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

Post by daverupa » Thu Apr 28, 2016 7:16 pm

Mkoll wrote:For the sake of argument, let's say someone is agnostic about rebirth and they practice diligently and attain arahantship. Are they then still agnostic about rebirth?
SN 12.70 applies here. It demonstrates that for some arahants (most? could it be... ALL of them?) the regularity of the Dhamma is seen, but they do not see past lives or kamma-vipaka for beings.

Unless they overestimate themselves, they know that the cessation of ignorance has occurred & therefore that there is no more coming to any state due to the lack of necessary nutriment for such an event. At the same time, they do not have any confirmation of pre-/post-death continuities (meditative visions of such things are not confirmation of them as ontological facts, but simply ongoing evidence of their having a foundation in feeling, per DN 1).

...so, what's the problem again? Staying within the scope of the OP, the goal is dukkha-nirodha, not rebirth-nirodha. (The former is alleged to mean the latter, but this always remains an inferential conclusion. The former, in and of itself, is the point.)
  • "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 » Thu Apr 28, 2016 7:34 pm

daverupa wrote:
Mkoll wrote:For the sake of argument, let's say someone is agnostic about rebirth and they practice diligently and attain arahantship. Are they then still agnostic about rebirth?
SN 12.70 applies here. It demonstrates that for some arahants (most? could it be... ALL of them?) the regularity of the Dhamma is seen, but they do not see past lives or kamma-vipaka for beings.
That sutta backs up what I said before:
Mkoll wrote:In responding to this, please keep in mind the difference between the power of recollecting past lives and knowledge of the end of rebirth at arahantship. One is not required for the other according to the texts.
As the sutta says, seeing kamma-vipaka of other beings falls under the same category as recollection of past lives: not necessary for arahantship.

~~~
daverupa wrote:Unless they overestimate themselves, they know that the cessation of ignorance has occurred & therefore that there is no more coming to any state due to the lack of necessary nutriment for such an event. At the same time, they do not have any confirmation of pre-/post-death continuities (meditative visions of such things are not confirmation of them as ontological facts, but simply ongoing evidence of their having a foundation in feeling, per DN 1).

...so, what's the problem again? Staying within the scope of the OP, the goal is dukkha-nirodha, not rebirth-nirodha.
So you are saying they know there is no nutriment for rebirth, or "coming into any state", yes? If so, how is that not confirmation of the lack of post-death continuity, i.e. confirmation that birth has ended, i.e. no more rebirth? It sounds like a contradiction.
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Re: Goal of the path: "nirvana" vs "nirodha"?

Post by Aloka » Thu Apr 28, 2016 11:13 pm

Paul Davy wrote: 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."

Could you provide the source of the quote, please Paul ?


:anjali:

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

Post by retrofuturist » Thu Apr 28, 2016 11:32 pm

Greetings Aloka,

It's AN 1.328.

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)

"One discerns wrong view as wrong view, and right view as right view. This is one's right view." (MN 117)

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

Post by daverupa » Fri Apr 29, 2016 12:28 am

My thinking was that the arahant knows that the ending of dukkha has occurred, though the body may yet stand as a condition for unpleasant feeling. But that's only temporary, and when it ends there's just no more fuel around for such things, whether or not it would have happened.

Maybe it's too thin a slice to satisfy... ah well; I still see a space for withholding a commitment. Surely I can only guess at what an arahant knows.

:broke:
  • "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 1:29 am

daverupa wrote:My thinking was that the arahant knows that the ending of dukkha has occurred, though the body may yet stand as a condition for unpleasant feeling. But that's only temporary, and when it ends there's just no more fuel around for such things, whether or not it would have happened.

Maybe it's too thin a slice to satisfy... ah well; I still see a space for withholding a commitment.
Yes, the contradiction remains AFAICS. I do agree about withholding full commitment though, as per the Canki Sutta (MN 95).
daverupa wrote:Surely I can only guess at what an arahant knows.

:broke:
Indeed, we can only speculate.
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 Lazy_eye » Fri Apr 29, 2016 2:44 am

daverupa wrote: Maybe it's too thin a slice to satisfy... ah well; I still see a space for withholding a commitment. Surely I can only guess at what an arahant knows.
That is a very interesting sutta. It makes me wonder whether an "axiological" approach to the Dhamma might be fundamentally off the mark -- since in this presentation, samsara itself seems to bring forth nibbana.

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

Post by The Thinker » Fri Apr 29, 2016 8:27 am

How can one" know or see "if he should not think?
"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 8:53 am

Paul davy wrote - AN 1.328.

