Nibbana vs. annihilation?

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism

Re: Nibbana vs. annihilation?

Postby mikenz66 » Thu Oct 21, 2010 10:41 pm

I'd like to quote a couple of posts from Ven Dhammanando which may be relevant to some of the issues here:

First one, which is long, so I'll just put in some samples:
http://www.dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.ph ... t=60#p6665
Reads, in part:
Dhammanando wrote:
Only clinging is dukkha.

Well, that's a novel claim. But nothing in the rest of your post supports it.
...

But the passage you cite doesn't show that "saṅkhāra-dukkhatā is dukkha for puthujjanas." Quite the contrary, it states that "all conditioned things are dukkha," with no qualification. I would guess you have been misled by the translation "one turns away from suffering," which might be taken as implying that one no longer has any relationship at all to the thing in question. But the Pali won't support such a reading:

    “sabbe saṅkhārā dukkhā” ti, yadā paññāya passati.
    atha nibbindati dukkhe, esa maggo visuddhiyā.

The verb 'nibbindati' (the source of the noun 'nibbidā') means "to turn away" in the sense of becoming disgusted or disillusioned with something. It does not mean that one is at once freed from the thing in question. All saṅkhāras are dukkha in the sense of being oppressed by rise and fall (udayavaya-ppaṭipīḷana) and they continue to be so whether they arise for a puthujjana, a sekha or an asekha. Hence the saying: "Whatsoever is felt, all that is included in dukkha."
...
Best wishes,
Dhammanando Bhikkhu
User avatar
mikenz66
 
Posts: 9612
Joined: Sat Jan 10, 2009 7:37 am
Location: New Zealand

Re: Nibbana vs. annihilation?

Postby mikenz66 » Thu Oct 21, 2010 10:42 pm

Another from Ven Dhammanando, which cautions against interpreting certain statement to mean "immediately":
http://www.dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.ph ... art=0#p956
Dhammanando wrote:Hi Retro,

retrofuturist wrote:1. Traditionally I've heard that "Nibbana without residue" or "Nibbana without remainder" as referring to parinibbana, but that does not seem to be the case in this sutta as it talks about the "Nibbana-element with no residue left" being experienced "here in this very life". Is this a contradiction?


No, the sutta doesn’t contradict the usual identification of “nibbāna without residue” with parinibbāna.

The Pali says idh’eva which Ireland translates as “in this very life”. The literal meaning would be “just here”. His translation is not wrong, but it is susceptible to being misread. In sutta usage when “here” carries the sense of “this life”, it nearly always implies this life as opposed to any future life. It doesn’t mean “during this life” (for which the standard phrase is diṭṭhe’va dhamme — “in the here-and-now”; lit. “in the presently seen thing”).

2. In the instances where the translation reads as "being", is this referring to "bhava", also translated elsewhere as "becoming"?


I’m not sure which sentence in the sutta you are referring to. If it’s the same one I’ve already covered, then it’s possible that a translator might use the word “being” if he were translating according to the commentarial gloss on idh’eva, which is imasmiṃyeva attabhāve — “in this very existence”, “in this very state of being.”

Best wishes,
Dhammanando Bhikkhu
User avatar
mikenz66
 
Posts: 9612
Joined: Sat Jan 10, 2009 7:37 am
Location: New Zealand

Re: Nibbana vs. annihilation?

Postby retrofuturist » Thu Oct 21, 2010 10:46 pm

Greetings Mike,

mikenz66 wrote:Another from Ven Dhammanando, which cautions against interpreting certain statement to mean "immediately":

Does it though? He seems to be stating that what is understood by some translators as taking place "in this life" would actually be better understood as "just here"... which seems very immediate.

Metta,
Retro. :)
If you have asked me of the origination of unease, then I shall explain it to you in accordance with my understanding:
Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


Exalted in mind, just open and clearly aware, the recluse trained in the ways of the sages:
One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


Dharma Wheel (Mahayana / Vajrayana forum) -- Open flower ~ Open book (blog)
User avatar
retrofuturist
Site Admin
 
Posts: 14521
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 9:52 pm
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Re: Nibbana vs. annihilation?

