Four Cultivations of Samādhi: A Parallel to AN 4.41 Quoted in the Abhidharma Dharmaskandha

In the process of researching parallels to the four similes found in MN 119/MĀ 81 (the Mindfulness of the Body Sutra), I happened upon a quotation in the Sarvâstivāda’s Abhidharma Dharmaskandha that’s a direct parallel to AN 4.41. Below is a translation and comparison of the two texts.

To give some background on the source of this quotation, the Abhidharma Dharmaskandha (English: “A Heap of Teachings”) is one of the seven canonical Abhidharma texts of the Sarvâstivāda, as translated to Chinese by Xuanzang during the 7th c. AD. It covers similar topics as the Theravada’s Vibhaṅga, but its format is sutra commentary. Each chapter opens with a quotation of a sutra that the author considered definitive to the topic to the treated, and then a detailed commentary follows the quotation. This makes it an important source for finding Sarvâstivāda sutra parallels since some of these quotations seem to be drawn from their Ekôttarika Āgama, which has since been lost. Not to mention that Xuanzang’s translations from Sanskrit are much more precise than the earlier Chinese Āgama translations. The Dharmaskandha is also valuable as an alternative source of exegesis given that it focuses on interpreting sutra quotations.

The present quotation (T1537.489b1-c4) opens Chapter 14 of the Dharmaskandha, titled “Cultivating Samādhi.” Not only is it a direct parallel with AN 4.41, but it also contains two parallel passages with MN 119/MĀ 81. As we shall see, the relationship between MN 119 and AN 4.41 is not clear because the Pali version appears to have replaced the passage with the standard formulas for all four jhānas. But the first two items of these four cultivations appear in MĀ 81, and the “steeped and filled” language has been retained in MN 119.

Aside from this, the concluding verses in these two versions are quite different, and I can’t help but feel that AN 4.41’s quoting other suttas by title is an indication of a later redaction of the text. The third obvious difference is that—true to form—the Sanskrit Sarvâstivāda version is more verbose with clarifying synonyms added throughout.

