In your view, understanding, Parinibbana is:

Exploring Theravāda's connections to other paths - what can we learn from other traditions, religions and philosophies?

In your view, understanding, Parinibbana is:

not applicable, there is no rebirth, it is annihilation for all
2
2%
no more becoming, non-existence as we know it but not annihilation since there is no self
44
36%
existence in a buddha-field / realm
4
3%
pantheism
7
6%
citta continues in paranibbana
12
10%
a subtle existence that is ineffable, inexpressible
23
19%
don't know or agnostic about it, set-aside for now
31
25%
 
Total votes: 123

Herbie
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Re: In your view, understanding, Parinibbana is:

Post by Herbie » Fri Mar 04, 2016 9:11 pm

I guess from a buddhist perspective I would count as a nihilist. But from a non-buddhist philosophical perspective I do not qualify as nihilist. Anyway i have chosen
"not applicable, there is no rebirth, it is annihilation for all"
Inspiration is based on the exchange of different linguistic expressions. But inspiration is best knowing how language relates to truth. :smile:

Bakmoon
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Re: In your view, understanding, Parinibbana is:

Post by Bakmoon » Wed Mar 09, 2016 7:35 am

Reading through the Suttas, I came across something that I think captures my view on the subject quite succinctly.
AN 4.174
Then the Venerable Mahākoṭṭhita approached the Venerable Sāriputta and exchanged greetings with
him. When they had concluded their greetings and cordial talk, he sat down to one side and asked the
Venerable Sāriputta:
(1) “Friend, with the remainderless fading away and cessation of the six bases for contact, is there
anything else?” 879
“Do not say so, friend.”
(2) “With the remainderless fading away and cessation of the six bases for contact, is there nothing
else?”
“Do not say so, friend.”
(3) “With the remainderless fading away and cessation of the six bases for contact, is there both
something else and nothing else?”
“Do not say so, friend.”
(4) “With the remainderless fading away and cessation of the six bases for contact, is there neither
something else nor nothing else?”
“Do not say so, friend.” 880
“Friend, when you are asked: ‘With the remainderless fading away and cessation of the six bases for
contact, is there something else?’ you say: ‘Do not say so, friend.’ And when you are asked: ‘With the
remainderless fading away and cessation of the six bases for contact, is there nothing else? … Is there
both something else and nothing else? … Is there neither something else nor nothing else?’ [in each case]
you say: ‘Do not say so, friend.’ In what way should the meaning of this statement be understood?”
(1) “Friend, if one says: ‘With the remainderless fading away and cessation of the six bases for contact,
there is something else,’ one proliferates that which is not to be proliferated. 881 (2) If one says: ‘Friend,
with the remainderless fading away and cessation of the six bases for contact, there is nothing else,’ one
proliferates that which is not to be proliferated. (3) If one says: ‘Friend, with the remainderless fading
away and cessation of the six bases for contact, there is both something else and nothing else,’ one
proliferates that which is not to be proliferated. (4) If one says: ‘Friend, with the remainderless fadingaway and cessation of the six bases for contact, there is neither something else nor nothing else,’ one
proliferates that which is not to be proliferated.
“Friend, as far as the range of the six bases for contact extends, just so far extends the range of
proliferation. 882 As far as the range of proliferation extends, [162] just so far extends the range of the six
bases for contact. With the remainderless fading away and cessation of the six bases for contact there is
the cessation of proliferation, the subsiding of proliferation.”
So far as I can see, the meaning of this is that saying that Nibbana is something or saying that it is nothing are both wrong because Nibbana is totally beyond our concepts, and so it cannot be characterized either way. I actually put down both #2 and #6 for the poll because they are the closest to this, but they both fall on opposite sides of it so I couldn't pick between the two.

I'm just mentioning this to put down my opinion, not to really argue for anything though.
The non-doing of any evil,
The performance of what's skillful,
The cleansing of one's own mind:
This is the Buddhas' teaching.

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Alex123
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Re: In your view, understanding, Parinibbana is:

Post by Alex123 » Wed Mar 09, 2016 10:08 pm

Parinibbana, aka:" nibbana without remainder" is a complete and remainderless cessation of the 5 aggregates without anything remaining.

