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

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism
indian_buddhist
Posts: 153
Joined: Fri Apr 18, 2014 8:54 am
Location: Bangalore, India

Re: Where does one go on attaining Nibbana

Postby indian_buddhist » Tue Apr 29, 2014 8:51 am

OK I had to say this:-

What is the motivation for the 8 fold-noble path if the result as you say is - UNKNOWN?. In fact what is the USE of following the path when the end result is UNKNOWN?.

OK it is easy for a Monk to run away from the world - shut yourself off to some isolated forest where they can keep a large distance between the greedy , hating and deluded folks of the mundane world as the Monks say. Someone will provide for their food anyway. So they can sit and do meditation all day...

There in the forest isolated from the deluded world, then can leisurely follow the 8-fold noble path and noone will disturb them.

What about a Layman?........What is the motivation for him to follow the path?. He has to tackle Greedy, hating and deluded people EVERYDAY , EVERY MOMENT in day to day life and still strive hard to keep the 5 precepts.........If in the end of it all , What he can achieve is UNKNOWN?......Why does he have to undergo the pains to follow the 8 Fold path?.

Like I said it is easy for a Monk to run away from the world to some isolated place and follow his path where noone will bother to disturb him.

Further, what about Poor people? . It is easy for Western people to follow Buddhism because they live in comforts of life. Here in India, there are poor people who do daily Physical labour for 12-14 hours per day lifting weights of 100 kgs behind their back for an earning of 100 Rs(2 Dollar) per day.

What is the Motivation for him to follow Buddhism if all he can gain from it is UNKNOWN?.
Identification with my country is one of my fetters.

User avatar
Bhikkhu Pesala
Posts: 3243
Joined: Thu Jan 29, 2009 8:17 pm

Re: Where does one go on attaining Nibbana

Postby Bhikkhu Pesala » Tue Apr 29, 2014 10:38 am

Whether one is a monk or a householder, the motivation for developing the path is the same — to get free from suffering.

  1. The first Noble Truth of Suffering has to be fully understood. As long as we are not yet Arahants, then we have not yet fully understood it.
  2. The second Noble Truth of the Cause of Suffering, which is craving, has to be abandoned. As long as we are not free from craving and attachment, we will continue to suffer.
  3. The third Noble truth of the Cessation of Suffering, which is nibbāna, has to be realised. As long as we have not attained the first path of Stream-winning, nibbāna is still unknown to us. However, suffering is known to us, at least to some extent. If we abandon craving, at least to some extent, then we can enjoy the benefit by suffering less than we did before, when we had more craving and less undestanding.
  4. The fourth Noble truth of the Path leading to the Cessation of suffering has to be developed. That is, we have to undertake and observe morality, develop concentration, and gain wisdom. As we develop the path, suffering will gradually be reduced, until the final goal is reached, when it will cease entirely forever.
AIM WebsitePāli FontsIn This Very LifeBuddhist ChroniclesSoftware (Upasampadā: 24th June, 1979)

User avatar
TheNoBSBuddhist
Posts: 1614
Joined: Mon Apr 07, 2014 4:06 pm
Location: Loch Lomond, via the High AND Low road....

Re: Where does one go on attaining Nibbana

Postby TheNoBSBuddhist » Tue Apr 29, 2014 10:59 am

:goodpost:

The Buddha himself told us, that he came to merely teach Suffering, and release from Suffering.

Simple.

('Simple', :quote: yes.... 'Easy'....? Not so much! :meditate: )

:namaste:
:namaste:

You will not be punished FOR your 'emotions'; you will be punished BY your 'emotions'.



Image

Pay attention, simplify, and (Meditation instruction in a nutshell) "Mind - the Gap."
‘Absit invidia verbo’ - may ill-will be absent from the word. And mindful of that, if I don't respond, this may be why....

SamKR
Posts: 936
Joined: Sun Jul 19, 2009 4:33 pm

Re: Where does one go on attaining Nibbana

Postby SamKR » Tue Apr 29, 2014 2:03 pm

indian_buddhist wrote:Atleast can anyone tell me Nibbana means Happiness , Bliss or even that information is UNKNOWN.


"This is peace, this is exquisite — the resolution of all fabrications, the relinquishment of all acquisitions, the ending of craving; dispassion; cessation; Nibbana."
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/ptf/dham ... bbana.html

User avatar
David N. Snyder
Site Admin
Posts: 9917
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 4:15 am
Location: Las Vegas, Nevada
Contact:

Re: Where does one go on attaining Nibbana

Postby David N. Snyder » Tue Apr 29, 2014 4:10 pm

This seems to be a common, recurring issue for many, so I added some controversial views to an article I wrote on Nibbana:

http://www.dhammawiki.com/index.php?title=Nibbana

There you will find some very controversial ideas which some would call eternalism, but may help in setting the issue aside for now.

