the great Nibbana = annihilation, eternal, or something else thread

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism
User avatar
retrofuturist
Site Admin
Posts: 16758
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 9:52 pm
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Re: Nibbana vs. annihilation?

Postby retrofuturist » Tue Oct 12, 2010 12:32 am

Greetings Alex,

Alex123 wrote: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".

Given that you're relating to dukkha as one of the three characteristics of existence (even though not using the actual term), your definition of existence as "presence of mind and/or body" remains the crux of the apparent disagreement... and why, by your logic, dukkha cannot be transcended, short of the death of an arahant.

I concur with Gabe when he said, "You are doing a serious disservice to the Dhamma in my opinion." by positing that the highest goal in the Dhamma is the ability to be permanently dead.

Metta,
Retro. :)
"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

User avatar
Prasadachitta
Posts: 974
Joined: Sat Jan 10, 2009 6:52 am
Location: San Francisco (The Mission) Ca USA
Contact:

Re: Nibbana vs. annihilation?

Postby Prasadachitta » Tue Oct 12, 2010 12:35 am

Can you please explain exactly what you disagree with and why?

Are you saying that something remains after parinibbāna?


It depends on how you characterize "somthing". Certainly Paṭicca-samuppāda remains.
"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
retrofuturist
Site Admin
Posts: 16758
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 9:52 pm
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Re: Nibbana vs. annihilation?

Postby retrofuturist » Tue Oct 12, 2010 12:39 am

Greetings Gabriel,

gabrielbranbury wrote:Certainly Paṭicca-samuppāda remains.

I disagree and would be interested in your reasons.

My understanding is that once ignorance is uprooted, everything which depended upon it ceases.

Without ignorance to sustain the sequence (as per the arahant), how does paṭicca-samuppāda remain?

Are you speaking more broadly in terms of cause-and-effect? I suspect there may be some variety of Mahayana interpretation leaking into what you're saying here... since some Vajrayanists in particular, seem to attribute the ontological existence of everything in the universe (the sun, stars and moon etc.) to dependent origination. This over-extension of the principle was refuted by the Theravadins in the Points Of Controversy.

Metta,
Retro. :)
"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

User avatar
Vepacitta
Posts: 299
Joined: Tue May 18, 2010 3:58 pm
Location: Somewhere on the slopes of Mt. Meru

Re: Nibbana vs. annihilation?

Postby Vepacitta » Tue Oct 12, 2010 12:44 am

I think people should think twice before they accuse others of having pernicious views ...

No one on this thread is the ultimate expositor of Buddha-Dhamma.

From your cranky neighbourhood Asura,

V.

NB - and yes, even Arahants can experience the 'blow-back' from past kamma - some of which is unpleasant - but they don't attach to it as a 'self' - unlike you or I would. But, using conventional speech - which is certified as okely dokely by the Tathagata himself to speak in - the 'Arahant' - 'him' or 'herself' experiences that vipaka-kamma.

The Buddha also felt pain - read the parinibbana sutta - 'he' was in 'agony' - why? he had a body and he was quite ill. But he didn't attach to it - unlike you or I probably would. It was just 'the felt' of the heaps - not 'O Christ, my guts are killing me - why me?'

Realisation of nibbana doesn't mean one is 'super-monk' or 'super-monketta'

Crankily yours,

Vepacitta Asura :x
I'm your friendly, neighbourhood Asura

User avatar
Prasadachitta
Posts: 974
Joined: Sat Jan 10, 2009 6:52 am
Location: San Francisco (The Mission) Ca USA
Contact:

Re: Nibbana vs. annihilation?

Postby Prasadachitta » Tue Oct 12, 2010 12:52 am

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings Gabriel,

gabrielbranbury wrote:Certainly Paṭicca-samuppāda remains.

I disagree and would be interested in your reasons.

My understanding is that once ignorance is uprooted, everything which depended upon it ceases.

Without ignorance to sustain the sequence (as per the arahant), how does paṭicca-samuppāda remain?

