Is Nibanna Extinction?

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Is Nibanna Extinction?

Postby beforewisdom » Tue Jan 21, 2014 11:57 pm

I've read here and there academics stating this is not the case, but I haven't seen much substation.

Is the goal of Buddhism a complete death?

First, there is the goal of ending the cycle of rebirth which would be staying physically dead.......no more lives.

Nibanna, unbindingm, the unconditioned seems to be the removal of all of the aggregetes, everything that makes you, you. It seems like the only thing left would be pure consciousness, without an identity. In other words "you" are gone. Extinct. a complete death. It seems like a consciousness without memories, sankaras, or anything that makes you, you.....would just be an undifferentiated awareness.

In a way it sounds similar to some nuage beliefs that a "god" is simply the summation of all of us and our path is to merge with that larger identity. The difference being with Buddhism that the game is about a complete death of an identity to become a single undifferentiated consciousness with no identity.

Thoughts?

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Re: Is Nibanna Extinction?

Postby Kusala » Wed Jan 22, 2014 2:30 am

beforewisdom wrote:I've read here and there academics stating this is not the case, but I haven't seen much substation.

Is the goal of Buddhism a complete death?

First, there is the goal of ending the cycle of rebirth which would be staying physically dead.......no more lives.

Nibanna, unbindingm, the unconditioned seems to be the removal of all of the aggregetes, everything that makes you, you. It seems like the only thing left would be pure consciousness, without an identity. In other words "you" are gone. Extinct. a complete death. It seems like a consciousness without memories, sankaras, or anything that makes you, you.....would just be an undifferentiated awareness.

In a way it sounds similar to some nuage beliefs that a "god" is simply the summation of all of us and our path is to merge with that larger identity. The difference being with Buddhism that the game is about a complete death of an identity to become a single undifferentiated consciousness with no identity.

Thoughts?


The Nature of Nirvana

King Milinda said: "I will grant you, Nagasena, that Nirvana is absolute Ease, and that nevertheless one cannot point to its form or shape, its duration or size, either by simile or explanation, by reason or by argument. But is there perhaps some quality of Nirvana which it shares with other things, and which lends itself to a metaphorical explanation?"

"Its form, O king, cannot be elucidated by similes, but its qualities can."

"How good to hear that, Nagasena! Speak then, quickly, so that I may have an explanation of even one of the aspects of Nirvana! Appease the fever of my heart! Allay it with the cool sweet breezes of your words!"

"Nirvana shares one quality with the lotus, two with water, three with medicine, ten with space, three with the wishing jewel, and five with a mountain peak. As the lotus is unstained by water, so is Nirvana unstained by all the defilements. As cool water allays feverish heat, so also Nirvana is cool and allays the fever of all the passions. Moreover, as water removes the thirst of men and beasts who are exhausted, parched, thirsty, and overpowered by heat, so also Nirvana removes the craving for sensuous enjoyments, the craving for further becoming, the craving for the cessation of becoming. As medicine protects from the torments of poison, so Nirvana from the torments of the poisonous passions.

Moreover, as medicine puts an end to sickness, so Nirvana to all sufferings. Finally, Nirvana and medicine both give security. And these are the ten qualities which Nirvana shares with space. Neither is born, grows old, dies, passes away, or is reborn; both are unconquerable, cannot be stolen, are unsupported, are roads respectively for birds and Arhats to journey on, are unobstructed and infinite. Like the wishing jewel, Nirvana grants all one can desire, brings joy, and sheds light. As a mountain peak is lofty and exalted, so is Nirvana. As a mountain peak is unshakable, so is Nirvana. As a mountain peak is inaccessible, so is Nirvana inaccessible to all the passions. As no seeds can grow on a mountain peak, so the seeds of all the passions cannot grow in Nirvana. And finally, as a mountain peak is free from all desire to please or displease, so is Nirvana."

"Well said, Nagasena! So it is, and as such I accept it."


http://www.as.miami.edu/phi/bio/Buddha/Milinda.htm
Image

Homage to the Buddha
Thus indeed, is that Blessed One: He is the Holy One, fully enlightened, endowed with clear vision and virtuous conduct, sublime, the Knower of the worlds, the incomparable leader of men to be tamed, the teacher of gods and men, enlightened and blessed.

Homage to the Teachings
The Dhamma of the Blessed One is perfectly expounded; to be seen here and now; not delayed in
time; inviting one to come and see; onward leading (to Nibbana); to be known by the wise, each for himself.

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Re: Is Nibanna Extinction?

