Path and Nibbana

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Path and Nibbana

Postby Alex123 » Wed Apr 18, 2012 4:11 pm

In Ud 8.3 Nibbāna is described as:

    not-born (ajātaṃ) , not-brought-to-being (abhūtaṃ), not-made (akataṃ), not-conditioned (asaṅkhataṃ).”
also in Ud8.1
    Here, bhikkhus, I say there is no coming, no going, no staying, no deceasing, no uprising.

Also Nibbāna is timeless and doesn't ever arise, for "Whatever is subject to origination is all subject to cessation."

Question: How can the path brings or creates Nibbāna into being?
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Re: Path and Nibbana

Postby ground » Wed Apr 18, 2012 4:40 pm

Nibbana can be revealed, not brought into being.

kind regards
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Re: Path and Nibbana

Postby Alex123 » Wed Apr 18, 2012 4:56 pm

ground wrote:Nibbana can be revealed, not brought into being.

kind regards


Is revelation of Nibbāna same or different from Nibbāna?
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Re: Path and Nibbana

Postby Bhikkhu Pesala » Wed Apr 18, 2012 5:44 pm

From the Cūḷavedalla Sutta:

Is the Path Conditioned or Unconditioned?
“Ariyo panāyye, aṭṭhaṅgiko maggo saṅkhato udāhu asaṅkhato”ti?
“Is the Eightfold Path conditioned or is it unconditioned?”

The Path Is Conditioned
To this question, Dhammadinnā gave the following answer:
“Ariyo kho, āvuso Visākha, aṭṭhaṅgiko maggo saṅkhato”ti.
“Friend Visākha, the Eightfold Path is conditioned.”

The Eightfold Path is conditioned and proceeds from causes, such as insight. Only nibbāna is unconditioned. This nibbāna symbolises supreme bliss and tranquillity because the faculty of the Noble Path gives no chance for the occurrence of defilements. Tranquillity, not being an occurrence, cannot be said to have arisen from a cause. What is meant by this nibbāna is that no new existence comprising unsatisfactory mind and matter will arise, because defilements, which are its cause, have become extinct, thereby bringing forth a blissful state of freedom from all forms of craving and human passion. This also cannot be called the cause of conditioned phenomena since there is no incidence or occurrence. It should only be regarded as the unconditioned, the unmade, which is not produced.”

From the MilindapañhaThe Uncaused

“Nāgasena, there are things in the world that have come into existence through kamma, others are the result of a cause, and others are produced by season. Tell me, is there anything that does not fall into either of these three categories?”
“There are two such things, O king; space and nibbāna.”

“Do not, Venerable Nāgasena, corrupt the words of the Conqueror, or answer a question without knowing what you are saying!”
“What have I said, O king, that you speak to me thus?”

“Venerable sir, it is right what you say about space but with hundreds of reasons did the Blessed One proclaim to his disciples the way to the realisation of nibbāna and yet you say that nibbāna is not the result of any cause.”
“It is true, O king, that in many ways did the Blessed One point out a way to the realisation of nibbāna, but he did not point out a cause for the arising of nibbāna.”

“Here, Nāgasena, we go from darkness to greater darkness; from uncertainty to utter confusion. If there is a father of a child we would expect to find a father of the father. Just so, if there is a cause for the realisation of nibbāna we would expect to find a cause for its arising.”
“Nibbāna, O king, is unconstructed, therefore no cause has been pointed out for its production. It cannot be said of nibbāna that it has arisen or can arise; that it is past, present, or future; or cognizable by the eye, ear, nose, tongue, or body.”

“Then, Nāgasena, nibbāna is a condition that does not exist!”
“Nibbāna does exist, O king, and can be cognized by the mind. A noble disciple whose mind is pure, lofty, sincere, unobstructed and free from craving can attain nibbāna.”

“Then explain by means of similes what nibbāna is.”
“Is there such a thing as the wind?”

“Yes there is.”
“Then explain by means of similes what the wind is.”

“It is not possible to explain what the wind is by means of similes but it exists all the same.”
“Just so, O king, nibbāna exists but it is impossible to describe.”
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Re: Path and Nibbana

Postby ground » Wed Apr 18, 2012 6:28 pm

Alex123 wrote:
ground wrote:Nibbana can be revealed, not brought into being.

kind regards


Is revelation of Nibbāna same or different from Nibbāna?

