AN 3.64: walking while in jhanas?

Hi Mirco

The problem which the original post raised was the Commentarial opinion that one walks whilst in a jhana.

What the Comy says can be found in the Bhikku Bodhi extract given in the original post. Presumably, BB treats the Comy’s assertion that one walks samāpajjitvā (having entered) the form jhanas, as well as the second case that one walks vuṭṭhāya (having emerged) from the attainment. Absolutives (such as samāpajjitvā) are such that they are temporally vague, and could indicate the completion of that action before the next action takes place, or that both actions proceed concurrently. Probably not relevant to the Comy’s position here…

Anyway, I think the simpler way to deal with this is to look at occurrences of the jhana pericopes and observe that all of them end with the form “upasampajja viharāmi” or “upasampajja viharati”. To me, it’s important to note that this is a very typical periphrastic construction, and the action being denoted by the 2 verbs do not spill over into subsequent sentences. As mentioned in the Polak thread, if the redactors wanted to indicate another action being concurrent with the jhana periphrasis, they would use the Instrumental of Time, eg -

Vivicceva kāmehi vivicca akusalehi dhammehi savitakkaṃ savicāraṃ vivekajaṃ pītisukhaṃ paṭhamaṃ jhānaṃ upasampajja viharāmi. Tassa mayhaṃ, ānanda, iminā vihārena viharato kāmasahagatā sañ­ñāmana­sikārā samudācaranti.

Then, quite withdrawn from sensuality, withdrawn from unskillful qualities, I entered & remained in the first jhana: rapture & pleasure born from withdrawal, accompanied by directed thought & evaluation.
As I remained there, I was beset with attention to perceptions dealing with sensuality.

AN 9.41

This is not a grammatical oddity, as it is used quite prolifically in the suttas.