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world [4th class] is result and though it is part of the process of suffering, it is not what drives saṃsāra. Although what happens to us is the unfolding of suffering, it is not the basic cause. The basic cause is the defilements and actions (karma) undertaken in the context of the defilements [5th class]. - The defilements arise in relation to objects (that is, the world). Through the defilements we are bound to objects. - The goal is realizing freedom from the defilements, as we studied last week [6th class] in terms of the Paths of Seeing and Cultivation. This week [7th class] we turn to the basic causes of realizing this freedom: knowledge and meditation. - Freedom from the defilements is actualized through ―complete understanding‖ (parijñā) of the objects through which the defilements arise. Such complete understanding is cultivated through knowledge and meditation. - Just as karma is the principle cause of the world, but only with the underlying condition of the defilements, knowledge is the principle cause of acquiring the cessation of the defilements, but only with the underlying condition of meditation. - Knowledge and meditation unfold the 4th Noble Truth of the Path. This completes the basic Abhidharma explication of the Four Noble Truths and Buddhism in general. I. KNOWLEDGES (JÑĀNA) - The knowledges or insights (jñāna) include the various types of liberating knowledge and the inter-relationships among them. The liberating knowledges discern the dharmas in their own-beings (sva-lakṣaṇa) and their common characteristics (sāmānya-lakṣaṇa), in this case, the modes of understanding of the Four Noble Truths. - The knowledges are cultivated through the 3 kinds of understanding and study of the 4 Truths (discussed last week). - Given the root defilement of ignorance, knowledge is basically concerned with liberating beings from saṃsāra through seeing how things actually are or happen (yathā-bhūtam). It is through the knowledges that the dharmas are distinguished and clarified as ultimately existing. A. The Functions of Prajñā - The Abhidharma explication of knowledge and understanding involves a number of interrelated terms: Prajñā: Understanding. Prajñā is a universal mental factor, present in some form in all moments of consciousness. Abhidharma definition: discernment of dharmas (dharma-pravicaya). Jñāna: Knowledge. A mode of prajñā characterized by decisive (niścita) understanding; also characterized as knowledge that repeatedly discerns; knowledge realizes and comprehends, fully and thoroughly. Kṣānti: Receptivity or patience. A form of prajñā, the ability to completely accept or receive a teaching or truth (in a non-repeatable way). Dṛṣṭi: Views. Their essential nature is prajñā; characterized by examination or judgment (santirana). Darśana: Seeing; this is seeing as in the Path of Seeing (darśana-mārga), including 8 patiences & 7 knowledges. Abhisamaya: Direct comprehension or realization. Understanding the Four Noble Truths in the Path of Seeing and 1st moment of the Path of Cultivation. Realizing how things actually are, understanding reality in its true aspect.
Prajñā (understanding) Pure Prajñā Impure Prajñā The Pure Patiences (kṣānti) of the Path of Seeing. They are view because they are examination (santirana). They are not knowledge, because at the moment of patience, the n/a defilement of doubt, which each Patience abandons, is not already abandoned. View 6 impure prajñās are both knowledge and view, (dṛṣṭi) Dharma Knowledges of Direct Realization (abhisamaya). namely the prajñā associated with the 5 defilements These are seeing because they are examination and since (kleśa) which are views by nature (view of self, false doubt has been abandoned they are knowledge, that is, views, view of extremes, esteeming views, esteeming certain. Also includes the prajñā of the pure Path of morality & asceticism) and, 6th, good prajñā, which Meditation up to the Knowledge of Destruction. is right worldly views (laukikī samyag-dṛṣṭi). 2: Knowledge of Destruction (kṣaya-jñāna) and Prajñā associated with the 5 sense consciousnesses Not view Knowledge of Non-arising (anutpāda-jñāna) (They are not and some prajñā associated with mind consciousness view because they do not include examination & inquiry) is impure, knowledge, but not view (no examination).
such as a jug. Conventional knowledge corresponds to Conventional Truth in contrast with Ultimate Truth (which pertains to the other knowledges except Knowledge of the Mind of Another). which can be pure or impure. when a thing is broken to pieces or dissipated by the mind. 10) Ten Knowledges: The above delineates 9 knowledges. Acquired in the 2nd moment of the Path of Seeing. Consequently this is relatively true. one can remember smell and other dharmas in the mind. by the mind. Acquired in the 10th moment of the Path of Seeing. it is absolutely true…Things are absolutely true in the manner in which they are perceived. 8. in the water. Suffering is understood or known 2. Knowledge of Destruction (kṣaya-jñāna) 10. Knowledge of Cessation (nirodha-jñāna) (3rd Truth) 7. ii. With the addition of the Knowledge of the Mind of Another (para-mano-jñāna. Acquired in the 4th moment of the Path of Seeing. and one is not speaking falsely. fire.B. the idea of this thing continues. If.The Two Truths .‖ .Pure Knowledge: Pure (anāsrava) knowledge is knowledge which the defilements cannot adhere to. make. water.. a jug: the idea of a jug disappears when it is reduced to pieces. Pure Knowledge is the illumination of mind following (and on the Path of Cultivation. 6. Suffering is no longer to be understood or known 2. then this thing has relative existence. etc. Cessation is no longer to be actualized or realized 4. etc. etc. . 2. Thus if one says. If the idea of a thing disappears when this thing is dissipated. either by transworldly knowledge or by the worldly knowledge acquired after transworldly knowledge. Origin is abandoned 3. but the idea of the unique nature of physical matter persists. 3. Knowledge of Dharmas (dharma-jñāna) 3. 1) Knowledge of Dharmas (dharma-jñāna. . The same holds for sensations. for example. 3) Knowledge of Suffering (4) Knowledge of Origin (5) Knowledge of Cessation (6) Knowledge of Path (7) Knowledge of Suffering (4) Knowledge of Origin (5) Knowledge of Cessation (6) Knowledge of Path (7) pertaining to Kāmadhātu - Knowledge (jñāna) pertaining to the Higher Spheres Knowledge Knowledge of of NonDestruction arising (kṣaya(anutpādajñāna. there is water. during) the abandoning of the defilements. Knowledge of the Mind of Another (para-mano-jñāna) 9. Acquired in the 14th moment of the Path of Seeing.‘ one is speaking truly. physical matter: one can reduce physical matter into atoms.—are given their different names from the relative point of view or conforming to conventional usage. 10. Acquired by ordinary persons. Pure knowledge pertains to Ultimate Truth. then this thing has absolute existence. then this thing should be regarded as having relative existence.