Udana 8.1 + others and Nibbana

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Udana 8.1 + others and Nibbana

Postby Coyote » Tue Apr 30, 2013 8:11 pm

I have been doing some thinking about Nibbana, and I have a question to those who see Nibbana as merely a designation for the destruction of Greed, Aversion and Delusion.
How do you understand references in the Pali Canon like Udana 8.1?

There is that dimension, monks, where there is neither earth, nor water, nor fire, nor wind; neither dimension of the infinitude of space, nor dimension of the infinitude of consciousness, nor dimension of nothingness, nor dimension of neither perception nor non-perception; neither this world, nor the next world, nor sun, nor moon. And there, I say, there is neither coming, nor going, nor staying; neither passing away nor arising: unestablished,[1] unevolving, without support [mental object].[2] This, just this, is the end of stress.
Udana 8.1 (Thanissaro)

What about AN 3.32, Ud. 8.3, Ud 1.10, and I'm sure others that people more well-versed in sutta could find?

They seem to represent Nibbana as a "realm" or at least "where" samsaric existance comes to an end. Like the cessassion of consciousness attainment and not like the fully aware state that I have read from those on this forum that support the non-classical teaching (Nana for instance). Hopefully I don't misunderstand the former position, but this seems to me to be support for Classical Theravada teachings on Nibbana.
That said, how can consciousness take hold of an object that isn't an object at all?

Looking forward to any thoughts or opinions from anyone.
"If beings knew, as I know, the results of giving & sharing, they would not eat without having given, nor would the stain of miserliness overcome their minds. Even if it were their last bite, their last mouthful, they would not eat without having shared."
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Re: Udana 8.1 + others and Nibbana

Postby mikenz66 » Tue Apr 30, 2013 10:18 pm

See the related discussion on this thread: viewtopic.php?f=16&t=13690&start=100#p243183

:anjali:
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Re: Udana 8.1 + others and Nibbana

Postby robertk » Wed May 01, 2013 5:36 am

viewtopic.php?f=19&t=11897

From the Sammohavinodanii (pp.61-64):

251. "(
'Herein, which is the unformed element? It is the destruction
of greed, the destruction of hate and the destruction of
delusion')...

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
251).
[Then] he said: 'By this sutta it should be understood that
there is no independent nibbaana; nibbaana is just the destruction of
the defilements.'
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
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Re: Udana 8.1 + others and Nibbana

Postby Coyote » Wed May 01, 2013 9:55 am

Thank you both.

Mike: So now I have a clear picture of both the classical and non-classical teaching on how the mind can take Nibbana as an object, though Bhukkhu Nanananda was firmly in the non-classical camp I believe. This opens up further the question of how, if Nibbana is merely the destruction of the 3 defilements how this "non-manifestive consciousness" comes into it. It seems like there are 2 nibbana's from the non-classical perspective. Either the mind takes hold of an independently existing nibbana with this consciousness and the defilement are destroyed, or nibbana is the designation for the destruction of defilement. Am I missing something from this view?

Robert:
OK so this counters the idea that Nibbana is merely the destruction of said defilements, but that defilement is destroyed on contact with Nibbana. This is the classical teaching, correct?
So what do those who hold the non-classical view say to this?

Metta
"If beings knew, as I know, the results of giving & sharing, they would not eat without having given, nor would the stain of miserliness overcome their minds. Even if it were their last bite, their last mouthful, they would not eat without having shared."
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Re: Udana 8.1 + others and Nibbana

Postby daverupa » Wed May 01, 2013 10:41 am

I think it's all using the prevailing bahmanical terminology, with a Dhamma twist. It's a cultural & pedagogical framing of nibbana, specifically targeting (post-)Vedic cosmology.
    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting oneself one protects others? By the pursuit, development, and cultivation of the four establishments of mindfulness. It is in such a way that by protecting oneself one protects others.

    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting others one protects oneself? By patience, harmlessness, goodwill, and sympathy. It is in such a way that by protecting others one protects oneself.
- Sedaka Sutta [SN 47.19]
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Re: Udana 8.1 + others and Nibbana

Postby tiltbillings » Wed May 01, 2013 10:46 am

Coyote wrote:Thank you both.

Mike: So now I have a clear picture of both the classical and non-classical teaching on how the mind can take Nibbana as an object, though Bhukkhu Nanananda was firmly in the non-classical camp I believe. This opens up further the question of how, if Nibbana is merely the destruction of the 3 defilements how this "non-manifestive consciousness" comes into it. It seems like there are 2 nibbana's from the non-classical perspective. Either the mind takes hold of an independently existing nibbana with this consciousness and the defilement are destroyed, or nibbana is the designation for the destruction of defilement. Am I missing something from this view?

Robert:
OK so this counters the idea that Nibbana is merely the destruction of said defilements, but that defilement is destroyed on contact with Nibbana. This is the classical teaching, correct?
So what do those who hold the non-classical view say to this?

Metta
The question is, however, what would an "independent nibbana" be?
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: Udana 8.1 + others and Nibbana

Postby Coyote » Wed May 01, 2013 10:51 am

daverupa wrote:I think it's all using the prevailing bahmanical terminology, with a Dhamma twist. It's a cultural & pedagogical framing of nibbana, specifically targeting (post-)Vedic cosmology.