Are you speaking more broadly in terms of cause-and-effect? I suspect there may be some variety of Mahayana interpretation leaking into what you're saying here... since some Vajrayanists in particular, seem to attribute the ontological existence of everything in the universe (the sun, stars and moon etc.) to dependent origination. This over-extension of the principle was refuted by the Theravadins in the Points Of Controversy.

Metta,
Retro. :)


Hello Retro,

If Paṭicca-samuppāda did not remain then you and I would not be able to see it. Im really not saying anything special. The influence of the Buddha is characterized by a movement towards liberation. If this is not the case it is not the influence of the Buddha. The Buddha identified himself with Paṭicca-samuppāda. He did this out of compassion as he understood that we would want to know him more intimately. To know him intimately is to know Paṭicca-samuppāda. To see Paṭicca-samuppāda is to naturally move toward liberation.

The Mahayana in my opinion is often trying to express this. Not without being very confusing in the process I might add.

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
retrofuturist
Site Admin
Posts: 16758
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 9:52 pm
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Re: Nibbana vs. annihilation?

Postby retrofuturist » Tue Oct 12, 2010 12:54 am

Greetings Gabe,

I understand what you mean - the abstracted structural principle remains true in the universe for (unenlightened) sentient beings.

When Alex asked, "Are you saying that something remains after parinibbāna?", I'm pretty sure he was asking in terms of the "continuity" of the "person".

Metta,
Retro. :)
"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

User avatar
Prasadachitta
Posts: 974
Joined: Sat Jan 10, 2009 6:52 am
Location: San Francisco (The Mission) Ca USA
Contact:

Re: Nibbana vs. annihilation?

Postby Prasadachitta » Tue Oct 12, 2010 12:55 am

Vepacitta wrote:I think people should think twice before they accuse others of having pernicious views ...

No one on this thread is the ultimate expositor of Buddha-Dhamma.

From your cranky neighbourhood Asura,

V.

NB - and yes, even Arahants can experience the 'blow-back' from past kamma - some of which is unpleasant - but they don't attach to it as a 'self' - unlike you or I would. But, using conventional speech - which is certified as okely dokely by the Tathagata himself to speak in - the 'Arahant' - 'him' or 'herself' experiences that vipaka-kamma.

The Buddha also felt pain - read the parinibbana sutta - 'he' was in 'agony' - why? he had a body and he was quite ill. But he didn't attach to it - unlike you or I probably would. It was just 'the felt' of the heaps - not 'O Christ, my guts are killing me - why me?'

Realisation of nibbana doesn't mean one is 'super-monk' or 'super-monketta'

Crankily yours,

Vepacitta Asura :x


Thank you for your criticism Vepscitta. I did think twice about it and chose to do it anyway. It was out of concern and I know I am not the "ultimate expositor of Buddha-Dhamma". My purpose is not to offend.

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: 974
Joined: Sat Jan 10, 2009 6:52 am
Location: San Francisco (The Mission) Ca USA
Contact:

Re: Nibbana vs. annihilation?

Postby Prasadachitta » Tue Oct 12, 2010 1:07 am

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings Gabe,

I understand what you mean - the abstracted structural principle remains true in the universe for (unenlightened) sentient beings.

When Alex asked, "Are you saying that something remains after parinibbāna?", I'm pretty sure he was asking in terms of the "continuity" of the "person".

Metta,
Retro. :)


Yes I am pretty sure he was asking in those terms as well. However, this is no ordinary person. This is a person who's personality is in perfect alignment with Paṭicca-samuppāda. So much so that the only way to have any idea of that personality and its "continuity" is to also know and see Paṭicca-samuppāda for yourself. It is my opinion that the Buddha wanted the terms which discuss his "continuity" to be dealt with in this manner.

I am happy at the thought. :bow:

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
Ben
Posts: 18442
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 12:49 am
Location: kanamaluka

Re: Nibbana vs. annihilation?

Postby Ben » Tue Oct 12, 2010 1:25 am

Greetings Asura-girl!

