On the Existence of Nibbana

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism
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cappuccino
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Re: On the Existence of Nibbana

Post by cappuccino »

the four noble truths are understood gradually


as you read and ponder, again and again


(if you want to understand)
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Re: On the Existence of Nibbana

Post by samseva »

Ceisiwr wrote: Fri Aug 21, 2020 2:37 pm Outright calling me a liar now I see :roll: . I did address SDC's post whilst the PTS posts were not aimed directly at me. As for the Brahmajāla Sutta nonsense, I have already told you that I won't be responding any further as this has already been addressed in full.
  • From SDC's post, all the way to this page, I re-checked every single one of your posts, three times (twice computer-assisted). You didn't address it once. Find the post and prove me the contrary...
  • The PTS Pāḷi-English Dictionary definitions of "amata," and "Nibbāna-dhātu"—which is literally the original Pāḷi of your "Nibbāna-element"—were meant for all members of this thread—your thread, and which is about your view. That's just a poor excuse, Ceisiwr.
  • I just found every single time I mentioned views 35-50 of the Brahmajāla Sutta, and here are the two times you "addressed" it:
Ceisiwr wrote: Thu Aug 06, 2020 9:23 pm :strawman: No.
Ceisiwr wrote: Thu Aug 06, 2020 6:59 pm :strawman:
A 2-year old could argue like that, Ceisiwr. You didn't address it at all. :P

Although, I can understand why you would say the Brahmajāli Sutta is non-sense, as your view precisely fits in it. ;)


So, yes. That you have "have addressed every single one" (as you said), is false.

(However, I'm not asking you to address them—just stating that, from the first pages of this thread, you didn't address the most important objections to your view, making the credibility of it questionable.)
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Re: On the Existence of Nibbana

Post by rightviewftw »

This is not an attack on you but i found some philosophical errors in your expression which you might want to correct.
Ceisiwr wrote: Fri Aug 21, 2020 2:37 pm
https://suttacentral.net/vb4/en/thittila

It goes on to state, regarding nibbāna, that it is:
...
13. The truth of cessation [nibbāna] is not mental concomitant.
14. The truth of cessation [nibbāna] is not associated with consciousness.
15. The truth of cessation [nibbāna] is not conjoined with consciousness.
16. The truth of cessation [nibbāna] is not generated by consciousness.
17. The truth of cessation [nibbāna] is not co-existent with consciousness.
18. The truth of cessation [nibbāna] does not accompany consciousness.
19. The truth of cessation [nibbāna] is not conjoined with, not generated by consciousness.
...
Nibbāna then extists as an external dhamma that is outside of space and time, neither arising nor ceasing but simply persisting without changing, the cognition of which is the destruction of greed, hatred and delusion. This is the interpretation, rightly so, that the Aṭṭhakathā has taken.

As i see it there is this semantic slip that you are making, you probably shouldn't use the term cognized as it is.

As i already told you, the Sutta use the expression 'seeing with wisdom' but that is only an analogical expression, that seeing is specifically explained to be something entirely different to ordinary eye or divine eye.

Also this seeing with wisdom ecpression applies strictly to people whose life-force isn't extinguished, at parinibbana there is an extinguishement of life-force and dead people should not be said to have mental faculties like wisdom, so from where would come seeing with wisdom?

As a general contribution to this thread i will say that the principle of cessation is just that a principle, it's a principle among principles.

If we have two elements being proclaimed;
1. Conditioned
2. Unconditioned

That is a two element system where #1 is principally discerned & affirmed as changing and sustaining itself due to causes internal; it's principal of arising is discerned & affirmed as a truth and being self-sustained it is principally persisting which is also is discerned & affirmed as a truth #2 is the principle of the cessation of #1 is discerned & affirmed as a truth

They are both antithetic to eachother and are both true. If you want to know in what sense it is a truth, well it is a truth just as the conditioned is a truth but they are categorically diiferent

"Both formerly and now i teach only suffering & it's cessation." So have i heard.
Last edited by rightviewftw on Fri Aug 21, 2020 7:16 pm, edited 12 times 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: On the Existence of Nibbana

Post by Ceisiwr »

samseva

Focusing on the meta-discussion again I see. Once again, you are completely inept when it comes to actually discussing the topic at hand.
From SDC's post, all the way to this page, I re-checked every single one of your posts, three times (twice computer-assisted). You didn't address it once. Find the post and prove me the contrary...
SDC posted regarding the sutta. I addressed him and asked him to explain. He explained further. I did not answer further as I felt it didn't need any further explanation, nor did it have much relevance. Therefore, I did acknowledge and address what he said.
The PTS Pāḷi-English Dictionary definitions of "amata," and "Nibbāna-dhātu"—which is literally the original Pāḷi of your "Nibbāna-element"—were meant for all members of this thread—your thread, and which is about your view. That's just a poor excuse, Ceisiwr.
You accused me of ignoring objections. That was a conversation with you and another member. Since you did not directly post it to me, I was under no obligation to reply. If you had posted it to me and I had ignored it then you would have a point. Sadly that was not the case so here you are, for all to see, with egg on your face.
I just found every single time I mentioned views 35-50 of the Brahmajāla Sutta, and here are the two times you "addressed" it:
Ceisiwr wrote: ↑Thu Aug 06, 2020 9:23 pm
:strawman: No.
Ceisiwr wrote: ↑Thu Aug 06, 2020 6:59 pm
:strawman:
Once again, a total lack in skill when it comes to debating. You will remember that I addressed the BS nonsense in greater detail than :strawman: . It was only after you kept repeating the same inanities that i began to simplify my response with just :strawman: , which has now been superceded by simply ignoring your comments in relation to said sutta.
A 2-year old could argue like that,
The irony.

