the great Nibbana = annihilation, eternal, or something else thread

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism
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kirk5a
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Re: Is the result of Parinibbana Annihilation?

Postby kirk5a » Tue Mar 15, 2011 11:34 pm

rowyourboat wrote:The 'Self' or the 'Thatagata' is a 'projection' of our minds on to what is seen, heard, sensed etc. That projection carries with it qualities (should I say none of the 'ultimate' truth) created by the mind of the onlooker. A sense awe, holiness, perhaps a sense of lineage etc all enter into that projection. However what the onlooker does not recognise is that even now, there is only khandas arising and passing away- it is all dukkha, not the sukha awe and wonder which was projected. We could almost say that 99.9% of what we considered as the Thatagata only exists in the onlooker's mind. Hence, 'the thatagata cannot be found even now'.

But what is it, that was the cause of the tatagatha projection/delusion?

So when the Buddha said "the Tathagata is deep, boundless, hard to fathom, like the sea" he was referring to a projection/delusion?
"When one thing is practiced & pursued, ignorance is abandoned, clear knowing arises, the conceit 'I am' is abandoned, latent tendencies are uprooted, fetters are abandoned. Which one thing? Mindfulness immersed in the body." -AN 1.230

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Re: Is the result of Parinibbana Annihilation?

Postby rowyourboat » Thu Mar 17, 2011 2:16 pm

Hi Kirk,

The difficulty of anyone who has seen and understood that there is only the five aggregates, through vipassana, is to communicate that insight (ie that way of 'seeing') to someone who hasn't. This ultimate reality/ conventional reality dichotomy is a hurdle in developing a Right view before the start of vipassana meditation. It is litterally the difference between seeing actors on a tv screen vs seeing the pixels of the screen which make up those 'actors', who don't ultimately exist.

So sometime to communicate the deep dhamma the Buddha has to use conventional terminology sometimes. Why should the Tathagata be hard to see? The conventional Tathagata is very easy to see. What is hard to see is the aggregates that we 'erroneously' label as the tathagatha. The pixels do exist, but they are deep and hard to see. Hope that makes some sense.

With metta

Matheesha
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Re: Is the result of Parinibbana Annihilation?

Postby kirk5a » Thu Mar 17, 2011 6:53 pm

rowyourboat wrote:Hi Kirk,

The difficulty of anyone who has seen and understood that there is only the five aggregates, through vipassana, is to communicate that insight (ie that way of 'seeing') to someone who hasn't. This ultimate reality/ conventional reality dichotomy is a hurdle in developing a Right view before the start of vipassana meditation. It is litterally the difference between seeing actors on a tv screen vs seeing the pixels of the screen which make up those 'actors', who don't ultimately exist.

So sometime to communicate the deep dhamma the Buddha has to use conventional terminology sometimes. Why should the Tathagata be hard to see? The conventional Tathagata is very easy to see. What is hard to see is the aggregates that we 'erroneously' label as the tathagatha. The pixels do exist, but they are deep and hard to see. Hope that makes some sense.

With metta

Matheesha

Hi Matheesha

So then it is the aggregates which are "deep, boundless, hard to fathom, like the sea"?

"Even so, Vaccha, any form... feeling... perception... fabrication... 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 form... feeling... perception... fabrication... consciousness, Vaccha, the Tathagata is deep, boundless, hard to fathom, like the sea."

It is the aggregates which the Tathagata "has abandoned" which are deep and boundless, like the sea?
"When one thing is practiced & pursued, ignorance is abandoned, clear knowing arises, the conceit 'I am' is abandoned, latent tendencies are uprooted, fetters are abandoned. Which one thing? Mindfulness immersed in the body." -AN 1.230

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Re: Is the result of Parinibbana Annihilation?

Postby Kenshou » Thu Mar 17, 2011 7:22 pm

No, that would require reading that passage as if the Tathagata was to be taken as the aggregates, which we know is incorrect.

Rather it is the very fact that the/a Tathagata is hard to fathom that we are having this discussion in the first place, the thing being that all "fathomings" will be incorrect since beyond conventional convenience the designation "tathagata" or "arahant" is no longer applicable.

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Re: Is the result of Parinibbana Annihilation?

Postby kirk5a » Thu Mar 17, 2011 8:54 pm

Kenshou wrote:No, that would require reading that passage as if the Tathagata was to be taken as the aggregates, which we know is incorrect.

Rather it is the very fact that the/a Tathagata is hard to fathom that we are having this discussion in the first place, the thing being that all "fathomings" will be incorrect since beyond conventional convenience the designation "tathagata" or "arahant" is no longer applicable.

