DSS 16 APS , Dhyāna Samādhi Sutra

I’ve been reading this the past week, it has some great meditation info, and it’s really interesting to see the similarities and differences between Vism., Vimt., KN Ps on how they understand Kāya, Vedana, V&V (vitakka and vicara) in 16 APS (anapana) and jhāna.

Their 16 steps has some slippage compared to Pali. It totals up to 16, but in a couple of places its out of the sync, omitting a couple of items from pali, and adding 2 of its own. But for the most part it’s pretty much the same. The step that corresponds to pali’s, “sabba kāya patisamvedi” (entire body experienced while breathing), their explanation is very beautiful, and leaves no doubt whether kāya is physical or mental:

(4) Being mindful of the breath pervading the body, one is stil mindful

of the breaths going out and coming in. One thoroughly observes the exha-

lations and inhalations within one’s body. One perceives the breath pervading

the body and filling all pores, down to those on the toes, just like water

soaking into sand. When the breath goes out, one perceives the breath per-

vading al pores, from those on the feet to those on the head, also like water

soaking into sand. Just like the air that fil s bel ows, whether it is going out

or coming in, the wind blowing in and out through the mouth and nose [fil s

the body]. One observes the whole body that the wind fil s, like holes of a

lotus root [fil ed with water] and a fishing net [soaked in water]. Further, it 275c

is not that the mind only observes the breath coming in and going out through

the mouth and nose. [The mind] sees the breath coming in and going out

through al pores and the nine apertures [of the body]. Thus one knows that

the breath pervades the body.

Some info about the Translator Kumarajiva, excerpt from Translators’ Introduction

The Zuochan sanmei jing ( Sutra on the Concentration of Sit ing Meditation,

Taishō No. 614) is a meditation manual compiled by Kumārajīva based largely

on Indian sources. Some portions of the text have corresponding Indian originals,

as we shal see later, but there is no single text in any Indic language that cor-

responds to this manual in its entirety. Nor is there a known version in any other

classical languages, including Tibetan. Kumārajīva’s Chinese version is the only

ful text of this manual available to us.

The translator Kumārajīva (350?–409?) was born in Kucha, an oasis city

on the northern route of the Tarim basin (in present-day Xinjiang-Uighur

Autonomous Region, China). His father was an Indian monk and his mother a

Kuchean princess. At the age of seven, Kumārajīva became a novice monk, and

when he was nine he went to northwest India and studied Traditional (“Hina -

yana”) forms of Buddhism. On his way back to Kucha, he converted to Mahayana

Buddhism at Kashgar under the guidance of Sūryasoma, a Mahayanist monk

from Yarkand, an oasis city on the southern route of the Tarim basin.

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What is DSS 16 APS?

16 APS (Ānā-pāna-s-sati)
DSS = dhyana samadhi sutta, as in thread title

actually it’s “āna + apāna”, so AAS if you like :slight_smile:

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PTS Dictionary says that, but I seem to recall other sources having differing breakdown. Anyone know for sure? I’ll change over to 16 AAS if we can get a definite ruling on this.

APS still makes more sense to me, given that

assassanto = breathing in
passassanto = breathing out
assassissami = I will breathe in,
passassissami = I will breath out,

And also

assāsa - passāsā c
passāsa: exhalation. (m.)

Assāsa [Sk. āśvāsa, ā + śvas] 1. (lit.) breathing, esp. breathing out (so Vism 272), exhalation, opp. to passāsa inhalation, with which often combd. or contrasted; thus as cpd. assāsa – passāsa meaning breathing (in & out), sign of life, process of breathing, breath D ;ii.157 = S i.159 Th 1, 905; D iii.266; M i.243; S i.106; iv.293; v.330 336; A iv.409; v.135; J ii.146; vi.82; Miln 31, 85 Vism 116, 197. – assāsa in contrast with passāsa at Ps i.95, 164 sq., 182 sq.

I was puzzled by this as well some while ago - but if you’re looking for outside reference, Monier Williams has in Sanskrit, referenced in the Rigveda, Shatapata-Brahmana, Atharvaveda and the Chandogya Upanishad

apān ( an-), apāniti-, or apānati- : to breathe out, expire; pr. p. apān/at- mf(t/ī-)n. breathing out

But apana doesn’t appear as an individual word in the suttas afaik…

Something else that’s got me seriously confused:
Look at CPED and PTS dictionary translating assassati in opposite ways:

assasati: breathes; inhales. (ā + sas + a)

Assasati [ā + śvas, on semantical inversion of ā & pa see under ā;1 3] 1. to breathe, to breathe out, to exhale J i 163; vi.305 (gloss assāsento passāsento susu ti saddaŋ karonto); Vism 272. Usually in combn. with passasati to inhale, i. e. to breathe in & out, D ;ii.291 = M i.56, cp M i.425; J ii.53, cp. v.36.

Bodhi, thanissaro, Ajahn Brahmali (in Vinaya 3rd parajika 16 APS instructions) all seem to follow CPED, asssassanto = inhale, passassanto = exhale. So I assume that’s the “more correct” interpretation. Unless everyone has been taking the liberty of translating all the inhale/exhale combo sentences in reverse order and seriously misleading me.