Nibbana vs. annihilation?

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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
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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
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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
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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.
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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.

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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
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Re: Nibbana vs. annihilation?

Postby Prasadachitta » Tue Oct 12, 2010 2:05 am

Vepacitta wrote:
(But don't piss Mama-Asura off ...)



Hey Now lets take it down a notch.... or three. ;)

I still agree with you.


Metta

Gabe
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Re: Nibbana vs. annihilation?

Postby Ben » Tue Oct 12, 2010 2:09 am

Hi Asura-GAL (Asura-grrl)

Vepacitta wrote:However, it has occurred to me that there is some exageration in the sutta pitika ( :jawdrop: I know!)

Do you really want to open that can-o-worms here? You really must be an Asura-grrl!

Vepacitta wrote: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.
Don't you think that the nature of reality becomes clear to those who actually practice the path? I know my flakey conception of nibbana that I held many many years ago is not the same view I hold now.

Vepacitta wrote:People tend to imbue people/things/concepts with their own projections - and I think that the authors of the suttas were no exception.
Well I tend to believe the compilers knew what they were talking about, they were certainly further along the path than I (or anyone else here is). But I do concede that there are some very sticky issues relating to language, meaning and context. But again,my answer to this is to actually continue to walk on the path and to study the ancient literature and the works of latter-day scholars and meditation masters and to not invest too heavily into one view or the other. The path is a path of discovery and the only way you can do that is if you let go.
kind regards

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Re: Nibbana vs. annihilation?

Postby Alex123 » Tue Oct 12, 2010 2:11 am

gabrielbranbury wrote:
"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


I was saying it all the time that as an existing being, Arhat doesn't exist. Thus there is no annihilationism because there is no one to be annihilated. However what we take for a person are just 5 aggregates or some of them. There is no 6th aggregate, and all 5 aggregates cease at Parinibbana without ANY remainder, except for the bodily remains (which turn to dust soon enough). None of what you've said support the idea of some sort of Parinibbanic experience, existence or consciousness there. And that what makes nibbana ultimate bliss. There is nothing there to be anicca or dukkha, unlike existence of 5 aggregates.

So the reason why Nibbana is not annihilation is because there is no one as trully existent Being to be annihilated, just a process that ceases and never reoccurs. However this doesn't mean that something eternally lives on. The process on which others could impute the conception of Arhat/Tathagata has completely ceased, and with it all awareness, all consciousness, all knowing, all doing has ceased.
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Re: Nibbana vs. annihilation?

Postby Vepacitta » Tue Oct 12, 2010 2:19 am

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


Me? I could give a damn - I don't care if people use conventional speech.


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Re: Nibbana vs. annihilation?

Postby retrofuturist » Tue Oct 12, 2010 2:54 am

Greetings Alex,

What is your opinion, from a Dhamma perspective...

Would we all be better off permanently dead?

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)


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One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


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Re: Nibbana vs. annihilation?

Postby mikenz66 » Tue Oct 12, 2010 2:55 am

Alex123 wrote:
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

I have to say that Ven Nyanatiloka's Dictionary definition of dukkha seems to agree with Alex on this point. While one might argue that an arahant does not suffer, or is not perturbed by the dukkha, (see the following post) it seems reasonably clear that an arahant experiences dukkha:
http://what-buddha-said.net/library/Bud ... htm#dukkha
Dukkha: 1 'pain', painful feeling, which may be bodily and mental see: vedanā

2 'Suffering', 'ill'. As the first of the Four Noble Truths see: sacca and the second of the three characteristics of existence see: ti-lakkhana the term dukkha is not limited to painful experience as under 1, but refers to the unsatisfactory nature and the general insecurity of all conditioned phenomena which, on account of their impermanence, are all liable to suffering, and this includes also pleasurable experience. Hence 'unsatisfactoriness' or 'liability to suffering' would be more adequate renderings, if not for stylistic reasons. Hence the first truth does not deny the existence of pleasurable experience, as is sometimes wrongly assumed. This is illustrated by the following texts:

;Seeking satisfaction in the world, Bhikkhus, I had pursued my way. That satisfaction in the world I found. In so far as satisfaction existed in the world, I have well perceived it by understanding. Seeking for misery in the world, Bhikkhus, I had pursued my way. That misery in the world I found. In so far as misery existed in the world, I have well perceived it by understanding. Seeking for the escape from the world, Bhikkhus, I had pursued my way. That escape from the world I found. In so far as an escape from the world existed, I have well perceived it by understanding; A. 111, 101.

