"The Deathless" (amata)

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retrofuturist
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Re: "The Deathless" (amata)

Post by retrofuturist » Fri Nov 25, 2011 4:57 am

Greetings Tilt,
tiltbillings wrote:The self, the unconditioned, the deathless, the wiener, the dog, the vote, the idea, the feeling. The locution "the X" suggests that there is some thing to which it referring. You may understand that it doesn't, but then why not use language that better reflects that?
What alternative would you suggest? Deathlessness?

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

"It is natural that one who knows and sees things as they really are is disenchanted and dispassionate." (AN 10.2)

“Truth does not change according to our ability to stomach it.” (Flannery O'Connor)

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Re: "The Deathless" (amata)

Post by ground » Fri Nov 25, 2011 5:09 am

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings Tilt,
tiltbillings wrote:The self, the unconditioned, the deathless, the wiener, the dog, the vote, the idea, the feeling. The locution "the X" suggests that there is some thing to which it referring. You may understand that it doesn't, but then why not use language that better reflects that?
What alternative would you suggest? Deathlessness?

Metta,
Retro. :)
I would suggest "no-self" defined as "mere non-affirming negation" of the idea "self". "non-affirming" here meaning that nothing is put in the locus of the idea "self" (metaphorically speaking) upon negation of it, not even (an affirmative reified) "no-self".

Kind regards

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Re: "The Deathless" (amata)

Post by cooran » Fri Nov 25, 2011 5:29 am

Hello all,

This might be of interest:

As Narada Thera says:
’One cannot say that an arahat is reborn as all passions that condition rebirth are eradicated; nor can one say that the arahat is annihilated for there is nothing to annihilate.’’
http://namo84000en.wordpress.com/2011/0 ... 0-nibbana/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

What is Nibbana – Bhikkhu Pesala
http://www.yellowrobe.com/teachings/nib ... bbana.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

with metta
Chris
---The trouble is that you think you have time---
---Worry is the Interest, paid in advance, on a debt you may never owe---
---It's not what happens to you in life that is important ~ it's what you do with it ---

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tiltbillings
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Re: "The Deathless" (amata)

Post by tiltbillings » Fri Nov 25, 2011 5:29 am

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings Tilt,
tiltbillings wrote:The self, the unconditioned, the deathless, the wiener, the dog, the vote, the idea, the feeling. The locution "the X" suggests that there is some thing to which it referring. You may understand that it doesn't, but then why not use language that better reflects that?
What alternative would you suggest? Deathlessness?

Metta,
Retro. :)
Here is your sentence to which I responded that gave rise to this thread:

Therefore, if there is no becoming something, there is no establishing an identity, so in turn, there is no experience of aging-and-decay... there is instead, only the deathless.What locution instead? Well, I probably would not have written this sentence. "Deathlessness," for its clumsiness, is better in that it does not suggest some non-dying (immortal) thing.
>> 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

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

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Re: "The Deathless" (amata)

Post by tiltbillings » Fri Nov 25, 2011 5:31 am

cooran wrote:Hello all,

This might be of interest:

As Narada Thera says:
’One cannot say that an arahat is reborn as all passions that condition rebirth are eradicated; nor can one say that the arahat is annihilated for there is nothing to annihilate.’’
In not being reborn there is freedom from death.
>> 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

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

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Re: "The Deathless" (amata)

Post by chownah » Fri Nov 25, 2011 6:32 am

If arahants never die then they must get really really old......then maybe scientists would never stop bugging them about how they got so old.....maybe that's why arahants never let anyone know about it.... :spy: ......sort of like vampires that have to get fake ID's so as not to attract attention for being like 300 years old.....I guess....but I don't know for sure.....they made a movie about it......vampires.....not arahants......
chownah

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Re: "The Deathless" (amata)

Post by tiltbillings » Fri Nov 25, 2011 7:02 am

chownah wrote:If arahants never die then they must get really really old......then maybe scientists would never stop bugging them about how they got so old.....maybe that's why arahants never let anyone know about it.... :spy: ......sort of like vampires that have to get fake ID's so as not to attract attention for being like 300 years old.....I guess....but I don't know for sure.....they made a movie about it......vampires.....not arahants......
chownah
There seems to be an attempt at humor here, but I suspect you are also trying to make a point. So, what is your point?
>> 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

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

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Re: "The Deathless" (amata)

Post by Sylvester » Fri Nov 25, 2011 9:16 am

I agree with Tilt’s analysis that the string of epithets “ajātaṃ abhūtaṃ akataṃ asaṅkhataṃ” are modifiers, rather than nouns.

