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The Great Jhana Debate - Page 6 - Dhamma Wheel

The Great Jhana Debate

The cultivation of calm or tranquility and the development of concentration
Yundi

Re: Tha jhana debate

Postby Yundi » Sat Jul 03, 2010 4:12 am


Yundi

Re: Tha jhana debate

Postby Yundi » Sat Jul 03, 2010 4:49 am

Last edited by Yundi on Sat Jul 03, 2010 5:09 am, edited 1 time in total.

Yundi

Re: Tha jhana debate

Postby Yundi » Sat Jul 03, 2010 5:08 am

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Yundi

Re: Tha jhana debate

Postby Yundi » Sat Jul 03, 2010 5:33 am


Yundi

Re: Tha jhana debate

Postby Yundi » Sat Jul 03, 2010 5:39 am

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Yundi

Re: Tha jhana debate

Postby Yundi » Sat Jul 03, 2010 5:53 am


Sylvester
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Re: Tha jhana debate

Postby Sylvester » Sat Jul 03, 2010 6:32 am

Dear Geoff

Thanks for mentioning SN 47.6. It’s a fair distinction between the panca kamagunas and the tactility necessary for the 1st satipatthana, but I have a different take on it. The satipatthanas, quite tellingly, are simply a different way of relating to the kamas. Instead of being swept along by ayoniso manasikara, Sammasati has the function of yoniso manasikara: AN V 118. This stage of the satipatthana probably fits into the 1st Deliverance of “rupi rupani passati”.

The next sutta in the series, SN 47.7, draws out this distinction based with the simile of the monkey – I would infer that the contrast between the monkey’s grabbing and the satipatthanas as simply contrasting ayoniso manasikara against yoniso manasikara.

Even the Bodhisatta’s development of yathabhutananadassana shows such a graduated progression along the satipatthanas. His inability to be immune from attraction to the kamagunas (despite having enough wisdom to know their danger) suggests that the satipatthana at that point had not yet issued in Jhana. My reading of this progression of the Bodhisatta’s further development of yathabhutananadassana in MN 14 ties in with the different outcomes of the 2 types of manasikara applied to the kamas in AN 3.68. Only when asubha yoniso manasikara is applied to a kamaguna, will kamaraga fade away. Etc etc.

So, relating to the kamagunas via asubha etc yoniso manasikara is a stage that one needs to go through to develop nibbida. One MUST engage the five sensory spheres in order to engage in kāyānupassanā. The outcome of this engagement is nibbida, which leads to Jhana and falling out of Mara’s range, ie one escapes the kamagunas.

As for the impossibility of the physical body feeling the niramisa pitisukha, I believed I have addressed in my earlier post when I said –

“... the Mahavedalla Sutta, MN 43 makes it clear that the range of each of the 5 material indriyas are such that they cannot experience the range of the ayatanas experienced by the other indriyas. The only faculty that can experience all 6 ayatanas is Mind. If this is correct, how will the material body experience the "pleasure that has nothing to do with kamas" (MN 36)?...”

Would you be so good as to furnish an English translation of the commentary to DN 22? I am interested to see how the commentary allows for niramisa pitisukha being experienced by the 5 indriyas and how they explain away this impossibility imposed by MN 43.

You also mentioned that -

"What constitutes a kāmaguṇa is subjective, based on the apperception of the observer."

Pls forgive me if I find that too close to Yogacara idealism for comfort and somewhat inconsistent with how the Buddha described the kamagunas as being beauties that remain as they are in the world. The nimitta of an object is not dependant on the apperception of the observer; if it were, there would be no possibility for yoniso manasikara to be directed to the asubha aspects of an object.

You suggest that –

"Because SN 48.37 expressly differentiates between kāyika/cetasika and kāyosamphassa/manosamphassa with regard to the feeling faculties. "

In fact, I would suggest that kāyosamphassa should be read as contact at any of the 6 ayatanas (giving rise to the 1st dart), while manosamphassa is the subsequent contact at mind only (giving rise to the 2nd dart). The Salla Sutta makes the same distinction between kayika and cetasika vedana and the Salayatanavibangha Sutta gives ample examples of mental kayika feelings that lead to cetasika feelings (which cetasika vedana, by definition, have to be born of manosamphassa only.)

