Nibbana and nihilism

Textual analysis and comparative discussion on early Buddhist sects and texts.
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DooDoot
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Re: Nibbana and nihilism

Post by DooDoot » Sun Mar 04, 2018 12:49 am

rightviewftw wrote:
Sun Mar 04, 2018 12:46 am
lol this is direct sutta words not mine;
The Buddha did not teach in English. The Pali word 'dhamma' in the sutta does not mean 'things' or 'phenomena'. The original Commentary (Dīgha Porāṇa Ṭīkā) correctly said the meaning of 'dhamma' here is 'wholesome mental states'. This is confirmed by the following sutta, which uses the exact terminology as AN 10.58 and exclusively refers to skilful dhammas:
And how is discernment the surpassing state? There is the case where the Dhammas I have pointed out to my disciples are entirely for the right ending of suffering & stress. And however I have pointed out Dhammas for my disciples entirely for the right ending of suffering & stress, one has scrutinized them all with discernment.

“This is how discernment is the surpassing state.

“And how is release the heartwood? There is the case where the Dhammas I have pointed out to my disciples are entirely for the right ending of suffering & stress. And however I have pointed out Dhammas for my disciples entirely for the right ending of suffering & stress, one has touched them all through release.

“This is how release is the heartwood.

“And how is mindfulness the governing principle? The mindfulness that ‘I will make complete any training with regard to good conduct that is not yet complete, or I will protect with discernment any training with regard to good conduct that is complete’ is well established right within. The mindfulness that ‘I will make complete any training with regard to the basics of the holy life that is not yet complete, or I will protect with discernment any training with regard to the basics of the holy life that is complete’ is well established right within. The mindfulness that ‘I will scrutinize with discernment any Dhamma that is not yet scrutinized, or I will protect with discernment any Dhamma that has been scrutinized’ is well established right within. The mindfulness that ‘I will touch through release any Dhamma that is not yet touched, or I will protect with discernment any Dhamma that has been touched’ is well established right within.

“This is how mindfulness is the governing principle.

https://suttacentral.net/en/an4.245[/i]
Again, from AN 48.44, which only includes wholesome dhammas:
...the faculty of conviction... persistence... mindfulness... concentration... discernment, when developed & pursued, gains a footing in the Deathless, has the Deathless as its goal & consummation

https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitak ... .than.html
:alien:
mikenz66 wrote:
Sun Mar 04, 2018 12:48 am
Bhikkhu Bodhi's notes for AN 10.58:
Footnote 1801 for AN 8.83 (similar discourse).
Last edited by DooDoot on Sun Mar 04, 2018 1:07 am, edited 5 times in total.

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mikenz66
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Re: Nibbana and nihilism

Post by mikenz66 » Sun Mar 04, 2018 1:01 am

DooDoot wrote:
Sun Mar 04, 2018 12:49 am
rightviewftw wrote:
Sun Mar 04, 2018 12:46 am
lol this is direct sutta words not mine;
The Buddha did not teach in English. The Pali word 'dhamma' in the sutta does not mean 'things' or 'phenomena'. The original Commentary (Dīgha Porāṇa Ṭīkā) correctly said the meaning of 'dhamma' here is 'wholesome mental states'.
mikenz66 wrote:
Sun Mar 04, 2018 12:48 am
Bhikkhu Bodhi's notes for AN 10.58:
Footnote 1801 for AN 8.83 (similar discourse).
OK, for those interested here is the relevant part of AN 8.83, and Bhikkhu Bodhi's comments:
“‘Friends, (1) all things are rooted in desire. (2) They come
into being through attention. (3) They originate from contact. (4)
They converge upon feeling. (5) They are headed by concentra-
tion. (6) Mindfulness exercises authority over them. (7) Wisdom
is their supervisor. (8) Liberation is their core.’ [1801]

[Note 1801]
Brahmāli (in a private communication) offers a fine explana-
tion of this cryptic sutta: “I understand sabbe dhammā to be a
reference to the world of personal experience. The meaning
would then be as follows: All elements of our experience are
rooted in desire (chandamūlakā) in the sense that we exist due to
desire (taking chanda as equivalent to craving). They come into
being through attention (manasikārasambhavā) in the sense that we
only experience what we attend to. They originate from contact
(phassasamudayā) because without contact we don’t experience
anything at all. They converge upon feeling (vedanāsamosaraṇā) in
the sense that feeling is the most important aspect of our expe-
rience, the basic motivating factor in everything we do. They
are headed by concentration (samādhippamukhā) in the sense that
concentration is a controlling faculty (an indriya) whose lead
all elements of our experience must follow. They are under the
authority of mindfulness (satādhipateyyā) because mindfulness is
another controlling faculty which directs us in whatever we do
or experience. All things have wisdom as supervisor (paññuttarā)
because wisdom is the chief of the controlling faculties; wisdom,
more than anything else, controls our experience (the last three
factors are what allow us to get a sense of being in charge of our
lives). That liberation is their core (vimuttisārā), the most excellent
of all things, is self-explanatory.”
:heart:
Mike

