On my reading, 2 of the 4 approaches given here (ie. numbers 2 and 4
below) indicate a jhana-less approach. (By ‘jhana-less’ I mean in the
sense of not requiring prior development of mundane jhana. But all 4 ways
are accompanied by concentration that is jhana-equivalent in its force.)
Here are the 4 ways again, with extracts from footnotes to the translation
[passages in square brackets are mine]:
1. After developing samatha
The footnote says that this refers to one who makes tranquillity the
vehicle of his practice (samatha-yaanika). Tranquillity here refers to
access concentration, the jhanas or the formless attainments.
2. Before developing samatha
The commentary reads: “This refers to one who by his natural bent first
attains to insight and then, based on insight produces concentration
(samadhi).” The sub-com reads: “This is one who makes insight the
3. In conjunction with the development of samatha
[This is the instance of insight being ‘based on’ jhana. The insight
arises after emerging from jhana, and takes the jhana moments as its
object. This is the ‘yoked/conjoined’ instance.].
4. By overcoming the corruptions (ie without any part being played by
The footnote reads: ‘According to AA [the commentary], the “agitation”
(uddhacca) meant here is a reaction to the arising of the ten “corruptions
of insight” when they are wrongly taken as indication path-attainment.
The term dhammavitakka, “thoughts about higher states” is taken to refer
to the same ten corruptions. ‘
Regarding the 4th way just given, you observe:
> AN IV, 165
> Translation ‘Numerical Discourses of the Buddha’
> 83. Ways to Arahantship
> “Or again, friends, a monk’s mind is seized by agitation caused by
> states of mind. But there comes a time when his mind becomes internally
> steadied, composed, unified and concentrated; then the path arises in
> him. . He now pursues, develops and cultivates that path, and while he
> doing so the fetters are abandoned and the underlying tendencies
> The questions that occur to me are the following:
> 1) What is meant by “higher states of mind”?
> 2) What sort of agitation would arise as a result of them?
> 3) Exactly what is the state wherein one’s “mind becomes
> steadied, composed, unified and concentrated”? It sounds like it *could*
> access concentration or khanika samadhi (moment-to-moment
> That would be interesting. This would, indeed, suggest an approach to
> complete enlightenment, one out of four, that does not have jhanic
> as a requirement at all, though it still requires a strong and rather
> one-pointedness of mind.
Your questions (1) and (2) are covered by the footnote, I think.
On your Q.3, we need to keep in mind the distinction between samatha and
Samatha bhavana (tranquillity development) refers to the development of
kusala by concentration on a single object, eventually to a degree of
absorption in the object where all sense-door impressions, and the akusala
associated with those experiences, are suppressed. Being (temporarily)
freed from akusala, the mind becomes exceedingly tranquil.
Samadhi cetasika (concentration mental factor) is a cetasika whose
function is to fix the citta on whatever object is the object of the citta
at that moment. It accompanies every citta. At moments of enlightenment
(magga citta) samadhi cetasika arises and performs its function with an
intensity equivalent to that of the jhanas. It is developed to this
‘jhana-equivalent’ level during the course of the development of mundane
insight over the many (millions of) lifetimes it has taken to attain to
enlightenment. In other words, every moment of satipatthana during this
lifetime means the further development and accumulation of khanika
So, yes, it may well be that ‘concentration’ in the passage from the sutta
refers to khanika samadhi; but this does not connote the development of
I think the important point to realise about all this is as follows, if my
understanding is correct:
Regardless of which of the 4 ways of enlightenment one is talking about,
attainment of supramundane path consciousness (enlightenment) is always
the culmination of the development of mundane path consciousness (ie.
mundane insight–vipassana bhavana). In other words, it is not the
culmination of samatha bhavana. Even those whose attainment is ‘based on’
jhana (No. 3 in the series above) cannot attain unless mundane insight has
been developed to the necessary degree.
So on a practical level, it always comes back to the development of
awareness of realities appearing at the present moment, as taught in the
Satipatthana Sutta–for this is how mundane insight is developed.