Postby mikenz66 » Thu Oct 21, 2010 11:02 pm

retrofuturist wrote:
mikenz66 wrote:Another from Ven Dhammanando, which cautions against interpreting certain statement to mean "immediately":

Does it though? He seems to be stating that what is understood by some translators as taking place "in this life" would actually be better understood as "just here"... which seems very immediate.

Hmm, I must admit that the explanation that follows is a little convoluted.
In sutta usage when “here” carries the sense of “this life”, it nearly always implies this life as opposed to any future life. It doesn’t mean “during this life” (for which the standard phrase is diṭṭhe’va dhamme — “in the here-and-now”; lit. “in the presently seen thing”).

I take him to be saying that if the Buddha was talking about something happening "at this moment/in the here-and-now" he would have used a different expression.

Unfortunately, it is not completely clear...

Mike
User avatar
mikenz66
 
Posts: 9612
Joined: Sat Jan 10, 2009 7:37 am
Location: New Zealand

Re: Nibbana vs. annihilation?

Postby retrofuturist » Fri Oct 22, 2010 12:30 am

Greetings Mike,

Yes, it does seems complicated.

In sutta usage when “here” carries the sense of “this life”...

Again, circumstances when that is the case, may be equally unclear and subject to interpretation.

Metta,
Retro. :)
If you have asked me of the origination of unease, then I shall explain it to you in accordance with my understanding:
Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


Exalted in mind, just open and clearly aware, the recluse trained in the ways of the sages:
One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


Dharma Wheel (Mahayana / Vajrayana forum) -- Open flower ~ Open book (blog)
User avatar
retrofuturist
Site Admin
 
Posts: 14521
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 9:52 pm
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Re: Nibbana vs. annihilation?

Postby mikenz66 » Fri Oct 22, 2010 11:53 pm

Hi Retro,

Since it seems to me that a lot if made of particular interpretations of this Sutta.
Here's Ireland's translation: http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... ml#iti-044 with the relevant sentence highlighted:
"Now what, bhikkhus, is the Nibbana-element with no residue left? Here a bhikkhu is an arahant, one whose taints are destroyed, the holy life fulfilled, who has done what had to be done, laid down the burden, attained the goal, destroyed the fetters of being, completely released through final knowledge. For him, here in this very life, all this is experience, not being delighted in, will be extinguished. That, bhikkhus, is called the Nibbana-element with no residue left.


And here is Thanissaro's translation and comments:
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... ml#iti-044
...
And what is the Unbinding property with no fuel remaining? There is the case where a monk is an arahant whose fermentations have ended, who has reached fulfillment, finished the task, laid down the burden, attained the true goal, ended the fetter of becoming, and is released through right gnosis. For him, all that is sensed, being unrelished, will grow cold right here. This is termed the Unbinding property with no fuel remaining."[2]
...
[2] With fuel remaining (sa-upadisesa) and with no fuel remaining (anupadisesa): The analogy here is to a fire. In the first case, the flames are out, but the embers are still glowing. In the second, the fire is so thoroughly out that the embers have grown cold. The "fuel" here is the five aggregates (see the Glossary). While the arahant is still alive, he/she still experiences the five aggregates, but they do not burn with the fires of passion, aversion, or delusion. When the arahant passes away, there is no longer any experience of aggregates here or anywhere else. For a discussion of this point, see The Mind Like Fire Unbound, pp. 21-37. http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... lowingfire


And here is Dhammanando's comment on Ireland's translation:
The Pali says idh’eva which Ireland translates as “in this very life”. The literal meaning would be “just here”. His translation is not wrong, but it is susceptible to being misread. In sutta usage when “here” carries the sense of “this life”, it nearly always implies this life as opposed to any future life. It doesn’t mean “during this life” (for which the standard phrase is diṭṭhe’va dhamme — “in the here-and-now”; lit. “in the presently seen thing”).


It's all very tricky. As Ven Nananada says (with reference to different Suttas, I can't find a reference to this particular Sutta in his writings --- yet.)
http://www.beyondthenet.net/calm/nibbana17.htm
This brings us to an extremely deep point in our discussion on Nibbàna. If the arahant in arahattaphalasamàdhi is sup­posed to be standing on the farther shore, having gone beyond, what is the position with him when he is taking his meals or preaching in his every day life? Does he now and then come back to this side?

