Author Topic: What is Nirvana?  (Read 25095 times)

Offline Ron-the-Elder

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Re: What is Nirvana?
« Reply #45 on: November 21, 2011, 06:54:39 am »
When one ceases all cease.  This is nibbana without remainder. 


This sounds like annihilation though.

CP


Could your response to this concept of "all ceasing" be fear of losing consciousness?  Is this attachment?



My point was that one of the Buddha's unanswered questions was "what happens to a Tathagata after death".  It suggests that Pari-Nibbana isn't annihilation, isn't total cessation.

CP


Did you mean that the question:  "What happens to a Tathagata after death?" was not answered by him?  Because, that is how I remember the Parinibbana Sutta:

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/sn/sn06/sn06.015.than.html

and:  http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/dn/dn.16.1-6.vaji.html
« Last Edit: November 21, 2011, 07:03:20 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 ground

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Re: What is Nirvana?
« Reply #46 on: November 21, 2011, 07:47:44 am »
So, as you can see, the "Consciousness which is non-manifestive" is different to the "consciousness" which "comes to cease".  The unmanifest consciousness is the Unconditioned mind that is not-born/not-manifest, the Deathless, Nirvana.  Whereas the "consciousness" which "ceases" is the sense consciousnesses, which do cease.

All there is to see is what kind of thoughts are produced by clinging to the idea of permanence.


"The Deathless" or "The Unconditioned" is the Theravadin's "Buddha nature" :lmfao:


Kind regards

I am not certain if there is a concept of "Buddha Nature" in Theravadin Teachings.    The Arahant is a fully attained one.  What would be the point of "Buddha Nature" in any respect, even for a Maha?

My joking remark was intended to hint at the potential common self-supporting function of these concepts.


If everything that is ordinarily known is said to cease the self automically fabricates and/or grasps new ideas to put them in the place of that "everything" that is said to cease. In this way all ideas referring to a conveived absolute are supports for the self.
Some call this the fear of emptiness and these fabrications are the strategy of the self to avoid to look into its own face (nature) which is nothingness (of course this is a metaphorical statement because how could "nothing" have a strategy or look into its own face).


Kind regards
« Last Edit: November 21, 2011, 07:59:11 am by TMingyur. »

Offline Optimus Prime

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Re: What is Nirvana?
« Reply #47 on: November 21, 2011, 06:09:38 pm »
And if "nama" and "mind are emptied by the 8fold path. What remains?
Form/rupa remains and that is called "nibbana with remainder".
The Buddha didn't say that.  This statement actually refutes itself and doesn't require further refuting because what this statement is saying that is if nama and rupa are emptied (i.e., ended), then rupa remains.  What?!  If rupa is already emptied, how can rupa remain?  Not only that, there is no evidence backing that statement up - it's just an opinion, with nothing to back it up.

So does the Buddha say that when nama and rupa is emptied, then rupa is left?  No.  The Buddha said that it's in the unmanifestive consciousness that you find that nama AND rupa have totally ended:
Where do water, earth, fire, & wind have no footing? Where are long & short, coarse & fine, fair & foul, name & form brought to an end?

"'And the answer to that is:
Consciousness without feature,[1] without end, luminous all around: Here water, earth, fire, & wind have no footing. Here long & short coarse & fine, fair & foul, name & form are all brought to an end. With the cessation of [the activity of] consciousness each is here brought to an end.'"

Source:  "Kevatta (Kevaddha) Sutta: To Kevatta" (DN 11), translated from the Pali by Thanissaro Bhikkhu. Access to Insight, 8 June 2010, http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/dn/dn.11.0.than.html . Retrieved on 21 November 2011.

In other words, not only nama and rupa are brought to an end but ALL DUALITY is brought to an end in the non-manifestive consciousness.


"Mentality", "feeling", "perception", "consciousness", "volitional formations" all these are expressions applied to the ordinary, necessarily involved with dukkha and ignorance.


