Thanks for pointing out AN 4.41 another sutta which I seem to have overlooked.
You say: "Four Jhānas is one of 4 kinds of samādhi."
Question: Does the term "jhana" on its own have a wider meaning, could it
be a synonym for any kind of samadhi?
Yes, AN 4.41 seems to make these distinctions. The four jhana's are the
first kind of samadhi, and lead to "a pleasant abiding in the here and now."
It is the fourth kind which is said to lead to "the ending of the asava's."
But the path factor right concentration (samadhi) is sometimes explained by
the stock formula for the four jhana's [ see MN 141.31 ], and is
sometimes explained in another way, for example MN 149.10 [Quote.]
"Any view belonging to one who has come to be like this is his right view. Any resolve, his right resolve. Any effort, his right effort. Any mindfulness, his right mindfulness. Any concentration, his right concentration: just as earlier his actions, speech, & livelihood were already well-purified. ..." [End Quote.]
[ Or is this a mistranslation, Bhikkhu Bodhi's does not have "any" but
simply: "The view of a person such as this is right view." and so on.]
However, from AN 4.41 it would seem that only the fourth kind of samadhi
could be the path factor "right concentration" for the noble eightfold path.
As you correctly say:
"The samādhi that does lead to full awakening is described as:" [ the fourth
kind which leads to the destruction of the asava's.]
But could the stock formula for the four jhana's also apply to this
concentration? The stock formula only describes four stages of increasing
Does a noble disciple, developing the noble eightfold path, pass through
four stages of increasing concentration?
[ Note. These would be "permanent" attainments, not just temporary states,
a natural concentration - the result of the removal of unwholesome
mental states. We could call them non-fabricated jhana's since no volition
is needed to sustain this concentration.]
The stock formula for the jhana's says: ".... he enters and remains in the
first jhana ...", " ... he enters and remains in the second jhana ...".
Is it a "one way" development, after entering fourth jhana does he ever
The stock formula for the four jhana's does not specify the object, nor
does it indicate whether the concentration is fabricated or non-fabricated,
( sustained by volition, or not ), nor is it clear whether these states are
temporary or non-temporary, although it suggests non-temporary.