Nibbana

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Re: Nibbana

Postby Prasadachitta » Mon Feb 02, 2009 7:05 pm

Hi Dhammanando,

I can sort of see why the condition of there being a lack of samsaric conditions can be said to have these three marks of the unconditioned. :shock:

Once this unconditioned condition is discerned it does not arise, pass away or change.
(I think this may be what my teacher is missing. I will have to talk with him about this.)

I dont see why this means we cant also associate this unconditioned condition with other wholesome conditions which do arise, pass away, and change.

This is what I meant when I said...

I think Nirvanna is best described as lacking conditions which cause suffering but I also think we can associate it with eternally ever changing conditions free of outflows.


Metta

Gabriel
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Re: Nibbana

Postby Element » Mon Feb 02, 2009 10:45 pm

teacup_bo wrote:
Element wrote:it is "cotton wool" Nibbana rather than fearless free Nibbana.


Hogwash. :popcorn:

Would you care to expand on this and share your experience of Nibbana with the forum?

Best wishes,
Element
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Re: Nibbana

Postby teacup_bo » Tue Feb 03, 2009 1:12 pm

Dhammanando wrote:Hi Teacup,

teacup_bo wrote:
Element wrote:it is "cotton wool" Nibbana rather than fearless free Nibbana.


Hogwash. :popcorn:


Would you care to expand on this? With no accompanying clarification it just looks like a rather unhelpful insult.

Best wishes,
Dhammanando Bhikkhu


Well for one, this: It is baby Nibbana and teenage Nibbana. But if it is attached to or fixated on the unconditioned, it is "cotton wool" Nibbana rather than fearless free Nibbana.

The Buddha didn't teach different categories of Nibbana.
Last edited by Dhammanando on Tue Feb 03, 2009 1:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Made clear the distinction between writer's words and quoted content.
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Re: Nibbana

Postby rowyourboat » Tue Feb 03, 2009 1:24 pm

'sabba sankhara samatha' - the tranquilization of formations, another name for nibbana, does not refer to any tranuqilization known in samatha, or 'tranquility' meditation. The term formations or 'sankhara' is a very broad term- here it refers to everything which arises and passes away. Therefore the tranquilization of everything which arises and passes away is nibbana- as Ven dhammanando's sutta quote brilliantly refers to.
With Metta

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Re: Nibbana

Postby Element » Tue Feb 03, 2009 10:59 pm

teacup_bo wrote:The Buddha didn't teach different categories of Nibbana.

I think possibly Buddha taught certain practitioners, especially from other religions and sects, mistook certain experiences for Nibbana.
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Re: Nibbana

Postby retrofuturist » Tue Feb 03, 2009 11:07 pm

Greetings Element,

So "cotton wool nibbana" isn't nibbana then?

:shrug:

Metta,
Retro. :)
If you have asked me of the origination of unease, then I shall explain it to you in accordance with my understanding:
Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


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One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


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Re: Nibbana

Postby Prasadachitta » Wed Feb 04, 2009 12:27 am

What is going on above?

Dhammanando?

Was there something wrong with my post?

Did you mistakenly write your reply inside my post. :shrug:


Metta :hug:


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Re: Nibbana

Postby retrofuturist » Wed Feb 04, 2009 12:36 am

Greetings Gabriel,

gabrielbranbury wrote:Did you mistakenly write your reply inside my post. :shrug:

It would appear this is what's happened. This doesn't happen often though I saw someone accidentally do it on another site once.

