Are we in this earth to attain Nirvana?

Where members are free to take ideas from the Theravāda Canon out of the Theravāda framework. Here you can question rebirth, kamma (and other contentious issues) as well as examine Theravāda's connection to other paths
barcsimalsi
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Re: Are we in this earth to attain Nirvana?

Postby barcsimalsi » Thu Jul 11, 2013 12:30 pm

I have a hard time understanding what is "craving for non-existence". If one does not want to exist, how is it relate to craving? It is like implying if one says one does not want food thus one is craving for non-food, how does this makes sense?

Plus, if birth is suffering, suppose non-existence is free from suffering. I can't see any difference between the end of one's birth and the end of one's existence?

The Nikaya seems to be very evasive on the question of whether a person who attained Nirvana still exist or not after death so i hope any members here can help out my question above, thanks in advance.

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clw_uk
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Re: Are we in this earth to attain Nirvana?

Postby clw_uk » Thu Jul 11, 2013 1:43 pm

Craving for non-existence can mean not wanting to live, or not live after death, but also it can mean general aversion

For example not wanting a hangover, craving for the non-existence of a hangover

So it basically means aversion
The dogmatists have claimed to have found the truth, others say that it cannot be apprehended; the Sceptics continue the search.
Sextus Empiricus

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clw_uk
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Re: Are we in this earth to attain Nirvana?

Postby clw_uk » Thu Jul 11, 2013 1:51 pm

Plus, if birth is suffering, suppose non-existence is free from suffering. I can't see any difference between the end of one's birth and the end of one's existence?


From my understanding of the suttas the point is to stop giving birth to "I am", that is to stop clinging to, and identifying with, that which changes, causes dukkha and is not self

When we do that there is the deathless as there is no identifying with that which ages and falls apart (body, feeling, perception, thoughts and counciousness) "you" aren't reckoned in terms of that (body, feeling etc) ... I am not that, this is not my self etc

It seems what you are doing is identifying with the body, or feeling etc and taking a view of annihilationism. That is when this body ceases, "I" will cease, and taking Buddhism at aiming at that, which it isn't :)

Your view of death being an end is also not self, as are all view points and opinions
The dogmatists have claimed to have found the truth, others say that it cannot be apprehended; the Sceptics continue the search.
Sextus Empiricus

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clw_uk
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Re: Are we in this earth to attain Nirvana?

Postby clw_uk » Thu Jul 11, 2013 1:59 pm

The Nikaya seems to be very evasive on the question of whether a person who attained Nirvana still exist or not after death so i hope any members here can help out my question above, thanks in advance.


Any attempt to "locate" an arahant after death throws you straight back into Clinging, into views of self or no self, straight back into a net of views and opinions etc, just as trying to locate an arahant when they are alive does
The dogmatists have claimed to have found the truth, others say that it cannot be apprehended; the Sceptics continue the search.
Sextus Empiricus

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mirco
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Re: Are we in this earth to attain Nirvana?

Postby mirco » Thu Jul 11, 2013 2:57 pm

SarathW wrote:According to Buddhist stories, that Buddha descended from the Deva world (heaven) to this earth to attain Nirvana. Is it possible that we are here for the same reason?

I think it is. For sure.
Stepping up back into the Deva realms, where we came from or attaining Nibbana.
"An important term for meditative absorption is samadhi. We often translate that as 'concentration', but that can suggest a certain stiffness. Perhaps 'unification' is a better rendition, as samadhi means 'to bring together'. Deep samadhi isn`t at all stiff. It`s a process of letting go of other things and coming to a unified experience." Bhikkhu Anālayo

Arjan Dirkse
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Re: Are we in this earth to attain Nirvana?

Postby Arjan Dirkse » Thu Jul 11, 2013 6:13 pm

Yes. No. Maybe.

I think life doesn't come equipped with pre-determined purpose. Purpose is something you need to give it, now that you have this life, what do you do with it?

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Kusala
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Re: Are we in this earth to attain Nirvana?

Postby Kusala » Sun Jul 14, 2013 11:13 am

SarathW wrote:According to Buddhist stories, that Buddha descended from the Deva world (heaven) to this earth to attain Nirvana.
Is it possible that we are here for the same reason?