"Revelation" means removal of obscurations which can also be said to be cessations because what ceased is what obscures.
The obscured is not the removal of obscurations because the removal of obscurations is what reveals the obscured.
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Re: Path and Nibbana

Postby Sarva » Wed Apr 18, 2012 7:31 pm

ground wrote:
Alex123 wrote:
ground wrote:Nibbana can be revealed, not brought into being.

kind regards


Is revelation of Nibbāna same or different from Nibbāna?

"Revelation" means removal of obscurations which can also be said to be cessations because what ceased is what obscures.
The obscured is not the removal of obscurations because the removal of obscurations is what reveals the obscured.

Dear Ground
I would agree, however I cannot recall a sutta stating this as clearly as your good self, do you or another member know of one, please?

Great post Ven Bhikkhu Pesala and thanks for the useful thread, Alex123 :smile:
metta
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Re: Path and Nibbana

Postby mikenz66 » Wed Apr 18, 2012 7:43 pm

Thank you Bhante, excellent post.

:anjali:
Mike

Bhikkhu Pesala wrote:From the Cūḷavedalla Sutta:

Is the Path Conditioned or Unconditioned?
“Ariyo panāyye, aṭṭhaṅgiko maggo saṅkhato udāhu asaṅkhato”ti?
“Is the Eightfold Path conditioned or is it unconditioned?”

The Path Is Conditioned
To this question, Dhammadinnā gave the following answer:
“Ariyo kho, āvuso Visākha, aṭṭhaṅgiko maggo saṅkhato”ti.
“Friend Visākha, the Eightfold Path is conditioned.”
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Re: Path and Nibbana

Postby ground » Thu Apr 19, 2012 3:32 am

ground wrote:
Alex123 wrote:
ground wrote:Nibbana can be revealed, not brought into being.

kind regards


Is revelation of Nibbāna same or different from Nibbāna?

"Revelation" means removal of obscurations which can also be said to be cessations because what ceased is what obscures.
The obscured is not the removal of obscurations because the removal of obscurations is what reveals the obscured.

Sarva wrote:Dear Ground
I would agree, however I cannot recall a sutta stating this as clearly as your good self, do you or another member know of one, please?

Hi Sarva
It is a logical consequence of the quotes of the opening post. Or can you conceive of another possibility?

What is called "nibbana" that may become manifest when the body is alive must be a "purified" mode of operation that is a concomitant of the afflictions/obscuration (passions) from the very beginning.

So it is nothing to be seen, perceived but a mode of operation that is called "unconditioned" within the context of this living body but which of course is conditioned by this living body without which there could not be a mode of operation at all.


Kind regards
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Re: Path and Nibbana

Postby tiltbillings » Thu Apr 19, 2012 6:13 am

Alex123 wrote:In Ud 8.3 Nibbāna is described as:

    not-born (ajātaṃ) , not-brought-to-being (abhūtaṃ), not-made (akataṃ), not-conditioned (asaṅkhataṃ).”
also in Ud8.1
    Here, bhikkhus, I say there is no coming, no going, no staying, no deceasing, no uprising.

Also Nibbāna is timeless and doesn't ever arise, for "Whatever is subject to origination is all subject to cessation."

Question: How can the path brings or creates Nibbāna into being?
The question is wrongly put in that it assumes nibbana is actually some thing.
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: Path and Nibbana

Postby Kenshou » Thu Apr 19, 2012 6:18 am

I figure, nibbana is what happens when we stop creating. When a flame goes out do we say that non-flameness has been created? That would be rather backwards.
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Re: Path and Nibbana

Postby tiltbillings » Thu Apr 19, 2012 7:15 am

Kenshou wrote:I figure, nibbana is what happens when we stop creating.
That is what the suttas say.
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: Path and Nibbana

Postby Alex123 » Sat Apr 21, 2012 3:49 pm

Kenshou wrote:I figure, nibbana is what happens when we stop creating. When a flame goes out do we say that non-flameness has been created? That would be rather backwards.


Thanks for good point. But don't the suttas state that Nibbāna always exists. Nibbāna cannot be "what happens when..."
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Re: Path and Nibbana

Postby Alex123 » Sat Apr 21, 2012 4:18 pm

I have a hunch that Awakening can, in theory, occur instantly if one does all the right things.

