"The Deathless" (amata)

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism

Re: "The Deathless" (amata)

Postby kirk5a » Tue Jul 31, 2012 4:36 pm

tiltbillings wrote:
kirk5a wrote:What would your view be in Pali?

natthi amata dhatu?

Is there any expression of that in the canon?
What do you mean by dhatu? You brought it up, now you get to explain it. Right now, I am off to bed after a long night of tending to the needs of the patients under my care, so you should have plenty of time to look at this word in its various usages. A good place to start is to ask: What other words get put in front of it?


"amata dhatu" is explained in the quotes which we have been discussing.

He turns his mind away from those phenomena, and having done so, inclines his mind to the property of deathlessness [amata dhatu]: 'This is peace, this is exquisite — the resolution of all fabrications; the relinquishment of all acquisitions; the ending of craving; dispassion; cessation; Unbinding.'


tiltbillings wrote:Also, keep in mind, what I am addressing is the issue of a not so good translation -- "the Deathless." I have given extensive textual exegesis and grammatical evidence to support my position, and I would expect the same in return. Also, what is "the Deathless" in relation to a tathagata/to a buddha/to an arahant/to bodhi?

I do not see where you have provided the evidence of what I am asking here - where in the suttas or commentaries is there an explanation which is equivalent to your interpretation, which is "There is no 'the Deathless'" ? There would be such a statement, I imagine, somewhere out there if there was any merit to that interpretation.
"When one thing is practiced & pursued, ignorance is abandoned, clear knowing arises, the conceit 'I am' is abandoned, latent tendencies are uprooted, fetters are abandoned. Which one thing? Mindfulness immersed in the body." -AN 1.230
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Re: "The Deathless" (amata)

Postby kirk5a » Tue Jul 31, 2012 4:41 pm

As a separate, but related matter, can you show where there is support for your view that Nibbana refers to a person?
"When one thing is practiced & pursued, ignorance is abandoned, clear knowing arises, the conceit 'I am' is abandoned, latent tendencies are uprooted, fetters are abandoned. Which one thing? Mindfulness immersed in the body." -AN 1.230
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Re: "The Deathless" (amata)

Postby Nyana » Tue Jul 31, 2012 4:47 pm

kirk5a wrote:I do not see where you have provided the evidence of what I am asking here - where in the suttas or commentaries is there an explanation which is equivalent to your interpretation, which is "There is no 'the Deathless'" ?

I think you're misrepresenting what he is saying.

kirk5a wrote:There would be such a statement, I imagine, somewhere out there if there was any merit to that interpretation.

What's the merit of your fixation on this term Kirk? If you want to know what it's like to be free from death then apply the practice injunctions and realize the arahant fruition. All of this speculation is quite pointless.
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Re: "The Deathless" (amata)

Postby drifting cloud » Tue Jul 31, 2012 5:31 pm

I am coming very late to this conversation, and do not have the knowledge of Pali to weigh in on the more technical aspects of translation under discussion. Nevertheless, I would like to offer a few comments.

There is an interesting passage in Nietzsche's Twilight of the Idols that says "I am afraid we are not rid of God because we still have faith in grammar."

Now obviously Nietzsche's worldview and that of Buddhism are quite different, but I think this is an instructive passage, and especially so for Buddhists. This becomes more apparent if we substitute 'self' for 'God' in Nietzsche's quote, or if we see the two concepts as somewhat co-extensive. The point of the quote is that our everyday patterns of thought, language and "common sense" themselves are all structured around the idea of permanent, separate entities; that there is some enduring substratum that constitutes my "self" and other substrata underlying the various "objects" that my "self" comes into contact with (the idea of God can be understood as the idea that there is some permanent ground to the whole of being itself). As such, these cognitive-linguistic structures can and often do subtly reinforce the illusion of self and all of its attendant suffering.

Seen in this context, I think tilt's point about how the translation as "the deathless" implies that there is some 'thing' or object that is described by this locution is more than just grammatical hairsplitting. It's basically identifying how the very language we use to describe nibbana actually reinforces the kind of grasping habits of thought that we are trying to liberate ourselves from. English in particular seems prone to reinforcing these habits through the use of the copula, its requirement of grammatical subjects, and its tendency to reify concepts as nouns (rather than rendering them as processes or verbs). Thus speaking as somebody without anything but a very basic familiarity with Pali, I think there is a lot of merit to what tilt is suggesting and that for these reasons alone it's worth considering his perspective.

