What Is Nibbana

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism

Re: What Is Nibbana

Postby Mindstar » Fri Nov 15, 2013 9:40 am

tiltbillings wrote:
Mindstar wrote:As nobody has ever come back from Nibbana i guess we will never know exactly.
Nibbana is not a place to go to.

I do agree
Wherever he goes, there he is unafraid.. Wherever he sleeps, there he is unalarmed!
The nights and days does neither touch nor burn him. He sees nothing in this world
that is to be kept or lost.. Therefore his mind dwells in goodwill and gentle kindness
towards all beings until he falls asleep.
SN I 110
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Re: What Is Nibbana

Postby tiltbillings » Fri Nov 15, 2013 9:47 am

Mindstar wrote:As nobody has ever come back from Nibbana i guess we will never know exactly.

I`ve got my personal theory however that is related to science.
Especially on the idea that the energy levels in the universe never change.
Energy simply transforms into matter and matter back into energy, its the same thing in the end.
As a consequence you cannot simply disappear with no traces left.
Basically you have to transform back to the energy pool you have been initially created from into the state of the "uncreated".
An energy pool that is formless, informationless and "deathless".
If this were the case, then there is no need to do anything.
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.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: What Is Nibbana

Postby Modus.Ponens » Fri Nov 15, 2013 10:13 am

Hey :)

I don't know why people jump to the conclusion that it is not nibbana. Not trying to start an argument; just saying that it's possible that it is a glimpse of nibbana.

Let me try to conciliate what venerable Pesala is saying with what other teachers teach. Ayya Khema taught that there were path moments and fruition moments. The path moments, she says, are like what venerable Pesala is describing: a cessation of perception and feeling. Acording to Bhante Gunaratana, a path moment occurs when you destroy a first fetter of the next level. It could be the fetter of belief in a self; or it could be doubt in the case of stream entry being your next level. It could also be sense desire in the case of once returning; and so on. Acording to Ayya Khema there is also a fruition moment: when you destroy all the fetters of the respective level of awakening. That fruition experience, she says, can be repeatedly experienced if the meditator wishes to. It would seem to me that what you are experiencing might be spontaneous fruition moments. It could be possible that you are a stream enterer and were reborn in this world already as a stream enterer.

Now, since you are also scientificaly inclined, I trust that you are mature enough not to be fooled by wishful thinking. Analyse what your experience is and, even if you reach an absolute certain conclusion, continue striving to the end of suffering.

A delicate problem here is that if it is true that you were a stream enterer when you were born, the criteria that the Buddha laid down for determining if a person is a stream enterer might not be a good way to judge that. If I recall correctly, the criteria are: no belief in a self; no attachment to rituals; and no doubt about the dhamma. This last criterion is difficult to evaluate in your hypothetical situation because if that's the case, then you didn't experience a before-doubt period and an after-doubt period.

Anyway I have no idea if it's a fruition moment or not. But, nevertheless, it's worth exploring that possibility. I mean, if there is a place on the internet where that kind of person would ask a question like that, it would be right here on dhamma wheel.

PS: I hope I'm not misrepresenting the teachings of the above teachers.
And the Blessed One addressed the bhikkhus, saying: "Behold now, bhikkhus, I exhort you: All compounded things are subject to vanish. Strive with earnestness!"
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Re: What Is Nibbana

Postby Spiny Norman » Fri Nov 15, 2013 10:47 am

tiltbillings wrote:Nibbana is not a place to go to.


So is it a state of mind?
Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition!
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Re: What Is Nibbana

Postby Mindstar » Fri Nov 15, 2013 11:50 am

tiltbillings wrote:If this were the case, then there is no need to do anything.