Samsara is void of reason...

Image
Image

"He, the Blessed One, is indeed the Noble Lord, the Perfectly Enlightened One;
He is impeccable in conduct and understanding, the Serene One, the Knower of the Worlds;
He trains perfectly those who wish to be trained; he is Teacher of gods and men; he is Awake and Holy. "

--------------------------------------------
"The Dhamma is well-expounded by the Blessed One,
Apparent here and now, timeless, encouraging investigation,
Leading to liberation, to be experienced individually by the wise. "

SarathW
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Re: Are we in this earth to attain Nirvana?

Postby SarathW » Wed May 14, 2014 1:55 am

Some thing relevant to this topic:
===========
Venerable Sariputta’s questions are on thoughts and concepts. Let us
now try to translate the above catechism.
"With what as object, Samiddhi, do concepts and thoughts arise in
a man?" - "With name-and-form as object, venerable sir."
"But where, Samiddhi, do they assume diversity?" - "In the elements,
venerable sir."
"But from what, Samiddhi, do they arise?" - "They arise from
contact, venerable sir."
"But on what, Samiddhi, do they converge?" - "They converge on
feeling, venerable sir."
"But what, Samiddhi, is at their head?" - "They are headed by
concentration, venerable sir."
"But by what, Samiddhi, are they dominated?" - "They are dominated
by mindfulness, venerable sir."
"But what, Samiddhi, is their highest point?" - "Wisdom is their
highest point, venerable sir."
"But what, Samiddhi, is their essence?" - "Deliverance is their essence,
venerable sir."
"But in what, Samiddhi, do they get merged?" - "They get merged
in the deathless, venerable sir."
Some noteworthy points emerge from this catechism. All concepts
and thoughts have name-and-form as their object. The eighteen
elements account for their diversity. They arise with contact. They
converge on feeling. They are headed by concentration. They are
dominated by mindfulness. Their acme or point of transcendence is
wisdom. Their essence is deliverance and they get merged in the
deathless. Be it noted that the deathless is a term for Nibbana. Therefore,
as we have stated above, everything has the potentiality to yield
the deathless, provided radical attention is ushered in.


P198
http://www.seeingthroughthenet.net/file ... led_II.pdf
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

Denisa
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Re: Are we in this earth to attain Nirvana?

Postby Denisa » Thu May 15, 2014 2:22 am

I think it's not a question of "why we are here?" but a question of "what we are doing with this rare and precious human life?"

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Mkoll
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Re: Are we in this earth to attain Nirvana?

Postby Mkoll » Thu May 15, 2014 6:16 am

Kusala wrote:
SarathW wrote:According to Buddhist stories, that Buddha descended from the Deva world (heaven) to this earth to attain Nirvana.
Is it possible that we are here for the same reason?


Samsara is void of reason...

Image

That's a powerful picture...
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa

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ancientbuddhism
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Re: Are we in this earth to attain Nirvana?

Postby ancientbuddhism » Thu May 15, 2014 4:00 pm

Mkoll wrote:
Kusala wrote:
SarathW wrote:According to Buddhist stories, that Buddha descended from the Deva world (heaven) to this earth to attain Nirvana.
Is it possible that we are here for the same reason?


Samsara is void of reason...

Image

That's a powerful picture...


This image is from ISKCON. Their philosophical position on rebirth and saṃsāra is taken from
Gaudiya Vaishnavism. I think Vaishnavism, especially this form, came later than Buddhism. But you kinda get a sense that they were pulling water from the same well where rebirth mythology is concerned.
‘yaṃ kiñci dukkhaṃ uppajjamānaṃ uppajjati, sabbaṃ taṃ chandamūlakaṃ chandanidānaṃ. chando hi mūlaṃ dukkhassā’ti.’

“Whatever dukkha arises into existence, all arises rooted in chanda, chanda as its cause, chanda as the root of dukkha. – SN.42.11 Bhadrakasuttaṃ

Secure your own mask before assisting others. – NORTHWEST AIRLINES (Pre-Flight Instruction)

A Handful of Leaves

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Mkoll
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Re: Are we in this earth to attain Nirvana?