Just my 2 baht.
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Re: "The Deathless" (amata)

Postby kirk5a » Tue Jul 31, 2012 5:52 pm

drifting cloud wrote:Seen in this context, I think tilt's point about how the translation as "the deathless" implies that there is some 'thing' or object that is described by this locution is more than just grammatical hairsplitting. It's basically identifying how the very language we use to describe nibbana actually reinforces the kind of grasping habits of thought that we are trying to liberate ourselves from. English in particular seems prone to reinforcing these habits through the use of the copula, its requirement of grammatical subjects, and its tendency to reify concepts as nouns (rather than rendering them as processes or verbs). Thus speaking as somebody without anything but a very basic familiarity with Pali, I think there is a lot of merit to what tilt is suggesting and that for these reasons alone it's worth considering his perspective.

If that was the gist of what tiltbillings is saying then I wouldn't object. However, I think he is saying something more than that, when he says, about Nibbana:

tiltbillings wrote:Actually, for the most part, the language clear, in that it refers to a person freed from greed, hatred, and delusion.


Here "the person" is being grasped as Nibbana. A person of a particular sort, namely, one with no greed, hatred or delusion. So, somebody please show me where it says Nibbana refers to a person. Because a person - what's that? Form, feeling, perceptions, fabrications, consciousness? Is there anywhere where Nibbana is defined as form, feelings, perceptions, fabrications, consciousness?

On the contrary -

He regards whatever phenomena there that are connected with form, feeling, perception, fabrications, & consciousness, as inconstant, stressful, a disease, a cancer, an arrow, painful, an affliction, alien, a disintegration, an emptiness, not-self. He turns his mind away from those phenomena, and having done so, inclines his mind to the property of deathlessness
"When one thing is practiced & pursued, ignorance is abandoned, clear knowing arises, the conceit 'I am' is abandoned, latent tendencies are uprooted, fetters are abandoned. Which one thing? Mindfulness immersed in the body." -AN 1.230
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Re: "The Deathless" (amata)

Postby kirk5a » Tue Jul 31, 2012 6:03 pm

Ñāṇa wrote:What's the merit of your fixation on this term Kirk? If you want to know what it's like to be free from death then apply the practice injunctions and realize the arahant fruition. All of this speculation is quite pointless.

Why don't you realize the stream enterer fruition, according to the following instructions:

the Visuddhimagga wrote:4. As soon as conformity knowledge has arisen in him in this way, and the
thick murk that hides the truths has been dispelled by the respective force peculiar
to each of the three kinds of conformity (see XXI.129f.), then his consciousness
no longer enters into or settles down on or resolves upon any field of formations
at all, or clings, cleaves or clutches on to it, but retreats, retracts and recoils as
water does from a lotus leaf, and every sign as object, every occurrence as object,
appears as an impediment.
5. Then, while every sign and occurrence appears to him as an impediment,
when conformity knowledge’s repetition has ended, change-of-lineage
knowledge arises in him, which takes as its object the signless, nonoccurrence, non-formation, cessation, Nibbána
"When one thing is practiced & pursued, ignorance is abandoned, clear knowing arises, the conceit 'I am' is abandoned, latent tendencies are uprooted, fetters are abandoned. Which one thing? Mindfulness immersed in the body." -AN 1.230
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Re: "The Deathless" (amata)

Postby Nyana » Tue Jul 31, 2012 6:07 pm

kirk5a wrote:Why don't you realize the stream enterer fruition, according to the following instructions:

I'm familiar with that passage. And I've already addressed the terms used there in this previous reply. What's your point?
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Re: "The Deathless" (amata)

Postby kirk5a » Tue Jul 31, 2012 6:33 pm

Ñāṇa wrote:
kirk5a wrote:Why don't you realize the stream enterer fruition, according to the following instructions:

I'm familiar with that passage. And I've already addressed the terms used there in this previous reply. What's your point?

