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

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Modus.Ponens
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Cessation of perception and feeling and Nibbana

Postby Modus.Ponens » Mon Apr 30, 2012 4:32 pm

Hello.

I've been intrigued for a long time as to why the Buddha teached the formless jhanas. They are not included in the right concentration classification. Plus, they lead to rebirth in states of ignorance. But I found a sutta I'd like to discuss. It can be found here: http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html

The crucial passage is: "Then there is the case where a monk, with the complete transcending of the dimension of neither perception nor non-perception, enters & remains in the cessation of perception & feeling. And, having seen [that] with discernment, his mental fermentations are completely ended. Even this much is described by the Blessed One as the attaining of an opening in a confining place, without a sequel."

This seems to be the purpose of teaching the formless jhanas. They lead, step by step, to the attainment of nirodha samapatti. And then, when this state is seen with discernment, it leads to Nibbana.

So what is the relation between nirodha samapatti and nibbana? Or, in a different manner, what is it about nirodha samapatti that is important to realise nibbana?
He turns his mind away from those phenomena, and having done so, inclines his mind to the property of deathlessness: 'This is peace, this is exquisite — the resolution of all fabrications; the relinquishment of all acquisitions; the ending of craving; dispassion; cessation; Unbinding.'
(Jhana Sutta - Thanissaro Bhikkhu translation)

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Re: Cessation of perception and feeling and Nibbana

Postby daverupa » Mon Apr 30, 2012 6:10 pm

Modus.Ponens wrote:Or, in a different manner, what is it about nirodha samapatti that is important to realise nibbana?


Possibly nothing.

First jhana is enough, for some, and the other rupajhanas are together themselves sufficient; the formless attainments are more likely to be extant brahmanical methods current at that time, which is why Alara and Uddaka could teach those - no one was teaching the rupajhanas before the Buddha introduced them (possibly even having first discovered them under the rose-apple tree as a youth).
    "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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Modus.Ponens
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Re: Cessation of perception and feeling and Nibbana

Postby Modus.Ponens » Mon Apr 30, 2012 6:20 pm

I think you missed the point. There are various ways to realise nibbana, such as the samadhi focusing on anicca, the samadhi focusing on dukha and the samadhi focusing on anatta. This sutta indicates another way to realise it. What I'm asking is what is the process through which nibbana is realised by seeing with discernment the cessation of perception and feeling. I'm asking about this process in particular.
He turns his mind away from those phenomena, and having done so, inclines his mind to the property of deathlessness: 'This is peace, this is exquisite — the resolution of all fabrications; the relinquishment of all acquisitions; the ending of craving; dispassion; cessation; Unbinding.'
(Jhana Sutta - Thanissaro Bhikkhu translation)

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Re: Cessation of perception and feeling and Nibbana

Postby Sarva » Mon Apr 30, 2012 6:30 pm

Modus.Ponens wrote:I think you missed the point. There are various ways to realise nibbana, such as the samadhi focusing on anicca, the samadhi focusing on dukha and the samadhi focusing on anatta. This sutta indicates another way to realise it. What I'm asking is what is the process through which nibbana is realised by seeing with discernment the cessation of perception and feeling. I'm asking about this process in particular.

Hi Modus
To help answer the question more accurately, why do you think the cessation of perception and feeling is not a samadhi focusing on anatta or dukkha?

metta
“Both formerly & now, it is only stress that I describe, and the cessation of stress.” — SN 22:86

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Re: Cessation of perception and feeling and Nibbana

Postby Cafael Dust » Mon Apr 30, 2012 6:51 pm

The other day a thought came to me about just this question. I think it may be something similar to near death experiences - perhaps nirodha samapatti and what happens then shows the mind that there is nothing to fear, thus nothing i.e. self, to protect.

But then, work needs to be done on actualising this in daily life, hence the attainment is not the end of the path.
Not twice, not three times, not once,
the wheel is turning.

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Re: Cessation of perception and feeling and Nibbana

Postby Modus.Ponens » Mon Apr 30, 2012 6:56 pm

Sarva wrote:Hi Modus
To help answer the question more accurately, why do you think the cessation of perception and feeling is not a samadhi focusing on anatta or dukkha?

metta


Because those who attain it say it's a cessation of experience. A samadhi focused on one of the three characteristics is an experience.
He turns his mind away from those phenomena, and having done so, inclines his mind to the property of deathlessness: 'This is peace, this is exquisite — the resolution of all fabrications; the relinquishment of all acquisitions; the ending of craving; dispassion; cessation; Unbinding.'
(Jhana Sutta - Thanissaro Bhikkhu translation)

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Re: Cessation of perception and feeling and Nibbana

Postby Nyana » Mon Apr 30, 2012 7:00 pm

Modus.Ponens wrote:I think you missed the point. There are various ways to realise nibbana, such as the samadhi focusing on anicca, the samadhi focusing on dukha and the samadhi focusing on anatta. This sutta indicates another way to realise it. What I'm asking is what is the process through which nibbana is realised by seeing with discernment the cessation of perception and feeling. I'm asking about this process in particular.