Now, would you like to try (again) to engage with the topic at hand or not? If you can't keep up, or simply can't get past dicussing people instead of ideas, then sit back and observe instead. If you do continue to persist with this meta-discussion nonsense then I'm afraid I will not be responding to you any further. As with the BS foolishness, it will simply be ignored.

:focus: :focus: :focus:
Paññaṃ nappamajjeyya, saccamanurakkheyya, cāgamanubrūheyya, santimeva so sikkheyyā’ti
“One should not neglect wisdom, should preserve truth, cultivate relinquishment and train for peace.”

Dhātuvibhaṅga Sutta
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samseva
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Re: On the Existence of Nibbana

Post by samseva »

Ceisiwr wrote: Fri Aug 21, 2020 4:23 pm Once again, a total lack in skill when it comes to debating. You will remember that I addressed the BS nonsense in greater detail than :strawman: . It was only after you kept repeating the same inanities that i began to simplify my response with just :strawman: , which has now been superceded by simply ignoring your comments in relation to said sutta.
You only addressed the eternity views (views 1-4)—all the way back on page 24, when we were still trying to figure out your eternal "Nibbāna-element" view. I'm not talking about that. You've been using that as an excuse I think the last three times I brought up views 35-50 of the Brahmajāla Sutta.

Address them or don't address them—just don't try to feign that you've addressed them, since you haven't.
Ceisiwr wrote: Fri Aug 21, 2020 4:23 pm :focus: :focus: :focus:
The Brahmajāla Sutta is precisely about the topic.

But I agree to move on!
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Re: On the Existence of Nibbana

Post by Ceisiwr »

samseva
But I agree to move on!
Excellent.
Paññaṃ nappamajjeyya, saccamanurakkheyya, cāgamanubrūheyya, santimeva so sikkheyyā’ti
“One should not neglect wisdom, should preserve truth, cultivate relinquishment and train for peace.”

Dhātuvibhaṅga Sutta
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Re: On the Existence of Nibbana

Post by Coëmgenu »

Ceisiwr wrote: Fri Aug 21, 2020 3:40 pm
Coëmgenu wrote: The Pali sutta has twelve dharmas on the path of seeing, not sixteen. Is the Theravādin Abhidhamma likewise?
Insight into the 4 Noble Truths and their 12 aspects is obtained all at once, simultaneoulsly, in one mind moment by the change of lineage consciousness.
The mind can only focus on one dhamma per moment? Is this not a principle of Theravādin Abhidhamma?
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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Re: On the Existence of Nibbana

Post by samseva »

(You still posted a wall-of-text... when we were simply talking about the Vibhaṅga passage.)
Ceisiwr wrote: Fri Aug 21, 2020 2:37 pm It goes on to define the unconditoned element as being an object of cognition for the mind base:
Therein what is ideational sense-base? The aggregate of feeling, aggregate of perception, aggregate of volitional activities and that invisible non-impingent form included in the ideational sense-base; the unconditioned element...Eleven sense-bases are conditioned. Ideational sense-base sometimes is conditioned; sometimes is unconditioned.
And... ?
Ceisiwr wrote: Fri Aug 21, 2020 2:37 pm The Vibhaṅga, in the Saccavibhaṅga section (Analysis Of Truth, Vb4) equates nibbāna with the 3rd Noble Truth:
Therein what is the Noble Truth of the cessation of suffering? That which is the entire dispassionate cessation of, the forsaking of, the discarding of, the freedom from, the non-grasping to that same craving... Therein what is the cessation of suffering? The abandoning of craving. This is called the cessation of suffering.
No, it doesn't.

That's in section 4.1.3.

This section is in 4.3.2—it's 13 pages after. There is no mention of Nibbāna in this section either.
Ceisiwr wrote: Fri Aug 21, 2020 2:37 pm https://suttacentral.net/vb4/en/thittila

It goes on to state, regarding nibbāna, that it is:

1. The truth of cessation [nibbāna] is neither-skilful-nor-unskilful.
[...]
25. The truth of cessation [nibbāna] is not accompanied by indifference.

So, from this we can see that nibbāna is outside of morality (1), not dependent on another object (3), outside of time (4 & 6), is external (7) and exists outside of contionality (5, 8, 9, 10, 11, & 12). It is also not merely a meditative state, nor is it consciousness (14 - 25). Nibbāna then extists as an external dhamma that is outside of space and time, neither arising nor ceasing but simply persisting without changing, the cognition of which is the destruction of greed, hatred and delusion. This is the interpretation, rightly so, that the Aṭṭhakathā has taken. To quote from the Sammohavinodani (The Dispeller of Delusion): [...]
Ceisiwr wrote: Fri Aug 21, 2020 2:37 pm And from the Abhidhammattha-saṅgaha:
Great seers who are free from craving declare that Nibbāna is an objective state which is deathless, absolutely endless, unconditioned, and unsurpassed. Thus as fourfold the Tath±gatas reveal the ultimate realities— consciousness, mental factors, matter, and Nibbāna
It literally says "state" right there.

