Reply To: On the Vibhaṅgasutta – About the 4 Jhanas


Yes. The Buddha pointed out the dangers in sense pleasures. The only “pleasure” recommended by the Buddha was “jhanic pleasures”.
– But he did not recommend getting to anariya jhana by using anariya techniques like the breath mediation.

When one does insight mediation, one first gets to samadhi, and eventually gets to the Arahanthood, as described in the Upanisa Sutta (SN 12.23):

“..With the comprehension of suffering (i.e., the First Noble Truth via Tilakkhana) faith results; with the growth of faith, lightness of mind (pāmojjaṃ) arises; with increasing lightness of mind, joy (piti) arises; with increasing joy, lightness of the body (passaddhi) arises; with increasing passaddhi, bodily sukha arises; with increasing bodily sukha, samādhi arises; with samādhi, yathābhūtañāṇadassana (knowledge and vision of things as they really are) arises; with the knowledge and vision of things as they really are, one loses attachment to worldly things (nibbidā), followed by losing cravings for sense pleasures (viragā), and liberation (vimutti), and to the destruction of all defilements (khayeñāṇaṃ)”.

Now, jhana may be attained anytime around the step, “with increasing passaddhi, bodily sukha arises“.
– One may proceed all the way to Arahanthood without getting to jhanas.

Of course, even here one may get into anariya jhana by the suppression of kama raga.
– The point is that one DOES NOT HAVE TO do anariya meditation techniques (like breath meditation) to even to get to anariya jhana.
– Anariya jhana just means one has not yet eliminated the kama raga. Even while doing insight meditation, one may get to anariya jhana by just suppressing kama raga. Later on, when one REMOVES kama raga, those will automatically become Ariya jhana.

The point that I am trying to make is that doing breath meditation could be a waste of time.

  • Jhana are mental states corresponding to brahma realms.
  • For those who have cultivated jhana in previous recent past lives, they come naturally even without much effort.
  • So, it could be difficult for others to attain jhanas, even if they have magga phala.
  • As the above sutta illustrates, the key to the Arahanthood is to get to samādhi (jhana are a special case of samādhi).

More information at:
Mundane versus Supramundane Jhāna

Samādhi, Jhāna (Dhyāna), Magga Phala

P.S. I think “Tapussa Sutta (AN 9.41)” describes the jhanas in detail.