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

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

Post by aflatun » Sat Jan 13, 2018 4:48 pm

James Tan wrote:
Sat Jan 13, 2018 12:53 pm
If you can't pinpoint anything at all , how could anything being said arises or as being solid substance or being empty .

That's the million dollar question
Mūlamadhyamakakārikā wrote:
(Nagarjuna)
“The Transcendent Conqueror has taught
That all deceptive phenomena are false.
All conditioned phenomena are deceptive,
And, therefore, they are false. [XIII.1]

If a phenomenon that is deceptive is also false,
Then what is it that deceives?
With this, the Transcendent Conqueror
Has fully revealed emptiness. [XIII.2]


(Opponent)
Things are devoid of essence
Because they are perceived to change.
There are no entities without essence
Because entities possess emptiness. [XIII.3]


(Nagarjuna)
If there is no essence,
To what does change pertain?
If there were essences,
How could there be change? [XIII.4]

Change is not in that itself,
Nor is it in something else,
Because the young do not age,
And because the aged do not age. [XIII.5]

If that itself changes,
Then milk itself is yogurt.
What, other than milk,
Would turn into yogurt? [XIII.6]

If there were a bit of something that is not empty,
There could be a bit of something that is empty.
As there is not a bit that is not empty,
How could there be anything that is empty? [XIII.7]

The Victorious Ones have taught emptiness
As a deliverance from all views.
“For those whose view is emptiness, they teach,
Nothing can be accomplished. [XIII.8]”

Mabja Jangchub Tsondru. “Ornament of Reason: The Great Commentary to Nagarjuna's Root of the Middle Way.”
"People often get too quick to say 'there's no self. There's no self...no self...no self.' There is self, there is focal point, its not yours. That's what not self is."

Ninoslav Ñāṇamoli
Senses and the Thought-1, 42:53

"Those who create constructs about the Buddha,
Who is beyond construction and without exhaustion,
Are thereby damaged by their constructs;
They fail to see the Thus-Gone.

That which is the nature of the Thus-Gone
Is also the nature of this world.
There is no nature of the Thus-Gone.
There is no nature of the world."

Nagarjuna
MMK XXII.15-16

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aflatun
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Re: Nirvana is a Transcendent Reality

Post by aflatun » Sat Jan 13, 2018 8:55 pm

aflatun wrote:
Fri Aug 18, 2017 2:23 pm
David N. Snyder wrote: Perhaps neither the classical Theravadins nor the suttanta Theravadins can be generalized to a specific view on nibbana. There is a wide range of views in all of them. I was familiar with Buddhaghosa not accepting the nihilist view, but I had thought most classical Theravadins today were of the atheist-death view for parinibbana (with rebirth up to that point).
With respect to the suttanta camp I would agree, its a wide playing field. But regarding the former I'm not so sure. I guess it depends on how we define classical! If we mean commentarial tradition up to and including Burmese Vipassana, then I'm not aware of any significant departure from Buddhaghosa's general understanding, but I'm happy to be corrected on this if anyone has historical sources that imply otherwise.

For me this view is sharply distinct from those of specifically "Buddhist nihilism" (because despite all aggregates ending Nibbana is an unconditioned ultimate reality) and suttanta style "Buddhist eternalism" (because all aggregates end which rules out sentience). But I would still classify it as a form of "Buddhist Eternalism"...

The only thing I'm aware of that smacks of "absolute death, nothing else" aside from a few modern monks is the Sautrantikas, and I don't know their literature well enough to confirm this. I wouldn't be surprised to find more sublety there, similar to Bhante Sujato.