It is a little confusing, but at least now you'll know what's going on. :)

Metta,
Retro. :)
If you have asked me of the origination of unease, then I shall explain it to you in accordance with my understanding:
Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


Exalted in mind, just open and clearly aware, the recluse trained in the ways of the sages:
One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


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Re: Nibbana

Postby Dhammanando » Wed Feb 04, 2009 12:51 am

Hi Gabriel,

gabrielbranbury wrote:Did you mistakenly write your reply inside my post. :shrug:


Yes, I'm very sorry. It's the second time this week I've done this. :embarassed:

Best wishes,
Dhammanando Bhikkhu
    ...and this thought arose in the mind of the Blessed One:
    “Who lives without reverence lives miserably.”
    Uruvela Sutta, A.ii.20

    It were endless to dispute upon everything that is disputable.
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Re: Nibbana

Postby Prasadachitta » Wed Feb 04, 2009 12:54 am

Dhammanando said
There is much that arises and passes away that does not involve gross suffering; and there are some things, like headaches, whose passing away is pleasurable. Nonetheless, with regard to the dukkha of formations (saṅkhāra-dukkha), the Suttas plainly teach that "whatsoever is experienced, all that is included in dukkha."


Then why isnt the first and second noble truth "1)Everything is dukkha and 2)Everything causes dukkha"?



Metta


Gabriel
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Re: Nibbana

Postby retrofuturist » Wed Feb 04, 2009 1:13 am

Greetings,

Yes, and I'd also like to know whether that supposedly applies to arahants too.

Metta,
Retro. :)
If you have asked me of the origination of unease, then I shall explain it to you in accordance with my understanding:
Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


Exalted in mind, just open and clearly aware, the recluse trained in the ways of the sages:
One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


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Re: Nibbana

Postby Prasadachitta » Wed Feb 04, 2009 1:19 am

First Noble Truth
"And what are the five clinging-aggregates that, in short, are stressful? Form as a clinging-aggregate, feeling as a clinging-aggregate, perception as a clinging-aggregate, fabrications as a clinging-aggregate, consciousness as a clinging-aggregate: These are called the five clinging-aggregates that, in short, are stressful.


So when clung to the Kandas are stressful. Sort of like if Im late to work driving is stressful but if not there is no stress.

"And what is clinging/sustenance? These four are clingings: sensuality clinging, view clinging, precept & practice clinging, and doctrine of self clinging. This is called clinging.


If Kandas are clung to in any of these ways they are stressful.

No Greed, No Hate, No Delusion.... :jedi:

No Problem...

Metta

Gabriel
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Re: Nibbana

Postby retrofuturist » Wed Feb 04, 2009 1:28 am

Greetings Gabriel,

That is how I understand it too... so I would value any clarification that venerable Dhammanando can provide.

Metta,
Retro. :)
If you have asked me of the origination of unease, then I shall explain it to you in accordance with my understanding:
Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


Exalted in mind, just open and clearly aware, the recluse trained in the ways of the sages:
One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


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Re: Nibbana

Postby Element » Wed Feb 04, 2009 2:45 am

retrofuturist wrote:So "cotton wool nibbana" isn't nibbana then?

There is final Nibbana and the taste of nibbana. A taste or degree of nibbana is tangibly still nibbana. Better some nibbana than none. I suppose any kind of respite from greed, hatred, delusion & dukkha is some kind of nibbana.
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Re: Nibbana

Postby Element » Wed Feb 04, 2009 2:57 am

gabrielbranbury wrote:So when clung to the Kandas are stressful. Sort of like if Im late to work driving is stressful but if not there is no stress.

I would say when there is clinging to the khandas there is stress. Whilst the body becomes stressful, it is the mentality within the body or nervous system that causes the body to be stressful. Similarly, to say feelings become stressful is a bit silly. Feelings are feelings. For example, the eye sees a beautiful form, pleasant feeling, craving and mental proliferation arise. It is the craving and proliferation that is essentially stressful rather than the feeling. I think to say "when clung to the Kandas are stressful' does not really make sense.

In modern psychology, the major theory of motivation is called 'the opponent process theory of motivation'. Here, the scientists have correctly identified it is the stressful nature of craving rather than pleasant feeling per se that motivates seeking behaviour.

In the First Noble Truth, the Buddha is essentially saying clinging is the problem. I think it is best to translate sankitana panchupandana khanda dukkha as 'in short, clinging to the five aggregates is dukkha'.

The problem is clinging rather than the five aggregates.

