the great rebirth debate

An open and inclusive investigation into Buddhism and spiritual cultivation

Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby bodom » Thu Dec 16, 2010 1:54 am

Skaffen wrote:'Rebirth' has no context here. - Dismissal of the Ego makes the implication farcical - http://www.abhayagiri.org/main/book/1788/


I am reading this book now. I cannot recommend it highly enough.

:anjali:
The heart of the path is SO simple. No need for long explanations. Give up clinging to love and hate, just rest with things as they are. That is all I do in my own practice. Do not try to become anything. Do not make yourself into anything. Do not be a meditator. Do not become enlightened. When you sit, let it be. When you walk, let it be. Grasp at nothing. Resist nothing. Of course, there are dozens of meditation techniques to develop samadhi and many kinds of vipassana. But it all comes back to this - just let it all be. Step over here where it is cool, out of the battle. - Ajahn Chah
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby Alex123 » Thu Dec 16, 2010 2:17 am

Kenshou wrote:Does the fact that the arahant is aware of the dukkha nature of what is anicca, that is, that it is unsatisfactory because of it's unreliability, mean that he also experiences dukkha on that account? Just 'cos he does, weather there's upadana in the equation or not?


Without mental defilements there are no dukkha of grief, sadness, fear and so on. But there is still dukkha due to change, and dukkha due to formations.

Kenshou wrote:
Mahasatipatthanasutta, Thanissaro's translation wrote:Now what is the noble truth of stress? Birth is stressful, aging is stressful, death is stressful; sorrow, lamentation, pain, distress, & despair are stressful; association with the unbeloved is stressful; separation from the loved is stressful; not getting what one wants is stressful. In short, the five clinging-aggregates are stressful.

Five clinging aggregates, that is, pañcupādānakkhandhā, not pañcakkhandhā.


Even if one is arahant, there is still dukkha as bodily feeling of of sickness aging, pain, attack by others, and death. Furthermore the reason why there are aggregates remaining is because there WAS clinging in the past before one became an Arahant. And the result of that past clinging is dukkha of one type oр another.

An Arahant can also experience akusala kammavipāka due to Kamma and clinging done even Aeons ago. So while an Arahant has no more clinging, the results of past clingings are still there.
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby Kenshou » Thu Dec 16, 2010 2:30 am

Alex123 wrote:Even if one is arahant, there is still dukkha as bodily feeling of of sickness aging, pain, attack by others, and death.
I agree with you here and I've admitted this, I can't deny that if there is a body, these things can and do happen. However,

But there is still dukkha due to change, and dukkha due to formations.
It is on this point that I'm not so sure, and it's on this point and your analysis supporting it that my previous accusation of "overly simplistic" was directed at. Can you address this point?:

It's true that in many suttas we have the simple progression of "what is anicca is dukkha and what is anicca and dukkha is anatta) etc., which is perfectly fine as short expression of the gist of it all, but the reason that I am unconvinced that the fact of anicca causes dukkha even without the help of upadana is that, in more precise teachings on the nature of dukkha and its origination (and cessation), craving/tanha/upadana/whatever-term-you-prefer is always part of the equation, as far as I have seen. For this reason it seems to me as if, when the shorter teachings are taken in context with the longer ones, it is not being said that impermanence itself causes dukkha regardless of weather attachment is involved.


I realize that this may just be one of those irreconcilable differences in interpretation.
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby Alex123 » Thu Dec 16, 2010 2:37 am

Hi Kenshou,

You may be surprised but even an Arahant can commit what amounts to suicide. So it is not that ALL problems are immeadetely gone when one becomes an Arahant. I wonder what may motivate an Arahant to deliberately and quickly enter parinibbana...


I have heard that on one occasion the Blessed One was staying near Savatthi, in Jeta's Grove, Anathapindika's monastery. Then Ven. Dabba Mallaputta went to the Blessed One and, on arrival, having bowed down to him, sat to one side. As he was sitting there he said to the Blessed One: "Now is the time for my total Unbinding, O One-Well-Gone!"