Postby Mkoll » Thu May 15, 2014 8:32 pm

ancientbuddhism wrote:But you kinda get a sense that they were pulling water from the same well where rebirth mythology is concerned.

Indeed.

And even bereft of any religious connotations, I've never seen a picture that shows every stage of a man's life, from birth to death. It really shows our mortality and how brief our journey here is.
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa

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Javi
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Re: Are we in this earth to attain Nirvana?

Postby Javi » Thu Dec 31, 2015 1:08 am

I recently read something just a few hours ago that is relevant to this whole "meaning" and purpose business. It is from Mark Siderit's Buddhism as philosophy, page 76-77:
By now it should be clear why enlightenment brings about the cessation of existential suffering. In effect the Buddhist is saying we experience such suffering because we take too seriously the useful fiction of the person. We experience existential suffering when the fact of our transitoriness undermines the belief that our lives can have meaning. But how did I come to think that my life might have meaning? This seems to be part of what it means to think of oneself as a person. And a person is just a useful fiction, like the average college student. We wouldn't make the mistake of searching for the meaning of the life of the average college student. So when we feel despair over the seeming pointlessness of our own lives, this is because of a fundamental error in our view of what we are. To see the Buddhist's point here it might be useful to consider how we go about socializing small children. As adults we automatically think of ourselves as persons, so we naturally assume that we always did. But the experience of child-rearing tells us differently. Much of the work of raising a child involves getting the child to think of itself as a person. That is, the child must learn to identify with the past and future stages in the causal series of psychophysical elements. Take food issues, for instance. Eating healthy foods does not always bring immediate pleasure. But telling the recalcitrant child that eating these foods will promote long-term health has little effect. This isn't necessarily because the child doesn't believe what they are told. It's because the child doesn't identify with the healthy adult it will become if it eats the right food. Its basic attitude is, 'Why eat something now that doesn't taste good for the sake of someone who doesn't even exist? Why should I care about what happens to them?' Likewise when the child is punished for a past misdeed. Until the child has learned to identify with those past psychophysical elements, it will seem quite unfair: 'Why make me suffer for something somebody else did?' Coming to see itself as a person is not an easy lesson for the child to learn. We try to make it easier, though, by getting the child to think of their life as a story they get to write. To become a person involves learning to make present sacrifices for the sake of future welfare. The child learns to do this by learning to think of its present choices as having meaning for the future. It learns to think of its life as a kind of narrative. And it learns to think of itself as the central figure in that narrative. Because we learned those lessons well, we expect our lives to have significance. Notice that the Buddhist is not recommending that we become like that small child. The lesson the child learns is important. It leads to there being less overall pain and suffering in the world. It is conventionally true that we are persons. The difficulty the Buddhist is pointing out comes from the way in which we leamed that lesson. We leamed it by coming to think of ourselves as characters in a drama, figures whose actions have meaning for the future of the story. And this bit of useful myth-making is what sets the stage for existential suffering. What we need to do is unleam the myth but continue the practice. I should continue to identify with the past and future stages of this causal series. But I should not do so because I think of myself as the hero of the story that is my life. I should do so because this is a way of bringing about more pleasure and less pain in the world. Because I feel special concem for the future elements in the series, I brush and floss. And so there is less pain. Because I take responsibility for the past elements in the series, I acknowledge past mistakes and avoid repeating them. And so there is less pain. In one respect the enlightened person's life isjust like ours. We all identify with the past and future stages of the causal series. And we try to brush and floss. The difference is that the enlightened person does so without leaning on the crutch ofa self that confers significance on the events of a life. The enlightened person avoids the pain of tooth decay, just like the rest of us . But the enlightened person also avoids existential suffering.

