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

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Re: Nibbana vs. annihilation?

Postby retrofuturist » Sat Oct 23, 2010 6:56 am

Greetings,

5heaps wrote:are you a nihilist such that you want to deny that things exist?

Once again, the propensity to cling to the polarity of existence and non-existence and not see a middle way in-between them astounds me. Why must it be one extreme or the other?

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)

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Re: Nibbana vs. annihilation?

Postby tiltbillings » Sat Oct 23, 2010 6:59 am

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings,

5heaps wrote:are you a nihilist such that you want to deny that things exist?

Once again, the propensity to cling to the polarity of existence and non-existence and not see a middle way in-between them astounds me. Why must it be one extreme or the other?

Metta,
Retro. :)
Because he is dealling, from his point of view, with a hinayana school as defined by the Tibetan tenet systems, and according to that view the hinayana - read Theravada - is still locked, albeit, subtly into the notions of existence and non-existence.
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

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Re: Nibbana vs. annihilation?

Postby retrofuturist » Sat Oct 23, 2010 7:07 am

Greetings Tilt,

Oh, so it's more of them defining us... sure brings back the memories.

:spy:

5heaps - Please be mindful you are in the General Theravada forum... not the Hinayana forum.

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)

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Re: Nibbana vs. annihilation?

Postby 5heaps » Sat Oct 23, 2010 7:13 am

tiltbillings wrote:"On the contrary, before their rise [the bases, aayatana] they had no individual essence [sabhaava], and after their fall their individual essence are completely dissolved. And they occur without mastery [being exercisable over them] since they exist in dependence on conditions and in between the past and the future." Visuddhimagga (PP) page 551 XV 15. This certainly not what the Sarvastivadins teach. Dhammas lack a self-existing sabhava, and quite frankly, sabhava for the Theravadins, is simply one way of talking about the interdependent nature of dhammas.

Since you quote nothing to support your position, I am not taking what you say here as being indicative of the Sarvastivadin position, especially since in runs counter to everything I have quoted.
i have no idea about the Nagarjuna quote. with regard to the Sarvastivadin position though, they themselves define the past and future as dependent, and momentary, like every other object. we have to accept that much. perhaps from that point, your scholars have found some kind of subtle grasping to an enduring essence implicit in their system, but ive never heard it (Vasubhandhu is famous historically for being one of the rare logicians who had enough mastery that he could distinguish between all of the vaibhashika schools - something extraordinarily difficult).

retrofuturist wrote:Once again, the propensity to cling to the polarity of existence and non-existence and not see a middle way in-between them astounds me. Why must it be one extreme or the other?
theyre not extremes, theyre valid dichotomies. valid and invalid, existent or nonexistent, etc. theres no middle way between such things -- you cant be half-existent and half-nonexistent.

the question is which does svabhava refer to, something existent, or something nonexistence. obviously if a person understands svabhava to refer to the object of negation (ie. atta, ignorance, etc) then such a thing is nonexistent -- it doesnt refer to anything real. then if i understand svabhava to refer to an essential nature, it has to validly exist.
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Re: Nibbana vs. annihilation?

Postby tiltbillings » Sat Oct 23, 2010 7:25 am

5heaps wrote:
Since you quote nothing to support your position, I am not taking what you say here as being indicative of the Sarvastivadin position, especially since in runs counter to everything I have quoted.
i have no idea about the Nagarjuna quote.
It is a legitimate and accurate quote, not taken out of context and it is appropriate to the teachings of the suttas and the Theravadin Abhidhamma Pitaka texts..

with regard to the Sarvastivadin position though, they themselves define the past and future as dependent, and momentary, like every other object.
You have quoted nothing to support your position.

What the Sarvastivadins taught or did not teach is not of importance to the discussion in this section, AND it is not appropriate to read Sarvastivadin stuff into the Theravada, which is what you have been doing and which you have been arguing for.

