Nibbana vs. annihilation?

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Nibbana vs. annihilation?

Postby Lazy_eye » Mon Oct 11, 2010 11:36 am

Hi all,

The recent rebirth thread has been closed, having run its course. However, there was an unresolved issue left and the poster had sought a response.

Specifically, it was proposed that if there is only one life, "instant nibbana" can be attained through suicide. As Alex123 explained,

Alex123 wrote:If all existence is suffering and the death would be the end of the suffering (and equivalent to parinibbana), why not hasten it? Isn't cessation of dukkha (mental and physical) is what Buddhism all about?

...Even 8th Jhana is still imperfect. No feelings & perceptions is much better. If there was one life, it would be easy to accomplish that.


Now this line of thinking raises a rather important question: what kind of state is Nibbana?

For a physicalist, suicide leads to utter annihilation. It's not simply the extinguishing of conditioned consciousness but of any sort of awareness whatsoever. If we draw an equation between the goal of Buddhist practice and the goal of suicide, then we are implying that Buddhist nibbana is identical to annihilation and oblivion (what a materialist would expect to happen after death). But is that the case?

Thannisaro Bhikkhu writes:

When we first learn that the name for the goal of Buddhist practice, nibbana (nirvana), literally means the extinguishing of a fire, it's hard to imagine a deadlier image for a spiritual goal: utter annihilation. It turns out, though, that this reading of the concept is a mistake in translation, not so much of a word as of an image. What did an extinguished fire represent to the Indians of the Buddha's day? Anything but annihilation.
According to the ancient Brahmans, when a fire was extinguished it went into a state of latency. Rather than ceasing to exist, it became dormant and in that state — unbound from any particular fuel — it became diffused throughout the cosmos.


And further:

The image underlying nibbana is one of freedom. The Pali commentaries support this point by tracing the word nibbana to its verbal root, which means "unbinding." What kind of unbinding? The texts describe two levels. One is the unbinding in this lifetime, symbolized by a fire that has gone out but whose embers are still warm. This stands for the enlightened arahant, who is conscious of sights and sounds, sensitive to pleasure and pain, but freed from passion, aversion, and delusion. The second level of unbinding, symbolized by a fire so totally out that its embers have grown cold, is what the arahant experiences after this life. All input from the senses cools away and he/she is totally freed from even the subtlest stresses and limitations of existence in space and time.

The Buddha insists that this level is indescribable, even in terms of existence or nonexistence, because words work only for things that have limits. All he really says about it — apart from images and metaphors — is that one can have foretastes of the experience in this lifetime, and that it's the ultimate happiness, something truly worth knowing.


And finally:

The consciousness of nirvana is said to be "without surface" (anidassanam), for it doesn't land. Because the consciousness-aggregate covers only consciousness that is near or far, past, present, or future — i.e., in connection with space and time — consciousness without surface is not included in the aggregates. It's not eternal because eternity is a function of time. And because non-local also means undefined, the Buddha insisted that an awakened person — unlike ordinary people — can't be located or defined in any relation to the aggregates in this life; after death, he/she can't be described as existing, not existing, neither, or both, because descriptions can apply only to definable things.


The suttas, likewise, speak of "consciousness without surface, without end, luminous all around". Is this equivalent to oblivion?

If we equate nibbana with nothingness, then we would be concluding that an enlightened person does not exist after death. But according to the Buddha, there are four things we cannot say about an awakened person: that he exists after death, does not exist, both does and does not exist, neither exists or does not exist.

Moreover, if the goal is utter annihilation, why do arhats continue to live? They could undertake santhara, like the Jains, or even take the knife to their throats without blame (since they are without desire).

Note: this is not an attempt to revive the rebirth thread. Please limit any responses to the topic of nibbana and whether it is comparable to post-mortem nothingness.

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Re: Nibbana vs. annihilation?

Postby ground » Mon Oct 11, 2010 1:31 pm

Lazy_eye wrote:Specifically, it was proposed that if there is only one life, "instant nibbana" can be attained through suicide.


The issue is the "if". :tongue:
You may doubt or believe from the depth of your heart but you cannot know.
If one committed suicide then this could just perpetuate all the misery.
Since one is going to die anyway it seems reasonable to use the remainder of this lifetime to do one's best to put an end to all misery. :)

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Re: Nibbana vs. annihilation?

Postby Individual » Mon Oct 11, 2010 1:51 pm

Annihilation is the destruction of the conditioned state, the destruction of consciousness.

