Is the mind free from defilement before Nibbana?

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Is the mind free from defilement before Nibbana?

Postby Coyote » Tue Apr 29, 2014 6:47 pm

My question is how the mind comes to be free of greed, aversion and delusion as understood in the Classical tradition.

Is it that nibbana purifies the mind of defilement, or is that that by becoming free of defilement the mind goes out to nibbana? Is nibbana the cause or result of purification?
"If beings knew, as I know, the results of giving & sharing, they would not eat without having given, nor would the stain of miserliness overcome their minds. Even if it were their last bite, their last mouthful, they would not eat without having shared."
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Re: Is the mind free from defilement before Nibbana?

Postby beeblebrox » Tue Apr 29, 2014 6:59 pm

Hi Coyote,

I don't know about classical Theravada, but I think that nibbana could be seen as either. It is the result of the Buddha's prior practice; and since he shared it with others, it leads them to their end of greed, hatred and delusion.

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Re: Is the mind free from defilement before Nibbana?

Postby SarathW » Wed Apr 30, 2014 12:12 am

I think Nibbana is the result.

This is how I understand it:
=======
Depend on previous berth a person will have various latent factors such as attachment, aversion and ignorance.
See:
viewtopic.php?f=13&t=20500
============
These latent factors manifest and transgress as follows:

Application in practice

1.Root condition. Buddhist training is directed towards eliminating the defilements (kilesaa). The foremost defilements are the three unwholesome roots — greed, hate, and delusion. From these spring others: conceit (maana), speculative views (di.t.thi), skeptical doubt (vicikicchaa), mental torpor (thiina), restlessness (uddhacca), shamelessness (ahirika), lack of moral fear or conscience (anottappa). These defilements function at three levels:

A.Transgression (viitikkama) leading to evil bodily and verbal acts. This is checked by the practice of morality, observing the five precepts.
B.Obsession (pariyu.t.thaana) when the defilements come to the conscious level and threaten to lead to transgression if not restrained by the practice of mindfulness.
C.Latency (anusaya) where they remain as tendencies ready to surface through the impact of sensory stimuli. Security from the defilements can be obtained only by destroying the three roots — greed, hate and delusion — at the level of latency. This requires insight-wisdom (vipassanaa-paññaa), the decisive liberating factor in Buddhism.

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... el322.html
============
Following Noble Eightfold Path you eliminate A,B,C above and attain Nirvana.
Eg:
A is eliminated by Sila (virtues)
b is eliminated by Samadhi (concentration)
c is eliminated by wisdom

A,B and C works in tandem
:)
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Re: Is the mind free from defilement before Nibbana?

Postby beeblebrox » Wed Apr 30, 2014 3:09 pm

I think Nibbana is the result.


I think that if a person was unfamiliar with nibbana, then it is unlikely he/she would practice for it... so, it also could behave like a cause.

In the classical Theravada, a sotapanna (the stream-enterer) is considered to already have had an actual glimpse of the nibbana.

There also are "Dhamma follower" and "faith follower," which are two types of practitioners who aren't sotapannas, as described in the canon. The former would be familiar with the idea of nibbana through the Buddha's teachings, and the latter would be familiar with it (I assume) through the Buddha's behaviors, and those of the noble sangha's.

I think that paccekabuddha is the only type (other than a Buddha) that would attain nibbana without being familiar with it at first, due to the lack of teachings and/or experiences of a Buddha.

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Re: Is the mind free from defilement before Nibbana?

Postby Coyote » Wed Apr 30, 2014 3:54 pm

Sarathw, Beeblebrox,

I am most interested in the Classical understanding of Nibbana as a paramattha dhamma that has sabhava (intrinsic nature), contacted by the citta during magga and phala moments.

For example: Sujin Boriharnwanaket offers an explanation in "A Survey of Paramattha Dhammas":

http://www.abhidhamma.org/survey6.pdf chapter 5

That seems very consistent with my understanding i.e nibbana as extinction of defilement and parinibbana as extinction of the khandhas. In what way is parinibbana a paramattha dhamma in the classical sense, since nibbana (the paramattha dhamma) does not seem to be experienced on the death of the arahant? There seems to be a divide between the two nibbanas if nibbana is understood in any other way than extinguishment.
"If beings knew, as I know, the results of giving & sharing, they would not eat without having given, nor would the stain of miserliness overcome their minds. Even if it were their last bite, their last mouthful, they would not eat without having shared."
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Re: Is the mind free from defilement before Nibbana?

