Author Topic: What is Nirvana?  (Read 25048 times)

Offline ground

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Re: What is Nirvana?
« Reply #60 on: November 22, 2011, 12:19:20 pm »
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


Nama ("name") is just a nominal category. Nothing (i.e. nama, a nominal category) cannot cease you are right. But all that is subsumed under "nama" ceases.

The sutta states:
Quote
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.'"


"Full release" is only possible when DO vanishes otherwise there is still dukkha.

So the abandonmment taught in the Fire Sermon necessarily destroys DO and this means cessation of the aggregates.
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



Sense base (form khandha) + consciousness (khandha) + form (khandha) => contact - - - > feeling (khandha), perception (khandha), mind consciousness (khandha)

Further DO states: From ignorance arises volitional formations (i.e "intention") and from volitional formations arises consciousness and ... the whole mass of suffering and lamentation.

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




It is very very important to understand the context of these suttas. It is essential for liberative practice.

Do not get caught up in useless vipassana methods.


Kind regards
« Last Edit: November 22, 2011, 12:32:20 pm by TMingyur. »

Offline Optimus Prime

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Re: What is Nirvana?
« Reply #61 on: November 22, 2011, 01:54:29 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

From the evidence you provided here, nowhere does it say that when nama ends, rupa remains from your sources - except for your own statement at the end.

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


The Fire Sermon describes disenchantment with the 6 sense organs and their objects - so you naturally develop non-attachment towards them.  Nothing here that supports that nama ceases, rupa remains.

"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.


This is easily disproved.  The Buddha's 6 sense organs didn't disappear at the point of his enlightenment - nor did the Buddha's ability to see, hear, taste, touch, smell or think stop at the point of his enlightenment.  So they didn't cease at all at the point of his enlightenment (Nirvana with remainder).  His 5 Aggregates didn't cease at the point of his enlightenment either.  So this argument that "All 6 types cease" does not hold. 

They did however cease at his passing away (the cessation of his 5 Skandhas) (Nirvana without remainder).

Offline ground

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Re: What is Nirvana?
« Reply #62 on: November 22, 2011, 10:09:42 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

From the evidence you provided here, nowhere does it say that when nama ends, rupa remains from your sources - except for your own statement at the end.

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


The Fire Sermon describes disenchantment with the 6 sense organs and their objects - so you naturally develop non-attachment towards them.  Nothing here that supports that nama ceases, rupa remains.


If you insist that the suttas do not express the cessation of all that is conventionally subsumed under "nama" in the context of liberation, then you keep on holding that view. Just so.


"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.


This is easily disproved.  The Buddha's 6 sense organs didn't disappear at the point of his enlightenment - nor did the Buddha's ability to see, hear, taste, touch, smell or think stop at the point of his enlightenment.  So they didn't cease at all at the point of his enlightenment (Nirvana with remainder).  His 5 Aggregates didn't cease at the point of his enlightenment either.  So this argument that "All 6 types cease" does not hold. 

They did however cease at his passing away (the cessation of his 5 Skandhas) (Nirvana without remainder).


Let me replace "rupa/form" by "physical" and "physico-chemical" ...
The meaning of "cease" is neither "physically disappear" nor is the meaning that the physico-chemical processes stop. How could the senses physically disappear or the physico-chemical processes stop as long as what is called "body" is "alive"? ("alive" actually meaning "supported by form and physico-chemical processes").


Kind regards
« Last Edit: November 22, 2011, 10:11:26 pm by TMingyur. »

Offline Spiny Norman

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Re: What is Nirvana?
« Reply #63 on: November 23, 2011, 04:47:45 am »
So the abandonmment taught in the Fire Sermon necessarily destroys DO and this means cessation of the aggregates.

You are confusing disenchantment with the aggregates and cessation of the aggregates. 

CP


Offline Spiny Norman

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Re: What is Nirvana?
« Reply #64 on: November 23, 2011, 04:51:20 am »
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:

Yes.  So the answer to the question must lie outside the range of existing / not existing ( annihilation ), etc.

