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

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Alex123
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Re: Nibbana vs. annihilation?

Postby Alex123 » Tue Oct 12, 2010 11:10 pm

Hello Retro, all,

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings Alex,

Alex123 wrote:The D.O. is not just momentary ....Even in sutta-pitaka it is defined within 2-3 lives.

A couple of points in relation to this.

1. I was only talking about the link between avijja and sankhara, so even if one is inclined to partition dependent origination over multiple lives ala Buddhaghosa, these two segments (and the link between them) remain in the same temporal region.
[/quote]

The D.O. spread over multiple lifetimes is found in the sutta-pitaka.


The events that appear now may be due to causes done many lives back, or before ignorance ceased. For example Ven. MahaMoggallana died a very painful death. As the story goes (was it in commentary?) he killed his parents in a forest and last bits of that heineous kamma was giving its results in his last life.

Also the Arahant Angulimala felt great pains before his death, these pains were ripening of the bad kamma that he did prior to Awakening. So becoming awakened doesn't prevent results of past kamma to happen in some form prior to Parinibbana.


2. If you really do believe it to require "2-3 lives", are you then claiming that even after the complete cessation of ignorance, the results still take 2-3 lifetimes to peter out? This would certainly be at odds with what the Buddha said about arahants.


The kamma left will have to work itself out within the remainder of Arahats death, and the rest will become defunct kamma (ahosikamma).

Kamma is not a totally linear process. It can be greatly attenuated and in some cases completely abandoned (ahosikamma).


Ven. Angulimala would suffer greatly (for murdering 999 people) if he didn't become an Aryan. But because he became an Arahant he really cut off most of potential bad kamma results and severely weakened the rest.


With metta,

Alex
"Life is a struggle. Life will throw curveballs at you, it will humble you, it will attempt to break you down. And just when you think things are starting to look up, life will smack you back down with ruthless indifference..."

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Re: Nibbana vs. annihilation?

Postby Individual » Tue Oct 12, 2010 11:14 pm

I'm probably just being mischievous here (proudly amusing myself with my own cleverness) and I hope I don't ruin Ben, Mike, and Retrofuturist's attempts here, but...

Alex123 wrote:First of all, please note that I put "feels" in quotes.

Yes, but not "I" or "my".

Therefore, I logically conclude you have sakkaya-ditthi and therefore no authority to describe what Nibbana feels like, or any approximations thereof not explicitly described in the suttas.
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Re: Nihilism / annihilationism misrepresents the Buddha

Postby Alex123 » Tue Oct 12, 2010 11:20 pm

manasikara wrote:I can't seem to post ANY replies (to others' posts) at present. The system won't allow me to. So I am simply starting up a new topic.

Nihilism has crept into Theravada Buddhism, despite our own scriptures clearly stating that Buddha was NOT either a nihilist or an annihilationist. I refer specifically to what is written below:

PariNibbāna is not some retirement home where consciousness go to exist for eternity. Unfortunately some teachers are afraid of giving a clear cut explanation of Final Nibbāna, and try to obfuscate the issue by making it sound as not complete and utter cessation without any remainder. Thus ending becomes reinterpreted as a new beginning, and nothing is reinterpreted as something. Existence of any kind is simply not worth it, every saṅkhāra is tainted with dukkha. Those who think that Final Nibbāna is some form of existence, haven't seen the fact that all and any experience is just more or less, hidden or revealed dukkha.
Alex123


Misrepresentation

37. "So teaching, so proclaiming, O monks, I have been baselessly, vainly, falsely and wrongly accused by some ascetics and brahmans: 'A nihilist[38] is the ascetic Gotama; He teaches the annihilation, the destruction, the non-being of an existing individual.'[39]

"As I am not as I do not teach, so have I been baselessly, vainly, falsely and wrongly accused by some ascetics and brahmans thus: 'A nihilist is the ascetic Gotama; He teaches the annihilation, the destruction, the non-being of an existing individual.'

"What I teach now as before, O monks, is suffering and the cessation of suffering.



The above is correct. The reason why what I say isn't anihhilation is because there is ultimately no Being-in-itself to be anihhilated.

But there is cause-effect stream, there is kamma & kammavipāka, there is rebirth. So no nihilism.


Clearly, then, even asking the question "will we exist?" or "will we not exist?" (after parinibbana) etc is not the right question,


That question wrongly assumes that there is a Self that can exist or that is anihhilated. In that way it is wrong.
"Life is a struggle. Life will throw curveballs at you, it will humble you, it will attempt to break you down. And just when you think things are starting to look up, life will smack you back down with ruthless indifference..."

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Re: Nibbana vs. annihilation?

