conciousness and nirvana

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conciousness and nirvana

Postby PaulD » Mon Nov 09, 2009 3:00 am

Hi everyone,

I heard in Theravada consciousness ceases to exist when one enters Parinirvana. If consciousness ceases to exist then what is supposed to be left? Can this then be considered Nihilistic? If not then why and how can't it be considered nihilistic?
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Re: conciousness and nirvana

Postby retrofuturist » Mon Nov 09, 2009 3:08 am

Greetings Paul,

Maybe try having a look at this and see how far it goes towards addressing your question.

A Verb for Nirvana by Thanissaro Bhikkhu
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... averb.html

Metta,
Retro. :)
If you have asked me of the origination of unease, then I shall explain it to you in accordance with my understanding:
Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


Exalted in mind, just open and clearly aware, the recluse trained in the ways of the sages:
One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


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Re: conciousness and nirvana

Postby PaulD » Mon Nov 09, 2009 3:09 am

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings Paul,

Maybe try having a look at this and see how far it goes towards addressing your question.

A Verb for Nirvana by Thanissaro Bhikkhu
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... averb.html

Metta,
Retro. :)


Thanks I will read that.
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Re: conciousness and nirvana

Postby mikenz66 » Mon Nov 09, 2009 4:02 am

Hi PaulD,

See also this Sutta:
MN 72 Aggi-Vacchagotta Sutta: To Vacchagotta on Fire
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
"Then does Master Gotama hold the view: 'After death a Tathagata exists: only this is true, anything otherwise is worthless'?"

"...no..."
"Then does Master Gotama hold the view: 'After death a Tathagata does not exist: only this is true, anything otherwise is worthless'?"
"...no..."
"Then does Master Gotama hold the view: 'After death a Tathagata both exists & does not exist: only this is true, anything otherwise is worthless'?"
"...no..."
"Then does Master Gotama hold the view: 'After death a Tathagata neither exists nor does not exist: only this is true, anything otherwise is worthless'?"
"...no..."

"Does Master Gotama have any position at all?"

"A 'position,' Vaccha, is something that a Tathagata has done away with. What a Tathagata sees is this: 'Such is form, such its origin, such its disappearance; such is feeling, such its origin, such its disappearance; such is perception... such are mental fabrications... such is consciousness, such its origin, such its disappearance.' Because of this, I say, a Tathagata — with the ending, fading out, cessation, renunciation, & relinquishment of all construings, all excogitations, all I-making & mine-making & obsession with conceit — is, through lack of clinging/sustenance, released."

"And suppose someone were to ask you, 'This fire that has gone out in front of you, in which direction from here has it gone? East? West? North? Or south?' Thus asked, how would you reply?"

"That doesn't apply, Master Gotama. Any fire burning dependent on a sustenance of grass and timber, being unnourished — from having consumed that sustenance and not being offered any other — is classified simply as 'out' (unbound)."

"Even so, Vaccha, any physical form by which one describing the Tathagata would describe him: That the Tathagata has abandoned, its root destroyed, made like a palmyra stump, deprived of the conditions of development, not destined for future arising. Freed from the classification of form, Vaccha, the Tathagata is deep, boundless, hard to fathom, like the sea. 'Reappears' doesn't apply. 'Does not reappear' doesn't apply. 'Both does & does not reappear' doesn't apply. 'Neither reappears nor does not reappear' doesn't apply.

Metta
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Re: conciousness and nirvana

Postby Jechbi » Mon Nov 09, 2009 5:20 pm

PaulD wrote:I heard in Theravada consciousness ceases to exist when one enters Parinirvana. If consciousness ceases to exist then what is supposed to be left? Can this then be considered Nihilistic? If not then why and how can't it be considered nihilistic?

If you are talking about "nihilistic" in the sense of the annihilation of anything that might be regarded as an abiding self or a soul, then it could be considered nihilistic in that sense, in my opinion. But then the same would hold true in every passing moment even throughout life as the experience of consciousness arises and fades away.
Rain soddens what is kept wrapped up,
But never soddens what is open;
Uncover, then, what is concealed,
Lest it be soddened by the rain.
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