the great Nibbana = annihilation, eternal, or something else thread

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acinteyyo
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Re: Nibbana is unconscious? so, what's use of it

Post by acinteyyo » Wed Apr 15, 2015 2:05 pm

kirk5a wrote:
acinteyyo wrote: When I recall the sutta correctly then it says that the four great elements don't get a footing in "consciousness without surface". I conclude therefore that anything else doesn't get a footing in "consciousness without surface". However this doesn't mean that such a consciousness doesn't establish or isn't conscious of content (namely nama-rupa), but it doesn't function as a base, it doesn't give a footing for greed, hatred and delusion.
I wonder if you are taking into account the sutta which says that viññanam anidassanam is not "experienced through the allness of the all"
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
Which one does it? I don't see the connection at the moment. AN10.6 speaks of samadhi. I don't see where it mentiones viññanam anidassanam.

Viññanam anidassanam must be experienced through the mind-base otherwise I don't know how an arising of viññanam anidassanam could possibly take place. An interesting question is what mind-object it might be which comes together with the mind-base that leads to the arising of "consciousnes without feature (or surface)"? I don't know how to phrase this but I think it is the realisation of the Dhamma, the "knowing of the process of dependent origination" which establishes a consciousness that is released from ignorance.
I find it quite complicated to express myself because as I see it one is able to be aware of the state of mind via the mind which leads to multiple feedbackloops which are all entangled alltogether, but seeing this brings about a consciousness released from that entanglement.

I've not thought this through entirely yet and have difficulties expressing it in words and thoughts.

best wishes, acinteyyo
Last edited by acinteyyo on Wed Apr 15, 2015 2:32 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Nibbana is unconscious? so, what's use of it

Post by kirk5a » Wed Apr 15, 2015 2:13 pm

acinteyyo wrote: Which one does it? I don't see the connection at the moment. AN10.6 speaks of samadhi. I don't see where it mentiones viññanam anidassanam.

best wishes, acinteyyo
Oh sorry, I pasted the wrong link. Actually here:
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
"When one thing is practiced & pursued, ignorance is abandoned, clear knowing arises, the conceit 'I am' is abandoned, latent tendencies are uprooted, fetters are abandoned. Which one thing? Mindfulness immersed in the body." -AN 1.230

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acinteyyo
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Re: Nibbana is unconscious? so, what's use of it

Post by acinteyyo » Wed Apr 15, 2015 2:53 pm

kirk5a wrote:
acinteyyo wrote: Which one does it? I don't see the connection at the moment. AN10.6 speaks of samadhi. I don't see where it mentiones viññanam anidassanam.

best wishes, acinteyyo
Oh sorry, I pasted the wrong link. Actually here:
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
Thank you kirk5a.
It seems to me that what is not experienced through the allness of the all in this sutta is nibbana. See Note6 which indicates that.
However I'm not sure how to understand that:
"'Consciousness without surface ... has not been experienced through ... the allness of the all.'
Why does it say "not been experienced through the allness of the all?
Is that the same as "not been experienced through the all"?
I'm therefore not content with Note9 which explains that there is no surface for consciousness to land on. I somehow have the feeling that it is the other way round, consciousness is no longer a surface for nama-rupa to land on, but that's just an unsupported claim at the moment.
I think that it is not the allness of the all what determines "consciousness without feature", which comprises the usual content fabricated by ignorance, yet it is determined by the mind. I have no evidence at the moment to support this. I can't however understand why a new type of consciousness should be invented that stands somehow "outside" of the all.

As I said, I admit that I haven't thought this through entirly.

best wishes, acinteyyo
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Re: the great Nibbana = annihilation, eternal, or something else thread

Post by SSS » Sun Jul 19, 2015 11:44 am

The Pali word Nibbana is formed by "NI" "VANA" NI means no or negative particle and VANA means lusting or attachment, so the Nivana means non attach, If one can get ride of all lusts and attachments he will be free all burdens and can easily get ride of mind. The mind is attach to us due to lust "Thanha" Carving, which leads to ever-continue cycle of reincarnation. once you are free of mind that is Nibbana. CJS.