The reason it is beyond concepts is because there isn't anything there that could be a basis for concepts.
"Life is a struggle. Life will throw curveballs at you, it will humble you, it will attempt to break you down. And just when you think things are starting to look up, life will smack you back down with ruthless indifference..."

SarathW
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Re: In your view, understanding, Parinibbana is:

Post by SarathW » Wed Mar 09, 2016 10:12 pm

Hi Alex
My understanding is you cant cease the five aggregate.
Cessation of perception and feeling is considered the Parinibbana.
I may be wrong. :)
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

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Alex123
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Re: In your view, understanding, Parinibbana is:

Post by Alex123 » Fri Mar 11, 2016 12:02 am

SarathW wrote:Hi Alex
My understanding is you cant cease the five aggregate.
So, do you believe in some sort of eternal existence of 5 aggregates?
"Life is a struggle. Life will throw curveballs at you, it will humble you, it will attempt to break you down. And just when you think things are starting to look up, life will smack you back down with ruthless indifference..."

SarathW
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Re: In your view, understanding, Parinibbana is:

Post by SarathW » Fri Mar 11, 2016 12:10 am

H Alex
The way I understand five aggregate is the Samsara.
It is dependently originated.
Some may ask whether Samsara is eternal.
This point is raised in point of controversy in Kata Vattu.
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

R1111 = rightviewftw
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Re: In your view, understanding, Parinibbana is:

Post by R1111 = rightviewftw » Fri Mar 11, 2016 3:46 am

del
Last edited by R1111 = rightviewftw on Sat Jul 09, 2016 12:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Pragmatic
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Re: In your view, understanding, Parinibbana is:

Post by Pragmatic » Tue Mar 29, 2016 11:29 pm

Thanks for this survey, and the opportunity to frame my own question. I've always been puzzled by the distinction between options 1 and 2, between the straight forward materialist expectation of postmortem annihilation and the common Buddhist understanding, as supported here, that with rebirth one has to work toward basically the same annihilation, but with diligence! How does this constitute the middle path, avoiding the two extremes, and how can one maintain that the end of Buddhist practice is not annihilation?

SarathW
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Re: In your view, understanding, Parinibbana is:

Post by SarathW » Tue Mar 29, 2016 11:43 pm

Hi Pragmatic
What do you mean by annihilation?
Annihilation of what?
According to Buddhism there is no self to be annihilated.
If you say annihilation of attachment, aversion or ignorance, it may be applicable here.
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

Pragmatic
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Re: In your view, understanding, Parinibbana is:

Post by Pragmatic » Tue Mar 29, 2016 11:48 pm

daverupa wrote:
Spiny Norman wrote:I still don't understand the practical difference between the first two options on the poll.
The first is a materialism; everyone dies the same, with the same result: annihilation of the person, their ending and utter cessation.

The second is a parinibbana that comes after practice, not automatically.

The metaphysical difference may be similar, but this is why the Buddha was often confused for an annihilationist, back in the day.

Hi daverupa. I posted the same question, just before I saw your response here. But let me beg of your patience because the only distinction I can see here between a materialist and this particular Buddhist view is belief in a kind of rebirth, postmortem continuity of mental factors, etc. That is to say, the annihilation the materialist assumes to achieve without effort the Buddha tells us must be laboriously earned. Again, how is this the middle way? And why would a materialist, or anyone who doesn't remember former lives be interested in the Buddhist path? Is there any further reasoning you can offer?

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daverupa
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Re: In your view, understanding, Parinibbana is:

Post by daverupa » Wed Mar 30, 2016 12:23 am

Pragmatic wrote:That is to say, the annihilation the materialist assumes to achieve without effort the Buddha tells us must be laboriously earned.
Well, you're assuming that the post-death situation is the goal, but the ultimate aim is the reduction & elimination of dukkha, which doesn't have to make reference to post-death scenarios.

In the case of parinibbana, it's simply a result of attaining nibbana - it is not in and of itself the goal (which centers on the four Truths) but simply a component of the result.
Again, how is this the middle way?
It altogether bypasses the question of a person somehow existing forever or else being annihilated.
And why would a materialist, or anyone who doesn't remember former lives be interested in the Buddhist path?
Dukkha here and now is reduced & even eliminated, to various degrees; as the simple Sutta above shows, these three altogether encompass 'the suck', and do not make metaphysical references.

