Author Topic: What is Nirvana?  (Read 26146 times)

Offline Ron-the-Elder

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Re: What is Nirvana?
« Reply #15 on: November 19, 2011, 04:54:05 am »
If we (all of us) were in nibanna before ignorance and conditioning arose, and fell into conditioned ignorance resulting in the experiencing of the samsaric realms, what is to prevent this from happening again even after re-experiencing nibanna?  After all, if it happened once, couldn't it happen again?
The assumption that "we (all of us) were in nibanna before ignorance and conditioning arose" actuall boils down to the assumption that there has been an absolute beginning. But this sort of reasoning has been rejected by the Buddha as not appropriate.
So ignorance is without beginning. The only mandatory cause for cessation to arise is being taught. Once there is cessation there is no falling back. If there is falling back then the alleged cessation has actually been a manifestation of ignorance.

kind regards

So, according to your understanding, nibbana is not the natural state, the ground state of existence.  Attainment is permanent:

Quote
And there, I say, there is neither coming, nor going, nor staying; neither passing away nor arising: unestablished, unevolving, without support (mental object). This, just this, is the end of stress."
What Makes an Elder? :
A head of gray hairs doesn't mean one's an elder. Advanced in years, one's called an old fool.
But one in whom there is truth, restraint, rectitude, gentleness,self-control, he's called an elder, his impurities disgorged, enlightened.
-Dhammpada, 19, translated by Thanissaro Bhikkhu.

Offline Optimus Prime

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Re: What is Nirvana?
« Reply #16 on: November 19, 2011, 05:03:15 am »
Ron,

Regarding point 6. - it's not so much restoring the mind to its natural luminosity.  It's more unveiling the luminosity that's already there.  You can also say you start to see glimpses of the luminosity that's already there, peeking through.  Like the sun - which has immense luminosity.  Yet when dark clouds cover it (i.e., delusions) the luminosity seems as if it's no longer there.  Hence the sky seems dark, even though sun behind the clouds is not one bit less in its luminous, not one bit less powerful.  But when the clouds are dissipated, the sun blazes forth just as powerful as before.

Regarding point 7. - when we're talking about the the True mind - we are talking about the Citta, we are NOT talking about the 6th thinking consciousness.  The True mind IS Nirvana.  Hence, the True mind doesn't disperse at all - it doesn't go anywhere, doesn't do anything - it's just there all along.  Right now, that True mind is active in you, in me, right at this very moment.  It's just a matter of seeing it directly.  In Chan, this is called "seeing the original face".  With the meditation object, "Who?" - it is actually a direct pointing to this True mind - this meditation object is telling you where to look, how to investigate - it is pointing your awareness back on to itself.

In fact, people who can penetrate directly to this are enlightened instantly (although it may have taken them a while in past lives to get to this "almost ripe" level).  For example, the 6th Chan Patriarch, Hui Neng was an illiterate young man who presumably never studied the Dharma - yet he hears just 1 sentence of the Vajra Sutra and was enlightened.

Offline Hanzze

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Re: What is Nirvana?
« Reply #17 on: November 19, 2011, 05:08:07 am »
As we all know about it, we have all possibilities to talk about it *smile*

What about simply trying the eightfold Path?

Offline ground

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Re: What is Nirvana?
« Reply #18 on: November 19, 2011, 05:17:47 am »
If we (all of us) were in nibanna before ignorance and conditioning arose, and fell into conditioned ignorance resulting in the experiencing of the samsaric realms, what is to prevent this from happening again even after re-experiencing nibanna?  After all, if it happened once, couldn't it happen again?
The assumption that "we (all of us) were in nibanna before ignorance and conditioning arose" actuall boils down to the assumption that there has been an absolute beginning. But this sort of reasoning has been rejected by the Buddha as not appropriate.
So ignorance is without beginning. The only mandatory cause for cessation to arise is being taught. Once there is cessation there is no falling back. If there is falling back then the alleged cessation has actually been a manifestation of ignorance.

kind regards

So, according to your understanding, nibbana is not the natural state, the ground state of existence.  Attainment is permanent:

Quote
And there, I say, there is neither coming, nor going, nor staying; neither passing away nor arising: unestablished, unevolving, without support (mental object). This, just this, is the end of stress."
It is mere cessation of ignorance, not more and not less. "Natural state" or "ground state of existence" may be nice ideas to undermine fear arising when conceiving of cessation with nothing being put in the place of that which ceases, but these are just fabricated ideas having no support.


