Nibbana vs. annihilation?

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Re: Nibbana vs. annihilation?

Postby Prasadachitta » Thu Oct 14, 2010 5:47 am

Alex123 wrote:I do not believe in a trully existing being that can exist/not-exist/both/neither after after parinibbana.


What is a "truly existing being"? You keep repeating it but it does not mean anything to me. By using the phrase "Truly existing being" you imply that you know what it is that you don't believe in. I don't have the slightest notion of what you are talking about.

With Metta


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Re: Nibbana vs. annihilation?

Postby Shonin » Thu Oct 14, 2010 6:02 am

Alex123 wrote:This answers the original question as to why Parinibbana is not annihilation. There is no One to annihilate in the first place, so how can it be annihilation?

Only those who have Self Views would view complete cessation as an annihilation of whatever they believe Self to be.


Your original point, which launched this thread, as I recall, was that it makes sense for those who do not have a belief in multiple lives to commit suicide as a means to end suffering.
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Re: Nibbana vs. annihilation?

Postby Nyana » Thu Oct 14, 2010 8:08 am

Sylvester wrote:I think what will be most tantalising from the interview will be Ven Nanananda's revelation that there was to have been a Nibbana Sermon #34.

Hi Sylvester & all,

Thanks for posting the link to the interview. Would you (or anyone else) happen to know of the status of the English versions of Nibbāna Sermons 26-33? The English versions of Sermons 1-25 have been available online for a few years now, but after #25 appeared on Beyond the Net they seem to have stopped....

All the best,

Geoff
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Re: Nibbana vs. annihilation?

Postby beeblebrox » Thu Oct 14, 2010 2:17 pm

Alex123 wrote:
beeblebrox wrote:As long as you refer to an Arahant as an existing being, or a non-existing being, you're still trapped within these two viewpoints. This idea do not apply at all. Any mention of this so-called "being," from either sides, is null and void according to a Tathagata.

I've never said so in the thread and have said on numerous times that I use the word only conventionally to distinguish one stream of 5 aggregates from another. So you are attacking a strawman.

I had the distinct impression that you said that the arahants were already "non-existing beings," so that's why there's no annihilation. Also, I was bit confused when you said that the tetralemma only applies after death... which seemed to imply that one of these 4 things can be said about the arahants before death. If those were mistaken, then I apologize, Alex. Also... your constant equivalence between parinibbāna and atheist's one-life death didn't help.

What Retro said is pretty much the same point I was trying to make, more or less... (even though it's based on my own perceived impression of what you said):

retrofuturist wrote:The difference between your form of annihilation and that of the classical Indian traditions, is that you chop the atman up into 5 pieces before wanting to annihilate it. Either way, you crave the annihilation and permanent destruction of things you perceive to exist.

If this wasn't what you intended to convey, then I apologize.
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Re: Nibbana vs. annihilation?

Postby beeblebrox » Thu Oct 14, 2010 2:22 pm

Ñāṇa wrote:Would you (or anyone else) happen to know of the status of the English versions of Nibbāna Sermons 26-33? The English versions of Sermons 1-25 have been available online for a few years now, but after #25 appeared on Beyond the Net they seem to have stopped....

When I read the sermons, the language style in the latter sermons seems to be different from the earlier sermons (including the formatting of the Pāli). I think the translator was probably changed around that point; I guess this second translator stopped translating after a few sermons for whatever reason (the same as the first one); and then they haven't found new translator to finish the rest. Just my speculation.
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Re: Nibbana vs. annihilation?

Postby Prasadachitta » Thu Oct 14, 2010 3:42 pm

beeblebrox wrote:
Ñāṇa wrote:Would you (or anyone else) happen to know of the status of the English versions of Nibbāna Sermons 26-33? The English versions of Sermons 1-25 have been available online for a few years now, but after #25 appeared on Beyond the Net they seem to have stopped....