Regarding "deathless" (amata), we've already went over it (as below, with 47 references). It's a common misinterpretation of the English translation—and people take it literally, as if Nibbāna/parinibbāna is "immortal."
Amata1 (nt.) [a + mata = mṛta pp. of mṛ, Vedic amṛta = Gr. ἀ μ(β)ροτ ο & ἀμβροσία = Lat. im —mort—a(lis] 1. The drink of the gods, ambrosia, water of immortality, (cp. BSk. amṛta — varṣa "rain of Ambrosia" Jtm 221). — 2. A general conception of a state of durability & non—change, a state of security i. e. where there is not any more rebirth or re—death. So Bdhgh at KhA 180 (on Sn 225) "na jāyati na jīyati na mīy- ati ti amatan ti vuccati", or at DhA i.228 "ajātattā na jiyyati na miyyati tasmā amatan ti vuccati". — Vin i.7 = M i.169 (apārutā tesaṁ amatassa dvārā); Vin i.39; D ii.39, 217, 241; S i.32 (= rāgadosamoha — khayo), 193; iii.2 (°ena abhisitta "sprinkled with A."); iv.94 (°assa dātā), 370; v.402 (°assa patti); A i.45 sq.; iii.451; iv.455; v.226 sq., 256 sq. (°assa dātā); J i.4 (v.25); iv.378, 386; v.456 (°mahā — nibbāna); Sn 204, 225, 228 (= nibbāna KhA 185); Th 1, 310 (= agada antidote); It 46 = 62 (as dhātu), 80 (°assa dvāra); Dh 114, 374 (= amata — mahā — nibbāna DhA iv.110); Miln 258 (°dhura savanûpaga), 319 (agado amataṁ & nibbānaṁ amataṁ), 336 (amatena lokaṁ abhisiñci Bhagavā), 346 (dhammɔ âmataṁ); DA i.217 (°nib- bāna); DhA i.87 (°ṁ pāyeti); Dāvs ii.34; v.31; Sdhp 1, 209, 530, 571. [...]
—PTS Pāḷi-English Dictionary

I don't feel like looking over the other Pāḷi terms.
Ceisiwr wrote: Fri Aug 21, 2020 2:37 pm [Various isolated commentarial, and post-commentarial passages, which I have no intention of re-reading and looking into.]
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Re: On the Existence of Nibbana

Post by cappuccino »

samseva wrote: Regarding "deathless" (amata) … people take it literally, as if Nibbāna/parinibbāna is "immortal"
It is the Everlasting,
the Island,
the Refuge, the Beyond.
~ S 43.1-44
Last edited by cappuccino on Fri Aug 21, 2020 7:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: On the Existence of Nibbana

Post by SDC »

Ceisiwr wrote: Fri Aug 21, 2020 2:37 pm I did address SDC's post
I must've missed it, but in all fairness, I left the work of deciphering that verse on you (if you were interested). One of the perks of stepping down as a moderator was time off the internet and it was a lazy post on my behalf. I'll address it now since it is causing some strife.

If you really get into MN 60, you'll see it is a direct address of the mundane Right View, i.e. Right View with effluents. The sutta has the Buddha taking a direct position on nihilism, action and causality, i.e. that which is relevant to that mundane Right view. Literally says, "Since there actually is..." I wanted to emphasize what the "wise" are said to do in the three cases of these affirmations:

For nihilism:
MN 60 wrote:About this a wise man considers thus: ‘If there is another world, then on the dissolution of the body, after death, this good person will reappear in a happy destination, even in the heavenly world. Now whether or not the word of those good recluses and brahmins is true, let me assume that there is no other world: still this good person is here and now praised by the wise as a virtuous person, one with right view who holds the doctrine of affirmation. And on the other hand, if there is another world, then this good person has made a lucky throw on both counts: since he is praised by the wise here and now, and since on the dissolution of the body, after death, he will reappear in a happy destination, even in the heavenly world. He has rightly accepted and undertaken this incontrovertible teaching in such a way that it extends to both sides and excludes the unwholesome alternative.
For non-doing:
MN 60 wrote:About this a wise man considers thus: ‘If there is doing, then on the dissolution of the body, after death, this good person will reappear in a happy destination, even in the heavenly world. Now whether or not the word of those good recluses and brahmins is true, let me assume that there is no doing: still this good person is here and now praised by the wise as a virtuous person, one with right view who holds the doctrine of doing. And on the other hand, if there is doing, then this good person has made a lucky throw on both counts: since he is praised by the wise here and now, and since on the dissolution of the body, after death, he will reappear in a happy destination, even in the heavenly world. He has rightly accepted and undertaken this incontrovertible teaching in such a way that it extends to both sides and excludes the unwholesome alternative.
For non-causality:
MN 60 wrote:About this a wise man considers thus: ‘If there is causality, then on the dissolution of the body, after death, this good person will reappear in a happy destination, even in the heavenly world. Now whether or not the word of those good recluses and brahmins is true, let me assume that there is no causality: still this good person is here and now praised by the wise as a virtuous person, one with right view who holds the doctrine of causality. And on the other hand, if there is causality, then this good person has made a lucky throw on both counts: since he is praised by the wise here and now, and since on the dissolution of the body, after death, he will reappear in a happy destination, even in the heavenly world. He has rightly accepted and undertaken this incontrovertible teaching in such a way that it extends to both sides and excludes the unwholesome alternative.
However, things change when addressing the immaterial realms and cessation of Being, i.e. approaching supermundane (addressed below respectively):
MN 60 wrote:About this a wise man considers thus: ‘These good recluses and brahmins hold the doctrine and view “there are definitely no immaterial realms,” but that has not been seen by me. And these other good recluses and brahmins hold the doctrine and view “there definitely are immaterial realms,” but that has not been known by me. If, without knowing and seeing, I were to take one side and declare: “Only this is true, anything else is wrong,” that would not be fitting for me. Now as to the recluses and brahmins who hold the doctrine and view “there definitely are no immaterial realms,” if their word is true then it is certainly still possible that I might reappear after death among the gods of the fine-material realms who consist of mind. But as to the recluses and brahmins who hold the doctrine and view “there definitely are immaterial realms,” if their word is true then it is certainly possible that I might reappear after death among the gods of the immaterial realms who consist of perception. The taking up of rods and weapons, quarrels, brawls, disputes, recrimination, malice, and false speech are seen to occur based on material form, but this does not exist at all in the immaterial realms.’ After reflecting thus, he practises the way to disenchantment with material forms, to the fading away and cessation of material forms.
MN 60 wrote:About this a wise man considers thus: ‘These good recluses and brahmins hold the doctrine and view “there is definitely no cessation of being,” but that has not been seen by me. And these other good recluses and brahmins hold the doctrine and view “there definitely is a cessation of being,” but that has not been known by me. If, without knowing and seeing, I were to take one side and declare: “Only this is true, anything else is wrong,” that would not be fitting for me. Now as to the recluses and brahmins who hold the doctrine and view “there definitely is no cessation of being,” if their word is true then it is certainly still possible that I might reappear after death among the gods of the immaterial realms who consist of perception. But as to the recluses and brahmins who hold the doctrine and view “there definitely is a cessation of being,” if their word is true then it is possible that I might here and now attain final Nibbāna. The view of those good recluses and brahmins who hold the doctrine and view “there definitely is no cessation of being” is close to lust, close to bondage, close to delighting, close to holding, close to clinging; but the view of those good recluses and brahmins who hold the doctrine and view “there definitely is cessation of being” is close to non-lust, close to non-bondage, close to non-delighting, close to non-holding, close to non-clinging.’ After reflecting thus, he practises the way to disenchantment with being, to the fading away and cessation of being.
(Note: I am not sure if this was already addressed, but one should be comfortable with equating "cessation of being" - a constituent of "cessation of this whole mass of suffering" - with the attainment of Nibbana, cf. any sutta describing paṭiccasamuppāda. So no crying, anyone :D )

