Do arahants discard vipaka/suffering?

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Re: Do arahants discard vipaka/suffering?

Postby Virgo » Wed Nov 24, 2010 5:38 pm

Individual wrote:
Virgo wrote:
Individual wrote:I understand that. However: If he is not reborn after death, why is he reborn when he breathes in and then breathes out? :)


He isn't.

He has gone beyond. There is only rupa (materiallity) of the body arising and passing away based on vipaka, and consciousness (ableit purified consciousness) arising naturally at the sense bases because the sense bases are in tact due to the body being in tact.

Kevin

What does it mean to say "he is not reborn"? As I understand it, it means no more name and form. Is that correct?

Therefore, how can you say he is not reborn in this life if there is still name and form? And if there is still name and form in this life, how do these things cease at death when they have not already ceased in life? :)

The definition I use of nama and rupa is mentallity and materiallity.

While an Arahant is still alive both mentallity and materiallity still arise. The rupa that make up the body arise and cease continually because the life force has not run out. Wisdom which attains nibbana is not a cause for making life force run out. When the heart stops beating it has run out, not before. This is true for any people. During the lifetime of an Arahant not only does the body still remain but the sense bases do too. The sense bases are the bases for consciousness. Because of this, there is still consciousness and thinking. The fetters have been removed though never to return. So there is no more delusion at all. It is known that nothing is mine or me by the Arahant. There is not attachment or aversion and there is no conceit. There is simply purified consciousness that still experiences seeing, hearing, smelling, and so on but regards not of it as self or as anything to be attached to, but simply as arising phenomena. With the fetters cut, at death (when the life force runs out) there are no causes for birth. This being so, no rupa will arise on any plane of existence. Neither will any consciousness arise on any plane of existence. Seeing consciousness will not arise because of lack of the seeing sense base (eye), hearing consciousness will not arise due to lack of the hearing sense base (ear), smelling consciousness will not arise due to lack of the smelling sense base (nose), tasting consciousness will not arise due to lack of the tasting sense base (rupa of the tongue), feeling consciousness will not arise due to lack of feeling consciousness sense base (rupa which are spread all throughout the body), and mental consciousness will not arise due to lack of mental consciousness mind base. All arising and falling conditioned phenomena that arise due to the entaglement of the fetters cease to arise at that point.

Does this help?

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Re: Do arahants discard vipaka/suffering?

Postby Individual » Wed Nov 24, 2010 5:54 pm

No, because I still don't understand how you are separating the arising of mentality-materiality from the doctrine of rebirth, saying an Arahant isn't reborn in this life yet he still has mentality-materiality. What is rebirth if not the continual arising of mentality and materiality?

Nor do I understand the specific relevance of "life-force," to rebirth or vipaka. How is life-force a special cause for rebirth (and yet for Arahants it's not called rebirth?), but the "purified consciousness," of an Arahant is not a cause for rebirth? How is it that only some vipaka can be exhausted when there is life-force, and yet all the vipaka from innumerable births can only be exhausted when life-force is cut off? :)
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Re: Do arahants discard vipaka/suffering?

Postby Virgo » Wed Nov 24, 2010 6:27 pm

Individual wrote:No, because I still don't understand how you are separating the arising of mentality-materiality from the doctrine of rebirth, saying an Arahant isn't reborn in this life yet he still has mentality-materiality. What is rebirth if not the continual arising of mentality and materiality?

He doesn't have anything. The chain of Dependant Origination has been broken. Rupa of the body arise due to vipaka, heat, temperature, etc. They are not his, they are not him. They are individual rupa.

Individual wrote:Nor do I understand the specific relevance of "life-force," to rebirth or vipaka. How is life-force a special cause for rebirth (and yet for Arahants it's not called rebirth?), but the "purified consciousness," of an Arahant is not a cause for rebirth? How is it that only some vipaka can be exhausted when there is life-force, and yet all the vipaka from innumerable births can only be exhausted when life-force is cut off? :)


Life force is not a cause for rebirth, but once rebirth has occurred the body will maintain for some time because there is vipaka for it. It isn't so much that some vipaka is exhausted when there is life force, and all vipaka is exhausted after death. It is that during the life of the Arahant, fetters are absent, so even though mind and matter arise, there is no clinging to them, so no unpleasant mental feeling, even towards "pain", and no misunderstanding or delusion of what is occurring. As I said, mind and matter still arise because the body still functions, there is vipaka for the body to function because it was born. After the death of the Arahant, however, owning to the absence of the ten binding fetters, there is no more cause for rebirth literally, so any potential vipaka that is left over cannot play out.