When I read the sermons, the language style in the latter sermons seems to be different from the earlier sermons (including the formatting of the Pāli). I think the translator was probably changed around that point; I guess this second translator stopped translating after a few sermons for whatever reason (the same as the first one); and then they haven't found new translator to finish the rest. Just my speculation.



I found talks in English. Was that a translator?
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Re: Nibbana vs. annihilation?

Postby beeblebrox » Thu Oct 14, 2010 4:09 pm

gabrielbranbury wrote:I found talks in English. Was that a translator?

I have no idea. I can't listen to these talks unfortunately. :tongue:
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Re: Nibbana vs. annihilation?

Postby Nyana » Thu Oct 14, 2010 4:16 pm

gabrielbranbury wrote:
beeblebrox wrote:
Ñāṇa wrote:Would you (or anyone else) happen to know of the status of the English versions of Nibbāna Sermons 26-33? The English versions of Sermons 1-25 have been available online for a few years now, but after #25 appeared on Beyond the Net they seem to have stopped....

When I read the sermons, the language style in the latter sermons seems to be different from the earlier sermons (including the formatting of the Pāli). I think the translator was probably changed around that point; I guess this second translator stopped translating after a few sermons for whatever reason (the same as the first one); and then they haven't found new translator to finish the rest. Just my speculation.

I found talks in English. Was that a translator?

Hi Gabe & Beeblebrox,

The English talks are by Ven. Ñāṇananda. And I think he did most, if not all, of the translation of the Sermons from Sinhala into English himself as well.

All the best,

Geoff
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Re: Nibbana vs. annihilation?

Postby Prasadachitta » Thu Oct 14, 2010 4:20 pm

Thanks Nana,

That is what I thought. In a way that isnt really a translation. :thinking:


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Re: Nibbana vs. annihilation?

Postby beeblebrox » Thu Oct 14, 2010 4:26 pm

Thanks Ñāṇa, I stand corrected about the translation. I also still wonder about the #26-33 sermons, though.
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Re: Nibbana vs. annihilation?

Postby Alex123 » Thu Oct 14, 2010 4:45 pm

Kenshou wrote:I am curious how it is that what is anicca is dukkha even without upadana. Can you elaborate? I want to know specifically why.


By dukkha I do not mean only emotional suffering. I mean the painful bodily feeling and the fact that pleasant feelings are impermanent and can give way to unpleasant ones.

Just because one is an arahant it doesn't preclude one from being brutally hurt and/or killed.
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Re: Nibbana vs. annihilation?

Postby Alex123 » Thu Oct 14, 2010 4:53 pm

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings Alex,

Alex123 wrote:Remember that ALL things are dukkha.

It's all sankharas that are dukkha. All things (dhammas) are anatta.

A significant difference in the context of this discussion, IMO.

Metta,
Retro. :)


Sankhara is a term that has wide range of meaning, including 5 aggregates.
What makes something anatta is anicca->dukkha.

So by saying that all Dhammas (conditioned phenomena) are anatta can imply that they are anicca and dukkha.
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Re: Nibbana vs. annihilation?

Postby Alex123 » Thu Oct 14, 2010 5:13 pm

beeblebrox wrote:I had the distinct impression that you said that the arahants were already "non-existing beings," so that's why there's no annihilation.


Right. What we call a being is a conditioned process of mental & physical factors. The process does exist, and one process can be distinguished from another process. Since it is a process and not a Self being that has any mastery over things, it is unsatisfactory. One cannot control the reality such as "let me experience always blissful bodily feelings.", etc, etc.


Also, I was bit confused when you said that the tetralemma only applies after death... which seemed to imply that one of these 4 things can be said about the arahants before death. If those were mistaken, then I apologize, Alex. Also... your constant equivalence between parinibbāna and atheist's one-life death didn't help.

The tetralemma does NOT apply after death because the launching point of the question is the assumption of a Self (or Arahant, or Tathagata) as a Self existing being.