Postby kmath » Wed Jan 22, 2014 3:23 am

Kusala wrote:The Nature of Nirvana

King Milinda said: "I will grant you, Nagasena, that Nirvana is absolute Ease, and that nevertheless one cannot point to its form or shape, its duration or size, either by simile or explanation, by reason or by argument. But is there perhaps some quality of Nirvana which it shares with other things, and which lends itself to a metaphorical explanation?"

"Its form, O king, cannot be elucidated by similes, but its qualities can."

"How good to hear that, Nagasena! Speak then, quickly, so that I may have an explanation of even one of the aspects of Nirvana! Appease the fever of my heart! Allay it with the cool sweet breezes of your words!"

"Nirvana shares one quality with the lotus, two with water, three with medicine, ten with space, three with the wishing jewel, and five with a mountain peak. As the lotus is unstained by water, so is Nirvana unstained by all the defilements. As cool water allays feverish heat, so also Nirvana is cool and allays the fever of all the passions. Moreover, as water removes the thirst of men and beasts who are exhausted, parched, thirsty, and overpowered by heat, so also Nirvana removes the craving for sensuous enjoyments, the craving for further becoming, the craving for the cessation of becoming. As medicine protects from the torments of poison, so Nirvana from the torments of the poisonous passions.

Moreover, as medicine puts an end to sickness, so Nirvana to all sufferings. Finally, Nirvana and medicine both give security. And these are the ten qualities which Nirvana shares with space. Neither is born, grows old, dies, passes away, or is reborn; both are unconquerable, cannot be stolen, are unsupported, are roads respectively for birds and Arhats to journey on, are unobstructed and infinite. Like the wishing jewel, Nirvana grants all one can desire, brings joy, and sheds light. As a mountain peak is lofty and exalted, so is Nirvana. As a mountain peak is unshakable, so is Nirvana. As a mountain peak is inaccessible, so is Nirvana inaccessible to all the passions. As no seeds can grow on a mountain peak, so the seeds of all the passions cannot grow in Nirvana. And finally, as a mountain peak is free from all desire to please or displease, so is Nirvana."

"Well said, Nagasena! So it is, and as such I accept it."


http://www.as.miami.edu/phi/bio/Buddha/Milinda.htm


How have I never heard this? Beautiful!!

:goodpost:

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Re: Is Nibanna Extinction?

Postby SarathW » Wed Jan 22, 2014 3:58 am

I can’t tell you the status of Arahants after Parinibbana (say death)
You can experience Nirvana in this life itself. I have no doubt about it!
:meditate:

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Re: Is Nibanna Extinction?

Postby culaavuso » Wed Jan 22, 2014 4:31 am

beforewisdom wrote:I've read here and there academics stating this is not the case, but I haven't seen much substation.

Have you seen much substantiation that Nibbana is extinction?

beforewisdom wrote:Is the goal of Buddhism a complete death?

The Buddha taught the nature of stress and suffering and the path leading to the ending of stress and suffering.

beforewisdom wrote:First, there is the goal of ending the cycle of rebirth which would be staying physically dead.......no more lives.

Ending the cycle of rebirth is not a goal adopted simply for its own sake. The goal is the ending of stress and suffering. Perhaps it would be useful to investigate your ideas of what you think rebirth means in the first place to provide a solid foundation for your investigations into what it would mean to end that cycle.

beforewisdom wrote:Nibanna, unbindingm, the unconditioned seems to be the removal of all of the aggregetes, everything that makes you, you. It seems like the only thing left would be pure consciousness, without an identity. In other words "you" are gone. Extinct. a complete death. It seems like a consciousness without memories, sankaras, or anything that makes you, you.....would just be an undifferentiated awareness.


This question seems to assume that there is some sort of soul or atman and that ending the cycle of rebirth is somehow the death or extinction of this soul. These assumptions are not supported by the Buddha's teachings.

This reminds me of SN 44.10:
SN 44.10
SN 44.10: Ananda Sutta wrote:"Ananda, if I — being asked by Vacchagotta the wanderer if there is a self — were to answer that there is a self, that would be conforming with those brahmans & contemplatives who are exponents of eternalism [the view that there is an eternal, unchanging soul]. If I — being asked by Vacchagotta the wanderer if there is no self — were to answer that there is no self, that would be conforming with those brahmans & contemplatives who are exponents of annihilationism [the view that death is the annihilation of consciousness]. If I — being asked by Vacchagotta the wanderer if there is a self — were to answer that there is a self, would that be in keeping with the arising of knowledge that all phenomena are not-self?"

"No, lord."

