Nibbana and samsara are identical. Change my view.

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism
alfa
Posts: 416
Joined: Fri Mar 18, 2011 4:43 pm
Location: India

Re: Nibbana and samsara are identical. Change my view.

Post by alfa » Sun Dec 01, 2019 2:48 am

Dan74 wrote:
Sat Nov 30, 2019 4:38 pm
From David Loy's essay:
[Nagarjuna's works] refute this thought-constructed distinction between objects and processes by analyzing how that very distinction distorts our understanding of causality, motion, perception, time, and so forth. Nagarjuna’s basic approach is almost always the same: The particular distinction being examined is shown to be incomprehensible, because, having been made, the two different terms no longer fit back together. The basic problem, the source of our suffering, is that our commonsense ways of understanding ourselves as separate from but also in the world assume this delusive distinction.

For example, consider the relationship between the self and its ever-changing mental and physical states (one’s thoughts, emotions, bodily feelings, etc.). Is the self the same as those states, or different from them? We say, “I am hungry or angry, or confused,” which implies that “I” am constantly changing. But we also have a sense of an “I” that persists unchanged: the “I” that works is the same “I” that gets a paycheck at the end of the month. In everyday life we constantly fudge this inconsistency. Sometimes we understand ourselves one way, sometimes the other, but understanding ourselves as things that both change and stay the same is really a contradiction. Nagarjuna’s explanation for the inconsistency is that the self is shunya, “empty.” In modem terms, my sense of self is an impermanent, ever-changing construct.

Nagarjuna also applies his method to Buddhist constructs. What about nirvana? It too is a shunya concept. If nirvana is something causally unconditioned, a reality that does not arise or pass away, then there is no way for us to get there. If it is conditioned, then it too will pass away, like every other conditioned thing. Neither alternative provides spiritual salvation. Letting go of the ways of thinking in which we are normally stuck allows us to experience the world as it really is. This, “the end of conceptual elaborations (prapancha),” is how Nagarjuna refers to nirvana.

Nagarjuna never actually claims, as is sometimes thought, that “samsara is nirvana.” Instead, he says that no difference can be found between them. The koti (limit, boundary) of nirvana is the koti of samsara. They are two different ways of experiencing this world. Nirvana is not another realm or dimension but rather the clarity and peace that arise when our mental turmoil ends, because the objects with which we have been identifying are realized to be shunya. Things have no reality of their own that we can cling to, since they arise and pass away according to conditions. Nor can we cling to this truth. The most famous verse in the Karikas (25:24) sums this up magnificently: “Ultimate serenity is the coming-to-rest of all ways of ‘taking’ things, the repose of named things. No truth has been taught by a Buddha for anyone anywhere.”
http://www.thezensite.com/ZenEssays/Nag ... a_Loy.html
This is quite intriguing. I wish there were more resources so one could form an unbiased opinion about N.

char101
Posts: 336
Joined: Wed Nov 04, 2009 1:21 am

Re: Nibbana and samsara are identical. Change my view.

Post by char101 » Sun Dec 01, 2019 3:42 am

zan wrote:
Sat Nov 30, 2019 5:43 pm
char101 wrote:
Sat Nov 30, 2019 7:22 am
If Nibanna is samsara then you would already have attained Nibanna.
Excellent point. Please elaborate.
Premise A: Beings live in samsara
Premise B: Nibanna and samsara is identical
Conclusion: Those beings have attained Nibanna

User avatar
cappuccino
Posts: 3541
Joined: Thu Feb 11, 2016 1:45 am

Re: Nibbana and samsara are identical. Change my view.

Post by cappuccino » Sun Dec 01, 2019 3:58 am

Samsara is ignorance

ignorance specifically of the teaching

Nirvana is enlightenment

enlightenment specifically from the teaching

chownah
Posts: 8631
Joined: Wed Aug 12, 2009 2:19 pm

Re: Nibbana and samsara are identical. Change my view.

