Nibbana vs Brahman

Exploring Theravāda's connections to other paths. What can we learn from other traditions, religions and philosophies?
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dylanj
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Re: Nibbana vs Brahman

Post by dylanj » Mon Mar 05, 2018 3:29 am

there was a good discussion about this here
susukhaṃ vata nibbānaṃ,
sammā­sambud­dha­desitaṃ;
asokaṃ virajaṃ khemaṃ,
yattha dukkhaṃ nirujjhatī


Oh! extinction is so very blissful,
As taught by the One Rightly Self-Awakened:
Sorrowless, stainless, secure;
Where suffering all ceases


etaṁ santaṁ etaṁ panītaṁ yadidaṁ sabbasaṅkhārasamatho sabbūpadhipaṭi nissaggo taṇhakkhayo virāgo nirodho nibbānaṁ

This is peaceful, this is excellent, that is: the stilling of all fabrications, the relinquishment of all attachments, the destruction of craving, detachment, cessation, extinction.

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Re: Nibbana vs Brahman

Post by No_Mind » Mon Mar 05, 2018 4:49 am

James Tan wrote:
Sun Mar 04, 2018 1:00 pm
Greetings ,


All orthodox schools of Hinduism hold the premise, "Atman exists, as self evident truth".

On the other hand ,

Buddhism, in contrast, holds the premise, "Atman does not exist (or, An-atman) as self evident".

The ultimate goal of Buddhism is Nibbana .

The ultimate goal of Hinduism is Brahman .

Buddha himself and his disciples attained Nibbana and proving that state is the Truth .

samanas brahmanas yogis rishis renunciates is the living proof of Thou Art That .

Nibbana i.e. the ending of dukkha ,
the extinction of life .

Brahman i.e. the moksa ,
the ultimate knowledge , immortality .
I believe they both are the same

There is a discussion here https://buddhism.stackexchange.com/ques ... ahman-atma

:namaste:
I know one thing: that I know nothing

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Re: Nibbana vs Brahman

Post by James Tan » Mon Mar 05, 2018 5:11 am

Bhikkhu Bodhi: There is one that comes in the Majjihima Nikaya that is in the end of sutta 51 where he is speaking about the progressive development of the disciple where he goes on through the different stages of mediation and insight and at the end he becomes an arahat. A liberated one and he says he dwells, atma bhutto brahma vihara. He dwells with a self that has become Brahma. So it seems almost to be echoing the Upanishads formula of the self that has become Brahma.(Brahman)

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Re: Nibbana vs Brahman

Post by Upeksha » Mon Mar 05, 2018 5:45 am

James Tan wrote:
Mon Mar 05, 2018 5:11 am
Bhikkhu Bodhi: There is one that comes in the Majjihima Nikaya that is in the end of sutta 51 where he is speaking about the progressive development of the disciple where he goes on through the different stages of mediation and insight and at the end he becomes an arahat. A liberated one and he says he dwells, atma bhutto brahma vihara. He dwells with a self that has become Brahma. So it seems almost to be echoing the Upanishads formula of the self that has become Brahma.(Brahman)
:goodpost:

That's pretty interesting.....and advances this discussion rather well.

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Re: Nibbana vs Brahman

Post by Pondera » Mon Mar 05, 2018 6:31 am

I believe the “Brahma viharas” are secondary to nibanna. In suttas, the Buddha speaks of monks who aim for such spheres as those who aim for a lesser objective.

And, earlier it was mentioned that infinite consciousness equates to “being one with Brahman”. I believe this is true. The Brahma viharas are infinite spheres. In my experience, the sphere of loving kindness, for example, is embodied by none other than the Personage of the Christ Himself.

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Re: Nibbana vs Brahman

Post by No_Mind » Mon Mar 05, 2018 7:01 am

James Tan wrote:
Mon Mar 05, 2018 5:11 am
Bhikkhu Bodhi: There is one that comes in the Majjihima Nikaya that is in the end of sutta 51 where he is speaking about the progressive development of the disciple where he goes on through the different stages of mediation and insight and at the end he becomes an arahat. A liberated one and he says he dwells, atma bhutto brahma vihara. He dwells with a self that has become Brahma. So it seems almost to be echoing the Upanishads formula of the self that has become Brahma.(Brahman)
What is the source? The Brahman at end .. did you insert it?