And so as a hypothesis-which is subject to revision!-my current understanding is that aside from the (maybe) Sautrantikas, this is an entirely modern phenomenon.
Of course that doesn't make it wrong by default. But personally I have come to regard it as an aberration and an innovation.
David N. Snyder wrote:Buddhism, especially Theravada does seem to have an appeal to nihilists. Perhaps it is because nibbana gets mistaken as annihilation.
I believe you have nailed it, good sir :)
Just to add another piece of data in support of my hypothesis above, it appears Lance Cousins held a similar opinion regarding the uniqueness of the Sautrantika position, i.e. Nibbana without residue is non existence, a non implicative negation, the unconditioned is merely the absence of the conditioned, etc.
Lance Cousins wrote:It seems clear that although lists of unconditioned dharmas varied among the schools to some extent, they were all agreed that there were unconditioned dharmas were not the mere absence of the conditioned. Only the sautrantikas and allied groups disputed this last point. It seems clear that their position is a later development based upon a fresh look at the Sutra literature among groups which did not accord the status of authentic word of the Buddha to the abidharma literature.

...

To summarize the kind of evolution suggested here: We may say that the main force of the nikayas is to discount speculation about nibbana. It is the summum bonum. To seek to know more is to manufacture obstacles. Beyond this only a few passages go. No certain account of the ontological status of nibbana can be derived from the nikayas. It cannot even be shown with certainty that a single view was held. By the time of the early abidhamma the situation is much clearer. The whole Buddhist tradition is agreed that nibbana is the unconditioned dhamma, neither temporal nor spatial, neither mind (in its usual form) nor matter, but certainly not the absence or mere cessation of other dhammas. The uniformity is certainly a strong argument for projecting this position into the nikayas and even for suggesting that it represents the true underlying position of the suttas.
Nibbāna and Abhidhamma
"People often get too quick to say 'there's no self. There's no self...no self...no self.' There is self, there is focal point, its not yours. That's what not self is."

Ninoslav Ñāṇamoli
Senses and the Thought-1, 42:53

"Those who create constructs about the Buddha,
Who is beyond construction and without exhaustion,
Are thereby damaged by their constructs;
They fail to see the Thus-Gone.

That which is the nature of the Thus-Gone
Is also the nature of this world.
There is no nature of the Thus-Gone.
There is no nature of the world."

Nagarjuna
MMK XXII.15-16

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

Post by cappuccino » Sat Jan 13, 2018 9:09 pm

By seeking the other shore, you won't fall off the edge
of the earth…

boundless
Posts: 18
Joined: Sun Feb 04, 2018 4:16 pm

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

Post by boundless » Mon Feb 12, 2018 4:35 pm

aflatun wrote:
Sat Jan 13, 2018 8:55 pm
aflatun wrote:
Fri Aug 18, 2017 2:23 pm
David N. Snyder wrote: Perhaps neither the classical Theravadins nor the suttanta Theravadins can be generalized to a specific view on nibbana. There is a wide range of views in all of them. I was familiar with Buddhaghosa not accepting the nihilist view, but I had thought most classical Theravadins today were of the atheist-death view for parinibbana (with rebirth up to that point).
With respect to the suttanta camp I would agree, its a wide playing field. But regarding the former I'm not so sure. I guess it depends on how we define classical! If we mean commentarial tradition up to and including Burmese Vipassana, then I'm not aware of any significant departure from Buddhaghosa's general understanding, but I'm happy to be corrected on this if anyone has historical sources that imply otherwise.

For me this view is sharply distinct from those of specifically "Buddhist nihilism" (because despite all aggregates ending Nibbana is an unconditioned ultimate reality) and suttanta style "Buddhist eternalism" (because all aggregates end which rules out sentience). But I would still classify it as a form of "Buddhist Eternalism"...

The only thing I'm aware of that smacks of "absolute death, nothing else" aside from a few modern monks is the Sautrantikas, and I don't know their literature well enough to confirm this. I wouldn't be surprised to find more sublety there, similar to Bhante Sujato.

