V&V in 4 jhānas: sutta anthology

The role vitakka & vicāra plays in first jhāna.

Prologue

Chapter 8aam, noble eightfold path

Many people don’t realize the 8aam, much like 7sb (awakening factors), is a causal sequence that leads you from the right kinds of views and thoughts you think prior to first jhana, gradually into the right thoughts that you think while still in first jhana.
SN 45.8 Magga Vibhanga: Path exposition: 8aam (ariyo atthangiko maggo, noble eightfold path)

SN 56.7. Thoughts 7. Vitakkasutta

7. Vitakkasutta
7. Thoughts
“Mā, bhikkhave, pāpake akusale vitakke vitakkeyyātha, seyyathidaṃ—kāmavitakkaṃ, byāpādavitakkaṃ, vihiṃsāvitakkaṃ. Taṃ kissa hetu? Nete, bhikkhave, vitakkā atthasaṃhitā nādibrahmacariyakā na nibbidāya na virāgāya na nirodhāya na upasamāya na abhiññāya na sambodhāya na nibbānāya saṃvattanti.
“Mendicants, don’t think bad, unskillful thoughts, such as sensual, malicious, and cruel thoughts. Why is that? Because those thoughts aren’t beneficial or relevant to the fundamentals of the spiritual life. They don’t lead to disillusionment, fading away, cessation, peace, insight, awakening, and extinguishment.
Vitakkentā ca kho tumhe, bhikkhave, ‘idaṃ dukkhan’ti vitakkeyyātha, ‘ayaṃ dukkhasamudayo’ti vitakkeyyātha, ‘ayaṃ dukkhanirodho’ti vitakkeyyātha, ‘ayaṃ dukkhanirodhagāminī paṭipadā’ti vitakkeyyātha. Taṃ kissa hetu? Ete, bhikkhave, vitakkā atthasaṃhitā ete ādibrahmacariyakā ete nibbidāya virāgāya nirodhāya upasamāya abhiññāya sambodhāya nibbānāya saṃvattanti.
When you think, you should think: ‘This is suffering’ … ‘This is the origin of suffering’ … ‘This is the cessation of suffering’ … ‘This is the practice that leads to the cessation of suffering’. Why is that? Because those thoughts are beneficial and relevant to the fundamentals of the spiritual life. They lead to disillusionment, fading away, cessation, peace, insight, awakening, and extinguishment.
Tasmātiha, bhikkhave, ‘idaṃ dukkhan’ti yogo karaṇīyo … pe … ‘ayaṃ dukkhanirodhagāminī paṭipadā’ti yogo karaṇīyo”ti.
That’s why you should practice meditation …”
You want to know the difference between first jhana and second jhana?
compare SN 56.7 above to SN 56.1 below. They're both mentally inspecting the same ideas on 4nt, except SN 56.7 uses "vitakka", and SN 56.1 uses "pajānati" (what S&S sati and sam-pajāno does).
So it’s clear vitakka has an important insightful role to play in first jhana, before samadhi, and upekkha (equanimous observation in 3rd and 4th jhana) can completely replace V&V from first jhana. Note that it’s in 2nd jhana that the Buddha first describes the state as “samadhi” and “ekodi-bhava” (become singular). First jhana is described as “vivekajam pīti-sukham” (seclusion-born rapture & pleasure).

SN 56.1. Immersion 1. Samādhisutta

1. Samādhisutta
1. Immersion
Sāvatthinidānaṃ. … pe … “Samādhiṃ, bhikkhave, bhāvetha. Samāhito, bhikkhave, bhikkhu yathābhūtaṃ pajānāti. Kiñca yathābhūtaṃ pajānāti? ‘Idaṃ dukkhan’ti yathābhūtaṃ pajānāti, ‘ayaṃ dukkhasamudayo’ti yathābhūtaṃ pajānāti, ‘ayaṃ dukkhanirodho’ti yathābhūtaṃ pajānāti, ‘ayaṃ dukkhanirodhagāminī paṭipadā’ti yathābhūtaṃ pajānāti. Samādhiṃ, bhikkhave, bhāvetha. Samāhito, bhikkhave, bhikkhu yathābhūtaṃ pajānāti.
At Sāvatthī. “Mendicants, develop immersion. A mendicant who has immersion truly understands. What do they truly understand? They truly understand: ‘This is suffering’ … ‘This is the origin of suffering’ … ‘This is the cessation of suffering’ … ‘This is the practice that leads to the cessation of suffering’. Develop immersion. A mendicant who has immersion truly understands.
Tasmātiha, bhikkhave, ‘idaṃ dukkhan’ti yogo karaṇīyo, ‘ayaṃ dukkhasamudayo’ti yogo karaṇīyo, ‘ayaṃ dukkhanirodho’ti yogo karaṇīyo, ‘ayaṃ dukkhanirodhagāminī paṭipadā’ti yogo karaṇīyo”ti.
That’s why you should practice meditation to understand: ‘This is suffering’ … ‘This is the origin of suffering’ … ‘This is the cessation of suffering’ … ‘This is the practice that leads to the cessation of suffering’.”

chapter AN

section AN 3.60: mind reading v&v
AN 3.101: gold refining simile
AN 4.14: 4pd primary activities, notice what “nimittas” do here
AN 8.30: anuruddha 8 great thoughts
AN 8.63: 4bv, V&V gradually drops out
4bv: 4 brahma viharas, look for the keyword “abyapajja” in the standard 4bv formula for each of the 4bv. The same word is the 2nd of 3 factors in samma sankappo (right resolves).
AN 9.14: name & form (is) basis → man's [S&V] resolves-&-thinking arising

chapter 3 MN

MN 19: two kinds of thoughts
MN 20: 5 strategies to stop thoughts

chapter 4 SN

SN 8.4: watch how nimitta and animita is used in here
SN 36.11, 15, 16, 17, 18: nine gradual cessations
SN 45.8 Magga Vibhanga: Path exposition: 8aam (ariyo atthangiko maggo, noble eightfold path)
SN 46.2: 7sb nutriments, manasi karoti is similar to ekaggam cittam
SN 46.3: 7sb watch how V&V correspond and are explicitly used in sati and dhamma-vicaya
SN 47.10: 7sb sequence with directed/undirected samadhi, watch how “nimitta” is used

Epilogue

QED