Whether the arahant, having gone to the farther shore, comes back at all is a matter of dispute. The fact that it in­volves some deeper issues is revealed by some discourses touching on this question.


:namaste:
Mike
User avatar
mikenz66
 
Posts: 9612
Joined: Sat Jan 10, 2009 7:37 am
Location: New Zealand

Re: Nibbana vs. annihilation?

Postby retrofuturist » Fri Oct 22, 2010 11:58 pm

Greetings Mike,

Yes, it is indeed interesting - and thank you for assembling these relevant quotations.

Metta,
Retro. :)
If you have asked me of the origination of unease, then I shall explain it to you in accordance with my understanding:
Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


Exalted in mind, just open and clearly aware, the recluse trained in the ways of the sages:
One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


Dharma Wheel (Mahayana / Vajrayana forum) -- Open flower ~ Open book (blog)
User avatar
retrofuturist
Site Admin
 
Posts: 14521
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 9:52 pm
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Re: Nibbana vs. annihilation?

Postby mikenz66 » Sat Oct 23, 2010 1:35 am

OK, Here's Ven Nanananda's analysis:
http://www.beyondthenet.net/calm/nibbana18.htm
His translation.
"This was said by the Exalted One, said by the Worthy One, so have I heard:

`Monks, there are these two Nibbàna elements. Which two? The Nibbàna element with residual clinging and the Nibbàna element without residual clinging.

And what, monks, is the Nibbàna element with residual clinging? Herein, monks, a monk is an arahant, with influxes extinct, one who has lived the holy life to the full, done what is to be done, laid down the burden, reached one's goal, fully destroyed the fetters of exis­tence and released with full understanding. His five sense faculties still remain and due to the fact that they are not destroyed, he experi­ences likes and dislikes, and pleasures and pains. That extirpation of lust, hate and delusion in him, that, monks, is known as the Nibbàna element with residual clinging.

And what, monks, is the Nibbàna element without residual cling­ing? Herein, monks, a monk is an arahant, with influxes extinct, one who has lived the holy life to the full, done what is to be done, laid down the burden, reached one's goal, fully destroyed the fetters of existence and released with full understanding. In him, here itself, all what is felt will cool off, not being delighted in. This, monks, is the Nib­bàna element without residual clinging.'

To this effect the Exalted One spoke and this is the gist handed down as `thus said'.

`These two Nibbàna elements have been made known,
By the one with vision, unattached and such,
Of relevance to the here and now is one element,
With residual clinging, yet with tentacles to becoming snapped,
But then that element without residual clinging is of relevance to
the hereafter,
For in it surcease all forms of becoming.

They that comprehend fully this state of the unprepared,
Released in mind with tentacles to becoming snapped,
On winning to the essence of Dhamma they take delight in seeing to an end of it all,
So give up they, all forms of becoming, steadfastly such-like as they are."

And some comments (but it would be better to read the whole thing, lest I be accused of selective quotation... :reading:)
In the definition of the Nibbàna element without residual cling­ing, the same standard phrase recurs, while its distinctive feature is sum­med up in just one sentence: Tassa idheva sabba­veda­yi­tàni an­abhi­nanditàni sãtibhavis­santi, "in him, here itself, all what is felt will cool off, not being delighted in". It may be noted that the verb is in the future tense and apart from this cooling off, there is no guarantee of a world beyond, as an asaïkhata dhàtu, or `unprepared element', with no sun, moon or stars in it.

The two verses that follow purport to give a summary of the prose passage. Here it is clearly stated that out of the two Nibbàna ele­ments, as they are called, the former pertains to the here and now, diñ­­ñhadhammika, while the latter refers to what comes after death, sam­paràyika. The Nibbàna element with residual clinging, sa-upà­disesà Nibbànadhàtu, has as its redeeming feature the assurance that the tentacular craving for becoming is cut off, despite its exposure to likes and dislikes, pleasures and pains, common to the field of the five senses.

