4👑☸ Cattāri Ariya-saccaṃ 四聖諦

4👑☸🏛️ fnod    🔝
 fnod 1.. - AN
fnod 2.. - DN
fnod 3.. - KN
fnod 4.. - MN
fnod 5.. - SN
fnod 6.. - Vin

detailed TOC

 fnod 1.. - AN
    fnod 1..5.176 – AN 5.176
    fnod 1..5.179 – AN 5.179
        fnod 1..5.179.1 - AN 5.179: 4 recollections are the vitakka (verbal linguistic thinking) of first jhāna
fnod 2.. - DN
    fnod 2..5 – DN 5
    fnod 2..17 – DN 17 non Buddhist king attains first jhāna, ordinary thinking
fnod 3.. - KN
fnod 4.. - MN
    fnod 4..25 – MN 25
fnod 5.. - SN
    fnod 5..36.11 – SN 36.11 progressive 9 cessations
        fnod 5..36.11.2 – SN 36.11.2 vāca is vocalized speech, not mental talk: vocalization ceases in first jhāna, not vitakka
    fnod 5..41.8 – SN 41.8 Jain founder, Buddha's first jhāna, Jain's first jhāna scripture
fnod 6.. - Vin

1.. - AN

1..3.63 – AN 3.63 walking in jhāna, 4bv

external notes collection

AN 3.63 Buddha walking WHILE in jhāna, has two close EBT parallels Bhikkhu Sujato missed

1..5.176 – AN 5.176

see fnod 1..5.179.1 - 4 recollections are the vitakka (verbal linguistic thinking) of first jhāna

1..5.179 – AN 5.179

1..5.179.1 - AN 5.179: 4 recollections are the vitakka (verbal linguistic thinking) of first jhāna

Interesting to note even though B. Sujato was tagged by Ven. Sabbamitta
(meaning Sujato was notified electronically to respond to the discussion),
he did not respond, even though he can be seen to be responding to other threads
on the same time period elsewhere in the forum.


Because Sujato continues to steadfastly cling to his erroneous views of vitakka on first jhāna being "placing the mind".
Even when members on his own forum present him with evidence showing that vitakka of first jhāna in the EBT
explicitly are explained as having verbal, linguistic thoughts, communicable language,
thoughts you say to yourself in your mind before you speak them out loud (vacī sankhāra are vitakka).


This is fundamental to all oral traditions.
Sati memorizes Dhamma scripture, in the form of communicable language (vitakka).
This is true in EBT (early Buddhism),
true of Jainism (pre Buddhist) definition of their sati, dhyāna (jhāna) and their vitakka,
true of other contemporary and later Brahmanical non Buddhist traditions,
true in Early Abhidhamma (see Ab Vb and Vimuttimagga).

Only 500 years later after the Buddha's death,
in LBT Theravada redefinition of jhāna in Visuddhimagga,
based on non canonical Abhidhamma commentary,

they redefine body (kāya) in jhāna as not physical body, but a mental body.
they redefine verbal thinking (vitakka), as not verbal thinking,
but mounting the mind on a visual kasina where no discernment or volitional thought is possible.

they redefine physical pleasure felt in the body as mental pleasure devoid of physical pleasure.
They redefine physical form (rūpa) as the mentally created visual kasina,
not the 31 anatomical body parts as EBT understands it.

Back to Ven. Sabbamitta's question

In her thread, She, Ven. Sunyo and others not surprisingly conclude
the 4 recollections are not first jhāna,
not vitakka of first jhāna doing the recollection.

Perhaps if they survey a few more related suttas,
they'll come to more sensible conclusion.

Clue #1: AN 5.176, just 3 suttas ago from AN 5.179,
we're dealing with the same Anathapindika and 500 lay followers.
In there, Sariputta is unmistakably glossing first jhāna.

Even Theravada commentary confirms that Pīti of AN 5.176 is referring to first and second jhāna.

So in AN 5.176, Buddha is telling the 501 lay followers
they should not be content in making merit donating requisites to the sangha,
that they should practice first jhāna.

Clue #2: even though AN 5.179 doesn't mention vitakka explicitly
In AN 5.179, the same 501 lay followers, following Buddha's advice,
now most of them if not all of them are strongly hinted to be stream enterers.
How did they get there?
By using vitakka of first jhāna doing the 4 recollections.

