Akincannayatana Jhana

Last Updated: October 2, 2016

Definition - What does Akincannayatana Jhana mean?

Akincannayatana jhana is defined as a meditative state where the mind contemplates infinite nothingness. It is one of four jhanas, which is a Pali term meaning "meditation." Jhana is often considered synonymous with the Sanskrit term, dhyana, which is commonly used in yogic teachings, whereas jhana is more often used in Buddhism.

As the third of the four jhanas, akincannayatana jhana can only be entered into after the first two states of akasanancayatana jhana and vinnanancayatana jhana have been realized.

Yogapedia explains Akincannayatana Jhana

To enter akincannayatana jhana, the yogi must give up the object of concentration that has enabled him/her to reach the first two jhanas. Thus, as infinite consciousness no longer exists, the concept of nothingness arises. By concentrating on “nothing is there,” the mind can find the state of akincannayatana jhana.

Within Buddhist teaching, jhanas are described as a series of four carefully cultivated and developed states of mind. These states cumulatively lead to what is called upekkhii-sati-piirisuddhi, or "perfect mental awareness and equanimity."

The other three jhanas are:

  1. Akasanancayatana jhana - a meditative state where the mind is absorbed in realizing that space is infinite.
  2. Vinnanancayatana jhana - a meditative state where the mind is absorbed in realizing that consciousness is infinite.
  3. Nevasannanasannayatana jhana - a meditative state of neither perception nor non-perception.

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