Virtue for nibbana

Buddhist ethical conduct including the Five Precepts (Pañcasikkhāpada), and Eightfold Ethical Conduct (Aṭṭhasīla).
befriend
Posts: 1305
Joined: Thu Jun 09, 2011 11:39 am

Virtue for nibbana

Post by befriend » Fri Dec 15, 2017 6:57 pm

If one could be consummate (perfect) in virtue would this alone lead to nibbana meaning if one only had wholesome speech, actions and used skillful methods to remove unwholesome thoughts and created wholesome thoughts?
Take care of mindfulness and mindfulness will take care of you.

User avatar
Nicolas
Posts: 813
Joined: Wed Jul 02, 2014 8:59 pm
Location: Somerville, MA, USA

Re: Virtue for nibbana

Post by Nicolas » Fri Dec 15, 2017 7:15 pm

I would think that, no, this just leads to the highest heavens. Good kamma sides with merit and becoming.
Virtue is necessary, but you need renunciation and supramundane right view as well. Otherwise other spiritual paths would also lead to Nibbana.
Ariyamagga Sutta wrote: And what is kamma that is bright with bright result? There is the case where a certain person fabricates a non-injurious bodily fabrication… a non-injurious verbal fabrication… a non-injurious mental fabrication.… He rearises in a non-injurious world.… There he is touched by non-injurious contacts.… He experiences feelings that are exclusively pleasant, like those of the Beautiful Black Devas. This is called kamma that is bright with bright result.
[...]
And what is kamma that is neither dark nor bright with neither dark nor bright result, leading to the ending of kamma? Right view, right resolve, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness, right concentration. This is called kamma that is neither dark nor bright with neither dark nor bright result, leading to the ending of kamma.
Mahācattārīsaka Sutta (MN 117) wrote: And what, bhikkhus, is right view? Right view, I say, is twofold: there is right view that is affected by taints, partaking of merit, ripening in the acquisitions; and there is right view that is noble, taintless, supramundane, a factor of the path.

And what, bhikkhus, is right view that is affected by the taints, partaking of merit, ripening in the acquisitions? ‘There is what is given and what is offered and what is sacrificed; there is fruit and result of good and bad actions; there is this world and the other world; there is mother and father; there are beings who are reborn spontaneously; there are in the world good and virtuous recluses and brahmins who have realised for themselves by direct knowledge and declare this world and the other world.’ This is right view affected by taints, partaking of merit, ripening in the acquisitions.

And what, bhikkhus, is right view that is noble, taintless, supramundane, a factor of the path? The wisdom, the faculty of wisdom, the power of wisdom, the investigation-of-states enlightenment factor, the path factor of right view in one whose mind is noble, whose mind is taintless, who possesses the noble path and is developing the noble path: this is right view that is noble, taintless, supramundane, a factor of the path.

JohnK
Posts: 674
Joined: Wed Jan 06, 2016 11:06 pm
Location: Tetons, Wyoming, USA

Re: Virtue for nibbana

Post by JohnK » Fri Dec 15, 2017 8:56 pm

befriend wrote:
Fri Dec 15, 2017 6:57 pm
If one could be consummate (perfect) in virtue would this alone lead to nibbana meaning if one only had wholesome speech, actions and used skillful methods to remove unwholesome thoughts and created wholesome thoughts?
I agree with Nicolas.
But I like the idea so much, I wanted to think about it a bit.
Maybe someone perfect in virtue (developed over many lifetimes maybe) is so ready, so ripe, that it would take just a nudge of potent dhamma to awaken them (like Bahiya and like many others from the suttas who hear the dhamma and are released). I do like that possibility! For someone to be perfect in virtue, they may already be teetering on the edge of some step in transcendent dependent arising; they would likely have great tranquility and clarity of mind.
"...the practice is essentially a practice, and not a theory to be idly discussed...right view leaves unanswered many questions about the cosmos and the self, and directs your attention to what needs to be done to escape from the ravages of suffering." Thanissaro Bhikkhu, On The Path.

