From the Sammohavinodanii (pp.61-64):
'Herein, which is the unformed element? It is the destruction
of greed, the destruction of hate and the destruction of
the unformed element is nibbaana, whose nature (sabhaava)
is unformed. But because greed and so on are destroyed on coming to
this (eta.m aagamma), it is therefore called 'the destruction of
greed, the destruction of hate, and the destruction of delusion'.
This is the agreed commentary of the Teachers.
252. "But a contraversialist (vita.n.davaadin)[a vitandavaadin is one who is opposed to the right understanding, usually from an outside sect] said:
'There is no
independent nibbaana; nibbaana is just the destruction of the
defilements.' He said: 'Quote a sutta.' The Jambukhaadaka-sutta was
quoted thus: "'Nibbaana' is said, friend Saariputta; what, friend, is
nibbaana? That which is the destruction of greed, the destruction of
hate, and the destruction of delusion - that is called nibbaana' (S iv
[Then] he said: 'By this sutta it should be understood that
there is no independent nibbaana; nibbaana is just the destruction of
He should be asked: 'But how? Is the meaning
according to this sutta [literally] so? Surely he will say: 'Yes,
there is no meaning apart from the sutta.'
253. "Then he should be told: 'Now this sutta has been quoted by you;
quote the next one to that.' The next sutta to that [says:]
"'Arahatship' is said, friend Saariputta, what, friend, is Arahatship?
That which is the destruction of greed, the destruction of hate, and
the destruction of delusion - that is called Arahatship (S iv 251).
This is the sutta quoted next to that. But on this being quoted, they
said to him: 'Nibbaana is a mental datum included in the mental data
base; Arahatship is the four [immaterial] aggregates. The General of
the Norm [i.e. Saariputta] who had realised nibbaana and on being
asked about Arahatship, said it was just the destruction of the
defilements. But how? What, then, are nibbaana and Arahatship, one
or multiple? Whether they are one or multiple, what according to you
who make excessively fine distinctions is the meaning here? You do
not know what is one and what is multiple. Surely when that is known,
it is good?' Being thus questioned again and again, being unable to
deceive, he said: 'It is because of its being arisen in one who has
destroyed greed, etc. that Arahatship is called the destruction of
greed, hate, and delusion.'
254. "Then they said to him: 'A great work has been done by you! And
even one getting you to say that by giving a reward, would have got
you to say just that. And just as this [sutta] has been explained to
you, so to [you should] discern that. For it is on coming to nibbaana
that greed, etc. are destroyed, and so nibbaana is called the
destruction of greed, the destruction of hate, and the destruction of
delusion. And these are just three terms for nibbaana.'"
Last edited by robertk on Tue Mar 27, 2012 10:08 am, edited