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A History of Indian Philosophy, Volume 1

These objects of concentration may either be earth


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next come to the jhanas with the help of material things as objects of concentration called the Kasi@nam. These objects of concentration may either be earth, water, fire, wind, blue colour, yellow colour, red colour, white colour, light or limited space (_paricchinnakasa_). Thus the sage may take a brown ball of earth and concentrate his mind upon it as an earth ball, sometimes

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[Footnote 1: _Visuddhimagga_, pp. 295-314.]

[Footnote 2: _Ibid._ pp. 314-315.]

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with eyes open and sometimes with eyes shut. When he finds that even in shutting his eyes he can visualize the object in his mind, he may leave off the object and retire to another place to concentrate upon the image of the earth ball in his mind.

In the first stages of the first meditation (_pathamam jhanam_) the mind is concentrated on the object in the way of understanding it with its form and name and of comprehending it with its diverse relations. This state of concentration is called vitakka (discursive meditation). The next stage of the first meditation is that in which the mind does not move in the object in relational terms but becomes fixed and settled in it and penetrates into it without any quivering. This state is called vicara (steadily

moving). The first stage vitakka has been compared in Buddhagho@sa's _Visuddhimagga_ to the flying of a kite with its wings flapping, whereas the second stage is compared to its flying in a sweep without the least quiver of its wings. These two stages are associated with a buoyant exaltation (_piti_) and a steady inward bliss called sukha [Footnote ref 1] instilling the mind. The formation of this first jhana roots out five ties of avijja, kamacchando (dallying with desires), vyapado (hatred), thinamiddham (sloth and torpor), uddhaccakukkuccam (pride and restlessness), and vicikiccha (doubt). The five elements of which this jhana is constituted are vitakka, vicara, plti, sukham and ekaggata (one pointedness).

When the sage masters the first jhana he finds it defective and wants to enter into the second meditation (_dutiyam jhanam_), where there is neither any vitakka nor vicara of the first jhana, but the mind is in one unruffled state (_ekodibhavam_). It is a much steadier state and does not possess the movement which characterized the vitakka and the vicara stages of the first jhana and is therefore a very placid state (_vitakka-vicarakkhobha-virahe@na ativiya acalata suppasannata ca_). It is however associated with piti, sukha and ekaggata as the first jhana was.

When the second jhana is mastered the sage becomes disinclined towards the enjoyment of the piti of that stage and becomes indifferent to them (_upekkhako_). A sage in this stage sees the objects but is neither pleased nor displeased. At this stage all the asavas of the sage become loosened (khi@nasava). The enjoyment of sukha however still remains in the stage and the


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