Is kasina meditation and other such meditation techniques not found in the suttas (i.e. not taught by the Buddha) and only invented in the Visuddhimagga?
Or does it have basis in the Pali suttas?
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Yes the ten kasina mediations are in The Middle-length Suttas (Book 2, Chapter 3, Sutta 7 “Great Sakuludayi Sutta”), and I have heard they are other places, but havent come across those.
“Again, Udāyin, I have proclaimed to my disciples the way to develop the ten kasiṇa bases. One contemplates the earthkasiṇa above, below, and across, undivided and immeasurable. Another contemplates the water-kasiṇa…Another contemplates the fire-kasiṇa…Another contemplates the air-kasiṇa…Another contemplates the blue-kasiṇa…Another contemplates the yellow-kasiṇa…Another contemplates the red-kasiṇa…Another contemplates the white-kasiṇa…Another contemplates the space-kasiṇa…Another contemplates the consciousness-kasiṇa above, below, and across, undivided and immeasurable. And thereby many disciples of mine abide having reached the perfection and consummation of direct knowledge.
I'm a thai and my english is very basic.
I found this in wikipedia, and it looks like a slander because they put the less reference, and miss the point. Many bias point the reader out of the reference. Everyone can show up their opinions, and we should listen to them respectfully, but it doesn't mean "proper" when they show up their opinions by cutting many evident of the analysis like this. I don't want to fight, I don't want to blame or slander. I really love and support, as proper, every kind of Buddhist people, even they are not in Theravata, however I still have to do my job, describe the truth from the original text. I just want to let people see the other angles they never see by the reference from the original text from the history, not only the opinion. I do not just write but I will let you see how much reference that the below text didn't mention to.
Note, some original pali text were quoted and referenced in the referenced articles for the easier to read and many time reference.
Spiritual practice and progress
The most influential presentation of the Theravāda Abhidhamma path to liberation is found in the Visuddhimagga ('Path of Purification') of Buddhaghoṣa.
No direct rule in Vinaya force the monk to recite & memorize Visuddhimagga. The rule start from 'Bikkhu have to recite & memorize Vinaya and Sutta from the previous Tipitaka Memorizer who enlightened or at lease the previous Tipitaka Memorizer who shy and fear (aware) of unwholesome' (1st ref, 2nd ref).
The Visuddhimagga's doctrine includes several interpretations not found in the earliest discourses (suttas).
The text uses meditation on kasina (colored disks) as the key practice from which it models the entrance into jhana. Kasina a kind of focusing meditation which is not widely found in the earlier suttas.
Hundreds of results (the link is lesser than the real reference) of "kasiṇa" words found in Sutta.
Kasiṇa is not described in detail in Sutta, appeared only words, because it is easy and the outsider practitioners already found this method before the Buddha appeared, no need teaching. The 3 jatila also meditate Tejo Kasina and they are the great teachers in Kasina before the Buddha appear. Anapanassati is easier but it is not found before the Buddha teach it (1st ref, 2nd ref). That's why even many words of Kasiṇa found in Sutta, but we can't found the explanation like we found many Anapanassati's detail in Sutta.
No detail doesn't mean "Kasiṇa is not widely found in the earlier suttas", it means "Kasiṇa is usually used before the Sutta, so nothing to describe".
According to OvadaPatimokha, all wholesome should be meditated. Kasina can let the practitioner get wholesome Jhana, so we should meditate Kasina as same as other wholesome meditation as well.
Meditate all Kammatthana as much as you can, to auto select the proper Kammatthana in the proper situation every time you should. Who never practice Asubha is who can't recall of Asubha when seeing the beautiful man/woman.
**The text uses meditation on kasina (colored disks) as the key practice from which it models the entrance into jhana. **Kasina a kind of focusing meditation which is not widely found in the earlier suttas.
Visuddhimagga doesn't use meditation on only kasina as the key practice from which it models the entrance into jhana.
Visuddhimagga firstly declared 30 methods as the key practice from which it models the entrance into jhana before describe them in detail as each big chapter.