From Nina van Gorkom
Dear Victor and Dan, I quote the sutta in the PTs translation from an old post. With Co notes. Dan will be interested to see notes on calm and insight. Nina.
Message 1 of 2 , Jul 9, 2002
Dear Victor and Dan, I quote the sutta in the PTs translation from an old
post. With Co notes. Dan will be interested to see notes on calm and
We read in the Gradual Sayings, Book of the Fours( II, Ch XVI, §10, Coupled)
that Anada said :
Reverend sirs, when anyone, be it monk or nun, proclaaims in my presence
that he has attained arahatship, all such do so by virtue of four factors or
by one of these four. What are they?
Herein, your reverences, a monk develops insight preceded by calm. In him
thus developing insight preceded by calm is born the Way. He follows along
that Way, makes it grow, makes much of it… the fetters are abandoned, the
lurking tendencies come to an end.
Or again, your reverences, a monk develops calm preceded by insight. In him
thus developing calm preceded by insight is born the Way… the lurking
tendencies come to an end.
Yet again, your reverences, a monk develops calm-and-insight coupled. In him
thus developing.. the Way is born… the lurking tendencies come to an end.
Once more, your reverences, a monk¹s mind is utterly cleared of perplexities
about dhamma. That is the time, your reverences, when his thought stands
fixed in the very self, settles down, becomes one-pointed, is composed. In
him the Way is born… the lurking tendencies come to an end.
The Co explains that the Way is the first stage of enlightenment. As to the
second factor, the monk is already used to developing insight and then
samadhi arises. As to the third factor, he is aware and considers the
sankharas, jhanafactors, in between the different stages of jhana he enters
and emerges from. As to the fourth factor, he has abandoned the ten
defilements of vipassana. He does not cling to samatha nor to vipassana.
It is interesting that there is no special order, a person¹s way of
development depends on his accumulations.
I discussed calm and insight with A. Supee in India. He reminded me that
whenever we read about calm, it is implied that it goes together with
insight. For some people the factor calm is stronger, for others less
strong. And as Kom explained, when insight is developed there are conditions
for more calm, in a natural way. The sotapanna has more calm than the
ordinary person, because he has less defilements. The sotapanna who has
developed insight has such strong, unshakable confidence in the Triple gem,
and when there are conditions he can have great calm while contemplating the
Buddha¹s virtues. Only ariyans could attain access concentration with this
meditation subject. The person who has attained the third stage of
enlightenment, the anagami, is no longer attached to sense objects, thus,
naturally, he has a great deal of calm.
When we read about the ideal Recluse, he goes forth with the aim to attain
arahatship, and becomes endowed with the highest qualities. Taken into
account that we are further away from the Buddha¹s time, we can draw our
conclusions to what extent all such high qualities are still possible. Then,
when we read about jhanas, we will understand all these passages in their
right perspective. No more doubts whether all of us should develop jhana.
Regarding the issues you are discussing in this thread and the
associated one on the Pansadhovaka Sutta AN III, 100, I have checked
the ‘Numerical Discourses of the Buddha’ translation of the
Pansadhovaka Sutta (‘Refinement of the Mind’ — see relevant part
copied below). I have found the following that may be of interest:
1. A footnote to the Pansadhovaka Sutta explains that the Pali terms
for “higher mental states experienced in meditation” referred to in
that sutta, and for the “agitation caused by higher states of mind”
referred to in the Yuganaddha Sutta AN IV, 170, are different, namely
‘dhammavitakka’ here vs. ‘dhammuddhacca’ there, but that the
explanation given by the commentary is the same in both cases,
namely, the ten corruptions of insight meditation (‘dasa
vipassanuupakkilesaa). It gives a x-ref to Vism XX, 105-28.
2. Another footnote to the Pansadhovaka Sutta explains that the
attainments mentioned in the sutta are the six “super-knowledges”
(‘abhi~n~naa’), about which it says:
“Five of these are mundane; the sixth is the supramundane attainment
of arahantship, here called the destruction of the
“The necessary condition for the five super-knowledges is mastery
over the fourth jhaana; the foundation for arahantship is the
development of insight based on concentration.”