CP

Offline Spiny Norman

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Re: What is Nirvana?
« Reply #65 on: November 23, 2011, 04:53:06 am »
Do not get caught up in useless vipassana methods.

Without a means to directly experience these truths, we are just left with an intellectual exercise.

CP

Offline Spiny Norman

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Re: What is Nirvana?
« Reply #66 on: November 23, 2011, 04:56:59 am »
The meaning of "cease" is neither "physically disappear" nor is the meaning that the physico-chemical processes stop. How could the senses physically disappear or the physico-chemical processes stop as long as what is called "body" is "alive"? ("alive" actually meaning "supported by form and physico-chemical processes").

So if by "cease" you don't mean "disappear" or "stop", what exactly do you mean by it?

CP

Offline Ron-the-Elder

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Re: What is Nirvana?
« Reply #67 on: November 23, 2011, 05:00:27 am »
Do not get caught up in useless vipassana methods.

Without a means to directly experience these truths, we are just left with an intellectual exercise.

CP

Thereseems to be no way to determine otherwise.   :anjali:
Not even sure if the word "truth" may be used in this context for there is no way for an unattained being to ever know if it is true or not, other than through absolute faith in a/the Tathagata.
« Last Edit: November 23, 2011, 05:02:23 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 Spiny Norman

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Re: What is Nirvana?
« Reply #68 on: November 23, 2011, 05:05:30 am »
Sense base (form khandha) + consciousness (khandha) + form (khandha) => contact - - - > feeling (khandha), perception (khandha), mind consciousness (khandha)

OK, but which of these factors ( if any ) do you say cease at the moment of enlightenment ( ie Nibbana, not Pari-nibbana ).

CP

Offline ground

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Re: What is Nirvana?
« Reply #69 on: November 23, 2011, 12:30:52 pm »
So the abandonmment taught in the Fire Sermon necessarily destroys DO and this means cessation of the aggregates.

You are confusing disenchantment with the aggregates and cessation of the aggregates. 

CP
No I clearly stated the causal relationship.


Do not get caught up in useless vipassana methods.

Without a means to directly experience these truths, we are just left with an intellectual exercise.

CP
I did not reject mindfulness. Only useless vipassana methods not taught by the Buddha.


The meaning of "cease" is neither "physically disappear" nor is the meaning that the physico-chemical processes stop. How could the senses physically disappear or the physico-chemical processes stop as long as what is called "body" is "alive"? ("alive" actually meaning "supported by form and physico-chemical processes").

So if by "cease" you don't mean "disappear" or "stop", what exactly do you mean by it?

CP
Exactly what the Buddha taught.


Sense base (form khandha) + consciousness (khandha) + form (khandha) => contact - - - > feeling (khandha), perception (khandha), mind consciousness (khandha)

OK, but which of these factors ( if any ) do you say cease at the moment of enlightenment ( ie Nibbana, not Pari-nibbana ).

CP
All that is subsumed under "nama". Just like the Buddha taught it.


Kind regards

Offline Spiny Norman

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Re: What is Nirvana?
« Reply #70 on: November 24, 2011, 04:30:17 am »
So the abandonmment taught in the Fire Sermon necessarily destroys DO and this means cessation of the aggregates.

You are confusing disenchantment with the aggregates and cessation of the aggregates. 

CP
No I clearly stated the causal relationship.

I must have missed it, could you please restate the causal relationship?

CP

Offline Spiny Norman

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Re: What is Nirvana?
« Reply #71 on: November 24, 2011, 04:39:19 am »
Sense base (form khandha) + consciousness (khandha) + form (khandha) => contact - - - > feeling (khandha), perception (khandha), mind consciousness (khandha)

OK, but which of these factors ( if any ) do you say cease at the moment of enlightenment ( ie Nibbana, not Pari-nibbana ).

CP
All that is subsumed under "nama". Just like the Buddha taught it.


To recap, "nama" includes  feeling, perception, intention, contact, & attention.  You still haven't provided any clear evidence from the suttas to support your idea that "nama" ceases completely at the point of enlightenment, just leaving "rupa". 