And so as a hypothesis-which is subject to revision!-my current understanding is that aside from the (maybe) Sautrantikas, this is an entirely modern phenomenon.
Of course that doesn't make it wrong by default. But personally I have come to regard it as an aberration and an innovation.
David N. Snyder wrote:Buddhism, especially Theravada does seem to have an appeal to nihilists. Perhaps it is because nibbana gets mistaken as annihilation.
I believe you have nailed it, good sir :)
Just to add another piece of data in support of my hypothesis above, it appears Lance Cousins held a similar opinion regarding the uniqueness of the Sautrantika position, i.e. Nibbana without residue is non existence, a non implicative negation, the unconditioned is merely the absence of the conditioned, etc.
Lance Cousins wrote:It seems clear that although lists of unconditioned dharmas varied among the schools to some extent, they were all agreed that there were unconditioned dharmas were not the mere absence of the conditioned. Only the sautrantikas and allied groups disputed this last point. It seems clear that their position is a later development based upon a fresh look at the Sutra literature among groups which did not accord the status of authentic word of the Buddha to the abidharma literature.

...

To summarize the kind of evolution suggested here: We may say that the main force of the nikayas is to discount speculation about nibbana. It is the summum bonum. To seek to know more is to manufacture obstacles. Beyond this only a few passages go. No certain account of the ontological status of nibbana can be derived from the nikayas. It cannot even be shown with certainty that a single view was held. By the time of the early abidhamma the situation is much clearer. The whole Buddhist tradition is agreed that nibbana is the unconditioned dhamma, neither temporal nor spatial, neither mind (in its usual form) nor matter, but certainly not the absence or mere cessation of other dhammas. The uniformity is certainly a strong argument for projecting this position into the nikayas and even for suggesting that it represents the true underlying position of the suttas.
Nibbāna and Abhidhamma
Hi,

to give further evidence for your hypothesis I found this section of 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.
It seems that the view of the "permanent Nibbana" was well estabilished when (at least this part of) the Abhidhamma was written.

Of course there were many schools and hence many views and many opinions. Personally I think that the "non-existence" view is mistaken since it seems too reductionistic!

Regarding Nagarjuna personally I have a very hard time to understand him.

However I have a veryhard time to understand a lot of things but also it is true that:
[The Blessed One]: "This Dhamma that I have attained is deep, hard to see, hard to realize, peaceful, refined, beyond the scope of conjecture, subtle, to-be-experienced by the wise..." //www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/sn/sn06

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

Post by Dhammarakkhito » Tue Feb 13, 2018 7:26 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

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aflatun
Posts: 700
Joined: Fri Sep 16, 2016 2:40 pm
Location: Bay Area, CA

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

Post by aflatun » Tue Feb 13, 2018 2:12 pm

boundless wrote:
Mon Feb 12, 2018 4:35 pm
Hi,

to give further evidence for your hypothesis I found this section of 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.
It seems that the view of the "permanent Nibbana" was well estabilished when (at least this part of) the Abhidhamma was written.

Of course there were many schools and hence many views and many opinions. Personally I think that the "non-existence" view is mistaken since it seems too reductionistic!

Regarding Nagarjuna personally I have a very hard time to understand him.

However I have a veryhard time to understand a lot of things but also it is true that:
[The Blessed One]: "This Dhamma that I have attained is deep, hard to see, hard to realize, peaceful, refined, beyond the scope of conjecture, subtle, to-be-experienced by the wise..." //www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/sn/sn06
Welcome boundless, and thank you for sharing the great find! :thumbsup:
"People often get too quick to say 'there's no self. There's no self...no self...no self.' There is self, there is focal point, its not yours. That's what not self is."

Ninoslav Ñāṇamoli
Senses and the Thought-1, 42:53

"Those who create constructs about the Buddha,
Who is beyond construction and without exhaustion,
Are thereby damaged by their constructs;
They fail to see the Thus-Gone.

That which is the nature of the Thus-Gone
Is also the nature of this world.
There is no nature of the Thus-Gone.
There is no nature of the world."

Nagarjuna
MMK XXII.15-16

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