For the five mundane super-knowledges, a x-ref to Vism Ch. XII and
XIII is given.
(The other point of interest about the Pansadhovaka Sutta is the
phrase “whenever the necessary conditions obtain”, which qualifies
the description of each of the attainments beginning “If he wishes,
…”. According to the footnote, this refers to the preliminary
conditions required for the attainments.)
3. As regards the fourth way of attainment of enlightenment
mentioned in the Yuganaddha Sutta, a footnote there explains:
“‘Dhammuddhacca-viggahita.m manasa.m hoti.’ According to AA, the
“agitation” (uddhacca) meant here is a reaction to the arising of the
ten “corruptions of insight” (‘vipassananuupakkilesa’) when they are
wrongly taken as indicating path-attainment.”
Nina van Gorkom
Hi Matheesha, … The Co. in Thai:
Message 1 of 4 , Apr 29, 2005
op 28-04-2005 17:59 schreef matheesha op dhammachat@…:
> I wonder if you could explain in abhidhamma terms what is meant by
> the below phrase ‘the path is born’,
> “Then there is the case where a monk has developed tranquillity
> preceded by insight. As he develops tranquillity preceded by
> insight, the path is born. He follows that path, develops it,
> pursues it. As he follows the path, developing it & pursuing it —
> his fetters are abandoned, his obsessions destroyed.
> Anguttara Nikaya IV.170 Yuganaddha Sutta/In Tandem
The Co. in Thai:
< The Bhikkhu considers (is aware of) all conditioned dhammas (sankharas) all the time when he enters jhana. He enters jhana all the time when he considers conditioned realities. Question: when the bhikkhua has entered jhana how can he consider conditioned realities? Answer: the bhikkhu enters the first jhana and emerges from it and then considers conditioned dhammas. When he has considered conditioned dhammas he enters the second jhana...> and so on.
I think the path is born refers to: first the mundane path up to lokuttara
magga. He eradicates all defilements.
FROM Jonothan Abbott
Hi Mateesha Thanks for your further comments. … The question you raise is whether samadhi that has been developed in samatha can be used in vipassana. This
Thanks for your further comments.
The question you raise is whether samadhi that has been developed in
samatha can be used in vipassana. This is an often-heard idea, but not
one that is directly mentioned in the recorded teachings, as far as I’m
aware, so we should be careful about inferring it from the suttas.
But I think there is a more fundamental question here and that is
whether, for the person who is interested in the teachings and sees the
value in developing insight, the development of samatha is something
that needs to be given special attention and is of particular assistance
in the development of insight.
As regards the Yuganaddha Sutta, this describes the ways by which people
who have become enlightened have attained that enlightenment. It
mentions 4 ways, namely,
(a) by having developed insight that was preceded by tranquillity,
(by having developed tranquility that was preceded by insight,
© by having developed samatha and vipassana in tandem (or ‘joined in
(d) by having overcome the 10 “corruptions of insight”
Each of the scenarios (a), (and © involves both samatha and
vipassana, but there is no specific mention of the relationship between
the 2. Of course, in the case of © it is apparent that the insight
that lead to enlightenment was somehow based on the samatha/jhaana, but
it does not mention the idea of samadhi of samatha being used in
insight. To my understanding, however, the insight must have been
developed in its own right as in any other case, and is not something
that comes into being on the strength of the attainment of jhana.
>’For a long time I have known the Dhamma taught by the Blessed One
> that ‘There is knowledge for one who is concentrated, not for one
> who is not concentrated.’
> M: I think the above sentence says it clearly, that there has to be a
> degree of concentration for ‘knowledge’ (by which I believe means
> knowledge arising from direct experiencing and not really relavent for
> other types of panna) ,as can be seen as well from the sutta below
I agree that this sutta states the importance of samadhi to the
development of insight. Indeed, the suttas generally emphasise the
importance of samadhi in the development of both samatha and vipassana.