Elsewhere, probably every other occurrence of the 80+ sutta references
using the term ābhicetasikānaṃ refers to four jhānas.

Here, what's strongly implied is that most of those 500 followers can only do first jhāna,
since they rely on vitakka (verbal thinking) to do the 4 recollections.
Those who can not pacify (passaddhi sambojjhanga) verbal thoughts
can not rise to 2nd jhāna and above.

Clue #3: AN 6.10 has 6 recollections (first 4 are same as the 4 of AN 5.179)
and covers the same territory,
also dealing with lay people doing first jhāna,
and it's more explicit there by listing the 7 awakening factors.

My annotated translations, with copious specific links to the exact scene of the crime,
confirms everything I've asserted.

Clue #4: AN 5.26 are monastics instead of followers doing all four jhānas
They're using the same vitakka of first jhāna,
but instead of thinking about 4 recollections,
they are contemplating meaning of Dharma,
and also not limited to verbal thoughts of first jhāna.
They move on to subverbal mental processing that takes them to second jhāna and beyond.


So, contrary to Sujato and Ven. Sabbamitta,
who hold the view that vitakka of first jhāna is "placing the mind" (on a visual kasina),
and that the four recollections are topics of mindfulness that one uses to enter samādhi
(but are not properly considered part of four jhānas),

if you actually read the Buddha's words you'll find the Buddha was a plain speaker
and used his terms consistently.

Vitakka in all Indian oral traditions is what sati memorizes
and mentally says in their mind before speaking it out loud,
and vitakka in first jhāna is mentally reciting and reflecting
on the four recollections with that very same vitakka & vicāra.
(end of article⏹️)

2.. - DN

2..5 – DN 5

stream entry with hearing, thinking, first jhāna

DN 5.7 he was taught sīla and four jhāna.
attained stream entry during talk, with mind in or close to first jhāna

Atha kho bhagavā kūṭadantassa brāhmaṇassa anupubbiṃ kathaṃ kathesi,
Then the Buddha taught Kūṭadanta step by step, with
seyyathidaṃ—dānakathaṃ sīlakathaṃ saggakathaṃ;
a talk on giving, ethical conduct, and heaven.
kāmānaṃ ādīnavaṃ okāraṃ saṅkilesaṃ nekkhamme ānisaṃsaṃ pakāsesi.
He explained the drawbacks of sensual pleasures, so sordid and corrupt, and the benefit of renunciation.
Yadā bhagavā aññāsi kūṭadantaṃ brāhmaṇaṃ kallacittaṃ muducittaṃ vinīvaraṇacittaṃ udaggacittaṃ pasannacittaṃ, atha yā buddhānaṃ sāmukkaṃsikā dhammadesanā, taṃ pakāsesi—
And when he knew that Kūṭadanta’s mind was ready, pliable, rid of hindrances, joyful, and confident he explained the special teaching of the Buddhas:
dukkhaṃ samudayaṃ nirodhaṃ maggaṃ.
suffering, its origin, its cessation, and the path.
Seyyathāpi nāma suddhaṃ vatthaṃ apagatakāḷakaṃ sammadeva rajanaṃ paṭiggaṇheyya;
Just as a clean cloth rid of stains would properly absorb dye,
evameva kūṭadantassa brāhmaṇassa tasmiññeva āsane virajaṃ vītamalaṃ dhammacakkhuṃ udapādi:
in that very seat the stainless, immaculate vision of the Dhamma arose in the brahmin Kūṭadanta:
“yaṃ kiñci samudayadhammaṃ sabbaṃ taṃ nirodhadhamman”ti.
“Everything that has a beginning has an end.”