Some may say that we have accumulated so many defilements that it would take us a long time to get rid of them is contradicted in Ptsm XXIII On Convergence where it clearly states that: one cannot abandon past defilements since they are no more, one cannot abandon future defilements because they do not yet exist, and one cannot abandon present defilements. "He does not abandon past defilements, he does not abandon future defilements, he does not abandon presently-arisen defilements." Pg 389

Since everything is anicca, an arisen defilement ceases the next moment. So there isn't some permanent storehouse that must be emptied (an impossible task) for Awakening to occur. It is also said in AN1.49 that citta is already shining (pabhassara cittaṃ) but is covered with adventitious defilements.

So it is not matter of removing past/future/present defilements.
It is not a matter of building pure citta.
It is not a matter of building/creating/Nibbāna.

It could be a matter of simply abiding in nibbāna with luminous mind that already is. But of course this requires very deep insight that can take some people far longer than others to realize.

IMHO.


With metta,

Alex
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Re: Path and Nibbana

Postby Ron-The-Elder » Sat Apr 21, 2012 7:53 pm

Alex123 wrote:
Kenshou wrote:I figure, nibbana is what happens when we stop creating. When a flame goes out do we say that non-flameness has been created? That would be rather backwards.


Thanks for good point. But don't the suttas state that Nibbāna always exists. Nibbāna cannot be "what happens when..."


Yes it can be something that happens when:

o You begin living your life in accordance with The Noble Eight Fold Path
o And, you realize that there is no "you" to begin with, and that there never was a you.
o And, you cease clinging to all the aggregates.
o And, you learn to dwell in emptiness.

Nobody goes anywhere when this happens. There are no invitations sent out, and no one attends such an event. But unbinding and release both happen when....
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But one in whom there is truth, restraint, rectitude, gentleness,self-control, he's called an elder, his impurities disgorged, enlightened.
-Dhammpada, 19, translated by Thanissaro Bhikkhu.
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Re: Path and Nibbana

Postby Alex123 » Sat Apr 21, 2012 7:58 pm

Ron-The-Elder wrote:
Alex123 wrote:
Kenshou wrote:I figure, nibbana is what happens when we stop creating. When a flame goes out do we say that non-flameness has been created? That would be rather backwards.


Thanks for good point. But don't the suttas state that Nibbāna always exists. Nibbāna cannot be "what happens when..."


Yes it can be something that happens when:

o You begin living your life in accordance with The Noble Eight Fold Path
o And, you realize that there is no "you" to begin with, and that there never was a you.
o And, you cease clinging to all the aggregates.
o And, you learn to dwell in emptiness.

Nobody goes anywhere when this happens. There are no invitations sent out, and no one attends such an event. But unbinding and release both happen when....


I understand that, to speak precisely, Awakening (not Nibbāna) happens when one lives in accordance with N8P, etc etc.

Nibbāna cannot occur "when..." or "due to..." because that would imply a starting point for it and conditions to create it. But it has no causes and never arises. It always is. It is: “not-born (ajātaṃ) , not-brought-to-being (abhūtaṃ), not-made (akataṃ), not-conditioned (asaṅkhataṃ).”
I was not; I was; I am not; I do not care."
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Re: Path and Nibbana

Postby Kenshou » Sat Apr 21, 2012 9:20 pm

Depends how you interpret it, I guess.

It seems to me that going with nibbana as some thing that exists out there somehow raises far more questions than it addresses.

"Nibbana" is a singular noun, but that noun refers to some specific events, none of which require such a transcendent thing, as far as I know. "Nibbana" as a term is a convenient expression but problematic if solidified into a "thing".
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Re: Path and Nibbana

Postby Ron-The-Elder » Sat Apr 21, 2012 9:37 pm

Alex123 wrote:
I understand that, to speak precisely, Awakening (not Nibbāna) happens when one lives in accordance with N8P, etc etc.

Nibbāna cannot occur "when..." or "due to..." because that would imply a starting point for it and conditions to create it. But it has no causes and never arises. It always is. It is: “not-born (ajātaṃ) , not-brought-to-being (abhūtaṃ), not-made (akataṃ), not-conditioned (asaṅkhataṃ).”