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Re: Do arahants discard vipaka/suffering?

Postby mikenz66 » Wed Nov 24, 2010 8:00 pm

Hi Retro,
retrofuturist wrote:Not at all... that is responded to in the text I bolded and redded above.

What this verse purports to describe is the state of a person
for whom form as also pleasure and pain has ceased to exist. He
is not one with normal perception, nor is he one with abnormal
perception. He is not non-percipient, nor has he rescinded perception.
It is to one constituted in this manner that form ceases
to exist, for, papañcasaṅkhā - whatever they may be - have perception
as their source.

Like I said before, it's a case of (phenomenological) perception... not so much a case of whether vedana "exists" or vedana "does not exist" for the arahant.

It still seems to me that you're trying to sidestep the issue of examining what the Suttas actually say (and how Ven Nanananda comments on them) by hiding behind the rather convoluted and [strawman-word alert!] academic [straw-man off] argument: "If I said that it would be ontology not phenomenology" argument. As you know I find to be a rather curious way of approaching the Dhamma. How about just considering what the Suttas actually say: Nibbana with residual clinging involves feeling.
retrofuturist wrote:As for the notion of "Nibbàna element with residual clinging", I struggle to see how an arahant could 'cling' to anything, thus find this term perplexing and honestly don't know quite what to make of it. Is it a case of acquired habit over-riding supramundane-panna? Perplexing. Maybe it explains the need for the Buddha to say anything to Angulimala at all... maybe certain automatic tendencies still remained even if they had lost their kammic potency. Interesting stuff - as deep as the oceans.

Yes, the standard explanation is that they are tendencies that are the result of previous kamma. I know there is something about that somewhere but I'm not sure if it is Sutta or commentary.

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Re: Do arahants discard vipaka/suffering?

Postby kirk5a » Wed Nov 24, 2010 8:32 pm

This sutta (44 on the link) says "Nibbana element with residue." Not with residual clinging. Or in the Thanissaro translation "The Unbinding property with fuel remaining, & the Unbinding property with no fuel remaining."

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .irel.html
"When one thing is practiced & pursued, ignorance is abandoned, clear knowing arises, the conceit 'I am' is abandoned, latent tendencies are uprooted, fetters are abandoned. Which one thing? Mindfulness immersed in the body." -AN 1.230
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Re: Do arahants discard vipaka/suffering?

Postby mikenz66 » Wed Nov 24, 2010 8:42 pm

Thanks Kirk, I must admit that I had not really registered that Ven Nananada had used the word "clinging". Perhaps he means the result of previous clinging/kamma...

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Re: Do arahants discard vipaka/suffering?

Postby Individual » Wed Nov 24, 2010 8:57 pm

Virgo:

Virgo wrote:
Individual wrote:No, because I still don't understand how you are separating the arising of mentality-materiality from the doctrine of rebirth, saying an Arahant isn't reborn in this life yet he still has mentality-materiality. What is rebirth if not the continual arising of mentality and materiality?

He doesn't have anything. The chain of Dependant Origination has been broken. Rupa of the body arise due to vipaka, heat, temperature, etc. They are not his, they are not him. They are individual rupa.

Individual wrote:Nor do I understand the specific relevance of "life-force," to rebirth or vipaka. How is life-force a special cause for rebirth (and yet for Arahants it's not called rebirth?), but the "purified consciousness," of an Arahant is not a cause for rebirth? How is it that only some vipaka can be exhausted when there is life-force, and yet all the vipaka from innumerable births can only be exhausted when life-force is cut off? :)


Life force is not a cause for rebirth, but once rebirth has occurred the body will maintain for some time because there is vipaka for it. It isn't so much that some vipaka is exhausted when there is life force, and all vipaka is exhausted after death. It is that during the life of the Arahant, fetters are absent, so even though mind and matter arise, there is no clinging to them, so no unpleasant mental feeling, even towards "pain", and no misunderstanding or delusion of what is occurring. As I said, mind and matter still arise because the body still functions, there is vipaka for the body to function because it was born. After the death of the Arahant, however, owning to the absence of the ten binding fetters, there is no more cause for rebirth literally, so any potential vipaka that is left over cannot play out.

Kevin

If mind arises, on what basis do you say that vedana does not also arise? Is vedana not also a part of mind? In this sutta, the Buddha clearly seems to be expressing mental discomfort.

Again, I am confused here by what you say:
Virgo wrote:Life force is not a cause for rebirth, but once rebirth has occurred the body will maintain for some time because there is vipaka for it.