Postby Alex123 » Tue Oct 12, 2010 11:22 pm

Hi Individual, all,

Individual wrote:I'm probably just being mischievous here (proudly amusing myself with my own cleverness) and I hope I don't ruin Ben, Mike, and Retrofuturist's attempts here, but...

Alex123 wrote:First of all, please note that I put "feels" in quotes.

Yes, but not "I" or "my".

Therefore, I logically conclude you have sakkaya-ditthi and therefore no authority to describe what Nibbana feels like, or any approximations thereof not explicitly described in the suttas.



I do not believe in a trully existing being that can exist/not-exist/both/neither after after parinibbana. I do not hold that there is a trully existing being that can be reborn from moment to moment, nothing to say about from life to life. However for the sake of coherency I use common words, this being a Buddhist board I hope that people understand that when I talk about an Arahant, I do NOT mean an Arahant as a trully existing Being, but as a certain procession of vipāka & kiriya cittas along with certain cetasikas and rūpas. Same with worldling except in that case there are also corresponding cittas of all 4 jāti and certain cetasikas and rūpas corresponding to that induvidial.

So please view all my recent messages (certainly this and the rebirth thread) with the above in mind.

With metta,

Alex
"Life is a struggle. Life will throw curveballs at you, it will humble you, it will attempt to break you down. And just when you think things are starting to look up, life will smack you back down with ruthless indifference..."

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Re: Nibbana vs. annihilation?

Postby retrofuturist » Tue Oct 12, 2010 11:23 pm

Greetings Alex,

Alex123 wrote:The D.O. spread over multiple lifetimes is found in the sutta-pitaka.

A matter of conjecture which probably warrants its own topic, in my opinion.

Alex123 wrote:The events that appear now may be due to causes done many lives back, or before ignorance ceased. For example Ven. MahaMoggallana died a very painful death. As the story goes (was it in commentary?) he killed his parents in a forest and last bits of that heineous kamma was giving its results in his last life.

Also the Arahant Angulimala felt great pains before his death, these pains were ripening of the bad kamma that he did prior to Awakening. So becoming awakened doesn't prevent results of past kamma to happen in some form prior to Parinibbana.

The death of these bhikkhus was noted in the Sutta Pitaka, but it was left for the commentaries to provide the explanations of kammic retribution which you detail above.

Alex123 wrote:The kamma left will have to work itself out within the remainder of Arahats death, and the rest will become defunct kamma (ahosikamma).

This is what you and the Mahavihara Theravada tradition say, but the Sutta Pitaka does not. Again, that's all well and good, and you're welcome to your view... but the differentiations are useful as different people put different stock in different sources of information. Being clear on the origins of certain theories and perspectives helps people decide for themselves what to accept, based on their own understandings of what doctrinal sources ought to be considered authoratative.

I understand it that kamma and vipaka cease to function once ignorance is destroyed and arahantship is attained. Ignorance sustains the notion of "self", which in turn sustains kamma and vipaka. Kamma does not exist outside of the aggregates, so once the burden of the aggregates is laid down, how can they come back and haunt the arahant in the form of vipaka? Just as a snake is not haunted by the skin it has shed, the arahant is not haunted by the kamma he/she has shed.

Metta,
Retro. :)
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Re: Nibbana vs. annihilation?

Postby Prasadachitta » Tue Oct 12, 2010 11:24 pm

Alex123 wrote:As I know, there is no permanent being within a worldling or an Arahant. There is just more dukkha and avijja within 5 aggregates of a worldling than an Arahant. The reason why I was talking about an Arahat/Tathagata was because that "person" was the subject of discussion of "What happens to a fully awakened at Death"?


Hello Alex,
Like the extinguishing of a flame whose fuel has run out and we can not say it has gone this way or that. The flame is a kind of relationship between fuel and oxygen. If the flame is blown out or the fuel runs out how can the relationship continue. I think this is what you are saying and I respect that. I would just stress again that the Buddha identified with Paṭicca-samuppāda and not with aggregates. I dont think the Buddha experienced pain as dukkha but we must agree to disagree there. Your language reads to me like you are asserting the non existence of an existing being after death. Even if you are not I think a greater degree of sensitivity is warranted regarding the effect of your words and how the can be understood.


With Metta

Gabe
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Re: Nihilism / annihilationism misrepresents the Buddha

Postby Individual » Tue Oct 12, 2010 11:31 pm

manasikara wrote:Yes, Nibbana must be something OTHER than what we call existence here.

It must be? Why?

Could it not also be that Nibbana is nothing other than what we call existence or that what we call existence is not really existence?
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Re: Nihilism / annihilationism misrepresents the Buddha

Postby tiltbillings » Tue Oct 12, 2010 11:35 pm

Individual wrote:Yes, Nibbana must be something OTHER than what we call existence here.
What is the most basic definition of nibbana given by the Buddha?
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond. -- SN I, 38.