In particular I don't see how contact could cease at the point of enlightenment, since an absence of contact would be like being in a coma.

And the cessation of perception and feeling is described in the suttas as a temporary jhanic state, not as a lasting cessation.

And I recall that in the thread on feeling and perception ( vedanana and sanna ), you clearly stated that feeling, perception and consciousness were joined and could not be separated - so how could feeling and perception cease but consciousness continue?

CP

Offline Ron-the-Elder

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Re: What is Nirvana?
« Reply #72 on: November 24, 2011, 06:58:51 am »
This thread reminds me of a famous Abbot and Costello routine:  "Who's on First!"

Who's on first?
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 #73 on: November 24, 2011, 11:43:15 am »
I must have missed it, could you please restate the causal relationship?

CP
It is above as to clinging not being different from aggregates.

And the cessation of perception and feeling is described in the suttas as a temporary jhanic state, not as a lasting cessation.
It is described as where the path leads to. Jhanic states are not the goal of the path.

And I recall that in the thread on feeling and perception ( vedanana and sanna ), you clearly stated that feeling, perception and consciousness were joined and could not be separated - so how could feeling and perception cease but consciousness continue?
Since feeling, perception cannot be separated from consciousness, consciousness necessarily belongs to the nominal category of "nama".

To recap, "nama" includes  feeling, perception, intention, contact, & attention.  You still haven't provided any clear evidence from the suttas to support your idea that "nama" ceases completely at the point of enlightenment, just leaving "rupa". 

In particular I don't see how contact could cease at the point of enlightenment, since an absence of contact would be like being in a coma.
That exactly shows how you are assessing everything from the ordinary perspective you are clinging to since you do not know anything else. In DO contact entails feeling, etc suffering. That exactly is the role played by that which is labelled "contact" in the ordinary sphere of DO.

And just to be clear about that: I don't think that I ever can provide clear evidence for you :teehee:
So we actually may drop this since the exhaustive evidence I provided so far will most likely not have the meaning of "evidence" for you regardless of how many words are piled upon it and regardless of how often sutta quotations are repeated. So obviously words alone cannot make a difference.
Never mind.


Kind regards
« Last Edit: November 24, 2011, 11:55:46 am by TMingyur. »

Offline Spiny Norman

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Re: What is Nirvana?
« Reply #74 on: November 25, 2011, 06:52:05 am »
I must have missed it, could you please restate the causal relationship?

CP
It is above as to clinging not being different from aggregates.

And the cessation of perception and feeling is described in the suttas as a temporary jhanic state, not as a lasting cessation.
It is described as where the path leads to. Jhanic states are not the goal of the path.

And I recall that in the thread on feeling and perception ( vedanana and sanna ), you clearly stated that feeling, perception and consciousness were joined and could not be separated - so how could feeling and perception cease but consciousness continue?
Since feeling, perception cannot be separated from consciousness, consciousness necessarily belongs to the nominal category of "nama".

To recap, "nama" includes  feeling, perception, intention, contact, & attention.  You still haven't provided any clear evidence from the suttas to support your idea that "nama" ceases completely at the point of enlightenment, just leaving "rupa". 

"Clinging aggregates" is actually a bad translation.  "The aggregates subject to clinging" is much better, and actually makes sense, because it means that enlightenment ( Nibbana ) is the end of clinging, not as you assert the end of the aggregates.  Equating enlightenment with the end of the aggregates is nonsensical.  Equating Pari-nibbana with the end of the aggregates would make sense.

Your inclusion of consciousness in "nama" isn't consistent with the suttas ( DO in particular ).  But I wanted to check you were asserting that at the point of enlightenment "nama" including consciousness ceases, and that the only remaining aggregate is rupa ( form ).  As we've previously discussed this is nonsensical because it would mean a Buddha was just a lump of meat, just a body, like somebody in a coma, or some kind of zombie.


CP
« Last Edit: November 25, 2011, 06:54:40 am by CP Gumby »

 


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