, but nothing specific only for an arahant. 

Thursday, September 24, 2020

MN 125 agama parallel MA 198 調御地經 comparison, part 2

Part 2 of the article:

MN 125 agama parallel MA 198 調御地經 has some fascinating details about first jhana not in MN 125, through elephant similes

In this installment, I'll point out and comment on the specific things relevant to jhanas and vitakka that are in MN 198, but not in MN 125

The big difference between MA 198 and MN 125 on this section, is that 

1. MN 125 doesn't have that cool war elephant in live battle  simile (which ties it to the khamo/khanti samma samadhi suttas with the war elephant and thoroughbred horse). 

2. MN 125 places that passage about the resilient monk after one has attained imperturbable 4th jhana, and the 3 higher knowledges including arahantship, whereas MA 198 has it at imperturbable 4th jhana (meaning they don't necessarily have any noble attainments). MA 198 seems like the more correct reading between the two, since any non Buddhist with imperturbable 4th jhana quality of samadhi, can be fearless of pain and death, doesn't require any noble attainments.

Wednesday, September 23, 2020

MN 125 agama parallel MA 198 調御地經 has some fascinating details about first jhana not in MN 125, through elephant similes

MN 125 agama parallel MA 198 調御地經 has some fascinating details about first jhana not in MN 125, through elephant similes. 

This part 1 of the article.

Here is a link to part 2: 

MN 125 agama parallel MA 198 調御地經 comparison, part 2

MA 198 調御地經

(All of the hyperlinks above are the table of contents to that sutta you can click to to jump to the agama sutra with chinese side by side with English translation)

Two major differences between MN 125  and its parallel, 

as far as how vitakka and jhana are explored, is that

1. MA 198 has several more war elephant similes to fill in some nice detail on what vitakka is doing in first jhana, and right before.

2. MA 198 seems to link the resilience of the war elephant to distractive and life threatening sensory data with khanti (patient endurance) while in the four jhanas, from before first jhana all the way through fourth jhana. 

MN 125 links that quality of resilience to imperturbability  (anenja) of just the perfected 4th jhana that is about to realize the 3 higher knowledges culminating in arahantship. MA 198 doesn't mention the 3 higher knowledges, just sort of implies that the 4 jhanas is going to lead to nirvana. 

In summary, whereas MN 125 makes the whole sutta about the gradual training that briefly explains every major stage, up to the realizing of 3 higher knowledges, MA 198 sticks with the original theme asked at the beginning about "what is ekagga citta (mind with singular preoccupation)", which then briefly talks about sila, but then focuses and ends on the nature of the four jhanas with several more elephant similes than is in MN 198.

So basically, the result of my study shows that MN 198 has some partial parallels and connections that are lost in MN 125.

These are the parallels I discovered (not listed on suttacentral) in MN 198:

MA 198 seems to link the same war elephant with khanti during 4 jhanas, rather than anenja (imperturbability). MA 198 seems to incorporate AN 5.139AN 5.140AN 4.112 horse, AN 4.114AN 5.203 thoroughbred horse, whereas in MN 125 they're scattered between different nikayas, and the thematic connection is lost if you don't study and remember the different suttas. 

In  other words, MN 198 reads as an expanded sutta with more commentary on the two very important suttas  AN 5.139 and AN 5.113  (the only sutta entitled ‘sammā samādhi’ in the pali canon), which describe both the process of attaining four jhanas and the actual use of them. While one is abiding in the four jhanas and using it in live battle, one patiently endures (khanti), is resilient, imperturbable to sensory stimuli that are distracting and even life threatening.


MA 198 is an awesome sutra, with some illuminating details that aren't in MN 125. I spent about 8 hours just reading and poring over the details on what it says about satipatthana, jhana, vitakka, and noticed things most people will not.

Just as the 4 famous jhana similes of AN 5.28 (bathman making soap ball, lake fed by spring, lotus pond, man covered in white cloth) give extremely valuable details about jhana practice, the elephant similes in MN 198 (and not in MN 125) elucidate some nuances of vitakka and jhana practice.

I'll dive into some of the details in a follow up article in the future, and explain why B. Analayo draws all kind of wrong conclusions reading the same text (MN 198 that I arranged into Chinese + English is 99% his translation, I only changed a few key meditation terms).

Monday, September 21, 2020

AN 5.191 Why did the Buddha categorically consider the latter brahmans to be inferior?

 (A sutta from AN I believe)

“In the past, brahman males mated only with brahman females and not
with non-brahman females. At present, brahman males mate with
brahman females and with non-brahman females. At present, male dogs
mate only with female dogs and not with female non-dogs. This is the first
ancient brahmanical tradition that is now observed among dogs but not
among brahmans.… In the past, brahmans did not make a stash of wealth,
grain, silver, or gold. At present, brahmans make stashes of wealth, grain,
silver, & gold. At present, dogs do not make a stash of wealth, grain, silver,
or gold. This is the fourth ancient brahmanical tradition that is now
observed among dogs but not among brahmans.”

A friend asked me:

Why did the Buddha categorically consider the latter brahmans to be inferior?  I thought the latter brahman males may be more evolved as some of them may have overcome their prejudices to not judge people based on castes but on characters.  And why are brahmans categorically considered superior just because they don't store wealth?  You can have brahmans with filth in their minds and not accumulate physical wealth.  And you can have brahmans who accumulate wealth and behave with great nobility.  

The satire seems out of character for the Buddha. 

and a follow up question after my original answer:

It still doesn't address that the Buddha was not praising the former for not mating but mating with their own caste.