AN 4.41 (Pali/Sujato) T1537 (Xuanzang/Patton)
一時薄伽梵在室羅筏,住逝多林給孤獨園。
One time, the Bhagavān was in Rājagṛha residing in Anāthapiṇḍada’s Park of Jeta’s Grove.
“Catasso imā, bhikkhave, samādhibhāvanā. Katamā catasso? Atthi, bhikkhave, samādhibhāvanā bhāvitā bahulīkatā diṭṭhadhammasukhavihārāya saṁvattati; atthi, bhikkhave, samādhibhāvanā bhāvitā bahulīkatā ñāṇadassanappaṭilābhāya saṁvattati; atthi, bhikkhave, samādhibhāvanā bhāvitā bahulīkatā satisampajaññāya saṁvattati; atthi, bhikkhave, samādhibhāvanā bhāvitā bahulīkatā āsavānaṁ khayāya saṁvattati. 爾時世尊告苾芻眾:「有四修定。何等為四?謂有修定,若習若修、若多所作,能令證得現法樂住。復有修定,若習若修、若多所作,能令證得殊勝智見。復有修定,若習若修、若多所作,能令證得勝分別慧。復有修定,若習若修、若多所作,能令證得諸漏永盡。
“Mendicants, there are these four ways of developing immersion further. What four? There is a way of developing immersion further that leads to blissful meditation in the present life. There is a way of developing immersion further that leads to gaining knowledge and vision. There is a way of developing immersion further that leads to mindfulness and awareness. There is a way of developing immersion further that leads to the ending of defilements. It was then that the Bhagavān addressed the assembly of monks, “There are four cultivations of samādhi. What are the four? (1) There is the cultivation of samādhi, whether habitual, cultivated, or done many times. It can lead to realization of an abode of happiness in the present life. (2) There’s another cultivation of samādhi, whether habitual, cultivated, or done many times. It can lead to realization of the highest knowledge and vision. (3) There’s another cultivation of samādhi, whether habitual, cultivated, or done many times. It can lead to realization of supreme discernment and wisdom. (4) There’s another cultivation of samādhi, whether habitual, cultivated, or done many times. It can lead to realization of the eternal ending of the contaminants.
Katamā ca, bhikkhave, samādhibhāvanā bhāvitā bahulīkatā diṭṭhadhammasukhavihārāya saṁvattati? Idha, bhikkhave, bhikkhu vivicceva kāmehi …pe… catutthaṁ jhānaṁ upasampajja viharati. Ayaṁ, bhikkhave, samādhibhāvanā bhāvitā bahulīkatā diṭṭhadhammasukhavihārāya saṁvattati. 云何修定,若習若修若多所作,能令證得現法樂住?謂有苾芻,即於自身離生喜樂,滋潤遍滋潤、充滿遍充滿、適悅遍適悅故,離生喜樂於自身中無有少分而不充滿,是名修定若習若修若多所作能令證得現法樂住。
And what is the way of developing immersion further that leads to blissful meditation in the present life? It’s when a mendicant, quite secluded from sensual pleasures, secluded from unskillful qualities, enters and remains in the first absorption … second absorption … third absorption … fourth absorption. This is the way of developing immersion further that leads to blissful meditation in the present life. “What’s the cultivation of samādhi, whether habitual, cultivated, or done many times, which can lead to realization of an abode of happiness in the present life? Here, a monk’s seclusion gives rise to joy and happiness that suffuses, thoroughly suffuses, fills up, thoroughly fills up, delights, and thoroughly delights his own body. There isn’t the slightest bit of his own body that isn’t filled with the joy and happiness that arises from seclusion. This is called cultivating samādhi, whether habitual, cultivated, or done many times. It can lead to realization of an abode of happiness in the present life.
Idha, bhikkhave, bhikkhu ālokasaññaṁ manasi karoti, divāsaññaṁ adhiṭṭhāti—yathā divā tathā rattiṁ, yathā rattiṁ tathā divā. Iti vivaṭena cetasā apariyonaddhena sappabhāsaṁ cittaṁ bhāveti. Ayaṁ, bhikkhave, samādhibhāvanā bhāvitā bahulīkatā ñāṇadassanappaṭilābhāya saṁvattati. 云何修定,若習若修若多所作,能令證得殊勝智見?謂有苾芻,於光明想善攝受、善思惟、善修習、善通達,若晝若夜無有差別、若前若後無有差別、若下若上無有差別,開心離蓋,修照俱心、除闇昧心,修無量定,是名修定若習若修若多所作能令證得殊勝智見。
And what is the way of developing immersion further that leads to gaining knowledge and vision? It’s when a mendicant focuses on the perception of light, concentrating on the perception of day, regardless of whether it’s night or day. And so, with an open and unenveloped heart, they develop a mind that’s full of radiance. This is the way of developing immersion further that leads to gaining knowledge and vision. “What’s the cultivation of samādhi, whether habitual, cultivated, or done many times, which can lead to realization of the highest knowledge and vision? Here, a monk well acquires, well considers, well cultivates, and well comprehends a perception of light. It makes no difference whether it’s day or night. It makes no difference if it’s in front or behind him. It makes no difference if its below or above him. With open mind free of the hindrances, he cultivates the thought of illumination and the thought of eliminating darkness. Cultivating this measureless samādhi is called the cultivation of samādhi, whether habitual, cultivated, or done many times, which can lead to realization of the highest knowledge and vision.