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rightviewftw
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Re: Nibbana and nihilism

Post by rightviewftw » Sun Mar 04, 2018 1:14 am

mikenz66 wrote:
Sun Mar 04, 2018 1:01 am
[Note 1801]
Brahmāli (in a private communication) offers a fine explana-
tion of this cryptic sutta: “I understand sabbe dhammā to be a
reference to the world of personal experience. The meaning
would then be as follows: All elements of our experience are
rooted in desire (chandamūlakā) in the sense that we exist due to
desire (taking chanda as equivalent to craving). They come into
being through attention (manasikārasambhavā) in the sense that we
only experience what we attend to. They originate from contact
(phassasamudayā) because without contact we don’t experience
anything at all. They converge upon feeling (vedanāsamosaraṇā) in
the sense that feeling is the most important aspect of our expe-
rience, the basic motivating factor in everything we do. They
are headed by concentration (samādhippamukhā) in the sense that
concentration is a controlling faculty (an indriya) whose lead
all elements of our experience must follow. They are under the
authority of mindfulness (satādhipateyyā) because mindfulness is
another controlling faculty which directs us in whatever we do
or experience. All things have wisdom as supervisor (paññuttarā)
because wisdom is the chief of the controlling faculties; wisdom,
more than anything else, controls our experience (the last three
factors are what allow us to get a sense of being in charge of our
lives). That liberation is their core (vimuttisārā), the most excellent
of all things, is self-explanatory.”
:heart:
Mike
thanks for posting very relevant obv.
How to Destroy any addiction
How to Meditate: Satipatthana Mahasi
Медитация Сатипаттхана Випассана
How To Develop Factors of Enlightenment & Perceptions
Complete Manual of Insight by Mahasi Sayadaw
Tyranny of Words - An Introduction to General Semantics
Ledi Sayadaw's Anapana Dipani (Samatha) @ ffmt.fr/articles/maitres/LediS/anapana-dipani.ledi-sayadaw.pdf
Dhammapada @ myweb.ncku.edu.tw/~lsn46/tipitaka/sutta/khuddaka/dhammapada/dhp-contrast-reading/dhp-contrast-reading-en/
don't feed the trolls

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rightviewftw
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Re: Nibbana and nihilism

Post by rightviewftw » Sun Mar 04, 2018 1:17 am

removed abusive speech
Last edited by rightviewftw on Sun Mar 04, 2018 1:25 am, edited 2 times in total.
How to Destroy any addiction
How to Meditate: Satipatthana Mahasi
Медитация Сатипаттхана Випассана
How To Develop Factors of Enlightenment & Perceptions
Complete Manual of Insight by Mahasi Sayadaw
Tyranny of Words - An Introduction to General Semantics
Ledi Sayadaw's Anapana Dipani (Samatha) @ ffmt.fr/articles/maitres/LediS/anapana-dipani.ledi-sayadaw.pdf
Dhammapada @ myweb.ncku.edu.tw/~lsn46/tipitaka/sutta/khuddaka/dhammapada/dhp-contrast-reading/dhp-contrast-reading-en/
don't feed the trolls

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DooDoot
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Re: Nibbana and nihilism

Post by DooDoot » Sun Mar 04, 2018 1:18 am

rightviewftw wrote:
Sun Mar 04, 2018 1:14 am
thanks for posting very relevant obv.
Its not relevant to the suttas. Its just another personal opinion. To be relevant to the suttas, it would need to be supported by & linked to other suttas.

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DooDoot
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Re: Nibbana and nihilism

Post by DooDoot » Sun Mar 04, 2018 1:23 am

:focus:
DCM wrote:
Sat Mar 03, 2018 9:53 pm
This is something that has been bothering me for a while. If Nibbana is the cessation of everything, then what’s the aim of the spiritual quest? Nothingness?
Hi DCM. My suggestion is it might be better for you to firmly be grounded the basics. The basics are the Pali suttas appear to refer to two types of Nibbana; where the 1st type is a here-&-now Nibbana that is the 'end of greed, hatred & delusion'; 'cessation of suffering'; 'highest happiness', etc. If the 1st type of here-&-now Nibbana is not attained, the 2nd type cannot be attained therefore it is probably best to focus on what the 1st type of Nibbana is.
This was said by the Lord…

Bhikkhus, there are these two Nibbāna-elements. What are the two? The Nibbāna-element with residue left and the Nibbāna-element with no residue left.

