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Is it possible to 'leave' Nirvana?

Posted: Wed Nov 21, 2012 8:47 pm
by pascal
Is it possible to 'leave' Nirvana, once one has achieved it, and to enter samsara again (at least in theory)? Or is it completely impossible?

(I do not really expect a definite answer to this question, since no one -- except for a few enlightened beings, perhaps ;) -- knows what Nirvana is like, but I'd be interested in some views nevertheless.)

Re: Is it possible to 'leave' Nirvana?

Posted: Wed Nov 21, 2012 9:05 pm
by dude
What if I told you it is?

Re: Is it possible to 'leave' Nirvana?

Posted: Wed Nov 21, 2012 9:19 pm
by Aloka
pascal wrote:Is it possible to 'leave' Nirvana, once one has achieved it, and to enter samsara again (at least in theory)? Or is it completely impossible?

(I do not really expect a definite answer to this question, since no one -- except for a few enlightened beings, perhaps ;) -- knows what Nirvana is like, but I'd be interested in some views nevertheless.)
Hi pascal,

Nibanna isn't a place. Its the complete cessation of greed, hatred and delusion.

Kind regards,

Aloka

Re: Is it possible to 'leave' Nirvana?

Posted: Wed Nov 21, 2012 9:24 pm
by Cittasanto
No, although there are some vague references to a form of temporary liberation using similare terms, Nibbana isn't generally described like that and isn't reversable once it has happened.

Re: Is it possible to 'leave' Nirvana?

Posted: Wed Nov 21, 2012 9:46 pm
by pascal
dude wrote:What if I told you it is?
Well, if it is possible to leave Nirvana, then it is possible for a being that once entered Nirvana to fall back into Samsara and to suffer again. If this possibility exists, then wouldn't it make Nirvana impermanent, at least in theory?

Re: Is it possible to 'leave' Nirvana?

Posted: Wed Nov 21, 2012 9:55 pm
by pascal
Aloka wrote:Hi pascal,

Nibanna isn't a place. Its the complete cessation of greed, hatred and delusion.

Kind regards,

Aloka
Hi Aloka,

yes, I know that Nibbana isn't a place (this is why I put the word leave in quotation marks, since it cannot be 'left' like, say, a house), but rather a state of consciousness (free from greed, hatred and delusion, as you say). So my question would be if it is possible -- in theory -- for this state of consciousness to change so that greed, hatred and delusion return.

Re: Is it possible to 'leave' Nirvana?

Posted: Wed Nov 21, 2012 9:59 pm
by pascal
Cittasanto wrote:No, although there are some vague references to a form of temporary liberation using similare terms, Nibbana isn't generally described like that and isn't reversable once it has happened.
Thanks for your response. :)

Re: Is it possible to 'leave' Nirvana?

Posted: Wed Nov 21, 2012 10:09 pm
by ALot
When you practise well your unskillful volitions and actions V(x) gradually decrease until finally they drop below enlightenment level E and your mind achieves nirvana:

Image
Image

Mind that is freed from greed, hatred and delusion doesn't grasp on anything, there's nothing that could remove it from that calm, stable equilibrium state.

So, the definite answer is: It is not possible to 'leave' Nirvana.

Re: Is it possible to 'leave' Nirvana?

Posted: Wed Nov 21, 2012 10:42 pm
by dude
pascal wrote:
dude wrote:What if I told you it is?
Well, if it is possible to leave Nirvana, then it is possible for a being that once entered Nirvana to fall back into Samsara and to suffer again. If this possibility exists, then wouldn't it make Nirvana impermanent, at least in theory?
If Nirvana is permanent, how can a Buddha appear in this world?

Re: Is it possible to 'leave' Nirvana?

Posted: Wed Nov 21, 2012 10:46 pm
by retrofuturist
Greetings Pascal,
pascal wrote:yes, I know that Nibbana isn't a place (this is why I put the word leave in quotation marks, since it cannot be 'left' like, say, a house), but rather a state of consciousness (free from greed, hatred and delusion, as you say). So my question would be if it is possible -- in theory -- for this state of consciousness to change so that greed, hatred and delusion return.
Since these consciousnesses are sankharas dependent upon ignorance (as per dependent origination / cessation), it is hard to see how it could be so.