Nibbana is described as the Unconditioned, luminous consciousness without features.

A light of awareness underlying every experience, which becomes brighter and darker, to the degree that one follows the Noble Eightfold Path.
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Re: Nibbana vs. annihilation?

Postby Jason » Mon Oct 11, 2010 2:04 pm

If you're interested, Lazy_eye, you can read some of my thoughts about nibbana and vinnanam anidassanam here and here.
"Sabbe dhamma nalam abhinivesaya" (AN 7.58).

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Re: Nibbana vs. annihilation?

Postby Sunrise » Mon Oct 11, 2010 2:41 pm

Lazy_eye wrote:Specifically, it was proposed that if there is only one life, "instant nibbana" can be attained through suicide.

But you believe there are other lives right? So you can safely assume that if you kill yourself you will be born again somewhere.

Lazy_eye wrote:what kind of state is Nibbana?

Nibbana is the complete and remainderless cessation of suffering caused by mental clinging to the five aggregates

Code: Select all
He feels whatever feelings pleasant, or unpleasant or neither unpleasant nor pleasant. He sees impermanence in these feelings. Detaching his mind from them and seeing their cessation, gives them up. Thus he abides seeing impermanence, detachment, cessation and giving up of those feelings, does not seize anything in the world. Not seizing does not worry. Not worried is internally extinguished....

What should be done is done... there is nothing more to wish.

MN 37


Lazy_eye wrote:Buddhist nibbana is identical to annihilation

Annihilation does not apply. Eternalism doesn't apply. Why? Because both concepts have self-identification. You can ask yourself, what am I annihilating?
Please check the brahmajala sutta

Lazy_eye wrote:If we equate nibbana with nothingness

Nibbana is not nothingness.

There is that dimension 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, unevolving, without support (mental object). This, just this, is the end of stress.

nibbana sutta



Lazy_eye wrote:concluding that an enlightened person does not exist after death

But you said the Buddha said "we cannot say" right?

But according to the Buddha, there are four things we cannot say about an awakened person: that he exists after death, does not exist, both does and does not exist, neither exists or does not exist.


Lazy_eye wrote:Moreover, if the goal is utter annihilation, why do arhats continue to live?

The goal is not annihilation. The goal is seeing through direct experience that there is nothing that is yours to annihilate. Once you see that, the five aggregates that make up an awakened person will dwell and unbind according to the cause of nature.
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Re: Nibbana vs. annihilation?

Postby Alex123 » Mon Oct 11, 2010 3:44 pm

Lazy_eye wrote:Hi all,
Specifically, it was proposed that if there is only one life, "instant nibbana" can be attained through suicide. As Alex123 explained,
Now this line of thinking raises a rather important question: what kind of state is Nibbana?



Other than conceptual overlay (there is no Self, or anything pleasant that ceases), there is no difference between Parinibbana and Atheistic one-life-only death.

The difference between Dhamma and Atheistic one-life-only is that Dhamma teaches that there is cause-effect stream of delusive "I, me, mine" making that goes on until citta is no longer producing future effect (Arhatship). Death is not the end unless one doesn't produce any new cittas. Parinibbana is not death of an "Arahant as an existing being" because as Yamaka Sutta states
"And so, my friend Yamaka — when you can't pin down the Tathagata as a truth or reality even in the present life http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/sn/sn22/sn22.085.than.html


The Parinibbana of an Arhat (not anyone below) is described as
"He understands: ‘With the breakup of the body, following the exhaustion of life, all feelings, not being delighted in, will become cool right here; mere
bodily remains will be left."
- SN12.51(1).


And If I can add my 2 cents, those bodily remains will crumble to dust soon enough. No consciousness remains. Total peace, total freedom!
Last edited by Alex123 on Mon Oct 11, 2010 4:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Nibbana vs. annihilation?

Postby Alex123 » Mon Oct 11, 2010 3:48 pm

Hello all,


The suttas clearly state that


1.Arahant/Tathagata is not found inside or outside of 5 aggregates. SN 22.85-86

2.Self or what belongs to self is not found in truth or reality. MN22

3.There is no permanent possesion. MN22. 5 aggregates are impermanent SN22.97

4.Nibbāna is cessation of becoming. AN10.7. bhavanirodho nibbāna. IMHO cessation of becoming is not some new becoming, such as becoming an infinite consciousness.