The question is, whether this samadhi is developed separately from the
samatha or insight and, if so, how. The quote I gave previously from AN
IV, 41 seems to be saying that the samadhi is developed along with the
development of the samatha or insight itself.
>”Develop concentration, monks. A concentrated monk discerns things
> as they actually are present. And what does he discern as it
> actually is present?
> “He discerns, as it actually is present, that ‘The eye is
> (sorry I seemed to have lost the reference link).
Right. But is there any way that kusala samadhi can be developed other
than by the development of kusala itself (that is to say, by the
development of dana, sila, samatha bhavana or vipassana bhavana)?
> M: Just to let you know of the incompatibility of thoughts (papanca)
> and concentration:
> “There is the case where evil, unskillful thoughts — connected with
> desire, aversion, or delusion — arise in a monk while he is referring
> to and attending to a particular theme. He should attend to another
> theme, apart from that one, connected with what is skillful. When he is
> attending to this other theme, apart from that one, connected with what
> is skillful, then those evil, unskillful thoughts — connected with
> desire, aversion, or delusion — are abandoned and subside. With their
> abandoning, he steadies his mind right within, settles it, unifies it,
> and concentrates it.
> -vitakkasantana sutta
Yes, the Vitakkasantana Sutta (‘The Removal of Distracting Thoughts’)
has been discussed here before ;-)). It deals with the case of a bhikkhu
who is “pursuing the higher mind” (‘adhicitta’) which, according to the
commentary, “is the mind of the eight meditative attainments used as a
basis for insight; it is called “higher mind” because it is higher than
the ordinary (wholesome) mind of the ten wholesome courses of action.”
It ends with mention of the attainment of insight.
As you can see from this, it is addressing the development of insight in
a particular context. I do not read this sutta as saying that a quiet
mind is a prerequisite to the development of insight as described in the
> ” Some people in the Buddha’s time
> developed samatha first and then vipassanaa, or vice versa, or both
> at the same time, or only vipassanaa. I do not think they would tell
> themselves: I must develop samatha first so that it helps vipassanaa.
> It is not a question of telling oneself what to do first, people are
> inclined already to proceed in this way or that way.”
> But the Buddha taught differently in AN 4.94, it seems to me. I quote
> from it at the end.
> N: I was actually thinking of A II, 156, coupled, yuganaddha, where
> this is explained. In other contexts there is emphasis on other
Now, we can look at the sutta you quote. This is in a series of three
suttas. Insight and tranquillity are praised. I have the commentary
in Thai at hand.
” insight into phenomena through heightened discernment” can also be
translated as higher wisdom of insight, adhipa~n~naa-dhamma-
vipassanaa. In the first sutta, adhipa~n~naa is stressed. Co: he
should know the five khandhas as they are.
N: adhipa~n~naa, this is always together with higher siila and higher
citta, that is, higher concentration.
second sutta: here effort or energy is emphasized.
> heightened discernment, but not internal tranquillity of awareness,
> he should
> approach an individual who has attained internal tranquillity of
> awareness… and ask him, ‘How should the mind be steadied? How
> should it be made to
> settle down? How should it be unified? How should it be
> concentrated?’ The
> other will answer in line with what he has seen & experienced: ‘The
> should be steadied in this way. The mind should be made to settle
> down in this
> way. The mind should be unified in this way. The mind should be
> concentrated in this way.’ Then eventually he [the first] will
> become one who has
> attained both internal tranquillity of awareness & insight into
> through heightened discernment. >
N: Co: he should establish concentration by means of the first
jhaana, citta should have only one object.
The co adds: the wise should see the meaning of vipassanaa and
samatha as being lokiya, mundane and lokuttara, supramundane, as the
Buddha explained in all the suttas, also in these three suttas.