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Re: the great Nibbana = annihilation, eternal, or something else thread

Post by SSS » Sun Jul 19, 2015 12:17 pm

The consciousness is vinnana, when you see something, at that moment the vinnana is in the eye called chakku-vinnana , when you hear a thing the vinnana is in you ears the sotha-vinnana, when you taste a thing the vinnana is in your tong the diveha-vinnana, when you smell something the vinnana is in you in your nose he ghana-vinna. Like wise vinnana is every where. When a person attain Nirvana He do not take anything in from five censors as I saw, I hear, I taste likewise, the I is not there because there is no vinnana in arahath person. CJS.

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Continuation of conciousness / awareness

Post by Myotai » Tue Sep 29, 2015 2:00 pm

Hi all,

I read recently (and I cannot recall where!) that there are differences of opinion within the Theravada as to what the after death state is or is not.

My initial understanding is that its a pretty dark scenario for those hoping for there to be some sort of perpetuation of conciousness - though others, including Ajahn Brahm seem to disagree and err more on the side of the Tibetan schools.

Where can I get some clarification?

Thanks!

M...

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Re: Continuation of conciousness / awareness

Post by SarathW » Tue Sep 29, 2015 9:39 pm

Can you give some reference?
So we can understand what your question exactly is.
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Re: Continuation of conciousness / awareness

Post by Myotai » Wed Sep 30, 2015 5:09 am

SarathW wrote:Can you give some reference?
So we can understand what your question exactly is.
Well, I'm not sure I can clarify something I don't understand and as I said I can't recall where I heard that there is a difference of opinion.

Ajahn Brahm did a talk that was I think called "What happens after we die?" I saw it on YouTube recently. He sets out his stance very clearly there

Others, I believe, think differently and suggest that death is the annihilation of conscious thought. Presumably based upon the theory that the brain is the source of conciousness. But that's another story.

M...

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Re: Continuation of conciousness / awareness

Post by Lazy_eye » Wed Sep 30, 2015 1:26 pm

Myotai wrote:Hi all,

I read recently (and I cannot recall where!) that there are differences of opinion within the Theravada as to what the after death state is or is not.

My initial understanding is that its a pretty dark scenario for those hoping for there to be some sort of perpetuation of conciousness - though others, including Ajahn Brahm seem to disagree and err more on the side of the Tibetan schools.

Where can I get some clarification?

Thanks!

M...
I wonder if your question might actually entail two different questions:

1. What is the after death state of an unenlightened person?
2. What is the after death state of a Buddha or arahant?

From what I've seen, there are some differences of opinion within Theravada regarding #2, but the mainstream view is that the arahant or Buddha ceases to be. After death, there is no longer any state for that person.

For #1, the situation is different. Here the debates mostly center around the Buddhist teachings on rebirth. The traditional view, as I understand it at least, is that rebirth takes place but that the resulting consciousnessness is neither the same, nor entirely different from that of the previous life.

It's more like a continuum, with the past life causing the next life, etc, with the principle of impermanence applying in all cases. So, according to the traditional view, you will be reborn somewhere else after death -- but you won't be the same you as you are now. :)

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Re: Continuation of conciousness / awareness

Post by Myotai » Wed Sep 30, 2015 5:42 pm

Lazy_eye wrote:
Myotai wrote:Hi all,

I read recently (and I cannot recall where!) that there are differences of opinion within the Theravada as to what the after death state is or is not.

My initial understanding is that its a pretty dark scenario for those hoping for there to be some sort of perpetuation of conciousness - though others, including Ajahn Brahm seem to disagree and err more on the side of the Tibetan schools.

Where can I get some clarification?

Thanks!

M...
I wonder if your question might actually entail two different questions:

1. What is the after death state of an unenlightened person?
2. What is the after death state of a Buddha or arahant?

From what I've seen, there are some differences of opinion within Theravada regarding #2, but the mainstream view is that the arahant or Buddha ceases to be. After death, there is no longer any state for that person.

For #1, the situation is different. Here the debates mostly center around the Buddhist teachings on rebirth. The traditional view, as I understand it at least, is that rebirth takes place but that the resulting consciousnessness is neither the same, nor entirely different from that of the previous life.

It's more like a continuum, with the past life causing the next life, etc, with the principle of impermanence applying in all cases. So, according to the traditional view, you will be reborn somewhere else after death -- but you won't be the same you as you are now. :)
Thanks,

I cannot see any inspiration in ceasing to exist...sounds horribly nihilistic!