;If there were no satisfaction to be found in the world, beings would not be attached to the world. If there were no misery to be found in the world, beings would not be repelled by the world. If there were no escape from the world, beings could not escape therefrom; A. 111, 102.

See dukkhatā For texts on the Truth of Suffering, see W. of B. and 'path'.

See The Three Basic Facts of Existence, II. Suffering WHEEL 191/193.

Mike
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Re: Nibbana vs. annihilation?

Postby mikenz66 » Tue Oct 12, 2010 2:57 am

PS:

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .nypo.html
"But in the case of a well-taught noble disciple, O monks, when he is touched by a painful feeling, he will not worry nor grieve and lament, he will not beat his breast and weep, nor will he be distraught. It is one kind of feeling he experiences, a bodily one, but not a mental feeling. It is as if a man were pierced by a dart, but was not hit by a second dart following the first one. So this person experiences feelings caused by a single dart only. It is similar with a well-taught noble disciple: when touched by a painful feeling, he will no worry nor grieve and lament, he will not beat his breast and weep, nor will he be distraught. He experiences one single feeling, a bodily one.


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Re: Nibbana vs. annihilation?

Postby beeblebrox » Tue Oct 12, 2010 2:59 am

I think what Gabe said is true. If there was no paṭicca-samuppāda, then the Buddha's gone. The four noble truths were based on it. If not for this, no one would've been able to follow his track. He's become trackless like the birds in the sky. He's extinguished.

I like this post (and I think this is really what made the Buddha a genius):

gabrielbranbury wrote:If Paṭicca-samuppāda did not remain then you and I would not be able to see it. I'm 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.
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Re: Nibbana vs. annihilation?

Postby retrofuturist » Tue Oct 12, 2010 3:05 am

Greetings,

mikenz66 wrote:While one might argue that an arahant does not suffer, or is not perturbed by the dukkha, (see the following post) it seems reasonably clear that an arahant experiences dukkha:
http://what-buddha-said.net/library/Bud ... htm#dukkha
Dukkha: 1 'pain', painful feeling, which may be bodily and mental see: vedanā

2 'Suffering', 'ill'. As the first of the Four Noble Truths see: sacca and the second of the three characteristics of existence see: ti-lakkhana the term dukkha is not limited to painful experience as under 1, but refers to the unsatisfactory nature and the general insecurity of all conditioned phenomena which, on account of their impermanence, are all liable to suffering, and this includes also pleasurable experience. Hence 'unsatisfactoriness' or 'liability to suffering' would be more adequate renderings, if not for stylistic reasons. Hence the first truth does not deny the existence of pleasurable experience, as is sometimes wrongly assumed.

As pointed out by Mike above, dukkha can have both narrow and broader meanings, each with significantly different implications... and it's important to identify which one is being used in each instance, and not mix-and-match them for the purposes of advocating a particular position.

As for the 2nd definition, I would argue that "general insecurity of all conditioned phenomena" is addressing "experienced phenomena" (i.e. dhammas, conditioned by ignorance... i.e. sankharas) and that it isn't some broad-brush ontological statement about the dissatisfactory nature of the objective universe (e.g. suns, televisions, fireworks, comic books)

As the Buddha says... sabbe sankhara anicca, sabbe sankhara dukkha, sabbe dhamma anatta. This is after all where the "three characteristics" (ti-lakkhana) of the commentarial tradition derive... but as the Buddha says (in SN 12.15 for example), "Now from the remainderless fading & cessation of that very ignorance comes the cessation of sankharas". So if ignorance ceases, and sankharas cease in turn, what justification is there for saying an arahant experiences dukkha (of the 2nd definiton)?