Katamā ca, bhikkhave, samādhibhāvanā bhāvitā bahulīkatā ñāṇadassanappaṭilābhāya saṁvattati?Katamā ca, bhikkhave, samādhibhāvanā bhāvitā bahulīkatā satisampajaññāya saṁvattati? Idha, bhikkhave, bhikkhuno viditā vedanā uppajjanti, viditā upaṭṭhahanti, viditā abbhatthaṁ gacchanti; viditā saññā …pe… viditā vitakkā uppajjanti, viditā upaṭṭhahanti, viditā abbhatthaṁ gacchanti. Ayaṁ, bhikkhave, samādhibhāvanā bhāvitā bahulīkatā satisampajaññāya saṁvattati. 云何修定,若習若修若多所作,能令證得勝分別慧?謂有苾芻,善知受生、善知受住、善知受滅盡沒,於此住念非不住念,及善知想、善知尋,於此住念非不住念,是名修定若習若修若多所作能令證得勝分別慧。
And what is the way of developing immersion further that leads to mindfulness and awareness? It’s when a mendicant knows feelings as they arise, as they remain, and as they go away. They know perceptions as they arise, as they remain, and as they go away. They know thoughts as they arise, as they remain, and as they go away. This is the way of developing immersion further that leads to mindfulness and awareness. “What’s the cultivation of samādhi, whether habitual, cultivated, or done many times, which can lead to realization of supreme discernment and wisdom? Here, a monk well knows feeling that arises, well knows feeling that remains, well knows feeling that ceases and disappears. He abides mindfully as he does; he doesn’t abide unmindfully. He also well knows perception … well knows thought … He abides mindfully as he does; he doesn’t abide unmindfully. This is called the cultivation of samādhi, whether habitual, cultivated, or done many times, which can lead to realization of supreme discernment and wisdom.
Katamā ca, bhikkhave, samādhibhāvanā bhāvitā bahulīkatā āsavānaṁ khayāya saṁvattati? Idha, bhikkhave, bhikkhu pañcasu upādānakkhandhesu udayabbayānupassī viharati: ‘iti rūpaṁ, iti rūpassa samudayo, iti rūpassa atthaṅgamo; iti vedanā, iti vedanāya samudayo, iti vedanāya atthaṅgamo; iti saññā, iti saññāya samudayo, iti saññāya atthaṅgamo; iti saṅkhārā, iti saṅkhārānaṁ samudayo, iti saṅkhārānaṁ atthaṅgamo; iti viññāṇaṁ, iti viññāṇassa samudayo, iti viññāṇassa atthaṅgamo’ti. Ayaṁ, bhikkhave, samādhibhāvanā bhāvitā bahulīkatā āsavānaṁ khayāya saṁvattati. 云何修定,若習若修若多所作,能令證得諸漏永盡?謂有苾芻,於五取蘊數數隨觀生滅而住,謂此是色、此是色集、此是色滅,此是受想行識、此是受想行識集、此是受想行識滅,是名修定若習若修若多所作能令證得諸漏永盡。」
And what is the way of developing immersion further that leads to the ending of defilements? It’s when a mendicant meditates observing rise and fall in the five grasping aggregates. ‘Such is form, such is the origin of form, such is the ending of form. Such is feeling, such is the origin of feeling, such is the ending of feeling. Such is perception, such is the origin of perception, such is the ending of perception. Such are choices, such is the origin of choices, such is the ending of choices. Such is consciousness, such is the origin of consciousness, such is the ending of consciousness.’ This is the way of developing immersion further that leads to the ending of defilements. “What is the cultivation of samādhi, whether habitual, cultivated, or done many times, which can lead to realization of the eternal ending of the contaminants? Here, a monk frequently observes the arising, ceasing, and abiding of the five acquired aggregates. That is, ‘This is form,’ ‘This is form’s formation,’ ‘This is form’s cessation,’ ‘This is feeling … perception … volition … consciousness,’ ‘This is feeling … perception … volition … consciousness’s formation,’ ‘This is feeling … perception … volition … consciousness’s cessation.’ This is called the cultivation of samādhi, whether habitual, cultivated, or done many times, which can lead to realization of the eternal ending of the contaminants.”
Imā kho, bhikkhave, catasso samādhibhāvanā. Idañca pana metaṁ, bhikkhave, sandhāya bhāsitaṁ pārāyane puṇṇakapañhe: 爾時世尊為攝前義而說頌言:
These are the four ways of developing immersion further. And it was in this connection that I said in ‘The Way to the Beyond’, in ‘The Questions of Puṇṇaka’: The Bhagavān then summarized his meaning by speaking in verse:
‘Saṅkhāya lokasmiṁ paroparāni, 「斷欲想憂惱,
‘Having assessed the world high and low, “Stopping desirable perceptions and sorrows,
Yassiñjitaṁ natthi kuhiñci loke; 離惛沈惡作,
there is nothing in the world that disturbs them. Free of melancholy and evil doing,
Santo vidhūmo anīgho nirāso, 得清淨捨念,
Peaceful, unclouded, untroubled, with no need for hope, One attains purity, detachment, and mindfulness,
Atāri so jātijaranti brūmī’”ti. 法尋伺前行。
they’ve crossed over rebirth and old age, I declare.’” And Dharma pondering and searching advances.
現法樂為初,
First is the happiness in the present life,
次勝知見慧,
Next is the wisdom of higher knowing and seeing,
破無明等漏,
Destroying the contaminants of ignorance, et al.,
後證解脫果。」
And finally the fruit of liberation is realized.”
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Let me just give you a brief answer.

