Nibbana vs. annihilation?

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism

Re: Nibbana vs. annihilation?

Postby Alex123 » Mon Oct 11, 2010 8:48 pm

gabrielbranbury wrote:
Existence of any kind is simply not worth it


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


Metta

Gabe


Existence = presence of mind and/or body.

It is ultimately more or less dukkha, but still dukkha. The cessation of all dukkha is real peace.

Some think that happiness lies in pleasant feelings. But real "happiness" is absence of any and all dukkha.
I was not; I was; I am not; I do not care."
User avatar
Alex123
 
Posts: 2788
Joined: Wed Mar 10, 2010 11:32 pm

Re: Nibbana vs. annihilation?

Postby Prasadachitta » Mon Oct 11, 2010 9:00 pm

Alex123 wrote:Existence = presence of mind and/or body.

It is ultimately more or less dukkha, but still dukkha. The cessation of all dukkha is real peace.

Some think that happiness lies in pleasant feelings. But real "happiness" is absence of any and all dukkha.



Are you saying that the Buddha didnt get released from dukkha till his body perished?
"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
User avatar
Prasadachitta
 
Posts: 973
Joined: Sat Jan 10, 2009 6:52 am
Location: San Francisco (The Mission) Ca USA

Re: Nibbana vs. annihilation?

Postby Alex123 » Mon Oct 11, 2010 9:08 pm

gabrielbranbury wrote:
Alex123 wrote:Existence = presence of mind and/or body.

It is ultimately more or less dukkha, but still dukkha. The cessation of all dukkha is real peace.

Some think that happiness lies in pleasant feelings. But real "happiness" is absence of any and all dukkha.



Are you saying that the Buddha didnt get released from dukkha till his body perished?



Right. Even the Buddha experienced Physical dukkha. He just didn't experience emotional/mental one. He was "shot with one arrow" rather than "being shot with two". It may shock some, but even being an Arhat is still dukkha, just much less dukkha than being someone below that. The most peaceful and totally dukkha free is PariNibbana. Even an Arahant/Buddha has pain due to existence of remaining aggregates.
Last edited by Alex123 on Mon Oct 11, 2010 9:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.
I was not; I was; I am not; I do not care."
User avatar
Alex123
 
Posts: 2788
Joined: Wed Mar 10, 2010 11:32 pm

Re: Nibbana vs. annihilation?

Postby Prasadachitta » Mon Oct 11, 2010 9:21 pm

Alex123 wrote:
gabrielbranbury wrote:
Alex123 wrote:Existence = presence of mind and/or body.

It is ultimately more or less dukkha, but still dukkha. The cessation of all dukkha is real peace.

Some think that happiness lies in pleasant feelings. But real "happiness" is absence of any and all dukkha.



Are you saying that the Buddha didnt get released from dukkha till his body perished?



Right. Even the Buddha experienced Physical dukkha. He just didn't experience emotional/mental one. He was "shot with one arrow" rather than "being shot with two". It may shock some, but even being an Arhat is still dukkha, just much less dukkha than being someone below that. The most peaceful and totally dukkha free is PariNibbana.


I personally think this is a serious misunderstanding.

"What do you think: Do you regard the Tathagata as being in form?... Elsewhere than form?... In feeling?... Elsewhere than feeling?... In perception?... Elsewhere than perception?... In fabrications?... Elsewhere than fabrications?... In consciousness?... Elsewhere than consciousness?"

"No, my friend."

"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 — is it proper for you to declare, 'As I understand the Teaching explained by the Blessed One, a monk with no more effluents, on the break-up of the body, is annihilated, perishes, & does not exist after death'?"

SN 22.85

Yamaka Sutta
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/sn/sn22/sn22.085.than.html

If you think "The Buddha" feels pain and then there is some kind of entity which you call "The Buddha" stops feeling pain, then you have identified a Buddha where no Buddha can be found.


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
User avatar
Prasadachitta
 
Posts: 973
Joined: Sat Jan 10, 2009 6:52 am
Location: San Francisco (The Mission) Ca USA

Re: Nibbana vs. annihilation?