Looks to me that the entire point of this sutta - bearing in mind the direct position described by the Buddha - is how to best reflect on the quality of the standpoints that would be in the direction of Nibbana through an added understanding of the standpoints that are clearly not in that direction; as it would ONLY be on account of the Right direction that Nibbana could be referenced, accepted on faith, then developed and eventually attained. My take away is that Nibbana cannot seriously be understood or described in any way shape or form aside from the means of directionality. This negative manner of addressing Nibbana is a common thread in the suttas, and in some we find an array of descriptions having to do with this same directionality:
SN 45.91 wrote:It is in this way, bhikkhus, that a bhikkhu develops and cultivates the Noble Eightfold Path so that he slants, slopes, and inclines towards Nibbāna.
SN 47.51-62 wrote:It is in this way, bhikkhus, that a bhikkhu develops and cultivates the four establishments of mindfulness so that he slants, slopes, and inclines towards Nibbāna.”
SN 45.180 wrote:What Noble Eightfold Path? Here, bhikkhus, a bhikkhu develops right view … right concentration, which has as its final goal the removal of lust, the removal of hatred, the removal of delusion … which has the Deathless as its ground, the Deathless as its destination, the Deathless as its final goal … which slants, slopes, and inclines towards Nibbāna. This Noble Eightfold Path is to be developed for direct knowledge of these five higher fetters, for the full understanding of them, for their utter destruction, for their abandoning.
A bit tangential, but here is a incredibly fascinating description of directionality in terms of mindfulness:
SN 47.10 wrote:So it is, Ānanda, so it is! It may be expected of anyone, Ānanda—whether bhikkhu or bhikkhuni—who dwells with a mind well established in the four establishments of mindfulness, that such a one will perceive successively loftier stages of distinction.

“What four? Here, Ānanda, a bhikkhu dwells contemplating the body in the body, ardent, clearly comprehending, mindful, having removed covetousness and displeasure in regard to the world. While he is contemplating the body in the body, there arises in him, based on the body, either a fever in the body or sluggishness of mind, or the mind is distracted outwardly. That bhikkhu should then direct his mind towards some inspiring sign. When he directs his mind towards some inspiring sign, gladness is born. When he is gladdened, rapture is born. When the mind is uplifted by rapture, the body becomes tranquil. One tranquil in body experiences happiness. The mind of one who is happy becomes concentrated. He reflects thus: ‘The purpose for the sake of which I directed my mind has been achieved. Let me now withdraw it.’ So he withdraws the mind and does not think or examine. He understands: ‘Without thought and examination, internally mindful, I am happy.’

“Again, a bhikkhu dwells contemplating feelings in feelings … mind in mind … phenomena in phenomena, ardent, clearly comprehending, mindful, having removed covetousness and displeasure in regard to the world. While he is contemplating phenomena in phenomena, there arises in him, based on phenomena, either a fever in the body or sluggishness of mind, or the mind is distracted outwardly. That bhikkhu should then direct his mind towards some inspiring sign. When he directs his mind towards some inspiring sign … He understands: ‘Without thought and examination, internally mindful, I am happy.’

“It is in such a way, Ānanda, that there is development by direction.

“And how, Ānanda, is there development without direction? Not directing his mind outwardly, a bhikkhu understands: ‘My mind is not directed outwardly.’ Then he understands: ‘It is unconstricted after and before, liberated, undirected.’ Then he further understands: ‘I dwell contemplating the body in the body, ardent, clearly comprehending, mindful; I am happy.’

“Not directing his mind outwardly, a bhikkhu understands: ‘My mind is not directed outwardly.’ Then he understands: ‘It is unconstricted after and before, liberated, undirected.’ Then he further understands: ‘I dwell contemplating feelings in feelings, ardent, clearly comprehending, mindful; I am happy.’

“Not directing his mind outwardly, a bhikkhu understands: ‘My mind is not directed outwardly.’ Then he understands: ‘It is unconstricted after and before, liberated, undirected.’ Then he further understands: ‘I dwell contemplating mind in mind, ardent, clearly comprehending, mindful; I am happy.’

“Not directing his mind outwardly, a bhikkhu understands: ‘My mind is not directed outwardly.’ Then he understands: ‘It is unconstricted after and before, liberated, undirected.’ Then he further understands: ‘I dwell contemplating phenomena in phenomena, ardent, clearly comprehending, mindful; I am happy.’