2..17 – DN 17 non Buddhist king attains first jhāna, ordinary thinking

DN 17.5

Atha kho, ānanda, rañño mahāsudassanassa etadahosi:
Then King Mahāsudassana thought:
‘kissa nu kho me idaṃ kammassa phalaṃ kissa kammassa vipāko, yenāhaṃ etarahi evaṃmahiddhiko evaṃmahānubhāvo’ti?
‘Of what deed of mine is this the fruit and result, that I am now so mighty and powerful?’
Atha kho, ānanda, rañño mahāsudassanassa etadahosi:
Then King Mahāsudassana thought:
‘tiṇṇaṃ kho me idaṃ kammānaṃ phalaṃ tiṇṇaṃ kammānaṃ vipāko, yenāhaṃ etarahi evaṃmahiddhiko evaṃmahānubhāvo, seyyathidaṃ—
‘It is the fruit and result of three kinds of deeds:
dānassa damassa saṃyamassā’ti.
giving, self-control, and restraint.’
Atha kho, ānanda, rājā mahāsudassano yena mahāviyūhaṃ kūṭāgāraṃ tenupasaṅkami; upasaṅkamitvā mahāviyūhassa kūṭāgārassa dvāre ṭhito udānaṃ udānesi:
Then he went to the great foyer, stood at the door, and spoke these words of inspiration:
‘tiṭṭha, kāmavitakka, tiṭṭha, byāpādavitakka, tiṭṭha, vihiṃsāvitakka.
‘Stop here, sensual, malicious, and cruel thoughts—
Ettāvatā, kāmavitakka, ettāvatā, byāpādavitakka, ettāvatā, vihiṃsāvitakkā’ti.
no further!’
… all four jhānas, and 4bv☮️
Atha kho, ānanda, rājā mahāsudassano mahāviyūhaṃ kūṭāgāraṃ pavisitvā sovaṇṇamaye pallaṅke nisinno vivicceva kāmehi vivicca akusalehi dhammehi savitakkaṃ savicāraṃ vivekajaṃ pītisukhaṃ paṭhamaṃ jhānaṃ upasampajja vihāsi.
Then he entered the great foyer and sat on the golden couch. Quite secluded from sensual pleasures, secluded from unskillful qualities, he entered and remained in the first jhāna, which has the rapture and pleasure born of seclusion, while directing-thought and evaluation.

3.. - KN

4.. - MN

4..25 – MN 25

AN 9.39 simile of blinding mara makes distinction between four jhanas and 5 arupa samadhi attainments, and why Vism. Jhana is wrong.

4..111 – MN 111 vipassana happens WHILE in jhāna and 7 perception attainments, along with 7sb☀️ concurrently

EBT parallels4..111
EXT collection of notes on MN 111

5.. - SN

5..36.11 – SN 36.11 progressive 9 cessations

5..36.11.2 – SN 36.11.2 vāca is vocalized speech, not mental talk: vocalization ceases in first jhāna, not vitakka

SN 36.11 vāca is vocalized speech, not mental talk:

modified excerpt:
vocalization ceases in first jhāna, not vitakka.
The Ajahn Brahm, Sujato and Vism. camp have a difficult time explaining
what SN 36.11 means when it says speech (vāca) ceases in first jhāna.

paṭhamaṃ jhānaṃ samāpannassa
(with) first jhāna attained,
vācā vūpasantā hoti.
vocalization-of-speech has been stilled,

Does it need to be said deaf people can't hear sounds in first jhāna?

If you're already disembodied in (their corrupt redefinition of) first jhāna,
5 senses shut off and unable to speak,
why would the Buddha say in SN 36.11 that speech ceases?

It's like saying in first jhāna, a deaf man can't hear sounds.
A deaf man can't hear sounds anywhere, any time.
It's a superfluous, useless thing to say they can't hear in first jhāna.

∴ Therefore, the first jhāna is not a disembodied state where the mind is divorced from 5 senses of the body.

So what can we do? Let's redefine another important basic term!

So what can Sujato and Brahm do, faced with this conundrum?
Their usual bag of tricks.

Redefine vāca to not be vocalized speech, but mental talk, unvocalized verbal thoughts.

If they can redefine body as "not physical body",
and "verbal thought (vitakka)" as "not verbal thought, but placing a mind on a visual kasina",
that has a cascading effect where they have to start redefining many other terms.

So now vāca in first jhāna according to them means verbal thoughts.
This is completely incoherent.

In an oral tradition, sati memorizes Dhamma in the form of vitakka,
a communicable verbal linguistic language communicated by means of vocalization (vāca), hearing, and memorizing.

AN 5.26 shows all of this going in on, for first jhāna context.

