Dhammapada Verse 372

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    • #41408

      No absorption for one without wisdom, Natthi jhānaṁ apaññassa,
      no wisdom for one without absorption. paññā natthi ajhāyato; Variant: ajhāyato → ajjhāyato (pts1ed); ajhāyino (mr)
      But one with absorption and wisdom— Yamhi jhānañca paññā ca,
      they have truly drawn near to extinguishment. sa ve nibbānasantike.

      Another English translation that I found which I believe is quite misleading. “There is no jhana for the one without liberating wisdom, no liberating wisdom for the one without jhana; the one who has jhana and liberating wisdom he indeed is in the presence of nibbana.”

      To me both the English translation doesn’t seem right and especially the second translation. Is there a better translation for some of the words or lines from this Dhammapada saying?

      I believe I might have figured out one of the lines, although I can be wrong. “paññā natthi ajhāyato” The word “ajhayato” here I believe it means thoroughbreds / special breeds horses. What are these thoroughbreds / special breed horses? One’s that spend all their time training. For more information one can see this post Jhana, jhaya, jhayi

      “paññā natthi ajhāyato”. The way I understand this line to be is “no wisdom for the one’s that aren’t “ajhayato” (spending time on training or knowing what to meditate / contemplate / think about).

      But the other lines:

      Natthi jhānaṁ apaññassa
      Yamhi jhānañca paññā ca,
      sa ve nibbānasantike

      I’m not able to come to a satisfactory conclusion.

      After writing this, I did some more search on puredhamma and came across a thread from last year

      Lal mentioned:

      “jhāna does not necessarily mean transcending the kāma loka and attaining “jhānic states” as commonly interpreted these days.

      “Jhāna” means to “cleanse one’s defilements (especially kāma raga“) by making an effort, especially via Anapanasati and Satipatthana Bhavana.
      – When one does that panna grows and one may also attain “jhānic states.”

      This verse basically says that one needs to cultivate both jhāna and panna. The latter, of course, via learning true Dhamma. In fact, they grow together.”

      After the information I have collected, if I tried to translate Dhp 372 according to my understanding it would be something like this.

      “Natthi jhānaṁ apaññassa”
      No removal of defilements for those without wisdom

      “paññā natthi ajhāyato”
      no wisdom for the one’s that aren’t “ajhayato”

      “Yamhi jhānañca paññā ca
      sa ve nibbānasantike
      For those with the wisdom that cleanses one’s mind of defilements
      are truly near to Nibbana

      One of the conclusions that I came to about this Dhammapada verse is that the word “jhana” here does not necessary mean jhanic states, but rather cleansing one’s mind of defilements. One of the evidence supporting this is if one looks at the verses in sequence here Like Lal mentioned in one of the forum discussion of reading the other verses in sequence. To me, there’s nothing related to jhanic states being mentioned but about guarding the mind and removing defilements.

      It’s possible that I might not have properly translated the Dhammapada verse according to my understanding or there’s better way or words to use for the translation. I hope others can help me out by pointing this out if that’s the case.

    • #41409

      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.

    • #41430

      Thank you for the feedback and comments Venerable Sir,

      I know this might be a little far fetch, but could the word “jhana” also have a meaning of “being in the state of taking in the Noble 8 fold path to burn defilements”?

      Jha = to burn, ana (from anapanasati)? = taking in the Noble 8 fold path.

      I’m wondering what’s others opinion and feedback on what I just mentioned?

    • #41434

      “Jha = to burn, ana (from anapanasati)? = taking in the Noble 8 fold path.”

      I am not sure. Indeed, there is no contradiction.

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