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Pādaka-jjhāna: 'foundation-forming absorption', is an absorption used as a foundation, or starting point, for the higher spiritual powers abhiññā, or for insight vipassanā, leading to the supra-mundane paths see: ariya-puggala The foundation for the former is the 4th absorption; for insight, however, any absorption is suitable.
Maha Thera Nyanatiloka. Manual of Buddhist Terms and Doctrines, Buddhist Publication Society, first edition 1952.