Another point from Polak (also popular among the rest of the banana-jhana camp) that needs to be put to bed once and for all, concerns the reading of junction of the 4th jhana pericope with the supernormal powers pericope.
In s.1.2.1, he discusses MN 36 and MN 85. At p.45, he makes this startling proposition -
In a heightened state of the fourth jhana, he was able to destroy the three asavas, and thus he gained the ultimate awakening and became a Buddha.
Doubtless, he is referring to this passage -
I entered upon and abided in the fourth jhāna…But such pleasant feeling that arose in me did not invade my mind and remain.
“When my concentrated mind was thus purified, bright, unblemished, rid of imperfection, malleable, wieldy, steady, and attained to imperturbability,
I directed it to knowledge of the recollection of past lives…
When my concentrated mind was thus purified, bright, unblemished, rid of imperfection, malleable, wieldy, steady, and attained to imperturbability, I directed it to knowledge of the destruction of the taints.
While the translation into English is serviceable, what the Pali says in the final para above is much more precise -
So evaṃ samāhite citte parisuddhe pariyodāte anaṅgaṇe vigatūpakkilese mudubhūte kammaniye ṭhite āneñjappatte āsavānaṃ khayañāṇāya cittaṃ abhininnāmesiṃ.
The italicised text is the main clause is describing the directing of the mind, while the bolded part is the subordinate clause describing the context.
Never mind my earlier observations about the periphrasis in the jhana pericopes that is invisible to readers unfamiliar with Pali. What I would like to point out here is that the subordinate clause is actually something known as a “locative absolute”, ie the substantive noun citta and all of the attendant participles samāhita, parisuddha etc are inflected in the locative case. But what sort of participles are these? They are all past participles, not present participles.
And this is where Polak slips up big time. Relying on a serviceable English translation, he asserts that the 3 superknowledges occur in the 4th jhana. Had he been familiar with Pali grammar, he would have realised that when the subordinate clause is a locative absolute consisting of past participles, the action in the subordinate clause takes place BEFORE the action in the main clause : Wijeysekara, s.183b.
I know Bhante Sujato dislikes Buddhist Hybrid English, but in this case, a precise rendering of the passage would have been more useful -
After my mind had been thus concentrated, purified, made pure, made unblemished, rid of imperfection, made malleable, made wieldy, made steady, and attained to imperturbability, I directed it to knowledge of the destruction of the taints.
This is confirmed by AN 9.35 (but pls, not in Ven Thanissaro’s translation!) where the supernormal powers are exercised upon emerging from this or that attainment.
I’m definitely not sending my babies to the Marie Curie University, seeing how his PhD supervisors could have been so sloppy…