Postby Alex123 » Mon Oct 11, 2010 9:24 pm

gabrielbranbury wrote:
If you think "The Buddha" feels pain and then there is some kind of entity which you call "The Buddha" stops feeling pain, then you have identified a Buddha where no Buddha can be found.


Metta

Gabe


Not the Buddha/Arhat as an existing Being, but 5 aggregates we call "the Buddha/Arhat" that experience dukkha-vedanā, dukkha-vedanā which is still felt.
I was not; I was; I am not; I do not care."
User avatar
Alex123
 
Posts: 2788
Joined: Wed Mar 10, 2010 11:32 pm

Re: Nibbana vs. annihilation?

Postby Prasadachitta » Mon Oct 11, 2010 9:30 pm

Alex123 wrote:
gabrielbranbury wrote:
If you think "The Buddha" feels pain and then there is some kind of entity which you call "The Buddha" stops feeling pain, then you have identified a Buddha where no Buddha can be found.


Metta

Gabe


Not the Buddha/Arhat as an existing Being, but 5 aggregates we call "the Buddha/Arhat" that experience dukkha-vedanā, dukkha-vedanā which is still felt.


To percieve a difference between Nibbana and ParaNibbana is to identify the Buddha with the aggregates or apart from the aggregates. Besides you already defined existence in terms of the presence of a body or a mind.


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
User avatar
Prasadachitta
 
Posts: 973
Joined: Sat Jan 10, 2009 6:52 am
Location: San Francisco (The Mission) Ca USA

Re: Nibbana vs. annihilation?

Postby Alex123 » Mon Oct 11, 2010 9:35 pm

gabrielbranbury wrote:To percieve a difference between Nibbana and ParaNibbana is to identify the Buddha with the aggregates or apart from the aggregates. Besides you already defined existence in terms of the presence of a body or a mind.
Metta

Gabe


There is Nibbana with remainder (of aggregates) and Nibbana without remainder (no aggregates). So there is a difference of there being presence of aggregates or not.

Any kind of justification of existence after Parinibbana is simply clinging to existence, clinging to some thing that is mispercieved to be without dukkha.
I was not; I was; I am not; I do not care."
User avatar
Alex123
 
Posts: 2788
Joined: Wed Mar 10, 2010 11:32 pm

Re: Nibbana vs. annihilation?

Postby Prasadachitta » Mon Oct 11, 2010 9:37 pm

Alex123 wrote:
gabrielbranbury wrote:To percieve a difference between Nibbana and ParaNibbana is to identify the Buddha with the aggregates or apart from the aggregates. Besides you already defined existence in terms of the presence of a body or a mind.
Metta

Gabe


There is Nibbana with remainder (of 5 aggregates) and Nibbana without remainder (no 5 aggregates). So there is a difference of there being presence of 5 aggregates or not.


Only because we perceive a difference not because it is Dhamma.

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
User avatar
Prasadachitta
 
Posts: 973
Joined: Sat Jan 10, 2009 6:52 am
Location: San Francisco (The Mission) Ca USA

Re: Nibbana vs. annihilation?

Postby Alex123 » Mon Oct 11, 2010 9:38 pm

gabrielbranbury wrote:
Alex123 wrote:
gabrielbranbury wrote:To percieve a difference between Nibbana and ParaNibbana is to identify the Buddha with the aggregates or apart from the aggregates. Besides you already defined existence in terms of the presence of a body or a mind.
Metta

Gabe


There is Nibbana with remainder (of 5 aggregates) and Nibbana without remainder (no 5 aggregates). So there is a difference of there being presence of 5 aggregates or not.


Only because we perceive one not because it is Dhamma.

Metta

Gabe


Can you please explain what you've meant?


Prior to Parinibbana there are aggregates. When parinibbana occurs, aggregates cease and no new aggregates arise.



[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


No hints at any new form of becoming. Just cessation.
Last edited by Alex123 on Mon Oct 11, 2010 9:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.
I was not; I was; I am not; I do not care."
User avatar
Alex123
 
Posts: 2788
Joined: Wed Mar 10, 2010 11:32 pm

Re: Nibbana vs. annihilation?