When one emerges from the cessation attainment the mind contacts either signlessness, undirectedness, or emptiness (just as with the contemplation of impermanence, etc.), and inclines towards nibbāna. MN 44:

    "When a monk has emerged from the cessation of perception & feeling, lady, how many contacts make contact?"

    "When a monk has emerged from the cessation of perception & feeling, friend Visakha, three contacts make contact: contact with emptiness, contact with the signless, & contact with the undirected."

    "When a monk has emerged from the cessation of perception & feeling, lady, to what does his mind lean, to what does it tend, to what does it incline?"

    "When a monk has emerged from the cessation of perception & feeling, friend Visakha, his mind leans to seclusion, tends to seclusion, inclines to seclusion."

Visuddhimagga 23.50 comments as follows:

    Towards what does the mind of one who has emerged tend? It tends towards nibbana. For this is said: 'When a bhikkhu has emerged from the attainment of the cessation of perception and feeling, friend Visakha, his consciousness inclines to seclusion, leans to seclusion, tends to seclusion' (M.i,302).

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Re: Cessation of perception and feeling and Nibbana

Postby rowyourboat » Mon Apr 30, 2012 7:05 pm

Nirodha samapatti is not essential to realise nibbana.

The non-returner has removed five of the lower fetters to samsara and therefore is able to access nirodha samapatti (no others apart from arahanths who posses the 8th jhana can enter into it). It is therefore unlikely if not impossible that insight into anicca dukkha anatta is absent (more likely to be particularly strong) in these individuals.

This sutta may help

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

The three doors to nibbana maybe connected but I'm not sure.

With metta

Matheesha
With Metta

Karuna
Mudita
& Upekkha

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Re: Cessation of perception and feeling and Nibbana

Postby Modus.Ponens » Mon Apr 30, 2012 7:35 pm

Thanks Nana. :smile:
He turns his mind away from those phenomena, and having done so, inclines his mind to the property of deathlessness: 'This is peace, this is exquisite — the resolution of all fabrications; the relinquishment of all acquisitions; the ending of craving; dispassion; cessation; Unbinding.'
(Jhana Sutta - Thanissaro Bhikkhu translation)

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Nibbana = universal consciousness?

Postby Nyana » Wed Aug 22, 2012 8:00 pm

suttametta wrote:Again, we can go into these issues if you like.

I've already pointed out to you where you are mistaken on a number of issues. Malcolm has patiently done so with regard to many issues. Yet you persist with your wild interpretations of the Budhadhamma.

suttametta wrote:Whereas, the Pali teachings about sati are uniquely different as to methodology, although not as different as one might think as to result, given the Buddha's statements about nibbana being an eternal radiant consciousness.

Given your penchant for reading Vedic views into the dhamma there's probably very little point in trying to clarify this issue. But here are a couple of contemporary Theravāda authors who refute your ideas about consciousness and nibbāna:

Nibbana is not Viññāṇa. Really, it just isn’t by Ven Sujato.

The Mind Stilled: 33 Sermons on Nibbāna by Ven. Ñāṇananda.

suttametta wrote:You are impugning my knowledge.

I reject your interpretation and understanding of the Theravāda and the Mahāyāna. It's really that simple.

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Nibbana = universal consciousness?

Postby suttametta » Wed Aug 22, 2012 8:09 pm

Ñāṇa wrote:
suttametta wrote:Again, we can go into these issues if you like.

I've already pointed out to you where you where you are mistaken on a number of issues. Malcolm has patiently done so with regard to many issues. Yet you persist with your wild interpretations of the Budhadhamma.


I do thank you for your kind input. I beg to differ. I hardly see why I should acquiesce under the circumstances you mention. I have patiently pointed out the faults in the reasoning belonging to both you and Malcolm. I am under no obligation to cede to your authorities.

Ñāṇa wrote:
suttametta wrote:Whereas, the Pali teachings about sati are uniquely different as to methodology, although not as different as one might think as to result, given the Buddha's statements about nibbana being an eternal radiant consciousness.

Given your penchant for reading Vedic views into the dhamma there's probably very little point in trying to clarify this issue. But here are a couple of contemporary Theravāda authors who refute your ideas about consciousness and nibbāna:

Nibbana is not Viññāṇa. Really, it just isn’t by Ven Sujato.


Curious title given the statements in the suttas.

Ñāṇa wrote:The Mind Stilled: 33 Sermons on Nibbāna by Ven. Ñāṇananda.


