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

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Re: Nibbana vs. annihilation?

Postby retrofuturist » Tue Oct 19, 2010 11:01 pm

Greetings Alex,

Alex123 wrote:It is NOT a destination, just like an extingushed flame doesn't go anywhere, same when 5 aggregates cease and never rearise.

Nibbana = cessation (of suffering and all that can be unsatisfactory).

Well said.

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

Postby 5heaps » Thu Oct 21, 2010 3:49 am

tiltbillings wrote:
5heaps wrote:
Kenshou wrote:Are you saying that you think of the "Elements" as something akin to fundamental particles?
its a common notion
Yes. it is, but is not a notion characteristic of the suttas or even the Abhidhamm Pitaka. This has been pointed out to you more than once, but you continue to try to read very late Tibetan tenet stuff backwards into the Pali suttas and and Theravada in general, and in doing that you are simply, completely and totally wrong, incorrect, off base, not representing the the truth of the matter.
its not "late tibetan tenet stuff", its straightforward abidharmakosha and all of indian buddhism 200AD onwards.

i think what you and mikenz66 say about the elements is very dangerous, since consciousness needs objects of engagement for its production. do you have any links or something that explain your position a bit more?
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Re: Nibbana vs. annihilation?

Postby mikenz66 » Thu Oct 21, 2010 4:11 am

Hi 5heaps,

As Tilt pointed out in the link I gave above, http://www.dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.ph ... =20#p89007
The Theravada does not necessarily teach "partless particles."

(my colouring).

Clearly some Abhidhamma experts do interpret dhammas and elements in a very literal particle-like way, so I would not want to go so far as say that this is wrong but I don't think that it is necessary, and, as I said above, personally I find it most helpful to see the classifications in the Suttas and Abhidhamma as aids to analysis of experience.

So, there is room for discussion, and I'm certainly not convinced that anyone here can claim to have the "one true interpretation" of what exactly ceases on the attainment of Arahantship. This is a complex question that whole books have been written on and argued about...

Mike

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Re: Nibbana vs. annihilation?

Postby tiltbillings » Thu Oct 21, 2010 4:37 am

5heaps wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:
5heaps wrote:its a common notion
Yes. it is, but is not a notion characteristic of the suttas or even the Abhidhamm Pitaka. This has been pointed out to you more than once, but you continue to try to read very late Tibetan tenet stuff backwards into the Pali suttas and and Theravada in general, and in doing that you are simply, completely and totally wrong, incorrect, off base, not representing the the truth of the matter.
its not "late tibetan tenet stuff", its straightforward abidharmakosha and all of indian buddhism 200AD onwards.
Abhidharmakosha, but not Theravada. There is no justification for reading Sarvasitavada, especially as made static by the Tibetan tenet system, into the Theravada, which has a completely different set of Abhidhamma texts.

i think what you and mikenz66 say about the elements is very dangerous, since consciousness needs objects of engagement for its production. do you have any links or something that explain your position a bit more?
And these "objects" have to be little, itty bitty particles of self existing thingies? Is consciousness a particle? I don't think you have actually considered the quotes I have offered. Here is a response to this issue I posted earlier on this forum:
tiltbillings wrote:It is important to understand that Buddhism (here meaning Theravada) is not doing science. It is not commenting on the nature of the “external” world. It is dealing with what is experienced. A “fundamental particle” of experience is hardly an unchanging, unconditioned thing. It is a way of talking about the flow of experience that our senses can give us which we can call this or that.

Ven Nyanamoli in a footnote in his PATH OF PURIFICATION, pages 317-8, states: "In the Pitakas the word sabhaava seems to appear only once...," it appears several times in Milindapanha, and it is used quite a bit in the PoP and it commentaries. He states it often roughly corresponds to dhaatu, element and to lakkhana, characteristic. An interesting passage from the PoP reads:

"On the contrary, before their rise [the bases, aayatana] they had no individual essence [sabhaava], and after their fall their individual essence are completely dissolved. And they occur without mastery [being exercisable over them] since they exist in dependence on conditions and in between the past and the future." Page 551 XV 15.

Piatigorsky (In his study of the Pitaka Abhidhamma texts, THE BUDDHIST PHILOSOPHY OF THOUGHT, p 182) puts it: “From the point of view of consciousness, it can be said that, when consciousness is conscious of one’s mind, thought, or consciousness directed to their objects, then it is ‘being conscious of’ that may be named ‘a state of consciousness’ or a dharma.”

Piatigorsky (THE BUDDHIST PHILOSOPHY OF THOUGHT, p 146) explains: “the meaning of each abhidhammic term [dhamma] consists (or is the sum) of all its positional meanings and of all positional meanings of its connotations.”