Postby Kenshou » Mon Oct 11, 2010 9:43 pm

I recall it is said in the Satta Sutta that "Any desire, passion, delight, or craving for form"/feeling/perception/fabrication/consciousness, Radha: when one is caught up there, tied up there, one is said to be 'a being." And so then when that craving is gone, there is not said to be a "being", that is; "bhavanirodha".

So it seems to me that what's being said is that "existence" or ""being" as relevant to Buddhism is perhaps not the simple presence of phenomena as we tend to generally think of it. The really important thing is, as usual, craving (aversion & ignorance).
Kenshou
 
Posts: 1027
Joined: Sun Nov 15, 2009 12:03 am
Location: Minneapolis, MN

Re: Nibbana vs. annihilation?

Postby Prasadachitta » Mon Oct 11, 2010 9:43 pm

Alex123 wrote:
Can you please explain what you've meant?


Prior to Parinibbana there are aggregates. When parinibbana occurs, aggregates cease and no new aggregates arise.


To see the Buddha is to see Dependent Arising. To see Dependent Arising is to see the Buddha.
MN 28
Maha-hatthipadopama Sutta

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/mn/mn.028.than.html
Metta

Gabe
Last edited by Prasadachitta on Mon Oct 11, 2010 9:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.
"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
User avatar
Prasadachitta
 
Posts: 973
Joined: Sat Jan 10, 2009 6:52 am
Location: San Francisco (The Mission) Ca USA

Re: Nibbana vs. annihilation?

Postby Alex123 » Mon Oct 11, 2010 9:48 pm

Kenshou wrote:I recall it is said in the Satta Sutta that "Any desire, passion, delight, or craving for form"/feeling/perception/fabrication/consciousness, Radha: when one is caught up there, tied up there, one is said to be 'a being." And so then when that craving is gone, there is not said to be a "being", that is; "bhavanirodha".

So it seems to me that what's being said is that "existence" or ""being" as relevant to Buddhism is perhaps not the simple presence of phenomena as we tend to generally think of it. The really important thing is, as usual, craving (aversion & ignorance).


The word in Satta Sutta is satta. Not "bhava".

Satta can mean = "attached or clinging to."

So the sutta CAN be interpreted as:

""Any desire, passion, delight, or craving for form"/feeling/perception/fabrication/consciousness, Radha: when one is caught up there, tied up there, one is said to be 'attached or clinging to."




To forestall some future comments:
I believe that suttas are consistent when it comes to Pari-Nibbana. If we agree on that, then any kind of descriptions have to be consistent with

"‘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).


that description of what happens. So, IMHO all references to positive states of Nibbana either refer to Nibbana of alive arahant (or rather the aggregates we call an Arahant), attainment of arahattaphala samādhi, or they refer to full cessation (parinibbāna) with no kind of experience remaining.
Last edited by Alex123 on Mon Oct 11, 2010 9:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.
I was not; I was; I am not; I do not care."
User avatar
Alex123
 
Posts: 2788
Joined: Wed Mar 10, 2010 11:32 pm

Re: Nibbana vs. annihilation?

Postby Prasadachitta » Mon Oct 11, 2010 9:53 pm

Alex123 wrote:Any kind of justification of existence after Parinibbana is simply clinging to existence, clinging to some thing that is mispercieved to be without dukkha.


Any justification of existence before Parinibbana is also either clinging to existence or non existence.

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
User avatar
Prasadachitta
 
Posts: 973
Joined: Sat Jan 10, 2009 6:52 am
Location: San Francisco (The Mission) Ca USA

Re: Nibbana vs. annihilation?

Postby Alex123 » Mon Oct 11, 2010 9:55 pm

gabrielbranbury wrote:
Alex123 wrote:Any kind of justification of existence after Parinibbana is simply clinging to existence, clinging to some thing that is mispercieved to be without dukkha.


Any justification of existence before Parinibbana is also either clinging to existence or non existence.

