can i achieve nirvana when i don't believe in Reincarnation

Exploring Theravāda's connections to other paths - what can we learn from other traditions, religions and philosophies?
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Spiny O'Norman
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Re: can i achieve nirvana when i don't believe in Reincarnation

Post by Spiny O'Norman »

Lazy_eye wrote:
Spiny O'Norman wrote:
Lazy_eye wrote: Hi Spiny,

What about the logical problems he raises in his critique? Can they be resolved?
Frankly I don't think Brasington really understands the 3-lives model.
Hmm, you haven't really answered my question. Not that you're obliged to, of course.
The 3-lives model is applied to DO in forward, not cessation mode - interestingly he doesn't seem to find a problem with the forward mode. ;)

And is Brasington making an objective attempt to understand DO in terms of how the nidanas are described in the suttas? I don't think so.

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Spiny O'Norman
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Re: can i achieve nirvana when i don't believe in Reincarnation

Post by Spiny O'Norman »

daverupa wrote:
Spiny O'Norman wrote:So what's this "immediate contradiction"?
This is thoroughly addressed elsewhere, and it won't do to clutter this thread.
Well, let's discuss it in a more appropriate place - any suggestions?

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Re: can i achieve nirvana when i don't believe in Reincarnation

Post by daverupa »

Spiny O'Norman wrote:Well, let's discuss it in a more appropriate place - any suggestions?
Probably here.
  • "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting oneself one protects others? By the pursuit, development, and cultivation of the four establishments of mindfulness. It is in such a way that by protecting oneself one protects others.

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

- Sedaka Sutta [SN 47.19]
shoenhad
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Re: can i achieve nirvana when i don't believe in Reincarnation

Post by shoenhad »

Bhikkhu Pesala wrote: Mon Mar 19, 2012 9:06 am
No you won't know it for a fact unless you can recollect your previous lives. Enlightenment comes from realising the Four Noble Truths, and attaining nibbāna. We may well have unshakeable faith in the Buddha's teaching on attaining Stream-winning and realising nibbāna, but we can gain faith just through wise reflection.

Read the conversation between the Weaver's daughter and the Buddha. She attained nibbāna and became a Stream-winner on the conclusion of the Dhammapada verse. There is no reason to assume that she also attained psychic powers (abhiññā) with the ability to recollect previous lives.She obviously did not know anything about her previous existence when questioned by the Buddha. However, she did understand what the question was about, so she already had faith in the doctrine of rebirth.

Dear venerable,

In light of your response here how is one to reconcile it with thanissaro's statement on knowledge of rebirth upon stream entry: 'An essential part of even the first level of awakening described in the Canon — stream entry — confirms the rightness of right view (MN 48), which includes the understanding that there is a deathless, birthless dimension (Mv.I.23.5), and that there is a level of craving that, if not abandoned, will lead to repeated birth'

In the case that one does not have recollection of previous lives and therefore does not know rebirth to be a fact then what exactly is the understanding that is being described here by thanissaro and perhaps more importantly what would this knowledge of rebirth and craving be based on if recollection is indeed absent upon stream entry?
Last edited by shoenhad on Tue Apr 27, 2021 12:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: can i achieve nirvana when i don't believe in Reincarnation

Post by retrofuturist »

Greetings,
Zom wrote: Fri Mar 16, 2012 5:45 pm
Bhikkhu Pesala wrote:To attain nibbāna is synonymous with becoming a Stream-winner.
Why is that? Attaining nibbana is the destruction of greed-hatred-delusion. Stream-enterer doesn't destroy any of these.
I don't think I'd noticed this question Zom posed to Bhikkhu Pesala years ago, until shoenhad reincarnated this topic, but while we're at it, it's never too late to give or receive and answer....

:popcorn:

Metta,
Paul. :)
"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"Why now do you assume 'a being'? Mara, have you grasped a view?" (SN 5.10)

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Re: can i achieve nirvana when i don't believe in Reincarnation

Post by mjaviem »

retrofuturist wrote: Tue Apr 27, 2021 12:20 pm ... to give or receive and answer....
Perhaps the venerable means that Nibbana is inevitable for Stream-enterers?
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Re: can i achieve nirvana when i don't believe in Reincarnation

Post by Bhikkhu Pesala »

Stream-winners have eliminated three fetters: self-view, attachment to rites and rituals, and doubt (about the Path because they have attained it and realised nibbana).

They are not yet free from greed, hatred, and delusion. Only the Non-returner is free from greed and hatred, and only the Arahant is free from delusion/ignorance.