“It is in this way, Ānanda, that there is development without direction.
Now I can only infer that "without direction" as a "loftier stage", i.e. "liberated". Perhaps not as an attainment of Nibbana perhaps (even though it seems highly likely), but in the very least as knowing the quality of liberated mind as 'liberated mind' (vimuttaṃ citta) à la cittanupassana (see DN 22, MN 10)

One more on diretionality:
SN 35.241 wrote:The Blessed One saw a great log being carried along by the current of the river Ganges, and he addressed the bhikkhus thus: “Do you see, bhikkhus, that great log being carried along by the current of the river Ganges?”

“Yes, venerable sir.”

“If, bhikkhus, that log does not veer towards the near shore, does not veer towards the far shore, does not sink in mid-stream, does not get cast up on high ground, does not get caught by human beings, does not get caught by nonhuman beings, does not get caught in a whirlpool, and does not become inwardly rotten, it will slant, slope, and incline towards the ocean. For what reason? Because the current of the river Ganges slants, slopes, and inclines towards the ocean.

“So too, bhikkhus, if you do not veer towards the near shore, do not veer towards the far shore, do not sink in mid-stream, do not get cast up on high ground, do not get caught by human beings, do not get caught by nonhuman beings, do not get caught in a whirlpool, and do not become inwardly rotten, you will slant, slope, and incline towards Nibbāna. For what reason? Because right view slants, slopes, and inclines towards Nibbāna.”

When this was said, a certain bhikkhu asked the Blessed One: “What, venerable sir, is the near shore? What is the far shore? What is sinking in mid-stream? What is getting cast up on high ground? What is getting caught by human beings, what is getting caught by nonhuman beings, what is getting caught in a whirlpool? What is inward rottenness?”

“‘The near shore,’ bhikkhu: this is a designation for the six internal sense bases. ‘The far shore’: this is a designation for the six external sense bases. ‘Sinking in mid-stream’: this is a designation for delight and lust. ‘Getting cast up on high ground’: this is a designation for the conceit ‘I am.’

“And what, bhikkhu, is getting caught by human beings? Here, someone lives in association with laypeople; he rejoices with them and sorrows with them, he is happy when they are happy and sad when they are sad, and he involves himself in their affairs and duties. This is called getting caught by human beings.

“And what, bhikkhu, is getting caught by nonhuman beings? Here, someone lives the holy life with the aspiration to be reborn into a certain order of devas, thinking: ‘By this virtue or vow or austerity or holy life I will become a deva or one among the devas.’ This is called getting caught by nonhuman beings.

“‘Getting caught in a whirlpool’: this, bhikkhu, is a designation for the five cords of sensual pleasure.

“And what, bhikkhu, is inward rottenness? Here someone is immoral, one of evil character, of impure and suspect behaviour, secretive in his acts, no ascetic though claiming to be one, not a celibate though claiming to be one, inwardly rotten, corrupt, depraved. This is called inward rottenness.”
To me it seems very important to understand what Nibbana isn't through virtue, restraint, wholesome development, mindfulness, etc.
AN 8.19 wrote:Just as, whatever streams in the world flow into the great ocean and however much rain falls into it from the sky, neither a decrease nor a filling up can be seen in the great ocean, so too, even if many bhikkhus attain final nibbāna by way of the nibbāna element without residue remaining, neither a decrease nor a filling up can be seen in the nibbāna element. This is the fifth astounding and amazing quality that the bhikkhus see in this Dhamma and discipline…
This does not seem like a "thing" with an extent, that is extant in a manner relatable to anything that is known as the inclination is developed. There is nothing more atypical than that, and that atypicality cannot be treated positively, even in discussion, even with the appropriate safeguards. It must endure in that atypicality, and not be broached by any manner of conceiving.

Bearing in mind the tendency of the mind to diffuse and expand externally to preferred extents:
SN 35.246 wrote:Bhikkhus, if in any bhikkhu or bhikkhunī desire or lust or hatred or delusion or aversion of mind should arise in regard to forms cognizable by the eye, such a one should rein in the mind from them thus: ‘This path is fearful, dangerous, strewn with thorns, covered by jungle, a deviant path, an evil path, a way beset by scarcity. This is a path followed by inferior people; it is not the path followed by superior people. This is not for you.’ In this way the mind should be reined in from these states regarding forms cognizable by the eye. So too regarding sounds cognizable by the ear … regarding mental phenomena cognizable by the mind.

Suppose, bhikkhus, that the barley has ripened and the watchman is negligent. If a bull fond of barley enters the barley field, he might indulge himself as much as he likes. So too, bhikkhus, the uninstructed worldling who does not exercise restraint over the six bases for contact indulges himself as much as he likes in the five cords of sensual pleasure.

“Suppose, bhikkhus, that the barley has ripened and the watchman is vigilant. If a bull fond of barley enters the barley field, the watchman would catch hold of him firmly by the muzzle. While holding him firmly by the muzzle, he would get a secure grip on the locks between his horns and, keeping him in check there, would give him a sound beating with his staff. After giving him that beating, he would drive the bull away. This might happen a second time and a third time. Thus that bull fond of barley, whether he has gone to the village or the forest, whether he is accustomed to standing or to sitting, remembering the previous beating he got from the staff, would not enter that barley field again.

“So too, bhikkhus, when a bhikkhu’s mind has been subdued, well subdued, regarding the six bases for contact, it then becomes inwardly steady, settled, unified, and concentrated.
Iti 94 wrote:This was said by the Lord…

“Bhikkhus, a bhikkhu should so investigate that as he investigates, his consciousness is not distracted and diffused externally, and internally is not fixed, and by not grasping anything he should remain undisturbed. If his consciousness is not distracted and diffused externally, and internally is not fixed, and if by not grasping anything he remains undisturbed, then there is no coming into existence of birth, ageing, death, and suffering in the future.”

