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importance of developing piti and sukha



"I myself, before my Awakening, when I was still an unawakened bodhisatta, saw as it actually was with right discernment that sensuality is of much stress, much despair, & greater drawbacks, but as long as I had not attained a rapture & pleasure apart from sensuality, apart from unskillful mental qualities, or something more peaceful than that, I did not claim that I could not be tempted by sensuality. But when I saw as it actually was with right discernment that sensuality is of much stress, much despair, & greater drawbacks, and I had attained a rapture & pleasure apart from sensuality, apart from unskillful mental qualities, or something more peaceful than that, that was when I claimed that I could not be tempted by sensuality.

an 7.67 (thai canon 7.36?)
simile of frontier fortress, compares various levels of jhana  to food for soldiers. piti and sukha at as nutrition for the soldiers of right effort and gatekeeper of right mindfulness.
(b.bodhi excerpt)

“And what are the four jhānas that constitute the higher mind and are pleasant dwellings in this very life, which he gains at will, without trouble or difficulty?

(1) “Just as, bhikkhus, much grass, firewood, and water are stored up in the king’s frontier fortress for the delight, relief, and comfort of its inhabitants and for warding off outsiders, so too, secluded from sensual pleasures, secluded from unwholesome states, a noble disciple enters and dwells in the first jhāna, which consists of rapture and pleasure born of seclusion, accompanied by thought and examination—for his own delight, relief, and comfort, and for entering upon nibbāna.

(2) “Just as [112] much rice and barley are stored up in the king’s frontier fortress for the delight, relief, and comfort of its inhabitants and for warding off outsiders, so too, with the subsiding of thought and examination, a noble disciple enters and dwells in the second jhāna, which has internal placidity and unification of mind and consists of rapture and pleasure born of concentration, without thought and examination—for his own delight, relief, and comfort, and for entering upon nibbāna.

(3) “Just as many foodstuffs—sesame, green gram, and beans—are stored up in the king’s frontier fortress for the delight, relief, and comfort of its inhabitants and for warding off outsiders, so too, with the fading away as well of rapture, a noble disciple dwells equanimous and, mindful and clearly comprehending, he experiences pleasure with the body; he enters and dwells in the third jhāna of which the noble ones declare: ‘He is equanimous, mindful, one who dwells happily’—for his own delight, relief, and comfort, and for entering upon nibbāna.

(4) “Just as many medicaments—ghee, butter, oil, honey, molasses, and salt—are stored up in the king’s frontier fortress for the delight, relief, and comfort of its inhabitants and for warding off outsiders, so too, with the abandoning of pleasure and pain, and with the previous passing away of joy and dejection, a noble disciple enters and dwells in the fourth jhāna, neither painful nor pleasant, which has purification of mindfulness by equanimity—for his own delight, relief, and comfort, and for entering upon nibbāna.

“These are the four jhānas that constitute the higher mind and are pleasant dwellings in this very life, which he gains at will, without trouble or difficulty. [113]

“When, bhikkhus, a noble disciple possesses these seven good qualities, and when he gains at will, without trouble or difficulty, these four jhānas that constitute the higher mind and are pleasant dwellings in this very life, he is then called a noble disciple who cannot be assailed by Māra, who cannot be assailed by the Evil One.”




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