This sutta in isolation can be a great cause of suffering, I feel it was not correct, or I should say a poor teaching if thinking is a cause of suffering this can trigger all sorts of nihilistic thought and yes some may encounter thoughts of suicide. If craving( not-thinking) was the meaning then the word craving should have been used!
"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 Sylvester » Fri Apr 29, 2016 9:01 am

daverupa wrote:
Mkoll wrote:For the sake of argument, let's say someone is agnostic about rebirth and they practice diligently and attain arahantship. Are they then still agnostic about rebirth?
SN 12.70 applies here. It demonstrates that for some arahants (most? could it be... ALL of them?) the regularity of the Dhamma is seen, but they do not see past lives or kamma-vipaka for beings.
I think SN 12.70 and its Chinese parallel have both suffered some messy transmission problems.

For one, the Chinese has the enlightened monk declaring that he does not have any of the jhanas, unlike SN 12.70 which mentions only the formless attainments. Unlike the Pali version, the Chinese is missing any reference to the supernormal powers.

What gives? On the basis of SA 347, there is now canonical support for the notion of the Dry-Insight Worker. :stirthepot:

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

Post by daverupa » Fri Apr 29, 2016 9:35 am

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?
  • "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 9:45 am

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.
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 daverupa » Fri Apr 29, 2016 9:50 am

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.
  • "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 The Thinker » Fri Apr 29, 2016 10:00 am

He looks within observes sensations and cravings, and hopefully, with much practice (or little) puts an end to craving and sufferring.
"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 daverupa » Fri Apr 29, 2016 10:14 am

Of course; does this knowledge mean knowledge of paticcasamuppada but without grokking the mainline understanding of bhava?

---

Is it just me, or do we indeed find many examples of the Buddha converting various other wanderers & brahmins, but not so much annihilationist wanderers? They were said to be pretty close to dispassion; where are their conversion narratives? Maybe there are some clues there on this issue...?
  • "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 10:35 am

Vibhava-tanha is still based on the mistaken assumption of existence. Wanting to be rid of existence means that one believes existence is real. If someone is hallucinating that ants are crawling all over their body, the imaginary ants aren't the problem -- the hallucinating is.
I'd add that we are speaking here only about the existence of "self". The existence of the aggregates is not a hallucination .)

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

Post by The Thinker » Fri Apr 29, 2016 10:55 am

daverupa wrote:Of course; does this knowledge mean knowledge of paticcasamuppada but without grokking the mainline understanding of bhava?

---

Is it just me, or do we indeed find many examples of the Buddha converting various other wanderers & brahmins, but not so much annihilationist wanderers? They were said to be pretty close to dispassion; where are their conversion narratives? Maybe there are some clues there on this issue...?
Good question, are there?
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Re: Goal of the path: "nirvana" vs "nirodha"?

Post by retrofuturist » Fri Apr 29, 2016 11:30 am

Greetings,
Zom wrote:I'd add that we are speaking here only about the existence of "self". The existence of the aggregates is not a hallucination .)
"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)

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)

"One discerns wrong view as wrong view, and right view as right view. This is one's right view." (MN 117)

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

Post by katavedi » Fri Apr 29, 2016 12:00 pm

Hello Zom,
Zom wrote:
Vibhava-tanha is still based on the mistaken assumption of existence. Wanting to be rid of existence means that one believes existence is real. If someone is hallucinating that ants are crawling all over their body, the imaginary ants aren't the problem -- the hallucinating is.
I'd add that we are speaking here only about the existence of "self". The existence of the aggregates is not a hallucination .)
On the conventional level, I agree with you. But, as I see it, each aggregate is just a collection of conditions interacting temporarily -- there is no inherent "aggregate" existing there, aside from the designation that we give that collection of conditions. 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, but they are also just designations for another group of interacting conditions.

I believe this is what the Buddha meant when he taught:
Form is like a lump of foam,
Feeling like a water bubble;
Perception is like a mirage,
Volitions like a plantain trunk,
And consciousness like an illusion,
So explained the Kinsman of the Sun.

“However one may ponder it
And carefully investigate it,
It appears but hollow and void
When one views it carefully.
-SN 22.95
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 12:09 pm

Extinction, not-extension, all things end.
"Watch your heart, observe. Be the observer, be the knower, not the condition" Ajahn Sumedho volume5 - The Wheel Of Truth

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