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Re: Continuation of conciousness / awareness

Post by Lazy_eye » Wed Sep 30, 2015 6:11 pm

Myotai wrote:
I cannot see any inspiration in ceasing to exist...sounds horribly nihilistic!
My understanding is probably faulty, so please take my comments below with a grain of salt. The issue you bring up has been an obstacle for me too, at times.

But anyway, here's how I see it:

(Theravada) Buddhists are inspired by the goal of transcending the samsaric cycle and attaining the supreme state of tranquility and freedom known as nibbana, which the Buddha achieved.

Once you've reached that state, non-existence (parinibbbana) happens in due course. You don't crave continued existence, but you're not desiring non-existence either. It's just what happens naturally when the time is right. Or, to be more doctrinally precise, when the kammic fuel sustaining your existence is used up.

The Buddhist path is a gradual one, with insight unfolding as we progress. In the beginning one may be motivated primarily by the wish to do something about dukkha. As we begin to understand the pervasiveness of dukkha, the desire to be utterly free of it deepens. With greater insight, we are drawn to the "other shore" which is nibbana.

And when we get there, we are very happy.

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Re: Continuation of conciousness / awareness

Post by Bhikkhu Pesala » Wed Sep 30, 2015 6:28 pm

Myotai wrote:I cannot see any inspiration in ceasing to exist...sounds horribly nihilistic!
That is to be expected for anyone still addicted to sensual pleasures and the wrong view of a self. See the Paccaya Sutta quoted below.

How about if we just rephrase it as the cessation of all suffering? Does that sound like something more worth striving to achieve.
Paccaya Sutta wrote:“When a disciple of the noble ones has seen well with right discernment this dependent co-arising and these dependently co-arisen phenomena as they have come to be, it is not possible that he would run after the past, thinking, ‘Was I in the past? Was I not in the past? What was I in the past? How was I in the past? Having been what, what was I in the past?’ or that he would run after the future, thinking, ‘Shall I be in the future? Shall I not be in the future? What shall I be in the future? How shall I be in the future? Having been what, what shall I be in the future?’ or that he would be inwardly perplexed about the immediate present, thinking, ‘Am I? Am I not? What am I? How am I? Where has this being come from? Where is it bound?’ Such a thing is not possible. Why is that? Because the disciple of the noble ones has seen well with right discernment this dependent co-arising and these dependently co-arisen phenomena as they have come to be.”
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Re: Continuation of conciousness / awareness

Post by Myotai » Wed Sep 30, 2015 6:46 pm

Bhikkhu Pesala wrote:
Myotai wrote:I cannot see any inspiration in ceasing to exist...sounds horribly nihilistic!
That is to be expected for anyone still addicted to sensual pleasures and the wrong view of a self.

How about if we just rephrase it as the cessation of all suffering? Does that sound like something more worth striving to achieve.
No doesn't help - the implication is that I would know that suffering has ended. You're stating that this wouldn't be the case aren't you?

Why would 'death' necessarily bring about a cessation of conscious thought? Doesn't dependent origination dictate that 'thought' (which would include imputing a self - albeit conventionally) naturally gives rise to another responding thought? Unless we are saying that thought is an emergent property of the brain?

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Re: Continuation of conciousness / awareness

Post by Bhikkhu Pesala » Wed Sep 30, 2015 7:00 pm

Myotai wrote:No doesn't help - the implication is that I would know that suffering has ended. You're stating that this wouldn't be the case aren't you?
No, I am not stating that. The Arahant will know the cessation of suffering before death. Even a Stream-winner can understand that nibbāna is the cessation of suffering. For most of us, we can only understand it by inference. We can understand that less craving means less suffering, so we can infer that no craving at all would mean no suffering at all.
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Re: Continuation of conciousness / awareness

Post by Myotai » Thu Oct 01, 2015 7:50 am

If after "attaining the supreme state of tranquility and freedom known as Nibbana" a Buddha has no 'state'...how is there an awareness of the 'peacve and tranquility'?

I really can't see anything to inspire one to sit here.

Correct me if I have misunderstood, but.....

When an un-enlightened person dies they're reborn immediately with no concept of having died - no awareness of self or other (in the conventional sense)?

When A Buddha dies 'he/she' possesses no state and there for consciousness ceases as do an awareness of self and other leaving nothing behind?

If the latter is the case, again, how is peace known??

M...

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Re: Continuation of conciousness / awareness

Post by Lazy_eye » Thu Oct 01, 2015 12:33 pm

Myotai wrote:If after "attaining the supreme state of tranquility and freedom known as Nibbana" a Buddha has no 'state'...how is there an awareness of the 'peacve and tranquility'?