Kind regards
« Last Edit: November 19, 2011, 05:21:46 am by TMingyur. »

Offline Ron-the-Elder

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Re: What is Nirvana?
« Reply #19 on: November 19, 2011, 06:06:53 am »
Thank you for sharing your understanding(s).

What I have seen is a bifurcation in "beliefs".

One teaching:  The Mind is but a container.  The luminous mind is but the container empty of defilements, glistening only due to its emptiness of contamination(s), much like a crystal wine glass glistens when freshly removed from the diswasher.

Another teaching:  The mind "is" an entity to itself, resplendent, beautiful, glowing, the seat of all knowledge and understanding, nibbana itself.

My next question is therefore: "What did Buddha teach in this regard?"

Please cite your sources with links if possible.
What Makes an Elder? :
A head of gray hairs doesn't mean one's an elder. Advanced in years, one's called an old fool.
But one in whom there is truth, restraint, rectitude, gentleness,self-control, he's called an elder, his impurities disgorged, enlightened.
-Dhammpada, 19, translated by Thanissaro Bhikkhu.

Offline Hanzze

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Re: What is Nirvana?
« Reply #20 on: November 19, 2011, 06:13:31 am »
Quote
"What did Buddha teach in this regard?"
Find it out by observing it your self as well as to reach the highest knowledge in using it. *smile*

Offline ground

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Re: What is Nirvana?
« Reply #21 on: November 19, 2011, 06:25:46 am »
My next question is therefore: "What did Buddha teach in this regard?"

Please cite your sources with links if possible.


Quote
From ignorance as a requisite condition come fabrications. From fabrications as a requisite condition comes consciousness. From consciousness as a requisite condition comes name-&-form. From name-&-form as a requisite condition come the six sense media. From the six sense media as a requisite condition comes contact. From contact as a requisite condition comes feeling. From feeling as a requisite condition comes craving. From craving as a requisite condition comes clinging/sustenance. From clinging/sustenance as a requisite condition comes becoming. From becoming as a requisite condition comes birth. From birth as a requisite condition, then aging & death, sorrow, lamentation, pain, distress, & despair come into play. Such is the origination of this entire mass of stress & suffering.

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/sn/sn12/sn12.015.than.html


So everthing is just a dependent arising and that also implies dependent cessation:
Quote
"Now from the remainderless fading & cessation of that very ignorance comes the cessation of fabrications. From the cessation of fabrications comes the cessation of consciousness. From the cessation of consciousness comes the cessation of name-&-form. From the cessation of name-&-form comes the cessation of the six sense media. From the cessation of the six sense media comes the cessation of contact. From the cessation of contact comes the cessation of feeling. From the cessation of feeling comes the cessation of craving. From the cessation of craving comes the cessation of clinging/sustenance. From the cessation of clinging/sustenance comes the cessation of becoming. From the cessation of becoming comes the cessation of birth. From the cessation of birth, then aging & death, sorrow, lamentation, pain, distress, & despair all cease. Such is the cessation of this entire mass of stress & suffering."


Kind regards

Offline Ron-the-Elder

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Re: What is Nirvana?
« Reply #22 on: November 19, 2011, 07:25:28 am »
My next question is therefore: "What did Buddha teach in this regard?"

Please cite your sources with links if possible.


Quote
From ignorance as a requisite condition come fabrications. From fabrications as a requisite condition comes consciousness. From consciousness as a requisite condition comes name-&-form. From name-&-form as a requisite condition come the six sense media. From the six sense media as a requisite condition comes contact. From contact as a requisite condition comes feeling. From feeling as a requisite condition comes craving. From craving as a requisite condition comes clinging/sustenance. From clinging/sustenance as a requisite condition comes becoming. From becoming as a requisite condition comes birth. From birth as a requisite condition, then aging & death, sorrow, lamentation, pain, distress, & despair come into play. Such is the origination of this entire mass of stress & suffering.

