Goal of the path: "nirvana" vs "nirodha"?

Exploring Theravāda's connections to other paths. What can we learn from other traditions, religions and philosophies?
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Lazy_eye
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Re: Goal of the path: "nirvana" vs "nirodha"?

Post by Lazy_eye » Fri Apr 29, 2016 12:40 pm

Paul Davy wrote:Greetings Aloka,
It's AN 1.328.
Paul, would you be able to provide a link and perhaps the Pali original? I have been unable to locate this passage. I did find the following:
320. Bhikkhus, just as a little bit of excreta smells and should be got rid of, I do not specify thinking even for the fraction of a second.

321. Bhikkhus, just as a little bit of urine, ... re ... saliva, ... re ... pus, ... re ... blood smells and should be got rid of, I do not specify thinking{1) even for the fraction of a second.

Notes.

( 1) I do not specify thinking even for a short second. `appamattakaṃpi bhavaṃ na vaṇṇemi' Always thoughts seek connections in the past, for the future or in the present. The bhikkhu who aims extinction should not advocte thinking, as thoughts prolong the journey in existence.


I don't know Pali, but can see that "bhavam" is used in the phrase above....

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Re: Goal of the path: "nirvana" vs "nirodha"?

Post by katavedi » Fri Apr 29, 2016 12:50 pm

Hello Lazy_eye,
Lazy_eye wrote:Paul, would you be able to provide a link and perhaps the Pali original? I have been unable to locate this passage.
“Seyyathāpi, bhikkhave, appamattakopi gūtho duggandho hoti; evamevaṃ kho ahaṃ, bhikkhave, appamattakampi bhavaṃ na vaṇṇemi, antamaso accha­rā­saṅghā­ta­mattampi”.

Kind wishes,
katavedi
“But, Gotamī, when you know of certain things: ‘These things lead to dispassion, not to passion; to detachment, not to attachment; to diminution, not to accumulation; to having few wishes, not to having many wishes; to contentment, not to discontent; to seclusion, not to socializing; to the arousing of energy, not to indolence; to simple living, not to luxurious living’ – of such things you can be certain: ‘This is the Dhamma; this is the Discipline; this is the Master’s Teaching.’”

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Re: Goal of the path: "nirvana" vs "nirodha"?

Post by The Thinker » Fri Apr 29, 2016 1:00 pm

Hi lazy Eye - subject discussed here: http://www.dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.php?t=19997" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
"Watch your heart, observe. Be the observer, be the knower, not the condition" Ajahn Sumedho volume5 - The Wheel Of Truth

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Re: Goal of the path: "nirvana" vs "nirodha"?

Post by The Thinker » Fri Apr 29, 2016 1:07 pm

The buddha in a dogmatic mood, and in contradiction to his teachings?

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

Without thinking, there can be no questions.,
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Re: Goal of the path: "nirvana" vs "nirodha"?

Post by Lazy_eye » Fri Apr 29, 2016 1:14 pm

I found the passage confusing -- it seems to set up existence as a real (if unappealing) thing that can be gotten rid of. That is, it seems to endorse vibhava-tanha.

Possible that this is a case of language and viewpoints from earlier Śramaṇa movements being carried over into the Pali suttas, and attributed to the Buddha?
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Re: Goal of the path: "nirvana" vs "nirodha"?

Post by The Thinker » Fri Apr 29, 2016 1:23 pm

I suppose it could mean letting go of thinking if the thinking becomes a hindrance or obstacle and cause of the suffering? but that would be me reading into something that is not said? (I like to think this is what he was trying to say) :juggling:
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Re: Goal of the path: "nirvana" vs "nirodha"?

Post by Lazy_eye » Fri Apr 29, 2016 1:34 pm

The Thinker wrote:I suppose it could mean letting go of thinking if the thinking becomes a hindrance or obstacle and cause of the suffering? but that would be me reading into something that is not said? (I like to think this is what he was trying to say) :juggling:
The only way that it really makes sense to me is as a somewhat dramatic way of saying that bhava is not something to be welcomed (any more than we would welcome a bad dream, say one involving fire ants or dog excrement). Rather we should welcome bhava-nirodha -- the process of waking up from the dream.

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Re: Goal of the path: "nirvana" vs "nirodha"?

Post by The Thinker » Fri Apr 29, 2016 1:40 pm

Lazy-eye said: The only way that it really makes sense to me is as a somewhat dramatic way of saying that bhava is not something to be welcomed (any more than we would welcome a bad dream, say one involving fire ants or dog excrement). Rather we should welcome bhava-nirodha -- the process of waking up from the dream
Interesting thought, but what was said is a poor teaching within that framework is it not? :juggling:


What framework? :yingyang:
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Re: Goal of the path: "nirvana" vs "nirodha"?