However! :focus:
  • "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting oneself one protects others? By the pursuit, development, and cultivation of the four establishments of mindfulness. It is in such a way that by protecting oneself one protects others.

    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting others one protects oneself? By patience, harmlessness, goodwill, and sympathy. It is in such a way that by protecting others one protects oneself.

- Sedaka Sutta [SN 47.19]

Pragmatic
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Re: In your view, understanding, Parinibbana is:

Post by Pragmatic » Wed Mar 30, 2016 12:26 am

SarathW wrote:Hi Pragmatic
What do you mean by annihilation?
Annihilation of what?
According to Buddhism there is no self to be annihilated.
If you say annihilation of attachment, aversion or ignorance, it may be applicable here.
Hi SarahW. Thanks for your response. Yes I'm very familiar with this explanation, which I'm sure you'll agree is an orthodox one, but it has always seemed to me to be a piece of sophistry.

The question turns on the full implications of "anatta". In short, because I don't want to blab on too much, the dependent, relative, designated "self" we have that is dependent somehow on the aggregates is itself just one more aspect of suffering, of dukkha, an integral part of the whole mass of suffering that is dissolved on reaching nibbana. The point is that we can only exist AS suffering and so to dissolve suffering in this orthodox view is to me indistinguishable from annihilation.

Again, to exist is to suffer, either in the unregenerate way that increases the suffering of others, or in an enlightened way that takes on and relieves the suffering of others.

So a non-annihilationist view, it seems to me, would be one that advocates the transformation not the dissolution of the aggregates, whether that's conceived as being in some other realm or here, where we stand.

Thanks again for the metta of engaging with my question.

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samseva
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Re: In your view, understanding, Parinibbana is:

Post by samseva » Wed Mar 30, 2016 2:52 am

Pragmatic wrote:Hi SarahW. Thanks for your response. Yes I'm very familiar with this explanation, which I'm sure you'll agree is an orthodox one, but it has always seemed to me to be a piece of sophistry.

The question turns on the full implications of "anatta". In short, because I don't want to blab on too much, the dependent, relative, designated "self" we have that is dependent somehow on the aggregates is itself just one more aspect of suffering, of dukkha, an integral part of the whole mass of suffering that is dissolved on reaching nibbana. The point is that we can only exist AS suffering and so to dissolve suffering in this orthodox view is to me indistinguishable from annihilation.

Again, to exist is to suffer, either in the unregenerate way that increases the suffering of others, or in an enlightened way that takes on and relieves the suffering of others.

So a non-annihilationist view, it seems to me, would be one that advocates the transformation not the dissolution of the aggregates, whether that's conceived as being in some other realm or here, where we stand.

Thanks again for the metta of engaging with my question.
Once one has attained Nibbāna, there is no more dukkha. The roots that cause it are uprooted. Like daverupa mentioned, the fact that an Arahant is not reborn is only an indirect consequence of the cessation of dukkha; it shouldn't be the end goal. If annihilationism is the end goal, then that desire is rooted in aversion.

The goal of the teachings is to end dukkha. If rebirth wouldn't take place, we would simply need to wait for our death. However, this is not the case. Until we continue to have the defilements, they will cause us to suffer and we will be reborn and suffer and be reborn and suffer. If we uproot the defilements, there will be no more dukkha, but there will be no more rebirth as well.

SarathW
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Re: In your view, understanding, Parinibbana is:

Post by SarathW » Wed Mar 30, 2016 3:11 am

it shouldn't be the end goal. If annihilationism is the end goal, then that desire is rooted in aversion.
Yes that is Vibhava Thanha.
Other way to look at this is by Nibbana as deathless.
If you do not have attachment, aversion and ignorance there is noting to die!
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

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cappuccino
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Re: In your view, understanding, Parinibbana is:

Post by cappuccino » Wed Mar 30, 2016 4:32 am

Rebirth:
Doubt is a fetter, faith isn't.

Nirvana:
Deathless implies no rebirth.

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