The nature of Nibbana

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The nature of Nibbana

Postby Disciple » Sun Feb 03, 2013 12:54 am

In the state of deep sleep there is no desire, no attachment, nothing at all but oblivious bliss. Can this be likened to Nibbana?
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Re: The nature of Nibbana

Postby Jay1 » Sun Feb 03, 2013 2:13 am

Well, I always imagined that the absence of desire would be filled with peace and joy, things not present when asleep. So no. Btw, I'm new and could be way wrong.

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Re: The nature of Nibbana

Postby Dan74 » Sun Feb 03, 2013 2:18 am

Disciple wrote:In the state of deep sleep there is no desire, no attachment, nothing at all but oblivious bliss. Can this be likened to Nibbana?


I think the great about liberation is the ability to handle the most difficult situations in life with wisdom, compassion and equanimity.
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Re: The nature of Nibbana

Postby Disciple » Mon Feb 04, 2013 5:50 am

Dan74 wrote:
Disciple wrote:In the state of deep sleep there is no desire, no attachment, nothing at all but oblivious bliss. Can this be likened to Nibbana?


I think the great about liberation is the ability to handle the most difficult situations in life with wisdom, compassion and equanimity.


I agree but what does this have to to do with the question I posed...
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Re: The nature of Nibbana

Postby equilibrium » Mon Feb 04, 2013 9:56 am

Disciple wrote:In the state of deep sleep there is no desire, no attachment, nothing at all but oblivious bliss. Can this be likened to Nibbana?

Is it not correct to say when in "deep sleep" one is not conscious ?.....so, then how can there be bliss or even Nibbana(if)?.....so does the laptop experiences bliss and Nibbana at all times?
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Re: The nature of Nibbana

Postby Dan74 » Mon Feb 04, 2013 11:17 am

Disciple wrote:
Dan74 wrote:
Disciple wrote:In the state of deep sleep there is no desire, no attachment, nothing at all but oblivious bliss. Can this be likened to Nibbana?


I think the great about liberation is the ability to handle the most difficult situations in life with wisdom, compassion and equanimity.


I agree but what does this have to to do with the question I posed...


Well, in deep sleep, in a coma, or zonked out on a cushion, one is hardly able to face the challenges and respond appropriately?
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Re: The nature of Nibbana

Postby gavesako » Mon Feb 04, 2013 11:32 am

Pabhassara Sutta: Luminous

"Luminous, monks, is the mind.[1] And it is defiled by incoming defilements." {I,v,9}

"Luminous, monks, is the mind. And it is freed from incoming defilements." {I,v,10}

"Luminous, monks, is the mind. And it is defiled by incoming defilements. The uninstructed run-of-the-mill person doesn't discern that as it actually is present, which is why I tell you that — for the uninstructed run-of-the-mill person — there is no development of the mind." {I,vi,1}

"Luminous, monks, is the mind. And it is freed from incoming defilements. The well-instructed disciple of the noble ones discerns that as it actually is present, which is why I tell you that — for the well-instructed disciple of the noble ones — there is development of the mind." {I,vi,2}

Note

1.
This statement has engendered a great deal of controversy over the centuries. The commentary maintains that "mind" here refers to the bhavanga-citta, the momentary mental state between periods when the mental stream adverts to objects, but this statement raises more questions than it answers. There is no reference to the bhavanga-citta or the mental stream in any of the suttas (they appear first in an Abhidhamma treatise, the Patthana); and because the commentaries compare the bhavanga-citta to deep sleep, why is it called luminous? And why would the perception of its luminosity be a prerequisite for developing the mind? And further, if "mind" in this discourse means bhavanga-citta, what would it mean to develop the bhavanga-citta?

Another interpretation equates the luminosity of the mind with the "consciousness without feature," described as "luminous" in MN 49 and DN 11, but this interpretation also has problems. According to MN 49, that consciousness partakes of nothing in the describable world, not even the "Allness of the All," so how could it possibly be defiled? And, because it is not realized until the goal of the practice is reached, why would the perception of its luminosity be a prerequisite for developing the mind? And again, if "mind" here means consciousness without feature, how could the sutta talk of its development?

