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

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism
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Aloka
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Re: Where does one go on attaining Nibbana

Post by Aloka »

This free book " The Island - teachings on Nibanna " by Ajahn Amaro & Ajahn Pasanno might be helpful.

http://forestsanghapublications.org/vie ... 10&ref=deb

7) “And what, Ānanda, is the perception of cessation? Here, having gone to the forest, to the root of a tree, or to an empty hut, a bhikkhu reflects thus: ‘This is peaceful, this is sublime, that is, the stilling of all activities, the relinquishment of all acquisitions, the destruction of craving, cessation, nibbāna.’ This is called the perception of cessation."

http://suttacentral.net/en/an10.60
:anjali:
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Kusala
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Re: Where does one go on attaining Nibbana

Post by Kusala »

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

It signifies the following:-

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

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

King Milinda said: "I will grant you, Nagasena, that Nirvana is absolute ease, and that nevertheless one cannot point to its form or shape, its duration or size, either by simile or explanation, by reason or by argument. But is there perhaps some quality of Nirvana which it shares with other things, and which lends itself to a metaphorical explanation?"

"Its form, O King, cannot be elucidated by similes, but its qualities can."

"How good to hear that, Nagasena! Speak then, quickly, so that I may have an explanation of even one of the aspects of Nirvana! Appease the fever of my heart! Allay it with the cool sweet breezes of your words!"


"Nirvana shares one quality with the lotus, two with water, three with medicine, ten with space, three with the wishing jewel, and five with a mountain peak. As the lotus is unstained by water, so is Nirvana unstained by all the defilements. As cool water allays feverish heat, so also Nirvana is cool and allays the fever of all the passions. Moreover, as water removes the thirst of men and beasts who are exhausted, parched, and thirsty, and overpowered by heat, so also Nirvana removes the craving for sensuous enjoyments, the craving for further becoming, the craving for the cessation of becoming. As medicine protects from the torments of poisons, so Nirvana protects from the torments of the poisonous passions.

Moreover, as medicine puts an end to sickness, so Nirvana puts an end to all sufferings. Finally, Nirvana and medicine both give security. And these are the ten qualities which Nirvana shares with space. Neither is born, grows old, dies, passes away, or is reborn; both are unconquerable, cannot be stolen, are unsupported, are roads respectively for birds and Arhats to journey on, are unobstructed and infinite. Like the wishing jewel, Nirvana grants all one can desire, brings joy, and sheds light. As a mountain peak is lofty and exalted, so is Nirvana. As a mountain peak is unshakeable, so is Nirvana. As a mountain is inaccessible, so is Nirvana inaccessible to all the passions. As no seeds can grow on a mountain peak, so the seeds of all the passions cannot grow in Nirvana. And finally, as a mountain peak is free from all desire to please or displease, so is Nirvana!"


"Well said, Nagasena! So it is, and as much I accept it."


Image
"He, the Blessed One, is indeed the Noble Lord, the Perfectly Enlightened One;
He is impeccable in conduct and understanding, the Serene One, the Knower of the Worlds;
He trains perfectly those who wish to be trained; he is Teacher of gods and men; he is Awake and Holy. "

--------------------------------------------
"The Dhamma is well-expounded by the Blessed One,
Apparent here and now, timeless, encouraging investigation,
Leading to liberation, to be experienced individually by the wise. "
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Mkoll
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Re: Where does one go on attaining Nibbana

Post by Mkoll »

From K.R. Norman's translation of Sn 5.7, lines 1075-1076:
1075. 'He who has gone out, does he not exist, or does he remain unimpaired for ever? Explain this to me well, sage, for thus is this doctrine known to you.'

1076. 'There is no measuring of one who has gone out, Upasīva,' said the Blessed One. 'That no longer exists for him by which they might speak of him. When all phenomena have been removed, then all ways of speaking are also removed.'
Ven. Thanissaro's translation of the same:
[Upasiva:]
He who has reached the end: Does he not exist, or is he for eternity free from dis-ease? Please, sage, declare this to me as this phenomenon has been known by you.

[The Buddha:]
One who has reached the end has no criterion [3] by which anyone would say that — for him it doesn't exist. When all phenomena are done away with,[4] all means of speaking are done away with as well.