Kind regards

E
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Re: Nibbana

Postby Dhammanando » Wed Feb 04, 2009 11:06 am

Hi Gabriel,

gabrielbranbury wrote:Dhammanando said:
There is much that arises and passes away that does not involve gross suffering; and there are some things, like headaches, whose passing away is pleasurable. Nonetheless, with regard to the dukkha of formations (saṅkhāra-dukkha), the Suttas plainly teach that "whatsoever is experienced, all that is included in dukkha."

Then why isnt the first and second noble truth "1)Everything is dukkha


Because the Buddha was one who taught by analysing (vibhajjavādin) and your proposal would amount to too sweeping a statement. The word "everything" would presumably encompass all dhammas, conditioned and unconditioned. But the unconditioned dhamma, Nibbāna, is treated under the third truth, while the conditioned dhamma of craving is treated under the second, and the eight mental factors that constitute the eightfold path are treated under the fourth.

2)Everything causes dukkha"?


This also would be too sweeping a statement, for Nibbāna doesn't cause dukkha. Moreover, the aim of the second truth is not to itemize every single thing that's involved in the arising of dukkha, but rather, to draw attention to that which needs to be abandoned.

First Noble Truth
"And what are the five clinging-aggregates that, in short, are stressful? Form as a clinging-aggregate, feeling as a clinging-aggregate, perception as a clinging-aggregate, fabrications as a clinging-aggregate, consciousness as a clinging-aggregate: These are called the five clinging-aggregates that, in short, are stressful.

So when clung to the Kandas are stressful. Sort of like if Im late to work driving is stressful but if not there is no stress.


The khandhas are intrinsically dukkha, whether clung to or not. The complete abandoning of upādāna means that certain kinds of dukkha (e.g. sorrow, despair) will arise no more in the present life, and no more khandhas will arise after death. But while the arahant's present set of khandhas last he will still be subject to bodily pain, which is dukkha-dukkhatā, and each dhamma that arises in his continuum will be oppressed by rise and fall, which is saṅkhāra-dukkhatā.

Regarding the term upādānakkhandha, "aggregate of grasping", this is to be understood in two senses:

1. Upādānasambhūta: being produced by [past] grasping.
2. Upādānagocara: being the resort (literally "pasture") of [present conascent] grasping.

The cankerless aggregates (anāsava khandha) of an arahant are upādānakkhandhas in the first sense only, while the cankered aggregates (sāsava khandha) of the non-arahant are upādānakkhandhas in both senses.

So that's the Mahāvihāra's retort to the popular assertion of modern psychotherpy-centred Buddhists that when the Buddha said "in brief, the five aggregates of grasping are dukkha" he only meant the aggregates at moments when defilements are present. And also to the older claim of some Mahāyāna Buddhists, who, hoping to live for ever, posit a post-awakening endless continuum of dhammas that are neither themselves afflictions nor products of past afflictions.

"And what is clinging/sustenance? These four are clingings: sensuality clinging, view clinging, precept & practice clinging, and doctrine of self clinging. This is called clinging.

If Kandas are clung to in any of these ways they are stressful.

No Greed, No Hate, No Delusion.... :jedi:

No Problem...


And that's all there is to it, eh?

The four noble truths are one application of the principle of dependent arising — a teaching that is "profound, hard to see and hard to understand, peaceful and sublime, unattainable by mere reasoning, subtle, to be experienced by the wise." Do you really think your take on the noble truths could be characterized in such terms?

I do agree, btw, that there is "no problem" for one who has abandoned the three akusala roots. But "no problem" doesn't mean no dukkha of any sort. More to the point, there will be no abandoning of the three akusala roots without the development of insight into the danger in conditioned dhammas; there will be no development of insight into the danger in conditioned dhammas so long as one adheres to the wrong view that there might be some such dhammas that don't have dukkha-lakkhaṇa as an inherent and inalienable feature.

