Why is Nirvana permanent?

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism
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dylanj
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Re: Why is Nirvana permanent?

Post by dylanj » Mon Feb 12, 2018 1:25 pm

cappuccino wrote:
Mon Feb 12, 2018 12:27 pm
dylanj wrote:
Mon Feb 12, 2018 3:19 am
It's explicitly said to not be

"Don't say that, friend. Don't misrepresent the Blessed One. It's not good to misrepresent the Blessed One, for the Blessed One would not say, 'A monk with no more effluents, on the break-up of the body, is annihilated, perishes, & does not exist after death.'"
Yamaka Sutta
I'm not saying any such thing.
susukhaṃ vata nibbānaṃ,
sammā­sambud­dha­desitaṃ;
asokaṃ virajaṃ khemaṃ,
yattha dukkhaṃ nirujjhatī


Oh! extinction is so very blissful,
As taught by the One Rightly Self-Awakened:
Sorrowless, stainless, secure;
Where suffering all ceases


etaṁ santaṁ etaṁ panītaṁ yadidaṁ sabbasaṅkhārasamatho sabbūpadhipaṭi nissaggo taṇhakkhayo virāgo nirodho nibbānaṁ

This is peaceful, this is excellent, that is: the stilling of all fabrications, the relinquishment of all attachments, the destruction of craving, detachment, cessation, extinction.

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dylanj
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Re: Why is Nirvana permanent?

Post by dylanj » Mon Feb 12, 2018 1:27 pm

DooDoot wrote:
Mon Feb 12, 2018 5:55 am
Possibly, the term "a + pavattā" does not refer to the non-continuance of Nibbana but, instead, refers to the non-continuance of samsara, i.e. to non-continuance of 'vatta'.
This is a good example of how eternalists compartmentalize the teachings & literally deny them in order to justify their views.
"It's just one thing that doesn't continue but some things do"
This is obviously not what's meant.
susukhaṃ vata nibbānaṃ,
sammā­sambud­dha­desitaṃ;
asokaṃ virajaṃ khemaṃ,
yattha dukkhaṃ nirujjhatī


Oh! extinction is so very blissful,
As taught by the One Rightly Self-Awakened:
Sorrowless, stainless, secure;
Where suffering all ceases


etaṁ santaṁ etaṁ panītaṁ yadidaṁ sabbasaṅkhārasamatho sabbūpadhipaṭi nissaggo taṇhakkhayo virāgo nirodho nibbānaṁ

This is peaceful, this is excellent, that is: the stilling of all fabrications, the relinquishment of all attachments, the destruction of craving, detachment, cessation, extinction.

deadmanwalkin
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Re: Why is Nirvana permanent?

Post by deadmanwalkin » Mon Feb 12, 2018 1:41 pm


Lanza's theory of a biocentric universe, is among the most credible ones it is hardly criticised for anything but being incomplete and is the theory closest to the Pali Canon as it is based on non-classical mechanics and the Copehagen Interpretation of quantum experiments which is the interpretation that works.

Second video goes into details for why he can say what he says, it also explains (somewhat poorly) what is locality and time and what we can test.

Third video shows a particular experiment which should be very illuminating about the meaning of time therefore in regards to permanence.

boundless
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Re: Why is Nirvana permanent?

Post by boundless » Mon Feb 12, 2018 1:59 pm

Hello everyone, I am a beginner and I am actually struggling in understanding Nibbana (but I think it is quite common :rolleye: )

Personally I have always read that Nibbana according to the Theravada tradition is "permanent" (whatever it means).

By the way I stumbled upon this text from the Kathavatthu (Abhidhamma): https://suttacentral.net/en/kv1.6
Theravādin: If you assert that the material-aggregate retains its materiality, you must admit that the material-aggregate is permanent, persistent, eternal, not subject to change. You know that the opposite is true; hence it should not be said that materiality is retained.

Nibbāna does not abandon its state as Nibbāna—by this we mean Nibbāna is permanent, persistent, eternal, not subject to change. And you ought to mean this, too, in the case of material-aggregate, if you say that the latter does not abandon its materiality.
I am no Pali expert but at least in this part of the Abhidhamma it seems to be described as "permanent".

Hope that it can be helpful for the discussion!

deadmanwalkin
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Re: Why is Nirvana permanent?