That question asks "What happens to an Arahant as a Self existing being after death"? The 4 kinds of answers do not apply because they imply a fate of a Self. To definately answer the wrongly put tetralemma would assent to its basic premise of an Existing Self. It would be like trying to answer a tricky question of "have you stopped beating your wife?" , any type of answer would make it look like you did beat your wife. This is why the Buddha refused to answer yes/no to the tetralemma.



retrofuturist wrote:The difference between your form of annihilation and that of the classical Indian traditions, is that you chop the atman up into 5 pieces before wanting to annihilate it. Either way, you crave the annihilation and permanent destruction of things you perceive to exist.


I don't believe in an Atman or Self. Furthermore, as long as one believes in Self or possesion of the Self, then of course the complete cessation would feel threatening. It would be viewed as part of a Self that ceases. But if what has ceased (5 aggregates) were never under full control, and were never The Self, then their cessation is not a bad thing.

The suttas are clear that all that arises is just dukkha, and all that ceases is just dukkha that ceases. To cling to anything (such as awareness, will, consciousness, life, etc) is only clinging to Dukkha. It is like grabbing a red-hot iron ball and tightly holding it. It betrays the fact that one is still attached to something.


It’s only suffering that comes to be, Suffering that stands and falls away. Nothing but suffering comes to be, Nothing but suffering ceases.”SN 5.10 Vajirå Ven BB Trans.
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Re: Nibbana vs. annihilation?

Postby beeblebrox » Thu Oct 14, 2010 5:40 pm

Alex123 wrote:
beeblebrox wrote:I had the distinct impression that you said that the arahants were already "non-existing beings," so that's why there's no annihilation.


Right. What we call a being is a conditioned process of mental & physical factors. The process does exist, and one process can be distinguished from another process. Since it is a process and not a Self being that has any mastery over things, it is unsatisfactory. One cannot control the reality such as "let me experience always blissful bodily feelings.", etc, etc.

I agree with what you say here, but I think I view this existence/non-existence thing a bit differently than you do. I don't think it's because of the "non-existence" itself per se that there is no annihilationism.

It's more like the so-called existence/non-existence "dilemma" does not apply to the arahant at all... and it's because of this that the idea of annihilation doesn't even apply. The same goes for eternalism... these ideas just do not apply to an arahant.

I think this is why the Nibbāna would be considered as a true freedom... it's an unbinding from all of these "dilemmas" (along with other things, such as greed, hatred and delusion). An arahant sits outside of these, 100% unperturbed by the "views" that constantly come out of these dilemmas. His mind is at peace. It has nothing to do with non-existence or existence.
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Re: Nibbana vs. annihilation?

Postby IanAnd » Thu Oct 14, 2010 6:23 pm

Alex123 wrote:The tetralemma does NOT apply after death because the launching point of the question is the assumption of a Self (or Arahant, or Tathagata) as a Self existing being.

That question asks "What happens to an Arahant as a Self existing being after death"? The 4 kinds of answers do not apply because they imply a fate of a Self. To definitely answer the wrongly put tetralemma would assent to its basic premise of an Existing Self. It would be like trying to answer a tricky question of "have you stopped beating your wife?" , any type of answer would make it look like you did beat your wife. This is why the Buddha refused to answer yes/no to the tetralemma.

No doubt this sounds like a reasonable speculation about the Buddha's intent. However don't you think that an even better characterization of his principal in reason for not responding to such questions rests on the realization of the teaching on dependent arising? After all, it is ignorance of this process that prompts such questions in the first place. The questions simply do not apply. End of story.

This places the burden of discovery back on the one who asks the question in order to comprehend the Buddha's position.

(It seems that beeblebrox, who got his post in ahead of me, has arrived at the same conclusion. :clap: )
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Re: Nibbana vs. annihilation?

Postby Kenshou » Thu Oct 14, 2010 6:39 pm

Alex123 wrote:
Kenshou wrote:I am curious how it is that what is anicca is dukkha even without upadana. Can you elaborate? I want to know specifically why.


By dukkha I do not mean only emotional suffering. I mean the painful bodily feeling and the fact that pleasant feelings are impermanent and can give way to unpleasant ones.