5.Wouldn’t gaining a permanent, eternal, not subject to change consciousness be considered acquiring (ūpadhi) Something? But many suttas clearly say that Nibbana is calming of all fabrications and relinquishing of ALL acquistions sabbasaṅkhārasamatho sabbūpadhipaṭinissaggo – PTS A 4.423 (AN 9.36)


6. Five Aggregates cease and never reoccur when Parinibbāna happens. Thus what can remain and be oneself or possession of oneself? Why is there no sutta that says that at parinibbana 5 aggregates cease but some Consciousness remains?

7.There is no eternal and unchanging consciousness that transmigrates from sense base to sense base, much less from life to life. MN38. All consciousness is conditioned and dependently arisen.

8.“The body disintegrated, perception ceased, pain & rapture were entirely consumed, fabrications were stilled: consciousness (Viññāṇaṃ) has come to its end.” – Ud 8.9 Such is the description of Nibbāna.

9.Consciousness cannot be without other aggregates (which cease in parinibbāna)

"Were someone to say, 'I will describe a coming, a going, a passing away, an arising, a growth, an increase, or a proliferation of consciousness apart from form, from feeling, from perception, from fabrications,' that would be impossible.”
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html



What would be condition for consciousness in Nibbāna? OF what would it be aware? Wouldn’t its object of awareness be one of the aggregates? But then it would mean that something conditioned (aggregates) remain in Nibbāna…

Re: Viññāṇaṃ anidassanaṃ in DN11
In DN11 quote if one looks carefully, there are two questions and two answers to the questions of:
Q #1 Where do water, earth, fire, & wind have no footing?
Q #2 Where are long & short, coarse & fine, fair & foul, name & form brought to
an end?

Q1) Where do water, earth, fire, & wind have no footing?
A1) Consciousness without feature (Viññāṇaṃ anidassanaṃ), and radiant everywhere, Here water, earth, fire, & wind have no footing.

Q2) Where are long & short, coarse & fine, fair & foul, name & form brought to an end?
A2) Here long & short coarse & fine fair & foul, name & form are all brought to an end. With the cessation of consciousness each is here brought to an end.'"

There is absolutely no reason to believe that Viññāṇa remains in Nibbāna, and DN11 clearly states that consciousness ceases.


Remember that ALL things are dukkha. To posit something that remains eternally
is only to posit an eternally existent dukkha and according to MN22 there isn’t anything that is permanent and everlasting not subject to change. The talk on ANY kind of existence in Nibbana betrays one's wish for eternal survival, even if it is in some unexplained form.



MN72 clearly states parinibbāna of Arahant is like flame going out. In fact the words extinguished is the same as word for Nibbāna. Just like extinguished flame doesn't become the whole world, same is with Arahant.


The metaphors for nibbāna is a flame going out that is simply reckoned as 'out' (nibbuto)

"If the fire burning in front of you were to go out (nibbāyeyya), would you know that, 'This fire burning in front of me has gone out (nibbuto)'?"
"...yes..."

"And suppose someone were to ask you, 'This fire that has gone out in front of you, in which direction from here has it gone? East? West? North? Or south?'
Thus asked, how would you reply?"

"That doesn't apply, Master Gotama. Any fire burning dependent on a sustenance of grass and timber, being unnourished — from having consumed that sustenance and not being offered any other — is classified simply as 'out' (unbound)." http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
=
“What do you think: Do you regard the Tathagata as form-feeling-perception-fabrications-consciousness?"
"No, my friend."
"Do you regard the Tathagata as that which is without form, without feeling, without perception, without fabrications, without consciousness?"
"No, my friend."
"And so, my friend Yamaka — when you can't pin down the Tathagata as a truth or reality even in the present life http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
=
"there is no form... no feeling... no perception... there are no fabrications... there is no consciousness that is constant, lasting, eternal, not subject to change, that will stay just as it is as long as eternity."
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
=
"Monks, you would do well to possess that possession, the possession of which would be constant, permanent, eternal, not subject to change, that would stay just like that for an eternity. But do you see that possession, the possession of which would be constant, permanent, eternal, not subject to change, that would stay just like that for an eternity?"
"No, lord."
"Very good, monks. I, too, do not envision a possession, the possession of which would be constant, permanent, eternal, not subject to change, that would stay just like that for an eternity.
"Monks, you would do well to cling to that clinging to a doctrine of self, clinging to which there would not arise sorrow, lamentation, pain, grief, & despair. But do you see a clinging to a doctrine of self, clinging to which there would not arise sorrow, lamentation, pain, grief, & despair?"