—jug.Bodhi (awakening. Knowledge of Origin (samudaya-jñāna) (2nd Truth) 6. water. They are relatively true in the manner in which they are perceived by any other defiled or non-defiled worldly knowledge. Acquired in the 2nd moment of the Path of Seeing. Knowledge of the Path (mārga-jñāna) (4th Truth) 8. 8). Unfolding the Ten Knowledges Impure Conventional Knowledge (sāsrava) (samvṛti-jñāna. the Knowledge of Destruction with the Knowledge of Non-arising. depending on whether it is cultivated before or after the Path of Seeing. etc. Origin is no longer to be abandoned 3. such as color.Conventional Knowledge: Conforms to worldly conventions – based on its usage it bears on things which exist conventionally. These things. Conventional or Relative Truth: ―If the idea of a thing disappears when this thing is broken into pieces. 9) jñāna. Knowledge of Suffering (duḥkha-jñāna) (1st Truth) 5. 7. . 4. The Knowledge of Destruction is the certainty that with regard to the Four Noble Truths: 1. there are 10 total knowledges (and how they are acquired – they do not exactly form a linear progression): 1.. And as this absolutely exists. Consecutive or Inferential Knowledge (anvaya-jñāna) 4. Path is no longer to be cultivated . Acquired at the moment of becoming an Arhat. are defined as bodhi (awakening). or broken to pieces. Ultimate or Absolute Truth: ―That which differs is absolute truth.According to the Abhidharmakośa: i. Acquired in the 6th moment of the Path of Seeing. Knowledge of Non-arising (anutpāda-jñāna) 1. Conventional Knowledge (samvṛti-jñāna) 2. enlightenment): The 9th and 10th Knowledges. for example.. female. 9. 2) Pure (anāsrava) Consecutive or Inferential Knowledge (anvaya-jñāna. Acquired in the next moment if one is immovable. etc. for example. ‗There is a jug. If we grasp and remember the dharmas. water. then the idea of water will disappear. clothes. Cessation is actualized or realized 4. 5. Path is cultivated The Knowledge of Non-arising is the certainty that with regard to the Four Noble Truths: 1. from the relative point of view. Acquired through dhyāna practice.
Dhammajoti: ―They clearly do not refer to images or ‗aspects‘ of the objects. but a certitude regarding the complete abandoning and non-arising of the defilements. to be contemplated one by one. these two Knowledges. These common characteristics (sāmānya-lakṣaṇa) are the universal principles of all dharmas intuited by spiritual insight pertaining to the absolute truth. Dignāga and Dharmakīrti would argue that we only perceive a mental representation of external objects.The Knowledges of the Four Truths each bear on the 4 aspects corresponding to each truth. through the force of these knowledges. . not universals abstractly constructed by the mind as in the case of mental inference. The 16 aspects are how things as they truly exist are grasped or realized in genuine insight. all knowing would be indirect and this would imply that direct realization of reality is impossible. The object in all cases may be the same. . a reality which exists in some sense apart from the mind. . but their list is almost completely different – only 3 terms are common to both lists – and not as pivotal to the overall vision of salvation. .Later.. Consciousness arises with the object and the organ in the same moment.The 16 aspects are prajñā by nature. later knowledges are produced which are of the conventional level of truth: ‗my births are cut off. are also included in the conventional level of truth. . the Dṛṣṭi-prāpta (one who attains through views).The Knowledge of Non-arising is only realized by ―immovable ones‖. the Knowledge of Destruction and the Knowledge of Non-Arising. ākāra: aspect. . therefore participate in the conventional level of truth.Note: bodhi as such is not an ―experience‖.The Knowledge of Destruction and the Knowledge of Non-arising bear on 14 aspects. The aspects are what make the knowledges of the Four Noble Truths distinct. b) the unconditioned (subsumed under the 3rd truth Path). not in and of themselves or through definition. and I do not know of any more existences for me. even though they are of the absolute level of truth. The Abhidharmakośa explains this curious classification: ―In fact. but are in the active sense of the mental function of understanding.‖ .The Knowledge of Destruction and the Knowledge of Non-arising mirror the two-fold structure of the Unhindered Paths (ānantārya-mārga) which abandon the defilements by cutting-off the prāpti series. and the Paths of Deliverance (vimukti-mārga) which maintain this abandoning by inducing the acquisition of the cessation of the defilements. but through their outflowing. The term used for ―mental representation‖ (or ―mental image‖) was this same term. the Knowledge of Dharmas and Inferential Knowledge can bear on the 16 aspects of the Four Noble Truths.‘ The two knowledges. Note: The Theravada also teach 16 aspects of the Four Noble Truths. . Part of the import of simultaneous causality in their system is that it allows direct perception – objects are perceived as they truly are in this moment. They do not bear on the aspects of emptiness and not-self. Rather. C.The Sarvāstivādins espoused a form of realism in which direct sensory perception of an objective reality is basically non-mediated. but the aspects discerned under each truth are distinct.Conventional Knowledge. Aspects or Modes of Understanding (ākāra ) . .The Knowledge of Destruction is realized by Arhats after the vajropama-samādhi (concentration that is likened to a diamond) which abandons all the defilements and in particular the 9th grade (most subtle) defilements pertaining to the highest sphere of the formless realm (Bhavāgra).The Four Noble Truths are explicated in terms of 16 aspects or modes of understanding (ākāra ).‖ Aside regarding ākāra (aspects): . The 16 aspects are sāmānya-lakṣaṇas (common characteristics) of all that is: a) defiled & conditioned (subsumed under the 1st and 2nd Noble Truths of Suffering and Origin). they are therefore foreign to the aspects of emptiness and non-self. and c) all that is conditioned and undefiled (subsumed under the 4th Truth of the Path) . I have done what should have been done. .Sarvāstivāda Abhidharma teaches that the aspects are 16 things (dravya).Dignāga and Dharmakīrti follow Yogācāra developments which can be seen as abandoning the premise that liberation is perceived through direct realization of an objective reality. liberation is achieved through understanding or realizing the processes of mind. . If it was the next moment. the religious life has been fully cultivated. the ―family‖ of Arhats with the sharpest faculties whose deliverance is non-circumstantial.The 16 aspects of the Four Noble Truths at direct realization are themselves pure (anāsrava outflow-free) prajñā. When an ascetic departs from the contemplation in which the knowledges of the absolute truth are realized.
