Reply To: Dhammapada Verse 372


Yes. “Jhā” is to burn, specifically “burn defilements (raga, dosa, moha).

One gets to Ariya jhana by actually “burning,” but anariyas do not burn but suppress those defilements.
– That is why in the “Sandha Sutta (AN 11.9)” the Buddha admonished bhikkhu Sandha that he should meditate like a “thoroughbred horse” and not like an inferior horse.
– Those anariya jhanas attained by suppressing defilements are useless, just like an inferior horse.
– See “Jhāna, Jhāya, and Jhāyi – Different Meanings

Dhammapada verse 371
– In the English translation there, “Jhāya bhikkhu mā pamādo” is translated as “Practice absorption, don’t be negligent!” But a better translation is “burn defilements (not just suppress) without delay!”
The rest of the verse is even more critical: “Do not delight in sensory inputs with kāmaguṇa” (because that can lead to rebirth in the apayas). “where you get to swallow hot iron melts (molasses)!” “And when it burns, don’t cry, “Oh, the pain!”
– The last two lines refer to the unimaginable suffering present in the apayas.

The next verse is that quoted by TripleGemStudent (TGS): “Dhammapada 372
– Now we can see that the explanation by TGS also makes sense with the preceding verse.

We have cultivated anariya jhana an uncountable times in the rebirth process. In fact, ALL living beings on this cakkavala will get to cultivate jhana at the end EACH maha kappa and thus be reborn in a Brahma realm.
– That is why it is USELESS to do breath meditation and cultivate anariya jhana! However, one can use that temporary samadhi state to get to Nibbana by comprehending the anicca nature of such anariya jhana.