But these 4 aggregates, combined with form, are the totality of human experience, the All.  If you remove these 4 aggregates you are just left with form, the physical body, with no mind - which would be like somebody in a coma rather than an enlightened being.  Your theory simply doesn't make sense.

CP

Correct.  Take a block of wood - it too has a form but no mental factors.  Same with all other inanimate objects - all form/rupa with none of the other 4 mental factors.  Same with a dead body - it too has form but none of the other 4 mental factors of the 5 Skandhas/Khandas.  So these are simple examples of rupa with no nama - which easily refute this line of thinking.  Nirvana certain is NOT like a block of wood or any other inanimate object.  Nor is it like being dead.  Hence this argument has been refuted - I actually didn't have to refute this argument because the argument inherently refuted itself, but the further evidence of the Buddha directly refuting it and examples of when there is rupa but no nama, were just to drive home the point.
« Last Edit: November 21, 2011, 06:19:22 pm by Optimus Prime »

Offline Hanzze

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Re: What is Nirvana?
« Reply #48 on: November 21, 2011, 08:01:49 pm »
Quote
Samanupassanaa Sutta: Ways of Regarding

"Monks, those recluses and brahmans who regard the self in various ways, do so in terms of the five groups of clinging, or some of them. Which five?

"Here, monks, the uninstructed worldling... regards body as the self, the self as having body, body as being in the self, or the self as being in the body. [Similarly with 'feelings,' 'perceptions,' 'mental formations,' 'consciousness.'] So this way of regarding arises: it occurs to him to think 'I am.'[1]

"Now when it has occurred to him to think 'I am,' the five (sense-) faculties[2] come into play[3] — the faculties of eye, ear, nose, tongue and body.

"Monks, there is mind,[4] there are mind-objects,[5] there is the element of ignorance.[6] The uninstructed worldling, touched by the feeling[7] born of contact with ignorance, thinks 'I am,' 'I am this,' 'things will be,' 'things will not be,'[8] 'things will be embodied,'[9] 'things will be disembodied,' 'things will be conscious,' 'things will be unconscious,' 'things will be neither conscious-nor-unconscious.'[10]

"It is just in this way, monks, that the five (sense-) faculties persist. But here, for the well taught Ariyan disciple, ignorance is abandoned and knowledge arises.[11] With the waning of ignorance and the arising of knowledge, he does not come to think 'I am,' 'I am this,' 'things will be,' 'things will not be,' 'things will be embodied,' 'things will be disembodied,' 'things will be conscious,' 'things will be unconscious,' 'things will be neither conscious-nor-unconscious.'"


*smile*

Offline ground

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Re: What is Nirvana?
« Reply #49 on: November 21, 2011, 09:33:29 pm »
And if "nama" and "mind are emptied by the 8fold path. What remains?
Form/rupa remains and that is called "nibbana with remainder".
The Buddha didn't say that.  This statement actually refutes itself and doesn't require further refuting because what this statement is saying that is if nama and rupa are emptied (i.e., ended), then rupa remains.  What?!  If rupa is already emptied, how can rupa remain?  Not only that, there is no evidence backing that statement up - it's just an opinion, with nothing to back it up.
You are fabricating what I have not written. When metality ceases rupa remains. This is called "nibbana with remainder".


Kind regards

Offline ground

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Re: What is Nirvana?
« Reply #50 on: November 21, 2011, 09:38:05 pm »
"Mentality", "feeling", "perception", "consciousness", "volitional formations" all these are expressions applied to the ordinary, necessarily involved with dukkha and ignorance.

But these 4 aggregates, combined with form, are the totality of human experience, the All.  If you remove these 4 aggregates you are just left with form, the physical body, with no mind - which would be like somebody in a coma rather than an enlightened being.  Your theory simply doesn't make sense.

