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Paccittiya 8 & teaching laity


#86

Well, I have not made a particularly systematic survey, so I may be mistaken. Are there counterexamples where someone becomes an Arahant quickly who was not already an experienced practitioner of some sort? Or significnat variations in how an Arahant’s attainments are described ?

:heart:


#88

A mendicant cussed out Mat once saying he was ugly and looked like a dog. I can’t help but believe the choice specifically of something along the lines of “your face looks like a dog” wasn’t a little bit racist, given this was a Russian man addressing a Sri Lankan. Europeans have traditionally referred to easterly foreigners as people with dog’s heads since God knows when.

I have no clue where the original would be. It was likely removed in moderation. Hopefully.


#89

Hmm :thinking: I cannot recall this incident. Maybe it’s good that I have a thick skin! I’m not even sure Akaliko meant anything negative.


#90

Nope, no bad intention toward you at all @Mat :grinning:


#91

In some suttas a newly ordained person becomes ‘soon’ an arahant, whatever that means: SN 7.1-2, SN 7.10, SN 12.17, SN 35.241, SN 41.9, SN 41.2, AN 5.180, MN 7, MN 57, MN 75, MN 124, DN 8, DN 9, DN 16). But we should keep in mind that narrative frameworks usually serve a certain function and are not necessarily a real event. So, the ‘soon becoming an arahant’ for example is just a formula in the suttas, a ‘happy end’.

For what it’s worth, the AN features
“The foremost monk among those who quickly attain direct knowledge is Bāhiya Dārucīriya” (AN 2.216). Bodhi’s comment:

His story is told in Ud 1:10, 6–9. Before he met the Buddha, he had lived as an ascetic, convinced he was an arahant until a benevolent deity disabused him of this notion. He hastened to visit the Buddha in Sāvatthī. Upon receiving the Buddha’s teaching he immediately attained arahantship

“The foremost nun among those who quickly attain direct knowledge is Bhaddā Kuṇḍalakesā.” (AN 2.243). Bodhi:

Her story is in Nyanaponika and Hecker 2003: 269–73. She had been a wandering ascetic and debater before she met the Buddha. Her verses are at Thī 107–11.


#92

Yes, Bahiya was the sort of person I was thinking about. He already had practised, but needed some hints about view.

But, of course, you’re right that narratives are narratives, not necessarily a historical description…


#93

@karl_lew could you give your opinion to my question below. It was based on your statement.

Why do you have sadness in the first Jhana?


#95

Here is my answer from SE. It’s not a claim or anything, just a hypothesis based on my reading of SN48.40. This sutta was very helpful in understanding my emotional states of stress. I hadn’t realized that there was a progression until I read the sutta. Indeed, what’s interesting is that in MN121, there is only the slightest modicum of stress, so this sutta helped me understand the whole progression of suffering:

In this sutta, the following five faculties are transcended as one enters various jhanas:

  • pain: first jhana
  • sadness: second jhana
  • pleasure: third jhana
  • happiness: fourth jhana
  • equanimity: “ninth jhana”

Pain is coarser than sadness, for both householders and Noble Ones.

For a householder, someone sad over the death of a loved one might not notice ongoing pain from illness or injury–the personal sadness exceeds the personal pain.

For a mendicant, as personal bodily aches and pains recede with first jhana, one becomes more aware of the immense suffering of others and a sadness arises out of that awareness. Or an older mendicant might feel sadness arise from realizing that Nibbana might be personally unreachable in this very life.

One can also personally experience the relative coarseness of pain vs. sadness without jhana in regular meditation. It’s actually quite interesting to meditate when one is in pain and/or suffering. They both attenuate, but pain attenuates first.

Lastly, just because sadness or pain disappears does not mean one has attained one the above jhanas–there are other conditions. There are also different degrees of pain and sadness.


#96

What do you mean ninth Jhana here?


#97

I think it is good that Patimokkha requires monks to confess declaring jhana because if left unchecked declaring one’s attainments is problematic for the community as a whole.

There is however time and place and Buddha allegedly talked about Jhana to lay people as is evident here;

As he was sitting there the Blessed One said to him, “Householder, you have provided the community of monks with robes, alms food, lodgings, & medicinal requisites for the sick, but you shouldn’t rest content with the thought, ‘We have provided the community of monks with robes, alms food, lodgings, & medicinal requisites for the sick.’ So you should train yourself, ‘Let’s periodically enter & remain in seclusion & rapture.’ That’s how you should train yourself.”
When this was said, Ven. Sariputta said to the Blessed One, "It’s amazing, lord. It’s astounding, how well put that was by the Blessed One: ‘Householder, you have provided the community of monks with robes, alms food, lodgings, & medicinal requisites for the sick, but you shouldn’t rest content with the thought, “We have provided the community of monks with robes, alms food, lodgings, & medicinal requisites for the sick.” So you should train yourself, “Let’s periodically enter & remain in seclusion & rapture.” That’s how you should train yourself.’
"Lord, when a disciple of the noble ones enters & remains in seclusion & rapture, there are five possibilities that do not exist at that time: The pain & distress dependent on sensuality do not exist at that time. The pleasure & joy dependent on sensuality do not exist at that time. The pain & distress dependent on what is unskillful do not exist at that time. The pleasure & joy dependent on what is unskillful do not exist at that time. The pain & distress dependent on what is skillful do not exist at that time. When a disciple of the noble ones enters & remains in seclusion & rapture, these five possibilities do not exist at that time."Piti Sutta: Rapture

In general imo one can talk about anything saying; “This is what the texts say, this is how i interpret it, this is how other people interpret it and this is what i think about it”.

One can also talk about anecdotes as hearsay or as what is claimed without disclosing identifying information.