These are 4 way of describing a forth jhana.

  1. Jhana progression. When you are fully relax (body and mind), these are pleasantly abiding here and now in this life.

2.Aloko here is not light, it is purity or mind that shine brightness 24/7. So you dont just thinking make a light to come into your mind, but when you are pure, you check you dont have the kilesa. Do the kilesa stick in your mind (moha, dosa, lobha)? You know they dont hence the mind is bright like a light 24/7 day and night.

  1. You are fully aware inward on all conducts (think, speak, and act). Whether sit, walk, sleep you are aware on the conducts etc

  2. When you review the pancupadanakhandha, then you reviewing ending of the asava (defilements/outside influences that perceived from senses). You know whether you are free or not.

Hope this help.

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thanks for sharing @cdpatton :pray:

what does this mean?

I missed this when it was posted, but thanks Charles it’s really interesting!

A partial Sanskrit text of the Dharmaskandha is on SC, check it out!

https://suttacentral.net/dk1/san/dietz-matsuda?reference=none&highlight=false

Indeed. I haven’t reviewed this, but is this the case for the other nikaya references to the Parayanavagga/Atthakavagga too?

i think one thing that is often overlooed in the early/late debate is that texts are not uniform. Within the same text there may well be early and late features. And the different schools made add different things.

I think of it like renovating a house. Two friend buy houses next door to one another. (This is a crazy topsy-turvy world where people can afford houses!) The houses were built at the same time, and are somewhat rundown. The two friends each devote about the same amount of time and money to renovation.

But for one them, what they do is build a new annex at the back. They need space for a growing family, so they double the size of the house, making it look quite unlike the original. But they haven’t really touched the old house. Meanwhile their friend lives alone, she doesn’t need space. But she loves to restore things. So bit by bit she works through the house, updating, fixing, and replacing old things, always careful to make sure they fit in with the “original” style.

At the end of the day, which house is “older”?

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Hi @Joe.C ,

Some thoughts on this:

Maha Boowa instructs to carefully investigate brightness, or the bright mind, because one might think it is the pure mind. But he encourages this to investigate deeply with wisdom and see of this brightness also has not the chararcteristics of anicca, dukka and anatta.

I understood he was stuck in that wrong view that this brightness was the pure citta for some time. It was his teacher who warned him against this view. He said it this way (page 58 arahattamagga/phala):

"This radiance is the most conspicuous among them. It is the ultimate counterfeit. Since you cherish and safeguard it more than anything else, you will hardly want to interfere with it. Within the entire physical body, nothing stands out so prominently as this brilliance. It provokes such a mesmerizing sense of inner amazement—and, consequently, such a protective feeling of attachment—that you want nothing to disturb it. There it is. Look at it: it is none other than the supreme ruler of the universe—avijjã. But you don’t recognize it. Never having seen it before, you will naturally be deceived by the radiance you encounter at this stage. Later, when mindfulness and wisdom are fully prepared, you will know the truth without any need of prompting. This is avijjã. The true avijjã is right here. It is nothing but a mesmerizing point of brilliance. Don’t imagine avijjã to be a demon or a beast; for in truth, it is really the most alluring and endearing paragon of beauty in the whole world. True avijjã is very different from what you expect it to be".

So he warns that you think that the brightness, the bright mind is really the pure mind. He instigates this to investigate deeply and talks with this with a developed teacher.

The pure citta is different according Maha Boowa.

I wouldn’t put it that way. We can’t find that definition in Sutta unfortunately. There is no supreme ruler.

Avijja occurs because one has not fully awaken (fully understood 4NT). When Avijja turn to Vijja, then one can understand the whole teaching with the wisdom. If any less than that, then one of the Ariya status.

But need to fully developed N8FP, can’t just skip the steps.

Nowadays, people hasn’t get “right view”, but they try to meditate to understand and get right view.

Sorry to tell, There won’t be any understanding/wisdom without the right view condition being understood first.

2 conditions for right view: (MN 43)

  1. Voice of another (from ariya)
  2. Focus attention - yoniso manasikara

Also, Try to understand 4 factors of stream entry: (SN 55.5)

  1. Associate with wise person (especially ariya).
  2. Listen to true dhamma (especially from ariya)
  3. Focus attention.
  4. Practice dhamma inline with the dhamma that has been understood in daily life (from ariya)

It refers to the soaked-with-water metaphors that are found in MN 119 and other parallels. Which, to me, is a concrete way of describing an ecstatic experience of some kind. The Dharmaguptakas (in their Abhidharma) understood the four words to describe a progressive “filling” of oneself with happiness and likened it to crossing over the other shore or to a farmer irrigating a field. It doesn’t happen instantaneously. Instead, the water (or happiness) fills up the space, getting into all the nooks and crannies.

Yes, I agree. It feels like a wild goose chase most of the time to try to decide which is early or late. Even the idea that later Buddhist texts are more verbose is an assumption that has to be checked. Is it impossible that someone decided to tear down an addition to one of those houses in your example? No, it isn’t. The verbosity may have reached a point that a later tradition decided to remove some of it, like we do today when we skip over the repetitions in our translations.

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No problem @Joe.C . I just wanted to share with you the voice of another, an alleged arahant, Maha Boowa.

The voice of another person, Maha Boowa, warn you against this kind of thinking. Be careful to equal brightness with purity seems his message. He was himself trapped in this kind of judgement. But with help of his teacher and his own investigation capacities Maha Boowa saw that also brightness is anatta. It is not really the pure or nature of mind.

