Sunday, April 24, 2022

Jhāna = meditation, nij-jhāna also = meditation, not "gazing". Jane Austen and Mr. Darcy agree.

 4👑☸ → EBpedia📚 → ni-j-jhāna 

    In some contexts, such as these:

Translators have wrongly translated nij-jhāna there as 'gazing'. 
It's much more than "gazing". It's a persistent, obsessive, jhānic and meditative focus with strong intent and complex contemplation. 

Just as when a bank robber is "casing a joint", he's walking into a bank he intends to rob, studying the layout and planning out how to execute the robbery.
The robber is not just "gazing" at the bank. 
He's "meditating" (nij-jhāna)  on how to rob it. 
He's meditatively-gazing, he's jhānically observing, he's intensely focused with his gaze. That's how nij-jhāna is used in those suttas above. Those 'gazes' are not casual or innocent. They're intense, purposeful, complex, jhānic in their singular focus. 

The Buddha did not only use the word 'jhāna' to refer to the four jhānas. Jhāna means meditation, with singular focus, continuous, uninterrupted, not easy to distract. 

What makes a jhāna right or wrong, is whether the subject of meditation is a skillful Dharma or not. Having singular focus on robbing a bank, or pursuing a love interest, is also called "jhāna" by the Buddha in the suttas. 

Jhāna = meditation.
nij-jhāna also = meditation.

Here, Jane Austen correctly interprets nij-jhāna as "meditating", not "gazing". 

excerpt from  Pride and Prejudice, by Jane Austen

       “My dear Miss Eliza, why are not you dancing? Mr. Darcy, you must allow me to present this young lady to you as a very desirable partner. You cannot refuse to dance, I am sure, when so much beauty is before you.” And, taking her hand, he would have given it to Mr. Darcy, who, though extremely surprised, was not unwilling to receive it, when she instantly drew back, and said with some discomposure to Sir William,

“Indeed, sir, I have not the least intention of dancing. I entreat you not to suppose that I moved this way in order to beg for a partner.”

Mr. Darcy, with grave propriety, requested to be allowed the honour of her hand, but in vain. Elizabeth was determined; nor did Sir William at all shake her purpose by his attempt at persuasion.

“You excel so much in the dance, Miss Eliza, that it is cruel to deny me the happiness of seeing you; and though this gentleman dislikes the amusement in general, he can have no objection, I am sure, to oblige us for one half-hour.”

“Mr. Darcy is all politeness,” said Elizabeth, smiling.

“He is, indeed—but, considering the inducement, my dear Miss Eliza, we cannot wonder at his complaisance; for who would object to such a partner?”

Elizabeth looked archly, and turned away. Her resistance had not injured her with the gentleman, and he was thinking of her with some complacency, when thus accosted by Miss Bingley,

“I can guess the subject of your reverie.” {Miss Bingley had witnessed Mr. Darcy "gazing" with nij-jhāna at Eliza}

“I should imagine not.”

“You are considering how insupportable it would be to pass many evenings in this manner—in such society; and indeed I am quite of your opinion. I was never more annoyed! The insipidity, and yet the noise; the nothingness, and yet the self-importance of all these people! What would I give to hear your strictures on them!”

“Your conjecture is totally wrong, I assure you. My mind was more agreeably engaged. I have been meditating {Jane Austen correctly interprets nij-jhāna!} on the very great pleasure which a pair of fine eyes in the face of a pretty woman can bestow.”

Miss Bingley immediately fixed her eyes on his face, and desired he would tell her what lady had the credit of inspiring such reflections. Mr. Darcy replied with great intrepidity,

“Miss Elizabeth Bennet.”

“Miss Elizabeth Bennet!” repeated Miss Bingley. “I am all astonishment...

Jane Austen didn't read the suttas or translate Pāḷi

If she gets the concept of nij-jhāna and 'translates' it correctly, shouldn't we?

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