Nyanaponika quotes a sub-commentary to an Abhidhamma text: "There is no other thing than the quality borne by it." (na ca dhaariyamma-sabhaavaa an~n~o dhammo naama atthi). Abhidhamma Studies, page 40. Which is to say: We simpy cannot say that 'a dharma is... (a predicate follows)', because a dharma, in fact, 'is' no thing, yet [it is] a term denoting (not being) a certain relation or type of relation to thought, consciousness or mind. That is, dharma is not a concept in the accepted terminological sense of the latter, but a purely relational notion. -- Piatigorsky, THE BUDDHIST PHILOSOPHY OF THOUGHT, page 181.

Nyanaponika ABHIDHAMMA STUDIES, page 41 BPS; page 42 Wisdom wrote:By arranging the mental factors in relational groups a subordinate synthetical element has been introduced into the mainly analytical Dhammasangani. By so doing, the danger inherent in purely analytical methods is avoided. This danger consists in erroneously taking for genuine separate entities the “parts” resulting from analysis, instead of restricting their use to sound practical method with the purpose of classifying and dissolving composite events wrongly conceived as unities. Up to the present time it has been a regular occurrence in the history of physics, metaphysics, and psychology that when the “whole” has been successfully dissolved by analysis, the resultant “parts” themselves come in turn to be regarded as little “wholes.”


Prof. Dr. Y. Karunadasa, THE DHAMMA THEORY, page 9 http://www.zeh-verlag.de/download/dhammatheory.pdf wrote:In the Pali tradition it is only for the sake of definition and description that each dhamma is postulated as if it were a separate entity; but in reality it is by no means a solitary phenomenon having an existence of its own. . . . If this Abhidhammic view of existence, as seen from its doctrine of dhammas, cannot be interpreted as a radical pluralism, neither can it be interpreted as an out-and-out monism. For what are called dhammas -- the component factors of the universe, both within us and outside us -- are not fractions of an absolute unity but a multiplicity of co-ordinate factors. They are not reducible to, nor do they emerge from, a single reality, the fundamental postulate of monistic metaphysics. If they are to be interpreted as phenomena, this should be done with the proviso that they are phenomena with no corresponding noumena, no hidden underlying ground. For they are not manifestations of some mysterious metaphysical substratum, but processes taking place due to the interplay of a multitude of conditions.


Harvey, in his excellent INTRODUCTION TO BUDDHISM, characterizes the Theravadin position, page 87: wrote: "'They are dhammas because they uphold their own nature [sabhaava]. They are dhammas because they are upheld by conditions or they are upheld according to their own nature' (Asl.39). Here 'own-nature' would mean characteristic nature, which is not something inherent in a dhamma as a separate ultimate reality, but arise due to the supporting conditions both of other dhammas and previous occurrences of that dhamma. This is of significance as it makes the Mahayana critique of the Sarvastivadin's notion of own-nature largely irrelevant to the Theravada."


A.K. Warder, in INDIAN BUDDHISM, page 323, discussing the Pali Abhidhamma commentarial literature wrote: "The most significant new idea in the commentaries is the definition of a 'principle' or element (dharma): dharmas are what have (or 'hold', 'maintain', dhr. is the nearest equivalent in the language to the English 'have') their own own-nature (svabhaava). It is added that they naturally have this through conditions."


Dhammas are "ultimate things" only as a way of talking about aspects of the relational flow of experience, not in terms of describing static realities. In other words, dhammas are empty of self.
In other words Dhp 279: "All dhammas are not-self", which is to say: empty of any self existing, particly thingyness.
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 5heaps » Thu Oct 21, 2010 4:39 am

mikenz66 wrote:as I said above, personally I find it most helpful to see the classifications in the Suttas and Abhidhamma as aids to analysis of experience.
ive seen that quote a few times. is there more? every time i see it it always strikes me as being somewhat confused -- it confuses me.

for example Tilt says "It is important to understand that Buddhism (here meaning Theravada) is not doing science. It is not commenting on the nature of the “external” world. It is dealing with what is experienced. A “fundamental particle” of experience is hardly an unchanging, unconditioned thing. It is a way of talking about the flow of experience that our senses can give us which we can call this or that."

he says buddhism not addressing the nature of the external world. then he talks about physical and mental ultimates not being unchanging and unconditioned.

who says theyre unchanging and unconditioned? how does their lack of being unchanging and unconditioned make them nonultimates? if it doesnt, why cant they be physical ultimates?
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Re: Nibbana vs. annihilation?