When a bhikkhu has abandoned
The seven ties and cut the cord,
His wandering on in births is finished:
There is no renewal of being for him.
So it seems is inconceivable to describe Nibbana in positive terms from the position of conceit (which it seems we all still maintain):
MN 1 wrote:He perceives Nibbāna as Nibbāna. Having perceived Nibbāna as Nibbāna, he conceives himself as Nibbāna, he conceives himself in Nibbāna, he conceives himself apart from Nibbāna, he conceives Nibbāna to be ‘mine,’ he delights in Nibbāna. Why is that? Because he has not fully understood it, I say.
As to the extent of the world (becoming otherwise), conceiving, conceit, Nibbana:
SN 35.91 wrote:Bhikkhus, being stirred is a disease, being stirred is a tumour, being stirred is a dart. Therefore, bhikkhus, the Tathagata dwells unstirred, with the dart removed. Therefore, bhikkhus, if a bhikkhu should wish, ‘May I dwell unstirred, with the dart removed!’ he should not conceive the eye … forms … eye-consciousness … eye-contact … and as to whatever feeling arises with eye-contact as condition … he should not conceive that, should not conceive in that, should not conceive from that, should not conceive, ‘That is mine.’ For whatever one conceives, bhikkhus, whatever one conceives in, whatever one conceives from, whatever one conceives as ‘mine’—that is otherwise. The world, becoming otherwise, attached to existence, seeks delight only in existence.

“He should not conceive the ear … He should not conceive the mind … mental phenomena … mind-consciousness … mind-contact … and as to whatever feeling arises with mind-contact as condition … he should not conceive that, should not conceive in that, should not conceive from that, should not conceive, ‘That is mine.’ For whatever one conceives, bhikkhus, whatever one conceives in, whatever one conceives from, whatever one conceives as ‘mine’—that is otherwise. The world, becoming otherwise, attached to existence, seeks delight only in existence.

“Whatever, bhikkhus, is the extent of the aggregates, the elements, and the sense bases, he does not conceive that, does not conceive in that, does not conceive from that, does not conceive, ‘That is mine.’

“Since he does not conceive anything thus, he does not cling to anything in the world. Not clinging, he is not agitated. Being unagitated, he personally attains Nibbāna. He understands: ‘Destroyed is birth, the holy life has been lived, what had to be done has been done, there is no more for this state of being.’”
In the spirit of this record-long thread I have contributed something likely to cause things to diffuse even further lol. I wish I had time to make it more organized, but in doing so I would do to Nibbana precisely what these suttas describe Nibbana not to be. Sure, it does seem as though I've found some esoteric corner of this topic to harp on, but if we are going to sit here and flippantly describe Nibbana in terms that qualify as an extant extent conceived and understood - even if done in terms of infinity or immeasurability - it should be something that is taken into account, lest we will be caught delighting in it and not understanding it (MN 1). And while I have an appreciation for the technical prowess being displayed in this thread, it is overshadowing any sense of caution IMVHO...
"As fruits fall from the tree, so people too, both young and old, fall when this body breaks." - Raṭṭhapāla (MN 82)
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Re: On the Existence of Nibbana

Post by samseva »

About MN 60, I thought this was the most relevant:
About this a wise man considers thus: ‘These good recluses and brahmins hold the doctrine and view “there is definitely no cessation of being,” but that has not been seen by me. And these other good recluses and brahmins hold the doctrine and view “there definitely is a cessation of being,” but that has not been known by me. If, without knowing and seeing, I were to take one side and declare: “Only this is true, anything else is wrong,” that would not be fitting for me. Now as to the recluses and brahmins who hold the doctrine and view “there definitely is no cessation of being,” if their word is true then it is certainly still possible that I might reappear after death among the gods of the immaterial realms who consist of perception. But as to the recluses and brahmins who hold the doctrine and view “there definitely is a cessation of being,” if their word is true then it is possible that I might here and now attain final Nibbāna. The view of those good recluses and brahmins who hold the doctrine and view “there definitely is no cessation of being” is close to lust, close to bondage, close to delighting, close to holding, close to clinging; but the view of those good recluses and brahmins who hold the doctrine and view “there definitely is cessation of being” is close to non-lust, close to non-bondage, close to non-delighting, close to non-holding, close to non-clinging.’ After reflecting thus, he practises the way to disenchantment with being, to the fading away and cessation of being.
MN 60 (transl., Bhikkhu Bodhi)

These passages are particularly interesting (about the whole "Nibbāna/parinibbāna is the seeing of the Nibbāna-dhātu that has always been there, and not cessation" part of the view in the thread):
"[...] who hold the doctrine and view “there definitely is a cessation of being,” if their word is true then it is possible that I might here and now attain final Nibbāna."
Ye pana te bhonto samaṇabrāhmaṇā evaṃvādino evaṃdiṭṭhino: atthi sabbaso bhavanirodho’ti, sace tesaṃ bhavataṃ samaṇabrāhmaṇānaṃ saccaṃ vacanaṃ, ṭhānametaṃ vijjati—yaṃ diṭṭheva dhamme parinibbāyissāmi.
The Buddha directly equates "cessation of being" (bhavanirodho) with "final Nibbāna" (parinibbāna).

However, he explains this to say that it is a false view (although it doesn't invalidate the equating, since he says "if it were true...").

Still, the passage ends with:
"After reflecting thus, he practises the way to disenchantment with being, to the fading away and cessation of being."
So iti paṭisaṅkhāya bhavānaṃyeva nibbidāya virāgāya nirodhāya paṭipanno hoti.
So it's not that "there definitely is cessation of being" (one would need to look into the Pāḷi to see the peculiarities of this false view), but the Buddha still encourages us to "[practise] the way to disenchantment with being, to the fading away and cessation of being."

