Points of Controversy

18.7. Of Jhāna and its Intervals

Controverted Point: That there is an intermediate stage between the First and Second Stages.

Theravādin: But this is to imply intervening stages between contact or feeling, or perception… .

Again, why deny intermediate stages between Second and Third, or Third and Fourth jhāna? If you deny them here, you must deny them between First and Second jhāna. You cannot maintain the intermediate stages between First and Second jhāna only, denying the existence of such stages between the others.

You say that samādhi of mind accompanied by sustained thought only, without its initial application, constitutes the intermediate stage. But why make an exception in this way? Or why not include the other two forms, accompanied by both or by neither? If you deny that samādhi with or without initial and sustained application of thought is a jhānic interval, why not deny it in the case of samādhi without initial application, but with sustentation of thought?

You maintain that in the interval between the manifestation of two stages of jhāna there is samādhi in sustained thought only, without initial application of thought. But while such samādhi is proceeding, is not the first jhāna at an end and the second jhāna manifested? You assent, but you contradict thus your proposition.

Sammitīyas and Andhakas: If we are wrong, does samādhi in sustained thought only, without initial application of thought, constitute any one of the Four jhānas? You say, no. Then it must constitute an interim state—which is what we affirm.

Theravādin: But did not the Exalted One declare three forms of samādhi, namely, in both applied and sustained thought, in the latter only, and where there is neither? If so, you cannot single out the second form of samādhi as a state intermediate between jhānas.