Nibbana as a dhamma in Classical Theravāda

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Twilight
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Re: Nibbana as a dhamma in Classical Theravāda

Postby Twilight » Sun Jan 01, 2017 1:53 am

An interesting thing to understand about the nibbana been pleasant is the fact that it is transcedental. It is not of this world.

Every thought has a neuron that stands for it. The mentality-materiality duality. Every pleasure has a substance like dopamine or serotonine standing for it/ been a basis for it in the form aggregate just like this body is a basis for consciousness. Jhana pleasures and nibbana are not of this world, they are transcedental. As you can see in that sutta and check in normal practice, when a person is abstaining from sensual thoughts and attains peace of mind, such thoughts appear to him as an affiction, as something he does not honestly want. As something that bother him.

By looking at things in this way, by looking at things from this angle, one can attain jhana. That is why the only method for attaining jhana constantly repeated in the suttas is "he sees this as an affiction, alien, a disease, a cancer etc." and "if he is steady with that, he attains jhana".

It is said that if one attains seclusion from sensual thoughts, at one point a "rapture not of the fleash" will arise. The unusual pleasure of jhana is not a normal pleasure. It is not a pleasure that has a physical basis in a substance like dopamine or serotonine. It is not a pleasure "of the fleash" or "of this world". It is a transcedental state. If one is able to see how even this new transcedental state is also dependently arrisen, then he will attain enlightenment. The pleasure of nibbana is a pleasure of the same transcedental sort, just like jhana pleasure. It is something that transcends even jhana. The ultimate escape.

It is also not a pleasure born out of taking delight, connected with attachment. No, it is a different type o pleasure born out of renunciaction. It is like the pleasure of freedom, of escape not like the pleasure of eating a chocolate.

It is in this direction that the sutta about nibbana been pleasant should be understood.
Last edited by Twilight on Sun Jan 01, 2017 2:02 am, edited 2 times in total.
You'll have a better chance finding a moderate rebel in Ildib than finding a buddhist who ever changed his views. Views are there to be clung to. They are there to be defended with all one's might. Whatever clinging one will removed in regards to sense pleasures by practicing the path - that should be compensated with increased clinging to views. This is the fundamental balance of the noble 8thfold path. The yin and yang.
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Re: Nibbana as a dhamma in Classical Theravāda

Postby SarathW » Sun Jan 01, 2017 1:59 am

Anihilationism was considered by Buddha to be the best of the wrong views.

I can't recall Buddha said like this.
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

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Re: Nibbana as a dhamma in Classical Theravāda

Postby santa100 » Sun Jan 01, 2017 2:07 am

Coëmgenu wrote:If paṭiccasamuppāda is a dhātu that is ṭhita (stood, stayed, stationary, [persistent?]), a "fixed course" of dhammas, where is the dhamma that is Nibbana listed as exempt from paṭiccasamuppāda?

While being classified as a dhamma, Nibbana is not just any regular dhamma. According to "Comprehensive Manual of Abhidhamma", under "dhamma" it's further divided as such:
Dhamma:
    Paramattha/Ultimate Reality:
      1. Sankhata/Conditioned: citta, cetasika, rupa.
      2. A-Sankhata/Un-conditioned: Nibbana.

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    Re: Nibbana as a dhamma in Classical Theravāda

    Postby mikenz66 » Sun Jan 01, 2017 2:13 am

    SarathW wrote:
    Anihilationism was considered by Buddha to be the best of the wrong views.

    I can't recall Buddha said like this.

    There is a sutta that states that, but I can't think of it offhand. Probably one of the MN suttas.

    :anjali:
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    Re: Nibbana as a dhamma in Classical Theravāda

    Postby santa100 » Sun Jan 01, 2017 2:22 am

    Ven. Thanissaro's note on MN 22:
    Annihilationism is one of the two extremes of wrong view criticized most heavily by the Buddha (the other is eternalism, as represented by the sixth of the six view-positions)..

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    Re: Nibbana as a dhamma in Classical Theravāda

    Postby SarathW » Sun Jan 01, 2017 2:26 am

    mikenz66 wrote:
    SarathW wrote:
    Anihilationism was considered by Buddha to be the best of the wrong views.

