Nibbana

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Nibbana

Postby robertk » Tue Mar 27, 2012 2:55 am

I see on this forum varying beliefs about nibbana.

Nibbana is of course a paramattha dhamma, an ultimate reality.
It is the object of supramundane citta.
It does not arise or cease, it is unconditioned, unborn.
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Re: Nibbana

Postby robertk » Tue Mar 27, 2012 3:01 am

I saw one post recently:
tiltbillings wrote:
There is nothing in these texts that demands that "an unborn — unbecome — unmade — unfabricated" is the only way that these terms are meaningfully translated. I would argue that "an unborn — unbecome — unmade — unfabricated" is not a particularly meaningful translation at all, taken either as a stand-alone text as in the Itivuttaka, 37-8 or in this Udana grouping. These Udana texts refer to “unbinding,” and unbinding here means one is not bound to greed, hatred, and delusion. In other words, one is freed from the conditioning of greed, hatred, and delusion.

In S.N. IV 359 and S.N. 362 we find: "That which is the destruction of greed, hatred and delusion is asankhata." That is to say, it is the freedom from the conditioning, being without the conditions, of those three unwholesome factors. As an awake individual one is no longer conditioned – one is unconditioned, asankhata --, by the volitional conditions of greed, hatred, and delusion. It is hard to find a more straightforward definition.

In the S.N. IV 251 and IV 321 we find: "That which is the destruction of greed, hatred and delusion is nibbana." Clearly nibbana/unbinding and asankhata are equivalent terms, and where outside the individual who is freed from the putting together, the fabricating, the conditioning of greed, hatred, and delusion would unbinding be found? It would make no sense to assume that unbinding/nibbana refers to something outside the freed individual, given that greed, hatred, and delusion “exist” as conditioning factors only within the individual.
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Re: Nibbana

Postby retrofuturist » Tue Mar 27, 2012 3:02 am

Greetings Robert,

Perhaps you can answer a question I posed elsewhere.

What is the Classical perspective on whether nibbana is anicca?

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: Nibbana

Postby robertk » Tue Mar 27, 2012 3:05 am

The writer of the above post cites several suttas. I thought members might be interested in what the ancient Commentary says on those:

From the Sammohavinodanii (pp.61-64):

251. "(
'Herein, which is the unformed element? It is the destruction
of greed, the destruction of hate and the destruction of
delusion')...

the unformed element is nibbaana, whose nature (sabhaava)
is unformed. But because greed and so on are destroyed on coming to
this (eta.m aagamma), it is therefore called 'the destruction of
greed, the destruction of hate, and the destruction of delusion'.
This is the agreed commentary of the Teachers.

252. "But a contraversialist (vita.n.davaadin)[a vitandavaadin is one who is opposed to the right understanding, usually from an outside sect] said:

'There is no
independent nibbaana; nibbaana is just the destruction of the
defilements.' He said: 'Quote a sutta.' The Jambukhaadaka-sutta was
quoted thus: "'Nibbaana' is said, friend Saariputta; what, friend, is
nibbaana? That which is the destruction of greed, the destruction of
hate, and the destruction of delusion - that is called nibbaana'
(S iv
251).
[Then] he said: 'By this sutta it should be understood that
there is no independent nibbaana; nibbaana is just the destruction of
the defilements.'
He should be asked: 'But how? Is the meaning
according to this sutta [literally] so? Surely he will say: 'Yes,
there is no meaning apart from the sutta.'

253. "Then he should be told: 'Now this sutta has been quoted by you;
quote the next one to that.' The next sutta to that [says:]
"'Arahatship' is said, friend Saariputta, what, friend, is Arahatship?
That which is the destruction of greed, the destruction of hate, and
the destruction of delusion - that is called Arahatship (S iv 251).

This is the sutta quoted next to that. But on this being quoted, they
said to him: 'Nibbaana is a mental datum included in the mental data
base; Arahatship is the four [immaterial] aggregates. The General of
the Norm [i.e. Saariputta] who had realised nibbaana and on being
asked about Arahatship, said it was just the destruction of the
defilements. But how? What, then, are nibbaana and Arahatship, one
or multiple? Whether they are one or multiple, what according to you
who make excessively fine distinctions is the meaning here? You do
not know what is one and what is multiple. Surely when that is known,
it is good?' Being thus questioned again and again, being unable to
deceive, he said: 'It is because of its being arisen in one who has
destroyed greed, etc. that Arahatship is called the destruction of
greed, hate, and delusion.'

254. "Then they said to him: 'A great work has been done by you! And
even one getting you to say that by giving a reward, would have got
you to say just that. And just as this [sutta] has been explained to
you, so to [you should] discern that. For it is on coming to nibbaana
that greed, etc. are destroyed, and so nibbaana is called the
destruction of greed, the destruction of hate, and the destruction of
delusion. And these are just three terms for nibbaana.'"
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Re: Nibbana

Postby robertk » Tue Mar 27, 2012 3:07 am

Nibbana does not arise or cease, it is not part of the khandhas, aggregates, it thus cannot be annica or dukkha. It is, however, anatta.
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Re: Nibbana

Postby retrofuturist » Tue Mar 27, 2012 3:43 am

Greetings Robert,

robertk wrote:Nibbana does not arise or cease, it is not part of the khandhas, aggregates, it thus cannot be annica or dukkha. It is, however, anatta.