Post by deadmanwalkin » Mon Feb 12, 2018 2:54 pm

Nibbāna does not abandon its state as Nibbāna—by this we mean Nibbāna is permanent, persistent, eternal, not subject to change. And you ought to mean this, too, in the case of material-aggregate, if you say that the latter does not abandon its materiality.
yes it can be said to be permanent, eternal or sure or certain as well in the sense that it is without change it is stable.
this is not to be taken to imply that there is time because time as we know it is connected to existence material or immaterial.
same way as it is not to be taken to imply that there is somebody who is sure or certain of it.
same way as it is not to be taken that there is somebody who is happy or feels pleasure when it is described as pleasurable;
There he said to the monks, "This Unbinding is pleasant, friends. This Unbinding is pleasant."

When this was said, Ven. Udayin said to Ven. Sariputta, "But what is the pleasure here, my friend, where there is nothing felt?"

"Just that is the pleasure here, my friend: where there is nothing felt.
it is not to be taken literally like "because there is pleasure where nothing is felt, there is feeling".
that is exactly same mistake as "nibbana is permanent, it is eternal, there is time".

If a person can use the words in this manner he can say it but it is going to confuse people if they have no idea what speaker is talking about.
Nibbāna does not abandon its state as Nibbāna
this is the statement, and then comes clarification;
—by this we mean Nibbāna is permanent, persistent, eternal, not subject to change.
here the words permanent, persistent, eternal, not subject to change are used as synonyms.
The original statement is not:
"Nibbana is eternal" - by this we mean it lasts forever, without a beginning, without and an end.
That describes Samsara as much as it does Nibbana.

For Nibbana one would have to add "Unchanging" as it makes the crucial difference because then it can not be subject to time, because time changes.

It is obvious that we should be careful conceptualizing Nibbana otherwise we might resolve on something lower or worse impossible and never attain anything.

Be careful with words here ie:
"Just that is the pleasure here, my friend: where there is nothing felt.
Seemingly at first sight, it is obviously not and i can explain why if people have doubt but it is seemingly contradicted by The Buddha at first sight:
There being no passing away or arising, there is neither a here nor a there nor a between-the-two. This, just this, is the end of stress.
Have to be careful with words and their usage, otherwise there are traps like this everywhere.

boundless
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Re: Why is Nirvana permanent?

Post by boundless » Mon Feb 12, 2018 4:40 pm

deadmanwalkin wrote:
Mon Feb 12, 2018 2:54 pm
Nibbāna does not abandon its state as Nibbāna—by this we mean Nibbāna is permanent, persistent, eternal, not subject to change. And you ought to mean this, too, in the case of material-aggregate, if you say that the latter does not abandon its materiality.
yes it can be said to be permanent, eternal or sure or certain as well in the sense that it is without change it is stable.
this is not to be taken to imply that there is time because time as we know it is connected to existence material or immaterial.
same way as it is not to be taken to imply that there is somebody who is sure or certain of it.
same way as it is not to be taken that there is somebody who is happy or feels pleasure when it is described as pleasurable;
There he said to the monks, "This Unbinding is pleasant, friends. This Unbinding is pleasant."

When this was said, Ven. Udayin said to Ven. Sariputta, "But what is the pleasure here, my friend, where there is nothing felt?"

"Just that is the pleasure here, my friend: where there is nothing felt.
it is not to be taken literally like "because there is pleasure where nothing is felt, there is feeling".
that is exactly same mistake as "nibbana is permanent, it is eternal, there is time".

If a person can use the words in this manner he can say it but it is going to confuse people if they have no idea what speaker is talking about.
Nibbāna does not abandon its state as Nibbāna
this is the statement, and then comes clarification;
—by this we mean Nibbāna is permanent, persistent, eternal, not subject to change.
here the words permanent, persistent, eternal, not subject to change are used as synonyms.
The original statement is not:
"Nibbana is eternal" - by this we mean it lasts forever, without a beginning, without and an end.
That describes Samsara as much as it does Nibbana.

For Nibbana one would have to add "Unchanging" as it makes the crucial difference because then it can not be subject to time, because time changes.

It is obvious that we should be careful conceptualizing Nibbana otherwise we might resolve on something lower or worse impossible and never attain anything.

