Reply To: Katthavatthu Points of Controversy 18.8 Of Hearing in Jhana


The problem is with the translation, not in the original text.

The Pali version:Saddaṁsuṇātītikathā

The verse “Samāpanno saddaṁ suṇātīti? Āmantā. ” is translated as “That one who has attained Jhāna hears sound.”

  • Samāpanno here means “one who is in a samapatti.”

But not everyone who can get into a jhana can get into the corresponding “jhana samapatti.” That is explained in the following:

9. When a mind transcends the kama loka, it gets to the mindset of rupāvacara Brahmas. Those are the jhānic states. Lower Brahma realms have lower jhānic states and higher Brahma realms have higher jhānic states.

  • But when a human enters a jhāna (especially without much practice), the mind does not stay continuously in the jhāna citta stream. It alternates between jhānic citta vithi and pañcadvāra citta vithi belonging to the kama loka. Thus, the yogi may see and hear while in a jhānic state.

10. With practice, one could be experiencing jhānā citta vithi continuously for many minutes. That means the yogi will not be aware of any sensory inputs through the five physical senses; thus, he will not see, hear, etc. During that time, the yogi is in a jhāna samāpatti.

The above two bullet points are from the post: “Nirōdha Samāpatti, Phala Samāpatti, Jhāna, and Jhāna Samāpatti.

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