paul
Posts: 1360
Joined: Tue May 31, 2011 11:27 pm
Location: Cambodia

Re: Virtue for nibbana

Post by paul » Fri Dec 15, 2017 11:03 pm

This question is discussed in the Vism under ‘Benefits of Developing Understanding’, indicating that the opinion that removal of the fetters alone constitutes attainment is a widely-held one in the debate, and that removal is the dominant factor, but it should not indicate that nibbana is the mere absence of the defilements, as it is a pre-existing entity, the ‘unconditioned element’:

“Furthermore, when people say that the fruit is the mere abandoning of fetters and nothing more than that, the following sutta can be cited in order to convince them that they are wrong: “How is it that understanding of the tranquilizing of effort is knowledge of fruit? At the moment of the stream-entry path right view in the sense of seeing emerges from wrong view, and it emerges from the defilements and from the aggregates that occur consequent upon that [wrong view], and externally it emerges from all signs. Right view arises because of the tranquilizing of that effort. This is the fruit of the path” (Patis I 71)”—-Vism. XXIII, 4.

This explains how all fabrication ceases at the point of entry, including the action of right effort, so the conditioned path leads to the unconditioned.

befriend
Posts: 1305
Joined: Thu Jun 09, 2011 11:39 am

Re: Virtue for nibbana

Post by befriend » Fri Dec 15, 2017 11:35 pm

To be perfect in conduct one would need clear comprehension which is a form of mindfulness of body wouldnt mindfulness of body help with enlightenment?
Take care of mindfulness and mindfulness will take care of you.

Saengnapha
Posts: 1350
Joined: Wed Sep 13, 2017 10:17 am

Re: Virtue for nibbana

Post by Saengnapha » Sat Dec 16, 2017 3:47 am

paul wrote:
Fri Dec 15, 2017 11:03 pm
This explains how all fabrication ceases at the point of entry, including the action of right effort, so the conditioned path leads to the unconditioned.
It really doesn't explain 'how' the fabrication ceases. And, can we really say that the conditioned leads to the unconditioned? If you concluded that the conditioned, which includes effort, ceased, along with all its fabrications, perhaps the unconditioned would be present. But the unconditioned is not produced from the conditioned.

ToVincent
Posts: 457
Joined: Tue Aug 30, 2016 6:02 pm
Contact:

Re: Virtue for nibbana

Post by ToVincent » Sat Dec 16, 2017 10:21 pm

befriend wrote:
Fri Dec 15, 2017 6:57 pm
If one could be consummate (perfect) in virtue would this alone lead to nibbana meaning if one only had wholesome speech, actions and used skillful methods to remove unwholesome thoughts and created wholesome thoughts?
Hi befriend,

I had a discussion on another forum about the need for jhānas to reach nibbāna. Maybe I could paste this here:
There are only two ways to get to stream-entry:
1 - being a samaṇa on alms & rags, with faith in the Buddha, Dhamma, etc. (SN 55.1)
2 - destruction of the three fetters. Of wich "sakkāya-diṭṭhi" is concerned with getting rid of the “mine” part.

If one understands what "I" and "Mine" means in Buddhism; then one has done 90% of the comprehension on how to leave the kama loka.
For, to get to nibbāna, you have first to leave the kama loka; then the rupa loka loka; then the arupa loka.

Nibbāna is beyond "neither-inquiries-nor-non-inquiries" ( aka “neither-perception-nor-non-perception” ) about this Dhamma that is paṭiccasamuppāda.
Or should I say more properly, that nibbāna is beyond "neither inquiries" about paṭiccasamuppāda, nor "non-inquiries" about something else.
For the transcendence of the spheres of experience, are usually done (in Buddhism,) by getting rid of something - in this case non-inquiries about paṭiccasamuppāda - and looking for something else - in this case the avyakkata (the unsaid - which is out of paṭiccasamuppāda).

Dhamma, or ध dha (or √ dhā) - √ मन् man - being a somewhat "performed & established "thinking" , in Indian philosophy at large.
Paṭiccasamuppāda being one of these धर्मन् dharmán (dharma).
"Neither-inquiries-nor-non-inquiries" about paṭiccasamupāda - (and the assumptions attached to them) - is the last and highest of the higher jhānas.

So you have to get there to get to nibbāna.