    I can't recall Buddha said like this.

    There is a sutta that states that, but I can't think of it offhand. Probably one of the MN suttas.

    :anjali:
    Mike

    Buddha said it is a better view to see the body as permanent than the mind.
    Perhaps you must be thinking about this statement.
    “As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

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    Re: Nibbana as a dhamma in Classical Theravāda

    Postby mikenz66 » Sun Jan 01, 2017 2:30 am

    SarathW wrote:Buddha said it is a better view to see the body as permanent than the mind.
    Perhaps you must be thinking about this statement.

    No.

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    Re: Nibbana as a dhamma in Classical Theravāda

    Postby theY » Sun Jan 01, 2017 3:36 am

    SarathW wrote:
    Nothingness place is not nibbana. It is ākāsadhātu.

    Nothingness is not Akasadhatu.


    I type "nothingness place", not only "nothingness".

    Nothing Everywhere=Ākāsānañcāyatana's ārammana.
    Nothing place beteen kalāpa=Ākāsadhātu [paramattha].
    Nothinng place between other stuff=Sammuti-ākāsa.
    No cause/No result=(niyata)Uccheda/sassatadiṭṭhi.
    Wrong cause/Wrong resault=(Maybe) micchādiṭṭhi.
    Last edited by theY on Sun Jan 01, 2017 7:14 am, edited 2 times in total.
    Above message maybe out of date. Latest update will be in massage's link.
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    Re: Nibbana as a dhamma in Classical Theravāda

    Postby Bakmoon » Sun Jan 01, 2017 4:20 am

    Twilight wrote:When there is no more fire (no more aggregates subject to clinging) there can not be any craving because the things that could be subject to craving do not exist anymore. Saying nibbana is the absence of hatred and delusion is incorrect. That means you believe in a state of been or even, god forbid, a self not subject to greed, hatred & delusion. The only way to describe nibbana is by using the fire metaphor. One who understands things this way would not describe nibbana as absence of hatred or delusion because it is the absence of everything. One could very well say nibbana is the absence of compassion, absence of wisdom, absence of mindfulness etc. or pick any things that exist and say nibbana is their absence. Nibbana is the absence of all conditioned things, meaning everything. Greed, hatred, delusion, compassion, generosity, etc. are all part of the fire. Nibbana is when this fire gets extinguished.


    The Classical commentaries are clear that Nibbana is not a mere cessation or absence. Vism XVI 63-74 talks about this in some detail.
    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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    Re: Nibbana as a dhamma in Classical Theravāda

    Postby Twilight » Sun Jan 01, 2017 4:35 am

    What I was speaking about are views expressed in the suttas. I am not familiar with those views and would be interested to hear what they are about.
    You'll have a better chance finding a moderate rebel in Ildib than finding a buddhist who ever changed his views. Views are there to be clung to. They are there to be defended with all one's might. Whatever clinging one will removed in regards to sense pleasures by practicing the path - that should be compensated with increased clinging to views. This is the fundamental balance of the noble 8thfold path. The yin and yang.
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    Re: Nibbana as a dhamma in Classical Theravāda

    Postby mikenz66 » Sun Jan 01, 2017 4:50 am

    Twilight wrote:What I was speaking about are views expressed in the suttas. I am not familiar with those views and would be interested to hear what they are about.

    This thread is in the Classical section, and the OP is specifically asking about how the Abhidhamma and Commentaries define Nibbana as a dhamma. If you want to explore other questions from a sutta point of view please start a thread in the General Theravada section.