CP

See the body qua sense base of course does cease because - as you rightly say - it is "the all" that ceases.
But your body qua materiality still will be the cause of vision of others. In this sense the body remains.
But please note "the body" is only one particular aspect of rupa/form in general.


Kind regards
« Last Edit: November 21, 2011, 09:41:56 pm by TMingyur. »

Offline Optimus Prime

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Re: What is Nirvana?
« Reply #51 on: November 21, 2011, 10:21:16 pm »
And if "nama" and "mind are emptied by the 8fold path. What remains?
Form/rupa remains and that is called "nibbana with remainder".
The Buddha didn't say that.  This statement actually refutes itself and doesn't require further refuting because what this statement is saying that is if nama and rupa are emptied (i.e., ended), then rupa remains.  What?!  If rupa is already emptied, how can rupa remain?  Not only that, there is no evidence backing that statement up - it's just an opinion, with nothing to back it up.

You are fabricating what I have not written. When metality ceases rupa remains. This is called "nibbana with remainder".


Alright, you wrote that when nama ceases, rupa remains - my mistake in interpreting your words.  But still, the Buddha didn't say that - if he did, then please provide a source.  The Buddha says that both nama and rupa cease together without remainder, in the non-manifest consciousness.

The Theravada analyzes Nirvana into 2 types - referring to your terminology:
1.  Nirvana with remainder:  Meaning that you are enlightened (i.e., realized the Deathless/Nirvana) whilst alive but your current 5 Skandhas/Aggregates remain.
2.  Nirvana without remainder:  Meanings that you are enlightened (i.e., realized the Deathless/Nirvana) but the 5 Skandhas pass away (i.e., the passing away of rupa and nama of an enlightened one).
These 2 refer to the enlightenment of Arhats.

Source:  http://www.dhammacenter.org/nirvana/nirvana_elements


Mahayana adds a further 2 types, making it 4 types:
3.  The Nirvana of the Pure, Clear Self Nature:  This is the Bodhi Nirvana/Buddha Nature (that is not subject to birth or death) inherent in everyone, that the Buddha was talking about in the Shurangama Sutra that I quoted above.  This Nirvana is the same in all living beings, no more in the Buddha and no less than in you and me.
4.  The Nirvana of No Dwelling:  The Nirvana of Bodhisattvas who continue to cross over living beings but they themselves are not subject to birth and death.

Source p52 of A General Explanation, The Vajra Prajna Paramita Sutra.  2nd Edition, 2003.  By Venerable Master Hsuan Hua.
http://books.google.com.au/books?id=9B_ZB52DkqMC&pg=PA52&lpg=PA52&dq=nirvana+with+residue+hsuan+hua&source=bl&ots=WkYUYzTZ3Y&sig=UXyuaOEy4BKZdLdtIvY1549RqQg&hl=en&ei=WirLTu2iAaefiAfb9dm7Dg&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=2&ved=0CCAQ6AEwAQ#v=onepage&q&f=false

Offline ground

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Re: What is Nirvana?
« Reply #52 on: November 21, 2011, 10:28:05 pm »
But still, the Buddha didn't say that - if he did, then please provide a source. 


It follows from the quotes in my response to Ron's post given here:
http://www.freesangha.com/forums/general-buddhism-discussion/what-is-nirvana/msg45874/#msg45874

and is taught implicitly in his fire sermon:

Quote
"Monks, the All is aflame. What All is aflame? The eye is aflame. Forms are aflame. Consciousness at the eye is aflame. Contact at the eye is aflame. And whatever there is that arises in dependence on contact at the eye — experienced as pleasure, pain or neither-pleasure-nor-pain — that too is aflame. Aflame with what? Aflame with the fire of passion, the fire of aversion, the fire of delusion. Aflame, I tell you, with birth, aging & death, with sorrows, lamentations, pains, distresses, & despairs.

"The ear is aflame. Sounds are aflame...