Be careful with words here ie:
"Just that is the pleasure here, my friend: where there is nothing felt.
Seemingly at first sight, it is obviously not and i can explain why if people have doubt but it is seemingly contradicted by The Buddha at first sight:
There being no passing away or arising, there is neither a here nor a there nor a between-the-two. This, just this, is the end of stress.
Have to be careful with words and their usage, otherwise there are traps like this everywhere.
Thank you!

By the way, I think also that our language cannot fully "describe" it, so to speak. It is beyond our grasp!

Circle5
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Re: Why is Nirvana permanent?

Post by Circle5 » Mon Feb 12, 2018 5:18 pm

Imagine there is a fire that burns because of fuel, oxigen, wood, etc. At one point it dissappears. There is nothing anymore.
If you say that "this lack of fire, this none-exitence etc. - doesn't exist, is permanent, etc." - that is incorrect. There is nothing there for you to label as "permanent" or "impermanent". It's simply nothing there anymore.

In the same way, it is wrong to say that nibbana is permanent or that it is impermanent. There is nothing there that could be permanent or impermanent. There is just nothing there to begin with.

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bodom
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Re: Why is Nirvana permanent?

Post by bodom » Mon Feb 12, 2018 5:25 pm

It seems to me that the same applies to Nibbana. At its simplest, this just means the cessation of greed, hatred, and delusion. For the Buddha, or any arahant, these have ended. Tomorrow they will still be ended, and they always will be ended. So in this sense Nibbana is “permanent” – although this isn’t quite what we normally mean by the word “permanent”. However, the Buddha doesn’t always think of Nibbana. Sometimes he does, sometimes he thinks or reflects or remembers or is aware of other things. So the Buddha’s cognition is changing – which is to say, for the Buddha or any other arahant, this life is still a conditioned process of the five aggregates.

So to speak of Nibbana as “permanent” in this sense is not problematic, it seems to me. It only becomes problematic when we conceive of Nibbana as some kind of existing “state”: an unconditioned reality or consciousness. But, as I have discussed in earlier posts, I don’t subscribe to such a view.
https://www.google.com/amp/s/sujato.wor ... anent/amp/

:namaste:
To study is to know the texts,
To practice is to know your defilements,
To attain the goal is to know and let go.

- Ajahn Lee Dhammadharo


With no struggling, no thinking,
the mind, still,
will see cause and effect
vanishing in the Void.
Attached to nothing, letting go:
Know that this is the way
to allay all stress.

- Upasika Kee Nanayan

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Nwad
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Re: Why is Nirvana permanent?

Post by Nwad » Mon Feb 12, 2018 5:53 pm

What is silence to a sound
What is zero to numbers
What is stillness to a movement
What is void to a form
What is darkness to the light
That is Nibbana to the existance

Without silence there is no sound manifest. If Nibbana was not here, existance would not to be possible.

All what is fabricated is impermanent, only what is not fabricated is permanent and transcendent of what is impermanent.

:meditate:

boundless
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Re: Why is Nirvana permanent?

Post by boundless » Mon Feb 12, 2018 6:50 pm

I see there are a lot of different ideas. This, in my opinion, probably reflects the fact that it is beyond our grasp.

To me it is quite clear from the suttas that it is not the "mere absence of the conditioned". Also it seems clear that the ancient Theravadins agreed: "Nibbāna does not abandon its state as Nibbāna—by this we mean Nibbāna is permanent, persistent, eternal, not subject to change." (Kathavatthu). Maybe "permanent, eternal, not subject to change" are synononyms, maybe not (I find the explanation given by @deadmanwalkin interesting, however I cannot "prove" that it is right). However, if they thought that it was the "mere absence" I do not think that they would have used those words. To me their opinion is quite clear, Nibbana in some sense is "permanent, eternal, not subject to change". However until is "experienced" we cannot be sure in what sense, precisely, it is "permanent, eternal, not subject to change". But it seems to me that it is quite clear that is not the "mere absence of the conditioned". It is not only a "negative attainment". The Abhidhamma to me is very clear on this. But also to me the suttas.

Also this link is interesting https://www.academia.edu/1417436/Nibb%C ... Abhidhamma

Maybe calling it a "state" or a "reality" is too much and in fact in the suttas the language seems "apophatic". It describes what is not, the adjectives "not-born", "not-become" etc are "negatives" after all. My feeling however is that every "positive" description cannot fully capture it. However it is not simply the "mere absence".