"And if I — being asked by Vacchagotta the wanderer if there is no self — were to answer that there is no self, the bewildered Vacchagotta would become even more bewildered: 'Does the self I used to have now not exist?'"


beforewisdom wrote:In a way it sounds similar to some nuage beliefs that a "god" is simply the summation of all of us and our path is to merge with that larger identity. The difference being with Buddhism that the game is about a complete death of an identity to become a single undifferentiated consciousness with no identity.

Thoughts?

It might be useful to define "identity" in this context, and to specify what exactly transforms into this single consciousness. In Buddhism, the goal is not death. The goal is the cessation of suffering, which is described with terms such as "the Deathless" among others.

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Re: Is Nibanna Extinction?

Postby no mike » Sun Jan 26, 2014 1:16 pm

beforewisdom wrote:Nibanna, unbindingm, the unconditioned seems to be the removal of all of the aggregates, everything that makes you, you. It seems like the only thing left would be pure consciousness, without an identity. In other words "you" are gone. Extinct. a complete death. It seems like a consciousness without memories, sankaras, or anything that makes you, you.....would just be an undifferentiated awareness.


I have been contemplating something similar, regarding "complete death" (of all the aggregates). The only model I can imagine is that the mind changes into something higher or more developed than mere consciousness as we know it, of which we cannot imagine now. Something new is created, in the way a lotus blooms above the water.

As for following the path, and having only the goal to end suffering in this life, what would differentiate the path from mere suicide?

My goals are to end suffering and to develop the mind, and to help others and all living things. I see the ending of the suffering of the untamed mind as a path to fruition; that is, the development and unfolding of a greater mind. The relationship is inseparable. As I make progress with reducing suffering, I observe my own mind becoming more tamed, and more developed. And as my mind makes progress and becomes more developed, the suffering is reduced.

So, what of this developed mind upon the break-up of this body?

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Re: Is Nibanna Extinction?

Postby noname » Sun Jan 26, 2014 3:02 pm

"Having nothing, no attachment, this is the island with nothing beyond,
this is called Nibbāna, I say, the end of old age and death."
- (Snp 5.11)

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Re: Is Nibanna Extinction?

Postby Kare » Sun Jan 26, 2014 7:13 pm

Yes. Nibbana is complete extinction. But the question is: complete extinction of what? It has nothing to do with life or death.

The goal of a fire fighter is complete extinction. Complete extinction of the fire. There is no death wish included.

The goal of Buddhism is Nibbana, which is complete extinction of the three negative roots that create suffering and problems - complete extinction of greed, hatred and delusion. This is clearly stated in Nibbanapañhasutta, Samyutta Nikaya 4, 4, 1

So don't let anyone confuse you. Complete extinction of the negative qualities of mind creates a mind filled with wisdom and beauty. It has nothing to do with death.
Mettāya,
Kåre

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Re: Is Nibanna Extinction?

Postby Mkoll » Sun Jan 26, 2014 7:35 pm

nomike wrote:As for following the path, and having only the goal to end suffering in this life, what would differentiate the path from mere suicide?
If one believes the Buddha was fully enlightened and taught the Dhamma for our welfare and happiness, then one could reason that the Buddha taught that the path to happiness is via the Noble Eightfold Path. He didn't teach the path to happiness via suicide.

nomike wrote:So, what of this developed mind upon the break-up of this body?

It will pass away. All conditioned things are impermanent. The developed mind is a means to an end.

"In the same way, my friend, purity in terms of virtue is simply for the sake of purity in terms of mind. Purity in terms of mind is simply for the sake of purity in terms of view. Purity in terms of view is simply for the sake of purity in terms of the overcoming of perplexity. Purity in terms of the overcoming of perplexity is simply for the sake of purity in terms of knowledge & vision of what is & is not the path. Purity in terms of knowledge & vision of what is & is not the path is simply for the sake of purity in terms of knowledge & vision of the way. Purity in terms of knowledge & vision of the way is simply for the sake of purity in terms of knowledge & vision. Purity in terms of knowledge & vision is simply for the sake of total Unbinding through lack of clinging. And it's for the sake of total Unbinding through lack of clinging that the holy life is lived under the Blessed One."
MN 24

:anjali:
Peace,
James

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Re: Is Nibanna Extinction?

Postby cooran » Sun Jan 26, 2014 8:20 pm

Hello all,

The previous thread:

Nibbana is Freedom, not extinction
viewtopic.php?f=16&t=7237&start=0

with metta,
Chris
---The trouble is that you think you have time---
---Worry is the Interest, paid in advance, on a debt you may never owe---
---It's not what happens to you in life that is important ~ it's what you do with it ---

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Re: Is Nibanna Extinction?

Postby clw_uk » Mon Jan 27, 2014 12:13 am

beforewisdom wrote:I've read here and there academics stating this is not the case, but I haven't seen much substation.

