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

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cappuccino
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Re: Nibbana and nihilism

Post by cappuccino »

rightviewftw wrote: Sun Mar 04, 2018 3:09 pmMaybe i am wrong of course
More than you realize
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Re: Nibbana and nihilism

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cappuccino wrote: Sun Mar 04, 2018 3:17 pm
rightviewftw wrote: Sun Mar 04, 2018 3:09 pmMaybe i am wrong of course
More than you realize
well you have 4 groups of questions presented to you, a prediction, inviting refutation here and now. Chose A, B, C or D and answer all 4.

If you can't it is clear that either you are stupid etc or you just do not know enough to discuss this stuff to begin with and in way over your head.
'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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Re: Nibbana and nihilism

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Matthew 7:1-3
7 Judge not, that ye be not judged.

2 For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.
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Re: Nibbana and nihilism

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prediction stands confirmed then. Have a good one cappucinno.
'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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Re: Nibbana and nihilism

Post by rightviewftw »

cappuccino wrote: Sun Mar 04, 2018 3:17 pm
rightviewftw wrote: Sun Mar 04, 2018 3:09 pmMaybe i am wrong of course
More than you realize
Even if u master attainment of dimension of neither perception nor non-perception i will do this to you. As long as you keep saying wrong things.
I would not even call you out on this as i have not done so before but ITT you called Slander yourself, so you were asking for it.
Last edited by rightviewftw on Sun Mar 04, 2018 3:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.
'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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Re: Nibbana and nihilism

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Zom wrote: Sun Mar 04, 2018 12:37 pm
This is something that has been bothering me for a while. If Nibbana is the cessation of everything, then what’s the aim of the spiritual quest? Nothingness?
Strange question from someone who's been studying Buddhism for decades. The aim is, obviously, the cessation of suffering (and no, not eternal happiness, eternal heavens, eternal well-being or something like that). :coffee:
What are you on about? I studied Mahayana for 2 years, am in my 1st year studying and practising Theravada and have read the Digha once and am a quarter way through the Samyutta.

Are these not normal questions from people with my background and experience ? I’m trying my best to cut through old views. Unfortunately there are people who make wrong assumtions and patronise based on those presumptions.

What I should have said was result, not aim. And extinction not nothingness.
Last edited by DCM on Sun Mar 04, 2018 4:23 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Nibbana and nihilism

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rightviewftw wrote: Sun Mar 04, 2018 3:28 pmEven if u master attainment of dimension of neither perception nor non-perception i will do this to you.

As an elephant in the battlefield withstands arrows shot from bows all around, even so shall I endure abuse.
Last edited by cappuccino on Mon Mar 05, 2018 4:46 pm, edited 6 times in total.
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Re: Nibbana and nihilism

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What are you on about? I studied Mahayana for 2 years
Ah sorry, I thought you just cited Alan Wallace ))
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Re: Nibbana and nihilism

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Don't misrepresent the Blessed One. It's not good to misrepresent the Blessed One
Indeed, a good advice for yourself .)
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Re: Nibbana and nihilism

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Zom wrote: Sun Mar 04, 2018 5:31 pm
What are you on about? I studied Mahayana for 2 years
Ah sorry, I thought you just cited Alan Wallace ))
No problem. I thought you were referring to me. I’ve got a long way to go, but I have a strong desire to have right view in accordance with the early Suttas. Perhaps forums aren’t the best place for someone inexperienced as me!
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Re: Nibbana and nihilism

Post by DooDoot »

:console:
DCM wrote: Sun Mar 04, 2018 5:35 pmNo problem. I thought you were referring to me. I’ve got a long way to go, but I have a strong desire to have right view in accordance with the early Suttas. Perhaps forums aren’t the best place for someone inexperienced as me!
I attempt to answer your questions with integrity. The right view in accordance with the very early Suttas is obviously found in the Suttas. Therefore, NIbbana in the very early suttas is as I posted, namely: (i) here & now Nibbbana & (ii) Nibbana at the termination of life.