This is how I see the issue.


I am not really interested in debating, However, I am also interested to learn different prespectives on this issue. :smile:

Now I think I won't give more contributions to this discussions for a while. "In thinking there is a time for ploughing and a time for reaping or harvesting" (Wittgenstein, not a buddhist but I think these words are very wise!)



P.S. The Sautrāntikas disagreed, apparently (see: viewtopic.php?f=13&t=22409&start=2140#p452916). However it seems that their view was not very popular.

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Re: Why is Nirvana permanent?

Post by rightviewftw » Mon Feb 12, 2018 8:08 pm

boundless wrote:
Mon Feb 12, 2018 6:50 pm
Maybe "permanent, eternal, not subject to change" are synononyms, maybe not
It was not meant litereally as synonym but as conveying a meaning a shared property.

All is happening, it dies and dies and dies, withouth an end in sight constantly, persistently, relentlessly, arising and ceasing, Samsara has this Deathless property in that it it gains footing in the Deathless. Nibbana is the Deathless.

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Re: Why is Nirvana permanent?

Post by rightviewftw » Mon Feb 12, 2018 8:11 pm

rightviewftw wrote:
Mon Feb 12, 2018 8:08 pm
Nibbana is the Deathless, Samsara[Suffering] non manifest

DooDoot
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Re: Why is Nirvana permanent?

Post by DooDoot » Mon Feb 12, 2018 9:15 pm

dylanj wrote:
Mon Feb 12, 2018 1:27 pm
DooDoot wrote:
Mon Feb 12, 2018 5:55 am
Possibly, the term "a + pavattā" does not refer to the non-continuance of Nibbana but, instead, refers to the non-continuance of samsara, i.e. to non-continuance of 'vatta'.
This is a good example of how eternalists compartmentalize the teachings & literally deny them in order to justify their views. "It's just one thing that doesn't continue but some things do". This is obviously not what's meant.
Hi Dylan. I can only reiterate your probable serious misinterpretation of the term " "a + pavattā". With metta.

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Re: Why is Nirvana permanent?

Post by Dhammarakkhito » Tue Feb 13, 2018 7:33 am

"Just as the ocean has a single taste — that of salt — in the same way, this Dhamma-Vinaya has a single taste: that of release."
— Ud 5.5

https://www.facebook.com/noblebuddhadha ... 34/?type=3

Circle5
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Re: Why is Nirvana permanent?

Post by Circle5 » Wed Feb 14, 2018 12:16 am

deadmanwalkin wrote:
Mon Feb 12, 2018 1:41 pm

Lanza's theory of a biocentric universe, is among the most credible ones it is hardly criticised for anything but being incomplete and is the theory closest to the Pali Canon as it is based on non-classical mechanics and the Copehagen Interpretation of quantum experiments which is the interpretation that works.

Second video goes into details for why he can say what he says, it also explains (somewhat poorly) what is locality and time and what we can test.

Third video shows a particular experiment which should be very illuminating about the meaning of time therefore in regards to permanence.
:goodpost: :goodpost: :goodpost: :goodpost: :goodpost:

I've had pretty much exact ideas as Lanza and am quite surprised someone already thought them. Is he a buddhist ?

I also had the idea that logic is something very important. Without logic, nothing could exist in the first place. This takes some thinking to understand, but logic is required in order for anything to exist in the first place.

Second important idea that I had is that all miracles are done through placebo, and that placebo has to be understood in order to create a complete theory. Understanding placebo and logic are both fundamental in order to complete such a theory.

It is also important to note that perfecting this theory is much more difficult to do that it seems. I've tried too, it's not that simple as it looks. Every time you think you've figured something out, you get contradicted by something else. And that forces you to rethink the whole theory.

Circle5
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Re: Why is Nirvana permanent?

Post by Circle5 » Wed Feb 14, 2018 2:10 am

I've checked his theory, which is more of a refutation of materialism than a theory of it's own. Unfortunatelly there is not much of a theory and it is also wrong. It is even more easy to refute than what he himself is refuting. And it's nothing new, it's the same misunderstanding of quantum mechanics about consciousness creating the universe, neglecting the conditionality dependent on matter. It's rather a jump in the other extreme of materialism. Also, his theory does not provide any predictions, therefore it is not a scientific theory.