Vepacitta wrote:NB - and yes, even Arahants can experience the 'blow-back' from past kamma - some of which is unpleasant - but they don't attach to it as a 'self' - unlike you or I would. But, using conventional speech - which is certified as okely dokely by the Tathagata himself to speak in - the 'Arahant' - 'him' or 'herself' experiences that vipaka-kamma.

The Buddha also felt pain - read the parinibbana sutta - 'he' was in 'agony' - why? he had a body and he was quite ill. But he didn't attach to it - unlike you or I probably would. It was just 'the felt' of the heaps - not 'O Christ, my guts are killing me - why me?'


Absolutely no argument with you there. The issue seems to be whether arahants endure suffering until death. Is painful sensation suffering? Absolutely not - its certainly not my understanding and from my reading of your post, it isn't yours either.

Asura-girl wrote:Realisation of nibbana doesn't mean one is 'super-monk' or 'super-monketta'

Ah well,to be in the words of John Dunne, a 'pedantic wretch', I would say that would depend on what you meant by 'super-monk' and 'super-monketta'. If one had full realization (arahant) or even one of the three lower ariyan attainments, I reckon it would be grounds for super-hood.
kind regards

Ben
“No lists of things to be done. The day providential to itself. The hour. There is no later. This is later. All things of grace and beauty such that one holds them to one's heart have a common provenance in pain. Their birth in grief and ashes.”
- Cormac McCarthy, The Road

Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.
- Sutta Nipata 3.725

Compassionate Hands Foundation (Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • Buddhist Global ReliefUNHCR

e: ben.dhammawheel@gmail.com..

User avatar
Alex123
Posts: 3475
Joined: Wed Mar 10, 2010 11:32 pm

Re: Nibbana vs. annihilation?

Postby Alex123 » Tue Oct 12, 2010 1:42 am

retrofuturist wrote:
When Alex asked, "Are you saying that something remains after parinibbāna?", I'm pretty sure he was asking in terms of the "continuity" of the "person".


Right. Parinibbana is the end.

Ben wrote:The issue seems to be whether arahants endure suffering until death. Is painful sensation suffering? Absolutely not


Sabbe saṅkhārā dukkhā’’ti , All formations are dukkhā. Dhp 278

Is dukkha-vedanā, dukkha?


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.
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... tml#fnt-41



The fact is that even the Buddha has experienced dukkha to some degree.
"Life is a struggle. Life will throw curveballs at you, it will humble you, it will attempt to break you down. And just when you think things are starting to look up, life will smack you back down with ruthless indifference..."

User avatar
Ben
Posts: 18442
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 12:49 am
Location: kanamaluka

Re: Nibbana vs. annihilation?

Postby Ben » Tue Oct 12, 2010 1:45 am

Alex123 wrote:The fact is that even the Buddha has experienced dukkha to some degree.


Actually, Alex,its just your interpretation based on selective reading.
“No lists of things to be done. The day providential to itself. The hour. There is no later. This is later. All things of grace and beauty such that one holds them to one's heart have a common provenance in pain. Their birth in grief and ashes.”
- Cormac McCarthy, The Road

Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.
- Sutta Nipata 3.725

Compassionate Hands Foundation (Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • Buddhist Global ReliefUNHCR

e: ben.dhammawheel@gmail.com..

User avatar
Vepacitta
Posts: 299
Joined: Tue May 18, 2010 3:58 pm
Location: Somewhere on the slopes of Mt. Meru

Re: Nibbana vs. annihilation?

Postby Vepacitta » Tue Oct 12, 2010 1:46 am

Gabe - one cannot impute a personality onto the Tathagata- a Tathagata has no personality to be aligned anywhere. There is no being there.

V.

NB - Ben- the super monk (monketta is my derivation thereof) is something my teacher said about how the suttas display the 'steely' qualities of monks, especially the Buddha. "But not SUPERMONK!" (then imagine a skinny Buddhist monk flexing his biceps. It was pretty funny). However, it has occurred to me that there is some exageration in the sutta pitika ( :jawdrop: I know!) And it has also occurred to me that 'us beings here' tend to have a perniciously exagerrated view of what 'the quenching' (nibbana) really is. People tend to imbue people/things/concepts with their own projections - and I think that the authors of the suttas were no exception. And we, the readers are no exceptions - and so - I like to take things down a peg, or two, or maybe even ... three.