You cannot be telling Theravadins what is true about their teachings based upon non-Theravadins sources.
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

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Re: Nibbana vs. annihilation?

Postby retrofuturist » Sat Oct 23, 2010 7:26 am

Greetings,

Regrettably it feels like every 2nd post is pretty much the same, but this so blatantly cries out for a dose of SN 12.15, that here it comes...

retrofuturist wrote:Once again, the propensity to cling to the polarity of existence and non-existence and not see a middle way in-between them astounds me. Why must it be one extreme or the other?


5heaps wrote:theyre not extremes, theyre valid dichotomies. valid and invalid, existent or nonexistent, etc. theres no middle way between such things -- you cant be half-existent and half-nonexistent.


SN 12.15: Kaccayanagotta Sutta
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html

Dwelling at Savatthi... Then Ven. Kaccayana Gotta approached the Blessed One and, on arrival, having bowed down, sat to one side. As he was sitting there he said to the Blessed One: "Lord, 'Right view, right view,' it is said. To what extent is there right view?"

"By & large, Kaccayana, this world is supported by (takes as its object) a polarity, that of existence & non-existence. But when one sees the origination of the world as it actually is with right discernment, 'non-existence' with reference to the world does not occur to one. When one sees the cessation of the world as it actually is with right discernment, 'existence' with reference to the world does not occur to one.

"By & large, Kaccayana, this world is in bondage to attachments, clingings (sustenances), & biases. But one such as this does not get involved with or cling to these attachments, clingings, fixations of awareness, biases, or obsessions; nor is he resolved on 'my self.' He has no uncertainty or doubt that just stress, when arising, is arising; stress, when passing away, is passing away. In this, his knowledge is independent of others. It's to this extent, Kaccayana, that there is right view.

"'Everything exists': That is one extreme. 'Everything doesn't exist': That is a second extreme. Avoiding these two extremes, the Tathagata teaches the Dhamma via the middle: From ignorance as a requisite condition come fabrications. From fabrications as a requisite condition comes consciousness. From consciousness as a requisite condition comes name-&-form. From name-&-form as a requisite condition come the six sense media. From the six sense media as a requisite condition comes contact. From contact as a requisite condition comes feeling. From feeling as a requisite condition comes craving. From craving as a requisite condition comes clinging/sustenance. From clinging/sustenance as a requisite condition comes becoming. From becoming as a requisite condition comes birth. From birth as a requisite condition, then aging & death, sorrow, lamentation, pain, distress, & despair come into play. Such is the origination of this entire mass of stress & suffering.

"Now from the remainderless fading & cessation of that very ignorance comes the cessation of fabrications. From the cessation of fabrications comes the cessation of consciousness. From the cessation of consciousness comes the cessation of name-&-form. From the cessation of name-&-form comes the cessation of the six sense media. From the cessation of the six sense media comes the cessation of contact. From the cessation of contact comes the cessation of feeling. From the cessation of feeling comes the cessation of craving. From the cessation of craving comes the cessation of clinging/sustenance. From the cessation of clinging/sustenance comes the cessation of becoming. From the cessation of becoming comes the cessation of birth. From the cessation of birth, then aging & death, sorrow, lamentation, pain, distress, & despair all cease. Such is the cessation of this entire mass of stress & suffering."


And just because I don't fancy only referencing SN 12.15, here's SN 12.65 as well...

SN 12.65: Nagara Sutta
http://www.metta.lk/tipitaka/2Sutta-Pit ... ggo-e.html

1. I heard thus. At one time the Blessed One lived in the monastery offered by Anàthapiõóika in Jeta's grove in Sàvatthi.

2. ßMonks, when I was not yet enlightened, when I was an aspirant for enlightenment, this thought occurred to me: `The worldling is in misery. Born he decays, dies, passes away and is born again. He does not know an escape from this misery. When will an escape from this misery of decay and death be evident?'

3. ßThen, monks, it occurred to me-`With the presence of what and on account of what, is decay and death?'

