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The Great Jhana Debate - Page 7 - Dhamma Wheel

The Great Jhana Debate

The cultivation of calm or tranquility and the development of concentration
Nyana
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Re: Tha jhana debate

Postby Nyana » Tue Jul 06, 2010 6:11 am


Sylvester
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Re: Tha jhana debate

Postby Sylvester » Tue Jul 06, 2010 8:53 am

Dear Geoff

Well, I suppose if you are going to insist on seeing a sutta which explicitly says that kayika vedana can be born of manosamphassa, instead of allowing for the inference as such to be drawn from the 5 suttas I've cited, then we obviously have very different ideas of what constitutes neyyattha and nītattha suttas. I think the rules of the game have been changed just by so much...

I would be careful to read the word "physical" into the Salla Sutta, as that would be the same transgression committed by another translator. Kayika does not translate into "rupa".

As to MN 141, here's my take on it -

And what is sorrow? Whatever sorrow, sorrowing, sadness, inward sorrow, inward sadness of anyone suffering from misfortune, touched by a painful thing, that is called sorrow. The 2nd Dart

And what is lamentation? Whatever crying, grieving, lamenting, weeping, wailing, lamentation of anyone suffering from misfortune, touched by a painful thing, that is called lamentation. The 2nd Dart

And what is pain? Whatever is experienced as bodily pain, bodily discomfort, pain or discomfort born of bodily contact, that is called pain. The 1st Dart

And what is distress? Whatever is experienced as mental pain, mental discomfort, pain or discomfort born of mental contact, that is called distress. The 2nd Dart

And what is despair? Whatever despair, despondency, desperation of anyone suffering from misfortune, touched by a painful thing, that is called despair. The 2nd Dart

I would find it odd if in the Buddha's above enumeration of the constituents of Dukkha, He would not have thought it fitting to include at least one example of the first Dart.

As to where I found the mental kayika feelings in MN 137, here it is -

"And what are the six kinds of household joy? The joy that arises when one regards as an acquisition the acquisition of forms cognizable by the eye — agreeable, pleasing, charming, endearing, connected with worldly baits — or when one recalls the previous acquisition of such forms after they have passed, ceased, & changed: That is called household joy. (Similarly with sounds, smells, tastes, tactile sensations, & ideas.)

Acquisition of forms is obviously cognisable by the eye, giving rise to eye-contact that is the basis of the ensuing kayika vedana.
Recollection of previous acquisition is obviously cognisable by the mind, giving rise to mind-contact that is the basis for the ensuing kayika vedana.
The ensuing joy that arises from the pleasant feelings born at the first contact at either the eye or on recollection is obviously the cetasika vedana. Ditto for the distress analysis.

The vedana simpliciter (pleasant/painful/neutral) that ensues from mind-contact based on recollection of previous acquisition obviously cannot be cetasika vedana. Only cetasika vedanas can trigger the anusayas. Worse, cetasika vedanas WILL invariably trigger the anusayas (except in 3 cases outlined in MN 44). If you insist the 1st vedana that ensues from mind-contact based on recollection of previous acquisition to be cetasika vedana, it directly violates the Salla Sutta's injunction against Ariyans experiencing cetasika vedana (based on the kamagunas) or the anusayas. By your argument, any form of vedana born of manosamphassa must be cetasika vedana would imply that arahants can be touched by a cetasika vedana and will inexorably generate the corresponding anusayas. This goes completely against everything that I've ever assumed to be the case with arahants.

Do you now see why it is imperative that a more nuanced contextual reading of kayika needs to be employed to draw out the inferences of what kayika means in the context of vedana?

With metta

Nyana
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Re: Tha jhana debate

Postby Nyana » Tue Jul 06, 2010 10:49 am


Sylvester
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Re: Tha jhana debate

Postby Sylvester » Tue Jul 06, 2010 11:45 am

Dear Geoff

Isn't it begging the question to assert that "kaya" in kayika, kayasamphassa etc means rupakaya, when the quest is to determine the meaning of "kaya" in kayika, kayasamphassa etc? It's only a category mistake if both parties have come to a consensus on the meaning of "kaya" in kayika, kayasamphassa etc. Can you be certain that a reading of "kaya" in every context to mean rupakaya is not the category mistake?

I would be happy for you to show me the fallacy of my arguments. This is meant in earnest and not in any other way. I'm genuinely waiting for a reasoned objection to my argument, rather than a proclamation ex cathedra. I'd be happy to discuss why you feel that my extension of the Salla Sutta's "kayika vedana" to those 6 vedanas arising from the 6 contacts at the salayatana is invalid. It's not enough to say that my premises do not support my conclusions. Anyone can make that pronouncement and get away with it. Just as I formally critiqued your fallacies of denying the antecedent and "Not-somanassindriyaṃ" implies "Not-manosamphassajaṃ", surely it is not asking too much for you to explicate what's wrong with the logical structure of my arguments?