Absence of wrong-view and attainment of supramundane right-view is not the same as recollection of previous lives. (See the Brahmajala Sutta about how various wrong-views arise). The first is concerned with wisdom, the latter with concentration. The Bodhisatta attained the recollection of previous lives before attaining the Path. The Weaver's daughter attained the Path without attaining any knowledge of previous lives.
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shoenhad
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Re: can i achieve nirvana when i don't believe in Reincarnation

Post by shoenhad »

Bhikkhu Pesala wrote: Tue Apr 27, 2021 2:40 pm Stream-winners have eliminated three fetters: self-view, attachment to rites and rituals, and doubt (about the Path because they have attained it and realised nibbana).

They are not yet free from greed, hatred, and delusion. Only the Non-returner is free from greed and hatred, and only the Arahant is free from delusion/ignorance.

Absence of wrong-view and attainment of supramundane right-view is not the same as recollection of previous lives. (See the Brahmajala Sutta about how various wrong-views arise). The first is concerned with wisdom, the latter with concentration. The Bodhisatta attained the recollection of previous lives before attaining the Path. The Weaver's daughter attained the Path without attaining any knowledge of previous lives.
Unfortunately it is still not clear to me how this lines up with the supposed realisation upon stream entry that a level of craving can lead to repeated rebirth when there is no recollection of previous lives? Is it because there is no doubt regarding the path and realisation of the deathless dimension and therefore by extension one has faith in the rebirth 'doctrine'?

That would ultimately still be an act of faith but not the equivalent of knowledge through recollection correct?
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Re: can i achieve nirvana when i don't believe in Reincarnation

Post by cappuccino »

shoenhad wrote: Tue Apr 27, 2021 3:46 pm Unfortunately it is still not clear to me
stream entry is just understanding dependent arising


from which rebirth is understood
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Re: can i achieve nirvana when i don't believe in Reincarnation

Post by Ceisiwr »

shoenhad wrote: Tue Apr 27, 2021 3:46 pm
Unfortunately it is still not clear to me how this lines up with the supposed realisation upon stream entry that a level of craving can lead to repeated rebirth when there is no recollection of previous lives? Is it because there is no doubt regarding the path and realisation of the deathless dimension and therefore by extension one has faith in the rebirth 'doctrine'?
It is understood analytically. One does not have to directly see all of the links right in front of them to understand it. For example, the stream-enterer has not literally died but analytically they now understand that birth is a necessary condition for death due to their insights. The stream-enterer still has craving for sensual objects because they have not yet experienced the otherworldly rapture and happiness of the Jhānā. Once that is experienced lust for sensual objects drops away. If some ignorance and craving remains for said meditative states or for annihilation in the formless then they become a Non-Returner. If all ignorance and craving is done away with, even for the Jhānā or annihilation in the formless, then they become an Arahant.
Last edited by Ceisiwr on Tue Apr 27, 2021 8:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: can i achieve nirvana when i don't believe in Reincarnation

Post by cappuccino »

Ceisiwr wrote: Tue Apr 27, 2021 7:47 pm even for the Jhānā or annihilation in the formless
the formless is not annihilation


more like oblivion


but oblivion is a state of mind
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Re: can i achieve nirvana when i don't believe in Reincarnation

Post by Ceisiwr »

cappuccino wrote: Tue Apr 27, 2021 7:56 pm
Ceisiwr wrote: Tue Apr 27, 2021 7:47 pm even for the Jhānā or annihilation in the formless
the formless is not annihilation


more like oblivion


but oblivion is a state of mind
You will notice that in what I said ignorance underlies the view that one can annihilate themselves in the formless.
“The mental and material are really here,
But here there is no human being to be found,
For it is void and merely fashioned like a doll—
Just suffering piled up like grass and sticks.”


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Re: can i achieve nirvana when i don't believe in Reincarnation

Post by cappuccino »

Ceisiwr wrote: Tue Apr 27, 2021 7:57 pm You will notice that in what I said ignorance underlies the view that one can annihilate themselves in the formless.
Ramana Maharshi believed the formless is forever


rather it is lasting, not forever
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Re: can i achieve nirvana when i don't believe in Reincarnation

Post by Ceisiwr »

cappuccino wrote: Tue Apr 27, 2021 7:59 pm
Ceisiwr wrote: Tue Apr 27, 2021 7:57 pm You will notice that in what I said ignorance underlies the view that one can annihilate themselves in the formless.
Ramana Maharshi believed the formless was forever


rather it is lasting, not forever
I doubt he would have been a fan of the formless attainments, at least in how they were originally understood since they are so heavily tied to the annihilationists.
“The mental and material are really here,
But here there is no human being to be found,
For it is void and merely fashioned like a doll—
Just suffering piled up like grass and sticks.”


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Re: can i achieve nirvana when i don't believe in Reincarnation

Post by cappuccino »

Ceisiwr wrote: Tue Apr 27, 2021 8:02 pm I doubt he would have been a fan of the formless attainments
realm of infinite consciousness


which he taught
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