"The nose is aflame. Aromas are aflame...

"The tongue is aflame. Flavors are aflame...

"The body is aflame. Tactile sensations are aflame...

"The intellect is aflame. Ideas are aflame. Consciousness at the intellect is aflame. Contact at the intellect is aflame. And whatever there is that arises in dependence on contact at the intellect — experienced as pleasure, pain or neither-pleasure-nor-pain — that too is aflame. Aflame with what? Aflame with the fire of passion, the fire of aversion, the fire of delusion. Aflame, I say, with birth, aging & death, with sorrows, lamentations, pains, distresses, & despairs.

"Seeing thus, the well-instructed disciple of the noble ones grows disenchanted with the eye, disenchanted with forms, disenchanted with consciousness at the eye, disenchanted with contact at the eye. And whatever there is that arises in dependence on contact at the eye, experienced as pleasure, pain or neither-pleasure-nor-pain: With that, too, he grows disenchanted.

"He grows disenchanted with the ear...

"He grows disenchanted with the nose...

"He grows disenchanted with the tongue...

"He grows disenchanted with the body...

"He grows disenchanted with the intellect, disenchanted with ideas, disenchanted with consciousness at the intellect, disenchanted with contact at the intellect. And whatever there is that arises in dependence on contact at the intellect, experienced as pleasure, pain or neither-pleasure-nor-pain: He grows disenchanted with that too. Disenchanted, he becomes dispassionate. Through dispassion, he is fully released. With full release, there is the knowledge, 'Fully released.' He discerns that 'Birth is ended, the holy life fulfilled, the task done. There is nothing further for this world.'"

That is what the Blessed One said. Gratified, the monks delighted at his words. And while this explanation was being given, the hearts of the 1,000 monks, through no clinging (not being sustained), were fully released from fermentation/effluents.

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/sn/sn35/sn35.028.than.html



The difference between your conclusion which is a substantialist Thervadin view and mine is simply this:
The substantialists say that only craving and grasping ceases but the aggregates still remain assuming that the aggregates are phenomena of "own being" (to avoid the term "independent existence"). This view implicitly presumes a "continuum" or a sort of "container" beyond the aggregates which is a manifestation of a subtle idea of a self.
However from the perspective of the Buddha's teachings I have received it is not so since the aggregates "are" (i.e. arise and cease continuously - without ceasing finally) through clinging only and this clinging is not other than the aggregates. Once there is "perfected abandonment" (as taught as goal in the 'fire sermon' quoted above and which can be equated to "perfected wisdom" or "perfected 'fully understanding'***") they "naturally" cease finally (nor more arising) because when clinging ceases there is no more clinging and the aggregates and clinging are "not two".


*** There are three levels of "fully understanding" - the 3rd I am calling "perfected":
Quote

1.the "fully understanding" of the known (nataprinna) which is also called "directly knowing" (abhijanam)

2. "fully understanding" (parijanam) which is full understanding by scrutinization (tiranaparinna)

3. the fully understanding as abandonment (pahanparinna) realized through "becoming dispassionate" and "abandoning"


S. 354 n. 36 und S. 1052 n. 42 (SN, B. Bodhi)



Kind regards
« Last Edit: November 21, 2011, 11:09:50 pm by TMingyur. »

Offline Hanzze

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Re: What is Nirvana?
« Reply #53 on: November 21, 2011, 11:29:57 pm »
It could be easy that one ends up in the realm of unconsciousness beings (only body no mind). So don't lose your mind till its really the "end" of suffering. *smile*
« Last Edit: November 21, 2011, 11:34:48 pm by Hanzze »

Offline ground

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Re: What is Nirvana?
« Reply #54 on: November 21, 2011, 11:43:43 pm »
It could be easy that one ends up in the realm of unconsciousness beings (only body no mind). So don't lose your mind till its really the "end" of suffering. *smile*

Hi Mara :)

