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

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David N. Snyder
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Nibbana = universal consciousness?

Postby David N. Snyder » Thu Aug 23, 2012 10:35 pm

suttametta wrote:He can disagree with the sutta.


Ven. Punnaji does not disagree with the sutta. You are taking a view not in accordance with the sutta or Theravada, but rather providing your own interpretation.

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.


He sometimes uses terms for the Western student, using language they are familiar with, but in no place will you see him refer to nibbana as a universal consciousness or a permanent soul.

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Nibbana = universal consciousness?

Postby Sylvester » Fri Aug 24, 2012 1:14 am

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."


That's a very good observation. I'm happy to report (from hearsay of course) that Prof Harvey has since changed his mind considerably on the subject. I heard from my teacher that Prof Harvey is hoping to rework some of his earlier works, which he admits had been influenced too much by Ven T's "not-self" strategy.

:anjali:

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Nibbana = universal consciousness?

Postby SDC » Fri Aug 24, 2012 1:29 am

David N. Snyder wrote:He sometimes uses terms for the Western student, using language they are familiar with, but in no place will you see him refer to nibbana as a universal consciousness or a permanent soul.


Exactly, David.

suttametta, I have been studying Ven. Punnaji's work for several years and I have heard him use the word immortality once or twice in some recent talks he conducted in Malaysia. Personally I think it was risky and unnecessary, however it was quite obvious what he meant when he did. In literally all other instances, for years, he has been translating nibbana as "no shaking", "no motion" or "imperturbable serenity" with excellent explanations of what those translations mean. Perhaps we could delve deeper in another discussion.

EDIT

suttametta wrote: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.


He translates Brahma bhuto as "God become"; further he defines "God" as the ideal of human perfection. He explains that the Buddha's reason for using this phrase was to emphasize that upon awakening he had reached the ideal of perfection, plain and simple. Once again this has been thoroughly explained by him over the years.

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Nibbana = universal consciousness?

Postby kirk5a » Fri Aug 24, 2012 3:45 am

suttametta wrote: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.

Whatever trophy anyone feels inclined to put upon their mental shelf, whether yea or nay, gets snatched away like this:
[Upasiva:]
He who has reached the end:
Does he not exist,
or is he for eternity
free from dis-ease?
Please, sage, declare this to me
as this phenomenon has been known by you.

[The Buddha:]
One who has reached the end
has no criterion [3]
by which anyone would say that —
for him it doesn't exist.
When all phenomena are done away with,[4]
all means of speaking
are done away with as well.

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
"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 Cittasanto » Fri Aug 24, 2012 6:02 am

SDC wrote:
David N. Snyder wrote:He sometimes uses terms for the Western student, using language they are familiar with, but in no place will you see him refer to nibbana as a universal consciousness or a permanent soul.


Exactly, David.

suttametta, I have been studying Ven. Punnaji's work for several years and I have heard him use the word immortality once or twice in some recent talks he conducted in Malaysia. Personally I think it was risky and unnecessary, however it was quite obvious what he meant when he did. In literally all other instances, for years, he has been translating nibbana as "no shaking", "no motion" or "imperturbable serenity" with excellent explanations of what those translations mean. Perhaps we could delve deeper in another discussion.

EDIT

suttametta wrote: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.


He translates Brahma bhuto as "God become"; further he defines "God" as the ideal of human perfection. He explains that the Buddha's reason for using this phrase was to emphasize that upon awakening he had reached the ideal of perfection, plain and simple. Once again this has been thoroughly explained by him over the years.

Hi David, SDC
I am assuming the Imortality is refering to Amata = deathless?

on the Brahma Bhuto; is Venerable influenced by the Brahmavihara or a specific explanation here?
Blog, Suttas, Aj Chah, Facebook.

He who knows only his own side of the case knows little of that. His reasons may be good, and no one may have been able to refute them.
But if he is equally unable to refute the reasons on the opposite side, if he does not so much as know what they are, he has no ground for preferring either opinion …
...
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Nibbana = universal consciousness?

Postby SDC » Fri Aug 24, 2012 1:14 pm

Cittasanto wrote:Hi David, SDC

I am assuming the Imortality is refering to Amata = deathless?


