In your view, understanding, Parinibbana is:

Exploring Theravāda's connections to other paths - what can we learn from other traditions, religions and philosophies?

In your view, understanding, Parinibbana is:

not applicable, there is no rebirth, it is annihilation for all
4
3%
no more becoming, non-existence as we know it but not annihilation since there is no self
60
39%
existence in a buddha-field / realm
7
5%
pantheism
7
5%
citta continues in paranibbana
15
10%
a subtle existence that is ineffable, inexpressible
26
17%
don't know or agnostic about it, set-aside for now
34
22%
 
Total votes: 153

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Coëmgenu
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Re: In your view, understanding, Parinibbana is:

Post by Coëmgenu »

David N. Snyder wrote:"Nagarjuna attempts to explain how the answer does not lie in any of the four possibilities listed above. The language we use frames our conventional reality. Beneath that there is an ultimate reality, such as the condition of the enlightened dead person. One can experience this directly in certain meditative states, but one cannot describe it. To say anything about it would merely succeed in making it part of our conventional reality; it is, therefore, ineffable. In particular, one cannot describe it by using any of the four possibilities furnished by the catuskoti (four possibilities)."
(Graham Priest. Beyond true and false. aeon magazine, May 2014)
The wild thing is that "not any of these 4 possibilities" is one of the 4 possibilities, namely possibility 4: not (X or not X), marking "something else" as another negation. We don't get to say Nibbāna is "something else". We don't get to say anything, properly speaking.

Meaning that, technically speaking, according to Nāgārjuna, Nibbāna is also not neither X nor non-X. Making the whole thing blow up***, because now Nibbāna both is and isn't all 4 descriptions. From a certain perspective.

***well, not really,
Last edited by Coëmgenu on Sun Aug 27, 2017 6:29 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Then, the monks sang this gāthā:

These bodies are like foam.
Them being frail, who can rejoice in them?
The Buddha attained the vajra-body.
Still, it becomes inconstant and rots.
The many Buddhas are vajra-entities.
All are also subject to inconstancy.
Quickly ended, like melting snow --
how could things be different?

The Buddha passed into parinirvāṇa afterward.

(T1.27b10 Mahāparinirvāṇasūtra DĀ 2)
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aflatun
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Re: In your view, understanding, Parinibbana is:

Post by aflatun »

Coëmgenu wrote:
David N. Snyder wrote:"Nagarjuna attempts to explain how the answer does not lie in any of the four possibilities listed above. The language we use frames our conventional reality. Beneath that there is an ultimate reality, such as the condition of the enlightened dead person. One can experience this directly in certain meditative states, but one cannot describe it. To say anything about it would merely succeed in making it part of our conventional reality; it is, therefore, ineffable. In particular, one cannot describe it by using any of the four possibilities furnished by the catuskoti (four possibilities)."
(Graham Priest. Beyond true and false. aeon magazine, May 2014)
The wild thing is that "not any of these 4 possibilities" is one of the 4 possibilities, namely possibility 4: not (X or not X).

Meaning that, technically speaking, according to Nāgārjuna, Nibbāna is also not neither X nor non-X. Making the whole thing blow up***, because now Nibbāna both is and isn't all 4 categories, from a certain perspective.

***well, not really,
In light of that it seems that professor Priest may have pooped the proverbial bed here :tongue: :toilet:

I'm actually shocked to see him advocating such an interpretation, I thought he inclined more towards the crypto nihilism of Garfield :shrug: I have some more reading to do

PS "Making the whole thing blow up." Yup.
"People often get too quick to say 'there's no self. There's no self...no self...no self.' There is self, there is focal point, its not yours. That's what not self is."

Ninoslav Ñāṇamoli
Senses and the Thought-1, 42:53

"Those who create constructs about the Buddha,
Who is beyond construction and without exhaustion,
Are thereby damaged by their constructs;
They fail to see the Thus-Gone.

That which is the nature of the Thus-Gone
Is also the nature of this world.
There is no nature of the Thus-Gone.
There is no nature of the world."

Nagarjuna
MMK XXII.15-16
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Coëmgenu
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Re: In your view, understanding, Parinibbana is:

Post by Coëmgenu »

aflatun wrote:
Coëmgenu wrote:
David N. Snyder wrote:"Nagarjuna attempts to explain how the answer does not lie in any of the four possibilities listed above. The language we use frames our conventional reality. Beneath that there is an ultimate reality, such as the condition of the enlightened dead person. One can experience this directly in certain meditative states, but one cannot describe it. To say anything about it would merely succeed in making it part of our conventional reality; it is, therefore, ineffable. In particular, one cannot describe it by using any of the four possibilities furnished by the catuskoti (four possibilities)."
(Graham Priest. Beyond true and false. aeon magazine, May 2014)
The wild thing is that "not any of these 4 possibilities" is one of the 4 possibilities, namely possibility 4: not (X or not X).