SarathW
Posts: 6931
Joined: Mon Sep 10, 2012 2:49 am

Re: Where does one go on attaining Nibbana

Postby SarathW » Wed Apr 30, 2014 12:23 am

indian_buddhist wrote:OK I had to say this:-

What is the motivation for the 8 fold-noble path if the result as you say is - UNKNOWN?. In fact what is the USE of following the path when the end result is UNKNOWN?.

OK it is easy for a Monk to run away from the world - shut yourself off to some isolated forest where they can keep a large distance between the greedy , hating and deluded folks of the mundane world as the Monks say. Someone will provide for their food anyway. So they can sit and do meditation all day...

There in the forest isolated from the deluded world, then can leisurely follow the 8-fold noble path and noone will disturb them.

What about a Layman?........What is the motivation for him to follow the path?. He has to tackle Greedy, hating and deluded people EVERYDAY , EVERY MOMENT in day to day life and still strive hard to keep the 5 precepts.........If in the end of it all , What he can achieve is UNKNOWN?......Why does he have to undergo the pains to follow the 8 Fold path?.

Like I said it is easy for a Monk to run away from the world to some isolated place and follow his path where noone will bother to disturb him.

Further, what about Poor people? . It is easy for Western people to follow Buddhism because they live in comforts of life. Here in India, there are poor people who do daily Physical labour for 12-14 hours per day lifting weights of 100 kgs behind their back for an earning of 100 Rs(2 Dollar) per day.

What is the Motivation for him to follow Buddhism if all he can gain from it is UNKNOWN?.


David quite correctly pointed it out:
The correct view?

The correct view will be found in the practice when one reaches full enlightenment and experiences Nibbana first hand. Until then Buddhists can continue on with their practice, continuing to follow the teachings and practice as outlined in the Pali Canon and see on their own which one is right or mostly right.
========
With the above note:
-Nibbana can be known to you. Please observe five precepts and do one hour meditation every day for three months to just get some taste of it.

- Many good monks do a 18 hours unpaid service to the community. It is unfortunate you have not meet one of them in India. Probably you could be the first! :)

- You meet difficult people even if you are a monk. Take that as a challenge to test your practice.

- Buddha helped lot of hard working people.

- Do not worry about other. Can you do it?
:)
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

pegembara
Posts: 1041
Joined: Tue Oct 13, 2009 8:39 am

Re: Where does one go on attaining Nibbana

Postby pegembara » Wed Apr 30, 2014 2:04 am

What about a Layman?........What is the motivation for him to follow the path?. He has to tackle Greedy, hating and deluded people EVERYDAY , EVERY MOMENT in day to day life and still strive hard to keep the 5 precepts.........If in the end of it all , What he can achieve is UNKNOWN?......Why does he have to undergo the pains to follow the 8 Fold path?.

Like I said it is easy for a Monk to run away from the world to some isolated place and follow his path where noone will bother to disturb him.

Further, what about Poor people? . It is easy for Western people to follow Buddhism because they live in comforts of life. Here in India, there are poor people who do daily Physical labour for 12-14 hours per day lifting weights of 100 kgs behind their back for an earning of 100 Rs(2 Dollar) per day.




"Monks, there are these two searches: ignoble search & noble search. And what is ignoble search? There is the case where a person, being subject himself to birth, seeks [happiness in] what is likewise subject to birth. Being subject himself to aging... illness... death... sorrow... defilement, he seeks [happiness in] what is likewise subject to illness... death... sorrow... defilement.

"And what may be said to be subject to birth? Spouses & children are subject to birth. Men & women slaves... goats & sheep... fowl & pigs... elephants, cattle, horses, & mares... gold & silver are subject to birth. Subject to birth are these acquisitions, and one who is tied to them, infatuated with them, who has totally fallen for them, being subject to birth, seeks what is likewise subject to birth.

"And what may be said to be subject to aging... illness... death... sorrow... defilement? Spouses & children... men & women slaves... goats & sheep... fowl & pigs... elephants, cattle, horses, & mares... gold & silver [2] are subject to aging... illness... death... sorrow... defilement. Subject to aging... illness... death... sorrow... defilement are these acquisitions, and one who is tied to them, infatuated with them, who has totally fallen for them, being subject to birth, seeks what is likewise subject to aging... illness... death... sorrow... defilement. This is ignoble search.