So what does that mean practically, regarding what Nibbana is, exactly? It is a metaphor for the destruction of defilement using Vedic terminology? Are you saying there is no ayatana where everything ceases, just where defilement ceases?

tiltbillings wrote:The question is, however, what would an "independent nibbana" be?


Nibbana that is not merely the designation for destruction of defilement, but something that consciousness can take as its object. I presume, from reading roberk's post.


:anjali:
"If beings knew, as I know, the results of giving & sharing, they would not eat without having given, nor would the stain of miserliness overcome their minds. Even if it were their last bite, their last mouthful, they would not eat without having shared."
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Re: Udana 8.1 + others and Nibbana

Postby tiltbillings » Wed May 01, 2013 11:02 am

Coyote wrote:
Nibbana that is not merely the designation for destruction of defilement, but something that consciousness can take as its object. I presume, from reading roberk's post.
And the question what would it be, and when it is not being taken as an object, where is it? And by what door of consciousness it is perceived?
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: Udana 8.1 + others and Nibbana

Postby Coyote » Wed May 01, 2013 11:09 am

tiltbillings wrote:
Coyote wrote:
Nibbana that is not merely the designation for destruction of defilement, but something that consciousness can take as its object. I presume, from reading roberk's post.
And the question what would it be, and when it is not being taken as an object, where is it? And by what door of consciousness it is perceived?


Perceived by mind consciousness, I believe. An it is "unarisen", so I don't think nibbana "is" anywhere. But I made this thread to understand the non-classical perspective with regard to the teaching in Udana 8.1 and elsewhere. How this is reconciled with the idea of Nibbana as merely the destruction of defilement within the individual arahants mind-stream.

:anjali:
"If beings knew, as I know, the results of giving & sharing, they would not eat without having given, nor would the stain of miserliness overcome their minds. Even if it were their last bite, their last mouthful, they would not eat without having shared."
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Re: Udana 8.1 + others and Nibbana

Postby tiltbillings » Wed May 01, 2013 2:04 pm

Coyote wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:
Coyote wrote:
Nibbana that is not merely the designation for destruction of defilement, but something that consciousness can take as its object. I presume, from reading roberk's post.
And the question what would it be, and when it is not being taken as an object, where is it? And by what door of consciousness it is perceived?


Perceived by mind consciousness, I believe. An it is "unarisen", so I don't think nibbana "is" anywhere. But I made this thread to understand the non-classical perspective with regard to the teaching in Udana 8.1 and elsewhere. How this is reconciled with the idea of Nibbana as merely the destruction of defilement within the individual arahants mind-stream.

:anjali:
Then the language is problem in that it suggest that nibbana is an existing, independent thing.
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: Udana 8.1 + others and Nibbana

Postby daverupa » Wed May 01, 2013 2:13 pm

Coyote wrote:
daverupa wrote:I think it's all using the prevailing bahmanical terminology, with a Dhamma twist. It's a cultural & pedagogical framing of nibbana, specifically targeting (post-)Vedic cosmology.


So what does that mean practically, regarding what Nibbana is, exactly? It is a metaphor for the destruction of defilement using Vedic terminology? Are you saying there is no ayatana where everything ceases, just where defilement ceases?:


It means that, without the Vedic cosmology as a given in ones experience, these particular pedagogical approaches are easy to misconstrue and ossify since they require learning two things - the cosmology, and the Dhamma twist on that. It's the scenic route.
    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting oneself one protects others? By the pursuit, development, and cultivation of the four establishments of mindfulness. It is in such a way that by protecting oneself one protects others.

    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting others one protects oneself? By patience, harmlessness, goodwill, and sympathy. It is in such a way that by protecting others one protects oneself.
- Sedaka Sutta [SN 47.19]
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Re: Udana 8.1 + others and Nibbana

Postby reflection » Wed May 01, 2013 3:20 pm

This was said by the Lord...

"Bhikkhus, there are these two Nibbana-elements. What are the two? The Nibbana-element with residue left and the Nibbana-element with no residue left.

"What, bhikkhus, is the Nibbana-element with residue left? Here a bhikkhu is an arahant, one whose taints are destroyed, the holy life fulfilled, who has done what had to be done, laid down the burden, attained the goal, destroyed the fetters of being, completely released through final knowledge. However, his five sense faculties remain unimpaired, by which he still experiences what is agreeable and disagreeable and feels pleasure and pain. It is the extinction of attachment, hate, and delusion in him that is called the Nibbana-element with residue left.

"Now what, bhikkhus, is the Nibbana-element with no residue left? Here a bhikkhu is an arahant... completely released through final knowledge. For him, here in this very life, all that is experienced, not being delighted in, will be extinguished. That, bhikkhus, is called the Nibbana-element with no residue left.

"These, bhikkhus, are the two Nibbana-elements."


These two Nibbana-elements were made known
By the Seeing One, stable and unattached:
One is the element seen here and now
With residue, but with the cord of being destroyed;
The other, having no residue for the future,
Is that wherein all modes of being utterly cease.

Having understood the unconditioned state,
Released in mind with the cord of being destroyed,
They have attained to the Dhamma-essence.
Delighting in the destruction (of craving),
Those stable ones have abandoned all being.

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .irel.html
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