User Tools

Site Tools

Translations of this page?:

jhāna {pi}

Pāḷi; √ jhāna
alt. sp.: IPA: d͡ʒʰɑːn̪ə, Velthuis: jhaana, readable: jhaana, simple: jhana
translation ~:
khmer: ឈាន
thai: ฌาน
sinhal.: ඣාන
burm.: ဈာန


[dic] jhāna (jhana)

jhāna: Description welcome. Info can be removed after imput.

ATI Glossary

jhāna [Skt. dhyāna]: Mental absorption. A state of strong concentration focused on a single physical sensation (resulting in rūpa jhāna) or mental notion (resulting in arūpa jhāna). Development of jhāna arises from the temporary suspension of the five hindrances (see nīvaraṇa) through the development of five mental factors: vitakka (directed thought), vicāra (evaluation), pīti (rapture), sukha (pleasure), and ekagattārammana (singleness of preoccupation). [ more ]


Buddhist Dictionary

by late Ven. Nyanalokita Thera:

jhāna: 'absorption' (meditation) refers chiefly to the four meditative absorptions of the fine-material sphere (rūpa-jjhāna or rūpāvacara-jjhāna; see avacara). They are achieved through the attainment of full (or attainment -, or ecstatic) concentration (appanā, see samādhi), during which there is a complete, though temporary, suspension of fivefold sense-activity and of the 5 hindrances (see nīvaraṇa).

The state of consciousness, however, is one of full alertness and lucidity. This high degree of concentration is generally developed by the practice of one of the 40 subjects of tranquillity meditation (samatha-kammaṭṭhāna; see bhāvanā). Often also the 4 immaterial spheres (arūpāyatana) are called absorptions of the immaterial sphere (arūpa-jjhāna or arūpāvacara-jjhāna).

The stereotype text, often met with in the Suttas, runs as follows:

(1) “Detached from sensual objects, o monks, detached from unwholesome consciousness, attached with thought-conception (vitakka) and discursive thinking (vicāra), born of detachment (viveka ja) and filled with rapture (pīti) and joy (sukha) he enters the first absorption.

(2) “After the subsiding of thought-conception and discursive thinking, and by gaining inner tranquillity and oneness of mind, he enters into a state free from thought-conception and discursive thinking, the second absorption, which is born of concentration (samādhi), and filled with rapture (pīti) and joy (sukha).

(3) “After the fading away of rapture he dwells in equanimity, mindful, clearly conscious; and he experiences in his person that feeling of which the Noble Ones say, 'Happy lives the man of equanimity and attentive mind'; thus he enters the 3rd absorption.

(4) “After having given up pleasure and pain, and through the disappearance of previous joy and grief, he enters into a state beyond pleasure and pain, into the 4th absorption, which is purified by equanimity (upekkhā) and mindfulness.

(5) “Through the total overcoming of the perceptions of matter, however, and through the vanishing of sense-reactions and the non-attention to the perceptions of variety, with the idea, 'Boundless is space', he reaches the sphere of boundless space (ākāsānañcāyatana) and abides therein.

“By 'perceptions of matter' (rūpa-saññā) are meant the absorptions of the fine-material sphere, as well as those objects themselves … ” Visuddhi Magga X, 1

“By 'perceptions of sense-reactions' (paṭigha-saññā) are meant those perceptions that have arisen due to the impact of sense-organs (eye, etc.) and the sense-objects (visible objects, etc.). They are a name for the perception of visible objects, as it is said (Jhāna Vibhanga ): 'What are here the perceptions of sense-reactions? They are the perceptions of visible objects, sounds, etc.' - Surely, they do no longer exist even for one who has entered the 1st absorption, etc., for at such a time the five-sense consciousness is no longer functioning. Nevertheless, this is to be understood as having been said in praise of this immaterial absorption, in order to incite the striving for it” Visuddhi Magga X, 16

“Perceptions of variety (ñāṇatta-saññā) are the perceptions that arise in various fields, or the various perceptions” (ib.). Hereby, according to Visuddhi Magga X, 20, are meant the multiform perceptions outside the absorptions.]

(6) “Through the total overcoming of the sphere of boundless space, and with the idea 'Boundless is consciousness', he reaches the sphere of boundless consciousness (viññāṇañcāyatana) and abides therein.