The sutta text states further on, as you quote: <"As for the individual who has attained both internal tranquillity of >
> awareness & insight into phenomena through heightened discernment,
> his duty is
> to make an effort in establishing (‘tuning’) those very same skillful
> qualities to a higher degree for the ending of the (mental)
> fermentations. >
N: My remarks: The sakadaagami has eradicated all attachment to sense
objects, and thus, he has a high degree of calm. But this is not
enough, he should further develop insight to reach arahatship. The
eradication of all asavas is the highest degree of calm. The calm
accompanying fruition consciousness that experiences nibbaana after
the defilements have been eradicated is the highest calm , it is
FROM han tun
Dear Friends, AN 4.170. Yuganaddhasutta.m: Ways to Arahantship Translated by Ven Bhikkhu Bodhi. Source: An Anthology of Suttas from the A nguttara Nikaaya.
Message 1 of 2 , Sep 30, 2012
AN 4.170. Yuganaddhasutta.m: Ways to Arahantship
Translated by Ven Bhikkhu Bodhi.
Source: An Anthology of Suttas from the A”nguttara Nikaaya.
170. Eva.m me suta.m eka.m samaya.m aayasmaa aanando kosambiya.m viharati ghositaaraame. Tatra kho aayasmaa aanando bhikkhuu aamantesi:
“Aavuso”ti kho te bhikkhuu aayasmato aanandassa paccassosu.m. Aayasmaa aanando etadavoca:
“Yo hi koci, aavuso, bhikkhu vaa bhikkhunii vaa mama santike arahattappatti.m byaakaroti, sabbo so catuuhi maggehi, etesa.m vaa a~n~natarena.
Thus have I heard. On one occasion the Venerable Aananda was dwelling at Kosambii in Ghosita’s monastery. There the Venerable Aananda addressed the monks thus:
“Yes, friend.” The monks replied. Thereupon the Venerable Aananda said:
“Friends, whatever monks or nuns declare before me that they have attained the final knowledge of arahantship, all these do so in one of four ways.
 Idha, aavuso, bhikkhu samathapubba”ngama.m vipassana.m bhaaveti. Tassa samathapubba”ngama.m vipassana.m bhaavayato maggo sa~njaayati. So ta.m magga.m aasevati bhaaveti bahuliikaroti. Tassa ta.m magga.m aasevato bhaavayato bahuliikaroto sa.myojanaani pahiiyanti, anusayaa byantiihonti.
 “Here, friends, a monk develops insight preceded by tranquility (samatha-pubba”ngama.m vipassana.m). [Note 65] While he thus develops insight preceded by tranquility, the path arises in him. He now pursues, develops and cultivates that path, and while he is doing so the fetters are abandoned and the underlying tendencies eliminated. [Note 66]
[Note 65] Samatha-pubba”ngama.m vipassana.m. This refers to a meditator who makes tranquility the vehicle of his practice (samatha-yaanika), i.e., one who first develops access concentration, the jhaanas or the formless attainments and then takes up insight meditation (vipassanaa).
[Note 66] “The path” (magga) is the first supramundane path, that of stream-entry. To “develop that path”, according to A.A. means to practice for the attainment of the three higher paths.
 “Puna capara.m, aavuso, bhikkhu vipassanaapubba”ngama.m samatha.m bhaaveti. Tassa vipassanaapubba”ngama.m samatha.m bhaavayato maggo sa~njaayati. So ta.m magga.m aasevati bhaaveti bahuliikaroti . Tassa ta.m magga.m aasevato bhaavayato bahuliikaroto sa.myojanaani pahiiyanti, anusayaa byantiihonti.
 “Or again, friends, a monk develops tranquility preceded by insight (vipassanaapubba”ngama.m samatha.m). [Note 67] While he thus develops tranquility preceded by insight, the path arises in him. He now pursues, develops and cultivates that path, and while he is doing so the fetters are abandoned and the underlying tendencies eliminated.
[Note 67] Vipassanaapubba”ngama.m samatha.m. AA: “This refers to one who by his natural bent first attains to insight and the, based on insight, produces concentration (samaadhi).” AT: “This is one who makes insight the vehicle (vipassanaa-yaanika).”
 “Puna capara.m, aavuso, bhikkhu samathavipassana.m yuganaddha.m bhaaveti. Tassa samathavipassana.m yuganaddha.m bhaavayato maggo sa~njaayati. So ta.m magga.m aasevati bhaaveti bahuliikaroti. Tassa ta.m magga.m aasevato bhaavayato bahuliikaroto sa.myojanaani pahiiyanti, anusayaa byantiihonti.