I was encouraging you to go ahead and actually realize what those words are referring to. What was your point in encouraging me to realize the arahant fruition?
"When one thing is practiced & pursued, ignorance is abandoned, clear knowing arises, the conceit 'I am' is abandoned, latent tendencies are uprooted, fetters are abandoned. Which one thing? Mindfulness immersed in the body." -AN 1.230
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Re: "The Deathless" (amata)

Postby tiltbillings » Tue Jul 31, 2012 6:33 pm

drifting cloud wrote:
Seen in this context, I think tilt's point about how the translation as "the deathless" implies that there is some 'thing' or object that is described by this locution is more than just grammatical hairsplitting. It's basically identifying how the very language we use to describe nibbana actually reinforces the kind of grasping habits of thought that we are trying to liberate ourselves from. English in particular seems prone to reinforcing these habits through the use of the copula, its requirement of grammatical subjects, and its tendency to reify concepts as nouns (rather than rendering them as processes or verbs). Thus speaking as somebody without anything but a very basic familiarity with Pali, I think there is a lot of merit to what tilt is suggesting and that for these reasons alone it's worth considering his perspective.

Just my 2 baht.
Thank you.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

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Re: "The Deathless" (amata)

Postby Nyana » Tue Jul 31, 2012 6:49 pm

kirk5a wrote:What was your point in encouraging me to realize the arahant fruition?

To encourage you to disengage from this conceptual proliferation which impedes realization. SN 43.14:

    And what, monks, is the death-free (amata)? The elimination of passion, the elimination of aggression, the elimination of delusion: this is called the death-free.

End of story.
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Re: "The Deathless" (amata)

Postby kirk5a » Tue Jul 31, 2012 7:27 pm

Ñāṇa wrote:
kirk5a wrote:What was your point in encouraging me to realize the arahant fruition?

To encourage you to disengage from this conceptual proliferation which impedes realization. SN 43.14:

When you refer to "conceptual proliferation" which words of mine are you referring to?

    And what, monks, is the death-free (amata)? The elimination of passion, the elimination of aggression, the elimination of delusion: this is called the death-free.

End of story.

So "the death-free" is fine, but "the deathless" is somehow encouraging conceptual proliferation? :smile:
"When one thing is practiced & pursued, ignorance is abandoned, clear knowing arises, the conceit 'I am' is abandoned, latent tendencies are uprooted, fetters are abandoned. Which one thing? Mindfulness immersed in the body." -AN 1.230
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Re: "The Deathless" (amata)

Postby tiltbillings » Tue Jul 31, 2012 7:43 pm

kirk5a wrote: However, I think he is saying something more than that, when he says, about Nibbana:

tiltbillings wrote:Actually, for the most part, the language clear, in that it refers to a person freed from greed, hatred, and delusion.


Here "the person" is being grasped as Nibbana. A person of a particular sort, namely, one with no greed, hatred or delusion. So, somebody please show me where it says Nibbana refers to a person. Because a person - what's that? Form, feeling, perceptions, fabrications, consciousness? Is there anywhere where Nibbana is defined as form, feelings, perceptions, fabrications, consciousness?
As for, "a person" I would have to say that that is a conventional usage. I am not referring to "a person" as an existing entity, since none "exists." Language is a tricky thing. How about you answer this, which goes directly to the point, which I put to you above: "Also, what is "the Deathless" in relation to a tathagata/to a buddha/to an arahant/to bodhi?" Maybe that might help you understand my point.

kirk5a wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:
kirk5a wrote:What would your view be in Pali?

natthi amata dhatu?

Is there any expression of that in the canon?
What do you mean by dhatu? You brought it up, now you get to explain it. Right now, I am off to bed after a long night of tending to the needs of the patients under my care, so you should have plenty of time to look at this word in its various usages. A good place to start is to ask: What other words get put in front of it?


"amata dhatu" is explained in the quotes which we have been discussing.
Since you seem to fail at understanding the question, let me try again. Where is the "property" of amata? If there were at this time no arahants or ariyas of any sort, would there be, at this time, a "property of amata," would there be amata at all?