:sage:
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Re: On the Existence of Nibbana

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Coëmgenu wrote: Fri Aug 21, 2020 5:07 pm
Ceisiwr wrote: Fri Aug 21, 2020 3:40 pm
Coëmgenu wrote: The Pali sutta has twelve dharmas on the path of seeing, not sixteen. Is the Theravādin Abhidhamma likewise?
Insight into the 4 Noble Truths and their 12 aspects is obtained all at once, simultaneoulsly, in one mind moment by the change of lineage consciousness.
The mind can only focus on one dhamma per moment? Is this not a principle of Theravādin Abhidhamma?
Indeed it is.
Paññaṃ nappamajjeyya, saccamanurakkheyya, cāgamanubrūheyya, santimeva so sikkheyyā’ti
“One should not neglect wisdom, should preserve truth, cultivate relinquishment and train for peace.”

Dhātuvibhaṅga Sutta
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Re: On the Existence of Nibbana

Post by Ceisiwr »

samseva
(You still posted a wall-of-text... when we were simply talking about the Vibhaṅga passage.)
Yes, how dare I give your post the full reply that it deserves :? Also, do not go back to the meta-discussion please.
And... ?
That was part of a larger argument regarding nibbāna being an external and unconditoned timeless dhamma.
No, it doesn't.

That's in section 4.1.3.

This section is in 4.3.2—it's 13 pages after.
Yes, using the defintion :?
There is no mention of Nibbāna in this section either.
The truth of cessation = 3rd noble truth, which = nibbāna.
It literally says "state" right there.
Yes. What is your point?
Regarding "deathless" (amata), we've already went over it (as below, with 47 references). It's a common misinterpretation of the English translation—and people take it literally, as if Nibbāna/parinibbāna is "immortal."
Oh, well, good job I'm not using it as "immortality". It is a permanent state free of death.
Last edited by Ceisiwr on Fri Aug 21, 2020 9:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Paññaṃ nappamajjeyya, saccamanurakkheyya, cāgamanubrūheyya, santimeva so sikkheyyā’ti
“One should not neglect wisdom, should preserve truth, cultivate relinquishment and train for peace.”

Dhātuvibhaṅga Sutta
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Re: On the Existence of Nibbana

Post by Ceisiwr »

SDC

If you really get into MN 60, you'll see it is a direct address of the mundane Right View, i.e. Right View with effluents. The sutta has the Buddha taking a direct position on nihilism, action and causality, i.e. that which is relevant to that mundane Right view. Literally says, "Since there actually is..." I wanted to emphasize what the "wise" are said to do in the three cases of these affirmations... Looks to me that the entire point of this sutta - bearing in mind the direct position described by the Buddha - is how to best reflect on the quality of the standpoints that would be in the direction of Nibbana through an added understanding of the standpoints that are clearly not in that direction; as it would ONLY be on account of the Right direction that Nibbana could be referenced, accepted on faith, then developed and eventually attained. My take away is that Nibbana cannot seriously be understood or described in any way shape or form aside from the means of directionality. This negative manner of addressing Nibbana is a common thread in the suttas, and in some we find an array of descriptions having to do with this same directionality:
Ok, so how does this impact on the discussion regarding the ontological status of nibbāna?

To me it seems very important to understand what Nibbana isn't through virtue, restraint, wholesome development, mindfulness, etc.
AN 8.19 wrote:
Just as, whatever streams in the world flow into the great ocean and however much rain falls into it from the sky, neither a decrease nor a filling up can be seen in the great ocean, so too, even if many bhikkhus attain final nibbāna by way of the nibbāna element without residue remaining, neither a decrease nor a filling up can be seen in the nibbāna element. This is the fifth astounding and amazing quality that the bhikkhus see in this Dhamma and discipline…
This does not seem like a "thing" with an extent, that is extant in a manner relatable to anything that is known as the inclination is developed. There is nothing more atypical than that, and that atypicality cannot be treated positively, even in discussion, even with the appropriate safeguards. It must endure in that atypicality, and not be broached by any manner of conceiving.
But the Buddha did use positive terms to describe nibbāna:
“Bhikkhus, I will teach you the truth and the path leading to the truth…. I will teach you the far shore … the subtle … the very difficult to see … the unaging … … the stable … the undisintegrating … the unmanifest … the unproliferated … the peaceful … the deathless … the sublime … the auspicious … … the secure …. the destruction of craving … the wonderful … the amazing … the unailing … the unailing state … Nibbāna … the unafflicted … dispassion … … purity … freedom … the unadhesive … the island … the shelter … the asylum … the refuge … …”
https://suttacentral.net/sn43.14-43/en/bodhi
So it seems is inconceivable to describe Nibbana in positive terms from the position of conceit (which it seems we all still maintain):

MN 1 wrote:
He perceives Nibbāna as Nibbāna. Having perceived Nibbāna as Nibbāna, he conceives himself as Nibbāna, he conceives himself in Nibbāna, he conceives himself apart from Nibbāna, he conceives Nibbāna to be ‘mine,’ he delights in Nibbāna. Why is that? Because he has not fully understood it, I say.

As to the extent of the world (becoming otherwise), conceiving, conceit, Nibbana:

SN 35.91 wrote:
Bhikkhus, being stirred is a disease, being stirred is a tumour, being stirred is a dart. Therefore, bhikkhus, the Tathagata dwells unstirred, with the dart removed. Therefore, bhikkhus, if a bhikkhu should wish, ‘May I dwell unstirred, with the dart removed!’ he should not conceive the eye … forms … eye-consciousness … eye-contact … and as to whatever feeling arises with eye-contact as condition … he should not conceive that, should not conceive in that, should not conceive from that, should not conceive, ‘That is mine.’ For whatever one conceives, bhikkhus, whatever one conceives in, whatever one conceives from, whatever one conceives as ‘mine’—that is otherwise. The world, becoming otherwise, attached to existence, seeks delight only in existence.

“He should not conceive the ear … He should not conceive the mind … mental phenomena … mind-consciousness … mind-contact … and as to whatever feeling arises with mind-contact as condition … he should not conceive that, should not conceive in that, should not conceive from that, should not conceive, ‘That is mine.’ For whatever one conceives, bhikkhus, whatever one conceives in, whatever one conceives from, whatever one conceives as ‘mine’—that is otherwise. The world, becoming otherwise, attached to existence, seeks delight only in existence.