"And what is the noble search? There is the case where a person, himself being subject to birth, seeing the drawbacks of birth, seeks the unborn, unexcelled rest from the yoke: Unbinding. Himself being subject to aging... illness... death... sorrow... defilement, seeing the drawbacks of aging... illness... death... sorrow... defilement, seeks the aging-less, illness-less, deathless, sorrow-less, undefiled, unexcelled rest from the yoke: Unbinding. This is the noble search.

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
And what is right speech? Abstaining from lying, from divisive speech, from abusive speech, & from idle chatter: This is called right speech.


User avatar
Dhammakid
Posts: 373
Joined: Fri Jan 02, 2009 7:09 am
Location: Santa Fe, NM USA
Contact:

Re: Where does one go on attaining Nibbana

Postby Dhammakid » Mon May 05, 2014 10:12 pm

There are some really good responses here. I'd like to offer this text by Thanissaro Bhikkhu, a comprehensive exploration of the concept of nibbana.

Mind Like Fire Unbound
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... index.html

Even just reading the abstract greatly helped me understand this concept, and diving into the more involved parts gave me a deep appreciation for practice towards liberation.

Here are some key excerpts from the abstract:

"Any discussion of the way the Buddha used the term nibbāna must begin with the distinction that there are two levels of nibbāna (or, to use the original terminology, two nibbāna properties). The first is the nibbāna experienced by a person who has attained the goal and is still alive. This is described metaphorically as the extinguishing of passion, aversion, & delusion. The second is the nibbāna after death. The simile for these two states is the distinction between a fire that has gone out but whose embers are still warm, and one so totally out that its embers are cold. The Buddha used the views of fire current in his day in somewhat different ways when discussing these two levels of nibbāna, and so we must consider them separately.

"To understand the implications of nibbāna in the present life, it is necessary to know something of the way in which fire is described in the Pali Canon. There, fire is said to be caused by the excitation or agitation of the heat property. To continue burning, it must have sustenance(upādāna). Its relationship to its sustenance is one of clinging, dependence, & entrapment. When it goes out, the heat property is no longer agitated, and the fire is said to be freed. Thus the metaphor of nibbāna in this case would have implications of calming together with release from dependencies, attachments, & bondage. This in turn suggests that of all the attempts to describe the etymology of the word nibbāna, the closest is the one Buddhaghosa proposed in The Path of Purification: Un- (nir) + binding (vāna): Unbinding.

"To understand further what is meant by the unbinding of the mind, it is also important to know that the word upādāna — the sustenance for the fire — also means clinging, and that according to the Buddha the mind has four forms of clinging that keep it in bondage: clinging to sensuality, to views, to precepts & practices, and to doctrines of the self. In each case, the clinging is the passion & desire the mind feels for these things. To overcome this clinging, then, the mind must see not only the drawbacks of these four objects of clinging, but, more importantly, the drawbacks of the act of passion & desire itself."
.....

"The mind at this point attains Deathlessness, although there is no sense of 'I' in the attainment. There is simply the realization, 'There is this.' From this point onward the mind experiences mental & physical phenomena with a sense of being dissociated from them. One simile for this state is that of a hide removed from the carcass of a cow: Even if the hide is then placed back on the cow, one cannot say that it is attached as before, because the connective tissues that once held the hide to the carcass — in other words, passion & desire — have all been cut (by the knife of discernment). The person who has attained the goal — called a Tathāgata in some contexts, an arahant in others — thus lives out the remainder of his/her life in the world, but independent of it.

"Death as experienced by a Tathāgata is described simply as, 'All this, no longer being relished, grows cold right here.' All attempts to describe the experience of nibbāna or the state of the Tathāgata after death — as existing, not existing, both, or neither — are refuted by the Buddha. To explain his point, he again makes use of the metaphor of the extinguished fire, although here he draws on the Vedic view of latent fire as modified by Buddhist notions of what does and does not lie within the realm of valid description."
.......

"The Buddha borrows two points from the Vedic notion of fire to illustrate this point. Even if one wants to assume that fire still exists after being extinguished, it is (1) so subtle that it cannot be perceived, and (2) so diffuse that it cannot be said to go to any one place or in any particular direction. Just as notions of going east, west, north, or south do not apply to an extinguished fire, notions of existing and so forth do not apply to the Tathāgata after death.