The first big step is to get out of the kama loka.
And that is done by getting rid of the "mine" and the "I". See SN 22.89 (and SN 22.47), and get a good grasp of what the “I” and “Mine” parts mean.

-----

Realising the “Mine” part has nothing to do with concentration. It has to do with understanding that khandhas & ayatanas are not “ours” (SN 22.59, SN 22.3, SN 35.138). That we are just made to be felt (SN 12.37).
There is no continuity of “self” between nāmarūpa and saḷāyatana. So it is ridiculous to want to appropriate the khandhas of nāmarūpa (as “mine”) - as much as it is ridiculous to want to appropriate the ayatanas of saḷāyatana (as "mine").
Buddhism is not like late Vedism, where Ka/Prajapati is the continuous Self/self all along. Where the Self, khandhas and ayatanas are "I" and "mine".
There is nothing in Buddhism that belong to Ka (Kāya) - Neither continuity of Self/self; nor bliss.
What we experience sensorially is not “ours”, says Buddha.

-----

The second part, as seen in SN 22.89, is to get rid of the "I". And this time, it involves being aware that the dhammas, made out of the khandhas (that are not ours), are impermanent.
To get to that, one must gain concentration and gain a citta, caused to become one.
:::::::::::::::::
Note:
Here, bhikkhus, the noble disciple, having undertaken the relinquishing of the support, gains concentration and gains a citta, caused to become one. This is called the faculty of concentration (SN 48.9).
Idha, bhikkhave, ariyasāvako vossaggārammaṇaṃ karitvā labhati samādhiṃ, labhati cittassa ekaggataṃ—idaṃ vuccati, bhikkhave, samādhindriyaṃ.
Here, we have the particular case of a genitive absolute; with nouns (samādhiṃ & citassa,) and a participle (ekaggataṃ), both inflected in the genitive.

:::::::::::::::::
Samādhi is that pro-active meditative oneness of concentration that helps get to the oneness of the citta.

Getting rid of the “I” is the passage from samadhi to vipassana. From the pro-active" meditation to the “contemplative” meditation.
https://justpaste.it/zcue2

This is the moment when the citta gets transcended (liberated from mano), in the second jhāna (cetaso ekodibhāva).
Then vipassana can settle in.
Vipassana, that is to say the meditative concentration free of the dross of the sensory “world” (SN 35.107 & SN 12.44). https://justpaste.it/1cmhg
This is when the citta gets rid of its impurity (viz. get rid of the tie with the purely sensory orchestrator of khandhas and ayatanas, that is mano - https://suttacentral.net/en/mn43/21), and become one, and become “mudu”. AN 3.101

This is the end of the kama loka and the entrance in the factors of enlightenment per se; that is to say, the entrance in the rūpa loka.

-------

And yes! Jhānas, particularly the higher ones, are necessary to reach nibbāna.

Liberation by discernment (paññavimutti), and liberation of citta (cetovimutti) are not nibbāna.
As one can see above, paññavimutti is about the “mine”; while cetovimutti is about the “I”.
When one has discerned that the khandhas and ayatanas are not “his”; and that dhammas, made of those, are impermanent; then one passes through the higher jhānas of the rupa loka (viz. somewhat third; and fourth Jhānas).

Then one has still to jhāna (“make an end of”) each sphere left, to get to the arupa-loka.
Each particular jhāna (absorption) carries its own jhāna ("making an end of" something). For jhāna has two meanings indeed.

The complete transcending of perceptions of form (matter), and the vanishing of perceptions (based) upon the organs of senses [internal āyatanāni] (viz. paṭighasaññānaṃ atthaṅgamā) - and the unstriving with the mind (manasa/mano) to perceptions of manifoldness (lit. (what is) differently
than one) (nānattasaññānaṃ amanasikārā) - is the passage from the rūpa, to the arūpa loka. And that takes place in the 5th jhāna.