What, bhikkhus, is the Nibbāna-element with residue left? Here a bhikkhu is an arahant, one whose taints are destroyed, the holy life fulfilled, who has done what had to be done, laid down the burden, attained the goal, destroyed the fetters of being, completely released through final knowledge. However, his five sense faculties remain unimpaired, by which he still experiences what is agreeable and disagreeable and feels pleasure and pain. It is the extinction of attachment, hate and delusion in him that is called the Nibbāna-element with residue left.

Now what, bhikkhus, is the Nibbāna-element with no residue left? Here a bhikkhu is an arahant … completely released through final knowledge. For him, here in this very life, all that is experienced, not being delighted in, will be extinguished. That, bhikkhus, is called the Nibbāna-element with no residue left.

https://suttacentral.net/en/iti44

SarathW
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Re: Nibbana and nihilism

Post by SarathW » Sun Mar 04, 2018 1:43 am

“‘Friends, (1) all things are rooted in desire. (2) They come
into being through attention. (3) They originate from contact. (4)
They converge upon feeling. (5) They are headed by concentra-
tion. (6) Mindfulness exercises authority over them. (7) Wisdom
is their supervisor. (8) Liberation is their core.’ [1801]
Can someone explain this in simple English using a simple example?

I cant understand it after the following.

They are headed by concentration (samādhippamukhā) in the sense that
concentration is a controlling faculty (an indriya) whose lead
all elements of our experience must follow. They are under the
authority of mindfulness (satādhipateyyā) because mindfulness is
another controlling faculty which directs us in whatever we do
or experience. All things have wisdom as supervisor (paññuttarā)
because wisdom is the chief of the controlling faculties; wisdom,
more than anything else, controls our experience (the last three
factors are what allow us to get a sense of being in charge of our
lives). That liberation is their core (vimuttisārā), the most excellent
of all things, is self-explanatory.”
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

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Re: Nibbana and nihilism

Post by Lucas Oliveira » Sun Mar 04, 2018 2:30 am

It was following this topic, maybe has something to do
Not sure where they do. Nevertheless, my take on the sutta is that the Buddha is possibly riffing on the two meanings of dhamma, ‘thing / principle’ and ‘teaching’. The wanderers of other sects could be asking about things, and the Buddha, showing his famous reluctance to discuss ontological questions, teaches his students to answer with a clever pun. Seriously, insert ‘teachings’ instead of ‘things’ into the text and you’ll see that it works just fine.

There is a clear example of it in the text of the sutta as well, when the bhikkhus say:

Bhagavaṃ_mūlakā_ no, bhante, dhammā

Our teachings are rooted in the Lord

Since this is a sutta from the Anguttara Nikaya, the nikaya-to-go for preachers specializing on the lay audience, it could be that the Sutta was intended for entertaining the lay audience at the expence of wanderers from other sects.

https://discourse.suttacentral.net/t/th ... ess/8517/4
:anjali:
I participate in this forum using Google Translator. http://translate.google.com.br

http://www.acessoaoinsight.net/

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Re: Nibbana and nihilism

Post by DNS » Sun Mar 04, 2018 3:07 am

Good article, good interview; Bhikkhu Bodhi does a good job, as usual. Notice Wallace tries to get Bodhi to say there is some kind of unconditioned consciousness in nibbana, but Bhikkhu Bodhi refuses to take it that far, noting the Pali suttas don't support that, he does however not accept the extinction view.

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Re: Nibbana and nihilism

Post by cappuccino » Sun Mar 04, 2018 3:22 am

DNS wrote:
Sun Mar 04, 2018 3:07 am
Good article, good interview; Bhikkhu Bodhi does a good job, as usual. Notice Wallace tries to get Bodhi to say there is some kind of unconditioned consciousness in nibbana, but Bhikkhu Bodhi refuses to take it that far, noting the Pali suttas don't support that, he does however not accept the extinction view.
Your comments are incompatible.

As you've rejected and embraced annihilationism.
Don't wait, the time will never be just right

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Re: Nibbana and nihilism

Post by DNS » Sun Mar 04, 2018 3:38 am

cappuccino wrote:
Sun Mar 04, 2018 3:22 am
As you've rejected and embraced annihilationism.
How have I embraced annihilationism? I said BB refused to follow Wallace's argument of an unconditioned consciousness, but BB rejects the extinction view. I like BB's position, but no where did I adopt the extinction or nihilist views as BB's views are not nihilist.

