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

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Dugu
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Re: Are there any consciousness or awareness in Nibbana?

Postby Dugu » Sun Mar 18, 2012 5:31 am

vinasp wrote: I am not sure that I agree with this myself, but it is probably close to
the official position of Theravada ( if there is one).

For myself, I am happy to allow these questions to remain a mystery which
is beyond my capacity to understand.

Kind regards, Vincent.


Thanks Vincent. This whole thread has given me something to ponder about.

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Re: Are there any consciousness or awareness in Nibbana?

Postby Virgo » Sun Mar 18, 2012 5:35 am

Dugu wrote:
vinasp wrote:Hi Dugu,

1. Do you mean nibbana for one still alive, or some supposed after-death state?



I suppose my question refers more to after-death state.

After the final death (parinibbana), there are no more conditions for nama to arise (or rupa), so there is no body, and no consciousness, no perception, etc. -- a process is over.

Kevin

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Re: Are there any consciousness or awareness in Nibbana?

Postby Nyana » Mon Mar 19, 2012 5:31 am

Bhikkhu Pesala wrote:Nibbāna is described as the cessation of perception and feeling, not as the cessation of consciousness. If there were no awareness while the Noble Ones were abiding in Fruition Consciousness (phallacitta), they would be no different to someone who is unconscious or fast asleep.

FTR the noble path and fruition attainments occur with both concomitant perception and feeling. Abhidhammatthasaṅgaha:

    1. The First Jhāna Sotāpatti Path-consciousness together with initial application, sustained application, joy, happiness, and one-pointedness,
    2. The Second Jhāna Sotāpatti Path-consciousness together with sustained application, joy, happiness, and one-pointedness,
    3. The Third Jhāna Sotāpatti Path-consciousness together with joy, happiness, and one-pointedness,
    4. The Fourth Jhāna Sotāpatti Path-consciousness together with happiness and one-pointedness,
    5. The Fifth Jhāna Sotāpatti Path-consciousness together with equanimity and one-pointedness.

    These are the five types of Sotāpatti Path-consciousness.

    So are the Sakadāgāmī Path-consciousness, Anāgāmī Path-consciousness, and Arahatta Path-consciousness, making exactly twenty classes of consciousness. Similarly there are twenty classes of Fruit-consciousness. Thus there are forty types of supra mundane consciousness.

Also, in keeping with the Kathāvatthu, the Visuddhimagga maintains that the cessation of apperception and feeling, which is also called the cessation attainment (nirodhasamāpatti) is neither supramundane nor not-conditioned (asaṅkhata). Visuddhimagga 23.52:

    As to the question: Is the attainment of cessation formed or unformed, etc.? It is not classifiable as formed or unformed, mundane or supramundane. Why? Because it has no individual essence. But since it comes to be attained by one who attains it, it is therefore permissible to say that it is produced, not unproduced.

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Re: Are there any consciousness or awareness in Nibbana?

Postby Sarva » Thu Mar 22, 2012 10:53 am

Dear all
I hope Dugu will permit me to add some questions rather than answers to this useful thread. I hope it will help us both because I have some lingering concern with the way consciousness is presented in Theravada.

Firstly, my understanding of the Pali Cannon is that Consciousness is similar to thoughts/memories, which arise and fall, without our ability to control them:

"Bhikkhus, consciousness is not self. Were consciousness self, then this consciousness would not lead to affliction, and one could have it of consciousness: 'Let my consciousness be thus, let my consciousness be not thus.' And since consciousness is not-self, so it leads to affliction, and none can have it of consciousness: 'Let my consciousness be thus, let my consciousness be not thus.' Link:
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .nymo.html

There is also the concept the consciousness is related to the sense and intellect:

SN 27.3: Viññana Sutta — Consciousness
At Savatthi. "Monks, any desire-passion with regard to eye-consciousness is a defilement of the mind. Any desire-passion with regard to ear-consciousness... nose-consciousness... tongue-consciousness... body-consciousness... intellect-consciousness is a defilement of the mind. When, with regard to these six bases, the defilements of awareness are abandoned, then the mind is inclined to renunciation. The mind fostered by renunciation feels malleable for the direct knowing of those qualities worth realizing."
Link: http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html


This is all useful in respect to anatta. However I feel this is not the same consciousness which is well quoted by Ñāṇa above: e.g.