etc . that is to say. Suffering because it is painful by 2. empty. or existence. that a false path is the Path. as it is a procession. good (paramārtha-śubha). because it is opposed to non-truth.produces a jug. Truth. No-soul. suffering and not-self were the most important. 2. the coming element from the action of an intelligent being: things arise together of efficient conditions generation. 4. 1. Calm.-4. The most important aspects are the aspects classified under the 1st Noble Truth of Suffering: impermanence. respectively. purusa (agent. bliss.) 1.The 16 aspects appear to be an innovation based on the early discourses. the views that there is no path. 3rd Oppositions to Wrong Views 1. or pradhana (ii. Salvation. ―There is only one cause‖from the future). Cause (hetu) 1. water. because one traverses it (towards Nirvāṇa. emptiness and not-self. it is in order to cure persons who nourish views of permanence. wheel. The word yoga signifies nyaya or truth. stick. The calm aspect is opposed to the view that deliverance is suffering. 1.-4. because it supremely strengthens. Obtaining. themselves constituting the earlier ―three marks of existence‖ (trilakṣaṇa) from the discourse literature. Empty as it opposes the belief in 3. anger. Suffering. 3. 3. 4. because it abandons existence in the Three Dhātus. Impermanent. Extinction. The appearance aspect is opposed to the idea of evolution. 4. The arising aspect is opposed to is emergence: (the dharma emerges the view. 3. No soul as it opposes the belief (anātman) in a self. shoot. The Path. the essential the view that the world is created by causation. Condition (pratyaya) or 4. Truth. Condition 4. craving. by reason of the 3. from a multiplicity of causes. because it has the characteristic of a seed. Path. The 16 aspects are explained in various ways. Cause (hetu). Efficient conditions (pratyaya).. endowed with proofs. Definitive release. The cause aspect is opposed to the view. Empty. 3. because it resembles a nature. 2. Furthermore. Excellent. Extinction (nirodha) 1. The definitive release aspect is opposed to the view that deliverance is subject to falling. Impermanence because it arises (anitya) dependent upon efficient causes. that is. the three conditioned characteristics and delusion. endowed with resources or means. suffering. of things pertaining to the self. etc. Arising. that is to say one obtains nirvāṇa through it. by reason of the destruction of the [impure] skandhas. Truth (nyāya) . 2. Obtaining. Obtaining 3. because it is opposed to the wrong path. 1. truth. 1. ―There is only one cause‖. as it produces. Path. suffering. impermanent 1. 3. Suffering (duḥkha) Empty (śūnya) 1st Truth: suffering 2.. because it is not definitive. because there 2. 4. and definitive release aspects oppose. because it brings (pratipatti) about correct obtaining. existing initially. 4th Noble Truth: Path 2. stalk. Appearance 3. which include: 16 aspects 1st explanation (standard Vaibasika) 2nd explanation 1.). The extinction aspect is opposed to the view that there is no deliverance. that it is not definitive. because it does not obey the will. 2. Cause (hetu). and no-soul are established. because it is delivered from of the three fires.. The excellent aspect is opposed to the view that the happiness of the dhyānas and samāpattis is excellent. because it comes about from that. that there is another path. Of these. because of the cessation of the former suffering and of the non-continuation of subsequent suffering. The hetu is a distant or material cause. 1. by reason of the extinction 2. Calm. 64). because it is not in contradiction with the city of nirvāṇa. Path (mārga) 1. the theory that bhāva. cultivation. twine. Appearance. Arising 2. for example. burden. transforms itself: rather. which (prabhāva) constitutes the series: seed. Excellent. because it is (nihsarana) disassociated from all causes of pain. because it is empty of the view of things pertaining to self. impermanence. and a soul that the aspects of impermanence. The condition aspect is opposed to (pratyaya) as realizing an effect in joint foundation. Definitive release. be it Isvara. because it is absolutely absence of all pain. earth. 3rd Noble Truth: Extinction 2nd Noble Truth: Origin Calm (śānta) Excellent (pranīta) Salvation 4. (saṃskṛta-lakṣaṇas). Definitive 4. because it is yogayukta. because it release causes one to pass beyond in a (nairyāṇika) definitive manner. Arising (samudaya). that from which a dharma immediately arises or originates. bhāva begins. Successive appearance. No-self 4. 3. Cause is a complex. Salvation. and that the Path is subject to falling. This is (samudaya) the near cause. 4. Extinction.
