Parinirvana

Textual analysis and comparative discussion on early Buddhist sects and texts.

Parinirvana

Postby GnosticBuddhist » Fri May 16, 2014 3:01 pm

Didn't want to make a fuss by starting a new thread but I couldn't find the answer anywhere. Is there anywhere preferably in the suttas but alternatively in the sutras where the Buddha himself talks about parinibbana? I know there's the Maha Parinibbana Sutta but it's only mentioned briefly and not by the buddha. Knowing the Theravadins I wouldn't be surprised if in the spirit of respect they called it that when it's not quite as fancy as has been let on. Not that the reference originated with the Theravadins of course. Help?
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Re: Parinirvana

Postby daverupa » Fri May 16, 2014 3:10 pm

As I understand it, the term functions as a synthetic phrase that includes "nibbana" + "attaining-it" - so, parinibbana is the act of attaining nibbana, becoming an arahant if you will, but it isn't a special sort of nibbana.

It seems to have come to mean 'the nibbana that is the case after the final body drops' these days, but this can become a wooly sort of conversation, full of unnecessary oddities & complications.

So, there's talk of attaining nibbana everywhere. Do you mean something else?
    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting oneself one protects others? By the pursuit, development, and cultivation of the four establishments of mindfulness. It is in such a way that by protecting oneself one protects others.

    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting others one protects oneself? By patience, harmlessness, goodwill, and sympathy. It is in such a way that by protecting others one protects oneself.
- Sedaka Sutta [SN 47.19]
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Re: Parinirvana

Postby bharadwaja » Fri May 16, 2014 6:17 pm

In my understanding attaining nibbana is the attainment of silence (literally "no-sound") i.e. silencing the rattle (dukkha) of existence in a philosophical sense. It starts when one becomes an arahant and ends at death when nibbana becomes total/complete. Until then the arahant simply strives ( as a striver i.e. sramana) to keep his kilesas "silenced" to maintain his nibbana.
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Re: Parinirvana

Postby tiltbillings » Fri May 16, 2014 6:19 pm

arhat wrote:In my understanding attaining nibbana is the attainment of silence (literally "no-sound") i.e. silencing the rattle (dukkha) of existence in a philosophical sense. It starts when one becomes an arahant and ends at death when nibbana becomes total/complete. Until then the arahant simply strives ( as a striver i.e. sramana) to keep his kilesas "silenced" to maintain his nibbana.
And if the arhant stops striving, he stops being an arahant?
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.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: Parinirvana

Postby bharadwaja » Fri May 16, 2014 6:38 pm

tiltbillings wrote:And if the arhant stops striving, he stops being an arahant?

Just as much as the Buddha would have stopped being a Buddha if he had given up his ideal life and gone back to the life of a householder.
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Re: Parinirvana

Postby Mkoll » Fri May 16, 2014 8:35 pm

arhat,

Your view is definitely not the orthodox Theravada interpretation. So I am naturally curious and interested.

What are the sources of your views? I do recall reading that the concept of the infallibility of an arahat was a point of contention among some of the early schools...

:anjali:
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Re: Parinirvana

Postby bharadwaja » Fri May 16, 2014 9:56 pm

Mkoll wrote:arhat,

Your view is definitely not the orthodox Theravada interpretation. So I am naturally curious and interested.

What are the sources of your views? I do recall reading that the concept of the infallibility of an arahat was a point of contention among some of the early schools...

:anjali:


Neither was the Buddha's views the orthodox Theravada interpretation. One has to know and realize certain things on one's own to reach Arhat-hood (or Buddha-hood), realization is not an ideology (interpretation) that one can cling to. I too am my own source of knowledge... that does not mean I don't read... I am well read but I have my own knowledge as well. You would be accurate in your claim that I do not parrot the Theravada tradition, but you may be wrong if you claim that by doing so I'm misinterpreting the Buddha's words. I follow the theravada canon (if you want to call it that) but not the Theravada ideology/interpretation. Modern European scholarship is neither Buddhist nor Theravadan but rather itself an interpretation of classical Theravada. I try to therefore avoid these interpretations of interpretations of interpretations.. and consider myself closer to truth in the Buddhist sense.
:namaste:
Last edited by bharadwaja on Fri May 16, 2014 10:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Parinirvana

Postby mikenz66 » Fri May 16, 2014 9:58 pm

daverupa wrote:As I understand it, the term functions as a synthetic phrase that includes "nibbana" + "attaining-it" - so, parinibbana is the act of attaining nibbana, becoming an arahant if you will, but it isn't a special sort of nibbana.

