I don't think (hard)jhana is needed to attain nibbana

Oh I see

Do you have sutta that shows there are 6 abhinnas ?

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Aha! Thanks for explaining that. That verse was a bit too contorted for me to understand.

DN34:1.7.84: Six direct knowledges.
DN34:1.7.85: A mendicant wields the many kinds of psychic power: multiplying themselves and becoming one again; appearing and disappearing; going unimpeded through a wall, a rampart, or a mountain as if through space; diving in and out of the earth as if it were water; walking on water as if it were earth; flying cross-legged through the sky like a bird; touching and stroking with the hand the sun and moon, so mighty and powerful; controlling the body as far as the Brahmā realm.
DN34:1.7.86: With clairaudience that is purified and superhuman, they hear both kinds of sounds, human and divine, whether near or far.
DN34:1.7.87: They understand the minds of other beings and individuals, having comprehended them with their own mind.
DN34:1.7.90: They recollect many kinds of past lives, with features and details.
DN34:1.7.91: With clairvoyance that is purified and superhuman, they see sentient beings passing away and being reborn—inferior and superior, beautiful and ugly, in a good place or a bad place. They understand how sentient beings are reborn according to their deeds.
DN34:1.7.92: They realize the undefiled freedom of heart and freedom by wisdom in this very life. And they live having realized it with their own insight due to the ending of defilements.

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I thought of one solution to that.

AN 11.17(16) explain 11 different doors for nibbana:

“Venerable sir, when sectarians search for a teacher’s fee for their teachers, why shouldn’t I pay homage to Ven. Ananda?”"
[…]
“… just as if a man seeking a single opening onto treasure were all at once to come upon eleven openings onto treasure, in the same way I — seeking a single doorway to the Deathless — have all at once come to hear of eleven doorways to the Deathless.”

the 11 different doors:

  • 1st jhana
  • 2nd jhana
  • 3rd jhana
  • 4th jhana
  • release through loving-kindness
  • release through compassion
  • release through altruistic joy
  • release through equanimity
  • transcending of perceptions
  • infinitude of consciousness
  • dimension of nothingness
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You need sutta or atleast commentary support to show those are indeed the 11 ways to nibbana

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source appears in the message… What do you mean?

“…he reaches the ending of the mental fermentations.”

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If you translate the great direct knowledge as the 6th abhinna then you need to explain how the moggalana attained knowledge of the ending of defilement by 9 times, was it really necessary for him to know that he is an arahant by 9 times ? Was he uncertain about his arahantship that he needs to check it and recheck it again and again ?

at least I believe the issue is more complex of what we believe. Suttas are an accumulation of different approaches from the Sangha who already in Buddha times were different groups over a big territory with some isolation between them, receiving eventual visits and meetings of senior disciples or the Buddha himself.

The variety of experiences is impossible to catch, still more when only one person become a complete sub-world to be understood. There are cases inside the sources showing people who are not really aware they are already arhants, showing children… Many strange things which can contradict any fixed view about how the progress of somebody can be developed.

The big effort to classify and decipher all that heritage of experiences by means Suttas, Abhidhamma, Commentaries, etc… it cannot catch all the imaginable possibilities and nuances. Despite in front that big accumulation one can believe all the possible varieties are in our hands and these can be handled like Ikea manuals.

In practical terms the only way is to be focused in some approach felt like right and go for that.

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Yes that’s it, through metta too we can be arahant so jhana is not necessary

The way I see it, even if one talks about metta etc. as a path to liberation, what is meant is drenching oneself 24x7 in metta, where it becomes a singular focus. That state seems similar to a highly concentrated state eventhough it may not fit the exact formula for jhanas and progression of what gets dropped in each (description-wise). So in the end, it may not make much of a difference because both states are equally difficult to achieve - I don’t think it is the case that one can do business deals during the day and spend a bit of time meditating on metta and presto you are on track to be an arahant eventually. Anyway, that is just my understanding of the brief descriptions.

Metta is about spreading love to others, it’s a very active form of meditation

The goodness of metta is it increases your good kamma through your good-will, harmlessness to others, it forces you to quit sensuality and instead focusing on others

Yes I am aware of that but we are talking about taking this mind state to its limits for reaching liberation. To get there, I was hypothesising that it has to be pretty much a permanent state of mind.

Also, I feel I should mention an addition to this hypothesis: I personally do not know anyone who is an arahant via any path (I know of people who I think are/were most likely arhants or thereabouts). What I do think from a bit of reading and a bit of practice is that what you choose as your meditation subject or what works best for you is probably largely dependent on your temperament or which latent tendencies are strong. It is highly likely that beyond a point in one’s practice it makes no difference what the initial or main subject was and the mind will automatically fall into certain states depending on which conditions are ripe - it is not even the case of “you” doing anything. In those stages, minds of people in those states are probably more or less alike with just a little bit of a flavor of their focus-subject showing its effects outwardly.
Anyway, this is just a hypothesis - I have zero evidence for any of it.

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Metta is actually referring to jhanas, see my post here.

Metta is the spread of jhana to other beings, you can’t have metta without Jhana.

  1. In the suttas the Buddha infuses people and animals like snakes and elephants with piti/sukha, and this is metta

  2. It’s called Brahma Viharas, Brahma’s abode, and to be reborn in the Brahma planes, you need jhanas. So metta is the same as jhana.

  3. The type of vitakka and vicara (thoughts) you’re supposed to have in first jhana is neither unwholesome nor sensual, so brahma vihara (metta, mudita, karuna, upekkha) are the types of thoughts that you have in first jhana. The requirement for first jhana 1) is seclusion from unwholesome mental qualities (thoughts) and 2) seclusion from sensuality.

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@Thito Yes I was trying to say something similar in a very roundabout and speculative way; brahmavihara feelings are different than brahmavihara meditation states - they must be like jhana states. One cannot evoke such states in other sentient beings unless they are extremely strong and pervasive in one’s mind, which essentially would be jhana or jhana-like states, even if we define jhana only as those described by the numerical scheme of one through four.

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A Teaching in Brief

I guess this Sutta is a little off topic from the OP, but pertinent to the last bit of discourse. :man_shrugging:t2::grin:

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Thanks ryanm for that sutta reference :pray::pray:

If you look at it, it doesn’t mention piti and sukha but only ekaggata

As the sutta said a chariot is recognized due to its complete parts

Jhana is still not necessary as others point out that
1.through metta you get nibbana/the ending of defilements
2.Through painful practices you get nibbana/the ending of defilements
3.Through Ekaggata + 7 factors you get 3 right knowledges and one of those is you know that you are freed from defilements

Ekaggata alone is not jhana the sutta said a chariot is recognized due to its complete parts so you atleast need other parts like piti and sukha with vitakka/vicara implicitly implied

Furthermore the jhana simile don’t mention ekaggata but only mention piti and sukha so in jhana simile the ekaggata and vitakka/vicara are implicitly implied

So you can’t implicitly imply piti and sukha, both Ekaggata and vitakka/vicara exist even outside of jhana

And ekaggata is not one pointed concentration if that’s the case you can only focus on piti alone not both piti and sukha, without ekaggata you couldn’t understand what your teacher said during class that explains why some students didn’t understand what their teachers said
Without focus/ekaggata michael jordan could not score any 3 point

What is interesting is there is relationship between ekaggata and vitakka/directed attention if you direct your attention to any sound you focus on that sound more and only in 2nd jhana you can focus by using undirected attention

You can look at previous replies for sutta references