“Whatever, bhikkhus, is the extent of the aggregates, the elements, and the sense bases, he does not conceive that, does not conceive in that, does not conceive from that, does not conceive, ‘That is mine.’

“Since he does not conceive anything thus, he does not cling to anything in the world. Not clinging, he is not agitated. Being unagitated, he personally attains Nibbāna. He understands: ‘Destroyed is birth, the holy life has been lived, what had to be done has been done, there is no more for this state of being.’”

In the spirit of this record-long thread I have contributed something likely to cause things to diffuse even further lol. I wish I had time to make it more organized, but in doing so I would do to Nibbana precisely what these suttas describe Nibbana not to be. Sure, it does seem as though I've found some esoteric corner of this topic to harp on, but if we are going to sit here and flippantly describe Nibbana in terms that qualify as an extant extent conceived and understood - even if done in terms of infinity or immeasurability - it should be something that is taken into account, lest we will be caught delighting in it and not understanding it (MN 1). And while I have an appreciation for the technical prowess being displayed in this thread, it is overshadowing any sense of caution IMVHO...
Hmm. What you are arguing here sounds like what was argued for by the Mahāsāṃghikas. It was rejected by the Theras of Theravāda during the 3rd council:
2. Of the Ambrosial [nibbana] as an Object by which we are bound.

Controverted Point— That the Ambrosial as an object of thought is a ' fetter.'

From the Commentary.This is an opinion held, for instance, by the Pubbaseliyas, and due to careless inference from such passages as
'He fancies things about Nibbana.'3


[1] Th.—If you say that, are you prepared to admit that the Ambrosial is the object of consciousness accompanied by ' Fetters,' Ties,' ' Floods,' 'Bonds,' ' Hindrances,' ' Infections,' Graspings,' ' Corruptions ' 91 Is it not rather an object accompanied by the very opposite ?
[2-4] You affirm that, on account of the Ambrosial occupying the mind, lust, hate, ignorance may spring up. But are you prepared to admit that the Ambrosial itself conduces to occasions for lusting, to lusting after, wishing for, being inebriated, and captivated by, languishing for ? That it conduces to occasions for hatred, anger, and resentment? That it conduces to occasions for delusion, for depriving of knowledge, for blinding vision, for suspending insight, for siding with trouble,2 for failing to win Nibbana? Is it not rather the opposite df all these? How then can you say that, on account of the Ambrosial occupying the mind, lust, hate, and ignorance spring up ? [5] All these things you may truly predicate as springing up because of the occupation of the mind with material qualities (rupa). But material qualities are not the Ambrosial.
[6] You would not say that, whereas *the Fetters spring up because of material qualities, the latter do not conduce to Fetters, Ties, Floods, and all such spiritual defects and dangers. How then can you affirm just the same of the Ambrosial: that, whereas the Fetters spring up because of it, it does not conduce to Fetters, and so forth? Or that, whereas lust, hate, and ignorance spring up because of the Ambrosial, nevertheless the Ambrosial is not an occasion for lusting and all the rest ?
[7] P.—But was it not said by the Exalted One: 1 "He perceives Nibbdna as such, and having perceived it he imagines things about Nibbdna, with respect to Nibbna, things as Nibbana, that "Nibbana is mine" dallying with the idea." Therefore the Ambrosial is an object of thought not yet freed from bondage.
http://lirs.ru/do/Points_of_Controversy ... s,1915.pdf

Page 233.
He perceives Nibbāna as Nibbāna. Having perceived Nibbāna as Nibbāna, he conceives himself as Nibbāna, he conceives himself in Nibbāna, he conceives himself apart from Nibbāna, he conceives Nibbāna to be ‘mine,’ he delights in Nibbāna. Why is that? Because he has not fully understood it, I say.
Whilst the Buddha cautions against concieving nibbāna by way of craving, clinging and identification I struggle to see how that extends to not being able to discuss nibbāna in positive terms, nor do I see how this impacts on the discussion regarding the ontology of nibbāna?

What is your position regarding the ontology of nibbana? Nāmapaññatti of the real or Prajñapti?
Last edited by Ceisiwr on Fri Aug 21, 2020 9:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Paññaṃ nappamajjeyya, saccamanurakkheyya, cāgamanubrūheyya, santimeva so sikkheyyā’ti
“One should not neglect wisdom, should preserve truth, cultivate relinquishment and train for peace.”

Dhātuvibhaṅga Sutta
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Re: On the Existence of Nibbana

Post by samseva »

Ceisiwr wrote: Fri Aug 21, 2020 8:42 pm
samseva wrote:No, it doesn't.

That's in section 4.1.3.

This section is in 4.3.2—it's 13 pages after.
Yes, using the defintion :?
The definition is "Nibbāna"? Yet there's not a single mention of Nibbāna in the original Pāḷi, in all of Vb 4... Okay, then.
Ceisiwr wrote: Fri Aug 21, 2020 8:42 pm
There is no mention of Nibbāna in this section either.
The truth of cessation = 3rd noble truth, which = nibbāna.
Okay, if you want to make the leap... and base your entire 3-page explanation on this...

And then go from section 4.1.3... and 13 pages later... use your indirect definition from 4.1.3, for section 4.3.2...
Ceisiwr wrote: Fri Aug 21, 2020 8:42 pm
samseva wrote:Regarding "deathless" (amata), we've already went over it (as below, with 47 references). It's a common misinterpretation of the English translation—and people take it literally, as if Nibbāna/parinibbāna is "immortal."
[...] I'm not using it a "immortality". It is a permanent state free of death.
No comment...
Last edited by samseva on Fri Aug 21, 2020 9:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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