I have trouble understanding how vitakka and vicara are used in this sutta: SuttaCentral particularly after hearing that this sutta is used as one of the proofs that thinking does not occur in the first jhana.
If they mean placing the mind and keeping it connected as @sujato translates, does this mean that Mahavira accepted/understood the teaching of the first jhana (and perhaps practiced it?), and that the purpose of his questioning is to negate the possibility that there’s something beyond that?
If Mahavira means thinking by vitakka-vicara (which is the more common meaning, and I believe the assumption made by those that use this sutta to show that no thinking occurs in jhana) then Citta’s answer is that he experiences states where indeed that ceases, but those states are from the second jhana onwards (or inwards), and not the first jhana.
So doesn’t this sutta imply:
- either that in the first jhana thinking occurs?
- or that Mahavira is accepting the teaching of the first jhana where vitakka-vicara refer to the wobble of the mind but is negating the existence of higher states?
Either way I don’t see how this sutta can be used as additional proof that thinking does not occur in the first jhana. Did I understand this correctly or am I missing something?