Obviously not all bhikkus agree.

Ñāṇa wrote:
suttametta wrote:You are impugning my knowledge.

I reject your interpretation and understanding of the Theravāda and the Mahāyāna. It's really that simple.


It's good to clear the air. I don't know why you feel the need to make this statement. It's rather self-serving.

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Nibbana = universal consciousness?

Postby daverupa » Wed Aug 22, 2012 8:24 pm

suttametta wrote:You are entitled to your opinion.


And you are entitled to conceive in, from, through, and around nibbana by considering the arahant to be identifiable with a permanent vinnana lighting the cosmos.

:rolleye:
    "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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Nibbana = universal consciousness?

Postby David N. Snyder » Wed Aug 22, 2012 8:28 pm

suttametta wrote:The absence of all things dukkha reveals the "pabham" shining vinnana of nibbana.


Ven. Punnaji would not agree with this view.

Punnaji also calls it "immortality."


I think the only place you will find that is on one of the websites some of his Chinese-Malaysian students have made; which they are just trying to convey a permanent nibbana, not a place or existence.

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Nibbana = universal consciousness?

Postby kirk5a » Thu Aug 23, 2012 1:02 am

suttametta wrote:Malcolm turned me on to Peter Harvey's "The Selfless Mind." It is an excellent treatment of just these issues.

I'm not familiar with that work, but by sheer coincidence I just happened to run across Bhikkhu Bodhi's reference to it, in note 314 to SN 4.23.
Bhikkhu Bodhi wrote:When the monk is said to attain final Nibbana with consciousness unestablished, this should not be understood to mean that after death consciousness survives in an "unestablished" condition (a thesis argued by Harvey, The Selfless Mind, pp. 208-210); for enough texts make it plain that with the passing away of the arahant consciousness too ceases and no longer exists (see, e.g., 12:51).

SN 12.51 wrote:"When there is utterly no consciousness, with the cessation of consciousness, would name-and-form be discerned?"
"No, venerable sir."
"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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Nibbana = universal consciousness?

Postby manas » Thu Aug 23, 2012 1:14 am

mfesmith wrote:Considering all the hand-wringing and angst that goes on over the term "hīnayāna" on Dharmawheel, I was suprised to see a great deal of unfettered sectarian remarks concerning Mahāyāna Buddhism and so on over here.
...
They can call us hinayana or bananayana or whatever they darn well like, it doesn't make a jot of difference and we are not supposed to get upset about it. And the same goes for the other camp. There was a sutta, can't recall the name, where the Buddha instructed that 'if people speak badly of you, to then get upset over it would be a hindrance for you', or words to that effect. We are supposed to just say, "This is how we practice here. That is how they practice there." Or words to that effect.

:anjali:
Then the Blessed One, picking up a tiny bit of dust with the tip of his fingernail, said to the monk, "There isn't even this much form...feeling...
perception...fabrications...consciousness that is constant, lasting, eternal, not subject to change, that will stay just as it is as long as eternity."

(SN 22.97)

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Nibbana = universal consciousness?

Postby plwk » Thu Aug 23, 2012 2:32 am

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .bodh.html
"If, bhikkhus, others speak in dispraise of me, or in dispraise of the Dhamma, or in dispraise of the Sangha, you should not give way to resentment, displeasure, or animosity against them in your heart. For if you were to become angry or upset in such a situation, you would only be creating an obstacle for yourselves.

If you were to become angry or upset when others speak in dispraise of us, would you be able to recognize whether their statements are rightly or wrongly spoken?"
"Certainly not, Lord."

"If, bhikkhus, others speak in dispraise of me, or in dispraise of the Dhamma, or in dispraise of the Sangha, you should unravel what is false and point it out as false, saying: 'For such and such a reason this is false, this is untrue, there is no such thing in us, this is not found among us.'

"And if, bhikkhus, others speak in praise of me, or in praise of the Dhamma, or in praise of the Sangha, you should not give way to jubilation, joy, and exultation in your heart. For if you were to become jubilant, joyful, and exultant in such a situation, you would only be creating an obstacle for yourselves.

If others speak in praise of me, or in praise of the Dhamma, or in praise of the Sangha, you should acknowledge what is fact as fact, saying:
'For such and such a reason this is a fact, this is true, there is such a thing in us, this is found among us.'

There's also this...
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
"In this way, householder, you have answered yourself:
'Those who teach a Dhamma for the abandoning of passion, for the abandoning of aversion, for the abandoning of delusion — their Dhamma is well-taught.
Those who have practiced for the abandoning of passion, for the abandoning of aversion, for the abandoning of delusion — they have practiced well in this world.
Those whose passion... aversion... delusion is abandoned, its root destroyed, made like a palmyra stump, deprived of the conditions of development, not destined for future arising: they, in this world, are well-gone.'"