As for the Nibbàna element without residual clinging, it is defi­nitely stated that in it all forms of existence come to cease. The rea­son for it is none other than the crucial fact, stated in that single sen­tence, namely, the cooling off of all what is felt as an inevitable con­sequence of not being delighted in, anabhinanditàni.

Why do they not take delight in what is felt at the moment of pass­ing away? They take delight in something else, and that is: the very destruction of all what is felt, a foretaste of which they have al­ready experienced in their attainment to that unshakeable deliver­ance of the mind, which is the very pith and essence of the Dhamma, dham­­masàra.
...

Nibbàna is solely the realization of the cessation of existence or the end of the process of becoming. So there is absolutely no ques­tion of a hereafter for the arahant. By way of clarification, we have to revert to the primary sense of the term Nibbàna. We have made it sufficiently clear that Nibbàna means `extinction' or `extinguish­ment', as of a fire.
...

The popular interpretation of the term anupàdisesà Nibbànadhàtu leaves room for some absolutist conceptions of an asaïkhata dhàtu, unprepared element, as the destiny of the arahant. After his pari­nib­bàna, he is supposed to enter this particular Nibbànadhàtu. But here, in this discourse, it is explained in just one sentence: Tassa idheva, bhikkhave, sabbavedayitàni anabhinanditàni sãtibhavis­santi, "in the case of him" (that is the arahant) ", O! monks, all what is felt, not having been delighted in, will cool off here itself."

But when it comes to the distinction between sa-upàdisesa and anupàdisesa, the element upàdi has to be understood in a more radi­cal sense, in association with the word upàdiõõa. This body, as the product of past kamma, is the `grasped' par excellence, which as an organic combination goes on functioning even in the ara­hant until his last moment of life.

...
This cooling off happens just before death, without igniting an­other spark of life. When Màra comes to grab and seize, the ara­hant lets go. The pain of death with which Màra teases his hapless victim and lures him into another existence, becomes ineffective in the case of the arahant. As he has already gone through the supra­mundane experience of deathlessness, in the arahat­taphala­samà­dhi, death loses its sting when at last it comes. The influx-free deliver­ance of the mind and the influx-free deliverance through wisdom en­able him to cool down all feelings in a way that baffles Màra.

So the arahant lets go of his body, experiencing ambrosial death­lessness. As in the case of Venerable Dabba Mallaputta, he would sometimes cremate his own body without leaving any ashes.[37] Out­wardly it might appear as an act of self-immolation, which in­deed is painful. But this is not so. Using his jhànic powers, he simply em­ploys the internal fire element to cremate the body he has already discarded.

This, then, is the Buddha's extraordinary solution to the problem of overcoming death, a solution that completely outwits Màra.

What I find interesting about Ven Nanananda is that, although he argues (very eloquently) for a momentary interpretation of Dependent Origination in his earlier Sermons, and he argues (again eloquently) that there are problems with many of the classical interpretations of the details, his overall conclusion seems rather classical: the Arahant has ended the round of rebirth.

:namaste:
Mike
User avatar
mikenz66
 
Posts: 9612
Joined: Sat Jan 10, 2009 7:37 am
Location: New Zealand

Re: Nibbana vs. annihilation?

Postby retrofuturist » Sat Oct 23, 2010 1:57 am

Greetings Mike,

Thanks for sharing.

mikenz66 wrote:What I find interesting about Ven Nanananda is that, although he argues (very eloquently) for a momentary interpretation of Dependent Origination in his earlier Sermons, and he argues (again eloquently) that there are problems with many of the classical interpretations of the details, his overall conclusion seems rather classical: the Arahant has ended the round of rebirth.

Indeed... whilst some people may use a non-temporal model of dependent origination to deny rebirth, there is no inherent conflict between a non-temporal model of dependent origination, and the (conventional) notion of rebirth. What should be recognised though are that non-temporal dependent origination and rebirth are two discrete teachings - one using precise Dhamma terms, the other using conventional parlance... and thus they should not be mixed, lest confusion arise.