"5. The Fifth Jhāna Sotāpatti Path-consciousness together with equanimity and one-pointedness."
Source here: http://www.palikanon.com/english/sangaha/chapter_1.htm

Is this a problem with translation or are we facing different ideas of consciousness depending on their location and use?
“Both formerly & now, it is only stress that I describe, and the cessation of stress.” — SN 22:86

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Re: Are there any consciousness or awareness in Nibbana?

Postby Nyana » Thu Mar 22, 2012 2:56 pm

Sarva wrote:Firstly, my understanding of the Pali Cannon is that Consciousness is similar to thoughts/memories, which arise and fall, without our ability to control them:

Consciousness (viññāṇa) is the bare awareness of a sense object (i.e. visible form, sound, odor, taste, tactile sensation, mental object).

Sarva wrote:However I feel this is not the same consciousness which is well quoted by Ñāṇa above: e.g.

"5. The Fifth Jhāna Sotāpatti Path-consciousness together with equanimity and one-pointedness."

Is this a problem with translation or are we facing different ideas of consciousness depending on their location and use?

Here the term is "citta" but the meaning is the same as above. Each path consciousness and fruition consciousness are mental consciousnesses (manoviññāṇa). These path and fruition consciousnesses are considered supramundane.

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Re: Are there any consciousness or awareness in Nibbana?

Postby Sarva » Thu Mar 22, 2012 10:02 pm

Ñāṇa wrote:
Sarva wrote:Firstly, my understanding of the Pali Cannon is that Consciousness is similar to thoughts/memories, which arise and fall, without our ability to control them:

Consciousness (viññāṇa) is the bare awareness of a sense object (i.e. visible form, sound, odor, taste, tactile sensation, mental object).

Sarva wrote:However I feel this is not the same consciousness which is well quoted by Ñāṇa above: e.g.

"5. The Fifth Jhāna Sotāpatti Path-consciousness together with equanimity and one-pointedness."

Is this a problem with translation or are we facing different ideas of consciousness depending on their location and use?

Here the term is "citta" but the meaning is the same as above. Each path consciousness and fruition consciousness are mental consciousnesses (manoviññāṇa). These path and fruition consciousnesses are considered supramundane.

Thanks Ñāṇa
Is there always consciousness in Theravada, be it either translation, or is there ever a time when we can speak of no consciousness of any type?
“Both formerly & now, it is only stress that I describe, and the cessation of stress.” — SN 22:86

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Re: Are there any consciousness or awareness in Nibbana?

Postby Nyana » Fri Mar 23, 2012 8:02 am

Sarva wrote:Is there always consciousness in Theravada, be it either translation, or is there ever a time when we can speak of no consciousness of any type?

In unconscious states such as a faint or deep sleep there is no active consciousness occurring.

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Re: Are there any consciousness or awareness in Nibbana?

Postby Sarva » Fri Mar 23, 2012 9:28 am

Ñāṇa wrote:
Sarva wrote:Is there always consciousness in Theravada, be it either translation, or is there ever a time when we can speak of no consciousness of any type?

In unconscious states such as a faint or deep sleep there is no active consciousness occurring.

Hi Ñāṇa
Do you know if it is considered that inactive consciousness continues through sleep? For example, in dream sleep there is a certain consciousness of dream, later on awaking we are consicous that we slept deeply and/or that we drempt. I am curious if there is such a consciousness in scripture or spoken of elsewhere that you may know?

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

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Re: Are there any consciousness or awareness in Nibbana?

Postby Nyana » Fri Mar 23, 2012 10:10 am

Sarva wrote:Do you know if it is considered that inactive consciousness continues through sleep? For example, in dream sleep there is a certain consciousness of dream, later on awaking we are consicous that we slept deeply and/or that we drempt. I am curious if there is such a consciousness in scripture or spoken of elsewhere that you may know?

I can't recall offhand what the Theravāda commentaries have to say on this (and I can't think of where to look in the commentaries for a discussion of it). Of the top of my head I would guess that the underlying continuum (bhavanga-sota & bhavanga-citta) continues during deep, dreamless sleep, and that mental consciousness (manoviññāṇa) occurs when dreaming. However, there may be a more precise description of the mental processes during the dream state.