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Re: Nibbana vs Brahman

Post by James Tan » Mon Mar 05, 2018 7:16 am

No_Mind wrote:
Mon Mar 05, 2018 7:01 am
James Tan wrote:
Mon Mar 05, 2018 5:11 am
Bhikkhu Bodhi: There is one that comes in the Majjihima Nikaya that is in the end of sutta 51 where he is speaking about the progressive development of the disciple where he goes on through the different stages of mediation and insight and at the end he becomes an arahat. A liberated one and he says he dwells, atma bhutto brahma vihara. He dwells with a self that has become Brahma. So it seems almost to be echoing the Upanishads formula of the self that has become Brahma.(Brahman)
What is the source? The Brahman at end .. did you insert it?

:namaste:
Yes , I inserted . Please see below.


Bhikkhu Bodhi: Yes, in this particular grammatical form Brahma Bhutto, one can’t determine whether Brahma here represents Brahman or Brahma; the impersonal absolute or Brahma as the supreme deity. And then the word Brahma in the sense of holy or supreme occurs in numerous compounds in the Pali cannon. What’s called the spiritual life or the holy life is brahmacharya. Literally it’s the course or path to the holy or to the divine, the divine life. And then the Buddha himself is said to be Brahma bhutto, one who has become Brahma which is understood to mean, become the Holy, become the supreme. But there’s not an explicit statement or an explicit formulation that uses Brahma clearly in the sense of the impersonal divine absolute.

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Re: Nibbana vs Brahman

Post by Upeksha » Mon Mar 05, 2018 7:54 am

Pondera wrote:
Mon Mar 05, 2018 6:31 am
I believe the “Brahma viharas” are secondary to nibanna. In suttas, the Buddha speaks of monks who aim for such spheres as those who aim for a lesser objective.

And, earlier it was mentioned that infinite consciousness equates to “being one with Brahman”. I believe this is true. The Brahma viharas are infinite spheres. In my experience, the sphere of loving kindness, for example, is embodied by none other than the Personage of the Christ Himself.
I don't think that squares with the quote, because the Brahma metaphor was a simile for becoming an arahat. Whereas the 4 Brahma viharas are more like the moral virtues or attributes that Brahma has.

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Re: Nibbana vs Brahman

Post by Dinsdale » Mon Mar 05, 2018 9:17 am

No_Mind wrote:
Mon Mar 05, 2018 3:11 am
Yeah and Trump will win Nobel Prize in literature in 2018. Keep dreaming bro .. keep dreaming
Just imagine being tied down and forced to listen to Trump's tweets on a continuous loop. :tongue:
Buddha save me from new-agers!

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Re: Nibbana vs Brahman

Post by Dinsdale » Mon Mar 05, 2018 9:20 am

No_Mind wrote:
Mon Mar 05, 2018 2:58 am
Brahman connotes the highest Universal Principle, the ultimate reality in the universe. In major schools of Hindu philosophy, it is the material, efficient, formal and final cause of all that exists. It is the pervasive, genderless, infinite, eternal truth and bliss which does not change, yet is the cause of all changes. Brahman as a metaphysical concept is the single binding unity behind diversity in all that exists in the universe.
Agreed, but this doesn't sound much like Nibbana.

https://www.accesstoinsight.org/ptf/dha ... bbana.html
Buddha save me from new-agers!

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Re: Nibbana vs Brahman

Post by Saengnapha » Mon Mar 05, 2018 9:58 am

Dinsdale wrote:
Mon Mar 05, 2018 9:20 am
No_Mind wrote:
Mon Mar 05, 2018 2:58 am
Brahman connotes the highest Universal Principle, the ultimate reality in the universe. In major schools of Hindu philosophy, it is the material, efficient, formal and final cause of all that exists. It is the pervasive, genderless, infinite, eternal truth and bliss which does not change, yet is the cause of all changes. Brahman as a metaphysical concept is the single binding unity behind diversity in all that exists in the universe.
Agreed, but this doesn't sound much like Nibbana.

https://www.accesstoinsight.org/ptf/dha ... bbana.html
Especially the way he is explaining Brahman. But, otoh, the same problems exist explaining Nibbana. :shrug:

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Re: Nibbana vs Brahman

Post by No_Mind » Mon Mar 05, 2018 11:18 am

James Tan wrote:
Mon Mar 05, 2018 7:16 am
No_Mind wrote:
Mon Mar 05, 2018 7:01 am
James Tan wrote:
Mon Mar 05, 2018 5:11 am
Bhikkhu Bodhi: There is one that comes in the Majjihima Nikaya that is in the end of sutta 51 where he is speaking about the progressive development of the disciple where he goes on through the different stages of mediation and insight and at the end he becomes an arahat. A liberated one and he says he dwells, atma bhutto brahma vihara. He dwells with a self that has become Brahma. So it seems almost to be echoing the Upanishads formula of the self that has become Brahma.(Brahman)
What is the source? The Brahman at end .. did you insert it?