"Monks, where there is a self, would there be [the thought,] 'belonging to my self'?"
"Yes, lord."
"Or, monks, where there is what belongs to self, would there be [the thought,] 'my self'?"
"Yes, lord."
"Monks, where a self or what belongs to self are not pinned down as a truth or reality, then the view-position — 'This cosmos is the self. After death this I will be constant, permanent, eternal, not subject to change. I will stay just like that for an eternity' — Isn't it utterly & completely a fool's teaching?"
"What else could it be, lord? It's utterly & completely a fool's teaching."
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html

=
[Sariputta] how would you answer if you are thus asked: A monk, a worthy one, with no more mental effluents: what is he on the break-up of the body, after death?"
[Yamaka] "Thus asked, I would answer, 'Form is inconstant... Feeling... Perception... Fabrications... Consciousness is inconstant. That which is inconstant is stressful. That which is stressful has ceased and gone to its end."
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html

Yes, venerable sir, as I know the Teaching of the Blessed One, this consciousness transmigrates through existences, not anything else. [Buddha] Sàti, how is that consciousness? [Sati] Venerable sir, this uttering and feeling one, that reaps the results of actions good and evil done here and there. [Buddha:] Foolish man, to whom do you know me having preached this Teaching. Haven't I told, in various ways that consciousness is dependently arisen. Without a cause, there is no arising of consciousness. Yet, you foolish man, because of your wrong grasp, blame me, destroy yourself, and accumulate much demerit and that will be for your undoing and unpleasantness for a long time.
http://metta.lk/tipitaka/2Sutta-Pitaka/ ... ta-e1.html

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

'This is peace, this is exquisite — the resolution of all fabrications; the relinquishment of all acquisitions; the ending of craving; dispassion; cessation; Unbinding.' ‘etaṃ santaṃ etaṃ paṇītaṃ yadidaṃ sabbasaṅkhārasamatho sabbūpadhipaṭinissaggo taṇhākkhayo virāgo nirodho nibbāna’nti.
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html

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



With metta,

Alex
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Re: Nibbana vs. annihilation?

Postby Individual » Mon Oct 11, 2010 4:34 pm

Alex123, you seem to know the suttas much better than I do.

However, I find it difficult to understand nibbana strictly in the negative terms that you and other Theravadins do, because I read:

http://www.serve.com/cmtan/Dhammapada/heedfulness.html
Heedfulness is the path to the Deathless, (Nibbana) heedlessness is the path to death. The heedful do not die; the heedless are like unto the dead.

Distinctly understanding this (difference) the wise (intent) on heedfulness rejoice in heedfulness, delighting in the realm of Ariyas.

If Nibbana is merely the extinguishing of all aggregates, why is it called the "Deathless"? How can there be eternal life independent of the Five Aggregates? That's not the Theravada interpretation, but from my point-of-view, it's in the Dhammapada right there. The "realm of the Ariyas" could also be interpreted literally as a place, couldn't it?

You could easily dismiss this: there is no eternal self, Nibbana is not subject to the elements, etc.. And I'd agree with you, but that still doesn't help your own interpretation, does it?
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Re: Nibbana vs. annihilation?

Postby Jason » Mon Oct 11, 2010 4:36 pm

Alex123 wrote:What would be condition for consciousness in Nibbāna? OF what would it be aware? Wouldn’t its object of awareness be one of the aggregates?


Not necessarily. As I mention in one of the blog posts linked above:

    One objection to this is that consciousness is simply bare awareness of sense data and ideas, and it's absurd to think about consciousness without an object. Positing a transcendent consciousness, then, would be a contradiction in terms. However, this objection is countered by the fact that the consciousness of nibbana is said to have the deathless (amata) as it's object. For example, there's this passage from MN 64:

      Whatever is there of material form, feeling, perception, mental formations, and consciousness — he beholds these phenomena as impermanent, suffering, as a disease, a boil, a dart, a misfortune, an affliction, as alien, as decomposing, as empty, as selfless. He turns his mind away from these phenomena; and when he has turned his mind away from them, he focuses his mind on the deathless element [amata-dhatu], thinking: "This is the peaceful, this is the sublime, that is, the stilling of all formations, the relinquishing of the foundations, the destruction of craving, dispassion, cessation, nibbana." (Bodhi)
"Sabbe dhamma nalam abhinivesaya" (AN 7.58).