As for annihilationism, again, we should read the suttas about it. In the suttas, annihilationism is referred to as a "doctrine" or "view". However, Bhikkhu Bodhi appears to refer to it as a metaphysical reality. Bhikkhu Bodhi said:
BB: This isn’t my position, but their position. They would say that annihilationism is the doctrine that there is a substantial self that perishes at death, but with “right view” one sees that it is only the procession of self-less aggregates that ceases and beyond this there is nothing. For them, nibbāna is total extinction. It seems to me that on this position, what happens to the arahant at the time of death is exactly what happens to every living being at the time of death from the perspective of philosophical materialism. The only difference would be that the Buddhist posits rebirth for those who are non-arahants while the materialist posits “final nibbāna” for everyone.
About annihilationism (ucchijjati & ucchedaṃ), the following suttas affirm what is highlighted in red above:
He may not regard form as self … or hold such an eternalist view, but he holds such a view as this: ‘I might not be, and it might not be for me; I will not be, and it will not be for me.’ That annihilationist view (ucchedadiṭṭhi) is a (thought) formation….

Yā kho pana sā, bhikkhave, ucchedadiṭṭhi saṅkhāro so

SN 22.81
He thinks thus: ‘So I shall be annihilated! So I shall perish! So I shall be no more!’ Then he sorrows, grieves, and laments, he weeps beating his breast and becomes distraught.

MN 22
Herein, bhikkhus, a certain recluse or a brahmin asserts the following doctrine and view: 'The self, good sir, has material form; it is composed of the four primary elements and originates from father and mother. Since this self, good sir, is annihilated and destroyed with the breakup of the body and does not exist after death, at this point the self is completely annihilated.' In this way some proclaim the annihilation, destruction, and extermination of an existent being.

DN 1
How, bhikkhus, do some overreach? Now some are troubled, ashamed, and disgusted by this very same being and they rejoice in (the idea of) non-being, asserting: ‘In as much as this self, good sirs, when the body perishes at death, is annihilated and destroyed and does not exist after death—this is peaceful, this is excellent, this is reality!’ Thus, bhikkhus, do some overreach.

Iti 49
But, Kassapa, if one thinks, ‘The one who acts is one, the one who experiences the result is another,’ then one asserts with reference to one stricken by feeling: ‘Suffering is created by another.’ When one asserts thus, this amounts to the doctrine of annihilationism (vadaṃ ucchedaṃ).

SN 12.17
In AN 8.11, when the Buddha was accused of being an anihilationist, he replied in the following way (rather than replied with the view of Bhikkhu Bodhi):
(4) “Master Gotama is an annihilationist.”

“There is, brahmin, a way in which one could rightly say of me: ‘The ascetic Gotama is an annihilationist.’ For I assert the annihilation of lust, hatred, and delusion; I assert the annihilation of the numerous kinds of bad unwholesome qualities. It is in this way that one could rightly say of me: ‘The ascetic Gotama is an annihilationist.’ But you did not speak with reference to this.”

https://suttacentral.net/en/an8.11
At least for me, although the suttas may teach about 'kamma & rebirth', I have not read in the suttas the term 'annihilationism' (ucchijjati & ucchedaṃ) used as a denial of 'kamma & rebirth'. If someone could quote directly from the suttas to amend by impression, that might be useful.