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/sn/sn12/sn12.015.than.html


So everthing is just a dependent arising and that also implies dependent cessation:
Quote
"Now from the remainderless fading & cessation of that very ignorance comes the cessation of fabrications. From the cessation of fabrications comes the cessation of consciousness. From the cessation of consciousness comes the cessation of name-&-form. From the cessation of name-&-form comes the cessation of the six sense media. From the cessation of the six sense media comes the cessation of contact. From the cessation of contact comes the cessation of feeling. From the cessation of feeling comes the cessation of craving. From the cessation of craving comes the cessation of clinging/sustenance. From the cessation of clinging/sustenance comes the cessation of becoming. From the cessation of becoming comes the cessation of birth. From the cessation of birth, then aging & death, sorrow, lamentation, pain, distress, & despair all cease. Such is the cessation of this entire mass of stress & suffering."


Kind regards


So, in what citation of dependent origination which you have provided is mind mentioned?  I see none.  Therefore, is mind but a fiction?  If so, then I must conclude that mind is but another delusional mental factor which disappears along with the defilements, which then allows nibbana to be revealed.  We could then consider it the last curtain of defilements and delusions to be pulled back.

Correct?

Hanze':  The finding out for one's own self is what practice of meditation and mindfulness is all about.  The problem as I see it in this thread is none of us is advanced enough in our practice to have directly experienced what is being described.  It is my belief that we can never describe the indescribable, nibbana.  It must be experienced directly.  It seems enough that we have been reassured by Buddha that it can be done, and as you said previously, the way to do it is to live one's life and to practice in accordance with The Noble Eight Fold Path.

The pursuit of the purified mind as a holy grail is but a temptation of Mara and appears to me to be another false teaching.  I say it is false, because it fails the test of what Buddha himself said that he taught:  The facts of dukkha;  The cause of dukkha;  and the means to end dukkha.  When all dukkha has been ended, that is nibbana.

This is my understanding.  But, I could be wrong, since I have not yet ended dukkha myself.

Please feel free to show me where I have gone wrong.
« Last Edit: November 19, 2011, 07:27:37 am by Bodhisatta2011 »
What Makes an Elder? :
A head of gray hairs doesn't mean one's an elder. Advanced in years, one's called an old fool.
But one in whom there is truth, restraint, rectitude, gentleness,self-control, he's called an elder, his impurities disgorged, enlightened.
-Dhammpada, 19, translated by Thanissaro Bhikkhu.

Offline Hanzze

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Re: What is Nirvana?
« Reply #23 on: November 19, 2011, 07:47:54 am »
Every name is a product of this chain *smile* I am not sure if the motivation to be able to describe it is the right motivation to work on it. Walking the eightfold path and teach the eightfold path. One self would find out and the other would find out by him self.
Its said, that someone had reached it already detect somebody who had realized it also in any way. So even those both would not discuss it and try to explain it. *smile*


Offline Spiny Norman

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Re: What is Nirvana?
« Reply #24 on: November 19, 2011, 07:58:21 am »
the True mind...

I'm not sure what you mean by "True mind", which sounds like a permanent entity of some sort.   Do you mean a mind freed from ignorance and delusion?

CP

Offline Spiny Norman

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Re: What is Nirvana?
« Reply #25 on: November 19, 2011, 08:21:46 am »
Nirvana just means "Not produced, not destroyed". 

I think it's literal meaning is "blowing out".

CP

Offline Spiny Norman

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Re: What is Nirvana?
« Reply #26 on: November 19, 2011, 08:42:43 am »
Most people think that nirvana follows upon death, but actually it is not necessarily an after-death state. .... One attains nirvana when one reaches the position of not being subject to birth and death. But nirvana is not the Buddha’s dying. When the Buddha dies, he enters nirvana; he enters and certifies to the principle of nirvana with its four virtues of permanence, bliss, true self, and purity. Some people who haven’t seen things clearly in their study of Buddhism think that nirvana is just death, but nirvana is emphatically not death. One who holds this view does not understand Buddhist principle.

Is this passage saying that Nirvana is a realm "outside" samsara?