Post by chownah » Sun Dec 01, 2019 11:46 am

alfa wrote:
Sun Dec 01, 2019 2:48 am

This is quite intriguing. I wish there were more resources so one could form an unbiased opinion about N.
Nagarjuna Reader's Guide
https://www.shambhala.com/nagarjuna-readers-guide/
Have you seen this? It was really easy to find.
chownah

zan
Posts: 794
Joined: Sun Aug 28, 2016 1:57 pm

Re: Nibbana and samsara are identical. Change my view.

Post by zan » Sun Dec 01, 2019 3:28 pm

Pulsar wrote:
Sat Nov 30, 2019 9:00 pm
Santa100 wrote
Might want to increase the font to your 2nd sentence below the first sentence in the OP for clarification:
Thanks Santa100, I totally missed the fine print. Now that you point it out, I thank you. I guess the OP posted a trick question.
He said "Change my view" but underneath in almost invisible fine print,
he posted "I don't
believe this", if so what was the point of the post?
He wrote
but want to hear the counters to this idea and this is the least convoluted way
food for thought. :candle:
PS One must always read the fine print, before responding.
Well here I thought I was posting a fun, easy way to discuss this issue and being totally up front by including the fine print! Sorry you both seem to see this as wrong for some reason.
Never read anything I write as an accurate statement about anything whatsoever. First, look to wiser ones than I. Look to wise texts. Unless you can confirm their accuracy from a reliable source, treat my writings like word games, nothing more.

zan
Posts: 794
Joined: Sun Aug 28, 2016 1:57 pm

Re: Nibbana and samsara are identical. Change my view.

Post by zan » Sun Dec 01, 2019 3:28 pm

char101 wrote:
Sun Dec 01, 2019 3:42 am
zan wrote:
Sat Nov 30, 2019 5:43 pm
char101 wrote:
Sat Nov 30, 2019 7:22 am
If Nibanna is samsara then you would already have attained Nibanna.
Excellent point. Please elaborate.
Premise A: Beings live in samsara
Premise B: Nibanna and samsara is identical
Conclusion: Those beings have attained Nibanna
Lol fair enough. Thanks.
Never read anything I write as an accurate statement about anything whatsoever. First, look to wiser ones than I. Look to wise texts. Unless you can confirm their accuracy from a reliable source, treat my writings like word games, nothing more.

zan
Posts: 794
Joined: Sun Aug 28, 2016 1:57 pm

Re: Nibbana and samsara are identical. Change my view.

Post by zan » Sun Dec 01, 2019 3:29 pm

Dhammanando wrote:
Sat Nov 30, 2019 9:24 pm
zan wrote:
Sat Nov 30, 2019 5:55 pm
Thanks but where did I mention Nagarjuna? I'm asking about the view in general, not Nagarjuna's position.
But there's no such thing as "the view in general". For different Mahayana teachers and different Mahayana schools the claim that saṃsāra is nirvāṇa has meant all sorts of different things. For some examples see the attached article by George Rupp: The Relationship between Nirvāna and Samsāra - An Essay on the Evolution of Buddhist Ethics.

.
George Rupp, The Relationship between Nirvāna and Samsāra.pdf
Excellent point Venerable. I'll look into that thank you.
Never read anything I write as an accurate statement about anything whatsoever. First, look to wiser ones than I. Look to wise texts. Unless you can confirm their accuracy from a reliable source, treat my writings like word games, nothing more.

zan
Posts: 794
Joined: Sun Aug 28, 2016 1:57 pm

Re: Nibbana and samsara are identical. Change my view.

Post by zan » Thu Dec 05, 2019 2:02 am

retrofuturist wrote:
Sat Nov 30, 2019 9:45 am
Greetings,
zan wrote:
Fri Nov 29, 2019 10:18 pm
Nibbana and samsara are identical. Change my view.
Nirvana is unconditioned, samsara is conditioned.

No amount of Mahariddling alters this true Dhamma.

Metta,
Paul. :)
Ah! I see! We do agree!

Sorry I failed to read this before! Always a pleasure to read your replies, thanks.
Never read anything I write as an accurate statement about anything whatsoever. First, look to wiser ones than I. Look to wise texts. Unless you can confirm their accuracy from a reliable source, treat my writings like word games, nothing more.

nmjojola
Posts: 11
Joined: Fri Nov 29, 2019 2:29 am

Re: Nibbana and samsara are identical. Change my view.