:reading: :smile:
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Re: Nibbana and nihilism

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DCM wrote: Sun Mar 04, 2018 8:34 am
Yes, fair enough, but if the final goal is extinction, it seems to be the annihilation of being. It may seem I am holding an eternalist view and craving for some existence in Nibbana, but I am trying to understand the difference between an Arahants death, and the death of a being according to the materialists view, where they both seem to mean extinction, annihilation. I know the Aaraht destroys the taints and according to Buddhist view the materialist will take re birth in Samsara, but the materialists would still say the Arahant is annihilated.
For sautrantikas (the classical school and some modern sutta only folks) there is no difference at all between materialist death and Nibbana without residue, or at least not one I've seen anyone formulate to my satisfaction. The problem for them it seems is not craving, but that there is any experience at all, and since the only way to end all experience is to end craving, we end craving to affect a definitive suicide (suicide of "what" the neo-sautrantika will here interject. Fair question, but for one who is still subject to this "what" such dismissals are worthless and reveal more about the dismisser than anything. Someone who 'gets it" doesn't speak this way to someone who does not. Just look at the Buddha.)

For the Classical Theravada on the other hand (and most other non Mahayana schools as far as I know) the difference is that Nibbana without residue is not the mere cessation of the aggregates (consciousness included) and the defilements, but also an unconditioned (asankhata), ultimate (paramattha) reality (dhamma). The latter is "what remains." Bhikkhu Bodhi is impeccably orthodox in his presentation of this view I think.

On this point you might want to check out the Lance Cousins paper boundless cited (I think it was in this thread?)

And for some contemporary Pali Buddhists Nibbana without residue is a timeless, unconditioned and objectless consciousness, or at least includes some kind of sentience (Check out Professor Peter Harvey's Selfless Mind for the most scholarly and forcefully argued example I'm familiar with). The Arahant can "step into" this domain while alive (on this reading this is not sanna vedayita nirodha).

To address another one of your posts, yes its entirely normal and good to have these questions because you should want to know what you're practicing for! I know this doesn't answer your question, but I do believe that when self view ceases the question of what happens "after" death does become more or less irrelevant. The mountain range sized suffering one was aquainted with becomes reduced to a few grains of sand, and one can see the end, so to speak, eyes open and senses functioning. But IMO this also means any notion that experience needs to be "blacked out" to bring suffering to an end goes :toilet: Just my take.
"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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Re: Nibbana and nihilism

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DCM wrote: Sat Mar 03, 2018 9:53 pmBodhi is here commenting on ‘Some modern interpreters—including a number of prominent Western bhikkhus’.

BB: This isn’t my position, but their position. They would say that annihilationism is the doctrine that there is a substantial self that perishes at death, but with “right view” one sees that it is only the procession of self-less aggregates that ceases and beyond this there is nothing. For them, nibbāna is total extinction. It seems to me that on this position, what happens to the arahant at the time of death is exactly what happens to every living being at the time of death from the perspective of philosophical materialism. The only difference would be that the Buddhist posits rebirth for those who are non-arahants while the materialist posits “final nibbāna” for everyone.
I am personally intrigued by what VBB has to say here so I decided to research more, namely, MN 60, which states:
Thanissaro wrote: There are some contemplatives & brahmans who hold this doctrine, hold this view: 'There is nothing given, nothing offered, nothing sacrificed. There is no fruit or result of good or bad actions. There is no this world, no other world, no mother, no father, no spontaneously reborn beings; no brahmans or contemplatives who, faring rightly and practicing rightly, proclaim this world and the other after having directly known and realized it for themselves.'.... a person of bad habits & wrong view: one who holds to a doctrine of non-existence (natthikavādo).'

https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitak ... .than.html
VBB translates natthikavādo as follows:
Bhikkhu Bodhi wrote:... one of wrong view who holds the doctrine of nihilism.

https://suttacentral.net/en/mn60
natthikavāda
mfn.
professing the doctrine of an unbeliever.

