Have we mixed Jnana and Dhyana?

It seems in the Indian tradition. Jnana and Dhyana is two different things. So have the Pali text make this different tradition correctly in suttas. Maybe they mixed it up?

Jnana seems those that all can achieve in other sects. And Dhyana for the formless states. But I was worried that somewhere in sutta its mixed up.

One good example is the Jhana monks maybe was correctly Jnana monks. Since those are the seclusion states.

No, there is no basis for these. They are different words.

These are ordinary, simple words, commonly used in everyday speech, and would no more be confused that we would confuse “rat” and “cat”. Not to speak of the experts in charge of the recension of texts. Indian culture created the most sophisticated linguistic science ever developed, they were not in the habit of misunderstanding words known to any child.


But what they use then in form states then? I never noticed.

@sujato I read in wiki Mahasi used the term a bit for the deeper states.

That’s what I actually mean. What if it actually was Dhyāna for Samadhi and Jnana for the Formless states?

Again, no, see above, these are well understood words.

Don’t think about Buddhist history in terms of misunderstanding of words. This is a peculiar recent phenomenon in Sri Lanka, and all it does is reveal the lack of linguistic knowledge and historical awareness of those making such claims.


Thanks Bhante. I was just curious.

Here the word is used that Mahasi use. It seems to be old word for Insight. The word ñāṇa in Sanskrit is the Jnana.

“(A.i.) That this Ariyan Truth concerning Suffering, O bhikkhus , was not among the doctrines handed down, but there arose in me the vision, there arose in me the insight ( ñāṇa )

So that’s why I think if it’s here maybe they used it in 3 BCE as for the higher states of Insight.

That’s why when Buddha starts to name the formless states he doesn’t call them Jhana.

So the form state are Jhana (Dhyāna)

And the formless states being in Insight is Jnana. If seems in Pali it’s ñāṇa

It seems used a lot in the time of points of controversy.

Insight, again, as we agree, includes, involves the activity of the aggregate of the coefficients of consciousness, as also does understanding. Both of these are conjoined with consciousness. How then can insight be detached from it?