"As for the question of how nibbāna is experienced after death, the Buddha says that there is no limit in that experience by which it could be described. The word 'limit' here is the important one. In one of the ancient Vedic myths of creation, the universe starts when a limit appears that separates male from female, sky from earth. Thus the implication of the Buddha's statement is that the experience of nibbāna is so free from even the most basic notions making up the universe that it lies beyond description. This implication is borne out by other passages stating that there is nothing in that experience of the known universe — earth, water, wind, fire, sun, moon, darkness, coming, going, or stasis — at all.

"Thus, when viewed in light of the way the Pali Canon describes the workings of fire and uses fire imagery to describe the workings of the mind, it is clear that the word nibbāna is primarily meant to convey notions of freedom: freedom in the present life from agitation, dependency, & clinging; and freedom after death from even the most basic concepts or limitations — such as existence, non-existence, both, or neither — that make up the describable universe."
.....

:anjali:
Kourtney

User avatar
Lazy_eye
Posts: 970
Joined: Fri Jan 23, 2009 3:23 pm
Location: Laurel, MD
Contact:

Thanissaro's view of nibbana

Postby Lazy_eye » Tue May 06, 2014 1:14 pm

All:

I was looking at the Dhammawiki page on nibbana and saw this description of the view held by Thanissaro Bhikkhu and (presumably) some other teachers.

The pantheistic view

Other teachers have argued, including Thanissaro Bhikkhu that the being or Mind (Pali: Citta) entering the state of Nibbana is like a "fire unbound." In the Sutta quoted above, the Buddha talks about a fire that goes out and asks "where did it go" and then refers to the idea that the fire did not disappear, just that it is no longer held by its fuel. Thanissaro Bhikkhu argues that it is like a fire no longer dependent upon the fuel (of a body or the 5 aggregates). These teachers do not refer to this as pantheism, but it does have similarities to notions of pantheism found in other Dharmic paths including Hinduism, Jainism, and Sikhism.

Pantheists sometimes describe the union with the divine as a drop (the mind) entering the divine ocean, no longer existing in an individual sense but still existing in some way. Those holding this view in Buddhism have the following additional quote to support that view: "Just as the river Ganges inclines toward the sea, flows towards the sea, and merges with the sea, so too Master Gotama's assembly with its homeless ones and its householders inclines toward Nibbana, and merges with Nibbana." (Majjhima Nikaya 73.14)


My question: how does Thanissaro regard parinibbana? If nibbana entails the return of differentiated consciousness to the "sea" of undifferentiated awareness, then presumably the playing out of "remainders" doesn't result in oblivion.

By contrast, in the "non-existence view" (nibbana is the extinguishment of all defilements, all craving, all suffering, all becoming) oblivion is the necessary result; there is no "unconditioned awareness" and a Buddha or arahant only remains conscious while the "remainders" are still in play.

User avatar
daverupa
Posts: 5975
Joined: Mon Jan 31, 2011 6:58 pm

Re: Thanissaro's view of nibbana

Postby daverupa » Tue May 06, 2014 2:02 pm

Lazy_eye wrote:If nibbana entails the return of differentiated consciousness to the "sea" of undifferentiated awareness


It doesn't.

in the "non-existence view" (nibbana is the extinguishment of all defilements, all craving, all suffering, all becoming) oblivion is the necessary result; there is no "unconditioned awareness" and a Buddha or arahant only remains conscious while the "remainders" are still in play.


So, do you think that nibbana describes the cessation of an actual being? Because it means there is no more coming to any state of being, and does not mean the annihilation of a being.

Even beforehand, while the "remainders" are still playing out, it is yet the case that the Buddha or an arahant cannot be defined in those terms.
    "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]

User avatar
beeblebrox
Posts: 939
Joined: Thu Dec 31, 2009 10:41 pm

Re: Thanissaro's view of nibbana

Postby beeblebrox » Tue May 06, 2014 2:28 pm

The pantheistic view

Other teachers have argued, including Thanissaro Bhikkhu that the being or Mind (Pali: Citta) entering the state of Nibbana is like a "fire unbound." In the Sutta quoted above, the Buddha talks about a fire that goes out and asks "where did it go" and then refers to the idea that the fire did not disappear, just that it is no longer held by its fuel. Thanissaro Bhikkhu argues that it is like a fire no longer dependent upon the fuel (of a body or the 5 aggregates). These teachers do not refer to this as pantheism, but it does have similarities to notions of pantheism found in other Dharmic paths including Hinduism, Jainism, and Sikhism.