Metta,
Retro. :)
If you have asked me of the origination of unease, then I shall explain it to you in accordance with my understanding:
Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


Exalted in mind, just open and clearly aware, the recluse trained in the ways of the sages:
One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


Dharma Wheel (Mahayana / Vajrayana forum) -- Open flower ~ Open book (blog)
User avatar
retrofuturist
Site Admin
 
Posts: 14521
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 9:52 pm
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Re: Nibbana vs. annihilation?

Postby mikenz66 » Sat Oct 23, 2010 2:08 am

retrofuturist wrote:Indeed... whilst some people may use a non-temporal model of dependent origination to deny rebirth, there is no inherent conflict between a non-temporal model of dependent origination, and the (conventional) notion of rebirth. What should be recognised though are that non-temporal dependent origination and rebirth are two discrete teachings - one using precise Dhamma terms, the other using conventional parlance... and thus they should not be mixed, lest confusion arise.

I'm confused by this statement. My impression was that in Ven Nananada's model DO is non-temporal and hence has nothing to do with rebirth. It's not a question of different levels of description.

It's in the more conventional interpretations of DO, either in the Commentaries or by teachers such as Ven Thanissaro, where I would have thought you could argue that the teachings on "rebirth and kamma" are conventional ways of approximating parts of the DO sequence.

Am I missing something here?

Mike
User avatar
mikenz66
 
Posts: 9612
Joined: Sat Jan 10, 2009 7:37 am
Location: New Zealand

Re: Nibbana vs. annihilation?

Postby retrofuturist » Sat Oct 23, 2010 2:19 am

Greetings Mike,

mikenz66 wrote:I'm confused by this statement. My impression was that in Ven Nananada's model DO is non-temporal and hence has nothing to do with rebirth.

Indeed. That's why I said two discrete teachings.

mikenz66 wrote:It's in the more conventional interpretations of DO, either in the Commentaries or by teachers such as Ven Thanissaro, where I would have thought you could argue that the teachings on "rebirth and kamma" are conventional ways of approximating parts of the DO sequence.

Yes, traditional explanations of three-life dependent origination, and rebirth and kamma, do seem to occur interchangeably... where "wheel of life" and "rounds of samsara" are equivalent expressions.

mikenz66 wrote:Am I missing something here?

Not sure - maybe you just thought I was saying or implying something I wasn't? Either way, I'm happy to clarify... though I'm a little wary, lest we stray too far from the more immediate question of nibbana vs. annihilation.

Metta,
Retro. :)
If you have asked me of the origination of unease, then I shall explain it to you in accordance with my understanding:
Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


Exalted in mind, just open and clearly aware, the recluse trained in the ways of the sages:
One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


Dharma Wheel (Mahayana / Vajrayana forum) -- Open flower ~ Open book (blog)
User avatar
retrofuturist
Site Admin
 
Posts: 14521
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 9:52 pm
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Re: Nibbana vs. annihilation?

Postby 5heaps » Sat Oct 23, 2010 3:46 am

tiltbillings wrote:You need to define svabhava. And you need to explain why you are trying to read Sarvastivadin stuff into the Theravada.
i translate svabhava as 'essential nature' since that is what dhammas need in order to rightly be called a dhamma. a momemtary and dependent essential nature of course. if things had no such nature we wouldnt be able to establish anatta, since it wouldnt be clear what it is we were talking about, nor of what it is that mind is cognizing when it cognizes.

In the Theravadin Abhidhamma Pitaka text, the Katthavatthu (I 6-8 pgs 115-55 in the Pali and pgs 84-104 in the translation POINTS OF CONTROVERSY), the Sarvastivadin position is directly addressed and rejected.
yes, you can negate the substantiality of past and future but still be classified under the general term "Vaibhashika" as explained by the early indian buddhists. there are many schools within vaibhashika and many of them made many subtle distinctions between one another. the point at which one differs too greatly from the general vaibhashika view is generally when both past and future are asserted as being mere negations, when one accepts reflexive awareness, and when being able to perform a function is equivalence to ultimate truth.

for the record mahayana does not say that vaibhashika or theravada assert unchanging and unconditioned natures. only nonbuddhists assert such things, and mahayana considers vaibhashika and thervada to be buddhist. what mahayana has a problem with is are changing and conditioned natures at the heart of all dhammas.