Yes.

However it is a word he rarely uses. Like David said he uses certain words in certain settings and I think he is willing to take this risk to get the point across. In this particular case I do not believe it was necessary, but like I said he explains the concept of nibbana so well apart from the word “immortality” that the listener will not be at risk of misinterpreting it as some eternalist viewpoint. I will personally attest to this, having studied his work quite extensively.



Cittasanto wrote:on the Brahma Bhuto; is Venerable influenced by the Brahmavihara or a specific explanation here?

From the Aggañña Sutta - DN27

“Vasettha, all of you, through of different birth, name, clan and family, who have gone forth from the household life into homelessness, if you are asked who you are, should reply: ‘We are ascetics, followers of the Sakyan.’ He whose faith in the Tathagata is settled, rooted, established, solid, unshakeable by any ascetic or Brahmin, any deva or mara or Brahma or anyone in the world, can truly say: ‘I am a true son of Blessed Lord, born of his mouth, born of Dhamma, created by Dhamma, an heir of Dhamma.’ Why is that? Because, Vasettha, this designates the Tathagata: ‘The body of Dhamma’, that is, ‘The body of Brahma’, or ‘Become Dhamma’, that is, ‘Become Brahma’.


Meaning dhamma is the ideal and the Buddha became that ideal. I have never seen the Venerable explain this to mean anything more than that.

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Re: Nibbana = universal consciousness?

Postby David N. Snyder » Fri Aug 24, 2012 4:25 pm

:thumbsup: Well said.



Moderator note: the posts dealing with universal consciousness, permanent soul, have been split off the Theravada sectarian thread into this thread.

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Re: Nibbana = universal consciousness?

Postby SDC » Fri Aug 24, 2012 10:51 pm

David N. Snyder wrote:Well said.


Thank you, David.

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Re: Nibbana = universal consciousness?

Postby m0rl0ck » Sat Aug 25, 2012 12:18 am

I suppose if there is universal consciousness then the end of the path would necessiarly entail awareness of it.
The problem tho with asking such questions is that you have to agree on definitions and reference points. Universal Consciousness being either the great self or the great other (depending on your reference point, for the moment leaving the existence of such entities an open question) one must at least define self and other. I suppose for a materialist that would probably be easy enough, for them the self is the brain and other is everything else, for buddhsts however it seems a tough nut to crack.
“The truth knocks on the door and you say, "Go away, I'm looking for the truth," and so it goes away. Puzzling.” ― Robert M. Pirsig

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Re: Nibbana = universal consciousness?

Postby pegembara » Sat Aug 25, 2012 3:56 am

Suffering, according to Buddhism, is 'existence' itself. Where ever there is 'existence', there is also birth and death! Birth and death are two ends of the same stick, 'existence'. Therefore, 'eternal existence' is impossible. We cannot remove 'death' and have 'existence' only.

To be free of 'death' we have to be free of, existence also. But to be free of 'existence' is not to stop existing. To be free of existence we have to realise that existence, is only an experience, not a reality. If existence, is not a reality, then death is also not a reality.By 'experiencing' the 'experience' of existence, we gain freedom of existence, 'birth' and 'death'. This is Nibbana the cessation of suffering.

Therefore, 'pre-existence' and 're-existence', from the Buddhist perspective, is an 'experience', an empirical fact, but it is not a reality. To cling to the concept of 'existence' 'pre-existence' or 'reexistence' is to suffer. To be free of death and suffering, we have to experience the experience of 'existence' and 'death' and see it as only an experience'.

Punnaji
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: Nibbana = universal consciousness?

Postby Way~Farer » Sat Aug 25, 2012 4:08 am

There was an interesting book published in 1901 called Cosmic Consciousness by Richard Maurice Bucke, a Canadian psychiatrist and student of mysticism, on 'nirvana' as a form of 'universal consciousness'. The full text is here. Also relevant is Consciousness Mysticism in the Discourses of the Buddha, Peter Harvey.

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Re: Nibbana = universal consciousness?

Postby kirk5a » Sat Aug 25, 2012 12:24 pm

I'd be happy if someone provided a satisfactory definition of consciousness.
"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: Nibbana = universal consciousness?