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)


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One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


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Re: Nibbana vs. annihilation?

Postby David N. Snyder » Tue Oct 12, 2010 3:13 am

mikenz66 wrote:http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .nypo.html
"But in the case of a well-taught noble disciple, O monks, when he is touched by a painful feeling, he will not worry nor grieve and lament, he will not beat his breast and weep, nor will he be distraught. It is one kind of feeling he experiences, a bodily one, but not a mental feeling. It is as if a man were pierced by a dart, but was not hit by a second dart following the first one. So this person experiences feelings caused by a single dart only. It is similar with a well-taught noble disciple: when touched by a painful feeling, he will no worry nor grieve and lament, he will not beat his breast and weep, nor will he be distraught. He experiences one single feeling, a bodily one.



Pain exists, suffering is optional.

The Buddha did not deny the existence of pain, but he did not react to physical pain with craving or aversion. He did not suffer, even while still alive.
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Re: Nibbana vs. annihilation?

Postby Vepacitta » Tue Oct 12, 2010 3:16 am

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings Alex,

What is your opinion, from a Dhamma perspective...

Would we all be better off permanently dead?

Metta,
Retro. :)


Ajahn Chah used to say that people should cry at births and celebrate at funerals.

And sometimes, life ain't what's it's cracked up to be Retro - some people might enjoy being permanently dead - annhilated - no pain. I could understand that. It's not a popular view - one is supposed to 'want life' - but it is a view of some - and not that odd if you really think about how life can be.,

Just my thoughts from atop Mt. Meru.

V.

And as Jim Morrison always said - "No one gets out of here alive" - I find that comforting in a way - God knows why ... :thinking:
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Re: Nibbana vs. annihilation?

Postby Jason » Tue Oct 12, 2010 3:54 am

Alex123 wrote:Are you saying that consciousness-aggregate exist in Nibbana, and it takes an "object"?


No, that's not what I'm saying.
"Sabbe dhamma nalam abhinivesaya" (AN 7.58).

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Re: Nibbana vs. annihilation?

Postby Prasadachitta » Tue Oct 12, 2010 4:39 am

Alex123 wrote:I was saying it all the time that as an existing being, Arhat doesn't exist. Thus there is no annihilationism because there is no one to be annihilated. However what we take for a person are just 5 aggregates or some of them. There is no 6th aggregate, and all 5 aggregates cease at Parinibbana without ANY remainder, except for the bodily remains (which turn to dust soon enough). None of what you've said support the idea of some sort of Parinibbanic experience, existence or consciousness there. And that what makes nibbana ultimate bliss. There is nothing there to be anicca or dukkha, unlike existence of 5 aggregates.

So the reason why Nibbana is not annihilation is because there is no one as trully existent Being to be annihilated, just a process that ceases and never reoccurs. However this doesn't mean that something eternally lives on. The process on which others could impute the conception of Arhat/Tathagata has completely ceased, and with it all awareness, all consciousness, all knowing, all doing has ceased.


Hello Alex,
"I was saying it all the time that as an existing being, Arhat doesn't exist."

According to the Suttas it is not appropriate to say that an Arhat doesn't exist.
"However what we take for a person are just 5 aggregates or some of them."

And yet you continue to identify the awakened one with the aggregates.
"So the reason why Nibbana is not annihilation is because there is no one as trully existent Being to be annihilated, just a process that ceases and never reoccurs."

Here you are saying that the Awakened one does not exist.
"The process on which others could impute the conception of Arhat/Tathagata has completely ceased,"

Indeed one could make such an imputation which is what you are implicitly doing.





Then King Pasenadi Kosala went to the bhikkhuni Khema and, on arrival, having bowed down to her, sat to one side. As he was sitting there he said to her, "Now then, lady, does the Tathagata exist after death?"