Is the goal of Buddhism a complete death?

First, there is the goal of ending the cycle of rebirth which would be staying physically dead.......no more lives.

Nibanna, unbindingm, the unconditioned seems to be the removal of all of the aggregetes, everything that makes you, you. It seems like the only thing left would be pure consciousness, without an identity. In other words "you" are gone. Extinct. a complete death. It seems like a consciousness without memories, sankaras, or anything that makes you, you.....would just be an undifferentiated awareness.

In a way it sounds similar to some nuage beliefs that a "god" is simply the summation of all of us and our path is to merge with that larger identity. The difference being with Buddhism that the game is about a complete death of an identity to become a single undifferentiated consciousness with no identity.

Thoughts?




Nibbana is non-identification

When you no longer cling to the body, feeling, thoughts etc then you no long have "I am ..."

When there is no more "I am", there is emptiness and not-self. Then "you" cant be reckoned in terms of anything, and so there is the deathless

Thoughts of "is nibbana eternal bliss or extermination of me" come from clinging

When you dont cling, thoughts of self and other, existence and non-existence etc, cease


Remember, Buddha experienced the Deathless while "alive". That should show that nibbana is above base concepts of this life or that :popcorn:
“The Great Way is not difficult for those who have no preferences. When love and hate are both absent, everything becomes clear and undisguised." Verses on the Faith Mind, Sengcan

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Re: Is Nibanna Extinction?

Postby clw_uk » Mon Jan 27, 2014 12:16 am

First, there is the goal of ending the cycle of rebirth which would be staying physically dead.......no more lives


That depends on how you define "rebirth" and "life" ;)
“The Great Way is not difficult for those who have no preferences. When love and hate are both absent, everything becomes clear and undisguised." Verses on the Faith Mind, Sengcan

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Re: Is Nibanna Extinction?

Postby clw_uk » Mon Jan 27, 2014 12:18 am

In a way it sounds similar to some nuage beliefs that a "god" is simply the summation of all of us and our path is to merge with that larger identity. The difference being with Buddhism that the game is about a complete death of an identity to become a single undifferentiated consciousness with no identity.



Its about just seeing things, as they are, without the overlay of "me"
“The Great Way is not difficult for those who have no preferences. When love and hate are both absent, everything becomes clear and undisguised." Verses on the Faith Mind, Sengcan

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Re: Is Nibanna Extinction?

Postby clw_uk » Mon Jan 27, 2014 12:21 am

hat doesn't apply, Master Gotama. Any fire burning dependent on a sustenance of grass and timber, being unnourished — from having consumed that sustenance and not being offered any other — is classified simply as 'out' (unbound)."

"Even so, Vaccha, any physical form by which one describing the Tathagata would describe him: That the Tathagata has abandoned, its root destroyed, made like a palmyra stump, deprived of the conditions of development, not destined for future arising. Freed from the classification of form, Vaccha, the Tathagata is deep, boundless, hard to fathom, like the sea. 'Reappears' doesn't apply. 'Does not reappear' doesn't apply. 'Both does & does not reappear' doesn't apply. 'Neither reappears nor does not reappear' doesn't apply.

"Any feeling... Any perception... Any fabrication...

"Any consciousness by which one describing the Tathagata would describe him: That the Tathagata has abandoned, its root destroyed, made like a palmyra stump, deprived of the conditions of development, not destined for future arising. Freed from the classification of consciousness, Vaccha, the Tathagata is deep, boundless, hard to fathom, like the sea. 'Reappears' doesn't apply. 'Does not reappear' doesn't apply. 'Both does & does not reappear' doesn't apply. 'Neither reappears nor does not reappear' doesn't apply."


http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html


A devout, elderly village lady from a nearby province came on a pilgrimage to Wat Ba Pong. She told Achaan Chah she could stay only a short time, as she had to return to take care of her great grandchildren, and since she was an old lady, she asked if he could please give her a brief Dharma talk.

He replied with great force, "Hey, listen. There's no one here, just this. No owner, no one to be old, to be young, to be good or bad, weak or strong. Just this, that's all; various elements of nature playing themselves out, all empty. No one born and no one to die. Those who speak of death are speaking the language of ignorant children. In the language of the heart, of Dharma, there's no such thing.

'When we carry a burden, it's heavy. When there's no one to carry it, there's not a problem in the world. Do not look for good or bad or for anything at all. Do not be anything. There's nothing more; just this."