Pantheists sometimes describe the union with the divine as a drop (the mind) entering the divine ocean, no longer existing in an individual sense but still existing in some way. Those holding this view in Buddhism have the following additional quote to support that view: "Just as the river Ganges inclines toward the sea, flows towards the sea, and merges with the sea, so too Master Gotama's assembly with its homeless ones and its householders inclines toward Nibbana, and merges with Nibbana." (Majjhima Nikaya 73.14)


I think this might be a misrepresentation of Ven. Thanissaro's view... so I wouldn't try to figure out what he meant with it.

I'd read his book "Mind Like Fire Unbound," instead... and I also would keep in mind that my own views could possibly distort his.

I seriously doubt that Ven. Thanissaro would consider himself a "pantheist."

:anjali:

User avatar
Lazy_eye
Posts: 970
Joined: Fri Jan 23, 2009 3:23 pm
Location: Laurel, MD
Contact:

Re: Thanissaro's view of nibbana

Postby Lazy_eye » Tue May 06, 2014 2:34 pm

daverupa wrote:
Lazy_eye wrote:If nibbana entails the return of differentiated consciousness to the "sea" of undifferentiated awareness


It doesn't.


According to Thanissaro, does it? I am not putting forward a proposition, just trying to understand the different accounts that have been presented by others. What do you take Thanissaro's view to entail? Is it described accurately in Dhammawiki?

So, do you think that nibbana describes the cessation of an actual being? Because it means there is no more coming to any state of being, and does not mean the annihilation of a being.

Even beforehand, while the "remainders" are still playing out, it is yet the case that the Buddha or an arahant cannot be defined in those terms.


Parinibbana as oblivion, and parinibbana as undifferentiated awareness (as in some later schools' teachings) would both be valid possibilities under the definition you provided, it seems to me. It depends on whether we see nibbana as the cessation of all processes that sustain any kind of awareness, or more narrowly as the cessation of processes that sustain the conditioned, afflicted awareness that is characteristic of samsaric existence.

I know very little about Vajrayana, but have come across some teachers from that tradition who refer to "the primordial ground" or some sort of timeless, tranquil aware state; I'm wondering if Thanissaro is aligned with these views to some extent.
Last edited by Lazy_eye on Tue May 06, 2014 2:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
Lazy_eye
Posts: 970
Joined: Fri Jan 23, 2009 3:23 pm
Location: Laurel, MD
Contact:

Re: Thanissaro's view of nibbana

Postby Lazy_eye » Tue May 06, 2014 2:41 pm

Ah yes, I found the example I had in mind:

This brightly shining mind may alternatively be understood as the unconditioned state of awareness that is present after an
arhat, one who has achieved nirvana, passes away, never to take rebirth again. Such consciousness, which transcends the five psychophysical aggre-
gates, is said to be non-manifesting, timeless, and unconditioned.


Since it is unborn — not newly created by prior causes — and is not the consciousness of someone or something other than oneself, it must
already be present in each sentient being before the achievement of nirvana. This realm of consciousness is beyond the scope of the conceptual mind, so its possible influence
on the minds of ordinary sentient beings is unimaginable.


This is from an essay by B. Allan Wallace.

User avatar
David N. Snyder
Site Admin
Posts: 9917
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 4:15 am
Location: Las Vegas, Nevada
Contact:

Re: Thanissaro's view of nibbana

Postby David N. Snyder » Tue May 06, 2014 4:39 pm

I have read Bhikkhu Thanissaro's books, including The Mind Like Fire Unbound. As I mention in that article, he doesn't call it pantheism and calling it that is no doubt a stretch, but it does hint at eternalism as several other threads here on this subject have touched on.

User avatar
Mkoll
Posts: 5622
Joined: Wed Dec 05, 2012 6:55 pm
Location: California

Re: Thanissaro's view of nibbana

Postby Mkoll » Tue May 06, 2014 8:16 pm

beeblebrox wrote:I seriously doubt that Ven. Thanissaro would consider himself a "pantheist."


From my limited experience of seeing him talk once and reading a lot of his articles, I would agree.
Buddhaṃ saraṇaṃ gacchāmi
Dhammaṃ saraṇaṃ gacchāmi
Saṅghaṃ saraṇaṃ gacchāmi


Hatred is never appeased by hatred in this world; by non-hatred alone is hatred appeased. This is an eternal law.
-Dhp 5

sabbe sattā sukhi hontu :smile:

Courage can only be cultivated in the face of fear.

