Abhidhamma View : Cessation of Suffering, Nibbaana
[Presented by Dr.Tep Sastri @ sariputtadhamma/JTN]
Vism. p. 519- 523 (excerpt):
62. In the description of the cessation of suffering it is the cessation of the origin that is stated by the words that which is â€¦ of that same craving, and so on. Why is that? Because the cessation of suffering comes about with the cessation of its origin. For it is with the cessation of its origin that suffering ceases, not otherwise. Hence it is said:
Just as a tree cut down grows up again
While yet its root remains unharmed and sound,
So with the tendency to crave intact
This suffering is ever reproduced (Dhp 338).
64. This is the meaning. Of that same craving: of that craving which, it was said, â€œproduces further becoming,â€ and which was classed as â€œcraving for sense desiresâ€ and so on. It is the path that is called fading away; for 'With the fading away [of greed] he is liberatedâ€ (M I 139) is said. Fading away and cessation is cessation through fading away. Remainderless fading away and cessation is cessation through fading away that is remainderless because of eradication of inherent tendencies. Or alternatively, it is abandoning that is called fading away; and so the construction here can be regarded as â€œremainderless fading away, remainderless cessation.'
65. But as to meaning, all of them are synonyms for Nibbaana. For in the ultimate sense it is Nibbaana that is called â€œthe noble truth of the cessation of suffering.â€ But because craving fades away and ceases on coming to that, it is therefore called â€œfading awayâ€ and â€œcessation.â€ And because there comes to be the giving up, etc., of that [craving] on coming to that [Nibbaana], and since there is not even one kind of reliance here [to be depended upon] from among the reliances consisting in the cords of sense desires, etc., it is therefore called giving it up, relinquishing it, letting it go, not relying on it.
66. It has peace as its characteristic. Its function is not to die; or its function is to comfort. It is manifested as the signless; or it is manifested as nondiversification.
67. [Question 1] Is Nibbaana non-existent because it is unapprehendable, like the hareâ€™s horn?
[Answer] That is not so, because it is apprehendable by the [right] means. For it is apprehendable [by some, namely, the nobles ones] by the [right] means, in other words, by the way that is appropriate to it, [the way of virtue, concentration, and understanding]; it is like the supramundane consciousness of others, [which is apprehendable only by certain of the Noble Ones] by means of knowledge of penetration of othersâ€™ minds. Therefore it should not be said that it is non-existent because unapprehendable; for it should not be said that what the foolish ordinary man does not apprehend is unapprehendable.
68. Again, it should not be said that Nibbaana does not exist. Why not? Because it then follows that the way would be futile. For if Nibbaana were nonexistent, then it would follow that the right way, which includes the three aggregates beginning with virtue and is headed by right understanding, would be futile. And it is not futile because it does reach Nibbaana.
74. Because it can be arrived at by distinction of knowledge that succeeds through untiring perseverance, and because it is the word of the Omniscient One, Nibbaana is not non-existent as regards individual essence in the ultimate sense; for this is said: â€œBhikkhus, there is an unborn, an unbecome, an unmade, an unformedâ€ (It 37; Ud 80).
[Note 18 on Nibbaana-dhaatu:] Now, in the ultimate sense the existingness of the Nibbaana-element has been demonstrated by the Fully Enlightened One, compassionate for the whole world, by many sutta passages such as â€˜Dhammas without condition,â€™ â€˜Unformed dhammasâ€™ (see Dhs 2), â€˜Bhikkhus, there is that base (sphere) where neither earth â€¦ â€™ (Ud 80), â€˜This state is very hard to see, that is to say, the stilling of all formations, the relinquishing of all substance of becomingâ€™ (D II 36; M I 167), â€˜Bhikkhus, I shall teach you the unformed and the way leading to the unformedâ€™ (S IV 362), and so on, and in this sutta, â€˜Bhikkhus, there is an unborn â€¦â€ (It 87; Ud 80). So even if the wise trust completely in the Dispensation and have no doubts, though they may not yet have had direct perception of it, nevertheless there are persons who come to understand through anotherâ€™s guidance (reading paraneyya-buddhino); and the intention here is that this logical reasoning under the heading of deduction (niddhaara.na) should be for the purpose of removing their doubts.
Just as it is owing to full-understanding (reading yathaa pariÃ±Ã±eyyataaya) that from the sense desires and from materiality, etc (reading ruupaadiina.m), that have something beyond them, there is made known an escape [from them] that is their opposite and whose individual essence is devoid of them, so there must exist an escape that is the opposite of, and whose individual essence is devoid of, all formed dhammas, all of which have the aforesaid individual essence (reading eva.m ta.m-sabhaavaana.m), and it is this escape that is the unformed element.
Love Buddha's dhamma,