Meaning that, technically speaking, according to Nāgārjuna, Nibbāna is also not neither X nor non-X. Making the whole thing blow up***, because now Nibbāna both is and isn't all 4 categories, from a certain perspective.

***well, not really,
In light of that it seems that professor Priest may have pooped the proverbial bed here :tongue: :toilet:

I'm actually shocked to see him advocating such an interpretation, I thought he inclined more towards the crypto nihilism of Garfield :shrug: I have some more reading to do

PS "Making the whole thing blow up." Yup.
Well, lets just see if I get corrected. I make my worst mistakes when trying to sort out the "logic" of Madhyamaka and the Fourfold Negations.

I think "indescribable" or "ineffable" is a fine description though. After all, if you were to try to "describe" something that is "not neither X nor non-X" you aren't going to have an easy time. I have tried myself in my hubris many times and failed. You can see me fail spectacularly (in places, I think I do ok in other places) to describe this interpretation in the "question about the burning house" thread on DharmaWheel in Sutra Studies.
Then, the monks sang this gāthā:

These bodies are like foam.
Them being frail, who can rejoice in them?
The Buddha attained the vajra-body.
Still, it becomes inconstant and rots.
The many Buddhas are vajra-entities.
All are also subject to inconstancy.
Quickly ended, like melting snow --
how could things be different?

The Buddha passed into parinirvāṇa afterward.

(T1.27b10 Mahāparinirvāṇasūtra DĀ 2)
Santi253
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Re: In your view, understanding, Parinibbana is:

Post by Santi253 »

David N. Snyder wrote:To accompany the great Nibbana thread, to see where DW posters are on this topic. You can pick up to 3 choices, if you like, since some are similar. And you can change your vote as you gain more Insight and/or enlightenment. :tongue:
This is the answer that I gave, "a subtle existence that is ineffable, inexpressible." Is this the view taught by Bhikkhu Bodhi?
Nibbana is an existing reality, an article by Bhikkhu Bodhi
Regarding the nature of Nibbana, the question is often asked: Does Nibbana signify only extinction of the defilements and liberation from samsara or does it signify some reality existing in itself? Nibbana is not only the destruction of defilements and the end of samsara but a reality transcendent to the entire world of mundane experience, a reality transcendent to all the realms of phenomenal existence.
The Buddha refers to Nibbana as a 'dhamma'. For example, he says "of all dhammas, conditioned or unconditioned, the most excellent dhamma, the supreme dhamma is, Nibbana". 'Dhamma' signifies actual realities, the existing realities as opposed to conceptual things. Dhammas are of two types, conditioned and unconditioned. A conditioned dhamma is an actuality which has come into being through causes or conditions, something which arises through the workings of various conditions. The conditioned dhammas are the five aggregates: material form, feeling, perception, mental formations and consciousness. The conditioned dhammas, do not remain static. They go through a ceaseless process of becoming. They arise, undergo transformation and fall away due to its conditionality.
However, the unconditioned dhamma is not produced by causes and conditions. It has the opposite characteristics from the conditioned: it has no arising, no falling away and it undergoes no transformation. Nevertheless, it is an actuality, and the Buddha refers to Nibbana as an unconditioned Dhamma.
The Buddha also refers to Nibbana as an 'ayatana'. This means realm, plane or sphere. It is a sphere where there is nothing at all that correspond to our mundane experience, and therefore it has to be described by way of negations as the negation of all the limited and determinate qualities of conditioned things.
The Buddha also refers to Nibbana as a, 'Dhatu' an element, the 'deathless element'. He compares the element of Nibbana to an ocean. He says that just as the great ocean remains at the same level no matter how much water pours into it from the rivers, without increase or decrease, so the Nibbana element remains the same, no matter whether many or few people attain Nibbana.
He also speaks of Nibbana as something that can be experienced by the body, an experience that is so vivid, so powerful, that it can be described as "touching the deathless element with one's own body."
The Buddha also refers to Nibbana as a 'state' ('pada') as 'amatapada' - the deathless state - or accutapada, the imperishable state.
Another word used by the Buddha to refer to Nibbana is 'Sacca', which means 'truth', an existing reality. This refers to Nibbana as the truth, a reality that the Noble ones have known through direct experience.
So all these terms, considered as a whole, clearly establish that Nibbana is an actual reality and not the mere destruction of defilements or the cessation of existence. Nibbana is unconditioned, without any origination and is timeless.
https://dhammawiki.com/index.php?title=Nibbana
My second answer was the final one on the list, that we can't be certain about the specifics.