Post by daverupa » Fri Apr 29, 2016 4:00 pm

Lazy_eye wrote:I found the passage confusing -- it seems to set up existence as a real (if unappealing) thing that can be gotten rid of.
It's not a thing, it's a state of affairs. Eternalism & annihilationism are related to Self-views, not to things existing and then ending. Suffering exists, for example ("It is not that there is no suffering, Kassapa; there is suffering."). Of course there's no inherent 'suffering-thing', but suffering obtains, it is experienced - it exists.

There's no problem with this sort of thing. Why should there be? Dukkha exists, and the Path is to quench it.

This basically looks like the Nirodha-View of the OP's author, with the issue now being whether or not this-life suffering-ending is a sufficient goal, or whether rebirth-ending is also a necessary component of the axial Good here (or, axial goodness itself has to be problematized...).
  • "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]

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Re: Goal of the path: "nirvana" vs "nirodha"?

Post by Zom » Fri Apr 29, 2016 6:55 pm

"One who with right wisdom sees the cessation of the world as it really is, the view of existence regarding the world does not occur." (SN 12.15)
And each condition itself is only "existing" due to other conditions interacting temporarily, and therefore we can't say that each condition really "exists" either
Still, this refers not to the world as it is, but to the inherent "selfness" in things. Still, things do exist.

And what is it, bhikkhus, that the wise in the world agree upon as not existing, of which I too say that it does not exist?
Form that is permanent, stable, eternal, not subject to change: this the wise in the world agree upon as not existing, and I too say that it does not exist. Feeling … Perception … Volitional formations … Consciousness that is permanent, stable, eternal, not subject to change: this the wise in the world agree upon as not existing, and I too say that it does not exist.

“That, bhikkhus, is what the wise in the world agree upon as not existing, of which I too say that it does not exist.

“And what is it, bhikkhus, that the wise in the world agree upon as existing, of which I too say that it exists? Form that is impermanent, suffering, and subject to change: this the wise in the world agree upon as existing, and I too say that it exists. Feeling … Perception … Volitional formations … Consciousness that is impermanent, suffering, and subject to change: this the wise in the world agree upon as existing, and I too say that it exists.

“That, bhikkhus, is what the wise in the world agree upon as existing, of which I too say that it exists.


PS: Also take a look on Ven. Bodhi's note there, SN 22.94.

PSS: Actually this view that "dhammas" have no real essense has lead Mahayanists to a view, that there is no need to leave samsara, we just need to "cleanse" our view of it, and thus we'll find ourselves in nibbana (which is samsara in Buddha's view). From here > Eternal Buddha's Fields, Emanation of Buddha Bodies, etc...

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Re: Goal of the path: "nirvana" vs "nirodha"?

Post by daverupa » Fri Apr 29, 2016 7:11 pm

Zom wrote:PSS: Actually this view that "dhammas" have no real essense has lead Mahayanists to a view, that there is no need to leave samsara, we just need to "cleanse" our view of it, and thus we'll find ourselves in nibbana (which is samsara in Buddha's view). From here > Eternal Buddha's Fields, Emanation of Buddha Bodies, etc...
It seems to me that the Mahayana goal is close to the OP's "Nirvana View" while Theravada and other early approaches to the Dhamma align more closely with the "Nirodha View".

---

I still wonder about annihilationist-wanderer converts to the Dhamma. How did they generally understand things?
  • "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]

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Re: Goal of the path: "nirvana" vs "nirodha"?

Post by Mkoll » Fri Apr 29, 2016 7:33 pm

daverupa wrote:
Mkoll wrote:
daverupa wrote:So, an arahant is sitting there, looking at paticcasamuppada rolling along, without the ability to see past lives. The arahant is still sitting there, and looking on, without the ability to see beings re-arise in various ways.

How can this be understood?
Who knows what paticcasamuppada looks like to an arahant? Besides that, what is there to understand? I don't see the problem.
Well, how is it you understand the idea that birth requires bhava? The seeing of this, without a seeing of past lives or future ones, seems like a sticky wicket.
My argument is that the arahant, upon his attainment, knows there will be no future birth. He knows the process is finished. He doesn't need to see the details of his or anyone else's past or future lives to know this. There might be the possibility he can remain agnostic about past lives, but what he is no longer agnostic about is his liberation. How this knowledge actually plays out in his experience: your guess is as good as mine.

I don't know how this ties into paticcasamuppada because I don't know how the arahant sees paticcasamuppada. I don't even have a concrete understanding of it myself.
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa

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Re: Goal of the path: "nirvana" vs "nirodha"?

Post by katavedi » Fri Apr 29, 2016 8:15 pm

Hello Zom,
Zom wrote:...
A very nice counter-sutta; thank you for posting it. I believe we are actually in agreement here, as I was not speaking in ontological terms (how irrelevant to the goal!), but from the experiential perspective. And, unless I'm mistaken, I think we're both talking about the mistake of solidifying our fluctuating experience of the world into solid entities through conceptualization. Is this how you see it?