And lastly, one must get rid of each of the arupa loka spheres - to reach the last higher jhāna. For nibbāna is beyond the sphere of neither-inquiries-nor-non-inquiries (aka “neither-perception-nor-non-perception”).
As you can see, virtue would not be enough - but would be an excellent start.
Some working for the Mara's world; some for the Brahma's world; some for the Unborn.
.
In this world with its ..., māras, ... in this population with its ascetics.... (AN 5.30).
------
We are all possessed - more or less.
------
And what, bhikkhu, is inward rottenness? Here someone is immoral, one of evil character, of impure and suspect behaviour, secretive in his acts, no ascetic though claiming to be one, not a celibate though claiming to be one, inwardly rotten, corrupt, depraved. This is called inward rottenness.”
SN 35.241
------
https://justpaste.it/j5o4

Saengnapha
Posts: 1350
Joined: Wed Sep 13, 2017 10:17 am

Re: Virtue for nibbana

Post by Saengnapha » Sun Dec 17, 2017 2:14 pm

ToVincent wrote:
Sat Dec 16, 2017 10:21 pm
befriend wrote:
Fri Dec 15, 2017 6:57 pm
If one could be consummate (perfect) in virtue would this alone lead to nibbana meaning if one only had wholesome speech, actions and used skillful methods to remove unwholesome thoughts and created wholesome thoughts?
Hi befriend,

I had a discussion on another forum about the need for jhānas to reach nibbāna. Maybe I could paste this here:
There are only two ways to get to stream-entry:
1 - being a samaṇa on alms & rags, with faith in the Buddha, Dhamma, etc. (SN 55.1)
2 - destruction of the three fetters. Of wich "sakkāya-diṭṭhi" is concerned with getting rid of the “mine” part.

If one understands what "I" and "Mine" means in Buddhism; then one has done 90% of the comprehension on how to leave the kama loka.
For, to get to nibbāna, you have first to leave the kama loka; then the rupa loka loka; then the arupa loka.

Nibbāna is beyond "neither-inquiries-nor-non-inquiries" ( aka “neither-perception-nor-non-perception” ) about this Dhamma that is paṭiccasamuppāda.
Or should I say more properly, that nibbāna is beyond "neither inquiries" about paṭiccasamuppāda, nor "non-inquiries" about something else.
For the transcendence of the spheres of experience, are usually done (in Buddhism,) by getting rid of something - in this case non-inquiries about paṭiccasamuppāda - and looking for something else - in this case the avyakkata (the unsaid - which is out of paṭiccasamuppāda).

Dhamma, or ध dha (or √ dhā) - √ मन् man - being a somewhat "performed & established "thinking" , in Indian philosophy at large.
Paṭiccasamuppāda being one of these धर्मन् dharmán (dharma).
"Neither-inquiries-nor-non-inquiries" about paṭiccasamupāda - (and the assumptions attached to them) - is the last and highest of the higher jhānas.

So you have to get there to get to nibbāna.

The first big step is to get out of the kama loka.
And that is done by getting rid of the "mine" and the "I". See SN 22.89 (and SN 22.47), and get a good grasp of what the “I” and “Mine” parts mean.

-----

Realising the “Mine” part has nothing to do with concentration. It has to do with understanding that khandhas & ayatanas are not “ours” (SN 22.59, SN 22.3, SN 35.138). That we are just made to be felt (SN 12.37).
There is no continuity of “self” between nāmarūpa and saḷāyatana. So it is ridiculous to want to appropriate the khandhas of nāmarūpa (as “mine”) - as much as it is ridiculous to want to appropriate the ayatanas of saḷāyatana (as "mine").
Buddhism is not like late Vedism, where Ka/Prajapati is the continuous Self/self all along. Where the Self, khandhas and ayatanas are "I" and "mine".
There is nothing in Buddhism that belong to Ka (Kāya) - Neither continuity of Self/self; nor bliss.
What we experience sensorially is not “ours”, says Buddha.

-----

The second part, as seen in SN 22.89, is to get rid of the "I". And this time, it involves being aware that the dhammas, made out of the khandhas (that are not ours), are impermanent.
To get to that, one must gain concentration and gain a citta, caused to become one.
:::::::::::::::::
Note:
Here, bhikkhus, the noble disciple, having undertaken the relinquishing of the support, gains concentration and gains a citta, caused to become one. This is called the faculty of concentration (SN 48.9).
Idha, bhikkhave, ariyasāvako vossaggārammaṇaṃ karitvā labhati samādhiṃ, labhati cittassa ekaggataṃ—idaṃ vuccati, bhikkhave, samādhindriyaṃ.
Here, we have the particular case of a genitive absolute; with nouns (samādhiṃ & citassa,) and a participle (ekaggataṃ), both inflected in the genitive.