Ajahn Chah

http://www.dhammatalks.net/Books2/Ajahn ... ealization
“The Great Way is not difficult for those who have no preferences. When love and hate are both absent, everything becomes clear and undisguised." Verses on the Faith Mind, Sengcan

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Re: Is Nibanna Extinction?

Postby pegembara » Mon Jan 27, 2014 4:58 am

Nibanna is the extinction of the fires of greed, aversion and ignorance.

"Monks, the All is aflame. What All is aflame? The eye is aflame. Forms are aflame. Consciousness at the eye is aflame. Contact at the eye is aflame. And whatever there is that arises in dependence on contact at the eye — experienced as pleasure, pain or neither-pleasure-nor-pain — that too is aflame. Aflame with what? Aflame with the fire of passion, the fire of aversion, the fire of delusion. Aflame, I tell you, with birth, aging & death, with sorrows, lamentations, pains, distresses, & despairs.

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html


I have heard that on one occasion Ven. Sariputta was staying near Rajagaha in the Bamboo Grove, the Squirrels' Feeding Sanctuary. There he said to the monks, "This Unbinding is pleasant, friends. This Unbinding is pleasant."

When this was said, Ven. Udayin said to Ven. Sariputta, "But what is the pleasure here, my friend, where there is nothing felt?"

"Just that is the pleasure here, my friend: where there is nothing felt. There are these five strings of sensuality.

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
And what is right speech? Abstaining from lying, from divisive speech, from abusive speech, & from idle chatter: This is called right speech.

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Re: Is Nibanna Extinction?

Postby Spiny Norman » Mon Jan 27, 2014 9:23 am

clw_uk wrote:
First, there is the goal of ending the cycle of rebirth which would be staying physically dead.......no more lives


That depends on how you define "rebirth" and "life" ;)


It might be useful to start with how the suttas describe them - in the suttas birth and death are consistently described in literal, physical terms. So it seems that Nibbana is a means to an end, the end being pari-Nibbana, release from samsara, the cycle of birth and death.
"I ride tandem with the random, Things don't run the way I planned them, In the humdrum."
Peter Gabriel lyric

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Re: Is Nibanna Extinction?

Postby clw_uk » Mon Jan 27, 2014 10:33 am

Spiny Norman wrote:
clw_uk wrote:
First, there is the goal of ending the cycle of rebirth which would be staying physically dead.......no more lives


That depends on how you define "rebirth" and "life" ;)


It might be useful to start with how the suttas describe them - in the suttas birth and death are consistently described in literal, physical terms. So it seems that Nibbana is a means to an end, the end being pari-Nibbana, release from samsara, the cycle of birth and death.



Not always, for example


With the abandoning of pleasure and pain -- as with the earlier disappearance of joy and sorrow -- he enters and remains in the fourth Jhana which is beyond pleasure and pain; and purified by equanimity and mindfulness.

"On seeing a form with the eye he does not become greedy for pleasant forms, or averse to disagreeable forms. He abides with mindfulness of the body established and with a immeasurable mind. He knows the deliverance of mind and the deliverance through wisdom as it really is, where unwholesome states cease completely. Having abandoned the path of agreeing and disagreeing, he experiences whatever feeling that arises - pleasant, unpleasant, or neither unpleasant nor pleasant - just as it is. He is not delighted or pleased with those feelings and he does not appropriates them. Interest in those feelings ceases. With the cessation of interest, clinging ceases. With no clinging, there is no becoming; no becoming, no birth; with no birth, there is no old age, sickness or death, no grief, lament, unpleasantness, displeasure or distress. Thus ceases the complete mass of dukkha.

"On hearing a sound with the ear, smelling a smell with the nose, tasting a taste with the tongue, feeling a touch with the body, thinking a thought with the mind, he does not become greedy for pleasant experiences, or averse to disagreeable ones. He abides with mindfulness of the body established and with a immeasurable mind. He knows the deliverance of mind and the deliverance through wisdom as it really is, where unwholesome states cease completely. Having abandoned the path of agreeing and disagreeing, he experiences whatever feeling that arises - pleasant, unpleasant, or neither unpleasant nor pleasant - just as it is. He is not delighted or pleased with those feelings and he does not appropriates them. Interest in those feelings ceases. With the cessation of interest, clinging ceases. With no clinging, there is no becoming; no becoming, no birth; with no birth, there is no old age, sickness or death, no grief, lament, unpleasantness, displeasure or distress. Thus ceases the complete mass of dukkha.



http://www.leighb.com/mn38.htm


In that Sutta, birth etc happen in the moment there is clinging etc (which we do all the time)
“The Great Way is not difficult for those who have no preferences. When love and hate are both absent, everything becomes clear and undisguised." Verses on the Faith Mind, Sengcan


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