Now a question in return: what do you understand the Buddha to mean by "the dukkha of formations" (saṅkhāra-dukkha)? For example, when he says regarding vedanā: "Whatsoever is felt, that is included in dukkha" (yaṃ kiñci vedayitaṃ taṃ dukkhasmiṃ — Rahogatasutta, SN. iv. 216; Kaḷāra Sutta, SN. ii. 53)?

Best wishes,
Dhammanando Bhikkhu
    ...and this thought arose in the mind of the Blessed One:
    “Who lives without reverence lives miserably.”
    Uruvela Sutta, A.ii.20

    It were endless to dispute upon everything that is disputable.
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Re: Nibbana

Postby Dhammanando » Wed Feb 04, 2009 11:20 am

Hi Retro,

Yes, and I'd also like to know whether that supposedly applies to arahants too.


Certainly it applies to arahants.

From the Nettipakarana:

    "Dukkha is [the world's] greatest fear."
    (Ajita Sutta, Sn. 1033)

    "Dukkha is [the world's] greatest fear" is the Blessed One's reply to [Ajita's question] "and what will be its greatest fear?"

    Dukkha is of two kinds: bodily and mental. The bodily kind is pain, while the mental kind is grief. All beings are sensitive to dukkha. Since there is no fear that is even equal to dukkha, how could there be one that is greater?

    There are three kinds of unsatisfactoriness (dukkhatā): unsatisfactoriness consisting in [bodily] pain (dukkha-dukkhatā), unsatisfactoriness consisting in change (vipariṇāma-dukkhatā), and the unsatisfactoriness of formations (saṅkhāra-dukkhatā).

    Herein, the world enjoys limited freedom from unsatisfactoriness consisting in [bodily] pain, and likewise from unsatisfactoriness consisting in change. Why is that? Because there are those in the world who have little sickness and are long-lived.

    However, in the case of the unsatisfactoriness of formations, the world is freed only by the Nibbāna element without remainder (anupādisesa nibbānadhātu).

    That is why "Dukkha is [the world's] greatest fear", taking it that the unsatisfactoriness of formations is the world's inherent liability to dukkha.
    (Nettipakaraṇa 12)

Best wishes,
Dhammanando Bhikkhu
    ...and this thought arose in the mind of the Blessed One:
    “Who lives without reverence lives miserably.”
    Uruvela Sutta, A.ii.20

    It were endless to dispute upon everything that is disputable.
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Re: Nibbana

Postby Prasadachitta » Wed Feb 04, 2009 3:19 pm

Hi Dhammanando,
"The khandhas are intrinsically dukkha"


Of course you know how I feel about the intrinsic nature of dhammas.


So that's the Mahāvihāra's retort to the popular assertion of modern psychotherpy-centred Buddhists that when the Buddha said "in brief, the five aggregates of grasping are dukkha" he only meant the aggregates at moments when defilements are present. And also to the older claim of some Mahāyāna Buddhists, who, hoping to live for ever, posit a post-awakening endless continuum of dhammas that are neither themselves afflictions nor products of past afflictions.


While some Mahayana Buddhists might use there view to hold onto an idea of eternal life It is just as likley that the "Mahaviharas retort" comes from a hope for non existence.

"No Greed, No Hate, No Delusion.... :jedi:"

And that's all there is to it, eh?


I view the ramifications of such a feet as cosmic in scale and ineffable plus in my opinion it necessitates direct insight into conditioned arising. I am not a "psychotherapy-centered Buddhist".

there will be no development of insight into the danger in conditioned dhammas so long as one adheres to the wrong view that there might be some such dhammas that don't have dukkha-lakkhaṇa as an inherent and inalienable feature.


With right practice that does not presuppose "All I experience is the cause of my suffering" there is right view which knows what to abandon and what to take up and then there is the right effort to do so. I dont think that the "right view" which the "Mahaviharas retort" puts forward is conducive to right effort.

