Arthaviniscaya 9

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The Discourse giving the Analysis of the Topics

Arthaviniścayasūtram 9. The Four Formless Attainments

Herein, monastics, what are the four formless attainments?

   Here, monastics, a monastic, having completely transcended perceptions of form, with the disappearance of perceptions of (sensory) impact, not attending to perceptions of variety, (understanding): ‘This is endless space’, abides in the sphere of endless space.
   Having completely transcended the sphere of endless space, (understanding): ‘This is endless consciousness,’ he abides in the sphere of endless consciousness.
   Having completely transcended the sphere of endless consciousness, (understanding): ‘This is nothing,’ he abides in the sphere of nothingness.
   Having completely transcended the sphere of nothingness, he abides in the sphere of neither-perception-nor-non-perception.

These, monastics, are said to be the four formless attainments.