Are Rapture and Pleasure (Piti Sukha) Experienced in Nibbana? It Seems So!

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Robert123
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Are Rapture and Pleasure (Piti Sukha) Experienced in Nibbana? It Seems So!

Post by Robert123 » Mon Nov 05, 2018 5:03 pm

Hi All,

Here is an interesting quote from the Khuddaka Nikaya (The Therigatha):
Organ and object in the life of sense, 284
[And then the factors of the Nobler life :]
The Ariyan Truths, the Faculties, the Powers,
The Seven Features of Awakening,
The Eightfold Way, leading to utmost good. (171)
I heard her words, her bidding I obeyed.
While 285 passed the first watch of the night there rose
Long memories of the bygone line of lives. (172)
While passed the second watch, the Heavenly Eye,
Purview celestial, I clarified.
While passed the last watch of the night, I burst
And rent aside the gloom of ignorance. (173)
Then, letting joy and blissful ease of mind
Suffuse my body, seven days I sat,

Ere stretching out cramped limbs I rose again.
Was it not rent indeed, that muffling mist? 286 (174)
http://digital.library.upenn.edu/women/ ... .html#LVII
The Pali of the last verse is:
174. Pītisukhena ca kāyaṃ eritvā vihariṃ tadā,
Sattamiyā pāde pasāresiṃ tamokkhandhaṃ padāliyāti.
Itthaṃ sudaṃ vijayā theri gāthāyo abhasīti.
Since this quote mentions the overcoming of ignorance I think it refers to arahantship (if not it at least refers to a stream winner). In any case, the quote is describing the attainment of nibbana. Specifically, the quote is describing the fruition attainment phala. This is clear because it says that she, the arahant, was absorbed for 7 days and then rose from it. 7 days is the maxim amount of time one can be in fruition attainment phala.

Here is the interesting part. While she was in fruition attainment she experienced in the body (awareness occupying the body) joy (piti) and bliss (sukha).

This means that joy (piti) and bliss (sukha) are experienced in nibbana in fruition attainment phala. In nibbana a person experiences joy and bliss.

Not only that, but after exiting from fruition attainment a person can still experiences joy (piti) and bliss (sukha) as Saṁyutta Nikāya IV 235 states:
And what is the rapture [piti] more not-of-the-flesh than that not of the flesh? Whatever rapture arises in a fermentation-ended [arahant] monk as he is reflecting on his mind released from passion, reflecting on his mind released from aversion, reflecting on his mind released from delusion, that is called rapture more not-of-the-flesh than that not of the flesh. . . . And what is the pleasure [sukha] more not-of-the-flesh than that not of the flesh? Whatever pleasure arises in a fermentation-ended monk as he is reflecting on his mind released from passion, reflecting on his mind released from aversion, reflecting on his mind released from delusion, that is called pleasure more not-of-the-flesh than that not of the flesh. . . . And what is the equanimity more not-of-the-flesh than that not of the flesh? Whatever equanimity arises in a fermentation-ended monk as he is reflecting on his mind released from passion, reflecting on his mind released from aversion, reflecting on his mind released from delusion, that is called equanimity more not-of-the-flesh than that not of the flesh.
My question is, do you find any reasonable objections to this reasoning (especially the one on piti and sukha in fruition attainment), or is it sound to you?

Thanks!

Rob

P. S. To your knowledge, are there other translation of the specific passage I quote above and here below (The Therigatha 174 found in the Khuddaka Nikaya)? Thanissaro translates most of it but not this passage.
Then, letting joy and blissful ease of mind
Suffuse my body, seven days I sat,
Ere stretching out cramped limbs I rose again.
Was it not rent indeed, that muffling mist?

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budo
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Re: Are Rapture and Pleasure (Piti Sukha) Experienced in Nibbana? It Seems So!

Post by budo » Mon Nov 05, 2018 6:19 pm

If that is the case then Nibbana would have the feeling aggregate of the 5 aggregates. From my understanding Nibbana is beyond the 5 aggregates. The way I see it, after you attain Nibbana there's nothing much to do anymore as you've accomplished the path, so why not enter Jhanas? Once parinibbana happens though, there are no more feelings, no piti, no sukkha, no 5 aggregates.

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Re: Are Rapture and Pleasure (Piti Sukha) Experienced in Nibbana? It Seems So!