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Re: Nibbana vs. annihilation?

Postby beeblebrox » Mon Oct 11, 2010 4:46 pm

Alex123 wrote:
Lazy_eye wrote:Hi all,
Specifically, it was proposed that if there is only one life, "instant nibbana" can be attained through suicide. As Alex123 explained,
Now this line of thinking raises a rather important question: what kind of state is Nibbana?


Other than conceptual overlay (there is no Self, or anything pleasant that ceases), there is no difference between Parinibbana and Atheistic one-life-only death.


I doubt that. The kamma that were produced in that "one life" would still continue to fruit after the death.

The difference between Dhamma and Atheistic one-life-only is that Dhamma teaches that there is cause-effect stream of delusive "I, me, mine" making that goes on until citta is no longer producing future effect (Arhatship).


The so-called "one life" is included in the Dhamma. There are incorrect views of what this "one life" means, and also the correct view of what it means. The latter is Dhamma; it includes kamma, re-becoming, rebirths due to conditions, etc.

I think there is still some confusion about how saying, "The suicide is the best option for one-life model," as an attempt to prove this model as mistaken, is still a mistaken view.

Why? First, suicide implies that if you take away the self, then the suffering would end. (Annihilationism.) If you perceive the suicide as the best possible option for one-life, then what that really means is that you still perceive a self. If you don't perceive a self, then no such thought would've occurred to you.

If someone brings up suicide as an option, then you can point out that it's mistaken. That's all. I don't think the Buddha would ever try to use suicide as an invalidation for the one-life model (in fact, you don't find this in the suttas at all), because he doesn't perceive a self.

If someone tries to point out this so-called "dilemma" to the Buddha, he would give them a discourse about Anatta. That is how it is with the Dhamma.

If you understand that... then maybe you can see the irony of how it seems like it's only a literal-rebirther (not all of them, though) would bring up the suicide dilemma, while the one-lifers (at least within the context of Buddhism) would say no such thing. How do you explain that? It's a strange anomaly.
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Re: Nibbana vs. annihilation?

Postby Sunrise » Mon Oct 11, 2010 5:22 pm

Individual wrote:If Nibbana is merely the extinguishing of all aggregates


Nibbana is extinguishing of all mental defilement (greed, hatred and illusion)

Monks, among things conditioned and unconditioned, dispassion is reckoned to be the best of them all; the crushing of infatuation, the removal of thirst, the uprooting of attachment .... the destruction of craving, nibbana. Those who have faith in the Dhamma of dispassion have faith in the best

Anguttara Nikaya
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Re: Nibbana vs. annihilation?

Postby Sunrise » Mon Oct 11, 2010 5:26 pm

Jason wrote:One objection to this is that consciousness is simply bare awareness of sense data and ideas, and it's absurd to think about consciousness without an object.


Indeed.

Were someone to say, 'I will describe a coming, a going, a passing away, an arising, a growth, an increase, or a proliferation of consciousness apart from form, from feeling, from perception, from fabrications,' that would be impossible

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Re: Nibbana vs. annihilation?

Postby Individual » Mon Oct 11, 2010 5:49 pm

Jason's words and his blog post above are both very good.

Sunrise wrote:
Individual wrote:If Nibbana is merely the extinguishing of all aggregates


Nibbana is extinguishing of all mental defilement (greed, hatred and illusion)

Monks, among things conditioned and unconditioned, dispassion is reckoned to be the best of them all; the crushing of infatuation, the removal of thirst, the uprooting of attachment .... the destruction of craving, nibbana. Those who have faith in the Dhamma of dispassion have faith in the best

Anguttara Nikaya

Yes, but mental defilement is said to be what holds the aggregates together.
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Re: Nibbana vs. annihilation?

Postby Alex123 » Mon Oct 11, 2010 7:08 pm

Individual wrote:However, I find it difficult to understand nibbana strictly in the negative terms that you and other Theravadins do, because I read:


Only 5 aggregates (or name&form with consciousness, DN15) are the limit of description. Nibbana is not a positive thing that can be positevely described. It "is" only in the sense that 5 aggregates can cease and never re-arise.