Offline Hanzze

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Re: What is Nirvana?
« Reply #55 on: November 22, 2011, 12:29:33 am »
Image Rahu is at this stage maybe better. *smile*



Rāhu, the celestial monster who was said to be the cause of eclipses by eating the moon, is the central character in illustrating the sixth stage of knowledge, muccitukamyatā-ñāņa, or the desire for deliverance. The aspirant to this knowledge, symbolized by the moon, seeks to escape the destruction imposed by the celestial monster who represents the round of rebirths (samsāra).
« Last Edit: November 22, 2011, 12:41:47 am by Hanzze »

Offline Spiny Norman

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Re: What is Nirvana?
« Reply #56 on: November 22, 2011, 07:04:03 am »
However from the perspective of the Buddha's teachings I have received it is not so since the aggregates "are" (i.e. arise and cease continuously - without ceasing finally) through clinging only and this clinging is not other than the aggregates. Once there is "perfected abandonment" (as taught as goal in the 'fire sermon' quoted above and which can be equated to "perfected wisdom" or "perfected 'fully understanding'***") they "naturally" cease finally (nor more arising) because when clinging ceases there is no more clinging and the aggregates and clinging are "not two".

So you're saying that when clinging ceases the aggregates cease simultaneously?  This would mean that when a person became enlightened they would immediately disappear in a puff of smoke, because the aggregates are by definition the totality of that person.  That isn't consistent with any Buddhist teaching I know of.

CP




Offline Spiny Norman

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Re: What is Nirvana?
« Reply #57 on: November 22, 2011, 07:11:50 am »
"Mentality", "feeling", "perception", "consciousness", "volitional formations" all these are expressions applied to the ordinary, necessarily involved with dukkha and ignorance.

But these 4 aggregates, combined with form, are the totality of human experience, the All.  If you remove these 4 aggregates you are just left with form, the physical body, with no mind - which would be like somebody in a coma rather than an enlightened being.  Your theory simply doesn't make sense.

CP

See the body qua sense base of course does cease because - as you rightly say - it is "the all" that ceases.
But your body qua materiality still will be the cause of vision of others. In this sense the body remains.
But please note "the body" is only one particular aspect of rupa/form in general.

Again I think you're muddling things.  Traditionally there are six internal sense bases ( the physical organs ) and six external sense bases ( sense objects ).  Then there are the 6 types of consciousness which correspond.
So which ( if any ) of these are you claiming to cease at the point of enlightenment?

CP

Offline Spiny Norman

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Re: What is Nirvana?
« Reply #58 on: November 22, 2011, 07:33:49 am »
But still, the Buddha didn't say that - if he did, then please provide a source. 

...and is taught implicitly in his fire sermon:

The Fire Sermon describes a process of disenchantment with the aggregates.  There is nothing in it which supports your idea that nama ceases at the point of enlightenment.

CP

Offline ground

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Re: What is Nirvana?
« Reply #59 on: November 22, 2011, 12:05:17 pm »
"Mentality", "feeling", "perception", "consciousness", "volitional formations" all these are expressions applied to the ordinary, necessarily involved with dukkha and ignorance.

But these 4 aggregates, combined with form, are the totality of human experience, the All.  If you remove these 4 aggregates you are just left with form, the physical body, with no mind - which would be like somebody in a coma rather than an enlightened being.  Your theory simply doesn't make sense.

CP

See the body qua sense base of course does cease because - as you rightly say - it is "the all" that ceases.
But your body qua materiality still will be the cause of vision of others. In this sense the body remains.
But please note "the body" is only one particular aspect of rupa/form in general.

Again I think you're muddling things.  Traditionally there are six internal sense bases ( the physical organs ) and six external sense bases ( sense objects ).  Then there are the 6 types of consciousness which correspond.
So which ( if any ) of these are you claiming to cease at the point of enlightenment?

CP


All 6 types cease.

Kind regards

 


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