(7) “Through the total overcoming of the sphere of boundless consciousness, and with the idea 'Nothing is there', he reaches the sphere of nothingness (ākiñcaññāyatana) and abides therein.

(8) “Through the total overcoming of the sphere of nothingness he reaches the sphere of neither-perception-nor-non-perception (nevasaññā-n’asaññāyatana) and abides therein.”

“Thus the 1st absorption is free from 5 things (see i.e. the hindrances, nīvaraṇa), and 5 things are present (i.e. the factors of absorption; jhānaṅga).

Whenever the monk enters the 1st absorption, there have vanished sensuous desire, ill-will, sloth and torpor, restlessness and scruples, doubts; and there are present: thought-conception (vitakka), discursive thinking (vicāra) rapture (pīti), joy (sukha), and concentration (samādhi). In the 2nd absorption there are present: rapture, joy and concentration; in the 3rd: joy and concentration; in the 4th: equanimity (upekkhā) and concentration” Visuddhi Magga IV

The 4 absorptions of the immaterial sphere (see above 5-8) still belong, properly speaking, to the 4th absorption as they possess the same two constituents. The 4th fine-material absorption is also the base or starting point (see pādaka-jhāna) for the attaining of the higher spiritual powers (see abhiññā).

In the Abhidhamma, generally a fivefold instead of a fourfold division of the fine-material absorptions is used: the 2nd absorption has still the constituent 'discursive thinking' (but without thought-conception), while the 3rd, 4th and 5th correspond to the 2nd, 3rd and 4th, respectively, of the fourfold division (see Table I, 9- 13). This fivefold division is based on Sutta texts like AN 63.

For the 8 absorptions as objects for the development of insight (vipassanā), see samatha-vipassanā. - Full details in Visuddhi Magga IV-X.

Jhāna in its widest sense (e.g. as one of the 24 conditions; see paccaya 17), denotes any, even momentary or weak absorption of mind, when directed on a single object.


PTS Dictionary

by the Pali Text Society:


Glossary Thanissaro

Jhāna: Mental absorption. A state of strong concentration focused on a single sensation or mental notion. This term is derived from the verb jhāyati, which means to burn with a steady, still flame.

(In regard of Vinaya see BMC Pr 4.)


Illustrated Glossary of Pāli Terms

by Ven. Varado Maha Thera:

jhāna: (main article see: jhāyati)

Illustration: jhāna, meditation

That the Bamboo Grove is delightful, quiet, undisturbed by voices, with a quiet atmosphere, remote from people, suitable for solitary retreat, is because of the Venerables who meditate there and are given to meditation.

yathā taṁ bhavantehi jhāyīhi jhānasīlīhi. (MN iii 13)


Glossary various Teacher

jhāna: very deep states in meditation of sustained, blissful awareness taken to the levels of meditative absorption. (Source: Glossary late Ven. Ajahn Chah)


See also

Suttas and Dhammadesanā

jhāna : (meditative absorption) See also Concentration (samādhi); Nīvaraṇa (Hindrances); Noble silence; Samatha (tranquillity, calm).


Info & meta data



  • You can add an record of the Pali, and upload it. (The file should be without diacritics, lowcase and mp3. Change diacritics in link to 'readable' characters without diacritics.)
  • You are given to add additional sources/Dictionaries. Consider the use of page_templates if wishing to include a certain dictionary to many pages. Edits of Dictionary content can be made in the paticulary source file.

meta data

—- dataentry metadata —- page ID: en:dictionary:jhāna pagename: jhāna file: jhāna.txt permanent link:āna page initially given by: Johann page creation date: 2019-09-17 (recreation) origin author and source: see source_of_dictionaries. source: various, see source_of_dictionaries edits: see source_of_dictionaries edition: scope of gift: This is a gift of Dhamma and given to use for any skilful/wholesome purpose and undertaking but not for any commercial use or other use of exchange for worldly aims. For additional information see Dhamma-Dana and possible details at the source pages for included parts. Much joy in using and share of the merits! owner of this copy: Sublime Sangha of the eight directions. current maintainer: The aramika and monastic disciples on dedications of editors: Johann: for the Sublime Saṅgha of the Buddha and those following and interested, and so then benefiting my persons teachers, parents and ancestors, all beings welfare.

en/dictionary/jhāna.txt · Last modified: 2019/11/04 06:34 by Johann