If Nibbana is merely the extinguishing of all aggregates, why is it called the "Deathless"? How can there be eternal life independent of the Five Aggregates? That's not the Theravada interpretation, but from my point-of-view, it's in the Dhammapada right there. The "realm of the Ariyas" could also be interpreted literally as a place, couldn't it?

You could easily dismiss this: there is no eternal self, Nibbana is not subject to the elements, etc.. And I'd agree with you, but that still doesn't help your own interpretation, does it?


Nibbana is deathless because there is NOTHING there to age, die or experience anything. It is NOT an eternal life, but a cessation with no remainder.


"This is the extent to which there is birth, aging, death, passing away, and re-arising. This is the extent to which there are means of designation, expression, and delineation. This is the extent to which the sphere of discernment extends, the extent to which the cycle revolves for the manifesting (discernibility) of this world — i.e., name-and-form together with consciousness.
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
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Re: Nibbana vs. annihilation?

Postby Alex123 » Mon Oct 11, 2010 7:09 pm

Sunrise wrote:
Nibbana is extinguishing of all mental defilement (greed, hatred and illusion)


And at the end of an Arahant's life, there will not be rebirth.

An Arahant knows that:
"He understands: ‘With the breakup of the body, following the exhaustion of life, all feelings, not being delighted in, will become cool right here; mere
bodily remains will be left
."
- SN12.51(1).
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Re: Nibbana vs. annihilation?

Postby Alex123 » Mon Oct 11, 2010 7:15 pm

Jason wrote:
    One objection to this is that consciousness is simply bare awareness of sense data and ideas, and it's absurd to think about consciousness without an object. Positing a transcendent consciousness, then, would be a contradiction in terms. However, this objection is countered by the fact that the consciousness of nibbana is said to have the deathless (amata) as it's object.


1) You stated correctly that consciousness cannot be without an object. This is correct, see MN38.
2) You stated correctly that it's absurd to think about consciousness without an object.

But you then stated that "consciousness of nibbana is said to have the deathless (amata) as it's object. "

Are you saying that consciousness-aggregate exist in Nibbana, and it takes an "object"? Here are at least two things already. This is compounded experience, saṅkhata not asaṅkhata.

For example, there's this passage from MN 64:

    Whatever is there of material form, feeling, perception, mental formations, and consciousness — he beholds these phenomena as impermanent, suffering, as a disease, a boil, a dart, a misfortune, an affliction, as alien, as decomposing, as empty, as selfless. He turns his mind away from these phenomena; and when he has turned his mind away from them, he focuses his mind on the deathless element [amata-dhatu], thinking: "This is the peaceful, this is the sublime, that is, the stilling of all formations, the relinquishing of the foundations, the destruction of craving, dispassion, cessation, nibbana." (Bodhi)


This happens while one still has 5 aggregates, using the consciousness aggregate + wisdom (which belongs to other aggregates).






In various ways I have preached that consciousness arises dependently. Without a cause, there is no arising of consciousness....
Bhikkhus, founded on whatever, consciousness arises, it is reckoned on that. On account of eye and forms arises consciousness, it's reckoned eye consciousness. On account of ear and sounds arises consciousness, it's reckoned ear consciousness. On account of nose and smells arises consciousness, it's reckoned nose consciousness. On account of tongue and tastes arises consciousness, it's reckoned tongue consciousness. On account of body and touches arises consciousness, it's reckoned body consciousness. On account of mind and ideas arises consciousness, it's reckoned mind consciousness. Bhikkhus, just as based on whatever fire burns, it is reckoned by that. Fire ablaze with sticks is stick fire. Ablaze with twigs is twig fire. Ablaze with grass is grass fire. Ablaze with cow dung is cow dung fire. Ablaze with grain thrash is grain thrash fire. Ablaze with dirt is dirt fire.
http://metta.lk/tipitaka/2Sutta-Pitaka/ ... ta-e1.html


That quote clearly states that consciousness doesn't even travel from sense-base to sense-base, much less from life to life, and nothing to say about remaining "in Nibbana". That teaching by the Buddha was to dispel the

evil view had arisen to a bhikkhu, named Sàti the son of a fisherman: 'As I know the Teaching of the Blessed One, this consciousness transmigrates through existences, not anything else'.
http://metta.lk/tipitaka/2Sutta-Pitaka/ ... ta-e1.html
It
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Re: Nibbana vs. annihilation?