If you are not able to enunciate the logical fallacies I've committed, I'm open also to a reductio ad absurdum analysis to show why the premises and conclusions are untenable.

I'm sorry to say that, in my view, changing "kayika/bodily/of the group" to "physical" doesn't highlight the context of the Salla Sutta, but changes it completely. What is at issue is whether kayika is limited to physical; so it does not help the discussion to beg the question.

I'm very baffled by your suggestion that the recollection of acquisitions in MN 137 is -

"Actually that is the basis for cakkhusamphassa vedanā, not kāyasamphassa vedanā."

Is it your view then that memories (being dhammas) can form the triad of phassa with eye and eye-consciousness?

I'm afraid that you have again misrepresented me when you assert -

"Manosamphassa vedanā is not the same as kāyasamphassa vedanā".

My argument has all along been that kāyasamphassa includes manosamphassa. I have not once equated kāyasamphassa to manosamphassa exclusively. If I did that, I would have no basis to argue that kāyasamphassa is any of the 6 contacts arising at the salayatana.

I may well have missed the soteriological message of MN 137, but how does that nullify my reductio ad absurdum objection to your argument that manosamphassa gives rise to purely cetasika vedana?

With metta

Nyana
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Re: Tha jhana debate

Postby Nyana » Wed Jul 07, 2010 12:07 am


Nyana
Posts: 2233
Joined: Tue Apr 27, 2010 11:56 am

Re: Tha jhana debate

Postby Nyana » Wed Jul 07, 2010 1:01 am


Sylvester
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Re: Tha jhana debate

Postby Sylvester » Wed Jul 07, 2010 2:56 pm

Dear Geoff

I have to confess to being flabbergasted by your suggestion that on the basis of SN 22.56, "kāyasamphassajā" will have to be limited to only the contact-triad of body, body-consciousness and tactility, to the exclusion of eye-contact, ear-contact, tongue-contact, nose-contact and mind-contact.

Since you applied this restrictive definition of "kāyasamphassajā" from SN 22.56 to SN 48.38, I think it would also be legitimate to apply it to the Uppapatika Sutta in SN 48.40. Going by your proposition, this would mean that -

In 1st Jhana, with the cessation of the pain faculty (which you limit to "body" pains), painful eye, ear, nose and tongue feelings will persist (since these don't arise from "kāya"samphassajā).

In 2nd Jhana, with the cessation of the displeasure faculty, painful eye, ear, nose and tongue feelings will persist.

In 3rd Jhana, with the cessation of the pleasure faculty (which you limit to "body" pleasures), pleasureable eye, ear, nose, and tongue feelings, AND painful eye, ear, nose, and tongue feelings will persist.

In 4th Jhana, with the cessation of the joy faculty, pleasureable eye, ear, nose, and tongue feelings, AND painful eye, ear, nose, and tongue feelings will persist.

At nirodha sammapati, with the cessation of the equanimity faculty, equanimous, pleasant and painful eye, ear, nose, and tongue feelings persist.


I think it should be quite obvious that your limiting kāyasamphassajā to only the contact-triad of body, body-consciousness and tactility in every context will have very non-canonical results. I'm not suggesting that SN 22.56 is wrong. On the contrary, I'm of the view that the analysis in the Khandhasamyutta cannot be applied verbatim to the Vedanasamyutta and Indriyasamyutta analysis.

SN 22.56 is a very fine analysis of all the 6 types of contacts that are possible. It distinguishes each of the 6 contacts from the other 5 contacts. On the other hand, the relationship that is explored in the Vedana- and Indriyasamyuttas deals with how feelings/vedana (the simple affective khandha) gives rise to emotions (somanassa/domanassa - the experience that is certainly broader than simple affective vedana). SN 22.56 deals with vedana inter se, which SN 36.6 and SN 48.40 deals with feelings versus emotions/moods. It would be quite inappropriate, in my view, to appropriate a technical term used in one specific class of vibhanga and applying it indiscriminately to an unrelated vibhanga.

I think it is not logical to assert that SN 36.6's analysis of kayika vedana is restricted to vedana arising from the contact-triad of body, body-consciousness and tactility. If you are correct, this must mean that the 2nd dart can never arise from eye-, ear-, nose, or tongue-contact. It should be obvious then that if your analysis is correct, this would imply that putthujanas would never generate any form of anusaya whatsoever based on feelings flowing from eye-, ear-, nose-, tongue- and mind-contact. This directly contradicts SN 36.6's description of raganusaya that flows from delight in the sensual pleasures. Just because the 2 Sick Ward suttas are appended, there's no reason to argue that their example excludes the universe of the other 5 contacts.

Coming back to MN 137 and the plausibility of a mental kayika vedana therein. Yes, certainly I would agree that the sukha which arises "when one regards as an acquisition the acquisition of forms" is vedanā born of cakkhusamphassa. But that was NOT my point. I referred you to the other contact established "when one recalls the previous acquisition of such forms after they have passed, ceased, & changed". Seeing acquisitions will certainly give rise to cakkhusamphassa; recollecting acquisitions can only arise from manosamphassa. I would like to hear your thoughts on how "recollection" (memory, a mental dhamma) can conceivably form cakkhusamphassa with eye and eye-consciousness.

