Nibbana vs. annihilation?

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism
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tiltbillings
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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.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

dheamhan a fhios agam

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson

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tiltbillings
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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.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

dheamhan a fhios agam

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson

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tiltbillings
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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.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

dheamhan a fhios agam

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson

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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.

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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

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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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Re: Nibbana vs. annihilation?

Postby Individual » Tue Nov 09, 2010 1:14 pm

Something to add: Nibbana is liberation. :)

If it were extinction, that would not be freedom because action would no longer be possible. If it were something like birth in a heavenly realm above the highest heavens of samsara, it would not be freedom because action would be required; you would have to be a sentient, acting being, subject to the laws that govern that realm.

With total liberation, action is possible but not required. It is liberation without a self to be liberated, neither action nor non-action (action and non-action do not apply). The distinction between annihilation and eternalism seems to develop from self-thinking, thinking in terms of gain and loss.
The best things in life aren't things.

The Diamond Sutra

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Re: Nibbana vs. annihilation?

Postby rowyourboat » Tue Nov 09, 2010 3:21 pm

5Heaps

It strikes me that you are equating a physical 'particle' with a 'particle' of experiential phenoemena. It is very unwise to confuse the two. Science is about the former, the dhamma is about the latter.

There is a middle path between existence and non existence. Imagine a person believes that everything he sees on tv is real- ie- there are REAL people in the box. Now if someone told him there was NOTHING in the box that would not be true, as he experiences something. Through satipatthana and vipassana it becomes possible to see that there are only pixels lighting up - a meaningless dance at that. Not the riveting soap we thought was going on. Then we let go... This is the MIDDLE path.

with metta

Matheesha
With Metta

Karuna
Mudita
& Upekkha

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Re: Nibbana vs. annihilation?

Postby Alex123 » Wed Nov 10, 2010 3:15 pm

Individual wrote:Something to add: Nibbana is liberation. :)

If it were extinction, that would not be freedom because action would no longer be possible. If it were something like birth in a heavenly realm above the highest heavens of samsara, it would not be freedom because action would be required; you would have to be a sentient, acting being, subject to the laws that govern that realm.

With total liberation, action is possible but not required. It is liberation without a self to be liberated, neither action nor non-action (action and non-action do not apply). The distinction between annihilation and eternalism seems to develop from self-thinking, thinking in terms of gain and loss.



How can there be action when 5 aggregates have ceased and only bodily remains have left (which would decompose soon enough). ?

How can there be any action if sankhara-khandha has fully ceased?
"dust to dust...."

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Re: Nibbana vs. annihilation?

Postby Individual » Wed Nov 10, 2010 3:22 pm

Alex123 wrote:
Individual wrote:Something to add: Nibbana is liberation. :)

If it were extinction, that would not be freedom because action would no longer be possible. If it were something like birth in a heavenly realm above the highest heavens of samsara, it would not be freedom because action would be required; you would have to be a sentient, acting being, subject to the laws that govern that realm.

With total liberation, action is possible but not required. It is liberation without a self to be liberated, neither action nor non-action (action and non-action do not apply). The distinction between annihilation and eternalism seems to develop from self-thinking, thinking in terms of gain and loss.



How can there be action when 5 aggregates have ceased and only bodily remains have left (which would decompose soon enough). ?

How can there be any action if sankhara-khandha has fully ceased?

Because it is action pertaining to freedom, not action pertaining to cause & effect.

Sankhara-khanda has not truly ceased. One merely regards it as empty: impermanent and not self. Therefore, it is called "ceased". Compared to an ordinary state, it is appropriately called cessation. It is distinguished, however, from whatever one might regard as "cessation." :)
The best things in life aren't things.

The Diamond Sutra


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