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Re: Nihilism / annihilationism misrepresents the Buddha

Postby Prasadachitta » Tue Oct 12, 2010 11:36 pm

Individual wrote:
manasikara wrote:Yes, Nibbana must be something OTHER than what we call existence here.

It must be? Why?

Could it not also be that Nibbana is nothing other than what we call existence or that what we call existence is not really existence?


I think it could be so :smile:

Gabe
"Beautifully taught is the Lord's Dhamma, immediately apparent, timeless, of the nature of a personal invitation, progressive, to be attained by the wise, each for himself." Anguttara Nikaya V.332

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Re: Nihilism / annihilationism misrepresents the Buddha

Postby Kenshou » Wed Oct 13, 2010 12:05 am

tiltbillings wrote:What is the most basic definition of nibbana given by the Buddha?

Mystical non-dual eternal unity with the transcendental "ground-of-being", right?

No?

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Re: Nihilism / annihilationism misrepresents the Buddha

Postby Individual » Wed Oct 13, 2010 12:08 am

Kenshou wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:What is the most basic definition of nibbana given by the Buddha?

Mystical non-dual eternal unity with the transcendental "ground-of-being", right?

No?

ROFL
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Re: Nibbana vs. annihilation?

Postby Alex123 » Wed Oct 13, 2010 12:33 am

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings Alex,

The death of these bhikkhus was noted in the Sutta Pitaka, but it was left for the commentaries to provide the explanations of kammic retribution which you detail above.

I understand it that kamma and vipaka cease to function once ignorance is destroyed and arahantship is attained. Ignorance sustains the notion of "self", which in turn sustains kamma and vipaka. Kamma does not exist outside of the aggregates, so once the burden of the aggregates is laid down, how can they come back and haunt the arahant in the form of vipaka? Just as a snake is not haunted by the skin it has shed, the arahant is not haunted by the kamma he/she has shed.

Metta,
Retro. :)


Do you accept the possibility that kamma done prior to Arhatship may come up for an Arahant?

In any case, where this discussion originated was the fact that even an Arahant or the Buddha can experience physical pain. Not only that, but there are multiple kinds of dukkha, and the Arahat has eliminated only the dukkha due to mental defilements. Dukkha of painful feeling still remains, dukkha of change still remains.

"Whatever is felt is included in suffering." yaṃ kiñci vedayitaṃ taṃ dukkhasmi’nti -SN 36.11(1)

"All formations are stressful." Sabbe saṅkhārā dukkhā’’ti - Dhp 278
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Re: Nibbana vs. annihilation?

Postby Alex123 » Wed Oct 13, 2010 12:40 am

gabrielbranbury wrote: I would just stress again that the Buddha identified with Paṭicca-samuppāda and not with aggregates. I dont think the Buddha experienced pain as dukkha but we must agree to disagree there. Gabe



Paṭicca-samuppāda is nothing but conditional interaction of 5 aggregates. Conditionality cannot be without things (aggregates) that are conditioned.

Buddha doesn't experience pain as mental dukkha, right. But as bodily feeling of pain, kāya dukkha vedanā.
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Re: Nibbana vs. annihilation?

Postby Prasadachitta » Wed Oct 13, 2010 12:49 am

Alex123 wrote:Paṭicca-samuppāda is nothing but conditional interaction of 5 aggregates.

The Buddha honored and respected Paṭicca-samuppāda.

"It would be for the sake of perfecting an unperfected aggregate of knowledge and vision of release that I would dwell in dependence on another priest or contemplative, honoring and respecting him. However, in this world with its devas, Maras, & Brahmas, in this generation with its priests and contemplatives, its royalty and common-folk, I do not see another priest or contemplative more consummate in knowledge and vision of release than I, on whom I could dwell in dependence, honoring and respecting him.

"What if I were to dwell in dependence on this very Dhamma to which I have fully awakened, honoring and respecting it?"


http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/sn/sn06/sn06.002.than.html
With Metta

Gabe
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Re: Nibbana vs. annihilation?

Postby retrofuturist » Wed Oct 13, 2010 1:08 am

Greetings Alex,

Alex123 wrote:Do you accept the possibility that kamma done prior to Arhatship may come up for an Arahant?

Only to the extent that ignorance in a "previous life" may be a contributing factor to the presence of "current life" for the arahant (if we are to speak ontologically rather than phenomenologically).

Alex123 wrote:In any case, where this discussion originated was the fact that even an Arahant or the Buddha can experience physical pain. Not only that, but there are multiple kinds of dukkha, and the Arahat has eliminated only the dukkha due to mental defilements. Dukkha of painful feeling still remains, dukkha of change still remains.