:namaste:
Yes , I inserted . Please see below.


Bhikkhu Bodhi: Yes, in this particular grammatical form Brahma Bhutto, one can’t determine whether Brahma here represents Brahman or Brahma; the impersonal absolute or Brahma as the supreme deity. And then the word Brahma in the sense of holy or supreme occurs in numerous compounds in the Pali cannon. What’s called the spiritual life or the holy life is brahmacharya. Literally it’s the course or path to the holy or to the divine, the divine life. And then the Buddha himself is said to be Brahma bhutto, one who has become Brahma which is understood to mean, become the Holy, become the supreme. But there’s not an explicit statement or an explicit formulation that uses Brahma clearly in the sense of the impersonal divine absolute.
What is the source .. the link ..

e.g.
When you see things in the world like banana peels that have no great value for you, then you're free to walk in the world without being moved, without being bothered, without being hurt in any way by all of the various kinds of things that come and pass away, whether pleasant or unpleasant. This is the path that leads you to freedom. - Ajahn Chah

http://www.buddhanet.net/pdf_file/tree-forest.pdf
:namaste:
I know one thing: that I know nothing

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Re: Nibbana vs Brahman

Post by James Tan » Mon Mar 05, 2018 11:24 am

No_Mind wrote:
Mon Mar 05, 2018 11:18 am
James Tan wrote:
Mon Mar 05, 2018 7:16 am
No_Mind wrote:
Mon Mar 05, 2018 7:01 am


What is the source? The Brahman at end .. did you insert it?

:namaste:
Yes , I inserted . Please see below.


Bhikkhu Bodhi: Yes, in this particular grammatical form Brahma Bhutto, one can’t determine whether Brahma here represents Brahman or Brahma; the impersonal absolute or Brahma as the supreme deity. And then the word Brahma in the sense of holy or supreme occurs in numerous compounds in the Pali cannon. What’s called the spiritual life or the holy life is brahmacharya. Literally it’s the course or path to the holy or to the divine, the divine life. And then the Buddha himself is said to be Brahma bhutto, one who has become Brahma which is understood to mean, become the Holy, become the supreme. But there’s not an explicit statement or an explicit formulation that uses Brahma clearly in the sense of the impersonal divine absolute.
What is the source .. the link ..

e.g.
When you see things in the world like banana peels that have no great value for you, then you're free to walk in the world without being moved, without being bothered, without being hurt in any way by all of the various kinds of things that come and pass away, whether pleasant or unpleasant. This is the path that leads you to freedom. - Ajahn Chah

http://www.buddhanet.net/pdf_file/tree-forest.pdf
:namaste:

https://m.facebook.com/100017760575189/ ... d%3D&mdf=1
Last edited by James Tan on Mon Mar 05, 2018 11:31 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Nibbana vs Brahman

Post by Dinsdale » Mon Mar 05, 2018 1:39 pm

Saengnapha wrote:
Mon Mar 05, 2018 9:58 am
Dinsdale wrote:
Mon Mar 05, 2018 9:20 am
No_Mind wrote:
Mon Mar 05, 2018 2:58 am
Brahman connotes the highest Universal Principle, the ultimate reality in the universe. In major schools of Hindu philosophy, it is the material, efficient, formal and final cause of all that exists. It is the pervasive, genderless, infinite, eternal truth and bliss which does not change, yet is the cause of all changes. Brahman as a metaphysical concept is the single binding unity behind diversity in all that exists in the universe.
Agreed, but this doesn't sound much like Nibbana.

https://www.accesstoinsight.org/ptf/dha ... bbana.html
Especially the way he is explaining Brahman. But, otoh, the same problems exist explaining Nibbana. :shrug:
I think it's correct to describe Brahman as the underlying reality or "ground of being". Describing Nibbana in those terms is problematic.
Buddha save me from new-agers!