With metta

Sylvester
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Re: Tha jhana debate

Postby Sylvester » Sat Jul 03, 2010 7:08 am


Kenshou
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Re: Tha jhana debate

Postby Kenshou » Sat Jul 03, 2010 7:23 am


Sylvester
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Re: Tha jhana debate

Postby Sylvester » Sat Jul 03, 2010 12:13 pm

Thanks Kenshou.

I guess I'm clinging on to MN 44 and MN 117 that suggest that sammasamadhi depends on sammasati. I haven't yet encountered a definition of sammasati which allows for only the 1st satipatthana to constitute sammasati.

The problem about the "kayika vedana" including mental kayika feelings is so pressing that Tse-fu Kuan devotes a considerable amount of effort to arguing that the Pali Salayatanavibhanga Sutta's depiction of the Buddha being touched by the 1st dart of pleasant and unpleasant mental feelings as being corrupt (Mindfulness in Early Buddhism, pp 29-30). He could be right, but it is also equally plausible that the Chinese Agamas themselves underwent a revision to blot out any suggestion that a Buddha could feel unpleasant mental feelings post-sambodhi.

The problem with these approaches is that they fail to properly acknowledge that kayika vedana (the 1st dart) are wholly affective, whereas cetasika vedana (the 2nd dart) manifests much more complex dimensions. If one looks at the language of the Salla Sutta, SN 36.6, we see how kayika is differentiated from cetasika -

"When touched with a feeling of pain, the uninstructed run-of-the-mill person sorrows, grieves, & laments, beats his breast, becomes distraught. So he feels two pains, kayika & cetasika."

If we compare this to the Chachakkha Sutta, MN 148, you will see the above underlined words appearing again in this analysis of painful mental feelings and its sequela -

"Dependent on the intellect & ideas there arises consciousness at the intellect. The meeting of the three is contact. With contact as a requisite condition, there arises what is felt either as pleasure, pain, or neither pleasure nor pain. .... If, when touched by a feeling of pain, one sorrows, grieves, & laments, beats one's breast, becomes distraught, then one's resistance-obsession gets obsessed. "

So, what is actually called a kayika vedana (the 1st dart) is vedana simpliciter that includes mental feelings engendered by manosamphassa, whereas the cetasika vedana (the 2nd dart) are those complex emotions that trigger the anusayas of lust, aversion or delusion.

This reading of "kayika" (bodily) will doubtless be unsettling for those who insist that the references to the "kaya" in Jhana must mean the physical body, but I'd just like to extend an invitation to you to consider if this part of the "classical" depiction of Jhana may not be more plausible.

With metta

Nyana
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Re: Tha jhana debate

Postby Nyana » Sat Jul 03, 2010 6:33 pm


Sylvester
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Re: Tha jhana debate

Postby Sylvester » Sun Jul 04, 2010 5:57 am

Dear Geoff

I understand.

But you might be surprised by how little the Visudhimagga informs my understanding of the Suttas. A premature acquaintance with Madhyamika and Yogacara left me deeply skeptical of the Theravada Commentarial tradition, and my readings of the Vism and Abhidharmas were purely for comparative studies. Thankfully, I came to realise that M&Y reactionism to Sarvastivadin notions of svabhava and asti did not guarantee that M or Y were any closer to "early" Buddhism. I come to learn not to throw the baby out with the bathwater.

Thanks for the commentary on the Satipatthana Sutta. IF the commentary is to be interpreted as suggesting that -

"Nirāmisā sukhā nāma cha nekkhammasitasomanassavedanā"

means -

"Other-wordly pleasure is the name for the 6 pleasant kayika feelings connected with the life of renunciation"

then I think such a sub-commentary is inconsistent with MN 137, MN 148 and SN 36.6 or at least how I understand these suttas' intersection with the kayika/cetasika dichotomy.

You may well be correct to suggest that the "narrowing of sukha and dukkha to somanassa and domanassa can be traced back to the Dhammasaṅgaṇi and later commentarial developments". The consequence of this would be the inference that suttas such as MN 44, MN 87, MN 129, MN 137, MN 140 etc (which employ somanassa/domanassa as a foil to dukkha vedana) must post-date the Dhammasaṅgaṇi. Not very plausible, but I'm not averse to the possibility.

