Are there parallel texts between Pali Canon Jhana Suttas, and Mahayana equivalent? Dhyana Sutras? I now that the theme is picked up again in Tiantai texts, but I'm thinking of between the Pali canon and the Tiantai? Does Asanga touch on this topic or skip over it? Kumarajiva?

1 Answer 1


Yes some texts of the pali canon have parallels in what people call the (chinese) agamas. The links for the agamas is here:

Some people compare the agamas and the nikayas:

... for instance, chapter 7 ...

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... with the most famous one about breath mediation here:

bikkhu analayo is the most famous bikkhu for this kind of comparision:

Many of the Mahayana and Vajrayana sutras (chinese or tibetan), however, have no parallel in the pali suttas (i.e. they're unique to Mahayana or Vajrayana):

  • Downvoiting without comment is harsh and divisive speech. Please add a comment and/or cancel your downvote
    – OyaMist
    Apr 8, 2019 at 16:11
  • It wasn't my downvote. I edited to improve the format of the hyperlinks, and to reduce the last paragraph.
    – ChrisW
    Apr 8, 2019 at 17:14
  • I don't know why it was downvoted. If it wasn't because the last paragraph, perhaps it's because the answer wasn't specifically about "Dhyana/Jhana Sutras" (and maybe "Asanga" and/or "Kumarajiva").
    – ChrisW
    Apr 8, 2019 at 17:17
  • Although direct link to "jhana suttas" is not listed, the excerpt actually suffices for my purposes: Mahayana dhyana practice is identical to Pali Sutta equivalents. Divergence into separate practices is a mark of the current, decadent period. i can even find quotes in Zen of only 1000 years ago showing dhyana was still just this. Current Zen thinking about dhyana in the development of their tradition is suffering from historical revisionism. May 8, 2019 at 19:35

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