Consider also the scheme of the "fetters" that are eradicated at each point of nobility.

Metta,
Retro. :)

Re: Is it possible to 'leave' Nirvana?

Posted: Wed Nov 21, 2012 10:50 pm
by pascal
ALot wrote:When you practise well your unskillful volitions and actions V(x) gradually decrease until finally they drop below enlightenment level E and your mind achieves nirvana:

Image
Image
Hehe, a nice way to explain it. :)
Mind that is freed from greed, hatred and delusion doesn't grasp on anything, there's nothing that could remove it from that calm, stable equilibrium state.

So, the definite answer is: It is not possible to 'leave' Nirvana.
Sounds plausible to me, thank you.

Re: Is it possible to 'leave' Nirvana?

Posted: Wed Nov 21, 2012 10:55 pm
by pascal
dude wrote:If Nirvana is permanent, how can a Buddha appear in this world?
Good question. Perhaps he's still 'in Nibbana' (that is, free from greed, hatred and delusion), but yet in this world? Dunno ...

Otherwise, if Nibbana were not permanent, wouldn't this make his teachings obsolete?

Re: Is it possible to 'leave' Nirvana?

Posted: Wed Nov 21, 2012 11:03 pm
by pascal
retrofuturist wrote:Greetings Pascal,
pascal wrote:yes, I know that Nibbana isn't a place (this is why I put the word leave in quotation marks, since it cannot be 'left' like, say, a house), but rather a state of consciousness (free from greed, hatred and delusion, as you say). So my question would be if it is possible -- in theory -- for this state of consciousness to change so that greed, hatred and delusion return.
Since these consciousnesses are sankharas dependent upon ignorance (as per dependent origination / cessation), it is hard to see how it could be so.

Consider also the scheme of the "fetters" that are eradicated at each point of nobility.

Metta,
Retro. :)
Hi Retro,

I'm not familiar with this scheme, do you have a link where it is explained? (I'm still in the n00b phase. :embarassed:)

Re: Is it possible to 'leave' Nirvana?

Posted: Wed Nov 21, 2012 11:32 pm
by equilibrium
pascal wrote:
dude wrote:If Nirvana is permanent, how can a Buddha appear in this world?
Good question. Perhaps he's still 'in Nibbana' (that is, free from greed, hatred and delusion), but yet in this world? Dunno ...

Otherwise, if Nibbana were not permanent, wouldn't this make his teachings obsolete?
So what exactly is Buddha?.....define Buddha.
And the word "he's" (in red).....why is the word "he's" being used?.....Is Buddha a person?

Re: Is it possible to 'leave' Nirvana?

Posted: Wed Nov 21, 2012 11:39 pm
by polarbear101
From A Verb for Nirvana
This may seem like a word-chopper's problem — what can a verb or two do to your practice? — but the idea of nirvana as a place has created severe misunderstandings in the past, and it could easily create misunderstandings now. There was a time when some philosophers in India reasoned that if nirvana is one place and samsara another, then entering into nirvana leaves you stuck: you've limited your range of movement, for you can't get back to samsara. Thus to solve this problem they invented what they thought was a new kind of nirvana: an unestablished nirvana, in which one could be in both places — nirvana and samsara — at once.

However, these philosophers misunderstood two important points about the Buddha's teachings. The first was that neither samsara nor nirvana is a place. Samsara is a process of creating places, even whole worlds, (this is called becoming) and then wandering through them (this is called birth). Nirvana is the end of this process. You may be able to be in two places at once — or even develop a sense of self so infinite that you can occupy all places at once — but you can't feed a process and experience its end at the same time. You're either feeding samsara or you're not. If you feel the need to course freely through both samsara and nirvana, you're simply engaging in more samsara-ing and keeping yourself trapped.

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... averb.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Re: Is it possible to 'leave' Nirvana?

