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Is there any experience of Parinibbana?

Posted: Sat May 04, 2013 12:36 am
by kmath
That is, after an arahant dies, does he/she experience anything?

If so, how does the experience come about?

If not, how is he/she not annihilated?

Thanks

Re: Is there any experience of Parinibbana?

Posted: Sat May 04, 2013 10:19 am
by Kare
Why this connection between parinibbana and death? In the Pali texts there are several instances of people who say that they are parinibbuta, which means they had experienced parinibbana and were still alive to tell about it.

Re: Is there any experience of Parinibbana?

Posted: Sat May 04, 2013 10:45 am
by robertk
He means khandha parinibbana - which is often shortened for convenience to 'parinibbana'.

Re: Is there any experience of Parinibbana?

Posted: Sat May 04, 2013 11:36 am
by reflection
A reoccurring description in the suttas of nibbana after death states:
With the break-up of the body, after the termination of life, everything that is experienced, not being relished, will grow cold right here.
It's not annihilation because there is nothing to annihilate. When the wind stops blowing, is it annihilated or did it simply stop? The Buddha called it 'cessation' for this reason, not annihilation.

:anjali:

Re: Is there any experience of Parinibbana?

Posted: Sat May 04, 2013 3:17 pm
by kmath
reflection wrote:A reoccurring description in the suttas of nibbana after death states:
With the break-up of the body, after the termination of life, everything that is experienced, not being relished, will grow cold right here.
It's not annihilation because there is nothing to annihilate. When the wind stops blowing, is it annihilated or did it simply stop? The Buddha called it 'cessation' for this reason, not annihilation.

:anjali:
Oh I see.

But from the first person point of view, the arahant experiences nothing after death. Correct?

Re: Is there any experience of Parinibbana?

Posted: Sat May 04, 2013 5:48 pm
by LonesomeYogurt
kmath wrote:Oh I see.

But from the first person point of view, the arahant experiences nothing after death. Correct?
No form, feeling, consciousness, perception, or thought arises after the death of one without clinging. All of these things are conditioned, and thus do not exist "in" Nibbana.

But it's problematic to even discuss "the arahant after death;" after all, he or she didn't even exist before death! Nibbana is just the fading away of all conditioned aggregates, and those conditioned aggregates are the sum total of what we, by ignorance, call "the arahant." It would be better to say, perhaps, that the void and empty nature of the arahant is fully realized at Nibbana. There is no longer form or mind, and thus there is nothing for us to hang the "arahant" label. Does that make sense?

Re: Is there any experience of Parinibbana?

Posted: Sat May 04, 2013 8:09 pm
by Coyote
Kare wrote:Why this connection between parinibbana and death? In the Pali texts there are several instances of people who say that they are parinibbuta, which means they had experienced parinibbana and were still alive to tell about it.
Would you mind explaining this? I think it was Ven. Analayo who mentioned the same thing and I have been wanting to know what he meant ever since I heard it.

Thanks + Metta

Re: Is there any experience of Parinibbana?

Posted: Sat May 04, 2013 10:42 pm
by reflection
While I agree with Yoghurts comment, from a conventional point of view we can say, yes there is no experience for an arahant after death because there is no consciousness. Quite a peaceful idea to know there is nothing worth holding onto.

Re: Is there any experience of Parinibbana?

Posted: Sun May 05, 2013 2:21 am
by kmath
LonesomeYogurt wrote:
kmath wrote:Oh I see.

But from the first person point of view, the arahant experiences nothing after death. Correct?
No form, feeling, consciousness, perception, or thought arises after the death of one without clinging. All of these things are conditioned, and thus do not exist "in" Nibbana.

But it's problematic to even discuss "the arahant after death;" after all, he or she didn't even exist before death! Nibbana is just the fading away of all conditioned aggregates, and those conditioned aggregates are the sum total of what we, by ignorance, call "the arahant." It would be better to say, perhaps, that the void and empty nature of the arahant is fully realized at Nibbana. There is no longer form or mind, and thus there is nothing for us to hang the "arahant" label. Does that make sense?
It makes sense. Thank you.

Seems like a bit of funny goal though, doesn't it?

Re: Is there any experience of Parinibbana?

Posted: Sun May 05, 2013 2:47 am
by mikenz66
robertk wrote:He means khandha parinibbana - which is often shortened for convenience to 'parinibbana'.
As Robert and Kare say , there is a confusion in many expositions.

See Bhikkhu Bodhi's SN introduction, reproduced here:
http://www.dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.ph ... 40#p209545
In brief:
Bhikkhu Bodhi wrote: ... The suttas distinguish between two elements of Nibbāna: the Nibbāna element with residue (sa-upādisesa-nibbānadhātu) and the Nibbāna element without residue (anupādisesanibbānadhātu )—the residue (upādisesa) being the compound of the five aggregates produced by prior craving and kamma (It 38–39). The former is the extinction of lust, hatred, and delusion attained by the arahant while alive; the latter is the remainderless cessation of all conditioned existence that occurs with the arahant’s death. In the commentaries the two elements of Nibbāna are respectively called kilesaparinibbāna, the quenching of defilements at the attainment of arahantship, and khandhaparinibbāna , the quenching of the continuum of aggregates with the arahant’s demise. ...
:anjali:
Mike

Re: Is there any experience of Parinibbana?