I really can't see anything to inspire one to sit here.
But nibbana takes place while the Buddha or arahant is still alive. It's a state characterized by four special attributes: happiness, moral perfection, realization, and freedom.

Wouldn't the possibility of attaining such a state inspire at least some people to practice?

It's true that the Buddha or arahant doesn't persist in that state eternally. Eventually, in due course, he passes away (reaches parinibbana). So the short answer is: yes, practice will lead to the highest happiness, a state much to be desired, but this state does not persist eternally. When the time comes, life and consciousness are let go of as well.

Do you consider this unsatisfactory somehow? Why?
If the latter is the case, again, how is peace known??
As I understand it, peace is known at the time of enlightenment and then continues until paranibbana. This is the natural culmination of the process of letting go. The Buddha or arahant is aware that this final release is coming, and experiences the happiness associated with this awareness.

This is according to Theravada. Mahayana Buddhism has a different view.

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Re: Continuation of conciousness / awareness

Post by kirk5a » Thu Oct 01, 2015 1:07 pm

Myotai wrote:When A Buddha dies 'he/she' possesses no state and there for consciousness ceases as do an awareness of self and other leaving nothing behind?
The mind is unable to grasp a satisfactory answer to that. "nothing" is not accurate, nor any other description revolving around nothing, something, both or neither. Some Buddhists appear to think "nothing" is the right way to talk about it, but it isn't. They're actually spreading annihilationist views.
[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
"When one thing is practiced & pursued, ignorance is abandoned, clear knowing arises, the conceit 'I am' is abandoned, latent tendencies are uprooted, fetters are abandoned. Which one thing? Mindfulness immersed in the body." -AN 1.230

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Re: Continuation of conciousness / awareness

Post by Lazy_eye » Thu Oct 01, 2015 2:20 pm

kirk5a wrote: The mind is unable to grasp a satisfactory answer to that. "nothing" is not accurate, nor any other description revolving around nothing, something, both or neither. Some Buddhists appear to think "nothing" is the right way to talk about it, but it isn't. They're actually spreading annihilationist views.
It seems to be difficult if not impossible to discuss parinibbana without framing it in either eternalistic or annihilationist terms. If we say "yes, there's something that goes on after the death of the Buddha or arahant," then naturally the question arises as to what that something is. But to describe it we have to use language that is associated with samsaric existence, so we end up either contradicting ourselves or just being vague.

But my sense is that Buddhism is more pragrmatic. We can be confident about the following:

Dukkha is pervasive.
The Dhamma offers a path to freedom from dukkha.
The state of freedom from dukkha (nibbana) can be known and experienced.

Isn't that enough as a goal or inspiration for practice? Why worry about what happens after the bodily death of a Buddha or arahant? A Buddha wouldn't worry about it, because he does not crave either existence nor non-existence, nor does he feel aversion towards either.

Perhaps it's worth getting to nibbana just so one doesn't feel worried about it any more! :)

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Re: Continuation of conciousness / awareness

Post by lyndon taylor » Thu Oct 01, 2015 2:21 pm

When the Buddha was asked what happens to the Arahant after death, he basically refused to answer the question, what surprises me is so many unenlightened people think they have the answer, that you literally cease to exist, again not what the Buddha said, he said after death you can not say he exists and you can not say he doesn't exist, in other words its something beyond description, and most likely NOT complete annihilation.
18 years ago I made one of the most important decisions of my life and entered a local Cambodian Buddhist Temple as a temple boy and, for only 3 weeks, an actual Therevada Buddhist monk. I am not a scholar, great meditator, or authority on Buddhism, but Buddhism is something I love from the Bottom of my heart. It has taught me sobriety, morality, peace, and very importantly that my suffering is optional, and doesn't have to run my life. I hope to give back what little I can to the Buddhist community, sincerely former monk John

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Re: Continuation of conciousness / awareness

Post by Myotai » Thu Oct 01, 2015 2:29 pm

So, there is a state that can be attained that is perfect in every respect other than that it is temporary and ended by death of the body?

Still doesn't inspire me I am afraid. It might some though, I can see that.

Sounds a bit self centered too (dare I say). Striving to get this really cool state of mind, like a fantastic drug...then you die!

Hmmmm....not the noble goal thought it was ;)

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