4. ßI reflected this thoroughly and wisdom and realization dawned on me, the presence of birth and on account of birth there is decay and death.

5. Then, monks, it occurred to me, `With the presence of what and on account of what, is birth, ... re ... being, ... re ... holding, ... re ... craving, ... re ... feelings, ... re ... contacts, ... re ... six spheres, ... re ... name and matter?'

6. ßI reflected this thoroughly and wisdom and realization dawned on me, the presence of consciousness on account of consciousness there is name and matter.

7. ßThen monks, it occurred to me, `With the presence of what and on account of what, is consciousness?'

8. ßI reflected this thoroughly and wisdom and realization dawned on me, when there is name and matter there is consciousness.

9. ßMonks, then it occurred to me, `This consciousness turns back from name and matter, does not go beyond. It's only this much, whether it is to diminish, to be produced, to die, to go away or to be born. That is, on account of name and matter is consciousness and on account of consciousness is name and matter. On account of name and matter are the six spheres and on account of the six spheres are contacts.'

ßThus is the arising, of the complete mass of unpleasantness.

10. ßThen knowledge, wisdom and light arose to me never heard before, as this is the arising.

11. ßThen monks, it occurred to me with the absence of what and the cessation of what is the cessation of decay and death.

12. ßThen monks, when I thought and wisely considered, wisdom and realization dawned on me, the absence of birth is absence of decay and death. The cessation of birth is the cessation of decay and death.

13. ßThen monks, it occurred to me with the absence of what is the absence of, birth, ... re ... being, ... re ... holding, ... re ... craving, ... re ... feelings, ... re ... contacts, ... re ... six spheres, ... re ... name and matter and with the cessation of what is the cessation of name and matter?

14. ßThen, monks, when I thought and wisely considered, wisdom and realization dawned on me, with the absence of consciousness there is no name and matter. The cessation of consciousness is the cessation of name and matter.

15. ßThen monks, it occurred to me with the absence of what and the cessation of what is the cessation of consciousness?

16. ßThen, monks, when I thought and wisely considered, wisdom and realization dawned on me, the absence of name and matter is absence of consciousness. The cessation of name and matter is the cessation of consciousness.

17. ßThen monks, it occurred to me: I have found the path for enlightenment, such as with the cessation of name and matter is the cessation of consciousness and with the cessation of consciousness is the cessation of name and matter. With the cessation of name and matter is the cessation of the six spheres. With the cessation of the six spheres is the cessation of contacts. This is the cessation of the complete mass of unpleasantness.

18. ßThen knowledge, wisdom and light arose to me never heard before, as this is the cessation.

19. ßMonks, like a man wandering in the declivity of the mountain forest seeing an ancient straightforward path, along which earlier humans had gone, follows it up and sees an ancient city and kingdom, with orchards, woodlands and ponds there people had lived in the past, embanked attractively.

20. ßThen monks, he informs the king or the king's minister: ßSir, know this, I was wandering in the declivity of the mountain forest and saw an ancient straightforward path, earlier humans had gone along that path. I followed it up and saw an ancient city and kingdom, with orchards, woodlands and ponds. There people had lived in the past, embanked attractively. Sir, create a city there.

21. ßThen monks, the king or the king's minister would create a city there and as time passed that city would become prosperous and opulent, full of people would become famous.

ßIn the same manner monks, I saw the ancient straightforward path along which the rightfully Enlightened Ones had gone

22. ßMonks, what is that ancient straightforward path, along which the rightfully Enlightened Ones had gone? It is this same Noble Eightfold path of right view, ... re ... right concentration. Monks, this is the ancient straightforward path, along which the earlier rightfully Enlightened Ones had gone. Going along that path, I thoroughly recognized decay and death, the arising of decay and death, the cessation of decay and death and the path leading to the cessation of decay and death.