    :anjali:
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    Re: Nibbana as a dhamma in Classical Theravāda

    Postby Twilight » Sun Jan 01, 2017 5:14 am

    From what I know, the pali canon is held in high esteem within classical therevada. And I did not see OP asking for specific abhidhamma or commentary point of view. On the contrary, I see him asking how to interpret a sutta from SN. And I am curious what Vism XVI 63-74 has to say about this cause I can not find it online.
    You'll have a better chance finding a moderate rebel in Ildib than finding a buddhist who ever changed his views. Views are there to be clung to. They are there to be defended with all one's might. Whatever clinging one will removed in regards to sense pleasures by practicing the path - that should be compensated with increased clinging to views. This is the fundamental balance of the noble 8thfold path. The yin and yang.
    ----------
    Consciousness and no-self explained in drawings: link
    How stream entry is achieved. Mahasi / Zen understanding vs Sutta understanding: link

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    Re: Nibbana as a dhamma in Classical Theravāda

    Postby santa100 » Sun Jan 01, 2017 5:22 am

    online Vism. available here, see pages 519-523.

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    Re: Nibbana as a dhamma in Classical Theravāda

    Postby mikenz66 » Sun Jan 01, 2017 5:25 am

    Twilight wrote:From what I know, the pali canon is held in high esteem within classical therevada. And I did not see OP asking for specific abhidhamma or commentary point of view.

    It specifically talks about the Commentarial description.
    Twilight wrote:On the contrary, I see him asking how to interpret a sutta from SN. And I am curious what Vism XVI 63-74 has to say about this cause I can not find it online.