For the Theravadins there is no eternal nature to the dhammas. Dhammas are empty of self.
this shows confusion to me since noone is asserting eternal natures, at all. what Sarvastivadin means when they talk about past present and future equally existing is that all three exist substantially (ie. past and future have the ability to perform a function equally, just as the present does). this needs to be studied closely, since such an assertion does not necessitate the need of an unchanging or unconditioned nature. rather, the opposite.

5heaps, anything about that unclear?

i shouldnt have brought in abidharmakosha, i should have just merely made my other point which was that the elements are commonly accepted in theravada.
however
1. avoid the abhidharmakosha and sautrantika at your own peril
2. Nagarjuna isnt negating unchanging unconditioned natures. your school already does that pretty well. he is negating changing conditioned natures by establishing emptiness and dependent origination in a radical way.
3. sorry for the long post
A Japanese man has been arrested on suspicion of writing a computer virus that destroys and replaces files on a victim PC with manga images of squid, octopuses and sea urchins. Masato Nakatsuji, 27, of Izumisano, Osaka Prefecture, was quoted as telling police: "I wanted to see how much my computer programming skills had improved since the last time I was arrested."
5heaps
 
Posts: 334
Joined: Wed Dec 16, 2009 12:19 am

Re: Nibbana vs. annihilation?

Postby Nyana » Sat Oct 23, 2010 4:23 am

mikenz66 wrote:What I find interesting about Ven Nanananda is that, although he argues (very eloquently) for a momentary interpretation of Dependent Origination in his earlier Sermons, and he argues (again eloquently) that there are problems with many of the classical interpretations of the details, his overall conclusion seems rather classical: the Arahant has ended the round of rebirth.

Hi Mike & all,

The main problem with the classical interpretation is that it defines nibbāna as an existent thing (atthi dhamma) that ultimately exists (paramatthata atthibhāva). Thus the inability to see through this whole atthi/natthi and bhāva/abhāva bifurcation.

All the best,

Geoff
Nyana
 
Posts: 2229
Joined: Tue Apr 27, 2010 11:56 am

Re: Nibbana vs. annihilation?

Postby Nyana » Sat Oct 23, 2010 4:25 am

5heaps wrote:1. avoid the abhidharmakosha and sautrantika at your own peril

Hi 5heaps,

Will do. Gladly.

All the best,

Geoff
Nyana
 
Posts: 2229
Joined: Tue Apr 27, 2010 11:56 am

Re: Nibbana vs. annihilation?

Postby Individual » Sat Oct 23, 2010 4:29 am

If this helps, if something like this hasn't already been said:

It is possible to distinguish the cessation of perception & feeling by distinguishing what it is not. It is not the jhana of nothingness, nor is it the jhana of neither-perception-nor-non-perception. Think about what exactly that means.

Nibbana is when the mind is no longer coming or going, but that does not mean it's frozen. Because it is the greatest form of freedom. In whatever we might conceive as "nothingness," there is no freedom. And in whatever we might imagine to be a "mystical transcendental state", there is coming and going. And in both states, there is craving, rebirth, and suffering, even if incredibly subtle.
The best things in life aren't things.

The Diamond Sutra
Individual
 
Posts: 1970
Joined: Mon Jan 12, 2009 2:19 am

Re: Nibbana vs. annihilation?

Postby 5heaps » Sat Oct 23, 2010 4:56 am

Ñāṇa wrote:Will do. Gladly.
why?
A Japanese man has been arrested on suspicion of writing a computer virus that destroys and replaces files on a victim PC with manga images of squid, octopuses and sea urchins. Masato Nakatsuji, 27, of Izumisano, Osaka Prefecture, was quoted as telling police: "I wanted to see how much my computer programming skills had improved since the last time I was arrested."
5heaps
 
Posts: 334
Joined: Wed Dec 16, 2009 12:19 am

Re: Nibbana vs. annihilation?