:::::::::::::::::
Samādhi is that pro-active meditative oneness of concentration that helps get to the oneness of the citta.

Getting rid of the “I” is the passage from samadhi to vipassana. From the pro-active" meditation to the “contemplative” meditation.
https://justpaste.it/zcue2

This is the moment when the citta gets transcended (liberated from mano), in the second jhāna (cetaso ekodibhāva).
Then vipassana can settle in.
Vipassana, that is to say the meditative concentration free of the dross of the sensory “world” (SN 35.107 & SN 12.44). https://justpaste.it/1cmhg
This is when the citta gets rid of its impurity (viz. get rid of the tie with the purely sensory orchestrator of khandhas and ayatanas, that is mano - https://suttacentral.net/en/mn43/21), and become one, and become “mudu”. AN 3.101

This is the end of the kama loka and the entrance in the factors of enlightenment per se; that is to say, the entrance in the rūpa loka.

-------

And yes! Jhānas, particularly the higher ones, are necessary to reach nibbāna.

Liberation by discernment (paññavimutti), and liberation of citta (cetovimutti) are not nibbāna.
As one can see above, paññavimutti is about the “mine”; while cetovimutti is about the “I”.
When one has discerned that the khandhas and ayatanas are not “his”; and that dhammas, made of those, are impermanent; then one passes through the higher jhānas of the rupa loka (viz. somewhat third; and fourth Jhānas).

Then one has still to jhāna (“make an end of”) each sphere left, to get to the arupa-loka.
Each particular jhāna (absorption) carries its own jhāna ("making an end of" something). For jhāna has two meanings indeed.

The complete transcending of perceptions of form (matter), and the vanishing of perceptions (based) upon the organs of senses [internal āyatanāni] (viz. paṭighasaññānaṃ atthaṅgamā) - and the unstriving with the mind (manasa/mano) to perceptions of manifoldness (lit. (what is) differently
than one) (nānattasaññānaṃ amanasikārā) - is the passage from the rūpa, to the arūpa loka. And that takes place in the 5th jhāna.

And lastly, one must get rid of each of the arupa loka spheres - to reach the last higher jhāna. For nibbāna is beyond the sphere of neither-inquiries-nor-non-inquiries (aka “neither-perception-nor-non-perception”).
As you can see, virtue would not be enough - but would be an excellent start.
So, one is climbing the ladder? One is going from point A to point B? One is divided into subject and object? If nibbana is indeed beyond the sphere of all that is mentioned, no one is going to reach that place because the vehicle of 'travel' cannot go there, it is part of the dream of existence. Stopping all this 'becoming' and attachment to experience is the only possibility and which is why it is so bloody rare for someone to give up their attachment to existence and all the states of mind that keep the continuity of the personal going. Who is ready to die for this?

ToVincent
Posts: 457
Joined: Tue Aug 30, 2016 6:02 pm
Contact:

Re: Virtue for nibbana

Post by ToVincent » Sun Dec 17, 2017 2:48 pm

Saengnapha wrote:
Sun Dec 17, 2017 2:14 pm
If nibbana is indeed beyond the sphere of all that is mentioned, no one is going to reach that place because the vehicle of 'travel' cannot go there, it is part of the dream of existence.
Where did you get that from the suttas?

