rowyourboat wrote:Hi Kirk,
So you do agree with me (mind the reification) that there is something in nibbana other than just the absence of lobha, dosa and moha, which are conditioned? Or are you saying that there is only the cessation of lobha, dosa and moha and that nibbana, apart from that, doesnt exist?
Well I was just trying to answer your last questions with the answers I think the suttas provide. In the suttas "exists" or "doesn't exist" are both rejected. It's clear the Buddha was trying to show the way to the end of dukkha, not establish an ultimate metaphysical framework. Still, some things were said - including "'There is, monks, an unborn — unbecome — unmade — uncompounded." The translation of which, I have noted, some disagree with. And including that sutta quote I provided above, which seems pretty clear to me. I'm no arahant, so my words or views on nibbana don't amount to a hill of beans, I'm sure. But here are some things I just came across from Ajaan Lee Dhammadharo which seem relevant, and compatible with the sutta quote I provided above:
on stream entry:
They have traced the path back and forth, cutting away at the grasses and weeds. One mental moment they trace things forward, and the next moment they trace them back. In other words, they focus on the phenomenon of arising and passing away, and then are able to know through the power of liberating insight that there in the midst of physical and mental phenomena exists something that isn't subject to arising and passing away.
The path to stream-entry is the act of focusing on physical and mental phenomena, back and forth. When events are traced back and forth — sometimes two times in succession, sometimes three, depending on the power of one's insight — physical and mental phenomena disband and change-of-lineage knowledge arises in the same instant, enabling one to see the quality within one that isn't subject to arising or passing away.
http://www.what-buddha-taught.net/books ... _heart.htm
When the qualities of virtue, concentration, and discernment are brought together in fully mature form, the mind is released from physical and mental phenomena through the power of discernment, in line with the teaching,
paññaya paribhavitam cittam
sammadeva asavehi vimuccati:
"When the mind has been matured through discernment, it gains complete release from all mental effluents." The mind is able to let go of physical and mental phenomena. Physical and mental phenomena are not the mind; the mind isn't physical and mental phenomena. The mind isn't virtue, concentration, and discernment.
sabbe dhamma anatta:
The mind doesn't identify any quality as itself, or itself as any of these qualities. It simply is — deathlessness. This is called disbanding because passion, aversion, and delusion have disbanded completely. There is no more becoming for the mind, no more birth, no more involvement with the elements, aggregates, and sense media, and — unlike ordinary run-of-the-mill people — no longer any intoxication with any of these things. As a passage in the Canon puts it:
mada-nimmadano — no longer intoxicated with the three levels of existence;
pipasa-vinayo — no longer thirsting for sensual pleasures;
alaya-samugghato — involvement with the aggregates has been withdrawn, leaving the aggregates free to follow their own natural state;
vattupacchedo — the cycle through the three levels of existence has been cut absolutely;
tanhakkhayo — craving is done with;
virago — passion is done with;
nirodho — unawareness has disbanded without leaving a trace;
nibbana — the mind is freed from its shackles and bonds.
The Deathless is reached. Birth, aging, illness, and death are eliminated. Ultimate, unchanging ease is attained. The aggregates disband without leaving a trace, in line with the synopsis of dependent origination: "Simply with the disbanding of this unawareness — with no trace of remaining passion — fashionings disband... consciousness (with regard to the six senses) disbands... physical and mental phenomena disband... the six sense media disband... sensory contacts disband... the three kinds of feeling disband... the three kinds of craving disband... the four kinds of clinging disband... becoming disbands... birth disbands... aging, death, sorrow, lamentation, pain, distress, and despair all disband and no longer appear as stress."
The mind is Dhamma, free from effluents, because it has gained insight into all fashioned things. It is released from all unawareness, craving, and clinging, and has cut all ten fetters. This is the fruition of arahantship. Those who have reached this level have completed the religion. They have no more defilements or cravings; no one has anything further to teach them. Even the Buddha himself doesn't have it within his power to formulate any further instructions for them. This is why they are said to have completed the religion. If you were to describe their virtues, they would be infinite.
"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