Kind wishes,
katavedi
“But, Gotamī, when you know of certain things: ‘These things lead to dispassion, not to passion; to detachment, not to attachment; to diminution, not to accumulation; to having few wishes, not to having many wishes; to contentment, not to discontent; to seclusion, not to socializing; to the arousing of energy, not to indolence; to simple living, not to luxurious living’ – of such things you can be certain: ‘This is the Dhamma; this is the Discipline; this is the Master’s Teaching.’”

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Re: Goal of the path: "nirvana" vs "nirodha"?

Post by Lazy_eye » Sun May 01, 2016 1:40 am

daverupa wrote: It's not a thing, it's a state of affairs. Eternalism & annihilationism are related to Self-views, not to things existing and then ending. Suffering exists, for example ("It is not that there is no suffering, Kassapa; there is suffering."). Of course there's no inherent 'suffering-thing', but suffering obtains, it is experienced - it exists.

There's no problem with this sort of thing. Why should there be? Dukkha exists, and the Path is to quench it.
Ok -- I was going with what was said earlier:
Paul Davy wrote:Eternalism assumes there is existence and that it is indefinite. Annihilation assumes there is existence and it is destroyed. Each come from the root view that there is, at some point, existence.
Is there some slight disagreement here as to whether existence exists? :)
It seems to me that the Mahayana goal is close to the OP's "Nirvana View" while Theravada and other early approaches to the Dhamma align more closely with the "Nirodha View".
That's my impression as well. Am trying to confirm whether this is the case.

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Re: Goal of the path: "nirvana" vs "nirodha"?

Post by daverupa » Sun May 01, 2016 2:04 am

Lazy_eye wrote:Is there some slight disagreement here as to whether existence exists?
I bet it's a case where the term 'existence' as 'permanence' is being thought about & argued, where 'existence' as 'currently-steady-state' (what we might call 'change-while-standing') is all that it needs to mean.
  • "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]

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Re: Goal of the path: "nirvana" vs "nirodha"?

Post by mikenz66 » Sun May 01, 2016 2:14 am

Lazy_eye wrote: Ok -- I was going with what was said earlier:
Paul Davy wrote:Eternalism assumes there is existence and that it is indefinite. Annihilation assumes there is existence and it is destroyed. Each come from the root view that there is, at some point, existence.
Is there some slight disagreement here as to whether existence exists? :) .
There are endless discussions about what is meant by SN 12.15, for example:
“This world, Kaccana, for the most part depends upon a duality—upon the notion of existence and the notion of nonexistence. But for one who sees the origin of the world as it really is with correct wisdom, there is no notion of nonexistence in regard to the world. And for one who sees the cessation of the world as it really is with correct wisdom, there is no notion of existence in regard to the world.
https://suttacentral.net/en/sn12.15/2
See this thread, for example: http://www.dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.ph ... 69#p170101

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Re: Goal of the path: "nirvana" vs "nirodha"?

Post by Dhammarakkhito » Wed Oct 25, 2017 4:32 am

retrofuturist wrote:
Thu Apr 28, 2016 1:56 am
Greetings Lazy Eye,
in the interim, though, one follow-up question might be "what distinguishes nibbana (cessation) from annihilation?"
...the Buddha said that "as even a little excrement is of evil smell, I do not praise even the shortest spell of existence, be it no longer than a snap of the fingers."...
hi do you have a source for that quote
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Re: Goal of the path: "nirvana" vs "nirodha"?

Post by retrofuturist » Wed Oct 25, 2017 4:49 am

Greetings,

I can't recall exactly where it came from initially, but you can find it here...
Explaining this passage, the Commentary says: "When Sariputta accepted pupils for training, whether they were ordained by him or by others, he favored them with his material and spiritual help, looked after them in sickness, gave them a subject of meditation and at last, when he knew that they had become Stream-winners and had risen above the dangers of the lower worlds, he dismissed them in the confident knowledge that 'Now they can, by their own manly strength, produce the higher stages of Saintship.' Having thus become free from concern about their future, he instructed new groups of pupils. But Maha Moggallana, when training pupils in the same way, did not give up concern for them until they had attained Arahatship. This was because he felt, as was said by the Master: 'As even a little excrement is of evil smell, I do not praise even the shortest spell of existence, be it no longer than a snap of the fingers.'"
Metta,
Paul. :)
"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

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Re: Goal of the path: "nirvana" vs "nirodha"?

Post by Dhammarakkhito » Wed Oct 25, 2017 5:14 am

ah, thanks. yeah, it's a commentary so i will be more careful with it.
"Just as the ocean has a single taste — that of salt — in the same way, this Dhamma-Vinaya has a single taste: that of release."
— Ud 5.5

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