Here’s a boring grammatical analysis.

Let’s take a look at Ajahn Thanissaro’s translation of Ud 8.3, which is pretty representative of the translators who render the epithets as nouns –
I have heard that on one occasion the Blessed One was staying near Savatthi, in Jeta's Grove, Anathapindika's monastery. Now at that time the Blessed One was instructing urging, rousing, and encouraging the monks with Dhamma-talk concerned with Unbinding. The monks — receptive, attentive, focusing their entire awareness, lending ear — listened to the Dhamma.
Then, on realizing the significance of that, the Blessed One on that occasion exclaimed:
There is, monks, an unborn — unbecome — unmade — unfabricated. If there were not that unborn — unbecome — unmade — unfabricated, there would not be the case that emancipation from the born — become — made — fabricated would be discerned. But precisely because there is an unborn — unbecome — unmade — unfabricated, emancipation from the born — become — made — fabricated is discerned.
It will be obvious that these translations rely on the presence of the antonyms to the epithet, ie “the born, the become, the made, the fabricated” to furnish a basis to treat both sets (ie the ajāta and jāta sets) as referring to nouns, instead of predicates.

The Pali for Ud 8.3 is –
669Evaṃ me sutaṃ— ekaṃ samayaṃ bhagavā sāvatthiyaṃ viharati jetavane anāthapiṇḍikassa ārāme. Tena kho pana samayena bhagavā bhikkhū nibbānapaṭisaṃyuttāya dhammiyā kathāya sandasseti samādapeti samuttejeti sampahaṃseti. Tedha bhikkhū aṭṭhiṃ katvā, manasi katvā, sabbaṃ cetaso samannāharitvā, ohitasotā dhammaṃ suṇanti.
670Atha kho bhagavā etamatthaṃ viditvā tāyaṃ velāyaṃ imaṃ udānaṃ udānesi—
671“Atthi, bhikkhave, ajātaṃ abhūtaṃ akataṃ asaṅkhataṃ. No cetaṃ, bhikkhave, abhavissa ajātaṃ abhūtaṃ akataṃ asaṅkhataṃ, nayidha jātassa bhūtassa katassa saṅkhatassa nissaraṇaṃ paññāyetha. Yasmā ca kho, bhikkhave, atthi ajātaṃ abhūtaṃ akataṃ asaṅkhataṃ, tasmā jātassa bhūtassa katassa saṅkhatassa nissaraṇaṃ paññāyatī”ti.
The issue is this – are the translators justified in translating the antonyms jāta bhūta kata saṅkhata as nouns, instead of being predicates?

Note, that the “jāta bhūta kata saṅkhata” are all inflected in the genitive case. Now, translating this genitive formation as the most common sense of the possessive, ie "birth’s escape", would not make sense at all. Ajahn Thanissaro et al therefore translate the genitive as an ablative, ie "escape from jāta bhūta kata saṅkhata". Grammatically, nissaraṇa/escape is always escape from something, ie the jāta bhūta kata saṅkhata are all treated as nouns from which one escapes. This construction therefore leads to the reading that the antonyms ajāta abhūta akata asaṅkhata are also nouns.

Is it meaningful to render the genitive as an ablative in this case, even though it is grammatically permissible?

Bear in mind that the grammars reminds us that the genitive form has overtaken the old dative form, ie the genitive can be read as the dative instead. Instead of reading the “-ssa” genitive in the ablative sense, Sue Hamilton proposes to give it the dative sense (Early Buddhism – A New Approach, p 187). She translates jāta bhūta kata saṅkhata in the sense of “the issuing of what is born, become…” (the dative here expressing result). This sense depicts Nibbana as the escape from Dependant Origination.

