[Buddha-l] Abdhidharma vindicated once again

Jamie Hubbard jhubbard at smith.edu
Sun Mar 6 19:35:18 MST 2011

On 3/6/2011 2:33 AM, Dan Lusthaus wrote:
> Why did the Buddha "exit" from the top of the rupa jhanas instead of the
> arupya samapattis? Typical speculation is that this reflects a rift or
> debate within the sangha about the relative importance of the types of
> meditative activities done in each, and what each accomplishes. All
> apparently agreed that the rupa-jhanas were indispensible, but the
> arupa-meditations were sometimes more connected with acquiring iddhis
> (powers) like clairvoyance, etc., and so were considered dispensible,
> possibly even distractions to the main business of achieving awakening.
> Hence it would be unseemly for Buddha to exit from the distractive arupa
> meditations. Also, exiting from the peak of the rupa-jhanas, since this is
> the base from which the arupa-jhanas begin, would be a "middle way" between
> rupa and arupa.
Isn't the same "exit" also told in many stories of the Buddha's 
awakening? I.e., he ascended through the four jhanas and then sort of 
"went lateral" into the three watches of the night, culminating in 
knowledge of the uprooting of the asava? Is this also to be read in 
terms of the samatha/vipassana tension? But then what about the 
uprooting of asava as the culmination of the night? It is a vijjaa or 
"knowledge," however. . .


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