Bhikkhus, for one who is virtuous [sīlavant] and possessed of virtue [sīla], there is no need for
the act of will [cetanāya karaṇīyaṃ], ‘may freedom from remorse arise in me’. Bhikkhus, for
one who is virtuous and possessed of virtue, freedom from remorse [just naturally] arises. This
is in accordance with the way things naturally are [dhammatā esā]. [And so on with freedom
from remorse and joy [pāmujjaṃ], joy and rapture [pīti] ... passaddha ... sukhaṃ ... samādhi ...
yathābhūtaṃ jānāmi passāmi [‘I know and see things as they really are’] ... nibbindo [a ppr. =
nibbidā] and viratto [a ppr. = virāgo] ... vimutti-ñāṇa-dassanaṃ. [A v 2-4; also in Bodhi’s
Anthology, p.238] M i. 246f.; p. 340 of Middle Length Discourses, tranl. by Bhikkhu Bodhi.


Now a question in return: what do you understand the Buddha to mean by "the dukkha of formations" (saṅkhāra-dukkha)? For example, when he says regarding vedanā: "Whatsoever is felt, that is included in dukkha" (yaṃ kiñci vedayitaṃ taṃ dukkhasmiṃ — Rahogatasutta, SN. iv. 216; Kaḷāra Sutta, SN. ii. 53)?


The way I understand it is that I am continually acting out of a certain level of confusion over the way things are. Because of this I tend to look for some "things" to rest in. Since there is no place to rest within things they can be said to be unsatisfactory for this purpose. This is what I think the Buddha meant.

I very much appreciate this discussion with you Dhammanando. I expected our discussion to come down to these points but I (Being in the grips of delighting in views) still enjoy it. I have a deep feeling of devotion and gratitude to the institution of which you are a part.

Thank you

Gabriel
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Re: Nibbana

Postby Element » Wed Feb 04, 2009 8:15 pm

Dhammanando wrote:The khandhas are intrinsically dukkha, whether clung to or not. The complete abandoning of upādāna means that certain kinds of dukkha (e.g. sorrow, despair) will arise no more in the present life, and no more khandhas will arise after death. But while the arahant's present set of khandhas last he will still be subject to bodily pain, which is dukkha-dukkhatā, and each dhamma that arises in his continuum will be oppressed by rise and fall, which is saṅkhāra-dukkhatā.

Dhammanando

Only clinging is dukkha.

Dukkha-dukkhatā is not dukkha. Dukkha-dukkhatā is dukkha for putujanas:
28. But when the Blessed One had entered upon the rainy season, there arose in him a severe illness, and sharp and deadly pains came upon him. And the Blessed One endured them mindfully, clearly comprehending and unperturbed. (DN 16)


Saṅkhāra-dukkhatā and dukkha lakana are not dukkha. They are also dukkha for putujanas:
278. "All conditioned things are dukkha" — when one sees this with wisdom, one turns away from suffering. This is the path to purification. (Dhammapada)

From the Modern Theravadin perspective, the Mahāvihāra has no retort.

Only upadana dukkha is real dukkha.

With metta

Element
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Re: Nibbana

Postby Element » Wed Feb 04, 2009 10:17 pm

Dhammanando wrote:So that's the Mahāvihāra's retort to the popular assertion of modern psychotherpy-centred Buddhists that when the Buddha said "in brief, the five aggregates of grasping are dukkha" he only meant the aggregates at moments when defilements are present. And also to the older claim of some Mahāyāna Buddhists, who, hoping to live for ever, posit a post-awakening endless continuum of dhammas that are neither themselves afflictions nor products of past afflictions.

Dhammanando

The Third Noble Truth is about dukkha nirodha. 'Nirodha' here is permanent nirodha (as distinct from atungkama). The Buddha has said this dukkha nirodha is to be 'realised'. To 'realise' something requires a mind. Realisation or experience cannot occur when there are no aggregates. Therefore, the Mahavihara retort is not in accord to the Lord Buddha's teaching itself.

Further, in the Third Noble Truth, the Lord Buddha has advised dukkha nirodha is solely the cessation of craving. Again, the Mahavihara retort is not in accord to the Lord Buddha's teaching itself.

With metta

Element
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