To me this sounds like saying, "Lighting a candle is not the cause for the candle to burn, but once a candle has been lit, it will continue to burn for some time because of the effect."

Followed by:
Virgo wrote:After the death of the Arahant, however, owning to the absence of the ten binding fetters, there is no more cause for rebirth literally


What do you mean rebirth literally? So during life rebirth is metaphor, but reincarnation in between lives must be literal rebirth! :lol: That's generally how I see the term "literal" being used with regards to rebirth.

Since it is the fetters which make up ignorance that condition rebirth and not the life-force, what is the relevance of his death? With no ignorance, the rest of the factors of dependent origination have also stopped. There is nothing I see in the formula which specifically requires a lifetime or two of vipaka. :)

kirk5a wrote:This sutta (44 on the link) says "Nibbana element with residue." Not with residual clinging. Or in the Thanissaro translation "The Unbinding property with fuel remaining, & the Unbinding property with no fuel remaining."

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .irel.html

What is meant by this "fuel"? If not ignorance and clinging, then what?
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Re: Do arahants discard vipaka/suffering?

Postby kirk5a » Wed Nov 24, 2010 9:20 pm

Individual wrote:
kirk5a wrote:This sutta (44 on the link) says "Nibbana element with residue." Not with residual clinging. Or in the Thanissaro translation "The Unbinding property with fuel remaining, & the Unbinding property with no fuel remaining."

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .irel.html

What is meant by this "fuel"? If not ignorance and clinging, then what?

The living body of the arahant. When the candle has stopped burning (craving has been extinguished) then there is still fuel remaining (the not-burning candle). Which, will persist until its natural end (physical death).
"When one thing is practiced & pursued, ignorance is abandoned, clear knowing arises, the conceit 'I am' is abandoned, latent tendencies are uprooted, fetters are abandoned. Which one thing? Mindfulness immersed in the body." -AN 1.230
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Re: Do arahants discard vipaka/suffering?

Postby retrofuturist » Wed Nov 24, 2010 10:22 pm

Greetings,

mikenz66 wrote:It still seems to me that you're trying to sidestep the issue of examining what the Suttas actually say (and how Ven Nanananda comments on them) by hiding behind the rather convoluted and [strawman-word alert!] academic [straw-man off] argument: "If I said that it would be ontology not phenomenology" argument. As you know I find to be a rather curious way of approaching the Dhamma. How about just considering what the Suttas actually say: Nibbana with residual clinging involves feeling..


Ven Nanananda's analysis of the sutta I referenced leads me to believe we are not comparing like-for-like when we compare a putthujana's feeling with an arahant's feeling. They're qualititatively different. In other words "it's feeling Mike, but not as we know it..." :ugeek: :alien: Is it academic? I don't think so. Something is academic only if it's not used for the cultivation of wisdom, and in keeping with the Simsapa Sutta, if the Buddha taught it by way of sutta, I'm inclined to think it has value... if not for all, then for some.

mikenz66 wrote:Yes, the standard explanation is that they are tendencies that are the result of previous kamma. I know there is something about that somewhere but I'm not sure if it is Sutta or commentary.

I'll tell you what makes me curious about all this fuel/clinging business.... if such an arahant were to die right there on the spot, we would agree there would be no rebirth (effect) because there is no kamma (cause) to cause that to happen. (According to the Mahavihara account of D.O., rebirth linking consciousness is vipaka, if that holds any sway for you).

That being so, why would it be any different if they were not to die right there on the spot? If there's no basis for vipaka at death, what basis is there for vipaka in the arahant's life? What is the difference, and what is the reason for it?

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: Do arahants discard vipaka/suffering?

Postby Individual » Wed Nov 24, 2010 10:44 pm

kirk5a wrote:
Individual wrote:
kirk5a wrote:This sutta (44 on the link) says "Nibbana element with residue." Not with residual clinging. Or in the Thanissaro translation "The Unbinding property with fuel remaining, & the Unbinding property with no fuel remaining."

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .irel.html

What is meant by this "fuel"? If not ignorance and clinging, then what?

The living body of the arahant. When the candle has stopped burning (craving has been extinguished) then there is still fuel remaining (the not-burning candle). Which, will persist until its natural end (physical death).

Except the candle wax was itself the flame of another candle (an effect of another cause), so it has foundations too, it too has fuel remaining: The man that walked around with a lighter to light the candle in the first place. :)
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Re: Do arahants discard vipaka/suffering?