white. by the mental factors (dharmas) which are present or predominate in each concentration. A. This term can be used to refer to any meditative attainment.] Adhyatmasamprasāda: Internal (adhyamoka) purity (prasāda) or faith (śraddhā): This arises in the 2nd dhyāna when vitarka and vicāra have been dropped away.The 4 basic dhyānas are defined in terms of parts – see the table below – that is. and an apparently linear formulation of what is actually multi-dimensional.g. Pali: kasina) concentrations in which one focuses on. This is expressed in the variety of contradictory and overlapping schemes which arose to classify and define the most important concentrations. In Theravada. in meditation states it becomes very strong and counteracts the tendency of mind to restlessly move from one object to another. states of meditation (psychological level – minds).‖ The Sautrantikas state further that purity (prasāda) is faith (śraddhā): ―When the ascetic acquires the Second Dhyāna. .II. etc. The subtle state of the mind.‖ . neighboring). giving and heaven). Samādhi is a universal mental factor. in contrast to the dhyānas which are usually defined in terms of the mental factors involved (with the exception below of the ārūpya-dhyānas).‖ Knowledge depends on the concentrations to proceed unshakably. is not calm or clear. as well as joy (prīti) and happiness (sukha). including the dhyānas.Each of the 8 fundamental dhyānas has a preparatory stage concentration called a sāmantaka (threshold. wishlessness. For the Sarvāstivāda.There are 8 fundamental dhyānas (mūla-dhyāna). air. red. trance. a shift in awareness cultivated intentionally. and the 6 ―recollections‖ (Buddha.. . Samādhi also comes to refer to states of meditation distinguished by the object of the meditation (e. ethics. the loathsome (aśubha). reflection. by reason of the agitation of vitarka and vicāra. . for those in whom imagination is predominant. present in all states of mind. Vitarka: Reasoning. it is complete and unsurpassed development of concentration. Samādhi is the unity of the object with the mind (cittaikagrata – ―one-pointedness of mind‖). in an uninterrupted series. and then develops a completely stable image of. he produces a profound faith: he admits that the spheres of absorption themselves can be abandoned. Dhyāna as absorption is defined as the application of a pure mind on a single object. MEDITATION . various samādhis. perfected or sublime materiality. The mind flows calmly and clearly – this is called ―internal purity‖ – ―As a river agitated by waves. The sāmantaka of the 1st dhyāna is called anāgamya. signlessness).] Vicāra: Investigation. plus the 4 ārūpya (formless). The dhyānas have samādhi (concentration) for their nature. light and space). anāgamya is called upacāra-samādhi. Terms Samāpatti: Attainment. kṛtsna (encompassing. places of birth (cosmological level – realms of beings). Dharma. yellow. The Abhidharma texts preserve some of these classifications. the two cessations.Meditation is the underlying condition for awakening and the path. [In Theravada: sustained application of thought. deep thought. fire. The Eight Fundamental Absorptions . ―access concentration. usually in an upright and still sitting posture. Sangha. Samādhi: Concentration (lit: ―putting together‖). but generally relies on the approach of 8 dhyānas. a circle or disc (of earth. The dhyānas are the path by which one comes to deep understanding easily. water. Dhyāna: 2 contexts: i) Upapatti-dhyāna: dhyānas as existence.The first 4 basic dhyānas are cultivated by concentrating on various objects. It is important to keep in mind that the dhyānas is only one approach among many. the dhyānas are not merely calming. These 4 dhyānas represent a progressive strengthening of concentration with a concomitant weakening and dropping off of coarse functions of mind – including processes of thought (vitarka and vicāra). but while it is typically weak. remains on an object.‖ B. blue. . becoming still and content with one object.The preliminaries of meditation were discussed in the last class – namely. The gross state of the mind. Meditation. and the mindfulness of breathing. so too the series. ―not yet arrived‖ (―neighborhood concentration‖). the rūpa (form) dhyānas. [In Theravada: initial application of thought (to an object). They consist of the 4 basic dhyānas. Recall that ―rūpa‖ in this context refers to a kind of subtle. . The 4th dhyāna is the limit of concentration. The dhyānas (meditation states) are ―the support of all qualities. including the breath. emptiness. they are not easily accessible and inherently subjective. . the Immeasurables (see below). for they are also defined in terms of an equilibrium of calming (śamatha) and insight (vipaśyanā). the contemplation of the loathsome for those in whom greed is predominant.While the Buddhist discourse tends to treat the meditation states in terms of a set of clearly defined ―places‖.Anāgamya is significant as the minimal level of concentration required for the cultivation of the nirvheda-bhāgīyas and the Path of Seeing (darśana-mārga). ii) Samāpatti-dhyāna: dhyānas as absorption. and so on. Samādhi is the dharma by virtue of which the mind.