#98

The cessation of perception and feeling. I quoted the “ninth jhana” because that is not in the suttas. What is in the suttas is four jhanas. Some find it convenient to “add on to the numbers” for stages of immersion, especially the formless ones:

From DN33:

Going totally beyond perceptions of form, with the ending of perceptions of impingement, not focusing on perceptions of diversity, aware that ‘space is infinite’, they enter and remain in the dimension of infinite space. This is the fourth liberation.

Going totally beyond the dimension of infinite space, aware that ‘consciousness is infinite’, they enter and remain in the dimension of infinite consciousness. This is the fifth liberation.

Going totally beyond the dimension of infinite consciousness, aware that ‘there is nothing at all’, they enter and remain in the dimension of nothingness. This is the sixth liberation.

Going totally beyond the dimension of nothingness, they enter and remain in the dimension of neither perception nor non-perception. This is the seventh liberation.

Going totally beyond the dimension of neither perception nor non-perception, they enter and remain in the cessation of perception and feeling. This is the eighth liberation.

Basically the “ninth jhana” would be where you end up after the eight liberation.
One might also just say nibbana. I just quoted it because it is not in the suttas.


#99

EBTs say that only the first four rupa absorptions are ‘jhana’. The immaterial ones aren’t called jhana but faculties or ‘ayatana’ (‘akincannayata’). Both these are conditioned (sankhata) phenomena. Nibbana or the cessation of (perception and feeling) is unconditioned and therefore not jhana. :heart:


#100

Better not to call it that because it can indeed be confused with “cessation of perception and feeling” (saññāvedayitanirodha) which comes in fact after the fourth arupa but is not nibbana yet. It seems to ensure at least an anagami status (see e.g. AN 5.166). But anyhow, better to avoid ‘ninth jhana’ in general, and especially for nibbana.


#101

Cessation of perception and feeling is nibbana but not Nibbana, as in becoming an Arahanth.


#102

What do you mean by nibbana and Nibbana?


#103

Well by nibbana, I meant nibbana dhatu, ie cessation as an experience, and by Nibbana I meant attaining Nibbana, the events immediately surrounding the attainment as well as the subsequent state of conscious enlightenment! The first is unconscious and the second is conscious, and is a conventional designation for enlightenment.


#104

Where is it said in the suttas that cessation of perception and feeling is nibbana?


#106

We can see from the below sutta cessation of perception and feeling (nirodhasamapatti) is different to rupa jhana and arupa ‘dimensions’:

“Monks, there are these nine step-by-step dwellings. Which nine? The first jhāna, the second jhāna, the third jhāna, the fourth jhāna, the dimension of the infinitude of space, the dimension of the infinitude of consciousness, the dimension of nothingness, the dimension of neither perception nor non-perception, the cessation of perception & feeling. These are the nine step-by-step dwellings.” [1]Vihāra Sutta: Dwellings (1)

Nothing is felt, in nirodhasamapatti:

on one occasion Ven. Sariputta was staying near Rajagaha in the Bamboo Grove, the Squirrels’ Feeding Sanctuary. There he said to the monks, “This Unbinding is pleasant, friends. This Unbinding is pleasant.”

When this was said, Ven. Udayin said to Ven. Sariputta, “But what is the pleasure here, my friend, where there is nothing felt?”

"Just that is the pleasure here, my friend: where there is nothing felt.

If, as he remains there, he is beset with attention to perceptions dealing with the dimension of nothingness, that is an affliction for him. Now, the Blessed One has said that whatever is an affliction is stress. So by this line of reasoning it may be known how pleasant Unbinding is.

“Furthermore, there is the case where a monk, with the complete transcending of the dimension of neither perception nor non-perception, enters & remains in the cessation of perception & feeling. And, having seen [that] with discernment, his mental fermentations are completely ended. So by this line of reasoning it may be known how Unbinding is pleasant.
Nibbana Sutta: Unbinding

Essentially where the is no disturbance at all, where it is most refined, is where nibbana is.


#107

there is also the an9.47;

“First, take a mendicant who, quite secluded from sensual pleasures … enters and remains in the first absorption.
“Idhāvuso, bhikkhu vivicceva kāmehi … pe … paṭhamaṃ jhānaṃ upasampajja viharati.
To this extent the Buddha said that extinguishment is visible in this very life in a qualified sense. …
Ettāvatāpi kho, āvuso, sandiṭṭhikaṃ nibbānaṃ vuttaṃ bhagavatā pariyāyena … pe ….

Furthermore, take a mendicant who, going totally beyond the dimension of neither perception nor non-perception, enters and remains in the cessation of perception and feeling. And, having seen with wisdom, their defilements come to an end.
Puna caparaṃ, āvuso, bhikkhu sabbaso nevasaññānāsaññāyatanaṃ samatikkamma saññāvedayitanirodhaṃ upasampajja viharati, paññāya cassa disvā āsavā parikkhīṇā honti.
To this extent the Buddha said that extinguishment is visible in this very life in a definitive sense.”
Ettāvatāpi kho, āvuso, sandiṭṭhikaṃ nibbānaṃ vuttaṃ bhagavatā nippariyāyenā”ti.


#108

Note the bolded part. There is something further to be stilled aside from perception and feeling:

For someone who has attained the cessation of perception and feeling, perception and feeling have ceased.
Saññāvedayitanirodhaṃ samāpannassa saññā ca vedanā ca niruddhā honti.
For a mendicant who has ended the defilements, greed, hate, and delusion have ceased.
Khīṇāsavassa bhikkhuno rāgo niruddho hoti, doso niruddho hoti, moho niruddho hoti. - SuttaCentral