    Visuddhimagga: http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... on2011.pdf
    Capter XVI, paragraphs 63-74
    You can check out the footnotes in the PDF...
    63. So it is because suffering ceases only through the cessation of its origin
    that, when teaching the cessation of suffering, the Blessed One therefore taught
    the cessation of the origin. For the Perfect Ones behave like lions.15 When they
    make suffering cease and when they teach the cessation of suffering, they deal
    with the cause, not the fruit. But the sectarians behave like dogs. When they
    make suffering cease and when they teach the cessation of suffering, by teaching
    devotion to self-mortification, etc., they deal with the fruit, not the cause. This, in
    the first place, is how the motive for teaching the cessation of suffering by means
    of the cessation of its origin should be understood.
    64. This is the meaning. Of that same craving: of that craving which, it was said,
    “produces further becoming,” and which was classed as “craving for sense
    desires” and so on. It is the path that is called fading away; for “With the fading
    away [of greed] he is liberated” (M I 139) is said. Fading away and cessation is
    cessation through fading away. Remainderless fading away and cessation is cessation
    through fading away that is remainderless because of eradication of inherent
    tendencies. Or alternatively, it is abandoning that is called fading away; and so
    the construction here can be regarded as “remainderless fading away,
    remainderless cessation.”
    65. But as to meaning, all of them are synonyms for Nibbána. For in the ultimate
    sense it is Nibbána that is called “the noble truth of the cessation of suffering.”
    But because craving fades away and ceases on coming to that,16 it is therefore
    called “fading away” and “cessation.” And because there comes to be the giving
    up, etc., of that [craving] on coming to that [Nibbána], and since there is not even
    one kind of reliance here [to be depended upon] from among the reliances
    consisting in the cords of sense desires, etc., it is therefore called giving it up,
    relinquishing it, letting it go, not relying on it.
    66. It has peace as its characteristic. Its function is not to die; or its function is
    to comfort. It is manifested as the signless; or it is manifested as nondiversification.17
    [DISCUSSION ON NIBBÁNA]
    67. [Question 1] Is Nibbána non-existent because it is unapprehendable, like
    the hare’s horn?
    [Answer] That is not so, because it is apprehendable by the [right] means. For
    it is apprehendable [by some, namely, the nobles ones] by the [right] means, in
    other words, by the way that is appropriate to it, [the way of virtue, concentration,
    and understanding]; it is like the supramundane consciousness of others, [which
    is apprehendable only by certain of the Noble Ones] by means of knowledge of
    penetration of others’ minds. Therefore it should not be said that it is non-existent
    because unapprehendable; for it should not be said that what the foolish ordinary
    man does not apprehend is unapprehendable.
    68. Again, it should not be said that Nibbána does not exist. Why not? Because
    it then follows that the way would be futile. [508] For if Nibbána were nonexistent,
    then it would follow that the right way, which includes the three
    aggregates beginning with virtue and is headed by right understanding, would
    be futile. And it is not futile because it does reach Nibbána.
    [Q. 2] But futility of the way does not follow because what is reached is absence,
    [that is, absence of the five aggregates consequent upon the cutting off of the
    defilements].
    [A.] That is not so. Because, though there is absence of past and future
    [aggregates], there is nevertheless no reaching of Nibbána [simply because of
    that].
    [Q. 3] Then is the absence of present [aggregates] as well Nibbána?
    [A.] That is not so. Because their absence is an impossibility, since if they are
    absent their non-presence follows. [Besides, if Nibbána were absence of present
    aggregates too,] that would entail the fault of excluding the arising of the Nibbána
    element with result of past clinging left, at the path moment, which has present
    aggregates as its support.
    [Q. 4] Then will there be no fault if it is non-presence of defilements [that is
    Nibbána]?
    [A.] That is not so. Because it would then follow that the noble path was
    meaningless. For if it were so, then, since defilements [can be] non-existent also
    before the moment of the noble path, it follows that the noble path would be
    meaningless. Consequently that is no reason; [it is unreasonable to say that
    Nibbána is unapprehendable, that it is non-existence, and so on].
    69. [Q. 5] But is not Nibbána destruction, because of the passage beginning,
    “That, friend, which is the destruction of greed … [of hate … of delusion … is
    Nibbána]?” (S IV 251).
    [A.] That is not so, because it would follow that Arahantship also was mere
    destruction. For that too is described in the [same] way beginning, “That, friend,
    which is the destruction of greed … of hate … of delusion … is Arahantship]” (S
    IV 252).
    And what is more, the fallacy then follows that Nibbána would be temporary,
    etc.; for if it were so, it would follow that Nibbána would be temporary, have the
    characteristic of being formed, and be obtainable regardless of right effort; and
    precisely because of its having formed characteristics it would be included in
    the formed, and it would be burning with the fires of greed, etc., and because of
    its burning it would follow that it was suffering.
    [Q. 6] Is there no fallacy if Nibbána is that kind of destruction subsequent to
    which there is no more occurrence?
    [A.] That is not so. Because there is no such kind of destruction. And even if
    there were, the aforesaid fallacies would not be avoided.
    Also because it would follow that the noble path was Nibbána. For the noble
    path causes the destruction of defects, and that is why it is called “destruction”;
    and subsequent to that there is no more occurrence of the defects.
    70. But it is because the kind of destruction called “cessation consisting in
    non-arising,” [that is, Nibbána,] serves figuratively speaking as decisive-support
    [for the path] that [Nibbána] is called “destruction” as a metaphor for it.
    [Q. 7] Why is it not stated in its own form?
    [A.] Because of its extreme subtlety. And its extreme subtlety is established because
    it inclined the Blessed One to inaction, [that is, to not teaching the Dhamma (see M
    I 186)] and because a Noble One’s eye is needed to see it (see M I 510).
    71. It is not shared by all because it can only be reached by one who is possessed
    of the path. And it is uncreated because it has no first beginning.
    [Q. 8] Since it is, when the path is, then it is not uncreated.
    [A.] That is not so, because it is not arousable by the path; it is only reachable,
    not arousable, by the path; that is why it is uncreated. It is because it is uncreated
    that it is free from ageing and death. It is because of the absence of its creation
    and of its ageing and death that it is permanent. [509]
    72. [Q. 9] Then it follows that Nibbána, too, has the kind of permanence [claimed]
    of the atom and so on.
    [A.] That is not so. Because of the absence of any cause [that brings about its
    arising].
    [Q. 10] Because Nibbána has permanence, then, these [that is, the atom, etc.]
    are permanent as well.
    [A.] That is not so. Because [in that proposition] the characteristic of [logical]
    cause does not arise. [In other words, to say that Nibbána is permanent is not to
    assert a reason why the atom, etc., should be permanent]
    [Q. 11] Then they are permanent because of the absence of their arising, as
    Nibbána is.
    [A.] That is not so. Because the atom and so on have not been established as facts.
    73. The aforesaid logical reasoning proves that only this [that is, Nibbána] is
    permanent [precisely because it is uncreated]; and it is immaterial because it
    transcends the individual essence of matter.
    The Buddhas’ goal is one and has no plurality. But this [single goal, Nibbána,]
    is firstly called with result of past clinging left since it is made known together
    with the [aggregates resulting from past] clinging still remaining [during the
    Arahant’s life], being thus made known in terms of the stilling of defilement
    and the remaining [result of past] clinging that are present in one who has
    reached it by means of development. But [secondly, it is called without result of
    past clinging left] since after the last consciousness of the Arahant, who has
    abandoned arousing [future aggregates] and so prevented kamma from giving
    result in a future [existence], there is no further arising of aggregates of existence,
    and those already arisen have disappeared. So the [result of past] clinging that
    remained is non-existent; and it is in terms of this non-existence, in the sense
    that “there is no [result of past] clinging here” that that [same goal is called]
    without result of past clinging left (see It 38).
    74. Because it can be arrived at by distinction of knowledge that succeeds
    through untiring perseverance, and because it is the word of the Omniscient
    One, Nibbána is not non-existent as regards individual essence in the ultimate
    sense; for this is said: “Bhikkhus, there is an unborn, an unbecome, an unmade,
    an unformed” (It 37; Ud 80).18