23-31. ßGoing along that path, I thoroughly recognized being, ... re ... holding, ... re ... craving, ... re ... feelings, ... re ... contacts, ... re ... the six spheres, ... re ... name and matter, ... re ... consciousness, ... re ...

32. ßGoing along that path, I thoroughly recognized determinations, the arising of determinations, the cessation of determinations and the path leading to the cessation of determinations.

33. ßThoroughly knowing I explained it to the monks, bhikkhunis, lay disciples male and female. Monks by that the holy life became prosperous, opulent, widespread and well-known among the people.û

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)

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Re: Nibbana vs. annihilation?

Postby 5heaps » Sat Oct 23, 2010 7:39 am

retrofuturist wrote:But when one sees the origination of the world as it actually is with right discernment, 'non-existence' with reference to the world does not occur to one. When one sees the cessation of the world as it actually is with right discernment, 'existence' with reference to the world does not occur to one.
is the Buddha being literal? is he saying it will be impossible for us to discern what exists and what does not exist? or does he mean something else when he uses those words? is it wrong to accurately identify that something exists?

which you have been arguing for.
no, i dont even need to, since indivisible ultimates is a common assertion in theravada. do you disagree with this?

if coarse characteristics exist and depend on coarse parts, dont you think this necessitates subtle parts? why then do you dismiss the elements which are descriptions of such parts?
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Re: Nibbana vs. annihilation?

Postby tiltbillings » Sat Oct 23, 2010 7:45 am

5heaps wrote:
retrofuturist wrote:But when one sees the origination of the world as it actually is with right discernment, 'non-existence' with reference to the world does not occur to one. When one sees the cessation of the world as it actually is with right discernment, 'existence' with reference to the world does not occur to one.
is the Buddha being literal? is he saying it will be impossible for us to discern what exists and what does not exist?
Do you know this sutta? Nagarjuna references it directly in his MMK. What would Nagarjuna say to this question: Is it "impossible for us to discern what exists and what does not exist?"


or does he mean something else when he uses those words? is it wrong to accurately identify that something exists?
What does Nagarjuna mean?

no, i dont even need to, since indivisible ultimates is a common assertion in theravada. do you disagree with this?
Not in the suttas and not in the Abhidhamma Pitaka, but you want to run down that dead-end street full tilt.
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

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Re: Nibbana vs. annihilation?

Postby mikenz66 » Sat Oct 23, 2010 7:48 am

5heaps wrote: indivisible ultimates is a common assertion in theravada. do you disagree with this?

Various people make all sorts of assertions, but:
http://www.dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.ph ... =20#p89007
tiltbillings wrote:The Theravada does not necessarily teach "partless particles."


:anjali:
Mike

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Re: Nibbana vs. annihilation?

Postby mikenz66 » Sat Oct 23, 2010 7:50 am

tiltbillings wrote: you want to run down that dead-end street full tilt.


:anjali:
Mike

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Re: Nibbana vs. annihilation?

Postby 5heaps » Sat Oct 23, 2010 8:16 am

tiltbillings wrote:What would Nagarjuna say to this question: Is it "impossible for us to discern what exists and what does not exist?"
he means that svabhava and characteristic marks dont exist. is he saying things dont exist? no. does this imply that things exist through svabhava? no. does this mean things are just conventions? no.

What is Madhyamika?
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Re: Nibbana vs. annihilation?

Postby tiltbillings » Sat Oct 23, 2010 8:21 am

5heaps wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:What would Nagarjuna say to this question: Is it "impossible for us to discern what exists and what does not exist?"
he means that svabhava and characteristic marks dont exist. is he saying things dont exist? no. does this imply that things exist through svabhava? no. does this mean things are just conventions? no.

What is Madhyamika?
Thanks. You have nicely just made the point that all this Sarvastivadin svabhava talk is not appropriate here, nor is reading the sarvastivadin stuff into the Theravada. Your partless particle have no place here.