If Nirvana is the Ultimate Truth, then asking what happens after Nirvana might be a loaded question, like asking an innocent man when he stopped beating his wife.
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Re: In your view, understanding, Parinibbana is:

Post by cappuccino »

Death is not the end, it's the beginning.
"All men's souls are immortal, but the souls of the righteous are immortal and divine." -Socrates
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Re: In your view, understanding, Parinibbana is:

Post by Santi253 »

cappuccino wrote:Death is not the end, it's the beginning.
Yeah, but in what form? It's an unanswerable question, unless one's experienced it.
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Re: In your view, understanding, Parinibbana is:

Post by cappuccino »

Santi253 wrote:
cappuccino wrote:Death is not the end, it's the beginning.
Yeah, but in what form? It's an unanswerable question, unless one's experienced it.
Spirit form, a subtle body.
"All men's souls are immortal, but the souls of the righteous are immortal and divine." -Socrates
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Re: In your view, understanding, Parinibbana is:

Post by Santi253 »

cappuccino wrote:
Santi253 wrote:
cappuccino wrote:Death is not the end, it's the beginning.
Yeah, but in what form? It's an unanswerable question, unless one's experienced it.
Spirit form, a subtle body.
Can the enlightened being speak to us or visit us from the Nirvana realm?
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Re: In your view, understanding, Parinibbana is:

Post by cappuccino »

Santi253 wrote:Can the enlightened being speak to us or visit us from the Nirvana realm?
:shrug:
"All men's souls are immortal, but the souls of the righteous are immortal and divine." -Socrates
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Re: In your view, understanding, Parinibbana is:

Post by Santi253 »

cappuccino wrote:
Santi253 wrote:Can the enlightened being speak to us or visit us from the Nirvana realm?
:shrug:
This is a main difference between Mahayana and Theravada, since Mahayana teaches that the enlightened being remains active in the world after death, out of compassion for all beings.
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Re: In your view, understanding, Parinibbana is:

Post by DNS »

Interesting poll results so far.

About 37% chose some kind of non-existence (as we know it) but not necessarily nihilism since there is no self to begin with.
About 26% for setting it aside for now (wait and see approach).
And then about 37% for some kind of subtle existence.

Most of the members here are Western-born convert Buddhists. If we asked only Western born monks, I imagine the 'non-existence' as we know it option would be even a much higher percentage. Whereas, Asian Buddhists appear to be mostly aligned with one of the subtle existence options as evidenced by this post from Bhante Dhammanando:
Dhammanando wrote: Tue Feb 24, 2015 1:40 pm
Mkoll wrote:In your experience, is this concept of a primordial citta common in the Ajahn Mun and Chah forest traditions?
I think "common" would be a bit of an understatement. The primordial citta conception and similar strains of thinly disguised soul theory and semi-eternalism are ubiquitous in these traditions.
Mkoll wrote:Can you say say who is well-known from those traditions who espouse it and those who don't?
Among the Thai ajahns I don’t know of any who don’t teach this.

As for the non-Thai (i.e. mostly western) ajahns, with these you can predict it with a fairly high degree of accuracy from the monk’s biography. The non-eternalists for the most part comprise those who had some background in relatively orthodox strains of Theravada Buddhism before they got mixed up with the forest tradition. Examples would include Ajahns Khemadhammo, Tiradhammo and Sujāto, who all began as Mahasi practitioners; Ajahn Viradhammo, who began as a Ñāṇavīra enthusiast after Sāmaṇera Bodhesako introduced him to the man’s teachings; and Ajahn Brahmavamso, who began with the Samatha Trust, a British group that combines samatha meditation with Abhidhamma study. All of these appear to have avoided the semi-eternalist error that’s endemic to the Thai forest tradition. But those monks who had no previous background in Buddhism before they stumbled across the Thai forest tradition have for the most part not avoided it.
There appears to be an East-West divide; not saying which one is correct, just noting the divide which could be cultural or could be something else.
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Re: In your view, understanding, Parinibbana is:

Post by rightviewftw »

interesting poll results indeed
'Bhikkhus, possessing three qualities, a bhikkhu is practicing the unmistaken way and has laid the groundwork for the destruction of the taints. What three? Here, a bhikkhu guards the doors of the sense faculties, observes moderation in eating, and is intent on wakefulness. He should develop perception of unattractiveness so as to abandon lust... good will so as to abandon ill will... mindfulness of in-&-out breathing so as to cut off distractive thinking... the perception of inconstancy so as to uproot the conceit, 'I am.
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Lucas Oliveira
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Re: In your view, understanding, Parinibbana is:

Post by Lucas Oliveira »

studying and practicing ...

to be known by the wise, each for himself.
http://www.buddhanet.net/pali_chant.htm

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:anjali:
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Re: In your view, understanding, Parinibbana is:

Post by chownah »

I think there should be another option for the poll:
Understanding parinabana is impossible.

chownah
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Re: In your view, understanding, Parinibbana is:

Post by one_awakening »

Why does the second choice refer to no self?.....considering the Buddha never said there is no self.
“You only lose what you cling to”
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