Where did you get from Buddha, that the path is just a useless bunkum?
Because that's exactly what your implying.
When he (the Buddha) meditates in such a way, the devas along with Indra, Brahmā, and Prajāpati worship the excellent thoroughbred person from afar, saying:
‘Homage to you, O thoroughbred person!
Homage to you, O supreme person!
We ourselves do not understand
What you meditate in dependence on.’
AN 11.9 (SA 926 & SA2 151)
Some working for the Mara's world; some for the Brahma's world; some for the Unborn.
.
In this world with its ..., māras, ... in this population with its ascetics.... (AN 5.30).
------
We are all possessed - more or less.
------
And what, bhikkhu, is inward rottenness? Here someone is immoral, one of evil character, of impure and suspect behaviour, secretive in his acts, no ascetic though claiming to be one, not a celibate though claiming to be one, inwardly rotten, corrupt, depraved. This is called inward rottenness.”
SN 35.241
------
https://justpaste.it/j5o4

binocular
Posts: 5638
Joined: Sat Jan 17, 2009 11:13 pm

Re: Virtue for nibbana

Post by binocular » Sun Dec 17, 2017 3:04 pm

Saengnapha wrote:
Sun Dec 17, 2017 2:14 pm
So, one is climbing the ladder? One is going from point A to point B? One is divided into subject and object? If nibbana is indeed beyond the sphere of all that is mentioned, no one is going to reach that place because the vehicle of 'travel' cannot go there, it is part of the dream of existence. Stopping all this 'becoming' and attachment to experience is the only possibility and which is why it is so bloody rare for someone to give up their attachment to existence and all the states of mind that keep the continuity of the personal going. Who is ready to die for this?
Looks like you're committing the pre/trans fallacy:
Pre/trans fallacy[edit]
Wilber believes that many claims about non-rational states make a mistake he calls the pre/trans fallacy. According to Wilber, the non-rational stages of consciousness (what Wilber calls "pre-rational" and "trans-rational" stages) can be easily confused with one another. In Wilber's view, one can reduce trans-rational spiritual realization to pre-rational regression, or one can elevate pre-rational states to the trans-rational domain.[20] For example, Wilber claims that Freud and Jung commit this fallacy. Freud considered mystical realization to be a regression to infantile oceanic states. Wilber alleges that Freud thus commits a fallacy of reduction. Wilber thinks that Jung commits the converse form of the same mistake by considering pre-rational myths to reflect divine realizations. Likewise, pre-rational states may be misidentified as post-rational states.[21]
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ken_Wilbe ... ns_fallacy
The pre/trans fallacy essentially says that more primitive things always share something in common with more advanced things, and they are apt to be confused.

To give a simple example, let’s say I’m driving to the village of Bundanoon. Before I get to Bundanoon, I see fields, cows, a train line. At Bundanoon, I see a village. After I’ve passed through the village, I also see field, cows, and a train line. Of course, they’re not the same as the ones I saw before, but they are somewhat similar.

The point here is that if someone is still in Bundanoon, and has not passed through to the other side, it’s impossible for them to know what is there. If someone says, “It’s fields, cows, and a train line”, they will naturally assume that it is identical to what came before. That is, someone in the middle state will normally make the mistake of collapsing the pre and the trans state. Only someone who has gone through to the other side can clearly know the difference.

But there is more. The one who has gone through to the other side stands at a higher plane of understanding. They not only know the pre, middle, and trans states: they understand why it is that the person in the middle thinks the way they do. They know this, because they used to be that person. They used to stand in exactly that spot and think exactly those thoughts.

And here is where the problem of arrogance arises. A person standing in Bundanoon might talk with someone who has been to the other side and say, “It sounds just like what came before.” “But no,” says the other, “it may sound the same, but actually it’s quite different; I know, I’ve been there.”

What to do with this? An arrogant person would simply dismiss the testimony of the other, assuming their own perspective to be the highest. A gullible person would blithely accept anything they’re told. But a rational person would inquire, ask as to details. They’d see whether the testimony held good, and check the person’s reliability. If it all checked out, they’d accept the claim provisionally, while still reserving final judgment: “Hopefully one day I’ll go there myself, and then I’ll know for sure.”

https://discourse.suttacentral.net/t/wh ... -true/6399
Every person we save is one less zombie to fight. -- World War Z

User avatar
Nicolas
Posts: 813
Joined: Wed Jul 02, 2014 8:59 pm
Location: Somerville, MA, USA