Just my thoughts on the matter -

o and it's Asura-GAL to you!

V.
I'm your friendly, neighbourhood Asura

User avatar
Alex123
Posts: 3475
Joined: Wed Mar 10, 2010 11:32 pm

Re: Nibbana vs. annihilation?

Postby Alex123 » Tue Oct 12, 2010 1:49 am

gabrielbranbury wrote:
Can you please explain exactly what you disagree with and why?

Are you saying that something remains after parinibbāna?


It depends on how you characterize "somthing". Certainly Paṭicca-samuppāda remains.


First you mean the one that starts with ignorance and ends with dukkha? Or do you mean the Upanisa one?

Even "khayeñāṇa" (knowledge of destruction ) doesn't remain when parinibbāna occurs. How could "khayeñāṇa" remain if all consciousness ceases, and no new consciousness (which would be required for any knowledge/experience) arises?
"Life is a struggle. Life will throw curveballs at you, it will humble you, it will attempt to break you down. And just when you think things are starting to look up, life will smack you back down with ruthless indifference..."

User avatar
tiltbillings
Posts: 23012
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 9:25 am

Re: Nibbana vs. annihilation?

Postby tiltbillings » Tue Oct 12, 2010 1:50 am

Vepacitta wrote:Gabe - one cannot impute a personality onto the Tathagata- a Tathagata has no personality to be aligned anywhere. There is no being there.
Let us not forget that tathagata is also a descriptive term for an arahant. Arahants, as we see them in the Pali suttas, do not have distinct personalities?
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond. -- SN I, 38.

“Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?” HPatDH p.723

      >> Do you see a man wise [enlightened/ariya] in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him.<<
      -- Proverbs 26:12

User avatar
Alex123
Posts: 3475
Joined: Wed Mar 10, 2010 11:32 pm

Re: Nibbana vs. annihilation?

Postby Alex123 » Tue Oct 12, 2010 1:53 am

Ben wrote:
Alex123 wrote:The fact is that even the Buddha has experienced dukkha to some degree.


Actually, Alex,its just your interpretation based on selective reading.



How do you explain DN16 talk on Buddha's illness? How do you explain that all saṅkhārā are dukkhā?


Bodily pain is classified as being included in 1st NT of Dukkha.

[a] "Now what is the noble truth of stress? Birth is stressful, aging is stressful, death is stressful; sorrow, lamentation, pain, distress, & despair are stressful; association with the unbeloved is stressful; separation from the loved is stressful; not getting what one wants is stressful. In short, the five clinging-aggregates are stressful.

"And what is pain? Whatever is experienced as bodily pain, bodily discomfort, pain or discomfort born of bodily contact, that is called pain.
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
"Life is a struggle. Life will throw curveballs at you, it will humble you, it will attempt to break you down. And just when you think things are starting to look up, life will smack you back down with ruthless indifference..."

User avatar
Prasadachitta
Posts: 974
Joined: Sat Jan 10, 2009 6:52 am
Location: San Francisco (The Mission) Ca USA
Contact:

Re: Nibbana vs. annihilation?

Postby Prasadachitta » Tue Oct 12, 2010 1:53 am

Vepacitta wrote:Gabe - one cannot impute a personality onto the Tathagata- a Tathagata has no personality to be aligned anywhere. There is no being there.

V.

NB - Ben- the super monk (monketta is my derivation thereof) is something my teacher said about how the suttas display the 'steely' qualities of monks, especially the Buddha. "But not SUPERMONK!" (then imagine a skinny Buddhist monk flexing his biceps. It was pretty funny). However, it has occurred to me that there is some exageration in the sutta pitika ( :jawdrop: I know!) And it has also occurred to me that 'us beings here' tend to have a perniciously exagerrated view of what 'the quenching' (nibbana) really is. People tend to imbue people/things/concepts with their own projections - and I think that the authors of the suttas were no exception. And we, the readers are no exceptions - and so - I like to take things down a peg, or two, or maybe even ... three.