Saengnapha
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Re: Nibbana vs Brahman

Post by Saengnapha » Mon Mar 05, 2018 3:22 pm

Dinsdale wrote:
Mon Mar 05, 2018 1:39 pm
Saengnapha wrote:
Mon Mar 05, 2018 9:58 am
Dinsdale wrote:
Mon Mar 05, 2018 9:20 am


Agreed, but this doesn't sound much like Nibbana.

https://www.accesstoinsight.org/ptf/dha ... bbana.html
Especially the way he is explaining Brahman. But, otoh, the same problems exist explaining Nibbana. :shrug:
I think it's correct to describe Brahman as the underlying reality or "ground of being". Describing Nibbana in those terms is problematic.
Where have you seen Brahman described as the ground of being?

Saengnapha
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Re: Nibbana vs Brahman

Post by Saengnapha » Mon Mar 05, 2018 4:05 pm

Dinsdale wrote:
Mon Mar 05, 2018 1:39 pm
Saengnapha wrote:
Mon Mar 05, 2018 9:58 am
Dinsdale wrote:
Mon Mar 05, 2018 9:20 am


Agreed, but this doesn't sound much like Nibbana.

https://www.accesstoinsight.org/ptf/dha ... bbana.html
Especially the way he is explaining Brahman. But, otoh, the same problems exist explaining Nibbana. :shrug:
I think it's correct to describe Brahman as the underlying reality or "ground of being". Describing Nibbana in those terms is problematic.
I did some checking and I did find reference to Brahman as 'ground of being'. I'm wondering if this is a description of Buddhism defining Brahman as 'ground of being' is a particularly Mahayana phrase, especially in Yogacara and Vajrayana schools. Ground of Being is problematic as a description of Nibbana, agreed.

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Re: Nibbana vs Brahman

Post by Upeksha » Tue Mar 06, 2018 3:11 am

Within the context of Buddhism - Yogacara/Vajrayana etc - 'ground of Being' would also be a problematic characterization. A phrase like 'ultimate nature of mind' might be used, but that does not imply Being. It explicitly denies both Being and Non-Being.

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Re: Nibbana vs Brahman

Post by Saengnapha » Tue Mar 06, 2018 4:12 am

Upeksha wrote:
Tue Mar 06, 2018 3:11 am
Within the context of Buddhism - Yogacara/Vajrayana etc - 'ground of Being' would also be a problematic characterization. A phrase like 'ultimate nature of mind' might be used, but that does not imply Being. It explicitly denies both Being and Non-Being.
I think we already agreed on 'ground of being' not being a suitable descriptor for Nibbana. Ground of Being is a specific term used to denote alaya-vijnana, the storehouse consciousness which is a conditioned appearance as all appearances are. To me, this would correspond to the 2nd chain of causation after ignorance which are sanhkaras.

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Re: Nibbana vs Brahman

Post by Pondera » Tue Mar 06, 2018 9:55 am

Upeksha wrote:
Mon Mar 05, 2018 7:54 am
Pondera wrote:
Mon Mar 05, 2018 6:31 am
I believe the “Brahma viharas” are secondary to nibanna. In suttas, the Buddha speaks of monks who aim for such spheres as those who aim for a lesser objective.

And, earlier it was mentioned that infinite consciousness equates to “being one with Brahman”. I believe this is true. The Brahma viharas are infinite spheres. In my experience, the sphere of loving kindness, for example, is embodied by none other than the Personage of the Christ Himself.
I don't think that squares with the quote, because the Brahma metaphor was a simile for becoming an arahat. Whereas the 4 Brahma viharas are more like the moral virtues or attributes that Brahma has.
“Brahma vihara” appears in the literal Pali rendering of the passage. It literally means “abodes of Brahma” - not attitudes...well attitudes and spheres of existence at the same time.

I’ll go back and read the MN passage.

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Re: Nibbana vs Brahman

Post by Dinsdale » Tue Mar 06, 2018 3:58 pm

Saengnapha wrote:
Mon Mar 05, 2018 3:22 pm
Dinsdale wrote:
Mon Mar 05, 2018 1:39 pm
Saengnapha wrote:
Mon Mar 05, 2018 9:58 am


Especially the way he is explaining Brahman. But, otoh, the same problems exist explaining Nibbana. :shrug:
I think it's correct to describe Brahman as the underlying reality or "ground of being". Describing Nibbana in those terms is problematic.
Where have you seen Brahman described as the ground of being?
I meant it in a loose sense, as the basis for everything that exists. I should have left it at "underlying reality". ;)
Buddha save me from new-agers!

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