[INDOLOGY] Etymology and meaning of 'Jhana'

Dean Michael Anderson eastwestcultural at yahoo.com
Sun Sep 11 14:54:34 UTC 2016

‘Right concentration’ consists of one-pointedness ofmind, the mind focusing unwaveringly on a single object, whichcan be taken to the point where one attains successively the fourdhyanas (Pali: jhanas), the four ‘meditations’ or, in this context,perhaps ‘absorptions’. 
These dhyanas are said to take themeditator outside, as it were, the desire realm (kamadhatu) inwhich we humans normally live, and to pertain to the realm of(pure) form, the rupadhatu. 
The first and lowest of the dhyanasis characterised (in the standard scheme) as involving appliedthought, examination, joy, happiness, and one-pointedness ofmind. 
The second dhyana has the same features apart from theapplied thought and examination, which are no longerexperientially present and have dropped away. 
The third hashappiness and one-pointedness, and the fourth possesses justone-pointedness and equanimity.12 To quote from Peter Harvey:
The fourth jhana is a state of profound stillness and peace,in which the mind rests with unshakeable one-pointednessand equanimity, and breathing has calmed to the point ofstopping. The mind has a radiant purity, due to its ‘brightlyshining’ depths having been uncovered and made manifest atthe surface level. It is said to be very ‘workable’ and‘adaptable’ like refined gold, which can be used to make allmanner of precious and wonderful things. It is thus an idealtake-off point for various further developments. Indeed itseems to have been the state from which the Buddha wenton to attain enlightenment.(Harvey 1990:250–2)
The four dhyanas are also spoken of as being realms into whichone can be reborn as certain types of gods, thus bringing togethercosmological realms and mental transformation in an interestingway which shows a blending of ‘outer’ cosmology and ‘inner’psychology on these rarefied levels of Buddhist experience.
Page 55
Williams, Paul,and Anthony Tribe. 2000. Buddhist Thought: A Complete Introduction to theIndian Tradition. London ; New York: Routledge.

      From: alakendu das <mailmealakendudas at rediffmail.com>
 To: indology at list.indology.info 
 Sent: Sunday, September 11, 2016 5:44 PM
 Subject: [INDOLOGY] Etymology and meaning of 'Jhana'

 Of late I am vividly going through a very old translation of a book on Abhidhamma Buddhist philosophy .It is difficult to gather the name of the translator.However,in course of the book I came across an analysis found in the book 'VishuddhiMagga'by BuddhaGhosha which uses a term 'Jhana'while describing the 3 -levels of consciousness .Jhana has been used while elaborating on the 2nd level of consciousness ,where the Yogachara( i.e the bhikhhu who delves into Yoga) meditates on an object abd finally attains Jhana. 

 Can anybody enlighten on the implication of the term Jhana and it's etymology.


INDOLOGY mailing list
INDOLOGY at list.indology.info
indology-owner at list.indology.info (messages to the list's managing committee)
http://listinfo.indology.info (where you can change your list options or unsubscribe)



-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <https://list.indology.info/pipermail/indology/attachments/20160911/7a2d8cf4/attachment.htm>

More information about the INDOLOGY mailing list