aduḥkhdsukhavedana is the part of excellence. aduḥkhdsukhavedana (sensation of neither suffering nor happiness) 4. because it is soiled by the defilements. Associated with thirst. it is not the object of an absorption of P2: adhyatmasam-prasāda II. but not the Ārūpyas (because calmness and insight are in equal measure in them). vicāra. because it is confused by a defiled happiness. sukha (happiness) [=prasrabdhi (well-being)] 5. 3. vedana (agreeable sensation)] 5. [5th Sāmantaka] [6th Sāmantaka] [7th Sāmantaka] P4: upekṣāpariśuddhi and smṛtipariśuddhi are opposed to sukha. prīti. sukha (happiness) [=sukha have parts. unlike the 1 . tends to lead to the arising of the defilements. sukha. smṛti (mindfulness) sensation and they are not associated with enjoyment. ―because one traverses them through effort. of penetration. prīti and sukha (faith. internal purity of faith) constitute the part of 2. it ceases to be pure and becomes defiled but is still concentrated by virtue of the absorption of enjoyment). because it is troubled by the defilements which make it unclear. adhyatmasam-prasāda undefiled absorptions. Sāmantakas do not 4. the 8th is 2-fold . Bhavāgra (existence-peak). saṃprajñāna (awareness) excellence. The 2 dhyāna: 4 parts: enjoyment.it is not excellence. certain parts are not included: 1st dhyāna does not include prīti & sukha. The defilements are abandoned through is opposed to vitarka and 1. upekṣāpariśuddhi (pure equanimity) 3. but inferior to the dhyāna free from vitarka (a 2. Vibhuta-rūpa-saṃjñā: ―Those who have conquered the idea of physical matter‖ (not the 5th Sāmantaka. prīti (joy) The 1st 7 absorptions are 3-fold. because III. 3 types of absorption: Klista (defiled) – āsvādana-samāpatti: absorption of enjoyment. The 3rd dhyāna: 5 parts: P3: upekṣā. Thus. cittaikagrata (samādhi) [3rd Sāmantaka] Sāmantakas are exclusively pure and associated with a neutral sensation. The 4th dhyāna: 4 parts: 1. prīti and sukha are obtained when vitarka and vicāra have expelled their opposites. because it is not separated from the defilements of Kāmadhātu. The 4th Ārūpya-dhyāna Naiva-saṃjñānāsaṃjñāyatana: Niether ideas nor absence of ideas. smṛti and the abhorrence of the lower sphere has not yet disappeared. samādhi (concentration) Śuddha (pure) – good (kuśala). Pure absorption is of 4 types: [Superior to the first Dhyānatara: intermediate 1. because it is not completely free of rūpa) going across. of progress. increasing (deepening) concentration IV. 4 parts: vicāra. nd separate dhyāna in Theravada 2 Sāmantaka. dhyāna. Being defiled. [=prasrabdhi (well-being)] 4. vicāra (investigation) 3. samādhi through whose force the four other parts exist. spheres. upekṣā (equanimity) to prīti. vitarka (reasoning) 2. 2nd dhyāna does not include adhyatmasam-prasāda. The 3rd Ārūpya-dhyāna Ākiṃcanya: Nothingness VIII. may be undefiled.‖ The 1st 3. worldly/mundane concentration. do not have a higher & lower. . sukha is the part of from the lower sphere. Pure absorption is the object of the absorption of enjoyment (when one grasps at the absorption. Therefore they only contain the neutral 2. Sāmantaka.] 4. of duration. smṛtipariśuddhi (pure mindfulness) 2. Abhidharma). samādhi nd Anāsrava (undefiled) – this absorption is transworldly/ [2 Sāmantaka] super-mundane. tends to lead to undefiled absorption. Undefiled. Dhyānatara may be defiled. 4th dhyāna does not possess smṛtipariśuddhi & upekṣāpariśuddhi. pure or undefiled. The other st 3. sthiti (samādhi) [4th Sāmantaka] P1: vitarka and vicāra are opposed to the bad minds of Kāmadhātu. The 1st Ārūpya-dhyāna Ākāśānantya: Inifinite space VI. tends to lead to a higher sphere. these absorptions have their own existence (bhāva) for their object (bhāva-raga). sukha (happiness) anāsrava because of the weakness of idea (and thus insight). prīti (joy. increasing subtlety (refinement) of the idea [8th Sāmantaka] going down. tends to lead to its own sphere. saṃprajñāna are opposed and because they are the Path by which one detaches oneself 1. anāgamya. samādhi (concentration) V. The 2nd Ārūpya-dhyāna Vijñānānantya: Infinite consciousness VII. The dharmas which are pratipakṣanga (opposition) and anusamsranga (excellence) [and tadubhayanga (both opposition and excellence) which is in all cases samādhi)] are considered in terms of the parts:] [1st Sāmantaka: Anāgamya] I. associated with thirst (which clings & relishes). 3rd dhyāna does not possess smṛti & saṃprajñāna. it cannot be the object of nd grasping. of falling. rapture) 4.I-VIII: 8 Stages (bhūmi): Fundamental Dhyānas [P1-4: The 4 Dhyānas are filled with ‗parts‘ or items.The 1st dhyāna: 5 parts: 1.