Postby tiltbillings » Thu Oct 21, 2010 4:48 am

5heaps wrote:
mikenz66 wrote:as I said above, personally I find it most helpful to see the classifications in the Suttas and Abhidhamma as aids to analysis of experience.
ive seen that quote a few times. is there more? every time i see it it always strikes me as being somewhat confused -- it confuses me.
It confuses you because you are making assumptions about how things should be.

for example Tilt says "It is important to understand that Buddhism (here meaning Theravada) is not doing science. It is not commenting on the nature of the “external” world. It is dealing with what is experienced. A “fundamental particle” of experience is hardly an unchanging, unconditioned thing. It is a way of talking about the flow of experience that our senses can give us which we can call this or that."
'A “fundamental particle” of experience is hardly an unchanging, unconditioned thing.' For "fundamental particle" read dhamma, thus the quotes around "fundamental particle,"

he says buddhism not addressing the nature of the external world. then he talks about physical and mental ultimates not being unchanging and unconditioned. who says theyre unchanging and unconditioned? how does their lack of being unchanging and unconditioned make them nonultimates? if it doesnt, why cant they be physical ultimates?
You can do some heavy lifting here: Define svabhava from the stand point of the Abhidharmakosha. Explain what a "physical ultimate is."
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 tiltbillings » Thu Oct 21, 2010 4:49 am

Also, 5heaps, why are you reading Abhidharmakosha into Theravada?
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 5heaps » Thu Oct 21, 2010 4:55 am

tiltbillings wrote:I don't think you have actually considered the quotes I have offered. Here is a response to this issue I posted earlier on this forum:
arghhhhh i have stop quoting it

which is to say: empty of any self existing, particly thingyness.
you accept characteristic natures right? characteristic natures are made up of parts.

collections of parts is what makes up those coarser characteristics. since these coarser collections are natures, how could the subtler, the ones on which the coarser depend, not be a nature?

then since one of these natures obscures the subtler nature we could even call the obscuring nature an obscurational truth, while calling the subtler one the ultimate truth since its nondeceptive.

ill try to continue tomorrow
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Re: Nibbana vs. annihilation?

Postby tiltbillings » Thu Oct 21, 2010 5:00 am

5heaps wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:I don't think you have actually considered the quotes I have offered. Here is a response to this issue I posted earlier on this forum:
arghhhhh i have stop quoting it
It is good for you to read it.

And I see you are as usual avoiding direct questions put to you: Also, 5heaps, why are you reading Abhidharmakosha into Theravada?


You can do some heavy lifting here: Define svabhava from the stand point of the Abhidharmakosha. Explain what a "physical ultimate is."


which is to say: empty of any self existing, particly thingyness.
you accept characteristic natures right? characteristic natures are made up of parts.
Parts? Really existing thngies. What are "parts?"
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 5heaps » Thu Oct 21, 2010 5:07 am

tiltbillings wrote:And I see you are as usual avoiding direct questions put to you: Also, 5heaps, why are you reading Abhidharmakosha into Theravada?
its a silly question. the response about abhidharmakosha was in response to the charge that it was just some "tibetan tenet thing". turns out its the overwhelming majority position.

You can do some heavy lifting here: Define svabhava from the stand point of the Abhidharmakosha. Explain what a "physical ultimate is."
well i already brought up parts but now youre asking what are parts. physical ultimates are, in addition to being parts, partless parts. but im out of time today so will have to talk about parts tomorrow hopefully
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."

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Re: Nibbana vs. annihilation?

Postby tiltbillings » Thu Oct 21, 2010 5:13 am

5heaps wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:And I see you are as usual avoiding direct questions put to you: Also, 5heaps, why are you reading Abhidharmakosha into Theravada?
its a silly question. the response about abhidharmakosha was in response to the charge that it was just some "tibetan tenet thing". turns out its the overwhelming majority position.
It may be a "majority position," though that I will not debate here, it is not a Theravadin postion, either from the suttas or the Theravada Abhidhamma Pitaka texts, which is a significantly important distinction that you are trying to ignore. Why?

5heaps wrote:
tiltbillings brilliantly wrote:You can do some heavy lifting here: Define svabhava from the stand point of the Abhidharmakosha. Explain what a "physical ultimate is."