The udana recorded in Ud 8.3 is not a solitary occurrence. It appears again in It 37. The Pali for that is –
272Vuttañhetaṃ bhagavatā vuttamarahatāti me sutaṃ—
273“Atthi, bhikkhave, ajātaṃ abhūtaṃ akataṃ asaṅkhataṃ. No cetaṃ, bhikkhave, abhavissa ajātaṃ abhūtaṃ akataṃ asaṅkhataṃ, nayidha jātassa bhūtassa katassa saṅkhatassa nissaraṇaṃ paññāyetha. Yasmā ca kho, bhikkhave, atthi ajātaṃ abhūtaṃ akataṃ asaṅkhataṃ, tasmā jātassa bhūtassa katassa saṅkhatassa nissaraṇaṃ paññāyatī”ti. Etamatthaṃ bhagavā avoca. Tatthetaṃ iti vuccati—
274
“Jātaṃ bhūtaṃ samuppannaṃ,
kataṃ saṅkhatamaddhuvaṃ;
Jarāmaraṇasaṅghāṭaṃ,
roganīḷaṃ pabhaṅguraṃ.
275
Āhāranettippabhavaṃ,
nālaṃ tadabhinandituṃ;
Tassa nissaraṇaṃ santaṃ,
atakkāvacaraṃ dhuvaṃ.
276
Ajātaṃ asamuppannaṃ,
asokaṃ virajaṃ padaṃ;
Nirodho dukkhadhammānaṃ,
saṅkhārūpasamo sukho”ti.
277Ayampi attho vutto bhagavatā, iti me sutanti.
The entire udana from Ud 8.3 is repeated verbatim, but It supplies a commentary (presumably the Buddha’s) on the verse. This is Ajahn Thanissaro’s translation of It 38
This was said by the Blessed One, said by the Arahant, so I have heard: "There is, monks, an unborn — unbecome — unmade — unfabricated. If there were not that unborn — unbecome — unmade — unfabricated, there would not be the case that emancipation from the born — become — made — fabricated would be discerned. But precisely because there is an unborn — unbecome — unmade — unfabricated, emancipation from the born — become — made — fabricated is thus discerned."
The born, become, produced,
made, fabricated, impermanent,
composed of aging & death,
a nest of illnesses, perishing,
come from nourishment
and the guide [that is craving] —
is unfit for delight.

The escape from that
is
calm, permanent,
beyond inference,
unborn, unproduced,
the sorrowless, stainless state,
the cessation of stressful qualities,
the stilling of fabrications,
bliss.
On the other hand, we have Rune Johansson’s translation –
This said by the Blessed One, the Worthy One, was heard by me
in this way: "Monks, there is freedom from birth, freedom from
becoming, freedom from making, freedom from conditioning.
For, monks if there were not this freedom from birth, freedom from
becoming, freedom from making, freedom from conditioning,
then escape from that which is birth, becoming, making,
conditioning, would not be known here. But, monks, because there is
freedom from
birth, freedom from becoming, freedom from making, freedom from
conditioning, therefore the escape from that which is birth,
becoming, making, conditioning is known."

[Here the Buddha, The Blessed One, offers his own verse commentary
on his statement.]

This meaning the Blessed One spoke, it is spoken here in this way:

That which is born, become, arisen, made, conditioned,
And thus unstable, put together of decay and death,
The seat of disease, brittle,
Caused and craving food,
That is not fit to find pleasure in.

Being freed of this, calmed beyond conjecture, stable,
Freed from birth, freed from arising, freed from sorrow,
Freed from passions, the elements of suffering stopped,
The conditioning [of greed, hatred and delusion] appeased,
This is ease [bliss].
Copied from http://groups.yahoo.com/group/dhammastu ... sage/16590" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Here again, you see that the genitive for jāta bhūta kata saṅkhata can easily accommodate the dative.

This reading gives a picture of the epithets as modifiers, rather than being nouns.