So, then, you think that "unbinding", "release", "awakening" and "enlightenment" are events, which have a cause, but nibbana just is.

I think that I agree. Now if we can get Tiltbillings onboard, then that will also be an event. :jumping:
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But one in whom there is truth, restraint, rectitude, gentleness,self-control, he's called an elder, his impurities disgorged, enlightened.
-Dhammpada, 19, translated by Thanissaro Bhikkhu.
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Re: Path and Nibbana

Postby Alex123 » Sat Apr 21, 2012 9:50 pm

Kenshou wrote:It seems to me that going with nibbana as some thing that exists out there somehow raises far more questions than it addresses.

In Ud8.1 Nibbāna is said to be an āyatana.

    There is (Atthi), bhikkhus, that base (tadāyatanaṃ) where there is no water, no fire, no air; no base consisting of the infinity of space, no base consisting of the infinity of consciousness, no base consisting of nothingness, no base consisting of neither-perception-nor-non-perception; neither this world nor another world nor both; neither sun nor moon. Here, bhikkhus, I say there is no coming, no going, no staying, no deceasing, no uprising. Not fixed, not movable, it has no support. Just this is the end of suffering.

In Ud8.3 it does say:

    There is, bhikkhus, a not-born, a not-brought-to-being, a not-made, a not-conditioned.
    Atthi, bhikkhave, ajātaṃ abhūtaṃ akataṃ asaṅkhataṃ.


Kenshou wrote:"Nibbana" is a singular noun, but that noun refers to some specific events, none of which require such a transcendent thing, as far as I know. "Nibbana" as a term is a convenient expression but problematic if solidified into a "thing".


An event occurs in time and is impermanent. Nibbāna does not.
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Re: Path and Nibbana

Postby Ron-The-Elder » Sat Apr 21, 2012 10:22 pm

Alex123 wrote:
Kenshou wrote:It seems to me that going with nibbana as some thing that exists out there somehow raises far more questions than it addresses.

In Ud8.1 Nibbāna is said to be an āyatana.

    There is (Atthi), bhikkhus, that base (tadāyatanaṃ) where there is no water, no fire, no air; no base consisting of the infinity of space, no base consisting of the infinity of consciousness, no base consisting of nothingness, no base consisting of neither-perception-nor-non-perception; neither this world nor another world nor both; neither sun nor moon. Here, bhikkhus, I say there is no coming, no going, no staying, no deceasing, no uprising. Not fixed, not movable, it has no support. Just this is the end of suffering.

In Ud8.3 it does say:

    There is, bhikkhus, a not-born, a not-brought-to-being, a not-made, a not-conditioned.
    Atthi, bhikkhave, ajātaṃ abhūtaṃ akataṃ asaṅkhataṃ.


Kenshou wrote:"Nibbana" is a singular noun, but that noun refers to some specific events, none of which require such a transcendent thing, as far as I know. "Nibbana" as a term is a convenient expression but problematic if solidified into a "thing".


An event occurs in time and is impermanent. Nibbāna does not.


Excellent! Nibbana is unconditioned and permanent, whereas unbinding, release, awakening, and enlightenment are all conditioned by living and practicing sufficiently, if not "perfectly" The Noble Eight Fold Path.

The problem is that neither you nor I have attained nibbana, so aside from our understanding and interpretation of the suttas, neither of us have direct knowledge. But, I am willing to wait to find out. I suspect it will be worth the wait. :tongue:
What Makes an Elder? :
A head of gray hairs doesn't mean one's an elder. Advanced in years, one's called an old fool.
But one in whom there is truth, restraint, rectitude, gentleness,self-control, he's called an elder, his impurities disgorged, enlightened.
-Dhammpada, 19, translated by Thanissaro Bhikkhu.
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Re: Path and Nibbana

Postby vinasp » Sat Apr 21, 2012 10:37 pm

Hi Alex123,

Quote:

"But don't the suttas state that Nibbāna always exists."

I do not think that this is stated anywhere. It may be implied in some
interpretations.

Can you cite a sutta which says this?

For me, nibbana is a state-of-mind.

A state-of-mind in which the mind is partially de-conditioned.

Regards, Vincent.
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