As a separate, but related matter, can you show where there is support for your view that Nibbana refers to a person?
I already have, in detail, and actually, so has Ñāṇa here: viewtopic.php?f=13&t=10569&start=180#p196339 But let us keep in mind that "a person" is a conventional" expression, not referring to any sort of self-existent thingie, which is why I asked you "Also, what is "the Deathless" in relation to a tathagata/to a buddha/to an arahant/to bodhi?"

I recommended this essay -- A Verb for Nirvana and you did not see the point of it. Second paragraph:

    Now that nirvana has become an English word, it should have its own English verb to convey the sense of "being unbound" as well. At present, we say that a person "reaches" nirvana or "enters" nirvana, implying that nibbana is a place where you can go. But nirvana is most emphatically not a place. It's realized only when the mind stops defining itself in terms of place: of here, or there, or between the two. [My emphasis]
And there's the answer. In other words, the "person" -- the paticcasamuppada mind -- is nibbana-ized, unbound. The destruction of greed, hatred and delusion is nibbana/amata. -- S.N. IV 251 and IV 370-1. No more rebirth, no more aging, and no more death, amata.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: "The Deathless" (amata)

Postby kirk5a » Tue Jul 31, 2012 8:11 pm

tiltbillings wrote:How about you answer this, which goes directly to the point, which I put to you above: "Also, what is "the Deathless" in relation to a tathagata/to a buddha/to an arahant/to bodhi?" Maybe that might help you understand my point.

I already said I see questions like that as a philosophical abstraction. So you are free to go ahead and share whatever your answer to your own question might be.

Since you seem to fail at understanding the question, let me try again. Where is the "property" of amata? If there were at this time no arahants or ariyas of any sort, would there be, at this time, a "property of amata," would there be amata at all?

See above. Are these questions asked or answered in the suttas somewhere, such that I should give them some importance?

And there's the answer. In other words, the "person" -- the paticcasamuppada mind -- is nibbana-ized, unbound. The destruction of greed, hatred and delusion is nibbana/amata. -- S.N. IV 251 and IV 370-1. No more rebirth, no more aging, and no more death, amata.

So then you would not disagree with the following?
“Nibbàna, O king, is unconstructed, therefore no cause
has been pointed out for its production. It cannot be said of
nibbàna that it has arisen or can arise; that it is past, present or
future; or cognizable by the eye, ear, nose, tongue or body.”
“Then, Nàgasena, nibbàna is a condition that does not
exist!”
141
“Nibbàna does exist, O king, and can be cognized by
the mind.
A noble disciple whose mind is pure, lofty, sincere,
unobstructed and free from craving can attain nibbàna.”


“You say, Nàgasena, that nibbàna is neither past, nor
present nor future, neither arisen, nor not arisen, nor producible.
219 In that case does the man who realises nibbàna realise
something already produced, or does he himself
produce it first and then realise it?”
“Neither of these, O king, yet nibbàna does exist.”

http://www.aimwell.org/Books/Pesala/Mil ... linda.html

Does that also address your earlier questions?
"When one thing is practiced & pursued, ignorance is abandoned, clear knowing arises, the conceit 'I am' is abandoned, latent tendencies are uprooted, fetters are abandoned. Which one thing? Mindfulness immersed in the body." -AN 1.230
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Re: "The Deathless" (amata)

Postby tiltbillings » Tue Jul 31, 2012 8:29 pm

kirk5a wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:How about you answer this, which goes directly to the point, which I put to you above: "Also, what is "the Deathless" in relation to a tathagata/to a buddha/to an arahant/to bodhi?" Maybe that might help you understand my point.

I already said I see questions like that as a philosophical abstraction. So you are free to go ahead and share whatever your answer to your own question might be.
The question, which is grounded in the suttas, is not a philosophical abstraction, and it goes directly to the point which you are failing to engage.

Since you seem to fail at understanding the question, let me try again. Where is the "property" of amata? If there were at this time no arahants or ariyas of any sort, would there be, at this time, a "property of amata," would there be amata at all?

See above. Are these questions asked or answered in the suttas somewhere, such that I should give them some importance?
Unable to engage the question, it would seem. As I suggested above that you look at how the word dhatu is used in the suttas. It might actually open up a few things here for you.