He saw apparantly: This is avijjã. The true avijjã is right here. It is nothing but a mesmerizing point of brilliance.

I can relate to this a bit. Where the brightness is, there is also a strong sense of I am, a strong personal perspective and idea of personal existence in the mind. That’s why, i think, we like personal existence.
It is associated with light, with brightness, joy of that light.

According Maha Boowa the effect of avijja on the mind is that it creates this personal perspective, as a a kind of center of brightness in the mind, which is very closely connected to the idea and sense of I am. To meet and taste the pure mind, mind without defilements, the citta, this must disappear from mind.

Anyway, Maha Boowa warns against the idea that a bright mind is also a mind without kilesa.

Sorry to tell. I can only take Buddha words in Sutta and all the arahants that have been announced by Buddha in Sutta. Because I know it is the right path for me to end dukkha. It is not merely a blind belief now.

Unfortunately Maha Boowa is not there anymore, so I can’t go and ask.

Please try to not blindly believing in anything. Try to see and practice whether it is true or not for you. Whether it can end your dukkhas here and now.

Regarding voice of another, this means he/she tell you directly & you pay attention to the teaching. You also need to associate closely with him/her. So you understand his/her conduct, mind and wisdom. Can’t merely read a book to gain insight.

Also the quote that you refer to, please see this sutta in AN 1.49 and AN 1.50. It is being stated below.

Radiant/bright, mendicants, is the mind.
“Pabhassaramidaṁ, bhikkhave, cittaṁ.
But it’s altered by incoming impurities.”
Tañca kho āgantukehi upakkilesehi upakkiliṭṭhan”ti.

Good luck to you.

I have learned, and can see for myself, that there are different kinds of brightness in the mind. For example, when the mind is optimistic that represents a certain brighness or when it is joyful or happy but also loving kindness represent a certain brightness. These kinds of brightnesses come and go.
These are conditions.

The brightness Maha Boowa describes is more like a bundle of light that formes a personal pole or subjective perspective in the mind. The basis for a perceiver, a Me. I belief it is very close to asmi mana, the perception ‘i am’. Some kind of feeling ‘i am alive, i am there’.

And there is also the natural clarity of the nature of the mind without any defilement. In that mind there is no subjective pole, no Me who experiences brightness, no perceiver of brightness. That is what AN1.49/50 refer to a belief.

If it still come and go, that mean the wisdom is not there.

Wisdom is not there, samadhi/sati is not stable. There won’t be any Nibbana or even purity of mind without jhana (samma samadhi, not regular jhana).

The purity will remain once the roots (lobha, moha/avijja, dosa) have been plucked. Then one can abandoned the path and toss it away.

Only used it when needed such as for bodily pain, etc.

Yes, oke but how do you know ultimate purity is realised?

What Maha Boowa says is (in my own words): be careful…brightness of mind does not have to mean that there is the ultimate purity. No his message is: it can be ultimate delusion! It is probably he avijja-citta. Be careful. Do not think it is purity. That seems his warning.

Start with right view conditions. Then once you enter the stream, everything is automatic. When one put extra effort after entering the stream, the realization will be fast with help of other ariya (especially a high level ariya). But depend on whether you have developed your faculties or not.

Problem is getting the right view and know how the condition for right view to arise. Also practice sila in daily life. Those sila describe in Sutta especially SN 55.7 and MN 61 will help tremendously.

Finally, The practice of N8FP needs to be done 24/7.

This path is not only 1-4 hours a day. It is not about how long you can sit and meditate. It is about wisdom, direct insight about your own experience and understood the other ariya experience. It is about How you can match your experience with the other ariya experience. It is practical path, it is not theory or scholar.

So how do you know?

You will know due to wisdom if you are at that level. Refer to Sutta such as DN 10. You should have the same direct insight similar to that Sutta or any Sutta that teach step by step (gradual process).

When the asava (defilement/influence) can’t arise anymore, the dukkha has completely ceased (i.e. no more arise and falling). The body and mind have completely become imperturbable calm to any external sense object (perfectly happy internally). The sankharas (citta, kaya, vaci) have been stilled permanently. One also has the final wisdom of destruction of asavas. The mind has completely transcend the senses (no reaction to any stimulant from them). The 3 roots has been plucked completely.

In practical life, one don’t have any more desires. No more being tied to worldly things, no more regular family life, no more working, no desire to earn any money. No desire even to teach anyone about the good dhamma. Completely withdrawn from worldly societies. No desire even to live (note: doesn’t mean they want to die). Eat just to live and support the body. Refer to Sutta.