    :anjali:
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    Re: Nibbana as a dhamma in Classical Theravāda

    Postby Twilight » Sun Jan 01, 2017 5:40 am

    Thank very much. I'm reading it right now
    You'll have a better chance finding a moderate rebel in Ildib than finding a buddhist who ever changed his views. Views are there to be clung to. They are there to be defended with all one's might. Whatever clinging one will removed in regards to sense pleasures by practicing the path - that should be compensated with increased clinging to views. This is the fundamental balance of the noble 8thfold path. The yin and yang.
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    Re: Nibbana as a dhamma in Classical Theravāda

    Postby CecilN » Sun Jan 01, 2017 5:42 am

    Twilight wrote:Thank very much. I'm reading it right now

    Reading it may possibly correct the misunderstandings in the post below:
    Twilight wrote:Dependent origination explains the fire. (made out of the 5 aggregates) It explains how this fire burns because of oxygen, fuel, etc. how it produces light, heat etc. It explains the conditionalities between fuel, heat, light, oxygen etc.

    Nibbana is when this fire (described by DO) does not exist anymore because no more fuel (craving) has been put in and, lacking fuel, the fire has been extinguished.

    When there is no more fire (no more aggregates subject to clinging) there can not be any craving because the things that could be subject to craving do not exist anymore. Saying nibbana is the absence of hatred and delusion is incorrect. That means you believe in a state of been or even, god forbid, a self not subject to greed, hatred & delusion. The only way to describe nibbana is by using the fire metaphor. One who understands things this way would not describe nibbana as absence of hatred or delusion because it is the absence of everything. One could very well say nibbana is the absence of compassion, absence of wisdom, absence of mindfulness etc. or pick any things that exist and say nibbana is their absence. Nibbana is the absence of all conditioned things, meaning everything. Greed, hatred, delusion, compassion, generosity, etc. are all part of the fire. Nibbana is when this fire gets extinguished.

    MN 117 states abandoning wrong view & entering into right view is right mindfulness. :bow:
    Last edited by CecilN on Sun Jan 01, 2017 5:46 am, edited 1 time in total.

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    Re: Nibbana as a dhamma in Classical Theravāda

    Postby mikenz66 » Sun Jan 01, 2017 5:45 am

    mikenz66 wrote:
    SarathW wrote:
    Anihilationism was considered by Buddha to be the best of the wrong views.

    I can't recall Buddha said like this.

    There is a sutta that states that, but I can't think of it offhand. Probably one of the MN suttas.