"Then do, Dabba, what you think it is now time to do."

Then Ven. Dabba Mallaputta, rising from his seat, bowed down to the Blessed One and, circling him on the right, rose up into the air and sat cross-legged in the sky, in space. Entering the fire property and emerging from it, he was totally unbound. Now, when Dabba Mallaputta rose up into the air and, sitting cross-legged in the sky, in space, entered the fire property and then emerged from it and was totally unbound, his body burned and was consumed so that neither ashes nor soot could be discerned. Just as when ghee or oil is burned and consumed, neither ashes nor soot can be discerned, in the same way, when Dabba Mallaputta rose up into the air and, sitting cross-legged in the sky, in space, entered the fire property and then emerged from it and was totally unbound, his body burned and was consumed so that neither ashes nor soot could be discerned.
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html


"Whatever is felt is included in suffering." yaṃ kiñci vedayitaṃ taṃ dukkhasmi’nti - SN 36.11(1)
"All formations are stressful". Sabbe saṅkhārā dukkhā’’ti - Dhp 278


If we read MN144 sutta itself, then the Buddha did suggest that Ven. Channa was faultless even before taking his life with a knife due to intense pain.
"Sàriputta, wasn't the faultlessness of the bhikkhu Channa declared in your presence?û"
http://metta.lk/tipitaka/2Sutta-Pitaka/ ... ada-e.html

The sutta seems to suggest that pain may motivate even an Arahant to slid his own throat and end it all.
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby Kenshou » Thu Dec 16, 2010 2:55 am

You may be surprised but even an Arahant can commit what amounts to suicide. So it is not that ALL problems are immeadetely gone when one becomes an Arahant. I wonder what may motivate an Arahant to deliberately and quickly enter parinibbana...

Heard it before. You know, it doesn't really surprise me that an arahant could commit suicide, even if they usually don't, since after all they don't really care one way or the other.

"All formations are stressful". Sabbe saṅkhārā dukkhā’’ti - Dhp 278

I've stated why I disagree with your analysis of the implications of this statement already.

"Whatever is felt is included in suffering." yaṃ kiñci vedayitaṃ taṃ dukkhasmi’nti - SN 36.11(1)


Let's take a look at this passage in context. It is followed by this elaboration...

This, however, was stated by me with reference to the impermanence of (all) conditioned phenomena.[1] I have said it because conditioned phenomena are liable to destruction, to evanescence, to fading away, to cessation and to change. It is with reference to this that I have stated: 'Whatever is felt is within suffering.'


Which is saying nothing different than that classic bit from the Dhammapada you also quoted. And I've explained why I disagree with your logic in regard to these statements in my last post. Which, in summary, is that when we look at the larger context of the teachings on the origination of dukkha upadana is involved and that these shorter teachings should not be taken out of that context.

And please don't bring up bodily pain, since I accept that this is an inevitable fact of life that has no bearing on present clinging. Vipaka of past clinging, maybe, yeah.
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby Alex123 » Thu Dec 16, 2010 3:16 am

Kenshou wrote:
"All formations are stressful". Sabbe saṅkhārā dukkhā’’ti - Dhp 278

I've stated why I disagree with your analysis of the implications of this statement already.


Are you saying that Arahant doesn't have any formations? Are you saying that Arahant has no 5 aggregates?



Kenshou wrote:
"Whatever is felt is included in suffering." yaṃ kiñci vedayitaṃ taṃ dukkhasmi’nti - SN 36.11(1)


Let's take a look at this passage in context. It is followed by this elaboration...

This, however, was stated by me with reference to the impermanence of (all) conditioned phenomena.[1] I have said it because conditioned phenomena are liable to destruction, to evanescence, to fading away, to cessation and to change. It is with reference to this that I have stated: 'Whatever is felt is within suffering.'


Are you saying that an Arahant doesn't have impermanent aggregates?

Are you saying that an Arahant's body, at least the one inherited from birth was not due to clinging from past life?