A more reasonable approach to understanding the statement can be derived from taking it in context: the luminous mind is the mind that the meditator is trying to develop. To perceive its luminosity means understanding that defilements such as greed, aversion, or delusion are not intrinsic to its nature, are not a necessary part of awareness. Without this understanding, it would be impossible to practice. With this understanding, however, one can make an effort to cut away existing defilements, leaving the mind in the stage that MN 24 calls "purity in terms of mind." This would correspond to the luminous level of concentration described in the standard simile for the fourth jhana: "And furthermore, with the abandoning of pleasure & pain — as with the earlier disappearance of elation & distress — he enters & remains in the fourth jhana: purity of equanimity & mindfulness, neither-pleasure-nor-pain. He sits, permeating the body with a pure, bright awareness. Just as if a man were sitting covered from head to foot with a white cloth so that there would be no part of his body to which the white cloth did not extend; even so, the monk sits, permeating the body with a pure, bright awareness. There is nothing of his entire body unpervaded by pure, bright awareness." From this state it is possible to develop the discernment that not only cuts away existing defilements but also uproots any potential for them to ever arise again. Only in the stages of Awakening that follow on those acts of discernment would "consciousness without feature" be realized.

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
Bhikkhu Gavesako
Kiṃkusalagavesī anuttaraṃ santivarapadaṃ pariyesamāno... (MN 26)

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Re: The nature of Nibbana

Postby ground » Mon Feb 04, 2013 11:36 am

Dan74 wrote:Well, in deep sleep, in a coma, or zonked out on a cushion, one is hardly able to face the challenges and respond appropriately?

That may be said if it is felt as if challenge would be objective. However one may question if that may be said when seeing the dependent arising of challenge. If one sees objective challenge and the other does not what sense does it make that the former comparatively projects his alleged adequate response to challenge onto the idea of someone who does not see challenge? :sage:
Last edited by ground on Mon Feb 04, 2013 11:46 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The nature of Nibbana

Postby ground » Mon Feb 04, 2013 11:43 am

Disciple wrote:In the state of deep sleep there is no desire, no attachment, nothing at all but oblivious bliss. Can this be likened to Nibbana?

If one considers the idea of nibbana to cover the idea of a state without desire, attachment then this idea of deep sleep may cover the same characterising "added on" ideas. The idea of bliss however appears strange in the context of both ideas, nibbbana and deep sleep. :sage:
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Re: The nature of Nibbana

Postby waterchan » Mon Feb 04, 2013 10:29 pm

Disciple wrote:In the state of deep sleep there is no desire, no attachment, nothing at all but oblivious bliss.


In deep sleep there can also be wet dreams and nightmares. I don't think those are part of nibbana :tongue:
quidquid Latine dictum sit altum videtur
(Anything in Latin sounds profound.)
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Re: The nature of Nibbana

Postby SarathW » Mon Feb 04, 2013 10:46 pm

Sadhu, Sadhu,Sadhu Bahante Gavesako!!
I was awaiting such a long time for someone to come up with this explanation!!
Hi Disciple,
I hope you understand what Bhante Gavesko’ s reply. When you are in a deep sleep or just as a newly born baby you will have a radiant consciousness. But it is defiled with past ignorance so it is not Nibbana. Both of the cases you cannot attain Nirvana because you do not have awareness to understand Nirvana.
However through meditation you can bring your mind to this level of radiant consciousness and then understand the Impermanence, unsatisfactoryness and Anatta and you will attain Nirvana.

Please also see the attached link:

viewtopic.php?f=18&t=15567
:meditate:
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Re: The nature of Nibbana

Postby Coyote » Mon Feb 04, 2013 10:56 pm

But the radiant consciousness is not Nibbana itself, am I understanding correctly? It is consciousness pure enough to be able to understand without ignorance, and therefore attain Nibbana, but the mind itself is not Nibbana, right?

:anjali:
"If beings knew, as I know, the results of giving & sharing, they would not eat without having given, nor would the stain of miserliness overcome their minds. Even if it were their last bite, their last mouthful, they would not eat without having shared."
Iti 26
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Re: The nature of Nibbana

Postby SarathW » Mon Feb 04, 2013 11:59 pm

Coyote wrote:But the radiant consciousness is not Nibbana itself, am I understanding correctly? It is consciousness pure enough to be able to understand without ignorance, and therefore attain Nibbana, but the mind itself is not Nibbana, right?