Metta


Gabe


There is no Arahat as an existing being to cease, right. There are only impersonal aggregates that can cease and never re-occur again. So in this sense, parinibbana is not anihhilation of an existing being. Just cessation of dukkha with no new dukkha appearing.
I was not; I was; I am not; I do not care."
User avatar
Alex123
 
Posts: 2788
Joined: Wed Mar 10, 2010 11:32 pm

Re: Nibbana vs. annihilation?

Postby Kenshou » Mon Oct 11, 2010 10:02 pm

Alex123 wrote:The word in Satta Sutta is satta. Not "bhava".


I know, and I didn't try to say that. Just trying to draw a parallel, sorry if that wasn't so obvious.
Kenshou
 
Posts: 1027
Joined: Sun Nov 15, 2009 12:03 am
Location: Minneapolis, MN

Re: Nibbana vs. annihilation?

Postby Alex123 » Mon Oct 11, 2010 10:05 pm

There is absolutely no justification for any kind of existence not to include dukkha. While it is true that craving/ignorance plays an important part, even the mere presence of 5 aggregates or 12 spheres or 18 elements or even consciousness of any kind is dukkha.


“Bhikkhus, the arising, continuation, production, and manifestation of form … of feeling … of perception … of volitional constructions … of consciousness is the arising of suffering, the continuation of disease, the manifestation of aging-and-death.

“The cessation, subsiding, and passing away of form … of consciousness is the cessation of suffering, the subsiding of disease, the passing away of aging-and-death.” - BB Trans SN26.10
I was not; I was; I am not; I do not care."
User avatar
Alex123
 
Posts: 2788
Joined: Wed Mar 10, 2010 11:32 pm

Re: Nibbana vs. annihilation?

Postby Kenshou » Mon Oct 11, 2010 10:16 pm

I hesitate to take such passages 100% literally. Without craving/aversion/delusion, where is there a support for dukkha? (Besides of course the obligatory bodily pain.) I don't know, I'm not enlightened.

All compounded things are dukkha in that they are ultimately unsatisfactory, certainly, (and maybe that's all that is meant, not sure) but that their mere occurrence, even when craving and aversion are not at play, is stressful, I am skeptical. I suppose it hinges on precisely how you translate dukkha, which is sort of a multifaceted word.

But like I said, I dunno.
Kenshou
 
Posts: 1027
Joined: Sun Nov 15, 2009 12:03 am
Location: Minneapolis, MN

Re: Nibbana vs. annihilation?

Postby retrofuturist » Mon Oct 11, 2010 11:01 pm

Greetings Alex,

I hesitate to enter this discussion, since I do not foresee this ending profitably, however I'll try.

The crux of where your perspective on this particular matter of nibbana vs annihilation seems to lie in your definition of existence, which you define as "presence of mind and/or body."

Can I ask a question in relation to that. Does this sentence mean to you...

1. The ontological independent existence of a biologically living organism

2. The phenomenological experience of mind and/or body

If you take it to mean #1, then it is no wonder you take permanent death itself to be goal.

#2 on the other hand, describes a qualitative experience. If experience is conditioned by ignorance, then the consequences of #1 & #2 are pretty much the same. However, by transcending ignorance and seeing through all false perceptions of self within the five aggregates, the Buddha developed a unique mode of perception not conditioned by ignorance, which involved the absence of sankhara.

Again, we're likely to come up again interpretive road-blocks here as you're likely to regard sankhara in this context as past kamma, rather than in its more common sense of something which is dependent upon something else (in this case, explicitly stated as ignorance).

Now, the mode of perception or mode of existence discovered by the Buddha is unique and is what constitutes the essence of the Dhamma. It's not merely a way to avoid the "ontological independent existence of a biologically living organism", but it's a means by which to experience nibbana here-and-now (i.e. not waiting until death). It's an enlightened mode of perception that lays down the burden of the five aggregates and the six sense bases, and doesn't engage them in a subject-object relationship. It is not 'existence', or 'being' or 'becoming' by any referrent with which we are familiar with as puttujanas.

I could say more, but I'd inadvertently find myself doing a disservice to those who explain these subtle matters of the Dhamma far better than me... on this subject, the works of Nanananda Bhikkhu are paramount and you'll find much of interest in the Nibbana Sermons to really stimulate thought on the distinctions raised in this topic.