You want to hear that again? Of course you do: Your partless particle have no place here.
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

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Re: Nibbana vs. annihilation?

Postby Nyana » Sat Oct 23, 2010 8:42 am

5heaps wrote:
Ñāṇa wrote:This is nonsense. What school posits that persons (puggala) are sabhāva or possess sabhāva? Theravāda certainly doesn't make such claims.
of course things exist through their own characteristic natures. are you a nihilist such that you want to deny that things exist?

Hi 5heaps,

Firstly, a puggala or a satta isn't a dhamma. Therefore, no Theravādin would ever even remotely suggest that a person possess sabhāva. (Nor would any Sarvāstivādin if there were actually any living Sarvāstivādins left in this world.)

Secondly, the Indian mādhyamikas thoroughly refuted the Sarvāstivāda and Sautrāntika notions of svabhāva. If you're going to base your study and practice on the Indian schools, then it's a good idea to understand Indian Mādhyamaka (i.e. not Je Tsongkhapa's hybrid system which isn't accepted by the vast majority of non-Gelugpa lamas).

All the best,

Geoff

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Re: Nibbana vs. annihilation?

Postby 5heaps » Sat Oct 23, 2010 8:51 am

tiltbillings wrote:You want to hear that again? Of course you do: Your partless particle have no place here.
what about these:

Satipatthana Vipassana
"The solid substance of body as it is now found belongs to the group of materiality. According to the usual enumeration of material phenomena, there are altogether twenty-eight kinds in this group, but in short it may be noted that body is a mass of materiality. For example, it is the same as a doll made of clay or wheat, which is nothing but a collection of particles"

"Logs and pillars, bricks and stones and lumps of earth are a mass of materiality."

The Abhidhamma in Practice
'There is no unit of matter that does not contain these four elements in varying proportions. The preponderance of one element over the other three gives the material object its main characteristic."

Mahabhuta
"These four elements are described as "primary" or "underived" (no-upādā) matter (rūpa), meaning that they cannot be analyzed into further atomistic units. While underived, this does not mean that they are "unconditioned."[10] Thus, for instance, according to the 5th c. CE commentarial Visuddhimagga, "as to the proximate cause, each [element] has the other three as its proximate cause."[11]"

Ñāṇa wrote:Firstly, a puggala or a satta isn't a dhamma. Therefore, no Theravādin would ever even remotely suggest that a person possess sabhāva.
hi, persons exist therefore they are dhammas. what does not exist are persons qualified by souls/enduring essences (atta/atman)

not Je Tsongkhapa's hybrid system
has nothing to do with that. every madhyamika and yogacara dismisses characteristic marks to some extent, which is nihilistic according to those who assert characteristic marks
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Re: Nibbana vs. annihilation?

Postby tiltbillings » Sat Oct 23, 2010 8:52 am

5heaps wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:What would Nagarjuna say to this question: Is it "impossible for us to discern what exists and what does not exist?"
he means that svabhava and characteristic marks dont exist.
Quote Nagarjuna showing that is so.
is he saying things dont exist? no.
Quote Nagajuna sowing that is so.
does this imply that things exist through svabhava? no.
Quote Nagarjuna showing that is so.
does this mean things are just conventions? no.
Quote Nagarjuna showing that is so.

Or stop making assertions without support for them.
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

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Re: Nibbana vs. annihilation?

Postby tiltbillings » Sat Oct 23, 2010 8:55 am

5heaps wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:You want to hear that again? Of course you do: Your partless particle have no place here.
what about these:

Satipatthana Vipassana
"The solid substance of body as it is now found belongs to the group of materiality. According to the usual enumeration of material phenomena, there are altogether twenty-eight kinds in this group, but in short it may be noted that body is a mass of materiality. For example, it is the same as a doll made of clay or wheat, which is nothing but a collection of particles"

"Logs and pillars, bricks and stones and lumps of earth are a mass of materiality."