Postby Nyana » Sat Aug 25, 2012 1:01 pm

kirk5a wrote:I'd be happy if someone provided a satisfactory definition of consciousness.

According to Buddhaghosa, consciousness (viññāṇa) has the characteristic of knowing/cognizing (vijānana). Cf. MN 43:

    "'Consciousness, consciousness': Thus is it said. To what extent, friend, is it said to be 'consciousness'?"

    "'It cognizes, it cognizes': Thus, friend, it is said to be 'consciousness.' And what does it cognize? It cognizes 'pleasant.' It cognizes 'painful.' It cognizes 'neither painful nor pleasant.' 'It cognizes, it cognizes': Thus it is said to be 'consciousness.'"

And SN 22.79:

    And why, bhikkhus, do you call it consciousness? 'It cognizes,' bhikkhus, therefore it is called consciousness. And what does it cognize? It cognizes sour, it cognizes bitter, it cognizes pungent, it cognizes sweet, it cognizes sharp, it cognizes mild, it cognizes salty, it cognizes bland. 'It cognizes,' bhikkhus, therefore it is called consciousness.

Ven. Bodhi's endnote to this passage from SN 22.79 states, in part:

    Usually in the suttas viññāṇa is presented simply as the basic awareness of an object through one of the sense bases, i.e., as bare "consciousness of" rather than as a discriminative capacity. A parallel treatment of viññāṇa at MN I 292,26-29 defines it through its ability to cognize the three types of feelings (pleasant, painful, neutral); this just shifts the problem to that of distinguishing between viññāṇa and vedanā. Hamilton discusses the problem posed by these passages (Identity and Experience, pp. 53-55, 92-93). She offers the helpful suggestion that although viññāṇa is here defined in a way that encroaches upon the domain of saññā, we should understand that saññā does the actual discrimination (of objects at all five senses) while viññāṇa "is the awareness by which we experience every stage of the cognitive process, including the process of discriminating" (p. 92).

You might not consider this satisfactory, but it works.

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Re: Nibbana = universal consciousness?

Postby Sylvester » Sat Aug 25, 2012 1:38 pm

This is good.

:anjali:

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Re: Nibbana = universal consciousness?

Postby DAWN » Sat Aug 25, 2012 2:08 pm

The emptyness of all is the conciousness off all
Like the silence is the conciousness off noize

A Heart Released
The Teachings of Phra Ajaan Mun Bhuridatta Thera
§9. The strategies of clear insight, techniques for uprooting defilement.
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/thai ... eased.html

Once you have investigated the body until it is clear, you should then consider dividing it up into its various parts, using your own way of being methodical. Separate the body into the elements of earth, water, fire, and wind, examining it until you really see it in those terms. At this stage, you may use any strategies of your own devising that are agreeable to your temperament, but you must not in any event abandon the original reference point that first appeared to you. When you are investigating at this stage, you should work at it and develop it repeatedly. Don't investigate once and then let it go for half a month or a month. Investigate in and out, back and forth, again and again. In other words, withdraw inward to quiet the mind and then come out again to investigate the body. Don't exclusively investigate the body or exclusively quiet the mind.

When you have investigated in this way until you have it thoroughly mastered, what happens next is what comes of its own accord. The mind is bound to converge in a big way; and the instant it converges, everything will appear to converge, being one and the same. The entire world will be nothing but elements. At the same time, an image will appear of the world as being level as a drum head, because the entire world is of one and the same inherent nature. Forests, mountains, people, animals — even you yourself — will all ultimately have to be leveled down in one and the same way. Together with this vision, knowledge arises, cutting off all doubts in the heart. This is called yatha-bhuta-ñana-dassana vipassana: the clear insight that both knows and sees things for what they actually are.
Sabbe dhamma anatta
We are not concurents...
I'am sorry for my english

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Re: Nibbana = universal consciousness?

Postby SDC » Sat Aug 25, 2012 9:05 pm

pegembara wrote:
Suffering, according to Buddhism, is 'existence' itself. Where ever there is 'existence', there is also birth and death! Birth and death are two ends of the same stick, 'existence'. Therefore, 'eternal existence' is impossible. We cannot remove 'death' and have 'existence' only.