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Re: Nibbana and nihilism

Post by cappuccino » Sun Mar 04, 2018 3:39 am

Last edited by cappuccino on Sun Mar 04, 2018 3:47 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Nibbana and nihilism

Post by DNS » Sun Mar 04, 2018 3:45 am

cappuccino wrote:
Sun Mar 04, 2018 3:39 am
https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitak ... html#fnt-1
Kevatta Sutta
Bhikkhu Bodhi answers that in the interview:
BB: What is clear to me, on the basis of my reading of the entire Sutta Pitaka (except some later
books), is that nibbāna is never identified with consciousness or a state of mind (citta, mano,
viññāṇa). In approaching the verse you cite from the Kevaddha Sutta, I would apply a principle
that Ven. Nyanaponika taught me, namely: “Don’t erect interpretations of the Dhamma based on
a single passage, particularly one in verse. Always assume that the repeated statements in the
expository prose texts are the ones that set forth the Buddha’s definitive position and that any
passages in verse that seem to depart from that doctrinal position, if correctly understood, would
actually turn out to be consistent with it.”

BB: That is what Ven. Nyanaponika meant. He was arguing against some who select a single
passage (usually an obscure verse) and then build up an entire interpretation on its basis, even
when their view contradicts the repetitive prose texts.
This certainly applies to the Kevaddha Sutta. The sutta, if you look at it carefully, does
not explicitly state that this “signless, boundless, all-luminous consciousness” is nibbāna itself.
I don’t interpret it as being nibbāna itself, and I do agree with you that nibbāna is an
unconditioned reality, without production, without alteration, without passing (see AN 3:47, I
152), a real dhamma that one actually sees and experiences with the attainment of path and
fruition. If that is so, it is only natural to inquire into the nature of the enlightened consciousness
that experiences that dhamma.
Some contemporary interpreters of the Dhamma advance the position that nibbāna is an
unconditioned dimension of consciousness, but to maintain it they either have to insert words
into their rendering of the verse that are not there in the Pali or construe the verse in a way that
cannot be pegged to the actual wording of the text.

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Re: Nibbana and nihilism

Post by cappuccino » Sun Mar 04, 2018 3:51 am

Some contemporary interpreters of the Dhamma advance the position that nibbāna is an
unconditioned dimension of consciousness

"There is that dimension where there is neither earth, nor water, nor fire, nor wind; neither dimension of the infinitude of space, nor dimension of the infinitude of consciousness, nor dimension of nothingness, nor dimension of neither perception nor non-perception; neither this world, nor the next world, nor sun, nor moon. And there, I say, there is neither coming, nor going, nor stasis; neither passing away nor arising: without stance, without foundation, without support. This, just this, is the end of stress."

— Ud 8.1
Last edited by cappuccino on Sun Mar 04, 2018 11:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Nibbana and nihilism

Post by DCM » Sun Mar 04, 2018 8:34 am

DooDoot wrote:
Sun Mar 04, 2018 1:23 am
:focus:
DCM wrote:
Sat Mar 03, 2018 9:53 pm
This is something that has been bothering me for a while. If Nibbana is the cessation of everything, then what’s the aim of the spiritual quest? Nothingness?
Hi DCM. My suggestion is it might be better for you to firmly be grounded the basics. The basics are the Pali suttas appear to refer to two types of Nibbana; where the 1st type is a here-&-now Nibbana that is the 'end of greed, hatred & delusion'; 'cessation of suffering'; 'highest happiness', etc. If the 1st type of here-&-now Nibbana is not attained, the 2nd type cannot be attained therefore it is probably best to focus on what the 1st type of Nibbana is.
This was said by the Lord…

Bhikkhus, there are these two Nibbāna-elements. What are the two? The Nibbāna-element with residue left and the Nibbāna-element with no residue left.

What, bhikkhus, is the Nibbāna-element with residue left? Here a bhikkhu is an arahant, one whose taints are destroyed, the holy life fulfilled, who has done what had to be done, laid down the burden, attained the goal, destroyed the fetters of being, completely released through final knowledge. However, his five sense faculties remain unimpaired, by which he still experiences what is agreeable and disagreeable and feels pleasure and pain. It is the extinction of attachment, hate and delusion in him that is called the Nibbāna-element with residue left.

Now what, bhikkhus, is the Nibbāna-element with no residue left? Here a bhikkhu is an arahant … completely released through final knowledge. For him, here in this very life, all that is experienced, not being delighted in, will be extinguished. That, bhikkhus, is called the Nibbāna-element with no residue left.

https://suttacentral.net/en/iti44

Yes, fair enough, but if the final goal is extinction, it seems to be the annihilation of being. It may seem I am holding an eternalist view and craving for some existence in Nibbana, but I am trying to understand the difference between an Arahants death, and the death of a being according to the materialists view, where they both seem to mean extinction, annihilation. I know the Aaraht destroys the taints and according to Buddhist view the materialist will take re birth in Samsara, but the materialists would still say the Arahant is annihilated.

I do have it that this may be a waste of time, and I should focus on suffering and DO, which I am, but I also find this quite interesting. Without self view of course this would all make sense, but until then ......

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