Post by nmjojola » Thu Dec 05, 2019 11:36 pm

zan wrote:
Fri Nov 29, 2019 10:18 pm
Nibbana and samsara are identical. Change my view.
I do not believe this, but want to hear the counters to this idea and this is the least convoluted way
Easy. A thing can't be wandering around and be extinct at the same time. If a thing is wandering, it's not extinct then is it? If a thing is extinct, it can't be wandering now can it?

zan
Posts: 794
Joined: Sun Aug 28, 2016 1:57 pm

Re: Nibbana and samsara are identical. Change my view.

Post by zan » Thu Dec 05, 2019 11:37 pm

nmjojola wrote:
Thu Dec 05, 2019 11:36 pm
zan wrote:
Fri Nov 29, 2019 10:18 pm
Nibbana and samsara are identical. Change my view.
I do not believe this, but want to hear the counters to this idea and this is the least convoluted way
Easy. A thing can't be wandering around and be extinct at the same time. If a thing is wandering, it's not extinct then is it? If a thing is extinct, it can't be wandering now can it?
:heart:
Never read anything I write as an accurate statement about anything whatsoever. First, look to wiser ones than I. Look to wise texts. Unless you can confirm their accuracy from a reliable source, treat my writings like word games, nothing more.

User avatar
cappuccino
Posts: 3541
Joined: Thu Feb 11, 2016 1:45 am

Re: Nibbana and samsara are identical. Change my view.

Post by cappuccino » Fri Dec 06, 2019 2:40 am

nmjojola wrote: A thing can't be wandering around and be extinct at the same time. If a thing is wandering, it's not extinct then is it? If a thing is extinct, it can't be wandering now can it?
Tathāgata

nmjojola
Posts: 11
Joined: Fri Nov 29, 2019 2:29 am

Re: Nibbana and samsara are identical. Change my view.

Post by nmjojola » Fri Dec 06, 2019 1:17 pm

cappuccino wrote:
Fri Dec 06, 2019 2:40 am
nmjojola wrote: A thing can't be wandering around and be extinct at the same time. If a thing is wandering, it's not extinct then is it? If a thing is extinct, it can't be wandering now can it?
Tathāgata
Well, I've never seen how that epitaph could be possibly interpreted as anything other than a reflexive pronoun signifying whom it regards as "One thus gone (from wandering, Samsara)/One thus come (to extinction, Nibbana)"

So to me the question if Nibbana and Samsara are the same is to presume ontological or metaphysical meaning or significance about them.

User avatar
cappuccino
Posts: 3541
Joined: Thu Feb 11, 2016 1:45 am

Re: Nibbana and samsara are identical. Change my view.

Post by cappuccino » Fri Dec 06, 2019 6:36 pm

nmjojola wrote: Well, I've never seen how that epitaph could be possibly interpreted as anything other than
I interpret "thus gone" as no longer here, yet here

which is simply a "paradox"

User avatar
mikenz66
Posts: 17218
Joined: Sat Jan 10, 2009 7:37 am
Location: Aotearoa, New Zealand

Re: Nibbana and samsara are identical. Change my view.

Post by mikenz66 » Sat Dec 07, 2019 1:36 am

Dan74 wrote:
Sat Nov 30, 2019 4:38 pm
From David Loy's essay:
....
Nagarjuna never actually claims, as is sometimes thought, that “samsara is nirvana.” Instead, he says that no difference can be found between them. The koti (limit, boundary) of nirvana is the koti of samsara. They are two different ways of experiencing this world. Nirvana is not another realm or dimension but rather the clarity and peace that arise when our mental turmoil ends, because the objects with which we have been identifying are realized to be shunya. Things have no reality of their own that we can cling to, since they arise and pass away according to conditions. Nor can we cling to this truth. The most famous verse in the Karikas (25:24) sums this up magnificently: “Ultimate serenity is the coming-to-rest of all ways of ‘taking’ things, the repose of named things. No truth has been taught by a Buddha for anyone anywhere.”
http://www.thezensite.com/ZenEssays/Nag ... a_Loy.html
Thanks Dan. It's good to remind us that the analyses by Nagarjuna and others a quite subtle, and cannot be reduced to sound bites.