CP

Offline ground

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Re: What is Nirvana?
« Reply #27 on: November 19, 2011, 09:54:23 am »
My next question is therefore: "What did Buddha teach in this regard?"

Please cite your sources with links if possible.


Quote
From ignorance as a requisite condition come fabrications. From fabrications as a requisite condition comes consciousness. From consciousness as a requisite condition comes name-&-form. From name-&-form as a requisite condition come the six sense media. From the six sense media as a requisite condition comes contact. From contact as a requisite condition comes feeling. From feeling as a requisite condition comes craving. From craving as a requisite condition comes clinging/sustenance. From clinging/sustenance as a requisite condition comes becoming. From becoming as a requisite condition comes birth. From birth as a requisite condition, then aging & death, sorrow, lamentation, pain, distress, & despair come into play. Such is the origination of this entire mass of stress & suffering.

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/sn/sn12/sn12.015.than.html


So everthing is just a dependent arising and that also implies dependent cessation:
Quote
"Now from the remainderless fading & cessation of that very ignorance comes the cessation of fabrications. From the cessation of fabrications comes the cessation of consciousness. From the cessation of consciousness comes the cessation of name-&-form. From the cessation of name-&-form comes the cessation of the six sense media. From the cessation of the six sense media comes the cessation of contact. From the cessation of contact comes the cessation of feeling. From the cessation of feeling comes the cessation of craving. From the cessation of craving comes the cessation of clinging/sustenance. From the cessation of clinging/sustenance comes the cessation of becoming. From the cessation of becoming comes the cessation of birth. From the cessation of birth, then aging & death, sorrow, lamentation, pain, distress, & despair all cease. Such is the cessation of this entire mass of stress & suffering."


Kind regards


So, in what citation of dependent origination which you have provided is mind mentioned?  I see none.  Therefore, is mind but a fiction?  If so, then I must conclude that mind is but another delusional mental factor which disappears along with the defilements, which then allows nibbana to be revealed.  We could then consider it the last curtain of defilements and delusions to be pulled back.

Correct?


Just a try ...

Quote
There are these six classes of contact: eye-contact, ear-contact, nose-contact, tongue-contact, body-contact, mind-contact.
...
There are these six classes of consciousness: eye-consciousness, ear-consciousness, nose-consciousness, tongue-consciousness, body-consciousness, mind-consciousness.
...
There are these six bases: the eye-base, the ear-base, the nose-base, the tongue-base, the body-base, the mind-base.

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/mn/mn.009.ntbb.html#phassa

Mind is the name (nama) for the sixth sense base. But in contrast to the physical senses it is just a nominal category, a mere name.

mind is the nominal category contact and consciousness of the so-called "6th sense" are assigned to

Quote
'Name-&-form exists when what exists? From what as a requisite condition is there name-&-form?' From my appropriate attention there came the breakthrough of discernment: 'Name-&-form exists when consciousness exists. From consciousness as a requisite condition comes name-&-form.' Then the thought occurred to me, 'Consciousness exists when what exists? From what as a requisite condition comes consciousness?' From my appropriate attention there came the breakthrough of discernment: 'Consciousness exists when name-&-form exists. From name-&-form as a requisite condition comes consciousness.'

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/sn/sn12/sn12.065.than.html

name-&-form <-> consciousness

Quote
"Feeling, perception, & consciousness are conjoined, friend, not disjoined. It is not possible, having separated them one from another, to delineate the difference among them. For what one feels, that one perceives. What one perceives, that one cognizes. Therefore these qualities are conjoined, not disjoined, and it is not possible, having separated them one from another, to delineate the difference among them."

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/mn/mn.043.than.html

feeling & perception <-> consciousness


Quote
Feeling, perception, intention, contact, & attention: This is called name.
 
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/sn/sn12/sn12.002.than.html

Feeling & perception <-> consciousness (6 senses comprised)
consciousness & intention (volition) & contact (6 senses comprised) <-> name

From this follows that the nominal category "mind" actually is the nominal category "nama" conceptually reduced by the 1st-5th sense, their contacts and their consciousnesses.