well i already brought up parts but now youre asking what are parts. physical ultimates are, in addition to being parts, partless parts. but im out of time today so will have to talk about parts tomorrow hopefully
You need to define svabhava. And you need to explain why you are trying to read Sarvastivadin stuff into the Theravada.
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 tiltbillings » Thu Oct 21, 2010 8:20 am

tiltbillings wrote:It is important to understand that Buddhism (here meaning Theravada) is not doing science. It is not commenting on the nature of the “external” world. It is dealing with what is experienced. A “fundamental particle” of experience is hardly an unchanging, unconditioned thing. It is a way of talking about the flow of experience that our senses can give us which we can call this or that.
5heaps scratching his head wrote: is there more? every time i see it it always strikes me as being somewhat confused -- it confuses me.
hardly an unchanging, unconditioned thing. Probably not the best choice of words on my part, but what I am getting at here is the Sarvastivadin notion of svabhava, own nature, which is what 5heaps is trying to read into the Theravada, and which is the focus of the Mahayana criticism of the idea of dharmas.
Bronkhorst wrote:”It is important to remember that for these thinkers [the Sarvastivadins], the existence of past and future dharmas is as real as that of present ones. In other words, a dharma’s own-nature (svabhava) is eternal, even though its present manifestation is only momentary.” - BUDDHIST TEACHING IN INDIA, p 99. See AKosha V p 52
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.

5heaps uncritically wrote:its straightforward abidharmakosha and all of indian buddhism 200AD onwards.
"Sarvastivadin realism was far from being shared by all the Buddhist schools. . . . The later Mahisasakas were the only ones to support the Sarvastivadins in their thesis that everything exists." - HISTORY OF INDIAN BUDDHISM by E. Lamotte, S. Webb-Boin trans, page 599, 603.

The Sarvastivadin position of svabhava was a philosophical nightmare in which the Theravadins did not participate. For the Theravadins there is no eternal nature to the dhammas. Dhammas are empty of self. The nature of dhammas is as a result of conditioned/conditioning processes. Sarvastivadin arguments have no place here.

So, ‘A “fundamental particle” of experience is hardly an unchanging, unconditioned thing’ could be rewritten: ‘The underlying nature of a “fundamental particle” - a dhamma - of experience is hardly a eternal, existing in the past, present and future unchanged self-existing thing as is taught by the Sarvastivadin school.’

As I have pointed out that in terms of the suttas and the Abhidhamma Pitaka texts dhamma talk is a way of talking about experience. It is not talking about really self-existing things.

5heaps, puzzled wrote:who says theyre unchanging and unconditioned? how does their lack of being unchanging and unconditioned make them nonultimates? if it doesnt, why cant they be physical ultimates?
Did I say they were not ultimates? What I said: Dhammas are "ultimate things" only as a way of talking about aspects of the relational flow of experience, not in terms of describing static realities. In other words, dhammas are empty of self: If dhammas had some sort of ultimate nature as the Sarvastivadins maintain, they would not be empty of self.
D. Kalupahana wrote:In fact, Yasomitra, commenting on the Abhidharmakosa, maintained that “by ‘own nature’ [svabha] means by the ‘self’ [atman].” That is why all the other Buddhist schools criticized the Sarvastivada teachings as heretical. . . . The Sarvastivadin admission that cause and effect are related by the way of ‘own nature’ (svabhava) implies that this ‘own nature’ is the ‘substance’ (dravya) that survives through the past present and future, and is therefore permanent and eternal. - CAUSALITY, pages: 148-9, 150-1.
And Nagarjuna nicely pointed out what a pain in the tookus the Sarvastivadin notion of svabhava is. And, again, keep in mind, the Sarvastivadin notion of the nature of dhammaa is not a notion at all shared by the Theravadins.

5heaps: why cant they be physical ultimates? Why do they need to be and what does that mean, anyway? What matters is what we directly experience. So, here let us talk about the Theravada, sutta and Abhidhamma Pitaka point of view. There is absolutely no need to read the Sarvastivadin point of view into this discussion. This is, after all The General Theravada discussion section for discussing things from a Theravadin point of view. 5heaps, anything about that unclear?
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 Prasadachitta » Thu Oct 21, 2010 1:52 pm

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings Alex,

Alex123 wrote:It is NOT a destination, just like an extingushed flame doesn't go anywhere, same when 5 aggregates cease and never rearise.

Nibbana = cessation (of suffering and all that can be unsatisfactory).

Well said.

Metta,
Retro. :)


I too think this is well said. :thumbsup:

Take care

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: Nibbana vs. annihilation?

Postby tiltbillings » Thu Oct 21, 2010 8:41 pm

gabrielbranbury wrote:
retrofuturist wrote:Greetings Alex,

Alex123 wrote:It is NOT a destination, just like an extingushed flame doesn't go anywhere, same when 5 aggregates cease and never rearise.

Nibbana = cessation (of suffering and all that can be unsatisfactory).

Well said.

Metta,
Retro. :)


I too think this is well said. :thumbsup:

Take care

Gabe
And, as the Buddha said, the tathagata being immeasurable nothing more beyond that can said.
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 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

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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

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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. :)
"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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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

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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. :)
"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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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


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