    :anjali:
    Mike

    I may have been thinking about these:

    MN 60: https://suttacentral.net/mn60
    The view of those good recluses and brahmins who hold the doctrine and view “there definitely is no cessation of being” is close to lust, close to bondage, close to delighting, close to holding, close to clinging; but the view of those good recluses and brahmins who hold the doctrine and view “there definitely is cessation of being” is close to non-lust, close to non-bondage, close to non-delighting, close to non-holding, close to non-clinging.’ After reflecting thus, he practises the way to disenchantment with being, to the fading away and cessation of being.
    https://suttacentral.net/en/mn60/41.751-


    MN 74: https://suttacentral.net/mn74
    4. “Aggivessana, there are some recluses and brahmins whose doctrine and view is this: ‘Everything is acceptable to me.’ There are some recluses and brahmins whose doctrine and view is this: ‘Nothing is acceptable to me.’ And there are some recluses and brahmins whose doctrine and view is this: ‘Something is acceptable to me, something is not acceptable to me.’ [734] Among these, the view of those recluses and brahmins who hold the doctrine and view ‘Everything is acceptable to me’ is close to lust, close to bondage, close to delighting, close to holding, close to clinging. The view of those recluses and brahmins who hold the doctrine and view ‘Nothing is acceptable to me’ is close to non-lust, close to non-bondage, close to non-delighting, close to non-holding, close to non-clinging.”

    Bhikkhu Bodhi's note 734:
    MA identifies the three views here as eternalism, annihilationism, and partial eternalism. The eternalist view is close to lust (sārāgāya santike), etc., because it affirms and delights in existence in however sublimated a form; annihilationism is close to non-lust, etc., because, though involving a wrong conception of self, it leads to disenchantment with existence. If the second view is understood as radical scepticism, it could also be seen as close to non-lust in that it expresses disillusionment with the attempt to buttress the attachment to existence with a theoretical foundation and thus represents a tentative, though mistaken, step in the direction of dispassion.


    :anjali:
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    Re: Nibbana as a dhamma in Classical Theravāda

    Postby CecilN » Sun Jan 01, 2017 5:56 am

    mikenz66 wrote:I may have been thinking about these:

    This is also handy:
    And how, bhikkhus, do some hold back? Devas and humans enjoy being, delight in being, are satisfied with being. When Dhamma is taught to them for the cessation of being, their minds do not enter into it or acquire confidence in it or settle upon it or become resolved upon it. Thus, bhikkhus, do some hold back.

    “How, bhikkhus, do some overreach? Now some are troubled, ashamed, and disgusted by this very same being and they rejoice in (the idea of) non-being, asserting: ‘In as much as this self, good sirs, when the body perishes at death, is annihilated and destroyed and does not exist after death—this is peaceful, this is excellent, this is reality!’ Thus, bhikkhus, do some overreach.

    http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... ml#iti-049

    To "overreach" is probably better than to "hold back".

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    Re: Nibbana as a dhamma in Classical Theravāda

    Postby Unrul3r » Mon Jan 02, 2017 5:06 pm

    mikenz66 wrote:
    SarathW wrote:
    Anihilationism was considered by Buddha to be the best of the wrong views.

    I can't recall Buddha said like this.

    There is a sutta that states that, but I can't think of it offhand. Probably one of the MN suttas.

    :anjali:
    Mike


    Perhaps AN 10.29? The MN ones (60 & 74) also certainly point that way.

    AN 10.29 wrote: “Bhikkhus, of the speculative views held by outsiders, this is the foremost, namely: ‘I might not be and it might not be mine; I shall not be, and it will not be mine.’ For it can be expected that one who holds such a view will not be unrepelled by existence
    and will not be repelled by the cessation of existence. There are beings who hold such a view. But even for beings who hold such a view there is alteration; there is change. Seeing this thus, the instructed noble disciple becomes disenchanted with it; being disenchanted, he becomes dispassionate toward the foremost, not to speak of what is inferior.


    :anjali:

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    spacenick
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    Re: Nibbana as a dhamma in Classical Theravāda

    Postby spacenick » Tue Jan 03, 2017 12:26 pm

    Twilight wrote:What I was speaking about are views expressed in the suttas. I am not familiar with those views and would be interested to hear what they are about.


    http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html

    Research vinnana anidassanam, the synonym for Nibbana


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