Second Jhana

Confidence with One-pointedness of Mind

It is the attainment of ekaggata (one-pointedness of mind) without the application of vitakka and vicara which forms prominent factors in the first jhana.

At this stage also, the yogi will continue with his effort in his mindfulness of the nama-rupa phenomena arising involuntarily according to their true nature, thus developing the paccakkha nana (knowledge gained through personal experience) in respect of the dhamma. Those who have had theoretical knowledge may start thinking. Pleased with his achievement the yogi may become indulged in dhamma vitakkas and not continue with his effort. Such an indulgence can delay his progress. When he continues to generate bhavana (mental development) without such reflections, either on the exhortation of the master or on his own accord, he will be able to attain samadhi without the application of vitakka-vicara.

Whenever he is faced with the arising phenomena, he will be able to concentrate his attention on the object and hit the target without special effort of directing his mind, as previously like the skilled darter. Without such extra effort, he is able to arrest the objects as they quickly arise and dissolve. Assured with this skill, he will find the ability to experience visions in a wonderful manner. His mind will become very clear and with such a clarity of mind, he develops a type of confidence called sampasadana (serene tranquillization and reassurance) .

The second jhana is stated to have confidence because it makes the mind confident with the confidence possessed by it and by stilling the disturbance created by vitakka and vicara. Hence, the phrase: Sampasadanam cetaso ekodibhavam (confidence with the state of one-pointedness of mind).

It might be asked, "But does not this confidence exist in the first jhana, too; also this concentration with the name of the single thing (ekodibhava)? Then why is only this second jhana said to have confidence and one-pointedness of mind?" It may be replied as follows:

It is because the first jhana is not fully confident owing to the disturbance created by vitakka and vicara, like water ruffled by ripples and wavelets. That is why, although faith does exist in it, it has no chance of developing into 'confidence'. And there, too, concentration is not fully evident because of lack of full confidence. That is why it is not called one-pointedness there. But in this second jhana with calm water, faith is strong, having got a footing in the absence of the impediments of vitakka-vicara; and concentration is also evident through having strong faifh as its companion.

Men of science who concentrate on their research with inventive inclination can cause mental vibrations like wavelets so that some may have to take tranquillisers to calm the mind. Vitakka tends to cause vipphand-hana (excitement) and vicarana (moving about) so that the mind can become agitated and scattered. Now, the one-pointedness comes about automatically without the application of vitakka-vicara. Every time the one-point-edness comes about, the yogi becomes encouraged with the clearness of thought. Samadhi becomes stronger and stronger as the attention gets fixed firmer and firmer to the target. Such a state is called 'Cetaso ekodi-bhavd (the state of one-pointedness of mind or unique exaltation of mind).

Panoramic View

When samadhi becomes strong, awareness sharpens.

When sati becomes strong, awareness expands.

When saddha becomes strong, awareness clarifies.

When viriya becomes strong, awareness progresses.

Just as the skilled marksman can hit the bull's eye as often as he wants without the extra effort of aiming and firing, the experienced yogi will strengthen his sama-

dhi and sharpen his faculties. He will thus see even the minute objects. Whenever he notes one object, he will observe two or three objects in a distinct manner. Whenever he is noting one sensation, a variety of sensations will come into his awareness - such as numbness, stiffness, tension, heat, etc., in fragments, like seeing a swarm of ants. What a wonderful knowledge! One can spend time on this subject in detail, but here I amjust touching on the major aspects only.

One has to understand that vipassana is an effort to gain true knowledge in a progressive manner and also that vitakka-vicara have the delaying effect in the arising of confidence, samadhi and knowledge. So wasting time on these mental states is senseless. This is a lesson the yogi should remember.

Here samadhi is of two kinds:

• Samadhi of the firstjhdna, which serves as a decisive support condition (upanissaya-paccaya) to samadhi of the second jhana.

• Samadhi of the second jhana, which serves as an associated condition with that of the firstjhana {sampayutta-paccaya). That is the second samadhi born of associated concentration.

In the first jhana, piti and sukha are born of seclusion and absence of hindrances - vivekqja patisukham. Here, in the second jhana, piti and sukha have the additional property of "born of concentration" (samadhija pitisu-kham). These factors lead to one-pointedness of mind.

Here piti is the strong one (balavapiti) born of two sama-dhi and is of ubbega and pharana types. One would feel like being lifted in the air and enjoy a pervading happiness, like oil soaked in a piece of cotton or inflation of a ball. One would also feel a thrilling experience like riding on soft wavelets. The type of sukha one would experience here is like one being drenched with a gush of cool air when one enters an air-conditioned room or oozing of a stream - abhisanna mana.

This jhana possesses only three factors, that is piti, sukha and ekaggata (unification or one-pointedness of mind). This jhana arises at the tender stage of uday-abbaya nana. The calmness and concentration are extraordinary and the knowledge is wonderful, so much so that the yogi tends to think that he is seeing the Path (Magga) and Fruition (Phala) and becomes complacent. And he may not even listen to the master; instead he tends to think that he has become an Arahat or even Buddha, bringing him to the brink of madness. This is the time when the yogi needs guidance.

From experience, I also found that yogis who had come to this stage felt very satisfied with themselves, because it was like having taken a drug. Feeling relaxed, a sense of well-being and light-hearted, they would not proceed any further. They become attached to this situation [nikanti] and even crave for it (tanha). This is known as "internal stagnation", resulting in dhammantaraya (dhamma obstacle). Hence, it is important not to make one's own decision in such cases.

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