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Re: Are there any consciousness or awareness in Nibbana?

Postby Sarva » Mon Mar 26, 2012 9:15 am

Ñāṇa wrote:
Sarva wrote:Do you know if it is considered that inactive consciousness continues through sleep? For example, in dream sleep there is a certain consciousness of dream, later on awaking we are consicous that we slept deeply and/or that we drempt. I am curious if there is such a consciousness in scripture or spoken of elsewhere that you may know?

I can't recall offhand what the Theravāda commentaries have to say on this (and I can't think of where to look in the commentaries for a discussion of it). Of the top of my head I would guess that the underlying continuum (bhavanga-sota & bhavanga-citta) continues during deep, dreamless sleep, and that mental consciousness (manoviññāṇa) occurs when dreaming. However, there may be a more precise description of the mental processes during the dream state.

Thanks again Ñāṇa! Having followed up on the links you kindly provided it appears to me that the topic is more profound than thought; there are more than 2 terms which can be translated into the English word "Consciousness" and hence I am not 100% clear on how these were used. I feel I have two options: 1) perhaps someone can point me towards some indepth research so I can study further or 2) let the topic rest :)

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

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Re: Are there any consciousness or awareness in Nibbana?

Postby Nyana » Sun Apr 01, 2012 11:22 pm

Sarva wrote:1) perhaps someone can point me towards some indepth research so I can study further or

The Mind in Early Buddhism by Bhikkhu Thich Minh Thanh.

Sarva wrote:2) let the topic rest

Not a bad idea either. It's prudent to just study a bit at a time, and try to internalize the meaning in practice.

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Re: Are there any consciousness or awareness in Nibbana?

Postby Lazy_eye » Mon Apr 02, 2012 2:17 am

Dugu wrote:
vinasp wrote:Hi Dugu,

1. Do you mean nibbana for one still alive, or some supposed after-death state?



I suppose my question refers more to after-death state.


Perhaps another way of asking the question would be: is parinibbana identical to death as understood by a physicalist? Is it equivalent to annihilation?

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Re: Are there any consciousness or awareness in Nibbana?

Postby daverupa » Mon Apr 02, 2012 12:00 pm

Lazy_eye wrote:Perhaps another way of asking the question would be: is parinibbana identical to death as understood by a physicalist? Is it equivalent to annihilation?


It's possible to understand life and death in purely physical terms such that the apparent lack of existence prior to one's birth is taken as equivalent to that after death, with life an interlude of happenstance,* but this view strikes me as being just as pernicious as any other view to which one might cling, especially as it crosses an epistemological divide. In this case I would see such a physicalist, not as adhering to annihilationism, but rather as unwittingly conceiving of/in/from "nibbana" per MN 1.




---
*here, "happenstance" is very broad - for example, there is the possibility of taking various neuroscientific facts as proof of the lack of an enduring self, such that one understands no self to be annihilated at death. Additionally, this need not entail moral nihilism as there are various ways ethics can have a foundation here.
    "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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Where does one go on attaining Nibbana

Postby indian_buddhist » Tue Apr 29, 2014 5:52 am

Nibbana - from my understanding is the deathless stage.

It signifies the following:-

1. Complete destruction of Greed, Hatred and Delusion.
2. No more rebirths in any realm of existence.
3. It is a deathless stage.

My questions are :-
On attaining Nibbana:-
1. Where does one go?.
2. What are the qualities of attaining Nibbana. Is it pure happiness and bliss?.
3. Does one stay in Nibbana state permanently for infinite eons?.
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Re: Where does one go on attaining Nibbana

Postby cooran » Tue Apr 29, 2014 6:07 am

Hello Indian_Buddhist, all,

This LONG thread may be of interest:

Is the result of Parinibbana annihilation?
viewtopic.php?f=24&t=1039

With metta,
Chris
---The trouble is that you think you have time---
---Worry is the Interest, paid in advance, on a debt you may never owe---
---It's not what happens to you in life that is important ~ it's what you do with it ---

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Re: Where does one go on attaining Nibbana

Postby Reductor » Tue Apr 29, 2014 6:10 am

indian_buddhist wrote:Nibbana - from my understanding is the deathless stage.

