retrofuturist wrote:As for "With the cessation of my clinging comes the cessation of becoming. With the cessation of becoming comes the cessation of birth. With the cessation of birth then aging & death, sorrow, lamentation, pain, distress, & despair all cease.".... if jati is understood to be "literal post-mortem rebirth", then "literal post-mortem rebirth" has to cease before "sorrow, lamentation, pain, distress, & despair all cease"... meaning that an arahant (or Buddha, for that matter) cannot bring an end to dukkha in this lifetime. No hop, skips and jumps around the nidanas, at face value, it is there.
I think that's a fairly unfair reading of MN 75.
Firstly, note the iti markers being used for everything between "These are diseases...." up to "...mass of suffering". A teaching was being given to Magandiya to constantly recollect, and it says nothing about "when" suffering ends. A causative link is merely given for the reason for the ending of dukkha. The fact that the Buddha began the exposition from the "cessation of clinging", instead of the standard "cessation of ignorance", speaks volumes. I don't find it a coincidence that clinging is the bridge between "present" life and the "future" life's bhava, as presented in the 3 Lives model.
Secondly, "nirodha" of jati can just as easily be understood as non-arising of jati, given the 2-fold formulation of Dependant Cessation in iddapaccayata's -
Imasmim asati, idam na hoti. Imassa nirodha, idam nirujjhati
Oh, look, it's the locative absolute yet again!
I think if you are looking for a sutta which touches on the end of dukkha in this lifetime, perhaps SN 12.45 would be more instructive. There, the Buddha teaches that the cessation of suffering is traceable to the cessation of craving, but the Buddha does not extend the cessation analysis backwards towards the conditioned arising of feelings and contact beforehand.
I think I now realise what might have gone wrong with some modern variants of DO. The problem may originate from the identification of Arahanta with Dependant Cessation's "Cessation of Avijja". The objection is then raised that the 3 Lives model is meaningless to the Arahant, since the Arahant's destruction of Avijja must mean that all the subsequent nidanas cease to apply thereafter.
But is the Cessation of Avijja = Arahanta?
Take a look at how Avijja is defined in SN 12.2, where it is equated to not knowing the 4 Noble Truths. Compare that to series of suttas in the Abhisamayavagga of the SN's Saccasamyutta. There, the "breakthrough" made by the Stream Enterer is identified as "understanding the 4 Noble Truths".
So, it looks as if Avijjanirodha is not describing Arahanta, but Stream Entry, with the potential for 7 more lives at most. I think it should be clear how the temporal unravelling of suffering plays out in a Stream Enterer, something that fits in quite nicely with a multiple life model of DO.