3.
For a discussion of the meaning of "criterion" in this passage, see The Mind Like Fire Unbound, Chapter 1.
4.
Although Upasiva refers to the goal as a phenomenon (dhamma), the Buddha describes it as the transcending of all phenomena. For some of the implications of this statement, see AN 3.134.
~~~

I think Wittgenstein's famous quote sums up how the Buddha is teaching us to regard the question.
Ludwig Wittgenstein wrote:Whereof one cannot speak, thereof one must be silent.
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa
Reductor
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Re: Where does one go on attaining Nibbana

Post by Reductor »

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

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

3. No one stays in nibbana for ever. But once greed, hate and delusion have been existinguished in a human being, they don't return. So, this non-returning of greed, hate and delusion could be seen as eternal nibbana.
Hi, but I should inform you that you're knowledge about Nibbana is not really accurate. Nibbana has nothing to do with annihilation. It can't be described using conventional words, that's all. It's not a state of being or non-being - totally different than all sorts temporal individual experiences.
I didn't assert annilhation, nor do I assert eternalism. If you don't understand my point, or don't agree with me, that's fine. But if I am mistaken, I'd bet you are too. Consider that.
daverupa
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Re: Where does one go on attaining Nibbana

Post by daverupa »

I am sorry about letting these off-topic comments through, folks. I may clean a bit up later on, given that this is the Discovering forum; let's get back to answering the OP and stay away from these asides.

:heart:
  • "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting oneself one protects others? By the pursuit, development, and cultivation of the four establishments of mindfulness. It is in such a way that by protecting oneself one protects others.

    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting others one protects oneself? By patience, harmlessness, goodwill, and sympathy. It is in such a way that by protecting others one protects oneself.

- Sedaka Sutta [SN 47.19]
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Kasina
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Why has annihilationism proliferated Theravada so profusely?

Post by Kasina »

Greetings.

I come consistently across the idea that Nibbana is the cessation of all mentation, perception, and existence period. For some reason in Theravada, the idea that Nibbana means the destruction of an existent being seems to have spread.

This still remains a point of confusion for me, and I'd appreciate some good answers.

:anjali:
"This world completely lacks essence;
It trembles in all directions.
I longed to find myself a place
Unscathed — but I could not see it."


Sn 4.15 PTS: Sn 935-951 "Attadanda Sutta: Arming Oneself"

"You will be required to do wrong no matter where you go... This is the curse at work, the curse that feeds on all life..."

Wilbur Mercer in Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?
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Zom
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Re: Why has annihilationism proliferated Theravada so profus

Post by Zom »

This is because Buddha taught, that 5 khandhas = suffering, and apart from 5 khandhas there is no any living being.

And, by the way, annihilationism is a different thing. It means that there is a "self" that is annihilated. But Buddha does not say that there is any self, so there is nothing to be annihilated. Only suffering is annihilated, and suffering is 5 khandhas.

If one has a self-view of any kind, then he will conceive Buddha's goal as annihilation (because he thinks there is a self somewhere in 5 khandhas).
If one does not have a self-view, then he will conceive Buddha's goal just as a cessation of suffering.
Last edited by Zom on Sat Dec 06, 2014 6:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Kasina
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Re: Why has annihilationism proliferated Theravada so profus

Post by Kasina »

How would this differ from the non-existence of a being that was annihilated (if such a thing were possible)?
"This world completely lacks essence;
It trembles in all directions.
I longed to find myself a place
Unscathed — but I could not see it."


Sn 4.15 PTS: Sn 935-951 "Attadanda Sutta: Arming Oneself"

"You will be required to do wrong no matter where you go... This is the curse at work, the curse that feeds on all life..."

Wilbur Mercer in Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?
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Zom
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Re: Why has annihilationism proliferated Theravada so profus

Post by Zom »

What would differ?

A being = 5 khandhas.
5 khandhas = suffering.
Suffering ends, when 5 khandhas end.
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Kasina
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Re: Why has annihilationism proliferated Theravada so profus

Post by Kasina »

Would it be proper to say that the khandas cause suffering, or would it be how a "being" relates to the khandas, i.e. this is mine, this is myself? Wouldn't non-identification with the khandas and any other given phenomena be the same result?
"This world completely lacks essence;
It trembles in all directions.
I longed to find myself a place
Unscathed — but I could not see it."