There is this Crackpot index that all scientist should check from time to time:

http://math.ucr.edu/home/baez/crackpot.html

pegembara
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Re: Why is Nirvana permanent?

Post by pegembara » Wed Feb 14, 2018 3:17 am

Permanence and impermanence are time bound.
The unconditioned is not time bound - so is neither permanent or impermanent which depends on time. It is beyond time(timeless)....and space.
There is, bhikkhus, that base where there is no earth, no water, no fire, no air; no base consisting of the infinity of space, no base consisting of the infinity of consciousness, no base consisting of nothingness, no base consisting of neither-perception-nor-non-perception; neither this world nor another world nor both; neither sun nor moon. Here, bhikkhus, I say there is no coming, no going, no staying, no deceasing, no uprising. Not fixed, not movable, it has no support.
For the supported there is instability, for the unsupported there is no instability; when there is no instability there is serenity; when there is serenity there is no inclination: when there is no inclination there is no coming-and-going; when there is no coming-and-going there is no decease-and-uprising; when there is no decease-and-uprising there is neither "here" nor "beyond" nor "in between the two."
It's hard to see the unaffected,
for the truth is not easily seen.
Craving is pierced
in one who knows;
For one who sees,
there is nothing.
One who is dependent has wavering. One who is independent has no wavering. There being no wavering, there is calm. There being calm, there is no yearning. There being no yearning, there is no coming or going. There being no coming or going, there is no passing away or arising. There being no passing away or arising, there is neither a here nor a there nor a between-the-two.
And what is right speech? Abstaining from lying, from divisive speech, from abusive speech, & from idle chatter: This is called right speech.

rightviewftw
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Re: Why is Nirvana permanent?

Post by rightviewftw » Wed Feb 14, 2018 9:01 am

Circle5 wrote:
Wed Feb 14, 2018 2:10 am
It is even more easy to refute than what he himself is refuting.
Lets hear it.

Circle5
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Re: Why is Nirvana permanent?

Post by Circle5 » Wed Feb 14, 2018 11:27 am

rightviewftw wrote:
Wed Feb 14, 2018 9:01 am
Circle5 wrote:
Wed Feb 14, 2018 2:10 am
It is even more easy to refute than what he himself is refuting.
Lets hear it.
It has been done millions of time. His theory is nothing new, it's the usual "everything comes from consciousness" theory based on flawed interpretation of quantum mechanics. There is nothing new in his theory. One can simply google "robert lazla debunked". I expected something much better or at least something new when I heard he is nominated for top 3 most important scientist alive by The Times magazine.

This theory is just like materialism, taking one of the 5 aggregates and saying all comes from there and ending up totally refuted by a billion things. For example color or light or etc. is created inside our brain, but it does not come out of nothing. That elecromagnetic energy from which it comes does exist. Humans all see pretty much the same colors, that's why we have red, yellow and green at traffic lights. Not to mention things like placebo should work even for amputees if such a theory would be correct.

There are billions of ways to refute this "everything comes from consciousness" idea. It's just like materialism, going into one extreme, saying everything comes from consciousness and totally ignoring the importance of matter. And it is no wonder people are laughing about him since a serious scientist should figure out this theory is wrong 5 minutes after hearing it.

To create a theory of everything, one that perfectly fits together the relationships between consciousness and matter, is much more difficult to do. I have tried too but there are many things that need to be taken into consideration, many things that need to fit. The moment you think you figured it out, you get refuted by something and need to rethink the theory completely.

If one is not careful about not getting refuted, it's very easy to end up with a Crackpot-theory in this field. That's why we even have a "Crackpot index" especially made for people trying to make such a theory in physics: http://math.ucr.edu/home/baez/crackpot.html

And remember last point on that list. If it doesn't make any predictions, it's not a theory.

rightviewftw
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Re: Why is Nirvana permanent?

Post by rightviewftw » Wed Feb 14, 2018 12:14 pm

Circle5 wrote:
Wed Feb 14, 2018 11:27 am
it's the usual "everything comes from consciousness" theory based on flawed interpretation of quantum mechanics.
Sounds familiar indeed.
1: All mental phenomena have mind as their forerunner; they have mind as their chief; they are mind-made.
Fwiw i also think he is wrong about things but for other reasons than you, mainly his theories on infinite number of universes, lack of definitions for that "consciousness" of his but all in all he has the correct idea about time.

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