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.
susukhaṁ vata nibbānaṁ,
sammā­sambud­dha­desitaṁ;
asokaṁ virajaṁ khemaṁ,
yattha dukkhaṁ 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 paṇītaṁ yadidaṁ sabbasaṅkhārasamatho sabbūpadhipaṭi nissaggo taṇhakkhayo virāgo nirodho nibbānaṁ

This is peaceful, this is excellent, that is: the stilling of all preparations, 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.
susukhaṁ vata nibbānaṁ,
sammā­sambud­dha­desitaṁ;
asokaṁ virajaṁ khemaṁ,
yattha dukkhaṁ 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 paṇītaṁ yadidaṁ sabbasaṅkhārasamatho sabbūpadhipaṭi nissaggo taṇhakkhayo virāgo nirodho nibbānaṁ

This is peaceful, this is excellent, that is: the stilling of all preparations, 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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rightviewftw
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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

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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

http://seeingthroughthenet.net/
https://sites.google.com/site/santipada ... allytaught

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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.

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