Sn 4.15 PTS: Sn 935-951 "Attadanda Sutta: Arming Oneself"

"You will be required to do wrong no matter where you go... This is the curse at work, the curse that feeds on all life..."

Wilbur Mercer in Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?
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Zom
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Re: Why has annihilationism proliferated Theravada so profus

Post by Zom »

Would it be proper to say that the khandas cause suffering
Khandhas may cause some future suffering in the sense of painful mental and bodily feelings, but they are suffering themselves in the sense they are impermanent and not satisfactory.
or would it be how a "being" relates to the khandas, i.e. this is mine, this is myself?
Again, being = khandhas. And khandhas are not mine and not myself. If one sees them or one of them as "mine" and "myself" - then he sees them ignorantly.
Wouldn't non-identification with the khandas and any other given phenomena be the same result?
Non-identification with 5 khandhas leads to nibbana, in the case, of course, that this person does not identify himself with something else apart from khandhas ("I am not 5 khandhas, but I am something apart from them).
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Kasina
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Re: Why has annihilationism proliferated Theravada so profus

Post by Kasina »

Zom wrote:
Would it be proper to say that the khandas cause suffering
Khandhas may cause some future suffering in the sense of painful mental and bodily feelings, but they are suffering themselves in the sense they are impermanent and not satisfactory.
or would it be how a "being" relates to the khandas, i.e. this is mine, this is myself?
Again, being = khandhas. And khandhas are not mine and not myself. If one sees them or one of them as "mine" and "myself" - then he sees them ignorantly.
Wouldn't non-identification with the khandas and any other given phenomena be the same result?
Non-identification with 5 khandhas leads to nibbana, in the case, of course, that this person does not identify himself with something else apart from khandhas ("I am not 5 khandhas, but I am something apart from them).
I don't intend to say " I am something apart from them".

A being is the khandas, very well, that's a little clearer.

I don't mean to say "what happens to a being (khandas) after awakening" that much is clear, all the previous means of identifying a "being" are gone.

However, the issue is that the noumena remain, that is all those elements that the "being" once identified with in ignorance are for all intents and purposes still present. If this is so, and the khandas are not-self, then it would stand to reason that all of those things are non-proprietary. If they are non-proprietary, it seems that they could be felt, i.e. consciousness is still felt by what we call the arahant.
"This world completely lacks essence;
It trembles in all directions.
I longed to find myself a place
Unscathed — but I could not see it."


Sn 4.15 PTS: Sn 935-951 "Attadanda Sutta: Arming Oneself"

"You will be required to do wrong no matter where you go... This is the curse at work, the curse that feeds on all life..."

Wilbur Mercer in Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?
daverupa
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Re: Why has annihilationism proliferated Theravada so profus

Post by daverupa »

Kasina wrote:Greetings.

I come consistently across the idea that Nibbana is the cessation of all mentation, perception, and existence period.
Living arahants are not this way; referring to them is odd & tricky, but in their case there yet remain aggregates for a time, consciousness among them.
  • "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting oneself one protects others? By the pursuit, development, and cultivation of the four establishments of mindfulness. It is in such a way that by protecting oneself one protects others.

    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting others one protects oneself? By patience, harmlessness, goodwill, and sympathy. It is in such a way that by protecting others one protects oneself.

- Sedaka Sutta [SN 47.19]
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Mkoll
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Re: Why has annihilationism proliferated Theravada so profus

Post by Mkoll »

My response to the question in the subject of the post would be the same as Zom's here:
If one has a self-view of any kind, then he will conceive Buddha's goal as annihilation (because he thinks there is a self somewhere in 5 khandhas).
Most of us have self-view, i.e. we aren't stream-enterers, so our interpretations of the teachings are colored by this. Some people are more aware of their self-view than others and it is those "others" who you're more likely to find espousing the views the OP mentioned.

IMO.
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa
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Mr Man
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Re: Why has annihilationism proliferated Theravada so profus

Post by Mr Man »

Kasina wrote:Greetings.

I come consistently across the idea that Nibbana is the cessation of all mentation, perception, and existence period. For some reason in Theravada, the idea that Nibbana means the destruction of an existent being seems to have spread.

This still remains a point of confusion for me, and I'd appreciate some good answers.

:anjali:
Hi Kasina, How would you conceive Nibbana?
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