See also NIBBĀNA – THE MIND STILLED, Sermon 18, by Bhikkhu K. Ñāṇananda
https://seeingthroughthenet.net/books/
Ñāṇananda wrote: Earlier we happened to mention that there is a wide gap between the
mundane and the supramundane. Some might think that this refers to a gap
in time or in space. In fact it is such a conception that often led to various
misinterpretations concerning Nibbàna. The supramundane seems so far
away from the mundane, so it must be something attainable after death in
point of time. Or else it should be far far away in outer space. Such is the
impression made in general.

But if we go by the simile of the drop of water on the lotus leaf, the
distance between the mundane and the supramundane is the same as that
between the lotus leaf and the drop of water on it.
As mentioned in other threads, Ñāṇananda was quite familiar with Nagarjuna.

See "Questions and Answers" on the above link.
“The five ascetics were given a teaching based on the
ethical middle path, avoiding the two extremes of kāmasukhal-
likānuyoga and attakilamathānuyoga. But the middle path of
right view is found in the Kaccānagotta Sutta, beautifully used by
Ven. Nāgārjuna. When the Theravadins got engrossed with the
Abhidhamma they forgot about it. The Mādhyamikas were alert
enough to give it the attention it deserved.
...

“I didn’t quote from the Mahāyāna texts in the Nibbāna
sermons,” he says, “because there was no need. All that was
needed was already found in the Suttas. Teachers like Nāgārjuna
brought to light what was already there but was hidden from
view. Unfortunately his later followers turned it in to a vāda.”

He goes on to quote two of his favourite verses from Ven.
Nāgārjuna’s Mūlamādhyamakakārikā (as usual, from memory):
Śūnyatā sarva-dṛṣtīnaṃ proktā niḥsaranaṃ jinaiḥ,
yeṣāṃ śūnyatā-dṛṣtis tān asādhyān babhāṣire [MK 13.8]
The Victorious Ones have declared that emptiness is the
relinquishing of all views. Those who are possessed of the
view of emptiness are said to be incorrigible.
Sarva-dṛṣti-prahāṇāya yaḥ saddharmam adeśayat,
anukampam upādāya taṃ namasyāmi gautamaṃ
– [MK 26.30]
I reverently bow to Gautama who, out of compassion, has
taught the doctrine in order to relinquish all views.
Bhante doesn’t bother translating the verses; the ones
provided above are by David Kalupahana.

“When I first read the Kārikā I too was doubting Ven.
Nāgārjuna’s sanity” he laughs. “But the work needs to be
understood in the context. He was taking a jab at the
Sarvāstivādins. To be honest, even the others deserve the rebuke,
although they now try to get away by using Sarvāstivāda as an
excuse. How skilled Ven. Nāgārjuna must have been, to compose
those verses so elegantly and filling them with so much meaning,
like the Dhammapada verses. It’s quite amazing. This has been
rightly understood by Prof. Kalupahana.”

Prof. David J. Kalupahana is an eminent Sri Lankan
scholar who stirred up another controversy when he portrayed
Ven. Nāgārjuna as a reformist trying to resurrect early Buddhist
teachings. He had been a lecturer during Bhante Ñāṇananda’s
university days as a layman at Peradeniya.

“If there is no substance in anything, what is left is
emptiness. But many people are afraid of words, like śūnyatā.
They want to protect their four.” With that ‘irreverent’ comment
about the four paramattha dhamma–s of the Abhidhamma,
Bhante Ñāṇananda breaks into amused laughter.
:heart:
Mike

Pulsar
Posts: 574
Joined: Tue Feb 05, 2019 6:52 pm

Re: Nibbana and samsara are identical. Change my view.

Post by Pulsar » Sun Dec 08, 2019 10:53 pm

mikenz66 wrote
But if we go by the simile of the drop of water on the lotus leaf, the
distance between the mundane and the supramundane is the same as that
between the lotus leaf and the drop of water on it
.
I find this refreshing. Thanks for the excerpts from Ven. Nananada. It is wonderful to
be reminded of him. Thank you for taking the time.

Best :candle:

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Dan74 and 299 guests