That is true, for an Arahat who has let go of all craving that leads to continued reappearance in the world there is nothing to do at all. :anjali:
Wherever he goes, there he is unafraid.. Wherever he sleeps, there he is unalarmed!
The nights and days does neither touch nor burn him. He sees nothing in this world
that is to be kept or lost.. Therefore his mind dwells in goodwill and gentle kindness
towards all beings until he falls asleep.
SN I 110
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Re: What Is Nibbana

Postby Kare » Fri Nov 15, 2013 12:40 pm

Once Venerable Sariputta was staying among the folk of Magadha at Nalaka village. Then the wanderer Jambukhadaka, paid a visit to him and asked, "You, Buddhists, utter the word of nibbana frequently. What is nibbana?" Venerable Sariputta replied, "The destruction of lust, the destruction of hatred, the destruction of delusion is called nibbana." "Is there any practice to attain nibbana?" Jambukhadaka added. "Yes, indeed, it can be attained through the practice of the noble path; right view, right intention, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness and right concentration", Venerable Sariputta replied.(S. iv. 251)
Mettāya,
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Re: What Is Nibbana

Postby greenjuice » Mon Nov 25, 2013 5:58 pm

Bhikkhu Pesala wrote:If you could hear, see, and smell, then you had not attained nibbāna, which is the cessation of feeling and perception.

Buddha does say that in the ninth jhana, that is- nirvana, there is no sanna, perception, but how Nirvana be "supreme happiness" if there is no feeling or perception in it? If one doesn't feel or percieve anything, how can one then experience happiness?
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Re: What Is Nibbana

Postby Zom » Mon Nov 25, 2013 6:44 pm

Buddha does say that in the ninth jhana, that is- nirvana, there is no sanna, perception, but how Nirvana be "supreme happiness" if there is no feeling or perception in it? If one doesn't feel or percieve anything, how can one then experience happiness?


This is because "experiencing" happiness (or whatever) is suffering, actually. That is how when there is no experience, this is supreme happiness. 8-)

And this is not a joke.
Take a look: http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
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Re: What Is Nibbana

Postby buddhismfordudes » Mon Nov 25, 2013 7:58 pm

Nibbana cannot be imagined or described.
Gerry Stribling
Author of "Buddhism for Dudes"
Blog "Buddhism for Tough Guys" at buddhismfordudes.blog.com
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Re: What Is Nibbana

Postby Aloka » Mon Nov 25, 2013 8:59 pm

buddhismfordudes wrote:Nibbana cannot be imagined or described.



This is from "Nibbana" by Bhikkhu Bodhi:

The state of final deliverance is called "Nibbana" in Pali and "Nirvana" in Sanskrit. Nibbana literally means the extinguishing of a flame. The word "Nibbana" used by the Buddha means the extinguishing of the flame of craving, the extinguishing of the fires of greed, hatred and delusion.

http://www.beyondthenet.net/dhamma/nibbana.html


:anjali:
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Re: What Is Nibbana

Postby greenjuice » Tue Nov 26, 2013 4:20 pm

Zom wrote:This is because "experiencing" happiness (or whatever) is suffering, actually.

Actually, this is a contradiction. If one is experiencing happiness, one is by definition not suffering.
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Re: What Is Nibbana

Postby Mkoll » Tue Nov 26, 2013 6:05 pm

greenjuice wrote:
Zom wrote:This is because "experiencing" happiness (or whatever) is suffering, actually.

Actually, this is a contradiction. If one is experiencing happiness, one is by definition not suffering.


Right at that moment. But because its impermanent, suffering is just around the corner.

Take a step back and look at life objectively and you see that happiness is inextricably tied to suffering.

The Dhamma is the raft to go beyond suffering.
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Re: What Is Nibbana

Postby greenjuice » Tue Nov 26, 2013 6:24 pm

Right at that moment. But because its impermanent, suffering is just around the corner.

My question was about the happiness of nibbana.
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Re: What Is Nibbana

Postby Mkoll » Tue Nov 26, 2013 6:30 pm

greenjuice wrote:
Right at that moment. But because its impermanent, suffering is just around the corner.

My question was about the happiness of nibbana.


"Nibbana is to be experienced by the wise." There's no answer to your question, especially coming from non-arahants. And even if an arahant were to answer that question, the answer would be in words which you or I would interpret based on our delusional provclivities.