Re: Virtue for nibbana

Post by Nicolas » Sun Dec 17, 2017 3:12 pm

Saengnapha wrote:
Sat Dec 16, 2017 3:47 am
paul wrote:
Fri Dec 15, 2017 11:03 pm
This explains how all fabrication ceases at the point of entry, including the action of right effort, so the conditioned path leads to the unconditioned.
It really doesn't explain 'how' the fabrication ceases. And, can we really say that the conditioned leads to the unconditioned? If you concluded that the conditioned, which includes effort, ceased, along with all its fabrications, perhaps the unconditioned would be present. But the unconditioned is not produced from the conditioned.
The below might be helpful:
On the Path, by Ṭhānissaro Bhikkhu wrote: However, the fact that the path is fabricated, while its goal is not, presents a paradox: How can a fabricated path lead to something not fabricated? The solution to this paradox lies in the Buddha’s analysis of the causal principle underlying fabrication, a point that will be covered in more detail in Chapter 3, on right view. Here we can simply note that the basic pattern of that causal principle is such that it creates a complex, non-linear system, and one of the features of such a system is that the factors that maintain it can be pushed in a direction where they cause the system to collapse. In the same way, the processes of fabrication can be pushed in a direction, through the factors of the path, to a point where they bring the system of fabricated experience to collapse, leaving an opening to the unfabricated. This is why the Buddha says that the path is a type of action that leads to the end of action—it’s a fabricated path to the unfabricated.

In practical terms, this means that the factors of the path—because they are fabricated—have to be developed to a certain point, after which they’re abandoned along with all other fabrications. This is one of the reasons why it’s so important not to confuse the path with the goal. They are two radically different things. Some aspects of the path—such as desire, conceit, and the need to fabricate a healthy sense of self to engage in right effort—will be totally abandoned on awakening. Others, which harmonize with awakening, will be abandoned at the moment of awakening but afterwards will still be available for use. The texts describe, for instance, how the awakened are virtuous, even though they are not defined by their virtue, and how even the completely awakened use the contemplations of right view and the practice of right mindfulness and right concentration as pleasant abidings.

Still, one of the features of each factor of the path is that it allows for its own transcendence. In the case of right view, part of this potential for self-transcendence lies in its self-referential quality, which we have already noted: It describes action, and it itself is an action, so it can be used to describe itself—when, as a strategy, it is skillful and should be developed, and when it gets in the way of a higher skill and so should be dropped. This is how it provides a perspective on itself that allows for its transcendence. When trained by the other factors of the path, it can then be turned around and applied to them to provide for their transcendence as well.

The Canon uses many metaphors to describe this self-transcending aspect of the path, such as the relay chariots that are abandoned on reaching their goal, and the raft that is abandoned on reaching the other shore of the river. In fact, the metaphor of the path itself makes this point, although the clearest explanation of this aspect of the metaphor didn’t appear until the Milinda Pañhā, a later text in the Buddhist tradition: Just as a path to a mountain doesn’t cause the mountain but can still lead to the mountain, the noble eightfold path doesn’t cause unbinding, but the act of following it can lead to a direct realization of the freedom of unbinding.

And although the fact is not obvious on the surface, the third main point about the path presented in the Buddha’s first discourse—that it’s a middle way—also implies that the path employs fabricated means that are abandoned on arriving at the goal. This implied fact becomes apparent, though, when we look at what “middle way” means.

User avatar
bodom
Posts: 6264
Joined: Fri Jan 09, 2009 6:18 pm
Location: San Antonio, Texas

Re: Virtue for nibbana

Post by bodom » Sun Dec 17, 2017 3:44 pm

This sutta shows how virtue leads all the way to nibbana:
1. What Purpose?

Thus have I heard. On one occasion the Blessed One was dwelling at Sāvatthī in Jeta’s Grove, Anāthapiṇḍika’s Park. Then the Venerable Ānanda approached the Blessed One, paid homage to him, sat down to one side, and said to him:

(1) “Bhante, what is the purpose and benefit of wholesome virtuous behavior?”

(2) “Ānanda, the purpose and benefit of wholesome virtuous behavior is non-regret.”

(3) “And what, Bhante, is the purpose and benefit of non-regret?”

“The purpose and benefit of non-regret is joy.”

(4) “And what, Bhante, is the purpose and benefit of joy?”

“The purpose and benefit of joy is rapture.”