"How amazing, sir. How astounding, that there is neither extolling of one's own Dhamma nor deprecation of another's, but just the teaching of the Dhamma in its proper sphere, speaking to the point without mentioning oneself.

And this and this and this and...
Bhikkhus, if you develop and make much this one thing,
it invariably leads to weariness, cessation, appeasement, realization and extinction.
What is it? It is recollecting the Enlightened One.
If this single thing is recollected and made much,
it invariably leads to weariness, cessation, appeasement, realization and extinction.

Anguttara-Nikaya: Ekanipata: Ekadhammapali: Pañhamavagga
Buddhanussati SC VSM VMM BS

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daverupa
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Nibbana = universal consciousness?

Postby daverupa » Thu Aug 23, 2012 3:05 pm

mfesmith wrote:total cessation of consciousness


...conditioned by greed, hatred, and/or delusion.

:anjali:

SN 22.55: "When that consciousness is unestablished, not coming to growth, nongenerative, it is liberated. By being liberated, it is steady; by being steady, it is content; by being content, he is not agitated. Being unagitated, he personally attains nibbana." (This is Ven. Bodhi's translation; link goes to Ven. Thanissaro's.)
    "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]

suttametta
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Nibbana = universal consciousness?

Postby suttametta » Thu Aug 23, 2012 10:17 pm

David N. Snyder wrote:
suttametta wrote:The absence of all things dukkha reveals the "pabham" shining vinnana of nibbana.


Ven. Punnaji would not agree with this view.


He can disagree with the sutta.

David N. Snyder wrote:
Punnaji also calls it "immortality."


I think the only place you will find that is on one of the websites some of his Chinese-Malaysian students have made; which they are just trying to convey a permanent nibbana, not a place or existence.


No. You have to see his video lectures. He explicitly describes nibbana as "immortality," and Buddha as "brahma bhuto," meaning, in his words, become God.

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Nibbana = universal consciousness?

Postby suttametta » Thu Aug 23, 2012 10:22 pm

kirk5a wrote:
suttametta wrote:Malcolm turned me on to Peter Harvey's "The Selfless Mind." It is an excellent treatment of just these issues.

I'm not familiar with that work, but by sheer coincidence I just happened to run across Bhikkhu Bodhi's reference to it, in note 314 to SN 4.23.
Bhikkhu Bodhi wrote:When the monk is said to attain final Nibbana with consciousness unestablished, this should not be understood to mean that after death consciousness survives in an "unestablished" condition (a thesis argued by Harvey, The Selfless Mind, pp. 208-210); for enough texts make it plain that with the passing away of the arahant consciousness too ceases and no longer exists (see, e.g., 12:51).

SN 12.51 wrote:"When there is utterly no consciousness, with the cessation of consciousness, would name-and-form be discerned?"
"No, venerable sir."


Now, you are changing the issue. I'm not talking about something surviving after death. The suttas do make clear that one cannot classify an Arahant or Tathagata as surviving death. What I have been pointing out is that Buddha is talking about a vinnana that is conditioned by the aggregates, on the one hand, and a vinnana that is not, on the other. Buddha uses the word "vinnana" to describe both the vinnana in the 12-links and the vinnana in nibbana. That does not mean it "survives" after death.

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Nibbana = universal consciousness?

Postby suttametta » Thu Aug 23, 2012 10:25 pm

mfesmith wrote:
suttametta wrote: I have patiently pointed out the faults in the reasoning belonging to both you and Malcolm.


No, actually, all you did was proffer a non-standard interpretation of a couple of passages in the Nikayas trying to prove that Buddha's experience of Nirvana was in line with Vedantic speculations about brahman while castigating Mahāyāna and Vajrāyāna for being adaptations of Vedism. As well as making a couple of grossly inaccurate statements, for example comparing the body of light with the realm of Abhassara devas; and asserting that Dzogchen was based on the principle of sabda brahma ala Bhartrihari, etc.

As for Peter Harvey's book, it is interesting in so far as it is gives support to an textual origin in the Nikayas concerning the Mahāyāna notion of Buddhahood being an unconditioned wisdom that is does not perish at the breakup of a buddha or an arhat's body. But as we see, there is plenty of room for disagreement and we see most Nikaya Buddhists asserting that nirvana is a total cessation of consciousness.

So, you on the one hand excorciate Mahāyāna, and on the other hand are not able to break free of your Mahāyāna imbued views of Buddhahood.

Ironic that.


My excoriation of Mahayana at this point is limited to its derision of the Arahant. I would have to concede our previous debate about the dharmakaya and permanance. It appears you were correct. Permanence is what the Pali texts seem to support. So it makes sense, as you mentioned, the Mahayana Parinirvana Sutra describes the dharmakaya to be permanent.


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