"Whatever is felt is included in suffering." yaṃ kiñci vedayitaṃ taṃ dukkhasmi’nti -SN 36.11(1)

"All formations are stressful." Sabbe saṅkhārā dukkhā’’ti - Dhp 278

We're going in circles. If you want to see my perspective on this see: viewtopic.php?f=13&t=5935&start=60#p92743 which you didn't really address because you went off down a 1-life vs 3-life D.O. tangent, which as I pointed out in response, isn't relevant because regardless of the schema used, avijja, sankhara and their dependent relationship are all partitioned in the same temporal region.

Metta,
Retro. :)
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Re: Nibbana vs. annihilation?

Postby Alex123 » Wed Oct 13, 2010 1:38 am

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings Alex,

So if ignorance ceases, and sankharas cease in turn, what justification is there for saying an arahant experiences dukkha (of the 2nd definiton)?

Metta,
Retro. :)


Just because one has no ignorance that doesn't prevent one from becoming sick and experiencing death like pains, or from being hurt by other people. Buddha was sick. Buddha was also hurt severely when Devadatta tried to kill him by throwing a boulder at Him, which missed and splinter of it broke off and hurt the Buddha causing him to bleed. Just because one has no ignorance doesn't remove the possibility of painful bodily feelings.

Just because one has no ignorance, it doesn't change the fact that all things are anicca. Because things are anicca, they are ultimately dukkha.
Just because one has no ignorance, it doesn't change the fact that illness, aging and perhaps painful death can/will occur.


With metta,

Alex
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Re: Nibbana vs. annihilation?

Postby mikenz66 » Wed Oct 13, 2010 1:47 am

Hi Retro,
retrofuturist wrote:Greetings Mike,

It appears we might be talking at cross-purposes. I was talking of nibbana, not vinnananirodha.

To differentiate the two, I understand nibbana as what the Buddha experienced from the time of his enlightenment to the time of his death (and I shant speculate beyond that). Vinnananirodha was a temporary state, induced through meditation, which acted as a painkiller.

Physical sensations are not dependent upon avijja... hence, the Buddha could still experience them.

Metta,
Retro. :)

Yes, but you keep mentioning an interpretation where after nibbana certain things to do with dependent origination have completely ceased. I'm pointing out (and Ven Nanananda agrees) that many of those passages seem to be talking about a temporary cessation of certain things.

So I'm curious to see a coherent account of what has ceased (permanently) after nibbana and what carries on after the nibbanizing experience.

Mike

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Re: Nibbana vs. annihilation?

Postby Alex123 » Wed Oct 13, 2010 1:52 am

mikenz66 wrote:
So I'm curious to see a coherent account of what has ceased (permanently) after nibbana and what carries on after the nibbanizing experience.

Mike



An Arahant (or 5 khandhas that we call an Arahat) doesn't experience any fetters, and there is no cognition of "I, me, mine". The aggregates are devoid of negative mental qualities. Since there is no craving and consciousness doesn't produce new kamma, at death all these aggregates cease and never re occur (Parinibbana).
"Life is a struggle. Life will throw curveballs at you, it will humble you, it will attempt to break you down. And just when you think things are starting to look up, life will smack you back down with ruthless indifference..."

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Re: Nihilism / annihilationism misrepresents the Buddha

Postby tiltbillings » Wed Oct 13, 2010 1:58 am

Kenshou wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:What is the most basic definition of nibbana given by the Buddha?

Mystical non-dual eternal unity with the transcendental "ground-of-being", right?

No?
Well, yeah and something completely other.
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

      >> Do you see a man wise [enlightened/ariya] in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him.<<
      -- Proverbs 26:12

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Re: Nibbana vs. annihilation?

Postby retrofuturist » Wed Oct 13, 2010 1:58 am

Greetings Mike,

mikenz66 wrote:So I'm curious to see a coherent account of what has ceased (permanently) after nibbana and what carries on after the nibbanizing experience.

As is sometimes pointed out, arahantship (cessation of avijja) doesn't end all consciousness (i.e. the arahant doesn't turn into a deaf and dumb mute)... the sense-bases don't cease to fuction, their ears and eyes don't just suddenly disappear into thin air or fall onto the ground.

What happens is that these things (which are listed in the dependent origination sequence) no longer come to be conditioned by ignorance. What this is saying is that once ignorance ceases, dependent origination no longer provides an explanation for existence because there is no more existence/becoming/being/house-building etc. There is no "origination", and the arahant is not "dependent".

So in terms of "what carries on after the nibbanizing experience" be careful to differentiate that which exists ontologically (i.e. ear, eye, nose) versus what doesn't exist phenomenologically (i.e. consciousness conditioned by ignorance).

Metta,
Retro. :)
"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)


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