It seems to have come to mean 'the nibbana that is the case after the final body drops' these days, but this can become a wooly sort of conversation, full of unnecessary oddities & complications.

Yes, see here, and what it links to...
viewtopic.php?f=29&t=20669#p289776

:anjali:
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Re: Parinirvana

Postby mikenz66 » Fri May 16, 2014 10:01 pm

Mkoll wrote: I do recall reading that the concept of the infallibility of an arahat was a point of contention among some of the early schools...

It seems that it was.

See this post and links therein... (which I posted a three days ago... :reading:)
viewtopic.php?f=29&t=20669&p=289778#p289778

:anjali:
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Re: Parinirvana

Postby bharadwaja » Fri May 16, 2014 10:17 pm

Mkoll wrote:I do recall reading that the concept of the infallibility of an arahat was a point of contention among some of the early schools...

To the extent you take in Theravadan dogmas, you may be a follower of Theravadism rather than Buddhism. A Buddhist takes in only what is right, what is rational, what is ethical, what people normally consider good. Not traditional, literary, ideological dogma repeated ad nauseum by "elders".
Sorry if this sounds rude. :namaste:
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Re: Parinirvana

Postby tiltbillings » Fri May 16, 2014 10:44 pm

arhat wrote:I too am my own source of knowledge
And what exactly do you mean by this?
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.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: Parinirvana

Postby bharadwaja » Fri May 16, 2014 11:02 pm

tiltbillings wrote:And what exactly do you mean by this?

It means I don't quote sources where I know something for myself. I am my own authority. I can offer a rational explanation (possibly a deeper insight into aspects of Buddhism born of my own research and knowledge), but if someone says "that's not the traditional theravada belief", it's not something I can help with because I don't deal in dogmas. Anyways, the Theravada tradition itself has changed significantly since its earliest years so clinging to a particular belief thinking it takes one closer to Buddhism is largely a fallacy.
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Re: Parinirvana

Postby tiltbillings » Fri May 16, 2014 11:57 pm

arhat wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:And what exactly do you mean by this?

It means I don't quote sources where I know something for myself. I am my own authority. I can offer a rational explanation (possibly a deeper insight into aspects of Buddhism born of my own research and knowledge), but if someone says "that's not the traditional theravada belief", it's not something I can help with because I don't deal in dogmas. Anyways, the Theravada tradition itself has changed significantly since its earliest years so clinging to a particular belief thinking it takes one closer to Buddhism is largely a fallacy.
This explains your fanciful notions about Pali, it would seem.
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.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: Parinirvana

Postby bharadwaja » Sat May 17, 2014 12:00 am

If that makes you feel better about your preconceptions. :thumbsup:

But honestly, do you think there is no dogma in the Theravada tradition as you understand it?
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Re: Parinirvana

Postby Mkoll » Sat May 17, 2014 12:11 am

arhat wrote:To the extent you take in Theravadan dogmas, you may be a follower of Theravadism rather than Buddhism.

You've got to be more specific than that if you want to make an argument. All I see is an ad hominem.

arhat wrote:A Buddhist takes in only what is right, what is rational, what is ethical, what people normally consider good.

That is so vague as to be meaningless at best, especially the last part. What people normally consider good varies across time and place. In the United States, what people normally consider good is financial success and the material things to show for it. So by that argument's standards, the best Buddhists in the US are those who the richest and most successful. And I'm not going to even touch Nazi Buddhists!

I know this is not what you meant, but the point I'm making is that your argument is seriously flawed.

~~~

Please present your argument in a specific and detailed way such that it answers some of the many questions you've brought up.

What are you talking of when you say the following? And what is your evidence?

arhat wrote:"Anyways, the Theravada tradition itself has changed significantly since its earliest years so clinging to a particular belief thinking it takes one closer to Buddhism is largely a fallacy"

If anyone can legitimately use the term Arhat today as a self-designator, it would be someone like me. Perhaps there are a lot of arhats in this dhammawheel sangha, but only one decided to use it to identify oneself.

The arhat is one who has gone beyond duality and attained the non-dual nature (i.e. non-hypocritical integrity) of Buddhahood by slaying his own vile alter-ego.