(5) “And what, Bhante, is the purpose and benefit of rapture?”

“The purpose and benefit of rapture is tranquility.”

(6) “And what, Bhante, is the purpose and benefit of tranquility?”

“The purpose and benefit of tranquility is pleasure.”

(7) “And what, Bhante, is the purpose and benefit of pleasure?”

“The purpose and benefit of pleasure is concentration.”

(8) “And what, Bhante, is the purpose and benefit of concentration?”

“The purpose and benefit of concentration is the knowledge and vision of things as they really are.”

(9) “And what, Bhante, is the purpose and benefit of the knowledge and vision of things as they really are?”

“The purpose and benefit of the knowledge and vision of things as they really are is disenchantment and dispassion.”

(10) “And what, Bhante, is the purpose and benefit of disenchantment and dispassion?”

“The purpose and benefit of disenchantment and dispassion is the knowledge and vision of liberation.

“Thus, Ānanda, (1)–(2) the purpose and benefit of wholesome virtuous behavior is non-regret; (3) the purpose and benefit of non-regret is joy; (4) the purpose and benefit of joy is rapture; (5) the purpose and benefit of rapture is tranquility; (6) the purpose and benefit of tranquility is pleasure; (7) the purpose and benefit of pleasure is concentration; (8) the purpose and benefit of concentration is the knowledge and vision of things as they really are; (9) the purpose and benefit of the knowledge and vision of things as they really are is disenchantment and dispassion; and (10) the purpose and benefit of disenchantment and dispassion is the knowledge and vision of liberation. Thus, Ānanda, wholesome virtuous behavior progressively leads to the foremost.”
https://suttacentral.net/en/an10.1

:namaste:
To study is to know the texts,
To practice is to know your defilements,
To attain the goal is to know and let go.

- Ajahn Lee Dhammadharo


With no struggling, no thinking,
the mind, still,
will see cause and effect
vanishing in the Void.
Attached to nothing, letting go:
Know that this is the way
to allay all stress.

- Upasika Kee Nanayan

User avatar
Nicolas
Posts: 813
Joined: Wed Jul 02, 2014 8:59 pm
Location: Somerville, MA, USA

Re: Virtue for nibbana

Post by Nicolas » Sun Dec 17, 2017 4:03 pm

bodom wrote:
Sun Dec 17, 2017 3:44 pm
[...]
Thanks, bodom! Very relevant. How do we reconcile that with the fact that there is something unique about the Buddha’s teaching that goes beyond virtuous behavior as described in other spiritual systems?

(It’s also worth noting that mundane right view is included in wholesome mental action.)

User avatar
bodom
Posts: 6264
Joined: Fri Jan 09, 2009 6:18 pm
Location: San Antonio, Texas

Re: Virtue for nibbana

Post by bodom » Sun Dec 17, 2017 7:57 pm

(It’s also worth noting that mundane right view is included in wholesome mental action.)
And it's precisely this that Buddha says other doctrines and disciplines lack.

:namaste:
To study is to know the texts,
To practice is to know your defilements,
To attain the goal is to know and let go.

- Ajahn Lee Dhammadharo


With no struggling, no thinking,
the mind, still,
will see cause and effect
vanishing in the Void.
Attached to nothing, letting go:
Know that this is the way
to allay all stress.

- Upasika Kee Nanayan

Saengnapha
Posts: 1350
Joined: Wed Sep 13, 2017 10:17 am

Re: Virtue for nibbana

Post by Saengnapha » Mon Dec 18, 2017 4:58 pm

ToVincent wrote:
Sun Dec 17, 2017 2:48 pm
Saengnapha wrote:
Sun Dec 17, 2017 2:14 pm
If nibbana is indeed beyond the sphere of all that is mentioned, no one is going to reach that place because the vehicle of 'travel' cannot go there, it is part of the dream of existence.
Where did you get that from the suttas?

Where did you get from Buddha, that the path is just a useless bunkum?
Because that's exactly what your implying.
Try to be a little creative in your thinking. What I wrote doesn't imply that the Buddha taught bunkum. At some point, the paradox of existence has to be transcended and you as the existee doesn't survive it.

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Baidu [Spider] and 21 guests