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A question about 'the fire clinging to it's fuel'

Posted: Fri May 31, 2019 11:26 pm
by manas
Hello all,
I have a question, about a simile i heard about. It's regarding craving being like a fire, and that an arahant is 'quenched' because this 'fire' of craving has 'gone out', which is the state of 'nibbana', the flame being 'blown out'.

Regarding 'clinging' (feeding, sustenance') the as in the scheme of Dependent Co-arising, is 'feeding', the fire 'clinging' to it's fuel? Thus, with the cessation of craving (the fire of craving going out), comes the cessation of clinging (there is no more 'clinging' of a fire to it's fuel). So 'Nibbana' had this positive connotation, of 'release', just as an extinguished flame was considered back then, of having been 'freed' (from the burdensome process of burning?) I think I recall the Buddha praising the arahant as 'quenched, cooled', (and thus at peace, just like the extinguished flame (is that correct?)
So I take it that, with the cessation of clinging comes the cessation of 'being/becoming', just as the fire's previous clinging to it's fuel, was what had kept the process of burning going. For an arahant, that process is over. With the cessation of becoming, comes the cessation of birth. With the cessation of birth: old age, death, lamentation, pain, distress & despair all cease. Final peace from the 'Wheel of Becoming'.

Am I understanding the Buddha's analogies correctly here?

Re: A question about 'the fire clinging to it's fuel'

Posted: Sat Jun 01, 2019 12:00 am
by SarathW
Generally, that is how I see it too.
:D

Re: A question about 'the fire clinging to it's fuel'

Posted: Sat Jun 08, 2019 9:24 pm
by manas
SarathW wrote:
Sat Jun 01, 2019 12:00 am
Generally, that is how I see it too.
:D
Thanks Sarath :)

Re: A question about 'the fire clinging to it's fuel'

Posted: Sat Jun 08, 2019 9:51 pm
by cappuccino
manas wrote: Am I understanding the Buddha's analogies correctly here?
vaguely

Re: A question about 'the fire clinging to it's fuel'

Posted: Sun Jun 09, 2019 3:21 pm
by manas
cappuccino wrote:
Sat Jun 08, 2019 9:51 pm
manas wrote: Am I understanding the Buddha's analogies correctly here?
vaguely
Could you elaborate, I don't learn much just from that answer :)

Re: A question about 'the fire clinging to it's fuel'

Posted: Sun Jun 09, 2019 4:58 pm
by cappuccino
manas wrote:
cappuccino wrote:
manas wrote: Am I understanding the Buddha's analogies correctly here?
vaguely
Could you elaborate, I don't learn much just from that answer :)
you start to understand & difficult choices await

the question is how much you're willing to let go of

Re: A question about 'the fire clinging to it's fuel'

Posted: Sun Jun 09, 2019 5:00 pm
by Zom
So 'Nibbana' had this positive connotation, of 'release', just as an extinguished flame was considered back then, of having been 'freed' (from the burdensome process of burning?) I think I recall the Buddha praising the arahant as 'quenched, cooled', (and thus at peace, just like the extinguished flame (is that correct?)
Not really. Arahant is "quenched" in the sense that ignorance and craving are quenched and exist no more, just like when fire runs out of fuel it ceases and exists no more.

Re: A question about 'the fire clinging to it's fuel'

Posted: Sun Jun 09, 2019 5:03 pm
by cappuccino
Zom wrote:just like when fire runs out of fuel it ceases and exists no more.
annihilation is suffering, stressful to contemplate

hence it goes against this teaching

Re: A question about 'the fire clinging to it's fuel'

Posted: Sun Jun 09, 2019 5:42 pm
by Sam Vara
manas wrote:
Fri May 31, 2019 11:26 pm
Hello all,
I have a question, about a simile i heard about. It's regarding craving being like a fire, and that an arahant is 'quenched' because this 'fire' of craving has 'gone out', which is the state of 'nibbana', the flame being 'blown out'. ...
Have you read this?

https://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/aut ... index.html

It's a lengthy essay on that particular idea. There is also an extended treatment of it in Gombrich's "What the Buddha Thought".

Re: A question about 'the fire clinging to it's fuel'

Posted: Sun Jun 09, 2019 6:20 pm
by dharmacorps
I think you are understanding right. What might help is to review that the perception of fire at the time of the Buddha was that fire "clung" to it's fuel. So extinguishment meant the process of burning stopped because of release of the clinging--stopping the process. We don't usually think of fire that way now, but it sort of enhances the Buddha's imagery and description. Makes a lot more sense I think. :anjali:

Re: A question about 'the fire clinging to it's fuel'

Posted: Sun Jun 09, 2019 7:30 pm
by mikenz66
Sam Vara wrote:
Sun Jun 09, 2019 5:42 pm
manas wrote:
Fri May 31, 2019 11:26 pm
Hello all,
I have a question, about a simile i heard about. It's regarding craving being like a fire, and that an arahant is 'quenched' because this 'fire' of craving has 'gone out', which is the state of 'nibbana', the flame being 'blown out'. ...
Have you read this?

https://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/aut ... index.html

It's a lengthy essay on that particular idea. There is also an extended treatment of it in Gombrich's "What the Buddha Thought".
It's also discussed in detail in Bhikkhu Nanananda's work: https://seeingthroughthenet.net/books/
Particularly "Nibbana the Mind Stilled".
In "Questions & Answers on Dhamma" he notes:
“If the fire ‘goes out’ some think you should be able to go
and locate where it is. Some scholars in the West also follow the
same Hindu way where they think when the fire goes out it stays
in some ineffable state. When it comes to such points of absurdity
the Buddha had to correct them. ...
:heart:
Mike

Re: A question about 'the fire clinging to it's fuel'

Posted: Sun Jun 09, 2019 8:38 pm
by cappuccino
Nirvana is an element, a realm, a state

Annihilation isn't an element, nor a realm, etc

Re: A question about 'the fire clinging to it's fuel'

Posted: Mon Jun 10, 2019 1:54 pm
by Zom
annihilation is suffering, stressful to contemplate
There is nothing that annihilates. So what is that annihilation you are talking about?

Re: A question about 'the fire clinging to it's fuel'

Posted: Mon Jun 10, 2019 2:33 pm
by cappuccino
Zom wrote:
annihilation is suffering, stressful to contemplate
There is nothing that annihilates. So what is that annihilation you are talking about?
if someone would annihilate you now, it would be suffering & stress


because Nirvana isn't suffering, Nirvana isn't annihilation

Re: A question about 'the fire clinging to it's fuel'

Posted: Mon Jun 10, 2019 3:55 pm
by Zom
Again, I ask: what annihilates?