The gross physical object is referred to as the initial or preparatory sign (parikamma-nimitta).‖ That the Immeasurables could lead to liberation poses a . . which is concurrent with the realization of access concentration. . ii. dispositions.g.In kṛtsna (Sanskrit) or kasina (Pali) concentrations (as expounded in the Theravada tradition): i. This is the most subtle concentration that exists. whereas when using breath as an object. the counterpart sign (patibhaga-nimitta). In the context of the sutra. This clear and perfect image is of the nature of subtle rūpa which characterizes Rūpa-dhātu. Bhavāgra. ―Do you want to realize Brahma?‖ He then proceeds to describe the 4 Immeasurables. anāgamya. One first prepares a circle or disk of color and focuses on that image. but incapable of abandoning the defilements. iii. where the supernormal powers can be helpful as a means for teaching and converting others. the object becomes more vivid. . neither-ideas-nor-absenceof-ideas. Beings of a higher sphere do not cultivate a dhyāna of a lower sphere.The 4 ārūpya-dhyānas do not surpass the 4th basic dhyāna above in terms of their level of concentration. loathsome for greed-types. Continuing to describe meditation using a kasina or disk of color for the object. iv. and because they have for their object living beings and not the common characteristics (sāmānya-lakṣaṇa) of dharmas. and meditating on nothingness. the 10 kṛtsna and the breath can be preliminary and advanced. who must enter the undefiled absorption of Ākiṃcanya (the 3rd ārūpya-dhyāna) in order to destroy the defilements pertaining to Bhavāgra because conception (saṃjñā) is too weak in Bhavāgra to actualize the insight which abandons the defilements. By separating even from infinite space as an object. one arrives at the 2nd ārūpya-dhyāna. One separates from rūpa itself by meditating on infinite space and arrives at the 1st ārūpya-dhyāna. As concentration continues to develop. the object of concentration is profoundly and repeatedly refined. 6 recollections for faith-types. kṛtsna or Immeasurables for hate-types). By separating even from the consciousness.The 4th basic dhyāna is the basis for developing supernormal powers. Finally. After some practice. the meditator will no longer need the actual physical object in order to visualize the object. The stable.. . The Abhidharma schools seem to have intentionally misinterpreted this sutra to be referring to Brahma as the heavens of the 1st dhyāna. . Rather. One proceeds through the ārūpya-dhyānas through ―separation from the prior state‖: i. Conception or ideas (saṃjñā) are not active. as concentration deepens. They are associated with cultivation of the dhyānas. The traditional texts do not present the supernormal powers as essential or necessary to actually acquiring insight into the Four Truths. Kāmadhātu. one cultivates the first ārūpya-dhyāna by extending this circle to infinity. potentially conducive to liberation. The Abhidharmakośa explains that the Immeasurebles do not abandon the defilements ―because they include an arbitrary or voluntary judgment and not an exact judgment. the realm of desire has been transcended. the Realm of Subtle Form. formless objects are only advanced).The dhyānas are cultivated by beings of their own sphere or of a lower sphere. C. ṛddhi. The Four Immeasurables (apramāṇas) . the visualized image becomes more vivid and eventually a completely clear and perfected form of the image arises. by separating from the nothingness. . draw after them an immeasurable merit. the 4th ārūpya-dhyāna.The 4 basic dhyānas are of Rūpadhātu.They are also referred to as the ―divine abodes‖ (Brahma-viharas). it is clear that ―Brahma‖ is intended to indicate ultimate truth and realizing Brahma is thus the realization of nirvāṇa.Objects of meditation are explicated in terms of: i. their suitability for the practice of preliminary and advanced stages of concentration (the 6 recollections are preliminary. One particular advantage of this approach to meditation is that as concentration deepens. but they may have some usefulness in higher stages of the path. faculties (e. the breath actually becomes very subtle (and is thus less conducive to developing deep concentration). and produce immeasurable results. ii.They are referred to as the Immeasurables because they apply to an immeasurable number of beings. Their primary value comes after the attainment of bodhi. breath for thinking-types.The Immeausrables are thus severely demoted from a practice that could lead to liberation to a practice that leads to rebirth in heaven. one arrives at the 3rd ārūpya-dhyāna. iii. and meditating on infinite consciousness. their suitability for different personality types. internalized image of the object is called the acquired sign (uggaha-nimitta). . This refers to a sutra in which the Śākyamuni Buddha is speaking to some Brahmans. but this state is also not completely without conception. there is ―Peak of Existence‖. ii. One completely lets go of all preoccupations with the objects of the senses.. except beings in Bhavāgra. He asks.
.The 4 immeasurables do not receive extensive treatment in the discourses or Abhidharma texts. a calamity. It is an absorption entered from Bhavāgra. by non-āryas. Immeasurable: 1. However. . those to whom one is indifferent and enemies. one divides beings into 3 categories: friends. that is. The attainment is essentially the same.The Sarvāstivāda distinguish two attainments of cessation. one progressively enlarges the domain of this vow.Both of these terms are from the early discourses and indicate that the meditative attainment of complete cessation was likened in certain respects to the realization of nirvāṇa. . good-will. This absorption is cultivated prior to the Path of Seeing. ―The Āryans consider this absorption as a precipice. Calling to mind happiness that one has experienced and that described by the Buddhas. the same vow of happiness as with regard to one‘s dearest friends. b. loving kindness) 2. This absorption is cultivated after the Path of Seeing.] Aspect (ākāra ) and “cultivation”: sukha (happiness): ―Beings are happy!‖ duḥkha (unhappiness): ―Beings are unhappy!‖ Modantāṃ (joy): ―Beings are joyful!‖ sattva (beings): ―Beings!‖ vihiṃsā (harm) arati (dissatisfaction) sensual kāmarāga (sensual craving) & vyapada (hostility) . one‘s country. e. It is an absorption entered from the 4th dhyāna. and only Arhats (who have been liberated through insight) can realize nirodha-samāpatti): The attainment of no-thought (asaṃjñi-samāpatti) It is a dharma that arrests the mind and its mental states. embracing one‘s town or city. Before direct realization.Cultivation of the Immeasurables: For example. karuṇā (compassion. maitrī (friendship. The Sarvāstivāda approach attempts to strike a balance. Same for enemies. However. this absorption is regarded merely as tranquility or stillness and not as deliverance. One then forms the vow of happiness with regard to one‘s good friends. . good-will or loving-kindness (maitrī. one forms the vow that all beings shall obtain this happiness. lesser friends. and so on through the 7 groups. muditā ([sympathetic] joy) 4. The 1st category is further subdivided into: good friends. c. but this discourse was included in a collection of 9 short texts (the Khuddaka-patha) which all novices first study and memorize. medium friends.