The Visuddhimagga also describes the four jhanas and the four immaterial states in detail. It also describes forty meditation subjects (kammaṭṭhāna) and advises that one should ask a knowledgeable person to figure out which meditation suits one's temperament.
Kasina is just the first chapter of Kammathana in Visuddhimagga, not the key. However, the oral tradition is the rule, vinaya, of the core study in theravada. And the oral study is using too much time to keep it, so the way to study faster is briefing same content into the first reciting chapter one and refer every same content into it. And that's why Kasina chapter is too big. Every kammathana's chapter after that often request many part of Kasina chapter to complete the content. And Anapanassati is the bigger chapter than Kasina after included the refering content of Kasina chapter in to it.
I think it is waste the time to explain how the tipitaka pali memorizers memorize the whole pali canon to the one who never try to do the same because it's too much advance for them. I just want to help them know whether what they never try maybe their big mistake of their lives. At least I will remember whether I try to protect them from a hardcore karma "blaming the noble one" (Ariyupavada).
The Visuddhimagga analyzes the practice of the Buddhist path as divided into three main aspects: Sīla (ethics or discipline); 2) Samādhi (concentration achieved through meditation); 3) Pañña (spiritual understanding, wisdom).
It also gives a more extended overview of the path to liberation, which is divided into seven major stages which are called the "Seven Stages of Purification" (satta-visuddhi). These stages are based on the Rathavinita Sutta ("Relay Chariots Discourse," MN 24).
It is based on DN and KN Patisambhidamagga. It is not pure BuddhaGhosa's opinion.
The section on wisdom also provides an indepth overview of the process of vipassanā ("insight", "clear-seeing") meditation, and its progressive stages or "progress of insight" (visuddhiñana-katha). This progress is explained through a total of sixteen stages of insight or knowledge, called the vipassanā-ñāṇas.
It is based on DN and KN Patisambhidamagga. It is not pure BuddhaGhosa's opinion.
Or who can help me insert these evident into Wikipedia please.
In view of the actual real path based in 'letting go' ('vossagga'; per SN 56.11; SN 48.10; MN 118), etc, it is obviously not possible to attain jhana using kasina.
Obviously, a Buddha never taught about kasina.
Just because kasina is found in two places in the suttas (MN 77 and AN 10.29) does not mean a Buddha taught it.
Obviously, so-called 'elders' who created & filled the scriptures with their own idiosyncratic alien doctrines, such as Jataka and Abhidhamma, had the power to add whatever they wanted to the Suttas.
If we don't believe or agree with what I posted above, simply read the Vibhanga of the Abhidhamma (example here & here), which explicitly says its own interpretation of Dhamma is different to the Suttas.
In summary, kasina cannot reach supramundane jhana. To reach jhana, the mind must be flexible & abandoned enough to allow purification to occur (which means facilitating stored accumulations of defilements to rise up & dissolve). I have never heared about any lofty monk using kasina to attain the Path.
Whatever one contemplates much becomes the inclination of the mind.
Kasina in the Sutta refers to an object of visions associated with bodily senses & qualities discerned by an intellect divorced from the five bodily sense faculties as perceptions of infinite space & consciousness for formless release.
Kasina are varied in form object as shapes & colors and are unvaried as when taken as formless release object.
I associate the Vsm method of development with a contemplation & visualization of the Kasina for a development of an inclination to a particular attainment.
If you are wondering about looking at candles or earth in particular. This i haven't tried but i know people look at dead bodies and i assume it would work analogically.
I think that in jhana whatever is seen as color & shape will be associated with light & color kasina whereas fire, water, wind & earth are invisible and are only felt only.
Also it is my impression that Vsm puts a lot of emphasis on defining elements and i think it is an important part of the training.
As to the general validity of Vsm, i think it is useful but has big mistakes in it. If choosing between reading it and not reading, i think the juice is worth the squeeze because there is some excellent commentary but it also teaches some wrong things explicitly.
People actually say that the manuscript was stolen from Buddhaghosa by Sakka, as if Sakka is a thief and in the same breath Vsm claims that Sotapannas can't break the five precepts. Perhaps that is why Sakka stole it three times...
Leave it for dessert imo.