Points of Controversy

11.6. Of Samādhi

Controverted Point: That the continuity of consciousness is samādhi of mind (samādhi).

Theravādin: Your statement must include of course past and future states of consciousness in the series. You forgot that, and you must agree that the past having ceased and the future being unborn, it is not right to say that they form a present concentrated state of mind.

Sarvāstivādins and Uttarapāthakas: Then is samādhi confined to a momentary conscious unit?

Theravādin: Yes.

Sarvāstivādins and Uttarapāthakas: But if you could affirm that samādhi is involved in each momentary unit of consciousness, you should say no less that one had won the ecstasy of jhāna on the actual occasion of any sense-cognition, or at the very moment of thinking immoral thoughts, accompanied by lust, hate, delusion, or any of the ten corruptions… .

Theravādin: If your proposition is true, it must also be true a fortiori that a series of bad conscious units is samādhi, whether it is accompanied by lust, hate, or any of the ten corruptions. This you deny… .

Sarvāstivādins and Uttarapāthakas: But if we are wrong, did not the Exalted One say:

“I, friend Jainas, am able, without moving the body or using the voice, to spend seven nights and days in the experience of absolute bliss.”

Surely then the flow of consciousness constitutes samādhi of mind.