Results of past clinging are not limited to body only.
A Arahant can also experience akusala kammavipāka due to akusala Kamma and clinging done even Aeons ago. The experience of akusala kammavipāka is dukkha and it is felt in mental aggregates, even if the resultant feeling is bare pain. So while an Arahant has no more present clinging, the results of past clingings the resultant pañcupādānakkhandhā can still arise.

With metta,

Alex
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby Kenshou » Thu Dec 16, 2010 3:28 am

I am saying none of those things. My disagreement with you is not on the issue of weather or not things are impermanent or conditioned. My disagreement with you is on how dukkha comes to be as a result of conditioned, impermanent phenomena.

A Arahant can also experience akusala kammavipāka due to akusala Kamma and clinging done even Aeons ago.

Sure, but, on this I disagree:
The experience of akusala kammavipāka is dukkha and it is felt in mental aggregates.

Bad kamma might happen but without clinging and aversion I would maintain that the arahant does not experience dukkha due to it. (in my understanding, I of course am no arahant)

Of course, if you can find a passage showing how an arahant can experience mental dukkha in the present due to past clinging, feel free to bring it up.
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby Alex123 » Thu Dec 16, 2010 3:38 am

Kenshou wrote:I am saying none of those things. My disagreement with you is not on the issue of weather or not things are impermanent or conditioned. My disagreement with you is on how dukkha comes to be as a result of conditioned, impermanent phenomena.


Because aggregates are fully conditioned, there is no control over them. If there are causes to be raped, tortured, maimed and killed in the most painful way - these will occur and nothing can stop it from occuring. The aggregates cannot be controlled and protected forever. This is not happiness, this is painful.

Also pleasant feelings is inconstant, and its cessation is painful.

Kenshou wrote:Bad kamma might happen but without clinging and aversion I would maintain that the arahant does not experience dukkha due to it. (in my understanding, I of course am no arahant)


But the feeling, is painful, the perception is of pain. An arahant does not make any new kamma, and there are no feelings of dukkha conascent with kamma. But there can be feelings accompanying the results of kamma due to past kamma that was done.


Kenshou wrote:Of course, if you can find a passage showing how an arahant can experience mental dukkha in the present due to past clinging, feel free to bring it up.




ex: Ud 4.5
At one time the Lord was staying near Kosambi at the Ghosita monastery. At that time the Lord was living hemmed in by bhikkhus and bhikkhunis, by male and female lay followers, by kings and royal ministers, by sectarian teachers and their disciples, and he lived in discomfort (dukkhaṃ) and not at ease. Then the Lord thought: "At present I am living hemmed in by bhikkhus and bhikkhunis... by sectarian teachers and their disciples, and I live in discomfort and not at ease. Suppose I were to live alone, secluded from the crowd?"
...
Then, while the Lord was in solitude and seclusion, this thought arose in his mind: "Formerly I was living hemmed in by bhikkhus and bhikkhunis... and I was living in discomfort and not at ease. But now I live not hemmed in by bhikkhus and bhikkhunis... in comfort and at ease."
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .irel.html



Also note what the Buddha said after his Awakening
"Then the thought occurred to me, 'This Dhamma that I have attained is deep, hard to see, hard to realize, peaceful, refined, beyond the scope of conjecture, subtle, to-be-experienced by the wise. [3] But this generation delights in attachment, is excited by attachment, enjoys attachment. For a generation delighting in attachment, excited by attachment, enjoying attachment, this/that conditionality & dependent co-arising are hard to see. This state, too, is hard to see: the resolution of all fabrications, the relinquishment of all acquisitions, the ending of craving; dispassion; cessation; Unbinding. And if I were to teach the Dhamma and others would not understand me, that would be tiresome for me, troublesome for me.'
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html


Apparently things can be tiresome and troublesome even for the Buddha. Apparently these things do matter enough to even be considered by the Buddha...