Note: if one is still living in household life, usually one is at non returner level.

What Maha Boowa says is (in my own words): be careful…brightness of mind does not have to mean that there is the ultimate purity. No his message is: it can be ultimate delusion! It is probably he avijja-citta. Be careful. Do not think it is purity. That seems his warning

Just make sure you have enter the stream. You don’t have to worry about all this thing. If one enter the sati/samadhi with right view and sila, one doesn’t have to worry about anything. Buddha taught samma samadhi (jhana) with wisdom. There is a checkpoint especially those ariya status, so no worry at all.

Btw never heard about Avijja-citta in Sutta. So make sure you refer to Sutta.

This looks to be much more than a quotation, it’s a large excerpt! I know you’ve added a project of translating the sutra excerpts from the Dharmaguptaka Abhidharma. Are the excerpts in this Sarvastivadin Abhidharma extensive enough to do something similar here? Or to pull out the Sutra excerpts from all of the 7 Sarvastivadin Abhidharmas from the Chinese into one volume? Kind of like how the Tibetans have a volume of sutra excerpts pulled from the Abhidharmakosa. Not to add more translation projects onto your plate! This is more of a curiosity as to whether this is a feasible or worthy project down the road?

It would be. It takes a bit of time to scan through some Abhidharma texts (which can be quite large), but it’s definitely worthwhile. They often quote Ekottarika Agama sutras that are otherwise lost. The Dharmaskandha would be relatively easy - it uses a sutra to introduce each chapter’s topic, so there’s not much searching involved (other than finding the parallels in Pali). I’m planning to spend some time with the Sariputra Abhidharma because Dharmaguptaka parallels are very similar to Theravada suttas in many cases, and I’ve found a couple parallels to Pali suttas that otherwise appear to have none.

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This is interesting. I wonder how all the minor Vinaya rules around stupas crept in, if the sutra portion of their canon stayed so close to the earlier strands.

As for my interest in the Sarvastivadin canon, I think a part of me is just interested in the Sarvastivadin project because we are so close to having their near-complete canon (if someone can find and gather the Sanskrit of the Sarvastivadin DA into one online place for translation and gather the Chinese Sarvastivadin fragments of the EA scattered in the Abhidharma in one place for translation). It would be kind of cool to have a near-complete alternative set to the Pali texts in translation. I know this is a long term goal. But definitely one I wish to see come to fruition in my lifetime!

Anyway, who knows once you are done with the EA translation, maybe this project will be beckoning you :wink: . But no pressure, you are doing amazing work towards correcting the Pali top-heavy situation of EBT studies as is. :slight_smile:

The Venerable Sujato commented on this saying, hopefully I remember truthfully, that due to Dharmaguptakas location in the northwest in a territory unfamiliar with stupa worship they needed those rules to explain the correct behavior.

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Yeah, I’m more than a little fascinated by the Dharmaguptakas because they were pivotal during a certain period of history. They have EBTs that are closer to Theravada suttas than the Sarvastivadins, yet they obviously developed along their own lines in Central Asia. They eventually became Mahayanists in later eras, and there’s some evidence that they had been syncretic before that, including some Mahayana texts in a separate pitaka. It’s pretty sketchy, though, we only have a few tidbits in this or that source about them.

So, then, in terms of EBT studies, they’re important to confirming Pali EBTs since they seemed to have originally stemmed from the same canonical lineage. In early Chinese Buddhist studies, they are important in understanding how Mahayana texts formed. Later on, Sarvastivadins became more important. Alot of later Mahayanists like Kumarajiva or Vasubandhu had converted after getting a Sarvastivadin education. Dharmaguptakas must have declined or disappeared.

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Speaking of the Dharmaguptakas, here’s another table with their version of AN 4.41 that’s found in the Sariputra Abhidharma (T1548.635c20-636a14). It’s included in the Marga chapter, which is a kind of numerical catalogue of different practices, going from one to eleven. The four cultivations of samadhi are in the fours, and it’s defined with a sutra quote found below. Note the striking similarities in wording, and it includes a similar quote from some other text at the end the way the Pali does, and the name of it might well be some Prakrit version of Puṇṇaka. And, it doesn’t include the jhana similes found in the Sarvastivada version.

