Aren’t vitakka and vicara removed in the 2nd jhana?
There are vitakka and vicara cetasika which accompies all type of consciousness. Whether they are kusala or akusala depends on the type of citta. In meditation if one’s mind is not wandering I assume it is a kusala citta.
If an academic, rather than a skilled practitioner was describing the dhamma, I could see them starting with five jhana factors of the first jhana and reducing one by one, for each successive jhana, thereby arriving at 5 Rupa jhana. Real practice is more messier, and jhana factors alter unpredictability- one needs to go in to the jhana and see actually what changes.
There’s no clear mention of jhana in the AN8.63, just variations in the jhana factors. I believe these are advanced samadhi practices that one does when one has gain good control over these factors. Yesterday I conducted a discussion in the local temple on the seemingly simple Ananpanasati sutta (MN118). The stages became increasingly complex quickly, the deeper the practice got, but people were quick to identify them with signs of superficial levels of progress.
The fivefold jhāna theme is based on a jhāna having both vitakka and vicāra, and the second (fivefold) jhāna having only vicāra.
When this concentration has been developed and cultivated by you in this way, then you should develop this concentration with thought and examination; you should develop it without thought but with examination only; you should develop it without thought and examination. You should develop it with rapture; you should develop it without rapture; you should develop it accompanied by comfort; and you should develop it accompanied by equanimity.1765
— transl., Bhikkhu Bodhi
Here is Bhikkhu Bodhi’s footnote:
Mp: “This is the meaning: ‘When, bhikkhu, you have developed this fundamental concentration of loving-kindness in such a way, you should not be satisfied merely with this much, but you should attain four and five jhānas [in the fivefold jhāna scheme] in regard to other meditation objects. Thus you should develop it according to the method “with thought and examination” and so forth.’” While, in the jhāna scheme of the Nikāyas, the transition from the first to the second jhāna is marked by the simultaneous elimination of thought (vitakka) and examination (vicāra), other texts distinguish samādhi as threefold: as with thought and examination, without thought but with examination, and without thought and examination (see DN 33.1.10, III 219,19–20; MN 128.31, III 162,13–16; SN 43:3, IV 360,11–13). This middle stage of samādhi gave rise, in the Abhidhamma, to a fivefold scheme of jhānas that inserts, after the first jhāna, a second jhāna that is without thought but with examination. This scheme then renumbers the second, third, and fourth jhānas of the fourfold scheme as the third, fourth, and fifth jhānas to obtain a fivefold scheme. The samādhi with rapture (sappītika) includes the first and second jhānas (of the fourfold scheme); that without rapture (nippītika) includes the third and fourth jhānas. The samādhi with comfort (sātasahagata) is the third jhāna, and the samādhi with equanimity (upekkhāsahagata) the fourth jhāna.