So it cannot be anicca, but can it be nicca?

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: Nibbana

Postby robertk » Tue Mar 27, 2012 4:38 am

I think, in a sense, it can be called nicca and sukkha because it doesn't rise or fall away and it is unconditioned. And the attainment of arahatship is irrevesible.
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Re: Nibbana

Postby robertk » Wed Mar 28, 2012 7:54 am

There is, monks, an unborn (aj.ta), — unbecome (abh.ta), — unmade (akata),— unfabricated(asa.khata). . If there were not that unborn — unbecome — unmade — unfabricated, there would not be the case that emancipation from the born — become — made — fabricated would be discerned. But precisely because there is an unborn — unbecome — unmade — unfabricated, emancipation from the born — become — made — fabricated is discerned."

— Ud 8.3
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Re: Nibbana

Postby tiltbillings » Wed Mar 28, 2012 8:01 am

robertk wrote:There is, monks, an unborn (aj.ta), — unbecome (abh.ta), — unmade (akata),— unfabricated(asa.khata). . If there were not that unborn — unbecome — unmade — unfabricated, there would not be the case that emancipation from the born — become — made — fabricated would be discerned. But precisely because there is an unborn — unbecome — unmade — unfabricated, emancipation from the born — become — made — fabricated is discerned."

— Ud 8.3
Okay, but don't forget that the "un" words are adjectives. What are they modifying?
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

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Re: Nibbana

Postby robertk » Wed Mar 28, 2012 9:11 am

words like uborn, asankhata, amata can also be synonyms (rather than adjectives) of Nibbana.
As the Commentary states:\
Sammohavinodani, (Dispeller of Delusion), classification of the Truths,532:

"Asesaviraaganirodho (“fading away without remainder and cesation”) and so
on are all merely synonyms for nibbana. For on coming to nibbana, craving
fades away without remainder and ceases, therefore it is called “the
fading away without remainder” and cessation of that same craving. And on
coming to nibbana, craving is given up, relinquished, let go of, is not
adhered to, therefore nibbana is called caago pa.tinissaggo mutti anaalayo
(“giving up, relinquishment, letting go, non-adherence”).

'For nibbana is only one. But the names for it are merely so many
synonyms for nibbana as names which are all the opposite of the names of
formed things, that is to say, fading away without remainder and
cessation, giving up, relinquishment, letting go, non-adherence,
destruction of greed, destruction of hate, destruction of delusion,
destruction of craving, non-arising, non-process, the signless, the
desireless, the effortless, non-rebirth, non-appearance, no-destiny, the
unborn, the unageing, the unaliling, the deathless, the sorrowless,
non-lamentation, non-woe, the undefiled, and so on.
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Re: Nibbana

Postby tiltbillings » Wed Mar 28, 2012 3:40 pm

robertk wrote:words like uborn, asankhata, amata can also be synonyms (rather than adjectives) of Nibbana.


Certainly, but they are in this context descriptive of an important "nature" of nibbana. The subject in sentence in question is implied.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

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Re: Nibbana

Postby Zom » Wed Mar 28, 2012 5:30 pm

There is an interesting note from Ven. Brahmali, that if nibbana is some ultimate-existing-reality apart from matter and mentality, then there shoud be 7th class of consciousness that "knows" it 8-)
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Re: Nibbana

Postby robertk » Thu Mar 29, 2012 1:13 am

Zom wrote:There is an interesting note from Ven. Brahmali, that if nibbana is some ultimate-existing-reality apart from matter and mentality, then there shoud be 7th class of consciousness that "knows" it 8-)

I see. I asume ven brhmali is taking the classic, mahavihara interpretation, doyou have references supporting this from the texts.
Obviously not , since the texts say that nibbana does not arise or cease. It is the unborn.
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Re: Nibbana

Postby Zom » Thu Mar 29, 2012 9:49 am

No, his interpretation is not orthodox theravadin. It is what can be called "non-ontologist interpretation". That means that Nibbana is not an existing reality apart from matter and mind (unlike orthodox explanation - where we have rupa/citta/cetasika/nibbana) - but a simple cessation of khandhas (if we speak of anupadisesa) and simple cessation of greed-hatred-delusion (if we speak of sa-upadisesa). Just like a ball of sand on the beach - there is no "special nibbana reality" in this ball of sand - but just sand (let it be rupa) and water (let it be mind) which keeps grains of sand together. "Nibbana" here is simply the break-up of this ball of sand and nothing more than that. It is just "non-existence" of it, without any transcendental things that "can't be seen and grasped" and so on ,)
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Re: Nibbana

Postby robertk » Thu Mar 29, 2012 10:01 am

Othanks. Ok, but according to the Commentary he is siding with the vidantavadins on this point.

I dont see why he would do that, just for controversy?
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Re: Nibbana

Postby Zom » Thu Mar 29, 2012 10:58 am

Perhaps to lessen difficulties to explain what nibbana is .)
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Re: Nibbana

Postby bodom » Thu Mar 29, 2012 10:40 pm

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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: Nibbana

Postby Virgo » Fri Mar 30, 2012 12:36 am

Zom wrote:Perhaps to lessen difficulties to explain what nibbana is .)

Yes, but according to a Mahaviharin perspective, or just according to his own whims and interpretation, not in line with the teachers of old?

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