But does it really matter, if these "Abhidhamma" analysis decided to compress the nomenclature for 2nd dart of cetasika feelings which is typically described by the stock sutta phrase of "he sorrows, grieves, & laments, beats one's breast, becomes distraught..." into the shortform "domanassa"?

So, the commentary above, if taken on the terms of the suttanta understanding of domanassa as a cetasika vedana, does not say that domanassa directly issues from phassa at the salayatana. It issues from subsequent phassa at the mano and can be understood to simply say -

"Other-wordly pleasure is the name for the 6 pleasant cetasika feelings connected with the life of renunciation"

With metta

Nyana
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Re: Tha jhana debate

Postby Nyana » Sun Jul 04, 2010 8:23 am


Sylvester
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Re: Tha jhana debate

Postby Sylvester » Sun Jul 04, 2010 1:16 pm

Dear Geoff

As to how I arrived at the conclusion that sukha and dukkha arising from mind-contact in MN 148 must refer to kāyika vedanā based on SN 36.6, I would be careful to reiterate that I said that kayika vedana includes vedana from mind-contac. Kayika vedana, as I've suggested, encompasses all vedanas from contact at any of the 6 sense-bases. Here's the entire series from MN 148, using Ven Thanissaro's translation for convenience -

"Dependent on the eye & forms there arises consciousness at the eye. The meeting of the three is contact. With contact as a requisite condition, there arises what is felt either as pleasure, pain, or neither pleasure nor pain. If, when touched by a feeling of pleasure, one relishes it, welcomes it, or remains fastened to it, then one's passion-obsession gets obsessed. If, when touched by a feeling of pain, one sorrows, grieves, & laments, beats one's breast, becomes distraught, then one's resistance-obsession gets obsessed. etc etc

Dependent on the ear & sounds...

Dependent on the nose & aromas...

Dependent on the tongue & flavors...

Dependent on the body & tactile sensations...

Dependent on the intellect (mano) & ideas (dhamma) there arises consciousness at the intellect (mano). The meeting of the three is contact. With contact as a requisite condition, there arises what is felt either as pleasure (sukha), pain (dukkha), or neither pleasure nor pain (adukkhamasukha). If, when touched by a feeling of pleasure, one relishes it, welcomes it, or remains fastened to it, then one's passion-obsession gets obsessed. If, when touched by a feeling of pain, one sorrows, grieves, & laments, beats one's breast, becomes distraught, then one's resistance-obsession gets obsessed
...."

The feelings in red are the 1st dart of kayika sukha/dukha, while the blue words are the 2nd dart of cetasika sukha/dukkha. SN 36.6 identifies the 2nd dart of cetasika dukkha in exactly the same stock formula -

"in the same way, when touched with a feeling of pain, the uninstructed run-of-the-mill person sorrows, grieves, & laments, beats his breast, becomes distraught..."

As should be obvious from the 6th in the series, contact at mano first yields kayika vedana, which can then be followed by the cetasika sukha/dukkha/uppekha. The suttas have actually been very careful in distinguishing kayika mano dukkha from cetasika mano dukkha. The former is invariably described as a feeling, while the latter will in some texts be described as domanassa or the stock sutta phrase "..he sorrows, grieves, & laments, beats his breast, becomes distraught".

As SN 36.6 makes clear -

"A well-taught noble disciple likewise experiences pleasant, painful and neutral feelings..."

The difference between a putthujana and an Arahant is that the Arahant never gets afflicted with cetasika vedana, even if he/she is not immune to painful mano kayika vedana.

Ven Thanissaro's translation of SN 36.6 on AIT is quiet questionable. It reads -

"The Blessed One said, "When touched with a feeling of pain, the uninstructed run-of-the-mill person sorrows, grieves, & laments, beats his breast, becomes distraught. So he feels two pains, physical & mental. Just as if they were to shoot a man with an arrow and, right afterward, were to shoot him with another one, so that he would feel the pains of two arrows; in the same way, when touched with a feeling of pain, the uninstructed run-of-the-mill person sorrows, grieves, & laments, beats his breast, becomes distraught. So he feels two pains, physical & mental."