"That, great king, has not been declared by the Blessed One: 'The Tathagata exists after death.'"

"Well then, lady, does the Tathagata not exist after death?"

"Great king, that too has not been declared by the Blessed One: 'The Tathagata does not exist after death.'"

"Then does the Tathagata both exist and not exist after death?"

"That has not been declared by the Blessed One: 'The Tathagata both exists and does not exist after death.'"

"Well then, does the Tathagata neither exist nor not exist after death?"

"That too has not been declared by the Blessed One: 'The Tathagata neither exists nor does not exist after death.'"

"Now, lady, when asked if the Tathagata exists after death, you say, 'That has not been declared by the Blessed One: "The Tathagata exists after death."' When asked if the Tathagata does not exist after death... both exists and does not exist after death... neither exists nor does not exist after death, you say, 'That too has not been declared by the Blessed One: "The Tathagata neither exists nor does not exist after death."' Now, what is the cause, what is the reason, why that has not been declared by the Blessed One?"

"Very well, then, great king, I will question you in return about this very same matter. Answer as you see fit. What do you think great king: Do you have an accountant or actuary or mathematician who can count the grains of sand in the river Ganges as 'so many grains of sand' or 'so many hundreds of grains of sand' or 'so many thousands of grains of sand' or 'so many hundreds of thousands of grains of sand'?"

"No, lady."

"Then do you have an accountant or calculator or mathematician who can count the water in the great ocean as 'so many buckets of water' or 'so many hundreds of buckets of water' or 'so many thousands of buckets of water' or 'so many hundreds of thousands of buckets of water'?"

"No, lady. Why is that? The great ocean is deep, boundless, hard to fathom."

"Even so, great king, any physical form by which one describing the Tathagata would describe him: That the Tathagata has abandoned, its root destroyed, made like a palmyra stump, deprived of the conditions of development, not destined for future arising. Freed from the classification of form, great king, the Tathagata is deep, boundless, hard to fathom, like the ocean. 'The Tathagata exists after death' doesn't apply. 'The Tathagata doesn't exist after death doesn't apply. 'The Tathagata both exists and doesn't exist after death' doesn't apply. 'The Tathagata neither exists nor doesn't exist after death' doesn't apply.
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/sn/sn44/sn44.001.than.html

Now, If the Blessed one will say nothing of the postmortem status of an arahat, why is it that you are so flippant about doing it. I believe this is a serious issue which we should leave to the record of the word of the Buddha and not deduce what he himself would say nothing about.

Metta

Gabe
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Re: Nibbana vs. annihilation?

Postby Sylvester » Tue Oct 12, 2010 7:29 am

Dear All

Might it be possible that the notion that a Buddha does not experience dukkha (as in the 1st Noble Truth Dukkha) is premised on the understanding that with the cessation of avijja etc etc, dukkha also ceases?

Let's take a look at the shortform expression of Dependant Origination, ie Idappaccayata -

When this is, that is. From the arising of this, that arises.
When this is not, that is not. From the ceasing of this, that ceases.

Imasmim sati, idam hoti. Imass uppadadam uppajjati.
Imasmim asati, idam na hoti. Imassa nirodha, idam nirujjhati


The highlighted text are expressed in the Pali locative absolute. While this can admit of the temporal conjunction of "this" and "that", the locative absolute also allows "this" to precede "that" by any amount of time, even lifetimes. So, the cessation of avijja etc as an instance of Dependant Cessation can produce its result - the cessation of dukkha - much later.

While dukkha is understood as including physical pains etc, the 1st Noble Truth does summarise dukkha in broader terms by identifying dukkha with the "5 clinging aggregates". As I understand it, an Arahant has stopped clinging. And I understand MN 44's distinction between "clinging" and "the 5 clinging aggregates" to suggest that they are not the same thing, even if they cannot be apart. Does this imply that an Arahant's aggregates are the non-clinging variety? If so, dukkha in the form of the 5 clinging aggregates will have ceased for the Arahant, but what about the preceding definition of dukkha wrt physical pain etc?
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