Hmmm, does it mean the 10 fetters version found in Pali canon is an advanced doctrinal development?
AFAIK, right concentration is one-pointness of mind based on right view and other 6 path-factors (because Chinese Agamas don’t strictly define right concentration as 4 jhanas as Pali Nikayas do). So, it doesn’t matter how the concentration comprise, but it matters whether right view is there or not.
They do , you might want to take a look at it . Both have a mixed versions .
And what, bhikkhus, is right concentration? Here, bhikkhus, secluded from sensual pleasures, secluded from unwholesome states, a bhikkhu enters and dwells in the first jhana, which is accompanied by thought and examination, with rapture and happiness born of seclusion. With the subsiding of thought and examination, he enters and dwells in the second jhana, which has internal confidence and unification of mind, is without thought and examination, and has rapture and happiness born of concentration. With the fading away as well of rapture, he dwells equanimous and, mindful and clearly comprehending, he experiences happiness with the body; he enters and dwells in the third jhana of which the noble ones declare: ‘He is equanimous, mindful, one who dwells happily.’ With the abandoning of pleasure and pain, and with the previous passing away of joy and displeasure, he enters and dwells in the fourth jhana, which is neither painful nor pleasant and includes the purification of mindfulness by equanimity. This is called right concentration.”
MA 189. 聖道經
云何正定？比丘者，離欲、離惡不善之法，至得第四禪成就遊，是謂正定。[/quote] and what is right concentration , bhikkhus that is secluded from sensual pleasures, secluded from unwholesome states…up to attaining the four jhana is right concentration .
As I point out before, if the ascetics have right view and one pointness of mind, then yes they have right concentration.
What, bhikkhus, is noble right concentration with its supports and its requisites, that is, right view, right intention, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, and right mindfulness? Unification of mind equipped with these seven factors is called noble right concentration with its supports and its requisites.
I have pretty much steered my mind away from equating samadhi with concentration. When I see samadhi I conceptualize it as something more like what Venerable Sujato’s presents in his essay on defining samadhi:
We can’t really do that when we translate Agama passages that actually say it means concentration, though. When it’s described as focused, unified, undistracted, and one-pointed, it’s difficult to avoid the conclusion that concentration is pretty close to what it means. On the other hand, there’s passages that drop these definitions, like the Madhyama passage @gene is bringing up. In those cases, samadhi has essentially lost that meaning and become an synonym for dhyana. I’m not sure, myself, whether that’s the older meaning. It’s seems to be the more overwrought texts that turn samadhi into another word for dhyana.
MA 31 defines right samadhi as abiding in jhana (in singular, means meditation in general), where Bhikkhu Analayo translated it as jhanas (in plural) to indicate 4 jhanas, but it’s proved not quite correct here:
Yes, that’s the way I read it as well, and I wasn’t aware of this controversy re: Analayo’s translation. It’s to me another example of how he and other academics who come from the Theravada perspective force Pali-like readings onto the Agamas.
Look on the bright side: a decade or two ago, almost no-one had even heard of the Agamas. The only reason Theravadins can even have an opinion about the Agamas is because there are those who took an interest.
Very true. And, it’s natural to stick to one’s own canon, and classical Chinese bedevils everyone who tries to translate it. It’s amazing how easy it is to read it as we’d like it to read because it leaves so much to the reader to decide.
And I found what Bhante @sujato wrote years ago, which I have read it but I forgot it, this is the answer of question “why we bother studying the Chinese Agamas?” raised in this topic:
Perhaps another reason for the relative neglect of the Āgamas is their very closeness to the Nikāyas. We have to go to a lot of effort to discover what we think we know already: the core Buddhist teachings really are the four noble truths, the eightfold path, dependent origination, and so on. Although there are occasional instructive variations, the main fruit of this study is not in the content of the teaching, but in the method. Rather than assuming that the scriptures of just one school are the first and last word on what the Buddha taught, we are searching in the root teachings shared in common between the schools. Such an approach will not only help us to get ‘back to the Buddha’, but it will provide the best platform for an improved understanding between the Buddhist schools we find alive today.
I started out this essay by criticizing ‘Pali fundamentalism’; but we must also beware of becoming ‘pre-sectarian’ fundamentalists! The teachings of the various schools are not just a sheer mass of error and meaningless corruption, any more than they are iron-clad formulations of ‘ultimate truth’. They are the answers given by teachers of old to the question: ‘What does Buddhism mean for us?’ Each succeeding generation must undertake the delicate task of hermeneutics, the re-acculturation of the Dhamma in time and place. And in our times, so different from those of any Buddhist era or culture of the past, we must find our own answers. Looked at from this perspective, the teachings of the schools offer us invaluable lessons, a wealth of precedent bequeathed us by our ancestors in faith. Just as the great Theravādin commentator Buddhaghosa employed an encyclopaedic knowledge of the Nikāyas, many of the greatest ‘Mahāyāna’ scholars, such as Nāgārjuna, Vasubandhu, and Asaṅga, based themselves securely on the Āgamas. By following their example and making the effort to thoroughly learn these Teachings we can understand, practice, and propagate the living Dhamma for the sake of all sentient beings.
Last night I read Kuan’s Legends and Transcendence: Sectarian Affiliations of the Ekottarika Āgama in Chinese Translation, and it reminded me of how much we owe to the translations that exist in Chinese. Being able to compare the different sectarian vinayas, as one good example, makes it clear just how much sharing and cross-sectarian influence must have taken place in the ancient Buddhist world. The firewall that the Theravada seem have built to pretend that never happened aside, Buddhists were really very open about what constituted the “Buddha’s teaching” as they struggled to maintain it as best they could.
Whilst the age of the Pali suttas and the aṭṭhakathā is attractive and does add some weight to their authority, that isn’t the only reason for accepting them. Personally, for me, it’s because all I see outside of the Mahāvihāra is a tragic lapse into heresy.
Sorry, yes. By Mahāvihāra I was refering to the Anuradhapura Maha Viharaya, the old centre of Theravādin orthodoxy. Mahāvihāravasin (Dwellers in the Great Monastery) being another name for Theravāda. By saying I see doctrinal error outside of the Mahāvihāra what I mean is that all of the other early schools bar Theravāda adopted what I consider to be anti-Dhamma views. Another way of putting it would be that only Theravāda remained true to the Buddha’s word.