Posted: Sun May 05, 2013 6:52 pm
by Lazy_eye
I know we don't Vajrayana around here, but thought some might be interested -- for comparison purposes -- in this passage that I came across last night. Emphasis mine.
B. Allan Wallace wrote: This brightly shining mind [the bhavanga] may alternatively be understood as the unconditioned state of awareness that is present after an arhat, one who has achieved nirvana, passes away, never to take rebirth again. Such consciousness, which transcends the five psychophysical aggregates, is said to be non-manifesting, timeless, and unconditioned. Since it is unborn — not newly created by prior causes — and is not the consciousness of someone or something other than oneself, it must already be present in each sentient being before the achievement of nirvana. This realm of consciousness is beyond the scope of the conceptual mind, so its possible influence on the minds of ordinary sentient beings is unimaginable.
As one might expect, he then draws parallels with (Mahayana) Buddha Nature and (Vajrayana) Great Perfection.

Source here.

Re: Is there any experience of Parinibbana?

Posted: Mon May 06, 2013 12:01 am
by SarathW
Parinibbana is not having an experience. There are no more verbal, bodily or mental fabrications for an Arahant.
It is not possible to understand this by logic, as Nirvana is an unconditioned state.
Even what I am writing here about Nirvana also not correct.
You have to experience it yourself! :juggling: or :meditate:

Please read chapter 39 of the attached:

http://www.buddhanet.net/pdf_file/buddh ... gsurw6.pdf

Re: Is there any experience of Parinibbana?

Posted: Mon May 06, 2013 12:25 am
by kirk5a
[Upasiva:]
He who has reached the end:
Does he not exist,
or is he for eternity
free from dis-ease?
Please, sage, declare this to me
as this phenomenon has been known by you.

[The Buddha:]
One who has reached the end
has no criterion [3]
by which anyone would say that —
for him it doesn't exist.
When all phenomena are done away with,[4]
all means of speaking
are done away with as well.
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
[Sariputta:] "The statement, 'With the remainderless stopping & fading of the six contact-media [vision, hearing, smell, taste, touch, & intellection] is it the case that there is anything else?' objectifies non-objectification.[1] The statement, '... is it the case that there is not anything else ... is it the case that there both is & is not anything else ... is it the case that there neither is nor is not anything else?' objectifies non-objectification. However far the six contact-media go, that is how far objectification goes. However far objectification goes, that is how far the six contact media go. With the remainderless fading & stopping of the six contact-media, there comes to be the stopping, the allaying of objectification.
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html

Re: Is there any experience of Parinibbana?

Posted: Wed May 08, 2013 5:57 pm
by EmptyShadow
Vacchagotta, a wandering ascetic, approached the Buddha
and questioned:
“But, Gotama, where is the Bhikkhu who is delivered of mind
reborn?
He was of course referring to the Arahant. The Buddha replied
“Vaccha, to say that he is reborn would not fit the case.
“Then, Gotama, he is not reborn.
“Vaccha, to say that he is not reborn would not fit the case.
“Then, Gotama, he is both reborn and not reborn.
“Vaccha, to say that he is both reborn and not reborn would not
fit the case.
“Then, Gotama, he is neither reborn nor not reborn.
“Vaccha, to say that he is neither reborn nor not reborn would
not fit the case.
Vaccha was baffled on hearing these seemingly
inconsistent answers, and, in his confusion, exclaimed:
“Gotama, I am at a loss to think in this matter, and I have become greatly confused.
“Enough, O Vaccha. Be not at a loss to think in this matter, and
be not greatly confused. Profound, O Vaccha, is this doctrine, recondite and difficult of comprehension, good, excellent, and not to be reached by mere reasoning, subtle and intelligible only to the wise
and it is a hard doctrine for you to learn, who belong to another sect,
to another faith, to another persuasion, to another discipline, and
who sit at the feet of another teacher. Therefore, O Vaccha, I shall
now question you, and do you make answer as may seem to you
good. What think you, Vaccha? Suppose a fire were to burn in front
of you, would you be aware that fire was burning in front of you?
“Gotama, if a fire were to burn in front of me, I should be aware
that a fire was burning in front of me.
“But suppose, Vaccha, someone were to ask you: On what does this fire that is burning in front of you depend?
’ What would you answer, Vaccha?
“I would answer, O Gotama, ‘it is on fuel of grass and wood that
this fire burning in front of me depends.’
“But Vaccha, if the fire in front of you were to become extinct, would you be aware
that the fire in front of you had become extinct?
“Gotama, if the fire in front of me were to become extinct, I
should be aware that the fire in front of me had become extinct.
“But, Vacca, if someone were to ask you – ‘In what direction has
that fire gone, East or West, North or South?’ What would you say, Vaccha?
“The question would not fit the case, Gotama, for the fire depended on fuel of grass and wood,
and when that fuel has all gone,
and it can get no other, being thus without nutriment, it is said to
be extinct.
“In exactly the same way, Vaccha, all forms, sensations, perceptions, mental activities, and consciousness have been abandoned, uprooted, made like a palmyra stump, become extinct,
and not liable to spring up in the future.
“The Saint, O Vaccha, who has been released from what are
styled the Five Aggregates, is deep, immeasurable like the mighty
ocean.
To say that he is reborn would not fit the case. To say that
he is not reborn would not fit the case. To say that he is neither
reborn nor not reborn would not fit the case.”
Emphasis is from me.
http://www.buddhanet.net/pdf_file/buddh ... gsurw6.pdf page 454

So after parinibbana who is 'the saint that is deep and immeasurable'? If, after the release of the aggregates, all conditional things are released as we all agree, but nothing undiscribable and unconditional comes up of that deal, then who or what is deep and immeasurable? :tongue: In this sutta i think that the Buddha is clearly talking about parinibbana, so you cant simply call that it's description of expirience of nibbana by the ordinary consciousness that is not yet released.

Re: Is there any experience of Parinibbana?

Posted: Fri May 10, 2013 7:04 pm
by kmath
Thanks everyone for your responses.