Now, I don't know your motivation for participating in this topic. It may be simply to express your perspective, which is fair enough and I don't want to degrade the potential value of this. However, if you're not fixed in your views (and let's be honest, who short of a stream-entrant should be?) and prepared to explore well considered, well reasoned, well explained alternatives to existing frameworks, the Nibbana Sermons are seriously worthy of investigation.

Nibbana Sermons
http://www.what-buddha-taught.net/Books ... rmon_8.htm

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


Dharma Wheel (Mahayana / Vajrayana forum) -- Open flower ~ Open book (blog)
User avatar
retrofuturist
Site Admin
 
Posts: 14524
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 9:52 pm
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Re: Nibbana vs. annihilation?

Postby Alex123 » Mon Oct 11, 2010 11:41 pm

Hello Kenshou, Retro, all,

Kenshou wrote:I hesitate to take such passages 100% literally. Without craving/aversion/delusion, where is there a support for dukkha? (Besides of course the obligatory bodily pain.) I don't know, I'm not enlightened.


An Arahant/Buddha can still experience result (akusala vipāka) of PAST akusala kamma due to past craving/aversion/delusion. So result from past bad deeds can still occur for an Arahant even if that unwholesome action was performed aeons ago. The mind & body of an Arahant can still experience pain which is due to the fact of having a body and due to ripening of (akusala vipāka) .
Ultimately no kind of existence (having mind & body) is free from dukkha of one or the other type. Arahants are freed from all dukkha after death, while those below Arhatship are not.

The crux of where your perspective on this particular matter of nibbana vs annihilation seems to lie in your definition of existence, which you define as "presence of mind and/or body."

Can I ask a question in relation to that. Do this sentence mean to you...


Experientially there is no difference between atheistic death and PariNibbana, unless atheists think that death is falling into black nothingness. What the materialist atheist differ is in conceptual interpretation and lack of belief in rebirth. But Parinibbana is COMPLETE cessation with nothing remaning. It is just not death of a trully existing being, and it is not a bad event. It is a liberating and peaceful event for an Arahant as all that is lost is just pile of suffering.


I understand that for those who don't realize that all and any awareness/consciousness/experience is ultimately dukkha, the Buddha's teaching on Nibbāna can sound bleak. Even in His time he was criticized (by those who didn't understand) for teaching "anihhilationism".
I was not; I was; I am not; I do not care."
User avatar
Alex123
 
Posts: 2788
Joined: Wed Mar 10, 2010 11:32 pm

Re: Nibbana vs. annihilation?

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

Alex123 wrote:
gabrielbranbury wrote:
Alex123 wrote:Any kind of justification of existence after Parinibbana is simply clinging to existence, clinging to some thing that is mispercieved to be without dukkha.


Any justification of existence before Parinibbana is also either clinging to existence or non existence.

Metta


Gabe


There is no Arahat as an existing being to cease, right. There are only impersonal aggregates that can cease and never re-occur again. So in this sense, parinibbana is not anihhilation of an existing being. Just cessation of dukkha with no new dukkha appearing.



How can there be dukkha if there is no existing being? In what way do you think beings exist? In what way do the aggregates exist? Dependent Arising rolls on for better or for worse. The Dhamma is dependent arising. There is nothing which arises without influencing that which arises in its wake. Even cessation is influential in that it gives way. The cessation of the Buddha has influenced Billions of people. I think for the better. Through this influence we can see the Buddha. How do we see the Buddha? We see the Buddha by seeing Dependent Arising. When we see Dependent Arising We will see the Buddha. To See Dependent Arising is to spark off the progressive trend which is the cessation of greed hatred and delusion. Dependent Arising neither exists nor does not exist and yet we can see it.


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
User avatar
Prasadachitta
 
Posts: 973
Joined: Sat Jan 10, 2009 6:52 am
Location: San Francisco (The Mission) Ca USA

PreviousNext

Return to General Theravāda discussion

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Majestic-12 [Bot], MSN [Bot], purple planet and 8 guests