Postby kirk5a » Wed Nov 24, 2010 11:05 pm

Individual wrote:Except the candle wax was itself the flame of another candle (an effect of another cause), so it has foundations too, it too has fuel remaining: The man that walked around with a lighter to light the candle in the first place. :)

Well there is no determining "in the first place" (the origin of ignorance).
As for as the man lurking around waiting to relight the candle, well this one's also had it's wick pulled out. Un-relightable.
Probably as far as I can take that metaphor :smile:
"When one thing is practiced & pursued, ignorance is abandoned, clear knowing arises, the conceit 'I am' is abandoned, latent tendencies are uprooted, fetters are abandoned. Which one thing? Mindfulness immersed in the body." -AN 1.230
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Re: Do arahants discard vipaka/suffering?

Postby Individual » Wed Nov 24, 2010 11:14 pm

kirk5a wrote:
Individual wrote:Except the candle wax was itself the flame of another candle (an effect of another cause), so it has foundations too, it too has fuel remaining: The man that walked around with a lighter to light the candle in the first place. :)

Well there is no determining "in the first place" (the origin of ignorance).
As for as the man lurking around waiting to relight the candle, well this one's also had it's wick pulled out. Un-relightable.
Probably as far as I can take that metaphor :smile:

If there is no determining its origin, there is no determining its cessation. :)
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Re: Do arahants discard vipaka/suffering?

Postby kirk5a » Wed Nov 24, 2010 11:45 pm

Individual wrote:If there is no determining its origin, there is no determining its cessation. :)

I'm referring there to the Buddha saying that "A first beginning of beings, who, obstructed by ignorance and fettered by craving, wander and fare on, is not to be perceived."
"When one thing is practiced & pursued, ignorance is abandoned, clear knowing arises, the conceit 'I am' is abandoned, latent tendencies are uprooted, fetters are abandoned. Which one thing? Mindfulness immersed in the body." -AN 1.230
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Re: Do arahants discard vipaka/suffering?

Postby kirk5a » Thu Nov 25, 2010 12:12 am

retrofuturist wrote: if such an arahant were to die right there on the spot, we would agree there would be no rebirth (effect) because there is no kamma (cause) to cause that to happen. (According to the Mahavihara account of D.O., rebirth linking consciousness is vipaka, if that holds any sway for you).

That being so, why would it be any different if they were not to die right there on the spot? If there's no basis for vipaka at death, what basis is there for vipaka in the arahant's life? What is the difference, and what is the reason for it?

Metta,
Retro. :)

The continuation of the living body is the basis, no? The body (and everything that goes with a living body) is the vipaka in question.
"When one thing is practiced & pursued, ignorance is abandoned, clear knowing arises, the conceit 'I am' is abandoned, latent tendencies are uprooted, fetters are abandoned. Which one thing? Mindfulness immersed in the body." -AN 1.230
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Re: Do arahants discard vipaka/suffering?

Postby retrofuturist » Thu Nov 25, 2010 12:23 am

Greetings Kirk,

kirk5a wrote:The continuation of the living body is the basis, no? The body (and everything that goes with a living body) is the vipaka in question.

If we take vipaka as a "fruit" in a general sense rather than as the technical term described by Nyanatiloka in his Buddhist Dictionary, that may be true.

http://www.palikanon.com/english/wtb/u_v/vipaaka.htm

vipāka - 'karma-result', is any karmically (morally) neutral mental phenomenon (e.g. bodily agreeable or painful feeling, sense-consciousness, etc. ), which is the result of wholesome or unwholesome volitional action (karma, q.v.) through body, speech or mind, done either in this or some previous life.

Totally wrong is the belief that, according to Buddhism, everything is the result of previous action. Never, for example, is any karmically wholesome or unwholesome volitional action the result of former action, being in reality itself karma.

On this subject s. titthāyatana, karma, Tab. I; Fund II. Cf. A. III, 101; Kath. 162 (Guide, p. 80).

Karma-produced (kammaja or kamma-samutthāna) corporeal things are never called kamma-vipāka, as this term may be applied only to mental phenomena.

Something, somewhere doesn't add up - I just can't work out precisely what it is.

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)


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One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


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Re: Do arahants discard vipaka/suffering?

Postby Virgo » Thu Nov 25, 2010 12:41 am

Individual wrote:If mind arises, on what basis do you say that vedana does not also arise? Is vedana not also a part of mind? In this sutta, the Buddha clearly seems to be expressing mental discomfort.


Vedana is simply a universal cetasika that accompanies every citta. There is vedana with every citta. It helps experience the object. It should not be misconstrued as what we normally think of as "feelings".