Post by santa100 » Mon Nov 05, 2018 7:34 pm

Nothing wrong with the presence of Piti/Sukha for one who has attained Nibbana. From Comprehensive Manual of Abhidhamma they're Cetasikas that belong to the Annasamana group (Ethically Variable). So it depends on the associated citta that arises. With kusala cittas they behave as if they are kusala cetasikas; with akusala cittas they will behave as if they are akusala cetasika. And if the co-arising cittas are abyakata(indeterminate or without kamma potential) then they will do the job of abyakata.

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Re: Are Rapture and Pleasure (Piti Sukha) Experienced in Nibbana? It Seems So!

Post by cappuccino » Mon Nov 05, 2018 7:37 pm

Robert123 wrote:
Mon Nov 05, 2018 5:03 pm
In nibbana a person experiences joy and bliss
right

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Volovsky
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Re: Are Rapture and Pleasure (Piti Sukha) Experienced in Nibbana? It Seems So!

Post by Volovsky » Mon Nov 05, 2018 8:10 pm

In 1st and 2nd supramundane jhānas there is piti and sukha. It is not in Nibbāna, but in the mind, which perceives Nibbāna.

K. R.Norman's translation:
Vijaya
173. In the middle watch of the night I purified the deva-eye. In the last watch of the night I tore asunder the mass of darkness (of ignorance).
174. And I then dwelt suffusing the body with joy and happiness. On the seventh (day) I stretched forth my feet, having torn asunder the mass of darkness (of ignorance).

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Re: Are Rapture and Pleasure (Piti Sukha) Experienced in Nibbana? It Seems So!

Post by dharmacorps » Mon Nov 05, 2018 9:12 pm

Who knows. Practice to reach nibbana and find out. There may be no "you" there. :anjali:

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Re: Are Rapture and Pleasure (Piti Sukha) Experienced in Nibbana? It Seems So!

Post by rightviewftw » Mon Nov 05, 2018 9:23 pm

I have heard that on one occasion Ven. Sariputta was staying near Rajagaha in the Bamboo Grove, the Squirrels' Feeding Sanctuary. 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.
https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitak ... .than.html
"If someone were to say: 'This is the highest pleasure that can be experienced,' I would not concede that. And why not? Because there is another kind of pleasure which surpasses that pleasure and is more sublime. And what is that pleasure? Here, with the stilling of thought conception and discursive thinking... a monk enters upon and abides in the second meditative absorption... in the sphere of the infinity of space... of the infinity of consciousness... of no-thingness... of neither-perception-nor-non-perception.

"If someone were to say: 'This is the highest pleasure that can be experienced,' I would not concede that. And why not? Because there is another kind of pleasure which surpasses that pleasure and is more sublime. And what is this pleasure? Here, by completely surmounting the sphere of neither-perception-nor-non-perception, a monk enters upon and abides in the cessation of perception and feeling. This is the other kind of pleasure which surpasses that pleasure and is more sublime.[3]

"It may happen, Ananda, that Wanderers of other sects will be saying this: 'The recluse Gotama speaks of the Cessation of Perception and Feeling and describes it as pleasure. What is this (pleasure) and how is this (a pleasure)?'

"Those who say so, should be told: 'The Blessed One describes as pleasure not only the feeling of pleasure. But a Tathagata describes as pleasure whenever and whereinsoever it is obtained.'"

That is what the Blessed One said. The venerable Ananda was satisfied and delighted in the Blessed One's words.
https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitak ... .nypo.html
Health is the highest gain. Contentment is the greatest wealth. The trusty [NāradaFn15-06] are the best kinsmen. Nibbāna is the highest bliss..http://myweb.ncku.edu.tw/~lsn46/tipitak ... en-chap15/
It is not pleasure of contact-feeling which is what is the case with all other pleasure
Therefore; 'The Blessed One describes as pleasure not only the feeling of pleasure. But a Tathagata describes as pleasure whenever and whereinsoever it is obtained.'"

There is no easy way to explain this because to understand it one needs to understand the conventional contact-feeling and thus more or less get an idea of the namarupa and by then one has arrived at right view and understands the doctrine
How to meditate: Anapanasati, Satipatthana.
Intro to General Semantics
Factors & Perceptions

Parallel Dhammapada Reading
Chinese to Eng Dhp
"The statements; 'With the remainderless stopping & fading of the six contact-media is it the case that there is anything else?' '.. 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?' objectify non-objectification. However far the six contact-media go, that is how far objectification goes."

