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                                                     Jhanas and Dhyana in Buddhism

In Buddhism, Dhyāna (Sanskrit) or Jhāna (Pali) is a series of cultivated states of mind, which lead to "state of perfect equanimity and awareness (upekkhii-sati-piirisuddhl)."

Jhanas appear very frequently in the discourses of the Buddha (suttas) like in Anguttara Nikaya 9.36 . Several directions of  Vipassanā teach similar steps of Vipassana(Vipassanā-Nyānas).

== Rupa Jhanas ==

The rupajhanas are described in the Mahā-Assapura Sutta, the chapter 39 of the Majjhima Nikaya iin the verses 15 to 18. The shapely  rupajhanas are :

1, paṭhama-jhāna (Skt: prathamadhyāna, wörtlich 'erstes jhana') - retreat from sensuality

2. dutiya-jhāna (Skt: dvitīyadhyāna - silence of thoughts and ratings

3. tatiya-jhāna (Skt: tṛtīyadhyāna) - contentment

4. catuttha-jhāna (Skt: caturthadhyāna) - utter peacefulness

In the fourth rupajhana exist already Upekkha( equanimity ) and Ekkagata (pointedness, concentration ). But concentration still refers to things like color and shape.

== Arupa Jhanas ==

The arūpajhānas are a part of the kammatthanas (the first 10 Kammaṭṭhāna are the 10 Kasina-exercises) and are referred to as the four formless states.

They are also described in the Anupada-Sutta.

While rupajhanas  differ considering their characteristics, arupajhanas are connected with formless meditations and differ as their object is determined by the level of the jhana:

  • fifth jhāna: infinite space (Pali ākāsānañcāyatana, Skt. ākāśānantyāyatana),
  • sixth jhāna: infinite consciousness (Pali viññāṇañcāyatana, Skt. vijñānānantyāyatana),
  • seventh jhāna: infinite nothingness (Pali ākiñcaññāyatana, Skt. ākiṃcanyāyatana),
  • eighth jhāna: neither perception nor non-perception (Pali nevasaññānāsaññāyatana, Skt. naivasaṃjñānāsaṃjñāyatana).

The higher steps of consiousness have similarities to the Samadhi - steps of Ashtanga Yoga.

== Nirodha Samāpatti ==

After overcoming of the eighth  Jhana the state of the saññāvedayitanirodham (' Extinction of perception and feeling ') and then the state of an Arhat (and Nirvana) is reached.

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