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Re: "The Deathless" (amata)

Post by tiltbillings » Fri Nov 25, 2011 9:58 am

The following is not Rune Johansson's translation; it is mine, though I took inspiration from Johansson's excellent book, THE PSYCHOLOGY OF NIRVANA, (George Allen and Unwin, 1969) see page 54. His discussion opened up this issue for me. And when I was doing my Pali studies in the mid 80's at the U of Wisconsin, Madison, I worked on this translation. The "freedom from" was suggested by Johansson in his book, and the rest of the Itivuttaka translation is very much mine. A number of years later I came across a journal article by K.R. Norman that supported translating the Udana/Iti texts in this way as well as the translation I offered of a brief passage in Majjhima Nikaya I 173: http://dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.php?f= ... 2&#p159172

Actually, if you reread the link http://groups.yahoo.com/group/dhammastu ... sage/16590" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false; you will see that it is actually attributed to me under my actual name.
Sylvester wrote:On the other hand, we have Rune Johansson’s translation –
This said by the Blessed One, the Worthy One, was heard by me
in this way: "Monks, there is freedom from birth, freedom from
becoming, freedom from making, freedom from conditioning.
For, monks if there were not this freedom from birth, freedom from
becoming, freedom from making, freedom from conditioning,
then escape from that which is birth, becoming, making,
conditioning, would not be known here. But, monks, because there is
freedom from
birth, freedom from becoming, freedom from making, freedom from
conditioning, therefore the escape from that which is birth,
becoming, making, conditioning is known."

[Here the Buddha, The Blessed One, offers his own verse commentary
on his statement.]

This meaning the Blessed One spoke, it is spoken here in this way:

That which is born, become, arisen, made, conditioned,
And thus unstable, put together of decay and death,
The seat of disease, brittle,
Caused and craving food,
That is not fit to find pleasure in.

Being freed of this, calmed beyond conjecture, stable,
Freed from birth, freed from arising, freed from sorrow,
Freed from passions, the elements of suffering stopped,
The conditioning [of greed, hatred and delusion] appeased,
This is ease [bliss].
Copied from http://groups.yahoo.com/group/dhammastu ... sage/16590" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Here again, you see that the genitive for jāta bhūta kata saṅkhata can easily accommodate the dative.

This reading gives a picture of the epithets as modifiers, rather than being nouns.
(When I have time, I'll see if I can give a citation for the Norman article.)
>> 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

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

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Re: "The Deathless" (amata)

Post by Zom » Fri Nov 25, 2011 10:03 am

And how whould you explain this sutta?

"Any consciousness 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 consciousness, 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 ... .than.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

?

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Re: "The Deathless" (amata)

Post by tiltbillings » Fri Nov 25, 2011 10:06 am

Zom wrote:And how whould you explain this sutta?

"Any consciousness 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 consciousness, 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 ... .than.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

?
Take it at face value, as it is written.
>> 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

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

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Re: "The Deathless" (amata)

Post by Zom » Fri Nov 25, 2011 10:08 am

So, as it seems, nibbana is still "some thing", but hard to measure, boundless, ect.. ,)

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Re: "The Deathless" (amata)

Post by tiltbillings » Fri Nov 25, 2011 10:11 am

Zom wrote:So, as it seems, nibbana is still "some thing", but hard to measure, ect.. ,)
What would it be? Certainly not something outside of the nibbana-ized person. If it is any "thing" it is what happens to the person who is longer shaped or measured by grasping after, pushing away, or assuming he or she is some sort of unchanging agent.
>> 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

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

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Re: "The Deathless" (amata)

Post by Zom » Fri Nov 25, 2011 10:16 am

What would it be?
Something boundless, hard to measure, ect .. -)


One more sutta where nibbana is an object of perception:

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

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Re: "The Deathless" (amata)

Post by tiltbillings » Fri Nov 25, 2011 10:33 am

Zom wrote:
What would it be?
Something boundless, hard to measure, ect .. -)
What is boundless is the nibbana-ized person, no longer bound by grasping after, pushing away, or assuming an unchanging agent behind it. But there is no some "thing."

One more sutta where nibbana is an object of perception:

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
"I was percipient at that time of 'The cessation of becoming — Unbinding.'"
But what is actually being perceived at that moment?
>> 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

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

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