You said -

"Cetasika vedanā (sukha, dukkha, or adukkhamasukha) is the vedanā simpliciter born of manosamphassa".

I think this sums up the crux of one of the elements of our disagreement. I'm of the view that cetasika vedanā is NOT the vedanā simpliciter born of manosamphassa, but the complex range of emotions that are felt on manosamphassa's 1st Dart. Based on my understanding of how SN 36.6 intersects with SN 48.36 - 40, cetasika vedanā has to be more complex than vedanā simpliciter. Cetasika vedanā is marked with qualities such as sorrow, lamentation, grieving, weeping, breast-beating. Essentially, that's domanassa, rather than the simple experience of pleasant, painful or neutral.

I'm happy to say that I fully agree with your points on MN 38 and MN 148, with a tiny reservation as to whether or not feelings bear some culpability for suffering. But just because their soteriological denouement lies in their cessation analyses does not mean that their arising analysis is not relevant to the issue of whether there can be mental kayika cetana.

With metta

Nyana
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Re: Tha jhana debate

Postby Nyana » Wed Jul 07, 2010 4:34 pm


Sylvester
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Re: Tha jhana debate

Postby Sylvester » Thu Jul 08, 2010 12:45 am

Dear Geoff

Well, I suppose I will have to invite you again to show how my reductio ad absurdum arguments are over-reaching. Ex-cathedra pronouncements add nothing to the discourse.

Perhaps you would care to explain how your reliance on SN 22.56's definition of "kāyasamphassajā vedana" was not intended to restrict SN 36.6's "kayika vedana"to the body that senses tactility. You stated quite unequivacally -

"There is nothing mentioned in SN 36.6 Salla Sutta to indicate that the bodily feeling under discussion (i.e. kāyikañca vedanā) extends beyond kāyasamphassajā vedanā. "

As for your reading of the Salla Sutta that cetasika vedana is the condition for sorrow, lamentation etc, why add that interpretive overlay to the sutta's very simple proposition. The Salla Sutta very simply states its case that-

"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 feelings, physical (kayika) & mental (cetasika). "

Cetasika vedana IS sorrow, grieving, lamentation, breast beating and distress, and NOT merely the condition for grieving etc.

With metta.

Nyana
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Re: Tha jhana debate

Postby Nyana » Thu Jul 08, 2010 2:26 am


Sylvester
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Re: Tha jhana debate

Postby Sylvester » Thu Jul 08, 2010 3:19 am


Kenshou
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Re: Tha jhana debate

Postby Kenshou » Thu Jul 08, 2010 3:39 am

Forgive me for intruding and dragging this thread out, but can not the eye/ear/nose/tongue make contact with pitisukha due to the fact that they are parts of the body which we have tactile/spatial consciousness of, though not in the sense that they experience pitisukha in connection with their respective indriyas? If I'm missing something, let me know.

Nyana
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Joined: Tue Apr 27, 2010 11:56 am

Re: Tha jhana debate

Postby Nyana » Thu Jul 08, 2010 4:26 am


Sylvester
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Re: Tha jhana debate

Postby Sylvester » Thu Jul 08, 2010 4:31 am

Dear Geoff

It's hard to respond to pronouncements ex cathedra, so I'll leave them as that.

With metta

Nyana
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Joined: Tue Apr 27, 2010 11:56 am

Re: Tha jhana debate

Postby Nyana » Thu Jul 08, 2010 4:39 am


Kenshou
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Location: Minneapolis, MN

Re: Tha jhana debate

Postby Kenshou » Thu Jul 08, 2010 4:48 am

Thanks. I'm not really in disagreement with you, I suppose. It might have been my fault for not being specific, but that post was directed towards Sylvester's preceding post, specifically the statement "but the modern extrapolation that the eye, the nose, the ear, the tongue and the tactility organ can form phassa/contact with a dhamma and thereby cognise pitisukha at the 5 indriyas."

I'd be happy to let the thing lie where it is though, I'm not so sure I want to help drag this thread out more and more.

Nyana
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Joined: Tue Apr 27, 2010 11:56 am

Re: Tha jhana debate

Postby Nyana » Thu Jul 08, 2010 4:50 am


Sylvester
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Re: Tha jhana debate

Postby Sylvester » Thu Jul 08, 2010 4:53 am


Sylvester
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Joined: Tue Mar 10, 2009 9:57 am

Re: Tha jhana debate

Postby Sylvester » Thu Jul 08, 2010 5:21 am

Last edited by Sylvester on Thu Jul 08, 2010 6:17 am, edited 1 time in total.

Nyana
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Re: Tha jhana debate

Postby Nyana » Thu Jul 08, 2010 5:30 am



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