AN 5.26 - AN 5.26 Vimuttāyatana: Opportunities for Freedom
AN 5.26.1 - First jhāna possible while hearing live dhamma talk
AN - (refrain: 7sb☀️ → jhāna → arahantship)
AN 5.26.2 - Giving a dhamma talk leads to himself getting jhāna
AN - (refrain: 7sb☀️ → jhāna → arahantship)
AN 5.26.3 - Reciting memorized dhamma passage leads to jhāna
AN - (refrain: 7sb☀️ → jhāna → arahantship)
AN 5.26.4 - first jhāna possible while thinking and pondering memorized dhamma
AN - (refrain: 7sb☀️ → jhāna → arahantship)
AN 5.26.5 - No V&V, undirected samādhi into 2nd jhāna or higher
AN - (refrain: 7sb☀️ → jhāna → arahantship)

You can't have vāca redefined as 'unvocalized mental talk' in SN 36.11 and have it make sense in AN 5.26.
Speech needs to be vocal, thought needs to be verbal linguistic mental talk.

Another sutta with first jhāna context,

AN 7.61 Pacalāyamāna: Nodding Off
Buddha teaches Moggallana 7 ways to fight off drowsiness
(1. don’t attend to the perception that made you drowsy)
(2. Recall dhamma using V&V\xED\xA0\xBD\xED\xB2\xAD, thinking and evaluation, and upekkha)
(3. Recite that dhamma out loud, vocally)
(4. Pull your earlobes and rub your limbs)
(5. Stand up, wash eyes with water, look at stars in sky)
(6. STED ASND \xED\xA0\xBC\xED\xBC\x95\xED\xA0\xBC\xED\xBC\x9F‍: luminosity perception all day all night)
(7. Start walking meditation)
(Lie down in lion posture as last resort)
(don’t sociaize with lay people too much, causes restlessness)
(don’t say confrontational things)
(Buddha praises secluded meditation areas)
(conclusion: brief summary of path to arahantship)

In the 7 ways to ward off drowsiness, #3 involves vāca, vocalized speech, reciting Dharma.
That's distinctly different from #2, mentally reciting the Dhamma, energetically less intensive than vocalization. The 7 steps get progressively more energetic.

Vāca (pāḷi), Vox (latin), Voice / vocalization (English) have common Indo Euro root

Mental speech is not vocalized speech.
A normal person can't hear mental talk.
Vocal cords need to vibrate and emit sound for someone to hear it.
This is true in pāli, true in latin, true in English, true in any oral tradition using the basic unambiguous fundamental terms to denote the difference between speech, language, and linguistic mental talk.

You can't arbitrarily redefine vocal speech to mean mental speech,
and you can't redefine linguistic verbal thought into "no verbal thought, just placing mind on a kasina".

Suttas and vinaya (monastic rules of discipline) become incoherent and unenforceable

If you allow Sujato and Brahm to have their way of redefining important key words to justify their corrupt redefinition of jhāna,
The entire collection of suttas and vinaya becomes broken and incoherent.
The Buddha frequently contrasts kāya (physical body) action against the actions of vāca (speech), and mano (mental) action.
They are 3 distinctly different types of actions with 3 distinctly different karmic consequences.

In Sujato and Brahm world, you can't tell what kind of action it is, you can't enact any kind of monastic rule.

This article I wrote focused on their ambiguation of kāya, but the same example shows how speech also needs to be differentiated from thought.

MN 56 Bob punches Carl in the face - A Primer on why 3 types of actions are distinct (you can't redefine kāya as 'mind'!)
(end of article⏹️)

5..41.8 – SN 41.8 Jain founder, Buddha's first jhāna, Jain's first jhāna scripture

SN 41.8 Jain founder, Buddha's first jhāna, Jain's first jhāna scripture

The Jain Tattvārtha Sūtra, describing different kinds of dhyāna (Pāli Jhāna),
says in sutras 9.43-44 that
vitarka (Pāli vitakka) is scriptural knowledge (śruta) and that
vicāra is a shifting between the object, its word, and its activity (Tatia 1994, 242).

On proof that vitakka is verbal, see JST🥪 2

vitakka and vicara are essential words/concepts in basic human communication

Concise Proof that Vitakka and Vicāra of first jhāna means 'thinking & evaluation'

SN 41.8 Jain founder doesn’t believe 2nd jhana possible, B. Sujato interpretation of vitakka illogical and incoherent

SN 41.8 non Buddhist doing 1st jhana, MN 36 Buddha as a boy (was non Buddhist) doing first jhana


6.. - Vin

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