The Pali simply states -

"puthujjano dukkhāya vedanāya phuṭṭho samāno socati kilamati paridevati urattāḷiṃ kandati sammohaṃ āpajjati. So dve vedanā vedayati— kāyikañca, cetasikañca. Seyyathāpi, bhikkhave, purisaṃ sallena vijjheyya. Tamenaṃ dutiyena sallena anuvedhaṃ vijjheyya. Evañhi so, bhikkhave, puriso dvisallena vedanaṃ vedayati. Evameva kho, bhikkhave, assutavā puthujjano dukkhāya vedanāya phuṭṭho samāno socati kilamati paridevati urattāḷiṃ kandati sammohaṃ āpajjati. So dve vedanā vedayati— kāyikañca, cetasikañca."

One wonders what compelled him to render (i) vedana as pain; and (ii) kayika as physical.

With metta

Nyana
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Re: Tha jhana debate

Postby Nyana » Sun Jul 04, 2010 1:43 pm


Sylvester
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Re: Tha jhana debate

Postby Sylvester » Sun Jul 04, 2010 2:33 pm

Dear Geoff

Actually, the 3rd sutta source is to be found in the same series as SN 48.38. Do recall, that SN 48.38 as the 3rd of the Vibhanga series is abridged with the instruction that it is a mirror of the preceding 2 vibhanga suttas.

As such, the 3rd source can be found in SN 48.36. But then again, I'm begging the question, since you don't accept that "kayika" means from the salayatana. But could we put it another way by referring to SN 48.39's proposition that -

"In dependence on a contact to be experienced as pleasant, bhikkhus, the pleasure faculty arises."

This leaves wide open the possibility that such contact includes mind-contact. Put another way, the SN 48.36 - 38 do not say that the sukha and dukkha arising from mind-contact in MN 148 are only somanassa and domanassa.

Are you sure you've not inadvertently introduced the Abhidhammic classification of somanassa/domanassa as being any pleasant/painful feeling born at mind-contact and which does not form part of sukha/dukkha? I think you'd be correct to conflate the 1st painful feeling of mind-contact with domanassa, if you follow the Abhidhamma, but the suttanta treatment is to reserve domanassa to the 2nd painful feeling of mind-contact.

Methinks you have the same difficulty as Tse-fu Kuan did with the 3 satipatthanas of MN 137, which depicts the Buddha being touched by satisfaction and dissatisfaction. If we just follow the suttanta analysis, this is pure and simple mental kayika pleasure and pain as the 1st dart, which SN 36.6 suggests that even Ariyans can experience. What the Buddha does not experience is the 2nd dart of somanassa/domanassa that follows the satisfaction and dissatisfaction.

With metta

Nyana
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Re: Tha jhana debate

Postby Nyana » Sun Jul 04, 2010 8:46 pm


Sylvester
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Re: Tha jhana debate

Postby Sylvester » Mon Jul 05, 2010 4:12 am

Dear Geoff

I’m still trying to understand why you find it difficult to equate the “kayika” indriyas in the Indriyasamyutta with the “kayika” vedanas in the Salla Sutta and MN 148. They are obviously “felt” and have the same affective quality.

I have to disagree with your analysis that this sort of phrase, eg –

Katamañca, bhikkhave, somanassindriyaṃ? Yaṃ kho, bhikkhave, cetasikaṃ sukhaṃ, cetasikaṃ sātaṃ, manosamphassajaṃ sukhaṃ sātaṃ vedayitaṃ – idaṃ vuccati, bhikkhave, somanassindriyaṃ.”

Ie "And what is the happiness-faculty? Any mental pleasure, mental comfort born of intellect-contact to be experienced as pleasure & comfort. That is called the happiness-faculty.

implies that “sukha and dukkha arising from mind-contact in MN 148 are only somanassa and domanassa”.

The logic structure merely equates somanassindriyaṃ with cetasikaṃ sukhaṃ manosamphassajaṃ. This suggests that –

“Somanassindriyaṃ = Cetasikaṃ sukhaṃ + manosamphassajaṃ + etc etc”.

Negating "somanassindriyaṃ " would certainly negate "cetasikaṃ sukhaṃ + manosamphassajaṃ + etc etc" but this doesn't establish what cetasika means, nor can one infer if "Not-somanassindriyaṃ" implies "Not-manosamphassajaṃ".

Anyway, here’s a 3rd sutta source for your consideration – the Mahātanhāsankhaya Sutta, MN 38. It’s exactly like the MN 148 analysis of the feelings that arise at the salayatana, with a twist.