There is also a sutta (does anyone know which one it is?) where the Buddha was scheduled to give a talk but his back hurted, so the Buddha asked on of his elder monks to give a talk instead... Another example to show that the bodily pain could affect even a Buddha.
Last edited by Alex123 on Thu Dec 16, 2010 11:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby Kenshou » Thu Dec 16, 2010 4:02 am

Because aggregates are fully conditioned, there is no control over them.
Oh no, I am not even going to risk starting THAT debate again. Though the fact that you bring it up reminds me that we probably have some deep differences in understanding that are quickly going to render this argument a tail-chaser, maybe.

If there are causes to be raped, tortured, maimed and killed in the most painful way - these will occur. The aggregates cannot be controlled. This is not happiness, this is painful.

Also pleasant feelings is inconstant, and its cessation is painful.

...But the feeling, is painful, the perception is of pain.
...But there can be feelings accompanying the results of kamma due to past kamma that was done.
The bodily pain thing is irrelevant and has been gone over. For the other stuff, it still seems to me that despite all the pitfalls of conditioned existence, of life, without clinging and aversion dukkha will not be generated. The very fact that it's possible to escape from it in this way is the whole point of the teaching.

ex: Ud 4.5
Okay, thanks, you have provided. Now, I believe that there is some room for interpretation on what is going on there. Again, looking in the context of the teachings as a whole, I would be inclined to think that the Buddha would be able to experience this discomfort equanimously. From Ud 12. (ñanavira's trans.) "Contacts contact dependent on ground -How should contacts contact a groundless one?" I do not believe that such feelings are necessarily dukkha, even less so for an individual that does not identify with them.

However it may be too vague to say.
Last edited by Kenshou on Thu Dec 16, 2010 4:31 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby Kenshou » Thu Dec 16, 2010 4:10 am

Apparently things can be tiresome and troublesome even for the Buddha. Apparently these things do matter enough to even be considered by the Buddha...
Seems to me that the Buddha knows what's good for himself, and doesn't want to bother using his energy if it would be futile. Could he endure troublesome things without agitation if he had to? I think that he probably could. But is he going to subject himself to those things if he doesn't have to? I don't think he'd do that, either.

Could the Buddha stay there feeling "hemmed in", with equanimity? I think so. But is there any reason to do so if it's possible to get up and spend some time alone to regenerate from all that? I don't think there is. Even an arahant gets worn out sometimes.

Note that I'm saying "I think", I'm not claiming my views are facts here.
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby Skaffen » Thu Dec 16, 2010 6:27 am

Alex123 wrote:
Kenshou wrote:I am saying none of those things. My disagreement with you is not on the issue of weather or not things are impermanent or conditioned. My disagreement with you is on how dukkha comes to be as a result of conditioned, impermanent phenomena.


Because aggregates are fully conditioned, there is no control over them. If there are causes to be raped, tortured, maimed and killed in the most painful way - these will occur and nothing can stop it from occuring. The aggregates cannot be controlled and protected forever. This is not happiness, this is painful.

Also pleasant feelings is inconstant, and its cessation is painful.

Kenshou wrote:Bad kamma might happen but without clinging and aversion I would maintain that the arahant does not experience dukkha due to it. (in my understanding, I of course am no arahant)


But the feeling, is painful, the perception is of pain. An arahant does not make any new kamma, and there are no feelings of dukkha conascent with kamma. But there can be feelings accompanying the results of kamma due to past kamma that was done.


Kenshou wrote:Of course, if you can find a passage showing how an arahant can experience mental dukkha in the present due to past clinging, feel free to bring it up.




ex: Ud 4.5
At one time the Lord was staying near Kosambi at the Ghosita monastery. At that time the Lord was living hemmed in by bhikkhus and bhikkhunis, by male and female lay followers, by kings and royal ministers, by sectarian teachers and their disciples, and he lived in discomfort (dukkhaṃ) and not at ease. Then the Lord thought: "At present I am living hemmed in by bhikkhus and bhikkhunis... by sectarian teachers and their disciples, and I live in discomfort and not at ease. Suppose I were to live alone, secluded from the crowd?"
...
Then, while the Lord was in solitude and seclusion, this thought arose in his mind: "Formerly I was living hemmed in by bhikkhus and bhikkhunis... and I was living in discomfort and not at ease. But now I live not hemmed in by bhikkhus and bhikkhunis... in comfort and at ease." And also this thought arose in that bull elephant's mind: "Formerly I was living hemmed in by elephants and she-elephants... and I was living in discomfort and not at ease, but now I live not hemmed in by elephants and she-elephants... I eat unbroken grass and (others) do not eat the branches which I break down. I drink clear water and on going down and coming out of the water I am not jostled by she-elephants, and I live in comfort and at ease."
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .irel.html