To be free of 'death' we have to be free of, existence also. But to be free of 'existence' is not to stop existing. To be free of existence we have to realise that existence, is only an experience, not a reality. If existence, is not a reality, then death is also not a reality.By 'experiencing' the 'experience' of existence, we gain freedom of existence, 'birth' and 'death'. This is Nibbana the cessation of suffering.

Therefore, 'pre-existence' and 're-existence', from the Buddhist perspective, is an 'experience', an empirical fact, but it is not a reality. To cling to the concept of 'existence' 'pre-existence' or 'reexistence' is to suffer. To be free of death and suffering, we have to experience the experience of 'existence' and 'death' and see it as only an experience'.

Punnaji


Nice.

pegembara, what is the source of this? Is it from a lecture or one of his papers?

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Re: Nibbana = universal consciousness?

Postby Way~Farer » Sun Aug 26, 2012 1:33 am

When you have investigated in this way until you have it thoroughly mastered, what happens next is what comes of its own accord. The mind is bound to converge in a big way; and the instant it converges, everything will appear to converge, being one and the same. The entire world will be nothing but elements.


How is this not the same as materialism?

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Re: Nibbana = universal consciousness?

Postby m0rl0ck » Sun Aug 26, 2012 1:41 am

With thy perfect intelligence and compassion
Which are beyond all limit,
Thou comprehends the egolessness of things and persons,
And, art free and clear from the hindrances of passion and egoism.
Thou do not vanish into Nirvana,
Nor does Nirvana abide in thee,
For Nirvana transcends all duality of knowing and known,
Of being and non-being.
Those who see thee thus,
Serene and beyond conceptions,
Will be emancipated from attachment,
Will be cleansed of all defilement,
Both in this world and in the spiritual world beyond.
In this world, whose nature is like a dream,
there is a place for praise and blame;
But, in the ultimate Reality of the Dharmakaya,
Which is far beyond the senses and the discriminating mind,
What is there to praise?
O Thou Most Wise!

- Lankavatara Sutra
The Gnostic Society
“The truth knocks on the door and you say, "Go away, I'm looking for the truth," and so it goes away. Puzzling.” ― Robert M. Pirsig

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Re: Nibbana = universal consciousness?

Postby DAWN » Sun Aug 26, 2012 7:39 am

sunyavadin wrote:
When you have investigated in this way until you have it thoroughly mastered, what happens next is what comes of its own accord. The mind is bound to converge in a big way; and the instant it converges, everything will appear to converge, being one and the same. The entire world will be nothing but elements.


How is this not the same as materialism?


It's not materialism, because with investigating that way, your mind first off will become very stillness, and if you will continue to investigate like this, your mind fill become very focused, and if all is good, one experiance will take place in you.
It's sure that the door that takes this way meditator is the body, something material, but the important point of this practice is mind, is concentration and awereness. So it's one very classic way, awereness and concentration that you must practice all day every day.

The most important point in this, is to turn your mind to liberation, like a boath in the middle of water must be turned to the beach all time, and so mind must be turned to liberation all the time. And if the mind have a right dirrection, you must just spread the sail of awereness on the mast of concentration, and the wind of kamma will do his job, so by awereness and concentration in all fenomena that you experiance in your daily life, after some period of right practice and right direction, you will step on something stable, save, a shelter of your mind, beyond the water, like a seilor who was burn a middle of ocean will steps on the beach...

So Ajahn Mun, just take his body like a support of his awereness and concentration, like we can take our daily life, or avery else. It's not much important, because truth is Truth, and this Truth is every where, in every dhamma you have all the Dhamma. We have all our life to choise our support of practice awereness and concentration, it's may be some thing material or not, something here or very far, it's not depends of that, it's depend of nothing, because is the thurth of freedom
Sabbe dhamma anatta
We are not concurents...
I'am sorry for my english

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Re: Nibbana = universal consciousness?

Postby Way~Farer » Sun Aug 26, 2012 8:02 am

Thanks, Dawn. :anjali:


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