Quote
The way leading to the cessation of feeling is just this Noble Eightfold Path;
...
The way leading to the cessation of contact is just this Noble Eightfold Path
...
The way leading to the cessation of consciousness is just this Noble Eightfold Path
...
The way leading to the cessation of the sixfold base is just this Noble Eightfold Path
...
The way leading to the cessation of [volitional] formations is just this Noble Eightfold Path

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/mn/mn.009.ntbb.html


So the 8fold path leads to the cessation of all that is subsumed under the nominal category "nama" which includes the nominal sub-category "mind"

And if "nama" and "mind are emptied by the 8fold path. What remains?

Form/rupa remains and that is called "nibbana with remainder".



Kind regards

« Last Edit: November 19, 2011, 09:56:10 am by TMingyur. »

Offline Ron-the-Elder

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Re: What is Nirvana?
« Reply #28 on: November 19, 2011, 03:14:18 pm »
My next question is therefore: "What did Buddha teach in this regard?"

Please cite your sources with links if possible.


Quote
From ignorance as a requisite condition come fabrications. From fabrications as a requisite condition comes consciousness. From consciousness as a requisite condition comes name-&-form. From name-&-form as a requisite condition come the six sense media. From the six sense media as a requisite condition comes contact. From contact as a requisite condition comes feeling. From feeling as a requisite condition comes craving. From craving as a requisite condition comes clinging/sustenance. From clinging/sustenance as a requisite condition comes becoming. From becoming as a requisite condition comes birth. From birth as a requisite condition, then aging & death, sorrow, lamentation, pain, distress, & despair come into play. Such is the origination of this entire mass of stress & suffering.

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/sn/sn12/sn12.015.than.html


So everthing is just a dependent arising and that also implies dependent cessation:
Quote
"Now from the remainderless fading & cessation of that very ignorance comes the cessation of fabrications. From the cessation of fabrications comes the cessation of consciousness. From the cessation of consciousness comes the cessation of name-&-form. From the cessation of name-&-form comes the cessation of the six sense media. From the cessation of the six sense media comes the cessation of contact. From the cessation of contact comes the cessation of feeling. From the cessation of feeling comes the cessation of craving. From the cessation of craving comes the cessation of clinging/sustenance. From the cessation of clinging/sustenance comes the cessation of becoming. From the cessation of becoming comes the cessation of birth. From the cessation of birth, then aging & death, sorrow, lamentation, pain, distress, & despair all cease. Such is the cessation of this entire mass of stress & suffering."


Kind regards


So, in what citation of dependent origination which you have provided is mind mentioned?  I see none.  Therefore, is mind but a fiction?  If so, then I must conclude that mind is but another delusional mental factor which disappears along with the defilements, which then allows nibbana to be revealed.  We could then consider it the last curtain of defilements and delusions to be pulled back.

Correct?


Just a try ...

Quote
There are these six classes of contact: eye-contact, ear-contact, nose-contact, tongue-contact, body-contact, mind-contact.
...
There are these six classes of consciousness: eye-consciousness, ear-consciousness, nose-consciousness, tongue-consciousness, body-consciousness, mind-consciousness.
...
There are these six bases: the eye-base, the ear-base, the nose-base, the tongue-base, the body-base, the mind-base.

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/mn/mn.009.ntbb.html#phassa

Mind is the name (nama) for the sixth sense base. But in contrast to the physical senses it is just a nominal category, a mere name.

mind is the nominal category contact and consciousness of the so-called "6th sense" are assigned to

Quote
'Name-&-form exists when what exists? From what as a requisite condition is there name-&-form?' From my appropriate attention there came the breakthrough of discernment: 'Name-&-form exists when consciousness exists. From consciousness as a requisite condition comes name-&-form.' Then the thought occurred to me, 'Consciousness exists when what exists? From what as a requisite condition comes consciousness?' From my appropriate attention there came the breakthrough of discernment: 'Consciousness exists when name-&-form exists. From name-&-form as a requisite condition comes consciousness.'

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/sn/sn12/sn12.065.than.html

name-&-form <-> consciousness

Quote
"Feeling, perception, & consciousness are conjoined, friend, not disjoined. It is not possible, having separated them one from another, to delineate the difference among them. For what one feels, that one perceives. What one perceives, that one cognizes. Therefore these qualities are conjoined, not disjoined, and it is not possible, having separated them one from another, to delineate the difference among them."