Which is why its best not to give attention to these questions.
Peace,
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Re: What Is Nibbana

Postby Jon. S » Wed Nov 27, 2013 6:27 am

Mkoll wrote:
greenjuice wrote:
Right at that moment. But because its impermanent, suffering is just around the corner.

My question was about the happiness of nibbana.


"Nibbana is to be experienced by the wise." There's no answer to your question, especially coming from non-arahants. And even if an arahant were to answer that question, the answer would be in words which you or I would interpret based on our delusional provclivities.

Which is why its best not to give attention to these questions.


I'm not sure where I read it (possibly something by Ajahn Geoff), but I read something that said that the word "happiness" is the closest word one can use to describe nibbana, but actually it is nothing like happiness. Because humans so often seek happiness, it seems to be the one thing humans desire, that is the word that is used but in fact nibbana transcends happiness. It does not imply an arahant would always be laughing and giggling in the same way a child who is at Disneyland or someone who has just gotten a promotion would, but rather, it is a happiness that goes far beyond conventional understanding of happiness.

And also, it is unconditioned - unlike our usual conditioned happiness we experience.
I was born naked.
My beloved parents
kindly gave me a name.
When I reached twenty
I thought "a name is a chain,
I want to abandon it".
Whoever I questioned
No one answers me.
When I hear the wind in the pines
I get an answer.
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Re: What Is Nibbana

Postby suriyopama » Wed Nov 27, 2013 9:24 am

Modus.Ponens wrote:I don't know why people jump to the conclusion that it is not nibbana. Not trying to start an argument; just saying that it's possible that it is a glimpse of nibbana.


Yes, why not?. Buddhadasa calls it "Periodic Nibbanas" and says that they sustain our lifes, even for animals.

Nibbana is the coolness resulting from the quenching of defilements, whether they quench on their own or someone quenches them through Dhamma practice. Whenever the defilements are quenched, then there is the thing called "Nibbana," always with the same meaning — coolness.

Any reactive emotion that arises ceases when its causes and conditions are finished. Although it may be a temporary quenching, merely a temporary coolness, it still means Nibbana, even if only temporarily. Thus, there's a temporary Nibbana for those who still can't avoid some defilements. This indeed is the temporary Nibbana that sustains the lives of beings who are still hanging onto defilement. Anyone can see that if the egoistic emotions exist night and day without any pause or rest, no life could endure it. If it didn't die, it would go crazy and then die in the end. You ought to consider carefully the fact that life can survive only because there are periods when the defilements don't roast it, which, in fact, outnumber the times when the defilements blaze.


These periodic Nibbanas sustain life for all of us, without excepting even animals, which have their levels of Nibbana, too. We are able to survive because this kind of Nibbana nurtures us, until it becomes the most ordinary habit of life and of the mind. Whenever there is freedom from defilement, then there is the value and meaning of Nibbana. This must occur fairly often for living things to survive. That we have some time to relax both bodily and mentally provides us with the freshness and vitality needed to live.

Why don't we understand and feel thankful for this kind of Nibbana at least a little bit? We're lucky that the instincts can manage by themselves. Conscious beings naturally search for periods that are free from craving, thirst, and egoism. We might call this natural urge "the Nibbana instinct." If there is unremitting thirst, life must die. Thus, infants know how to suck the breast and mosquitoes know how to buzz around sucking blood to sustain their lives until they are slapped to death. Our instincts have this virtue built in: they search for periods of time sufficiently free from defilement or free from thirst to maintain life. Whenever there is freedom and voidness there is always this little Nibbana, until we know how to make it into the lasting or perfect Nibbana of the Arahant. It isn't death, but rather is deathlessness, in particular, spiritual deathlessness. If anyone sees this fact, they'll personally experience that we can survive only through this kind of Nibbana. We don't survive just because of that rice and food that so infatuate people. We realize that everybody must have this thing called "Nibbana" and must depend on it as their lives' sustenance. So who can object to us talking about "Nibbana for everyone"?


This is one of my favourite talks describing Nibbana:
Nibbana for Everyone - by Buddhadasa Bhikkhu
http://www.suanmokkh.org/archive/arts/m ... bbevry.htm
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