My response part 1 (satire out of character?):

Why do you think it's out of character for the Buddha to use satire? There are plenty of suttas where the Buddha makes fun of heterodox traditions with wrong views. 
Just to give two examples off the top of my head:

a leader in a  group of 300 brahmans, describes what they consider the ideal qualities of an ascetic.  
Evaṃ vutte, bhagavā pañcakaṅgaṃ thapatiṃ etadavoca:
When he had spoken, the Buddha said to him:
“evaṃ sante kho, thapati, daharo kumāro mando uttānaseyyako sampannakusalo bhavissati paramakusalo uttamapattipatto samaṇo ayojjho, yathā uggāhamānassa paribbājakassa samaṇamuṇḍikāputtassa vacanaṃ.
“Master builder, if what Uggāhamāna says is true, a little baby boy is an invincible ascetic—accomplished in the skillful, excelling in the skillful, attained to the highest attainment.
Daharassa hi, thapati, kumārassa mandassa uttānaseyyakassa kāyotipi na hoti, kuto pana kāyena pāpakammaṃ karissati, aññatra phanditamattā.
For a little baby doesn’t even have a concept of ‘a body’, so how could they possibly do a bad deed with their body, apart from just wriggling?
Daharassa hi, thapati, kumārassa mandassa uttānaseyyakassa vācātipi na hoti, kuto pana pāpakaṃ vācaṃ bhāsissati, aññatra roditamattā.
And a little baby doesn’t even have a concept of ‘speech’, so how could they possibly speak bad words, apart from just crying?

And in MN 152, Buddha makes fun of another brahman's ideal ascetic, comparing that to a blind and deaf person being ideal. 

Many people have the wrong impression of how a Buddha or arahant should behave, because they're projecting dependently arisen, impermanent arbitrary modern cultural norms on to what they believe an enlightened being should be. The Buddha spoke the truth, but he did it selectively, and only when he knew it wouldn't do harm. So the fact that he made fun of heterodox wrong views just means the cultural norms for his time meant they wouldn't interpret it as inappropriate or offensive. 

My response to friend's question part 2 (OP sutta quote comparing brahmans to dogs)

I see your point, but you're looking at the whole issue from a sectarian worldly frame of ethics. The Buddha is looking at the situation from the point of view, that a true Brahman (in the original non buddhist sense) is supposed to live in a way dictated by their ancient traditions that leads to rebirth in the Brahma realms. That comes from doing lots of brahma vihara practice, and keeping 8 precepts. So the modern Brahmans he's making fun of, they're no better than ordinary non brahman worldlings who make money, have wife and kids, etc. The issue wasn't about the ethical way of having wife and kids, the issue is that brahmans who are supposed to join Brahma, are not going to do so if they can't even follow 8 precepts. And the Buddha uses the satire to point out that even dogs were doing a better job of following ancient Brahman customs than the modern Brahmans. 

(follow up question) What about class equality in mating with others outside of caste?

The point here isn't about whether the latter Brahmans are being less bigoted, racist, misogynistic, open minded by how they view other classes and gender, etc. It's that original Brahmans had high standards they needed to maintain which took discipline and restraint. The latter Brahmans, over time, loosened all the (keeping of) standards to the point that even common dogs were more restrained by comparison. It's not about social justice and whatever other modern issues you could criticize, it's about having standards, and being restrained and disciplined in following them, not just following all the base desires like ordinary humans.    

There are other suttas where the Buddha talks about "what makes a Brahman" is their conduct, not their birth into the Brahman caste, their race, etc, and monks losing rank and social status when they ordain (a former slave has same status as a monk as a former Brahman).

Saturday, September 19, 2020

Visuddhi magga, Ajahn Brahm, breath meditation, and the simile of the cheating wife

Here's a poor fellow (or gal)  who's trying to explain how Vism's "breath" meditation could actually be "breath" meditation if the meditation subject is actually a patch of visible light, and it isn't even possible in that state of VRJ to sense the body, let alone the breath in the body.

I counter with the simile of the cheating wife.

Re: Jhana/nimitta/vimuttimagga v visuddimagga , etc

Post by frank k » 

auto wrote: Sat Sep 19, 2020 4:58 am...
And now to align with Sutta then the 'i am aware of breathing in' could denote the breath-perception.
And if you're in an arupa samadhi (Vism. redefinition of "jhana") where you have no perception of body and no perception of the physical breath, that can't denote breath perception.

You're like the guy whose wife is cheating on him, all of his friends know it and try to tell him, but he's still so convinced in the devotion of his wife he believes her lies and don't believe all of their objective and truthful testimony over hers, and won't bother to check the evidence even though it's so easy to do.

(Vism. and late Abhidhamma is your wife, in case you don't get the simile).

Another poor deluded blind faith follower of vism. said:

Re: Jhana/nimitta/vimuttimagga v visuddimagga , etc

Post by frank k » 

atipattoh wrote: Sat Sep 19, 2020 2:42 am
frank k wrote: Sat Sep 19, 2020 2:26 am
You still not bringing anything substantial to the table.
Good luck!
Um, open your eyes?
The very first post I entered into the thread, containing these two detailed research articles describing how EBT jhana and Vism. redefinition of jhana are drastically different.

You actually want to talk about substance, then I'm listening. But if you're just going to keep burying your head in the sand along with all the other deluded blind faith followers who think Vism. Jhana and pali suttas are talking about the same jhana, don't waste our time.

https://www.dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.p ... 3#p580263
A detailed analysis of where Vism. and Ajahn Brahm diverge into their own meditation methods is done here:
EBT Jhāna Vs. VRJ🐍 (V)isuddhi-magga (Re)-definition of (J)hana 

http://lucid24.org/sted/8aam/8samadhi/e ... ndex.html

and Jabrama🤡-jhana

http://lucid24.org/sted/8aam/8samadhi/w ... ndex.html