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/mn/mn.043.than.html

feeling & perception <-> consciousness


Quote
Feeling, perception, intention, contact, & attention: This is called name.
 
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/sn/sn12/sn12.002.than.html

Feeling & perception <-> consciousness (6 senses comprised)
consciousness & intention (volition) & contact (6 senses comprised) <-> name

From this follows that the nominal category "mind" actually is the nominal category "nama" conceptually reduced by the 1st-5th sense, their contacts and their consciousnesses.


Quote
The way leading to the cessation of feeling is just this Noble Eightfold Path;
...
The way leading to the cessation of contact is just this Noble Eightfold Path
...
The way leading to the cessation of consciousness is just this Noble Eightfold Path
...
The way leading to the cessation of the sixfold base is just this Noble Eightfold Path
...
The way leading to the cessation of [volitional] formations is just this Noble Eightfold Path

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/mn/mn.009.ntbb.html


So the 8fold path leads to the cessation of all that is subsumed under the nominal category "nama" which includes the nominal sub-category "mind"

And if "nama" and "mind are emptied by the 8fold path. What remains?

Form/rupa remains and that is called "nibbana with remainder".

Kind regards


 :wave: :wave:

:r4wheel: :namaste: Excellent!  :hug: Well Done!   :jinsyx: :r4wheel:

 :wave: :wave:

TMingyur,

I think you have nailed it for certain.  Deepest respects and admiration for one so advanced in understanding and penetration of The Dhamma, What The Blessed Buddha Actually said! 
What Makes an Elder? :
A head of gray hairs doesn't mean one's an elder. Advanced in years, one's called an old fool.
But one in whom there is truth, restraint, rectitude, gentleness,self-control, he's called an elder, his impurities disgorged, enlightened.
-Dhammpada, 19, translated by Thanissaro Bhikkhu.

Offline Optimus Prime

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Re: What is Nirvana?
« Reply #29 on: November 19, 2011, 08:11:05 pm »
Most people think that nirvana follows upon death, but actually it is not necessarily an after-death state. .... One attains nirvana when one reaches the position of not being subject to birth and death. But nirvana is not the Buddha’s dying. When the Buddha dies, he enters nirvana; he enters and certifies to the principle of nirvana with its four virtues of permanence, bliss, true self, and purity. Some people who haven’t seen things clearly in their study of Buddhism think that nirvana is just death, but nirvana is emphatically not death. One who holds this view does not understand Buddhist principle.


Is this passage saying that Nirvana is a realm "outside" samsara?

Yes.  That's why:
-  There is the conditioned (that which arises and ceases, i.e., the realm of arisings and cessations, the realm of birth and death) and
-  There is the unconditioned (that which does not arise nor cease). 
-  If there were not the unconditioned, then it would be impossible to escape from the conditioned. 
-  But because the Buddha found the unconditioned - through that, he saw that oh, yes, there is an escape from the conditioned realm.

It is beyond samsara.  Samsara is within the realm of birth and death - so all things within samsara arise and cease.  Arisings and cessations do not apply to Nirvana.

So that is what is meant by this passage:
- There is, bhikkhus, a not-born, a not-brought-to-being, a not-made, a not-conditioned.
- If, bhikkhus, there were no not-born, not-brought-to-being, not-made, not-conditioned, no escape would be discerned from what is born, brought-to-being, made, conditioned.
But since there is a not-born, a not-brought-to-being, a not-made, a not-conditioned, therefore an escape is discerned from what is born, brought-to-being, made, conditioned.

Source:  "Nibbana Sutta: Parinibbana (3)" (Ud 8.3), translated from the Pali by John D. Ireland. Access to Insight, 14 June 2010, http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/kn/ud/ud.8.03.irel.html . Retrieved on 19 November 2011.

Nirvana just means "Not produced, not destroyed". 


I think it's literal meaning is "blowing out".