AN 4.41 (Sujato) T1548 Extract
“Catasso imā, bhikkhave, samādhibhāvanā. Katamā catasso? Atthi, bhikkhave, samādhibhāvanā bhāvitā bahulīkatā diṭṭhadhammasukhavihārāya saṁvattati; atthi, bhikkhave, samādhibhāvanā bhāvitā bahulīkatā ñāṇadassanappaṭilābhāya saṁvattati; atthi, bhikkhave, samādhibhāvanā bhāvitā bahulīkatā satisampajaññāya saṁvattati; atthi, bhikkhave, samādhibhāvanā bhāvitā bahulīkatā āsavānaṁ khayāya saṁvattati. 四修定。何等四?有修定親近多修學得現世樂行。有修定親近多修學得知見。有修定親近多修學得慧分別。有修定親近多修學得漏盡。
“Mendicants, there are these four ways of developing immersion further. What four? There is a way of developing immersion further that leads to blissful meditation in the present life. There is a way of developing immersion further that leads to gaining knowledge and vision. There is a way of developing immersion further that leads to mindfulness and awareness. There is a way of developing immersion further that leads to the ending of defilements. “… the four cultivations of samādhi. What are the four? There’s the cultivation of samādhi that attains happy practice in the present life when one is familiar with and often trains in it. There’s the cultivation of samādhi that obtains knowledge and vision when one is familiar with and often trains in it. There’s the cultivation of samādhi that obtains wisdom and discernment when one is familiar with and often trains in it. There’s the cultivation of samādhi that obtains the end of contamination when one is familiar with and often trains in it.
Katamā ca, bhikkhave, samādhibhāvanā bhāvitā bahulīkatā diṭṭhadhammasukhavihārāya saṁvattati? Idha, bhikkhave, bhikkhu vivicceva kāmehi …pe… catutthaṁ jhānaṁ upasampajja viharati. Ayaṁ, bhikkhave, samādhibhāvanā bhāvitā bahulīkatā diṭṭhadhammasukhavihārāya saṁvattati. 何謂修定親近多修學得現世樂行。如比丘。離欲惡不善法。離生喜樂。成就初禪行。
And what is the way of developing immersion further that leads to blissful meditation in the present life? It’s when a mendicant, quite secluded from sensual pleasures, secluded from unskillful qualities, enters and remains in the first absorption … second absorption … third absorption … fourth absorption. This is the way of developing immersion further that leads to blissful meditation in the present life. “What is the cultivation of samādhi that obtains happy practice in the present life …? Here, a monk is secluded from desire and bad and unskillful things. That seclusion gives rise to joy and happiness, and he achieves the first dhyāna.
滅覺觀內淨信一心無覺無觀定生喜樂。成就二禪行。
“He ceases perception and contemplation, and his mind is unified with inner pure confidence. Without perception or contemplation, that samādhi gives rise to joy and happiness, and he achieves the second dhyāna.
離喜捨行念正智身受樂。如諸聖人解捨念樂行。成就三禪行。
“He is secluded from joy. He practices detachment and is mindful and correctly knowing. He personally experiences happiness, as the noble people explain equanimity, mindfulness, and happy practice, and he achieves the third dhyāna.
斷苦樂先滅憂喜不苦不樂捨念淨。成就四禪行。如是修定親近多修學得現世樂行。
“He ends pain and pleasure, and his prior sorrow and joy ceases. Neither pained nor pleasured, he is detached, mindful, and pure, and he achieves the fourth dhyāna. Such is the cultivation of samādhi that obtains happy practice in the present life …
Idha, bhikkhave, bhikkhu ālokasaññaṁ manasi karoti, divāsaññaṁ adhiṭṭhāti—yathā divā tathā rattiṁ, yathā rattiṁ tathā divā. Iti vivaṭena cetasā apariyonaddhena sappabhāsaṁ cittaṁ bhāveti. Ayaṁ, bhikkhave, samādhibhāvanā bhāvitā bahulīkatā ñāṇadassanappaṭilābhāya saṁvattati. 何謂修定親近多修學得知見。如比丘善取明想善持晝想。比丘如晝修明想。夜亦如是。如夜修明想晝亦如是。以心開悟。不覆蓋心。心修有明此定親近多修學得知見。
And what is the way of developing immersion further that leads to gaining knowledge and vision? It’s when a mendicant focuses on the perception of light, concentrating on the perception of day, regardless of whether it’s night or day. And so, with an open and unenveloped heart, they develop a mind that’s full of radiance. This is the way of developing immersion further that leads to gaining knowledge and vision. “What’s the cultivation of samādhi that obtains knowledge and vision …? Here, a monk well grasps a perception of light and well maintains a perception of day. As this monk develops the perception of light by day, he does likewise at night. As he develops the perception of light at night, he does likewise by day. With a mind that’s open and awake, his mind isn’t covered up, and his mind develops having light. This cultivation of samādhi obtains knowledge and vision …