From Cetasikas by Nina Van Gorkom:

    "Feeling is sankhara dhamma, a conditioned dhamma. Feeling is conditioned by the citta and the other cetasikas it accompanies. Feeling which arises, falls away immediately, it does not stay. Feeling is a khandha, it is one among the five khandhas, namely, vedanakkhandha (1 See Abhidhamma in Daily Life, Chapter 2.) Conditioned realities can be classified as five aggregates or khandhas: the khandha of rupas, of feelings, of perceptions (sanna), of "formations" or "activities" (all cetasikas other than feeling and sanna) and of consciousness.. We cling to feeling and we take it for self. If our knowledge of feeling is merely theoretical we will not know feeling as it is. When there is awareness of feeling when it appears it can be known as only a type of nama and not self."

So when hardness impinges upon the body-sense, for example, it is vedana that simply "feels" the hardness. It is other things such as lobha (attachment) and dosa (aversion) which like or dislike the hardness.

In the Sutta you gave I do not think the Buddha was experiencing mental discomfort at all, though there was no doubt vedana, many, many times over. Arahants are practical. It may be (and this is just my assumption) that the Buddha was in His later years at this time and constantly having to answer questions of bhikkhus, explain things and so on, was wearing his body down. Perhaps he needed rest. Now the Buddha would not have had mental distress over this, but these things can also tax the body. He probably figured he would go to the forest where it is nice and quiet and peaceful and practice jhana for his health. Again, he would not have mental distress over being a little run down but he would know that it would be bad for his body and without a sound body he would not be able to teach his disciples. Again this is my opinion. I do not proclaim to know what the Buddha was feeling or thinking at the time, but I do know that Arahants do not suffer mental distress. I also know that they are practical people.






Individual wrote:What do you mean rebirth literally? So during life rebirth is metaphor, but reincarnation in between lives must be literal rebirth! :lol: That's generally how I see the term "literal" being used with regards to rebirth.


Both are literal I suppose, but by using the word 'literal' I was trying to draw attention to actual physical rebirth, ie. a new body arising.

Individual wrote:Since it is the fetters which make up ignorance that condition rebirth and not the life-force, what is the relevance of his death? With no ignorance, the rest of the factors of dependent origination have also stopped. There is nothing I see in the formula which specifically requires a lifetime or two of vipaka. :)


It is correct that with no ignorance the factors of dependent origination have stopped. No lifetime or two of vipaka is necessary. But the thing is, even though all ignorance is cut out, the body still remains. With the body there are sense bases. So until the body is gone, vipaka will ripen. For example, from some good kamma of the past, the Arahant may receive a gift or a good dwelling, or from some bad kamma of the past the Arahant might receive back kamma such as being hit by rocks and stones and mud clods as in the case of Angulimala.

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Re: Do arahants discard vipaka/suffering?

Postby retrofuturist » Thu Nov 25, 2010 12:59 am

Greetings,

Virgo wrote:Cetasikas by Nina Van Gorkom:

    "Feeling is sankhara dhamma, a conditioned dhamma."

Dependent cessation wrote:From the remainderless fading & cessation of that very ignorance comes the cessation of sankharas

8-)

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: Do arahants discard vipaka/suffering?

Postby Virgo » Thu Nov 25, 2010 1:07 am

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings,

Virgo wrote:Cetasikas by Nina Van Gorkom:

    "Feeling is sankhara dhamma, a conditioned dhamma."

Dependent cessation wrote:From the remainderless fading & cessation of that very ignorance comes the cessation of sankharas

8-)

Metta,
Retro. :)

Yes, from the remainderless fading & cessation...

Nibbana with remainder is when the Arahant is still alive. Nibbana without remainder equals parinibanna...

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Re: Do arahants discard vipaka/suffering?

Postby retrofuturist » Thu Nov 25, 2010 1:11 am

Greetings Virgo,

The only alternative to "remainderless fading & cessation of that very ignorance" is that there remains some ignorance in the arahant.

So which is it?

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: Do arahants discard vipaka/suffering?

Postby Virgo » Thu Nov 25, 2010 1:15 am

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings Virgo,

The only alternative to "remainderless fading & cessation of that very ignorance" is that there remains some ignorance in the arahant.

So which is it?

Metta,
Retro. :)

It's exactly what it says, ie. "From the remainderless fading & cessation of that very ignorance comes the cessation of sankharas". Sankharas are not ignorance.
From the remainderless fading & cessation of that very ignorance (ie. parinibanna) comes the cessation of sankharas (sankharas never arise again).
Best,

Kevin
Last edited by Virgo on Thu Nov 25, 2010 1:28 am, edited 1 time in total.
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