‖ The attainment of cessation (nirodha-samāpatti) It is a dharma that arrests the mind and its mental states. goodwill or loving-kindness (maitrī): a. a vision in which insight or knowledge is actually peripheral rather than essential to awakening. including the Truth of the Path. the context of the spiritual cultivation of the practitioner is distinct. as one cannot be impartial. the 4th ārūpyadhyāna (neither-conception-nor-non-conception). all directions and the entire universe.There are some indications in the early scriptures and commentaries that the attainment of cessation may have been equated with nirvāṇa. upekṣā (equanimity) Opposes: vyāpāda (ill-will) Basic nature: adveṣa (absence of malice or hatred) adveṣa (absence of malice or hatred) saumanasya (satisfaction) alobha (absence of desire) [& absence of ill-will. sympathy) 3. When all beings without exception are embraced by this infinite mind of goodwill or loving-kindness. d. it is clear that the Immeasurables are very important.The Anāgāmin (once-returner) who has acquired cessation is referred to as a ―bodily witness‖ (kāya-sākṣin) and the Arhat who has acquired cessation is called ―twice-delivered‖ (ubhayatobhāga-vimukta). until through the force of these vows. one produces with regard to one‘s greatest enemies. As it is mistaken for deliverance. by āryas. which leads in the Abhidharmakośa to a crucial differentiation in terms of the valuation of these two absorptions (note: Theravada tests such as The Path of Purification seem to have no correlate to the asaṃjñisamāpatti. When one‘s cultivation of this vow of happiness is impartial across the 7 groups. As one had acquired Direct Realization of the Four Noble Truths. and do not value entering it. D. Initially. this absorption is inevitably cultivated through desire for deliverance. . Pali: metta). in practice. For example. that is. in both cases consisting of the complete cessation of thought and consciousness. They suggest that one ―witnesses‖ or ―physically touches‖ (Pali: kayena phusitva) nirvāṇa with one‘s body through cessation (actually tasting rather than just seeing) and further that the attainment of cessation is a kind of deliverance or liberation. The Two Attainments of Cessation . It may have further value as well. the meditation is achieved. There are some indications in the early discourses that nirodha-samāpatti may have been viewed as a necessary component of the path.major problem to the basic soteriological premise of dharma theory: that the defilements are abandoned through discerning the dharmas. is the primary subject of only one fairly brief sutra in the early discourses.
understanding and insight on one hand. clinging. as well as saṃsāra and nirvāṇa – ignorance sees these as substantially separate when they are actually intimate. quiescence Meditation specialists Forest-dwelling monks Yogācāra Emphasizes the store consciousness (ālaya-vijñāna) which must be transformed and purified gradually through meditative cultivation of insight. c) The teaching of the worldly Path of Cultivation affirms the value of meditation independent of insight. cultivated through meditation and insight): Emotional-Affective “the mystical”. what it is to be human and what it is to be truly free. and those abandoned through cultivation (bhāvanā-heya). or a dual nature of. anger. are viewed in terms of the 16 aspects of the Noble Truths. Meditation is essential for the actualizing the Path of Seeing (at least anāgamya).experiential Basic Problem Grasping. and meditation. and the defilements of the higher spheres abandoned through the Path of Cultivation appear to be abandoned from within those spheres. going beyond purity and impurity. doubt (as in the formula of 12-fold Dependent Arising) Insight (vipaśyanā) Understanding (prajñā) Direct Realization (abhisamaya) Mindfulness (smṛti) Knowledge (jñāna) Path of Seeing (darśana-mārga) Sees things as they truly are (yathā-bhūtam) Bodhi as awakening. etc. over-emphasizing or over-dichotomizing contrasts (for example. the meditative attainment of cessation is accorded some relevance to liberation through the terms ―bodily witness‖ and ―twice-delivered‖. quiescence and calm on the other: a) The Path of Seeing (darśana-mārga) associated with deep insight and the Path of Cultivation (bhāvanā-mārga) associated with the diligent cultivation of meditation were discussed last class – both are clearly necessary to final awakening.There are a number of ways of expressing the relationship between meditation and insight which find expression at various points in Buddhism. insight is privileged as the abandoning of the defilements through the worldly Path is only definitive or unqualified once one has acquired insight into the Four Noble Truths in which all experience. as well as what may be competing factions of types of practitioners (meditation specialists vs. Practices and attainments Goal Types of practitioners Mahayana schools Relationships and Miscellaneous Historical Considerations: . including the cognitive defilements: the 5 false views and doubt. impermanence. . pride and ignorance. however. practice techniques. b) The defilements are correspondingly classified into those abandoned through seeing (darśana-heya). but is also severely devalued as an accomplishment prior to the Path of Seeing as the non-thought attainment in contrast to the cessation attainment. KNOWLEDGE AND MEDITATION . gross and subtle. One lets go of the gross to grasp the subtle. Cognitive-Intellectual “the rational”. as potentially conflating what may be distinct issues or dimensions. This weakens attachment to the world of the senses as well as the lower dhyānas. false view. delusion. Here is a summary of these two approaches and related associations which should be qualified. the Abhidharmikas). They may also express tensions within. including the cognitive-emotional defilements: greed. the practitioner seeks peace in ever more subtle states of meditation. the Path of Seeing and the Path of Cultivation are both affective and cognitive.These later Abhidharma developments express how the tradition attempted to come to terms with a set of interrelated tensions based in the teachings. greed (as in the formula of the Four Noble Truths) Calm (śamatha) Concentration (samādhi) Meditation (dhyāna) One-pointedness of mind (cittaikagrata) Attainments (samāpatti) Path of Cultivation (bhāvanā-mārga) Goes beyond (is free) all views of how things are Nirvāṇa as cessation. .As discussed under the study of the attributes in the 3rd class. including suffering. emphasizing meditation or insight can be associated with a primarily emotional-affective approach in contrast to a cognitive-intellectual approach. This means that one cannot realize final bodhi apart from facility in the 8 fundamental dhyānas.III. and further. d) Still. attachment. illumination Abhidharmikas Town-dwelling scholars Madhyamaka (Prajñā-pāramitā) Emphasizes wisdom. insight.We have now seen in the Sarvāstivāda a number of distinct attempts to integrate and elaborate on the approaches of knowledge.philosophical Ignorance. These relationships express tensions and debates within and across the teachings of the early discourses. e) As discussed above. . and spiritual goals of the early discourses and Abhidharma texts and perhaps also embodied in competing factions. non-self. but also limits its value: By seeing certain experiences as disturbing.