 “Or again, friends, a monk develops tranquility and insight joined in pairs (samathavipassana.m yuganaddha.m). [Note 68] While he thus develops tranquility and insight joined in pairs, the path arises in him. He now pursues, develops and cultivates that path, and while he is doing so the fetters are abandoned and the underlying tendencies eliminated.
[Note 68] Samathavipassana.m yuganaddha.m. In this mode of practice, one enters the first jhaana and then, after emerging from it, applies insight to that experience, i.e. one sees the five aggregates within the jhaana (form, feeling, perception, etc.) as impermanent, liable to suffering and non-self. Then one enters the second jhaana and contemplates it with insight; and applies the same pair-wise procedure to the other jhaanas as well, until the path of stream-entry, etc., is realized.
 “Puna capara.m, aavuso, bhikkhuno dhammuddhaccaviggahita.m maanasa.m hoti. Hoti so, aavuso, samayo ya.m ta.m citta.m ajjhattameva santi.t.thati sannisiidati ekodi hoti samaadhiyati. Tassa maggo sa~njaayati. So ta.m magga.m aasevati bhaaveti bahuliikaroti. Tassa ta.m magga.m aasevato bhaavayato bahuliikaroto sa.myojanaani pahiiyanti, anusayaa byantiihonti.
 “Or again, friends, a monk’s mind is seized by agitation caused by higher states of mind. [Note 69] But there comes a time when his mind becomes internally steadied, composed, unified and concentrated; then the path arises in him. He now pursues, develops and cultivates that path, and while he is doing so the fetters are abandoned and the underlying tendencies eliminated.
[Note 69] Dhammuddhaccaviggahita.m maanasa.m hoti. According to AA, the “agitation” (uddhacca) meant here is a reaction to the arising of the ten “corruptions of insight” (vipassanuupakkilesa) when they are wrongly taken as indicating path attainment.
“Yo hi koci, aavuso, bhikkhu vaa bhikkhunii vaa mama santike arahattappatti.m byaakaroti, sabbo so imehi catuuhi maggehi, etesa.m vaa a~n~natarenaa”ti.
“Friends, whatever monks or nuns declare before me that they have attained the final knowledge of arahantship, all these do so in one of these four ways.”
Han: In this sutta, whether one starts the practice with samatha, or with vipassanaa, or with both, ultimately it ends up with samatha and vipassanaa yoking together in harmony. That is why the sutta is named “Yuganaddha.”
I find the yoking together of samatha and vipassanaa in another sutta:
MN 149 Mahaasa.laayatanika Sutta
(translation by Bhikkhu Nanamoli and Bhikkhu Bodhi)
10. The view of a person such as this is right view. His intention is right intention, his effort is right effort, his mindfulness is right mindfulness, his concentration is right concentration. But his bodily action, his verbal action, and his livelihood have already been well purified earlier. Thus this Noble Eightfold Path comes to fulfilment in him by development. When he develops this Noble Eightfold Path, the four foundations of mindfulness also come to fulfilment in him by development; the four right kinds of striving also come to fulfilment in him by development; the four bases for spiritual power also come to fulfilment in him by development; the five faculties also come to fulfilment in him by development; the five powers also come to fulfilment in him by development; the seven enlightenment factors also come to fulfilment in him by development. These two things – serenity and insight – occur in him yoked evenly together (Tassime dve dhammaa
yuganandhaa vattanti–samatho ca vipassanaa ca). [Note 1342] He fully understands by direct knowledge those things that should be fully understood by direct knowledge. He abandons by direct knowledge those things that should be abandoned by direct knowledge. He develops by direct knowledge those things that should be developed by direct knowledge. He realises by direct knowledge those things that should be realised by direct knowledge.
[Note 1342] MA says that this refers to the simultaneous arising of serenity and insight in the supramundane path. The former is present under the heading of right concentration, the latter under the heading of right view.