Postby tiltbillings » Sat Oct 23, 2010 5:05 am

5heaps wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:You need to define svabhava. And you need to explain why you are trying to read Sarvastivadin stuff into the Theravada.
i translate svabhava as 'essential nature' since that is what dhammas need in order to rightly be called a dhamma. a momemtary and dependent essential nature of course.
But the point is, as I have shown, with sources (something you have not done), that essential nature, svabhava, of a dharma for the Sarvastivada: In fact, Yasomitra, commenting on the Abhidharmakosa, maintained that “by ‘own nature’ [svabha] means by the ‘self’ [atman].” And let us not forget that a self is unchanging and eternal.

In the Theravadin Abhidhamma Pitaka text, the Katthavatthu (I 6-8 pgs 115-55 in the Pali and pgs 84-104 in the translation POINTS OF CONTROVERSY), the Sarvastivadin position is directly addressed and rejected.
yes, you can negate the substantiality of past and future but still be classified under the general term "Vaibhashika" as explained by the early indian buddhists.
Early Buddhists, the Theravada, directly addressed and rejected the Sarvastivadin position. There is no justification that you have shown to classify the Theravadin with the Sarvastivadins/"Vaibhashika."

there are many schools within vaibhashika
And the Theravada is not one of them.

for the record mahayana does not say that vaibhashika or theravada assert unchanging and unconditioned natures.
As I already have pointed out above, it is part of the Indian Buddhist commentarial position that begs to strongly to differ with you.

only nonbuddhists assert such things, and mahayana considers vaibhashika and thervada to be buddhist. what mahayana has a problem with is are changing and conditioned natures at the heart of all dhammas.
I do not care what the Mahayana has to say, assuming you are accurately reflecting a Mahayana position (which is not at all a safe assumption). Vaibhashika and Theravada are not equivalent, nor are their dhamma/dharma theories the same, either generally or in particular, which has been shown.

For the Theravadins there is no eternal nature to the dhammas. Dhammas are empty of self.
this shows confusion to me since noone is asserting eternal natures, at all.
Several authors I have quoted say otherwise as does the Indian Buddhist commentator, Yasomitra.

what Sarvastivadin means when they talk about past present and future equally existing is that all three exist substantially (ie. past and future have the ability to perform a function equally, just as the present does).
Rather nicely makes my point.

5heaps, anything about that unclear?

i shouldnt have brought in abidharmakosha, i should have just merely made my other point which was that the elements are commonly accepted in theravada.
Elements? Dhatu? You want to get into that? But you have not read what I wrote with any care. Let me repeat: This is, after all The General Theravada discussion section for discussing things from a Theravadin point of view. 5heaps, anything about that unclear?

1. avoid the abhidharmakosha and sautrantika at your own peril
There is no risk to the Theravada. Being a complete, full path to full awakening, the Theravada does not need the Abhidharmakosha or the sautrantika and it certainly does not need Nagarjuna.

2. Nagarjuna isnt negating unchanging unconditioned natures. your school already does that pretty well. he is negating changing conditioned natures by establishing emptiness and dependent origination in a radical way.
I have to wonder if you have actually studied Nagarjuna, and I have to wonder if you really understand what the Theravada teaches. Do I need to quote you know what again?
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
User avatar
tiltbillings
 
Posts: 18355
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 9:25 am
Location: Turtle Island

Re: Nibbana vs. annihilation?

Postby tiltbillings » Sat Oct 23, 2010 5:08 am

Individual wrote:Nibbana is when the mind is no longer coming or going, but that does not mean it's frozen.
Do not mistake meditative experiences for nibbana. Nibbana's most basic definition is the destruction of greed, hatred and delusion. A mind freed no longer colors its experiences by grasping after, by pushing away or by assuming a self.
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
User avatar
tiltbillings
 
Posts: 18355
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 9:25 am
Location: Turtle Island

Re: Nibbana vs. annihilation?

Postby mikenz66 » Sat Oct 23, 2010 5:10 am

The original question here was:
Lazy_eye wrote:Now this line of thinking raises a rather important question: what kind of state is Nibbana?

For a physicalist, suicide leads to utter annihilation. It's not simply the extinguishing of conditioned consciousness but of any sort of awareness whatsoever. If we draw an equation between the goal of Buddhist practice and the goal of suicide, then we are implying that Buddhist nibbana is identical to annihilation and oblivion (what a materialist would expect to happen after death). But is that the case?