insight is privileged (this is the approach we see in mainstream Theravada and Sarvāstivāda) 3. The stories of Śākyamuni‘s earlier teachers. Faith (śraddhā) 2. Faith in this context is not the intellectual side of faith emphasizing belief in certain doctrines. How exactly does insight occur in the higher dhyānas without the basic thinking function of the mind? While vitarka and vicāra are absent. . Meditation and Insight are two distinct paths . Insight (prajñā) . the cultivation of insight is incidental (expressed in the view that the cessation attainment is realization of nirvāṇa seemingly evidenced in some sutras). One who has direct realization 3. The dhyānas are thus not particularly Buddhist – they may be helpful but the religion is defined by the teachings such as the Four Noble Truths. Effort (virya) 3. and this may be Cox‘s evaluation of Sarvāstivāda: ―knowledge and concentration as equally cooperative means rather than mutually exclusive ends‖.samādhi is the final member of the 8-fold Noble Path) and later came to emphasize ignorance as the cause while incorporating grasping (as #8) in the 12-fold formula of Dependent Arising. along with other aspects (in which generally. the dhyānas).Bronkhorst has also argued that the ārūpya-dhyānas should be viewed as a later addition betraying a strong influence from the Upanishads. Ascent through the dhyānas and back to consciousness reverses the process of creation leading the practitioner back to the primal state. Meditation alone is sufficient to realize nirvāṇa.A.Frauwallner has suggested that early in his teaching career. One who acquires cessation 2.) and some more recent approaches of Theravada teaching and practice). Bronkhorst has argued that what is actually distinct about early Buddhist practice is not insight but a form of meditation that is peaceful and enjoyable (that is. Supporting this thesis is the account that just as he sat under the bodhi tree. it should be noted that saṃjñā (conception) and prajñā (understanding) are not. development in one entails development in all): 3 Trainings (trisrah siksah): 1. Insight alone is sufficient to realize nirvāṇa. morality 2. Both are essential. Such non-discursive discernment may have for its support prior discursive discernment in the lower spheres (reminiscent of the three kinds of understanding). the Buddha may have emphasized grasping as the basic cause (Four Noble Truths) of suffering (correlating with an emphasis on meditation . śīla: precepts. Concentration (samādhi) 5. Both are equally essential or each may be alternately privileged (some indications of this in the early discourses. heart-based practice of devotion. One who is delivered through faith (as above we could also add one who attains liberation through the Immeasurables) 5 indriyas (faculties): 1. Vetter also sees a strong emphasis on calm tranquility and deep aversion to discriminating cognition in what many scholars regard as the earliest layer of Śākyamuni‘s teachings. Both are equally invalid or irrelevant (some radical short-lived forms of Zen and maybe also some Pure Land) B. Meditation and Insight need to be combined – both are necessary and they should work in concert .In contrast with this approach. prajñā: insight (like the three legs of a tripod – they work together) 3 approaches to bodhi: 1.e. teaching the formless absorptions would then be viewed as a later addition. Both are essential. meditation is privileged (may be the approach of some Zen practitioners who denigrate study) 2. Alara Kalama and Udraka Ramaputra. Wynne notes similarities between the ārūpya-dhyānas and what he calls the ―Brāhmincial‖ meditation tradition. .) .Sub-types: 1. 2. dhyāna or samādhi: meditation 3. He argues that the ārūpya-dhyānas only make sense in the context of the kasina/kṛtsna approach to the dhyānas and embody Brāhminical cosmology in which the material form (rūpa) of the universe emerges out of pure consciousness (i. Ārūpyadhātu). Along with this view. Both contribute to the ultimate goal of abandoning the defilements.The early discourses include numerous formulations which express the need to balance these two dimensions of spiritual cultivation.Sub-types: 1.Part of the tension between insight and meditation is also rooted in the fact that vitarka (reasoning) and vicāra (investigation) are dropped away after the 1st dhyāna. but the emotive. 3. . Śākyamuni remembered a natural experience of meditative absorption he experienced as a youth while sitting beneath a Rose-apple tree.The Sarvāstivāda preserve the distinction between those delivered through faith (śraddhā-dimutka) and those who attain based on views (dṛṣṭi-prāpta) which introduces the dimension of faith (śraddhā). meditation is incidental (this can be seen in Harivarman (2nd or 3rd c. there is a perspective that the deepest spiritual experiences of other religions are merely misinterepreted dhyāna experiences. . Both are equally valid but separate paths (evidenced in some early sutras. the Sutta Nipata. and thus the higher dhyānas can support discernment but apparently one does not arrive at it through discursive means. a diversity of ―tools‖ or techniques) 4.Traditional accounts of the Buddha‘s life depict him as learning the dhyānas from his pre-enlightenment teachers.. Mindfulness (smṛti) 4. . which could be a reference to the ease and peace of dhyāna practice in contrast to the asceticism of his adult training in meditation. . and finally to Brahma. There is little evidence that this kind of meditation existed in India prior to Buddhism as non-Buddhist Indian writings portray meditation in terms of painful austerities which burns off accumulated karma.