SN 12.70 : Later addition or not?

Recently I found out that some discourses especially SN 12.70 do not mention the function of Jhana for liberation.
It seems like kind of Visuddhimagga’s method, liberation through wisdom.
Can anyone help me ti figure it out, is it later or not?

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SN 12.70 does not exclude the four rupa (form/material) jhanas of the noble eightfold path.

SN 12.70 only excludes the arupa (formless/immaterial) jhanas & supernormal psychic powers.

This is consistent with the suttas, which report not all arahants (e.g. Venerable Sariputta) had supernormal psychic powers.

Then knowing and seeing thus, do you venerable ones dwell in those peaceful deliverances that transcend forms, the formless (arupa) attainments, having touched them with the body? SN 12.70

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Yes, i agree with Deeele here, the text doesn’t mention the 4 jhanas, but it doesn’t exclude them either.

Funnily enough, there are many suttas that talk about the path to liberation without mentioning vipassanā at all, but they are never used to justify a samatha only path!

It’s quite expected that in various suttas only parts of the path would be talked about. This is especially true in the case of something like the Susīma Sutta, where the setting of the story is anything but normal. I don’t think by by itself this qualifies the sutta as late. But i haven’t looked into it in detail, especially with the parallels, so I couldn’t say for sure.

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The Sarvastivadin version of the Susima-sutra is worth noting. It has the same background setting, but the structure of Susima’s questions is different.

He starts by asking about the first jhana, which the arahants deny to attain, and continues up to the fourth jhana and ends his questions with the aruppa.

On another note, the dry-insight approach really isn’t without samatha. Quite the contrary. It starts out differently.

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Yes, it appears to be a matter of the order of development of samatha and vipassana…



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For me, a questionable sutta because I think it is a natural principle that when any real insight (vipassana) occurs, some commensurate degree of samatha (tranquillity ) must occur via the dispassion (viraga) & letting go (patinissagga) that naturally results from vipassana.

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Sure, but perhaps it’s a matter of the degree of mastery, and perhaps the sutta is implying, for example, jhana-level samatha.

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