Just my thoughts on the matter -

o and it's Asura-GAL to you!

V.


I agree Vepacitta. However the closest the Buddha came to allowing himself to be identified was to Identify with Paṭicca-samuppāda. This is of course not a personality in any sense which we understand 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: 974
Joined: Sat Jan 10, 2009 6:52 am
Location: San Francisco (The Mission) Ca USA
Contact:

Re: Nibbana vs. annihilation?

Postby Prasadachitta » Tue Oct 12, 2010 1:57 am

Alex123 wrote:
gabrielbranbury wrote:
Can you please explain exactly what you disagree with and why?

Are you saying that something remains after parinibbāna?


It depends on how you characterize "somthing". Certainly Paṭicca-samuppāda remains.


First you mean the one that starts with ignorance and ends with dukkha? Or do you mean the Upanisa one?

Even "khayeñāṇa" (knowledge of destruction ) doesn't remain when parinibbāna occurs. How could "khayeñāṇa" remain if all consciousness ceases, and no new consciousness (which would be required for any knowledge/experience) arises?


I mean the one that starts with ignorance and ends with Knowledge of the destruction of the asavas . One contains the other.

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
Alex123
Posts: 3475
Joined: Wed Mar 10, 2010 11:32 pm

Re: Nibbana vs. annihilation?

Postby Alex123 » Tue Oct 12, 2010 2:00 am

gabrielbranbury wrote:I mean the one that starts with ignorance and ends with Knowledge of the destruction of the asavas . One contains the other.

Metta

Gabe



Can it exist without any aggregates? Even if it did, how wouldm'y it contradict the

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). Ven. BB Trans.

No mention of any law remaining for that Arhat.
"Life is a struggle. Life will throw curveballs at you, it will humble you, it will attempt to break you down. And just when you think things are starting to look up, life will smack you back down with ruthless indifference..."

User avatar
Vepacitta
Posts: 299
Joined: Tue May 18, 2010 3:58 pm
Location: Somewhere on the slopes of Mt. Meru

Re: Nibbana vs. annihilation?

Postby Vepacitta » Tue Oct 12, 2010 2:01 am

Boys, boys, boys!

The Buddha certainly did experience Dukkha - why, it freaked him out soooooo much that he ran away from home, undertook "spiritual" practises (g'head - ask me to define that - g'wan - I double-dog dares ya to), finally discerned the Dhamma, realised nibbana, set the wheel a rollin', and taught 'dukkha', it's origin, cessation and way to cessation to others.

Now, upon the Tathagata's awakening, he certainly didn't go on 'samara-ing' - making more dukkha for himself. He understood that anything conditioned was ultimaely aniccam, dukkham, anatman - so in that sense - one could say that he 'experienced' dukkha until he died - because when 'one' is alive - conditioned shit happens all the damn time. However, as I just said, (SUPERMONK - sorry couldn't resist!) the Tathagata knew that conditioned things were dukkha - suffering, unsatisfactory - why? because he understood dukkha - it's origin, its cessation and the path leading to cessation - soooooooooooooooooooo,

in that sense - the Tathagata no longer experienced dukkha whilst alive ...

As it were ...

Now, let's all wash our hands and have some ice cream...

Maternally yours from Mt. Meru,

V.

(But don't piss Mama-Asura off ...)
I'm your friendly, neighbourhood Asura

User avatar
Prasadachitta
Posts: 974
Joined: Sat Jan 10, 2009 6:52 am
Location: San Francisco (The Mission) Ca USA
Contact:

Re: Nibbana vs. annihilation?

Postby Prasadachitta » Tue Oct 12, 2010 2:02 am

"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'?"

"Previously, my friend Sariputta, I did foolishly hold that evil supposition. But now, having heard your explanation of the Dhamma, I have abandoned that evil supposition, and have broken through to the Dhamma."


http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/sn/sn22/sn22.085.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


Return to “General Theravāda discussion”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: apophenia, Caodemarte, Coëmgenu, dhammapal, WoodsyLadyM and 28 guests

Google Saffron, Theravada Search Engine