Just because one is an arahant it doesn't preclude one from being brutally hurt and/or killed.


This doesn't have much to do with bodily pains, I haven't argued against that. It seemed to me that you were trying to argue that all things are always dukkha for everyone always, even the arahant, because of impermanence. Am I wrong?

I want to understand how it is that anicca causes dukkha for an arahant. Is the whole of your argument that it's because pleasant/neutral bodily feelings are impermanent and eventually give way to unpleasant ones? That seems to reduce the scope to just bodily issues, and doesn't really address how it is that all impermanent things, all the 5 khandha, are always dukkha, specifically. Maybe I've read more than what was intended into what you're trying to say.
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Re: Nibbana vs. annihilation?

Postby Sobeh » Thu Oct 14, 2010 7:01 pm

The Five Aggregates are not dukkha; the Five Aggregates Subject to Clinging are dukkha.
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Re: Nibbana vs. annihilation?

Postby Individual » Thu Oct 14, 2010 7:11 pm

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/ptf/dham ... ma-ditthi/
"As he attends inappropriately in this way, one of six kinds of view arises in him: The view I have a self arises in him as true & established, or the view I have no self... or the view It is precisely by means of self that I perceive self... or the view It is precisely by means of self that I perceive not-self... or the view It is precisely by means of not-self that I perceive self arises in him as true & established, or else he has a view like this: This very self of mine — the knower that is sensitive here & there to the ripening of good & bad actions — is the self of mine that is constant, everlasting, eternal, not subject to change, and will endure as long as eternity. This is called a thicket of views, a wilderness of views, a contortion of views, a writhing of views, a fetter of views. Bound by a fetter of views, the uninstructed run-of-the-mill person is not freed from birth, aging, & death, from sorrow, lamentation, pain, distress, & despair. He is not freed, I tell you, from suffering & stress.

"The well-instructed disciple of the noble ones... discerns what ideas are fit for attention, and what ideas are unfit for attention. This being so, he does not attend to ideas unfit for attention, and attends [instead] to ideas fit for attention... He attends appropriately, This is stress... This is the origination of stress... This is the cessation of stress... This is the way leading to the cessation of stress. As he attends appropriately in this way, three fetters are abandoned in him: identity-view, doubt, and grasping at precepts & practices."
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Re: Nibbana vs. annihilation?

Postby Kenshou » Thu Oct 14, 2010 7:15 pm

Sobeh wrote:The Five Aggregates are not dukkha; the Five Aggregates Subject to Clinging are dukkha.

This is sort of my point. I had gotten the impression that Alex is stating that the pancakkhanda are dukkha invariably, not just the pancupadanakkhanda, which is what I've been inquiring about.
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Re: Nibbana vs. annihilation?

Postby tiltbillings » Thu Oct 14, 2010 9:04 pm

Alex123 wrote:
retrofuturist wrote:The difference between your form of annihilation and that of the classical Indian traditions, is that you chop the atman up into 5 pieces before wanting to annihilate it. Either way, you crave the annihilation and permanent destruction of things you perceive to exist.


I don't believe in an Atman or Self. Furthermore, as long as one believes in Self or possesion of the Self, then of course the complete cessation would feel threatening. It would be viewed as part of a Self that ceases. But if what has ceased (5 aggregates) were never under full control, and were never The Self, then their cessation is not a bad thing.

The suttas are clear that all that arises is just dukkha, and all that ceases is just dukkha that ceases. To cling to anything (such as awareness, will, consciousness, life, etc) is only clinging to Dukkha. It is like grabbing a red-hot iron ball and tightly holding it. It betrays the fact that one is still attached to something.
Alex, you have not at all addressed an important part of Paul's question to you:
However, as I see it, the contention arises because you take the five aggregates as things that "exist". You take their "existence" as an objective and ontological given, a fait accompli, leaving no room or scope for any degree of experiential or perceptual measure in what might constitute this "existence" (despite the caveats found in suttas such as SN 12.15).
Please directly address this.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

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