Reply To: Regarding sotapanna Anugami with Jhāna


1. You seem desperate to attain jhana. My advice is to ensure you have reached the Sotapanna Anugami stage.

2. I have explained in several posts that those with anariya jhana WILL return to the human realm and subsequently to lower realms.

  • On the other hand, one must be an Anagami to attain the FIRST Ariya jhana since kama raga is eliminated even in the first Ariya jhana.
  • But if even a Sotapanna Anugami attains an anariya jhana, they will not return to the kama loka. I think that is what you are after. But, here, you need to make sure that you have reached the Sotapanna Anugami stage. I am not saying you have not. I have no way of determining anyone else has reached ANY magga phala or jhana.

3. Anariya jhana: Getting into a jhana and staying in a jhana are two different things. 

  • Some people could get into an anariya jhana and stay in it without effort. They had cultivated them likely in previous births in THIS human bhava. As I have explained, human bhava can last many thousands of years, and within that time, one will be born with a human body many times.
  • Some others may get to jhana by going through the gotrabu stage but may not have CULTIVATED that jhana. They may not even know that they have jhana. 
  • For a human, getting to the first jhana means temporarily transcending the human (and kama loka). Initially, that is only for a  couple of thought moments (citta). Then the mind “gets back” to the kama loka. Only with practice one lengthens the “time in the first jhana.” But the problem is identifying whether one has reached the jhana stage. 
  • As one lengthens the time in the first jhana, one can start feeling those bodily experiences described in the Samannaphala Sutta. So, this may not be an easy task for someone who has not cultivated jhana in previous lives.

4. I don’t know whether I have reached anariya jhana, and I don’t care either. I don’t spend any time on that. I experience bodily sensations close to that once in a while when I am deeply engaged in Vipassana. I am close to the Anagami stage, which has been my goal. 

  • An excellent example from the Tipitaka that I often cite is Devadatta. He attained not only all anariya jhana/samapatti but also iddhi powers. But he lost all that and was born in an apaya. 
  • That is what I mean by “losing an anariya jhana.” It is not permanent in the sense one can lose it if kama raga or patigha becomes strong; they had not removed kama raga anusaya or patigha anusaya. That can happen even at the cuti-patisandhi moment when kammic energy brings an arammana to mind.
  • Āsava, Anusaya, and Gati (Gathi)

5. The bottom line is the following. It is better to spend time comprehending Four Noble Truths/Paticca Samuppada/ Tilakkhana and ensuring that one has reached the Sotapanna Anugamai stage at least. “Paṭicca Samuppāda, Tilakkhana, Four Noble Truths.”

  • We all had cultivated ALL jhanas and gotten to the highest arupavacara samapatti INNUMERABLE TIMES in this long Samsara
  • One has to reach a magga phala only once. 
  • It may be worthwhile cultivating an anariya jhana if one is confident that one has reached at least the Sotapanna Anugami stage. No one else can confirm or deny that. One has to make that decision based on one’s experience.
  • The first magga phala that one can have no doubts about is the Anagami stage. No sensory input can perturb one’s mind if one has reached that. So, one can watch any X-rated movie, for example, without getting aroused. That is the ultimate test. 
  • To get there, one must first “see” the fruitlessness/dangers of remaining in the rebirth process at the Sotapanna Anugami stage; that is, getting to Samma Ditthi. Then one gradually DEVELOPS perceptions (sanna) about that danger and gets to the Anagami stage. That second step involves cultivating the “anicca sanna,” “dukkha sanna,” and “anatta sanna.” That is time better spent than cultivating anariya jhana.

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