Postby beeblebrox » Wed Apr 30, 2014 5:11 pm

Hi Coyote,

I'm not a student of Sujin, but found this quote from the link that you provided (on page 192):

The person who develops the right Path knows that nibbāna, the reality that eradicates defilements, cannot be realized if understanding of conditioned realities has not been fully developed. First the paññā should be developed which clearly understands the characteristics of nāma and rūpa as they naturally appear in daily life. It is impossible to realize nibbāna if paññā does not penetrate thoroughly and precisely the characteristics of all kinds of nāma and rūpa that appear through the six doors.


To answer your original question, nibbana is the "reality that eradicates defilements." If I understand Sujin correctly, it is not a result. That is basically because it is the paramattha dhamma which doesn't arise (or pass away).

I still suspect that this kind of description could easily lead to a misunderstanding about what nibbana actually is (e.g., that it is something concrete and eternal), especially for those who haven't established a correct view of what the Buddha taught.

It also might seem like "nibbana" and "parinibbana" were described as two different things, but I think they're really not. The latter is just the final extinguishment (of the khandhas, according to the link you provided), from my understanding.

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Re: Is the mind free from defilement before Nibbana?

Postby robertk » Wed Apr 30, 2014 5:19 pm

The lokutaara cittas which have nibbana as object are the ones that eradicate kilesa.
They cittas are deeply imbued with refined highly developed wisdom.
http://www.budsas.org/ebud/nina-abhidha ... bhi-23.htm
I heard someone say he wondered if he had attained nibbana: but that is simply cittas with doubt, devoid of wisdom.
It is wisdom that is so strong there would be no doubt and even the stages before nibbana are with highly developed wisdom.
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Re: Is the mind free from defilement before Nibbana?

Postby beeblebrox » Wed Apr 30, 2014 7:19 pm

robertk wrote:I heard someone say he wondered if he had attained nibbana: but that is simply cittas with doubt, devoid of wisdom.
It is wisdom that is so strong there would be no doubt and even the stages before nibbana are with highly developed wisdom.


I think that makes sense. Also, some care should be taken in being able to tell the difference in between the strong wisdom and stubbornness.

Nibbana after all is "unborn" (or more like "no-born," from the Pali word "ajati;" similarly, "no-death" for amata; and "no-self" for anatta), not "stub-born."

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Re: Is the mind free from defilement before Nibbana?

Postby Coyote » Thu May 01, 2014 11:55 am

Thanks both to Beeblebrox and Robertk. You seem to have answered my original question.

As a way of tying up the thread, I would like to ask what is meant by this:

beeblebrox wrote:I still suspect that this kind of description could easily lead to a misunderstanding about what nibbana actually is (e.g., that it is something concrete and eternal), especially for those who haven't established a correct view of what the Buddha taught.


Would it be correct to say that this is the Classical Theravada viewpoint?
"If beings knew, as I know, the results of giving & sharing, they would not eat without having given, nor would the stain of miserliness overcome their minds. Even if it were their last bite, their last mouthful, they would not eat without having shared."
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Re: Is the mind free from defilement before Nibbana?

Postby beeblebrox » Thu May 01, 2014 1:38 pm

Coyote wrote:As a way of tying up the thread, I would like to ask what is meant by this:


Classical Theravada isn't my strong suit, as I've mentioned before... but I think it's safe to say that their position would be that the Right View should be recognized, before nibbana can be understood.

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Re: Is the mind free from defilement before Nibbana?

Postby Spiny Norman » Thu May 01, 2014 2:00 pm

Coyote wrote: Is nibbana the cause or result of purification?


It occurred to me that Nibbana is described as the unconditioned, and therefore presumably wouldn't be a result of conditions.
Well, oi dunno...
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Re: Is the mind free from defilement before Nibbana?