:anjali:

You are correct as per my understanding. :)
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Re: The nature of Nibbana

Postby makarasilapin » Tue Feb 05, 2013 12:52 am

Disciple wrote:In the state of deep sleep there is no desire, no attachment, nothing at all but oblivious bliss. Can this be likened to Nibbana?


i would recommend reading, The Island: An Anthology of the Buddha's Teachings on Nibbana, by Ajahn Pasanno & Ajahn Amaro. i have read lots of Buddhist literature and have found this to be the most helpful concerning Nibbana.

http://www.abhayagiri.org/books ---- go here and then search for it. it is available for free distribution.

hope that helps!
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Re: The nature of Nibbana

Postby pegembara » Tue Feb 05, 2013 3:51 am

The way people think is that having been born, they don't want to die. Is that correct? It's like pouring water into a glass but not wanting it to fill up. If you keep pouring the water, you can't expect it not to be full. But people think like this: they are born but don't want to die. Is that correct thinking? Consider it. If people are born but never die, will that bring happiness? If no one who comes into the world dies, things will be a lot worse. If no one ever dies, we will probably all end up eating excrement! Where would we all stay? It's like pouring water into the glass without ceasing yet still not wanting it to be full. We really ought to think things through. We are born but don't want to die. If we really don't want to die, we should realize the deathless (amatadhamma), as the Buddha taught. Do you know what amatadhamma means?

It is the deathless - though you die, if you have wisdom it is as if you don't die. Not dying, not being born. That's where things can be finished. Being born and wishing for happiness and enjoyment without dying is not the correct way at all. But that's what people want, so there is no end of suffering for them. The practitioner of Dhamma does not suffer. Well, practitioners such as ordinary monks still suffer, because they haven't yet fulfilled the path of practice. They haven't realized amatadhamma, so they still suffer. They are still subject to death.

Amatadhamma is the deathless. Born of the womb, can we avoid death? Apart from realizing that there is no real self, there is no way to avoid death. ''I'' don't die; sankhāras undergo transformation, following their nature.

Ajahn Chah


I think that the discovery that we do not die is the most valuable and important discovery made in the history of the human race. Is there any other discovery that can match it? Even to call it the most valuable and important world heritage is insufficient. However, unfortunately, most of the great number of people living in the world do not know of this great discovery. Whenever the New Year comes people think they have grown a year older and a year closer to death. But this is a big mistake. Where is that which has grown a year older, where is that which has made another step toward death? Shakyamuni pursued this question relentlessly. And he realized that this thing called the “self” had neither shadow nor form nor color nor smell nor weight nor anything at all. He realized that this “self” was no more than an image that human beings had arbitrarily produced in their heads. If “self” and “person” are no more than concepts, then “the death of a person” is no more than a concept formed from the workings of the mind. One speaks of “dying” but the “one” dying does not exist. To put it clearly, from the start “death” itself does not exist.

And, to push the argument even further, what has just been said about “death” applies in just the same way to “life.” If death does not exist, then one cannot say that life exists. In the statement above I made about Shakyamuni’s discovery let me replace the word “death” with “life”. “To put it very simply we can say that Shakyamuni’s discovery was that ‘we are not born’.”

Life and death are concepts; life and death have no substance. Nevertheless, most people find this hard to believe. Yet, life and death really do not exist. To express the essence of life and death, one can say being happy is life and being sad is death. Being in pain is life and being content is death. Walking is life and running is death. The rain falling is life and good weather is death. Mountains are life and rivers are death.

Yamada Ryoun- abbot of Sanbo-Kyodan


'Open are the doors to the
Deathless
to those with ears.
Let them show their conviction.
Perceiving trouble, O Brahma,
I did not tell people
the refined,
sublime Dhamma.'

Ariyapariyesana Sutta MN26


"There is, O monks, an unborn, an unbecome, an unmade, an unconditioned; if, O monks, there were not here this unborn, unbecome, unmade, unconditioned, there would not here be an escape from the born, the become, the made, the conditioned. But because there is an unborn,...therefore there is an escape from the born...."

UDANA viii, 3
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: The nature of Nibbana

Postby Disciple » Thu Feb 07, 2013 6:27 am

Understood, thanks.
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