Matheesha said "there is only the five aggregates" and that's what we're supposed to "see and understand through Vipassana"

If that's all there is, then that's all that could be said to be "deep."
"When one thing is practiced & pursued, ignorance is abandoned, clear knowing arises, the conceit 'I am' is abandoned, latent tendencies are uprooted, fetters are abandoned. Which one thing? Mindfulness immersed in the body." -AN 1.230

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Re: Is the result of Parinibbana Annihilation?

Postby darvki » Fri Mar 18, 2011 1:47 am

Kenshou wrote:all "fathomings" will be incorrect since beyond conventional convenience the designation "tathagata" or "arahant" is no longer applicable.


So, before liberation, such designations as "puthujjana" are applicable beyond conventional convenience?

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Re: Is the result of Parinibbana Annihilation?

Postby Kenshou » Fri Mar 18, 2011 2:02 am

kirk5a wrote:If that's all there is, then that's all that could be said to be "deep."

If the Tathagata is not found in any of the aggregates, then how can we take the statement "The tathagata is deep, hard to fathom..." as referring to the aggregates?

I think that, it's merely referring to the difficulty of conceptually working this issue out in words.

darvki wrote:So, before liberation, such designations as "puthujjana" are applicable beyond conventional convenience?

Gasp! No. I'm not implying there is a self which gets destroyed. I think I had something along the lines of this sutta in mind: http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html

'A being,' lord. 'A being,' it's said. To what extent is one said to be 'a being'?"

"Any desire, passion, delight, or craving for form, Radha: when one is caught up[1] there, tied up[2] there, one is said to be 'a being.'[3]

"Any desire, passion, delight, or craving for feeling... perception... fabrications...

"Any desire, passion, delight, or craving for consciousness, Radha: when one is caught up there, tied up there, one is said to be 'a being.'

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Re: Is the result of Parinibbana Annihilation?

Postby darvki » Fri Mar 18, 2011 2:21 am

Kenshou wrote:Gasp! No. I'm not implying there is a self which gets destroyed.


Okay. Didn't think so, just wanted to check, as well as bring up the idea that all this unfathomability talk might also be applicable to all sentient beings.

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Re: Is the result of Parinibbana Annihilation?

Postby rowyourboat » Fri Mar 18, 2011 11:07 am

"Even so, Vaccha, any form... feeling... perception... fabrication... 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 form... feeling... perception... fabrication... consciousness, Vaccha, the Tathagata is deep, boundless, hard to fathom, like the sea."


Putajjanas would think of one of the aggregates (his body, his teachings etc) when they think of the tathagatha - because they haven't seen that for the Tathagata all these aggregates have been (in his meditation and practice) been completely wipes clean of attachment (this is MY body), and delusion (this aggregate is Me). The Tathagata would not see a difference (as far as I understand) between his body and that of the rock he is sitting on as far as sense of self goes. His sense of self is wiped out, with wisdom. Furthermore he is 'destroyed the root' in terms of avijja/lobha. They have lost their 'life' -their ability to cause a strong impact on the mind- 'made like a palmyra stump', no more craving for them, so no more profileration of the aggregates - 'deprived the condition for development', and with the absence of avijja/lobha, even though they are arising now due to past avijja/lobha, there will be no rebirth-'not destined for future arising'. I would add that the Tathagata has seen the non-arising of the aggregates as well, when the fetters are broken, but that might be too controversial, but would add to intensify the meaning of the above verse. So we have a situation where someone has seen the utter destruction of everything that we would normally use to denote a 'person', yet something still exists. The Tathagata is truly untraceable, hard to understand. It can only be understood through direct experience, but perhaps never adequately conceptualised, as Kirk suggested. I guess this is applicable to a lot of meditative experiences, like jhana etc.

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the great Nibbana = annihilation, eternal, or something else thread

Postby Wizard in the Forest » Sat Mar 19, 2011 5:45 am

If Nibbana is unconditioned is it permanent?
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Re: Nibbana permanent or impermanent?

Postby darvki » Sat Mar 19, 2011 5:57 am

It isn't any "thing" to be permanent or impermanent so I think the question is invalid.

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Re: Nibbana permanent or impermanent?

Postby Ben » Sat Mar 19, 2011 5:59 am

Dear WITF

Nibbana being unconditioned it is beyond the realm of dukkha and anicca. As a dhamma, it remains anatta. Nibbana being unconditioned it is beyond comprehension of the conditioned mind.
With great respect to your line of enquiry I recommend that you concentrate on that which is germane to liberation. Life being fickle, it can end at any time.
May you realize Nibbana, yourself, in this life.
kind regards

Ben
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Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.
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Re: Nibbana permanent or impermanent?