One common reaction to this account of nirvana is to find it hugely depressing. This often stems from the sense that the Buddhist account robs life of all meaning. If the events in my life don't fit into some larger scheme, then what's the point? It's little consolation to be told that the sense that our lives each have their own unique purpose was always just an illusion. But according to the Buddhist, this reaction rests on a still deeper mistake. For there to be depression over the lack of ultimate meaning, there must be a subject for whom meaninglessness is a source of despair. When the Buddhist denies that our lives have meaning, it is not because they hold that our lives are inherently meaningless. It is rather because they hold that meaning requires something that does not ultimately exist, the subject for whom events in a life can have meaning. If there is no such subject -if there is no self - then there is equally no subject whose life can lack all meaning. There is no one whose life either has or lacks meaning. There is just the life.

This last point helps us see how there might be some truth to the claim that being enlightened means living in the here and now. We saw that being enlightened does notmean having no concem for the future consequences of my present actions. But it is one thing to consider tomorrow's hangover when deciding how much beer to drink tonight. It is another to see that decision as defining who I am. It can be burdensome to see each event in my life as having meaning for my identity. This can detract from our appreciation ofthe present. And it can make bad experiences worse. Being sick or injured is painful. But in addition to the pain itself, there is the anxiety that comes from wondering what this pain says about who I am and where I am going. When the enlightened person is sick or injured they will seek the appropriate medical help to relieve their pain. But they will not experience the suffering we ordinarily feel in those circumstances. They are liberated from the burdens that come with the sense of a self. Perhaps this is why, in Buddhist art, enlightened persons are often depicted with a serene half-smile on their faces.
Vayadhammā saṅkhārā appamādena sampādethā
All things decay and disappoint, it is through vigilance that you succeed.
- These were the last words for the Tathāgata.

Non qui parum habet sed qui plus cupit pauper est.
It's not he who has little, but he who craves more, that is poor. - Seneca

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Pasada
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Re: Are we in this earth to attain Nirvana?

Postby Pasada » Sat Jan 02, 2016 12:09 am

I tend to agree with Hobbes:

Image

That's what samsara amounts to, really: having to feed, being fed upon in turn. There is no in built "purpose" to it, but by practicing Dhamma we give our existence a purpose and direction that it would otherwise lack.

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Thisperson
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Re: Are we in this earth to attain Nirvana?

Postby Thisperson » Sat Jan 02, 2016 1:02 am

Ajahn Chah's advice on the subject, narrated by Ajahn Amaro.
phpBB [video]

Pinetree
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Re: Are we in this earth to attain Nirvana?

Postby Pinetree » Sat Jan 02, 2016 7:25 am

A child has a self, just shorter memory. I believe psychologists say that a child's self is bigger than an adults, not smaller.

And I don't think memory is the issue (as in our future and past). Memory just expands on the issue, which is craving.

As for meaning ... that's something completely different, it is a representation of a goal, and while it is true that many people have a goal based on their self, we really shouldn't overlap meaning with self.

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Alex123
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Re: Are we in this earth to attain Nirvana?

Postby Alex123 » Sat Jan 02, 2016 2:12 pm

Pinetree wrote:A child has a self, just shorter memory. I believe psychologists say that a child's self is bigger than an adults, not smaller.


A child has more non-reflective, instinctual, "selfishness" because he doesn't yet have formed concept of others, and cannot yet help them. So it is all instinctively about "me, me, me".

His self cannot possibly be bigger than adults because the child cannot yet form advanced concepts of self, others, what belongs to self vs others, etc.

Also a child has less desires than adults.


IMHO,

Alex
"Life is a struggle. Life will throw curveballs at you, it will humble you, it will attempt to break you down. And just when you think things are starting to look up, life will smack you back down with ruthless indifference..."

Saoshun
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Re: Are we in this earth to attain Nirvana?

Postby Saoshun » Sat Jan 02, 2016 2:31 pm

We are here because somebody have sex and you appear as combination of biological aspects, nirvana is just opportunity for human to realize mind nature.

Pinetree
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Re: Are we in this earth to attain Nirvana?

Postby Pinetree » Sat Jan 02, 2016 3:19 pm

So it is all instinctively about "me, me, me".


Precisely my point. A child's self is bigger in the sense that's all that he knows, and he doesn't understand about others desires/feelings, etc.


But I wouldn't make a difference about "instinctively", because what a child is taught (what the quote talks about) is build precisely around this instinct. If the instinct wasn't there, any self-empowering teaching would fail.


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