The Abhidhamma in Practice
'There is no unit of matter that does not contain these four elements in varying proportions. The preponderance of one element over the other three gives the material object its main characteristic."

Mahabhuta
"These four elements are described as "primary" or "underived" (no-upādā) matter (rūpa), meaning that they cannot be analyzed into further atomistic units. While underived, this does not mean that they are "unconditioned."[10] Thus, for instance, according to the 5th c. CE commentarial Visuddhimagga, "as to the proximate cause, each [element] has the other three as its proximate cause."[11]"
That is not partless particles.
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

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Re: Nibbana vs. annihilation?

Postby tiltbillings » Sat Oct 23, 2010 9:02 am

Moderator note: As I have tried to point out several times above this is the General Theravada discussion section. What this means is that there will be no further off-topic discussions of partless particles, which are not necessarily part of the Theravada, nor will there be any further discussion of the Sarvastivada, nor will Nagarjuna find a place in this thread. Any further discussions of these topics can take place in the Dhamma-free-for-all section. Any further posting of these topics in this thread will go away without comment, and that includes reading into the Theravada a non-Theravadin interpretation of Theravadin doctrine.

If possible, back to the topic.
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

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Re: Nibbana vs. annihilation?

Postby mikenz66 » Sun Oct 24, 2010 8:06 pm

Perhaps Mahasi Sayadaw's take on Nibbana is on topic...

Extract from a long discourse.
http://www.mahasi.org.mm/discourse/E17/E17ch01.htm

ARAHATS OUTLOOK ON LIFE

The arahat has no illusion about the nature of sense-objects. He is aware of their unwholesomeness and this means he realizes the truth of dukkha because he is free from ignorance (avijjæ). So he has no craving for anything. Inevitably he has to fill the biological needs of his physical body such as eating, sleeping, etc., but he regards them as conditioned (sa³khæra) dukka and finds nothing that is pleasant to him.

The question arises as to whether he should long for speedy death to end such suffering. But the desire for early death or dissolution of the physical body too is a destructive desire and the Arahat is free from it. So there is an Arahat’s saying in the Theragæthæ that he has neither the wish to die nor the wish to live.

The Arahat does not wish to live a long life for life means largely the burden of suffering inherent in khandhæ. Although the burden of khahdhæ needs constant care and attention, it is not in the least reliable. To many middle-aged or old people, life offers little more than frustration, disappointment and bitterness. Living conditions go from bad to worse, physical health declines and there is nothing but complete disintegration and death that await us. Yet because of ignorance and attachment many people take delight in existence. On the other hand the Arahat is disillusioned and he finds life dreary and monotonous. Hence his distaste for life.

But the Arahat does not prefer death either. For death wish is an aggressive instinct which he has also conquered. What he wants is to attain Nibbæna, a longing that is somewhat analogous to that of a worker who wishes to get his daily or monthly wage.

The worker does not like to face hardship and privations for he as to work inevitable just to make his living but he does not want to lose his job either. He wants only money and looks forward to payday. Likewise, the Arahat waits for the moment when he should attain Nibbæna without anything left of his body mind complex. So when they think of their life span, the Arahats wonder how long they will have to bear the burden of næmarþpa khandha. Because of his disillusionment, the Arahat’s life-stream is completely out off after Nibbæna, hence it is called anupædisesa-nibbäna.

NOT ANNIHILATION BUT EXTINCTION OF SUFFERING

Those who believe in ego or soul deprecate Nibbäna as eternal death of a living being. In reality it is the total extinction of suffering that results from the non-recurrence of psychophysical phenomena together with their causes viz, kamma and defilements. So the Buddha points out the cessation of upædæna arising from the complete cessation of craving, the process of becoming (bhava) ceasing to arise due to cessation of upædæna and so on. With the non-arising of rebirth, there is the complete cessation of old age, death and other kinds of suffering.