User avatar
Lazy_eye
Posts: 970
Joined: Fri Jan 23, 2009 3:23 pm
Location: Laurel, MD
Contact:

Re: Thanissaro's view of nibbana

Postby Lazy_eye » Wed May 07, 2014 1:41 pm

David N. Snyder wrote:I have read Bhikkhu Thanissaro's books, including The Mind Like Fire Unbound. As I mention in that article, he doesn't call it pantheism and calling it that is no doubt a stretch, but it does hint at eternalism as several other threads here on this subject have touched on.


What I'm wondering about specifically is how Thanissaro understands parinibbbana. In the "non-existence" view, when the Buddha or arahant dies, he's just dead, that's it. No more sentient than a Buddha statue.

The view expressed by Wallace (in my post above) is obviously somewhat different. I'm not sure if it is representative of Vajrayana or not (I will ask at the other forum), but it seems obviously pantheistic in nature. I'm curious as to whether Thanissaro's view is similar to Wallace's.

User avatar
David N. Snyder
Site Admin
Posts: 9917
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 4:15 am
Location: Las Vegas, Nevada
Contact:

Re: Thanissaro's view of nibbana

Postby David N. Snyder » Wed May 07, 2014 3:58 pm

Thanks for the posts in this thread and feedback on my article. I have added this language to make it clear Thannissaro is not a pantheist:

DhammaWiki wrote:In the case of Thanissaro Bhikkhu it is clearly not pantheistic as he notes in his No self or not self article: "If one identifies with all of nature, one is pained by every felled tree. It also holds for an entirely "other" universe, in which the sense of alienation and futility would become so debilitating as to make the quest for happiness; one's own or that of others; impossible." However, although not pantheistic, in the description given to a fire unbound, and reference to a not self concept instead of no self; there is the implication of some kind of subtle existence in Thanissaro Bhikkhu's teachings and also in other teachers of the Thai forest tradition and others in Theravada.


"No-self or Not-self?", by Thanissaro Bhikkhu. Access to Insight, http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... self2.html .
"Selves & Not-self: The Buddhist Teaching on Anatta", by Thanissaro Bhikkhu. Access to Insight, http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... tself.html .

User avatar
David N. Snyder
Site Admin
Posts: 9917
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 4:15 am
Location: Las Vegas, Nevada
Contact:

Re: Thanissaro's view of nibbana

Postby David N. Snyder » Wed May 07, 2014 4:06 pm

Lazy_eye wrote:What I'm wondering about specifically is how Thanissaro understands parinibbbana. In the "non-existence" view, when the Buddha or arahant dies, he's just dead, that's it. No more sentient than a Buddha statue.

The view expressed by Wallace (in my post above) is obviously somewhat different. I'm not sure if it is representative of Vajrayana or not (I will ask at the other forum), but it seems obviously pantheistic in nature. I'm curious as to whether Thanissaro's view is similar to Wallace's.


Yes, I agree and you may have figured out from my article that what I am doing is a sort of skillful means. For many Buddhists especially those new to Buddhism, the orthodox view of Nibbana sounds pessimistic and nihilistic. I have heard from several people new to Buddhism who later advanced along the Path, that if they had heard about [orthodox view of] Nibbana, no-self / no soul at the beginning, that they would have given up on Buddhism right there in the beginning. Since they saw the benefits of the practice and philosophy and found about it later, they decided to stay with the Dhamma.

User avatar
Zom
Posts: 1557
Joined: Fri May 08, 2009 6:38 pm
Location: Russia, Saint-Petersburg
Contact:

Re: Thanissaro's view of nibbana

Postby Zom » Wed May 07, 2014 5:12 pm

Yes, I agree and you may have figured out from my article that what I am doing is a sort of skillful means. For many Buddhists especially those new to Buddhism, the orthodox view of Nibbana sounds pessimistic and nihilistic. I have heard from several people new to Buddhism who later advanced along the Path, that if they had heard about [orthodox view of] Nibbana, no-self / no soul at the beginning, that they would have given up on Buddhism right there in the beginning. Since they saw the benefits of the practice and philosophy and found about it later, they decided to stay with the Dhamma.


In this case the skillful explanation is: nibbana = ending of greed/hatred/delusion. Saying that nibbana is some transcendental "out of space and time" existence (or smth like that) is a bad idea.


Return to “General Theravāda discussion”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Coëmgenu, Yahoo [Bot] and 49 guests

Google Saffron, Theravada Search Engine