Alex replied:
Alex123 wrote:The difference between Dhamma and Atheistic one-life-only is that Dhamma teaches that there is cause-effect stream of delusive "I, me, mine" making that goes on until citta is no longer producing future effect (Arhatship). Death is not the end unless one doesn't produce any new cittas.


This extract that I quoted from Ven Nanananda seems quite consistent to Alex's post:
Ven Nanananda wrote:Nibbàna is solely the realization of the cessation of existence or the end of the process of becoming. So there is absolutely no ques­tion of a hereafter for the arahant. By way of clarification, we have to revert to the primary sense of the term Nibbàna. We have made it sufficiently clear that Nibbàna means `extinction' or `extinguish­ment', as of a fire.
...
This cooling off happens just before death, without igniting an­other spark of life. When Màra comes to grab and seize, the ara­hant lets go. The pain of death with which Màra teases his hapless victim and lures him into another existence, becomes ineffective in the case of the arahant.
...
This, then, is the Buddha's extraordinary solution to the problem of overcoming death, a solution that completely outwits Màra.

Another related issue that arose was the question of when dukkha actually ceases for an Arahant:
Alex123 wrote:Right. Even the Buddha experienced Physical dukkha. He just didn't experience emotional/mental one. He was "shot with one arrow" rather than "being shot with two". It may shock some, but even being an Arhat is still dukkha, just much less dukkha than being someone below that. The most peaceful and totally dukkha free is PariNibbana. Even an Arahant/Buddha has pain due to existence of remaining aggregates.

This seems consistet with my quote from from Ven Dhammanando:
viewtopic.php?f=13&t=5935&start=300
Dhammanando wrote: All saṅkhāras are dukkha in the sense of being oppressed by rise and fall (udayavaya-ppaṭipīḷana) and they continue to be so whether they arise for a puthujjana, a sekha or an asekha. Hence the saying: "Whatsoever is felt, all that is included in dukkha."

I do, however, have some misgivings about how Alex expresses some of these ideas. For example:
Alex123 wrote:Existence = presence of mind and/or body.

It is ultimately more or less dukkha, but still dukkha. The cessation of all dukkha is real peace.

Some think that happiness lies in pleasant feelings. But real "happiness" is absence of any and all dukkha.

This seems similar to Sariputta comment, as quoted by Ven Nanananda:
http://www.beyondthenet.net/calm/nibbana18.htm
Ven Nanananda wrote:Venerable Sàriputta once declared that he neither delighted in death nor delighted in life, nàbhinandàmi maraõaü nàbhinandàmi jãvitaü.[36] So the embers go on smouldering until they become ashes. It is when the life span ends that the embers finally turn to ashes.
[36] Th 1001, Sàriputtatheragàthà.

However, it seems to me that Sariputta's delight is the result of becoming an Arahant. Taking up this attitude doesn't seem to me to be a useful way to get to that state, and would likely be rather destructive in a non-Arahant, and, at the very least be a grasping at a particular view. So, I presume that Alex is simply expressing his intellectual understanding of the teachings, not his attitude to life.

:anjali:
Mike
User avatar
mikenz66
 
Posts: 9612
Joined: Sat Jan 10, 2009 7:37 am
Location: New Zealand

Re: Nibbana vs. annihilation?

Postby retrofuturist » Sat Oct 23, 2010 5:13 am

Greetings Mike,

I'm enjoying these panoramic (for want of a better word) posts of yours!

Metta,
Retro. :)
If you have asked me of the origination of unease, then I shall explain it to you in accordance with my understanding:
Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


Exalted in mind, just open and clearly aware, the recluse trained in the ways of the sages:
One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


Dharma Wheel (Mahayana / Vajrayana forum) -- Open flower ~ Open book (blog)
User avatar
retrofuturist
Site Admin
 
Posts: 14521
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 9:52 pm
Location: Melbourne, Australia

PreviousNext

Return to General Theravāda discussion

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: James the Giant, MSNbot Media and 5 guests