natthika
m(fn).
an unbeliever; a skeptic.
The word 'natthika' is found in SN 3.21 and obviously does not mean a doctrine of 'annihilationism':
He who abuses & reviles ascetics
Brahmins & other mendicants
A natthika (nihilist), a scoffer, who hinders
Another giving food to beggers
Alternate translation:
A miserly man without faith and means, in view gone wrong,
With evil thoughts, greedy and without compassion,
Angry without a reason, he rebukes and debases, recluses,
Brahmins, or wayfarers and prevents them from getting gifts.
Therefore, it seems VBB, by validly choosing the English word 'nihilist' for 'natthika', is confusing this with the word 'uccheda' (annihilationism).
nihilist

a person who believes that life is meaningless and rejects all religious and moral principles.
In my opinion, the word 'uccheda' (annihilationism) has no relationship in the suttas with disbelief in 'kamma & rebirth'. As shown in my previous post, 'uccheda' (annihilationism) appears to refer to the view that a 'self' perishes at death. Where as the word for 'disbelief' in kamma & rebirth appears to be one of the three doctrines below from MN 60, MN 117, SN 22.62 and AN 4.30 that are criticized, namely:

1. ahetuvādā - doctrine of noncausality

2. akiriyavādā - doctrine of inefficacy of action

3. natthikavādā - doctrine of nihilism or immorality

'Ucchedavada' (annihilationism) does not appear to be related to the above three doctrines; which is probably why VBB's idea below is not related to the suttas. What is highlighted in green appears to accord with the suttas. The remainder appears to be VBB's personal depature into other wrong doctrines, such as ahetuvādā, akiriyavādā & natthikavādā.
BB: This isn’t my position, but their position. They would say that annihilationism is the doctrine that there is a substantial self that perishes at death, but with “right view” one sees that it is only the procession of self-less aggregates that ceases and beyond this there is nothing. For them, nibbāna is total extinction. It seems to me that on this position, what happens to the arahant at the time of death is exactly what happens to every living being at the time of death from the perspective of philosophical materialism. The only difference would be that the Buddhist posits rebirth for those who are non-arahants while the materialist posits “final nibbāna” for everyone
It seems quite strange that VBB gives the impression of labelling those with the right view of anatta as "philosophical materialists" and labelling those with the view of self (atta) or beings (satta) as "Buddhist". Regardless, VBB's position above sounds mixed up (because VBB appears to be mixing doctrines; as previously suggested). Just because a Noble Practitioner views all life forms (including at the termination of life) as anatta (not-self); this does not necessarily mean there is an implicit denial of 'something' being reincarnated. VBB, above, appear to be refuting the phase: "Sabbe dhamma anatta" (all things are not-self). VBB appears to be saying Arahants are not-self (because there is not a substantial self that perishes at death for arahants) but non-arahants are a self (because for non-arahants a substantial self that perishes at death). This mixed up appears to be result of mixing up the doctrines of ucchedavada, ahetuvādā, akiriyavādā & natthikavādā.
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Re: the great Nibbana = annihilation, eternal, or something else thread

Post by Seymour »

Dhammanando wrote: Sun Jun 12, 2016 4:05 am
identification wrote:People here should contemplate the Thai forest traditions teachings on the Primordial Citta, which is without end, is never born, never dies, and creates the five aggregates of body and mind.
For a supposed entity to possess the attribute of primordiality is possible only in a system that posits a primordium, but the Buddha doesn’t. In several suttas in the Saṃyutta Nikāya’s Ananmatavagga he says:
  • “Bhikkhus, this saṃsāra is without discoverable beginning. A first point is not discerned of beings roaming and wandering on hindered by ignorance and fettered by craving.”
And in the Anguttara Nikāya:
  • “A first point of ignorance, bhikkhus, is not seen such that before this there was no ignorance and afterward it came into being.”
In a system that lacks a first (primus) beginning (ordium) it’s incoherent to posit a “primordial” citta or a primordial anything else.
identification wrote:People here should contemplate the Thai forest traditions teachings on the Primordial Citta, which is without end, is never born, never dies
It’s a contradiction in terms to say of something primordial that it “is never born”. To be primordial is to have come into being at the beginning of time, but not to have existed before that. In Christian belief, for example, God is eternal (existing outside of time), but light is primordial; in the Genesis account light was the first thing that God created and so it came into being/was born at the primordium.

