Dan74 wrote:I guess with the same logic, if Parinibbana is nibbana with no effluents, the ultimate nibbana, which is the great goal, the Buddha should've killed himself the moment he attained liberation.
Yes, I see. That seems to point to altruism and compassion as a consideration, since the Buddha not only remained but set about the difficult task of teaching others.
It occurs to me though that buddhas and arahants would have no reason to kill themselves because they would be free of all the factors that would motivate taking such action. They might not have a desire for continued existence, but they would also have no need to bring existence forcibly to an end.
I wonder if it makes sense to think of nibbana with remainder as the immediate goal and nibbana without remainder as the subsequent goal. Because in order to really embrace cessation, it seems to me, one has to reach a place where the drawbacks of all attachment are clearly discerned. And that essentially means breaking the last fetters.
reflection wrote: And these are two situations, nr 1 being what you state classical Therevadan Buddhism teaches.
1. There is rebirth. The end of rebirth is nirvana, the cessation of aggregates A. This is the highest happiness.
2. There is no rebirth. The death is the cessation of aggregates B.
I renamed the aggregates A & B, because in situation 2, they wouldn't be the same kind of aggregates as in situation 1, as they aren't sensitive to rebirth. You see, in the statements there would otherwise be an inconsistency. It's like saying, I've got here two red apples, but one is green. But that can't be. Actually, both aggregates are apples, but not the same kind of apples, so renamed A & B to indicate their colors. Are you with me me so far?
So far, with this correction of renaming the aggregates, we're fine. But than comes the dangerous assumption you make: that in situation nr 2, the cessation of aggregates B is also the highest happiness, as situation 1 says about aggregates A. But who'se going to say that that's true? You can't just equate the two if the aggregates are different. A red apple doesn't taste like a green apple.So we also can't follow the "overall Buddhist perspective" anymore. In other words, in situation 2 you would invariably take along an assumption hidden in situation 1, an approach that is not valid. And thus, the question can't be answered.
I could have said it shorter by saying a view of non-rebirth doesn't apply to the Buddhist perspective (at least the perspective as you sort of defined it), but I hope this makes something clear or at least gets you thinking that it may not be so easy to equate nirvana to something.
Thanks, R. I tend to agree that essentially different and incompatible perspectives are being compared here.
It seems to me the act of suicide is based on various "givens" which would clearly be under question from a Buddhist point of view -- one being annihilationism, and another being a view of self ("sui" means self). Also, identification of that self with the body. Perhaps this would be an answer to give my (hypothetical) friend.