Katamā ca, bhikkhave, samādhibhāvanā bhāvitā bahulīkatā ñāṇadassanappaṭilābhāya saṁvattati?Katamā ca, bhikkhave, samādhibhāvanā bhāvitā bahulīkatā satisampajaññāya saṁvattati? Idha, bhikkhave, bhikkhuno viditā vedanā uppajjanti, viditā upaṭṭhahanti, viditā abbhatthaṁ gacchanti; viditā saññā …pe… viditā vitakkā uppajjanti, viditā upaṭṭhahanti, viditā abbhatthaṁ gacchanti. Ayaṁ, bhikkhave, samādhibhāvanā bhāvitā bahulīkatā satisampajaññāya saṁvattati. 何謂修定親近多修學得慧分別。如比丘。知受生。知受住。知受滅。知想生。知想住。知想滅。知覺生。知覺住。知覺滅。此定親近多修學得慧分別。
And what is the way of developing immersion further that leads to mindfulness and awareness? It’s when a mendicant knows feelings as they arise, as they remain, and as they go away. They know perceptions as they arise, as they remain, and as they go away. They know thoughts as they arise, as they remain, and as they go away. This is the way of developing immersion further that leads to mindfulness and awareness. “What is the cultivation of samādhi that obtains wisdom and discernment …? Here, a monk knows the arising of feeling, knows the abiding of feeling, and knows the cessation of feeling. He knows the arising of perception, knows the abiding of perception, and knows the cessation of perception. He knows the arising of awareness [vitarka], knows the abiding of awareness, and knows the cessation of awareness. This is the samādhi that obtains wisdom and discernment …
Katamā ca, bhikkhave, samādhibhāvanā bhāvitā bahulīkatā āsavānaṁ khayāya saṁvattati? Idha, bhikkhave, bhikkhu pañcasu upādānakkhandhesu udayabbayānupassī viharati: ‘iti rūpaṁ, iti rūpassa samudayo, iti rūpassa atthaṅgamo; iti vedanā, iti vedanāya samudayo, iti vedanāya atthaṅgamo; iti saññā, iti saññāya samudayo, iti saññāya atthaṅgamo; iti saṅkhārā, iti saṅkhārānaṁ samudayo, iti saṅkhārānaṁ atthaṅgamo; iti viññāṇaṁ, iti viññāṇassa samudayo, iti viññāṇassa atthaṅgamo’ti. Ayaṁ, bhikkhave, samādhibhāvanā bhāvitā bahulīkatā āsavānaṁ khayāya saṁvattati. 何謂修定親近多修學得漏盡。如比丘。知五受陰生滅。知色知色集。知色滅。知受想行識。知識集。知識滅。此定親近多修學得漏盡
And what is the way of developing immersion further that leads to the ending of defilements? It’s when a mendicant meditates observing rise and fall in the five grasping aggregates. ‘Such is form, such is the origin of form, such is the ending of form. Such is feeling, such is the origin of feeling, such is the ending of feeling. Such is perception, such is the origin of perception, such is the ending of perception. Such are choices, such is the origin of choices, such is the ending of choices. Such is consciousness, such is the origin of consciousness, such is the ending of consciousness.’ This is the way of developing immersion further that leads to the ending of defilements. “What is the cultivation of samādhi that obtains the end of contamination …? Here, a monk knows the arising and ceasing of the five acquired aggregates. He knows form, knows the formation of form, and knows the cessation of form. He knows feeling … perception … volition … consciousness, knows the formation of consciousness, and knows the cessation of consciousness. This samādhi obtains the end of contamination …
Imā kho, bhikkhave, catasso samādhibhāvanā. Idañca pana metaṁ, bhikkhave, sandhāya bhāsitaṁ pārāyane puṇṇakapañhe: 如波羅延經所問
These are the four ways of developing immersion further. And it was in this connection that I said in ‘The Way to the Beyond’, in ‘The Questions of Puṇṇaka’: “It’s like the Questions of *Palyana:
‘Saṅkhāya lokasmiṁ paroparāni, 斷[一切]欲想,滅憂惱,
‘Having assessed the world high and low, ‘Stop perceptions of desire, cease anguish,
Yassiñjitaṁ natthi kuhiñci loke; 捨睡眠,遮掉悔,
there is nothing in the world that disturbs them. Discard drowsiness, and check restlessness.
Santo vidhūmo anīgho nirāso, 捨念淨先滅覺
Peaceful, unclouded, untroubled, with no need for hope, Be detached, mindful, and pure having ceased perception [vitarka],
Atāri so jātijaranti brūmī’”ti. [知]覺解脫斷無明。
they’ve crossed over rebirth and old age, I declare.’” Awaken to liberation and end ignorance.’
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