Here the popular view is that birth, old age and death are evils that afflict living beings. But in point of fact these evils characterize only the psychophysical process and have nothing to do with a living entity. Since there is no ego or soul, it makes no sense to speak of the annihilation of a living being with the cessation of rebirth and suffering.

So those who regard Nibbæna as annihilation are not free from the illusion of ego-entity. To the intelligent Buddhist, Nibbæna means only cessation of suffering. This is evident in the story of bhikkhu Yamaka in the time of the Buddha.

STORY OF YAMAKA

Yamaka believed that the Arahat was annihilated after his death. He clung to his view although other bhikkhus pointed out its falsity. Then Særiputræ summoned him. Questioned by the elder thera, Yamaka admitted that all the five khandhæs are impermanent and suffering, that it would be a mistake to regard them as one’s possession or self. Særiputræ told him to see the five khandhæs as they really are. He would then become disillusioned, detached and liberated.

While hearing the sermon, Yamaka attained the sotæpanna stage. He was now free from false beliefs. Særiputræ then questioned him again. In response to the thera’s questions, Yamaka said that he did not identify the Arahat with the physical body. The perception, the feeling, conformations (sa³khæra) or the consciousness. Nor did he believe that the Arahat existed else where without the rþpa, vedanæ or any other khandhæ. Therefore since the Arahat or a living entity is not to be found in the five khandhæs even before death, it makes no sense to speak of the Arahat’s annihilation after his parinibbæna.

Yamaka confessed his mistaken view. He was now free from it and he knew what to say about the destiny of the Arahat. If someone were to ask him, “What happens when the Arahat passes away? he would answer, “the death of the Arahat means the complete cessation of suffering inherent in the impermanent five khandhæs.”

This statement about the Arahat was confirmed by Særiputræ. The thera likened the khandhæs to the murderer who poses as a friend and said that identifying the khandhæs with atta is like welcoming the murderer, etc.

Here the thera Yamaka at first believed that the Arahat was annihilated after death, that there was nothing left. This belief presupposes the illusion of ego-entity and so the annihilation-view of Nibbæna is called ucchedaditthi, the view that Nibban means the negation of atta after death. When he realized the truth and attained sotæpanna, Yamaka said that the death of the Arahat means the complete extinction of suffering inherent in the impermanent five khandhæs.

To sum up the way to the cessation of suffering, failure to note seeing, hearing and other psycho-physical phenomena leads to the arising of avijjæ, ta¼hæ, upædæna, kamma and sa³khæra that in turn cause birth, old age and death in future. Mindfulness of all phenomena forestalls the five present causes viz, avijjæ, etc and the five consequences that involve suffering.

Sylvester
Posts: 2205
Joined: Tue Mar 10, 2009 9:57 am

Re: Nibbana vs. annihilation?

Postby Sylvester » Tue Nov 09, 2010 3:39 am

Ñāṇa wrote:
Sylvester wrote:I think what will be most tantalising from the interview will be Ven Nanananda's revelation that there was to have been a Nibbana Sermon #34.

Hi Sylvester & all,

Thanks for posting the link to the interview. Would you (or anyone else) happen to know of the status of the English versions of Nibbāna Sermons 26-33? The English versions of Sermons 1-25 have been available online for a few years now, but after #25 appeared on Beyond the Net they seem to have stopped....

All the best,

Geoff


Dear Geoff

Sorry for the late reply.

You may wish to slow down your search for the English version of Nibbana Sermons. I understand that Ven Analayo is working with Ven Nanananda on a new edition of the Sermons. Not sure when that will see the light of day though.

With metta

Nyana
Posts: 2233
Joined: Tue Apr 27, 2010 11:56 am

Re: Nibbana vs. annihilation?

Postby Nyana » Tue Nov 09, 2010 10:14 am

Sylvester wrote:I understand that Ven Analayo is working with Ven Nanananda on a new edition of the Sermons.

Hi Sylvester,

That's good to hear. Thanks.

All the best,

Geoff


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