It signifies the following:-

1. Complete destruction of Greed, Hatred and Delusion.
2. No more rebirths in any realm of existence.
3. It is a deathless stage.

My questions are :-
On attaining Nibbana:-
1. Where does one go?.
2. What are the qualities of attaining Nibbana. Is it pure happiness and bliss?.
3. Does one stay in Nibbana state permanently for infinite eons?.


1. Once you've attained nibbana, you no longer have a fixed conception of you and no longer place any importance on whether you continue or cease, or change or whatever. But, to the point, Nibbana is not a place and no one can 'go there'. You simply cease to cling to your own existence and no longer think of yourself as eternal and unchanging, and what it is more, you have no desire for an eternal, unchanging self.

2. Nibbana has no feeling. It is not something that exists, but is lack greed, hate and delusion and all the mental states, and mental turmoil, that arise because of them. But, when an arahant reflects on the cessation of greed, hate, delusion, and all the mental turmoil, they feel pleasure. But they don't try to keep that pleasure for ever, and don't morn when it fades away.

3. No one stays in nibbana for ever. But once greed, hate and delusion have been existinguished in a human being, they don't return. So, this non-returning of greed, hate and delusion could be seen as eternal nibbana.
Michael
https://www.buddhistglobalrelief.org

The thoughts I've expressed in the above post are carefully considered and offered in good faith.

And friendliness towards the world is happiness for him who is forbearing with living beings. -- Ud. 2:1
To his own ruin the fool gains knowledge, for it cleaves his head and destroys his innate goodness. -- Dhp 72


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Re: Where does one go on attaining Nibbana

Postby indian_buddhist » Tue Apr 29, 2014 6:12 am

cooran wrote:Hello Indian_Buddhist, all,

This LONG thread may be of interest:

Is the result of Parinibbana annihilation?
http://www.dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.php?f=24&t=1039

With metta,
Chris


Hello Chris,

I completely know it is not Annihilation. Obviously it is not annihilation. How can it be Annihilation?.....Annihilation is end of everything - both Good qualities and Bad qualities.

But Nibbana is destruction of only the Bad qualities - Greed, Hatred and Delusion. Once that is achieved.....I am interested to know what happens after that?.
Identification with my country is one of my fetters.

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Re: Where does one go on attaining Nibbana

Postby indian_buddhist » Tue Apr 29, 2014 6:30 am

Reductor wrote:

3. No one stays in nibbana for ever. But once greed, hate and delusion have been existinguished in a human being, they don't return. So, this non-returning of greed, hate and delusion could be seen as eternal nibbana.


Are you sure about this?. I thought Nibbana was a Deathless state - a Permanent state of being. Correct me if i am wrong.
Identification with my country is one of my fetters.

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Re: Where does one go on attaining Nibbana

Postby Bhikkhu Pesala » Tue Apr 29, 2014 6:35 am

Where does a flame go when it is extinguished?

Nibbāna is not a place, so no one "goes to nibbāna," and there are no Buddhas or Arahants "in nibbāna."

The self-view is an illusion. When that illusion has been understood, the two extreme wrong views of annihilationism and eternalism will also be destroyed.
Last edited by Bhikkhu Pesala on Tue Apr 29, 2014 6:36 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Where does one go on attaining Nibbana

Postby tiltbillings » Tue Apr 29, 2014 6:35 am

indian_buddhist wrote:
Reductor wrote:

3. No one stays in nibbana for ever. But once greed, hate and delusion have been existinguished in a human being, they don't return. So, this non-returning of greed, hate and delusion could be seen as eternal nibbana.


Are you sure about this?. I thought Nibbana was a Deathless state - a Permanent state of being. Correct me if i am wrong.
It is wrongly put. Nibbana, by definition, is the destruction of greed, hatred, and delusion. There is no "in nibbana" except in a figurative sense.

    S.N. IV 251 and IV 321: "That which is the destruction of greed, hatred and delusion is nibbana."
.


++++++++++++++++
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond. -- SN I, 38.

“Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?” HPatDH p.723


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