Also note what the Buddha said after his Awakening
"Then the thought occurred to me, 'This Dhamma that I have attained is deep, hard to see, hard to realize, peaceful, refined, beyond the scope of conjecture, subtle, to-be-experienced by the wise. [3] But this generation delights in attachment, is excited by attachment, enjoys attachment. For a generation delighting in attachment, excited by attachment, enjoying attachment, this/that conditionality & dependent co-arising are hard to see. This state, too, is hard to see: the resolution of all fabrications, the relinquishment of all acquisitions, the ending of craving; dispassion; cessation; Unbinding. And if I were to teach the Dhamma and others would not understand me, that would be tiresome for me, troublesome for me.'
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html


Apparently things can be tiresome and troublesome even for the Buddha. Apparently these things do matter enough to even be considered by the Buddha...


There is also a sutta (does anyone know which one it is?) where the Buddha was scheduled to give a talk but his back hurted, so the Buddha asked on of his elder monks to give a talk instead... Another example to show that the bodily pain could affect even a Buddha.
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby Skaffen » Thu Dec 16, 2010 6:30 am

Independent Determinism, not; 'Fully Conditioned/Impermanent Aggregates'
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby darvki » Thu Dec 16, 2010 7:05 am

Alex123 wrote:Hi Kenshou,

You may be surprised but even an Arahant can commit what amounts to suicide. So it is not that ALL problems are immeadetely gone when one becomes an Arahant. I wonder what may motivate an Arahant to deliberately and quickly enter parinibbana...


I have heard that on one occasion the Blessed One was staying near Savatthi, in Jeta's Grove, Anathapindika's monastery. Then Ven. Dabba Mallaputta went to the Blessed One and, on arrival, having bowed down to him, sat to one side. As he was sitting there he said to the Blessed One: "Now is the time for my total Unbinding, O One-Well-Gone!"

"Then do, Dabba, what you think it is now time to do."

Then Ven. Dabba Mallaputta, rising from his seat, bowed down to the Blessed One and, circling him on the right, rose up into the air and sat cross-legged in the sky, in space. Entering the fire property and emerging from it, he was totally unbound. Now, when Dabba Mallaputta rose up into the air and, sitting cross-legged in the sky, in space, entered the fire property and then emerged from it and was totally unbound, his body burned and was consumed so that neither ashes nor soot could be discerned. Just as when ghee or oil is burned and consumed, neither ashes nor soot can be discerned, in the same way, when Dabba Mallaputta rose up into the air and, sitting cross-legged in the sky, in space, entered the fire property and then emerged from it and was totally unbound, his body burned and was consumed so that neither ashes nor soot could be discerned.
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html


"Whatever is felt is included in suffering." yaṃ kiñci vedayitaṃ taṃ dukkhasmi’nti - SN 36.11(1)
"All formations are stressful". Sabbe saṅkhārā dukkhā’’ti - Dhp 278


If we read MN144 sutta itself, then the Buddha did suggest that Ven. Channa was faultless even before taking his life with a knife due to intense pain.
"Sàriputta, wasn't the faultlessness of the bhikkhu Channa declared in your presence?û"
http://metta.lk/tipitaka/2Sutta-Pitaka/ ... ada-e.html

The sutta seems to suggest that pain may motivate even an Arahant to slid his own throat and end it all.