Postby Bhikkhu Pesala » Sat Mar 19, 2011 8:51 am

I think its a valid question, albeit not a very fruitful one.
Dhuva means permanent, stable, fixed, reliable, sure. The Buddha has pointed out the path to attain the unborn, unconditioned, and permanent nibbāna.

Dhuvagāmin leading to permanence, i. e. Nibbāna S iv.370.
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Re: Nibbana permanent or impermanent?

Postby Akuma » Sat Mar 19, 2011 10:56 am

Wizard in the Forest wrote:If Nibbana is unconditioned is it permanent?


Not sure if I interprete this correctly but you are assuming that it has to be permanent because its unconditioned? Thats not necessarily the case. Unconditioned here means that its conditioned by absences, namely the absence of ignorance etc. Its called this way because in indian philosophy absences as being non-entities have no conditions. Space for example is also unconditioned based on the same idea, being spatial absence of rupa.
In the same way tho the absence of coca-cola in a glass is unconditioned but not necessarily permanent.

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Re: Is the result of Parinibbana Annihilation?

Postby pulga » Sat Mar 19, 2011 1:35 pm

Hello rowyourboat,

rowyourboat wrote: Ven Nanananda said:'the mirage (even though a mirage), exists (for it to be perceived)'.


I've been thinking lately about the Ven. Ñanananda's ideas regarding námarúpa, and would like to know from where this quote came. Is it from Magic of the Mind , Nibbana Sermons, or is it from some other of his writings?

Thanks,
pulga

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Re: Nibbana permanent or impermanent?

Postby meindzai » Sat Mar 19, 2011 7:59 pm

I tend to think of it as "not-impermanent" but try not to bother with any conception beyond that. I believe in Abhidhamma it is considered permanent.

-M

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Re: Nibbana permanent or impermanent?

Postby Parth » Sun Mar 20, 2011 6:27 pm

Such questions need to be practised for (i.e. practising vipassana and other parts of the noble eight fold path), everything else is a worthless speculation. Lets not waste time there.

Metta

Parth

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Re: Is the result of Parinibbana Annihilation?

Postby dharmaamrita » Sun May 01, 2011 8:02 am

i think, this the most 'eye-opening' topics of the Buddha. The question of annata(anatma), No-self. The question of annhilation arises due to our clinging of the concept of self. But to a Tathagata it does not apply because the arahant only sees cause and effect in this sea of impermanence. There is no self. Our form gets broken down and converted to something else. The hydrogen, carbon atoms that make your body was once the atoms of maybe a star or a plant. The feelings are there dependent on something. So are perceptions, sankharas and vinnana(vijnana or consciousness). This is an aggregate of these 5 things. It is a changing impermanent aggregate. The arahant aware of this sees no self, thus the concept of annhilation does not apply. Metta...and may Sati be tirelessly awake

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Re: Is the result of Parinibbana Annihilation?

Postby rowyourboat » Sun May 01, 2011 8:13 am

pulga wrote:Hello rowyourboat,

rowyourboat wrote: Ven Nanananda said:'the mirage (even though a mirage), exists (for it to be perceived)'.


I've been thinking lately about the Ven. Ñanananda's ideas regarding námarúpa, and would like to know from where this quote came. Is it from Magic of the Mind , Nibbana Sermons, or is it from some other of his writings?

Thanks,
pulga


Hi Pulga

Sorry for the delay- I hope you are still around- yes, it is from one of the nibbana sermons- can't pin point which one because there are so many- possibly one of the earlier sermons.

With metta
With Metta

Karuna
Mudita
& Upekkha

rowyourboat
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Re: Is the result of Parinibbana Annihilation?

Postby rowyourboat » Sun May 01, 2011 8:15 am

dharmaamrita wrote:i think, this the most 'eye-opening' topics of the Buddha. The question of annata(anatma), No-self. The question of annhilation arises due to our clinging of the concept of self. But to a Tathagata it does not apply because the arahant only sees cause and effect in this sea of impermanence. There is no self. Our form gets broken down and converted to something else. The hydrogen, carbon atoms that make your body was once the atoms of maybe a star or a plant. The feelings are there dependent on something. So are perceptions, sankharas and vinnana(vijnana or consciousness). This is an aggregate of these 5 things. It is a changing impermanent aggregate. The arahant aware of this sees no self, thus the concept of annhilation does not apply. Metta...and may Sati be tirelessly awake


I agree, completely!
With Metta

Karuna
Mudita
& Upekkha


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