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Re: Are Rapture and Pleasure (Piti Sukha) Experienced in Nibbana? It Seems So!

Post by SarathW » Mon Nov 05, 2018 10:28 pm

budo wrote:
Mon Nov 05, 2018 6:19 pm
If that is the case then Nibbana would have the feeling aggregate of the 5 aggregates. From my understanding Nibbana is beyond the 5 aggregates. The way I see it, after you attain Nibbana there's nothing much to do anymore as you've accomplished the path, so why not enter Jhanas? Once parinibbana happens though, there are no more feelings, no piti, no sukkha, no 5 aggregates.
Agree.

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

https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitak ... .than.html

============
Samiddhi, "Face to face with Gotama the contemplative have I heard this, face to face have I learned this: 'Bodily action is barren, verbal action is barren, only mental action is true. And there is an attainment in which, on being attained, nothing is felt.'"

https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitak ... .than.html
Last edited by SarathW on Mon Nov 05, 2018 10:39 pm, edited 2 times in total.
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

Robert123
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Re: Are Rapture and Pleasure (Piti Sukha) Experienced in Nibbana? It Seems So!

Post by Robert123 » Mon Nov 05, 2018 10:32 pm

Thank you all, and thank you Volovsky for the alternative translation!

Rightviewftw, are you saying that in nibbana there is pleasure however it does not arise from contact-feeling? If so that would be my point.

I don't understand this sutta you cite: "'The Blessed One describes as pleasure not only the feeling of pleasure. But a Tathagata describes as pleasure whenever and whereinsoever it is obtained.'"

Is the "feeling of pleasure" vedana contact feeling? In the context of this sutta it is describeing jhana feeling pleasure.
And what does this mean: "Tathagata describes as pleasure whenever and whereinsoever it is obtained." Is he talking about jhanas since that's the context?

The footnote to this that you cite seems a bit clearer but not much.
Yattha yattha avuso sukham upalabbhati yamhi yamhi, tam tam tathagato sukhasmim panfiiipeti. Spk: Whether felt happiness or unfelt happiness is found, the Tathagata describes whatever is without suffering as happiness. (Taken from The Connected Discourses by Bhikkhu Bodhi, Footnote 249 on page 1420, as well as p. 1240)
Thanks,

Rob
Last edited by Robert123 on Mon Nov 05, 2018 10:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.

paul
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Re: Are Rapture and Pleasure (Piti Sukha) Experienced in Nibbana? It Seems So!

Post by paul » Mon Nov 05, 2018 10:33 pm

The Satipatthana sutta instructs understanding “disappearance” of the clinging aggregates (the aggregates can also be neutral):
“There is the case where a monk (discerns): ‘Such is form, such its disappearance’.

SN 22.5 describes what “disappearance” of the clinging aggregates means:
"And what is the disappearance of form? ...feeling? ...perception? ...fabrications? What is the disappearance of consciousness?

"There is the case where one doesn't enjoy, welcome, or remain fastened. And what does one not enjoy or welcome, to what does one not remain fastened? One doesn't enjoy, welcome, or remain fastened to form. As one doesn't enjoy, welcome, or remain fastened to form, any delight in form ceases.”

The “disappearance” of the clinging aggregates means the attachment to them disappears. And all a practitioner should focus upon is this severing of attachment, debating the steps of dependent origination is a waste of precious time. The third noble truth doesn't state the ceasing of the aggregates, it states the ceasing of attachment.
Last edited by paul on Mon Nov 05, 2018 11:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.

rightviewftw
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Re: Are Rapture and Pleasure (Piti Sukha) Experienced in Nibbana? It Seems So!

Post by rightviewftw » Mon Nov 05, 2018 10:47 pm

Robert123 wrote:
Mon Nov 05, 2018 10:32 pm
Thank you all, and thank you Volovsky for the alternative translation!

Rightviewftw, are you saying that in nibbana there is pleasure however it does not arise from contact-feeling? If so that would be my point.

I don't understand this sutta you cite: "'The Blessed One describes as pleasure not only the feeling of pleasure. But a Tathagata describes as pleasure whenever and whereinsoever it is obtained.'"

Is the "feeling of pleasure" vedana contact feeling? In the context of this sutta it is describeing jhana feeling pleasure.
And what does this mean: "Tathagata describes as pleasure whenever and whereinsoever it is obtained." Is he talking about jhanas since that's the context?