Postby beeblebrox » Thu May 01, 2014 2:23 pm

Spiny Norman wrote:It occurred to me that Nibbana is described as the unconditioned, and therefore presumably wouldn't be a result of conditions.


The pali word is "asankhata." I think it really means "no condition," "no construction," "no formation," "no creation," something along these lines.

I don't think that nibbana is a "thing" which is "the unconditioned."

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Re: Is the mind free from defilement before Nibbana?

Postby Spiny Norman » Thu May 01, 2014 2:27 pm

beeblebrox wrote:The pali word is "asankhata." I think it really means "no condition," "no construction," "no formation," "no creation," something along these lines.


So the end of fabricating? But does that mean Nibbana is a result of conditions, like the cessation of taints?
Well, oi dunno...
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Re: Is the mind free from defilement before Nibbana?

Postby beeblebrox » Thu May 01, 2014 2:31 pm

Spiny Norman wrote:But does that mean Nibbana is a result of conditions, like the cessation of taints?


No, but it is what leads to the destruction of kilesas, from what understand in the thread.

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Re: Is the mind free from defilement before Nibbana?

Postby Ananda26 » Thu May 01, 2014 2:54 pm

Coyote wrote:My question is how the mind comes to be free of greed, aversion and delusion as understood in the Classical tradition.

Is it that nibbana purifies the mind of defilement, or is that that by becoming free of defilement the mind goes out to nibbana? Is nibbana the cause or result of purification?


A Never Returner has completely abandoned the 5 lower fetters. An Arahant has abandoned all 10 fetters.

The Noble Eightfold Path lead to the abandoning of the 3 unwholesome roots.

The Noble Eightfold path leads to Stream Winner, Once Returner, Never Returner, and Arahantship.

The Noble Eightfold path leads to purification and purification of the path leads to the development of the Noble Eightfold Path.
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Re: Is the mind free from defilement before Nibbana?

Postby SarathW » Mon May 05, 2014 11:31 am

SarathW wrote:I think Nibbana is the result.

This is how I understand it:
=======
Depend on previous berth a person will have various latent factors such as attachment, aversion and ignorance.
See:
viewtopic.php?f=13&t=20500
============
These latent factors manifest and transgress as follows:

Application in practice

1.Root condition. Buddhist training is directed towards eliminating the defilements (kilesaa). The foremost defilements are the three unwholesome roots — greed, hate, and delusion. From these spring others: conceit (maana), speculative views (di.t.thi), skeptical doubt (vicikicchaa), mental torpor (thiina), restlessness (uddhacca), shamelessness (ahirika), lack of moral fear or conscience (anottappa). These defilements function at three levels:

A.Transgression (viitikkama) leading to evil bodily and verbal acts. This is checked by the practice of morality, observing the five precepts.
B.Obsession (pariyu.t.thaana) when the defilements come to the conscious level and threaten to lead to transgression if not restrained by the practice of mindfulness.
C.Latency (anusaya) where they remain as tendencies ready to surface through the impact of sensory stimuli. Security from the defilements can be obtained only by destroying the three roots — greed, hate and delusion — at the level of latency. This requires insight-wisdom (vipassanaa-paññaa), the decisive liberating factor in Buddhism.

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... el322.html
============
Following Noble Eightfold Path you eliminate A,B,C above and attain Nirvana.
Eg:
A is eliminated by Sila (virtues)
b is eliminated by Samadhi (concentration)
c is eliminated by wisdom

A,B and C works in tandem
:)


CORRECTION:

Nibbana is not the result.
It is unmade.
You do not create any thing by untangling a rope.
It is because the rope already there before the entanglement.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IBNMqqmZI6E
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Re: Is the mind free from defilement before Nibbana?

Postby Ananda26 » Sat Jun 21, 2014 2:14 pm

Coyote wrote:My question is how the mind comes to be free of greed, aversion and delusion as understood in the Classical tradition.

Is it that nibbana purifies the mind of defilement, or is that that by becoming free of defilement the mind goes out to nibbana? Is nibbana the cause or result of purification?


The mind may become more and more pure with the approach of the attainment of Nibbana, but there are some taints that have to do with rebirth. When one has attained Nibbana, not to be reborn again, one is free from the those taints that defile.
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