So which is your mysterious citta? Eternal or primordial?
identification wrote:“In fact, the true nature of the citta cannot be expressed in words or concepts.”
Oh come on, you can do better than this. This kind of talk from Maha Boowa and his disciples is just an intellectually lazy tactic for ensuring that the irrationalist tendencies and textually unsupported views of his tradition are quarantined from any possible criticism.
Okay I'm willing to play the forum game and open myself up to whatever criticism, but only in return for being able to send private messages.

The post initially began a question about Nibbana, this lead me to reread a simple writing by Bhikkhu Bodhi.

https://www.dhammaforeveryone.com/nibba ... bodhi.html

Some takeaways.

1)"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."

my notes;
After reading this it becomes clear why the Buddha used the words he did in Dhammapada v.277-279

sabbe saṅkhārā aniccā — "all saṅkhāras(conditioned things) are impermanent"

sabbe saṅkhārā dukkhā — "all saṅkhāras are unsatisfactory"

sabbe dhammā anattā — "all dharmas(conditioned or unconditioned things) are not self"

Maybe I'm missing something or maybe something is missing... But then again certain Disciples of the Buddha we're supposedly able to reach such high attainments with just a sliver of Dhamma. No books or manuals, no internet just a memory of what they had heard ( and said accumulation of merit ). Sometimes I wonder... could too much information possibly serve as a hindrance of development. I'm sure the answer is different for everyone at different times.

2)"Is Nibbana conditioned by its path?
Now the question is often asked: If Nibbana is attained by the practice of the path, doesn't this make it something conditioned something produced by the path? Doesn't Nibbana become an effect of the cause, which is the path? Here we have to distinguish between Nibbana itself and the attainment of Nibbana. By practising the path one doesn't bring Nibbana into existence but rather discovers something already existing, something always present."

my notes;
***Nibbana is, in some currently inconceivable way, present always.

3)"The Buddha refers to Nibbana as
-a 'dhatu,' an element, the 'deathless element' (amata-dhatu).
-a 'state' (pada), as 'amatapada' - the deathless state - or ‘accutapada’, the imperishable state.
-something that can be experienced by the body "touching the deathless element with one's own body."
-As an 'ayatana'. This means realm, plane or sphere"

my notes;
*** what strikes me here is the freedom of expression within his description, even though as Ven. Bodhi writes "Nibbana cannot be understood through words or expressions"&"It is a sphere where there is nothing at all that corresponds to our mundane experience".

So,
To paint a picture, we have this element, this sphere, this deathless state always existing, timeless and able to be touched by our bodies.....but primordial citta!....come on! No, I think I'd be willing to cut some slack and give the credit to a poor choice of words or a bad translation. I have seen the expression "Primal"nature used

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thai_Fo ... d_glossary

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Luminou ... ara_Nikaya

maybe that's a "safer" word? The mind being an essential aspect and at least coming before in time with reguard to our ability for cultivation, acting as the "Forerunner". Reminds me of the first pair of verses in the Yamakavagga, no? Possibly trying to give the benefit of the doubt here but the aim seems to be the same within the tradition.
"experiencing the Deathless (Pali: amata-dhamma): an absolute, unconditioned dimension of the mind free of inconstancy, suffering, or a sense of self."
Currently I do not hold any belief or experience on the particular topic of Nibbana but became interested in this post because I have been invited by a Thai monk from Ubon Ratchathani to travel with him to Ven. Chah's Wat Pha Nanachat, which I'm sure most of you know is part of the Thai forest tradition. Not seeing any harm in it, I agreed. After all the opinions, It can't be a bad place to study or at least observe the many aspects of monastic life for a westerner who can't yet speak the language. I suppose certain individuals could benefit from the structured nature of the place as well...Yours truly.
Seymour
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Nonthaburi, Thailand
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Re: the great Nibbana = annihilation, eternal, or something else thread

Post by cappuccino »

a poor choice of words or a bad translation.
Why can't you accept the choice of words?

You need faith to accept.
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