The footnote to this that you cite seems a bit clearer but not much.
Yattha yattha avuso sukham upalabbhati yamhi yamhi, tam tam tathagato sukhasmim panfiiipeti. Spk: Whether felt happiness or unfelt happiness is found, the Tathagata describes whatever is without suffering as happiness. (Taken from The Connected Discourses by Bhikkhu Bodhi, Footnote 249 on page 1420, as well as p. 1240)
Thanks,

Rob
All of what is called "feeling" even that of the the jhanas is associated with contact. Contact implies that the occurence of that contact depends on a multiplicity, ie the meeting between the X, Y and Z is the contact therein. This is not the case with the unconditioned element, the unconditioned element is a singleness a "N" it is on it's own without any condition which supports or sustains it.

Therefore nobody feels or enters that dimension/base where there is neither earth, nor water, nor fire, nor wind; neither dimension of the infinitude of space, nor dimension of the infinitude of consciousness, nor dimension of nothingness, nor dimension of neither perception nor non-perception; neither this world, nor the next world, nor sun, nor moon. Where there is neither coming, nor going, nor staying; neither passing away nor arising: unestablished, unevolving, without support
Last edited by rightviewftw on Mon Nov 05, 2018 11:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.
How to meditate: Anapanasati, Satipatthana.
Intro to General Semantics
Factors & Perceptions

Parallel Dhammapada Reading
Chinese to Eng Dhp
"The statements; 'With the remainderless stopping & fading of the six contact-media is it the case that there is anything else?' '.. 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?' objectify non-objectification. However far the six contact-media go, that is how far objectification goes."

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Re: Are Rapture and Pleasure (Piti Sukha) Experienced in Nibbana? It Seems So!

Post by cappuccino » Mon Nov 05, 2018 10:52 pm

rightviewftw wrote:
Mon Nov 05, 2018 10:47 pm
Therefore nobody feels or enters that dimension
You shouldn't speak in that way. Don't misrepresent the Blessed One, for it's not right to misrepresent the Blessed One, and the Blessed One wouldn't say that.

rightviewftw
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Re: Are Rapture and Pleasure (Piti Sukha) Experienced in Nibbana? It Seems So!

Post by rightviewftw » Mon Nov 05, 2018 10:54 pm

cappuccino wrote:
Mon Nov 05, 2018 10:52 pm
rightviewftw wrote:
Mon Nov 05, 2018 10:47 pm
Therefore nobody feels or enters that dimension
You shouldn't speak in that way. Don't misrepresent the Blessed One, for it's not right to misrepresent the Blessed One, and the Blessed One wouldn't say that.
Image
Where there is neither coming, nor going, nor staying
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.
Last edited by rightviewftw on Mon Nov 05, 2018 11:21 pm, edited 4 times in total.
How to meditate: Anapanasati, Satipatthana.
Intro to General Semantics
Factors & Perceptions

Parallel Dhammapada Reading
Chinese to Eng Dhp
"The statements; 'With the remainderless stopping & fading of the six contact-media is it the case that there is anything else?' '.. 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?' objectify non-objectification. However far the six contact-media go, that is how far objectification goes."

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Re: Are Rapture and Pleasure (Piti Sukha) Experienced in Nibbana? It Seems So!

Post by cappuccino » Mon Nov 05, 2018 10:57 pm

things aren't as they seem in this teaching

it is difficult to understand, subtle
Last edited by cappuccino on Tue Nov 06, 2018 12:34 am, edited 3 times in total.

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Re: Are Rapture and Pleasure (Piti Sukha) Experienced in Nibbana? It Seems So!

Post by Zom » Mon Nov 05, 2018 11:39 pm

My question is, do you find any reasonable objections to this reasoning (especially the one on piti and sukha in fruition attainment), or is it sound to you?
There are 2 types of nibbana, psychological (arahant's clean mind, see SN 38.1) and ontological or so called "meditative" (nirodha-samapatti, see for example AN 9.47 or AN 9.34). In the first one any factors can appear, piti and sukha included. In the second one - no. All mentality ceases there.
Specifically, the quote is describing the fruition attainment phala. This is clear because it says that she, the arahant, was absorbed for 7 days and then rose from it.
No. What is described there is in-jhanic vipassana practice, which, on the 7th day, brought her to arahantship. Before that she was not fully enlightened.

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