justindesilva wrote: ↑
Sun Apr 22, 2018 6:30 am
If referred to DN11, MN 49, it will explain to the sceptics, that vinnam snidassam means a consciousness of an arhant or an arya puggala.
In MN 49, Brahma seeks the Buddha to follow the practise of Brahma, namely:
So, mendicant, I tell you this: you will never find another escape beyond this, and you will eventually get weary and frustrated. If you attach (ajjhosissasi) to earth, you will lie close to me, in my domain, vulnerable and expendable. If you attach to water … fire … air … creatures … gods … the Creator … Brahmā, you will lie close to me, in my domain, vulnerable and expendable.’
The Buddha replies that he knows more realms than those mentioned by Brahma:
Atthi kho, brahme, añño kāyo, taṃ tvaṃ na jānāsi na passasi
But there is another realm that you don’t know or see.
But I know it and see it.
There is the realm named after the gods of streaming radiance [2nd jhana]...There is the realm named after the gods replete with glory [3rd jhana] … the realm named after the gods of abundant fruit [4th jhana] … the realm named after the Overlord (abhibhū), which you don’t know or see.
The Buddha then also replies he does not identify with any of the above mentioned realms:
Having directly known earth as earth, and having directly known that which does not fall within the scope of experience based on earth, I did not identify with earth, I did not identify regarding earth, I did not identify as earth, I did not identify ‘earth is mine’, I did not enjoy earth.
Brahma then replies:
Well, good sir, if you have directly known that which is not within the scope of experience based on all, may your words not turn out to be void and hollow!
The Buddha then replies:
Consciousness that is invisible, infinite, radiant all round—that’s what is not within the scope of experience based on earth, water, fire, air, creatures, gods, the Creator, Brahmā, the gods of streaming radiance, the gods replete with glory, the gods of abundant fruit, the Overlord, and the all.
At this point in the exchange, the Buddha says nothing here that explicitly points to Nibbana. For example, there appear to be no immaterial jhana mentioned in the various realms Brahma & Buddha previously list. Therefore, it is possible, the Buddha is referring to an immaterial jhana. Note: MN 1
makes it clear the Overlord (abhibhū
) is not an immaterial jhana.
The sutta continues with Brahma attempting to but failing to vanish from Buddha:
‘I will vanish from the ascetic Gotama! I will vanish from the ascetic Gotama!’ But he was unable to vanish from me.
Then, in return, the Buddha successfully vanishes from Brahma & spoke some words about bhava (existence) & bhavanirodha:
So I said to him: ‘Well look now, Brahmā, I will vanish from you!’ ‘All right, then, good sir, vanish from me—if you can.’ Then I used my psychic power to will that my voice would extend so that Brahmā, his assembly, and his retinue would hear me, but they would not see me. And while invisible I recited this verse:
‘Seeing the danger in continued existence—
that life in any existence will cease to be—
I didn’t welcome any kind of existence,
and didn’t grasp at relishing.’
Then the Brahmas replied:
Then Brahmā, his assembly, and his retinue, their minds full of wonder and amazement, thought: ‘It’s incredible, it’s amazing! The ascetic Gotama has such psychic power and might! We’ve never before seen or heard of any other ascetic or brahmin with psychic power and might like the ascetic Gotama, who has gone forth from the Sakyan clan. Though people enjoy continued existence, loving it so much, he has extracted it down to its root.’
Then, after a chat with Mara, the sutta ends and none of the audience attains stream-entry, non-return or arahantship:
And so, because of the silencing of Māra, and because of the invitation of Brahmā, the name of this discussion is “On the Invitation of Brahmā”.
In conclusion, there appears nothing written in MN 49 indicating 'consciousness that is invisible, infinite, radiant all round
' is the consciousness of an arahant or Nibbana. Bhikkhu Bodhi also mentions some skepticism in footnote 513 of his MN.
In DN 11, the Buddha is talking to Kevatta the householder, who requests a miracle of psychic power to covert people to Buddhism. The Budda refuses & lists all of the Buddha's miracles of instruction; unto Nibbana (destruction of the taints). Then, for some reason, the Buddha tells Kevatta the householder a story about a certain monk asking all of the Brahma gods the question: 'Where do these four great elements — the earth property, the liquid property, the fire property, and the wind property — cease without remainder?
' . The Buddha ends the sutta by saying the question of the monk was wrongly put and then recites the verse about various dualistic distinctions that are brought to an end in a luminous consciousness:
Here long & short
coarse & fine
fair & foul
name & form
are all brought to an end.
The Buddha does not refer to the destruction of craving (which is the standard definition of Nibbana) and Kevatta does not attain stream-entry or any higher state of enlightenment. Therefore, again, there appears nothing written in DN 11 indicating 'consciousness that is invisible, infinite, radiant all round
' is the consciousness of an arahant or Nibbana.
In my opinion, the above is what can be derived from the study of the two suttas (which notably are both very strong Anti-Brahmanism propaganda).