CP

It does.  You might recognize Nirvana by other names - Cessation (i.e., the 3rd Noble Truth - the cessation of suffering, the end of suffering), Nirodha is another name.  Now it is likened to blowing out of a candle flame in that in this realm, that which has arisen, has now ceased without remainder in this realm of arisings and cessation, i.e., the realm of birth and death.  So whilst within the realm of birth and death, we call it cessation of things that arise and cease.  But in reality, it's a realm beyond arisings and ceasings.  Remember that all that arises, ceases - Nirvana is beyond this realm of arising and ceasing - therefore it is not produced, not destroyed, i.e., without production and without extinction.



I'm not sure what you mean by "True mind", which sounds like a permanent entity of some sort.   Do you mean a mind freed from ignorance and delusion?

Yes.  Nirvana IS permanent.  But not in the sense that you create Nirvana and then it arises and then it exists forever because all that arises, ceases - it is not possible for something to arise and then exist forever - hence why the Buddha's body still kept aging and eventually died.  So all that arises, will eventually cease.

However, that which does not arise does not cease.  In other words, if something is not born, then how can it ever meet it's demise?  Nirvana is not-born, not-arisen - if something is not born, then how can it die?  If something doesn't arise, then how can it cease?  It can't.  Therefore Nirvana is permanent.

You probably think, "There's nothing that's not impermanent!"  But oh, there is.  And the Buddha even pointed to things within this very world of ours, within samsara that are not-born and therefore does not die.

Nirvana/the True Mind is the ESSENCE of consciousness - this is where consciousness comes from - the source, the true nature of consciousness.  This "essence of consciousness" is not supported by anything - it does not rely on anything - therefore it has no point of instability, it has no point of weakness.  In the realm of birth and death, the weakness is decay, aging, sickness death - because whatever good things that arise during a lifetime, however high the pinnacle you reach, how strong you get, how powerful you get, how beautiful you get - it's always going to decay and die off.  Nirvana does not have this weakness because it can not die, nor can it age (because it is something that is not-born/un-born - therefore it can never die).

In the Udana 8.4, it says:
For the supported there is instability, for the unsupported there is no instability; when there is no instability there is serenity;

Source:  "Nibbana Sutta: Parinibbana (4)" (Ud 8.4), translated from the Pali by John D. Ireland. Access to Insight, 14 June 2010, http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/kn/ud/ud.8.04.irel.html . Retrieved on 19 November 2011.

In other words, for anything that is supported, then it is dependent upon something.  And whatever it is dependent upon - that is it's weakness - that's where the instability lies.  Like a house which relies on supports for it's stability - if that support breaks or crumbles for whatever reason - then the house falls too.  But if there is something that does not rely on anything as it's support - then it has no weakness, because it is not dependent upon anything.


There is, bhikkhus, that base where there is no earth, no water, no fire, no air; no base consisting of the infinity of space, no base consisting of the infinity of consciousness, no base consisting of nothingness, no base consisting of neither-perception-nor-non-perception; neither this world nor another world nor both; neither sun nor moon. Here, bhikkhus, I say there is no coming, no going, no staying, no deceasing, no uprising. Not fixed, not movable, it has no support. Just this is the end of suffering.

Source:  "Nibbana Sutta: Parinibbana (1)" (Ud 8.1), translated from the Pali by John D. Ireland. Access to Insight, 14 June 2010, http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/kn/ud/ud.8.01.irel.html . Retrieved on 19 November 2011.

The 6th Chan Patriarch Hui Neng was enlightened when he heard 1 line of the Vajra Sutra that said, "Produce the thought which is no-where supported".  The actual passage from the Vajra Sutra is this:

“Therefore, Subhþti, the Bodhisattva, Mahasattva, should produce a pure heart:
- They should realize and develop that heart which does not dwell in forms, sounds, smells, tastes, tangible objects or dharmas.
- They should realize and develop the heart which dwells nowhere.”

~ Vajra Sutra, Ch 10, ‘The Adornment of Pure Lands’
NB:  "Heart" is synonymous with "Mind".


It's probably a bit hard to understand but if you really want to learn what the True Mind is (as opposed to our thinking consciousness), I'll have to explain a certain passage of the Shurangama Sutra a bit more because the Buddha went through it in detail.

 


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