First of all, that sutta reads like a fairytale, so I wouldn't use it as backing evidence. However, the main point I want to address is this:

The problem with asserting that a buddha or arahant still suffers to an extent is that their status is based on something like this:

"Guys, I've overcome suffering!"
"Wow, all of it?"
"Well, no...but I'm going to when I die."
"Are you certain?"
"Yes, absolutely."
"How?"

I have no idea what would be said next. At any rate, the situation is not exactly convincing. It all is ultimately speculation, and if you ask me, the same goes for literal rebirth. Give me something I can actually work with right now, not some abstract idea about the past or future.


"You shouldn't chase after the past
or place expectations on the future.
What is past
is left behind.
The future
is as yet unreached.
Whatever quality is present
you clearly see right there,
right there."

Bhaddekaratta Sutta, MN 131
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby Aloka » Thu Dec 16, 2010 10:16 am

darvki wrote:
Give me something I can actually work with right now, not some abstract idea about the past or future.


"You shouldn't chase after the past
or place expectations on the future.
What is past
is left behind.
The future
is as yet unreached.
Whatever quality is present
you clearly see right there,
right there."

Bhaddekaratta Sutta, MN 131



Well said darvki.


:anjali:
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby Alex123 » Thu Dec 16, 2010 11:07 pm

darvki wrote:First of all, that sutta reads like a fairytale, so I wouldn't use it as backing evidence. However, the main point I want to address is this:


So do you dismiss it only because you don't like the story? Maybe you'll dismiss all the suttas that you don't agree with?

Again, what is your opinion on the message in MN26 and Ud 4.5 suttas regarding dukkha?



The problem with asserting that a buddha or arahant still suffers to an extent is that their status is based on something like this:

"Guys, I've overcome suffering!"
"Wow, all of it?"
"Well, no...but I'm going to when I die."


Again, the cessation doesn't need to be simultaneous. Ven. Dhammanando had an excellent post somewhere about "when this ceases, that ceases" not necessarily implying a momentary event.


99.999% of dukkha is NOT limited to single life. An Arahant is not going to be reborn, and that itself removes 99.999% of suffering. Furthermore it goes without saying that even in this life, an arahant experiences a miniscule proportion of dukkha compared to a worldling.


Maybe the Arahant or the Buddha is not totally invulnerable to pain like a tree stump, and that is what is implied with statements like:

"And if I were to teach the Dhamma and others would not understand me, that would be tiresome for me, troublesome for me.'"
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html

Then, while the Lord was in solitude and seclusion, this thought arose in his mind: "Formerly I was living hemmed in by bhikkhus and bhikkhunis... and I was living in discomfort and not at ease. But now I live not hemmed in by bhikkhus and bhikkhunis... in comfort and at ease.".
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .irel.html
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby Alex123 » Thu Dec 16, 2010 11:13 pm

Kenshou wrote:Okay, thanks, you have provided. Now, I believe that there is some room for interpretation on what is going on there. Again, looking in the context of the teachings as a whole, I would be inclined to think that the Buddha would be able to experience this discomfort equanimously. From Ud 12. (ñanavira's trans.) "Contacts contact dependent on ground -How should contacts contact a groundless one?" I do not believe that such feelings are necessarily dukkha, even less so for an individual that does not identify with them.
However it may be too vague to say.


Thank you for admitting that even the Buddha could experience discomfort equanimously. Discomfort isn't sukkha, it is dukkha.


For "contact" I believe this refers to "contact-with-ignorance" (avijjāsamphasso) not a bare contact .

An Arahant STILL has 5 aggregates, and still does have phassa. An Arahant isn't some phantom that doesn't have sense bases that come into contact with pleasant/unpleasant sense objects and experience the corresponding vedanā due to phassa.

With metta,

Alex
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby Kenshou » Thu Dec 16, 2010 11:52 pm

Thank you for admitting that even the Buddha could experience discomfort equanimously. Discomfort isn't sukkha, it is dukkha.
You have made me remember that there are indeed instances in the canon where it is said that the Buddha experiences some unpleasant feeling. For some reason, I had forgotten about that, and you've given me the chance to consider it, which is good for me.