Posted: Wed Nov 21, 2012 11:46 pm
by retrofuturist
Greetings Pascal,
pascal wrote:I'm not familiar with this scheme, do you have a link where it is explained? (I'm still in the n00b phase. :embarassed:)
Sure :)
The Ten Fetters (Sa.myojana)

There are ten 'Fetters'-samyojana-by which beings are bound to the wheel of existence. They are:

Self-Illusion (sakkaaya-di.t.thi)
Scepticism (vicikicchaa)
Attachment to mere Rule and Ritual (siilabbata-paraamaasa)
Sensual Lust (kaamaraaga)
Ill-Will (vyaapaada)
Craving for Fine-Material Existence (ruupa-raaga)
Craving for Immaterial Existence (aruupa-raaga)
Conceit (maana)
Restlessness (uddhacca)
Ignorance (avijjaa).
Source: http://www.budsas.org/ebud/word-of-buddha/wob4nt06.htm" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
AN 10.13 wrote:"There are these ten fetters. Which ten? Five lower fetters & five higher fetters. And which are the five lower fetters? Self-identity views, uncertainty, grasping at precepts & practices, sensual desire, & ill will. These are the five lower fetters. And which are the five higher fetters? Passion for form, passion for what is formless, conceit, restlessness, & ignorance. These are the five higher fetters. And these are the ten fetters."
MN 117 wrote:"In this community of monks there are monks who are arahants, whose mental effluents are ended, who have reached fulfillment, done the task, laid down the burden, attained the true goal, laid to waste the fetter of becoming, and who are released through right gnosis: such are the monks in this community of monks.

...

"In this community of monks there are monks who, with the wasting away of [the first] three fetters, and with the attenuation of passion, aversion, & delusion, are once-returners, who — on returning only once more to this world — will make an ending to stress: such are the monks in this community of monks.
See also: http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/stud ... ml#fetters" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Metta,
Retro. :)

Re: Is it possible to 'leave' Nirvana?

Posted: Thu Nov 22, 2012 12:21 am
by pascal
equilibrium wrote:So what exactly is Buddha?.....define Buddha.
Er ... an awakened being? A being that has realized its Buddha-nature?
And the word "he's" (in red).....why is the word "he's" being used?.....Is Buddha a person?
From what I understand, I'd say conventionally yes, but non-conventionally (seen from the point of emptiness) no.

edit: Thanks for the links @ polarbuddha101 & retrofuturist. :)

Re: Is it possible to 'leave' Nirvana?

Posted: Thu Nov 22, 2012 4:13 am
by dude
pascal wrote:
dude wrote:If Nirvana is permanent, how can a Buddha appear in this world?
Good question. Perhaps he's still 'in Nibbana' (that is, free from greed, hatred and delusion), but yet in this world? Dunno ...

Otherwise, if Nibbana were not permanent, wouldn't this make his teachings obsolete?

"Good question. Perhaps he's still 'in Nibbana' (that is, free from greed, hatred and delusion), but yet in this world? Dunno ... "

VERY good answer.

" Otherwise, if Nibbana were not permanent, wouldn't this make his teachings obsolete?"

Very good follow up question too. Pondering further.

Re: Is it possible to 'leave' Nirvana?

Posted: Thu Nov 22, 2012 10:22 am
by equilibrium
pascal wrote:
equilibrium wrote:So what exactly is Buddha?.....define Buddha.
Er ... an awakened being? A being that has realized its Buddha-nature?
So what is the difference between an awakened being and a non-awakened being?.....what part of the body gets awakened?.....is it the eyes? is it the brains? or is it something else?.....what exactly is it?.....what is it that "enters" Nirvana or meets it?
If an awakened being is a Buddha then is an arahart a buddha?.....is this correct?.....is it possible? or are they two very different?
Not exactly sure what Buddha-nature is.....can you define this?
And the word "he's" (in red).....why is the word "he's" being used?.....Is Buddha a person?
From what I understand, I'd say conventionally yes, but non-conventionally (seen from the point of emptiness) no.
So where should one be standing between these two?

Re: Is it possible to 'leave' Nirvana?

Posted: Thu Nov 22, 2012 10:54 am
by Yana
Is it possible to 'leave' Nirvana?

hmm..Excellent Question!please leave your name and phone number..and i will get right back at you after... i....get....to....the....other....shooooorrrre... :hello: Hello, This is an enlightened being speaking..Congratulations!You have been granted Permanent Resident of The State of Nibbanna.I'm sorry to inform you that ALL Vacation Packages to Samsara are not available.But you will find your stay here will more than accommodate for all your losses.Exceeding all expectations.Thank you for calling.goodbye. :redherring:
:tongue: :hug:

Friend,The State of Nibbanna is irreversible. :smile: