Did Buddha say Anihilationism was to be the best of the wrong views.?

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism
SarathW
Posts: 14274
Joined: Mon Sep 10, 2012 2:49 am

Did Buddha say Anihilationism was to be the best of the wrong views.?

Post by SarathW »

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.


http://www.dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.ph ... 21#p408521

================
I think it is a mistake to assume that Buddha said Anihilationism to be the best of all wrong views.
This view could be a very dangerous one if this idea is held by ignorant people.
They will commit all form of wrong deeds with this view.

On the other hand Eternalist view at least keep the ignorance people in check due to fear.
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”
CecilN
Posts: 210
Joined: Sun Dec 25, 2016 9:31 am

Re: Did Buddha say Anihilationism was to be the best of the wrong views.?

Post by CecilN »

SarathW wrote: 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-.
Are you saying this is the view of annihilationism?
SarathW
Posts: 14274
Joined: Mon Sep 10, 2012 2:49 am

Re: Did Buddha say Anihilationism was to be the best of the wrong views.?

Post by SarathW »

No what I am saying is this is not a categorical statement.
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”
CecilN
Posts: 210
Joined: Sun Dec 25, 2016 9:31 am

Re: Did Buddha say Anihilationism was to be the best of the wrong views.?

Post by CecilN »

SarathW wrote:I think it is a mistake to assume that Buddha said Anihilationism to be the best of all wrong views.
If so, what did the Buddha actually say if he did not say annihilationism is the best of all wrong views?

Please quote?
paul
Posts: 1512
Joined: Tue May 31, 2011 11:27 pm
Location: Cambodia

Re: Did Buddha say Anihilationism was to be the best of the wrong views.?

Post by paul »

The Buddha is saying here that annihilationism is the best of wrong views. The modern scientific view is annihilationist; it believes in the basic nature of the body as elements which simply return to the environment upon death, close to the Buddhist ultimate reality, but it does not extend cause and effect into the moral/psychological realm as the doctrine of Kamma does. So annihilation view lacks mundane right view.
On the other hand, eternalism is close to lust and this is exemplified in the affinity between xtianity and materialism. But the dominance of the scientific view in modern-day society provides a platform for the mindfulness movement and Buddhist ideas in general as the next logical step.
Last edited by paul on Wed Jan 04, 2017 12:05 pm, edited 3 times in total.
CecilN
Posts: 210
Joined: Sun Dec 25, 2016 9:31 am

Re: Did Buddha say Anihilationism was to be the best of the wrong views.?

Post by CecilN »

paul wrote:The Buddha is saying here that annihilationism is the best of wrong views.
The 1st view highlighted in pink from MN 60 about the "cessation of being" (bhavanirodha) sounds like the Buddhist right view rather than the Annihilationist wrong view.
Last edited by CecilN on Tue Jan 03, 2017 12:48 am, edited 2 times in total.
santa100
Posts: 4324
Joined: Fri Jun 10, 2011 10:55 pm

Re: Did Buddha say Anihilationism was to be the best of the wrong views.?

Post by santa100 »

SarathW wrote:MN 60: "...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."
Actually the context to that section is not about anihilationism. Notice the section heading: "V. There is No Cessation of Being", it's really about the wrong view of certain recluses and brahmins who believe there is no possibility of liberation from samsara. ("Cessation of Being"/bhavanirodha here means Nibbana). And the good recluses and brahmins mentioned in the above quotes are those who hold right view and believe in Nibbana, that there is liberation from samsara.

Regarding MN 74, it's really doesn't make sense to hold any notion about a "best of the wrong views". Wrong views are wrong views. Some is relatively less harmful than others and that's the message the Buddha tried to convey. The key point is highlighted below:
MA: The eternalist view is close to lust because it affirms and delights in existence in however sublimated a form; annihilationism is close to non-lust 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 expressses 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.
Last edited by santa100 on Tue Jan 03, 2017 12:37 am, edited 1 time in total.
CecilN
Posts: 210
Joined: Sun Dec 25, 2016 9:31 am

Re: Did Buddha say Anihilationism was to be the best of the wrong views.?

Post by CecilN »

santa100 wrote:Actually the context to that section is not about anihilationism. Notice the section heading: "V. There is No Cessation of Being", it's really about the wrong view of certain recluses and brahmins who believe there is no possibility of liberation from samsara. ("Cessation of Being"/bhavanirodha here means Nibbana).
:bow: :anjali: :bow:
santa100
Posts: 4324
Joined: Fri Jun 10, 2011 10:55 pm

Re: Did Buddha say Anihilationism was to be the best of the wrong views.?

Post by santa100 »

:group:
CecilN
Posts: 210
Joined: Sun Dec 25, 2016 9:31 am

Re: Did Buddha say Anihilationism was to be the best of the wrong views.?

Post by CecilN »

SarathW wrote:I think it is a mistake to assume that Buddha said Anihilationism to be the best of all wrong views. This view could be a very dangerous one if this idea is held by ignorant people. They will commit all form of wrong deeds with this view. On the other hand Eternalist view at least keep the ignorance people in check due to fear.
SarathW

If you want to argue your (priestly) pro-morality case here, use the following verses from MN 60 (however they do contradict other suttas, particularly SN 12.15):
....this venerable person is still praised in the here-&-now by the observant as a person of good habits & right view: one who holds to a doctrine of existence....when well grasped & adopted by him, covers both sides, and leaves behind the possibility of the unskillful.'

this venerable person is still criticized in the here-&-now by the observant as a person of bad habits & wrong view: one who holds to a doctrine of non-existence.
Last edited by CecilN on Tue Jan 03, 2017 12:45 am, edited 1 time in total.
User avatar
Coëmgenu
Posts: 2684
Joined: Mon Jun 13, 2016 10:55 pm
Location: Whitby, Canada

Re: Did Buddha say Anihilationism was to be the best of the wrong views.?

Post by Coëmgenu »

CecilN wrote: SarathW

If you want to argue your (priestly) case here, use the following verses from MN 60
How is SarathW's case "priestly"?
The Buddha, from within his seat of samādhi, emitted a great circle of light from his head, casting luminous prajñā towards Mañjuśrī and the eighty-four thousand monks. A sword of wisdom appeared from the top of Mañjuśrī's head, and from his side emerged a golden-haired lion. [...] The Tathāgata spoke:

The supreme path of all Buddhas
is marked by perfect luminosity and eternal dwelling.
Those who enter the dhyāna samādhis together with the Buddhas,
in the same way as they, realize bodhicitta.

(Nihon Daizōkyō Hensankai, Shugendō Shōso 1, Bussetsusanjinjuryōmuhenkyō, excerpts)
CecilN
Posts: 210
Joined: Sun Dec 25, 2016 9:31 am

Re: Did Buddha say Anihilationism was to be the best of the wrong views.?

Post by CecilN »

Coëmgenu wrote:How is SarathW's case "priestly"?
How? SarathW believe he must con people with fear to be moral.
They will commit all form of wrong deeds with this view.
On the other hand Eternalist view at least keep the ignorance people in check due to fear.
User avatar
Coëmgenu
Posts: 2684
Joined: Mon Jun 13, 2016 10:55 pm
Location: Whitby, Canada

Re: Did Buddha say Anihilationism was to be the best of the wrong views.?

Post by Coëmgenu »

CecilN wrote:
Coëmgenu wrote:How is SarathW's case "priestly"?
How? SarathW believe he must con people with fear to be moral.
They will commit all form of wrong deeds with this view.
On the other hand Eternalist view at least keep the ignorance people in check due to fear.
Even if that was SarathW's internal intention, how is that "priestly"?
The Buddha, from within his seat of samādhi, emitted a great circle of light from his head, casting luminous prajñā towards Mañjuśrī and the eighty-four thousand monks. A sword of wisdom appeared from the top of Mañjuśrī's head, and from his side emerged a golden-haired lion. [...] The Tathāgata spoke:

The supreme path of all Buddhas
is marked by perfect luminosity and eternal dwelling.
Those who enter the dhyāna samādhis together with the Buddhas,
in the same way as they, realize bodhicitta.

(Nihon Daizōkyō Hensankai, Shugendō Shōso 1, Bussetsusanjinjuryōmuhenkyō, excerpts)
User avatar
aflatun
Posts: 814
Joined: Fri Sep 16, 2016 2:40 pm
Location: Bay Area, CA

Re: Did Buddha say Anihilationism was to be the best of the wrong views.?

Post by aflatun »

I believe this is related to your question SarathW, and perhaps of some help. From Ven. Analayo: From Craving to Liberation Excursions into the Thought-world of the Pali Discourses
A stark instance of annihilationist types of view that propound future non-existence would be the stance that according to the Samaññaphala-sutta was taken by Ajita Kesakambali (DN I 55). The position attributed to him holds that a human being merely consists of the four elements. When someone
passes away, all that happens is that the body will be carried to the cremation ground, the bones will turn white and all offerings turn into ashes. To assume some form of survival after death is, according to this doctrine, merely empty prattle, as fools and wise alike will be annihilated at death and perish entirely. As the Sandaka-sutta points out, to uphold such a doctrine renders the living of a life dedicated to spiritual progress meaningless (MN I 515)

The situation of those who uphold annihilationism is quite vividly depicted in the Pañcattaya-sutta, which compares their predicament to a dog that is bound to a pillar and keeps running in circles around this pillar (MN II 232). The point of this image is that, in spite of being motivated by disenchantment
with personal existence, sakkaya, annihilationism is unable to go beyond the inherent sense of identity. Instead, the annihilationists keep on running, as it were, in circles around the same personal existence they try to abandon. In whatever way such Brahmins and recluses may proclaim vibhava to be the escape from bhava, they will be unable to escape from existence (Ud 33). Only by leaving behind concern with vibhava and with bhava can future becoming be transcended, vibhavañca bhavañca vippahaya ... khinapunabbhavo (Sn 514).

The decisive shift of perspective that is required to really transcend becoming can better be appreciated after taking a closer look at an aspiration that a discourse in the Sayuttanikaya presents as the expression of an annihilationist view, uccheda-di..hi (SN III 99). This aspiration reads: "may I not be, may it not be for me, I shall not be and it will not be for me", no c' assa, no ca me siya, na bhavissami, na me bhavissati. The Sayutta-nikaya discourse points out that this aspiration is rooted in ignorance and an expression of craving.

A discourse in the A#guttara-nikaya, however, reckons this type of aspiration as the supreme among heterodox views, agga bahirakana di..higatana (AN V 63). The reason for this comparatively favourable assessment in the A#guttara-nikaya discourse may well be that a somewhat similar maxim was employed in Buddhist circles, with a small but decisive difference. The modified mode of this aspiration reads "may it not be, may it not be for me, it shall not be, and it will not be for me", no c'assa, no ca me siya, na bhavissati, na me bhavissati (MN II 24; SN III 55; AN IV, 70; Ud 78). By replacing the
first person formulation in the verb forms with the third person, the need to go beyond the self-notion implicit in the annihilationist
approach becomes apparent.
Last edited by aflatun on Tue Jan 03, 2017 6:52 am, edited 1 time in total.
"People often get too quick to say 'there's no self. There's no self...no self...no self.' There is self, there is focal point, its not yours. That's what not self is."

Ninoslav Ñāṇamoli
Senses and the Thought-1, 42:53

"Those who create constructs about the Buddha,
Who is beyond construction and without exhaustion,
Are thereby damaged by their constructs;
They fail to see the Thus-Gone.

That which is the nature of the Thus-Gone
Is also the nature of this world.
There is no nature of the Thus-Gone.
There is no nature of the world."

Nagarjuna
MMK XXII.15-16
User avatar
aflatun
Posts: 814
Joined: Fri Sep 16, 2016 2:40 pm
Location: Bay Area, CA

Re: Did Buddha say Anihilationism was to be the best of the wrong views.?

Post by aflatun »

continued from the above
A discourse in the Sayutta-nikaya explains how this aspiration can lead to the eradication of the lower fetters and onwards to final liberation. Uninstructed worldlings do not realize that each of the five aggregates is impermanent, unsatisfactory and devoid of self. Noble disciples, in contrast, understand the true nature of the five aggregates and thereon apply themselves to the aspiration "may it not be, may it not be for me, it shall not be, and it will not be for me". Practising in this way, the destruction of the lower fetters can be expected (SN III 57).
I suppose its an issue of what specific annihilationist view/practice we are considering.

And greetings to all, sorry I haven't introduced myself yet in the appropriate sub forum :embarassed: , I have thoroughly enjoyed reading through all the lively discussion available here :clap:

(sorry for the mangling of some of the font with respect to the Pali passages, not sure why the cut and paste results in that)
Last edited by aflatun on Tue Jan 03, 2017 2:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.
"People often get too quick to say 'there's no self. There's no self...no self...no self.' There is self, there is focal point, its not yours. That's what not self is."

Ninoslav Ñāṇamoli
Senses and the Thought-1, 42:53

"Those who create constructs about the Buddha,
Who is beyond construction and without exhaustion,
Are thereby damaged by their constructs;
They fail to see the Thus-Gone.

That which is the nature of the Thus-Gone
Is also the nature of this world.
There is no nature of the Thus-Gone.
There is no nature of the world."

Nagarjuna
MMK XXII.15-16
Post Reply