And there's the answer. In other words, the "person" -- the paticcasamuppada mind -- is nibbana-ized, unbound. The destruction of greed, hatred and delusion is nibbana/amata. -- S.N. IV 251 and IV 370-1. No more rebirth, no more aging, and no more death, amata.

So then you would not disagree with the following?
“Nibbàna, O king, is unconstructed, therefore no cause
has been pointed out for its production. It cannot be said of
nibbàna that it has arisen or can arise; that it is past, present or
future; or cognizable by the eye, ear, nose, tongue or body.”
“Then, Nàgasena, nibbàna is a condition that does not
exist!”
141
“Nibbàna does exist, O king, and can be cognized by
the mind.
A noble disciple whose mind is pure, lofty, sincere,
unobstructed and free from craving can attain nibbàna.”


“You say, Nàgasena, that nibbàna is neither past, nor
present nor future, neither arisen, nor not arisen, nor producible.
219 In that case does the man who realises nibbàna realise
something already produced, or does he himself
produce it first and then realise it?”
“Neither of these, O king, yet nibbàna does exist.”

http://www.aimwell.org/Books/Pesala/Mil ... linda.html

Does that also address your earlier questions?
Why should I answer your questions when you dodge mine? I'll stick with the suttas on this.

But tell us: If nibbana exists and there is at this time no ariyas, there is still a nibbana existing out there somewhere in some way? Where? What is its property? The Buddha defined amata and nibbana quite succinctly, quite clearly, as I have shown.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: "The Deathless" (amata)

Postby kirk5a » Tue Jul 31, 2012 9:47 pm

tiltbillings wrote:Unable to engage the question, it would seem.

I have engaged your question. I set it aside as a philosophical abstraction, not worth entangling oneself with. You seem to think that all kinds of conclusions are hanging upon it. I have provided Ven. Nagasena's answer to a similar conundrum, and I think that is sufficient.

In that case does the man who realises nibbàna realise
something already produced, or does he himself
produce it first and then realise it?”
“Neither of these, O king, yet nibbàna does exist.”


If your question is "grounded in the suttas" as you claim, then simply show where in the suttas it is "grounded," as I have repeatedly asked.
"When one thing is practiced & pursued, ignorance is abandoned, clear knowing arises, the conceit 'I am' is abandoned, latent tendencies are uprooted, fetters are abandoned. Which one thing? Mindfulness immersed in the body." -AN 1.230
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Re: "The Deathless" (amata)

Postby tiltbillings » Wed Aug 01, 2012 2:54 am

kirk5a wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:Unable to engage the question, it would seem.

I have engaged your question. I set it aside as a philosophical abstraction, not worth entangling oneself with. You seem to think that all kinds of conclusions are hanging upon it. I have provided Ven. Nagasena's answer to a similar conundrum, and I think that is sufficient.
You can try to dodge it by calling the question a "philosophical abstraction," but the fact is that you are simply dodging the question.

In that case does the man who realises nibbàna realise
something already produced, or does he himself
produce it first and then realise it?”
“Neither of these, O king, yet nibbàna does exist.”


If your question is "grounded in the suttas" as you claim, then simply show where in the suttas it is "grounded," as I have repeatedly asked.
I'll be happy to when you answer my question: If "nibbana does exist" and there is at this time no ariyas, there is still a nibbana existing out there somewhere in some way? Where? What is its property? And what does it mean "nibbana does exist?" Either "nibbana does exist" actually means something, which then means it can be explained ( or at least meaningfully discussed), or it is a "philosophical abstraction" and is right up there with "God does exist." Now, you are the one who put out here "nibbana does exist," and this goes directly to the core of my point. So, let us hear what you think "nibbana does exist" means. And I'll be happy to answer your questions, but question answering deficit goes in your direction. Time for you to make up some lost ground here.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: "The Deathless" (amata)

Postby Nyana » Wed Aug 01, 2012 4:46 am

kirk5a wrote:When you refer to "conceptual proliferation" which words of mine are you referring to?

Words aren't much of a problem. Clinging to views is a problem.

kirk5a wrote:So "the death-free" is fine, but "the deathless" is somehow encouraging conceptual proliferation?