An Arahant STILL has 5 aggregates, and still does have phassa. An Arahant isn't some phantom that doesn't have sense bases that come into contact with pleasant/unpleasant sense objects and experience the corresponding vedanā due to phassa.
That was never implied. My impression is that when it is said that the arahant is not touched by contact, it does not mean that they do not have the six-sense bases any longer, but that because they have ended the conceit that there is an "I" who is contacted, there can be said to be no contact. But anyway this kind of a side-track, more importantly:

I do not believe that unpleasant feelings are necessarily dukkha. I do agree that for the arahant the 5 aggregates continue to occur, and that they experience pleasant feelings and unpleasant feelings. However, looking at the teachings, it seems to me that the arahant who does not have craving or aversion for these things and no identification with them, would suffer no stress over the disintegration of pleasant feelings or the arrival of unpleasant ones.

So I guess my bottom line is that when seen with wisdom what are conventionally called unpleasant feelings really don't have to be unpleasant. I know from experience that this is possible. You can be sick or tired or uncomfortable without being agitated. It's easier said than done, but if I can do it some of the time, I bet an arahant could do it exponentially better.
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby mikenz66 » Fri Dec 17, 2010 1:15 am

Alex123 wrote:
darvki wrote:The problem with asserting that a buddha or arahant still suffers to an extent is that their status is based on something like this:

"Guys, I've overcome suffering!"
"Wow, all of it?"
"Well, no...but I'm going to when I die."


Again, the cessation doesn't need to be simultaneous. Ven. Dhammanando had an excellent post somewhere about "when this ceases, that ceases" not necessarily implying a momentary event.

I assembled some material on this issue of time in and around this post:
http://www.dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.ph ... 300#p94936
Bhikkhu Nanananda wrote:In the definition of the Nibbàna element without residual cling­ing, the same standard phrase recurs, while its distinctive feature is sum­med up in just one sentence: Tassa idheva sabba­veda­yi­tàni an­abhi­nanditàni sãtibhavis­santi, "in him, here itself, all what is felt will cool off, not being delighted in". It may be noted that the verb is in the future tense and apart from this cooling off, there is no guarantee of a world beyond, as an asaïkhata dhàtu, or `unprepared element', with no sun, moon or stars in it.

The two verses that follow purport to give a summary of the prose passage. Here it is clearly stated that out of the two Nibbàna ele­ments, as they are called, the former pertains to the here and now, diñ­­ñhadhammika, while the latter refers to what comes after death, sam­paràyika. The Nibbàna element with residual clinging, sa-upà­disesà Nibbànadhàtu, has as its redeeming feature the assurance that the tentacular craving for becoming is cut off, despite its exposure to likes and dislikes, pleasures and pains, common to the field of the five senses.

As for the Nibbàna element without residual clinging, it is defi­nitely stated that in it all forms of existence come to cease. The rea­son for it is none other than the crucial fact, stated in that single sen­tence, namely, the cooling off of all what is felt as an inevitable con­sequence of not being delighted in, anabhinanditàni.

:anjali:
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby Spiny O'Norman » Fri Dec 17, 2010 2:38 pm

Alex123 wrote:Also what is anicca is dukkha.


But it seems from DO that dukkha arises in dependence on ignorance, ie not seeing anicca ( and anatta ).
And as a result of this ignorance we become attached, that invariably leads to suffering.
Logically then if we do see clearly the nature of things then attachment / craving doesn't occur, and there is an end to suffering.

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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby kirk5a » Fri Dec 17, 2010 4:09 pm

Spiny O'Norman wrote:But it seems from DO that dukkha arises in dependence on ignorance, ie not seeing anicca ( and anatta ).

And, this mental dukkha arises on not seeing the dukkha characteristic of things. Because we don't see the dukkha aspect, the unsatisfactory aspect, we get attached and create more dukkha. We think things are really worth desiring. Those are the three characteristics of all dependently arisen phenomena. The not-seeing of which is the basis for awareness to be bound to conditioned phenomena. The seeing of which is the basis for letting go.
"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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