~~~

To be frank, most of what I have seen so far from you are a lot of bold claims with no evidence backing them up. As far as I can tell, all of these claims are your own hypotheses. I don't see any theories backed up by evidence, yet.
Peace,
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Re: Parinirvana

Postby tiltbillings » Sat May 17, 2014 12:12 am

arhat wrote:If that makes you feel better about your preconceptions. :thumbsup:

But honestly, do you think there is no dogma in the Theravada tradition as you understand it?
And you are free of dogma because you know the truly true truth about the Buddha's teachings?
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.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: Parinirvana

Postby bharadwaja » Sat May 17, 2014 1:05 am

tiltbillings wrote:And you are free of dogma because you know the truly true truth about the Buddha's teachings?

No I am free of dogma because I (and possibly some others) do not believe the tradition, I test it.

All I see is an ad hominem.

Why, you yourself said that the traditional Theravada interpretation is different from mine. If I see the canon saying one thing and the tradition (either the ancient tradition or the modern western tradition) interpreting it in an untenable way, I say so, with reasons. Maybe you don't accept the reasons, but I do offer reasons when asked.

What people normally consider good varies across time and place.

There are some conservative and universally accepted notions of what is good conduct, and those haven't changed much in the last 2500 years.

What are you talking of when you say the following? And what is your evidence?


OK let us first take the topic of change in the tradition. Books can be written about how significantly the tradition has changed since the 3rd century (or since the Buddha's era), there is so much to unravel. The Buddha did not live where we think he lived, did not speak the language we think he spoke, did not preach much of what we think he preached. When I say "we", I mean the vast majority of modern theravadan Buddhists. It's because we superimpose our own preconceived notions of what is correct on the Buddha that we understand his message the way we do. My job is to leave that approach aside and do original inquiries into Buddhism and its original environment.

Secondly on the question of using the handle 'Arhat' I don't what the fuss is about really? Is it your belief that in this day and age, being an arahant is more an idle boast than a realistic possibility? Or that an arahant should not call himself/herself as such, come what may, as it goes against the popular notions of self-deprecating humility?

Thirdly about going beyond duality into non-dual nature of Buddhahood by destroying the vile-alter-ego, what exactly is unclear? Why did the Buddha oppose Mara, and who was Mara, are you aware of this?
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Re: Parinirvana

Postby tiltbillings » Sat May 17, 2014 1:08 am

arhat wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:And you are free of dogma because you know the truly true truth about the Buddha's teachings?

No I am free of dogma because I (and possibly some others) do not believe the tradition, I test it.
Free of dogma? Except that of your own construction, it would seem.
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.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: Parinirvana

Postby daverupa » Sat May 17, 2014 1:08 am

arhat wrote:Secondly on the question of using the handle 'Arhat'...


Why bother?

TOS:

2b. Since this is a Theravada Buddhist forum, usernames which suggest the poster is either: a Buddha, a samma-sam-buddha, or Metteyya (Maitreya) will not be allowed. According to the Dhamma of Theravada, another Buddha is not due for several thousands of years (at least 2,500 years by some Commentaries, possibly longer by the Suttas). Similar to this, it is strongly recommended that posters do not make much of any claims they may have to higher attainments as it tends to cause disruption and subsequent posts presented to the subject of the poster, rather than the discussion. If anyone feels that they have such attainments, they should use that wisdom to help guide the discourses here, rather than to draw attention to oneself.
    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting oneself one protects others? By the pursuit, development, and cultivation of the four establishments of mindfulness. It is in such a way that by protecting oneself one protects others.

    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting others one protects oneself? By patience, harmlessness, goodwill, and sympathy. It is in such a way that by protecting others one protects oneself.
- Sedaka Sutta [SN 47.19]
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Re: Parinirvana

Postby bharadwaja » Sat May 17, 2014 1:25 am

daverupa wrote:Why bother?

Indeed, you may change my username to bharadwaja (if possible) if that makes people less conscious of namarupa (names and forms).

TOS:

I didnt say I am a Buddha or Maitreya or any of that. Many Arhats have existed even in the Buddha's time, and they did not want special treatment (so why are some people insinuating that I am not an arhant based on their own belief that an arhant is a superman? I am trying to explain that an arhant is not a higher power, but still a striver, and it seems therefore ironical that I am told not to appear to be a Buddha.
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