This is the important bit: "The elimination of passion, the elimination of aggression, the elimination of delusion...."

The Asaṅkhata Saṃyutta of the Saṃyuttanikāya offers thirty-three epithets for the goal of practice. Each of these epithets is then explicitly and unequivocally defined as the elimination of passion, aggression, and delusion.
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Re: "The Deathless" (amata)

Postby kirk5a » Wed Aug 01, 2012 5:27 am

Ñāṇa wrote:
kirk5a wrote:When you refer to "conceptual proliferation" which words of mine are you referring to?

Words aren't much of a problem. Clinging to views is a problem.

Clinging to (having consciousness be dependent upon) mental and physical phenomena is a problem.

This is the important bit: "The elimination of passion, the elimination of aggression, the elimination of delusion...."

The Asaṅkhata Saṃyutta of the Saṃyuttanikāya offers thirty-three epithets for the goal of practice. Each of these epithets is then explicitly and unequivocally defined as the elimination of passion, aggression, and delusion.


Perhaps the two forms of the Nibbana element (nibbana dhatu) are helpful here.
And what is the Unbinding property with fuel remaining? There is the case where a monk is an arahant whose fermentations have ended, who has reached fulfillment, finished the task, laid down the burden, attained the true goal, ended the fetter of becoming, and is released through right gnosis. His five sense faculties still remain and, owing to their being intact, he is cognizant of the agreeable & the disagreeable, and is sensitive to pleasure & pain. His ending of passion, aversion, & delusion is termed the Unbinding property with fuel remaining.[1]

And what is the Unbinding property with no fuel remaining? There is the case where a monk is an arahant whose fermentations have ended, who has reached fulfillment, finished the task, laid down the burden, attained the true goal, ended the fetter of becoming, and is released through right gnosis. For him, all that is sensed, being unrelished, will grow cold right here. This is termed the Unbinding property with no fuel remaining."[2]

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... ml#iti-044
"When one thing is practiced & pursued, ignorance is abandoned, clear knowing arises, the conceit 'I am' is abandoned, latent tendencies are uprooted, fetters are abandoned. Which one thing? Mindfulness immersed in the body." -AN 1.230
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Re: "The Deathless" (amata)

Postby tiltbillings » Wed Aug 01, 2012 5:35 am

kirk5a wrote:
And what is the Unbinding property with fuel remaining? There is the case where a monk is an arahant whose fermentations have ended, who has reached fulfillment, finished the task, laid down the burden, attained the true goal, ended the fetter of becoming, and is released through right gnosis. His five sense faculties still remain and, owing to their being intact, he is cognizant of the agreeable & the disagreeable, and is sensitive to pleasure & pain. His ending of passion, aversion, & delusion is termed the Unbinding property with fuel remaining.

And what is the Unbinding property with no fuel remaining? There is the case where a monk is an arahant whose fermentations have ended, who has reached fulfillment, finished the task, laid down the burden, attained the true goal, ended the fetter of becoming, and is released through right gnosis. For him, all that is sensed, being unrelished, will grow cold right here. This is termed the Unbinding property with no fuel remaining."

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... ml#iti-044
"A monk?" Is that like "a person?" Actually, thanks for the quote; it supports my point.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: "The Deathless" (amata)

Postby kirk5a » Wed Aug 01, 2012 6:24 am

tiltbillings wrote:"A monk?" Is that like "a person?" Actually, thanks for the quote; it supports my point.

Nibbana does not refer to the five intact sense faculties (what we could point to as the monk, the person.) Those are the fuel remaining.

I can't really tell what your point is. Is it that nibbana is a property of a person like muteness? Someone who cannot/does not speak is "mute." It would be silly to think of "muteness" as a self-existent property - it is simply a person who does not speak. Similarly, one could suppose that nibbana simply refers to a person who has no greed, hatred and delusion. Therefore it would be silly to suppose that nibbana was any kind of independent property, when it really is just a description of a person lacking certain psychological conditions. Is that your view?
"When one thing is practiced & pursued, ignorance is abandoned, clear knowing arises, the conceit 'I am' is abandoned, latent tendencies are uprooted, fetters are abandoned. Which one thing? Mindfulness immersed in the body." -AN 1.230
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