Postby cooran » Mon Oct 11, 2010 7:26 pm

Hello all,

These writings by respected Bhikkhus may be of assistance:

Is Nibbana mere annihilation ? - by Bhikkhu Bodhi
http://www.beyondthenet.net/dhamma/nibbanaAnni.htm

State of an Arahant after passing away – by Bhikkhu Bodhi
http://www.beyondthenet.net/dhamma/nibbanaState.htm

Nibbana by Narada Thera
http://www.buddhanet.net/nutshell10.htm

What is Nibbana by Mahasi Sayadaw
http://www.thisismyanmar.com/nibbana/nibbana5.htm

Nibbana Sermons by Bhikkhu K. Ñänananda
http://www.what-buddha-taught.net/Books ... mon_18.htm

with metta
Chris
---The trouble is that you think you have time---
---Worry is the Interest, paid in advance, on a debt you may never owe---
---It's not what happens to you in life that is important ~ it's what you do with it ---
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Re: Nibbana vs. annihilation?

Postby Prasadachitta » Mon Oct 11, 2010 7:58 pm

"Where do earth and water,
Fire and wind no footing find,
Where is it that long and short,
Fine and coarse, pleasant, unpleasant,
As well as name-and-form,
Are held in check in a way complete?"

"Consciousness, which is non-manifestative,
Endless, lustrous on all sides,
Here it is that earth and water,
Fire and air no footing find,
Here it is that long and short,
Fine and coarse, pleasant, unpleasant,
And name-and-form,
Are cut off without exception,
When consciousness has surceased,
These are held in check herein."


DN 11
Kevatta Sutta
as Quoted in the Nibbana Sermons by Bhikku Nanananda





"Where do water, earth, fire, & wind have no footing? Where are long & short, coarse & fine, fair & foul, name & form brought to an end?

And the answer to that is:
Consciousness without feature,[ without end, luminous all around: Here water, earth, fire, & wind have no footing. Here long & short coarse & fine fair & foul name & form are all brought to an end. With the cessation of [the activity of] consciousness each is here brought to an end.'"

DN 11

Kevatta Sutta

translated from the Pali by
Thanissaro Bhikkhu
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/dn/dn.11.0.than.html
"Beautifully taught is the Lord's Dhamma, immediately apparent, timeless, of the nature of a personal invitation, progressive, to be attained by the wise, each for himself." Anguttara Nikaya V.332
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Re: Nibbana vs. annihilation?

Postby Alex123 » Mon Oct 11, 2010 8:02 pm

gabrielbranbury wrote:"Where do earth and water, Fire and wind no footing find, Where is it that long and short, Fine and coarse, pleasant, unpleasant,
As well as name-and-form, Are held in check in a way complete?"

"Consciousness, which is non-manifestative, Endless, lustrous on all sides, Here it is that earth and water, Fire and air no footing find,
Here it is that long and short, Fine and coarse, pleasant, unpleasant, And name-and-form, Are cut off without exception, When consciousness has surceased,
These are held in check herein."
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/dn/dn.11.0.than.html



There are two questions and two answers. In "Viññāṇaṃ anidassanaṃ " the dualities "find no footing". But they cease with the cessation of consciousness.

The DN11 clearly says that consciousness ceases, and with them [perception of] the dualities.


Nowhere do the suttas equate parinibbana with being a "consciousness" or even an experience of some kind.


"The body disintegrated, perception ceased, pain & rapture were entirely consumed, fabrications were stilled: consciousness (Viññāṇaṃ) has come to its end.” – Ud 8.9 http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
Such is the description of pariNibbāna.



PariNibbāna is not some retirement home where consciousness go to exist for eternity. Unfortunately some teachers are afraid of giving a clear cut explanation of Final Nibbāna, and try to obfuscate the issue by making it sound as not complete and utter cessation without any remainder. Thus ending becomes reinterpreted as a new beginning, and nothing is reinterpreted as something. Existence of any kind is simply not worth it, every saṅkhāra is tainted with dukkha. Those who think that Final Nibbāna is some form of existence, haven't seen the fact that all and any experience is just more or less, hidden or revealed dukkha.
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Re: Nibbana vs. annihilation?

Postby Prasadachitta » Mon Oct 11, 2010 8:37 pm

Existence of any kind is simply not worth it


What do you think "Existence" is? And worth what?


Metta

Gabe
"Beautifully taught is the Lord's Dhamma, immediately apparent, timeless, of the nature of a personal invitation, progressive, to be attained by the wise, each for himself." Anguttara Nikaya V.332
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