On seeing a form with the eye, he lusts after it if it is pleasing; he dislikes it if it is unpleasing. He abides with mindfulness of the body unestablished, with a limited mind, and he does not understand as it actually is the deliverance of mind and deliverance by wisdom wherein those evil unwholesome states cease without remainder. Engaged as he is in favoring and opposing, whatever he feels he feels - whether pleasant or painful or neither-painful-nor-pleasant - he delights in that feeling, welcomes it, and remains holding to it. As he does so, delight arises in him. Now delight in feelings is clinging. With his clinging as condition, being [comes to be]; with being as condition, birth; with birth as condition ageing and death, sorrow, lamentation, pain, grief, and despair come to be. Such is the origin of this whole mass of suffering.

On hearing a sound with the ear…

On tasting a flavor with the tongue…

On touching a tangible with the body…

On cognizing a mind object with the mind, he lusts after it if it is pleasing; he dislikes it if it is unpleasing. He abides with mindfulness of the body unestablished, with a limited mind, and he does not understand as it actually is the deliverance of mind and deliverance by wisdom wherein those evil unwholesome states cease without remainder. Engaged as he is in favoring and opposing, whatever he feels he feels - whether pleasant or painful or neither-painful-nor-pleasant - he delights in that feeling, welcomes it, and remains holding to it, As he does so, delight arises in him. Now delight in feeling is clinging. With his clinging as condition, being [comes to be]; with being as condition, birth; with birth as condition ageing and death, sorrow, lamentation, pain, grief, and despair come to be. Such is the origin of this whole mass of suffering
.”

The twist lies in that it expands on the SN 36.6 and MN 148 analyses and takes it further to include the sequel to the 2nd dart of somanassa/domanassa by introducing “lust” and “dislike”. As will be obvious from MN 148 and SN 36.6, these are mental kamma that flow raganusaya and patighanusaya.

Actually, I would have thought that MN 137 which we discussed previously is also a very good source for this kayika/cetasika dichotomy. In the household joy/distress analysis, it shares the same six-fold contact at the salayatana of MN 38 and MN 148.

With metta

Edit - I missed out another source - the Maha-salayatanika Sutta, MN 149. Both the kayika and cetasika analyses are applied to manosamphasso, in the same manner as the contacts at the 5 indriyas. Mind-contact in a putthujana, it appears, yields "kāyadukkha cetodukkha", plus a plethora of other experiences explained by the kayika/cetasika dichotomy.

Do consider if these 4 suttas are sufficient to perhaps warrant a review of how the kayika and cetasika indriyas are to be interpreted.

Thanks for the heads-up on "anavasutto". Sounds promising.

With metta

Nyana
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Re: Tha jhana debate

Postby Nyana » Mon Jul 05, 2010 6:12 pm


Sylvester
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Re: Tha jhana debate

Postby Sylvester » Tue Jul 06, 2010 1:33 am

Dear Geoff

Actually, you may have misread me. I'm not suggesting that "vedanā born of manosamphassa includes vedanā born of kāyasamphassa". That would be far too heretical, even for me.

In fact, I've been at pains to put my position as follows -

"In fact, I would suggest that kāyosamphassa should be read as contact at any of the 6 ayatanas (giving rise to the 1st dart), while manosamphassa is the subsequent contact at mind only (giving rise to the 2nd dart). The Salla Sutta makes the same distinction between kayika and cetasika vedana and the Salayatanavibangha Sutta gives ample examples of mental kayika feelings that lead to cetasika feelings (which cetasika vedana, by definition, have to be born of manosamphassa only.)"

"As should be obvious from the 6th in the series, contact at mano first yields kayika vedana, which can then be followed by the cetasika sukha/dukkha/uppekha. The suttas have actually been very careful in distinguishing kayika mano dukkha from cetasika mano dukkha. The former is invariably described as a feeling, while the latter will in some texts be described as domanassa or the stock sutta phrase "..he sorrows, grieves, & laments, beats his breast, becomes distraught".

"So, what is actually called a kayika vedana (the 1st dart) is vedana simpliciter that includes mental feelings engendered by manosamphassa, whereas the cetasika vedana (the 2nd dart) are those complex emotions that trigger the anusayas of lust, aversion or delusion."


What I've been suggesting is very simply that "kayika vedana" includes vedanā born of manosamphassa.

With metta


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